Why We Can Trust God

Hi, Alfredo.

I am sorry my reply has taken so long. I have worked and reworked this letter for months now. It would take me years to tell you all I want to say. I have tried to answer your question simply and fully. Many pages later I think I may have accomplished that. You decide.

So, you have arrived at theism and now you are seeking specifics. Who is the creator? Is he the Christian Jesus? If so, what is the greatest evidence of this truth? Specifically you asked, “Is prophecy the greatest proof of Christianity specifically as truth, if so what specifically is the strongest prophetic evidence in your opinion? If there is some evidence greater than prophecy, if so what?”

I really appreciate you asking. Questions like yours always cause me to think and rethink what and why I believe.

I often say I want to yield to the creator of the peacock. When I stop to meditate upon the DNA needed to have caused such a magnificent and complex array of pattern and color I am awed. Each feather a work of art. But the true beauty lies in the detail within the feather. Every vane has to change color at the precise length countless times in varying degrees of radiance to form the circles, blends, and patterns for which a male peacock is known. That is a magical feat. But when you look beyond that and take the varying sizes and placements of the individual feathers in the male peacock’s tail — approximately 200 feathers in all with roughly 150 of these tail feathers being the well-known eye-patterned variety — you will see how truly remarkable the creator of the peacock is. That is whom I wish to worship. If another god can’t create a peacock in all its intricate beauty I am not much impressed with what they can do.

You have probably guessed I do not believe creation happened randomly once all the necessary elements aligned creating the perfect storm exploding in a big bang. I believe life has reason and purpose and intelligence behind it. The big bang theory, evolution, and all the other theories out there, come from the created, us, trying to explain the creation, everything, without acknowledging the truth that there is a creator, a living God. Ego, pride and vanity. We think we are so smart. Yet can the pot explain the potter? Can the created create a peacock?

But let me start my answer to your questions in the beginning.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. I don’t know any more about it than what is written in Genesis and a few references sprinkled throughout the Holy Bible.

The Bible in a Nutshell

BTW, I study the King James Version of the Bible, not because I think it is any more or less accurate than any other version or translation of the scriptures. The King James just has a host of tools developed around the text that can be used to ferret out the treasures within; concordances, Bible dictionaries, Interlinear, online web sites. My favorite site when studying is www.blueletterbible.org. These tools are priceless to me in my quest to follow the example of the Bereans.

Act 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

I search the scriptures, almost, daily. I love the word and I am fascinated by the details. You may ask why I believe in what is written and trust that it is the Word of God. I find it too perfect not to trust and believe.  The beauty is in the detail, much like the beauty of the peacock feather. It is through the Word of God I learn of God himself and His interaction with mankind. You see, I believe the Bible is the revealed word and will of God. And if it is the word and will of God then the details will speak to this truth. So I search.

Another reason I study the King James Version of the Bible is that the translators put words in italics when they added words to the text for clarity. They didn’t always do this, but mostly. For example,

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The word ‘duty’ in the King James is italicized, meaning it was added by the translators. The problem with this is that it often reflected the translators’ religious beliefs and not what the Word of God was actually saying.

In Ecclesiastes 12:13 it says man’s duty is to fear, or respect, God and keep his commandments. Duty is an obligation and nothing about the book of Ecclesiastes is talking about obligation, or duty. After King Solomon thinks upon and considers all great and small acts of man, man’s living and man’s dying, man’s accomplishments and failures, he sums it up with this conclusion — everything in life is empty without God. Vanities! All are vanities! Empty! Meaningless!

Man can do great things in life but without God it is meaningless, empty. He cannot take it with him when he dies. He leaves it to another to do with as the other wishes. This verse in Ecclesiastes is saying that in order for man to be complete, to be whole, to have true meaning, he must have God in his life. Respecting God and keeping His commandments is what makes man fulfilled, complete. It isn’t our duty, as the translators would have us believe, to fear God and keep His commandments, it is our completeness, our wholeness, it is what the heart of man craves.

When the translators added words, sometimes they got it right, sometimes they didn’t. In this verse they didn’t. Here is how it should read.

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man.

I believe another important thing to understand about the Bible is that it is God’s written thoughts, God’s will. Job in his pain and agony cried out, “Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.” (Job 31:35) Job had wished his adversary had written a book, and why? Because then Job would have known what to expect. But his adversary didn’t write a book. His adversary works in the dark. But God the Creator works in the light.

God put his words and his will in writing, and as we learn, we can say, as Jesus Christ did when he was tempted 40 days and 40 nights by the devil, It Is Written. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, he changes not. This means we can trust what he says. When we approach the Word of God with a humility and a willingness to know God, things will begin to make sense and great and wonderful things will take place in our hearts and lives.

I am sure you are aware that when you look at the Bible there is an old and a new Testament, with the Gospels separating them. The Old Testament is a history of man from ‘in the beginning’ up to the last recorded prophet in the Old Testament, who was Malachi. The Old Testament records God’s efforts to protect the Christ line, which will be discussed later.

The Gospels are records of the life of Jesus Christ from his birth through his ascension to the right hand of God. Each of the four Gospels represent an aspect of who Jesus Christ is; in Matthew he is God’s Messiah, in Mark he is God’s servant, in Luke he is God’s man and in John he God’s Son. The Gospels were written by four different guys with four different vocabularies and levels of education, focusing on four different aspects of whom Jesus Christ is. When harmonized you see a full and complete picture of Jesus Christ. And, in my opinion, the details paint a picture seldom seen in Christianity today.

There was only one author, God

There were 400 years between Malachi and the Gospels. Technically the Gospels should be part of the Old Testament because Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law, he is the end of the law to all them that believe. The new covenant, New Testament, didn’t begin until Acts Chapter 2 when the 12 Apostles received the gift of holy spirit on the day of Pentecost.

The New Testament includes the book of Acts which is a history of the rise and expansion of the Christian Church, the transition from the old covenant to the new. The book of Acts begins where the Gospels left off, with the ascension of Jesus Christ to the right hand of God. Acts covers a period of 30 something years. It was a time of great learning and difficult change. Acts chapter 2 records the 12 Apostles receiving the gift of holy spirit, something Adam had lost for mankind. Everything beyond receiving that gift is about man reclaiming his relationship with God. It is about man relearning to walk by the spirit and not by sight.

Galatians 5:18
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

The New Testament is about being justified by the faith, and not by the works of the Law.

Romans 3:22
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of [in] Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Galatians 2:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of [in] Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:22
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of [in] Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

The New Testament includes the 7 Church Epistles which Paul wrote instructing man in the new covenant Jesus Christ brought about through his free-will sacrifice to God His father. There are also miscellaneous letters written to various churches and individuals. All the New Testament, all the Word of God for that matter, contains doctrine (how to believe rightly), reproof (when you are not believing rightly), and correction (how to start to believe rightly once again). All of this is instructions in righteousness.

And of course there is the book of Revelations that deals with the end times when Jesus Christ comes back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Until finally …

Revelation 21:1-4
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

No more pain, no more sorrow, no more death. That is what I bring to mind when life doesn’t feel worth living anymore, and sometimes it doesn’t feel worth living. Jesus Christ coming back is the believer’s hope. It is my hope and something I look forward to.

Well, that is the Bible in a nutshell. My nutshell, anyway.

The Bible IS prophecy

So, how did we get this amazing book? And why was it written?

2 Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [one’s own] interpretation.

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

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God [which is being moved by the Holy Spirit], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

God is responsible for us having the Bible. Unlike Job’s adversary, our God committed himself to writing. And think about it: If he can create a peacock couldn’t he work in men through the centuries and have His thoughts and words written in a book so that these thoughts and words harmonize?  

I believe one of the strongest prophetic evidences of Jesus Christ and who he is, what he accomplished for man through his death on the cross, is the Bible itself. The Bible IS prophecy. It is its own best witness.

The Bible was written over a period of thousands of years with 40 main contributors. There are 66 books and through them all you can see the Red Thread of Jesus Christ, the promised seed of woman. The Bible IS prophecy. All of it. Some is foretelling. Most is forth-telling. We have this Word because God wanted us to know him. He gave it to us through holy men whom God knew would speak and/or write exactly what God asked then to speak and/or write. THE WORD OF GOD, as it was originally given to holy men, is perfect. That is why Jesus Christ could say It Is Written. Because it IS written and it is GOD’S WORD. It is alive and it is powerful. And it brings results when believed and acted upon.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

My Journey Began

My love for God’s Word began in January of 1980. I remember the month and year clearly because I had joined the United States Air Force 5 months prior and I had just arrived at my final duty station in Plattsburgh, New York. Within a few weeks of arriving I began to learn the answers to many of my life’s questions. It was the most amazing time.

Before this, I had been so lost and empty inside. I had always felt that way: unwanted and unloved. Completely alone in a room full of family, friends, or strangers, it didn’t matter who I was around. But some time in 1978, I saw the movie Jesus Christ Superstar on television. When it was over and I was left with one burning desire – an answer to my questions, “God, who are you and how do I love you?” That desire began simmering just below the surface. My favorite song from the movie was Yvonne Elliman’s, I Don’t Know How to Love Him. I would listen to it on my turntable over and over and over while staring out my bedroom window, at times being brought to tears. I thought, considered, prayed, “God show me who you are. Show me how to love you.” My journey’s beginning was that simple.

I picked up a Bible one day after that and began reading. I read where we are supposed to always tell the truth and not to lie. So I stopped lying to the best of my ability. I often caught myself exaggerating or outright lying in conversation and I would have to stop, correct, and continue on. It was embarrassing. It was hard. I felt so boring, but my desire to do what was right was greater than any desire I had for recognition, selfish gain or even self-preservation.  Most of the time anyway. As I said, to the best of my ability, which was and is far from perfect.

I read where I was not supposed to do my good deeds before men, but I was supposed to keep them between me and God. So, I tried to not brag when I did something I was proud. If I did tell others about some wonderful thing I had done, I would feel horribly guilty. I would then apologize to God, ask for forgiveness, and fix my heart not to do it again in the future. Of course I would. I am delightfully human that way. For the longest time I was very extreme about this, too extreme I think, but I eventually found balance. I am still finding balance.

That was my beginning in God’s Word, Matthew 6 and Ephesians 4. Basically God was telling me to stop being a prideful lying hypocrite.  

I didn’t realize it at the time but, “this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3. God was answering my prayer and I was, for the first time in my life, filled with a peace that pushed out the feelings of being unwanted and unloved. That is why I love the Bible so much. It lets me know how to love God and it shows me how much God loves me. No more guess work. Now I have chapter and verse, God’s revealed Word and will. I have a standard that doesn’t fluctuate with my surroundings or my moods. I have something I can depend upon and trust in. I have the Word of God because God gave it to me. I gain patience and comfort through the scriptures, just like God said I would as I believe the truth of His Word.

Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 

I have hope, as do all who take God at his word.

Miraculously, when I started applying God’s Word to my life, I started seeing things happen, especially in my heart. Things I couldn’t explain. It is hard to describe how I felt, but I absolutely knew that 1980 was going to be the best year of my entire life. It was going to be the year I got answers. I just knew.

But I knew I couldn’t get answers living where I was living, so in April of 1979 I joined the military. I left for basic training in August and arrived in Plattsburgh in January 1980. Within weeks someone opened the Bible to me and started reading scripture in answer to my questions I hadn’t even asked. The Bible started to come alive for me. Chapter and verse: It is written. As I approached this amazing book with this new found respect and hunger to know God, I began to see God’s heart for me and what Jesus Christ had accomplished. I was happy, joyous and free for the first time in my life.

Man’s Journey Began

But, let’s go back further to the real beginning. It was important for me to understand Adam and the fall of man in order to understand Jesus Christ and man’s redemption. I personally don’t think it is possible to truly understand what Jesus Christ accomplished without understanding Adam’s fall and exactly what Adam lost and gave away.

In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Genesis 1:26,27
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

It says God created. The Hebrew word for God in Genesis 1 is ‘elohiym. This Hebrew word is plural, but it is in reference to a single God. Many denominations use this word, ‘elohiym, to teach a trinity god; three gods in one; god the father, god the son and god the holy ghost. I don’t believe in this teaching (but that is another letter). I believe that although the Hebrew word is in fact plural, it is in reference to one God, a single God, a God with no equals. I found ‘elohiym in Wikipedia through a quick internet search, “Hebrew grammar allows for this nominally plural form to mean “He is the Power (singular) over powers (plural)”, or roughly, “God of gods”.  

‘elohiym. The form is plural but it is grammatically singular. One God. One true God. The supreme God. The creator. The God and father of Jesus Christ. God in the beginning. He is one. It is written in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Jesus Christ quotes this record when he was asked what is the first and great commandment.

Mark 12:29,30
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

The first commandment is that there is ONE God and we should love him with everything we are.

Exodus 20:3
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Deuteronomy 10:17
For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

Malachi 2:10a
Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? 

Mark 12:32
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

Romans 3:30
Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith [the faith of Jesus Christ].

1 Corinthians 8:6
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by [through] whom are all things, and we by [through] him.

Ephesians 4:6
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

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

James 2:19
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

There is only one God.

We also read in Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” If God is ONE, and according to scripture God is one, then there can’t be an ‘us.’ And there isn’t. This is a figure of speech called the Royal We or Pluralis Majestic. When Queen Elisabeth is speaking from her official position as monarch, she might say ‘We, the queen of England.’ She is not a “we,” she is a one, but the figure of speech speaks to her supremacy and authority. God has ultimate supremacy and authority. God is ‘elohiym! God of gods!!

Man was Made, Formed and Created

In the beginning ‘elohiym created … man.

We read in Genesis 2:7 that the first man, Adam, was formed from the dust of the ground and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. We also read from God’s Word that man was created in God’s image. So, this begs the question, according to what is written in God’s Word, what is God’s image? Matthew 4:24, says God is a spirit. Numbers 23:19 says that God is not a man or the son of Man.

So, what is God’s image? We read in the Word that God is love. God is merciful. God is gracious. God is good. God is holy. God is righteous. God is faithful. God is true. Every word of God is pure, therefore God is pure. God is no respecter of persons. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. GOD IS THE CREATOR. Every one of these attributes can be documented in the Bible, chapter and verse. God gave us His Word so we can know who He is. We don’t have to guess. We can read what He had written.

We can see that God’s image isn’t physical. God is not a man. God’s image is spiritual. Matthew 4:24, God is spirit. Psalm 99:9, God is holy. God is holy spirit. There is more than one spirit in the world, but there is only one holy spirit, and that is ‘elohiym. And when God created man in His own image, He gave man what he is: God gave man spirit, holy spirit. That is what God created for man. Spirit. He created man in His image, which is spirit, holy spirit. And with that spirit came the characteristics of God and God could talk to man and have a relationship with man, because man was holy.

We can see that God didn’t create man’s body. It says in Genesis 2:7 that, “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.” He also didn’t create man’s soul life, his breath life, which is another form of spirit. He had created soul life before man. In Genesis 1:21, “And God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth.”  God had created soul life with the mammals. God formed man from the dust of the ground, dust which had been created when the earth was created. And he took the soul life he had created earlier and breathed it into man, and man became a living soul. Man is now body and soul. But at this point nothing has been created specifically for man because God had already created the things needed for the body and the soul earlier in creation.

Now God creates; He brings something into existence that never existed before in whole or in part. He creates man in His own image. His image wasn’t the body, which other mammals had before man. His image wasn’t the soul, which other mammals had before man. So what was it God created that was in His image? God’s image is spiritual and this was man’s image in the beginning, spirit. In the beginning, man was holy and man was spiritual. God and man had a personal relationship where they could fellowship with each other, and it was very good. This was man’s original state. This was man’s nature, to be spiritual.

Then after God created man in His own image, man was given a job.

Genesis 2:15
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

And man was given a lot of freedom in the garden of Eden. There was only one thing he was asked not to do. In Genesis 2 we read,

Genesis 2:16,17
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

God formed, made and created man – body, soul and spirit – and put him in the garden to take care of it. God told man he could eat freely of any tree in the garden except he could not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told him, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” In the day thou eatest thereof, what would happen? Thou shalt – not might, not maybe, not there is a possibility – THOU SHALT surely die.

The Consequences of Adam’s Disobedience

Sadly for Adam, God, and us, Adam did eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and man did die that very day. He died spiritually. The spirit itself didn’t die. Spirit can’t die. Man died. Man died spiritually when that spirit was removed from man.

2 Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness [God] with unrighteousness [Adam]? and what communion hath light [God] with darkness [Adam]?

Adam had lost what was needed to fellowship with God. He was no longer righteous. He was no longer holy.

Adam didn’t die physically until he was 930 years of age. Keep in mind, he was perfect. God had formed him. God, ‘elohiym, creator of the heaven and the earth, had breathed life into him. Man’s blood, his cells, his genetic makeup was perfect until sin entered into the world. Physically he had carried none of the contaminants that bombard our physical bodies today. No blood issues. No liver issues. No heart issues. No genetic issues. No environmental issues. Man had been perfect and it took time for his body to break down and die.

Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Death had entered into the world because of sin. It was two-fold; a spiritual death, which was immediate, as well as a physical death as Adam’s body broke down over time.

Other things happened when Adam disobeyed God. For one, when he went from a man of body, soul, and spirit, to a man of only body and soul; he became a senses man, a man of the flesh. He could no longer learn by walking and talking with his God because he no longer had that relationship. Now everything he learned he had to learn through his 5 senses; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. He had to experience it to learn. Trial and error. Observation. Something concrete and tangible. Man was no longer God-seeking by nature. He was now self-seeking and self-serving. So much so that God recorded the depravity of man in Genesis 6 and what he had to do to ultimately save mankind.

Genesis 6:5
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Man’s nature after the fall was contrary to God’s nature, the nature he was created with in the beginning. This fallen nature was, and is, in opposition to God. Man was living through his five senses and his dark nature progressed to where his inner most thoughts were “only evil continually.”

The Transfer of Authority

Another consequence of Adam’s disobedience was the transfer of authority. God had given Adam dominion of the earth.

Gen 1:28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Having dominion was God’s plan for man. But when Adam sinned, in essence he committed high treason, giving all the dominion and authority which God had given him over to another. He handed dominion over to the serpent, the dragon, which is the Devil, Satan. All those names are different characteristics and functions of the fallen angle, Lucifer. Satan, the Devil, whatever you want to call him, is the god of this world because Adam gave him dominion. All that God had given to Adam, Adam gave to the Devil.

Luke 4:5-7
And the devil, taking him [Jesus Christ] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

When the Devil offered to give Jesus the power and glory of all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would only bow down and worship him, Jesus didn’t say it wasn’t his to give. Jesus knew that it was the Devil’s to give; the dominion of all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them belong to the Devil. Jesus had read and studied the scriptures. He understood what had transpired. He understood the transfer of authority. And what was Jesus reply to this offer? It is written.

Luke 4:8
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

The Bible even calls the Devil the god of this world.

2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The Devil is a god with a little ‘g’. So there are at least two gods. There are many gods. But only one ‘elohiym! Only the one true God, the eternal God, the God of gods, the Creator, the Father, only He can rightfully get the big ‘G’. It is written in 1 Corinthians 8:5,6 that there are many gods in the world and many lords, “yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.”

There is a battle going on, a spiritual battle, and whether or not we know about it is irrelevant.  

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

You see, God never wanted this world to be riddled with the darkness that now defines it. Before Adam disobeyed God, as recorded in Genesis 3, man had peace and confidence walking and talking with his beloved Creator. After the fall, man was full of shame and fear. Man hid from God. He covered himself. Satan started feeding his darkness into the minds of men and the selfishness and self-centeredness that now defines man became man’s very nature. This is not the work of the one true God. Man was not created this way. Man became this way as a result of the fall, and the Devil’s dominion.

But Can’t God Just Fix It?

Why doesn’t God stop the wars and diseases that ravage the world? Couldn’t God in a heartbeat change everything for the better? The answer is yes and no. Yes, God could. He created the heavens and the earth. He is certainly able. But, no, He can’t. God is a just God and a righteous God, he can’t work contrary to his own nature. God gave man dominion and man gave that dominion away through his disobedience. If God were to take something that is no longer His, it would be an act of unrighteousness. It would be stealing, among other things. God who is righteous, can’t act that way. God can’t act contrary to His own nature.   

Also God gave man free-will to choose. God told man the consequences of “eating of the tree” and when man ate of the tree, man reaped the consequences immediately, for in the very day he sinned he died spiritually. Man in his freedom chose badly, but man was within his right to choose. What happened was a legal transfer and if God were to set everything right He would have to do it legally.   

Man was created in God’s image, but he ended up with quite another. He ended up, not walking with God, but walking “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Man became by nature the children of wrath.

Ephesians 2:2,3
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 

The above verses are such a wonderful way of saying man is selfish,
self-centered, and easily manipulated. But God didn’t create us that way.

God Didn’t Leave Man Hopeless

When God spoke of the consequences to Adam’s disobedience in Geneses 3, he also spoke of the plan to reconcile man back to Himself, if, if, if man wanted to be reconciled. It is, and always has been, a free-will decision on our part. God understood that a man would have to purchase back what a man had given away. And the first prophecy about this redeemer is in Genesis 3:15. You see, God has never left man without hope. This prophecy speaks of a child born of woman’s seed. Women don’t have seed, men have seed. Here in Genesis God is speaking to the serpent.

Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Many years later the prophet Isaiah gives more information about this event.

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself [God] shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

And a virgin did conceive (Luke 1). Her name was Mary. When the angel came to her and told her what was going to happen, ultimately she replied, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Be it unto me according to thy word. She believed what was spoken to her and the power of the Highest overshadowed Mary and she conceived. There was no sex. That is stupid. God impregnated Mary with a perfect seed. This seed was created life from God. Sinless life.

In God’s infinite grace and mercy he had a plan to redeem man, to purchase him back from the wiles of the Devil. That plan was the promised seed of woman, Jesus Christ. Since a perfect man is the one who sinned and lost relationship and dominion, it would have to be a perfect man to redeem us from the consequences of that sin. Man had to do redeem man. God couldn’t legally redeem man himself.

Deuteronomy 18:15
[Moses is speaking] 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;

God will raise up a prophet from the midst of the nation of Israel, from among the brethren.  

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

This child, this son, will be so closely aligned with God his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. This man will come from King David’s bloodline to govern, a promise God made to David, who was a man after God’s own heart.

2 Samual 7:12,13
And when thy days be fulfilled [speaking to David], and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers [die], I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Psalm 40:6
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Numbers 21:9
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Galatians 1:3,4
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

There are many prophecies about God’s anointed in the Old Testament. In the New Testament we read how most, or many, of these prophecies are already fulfilled. They are being fulfilled in Jesus Christ, but the end hasn’t arrived. Both Old and New Testaments are so vitally important. One testifies of the other.

Luke 24:27
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Jesus had studied the Word of God. He knew who he was because God had showed him. He was the Christ, the son of the living God! He was created life, as was Adam. He knew this and he used the “Old Testament” scrolls to explain prophecies concerning himself.

Who is Jesus Christ? God or Man

You asked about Jesus Christ and said if he is God you want to accept that. Wars have been fought over this subject. People have died. Whether or not Jesus Christ is God is something you must decide for yourself, as do we all. I do not believe Jesus Christ is God. I base this belief on a preponderance of scripture found in the Word of God. I believe he was/is a man, a sinless man called of God to redeem all that Adam had lost. He made himself the free-will legal payment for our sins once and for all.  So much so, that had the princes of this world known what had been planned from before the foundations of the world they never would have crucified him.

1 Corinthians 2:7,8
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery [a secret], even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Jesus Christ, being declared a man, the Son of the living God, is repeated over and over and over again in the written Word of God. It is either truth or a lie. And God is not a man that He should lie. Who is Jesus Christ? I believe he is the Christ, the Son of the living God; a created life, planned from before the foundations of the world; a man anointed by God; a man who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, because God was with him. That is what the Bible says.

Act 10:38
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

1 Corinthians 15:20, 21
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:23
But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

1 Crinthians 15:45
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:47
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Mat 16:13-16
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 6:66-68
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. [Because he spoke God’s words] And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 1:18
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Act 2:22-24
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. [Because he was innocent, he had never done anything worthy of death]

Romans 1:3,4
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Luke 18:18-19
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

1 Corinthians 15:28
And when all things shall be subdued unto him [Jesus Christ], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [The Creator] that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

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

Either God said what He meant and meant what He said or He lied. And if God lied, we can’t trust Him in anything. There is ONE God, and ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ was God’s solution for the sin problem. God had to legally purchase man back from the death and disease that now exists and He did that through His son Jesus Christ. God redeemed man honestly, legally and with justice.

John 1:14 say the word was made flesh.

John 1:14¶
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Some teach that John 1:14 literally means God came down in the form of Jesus, God the son. That He put on human flesh and did for man what man couldn’t do for himself. But can that be truth if it contradicts all the other verses that say Jesus Christ was a man; the son of God; the first born of many brothern; a prophet like unto Moses; the last Adam; the son of man? No one calls Adam God. And we shouldn’t call Jesus Christ God either.

If Jesus Christ is God then man is still not redeemed, because God said that a man screwed it up and a man would have to fix it, 1 Corinthians 15:21, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” If God literally came in the flesh then God would be a con artist. Bait and switch. He would have lied. God does not lie.

Adam, the first man created in God’s image, lost our standing with God. Adam separated himself, and all of mankind, from God through sin, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But Jesus Christ, the last Adam, a man created in God’s image, a man as sinless as Adan had been in the beginning, a man who always did the will of the Father, a man who at any time could have gone the way of Adam but moment by moment chose not to, a man innocent of all accusations thrown at him including the accusation that he himself was God: this man sacrificed himself by allowing the abuse and hideous tortures he endured, ultimately hanging on a cross among thieves and malefactors being taunted and reviled. Yet he himself reviled not and threatened not. Jesus Christ committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously. Jesus Christ committed himself unto him that judgeth righteously! Jesus Christ committed himself unto him that judgeth righteously!! And God raised him from the dead.

Jesus Christ had gone about “teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” He was a good man, a man who loved his God, his father. Jesus Christ was a man who walked so closely with God that it is written, when you saw Jesus Christ you saw the father. Not because he was God, but because every word Jesus Christ spoke were the father’s words. He always did the father’s will. He only did those things which were pleasing to the father. God was behind every move Jesus Christ made. You want to know who God is, see Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ always did the father’s will. When you see him you see the Father!

John 14:12
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Can I do greater works than God? Of course not. Believing Jesus Christ is a man, as is clearly stated in the Word of God, doesn’t make Jesus Christ any less exalted. It exalts God to His rightful place as the creator, ‘elohiym, God of gods! You see, God gave Jesus Christ all rule and all authority and power. God put all things except Himself under Jesus Christ’s feet. And Jesus Christ will rule until all enemies are destroyed, the last of which is death. Then 1 Corinthians 15:28, “Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” For Jesus Christ must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Not long ago, a dear friend of mine was telling be about the Apostle Paul and all the injustices he suffered and how Paul just kept doing the next right thing. My friend gained much strength from Paul’s life. And rightfully so. It is written that everything “written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).” We should gain strength, and patience and comfort from the scriptures. We should gain hope.

After listening to my friend I mentioned something about Jesus Christ’s life, his hanging on the tree and Paul’s following his example, which is something we are all exhorted to do.

1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

My friend flippantly replied with a laugh, “Oh yeah, that. He was God. That doesn’t count.” My jaw dropped. JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT GOD AND IT DOES COUNT. IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS. Jesus Christ did what he did, not because he was God, but because he loved and trusted God. We too can follow his example of loving and trusting God.

Consider this – If God says it is a bad thing to change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, would God really come down literally doing that very thing? Going from an incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man? Would God be so hypocritical and dishonest? Can God be a hypocrite at all and still be holy? Isn’t dishonesty a sin?

Romans 1:21-23
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

No. Jesus Christ was not God. Jesus Christ was a man anointed of God. Jesus Christ was created in the womb of Mary. Jesus Christ had the same sinlessness as Adam. Only a man could buy back what a man had lost. Jesus Christ was that man.

Hebrews 2:14
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Jesus Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same [he only took the flesh, he was created sinless. He had innocent blood]; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

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

John 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I [Jesus Christ] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and to reestablish man’s fellowship with God; a fellowship God longs for and man craves. 

The word “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed one” or “chosen one.” Jesus was the Christ, God’s chosen solution to redeem mankind from the grip of the adversary. The Devil’s minions had Jesus the Christ killed. When he died, the Devil thought he had won the world for all times, but in Killing Jesus Christ he had actually lost it.

You see, Jesus Christ didn’t deserve to die by any stretch of the imagination, so what did our righteous God do? He raised him from the dead! Honest, legal and just. God’s justice in raising Jesus Christ from the dead, never to die again, was so catastrophic to the kingdom of the Devil and his princes that it is written in 1 Corinthians 2:8, “… had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

But when we look around, we still see the adversary, the thief, the god of this world stealing, killing and destroying. The truth is, 1 Peter 5:8b, “… your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

Our adversary the devil wants to devour each and everyone one of us. He wants to kill us. He wants to steal from us. But first he has to destroy the light of God’s Word in our lives. One way he does this is by distorting the truth of God’s written Word. Just like with Eve in Genesis 3, a word is omitted, a word is changed, a word is added and then we can no longer declare “It is written” because we no longer have the Word of God.

The reality is unless man knows there is a way out, man can’t believe the way out is available. And God in His great love for man would have, as it says in 1 Timothy 2:4, “… all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” But the Devil doesn’t want that so he attacks the Word of God in our lives. He attacks the written Word, the spoken Word, the living Word, the believed Word. He distorts the truth until we no longer have the truth.

Not Much Has Changed??

Jesus Christ when hanging on the cross proclaimed, it is finished, and then he died. Well, if, it is finished, why do things go on as before? It doesn’t appear as if much has changed, does it? But things have changed. They have changed spiritually. Once again man could receive the holy spirit of God which had been lost by Adam.

Act 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost [Spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Romans 8:9a
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.

 1 Timothy 2:5,6
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

“to be testified in due time.” You see, everything that needs to happen hasn’t happened yet. When presented with the truth of God’s Word there are still people who will believe, and God doesn’t want to lose any of them. But some day Jesus Christ will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then there will be some explaining to do. We all will give account of ourselves before God. All of us, believer and unbeliever alike. 

John 10:10 healed my heart. When I heard this verse read to me as I sat in a bar drinking beer, years and years of hate and anger towards God evaporated in micro seconds. I learned that God is not responsible for death or disease or destruction or pain. I had been taught by my mother that God is responsible for everything that happens in life. But that was a lie she herself had been taught.

The truth is, the thief, the advisory, the Devil, is responsible for darkness in whole and in part. As the god of this world, he orchestrates everything from world wars to road rage. He is responsible for animal abuse, child abuse, indifference and megalomania. God didn’t want to leave man in this tragic state, dead in trespasses and sin, walking in a nature never intended for man to walk in. So God put his plan in place to redeem man, a plan known to God from before the foundations of the world. A plan of redemption and salvation. A plan executed in Jesus Christ, the promised seed of woman. A plan that God said when speaking to the serpent “shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

God made it so simple.

Romans 10:9,10
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

If you are interested in an illuminating study of what Jesus Christ, this prophet like unto Moses, accomplished for us, look at Exodus 12 and the purpose of the Passover Lamb when God led Israel out of Egypt, and beyond. There are other reference in the Bible with very specific guidelines in selecting the lamb, the age and condition of the lamb, preparing the lamb, where and how it was to be slain and dressed, eaten, and even guidelines on sharing the lamb. Then look at the details of the crucifixion. Jesus Christ is our Passover. He was slain for the sins of the whole world.

John 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

1 Corinthians 5:7b
For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

1 John 2:2
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus Christ was a “lamb” of the first year, meaning he was less than a year into his ministry when he was slain. He was without spot or blemish. He was being “prepared” for crucifixion at the same time the lamb was being prepared for the Passover meal. He was crucified outside the city. The Passover lamb was slain outside the city. No broken bones. There is so much to consider. Also, look at Moses’ relationship with God, his brother Aaron, the children of Israel and the wilderness. Look at Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. The details are fascinating. Details only God could get right.

I know there is a lot of scripture in this letter and if you read this far you have an awful lot to consider. Whether or not you believe is up to you.

You want purpose? God will give you purpose. You want peace? We have peace with God through Christ Jesus. You want to feel clean? You have been forgiven!  Yes, yes, God knows the horrible things you have done. He knows what you feel guilt over. He knows your shame. He doesn’t care. He wants you to come out of hiding. He knows why you have done the things you have done. He also knows that given your nature you had little choice. Without God’s holy spirit we are all dead in trespasses and sins, with no hope and without God in the world. But all that changed through Christ Jesus, the perfect sacrifice presenting himself to God once and for all.

Please let me know if you would like clarification of anything I have written. Or perhaps you feel I am wrong on one or many points. That is definitely within the realm of possibility. And certainly within your right to believe anything you wish.

And the answer to your question about a proof greater than prophecy? There is a proof greater than prophecy: speaking in tongues. But that is another long letter.  

As it is written, 1 Thessalonians 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.”

Amen and amen,

Shelly