The Gospel Books all narrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus lives and experiences the full spectrum of human existence. He eats, sleeps, talks, and dies. Yet each Gospel Book in their respective ways presents Christ as acting beyond human limitations. [Read more…] about One Reason Why Christians Confessed Jesus’s Divinity
Recently, I wrote an article on divine impassibility. In the article, I tried to show how only the suffering God can help us during times of crises. It was not an article “proving” the doctrine since divine impassibility is both creedal and confessional, although at some point I would like to write a scriptural-theological argument for the doctrine.
One possible confusion with divine impassibility involves the cross since Christ suffers on the cross. I should note that the same problem exists for divine simplicity, immutability, and so on. The answers to these possible problems generally involve reflecting deeper on the doctrine of God and the Trinity as well as Christology.
Revelation 7 describes two armies—the 144,000 and the multitude from the nations. These two groups are identified in various ways.
Some have argued that they represent Jewish and Gentile believers respectively (dispenational).Others see them as two visions of the same group (non-dispensational).
Probably the best way to understand the vision, however, is as a recapitution of the earlier vision of the Lion and Lamb in Revelation 5:5–6. A number of reasons lead to this conclusion.* [Read more…] about Who Are the 144,000 in Revelation?
A well-known pastor created a bit of an uproar recently when he paraphrased Jesus in John 16:7. The pastor summarized Jesus as saying: “I am not leaving you. I am changing forms.” The language of “changing” forms sounded to a lot of people like he taught the ancient heresy of modalism.
Did he teach modalism? Perhaps, but probably not because he explained himself just afterwards by paraphrasing Jesus again: “When I send my Spirit, I will be in you. So I am not leaving you. I am just changing locations.”
The point he is making, at least in this short clip, seems to be that the Spirit of Jesus makes Jesus present on earth even though he is located in heaven. In any case, it is worth reflecting on what Modalism is since—for better or worse—Christians are now discussing it. [Read more…] about “I am not leaving you. I am changing forms”—is this modalism?
The word tribulation has become so uncommon in the English language that it conjures up the idea of a grandiose event or some far out future time that has little to do with today. Yet for John, it is a normal word that means signals a fiery trial or suffering—something that he and the seven churches that he addresses must prepare for.
While more could be said here, since the Book of Revelation speaks of all sorts of fiery trials or events, it is worth pausing to see how John (and Jesus) speak of tribulation in Revelations 1–3 to get a sense of what the word means. (I will leave the question of tribulational timing for another time.)
Most of us read the four Gospel books to hear the recorded words and deeds of Christ. Yet few of us think about reading Revelation for the same reason. That is a mistake. Revelation is an epistle from Jesus Christ that not only records his words but also his deeds throughout. In this sense, it is like a fifth Gospel book.
What makes Revelation unique is that Jesus no longer keeps his messiahship a secret. The hidden has become manifest. He is the ascendant Lord. And to his churches, he reveals himself in his full splendour. Consider a few points to explain this idea further. [Read more…] about Revelation Is a Fifth Gospel in Which Jesus Fully Reveals Himself