The peace of God

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Here Paul gives the antidote to worry. What is the antidote for worry? Forget about it? Try to put it out of your mind? NO, Paul says face it straight on but do that by Prayer. God does not want us to be anxious he wants us to be wise and courageous. He wants us to face the difficult issues by Prayer, Petition and Thanksgiving, We are to present our requests to God. So what this means is that we are to come to God with the issues that concern us and we are to present our requests to Him. WOW that’s new. That’s reality. That’s facing up to our responsibilities and doing something about it. That’s bringing God into our lives. And then what? Well the peace of God which cannot be explained it can only be experienced will stand guard over our minds in Christ Jesus. Do you know something of the peace of God? You may ask what is the peace of God? The peace of God is the knowledge that God is in control. It’s the realisation that God is going to look after us. That God is now responsible to act on our behalf because we have placed ourselves in his hand. The peace of God is quiet contentment between presenting our needs and receiving the answer. It is the time when heaven is silent waiting for God to answer prayer.




Thoughts on preaching.

The point l would like to make is that there should be only one main point.

This might be supported by a number of sub points but they should be made to fit the one point and not divert attention.

By mentors used to say

1. State.
2. Illustrate
3. Prove
4. Apply

That sounds like four points but its not each of the four is related at supporting the one point.

The reason why l would use these four sub points is because different people are touched by different styles. Some are touched by a clear statement - some by a interesting illustration - some by a logical reason why the point must be so and others by how this point applies.

The overarching thing in my opinion about preaching should be.

Preaching is not a lecture. People have not just come to learn something
Preaching is not a running commentary on scripture. Although teaching through biblical books is very important.
Preaching is not the delivery of the preacher’s pet theories.
Preaching is not the preacher’s thoughts on the world at large - What he has read in the paper etc.
Preaching is not the latest sweet story or illustration.
Preaching is not entertainment.

Preaching is the exposition of Gods word whereby the listeners come face to face with Gods message for them.

People should not come away saying, ‘that’s interesting’ or God forbid – ‘that’s funny’.

They should come away suitably humbled at being in the presence of God

People should come away with the deep impression that God has spoken to them today!!



The Heresy 'Oneness Pentecostals' and 'Jesus Only'

John 1v1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

The Sentence has three parts

1. In the beginning was the Word,

John first states that the Word (Christ) is from Eternity.

2. and the Word was with God,

Next John states that the Word in Eternity and for all time is 'With God'. Quite simply this means that the Word (Christ) is alongside God in a way whereby the Word and God are distinct persons. The Word With can have no other meaning than to be separate to and along side. The whole idea of WITH brings up the concept of the mutual fellowship of two people (or more as the case may be) Christ for example called the Disciples - 'that they might be WITH HIM'. So clearly John is saying that The Word - Christ is in fellowship with another person who is called - GOD. This is in the context of Eternity (the first phrase) So Christ is Co-Eternal With God.

3. and the Word was God.

Lastly John clarified what he means because he has just stated that the Word was With God. but now he states very emphatically that Christ IS GOD. Johns Gospel was written to show that 'Jesus is the Christ the Son of God' [1]. Ch 20v30-31. So in his prologue he states that the WORD WAS GOD. There can never be any doubt that Christ is God. John is saying that the Word (Christ) is eternally God.

So how can we reconcile the second and third phrases. Well in our limited human capacity we cannot. The two phrases are contrary to human understanding. We cannot be WITH some one and also BE that person at the same time. But clearly Christ can. And although we cannot comprehend it - both statements must be accepted as true even thought it is beyond us to rationalise them.

So John has established his thesis for his Gospel.

The Word, from eternity, is WITH God and IS God.

Now to Arians l would need to explain Christ’s deity and his eternal character.

But to Oneness Pentecostals [2] - Christ is WITH GOD. That is there is at least another person that is God apart from Christ. However scripture shows that three persons claim to be God. The Father, The Spirit and The Son.

[1] the phrase 'The Son of God'. Also proves the same 2 points of johns opening prologue. The phrase means firstly that the person to whom it is related is God. It is a statement of his Deity. But secondly it is a statement of relationship Christ is the Son of GOD. He is separate to the Father because the Father is his father and he is the Son. No-one can be son without the existence of another person who is the father. Therefore the Phrase Son of God brings out two points.

1. That Christ is God - he is Divine
2. That Christ is the Son of the Father - He is co-Divine.

[2] the Heresy called 'Oneness Pentecostals' believe that Christ is God but that the Father and the Holy Spirit are not God.



Does the Bible really teach the Trinity?

The Trinity in the Bible

1, The Plural noun Elohim.
The most common name for God in Hebrew is Elohim. The word means God and is sometimes used for false gods. In Genesis 1 The word is used of the One true God yet the name is plural indicating that the name signifies more than singularity.

2. The Plural words used with Elohim
The second evidence for plurality in the godhead is the verbs used in relation to the Name Elohim. Normally when Elohim is used of the one true God the verb is singular. However this is contrary to Hebrew grammar. The verb must agree with the noun in gender and number. Normally the verb is singular yet there are very many notable exceptions and this opens the discussion as to the plurality of the Godhead.

In Gen 35 for example the Hebrew reads – ‘For there God revealed themselves’.

In 2 Sam 7v23 the literal Hebrew reads – ‘For God went them to redeem’.

In Psa 58v11b the literal Hebrew is – ‘There is a God they judge’.

3. The Noun Elohim is applied to two persons.
Sometimes the name Elohim is used to apply to two different persons in the same passage.

In Psa 45v6-7 In this passage the name Elohim is applied to two persons. He says that one Elohim has anointed another Elohim with the oil of gladness. The second Elohim is the God of the first Elohim. It is Gods God who anointed him.

In Hosea 1v7 In this passage Elohim says that he will save his people by another person also called Elohim.

4. The name YHVH is applied to two separate persons.

Here the personal name of God YHVH or Jehovah is applied to twp persons in different locations.

In Gen 19v24 In this verse Jehovah (number one) rains fire and brimstone from Jehovah (number two) who is in heaven.

In Zechariah 2v8-9 In this verse Jehovah (number one) is the speaker and he says he is being sent to accomplish a task by Jehovah (number two)

5. The plural name Adonai

This word means Lord. However when ever it is used of God it is plural. The singular term is never used of God. This is evidence of a plurality in the Godhead.

6. The Plural pronouns.

Plural pronouns are used of God thus indicating plurality in the Godhead.

In Gen 1v26a God says let US make man in OUR image after our likeness.

In Gen 3v22a Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US.

In Gen 11v7a God says Come let US go down…

In Isa 6v8a And l heard the voice of the LORD saying Whom shall l send and who will go for US?

Notice that it starts in the singular and ends in the plural.

The singular shows that God is one but the plurality shows that within the oneness there is more than one.

7. The Plural adjectives.

The plural nouns in English were Hebrew plural adjectives.

In Josh 24v19 The passage says ‘holy God’. The word holy is plural. Literally it reads ‘holy Gods’.

In Psa 149v2 Literally the passage says – ‘let Israel rejoice in his Makers’.

In Ecc 12v1 Literally the Hebrew is ‘Your creators’.

The English translations do not pick up on these differences yet they are clear in the Hebrew.

In Isa 54v5 We have two examples. In Hebrew it reads ‘Your makers are your husbands’. Both maker and husband are plural.

All of these verses emphasis the plurality of the Godhead.

8. The Angel of Jehovah.

Through out the OT we have introduced the Angel of the Lord and the Angel of Jehovah. The word angel means messenger and can refer to human or angelic messengers, however the word is also used of God himself. The context always makes itself clear when the angel is God himself.

In Gen 16v7-14 He is called the Angel of the Jehovah in v 7,9,11 But in v13 He is called Jehovah himself.

In Gen 22v9-13 He is called the Angel of the Jehovah in v11, 15 but in v12 he is called God and in v16 he is called Jehovah.

In Gen 31v11-13 He is called the angel of God in v11 but in v13 He says, ‘I Am the God of Bethel’.

In Gen 32v24-30 In v24 the angel is called a man, (because that is how he appeared) but in v28 he is referred to as God. and in v30 Jacob says ‘I have seen God face to face’.

So the person who appeared to Jacob is firstly called a man and then later an angel of the Lord and then afterward God himself.

In Exo 3v1-5 In v2 We have the angel of the lord but in v 4 He is called Jehovah and God.

In Judg 2v1 States that the exodus was brought about by the angel of Jehovah but in Exo 19v4 it says that God was responsible.

Now l could go on and on but it is clear that in the Godhead there is both singularity and plurality. The Jews could never understand this and they had huge debates on the subject. It becomes much clearer with the personal coming of Christ and the NT.

It is interesting to me that Arianism and Oneness Pentecostalism are similar as Red is to Violet - they are opposite ends of a spectrum.

The Arians believe there is One God and that person is the Father.
The Oneness P's believe there is one God and that person is Christ.

The Arians deny Deity to Christ and the Holy Spirit
The Oneness P's deny The Deity to The Father and the Holy Spirit

Both are Unitarian and Monotheistic Heresies.

The Scriptures teach clearly that - The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God.

See Matt 3v16-17 Where three persons are mentioned who all are God.

See Matt 28v19 Again three distinct persons are mentioned. No less than three and no more than three. the Word Name is singular yet there are three persons here.

See John 14v16-17 Again three distinct persons. One is the speaker he says 'I' this is Christ. The person that he prays to is the Father. And he speaks about the promise to send a third person who is not himself or his Father the Holy Spirit.

See 1 Cor 12v4-6 Again three persons are mentioned yet all three are the source of the gifts to the church, the Spirit of God, The Lord (Christ), and God (the Father). All three are distinct persons yet they all do exactly the same thing to the same people at the same time. This can only be so if the three are actually One.

2 Cor 13v14 Notice the three persons here Only three - no more than three and no less than three. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit.
Now whereas previously all three do the same thing here the three do different things. Previously the emphasis is on unity but now it is diversity.

1 Peter 1v2 In this last example we have described three persons again. No more than three and no less than three. God the Father who is responsible for Foreknowledge. The Spirit who is responsible for sanctification. And the Son Jesus Christ who alone is responsible for shedding his blood for the sins of the whole world.

From these passages it is clear that there are three persons called God, No more than three and no less than three.

These three persons all have the Divine Attributes

The Father Psa 90v2
The Son Micah 5v2 - Matt 2v5-6
The Spirit Heb 9v14

The Father 1 Pet 1v5
The Son Heb 1v3
The Spirit Rom 15v19

The Father Jer 17v10
The Son Joh 16v30, 21v17 Rev 2v23
The Spirit 1 Cor 2v10-11

The Father Jer 23v24
The Son Mat 18v20 28v20
The Spirit Psa 139v7-10

The Creation of the universe
The Father Psa 102v25
The Son Joh 1v3 Col 1v16
The Spirit Gen 1v2 Job 26v13

The Creation of Man
The Father Gen 2v7
The Son Col 1v16
The Spirit Job 33v4

The Work of Inspiration
The Father 2 Tim 3v16
The Son 1 Pet 1v10-11
The Spirit 2 Pet 1v21

The Bible teaches three great truths

1. The Plurality of the Godhead. as opposed to Unitarianism or Monotheism
2. The Unity of the Godhead. as opposed to Polytheism
3. The Trinity of the Godhead. the plurality of persons in the one God. Limited to three no more than three and none less than three persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.

Lastly in John 1v1 we have an interesting construction which says…
In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was WITH GOD and the WORD WAS God.

Now that is impossible – unless the WORD is both separate to God and yet united to God at the same time.

This is what trinity teaching is Christ is separate to the Father and the Spirit. Distinct and not to be confused. He is WITH GOD. Yet it also says The WORD WAS GOD. Christ is God fully There is no three separate Gods there is One God, but three persons in that Unity.



Enemies of the Cross of Christ

18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

Paul describes these false teachers who he mentioned in verse 2. He mentions four things about them.

1. They live as enemies of the Cross of Christ.
These Jewish teachers cannot comprehend the truth that their Messiah was crucified and thereby cursed by the Mosaic Law. The cross is their great stumbling block. Therefore they deny the very Work that Christ came to do. And by denying his atoning work and blaspheming his messianic signs they continue the rejection of Christ. They are enemies of the Cross of Christ.

2. Their destiny is destruction
The ultimate destination of these religious men is the destruction of the Lake of fire. How sad. No wonder Paul weeps. He says they devote themselves to religion, They try to keep the 313 commandments of the Mitzah, They have great missionary zeal, but they are found to be like Paul before his conversion an enemy of Christ. Stephen said of these men, ‘You do always resist the Holy Spirit’. There doom is certain if they continue. Yet Paul is an example of how God, resists the proud and brings judgment (blindness) in order to save them.

3. Their god is their stomach
These men are men of the flesh. They are absorbed with the thinks of the flesh and seek in like to gratify the fleshly appetites. They are gross.

4. Their glory is in their shame.
The very thing that they glory in is the very thing they should be ashamed of. What did they glory in? A number of things. Circumcision for one. This glorious symbol of the Mosaic Law has become symbolic of a return to Judaism and therefore apostasy. They also glory in their law keeping yet it is the very thing that should bring to them conviction of sin and poverty of spirit. They glory in Sabbath observance without realising that Christ is now the Sabbath of his people and that by keeping this ‘queen of commandments’ they deny Him. They very things that they glory in are the things they should be ashamed of.


The parable of the Ten Virgins

This parable comes in the middle of a discourse by Christ himself regarding the end times, usually called The Olivet Discourse

D. The Discipleship of the Messiah – Call to Faithfulness

In this discourse Christ answers the questions that the Disciples put to Christ. They ask three questions…

1. Tell us, when shall these things be?
2. and what shall be the sign of thy coming,
3. and (the sign) of the end of the world?

Christ answers all three questions but in the reverse order.

24 v1-2 The Destruction of the Temple
24 v3-14 The time of the end 3rd Q The sign of the END
24 v15-26 The end comes
24 v27-31 Signs in the heaven 2nd Q The Sign of the Coming
24 v32-35 The fig tree lesson
24 v36-44 The time unknown 1st Q WHEN shall these things be
24 v45-51 Watchfulness at his coming
25 v1-13 The Ten Virgins
25 v14-30 The Talents
25 v31-46 The Judgement of the living nations

The Parable of the Ten virgins and the Parable of the Talents occur while Christ is explaining the answer to the first question - WHEN shall these things be?

(In this case the use of a parable is not to obscure the meaning of Christ’s teaching but to illustrate it for those who want to learn)

25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. :7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. :9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

The first thing we notice is that this parable is something to do with the Kingdom of Heaven v1 (The Messianic Kingdom promised in the OT and which will follow the Tribulation described in Ch 24)

In v 13 Christ gives us the main point and interpretation of the parable. He is saying that those who are Gods faithful people at the end of the Tribulation and who are waiting for the coming of Christ to the Marriage Feast, are to watch - because they will not know the day or the hour in which the Son of Man cometh.

(The oil signifies spirituality in scripture.) Those who are watching remain faithful to the LORD and remain in a state of readiness spiritually at the time of the bridegroom and the brides coming. The virgins are the Israelites who are waiting for the return of Christ and his Bride the Church - (the church has already been married to Christ in heaven but now the Bridal party are returning to earth for the Wedding Feast.)

It is important to note that this parable is about the Feast not the Marriage. Those who are not ready spiritually at Christ’s coming are not shut out of heaven! nor shut out of the Kingdom, but they are shut out of the Wedding Feast of the Bridegroom and his Bride. On that day All Israel will learn of the mystical union of Christ and the Church.