The True Church of GOD Website
THE GLORIOUS EVERLASTING GOSPEL
ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD
There are as many "gospels" being preached, believed, and heralded today as there are different religious persuasions. All these "gospels" cannot be true, because each contradicts in some way with the others. Then how can the average person find which "gospel" is the true one and avoid wasting time believing and following a counterfeit? The answer to this question is simple: we must get back to God's Holy Bible where the true gospel is found, and test all that men say is truth by this Holy Word.
God tells us:
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.
The Bible is God's inspired word written down to help us avoid being misled to destruction, and to show us the correct pathway to life eternal. This Holy word was not written by wicked and clever men, but was written by holy men of God as they were "moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). And the best translation to study from is the King James. So it is by examining God's word that the average person can understand what is the true Gospel. And all Scripture, not just part, is inspired by God and is the basis for all doctrine, for reproof, for correction of our errors, and for instruction in righteousness.(1)
Then what does God, through His Holy Bible, say about the Gospel?
The Gospel literally means to bring good and glad tidings to others.(2) But what kind of good tidings?
The Gospel is about the salvation of mankind.(3) But why does humanity need salvation? For the answer to this question, we must go back to the very beginning of earth's history.
When God created the world, He created it in utmost beauty and loveliness.(4) Into this perfect world God created Adam and Eve.(5) They were perfect, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. God lovingly provided them everything needful for their complete happiness. All this was mercifully granted them under one condition:
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:16-17.
But both Adam and Eve distrusted God and chose to eat the fruit of this forbidden tree, thus they broke and transgressed God's spoken word or law and committed sin.(6) They instantly fell from their high and exalted position in righteousness, and came under the penalty of sin--which is death.(7)
Since God did not cause Adam and Eve to break His law and commit sin, who is the author of, or the one responsible for creating, sin and death? Lucifer, or Satan, or the Devil.(8)
The Bible reveals that since humanity chose to sin by disobeying God--their Creator and Author of life--and broke His law, two major things occurred.
#1. Both Adam and Eve instantly came under the rulership of Satan. They were to be his everlasting bondmen and live a miserable and doomed existence in slavery to sin. No longer could they follow God's will, because Satan was now their king and superior.(9)
#2. Sin cannot dwell in the presence of God without being destroyed by His glory and brightness. Thus humanity was facing an everlasting separation from God--their loving King.(10)
But couldn't God, out of love for mankind, just alter or change His spoken word and law in order to save humanity from the results of breaking that law and committing sin? No, because God does not lie; He does not change His mind or alter His will in order to suit circumstances; He is not two-faced and will never be a hypocrite.(11)
He plainly tells us:
"My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Psalms 89:34.
Thus, we know that God is One that will never betray His people--He is a God in whom we can put our complete trust in, and know that we will dwell safely in His hands.(12)
If God would have altered or changed His law in order to save humanity in their sins then it would prove that He was wrong for giving mankind a law that they could not keep in the first place. Hence God, not Satan, would be held responsible for sin! This would cause the kingdom and government of God to fall, and Satan would be justified in His rebellion. So God could not change or alter even one commandment of His law in order to save humanity in their sins.
But God did not leave His disobedient creation to remain everlastingly separated from Him (the source of all life) to be the everlasting servants of Lucifer (the originator of all death), in everlasting bondage to sin and death without any hope of ever coming back into harmony with God, His law, and happy communion with Him once again. God would not allow Satan to triumph forever, but provided, at an infinite cost, a way of escape to any and all who truly desired to break away from the Devil's grasp and come back into union and harmony with their loving God. And this way of escape was provided the instant man chose to sin.
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.
Who is this "seed" of the woman that will bruise Satan's head, or would overcome and be superior to him, and provide humanity with a way of escape from this strong foe? Jesus Christ.(13) And who is Jesus Christ? The Son of the living God.(14)
God the Father so loved humanity that He willingly paid the greatest price He could pay to save us--He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to provide us with a way of escape, that we might be saved from sin, from Satan, and from everlasting death!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved....that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 3:16-17, 6:40.
The breaking of God's commandment and law separated us from the Father, and we were no longer in harmony with Him but were at enmity with Him and righteousness. Our sins made a great chasm and gulf between God and us.(15) But through Jesus Christ--the connecting link between God and man(16)--the Father has provided a way in which we can be at enmity with sin and Satan, and thus be brought back into communion and harmony with our merciful God once again. What more could God have given to show us how much He loves us, than His own Son? What kind of love is here displayed?
"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3.
This is why the true Gospel centers around Jesus Christ; not Buddha, or Krishna, or Confucius, or Maitreya, or any other human; but around Jesus.(17) It is only Jesus of Nazareth who is the ultimate revelation of the Father's everlasting love for you and I.(18)
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me....He that hath seen me hath seen the Father..." John 14:6, 9.
But how did Jesus provide us with a way of escape? By making an everlasting covenant with God the Father for the salvation of mankind.(19)
When humanity chose to break God's law and committed sin, death was the punishment. But this penalty was not immediately executed because the Father willingly allowed His only begotten Son to offer Himself as a substitute in order to suffer this penalty of death in our place. An everlasting covenant for our salvation was made between the Father and His Son. Jesus Christ would offer up His own life as a sacrifice in the place of our life! He was willing to be slain, and His own precious blood spilt, in order to provide fallen humanity with a chance to be redeemed back to the Father. Hence, even Adam and Eve could be saved! So Jesus was, in essence, slain from the foundation of the world!(20)
This means that Jesus Christ was in existence even before Adam and Eve sinned, because He offered His life to be slain for the penalty of sin from the foundation, or beginning, of the world. And this is exactly what the Scriptures reveal.(21) In fact, Jesus created this world and everything in it!
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3.
"[God] hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds..." Hebrews 1:2.
So this glorious Gospel of salvation was even preached to Adam and Eve after they sinned, which provided them with a way of escape from certain death--which was indeed good and glad tidings to them!
Also, to more fully impress the terribleness of breaking God's eternal and unchangeable law,(22) and to point to Jesus as our sacrifice for sin, God established a system which called for the sacrifice of a innocent lamb. This gentle animal was to be slain and have its blood spilt for each and every time God's law was broken and sin committed by an individual. This sacrificial system was given to Adam and Eve and their generations after them,(23) and was a symbol of Jesus being sacrificed for our sins. This symbolic system, as a shadow, pointed forward to when Jesus would be literally offered as a lamb and slain, with His blood being spilt, as our sacrifice for sin.(24) Thus, this shadowy sacrificial system and its laws reinforced the Gospel, and in symbol held Jesus up as our only hope of salvation.
This same Gospel was preached unto Abraham, and pointed forward to when Jesus would come down from heaven and allow Himself to be our substitute for sin, taking the death penalty upon Himself to provide us with the only way of escape from Satan's bondage.(25)
After the exodus from Egypt, God again gave these two sets of laws to His people. He again gave His unalterable and eternal law by speaking it in the hearing of all His people,(26) and God Himself put it into writing with His very own hand(27) so that no one could ever forget these ten commandments.(28) And secondly, God again gave His sacrificial system with its laws, and had Moses put it into writing.(29)
So God spoke and wrote His ten commandments, but He had Moses write down the sacrificial and ceremonial laws. He did this to show a distinction between these two sets of laws or commandments. And to further show a distinction, the testimony or the ten commandments were put into the ark of the covenant directly underneath the mercy seat,(30) signifying that mercy would be given to those who broke any of God's ten eternal commandments. While the sacrificial laws were put into the side of the ark,(31) signifying that these laws were temporary.
All of this sacrificial and ceremonial system was totally founded and centered upon Christ. Even the priesthood, which placed the spilt blood of the lamb upon the altar to atone for confessed sin, represented Christ. Thus when anyone would wonder why an innocent subject, without any blemishes (being perfect) had to be sacrificed and have its blood spilt to atone for sin, their minds could only be directed to Jesus! So the Gospel was continually being preached in symbol and in shadow all through history.
This shadowy preaching of the Gospel was in force until it was fully time for Christ to leave the throne of His Father and His glorious home, lay off His crown and kingly robes, vacating His position of authority and honor in the heavenly courts, leaving all the adoration of all the unfallen angels, and come down to this dark world all seared and marred with the curse of sin.(32)
"[Jesus Christ] who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:6-8.
This is truly a mystery!
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." 1 Timothy 3:16.
Why did the Son of God have to come down to this earth and be born as a helpless baby?
"And she [Mary] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21.
But how would Jesus save His people from their sins, and thus enable them to have everlasting life?
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth..." 1 Peter 2:21-22.
Jesus was a pattern, or an example, or a copy for all mankind to imitate in order to obtain everlasting life through belief in Him.(33) Then by looking to Jesus--the author of our faith(34)--and examining His life, we can see exactly what we also need to do and copy in our life. And what was the theme of Christ's life?
"I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." Psalms 40:8.
Why did Jesus put His Father's law or word within His heart or mind?
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalms 119:11.
"Where the word of a king is, there is power..." Ecclesiastes 8:4.
So Christ chose to allow God's law to be written in His heart, thereby obtaining the grace and divine power so that He would not break God's law and commit sin.
Did Christ live His entire life in complete conformity and obedience to His Father's everlasting law and commandments without breaking even one of them and committing sin at any time? Yes!(35) And the Scriptures tell us that Christ was tempted to do evil and commit sin at every step of His life.(36)
But can God be tempted to do evil and sin? No.(37) Yet Jesus was tempted to do these things! So in what nature did Jesus have to live His entire life while on this earth in order to give fallen humanity a perfect example and pattern of obedience without breaking His Father's commandments? Jesus lived His life in human nature!
Jesus was both God(38) and man(39) at the same time.(40) But Jesus did not choose to live in the nature of His Godhead while on earth because we could not have withstood His brightness and glory. He chose to veil His Divinity and glory by taking our human nature upon Himself so that He could live among us as one of us.
But did Jesus choose to live and overcome temptation and sin in an unfallen nature--which angels possess and which Adam had before sin? Or in a fallen nature which you and I possess?
"For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham." Hebrews 2:16.
Christ did not take upon Himself an unfallen nature, but He took upon Himself the fallen nature that all humanity possessed after Adam sinned--the same fallen nature that Abraham and David had, and which we all have.(41)
"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2:17.
This means that our Saviour took fallen, sinful human nature upon Himself, thereby feeling all the strength of the desires and inclinations within(42) towards committing sin--just like you and I experience.(43) But Christ, by constantly relying upon His Father for strength and grace,(44) never once gave in to Satan's temptations and this inward driving desire to sin, even in the slightest way.(45) He condemned sin in His own body(46) and followed God's will and law perfectly.(47) And why did Christ have to take fallen human nature upon Himself? So that He could experience firsthand what you and I are going through when tempted and thus be able to help us when we are tempted; and so that He could prove that God's law could be kept--in fallen human nature--without breaking it. Thus Christ is indeed able to comfort and help us overcome any temptations.
"For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor (comfort) them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:18.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.
At birth, Christ was perfect and sinless,(48) but He did not have a completely formed or completed character.(49) He, just like you and I, had to develop His character into righteousness by learning obedience to God and His laws.(50) Jesus learned obedience and developed His character into righteousness by resisting temptations--by refusing to give in to the desires of the fallen human nature which He took upon Himself. He had to deny self and submit His will like a servant;(51) not to please Himself,(52) but to follow His Father's will in all things. Because Christ constantly denied self, this caused severe internal struggles to occur with His fallen nature. But by relying upon His Father for strength and grace, Christ was able to always be obedient to God's law and commandments, and to overcome all evil. Thus Christ formed His character into perfection by the things which He suffered because He resisted temptation and sin.(53)
"Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him..." Hebrews 5:7-9.
"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Hebrews 2:10.
Christ was obedient unto death--even the death of the cruel cross.(54) Thus He has provided all of mankind with a perfect example and pattern of how we can also overcome every single kind of temptation as He did.
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15.
So Jesus, our merciful Saviour and Redeemer is not afar off from humanity,(55) but He chose to become very close to you and I--He chose to become one of us so that He would know the same internal struggles that we are going through when trying to resist temptation! He became part of humanity to draw us away from sin to Himself--to save us "from our sins" not in our sins!(56) And He will always hear the prayer of those who earnestly cry unto Him for help.(57)
Christ, our Creator, chose to willingly humiliate Himself by becoming one of His own creation. Not only this, but He further humbled Himself by being born into a low class of society; a child of a poor working class servant;(58) raised in a very wicked city;(59) and part of a race which was under servitude to a conquering nation.(60) He did not choose to be born into the royal family of a ruling king, or into the family of the rich, but He chose to become one with the lowest. What kind of humility is here displayed by our Saviour? An infinite humility! And no one will possibly have a more difficult experience of poverty, hardship, woe, or temptation than Christ experienced. Chrsit willingly chose to do all this for us so that He could reach down to the depths of human woe and degradation, and thus be able to raise all humanity up to behold their loving God and Father! What kind of love is here shown us? An infinite love!
Through faith in Jesus Christ--the connecting link between God and man--we can be justified before God,(61) obtain grace and strength to stand,(62) warring against and victoriously overcoming all temptations and sins(63) unto righteousness(64) through Christ(65) which strengtheneth us.(66)
Will God turn away anyone if they come to Him in humility and sincerity? No! Our Father and His Son Jesus will turn no one away--no matter what they have done to others, or how much sin they have accumulated against them!
"Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him..." Hebrews 7:25.
Jesus has saved us from everlasting death(67) by bringing us back into favor and communion with the everlasting Father and His everlasting word or law.(68) Our Father is not eager to punish those who sin with a fiery death,(69) but rejoices with singing over every person who gives his heart to Him!(70) And if we are faithful to God till the end, then we will reap everlasting life--not everlasting death.(71) This is indeed good and glad tidings of great joy!
God the Son became one of His own creation so that He might condemn all sin in fallen human nature,(72) thus showing and proving to all that when humanity (you and I) are united with divinity (God's power and strength), sin is not chosen or committed.(73) Thus, through faith in Jesus Christ, we no longer have to choose to sin!
"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:3-4.
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God....We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." 1 John 3:9, 5:18.
Out of infinite love for you and I, Christ took our sins upon Him--making Himself sin for us.(74) Christ was wounded for our sins; He was hurt for our breaking of God's law. He took our unrighteousness upon Himself, that we might receive His righteousness. He was whipped and received many strips, that we might be healed.(75) He took the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:3-6.
Christ chose to willingly die on a cruel cross and be slain as an innocent lamb with the spilling of His precious blood in order to ratify the everlasting covenant made with His Father and bring peace between God and us.(76) His death fulfilled and brought to an end the shadowy sacrificial system of types and ceremonies(77) that He might become our High Priest(78) and Advocate for sin before His Father.(79) Thus Christ would be able to bear or take away the sins of the whole world,(80) and to cleanse, with His precious blood,(81) all those who confess and forsake all their sins(82) from all their unrighteousness.(83) Thus we would be delivered from the bondage of evil(84) and brought back to our Father.(85)
Christ's death on the cross only brought to an end the sacrificial and ceremonial laws which Moses wrote down. But Christ's death did not do away with, change, or alter God's ten commandments. In fact, Christ's death is the greatest argument showing that the ten commandments are still in force today! For if God could have changed His law, then Christ would not have had to die for the breaking of that law.
Christ Himself declared that the law of God would in no wise pass away until all heaven and earth would pass away.
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill (perfect). For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matthew 5:17-18.
Even after Christ's death, Paul stated that the ten commandments were "holy, just, and good" (Romans 7:12). Paul also declared that if any of the ten commandments were to be changed or altered, it would have had to be done before Christ died--not after--just like a will must be changed or altered before the death of the testator--not after.(86) Since Christ did not change the ten commandments before His death on Calvary, but declared that they would not change--even in the least degree--then the commandments of God are still binding today to those who want to be the followers of God.(87) Especially is the fourth commandment still in force!
The holy Sabbath of God is the seventh day of the week or Saturday, not Sunday which is the first day of the week.(88) Many good Christians believe that God's Sabbath day was changed from Saturday to Sunday after Christ's death in honor of His resurrection. But the Bible teaches no such thing.
Even after Christ's resurrection, Paul himself states that the only Sabbath day that God's followers should observe as a holy rest day is the same day of rest that God established in Eden--the seventh day of the week!
"For he (God) spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works...he limiteth a certain day...There remaineth therefore a rest (sabbath) to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." Hebrews 4:4, 7, 9-11.
Jesus declared Himself to be the Lord of the Sabbath day,(89) and He is still the same Lord of the same Sabbath day! In fact, if we try to do away with God's ten commandments by saying that they were nailed to the cross, then we are also doing away with the need of Christ being our Saviour!
It is only by the law that sin is known to be wrong.(90) So if we do away with the law, then no one would be guilty of committing sin.(91) And if no one is guilty of sinning, then no one will suffer the penalty of death.(92) Then, what need would we have of Christ being our Saviour from sin and death? Also, what need would we have for ministers and religion--whose sole purpose is to lead us to Christ for salvation? So you can clearly see, that to do away with any part of the law of God, you would also be doing away with Christ and the necessity of religion. Thus for anyone to claim to be a follower of Christ, and yet declare that God's law is no longer to be obeyed, they are undermining the very faith they hold and doing away with the Saviour they claim to follow!
It was not the 10 commandments which were nailed to the cross, but it was the shadowy sacrificial laws and ceremonial ordinances which were nailed to the cross because these had their complete fulfillment in Christ as our Sacrifice and High Priest.(93) Hence, all ten commandments--which God wrote on two tables of stone with His own hand--are still binding today.
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." Romans 3:31.
God wants to write these everlasting laws into the tables of our minds and hearts.(94) And with this new covenant, or born again experience, we will serve and obey God from an undivided heart choosing not to disobey Him, but determining to resist the devil and not commit sin anymore.(95)
But this law of God has no power to save anyone. Its only job is to point out sin in our life and to condemn us as being worthy of death.(96) This knowledge then drives us to Jesus--who is our only Saviour from sin and death.(97)
Yet, just like two thousand years ago, many of Christ's professed followers are again rejecting Him. They do not want to keep all of His commandments in order to be freed from sin, because they want to continue living in it! But a true Christian is dead to sin, and alive to Christ: a true Christian does not serve and live in sin, but serves and lives in Christ.(98)
When Jesus came to this earth as a baby, grew up into a man, and began preaching this glorious everlasting Gospel to others, wouldn't you think that He would be joyously accepted by those who professed to be the followers of God? Wouldn't you think that He would be greatly loved for providing all humanity, by offering His own life, with a way of salvation from sin and eternal death? But what really happened?
Christ came to bring all people, not just one race, out of darkness into His marvelous light of truth.(99) This was done in order to free humanity from being under the bondage of sin,(100) and from being prisoners to corrupt harlot churches (called prison houses or pits) and wicked leadership who chose to reject this Gospel truth, to continue in sin, and who were keeping others from being separate and free in Jesus.(101)
The corrupt church and the majority of people rejected Christ and were determined to prevent this Gospel from spreading to others by using tactics such as fear, intimidation, and even death to those who proclaimed this Gospel truth.(102) This caused Jesus great sorrow and grief.(103)
Jesus was even betrayed by one of His own followers which delivered Him to the corrupt church and its wicked leadership.(104) And not one of Christ's followers chose to stand by His side at first; but they all deserted Him.(105) The corrupt church and people united with the civil authorities of the State in order to put Christ and His followers to death.(106) And this union made the church and its people a part of spiritual Babylon which God's word condemns.(107)
Christ was scourged, hit, beaten, abused, spit upon, mocked, had sharp pointed thorns driven into His head and nails hammered into both hands and feet, and was crucified on a rough wooden cross by those who professed to be followers of God.(108) The very people who professed to be the keepers of God's law murdered their own Saviour--the messenger of the covenant of peace with God.(109) They did this, and persecuted Christ's true followers, because they did not want to be freed from sin, but wanted to continue to live in it.(110) And this same history will again be repeated to those who preach and stand up for the truth of God today.(111) Not all who say they are of Christ are really His followers!(112) But our position must be "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).(113)
But our blessed Saviour did not stay in the grave, but triumphantly arose from it.(114) He ascended up to heaven to appear before God as our High Priest and Advocate.(115) Today He is atoning and forgiving the confessed and forsaken sins of His repentant people with his blood, until He finishes His atoning work in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.(116)
Many believe that Christ's atoning work was completed at the cross nearly 2000 years ago. But the Bible does not teach this.
God tells us that before any sin could be atoned for, a sacrifice, with the spilling of its blood, had to take place. Then this spilt blood had to be taken by a priest into the sanctuary and placed upon the altar.(117) Christ's death on the cross, with His precious blood being spilt, was this ultimate one time sacrifice for the atoning of sin.(118) But while Christ was on this earth, He was the sacrificial victim and could not be a priest.(119) Hence, the atonement could not have been completed on the cross because Christ was not yet officiating as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary until after His ascension. But Christ is today officiating as our High Priest in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary forgiving and atoning for our confessed and forsaken sins with His precious blood which He willingly spilt for you and I.
"But this man (Jesus Christ), because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:24-25.
Praise God that Christ is today interceding and atoning for His people because of the continual commission of sin. And Christ will continue atoning and forgiving our confessed and forsaken sins until His atoning work is completed. After Christ finishes His atoning work, probation is closed, and if any sins are committed after this time they cannot be forgiven.(120) So all sin must be put away now before Christ finishes His atoning work.(121) Christ will then come again the second time(122) to deliver His commandment-keeping people from all their enemies,(123) and to give His obedient people their just reward by taking them to heaven to be with Him and His Father forever.(124) While those who continue to be disobedient will receive their just reward and will be separated from Christ and His Father forever by being destroyed.(125)
But none need to be separated from God and destroyed because Christ has made it possible for all people to be justified by faith and sanctified by His Spirit, and thus gain everlasting life.
Many want to dwell only upon being justified by faith alone and completely forget about the necessity of sanctification. But both justification and sanctification are necessary for salvation!
Justification is the free gift of God of full and complete pardon from passed acknowledged, confessed, and forsaken sins, and is by faith alone.(126) There is nothing we can do, either great or small, to merit our justification.(127) Justification comes by faith in Jesus as our personal Saviour(128) when we humbly come to Him renouncing our own wicked ways. Then Christ justifies us, forgives our past confessed sins, and places His precious robe of righteousness over our nakedness.(129) But justification will not be retained while we disregard God's law; neither will Christ's precious white robe cover even one known but unconfessed sin(130)--it is not once saved, always saved. But sanctification is not gained by faith alone; it comes by our daily walk with Jesus--living His life in our own, and being doers of His word.(131) Justification is by faith alone, while sanctification is a blending of faith and works. Yes, we are justified by faith alone, but we are judged by our works.(132)
The truth about justification and sanctification is much like rowing a boat: one oar is faith, and the other is works. If you only row with the oar of faith, you will float in circles downstream and eventually go over the falls to destruction. The exact same thing will happen if you only row with the oar of works. But if you use both faith and works together, you can safely make it up stream and avoid death.
We must WALK the righteous pathway of salvation;(133) we must WALK in the Spirit(134) keeping all God's laws,(135) not just stand idly by believing that we will reach the end of the path by positive thinking. We must RUN the race set before us,(136) and be a DOER of God's commandments if we will ever gain eternal life.(137) If we believe we will gain heaven by faith alone, but we continue to break God's commandments and live in sin, then our faith is not a living saving faith, but a dead and presumptuous faith!
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?...Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone....For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:14, 17, 26.
In fact, it will only be those who walk this righteous upward narrow pathway of sanctification, and not those who only believe that faith alone will save them, that God will be able to save and keep them from falling in to sin(138) and thus be able to present them faultless before His throne!
"Now unto him that is able to keep you (those who are sanctified--see vs 1) from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy..." Jude 24.
But how many professed followers of God, in the days of Christ, chose to accept Him as their Saviour and accept this everlasting Gospel? Very few. And how many of the professed followers of Christ today will accept this same Gospel message of salvation and freedom from sin? Very few.(139) Many will take the same evil course of the Jewish priests, and will crucify Christ afresh by their rejection of this true Gospel.(140) Will you, dear reader, also crucify Christ afresh by rejecting this glorious Gospel of your salvation from sin? Or will you accept this glorious Gospel and let Jesus into your heart and life, becoming a doer of God's will and word? Will you spurn Christ's great sacrifice of love for you, and make Him die in vain for your soul? Or will you accept Him and walk the pathway of salvation with your hand in His strong hand? Will you cling to sin and reject Jesus and suffer eternal death? Or will you cling to Jesus and reject sin and enjoy eternal life?
Yet, even though Jesus knew that He would be rejected and crucified by His own professed people, He was still willing to go though all this suffering(141) so that you and I, if we love Him and are willing to accept this light and truth,(142) and willing to be in subjection to this glorious Gospel,(143) might be born again into children of God.(144) Thus we would be at enmity to sin instead of in harmony with it,(145) and would be in peace and harmony with God.(146) We could then unite ourselves with God and divinity and work out our own salvation(147) by living the perfect example of Jesus in our lives.(148)
Out of our love for God we would choose to stop sinning by continuing to submit our will to His will in keeping all His commandments perfectly(149) through faith and trust in God(150) and through strength(151) and grace from His throne.(152)
By doing this, through Christ, we can exert sanctified efforts to progress up each round of character perfection,(153) bearing precious fruits of righteousness.(154) This is not a once saved always saved experience, but is a daily striving against sin(155) in order to purify and perfect our characters unto holiness.(156) This will be accomplished through the things which we suffer(157) because we resist the temptation instead of giving in to it.(158)
If we continue this work of sanctification faithfully unto the end,(159) continuing to walk in and obey this Gospel(160) and gain the victory over every sin(161) by having this hope within us,(162) we may be able to obtain glory(163) and immortality at the second coming of Jesus.(164)
At the second coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven, all the dead in Christ will be raised,(165) and those faithful saints will be given everlasting life.(166) And we can then raise our eternal voices in giving praise and adoration and blessings to the everlasting God,(167) our everlasting King,(168) with everlasting joy(169) as we enter in through the everlasting doors(170) into the everlasting kingdom(171) to walk in the everlasting light of it.(172)
This is the glorious everlasting Gospel of the kingdom of heaven,(173) which has been set up for mankind since the foundation of the world,(174) and it is being preached to all nations and peoples.(175) This Gospel will separate those who accept and practice it,(176) from those who refuse to accept and practice it(177)--especially from Babylonian churches.(178) Thus God will have a pure people in whom He delights to dwell and work with.(179)
But what is going to be the end of those who obey not this Gospel of Jesus,(180) but who choose to forsake the Lord of glory?
They will be consumed(181) by the wrath of God,(182) being everlastingly destroyed by fire.(183) This will be their payment for the debt of every sin and wicked deed they committed,(184) and they will continue to burn until their debt is paid in full,(185) and their fire goes out.(186) Thus they will be burned up to ashes,(187) and be as though they had never been(188)--including Satan himself.(189) Thus sin, and those who cling to it, will be no more and will never rise up the second time.(190)
But this does not have to be your fate, because Jesus has already paid your debt of sin by tasting death for every man and woman.(191) If you will just accept Him as your personal Saviour, confess and forsake your past sins, and walk the same path of obedience to God and His commandments as Christ did,(192) then you will be an overcomer and will not have to suffer this eternal death,(193) but you will enjoy life eternal. And by giving your heart to God, you will make all heaven ring out with singing!
If this is your sincere desire, then humbly come to Jesus with an open unreserved heart, and say this simple prayer: "Lord, I am sinful, unworthy, helpless; save me, or I perish."
When you thus come to Jesus, He will willingly accept you in His strong arms, and warm your heart with His bright rays of divine love.(194) When you freely open your heart to Jesus, He will come in and become your abiding Guest, Protector, best Friend, and Light of your life.(195)
So come, and let us accept and hold fast till the end(196) this glorious Gospel truth of our righteous King, by placing these precious words of life within our hearts and minds and obtain the power(197) to advance forward unto victory(198) through Jesus.(199) Let us consider our ways(200) and keep ourselves separate from accepting any other gospel(201) and from following and trusting in corrupt churches and ministers(202) to follow on in the everlasting way of righteousness.(203) Thus we may live with our Worthy God and Saviour,(204) and reign as priests and kings(205) with Him on His throne(206) in His kingdom(207) for ever more.(208)
Who will join with me in striving "to enter in at the strait gate" "that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" for "ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin....Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." "Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have."
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil....Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."
"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor." "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works," for "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me," and He will "forsake not the works of [his] own hands."
So let us "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that [the Lord's] house may be filled" Luke 13:24; Philippians 1:27; Hebrews 12:4, 12-14; 2 Corinthians 8:11; Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18; Colossians 1:27-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; Hebrews 6:1; Psalms 138:8; and Luke 14:23).
21. Proverbs 8:22-30; 1 Peter 1:20; Psalms 90:1-2; Revelation 3:14; Micah 5:2; Habakkuk 1:12; John 17:5, 8, 24.
32. Galatians 4:3-5; Psalms 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5; Zechariah 2:10-11; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, 40:9-11; Luke 2:8-14, 30-35; Isaiah 8:14-16.
41. Romans 1:3-4; Matthew 12:23; Revelation 22:16; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 33:15; Psalms 132:11; Luke 1:31-32; Matthew 1:1, 16-17.
61. Isaiah 45:25; Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7; 1 Cor 6:11; Romans 5:9, 3:4; Matthew 12:37; Romans 2:13; James 2:20-24.
101. Matthew 10:34-39, 23:1-39; Isaiah 9:16, 42:7, 5:13; Proverbs 23:27-28, 7:24-27, 2:16-18; Psalms 40:2; Zechariah 9:11; John 10:3-4, 4:20-24; Isaiah 37:31- 32; Zephaniah 3:1-4.
106. Mark 10:33-34; Luke 20:19-20; Acts 13:28; Matthew 27:1-2, 11-31; Luke 23:22- 25; John 19:6-7, 14-16.
108. Mark 15:15-20; Isaiah 53:4-5, 50:6; Lamentations 1:12; Psalms 22:16; John 19:18; Psalms 22:6-8; Matthew 27:42-43; Psalms 22:1; Matthew 27:46.
113. See also Isaiah 31:4; Jeremiah 1:8-9, 17; Ezekiel 3:8-11; Isaiah 51:12; Joshua 1:9; Psalms 112:7, 23:1-6.
123. Psalms 7:1, 27:12-14, 41:1-2, 50:15, 59:1-5, 71:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:17-18; Isaiah 51:21-23; Proverbs 11:8; Esther 3-9; 1 Chronicles 16:34-35; 2 Kings 17:39.
148. John 13:15; 1 Peter 2:21-25; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23-24; Philippians 2:5; Matthew 22:37; Isaiah 26:3; Hebrews 8:10.
149. Matthew 5:48; 1 John 2:3-7; John 14:15, 23, 15:9-14; Revelation 14:12; Romans 7:1, 12, 14-16, 22; Hebrews 4:2-11.
162. 1 Timothy 1:1; Hebrews 6:17-20; Colossians 1:27; Romans 8:10; 1 John 3:3; Colossians 1:5-6; 1 John 4:4; 1 Peter 3:15; Ephesians 6:19.
175. Matthew 24:14; Psalms 68:11; Romans 10:18; Revelation 14:6-12, 18:1-5; Numbers 14:21; Habakkuk 2:14.
177. Romans 10:16; Ephesians 5:8-11; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 2 Peter 3:1-18; Ezra 9:14-15; 1 John 2:18-28; 2 John 6-11; Psalms 2:3.