Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

  • UnderGroundChurch

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 17 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘will of God’

Day 8: What does God Want Out of You?

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 8, 2011


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Every word in these verses completely reflects the thoughts of God except one… “Require”.

The word require in our language really fails to convey the intent of this thought.  The Hebrew word used here translates to “seek out”.  It literally means “to thresh out” or “trample with the feet”. This word shows just how to examine or study something out.  Why the big deal?

If God simply required something of you, it would mean that “you better do it first and then He will accept you.”  Instead, God uses the word that brings the thought “to chase after”. The word occurs twice in 1 Chronicles 16:11 where he says of us, “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek the Lord continually”.

So how does this apply? God seeks in you continually to find these qualities.  He won’t leave you alone to find them on your own, but participates in building them in you if you open yourself to His Spirit.

God want to bring out of you…

What is Good?

Remember Jesus said that no one is good except God (Mark 10:18). Only a Good God can make you good.

To act justly

God’s shows little tolerance for injustice.  He is just, and brings the best means for you to become a just person and in the process, act justly toward others.

Love Mercy

A person who loves mercy seeks to apply mercy wherever possible.  If you don’t love mercy, you tend to only show it when it benefits you, or you show it only after the person needing mercy is beaten down. Mercy needs to come early, even before the suffering begins, and only a heart of mercy, the kind that God has, works.

Walk Humbly before God

If you could obtain all these things God seeks in you without God, you would no longer be humble.  Humility recognizes your inability to do it and yields to the work of God in your life.

 

Advertisements

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lamps and Lights

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 17, 2010


“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”- Psalm 119:105

There are two principles at work here – lamps and lights.

The lamp in those days was not much more than a strong candle.  One candle-power isn’t much light and can only light a very small area – most notably, around your feet.

The light to the path is a whole different aspect of light.  This light is stronger and can illuminate much further ahead. It could have the power of several hundred lamps like a torch or bonfire.

So what does this mean?

The Lamp

The lamp aspect of the Word deals with your circumstances right now.  What are you going through? What challenges are you facing? What temptation besets you? What attack is the enemy using? How do you deal with the immediate situation?

The Word of God is a quick and powerful tool that the Spirit of God can use in your life for strength to face any and all situations that hit you. To access this tool you need to have it handy – e.g. hide it in your heart, memorize it in your head and/or keep it in your pocket.

Light

The Light to the Path aspect of the Word mean that the Word of God is laid out in a way to help you avoid pitfalls in the first place. God built into the Scriptures hundreds of life examples of how to and how not to walk.  If your path is well lit, then you can more confidently walk by the light. The more light, the more confident.

To light your path, you need to daily invest in the Word through reading and meditating on it.

Summary

So the Lamp of the Word is for right now, and the Light of the Word is to prepare you for what’s ahead giving you a chance to deal with it or avoid it all together.

Posted in Bible Study | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Source of Our Dilemma

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 22, 2010


“Original Sin”, some call it “Ancestral Sin“, is a more pervasive dilemma to our current state than we might even fathom.

Original Sin, as understood for this article, is the sin seed that is passed on to every human because of the original sin committed by Adam in the Garden.

Original Sin effects us today because there are multiple components to it…

Original Sin is about Love

The point of God planting a tree in the middle of the Garden then telling Adam not to eat from it was not to tempt Adam, but to see if Adam would choose to love God or love himself.  When Adam sinned, it separated him and us from the direct connection with God.  Remember that God walked with Adam in the garden, something God has not been able to do since Adam sinned.

The most powerful words God ever utters in the Bible are the ones He says right after he says the word, “Now” as in Revelation 21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

This event takes place after everything is made new.  God is looking forward to the day when He can once again “walk with man in the garden” as it were.

It is all about Love because God reached out to us when we couldn’t reach out to him. (c.f. John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

Original Sin is about Penalty

We are still paying the price for the sin Adam committed that fateful day.

Penalty of Death

  • God told Adam, “In the day you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17)
  • All have sinned, and the wages of that sin is still death (Romans 3:23, 6:23)

Every time someone dies, we are reminded of Adam’s original sin. If Adam’s sin only applied to him, we wouldn’t have death, sickness and sin in the world today.

Penalty of Pain in Childbirth

Every time a woman gives birth naturally, she is paying a price for Eve because she listened to the serpent and not her husband. (See Accountability and Original Sin below)

Other creatures in God’s kingdom don’t go through the pain of birth that humans do; ever heard a dog or cat scream like a human?

Penalty of Snakes

Part of the curse is the form of the snake, which crawls on its belly.  Each time I see one, I am reminded of the curse. (Genesis 3)

Penalty of Thorns and Thistles

Ever been scratched by a thorn? Or have to pull a weed out of the garden? Thank Adam.

Penalty of Gardening

Yep, gardening is a result of the curse.  Makes you wonder how it was before Adam sinned. (Genesis 3) God was going to provide all our food.

Original Sin is about Accountability

Genesis 3 tells us what went down.

Eve ate of the tree first; Adam, who was with her, but didn’t speak up during the entire event, ate it once she gave it to him.

However, you have to go back a chapter to see the setup.  You see…

  1. Adam was created first
  2. God then planted the tree in the Garden.
  3. God tells Adam that if he eats from it, he will die.
  4. Later, God creates the woman from the man’s side.

In chapter 3, we see the man and woman at the tree, she is telling the talking serpent (which should have been a clue) that if they ate from it OR TOUCHED IT they would die.

How did she know about eating it, and where did she get the extra restriction?

We have here the first case of legalism in the Bible, which always adds to God’s word.  God said Adam would die if he ate it; Eve added (probably because Adam told her) that if they touched it, they would die. She ate it first (eyes were not open), and then Adam ate it (eyes were opened to their nakedness after this).

SPECIAL NOTE: The extra rule didn’t help them abide by the command God gave them. (Legalism doesn’t help you be a better Christian.)

The problem in the story is that God told Adam the rule, and Adam told his wife the rules, but Adam did not defend God’s word, nor his wife as she was talking to the serpent.

It was not her fault, it was Adam’s!

Had Eve eaten, and Adam not, there would be no sin today because she was not responsible to God. Adam should have been the one talking to the serpent and saying something like, “Get thee behind me Satan!” He was her covering, and he failed her.

Accountability and the Original Sin Seed

The Original Sin seed does not pass through the woman, it passes through the man because of accountability.  Adam was accountable to God, Eve was accountable to Adam (God never told Eve the rules, that was Adam’s job).

Jesus could only be born as a human, not because Mary was “immaculately conceived”, but because she was a woman and there was no man involved in conceiving Jesus.

The promise was to Eve that the savior would come…

And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

Men and woman are equal in every way relationally with God except one, accountability. Eve was cursed because she was deceived, and did not listening to her husband, but we have sin in the world because the man of the house refused to be the man of the house. (c.f. 1 Timothy 2:14)

Original Sin is about Redemption

Paul states that through one man, Adam, sin and death entered the world (Romans 5:12-21). It is through one man with no Original Sin seed connection through man to Adam that sin is broken  and we can live. Our only hope is in the “Son of God” who became the “Son of Man” without losing his claim as “Son of God”.

His Father is God, born of a woman, which allows him to be fully man and fully God and gives us hope that the power of sin and death is broken for those that receive the gift of life. This only comes through the power of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Posted in Genesis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Defend the Gospel

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 4, 2010


NOTE: This article contains strategies for believers and is not intended for those of you that do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ because it contains strategic information (trade secrets).  If  you wish to establish a relationship with Jesus prior to reading this article, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to talk with you. Then you can read the article and get more out of it.

Call me a pacifist, if you will, but I do believe that there is a right and a wrong way in which believers defend the good news (a.k.a. the Gospel) of Jesus Christ and that for the most part, we get it wrong.

Do our methods hinder the message?

Personally, I am appalled at the way the world treats the God who came and died in their place, took on their guilt and shame, and made a way back to himself.  I mean, what did Jesus ever do to deserve the bad rap He gets from unbelievers?

The answer to that question may lie more with His followers more than in His own life.  While it is true that Jesus saidthe world would hate us because of him, we aren’t making that attitude any better with our public pulpit indiscretions, our internal disputes played out on the world’s stage where we are mocked, our church splits, and even how poorly we drive when we cut off another driver while we flash our “I love Jesus” bumper sticker.

We can learn from Paul in Philippians 1:7 that there are three basic ways to reflect the good news: in chains, defending and confirming.   We spend a lot of time on the second, and not much on the other two.

In Chains or In Battle

What does it mean to be in chains for the Gospel?  And more importantly, what does that look  like in America?

Paul represented this aspect of his testimony by being shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned and stoned all of which only reflected Jesus attitude on the Cross when he forgave his killers while they were killing him.  This is a lost art with the Christian world in America.  There is a proverb that reads, “in doing so (being nice), you will heap burning coals upon their head”.  Our tactic tends to display defensive aggression and not much offensive conversion.

We followers of Jesus need to follow Jesus.  We need to understand that the world is lost and they don’t need to Adopt godly standards, they Need God.

I was reading an article about an artist showing his “art” where he depicted Jesus in, shall we say, non-biblical ways.  Now here is the question for all the believers reading this article; how should followers of Jesus respond?

A) We can respond the way the Christians are reported on in the article and protest.  What does this do though to the witness for Jesus? If we get them to take it down, then what? Do people come to Christ because the art is not longer there?

B) We use the opportunity to show people what Jesus was really like. Oh, you might need to turn the other cheek, but in so doing, you may make them look away long enough to show them a better way.

What is the intent of our defense?

I guess it comes down to this.  We can make noise and protest the world’s…. uh, worldliness. In so doing, we might even change the look of things… less strip clubs, less bars, less cheesy art exhibits, but are people coming to Christ, or have we just won moral victory that makes us feel better, but really does nothing for the advancement of the Gospel?

I’m not saying that we should just let the world do their thing and build strip clubs on every corner.  We have an American right to live in a place that reflects morals (Constitutionally backed), but the dilemma we face is that moral legislation, moral victories, moral indignation, does not bring people to Christ.  Sometimes, we need to put on the chains for Christ in order to set people free. Through our chains, we confirm Jesus’ good news.

What does our testimony reflect?

Is our testimony to the world reflecting Christ or leaving a bitter taste that becomes a stumbling block to the message?When they think about the church of Jesus, what image comes to their mind?  Is it the image of a group of zealots that want to change their laws and restrict their freedoms?  Is it a group of holier-than-thou people that live paradoxical lives?  Is it a church that burns books from other religions, protests funerals of soldiers or removes evolution from text books in public schools?

Or… should it be the image of a church that first and foremost ministers to widows and orphans and feeds the hungry, helps the needy?  Is it an image of a church that has hope for eternity and knows where they are going and knows how to show them the way?  Is it an image of a church that spends less money on their buildings, parking lots, sound systems and salaries than they do on their outreach to communities through helping others and ministering Christ to a lost and dying people?

The Calling

As a church, we are called to take on the image of Christ and to reflect Christ to each other and to the world.  When we defend the good news He brought us through the cross, does our defense become an offense to those that need to know the news?

A lost world is lost and trying to find their way in darkness.  By default, they are going to do things that repulse believers. It is the nature of the world.

We carry the light of Jesus Christ and have to use that light to bring people to Christ FIRST. If we change the heart, we change the world.

Posted in The Church | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wisdom from Mistakes

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 16, 2010


Tests aren’t my strong suit, mainly cause I over think them.  However, one thing is constant with me and tests… I learn more from what I get wrong than what I get right.

Yep… it’s that nagging feeling that comes from the frustration of getting a question wrong that brings out a standard response that goes something like this…

  1. The test must be wrong
  2. I know I studied that
  3. I misread the question
  4. Oh, that’s what they meant
  5. OK… I will concede

Because I put so much effort in fighting the fact that I got it wrong, the right answer has somehow embedded itself in my gray matter, so in the end, I learn more from what I got wrong than the questions I got right.

My life is like that in general…. but that is for another blog… or an autobiography

Biblical Application

When I read Corinthians, I get that same feeling.  Yes, the church at Corinth had problems, but we have what I believe is the most practical letter from Paul about how church should operate because that one church had such problems.

We can learn a plethora of good “church tips” from Paul’s corrective instruction.  

  • All those gifts are given for the church’s benefit
  • The most gifted church is nothing without love
  • Just how do we facilitate a healthy atmosphere for correction in the church
  • What should be done about those living in sin in the church
  • The church is all about unity in Christ
  • Can we be Christians and live like the world
  • How do we deal with freedom
  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the church
  • How can we obtain balance between order and spirit leading
  • What is our ministry
  • What is our treasure
  • And so much more

So much good comes from so many mistakes.  When you make mistakes, you have two choices

  1. Let the mistake lead you into more mistakes and eventually down the road of despair
  2. Learn from the mistake, and use that knowledge to gain wisdom

I choose the latter.

Posted in Quick Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

12 Days of Christmas Correction – Why a Virgin

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 20, 2009


The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – Matthew 1:23

Why a virgin?  Why did God choose this method to bring Christ into the world.  After all, He is God.  He could chose to just make Jesus appear on earth without any mother or father.  Why did God choose this particular approach.

The virgin birth is a core element to Jesus birth for many reasons, and I’d like to show you some reasons you may know and others you may not have thought about.

It is Miraculous

OK, this is a cop out, but yes, being born of a virgin is quite a miracle in and of itself.  It takes two (male and female) to make one person, so by only having a human female bear a child without the human male interaction would be quite the testimony.

It was Prophecied

The verse quoted above in Matthew 1 came from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14).  By some accounts there are over 300 prophecies in Scripture about Jesus.  Everything from his birth, to his ministry, to his preaching style to his death and victory over sin is prophecied about.  Many of these prophecies are what I call “passive” prophecies, which means that you couldn’t make them come true if you tried because it takes outside forces to cause you to fulfill them.

For example, Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem.  Jesus could only fulfill this prophecy on purpose if he were God before he was born.  He couldn’t just tell his mom and dad from the womb, “Hey, I need to be born in Bethlehem so that I can fulfill a prophecy.” They had to make the decision that affected Jesus – a passive prophecy would be fulfilled.

One odds maker took 8 prophecies about Jesus birth and ran the numbers on these passive prophecies.  To have just 8 fulfilled by one person would be one in 1 x 10 to the 17th power.  or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.  You have better odds winning the lottery one million times in your lifetime than Jesus fulfilling 8 prophecies. That’s not only an amazing example of the power of prophecy, but quite miraculous too.

It Made God Human

Jesus is the Word of God (John 1).  He is God and yet he would have to become man to dwell among us (this the Imannuel effect – Click here to read my book on this subject). To become human, God had to be born of woman, and since men can’t give birth, this was the obvious method of introducing Jesus to humanity. The Holy Spirit became the Father of the Son of God the Father (I know, it’s confusing). And in so doing, Jesus became fully man and yet was fully God.

In Order to be Born Sinless

This is probably the biggest reason of all. Any person born of a man and woman are born into sin, and could never be the sacrificial lamb of God needed to cover the sin of all mankind.  There is a reason for this, and it goes back to the Garden of Eden.

When Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6,7) her eyes were not opened to the sin she had committed.  It was only when Adam ate the fruit that their eyes were opened.  This is because God told Adam before Eve was created not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It was Adams responsibility to tell his wife, Eve.  He was the only one accountable to God for the rule.

He stood there next to his wife as she ate the fruit.  He then followed her lead.  This is backwards from God’s plan of accountability, and sin entered the world when he failed in his responsibility.

Had Eve eaten the fruit, and Adam not eaten, there would be no sin in the world because the sin seed does not pass through the woman… it passes through man because he is the one responsible to God (this is a huge subject in the discussion of marriage responsibilities).

Notice the promise given to Eve through the curse pronounced on Satan,

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

The redeemer would be in the offspring (literally, “seed”) of the woman.  This is the only mention of a “seed of a woman” anywhere in the ancient world.  Men were the seed spreaders.  It almost didn’t make sense, but the women understood one thing.  One day, a redeemer would be born of a woman that would crush the head of the serpent.

Every woman in the ancient world strove to have children partly because of this promise.  It was a curse not to have children.  They all hoped to be the mother, grandmother, great-grandmother of the redeemer, and man was to be left out of the loop.

Was Mary sinless?

The Catholic Church has tried to cover the loophole of God being born of a sinful woman by saying the Mary was ‘immaculately conceived”.  In other words, she was without original sin. This was put forth in 1854 by Pius IX and based on other Catholic traditions.  There is no Scriptural basis for this unless you first draw the conclusion that Mary was sinless and then read the passage in Luke 1:28, “Hail, Mary, full of grace”, which has become a core prayer of the Catholic Church.

Mary was favored, yes, but the favor was to be hers because she would bear the Son of God. God didn’t need her sinless first, because the sin seed, though present in her, was not passed by her if the human seed was not present. She even calls Jesus her “savior” in the prayer she prays. (Luke 1:47)

All of this was part of the plan God laid out before the foundations of the world.  God was not caught off guard, but knew what needed to be done, built the framework to make it happen and then when the time was right, entered this world fully God and fully man to crush the head of the serpent, Satan, and set up his kingdom forever and ever.

Posted in Christmas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

12 Days of Christmas Correction – The Real Story

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 7, 2009


Many of the traditions and teachings about Christmas are not so much Biblically based as traditionally driven.  Over the past few posts, we have looked at a few:

  • The wise men weren’t even there
  • The wise men weren’t kings
  • There weren’t just three wise men
  • They brought more than little trinkets of gold and spices
  • They wise men visited Jesus in a house up to two years after the birth
  • The angels didn’t sing – they spoke
  • Jesus probably wasn’t silent – he was a baby after all
  • Jesus was probably not in a manger, but more likely in the hay next to his mother in the stall
  • The stable was a cave

And to be honest, I could look at many others…

  • The Inn was probably a house, not a hotel
  • The manger was probably not wooden but stone
  • Jesus wasn’t born on his birthday – December 25th
  • Mary didn’t ride a donkey, but was probably pulled in a cart… after all, she was 9 months pregnant
  • And even the star brings up an interesting debate… (there was a star, we know that, but what exactly was it?)

But the fact remains that when all the fluff is pulled away, there are some very potent truths to Christmas that make it a very powerful day.

First, Jesus birth announcement was given to men who watched sheep at night… They probably weren’t even the main shepherds, because it was the third shift (you know, union rules).  Of all the people in the world, why shepherds?

Jesus would become the good shepherd… and the Good Shepherd would lay his life down for his sheep.  This symbolism runs very strong throughout Jesus life and ministry.

Second, Jesus is born in a stable.  Of all the places for the King of kings to be born, why a stable?  Where were the palace servants?  Where were the nurses and doctors?

He does not receive what he deserves because he is humbly coming as a servant that will eventually die a criminal’s death through false accusations. His humble beginnings and undignified death bracket a mere 3 years of ministry and changed the world.

He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3).

Third, even his conception was scandalous.  Mary became pregnant out of wedlock. Joseph took her to be his wife, but anybody around Jesus could see because of the timing of the birth and the wedding date that Jesus was a bastard child and because of the culture, lived as a social outcast.

He was despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3).

Finally, through his lowly beginnings, it would be 30 years before God would bring Him through the wilderness to begin the final stage of his journey which would be marred by  rejection, pain, suffering and finally death.

Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)

His birth gave God a new label – Suffering servant. That humble birth brought upon our savior 33 years of undeserved rejection only so that we might be received by God.  What an awesome savior!

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Posted in Christmas | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Predestination: Showing Love

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 15, 2009


When you try to figure out God, you will quickly discover that you are inadequately equipped to see things from his perspective.  Of course He is everywhere, all powerful and all knowing, yet he seemingly give us free reign to make choices that affect our lives.   How does God who knows all give us free choice?

I want to throw my two cents in on this never-ending question and look at two things – Why He does it and How it works.

I see the “why” as the easy answer… Love.  Actually, unlike most things, this love is not only about God’s love for us, but our love for Him.  Let me explain.

Choosing Love

Love can only be love if the choice not to love exists.  How do you know if someone loves you if they never have the option to walk away?  And without this critical choice, how are you sure your love is strong?

God knows your level of love without this process, but you don’t.  Temptations, options and opportunities create environments where we can put our love to the test.  We learn more about our condition when we are confronted with choices and can learn where we need improvements.

God showed this love to us in the garden through Jesus’ prayer:

Abba, Father”everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. – Mark 14:36

Jesus made a choice that day to love His Father through obedience.  In so doing, the Father showed His love toward us (c.f. 1 John 1:4-9)

Posted in Godhead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

100 Biblical Commands from the Mouth of Jesus

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 11, 2009


I quickly went through the New Testament and wrote out the 100 commands given by Jesus himself.    I define a command as a sentence that begins with an action word (e.g. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”).   I try not to repeat commands or list commands given for a specific reason to an individual that doesn’t generally apply to us today (e.g. “Go!”, said to the demons in the possessed man of Matthew 8). Enjoy and feel free to comment on any left out.

By the way, as you read it, imagine that He is saying these things directly to you… kinda humbling.aslan

  1. Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. – Matthew 4:10
  2. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. – Matthew 4:17
  3. Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men – Matthew 4:19
  4. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (when people persecute you for Jesus sake) – Matthew 5:12
  5. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16
  6. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (in regard to worshiping God) – Matthew 5:23
  7. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. – Matthew 5:25
  8. Gouge it out and throw it away (if your eye causes you to sin) – Matthew 5:29
  9. Cut it off and throw it away (if you hand causes you to sin) – Matthew 5:30
  10. Do not swear at all (in making oaths) – Matthew 5:34
  11. Do not resist an evil person. – Matthew 5:39
  12. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. – Matthew 5:42
  13. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – Matthew 5:44
  14. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:48
  15. Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them – Matthew 6:1
  16. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (when giving) – Matthew 6:3
  17. Go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen (when you pray, not being like the hypocrites that make a big deal out of praying) – Matthew 6:6
  18. Do not look somber as the hypocrites do… put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting –  Matthew 6:17,18
  19. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth – Matthew 6:19
  20. Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven – Matthew 6:20
  21. Do not worry about your life – Matthew 6:25
  22. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33
  23. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. – Matthew 6:34
  24. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. – Matthew 7:1
  25. First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  – Matthew 7:4
  26. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. – Matthew 7:6
  27. Ask and it will be given to you; – Matthew 7:7
  28. seek and you will find; – Matthew 7:7
  29. knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7
  30. Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets – Matthew 7:12
  31. Enter through the narrow gate. – Matthew 7:13
  32. Watch out for false prophets. –  Matthew 7:15
  33. Go! It will be done just as you believed it would. (To the centurion because of his faith)- Matthew 8:13
  34. Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead. – Matthew 8:22
  35. Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven. – Matthew 9:2
  36. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. – Matthew 9:38
  37. Be on your guard against men – Matthew 10:17
  38. Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. (when you are arrested) – Matthew 10:19
  39. Do not be afraid of them (those that persecute you) – Matthew 10:26
  40. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28
  41. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.- Matthew 11:28,29
  42. Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. (to the disciples in the boat)- Matthew 14:27
  43. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. – Matthew 16:5
  44. Get behind me, Satan! –  Matthew 16:23
  45. Go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you (if your brother sins against you) – Matthew 18:15
  46. Take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (If your brother that sins against you does not repent) – Matthew 18:16
  47. Tell it to the church – (If your brother that sins against you still doesn’t repent) – Matthew 18:17
  48. Treat him as a pagan – (If your brother still refuses to repent) – Matthew 18:17
  49. Seventy-seven times (number of times in a day you should forgive someone) –  Matthew 18:22
  50. Let man not separate. (What God has brought together in marriage) – Matthew 19:6
  51. Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. – Matthew 19:14
  52. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. (on giving) – Matthew 22:21
  53. You are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. – Matthew 23:8
  54. Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. – Matthew 24:4,5
  55. learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. (being aware of the end times) – Matthew 24:32,33
  56. Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. – Matthew 24:42
  57. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. – Matthew 26:40
  58. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. – Matthew 28:19
  59. Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. – Mark 6:31
  60. Listen to him! (God speaking to the disciples about Jesus) – Mark 9:7
  61. Have faith in God – Mark 11:22
  62. Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:15
  63. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you – Luke 6:28
  64. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful – Luke 6:36
  65. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned – Luke 6:37
  66. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37
  67. Give, and it will be given to you. – Luke 6:38
  68. Peace be with you. – Luke 24:36
  69. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. – John 5:14
  70. Stop grumbling among yourselves – John 6:43
  71. Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. – John 7:24
  72. Go now and leave your life of sin. – John 8:11
  73. Take away the stone. – John 11:38
  74. Leave her alone – John 12:7
  75. Father, glorify your name! – John 12:28
  76. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light. – John 12:36
  77. What you are about to do, do quickly – John 13:27
  78. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34
  79. Do not let your hearts be troubled. – John 14:1
  80. Trust in God; – John 14:1
  81. trust also in me. – John 14:1
  82. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me – John 14:11
  83. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. – John 15:4
  84. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. – John 16:24
  85. Receive the Holy Spirit. – John 20:22
  86. Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. – John 21:6
  87. Feed my lambs – John 21:15
  88. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. – Acts 1:4
  89. Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. – Revelation 1:11
  90. Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. – Revelation 1:17
  91. Remember the height from which you have fallen! –  Revelation 2:5
  92. Repent and do the things you did at first. – Revelation 2:5
  93. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. – Revelation 2:10
  94. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. – Revelation 2:10
  95. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. – Revelation 2:16
  96. Wake up! – Revelation 3:2
  97. Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. – Revelation 3:2
  98. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. – Revelation 3:18
  99. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 3:22
  100. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. – Revelation 22:20

Posted in Jesus | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

About Hell: The World of the Dead

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 2, 2009


Hell Defined

The term “hell” evokes images of a burning lake of fire, smoke and eternal torment, and while these are true, the use of the term distorts the complete biblical description of hell.  The term itself comes from Anglo-Saxon and German roots and simply meant “underworld”.  Unfortunately for the English reader, the term often hides the original Greek and Hebrew words used in the Bible, so it becomes easy for the reader to get a distorted understanding.   It is important to look at the Hebrew or Greek word being used and the context in which it is used to get a more clear understanding.

The Introduction of Death

The world of the dead actually changes at least three times in the Bible, and each change comes from a key event that occurs between man and God.

The first change occurs in the garden east in Eden.  God tells Adam that if he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will die.  Death is first introduced here.

God originally intended that man would never die.  Death was not part of God’s “perfect” original plan.  We introduced it into our own lives through disobedience to God.  But now that man could die, he had to have a destination.  God told Adam that he was created from dust and so dust would be where he would return (Genesis 3:19).

Though the body dies and its molecules are spread throughout the earth, the spirit lives on, and so would need an eternal home.  Heaven was the first thing God created (Genesis 1:1), but was there another place?  Is heaven the only place for the souls of the dead to dwell eternally?

Strangely enough, heaven is not an Old Testament teaching of man’s eternal home.  Only two people were possibly caught up to be with God in heaven, and for the record, neither one of them died – Enoch and Elijah. The rest had a destination, but it isn’t where you might think.

The Land of the Dead: Adam to Jesus

The Old Testament does not really talk about “hell” in the manner most of us understand.  It speaks of a place called Sheol a bi-level subterranean cavity where the dead would go.  Sheol’s unique layout allowed for both the righteous and the wicked a place to go once they died.  Most writers understood that sheol was their resting place after death, and they knew that God would not leave them there (c.f. Psalm 16:10, Psalm 49:15).  A deep portion or “pit” (c.f. Psalm 30:3) existed for the wicked while sheol in general was for the righteous.

God didn’t created sheol or hell after the fall of man; it must have been a part of the original creation and most likely was not intended for man’s eternal abode anymore than heaven was intended for man’s eternal abode since the earth itself was made for him. So, technically speaking, both heaven and hell (as you may understand it) up to the time of Jesus were pretty much void of humans, sheol on the other hand, contained every human that ever died.

However, It was Jesus himself that gave us the best understanding of this place called sheol in the Hebrew and Hades in the Greek.

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” – Luke 16:19ff

Jesus describes the land of the dead as a place that consists of a peaceful side and a place of fire and torment with a huge chasm that separated them.   They could even see each other and even speak to each other across the chasm.

Sheol or Hades is finally described just before Jesus dies on the Cross.  However, the death of Jesus would bring about a second change in the man’s destination in the afterlife.

Land of the Dead: Jesus to the Second Coming

Up until the death of Jesus, people were saved through the sacrifice of bulls and goats, but this sacrifice was not enough to take care of the original seed of sin within man.  Only through the death of Jesus would the payment be possible for every person to actually live with God.  Hades would not be the same once Jesus died.  Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:8-10 that Jesus went down to the depths of the earth and led captivity out.  He took those that we with Abraham in the “paradise” side of hades to heaven because only through the blood of His death could there be a reconciliation to God.

Those on the torment side of hades remained there and are still there to this day.  When you die now, your temporary destination is either heaven or hades’ bad side and it all hinges on your relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

A final configuration of the world of the dead will take place in the near future and the Bible once again shows how it’s going to unfold.

Land of the Dead: At the End of Time

There are two other terms in the New Testament translated as “hell” besides hades – tartarous and ghenna.

Tartarous is the place where the angels that sinned are kept in chains (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6).  This place only contains the wicked angels that fell with Satan and/or the ones that mated with human women prior to the flood (c.f. Genesis 6:2).  Either way, it is a very deep part of “hell” and only contains angels.

The second word is the one we understand as the true “hell”.  Ghenna, which is defined as the second death (Revelation 20:14)… the lake of fire, where the worm does not die and the torment is eternal.

Nobody occupies ghenna yet.  In fact, the first inhabitants will be the antichrist and the false prophet (Revelation 19:20) After this, Satan is bound and thrown into Tartarous with the rest of the sinning angels.

About a 1000 years after the antichrist and prophet are cast into ghenna, Satan is release from tartarous and tries to battle God where he is quickly caught and thrown into ghenna.  The remaining people are judged and all those in Hades are brought before God. Anyone whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is thrown into ghenna.  Therefore, Hades is emptied of the remaining people and ghenna is filled. (Revelation 20)

The final phase is for God to destroy heaven and earth and rebuild them both.  He then empties heaven of its human inhabitants, places them in the New Jerusalem, which he prepared for them and places it earth along with the believers where they will live with God for eternity.

So in the end, all is as God originally intended.  God is with man on earth as he was with Adam in the Garden, Satan is defeated and sin is no more.

Posted in Heaven and Hell | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »