Monthly Archives: August 2011


  • Just a brief message to let everyone know that I’ll be out the office for the remainder of the week, I’ll be traveling up to the New England states where I grew up to speak on a ‘Preaching Rally”   I’m going to be quite busy in preparation for the rally. I  would like to take this moment to thank everyone who has stopped by to read my posts, it’s very humbling to know that I’m able to impact lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. I also remind you that from time to time there will be articles that will be “Controversial” we will certainly disagree I’m almost sure of that. As a preacher among the churches of Christ/Christian Churches (instrumental) I’ve lived long enough to know that our positions on many of the issues that face the majority of the denominational world, we are at odds with one another for sure. So before I close this out allow me to share with you my fellow bloggers and others what “VERTICAL VIEWER”   is all about.                                                                            

OUR VISION: To simply view the Scriptures as our “ABSOLUTE FINAL AUTHORITY” on all maters of faith and practice
OUR VALUES: What we value more than anything is the “Absolute Truth”  We’re not interested in man’s opinion or interpretations. We hold to the ‘Traditions Of Scripture” NOT to the traditions of men.  OUR VOICE: The clear clarion call must be a “A THUS SAYETH THE LORD”   OUR VERNACULAR: It must be biblical in nature, It must not  be the “Language of Ashdod.   OUR VIEW: Our goal, our aim, our objective is to view the world as God sees it. Looking through the “lens” of scripture as our compass to guide us into all truth. So until next time my friends, Godspeed To all!!

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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized




I ASK THAT YOU PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER THIS TOPIC!!Anger, Wrath, Temper Control, & the Bible

“A Time to Love and a Time to Hate”
Is Hatred Always Wrong? What Does the Bible Teach?

Bible teaching about anger and controlling your temper: When you are angry, do you blow up, clam up? What guidance do the Scriptures give to control wrath?

Surely hatred is often bad, but is it always wrong or evil? What should we not hate? Is it ever acceptable to hate? When people teach that others are wrong because they participate in some practice, does that mean they are guilty of improper hatred? Should they be accused of hate speech or hate crimes, and should laws be passed to punish them? When the Bible is taught and people reject the teaching, who is really guilty of improper hatred?

How many times have you heard people say things like the following?

“Hate has no place in our society.”

“We need to learn to love, not hate.”

When people speak out against some practice, they are accused of being full of hate or using hate speech or a hate crime.

People often act and speak as though love is always good and hate always bad.

Hatred is a failure to love.

Matthew 6:24 – No man can serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. Hatred is not just the opposite of love, but a lack of love, the absence of love.

Love is a devotion or attachment that leads us to have a favorable view of someone or something such that we desire to promote it, benefit it, or seek its well being.

Hatred is generally hostility, animosity, or antagonism that leads us to have an unfavorable view of someone or something such that we desire it to be harmed, destroyed, or defeated.

But in the Bible hatred sometimes refers to loving one thing less than another. You don’t have to actively oppose a thing to hate it. So long as you don’t actively pursue its good or don’t love it as much as you love something else, then you hate it.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 says there is “a time to love and a time to hate.” The purpose of this study is to learn which is which.

Surely hatred is often bad, but is it always bad? Just because someone tells people they are wrong, does that mean they are guilty of improper hatred? When we tell people what the Bible says and they reject the teaching, who is really guilty of improper hatred? Consider:

I. Things We Should Not Hate

A. God and Jesus

We might think that no one would hate God, but there are several ways people are guilty.

Some people actively resent God and His authority.

Romans 1:30 – Those who are worthy of death include “haters of God.” The context discusses people who ought to believe, but reject the knowledge of God and so end up in false worship and immorality of all kinds. These people may worship idols, etc. (vv 23,24). What they hate is the God of the Bible, who places restrictions on them.

John 7:7 – Jesus said the world hated Him, because He testified that its works were evil. Again, they hated Him because He made demands on their lives. Some professed to believe He was not from God, saying He was a sinner, He did miracles by the power of Satan,etc. But the root problem was that He proved they were in sin, and they did not want to change.

In that sense we are surrounded by haters of God: people who refuse to have God in their knowledge and resent any effort to remind them of God.

[John 15:18,23-25; Isaiah 53:3]

Some people are indifferent to God or love something else more than God.

Matthew 6:24 – People cannot have two masters. They love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches). These people may not actively resent God, but their lives are controlled by material interests instead of God. This is hatred, because it is a lack of love for God.

This shows that everyone hates something. It is impossible to love everything, and God does not expect us to love everything. When two things that are antagonistic, the more you love one, the more you hate the other.

1 John 2:15-17 – If you love God, then you must not love the world. If you love the world, then the love of the Father is not in you. God views that as hating Him.

Some people show they hate God by disobeying Him.

Proverbs 14:2 – One who is perverse in his ways despises the Lord (maybe not intentionally).

John 14:15,24 – If we love God, we keep His commands. But he who does not love Jesus does not keep His words. So to disobey is to lack love – God says we hate Him.

When people claim that others are guilty of hatred, simply because they warn people they are guilty of sin, those people need to consider who really is guilty of hatred. In God’s view, the person who sins is guilty of hatred, not the person who rebukes the sinner.

Matthew 22:37-39 – The greatest command of all is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. There are some things we should hate, but we must make sure we never hate God, either deliberately, by neglect, or by disobedience.

[2 Chronicles 19:2; Romans 2:4; Psalms 139:21; Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 7:10; 32:41; 1 Samuel 2:30; 2 Samuel 12:9,10; Psalms 68:1; 81:15; Isaiah 49:7; Jeremiah 23:17]

B. Truth and God’s Word

Again, we might think no one would ever hate truth or hate God’s word. But there are many ways people are guilty, including the following:

Some people actively resent the restrictions or requirements of truth.

Isaiah 5:20,24 – Some people call evil good, and good evil. They reject the law of God and despise His word. This goes hand in hand with the people who openly hate God. They love to practice things that God says are evil, so they not only don’t want to hear the truth, but the openly resent it.

1 Kings 22:8 – Ahab said he hated the prophet Micaiah, because he always prophesied evil concerning him. Ahab was the most wicked king of Israel up to that time. He married Jezebel, worshiped idols, allowed Jezebel to have a man killed so Ahab could take his vineyard, and followed evil of all kinds. When a true prophet told him the truth, he hated it.

The problem is that people want to live to please themselves. They do not want to be restricted. An online student once said (in effect): “Don’t tell us what to believe. Don’t tell us what we have to do.” But the whole purpose of the Bible is to tell us what to believe and what to do!

Society is filled with people who argue against truth and defend other views, even when shown what the Bible says. So they choose other religions, other religious authorities, or no authority at all except their own desires. What God says is simply not what they want to believe, so they openly hate it.

Some people resent being rebuked by God’s word.

John 3:19-21 – People who love truth will come to God’s word so it can reveal truth. But some people hate the light and refuse to come to it, because they don’t want their deeds exposed.

2 Chronicles 36:15,16 – God described the sins of Judah and how He sent His messengers to warn them. But the people mocked the messengers, despised God’s words, and scoffed at His prophets. For such people, there was no remedy. God had no other solution: He sent them into captivity.

Hebrews 12:5,6 – The New Testament likewise warns us not to despise the chastening of the Lord. We should realize that chastisement and rebuke from God’s word is based on God’s love for us. Like the parent who corrects a disobedient child, God corrects us hoping to lead us to be righteous (vv 7-11). [Proverbs 3:11]

Again, rebuke of sin is an act of love, not of hatred. Properly done, it is for the benefit of one in sin to lead him to repent and be saved. When people resent it, they hate the word of God.

Some people hate truth by refusing to obey it.

Psalms 50:16-20 – God says the wicked hate instruction and cast His words behind them. They consent with thieves and fellowship adulterers, speak evil, slandering their brothers, etc. Note that these people claimed God’s covenant and taught His word (v16). But God says they had no right to, because their conduct showed they hated His word.

Proverbs 1:7,22,29,30 – Foolish people despise wisdom and instruction. They hate knowledge and despise reproof, because they will not listen to His teaching (vv 25,30). Their hatred is not open, deliberate antagonism; it is simply a failure to appreciate truth enough to obey it.

Again, note who is guilty of sinful hatred. Our society thinks that the person who seeks to correct sinners and lead them to the light is guilty of hate. The media repeatedly characterizes people who speak against homosexuality as full of hate. People who read our web site often accuse us of speaking from hatred because our articles rebuke sin.

But God says the person with sinful hatred is the person who resents teaching that shows people their error, or people who simply do not obey what God says. All such constitutes hatred of God’s word.

[Leviticus 26:14,15; 1 Thessalonians 5:20; Psalms 107:11; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:31; 2 Samuel 12:9,10; Ezekiel 16:59; 17:16-19; 20:13-24; Amos 2:4; Proverbs 5:12,13; 12:1; 13:13; 15:5,10,32; 23:9; Nehemiah 2:19; Isaiah 30:1,12]

C. Righteous People and Righteous Conduct

Proverbs 29:27 – An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous. And he who is upright is an abomination to the wicked. Someone might think it would make sense to hate wicked people, but why would anyone hate good people? Again, we will see there may be several reasons.

Some people resent goodness, because it shows they are wrong.

Micah 3:2,9 – Some people hate good and love evil. They abhor justice. Good people don’t hate goodness. People hate good when they themselves are evil and when they love being evil. They practice what is wrong and they don’t want to change.

John 15:18-21 – The world hates Jesus’ followers for the same reasons it hated Him, and it will treat us like it treated Him. They hate Jesus’ disciples because they are not like the world and because they do not know the Father. [17:14; 1 John 3:13]

People tend to resent anything significantly different from what they are, whether better or worse. We can see why people would resent evil conduct: criminals, terrorists, etc. But they also resent people who live significantly better than they do, because it exposes their evil.

Luke 6:22 – Men will hate Jesus’ followers, exclude them, revile then, and cast out their name as evil.

I remember a final exam I had in high school freshman algebra. Afterward, I overheard one girl say to another, “Do you know some dummy went and got 99% on the final. He ruined the whole curve!”

Likewise, people resent those who try to live really good lives. People act as though God will grade “on the curve.” If everybody’s bad, then they think they have an excuse for their evil. “Everybody does it.” Nobody’s any better, so God will just have to make allowances. But if some people are really good, they “ruin the curve.” They prove that other people could live good lives too, and there’s no excuse for those who don’t.

The proper response when we observe goodness in others is, not to resent it, but to learn from it and imitate it. God will not tolerate or excuse those who resent goodness in others.

Some people resent good people who rebuke their sins.

Amos 5:10 – They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks uprightly. This is the same attitude that leads people to resent God’s word: it tells them they are wrong, and they don’t want to change. Likewise, they resent good people who tell them they are wrong.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 – People despise what is good (v3) when they themselves practice evil: lovers of themselves and of money, proud, unholy, unloving, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. When people don’t love God and that which is good, it is because they love other things, including pleasure and all kinds of evil.

In short, people hate good people for the same reasons they hate God and His word. They are wrong. They don’t want to change. And they don’t want to be told they are wrong.

Note again that the world resents those who rebuke evil, even when they have real concern for the lost. Society often accuses such people of hatred. But the people whom God accuses of sinful hatred are those who resent the good people and oppose those who speak truth. Those are the ones who are really guilty of sinful hatred.

[Matthew 10:22; 24:9; Psalms 34:21; 51:17; 105:25; Proverbs 9:8; 29:10; 1 Corinthians 11:22; 1 John 2:9,11; 3:15; 4:20]

D. Other People

Sometimes people sin because they hate other people. Consider some kinds of people we should not hate:

Family members

We might think people would not hate the own family, but hatred is often most extreme and most common among family members.

Genesis 27:41 – Because Jacob tricked Isaac to receive his blessing, Esau hated Jacob and sought to kill him.

Genesis 37:4-8 – Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him as a slave.

Proverbs 15:20 – A foolish man despises his mother. Many children resent and despise their parents especially in their teenage years. [23:22]

We often hear of family members who quarrel, fight, do violence, and even kill one another. But hatred is not just active, conscious animosity. To fail to treat our family with love is hatred in the sense of a lack of love.

[2 Samuel 13:15,22]

The poor or the rich

Some resent the poor. Others resent the rich.

Proverbs 19:7 – The poor man is hated even by his own brothers. His friends abandon him even if he pleads with them. People don’t want to help poor people, so they may resent them; or at least they do not love enough to help. [14:20; 1 Corinthians 11:22]

1 Timothy 6:2 – Servants should not despise their masters. Those who lack wealth or possessions may resent and envy the rich, who have what we wish we had.

We should show care and concern for others regardless of their wealth or social status. Above all, we should seek to teach them so they can be saved.

The sick or disabled

Galatians 4:13,14 – Though Paul had a physical infirmity, the Galatians did not despise or reject him, but treated him as they would treat Jesus.

Jesus said that the way we treat the sick, the poor, and the needy is the way we treat Him (Matthew 25:31-46).

It is easy to resent the inconveniences or demands that are made of us by sick people. We don’t like being around their deformity or ailment. We may resent the fact they can’t contribute to society and we have to care for them.

Whether we are openly antagonistic or just unwilling to care for them as we should, either constitutes a lack of love and therefore hatred.

The young or the old

Just as we may resent the poor or the sick, we may resent the elderly or the young.

1 Timothy 4:12 – Let no one despise your youth.

Proverbs 23:22 – Do not hate your mother when she is old.

The young may irritate us with their foolish mistakes and their inability to work. We may resent their naughtiness or the fact we are responsible to care for them. Such attitudes lead to child abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

The elderly may irritate us with their feebleness or inability to care for themselves or to work. We may resent their forgetfulness or unreasonableness. Often they need our help with health or financial problems. Whether we are knowingly bitter or just negligent and indifferent, either is a lack of love and therefore hatred.

Other races or nationalities

Genesis 43:32 – Egyptians considered it an abomination to eat with Hebrews.

John 4:9 – Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. Attitudes like this hindered Jews in the early church from trying to save Gentiles.

So today people may hate people of other races or nationalities. Again, this may take the form of open animosity or it may simply involve neglect: unwillingness to help with needs or to teach the gospel or to associate in the same congregation. All such involves lack of love and therefore hatred.

Sinners and those who mistreat us

Luke 18:9-13 – The Pharisee illustrated people who trust in their own righteousness and despise others. He bragged in prayer about how much better he was than sinners. But he failed to see his own sins, while the publican acknowledged his sins and pled for mercy.

Leviticus 19:17,18 – Instead of taking vengeance or holding a grudge, we should rebuke a neighbor. Do not hate him, but love your neighbor as yourself. Note again that hate is a failure to love. It is easy to hate someone who sinned against us, but instead we should help them to repent.

And note again that rebuking people is not necessarily hatred or self-righteousness. Instead, God says we ought to rebuke people instead of hating them. To let a sinner stay in sin is hatred. To sincerely help him to repent and be saved is love.

[Matthew 5:43,44; Luke 6:27; Job 31:29]

People in general

Titus 3:3 – Sins committed by the foolish and disobedient include hateful and hating one another. Hatred of people is wrong in general.

Galatians 5:20 – Hatred is listed as a work of the flesh for which people will not inherit the kingdom of God (v21).

Proverbs 14:21 – He who despises his neighbor sins.

Again, this hatred can take the form of open animosity, wishing to harm someone or to see them harmed. Or it can simply be a lack of love – a failure to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).


We should desire all people to have what is truly good for them, not what is harmful to their souls or wellbeing.

However, opposing and rebuking sin out of sincere concern for the souls of the lost is not hatred. It is done to help people be saved. Nor is it hatred to hope that evildoers will properly be punished by those in authority (criminals, children who disobey parents, etc.), because that too is best for them and for everyone involved.

So far we have studied only part of the story. Next we will study passages that command us to hate all kinds of sin and wickedness. Just as the Bible tells us what to love and what not to love, so it teaches us what to hate and what not to hate.

So people today are mistaken when they loudly accuse those who rebuke sin of being guilty of hate. In fact, they themselves are guilty of improper hate, because they hate the truth taught in God’s word. Further study will show that they also fail to hate what God says they ought to hate.

But what about us? Are we guilty of improper hatred? Do we neglect to love God, His word, righteous people who serve Him, or other people around us. Do we need to repent of hatred?

II. Things We Should Hate

When people accuse those who rebuke sin of being guilty of hatred, they speak as if hatred is always bad. But is love always good and hate always bad? Do people who say such things really love everything and hate nothing?

Is everybody guilty of an improper hatred every time they speak out against something? Do these people never speak out against anything? If they do, are they guilty of “hate speech”? When they speak out against hatred, does that make them guilty of a “hate crime”?

Ecclesiastes 3:8 says there is “a time to love and a time to hate.” God says it is proper to hate some things. Whether we should hate or love depends on what we are talking about. Some things should be hated and others should be loved. In truth, everybody hates and speaks against some things, and rightly so.

In studying for this lesson, although I did not specifically count, I found about as many passages that list things we should hate as passages that list things we should not hate. We are commanded to hate just about as often as we are commanded not to hate – it all depends on what you’re talking about.

Consider some things God hates and expects us to hate:

A. Violence and Murder

Proverbs 6:16-19 – Immediately we see seven things God hates and abominates (and this is not a complete list). Included are hands that shed innocent blood.

Psalms 11:5 – God hates the one who loves violence. Note it: God hates what some men love!

Psalms 5:5,6 – He hates all workers of iniquity. He abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

So God hates all violence and shedding of blood that men commit against innocent people.

When people accuse others of hatred because they speak out against evil, ask them about violence. Do those people hate violence and murder, or do they love it? What about terrorism? If they speak out against it, should they be accused of “hate speech” or “hate crimes”?

And if people can understand why God hates murder and why it is proper to hate murder, then they ought to be able to understand why Christians hate abortion: because abortion is shedding the blood of innocent human babies – innocent human beings.

[Jeremiah 7:9,10; Ezekiel 8:17; 35:6]

B. Stealing, Greed, and Business Dishonesty

Deuteronomy 25:13-16 – Unfair measurement is a way of cheating people in business – you measure a product so as to give people less than what they paid for. It is a form of stealing. All who do such things, and all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord.

Proverbs 28:16 – He who hates covetousness (greed) will prolong his days.

Proverbs 15:27 – He who is greedy for gain troubles his house, but he who hates bribes will live. That includes government corruption.

So God says we should hate greed and bribery.

What about people who say it is hatred to speak against things other people do? Many people who say such things are politicians. Do they hate greed, stealing, and bribery – government corruption – or do they love such things? Whether they practice these things or don’t practice them, either way they speak against them. Does that make them guilty of improper hatred? Should such speech be outlawed as “hate speech” or “hate crimes”?

If they don’t hate stealing, greed, and bribery, they should hate them, and it would be proper if they did. God hates such practices. Do we?

[Jeremiah 7:9,10]

C. Lying and Deceit

Proverbs 6:16-19 – The list of things God hates include a lying tongue and a false witness who speaks lies.

Proverbs 12:22 – Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are his delight.

Psalms 119:163 – The psalmist says, “I hate and abhor lying, but I love your law.” Note: whether we should hate or love depends on what we are talking about.

Psalms 5:6 – God will destroy those who speak falsehood. He abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

So God teaches us to love truth but to hate lying and deceit.

What about people who say it is hatred to speak against things other people do? Do they speak out against lying and deceit, or do they love such things? Whether they practice such things or not, either way they profess to be against them. Does that make them guilty of improper hatred? Should such speech be outlawed as “hate speech” or “hate crimes”?

If they don’t hate lying and deceit, they should hate them, and it would be proper if they did. God hates such practices. Do we?

[Proverbs 13:5; 8:7; Zechariah 8:17; Jeremiah 7:9,10]

D. Pride

Proverbs 6:16-19 – The first thing in God’s list of abominations is a proud look.

Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Pride, arrogance, and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.

Proverbs 16:5 – Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord. Though they join forces, none shall go unpunished.

God hates pride, arrogance, and haughtiness. We should too.

What about people who say it is hatred to speak against things other people do? Do they speak out against haughtiness and arrogance, or do they love such things? In truth, many of them are elitists who think arrogantly and haughtily; but whether they practice such things or not, either way they profess to be against them. Does that make them guilty of improper hatred? Should such speech be outlawed as “hate speech” or “hate crimes”?

If they don’t hate pride and arrogance, they should hate them, and it would be proper if they did. God hates such attitudes. Do we?

E. Idolatry

One of the practices toward which God most frequently states His hatred is idolatry: worship of false gods.

Deuteronomy 7:25,26 – Carved images of gods were an abomination to the Lord. God’s people should not bring idols into their home, but must utterly detest and utterly abhor them. How can such statements be harmonized with the concept that God’s people should love everything and hate nothing? We must utterly detest and utterly abhor images of gods.

Psalms 31:6 – I have hated those who regard vain idols; but I trust in the Lord. Note again that the reason God’s people hate the practice of idolatry is that we trust in the true God. It’s what we are for that leads us to be against the opposite.

1 Peter 4:3,4 – People of the world (Gentiles) participate in various evils, including abominable idolatries. They think it strange that Christians do not do the same and so “speak evil of us.”

God hates the worship of idols and expects us to hate it too.

What about people who say it is hatred to speak against things other people do? Do they speak out against idolatry, or do they love it? In truth, many of them probably don’t care either way. If they did speak against it, should such speech be outlawed as “hate speech” or “hate crimes”?

But the passages help explain the real problem. People “speak evil of us” accusing us of things like “hate,” when they agree with certain practices and “think it strange” that we don’t participate in them. The problem is not that we are guilty of improper hatred because we oppose sin. The problem is that other people agree with the practice and seek some way to defuse our opposition to it.

But if people don’t hate idolatry, they should hate it, and it would be proper if they did. God hates idolatry. Do we?

[Leviticus 18:26-30; 26:30; Deuteronomy 27:15; 12:31; 20:18; 32:16; Jeremiah 32:34,35; 44:4,22; 13:27; 16:18; 7:9,10; 30; Ezekiel 5:11; 6:11; 7:4-9,20; 8:6-17; 14:6; 16:22-59; 20:7ff; 1 Kings 11:5,7; 21:26; 2 Kings 16:3; 21:2,11; 23:13,24; 2 Chronicles 15:8; Isaiah 44:19]

F. False Teaching and False Religion

What is true of idolatry is also true of all religious error and false practice. God hates and opposes everything the leads people to practice religious error.

Proverbs 21:27 – The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with wicked intent. Sacrifices are wicked when they are not offered in harmony with God’s teachings, or when they are offered by a person who is not serving God in his daily life, or when they are not offered sincerely with a true desire to please and honor God. All such is false religion and God calls it an abomination. [15:8; 28:9]

Jeremiah 7:9,10 – People steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, and worship false gods, then think they can worship God and be delivered to commit all these abominations. Note that nearly everything we have studied is here called an abomination. But the specific abomination here is false teaching that deceives people into thinking they can do all these things and God will still accept them.

Proverbs 17:15 – He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. God hates false teaching that says good people are doing wrong or bad people are doing good.

God hates false religion and false teaching and expects us to hate them too.

What about people who say it is hatred to speak against things other people do? Do they ever disagree with other people religiously? Again, some of them probably don’t care either way. But many of them do defend their practices on the basis of religion, including homosexuality and abortion. When they defend their practice on the basis of religion and say people who disagree are religiously wrong, are they guilty of “hate speech” and “hate crimes”? Why is it that only people who oppose practices religiously are guilty of “hate speech,” but those who defend them religiously are not?

Here again we get to the real root of the problem. Some people hold to false beliefs. The real problem is not that we are guilty of improper hatred because we oppose sin. The problem is that other people justify sin and get upset when we teach the truth.

But God says that religious error and false teaching are abominations. Is that what we believe?

[Proverbs 24:24; Isaiah 1:13,14]

G. Sexual Immorality

Jeremiah 7:9,10 – The abominations that Judah committed included adultery.

Malachi 2:16 – God hates divorce.

Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as with a woman he commits an abomination.

God hates the practice of adultery and homosexuality, just as He hates all these other sins we have listed.

What about people who say it is hatred to speak against these things? Do they view adultery and homosexuality as abominations or do they love them? Most of them might not openly defend adultery, but they will defend homosexuality. If they speak against adultery, are they guilty of “hate speech” and “hate crimes”? If not, then why accuse us of improper hatred when we oppose homosexuality?

But the passages again help explain the real root of the problem. The real problem is not that we are guilty of improper hatred because we oppose sin. The problem is that other people justify sin and get upset when we teach the truth.

But God says adultery and homosexuality are abominations. Is that what we believe?

[Ezekiel 22:11; 33:26; 1 Kings 14:24]

H. All Sin

God says we should hate sin of all kinds.

Old Testament

Psalms 5:5 – You (God) hate all workers of iniquity.

Proverbs 6:16-19 – The list of things God hates includes a heart that devises wickedness and feet that are swift in running to evil. Any form of evil is included among what God hates.

Psalms 97:10 – You who love the law, hate evil. It is a command! Those who do not hate evil, do not love God’s word!

Psalms 119:128 – I consider all God’s precepts to be right. I hate every false way [v104]. Note again the contrast. The reason we hate evil is that we love its opposite. The more we love one, the more we hate the other.

These are just a few of the many passages that teach us to hate evil.

[Psalms 26:5; 14:1; 15:1,4; 36:4; 101:3; 119:113; 139:22; Proverbs 3:32; 8:13; 29:27; 11:20; 12:8; 15:26; Ezekiel 18:12-24; Zechariah 8:17]

New Testament

Some may point out that we have studied many Old Testament passages. Could it be that hating evil is just an Old Testament idea? Does Jesus teach the same in the New Testament?

Hebrews 1:9 – Jesus was anointed by God because He loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Jesus Himself believed and practiced everything that we have read about hating evil. And God honored Him for it. [Psalms 45:7]

Romans 12:9 – Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Hating evil is a New Testament command, just as in the Old Testament. And again the reason we abhor evil is that we cling to its opposite. [Amos 5:15]

Revelation 2:6,15 – Jesus commended Christians who hated false doctrines and evil conduct that Jesus also hated.

[Titus 1:16; Revelation 21:8,27]

What we hate are people’s evil “ways.”

Proverbs 15:9 – The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness. What God hates (and we should hate) about people is their wicked “ways” – the sinful things they do.

Because we oppose error and because many passages talk about hating sinners, sometimes people think that we hate the people themselves. But we already learned we should love all people, including sinners and those who mistreat us. How do we harmonize these ideas? What God wants us to hate is people’s sinful character or conduct. “Hate the sin but love the sinner.” We love their souls, wanting them to change and be saved. But we hate and oppose sinful things they do.

Specifically, nothing here should be viewed as justifying taking personal vengeance or individually taking it on ourselves to do violence or physical harm to punish anyone for their conduct. Remember, violence is something God hates!

But sinful conduct of all kinds is what God hates, and what we should hate. We teach the truth, because we love souls and hope people will see their error and change.


When people accuse others of hatred for speaking out against certain practices, the practices being discussed usually include homosexuality and abortion – both of which were once illegal in most places in the USA within our lifetime! Everybody spoke against them (if they spoke at all). Nobody was accused of “hate speech” or a “hate crime” to speak against them! How can it be that, in a single lifetime, speaking against an act changes from something everybody knew should be done to a hate crime?

Do these people really believe that every time anybody speaks out against anything, he is guilty of “hate speech”?

Do they think they are guilty of a “hate crime” every time they speak out against anything? Of course not. The consequence of their view is that nobody could ever speak against anything. But even they speak against some things. Then how do they know that everybody who speaks against homosexuality is guilty of an improper hatred?

The truth is they know better than to say the things they do! Whether they consciously realize it or not, they are part of a deception. When they speak against what they oppose, they defend that as “freedom of speech.” When we speak against what we oppose, they call it a “hate crime”! They know it is not always wrong to speak against practices.

So why do they accuse us of hatred?

It’s a psychological trick, a form of manipulation and intimidation. By accusing us of hate:

1) They hope to make us feel guilty and keep quiet. Christians are supposed to love, not hate (they think). So if they can convince us that speaking against evil is hate, we will hush.

2) They hope to discredit us in the eyes of others. They believe people in general are opposed to “hate.” So if they can make it look like we are guilty of hate, people won’t want to stand with us.

3) They are preparing the groundwork for persecution of those who speak against homosexuality and other immorality. First they convince people it is “hate” just to speak against these practices. Then they pass laws to penalize “hate speech” as a “hate crime.” Then if we won’t hush, we get thrown in jail or fined. This is not imagination. It’s already happening in other nations.

But this all follows if they can convince people that speaking against evil is “hate speech,” even though they must know it really is not true!

So we have learned that everyone hates.

Good people hate evil practices, and evil people hate good practices. So whose hatred is wrong? Good people hate and speak against the practices that God hates and speaks against. They are just imitating God and obeying His word. But evil people love what God hates, and they try to silence and punish those who obey God’s command to oppose evil. What you hate depends on whether or not you believe in God and His word.

Do you hate what God hates? Do you love what God loves?


Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized




Will All Devout, Religious, Moral People Be Saved?

Will All Devout, Religious, Moral People Be Saved?

Will God grant salvation to every devout, moral religious believer, who is sincere, zealous, and committed? Does it matter how we worship or what we believe? What about truth, unity, and obedience?

Will God grant salvation to everyone who is a devout religious believer and lives a good moral life? People often think that God does not care what people believe or how they worship as long as they are good, sincere, zealous, and committed to their beliefs. Does the Bible give examples of such people? How important are truth, unity, and obedience based on the gospel of Jesus Christ?


When Christians claim that some religious practice or group violates Scripture, often someone will respond that the people involved are zealous religious people and/or good moral people. Clearly they believe that, simply because these folks have good morals and religious zeal, that somehow proves that they are acceptable to God, despite their continued disobedience to God’s word. So, we should not speak against the beliefs or practices of such folks.

The Bible absolutely does teach that people should be religiously devout and should have good morals, but are those things enough to assure that they will receive eternal life? To illustrate, every living human adult must breathe, but just because something breathes does that mean it is a human adult? Likewise, a person must have religious zeal and good morals to please God, but is this enough for him to be saved or is something more required in addition to this?

Consider several areas of Bible teaching that relate to this subject.

I. Consider Some Bible Examples.

According to the Bible, was God always pleased with people who were dedicated to their religion and lived good moral lives? Or were some people unsaved despite having good morals and religious devotion? Consider several Bible examples.

The Ethiopian Treasurer – Acts 8:26-39

This man was dedicated to his religion even before he heard the gospel.

He had traveled by chariot from Ethiopia to Jerusalem in order to worship (v27). As he traveled, he read the Scriptures (v28) and wanted a better understanding of them (vv 30-34).

But was he saved and destined for eternal life at this time?

He did not even know about Jesus.

Philip had to teach this to him (v35). Can one who does not believe in Jesus be saved?

Acts 4:12 – There is salvation in no other name but that of Jesus.

John 8:24 – Those who do not believe in Jesus will die in sin. How then could the treasurer have been saved before he believed? (Cf. John 14:6; Mark 16:16).

Further, he had not yet been baptized.

Philip had to baptize him (vv 36-39). Can a person be in a saved state before he has been baptized?

Mark 16:16 – We must believe and be baptized in order to be saved.

Acts 2:38 – We must repent and be baptized in order to have the remission of sins.

The eunuch was dedicated to his religion, yet he was unsaved until he heard the gospel of Jesus, believed it, and was baptized.

(See also Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3,4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21.)

Saul of Tarsus – Acts 22:3-16

Saul was also zealous in his religion even before he became a Christian.

He was a strict Jew, zealous toward God (22:3). He lived in all good conscience (23:1). He had been a “Hebrew of Hebrews,” blameless according to the law (Philippians 3:5,6). He advanced in the Jews’ religion beyond his peers, because he was more zealous for the traditions of the fathers (Galatians 1:13,14). Surely he was religiously devout.

But was Saul saved in this condition?

He did not believe Jesus was the Christ, the Savior.

In fact, he persecuted Jesus’ disciples (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1,2; 22:4,5), and did many things contrary to Jesus’ name (Acts 26:9). He was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious (1 Timothy 1:13). At this point, he was the “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).

Even after he believed, he was in sin till he was baptized.

Acts 22:16 – He was commanded to “arise and be baptized and wash away your sins.”

Saul was also a zealous religious person, yet he was unsaved until he believed in Jesus and obeyed Him by being baptized.

Cornelius – Acts 10 and 11

Cornelius was a religious, moral man before he heard the gospel.

He was devout, feared God, gave alms, and prayed to God (10:2). He was a righteous man, feared God, and was respected by the Jews (10:22). If just being religious and having high morals would save a man, Cornelius would have been saved long before Peter preached the gospel to him.

But was Cornelius saved before he heard and obeyed the gospel?

God told him to send for Peter who would tell him words whereby he might be saved (11:14). Peter came, taught him about Jesus, and commanded him to be baptized in water (10:47,48).

So Cornelius was yet another good moral man, active and dedicated in religion, who was unsaved till he heard gospel, believed in Jesus, and was baptized.

The Athenians – Acts 17:16-31

These people too were zealous religious people.

Their city was filled with idols that the people worshiped religiously (17:16). They were so zealous they even put up an altar to “the unknown god” in case they missed one (17:23).

But were these idol worshipers saved in that condition?

17:29-31 – Paul taught idolatry was wrong, and people must repent of it to be acceptable in the judgment.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21 – Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8; 22:15 – Instead, idolaters will be in the lake of fire, the second death.

Idol worshipers are religious, often very devout, and some have good morals. If that is all people need, why are idolaters not saved?

The Jews – Romans 10:1-3

These Jews were zealous in their religion.

They had a zeal for God (10:2). They had a system of religion, although it was human in origin (10:3). Even today, many Jews are very devoted to their religion, and many are good moral people.

But was their religious zeal enough to save them?

They did not know God’s way for making men righteous (the gospel of Jesus), so they did not submit to God’s righteousness (10:3). Therefore, they needed to be saved (10:1). Jews, of course, do not believe in Jesus, so they do not obey Him. We have already studied verses showing that obedient faith is necessary to salvation.

Surely it should be clear that people are not necessarily saved just because they are devoted to some religious system or just because they have good morals. Other things are necessary, including knowledge, faith, and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16).

II. Consider the Bible Teaching about Truth And Error.

If a person is saved simply because he actively practices some religious faith and lives a good moral life, regardless of the content of his faith, then religious truth or error would be irrelevant. We could be saved just by being religious, regardless of whether or not that religion harmonized with the Bible. But consider the Bible teaching.

The Importance of Religious Truth

Proverbs 23:23 – Buy the truth and sell it not. Truth is worth any sacrifice you must make to obtain it. Once you have truth, do not give it up no matter what you could gain by giving it up. But if being religiously zealous is all that matters, why be so concerned about truth?

John 8:31,32 – To be free from sin, we must know and abide in truth. Note that Jesus said this even to people who believed in Him. But what if we think that truth is not important as long as we have some kind of religious faith? Will we still be made free from sin?

1 Peter 1:22,23 – To be made free from sin and be born again, we must obey the truth, which is God’s word. What if we are religiously zealous, but have not obeyed the truth? Would our religious zeal alone save us? No, we must obey the truth to be saved.

2 John 9-11 – To have fellowship with the Father and Son, we must abide in Jesus’ teaching. What if we are religious, but our religion is not in harmony with Jesus’ teaching? Then we do not have God!

If you are religious, that is good. But do you also have the truth?

[John 4:23,24]

The Danger of Religious Error

Matthew 7:15,21-23 – Beware of false teachers who deceive people. Because of such false teachers, many people believe in Jesus calling Him “Lord,” teach in His name, and do many wonderful works in His name. Yet they are lost. How could this be if the only thing needed is religious zeal? Clearly something more is needed. What is it? We must “do the will of the Father.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – Satan and his servants pretend to be ministers of light and apostles of Christ. If they deceived us, we would be religious but would be following Satan! Does Satan lead people to eternal life? It is possible to be religious and yet be following Satan, because Satan is a deceiver. He fools people into following counterfeit religious practices, thinking they will still be saved.

Galatians 1:6-9 – People who teach a different gospel are accursed, and those who accept that gospel are departing from Him who called them. These Galatians were religious. In fact, they even believed in Jesus and were children of God (3:26,27). They followed a “gospel,” but were accursed because it was a different gospel. Someone was teaching them to still obey Old Testament circumcision; this would cause them to fall from grace (5:1-4).

1 Timothy 4:1-3 – Some fall away, following doctrines of demons, speaking lies, including the specific false doctrines listed. Yet these people are not irreligious. They follow religious commandments, yet they fall away because they follow commands that are not from God.

1 John 4:1 – Many false prophets are in the world, so do not believe all teachers, but put them to the test. Why should we put teachers to the test – in fact, why should we even care whether we are following false teaching or true teaching – if the only thing that matters is that we be religious?

Matthew 15:9 – People may even worship the one true God, yet their worship would be vain if it was based on humanly originated practices. (Note v14.)

Suppose a person is very dedicated in taking medicine to cure a disease. Would his dedication cure him, even if it is the wrong medicine? So religious zeal is necessary, but by itself it is not enough. It is possible even for believers in Jesus Christ to be deceived into following error and false teaching.

III. Consider the Bible Teaching about Unity and Division.

There are religiously zealous and good moral people in all kinds of different religious faiths. If religious zeal and good morals were all we need, then people who cause, promote, and justify division would still be saved.

In fact, this is the main reason why people claim that all devout, good moral people will be saved – because they want to believe that people can be saved in any denomination, despite the fact that denominations are divided in practice, worship, organization, plan of salvation, etc. When we rebuke these divisions (and the false doctrines that produce them), that’s when people say we should hush, because these are devout, good moral people. In other words, one of the main reasons people promote the idea is to justify people who are religiously divided!

What does the Bible say?

The Importance of Unity

John 17:20-23 – Jesus prayed for all to be one as He and the Father are one. If religious zeal and good morals are all we need to be saved, why did He pray for religious unity? Why didn’t He just pray for all people to be zealously devout and have good morals? When people say that doctrinal differences do not matter (as long as we are zealous, etc.), they are contradicting Jesus’ prayer and justifying the very division that He sought to eliminate.

Ephesians 4:3-6 – We must strive for unity according to the Spirit, in the bond of peace. This requires oneness in each of the seven areas listed, including one faith and one body (which is the church – 1:22,23). If religious zeal and good morals were all we need to be saved, why strive for unity? But the Bible says that unity matters.

We need religious zeal, but we also need religious unity. That unity requires all believers to follow one faith and be members of one church.

The Danger of Division

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 – Jesus’ followers should not be divided because Jesus is not divided against Himself. There should be no divisions among us such as those that existed at Corinth. But the division that exists today between denominations is far greater than what existed at Corinth, and yet some people claim that God will overlook it.

If religious zeal is all we need, why does this passage rebuke division? If Paul believed like some people today, he would have told the Corinthians their divisions did not matter as long as they were zealous!

Galatians 5:19-21 – We need to be good moral people, because those who do not practice moral purity will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the same passage says that those who cause division will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Yes, good morals are essential. But people today are mistaken when they say religious division does not matter as long as people are morally good and religiously zealous. God’s word says that being divisive and justifying division is as bad as being immoral. And yet the doctrine we are studying exists primarily to justify people who are religiously divided!


Perhaps you are a good moral person, zealous for your religious practices. If so, these are good qualities. God approves of zeal and good morals. But please understand that, by themselves, these qualities are inadequate for you to receive eternal life. This is true even if you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and man’s Savior.

You also need to be sure you have the truth, obey the true gospel, and unite with other faithful Christians in Jesus’ one true church. Otherwise, you are like a man in Chicago who wants to travel to New York, so with zeal and dedication he boards a plane headed to Houston. No matter how zealous and dedicated he may be, the truth is that he is going the wrong direction. In order to reach his destination, he must turn around and go the right direction.

Have you obeyed the true teachings of Jesus’ gospel in order to receive forgiveness of your sins? Are you following His true plan for faithful service to Him in His true church?

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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized




Is the Holy Spirit a Living Spirit Being in the Godhead?

The Nature Of The Holy Spirit
Is the Holy Spirit a Living Spirit Being in the Godhead?

Is the Holy Spirit a characteristic or a power from God or a living spirit Being possessing Deity in the Godhead, separate and distinct from God the Father and Jesus the Son?

What terms does the Bible use to refer to the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit a living spirit being separate and distinct from God the Father and the Son, or is the Spirit just a power or a characteristic of God? Does the Holy Spirit possess the characteristics and do the works of Deity? Is He a Being in the Godhead?


The purpose of this study is to consider the nature of the Holy Spirit and especially whether or not the Holy Spirit is a Diving Being who possesses Deity as part of the Godhead, like God the Father and God the Son.

Our understanding of the nature of the Holy Spirit is necessarily limited.

Many things about the infinite, spiritual God are beyond our ability to understand as finite, fallible humans. Can we answer every question about the nature of the Father? If not, why should we expect to be able to answer every question about the nature of the Holy Spirit?

Often we are uncomfortable discussing the Holy Spirit, simply because we have not studied enough. We talk about the Father so often that we get used to the fact that there is much about Him we do not know. But when we have neglected studying the Holy Spirit, it bothers us to discover how little we know about Him. But there are some things we’ll never know this side of eternity (Job 26:14; 36:26; 37:5,23; 11:7-9; Isaiah 55:8,9; Deut. 29:29).

On the other hand, there are many things we can know about Deity.

Even with limited understanding, we can know that the Father and the Son exist, possess Deity, and possess the characteristics of Deity (eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, etc.). Likewise, we can determine whether or not the Holy Spirit possesses Deity and the characteristics of Deity. That is the purpose of this study.

I. The Names of the Holy Spirit

The Bible often uses interchangeable terms for things. For example:

* God is called Jehovah, Almighty, or the Most High.
* The church is called the kingdom, body, house, or bride.
* The gospel is called the New Testament, the truth, the Word of God, the will of God, or the faith.
* Christians are called children of God, disciples, saints, or priests.
* Elders are called bishops, overseers, pastors, or presbyters.

In each case the different terms emphasize different aspects of the same thing, person, or concept. Likewise, we will see that the Scriptures use a number of names interchangeably to refer to the Holy Spirit.

A. The “Holy Spirit” (or “Holy Ghost”)

Obviously this is a common expression. We will see it used repeatedly as the study proceeds.

[Psalm 51 :11; Isaiah 63:10; Matthew 3:11; 12:32; 28:19; Mark 12:36; 13:11; John 14:26; Acts 1:5,8; 2:4; 5:3,32; 8:14-19; 1 Corinthians 6:19]

B. “The Spirit of Truth” and “the Comforter”.

John 14:16,17,26; (15:26; 16:7,13) – Jesus promised to send “the Comforter” even “the Spirit of Truth” to the apostles.

But in 14:26 He calls this one He would send the “Holy Spirit.”

Hence, “Spirit of Truth” and “Comforter” here are simply other names for the Holy Spirit. This demonstrates that different terms are used for the Holy Spirit.

C. “The Spirit”

Often the Holy Spirit is called simply “the Spirit.”

Matthew 22:43 – David spoke Psalms 110:1 “in the Spirit.” But the parallel passage in Mark 12:36 says He spoke it by the Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:10 and John 1:33 – At Jesus’ baptism, “the Spirit” descended in a form like a dove. But Luke 3:22 says this was the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:1 – Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and led of “the Spirit.”

Acts 2:4 – The apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues as “the Spirit” gave them utterance.

1 Corinthians 2:10 – The apostles and prophets spoke the will of God by revelation from “the Spirit.” But v13 (NKJV) and John 14:26; 16:7,13 show this was the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:7-13 – Miraculous gifts were given to men by “the Spirit,” but 12:3 shows that this was the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5 – “The Spirit” is the earnest or pledge of our inheritance given us by God. But Ephesians 1:13,14; 4:30 say that this earnest or seal is the Holy Spirit.

In these passages “the Spirit” is simply another name used to refer to the Holy Spirit.

However note that, in other contexts, “the spirit” may be identified as a spirit other than the Holy Spirit (see James 2:26; Matt. 26:41; Ephesians 4:23; etc.). The context must determine.

D. “The Spirit of God”

The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as “the Spirit of God,” or God may refer to the Holy Spirit as “my Spirit,” or others may refer to Him as “His Spirit” (speaking in reference to God).

Matthew 3:16 says “the Spirit of God” descended on Jesus as a dove at His baptism, but remember Luke 3:22 says it was the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:17,18 quotes Joel 2:28,29 where God said “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.” But this was fulfilled by the coming of the Holy Spirit (vv 4,33).

1 Corinthians 2:11,12 – “The Spirit of God” revealed God’s will,  but v13 (NKJV) and John 14:26 show that this refers to the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30 combines the terms as the “Holy Spirit of God.”

1 Thessalonians 4:8; Psalm 51:11; and Isaiah 63:10 combine “Holy Spirit” with “My Spirit” or “His Spirit” speaking of God.

Acts 5:3,9 use Holy Spirit and “Spirit of the Lord” interchangeably.

Hence “Spirit of God,” “My Spirit” (God speaking), etc., are other names for the Holy Spirit. Question: Can you find any instance where you can prove these phrases refer to anyone other than the Holy Spirit?

[Matthew 12:18,28 with Isaiah 42:1; Matt, 12:32; Luke 4:1; Acts 10:38.]

II. A Living Spirit Being

Like other Bible words, “spirit” can have different meanings depending on context. Consider some alternative ways “spirit” may be used in the Bible. Then we will consider which of these meanings applies to the “Holy Spirit.”

A. Alternative Meanings of the Word “Spirit”

A living spirit being

“Spirit” can refer to a person or living being who possesses the characteristics of a person or living individual separate and distinct from other such beings. The Bible mentions several kinds of living beings or individuals who are spirit beings (or in some cases, like man, a spirit dwelling in a body).

* God the Father and Jesus the Son – John 4:23,24; Luke 23:46
* Angels – Hebrews 1:13,14
* Satan and demons – Matthew 8:16; 12:24,43-45; Mark 1:23-27
* Human beings – 1 Corinthians 15:35,44; James 2:26; Luke 8:55; Acts 7:59; 17:16; 1 Corinthians 2:11

Note that the spirit of each such individual being is separate and distinct from the spirits or other living beings. For example, the Father is a Being whose spirit is separate and distinct from the spirits of angels and men, etc. The spirit of each angel is separate and distinct from the spirit of the Father and from other angels, etc.

The characteristics, qualities, or attitudes possessed of expressed by a person

“Spirit” in this sense can refer to some aspect of a person’s personality disposition, nature, character, etc. Examples:

Luke 1:17 – John came in “the spirit and power of Elijah.”
Romans 11:8 – A spirit of slumber (“stupor” – ASV)
1 Corinthians 4:21; Galatians 6:1 – A spirit of meekness.
2 Timothy 1:7 – A spirit of fear contrasted to a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.
1 Peter 3:4 – A meek and quiet spirit.

Many other examples can be given. The spirit of man is the inner man – the part that feels, wills, motivates, etc. So the real character of a man is determined by the nature or condition of his spirit. Hence, the word “spirit” came to refer to the various attitudes or qualities expressed by the spirit.

Note that each individual can have only one “spirit” in the sense that he is just one living individual being. Yet he may have many different “spirits” in the sense of qualities or attitudes. And in fact his spirit (in the latter sense) can even change as time passes.

B. The Holy Spirit as a Living Spirit Being.

Is the Holy Spirit a living spirit being separate and distinct from other spirit beings, like the Father and angels, etc.? Or is the Holy Spirit just a characteristic or an attitude possessed by God? Could the “Holy Spirit” be just a way of referring to the power, character, nature, attributes, or disposition of God?

The Holy Spirit possesses the characteristics and qualities of a living spirit Being.

Consider the following descriptions of the Holy Spirit. Would the following things properly be said of a mere characteristic or attitude? Or does this language demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is a person who possesses personal characteristics and qualities?

* He hears – John 16:13
* He can be lied to – Acts 5:3
* He makes decisions about right and wrong (like people do) – Acts 15:28
* He intercedes – Romans 8:26
* He has a mind – Romans 8:27
* He loves – Romans 15:30
* He searches – 1 Corinthians 2:10
* He knows (like the spirit of a living being knows) – 1 Corinthians 2:11
* He gives gifts – 1 Corinthians 12:8,11
* He wills – 1 Corinthians 12:11
* He grieves – Ephesians 4:30 (Isaiah 63:10)

The Holy Spirit is not just a characteristic or attitude. Rather He is a living Being who possesses the characteristics of a person.

[See also Romans 8:26,27; 1 Corinthians 12:8,11; 6:11; Matthew 12:31; Hebrews 10:29; Acts 5:9; 7:51; 8:29; 16:6,7; 13:2,4; 1 Timothy 4:1; John 15:26; 16:13; 14:26; 16:7,8; Ephesians 3:5; Revelation 22:17; Neh. 9:20]

He is referred to by masculine pronouns

This evidence may not be conclusive by itself apart from the point we just studied. But with the evidence above, it confirms the personal nature of the Spirit.

John 16:13,14 – “He,” the Spirit of Truth, will guide you into all truth, and “He” (the Spirit) will glorify Me (Jesus). (“Spirit” here is neuter in Greek, yet “He” in both cases is from a masculine demonstrative pronoun.)

Ephesians 1:13,14 – The Holy Spirit “who” is the guarantee of our inheritance (NKJV). (This is a masculine pronoun referring to the neuter “Spirit.” But note that some manuscripts here have the neuter “which” – see ASV.)

He is referred to along with the Father and the Son, who are surely living persons.

Matthew 28:19 – Jesus commands people to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Clearly the Father and Son are living spirit Beings. How could the command make sense if the Holy Spirit is just a power or characteristic, rather than a living Being like the Father and Son?

2 Corinthians 13:14 – The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Since Christ and God are living Beings, how would this make sense if the Holy Spirit is just an attitude or characteristic?

1 Peter 1:2 – We are elect according to the foreknowledge of the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. The Father and Son are living spirit Beings, so the Spirit must also be. All three are here mentioned as being involved in our salvation.

Luke 3:21,22 – When Jesus was baptized, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove. This pictures the Holy Spirit as having life of Himself, like the Father and Son, and He took a separate bodily form.

These verses show the Holy Spirit to be acting jointly with other persons. Since He acts like a person along with other persons, this implies that He is a person like the other persons in the context.

[See also John 14:26; 14:16,17; 15:26; 20:21,22; Acts 1:4,5; 2:32,33; 10:38; Luke 1:35; John 3:34; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 1:21,22; Ephesians 2:18; 4:4-6]

These points taken together indicate that the Holy Spirit is a living person or being. He cannot be just a characteristic, attitude, power, or influence. (This does not deny that He possesses characteristics and attitudes. But He is more than just a character or a power. [See Rom, 15:13,19.]

He is a living being. He possesses the characteristics of a person. He is referred to by terms that imply He is a personal Being. He does works and acts like a living Being. And He is described and classified along with other personal beings. We conclude that the Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being, not just a characteristic or a part of another Being.

III. Distinction from Other Spirit Beings

Since the Holy Spirit is a living spirit Being, we must consider next whether He is a separate and distinct individual from other spirit beings.

A. Distinct from Demons, Humans, and Angels

Satan, demons, and humans?

Obviously He is distinct from Satan, demons, and humans, since by nature He is the Holy Spirit. Satan and demons are not holy, and all humans at times are not holy. So the Holy Spirit is not a demon or human.


1 Peter 1:10-12 – Like Old Testament prophets, angels desired to look into the things that had been prophesied in the Old Testament but were not revealed till the New Testament. But the Holy Spirit sent from heaven revealed these things. Clearly the Holy Spirit is here distinguished from angels even as he is distinguished from humans.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13 – Men cannot know the things of God, but the Holy Spirit knows and reveals the things of God. But we now know that the angels also did not know the things of God till the Holy Spirit revealed them. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is not an angel as surely as He is not a man.

Furthermore, it follows from these facts that, not only is the Holy Spirit not an angel, but in fact He is above the angels, even as He is above men. [Note that the Spirit cannot possibly be an animal or plant, since they don’t even possess spirits.]

B. Distinct from the God the Father and Jesus.

Is the Holy Spirit a distinct individual from the Father and Son, or is He just another name for, or perhaps part of, the Father or Son?

The Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary – Matthew 1:18,20.

Did Jesus conceive Himself in Mary’s womb? Surely not, so the Holy Spirit must be a separate and distinct person from Jesus. [Luke 1:35]

All three were present at Jesus’ baptism – Luke 3:21,22.

Jesus was on earth having been baptized. The Father spoke from heaven and acknowledged Jesus as His Son. And the Holy Spirit appeared in a bodily form like a dove. All three are present and distinguished one from the other. So the Holy Spirit is distinguished from the Father and from the Son, just as surely as the Son is distinguished from the Father.

Blasphemy against Jesus is not blasphemy against the Spirit – Matthew 12:31,32

Blasphemy against the Son would be forgiven but not so blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But if the Holy Spirit is just another name for Jesus or just part of Jesus, then blaspheming the Holy Spirit would be blaspheming Jesus.

Baptism is in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – Matthew 28:19.

The Father and the Son are separate and distinct persons. The Son is not just another name for the Father, nor just part of the Father. So likewise the Holy Spirit is not just another name for the Father or the Son, nor is He just part of the Father or the Son. The verse lists three distinct living spirit Beings.

The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit

John 15:26; 16:7 – When Jesus was about to die and return to the Father in heaven (14:12,28; 16:7,10), He promised that afterward He would send the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles. Here you have one living individual Being sending another individual to do a work.

John 14:16,26; 15:26 – The Father also sent the Spirit. So both the Father and the Son joined in sending the Holy Spirit. But if the Son is a different Being from the Holy Spirit and as a separate Being He sent the Holy Spirit, then the Father must likewise be a separate Being who sent the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit is another comforter besides Jesus – John 14:16.

In sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus sent “another” (helper). [“Another” is from a Greek word meaning “another one of the same sort.”]

But if the Holy Spirit is just another name for Jesus or for part of Jesus, then He did not send “another” comforter at all but sent the same one.

Ephesians 4:4-6 also lists the Spirit separately from the Father and the Lord (Jesus).

This passage mentions seven things of which, in God’s true plan for man’s salvation and unity, there is only one of each. But each item listed is separate and distinct from all other items listed:

The body is not the hope, the baptism is not the Lord, the faith is not the God, etc. Likewise, the one Spirit (a name for the Holy Spirit) is distinct from the one Lord (Jesus) and from the one God and Father.

2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2

Both of these passages list the Holy Spirit right along with the Father and the Son. But the Father and Son are living spirit Beings separate and distinct from one another, so the Spirit must also be.

So the Holy Spirit is a living spirit Being, just as surely as the Father and Son are. But He is not the Father nor the Son, nor is He just a part of the Father and Son. Rather, He is a distinct individual. If we can understand how the Father and the Son can exist as separate individuals, then we can understand how the Holy Spirit can exist as a separate individual.

[Acts 10:38]

IV. Deity of the Holy Spirit

If the Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being, but He is not the Father or the Son, then what position does He hold? What level of authority does He possess and how should we view Him?

A. He Is Not a Demon, a Human, nor an Angel.

The Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being, but we have proved He is not a demon, a human or an angel. The only position left is that of Deity.

The Bible describes no other kinds of spirit beings other than those we have considered. Since the Holy Spirit is not any of the other kinds of beings, He must be Deity.

Further, we have learned that He is above all the other levels of beings, so this confirms that His position must be Deity. Those who believe otherwise are obligated to prove that some other level of authority exists.

B. He Is Referred to by Terms of Deity.

Acts 5:1-11

Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit – v3.

In so doing, he lied, not to men, but to God – v4.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit partakes of the character and nature of God, not the nature of men. He possesses Deity. Lying to Him is lying to God.

He is the “Spirit of God.”

In studying the names of the Spirit we showed passages where the Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of God.” (See Matthew 3:16, cf. Luke 3:22; 1 Corinthians 2:11,12, cf. John 14:26; Ephesians 4:30). But how can He be “the Spirit of God” unless He possesses and partakes of the character and nature of God?

The spirit of a man possesses and partakes of the character and nature of man – humanity. The spirit of a demon possesses and partakes of the character and nature of demons – demonic. The spirit of an angel possesses and partakes of the character and nature of angels – angelic. It necessarily follows that the Holy Spirit could be the “Spirit of God” only if he possesses and partakes of the nature of God – Deity.

But we have already proved that the Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being, and He is a distinct individual from the Father and the Son. So the Holy Spirit is a living Spirit Being who possesses the character and nature of Deity. He is a Being in the Godhead, just as the Father and the Son are.

C. He Possesses the Character and Does the Works of Deity.

Creation, sustaining creation, and eternal existence

Genesis 1:2 – The Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) was present at creation and was involved in it, even as were the Father and the son.

Psalms 104:30 – The context describes God’s provision for animals and the creation. He sends forth His Spirit and they are created and renewed.

Job 26:13 – By His Spirit He adorned the heavens.

[Job 33:4; 34:14,15]

Everywhere present

Psalms 139:7-12 – In describing God as all-knowing (vv 1-6) and present everywhere, David asked, “Where can I go from your Spirit?” He then describes how the Spirit would see him everywhere.

All-knowing and source of revelation

Mark 13:11 – When inspired men spoke for God, it was not they who spoke but the Holy Spirit.

John 16:13 – He guided inspired men into all truth. He knows all and is the source of all knowledge. This is surely the work of Deity. What other being would be so described if it did not possess Deity? [14:16,17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14]

Acts 1:16 – The Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David. [Mark 12:36; Acts 28:25; Heb. 3:7]

1 Corinthians 2:10-14 – The Holy Spirit (v13) knows the mind of God (like a man’s spirit knows his mind) and reveals it to men.

Ephesians 3:3-5 – The Spirit made known the mystery of Christ, which had not been made known to men in earlier ages.

2 Peter 1:21 – Prophecy never came by man’s will, but holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The message of the Scriptures is the message of God (2 Tim. 3:16). But the Holy Spirit is the Source Who had the power to reveal it.

Men acted as spokesmen or messengers, but they made clear it was not their message. They were not the source of origin of it, nor was it based on their authority. But the work of the Holy Spirit is contrasted to the work of the human teachers, in that the Spirit (along with the Father and the Son) is viewed as the source of the message and the authority behind it. This classes the Holy Spirit with Deity, not with lower beings. It attributes to the Holy Spirit the work and power of Deity.

[Isaiah 40:13]

Authority and unlimited power


Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the source of miracles, but miracles are what prove the power of God.

Matthew 1:18-20 – Mary conceived in the virgin birth by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8; 2:4,33 – The Holy Spirit came on the apostles and gave them power to speak in tongues. [10:44-46; 19:6]

Hebrews 2:3,4 – God bore witness to the message of inspired men by signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 – All miraculous powers are from the Spirit (the Holy Spirit – v3). He distributed these to men according to His own will.

Who besides Deity is spoken of like this as being the source of miracles? What man or angel could be described as distributing such powers according to his will?

Men often did the miracles, but they repeatedly denied that they were the source of the power (cf. Acts 3:12; 4:10). By the very nature and purpose of miracles, their source must be God – Deity. Yet the Holy Spirit is repeatedly spoken of as the source of the power. This is evidence of Deity.


Matthew 28:19 – All nations are commanded to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This passage places the Holy Spirit on an equal authority with the Father and Son. Baptism is in the name of all three. The name or authority of the Holy Spirit is the basis of baptism right along with the Father and Son.

To see the significance of this, would God ever command to do something in the name of the Father, the Son, and a human being or even an angel? Such is foolish to the point of blasphemy. If a thing is in the name of Deity, what significance is there in adding the name of a man or an angel?

Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 – Corinthians were divided over preachers. Paul teaches them in chap. 1-4 to emphasize Deity, not men, since men are just the messengers (3:3-11; 4:1,2). We should glory in the Lord, not in men (1:29,31; 2:5; 3:21).

To illustrate, Paul asks if he was crucified for us (v13). No, so Deity is important, not man. It would be blasphemy to exalt a man or angel as if he had died for us.

Then he asks if we are baptized in the name of Paul (v13). Again, we should glory in Deity, because we are baptized in the name of Deity. It would be blasphemy to be baptized in the name of any being that is not Deity. But we are baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit right along with the Father and Son. Therefore, the Holy Spirit possesses Deity as surely as does the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit does work and possesses a name/authority that only God can possess. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is Deity.

[Matt. 12:28; Rom. 15:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14]

Forgiveness, redemption, and sanctification

Matthew 28:19 – We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But what is the purpose of baptism? To forgive sins! See Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3,4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21. So the power and name of the Holy Spirit stands behind the forgiveness of our sins, right along with the Father and the Son.

But only God can forgive sins – Mark 2:5-7. Since baptism forgives sins, then to be baptized in the name of anyone other than Deity would be blasphemy! But we are baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit, as well as the Father and the Son; therefore the Holy Spirit possesses Deity. [Cf. 1 Cor. 12:13]

1 Corinthians 6:11 – Sinners are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (the Holy Spirit). So the Holy Spirit justifies from sin, but only God can justify from sin. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is God.

1 Peter 1:2 – We are elect according to the foreknowledge of the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. Again, all three Beings are involved in our salvation. But sanctification is essential to our salvation as surely as election and the blood of Jesus. Only Deity can do this. The passage involves the Spirit in our salvation as fully as the other Beings of Deity.

Romans 15:16 – Gentiles are acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has characteristics that only Deity possesses and does works that only Deity can do. Therefore, the Holy Spirit possesses Deity as surely as the Father and the Son do.

[2 Thess. 2:13; Gal. 6:8; Eph. 2:18]


Study of the Holy Spirit shows that He is not just a force or a characteristic but is a living spirit Being who possesses personal characteristics. He is not just a different name for the Father or the Son, nor is He just some part of them, but He is a separate and distinct individual Being from each of them.

Yet He possesses characteristics and does works that can only be true of Deity. He is referred to as Deity and classified as Deity along with the Father and Son. Therefore, He is a member of the Godhead.

We can understand that the Father and the Son are separate and distinct living Spirit Beings, yet each possesses Deity and therefore each should be viewed as God. In the same way we should understand that the Holy Spirit is a third distinct individual who also possesses Deity. Hence, the God we worship consists of three separate and distinct Beings, yet together they make up the one true and living God

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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized




  • Is the power of God.
    Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
    Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
  • Christ commenced His ministry in.
    Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
  • Christ wrought His miracles by.
    Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
    • Creation.
      Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
      Job 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
      Psalms 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
    • The conception of Christ.
      Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
    • Raising Christ from the dead.
      1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    • Giving spiritual life.
      Ezekiel 37:11-14 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
      Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
    • Working miracles.
      Romans 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
    • Making the gospel efficacious.
      1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
      1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
    • Overcoming all difficulties.
      Zechariah 4:6-7 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
  • Promised by the Father.
    Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
  • Promised by Christ.
    Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
    • Upheld by.
      Psalms 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
    • Strengthened by.
      Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
    • Enabled to speak the truth boldly by.
      Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
      Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
      Acts 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
      2 Timothy 1:7-8 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
    • Helped in prayer by.
      Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
    • Abound in hope by.
      Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
  • Qualifies ministers.
    Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
    Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
  • God’s word the instrument of.
    Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized




  • As the Son of God, is the power of God.
    John 5:17-19 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
    John 10:28-30 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
  • As man, is from the Father.
    Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
    • Supreme.
      Ephesians 1:20-21 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
      1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
    • Unlimited.
      Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    • Over all flesh.
      John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
    • Over all things.
      John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
      Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
    • Glorious.
      2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
    • Everlasting.
      1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
  • Is able to subdue all things.
    Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
    • Creation.
      John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
      John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
    • Upholding all things.
      Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
      Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
    • Salvation.
      Isaiah 63:1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
      Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
    • His teaching.
      Matthew 7:28-29 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
    • Working miracles.
      Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
      Luke 5:17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
    • Enabling others to work miracles.
      Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
      Mark 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
    • Forgiving sins.
      Matthew 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
      Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
    • Giving spiritual life.
      John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
      John 5:25-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
    • Giving eternal life.
      John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
    • Raising the dead.
      John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
    • Raising himself from the dead.
      John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.
      John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
    • Overcoming the world.
      John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
    • Overcoming Satan.
      Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
      Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    • Destroying the works of Satan.
      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.
  • Ministers should make known.
    2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
    • Made willing by.
      Psalms 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
    • Succored by.
      Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
    • Strengthened by.
      Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
      2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
    • Preserved by.
      2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
      2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
    • Bodies of, shall be changed by.
      Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
  • Rests upon saints.
    2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
  • Present in the assembly of saints.
    1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Shall be specially manifested at His second coming.
    Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
    2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
  • Shall subdue all power.
    1 Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
  • The wicked shall be destroyed by.
    Psalms 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
    Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
    Isaiah 63:3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
    2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized




  • Is one of His attributes.
    Psalms 62:11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
    • Voice of God.
      Psalms 29:3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
      Psalms 68:33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.
    • Finger of God.
      Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
      Psalms 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
    • Hand of God.
      Exodus 9:3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
      Exodus 9:15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
    • Arm of God.
      Job 40:9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
      Isaiah 52:10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
    • Thunder of His power, &c.
      Job 26:14 Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
    • Great.
      Psalms 79:11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
      Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
    • Strong.
      Psalms 89:13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
      Psalms 136:12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    • Glorious.
      Exodus 15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
      Isaiah 63:12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?
    • Mighty.
      Job 9:4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?
      Psalms 89:13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
    • Everlasting.
      Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
      Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    • Sovereign.
      Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
    • Effectual.
      Isaiah 43:13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
      Ephesians 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
    • Irresistible.
      Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
      Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
    • Incomparable.
      Exodus 15:11-12 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.
    • Unsearchable.
      Job 5:9 Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:
      Job 9:10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
    • Incomprehensible.
      Job 26:14 Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
      Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
  • All things possible to.
    Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
  • Nothing too hard for.
    Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
    Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
  • Can save by many or by few.
    1 Samuel 14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.
  • Is the source of all strength.
    1 Chronicles 29:12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
    Psalms 68:35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.
    • Creation.
      Psalms 102:25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
      Jeremiah 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
    • Establishing and governing all things.
      Psalms 65:6 Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power:
      Psalms 66:7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
    • The miracles of Christ.
      Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
    • The resurrection of Christ.
      2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
      Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
    • The resurrection of saints.
      1 Corinthians 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
    • Making the gospel effectual.
      Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
      1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
      1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    • Delivering his people.
      Psalms 106:8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
    • The destruction of the wicked.
      Exodus 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
      Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    • Long for exhibitions of.
      Psalms 63:1-2 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
    • Have confidence in.
      Jeremiah 20:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
    • Receive increase of grace by.
      2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
    • Strengthened by.
      Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
      Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
    • Upheld by.
      Psalms 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
      Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
    • Supported in affliction by.
      2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
      2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
    • Delivered by.
      Nehemiah 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
      Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
    • Exalted by.
      Job 36:22 Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?
    • Kept by, unto salvation.
      1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • Exerted in behalf of saints.
    2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
  • Works in, and for saints.
    2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
    Ephesians 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
    Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
  • The faith of saints stands in.
    1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
    • Acknowledged.
      1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
      Isaiah 33:13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.
    • Pleaded in prayer.
      Psalms 79:11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
      Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
    • Feared.
      Jeremiah 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
      Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
    • Magnified.
      Psalms 21:13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.
      Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
  • Efficiency of ministers is through.
    1 Corinthians 3:6-8 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
    Galatians 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
    Ephesians 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
  • Is a ground of trust.
    Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
    Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    • Know not.
      Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
    • Have against them.
      Ezra 8:22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
    • Shall be destroyed by.
      Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
  • The heavenly host magnify.
    Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
    Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
    Revelation 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized




  • An Excellent Article  By Wayne Jackson

The fact that human beings were made in the very image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27) should suggest, to those who contemplate issues seriously, that we are more than mere temporal creatures passing through time toward oblivion. The concept of an eternal future, which involves punishment for those who choose not to serve God, is one that strikes a note of terror in the heart. Given the arrogant disposition of mankind in general, the idea of eternal punishment has met with considerable resistance, even though it is plainly taught in the Scriptures.

Skepticism and Eternal Punishment

Naturally the world of skepticism has repudiated the idea of everlasting punishment. Although Albert Einstein believed in some sort of a “God” who revealed himself “in the orderly harmony” of the universe (Jastrow 1978, 28) he did not believe in the God of the Bible, for, said he, “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation” (Free Inquiry 1996/97, 31).

Bertrand Russell, Britain’s celebrated agnostic, suggested that one of the reasons he could not be a Christian was because Jesus Christ “believed in hell.” (At least he knew what the Lord believed!) Russell charged that no person “who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment” (1957, 17). In other words, the concept of eternal punishment was not consistent with his sense of justice. Though he acknowledged that some punishment was justified in the case of criminals, he opined that eternal punishment was unjust. Of course no one complains that eternal happiness is unjust in the case of those who have served God only briefly on this earth.

Religious Materialism

One aspect of “materialism” is the theory that man is wholly mortal. He thus does not possess a “soul” (or “spirit”) that will inhabit eternity. Companion to this, of course, is the belief that there is no eternal punishment for those who reject God. Even some religionists, who profess a reverence for the Bible, repudiate the proposition that there is a part of man that survives death, hence, may be subject to punishment forever.

For example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses allege that the concept of everlasting punishment is an “unreasonable doctrine” that “contradicts the Bible” (Make Sure Of All Things 1953, 154-55). To these misguided folks, “hell” is merely “a place of rest in hope” (Ibid., 68). Does it not seem strange that Christ would speak of the “danger” of hell (Matthew 5:22), if this state were merely “a place of rest in hope”?

Similarly, Seventh-day Adventists argue that the idea of eternal anguish in hell is not biblical; rather, they surmise that the wicked simply will be annihilated after an appropriate punishment (Seventh-day Adventists Believe… 1988, 369-72).

Materialism and the Restoration Movement

Churches of Christ have not been without their own problems when it comes to a denial of the doctrine of eternal punishment. In 1844 Dr. John Thomas, a physician from England, broke with the Restoration Movement. He organized a group that eventually became known as the Christadelphians. One of the major doctrines of this apostate faction was the belief that unbelievers will remain eternally dead.

Jesse B. Ferguson came to work with the church in Nashville, Tennessee in the winter of 1846. H. Leo Boles described him as a “meteor that flashe[d] across the horizon . . . leaving nothing but darkness in its wake” (1932, 186). Ferguson taught, among other errors, that there is no punishment for evil men after death (West 1949, 261-65). His influence devastated the churches in Nashville.

In 1982, Edward Fudge, who now serves as an elder for the Bering Drive church in Houston, produced his book, The Fire that Consumes. In this volume Fudge denies what he calls the “traditionalist view” of eternal punishment. He asserts that unrighteous people will be raised to judgment, punished for a while, and then banished to “total, everlasting extinction” (1982, 435-36). Though Fudge’s position has been thoroughly discredited, by writers both in and out of the church (Workman 1984, 492-508; Morey 1984, 102,124-25,206), some, nevertheless, have been charmed by it.

Pepperdine University invited Fudge to present his “conditionalist” doctrine at the 1991 spring lectureship. John Clayton, a popular speaker among churches, gave Fudge’s book an enthusiastic recommendation, while himself confessing: “I have never been able to be comfortable with the position that a person who rejected God should suffer forever and ever and ever” (1990, 20). Others also have toyed with this ideology.

During the April, 1988 Pepperdine University Lectureship, F. LaGard Smith argued that God “will destroy [the soul]. Not punish it. Not dangle it. Not torture it. Destroy it.” After some communication with brother Smith on this matter (see the printed Christian Courier, October, 1992), it is my devout prayer that our friend will study himself out of this position eventually, though I must say that, at this time, I have no indication of any inclination in this direction (see Jackson 1998, 18-19).

Biblical Evidence for Eternal Punishment

The biblical doctrine of eternal punishment is as clear as a teaching can be; it is naught but human emotionalism that obscures the issue for some. Let us pursue this study under several categories.

The Incorruptible Spirit

Some allege that the idea of man possessing a “soul” (or “spirit”) that survives the body in a conscious state, is a relic of paganism. That is not true. Consider the following:

  • Though an enemy may terminate one’s bodily existence, he cannot destroy his soul (Matthew 10:28). This could not have been said if human beings were entirely mortal.
  • Peter spoke of the need to clothe one’s “spirit” with “incorruptible” apparel (1 Peter 3:4). This imagery would hardly be appropriate if the human spirit itself were corruptible.
  • In Revelation 6, John saw a vision of martyrs underneath the altar of God. The text specifically affirms that John saw “the souls of them that had been slain” (v. 9). “Soul” cannot be a figure of speech for the entire person, because John saw the “souls of them” that were slain. Moreover, these souls were under the altar of God, but their dead bodies were still on earth. The resurrection had not transpired. Additionally, these souls were conscious, as evinced by the fact that they: spoke (crying out to the Lord); wondered (“How long, O God?”); remembered (their fellow saints still on earth); reasoned (concluding that the punishment of evil men is just); and, received a preliminary reward (white robes) in anticipation of the final victory (vv. 10-11).

The Consciousness of the Wicked

While it may be granted that the faithful survive the death of the body, does that premise hold true for the lost? Are they conscious in their estrangement from the Creator?

  • The Psalmist once described a particularly distressing time in his life as being like “Sheol,” which, in this context, represents the state of punishment for lost people immediately following death. He noted that it was an existence of “pain” where he “found trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 116:3). Each of these terms suggests consciousness.
  • Similarly, Jonah characterized his tormenting hours in the great fish’s belly as like being in “Sheol.” He observed that it was an environment of “affliction” (Jonah 2:2).
  • Daniel wrote concerning the condemned who are raised from the dust to a state of “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).
  • Jesus declared that those who die unprepared will be subjected to “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). “Punishment” clearly implies awareness; this is why the New World Translation (Watch Tower Society) changes “punishment” to “cutting-off.” Observe also that the punishment of the unbeliever is as enduring as the “life” (fellowship with God) of the believer.
  • Paul does not hesitate to affirm that those who “know not God,” and those who “obey not the gospel,” will “suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The term “destruction” does not connote annihilation. Rather, it is “the loss of a life of blessedness after death, future misery” (Thayer 1958, 443).
  • The book of Revelation describes the anguished fate of those who experience the “wrath of God.” They are tormented forever and ever (14:10-11).

Biblical Descriptives

There are numerous figures of speech in the New Testament that are designed to stress both the conscious nature of hell’s punishment, and its abiding duration. The ultimate fate of the wicked will be like an “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41); indeed, their “worm dies not [i.e., the gnawing anguish continues on and on] and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48). Hell is a place of outer darkness where there is weeping and the gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30), as God treads the winepress of his holy wrath (Revelation 19:15).

Surely it should be obvious that these are symbols intended to convey the horrors of eternal rectitude. The actual punishment will be greater than any figure of speech can portray. A recent writer observes:

A summary of all Scripture that speaks of hell indicates that there is the loss and absence of all good, and the misery and torment of an evil conscience. The most terrifying aspect is the complete and deserved separation from God and from all that is pure, holy, and beautiful. In addition there is the awareness of being under the wrath of God and of enduring the curse of a righteous sentence because of one’s sins that were consciously and voluntarily committed (Powell 1988, 953).

Eternal Punishment and Divine Justice

Many have a difficult time reconciling the doctrine of eternal punishment with the character of a benevolent God. Over against this emotional reaction is the sobering testimony of the Bible. Moreover, when all factors are taken into consideration, the problem is not insurmountable. Reflect upon the following points.

  • No one will be in hell who does not deserve to be there. God is loving (1 John 4:8), good (Psalm 145:9), and merciful (Ephesians 2:4). He will only do that which is right (Genesis 18:25). The Lord does not desire that a single soul should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but when men choose to live alienated from him, and cast their eternal welfare toward hell, he will honor their decision. Paul wrote concerning those who are “vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction” (Romans 9:22). Arndt and Gingrich, viewing the verb as a middle voice form, suggest that these “prepared themselves for destruction” (1967, 419; see also Vine 1991). When folks thrust from them the Word of God, they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life (Acts 13:46). Atheists somehow feel that the Lord is obligated to force rebels into his eternal, holy presence, even when they have despised him their entire lives!
  • Because Jehovah is holy, he cannot simply overlook sin as if it does not exist (Habakkuk 1:13); and so, because the Lord is just (Psalm 89:14), evil must be punished (cf. Revelation 16:5). That is why the Father gave his Son as a sacrifice for sin—that he might remain just, and yet be a justifier of those who obey Christ (cf. Romans 3:24-26; Hebrews 5:8-9). No man can complain about the injustice of hell in the face of the cross!
  • Even in hell the judgment will be fair. The Scriptures teach that punishment will be proportionate to the degree of one’s guilt (cf. Matthew 10:15; 11:20-24; Luke 12:47-48; Hebrews 10:29; Revelation 20:12-13). One will be judged according to his knowledge, ability, and opportunity. God will be equitable!


The doctrine of eternal punishment was taught by Jesus Christ (who said more about hell than heaven), it was acknowledged by the early church, it was endorsed by the “church fathers” (Buis 1957, 53-67), and it was defended by the theologians of the Middle Ages and the Reformation period. However, beginning with the eighteenth century a new wave of “clergymen” within the ranks of “Christendom” began to deny this fundamental tenet of biblical doctrine, and today a significant segment of American society (almost half) no longer believes in hell.

Further, the evidence is mounting that there is a weakening posture on this theme within the church. It is time that faithful gospel preachers give more diligence to teaching the truth regarding eternal retribution. Ignoring the truth changes no reality.

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized




Heaven: A place you want to spend eternity!

Click to View A boy stood on a windy hillside, flying a kite. He continued to release the string of the kite and it went higher and higher until it was completely out of sight. One of his friends walked up and asked how he knew there was still a kite on the other end. He replied. “I know it’s there I feel it tugging on the line.” Like the kite, we can’t see heaven with our eyes, but we feel it tugging at our souls!

I. Different views of Heaven:


  • The garden of Eden was originally intended to be the eternal dwelling place of man. When man sinned against God, Man was cast out of the garden. The entire hope of mankind it to be permitted to live once again in the physical garden paradise. God will restore the garden on a global basis and there “the faithful” will live a physical existence forever upon the earth. Advocates of this view deny that man has a soul. Their physical view of heaven is therefore a logical outgrowth of their doctrine on the soul. (Jw’s, Armstrong, Adventists, Christadelphians etc.)


  • The Mormons believe in polytheism and assert that God has flesh and bones like a man. As man is, God once wee as God is, man may become. They teach that at one time God the Father was Just a man like Adam. They also teach that any man can “evolve” or progress to become equal with God. The hope of a Mormon is to be raised from the dead, fly off into some distant galaxy with his many wives, (polygamy) and populate a planet with “Adams” who can become God’s. This process is happening right now on thousands of other planets, just like it is now happening on earth. This is “heaven” to a Mormon.


  • Heaven is the destination place of the faithful. It is not physical but spiritual, being in the very presence of God. God is a spiritual being that is impossible for human eyes to see. Heaven, also is outside the boundaries and understanding of man as he lives in the physical universe.

II. Where is heaven:

A. Two basic views:

  1. Heaven is physical upon the earth
  2. Heaven is spiritual in the presence of God

B. Heavenly places, lit: “IN THE HEAVENLIES” Used 5X in Ephesians

  1. Eph 1:3 all spiritual blessings IN THE HEAVENLIES
  2. Eph 1:20­23 God made Christ to sit at His right hand IN THE HEAVENLIES
  3. Eph 2:6 Christ raised us up to sit with him IN THE HEAVENLIES
  4. Eph 3:10 God’s wisdom made known through the church to the rulers and authorities IN THE HEAVENLIES
  5. Eph 6:10­12 Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness. against the spiritual forces of wickedness IN THE HEAVENLIES.

C. Heaven is not part of physical universe:

  1. Jn 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world . . . this realm”
  2. Heb 9:11,24 Heaven is not of this creation
  3. 1 Cor 15:50­51,44 Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God a. we shall all be changed…we will have a spiritual body

D. Jesus teaches His disciples about the nature of heaven: John 13:36; 14:1­6

  1. Jn 13:36 you cannot follow me now but you will follow me later
  2. Jn 14:2 Father’s house has many places, I go to prepare you a place
  3. Jn V3 I will come and receive you that where I am YOU may be also
  4. Jn V5 Thomas asks, “Jesus where are you going?”
  5. Jn 14:6 No one comes to the Father but through Me!

III. Physical symbols/word pictures of heaven

Click here to see photo gallery of heaven and hell

A. A City:

  1. An eternal heavenly city: Heb 11:16; 13:14
  2. a beautiful city: Rev 20:2,10­22:5
    • beautiful and glorious: 21:2,10­11
    • security: Walls and gates V12­14
    • very large: V15­17
    • Finest, most valuable materials used to construct: V18­21
    • Various other things: V22­27

B. SABBATH REST: Heb 3:12­4:11

  1. God has rested from creation to present: 4:3,9­10
  2. This is not the 7th day Sabbath: Col 2:14
    • Heb 3:17,18 + Ps 95:8­11 (All Jews kept 7th day Sabbath in wilderness)
    • Heb 3:19 4:6 Unbelievers could keep the 7th day Sabbath: Ex 20:10 23:12
    • Heb 4:11 must strive to enter this rest/7th day rest: merely cease work
  1. Rev 14:13


1. 2 Pe 3:5­7

  • The flood destroyed the earth only with water
  • Present heaven and earth will be destroyed with fire: V10
  • God will create a new heaven and earth: V13

2. The present physical universe is “uncreated” or eliminated:

  • Rev 20:11
  • Rev 21 :4b The old things hove passed away
  • Heb i3:14

3. Rev 21:1.5 I make all things new

  • We will watch God create the new heavens and earth!


  1. Rev 2:7 Tree of life in the paradise of God
  2. Rev 22:2,3 Uncursed tree of life

E. “HOLY OF HOLIES” or “MOST HOLY PLACE” of the Jewish tabernacle:

  1. Represented heaven: Heb 9:11,24
  2. Jesus entered into the veil: Heb 6:19,20
    • Jesus our “forerunner”, Military term, like spies sent into Jericho
    • We have confidence to enter the holy place: Heb 10:19,20


  1. Eternal day: Rev 21:25 ~ 22:5
  2. Physical comfort:
    • no hunger, thirst or neat: Rev 7:16
    • no death or pain: Rev 21:4
  1. Emotional comfort: No morning or crying: Rev 21:4


A. Overall heaven is described:

  1. Mt 5:11 as a great reward
  2. Rom 8:18 present suffering not worthy to be compared with future glory
  3. 2 Cor 4:17,18 eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison
  4. Eph 2:7 surpassing riches of His grace towards us
  5. Eph 3:20 beyond all we could ask for or even think of
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized




  • Christ is.
    1 John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
    1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
  • Revealed by Christ.
    John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
    2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
  • To know God and Christ is.
    John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
    • By God.
      Psalms 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
      Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    • By Christ.
      John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
      John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    • In Christ.
      1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    • Through Christ.
      Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
      Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    • To all given to Christ.
      John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
    • To those who believe in God.
      John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
    • To those who believe in Christ.
      John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
      John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
      John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    • To those who hate life for Christ.
      John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
    • In answer to prayer.
      Psalms 21:4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
  • Revealed in the Scriptures.
    John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
    • Drinking the water of life.
      John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
    • Eating the bread of life.
      John 6:50-58 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    • Eating of the tree of life.
      Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
  • They who are ordained to, believe the gospel.
    Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
    • Have promises of.
      1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
      2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
      Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
      1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
    • Have hope of.
      Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
      Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    • May have assurance of.
      2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
      1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
    • Shall reap, through the Spirit.
      Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
    • Shall inherit.
      Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
    • Look for the mercy of God unto.
      Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
    • Should lay hold of.
      1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
      1 Timothy 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
    • Are preserved unto.
      John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
    • Shall rise unto.
      Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
      John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
    • Shall go into.
      Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
    • Shall reign in.
      Daniel 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
      Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
  • The self-righteous think to inherit, by works.
    Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
  • Cannot be inherited by works.
    Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    Romans 3:10-19 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
    • Have not.
      1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
    • Judge themselves unworthy of.
      Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
  • Exhortation to seek.
    John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized



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