DISCOVER THE BIBLE
LONG AGO IN ETERNITY PAST . . .
Before there was space, Before there was matter, Before there was a universe,
ÄGod has always existed. He is
eternal: "...from everlasting to everlasting, thou art
God." PSALM 90:2
the Father, the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." I JOHN 5:7
"...created the heaven and the earth." GENESIS 1:1
Upon the earth, God placed various creatures (Genesis 1:1-31) including one with the ability to have a personal relationship with Him. This unique creature was man, the crowning act of creation, conceived in the mind of a TRIUNE God. For on the sixth day the TRINITY said:
With that command, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost . . .
and man became a living soul." GENESIS 2:7
Therefore man, made in the image and likeness of his Creator, became a living SOUL with the ability to think, feel and choose. However, a soul by itself cannot interact with the world. That is why God gave him a BODY with five senses that act as "windows" to the soul, enabling him to know the world around him. But even a soul inside a body cannot have a complete personal relationship with God because . . .
Thus, man was also given a SPIRIT to enable him to know God: to perceive the spiritual realm in much the same way that his body enabled him to perceive the physical world. Man was a complete being, consisting of body, soul, and spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23). Now everything was in place for a perfect relationship between a triune God and His creation . . . man.
The first man Adam and his wife Eve rebelled against God and
"died" spiritually, therefore losing their "spiritual connection" with God (Genesis 3:1-24).
This spiritual death has been passed down to every generation (Genesis 5:3;
Romans 5:12), causing mankind to "grope around" in
spiritual blindness searching for God. Men have started many religions
attempting to find their way back to God. Men have worshipped statues,
idols, ceremonies, and even human intellect (Humanism and Rationalism).
Fortunately God, wishing to restore His relationship with man (II Peter 3:9; I Timothy 2:3-6), promised Adam and Eve He would provide a Saviour (Genesis 3:15). Consequently, He had a plan that involved the second member of the Trinity - THE WORD:
God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made..." JOHN 1:1-3
The plan required THE WORD to leave His heavenly throne and embark upon a mission to . . .
Therefore, the "...the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...." JOHN 1:14
Thus begins the story of the greatest life ever lived by the greatest person ever to walk upon the Earth: a man who became the central figure of all history, the most significant individual of all time. He was a man greatly loved yet greatly hated, powerful yet meek, great yet humble. Never has there been a man for whom so many have lived, and for whom so many have died. Never has there been a man that has changed the face of the earth like this man . . .
JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE
GOD'S PROMISE that He would provide a Saviour,
was originally given to Adam and Eve shortly after they had sinned (Genesis
3:15). Throughout Jewish history "the promise"
was passed down from generation to generation. Prophet after prophet
reminded the Jews of the coming Saviour, the Messiah.
and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." ISAIAH 9:6
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]." ISAIAH 7:14
The prophecies continued for thousands of years, until one day there were no more prophets, and . . .
During those 400 years, the world saw one empire after another. Alexander the Great conquered the world and gave it his contribution; a one world language called Koine Greek.
fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins." MATTHEW 1:20-21
GOD had chosen the vessel through which He would come into the world, and nine months later the Messiah arrived!
world should be taxed. ... And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." LUKE 2:1-7
(Bethlehem was approximately the size of a football field in the days of Christ). Only God could produce such irony. The world finally had its Saviour, and those who knew of His arrival wanted to see Him.
THE WISE MEN "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." MATTHEW 2:1-2
THE SHEPHERDS "...the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger." LUKE 2:15-16
KING HEROD also wanted to see Him, but unfortunately for a different reason:
when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them
where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is
written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem...art not the least among the princes of Juda:
for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." MATTHEW 2:3-6
Like any evil king, King Herod was not about to give up his throne to anyone: not even to the Messiah. So, he commanded the wise men to come back with the child's identity. However, God, in a dream, told the wise men not to return to Herod (Matthew 2:7-15). This did not sit well with the king:
sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem,
and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under,
according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." MATTHEW 2:16
Herod thought that by killing all the male children in
Bethlehem, he would eliminate the Messiah.
Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt,
and be thou there until I bring thee word:
for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." MATTHEW 2:13
The child Jesus had escaped Herod's sword. Now all his parents had to do was wait in Egypt and. . .
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for
they are dead which sought the young child's life. ... And he came and dwelt in a city called
Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets,
He shall be called a Nazarene." MATTHEW 2:19-20,23
While living in Nazareth, "...the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." LUKE 2:40
SEVERAL YEARS LATER . . .
I must be about my Father's business?" LUKE 2:49
At the age of twelve Jesus knew His Father's business was to reach a lost world. Did Jesus realize that it required His death on a cross? Perhaps the writer of the Psalms was prophetically referring to Jesus when he said:
The BIBLE gives no information about Jesus Christ from
age twelve (Luke 2:42) through age thirty (Luke 3:23). What can we
assume took place during this 18-year period?
AT THE AGE OF 30. . .
He who came to the river as "the
carpenter" ascended the bank as Messiah, and the voice of God from
Heaven proclaimed Him as His beloved Son. He was the Lamb of God, the
Word, the Son of God.
should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)
God the Son had taken on flesh and become a physical representation of God the Father. Jesus said:
Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him,
We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
And he brought him to Jesus." JOHN 1:40-42
SIDE NOTE: Christ means Messiah. Jesus means Saviour. Jesus Christ means Saviour Messiah.
JESUS CONTINUED to gather His disciples and eventually He had twelve that He would personally train for the next three years. These were the twelve apostles that would initially take Jesus' message, the Gospel, and preach it throughout the world (Matthew 10:7).
and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip,
and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus,
and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite,
and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." MATTHEW 10:2-4
AS TIME WENT ON, Jesus taught His apostles. They were amazed at His knowledge and wisdom. . .
Jesus Christ, their teacher, was God. Yet He was also a man, feeling and experiencing everything His apostles did. The BIBLE says He . . .
TO MOST people, compassion is "skin deep", affecting only the emotions. With Jesus, compassion resulted in action. Compassion toward a lost world caused Him to leave His heavenly throne and take on the form of a lowly man. That same compassion had been motivating Him throughout His earthly life, including the day it moved Him to touch, of all things - A LEPER!:
and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." MARK 1:40
Leprosy is a highly contagious disease that eats away at the
flesh. Its poor victim would be forced to live alone outside the city,
and cry out "Unclean, unclean[!]" whenever approaching
others (Numbers 5:1-4). No other person was more despised, rejected or
feared than the leper. The bravest man would cower like a frightened
child upon seeing one. So wretched was the life of a leper that many
dreaded the loneliness and rejection more than the disease itself.
and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken,
immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed." MARK 1:41-42
Jesus had healed a leper, but His compassion did not stop there. Everyday, multitudes came to see the one-time wood worker now work miracles. And always:
because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." MATTHEW 9:36
And with the same care that He once fashioned wood, He now put
lives back together. The flow of people toward Jesus never ended.
Everywhere He and His apostles went, there were the masses.
and took upon him the form of a servant," PHILIPPIANS 2:6- 7
Jesus Christ, the Word, temporarily emptied Himself of
qualities which He possessed in Heaven in eternity past, before becoming a
man. He laid aside the royal, regal robe which He wore in Heaven, and
came down to this Earth to live as a man, temporarily putting aside the use of
some divine qualities.
Because He was God, He would not have had to subject Himself
to hunger, thirst, pain and fatigue.
he is able to succour [help] them that are tempted." HEBREWS 2:18
go through in order to be able to say. . . "I know how it feels".
THERE was no doubt that Jesus was human. His humanity was obvious. His claim to be God, however, was a different matter. It was often met with skepticism and outright hostilities. Such was the case the day He healed one sick of the palsy. Four others had carried their paralyzed friend upon his bed to Jesus (Mark 2:1-4). The bed-ridden man had come for a miracle: to walk again. What he got instead, surprised everyone because:
the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies?
who can forgive sins but God only?" MARK 2:5-7
It was one thing to heal a body, and make it whole. It was quite another thing to make a soul "right with God". Forgiveness of sins was something reserved only for God. What Jesus had done was "blasphemous", and the scribes were not about to tolerate it. Their problem was that any open opposition to Jesus might bring upon them a riot from His faithful followers. So they carefully hid their hateful accusation of blasphemy within the sanctuary of their hearts, not realizing that nothing is hid from God:
that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he
arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed,
and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion." MARK 2:8-12
Only God had the right to forgive sins and the ability to read minds. Yet here was a carpenter from Nazareth claiming these attributes as His own. To the self-righteous religious leaders He was blasphemous, worthy of stoning. To those whose lives had been changed He was their Saviour: the Messiah, the Son of God who had come down from Heaven. These were titles that Jesus Himself was not denying:
... And this is the will of him that sent me,
that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life:
and I will raise him up at the last day." JOHN 6:38,40
THIS was not the only time Jesus had made a claim that caused those around Him to take notice. On one other occasion, He boldly claimed to have power over His own life and death!
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.
I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." JOHN 10:17-18
Statements like these were soon too much for some Jews.
His claims were adding up to one thing:
Needless to say, Jesus was becoming more and more controversial as time passed!!
NEVER has there been a man to whom there has
been such an extreme difference of opinion.
Sometimes people will say: "Well, I believe Jesus Christ was a good, moral man who taught love and truthfulness, but I do not believe He was God or the Son of God."
Yet Jesus could not have been a good, moral man who taught love and truthfulness while going around lying, claiming to be God. A person simply cannot be both. He was either a liar with poor morals, or He was telling the truth and was genuinely God. Again, there is no "middle ground" when it comes to Jesus, especially since the BIBLE reveals much that proves Jesus Christ was God.
"...behold, I send unto you prophets..."
"...all men should honour the Son, even as they honour
the Father." JOHN 5:23
"My kingdom is not of this world..." JOHN
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be
saved..." JOHN 10:9
"...I am the light of the world..." JOHN 8:12
"...without me ye can do nothing."
"I and my Father are one." JOHN 10:30
"ye believe in God, believe also in me."
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." JOHN 14:6
THE BIBLE shows a parallel between God and Jesus Christ. There are many verses that refer to God as well as Christ. When these verses are placed side by side, a person can see that God and Jesus Christ are one and the same. (Refer also to opposite [below] page)
THE SCRIPTURES further reveal that Jesus has
abilities that fall under the categories of omni-presence (everywhere at all
times), omnipotence (all powerful), and omniscience (all knowing).
Ø Christ was in Heaven while He was
bodily present on the Earth. John 3:13
Ø Christ was in Heaven while He was
bodily present on the Earth. John 3:13
Ø Christ knew all things. John
MANY incidents in the BIBLE prove Christ's deity and power, among them the following three:
V His disciples worshipped Him:
And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him." MATTHEW 28:9
V Angels worshipped Him:
he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." HEBREWS 1:6
V A leper worshipped Him:
saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." MATTHEW 8:2
V A ruler worshipped Him:
there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him," MATTHEW 9:18
V A blind man worshipped Him:
V His apostles worshipped Him:
And the wind ceased...And they [apostles] feared exceedingly, and said one to another,
What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" MARK 4:39-41
And he that was dead came forth...Then many of the Jews which came to Mary,
and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him." JOHN 11:43-45
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway:" LUKE 8:54-55
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow...And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak." LUKE 7:12-15
(As a minister, Jesus never officiated at a funeral. He always broke up every funeral He came across.J)
JESUS was the God-Man. He was all man and all God. As a man, Jesus Christ knew first hand about the problems facing mankind. As God, He knew the solutions. Such was the case with the Samaritan woman at the well:
being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the
sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water..." JOHN 4:5-7
The woman had come to the well because it provided a source of water. Water is essential for washing, bathing, and most importantly; sustaining life while satisfying one's thirst. So, referring to the well water, Jesus said:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him
shall never thirst..." JOHN 4:13-14
The woman, being intrigued, said:
She was "THIRSTY." Her life had included five husbands and one immoral relationship. Yet she was not content. Something was missing. Apparently she was going from one relationship to another, searching for a permanent state of happiness, but never finding it (John 4:15-18).
Jesus said: "...I am the bread of life: he that
cometh to me shall never hunger;
Once Christ fills that "void" and permanently quenches a person's "thirst", his search for fulfillment is over. He can finally rest and be at peace. Jesus said:
and I will give you rest." MATTHEW 11:28
JESUS SPENT THREE YEARS WITH HIS APOSTLES while teaching and preaching to the masses. . .
repent ye, and believe the gospel." MARK 1:15
His message was one of hope and restoration. He had come to. . .
Jesus further revealed His intentions when He proclaimed . . .
This included everyone, because in God's sight . . .
Never was a more selfless life lived than by Jesus Christ. His entire ministry revolved around helping people spiritually and physically. Not only did He live for others but He also died for others. He was the only sinless person to ever exist, and yet He had to die to pay for sin itself. The closer He got to the cross, the thinner the crowds became and the more He was "rejected of men" (Isaiah 53:3). The more abundantly He loved others, the less He was loved (II Corinthians 12:15).
Every where Jesus preached the Gospel, the result was the
same: some trusted Him as Saviour and some did not, choosing instead to trust
in their own self-righteousness or religion. Many rejected Him.
After much scheming the plan was finally in place. But it still required one key element; finding someone willing to betray Him into their hands. So with eyes and ears wide open they patiently waited.
«««««««««« A Sneak Preview ««««««««««««
In this lesson we have looked at the greatest man ever born,
and the greatest life ever lived. In our
* Why couldn't Jesus have been strangled, drowned or suffocated?
THROUGH THE BIBLE
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