Foreword:  The Bible and associated literature. 5



3.  Creation and the Fall of Man..26

3.1  A Biblical View on Creation..26

3.1.1 The Creation: What God intended for Mankind. 26

3.1.2  The Fall27

3.2  The Historical and Scientific Accuracy of the Creation Record..30

3.2.1 A Critique of the Scientific Method of Evolutionism and Creation Science.30

3.2.2  A Biblical View of Science.34

3.2.3  Historical  Perspectives.35

3.2.4  Summary.37



4.1  God's Covenant with Noah..39

4.2 God's Covenant With Abraham...40

4.3  The Mosaic Covenant.44

4.3.1  The Mosaic Covenant and Israel44

4.3.2  The Mosaic Covenant and Mankind. 46

4.3.3  Jesus and the Mosaic Covenant48

4.4  The New Covenant.50

4.4.1  Introduction.50

4.4.2  Old Testament prophecy and the promised Christ 50

4.4.3  Jesus speaking about the New Covenant 53

4.4.4  The consequences of the new covenant 54


5.1  Introduction..60

5.2  The Ministry and Work of believers with the Holy Spirit.62

5.2.1  The Coming of the Holy Spirit62

5.2.2  Working with the Holy Spirit63

5.2.3  The Holy Spirit and the ministry of Women.66

5.2.4  The Holy Spirit as a personal helper 70

5.2.5  The Holy Spirit as captain of the Lord's host 71

5.2.6  Spiritual Gifts.75

5.2.7  Summary.78


6.1  The Central Place of Judgement.79

6.2  Judgement in the Bible.79

6.3  Explanation of Death, Hades, Paradise and Heaven as terms  used  in  the Bible pertaining to the After-Life82

6.4  Summary.85


7.1  Introduction..86

7.2  Syncretism from Jesus' Perspective.87

7.3  The New Age Movement.88

7.3.1  Introduction.88

7.3.3  New Age as an extension of Eastern Mysticism..90

7.3.4  New Age and the Bible.91

7.4  Christianity and the nature of salvation.. 93

8. The Triune Nature Of God.95

8.1  Introduction..95

8.2  The Trinity in the Old Testament.96

8.2.1  The Trinity in Creation.96

8.2.2  The Trinity in the early history of Man. 97

8.2.3  The Trinity in the history of Israel 98

8.3 The Trinity explained by Jesus.101

8.4  The Trinity in Epistles and the book of Revelation.. 106

8.4.1  The Pauline Revelation.106

8.4.2  The Trinity in the book of Revelation. 108

8.5  The Trinity and the spiritual culture of Israel. 110

8.6  Summary.113





This book grew out of a desire to be able to explain Christianity to a friend that was from a different religion in 1992.  A couple of years later I was searching my archives and found  this book lurking on a computer disk.  I spent a summer reviewing and updating it and unoffically “published” it on my personal webspace in 1996 to where it remained happily untouched until Jan 2009 when the free webspace was withdrawn by the company that inherited it.  Concluding the free web is dead and having completed two thirds of my graduate theological studies, I realised I needed to revisit it and add to it.

This book did not begin as a theological work.  It was a personal, almost instinctive account of how I came to understand Christianity and to abuse a post-modern cliché, I just wanted to “tell the story”.  Now, in September 2009, it will be more theological in the true sense:  theology is from two Greek words “theos” and “logos”.  Theos is the word for God and “logos” is a complex word that can be rendered “thought”.  So we have “thoughts about God” but these thoughts cannot be merely “empty” intellectual knowledge.  The apostle Paul wrote “the letter kills but the Spirit gives life”.  My original aim was to communicate my experience of God rather than my intellectual speculation about God and I remain true to that aim. 

What is theology and is it worth studying theologically?     

It is worth dwelling on this point for a little longer because I would like to set the theological context and purpose of this work.  Spiritual Christians historically have emphasised a system of belief that is said to originate beyond the intellect in what psychologists of religion might call “noetic” experiences but which are deemed normative and authoritative as the cornerstone of faith in God.  Consequently, there has been a deep scepticism from the radical groups of believers in every church age that there is much point to thinking about God speculatively in a philosophical way, that is “theologically”. 

However, there has also been a desire to have “right” doctrine.  The boundaries of thought about God are the boundaries of scripture that the believer may be matured.  Thus, particularly in the Protestant tradition, there has been a great emphasis on an analytical interpretation of Scripture to formulate right doctrine and so by default, consciously or unconsciously, believers have always “done theology”.  In this way of thinking, philosophy was considered the “handmaiden” of theology, to be carefully watched lest it stray from the boundaries of aids to responsible exegesis and exposition.

Thus, there has always been a tension with the mystical that emphasises the experience of God, the “inner life”, the “witness of the Spirit”.  However, both of these find a home within the “orthodox” tradition which has always been much more tolerant of differences in belief and practice than most believers realise.  Even Calvin and Luther as key Reformation thinkers

Indeed there has been some intense hostility from radical new churches to “pure” theology or theology that cross-references itself with psychology, philosophy or other domains and disciplines. Tertullian as the first great theologian to write in Latin expressed it thus, “what has the church to do with Athens?” (the centre of philosophical thought in Ancient Greece).  Modern giants of Protestant theology such as Barth saw strict boundaries for theology beyond within which the belief may be asserted as basic or incorrigible.  They are axiomatic or self-evident.  To use scientific language, they are taken as “read”. 


The challenge of “rationalism” in its various forms led to some very defensive Protestant theology.  For example, there is no need to understand the how of God’s acts, we simply accept on trust, in faith He acted.  Jesus was raised from the dead and was born to a virgin.  These may seem to be “unreasonable” assertions but nothing is gained in investigating them or challenging them.  Scripture, by definition, is complete and flawless, to assess the Bible as literature by applying the principles of textual criticism is dangerous, the tools of apostate liberals.  In the words of the old hymn, we are simply to “trust and obey” for as Jesus had said, it is only as “little children we may enter into the kingdom of God”.

Catholics have always placed more emphasis on the scope and function of Man’s intellect.  The most influential medieval Catholic philosopher was Acquinas who believed any thinking Man should come to the conclusion God exists by examining the evidence from our senses and applying our deductive powers.  He had essentially rediscovered Aristotle in favour of Plato and provided Christian clothes for classical Greek thought.  We might call this the fundamental assumption of “natural theology” which the influential 20th century protestant theologian Karl Barth emphatically rejected as a revelation of God outside Christ.

I happily sit between these two extremes, more Catholic and optimistic about Man’s intellect than many of my Reformation brethren but freely asserting that there are things of God we cannot reach through the intellect but only through the experience of salvation and the relationship with the Holy Spirit.  You will find theology, psychology, science and philosophy here but you will also find the mystical.  I do not necessarily consider knowledge that can be rendered to an empirical basis as any more valid than knowledge from a vision.  Each must be tried and assessed, only then can we confident that there is first “Truth” as a concept and then that “Truth” is found in the man, Christ Jesus.

Fundamentally, I have only written things here that really have become real to me or which I have found helpful and challenging.  I was shocked in 2006 when I started my theology degree that I had become so caught up with “living” that I had stopped thinking about “life”.  As a software engineer, I was forever coming up with solutions to someone else’s problems but had never thought why the problem was there.  I had not been able to pause to “think” or, as we might colloquially say, “smell the roses”, “see the big picture”. 


This work, is as of writing here now in 2010, still incomplete and in desperate need of revising some of the more immature and dare I say it “fundamentalist” flavour of some parts written in an early zeal which, though I still consider myself as zealous, am now rather more tempered, reasoned and theological in my presentation.  What is lacking is the subject matter which concerns the interfaces between science and theology.  This is the subject matter of my current BD dissertation and I hope there will be a link to the full text of the dissertation on this site shortly.

It is my heartfelt will that whether you consider yourself Christian, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist or a member of the “new religions”, that you will find this personal account a help to you in your search for God.



In this section I examine the biblical sources, study resources and some of the debates surrounding these sources.  For the enquirer, this is good background to have when you encounter these issues discussed elsewhere and in this text. 

The Bible and associated literature

Bibles appear in two fundamental flavours, “versions” and “translations”.  A “version” has a specific legal and authoritative status.  A “version” will have been translated by a team of translators who will included experts in the biblical languages and expertise in the culture of the biblical lands that will help to illuminate the idioms of the language and the context in which the words were originally spoken.  This helps the modern translator to “translate” what may be obscure ideas in the original into language appropriate for our time and culture which may not be obvious from a “literal” translation of the words.  For example, if we were translating from English into another language, you could not “literally” translate “it is raining cats and dogs” because the words themselves do not communicate the meaning of the phrase.  With the wealth of Greek literature, we can be reasonably confident that we understand Greek idioms and can translate the Bible into equivalent English ideas. 

Some versions like the New American Standard Bible are very “literal” and their aim has been to accurately reflect the Greek words and grammar.  Some versions believe it is the job of “commentaries” to illumine the idiom and that accuracy of translation is the important principle.  Others like the Good News version have used a modern vocabulary and  have endeavoured to communicate ideas in modern idioms even if that means departing significantly from the “literal” renderings of the words if the phrases are considered idiomatic or the idea of the passage is not well expressed by a “literal” translation. 

The debate between these schools of thought is one of the reasons why there are numerous “versions”.  Another reason is that our own language has also changed which is why there have been “revisions” to versions, so we have the Revised Version which was a revision of the Authorised King James at the end of the 19th century, the Revised Standard Version which was a revision in the 1970s of the Revised version and so on.  However, it is normally possible to recommend “versions” with good confidence that they have been honestly and conscientiously prepared.  The shortcomings or features (depending on your perspective!) of particular “versions” are generally well understood.

It is common in the King James or “Authorised” bible to have words or phrases that are in italics or brackets.  These are words and phrases that do not appear in the original Greek manuscripts but have been added by the translators to make the grammar in the English correct or to communicate something of the original sense. This tradition has often been carried over into other versions.  Other typographical innovations such as small verse numbers and reorganisation of the paragraphs are designed to make the text more accessible or flowing to the reader.  In addition, most bibles, whatever version, will have footnotes that will show alternative interpretations or minority readings [1] of the Greek text.

In contrast to this, a “translation” may be the work of an individual or a group that has no formal legal recognition and may have no reputation or standing as authoritative within the academic community.  They are not subject to the same controls or peer assessment.  Consequently, they vary greatly in quality and accuracy.  Some individual translations such as Barclay’s, Moffat’s and Phillips’ were three pioneering translations of the scriptures during the 20th century that have achieved recognition as works deserving of consideration and may well have emboldened translators of the sanctioned versions to modernise the English or the target language.  Others such as the New World translation as used by the Jehovah’s witnesses is rejected as particularly poor with key passages altered to reinforce Witness beliefs.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and it is impossible to recommend one version over another. Most people find their preferences by trying them out.  I started with a Good News version simply because I could understand the language easily.  As  a  guide I recommend having something and a King James version as  this  will help you to compare doubtful passages  or  make sense  of complicated  grammar or unusual words.


Studying in the original languages 

Being able to read the Bible in its original languages is a distinct advantage.  New Testament Greek courses are common even in self-study forms and I recommend a couple of books in the Bibliography.  For the serious scholar or seeker, Wallace’s intermediate Greek Grammar is one of the standard works that will really help you get to grips with “responsible exegesis” (bringing out what the scriptures really say by examining the grammar, syntax and semantic situation) and avoid the excess of “eisegesis” (where you make the scriptures say what you want them to say using incomplete knowledge and indulging in the fallacies of poor scholarship [2] ).  Learning Hebrew is challenging and rewarding but I would say that New Testament writers were more likely to quote from the Septuagint which was the Greek translation of the original Hebrew in common use amongst the Hellenised Jewish communities.  The Hebrew text we currently have is the Masoretic text which is 9th century CE compared to the Septuagint which was 300BCE so there is an argument that it is actually more authentic than the current Hebrew.


The Greek New Testament prepared by Nestle-Aland comes with a “textual apparatus” that allows the reader to assess support for variants within the manuscripts and so assess whether the committee were justified in their decisions as to what to include in the main text.  This is the positive application of the science and art of “textual criticism” to the biblical manuscripts that has helped to “reconstruct” the biblical texts from the fragments and collected manuscripts, lectionaries and uncials [3] .  The bible is unique in ancient and religious literature in that there are in excess of ten thousand manuscripts that allow cross-referencing of the same passages.  Where there are differences, the historical or cultural context can help to illumine why [4] and thus allow an “undo” of an alteration and we can restore the original text. 

Biblical Inerrancy and Infallibility

“Inerrancy” implies that the Bible is free of errors in the text, in science or any sphere of knowledge.  “Infallible” refers to the concept it is free of theological or moral error.  These have become cornerstones of fundamentalism which was an early 20th century innovation deriving from the systematic theology of Charles Hodge of the Princeton Theological seminary and its development and “hardening” by A C Warfield.  When I talk about “fundamentalism” I am using the term in its original Christian context, a technical, non-pejorative sense [5] .

It must be emphasised that this fundamentalism was a modern innovation in Christian thinking.  Unlike claims that are made for the Koran that it is “perfect Arabic” because it was dictated by Gabriel to Mohammed, the bible makes no such claims.  The fundamentalist movement was a response to rationalist criticisms in the 19th century, that claimed a “perfection” for the scriptures as a reasonable and rational justification for faith.  In fact, if the scriptures were not perfect it implies they would not be trustworthy and there would be no reasonable basis for faith.


There are still those today who assert scriptural inerrancy or a “high hermeneutic”.  In this case, the originals are believed to be inerrant and infallible.  Where there is an imperfection or an inconsistency in our current manuscripts it is explained as “textual corruption” – a novel application of textual criticism in reverse.  However, whereas textual criticism tries to base itself on textual evidence, this is considered a self-justifying philosophical assertion though the logic is circular:  the scriptures are perfect because God is perfect because the scriptures say God is perfect

It is my view that this is not sustainable on a philosophical or a theological level and a realistic and honest assessment of the scriptures as literature written by men, however inspired, is essential.  That said, there are still some fine scholars who were or are inerrantists, Chuck Missler’s koninoia institute is probably the best example of a contemporary organisation. These men were inspired but their own particular influences and culture affected how and what they wrote.  There were differences of opinion and interpretation, there are differences in traditions, recall of historical events, theology and emphasis among the biblical writers.  Their writing styles are different, their cultures are different [6] .  The Bible should be taken for what it is:  narrative and letters.  No matter what claims are made for mathematical properties of the text indicative of a divine overseeing of the design and no matter how accurate the prophetic fufilments, none of these warrant excluding the fallibility of men in recording or interpreting what God has said or to suggest there can be no errors of science, geography, psychology or doctrine within the text.


What makes the scriptures consistent and valuable is that within the imperfection it is still possible to discern the God-breathed.  It is in the acceptance of certain basic truths and principles which might be called doctrinal constancy.  The theological position I would take is a neo-orthodox one that asserts the written Word of God becomes the Word of God as the Holy Spirit fills it [7] .  The Word of God is not a static dead thing but a living word. The Hebrew for word is “dabar” which corresponds to an ontological event.  It is the limitations of abstract Western analytical thinking that boxes the biblical text into just text – which can be expressed in the terms of empirical rationalism.  The Hebrew scriptures belong to a near-oral culture [8] where the categories of Western rationalism were almost completely absent.  To express the biblical revelation in such terms only, is surely a misrepresentation of scripture.

I will explore this in more depth later but briefly, I believe revelation is centred in the Person of Jesus, His Word is the spoken Word which is distinct but related to and consistent with His written Word.  However, His written Word can never exist in its ontological or true sense apart from the spoken Word.

Thus, we can stand back and view the collection of ideas as a “whole” and discern the principles of the Word of God whilst allowing for differences of detail and interpretation by the inspired writers and not be imprisoned within the rationalist constraints of fundamentalism.  Imperfection of form does not invalidate the truth of the content [9] .  This was a principle problem of 19th century apologists for Christianity from which Fundamentalism emerged as conservative theology struggled against the rationalist spirit of the age where “science” was challenging religious assumptions.  It was thought “illogical” to have a worldview based on a perfect God if the book of his “Word” was imperfect [10] .  However, this position led to some obvious absurd logical positions such as those about the age of the earth which have many possible explanations.  If science asserts a position and provides powerful evidence, it deserves careful consideration as to whether a religious position is illogical and dogmatic.  The relationship between science and belief is examined in more detail in a later section.

Other literature of the period allegedly written by apostles (e.g. the gospel of Thomas) or of the Jewish apocryphal books were rejected as “canon” if they failed to meet basic tests of orthodoxy.  Although the canons evolved gradually over a number of centuries, certain books were always considered authoritative and the core of the canon had very early origins in the first few centuries of the Church.  It is disingenuous to attempt to assign equivalence to all “religious” writings of the Jewish and Hellenised Jews where they were clearly syncretistic, Gnostic or Neo-platonic aberrations from orthodox doctrines in an attempt to “alter” the message of the Jewish revelation.  Such schools of thought and their infiltration into orthodoxy are well documented as is their rejection by the theologians of the early church.   Modernistic attempts to do the same have no merit and are often reflecting the deconstructionalist agenda of those that do not accept that a truth can be eternal or expressed in a form that carries a resident meaning.  Unless you can agree a common ground of argument, there can be no development of the argument or resolution.

The picture is not as quite as straightforward as it sounds here as the Latin, Eastern Orthodox and Greek Orthodox churches have significantly different canons.  That said, there is a large common core with different additions by the churches of a small number of books reflecting variations in doctrine distinctive of the churches.  There are specific historical reasons for inclusion of these books and often these additional books outside the canon common to all the churches have very little influence.

There have also developed numerous study aids to the Bible that are sometimes incorporated into the text or are a separate section.  Some "study" or "reference" bibles as they are called will have a running commentary on the text.  You need to be aware that annotations will normally have a theological slant, which are often Western, intellectual and in the traditional “Evangelical” mode and so it is best to contrast these with “reference” bibles or commentaries from different traditions, particularly those of the “faith” movement like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Morris Cerello who do their own reference editions.  Some bibles will have the words of Jesus in red and are predictably called "Red Letter" editions.  Many will have cross-references of scriptures where the same or similar phrases are repeated.  These are "Chain Reference" bibles. Others will have a Hebrew-English and a Greek-English layout.

Concordances are also a very useful study aid that provide a list of scripture references related by a single common word or phrase.  They can be helpful in locating passages.   However, the words themselves are sometimes not sufficient, the tense, mood and voice of verbs is of dominant importance and the gender, case and number of nouns and adjectives will be important.  Context and culture also have to be considered.  There are now software programs such as Bibleworks which comprehensively parse words and help identify the shades of meaning and pull many different resources into one place that assist in grammatical exegesis and advanced study.

However, no amount of theological study can ever replace actually studying the scriptures with the Holy Spirit as your tutor.  The more you listen  to  God when you can not quite grasp the meaning and the more you test the witness of your spirit with brethren that feel the same way, the more you will discern  what God is really trying to say.  Fine expositors of the Word in the past have picked a single verse and written a book on it.  Alongside these are the fine evangelicals of the “Awakening” which systematically expounded the theology of entire books.




Many people  for  a  large  number  of  reasons  examine  the Christian faith at some time during their life.  Some may be depressed  and disillusioned with what life offers them.  Some may be  searching  for a wider understanding of life and our relationship to the Universe.   Some may be religious but seek  to know more  about  their religion.   Others may have grown up in a different culture and feel  the  need  to  learn about other religions. Some may find the whole concept of "God"  as ridiculous as Father  Christmas  and  are  only interested  on  a  purely  academic level.  Whatever your reason, I have  tried  to  prepare  this book to cover several aspects of the Christian faith which I feel are fundamental to a relationship with the God of what I believe Christianity to be.

First I give an account of how I became a Christian.  Then  I  look at the original purpose that God had for Mankind and Man's turning  away from God ("the Fall").  I  then  look  at  the different covenants that God made with Mankind to rescue Him  from  the Curse, wrath and damnation of God required by His disobedience.  

This  leads into an examination of what God  intended  the  normal Christian  life to be.  I examine the use and nature of spiritual  gifts  for the believer today as promised in the words of Jesus, His Early followers  and the Old Testament.  I show that God intended all Christians  to  be  like Jesus on this Earth, to do the same things He did my means of His Holy Spirit and His spiritual gifts.

Then I look at the Christian  teaching about life after death.  Here I look at the  Judgement  scenario using  the words of Jesus, the Old Testament and the Book of  Revelation.  I look at the concepts of Heaven and Hell as contained within the Bible..

This progresses naturally into the next chapter where I examine what I have called the exclusivity of  the Christian religion:  that Jesus claimed He was the only path to the Father.  In doing this I examine His warnings about false  religions,  false teachers, false prophets and the Antichrist.  I then examine  how the searcher or the believer can  distinguish  between spirits  of the antichrist and the Holy Spirit.


This leads into an examination  of  God  as  a triune (three part) being (much as we are body, soul and spirit) and here  I show that scripture identifies Jesus Christ as divine and part of this same Godhead, that Jesus was God come in the flesh.  I then investigate the interface between faith, psychology and religion which is worthy of careful study in its own right.


Finally,  I  include a prayer for the non-believer  which I believe will reconcile themselves to God.


2. TESTIMONY                               

In May 1989 at about 11pm I was sitting in the Living Room at 4, Eldon Terrace, Bangor.  I had just finished A  book  entitled,  "Life  Means  What" sent to me by a woman called Mary [11] whom I thought was the most wonderful woman in the world and would do anything to impress.  Suddenly Jesus Christ had become real to me and I had committed my life to Him.

This is the background story.

There was a party going on in the house at that time - indeed, life in  the 'Boss House'  as it was known then was one big party.  The living  room was a shrine to beer with beer mats of every beer from  Essex  to  Liverpool on the wall; beer-towels from every pub in Bangor (there are  about 56) and along what would have been called  the   'picture  rail'  there were rows of beer cans.  What in most  houses  would  have  been  called the  'cupboard under the stairs'  was the   'Brew  Room'. 

The  house would always have some 50 pint home-brew kits  on the go for four of us in the house.  Pole and Neil had modified  the  brewing process into two separate stages.  After the recommended brewing time we would "bottle up" and add sugar to the bottles.  This made  a  nicer  and  a stronger drink which was "christened"  secondary  fermentation:  after  all we were scientists.  From the frequent visits from the drinking community of Bangor we had received accreditation for it as  "better than most home-brew".

The front bay windows of the house  had  for  the last eight months proudly displayed about 50 demijohns of home-brew  wine which had been fermenting so long it  was  like  spirit.  All sorts of things had been used to make beer  and  wine  with:  ribena, oranges, soda-pops.  It was quite a remarkable  house  with  a  remarkable amount of brewing equipment.  From about  April  onwards  we  would all be seen on the front lawn - the best sun trap  in  Bangor  -  skinning up and getting completely faceless.

We had a barbecue one night  and some local Welshies turned up at about midnight.  This  was  a  bit  unusual and we were worried as  Nick our next door neighbour  had  just  been in hospital with a depressed fractured skull after being  beat  up  by the infamous  "Bangor Warfare Squad".  They were a group  of  locals  who just went around beating  up  students.   Their was  a particular  amount of tension between the Welsh  and  the  English at  that time.   However, we gave them some punch which they thought  was so  good  that  they stayed and joined in and left incredibly wasted with  a story  to  tell about the English Boss House students.  That day we had the living  room on the front lawn and we stayed up  to  watch  the  sunrise.

The  party was much like any other Boss House do -  communal beer:  if you  brought a bottle  you  could  help  yourself  to  the  home-brew.  Club together to buy a quarter or share whatever personal stash you had and  the evening began.  The most incredibly wasted people would stagger  in  at all hours to finish themselves off.  The whole scene  of  which  the  Boss House was part was just like an extended family.   Everyone  liked  getting pissed and stoned.  

The  music  was  typically  a  mixture  of  punk/oi (me and Pole), poncy heavy  metal  (Neil),  Bruce  Springsteen  (Gareth),   The   Macc Lads (Russel) and    various     'hippie-  shit-meditation-music' from all the rest.  

But this particular night  I  had  to  read  this  book because Mary was coming up and she was a Christian.  That was the  only thing wrong with her - else she was my dream woman.  She was  just  so nice looking that I had her on a pedestal.  She was so clean and  so  pure.  I felt that I would just about do anything to go out  with  her.

When she took my hand in the car when we were going to rescue Gwyn from  an abortive suicide attempt (while extremely drunk) I thought to myself "this is too good to be true !"  The only time I had told Mary that I "fancied her" was when Josephine ("Jo") was  in  the  room  and  I  was extremely merry.  Being intoxicated was the  only  time  I  ever  really revealed my feelings to anyone.  She had replied "But  we  hardly  know each other".  There were a few months of water under the bridge before we got together.

At that point I did not really  care too much about  knowing somebody first  before going out with them.  It would have been the ideal situation but normally I did not get too many chances to go out with women so I suppose you thought you went  out  with  one another to get to  know one  another.  Sex  always seemed to come first and if you were lucky, emotions got mixed together and a relationship happened. 

As far as  I  was concerned, infatuation overcame any incompatibility of personalities  and having sex with somebody meant  you were  committing yourself  to  someone.  Sex to me was the natural progression from  kissing someone.   I thought if you  "turned someone  on" then  sexual  intercourse was  inevitable. 

Sexual fantasy and masturbation was almost a full-time job  to me:  I could not walk down the street without my mind  filling  with  filth about "what I would do to so and so" and  undressing women as I went along.   I desperately wanted to be loved but sex had always been  mixed  up  with  it.

I had romantic delusions about  walking  along  beaches  with  the particular woman who was the subject of my fantasy  at  the  time.   Or making "slow and  gentle"  love  to  her.   Or  "wild  and  passionate" love:knocking over the lamps etc.  I think I had formed my ideas of love and sex from videos and James Herbert novels.

I seemed to  have  so  much  love  I  wanted to give but nobody I went out with could I really love the way I  wanted to.  Things always got too complicated and I'd  end  up  hurting  someone which was the last thing I wanted to do.  

However, that  was  the  nice  side of me:  the other side was the manipulative  lustful  person  who  knew  just  what  to  say   to   persuade hesitant   girlfriends   or  ex-girlfriends to go beyond the limits they had set for themselves.

I had been after Mary for  years  -  we  had  met  through a previous girlfriend and I  can  still  remember  the  instant  attraction we had for each other even when we were both going out  with  someone else.  However, this was dampened when Naomi [12] had told me she was a Christian and a virgin and didn't believe in sex before marriage.  Myself and Naomi had  an  active sexual relationship and a solid emotional one as well for a time.   So  going out with Mary was a dream and she was going  out  with someone  else anyway.

Naomi was the first person I had ever given myself  to:  I  lost my virginity with her [at last!  I had really been trying since  I  was eleven!] and we began to get on really well  together.   We  nearly  moved in together but I flipped out and thought "oh no, I'm only 19 and  I'm getting tied down" so I chucked Naomi.

Our  relationship  struggled  on for about 6 months afterward but Naomi could  never  fully  trust  me  again.  By the time it came for me to leave Leicester to go and study in Bangor, North Wales we  had  agreed  a purely physical, mutual satisfaction relationship.  We  were  both  going out with other people but still felt close enough  to  have  sex.

It  was  about three  years later before Mary took my hand in the car.  I had been floundering "in a cess-pit of my own immorality"   since   I left home on extremely bad terms when I was 17 and had gone to live  in Park Lodge hostel after spending two weeks roughing it in  one  of  the coldest winters ever.    It was so cold that my piss would freeze  on the wall before  I had finished. 

Steve gave me  a  key  to  the  Venture  Scout  cellar  beneath a church and I could sleep there but had to be out most of  the  day.  Eventually I went to the Samaritans and they put me in touch with Christine Knight, the Deputy Warden of Park Lodge.   They  were  in  the  middle of doing the place up and nobody was supposed to be  moving  in.   However, I was allowed to stay in during the day and help with cleaning  the place up.

It was paradise simply because  it  was  warm  and  beat  sitting in a shelter in the ice and snow all day.  After only a  couple  of days I was allowed to move in as  Chris  contacted  the  warden  and  explained  I literally had nowhere  to  stay.   There  was  only  Kiran  living there at the time and he worked nights.  I had no  furniture  or  even a blanket the first night but man it felt good to have  a  room  I  could call my own.  I really could now do what the hell  I  wanted.   I  was free.

After about 6 months the place was  full:  it  was  a  crazy  place for a middle class precocious anarchist  to  end  up  in  and  it revolutionised my lifestyle.  I started living what  I  believed  which  basically meant having spiky hair, bondage trousers, fags, beer and drugs.

Virtually all of us in the house were punks,  bikers  or  rockers  and even if we weren't we  liked getting pissed and stoned and  (trying  to) get(ting) laid.  One memorable night  was  Julie's  21st  when  she  climbed in through my window at 3 o'clock  in  the  morning  completely  pissed and got into bed with me.  I was astonished that I did not  take  advantage of the situation but a calm came over  me  and  I  just  laid  there. I think I knew she and I would have been very embarrassed the next morning.  Thus, thankfully, Karen then came and knocked at the door and she came in.  

Then  Simon came in at 4 o'clock speeding and pissed,  turned  my stereo on  full blast and blew one of the speakers.  By this time I was regretting  not taking advantage of Julie so I followed her  up  to  Simon's room.  There were also  various nights where  there  would  be  solvent abuse  sessions, smoking sessions, speed and whatever  else  different people were into.

The warden had the attitude "if I trust them not  to  abuse  my liberal attitude they won't" but more often than not Darren [13] was  taken  for a ride.  I liked him though because  he  was  a  seemingly  endless  supply of roll-ups when you ran out.

At one particular time we had all  just finished work, training scheme or whatever and people had split up  with girlfriends or boyfriends and so we just had about two  months  of  just getting pissed all the time by clubbing all  our  money  together.   We would even con sympathetic neighbours to give us more money when  we  completely ran out.

I used to  do the garden and had got  to know a charming Christian couple who helped with the  garden.   They  said if ever I needed money or food to come round so when  we  had  all run after this particular session, I did.  I lied (very plausibly because I was always sincere  and almost believed myself) to them and they gave me £20 and a bag of food.  Man, I didn't half feel guilty as I  walked  back  with  a  couple  of  bagfuls of cans and bottles that I bought with  the  money.   However,  soon I was too gone to care.

Nick used to read  tarot  cards  and  was  into Ouija boards as well.  One night  Theresa,  me  and  Nick  had  a  sitting.  Something just kept telling me it was wrong  and  man,  there  was something bad in our floor of the hostel after  that.   I  kept  my  mouth shut all evening and even went out and bought a  cross  the  next  day

I  was  also loosely associated  with   the   various   animal   rights organisations and going to all the alternative gigs in the  alternative  pubs.  I also became involved with various  leftie  groups  although  I  myself proclaimed to be an anarchist.  We even organised with the help of  the Warden a sponsored pedal car race where we got the rich  locals  to  sponsor us for a trip to Amsterdam.  They did not read the sponsor form  properly and were trying to out do each other about how  much  they  do  for the poor deprived young people.  What a fuss it caused when we came  to collect £70 and £80 off people.  Then they realised it was Amsterdam  we were going to with the sole purpose of getting wasted and  all  hell  broke loose.  The place nearly got shut down.

I loved horror books and  films:   sometimes all night horrors would be on at the cinema.  One  night  had  The Entity, The Fly, Aliens I & II in the same night.  The  mixture  of  sex and violence generally stimulated  and titillated  me  although  I  found The Entity really perverse even then.  Spirits bonking women  and  attacking everyone seemed just to be someones perverse fantasy although  it was supposed to be a true story.

Of course there was also  the obligatory exodus to see "The  Wall", Pink Floyd's  "epic".   One  night I went and could not afford any draw but still came  out  stoned  because the air was so thick with ganga fumes.  Me and Theresa went  to  the Phoenix one night for an all night film session which was very good  with The Ramones' Rock and Roll High School the main attraction.  

The  Phoenix was supposed to be the alternative theatre company.  However, I  was completely  unprepared  for  Theresa  ripping down  the publicity  posters from the foyer.  We scarpered along the main street into a car  park at 7 o'clock in the morning.  I was on a buzz from loads  of  coke and fags.  If you like it was a punk lifestyle.

In the midst of all this I finished my 'A' levels.  I had left home at the end of the first term of my second year and arranged it with the Sixth form college to go back and redo my second year.  Then I planned to go  to University but my Dad had not taken the hint to fill in the forms  and  I  was too proud to ask directly so I had to wait until  I  qualified  for  "Independent Status" which basically meant you had to be self-supporting for  three  years and you  would qualify  for  a  full  grant  with  no  parental  contribution.

I was really upset  and  disappointed  but  I  consoled  myself by reasoning that it was really an un-anarchist thing to do  as  its  an education at the expense of someone else in an intolerably  elitist  system.  And I was supposed to be an anarchist  going  to  change  the  world. 

So I got a council flat in Leicester as I  qualified  for  one  having lived in a hostel.  It was basically get a job and make a life.  My  neighbour was Wayne,  a  dealer  come  musician just out of nick, and we would skin up and jam all day.   But the time came for that scourge of the dole  queue  -  the Restart interview - and I ended up on a community program and Wayne on a NACRO  scheme or working in the black economy with his Dad. 

It was  only  part time, very enjoyable and the money came in handy in supporting a beer-ganga based life style.   I wasn't an acid man myself as the only trip I ever had  was  the  "really  absolutely no control of what was going on"  experience.   The  sky  was  falling in, cars became little black dots and I could n't stand up  for  ages.  Theresa grabbed me by my "Revolution" armband when  we  came  to  the main road:  I couldn't really see the  road  and would  have  just  walked into the cars. 

So it was amusing and sometimes frustrating  when  people  would come round in the early hours of the morning tripping out of  their  skulls and thinking they were steam trains.  One night I was in a really  bad  mood but Wayne and John [14] came up with John on  his  first  trip  and  Wayne  doing his best to make it a good one.  They were so funny I  ended  up  laughing.  

My flat became a focus for all sorts of things.  I knew a lot of people slightly younger than me because of my phantom year at sixth  form. I became a bit of a social worker come doss-place  for  lots  of  people.  Keith and Becky would also  use  it  for  bonking  sessions.  My  20th birthday party was a riot with sex, violence, drugs and rock  'n'  roll  all having a great time.  It seemed half the De Montfort pub turned  up  (the local punk/rocker place).

John turned up early one morning thinking  He had AIDS because his "a bit more than a one night stand" was gay and  had some sexual disease; he sat and smoked a half ounce of baccy  while  he poured his heart out.  Being “gay” was just beginning to become fashionable but it was still a major thing to find out someone you knew was “gay”.

People also had a habit of  turning  up  just  after me and Naomi had got into bed.  It was a stop-off place for people  to get changed for the Rocky Horror  Picture  Show   when  their  folks  wouldn't let them change in the house.  They  probably  came  back  and  changed so when they got home they looked normal again.

My bands first  Razor John and then Vaguely Plausible would practice (thrash)  upstairs  and we would annoy the neighbours.  It was all really anarchistic until  the council slapped a noise notice on the flat - so  all  the activity  transferred to Wayne's or Archways Rehearsal studio.

Man, they were wild times.  But money was still tight so I  worked for a few hours  in  Leicester  University  Mandela  bar  (every  Student's Union has one!) at which point I started  to  live  something  else I believed: total hatred of  students:   the  Angelic  Upstart's  lyrics from their song  ' Student Power 'up  how  I  felt  nicely,   "  f***ing students, f*** off! " and off course the classic'  Peter  and  the Test-Tube Babies  'Student Wankers', "see the student w******  in  the student bar complaining to each other that their  grants  don't go  far...". 

They were the most affected, poncy, rich  (!),  condescending  and immature bunch of cretins I'd ever met.  I just  couldn't   believe  the way they behaved.  They lived in  a  different  world  full  up  of  lectures, discos, demonstrations, Royalists, Conservatives and sex.

But Mrs Thatcher was being even nicer than that by threatening to half the under 26s benefits and after the Community Programme finished I suddenly found I  needed  something  that paid a bit more than the dole and the bit of gardening or painting  on  the side. 

I can remember sitting  in  the  worst  DHSS  ever,  Norton  Street in Leicester, (which was the  emergency  one  then  so  it  was  really bad: now they've seemed to have stopped the entitlement of  most  of these people) waiting for a payment  when  I  was  called  into  the  interview booth to be interviewed by the Fraud Squad.

I think  it  was  because I had been claiming for a few years and only ever declared  a  fraction of the work I did.  So there I  was,  sitting with my paint stained jumper, denying that I did any paid work.  I got  off with  it but I think something happened:  I was always poor but it  was getting  to the point of just not having anything. 

At times I just did not have  enough to buy a loaf of bread.  Often I would rip  the  sofa  apart  or  turn the room upside down looking for a couple of fag butts to roll  up  in a Rizla. 

I reasoned I needed a change anyway, Leicester was getting  me down : the Drug Squad kept raiding the De Mont, the King's Head was  being policed by the local "angels" which basically meant you  couldn't  get to the bar for a drink and Wayne and Bene kept  nicking  my  effect  pedals so I couldn't even thrash my  guitar  unless  he  was  in.  

My  childhood friend, Clive [15] , I also learnt had committed suicide: he was my  inspiration of what Anarchy was all about ....freedom to develop as you are; break the mould, kill power not what if Jesus died on the cross, what about the fucker I don't give a toss...So off came  the bondage trousers, the spikes got flattened and the hair  got  cut,  the  beard got shaved and on went the interview clothes.

After  zero  success  from about thirty applications and  a  few promising interviews   I   went  disillusioned to visit my Gran who lived  in Colchester where  I  had  grown up though I had been born in Newcastle, applied for one job there and got it!  Little did I know it  was because no one in the know would work there !

So I moved back to  Colchester  to start it which at the time felt great.  I had a lot of  Southern pride  and  thought for some reason I would make it in my  home  town from six months old.   But  sure  enough, like a fly to excrement it was soon spiritism, drugs  and  beer  again  and man, working from 8  to  4.30  for  a small  company  whose  managers made Mrs. Thatcher look decidedly left-wing, getting up at 5.45am  and commuting in on the  London  line  was too  much  a  sacrifice  of  anarchist principles and  I  had  to  get  out  after 3 months.

I  also  felt  responsible for my Gran who was  beginning  to  go senile and really  needed full time help.  All in all it  was  too  much pressure  and  I thought, 'How on earth do I get out of this ?'.  Then  in desperation,  'Be a student'.  A couple of months earlier as a failure mode/worst case scenario I had  reapplied  for Uni as an Independent Student.  I half wanted to go but if the job  worked out I would not.

After three rejections  and  a  reminder  from  UCCA that I needed to make a decision (Ulster didn't answer  until  the  day after I accepted Bangor) I had to choose Bangor.  I never even bothered to go to  the  Open day as I was so sure I'd get offers from everywhere else.

So October came and I arrived in Bangor.  I had lost my job,  my flat  in Leicester because of  a  bureaucratic  muck-up  which  led  to  the eviction of my brother and sister and me losing all  my  possessions.    Just to prove the council were wrong I got the keys back  but  had  an  empty flat  and with my kind of mates it quickly became  a  doss  place for anyone so I gave my keys back to the council.

It felt  like  a  new start and I was determined to make something of myself.   I still  had the most important things: my records, tapes and a stereo that I had taken to Colchester with me.  That was about it.

As  you  may well realise I had at a bit of an ethical impasse being in Bangor - I hated students yet was a student in one of the most student-dominated towns.  It freaked me out being in a hall of residence with a bunch of "arseholes"   that seemed to love throwing up in the kitchen after drinking ten pints of beer to have a good time and attempt to  copulate with an equally anebriorated rich  slag  (again  I  apologise  for  the language but its how I would express what I felt).

It didn't  seem  to  matter that I was doing exactly the same thing with the addition  of  visiting The Menai Vaults and the local squats for some 'real' people.   You see I was an inverted snob:  if you  drank  in "Jocks"  (then  the "Jazz Bar"), wore boots, stripey jumpers,  ripped  jeans and  T-shirts  which had big holes in you were OK.

Else you were a  "rich bastard" or  "straight"  and  deserved  at  the  very least  a  good  slagging  and  preferably a good kicking.  "Bash a yuppie" was the  Class  War (the  anarchist group I was loosely associated with) slogan at the time.  Ours was the sound, if  you like, righteous lifestyle.  If you ate meat you were  a  "cannibal"  and unless you were an anarchist you were a "social fascist".  Student's were the antithesis of this.

However,  Alan lived on my corridor who was  also  rather  more mature and  had  brought a sack of 'home-grown' with him: this made life bearable.  Then  Pole turned up - an alcoholic mate and fellow anarchist I had  met  in Leicester - and invited me to live in his house with the Boss Lads:  he promised a wild time and every type of excess so I jumped  at  it.   It  was just as well as Alan got busted and had to move.

But life as a student was not a complete doss and  I  was  finding  it really hard to make my drug-drink souped brain function.  It was  four years since I'd integrated a function with respect to anything. And  I  hated students. And I never heard  a  Welsh  voice  in  the  Students'  Union.  And I split up with my girlfriend.  So the third term came and  I dropped out and went to stay  in Leicester.

I needed to  revise  but  they were going to run lectures almost up to exams.  I  didn't  know  a  thing.  It was just as well I did go there and revise because the house  had just bought the largest lump of dope (housebrick size) I have ever seen to this  day.   When I got back everyone was ill because they had smoked  so  much  even though/because they were doing finals !

So I arrived in Leicester, too embarrassed to tell my family,  and needed somewhere to stay.  Shortly before I had seeked out Mary  because a weird thing had happened.  I just woke up one morning  depressed  and despondent about my course and life  in  general.   It  seemed  I  had managed to fail at everything I did.  I was always trying  to  impress  people by being the hard man, the druggie, the squatter, the punk, the  anarchist, the dole queue veteran...yet I would always  blow  it.   In  the end it was me who had the shit life and I was  beginning  to  feel  desperate. 

I woke up that morning and she just came to mind.  I  knew  I had to see her.  I always used to love talking to her when I  would  visit Naomi; there was something  beautiful  about  her.   A  love,  a  presence always went with her; it intrigued me to the  point  I  would  lie to her about spiritual experiences I had.  Perhaps I  was  groping  for God and not really knowing it; perhaps He was telling me she could  lead me to the answer.

However, there was also a much more basic reason:  sex makes the world go round and this  was my chosen woman....she might have been a Christian but after a few  bevies, a few spliffs and whatever lies I could make up, I bet she  would forget all  about this Jesus bloke.

She went to church  and  I  tagged  along  just to please her and so I could persuade her to let me sleep in  her and so on.  But I began to really  sense  something  funny in the house  where  she  lived  - there  was a lot of talking about God and Jesus and I met a lot of Christians and had some rather animated arguments with them.  They usually centred about how they could eat meat if they were God's creatures too.

It amazed me that they  didn't want to  get  pissed  and  smoke loads of draw every day but instead would sometimes go to bible studies and have evenings where they would sing  songs  about  this dude Jesus who as far as I know died an unfortunate death because  He thought He was God.  Sometimes I would even play guitar for them.

What was more none of  them  believed  in  sex  before marriage and they said God spoke to them.   I  couldn't  believe  they preferred listening to a church service than being down the pub on  a Sunday night.

So, my interest was stirred and it was more than  just  the thought of getting inside Mary that I came to read this book  she  sent me after I had returned to Bangor.  This book was about Jesus -  what He said He was, how He lived His life and what the purpose of  His  death was. 

The read was quite uneventful until the last twenty pages -  these took me a long time to read  and  it  was  about  the  trial  and  crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 26,55 - 27,55;  Mark 14-16;  Luke 22,47 -  23,48 and John 18 - 19,29) and suddenly the noise of the party  shrank  away, the whole world disappeared and I went  with  Jesus  through  His  trial and walked every step of the way to the cross with Him.

For just  a moment I literally saw the reality of it.  I had a vision of him falling beneath the weight of the cross and I could see the crowds shouting on either sides.   I just knew he had done it for me. I  prayed  and asked forgiveness  and  for  Jesus to enter my life.

This  picture of Him dying for me and that I needed to  ask  for forgiveness  was all that I knew: and my life went on exactly as it had  done before. In fact, things actually got more depraved.  For the first time in my life I seemed to have mega-sex appeal.  I had three women  on  the go at the same time.

The only thing that changed was that I began to read my Bible as much as I possibly could.   I would sit in the bay window of the house with my gear, fags and beer and read my Bible until I was too pissed/stoned to carry on. 

Later that summer I went to stay with Mary and started  to  take an interest in church.  Eventually I admitted to Jo  when  she  asked  me that I had asked Jesus into my  heart.   Mary  suggested  we  go  to  Dave's church which was a Pentecostal charismatic church.  So we  went  along - me standing outside finishing off my spliff just to reduce the  nicotine craving which became a problem after 20  or  so  minutes  let  alone after an hour and a half.

But what happened that day freaked me  out - people were dancing, clapping, crying - there was a drum kit  in  the church- and people kept saying "..the Lord Jesus is saying..." and  then they started speaking in really funny languages and singing in  it  as well-it sounded absolutely beautiful.  The pastor said it was called  'tongues' and was a gift of the Holy Spirit as manifested on the day of  Pentecost (Acts 2).

That summer I took my first tentative  steps  with  God but basically I was the same old "Herman" with sex,  drugs  and  rock  'n' roll.  If anything I was dragging Mary down rather than  she  up.   I would ply her with drink so that she would become more sexually responsive (normally she was very self-controlled !) and introduced her to getting stoned,  But I  was reading my Bible loads.

What really brought me to Jesus' feet was what happened at the end  of that summer.  I was a pretty bad bronchitic since having pneumonia when I was a baby. It had laid me up in  bed during the winter and because I  had been working  in  a  cold  dark  factory over the summer my chest was bad.  Of course, draw,  fags  and  unhealthy eating all combined for a prolonged period of illness. 

One  Saturday morning in mid October I woke up and thought  the persistent  pain in my chest had gone and when one of my  friends  came round we arranged to go out that night.  While I was  out  I  suddenly  got so phlegmy that I could not taste the Old Holborn  and  started  to  feel really ill.  For one of the very few occasions I was glad to be out of  a pub and home. 

Lewis dropped me off at the converted farmhouse where  I was living.  Sue (woman no.2, apprentice white-witch and housemate) was away so I was there on my own.  Suddenly I  got  dizzy and had to lie down.  I tried to have a fag  but  I  just felt  worse.  Then I began to get pain down my spine and across by  shoulder blades.  I started to curl up in agony and the pain just kept  getting worse and worse.  Then I realised I was going to die and I got  really  scared.

I started saying  things  like,  "LORD,  if  I  live  through  tonight then I'll promise I'd go  to  church  the  next  morning"   (I  hadn't bothered going since I'd been back in Bangor a month and a half  earlier) and "You'll have to rest me tonight  because  I  can't  stand  this pain for eight hours.  I'll promise I'll go to  church  tomorrow.   Look, I know one Christian song that I really like I'll  sing  it  to  you." 

I can remember croaking the song once, maybe twice and I was in agony.  But the next thing I can  remember  was  waking  up  the  next morning with just enough time to get to church.  I can tell you, I was glad to be alive. 

I got to church by bike which was a miracle  in  my  condition (Roy told me months after I looked really bad that  morning)  and I went in and sat down.  Then something happened:  I began to cry  and then weep.  It was the first time since I was 14 when I  had tried  to  commit suicide four times that I  can remember crying.   I just  kept  crying. 

Pauline was preaching that day on healing and I thought "That  is for me" and went up to her and  told  her  what  had  happened  the  night before.  She just said to me, "Do you believe God wants  to  heal  you  then ?" and for some reason I just said "Yes."  She showed me a bit in  the Bible about getting the elders of the church to lay hands  on  the  sick to heal them (James 5,17) and I thought "fine" so she put her  hand  on my head and started  to  pray.

What  happened  next  I  was  not  expecting:  there was like an electrical shock in my lungs and I stood  there  thinking,  "Oh  ....God  is really  real.  I've  got  to   do  something."  Mary had told me  about  being baptised  in the  Holy  Spirit and I had heard this speaking in tongues and I said, "Can I be baptised  in the Holy Spirit ?"

She smiled and got Donald to pray with  me  and  when I got home I lifted my hand in the air and started  to  speak  in  tongues.  Two weeks later I was baptised in the sea.  I  have never really looked back seriously for more than three days since.   

I really just met God.  He  has  healed  me  and keeps healing me physically, emotionally, spiritually and in  every  other way. It just goes on and on.  The closer I get to Jesus the  more  I want of Him.  He has become my Father:  this was the  biggest  hurdle  for me to accept someone wanted the best for me and loved me  for  just  who I am.

I loved my Mum and Dad [16] but to me they never loved  me  as  I  could see other Mums and Dads loving  their  kids.   They  were  always  arguing and fighting. My first memory was my Mum walking out with  the  baby Tania leaving my Dad to look after Craig and me.  He was  changing  our nappies because Mum was gone.  That was what I would remember about our family life.  Hate, bitterness,  jealousy,  violence  and  pain always seemed so common to my young eyes. 

Sometimes Dad came home drunk and that would frighten me.  Once he crashed the  car into  the freezer.  Once I was made to stand in the middle  of the  bedroom because I was coughing in my sleep: he came and yanked me out of  bed and I stood absolutely terrified in the middle of the  room  for  what seemed hours. 

Life had got me down so much by the time I was 14  that  I tried suicide a few times.  I had a year  of  manic  depression;  it  affected the way I ate and thought.  One minute  I'd  be  on  a  super high, the next a super low.  Perhaps the healing  of  these  emotional  and spiritual scars which moulded my personality  is  the  greatest  miracle God is doing.

I cannot force you to be a Christian.  But I just  want  to  say  that Jesus Christ is real and He loves you  and  died  for  you.   He  will  change you life if you let Him and turn you into  the  very  image  of  Himself.  He will heal your broken hearts.  He will set you free  from  every financial, social, emotional, physical and spiritual bondage  if  you whole heartedly follow Him. 

I looked and searched in  all  sorts  of things from spiritualism and New-Age to tarot.  Whatever.   But  my  belief systems did n't help me as I was dying.  However, when I started to believe in Jesus and realised he would do the same for me as he did for those people in Israel and Palestine, I began to be free.  God gave me a completely new motivation to live. 

I  began  to  understand the immense power in the name of Jesus.  I have had  many  experiences both before and since I have been a Christian of evil presences attacking me, of  poltergeists in houses (can you believe it, I was living with a witch  in a haunted house when I got baptised in the Holy Spirit!) and being  attacked with nightmares, erotic dreams, perversity.  

But at the name  of  Jesus I have seen these things go from my life.  I have dealt  with  them  just  like  Jesus  did.   Each Christian has the potential to be like Jesus.  If you are prepared  to surrender yourself and allow Him to work in  you,  you  will. 

This  does not mean you  must  instantly  become  perfect and start doing nothing wrong but that you have a willingness to change.  Jesus  said His Holy Spirit will convict you at the appropriate time about an area  of your life that needs to change.  It really is a day at a time  with  Jesus.  He is after your heart, not your head.

If you happen  to  sin  500 times a day and yet come back to God crying to Him for forgiveness  and with a willingness to change He will always forgive you.  As  soon  as your underlying motives turn towards God Jesus will help you  work  out and change whatever is the underlying reason for you sinning. 

Often I would fall  into  sin  at  the  most traumatic times in my life whether it was  a  family  problem  or  hassle with a girlfriend.  Suddenly I was helpless and just needed  to  get obliterated.  Sometimes when you  are a Christian  you  come  up against the same problems and God has  to  deal with the  underlying  problem of why you respond by getting obliterated.   It  means pain and tears at times. 

Part  of  being  a  Christian is to share in the  sufferings  of Christ.   God does  not  always take away your problems but shows you that in  Christ  you can  overcome them.  I take immense comfort in knowing that no matter what I am tempted to do Jesus was tempted to the same degree and  yet  did  not give in.  Therefore I don't have to  anymore.

Somehow  I  know  Jesus has got the final answer and I can get rid of the fear and insecurity, habits I can not break, everything that stops me from being me, once  and for all.  Many times I've said "Lord, I can't cope" and  gone  out to get some beer and fags, or for sex but it was just temporary relief  and before the evening was through I would be on my knees  crying  to  God and receiving His forgiveness and getting  strength from  Him  to  overcome what I was struggling with or healing from some incident  or  relationship that rooted itself in my subconscious.

What I am trying to say is that being a Christian is  about having  a personal relationship with God.  You walk and talk  with God  through prayer, other christians and His Word.  You grow and develop.  It is not just an intellectual experience but a tangible, exciting one.  It is not inhibitive but  it releases you.

The  new  "born  again" [17] person, empowered by the Holy Spirit begins to take control  over  you  and you become less and less like your old self and more and more like  Jesus.  This is in direct conflict to  all  other religious teaching  that says we need to change ourselves and then  God will accept  us.  Jesus says, "Just accept what I did and  God  will  receive  you.  We  shall come into your life and change you from the  inside  out.   I'll change your heart's desires so that what you'll want  to do is what I  want  you to do.  I am God and I took your place.  Lay down  your  life  and  follow me."

The rest of this book is really filling in what I have learnt as I have been walking with Jesus and been taught by the Holy Spirit.  I truly do love God . We have a relationship that spans eternity and it is getting better all the time, even though I sometimes fall out with Him.  I want to share that with you now.


3.  Creation and the Fall of Man

3.1  A Biblical View on Creation

3.1.1 The Creation: What God intended for Mankind

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  He then by the power of His Word filled the Earth with  life.   The  pinnacle  of  His creation was Man (male and female) created to be God's under-ruler:

'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our own likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps  over the  Earth.'   Genesis 1,26

` So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;  male and female he created them.'   Genesis 1,27

We were created in the  image  of  God.   We  physically  resemble  the visible image of God.  We were given the earth to develop and care  for  it according to the purposes of God.  For this purpose  we  were  given  the faith of God through His Spirit (His breath of life):

'And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the  ground,  and breathed  into the  nostrils  the  breath  of  life;  and  man  became a living  being...Then the LORD God took the man and put him in  the Garden  of  Eden to tend and keep it.'  Genesis 2,vv7,15

Man was made to walk and talk and walk in the Spirit of God.   Man had complete security  in  God.   He  provided  all  His  needs:  physical, emotional, social and spiritual.  Man was a creature of faith:  he  had  total confidence in God to provide all his  needs.   He  did  not  even  realise he was naked as he was so confident in God to fulfil him.  Shame, such a powerful force in the world today, was alien in the garden.  Man was in harmony with God:

"The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."  Genesis 2,25

The  earth was filled with the spiritual harmony of the faith of  God being operated by Man.  The balance of life on earth was perfect.  There was  no death or fear, only love.  The only prohibition God put on us was to  remain ignorant of good and evil, that is a moral consciousness, the capacity to  act  against God's will, or to sin,  was not possible for Man.

For Man to be God-centred and confident in God's ability to provide  is what God intended. Man was to be a creature of  faith  and  not  fear.  Confidence and not worry.  To dwell in peace with the whole planet.  To  be God's under-ruler with complete  authority  over  the  whole  planet, the whole Universe and even to the foot of God's throne:

"What is Man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him ?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [18] and crowned him with glory and honour.  You made him ruler over the works of your hands;  you put everything under his feet..."

Psalm 8,4-6

This is still God's desire for Men and the essence of christianity is the story of how God restores and increases Man's dominion.

3.1.2  The Fall

In Genesis 3 we see that Mankind chose to step outside the will of  God  and to receive a spirit and a consciousness in direct opposition to the  will of God.  He chose  to  adopt  the  values  and  lifestyle  of  the  spiritual being named Satan who had set Himself up in direct opposition  to God as the focus of worship in the heavens:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [19] , son of the morning ! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations ! For thou hast said in thine heart, `I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;  I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north;  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;  I will be like the most high.'  Yet thou shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."  Isaiah 14,12-15

Satan told Man  that  if  He was disobedient to God then He could become His own  God  and  would  not need God anymore:

'Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And He said to the woman,  "Has  God indeed said,  'You shall not eat of every tree in the garden' ? "  And the woman said  to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden;  but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God  has  said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"   And the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.  For God  knows in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will  be like God [20] , knowing good and evil." 'Genesis 3,1-5

By yielding to this temptation Mankind effectively  changed  Gods.   He believed the words of Satan above the Word of God and at  that  instant received Satan as His Lord.  His spirit was perverted from one of faith  and peace in God to fear and destruction in Satan.  He  received  Satan  as His Lord and became in bondage to that spirit of fear.  His first reaction to God was to be afraid.  Man lost His shamelessness and felt guilt before God. It was something new:

'Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you ?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because  I was naked; and I hid myself." ' Genesis 3,9-10

So the instant result of Man's disobedience was a new  spiritual  force called fear to be released on the Earth.  A new spirit was in charge of  the Earth.  Man handed His dominion  and  immense  authority  over  the  earth to Satan [21] ,  the  Destroyer,  the  Accuser  with  the  result  that  violence, destruction, hatred, lies and sin came into the  world.   Man  was removed from the immediate physical presence of God:

'Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to  know good and evil.  And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of  the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." - therefore the LORD  God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.' 

Genesis 3,22-23

The marvellous relationship of trust between Man and God had gone.  God  could not trust Man to obey Him.  Satan worked His highest work:  death  on Mankind.  God had intended to have Man to eat of the  tree of  life and to be an immortal eternal being in constant  fellowship  with  Him.

Mankind, by its choice to follow Satan, had condemned itself  to  death.  Satan  had  succeeded in  usurping the Earth from God's control and in corrupting the pinnacle of God's creation.  God was left outside authority on Earth:  He had given  the Earth to Man and Mankind had given it to  Satan.

As  a  just  and  righteous God He had to accept Man's choice even though it was  outside  His will.   God remained a spectator of life on earth.  There was  no  legal  basis  for Him to rule over the Earth.  Man used His authority  on  Earth  to  give the dominion which God had given Him to Satan. 

He had rejected  the  authority He had over the planet through God  and came  under  Satan's  authority.  It was only through the searching for God's heart  by  one  man that saved the whole of Creation from  obliteration.  God as  the  sovereign (supreme) power of the Universe had decided to destroy all His creation when the wickedness of Man had come to full measure :

'Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in  the earth, and that every intent of the  thoughts  of  his  heart  was  only evil continually.  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth,  and He was grieved in His heart.  So the LORD said, "I will destroy man  whom I have created from the face of the earth,  both man and  beast,  creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I  have made  them." '  Genesis 6,5-8

However, because of the God-fearing nature of one man, Noah, God spared  complete obliteration and promised to re-establish a  relationship with  Mankind:

'"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD [22] ...And behold, I Myself am bringing the flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is  the  breath  of  life; everything that is on the earth shall die.  But  I  will  establish  My  covenant with you..." '  Genesis 6,8,17-18

It is important to realise that up to God's promise to Noah that it was not possible for God to have any part  in the affairs of Man on  earth.   He could neither help nor hinder unless Man came to Him in repentance for his sin.  This was the attitude of Noah, He was a God-fearing Man who chose to walk in the ways of God:

'But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD...Noah was  a  just man, perfect in his generations.  Noah walked with God.'  Genesis 6,8-9

As a result of this one man yielding to God, it was  possible  for  the LORD [23] to begin the establishment of His plan of  salvation  for  Mankind from death and eternal damnation.  That He had a plan was evident right from the moment Man fell and brought God's curse on the  Earth.   Right  in the midst of His anger there was  mercy  triumphing  over  righteous judgement.  It was God's mercy and not Man's righteousness that saved Man:

'So the LORD God said to the serpent..."I will put enmity  between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your  head and you shall bruise His heel." '  Genesis 3,14-15

Here God is saying that He was prepared to come to Earth in the form of a Man [24] to redeem them and defeat the work of Satan.  He was revealing that He had foreseen Man's Fall but  loved  Mankind  so  much  that  He had prepared a plan of redemption rather than not create Man with free will.

He had said it in such a way that Satan could not understand it and God could destroy  Him  while  saving  Man.   This plan of redemption was so comprehensive  that  even  those  who  perished without knowledge of this plan would be able to be redeemed after  death

"He (Jesus) was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah..."

1 Peter 3,19

The sacrifice was to be God Himself in the form of a Man.  That Man was Jesus.  This concept of Jesus as God features in later chapters at various points but the chapter on the triune nature of God examines a large chunk of the biblical evidence for this statement.

3.2  The Historical and Scientific Accuracy of the Creation Record

3.2.1     A Critique of the Scientific Method of Evolutionism and Creation Science

Much effort is devoted by Anti-Christian  groups  to  discrediting  the Creation record on the basis  of  scientific  theories. Much contrary effort has been made by "Creation Scientists" to assert the biblical record.  In this section I examine what I believe to be the rather contrived debate and bigoted positions of both groups.  I propose that even a minimal understanding of what the process of science should be as reported by philosophers of science shows that factional positions are a hindrance to real scientific process.

The first point that I would like to make is that it is important to remember that the Creation as described in  Genesis  is  a general historical and not a detailed scientific record:

'This is the generations  of the heavens and the earth when  they  were  created, in  the  day  that  the  LORD God  made  the  earth  and  the  heavens...'                                                             Genesis 2,4                                                                                                  

The  basic error  that  these  secular humanist [25] thinkers and many religious people make  is essentially   a  category one.  They misinterpret what Genesis chapters 1-2 actually  says.  It is an understandable mistake in the sense that on merit of the grammatical structure alone linguists are fascinated  with these two chapters of Genesis to the point of whole books have been devoted to its  analysis.   It is the only piece of literature that can be translated word for word  into every language in the world. 

Bad science attempts to  rationalise creationist theologies or humanist philosophy aimed at removing God from any role in the life of the Universe and Man.  All scientific objectivity or at least a willingness to assess and weigh the evidence, is jettisoned so often when scientists talk as evolutionists and creationists.

Numerous groups and  scientists (including secular authorities) have pointed out  that what the  Bible actually says.  The Bible talks  about  there being  generations of Creation of the Earth before any life was on it  at  all (Genesis 2,4) and that it had an existence "void and formless" [26] (Genesis1,2) before any life was on it.

God commanded the earth to bring forth  life.   He  did  not manufacture every creature by a direct spiritual command as He  did  with light [27] .   To illustrate this point, consider the following two verses from Genesis:

'Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was  light.'  

Genesis  1,3

'Then God  said,  "Let  the  earth bring  forth  the  living  creature  according to its kind..." '  

Genesis 1,24

This always needs to be borne in mind before we decide on the veracity of any research.  I am myself a scientist: an electronic  engineer.  I have two electronic engineering degrees, I ran an Electronics business trained to be a science teacher in senior schools.  Having been a research scientist I understand that the boundaries  of  scientific  knowledge  are   constantly increasing   leading   to   a  modification of theories  and  the  abandonment of others.  What is considered "fact" and "truth" is always changing.

I am no biologist or anthropologist but I believe this  is  also true in the area  of  Evolutionary  science.  A significant number of top secular biologists have been publishing challenges to the Evolution paradigm. The major philosophical and scientific problem with "evolution as fact" is the complete lack  of evidence:   the archaeological evidence amounts to no more than two suitcases  full. 

Evolution is a "theory" only in the sense that evolutionists refuse to accept any alternative and not because of empirical evidence.  At best it is a qualitative hypothesis or collection of alternative hypotheses. There are many "theories" of evolution. None have been experimentally verified and no evidence has been produced that has survived the scrutiny of fellow scientists.

There have been many hoaxes and `missing links' found and the most astonishing extrapolations made that just do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. [28] The most famous "missing link" was Piltdown Man which was the subject of over five hundred doctorates.  It was later proved to be a fraud. It appears you need as much irrational "faith" to believe evolution is fact as to believe in a God !  It has been said that you need as much faith to believe some of the theories of physicists as you need to believe in God.

It is important to realise Darwin never  proved evolution, the most his work showed was that adaptation within a species was possible. This is borne out by studies since. Where Darwin made his error was/is a common problem among research scientists who looking for universal  patterns use data for a particular observable phenomenon to extrapolate the unknown phenomena.

You make the assumption, only valid for your data, that the same scientific laws and patterns hold for all data.  Darwinists, although not so much Darwin himself [29] , made the unjustifiable assumption that his data showed that one species could evolve into another. 

It was right for Darwin to call his book On the Origin of Species.  It is a hypothesis on the Origin of Species, implying it was a first step to understanding the physical phenomena.  The briefest look at a Biology text book, however, shows how evolution is taken as proven when it is far from so.

Good researchers will always test their extrapolations with new experimental or research data and good science hesitates to call anything a "Law" these days.  This has become the best scientific practice simply because philosophers of science, often researchers themselves,  point to the fact most of what we call "Laws" are only true within certain predefined limits. 

Thus, Newton's Laws are superseded by Einstein's theories of relativity.  The "Laws" Newton thought were universal are in fact not universal.  They only explain reality within a fixed reference. Darwin's frame of reference, his original data, only shows that species can adapt not evolve.   

Few pupils of science before `A' level even examine that science has not found all the answers but is still developing. The National Curriculum Science, in response to criticisms from educationalists and philosophers of Science have this "nature of science" included but the emphasis is still very much on children acquiring "facts" rather than seeing Science as a process.

It is perhaps not surprising then that if we educate scientists badly in relation to the processes and philosophy of science that we end up with violently religious evolutionists and creationists who publicly slander each other.  It is surely fundamentally wrong for a scientist to start from the conclusion he wants and then work back to try and find evidence to support your prejudice.  I was shocked as a scientist to see the standard of research in degree level projects in Psychology.  There was no examination of possible problems with data and collection methodologies or critical examination of the reliability of the data.

Good scientists, whether studying evolution, cosmology or whatever, should be understanding that we are on a journey together and not in opposition to each other.  It is most objectionable to me that I should have to jump into the Creationist or Evolutionist camp before I begin research.  It is just plain bad science.

I personally find it wonderful as an engineer to see how  much  of  our engineering is moving towards resembling what we see in  nature.   That the structures and patterns and even the materials used to make us  are  being duplicated  by  man  to  produce  the  most   highly   efficient  technology. 

Computer architecture is moving toward the area of "neural  networks" that attempt to duplicate the pattern of the human brain i.e.  these machines learn in the sense we do.  Many of the problems people have experienced in their design is that the simplest processes that we take for granted such as spatial recognition are incredibly difficult to duplicate to get a computer to do it.

People who attempt to use science to argue against the God of the Bible can never succeed because science can only ever tell you how a phenomena can be explained in relation to our understanding of the Universe.  It can never tell you why the Universe is as it is.  We do see the emergence of radical atheist scientists with a fundamentalist agenda [30] who claim that science is the answer and have the term “scientic”, effectively a humanist religion.

The most such people can do is tear to pieces people's religious prejudices based on misinterpretation of the Bible or of natural phenomena that was ascribed to some metaphysical source.  I certainly believe that is valid application of science.  There is nothing worse than people being held captive to their own fears or evil domination through ignorance or religious indoctrination.

It is another thing all together to then make science or any other human discipline a vehicle for proving humanism or creationism.  Human endeavour can never prove anything.  It can only partially explain the physical and social principles that govern our existence. 

3.2.2  A Biblical View of Science

In summary then, I would say that the process of science is a valuable aid to our understanding of the physical universe and a source of power for the human being to take control of the Universe as Genesis 1,24-26 explicitly stated it was God's original purpose for Mankind.  It is not a vehicle for humanism or creationism, it is a vehicle for discovery.  Good scientific method always draws conclusions within its frame of reference and can not extrapolate to determine "truth".

It is important to realise that the Bible as a whole is primarily a historical record of the nation of Israel and not a scientific dissertation.  The metaphysical aspects and the revelation of God and His Creation certainly do contain some scientific revelations [31] within the text but that is not the purpose of the Bible.  The Bible is a revelation of the character and nature of God and His desire towards Men.

The Bible is useful to science in that it can provide a reference, when correctly used, to measure scientific progress by.  God states in His Word that there are physical processes which govern our Universe.  Science finds out what these are.

For example,  Setterfield and Norman [32] produced a cosmological study on the decay of the speed of light in 1988.  It was published by the prestigious Stanford Research Institute that produces papers of the highest quality. 

Their work had the startling conclusion that the age of the Universe was only 10 000 years old because scientists had always assumed the speed of light was a fundamental constant of the Universe.  Their work had also solved some of the anomalies that physicists had noted during this century.  They produced a "doomsday" scenario for the Universe which  gives slightly over 1000 years remaining.

However, on the contrary side and from a religious perspective, Benny Hinn in his study of demonology, provides a view of the age of the earth that requires no compression of the timeline from millions to thousands of years as required notably by some “fundamentalist” creationists.  The “gap” theory as it is known, of which I happen to support, suggests that there is  an unspecified gap between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2 in which there was another human pre-Adamic civilisation.  The “darkness on the face of the deep” seems theologically inconsistent with a God in whom “there is no darkness at all” and the Hebrew implies the darkness resulted from a judgement.

So we can see it may be consistent with the Bible but it would be a mistake to then stop the research or for people to hold it up as scientific proof that the Bible is true.  What this science has done is to show that the physically observable phenomena in the Universe, as we at present understand them, has consistent parallels in the historical and prophetic Biblical scenarios.

Other scientists have challenged their work on a scientific basis and a helpful dialogue was begun to move towards a fuller understanding.  They are first to admit that there remains further work to be done.  However, others have just rubbished the work on the basis of prejudice.  That is bad science.

3.2.3  Historical  Perspectives

The religious fervour of evolutionists is perhaps understandable in the historical context.  The Church stood opposed on a doctrinal basis to anything  any scientist said.  Through the ages, scientists were labelled as heretics, excommunicated or even burned at the stake for simply presenting an alternative view of reality.

There is seldom anything more likely to alienate scientists than religious bigotry on the part of the Church.  What makes it all the more bigotted is that many of the greatest scientists, Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, Galileo were noted for their belief in the Christian God and even Einstein reacted strongly to those who suggested that he was disproving the existence of God by showing a physical explanation for phenomena.

Newton declared "I think God's thoughts after Him" and Einstein that "God does not play dice" [33] .  Einstein was said to sit with a Bible and meditate on what He would need to do to create if he was God.  These two men shaped our understanding of the Universe.  What they were really saying was that God knew what He was doing when He said "Let there be....".  He is the source of  those mathematical equations that describe the Universe.  He designed  the Universe in line with the physical principles that we are discovering more and more deeply.  The greatest revolution in Physics that occurred on the back of Einstein’s description of the photoelectric effect was Quantum physics which radically reshaped our understanding of the nature of reality.  Quantum physics undoubtedly has metaphysical applications but here is not the place to go into an advanced discussion of this type but the reader is referred to the bibliography and especially the work of John Polkinghorne who as a quantum physicist and ordained minister has produced some of the best work on this subject, critiquing very effectively those who assert that the quantum world is more akin to the far Eastern mystical thought of Hinduism and Buddhism.

A phrase that has acquired a degree of notoriety in the tabloid debate between science and religion in the public domain is that of “intelligent design”.  “Intelligent” design is a philosophical statement rather than a scientific one.  It is not “testable” as a hypothesis and so is not “scientific” if we are seeking empirical data but is an axiomatic proposition.  However, speaking as an engineer, I believe a powerful case can be made that the idea you can have a sophisticated device resulting from random events is self-evidently ridiculous. 


However, this “self-evidency” test is one of the principles of philosophical “foundationalism” which, as the de facto epistemological system of modern philosophy.  Although substantially modified from “classical” foundationalism, it is still employed by most scientific and philosophical systems but has been shown to be just as lacking in rigour as a system of knowledge.  There is no more support for an atheistic view of the world as for a religious view.  Basic beliefs [34] of a religious nature have no less support than scientific beliefs of a non-religious kind. I attach an essay in which I examined these issues more closely as an appendix. 


So, though I, as an engineer may find the idea of sophisticated order from a random system without intelligence as an input ridiculous, I still have to admit there is a philosophical vulnerability in my belief, I can not “prove” it in an absolute sense but certainly have an epistemological liberty to assert it as incorrigible and having a quality of a basic, self-justifying belief and yet being open to the possibility that I may be in error.

Oddly enough, because of bigotry on the humanist side, the  father  of modern genetics, Mendel, a contemporary of Darwin, who first challenged the movement started by Origin of Species had his work   suppressed.  It was seen to add weight to the anti-evolution case.

The humanistic and radical spirit of the times had gained strength from the fact that they  saw the religious doctrines, often unbiblical and nothing more than fables, challenged and disproved  by scientific advances.  At last, the stranglehold of the Church on intellectual and social development that religious minds have so often stood against, was beginning to be loosed.

Many seized on Darwin's work, or what they believed his work said, as proof that they were right and that Men were responsible for their own destiny and that God was an invention to keep people in subjection.  Men were responsible to clear the slums and build houses.  Men were responsible to educate their children to better things. It was no longer the case to just accept things as they are because the body claiming to be the representative of God says so. 

Against this backdrop, Mendel's work had to wait a number of years for verification and the serious scientific deficiencies of Darwinism to be highlighted.  This led to many alternative models of evolution and the debate remains to this day.  Darwin's work was revolutionary and it was valuable scientific progress but it can not be used to substantiate the claims of evolution as fact. 

The challenge for the Christian is not to dismiss those other Christians that believe in a form of evolution that is not Darwinian but is not creationist in the classical sense.  There needs to be an honest dialogue and recognition that people can be believers but have doctrinal differences with certain issues.  These may even be severe but if we believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and is now our risen Lord, we can co-exist.  Rational objections need to be explored but should not overturn spiritual beliefs which have as much intellectual credibility as those based on natural science and empirical data.

3.2.4  Summary

What I have endeavoured to show is that:

1.    There is not a fundamental contradiction between science and a biblical faith.  There has always been a fundamental contradiction between religious bigotry on either side and prejudice with reasoned argument arising from valid scientific research.  This is true of both creationists and evolutionists who have attempted to use incomplete work to prove they are right;

2.    Science is dynamic.  There is no such thing as scientific truth.  Good science is a process of discovery and is not based on unchangeable paradigms;

3.    All science is valuable towards a better understanding of the world we live in and from a biblical perspective is a tool given by God to fulfil his original commissioning to Man;

4.    The Bible can be used as a reference to relate scientific truth to the historical and prophetic.



The relationship between science and theology I examine in detail in my BD thesis, “Can a Christian be a scientist and a mystic?” to be submitted May 2011.



In this chapter I look at the way God negotiated Himself back in to the affairs of men and life on earth.  By finding men that were willing  to  listen to God and to be obedient to Him God was able to redeem  Mankind  from Satan and bring the earth back into His dominion.

4.1  God's Covenant with Noah

God's covenant with Noah was a covenant where God gave Mankind some of the dominion over creation once more that he had given to Satan.  However, it was no longer a spiritually based relationship of love and co-operation where Man had an ability to communicate and order God's creation, but had domination as its method.

Fear was the new spirit in charge of the earth and God gave Man some dominion with that spiritual power.  He was given the ability to harness that spiritual power so that he could tame the rebellion that he had released into the Earth by giving his dominion to Satan:

`And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand they are delivered..."

Genesis 9,1-2 [35]

God also gave Man the right to eat the rest of creation for food.  Before that, Man had been strictly fruitarian. [36] The only prohibition now placed on Man was not to eat meat with the blood in it.  God elevated the position of blood: [37]

"But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.  And surely the blood of your lives will I require;  at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man...Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man."

Genesis 9,4-6

The next things God said in this covenant were the most important.  They were a promise on God's part that He would never again destroy Man off the face of the Earth by flooding it.  This seen in conjunction with Noah's penitence, was God's guarantee that no matter how bad the situation on Earth became, He would always seeking the salvation of Men:

"And I will establish my covenant with you;  neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood;  neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."

Genesis 9,11

It was only because of Noah's spiritual righteousness that came through repentance that God could have intervened in the affairs of Men with this covenant.  The rest of humanity perished because they gave themselves over to unrighteousness and so voluntarily became the property of Satan.

God was able, because of Noah's desire for God, even though Noah was also under the curse, to have mercy on him and establish a covenant of grace:

`And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD;  and took of every clean beast, and of every fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  And the LORD said in his heart, "I will not again curse the ground anymore for man's sake;  for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night will not cease." '

Genesis 8,20-22

Thus, God's covenant with Noah was reaffirming God's love for all Mankind and the establishment of a new order of authority on the Earth.  Noah's obedience allowed God to put in motion the plan of salvation that would once again mean that He would have Men to share His glory with Him.

God had a Father heart that longed to have children to share with.  His covenant with Noah was the beginning of his adoption of the human-race once again.

4.2 God's Covenant With Abraham

As far as God's dealings with fallen man  are  concerned  the  role  of Abraham was extremely important.  It was  because  of  Abraham's  absolute obedience to God that God was  irrevocably able to establish the legal basis for sending  His  Son into the world. 

God's promises to Abraham  meant that there  was  now  a  way for God to  legitimately show  mercy  to  men in their social and political setting  for the first time since God had cursed the Earth. [38] The  land  became  fruitful under  Abraham for Abraham was blessed in all that He did.  He  was politically, economically  and socially prosperous.  He was a well known local figure who  employed  many  people [39] .

We see God's desire to remove Man from  the  severity  of  the  original curse all the way back in what He said to the serpent after Man had fallen.  By what He said to Abraham  this  was  made  possible.   God promised that through him all nations would be blessed:

'Now the LORD had said to Abram..."I will make you a  great  nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be  a blessing.   I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses  you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Genesis  12,2-3


"I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of  you, and kings shall come from  you.   And  I  will  establish  My  covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God  to  you  and  your descendants [40] after you."                                                   Genesis 17,6-7

The story of Abraham and his son Isaac parallels the crucifixion:

'But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father !"  and  he said, "Here I am, my son."  And he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering ?"  And  Abraham  said, "My son, God Himself  will  provide  for  Himself  the  lamb  for  a burnt offering."  And the two of them went together.  Then they went to  the place of which God had told him.  And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on  the altar, upon the wood.  And Abraham stretched out his hand and took  the knife to slay his son. '

Genesis 22,8-10

Abraham gave his only son to God so God could give  his only Son to Man.  Compare the emphasis that God placed on Abraham's only son and the description that God gives:

But  the  Angel  of  the LORD  called  to  him..."Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I  know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your  only  son, from Me."

Genesis 22,10-12


'For God so loved the world that He gave His only  begotten  Son,  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have  everlasting  life.'                                                                                                                                                                                   John 3,16

It was the power of the covenant that God made with Abraham that obligated God to send His Son.

His human instinct must have wanted to grab his  son  in  his  arms and run in the opposite direction.  However, he had learnt his earlier lessons in the thirty years he had procrastinated and disobeyed God's call on him. [41] He had learnt that by committing his way to God, he would be delivered from every situation.  Now he trusted that what God had promised, He would perform.

Now  look  again  at  the similarities with the struggle Christ had with His will in Gethsemane:

'And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's  throw,  and  He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is your will, remove  this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  And being in agony, He  prayed more earnestly.  And His sweat became like great drops of blood [42] falling down on the ground.'

Luke 22,41-44

His heart was literally wrenched as much as it  could  be  but  He  was obligated to go through with the crucifixion because Abraham  on  behalf  of Mankind was prepared to sacrifice his only Son.    Be of no mistake, Christ did not relish the prospect of the cross but was prepared to go through with it for the sake of the covenant between Abraham and God. 

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament describes that Jesus was made perfect by adopting the same attitude of faith in God to deliver  him from the suffering of Gethsemane:

"...he offered up loud prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him..."

Hebrews 5, 7-9

He knew His Father and how much love His Father had for humanity  It had been made a contract with Abraham.  Jesus could see in the future and  He was prepared to endure the agony of the cross.  He knew the time would come when He would have to honour that contract.  He knew the time would come when he, like Abraham, would have to walk that supreme walk of faith.  Jesus needed to have faith that God would deliver him from the power of death itself.

Abraham's obedience meant all the legal requirements were satisfied  in the heavenly court for the work of Christ  to  completely  redeem  Man.  God's promises to Abraham  meant  there  was  now  a  way  for  God  to legitimately show  mercy  to  men.  

Just to reemphasise how important Abraham was to our salvation the New  Testament teaches that  we  are  considered  as  those  descendants of Abraham spoken of above:

'Therefore know that those who are  of  faith  are  sons  of  Abraham.'                                                                                                                                                                                                            Galatians 3,7

It was as a prophet under the Abrahamic covenant that Jesus Christ came to redeem us.  His ministry on  earth  was  under  the  terms  of  this covenant.  The covenant was completed when Christ died on the cross:

`So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It  is  finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.'

John 19,30

However, the plan  of  redemption  still  had  three  more  days  to  run.  His Resurrection was the sign that the Abrahamic covenant was finished.  Jesus by His Resurrection was announcing the  new  covenant  which  has better promises than those given to Abraham:

'Christ has redeemed us from the curse of  the  law,  having  become  a curse for us that the blessing of Abraham may come  upon  the Gentiles [and] that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.'                                                                        

Galatians 3,13-14


"But now hath he [Jesus] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."

Hebrews 8,6

The "law" referred to here is the Mosaic  covenant  which  we  look  at next.  It was the written form of the Abrahamic covenant.

4.3  The Mosaic Covenant

4.3.1  The Mosaic Covenant and Israel

The Mosaic covenant was the covenant God made to Moses on the basis  of what God had covenanted through Abraham.  It was to preserve and extend the Abrahamic covenant.  This is clear  from  how  God  revealed Himself to Moses:

"I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of  Isaac  and  the God of Jacob." 

Exodus 3,6

It was because of the Abrahamic covenant that God moved to call Moses:

"So God heard their groaning, and  God  remembered  His  covenant with  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."  

Exodus 2,24

God established the Hebrew nation as His  people  as  promised  in  the Abrahamic covenant and then  proceeded  to  reveal  the  principles and concepts of the covenant in written form. The Mosaic covenant can be considered an extending of the Abrahamic covenant to the whole nation of Israel:

"I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house  of bondage.  You shall have no other gods but me.  You shall not  make  for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that  is  in  heaven above or earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;  you shall not bow down and serve them.  For I the LORD your  God  am  a  jealous God...You shall not take the name of your God in vain...Observe  the Sabbath Day...the seventh  day  is  a Sabbath of  the  LORD  your  God...Honour your father and your mother...You shall  not  murder...You  shall not commit adultery...You shall not steal...You  shall  not  bear  false witness...You    shall    not    covet your     neighbour's anything  else  that  is  your neighbour's."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Deuteronomy 5,6-21

The terms of this covenant were simple:  obey and you will  be  blessed and your nation would  be  secure  and  prosperous.   Disobedience  and rebellion would bring destruction and cursings on the nation:

"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey  the  voice  of  the LORD your God, to  observe  carefully  all  His  commandments which I  command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all  the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you  and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD  your God:...  But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice  of  the LORD  your God, to observe carefully all His statutes which  I command  you  today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake  you:..."  

Deuteronomy 28,vv1,15 

The Law was not just a list of instructions about how  to  please  God.  It was meant to be a teacher so that the  people  would  seek  to  know  their God personally and intricately.  Indeed, the LORD  spoke  to  His  people and told them that unless they received Him in  faith,  that  is  they found out what was in God's heart for the purpose of the Law, that  they would fail in keeping His Law. 

If they simply followed the letter  of the Law they would stumble and be condemned.   If  they  sought  to  please God by their actions rather than the attitude  of  their  hearts  they would fail:

"For this commandment which I command you today, it is not hidden from   you, nor is it far off.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who  will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it  and do it ?'  Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who  will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and  do  it  ?' But the word is very near you, in your mouth  and  in your  heart [43] ,  that you may do it."

Deuteronomy 30,11-14

In the New Testament Paul teaches on salvation using this very  passage as a basis.  He explains that we can never be reconciled to God on  the  basis of works but it must be by faith in the work of Jesus  Christ  on  the cross:

'For I bear them witness that  they  have  a  zeal  for  God,  but  not according  to  knowledge.    For   they   being   ignorant   of   God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own  righteousness,  have not submitted to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is  the  end  of the law for righteousness to everyone  who  believes...if  you  confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that  God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.'                                                                                                                                                               Romans 10,2-10

So the purpose of the Law was to lead  the  Israelites  to  come  to  a knowledge of God and so receive their salvation.  This  is  the  end  (or purpose) of the Law.  This is again confirmed by the apostle Paul in the New Testament teaching:

'Therefore the Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.'                                                  

Galatians 3,24

However, the actual result of the Mosaic covenant was  very  different.  The children of Israel completely missed what God was saying  here.  They relied on the physical rituals and the prowess of their temple rather than on a heartfelt devotion to God. 

A spiritual, moral and social decay began in the life of the nation until the curses of Deuteronomy 28 came to pass in their nation to the extent  they were eventually scattered as refugees throughout the world.   This  is documented in detail  in  the books  of  the  Bible that record this period in Israel's history [44]

4.3.2  The Mosaic Covenant and Mankind

This covenant is still in force today.  People who try to rely on strict observance of a moral code (which will either be the basic `Ten Commandments' or a variant) or a pattern of social behaviour, are responding consciously or unconsciously to this covenant in the same way the Israelites did.  They will never obtain their salvation.  It is only through a knowledge of God personally that we receive salvation.

The wider function of the Law was to bring all Mankind  to  account for their sinfulness.  The Mosaic covenant is the "house" that Moses  built  on the foundation that Abraham laid.  Mankind could no longer claim  to  be ignorant of their sin.  We now bear the consequences of  it  in  our  eternal destiny:

"For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is  not  imputed  when  there is no Law." 

Romans 5,13

If we, like the Israelites, reject the faith concept through atheism [45] , agnosticism [46] or religious asceticism [47] and legalism [48] we remain under the curse which God pronounced on  the  Earth  and  the  curses of the Mosaic covenant.  The curse can be viewed as God defining the limits of operation of Satan using the dominion that Man gave Him. 

I say this because Jesus spoke later that the Devil comes to kill, steal and destroy:

"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

John 8,44


"The thief comes only to steal and destroy;  I have come that they may have life, and life to the full."

John 10,10

It is not God's desire or nature to kill, steal and destroy. Never in any of his covenant names that he gave to Israel did God say that He was a killer.  Judgement means that the Holy Spirit no longer restrains the Devil.'s enmity towards Man. Judgement and justice releases Mankind to Satan if Man refuses to repent:

"For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work;  but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. "

2 Thessalonians 2,7


"Hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord."

1 Corinthians 5,5

God through his covenants  progressively gives back dominion to Man but this had to be on a legal basis to withstand Satan's rights to Mankind.  Man has to operate in faith in God to escape Satan's dominion and the operation of the curse.

The world is under this covenant  at  the present time and the disease, sickness, hunger,  mental disorders,  famine, persecution and in fact all  the greed  and  selfishness that  pervades our world is allowed to increase because humanity has either abandoned God or has misconceptions about His nature.  Man has chosen Satan and cursing is what Satan does.  Man gets what His god wants to give him.

God  Himself gives a recipe for economic and  social  prosperity  among the  nations:

"When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves,  and  pray  and seek  my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will  hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

2 Chronicles 7,14

Notice how God calls people to repent and then He will deal with the demonic forces that destroy the nation.

4.3.3  Jesus and the Mosaic Covenant

Jesus Christ was the only man who  ever  managed  to  live  successfully under this covenant.  He was the only man  who  could  fully  obey  all God's commands and never fall into sin.  God's law pronounces us guilty  if we fall at just one point in the whole of our lives even if  we  are  trying to live as best we can:

'For whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble on one point,  he is guilty of all.'   

James 2,10


"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the  Prophets.   I  did not come to destroy but to fufil...For I say to you, that  unless  your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes  and  Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." 

Matthew 5,20

Christ was able to fulfil the Law because He was not born  in  sin.  He was of Holy Spirit conception and not conceived of Adam and so was not "infected" by the sin of Adam.    Satan thus had no legal power over Him.  Jesus explains this in the gospel of John where he talks about his own sinlessness:

"Can any of you prove me guilty of sin ?"

John 8,46


"I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming.  He has no hold on me [49] , but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me."

John 14,30-31

He did not sin because he  was not of natural conception but conceived by the Holy Spirit: but was nevertheless human because he was born of a woman:

'Then the angel said to her, "Do not be  afraid,  Mary,  for  you  have found favour with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and  bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS...Then Mary  said  to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin ?"  And the  angel  answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and  the  power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also,  that  Holy  One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."' 

Luke 1,31-35

Jesus' sinlessness also meant that it was  illegal for Satan to kill Him and thus God was able to  judge Satan without destroying Man and so remove his destructive influence from Creation forever.  The Devil was fooled into thinking that Jesus had been defeated at the crucifixion:

"None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

1 Corinthians 2,8

"Rulers of this age" in this context is talking about the spiritual powers of darkness. Jesus was ina  legal position that He could be a sacrifice under the Mosaic covenant that would not just cover the sins of the people but would purge them:

"The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ...cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death. so that we may serve the living God !"

Hebrews 9,13-14

The sacrifice of Jesus' body and the blood that was shed at the cross provides  the basis of the "new covenant" which we look at next. 

4.4  The New Covenant

4.4.1  Introduction

In the previous sections I examined the nature of the covenants God made with Mankind to redeem them and led up to saying that the coming of Jesus was the fufilment of these covenants.  Although these sections examined a lot of scripture they did not look specifically at how within the whole of the Word of God to his people that Jesus was promised.

Thus, as a starting point I examine some of the key prophecy [50] to establish that Jesus really was the fufilment of the promises made through the old covenant [51] and then go on to examine the major implications of the covenant that Jesus set in motion.  As it is impossible to completely divide these two without the risk of incomprehensibity, I have included some amplification of the text where they interact.

4.4.2  Old Testament prophecy and the promised Christ

It is not  immediately  obvious  by  reading  any  one  of  the  prophetic books what the final of God's salvation for His people  would  be.  However, when viewed as a whole  we  get  a  clear  picture  of  a  Messiah or Christ figure. 

These are equivalent Hebrew and Greek words meaning the "Annointed" or "Sent"  One.  He was annointed to fufil the Abrahamic covenant (of which the Mosaic was a written expression) and sent to establish the new covenant.

Let us start with two passages written by the prophet Isiah  who lived about  800 B.C.:

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder.  And His Name shall  be called  Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of  Peace.   Of  the increase of His rule there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom." 

Isiah 9,6-7


"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign:  Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Isiah 7,14

In these passages  we see that the Messiah will be  God in  the flesh.  The first passages list attributes of God and in the second the name Immanuel literally means `God with us'.  Jesus' unprecedented spiritual potency bears witness to his divinity.

Another prophecy in the book of Micah tells us where He will be born:

'But  you,  Bethlehem  Ephrathah,  though  you  are  little  among  the thousands of Judah, out of you shall come forth to Me  the  One  to  be ruler  in  Israel,  whose  goings  forth  have  been  from  old,   from everlasting.'  

Micah 5,2

Here again we see the  Christ  as  God.   "Everlasting"  is  a  natural attribute of  God:  He  must  necessarily  be  self-existent  otherwise  nothing could have come into being.  Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem.

Another prophecy tells us of the manner in which the Christ would enter  Jerusalem:

'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion !  Shout O daughter of Jerusalem ! Behold, your King is coming to you;  He is just and  having  salvation, lowly and  riding  on  a  donkey,  a  colt,  the  foal  of  a  donkey.'                                                                            

ah 9,9

Here we also see that the Christ brings us "salvation".  Jesus' name literally means "Saviour".  It was the name the angel gave Mary to call him.  Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt and was welcomed as a prophet into Jerusalem by the people there.  The enthusiasm and the welcome He got as the Messiah was considered blasphemous among the religious leaders who witnessed his arrival.  Jesus replied:

`And he answered and said unto them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." '

Luke 19,40

The  most  comprehensive  prophecy  is  that  which   foretells the nature of salvation, the crucifixion and the resurrection of the Christ.  Here are  a few  key  verses but I recommend you read the whole of chapters 52 and 53 of the  Book of Isiah.  First a verse telling us that our  salvation  costs  us nothing; it is a gift of God:

'For thus says the LORD:   "You  have  sold  yourselves  [to  sin]  for nothing, And you shall be redeemed [from sin] without money." '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Isiah  52,3

This is known as the `salvation by grace' that I mentioned in an earlier chapter.  It is emphasised in New Testament doctrine by the apostle Paul in the book of Romans.  A correct understanding of the book of Romans [52] is foundational to understanding salvation by grace:

'For all have sinned and fallen  short  of  the  glory  of  God,  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in  Christ Jesus, whom God sent forth to be a propitiation by His  blood, through faith' 

Romans 3,23-25


'For by grace you have been  saved  through  faith,  and  that  not  of  yourselves; it is the gift of God.' 

Ephesians 2,8


'For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become  the righteousness of God in Him.' 

2 Corinthians 5,21

Returning to the same prophecy of Isiah we learn from these two chapters that the Christ would be tortured and beaten to an extreme degree.  He would be so disfigured  as to be unrecognisable.  All the curses of the Law (Deuteronomy 28)  were  also brought upon Him.  He became the incarnation of sin  on the cross and this added to his disfigurement:

'So His appearence was marred more than any man...He  is  despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted  with grief...He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement for our peace was upon Him  and by His stripes  we are healed...He was oppressed and afflicted...He was taken from prison and from judgement...When you make his soul an offering  for sin...He  was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.'                                                                                                                                                                                                          Isiah 52,v14b; 53,vv3,5,7,8,10,12

The  Christ  would suffer physically, psychologically and  spiritually like no one had suffered before.  The Roman centurion who was guarding the cross was shocked by what He was witnessing. This is unusual as he probably had witnessed many crucifixions.

In  other  words,  Jesus had experienced the whole spectrum of human suffering on the cross  that  came into the world because of human disobedience to God.  He  took  it  on Himself so that God could legitmately heal the human race  from  the  disease of sin:

'Christ has redeemed us from the curse of  the  law,  having  become  a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone  who  hangs  on  a tree") that the blessing of Abraham might come  upon  the  Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the  Spirit  through faith.' 

Galatians 3,13-14

4.4.3  Jesus speaking about the New Covenant

Jesus spoke of the new covenant being signed in his blood and based upon the sacrifice of his body:

`And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them saying, "This is my body which is given for you:  this do in rememberance of me."  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new testament [53] in my blood, which is shed for you."

Luke 22,20

When Jesus began His ministry on earth  He stated the  gospel [54] He  would preach:

'And He was handed the book of the  prophet  Isaiah...and  when  He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:  "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He  has  annointed  me  to preach  the gospel to the poor:  He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, (1)  To preach deliverence to the captives (2) and recovery  of  sight  to  the blind, (3) to set at liberty those who are oppressed, (4) to preach the acceptable year of the LORD (5) ...Today this scripture is fufilled  in your hearing.' 

Luke 4,17-21

The consequences of Jesus' remarks for the human race are phenomenal.  The new covenant is a gospel of prosperity  in  every  aspect of  human existence:

The healing of the mind,  memories  and  emotions.  Most people involved in the healing ministry would call this  soul-healing;

The healing of the  human  spirit  from spiritual possession, oppression and suppression.  This is often known as deliverance ministry ;

The physical  healing of the body.  This is often what people, wrongly, understand to be the sole meaning of the word "healing";

Political  and  social  prosperity.  By this I mean personal  freedom and just government;

Personal and collective material prosperity.  The  "acceptable year of the LORD" is otherwise known as the year of Jubilee [55] when all personal financial bonds in land  and  money  and  debts  were cancelled.

Jesus was stating that he actually was all these incarnate.  His ministry for those three years after  proved his words.  They are recorded in the gospel records.  Jesus promised that when the Holy Spirit came, He would teach the disciples about the new covenant:

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."        

John 14,26


"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth;  for he shall not speak of himself:  but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:  and he shall show you things to come."

John 16,13

Thus, it is appropriate now to consider the consequences of the new covenant as revealed in the writings of the apostles.

4.4.4  The consequences of the new covenant

There are three major features of this new covenant that distinquish  it from the old one.  Firstly, we are free from the curses  of  the  Law  simply because of faith in Jesus:

'Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law...that  the  blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.' 

Galatians 3,13-14

Simply because you are  a  Christian  all the sicknesses, diseases, infirmities, mental  problems;  in  fact,  every affliction of body, soul and spirit no longer have any  right  to  be in your body.  

The curses also included poverty:  God  wants  you  to  be  rich.  Not for riches sake itself (that is, covetousness) but  so  that  you can meet the needs of those around you after the pattern recorded in  the  book  of  Acts.  

This  point  is  reiterated  throughout scripture:

'And God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every  good work.' 

2 Corinthians 9,8


"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be  in  health, just as your soul prospers."

3 John 1,2


"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;"

1 Timothy 6,17


"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Phillipians 4,19

Thus, the richnes that God promises us is not just material  wealth but extends to every aspect of our human existence. 'The prosperity of Man was lost as a result of sin.  God's curse on  the  land meant that Man had to toil and  labour  for  virtually  nothing.  

God's covenant with Abraham meant was the first step  in  undoing this curse for the whole  of  Mankind.   The  new  covenant  extended these blessings of personal spiritual and physical prosperity to all Mankind.  For what was the "blessing of Abraham" ? 

Consider the passage of scripture  that records when God made His promise to Abraham:

'"I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make  your  name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who curse  you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the  earth shall be blessed."' 

Genesis 12,2-3

This promise applies to the Christian church today.  Each Christian is part of  a great nation.  Each  Christian church, family  and individual has the potential  to  be  a great blessing and to be prosperous in all things.  There no longer remains that barrier of non-Jewishness for us to partake of the blessing of the Jews:

'For in Christ Jesus neither  circumcision  nor  uncircumcision  avails anything, but a new creation.  And as many walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   GalatianGalatians 6,15-16


'Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles [56] in the  flesh  -  who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the  Circumcision  made  in the flesh by hands - that at that  time  you  were  without  Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel  and  strangers  from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But  now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been made near  by  the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made  both  one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between  us...the  law of the as to create in Himself one new  man  from the two...Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers  and  foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of whom you are being built together  for a habitation of God in the Spirit.'                                                                                                                                    Galatians 2,11-22


The believers on the Name of Jesus Christ are the "Israel of God".  His chosen people, His Holy nation of the  new  covenant  just  as  earthly Israel [57] were a Holy Nation of the old covenant.  We are a great  nation.  

Now if you look back to the quote from Galatians 3,13-14 we see that we  receive the blessing of Abraham and the promise of the  Spirit through faith.  Let us examine what "the promise of the Spirit" means.

Jesus made this  promise and it is recorded in every gospel.  Let us consider  some  of  the scripture concerning the promise and work of the Holy Spirit:

'"Behold I send the Promise of My Father upon you;  but  tarry  in  the city of Jerusalem until you are  endued  with  power  from  on  high."'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Luke 24,49


'And being assembled together with  them,  He  commanded  them not to  depart from Jerusalem, but to wait  for  the  promise  of  the Father, "which... you have heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not  many  days  from shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has  come  upon you  and  you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, and  to the end of the earth."'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Acts 1,4-8

Jesus describes the Holy Spirit here as empowering the believers on the Name of Jesus to be witnesses for Him.  The Holy Spirit is a  distinct personality, a part of the Godhead, who is sent by the  Father  at  the request of the Son:

'"And I will pray the Father and He will give you  another  Helper  [or Comforter], that He may abide with you forever, the  Spirit  of  Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither  sees  Him  nor knows  Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  [the  baptism in the Holy Spirit]"'  John 14,16-17

This promise also shows the most phenomenal part of the new covenant.   Under the old covenant it was only the prophets of God who could  speak  directly with God.  Now under the New Covenant God comes to dwell in us  by His Spirit to be our source forever:

"However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come,  He  will  guide  you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.   He  will  glorify Me, for He will take of what  is  Mine  and  declare  to  you." 

John  16,13-14


"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that  I do he will do also; and greater than these he will do, because I go  to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do,  that the Father may be glorified in the Son...I will pray the Father and He will  give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever..."                                                                                                                                  John  14,12-16

So the Holy Spirit is our power source to minister  to  those  in  need around us.  He is the power source we work with to build His church.  God's idea  of  the  normal  Christian  life  is  for  all  Christians to be just like Jesus.  Doing His works and His miracles:

"And these signs will follow those who believe:  in My name  they will cast out demons; they will speak in new  tongues;  they  will  take  up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no  means  hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they  will  recover."  

Mark  16,15-18

We see the fufilment of this in the  Early  Church.   They  moved  with incredible power and spread the Gospel throughout the world.   For  the first 400 years the Church moved in  the  supernatural  power  of  God.  

This is what God intended in the New Covenant and it is still available to us today.  In less humanistic societies today  (e.g.  Africa,  India  and Korea) the Church does move in the miraculous.  The Western  Church  has been choked by unbelief, materialism and humanistic  thinking.  

We  have civilised ourself out of  spiritual  things  becoming preoccupied with the welfare of the body and the cultivation of the soul.  Only recently has the  word  "holistic" come into our vocabulary again. For anyone who dares to believe the Word of God they will move in  this  power.  I look at this aspect of  the  Christian  faith  in  the  next  chapter. 

We know we have received His Promise  just  as  the  original  believers did as recorded in Acts:

'Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they  were  all  in  one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the  whole  house  where  they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and  sat upon each of them.  And they were filled with the Holy  Spirit and  began to SPEAK IN OTHER TONGUES.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Acts 2,1-4

We do "speak in tongues" as an initial sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit.  We receive the Holy Spirit simply by asking once we have  believed the gospel that Jesus died for our sins but rose again.  The only things that prevents us from moving in power are not repenting, not believing and not asking:

'"If you then, being  evil,  know  how  to  give  good  gifts  to  your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy  Spirit to those who ask Him !" '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Luke 11,13

This pattern of repentance from sins, water baptism and baptism in  the Holy Spirit is repeated time and time again in the Book of Acts.  It is clearly the key to receiving the promises of the new covenant:

'Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins; and you  shall  receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you  and  to  your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. " '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Acts 2,38-39


'While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell  upon those who heard the word.  And those of the Circumcision  who believed were astonished...because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.  FOR THEY HEARD THEM SPEAK WITH TONGUES  AND  MAGNIFY GOD...Then Peter answered, "Can anyone forbid water that  these  should not be baptized who have received the Holy  Spirit  just  as  we  have ?' 

Acts 10,44-47


'And it happened...that  Paul...came  to  Ephesus.   And  finding  some disciples he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy  Spirit when  you believed ?"  And they said to him,  "We  have  not  so much  as  heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."  And he said to them, "Into what  then were you baptised ?"  So they said, "Into John's baptism."   Then  Paul said, "John indeed baptised with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus."  When they heard this, they were baptized in  the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy  Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.' 

Acts 19,1-6

This last passage is quite important as  it  shows  that  it  is  quite possible to be a believer in Jesus Christ and yet not receive the  Holy  Spirit.  To try and live as a Christian  without a relationship with the Holy  Spirit means that a great many of the blessings that God promises are more difficult to receive.  It is to the walk with the Holy Spirit we turn next.



5.1  Introduction

I ended the last chapter with the statements of Jesus regarding the Holy Spirit being the   power that enables us to  be  witnesses.  In  other words, we will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to  live  the full Christian life without being baptised in and walking with the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit was with Jesus throughout His ministry.  As soon as Jesus was baptised in water, he then received the baptism of the Holy Spirit:

"As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water.  At that moment heaven opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him."

Matthew 3,16

      The same pattern was repeated before any of the early disciples became fruitful witnesses to the Lord Jesus:

"Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Acts 9,17

      The baptism in water and the baptism in the Holy Spirit are seen to be distinct experiences.  The baptism in water is a baptism of repentance symbolising the turning away from sin whereby the believer transfers from the dominion of the Devil into the dominion of God:

"By no means !  We died to sin;  how can we live in it any longer ?  Or don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death ?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

Romans 6,2-4


"In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience towards God.  It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ"

1 Peter 3,20-21

      Baptism is our response to God.  It is the act of a human being identifying themselves with the death and resurrection of Jesus and thereby making peace with God.  It is a symbol of the covenant that exists between them and God.

God symbolises his commitment in the same covenant to us by giving us the baptism of the Holy Spirit:

"Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance .."

Ephesians 1,13-14


`There [Paul] found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed ?"  They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."  So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive ?"  "John's baptism [58] ," they replied.  Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance.  He told people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."  On hearing this, they were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus.  When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.'

Acts 19,1-6

The  Early disciples lacked confidence and the power of God until the Holy Spirit came upon them, even though Jesus appeared to them numerous times before the Holy Spirit came.  They were terrified after Jesus' crucifixion and met behind closed doors despite having walked with him for three years and witnessed his absolute command of the physical and spiritual world. 

Eventually they  got  to  the  point when they almost gave up their faith and began to return to  their  old  way of  life.   Peter, the one time leader of the disciples, announced to the remnant of the disciples, that he was going fishing  (John  21,3).  

This was Peter's symbolic admission of defeat.  Jesus had called him from being a fisherman and promised (Luke 5,8-11) that he would only "catch men" from then on.  Peter had given up the business he had part owned and went to follow Jesus.  He had lived within the supernatural provision of Jesus for three years and never lacked.  Jesus had even paid his taxes supernaturally:

"Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up;  and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money:  that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

Matthew 17,27

Peter had been in the cloud at the Transfiguration of Jesus and even heard the voice of God in the cloud and seen Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus. [59] Jesus had appeared to them after he was dead and resurrected and told them to wait for the Coming of the Holy Spirit. 

Yet now, the disciples felt alone, were wanted by the authorities and probably broke.  Jesus was nowhere to be seen and they certainly did not understand who this Holy Spirit was.  There  was  certainly no vigils waiting for  the  Lord  to  send  His  Spirit  as  promised.  This was the low point.

However, at that time, Jesus appeared to them again and interestingly, repeated the same miracle that had saved the fishermen in the beginning:

`He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish ?"  "No," they answered.  He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."....Then, the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"

John 21,5-7

He was reminding Peter, John and the rest of the disciples that there was no lack in his kingdom.  He was reminding them of his original promise to them.

The point that I am making here is that Christianity can not be purely intellectual.  A strong Christian needs to be in constant fellowship with God through His Holy Spirit.  Peter was the most outspoken and zealous of the disciples before Jesus "left".  Peter did not have the Holy Spirit and as soon as Jesus' personal anointing disappeared from him, he relapsed into fear and his old way of life.


5.2  The Ministry and Work of believers with the Holy Spirit

5.2.1  The Coming of the Holy Spirit

All this changed when the Holy Spirit came on the scene:

`And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all of one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'

Acts 2,1-5

5.2.2  Working with the Holy Spirit

Peter lost his timidity within seconds of baptism by the Holy Spirit and was transformed into a radical and uncompromising preacher:

`But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, "Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known to you, and hearken to my words...this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel:  `And it shall come to pass in the last days ...I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh:  and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men  shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit;  and they shall prophesy:  And I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath...And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved..."  Then Peter said unto them, "Repent, and be ye baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [60] ..."

Acts 2,vv17-21, 38


Peter preaching under the power of the Holy Spirit led three thousand people to salvation that day .  Many of those were probably those who had been calling for Jesus to be crucified a few months earlier.  It was the Holy Spirit that made all the difference.

His fellow disciples all began to move in the power of the supernatural and had a love for one another that meant they never wanted to be apart:

`And fear came upon every soul:  and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  And all that believed were together, and had all things in common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily...'

Acts 2,44-47


The Holy Spirit brings to us the essential attribute of God:  his holiness.  Holiness is all the attributes of God:  the natural ones and the spiritual ones.  Holiness is the love and power of  God that makes God whom he is.  It is the means by which  we  overcome the fear of men, of what other people think:

'For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power  and  of  love and of a sound mind.'  

1 Timothy 1,7

You can see how joyful life with the Holy Spirit was.  How powerful and fearless the disciples became.  Fear was the spirit that  Man received in Eden.  Jesus redeemed Man from slavery to that spirit.

The holiness of  God resides in the believer's heart and leads to the righteousness of God being manifested by the believers.  Righteousness relates to the relationships we have with God and each other.  God has imputed to us the righteousness of Christ:

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."

1 Corinthians 1,30

Righteousness means to be able to stand before God without a sense of guilt or fear.  Jesus is in a right relationship with the Father and we stand in his righteousness.  As we develop in our relationship with the Holy Spirit then we begin to behave more and more like Jesus in our relationships and lifestyle as he did.

There was no longer and class or wealth divisions between disciples.  It was a completely new society that the Holy Spirit began.  It was based on equality and sharing.

Throughout the book of Acts, there is an overwhelming sense of the community of God's people.  By this I do not necessarily mean they all lived with each other, although that was certainly part of the Jerusalem church's approach, but people were concerned for one another and would do anything to help each other.

Paul relates in his epistles how people were giving to each other to the point that they would go without:

"Moreover, brethren, we do you wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  How that in great trial of affliction...and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.."

2 Corinthians 8,1-2

Churches in poorer parts of the world that were suffering from famine and oppression would be given people, supplies and money from the richer churches.  There was a oneness of possessions and heart. 

Apostles like Paul and Barnabas were constantly travelling to small churches for encouragement and teaching.  Paul shows a fatherly concern throughout his letters for all the churches.  The churches loved Paul:

`And when he [Paul] had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all.  And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him.'

Acts 20,36-37                                                                                                  

The quality of leadership under the blessing of the Holy Spirit was powerful and unified.  People were encouraged to accept other ministries despite apparent doctrinal differences.  They were to  learn from other understandings of the message they were preaching  rather than consider themselves to be right:

"For when one says, `I follow Paul,' and another, `I follow Apollos,' are you not mere [worldly] men ?  What, after all, is Apollos ?  And what is Paul ?  Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord has assigned to each his task.  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow...for we are God's fellow-workers..."

1 Corinthians 3,4-9

Peter on numerous occasions had to be reconciled with Paul's radically non-Jewish interpretations of the scriptures, his unique revelation of the spiritual depth of Christ's redemptive work on the cross:

"And account that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation:  even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  As also in all his which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

2 Peter 3,15-16


"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles:  but when they were come, he withdrew...fearing them of the circumcision [61] ....But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all..."                       

Galatians 2,vv11-14

Notice how Peter, although he himself was the leader appointed by Jesus of the church, was humble enough to accept Paul's rebuke and went so far as to say Paul's revelation of the gospel was scripture.  Peter used his enormous influence amongst Jewish christians to defend Paul from their attacks.

The Holy Spirit meant that leaders could entreaty one another without the risk of schism.  People were always ready to learn and teach each other. 

5.2.3  The Holy Spirit and the ministry of Women

The Holy Spirit emancipated women into the church.  There was a strong patriarchal tradition [62] in Hebrew culture that was manifested in that all the disciples were male and the early leadership of the church was predominantly male.  However, it does appear that within the scriptural concepts of women being covered by a male spiritual authority, women were free to be leaders, deacons, preachers and teachers in the new church.

Paul, at the end of Romans, lists a long list of women that assisted him in his missionary work.  I am sure they just did not cook and do his laundry.  At the end of Phillipians he seems to command reluctant believers at Phillipi to honour the women workers as much as they do the men.

Much is made of Paul's remarks in 1 Timothy 2 regarding the place of women in the church:

`Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer a woman not to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.'                                                           1 Timothy 2,11-12                                                                                                  

This is perhaps the best example of the dangers of a verse taken out of context and the inadequacies of the English translation of the original Greek. 

I shall be examining the overall scriptural position about the ministry of women and it is clearly incorrect to assume he was issuing a blanket ban on women participating in services or being in positions of teaching and leadership, as some have interpreted it.  Rather, it seems that Paul was dealing with a disciplinary problem that had arisen where some women had been interfering with a male leadership incorrectly.  The Greek even suggest sexual impropriety may have been involved.. [63]

A second point with this passage is that the Greek word translated in the English as "usurp", which is also lost in the newer translations, is an extremely strong word that suggests severe aggression.  One commentator [64] has said it is used in other contexts as a word relating to murder.

It is interesting to note that revivalists saved under Charles Finney's ministry followed his example of integrating women into preaching and leadership.  This centuries revivals have also seen powerful, denominationally independent women ministers in the shape of Aimee McPherson and Kathyrhn Kuhlman. 

There have also been and still are married couple teams moving in an immense anointing of the Holy Spirit where the woman, as much as the man, has been involved in the preaching and the teaching.  Catherine Booth, to name one, was the fiercesome preacher-wife of General Booth.  Their stories are told in Winkie Pratney's history of revivalists. [65]

Contemporary ministries today are Jerry and Carol Seveille and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.  The teachings of Gloria and Carol are certainly powerful and anointed.

While the dominance of male leadership in scripture is undeniable, which I suggest is a function of culture more than God's instigation, there is a clear tradition of women being used mightily throughout the history of Israel and the history of the church.

Deborah, identified in scripture as a prophetess [66] , was a judge of Israel.  She was a woman in a long series of men.  Esther was raised up to a position where she could deliver her people. [67]   Anna is listed a prophetess in the gospel of Luke. [68] The prophecy of Joel that Peter quoted on the day of Pentecost made no distinction between men and women as ministers. 

Scripture does state that men should look after their women and cover them spiritually:

"For this reason, and because of the angels, [69] the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head."

1 Corinthians 11,10

Paul makes this statement which is in line with the order of creation in the garden of Eden.  Peter and Paul only identify distinct male and female roles with regard to the cultural reality.  These are emphasising more than anything else, how women in the rather culturally oppressive role they found themselves in, could lead a more spiritually fulfilled life teaching their children and providing a spiritually warm home environment.

In many cases where Peter and Paul deal with the roles of men and women they are talking in the context of the natural family and have just as much to say to the men about them fulfilling their roles as a parent:

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children:  instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

Ephesians 6,4

The underpinning spiritual principles, I believe,  both apostles are underlining where they are talking about women and men is that whatever position they find themselves in, they can still find that life fulfilling by a right relationship to God and each other. 

I do not believe that it is describing some "God-ordained"  exclusion from leadership or authority within the church.  Indeed, Paul talks about deacons and deaconesses in 1 Tim 3 and also refers to the traditional family.  In one section he talks about men and women as leaders in the church, in the next he talks about their roles in the family:

"Now the overseer must be beyond reproach....He must manage his own family well...Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect...In the same way, deaconesses are to be women worthy of respect."

1 Timothy 3,vv2,4,8,11

What I believe is being expounded here is that a man or a woman may have equal roles within the church as long as their marital or cultural situation will permit it.  I believe this is in accordance with passages that speak of the spiritual equality of men and women:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3,28


"In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.  For as woman came from man, so also is man born of woman.  But everything comes from God."

1 Corinthians 11,11-12

The natural family must be cared and loved by both parents as an act of obedience to God's command to bring up godly offspring.  It is normally not right for a man or a woman when in a godly marriage to spend most of their time away from home "in their ministry" [70]

It is not right for a man or a woman to crave "excitement" and be looking always to expand beyond their family into ministry.  If a man or a woman submit and honour their marriage covenant, God will raise them up together to minister. 

Marriages do not blossom with distance but with closeness.  God calls married couples to bring up godly offspring:

"Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem....Yet ye say, "Whereof ?"  Because the LORD hath been a witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dwelt treacherously:  yet she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  And did he not make one ?  Yet had he the residue of the spirit.  And wherefore one ?  That he might seek a godly seed.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously."

Malachi 2,vv11,14-17

      This requires devoted and godly parenting by both the mother and the father.  It stands to reason, that in order to parent, they need to be there.

It is often ignored that Paul and Peter are often challenging men also to care for their wives both physically and spiritually and not to shrink back from being in a position of covering authority within the family.  They suggest that some men are hiding behind their wives and not appreciating the spiritual nature of their union:

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.  That he might present itself to him as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing;  but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh;  but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:..."

Ephesians 5,25-29


"Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life;  that your prayers be not hindered."

2 Peter 3,7

In summary, I feel that there is a very clear case for women's ministry and that both men and women need to recognise that in a Christian marriage their first obligation is to each other and the raising of their children [71] .         

5.2.4  The Holy Spirit as a personal helper

It is in having a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit that makes the Christian life what it is:

'All things that the Father has are Mine.  Therefore  I  said  that  He will take of mine and declare it to you.' 

John 16,15

Being filled with the Holy Spirit means we are in  constant  fellowship with God.  We begin to discern God's voice and His will for us.

I know  an amazing number of people who can testify to the  amazing difference  being filled with the Holy Spirit makes.  My own testimony  is that I  began to understand what God wanted from me.  I began to  realise what aspects of my life needed to change and God's Word held the power to do it.

So many people have said  how  much  easier  it  is  to  witness  after receiving the Holy Spirit.  We might be able to tell people  about  the wonderful power of God and what He has done in Jesus Christ to save us.  

The Holy Spirit is the one who interprets what the Bible means for us and what a sermon means.  He is the one who leads us into a good relationship with the Father and our brethren.  He leads us into all truth:

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own;  he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you."

John 16,13-14

      There are gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us in our witness and to build up our life as a people.  This is the subject of 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14.  His great treatise on "love" should really be interpreted in this context of spiritual gifts.  The Holy Spirit brings the spiritual reality of our humanity to us.  He brings alive our spirits that we might be God's children.  Spiritual gifts are examined more closely later in this chapter.

5.2.5  The Holy Spirit as captain of the Lord's host [72]

In the wider sense we need to witness that our words and the words of  the Bible  are  true by  moving in the power of  signs,  wonders, miracles, healings,  spiritual gifts and the communal lifestyle of brotherhood.  We see a love and a unity between disciples and awesome power in the book of Acts and the letters of the New Testament.  That is not to say there never were disputes and schisms [73] but people's dedication to the cause of Christ overcame them.

People  will, quite  rightly,  require evidence from you that the gospel and transforming  power  of  Christ are real.  The best evidence you will be able to give them is  by  the change in your personal life and your devotion to your brothers and sisters in a church community. [74]

We need to show  that  we  have  the  authority in Jesus name over evil powers we encounter.  Owing to occult influences in my family, I quickly had to learn the power of Jesus was there to deliver me.  I learnt the absolute authority in Jesus' name.

When I talk  to  people I testify about the things  God  has  done  for me personally.   Normally you will know very quickly if someone is interested by their  reaction to your testimony.  It helps to  get  people's  attention  and provides opportunity to get the Word of God to work in people's  lives.   It sows seeds and has real spiritual power.  Paul would often use his personal testimony tailored for the particular audience. [75]

The book of Revelation tells us of the value of testifying to the works  of God in our lives, telling others His Word is true:

'And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb  and  by  the  word of  their testimony, and they did not love  their  lives  to  the  death  '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Revelation 12,11

No matter how  ordinary  or  unspectacular  your  testimony  is  it  is valuable.  Not everybody will respond to  "I used to be  messed  up  on drugs and drink but now..." because it is not relevant to  them.  

Some  would much rather hear, "I went to church all my life but I didn't know  Jesus..." and others, "One day I just met someone and asked Jesus into my life." 

You are still testifying to the Truth of God's Word.  To the power  of Christ's blood to those who  believe.   You  are  pulling  down  the strongholds of the Devil over people's lives:  you are saying, God does  care about you personally, He wants to heal you, He wants to  take  you  out of poverty, He wants to heal your marriage. 

You are challenging the fatalism of worldly thinking:  all these things that the Devil has got Mankind to accept as "Oh well, that's life!".  You  are refuting and destroying his strongholds over people's minds because of your testimony that Jesus Christ  is  indeed risen. 

As a Christian, which literally means "little Christ", you  should witness to  this  resurrection  by   developing   and   growing   your  'born-again' spirit.  Your primary food source as a  Christian  is  the revealed counsel of God, the word of God for which the Greek word is logos:

'Since you have purified your souls in obeying the  truth  through  the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born  again,  not  of  corruptible  seed  but incorruptible,  through  the  word  of  God  which  lives  and   abides new-born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that  you may grow thereby...' 

1 Peter 1,22-2,2


'For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone  to teach you again the first principles of the oracles  of  God;  and  you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone  who partakes  only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness,  for he  is  a  babe.  But solid food belongs to those who by reason of use have  their  sense exercised to discern both good and evil.'  

Hebrews 5,12-14

This last passage  shows  that  the  Word  is  our  primary  source  of nourishment throughout our Christian life.  We never grow out of it but God successively reveals the depth of His Word as we seek and find Him.  

At different times He will take the written word, the entire counsel of God (the logos) and make it real for us in our lives now.  This is what `receiving a word from God' is.  It is when a special anointing comes on the logos to turn it into a rhema [76] word.

Clearly, if we do not spend time educating our spirits with the logos we are going to have difficulty in recognising the rhema. It is God's desire that we grow  to  maturity in Christ and that we fully accomplish everything He intended  for us. 

He wants each of us  to realise in our  physical  existence  the  freedom from all the power of the Devil that  Christ  accomplished  for  us.  Be it physical, financial, social, spiritual or whatever.  The Name of Jesus is above every name; we do have the  victory now in  His  Name:

'Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of  God  and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine  power  has  given  us  all  things  that pertain to life and which  we  have  been  given  to  us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption  that is  in the world through lust.  But also for this very reason,  giving  all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to  knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance  godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness  love.   For if these things are yours and abound, you will be  neither  barren  nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.' 

1 Peter 1,2-8

We must not be like little orphan children crying  to  a  far  off  God about why is the world in such a mess and why has Mr and Mrs Sinner got a Mercedes and gets drunk every weekend while  I'm  skint  and  have  a crapped out Robin Reliant but rather a bold,  powerful  and  victorious people. 

God has prepared for us power and prosperity in this life;  we  lay hold of eternal life now by using the faith that God gave us when we were born-again.  We have access to all that God has for us now, we do  not have to wait until we get to heaven.  God wants us  to  refute  the  lies of the Devil by living victoriously and having an abundance of all  things in this life:

'You prepare a table before me in  the  presence  of  my  enemies;  You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.  Surely goodness  and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house  of the LORD To the end of my days.'    

Psalm 23,5-6


'And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always  having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every  good  work.'  

2 Corinthians 9,8


The world seems an exciting and stimulating place for people today.  We need to show the mass of people who are trundling along with  life  and reasonably satisfied with things why they must reconcile themselves  to  God and become a Christian. 

We need to show them  that  the  Christian  life is the most exciting and satisfying existence.  As we  draw  close  to the end of the Age and Christ's return we  need  to  be  burning  as  bright lights in a dark world. 

We need to begin to move in the miraculous  and  the supernatural.  We need to begin to discern what God  wants  to  say  to  a  person you are witnessing to rather than piling in with both feet with some tract of theological discourse.  One  anointed word from God is better than a thousand from the spirit of  a  man.

The "Great Commission" as recorded in the  gospel  of  Mark emphasises this power aspect of the gospel that Jesus expected  His believers  to  move in:

'And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel  to every creature.  He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but  he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these  signs  will follow those who believe:  In my Name they will cast  out  demons; they  will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they  drink anything deadly they will not be harmed; they will  lay hands  on  the sick and they will recover."' 

Mark 16,15-18

We are living in the Age of the  "latter rains" of the "Last  Days"  as spoken of  by  the  prophet  Joel  and  quoted  by  the  apostle  Peter explaining to the people what was happening at the Day of Pentecost:

'"And it shall come to pass in the Last Days," says God, "that  I  will pour out My  Spirit  on  all  flesh;  your  sons  and  daughters  shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old  men  shall dream dreams, and on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my  Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.  I will show wonders in  the heavens above and signs in the earth beneath:  blood and  fire  and vapour of smoke.  The sun shall be turned to darkness and the  moon  to blood, before the Coming of the great and notable Day of the LORD.  And  it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall  be saved." ' 

Acts 2,17-21

The "latter-rains" referred to the actual climatic pattern of Israel  and they were heavier than the spring rains.  Thus, the anointing and the power we should be moving in, is greater than that of the original church.

We are living in this age.  Over the last 200 years human  civilisation has changed almost beyond recognition.  God has poured out  His  Spirit and His return is imminent.  God expects His church  to  be  moving  in power like the earth has never seen before:

'"Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that  I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because  I go to the Father.  And whatever you ask in My Name,  that  I  will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." ' 

John 14,12-13


We bring glory to the Father's name on earth by  doing  the  works  and the greater works of the Son.  God's name has  been  reduced  to  a  term of derision in the world because of the general  unbelief  in  His  church that God wants to heal and wants to deliver and wants  to  works  signs and wonders anymore in His church today.  Church has been reduced  to people in fancy dress  with  pointed  hats  and  vicars  with  funny  accents.

Consider in another place when Jesus gives us a vision of what  we  can expect as disciples:

"Have the faith of God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever  says  to this mountain, 'Be removed and cast into the sea' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things that he  says  will  come  to pass, he will have whatever he says."  

Mark 11,23

Jesus did not say, "Only the Apostles" or "Only the great preachers" or "Only the 144 000" but WHOEVER !  i.e.  every  believer.   Furthermore, we have another  two  whole  chapters  in  the  first  epistle  to  the Corinthian church explaining the use and context of spiritual gifts  (1 Corinthians 12-14).  The next section looks at their application a bit more closely.

5.2.6  Spiritual Gifts

About the gift of tongues He explains:

'For He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God for no one understands him;  however in the spirit  he  speaks mysteries...He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself...'

1 Corinthians 14,vv2,5

To edify means to build up.  God gave the gift of tongues so  we  could strengthen ourselves and build ourselves up.  Just as He gave the gifts  of prophesying and prophecy to build up the church:

'But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation  and comfort to men...he who prophesies edifies the church.' 

1 Corinthians 14,3-5

Now, it is completely logical to assume that if we do not operate these gifts that we will not be built up or strengthened either as  a  church  or individuals.  We will end up with all the form of our  religion  and  yet no power.  This is exactly what has  happened  in large sections of the institutional  church and is foretold as another sign of the coming of Christ:

'But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be  lovers  of  themselves,  lovers  of  money,  boasters,  proud, blasphemous, disobedient  to  parents,  unthankful,  unholy,  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without  self-control,  brutal,  despisers  of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers  of  pleasure  rather  than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its  power.  And from such people turn away.' 

2 Timothy 3,1-5

It is interesting that the religious person who will have nothing to do with spiritual power is grouped with the worst excesses of sinful man.  We need to wake up and step into the realm of spirit children of God.   Renewed in His image and filled with His power:

'For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to  another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts  of  healings  by  the  same  Spirit,  to another working of miracles, to another prophecy, to  another tongues, to another interpretation of tongues.'

1 Corinthians 12,8-11


'But to each one of us grace was given  according  to  the  measure  of Christ's gift.  Therefore He says: 'When He ascended on  high,  He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.'...And He Himself  gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors  and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for  the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity  of  the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the stature of the fullness of Christ...'

Ephesians 5,7-13

Notice that there is just one measure of God's Spirit.  There may be many different ministries but we all receive the same power in the Spirit of God.  It is up to each individual how much of God they want to experience.

God expects us to operate in these gifts that we come into the  fullness of Christ, i.e. the church is full of little Jesus' doing those  things  that Jesus did !  What sort of God would He be that He would not meet people's immediate physical and spiritual needs ?  And  yet  commands  them  to surrender themselves to Him ? 

To tell the sick person, 'Sorry God won't heal you  any more.'  Or to the drug addict, 'Sorry God won't  help  you  come  off,  you'll just have to suffer.'  Or to the conscientious, 'Sorry  all  the  suffering in the world is God's doing therefore you can't  do  anything  about it.' 

Such a God is one in the image  of  Satan,  not  of  Jesus.   Blind devotion isn't what God wants.  He wants thinking and intelligent children walking in wisdom to those needs around us.  Spiritual gifts and spiritual wisdom are essential for us.

He wants us willingly  to  offer  up ourselves as living sacrifices to Him.  To be in love with Him.   To  be crying "Abba, Father" as His children.  Jesus expected us to be in a  position to meet not  just  the  spiritual  needs of people  but  the  physical ones as well.  Ephesians 5 above describes  us  as "ministers  for Christ";  what  are  we  ministering  but  the  gospel  that Jesus summarises in  Luke  5,  a  gospel  of  total  physical  and  spiritual prosperity. [77]

The apostle James also emphasises this providing role of the believer:

"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says  he  has  faith  but does not have works ?  Can faith save him ?  If a brother or sister  is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them,  'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled' but you do not  give  them  the  things which are needed for the body, what does it profit ?  Thus also,  faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead." 

James 2,14-17

If we are going to be providers we are going to have to be rich in all things! The only way we are going to get riches that remain is by God prospering us  and the only way that happens is by us getting into the Word of God and  living it.  As our soul prospers, then so do we:

'Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be  in  health, just as your soul prospers.' 

3 John 1,2


To refuse to address these issues and to remain in a powerless form  of our faith is to be the wicked servant, the five foolish virgins or the one  who buried his talent in the parables told by Jesus.  Christ said there  was  a  place prepared for  those believers who refused to move on in the things of Him:

"For to everyone who  has,  more  will  be  given,  and  he  will  have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what  he  has  will be taken  away.   'And  cast  the  unprofitable  servant  into  the  outer darkness.  There will be weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth."  

Matthew  25,29-30


"But if that evil servant says in His heart, 'My master is delaying his coming'...the master of that servant  will...appoint  him  his  portion with the hypocrites.  There will be weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Matthew 24,48-51

The lazy  believer  is  called  "evil".   The  place  for  evil  is  in everlasting torment.  A place called Hell.  We need to be judged diligent in what ever God has called us to do,  whether this is a dustman, a social-worker, a research scientist, an evangelist or a parent.

5.2.7  Summary

In this chapter we examined the Christian life and how the Holy Spirit brings us freedom from bondage to this worlds spiritual and natural laws.  It showed how the Holy  Spirit empowers us to do for this generation what Jesus did for his.  We examined how the curse placed on women in the garden of Eden has been removed in Christ and she stands as the spiritual equal of the man. 

Lastly, we saw the challenge of the parables of Jesus for us to be spiritual men and women pushing back the frontiers of darkness.  We hinted at the consequences of disobedience and apathy.  The next chapter looks at this concept of judgement and some of the Christian concepts associated with it.



6.1  The Central Place of Judgement

Another  doctrine  central  to  the  Christian  faith  is  that of Judgement.  God, as well as being merciful, is also just.  This means that  each individual is held  accountable  for  their own wrong doings (sin) against God by God at the End of the Ages at  a day the Bible calls Judgement Day.  Our decision about what we  decide  to do with Jesus Christ determines what happens to us in eternity.  This chapter looks at how judgement is described in both testaments and explains some of the concepts surrounding it.

6.2  Judgement in the Bible

Let us begin by examining the words of Jesus  concerning  the  time of judgement:

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy  angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate them one from another as  a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats.  And He will set  the  sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left.  Then the King will say to those on His right hand  'Come, you blessed of My Father,  inherit  the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world...'  He  will also say to those on the left hand  'Depart from me you cursed into the EVERLASTING fire prepared for the Devil and his angels'  ...these will go away into EVERLASTING punishment, but  the  righteous  into eternal  life."

Matthew 25,vv31-34,41,46

So straight away we see Jesus placing Himself as God the Judge  of  all Mankind on a specific day.  We also see that though our physical bodies  die (the first [78] death)  our  spirits  are  eternal. 

If  we are accounted amongst the righteous   then we will go to eternal life with Jesus.  If we  have  rejected  His  words then we will go  to  a  place of  eternal punishment  that  was  prepared for the Devil and His angels.  Jesus describes  this  place of punishment on other occasions too:

"There shall be weeping and gnashing  of  teeth."  

Matthew  24,v51  &  25,30


"The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather  out  of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practise lawlessness,  and will cast them into the furnace of fire.  There will be wailing and  gnashing of teeth."  

Matthew 13,41-42


"And if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it  off  and  cast  it  from you.  It is better for you to enter  into  life  lame  or  maimed,  rather than having  two  hands  or  two  feet,  to  be  cast  into  the  everlasting fire."                                   Matthew 18,8


"And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from  you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish,  than for your whole body to be cast into hell."  

Matthew 5,29

So Jesus refers to this place of everlasting torment as  "Hell".   This  is what faith in His name saves us from:

"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him  from  the  dead,  you  will  be  saved."  

Romans 10,9

Judgement is not just a New Testament doctrine but we see it throughout  the  Old Testament as well:

"And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men that have tresspassed against Me.  For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched.  They shall be  an  abhorrence  to  all  flesh."                                                                                           

Isiah  66,24


"And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some  to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt."

Daniel  12,2

The last passage is interesting  because  it  shows  that  we  will  be resurrected to face judgement with a new eternal body.  This  confirmed  by examining the apostle Paul's teaching:

"It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  There is  a  natural body, and there is a spiritual body." 

1 Corinthians 15,44

Jesus after He was resurrected from the  dead  had  His  new  spiritual body.  It was in the same appearence as the physical one and indeed was  a transformed version of the old one for they had found an  empty  tomb.  However, he still had flesh and bone.  He ate with his disciples to prove he was not a ghost:

'Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood  in  the  midst  of them, and said to them, "Peace to you."  But they  were  terrified  and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.  And He said to them, "Why are you troubled ?  And why do  doubts  arise  in  your  hearts  ? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I Myself.  Handle Me  and  see,  for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I  have."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Luke  24,36-39

This body was different though in the sense that He could walk through walls and move from one place to another outside the normal physical laws:

'And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them.  Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in  the  midst,  and said, "Peace be with you !"  Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger  her and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it  to  My  side.  Do not be unbelieving, but believing."  And Thomas said to  Him,  "My Lord and my God !"  

John 20,26-28

So we can have no doubt whatsoever that there is a resurrection of  the physical body into the spiritual one.  The first death is when our body  we have now ceases to function.  Our spirit leaves the body and  passes  into the spiritual  dimension  and  the  place  of  waiting  until  the  judgement.  We receive our new spiritual body at the great Judgement where our old bodies are resurrected and changed:

"Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed...the mortal will be [clothed] with the immortal.."

1 Corinthians 15,51-54

When the physical body dies we pass from  the  dominion  of  physical law into the  dominion  of  spiritual  law.   We  then  become  subject to the law of who we chose as our God. [79] This  is  either  under  the lordship of Jesus or Satan.  Heaven or Hell.  Jesus describes the judgement to everlasting torment as  the second death for those people who reject Him in their mortality and  spend their immortality separate from Him and in torment:

"And the Devil who deceived them, was cast into the lake  of  fire  and brimstone where the beast  and  the  false  are.   And  they  shall  be tormented day and night forever and ever.  Then I  saw  a  great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away.  And there was found no place for them.   And  I  saw  the dead, small and great, standing before  God,  and  books  were opened.   And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things written  in  the  books.  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades  delivered up the dead who were in them.  And they were judged, each one according  to his works.  Then Death and Hades were cast into the  lake of  fire.   And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake  of fire.   This is the second death."

Revelation 20,10-15


6.3  Explanation of Death, Hades, Paradise and Heaven as terms  used  in  the Bible pertaining to the After-Life

There is a difference between what happened  when  people  died  before Christ came, that is, in the Old Testament times and after.   In pre-christian times, when  people died they were automatically captives of Death (Satan) in Hades.  

This  is because when Mankind allowed itself to  be  tempted  by  Satan they  surrendered up their dominion to Him  and  came  under  His authority.  They effectively changed Gods.  However, Hades had two different  parts  to it as places of waiting.  This was revealed by Jesus in the recollection of a past event: [80]

"There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.  But there was a certain beggar  named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate...So it was  that  the beggar died, and was carried by the angels  to Abraham's  bosom.   The rich man also died and was buried.  And being in torments in Hades..."  

Luke 16,19-23

"Abraham's bosom" was the part of Hades which was  known  as Paradise.   It was a place of waiting for those who  had  died  God-fearing or in  ignorance of sin.  What is referred to here as "torments in Hades" [81] was where those who paid nothing  but  lip  service  to  God  or  who  were actively wicked went. 

When Christ was resurrected  from  the  dead  He  took these God-fearing people in Abraham's bosom with  Him  to  Heaven.   They came into the immediate presence of God:

'When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts  to  men.' 

Ephesians 5,8

It was not possible for people  to  go  to  heaven  before  Christ  was resurrected because their sin had only been covered over by the  animal sacrifices of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants.   It  was  only  when Christ's blood was shed that their sins were forgiven and  they  became  the righteousness  of  God  which  allowed  them  to  come  into  God's presence, to enter Heaven, His dwelling place:

'For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and  goats  could  take away sins...But Christ came as  High  Priest  of  the  good  things  to come...not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His  own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all,  having  obtained  eternal redemption...By that will we have been sanctified through the  offering of the body of Jesus Christ...' 

Hebrews 10,v4; 9,11 a 10,v10

In those three  days  when  Christ  died  to  His  resurrection  Christ descended into Hades and paid the final price for our forgiveness.  This is confirmed by the preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost:

"Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;  my body will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave [82] , nor will you let your Holy One see decay..."

Acts 2,26-27

We can also gain more insight into his suffering in the pit of Hades by considering the prophetic psalm written by David:

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me ?...Many bulls surround me;  strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.  Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me...I am laid in the dust of death..

Psalm 22,vv1,12-13,15

      The "bulls" and "dogs" are words describing the evil spirits that were tormenting Jesus in the pit of death.  He  took everything God would have otherwise laid on the human race.  As  He  was not  born of Adam there was no obligation to do this, he did it for the sake of all humanity. He was not under  the authority of Death  (Satan).  Jesus  made  this  quite  clear  to  His disciples: 

"I will no longer talk much with you,  for  the  ruler  of  this  world [83] is coming, and he has nothing in Me. [84] But that the world may know that I love the  Father,  and  as  the  Father gave Me commandment, so I do."                                              John 14,30-31


`But he answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall be no sign given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly;  so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Matthew 12,39-40


"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them saying, "This is my body which is given for you:  this do in remembrance of me."  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

Luke 22,19-20

It was His voluntary subjection to Death which allowed God  to  forgive Mankind and then raise Him again.  Christ took away Satan's authority over Mankind.   It  is  now  each  Man's choice whether he spends his life now and in eternity in  bondage  with Satan or in freedom with God:

'And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him,  having  forgiven  you  all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting or requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.  And He has taken it out  of  the way, having nailed  it  to  the  cross.   Having  disarmed  (spiritual) principalities  and  powers,  He  made  a  public  spectacle  of  them, triumphing over them in it.'

Colossians 2,13-15

6.4  Summary

As a concise summary, consider the words of the apostle Paul describing  our choice with respect to what happens to us at that Day of Judgement:

'And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins  of  many.   To  those  who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin,  for salvation.' 

Hebrews 9,27-28

      In some of these passages Jesus spoke of himself as the judge.  This has the implication that he and he alone is the way to God.  In fact, the book of Revelation says that it is God who sits on the throne of judgement.  Thus, Jesus is claiming the title of God for himself.

The next two chapters examine these two issues     




7.1  Introduction

We are living in  an  age  where  over  the  last  100  years  especially we have seen an explosion of religious groupings and  cults.   We have seen the formation of new denominations  within  the  Christian  church.  There are many so-called "charismatic" churches teeming to the  brim with young people excited about Jesus. 

Likewise there has been  a  phenomenal increase in the size of the Islamic  community.   There  has  been the public emergence since 1975 of the "New  Age"  Movement  which  has permeated throughout our society and the established  religions.   There is a great  move  towards "Inter-faith"  services where  people  accept that we are all worshipping the same God really. 

Others, fueled  by  the  interest  in  the  future  of  the  world,  have deified  and  spritualised "Mother Earth" asserting that we should  become one with  the Cosmos and so become "God" which is everything and all around us.  "God" is no longer a distinct being but we are all have  the potential  to reach the status of "God".   By anybody's measure we are living  in  an  age  of intense  spiritual  activity.

We are coming to the End of the Age and everyone studying life on earth  knows it.  Scientists are seeing the  run  down  and  collapse  of  the eco-system.  Many species are vanishing with the removal  of  essential habitats.  Biologists are seeing the degradation of species.  Pollution  is reaching catastrophic proportions.

Politicians  are  fighting  over  how there can be food shortage in the midst of plenty  which  seems  to  get worse rather than better.  Economic chaos is threatening the  world  system.  Traditional spheres of  influence are breaking  down.   Each  religious grouping  says  that  according  to  its holy book  we  are  approaching the 'End of the Age'.  

There  has  been  a  spiritual  awakening of Mankind this century  and especially  over  the  last  15  years.  We are being to realise we have neglected the human spirit:  we  treat and develop the body and soul but the "spirit" has been  shrouded  in mystery. 

People are reaching  out  for spiritual  things  and the  values and thinking of the "New Age" movement has come to a  fore  very  recently.  There is not an area of our life that has not  been  alerted  to this "Green consciousness" in recent times. 

A great emphasis of the spirit of the age has been on individualism and the abandonment of moral absolutes.  Everyone is encouraged to accept everyone elses views and opinions.  In the religious realm this has meant a watering down and sometimes abandonment of any concept of distinctiveness between the major religions.  Liberal theologians of each religion have seen each other as "different paths to God."

This chapter looks at how the Bible views other religions and how the words of Jesus especially can give a radical perspective on the syncretism [85] of today's religious culture.  The challenge of Jesus' words is to recognise that there is a spiritual battle being waged for the lives and souls of human beings through counterfeit religious ideas. 

I extend from the general examination of Jesus' words to look at a particular feature of our religious culture today, the New Age movement.  I hypothesise that the theology of New Age is in line with what the bible calls the `Antichrist' doctrines and is a sign for Christians of the closeness of Jesus' coming.

7.2  Syncretism from Jesus' Perspective

Syncretism is mentioned by Jesus in his discourse on His Second Coming  and the End-Times:  

'Now as He sat on the Mount  of  Olives,  the  disciples  came  to  Him privately, saying,  "Tell us, when will these things  be  ?   And  what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of  the  age  ?"    And Jesus answered and said, "Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many  will come in my Name, saying, 'I  am  the  Christ',  and  will deceive many...Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many...Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ !  or 'There !'  do  not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will arise  and  show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.   See I have told you beforehand.  Therefore if they say to  you,  'Look,  He is in the desert !' do not go out; or  'Look, He  is in the  inner  rooms !'  do not believe it.  For as lightning comes from the east  and  flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of  Man  be..." 

Matthew 24,vv3-5,11,23-27

Jesus is exclusive here about there being no other way to God except Himself.  He is warning against false prophets and teachers and the cults that lock people away in remote locations and persuade people that they and only they, have the true revelation.

He is warning about the elaborate religious systems that have great "prophets" and demean His standing from being God. He is warning against believing in people or religions because of manifestations of spiritual power and supernatural signs.  He is warning against a watering down of His Words into some liberal or purely social and moral christianity or an interpretation that removes inappropriately its literal nature [86] .

In speaking of false prophets , He is stating that the other religions do not have a common root with christianity as syncretists believe, but have lies and deception, and so Satan, at their root.  Jesus is even more explicit in another place about Him being the only way to get to the Father:

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one  comes  to  the  Father except by Me.'

John 14,6

Satan can  only  copy  what  God  has  done: miracles and signs do operate in the Satanic but  only  what  God  has done before.  You can see this in the story of Moses before Pharoah  in Exodus Chpts 7-11.  The sorcerers and magicians could only  do  what  Moses did, they could not prempt him. 

The major world  religions  were  only formalised according to the patterns God revealed through the ages  to the people He  called  in  the Bible.  There was nothing like the Bible before  the Bible.  

The Bible is unique in that its chronology extends from 1600B.C. to around AD100 and is written by a  large collection of authors over this time.  This allows the bible to be cross-referenced against itself and prophecy to be balanced.  The bible can also be verified against archaeology and secular history.  It is the best validated piece of religious literature that there is.

The holy  books  of other religions are copies  of  the  pattern of having a written basis of your faith rather than just ritual  and word of mouth.  Having ideas written down allows the human intellect to be convinced and this has an enormous power in keeping people in religion.

7.3  The New Age Movement

7.3.1  Introduction

The term `New Age Movement' is really a misnomer.  The New Age Movement has no common creed or unifying principles.  It is much more a very loose coalition of religious groupings that have rejected mainstream religious ideas based on a text or a creed and have moved into experential religion and then worked out the theology afterwards.

Thus, there have arisen many and often very bizarre theologies but there does seem to be two major streams of New Age thinking:

The first denies the existence of "God" as a distinct being at all, but considers us each to be like an atom of God.  It is the universal life-flow or collective conscience or "energy" of all humanity that describes God.  This is clearly linked to some Eastern religious ideas;

The second is rather more sophisticated and does have a definite dualistic [87] concept within it.  It is rooted in the theosophy of the late 19th century and the mystical works of people like Alice Bailey and Alistair Crowley.

Many of the "ancient" religions such as paganism and druidism have found a home within the New-Age umbrella.  In response to this, many liberal theologians, have been at pains to reconcile themselves to this this new religious experience and move into "real" spiritual experiences from their dead and rationalistic theologies of christianity.

7.3.2  New Age as an extension of 19th Century Theosophy

The foundational  beliefs  are  those  of  the theosophists  like  Alice  Bailey and  the  occultist Alistair Crowley.  They established a  "Plan"  in  just the last 120 years for the close of this Age.  According to the  revelation given to Alice Bailey by the familiar spirit she knew as "The  Tibetan"  and her other spiritual guides there would be a revelation of the  "New  Age Christ" who would abolish all the forms of religion and establish a  new one. 

In their view, the great religious leaders of history be they Jesus, Buddha, Confucius or Mohammed are all claimed to have had "Christ consciousness" but are not the Christ.  They are simply disciples of the true `New Age' Christ, the Maitereya [88] .

He would embrace all religions  but  those  who  insisted  in  remaining fundamentalist (i.e. refusing to  adopt  this  new  religion)  would be "removed to a different plane of existence"   (i.e.  killed).   She was given a detailed plan for the structure and development of  the  New Age movement which  her  "disciples"  and  fellow  travellers  have  rigidly adhered to.

This plan instructed the Movement going public  in  the mid-1970s which it did do.  Since then it really has  spread  world  wide.   Groups  like Greenpeace,  Friends  of   the   Earth,   Amnesty  International, "Aid" groups and  countless  other  establishements  and  organisations all have "New  Age" thinking  at  the  centre  of  their  constitutions [89]

They all look forward to  this  "New  World  Order"  of  "peace".  New Age elements are now found in the  training  programs  of  BT, IBM, ICI and countless other businesses.  New Age churches are just  beginning to appear in this country.

One of the unifying beliefs among all the major  religions  which  have helped them to accomodate this kind of "New Age" theology is the appearence  at the End of The Age of an incarnation of God.  To the Moslems it is  the Iman Mhadi, to the Hindus it is Krishna, to the Buddhists it is the 6th incarnation of Buddha, to the Jews it is the Messiah, to the Christian  it is the Second Coming of Jesus. 

Liberal theologians have disputed the textual and historical accuracy of the Bible and so have removed the boundaries of what constitutes christianity and what does not.  Islam and the other major religions all have a mystical tradition whose meditation practices and experiences are very similar to the New Age ones.  There has also been the nominal element that have been pleased to embrace this "new" experience. 

All these elements have allowed New Age ideas to make large in roads into traditional religion.  There have been new "services" held in the cathedrals up and down Britain where any reference that imply a christian religious bias are removed and the word "God" is simply substituted.        

7.3.3  New Age as an extension of Eastern Mysticism

The lack of a common theology, at least for the novice New-Ager looking for spiritual experience, has led to a description of the groups as `networked'.  This means they are informally linked but distinct enough so that when any scandal occurs, the rest can dissociate themselves. 

New Age thinking of this sort shares that emphasis on  "goodness"  to one another and  the  planet.   The emphasis of "finding your true self" is very strong. The New Age   thinking   embraces everything   from Enviromentalism, "alternative"  medicine,  vegetarianism  and   veganism, reflexology, chiropody, transcendental meditation,  spiritualism  and  yoga as the means of spiritual improvement. [90]

The experential emphasis of this type of New Age has meant that there have been supernatural manifestations such as healings, miracles, tongues, visions, prophecy, astral travel, global "link-ups", and a heightened moral sense of our common humanity.  There has been a rejection of scientific rationalism and a return to spiritual intuition most explicitly seen in the emphasis on "alternative" medicines [91]

For these reasons, the freshness and warmth of many such New Age groups and a progressive lifestyle has brought in many searchers and seekers and those bored with dead, ritualistic mainstream religious ideas.  Natural friends to New Age are Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism and related practices such as Yoga [92] and meditation that have emphasised self-improvement and harmonisation with the natural rhythms of the universe as part of their creeds.

7.3.4  New Age and the Bible

Bible believing born-again Christians, would assert  that the New Age movement is a conspiracy of Satan  to  procure His ultimate desire of the worship of Mankind.  They would point to the words of Jesus and other prophetic words.  The apostle John explaining  to confused believers about the "End Times" clearly states this type of  doctrine as Antichrist:

'Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard  that  the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour...Who is a liar but he  who  denies that  Jesus is the Christ ?  He is antichrist who denies the Father  and the  Son.'        

1 John 2,18-22

The apostle Paul writes concerning the Antichrist also.  He  shows  all the elements of theosophical New Age thinking where a man will emerge to establish a new world religion:

'Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the  son  of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called  God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.'         

2 Thessalonians 2,3-4

Jesus revealed to the  apostle  John  in  His  Revelation  a  "false Christ" who would establish a new world political, economic and religious system requiring universal observance:

'Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and  he  had  two horns like a lamb [93] and spoke like a dragon [94] .  And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in  his presence, and causes the earth and those to dwell in it to worship  the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed [95] ....And he causes  all, both  small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive  a mark on  their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no  one  may  buy and  sell except one who has the mark or the  name  of  the  beast,  or the  number of his name.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Revelation 13,vv11-12,16-17

Within the New Age Movement we also see  a  high  degree  of spiritual potency with counterfeit healings and miracles, signs and wonders.  All manner of spiritual  manifestation  from  astral  projection  and  mind transfer to speaking in  tongues  is  seen.   Again  the  apostle  Paul identifies this with the Antichrist and it is mentioned to John by Jesus in His Revelation:

'The coming of the lawless one is according to the  working  of  Satan, with all power, signs and  lying  wonders,  and  with  all  unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.'                                                                                                                  

2 Thessalonians 9-10


'He performs great signs, so that he even makes  fire  come  down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.'

Revelation 13,13


The version of New Age that likes to see itself as "God" or God being within us is perhaps very close to the original lie of the Devil:

'And the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.  For  God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened,  and  you will be like God [96] , knowing good and evil.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Genesis 3,4-5

7.4  Christianity and the nature of salvation

What makes Christianity fundamentally different from any other relgious system is that it does not rely on self-improvement  to make you acceptable to God.  It does not rely on the following of a strict moral code or some divine commandments.  It does not rely on an inward seeking after truth through mystical experiences or an isolation from the world in some retreat.

It relies on the acceptance by the individual of the work of Jesus alone on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for their imperfection.  Jesus paid the price for their sin and that it was the price of his body and his blood that releases the individual to have fellowship with God: 

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God."                                                                 

Ephesians 2,8


"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men...that blessed hope...our Saviour Jesus Christ:  who gave himself for us, that he might redeem [97] us from all iniquity...."

Titus 2,11-13


"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.  Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Galatians 1,3-4


"But what saith it ?  The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:  that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart one believeth unto righteousness:  and with the mouth confession is made to salvation."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Romans 10,8-10

      The key to salvation in christianity is faith in the Lord Jesus.  Good works and spiritual searching follow in christianity because of the experience of God's Spirit coming to dwell in us and giving us a completely new nature:

Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God."                                                                                                                    

John 3,3


"...the truth is in Jesus:  that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man:  which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  and be renewed in the spirit of your mind:  and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."                                                                                                                                       Ephesians 4,21-24

      Good works aside from faith in God are worthless:

"What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found ?  For, if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory;  but not before God.  For what sayeth the scripture ? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Romans 4,1-5

Have no illusions about what the  Bible  says  about  other  religions.  They are counterfeits and deception designed by Satan  to  keep  people from the simple truths of the gospel.  This is not to say that they have no value as far as human beings are concerned. Religion can often make people more moral and concerned about others.  But then, as humanists and rationalists of the 20th century have argued, why bother to put God in at all, just isolate the moral and social teaching and build a society on those secular precepts.  It is notable that Karl Marx did his degree dissertation on the gospel of John.

Once you are concerned about God, then you need to understand how different religions perceive God.  Christianity is the only concept of God that has God himself as a Saviour.  Jesus is the only person who has ever claimed to be the truth and not just a messenger or a prophet of God.

Jesus came and claimed to be the Son of God and the  only  Way  to  the Father.  He performed signs and wonders, miracles and healings and had a spiritual solution to every conceivable problem, be it physical, human or spiritual, that had never before been seen on earth.  His words remain a challenge to all those people who would be truly spiritual:   

'let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel,  that  by  the name of Jesus Christ of Nazereth,  whom  you  crucified,  whom  God raised  from  the  dead,  by  Him  this  man  stands  here  before  you whole...Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among  men  by  which  we  must  be  saved.'                           Acts  4,10-12


8. The Triune Nature Of God

8.1  Introduction

Consider this quotation  of  Genesis  1,26:

`Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..."'

Note  that God refers to Himself in the plural, "Us".  Thus God is referring to Himself not in the singular but in the plural.  The immediate suggestion is that God, although a single enity, is not just one person but a combination of persons.

This has always been a controversial doctrine and is one of the concepts that strongly divides Christianity from Islam [98] and even orhodox Judaism.  Certain "Protestant" groupings have also  seen this as a "Catholic" doctrine and the various quasi-Christian groups such as the Christadelphians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of the Latter-Day Saints [99] , Armstrongism, [100] Seventh-Day Adventist, Church of Christ-Scientist to name a few, all have rejected this doctrine.

However, it is possible to show that this is the universal teaching of the Bible from even the first verse in it and some theologians  consider the acceptance of the Trinity doctrine by a group or church [101] as one of the signs of genuine Biblical Christianity. The aim of this chapter is to show in as simplest a way as possible, a case for the Trinity or "Godhead" [102] .

You may find the threads of argument rather abstract and difficult to follow in the first section that traces the Trinity in the Old Testament.  This is necessarily so as references to the Trinity are veiled in these early writings of Moses and need to be carefully drawn out.

They are not explicit for very good reasons which I can briefly say here were to do with the spiritual culture at the time. I devote a section to this cultural aspect at the end of the chapter.  As the spiritual culture of the Hebrews and then Israel develops we see more and more explicit mention of all members of the Trinity. 


Thus, in the following two sections which look at how the Trinity in the  words of the Apostles of Jesus and of Jesus Himself it becomes explicitly part of their doctrine. Perhaps the most exciting account of the Trinity is Jesus' own account where He not only expounds the Trinity but then claims to be a member of it.

8.2  The Trinity in the Old Testament

8.2.1  The Trinity in Creation

The first three verses of the Bible are as follows:

'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was  without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.   And  the SPIRIT of God was hovering over the face of the waters.   Then  GOD  SAID  "Let there be..." '

Genesis 1,1-3

There are three distinct references to the being "God" here.   First in verse 1 we see "God".  In the original Hebrew this is the plural word  Elohim, a collective and general term  describing  that the being called "God" was the creating source of the Universe.  Elohim can be equated with some of the uses of the term Father in the New Testament.

In verse  2  we see an unveiling of this being "God".  He has a spiritual presence, a personality,   hovering and brooding [103] over the formless, judged planet. In verse 3 God spoke.  Form was not given to  the  world  until the Word of God was involvedIn the new covenant we would normally say the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It was the "Word of God" that gave  the  creative will of  Elohim its physical existence and then its life.   The Spirit of  God  was the medium thorugh which the power contained in the Word of God by the will of Elohim brought the Universe into existence.

These are quite obscure references to the Trinity and I am not attempting to prove the notion on this basis alone.  The important point I am making is that God wants Himself to be understood by spiritual Men, from the very beginning of the Bible, to be a triune being. 

Further evidence is provided by chapter two of Genesis.   Consider  the passage below:

'Then God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because in it  He rested from all His work which God had created and made.  This  is the history [104] of the heavens and the earth when they were  created,  in the day that the LORD God made the  earth  and  the  heavens...'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Genesis  2,3-4

Both the collective term "God" and  "LORD  God"  (Jehovah [105] Elohim) are used.  Here the "Word  of  God"  of  verse  one,  the  actual  creating personality, is revealed to be Jehovah Elohim.   However, the fact that the creation is attributed also to Jehovah Elohim suggests that each member of the Trinity is as much "God" in all his fulness as any individual.. 

This is again confirmed by the fact that it  was  also  Jehovah Elohim that walked in the garden with Man.  Jehovah Elohim spoke to Man in the garden and  and so we can  conclude  that the Word of God appears to have a body.  It is the image or likeness of Jehovah Elohim,  how God chooses to reveal Himself to us:

'And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.' 

Genesis 2,8

8.2.2  The Trinity in the early history of Man

Chapter four of Genesis sees the first use of the  single  term  "LORD".  The fact here that the LORD spoke  to Cain again suggests that the Word of God is present.  However, there is no mention that God appeared to Cain.  The Word of God was brought to Him by the Spirit of God

This is exactly what Jesus spoke about the Spirit of God and is useful confirmation of the coherence of God through thr ages.  The oneness of God is again underlined by the fact both the Spirit and the Word are ascribed the name Jehovah.

If we move on to chapter 11 then we  see  the another revelation of the Trinity.  The  "LORD"  came from heaven to earth and spoke to the rest of God  in  heaven  (also referred to as the LORD) to  decide a course of action:

'But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of  men had built...The LORD said, "Come let Us go down and there confuse  their language  that they may  not  understand  one  another's speech."  '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Genesis  11,6-7

A pattern begins to emerge through Genesis in God's dealings with early Man after the Fall  and it involves all the Trinity.  Normally the will of God (Jehovah Elohim, "God", the Father) was first spoken (the Word of God, the Son ) through the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) to a person God was dealing with.  Once this person had decided to yoke or covenant themselves to God, God would then appear and speak with  them face to face. [106]

8.2.3  The Trinity in the history of Israel

Once God had established the covenant with Abraham there is a sequence of events tracing the development of the Hebrew ethnic group.  They were Abraham's descendants.  Israel really became a nation when Moses led them out of Egypt.

The  book of Exodus make particularly interesting reading  with regards to the activity of the Trinity.  A very interesting passage is given below:

"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush....And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush...."

Exodus 3,2-4

God and LORD are clearly interchanged here.  It is interesting that it was the LORD who saw and God who called.  The former, I would hypothesise refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Elohim) but the second, by defintion, must be the Word of God.  This reinforces the idea of the oneness of God and that one member of the Trinity  has a body and so speaks in a way that we can hear with our physical senses.  This Word of God speaks the will of Jehovah Elohim and yet is still called God in his fulness [107] .

The battle that Moses has with Pharoah's sorcerers and magicians illustrates the activity of the Spirit of God.  He is clearly omnipresent as the whole region of Egypt was affected.  It is interesting to note that, just as in creation, the power of the Spirit of God was released by being spoken.. 

There is the same pattern of God's will being performed by the Spirit who is released by words.  Anothe passages shows this power carrying aspect of the Spirit and how the Spirit is also everything that God is:

"And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying....I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship..."

Exodus 31,1-3

Notice how the Spirit and the LORD are distinct personalities but both ascribed to God ?  The Spirit has all God's wisdom and ability and here He gives it to men.  The Spirit of God is omnipresent whereas God who spoke to Moses face to face had a body.  He was a different personality but still God:

"And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.."

Exodus 33,11

A most powerful example of the distinctness of the personalities within the Trinity is seen further on in Israel's history when they had just crossed the river Jordan and were to go and conquer the land that God had given them.  We see the physical mainifestation of God's person again:

`And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn....And he captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.  And Joshua fell on his face to....worship...And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, ".Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place where on thou standest is holy.." '

Joshua 5,13-15

      This captain of the host was in fact the LORD God.  No other being apart from God may be worshipped [108] .  It is interesting to notice that Joshua was asked to do the same as Moses was when God appeared to Him in the burning bush.

I sense in some of the passages the intimate relationship that the Godhead has with each other.  The Father, Spirit and Word talk about each other and their work.  The next passages are God reflecting on the work of the LORD in earlier generations of Israel:

"And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice....I prove Israel, whether they they will keep the way of the LORD..."

Judges 2,20-22


"And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1 Kings 11,9

`And the LORD said unto Satan, "the LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem...." '

Zechariah 3,2

      Notice how the LORD talks about the LORD.  It is impossible to ascribe the personalities from just this passage which again underlies that any part of the Trinity is God in His completeness and has full rights to be called the name of God, the LORD. 

The Trinity do not work independant from each other but together:

"And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer....And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him.."

Judges 3,9-10

Their wills are in complete harmony.  The Spirit spoke the words of God and the Word Himself would often appear to those whom the Spirit spoke:

"Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down:  and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth...And the LORD came and stood, and called as at other times.  Then Samuel answered, Speak..."                         

1 Samuel 3,9-10

Notice how Samuel could not see the LORD.  Thus, the Spirit was there.  However, notice also how the LORD stood there and called.  The Word of God must also have been there.

All the prophets of God had powerful revelations of God.  Ezekiel experienced the Trinity in a very unique way.  The Father, Word and Spirit were all involved in a revelation of the future.  The Word was guiding and talking to Ezekiel while the Spirit moved him and the Father's glory was seen:

"So the spirit took me up, and brought me to into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.  And I heard him [109] speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.  And he said unto me, Son of  man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever...."

Ezekiel 43,5

Ezekiel had the most remarkable encounter with the Trinity.  The chapters 40 onwards in his book show how the Father, Word and Spirit are all of one God and yet all distinct.  The "man" in the above who talks to Ezekiel about his throne must be God. 

Yet this same man continually talks about what the Lord GOD is saying:

`And he said unto me, "Son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD..." '

Ezekiel Chpt 43

The reversal of the capitalisation is significant here.  "Lord" is a term referring to the office of God.  It means supreme, sovereign, King of kings.  GOD is an alternative transliteration of  the Hebrew text normally transliterated as LORD.  This term is the name [110] of God:  who He is:

`Then brought he me the way....and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD....and the LORD said unto me..'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ezekiel 44, 4-5

The use by God when talking to Ezekiel of both "LORD" and Lord is to describe Himself and His purposes to Ezekiel:  what He is, who He is and why He does.  It reveals the natural attributes of Trinity, omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence.  It also reveals the wisdom and benevolence of God. 

It really was an astonishing revelation that the prophet received although he never made any attempt to explain it.  I believe that it is only with the knowledge of the nature and structure of the New Testament church that you could go any way to understanding this revelation.  Thus, it is an appropriate place to move on to the Trinity in the New Testament.

8.3 The Trinity explained by Jesus

Jesus referred to Himself in a very unusual way.  He constantly used the titles `Son of Man' and `Son of God':

`Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed ?"  And Jesus said, "I am:  and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." '

Mark 14,61-62

      To the religious authorities of his day, these were considered blasphemous titles because Jesus was claiming the divinity and position of God for himself.  He eventually offended the religious conscience of the religious and political leaders that it lead to his crucifixion:

`Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, "What need  we any further witnesses ?  Ye have heard the blasphemy:  what think ye ?" And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.'

Mark 14,63-64

Jesus expresses this fact that He  was  God emptied of the power of God in His final prayer to the Father.   He  refers to Himself as a "Name" by which God reveals Himself to Man:

"Father, the hour has come.  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son  also may glorify You...glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.  I have manifested  Your Name to the  men you have given Me out of the world."

John 17,1-6

This is reaffirmed by Old Testament prophecies of Isiah  that Jesus  is "God  with  Us" in the flesh:

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Behold,  the  virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall  call  His  name  Immanuel. [111] Isiah 7,14


"For unto us a Child is  born,  Unto  us  a  Son  is  given;   and  the government will be upon His shoulder.  And  His  name  will  be called  Wonderful,  Counselor,  Mighty  God,  Everlasting  Father,  Prince   of  Peace...' 

Isiah 9,6

There were also times during Jesus' ministry on Earth when He took  the covenant  names of God revealed to the ancient Israelites for himself.  That is, the names that God revealed Himself to Moses:

'Then Moses said to God,  "Indeed  when  I  come  to  the  children  of Israel...and they say to me, 'What is His name ?' what shall I  say  to them ?"  And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM...thus shall you say to  the children of Israel, I AM [112] has sent me to you." '

Exodus 3,13-14


'Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not fifty years old and  you  have seen Abraham ?"  Jesus said to them, "Most  assuredly  I  say  to  you, before Abraham was, I AM." ' 

John 8,57-58


"Therefor I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if  you  do  not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." 

John 8,24


"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you  do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins...when you lift up the  Son of Man, then you will know that I AM and that I can do  nothing  of Myself but as my Father taught Me, I speak these things." 

John 8,28

It is interesting to note that at the end of this exposition of his divinity the religious Jews, who were prepared to consider him a teacher and perhaps even the Messiah, took up rocks to stone him because they believed he was speaking blasphemy in calling himself God.  On another occasion, even his hitherto loyal followers that had witnessed his miracles and been taught by him were shocked by these claims:

"Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God."

John 6,45-46

Notice how Jesus talks about how he has seen the Father and yet he still calls himself a man and God.  He continues in this same discourse:

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven...As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father:  so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."

John 6,vv51,57

      At this point his disciples took offence and could not believe Jesus was claiming to be of the Father, in other words, to be God.  Jesus then replied in even stronger terms and laid out the challenge that he reiterated later, that you  must believe that he is God to ever know God:

`he said unto them, "Doth this offend you ?  What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before ?....Therefore said I that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."

John 6,vv62,65

      At this point many of his disciples left following Jesus and he, sensing that even his closest doubted, challenged them:

`From that time many of his disciples went back....Then Jesus said unto the twelve,  "Will ye also go away ?".  Then Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go ?  Thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

John 6,66-68

Even today, the divinity of Christ is the point at which many shrink back from Christianity.  Few people fail to realise the enormous potency of Jesus' moral and social teaching, but few will go on to accept his spiritual teaching that he is the creative power of the Universe.  Even amongst those that do, there are many who rank Jesus as inferior to the Father in the God-head. 

Jesus is not in anyway inferior, he was, as the Old Testament prophecies of Isiah say, God in the flesh .  He was the nature and attributes of God in a human body.  I spoke in the section in the Old Testament about part of the Trinity appearing in human form from time to time. 

I called this the Word of God as it was always with words that God would address humans.  I also hypothesised that the other members of the Trinity were the Spirit and the Father and that each could be viewed as all God as well as their individual personalities.  It was the will of the Father released by His Word and empowered by His Spirit that brought creation into being.

This is explicitly stated in the New Testament:

`In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Lord was God.... All things were made by him...'

John 1,vv1,3

Further evidence of the divinity  of  Christ  is  seen  in  that  Jesus requires worship in order for God to be worshipped.  Unless the Name of Jesus is exalted God the Father is not being exalted:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of  Himself,  but what He sees the Father do;  for whatever He does, the Son does in like  manner...For the Father judges noone but has committed all judgement to  the Son, that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father.   He who does honour the Son does not honour the Father  who sent  Him."  

John 5,19-23

Here we see that Jesus identifies Himself  as  the  "Son"  of  God  and refers to another part of God as the "Father".  The "Son" of God is the  part of God that is the physical presence of God and  so  we  can  conclude that He is the Word of God, the LORD God described in Genesis as the Creator and  the LORD who walked in the garden with Adam and Eve.

Jesus also reveals much more than anywhere else in scripture about  the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.  Jesus  gives  us  an  in depth look into His person and nature in John  chapters  14-16.  

Jesus  tells it is by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us that we will get to  know God in this age.  He is the Helper and the Teacher.  The One who brings  the words of Jesus to us in this age.  The One who will forewarn us  of impending events and remind us of Jesus' words:

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper,  that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth...for He dwells with you and will be in you...the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom  the  Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring  to  your remembrance all things that I said to you...He will not  speak  on  His own, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell  you things to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take  of  what  is  mine  and declare it to you." 

John 14,vv16,17,26 & 16,13,14

This is perhaps the most explicit statement of the reality of the Trinity.  Jesus talks about asking the Father to send the Holy Spirt who will remain with all believers and tell them his words.  Jesus is clearly identifying his own words as the Father's words.  He is clearly identifying the Holy Spirit as God's presence amongst his people.which is the fufilment of what the prophet of Ezekiel saw and what God spoke to him:

"At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

John 14,20


"And the glory that thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be made one, even as we are one;  I in them, and thou in me..."

John 17,22-23

After his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit:

`Then said Jesus to them again, "Peace be unto you:  as my [113] Father hath sent me, even so send I you."  And...he breathed on them and saith unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit...."

John 21,21-22

Jesus was still a man.  His disciples thought He was a spirit appearing as a man but Jesus made it clear He was a man:

`And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, "Peace..." But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed they had seen a spirit.  And he said unto them, "Why are ye troubled....Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself:  handle me, and see:  for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have"...And he took, and did eat before them.'

Luke 24,vv36-39,43

Jesus also spoke of a baptism in the Holy Spirit that his disciples would receive.  The Holy Spirit is confirmed as being the carrier of spiritual and creative power as I hypothesised in the first section:

`And he said unto them...."ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you:  and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Acts 1,7-8

Up to this point in history, the Jewish disciples of Jesus still did not have any real concept of the Trinity.  It was only expounded and became part of christian doctrine when an early convert, Saul of Tarsus, later the apostle Paul, experienced a supernatural revelation of the divinity of Christ.  Thus, it is now appropriate that we go on and examine this revelation and others that came to the church in the immediate period that marked the spread of christianity from Israel.

8.4  The Trinity in Epistles and the book of Revelation

8.4.1  The Pauline Revelation

Paul had much to say on the subject of the divinity of Christ and thus the Trinity. The book of Hebrews [114] where Jesus identifies Jesus, the Son of God, as  the  creative power of the Universe:

'But to the Son  He  says:   "You,  LORD,  in  the  beginning  laid  the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands...'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Hebrews 1,vv8,10

Paul does the same in the book of Colossians:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that  are  on earth, visible and invisible...For it pleased the Father  that  in  Him all the fulness should dwell...' 

Colossians 1,vv15,16,19


"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

Colossians 2,9

We see Jesus, the "image" of God described  also  as  the  "fulness"  of God.  Jesus is both our "Lord God" and "Father God".  This confirms my hypothesis in earlier sections that each member of the Godhead is on an equal footing.  It is by the Spirit of God that God dwells within and amongst His people:

"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

Ephesians 2,21-22


"One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Ephesians 4,5-6

This  is  why  so  many  greetings and blessings in the epistles are in  the Name  of  God  the  Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus has both the nature  of  the resurrected born-again Man  which is the same as the nature of God.  This is of course what God intended when he created Man in his image.

He is  both the fulness of Man and the fulness of God.  When we look at Jesus  we are looking to God.  This is what Jesus said when He was  questioned  by puzzled disciples wrestling with this concept:

'Philip said to Him, "Lord show us the Father and it is sufficient  for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so  long,  and  yet  you have not known Me, Philip ?  He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"                        

John 14,9

Paul, by the power of revelation, describes Jesus as "man" in 1 Tim 2,5 and as the Creator God in Hebrews 1.  Jesus referred to himself as both  the Son of God and the Son of Man throughout the gospels.  He  is the firstborn of both God and Man according to Colossians  1. 

It was and is always through His Word that God reveals His will.  It is an accepted principle of Bible interpretation that the Old Testament contains many types of the New Testament church practice and structure.  A physical pattern in the Old Covenant represents the spiritual relationship in the New Covenant.

Again in another of Paul's teachings we see the description of Jesus as the Son of God who emptied Himself and came to earth as a man to  be a perfect sacrifice for the sin of all  Mankind.   This  sacrifice  would reconcile all Mankind to God:

'Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being  in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, coming in  the likeness of men...He humbled Himself and became  obedient  to  death,  even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given  Him the Name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every  knee should bow...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ  is  Lord,  to the glory of God the Father.'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Philippians 2,5-11

      Paul also talks about the ministry of the Holy Spirit and identifies a personality:

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for  us that the blessing of Abraham may come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ;  that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith...." 

Galatians 3,13-14

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God...."

Ephesians 4,30


"But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to everyman severally as he will..."

1 Corinthians 12,11

      Paul's letters and the other letters of the new testament by Peter, John and Jude are particularly noted for their apparently exclusive use of the terms "Lord", God, Spirit and Father rather than the old Jewish covenenat name of God.  Whenever the apostles talk about Jesus they emphasise his office as sovereign of the universe by giving him the title Lord.  This is what the prophet of Ezekiel wrote in his revelation of the temple.

8.4.2  The Trinity in the book of Revelation

The book of Revelation is another powerful source of information regarding the Trinity.  It also helps to tie together some of the cosmic statements Jesus made about Himself regarding judgement that again show him to be the sovereign of the Universe.

We can start at the first chapter of Revelation and immediately we see Jesus taking the title of supreme ruler of the Universe for Himself:`And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.  And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me,

"Fear not, I am the first and the last:  I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.  Amen; and have the keys of hell and death."

Revelation 1,17-18

The first and the last implies that He is the origin of space and time.  There is no being or existence beyond Him.  Another very revealing phrase of Jesus is repeated in each of his exhortations to the young churches:

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Revelation 2,vv7,17,29 & 3,vv6,13,22

In each of these cases it is the Spirit of God speaking through the Word of God to the Father's people. The Spirit is directly quoted in another place:

`And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: ", "Yea", saith the Spirit, "That they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."

Revelation 14,13

      In these later chapters we see the revelation of the Son as the Lamb of God that confirms that Jesus on earth was indeed God from heaven.  Chapter 19 shows an awesome picture of His glory and how he conquered the powers of evil by the shedding of his blood on the cross and how he now holds the power of judgement over the entire Universe:

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was faithful and true, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. ...And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood:  and his name is called the Word of God.  And the armies of heaven followed him...and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

Revelation 19,13-16

This confirms Jesus' identity as the Word of God and his office as supreme ruler of the Universe.  The book of Revelation also shows the Judgement-Day scenario where each human that has lived stands before God:

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away....And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God....and were judged every man according to their works...And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

Revelation 20,11-15

This provides confirmation of Jesus' own words with regard to Judgement Day:

"When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  And before him will be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another...[some] to everlasting punishment; but the righteous to life eternal."

Matthew 25,vv31-32,46

Thus, we see that Jesus is identifying himself as the God who judges the whole of humanity.  The last two chapters of the Bible complete this revelation of Jesus as God and we hear the Spirit also speak:

`And he said unto me, "It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things:  and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." '

Revelation 21,6-7

`And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come"..'

Revelation 22,17

Thus, by the end of the bible, we see the Trinity as explicit.  Why did God keep this veiled at the beginning of the bible ?  This is the subject of the next section.

8.5  The Trinity and the spiritual culture of Israel

The aim of this section is to advance the argument that God veiled the Trinity when he revealed himself to the Israelites because of their inability at that particular time to understand the concept.

God always relates to human beings always on a level that they can understand.  The imagery and appearence God uses is always appropriate to the culture and understanding of a nation or of an individual.  For example, he appeared to Adam and Eve as a man.  He appeared to Moses and the elders of Israel as the Lawgiver.  He appeared to Pharoah's sorcerers and magicians as the supreme sorcerer.  He appeared to Joshua, the soldier and commander of Israel's forces, as the Captain of the Lord's Armies.  He appeared to Elisha's servant who feared because of the battle as armies of flaming chariot's upon the surrounding mountains.

The Hebrew spiritual culture in Israel would have been effected by the Egyptian polytheism.  There would appear to be many "gods" that were the "gods of Egypt".  At that particular time, each nation would have its gods in which it trusted and built temples to and held festivals in honour of.

God revealed Himself in line with this concept of a national "god".  He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The fathers of the Hebrew ethnic group.  One of their first acts to honour Him would be to have a feast for Him.  This was within their concept. 

When the Egyptians resisted his will, He revealed Himself to the slaves in Egypt as the mightiest of all gods by judging the gods of Egypt and delivering them from bondage.   They would have seen their God as a fighter which was needed in their concept so that they could believe they would be free.

Very early on, God was concerned to establish His Lordship and an end to worshipping of other deities.  He proved to Israel that He was El Shaddai, which is translated in our bibles as the Almighty.  That is how Israel knew their god until the covenant with Moses was made. 

He then gave himself a name, although it was unpronounable, it was symbolic.  He became the "God of Israel."  In conversations with the most spiritual men at the time, he started revealing that it was His Spirit that came upon them and that dwelt in the tabernacle he instructed them to build.

As God dealt with his people he started giving compound names for himself that identified aspects of his character.  The Israelites, in common with other peoples, believed that a person's nature was contained in their name.  Thus, the names of a nations gods would tell you something about their nature.  Often a nation would have different gods that they called on for their needs.

As the name God gave himself was unpronoucable, the Hebrews knew little of their God apart from what they had seen.  God began, through circumstances the nation found themselves in, to reveal more and more what kind of a God he was.  He was showing them they no longer needed any of those other gods, for He was sufficient for all their needs.

He eventually gave them these covenant names that have been transliterated as:

Jehovah-Raphah:the Lord the physician;

Jehovah-Jireh:  the Lord the provider;

Jehovah-Nissi:the Lord our banner (of war);

Jehovah-Tsidkenu:the Lord our righteousness;

Jehovah-Shalom:the Lord our peace;

Jehovah-Shammah:the Lord is there.

This would have been in a manner familiar to the Hebrews but distinct enough for God to establish His uniqueness and supremacy over all the other gods of the surrounding nations.  It was only after all this revelation to the nation that God revealed Himself as triune, and he had to be there to do it.

The problem that would have arisen in the minds of the Israelites if God had revealed himself as a triune being was simple.  They would have thought He was three gods and not one God.  This is an objection that orthodox Jews still make of the Messianic Jews.  God made it very clear to the Hebrews that he was one God and not many:

"Hear, O Israel:  The LORD our God, the LORD is one."

Deuteronomy 6,4

The apostle Paul made this absolutely clear when He was writing to  the Hebrew church.  They probably the same great difficulty  in  accepting  that Jesus the Christ was in fact part of a three-part God.  That He was actually part of Jehovah  who  was their God:

'GOD (Jehovah), who at various times and in  different  ways  spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir  of  all  things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and  the express image of His person...when He had  by  Himself purged our  sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on  the  Son (Jesus) He says:  "Your throne, O God, is  forever and  forever...You, LORD, (Jehovah) in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,  And the heavens are the work of your hands..." ' 

Hebrews 1,1-10

This  is a challenging passage to the Jewish believers as   it   makes  the Jesus they knew of in the flesh as  interchangeable with "Jehovah".  Even Peter had difficulty with accepting this and it took a divine revelation to Paul, who had not seen the ministry of Jesus in the same way but had had a post-resurrection experience of Jesus in his glory, to establish this doctrine.  It was certainly a unique concept at the time.  There were other "three-god" figureheads but they were distinct entities, not a single entity.

It often proves a stumbling block to many but it is absolutely essential that we understand God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that there is no rank of authority or greatness among them.  All are God in his fulness but it is through giving honour to the Son through the Holy Spirit in us, that we give honour to the Father:

`Jesus saith unto her..."the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:  for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit:  and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

John 4,23

`Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." '

John 14,6

It is by having Jesus in his rightful place that we give honour and worship to God.  Now that we have this revelation of God, we must align ourselves with it.  God forebears new converts in their ignorance but he wants all to experience his fulness and to enter his presence through Jesus being exalted.

8.6  Summary

In this lengthy chapter on the Trinity I have attempted to show the following aspects of  the revelation of God to us in the bible:


We see that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are  three  distinct personalities but one God.  I compared this to us being body, soul and  spirit.  We all operate in agreement just as God does;

The  Father is the part of  God  that  was the origin of the all things and "thinks"  through  according  to  His  absolute wisdom and purpose  every  event  that  takes  place  in  the  Universe.  He is the directing will of the Universe.  In all benevolence, He works all things to His purpose:  ' whom also we have an inheritance, being predestined according to  the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His  will...'; [115]

The Son of God was the part of God that came in the flesh and became  a  sacrifice of atonement to redeem us and to give us the power to  become  God's children:   'He has delivered us from the power of darkness and  translated  usinto  the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption  through  His blood, the forgiveness of sins.  He is the image of  the  invisible  God, the firstborn over all creation.'. [116]

The Holy Spirit is the part of God that dwells in us and  among  us to  reveal the plan and purposes God has for our lives:   'But God has revealed  to  us  through  His  Spirit.   For  the  Spirit  searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what  man  knows  the things of a man except the spirit of the man  which  is  in  him  ? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of  God.' [117]

To give honour to god we must accept that there is no rank within the Trinity.  Each member is all of God but has a unique personality.  We give honour to the Father bu worshipping the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit.



First of all, I hope you have  enjoyed  reading  this.   The  Christian  faith is very simple and I would like to finish by leaving you  with  a  reminder:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only  begotten  Son,  that  whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting  life."                                                                                                                                                                                  John 3,16


'...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe  in  your  heart that God has raised Him  from  the  dead,  you  will  be  saved.'                                                                                                                                                                               Romans 10,8

If you feel now that you want to be reconciled  to  God  then  say  the following prayer and Jesus will come into your heart:

Dear Lord Jesus, I realise now I am a sinner:  I have fallen  short  of  your requirements for my life.  I want to  turn  around  and  begin  to  follow you.  Thankyou that your blood was shed for the  forgiveness  of  my sins.  I accept you as my Lord.   Please  come  into  my  heart  and  transform me into the person you want me to be.  Amen



[1] That is, a significant textual variant considered by the Nestle-Aland committee to have less evidence to support it than the majority text but not so little evidence that it should be disregarded.  See the section on Textual Criticism below.

[2] Professor Carson’s Exegetical Fallacies is a relentless study of the perils of eisegetical exegesis, whether deliberate or not!  See the bibliography.

[3] Look for some the link on the home page to the introduction to textual criticism.

[4] For example, the copyist misunderstood a letter and changed the word;  an editor enhanced a claim to the divinity of Christ (e.g. in the introduction to Mark) or an editor added words that seemed to be missing but clear from context.

[5] Much of what passes for “fundamentalism” is probably more accurately described as a crude literalism, religious nationalism or most commonly, as a media-cliché to describe any forceful statement of a religious nature.  For the difficulty in the modern usage of the term and the background to its modern broad usage and subsequent imprecision, see… .

[6] A simple example is in the reporting of the death of Judas which are different in their chronology and significantly different in the details of his death between the gospels, reflecting different versions of the narrative amongst the early believers.

[7] Neo-orthodoxy is a movement associated most immediately with Karl Barth.

[8] Essential background reading on the cultural assumptions Western analytical thought brings to the theological table is found in Ong’s Literacy and Orality.

[9] See James Barr’s Fundamentalism for a thorough discussion of the issues surrounding fundamentalist hermeneutics and interpretation.  I cite further works by James Barr in the bibliography.  Barr was one of the first orthodox theologians to critique fundamentalism.

[10] Most directly, fundamentalism emerged from the theology of Charles Hodge and the Princeton School.  A C Warfield hardened Hodge’s systematic theology at the beginning of the 20th century to form the basis of “fundamentalist” ideology.  Fundamentalism is distinguished by its rejection of the mystical in favour of the propositional.  It places supreme confidence in “reason, correctly applied” to solve theological problems.  Fundamentalism is not always as dogmatic and anti-intellectual as it characterised to be (though it sometimes is), some of the early fundamentalists were scholarly men and there is still a solid body of fundamentalist and conservative scholars who provide a robust defence of various conservative theological positions.

[11] The name of this person has  been changed in response to their request.

[12] The name of this person has been changed at a friend's suggestion

[13] This name has also been changed.  Darren is no longer a hostel warden.

[14] This name has been changed.

[15] This name has been changed.

[16] These days though, I can appreciate just how good my upbringing was and get on better with my folks than ever before.  After all, they are just human too, with all the problems common to man.

[17] See John 3 for Jesus' explanation of this term

[18] This phrase can also be translated than God

[19] This was Satan's title before he fell.  This passage and others tell of his role as the archangel in charge of music and the worship of God in the heaven.  It means "son of the morning".

[20] The original King James translation is not `You shall be like God' but ¬ye shall  be as gods'

[21] Satan means these things, cf. John 8,44&10,10 .

[22] The fact Noah found grace (undeserved favour) suggests that he was not sinless but nevertheless had a heart that wanted to know God.

[23] The use of the word LORD with relation to God is examined in chapter  8.

[24] "The Seed" of the woman is explained  in  the  New  Testament to be Jesus:  'Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made...who  is  Christ.'   (Galatians 3,16)

[25] I make a distinction between "secular" and "humanist".  Humanism, in its modern tradition, has no place for God but many early humanists considered themselves reforming Christians reacting against the moral bankruptcy of the papacy and the notion of Christian humanist is not completely absent even today.  Secular thinkers on the other hand, exclude God or consider religion a purely private matter with no bearing on society.  This position emerged from some of the philosophical traditions of the Enlightenment.

[26] This phrase is particularly significant as it implies it was void because of judgement.  There is a pre-Adamic civilisation between Gen 1:1 and 1:2 of which oblique references are made in passages in the Hebrew scriptures.

[27] In fact, according to Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2 to create light would have been enough.  Einstein with his General Relativity said that light was a form of energy that under certain conditions would  change directly to mass or vice versa. Thus, the atomic bomb uses a small amount of mass and converts it to an astonishingly large amount of energy

[28] One of the most famous missing links, "LUCY" has more plaster of paris than actual bone.  Another was constructed from a tooth that was later found to belong to a wild pig.  Many Victorian finds were lately found to be hoaxes with people making their living in leading people  on expeditions that they had contrived.

[29] Some species that he studied he concluded that natural selection was not viable.  Bertrand Russel in his  "History of Western Philosophy" makes the point that Darwin disliked the movement that claimed to be based upon his work.

[30] Richard Dawkins being the most famous has moved from academic respectability and careful argument into unsightly fundamentalism, embarrassing many thinking atheists.

[31] Certain scientific revelations only discovered over the last 200  years  (the hydrological cycle, springs at the bottom of the  sea,  that  pure  gold is transparent, the  nature  of  the  moon)  were  all  stated  as  historical facts of God's design in the Bible and have  been  validated  by Man's investigation. 


[33] A recent biography of Einstein's life ( Einstein:  A Life in Science, White and Gribbin) claims that Einstein was an atheist.  While not a n evangelical christian or practising Jew, he retained a place in his thinking for God as some of his own reflections reveal.  He decided as a young man that he would seek to understand the Universe by physical laws rather than metaphysical assumptions.  In this sense,  some try to claim he was an atheist but they miss the point.  He was just being a good scientist !

[34] A “basic” belief is one which requires no evidence or external reference.  The philosophical attack on foundationalism was led by Alvin Plantinga who makes a powerful case that religious basic beliefs are just as valid as those that claim a justification for atheism through foundationalism. 

[35] The italic emphases are mine.

[36] God gave them the fruit of the trees to eat, Genesis1,29

[37] God was probably making a prophetic statement here.  It was the blood of Jesus that redeemed Mankind.

[38] 'Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife,  and have eaten from the tree of which I  commanded  you,  saying,  'You  shall not eat of it':  Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil  you  shall eat of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it  shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.  In  the sweat of your face you shall eat  bread  till  you  return  to  the  ground, For out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you  shall return." '  (Genesis 3,17-19)

[39] Abraham had many herdsmen to care for his cattle.  The number of cattle was an indication of how wealthy he was.  He also fought with Kings (Genesis 14) and so must have had a very large political influence.

[40] The literal Hebrew is singular.  Paul makes the point in Galatians 3,16 that God was in fact referring to the redemptive work of Christ .  God is referring to the children of faith  in both literal and spiritual Israel that would become his children.

[41] The appearance of God to Abraham in Genesis 17 was a rebuke.  God had at first spoken to him when he was 70.  He waited five years until his father died before leaving  Babylon.  He did not leave all his brethren behind but took Lot.  He had a child by Hagar and God did not speak to him for 15 years.  It was only when he separated himself from Lot and Hagar left the household, that God blessed him with Isaac and showed him the land that was to be his.

[42] Sweating blood is a  medical condition experienced by soldiers in the  trenches  during  the  First World  War  caused  by  extreme  stress  and  anguish  causing  a  rupturing of blood vessels.

[43] My emphasis

[44] .1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Judges, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel

[45] Philosophy that holds that there is no evidence for the existence of God..  It is seen as a  logical progression  by humanists from the rationalist and empirical philosophers who did not necessarily reject god.  ( Russel, History of Western Philosophy)

[46] Agnostics suspend  judgement on the existence of God with the view that there is no evidence either way. (Oxford Companion to the Mind)

[47] The reliance on so-called `spiritual disciplines' such as fasting, meditation and prayer to  subject the body to the law of God and so enter into salvation. The position is rooted in a dualistic view of the human being.  The body is seen as fallen and the spirit as the redeemed bit.    Thus, salvation is obtained by  subjecting the body to the spiritual.

[48] Rigid observance of a moral code. as the primary way of receiving salvation.  All religions of the world have one.

[49] That is, I have committed no sin.

[50] There are literally hundreds of so-called Messianic prophecies and it would take a book to cover them.  Thus, this is necessarily a shortened section.

[51] This is an accepted theological term for the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants

[52] There are some very good (and some very bad) commentaries on Romans that help with the rather daunting task of understanding the masses of doctrine expounded by Paul who was, after all, a highly trained theologian.

[53] Testament and covenant are different renderings of the same Greek word.

[54] That is, elements of the new covenant

[55] Jubilee is strongly related to redemption.  People had to restore at whatever price i.e. redeem land that was taken to pay a debt.

[56] non Jews

[57] I believe that God has aplaced a special blessing on natural as well as spiritual Jews.  The nation of Israel today is still part of God's heart and a prophetic indicator of his purposes.  Salvation, though, is by faith  alone.

[58] John the Baptist was a prophet operating under the old covenant but baptism still was symbolic of the individual reconciling themselves to God.  See Luke 7,28.   Jesus established the new covenant  and baptism became repentance and deliverance from the kingdom of Satan.

[59] Matthew 17,1-9

[60] Ghost is the old fashioned word for spirit and is used interchangeably in the old King James version.

[61] According to Jewish tradition, it was unclean to eat with non-Jews.  Peter's own vision  in Acts 10 showed that God now considered both Jew and Gentile clean and there was to be no discrimination on the grounds of national and religious heritage

[62] This is not to say that there were never any women in positions of leadership or who moved in great faith.

[63] According to people who know about these things, it can be translated ` teach or to use sexual wiles..'

[64] Roger Mitchell, ICTHUS fellowship, London.  ICTHUS, controversially, have fully integrated leadership.

[65] "Revival:  Principles to change the world", Winkie Pratney, Whitaker House, 1984.

[66] Judges 4

[67] The Book of Esther tells her story

[68] Kuke 2,36

[69] Angels in this case is referring to fallen angels (demons).

[70] Selwyn Hughes in his book Marriage as God  Intended is an excellent exposition of what can happen if the family is neglected for the sake of the ministry.

[71] An excellent exposition of christian marriage is given by Selwyn Hughes in `Marriage as Gid intended'.  Selwyn is a professional marriage counsellor.

[72] See Joshua 5,14.  The point I am making is that we are an army and Jesus is the commanding us and equipping us through the Holy Spirit.

[73] Paul and Barnabas split up in Acts 15,37 after the Holy Ghost had brought them together.  Barnabas was later proved right as Paul in later years worked closely with John Mark.

[74] By this I mean a brotherhood of christians, not a building

[75] See Acts 13,16-24, Acts 22,11-21, Acts 23, Acts 26.

[76] Paul Yonghi Cho the pastor of the largest church on earth, South Korea, in his book the Fourth Dimension explains the significance of these Greek words.

[77] See section  4.4.4

[78] The bible also talks about the Second Death.  See later in this chapter.

[79] This does not mean we can say we are an atheist or an agnostic and hope to escape judgement.    Very few people consciously choose to be Satan worshippers but our very act of refusing to accept the revelation of Jesus Christ  means we are in rebellion to God. and so have aligned ourselves with the original rebellion of Satan.  We are worshipping him whether we are conscious of it or not.

[80] Although this passage is in the midst of many parables, it is not started like a parable but with the words "There was" and so it assuned that Jesus was describing and actual event that He had been shown by His Father.

[81] Torments in Hades is the Greek  equivalent to the Hebrew word Sheol that appears in old testament scriptures referring to the place of the wicked after death.

[82] Peter is quoting  Psalm 16,8-11 where the Hebrew word used is Sheol referring to the place of damantion.  This was a prophecy referring to Christ's suffering.

[83] Satan, the spiritual father of the wicked cf John  8,44

[84] That is, no  authority  over  Me

[85] Syncretism is the philosophical system that attempts to reconcile different belief systems as in fact expressions of a single belief system.

[86] There is a place for textual and theological investigation of deeper meanings within text gained from cultural and historical knowledge.  However, a biblical theology will always start from the assumption that the bible is correct and not be trying to find reasons why it is not.

[87] Dualism holds that there is a physical realm and a spiritual realm that are distinct from each other.

[88] This perspective on the New Age movement is discussed by Constance Cumbey in her book, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow.

[89] It is important to realise that not everybody involved in these movements supports the New Age concepts.

[90] That is not to say that everyone in these movements is a New Ager, that is clearly ludicrous.

[91] Medical and analytical tests on the homeopathic remedies conclude that it is not the medicine that cures people.  In fact, some remedies have proved extremely dangerous.

[92] Yoga is a Hindu ritual that prepares someone for death.  Each position is a worship position to a particular deity.

[93] i.e. appeared to be Jesus Christ, the Lamb  of  God.

[94] Satan's  servant,  often portrayed  as  a dragon in scripture.

[95] Christ crushed the head of  the serpent on the cross, see Genesis 3,15

[96] The original Hebrew can be translated, `you will be as gods' or your own God.

[97] The word `redeem' means to  buy back that which was ransomed or pawned.  It would have been understood in terms of money and slavery in the times when it was written.

[98] It is one of the most serious sins in Islam for "Christ, the Son of Mary" to be called Allah (an Arab name for God).

[99] Commonly called the Mormon church.  However, sexual immorality, which has been a particular feature of the church with its founder, Josef Smith being shot by a jealous husband, and financial scandals prompted the changing of the name.

[100] Publishers of the "Plain Truth" magazine.

[101] In the history of every church there comes a point where a "Statement of Faith and Practice" will be made and certain basic  `creeds' will be formalised.    Theological questions such as the Trinity may not be fully understood by everyone  but is accepted as so because of the trust put in the mature leadership.  The inability of an individual member to give a discourse on the Trinity is not evidence to say they are a counterfeit christian.  It can only be used in this way by considering their life and practice as a whole.

[102] Neither the term Trinity or Godhead is used in the Old Testament.  The term `Godhead' is found in the New Testament which also cross-references itself with the Old Testament in establishing the doctrine.

[103] Althoug not explicit in the English translation, `brooding' is implied in the original Hebrew

[104] This can also be translated as "generations" .

[105] The word `Jehovah' is known as a transliteratoion .  The original Hebrew text has the unpronouncable letters YHWH.    Vowels were added to give "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" as there is no "J" in the Greek alphabet.    Most  English translations  use the word  "LORD" in capital letters to denote this name.

[106] I mentioned in the chapter  dealing with God's covenant s with Man that God needed Man's permission to operate in the environment of the Earth.

[107] Compare this with the New Testament scripture Colossians 2,9

[108] This is supported by the first commandment  (Deuteronomy 5,9)  and the attitude of angels when men tried to worship them (Revelation 19,10)

[109] The word `him' was added by the translators.

[110] Ancient peoples believed the name of someone contained their nature., it reflected their character.

[111] The name Immanuel literally means "God with us"

[112] This refers to the Hebrew words El Shaddai that is translated  in English  as  "the Almighty".  It actually means much more:  the Father, the Mother, the bread-provider, the meeter of all needs.

[113] The word "my" does not appear in the original text.

[114] There is some debate over whether Paul wrote this book but much of the theology within it is accepted as being “Pauline”.  The comments of Peter on Paul's theology (2 Peter 3,15-16) certainly  suggest that whether Paul wrote the book or not, the ideas about the divinity of Christ probably came from him.

[115] Ephesians 1,11

[116] Colossians 1,13-15

[117] 1 Corinthians 2,10-11