This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
Site Navigation:This left-column outline contains links to website pages and sources pertaining to helping the Body of Christ gain the potential for which God designed it. The menu below pages down to the individual sections of this outline from which you can navigate to other web pages. There is a fourth level to some of the third level or decimal elements of this outline that is hidden, to view this level click on the symbol in the outline; to hide the fourth level, double-click upon it (I found out, the last time I checked, that Mozilla's Firefox browser doesn't support this fourth level expansion feature, sorry).
The Bible teaches that Christianity is a relationship, not necessarily a religion, our religion expresses itself by what we believe and the way we outwardly respond in our relationship with Christ Jesus and one another. This relationship between Jesus and each individual is described in the Bible as being similar to a marriage relationship between a husband (Christ) and his wife (the Church; Eph. 5:22-32). God created men and women with distinct qualitites and characteristics to enable them to work together in building up a God honoring family. Whenever they relate together properly as God intended, they experience a little bit of heaven on earth; but whenever one or the other begins to go their separate way, just the opposite is experienced – a little bit of hell on earth. The same is true in our relationship with Jesus. This is a simple explanation of what being a Christian is meant to be, and what we can expect.
It’s quite possible to have a lot of "Christian" religion, without having any relationship with Christ. Another words, our religion or what we believe and practice can be faulty or wrong, and the only way to correct it is to adhere to, and live according to the Word of God. When we build the structure of our religion and try to work it, instead of working together with Jesus on the way He wants it to be structured we are neglecting Him to go our own way. There are hundreds of Christian Protestant denominations and groups that have started out well or with good intentions, but have ended up practicing their religion instead of maintaining a proper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. In this age of increasing apostasy, I think a person who is intent upon enhancing their relationship with Jesus would be better off, in most instances, gathering with like-minded people than visiting or attending an established church. In the beginning Christians gathered in their homes, and Jesus was the center of attraction and concern. Too often that concern subtly turns from being focused upon Christ to getting more people to attend our meetings, etc.
Many of the past and current false religions have tried to copy some of the characteristics of the God of the Bible, and some are claiming that the God of the Old Testament is not the same God as in the New Testament. The reason that they believe this is that they do not realize that God dealt differently with the nation of Israel than He is doing with individuals. The covenant that God made with Israel was and is for an earthly inheritance, the covenant God makes with those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior is a heavenly inheritance with a different constitution than the one that governs the covenant that He made with Israel.
Muhammad, not realizing this, apparently used the Old Testament pattern, and believed it was perfectly all right to kill those who either leave the Islam religion or encourage others to do so, because that is what God required the nation of Israel to do (Deut. 13:1-18). Gandhi of India evidently tried to copy some of the actions and teachings of Jesus. But they both were wrong, not only because of their false religious beliefs but because they were following a false God.
What was it about the Israelite’s religion that hindered their acceptance of Jesus as the promised Messiah? Hadn’t God revealed enough in the Old Testament for them to be able to recognize Him when He came, or had they failed to grasp and understand the inspired writings? If we put ourselves in their shoes, I think we would have to admit that while enough information was available in the OT to properly prepare them for Jesus, there was still plenty of room for doubt. In fact, after spending two or three years with Jesus the disciples were still uncertain as to who He really was; when Peter finally confessed Jesus as the Christ or Messiah, Jesus’ response showed that Peter needed the Father’s help to come to this conclusion. "Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17).
The biggest obstacle that the Israelites had to contend with seems to be that they had been taught by God that He is one individual being, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord]" (Deut. 6:4), this verse gave no hint of a composite God consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Very few, if any, seemed to be aware of the many references in the Old Testament stating that the Godhead contained more than one person, such as; "God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth" (Gen. 1:26). So when Jesus came claiming to be the Son of God and making Himself equal with God, the majority of them believed and accused Him of blaspheming God.
A second hindrance was what they believed about the promised Messiah, they completely overlooked or set-aside what Daniel had said about Him, that He would be rejected and killed as stated below at the end of 69 of the 70 weeks of years. The main body of modern Jews still looks forward to the ingathering of the Jews, their restoration to national glory in the land of their forefathers, and an era of universal peace and harmony among men to accompany the coming of their Messiah. This didn’t happen when Jesus came, so therefore in their thinking, He couldn’t be the Messiah. Messiah is the English word for the Hebrew word for "anointed" or "Anointed one" as below; just as our English word Christ is the equivalent for the Greek word for "anointed."
DANIEL 9:24-27.... Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city [Jerusalem], to finish and put an end to transgression, to seal up and make full the measure of sin, to purge away and make expiation and reconciliation for sin, to bring in everlasting righteousness (permanent moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and to anoint a Holy of Holies. Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Anointed one, a Prince, shall be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; it shall be built again with [city] square and moat, but in troublous times. And after the sixty-two weeks [of years] shall the Anointed one be cut off or killed and shall have nothing [and no one] belonging to [and defending] Him. And the people of the [other] prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood; and even to the end there shall be war, and desolations are decreed. [Isa. 53:7-9; Nah. 1:8; Matt. 24:6-14] And he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator.
A third hindrance was their belief about the Sabbath day. In the following Scripture passages we have good examples of these three hindrances, and their solution.
JOHN 5:5-18.... There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked. But that happened on the Sabbath.
10So the Jews kept saying to the man who had been healed, It is the Sabbath, and you have no right to pick up your bed [it is not lawful]. He answered them, The Man Who healed me and gave me back my strength, He Himself said to me, Pick up your bed and walk! They asked him, Who is the Man Who told you, Pick up your bed and walk? Now the invalid who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had quietly gone away [had passed on unnoticed], since there was a crowd in the place.
14Afterward, when Jesus found him in the temple, He said to him, See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him well. For this reason the Jews began to persecute (annoy, torment) Jesus and sought to kill Him, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too, must be at [divine] work. This made the Jews more determined than ever to kill Him [to do away with Him]; because He not only was breaking (weakening, violating) the Sabbath, but He actually was speaking of God as being [in a special sense] His own Father, making Himself equal [putting Himself on a level] with God.
JOHN 5:19-47.... So Jesus answered them by saying, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way [in His turn]. The Father dearly loves the Son and discloses to (shows) Him everything that He Himself does. And He will disclose to Him (let Him see) greater things yet than these, so that you may marvel and be full of wonder and astonishment. Just as the Father raises up the dead and gives them life [makes them live on], even so the Son also gives life to whomever He wills and is pleased to give it. Even the Father judges no one, for He has given all judgment (the last judgment and the whole business of judging) entirely into the hands of the Son, so that all men may give honor (reverence, homage) to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. [In fact] whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, Who has sent Him.
24I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life. Believe Me when I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the time is coming and is here now when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear it shall live. For even as the Father has life in Himself and is self-existent, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself and be self-existent. And He has given Him authority and granted Him power to execute (exercise, practice) judgment because He is a Son of man [very man]. Do not be surprised and wonder at this, for the time is coming when all those who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and they shall come out--those who have practiced doing good [will come out] to the resurrection of [new] life, and those who have done evil will be raised for judgment [raised to meet their sentence]. [Dan. 12:2]
30I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord--but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me. If I alone testify in My behalf, My testimony is not valid and cannot be worth anything. There is Another Who testifies concerning Me, and I know and am certain that His evidence on My behalf is true and valid. You yourselves have sent [an inquiry] to John and he has been a witness to the truth. But I do not receive [a mere] human witness [the evidence which I accept on My behalf is not from man]; but I simply mention all these things in order that you may be saved (made and kept safe and sound).
35John was the lamp that kept on burning and shining [to show you the way], and you were willing for a while to delight (sun) yourselves in his light. But I have as My witness something greater (weightier, higher, better) than that of John; for the works that the Father has appointed Me to accomplish and finish, the very same works that I am now doing, are a witness and proof that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me. Not one of you has ever given ear to His voice or seen His form (His face--what He is like). [You have always been deaf to His voice and blind to the vision of Him.] And you have not His word (His thought) living in your hearts, because you do not believe and adhere to and trust in and rely on Him Whom He has sent. [That is why you do not keep His message living in you, because you do not believe in the Messenger Whom He has sent.]
39You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life. I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame], but I know you and recognize and understand that you have not the love of God in you. I have come in My Father's name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval. How is it possible for you to believe [how can you learn to believe], you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God? Put out of your minds the thought and do not suppose [as some of you are supposing] that I will accuse you before the Father. There is one who accuses you--it is Moses, the very one on whom you have built your hopes [in whom you trust]. For if you believed and relied on Moses, you would believe and rely on Me, for he wrote about Me [personally]. But if you do not believe and trust his writings, how then will you believe and trust My teachings? [How shall you cleave to and rely on My words?]
After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus the people had additional evidence upon which to base their opinion about Jesus. As Peter proclaimed the Gospel of Christ on the day of Pentecost, about 3000 people were convinced about the truth concerning Christ and were saved. On the day that Peter and John were used of the Lord to heal the crippled man at the gate of the temple, Peter had this to say:
ACTS 3:12-26.... And Peter, seeing it, answered the people, You men of Israel, why are you so surprised and wondering at this? Why do you keep staring at us, as though by our [own individual] power or [active] piety we had made this man [able] to walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified His Servant and Son Jesus [doing Him this honor], Whom you indeed delivered up and denied and rejected and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had determined to let Him go. [Ex. 3:6; Isa. 52:13] But you denied and rejected and disowned the Pure and Holy, the Just and Blameless one, and demanded [the pardon of] a murderer to be granted to you. But you killed the very Source (the Author) of life, Whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And His name, through and by faith in His name, has made this man whom you see and recognize well and strong. [Yes] the faith which is through and by Him [Jesus] has given the man this perfect soundness [of body] before all of you.
17And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance [not aware of what you were doing], as did your rulers also. Thus has God fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (the Messiah) should undergo ill treatment and be afflicted and suffer. So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send [to you] the Christ (the Messiah), Who before was designated and appointed for you--even Jesus, whom heaven must receive [and retain] until the time for the complete restoration of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past [from the most ancient time in the memory of man].
22Thus Moses said to the forefathers, The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as [He raised up] me; Him you shall listen to and understand by hearing and heed in all things whatever He tells you. And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to and understand by hearing and heed that Prophet shall be utterly exterminated from among the people. [Deut. 18:15-19] Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel and those who came afterwards, as many as have spoken, also promised and foretold and proclaimed these days. You are the descendants (sons) of the prophets and the heirs of the covenant which God made and gave to your forefathers, saying to Abraham, And in your Seed (Heir) shall all the families of the earth be blessed and benefited. [Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:16] It was to you first that God sent His Servant and Son Jesus, when He raised Him up [provided and gave Him for us], to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness and evil ways. [Acts 2:24; 3:22]
Now they had all the evidence that anyone could possibly desire in order to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah and the Son of God, as well as our Savior and Redeemer.
What are some of the things that make it either possible or impossible for us to believe the record that God has given us in His Word? In John 5:44 Jesus says; "How is it possible for you to believe [how can you learn to believe], you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God?" He indicates that a selfish desire to be noticed, praised and accepted by mere men, instead of the living God, greatly hinders our ability or capacity to believe and rely upon what God has said. In this frame of mind the truth of God is very unpleasant and unwelcome to our ears, because it speaks against the very intent of our hearts to seek self gratification and glorification; thus, making it literally impossible for us to accept or believe it. The truth of God is very reasonable and satisfying when our heart is right with God, but is just the opposite when we are set upon self gratification!
This helps explain why we hear of so many "Christian" leaders that are speaking things contrary to God’s Word; they are trying to please men: "Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah)" (Gal. 1:10).
I have been very disappointed and saddened by the numerous reports I have heard lately about well-known "Christian" people who have departed from established Biblical principles and instruction. It seems like they are playing follow-the-leader because they don’t want to be left out of something that is becoming more and more popular. You can’t associate with compromiser’s and not be adversely affected by them: "But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person" (1 Cor. 5:11).
Jesus knew better than to put His trust in those who were not sincerely committed to Him, and be sure that He still does: "But when He was in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, many believed in His name [identified themselves with His party] after seeing His signs (wonders, miracles) which He was doing. But Jesus [for His part] did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all [men]; and He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man [needed no evidence from anyone about men], for He Himself knew what was in human nature. [He could read men's hearts.]" (Jn.2:23-25).