333’s 333rd: The Triune Godhead

Saturday, April 28, 2012

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 KJV).

We dedicate our 333rd devotional to the triune Godhead.

In Bible numerics, the number three (3) is the number of God, mainly because God is three Persons. The Bible says, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7). Sadly, modern English “bibles” omit this verse (the Johannine Comma), which is undoubtedly authentic and inspired of God (cf. Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18).

By noting the wording of today’s Scripture, we learn that Jesus Christ, “the Word” (cf. Revelation 19:13), is God. According to John 1:14, “the Word became flesh:” unquestionably, that refers to Jesus Christ (God’s incarnation, His indwelling a human body). In the beginning Jesus Christ “was with God” (indicating He is a Person separate from God the Father), and Jesus Christ “was God” (indicating He is one with [equal to] God the Father).

The best way to comprehend the Godhead is to consider that we are all equally human by nature, but we are also individuals. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all individuals, but they are all equally God by nature and in essence (all three are omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, righteous, just, holy, et cetera), thus making all three “one” (1 John 5:7).

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit live for each other. They fellowship with one another, and they want us to fellowship with them! God became a man in order to restore our fellowship with Him. We cannot see all three Persons of the Godhead. However, God the Son stepped out of eternity and entered time, and “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9; cf. John 14:9). Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, so He can take God by the hand and man by the hand and link them (1 Timothy 2:5)!

The invisible triune Godhead has been made visible via the God-Man, Jesus Christ!

The LORD, He is the God

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God” (1 Kings 18:39 KJV).

Is the LORD of the Bible (JEHOVAH) one of many gods, or is He the only God? Today’s Scripture and its context definitively answer this question.

King Ahab and Queen Jezebel are some of the most notorious rulers in the Bible. Reigning over Israel (the northern kingdom) from approximately 874–853 B.C., Ahab and Jezebel introduced Baal worship among God’s people Israel, angering God and misleading the Jews (Baal was a pagan god of the neighboring Canaanites) (1 Kings 16:29-33). Jezebel also killed many of the LORD’S prophets, who were speaking out against she and Ahab’s wickedness (1 Kings 18:4,13).

Ahab and God’s prophet Elijah meet, and Elijah instructs Ahab to gather Baal’s 450 prophets and the 400 grove (pagan shrine) prophets and bring them to Mount Carmel (verses 17-20).

When Israel and Baal’s prophets are assembled at Carmel, Elijah tells Israel, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him” (verse 21). In the succeeding verses, Elijah proposes a test to see who is God: if JEHOVAH rains down fire and consumes the animal sacrifice, He is God, but if Baal rains down fire and devours the sacrifice, then he is God (verses 23,24).

Baal’s prophets present an animal sacrifice and repeatedly call to Baal from morning to evening, but neither fire nor voice came from Baal, and the sacrifice remains untouched (verses 25-29).

Elijah then lays out an animal sacrifice, and calls on JEHOVAH: “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel… that this people may know that thou art the LORD God….” (verses 36,37). Immediately, fire rains down from heaven, consuming the wood, the water, the dust, and the burnt sacrifice. After Israel saw that, Israel knew that pagan idols were not God, and they responded with today’s Scripture, “The LORD [JEHOVAH], he is the God!”

God’s Workmanship #3

Sunday, March 4, 2012

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV).

The Bible presents God as the Poet; we Christians are but His poem. He is the Mastermind; we are merely His design. God has the power; we are just His vessels. Our will and our works have not the preeminence; God’s will and God’s achievements do. The Creator of the universe is doing something excellent; the creatures’ work, our work, pale in comparison. What God did for us is foremost (grace), not what we do for Him (religion). This is God’s grace, and we are His workmanship.

Religion is not the work of God; it emphasizes man’s performance to make himself acceptable to God. Christianity is God’s workmanship, for it stresses how God can use mere frames of dust (us) for His glory (see today’s Scripture). Those of us who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, God is using us to make a “new man,” a “new creature,” the Church the Body of Christ, an entity He will use in heaven forever (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:13-17); this is something that God, not us, does. God is building us—a temple, a house for Himself (1 Corinthians 3:16,17; Ephesians 2:18-22). We are “God’s husbandry, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).

Currently, God is preparing us Christians for eternity. We have His preserved and inerrant Word, the King James Bible, to learn and grow in His knowledge. The more sound doctrine we study and believe in the rightly divided Bible, the more equipped we are to function here and in eternity (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). In the ages to come, God will use us to restore the government of the heavens unto Himself (Ephesians 2:6,7; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:1; Colossians 1:16-22).

God saved us to use us for all of eternity future, to do His good work in us now on earth, and to do His good work in us forever in heaven. Verily, verily, we are God’s workmanship… forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever! 🙂

The Jews, the Greeks, and Paul’s Gospel

Friday, February 24, 2012

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24 KJV).

Jews were fixated on “signs,” miraculous demonstrations that God had long used to teach them and their forefathers, whereas Greeks were obsessed with “wisdom” (philosophy, human viewpoint). These distracted them from focusing on what really mattered—salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ!

  • JEWS AND SIGNS: After Jesus performed miracles before Israel the Bible says “many believed in his name,… but Jesus did not commit himself unto them…” (John 2:23-25). Jesus understood they were just awed by the miracles; they overlooked the doctrine He was teaching through the miracles!! When Paul preached the Gospel of Grace to Jews, they too just wanted miracles, not the salvation that the miracles represented. Also, to Jews, “Christ crucified” was a “stumblingblock,” something offensive, for did they not crucify Christ (today’s Scripture; cf. Isaiah 8:13,14; Romans 9:32,33; 1 Peter 2:6-8)?
  • GREEKS AND WISDOM: In Acts chapter 17, when Paul encountered the Athenian philosophers near Mars’ Hill, they wanted to learn from him “new doctrine… for all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (verses 19-21). Notice again how these Greeks focused on learning/philosophy. Yet, once they learned God’s wisdom, Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace, they considered that “foolishness” (today’s Scripture; cf. Acts 17:18,32; 1 Corinthians 1:18).

Thankfully, today’s Scripture teaches that for Jews who were “called” (members of the Church the Body of Christ), Christ was TRUE POWER, “the power of God”—for God demonstrated His miraculous power by raising Christ from the dead (cf. Romans 1:4; 2 Corinthians 13:4). For Greeks who were “called” (also members of the Body of Christ), Christ was TRUE WISDOM, “the wisdom of God”—for God demonstrated His unrivaled wisdom in saving us using “the foolishness of preaching” (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21, 25-30; Colossians 2:2,3).

The Crux of God’s Eternal Purpose

Friday, January 27, 2012

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20 KJV).

God the Father has one grand purpose for creation—to make His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the governments of heaven and earth (Ephesians 1:9,10). But, the Bible teaches that an angelic rebellion, led by Lucifer (Satan), sought to usurp Jesus Christ’s headship in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-18). Once Satan enticed mankind to sin and cooperate with his policy of evil, that rebellion then infiltrated earth (Genesis 3:1-24).

Today, the governments that God created in heaven and earth are in rebellion. Satan has spoiled what was created “by” and “for” the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16,17; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12). How will God reconcile unto Himself the governments of heaven and earth? How will Jesus Christ eternally subvert Satan’s strongholds in those two realms? Today’s Scripture provides the answer.

Using Christ’s shed blood, God is currently forming a heavenly people for His name, the Church the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13; Colossians 1:14). In eternity future, He will use this entity—us!—to restore His authority in the heavens. At Christ’s Second Coming, God will restore His earthly people, the nation Israel, forgive them of their sins through Christ’s shed blood (Acts 3:18; Hebrews 9:11-15; 1 Peter 1:18,19), and use redeemed Israel to reclaim His authority in the earth.

Indeed, the very thing at which Satan thought he defeated God—Calvary’s cross—is that which God will use to permanently conquer Satan’s policy of evil. Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary is the crux of God’s plans for eternity future: everything that God will accomplish in the ages to come hinges on Jesus Christ’s shed blood. In order to destabilize Satan’s power in heaven and earth, God must deal first with the sin issue in both realms, and Christ’s blood does just that in both realms. Behold the wisdom of our God!

Oh, by the way, interestingly, crux is Latin for cross….

Israel, Rise Up and Walk!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took hold of him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength” (Acts 3:6,7 KJV).

In this the Dispensation of Grace, Israel lacks her once privileged position before God. Her Temple is destroyed. Jews are scattered worldwide, absent from the land that God promised their father Abraham. Sadly, Israel is lost, far removed from JEHOVAH who dealt with her patriarchs in time past (Romans 10:1-3; Romans 11:11-32; 2 Corinthians 3:14-16). This is only temporary!

Today’s Scripture records the Apostle Peter’s first miracle—healing a lame man. In the context, Apostles Peter and John are going to the Temple to pray (verse 1). Verses 2-5 explain that a man lame from his mother’s womb is brought daily to sit at a Temple gate. As Peter and John pass, he begs them for alms (donations/money). Today’s Scripture is Peter’s reply.

The man, lame from birth, symbolizes Israel, spiritually impotent from her beginning (dead in her sins; Matthew 1:21; Matthew 18:11). By performing this miracle through Peter, the Holy Ghost is signifying to lost Israel that He can heal them spiritually like He physically restored the lame man (Acts 4:8-12)

Interestingly, the Temple gate by which the lame man sat was called “Beautiful” (Acts 3:2). He sat just outside God’s blessings (Israel’s kingdom), but he needed strength to get there. He needed God’s power to raise him up! After Peter healed him, he walked into the Temple, leaping and praising God (verses 8-10).

At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will heal Israel of her existing lost, impotent state (Acts 3:19-21). As God gave the lame man strength to walk into the Temple, He will empower Israel to rise up in salvation (Romans 11:26-29) and literally walk into her kingdom (Isaiah 35:1-10; Ezekiel 37:1-28). In the name of Jesus Christ, Israel will be healed, delivered into her kingdom of everlasting salvation, peace, and prosperity (Jeremiah 23:5-8; Hosea 2:14-23; Luke 1:67-75; 1 Peter 2:9,10).

Should We Be Loyal to a Bible Translation?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest” (Exodus 34:1 KJV).

No autographs (original Bible manuscripts) exist today: these documents penned by God’s holy apostles and prophets are long gone (disintegrated through continued usage, deliberately destroyed, et cetera). Our link to the God-inspired autographs is apographs (manuscript copies). The Bibles we have today are based on manuscript copies (not the originals). Does that mean we do not have God’s Word today? NOT AT ALL.

Misinformed people (misled by “educated” seminarians) profess, “I owe my loyalty to the original Bible manuscripts, not to any one particular translation.” Utterly ridiculous—they owe loyalty to a non-entity (something that does not exist!)?!?

Indeed, the autographs were important (they contained the very words of God, first transcribed by God’s holy men; 2 Timothy 3:16). The problem is—the autographs do not exist anymore. Does that mean God’s Word is lost? GOD FORBID! Before the autographs were destroyed, God had saints copy them. God’s intention was to preserve the text of the autographs, not the autographs themselves.

Today’s Scripture provides an illustration of Bible preservation through copies. Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai, communing with the LORD and receiving His commandments (Exodus 24:18). As Moses descended the mount, carrying the two stone tablets (the Ten Commandments), he observed Israel dancing naked around a golden calf idol (Exodus 32:19-25). In anger, Moses literally broke the tablets upon which the Ten Commandments were written.

What does today’s Scripture say? God would rewrite the stone tablets. According to God, the originals that Moses broke were not important. It was their text—their “words”—that was important.

One day, God will judge us using something we can read—an English Bible (specifically, the King James Bible). We can neither access nor read the original Greek and Hebrew Bibles (autographs). While we understand the autographs’ significance, we owe our loyalty to a copy of God’s Word that we can read and hold—the (English) King James Bible.