Chapter 20 – Mystery of Godliness

Posted: October 12, 2022 in Shared Thoughts

Hebrews 4:1 – Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being given to us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith [or faithfulness] in them that heard it.

I know if you are reading this book, that surely you have already heard that it is “by grace you are saved.” But again, I will remind you of God’s bemoaning cry that, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Yet be warned, we can do nothing of or for ourselves, for it is only by God’s grace that we could even hope to have ears to hear the wisdom that the Spirit of God is persistently trying to share with us. Nevertheless, there is a necessity for us to be listening, as well as a willingness to respond to what the Holy Spirit is instructing must be done if one is to escape the wrath that will come upon all those who ignorantly or slothfully choose to remain in their sins.

People tend to forget, or perhaps willfully ignore, that in Jesus speaking the admonitions to all the saints in the Seven Churches of Revelation, how He repeatedly stressed that all those wonderful promises He was making were only for the “overcomers,” those who had “ears to hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.”

Luke 21:36 – Watch you therefore and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man.

The Necessity of Faith

I start this chapter first with addressing the necessity of faith in our lives, because it doesn’t matter how much you know if it hasn’t built up a holy saving faith in you, because, “ without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6 ).

I so love this verse, though often I quote it as an exhortation to others that “with faith” it is indeed absolutely possible “to please Him.” For God’s greatest delight is His being sought after by His creatures that they might truly “know” Him. It is evident in the scriptures that God has promised to reward us, and that means any of us, with understanding, if only we would but “diligently seek Him.” Yet, He has made no promises to the half-hearted seeker, and such is why we are forewarned that only by picking up our crosses and following Him can we truly succeed in our pursuits of Him, and have confidence in His grace to enable us to fulfill His calling for us to perfect our personal holiness.

2nd Corinthians 7:1 – Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

For those who would by faith obey these mandates; to come to God, to please Him, and to perfect holiness, did Jesus say it would be given them “to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.”

Mark 4:9 – And He said unto them, He that has ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And when He was alone, they that were with the twelve about Him asked of Him the meaning of the parable. 11 And He said unto them, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are spoken in parables.”

Those who truly desire “to know” this mystery, and not merely in a hollow doctrinal sense, will prove their heart’s desire by determinedly seeking after it. For again do not deceive yourself, those who are given to complacency or slothfulness, the scriptures offer them no hope that they should “find” what they are only half-heartedly willing to “seek” after. One must persistently “knock” as it were, and faithfully invest their time and energy in dedicated prayers and studies if the door of understanding is to be permitted to be “opened” unto them.

Matthew 7:7 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.

But guard your hearts and do not think your labors alone will be sufficient in their own merit, or your own intellectual strength is enough to break through the partition of ignorance into divine understanding. For our Savior said it was only to His disciples that “It is given to know” these things. Therefore, you must not fail to recognize the importance of your coming under His discipline if you are truly aspiring to be His disciple.

Deuteronomy 4:29 – But if …you shall seek the LORD your God, then you shall find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the LORD your God, and will be obedient unto His voice; 31 (For the LORD your God is a merciful God;) then He will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore unto them.

Dear reader, the greatest thing you will ever “find” and “know” is God Himself. Even after Paul’s great conversion and after years of ministry, well surpassing the other apostles in his labor, travels, ministries, and revelations, his greatest motivation and desire was succinctly expressed in his confession that his only mission was “That I might know Him.”

Philippians 3:8 – Yea doubtless, I count all things as lost for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them as dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, and be made conformable unto His death. 11 So that if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 

Before his conversion, the Apostle Paul was without a doubt one of the most educated men of his time apart from his mentor. For he had sat “at the feet of Gamaliel, and was taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,” (Acts 22:3). However, with all his knowledge, Paul was still unable to really know God. After his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul humbly withdrew himself for years to reexamine all he had previously and vigilantly held to be true.

How much more do we then need to humble ourselves? And how much more do we then need to acknowledge the minuteness of our own scriptural knowledge and understanding? For we truly have no hope of truly being enlightened without the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit who resists the proud. For through his conversion the Apostle Paul discovered that nothing had been more blinding in his life, or a greater hindrance to his truly serving God and receiving the truth, than that “light” he once proudly thought himself to have firmly possessed.

I Corinthians 8:2 – And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

Likewise, such vain religious over-confidence continues to thrive unrestrainedly in Christendom today; making some professors of Christ the most arrogant and prideful men alive. Yet, more often than not, their knowledge often proves to be nothing but empty theoretical strongholds that cause them to bunker down, throw up their shields, and spitefully take up arms against brothers of the faith. Often, it is with ridicule and closed-mindedness that they defend their long held and cherished historic positions and creeds. For when men have truly spiritually awakened, it is because they have been confronted with the reality that they needed to humble themselves, and so we always need to be willing to consider that what we have come to believe may not be correct or complete.

We must never forget that for success in seeking the truth, our efforts must be coupled with a sincere intention and readiness to yield ourselves wholly to the revelation of God’s will. Otherwise, we have no right or grounds to expect to receive anything from God. For any man that loves his church, creed, ministry, job, retirement plan, or family more than he loves the Lord and the truth, then his own heart will remain to be his greatest hindrance.

James 1:5 – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and withholds it not; and it shall be given him. 6 But only let him ask in faith, with nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 For a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Willful sin in our lives creates an impassable obstacle to our coming to a liberating knowledge of the truth. It is only when “our hearts condemn us not” of loving sin, and are not willfully hiding it in our hearts, that we can possess true “confidence” toward God and have the faith and assurance that “whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight,” (1st John 3:21, 22).

For even if we may not fully understand the will of God, our consciences nonetheless still have an inclination of right and wrong that works toward our honoring or dishonoring God. For though not all may have come to possess that strong faith that comes only through routine study of God’s word and the application thereof, they still possess “a measure of faith” whereby they can seek and please God.

Romans 14:5 – One person esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Therefore let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 For he that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. Likewise, he that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and he too gives God thanks… 22 Therefore, do you have faith? Then have it to yourself before God, for happy is he that is not condemning himself in that thing which he does.

Part 2

The Mystery of Godliness, God was Manifested in the Flesh

1st Timothy 3:16 – For without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

We start this chapter with recognizing that the disclosure of divine truth, concerning God’s person to humanity, has been a steady, incremental process, as is witnessed by the revelation of God’s many names throughout time being revealed through the prophets. The following is but a brief list taken from over 900 name variations assigned to God in scripture.

  • Adonai: Lord, Master
  • Elohim: God
  • El Elyon: The Most High God
  • El Olam: The Everlasting God
  • El Shaddai: Lord God Almighty
  • Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem: The Lord Who Sanctifies You
  • Jehovah Nissi: The Lord My Banner
  • Jehovah-Raah: The Lord My Shepherd
  • Jehovah Rapha: The Lord That Heals
  • Jehovah Sabaoth: The Lord of Hosts
  • Jehovah Shalom: The Lord Is Peace
  • Jehovah Shammah: The Lord Is There
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness
  • Qanna: Jealous
  • Yahweh: Lord, Jehovah

By these, we can see how throughout biblical history the revelation of God’s person, as well as His truths, have been established one tidbit at a time; as holy men of old often prophesied in parts, “here a little” and then another time, perhaps even another prophet, “there a little.” This method of enlightenment is in exact accordance with what the bible teaches us, for Paul tells us that even at our best, we all “know in part, and we prophesy in part,” (I Corinthians 13:9).

Isaiah 28:9 – Whom shall He teach knowledge? and to whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be learned upon precept, precept upon precept; and line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

Dear reader, I want you to believe me when I tell you that God is truly desirous to teach anyone who is both old enough and willing to learn. We need not be old or educated, simply willing to be taught. For God delights in teaching sinners in His ways.

Psalm 25:8 – Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, He will teach sinners in the way. 9 The meek He will guide in judgment; for the meek He will teach His way.

However, as the verse above implies, we must learn to quiet ourselves before the Lord and to patiently wait on Him in His word, for it is often only with a little here and there, with perhaps a little more added later, that the Holy Spirit graciously begins to build and draw parts of scripture together with His illuminating touch. For only He can cause each of these fragments of truth to lend their individual lights together so as to provide us with wonderful insight into what would otherwise remain veiled truths in scripture. For by this principle comes forth a brilliant witness to the glory of God in Christ Jesus from our selected verse, which alone could otherwise be a puzzling piece of scripture.

1st Timothy 3:16 – For without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Paul stresses in this verse that undeniably there exists a great mystery concerning godliness, an essential theme of the Gospel. For the Gospel is not just about Jesus dying on the cross to reconcile sinners unto God, it is much, much more than that.

Romans 5:8 – But God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more now, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.

Much more than just being reconciled to God, something many believers limit to a one-time event of “accepting Jesus” as their savior, Paul tells us “we shall be saved by His life.” It is the life of Christ within men that saves them, not His death upon the cross; such is why Jesus came “confirming the covenant” of the resurrection, giving undisputable proof that what God has promised He can deliver.

Acts 1:2 – Until the day in which He was taken up, and after through the Holy Ghost He had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen: 3 To whom He did also show Himself alive after His passion by many undeniable proofs, having been seen of them forty days, and speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

What I have said about our being reconciled by His death, yet saved by His life, is not in any way to minimize Jesus’ death; for it was absolutely necessary in order to appease the demands of God’s righteous judgment, for “the wages of sin is death.” Only by the death of Jesus Christ could anyone hope to be reconciled to God, whereby God can enable us through faith to be born again and quicken by His word: that through the empowering of His Holy Spirit we might be brought “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

1st Peter 1:21 – Who by Him you now believe in God, Who raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see then that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, even by the word of God, which lives and abides forever.

Ephesians 4:7 – But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore He says, “When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men…” 11 And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 And this He did for the perfecting of the saints, and for the work of the ministry, even for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, and that unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That no longer should we be as children, being tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cleverness of men, and their cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 Therefore speak the truth in love, you might grow up into Him in all things which is the head, even Christ.

God is not only holy, but He alone is the very wellspring of holiness, and like all things apart from Him, holiness cannot exist. For that reason, God has commanded all His creatures to be holy; which can only be achieved by their giving themselves wholly unto Him at all times, and to His will in all things.

Leviticus 20:6 – And the soul that seeks after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. 7 Therefore sanctify yourselves and be you holy: for I am the LORD your God.

2nd Peter 1:13 – Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 Behaving as obedient children, not conducting yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as He which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.

Because holiness is inseparable from God, it is a fundamental aspect of godliness. As a matter of fact, the Greek word which was translated “godliness” here in 1st Timothy was translated “holiness” in the place it was first used in scripture. For holiness is Godlikeness.

Acts 3:12 – And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, You men of Israel, why marvel you at this? or why do you look so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

However, because “great is the mystery of godliness,” history proves mankind has been given to endless debates and confusion about the man Jesus Christ. It seems men cannot agree as to the purpose of His incarnation and the truth regarding His birth, death, and resurrection; and most importantly the truth concerning His deity. Many of these debates and illusions were birthed out of a devilish attempt to conceal the fact that God was indeed “justified in the spirit” when He as a man was “seen of the angels.”

1st Timothy 3:16 – For without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, [God was] justified in the spirit, [God was] seen of angels, [God had] preached unto the Gentiles, [God was] believed on in the world, [God was] received up into glory.

The reason I have “God was justified in the spirit” emphasized in bold print and brackets, is because many people often overlook it and fail to carry the subject matter through to its end; that “God was” in the person of Jesus Christ redeeming the world unto Himself.

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 In which it was God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and unto us has He committed this word of reconciliation

Regardless of what Paul clearly wrote to Timothy and the church in Corinth, most Christians in our day and age fail to pause and focus on that fundamental part of the verse, that “God was…justified in the spirit.” Over the years I have listened to various people discuss how God was “manifested in the flesh,” and have listened to sermons using this verse being preached, only to hear preacher after preacher simply read over that part as if it were nothing more than some sort of King James jargon put there merely as some spiritual poetic-word-filler. But it’s not. It’s an extremely important confirmation to what has regrettably become a little known and taught part of the Christian faith. Sadly, I have only heard one other preacher expound on this “justified in the Spirit” aspect and he has passed on.

Part of the problem is the church has failed to be faithful stewards of the Gospel and to assertively preach the absolute deity of Jesus, not only as the prophesied “son of God” but as the scripture states, very God Himself manifested in the flesh. This in part is because many ministers nowadays no longer believe it themselves, which can only be attributed to the clever working of the adversary, who actually does not mind men being religious. However, he hates it when they are lovers of Christ and faithful proclaimers of this truth. For by it the devil, with all the fallen powers of darkness, were openly defeated by Jesus Christ willingly dying upon a cross.

Colossians 2:15 – And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

2nd Corinthians 4:2 – But having renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, and not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth do we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 For if our gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: 4 To those whom the god of this world has blinded their minds which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For what we preach is not about ourselves, but about Christ Jesus the Lord; and we are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, giving light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Another Jesus and Another Gospel

2nd Corinthians 11:4 – For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you had not received, or another gospel, which you had not accepted, you might well bear with him [who brought the gospel unto you]. 5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

Despite Paul’s warning to the Corinth church that some would come “preaching another Jesus… [and] another gospel,” most professing Christians are absolutely positive that they know who Jesus is. Consequently, they never even consider scripturally proving that their “Jesus” is the same one Paul preached about. However, in light of Paul’s warning of “another Jesus,” everyone would do well to examine their “Jesus” in the light of the “holy scriptures” while earnestly seeking the help of the Holy Spirit “to make them wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus,” (2nd Timothy 3:15).

Truly, Jesus is rightly called the “son of God,” even the “only begotten Son of God.” However, the word “son” was not intended to suggest He would be a descendant of God, or an offspring such as we have offspring, for our offspring have their beginnings from their birth, while Jesus Christ was likened to Melchizedek as without a beginning nor an end.

Hebrews 7:1 – For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, and priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; is first by interpretation the King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is the King of peace; 3 Being without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually.

Consequently, from the very beginning the word “son,” which was spoken in reference to Jesus Christ, was intended to be prophetic of the child’s gender which God promised would be born, and in truth He was indeed born of flesh and blood. But back when Adam chose to sin in the garden, when the Gospel first went forth as God’s promise that a deliverer would come, He stated that a “seed” would be raised up through the woman; and that “seed” would bruise the head of the serpent, (the devil), and the serpent would “bruise HIS heel” (Genesis 3:15). And so was it prophesied at the first sin that a “man child” would be born.

Jesus Christ is that “seed” and “man child,” and a “son” that could only have been of God, for as foretold the child would be born of a virgin; making Him the prophetic “Son of God.” Nevertheless, while this child’s conception was entirely the predetermined plan and accomplishment of God, men would still call him a “son of man,” (although no earthly man took part in His conception). For the phrase “son of man” is merely a Jewish or biblical expression that is intended to testify of one’s humanity, as it is used by God and the angels toward Ezekiel ninety-three times. With Christ, “Son of man” testifies of His humanity; that He in fact was “born” a man.

Hebrews 2:14 – For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 so as to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore, out of necessity He chose in all things to be made like unto His brethren, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,  and so make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Just as Isaiah foretold, “a virgin” conceived and brought forth that prophetic “seed” that would “bruise the head of the serpent.” As both Isaiah prophesied and the angel Gabriel told Mary, this child would be called “Immanuel… which being interpreted is, God-with-us.”

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:18 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, and before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was of the mind to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Consider a few more scriptures;

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 43:10 – You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He [the prophesied child to come]. 11 Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. For I, even I am the Lord; and besides Me there is no savior… 15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.

Now compare the above verses with these.

 John 8:23 – And He said unto them, You are from beneath; and I am from above: you are of this world; but I am not of this world. 24 I say therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am He, then shall you die in your sins. 25 Then said they unto Him, “Who are you?” And Jesus said unto them, “Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: for He that sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.” 27 Howbeit, they understood not that He spoke to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father has taught Me, so speak I these things.

John 13:19 – Now I tell you before it comes, that when it is comes to pass you may believe that I am He.

John 18:4 – Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth and said unto them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus says unto them, “I am He.” And Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as He had said unto them “I am He,” they went backward and fell to the ground. 7 Then asked He them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He: if therefore you seek Me, then let these go their way.” 9 So that the saying which He spoke might be fulfilled,  “Father, of them which You gave Me have I lost none.”

In Jesus alone do we see the above verses fulfilled, for as Paul stated, Jesus was God “manifested in the flesh.” Amazingly, in His finite fleshly form as a “son of man,” God’s boundless love and commitment was revealed for all heaven and earth to see. For His incarnation made it possible for both men and angels to witness His unselfish character, through the life and death of the man Jesus. Oh, what wondrous thing is this? “God in Christ” was reconciling “the world unto Himself [and] not imputing their trespasses unto them.”

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by [the man] Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 Of which it was God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and He has committed unto us this word of reconciliation.

Through the power and wisdom of His incarnation, God has revealed “unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of time He might gather together in one ALL things in Christ, both which are in heaven [the angels], and which are on earth [mankind]; even in Him [Jesus]” (Ephesians 1:9, 10).

The Greek word, ana-kephalaiomai, which in the above verse was translated “gather together in one,” is only used twice in scriptures. Being a compound word, it proves to be a very interesting word, for the first part, ana, was used 16 times in scripture being variously translated as; among, apiece, between, by, each, every, every man, in the midst, through, and also as the number two.

The second part of the word, kephalaioo, actually means; to strike on the head: as a wound in the head, and was so used but once in scripture in the following verse.

Mark 12:4 – And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they threw stones and so wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. 

That second part, kephalaioo, is of the same origin as the Greek word kephalaion, which means; a principal thing, as in the main point; specially, an amount (of money):- to the end of – the sum, summed up.

Now both words have their origin from another Greek word, kephale, which simply means literally, or figuratively, the head. Thus, the original Greek compound word which was translated “gather together in one,” conveys the sense of bringing all things, or everyone, together in an comprehensive, precise, solidified, and unshakable sense. Kind of like when a person who has been greatly puzzled by a mystery suddenly gestures by tapping themselves on the side of their head and then excitedly says, “I got it – I got it! I understand it now!”

That is why the second place this Greek word was used in scripture it was translated with an English word to signify; know, grasp, understand & realize. Perhaps another phrase that might help convey the same concept is “Hitting the nail on the head” which is often used when something stated truly drives the point home with succinct clarity as seen below.

Romans 13:9 – For all this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended, ana-kephalaiomai, in this saying as, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

But not all men will embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or receive a love for the truth, and thus not all will be enabled to understand this mystery which was even hidden from the angels from the foundation of the world, whereby God was to be “manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit.”

2nd Thessalonians 2:10 – …because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

I Corinthians 1:23 – But we preach Christ crucified, which unto the Jews is a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, of both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Now we who believe do see both “the power… and the wisdom of God” in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we give “thanks unto the Father… Who has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness, and translated us unto the kingdom of His dear Son… Who is the image [or manifestation] of the invisible God… He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is The Beginning, the Firstborn from the Dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him [that man child] should all fullness [of The Mighty God] dwell; and having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him He reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven,” (Colossians 1:12-20).

It was necessary, in order for Jesus to qualify as the prophetic “Christ,” and to fulfill all prophecy, to simultaneously be both God and Man. For if Jesus were not fully God and fully man, He could not be what He claims to be in Revelation 22:16, both “the root and offspring of David.” As the “root of David” we see Jesus Christ as “The Everlasting Father,” and as the “offspring of David” we see Him as the “man child” or “son” promised at the fall of Adam.

Jesus is not merely some subservient offspring of “Father God.” No, in spite of how hard it is for some to believe, Jesus in His pure and ultimate essence is the Father and The Mighty God. This is not some foolish idea of my own imagination, rather what the very word of God plainly declares.

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Perhaps the most common stumbling block for people concerning Jesus’ deity is an apparent inability to answer the question, “How can Jesus be the Mighty God and Everlasting Father and yet still be seen in scripture praying to the Father?”

That is both an honest and great question that has perplexed many. Nevertheless, Isaiah speaking under the unction of the Holy Spirit clearly stated that the “Prince of Peace” would be none other than “The Everlasting Father,” or as some would assert “the Father of Eternity.” Indeed, it is a great mystery to the finite minds of men and angels, but just because something is a mystery does not make it impossible. For a mystery is simply proof of ignorance: a lack of knowledge and understanding.

A good guideline when seeking to understand Christ, the God/man, is to remember that in His pure essence God “is a spirit,” which by Jesus’ own words we know that “a spirit has not flesh and bones.” Therefore, God in His pure essence as a spirit is not limited to a finite visible form, for being omnipresent, He is everywhere all the time, throughout time, at the same time – past, present, future. Therefore Jesus, while locked in time and space by His human flesh, through the medium of prayer communed with His Omnipresent Spirit, “the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity.”

John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Luke 24:36 – And as they spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, “Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have.”

Isaiah 57:15 – For thus says the High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Part 3

Outside the Box to Infinity and Beyond

Now I would like to take you as it were, outside the box of rational reasoning, and have you seriously think about something for a moment. First how your current existence is that of a finite creature who dwells within the dimensions of space, and therefore have an experiential awareness of the present things while living on the razor edge of this moment which is ever moving through time, even as a wave of the ocean does, ever moving towards the end of the boundary of your current life. Next, consider if you could by whatever means necessary to make it possible, either by supernatural powers or through a clever mechanism, that if you could only go back in time for even one minute, how you would then be able to both see and be with yourself. You could walk into the room you’re in now and actually take a seat across from yourself and carry on a conversation, as you from the future could then tell yourself in the past exactly what future events are going to unfold, or warn yourself and say “Stop, don’t even think what he is asking you to consider!”

Of course, that line of reasoning can open a whole can of worms about how if you change the past, then you’ll inadvertently change the future, which then takes us into the whole Butterfly Effect rational, which is not my intent. Nonetheless, and yet still seriously, I present all this to you simply to ask you that if you could escape the boundaries of progressive linear time and go backwards to another time and space and be with yourself, would that mean you are two people? Certainly, at that very moment, it would seem as if there were in fact two of you. Nevertheless, in reality you are still only one person – one in heart and one in mind. But yet having escaped the parameters of time by our limited experiential logic and narrow senses, you certainly would at that moment appear as two, since both are momentarily being seen in one place at the same time.

It would be the unique ability to escape time that would give you the ability to be in two places at the same time. You, from a distant place or future time could literally go and counsel yourself as to what is occurring elsewhere, or even that which is yet to come to pass. Interesting concept, right?

Yet this is literally what Jesus expressed to Nicodemus, “No man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven,” (John 3:13). Jesus was standing right there with Nicodemus affirming to him that even at that very moment He “is in heaven.” It is because of this unique aspect of God’s omnipresence that He foreknew those who “should be saved” even from the very foundations of the world.

Revelations 17:8 – The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend out of the abyss and go into perdition. And those dwelling on the earth will marvel, those whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Isaiah 41:4 – Who has performed and done it, Calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD am the first, and with the last am I He.

Isaiah 46:9 – Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done. Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’

Isaiah 48:3 – “I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. 5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass, I proclaimed it to you…

At Athens, the Apostle Paul encouraged the men there to “seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our very being,” (Acts 17:27, 28).

Likewise, in Psalm 139, David reasons with God saying, “Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there. And if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your hand lead me and Your right hand will hold me,” (Verses 7-10).

Consider once again this greatness of God’s omnipresence in His words to Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 23:24 – “Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? says the LORD. Do I not fill the heavens and earth? says the LORD.

Thus, we can see the omnipresence of the “eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God.” Now consider the Apostle John’s words as he explains the great relationship we can have with the Father and Christ if “we walk in the light.”

1st John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard have we declared unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we write these things to you so that your joy may be full. 5 For this is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 So if we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

This walking “in the light” is more personal and intimate than that which Paul spoke of to the men at Athens about how all men live and move in Him and have their very being. This “in” of which the Apostle John speaks is even much more than some hyper-spiritual concept concerning our “Christian position” in Christ. For this “in the light” speaks of the intimate dwelling and communion all believers ought to have by faith through their walking and living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus. For Christ is the Light of the world, and now the lives we live ought to be by the very faith of the Son of God who loves us and dwells in us.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. For that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself on my behalf.

I stress this not to shame anyone who may realize they are lacking this personal familiarity with God, but rather to motivate and to stir up both your faith and faithfulness; for this intimacy is only possible for those who have made a conscious resolve to no longer “walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; 4 so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Surely, we all want “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” to make us “free from the law of sin and death.” But do we really understand who this “Spirit” is? It is the “Spirit of Christ” of course; and is not He who we want to be intimately familiar with? And do we recognize Paul is cautioning us that we must “mind” Him and “walk after” Him if “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us?” Nevertheless, many Christians go about their lives as if they don’t believe Paul when he admonishes us how “to be carnally minded is death; but to be SPIRITually minded is life and peace.”

Romans 8:9 – But you are not in the flesh, but in the SPIRIT, if so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwells in you. For if any man has not the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he is none of His.

Furthermore, this Spirit of Christ is none other than the Holy Spirit. But due to “the MYSTERY of Christ” a common mistake many believers make is they perceive the phrase “Holy Spirit” to be a proper name, when in actually it is a precise description of God. He’s holy and in all integrity of essence is a spirit, invisible like the wind or our breath, yet likewise detectable and often easily felt and sensed. For though we can’t see the wind, we can often see it moving the trees and feel it on our bodies. In fact, the Greek word translated spirit actually comes from another Greek word which means breath or wind. Therefore, God alone can properly be called a “Holy Spirit.”

Before we continue let’s look at some more scriptures referencing this “mystery.”

Romans 16:25 – Now to Him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.

1st Corinthians 2:7 – But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.

Ephesians 3:3 – How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

Colossians 2:2 – That their hearts might be comforted, and be knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, and to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, of the Father and of Christ.

Colossians 4:3 – Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.

1st Timothy 3:16 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

God Spoke

Let’s look at three scriptures that together help to unwrap this mystery a little further and can provide vantage points from which one might gain a greater perspective and appreciation for the wisdom, power and love which God offers to all men through Christ Jesus the Lord.

Hebrews 1:1 – God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholds all things by the power of His word. Who when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Note the words in bold type, “God, spoke, by the prophets, by His Son.” Let’s continue.

2nd Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Here we see “God” who “spoke, by the prophets” in Hebrews 1:1-2 speaking by “holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Same God, same prophets, same Spirit, all recorded in God’s Holy Scripture.

Again, let’s continue;

1st Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

These verses all say the same thing, God has spoken through men: for the “prophets” through which “God… spoke” as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost,” spoke that which “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.” Just as surely the Holy Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, it was God Himself, even Emmanuel, who was in this man-child called Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:23 – Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that it was God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2nd Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord [Jesus] is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.

In light of all these scriptures I would hope all could agree that when the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ, that it is speaking of the same Spirit. For scripture tells us there is only “one Spirit.”

Ephesians 4:3 – Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 For there is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; 5 Likewise one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

1st Corinthians 12:11 – But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. 12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; for we all have been made to drink into one Spirit.

Since by the word of God we know there is only “one Spirit,” when Paul states that God was “justified in the Spirit,” it should be understood that it was the Holy Spirit of the “eternal, immortal, invisible, the ONLY wise God” Almighty that was being “manifested in the flesh” of the man Jesus.

1st Timothy 1:17 – Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1st Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Galatians 3:20 – Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Though this mystery was hidden from the foundation of the world, God still put forth a riddle to us in the Book of Proverbs which He will sooner or later require everyone to answer.

Proverbs 30:4 – Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fist? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name? And what is His Son’s name, if you can tell?

This riddle is one that men all over the world have long sought to answer. And in their search for an answer, neither their own imagination, nor the adversary has failed to provide a wide array of doctrines to select from. Such is why Jesus asked a similar question of His disciples, so don’t think that He will not ask the same of you…

Luke 9:18 – And it came to pass, as He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him: and He asked them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19 They answering said, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.” 20 Then asked He of them, “But who do you say that I am?”

We cannot afford to be wrong in our response, we must “know in whom” we believe. Fortunately, He who has asked the question is also willing to provide the answer to it.

Isaiah 43:10 – You are my witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. 11 I even I am the LORD; and besides Me there is no savior.

1st Timothy 4:10 – For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.

2nd Timothy 1:8 – Be you not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be you partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who has saved us and called us with an holy calling. Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 10 Which is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, and Who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For which cause do I also suffer these things: nevertheless, I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

Titus 1:1 – Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 And has in due times manifested His word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, my son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

Titus 2:10 – Not stealing, but rather showing all good faith, so that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, 13 while looking for the blessed hope, even the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works.

Titus 3:4 – But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy has He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and through the renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I would that you affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. For these things are good and profitable unto men.

Isaiah 43:12 – “I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore, you are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “That I am God. 13 Yea, before the day was, I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: and I will work, and who shall prevent it? 14 For thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel… 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”

John 12:14 – And finding a young donkey, Jesus sat on it; as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King comes sitting on the foal of an ass.”

John 10:27 – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father, which gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.” 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 So Jesus asked them, “Many good works have I showed you from My Father; for which of those works do you stone Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we stone You not; but for blasphemy; because You being a man are making Yourself to be God.”

We have been warned to “believe not every spirit,” be it of man or angel, and are instructed to “try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” So, here’s how the scriptures say we should try the spirits that we might know those that are of God.

1st John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: for this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world.

Now take a moment and consider the lasting effect of Jesus Christ upon humanity. For really, who but an ignorant person or a lying fool would deny that a man named “Jesus” ever existed? Even historians who do not subscribe to the beliefs of Christianity readily acknowledge Jesus’ existence. Likewise, some religions even opposed to the Christian faith still acknowledge that historically there was a man named Jesus who claimed to be the Christ; some even recognizing Him as a prophet of sorts. Due to the overwhelming evidence, any person with a measurable and honest intellect must acknowledge that not only did such a man “come in the flesh,” but that He was crucified in the flesh as well. However, these two facts are not what the Apostle John was talking about.

The spirit of antichrist is not “anti-Jesus came in the flesh,” nor is it “anti-Jesus the subservient offspring of God come in the flesh,” and one more equally amazing, nor is the spirit of antichrist “anti-god.” Quite to the contrary to many people’s disbelief, the Bible tells us this spirit of antichrist is really “pro-god.” It just is not “pro the true and living God.” We see this in the Bible in reference to “that man of sin” who will exalt himself “so that he AS GOD sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God,” (2nd Thessalonians 2:2, 4). Yet this “he” could not do if people truly knew, understood, and comprehended what it truly means that Jesus Christ was God. Therefore, the nature of the spirit of antichrist is to be anti-truth, meaning “Anti-Jesus Christ, the Almighty God our Savior come in the flesh.”

This is why Jesus said to “Take heed that no man deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying I am the Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4, 5). These are men who will acknowledge both the life and death of Jesus, and openly admit that He was the foretold and promised deliverer that would come, a great prophet, and even the Christ. Yet their definition of “the Christ” is contrary to that of God’s.

This is also why countless so-called Christian leaders are nowadays rejecting the scriptural evidence that Jesus Christ was “The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father” come in the flesh, (Isaiah 9:6). For with one breath, they acknowledge that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace,” while with the next they boldly declare He is not the Everlasting Father.

2nd John 7 – This is a deceiver and an antichrist. For whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ has not God… 9 But he who abides in the doctrine of Christ, has both the [Everlasting] Father and the Son.

Notice the singularity of the word “doctrine” in 2nd John 9. It is singular because John was not referring to the many doctrines, or teachings, which were given to us through Jesus’ earthly ministry. No, John was referring to that one singular doctrine which is the foundation of true Christianity. It is the teaching concerning “Who is Jesus Christ.” The Bible refers to this teaching as the “Doctrine of Christ” and God will not permit this doctrine to be changed; and those who do so will certainly suffer severe and eternal consequences. Consequently, the Apostle John warned us that “if any come unto you and bring not this doctrine,” but comes with a different teaching of whom Christ is,  then “receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that bids him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds,” (2nd John 10, 11).

1st John 2:21 – Who is a liar but he that denies Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denies the Father and the Son [are one God]. 22 Whosoever denies the [Isaiah 9:6] Son, the same has not the [Isaiah 9:6 Everlasting] Father: but he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on His shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The Apostle John tells us that he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also, because in spirit “They” are the same. This truth is the reason Jesus cried out to the multitude around Him saying, “He who sees Me sees Him who sent Me,” and then two chapters later tells Phillip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” He was not speaking of their being able to see Him standing there in front of them, but rather by “seeing” Jesus is referencing the ability to discern Him for who He truly was. This is also why Jesus told Peter that he was blessed, for the eye of his flesh did not give him this understanding that Jesus was the Christ, rather it was by a revelation given him of the Father. For though two separate Greek words were used that were translated see and seen, both words have also been translated as “perceive” elsewhere in scripture.

John 4:19 – Then the woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive <theoreo> that You are a prophet.

John 12:44 – But Jesus cried out and said, He who believes on Me does not believe on Me but on Him who sent Me. 45 For he who sees <theoreo> Me sees <theoreo> Him who sent Me.

Acts 8:23 – For I perceive <horao> that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.

John 14:9 Jesus said to him, Have I been with you such a long time and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen <horao> Me has seen <horao> the Father. So how do you say, Show us the Father?

Those verses above, and many more, are why Paul told the Corinthians that if this truth is hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost, because the very glory of God is to be discern in the very face of Jesus Christ.

2nd Corinthians 4:3 – But if our gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; for we are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give unto you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:1 – God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 for He being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and who upholds all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

These truths which I have presented thus far are the foundation of the Doctrine of Christ, and the very heart of the Gospel. It is upon this “rock” that the true church of Jesus Christ was founded. Therefore, if a person is ignorant, or disbelieving of this truth, it is because they are blind to the true light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and have likely embraced “another Jesus” and are believing in “another gospel” and following “another spirit.”

2nd Corinthians 11:4 – If indeed someone is coming to preach another Jesus, whom I did not preach, or you are receiving a Spirit other than you once received, or another gospel which you did not accept before, you would do well to bear with me. (Montgomery’s New Testament)

Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “For many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me you who were practicing lawlessness!’

Matthew 24:5 – For many will come in My name [the name of Jesus], saying, [or acknowledge] “I am Christ,” and [yet they] will deceive many.

Many preachers say that these are people who will come and profess to be the christ, and that is true, many such people have so come and deceived many. However, the word “christ” is not a name, rather to be “Christ” is to fulfill a prophesied and anointed position that only Jesus could fill, and such is why we stressed the importance that believers understand the Doctrine of Christ in order that they are not deceived by those who preach “another Jesus” thru “another gospel” and by “another spirit.”

Part 4

What was God Justified of?

At this point I think it would be suitable time to explore what the word “justified” means. The Greek word in 1st Timothy 3:16, which was translated “Justified,” is “dikaioo,” which comes from the root word “dikaios.” Let’s look at their definitions.

  • Dikaios – equitable (in character or act); by implication, innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): just, meet, right (righteous).
  • Dikaioo – to render, (show or regard as) just or innocent.

Merriam Webster defined justified as “to be shown just, right, and to have functioned in accord with good reason. To be freed from blame; declared guiltless; acquitted; absolved.” By these definitions we could easily say, “To be justified is to be vindicated of false accusations by revealed, proven, and witnessed (-seen and heard) facts.” If this is true, then what were the accusations of which God through His incarnation was vindicated of, and who made them?

Well, we need not look too long before we find the answer, for the very first accusation recorded in the Bible was against God. So, when and how did it happen? Well, one day Eve was in the garden when a serpent asked her, “Has God said you should not eat of every tree in the garden?” Eve’s reply was, “We may eat the fruit of every tree in the garden; except the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it lest you die.” And the serpent said unto Eve, “You shall not surely die: for God knows that in the day you eat it your eyes shall be open and you too shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,” (Genesis 3:1-24).

Here we see the devil, via the serpent, asserting that God was a liar by his saying, “You shall not surely die.” Satan further implied that the reason God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of the tree was because God was selfish, and did not want any other gods around, for “God knows… you too shall be as gods,” (Genesis 3:5).

For all intents and purposes, Satan accused God of being both a deceiver and a lover of self; and if God was selfish, then He must be a sinner as well. It was this arrogant manner of defiance, deceitfulness of sin, and blasphemy against God and His character that provoked Him to not spare those “angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment,” (2nd Peter 2:4).

For Satan and the other angels, who had been eyewitnesses of God’s majesty, there could be no forgiveness having committed such a blasphemous sin against God. For “Whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come,” (Matthew 10:25).

As Christians, we know Satan’s accusations are false, and in them we can see both his jealousy and extreme hatred which he has towards God. Interestingly, there are scriptures that may very well reveal to us that this incident in the garden might not be the first time Satan so accused God of these things, such as greedily hoarding the throne. This we’ll discover as we look deeper into the devil’s beginning.

The Devil’s Beginning

1st John3:8 – He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

When the Apostle John said, “The devil sinned from the beginning,” have you ever thought just what “beginning” was he referring to? Since we know that from the day that Lucifer was created, he was perfect in all his ways, this would have to be the beginning when his negative conversion occurred. So, let’s look at those texts of scripture in the Bible that offer us insight into his former state, and how temptation led to his fall.

Ezekiel 28:13 – You had been in Eden the garden of God; and every precious stone was given you for your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. 14 For you are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: and you were upon the holy mountain of God; of which you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. 16 Yet, by the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore, I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, even from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 For your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, and you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: therefore I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.

Isaiah 14:12 – How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! For you are cut down to the ground, you who did weaken the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 and will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” 15 Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

To be forthright, there are some commentators who for some reason have rejected the notion that either of these two passages have anything to do with the fall of Lucifer. They assert Ezekiel’s prophecy was specifically speaking of the king of Tyrus, and only of the king of Tyrus. However, that perspective offers no clarity to certain points in the prophecy, as the king of Tyrus was never “in Eden the garden of God,” nor was he ever an “anointed cherub.” Certainly, it must be openly acknowledged as well that the king of Tyrus was born and not “created” as referenced in the prophecy.

Likewise, some regard Isaiah’s prophecy as solely an addressment of the sins of the king of Babylon. Yet Isaiah, as did Ezekiel, prophesied by the same Holy Spirit “unto men to their edification, and exhortation, and comfort,” (I Corinthians 14:3-5). To me it seems overwhelmingly obvious that these two prophecies do indeed focus pointedly upon these two kings, and that because they too, like Satan, exalted themselves beyond their appointed realm of power, purpose, and influence.

Thus, while those prophecies may indeed historically shed some light on these two kings’ personal sins, it is Satan’s sin and fall that becomes their eventual focal point; as if a spot light has been placed on Satan himself. For all pride and rebellion stems from that point in pre-Adamic history when sin in the heavens was first committed as the anointed cherub’s own heart turned away from God, and he became a lover of self.

Deuteronomy 30:17 – But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, and shall be drawn away, and will worship other gods, and serve them.

James 1:14 – But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and thereby enticed.

Self Esteem

As a result, in light of those specific references within them, it is impossible to reject the notion that both Ezekiel and Isaiah’s prophecies were given not only for a historical record of the fall of the kings of Babylon and of Tyrus through the Holy Spirit, but also the fall of the anointed cherub Lucifer as well. Through these prophecies we have been given insight into the foundation of all sin, which is SELF-esteem. For unless one has been continually oppressed and beaten down, and truly knows where they came from and who they honestly are, pride will almost always find a way to rise up in their hearts. Then, it is only a matter of time before they will begin to esteem themselves as deserving of the respect, praise, and admiration of others. For this very reason Paul told Timothy not to be too quick to place a novice into a position of leadership, unless he has been proven to be mature, firmly rooted and grounded in love, and already well established and functioning in the Lord’s service.

1st Timothy 3:2 – A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, and able to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, and not a brawler nor covetous. 4 He should be one who rules his own house well, and has his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Nor should he be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he falls into the condemnation of the devil.

That phrase, “fall into the condemnation of the devil,” does not imply what many people perceive. Many think Paul is saying that the devil will only end up condemning the novice if he indeed becomes prideful. Yet, while it is obvious that the devil will indeed try to tempt the novice, and thus bring condemnation upon him, we must remember that God alone is the one who will ultimately condemn all unrepentant sinners. Rather, the Apostle Paul was warning Timothy that just as Satan was condemned for his pride, so too would the novice be if he were hastily placed in a position where he could be enticed and “lifted up with pride.” For from the beginning of all sin, “pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

In this light we can see how both the king of Tyrus, and the king of Babylon displayed those attributes which originated in Satan, the ultimate chief of all sinners. For as it had transpired with Satan, they too had allowed their positions and wealth to seduce them into believing a lie and went beyond what was lawful in God’s eyes in respect to their dominion and authority. For it was God who had given those positions of honor to them, for in reality they were nothing, their positions and power being only what God had permitted for His purpose. Therefore, their postures should have been full of humility and gratitude, instead of being lifted up with pride and thereby falling into condemnation, as the deceitfulness of sin ensnared them, and as with Satan, brought about their demise as well.

Let’s look at Ezekiel’s and Isaiah’s account of the devil’s narcissistic heart.

Ezekiel 28:17 – Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, and therefore have you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.

Isaiah 14:13 – For you have said in your heart, I will ascend unto heaven, and will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I also will sit upon the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 and will ascend above the clouds: and I will be like the Most High.

Here we see the deceitful progression of SELF-esteem. For it caused Satan to view himself as superior to the rest of God’s angelic beings, stirring up in his heart a lust and ambition to place himself above them as he proclaimed his ultimate ambition, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God,” the stars being symbolic of God’s angels, as in the verse below.

Revelation 12:4 – And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman, which was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born.

However, a self-absorbed egotistical heart can never be content with just the rising above peers, and therefore said the devil, “I will be like the Most High.” For having been mesmerized by his own beauty, Satan had become a lover of self and believed he too was entitled to the same admiration, praise, and worship as God, the very Creator of his beauty. But God is worthy of all the glory “inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house.”

Romans 1:24 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts… 25 Those who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen.

Self-esteem and self-love in finite creatures will always lead to the same end, humiliation and destruction. Though certainly, like many sins in their initial stages, they can make one feel good, but only temporarily. Therefore, because of his SELF-esteem Satan had corrupted his wisdom and forfeited both his position with God and soiled his God-given beauty. Any beauty he now has is only a projected illusion, a covering for his nakedness as it were with mere fig leaves. And since Satan had sought to honor himself instead of God his Creator, he was therefore condemned, and this is what Paul was referring to when he warned how a novice if placed in a position of leadership too soon, might be lifted up with pride, and likewise “fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

Ezekiel 28:17 – Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, and therefore was your wisdom corrupted by reason of your brightness: Therefore will I cast you to the ground and will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. 18 For you have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, and by the iniquity of your merchandise. Therefore, will I bring forth a fire from the midst of you, and it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you. 19 All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: for you shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.

Isaiah 14:15 – Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, “Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 Is this him that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the house of his prisoners?”

Devils in Heaven

In those verses we can see God not only made an accurate assessment of Satan’s heart, but He had condemned and sentenced him as well. Therefore, the following two questions arise.

First, if Satan was condemned, then why was he there in the garden tempting Adam and Eve?

Second question, if Lucifer was sentenced to hell, then why was he running around loose, or even permitted back into God’s heavenly throne room?

Perhaps you’ve never considered these questions before, but certainly these are valid questions in light of the verses we just looked at. To strengthen the validity of those questions even more, let’s look at scriptures in Job that seem to present Satan, who obviously was no longer serving the Lord, as nonetheless able to come and go wherever he wished. However, this liberty was actually a witness to his lawlessness; and his “free spirit” nothing more than an arrogant and rebellious spirit that dared even to approach the very throne of God!

Job 1:6 – Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, “From where are you coming?” To which Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”

The passage above continues with Satan accusing Job of only serving God for His protection and blessings. (I wonder of how many Christians today could this accusation actually be proven true?) Nevertheless, God’s response was not to react to Satan’s accusation with His own finger pointing and calling Satan a liar. Rather, He allowed Satan to try Job, knowing that through his coming afflictions righteous Job would prove Satan to be a liar. For this reason, God allowed Satan to literally take everything Job had, except his wife. Yet get this, Job continued to worship God through it all and to bless His name!!

Next, Satan accused Job of serving God only for his good health. To which once again, to disprove his lies, God permitted Satan to afflict Job nearly unto death.

Job 2:3 – And the LORD said unto Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, and one that fears God and hates evil? For he still holds fast his integrity, even though you move Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man has will he give for his life. 5 But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face.” 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.”7 So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. 8 And Job took him a potsherd to scrape himself therewith; as he sat down among the ashes. 9 Then said his wife unto him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said unto her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. For shall we only receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil as well?” And in all this Job did not sin with his lips.

What can be seen in all this are two things; first, the devil falsely accusing the righteous, and secondly, the righteous abstaining from reactionary and verbal sins. Much to the contrary, we see righteous Job even in the midst of his difficulty remaining committed to trusting and serving God.

Job 13:15 – Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.

Still, all this takes us back to the question, why did Satan have liberty to go before God in light of the judgment charged against him? To make this mystery even more bewildering, let’s add a third question, why also, in light of this pronounced judgment would any of the angelic host ever choose to side with the devil? Surely this wasn’t a quick or easy decision for the other angels, and some discussion must have exchanged, as well as considerable deliberation must have been taken. What was it that corrupted the other angels so as to betray their Creator?

My answer, at least the only one which seems to make any sense, and seems to fit the devil’s obvious argumentative pattern as we have witnessed in scripture, would be that the devil probably, like a crooked lawyer, cunningly argued his defense against God and before the heavenly host, and sadly, “the jury” as it were, was left divided and therefore was a hung jury. For those who don’t understand that term, a hung jury is when either the majority of jurors in a trial are unable to vote one way or the other so as to deliver either a not guilty or guilty verdict, or when jurors are split in their opinions.

Conceivably, Satan disputatiously began his defense against God’s judgment that he should be cast into hell, and against God’s accusation that he had sinned by his heart being lifted up because of his beauty, as to whether or not his wisdom was indeed corrupted by reason of his brightness, by his starting with a summons upon the angelic host for them to make their own comparative judgment. Was there really that much difference between their beauty and brightness, and would such a difference mean he deserved to be so harshly condemned by God as a sinner, and on what basis? Was there a list of commandments already established in the heavens? I ask that because we are told by Paul that God gave the law to man so that sin might become exceedingly sinful, but certainly not in God’s eyes, but in the eyes of those who knew not the law nor had a standard whereby to make righteous judgements.

Romans 7:13 – Was that which is good then made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, worked death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

1st John 3:4 – Whosoever commits sin also transgresses the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

But still, man had already sinned before the giving of the law, all Adam did was disregard the one thing God warned him about when he ate the forbidden fruit. But was there such a law already established or similarly expressed, whereby the angels were forewarned before the Lucifer coveted the throne of God, or was Lucifer’s sin simply that he had corrupted wisdom by admiring his own beauty and brightness? I will tell you now that I do not know, but nevertheless these are questions that I have thought about. But something must have taken place, a progression of events, an open discourse or sorts, something whereby the rest of the angels were somehow placed in a position very similar to Adam’s when he discovered Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, and now they too were confronted with a dilemma as to what they must do. Certainly, I do not believe God confronted them with a choice, but I surely believe Lucifer would have argued his guiltlessness of committing a heinous act worthy of banishment and eternal torment. So perhaps, though admittedly it would have been much more elegant than this, but perhaps, and truly just perhaps, the devil’s argument might have gone along the following lines of reasoning…

“What profound visible difference is there between God and me,” the devil might have asked, “that He alone should be worshipped? And furthermore, if God says it is sin, even an iniquity for me to sit upon a throne, why then is it not so for Him? Is there a double standard here in heaven? “If God does whatever He wants, then why is it that we cannot as well? For when does God ask or seek our approval, so why then should we need to have His?” “For how then, if simply because I too wish to sit on a throne, can He now declare me to be a sinner worthy of hell’s torment? By what standard? simply His own? For if all this against me is true, then would not He by His own judgment likewise deserve the same? For is not God doing that which He Himself has now condemned me, and that simply my wanting to be like Him? How can this be justice, that for such a desire I am now declared to be wicked, and should be condemned to have everlasting fire devour me? How can God be right in all this, seeing I only wanted to do as He Himself does?”

What blasphemy! Nevertheless, this harmonizes with those accusations Satan made earlier to Eve. “FOR GOD KNOWS… THAT YOU SHALL BE AS GODS.” Satan brazenly insinuated that it was due to God being egotistical and self-centered that He refused to let Adam and Eve eat of the tree; yet Satan knew if he could get them to eat of the fruit, in an attempt to become “gods,” then God would condemn them as well. Therefore, it is not hard to envision this arrogant creature consumed with envy arguing this same slander before the heavenly host.

Furthering this plausible argument of defense by the devil –

“God’s not willing to share the mount. Who’s He kidding? All He wants is to sit up there, high and lofty, and demanding we all worship Him. A little too much self-esteem I’d say. Can it really be fair for God to send me to hell simply because I wanted to be like Him? It’s not like I wanted His throne, just my own. I simply wanted to be LIKE the Most High, NOT THE MOST HIGH.”

Whatever his argument was, Satan’s reasoning had to be at the least powerfully enticing, if not convincing; for a considerable part of the heavenly host embraced his lies as plausible and elected to side with him. Regardless his argument, his desire to become a god to the other angels became a reality as a third of the angels were swept away in his revolt against the Lord God Almighty.

As the heavenly vision in Revelation 12 illustrates, the dragon “drew a third part of the stars of heaven” down to earth in attempt to kill Jesus at the time of His birth. Verse seven serves as a witness that Satan had indeed won a measurable allegiance from the fallen angels; as scripture states they became “his angels” and were now willfully partaking in his sin!

Revelation 12:4 – And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7 And there was war in heaven: as Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 But prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And so the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The angels who sided with Satan did so because they loved his wicked ideology more than God’s holiness. As he did with Eve, can we not see how Satan might have as well proposed to the angels a life equal to God’s in which they should be answerable to no one. Did he in his shrewdness manage to arouse a “pride of [one’s own] life” and stirred up a lust of SELF-esteem in them? For it seems at some point the fallen angels had become slaves to their own sinful envy; having their hearts corrupted so that now they too both despised and coveted the very majesty of God!

Clearly, something moved these angels to embrace Satan’s idiot-ology, and by allowing themselves to be seduced by his “deceivableness of unrighteousness,” they too now had fallen into “the condemnation of the devil.” For having rejected the “love of the truth,” God gave them over to Satan’s strong delusion that they should believe his lie, so that they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Satan’s accusations had shaken the whole of God’s creation. No angel could escape the effect of Satan’s lies, that God does whatever He wants irrespective of others and unilaterally condemns those who would seek to exercise the same “freedom” or “right.” Nevertheless, most of the angels were steadfast and kept their trust in God and remained loyal; emotionally unsettled maybe, but loyal to their Creator nonetheless.

But this all brings us to another question; why didn’t the Almighty God simply close His hand, or snap His fingers, or just wink His eye and simply erase Satan with all those rebellious angels, or cast them straight into hell? Certainly, just as easily as they were spoken into creation, they could have been erased or destroyed. But even though God had declared His judgment against the fallen angels, He nevertheless delayed the execution of His judgment against them, so why did He?

The answer abides within the nature of God, for He is a God of love who champions indisputable truth. Therefore, God’s priority was not an execution of judgment, but rather to irrefutably validate His love and truth through an open demonstration of His person; so that no accusation of any kind could ever be thrust upon His Holy Name again.

Hebrews 1:1 – God, who at sundry times and in various manners had spoken in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, upholds all things by the word of His power, and when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

God’s priority was not one of vengeance, nor was He anxious to retaliate against His accuser and those who had wickedly believed his lies. Rather, God’s priority was to prove beyond all doubt His holy character in the hearts and minds of the faithful angels. For knowing both the rewards and risk of giving His creatures freewill, God had foreseen this inevitable rise of rebellion. For scriptures tell us, that from the very foundation of heaven and earth, God had devised a mysterious plan whereby He would forever eliminate any grounds for suspicion in the hearts of those that would believe in Him. What was God’s plan? He would first “justify” Himself, and THEN thoroughly avenge Himself THROUGH His heavenly host!

Ephesians 3:8 – Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known thru the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which He had in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1st Peter 1:12 – Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves [the prophets of old], but unto us did they minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; Which things the angels do desire to look into.

Instead of immediately defending Himself, God chose to remain silent before His accuser. He did not strive to clear His name in the heavens nor to win the hearts of humanity with unsupported “enticing words,” instead, He patiently waited preferring a “demonstration of His Spirit and power.” For having been accused of being an egotist, unfair and domineering, God knew He could forever indisputably disprove all these blasphemous lies through the man Jesus Christ and the work of the cross.

1st Corinthians 2:4 – For my speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of man’s wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6 Howbeit, we speak wisdom among them that are mature: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this are, which come to naught: 7 Rather we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God before the world decreed unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world could discerned: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Dear reader, God delights in all His creatures and His desire is that they too would delight in Him. For that reason, He has given us His love freely, and longs for our love to be freely returned. For God knows that our love, if it is to be a true and righteous love, MUST be freely given and with absolute trust.

But after Lucifer fell from grace and corrupted his wisdom, he then lied and denied any wrongdoing, and surely God knew it. Unfortunately though, a third part of the angels didn’t, and having been seduced by Satan’s persuasive words they chose to agree with his lies. Theirs was a fatal choice, which sadly remains an all too popular one even today.

Be not deceived, there is no neutral ground to take with God, His righteousness will not permit it. For in His eyes, one’s failure to stand with Him and to separate oneself from sinners is a choice to stand against Him. Consequently, just as Satan’s lies forced every angel to choose whom they agreed with or would serve, we too are all forced to do the same. We must be separate from sinners, or we too become guilty and partakers of their sins.

Matthew 12:30 – He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad.

2nd John 1:9 – Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. But he that abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 Therefore, if any come to you and brings not this doctrine, do not receive him into your houses, neither wish him God speed: 11 For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

2nd Corinthians 6:14 – Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion has light with darkness? 15 Or what friendship has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he that believes with an infidel? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For your body is the temple of the living God; for God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”

False Accusations

So far, we’ve seen the devil deceive Eve, call God a liar, and accuse righteous Job. Are you surprised by all this? You shouldn’t be. This has been Satan’s manner of sin “from the beginning.” And so were we warned by Jesus that “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub [Chief of Sinners], then how much more shall they slander them of His household?”

1st John 3:7 – Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 8 Just as he that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. Yet for this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Matthew 5:11 – Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.

Do not think you are going to be attack for being a godly person, or for doing the right thing, rather you will be vilified and presented as a deceiver and horrible person. For false accusations have always been Satan’s ammunition of choice to attack those who would choose to live godly, and as a swordsman is a master of his weapon, so is our enemy with his lies.

Psalm 119:69 – The proud have forged a lie against me: nevertheless with my whole heart will I keep your precepts.

To “forge” something is to deliberately fabricate something false in an effort to pass it off as genuine or true. Remember how at Jesus’ trial they sought false witnesses that they might put Him to death? And though many false witnesses came, they could not find any that were convincing. So, the problem wasn’t a shortage of accusations, rather the credibility of the witnesses. For they were unable to “forge” a lie to stand against our Lord and Savior. Then came two false witnesses which said, “This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and build it again in three days.” However, what Jesus really said was, “Destroy this temple [His body], and in three days I will raise it up.” You will never cease to be amazed just how adept the adversary is at twisting the words of God.

Consequently, the Bible contains many such accounts of God’s faithful being not only falsely accused, but aggressively abused as well. We see Stephen accused of speaking “blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” In Macedonia, Paul and Silas were accused of troubling a whole city, and beaten and cast into prison! In Thessalonica their preaching caused such an uproar that they were actually accused of “turning the world upside down!”

Acts 6:8 – And Stephen being full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people… 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke. 11 Then they bribed men, which said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” 12 And so stirred they up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and they came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13 Then set they up false witnesses which said, “This man ceases not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.” 15 And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Acts 16:19 – …they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace before the rulers, 20 Who then brought them to the magistrates, saying, “These men being Jews do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 For they teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe as being Romans.”

Acts 17:4 – And some of them believed and consorted with Paul and Silas, including many of the devout Greeks, and of the chief women not a few. 5 But the Jews which believed not were moved with envy, and took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort and gathered together an assembly and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 And when they could not find them, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, “These that have turned the world upside down have come here also; 7 Even these whom this Jason has received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.”

Shortly afterwards, Paul was called “a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition among all the Jews of the world, a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: who has gone about and profaned the temple,” (Acts 24:5). Even dragging Paul before Festus, the governor of Judea, the Jews persisted their persecution as they “laid many grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove,” (Acts 25:7, 8).

So do not think that the devil and his “children” will ever cease forging their lies against the church. Nor should you be surprised when they begin to attack you too.

2nd Timothy 3:8 – Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds and reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as also theirs was. 10 But you have fully known my doctrine, and manner of life, and my purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Including my persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what intimidations I had to endured: but out of them all did the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall likewise suffer persecution.

Made Lower Than The Angels

Hebrews 2:9 – But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, now crowned with glory and honor in that He, by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became Him, for Whom all things are, and by Whom are all things, for His bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren… 14 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And so deliver them who through their fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

There are many who perceive Satan’s “power of death” in verse 14, to be the same as having the “keys of death” in Revelation 1:18. It’s not, for in Psalm 68:20 it shows that “our God is the God of salvation; and unto God belong the issues of death.” The devil has never had the unilateral power to take life. God alone determines and permits the time of every man’s death, not the devil. We see this proven in the Old Testament where the dead were brought back to life by God’s servants.

1st Kings 17:18 – And she said unto Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Are you come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” 19 And he said unto her, “Give me your son.” And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, “O LORD my God, Have You also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?” 21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, “O LORD my God, I pray You, let this child’s soul come into him again.” 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, “See, your son lives”. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.”

2nd Kings 4:32 – And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them both, and prayed unto the LORD. 34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 35 Then he returned and walked in the house to and fro; and went up and stretched himself again upon him: and the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

2nd Kings 13:20 – And Elisha died, and they buried him. And at the coming in of the year bands of the Moabites invaded the land. 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, that they saw a band of men; and so they hastily cast the corpse of the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and he touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

In the New Testament we see that not only did Jesus raise Lazarus, and the daughter of Jairus who was one of the rulers of the synagogue, as well as the widow’s son from the dead, He also gave His disciples the “power to raise the dead,” all prior to His death on the cross. For the power of life and death are God’s alone, for as we saw that the devil could never have killed Job’s family had God not permitted it. Likewise, concerning the “beast” of Revelation “it was given him,” that is leeway was granted whereby he could make war with the saints and overcome them, (Revelation 13:7).

Now when I express that the devil needed God’s leave to take the life of a man, that is not to deny that there are certain things which people can do that indeed may affect God’s determination in the timing of their death. Some examples would be eating properly and exercising, versus gluttony, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as suicide. These are the consequences of reaping what one sows, however, without God’s permissiveness, death cannot comply with any man’s own desire to die.

Revelation 9:6 – And in those days shall men seek death and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Proverbs 18:21 states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” and this is where the devil’s “power of death” abides. All he can do on his own is lie, undermine, distort, and pervert the truth of God, and so he intentionally mishandles it by overly emphasizing certain parts, while minimizing or even outright ignoring other indispensable parts. This is known as the “Strain at a gnat, swallow a camel” religion of hypocrites. This is what leads men in way which seems right unto them, but the end is death.

Matthew 23:23 – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! for you pay tithes of mint and anise and cumin, yet you have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to have left the others undone. 24 You are blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! for you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are left full of extortion and excess. 26 You blind Pharisees, clean first that which is within the cup and platter, so that the outside of them may be clean also.

Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

The result of this kind of religion is death, but not only does it fail to reconcile men to God; it leads them further away from the truth which is meant to set them free.

Matthew 23:13  – But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men,  For neither do you go in, nor do you allow those that would go to enter therein.

Luke 11:52 – Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge and you yourselves did not enter in, and do also hinder those who would.

So is it Satan’s strategy, to try and shipwreck every Christian’s faith with false “doctrines of devils” and religious hypocrisy, or to utterly discourage them with an endless flood of false accusations and persecutions. Either way, the Christian has a war being waged against them whereby they need to guard their hearts and minds and hold fast to the truth and promises of God.

1st Timothy 1:18 – This charge I commit unto you my son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before for you, that by them you might war a good warfare; 19 Holding to faith and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.

1st Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, by giving heed to seducing spirits, and to doctrines of devils; 2 And speaking lies in hypocrisy, will thereby have their conscience seared with a hot iron.

To counter the devil’s crusade of deception, the Holy Spirit has been given to illuminate the heart of the yielded believer to God’s precious truths. Not just the written truth, but the Living Truth Himself! God came in the flesh to discredit Satan’s lies and has long since returned via His Holy Spirit to establish true faith in the heart of every believer that the divine nature of Christ might be fully formed in them.

Galatians 4:19 – My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Ephesians 4:13 – Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, even unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 14 That henceforth we should be no more children, tossed to and fro and easily carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and their cunning craftiness, whereby they do lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, you may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

2nd Thessalonians 2:13 – For we are bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2nd Peter 1:3 – According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are also given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Disproving Satan’s Lies

 We begin with the following two scriptures.

1st John 3:8 – He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Philippians 2:5 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 Who nonetheless made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, those things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Yes, it is true, the Supreme Governor of the universe made Himself lower than the angels. In that earthen vessel of flesh and blood of the man Jesus Christ dwelt “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”  It was there in that frail, humble form of humanity that the revelation of God’s eternal glory was to be unveiled, and through it His divine character to be undeniably and clearly revealed to all.

Colossians 1:12 – Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 He who is the image of the invisible God, and the firstborn of every creature: 16 by whom all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, even for Him: 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 18 For He is the head of the body, the church: and is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; 20 And thereby having made peace through the blood of His cross, that by Him, He might reconcile all things unto Himself; whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 2:9 – For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Isaiah 52:10 – The LORD made bare [and revealed] His Holy Arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

This is the mystery of godliness, that He who was once “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, descended from heaven to take upon Himself the lowly form of a man for all the nations to see. But do we truly believe this?

Isaiah 53:1 – For who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

John 12:41 – These things spoke Esaias, when he saw His glory, and testified of Him.

Think about this description Isaiah gives of the Lord Jesus Christ for a minute, how He will grow up as “a tender plant… a root out of dry ground?” What does that really mean? Many take it as a reference to the barrenness of Israel at the time of Jesus’ coming, but is that what it really speaking of? For Isaiah is not speaking of Israel in this passage, but of Jesus, for he continues his description with the comment that “when we shall see Him there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” Because of these  comments, I believe they are actually addressing the outward appearance of Jesus as a man in the eyes of others.

So, with that in mind, let us imagine that there are two identical containers in which you plant identical tomato seedlings. However, the first container you water frequently as is recommended, while the other you sporadically water only once or twice a week. The first grows as it should, strong and healthy and becomes a hardy looking tomato plant. The other however which you watered once or twice a week, still grows, but having its roots in dry soil remains a frail and tender plant. So when the two are compared side by side, the favor goes immediately to the robust plant, for the second one has no real visible potentials to compel you if you were shopping for plants to choose it over the stronger robust one. Now this my friends, is the biblical record given us of the incarnation of Christ. So let’s read it one more time.

Isaiah 53:2 – For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

This is He who once descended upon Mount Sinai with thunders, lightning, and fire with a thick cloud of darkness, and caused the whole mount to quake greatly; the same Who also came into the world as a lowly infant destined to grow up to be the polestar of all truth and the pinnacle point of all eternity for every living creature.

Luke 2:34 – And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.

The Almighty did not come with an appearance like that of King Saul, who was obviously a “choice young man” and “goodly and there was not a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders upward, he was higher than any of the people,” (I Samuel 9:2). For surely this was the kind of Christ most were looking for, and still are. But no, God took for Himself a body with “no form nor comeliness” that “when we shall see Him, there was no beauty that we should desire Him.”

God did not attempt to prove He was worthy of both men and angels’ loyalty and love, by sending Jesus into the world with a majestic appearance, unmatched beauty, possessing an intimidating physique of extraordinary might and power. No, instead, having laid all that aside, it was in a frail and uncomely body, which was beaten, whipped, spat upon, crucified and pierced body. It was through His suffering and death as a man, and that for all men, that He silently and yet openly, undeniably proved His love for us and forever settled any question of His being worthy of all glory, honor and power.

It was in this lowliness that God repudiated the lies of the devil, by taking a form lower than the angels’ and was literally birthed into the world He had made through the womb of a virgin as a child. As such, He lived a humble and godly life that would forever prove to both the angels and humanity that He was worthy of all the love and service of His creatures. As a man, Jesus by example showed men how they ought to live their lives; as everything that Jesus said and did was in full accordance with the will of His Father.

John 4:34 – Jesus said unto them, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.”

John 5:19 – Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son [in His humanity] can do nothing of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do: for what things so ever He does, these also does the Son likewise do.”

Having fully experienced the benefit of obedience through the things which He suffered; Jesus set the standard for all who would thereafter choose to live godly.

Philippians 2:8 – And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Hebrew 5:8 – Though He were a Son, He still learned obedience by the things which He suffered; 9 And being made perfect, He thereby became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.

1st Peter 2:21 – For even hereunto were you called: for as Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 He who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: 23 Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously: 24 Who in His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, showing that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.

God Will Provide Himself a Lamb

One of the greatest prophetic examples in the Old Testament, of God giving His only begotten Son for the world, is seen in God’s requiring Abraham to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt offering. For in this, and through this, we see how Abraham by faith not only understood that the promise of the inheritance was with Isaac, but how he also gained further understanding of God’s final plan to provide for Himself the perfect sacrifice for His people’s sin and redemption. For Abraham knew that if God was requiring Isaac to be slain, and his body consumed in the flames of the burnt offering, Abraham also by faith knew and fully believed that God would then have to raise Isaac from the dead again to fulfill the covenant God had made with him. So it is no wonder scripture refers to Abraham’s faith  and he being as it were a father of all them that believe.

Hebrew 11:17 – By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: for he that had received the promises obediently offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, “That in Isaac shall your seed be called.” 19 [This he did] Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence he also received him in a figure.

Romans 4:16 – Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (even as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed. Even God, who alone gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 For Abraham, contrary to hope, nevertheless in hope believed, and so by he has become the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Abraham, having been instructed by God to offer up Isaac as a burnt offering, arose early and with the help of his son Isaac and two other young men, animals were made ready and loaded with wood for the burnt offering. Then they all traveled three days to the place where God had directed Abraham. Upon their arrival, Abraham instructed the young men to wait while Isaac and he went to “worship God.” Here was the father of faith knowing the hardest task of his life was before him, and he called it “worshipping God.” Nevertheless, Abraham was settled in his heart and fully resolved to obey God and was committed to the slaying of Isaac with his own hands and to offer up his body upon the altar unto God, to be utterly consumed as a burnt offering. And with this resolve did Abraham turn to those two young men who had accompanied them, and in faith assured them that both Isaac and he would return.

Genesis 22:6 – And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to Abraham his father, “My father,” and he said, “Here am I, my son.” And he said, “Behold I see the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” So went they on, both of them together.

There in verse eight above, we see the Spirit of Prophecy resting upon Abraham bringing forth the sure word of testimony of Jesus Christ for our benefit in scripture, establishing solid foundation for our faith and assurance. Therefore, we can be confident in the New Covenant, that even as God’s word was true for Abraham and His son Isaac, that for us too has God provided “Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” for our sins also.

For not only did God provide a lamb for Isaac’s immediate redemption, in unshakable truth did He provide Himself as that Lamb which alone could take away the sin of the world. For the “mighty God, the everlasting Father”  was as a lamb brought to the slaughter as our “offering for sin,” That He might reign as our Prince of Peace. He who is the giver of all life “poured out His soul unto death.” He who is our Judge, our Lawgiver, and our King, allowed Himself to be numbered with the transgressors,” (see also Isaiah – the entire 53rd chapter).

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born. And to us is a Son given; and the government will be on His shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Philippians 2:9 – Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, both things in heaven, and things in earth, as well as things under the earth; 11 That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

By the cross it was proven that Satan had lied! For thereupon Jesus chose His battleground to “spoiled principalities and powers,” and thereupon made He a show of them openly, “triumphing over them in it,” (Colossians 2:15). For here it was for all eternity established as a polestar of truth that God was not merely doing what He wanted, or considered most pleasant, or for the honoring of Himself. For no, rather as a loving Creator and Father, here He did what was best for those He had created knowing full well the cost of their sins had to be paid if they were to be reconciled unto Him. Oh that we could only be filled with the absolute splendor of the following verses.

2nd Corinthians 5:18 – For all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 whereas God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and putting the word of reconciliation in us. 20 Therefore are we made ambassadors on behalf of Christ, and with God exhorting through us do we beseech you, be reconciled to God.

Luke 22:41 – And when He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, He prayed, 42 Saying, “Father, if You be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done.” 43 And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He prayed all the more earnestly: so that His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Romans 15:3 – For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of them that reproached You, have fallen upon Me.”

John 5:30 – Of Mine own self I can do nothing: For it is as I hear that I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which has sent Me.

Hebrews 5:7 – Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save Him from death, He was thereby heard in that He feared; 8 For though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; 9 And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.

The Almighty God did not come as an overbearing and self-serving master. No, He came as a lowly, yet loving Shepherd seeking those that were lost, and eager to lead those who would follow Him in paths of righteousness to the restoration of their souls. If all this thus far has not been sufficient to clear His glorious name, then consider the words of Jesus below.

Revelation 3:18 – I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear: Therefore, anoint your eyes with eye ointment, that you might see. 19 For as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: and if any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in unto him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. 21 For to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. 22 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches.

What do all these passages of scripture affirm? What has the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ proven? It proved God is not egotistical. It proved God, who is the source and center and  Creator of all things, is still not self-centered, even though the existence of all things is forever dependent upon Him! It proved God, whose laws are indeed in and of His own perfect and holy nature, is still both just and desirous to be merciful! It proves God is a patient, loving, and responsible Creator! Furthermore, it undeniably proves God is not only willing, but desirous to share His throne! For once again hear His promise, “For to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne.”

2nd Timothy 2:11 – It is a faithful saying: “If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him 12 If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. But if we deny Him, He will also deny us.”

Romans 8:16 – For the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.  17 And if we are His children, then we are heirs, even heirs of God, for we have been made joint heirs with Christ. For if it be so that we suffer with Him, so also will we be glorified together. 18 Therefore, I do not reckon that the sufferings of this present time are worthy to be compared with that glory which shall be revealed in us.

Can you believe this? So much for all those blasphemous lies of the devil. For by God being manifested in the flesh, the devil was openly condemned and proven a seditious liar! In light of both history and scripture, God forever has proven Himself the meekest, most thoughtful, merciful, and generous of all living beings! Eternal praise be to the glorious name of Jesus!


Luke 10:17 – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Your name.” 18 And He said unto them, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

The above verse is a very enlightening piece of scripture. By it we learn that while the disciples were away, Jesus, (who was in prayer and fasting often), “beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Now some people think Jesus literally saw Satan cast to the earth. Others believe Jesus saw this in a metaphorical sense, as a spiritual result of the seventy’s mission. However, neither of these views have any other scriptural support apart from this passage.

A third opinion, is that Jesus did indeed have a vision, but it was prophetic; meaning the event He witnessed was yet to take place. It is this view which has the most support of the scriptures. Personally, I believe it was this vision which enabled Jesus to set His face like flint toward the cross.

Isaiah 50:7 – For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore, shall I not be confounded: therefore, have I set My face like a flint, for I know that I shall not be ashamed. 8 He is near that justifies Me; therefore, who can contend with Me? Let us stand together: who is Mine adversary? let him come near to Me. 9 For behold, the Lord GOD will help Me; who is he that shall condemn Me? For lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.

According to scripture, Jesus “beheld Satan… fall,” past tense. Now admittingly, in prophetic visions it is normal to see events come to pass before the events literally happen. The books of Isaiah, Daniel, and Revelation should provide adequate proof for any skeptic of that being so. However, the most significant proof I find that this was a “prophetic vision,” and not just an “event” resulting from the disciple’s mission, comes from other statements made later on by Jesus Himself.

John 12:23 – And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it will bring forth much fruit… 27 Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, some saying that it thundered: others said, “An angel spoke to Him.” 30 But Jesus answered and said, “This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. 31 For now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me.” 33 This he said, signifying what death He should die. 34 The people answered Him, “We have heard out of the law that Christ abides forever: and how then do you say, “The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?”

John 14:28 – You have heard how I said unto you, that I go away and will come again unto you. If you love Me, you would rejoice, because I said I go unto My Father, for My Father [being omnipresent] is greater than I[as a man]. 29 And now I told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass you might believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world is coming, and has nothing in Me.

John 16:7 – 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. 8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment… 11 Of judgment because the prince of this world is judged.

In these verses Jesus referred to Satan’s fall as something about to happen, and He also stated that the prince of this world is judged. Again, all being spoken in the past tense. Note also, that it is just prior to His crucifixion that Jesus told those with Him that “NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out,” and then He further warned them that “the prince of this world is coming.” It should be evident to the reader that in these scriptures Jesus was announcing that very day, to the people there with Him, that these events were about to occur, and not events which were afar off into the future.

The time of occurrence appears to be linked with the time of Christ’s death, or as John 12:23 refers to it, the time for Jesus to be “glorified.” Jesus knew the devil “has nothing in Me,” for while He was locked in time and space by His humanity, He remained in constant subjection to His Holy Infinite Spirit. Having successfully lived as a man not governed by His flesh, it was impossible for the devil to find any place to justly accuse Him. Jesus’ secret? He committed Himself to the Spirit and kept His eyes on the joy set before Him.

Now before we start the next part, I want to return your focus to four key words we have heard which we need to remember: “Justified, glorified, judged” and “condemned.” God was “justified” and therefore “glorified.” The devil was “judged” and therefore “condemned,” both at the same time. Both by the same event; the shedding of God’s blood on Calvary!


Revelation 12:5 – And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne… 7 And there was war in heaven: as Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 but prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, even Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice you heavens and you that dwell in them.

Here we are told of an awesome war which occurred in heaven, a war which many, (for what reason I do not know nor understand), believe has yet to take place. But in light of what we have heard from the words of Jesus prior to His going to the cross, and what we read in this passage in Revelation, “her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne… And there was war in heaven,” it seems evident therefore that this war occurred either at Christ’s death on the cross, His resurrection, or perhaps maybe as late as the time of His ascension from the mount. However, I am most inclined to believe it was most probably at the time of His completed work on the cross, when He stated, “It is finished.”

John 19:28 – …Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.” 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar and they filled a sponge with vinegar and put it upon hyssop, and raised it up to His mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished,” and bowed his head and gave up the ghost.

Colossians 2:13 – And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all your trespasses. 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, by nailing it to His cross, 15 For having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly and triumphed over them upon the cross.

Now I would like to remind you that Jesus gave the first proof of His divine ministry at a wedding which He and His disciples were invited to, with the miracle of His turning water into wine. For if you recall, at this wedding there were six vessels of stone which held water, which were there solely because of the Jews vain religious tradition whereby they would not eat unless they had first washed their hands. And yet, it was these very vessels, being filled up by the servants with clean water, that Jesus used and turned the water therein into wine, and it was “good wine.” Can anyone readily see a sermon in that alone already?

 Now, in doing so, having replaced the water with wine, Jesus had literally removed this vain work of purification from the wedding and replaced it with what would become symbolic to His followers of that which alone could purify men from their sins, His blood. (And never forget, it is still all about The Wedding.) Yet here at the end of His earthly ministry we see men giving to Him vinegar to drink just before He says, “It is finished.” But do you not know that the consequence of neglected wine is that it turns to vinegar? Thus, their actions were a testimony against them, that they wanted nothing to do with Jesus or His Gospel. As Isaiah foretold, He was despised and rejected of men and considered accursed of God by them.

But through it all, the faithful angels having “seen” the life and death of Christ were now fully persuaded that God was deserving of all their love and service. United and energized, they fought against Satan and forever expelled him and his angels from heaven. Yet, not only did the holy angels fight for God, they fought for God’s people as well; and they continue to minister to the saints according to God’s will. Satan can no longer come before the throne of God and hurl his blasphemous accusations. He and his lies had been put to an open shame at the cross, (Colossians 2:14 & 15). God’s victory could not be hidden or denied. For by this pinnacle event of all eternity, God “made peace through the blood of His cross… to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven,” (Colossians 2:12 thru 20).

But what does God’s word say now to those on earth? “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth… for the devil is come unto you having great wrath, for he knows that he has but a short time,” (Revelation 12:12). Having been exposed and humiliated by his defeat, Satan knows that his days are numbered. Therefore, he seeks to do as much damage through his deceit as he continues to “cast out of his mouth water as a flood” of false teachings, attacking the woman representing the church, “that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood,” (Revelation 12:16). This is evident in the Apostle Paul’s statement to the Galatians, “I marvel that you are so soon removed” and easily carried way “from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed,” (Galatians 1:6 thru 8).

The devil has a foaming hatred and raging wrath towards all humanity, but especially so against Israel and the Church. Ultimately, because man is created in the image of God, who He proved His love for man via the work of the cross. Therefore, the devil’s only avenue of vengeance toward God is his constant cunning pursuit for any opportunity to turn man against man in hatred for each other as he attempts to deceive, persecute, and destroy the Body of Christ. He knows he can’t defeat God, for he was literally cast out of heaven and knows his time is short. Therefore, ever since then his wrath has been constantly demonstrated against the church and Israel as his only means of retaliation against God.

But never let us succumb to fearing this fallen adversary, rather let us trust and fear God and give Him all glory. For just as there was no uncertainty among the heavenly angels, neither should there be among the people of God. Otherwise, as the devil and his angels were cast out for their sins and unbelief, we too should receive like condemnation.

Hebrews 4:1 – Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as it was unto them. But the word preached did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Rather, just as the holy angels fought whole heartedly for God and overcame him by witnessing the shed blood of the Lamb and hearing the word of His testimony, so let us too be brave, be strong, have faith and live like saints of the living God!

1st Corinthians 16:13 – Watch you and stand fast in the faith, be you like men, be strong.

Hebrews 12:12 – Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but rather let it be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. 15 Watching diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God an any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, for many thereby are defiled.

Since the fall of the once anointed cherub Lucifer, “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent, [or the determined must] take it by force,” for the devil will oppose to the end all who would strive to enter in, (Matthew 11:12). Never forget, just as the angels and saints of old overcame, so can every true believer today!

It is to our shame that it is so hard for us to endure momentary hardships and to resist our temptations. Especially when God has promised no temptation would be so great that we could not overcome it, nor will He fail to give us a way to escape it. We must  esteem the “reproaches of Christ greater riches” than all the riches of the world, and rejoice, counting it all joy when we are considered worthy to suffer for His name. But do we?

 Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Come on fellow saints, you redeemed of the Lord! Let us pick up our crosses and follow the Captain of our Salvation. For unlike Jesus, we deserve our crosses, and without Him your cross would be only your just reward and shame. But now, even today, your cross can be a witness of your love and a testimony to His glory! Set your heart to do that which He has promised you can and must do, and be strong in the Lord and rise up and “overcome the wicked one by the blood of the Lamb” and the word of your testimony. Pick up your cross and follow Him! For worthy is the Lamb which was slain to receive glory and honor and power!

1st John 5:20 – For we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Live for Jesus Christ the King! For it will make it easier for you to die for Him!


Awake, you sleeper! Awake! Arise and make yourself ready! It’s time to put aside those childish pursuits and your endless musing with vanities.  Awake, I say! Do you not realize the time in which you are privileged to live? Now more than ever can the sound of the bridegroom’s coming be heard. Surely, He is drawing near. The need to purify yourself has grown greater, for the time allotted has grown shorter. The dark of night has already conquered the eastern horizon as the sun glow fades in the west. The King had long ago sent out His invitation, in which He proclaims to all, “COME!” Yes, come, and do make haste! Do you not know that if you refuse to comply with the King that His anger will be kindled against you? Yet in His patience and longsuffering He still says, “Come! Come to the greatest of all feasts!  Where there is food, wine, and much song and dance. Joyful dance to celebrate the wedding of all weddings. Come and attend My wedding, come and be part of My bride.” The Bridegroom has long been ready, yet He has patiently waited. He has waited for you!  Arise therefore you sleeper! So much remains for you to do. TODAY you must prepare. So set aside your complacency and strive to mature!  Strive to increase your knowledge and grow in your understanding so you might be completely resolved to live your life solely for the King of kings!  Rise up now and cast out reservation and hesitation, these are evil foes that have hindered and killed countless before you. Arise! Answer His call! It is your only reasonable response . . .

“Awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead, for Christ shall give you light. Awake to righteousness and sin not. For some [of you] have not the [intimate] knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” 

(Eph. 6:14, I Cor. 15:34)

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