ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES
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WHO IS JESUS?

WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES TELL ABOUT HIM?


 

 
  chapter I 
chapter II
chapter III
chapter IV
chapter V
chapter VI
chapter VII

 
     

                                                               chapter I

Moses and the prophets prophesied about Him, as did King David and King Solomon. In the beginning of his reign Solomon lived very near to God. He was entrusted with the building of the temple and his prayer with the opening of it shows, that he loved God and His people very much. During the first years of his reign God asked him in a dream what he would like to receive from Him. Solomon asked for wisdom and not for wealth or a long life. God gave him everything. He spoke God’s words, for example in Proverbs 8. When we read these verses we see, that he prophesied about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
     
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     “ The LORD made me His; it was His first act,
     before His works of old.
     From eternity I was formed, from the beginning,
     when there was no earth.
     When there were yet no oceans I was brought forth;
     when there were no springs, full of water
     before the mountains, before the hills were settled
     I was brought forth;
     while He had not yet made the earth, nor the fields,
     nor the first dust particles of the world.
     When He established the heavens, I was there;
     when He drew a circle on the surface of the ocean,
     when He fixed the clouds above it,
     when the deep springs flowed powerfully,
     when He gave to the sea its boundary,
     that the waters should not violate His command,
     when He laid the foundations of the earth,
     then I was faithfully at His side and I was always joyful,
     rejoicing in His presence all the time.
     Rejoicing in His whole world and my delight was with man.”
     
Proverbs 8 : 22 - 31



 
In these verses a very tender relationship becomes clear between God the Father and God the Son. It is very well that we realise this deeply. What things did Jesus give up, when He came to this earth? And for what reason?

David was not only a king, but also a prophet. He wrote most of the Psalms. Among them there are many Psalms, that deal with the Messiah. Also other Psalmists spoke about the Messiah.
In the next verse Jesus declares, what the Heavenly Father said about Him:
       
 
     “I will declare the decree:
     the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son;
     this day have I begotten thee.”

In another Psalm God the Father says:

     “He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God,
     and the rock of my salvation.
     Also I will make him my firstborn,
     higher than the kings of the earth.”
     
Psalm 2 : 7





Psalm 89 : 26, 27
 
There are also two events in the New Testament, when God says, that Jesus is His Son. The three evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke bear witness, that just after the baptism by John the Baptist “a voice from heaven said: “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”
     

Matthew 3 : 17
Mark 1 : 11
Luke 3 : 22
 
Peter, John and James were witnesses, when during the Transfiguration on the mountain there came a voice from the cloud, saying: “
This is My beloved Son: hear Him.”

In His prayer, that Jesus prayed aloud just before His being arrested and His death, He speaks to His Father in heaven: “And this is life eternal, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent.”

This is the gospel. It is no theory, but a practical life with God and Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. The “knowing” means having a relationship with God.
When do we know a neighbour? When we have a close, open and honest relationship with him. The same holds good for our relationship with God.

In the Gospel of John we read a lot about the relationship between God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
Because in this short document we are dealing with the fact, that beforehand Jesus was with His Father in heaven and that He was there before the foundation of the world, we would like to quote from John 17 two more verses, that speak about this fact.
     

Luke 9 : 35




John 17 : 3
  “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.”
“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.”

Why was there needed such a costly price to pay for the salvation from sin?
In order to answer this question we will have to consider from the Scriptures Who God is. We will go into this very briefly here. Later on more about this.
      John 17 : 5

John 17 : 24
 
God is very righteous. In Him there is no lie.
He has to punish, otherwise He would not be righteous.


Let us look at an earthly judge. He has to administer justice honestly.
When he would not punish e.g. thieves, criminals or murderers, we would protest very strongly. For offences one ought to be punished, otherwise this world will become intolerable. Chaos would reign. Total anarchy! And what to think of the victims!
     

Romans 3 : 24 - 26
  In order to enter into the Kingdom of God one ought to be set free from all sins, debts, whatever they may be. Someone, who has not received forgiveness, must be punished. We all deserve this: “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
The reason for this high price is the covenant of grace, that was made in heaven between the Father and the Son. Jesus would bear the punishment in our stead.
Therefore He came to this earth, adopted a human body, just as it had been prophesied by the prophets.
     
Romans 3 : 12


Isaiah 7 : 14
Isaiah 9 : 6
  His suffering was so much the greater, because He suffered as the Son of God, Himself being without sin. He was mocked, tortured and killed by people, whom He had created Himself.
Infinitely great is this Saviour in His love for His creatures. Love without limits. He knew what a life without being saved would mean, namely, being eternally without God and receiving an everlasting punishment. His compassion constrained Him to endure everything in order to save men. He desired that we would have in us the joy, peace and love of the Father through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, after that He Himself had taken our sins and our debts and had been punished severely till the death at the cross.
God’s wrath for our sins was on Him.
     



Philippians 2 : 6 - 8
  He was raised from the death and is interceding now for us with the Father.
The only true God has no pleasure in our death, but that we all turn from our wicked ways. The risen Christ said to His disciples: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
     
Ezekiel 18 : 23

Matthew 28 : 19
  These three Persons are a perfect unity. They are inextricably bound up with each other. When Philip asked the Lord Jesus: “Lord, show us the Father,” then Jesus said: “He, that has seen Me, has seen the Father.”
Later on we hope to return to this.
     
John 14 : 8, 9
  We ought to convert with repentance. Honest, sincere in everything and from our heart. When we have no repentance, but yearn to have it, there is only one thing left to do, namely, to appeal for mercy with God, until He gives it. He will give it. After all it is God, Who works a real conversion in us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shows us our sins and He will reveal to us Who Jesus really is.
     

Matthew 7 : 7
 


chapter II
       
 
A note beforehand: Mark that the writers of the Psalms and Isaiah lived many hundreds of years or even a millennium before the birth of Christ.

In the Scriptures there are many particulars of Jesus’ life here on earth. God deemed it necessary to make known these very far in advance by means of His servants, the prophets.
It is a great wonder of mercy and love, that beforehand He announced His Son very clearly to the people. No doubt should exist about Who was the real Messiah. In fact, there have always been people, who asserted, that they were the promised Messiah.
By the great amount of particulars about Jesus, prophesied by various persons, we know for sure that Jesus is the Messiah.
Jesus rebuked the men of Emmaus, that they did not believe the Scriptures, where was recorded, that the Messiah had to suffer and die before He would be raised from the death.
The next part is about the appearance of the Lord Jesus. Formerly I could not understand Isaiah 52 : 14 and 15 and Isaiah 53 : 1 – 3. When I thought of the Lord Jesus, then I did not think of somebody, who was described by Isaiah.
       
  Isaiah prophesied: “As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”
Isaiah asked himself questions in the following verses:
      Isaiah 52 : 14, 15
  “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For… he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”       Isaiah 53 : 1 - 3
  The Psalm-writer said something similar about Jesus. In Psalm 109 this man foretold about Jesus:
       “My knees are weak through fasting;
       and my flesh faileth of fatness.
       I became also a reproach unto them:
       when they looked upon me they shook their heads.”

One of the reasons, that the Lord Jesus looked so bad , can be the following fact. During the temptation in the desert He fasted for forty days and forty nights. What do you think such a person will look like then?
     

Psalm 109 : 24, 25
  There is also written that Jesus often ascended a mountain in order to speak with His heavenly Father in solicitude. Matthew writes in chapter 14: “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.”      
Matthew 14 : 23
  Luke writes: “And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives. And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.”       Luke 21 : 37
  Our Messiah had a human body. He bore also all limitations, that were involved with this. Sometimes He was very tired. During the storm on the lake, when the ship was already being filled with water, Jesus was sleeping in the stern on the cushion. They awoke Him and said to Him: “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” When someone, who is sleeping, does not notice such a storm, he must have been very tired indeed.
Many events in Jesus’ life teach us the truth, written by Isaiah in chapter 52 : 14, 15 and chapter 53 : 1 – 3.
     
Matthew 8 : 23 - 29
Mark 4 : 37, 38
Luke 8 : 22 - 25
 
Jesus, being God’s Son, became man in order to bear the punishment for our sins. How would He have been able to bear this punishment, if He had not had a human body. He was God and man. Literally Jesus bore our punishment in His own body. He was beaten, scourged, tortured, enormously humiliated and nailed to the cross. Jesus endured everything without complaining and out of love for us!
     


1 Petrus 2 : 24
  Also this was prophesied about 700 years beforehand by Isaiah: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”       Isaiah 50 : 6
  All this happened 700 years later: “Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?”
What a humiliation! How terrible to witness this.
      Matthew 26 : 67, 68
Mark 14 : 65
  “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”       Isaiah 53 : 5
  “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”       Isaiah 53 : 7
  He bore our punishment completely and was the perfect sacrifice for God the Father.
For our eternal salvation!!! His death and resurrection have become my life!
 
       
 


chapter III
 
       
  King David lived very close to God. When Samuel anointed him a king, the Holy Spirit came on him. Often he received from the Holy Spirit prophecies about the Messiah. He was a man after God’s own heart. When he made mistakes – and he did that - , then he truly repented. He blamed nobody else, even if the other person wasn’t blameless.
God loved him very much.
One man of his posterity would be the Messiah.
We can learn a lot from David's communion with God. For this reason we will not withhold from you here his pleas for forgiveness and mercy after having committed a great offence.
 
      1 Samuel 16 : 12b, 13
1 Samuel 13 : 14
        “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness:
     according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
     Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,
     and cleanse me from my sin.
     For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
     Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned,
     and done this evil in Thy sight.”
      Psalm 51 : 1 - 4
        “Hide Thy face from my sins,
     and blot out all mine iniquities.
     Create in me a clean heart, O God;
     and renew a right spirit within me.
     Cast me not away from Thy presence;
     and take not Thy holy spirit from me.
     Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;
     and uphold me with Thy free spirit.”
      Psalm 51 : 9 - 12
 
When “christians” became so honest before God!!!
And so humble from their hearts!!!
It would be a feast here on earth and a feast in heaven, as Jesus told His disciples:
       
  “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”       Luke 15 : 7
 
When we read the Psalms, we always have to ask ourselves: “About whom does the Psalmist speak here?” Who is the “I” in the next psalm?
 
       
        “I have set the LORD always before Me:
     because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved.
     Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoiceth:
     My flesh also shall rest in hope.
     For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell;
     neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.
     Thou wilt shew Me the path of life:
     in Thy presence is fulness of joy;
     at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
      Psalm 16 : 8 - 11

Cf.:
Acts 2 : 29 - 32
and
1 Corinthians 15 :
3 - 8
 
The above Bible portion cannot be about David himself, because he died, was buried and did not ascend to heaven.
       
  Peter said on the first Pentecost to the Jews: “He (David), seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”       Acts 2 : 31, 32
 
Again the question: “Who is ‘my Lord’ in the next psalm?”
 
       
        “The LORD said unto My Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand,
     until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”
 
      Psalm 110 : 1
  Jesus Himself referred to this psalm:
“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is He? They say unto Him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.”

     
Matthew 22 : 41 - 46
  At this moment Jesus is at God’s right hand.
He is coming back!

       
About the part of this text “Sit thou on My right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool” we hope to say something later on.
 
 

       
 

chapter IV

       
    God the Father had destined, that there would come someone, who would prepare the way for the Messiah in advance. This was already announced by the prophet Isaiah:        
  “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
Who was this man, who prepared the way and why did he have tot do this?
 
      Isaiah 40 : 3
  First: Who was this man? We read with Luke, who ascertained all things concerning Jesus Christ from the beginning, the following report:        
  “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
 
      Luke 1 : 5 - 17
  When John was born, his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and he prophesied, saying:        
 

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;
for He hath visited and redeemed His people,
And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us
in the house of His servant David;
As He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets,
which have been since the world began:
That we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all that hate us;
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember His holy covenant;
The oath which He sware to our father Abraham,
That He would grant unto us,
that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies
might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest:
for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto His people
by the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God;

whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
To give light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
 

      Luke 1 : 68 - 79
  John’s work is described, among others, by Matthew:        
  “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.
And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.”
 
      Matthew 3 : 1 - 6
  We asked the question: “Why was it necessary, that John should prepare the way for the Messiah?”        
  John’s father was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit spoke about the work, that John would do.       Luke 1 : 67
Verse 77 is very remarkable. John would prepare the way of Jesus, the Messiah: “To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God;”
Everything starts with God Himself.
Through the tender mercy of our God John was called to give His people knowledge of salvation by the remission of their sins.
God’s mercy is infinitely great. He saw the lost human race. He must have loved mankind enormously, otherwise He would never have made the covenant of grace with Jesus in heaven in order to save mankind.
Luke 1 : 77
    “ For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
 
      John 3 : 16
  When do we get knowledge of salvation, i.e. when can we see inwardly God’s love in Jesus, His Son, as our Saviour?
Knowledge of salvation is not a matter of “two plus two makes four”.
It is: getting in touch with God the Father through the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit shows us our sins. This is no theoretical knowing of everything, with which we went beyond the pale in the past, but a real seeing and as a consequence of it, a repentant confessing of everything without contradiction. We experience a merciful God, a forgiving God, a God, Who is moved by inner compassion and we are very thankful for God’s love and mercy. The burden fell from us in the remission of sins.

Isaiah explained very well why sins ought to be confessed honestly in order to have a hearing and answering God.
Why is there a separation between God and us, and why is God’s countenance hidden from us?
       
  “ Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
Would the people have been able to see inwardly, that Jesus was the Messiah, unless they had first seen and confessed their sins?
I think the words from Isaiah 59 : 1, 2 answer this question. Without a real conversion men have no idea of God, no idea of salvation.
John had to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus.
He preached through the Holy Spirit: “ Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The Holy Spirit touched their hearts and the effects were clear. They were baptized, confessing their sins.

Immediately after this it is described how John dealt with hypocrites. These people had no sins to confess, but did wish to be baptized.
      Isaiah 59 : 1, 2
  “ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.”       Matthew 3 : 7, 8
  “ And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
      Matthew 3 : 10 - 12
  When John was in prison, Jesus said about him:        
  “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee.”       Matthew 11 : 10
  “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”       Matthew 11 : 12 - 15

See: Malachi 4 : 5
 
 
 
  chapter V 
 
 
       
  Also Jesus went to the river Jordan to be baptised by John.        
  However, John tried to dissuade Him from this and said: “I have need to be baptised by Thee, and comest Thou to me?”       Matthew 3 : 14
  Jesus said: “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.”
This meant: “Let Me have My way, for so it befits us to comply with all the righteousness of God.” The great humility of both is striking.
      vs 15
  “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.’”

Before this God the Father had told John:
      Matthew 3 : 16
  “On Whomever you will see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the Same is He Who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.
John said:
      John 1 : 33
I have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.

When Jesus’ disciples baptised more people than John, John was not jealous, but glad.
John 1 : 34
  “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.
This, my joy, therefore is made full.
      John 3 : 29
  He must increase, but I must decrease.”

After this John declares about Jesus:
      John 3 : 30
  “He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks of the earth.       John 3 : 31
  He Who comes from heaven is above all. What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His witness.
 
John knew the great difference between himself and Jesus.
Jesus came from heaven and spoke the words of His Father Who is in heaven. These Two form a Divine Unity.
      John 3 : 32
  Jesus said: “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”
Jesus’ nature is the same as the Father’s.
The great difference is, that Jesus is God’s Son, Who came to this earth and adopted a human body.
Without that human body He would never have been able to bear the punishment for our sins.
 
      John 14 : 9
  John said: “And no one receives His testimony.”
Is it much better in our time?
How many are there who deny Him, e.g. as the Son of God, as the One by Whom and for Whom all things were created, as the Saviour and the risen Lord? Who does receive His testimony now?

Happily there are still people, who may know Him as the living Lord.

John the Baptist proceeds:
      John 3 : 32
  “He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He Whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.”       John 3 : 33
  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.       vs 35
  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that disobeys (Greek original) the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
 
Has it ever struck you, that God the Father has given all things into Jesus’ hands?
      vs 36
  Shortly before His ascension Jesus Himself said: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.”       Matthew 28 : 18
  I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
Once more, God the Father gave all things into Jesus’ hands.

The text in the gospel of John goes on:
      Matthew 28 : 20
  “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.”
Many people stop after this part of the text.
They believe the historical report about Jesus and because of that they think to have eternal life.
It does not matter them how wickedly they live on, for . . . they believe in Jesus and for that reason do have eternal life. So they think . .
How few people take the next part of the verse seriously and are frightened, because their conscience calls them to account?
      John 3 : 36
  “He that disobeys the Son shall not see life.”
Believing without obeying is not possible. He or she will not see eternal life! If this only would occur to everyone! The text goes on even further: “but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Can we obey Jesus Christ in our own strength? No, we cannot do that. We need the Holy Spirit to obey Jesus.
We have to put off the old man. That means, that when we have been struck by God in our conscience we begin to abhor our old sinful nature and to acknowledge that we have nothing good in ourselves. We begin to hate sin and refrain from it.
      John 3 : 36
  Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “that ye put off concerning the former conversation (way of life) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
The new man is created from above. It is God’s work.
The ability and the will to obey is a work in us done by God’s mercy.
Everything is through God’s mercy and love.

Next time we would like to write about the Holy Spirit’s task.
Jesus Himself said:
      Ephesians 4 : 22 - 24
  “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”

 

      John 16 : 8
chapter VI
            
  Shortly before His death Jesus had promised the disciples to send the Holy Spirit, when He would not be with them anymore. They were very sad because of His words.
Jesus said:
       
  “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.”       John 16 : 7
  “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:       vs 8
  Of sin, because they believe not on Me;       vs 9
  Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more;       vs 10
  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

Jesus went on:
      vs 11
  “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.       vs 12
  Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.       vs 13
  He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Holy Spirit shows us God’s love in Jesus.
Do we really see God’s love in Jesus? If we do, then we want to love Him with all our heart. From the inside there is a total surrender to Him. Not something legalistic, but a love that is given to us by the Holy Spirit. This comes from above.
      vs 14
vs 15
  Many people have a totally wrong conception of the Holy Spirit and His work. See Matthew 7 : 22. Many had used the name of Jesus, but did not know Him. They had not repented and did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ whatsoever. In a legalistic way they prophesied in the name of Jesus and they said that they had cast out devils. Legalistic faith starts from rules, of which people think that they must keep them themselves. A really converted and regenerated man knows that he himself can do nothing and that he depends totally on the Triune God.
The living faith is a faith that the Holy Spirit gives us.
When the old man is put off, then God comes and lives in us through His Spirit.
“Faith is the life of God in the soul of man.” (Scougal).
 
God has been very merciful towards us.
Rather early in our Christian life He told us:
“You have faith in the things that I do, but you do not know Myself.”
We feared God and we wanted to obey Him. He treated us generously by answering our prayers often. After that there came many trials. We did not understand anything of this. How could this possibly happen? God loved us, did not He?! He answered us by saying that one important sentence:
You have faith in the things that I do, but you do not know Myself.”
That very moment we knew that this was true and we beseeched Him to be favoured to know Him.
In the trials you get to know Him. We are open for His help then. We need Him and we beseech Him for His intervention. He helps us and in this way we learn more and more Who He is: a Helper in emergencies, a loving God, a God Who is ready to forgive, a God Who is moved with compassion toward humanity. The sacrifice of Jesus is seen more and more deeply. We experience increasingly His greatness, His righteousness, His holiness. In this way we learn to know God better and better.
 
       
  Paul writes in his letter to the Romans: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren.”
Until our death we are in God’s school and learn Who He is and who the old man is.
Jesus says in the book Proverbs:
      Romans 8 : 28, 29
  “I love them that love Me;
and those that seek Me early shall find Me.”
To this we may testify. God’s love for us in His Son Jesus Christ is very real.
 
      Proverbs 8 : 17
  Now we want to give some more explanation about John 16 : 8 – 11. Jesus told here what work is done by the Holy Spirit.       John 16 : 8 - 11
  “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:       vs 8
  of sin, because they believe not on Me;”
When the Holy Spirit reproves us of sin then we see how great our sin is and how great Jesus’ sacrifice is to save us.
How great was the love of the Heavenly Father that He had His dearest, His only begotten Son, suffer the punishment, that brought us peace!
We had deserved that punishment.
Is He not worth everything for us?
He, who neglects, derides and does not believe this sacrifice, commits the greatest sin.
 
      vs 9
  of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more;”
When Jesus had gone to His Father, the Holy Spirit took over the teaching. He reproves us of righteousness according to God’s standards.
By his nature man is apt to justify himself, to trust his own wisdom, to earn redemption by living well. The Holy Spirit shows us that we are only justified in Jesus Christ.
The next verse illustrates this very well:
      vs 10
  But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Human wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption stem from the sinful nature of man.
      1 Corinthians 1 : 30
  Christ is God’s mystery “in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
We need the wisdom, justice, sanctification and redemption of Jesus!
 
      Colossians 2 : 3
  The Holy Spirit reproves “of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged.”
God had to punish sin, otherwise He would not be righteous. Why would Jesus have to die if God does not think sin awful?
They who are not saved by Jesus, will be judged. The Holy Spirit convicts us of this.

The devil will do his utmost to dispute, to trivialize, to deny this conviction of sin, righteousness and judgement and he will try to keep us asleep, so that we will not awake until after our physical death. Then it is too late!

By means of some examples we would like to show you how satan tried to hold Jesus back from His death at the cross. When Jesus had fallen for satan’s guiles, nobody would have borne the punishment for us and we ourselves would have had to undergo our eternal punishment.
Jesus’ death on the cross is a matter of life and death for us!
      John 16 : 11
  He has spoiled principalities and powers, made a shew of them openly and triumphed over them at the cross.
Some of satan’s schemes to tempt Jesus:
      Colossians 2 : 15
  A. Read the temptations in the wilderness. Mind that small word “if” (vs 3 and v 6). “If Thou be the Son of God.” Did not satan know for sure, that Jesus is God’s Son? He knew Him; he knew very well Who Jesus is!
B. Even at Calvary satan did his utmost to make Jesus react to the people and to the chief priests, the scribes and elders.
      Matthew 4 : 1  11
  “And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth.”
 
From the above portion of the Scriptures we see the utmost importance of Jesus’ death at the cross.
Jesus strove for the great purpose for which He had come to this earth. He wanted to bear our punishment out of love for mankind.
At Calvary the devil was defeated. The prince of this world was judged there.
      Matthew 27 : 39  44
  As God and man Jesus dethroned by His death at the cross him, who had the power of death, the devil, in order to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”.

When you perceive that the devil is tempting you to sin, call on Jesus!
     
Hebrews 2 : 14, 15
  God the Father said: “Hear Him.”       Matthew 17 : 5
Be of good cheer, “for in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.”
 
 
Hebrews 2 : 18
  chapter VII
 
       
  When the people of Israel were brought out of Egypt, they began to be trained by God. The Israelites had seen many miracles, but were they going to trust God because of them?
At God’s command there had been ten plagues in the land of Egypt. The land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, remained unharmed by the plagues.
       
  “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.”       Exodus 13 : 17, 18
  “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”

Signs and miracles do not produce faith:
Pharaoh pursued after them. However much God had shown that everything was at His command, they did not trust Him.
      Exodus 13 : 21
  “And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”
Have you ever realised what this meant for God?

In a miraculous way God brought the Israelites through the Red Sea.
Did they trust God after that?
God’s patience with us, humans, can be seen clearly in these histories.

Throughout the journey in the wilderness it was always the same old story.
At one time they complained about the manna, then about water and another time about meat.
Moses always pleaded on behalf of the people and after God had taught the Israelites a plain lesson He would help them again.
God had rescued them from Egypt. They weren’t slaves anymore, that were exploited. God protected them and always provided water and bread. God tested them by let them make a long journey through the wilderness. They had to learn to trust Him before they entered the land of Canaan. Because the journey lasted a long time they became very impatient and grumbled against Moses and God.
One example we will mention. John, the disciple of Jesus, referred to it.
      Exodus 14 : 10 - 12
  “And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that He take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”

God had a clear end in view with the image of the serpent of brass. Jesus referred to this image while talking to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, about His death at the cross.
Jesus said:
      Numbers 21 : 4 - 9
  “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
At that moment Nicodemus could not understand all this, because the Lord Jesus hadn’t died at the cross yet.
Just as the Israelites, after having been bitten, had to look upwards at the brass snake and would be cured by believing God’s promise, so the Lord Jesus would suffer and die at the cross in order to cure the men, who believed in Him, from their sins.
Jesus added:
      John 3 : 14, 15
  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
To believe in Jesus means to trust Jesus.

Why did the Israelites not trust their God?
After all, they had seen so many wonders!
Why weren’t their hearts directed towards God?
For this there can be various reasons.
God knew the hearts of the Israelites and He pointed them out, with which they were sinning against Him. God told the people:
      John 3 : 16
  “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one
a. that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire,
b. or that useth divination,
c. or an observer of times,
d. or an enchanter,
e. or a witch,
f. or a charmer,
g. or a consulter with familiar spirits,
h. or a wizard,
i. or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”

Some Israelites still had little idols from Egypt with them as well.
Also nowadays these things are an abomination for the Lord.
These sins occur very often and people are so blinded, that they don’t perceive that they are in contact with the realm of darkness. God’s great enemy, the devil, keeps the soul of man captive, so that he cannot believe, so that he cannot trust God the Almighty in a childlike way.
Paul warns the Ephesians strongly against the works of darkness, the devil’s temptations.
      Deuteronomy
18 : 9 - 12
  He says: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

We must not marvel when people, who are occupied with the realm of darkness cannot believe in God.
How many people from different religious backgrounds pray on the graves of deceased relatives and talk to them? Both Jews and “christians” and many other kinds of religious people do this.
In this the Roman Catholic Church goes very far: worshipping saints, the Eucharist, relics, etc., etc. Roman Catholic laymen were not allowed to read the Bible in their mother tongue up till about the year 1950. In their churches they just had to listen to sounds, because the whole service was said and sung in Latin. If people would read the Bible precisely, then it is incomprehensible, that they do not see the difference between the contents of the Bible and the practical faith of Rome. Blinding is the consequence of idolatry. See the points that are mentioned above.
Consider the following events in Rome and look up these “facts” in your Bible. You won’t find them. The dates of the introduction of these fabrications is put behind them.

  1.The daily mass, adopted in 394.
  2. The doctrine of purgatory (Pope Gregory), 593.
  3. Prayers to the Virgin Queen of Heaven, 600.
  4. The first Pope (Boniface III), 610.
  5. Kissing the Pope’s foot began in 709.
  6. Temporal power of the Pope declared in 750.
  7. Worship of images, relics, and cross,788.
  8. Holy water, blessed by a priest,850.
  9. Veneration of St. Joseph began in 890.
10. Canonization of dead saints (Pope John XV), 995.
11. Lent and Good Friday began in 988.
12. The mass declared to be a sacrifice of Christ, 1050.
13. Celibacy of the priesthood and nuns, 1079.
14. The rosary introduced by Peter the Hermit, 1090.
15. Selling indulgences began in 1190.
16. Doctrine of transubstantiation adopted, 1215.
17. Confession of sins to human priest, 1215.
18. Adoration of the wafer (Pope Honorius), 1220
19. Interpretation of Bible forbidden to laity, 1229.
20. Scapular declared a charm against dangers, 1287.
21. Communion under one kind, 1414.
22. Seven sacraments declared, 1493.
23. Superstitions of the Ave Maria (Pope Sixtus V), 1508.
24. Tradition established as infallible authority, 1545.
25. Apocryphal books added to Bible, 1546.
26. Immaculate conception of Virgin Mary, 1854.
27. Infallibility of the Popes, 1870.
28. Mary declared to be “Mother of God”, 1931.
29. Assumption (Translation) of Virgin Mary, 1950.


God spoke the Ten Commandments on the mountain of Horeb. He who reads the Ten Commandments, sees how much the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church rebels against God. Because not everyone has a Bible we put the Ten Commandments here below.
      See:
Ephesians 6 : 10 - 20
 
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, Which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (
The first Christian church assembled on the first day of the week, the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This day was separated unto God.)
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.


Now we want to continue the subject from the New Testament.
Jesus spoke to the people about many things in parables.
He said:
     
Exodus 20 1 - 17
  “Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up . . . .”       Matthew 13 : 3, 4
  “And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?”
Jesus answered them:
      Matthew 13 : 10
  “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith:       Matthew 13 : 13
  Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”

After that Jesus explains the parable of the sower to His disciples. Because we are dealing with satan’s works, that are the cause of being deaf for God’s Word, we will only take the first verse of the parable of the sower.
Jesus said:
      Isaiah 6 : 9, 10
  “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.”
We cannot serve two masters. It is a matter of either – or. Jesus said:
      Matthew 13 : 18, 19
  “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
The serving of other gods and so being influenced by satan is one of the causes that many people don’t understand anything of the Bible.

The following verse was a great help for me. There is no salvation without conversion.
      Luke 16 : 13
  “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
When we confess our sins with our hearts, then God sheds light on His Word, on His will and on His love in Jesus Christ.

It is only God’s Spirit, Who gives us faith and trust.
Not the signs and wonders He performs, generate faith.
 
When we witness miracles and signs, we ought to glorify God, just like the Jews in the New Testament did. He is the Almighty, Merciful God.
      Isaiah 59 : 1, 2









  At the time Jesus stood before Pilate, many people let themselves be instigated by the Pharisees and Scribes and also cried: “Crucify Him!” They had seen the miracles . . . . !!!

Throughout the whole Bible you can see this theme: God wants the people to serve Him with their whole heart.
For whom alone are God’s promises valid? The answer is:
God’s promises are only valid for them, who serve Him with their whole heart.

Can we claim salvation and deliverance anyway, if we do not want to serve God with our whole heart? Let us be sober! Satan always wants to mingle. If we are disobedient to God at one point, then the gate 
      Matthew 27 : 20
  is open for the devil. As a matter of fact we cannot serve two masters.
God will dwell with them, who surrender themselves actively with their whole heart to Him. If we do this, then we will not even dream of becoming involved with things, that are an abhorrence for God.
      Matthew 6 : 24
           
           
           
 

Chapter VIII
(to be continued)