Saturday, June 14, 2008

ONE GOD


The following article has been adapted from a sermon preached by Alfred Chompff to his congregation in 1999.

Last week the Sermon title was One Book. The Bible is One Book. And many of you were wondering:

What is the big deal?

This is not a Church where we believe that the Bible is not One Book. This Church is solidly based on the Bible and the Bible alone. The title of the Sermon for today is One God. Many of you are probably wondering:

Why is he now talking about One God?

Our Church is not a Church where this is in doubt. This is not an issue here. We do not believe in more than One God.

Why am I addressing these basic issues like “One Book”, and “One God”?

Well, the mere fact that I am spending a whole week thinking, and meditating, and writing about such a basic issue, means that it must be important. But you ask:

Is it practical?

Well, if your life depended on it, would you think it is practical enough?

You know, in my function as the Undershepherd of this congregation, it is my job to feed you the spiritual food that prepares you for the attacks of the Devil and the attacks on your soul, through false gospels.

Why should I warn you for false gospels?

Why should we be on the alert?

This is not a Church where false gospels are preached. We feel safe and sound here.

Why bring in these warnings?

Now, think about it for a moment. Well, if this is indeed a Church where the True Gospel is preached, then you can count on it that the Devil and his angels are pounding at the door, trying to break in. The Devil does not stand idly by when the True Gospel is preached. There are all kinds of passages in the Bible such as in Genesis 19, where these warnings are given.

We need to know that the Devil is at the door, the wolves are at the door.

The secular world is not a threat. They care less whether we preach the True Gospel or not. But the religious world does care. There are many more Churches where another gospel is preached, than there are Churches where the True Gospel is preached. To them, the Gospel that we preach is an offence, it is a threat.

Why are we meeting here on Sundays?

Now, the reason why we are meeting here on Sundays is because we have left those other Churches where the gospel was watered down and they are not anymore worshipping the God of the Bible.

And do you think that the Devil would not be concerned, and leave us alone?

Of course he would not leave us alone!

No way!

The wolves are at the door! So, it is my job to feed you with the Word of God in such a way that you can defend yourself against the wiles of the Devil.

You know, there is not much time left. Look at me, I am older than most of you. You should expect some changes in the near future. And it is my job to prepare you for that day, so that you can stand on your own, and make decisions even in my absence. That is why I want to warn you for the false gospels.

How does a false gospel get a start in a Church?

One little step at a time!

For example, most of us have come out of Churches where we have been brainwashed with the idea that the Bible is a collection of 66 Books.

Have you not you heard of that?

In fact, it is written down in the Belgic Confession, in Articles 4 and 5. And from there it is only a small step to declare that the warning of Revelation 22:18-19, is a warning that applies only to “The Book of Revelation”.

And so, I want to warn you for that. So, if you go through the Sermon outline I gave last week, you will have in your hand the evidence that the Bible itself proves that the Bible is One Book.

As you know, there are many Churches that have already decided that the warning of Revelation 22:18-19 only applies to “The Book of Revelation”, and they have decided that God is still bringing Divine revelations today.

What happened?

The wolves have already devoured those Churches.

Why and how did that happen?

How it happened is this. God says:

Hosea 4:6
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.

So, we need to take that to heart. Those churches did not pay attention to the basic principles of their Faith. And today I would like us to consider another very basic principal of our Faith and show you that it is under attack:

· First, I want to talk about this fact that there is One God. Everyone says: I know that!

· Secondly, when everyone is soundly asleep, I will wake you up with the question: Which God?

· Thirdly, I will discuss the question: So What? What are the consequences?

So that, briefly, is the outline of this sermon.

And, what are the consequences?

The consequences are Life or Death.

Is that a practical enough reason?

It cannot be more practical than that. Let us take the first point-There is One God.

In the Beginning

We believe the Bible is One Book, and that it does not “contain” the Word of God, but the Bible IS the Word of God. It is God speaking! The Bible says:

1 Peter 1:21
“Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.

In other words, they spoke the words that God moved them to speak, and they wrote the words that God moved them to write. God’s own words were written down in the Old Testament in Hebrew, and God’s own words were written down in the New Testament in Greek. We have in our hands the King James Version, which is as close as possible, a word-for-word translation of the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus.

Sometimes the translators have left a Hebrew or Greek word untranslated and we have adopted that word into our English language. And it made us better understand what that Hebrew or Greek word means. Let me give you an example: The word “Sabbath”. We have that word in our English language, but it is a Hebrew word. It is left untranslated. If you translated it, it would mean “rest”. But, it is “Sabbath”, and so we have adopted that in our English language. Sometimes I wish that God had done that with a few more words in the Bible. For example, in Genesis 1:1, God says,

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

And we all know that by heart.

But, what’s God saying?

If I use the Hebrew word, He’s saying:

"In the beginning 'Elohiym created the heavens and the earth."

What does this mean?

The word for God here is the word "Elohiym," which is the plural name for God. Now that we have the revelation of the New Testament we can understand what God is saying here. In Genesis 1:1, God says: In the beginning God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit created the Heavens and the earth.

We know this because the New Testament gives us that information: The Father is God, The Son is God and The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father. And yet there is only One God, not three gods, but only One Triune God. God exists as Three Spirits in One. We cannot understand that with our human mind, but nevertheless those words are in the Bible. If the translators would have left Elohiym stand in the translation, we would have a better understanding of what God is saying here in the Old Testament. Now, please turn to the Gospel according to John, Chapter 1:1-3.

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2
The same (referring to the Word)
was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

What does God mean here?

Well, if we combine John 1:1 with the statement of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning 'Elohiym created the heavens and the earth”, then it becomes clear that the Word in John 1:1 is really a code word for one of the Persons of the Triune God. In verse 14, God explains that this Person is the Second Person of the Triune God: It is God the Son who adopted a human body and became the Lord Jesus Christ.

Did you hear that I said He adopted a human body?

Most people say He adopted a human nature, that’s a little bit slippery. If I say, He adopted a human body I’m much clearer telling you what He did. The Gospel according to John is the most popular of the four narrative Gospels in the Bible. More people know the gospel of John better than the other gospels.

Why is John so popular?

Not because it is so easy, but because the fires of Hell are not directly mentioned in the gospel according to John. And so you realize that it is the wrong reason for the popularity of the gospel according to John. No, the Gospel according to John is not written in easy language. For example, he could have written: In the beginning was the Son, and the Son was with God and the Son was God. Then everything would be clear to us. And we would know what He meant. But God decided that John would write:

· In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.

This was not the first time that God used the word Logos in the New Testament. In fact, this word occurs 330 times in the New Testament, and it occurs in the singular as well as in the plural. Not always has Logos been translated “word” or “words”, quite often it has been translated “sayings”. To make matters worse, there is another Greek word that also has been translated “word” or “words”.

What is the meaning of Logos?

Actually the English word “Logic” was derived from this word. It is very close to what our English “Logic” means.

Instead of “Logic” you could use the Biblical word “Wisdom”.

When God writes: In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. You could say: “In the beginning was Wisdom, and the Wisdom was with God, and the Wisdom was God”.

That is not a bad translation. In the Old Testament, Wisdom is frequently a synonym for Christ. But here is the important principle: In John 1:1 God identifies the Logos with God the Son. (The second person of the trinity) And also, let is look at John 1:14:

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Literally, God says:

· And the Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us,

God says now that God the Son became flesh and became known unto us as Jesus Christ.

God says here in John 1:1 and in John 1:14, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus Christ is God the Son in the flesh!

· But God has more to say about Logos. The Logos is also the Word of God, the Bible

In many other parts of the Bible, God identifies Logos with the Word of God, the Bible.

Now we can understand why the KJV translators chose to translate Logos as Word in John 1:1.

Now let me summarize it: when all is said and done God says at least four things:

1. Jesus Christ is God

2. God the Son became flesh for us

3. Jesus Christ is the personification of Wisdom

4. The Bible, the Word of God, is identified with Jesus Christ

Why did God the Son have to come down to this sin cursed earth?

The Bible says: God gave His only begotten Son.

What does He mean that He “gave”?

God gave Him up as a sacrificial Lamb of God!

Why was that necessary?

It was necessary because God desired to have a people for Himself, which He chose from among the human race that has gone totally on the way to Hell, down to the last one. God says He desired to have a people for Himself from that human race. Let us look at the second point now:

Which God do we worship?

Will we worship the God of the Bible?

Or will we worship some other god?

Will we take Him at His Word?

If we worship the God of the Bible, we take Him at His word. Please turn with me to John 17. In the night before He was going to be crucified, the Lord Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Father. John 17 is known as the High Priestly Prayer of the Lord Jesus.

Here are some remarkable things the Lord Jesus says beginning in verse 6.

· He talks about the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world (John 17:6)

In the first five verses Jesus prays for Himself. Then beginning in verse 6, He prays for the disciples as well as for us. He says in verse 6:

John 17:6
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word (Logos).

They have kept thy Logos. Logos refers to the Bible, the whole word of God. Jesus says “the men which thou gavest me out of the world.”

Does this remind you of a similar saying of the Lord Jesus in John 6:37?

John 6:37
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Do you remember those words?

What is Jesus saying there in John 6:37?

What Jesus says of the eleven Disciples, he also says of US. Those of the human race that the Father has elected from the foundation of the world, will be given to Jesus, and they SHALL come to Jesus, because God irresistibly draws them to Jesus.

But how can that be?

· They are dead. Dead in trespasses and sins. They have died of the disease called Sin.

· They are stinking corpses unfit to come to Jesus. They come from a world that God has called “The bottomless Pit”. The place where the Prince of the power of the air is Satan Himself.

· Can you see? This is where we come from. Can you see the incredible grace of God?

· O what a Grace! That Almighty God wants something to do with such vile human beings.

But look at how the Lord Jesus describes us. Not as vile human beings, not here, not in His High Priestly prayer. He says in verse 6:

· And they have kept Thy Logos (John 17:6)

Now, could that be?

If you glance to your left, in John 16:32 the Lord Jesus says:

John 16:32
Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone.

These disciples, these men of little faith will run when their life is in danger, they will run away from Jesus.

Is that Sin?

Of course it is Sin. It is great sin, and it will defile them even more.

But, How can the Lord Jesus then, here in this High Priestly prayer in Chapter 17:6, say: They have kept Thy Word; as if they have kept it faithfully all their lives.

How can this be?

Only one way: If Jesus has saved them by being their Substitute.

Why do they need a substitute?

First of all, because the righteousness of God must be satisfied. God is a righteous judge, a just judge. And His righteousness must be satisfied. When God determined that the wages of sin is death. The death that God has in view is hell, it is eternal damnation. And when God put that in the law, He put it both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

In the Old Testament, He says “the soul that sinneth, it shall die”. That is something that has to be fulfilled. The whole human race, are deserving hell, eternal damnation. And Jesus said in John, in verse 6, He says, “they have kept Thy word.” They are blameless. They have no sin.

So how could Jesus say that?

The only way is if He took their sin upon Himself and Jesus would be their substitute. And Jesus would be our substitute.

Can you see the immense grace of God to have Christ as the substitute in our place?

He had to pay the price that we had to pay. He paid the price, the equivalent of an eternity in hell. What a Grace. So when He died on the cross and when He said, “It is finished”, He paid that price. Jesus says in John 17:7 and 8:

John 17:7
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

John 17:8
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Now, how could that happen?

The only way is these eleven disciples were chosen by God. They were elect from before the foundation of the world. God, in His grace, moved them so that they believed the Lord Jesus Christ. God did not move Judas Iscariot. Judas Iscariot remained an unbeliever.

Why the difference?

Judas was not elect from before the foundation of the world. He was not chosen to receive the great inheritance. The Lord Jesus says in verse 9:

"I pray for them: I pray not for the world" (John 17:9)

John 17:9
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

John 17:10
And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

The Lord Jesus says in no uncertain terms that He was not going to be a substitute for the whole world. He would be a substitute only for them for whom the Father had given to Jesus. And so, when you see in John 17, you see these words, and you see that our God is a God who elects people from before the foundation of the world, we understand that He chooses them unto salvation and He passes others by. This is a God who requires payment for sin and that is why He sends the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, to make the payment. It is a horrible payment, it is the equivalent of an eternity in hell. And Christ did make the payment. And then, God imputes upon the disciples and upon us, the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Christ died on the cross in 33 AD, God committed Himself to save us at some point in our life. And when we became saved, we were saved by God. If I would save you, you are in bad shape, but if God saved you, in no way can you backslide or fall away. Because, when God saved you, you are safe and secure until the day you die. That is the God of the Bible but people do not like that. Most people will not like that. They like a gospel where they can contribute something. And God says, “No, I am doing 100% and you do nothing”!

It is like Christ raising Lazarus from the tomb. Lazarus was a stinking corpse. Lazarus did nothing. When Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth!” Jesus made Lazarus come alive and hear His word, “Come forth” and he came forth. God drew him irresistibly. God made him alive, because he was dead.

And that is the same with us. That is the God of the Bible. Will we take God at His word! God says, “that is the last word”. Jesus Christ is the last word that I have sent to you. When Jesus Christ preached on earth, He gave His message to the disciples. And when the last of the disciples died, that was the end. And that was also the end of God’s revelation. So you can say now:

The Last Word

So what?

Should I be concerned if I am not one of God’s elect?

If you are not one of God’s elect, you do not want the Lord Jesus. You would not be searching for Christ. You do not want Christ lording it over you.

· The Logos that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48)

John 12:48
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word (Logos)
that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

People are going to be judged by the word of God. Now the “Word of God” is also another name for the Lord Jesus Christ. Turn to Revelation 19, beginning at verse 11:

· And His Name is called The Logos of God (Revelation 19:13)

Revelation 19:11
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Revelation 19:12
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Revelation 19:13
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (The Logos of God).

And so, when you read that God gives Christ the name, the “Logos” of God, (the “Word” of God), and God also calls the Bible the “Word” of God, then we have to connect those two. Let us read on:

Revelation 19:14
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Revelation 19:15
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword (Which is again The Word of God),
that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Revelation 19:16
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

So He is King of king and Lord of lords. And when we read in verse 13 “and he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood”,

whose blood is that?

Well, we read in verse 15 that “he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”.

That blood on His vesture?

That is the blood of all the unrighteous. And that is why His name is called “The Word of God”. He is the judge. Now we connect that, the Word of God is Christ. We read in the Bible that the God whom we serve is Christ. Now, you also read in the Bible, the Ten Commandments. We read the Ten Commandments today.

What is the first Commandment?

(Exodus 20:3)
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

What does that mean?

It means when God sounds the warning of Revelation 22:18-19, what commandment does God have in view?

Revelation 22:18
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

What plagues?

“The smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever”.

Revelation 22:19
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

God says in no uncertain terms that if you add to this book, the Bible, or if you take away from this book, the Bible, you have declared by your actions that you are unregenerate and arwe on the path to everlasting distruction.

What is the sin that we have committed when we add or take away from the word of God?

You guessed it: Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. The Lord Jesus Christ is so intimately identified with The Word of God, the Bible, that the Bible and only the Bible circumscribes who God is, and this is the God who we are called to worship. No one else can say that he has an additional revelation from God.

Where else can you find truth?

Where else can you find your authority?

You can say well, I love God, and I worship Him.

But, where do you find truth?

You have to define your source of truth. You have to define the source of your authority, and it is the Bible alone.

Many people have never heard anything said about Revelation 22:18-19, or about this warning.

Have you ever wondered why?

It is because the leaders of the Churches deliberately avoid talking about it. They don’t like to talk about so called “controversial issues”. But what they are doing, in fact, is they leave the door ajar, whereas God has commanded the door to be shut. He said: There will be no more revelations from God.

What are the Church leaders now doing about it?

They are running away from the problem, rather than attack it head on. They are like the hirelings who run away when they see the wolf coming.

Do you know what the end result is?

The wolf will devour the sheep.

That is why churches around us are falling away.

How do I know they are falling away?

Because, they have left the authority of the Bible, of the Word of God. Pray that God will keep us faithful to the Bible, and to the Bible alone. Amen.



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