"Steps Toward the Mark of the Beast"

Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

Wonderful News from God

When we consider our spiritual condition (our sinful nature, and the sins that we have committed against God), we might feel as though our situation is hopeless. It is true that if we were left to ourselves we would be without hope. The good news is that God, who loves us more than we can comprehend, deals with us according to His great mercy and not according to what we deserve.

Though the Bible declares it plainly, and it has been preached millions of times in the last two thousand years, relatively few people know that our Creator came into this world as the person Jesus Christ to save us from the penalty and the power of our sins. The fact that Jesus is God is stated plainly in many places in the Bible, including the Gospel of John, 2 Corinthians, and the Gospel of Matthew;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word

was with God, and the Word was God. The same

was in the beginning with God.

(John 1:1--2)

 

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the

world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses

unto them; and hath committed unto us the word

of reconciliation.

(2 Corinthians 5:19)

 

When we read about the baptism of Jesus, we are told of the voice that spake from Heaven.

 

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up

straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens

were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God

descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is

my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

(Matthew 3:16--17)

 

It is important to note that the translation of verse 17 in the Authorized King James Version is correct when it says that the voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Some translations have substituted the word "with" for the word "in". This is significant because by saying "in whom I am well pleased" God is revealing to us the great truth that He is in Jesus Christ.

Jesus also revealed the fact that he is the eternal God when He spoke to a group of Jews.

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto

you, Before Abraham was, I am.

(John 8:58)

 

By saying "Before Abraham was, I am," Jesus knew that the Jews to whom he was speaking would know that he was not only claiming to be eternal, but he was also claiming to be the same God who had spoken to Moses from the burning bush.

 

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I

come unto the children of Israel, and shall say

unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me

unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his

name? what shall I say unto them? And God said

unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : and he said, Thus

shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath

sent me unto you.

(Exodus 3:13--14)

 

Jesus Himself tells us the same thing in the Gospel of John when Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father.

 

If ye had known me, ye should have known my

Father also: and from henceforth ye know him,

and hath seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord,

shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus

saith unto him, Have I been so long time with

you, and yet thou hast not yet known me, Philip?

he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and

how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

(John 14:7--9)

 

Not only do these and other passages in the New Testament declare that Jesus is God come in the flesh, but it was prophesied in the Old Testament time and time again that God would come and dwell among men.

 

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a

sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear

a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

(Isaiah 7:14)

 

The name "Immanuel" is interpreted in Matthew Chapter 1, verse 23 as "God with us".

 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is

given: and the government shall be upon his

shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,

Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting

Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of

his government and peace there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom,

to order it, and to establish it with judgment and

with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal

of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 9:6--7)

 

The fact that our Lord uses many names to refer to himself is very important because no one name can fully reveal all there is to know about Jesus. In Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6 we find five names of our Lord Jesus Christ, two of which reveal to us that God was in Christ. One of the names of our Lord is "The mighty God". The other name is "The everlasting Father". So in these passages, and others in both the Old and New Testaments, it is revealed to us that Jesus Christ is God come to Earth in a human body.

The Purpose of His Coming

Why has God come to Earth as Jesus Christ? We learn the purpose of our Lord's coming by reading God's Word:

 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:

When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph,

before they came together, she was found with child

of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being

a just man, and not willing to make her a publick

example, was minded to put her away privily. But

while he thought on these things, behold the angel of

the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying,

Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee

Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of

the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and

thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his

people from their sins.

(Matthew ;18--21)

 

Even as the Son of man came not to be

ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his

life a ransom for many.

(Matthew 20:28)

 

For the Son of man is not come to destroy

men's lives, but to save them.

(Luke 9:56a)

 

For the Son of man is come to seek and to

save that which was lost.

(Luke 19:10)

 

In these and many other passages in God’s Word, it is revealed to us that Jesus Christ came into this world to give himself as a sacrifice for us in order to save us from our sins. How did he do this?

 

His Perfect Life

Where Adam and all of us have failed, Jesus Christ has succeeded.

 

For we have not an high priest that cannot

be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points was like as we are, yet

without sin.

(Hebrews 4:15)

 

Notice that though Jesus was tempted to sin, as all of us are, he did not sin. He lived a perfect life, which qualified him to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins. Truly he is without spot or blemish.

 

His Work Is Finished

Jesus longed to finish the work of saving us from our sins.

 

Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the

will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

(John 4:34)

 

To do the will of God was, for Jesus, to meet God's standard of sinless perfection, then to go to the cross offering himself as the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins.

 

Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice

God requires a perfect sacrifice to pay for the sins we have committed. The problem is, we are sinners. We have nothing that is perfect to give to God to pay for our sins.

The good news is that Jesus has done what we cannot do and what no other person has ever done. He has lived a perfect life under God's law. God came into this world and lived under His own law, fulfilling it by keeping both the ceremonial and moral law perfectly. He meets god’s requirement of absolute perfection.

In the Gospel of John we see Jesus on the cross.

 

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were

now accomplished, that the scripture might be

fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a

vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge

with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it

to his mouth. And when Jesus therefore had

received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and

he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

(John 19:28--30)

 

"It is finished". Jesus Himself has finished the work that neither we nor anyone else could do. The work to save us never needs to be done again, because Jesus has done it perfectly.

 

The Proof

We know Jesus Christ has saved us and is who He claims to be by His resurrection.

 

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an

apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God,

(which he had promised afore by his prophets

in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus

Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of

David according to the flesh; And declared to be

the Son of God with power, according to the spirit

of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

(Romans 1:1--4)

 

To be resurrected is more than being raised from the dead. It is being raised from the dead never to die again. The Scriptures record instances of some who were raised from the dead by the power of God, but they all had to die again. Jesus Christ will never die again, because being God and without sin, death has no power over Him.

This is the proof God has given us that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son and that by believing on Him we too will be raised from death by the power of God never to die again.

We have yet to fully comprehend the love of God, or all the power of God’s work that has been done for us in Jesus Christ. God's requirement of perfect obedience, which Adam and all mankind have failed to meet, has been achieved by our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of what Jesus has done, it is now possible for us to have all our sins forgiven and to be reconciled to God. We can now have our communion with God restored.

Since Jesus has met God's requirement of perfection, and we haven't, what are we to do if we want to be saved? This is the most important question ever asked. This is the one question that should be asked by every person. We should not rest until we find the answer. There is nothing more important than our soul.

We find that God has given us the answer to this question throughout His Word. One place this question is answered is the book of Acts. Paul and Silas were asked this all important question by a jailer in the city of Philippi.

 

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and

came trembling, and fell down before Paul and

Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what

must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on

the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,

and thy house.

(Acts 16:29--31)

 

We see in this and other passages that in order for us to be saved, we must believe on Jesus Christ. We have a Creator who loves us and has shown His love towards us by giving himself for us. Forgiveness of sin and everlasting life are given to all who believe and call upon Jesus Christ.

 

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the

Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that

God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt

be saved.

(Romans 10:9)

 

Notice that verse 9 says, “…thou shalt be saved”. Not “maybe” or “perhaps”, but “shalt“. When you believe on Jesus Christ, it is an absolute certainty that your sins are forgiven and that God has given you eternal life. It is a certainty because it is God who says he has forgiven you and given you eternal life. He has done the work, not us. We have failed, he has succeeded.

 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the

Lord shall be saved.

(Romans 10:13)

 

Verse 13 says “whosoever”. Charles Spurgeon said that this verse gave him more assurance of being saved than any other in the Bible. He said that if God had worded this verse “If Charles Haddon Spurgeon shall call upon the name of the Lord he shall be saved”, he would have wondered if he was saved or not. He said he would doubt if he was saved because there might be another Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and God might have been speaking of the other Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He said that he knew that he was saved because “whosoever” included him.

You can rejoice today because when God says “whosoever”, he includes you.

 

 

Continue to Chapter 14

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