Sunday, April 24, 2016

How Can You Know God?

Most people scoff at the idea that someone can know God or have a personal relationship with Him. Although, we cannot know everything about the Trinity of God, God has given us His Word, i.e. He has given us His Love Story, the Bible, so that we can get to know God and learn how to maintain a close relationship with Him. So, we can, indeed, know God in many different ways. We just have to take the time and pursue getting to know Him. Today,we are going to look at knowing God. (Remember that you can read this blog in sections or all in one sitting.).

From the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, to the book of Revelation, which is the last book, God has given us specific information about Himself so that we can get to know Him. That is why after reading and studying the Bible most of His life, the Reverend Billy Graham can give us a short summary of Who God is. Billy Graham said, “God can be everywhere at once, heeding the prayers of all who call out in the name of Christ; performing the mighty miracles that keep the stars in their places, the plants bursting up through the earth, and the fish swimming in the sea. There is no limit to God. There is no limit to His wisdom. There is no limit to His power. There is no limit to His love. There is no limit to His mercy.– (p. 59 Billy Graham in Quotes, c. 2011).

We know from reading the Bible that God created us in order to have a loving relationship with us. Moreover, God wants us to desire to know Him, so that we will pursue developing a loving relationship with Him. Unfortunately, most people do not pursue looking for God, let alone developing a relationship with Him. Instead, many people are more like lemmings (those little animals who will follow the leader off a cliff to their death just because they unquestionably follow each other or the herd). 

People, too, often follow the un-knowledgeable crowd instead of pursuing knowledge about God in order to have a relationship with Him. Indeed, many will listen to the theological and media pundits of the day, without searching for the Truth on their own. They think that someone who has a P.h.D in front of their name or someone who has a microphone to speak into is more knowledgeable than someone who has actually read the Bible and pursued getting to personally know God. Still other people will listen to and follow the crowds of people that denigrate God and anyone else who worships Him or His Son, Jesus Christ. If these people can't explain or understand how someone else can know God, then that person who has put their trust in God must be a fanatic or worse, i.e. they must be someone who sets themselves apart from the crowd on the grounds that they know something that others don't. But, these people who follow the crowds and don't think on their own are actually similar to lemmings following their leader off a cliff. They certainly don't think for themselves. But, God wants each of us to think for ourselves and to pursue looking for and getting to know Him.

Looking for God

The Bible tells us that from the moment that Adam and Eve sinned and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, they and subsequent generations attempted to live for themselves instead of for God. Certainly, we have confirmation of this from the generations that have gone before us and from people even today who choose to live the way they want to live regardless of the ramifications and the Truth of God. Thus many people have not only refused to seek out the Lord, but when they do recognize that God is real, they still refuse to develop a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, because they have failed to recognize the Truth of God. Additionally, even though some people have actually searched for God and some have even searched for ways to know Him, there have still always been those people who have refused to develop a relationship with God. Why? Well, it is just too much trouble in their eyes to get to know Him, because when they begin to discover Who He is, they feel that to live for Him will put a damper on their selfish lifestyle.

Even for those who have willingly searched for God, though, many have looked in all the wrong places. They may have pursued such religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism; religions that rely on self and do not recognize God. Unfortunately, if you aren’t on the right path for your search, you can end up on a dead end street or worse in a deep gully that leads nowhere. Worse yet are those who end up in cults or are drawn into religions that don’t require much effort or belief on their part. Such has been the case for those who now believe in false religions and for those who are worshiping idols and false gods. 

Remember, too, that Satan will do everything that he can to misconstrue the Truth of God, to plant lies wherever he can, and to dissuade people with earthly philosophical ideas that are against knowing God. That is why in looking for God and the Truth, we have to use our heart as well as our head, and be willing to recognize false religions and lies. For, God won’t give you a second chance to know Him once you have left the bonds of this earth in death or once Christ comes. Inevitably, there will be a judgment day for everyone that has not believed on Christ as their personal Savior and as the risen Son of God. Certainly, no one will be able to claim ignorance when judgment day comes. Why?

Why We Cannot Claim Ignorance In Knowing God

After God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, God told them how they could still communicate with Him and have a relationship with Him. But, obedience went out the window once Satan got Eve to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Because of this sin, and the sins to come, they were both kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Sure enough, worldly evil and sin enticed one of their boys, Cain, to kill the other son, Abel, out of jealousy. But even before the murder, God tried to reason with Cain. However, Cain refused to obey God. God communicated or talked with Cain, and in doing so God tried to get Cain to do what was right, because God wanted a loving relationship with Cain. Sadly, Cain did not want a relationship with God. He wanted to get rid of his righteous brother, and he did just that. Then, Cain completely severed his tentative relationship with God.

Although mankind is now subjected to the hardship of living outside the Garden of Eden, God did not leave us without any means of communicating with Him, nor does God hide Himself from those who have never heard the Gospel message of Salvation. Just the opposite is true. For God has presented Himself in every aspect of our lives: through our bodies that have been perfectly made with His signature imprinted within our very cells; in nature with all its intricacies and wonders, including the many thousands of species; and in the universe with our earth and all the planets revolving around the sun; along with the wonders of all the stars and the depths of space. Everywhere we look we can see God’s handiwork. We just have to be willing to look for God with all our heart, recognize His handiwork, and then be willing to personally seek Him out for a personal relationship with Him. For. God told the prophet Jeremiah to tell the people: "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." -- (Jeremiah 29: 13. NASB).

The Word of God tells us that God has made Himself known to every person on the earth, so no one has an excuse to deny Him. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.– (Romans 1: 20. NASB).  But, even though people can see God in the world, and in His lovingly watching over them, many still refuse to believe in God. Instead, they refuse to believe, or they gladly accept and follow the beliefs of others. Still others will deny Him or make other things their gods. “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.– (Romans 1: 21. NASB). If you do not know God, please do not let your heart be darkened with futile speculations and lies. You just need to open your eyes and look for the Truth of God with your heart, and He will be seen everywhere.

Just as in centuries past, today many people still refuse to see God in nature, let alone recognize His attributes. Their refusal to see God in nature or in the world usually is the result of idle speculations and worldly philosophies, the result of atheists in the scientific world disparaging and denying a Creator, or the result of lies that are told by those who have been deceived by false teachers. Brainwashing by people who want others to believe the way they believe also leads to many people refusing to look for the Truth themselves.

Brainwashing from Other People, Cults and False Religions

The brainwashing often starts in early childhood with parental misconceptions, then is promoted in school by elementary through high school teachers who are atheists or who just refuse to acknowledge God to their students. But it doesn’t stop there, for when our young people go off to college, many are deceived by professors who are determined to keep students from believing in the One and Only God. Sadly, once a person has had that amount of consistent brainwashing, along with their stubborn human nature and our human tendency to follow the loudest and most authoritarian or supposedly knowledgeable group like lemmings, then it is even harder for that person to recognize the Truth when they hear it. For, as the above Scripture says, “their hearts (are) were darkened”. Then, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.– (Romans 1: 22-25. NASB).

God, our Creator, desires that we know Him. In fact, God shows Himself to us in so many ways, so that even people who are not searching for God can find Him. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us that Isaiah, the prophet, spoke for God Who said, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed Myself to those who were not asking for Me.– (Romans 10: 20. NLT). This means that everyone will have the opportunity to know God at some point in their lives. So, no one can say on judgment day that they were not told about God and His Son. No one will be able to say that they did not know about Christ either. For, there are also many ways that at individual can hear the Good News or Jesus’ Name and then open their heart to the Truth.

Christians know that God especially wants everyone to know His Son, Jesus Christ, so that people can someday spend eternity with the Trinity of God. In fact, God sent Jesus Christ to earth so that we could have a relationship with God through our belief in Jesus Christ and our repentance leading to our Salvation. For, God demonstrated “… His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  -- (Romans 5: 8. NASB)

But, long before Christ came into the world, God had revealed Himself to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, through Adam and Eve’s disobedience and their belief in the lie told by Satan, sin came into the world. Sin came in when Satan confused Eve with his smooth talk, manipulation and distortion of God ‘s actual words. This type of sin, distortion of the Truth, still goes on today. But, sin is sin and it doesn’t matter what kind of sin it is, for all sin will lead to eternal death unless a person has repented, believed on Christ as the risen Son of God and then asked Christ to forgive them and come into their heart. For, God sent His Only Son into the world to save us from eternal death. “For the wages of Sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”  -- (Romans 6: 23. NASB)

Still, it is truly amazing that professors and teachers who have traveled the higher education path, and who think that they have finally arrived when they receive their Ph.D. believe that they are indeed wise enough to force their beliefs on students and others by manipulating the facts and distorting the Truth to those who are still traveling the educational road. God’s Word tells us that “… such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites, and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” – (Romans 16: 18. NASB). These professors’ so-called wisdom or so-called educational knowledge, though, has been obtained through their denial of the Truth and obtained from those who have taught the lies and distortions to them. They tell the same type of lies that Satan told to Eve; a distortion of the Truth.

True Christians Will Never Attempt to Brainwash Someone

One thing that true Christians will never do is to attempt to brainwash or manipulate the Truth to get someone to believe in the Trinity of God. The reason that Christians do not have to lie about their faith in Christ, God’s Son, and the whole Trinity of God is that God is the One Who draws people to Him who are interested in knowing Him. Christians just have to tell the Truth and put the Gospel out there for other people to either accept and pursue or refuse and deny. However, Christians are also to witness to the Truth of the Trinity of God by our lives lived for Christ. Thus, by reading the Bible and developing a relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, we can come to know God by knowing His ways, knowing His works recorded in the Bible, and knowing His will for our lives.

Even when people refuse to read the Bible or refuse to listen to the Gospel message, they can learn about God and His ways. For the Bible tells us that even if someone has never heard the Gospel message, or has never heard about Jesus Christ, that they will have every opportunity to meet God and Christ through the creation itself, because the creation of God testifies to the existence of God. Furthermore, a heart that then sees and believes that God exists, will be drawn to God and His Son, through the Holy Spirit of God. Then the heart that comes to believe that God exists will seek God. Remember that God told Jeremiah to tell the people: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”  -- (Jeremiah 29: 13. NASB).

Those who refuse to recognize God within God’s creation, though, can still come to God in many other ways. One of those ways is from the deep longing that we all have to be forgiven of our sins. Although people will often reject the Truth of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, many will at the same time try to fill an empty void in their lives through participation in sin. For, the devil whispers in their mind that sin will make them feel better. Unfortunately, even though they attempt to appease their guilt by telling themselves that everyone else is doing the same thing, that this sin is pleasurable and not harmful, or by telling themselves that they are not breaking the law, they are actually falling further and further into the empty void within their soul.

 Their sins and feelings of un-forgiveness will eat up their emotions. But, the only way for that void to be appropriately filled is through repentance and a change in their life-style that is the result of their inviting Christ into their heart. Only then can God fill that empty void. His presence will then always be there to bless them, to protect them, to care for them, and to guide them into righteous living. This is the Trinity of God; God the Father, with Christ, the Son, interceding on our behalf once we are “Saved” and the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit guiding and comforting us. Furthermore, it is the Holy Spirit Who does many things to help us have a great relationship with God and His Son.

The Holy Spirit helps build our close relationship with the Father, and Christ the Son. For, Jesus told His followers that when He went back to Heaven that He would send them the Holy Spirit. Then Christ told them that “… when He, the Spirit of truth, comes He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me (Jesus), for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore, I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” – (John 16: 13-15. NASB).

Once we repent of our sins and ask Christ into our heart, we will have the Spirit of Christ living within us. Furthermore, once we are “Saved” we are no longer just flesh, for we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “… you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. … The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. … In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He Who also searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”  -- (Romans 8: 28. NASB).

Are you getting the picture here? This is a picture of the Trinity of God. At the top of the picture is God the Father, Who loves us so much that He willingly sent His only Son into the world to be sacrificed on a cross for our behalf so that we can choose or not to have a relationship with God. To the right of God is Christ, the Son, Who told us in the Word of God, i.e, the Bible, that once He went back to Heaven to be with His Father that He would send the Holy Spirit, i.e. the Spirit of God, to indwell all believers and to guide and help them. Christ indeed sent The Holy Spirit into the World. For on the left of God is the Holy Spirit Who was sent to indwell all those that come to Christ for Salvation and to draw those who are not yet Christians into the awareness of God and His Son Jesus Christ. All three essences of God then make up the picture of the Trinity of God.

If the Trinity of God is still too hard a concept for you to get your mind around, then think of the shamrock plant. For, each leaf of the shamrock plant is made up of three sections with the middle section standing a little above the other two sections, which are on either side. I believe, God created that shamrock plant to give you a picture of The Trinity of God.

God wants a relationship with You, His Creation

God wants a relationship with you. He wants you to stop living for yourself and to live for Him. For, God loves you so very much. In fact, God’s love is unconditional. He loves the poor, the rich, the grouchy, the loving, the healthy, the sick, the prisoners, the ugly, the beautiful, and even those people who refuse to follow God, as well as those who try to follow His laws. God loves each and every one He has created. Yet, in God’s wisdom and in His higher ways of thinking, God has also created us with “free will”, i.e. the will to choose or to not choose to love God and follow Him. In fact, God is our friend. God will never leave us nor forsake us. (See Hebrews 13: 5b). But, in order to really know Him, we have to willingly choose to come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Once you have freely chosen to come to God, He then wants you to share your faith in Him with others that you meet, so that they, too, can find and have a relationship with God and His Son. Active Relational Christian Mentoring is just one of the ways that you can share your faith in Christ with another. For, it is through mentoring that we can show others how much that we love God and what we know about Him. We can let others know that life’s greatest joy is in knowing God and having a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

God, though, expects something in return from those He loves. Our relationship with Him is not just one sided with God giving everything and us giving nothing. No, God expects us to live for Him and His Son in obedience to God’s Truth and His message in the Bible. It is then through our obedience and reciprocal love that we will be blessed even when this fallen world throws hardships and trials our way. For, it is through those hardships and trials that we can develop into spiritually mature individuals with greater faith each and every day. Then we will receive rewards that accompany our faith, and we will receive many blessings for our obedience.

Psalm 112 starts out with “Happy are those who fear the Lord.” That doesn’t mean the scary kind of fear where you fear spiders, heights, or the dark, but instead it means: Happy are those that reverence and honor the Lord. In other words, happy are those that understand that God is Almighty, Great, Wonderful, Just, Righteous and Trustworthy, etc., and that He deserves all our honor and all the obedience that He asks from us. So, we do not have to be afraid of God, but we must reverence, honor and obey Him in holy fear.

God is like any loving father who deeply cares for his children. But, part of that love is shown in teaching the children how they should properly behave. For, a loving parent knows that love also means dispensing appropriate punishment for a child’s disobedience in order to teach that child right from wrong and that they can’t always do everything that they want to do. A loving parent will even hurt internally when punishment has to be given to their child, but that same parent knows that if their child is not punished and corrected, that he/she will continue their bad behavior, which can then get them into greater trouble later.

God is the perfect Father, who loves us with a love stronger than any love we could possibly experience here on earth. The Apostle Paul explains God’s love this way: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.– (Romans 8: 38, 39. NASB). However, that love sometimes comes with discipline. But on the other side of discipline is the reward of blessings that God wants to bestow on each of His children. There are many blessings that we can receive, from honor, prosperity, peace and freedom from fear, as well as many other earthly blessings. But, along with the many earthly blessings we can also look forward to spiritual blessings as well, such as the blessings of being able to spend eternity with the Trinity of God in Heaven.

What are some of the other earthly blessings that God’s children can receive? Well, again in Psalm 112, the psalmist writes: “Happy are those who delight in doing what He (God) commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy (wealthy in comfort, love, peace, and security), and their good deeds will never be forgotten. When darkness (trials and tribulations) overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in. They (those living for God) are generous, who lend freely and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil circumstances. Those who are righteous (trying to daily live in obedience to God’s laws and Truth) will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will never be forgotten. They will have influence and honor. …(-- Psalm 112: 1- 9. NLT). * The Words in parenthesis are my explanations.

It isn’t easy to be obedient or to not get discouraged at the trials and problems that can come our way. Indeed, we can’t live our lives just through our own determination and strength. Rather, we need God and His love to get through this decadent and sinful world. Certainly, God wants us to be comforted and encouraged during our spiritual growth. So, Christ has given us God’s Spirit to indwell our lives and to give us all hope and joy in living for Christ and the Father. We must then, rely on God’s grace and the Holy Spirit to put to death our desire to sin and our sinful urges. Moreover, along with our possible blatant sinfulness is often our direct disobedience to God, which is also sin. Therefore, we must repent of our sins and try harder for obedience. We can also look forward to living in complete obedience when someday the Heavenly Father opens the doors of His Heavenly home, the New Jerusalem, inviting us (those who have believed on Jesus Christ as the risen Son of God) in for all eternity.

Knowing God means knowing that He cares for us. It means that we desire to get to know Him through His Creation, through His Words within the Bible, through our acceptance of Christ’s Salvation gift of shed blood on the cross for our redemption, and through our desire and determination to be obedient to God’s Truth and Greatness. Knowing God also means that we reverence and honor Him with not only our words and actions, but with our entire being by setting aside time to pray and communicate with God through both the Holy Spirit who helps us pray and through Christ our Savior, Who is our intercessor and mediator before God the Father. Moreover, knowing God means that we do not try to put our earthly and human characteristics on God, Who has made us a little lower than His angels. (see Psalm 8: 5).

We cannot fathom the Greatness and glory of God or understand His reasoning’s and decisions. But, saying things like “A loving God would not … or I can’t believe in a God who allows …” is our attempt to make God in our image, which of course, we do not have any right to do. God’s way of thinking and doing things is completely different and on a much higher plane than anything that we could do or think. In fact, God has actually told us that “‘My thoughts are completely different from yours,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’”  -- (Isaiah 55: 8, 9. NLT). Therefore, we have no right to try and put our thoughts and rationales upon the God of the Universe. How presumptuous!

I will end this week’s blog with part of a Psalm that David wrote, because his words speak of things that we can know about God. First and foremost, The Bible tells us that God is always faithful, and He loves us with an unending love. In fact, God’s love is beyond our comprehension, for it is higher than the stars in the sky. In addition, God is wisdom, the kind of wisdom that we can only dream of having. Moreover, God is righteous and just. His righteousness is stronger than steel and greater than the most majestic mountain. Certainly, His justice is pure and holy and full of wisdom. For, God is not like the judges on earth who can be swayed by the political correctness of the day or by liberal agendas that do not recognize the Truth. Instead, God is Truth; the ultimate Truth. But, mixed in with all God’s wonderful attributes is the care He bestows on the earth and all His creation. For, God cares about everything He made

David, though, said it best, when he wrote:

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
Your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is Your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.
 You feed them from the abundance of Your own house,
Letting them drink from Your rivers of delight.
For You are the fountain of life,
The light by which we see.
Pour out your unfailing love on those who love You;
Give justice to those with honest hearts.” – (Psalm 36: 5-10. NLT).

I hope you know God and His Son, Jesus Christ. If not, please pick up the Bible and start to read about God and the Salvation that He offers through Christ, His Son. Or find a Christian who can tell you about the Good News. Remember, too, that Satan and this fallen world are constantly trying to keep you from knowing God. So, don’t let false teachers, false religions, and Satan, keep you from your eternal home with God when your time on this earth is done. You can do it!  You can know the Truth! You can know God! You can know Christ! You can also have the constant companion of the Holy Spirit guiding you each and every day! Then you, too, can share your faith and the Gospel message with others through Active Relational Christian Mentoring.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Trinity of God and Our Relationship with Him

The concept of the Trinity of God is hard for many people to understand. Rationally and mathematically it doesn’t make sense. How can three make one? Or how can One God have three distinct spiritual essences? Long ago St. Patrick in sharing the Gospel message with the Irish people also had to explain this concept to the pagans in Ireland. The Irish pagans worshiped things in nature, so they had a hard time believing in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as One God. As Patrick explained Salvation to them, they could not understand how Christ and His offer of Salvation to all who would believe upon Him could be part of three in One. So, God pointed St. Patrick to the shamrock plant whose leaf has three distinct parts. Although each leaf is just one leaf, the shamrock plant is also unique, because there are three very distinct sections to each leaf. When the pagans saw the concept of three in one in nature, they were finally able to understand the Trinity of God, i.e. the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This visual explanation, though, could not be used in areas of the world that did not have a shamrock plant. So, rather than being able to understand the Trinity of God, many other false religions have disregarded the Truth. Adding to their lack of understanding are the many misunderstandings that come about from our explanations, as many Christians fail to read the Bible in order to be able to explain the Trinity of God to others. Certainly non-Christians are not reading the Bible, so they have confusion from our uninformed explanations and their own lack of understanding when God is explained correctly. All this leads to disbelief, especially from the religious leaders of other religions. Consequently, in many cases, entire groups of people have come to hate Christians for their belief in a God that has three essences. Such is the case with Muslims and the religion of Islam.

One of the reasons that Muslims hate Christians so much is because of our belief in the Trinity of God. Muslims believe that we are worshiping three false gods. They believe that Mohammed’s “Allah” is the only true god. Therefore, Muslims think that we are being heretical and disrespectful to their god by worshiping God. But the main reason they think that God is a false God has to do with the words of Mohammed, which were written against the God of the Jews and Christians. Mohammed also did not understand the Trinity of God and his lack of understanding was shared with others in the Qur'an. Consequently, many Muslims simply believe that Christians worship three gods. They do not understand how three essences or spiritual beings make up the Trinity of God. Moreover, their failure to know or understand how and why Mohammed created their god has led to a deep hatred in most Muslims for both Jews who believe in God and Christians who believe in the Trinity of God.

This hatred for our belief in God all stems from the founder of their religion, Mohammed, who created the Islamic religion. Mohammed was an illiterate man, who at first had tried to understand the God of the Hebrews and the Christians. Mohammed got angry with the Jews worship of God, but his anger grew worse when he just could not wrap his mind around the Christians' God who was three in One. To make matters worse, Mohammed also couldn’t read the biblical Scriptures, so what little information he got from the different sects of those who followed Christ was just bits and pieces of the Truth. This confused Mohammed even more.

Mohammed lived in an area that had worshipers of over three hundred different gods and goddesses, so it was easy for Mohammed to become confused about the many different religions at that time. Then, Mohammed had an encounter with an evil spirit that eventually began to control what he did. In fact, it is recorded that Mohammed had several encounters with this evil spirit who told him what to write in the Qur’an (See the story of Mohammed’s life in the Hadith al-Bukhari. Also explained in What Every American Needs to Know about the Qur’an: A History of Islam and the United States by William J. Federer). Isn’t this just like the devil! For the devil always tries to distort the Truth in such a way that God’s Truth is rejected by many. This is exactly how Mohammed was used by the devil, for Mohammed took bits and pieces of several religions to finally make up the religion of Islam.

Mohammed was manipulated by the evil spirit to develop his own religion. But, adding to Mohammed’s misunderstandings and his manipulation by the evil spirit was his own emotional instability that created a volatile nature within him. Mohammed’s volatile nature was finally inflamed when he and his ideas were rejected by both the Hebrews and the Christians after Mohammed tried to incorporate elements of the Jewish and Christian religions into his new idea of Allah and Islam. In fact, it is recorded that Mohammed “tried to convert those who came to worship Mecca’s 360 different pagan gods. Though hoping his faith would be embraced by Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and Pagans, as it had element of each, he only converted 150.– (p. 44. What Every American Needs to Know about the Qur’an). Then when the Jews and Christians rejected Mohammed’s new religion, his first written more peaceful verses in the Qur’an that related to the Jews and Christians were immediately changed. Mohammed’s volatile anger toward the Jews and Christians grew then, which caused Mohammed to insert writings of violence against the Jews and Christians in his Qur’an.

(Remember that you can easily read just one section at a time without reading the whole week's blog at one sitting. I hope you feel that this one is worth the read.)

The Hate of Islam versus the Love of Christianity

Because of Mohammed’s misunderstanding of the Trinity and his unwillingness to allow Jews and Christians to worship the way that they pleased, Mohammed went on a rampage to kill all those who had disagreed with him. Worse still was his call in the Qur’an for all his followers to kill all the infidels, which is still in force today. It is truly sad that a person’s inability to understand the Trinity of God and his unwillingness “to love others as he loves himself” would lead to decades and centuries of murder and jihad all to make the world turn to the hate of Islam. But, Mohammed no longer wanted to allow people to “live and let live”. Instead he wanted to conquer the world for Islam, and Mohammed used the promotion of hate to attempt to do so.

Hate can be a very powerful emotion that destroys many lives, and such is the case for those who profess to believe in Islam. Their hate destroys the lives of those they hate, as well as ultimately destroying their own lives. Sadly, through Mohammed’s hate, “Mohammed divided the world into two parts; those who have submitted to the will of Allah (the name of Mohammed’s god) and those yet to submit. He called these the House of Islam (dar al-Islam) and the House of War (dar al-harb). Whereas “world peace” to a Westerner means peaceful coexistence, “world peace” to a Muslim means “world Islam”, the world submitting to the will of Allah.– (p. 17. What Every American Needs to Know about the Qur’an, by William J. Federer)

Of course, there are those moderate Muslims who believe that Allah’s return for the final “Hour of Judgment” is so far off into the future that they can go ahead and get along with non-Muslims until Allah returns and judges all people. That is why they keep a low profile even though they ultimately believe that those who don’t follow Allah are damned. Moderate Muslims also do not want the Fundamental violent Muslims to turn against them for not being violent enough, so they just do not get politically involved until they are forced to. In the meantime they keep a low profile of internal hate. However, there are those Fundamental violent Muslims who believe that they are helping to fulfill the “destiny” of Islam by killing any and all who do not follow Islam. Indeed, we have recently seen what these violent jihadists Muslims, i.e. ISIS, will do to impose Islamic rule throughout the world. And to think that this religion of hate, i.e. Islam, all started with one disturbed and emotionally violent man who could not understand the Trinity of God or understand the concept of a peace loving God. But, it was the actual rejection of his newly created religion that caused Mohammed to put action to his hate and want to take revenge on those who did not accept his ideas or his amalgamation of several beliefs into one religion. Mohammed's anger and his misunderstandings basically created his religion of hate, Islam.

It takes energy to hate. It takes energy and time as well. On the other hand, it is so much easier to love and care about others. In fact, God wants us to love others and He wants to bless us for helping and caring about those who need our support and help. America's love for others has led to many blessings from God. But, we still have so much to do as a country and individually. First we need to show our love for others by sharing the Good News. We also need to share the Gospel message with as many people as we can. That is why understanding the Trinity of God is so important to our sharing of the Salvation message, and why our being willing to actively mentor others for the Lord is an important service that all Christians can perform. We need to be able to explain our love of God to anyone.

The Trinity of God

Other religions besides Islam have a problem with the Trinity of God, too. In fact, most of the world’s religions cannot understand why Christians believe in the Trinity of God. That is why I would like to give you some information that could help you in sharing the Gospel message as well as help you in your mentoring of others. The Trinity of God is truly not hard to understand. It is even easier, though, when a person actually accepts Christ as their Savior, because the Holy Spirit immediately indwells each new believer. For, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the assurance of our Salvation and our inheritance as children of God, i.e. eternal life. For we are told that "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit  that we are children of God."  -- (Romans 8: 16. NASB). The Scriptures also tell us, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.– (Titus 3: 4-7. NASB). As you can read, both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are part of the Trinity of God. It is the Son of God, Jesus Christ Who came to earth to "Save" us from eternal death. Then it is the Holy Spirit Who testifies that we are indeed Saved and will spend eternity in Heaven with God.

Why is it so hard for people to understand the Trinity of God? Perhaps, it is because so many people have not read the Bible, nor do they want to read it. However, there are also those liberal theologians who have departed from the fundamental truths of the Bible to advocate for their belief in the falseness of the concept of the Trinity of God. Now, these liberal theologians are expressing the same doubt that Muslims have had about the Trinity of God. Unfortunately, many, if not all, of these liberal theologians are not truly “Saved.” How can I say that? Well, for those who have truly been “Saved”, there is no doubt whatsoever that God has three essences, because with Salvation we have the Holy Spirit living within us testifying to our spirit that we are indeed "Saved". We also feel the Holy Spirit directing and guiding our lives, as we live to glorify the Father and shine the light of Christ on the world. True Christians have also seen the results of praying to God, the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son and our Intercessor. We also live daily listening to the directions and guidance that we can receive from the Holy Spirit. Our “Saved” lives through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, then become a living testimony to the Trinity of God, i.e. the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Although true Christians understand the Trinity of God, within our mentoring of others and in our sharing of the Gospel message, we often need to be able to explain the Trinity of God to those who are lost or to those who are questioning why the Godhead is three in one. The only way that we can explain the Godhead is to know the biblical Scriptures and to be able to explain the indwelling of the Holy Spirit once a person is “Saved.” So, this week, I want to attempt to give you some information that may be able to help you in shining the light of Christ into the world. I also hope that it will help you to explain the Trinity of God to your mentees, family, friends and to those who are not “Saved”.

Who is God?

God is the Great “I AM”. This is the name that God gave to Moses so that Moses could go back to Egypt and tell the Israelites and Pharaoh that it was God Who was telling them to leave Egypt. For, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent Me to you.’ … This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.’”  -- (Exodus 3: 14, 15. NASB). What a Name! But, even before God spoke to Moses regarding His name, I AM, the book of Genesis tells us a great deal about Who God is.

From the beginning, God has given us information about Himself, i.e. His three spiritual essences. In fact, God never tried to hide Who He is or tried to hide His character and traits. Even from the first book in the Bible, which taken together is God’s Love Story for humans, we can learn a great deal of information about God. Indeed, from the first sentence and then throughout the Bible, we are introduced to and are continually reminded of the Trinity of God. Accordingly, God gives us information about all three essences of His being; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit within the Scriptures.

God starts His biblical love story, by giving Moses the first five books of the Bible to record. It is then in the first book of the Bible that Moses records these words for God: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.– (Genesis 1: 1-2 NASB). It is within these first two verses that we are introduced both to God and to the Spirit of God, who is the Holy Spirit. Later, we discover from Jesus' words that it is the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter, Helper, or Counselor. The Holy Spirit is also called the “Spirit of Truth”. For, Jesus Christ told His followers that when He went back to Heaven to be with the Father that He would send them the Holy Spirit. He said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”  -- (John 14: 16, 17. NASB). So, those who receive Salvation, also receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who helps them and guides them into living for Christ.

As we just saw, however, long before Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit, we were introduced to Him within the first two verses of the Bible. But, it is also within the first book of the Bible that we learn more about God, the Father, as well as “The Trinity of God”. For, we read in the first chapter of Genesis that God created light from darkness, waters and oceans separate from dry land, night and day, vegetables and plants, stars in the sky, and living creatures; some creatures on the land with others to swim in the oceans and some to even fly in the air.

Then God created man. Although all this creation occurred long before Moses was even created, God had Moses record the following words, “Then God said,Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them.’– (Genesis 1: 26, 27. NASB).

Notice that God had Moses record the words, “Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness…”. In other words, God patterned humans after the image of the Trinity of God. Obviously, there was a reason that God wanted those particular words recorded. I believe that God wanted us to know that He is made up of more than one entity or essence within the Godhead of Who He is. I also believe that God was telling us through the words “according to Our likeness” that He was giving us some of the characteristics of Trinity of God. Furthermore, among the many characteristics and abilities given to us, God also gave us the things that we would need in order to be able to create, love and reason, and to ultimately then be able to accept Salvation when it was presented or offered to us. We can recognize our need for repentance and the gift of Salvation, because God, i.e. The Trinity of God gave us the ability to do so.

Some liberal theologians, though, have suggested that the words, Us, and Our, are just referring to the counsel of beings or the hosts of beings surrounding God. Certainly, God has told us in other verses within His biblical love story that there is indeed a counsel of beings or holy hosts of beings that surround Him, including God’s angels who continually glorify God. However, that does not make those particular words of Us, and Our, to mean that God was referring to the host of beings surrounding Him. That might be the case, were it not for Genesis 1: 2, which says that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” The Spirit of God is not part of the angelic hosts or other beings surrounding God, and I will show you this as we get more into the Spirit of God or more information about the Holy Spirit being a part of the Trinity of God.

The third essence within the Trinity of God is the Son of God. Among the many other Scriptures that God gave to the writers of the Bible to record, were the specific words that describe the Son of God. First, there is The Gospel of John wherein the Apostle John was given the following words through the Holy Spirit to write in God’s love story that says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.– (John 1: 1-5. NASB). These verses are a description of the third essence or of the third being existing within or being a part of the Godhead or the Trinity of God. This third being is Jesus Christ, i.e. the Word and the Son. Jesus is called the Word, because He spoke the words that created light, night and day, animals, vegetation, oceans and lands, etc. Jesus is the One Who through His spoken word brought everything into existence. It is also through Jesus Christ’s Words that we learn about God’s gift of Salvation. However, it is not only His Words, but also the actions of Jesus Christ in dying on the Cross and in His resurrection, which gives those who believe on Christ the right to spend eternity with God. As part of the Trinity of God Jesus Christ gave us the gift of Salvation

God loves us, i.e. His humans, so much that He was willing to sacrifice a part of Himself, His only Son, to save mankind from our ultimate destruction and death. For, after the fall from the Garden of Eden, mankind had to live in a fallen world that is daily tempted by Satan. We sin daily, and as sinners we cannot enter into the presence of God. Without help from Christ and the Holy Spirit, we would all die forever and spend eternity in Hell. However, to show His love, and to bestow His grace and mercy upon us, God sent Jesus Christ, His Son, into the world to tell us the Truth, to show His love, and then to die for our sins, so in repenting and accepting Christ as our risen Lord and Savior, we could be made righteous before a righteous and holy God. To do this God made this great sacrifice for us.

The Apostle John records God’s description of Christ in order to help us understand who Christ is. Through the inspiration of God, the Apostle John wrote: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.– (John 1: 14. NASB). So, Christ, the One who spoke the earth into existence actually became flesh for our benefit. Those who were there when Christ came to earth and those who walked and talked with Him, could indeed see that Jesus Christ was full of glory from the Father and that He was indeed the Son of God. Today, we, too, can see Christ and His glory through our personal repentance and Salvation. Only with true Salvation and the re-birth experience can one truly understand the depth of Christ’s glory, receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and have the peace that Christ gives us in knowing that we are truly “Saved” and will one day spend eternity with The Trinity of God.

A Holy and Righteous God Has Sadness Over Our Disobedience and Lack of Respect.

Long before God sent His Only Son into the world as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, God, The Father, gave mankind every opportunity to love and obey Him. Unfortunately, mankind became so prideful and disobedient that people became more and more decadent, evil and immoral. God could not stand to see what mankind had fallen into and become. So, one day “… the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless, his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’” – (Genesis 6: 3. NASB). In other words, God felt that man was living too long, especially with all the evil intent that man had in his heart. Man was not immortal but merely flesh that would turn back into the dust of the earth when he died. So, God decided to number man’s days. Notice, though, the other reason that God limited man’s days upon earth. Originally, God had given people the chance to live to 800 and even 900 years old. In fact, Methuselah lived to be nine hundred and sixty-nine years old; the oldest man recorded in the Bible. (See Genesis 5: 27).  With mankind’s long lives, the Holy Spirit was continually striving or trying to get mankind to look toward God and to live for Him. Unfortunately, humans wanted to do what they wanted to do and that did not include living for God. Moreover, God was sad and angry, because people would not listen to Him or listen for Him. How would you feel if everyone turned against you? Wouldn’t you be grieved? That is how God felt. Furthermore, people would not even think upon God, so God’s Spirit was very grieved.

 God said that “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever”. In other words, God was no longer going to allow mankind to have long lives. But, God didn’t stop there. For, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to the birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.– (Genesis 6: 5-8. NASB.).

Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Well, you all probably know the rest of this part of God’s love story. God created mankind out of love, and He wanted to save Noah, so God spoke to Noah. Noah heard God and listened to God. Then Noah built an ark, and he, his wife, and his sons and their wives along with all the animals that God told him to save, were put on the huge ark that had taken Noah one hundred twenty years to build. Finally, the rains came and flooded the earth killing all the animals and all the evil people outside of the ark. But, Noah and his family along with the animals were saved, and once the waters receded they would repopulate the earth. This new group of people were then told to scatter themselves over all the face of the earth.

It didn’t take long for this original small group of people to multiply in number. During this time period, all the people also spoke the same language as they were all related to each other from one portion of Noah’s family or another. Eventually, they became a large group of people and migrated east together to a plain in the land of Shinar. It was there that because of their reasoning skills and their ability to build and create that they decided to build a tower into the heavens. Unfortunately, at the same time they again turned away from God Who had saved Noah and his family from the flood a few decades before. In fact, these people would not even exist had it not been for God’s Salvation of Noah’s family during the flood. But, pride and forgetfulness often gets in the way of our seeing the Truth. In fact, this was exactly what happened to those people.

 All the people turned from worshiping God to worshiping a false god, which in this case, was a false goddess called Ishtar. They also refused to migrate to other areas of the earth, because they believed that there was power in numbers and power in their maintaining their common goals. Moreover, because of their common language and political unity, they no longer believed in their Creator, but instead believed in their power to reason, create and accomplish all things together.

God, however, was not happy with the people. For, these people had said, “Come let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into the heavens, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the earth.” But then “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come let Us go down and there confuse their language, so they will not understand one another’s speech.’ So, the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city.’”  -- (Genesis 11: 3-8. NASB). Here again, notice that God refers to Himself as Us, or as the Trinity even though the word “Trinity” is never used. Even so, it was the Trinity of God that went down and confused the language of the people.

Throughout the Older Covenant/ Testament, God indicates through the making of the Tabernacle and through all the items He ask Moses to place within the Tabernacle that God’s Son would someday come to deliver the people. Indeed, Christ, the Son of God, would one day come to Deliver or to Save people from eternal death if they chose to believe on Him. In the meantime, the tabernacle and the rituals of the tabernacle represented and reminded the people that a blood sacrifice was needed for the cleansing of their sins and that the Deliverer would be the ultimate blood sacrifice. Even though their present situation in sacrificing bulls, and lambs could not truly cleanse them from their sins, it could remind them that they were sinners and that they needed a Deliverer who would be Jesus Christ, God’s Son. God would send His Son, part of the Trinity of God, to save His people. But, God did not stop with the Tabernacle in pointing to the coming Christ. For, God also used His prophets to prophesy the coming of Jesus Christ, The Son of God.

Prophecies Regarding the Coming Son of God

Throughout the Older Covenant/ Testament God used prophets to talk to the people and to show them how to live and what God expected of them. Sometimes the people listened to the prophets, but at other times they ignored them until the prophecy was fulfilled and they then experienced the consequences of their sinfulness. Fortunately, the prophet’s words were recorded so that today we can see how God fulfilled all of their prophecies back then and how Jesus Christ, God’s Son, fulfilled their prophecies about the coming Messiah, or Deliverer.

The first prophecy, though, came directly from God in the Book of Genesis. Right after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge and Good and Evil, God found Adam and Eve hiding from Him. When asked why they were hiding, they told God that it was because they were naked. Obviously, they were now aware of their nakedness, so God knew they had eaten of the forbidden tree. But, when asked why they ate the fruit, each blamed someone else. Adam blamed Eve for telling him the fruit was good and encouraging him to eat of it. Then, Eve blamed the Serpent who twisted her words and confused her, causing her to go ahead and eat of the fruit. But, God knew that both of them were to blame. Notice that even back then people were trying to blame someone else besides themselves for the thing that they had personally done. Not taking responsibility for our own actions will not get us out of discipline or away from the repercussions from our sinful actions. Although God is a loving God, He is also just and judicious. That being the case, God had to give Adam and Eve their punishment. (To read about their punishment read Genesis 3).

God’s prophecy about sending His Son to earth to save people from their sins occurred at the same time that God told Satan or the serpent what his punishment would be. “So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, you will be punished. … You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly. From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.– (Genesis 3: 14, 15. NLT).  The phrase “and you will strike His heel” is a prophecy that Satan would make several attempts to defeat Christ while He was on earth. Indeed, the Bible records Satan’s many attempts to defeat Christ, but to Christ each of Satan's attempts were just a strike at Christ’s heel. However, the phrase “He will crush your head” was also a prophecy regarding God’s plan for Christ to ultimately defeat Satan and offer Salvation to the world. This prophecy was fulfilled when Christ defeated Satan by arising from the dead, conquering eternal death and giving humans a chance for Salavation.

Later, in the Book of Deuteronomy, God told Moses that He would raise up a prophet for His people among the Israelites. That prophecy was fulfilled in John 7: 40 when some of the people in the crowds around Jesus said, “This man surely is a Prophet. Others said, He is the Messiah.”  But, God also prophesied about the coming Deliverer, i.e. His Son, through God’s instructions for the Passover Meal at the time of the Exodus from Egypt. For, of the sacrificial lamb that the people were to share at the evening meal or evening supper on their last night in Egypt, God said that the people could not “carry any of its (the lambs’ meat) outside, and you may not break any of its bones.” – (Exodus 12: 46. NLT). This statement was both symbolic and prophetic of the fact that none of Christ’s bones as the sacrificial lamb for all people would be broken at His crucifixion. For, centuries later when the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified on either side of Christ, they then turned to Christ to break his legs, too, in order to speed up the death process. “But when they came to Jesus, they saw that He was dead already, so they didn’t break His legs.– (John 19: 32). This fulfilled God’s prophecy and its symbolism.

God’s prophets also spoke of Christ or the future Messiah coming to earth to save God’s people. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah was to be born of a virgin in Isaiah 7: 14. Later in the New Testament, both Matthew and Luke told of the virgin birth of Christ in Matthew 1: 18-25 and in Luke 1: 26-38. The prophet Micah also prophesied about Christ’s birth in that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, which was recorded in Micah 5: 2. Indeed, Christ the Messiah was born in Bethlehem as recorded in Matthew 2: 1-6 and in Luke 2: 1-20.

After Christ started His ministry and toward the end of His time here on earth, we discover that the prophecy of Zechariah came true too. For, Zechariah prophesied that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem in triumph as recorded in Zechariah 9: 9. Then it happened that only a week before His crucifixion, Christ did enter Jerusalem in triumph, which is recorded in both Matthew 21: 1-9 and in John 12: 12-16.
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be rejected by His own people, the Jews, in Isaiah 53: 1, 3. This prophecy was fulfilled and described in Matthew 26: 3, 4, John 12: 37-43 and in Acts 4: 1-12. Isaiah also prophesied that the Messiah, the Son of God, was to be tried and condemned in court. This prophecy is recorded in Isaiah 53: 8 and later fulfilled in Matthew 27: 1, 2 and in Luke 22: 1-25.

If you have read the Bible, you might remember that Isaiah prophesies that when charged Christ would not defend Himself against the false accusations being made by the Jewish hierarchy. Isaiah said that the Messiah would be silent before His accusers, and this is recorded in Isaiah 53: 7. Again centuries later, we indeed learn that Christ the Messiah did not speak up in His defense as seen through the writings of Matthew, Mark and Luke. You can find this fulfillment of prophecy in Matthew 27: 12-14; Mark 15: 3-4; and in Luke 23: 8- 10.

We also learn from Isaiah that Christ would be physically abused as He was taken before the Pharisees and Sadducees. Isaiah, the prophet, said that the Messiah would be struck and spat upon by His enemies. Sure enough that is exactly what happened centuries later when Christ was taken before these two groups of important Jews. We are told of this incident in both Matthew 26: 67; 27: 30 and in Mark 14: 65. But, King David also prophesied in Psalm 22: 7-8 that the Messiah would be mocked and insulted by His enemies. This, too, occurred and was recorded in Matthew 27: 39-44 and in Luke 23: 11, 35.

Finally, Christ was crucified. Christ’s crucifixion was also prophesied by King David years before it happened. Psalm 22 gives us such verses as “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken Me?” in verse 1. Later Jesus quoted this verse while hanging on the cross as recorded in Matthew 27: 46.  Then in verse 7-8 of Psalm 22 David writes these words: “Everyone who see me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him.” This prophecy was fulfilled as Christ hung on the cross. The religious leaders and others watching the crucifixion mocked Him saying, “… So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusted God – let God show His approval by delivering him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” – (Matthew 27: 42, 43. NLT).

The Cruelty of the Cross and the Sacrifice 

Christ Made for You and Me

Years before Christ was even born, let alone crucified, David wrote this prophecy: “My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. … My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have left me in the dust and left me for dead. My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs and evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count every bone in my body. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my clothes among themselves and throw dice for my garments.– (Psalm 22:14, 16-18. NLT). David could only know these words to write through divine inspiration and prophecy from the Lord, because it would be centuries before these words would come true for the Son of God.

When someone was crucified, several things happened. First the cross was placed on the ground. Then the person was laid on the cross while the soldiers placed large spike like nails in the upper palms next to the wrist bone where they were hammered into the bone and flesh. The person’s legs were usually crossed at the ankles and then a large spike like nail was hammered into the ankles. Afterward, the cross was raised and placed within a previously dug hole so that the cross would stand up-right. The weight of the human body and gravity, though, would keep the person on the cross from being able to get enough air into their lungs to breathe, unless they pushed up with their fractured ankles and pulled up with their broken wrists at the same time. This torturous movement would allow the diaphragm to expand just enough to get a breath of air. Eventually, though, the shoulders would separate from all the weight hanging on them and from the gravitational pull. When this shoulder separation happened it would keep the person from being able to pull upward to get that needed breath of air. As each breath of air became harder to get, the body would start to shut down and the person would eventually suffocate to death. It was a slow and cruel process.

As the Son of God was hanging on the cross, several things happened that would fulfill the prophecy about Christ found in the Older Covenant/ Testament. The Apostle Matthew records in His book of the same name that “The soldiers gave Him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when He tasted it, He refused to drink it. After they had nailed Him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for His clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as He hung there.”  -- (Matthew 27: 34, 35. NLT). The Gospel of John goes into a little more detail about the guards and Christ’s clothes. “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided His clothes among the four of them. They also took His robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said, ‘Let’s not tear it but throw dice to see who gets it.’ This fulfilled the Scripture that says, ‘They divided my clothes among themselves and threw dice for my robe.’– (John 19: 23, 24. NLT.).

The Gospel of John also records the fulfillment of the prophecy about Christ’s thirst. The Apostle John said in his record of the crucifixion that “Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures He said, “I am thirsty.’ A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it to His lips. When Jesus had tasted it, He said, ‘It is finished!’ Then He bowed his head and gave up His spirit.” – (John 19: 28-30. NLT).

Although many thought that was the end of Jesus Christ, they were wrong. For, Jesus had not lost His Kingdom, nor was He defeated as Satan wished. Instead, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would be the King of the Kingdom of God. His death and ultimate resurrection would strike down Satan’s hold on the world and establish Christ’s authority over this world. Even the mocking sign that the Romans had placed above Christ on the cross, stating that He was “The King of the Jews” would turn out to be true. For, Christ is indeed now King of the Jews, King of Gentiles, and King over all the Earth.

Jesus was only in the grave three days, and when He arose He was then seen by more than five hundred people alive. Then when He went back to Heaven, Christ promised to return and to rule over the earth for a thousand years. There is such love in the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us and such love in the Father who freely gave His Son so that we could someday, in believing in Christ as the risen Son of God, spend eternity in Heaven with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, i.e. The Trinity of God.

There is so much more that I want to tell you about The Trinity of God. So perhaps next week, I can give you more information that you can use in your mentoring and sharing of the Gospel message. Until then, I hope that you have enjoyed this blog on who God is and who we can become in our relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ, Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you have not yet asked Christ to forgive you of your sins and asked Him to come into your heart, it is not too late. He is real! He is part of the Trinity of God, and Christ is waiting for your decision. You can do it! You can know that you will one day spend eternity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Until next time, remember, too, that if you are already a true Christian, You can do it! You can empower another person to be all they can be for God. You can actively mentor another person for Christ. You can share the Gospel message, and You can live your life with purpose.