This situation didn't last long. Man disobeyed God (which is what sin is) and ate of the tree of 'Knowledge of Good and Evil'. As a consequence he became aware of his nakedness. He tried to cover him self but couldn't. He tried to hide from God but couldn't.
God did provide man a covering but sent man out of the Garden of Eden.
Subsequently God made a Covenant with Abraham. "I will be your God and you will be my people as long as you obey me" This covenant was symbolized by circumcision.
God later gave them some rules to live by called the Ten Commandments when he spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. Man was able to offer animal sacrifices to atone for sin when he broke God's law. see God's Law vs Man's Law
The trouble was, God's people were not able to keep God's law and did not seek atonement. They became uncircumcised in heart and broke his Covenant.
So God decided to send his only begotten son Jesus Christ to establish a New Covenant symbolized by baptism. Jesus was to be a once and for all sacrifice to pay for the sins of all men once and for all. Any man who would trust in Jesus to be his Lord and Savior would receive cleansing and forgiveness of sins (Justification) as well as eternal life (Salvation) and freedom from oppression (Redemption). In addition, they would receive a new Spirit when he baptized them (Rebirth, Born again, Regeneration) and he would make them Holy (Sanctification, Transformation) as they grew in the Knowledge of God.
When we are saved, God comes and lives in our heart (Regeneration). He cleanses our guilty consciences and regards us as if we had never sinned (Justification).
This is just the beginning of God's work in us.
God wants to transform our Character and remove our tendency to sin when we are tempted or provoked.
Most people do not manage to completely stop sinning from the moment they are saved.
We need to grow in God to become Holy. This is a gradual process. Once God shows us something is wrong, we need to stop doing it or our Spiritual Growth will be halted. The process by which God transforms our Soul and refines our Character is called Sanctification.
If we constantly turn to God and worship him, he will remove our propensity to sin and renew our mind. If we do not turn to God and seek his face, we will not be transformed into his likeness; we may even backslide and go back to our original condition (God forbid).
Grace is God's undeserved love and mercy.
It is unique to Christianity.
By God's Grace, Abraham and his offspring were given their inheritance through a promise.
By God's Grace, the Jews were able to offer animal sacrifices regularly to atone for sin.
And by God's Grace, Jesus came to die on the Cross to atone for sin once and for all.
Jesus didn't have to die on the cross for us. He did it because he loved us and he wanted to reconcile us back to himself.
Somebody had to pay the price for us or God would have had to break his own law to save us.
If we do not accept what Christ has done for us by faith, we will have to pay the price for ourselves. This price is death and eternal separation from God.
Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness.
The only way we can be Justified (made righteous) is by faith in Jesus Christ. There is no other way to please God other than by Faith.
Some Christians try and earn their way to heaven while others think that works are not important. We cannot earn salvation. The penalty for sin is death. Christ paid this price for us. We just have to accept it by faith.
All we need is faith the size of a mustard seed (Matt 17:20).
There should, however, be some evidence of faith in your life (eg confession baptism joy peace repentance and eventually fruit).
James says "you show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works".
Clearly, we are saved by faith in what Christ has done, not in what we have done.
Nevertheless, Christians will be rewarded according to what we have done whilst in the body of Christ.
Friend, faith without works is dead.
There is only one body of Christ and we are all part if it (if we are saved).
The Body is made up of many parts. These parts do not all have the same function.
No single group of people could possibly manifest or depict God completely. He is too Big!
None of us has a complete understanding of God.
When we fellowship with each other, we come to know the extent of God's Love for us a bit more.
Unity in the Church does not mean that we all have to be the same. There are many parts in the body. They cannot all have the same function.
Nevertheless, there is only one body of Christ, and when it is healthy, all the parts work together for God's Kingdom.
There is much confusion in the Church today making it difficult for Christians to fellowship with one another and co-operate with God's purposes.
Sometimes, we are too busy building something for ourselves instead of seeking God's will and trying to understand His Word.
If we don't speak the same language, the result is confusion and division. When we seek God and do his will, unity and blessings follow.
Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. Salvation is found in no other Name. We need to take this message to the World.
It is prophesied in Joel that in the last days, God would pour out His Spirit on ALL PEOPLES - not just Jews.
This began to happen at Pentecost commencing with the Jews in Jerusalem and rapidly spreading to the Gentiles in the Surrounding Nations.
From that time on, all men and women from every Language, Tribe and Nation would have access to God by one Spirit, though faith in Jesus Christ, The Son of God.
Jesus had previously commissioned the disciples to preach the Gospel starting in Jerusalem, then Samaria and finally to the ends of the Earth.
Salvation would be available to all who believe the Gospel: First for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
It was no coincidence that Jesus was Crucified during the Passover Feast. It was at this very time that He chose to go up to Jerusalem; knowing what would happen.
Jews from every nation were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover - A feast to commemorate the time when God spared the lives of all whose houses were covered by the blood of a Lamb - It was held on the 14 day of the first month of the Jewish calendar - Nissan (April).
On the day Jesus rose from the grave, Jesus appeared to the disciples and told them not to leave Jerusalem until they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit (on the day of Pentecost - 50 days later).
Pentecost was the day that our Lord chose to empower the believers with the Holy Spirit.
The Feast of Pentecost was to commemorate the giving of the Law. It was held on the 6th day of the third month - Sivan (June). It was precisely 50 days after the Passover.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Believers numbered a hundred and twenty. They were gathered together. All of them were Jews or converts to Judaism. (There were no Gentile Believers present at that point).
When God poured out his Spirit at Pentecost, people were baptized and filled with the Spirit. They were so overflowing with joy that people thought they were drunk.
The Spirit enabled them to speak in other tongues so they could understand each other in their own native language.
Other signs of Baptism in the Spirit included praising God and prophesying.
They had a common faith and a Godly vision.
The Church grew rapidly even though they spoke different languages.
Philip took the Gospel to the Samaritans (who were half Jew and half Gentile) but they could not receive the Spirit until Peter and John went down from Jerusalem to confirm that the Gospel was not just for Jews but for the Samaritans too.
Subsequently, God Poured out his Spirit on the Gentiles starting with Cornelius' House, much to the surprise of the circumcised believers. They were Baptized in the Spirit simply by hearing the message, before the disciples even had a chance to lay hands on them or Baptize them in water!
Prior to this it had been against the Jewish Law to associate with a Gentile, but now, the Gentiles could have the Spirit of God too!
Paul was miraculously converted and chosen by God to 'carry' His Name to the Gentiles and to the people of Israel.
There were 120 people in the upper room at Pentecost
This was enough to evangelise the whole world
Since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been in need of regeneration.
The unregenerate man is unable to come into God's presence and commune with him because of sin.
Sin is to disobey God or rebel against him.
God wants us to depend on him, to trust in him and to love and obey him.
God wants to remove sin so that he can live in our heart and become our Lord and Savior.
When God comes and lives in our heart and takes away the guilt of sin, this is called regeneration.
God lives in our heart by His Spirit which we receive when we are Baptised in the Spirit.
We receive the Spirit by Believing in Christ's redemptive work on the Cross.
It is God who decides when to Baptize us with his Spirit.
We choose when to be Baptized in Water.
Rebirth = Our Choice + God's Choice
He will only Baptize us with His Spirit when we truly believe in him and invite him to be our Lord and Saviour.
Baptism in water alone cannot save you. We must believe and have the Spirit.
Baptism in water is an Outward symbol of what God does Inwardly.
Rebirth = Inward Baptism + Outward Baptism
Under the New Covenant, the only way to be Born Again is by Baptism in the Spirit.
Under the Old Covenant, it was possible to be Born Again by Circumcision by the Spirit.
Rebirth = Inward Circumcision + Outward Circumcision
Nobody can enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless they are born again.
God cannot live in our heart if demons or evil Spirits are living there too.
If God is going to come and live in our heart, all evil spirits will need to be evicted.
When Abraham and his descendents trusted and obeyed God they were not only circumcised in the flesh, they were circumcised in the heart by the Spirit.
Circumcision of the heart by the Spirit is necessary for regeneration.
Abraham's descendants, however, did not remain faithful and obedient to God. They were unable to keep the Law which was revealed to Moses.
Even though they continued to be circumcised in the flesh, they became uncircumcised in heart.
Thus it became necessary for God to send his own son, Jesus Christ to save them.
Every Gospel opens with John the Baptist saying "I baptize you with water but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit".
Only John uses the term born again and he says that to be born again, you must be born of water and born of the Spirit.
The main reason that Jesus came was so that we could be baptized with the Holy Spirit and set free from sin.
Baptism in the Spirit is regeneration too.
Both Jews and Gentiles need to be Baptized in the Spirit in order to partake of the New Covenant which is better than the Old Covenant.
When we repent of our sin and submit to Christ as our Lord and Savior, he baptizes us with his Spirit.
This is symbolized in water baptism which testifies to our obedience to Christ.
When we are full of the Spirit, we will be overflowing with God's Love and manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit. There will be signs in our live and we will be using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
If we do not keep turning to God in Worship, the Joy that we so treasure will eventually dry up and we will become like the foolish virgins that ran out of oil.
We need to keep turning to God and keep our relationship to him current. We need to be overflowing Christians. As God pours in, we need to be pouring out. If we keep pouring out without going back to the source for more then we will run dry and eventually bankrupt our faith.
Sadly, some Christians do not even know that they have a spirit, a soul and a body. The Lord wants to preserve them all when he comes to redeem us.
The Body is the same as the flesh. It includes all our natural desires and instincts. Flesh can also refer to the unregenerated spirit of a man.
The Heart is the place that spirits dwell.
If we are born again, the Holy Spirit lives in our heart.
If we are not born again, we try to fill our heart with idols which ultimately can't save us.
The Holy Spirit witnesses with our Spirit.
Our conscience reflects what is in our Heart. It gives us an awareness of the Holy Spirit if He is in us.
Our Spirit determines what sort of person we are. God or bad. It has a major bearing on our character.
Angels and Demons try to influence us for the better or worse. This all depends on whether we accept what they say or not.
The Soul includes all our memories, experiences and associations. It determines our personality. It is what makes us us. It is a product of our birth, our experience and the decisions we make.
The Body is the interface between us and the world. It limits what we can perceive, what we can think and what we can do.
The mind the emotions and the will are part of our soul but are dependent on the state of our body and our spirit too.
If you are controlled by false beliefs or have a bad attitude, it is likely that you have a demon.
We can cast demons out by confronting their lies providing the person is willing to be set free.
What we believe determines what sort of spirit is in our heart and hence our attitude
Feelings and attitudes are linked to what we believe
A correct belief can set us free and give us appropriate feelings and attitudes
Having the right feelings and attitude is the result of correct beliefs and the right spirit
Jesus was the first to cast out demons. He empowered his disciples to do likewise.
The most common name for God in the Old Testament is Jehovah (Yahweh). It appears over 6500 times. This is not his title, but his name. Other references to God in the Old Testament are mostly titles like Lord (Adonai) and God (Elohim). Most Christians refer to God by his title. Even in the New Testament Greek, Jehovah seems to be replaced with the word Lord. Is it wrong to call God by his name, Jehovah?
The complex relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is embodied in the Trinity Doctrine which regards them all as distinct persons that together make one God. This acknowledges the deity of Christ.
MAN is an example of a trinity. He has three parts; body, soul and spirit. Yet he is not three persons but one. After all, MAN was made in the image of God.
God then has three aspects to his person too. CHRIST, the embodiment and word of GOD. The FATHER who has the heart and soul of God and the SPIRIT of God who is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ who is able to come and live in our heart and make us a Child of God.
Some groups that believe in the Bible do not think of Jesus as the Almighty God but still call him Lord and do his will. Mainstream Christianity rejects them, but does God?
If you were to die tonight, would you go to Heaven?
If you cannot answer 'yes' to this question then you do not have assurance of salvation.
This does not mean you are not saved (it just means that you do not have confidence that you will go to heaven).
Salvation does not depend on how good we are but on how good God is.
Salvation does not depend upon what we do but on what God has done.
Many Christians do not live with assurance and confidence that they are saved.
God has given us his Spirit so that we can know that we have been born again.
The Bible says that we can test ourselves and know with certainty that we are saved.
Is Jesus your LORD?
Do you love God more than anything else?
Have you repented of your Sin?
Does God's Spirit live in you?
If you can answer 'yes' to all of these questions then you are 'saved' and you will go to heaven.
If your situation changes, you need to re-examine yourself.
There is no way that man can come to know God unless God reveals himself to you. Yet God has still given us free will so that we can choose whether to accept him or reject him, whether to love and obey him. Just like a gift or an invitation, somebody has to offer it and somebody has to accept it. God does not force us to love him but he gives us many chances.
If you accept God's invitation and keep it and use it, then God has chosen to reveal himself to you. We are all faced with many decisions in life. We must choose the path that leads to life. Nobody will be saved unless they choose to submit to Christ. We must take what Christ has laid before us and never turn away. see illustration
Over the centuries, Christians have found these topics very hard to understand.
May be it is because God knows the end from the beginning or maybe it is because He knows our heart from the beginning.
Peter and Paul tell us that God chose to reveal himself to us and predestined us from the beginning according to his foreknowledge.
Nobody can be saved unless they choose to abide in Christ, but nobody can do this unless God opens their mind and their eyes and ears of their heart by sending somebody to tell them about Himself.
Having a current relationship with Christ is good evidence that we have been saved.
God chose to reveal himself to us so we could believe.
He chose us according to his foreknowledge using a criteria only known to Himself.
Nevertheless, we cannot become a Christian without choosing to follow Christ.
Rest assured, however, that He chose us before we chose Him.
Many Christians believe that once you become reconciled with God, you can never go to hell (once saved, always saved). Others believe that unless you are in right relationship with God when you die (or when Christ returns) you have never been born again.
The Bible says that many will turn away from the faith in the End Times.
It is possible to have full assurance of salvation but then turn away and go to hell.
Nobody can steel Salvation from you. You cannot loose it but you can throw it away.
We can grieve the Holy Spirit and make Him leave.
Christ does not force himself upon you. Salvation is not a trap.
Salvation depends upon who or what you love the most.
IN ORDER TO BE SAVED, WE NEED TO LOVE GOD MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
If you love anything else more than God, it is an Idol and it cannot save you. The devil will use it to draw you away from God.
Don't forget the seed that started growing on the rocky ground died and the foolish virgins let their lamps run dry.
Why would God tell us to stand firm if we were not standing in the first place or if we could not fall?
It is possible for God to take his Kingdom from us. We can grieve the Holy Spirit. We can tell him to go. God can cross us out of the Book of Life. We can be in a saving relationship with God and then turn away. Those who do know God and turn away are worse of at the end than when they started! We can be like the prodigal son who left his fathers house and wasted his inheritance and would have been considered dead by the father had he not chosen to turn back.
Those who are truly chosen by God remain in him until they die or Christ returns.
The End Times
The Great Tribulation will be a time of great suffering; the worst ever known to mankind. The Church will be redeemed from the Earth before God's wrath is poured out at the end of the Great Tribulation. Some of God's people who are 'mature' and 'ready' will be redeemed before the Great Tribulation starts. They will be the first fruits of the harvest. The majority of God's people will have to endure the Great Tribulation. They will be redeemed after 1260 days and then God will pour out his wrath. Those who remain on Earth will suffer God's wrath. Those that survive until the end of the 1335 days will continue to live on Earth for 1000 years and are destined to become the Nations in the New Heaven and Earth. They will be the people that showed kindness to the Christians during the Great Tribulation. Christ will separate them from the wicked as a Shepherd separates the Sheep and the Goats.
The Great Tribulation lasts 1260 days after which the Saints (the Great multitude) are called up to be meet the Lord for a long awaited celebration.
The wedding will last a month (1290-1260 days) and the battle of Armageddon 45 days (1335-1290 days).
The Bible says that nobody knows the day or the hour that Christ will return. The Bible says that there will be many impersonators and false Christs in the Last days. We need to be on our guard so that we are ready and not deceived. We will know when Christ returns because he will return the same way he left and all the world will see him.
Christ will come down from heaven at the Last Trumpet to Redeem the Church. The dead in Christ will rise first and then those who are alive will be called up to meet Christ in the Clouds. He will Separate the Wheat (True Christians) from the Tares (False Christians). Then God will Pour out his Wrath on the Nations of the Earth.
God will judge those in His Kingdom first (The Wheat and the Tares) ##
Then there will be a Wedding in Heaven followed by the return of Christ with the Armies of Heaven to defeat the Antichrist and the False Prophet and strike down the Nations on that Great and Awesome Day of the Lord. The Nations will stand before him and he will separate them like a shepherd separates the Sheep (Who are kind to God's people) and the Goats (who persecuted God's people). This will mark the end of this age and the the beginning of the millennium.
The Day of the Lord refers to the Battle of Armageddon
Christ will return with the redeemed saints, the armies of Heaven
to judge the nations on the earth and defeat the beast and the false prophet
It follows the rapture of the saints and the Wedding Feast in Heaven
(See Revelation Chapter 19)
The Millennium refers to a 1000 year period during which Christ Reigns with the Believers in Heaven over the purified nations on the Earth.
The Millennium follows the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ
After the Millennium is over, the devil is thrown into the lake of fire, the Kingdom is handed back to the Father and God makes all things new
The Bible does not reveal many details about the Millennium or it's function. All those who have been saved over the ages will have been resurrected and called up to be with Christ after their death. They will be joined by Christians who are redeemed from the Earth during the Great Tribulation.
When Jesus returns, the believers will all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ where they will be judged for the things that they have done whilst in the body. They will reign with Christ for a thousand years and during this period will be rewarded for their service in the body. Those who have been more faithful will be given more responsibility. For example, some will reign over ten cities on the Earth, others five.
After God redeems his people at the end of the Great Tribulation, he will pour out his wrath upon the Earth. Those who are not redeemed from the Earth to be with Christ will continue to live on Earth for a thousand years if they survive God's wrath.
One would presume that the survivors who live on the earth for 1000 years are the "sheep" (the good people who were kind to the children of God) and the ones who are destroyed are the "goats" who persecuted the Children of God.
At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be set loose for a brief period to try and deceive those who are living on the earth. God intervenes before the devil can hurt Gods People on the earth and the devil is eventually thrown into the lake of fire.
When Christ returns at the end of the Great tribulation, only believers, dead and alive are called up to be with him. This is the first resurrection.
The Dead who did not take part in the first resurrection will resurrected at the end of the Millennium to be judged at the Great White Throne. Those whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life will be sent to hell. Death itself will also be thrown into the Lake of Fire.
The believers who took part in the first resurrection reign with Christ for a 1000 years and then descend from heaven as the Bride of Christ to become the New Jerusalem where God lives with them for Eternity
Then all authority will be given back to the Father who will reign over the New Heavens and Earth for ever.
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