Who is the Deceiver?

Friday, September 28, 2012

“So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Matthew 28:15 KJV).

Today’s Scripture has a very incredible context….

In Matthew 27:63-66, after Jesus’ burial, the chief priests and Pharisees come to Pilate, “Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.”

Lest the disciples come and steal Christ’s corpse, and stage a “resurrection,” Pilate allows Israel’s religious leaders to place Roman guards before Christ’s tomb.

Three days later, when Christ’s female disciples come to His tomb, there is a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord finally rolls away the stone to reveal the empty tomb (Matthew 28:1-8). The Roman soldiers are aghast! Despite their precautions, the tomb was not “sure [secure]” enough (Jesus has resurrected and escaped). The soldiers flee to the chief priests and report the miraculous events they beheld (verse 11).

“And when they [the chief priests] were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s [Pilate’s] ears, we will persuade him, and secure you” (verses 12-14). According to today’s Scripture, “they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”

Interestingly, guards were to keep Christ’s body from being stolen. Yet when He did resurrect and escape, they lied and said His body was stolen. Actually, they were the “deceivers,” not Christ, for He did physically resurrect as He had claimed.

Are We of All Men Most Miserable?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19 KJV).

Is our Christian service done in vain? Today’s Scripture explicates.

Today’s Scripture is excerpted from the Bible’s greatest passage regarding resurrection (1 Corinthians chapter 15). According to verse 12, some of the Corinthians deny bodily resurrection (thus denying Christ’s resurrection). So, the Holy Spirit through Paul provides 58 verses on the topic. Notice the argument Scripture gives for bodily resurrection (verses 13-18):

  • “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:”
  • “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”
  • “Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.”
  • “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:”
  • “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”
  • “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.”

If there is no such thing as resurrection, everything we believe and do would be “vain” (worthless, empty): it would mean Christ never resurrected, that our preaching eternal life in Christ is “vain,” that our faith in Christ is also “vain,” that Paul lied when he preached Christ’s resurrection, that we are still dead in our trespasses and sins, and that we will never again see those who have died in Christ. We would be “of all men most miserable” if that were true: if we Christians had this brief, earthly life, and nothing else, we would be the most depressed of all people (today’s Scripture)!

But, verse 58 gives us hope: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” We are not “of all men most miserable!” Our Christian service is not in vain—there will be a resurrection! 🙂

Christ Shall So Come in Like Manner

Saturday, June 2, 2012

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10,11 KJV).

In Christendom, there is a strange teaching that the Second Coming of Christ is not a literal, physical, visible return, but rather a symbolic, invisible, spiritual coming to “rule in the hearts of men.” A spiritual, invisible Second Coming of Christ is utter nonsense, for today’s Scripture reduces such “wisdom” to nothing more than “spiritualizing to tell spiritual lies” (“the verse does not mean what it says” heresy).

When Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples post-resurrection, they “supposed that they had seen a spirit” (Luke 24:37). Notice Christ’s correction: Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet(verses 39,40).

Christ’s resurrected body was a physical body that could be seen and touched, just like our bodies. According to verses 42,43, Jesus Christ even ate fish and honeycomb! Also, Jesus instructed “doubting Thomas” to touch the scars in His hands, feet, and side (John 21:24-29). Surely, Jesus’ body was literal, physical, and visible, and He was in this same body when He ascended to His Father as recorded in today’s Scripture.

Jesus went back to heaven literally, physically, and visibly, and the angels in today’s Scripture said, “Jesus…shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Christ’s Second Coming will not involve some invisible spirit coming to earth. Jesus Christ will return to earth in His literal, visible, resurrected body of “flesh and bones.” In fact, Revelation 1:7 says the whole world (and the Jews of Zechariah 12:10) will literally see Jesus Christ at His Second Coming (to end the seven-year Tribulation).

What Does God Want Me to Do? #11

Sunday, April 8, 2012

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV).

Before God could do His “good pleasure” in and through us, and before Jesus Christ could live in and through us, He had to die and resurrect.

Jesus Christ died, not simply to help us get to heaven as religion teaches, but He died because our “good” works were nothing but “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and “dung” (Philippians 3:8). Jesus Christ’s death was the only acceptable sacrifice to God: our good works cannot save us and they will never save us. Christ died for us so He could then give His life to us when we trust Him, so He can then live His life in and through us! Christ’s life—not our life—is acceptable to God, for Christ’s life is not “dung” and “filthy rags.

Have victory over sin by resting in your new identity in Christ Jesus. When Christ died, you died to sin (Romans 6:6). God has given you Christ’s life: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:11). I encourage you to read all of Romans chapter 6 and rejoice in the glorious truths of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and their impact on us.

We should remember Jesus Christ’s resurrection every day. The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is now causing Him to live His resurrected life in and through us as we walk by faith in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to us.

What does God want you to do? He wants you to rejoice and glory in the resurrection life of Jesus Christ. If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you have Christ’s resurrection life now and forever. You have eternal life right now (you do not have to wait until you die to get eternal life).

Friend and brethren, study God’s Word God’s way, and then go and let Christ’s resurrection life live in and through you for His glory!

HAPPY EASTER!

*These past 11 devotionals have been adapted from a larger Bible study titled “Christ Liveth in Me.” The Bible study can be read here and watched here.