Picture a battle being fought. Your army is out there fighting a battle with the enemy. The enemy is trying to destroy your city and take you, your family and loved ones into bondage and take your goods. It's an all or none situation. You are anxiously waiting for news from the battle front along with many others.
Then you see a runner. He's fast approaching the city. He's carrying a message in an envelope. The city leader meets him at the gate. He tears open the envelope and removes its contents as the people mill around him. Excitedly, he holds up the paper for all to see. It says in big letters: Good News! The battle has been won!
We are caught in a battle between the forces of the good and evil. On the side of good is our Creator God (Yahweh or Jehovah), His Son Jesus Christ, and the angels that remained loyal to them. On the side of evil is Satan (formerly Lucifer) who instigated the rebellion in heaven, and the angels who support him. Humans have aligned themselves with one side or the other since Adam first sinned in the Garden of Eden, by disobeying one of God's direct commands.
It is Satan's avowed goal to bring as many people under his control as possible. He does this through deception, fraud, ignorance, fear, coercion, apathy, pride, busy-ness, etc.; whatever method he finds that works. His goal is to get as many people to deny God's sovereignty and right to be worshipped, and the right as our Creator to set guidelines for our happiness. He wants us to reject God's Lordship in some way, in order to lose our right to eternal life and immortality. And by doing so, to worship or honor him (Lucifer) instead.
And indeed, through temptations, environment, our sinful natures and our choices, we have all sinned. The Bible says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23). "And there is none righteous. No! Not one." As sinners, we have lost the right to an eternal life of happiness, love and peace, and are doomed to be destroyed at the judgment when our sins bear witness against us. "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
But, God has a plan, a plan for our salvation, for our redemption from the consequences of our sins. He doesn't want any to perish at the judgment, yet He must make a distinction among humans; a distinction between those who are to receive eternal life, and those who continued in Satan's rebellion and must be destroyed at the time of the judgment. "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to become a man, a human like you and I. To be born with all of the hereditary problems that you and I have, to be tempted in every way, just as we are. And yet to live without sin. He was to live in conformity to God's will, One who would obey God's commands. Jesus was to demonstrate to us that we can live a sinless life. Jesus Christ conquered sin, that we might be overcomers with Him. He came to save us from our sins, not in our sins.
God gave prophets most of the details about the coming of Jesus Christ, so that Jesus could be clearly identified when He arrived. In fact there were over 400 prophecies written in the Old Testament talking about the coming Messiah. Early on, God also set up a system of annual festivals as well as a sanctuary service in which by symbolic elements, the story of redemption could be told. The most important element in the temple was the Ark of the Covenant which housed the tablets of stone, an agreement or "covenant" containing the Ten Commandments. The first set of stone tablets had the commandments inscribed on them by the very finger of God. The Ten Commandments were Rules (not suggestions) to guide our relationship to God and to our fellow men. The Ark of the Covenant was of the utmost purity and holiness, and was God's throne here on the earth.
For thousands of years, people looked forward to the coming of the promised Messiah, the one who would rescue them from their sins and the consequences of those sins. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of these prophecies! Jesus was the long looked for Messiah!
Satan attempted to destroy Jesus, this Messiah, to get Him to worship Satan and doubt God, but he was unsuccessful. So Satan incited the Jewish leaders of that day, and they held a mock trial and condemned Jesus to death. The Jewish leaders drew the Roman government into the scheme and the Romans crucified Jesus in a most painful way. Jesus died on a Friday, at the exact time of the day (3:00 p.m.), as the Passover lamb, a symbol representing Him, was to be sacrificed.
An earthquake accompanied Jesus' death cry, cracking open the ground at the foot of the cross. A Roman soldier pierced his side with a spear, causing his blood to run down the cross, into the crack and onto the mercy seat (atonement cover) of the Ark of the Covenant that had been hidden there in a underground chamber hundreds of years earlier during a Babylonian army invasion. Thus a portion of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) service in which a male goat's blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat to make atonement for the sins of God's people, was also literally fulfilled (see Leviticus 16). (see the Surprising Discoveries section of this website for more information on this find)
The blood of Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, yours and mine. For "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Hebrews 9:22) Jesus' blood was shed for the sins of all people that "come to the foot of the cross" and ask for forgiveness of their sins. "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Jesus became the atonement for our sins.
But Jesus did not stay in the tomb. After resting in the tomb over the Sabbath, He rose on the third day (Sunday), just as He had foretold. The stone that covered the tomb was enormous (13' 2" in diameter and nearly 2 feet thick) and was held in place by a iron chain attached to two ~2 inch diameter iron pins in the rock of the tomb. The tomb was guarded by a large number of soldiers. But it didn't matter. The angel sent to release Him, tossed aside the tomb stone shearing off the iron pins, and called to Jesus to come forth. The life inherent in Jesus as the Son of God, brought Him back to life. Jesus rose from the dead. He conquered death for us, for you and me, so that we also might have eternal life.
Jesus showed Himself many times over the next 40 days to His disciples and other followers. Over 500 people saw Him at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). Then while all His disciples were looking on, He began to ascend to heaven. And a cloud took Him from their sight. Two angels gave them this marvelous promise,
Jesus told his disciples,
What a beautiful promise! Jesus has promised to come back to this earth and will take his people home with Him to heaven!
Many prophecies in the Bible (especially in the New Testament), give details of Jesus Second Coming.
Jesus followers began spreading the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. That through Him, we might have our sins atoned for and might receive the eternal life that that had been lost when Adam sinned. The good news that our sins can be forgiven, that they can be blotted out of the record books.
What a sinner has to do is to:
Just before his ascension, Jesus gave his disciples this commission:
The Bible says,
Salvation is a gift freely given. It's not something we can work our way to. We can't achieve it by our own merits.
However, we are not to confuse works with obedience! Works to obtain salvation is impossible. We can never work our way to heaven. That is what all the pagan religions teach. Good deeds to try to assuage some angry god is not what our loving Father asks for.
What God does ask for is that, once He has forgiven us of our sins, is to stop sinning, i.e. to stop breaking His commands. (see John 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Peter 2:14) To stop arguing with Him or rebelling against Him and be willing to submit our lives to His control, to His guidelines for our own happiness.
Jesus says in Revelation 21:8, that all liars (including those who claim to love God, but who disregard His commands) will be thrown into the lake of fire. Thus, following our acceptance of God's gift of forgiveness, obedience to God's commands as a lifestyle and a submission of our will to Him is imperative and a requirement for salvation.
God's commands are not difficult or burdensome to obey. The commands have always been fairly simple, so that none may claim that they are impossible to follow due to their shear difficulty. Adam's test was a simple one: "Don't eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Captain Naaman's test was a simple one, go "bathe in the Jordan river 7 times and your leprosy will be gone." Most of the Bible tests of loyalty were simple ones. Yet few people chose to obey.
Obedience has always been a question of the will. Will I chose to follow God? Will I chose to obey His commands? Will I put my trust in Him? Will I have faith in His words? God gives us the strength to obey Him by transforming us, and by giving us the Holy Spirit.
King David was called a man after God's own heart. Why would that be? Let's see what David says about God's laws, decrees, precepts, statutes, words (all meaning one and the same.). These are all drawn from Psalms 119, the longest chapter in the Bible.
Can you sense the passion and love for God that David felt? God's laws, His commands were David's fervent desires! Those same kinds of desires will also be found in the rest of God's people as they mature (grow) in the knowlege and grace of God and their Lord Jesus Christ.
So what are God's laws, precepts, statutes, etc.?
Jesus was once asked,
Can anyone see anything possibly wrong with those? These two commands of love, to love the Lord and love our neighbor summarize the commands given in the unchangeable Ten Commandments written on tablets of stone by the very finger of God. Read them carefully! (a movement is under way to produce a "compromised" Ten Commandments to post in the public schools. Those are not God's Commandments, but based upon the traditions of men)
The Ten Commandments
Exodus. 20:1-20 And God spoke all these words: "I am the LORD your God . . .
As we compare ourselves to the golden standard, God's perfect law of love, we see our sins revealed. It's as if we have had a spotlight and a magnifying glass turned on our souls. We see where we have fallen short. Perhaps it was in adultery. Perhaps it was in covetousness. Perhaps it was in the worship or adoration of graven images in a church we were raised in. Perhaps it was the popular desecration of the seventh-day Sabbath (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset). Perhaps it was placing wealth above the worship of God. Perhaps it was cursing or using God's name in vain. Perhaps it was adoring the sun, moon and stars or the teachings of the spirit realm (Astrology). Whatever it is, our deeds are opened up and revealed for what they are by God's perfect law of love.
Jesus took these Ten Commandments a step further by saying sin is not just the breaking of the law in deed (action), but by breaking them through our attitudes and thoughts as well (see Matthew 5:17-48). Hate, lust, covetousness may remain in the heart, but are just as true a breaking of the law of love, as the deed.
We can see where we have failed to love. We can see where we quibble and in our own stubborn way, refuse to love God as He commands. Yet if we repent and turn from our sins, God is willing in His generousity and mercy, to forgive us.
As humans, we are still prone to sin. We live in a sinful world. Satan, his angels and humans under their control, tempt us to do wrong, to rebel against God and his commands. We may find ourselves making mistakes and sinning as we are tempted by our own desires. But praise God, there is a way out! a way to become overcomers!
Jesus ascended to and entered the heavenly temple where He ministers as our high priest.
By beholding we become changed. By fixing our thoughts on Jesus, we become more like him. As we spend time in prayer and the study of the Bible, our minds become renewed, stronger, our thoughts become more like Jesus'. For most, transformation doesn't take place overnight. The process of sanctification takes a lifetime. A lifetime of getting to know Jesus better. For you see, Jesus won the battle. By his life, death, resurrection and heavenly ministry, he's freed us from the sins that have enslaved us, and from the path that bound us to destruction. Jesus has set us on the road to eternal life and is walking there beside us, helping us, guiding us, protecting us. Isn't that Good News???
Soon, and I believe very soon, Jesus will come back to take us home to heaven. He will take away our mortality and change us into immortality. (see the compilation on Resurrection and Transformation). He will reward with eternal life and happiness those who sided with Him and were saved according to God's plan. These will have passed the two-fold test of 1) love for Jesus and 2) obedience to God's commands (see Revelation 12:17; 14:12 as well as Revelation 6:9-11 and 20:4). They have proven themselves to be God's people.
Heaven! What a glorious hope. But what is it like? The apostle John recorded the glimpse he was given of the new heavens and earth, and the New Jerusalem, a phenomenal city whose builder and maker is God. Let's look at two of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible, Revelation chapters 21 and 22.
A new heaven and new earth for the righteous
The Bride of the Lamb - The New Jerusalem
The river of life and the tree of life
Isn't that marvelous? Wouldn't you like to be there? Wouldn't you like to meet Jesus who gave His all for YOU? You can. It's your choice.
I believe, that if you've taken the time to read all the way through this page, God is calling you to be one of His chosen people, to love Him and to obey Him. Will you answer the call?
If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, or if you would like to renew your commitment to Him, will you do so now? The Spirit and Bride say "Come!" Jesus says "Come!" If you will, then pray this prayer in your own words,
Praise the Lord! Let the angels in heaven rejoice, for God has another son or daughter! May you continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Good News! Great News! The Gospel of Jesus Christ!
You'll find lots of information on this website to learn more about our wonderful Savior, and the teachings of His word, the Bible. You'll find surprising discoveries reinforcing the truthfulness of the Bible, such as the rediscoveries of Noah's Ark, the Red Sea crossing, Mt. Sinai, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Ark of the Covenant. You'll find extensive collections of Bible texts on subjects like Repentance, Forgiveness and Salvation, and Heaven and the Kingdom of God. You learn about end time events in the Revelation section of this website. You'll also have a chance to sample the writings of a modern day prophet who's writings are consistent with the Bible, and who was shown in more detail end time events.
Our prayer is that you'll learn to love our wonderful Creator God with a passion and will share the Good News of Salvation with others.
Thanks for telling others about this website.
Until we meet in His heavenly kingdom, may God's richest blessing be upon you and yours.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Pages in this website which will shed additional light on subjects touched on in this paper include: