Jesus is Real.

 Jesus answered and said,

I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,

because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent,

and hast revealed them unto babes.

  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

  All things are delivered unto me of my Father:

and no man knows the Son, but the Father;

neither knows any man the Father, save the Son,

and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Matthew 11:25-27

 You can know Jesus Christ is real if you acknowledge that there is God. The choice is to believe that there is a God or to believe that there is no God at all. You can never know that Jesus Christ has ever existed if you don’t believe that there is a God, an intelligent higher being who controls everything there is in this world. There is no real Jesus Christ if there is no God at all. Do you believe in God? This issue that must be resolved before proving the reality of Jesus Christ.

(John 20:29)

Jesus saith unto him,                                                                                                       Thomas, because thou hast seen me,                                                                                      thou hast believed:                                                                                                            blessed are they that have not seen,                                                                                             and yet have believed.

Jesus Christ is the Word, a spiritual being, who lives before eternity. The man Christ Jesus is but a little part of His real overall identity. We can never know Jesus Christ without the help and revelation of God. Actually, the God that I been referring to is the Father of Jesus Christ. Only the Father knows the Son and only the Son knows the Father.

Next, we can know Jesus Christ through His spoken words in the gospel with the help of His Father and the Holy Spirit. The Lord has the endorsement of His Father that everyone must pay attention to all what is saying. “Hear ye Him” because He is the beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased. You believe in God, you must also believe in Him.

(John 14:21-27)

He that hath my commandments, and keeps them,                                                            he it is that loves me:                                                                                                                     and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father,                                                                     and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot,                                                                                   Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us,                                                            and not unto the world?

Jesus answered and said unto him,                                                                                           If a man love me, he will keep my words:                                                                                       and my Father will love him,                                                                                                        and we will come unto him,                                                                                                      and make our abode with him.

He that loves me not keeps not my sayings:                                                                     and the word which ye hear is not mine,                                                                                but the Father’s which sent me.

 These things have I spoken unto you,                                                                            being yet present with you.

 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,                                                                  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.

 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:                                                              not as the world giveth, give I unto you.                                                                                      Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Finally, the revelation of the Father comes to the “babes” and not to wise and prudent. You can only come to know Jesus Christ if you become a baby again, a person who is humble enough and open to God for mystical manifestation of Christ from within. This could be the born again experience wherein something happens to you, not knowing where it is coming from, but it does happen.

We know Christ and we have the blessed relationship with the Father even though the Bible is under fire. Many are questioning the veracity of the Bible. Some scholars found some flaws in the Bible. We cherish the Bible but our hope is anchored in Jesus Christ. Our faith is established in God. We love God with all our heart, soul and mind so we know Jesus does exist.

The wise and the prudent may question the Scriptures and they have the right to do so. On the other hand, they have no right to question our mystical experience which is humanly inadequate to explain how Jesus Christ is real to us. We don’t question the intelligence of our critics as long as they don’t question our experience in Christ.

Hundreds of religious and secular books were written, casting doubts to the real existence of Jesus. We are not relying on the historical accounts of the life and death of Christ. More importantly to us are the words, the truth and spirit of the teachings of Christ that the Holy Spirit has preserved for us.

 

“Is this not Joseph’s son?”

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 anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

Then He closed the book,
and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.
And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
And He began to say to them,
“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
So all bore witness to Him,
and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.                         And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

(Luke 4:16-22)

 Was Jesus aware that Joseph was not His father in the flesh? Did somebody leak the truth that He was an adoptive son of Joseph? Upon reading the discourse of Christ about His origin, it is clear that He knew all the while that His true Father who co-existed with Him before and from the beginning of the world was not Joseph from Nazareth. His intimate knowledge of the Father is deep and incomprehensible. The Logos of God is the mind and wisdom of the Eternal Being.

The Mark’s story tells us that Jesus was alluded by His critics that He was a carpenter (Mark 6:3) not mentioning Joseph as a carpenter by trade. Well, there may be somewhere a source of the carpentry work of Joseph. Matthew was more vivid in telling that Jesus was a carpenter’s son as interjected by the crowd.(Matt 13:34)

Then He went out from there and came to His own country,
and His disciples followed Him.
And when the Sabbath had come,
He began to teach in the synagogue.
And many hearing Him were astonished,
saying,”Where did this Man get these things?
And what wisdom is this which is given to Him,
that such mighty works are performed by His hands!
Is this not the carpenter ,
the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?                                    And are not His sisters here with us?”
So they were offended at Him.

Mark 6:1-3

The world has not changed. People still believe on whatever is convenient to them and what is best to serve their purpose. Christmas has been commercialized and lost its true meaning. Is Christmas a holiday to celebrate? We leave this issue to each person to decide.

Do you want to celebrate your own birthday? Are you sure that the exact date and hour of your birthday were in such and such a date and hour. You just believed it was. Let us not be contentious about the world’s celebration of Christmas. We practice the spirit of Christmas (giving and loving) everyday. It is blessed to give than to receive according to Jesus. Give until it bleeds your heart with love.

(Originally published on December 2006) 

 

The Gospel according to Peter

Acts 2:38-47

 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized 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.

39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46  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,

47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

The gospel of Peter are in this order as written in the book of Acts 2:38-41. Three thousand converts were added to the community of believers after hearing the message of Peter.  The apostolic doctrine apparently was based on this gospel delivered by Apostle Peter. These were the following salient points of his message.

1.Repent

2. Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

3.You will receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

4.Save yourselves from this crooked generation.

Repent for unspecified reason or cause. Repent for the sake of repenting, everybody is doing it so I must do it also mentality. Fear is used to generate repentance. The sinners are assisted or led to ask forgiveness from God. Repentance without knowing the gospel of Jesus Christ is an exercise in futility. Churches are almost forcing their way to people to repent. They think that repentance per se is equal to the salvation of souls from the burning fire of hell.  Churches are filled with repentant sinners but not rooted on  words of Jesus Christ. Jesus preached repentance and believing the gospel. Whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Mark 1:14-15

  Now after that John was put in prison,

Jesus came into Galilee,

preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

  And saying,

The time is fulfilled,

 and the kingdom of God is at hand:

 repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 Peter preached just be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Peter took the liberty to modify the Christ-given formula in baptizing disciples. Jesus clearly stated that every believer is to be baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Converts were baptized right after repentance without having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ were rooted on a flimsy ground. Even infants are baptized to become part of the church. The new recruits are added to the church membership roll as trophies of success.

The believers shall receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts were promised and not the blessed Holy Spirit. The church was gift-centered and they loved the supernatural display of miracles and wonders. They claimed being filled with the Holy Spirit but does not bear the fruits of the Spirit. The manifestation of gifts does not necessarily implies God’s approval on all their activities.

Peter wanted people to save themselves. What does he mean? Can we truly save ourselves? Is in it that the Lord is our salvation? Did Jesus ask us to save ourselves? Jesus said, “Whoever save his life shall lose it and whoever lose his life for my sake shall save it.”

The first apostolic church in Jerusalem was founded on a modified gospel of Christ. Some of the apostles were not listening to their Teacher and Master , the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them were doubters when Jesus spoke to them about the Great Commission.

 Matthew 28:16-20

  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee,

into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

  And when they saw him, they worshipped him:

but some doubted.

  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,

 All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father,

and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

  Teaching them to observe all things

 whatsoever I have commanded you:

and, lo, I am with you alway,

even unto the end of the world. Amen.

How to become a disciple of Christ?

And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, 

All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.

 

 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations,

 baptizing them into the name of the Father

 and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 

 

 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever 

I commanded you: and

 lo, I am with you always, 

even unto the end of the world.

Matt 28:18-20

 The Lord Jesus Christ specifically stated to His disciples that they should make disciples of all the nations. They should make disciples of Christ and not make disciples for themselves. These new disciples will be living according to His words, observing all things whatever He commanded them to do. Every disciple must continue in His word, loving one another as Christ loved them.

As he spake these words, many believed on him.

  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, 

If ye continue in my word, 

then are ye my disciples indeed;

  And ye shall know the truth,

 and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:30-32

 

 A new commandment I give unto you, 

That ye love one another; as I have loved you,

 that ye also love one another.

  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,

 if ye have love one to another.

John 13:34-35

 Jesus asked the disciples to follow Him and He will make them fishers of men. A disciple can persuade a person to come to Christ if he knows that he is truly a follower of Christ. The Spirit will draw men to Christ through a disciple living the life of Christ, speaking constantly and strictly following the words of the Lord. Jesus always spoke the words that His Father gave Him to say, no more, no less.

 And he saith unto them, 

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

 (Matthew 4:19)

 Making disciples means teaching to do exactly what Jesus told them to do. The original twelve disciples were not supposed to teach their own version or interpretation of the Gospel of Christ nor even tweak a bit the teaching of their master. If they do their way, they would only making disciples after their own teachings, therefore they could be considered as the disciples of Peter, Paul or the modern pastors.

It is possible that the first apostolic church in the book of Acts is composed of new converts mainly the disciples of Peter. They were the fruit of the apostolic doctrine, adulterated with the apostles modified gospel. The simple way to become a disciple of Christ is follow His pure Words. Compare His teachings to the teachings of the apostles. Know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free and become a true disciple of Christ.