Acts 2:21 And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Genesis 4:26 …then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
Calling on the name of the Lord is not a new practice. It began with Enosh, the third generation of mankind, in Genesis 4:26. It was continued by Job (Job. 12:4), Abraham (Gen. 12:8; 13:4), Isaac (Gen. 26:25), Moses and the children of Israel (Deut. 4:7), Samson (Judg.16:28), Samuel (1 Sam. 12:18), David (Psa. 86:5, 7; 116:4, 13, 17),…Elijah (1 Kings 18:24), Isaiah (Isa. 12:4), Jeremiah (Lam. 3:55, 57), and others (Psa. 99:6). All these practiced calling on the name of the Lord in the Old Testament age. Isaiah also charged God’s seekers to call upon Him (Isa. 55:6). Even the Gentiles knew that the prophets of Israel used to call on the name of God (Jonah 1:6; 2 Kings 5:11). The Gentile raised up by God from the north also called upon His name (Isa. 41:25). It is God’s commandment (Psa. 50:15; Jer. 29:12) and desire (Psa. 91:15; Zeph. 3:9; Zech. 13:9) that His people call on Him. It is the joyful way to drink from the fountain of God’s salvation (Isa. 12:3-4), and the enjoyable way to delight oneself in God (Job 27:10), that is, to enjoy Him. Hence, God’s people must call upon Him daily (Psa. 88:9). It is such a jubilant practice that Joel prophesied (Joel 2:32) for the New Testament jubilee.
1 Cor 1:2 To the church of God which is in Corinth…with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours. Rom10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him;
In the New Testament calling on the name of the Lord is mentioned first by Peter, in Acts 2:21, on the day of Pentecost as the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. It is vitally necessary for us, the believers in Christ, to participate in and enjoy the all-inclusive Christ with all He has accomplished, attained, and obtained. It is a major practice in God’s New Testament economy that we may enjoy the processed Triune God for our full salvation (Rom. 10:10- 13). The early believers practiced this everywhere, and it became a popular sign of Christ’s believers toward the unbelievers, especially the persecutors (Acts 9:14, 21). When Stephen suffered persecution, he practiced this (7:59), and his practice surely impressed Saul, one of his persecutors (7:58-60). Then the unbelieving Saul persecuted these callers (9:14, 21) by taking their calling as a sign. Immediately after Saul was caught by the Lord, Ananias, who brought him into the fellowship of the Body of Christ, charged him to be baptized, calling on the name of the Lord [22:16], to show others that he also had become such a caller.
The Greek word for “call upon” is epikaleo, composed of epi, upon, and kaleo, call by name, that is, to call out audibly, even loudly, as Stephen did. As we consider Acts 2:21 in its context, we see that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, that is, upon all human beings, is for the purpose that people will call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. This is the reason Paul says that if one is to be saved, he needs to call on the name of the Lord. “Oh Lord Jesus!”
Often you hear this question phrased as…
“How is Jesus different from God?
This is really the wrong way to word this question. It is better phrased as “How is Jesus different from the Father?” There is only ONE God, not three and so in His deity, there is no difference (Deut 4:35; 2Sam.7:22; 1Chron.17:20; Psalms 86:10; Isa. 43:10-11; Gal. 3:20; 1Tim, 2:5; James 2:19).
In fact the Bible emphasizes the sameness between Jesus and God. In particular, the Gospel of John portrays the Savior- Jesus Christ – as God. In chapter one, Jesus is the Word and the Word is God! Then at the end of the gospel, upon seeing the resurrected Jesus, Thomas declares, “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28). The chapters between these two bookends strongly portray Jesus as God. Jesus is the embodiment of the Triune God (Col 2:9). Jesus is the great I AM -and I AM is the name of God (John 8:58; John 18:5).
The Triune God has both an essential as well as economic element. Essentially, God is one. The three of the Trinity co-exist and co-inhere in one another and have done so eternally. Essentially, therefore, there is no difference between the Father and the Son and the Spirit. The essential aspect addresses God’s being – His Person. The economic aspect, however, addresses His work. In His economy or plan, God the Father purposed and planned; God the Son accomplished all the Father has planned/purposed; and God the Spirit applies everything accomplished by the Son and purposed by the Father to His church. In other words, the Spirit makes God real to man.
If the Triune God existed only in His essential aspect, then we would be able only to observe, study, or worship the Triune God from afar, with no possibility of contacting and experiencing Him directly. In His economical Trinity, however, the Triune God became flesh, lived a perfect human life, died a redemptive death on the cross, and resurrected to become the life-giving Spirit. Through the application of the economical Trinity and His accomplishments in Christ, fallen mankind can be redeemed, born again, transformed, perfected, and glorified to express the Triune God for eternity.
Jesus is God! Jesus is Jehovah! Perhaps one of the greatest experiences of a Believer is to declare that “JESUS IS LORD!”
Proverbs 29:18a says, “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint…” The unrestrained condition today (23 churches just in the city of Clemson) is due in part to a lack of vision. This allows the fallen human nature guided predominantly by the intellectual mind and the emotion of ambition to invent all manner of thoughts resulting in divisions among God’s people.
Divisions also arise from having different diets. I Cor. 10:17 says “Seeing that there is one bread, we who are many are one Body; for we all partake of the one bread”. You are what you eat. So when we all eat the same thing, we all become the same thing. Therefore, division must come from Christians “eating” different things in addition to or instead of Christ as the unique food.
Christ as the all-inclusive One belongs to ALL believers. He is our allotted portion given to us by God (Col 1:12). Christ is the unique center of all believers in whatever place or situation. For all problems, especially the matter of division, the only solution is the all-inclusive Christ. ALL believers should be focused on Him, not being distracted by any gifted person, any overstressed doctrine, or any particular practice. (I Cor1:2 fn9 Rec. ver.)
What does the Bible say?
The Old Testament foreshadows or portrays a type/picture of what is accomplished in reality in the New Testament. The NT is about Christ. Not merely an individual Christ, but the One New Man (Eph 2:15) comprised of Christ the Head and Christ the Body.
Those then who received his word were baptized, and there were added on that day about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the teaching and the fellowship of the apostles, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:41-42.
Here we see that the first group of believers produced through the apostles’ preaching and ministering of Christ on the day of Pentecost continued steadfastly in four things:
- TEACHING – Teaching is the unveiling of God’s New Testament economy concerning Christ and the church.
- FELLOWSHIP – Fellowship is the communion and communication between the believers in their communion and communication with God the Father and Christ the Son.
- BREAKING OF BREAD – Breaking of bread is the remembrance of the Lord in His accomplishment of God’s full redemption.
- AND PRAYERS – Prayer is cooperation with the Lord in heaven for the carrying out of God’s New Testament economy on earth.
The first two matters, teaching and fellowship conjoined by “and” to be one group, are of the apostles…This indicates that besides the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, the believers in Christ should not have any other teaching and fellowship. (Acts 2:42 fn1)
That may seem pretty clear, but check this out… Jesus says in John 7:16 that His teaching is not His own, but comes from the Father. Also, in John 12:49, the Word says that all the speaking from the Son comes from the Father not of Himself. We then see in John 16:13-15 that the Spirit speaks to the Apostles but not from Himself. Rather the Spirit speaks the words received from the Son. Following that, we read in ICorinthians 2:11-13 that the Apostles received their words from the Spirit and not from themselves. Therefore, the Son spoke only from the Father and the Spirit spoke only what was received by the Son and the Apostles wrote only what was received from the Spirit. In other words, the speaking of the Triune God and the Apostles’ teaching were from the same source. In God’s New Testament economy there is only one kind of teaching revealed and recognized by God–the teaching of the apostles which is simply the entire New Testament.
Likewise, there is only one kind of fellowship which is of God and acceptable to Him–the fellowship of the apostles, which is with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3) and which is the unique fellowship of the unique church, the Body of Christ. The word “fellowship” used in Acts 2:42 and 1 John 1:3 indicates the putting away of private interest and the joining with others for a certain common purpose. Hence, to have fellowship with the apostles is to be in the fellowship of the apostles. To have fellowship with the Triune God in the apostles’ fellowship, is to put away our private interests and join with the apostles and the Triune God for the carrying out of God’s purpose. Our participation in the apostles’ enjoyment of the Triune God is our joining with them and with the Triune God for His divine purpose, which is common to God, the apostles, and all the believers.
The fellowship of the apostles is open, receiving all kinds of genuine believers in Christ. For example, this fellowship receives believers who have been immersed and believers who have been sprinkled. Furthermore, those in this fellowship do not require that believers be immersed only by them. However, certain sects insist that only their baptism is valid. They may insist that a believer be baptized again if he wants to join their group. This is an illustration of a fellowship that is different from the fellowship of the apostles. Any group that does not receive all true believers is a sect and is not practicing the fellowship of the apostles. (1John1:3 fn3)
Christianity promotes –“Attend the church of your choice this Sunday”. Pick the speaker you want to hear and pick the message that best suites you. There is a literal smorgasbord of teachings that are offered. And if you don’t like what you hear, then either fire the speaker seeing as they are in fact paid professionals or go someplace else that better suites your preferences.
Once you lose sight of the heavenly vision of this corporate Person (CHRIST & THE CHURCH), there is no end to the number of ways Believers can be divided. Paul instructed Timothy to exhort the brothers not to teach different things (I Tim 1:3). If the Apostles’ teaching comes from the Triune God, where do the “different teachings” mentioned in I Tim 1:3 come from? Often it’s the intelligent creative human mind or a charismatic personality or both. The point here is that “different teachings” obviously do not come from God.
A need for Recovery-a return to normal.
The church is the organic Body of Christ. It is not a man-made organization. There is a need among God’s family to be one in vision and in diet. On the cross, Jesus terminated ALL dividing barriers. “Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision & uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all and in all (Col 3:11). Revelation 4:11 clearly shows that the entire creation exists because of God’s Will not ours. Further, we know that His Will is motivated by His Good Pleasure (Eph 1:5) and His Purpose (Romans 8:28). So, we are all are here for Him-His need-His willHis desire-His purpose – not the other way around.
So, what does God need? God created man as a vessel in His image to be constituted with His Son to become the Body of Christ which is also the Bride of Christ and ultimately the Kingdom of God in the New Jerusalem for Eternity. This doesn’t just happen. It requires us to follow closely the Apostles Teaching- a teaching that fully terminates everything of the old creation including you & me and replaces everything with Christ. Christ is EVERYTHING in the new creation! (2Cor5:17)
If Believers yielded themselves to “not I, but Christ (Gal 2:20)” or “for me to live is Christ (Phil 1:21)”, there would be no divisions among His people. But so long as the fallen “I” remains, there will be discord.
May the Lord’s prayer for Oneness in John 17:21, become our prayer.
That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Cor 13:14
(The following are excerpts taken from the footnote for this verse in the Recovery Version of the New Testament published by Living Stream Ministry)
The grace of the Lord is the Lord Himself as life to us for our enjoyment (John 1:17 and note 1; 1 Cor. 15:10 and note 1), the love of God is God Himself (1 John 4:8, 16) as the source of the grace of the Lord, and the fellowship of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself as the transmission of the grace of the Lord with the love of God for our participation. These are not three separate matters but three aspects of one thing, just as the Lord, God, and the Holy Spirit are not three separate Gods but three “hypostases … of the one same undivided and indivisible” God (Philip Schaff). The Greek word for hypostasis (used in Heb. 11:1 — see note 2 there), the singular form of hypostases, refers to a support under, a support beneath, i.e., something underneath that supports, a supporting substance. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are the hypostases, the supporting substances that compose the one Godhead.
The love of God is the source, since God is the origin; the grace of the Lord is the course of the love of God, since the Lord is the expression of God; and the fellowship of the Spirit is the impartation of the grace of the Lord with the love of God, since the Spirit is the transmission of the Lord with God, for our experience and enjoyment of the Triune God — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with Their divine virtues. (1:12; 4:15; 6:1; 8:1, 9; 9:8, 14; 12:9). Such a divine attribute of three virtues — love, grace, and fellowship — and such a Triune God of the three divine hypostases — the Father, the Son, and the Spirit — were needed by the distracted and confused yet comforted and restored Corinthian believers. Hence, the apostle used all these divine and precious things in one sentence to conclude his lovely and dear Epistle.
This verse is strong proof that the trinity of the Godhead is not for the doctrinal understanding of systematic theology but for the dispensing of God Himself in His trinity into His chosen and redeemed people. In the Bible the Trinity is never revealed merely as a doctrine. It is always revealed or mentioned in regard to the relationship of God with His creatures, especially with man, who was created by Him, and more particularly with His chosen and redeemed people. The first divine title used in the divine revelation, Elohim in Hebrew, a title used in relation to God’s creation, is plural in number (Gen. 1:1), implying that God, as the Creator of the heavens and the earth for man, is triune. Concerning His creation of man in His own image, after His own likeness, He used the plural pronouns Us and Our, referring to His trinity (Gen. 1:26) and implying that He would be one with man and express Himself through man in His trinity. Later, in Gen. 3:22 and 11:7 and Isa. 6:8, He referred to Himself again and again as Us in regard to His relationship with man and with His chosen people.
In order to redeem fallen man that He might again have the position to be one with man, He became incarnated (John 1:1, 14) in the Son and through the Spirit (Luke 1:31-35) to be a man, and lived a human life on the earth, also in the Son (Luke 2:49) and by the Spirit (Luke 4:1; Matt. 12:28). At the beginning of His ministry on the earth, the Father anointed the Son with the Spirit (Matt. 3:16- 17; Luke 4:18) in order that He might reach men and bring them back to Him. Just before He was crucified in the flesh and resurrected to become the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), He unveiled His mysterious trinity to His disciples in plain words (John 14–17), stating that the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son (John 14:9-11), that the Spirit is the transfiguration of the Son (John 14:16- 20), that the three, coexisting and coinhering simultaneously, are abiding with the believers for their enjoyment (John 14:23; 17:21-23), and that all that the Father has is the Son’s and all that the Son possesses is received by the Spirit to be declared to the believers (John 16:13-15). Such a Trinity is altogether related to the dispensing of the processed God into His believers (John 14:17, 20; 15:4-5) that they may be one in and with the Triune God (John 17:21-23).
After His resurrection He charged His disciples to disciple the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19); that is, He charged the disciples to bring the believing ones into the Triune God, into an organic union with the processed God, who had passed through incarnation, human living, and crucifixion and had entered into resurrection. Based on such an organic union, the apostle, at the conclusion of this divine Epistle to the Corinthians, blessed them with the blessed Divine Trinity in the participation in the Son’s grace with the Father’s love through the Spirit’s fellowship. In this Divine Trinity, God the Father operates all things in all the members in the church, which is the Body of Christ through the ministries of the Lord, God the Son, by the gifts of God the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-6).
THE TRIUNE GOD AS WRITTEN BY PAUL
The entire divine revelation in the book of Ephesians concerning the producing, existing, growing, building up, and fighting of the church as the Body of Christ is composed of the divine economy, the dispensing of the Triune God into the members of the Body of Christ. Chapter 1 of Ephesians unveils that God the Father chose and predestinated these members in eternity (Eph. 1:4- 5), that God the Son redeemed them (Eph. 1:6-12), and that God the Spirit, as a pledge, sealed them (Eph. 1:13-14), thus imparting Himself into His believers for the formation of the church, which is the Body of Christ, the fullness of the One who fills all in all (Eph. 1:18-23). Chapter 2 shows us that in the Divine Trinity all the believers, both Jewish and Gentile, have access unto God the Father, through God the Son, in God the Spirit (Eph. 2:18). This indicates that the three coexist and coinhere simultaneously, even after all the processes of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. In ch. 3 the apostle prayed that God the Father would grant the believers to be strengthened through God the Spirit into their inner man, that Christ, God the Son, may make His home in their hearts, that is, occupy their entire being, that they may be filled unto all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:14-19). This is the climax of the believers’ experience of and participation in God in His trinity. Chapter 4 portrays how the processed God as the Spirit, the Lord, and the Father is mingled with the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:4-6) so that all the members of the Body may experience the Divine Trinity. Chapter 5 exhorts the believers to praise the Lord, God the Son, with the songs of God the Spirit, and give thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, to God the Father (Eph. 5:19-20). This is to praise and thank the processed God in His divine trinity for our enjoyment of Him as the Triune God. Chapter 6 instructs us to fight the spiritual warfare by being empowered in the Lord, God the Son, putting on the whole armor of God the Father, and wielding the sword of God the Spirit (Eph. 6:10, 11, 17). This is the believers’ experience and enjoyment of the Triune God even in the spiritual warfare.
THE TRIUNE GOD AS WRITTEN BY PETER & JOHN
The apostle Peter, in his writing, confirmed that God is triune for the believers’ enjoyment, referring the believers to the election of God the Father, the sanctification of God the Spirit, and the redemption of Jesus Christ, God the Son, accomplished by His blood (1 Pet. 1:2). And John the apostle strengthened the revelation that the Divine Trinity is for the believers’ participation in the processed Triune God. In the book of Revelation he blessed the churches in different localities with grace and peace from God the Father, Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from God the Spirit, the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from God the Son, Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:4-5). John’s blessing given to the churches indicated also that the processed Triune God, in all He is as the eternal Father, in all He is able to do as the sevenfold intensified Spirit, and in all He has attained and obtained as the anointed Son, is for the believers’ enjoyment, that they may be His corporate testimony as the golden lampstands (Rev. 1:9, 11, 20).
Thus, it is evident that the divine revelation of the trinity of the Godhead in the holy Word, from Genesis through Revelation, is not for theological study but for the apprehending of how God in His mysterious and marvelous trinity dispenses Himself into His chosen people, that we as His chosen and redeemed people may, as indicated in the apostle’s blessing to the Corinthian believers, participate in, experience, enjoy, and possess the processed Triune God now and for eternity. Amen.
The teaching of a believer’s immediate ascent into heaven upon death has no ground in the Scriptures. It is a false comfort that obscures the fact that upon resurrection we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ, where the martyrs and other faithful ones will be rewarded and where the unfaithful ones will receive a rebuke. However, because the thought of “going to heaven” is so prevailing, we would urge you to read the sourced article in its entirety. This post can simply offer a cursory recap of the salient points.
Death is the first result of man’s fall and is the opposite of Eternal Life in Christ Jesus (Gen 2:17; Rom 6:23). Death entered into the world through sin and was passed to all men (Rom 5:12,14,17,21). To a Believer however, death is not the victor. Christ nullified death (Matt 4:16; Heb 2:9; 2Tim 1:10). By the law of the Spirit of Life, we reign over death and are delivered from it. It is because death has lost its sting, the Bible refers to Believer’s who have died as being merely asleep.
According to the Bible, ALL men go down to Sheol (aka Hades) when they die. Hades is below the earth and is made of two parts- the pleasant part called Paradise, and the place of torment called Hades. Neither of these two places are heaven nor hell. When the Lord Jesus died, He descended down to Paradise (Luke 23). Also, the account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 describes clearly that when men die, some go to Paradise and others go to Hades. These two “holding places” are close enough for occupants to see and speak with one another, but there is no way for there to be any traffic from one side to the other.
At the Lord’s return, all those in the pleasant side will be resurrected to stand before the Lord at the Judgement Seat of Christ.(Rom14:10-12;2Cor5:10) The question of eternal salvation or perdition will not be relevant as that matter has been settled already. Rather, what is at stake is either reward or punishment based on how much Christ has been gained from the time of regeneration to present. Either reward or punishment will be meted out during the millennial kingdom and wedding feast of the Lamb. The parable of the ten virgins in Matt 25 is perhaps the clearest account of a Believer’s passage through death and his portion thereafter- at least temporarily during the kingdom age.
At the end of the millennial kingdom, the unbelieving dead will be emptied out of Hades to face God at the Great White throne wherein they will be cast into the Lake of fire along with the Devil, the fallen angels, the demons, Death, and even Hades for eternity.
To promote the belief of going to heaven when you die is “Christian Mythology” which annuls the truth in Scripture concerning reward and punishment for God’s children. In fact the mere existence of the Judgement Seat of Christ negates the thought that a believer enters eternal bliss and rest when they die. The parables of the Lord indicate to us that those who fall asleep in Christ in immaturity and indebtedness shall for a time rest in the “bosom of Abraham”, and then shall awake in their immaturity and indebtedness to be judged by Christ. Thus, our complete i.e. final portion and destiny is not determined immediately upon death, for neither the Old nor the New Testament gives any ground to the teaching of “going to heaven” as it is popularly conceived today. Rather, Paul said that after death and resurrection we will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. This is the clear word of righteousness.
Ultimately, ALL Believers will become part of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem- the consummation of God’s relationship with man- for Eternity.
(This is a continuation of “Why does sickness, death, and evil exist?” )
The Bible tells us in 2Cor 4:4 that Satan is the god of this present age and 1John 5:19 tells us that the whole world lies in the evil one. So, basically- until the Lord comes back- bad things happen to everyone without prejudice all the time. Every living thing on this planet is subjected to pain, suffering, tragedy, sickness, and death. To repeat 1John 5:19 again –the WHOLE world lies in the evil one. (Cool sidebar fact: The only place in the universe that is a “Satan-free-zone” is your human spirit) It could be said that misery/tragedy is the norm and happiness or joy is the exception.
INCOMPETENCE – Sometimes bad things happen because a person is behaving recklessly and without any forethought of what may be the consequence. For example, a person who car surfs and then gets killed or maimed as a result cannot blame God or Satan for that matter. That’s all on you. Stupid is as stupid does.
DIRECT ACTION BY THE DEVIL – Because you are a human being made in the image of God to express Him and represent Him on the earth ( i.e. man was created in part to subdue the devil), Satan hates you. Satan is not merely satisfied to fill you up with replacements of Christ; rather he will not rest until you are destroyed. It is pointless to attempt a negotiated truce or diplomatic middle ground. The devil is seeking to devour you (1Peter 5:8)!!! In fact, despite all of the evil and injustice and terrible things that men can do to other men, the seemingly rampant evil that we witness is actually being restrained by the hand of God. Without the limitation put on Satan by God, the world would descend very rapidly into chaos and would once more be waste and empty as in Gen 1:2.
ALLOWED BY GOD – To understand why God would allow bad things to happen, you need to understand the meaning and purpose of everything- which of course includes you and me. (See what is the meaning and purpose of everything) Gold in the Bible signifies God’s Divine Nature. We as Believers individually and the church corporately are to be His dwelling place (1Tim3:15). The Tabernacle and Temple in the Old Testament and the New Jerusalem in the future are entirely covered and composed of gold. In other words, eventually, all of God’s people are filled to the brim with His Divine Nature to express Him for Eternity. Since we are born in sin, there must be a process that we go through to become a constituent in the Golden City. As with most everything of value, it is produced through heat and pressure. When God allows trials and tribulations to occur, it is to produce something eternal in us i.e. to add some gold into us.
C. S. Lewis, who watched his beloved wife die of cancer, put it this way: “But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Our transformation into His Bride & Dwelling place requires us to take our eyes off of ourselves and look away unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). It is no small consolation to know that even while passing through a trial, His Grace is sufficient (2Cor 12:9) and He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5). Never forget that we can’t, but He can –and did- and is ready to do it again in you. Everyone passes through hard times, but not everyone emerges having had more of God added to their being. You can’t stop bad things from happening, but you can choose whether or not to allow Christ to be your life and supply during the experience.
The answer to all three of these matters is directly related to Satan- the Devil. Satan was an angel created by God before He created the earth. The book of Job (38:4-7) tells us that when God laid the measure of the foundation of the earth, the sons of God (the angels) shouted for joy. This proves that God created the angels before He created the earth. From Ezekiel 28 we see that Satan (aka Lucifer) was not only one of the angels, but the highest archangel, the head of all the angels. At a certain point, Lucifer became proud and rebelled against God and His throne (Isaiah 14). God stripped him of his God-given function as a worship leader and priest. At that time one-third of the angels in the heaven and all of the living creatures on the earth joined with Satan in his rebellion against God. The fallen angels are evil spirits and the disembodied creatures that were on the earth are the demons. These two groups along with Satan comprise the forces of evil. Evil exists because Satan exists.
The book of Genesis records the fall of man in four steps from Chapter 3 through 11. In the first fall, the evil satanic nature of the devil was injected into man. According to the Bible, even a newborn baby is filled with the devilish nature and in desperate need for God’s salvation. The spirit of man became dead and the body became the residence of Satan containing the fallen, corrupt, and evil nature of the devil. The Bible calls the poisoned body of man the flesh. Without the human spirit enlivened and able to govern man’s vessel, the soul became influenced by the flesh. Thus, man’s entire being was seemingly ruined for God’s purpose.
The nature of Satan is not only evil, but also sin itself. With the satanic nature having been injected into man’s body, man not only commits sins, but also has the sinful nature. In other words, man is not a sinner because he commits sins, but he commits sins and is constituted a sinner because the nature of sin dwells within him.
A byproduct of sin is sickness and inevitably death (Rom 6:23). Therefore, as long as the sinful nature of Satan resides in man’s flesh, there will be sin, sickness and death. Fortunately, Satan being in man’s flesh became his downfall; he is after all, “trapped” in man’ flesh.
Therefore, God in the Son became a man – Jesus the Nazarene. And as a man, He was crucified, fully meeting the Father’s requirements of righteousness, holiness, and glory. Furthermore, everything of sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh was terminated by Jesus’ death on the cross. The entire creation damaged by the devil has been terminated and a New Creation was produced in the resurrection of the God-man. At the close of the coming Kingdom age, Satan- the evil one and sickness and death will be collected and cast into the lake of fire. Praise the Lord! As Believers in Christ, may we allow Christ to grow in us to produce the Body of Christ in reality which when manifested on the earth will be the Bride of Christ. When God gains this for His Son, the age will end and the new era of the kingdom will be ushered in for 1000 years. After which time this celestial ball will be burned by fire and the Lord will issue in a new heaven and new earth for eternity where there will be no more sickness, death, or evil. Come Quickly Lord Jesus!
Knowing why sickness, death, and evil exist is important; but it invariably leads to more questions like- “Why do bad things happen?” or “How could God allow that to happen?”
See our blog that addresses these questions.