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The Religion of the Bible

The Religion of the Bible. Southampton University Joint Meeting Islamic Society and Biblical Unitarian Society 2 2nd October 2008. The Bible brings us God’s Revelation about.... . God himself. Jesus Christ and the Prophets. The Mission (or Message) for us.

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The Religion of the Bible

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  1. The Religion of the Bible Southampton University Joint Meeting Islamic Society and Biblical Unitarian Society 22nd October 2008

  2. The Bible brings us God’s Revelation about.... • God himself • Jesus Christ and the Prophets • The Mission (or Message) for us

  3. The Authority behind the Bible The Bible comprises 66 books, written by over 30 people, over a timespan of some 1,500 years. There are historical records, biographies, revelatory poetry, proverbs and letters. It is the revealed word, wisdom and purpose from God himself:- “Men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:17 RSV) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy. 3:16) This is the true Bible mission

  4. Concepts not substantiated by Bible teaching Concepts sourced from pagan cultures, e.g., Greek, Egyptian, Assyrian: • Immortality of the Soul. • An Evil One such as the Devil, Satan or Fallen Angel. Concepts developed subsequently to Bible revelation:- • A co-existent, co-equal, co-eternal Trinity. These do not have Bible authority and will lead away from the vital mission of the Bible.

  5. About God The Creator of all things “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) “Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:” (Isaiah 42:5)

  6. About God The Creator with Purpose “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab.2:14) And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. (Zech. 14:9) “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:18)

  7. About God “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) His Holy Spirit is his power:- “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created:” (Psalm 104:30) “God anointed (Messiah) Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.” (Acts 10:38 RSV). A gift he was given, not a person. His ultimate purpose for his Kingdom: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3) He spoke this message through angels, prophets and his Son.

  8. About God God exists in a timeless fashion (no beginning, no end):- “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90:2) “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8) “There should be time no longer:” (Revelation 10:6) “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.” (1 Timothy 6:16) His intention is to share this immortality with his “children”.

  9. Characteristics of God “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV) “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.” (Isaiah 45:5) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:31) In Bible times, the entities of God and the Messiah (Christ) were understood to be quite separate – contrary to the Trinity concept of the 4th Century AD.

  10. Characteristics of God His righteousness (right ways) – he cannot tolerate unrighteousness or sin. “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” (Psalm 11:7) “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17) “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” (Psalm 119:142) “For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” (Deut. 25:16) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” (Romans 1:18)

  11. About God “God is love.” (1 John 4:8,16) “I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight.” (Jeremiah 9:24) “He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. ”(Micah 7:18) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 NIV)

  12. About Man Man has separated himself from God and everyone needs to be brought back to God. “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you.” (Isaiah 59:2) “They are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:9-10) “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23) “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20) “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalm 146:4) – no ongoing immortal soul, no “hell-fire”. God has made a way for anyone to escape the consequences of sin and death – through Jesus Christ.

  13. About Jesus Christ He is the Son of God (never in Scripture as “God the Son”): • “Appointed by him (God) who said to him, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee.” (Heb. 5:5 RSV) Similarly to Adam’s creation by spirit in Eden, he was created by action of the Holy Spirit (not by marriage): • “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35 RSV) His purpose is to be a Saviour– “He shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) The importance of Jesus can be seen from the number of prophecies in the Old Testament which foretold of him.

  14. Old Testament Bible Prophecy Fulfilled in New Testament times Examples from more than 50 prophecies of Christ: Descent from David 2 Sam.7.12f Luke 1:27f Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Luke 2:4f Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:2 Luke 1:27 Death with criminals Isaiah 53:2 Matt.27:38 Crucifixion (not stoning) Psalm 22 4 Gospels Raised from the dead Psalm 16:10 Acts 2:31

  15. Jesus’ Work to redeem Man God’s justice demanded that every sinner should die. His mercy provided a way of forgiveness of sins. In the Old Testament, sacrifice of a pure animal would be accepted as a “sin offering”:- “The priest shall make an atonement before the Lord ... And he shall be forgiven.” (Numbers 15:38) It was prophesied in the Old Testament that this would be the Messiah’s work:- “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10-11)

  16. Jesus’ Work to redeem Man “But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed to men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ (Messiah) having been offered once to bear the sin of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:26-28 RSV) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Cor. 1:30) “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19) “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)

  17. Jesus’ Work to redeem Man Every man must acknowledge responsibility for his own sin – there is no external “tempter”:- “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15) In the Bible, “the Devil” is figurative of the power of sin:- “Through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

  18. Jesus was raised from the dead to immortality “And though they found no cause for death in him, they asked Pilate that he [Jesus] should be put to death. But God raised him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people.” (Acts13:28,30,31 NKJV) “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6)

  19. Believers will be raised likewise Resurrection from the Dead “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40) “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22) Judgment “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians. 5:10) For the faithful: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

  20. GOD’S UNCHANGING PURPOSE “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” (1 John 2:25) “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” (Rev. 22:12 NIV)

  21. The Kingdom of God – on Earth The song of the faithful redeemed to Christ:- “For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10). Not in heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth – as King:- “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) “His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives.” (Zechariah 14:4)

  22. The Kingdom of God – on Earth A world-wide kingdom:- “In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him” (Psalm 72:7,8,11). Jesus’ Prophetic Description “Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (Matt. 5:35)”

  23. The Kingdom of God – on Earth A test of Bible prophecy is its fulfilment in today’s world events. Example: Jesus’ disciples asked, “What sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?” (Luke 21:7) Jesus’ Prophetic Reply “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) For other signs, see “The Promises of God” in BUSoc archive.

  24. GOD’S PROMISES TO ABRAHAM “I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.” (Gen. 17:6) Fulfilled – both the Arab and the Jewish peoples and their historic kings trace their descent back to Abraham. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2) Fulfilled – “Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew. 1:1)

  25. The Work of theMessiah (Christ) (1) Prophet (Past) Foretold by Moses: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.” [Deuteronomy 18:15]

  26. The Work of theMessiah (Christ) (2) Priest (Present) Foretold by Isaiah: “By his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” [Isaiah 53:11] Confirmed in Hebrews “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:24-25)

  27. The Work of theMessiah (Christ) (3) King (future) Foretold by the Psalmist: ‘“I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son, today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”’ [Psalm 2:7,8] Confirmed by the Apostle: “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

  28. The Prophets The prophets are men. They spoke “by the Holy Spirit”. They are named in the Bible but Muhammad is not mentioned. (The Bible was completed about AD100). In John 14-16, the promised Comforter (Gk. parakletos) is not a mis-translation of the Gk. periklytos (“praised one”), the equivalent name of Ahmed or Muhammad. “But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.” (John 14:26 RV) The promise was to them at that time, and was carried out at Pentecost. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues.” (Acts 2:4 RV)

  29. The Prophets The Bible indicates that no further revelation will be given after the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two main indicators:- Direct writing :- “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things.” (Heb. 1:1-2) Parable of the Vineyard “But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.” (Matthew 21:37)

  30. The Bible Ethic of Living Today Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15 NIV) “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance.” (2 Timothy 2:5 NIV) “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.” (John 18:36) “Rom:12:18: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18)

  31. The Kingdom Age of the Future “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:13) “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

  32. MISSION SUMMARY The substance of God’s Promises:- • Resurrection from the dead and eternal life • The Kingdom of God on earth • Choice to participate in these Promises “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:43)

  33. Further Information www.ukchristadelphians.com Queries southampton@ukchristdelphians.com Copy slides available at http:/www.soton.ac.uk/~busoc/

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