Friday, February 6, 2009


PASTOR: is a man called by believers to lead a local congregation and minister to them from the Word of God. The term is used interchangeably with the term "Bishop" in 1 Timothy 3. If there be any doubt of this, notice in Ephesians 4:11 (both written by Paul) that Bishop is not used when noting the officers given unto the church for our edification (encouragement) and help, although Pastor is.

1 Timothy 3 includes the sometimes controversial qualifications of a "Bishop" or Pastor as the leader of a congregation. Among them is the phrase "the husband of one wife" which refers to a Pastor being a MAN and only having been married to one woman, his current wife. Though there is a long list, this one tends to be the matter of contention among divorced men and / or women who wish to assume the office. Regardless of personal choice, the bible remains clear. Also worthy of mention is the fact that a NOVICE or new preacher not be placed in this office. Paul clearly meant for a man of some measure of experience assume this role, though not necessarily a person of age, since he personally had placed Timothy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


THE TRINITY (TRIUNE GOD): The bible teaches that God is a Triune being. 1 John 5:7 declares that "there are three that bear record in heaven, THE FATHER, THE WORD, and THE HOLY GHOST and these three are ONE." Jesus is identified on numerous occasions as The Word of God made flesh. In the Old Testament (Genesis 1:26,27) God refers to himself as creating man in "our" image and then creating man in "His own" image. The book of Hebrews declares Jesus to be the "express image" of God and Jesus himself told his disciples that if they had seen Him, then they had seen The Father.

Still this teaching remains difficult for many people to understand. Perhaps the best example is mankind. We were created in the image of God as triune beings possessing BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT. All three are the individual, but they are not the same. Your spirit is you, your soul is you and your mortal/physical body is you, but they are separate parts of the whole. On a much grander scale we find God who is a triune being and yet ONE GOD.


SATAN (ADVERSARY / ENEMY): is the name given unto the chief fallen angel once known as Lucifer. Lucifer is said to have been "perfect in wisdom and beauty until iniquity was found in him." Lucifer had been the "Covering Cherub" a place of high position, but thought to make himself like unto God and worshipped. He was thrown down from his lofty position decree of God at some unknown point. We find Satan already fallen by the time man dwells in the Garden of Eden. Revelation 12 clearly identifies him as that "Old Serpent" the Devil. Contrary to popular opinion, the bible never places Satan as a king dwelling in Hell. He is in fact roaming throughout the Earth along with other rebellious angels seeking to oppose God, particularly in his plans for humanity. There is nothing biblical to suggest that Satan has been transformed into some monsterous red-suited, horned creature. He is an angel although rebellious and cast down.

DEMONS: are fallen angels who followed Lucifer in his rebellion against Almighty God at a point sometime before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. We do find that these angels have inhabited the bodies of unbelievers, particularly during the course of Jesus earthly ministry when he cast many out. Satan also indwelt Judas Iscariot as he went to betray Jesus to the Pharisees for money. There is no biblical evidence to support demonic possession of a truly saved person!


THE BRIDE OF CHRIST & THE BRIDEGROOM: The bride and bridegroom are symbolic names for Jesus Christ (Bridegroom) and The Body of Believers known as The Church (Bride of Christ). The names symbolize the relationship Christ has with his believers, as in Genesis with the marriage covenant, where two become one. Christ is said to be the head of the Church as the Husband is the head of the Wife. He loves and sacrificed himself for the Church (Believers) as the husband should for his wife. Likewise, the Church should be in submission to Christ as the wife is to her husband. Once the Church has been taken in the Rapture and prior to the second coming of Christ to the Earth there will be an event in the third heaven known as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, a celebration of the Bride and Bridegroom coming together to remain inseparable for all eternity.


NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH: foretold in Revelation 21 will be created following the Great White Throne judgment (Rev 20) where we find the present earth and heaven (atmosphere) passes away from before the presence of God on His throne. We are told that the new heaven (atmosphere/firmament/1st heaven) and Earth are created and possess different qualities than this present Earth with its atmosphere. For example, the new Earth has no sea...speculation would lead one to believe that while water will be present, it will not be found in the mass quanities we find in oceans now. Likely, as with the preflood era Earth, the majority of water will be confined to "fountains of the great deep" (underground) or in the theorized water vapor canopy (windows of heaven). With the preflood era Earth, a mist went up from the ground to water the face of the earth rather than cycles of rainfall. Certainly, should the surface area of the new Earth remain the same and the ocean basin area be fertile dry land, there will be much more to inhabit.


NEW JERUSALEM: is a city made by God himself which is yet to come. Foretold and described in great detail in Revelation 21 & 22, the dimensions of the city measure approximately 1500 miles in width, length and height. Though many assume that this must mean a squarish shape to the city, a pyramidal shape also fits the dimensions and makes more sense with relation to a city. The description of the city which includes, streets of transparent pure gold, gates of pearl and foundations of 12 different precious stones is often confused with Heaven itself.


HELL (hades, sheol, Gehenna): There are three words interpreted as Hell in the KJV. Hades and Sheol refer to the abode of the dead and belong to the spiritual realm. Luke 16 gives a description of Sheol (hebrew) where the righteous dead were separated from the unsaved dead by a great fixed gulf. However all of Sheol was located in the heart of the Earth. Remember though that it lies in the spiritual realm. The Rich man of Luke 16 is clearly stated as being buried in body, but his soul is in Hell, in torments. In this place, the righteous are said to be comforted while the unsaved are in fiery torments and both are aware of the other. However, Ephesians 4 and Matt 27 make clear that Christ entered the side of Sheol where the righteous dwell and emptied that place, removing the paradise of God to the third heaven. So that now, when a believer dies the bible states, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." Sheol is a temporary place of punishment which will one day deliver up its wicked dead (Rev 20) to the final "Great White Throne Judgment" of God where the books shall be opened all of the unsaved judged according to their works. These condemned are then consigned for all eternity to "The Lake of Fire" (Gehenna).

Since Gehenna (also rendered as Hell in places) replaces Sheol / Hades, it is not only a final place of punishment, but may be of a much greater degree. Also, the dead are said to be raised / resurrected to this final judgment, so that their final end in Gehenna may well be within the "Physical Realm."

Thursday, January 29, 2009


HEAVEN: commonly refers to the dwelling place of God beyond the physical realm of creation. However, there are three distinct "heavens" mentioned in the bible.

  1. The dwelling place of God.

  2. The Celestial Heaven including outer space, the various things within it.

  3. The Atmosphere of Earth (also called the Firmament).
References in the Bible, usually associated with Heaven (God's dwelling place), many times describe the city of New Jerusalem which is made by God and will come down from God out of Heaven. (streets of gold, gates of pearl, etc.)


ETERNITY (eternal, eternal life, everlasting): refers to the state of having no beginning and no ending with reference to the counting of time. God is eternal. He has no beginning or ending. Mankind is finite-we have a beginning and a mortal ending. However man was created a living, eternal soul and thus has no true ending. Before God created, there was no counting of time. In fact time is counted in relation to repeating cycles occuring within creation, ie: the dawn and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, the seasons on Earth, etc. Mankind has created instruments and measures of time based on these cycles in order to "count time." With reference to the destruction of this present world and the creation of a new heaven (atmosphere) and Earth, time counting will not be necessary because God's eternal kingdom will have no end. Likewise the state of man upon leaving the mortal body will have no end. The Believer will forever dwell with God in the restored creation. The Unsaved Sinner who has rejected salvation through faith in Jesus Christ will forever be punished in a Lake of Fire according to the judgment of God (revelation 20:15)


OMNIPRESENT: means to be present in all places at all times as the Bible declares God to be.
OMNIPOTENT: means to be All Powerful as the Bible declares God to be.
OMNISCIENT: means to be All Knowing as the Bible declares God to be.


SOVEREIGNTY (sovereign): refers to God's absolute authority over his creation. The bible clearly teaches that God answers to no other person and his purposes will ultimately be carried out in His plan for His Creation. However, confusion arises because some teach that this means God must have predetermined every single thought and action in creation (beginning to end) otherwise sovereignty is compromised. This is not the definition of sovereignty nor a teaching of the Bible. God chose to create creatures who possess free will and interacts with them on the basis or His creating them with free will. Ultimately, God knows all things and shapes the course of this world so that his plan will be carried out (Sin will be judged, Believers will be saved, and God will be glorified, in addition to the creation of a new heaven and Earth free from the curse of sin as it was meant to be).


SAINT or BELIEVER: is a person who has realized their sin and guilt before God and responded to God's call to be saved by receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through genuine faith. Saint actually has nothing to do with a person's having done many good works.


ESCHATOLOGY: refers to the study of End Time events as given directly or through prophecy with the Bible. These events include the present moral and political climate in the world as well as the future event known as the Rapture, the Tribulation period, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Millenial Kingdom, the final judgments of Satan, his demons, all sinners never saved through faith in Jesus Christ and finally the consumation of all things (New Heaven and Earth, etc).


EPISTLE: is a letter. Letters were written by Paul, Jude, Peter, and James in the New Testament to believers in certain places. They usually are named for the place where the believers were located (ex. Romans, Ephesians, Galatians, etc).


THE RAPTURE: is an event foretold in scripture (ex. 1 Thess 4) The word "Rapture" is simply a word meaning to "catch away." The word does not actually appear in scripture, but does accurately describe the event. Jesus Christ promised his disciples that He would come again to receive them unto himself. The Rapture and related scriptures describe Jesus returning to the atmosphere in order to "catch away" believers both living and dead. A trumpet call will sound and "the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the shall we ever be with the Lord." This event is separate from the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and prior to it. Contrasting the events: at the second coming, Jesus returns with his saints and the armies of heaven, coming all the way to Earth in order to wage war against the Antichrist, Beast of the Sea, and the armies of the world gathered at Jerusalem. At the Rapture Christ comes to receive his saints to himself and does not come all the way to Earth.


GLORIFIED (glorification, glorified body): means to make ascribe glory to something or someone. In the bible we are told that God is glorious. Also, Believers in Jesus Christ are promised to receive glorified bodies like unto the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ rose from the dead and then subsequently appeared for 40 days unto his disciples, he possessed a body free from death and apparently unincumbered by physical laws. For instance: he appeared inside a sealed room before his disciples. Likewise, when the stone was rolled from the tomb by an Angel, the body of the Lord was already gone. Believers are promised that they will no more experience sickness, pain or death once they leave the physical body through death or are transformed from a mortal body to a glorified body should they be living at the event known as the Rapture when all believers living or dead will rise to meet Jesus Christ in the air prior to his second coming to the Earth.


REVELATION (Book of Revelation): means to reveal something or someone. The Book of Revelation, sometimes referred to as John's Revelation, actually refers to Jesus Christ being revealed in all of His glory. This is the central theme of the book and peaks with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the Earth in order to destroy the power of the present world system and to establish his 1,000 year kingdom. This kingdom transitions into His Eternal Kingdom.


SACRIFICE (offering): the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. Biblically, offerings were made unto God of various items and animals in order to cover sin and allow man to have communion with God. We learn in the book of Hebrews that these sacrifices actually had no power to remove sin, but were symbolic of the sacrifice God's only begotten Son would make when He came into the world. Jesus is called the Lamb of God, because He is God's perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Faith in Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins actually cleanses sin away for all time. When Christ rules on a renewed Earth for 1,000 years, called the Kingdom Age, the sacrificial system of the Old Testament times will be restored in memorial of the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross.


SIN (sinner): is rebellion against God, His Holy Law and His will for the lives of his creatures. Man is a sinner and is born with the nature to sin, inherited from the parents of our race, Adam and Eve. Sin carries a death penalty before God, meaning eternal separation from God in a Lake of Fire. Left to himself, man cannot and will not change this nature of rebellion. Only God can change the nature and made provision for it by sending Jesus to be a sacrifice for man's sins. Through faith in Jesus a person is cleansed from sin and made acceptable unto God.


THE OLD MAN (old nature): refers to that nature every person is born into the world with--a nature that instinctively sins. As a race, we received this nature at birth because the parents of all humanity, Adam and Eve, were sinners when they began to produce children. Sinners begat more sinners. Jesus said (John 3:3-6) that we must be Born Again and thus receive a NEW NATURE which is alive unto God through faith in Jesus Christ. The new nature is spiritually alive while the old sinful nature is dead spiritually because of sin and its penalty. The old nature seeks to please its own desires while the new nature seeks to please God. It should be noted that the physical body still has the old nature present so that every christian has a battle between these two natures going on inside them. God has given His Holy Spirit to indwell every believer so that we have help in living after the new nature in order to glorify God in this world.


BORN AGAIN (new birth): refers to a sinner receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and savior by faith in his death upon the cross for sins, and bodily ressurection (rom:10:9). It indicates a complete change of nature from the old (sinful & dead) to the new (alive unto God). Jesus told the religious man, Nicodemus, (John 3:-6) that religion was not enough to make one acceptable to God. A person must be BORN AGAIN.


SALVATION (saved): refers to God sending his Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for mankind's sins and sinners receiving Jesus Christ by faith as their Lord and Savior. This is a choice given by God: to be saved or reject his offer and remain in your sins. To remain in one's sins ultimately results in judgment. To accept his offer of salvation through Jesus Christ is to have one's sins removed and to become guiltless and acceptable to God.


SANCTIFICATION (sanctify, sanctified): Means to be set apart for a special purpose or particularly to conform a believer to the image of Christ. God's Holy spirit works from within every believer to mold and shape their lives in order to bring glory unto God. This is a process and not a one time event.


REDEMPTION (redeemed): Means to pay the ransom for. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross paid the "price" in order to ransom sinners from the penalty of law.


PROPITIATION: Means to Satisfy. In scripture, Christ's sacrifice for mankind's sins, is said to "Satisfy," the Law of God which condemned us. Of course to gain that satisfaction of the law for yourself, you must receive Christ by faith.


ELECTION (elect, elected): means to choose. In the bible, God chose a nation (Israel) and a group of sinners which would be accepted and belong to Him. All sinners who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are placed into God's elect group. All believers are thus "In Christ." This is God's chosen group.


DOCTRINE: Simply means teaching. A doctrine is something taught in the bible.


ATONEMENT (atone): Means a "payment" for our sins. The blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross is the payment (atonement) for the sins of mankind. However, this payment must be accepted by the individual sinner and applied to their life by receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by faith.


JUSTIFIED (justify, justification): Means that you are no longer guilty of Sin in the eyes of God and his Holy Law. Through the works of the Law, man comes short and thus the Law can only condemn the sinner. Jesus Christ shed his Holy blood on the cross as a payment for the sins of mankind. When a sinner receives Jesus by faith as Lord and Savior, the blood of Christ is applied to pay for their sins. Also, Christ's righteousness as applied to the Believer so that they stand not only "guiltless" before God, but perfectly HOLY and Unblameable in his sight.


Hello and welcome to the new DOCTRINE FOR DUMMIES page for the BIBLE-SMART blog!

We will quickly begin placing quick-posts for commonly confusing bible terminology on this page with links back to BIBLE-SMART study posts.