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."