Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Mt Sinai (Law) and  Mt Zion (Grace)
Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

God's Gift - Christmas

At Christmas time, we all are thinking about what gifts we can get for our, spouse, kids, grandkids, friends, and family. We need to operate within a budget in order to be able to get what we need for everyone on our list. The most appreciated gifts are those that are given with the receiver in mind; those which some time was spent in researching the needs and wants of the recipient and an appropriate gift being obtained. Of course in this time spent, and searching for the right gift, love is demonstrated; for we truly want to bless those who we are giving to. It is like a little piece of yourself is in the gift.

And so it was with God. He gave of Himself, in His only begotten Son, a gift that cannot possibly be measured. He loved man so much that He wanted to give him a means to righteousness, for He knew that man could never become righteous enough to pass through the Veil, to stand in the presence of the Almighty God.

John 3: 16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

That name is Jesus, which when translated means “Jehovah saves.” God had promised to send a redeemer since the times of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. God made covenant with Abraham’s descendants became the people of Israel. This redeemer would be called the Messiah which would be God as a man, and would come out of Israel.

The Law

God had given His people the law in the wilderness after they had been delivered from Egypt. The people thought that they were well able to keep whatever God said. So He gave them the law which is perfect, but men are not. Without sacrifice and repentance, men were not able to  stand before God. They needed Moses as their Prophet and spokesman for God; 

and Moses' brother Aaron, their High Priest to represent them before God.

Ex 19: 3  And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
5  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

7  And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
8  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

God’s response to this arrogant statement was not the Graceful actions that had been given to the people of Israel since their deliverance from Egypt: protection, food, water, all healed, and 100% cared for.

10  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11  And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
12  And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
13  There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

When their leader and prophet, Moses went up to Mt Sinai to receive the whole of the law the people fell into idolatry and fornication and sin and rebellion against God were rampant. The offenders were severely punished and 3000 people died. They might have all died if not for the goodness of God.


God ordered the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai. It was a mobile tent that had the special golden furniture, and an altar, a laver, all within a courtyard. Every facet was a picture of God’s Son, who would be man and Divine; a constant reminder of the promise that God would send the Messiah.

For several hundred years, the Tabernacle was the center of worship for God; through the times of the Judges when God would raise up a anointed Judge to lead the people away from oppression after their idolatry and sins would cause them to be overtaken by the surrounding kingdoms.

In the days of Samuel (last Judge, first of the Prophets) the people wanted a king. God had Samuel to anoint Saul, which did not do well, then David, the great King of Israel. David’s son Solomon became the 3rd King and in his reign the tabernacle was upgraded to a magnificent Temple in Jerusalem. This temple stood as a center of worship for the Jews until they were overtaken by Babylon and it was destroyed in 586 BC. The nation of Israel were taken captive because of Idolatry and sins against God.
Prophets all told that the Redeemer was coming, that God’s promise was good and that Israel would be restored. They did not become a nation again until 1948.

The last of the prophets in the OT is Malachi who once again told the people that Messiah was coming.

It was 400 more years, before the Messiah would come. God is always faithful, His promise is always good, even though it may seem that the time is not convenient for us, it is always within God’s plan.

Jesus Born

When the time was right, God sent a special Angel to take care of the details for the birth of His Son.

Lk 1: 26 ¶  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

And so by the power of God a virgin conceived to carry God’s Son.

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Mt 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Descendent of David

The promise of God to David was that the Messiah would come through his line.
Mary’s line is recorded in Luke and came from David’s son, Nathan.
Her husband, Joseph’s line came through the royal line of David’s son Solomon and is recorded in Matthew.

God arranged that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem as the Prophet Micah wrote;
 Mic 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

The Angels of Heaven announced his birth to the shepherds in the area.
Lk 2: 10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Prophet, Priest, King

Moses was a great Prophet and leader from God. He came before the other written Prophets, and the first 5 books, the Torah, he wrote down by the inspiration and direct word of God.

Deu 18:15 ¶  The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken
This was speaking of Jesus who came to speak the Word to God’s people, Israel, as their Messiah.

Israel could not see it; the scriptures speak of Messiah coming as a king to deliver God’s people and that is what the Jewish religion was looking for.
But, the Bible also speaks of a suffering servant, that would bear the iniquities of those who believed on Him. He would make it possible for God to live inside of man.

Jer 31: unto them, saith the LORD:
33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

When Jesus came to Nazareth which is where he grew up, He went to the Synagogue as was His custom and he read from the book of Isaiah;
Lk 4:17  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Jesus explained fairly plainly that He was the one sent to them by God.

22  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
23  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
24  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
26  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
27  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
28  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
30  But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

The religious establishment would not accept Jesus as their Messiah, or a Prophet. Yet they should have known by the scriptures…

When Moses was on Mt Sinai with God, almost everything the Lord talked about was His son who would be Prophet, Savior, Messiah, Priest, and King.

The Tabernacle- a shining pearl in the desert with white linen enclosure for purity, lifted up on silver sockets for redemption, mounted on wooden poles for humanity, with one gate of blue for Divinity, red for the blood of sacrifice and redemption, and purple for royalty. This gate was the “way” into the courtyard of God.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father except by Him. Jn 14:6

In the courtyard was the brazen altar, where animals were brought for sacrifice for the people. Jesus would be sacrificed as the perfect Lamb of God on the altar of the cross and bear our sins.

Then came the brass laver where the Priests would wash before entering the Holy Place; Jesus washes us in the water of the Word, Eph 5:26.

Then came the Holy Place where the Priests could only enter after sacrificing for them selves and washing. 

At the  entrance going East stood 5 wooden pillars covered in gold. This represents Grace, and the 5 books of the Torah in the Old Testament.

In side of the Holy Place was 3 pieces of golden furniture, representing the Deity of the trinity of God. 

The Menorah on the North,  which gave light to the Holy Place; Jesus is the light of the world, John 18:13.

On the South was the Table of Shewbread and vials of oil; Jesus is the bread of life and gives us His spirit, John 6:36. A golden crown surrounds the edge for royalty.

On the West was the Altar of Incense which the smoke was representing the prayers of the Saints. Jesus always makes intercession for us, Romans 8:34. A golden crown surrounds it along with the four horns of the altar representing royalty and the gospel going to the 4 corners of the earth.

At the Altar of Incense is the Veil that separates the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. It is blue for Deity, Scarlet for the blood, and Purple for royalty. There are Cherubim on it that surround the Throne of God. The Veil is made from fine white linen for purity.

Standing in the Holy Place and looking up you would see the first linen covering of roof which can only be seen from the inside and is covered with Cherubim. This represents the "Secret Place of the Most High" and the angels that surround you in Psalms 91.

Above that was a covering of goats hair, which only was seen by God; Jesus the scapegoat that takes away our sin. Above that was rams skins died red for Jesus' blood, only God sees the redemptive blood of Jesus. Outside covering was badger skins for all to see, Jesus was all man, masculine, strong, robust, and powerful.


Behind the veil was the dwelling place of God on earth, the Ark of the Covenant. There are 4 golden pillars there, representing the 4 gospels that tell of Jesus, the only way to God, Jn 14:16.

Only the High Priest could enter here once a year before God after being cleansed by water and blood to atone for the people of Israel. The High Priest would sprinkle blood 7 times with his finger before the Mercy seat by a bull for himself, then a goat for the people. Then 1 drop was on the Mercy seat for the atonement.
The Ark was a Acacia wood chest covered in gold. The wood is Jesus humanity, the gold is his Divinity. The Mercy Seat is the lid of the chest which is surrounded with a crown for royalty. On the lid is two Cherubim with wings outstretched toward one another and faces down, which represent the eyes of God. Inside the chest is the 10 commandments, a bowl of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded; all representing man’s sin. God cannot see through the sacrificial blood of Jesus on the mercy seat. When God looks on us who are covered by the blood of Jesus, that is all He sees; our sins are removed, Ps 103:12

When Jesus cried "It is Finished!" on the cross, the Veil of the Temple was ripped down the middle from the top to the bottom signifying that the barrier to God was torn down by His sacrifice.

High Priest

Jesus has been assigned forever as our High Priest, although not of the Priesthood of Aaron, but of Melchizedek.
 Ps 110:4  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The High Priest represented the people to God. As he was so were the people.
1Jo 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.


On the High Priest’s mitre had a gold band on his forehead that read “Holiness to the Lord”. As He thinks God sees our thoughts. We have the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.
On his chest is the names of the tribes of Israel; Jesus has our names next to His heart.
Ro 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Ro 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
On his shoulders are the names of His people; Jesus is yoked to us and bears our burdens.
Mt 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Aaron had to be anointed in blood on his right ear, thumb, and big toe. Jesus was anointed with His own blood as the Lamb of God; crown of thorns his ear, spikes in his hands and feet for His right thumb and big toe. His blood was the precious anointing that redeemed us and anointed the Ark of heaven. 

Heb 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.


When Jesus was born the Magi came looking for the King of the Jews, we read in Matthew.
Jesus also accepted the title in Mt 27:11 and Gov Pilate wrote signs for the crucifixion, “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.”

In the gospels, the phrase Kingdom of God occurs 66 times.

Jesus will come back on a white horse with many crowns, leading the armies of Heaven, Rev 19.

Through Jesus we are made Kings and Priests.
 Re 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus is the greatest gift to mankind; God Himself as our Saviour. The early church celebrated His birth by a Mass for the Christ child, thus Christmas, the time which we celebrate this wonderful gift.

Quotes are from KJV. Pictures and art from the Internet.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Death - Now what?

Death is not something that many feel comfortable talking about. Many do not think much about it until death comes for a loved one. Or at the old age or illness where one knows that death is at the door.

Ancient Egypt believed that the body would resurrect and went through elaborate procedures to preserve it for that special time. King Tut here is about 4500 years old.

The many step process of embalming and wrapping with spices was practiced by Israel from the time that Jacob's family went to live in the land of Goshen on the Nile Delta, until the time of Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago. Jesus was wrapped and anointed with myrrh and aloe (John 19).

In a traditional burial we still embalm the body by replacing the blood with formaldehyde,  and dress it up and put it in a coffin for this time of what is called "rest".

As far as the prospect of death, so far it has been 100%. Well, almost; for Enoch and Elijah were taken by God to Heaven, alive. But for everyone else, there is no prejudice, death comes for all, at any age.

Usually there is a well manicured cemetery where we can bury our loved ones in a nice coffin.
At least here in the USA and most of western civilization.

In the Old Testament times, the bodies would decompose after a time in a tomb. The elaborate embalming that was learned in Egypt was expensive, and some could not afford to have it done.

Finally there would be nothing left but bones.

Then the bones were placed in a box called an ossuary, and stored, especially if space was scarce, as tombs were sometimes shared.
Here is the ossuary for the High Priest Caiaphas that condemned Jesus.

Through the years there have been those who usually were not of Judaism or Christianity that burned their dead. This was done with a funeral pyre of wood which was set on fire with the body and consumed. By 300, Constantine had proclaimed Christianity as the official religion of Rome and burial was the normal practice for the dead.

In the last 125 years or so, cremation has become popular and people burn their loved ones in a furnace and put their ashes in a vase or urn that can be placed in a vault and buried, or entombed.

In all these ways that the body of the departed is dealt with, there is a mourning and grief that is present for those who loved them, and memories to treasure.

Soul and Spirit

Only 15% of the world's population are not religious. For them, death is the end. They can not see past it. But 85% of the world practices some type of religion and believe in some type of after life.

The Bible teaches us that there are 3 parts to man.
1Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We were created in the image of God. He made us as a spirit, with a soul, that dwells in a body. He too is a Spirit, with a Soul that dwells in the fullness of the Body of Jesus.

Col 2:9  For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Now, I am a Christian and serve the Lord Jesus, the Christ. Not all religions will accept the teachings from the Bible.

World Religions

There are about 7 billion people on the planet today. The following are the approximate numbers of people in those religions.

Christians  31%  or 2.1 billion; they believe the Old Testament and the New Testament and in the trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Salvation is through Jesus Christ and His Grace and eternal. There is eternity without Jesus, but that is not a good thing, more about that later.

Islam  22% or 1.5 billion; they believe in their god Allah only and believe in an afterlife and judgment for their works. Their book is the Quran which teaches that Jews and Christians are their worst enemies, and that Islam must conquer the world, by any means.

Hindu  14% or 980 million; they believe in many gods, yet living in peace and goodness will produce Nirvana where they will be in Heaven after they die.

Traditional Chinese  5% or 350 million: Confucianism is a philosophy and a religion that believes in benevolence, piety, and virtue in this life;  Heaven is a positive force in the universe and the unknown.
Taoism is a philosophy and religion that also believes in humility and piety. Tao means the "way". They believe in compassion, moderation, and humility. Reincarnation is possible and one can better their life to join with the universe and God.

Buddhism  5% or 350 million; they believe in happiness for all living beings and in living a life of gentle peace. By meditation one can reach enlightenment and the mind is eternal. Karma decides whether one lives again and in what state from the reciprocity of ones life.

Judaism  .2% or 14 million; They are the original religion and date back to creation and the descendants of Adam through Seth. Their writings are accepted by Christians as the Old Testament. They believe in judgement and heaven and hell. They still await for God's Messiah to come which will be God in man. The laws written are the foundation for the laws of civilized nations. Judaism is the foundation for Christianity who accept Jesus as the Messiah.

Other Religions  7% or 490 million. Some of which are:
Tribal religions are located in Africa, South America, and other regions of the world.
Japan has Shinto which believes in Kami, or the sacred divine beings of nature.
Native religions of North America that believe in many spirits that are seen in nature and are given sacrifices to help in life. Most believe in the Great Spirit which is the creator.

The world's religions are all searching for God in one way or another. Most feel that their actions will somehow justify them so that they may spend eternity with God.
Christians have a relationship with God. They have accepted His plan of Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ and are assured to spend eternity with Him.

At Death

So what happens at death? There are many books available that describe near-death experiences of people who have died and revived.
Some of the people did not see anything or have any remembrance.

Some people saw a dark and lonely place; cold and alone.

Many saw some kind of light or a tunnel leading to light that was drawing them closer.

Some people saw loved ones that had passed on.

But, some who were Christian, saw Heaven and Jesus.

Some saw terrifying images of hell.

All of these people had out of body experiences. Most of them saw their body lying there as they left.

The Bible tells us that when we die, our spirit and soul leave the body. Our spirit is the gift of life from God, without it the body is lifeless. As all of the out of body experiences are described, the people who had them still had a type of body and could think. This is the soul that is your thoughts, emotions, and personality. With the spirit and soul together, there is a spiritual body.

While in this form, one is free from the chains of this body and flesh. They enter into the spirit realm which is outside of our dimension.

Those Who Seek Death

There are many who sought death as a relief for the problems they faced in this life. They do not understand, because the Bible teaches that there is only this life, then the judgement.

Heb 9:26  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Without Jesus, things are bleak. With Him we are seen by God as the very righteousness of Jesus, who was without sin, and God's only begotten Son.
2 Cor 5:21  For he hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

I am not saying that those who take their own life are doomed, for God is a righteous judge and they are sick in their mind. Each case would have it's own circumstance. If Judas would have waited for 3 days, he might have seen the resurrected Jesus, accepted Him, and have been saved.

There are women who for their own convenience decide to kill their unborn child. This is accepted in our society and not illegal. But, it God's eyes it is wrong. Again each case has it's own circumstance and God is a righteous and compassionate judge. The child goes to be with God, for they are innocent.

There are those who seek another's life for revenge, passion, robbery,  or in the name of their religion or false god; these would fall under murder. God's law says "Thou shalt not murder". This does not include those who kill the enemy in war, or in defense of themselves or their family. Each circumstance has it's own details and the Righteous Judge will tend to each case. 

Jesus said in John 10:10, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
By this we can see who is of God and who is from the thief, which is the devil. 
Jesus told us that "by their fruit you will know them."

Others seek to contact the dead. The Bible specifically says do not do that.
Deu 18:10  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
11  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Le 20:27  A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

Saul, the first King of Israel was anointed by Samuel, who was the last of the Judges and the 1st of the Prophets. In 1 Samuel 28 we read that Saul sought to communicate with Samuel who had died. 
He went to a woman who had a familiar spirit (demonic) and had a seance and conjured up Samuel's spirit from sheol. No doubt it was the Paradise side, described later. But Samuel strongly rebuked him and told Saul that by the morrow, he would be in sheol as well. Saul was already in trouble with God. It happened just as Samuel said.


Life and Man

Life is a precious thing. Every person is unique and special; with different voice pattern, retinal scan, finger print, and DNA. God created everyone with a purpose in life.

In the creation, each day when the work was completed, God saw that it was good. But, on the 6th day when God made man, He saw that it was very good.
As mentioned earlier, we were created in God's image. Because we are able to think, and commune with Him, and make choices according to our will; we are His prized creation. So much so that when the Original man, Adam, sinned against God, God went to great ends to see that he would not just outright die and be lost. The height of God's love was the gift of His Son; to die for us and take our sins on Himself so that we might have a relationship with God in life and after death.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God sent Jesus to earth and He was filled with the Spirit of God and taught and healed. He changed the world by showing us God's Grace in Himself.

Jesus was sacrificed as the Lamb of God and took the sins of all those who would believe in Him.

He then rose from the dead after 3 days and lives eternally, seated at the right hand of God in Heaven.

As our Savior, Jesus conquered death. Through Him, we can approach death with no fear and have absolute assurance that we will be with Him forever.
Heb 2:14 ¶  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he (Jesus) also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

What the Bible Says on Death

In Luke the 16th chapter, Jesus taught us about the afterlife before His resurrection:
19 ¶  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

What we learn here is that at this time all people that died went either to be with those who were counted as righteous (like Abraham) who died in faith; or into hell. There was no passage between the two .

Hell here is translated in the Greek as hades, the place of the dead. In Hebrew it is sheol, also the place of the dead. Jesus used the Greek word gehenna in describing the flame that does be quenched and the worm that does not die; this is also translated as hell.
The real hell is the lake of fire which at present is empty. We read in Revelation that it was prepared for the devil and his rebellious angels. However, at the last judgement people will be sentenced there.

The bottom side of sheol is right above the lake of fire for the rich man was complaining about the flames.

On the other side of the chasm is the place called Paradise. Jesus told the thief on the cross on His right that today he would be with Him in Paradise.
Luke 23:42  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

We know that Jesus descended into the earth for 3 days and nights, so Paradise was in the upper part of sheol.

When Jesus was raised from the dead he led those that were in Paradise to heaven.

Eph 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Jesus was the "first born of many brethren" and after His resurrection, the Old Testament saints came to life again and were seen by many.
Mt 27:50 ¶  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

These were no doubt the occupants of Paradise, that went to Heaven in their new bodies. These had all died in faith that the Messiah would come and when He did, they were freed.

In the Lazarus and rich man story, Jesus also made it clear if one would not believe Moses and the Prophets, they would not believe if someone came back from the dead; inferring to Himself.

Paul tells us that for a Christian (one born again with Jesus living in them) to be absent from this body in death, you will stand before Jesus.
2Co 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Christians are promised that when the resurrection comes, that the dead bodies will be joined with the soul and spirit and become an immortal body similar to the one that Jesus has.
Php 3:21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

This body will be recognizable as you, and will be perfect, young, and special. Jesus in His resurrected body walked through walls, and flew to Heaven. You will never get sick. You can eat, but not necessary. You will never age. You will never die.

Christian Judgment

When death comes for the Christian, first our soul and spirit will leave our body.

Then we will be transported by some means to be before our Lord, Jesus.

We will stand before the Judgment seat of Christ. This is not in anyway to bring up your sin. When you accepted Jesus, all of your sin was forgiven and moved as far away from you as the East is from the West. Jesus paid the price for your sin once and for all.
Heb 10:10  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

So if no sin is brought into the equation, what is this judgment? Well it actually is to see what you did with your Salvation.

1 Cor 3:11 ¶  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

You walking in faith and believing in the finished work of Jesus and His Grace to help in all areas of your life will please God.
Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This will produce good works and fruit from you which will equate to gold silver and precious stones.

Gold and silver are refined by fire, and precious stones are formed by fire.

The wood, hay, and stubble are your works, for when you try to come to God on your works or think you can do life on your own, it is futile.
Gal 5:4 4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
By the law means you are trying to keep all the commandments in order to please God. That never works, only by trusting in Jesus and His finished work can you receive all the promises of God.

The fire is not like the natural fire we know, but is the fire of God. Those who have been baptized in the Holy Ghost have had a taste of that. The fire of God burns away that which is not pleasing to God so that the good can shine through.

Realize that all Christians are making it to heaven. There are crowns mentioned in the Bible that are different rewards given to the faithful. 

The Great White Throne Judgment

There is a judgement at the end of the millennium that will be for all of those who do not know Jesus as their Savior, Rev 20.

 Sheol will be emptied and every person will stand before the Great White Throne of God. The Father that made everything is the one who presides here. He is the one who spoke to Moses from the Ark. 

The people who stand before God from the lower sheol, will be familiar with the flames of the lake of fire. They will have seen demons who roam that region.

There will be records open that detail a person's life with all that they did good things and bad things. They will be judged on their sin by the Law of God. 

God is a righteous judge and completely Holy. Sin must be punished. If anyone does not pass this judgment, they will be thrown in the lake of fire from which there is no escape; just an eternity of torment, separated from God.

Remember that this is the judgment of the world, not the Christians. God's wrath for the Christian was expended on Jesus at the cross where He was brutally killed and took the sins of all who will believe on Him. 

In the Great White Throne judgment, anyone who is not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life is doomed to the lake of fire. 

You might be wondering how anyone who is in sheol could possibly be written in the Lamb's Book of Life? When Jesus went to upper sheol in Paradise he preached to the people who were there in Paradise and lower sheol all heard.
1 Pet 3:18 ¶  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

We know that Jesus took those from Paradise with Him after His resurrection. The Bible does not say that Paradise has not received people since. True, Christians go directly to Heaven when they die, but what about the person who has lived a good life, by what little they know, and their conscience, and have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Would the loving and merciful God put them in the lower sheol with Hitler, Stalin, and the other monsters of humanity? I think not. Some people will pass the Great White Throne judgment, or the book would not be mentioned. Remember, Jesus is the Word made flesh, John 1. People can know some Word however impressed from their religion or observation of all that is made without knowing the Gospel of Jesus. This judgment will be on a higher standard that any court, with more mercy and compassion.

A Generation that Won't Die

The Bible teaches us that Jesus will come back for His Bride, the Church and deliver them from the time of God's wrath on the earth, called the tribulation.

This event is commonly called the Rapture of the Church. No, that word is not in the Bible; it is taken from a Latin word meaning to snatch away.

1 Thess 4:13 ¶  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Cor 15:51 ¶  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bride of Christ is the Church and He looks upon her as a diamond. His love is shown in the Song of Solomon where Solomon is a type of Jesus and the Shulamite is a type of the Bride.

Today there is a movement who do not believe in the Rapture and say that it is a new idea. Not so; Jesus spoke these words to Martha, the sister of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead when she brought up the resurrection:
John 11:21  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

This is what Paul was saying later, and Jesus makes it clear that the dead will rise, then those alive will be changed to immortals, without death. Paul said we would always be with the Lord and to comfort one another with these words.

Whether the Rapture happens sooner or later many will face death before then. I pray that those of you who do not know Jesus personally as Savior would ask Him into your life today.

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Jn 14)
He is the only religious leader who came back from the dead.

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All quotes are from the authorized KJV. Pictures found on Inet.