Rooted and Grounded In Christ

Imagine the godliness person you can think of. You would probably describe them as loving, or kind, or patient. You probably wouldn’t describe them as wrathful or angry. Yet, if you really spent a lot of time with them you’d eventually see them get angry at some point, especially at injustice.

So it is with God. Love, mercy, grace, kindness, patience and all the wonderful expressions of his goodness is his fundamental disposition. Yet he does get angry when there is an unrepentant love for sin in rebellion against the truth, or worship of false gods, etc. Even then, he his patient because he doesn’t want anyone to perish, but desires all come to repentance.

To imply that God is half loving and half wrathful as some do is very misleading.

It is very important to understand that reconciliation and forgiveness throughout scripture is never the result of God satisfying…

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After God called Abraham, he promised Abraham that the land of Canaan would be given to his descendants as an inheritance forever (see Genesis 13:15).

Does this then mean that the promise of the land inheritance has relevance today? If we were to take Genesis 13:15 along with Genesis 17:8 at face value only without considering the balance of scripture, then we would certainly have to come to a conclusive yes, but does the balance of scripture support such an interpretation?

To begin, consider Genesis 13:15 and Genesis 17:8

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. ~ Genesis 13:15

And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. ~ Genesis 17:8 

The same Hebrew word translated forever in Genesis 13:15 is translated  everlasting in Genesis 17:8. Now, that’s certainly a good start if we are going to build a case that the land inheritance is still relevant.

However, we immediately have our first hurdle before we ever get out of Genesis 17. In verses 10-14, we read that physical circumcision is an everlasting covenant and that the land inheritance coincides with circumcision. The “uncircumcised” have no share in the covenant through which the land was to be inherited.

This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. ~ Genesis 17:10-14

This immediately becomes problematic in building a defense for the land inheritance having relevance today because in the New Testament the apostle Paul tells us that circumcision in the flesh no longer has any value. According to Paul, it is the circumcision of the heart (in the Spirit) which matters.

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. ~ Galatians 5:6

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. ~ Galatians 6:15

As we continue through the scriptures we find that the feast of Passover and unleavened bread are said to be an ordinance forever (Exodus 12:14, 17, 24), and the Sabbath was to be a covenant forever. ~ Exodus 31:16-17

Yet the New Testament tells us that these were only shadows of Christ (Colossians 2:16-17) and that Christ Himself is our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7).

The ministry of the Levitical priesthood (Aaron and his descendants) within the tabernacle is said to be a statute forever (Exodus 27:21, Exodus 28:43, Exodus 30:21, Leviticus 24:1-3) and an ordinance forever (Numbers 18:8). The wearing of the priestly garments by the sons of Aaron was also referred to as a perpetual (forever) statue. The ceremonial washing of the hands of the priests who served in the tabernacle was to be a statue forever. ~ Exodus 30:21

Yet according to the New Testament priesthood established under the law has been abolished and has given way to one that is greater and more glorious, and that is the Priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Law of Moses also declares that the Levites were to be servants to the priests and this was to be a statute forever. ~ Numbers 18:23

The law of the portion of meat offering which belonged to the sons of Aaron was also to be a statute forever. ~ Leviticus 6:14-19

The daily meat offerings offered by Aaron and his descendants was to be a statute forever. ~ Leviticus 6:20

The commandment for Aaron and his sons not to drink wine nor strong drink in the tabernacle was to be a statute forever. ~ Leviticus 10:9

The heave and wave offerings belonging to the Levitical priests and their families were a statue forever. ~ Exodus 29:28; Leviticus 10:15: Numbers 18:19

Like Passover, the Day of Atonement was also to be a statue forever (Leviticus 16:29, 34, Leviticus 23:31). Yet according to the New Testament, those things which were done under the Law on the Day of Atonement served as a foreshadowing of Christ (Hebrews 10:1-4) and have now been taken away because Christ has become the High Priest of a greater and a perfect tabernacle.

With regards to sacrifices for sin, the Law of Moses also says that the sin offering of the red heifer was to be a statute forever. ~ Numbers 19:9-11

Yet Hebrews 9:13-14 says, For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

As we can see the use of the language forever as it applied to the Old Testament promises, statues, and ordinances doesn’t mean for all eternity, without any change as they originally were.

In studying the scriptures, we should consider the qualifying clause “throughout your generations” and other similar clauses. These should be taken into account when considering those things which were said to be forever.

For instance, Genesis 17 says the covenant of circumcision and the land inheritance is forever in view of those generations.

In Exodus 12:14 the scripture says, And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. ~ See also verses 17 and 42

The daily offering of the burnt offering was to be throughout your generations (Exodus 29:42). The yearly consecration of the altar of Incense by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement was to be throughout your generations. ~ Leviticus 30:10

The Old Covenant was a covenant for God’s people in the flesh and was binding throughout their generations, wherein the revelation of Christ was hidden in a mystery (Colossians 1:26).The forevers were types and foreshadowings of Christ.

God has saved us according to his mercy by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5) and that which was in the flesh has now given way to that which is in the Spirit.

The forevers of the physical covenant has given way and been translated to forever in Christ!

The eternal ordinances (the forevers) such as Passover continue, but now we celebrate them in Christ and not in the outward offering of animals. The same holds true for the land inheritance, for in Christ we become citizens of the Heavenly city, New Jerusalem. Also, the Sabbaths and all other forevers of the first covenant have been fully realized in the person of Jesus Christ in whom we have our true and inheritance and eternal rest

Christ is our Passover, He is our Sabbath, He is our promised land!


Rooted and Grounded In Christ


Throughout the Bible, God is revealed as a holy God and every attribute of God is a revelation of his divine essence. The same God who is glorious in his love is also glorious in bringing down those who oppose and hate him.

The apostle John tells us: God is love ~ 1 John 4:8, and in the book of the Revelation, the apostle John tells us how God is praised, worshiped, and glorified for his judgments against the ungodly.

1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up THE WRATH OF GOD. 

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of…

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This teaching is a biblical response to those who claim that Christians have authority over the weather.

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! ~ Matthew 8:23-27

Notice the reaction by the disciples when Jesus calmed the winds and the sea. They were in awe of the power of Christ, saying, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

They were in awe because power over the elements is not something ordinary men possess. Jesus had power over nature because he was the creator, God in the flesh. There is no text anywhere in the New Testament which teaches that Christians possess such authority. Now consider the following from the book of Mark.

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. ~ Matthew 14:25-33

Peter is the only person in all of scripture, other than Jesus, who ever walked on water. Peter did not walk on water because he had authority over the sea. He walked on water because Jesus, God’s Son, empowered him to do so. Yet Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off of Jesus and doubted. Jesus took Peter by the hand, pulled him up, and Peter walked with Jesus on the water to the ship. Once there, the other disciples which were in the ship came and worshiped Jesus.

Notice that the disciples did not respond to Peter briefly walking on the water as if he had done something great. Instead, they worshipped Jesus, and declared that he was the Son of God. They did not come away from this experience believing that they had power over nature because their fellow disciple had walked on the water. They came away believing that Jesus had authority over nature because he is indeed the Son of God who is worthy of worship.

In Acts 27, the apostle Paul was a prisoner on board a ship which was destroyed by a storm. Paul did not exercise authority over the weather. Instead, Paul trusted God for the saving of all the lives of the men on the ship.

If Christians have authority over the weather, this would have been a good time for Paul to use such authority, but he didn’t because only God has power over the weather. We can learn from Acts 27 that we ought to pray and trust God when danger comes. A certain segment of Westernized Christians need to stop pretending they have the same divine abilities that Jesus had. Jesus is the only man who has all authority over creation because Jesus is not just a man. He is the very Son of God and God in the flesh.

In closing, consider Paul’s experience in Acts 27.

1 And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band.

2 And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.

3 And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.

4 And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.

5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.

6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.

7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;

8 And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.

9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,

10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.

11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.

14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:

17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.

18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;

19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.

20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.

23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country;

28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms.

29 Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,

31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.

34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.

35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.

37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.

39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.

40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.

41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.

42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.

43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land. ~ Acts 27


Back in the late 80’s there was a teaching I listened to by Bob Philips who was one of the Pastors at Times Square Church in New York City. The teaching was on the Names of God, and I have never heard a better teaching on the names of God in my 43 years as a Christian. He taught on God’s names as Elohim the creator, Jehovah the God who keeps covenant and has never broken a promise, Adonai our Master, our Lord, and the Lord of Host, the God who fights the battles of his people, whose never lost a battle, and never been defeated. 

Under the Old Testament, God revealed himself at different times by different names, each giving a revelation of himself to his people. For instance, when God appeared to Abraham, he revealed himself as the All Sufficient One.

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. ~ Genesis 17:1

In the Hebrew, Almighty God is translated El Shaddai, meaning the All Sufficient One.  The God of Abraham is the All Sufficient One! Possibly, it was this revelation that inspired the name Jehovah Jireh which Abraham gave to the place where God provided a ram for a burnt offering after he tested Abraham. Throughout Israel’s history under the Old Testament, the people of God would make appeals to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacab when they really wanted to get God’s attention.

When Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, he prayed the following:

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel (Jacob), let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. ~ 1 Kings 18:36

Though Abraham knew God, There was a revelation about himself that he later revealed to Moses that he hadn’t revealed to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. ~ Exodus 6:2-3

Now, Abraham obviously knew God was Jehovah, because he named the place at Mount Moriah Jehovah Jireh, however, God’s revelation of himself to Abraham was God Almighty and God’s Covenant with Abraham is marked by Abraham’s faith. Abraham is the father of faith to all who believe. Moses on the other had knew God as redeemer, deliver, and Savior, for Moses was sent to lead the people out of bondage and into the promised land. When the people of Israel refused to believe God as Abraham had believed God, they sinned and fell in the wilderness. Consequently, God brought the second generation of Israelites into the promised land through Moses’s successor, Joshua.

As the Old Testament continued to unfold, God revealed himself by his names to his servants like David, Daniel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. The Old Testament is a continual unveiling of God’s revelation of himself to his people. This unveiling reached its climax when Jesus, God’s Son, came into the world. Jesus was and is God in the flesh. He is the full revelation of God to humanity, and this revelation is the power that is contained in his name. The name of Jesus has all power and authority because the Son of God is the full revelation of God Himself to us. 

In Acts 2, whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. In Acts 3, faith in the name of Jesus healed a man who had been crippled his entire life. In Acts 4, the name of Jesus is the only name given under heaven whereby we must be saved. In Acts 5, the disciples rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus. In Acts 8 the people of Samaria believed the things Philip preached concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. In Acts 9, Saul who later became the apostle Paul was chosen to bear the name of Jesus the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel. In Acts 10, all the prophets give witness that through his name whosoever believes will receive the remission of sins. In Acts 16, the name of Jesus drove an evil spirit out of a young lady who was in bondage to divination. In Acts 19, the name of Jesus was magnified among the Jews and Greeks at Ephesus. In Acts 21, Paul declared that he was ready to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The name of Jesus takes center stage in the New Testament because it is the name above all names!

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:9-11

In closing, too many debate over whether we should say the name Yeshua or Jesus, and never truly experience the power of his name. Jesus’s name in every language is powerful and glorious because it’s him we are acknowledging. So whether was say Yeshua, or Jesus, we should doe so in reverence and in faith because we are declaring him!

May God reveal the power of the name of Jesus/Yeshua to your heart. 


I’m a little leery when anyone implies that the Bible reveals the specific time that the Lord will come. Some are doing this with the Jewish feast of Trumpets. I understand their reasoning but I think they are missing the Biblical thought.

When the New Testament references regarding the coming of the Lord are examined closely, never once does any New Testament writer reveal that the coming of the Lord will be on the Jewish holiday of the feast of Trumpets. 

Consistently, the New Testament writers reveal that we are to be looking for the coming of the Lord as faithful servants and we are to be ready in all seasons. In Matthew 24, Jesus says to his disciples, Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would have come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man cometh.

Teaching people that Jesus will return at the appointed time of the Feast of Trumpets on Jewish calendar is actually pinning down the time frame and this is contrary, not only to the words of Jesus mentioned above, but also to the whole of New Testament doctrine. Throughout the New Testament we are exhorted to always be ready for the coming of the Lord, and never just at the time of the fall feast of Trumpets. The exhortation to be ready is always tied to being washed in His Blood and being faithful to Him, it is never tied to a specific time frame on the Jewish calendar. 

Someone may ask, “Isn’t the coming of the Lord foreshadowed in the feast of trumpets?” My answer is yes, but that is not all that is foreshadowed in this feast. When Paul draws on the foreshadowing within this feast as he does in 1 Corinthians 15, he speaks of the coming resurrection of the people of God at the coming of the Lord and does so in view of the “last trumpet blast.” Yet there are many trumpet blasts on the Feasts of Trumpets and we shouldn’t forget the others. Aren’t they also significant? 

The truth is, the blowing of the trumpets in the Old Testament has to do with important announcements given by God or the people of God. 

In scripture, the sounding of the trumpet blasts were made at times such as when God spoke and the people heard at Sinai, during the processions of Kings ascending to the Throne, when there was a call to battle or war, during the year of Jubilee as a signal of victory and release from bondage, at times of rejoicing, at the dedication of the Temple, and so on. 

As fulfilled in Christ, the sounding of the trumpet has to do with the proclamation of the gospel. When God sent the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to give us power to testify of Jesus and to preach that He is the one who has ascended to the throne because He is the one God has exalted. This announcement is good news and causes all who believe to rejoice in Him. Those who believe are called as soldiers into His army to advance His gospel and to proclaim that true Jubilee (release from bondage) is in Him alone. This gospel is to be announced so that all who believe will find their abiding in Him for through Him God has His dwelling place among His people by His Holy Spirit. 

As Joshua led the people of Israel into their inheritance, they were commanded at Jerico to shout only after hearing the long sounding of the ram’s horns (the trumpet) and then the walls would come down. The shout of victory which knocked the walls of Jericho down came after the trumpet was sounded. The shout of victory and the walls coming down in the lives of people occurs after they hear the truth of the gospel preached!

The feast of Trumpets was to be a special Ceremonial Sabbath Rest (not the weekly Sabbath) and it was to be announced by the blowing of the trumpets. Each of the Feasts of Israel was considered a Ceremonial Sabbath and this one called special attention to rest by the sounding of the trumpet. The last sound being the GREAT SOUND (the Tekiah Gedolah or Great Sound) to call the people of God into joyful rest. 

As the people of God who have heard and believed the gospel, we have heard the trumpet sound and have found rest (our Jubilee) in Jesus. Yet there still remains a rest for us, for there will come a time when we will hear the last trump and we will all enter the fulness of our rest in Christ when we receive the redemption of our bodies. 

In 1 Corinthians 15, the last trump referred to by Paul as the coming resurrection certainly will occur when the Lord comes, but the last trump has to be connected with all the other soundings of the trumpet or its prophetic significance will be lost. Without the others, the last trumpet blast would not be the last. Our proclaiming of the coming resurrection when Jesus comes is tied to the gospel which we believe and which we are to be preaching NOW! We are to preach Jesus! He died and rose again and eternal life is in Him alone. He is the only hope of salvation and He is coming again! 

At the last trump we who believe in Jesus, who now have the first-fruits of our inheritance, will enter our full inheritance when we receive the redemption of our bodies. We will put on immortality when, at last, our bodies will experience the resurrection. The last trumpet will soon come but in the meantime we should be sounding the trumpet by taking the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Surely, there is more that can to be said about the Feast of Trumpets as to its fulfillment in Jesus but this will suffice.

We would all do well to remember that the New Testament writers are the authoritative interpreters of the Old Testament scriptures. We do not interpret their writings by the Old Testament scriptures; on the contrary, we interpret the Old Testament scriptures in view of their writings. The Holy Spirit anointed the New Testament authors to reveal truth contained in the scriptures by bringing that truth to light in the person of Jesus Christ. If what someone is teaching points only to the type (the shadow or symbol) rather than the one in whom the type is fulfilled you can be assured it is the wisdom of men rather than the wisdom of God. All truth foreshadowed in the Old is realized in Christ in the New!


There is no such thing in the Bible as being under the law without being under the curse for not obeying all its commands and the only way to be free from the curse which the Law brings is through death. 

The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was perfect and holy. The curse of the Law had no claim on Him. Yet, He willingly surrendered Himself for us all and was condemned and hanged on a tree which according to the Law was a curse. He did this for us when he offered himself to be the sacrifice for our sins.

He humbled Himself and died a humiliating death bearing the curse for our disobedience to set us free from the whole weight of the Law. This is Biblical doctrine and that is why Paul says the following in Romans 7:1-6

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. ~ Romans 7:1-6

Here in Romans 7, Paul uses the law concerning marriage to illustrate how the Law of Moses was brought to an end. He uses a law within the Law to explain how we are free from the Law, and it is through the death of Christ that we have been made free from the law. Now that we are free from the Law, we are married or united to Jesus who has risen from the dead.

In Galatians 2, prior to telling us that Jesus was made to be a curse for us, Paul says, I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:19 – 20

When Paul says, I am crucified with Christ, the context is death to (or freedom from) the whole Law through faith in Christ who died for us.  The law was never given to make anyone righteous in God’s sight. The law was given because of transgressions, until Christ came. That is why the scripture says by the Law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).

In Romans 7, Paul says, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet (v.7). Paul isn’t saying that the Law caused him to sin but rather, the Law amplified sin.

The Law of Moses was unable to save us because it could not subdue our sinful passions. It was weak through the flesh. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like ours. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us when he condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus. Jesus died in obedience to God’s will unlike Adam who died in disobedience.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Romans 5:19-21

God Himself fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law in the person of Jesus Christ  and set us free from sin’s power. Through faith in Jesus, we are not longer under the law, but now led by the power of the Spirit of God.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin (by a sacrifice for sin), condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:3-5


For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. ~ Matthew 12:40 

There has been quite a bit of confusion that has been taught with regards to the meaning of the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Most of those who attempt to explain this passage attempt to address it by saying that Jesus would be dead and his body would remain in the tomb for three days and three nights. Those who do this sometimes appeal to the Jewish reckoning of time that a portion of a day can be referred to as a whole.

Is this how we should read Jesus’ words concerning the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, or is Jesus making a reference to the whole of his sufferings which were soon to take place in Jerusalem?

According to the scriptures the sufferings of Christ include the betrayal by Judas, the arrest and trial before the High Priest and Jewish leadership, the condemnation and cruel treatment of Jesus by the Jewish leadership, being delivered to Pilate (the Roman governor) and being rejected and condemned by the Jews and Gentiles, and being flogged and beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Neither the Gospels nor the book of Acts present a view of the cross without the sufferings which preceded the cross. Yet we have entire theological views that give little to no attention to the things Jesus suffered and endured before he was nailed to the cross. However, we cannot have a proper understanding of the death and resurrection of Jesus without the whole of what he suffered. 

In the language of scripture, the passion of Jesus was the totality of his sufferings beginning the night he was betrayed and reaching its finality in his death on the cross.

According to the scriptures, Jesus ate the Passover with his disciples on the evening of the first day of unleavened bread (Matthew 26:17-21). That same night Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and brought before the Jewish leadership who were plotting to put him to death. He was tried, beaten, and mocked by them. As it was dawning towards the next day Jesus was denied by Peter just before the rooster’s crow just as Jesus had predicted. Very early that morning Jesus was led away by the leading priests and elders to the Roman governor, Pilate. As this was taking place Judas went out and hanged himself.

Jesus was examined by Pilate and accused before Pilate by the Jewish elders and the chief priests. Jesus was then placed on trial before the people who gathered at Pilate’s house that morning. Jesus was condemned by the people who were influenced by the Priests and elders and to cry out that Jesus be crucified. Pilate then released Barabbas and ordered Jesus to be flogged. After being flogged and mocked by the Roman soldiers they led Jesus away to be crucified. Jesus was crucified at 9 am in the morning (the third hour) and died at 3pm (the ninth hour). Jesus was then taken down from the cross and buried.

According to Matthew, the very next day was the Sabbath (Matthew 27:62). On this day, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate and requested that the tomb be secured with guards.

Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.” Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. ~  Matthew 27:63-67 TNLT 

Now, according to Matthew 28:1-6, on the very next day which was the day after the Sabbath (which was the day after the crucifixion) the angel of the Lord rolled away the stone because Jesus had risen from the dead.

According to the book of Matthew, Jesus was crucified, the next day was the Sabbath, and the next day was the first day of the week, and Jesus had risen just as he had said.

I think it’s important to remember the words of Jesus from Luke 13:32  I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

The language of scripture is that Jesus rose on the third day, and this fits with the actual timeline given to us by the gospel writers. It also agrees with the timeline of the feasts of Passover, Unleavened bread, and First-fruits. These were all prophetic with regards to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

According to the timeline of the appointed feasts, Passover was on the 14th day (at evening) of first month which was Nisan 14 (or Abib 14). The next day was the 15th day and the beginning of seven days of unleavened bread. This day was also a Sabbath, and the next Sabbath was not until seven days later. Passover actually set the course for the Sabbaths for the rest of the calendar year.  On the 16th day of Nisan or Abib was the feast of first-fruits. There was only one day between Passover and first-fruits and that was the Sabbath of unleavened bread. According to Paul, Jesus’ is fruits-fruits of all who will be resurrected.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20 

Jesus was crucified on Passover, the 14th day. His body rested in the tomb on the Sabbath of unleavened bread (the 15th day) and He was raised from the dead on the 16th as the first-fruits of the promised resurrection.

Again the Sabbath after Passover began all the weekly Sabbaths of the year. A careful study of the feasts in Leviticus 23 will clarify this. This also agrees with the timeline given by Jesus when He says, Today, I do cures, tomorrow I cast out demons, and on the third day I shall be perfected.” Notice again the succession. Today, tomorrow, and the third day.

Now, what about the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth?

Some interpret this as the literal time between the death and resurrection, i.e., the actual time that Jesus’ body was in the tomb. Yet, the text doesn’t say in the tomb. It says, in the heart of the earth. Could it be that, in the heart of the earth, refers to the totality of the sufferings of Jesus?  The day/night he ate the Passover with his disciples and was betrayed, the day/night He was placed on trial and crucified,  the day and night his body rested in the tomb.

Could the meaning of three days and three nights in the heart of the earth be referring to the time span of his sufferings or passion in Jerusalem?

Consider that after Jesus was raised from the dead, he met two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. One of them, whose name was Cleopas, asked Jesus, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days ?  Jesus said unto them, what things ? Then they said to Jesus, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. ~ Luke 24:19 – 21

These things of which these two disciples refer include the betrayal and trial along with the crucifixion. As these men spoke with Jesus, it was the third day since the day Jesus had been put on trial and crucified.

This fits also with the stated timeline that Jesus had given to his disciples. For example Matthew tells us,  From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. ~ Matthew 16:21

According to Matthew 16:21, the third day would be the third day from the beginning of His sufferings at Jerusalem from the hands of the elders and the chief priests prior to being killed. I think if we’d read the words  in the heart of the earth in view of the narrative, we’d find there is more evidence that Jesus is referring to the totality of His sufferings rather than His burial alone.

The things Jesus endured in Jerusalem, which scripturally can be considered the heart of the earth, was foretold by the prophets and is the sign that Jesus is giving that He was indeed the Messiah!


I recently watched some of a video clip of a Calvinist minister undermining children who were being baptized at a church he doesn’t approve of. One of the children stated that they wanted to be baptized because they loved Jesus. The Calvinist minister claimed that saying “I love Jesus” is not a testimony and discredited the little girl’s salvation.

Well, what does the Bible say about loving Jesus?

Actually a lot!

And if loving Jesus isn’t a good reason to be baptized, then there isn’t one. 

Paul tells the Ephesians Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen (Ephesians 6:24). And Peter says,  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory… (1 Peter 1:8).

We also know that love is of God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7). Consequently, we love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:18). God who predestined us to be his children in love (Ephesians 1:4-5) assures us that
all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Furthermore, it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Paul tells us that if any man love God, the same is known of him (1 Corinthians 8:3), and if any man does not love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha – accursed when the Lord comes (1 Corinthians 16:22).

It is God himself who directs our hearts in the love of God (2 Thessalonians 3:5), and there is a crown of life which is laid up for those who endure temptation because they love the Lord (James 1:12). Paul says, there is a crown of righteousness laid up for all who love the Lord’s appearing at his coming (1 Timothy 4:8). In fact, James says that the kingdom is promised to them who love him (James 2:5).

When someone wants to be baptized because they love Jesus, they have met all requirements for salvation and eternal life. There is nothing any of us could do that improves on loving Jesus!

How sweet it is!


Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures.

The phrase, according to the scriptures, is loaded and one that cannot be easily narrowed down to theory, yet that’s what we often do. Jesus did not come according to a theory, or to fulfill a theory. He came to do the will of God as it is written of him in the volume of the book ~ Hebrews 10:7. 

N.T. Wright has so beautifully stated the truth of this, “When Jesus wanted to teach his disciples the meaning of his death, he didn’t give them a theory, he gave them a meal.”  

There is so much truth we miss when attempting to boil the meaning of the cross down to a theory. Boasting in theological models often leaves us on the outside of the Biblical narrative, causing us to miss the teachings of the Master. 

On the night of the Last Supper,  Jesus gave a master illustration of what his death was about. It would be a lesson that the disciples would draw on for the rest of their lives as they would be given the task of teaching us how to follow Jesus, and what it means to be his servant.

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. ~ John 13:1-7

When we reduce the cross to a theory we lose the meaning and the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. The cross is so much more than a substitutionary work. The cross serves as the standard of the life we are to live in this world as followers of Jesus. The cross leads us into a continuous laying down of our own lives.

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. ~ Matthew 10:38

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. ~ Matthew 16:24 

For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps… ~ 1 Peter 2:20-21

The cross is to be interwoven into our very lives and service to God, not merely as some sort of divine exchange from which we benefit (his loss = our gain). Such ideas are often rooted in the very selfishness caused by sin for which Christ died to free us.

The cross is about the narrow way that leads us into life that fully glorifies God and not ourselves. Consider that Jesus knew that his hour had come, and he knew that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God, and was returning to God. It was then, he arose from supper, and laid aside his garments.

Jesus, the Son of God, the King of glory,  laid aside his garments to serve. His death was about to underscore and put an exclamation mark on this truth. Everything Jesus had been teaching his disciples about God’s Kingdom was about to reach its culmination at the cross. The King of glory, was himself, the greatest servant of all – No one could, or would, ever, out serve the King. There is no boasting but in him alone!

The work of Christ at the cross is so much more glorious than a substitutional theory. His death teaches us about denying ourselves, glorifying God, surrendering to God, trusting God, loving God, and what it means to love others.

Sin is so much more than a moral trespass. Sin corrupts entirely, and removes us from being the image bearers of God, for which we were created. In Christ, the beauty and glory of the image of God is restored to humanity, and it only comes through Christ and the cross.