A Stone of Stumbling

1Peter 2:7-10 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 

‘Stone of stumbling …’ this is the 3rd Old Testament prophecy in 1 Peter (1:8; Isa. 8:14). The reasons why the Jews stumbled at Christ: Because He did not come as a worldly prince to deliver them from the Romans (John 11:48; Acts1:7). Because He was a poor man having no appeal to worldly people (2Cor. 8:9; John 15:19-23; 17:14-16).

Then we have the reasons why the Jews killed Jesus: His kingship (Matt. 2:2-3, 16; John 18:33-40; 19:12-22); for telling the truth (Luke 4:21-29; John 8:40); for healing on the sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; John 5:16; 9:16); out of jealousy (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); because of their ignorance (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); to fulfil prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18); because He claimed Sonship (John 5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); because of their unbelief (John 5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); He claimed to be God (John 8:53-59; 10:33; cp. John 1:1-2; Heb. 1:5-14); for fear of losing their authority (John 11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19).

‘Being disobedient’ this is what made them stumble. Anyone who obeys God will not stumble at Christ. ‘Also they were appointed’ this simply means that people are appointed to stumble if they are determined to be disobedient. God did not choose them to stumble or be disobedient. This was their choice (Matt. 13:15).

Ten symbols of the Messiah are given: A foundation stone (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20); a tried stone (Matt. 21:42-44; Acts 4:11); a precious corner stone (2:4-8); a sure foundation (1Cor. 3:11); a smitten rock (Ps. 78:16; Num. 20:8-11; 1Cor. 10:4); head stone of the corner (Ps. 118:22); rejected stone (Ps. 118:22; Acts 4:11); stumbling stone (Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:32-33); a living stone (2:4); a rock (stone) of offense (2:8; Isa.8:14).

‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, a peculiar people’ Four things about Jewish Christians: A chosen generation (cp. Deut. 7:6); a royal priesthood (cp. Ex. 19:6); an holy nation (cp. Ex. 19:6); a peculiar people, the Greek word peripoiesis meaning purchased, not peculiar as in dress, speech, or manner of life (cp. Deut. 7:6)

‘Praises’ [Greek: arête] only translated praise here, but virtue in Philippians 4:8 and 2Peter 1:3, 5. The word refers to virtuous thoughts, feelings or actions. The virtues Christians are to show before men are the perfections of wisdom, knowledge, justice, truth, love, patience, holiness, goodness, grace, joy, peace, faith, and other attributes and powers of the Divine Trinity. These virtues are to be demonstrated by Christians to angels and men (1:12; 1Cor. 4:9; Eph. 3:9-10) ‘Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy’ this is the 4th Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:10; Hos. 1:9-10; 2:23) describing the mercy the Jews have obtained through Christ.

As Lively Stones

1Peter 2:5-6 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded. 

‘You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood’ three things Christians are: Living stones, because of being in the Living Stone (2:4-5; 2Cor. 5:17-18); a spiritual house (Eph. 2:18-22; 1Cor. 12:13-28; Rom. 12:4-5); An holy priesthood (2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:4-6)

‘Offer up spiritual sacrifices’ the sacrifices this priesthood offers are spiritual (Rom. 7:14). There are ten spiritual sacrifices mentioned in the Word: Spiritual people offering themselves (Rom. 12:1-2; 1Cor. 2:15; 3:1; Gal. 6:1); spiritual services (1Cor. 2:4; 9:11; 14:12; 2Cor. 3:6); songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16); praises (1Pet. 2:9; Heb. 13:15-16); conduct (Rom. 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16, 25); personal faith (2Cor. 4:13-18); wisdom and knowledge (Col. 1:9); personal love (Col. 1:8); faithfulness (Php. 1:27; Rom. 1:9); prayer and supplications (Eph. 6:18). Out of the spirit (thoughts) we serve God with our free wills and a clear mind, not out of the soul where-from all passions originate that last as long as the ‘mood’ does. God is a Spirit being and when someone worships Him, it must be in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

‘Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded’ this is the first Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:6; Isa. 28:16). The foundation of the body of Christ was to be laid in Jerusalem. There it was laid and there Christ suffered and died for the sins of the whole world (Matt. 23:37-39; Luke 13:33). There the Holy Spirit fell upon believers and the first outpour of the Holy Spirit took place after the death of Christ took place (Acts1:8; 2:1-8:1). ‘Chief corner stone’ this is the 2nd Old Testament prophecy in 1Peter (2:7; Ps. 118:22).

The twelve-fold stoneship of the Messiah in the Word: The stone of Israel (Gen. 49:24); the stone of stumbling (2:8; Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:33); the foundation stone (Isa. 28:16; Matt. 16:18; 1Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:20); a tried stone (Isa. 28:16); a precious cornerstone (2:4, 6-7; Isa. 28:16); a sure stone (Isa. 28:16); a rejected stone (2:4, 7-8; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11); a living stone (2:4); a chosen stone (2:4); a chief cornerstone (2:6); an elect (chosen) stone (2:6); the head stone (2:7-8; Ps. 118:22).

‘Confounded’ [Greek: kataischuno] shame and dishonour. When we believe in Christ we will never have to be [confounded] ashamed or dishonoured.

Purified Your Souls

1Peter 1:22-24 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away

‘Purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently” seven experiences of Christians are mentioned here: Purity of soul; obedience to the truth; yieldedness to the Holy Spirit; love without hypocrisy; love with fervency; purity of heart and the new birth by the Word (1:23; 1Tim. 1:5).

Psalms 24:4 teaches: “He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” These are the type of people that will inherit the earth and multiply and replenish it forever (Gen. 8:22; 9:12; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 18, 27; Luke 1:32-33; 2Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:3-7, 21-27; 22:1-5). Four qualifications are mentioned: Clean hands (Ps. 15:1-5); a pure heart (Ps. 51:7; Mal. 3:2-3; Matt. 5:8; John 15:3); no idolatry (vanity, 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Heb. 12:14), and being truthful (Rev. 21:8).

Matthew 5:8 says: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” One receives a pure heart when born again (2Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24; 2Thess. 2:13; 1Jn. 1:9; 2:29; 3:5-10; 5:1-4, 18).

‘Being born again’ many Scriptures say that when one is born again and in Christ, he “receives power to become a son of God” (1:12); he has “crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24); “his sins are blotted out” (Acts 3:19); “he is washed, sanctified, and justified” (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rev. 1:5); “he has turned from darkness to light and from the power of satan to the power of God” (Acts 26:18); “he has salvation” (Rom. 1:16; 2 Thess. 2:13); “he is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24); “he is God’s elect” (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:2-4; Col. 3:12); and “he departs from all iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:4, 19-22).

‘By the word of God’ two agents of the new birth: the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5; 1Cor. 6:11) and the Word of God (John 3:5). Water is used in a figurative sense of salvation (John 4:14; Isa. 12:3), of the Spirit baptism (John 7:37-39), and of cleansing by the Word of God (John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). Since men are cleansed and born again by the Word (Jas. 1:18; 1Pet. 1:23), it is clear that being born of water means being born again by the Word of God.

‘All flesh is as grass’ this is quoted from Isaiah 40:6-8. This was the message the voice of the vision told him to cry: People are like grass which withers soon and is gone, but the Word of the Lord shall stand forever (Isa. 40:6-8; Psa. 119:89-91; Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Mark 13:31; John 10:35; 12:34; 1Pet. 1:25).

‘As grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass …’ this is the 4th New Testament prophecy in 1Peter. Earthly seeds and reproductions will soon perish, but the Word of God is eternal (Jas. 1:11; 4:14).

The Doctrine of Christ

2John 1:9-13 Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen. 

‘Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son’ any person who sins and does not remain in the truth, doesn’t have God. He who does not sin and who remains in the truth has both the Father and the Son. This warns of the possibility of backsliding and losing rewards (2Jn. 1:8), as well as losing God and Christ.

‘If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house’ If any man poses as an apostle or Christian teacher and does not teach the true doctrine of Christ – the incarnation, the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ – do not receive him or give him entertainment in your home. Do not even bid him Godspeed. If you do, you are a partaker [give approval (Rom. 1:32)] of his evil deeds and will be punished with him for the same sins (2Jn. 1:10-11).

‘Neither bid him God speed’ Scriptures warn against fellowship and friendship with non-believers: not to get counsel from the ungodly, or to follow in the same ways as sinners or workers of iniquity, or to sit with those who mock the Word of God, those who are vain or wicked (Ps. 1:1-6; 6:8; 26:4-5; 1Jn. 2:15-17) and not to go in with dissemblers [hypocrites]. Not to cast your lot with criminals and sinners when they entice you to follow in their wicked ways (Pro. 1:10-15). We are warned to stay away from foolish and angry people and not to be friends with them (Pro. 9:6; 14:17; 22:24); to stay away from backslidden Christians and those who walk disorderly (Matt. 18:15-17; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2Jn. 1:9-11) and those that cause divisions and offences (Rom. 16:17). We cannot listen to false teachers’ teachings and think we will afterwards understand God’s Word at all (1Tim. 4:1-2; 6:3-5; 2Tim. 2: 16-17; 2Jn. 1:10). We cannot have company with those who do not obey God’s Word (2Thess. 3:14-15); be in business, friendship or fellowship with unbelievers or those who live in unrighteousness and darkness (2Cor. 6:14-18). We cannot keep company or eat with fornicators, covetous, heady and high-minded people, idolaters, railers, drunkard, or extortioners (1Cor. 5:9-11). Stay away from those who are lovers of themselves; boasters; proud, unthankful, unholy people; blasphemers; disobedient to parents; those without natural affection; trucebreakers; false accusers; incontinent; fierce people, despisers of those who are good traitors, those who love pleasure more than God and the hypocrites – those who have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2Tim. 3:2-5).

‘The children of thy elect sister greet thee.’ This Scripture must be understood as all other greetings: The followers of Christ greet you our sister (can’t say brother here, even though she is clearly part of the body of Christ which is represented by the male term ‘brethren’ (Heb. 2:11; 1Pet. 2:17; 5:9).

Walking in Truth

2John 1:4-8 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 

‘I found of thy children walking in truth’ testimony to the faith of the believers in her congregation. ‘As we have received a commandment from the Father’ one of the New Testament commandments to all believers: to walk in truth.

‘That we love one another’ an emphasis in all John’s writings. He uses the word “love” 62 times compared to only 116 times by all other writers of the New Testament. He was after all the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24). He was not loved more than others by Christ, but he accepted His love and chose to call himself accordingly. God does not have respect for persons, with regards to their looks, races, classes and sexes (Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 3:28; Jas. 2:1-4).

‘This is love, that we walk after his commandments’ keeping the commandments of the New Testament is proof of genuine love. No amount of show, speech or deeds is a replacement for obedience.

‘Deceivers’ the Greek word planos meaning “deceiver” (1:7; Matt. 27:63; 2Cor. 6:8) and “seducing” (1Tim. 4:1). Seducing spirits and deceivers denied the incarnation (1Jn. 4:1-6). Today, they are denying the physical, fleshly resurrection of Jesus as well as the incarnation. The Greek here reads, “Jesus Christ coming in the flesh,” proving that it refers to His physical resurrection and His coming again to earth in the flesh. He will come in the same human body that was resurrected and taken to heaven (Zech. 13:6; Acts 1:11; Php. 3:21; 1Cor. 15:1-23).

‘Look to youselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward’ here Christians are warned to meet require conditions of blessing in order not to lose rewards (1Cor. 3:11-15) as well as losing the truth that was revealed unto us (2Tim. 2:16-17).

The Name of the Son

1John 5:13-21 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God’ this is the purpose of the written Word that was given to us by God (2Tim. 3:16) through the prophets (Old Testament) and the apostles (New Testament); that those who believe on the name of Jesus can have eternal life. ‘That you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God’ two reasons for writing: That you may have eternal life and that you may believe in Jesus.

‘The name of the Son of God’ the name of Jesus stands for justice, love, righteousness, holiness, peace, power, influence, happiness, liberty, life, light, joy, friendship, judgment, salvation, home, Heaven, and all that is good. It has been the greatest name of all ages among men. Some have died for it and some have hated it enough to be damned because of it. It is the hope of the world and the joy of all saints.

The most wonderful truth for saints is that of the free and unreserved use of His name to carry on the work of God in the Earth and to act in His stead among men in defeating sin and satan. Men are the only visible agents of God in the world. God desires them to fully represent Him with great power and authority to prove to men that God is great and powerful to save their souls. From the way the average man represents God among men, it would seem that satan is greater and more powerful than God. All arguments from these weak and failing representatives of God are not convincing to unbelievers that God is the greatest.

All men have the legal and redemptive right to use the name of Jesus in asking and receiving from God. This puts prayer on a purely legal basis. The name of Jesus means much to the Father. He will always honour this name, for it means to Him that redemption has been completed and the world is saved from eternal rule by satanic powers. It means to the Father that His eternal plan of a perfect and sinless society on Earth and in the whole universe is guaranteed. This means more to the Father than our finite minds can now grasp because of the lack of understanding of the scope of the plan of God for man. The Father recognizes all that the name of Jesus implies. He knows that we have a legal and family right to use this name in prayer. The Father knows that the right use of this name will deliver all men from sin, sickness, and failure in life. It is the glory of God to recognize the name of Jesus in prayer and to answer according to the faith exercised.

‘Know that you have eternal life:’ By personal fellowship (1:3-7; 2:13); in fullness of joy in the heart (1:4); in keeping His commandments (2:3; 3:22); when walking even as He walked (2:6; 1Pet. 2:21-23); in love of the brethren (2:9-11; 3:10-19, 23; 4:7-21; 5:1); overcoming the world and satan (2:13-14; 5:4, 18); in the hatred of the world (2:15-17); being one with Christians (2:19); in Holy Spirit anointing (2:20-27); knowing the truth that sets free (2:21; John 8:32-36); acknowledging God and Christ (2:22-25); doing righteousness (2:29; 3:7-10; 5:1-4, 18); by purifying ourselves (3:3); being born again (2:29; 3:9; 5:1-18); cleansing from sin (1:7-9; 3:5-10); in freedom from condemnation (3:20-24); the indwelling Spirit (3:24; 4:4, 13); in faith (2:23; 5:1, 10); by confessing Christ (4:14-15); and receiving Him (5:10-13; John 1:12); through answered prayer (3:21-22; 5:14-15).

‘According to his will, he hears us’ this means according to His word (John 15:7; Rom. 10:17). God cannot deny His Word or Himself. We should consider the answers as sure as if we already had them (Rom. 4:17; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8; Mark 11:22-24).

‘Brother sin a sin’ a Christian brother, not a sinner. ‘Unto death’ all sin is forgivable except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32). Since this sin is the only one unto death (i.e., unforgivable), it is useless to pray for it.

The Trinity

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

‘Three are one’ the only sense three can be one is in unity, as is clear in John 17:11, 17:21-23. See other scriptural uses of the word one (Gen. 2:24; 11:6; 1Cor. 3:6-8; 12:13; Eph. 2:14; Heb. 2:11). Three persons cannot be one person in number in any sense, but the three can be one in unity.

There are over 500 plain scriptures that refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as being Three Separate and Distinct Persons, each with His own personal body, soul, and spirit in the sense that all other persons have them. Plural pronouns are used of God (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Ps. 2:3; Isa. 6:8). Elohim, the Hebrew word for God in 2,700 places, is a uni-plural noun, meaning Gods and is so translated 239 times.

Two persons called God are referred to in the Old Testament in: the Pentateuch (Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; 19:24; Exodus 14:19; 23:20-23; 32:34; 33:1-3; Numbers 20:16; Deuteronomy 18:15-19). The historical books (Joshua 5:13-15; Judges 2:1-5). The term, “the angel of the Lord” means “the angel from the Lord.” The Lord is one person and the angel that comes from Him is another person. Both persons are divine, for the angel proves to be God in many of these passages, and certainly, the Lord who sends the angel is another divine person. Also, “the Spirit of the Lord” means “the Spirit from the Lord.” The Lord is one divine person and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, from the Lord is another divine person (Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14; 1 Samuel 10:6; 16:13-14; 2 Samuel 23:2; etc.). The same is true of the “Spirit of God” which is the Holy Spirit who was the agent of God and spoke by the mouths of the prophets since the world began (Acts. 3:21; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:21). The poetical books (Psalms 2:1-12; 8:3-6 with 2:5-8; 16:8-11; 22:1-31; 34:20; 45:6-7; 68:18; 69:8-9; 89:27; 110:1-5; 118:26; 119:97-104; 132:11, 17; Proverbs 30:4). The prophetical books (Isaiah 7:14; 8:18 with 2:12-13; 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 42:1-7; 49:1-12; 50:4-11; 52:13-15; 53:1-12; 55:4-5; 63:1-10; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Ezekiel 33:15-18; 34:29; Daniel 7:9-14; Hosea 11:1; Micah 5:1-6; Habakkuk 2:7; Zechariah 6:12-13; 12:10; 13:6, 7; Malachi 3:1-3).

Two persons called God are referred to in the New Testament in: The Gospels (Matthew 1:18-20; 2:6, 15, 22; 5:44-48; 6:1-18; 7:21; 9:38; 10:32-33, 40; 11:10, 25-27; 12:18, 28, 31-32, 50; 14:33; 15:13; 16:27; 17:5; 18:10, 19, 35; 19:17; 20:23; 21:9, 16; 22:21, 42; 23:8-10, 39; 26:29, 39, 42, 44, 53, 63-64; 27:43, 46; Mark 1:2, 8, 12, 24; 2:7; 3:11; 5:7; 8:38; 9:7; 11:25-26; 12:27; 14:36, 62, 15:34, 39; 16:19; Luke 1:32-33; 2:11-14, 22, 38, 40, 49-52; 3:16; 4:1-14, 18, 41; 7:27; 10:21-22; 11:13; 12:5-10, 32; 13:55; 16:13; 19:38; 20:35, 38, 39-44; 22:29; John 1:1-3, 5, 14, 18, 29, 36; 2:16-17; 3:2, 16-17; 4:10; 5:17-45; 6:27-65; 7:16-18, 28-29, 33-39; 8:14-56; 9:3-5, 33; 10:15-18, 25-38; 11:4, 22, 27, 41-42; 12:26-28, 44-50; 13:1-3, 20, 31-32; 4:1-31; 15:1-25; 16:3-32; 17:1-26; 18:11; 20:17-23, 31). The book of Acts (1:16; 2:22-39; 3:7-26; 7:59-60; 9:3; 13:17-41; 16:6-34; 17:18-31; 18:5, 24-28; 19:1-7; 22:14; 26:8-9, 18-23; 28:23-31). The Pauline Epistles (Romans 1:7-10, 16; 2:16; 3:22-26; 4:24; 5:1-21; 6:3-23; 7:25; 8:29-34; 14:10-12; 15:5-7; 16:20-27; 1Corinthians 1:1-9, 14-30; 3:9-15; 4:1-21; 5:1-13; 8:4-6; 10:4-31; 11:3; 14:2-33; 15:15, 24-28, 57; 2Corinthians 1:1-23; 2:17; 4:2-15, 5:18-21, 8:1-19; 9:7-15; 10:1-14; 11:1-11, 31; 12:1-12, 19-21; 13:4-7; Gal. 1:1-12, 15-24; 2:16-21; 3:13-29; 5:1-6; 6:14-18; Ephesians 1:1-2; Philippians 1:26-30; 2:12-16; 3:3, 14; 4:5-23; Colossians 1:1-2, 12-28; 2:2-3:17; 4:3-12; 1Thessalonians 2:1-18; 3:8-13; 4:13-18; 2Thessalonians 1:1-12; 2:1-12; 3:1-18; 1Timothy 1:1-2, 11-17; 2:3-7; 5:21; 6:1-17; 2Timothy 1:1-2; 2:1-26; 3:12-17; 4:1-2, 8-22; Titus 1:1-4, 7-16; 2:1-13; Philemon 1-25; Hebrews 1:1-14, 2:5-18; 4:4-16; 5:1-14; 6:7-20; 7:1-26; 8:1-13; 9:24; 10:5-9, 19-23; 10:5-9, 19-23; 11:25-26; 12:2-3, 22-24; 13:4-21). The General Epistles (James 1:1; 2:1-5; 1Peter 1:5-9; 2:3-25; 4:1-11; 5:1-14; 2Peter 1:1-2, 2:1-4; 1John 1:1-7; 2:1-2, 22-25; 3:1-3, 8-10; 4:9-10; 5:1, 20-21; 2John 2; Jude 1, 4). Revelation (1:1-2; 2:7, 10-11, 16-18, 28-29; 3:14-16; 4:5-8; 5:1-11; 6:16-17; 7:9-17; 11:15; 12:10, 14-19; 15:1-4; 17:14-17; 19:1-21; 20:4-6; 21:2-14, 22-23; 22:1-21).

Three persons are clearly referred to in Psalm 45:6-17; Isaiah 10:20 – 12:6; 42:1-7; 48:16; 59:15-21; 61:1-3 with Luke 4:18-21; 63:9-10; Zechariah 3:8-9, 12:10 – 13:1. Three persons called God are referred to in the New Testament in: The Gospels (Matthew 1:20-25; 3:9-17; 4:1-11; 12:18-21; 22:42-46; 28:19-20; Mark 1:10-11; 12:35-37; Luke 1:32-35, 67-80; 2:25-35, 38; 3:22; 11:9-13; 24:49; John 1:31-34; 3:34-36; 14:16-21, 23-26; 15:26; 16:7-17; 20:21-23). The book of Acts (1:1-8; 2:17-21, 33-39; 4:8-12, 24-31; 5:30-32; 6:1-15; 7:1-53; 7:54-56; 8:5-23, 29-39; 9:5-20; 10:2-48; 11:15-25; 13:2-12, 46-52; 15:7-29; 18:24-28; 20:21-35). The Pauline Epistles (Romans 4:1-4; 5:1-5; 8:1-27; 9:1-5; 14:17-18; 15:8-30; 1Corinthians 2:1-15; 3:16-23; 6:9-19; 7:22-24, 40; 12:1-29; 2Corinthians 1:18-23; 3:3-18; 5: 1-10; 6:1-18; 13:14; Galatians 3:1-11; 4:7; 5:16-26; 6:2-8; Eph. 1:3-21; 4:3-32; 5:1-21, 6:6-24; Philippians 1:1-19; 2:1-11; Colossians 1:3-8; 1Thessalonians 1:1-10; 4:1-18; 5:9-28; 2Thessalonians 2:13-17; 1Timothy 3:15-16; 4:1-10; 2Timothy 1:6-14; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 2:1-14; 3:1-12; 6:1-6; 9:6-14; 10:10-18, 26-31). The General Epistles (1Peter 1:1-4, 10-25; 3:15-22; 4:13-19; 2Peter 1:16-21; 1John 3:23-24; 4:2-3, 12-16; 5:5-11; Jude 20-21). Revelation (1:4-6, 9-10; 3:1-13, 21-22; 4:1-3; 5:1-10; 11:3-13; 14:12-13; 19:1-10; 22:16-21).

Thus the whole Bible abundantly proves that there are three separate persons in the Godhead, or in the “one Lord” and “one God” or Deity; that these three are in absolute unity and “are one” as believers are supposed to be (John 17:11, 21-23); and that all three persons have their proper place in the creation and redemption of all things, and to each, we owe honour and respect in all our worship and service to the Godhead.

Jesus Is Buried

John 19:38-42 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. 

‘Joseph of Arimathaea’ – a secret disciple of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin (Matt. 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56). He was from Ramah, called in the Septuagint Armathaim (1Sam. 1:1, 19).

‘Nicodemus’ – he was one of the Jewish’s rulers and a Rabbi, as well as a member of the Sanhedrin, and one of the three richest men in Jerusalem. He was known as Bartholomew which is a patronymic for Nathaniel. He was the brother of Philip (1:45-51; 21:2) and one of the 12 apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13).

‘By night’ – at first, he came by night, but now openly, proving no shame.

‘Myrrh’ the Greek word smurna meaning a fragrant gum used in anointing oil (Ex. 30:23), perfume (Psa. 45:8), and embalming (Mark 15:23). Myrrh is a gum which comes from the stem of a low, thorny, ragged tree growing in Arabia and East Africa. ‘Aloes’ a perfume of fragrant aromatic wood.

‘Hundred pound weight’ A hundred litre of 12 ounces each would make only 75 of our pounds. It is not known how much it costs per pound, but great quantities were used in embalming the dead body of respected persons. When Herod died 500 servants bearing aromatics attended the funeral (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 15:3:4). The women also brought spices (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56; 24:1).

‘Wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews’ this was not embalming as practised by Egyptians. Jews simply anointed the body and wrapped it in fine linen, putting the spices and ointments in the folds. In Christ’s case, the operation was not completed due to the coming of the sabbath. As soon as the sabbath was over the women came back to complete the work (Mark 16:1). The linen was bound around each leg and arm and a napkin over the face (11:44; 20:7; Acts 5:6).

‘Sepulchre’ is the Greek word mnemeion translated as the grave. It is never the place of the soul, and is always located on the earth as the place where the body goes. The Bible is clear when it states that man puts bodies into the grave and that graves are made, dug, touched and seen. Thus can the hell [Greek: gehenna] and the grave [Greek: mnemeion] not be the same place because no wrath, sorrow, fire, degrees of torment, consciousness, souls, gates, bars, keys, prayer, conversations, pains, angels, demons, satan, punishment, remorse, feelings, emotions, desires, suffering, memory, comfort, or life is ever mentioned as being in graves; but all these things are mentioned many times as being in hell. Men can put into the grave after killing the body, but God alone can cast into hell (Rev. 20:11-15; Psa. 9:17).

‘Nigh at hand’ – indicating that they had to make haste to bury Him before the special sabbath began at sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday. Also, it appears that they planned a better tomb and that they had no hopes of Him ever being resurrected, as He had repeatedly said. They considered Him a great prophet and planned on treating Him as such by making a great tomb for Him.

In centuries past, superstition, fraud, and all manner of sinfulness have been carried on in connection with the holy sepulchre. Greeks and Armenians for centuries pretended that divine miracles came through it and even immunity from hellfire would accompany anyone buried in cloth that was singed in the candle fires of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The fire was thought to miraculously come from heaven each Easter which has always been a pagan festival observed long before Christ. It is not a Christian name but is derived from Ishtar, one of the Babylonian titles of an idol goddess, the Queen of Heaven. The Saxon goddess Eastre is the same as the Astarte, the Syrian Venus, called Ashtoreth in the Old Testament. It was the worship of this woman by Israel that was such an abomination to God (1Sam. 7:3; 1Kin. 11:5, 11:33; 2Kin. 23:13; Jer. 7:18; 44:18). This church was burned down Oct. 11, 1808, after 1400 years of idolatrous practises in it.

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

John 19:31-37 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knows that he said true, that you might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture said, They shall look on him whom they pierced. 

‘Sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was a high day)’ this was Tuesday sunset to Wednesday sunset. The next day was a “high day” (John 19:31), a special sabbath of the feast, not the ordinary weekly sabbath, which was two days later (Lev. 23:6-11). Bodies were not to hang all night (Deut. 21:22-23).

‘Legs might be broken’ it was common practice to break the legs of criminals upon the cross to hurry their death, but law again was broken to fulfil a prophecy that no bone of Him shall be broken which is the 14th Old Testament prophecy in John (Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12; Ps. 34:20).

‘Came there out blood and water’ – there is nothing symbolic or spiritual intended to be conveyed here, but the fact of His literal death. The prophecy in Psalm 22:14 was being fulfilled during His crucifixion: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.” The loss of tissue fluids – after He had been scourged: ripped open – had reached critical levels; and His compressed heart was struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood to the tissues, and the tortured lungs were making a frantic effort to inhale small gulps of air as He was trying to get oxygen as He pushed Himself up for every breath against the nails that held Him to the cross. The markedly dehydrated tissues sent their flood of stimuli to the brain was why Jesus cried of thirst. Again we read in the prophetic Psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death” (22:15). To make doubly sure of death, a legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. ‘And immediately there came out blood and water.’ Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and the blood of the interior of the heart. This is rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

‘He that saw it bare record’ this was John the apostle himself (19:25-26; 21:24-25).

‘They shall look on him whom they pierced’ the 15th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John (Psa. 22:16) and be fulfilled as we read from Zechariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7 that they who pierced Him – or rather their descendants – shall mourn for Him. This identifies the Jews as the ones responsible for the sufferings and death of the Messiah. Peter confirmed this (Acts 2:23). Having been the ones who pierced Him, or had Him pierced, the Jews will then, in that future day, lament and mourn in bitterness over their deed, upon seeing Him and the marks of His wounds. They will at last make supplication to Him for mercy and forgiveness (Zech. 12:10-14).

Jesus Delivered

John 19:16-22 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 

‘Delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified’ Pilate now surrendered to the pressure of facing Tiberius in the trial for not yielding to the Jews to crucify their King. He delivered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:25). Thus the Jews are accused of crucifying the Messiah (Acts 2:23). The Romans merely carried out the will of the Jews, Pilate having pronounced no sentence but having washed his hands of the whole affair (Matt. 27:24). John omits the insults of the soldiers (Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:16).

‘He bearing his cross’ He bore the cross at first until He could no longer carry it alone, then Simon was forced to help Him (Matt. 27:32). ‘Skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha’ the skull: called calvaria, a skull (Luke 23:33), a place outside Jerusalem (Heb. 13:12). Origen (185-253 A.D.) refers to a tradition that Christ was crucified where Adam was buried and where his skull was found.

In Luke 23:27 we read of a great company of people that followed Jesus, of whom were mostly women, which also bewailed and lamented Him in His sufferings. These women that were of the sex that first sinned now stayed more true to the Saviour than those of the sex which chose to sin without being deceived (1Tim. 2:14).

Jesus responded saying: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me …” with the 51st New Testament prophecy in Luke that was fulfilled in 70 A.D., when Jerusalem was destroyed. These women were of Jerusalem. They were told to weep for themselves and for their children. Christ foresaw their terrible sufferings about 40 years later when many in this same crowd perished in the horrible carnage which took place on the capture of the city.

‘Pilate wrote a title’ John alone mentions that Pilate wrote it Himself. Much controversy has raged over the differences of what was written on the cross, as all four gospels have different wording. Mark and Matthew mention “the accusation” which might be different from the “title” of John 19:19. The accusation in Matthew and Mark is identical except Mark omits “This is Jesus.” He only gives part of it while Matthew gives the whole. They do not say the writing was in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as in Luke 23:38 and John 19:20. Different wording could be in these three languages and this could explain the difference.

‘Place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city’ probably just outside the north wall between the Damascus and the Herod gates, near the so-called “grotto of Jeremiah,” about half a mile from the Praetorium.

‘The chief priests of the Jews’ this expression is used only here. They were no longer God’s priests.

‘What I have written I have written’ Roman laws forbade the sentence to be altered when once pronounced. The inscription named the only crime for which He was crucified. It was a true statement, for He was and will always be King of the Jews, and will be so acknowledged by them at the second coming (Matt. 23:39; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 12:10-13:1; Rev. 1:7).