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I Peter 1:15, 16 – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is
written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
This is quoting Leviticus 20:7
To say holiness is the major theme of the Bible is not an overstatement. We may talk more about that later.
Holiness is mentioned 654 times in the Bible in 587 verses.
Other words that have a connotation of holiness, such as sanctify, sanctification, separate etc. are also found numerous
The Hebrew word for holy is “Qudosh”. In Greek it is “Hagio”. The meaning at it’s root is the same; it means to separate.
Examples: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than
the heavens;” Hebrews 7:26
I Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth
the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
God came to save us wholly, both inwardly and outwardly.
I 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”
I Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
Holiness means to separate from, and separate to.
We are to separate from the world and to God.
II Corinthians 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you,”
II Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the
flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”
I John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of
the Father, but is of the world”
Ephesians 5:27 “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy and without blemish”
James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Jude 23 “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh”
We only obtain a beautiful spirit from God
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a
leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
The opposite of holiness is sin. Sin is just missing the mark. In Greek it is hamartia.
God is holy. Before anything else existed, Holiness existed as part of the essential nature of God.
Leviticus 19:2 “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the
LORD your God am holy.”
Leviticus 11:45 “For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy,
for I am holy.”
Isaiah 6:3 “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his
Since only God is holy, and we are sinners, and all our righteousnesses are filthy rags, the only way we can be holy is to
obtain God’s holiness.
Psalm 39:5 “…verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.”
Romans 6:22 “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end
The Fruit of the Spirit is holiness in believers. When we bare the fruit of the Spirit, we are showing God’s holiness from
the inside out.
Galatians 5:22, 23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness,
temperance: against such there is no law.”
Anyone who claims to be holy, and is not bearing the fruit of the Spirt, is lying.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Matthew 23:26 “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be
Holiness does not work from the outside in. It works from the inside out.
Matthew 23:26 is a powerful verse. Notice closely the reason for inward holiness.
When we diminish holiness in any dimension in our lives, we are diminishing the sacrifice of Calvary, and God’s power in us.
God desires to have fellowship with us. We must be after His kind, as found in Genesis 1. If He is holy, for us to have
fellowship with Him, we must be holy also. And that holiness only comes from God.
A Pharisee is one who only has the holiness of the Bible on the outside, but is devoid of the inward reality.
Satan would be considered the ultimate Pharisee.
2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
Looks good Scripturally outside, but of course inwardly is evil.
Matthew 23:27, 28 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed
appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear
righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
Does God care about my outside, my body and clothing?
I Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
But doesn’t the Scripture say God only looks on the heart?
No. As we’ve seen, to diminish God’s work in our lives is to diminish the price He has paid. Yes, the inside must come
first, and is paramount. But God also came to sanctify us body, soul, and spirit.
Some people mistakenly quote a verse that refers to height in a specific setting to do away with some of the purchase price
I Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have
refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the
Where did clothing originate?
Genesis 2:25 “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
Genesis 3:7 “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together,
and made themselves aprons”
Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them”
God has always been displeased with public nakedness after the Fall. Why? Because man in his fallen nature is attracted to
it, and it destroys the sanctity of marriage, which is a type of God’s covenant with man.
Genesis 9:22, 23 “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And
Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their
father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness”
God is concerned about clothing
Numbers 15:38 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments
throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:”
Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment:
for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God”
Proverbs 7:10 “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart”
I Timothy 2:9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with
broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”
I Peter 1:14 “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:”
Text: Acts 7:44 - “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.”
Exodus 40:17, 33-37 “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up…And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.”
Imagine a hot, dry, dusty, desert, with a peering sun beating down upon you. Before you is a massive pillar of the Glory of God. Around you are approximately 3 million people. You are making the largest jailbreak in the history of man. All to the glory of God.
You marched under the standard of your tribe, with each tribal leader at your lead. And in the middle of the 12 tribes was a Tabernacle. Portable, beautiful, and necessary for you and your families right relationship with God.
Within the Tabernacle was another structure, a tent, visible above the walls of the tabernacle, yet enclosed inside it. Within this Holy Place, went only the Priests. All the doors of the Tabernacle and Holy Place/Holiest of Holies were facing East, so it was like the sun shone within the tabernacle each daybreak.
This is just a brief description of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. God spent 50 chapters describing it, and its service, so we can adjudge its
importance. Every Jewish Synagogue that has been built for the past 2,000 or so years has been built in the design of the Tabernacle.
How big was the Tabernacle?
It was about 150 feet long (100 cubits), 75 feet wide (50 cubits), and 7.5 feet tall (5 cubits). The door was 30 ft. (20 cubits) wide, and faced East.
The Holy Place, which also contained the Holy of Holies was 45 feet (20 cubits) long, 15 ft. wide (10 cubits), and 15 feet (10 cubits) high. Within the Holy
Place was the Holiest of Holies, which was a 15 ft. (10 cubit) cube.
The construction of the tabernacle, God’s meeting place with man, is basically found in Exodus Chapters 25-40. Moses received the dimensions for the
Tabernacle while he was on Mt. Sinai.
Exodus 26:30 “And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.”
The Tabernacle is just a shadow of the Tabernacle in heaven. Hebrews 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was
admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the
What the Tabernacle Consist of?
The Tabernacle itself was made of 60 pillars of brass, and were set in 60 sockets of brass. There were silver poles that went from one of the tabernacle to the other to provide stabilization. A fine linen curtain, hung with hooks of silver and pins of brass, covered the outside of the tabernacle.
The entrance on the East had fine twined linen with needlework of scarlet, purple, blue.
The Holy Place was covered with 4 different types of materials (cloth and animal skin). It was constructed of around 55 boards, 27 inches wide. Each board had two silver bases, and two tenons went downward from each board to hold it in place to the bases. There were beautiful hangings at the entrances.
The one leading into the Holiest of All, or the Holy of Holies, was known as the veil.
When you first entered into the Tabernacle, it was a little world unto itself. The first thing you came to was a giant Brazen Altar, 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet, with a brazen grate in the middle. It had 4 horns, to tie the sacrifice to the altar.
The next item you came to as you proceeded to the Holy Place was a brazen laver of water, made of the looking glasses of the women. The Bible does not give its dimensions.
Scriptures on the Tabernacle in the NT.
Hebrews 10:20 “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his 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.”
The word dwelt is tabernacle in Greek.
Hebrews 10:4 “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Matthew 27:51 “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;”
We now have a way into the holiest of all. The Glory is loosed in the world. Jesus Is our Tabernacle!! Hallelujah!!
Text: Romans 8:18 “For I recon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”
When I graduated from Bible School, I went to work in a Christian Bookstore. A very large one, biggest in Georgia by far.
I was introduced to many books that taught how to be victorious in the Christian life. As I read Scripture, I saw it was very Scriptural. Many of the NT
Epistles were trying to teach this lesson.
I have a passion to help saints unlock the power of God in their lives.
It basically boils down to:
Realizing what happened at the New Birth, and who we became when that happened. The power and authority we have been given.
Learning to walk by the Word and not our feelings. Walking by faith as it is.
Realizing that Heaven is worth anything!
That seemingly terrible situations occur in our life, and it doesn’t mean we are displeasing God.
Our prayer life, Bible reading life, and obedience life are crucial elements to serving God victoriously.
Armed with a Bible Promise book or two, I began to pray the promises of God. My life transformed amazingly. I was no longer swayed by every wind of Doctrine,
people’s attitudes, discouragement, and other fiery darts of the wicked one.
Look at some Scriptures that drive home these points.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Romans 8:31,32 “ What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us
all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
8:35-37 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is
written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Na, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.”
I also learned the power of words. God despises complaining and negativity. Words are seeds. They can either sow discord or blessing.
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: nd they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” That’s the reason we are to give an account
for every idle word we speak. If faith cometh by hearing the Word of God, doubt comes by hearing the words of the flesh.
1 Corinthians 14:26 “…..Let all things be done unto edifying.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengeneth me.”
Because we live in an instant world, and we have insecurities toward God, we blame God when things don’t happen in our time. We should trust God and praise
Him until the answer comes thru.
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ…”
I’d rather have Jesus than silver and gold and riches untold!
1 Corinthians 3:21, 22 says “ Therefore, let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Aollos, or Cephas, or the World, or life, or
death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours.”
All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen. He dwells in us. We are His temple. We have His name. We are His children.
Let God live thru you victoriously! Get tired of low living and mediocrity.
Text: Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
1 Corinthians 15;31 “ I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
Mark 12:30 “ 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
Living for Jesus means loving the Lord our God completely.
Heart- Kardia- Fountain of the desires and appetites
Soul- Psyche- Our Will and emotions
Mind- Dianola- Our deep thoughts and imaginations
Strenght- Ischys- Ability, Force, Might
Luke 16: 13 We cannot serve two masters. We must choose. And the choice we make is an eternal one.
There are two roads in life: Jesus, and everything else.
Luke13: 24 “ Strive to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
Matthew 7: 13,14 “ Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
We have to love Jesus more than family, friends, money, fame, success, our reputation, jobs, careers; everything.
Mark 8:36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’
Luke14: 26,27 says “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife and children, and brothern, and sisters, ea, and his own life also,
he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
How do we take up our cross and die daily?
1) We must learn that not all opposition is ba for us. As a matter of fact, it’s good for us. God uses circumstances and people to crucify our flesh.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I
strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
Romans 5:3,4 says “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience,
Romans8:28 reminds us “And we know that
all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
The trial didn’t come into your life to destroy you, but to make you! That’s the only way to have experience is to go thru trials. If you love God, it’s for
your good. If you need chastening, it’s still for your good.
2) You cannot crucify yourself. Someone has to help. And they are normally lined up to oblige.
Pauls thorn in the flesh led him to great power.
Acts 14:says “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the
kingdom of God.”
He early church learned to rejoice in their salvation, rather than grumble about their outward circumstance.
Hebrews 10:34 “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of you goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better
and an enduring substance.”
1 Peter1:6 “wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.”
So trust in God, He’s got your problem and situation.
1 Peter 4:1 says “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh. Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the
flesh hath ceased from sin,” S suffering is something we are to arm ourselves with, or use as a weapon. Get the mindset you’re going to suffer and fight,
like a soldier does before the battle. Make up your mind your going to win!
The New Birth feels so good, we don’t think anything could ever go wrong. And really it doesn’t. It just always feels that way. Fasting, prayer, doing hard
things, these are all ways the flesh is crucified.
We must be spiritually minded, not carnal or fleshly minded. Because what’s in our mind so often comes out.
Romans8:5-7 says “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be
carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it s not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be.”
When we walk in the Spirit, trying to please God in all things, great peace enters our life. But we must die daily.
Psalm 119:113, at the beginning of the 14th division of Psalm 19, we read “ I hate (vain) thoughts: but thy law do I love.”
Vain is “ce’eph” which means ambivalent or divided. This is translated vain, as in worthless.
Loving God has great rewards both here and in the hereafter. We have peace and joy in the midst of our storms here. Life more abundantly, a God who watches
over us and cares for us (1Peter 5:7), with assurance that everything is working together for our good. Dying to our thoughts, will and desires, and living
to His, is God’s best life for us right now. Just because I’m too stupid to connect the dots, I have to trust and know that God does all things well!! (Mark
Text: Colossians 1:1,2 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This evening, we’ll take a brief overview of the Book of Colossians as found in your Bible.
It is the 51st Book in the Bible, the 12th Book in the NT, and the 7th of the Pauline Epistles. It contains 4 chapters, 95 verses, and 1,979 words. This is .33% of all the chapters in the Bible, .3% of all of the verses in the Bible, and .25% of all of the Words contained in Scripture. It’s a smaller Book that packs a powerful punch!
It is the 9th largest Epistle that Paul wrote, and the 7th largest Epistle to a Church that he penned.
Paul had never been to Colossae, but as the Apostle to the Gentiles, he still felt a need to write to them.
Colossae was 120 miles east of Ephesus, and was in a triad of cities, along with Hierapolis and Laodecia. It had a branch of the Meander River (the Lycus) there, which was very cold. Colossae sat at the base of Mt. Cadmus.
Colossae was in Phyrgia, and had a significant Hebrew population, with 2,000 families being resettled there. It was also home of an angel cult, and religions blended there, as it was on a trade route from the Euphrates River to Ephesus, among other influences.
Notice in Verse 2 the letter is only to saints and faithful brethren in Christ. It will not apply to others.
Colossians 1:6 says the Gospel had gone into all of the world. Since the Epistle was probably written between 53-63 AD, during Paul’s 1st imprisonment, I’d say the Gospel went fast! There is still “Go” in the Gospel!
Verses 9-12 show us an example of how Paul prayed for them. It is instructive of our prayer life today.
Verses 13-23 show us redemption and it’s power, as well as the identity of Jesus Christ.
Verses 24-31 show us Paul’s incredible sacrifice and walk with God, as well as what Jesus has done for us.
Verse 1 Shows us Paul had not yet been to that area.
Verses 3-10 show us the supremacy of Christ over the wisdom of the world.
Verses 11-15 show us the greatness of the New Birth
Verses 16-23 tell us that self discipline and jewish law will not save us.
Verses 1-11 Tell us how to seek things that are above, not of the world.
Verses 12-25 are practical instructions to the Church for everyday life.
Verse 1 continues the same as above
Verses 2-6 are about prayer and soulwinning
Verses 7-18 are primarily addressed to various individuals within the Church, with instructions.
Colossians is a powerful Book for us today!
Some select verses from Chapter 1
1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
1:15-17 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
1:19 “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”
1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
1:27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
Text: Matthew 1:1 “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
The term “Christ” is used about 559 times in the New Testament. The Old Testament equivalent is “Messiah”, or as it’s quoted in the New Testament “Messias”, which is just a Greek pronounciation.
The term “anointed” in the Old Testament many times is from the Hebrew word Messiah.
The term anointed, Messiah, Christ etc. means to smear or put oil upon.
Priests were anointed. Believers are anointed. But there is only 1 Christ, the jewish Messiah.
When someone says “Christmas”, they are literally saying “anointed dismissal” (Mass means dismissal), since mass refers to the last word of the catholic eucharist. It could also mean “anointed eucharist” which celebrates the death of Christ, or alternatively “Christ Feast”, as in the Jewish and Christian Messiah.
The term Christmas was first used in 1038. Before that it was called “Nativity” (birth) in Anglo Saxon and Latin. Noel comes from the Old French which also means nativity, and entered English about the late 1300’s. “Yule” was what was called December and January in Old English, and it too came to represent Christmas.
We have no idea if Jesus was born on December 25th. The earliest records for this date are in the 300’s AD. There is evidence both for and against it. March 25th would have been the 14th Nisan, the Jewish Passover, the discussion goes. So if Mary was impregnated then, 9 months later would have been December 25th. Some say this was a pagan holiday Christianized by some Christians in the 300’s.
Christ in the Bible represents when God became a man, when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Christ is also the root word for Christian, which was first used in Antioch in Acts 11:26, which means a disciple or follower of Christ.
Christ is also a designation of the “Lord Jesus”, and is sometimes used by itself to refer to Jesus.
When you say Lord Jesus Christ, you are calling Jesus God and the Messiah who is the Saviour. Very powerful indeed! He is referred to 81 times in the Bible by that designation.
Ephesians 2:13 reads “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
The Jewish Messiah was supposed to be a suffering Messiah (Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53) as well as a conquering Messiah. Some ancient rabbinical texts said there would actually be 2 messiahs: A son of Joseph who would suffer, and a son of David who would then conquer. Messiah was also supposed to be God.
Though Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies of the Messiah, the Jews by and large completely missed Him. Most Jews are still waiting for a Messiah.
Let’s see what the Bible says are a few things that Christ did, does, and will do.
If Christ is our Saviour, and we’re washed in His blood, filled with His Spirit, take on His Name, live by Him, have hope by Him, put into His body, sit in heavenly places with Him – We need to leave Christ in Christmas!! It’s all about Him anyway!!
3) Incomplete Historical Records
This argument will only be dealt with briefly for 2 reasons.
1, it is taught in another course at IBC.
2ndly, it is really the most easily refuted of the arguments against Christian Evidentialism.
By any objective standard, there is more written about Jesus within the period surrounding His life than any other Historical figure of His era. The Psyche of His disciples, and the rapid spread of the movement, are consistent with the evidence of Scripture.
“The God who isn’t there” and the 126 historical documents that should mentions Jesus and don’t etc. are really just unscientific attempts to deceive the hearts of people.
A few brief examples of the abundance of proofs for the accuracy of the Bible and the historicity of Jesus are:
- The Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the amazing effectiveness of the Masoretes in copying the Bible without error
- P64 the Magdelan Papyrus being confirmed by an epifluroscent confocal microscopic analysis dating from 37
- The following was written concerning Chester Beatty Papyrus P46, a nearly complete set of Paul’s Epistles “Over fifty years later new discoveries and reevaluation of evidence was applied to Papyrus 46. Scholar Young Kyu Kim in a thorough and highly technical paper concluded that Papyrus 46 should be dated to the later 1st century before the reign of Domitian. Kim compared handwriting styles and linguistic changes from papyri of various known dates and found that Papyrus 46 matched much more closely those found in late 1st century documents than those of the 2nd century.”
- A 1st century portion of the Gospel of Mark was recently found, is currently part of a larger manuscript find being published by Brill Publishing.
- Jewish writings of the 1st century mention Jesus
- Early writers claimed to enemies of Christianity to be able to go to the Acta Senata and the Acts of Pilate to confirm the proceedings of Jesus death and trial.
- The Nazareth Decree of 48 AD
- 20,000 pieces of Biblical literature from 400+ languages from the earliest days of Christianity
When we get to archeology, there will be further confirmations, many along these lines.
4) The Problem of Translation
On the surface, this would appear to be an issue, maybe an insoluble one, on the authenticity of the Bible. Since translation is an inexact science, and since so much of Hebrew and Greek are contextual in their translations and interpretations, it would be impossible to have an accurate translation today.
These arguments would be similar to Ludwig von Wittgenstiens Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, and also arguments from the Vienna Circle.
But in practical terms, this is a non-argument. International treaties are routinely conducted in multi-languages, with a precision of meaning necessary for exactitude in minute business dealings.
The UN, among other bodies, routinely translates speeches into dozens of languages, and none of the several languages would have a dispute that they are hearing what is being spoken in meaning.
A non-issue among closer examination.
5) Inaccurate Historical Statements
There are none. Scholars didn’t believe Ur existed, until it was discovered. Scholars said the Hittites never existed, until Boghazkoy was uncovered, the Hittite capital. Ramsey went to the Mediterranean to conclusively disprove the Bible. He was converted to Christianity and became a great defender. Assyrian King lists, Rulers in NT times, Egyptology, are all routinely found to be correct with the Bible upon further examination.
This leads me to say – whenever you hear an authoritative, conclusive contradiction on some part of the Bible, be highly skeptical. The skeptics of the Biblical record have been wrong so often, it is invariable that they will be shown to be wrong in the current soup de jour as well.
6) Supposed Inaccurate and Outdated Scientific Observations Found in Scripture
Many say the Bible teaches a glass dome hovering over the earth, to which stars are attached. This is not true. The Bible mentions Arcturus, Mazzeroth, Pleaides, Orion, Planets, all without a reference to glass domes. This is misunderstanding of some of the Biblical statements.
Darwinian Evolution with its attendant billions of years is currently the major attack on the Bible from a pseudo-scientific point of view. But the evidence of a young earth being created in 6, 24 hour days is overwhelming and conclusive.
- Instantaneous Creation is the only viable explanation for Male and Female being formed with necessary components for procreation within spatial and chronological distance of one another, for each species
- Only a recently created Sun could sustain life on earth, as the heliosphere is shrinking by 5 ft per second
- Only a recently created moon could benefit earth, with lunar recession occurring
- Only an Earth of 10,000 years or less of age could sustain a Magnetic field with a half life of 1,400 years
- Moon dust accretion, meteors and craters, and comets all show the earth to be very young
- The objective evidence shows abundant proofs of a worldwide catastrophic flood
- Genetic entropy prevents the human race from being over 300 generations old, due to DNA degregation.
- DNA evidence shows the existence of a Mitochondrial Eve and a Genetic Adam in the recent past, even originating from the area near Ararat.
- Linguistic evidence would confirm a language type event at Babel.
- Symbiosis, the dependence on things with other living organisms, shows an instantaneous creation
- Syntropy shows a complete disavowal of any possibility of Darwinian Evolution
- Genetic walls are preventors of Darwinian Evolution
- There is no inheritance of Acquired Characteristics according to Mendels Genetics
- The 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics forbid the upward transmutation of the species, and the arbitrary, non-ordered bringing of order out of chaos.
- The Law of Biogenesis militates strongly against Evolution
- The Anthropic Principle, with its attendant observations of the uniqueness of water etc. show design and a Creator with purpose in mind
- Population statistics are consistent with a worldwide flood.
- Dendrochronology points towards a worldwide flood.
- The Bible speaks of the life being in the blood, the circle of the earth, the earth hanging upon nothing, the hydraulic cycle, and dinosaurs, showing its scientific accuracy.
- Saturns Rings are very young
- The Ica Stones, Petroglyphs, Footprints of Man and Dinosaurs in the same strata, Frozen Mammoths, and the existence of blood still on Dinosaur bones show man and dinosaurs lived together in recent times.
The Bible is accurate in all Scientific details
7) The Lack of Archeological Confirmation or Contradictory Information
Again, only the unobjective and biased make these spurious claims. Most respected, mainstream archeologists now conclude the Bible is accurate in every detail. Randall Price, Grant Jeffrey, the Mazars, Benjamin and Eilat, Don Patton, and Ron Wyatt are the names to look for here. Some of the older names are Joseph Free and Howard Vos, among many others. The evidence compiled from Archeology is overwhelming from all Biblical periods, with Christian Evidentialism.
- All of the major cities and areas of the Book of Genesis have been discovered and excavated. Intimate details concerning treaties and the selling of land have been corroborated, such as the Suzrein-Vassal Treaty.
- Archeology has shown Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues, Nimrod, and the Table of Nations in Genesis 10
- Antiquity has shown the Fall of Man
- The Sumerian King Lists shows ancient man lived significantly longer
- The Epic of Gilgamesh, with its Noah, Utnapishtim, along with 350+ other ancient Flood narratives, shows Noah’s Flood.
- The Chinese Language depicts the Fall and the Flood
- The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden
- Giant bones of humans and beds have been discovered showing Giants as confirmed in Genesis 6 and later during the Exodus/Monarchic Era.
- Many new and exciting discoveries are coming to light concerning the Exodus
- Shiloh has been discovered
- Balaam as a prophet has been found
- The Tel-Dan inscription of the House of DaVid
- Ahab’s Ivory House
- Baruch Bulla – Jeremiahs amanuensis
- The Silver inscription of the 6th Century BC with Numbers 6:24-26 on it
- Jericho’s walls are shown to have fallen as recorded in the Bible – with 1 section remaining – Rahabs house
- Peter’s House in Capernaum has been discovered, with references to Jesus being God inscribed on the wall
- Caiaphas Ossuary discovered
- Davids House possibly discovered
- Hezekiah’s water tunnel
- Sodom and Gomorrah referred to in ancient text
- The Temple
And hundreds more, including Titus’ Arch, all show the vital historicity of the Biblical narrative.
Halleys Bible Handbook and The Thompson Chain Reference Archeological Supplement are other good resources for this.
8) The Bibles Command and Approval of the killing of children, the approval of slavery, and Women’s Subjugation
1) Supposed Contradictions
The first issue that must be addressed, is do you deal with apparent discrepancies with eyes of faith, or do you acquiesce and say there are errors in the Bible. Until 1881, when Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield wrote an article for a Presbyterian magazine, basically all Bible believers everywhere defended the Bible to its most minute details. This is a watershed moment in the history of Bible believers. It is dealt with in very fine fashion by Jack McClroy in “Which Bible Would Jesus Use?”. After that point , it became increasingly ok to admit the Bible had several different types of errors, and the only perfect Bible was found in the conveniently lost Original Autographs.
You can immediately see why this would be convenient. The Christian can now say they are defending a Book that doesn’t exist. So any errors, supposed contradictions or difficult passages can now be explained away be degrees. So the spectrum gradually became for conservative Evangelicals that 98% of the Bible is confirmed true, while 2% is open to debate or question, all the way down to 75-80% of the Bible is true, but the overall message is true regardless of the existence of errors. This is called neo-orthodoxy, and has had as its greatest proponents Karl Barth and Emil Brunner. Different terms came to mean different things theologically. Inerrant meant the Bible was without error. Infallible meant the Bible had errors, but the message never failed. Trustworthy meant it had a bunch of errors, failed a lot, but overall was still trustworthy.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump. But Jesus defended the Bible down to the smallest parts of letters. Paul builds a doctrine on 1 letter in Galatians. Everyone who studies Philology knows the importance of just 1 word.
So, unfortunately in our day, many defenses of the Bible readily admitted errors in the text, such as Gleason Archers’ “Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties” and “Hard Sayings of the Bible” by FF Bruce and Walter Kaiser among others. This had some short term advantages, but the enemies of the Gospel quickly saw that capitulation and accommodation were the order of the day. Push against the Bible, and the majority of Christians, in order not to be seen as dumb etc. would capitulate and say – your right, but most of it is true. This viral contagion spread from College to Student to Minister to the Pew, and has had a deadening effect whenever allowed to set in.
The forgotten doctrine is “Preservation”, which all of the Biblical personages assumed. The integrity of the Scriptures are never questioned. As a matter of fact, whenever the Bible is found and acted upon, revival is the result. Inspiration without Preservation is useless. And we are seeing the fruit of it.
A remnant has continued to believe the Bible uncorrupted. Those that would defend the Bible from this point of view against alleged errors and contradictions would be: “Things Hard to be Understood” by David Cloud; “Handbook of Bible Problems” by Gerardus Bouw; “Problem Texts” by Peter Ruckman; “Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible” by John W. Haley, and the Dake Study Bible by Finis Dake.
Some of the more common alleged contradictions are: 2 Different Creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2
- Where did Cain get his wife
- The Chronology of Kings
- 2 Different Genealogies of Jesus
- Different Wordings and Details of Jesus Teachings, Miracles, Crucifixion and Resurrection (Jamison, Fausset, and Brown, and Finis Dake especially in these areas).
2) Theodicy – The Problem of Evil and the Justice of God
Epicurus is credited with codifying this in his Epicurean Paradox. If God is good, why does He allow evil? If God wants to prevent evil, but is unable to, He must not be omnipotent. Either way, God either does not exist, or He exists and is not truly God. David Hume expounded on this much later, in the 18th century.
So how does one answer this from a Biblical/Christian perspective? First, there are some problems for someone asking this question many times? Without the Bible, who and how is evil defined? By what standard? Utilitarianism? The Categorical Imperative? How can one say God did something evil, or someone else did and God allowed it, when one doesn’t even know what evil is and how to define it? Would Lenin define evil the same way as Florence Nightengale? Stalin and Hitler the same as William Booth? Machiavelli as George Washington? So one must have a consistent standard of evil, and a justification for knowing it is so, before accusations can be hurled about. This is no small task for the secularists, humanists, or naturalists.
Secondly, he hath done all things well – Mark 7:37, speaking of Jesus. As Christians, we understand that war, sickness, tragedy were not God’s will from the beginning. Man was in a blissful state. Satan is the destroyer, the corrupter. So it was not God’s will from the beginning.
But this still leaves the 2nd part of the Epicurean Paradox: Why doesn’t God stop evil and suffering now? The answer is, He has. All things work together for the good to those who love God, who are the called according to His purpose. So a Christian suffers, it is for his good if handled properly.
But what about the child suffering overseas!!?? Well, if they die, they go to heaven, so they win, if under the age of accountability as seen by God. If they suffer until their age of accountability, then their suffering may lead them to God, which brings them back to the state in the above paragraph.
But what if they reject God, and go to hell? This is where God’s grace comes in, and a Biblical understanding of it.
God was under no obligation to offer a plan of salvation. The angels sin, 1/3 of them, and boom – no plan of salvation. Ephesians 2:4-7 shows us that God devised the plan of salvation totally to show the riches of His kindness toward us in the ages to come. Once Adam sinned, since we were in the loins of Adam according to Hebrews 7 so to speak, we deserved death. The race was corrupted. But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, decided to make an incredible plan of salvation available to whosever will!
So vast evil is in the world. God’s original intent was for there not to be. And God has stopped it at the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Evil will be eternally stopped. Evil will be eternally punished. God’s justice remains supreme and unquestioned, as does His wisdom and love.
But what about people before the Christian era, did they not have access to this grace? Was God unjust then, as modern atheists would postulate?
Ephesians 1:10 seems to answer this, among other Scriptures. It reads, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” God’s sacrifice on the cross was viable and efficacious for OT people also. When they accepted God’s righteousness and graciousness by faith, their sins were rolled ahead to Calvary, to be dealt with then. Since God is not limited by spatial deliniations, He could be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world so to speak, and make in one all things in Christ.
So to conclude, God is just, and the justifier of them that believe in Him. God’s original intentions for planet earth and mankind were good. Once satan brought evil with its attendant sufferings into the world, God had a plan ready for evil’s eradication and punishment that would encompass every man and all of creation. God is not evil. God is not the problem. God is the solution.
Texts: Acts 1:3 “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:”
Infallible – Gr. “Tekmerion” – Conclusively known.
Galatians 3:1 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”
Evidently – Gr. “Prographo” – To speak beforehand, as in the OT Scriptrures; or to paint clearly in front of.
Psalm 119:160 – “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”
The premise of Christian Evidentialism is that every word of the Bible is true, and that all evidence properly interpreted shows this fact.
The textbook will be Walt Browns 7th+ Edition of “In the Beginning”. Besides attendance at the sessions on Monday and Tuesday Oct. 6-7 and November 17-18, the following will be necessary to complete the Course:
Read “In the Beginning” pgs. I-42 (at least in my edition – please ask if you have any questions), and pgs. 158-301.
Write a 5 page paper on some of the evidences mentioned in the first part of the book.
Write a 5 page paper on some of the evidences mentioned in the latter part of the book.
The Scope of Christian Evidentialism
Christian Evidences are all around us. Paul said they are in creation (Romans 1), and internal. David said the heavens speak of the glory of God (Psalm 8). Literally nearly every sphere of knowledge and man’s endeavours speak in varying degrees of loudness to the testimony of God and His Truth.
History – All recorded historical events are plausibly true using historical methodology. On a doctrinal level, again all basic Bible doctrines are shown to be true from a wide range of sources.
Science – Using the scientific method, all statements in the Bible pertaining to science are true and factual. Not only that, science shows that only the Bible has the explanation for Creation and Origins that fits all of the known facts and observable processes.
Archeology – Discoveries of the the Ancient Near East are all congruent with Biblical statements down to the finest details.
Linguistics – Current linguist and alphabetic models concur with Biblical conclusions about language, including Babel, and the situations both before and after this event.
Sociological – The statements the Bible makes concerning mankinds dealings with other men are demonstrably true.
Psychological – The inherent sinfulness of man, its many manifestations, man’s spiritual nature, man’s longing for Eden and search for the Divine among many other manifestations of the human psyche are shown to be true.
Logic – Within the confines of human reason, even the supernatural assertions of the Bible are shown to have logical consistency with prevailing assumptions.
Technology – Daniel 12:4 predicted our day, as did many other portions of the Bible.
Geographical – The Scripture is shown to be correct in all geographical references.
Philosophy – The Bible can be shown to have the highest sources of wisdom.
Prophecy – The Bible is correct in all its utterances.
Paleography – Shows the inerrancy of the Bible.
The Bible predicts the future. The Bible makes statements about invisible beings, and a holy city we have never seen. It speaks of places of eternal judgement we have not seen. But if the Bible is without error and totally accurate in every detail that is observable and quantifiable, should not we conclude that it is accurate in other non-verifiable statements and assertions?
This is called faith.
Evidence for the Authenticity of the Bible
The Bible is the Christians Charter. In it, we find everything we need for faith and practice. It is sufficient and complete. It is the Christians sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6). Jesus, our Great Example and Saviour showed us it is how to defeat the devil. No one in Scripture ever questioned its authenticity. So it is only natural for satan and fallen human nature to attack it. Undermine the Bible, and you have effectively undermined the Christian faith, for it is this infallible document that records for us everything we need to know as Christians.
Since mankind is finite and fallible, God gave us something outside of ourselves to guide us. Even the best of Christians may have disagreements, or think different things are the will of God. So there is an objective standard, an arbiter, that reveals to us the mind of God. It is concrete and divinely preserved by God.
Here is a short list of the ways the Bible has come under attack:
1) Supposed Contradictions
2) Theodicy – the problem of evil
3) Incomplete Historical records
4) The Problem of Translation
5) Inaccurate Historical Statements
6) Inaccurate and outdated Scientific Observations
7) Lack of Archeological Confirmation or Contradictory Information
8) The Bibles approval of the killing of children, slavery, and womens helotry or subjugation
9) Miracles and the supernatural
10) Psychological and Sociological statements and conditions
11) The Bibles exclusion of other faiths
So in Christian Evidentialism, at least briefly being able to show the answer to each of these is a good arrow to have in your quiver, or to at least be acquainted with the objection.
Now, a certain percentage of people that you win, or are coming to the Lord etc. are going to accept the Bible at face value. But with the deconstruction of the West, less and less people have faith in the Bible as the Word of God. A couple of studies will help show this.
A recent Gallup poll showed 31% of the American population believe the Bible is the literal Word of God.
Among those with no college education it is 46%. Those with any college attendance it is 22%.
Several recent polls have shown that 9-10% of the USA qualify as atheists. Polls showing much higher numbers usually include the “non-religious” category – but just because someone is non-religious does not mean they are atheists.
Generally, the West Coast and the East Coast have the highest numbers of self professed atheists. Also, citizens of larger cities tend to identify more with this demographic, while the more suburban and rural, the more the belief in God as a general rule.
By all counts, the trend in the US is towards less belief, as historical research shows.
Let’s briefly examine some ways Christian Evidentialism would answer these questions dealing with the Word of God.
Text: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20
It was a time of great spiritual darkness in Israel. During this time of crisis, many were suggesting various solutions. But God gave the
only solution that He ever gives: To the law and to the testimony, in other words – Back to the Bible!
Today we live in perilous times, but the solution is still the same – To the law and to the testimony.
The Law is Torah. Testimony is Tehuda.
Law is God’s parameters in our life.
Testimony is the proof and assurance that God’s Word is true.
In our day, we desperately need God’s parameters in our lives. We are living in a day where “In those days there was no king in Israel, but
every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6
People are making up their own rules – whatever they think, is what many people do. If it feels good, do it is the motto of the crowd.
But there is an external Book of codification, that shares with us, how we should live.
Isaiah 28:15 describes our day, “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the
overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid
Isaiah 25:7 “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.”
Isaiah 66:4 “I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I
spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.”
Isaiah 24:5, 6 “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance,
broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the
inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”
Isaiah 13:11 “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to
cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
But there is also the testimony! The proof that God exists and is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
Take Gideon for example. Judges 6:1 reads – “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them
into the hand of Midian seven years.”
God then punishes, and the nation of Israel repents. This is a cycle repeated often in the Book of Judges and elsewhere in Israel’s history.
Judges 6:6 “And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.”
The sad thing is, every so often, regardless of what comes, people will not repent. This is the situation in the Book of Revelation.
But there is abundant testimony to show that when God’s people trust in Him – He delivers!
“Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the
children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.” 300 men defeated 135,000!
Daniel may go into the Lion’s Den, but the testimony of God is that He saves out of the Lion’s Den!
Revelation 12:11 – “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives
unto the death.”
So in this end time hour – To the law and to the testimony!!
If people do not, or give different advice, it is because there is no light in them.
What if people treated football like Church?
- It lasts too long
- Nobody shook my hand and made me feel welcome
- It was too loud
- People acted too crazy
- Everybody stood too long
- I didn’t get my way, so I’m never going back
- Some people didn’t dress right
- There were too many breaks in the action. They even took 15 minutes for halftime.
- There were people there against me
- It’s too big, I couldn’t know everybody there
- None of the Coaches or Players (Leaders) greeted me
- A Jumbotron and speakers were constantly telling me to scream and wave my arms