The Jesus of Eternity

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Christos, Harvest Youth

John 1:1-5
(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(2) He was with God in the beginning.
(3) All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.
(4) Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.
(5) That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.

We have been in this Christos series now for 5 weeks. We talked about the Jesus of Prophesy, the Jesus of Calvary, and the best witnesses for Jesus, but now we are going to talk about the JESUS OF ETERNITY.

Do you know that Jesus has always existed? He is not a created being, as some people say, but He is an eternal being without a beginning or an end.

This is crucial in our understanding of Jesus Christ. Believe me, if you miss this one thing, multiple heresies and misconceptions can and probably will creep into your life.

Jesus testified to this while He was here on earth multiple times.
John 8:48- Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.

John also describes this to us in John 1 as we have already read; “He was with God in the beginning.”

And again in 1 John 1

1 John 1:1-2
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life-that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us-

But why is it so important that we have the right Jesus? What exactly do we mean by the wrong Jesus?

Many organizations make up an idea that Jesus was somehow a created being. One way or another, God must have created another god, because the Trinity cannot be true to them. They deny the power of the Godhead and they make up another Jesus.

But the Christian that interprets the Bible correctly knows that Jesus has always existed and will always exist.

In Revelations Jesus is referred to as the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last.

Jesus is also worshipped by the living creatures in Revelation 4 when they say, “Holy, holy, holy, 
Lord God, the Almighty, 
who was, who is, and who is coming.”

He was before time, and always was.
He is existing now seated at the right hand of the Father.
He is coming back to earth one day to take His church from this sinful world!
This is the Jesus we praise and worship, The Jesus of eternity.
He’s not walking the hillside in a robe, constrained by time and place.
He is everywhere at every moment in all time and always will be there!
He is speaking and will continue to speak.
He will not be shut up!

And this is how he speaks to us now.

Heb 1:2-3
Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by [His] Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word

the word radiance literally means: The actual reality of the exact character of God Himself.

The God of eternity, came down in human form, so that we could understand Him.

He did this because He wants to know you, and because He loves you.

Jesus is the God of eternity; let no one tell you otherwise.

God bless,

Dan Fogarty.

The Jesus of Calvary

Posted: April 5, 2012 in Christos, Harvest Youth

It’s amazing how good God is. I planned this series out 2 months in advance, and I did not even take Easter into the equation, yet as we come up to Easter Sunday, here I am talking about Calvary. Praise God.

You do know that Jesus was crucified right? Who believes that to be true?
We have to believe that, because all of Christianity hangs on that.
No other religion has a God who would die for them.

The Muslims reject Jesus as God, because to them God would never humble Himself like Jesus did.
Their god Allah would never die on a cross, he is not a servant; he is a ruler that will not humble himself.
Allah would never take human form because it is to degrading to his godly status.
Muslims do not understand Christians, because to them Jesus was just a prophet.
Allah would never die on a cross, because the cross was the most degrading form of death.
Everyone saw you hanging there on that cross.
You were a spectacle for the people, and an example of what would happen if you defied the rulers.

Remember when we say Lord Liar or Lunatic?
Well Muslims pick d, none of the above.
They say he was a prophet of Allah and not God.
They say Christians are stupid for thinking a prophet is God.

But Jesus said He was God did He not?

Remember when the Jews were gong to stone Him in John 10? Because he called himself God? Clearly He at least thought He was God, and we now know that He is God incarnate (in the flesh) John 1:14

Lets take a look at another Old Testament Prophesy about the Cross of Calvary shall we.

David lived around 1000 years before Jesus Christ, yet he prophesied about Jesus in several Psalms, one of which being Psalm 22, the Calvary Psalm.

Once again, this is 1000+ years before the birth of Christ, and it is an extremely accurate account of the crucifixion.
So accurate, that when read, most people assume it is in the New Testament, or somehow added in later as a forgery. But there is no evidence of a forgery.
Do you remember the Dead Sea Scrolls?
They were found in a cave that was sealed at least as early as 100 BC, that is 100 years before Christ.
Well they contain the Psalms of David among the writings, proving that what I am about to share with you was wrote before Jesus lived.

Furthermore, Crucifixion was not ever a form of torture/capital punishment until the 6th century BC. SO David prophesied about an event that was going to take place, before the method described existed! How cool is that!
Ps 22:1, 7-8, 16-18
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? 
[Why are You] so far from my deliverance 
and from my words of groaning? (Fulfilled in Matt 27:46)
Everyone who sees me mocks me; 
they sneer and shake their heads: “He relies on the Lord; 
let Him rescue him; 
let the Lord deliver him, 
since He takes pleasure in him.” (Fulfilled in Matt 37-43)
For dogs have surrounded me; 
a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; 
they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; 
people look and stare at me. (Fulfilled in Matt 37-43)
They divided my garments among themselves, 
and they cast lots for my clothing. (Fulfilled in Matt 27:35)

Matthew 27:46, 37-43, 35
(46) About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ” ” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
(37-43) Above His head they put up the charge against Him in writing:
THIS IS JESUS
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
 Then two criminals were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. Those who passed by were yelling insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “The One who would demolish the sanctuary and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him and said, “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He has put His trust in God; let God rescue Him now-if He wants Him! For He said, ‘I am God’s Son.'”
(35)After crucifying Him they divided His clothes by casting lots.

David’s Psalm sounds a lot like the death of Jesus Christ does it not? How awesome is that!

Why did Jesus have to die on a cross in the first place?

It’s called the great exchange. He died once (and rose) to pay for all of our sin.
And we can go to the cross now, accept Jesus as Lord one time, and His shed blood, His perfect, sinless blood pays the price for all of our sin for all time.
The great exchange, oh how great.

Jesus died a worse death then probably all of us will die.

He was tortured before he picked up the cross for hours.
They used to use whips with pieces of bone and glass that would grab the skin upon hitting it.
They would whip you with it, and that would hurt, but then they would rip the whip off and tear your flesh along with it.
Jesus was whipped so many times, so badly, that He could not even carry His own cross all the way. A man named Simon carried it for Him, and then they placed Him on it.

If you have never thought about how horrible being crucified really is, you would never reject such a wonderful gift.
Jesus was our substitute, so that through His death, we might have life!

Rom 5:18
So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone.

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.

Isaiah is an OT book that was wrote somewhere between the sixth and eighth century BC. I say the sixth to eighth because liberal critics of the Word date the book at two different time periods by two different men. However there is no justification for this in the text, and no copies of Isaiah 1-39 have been found separate from 40-66.

No scholars, no matter how liberal, date Isaiah past the 6th century, and this is very important for several reasons. The book of Isaiah prophesies about the coming of a Messiah who is born of a virgin.

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

We now know (as Christians) this virgin to be Mary, and this Messiah to be Jesus Christ, but the Jews are still waiting on this messiah. To the Jews, Jesus was just a rabbi, a teacher, or perhaps a bad man for leading people astray.

Most Jews know the Torah very well, and the OT, but they miss Jesus in the text.

Martin Luther said that there are two aspects of the Word; Law and Gospel.

We all have the law. That is why is almost every culture we know that murder is wrong; stealing is wrong, and so on. How is it that we all have this universal way of telling right from wrong? I’ll tell you, we are made in God’s image, and even though we have fallen very far, we still have the knowledge of right and wrong.

That is what Luther called Law. That is something we all have, whether we want to or not, and that is something you can read about in the Bible.

Gospel, however, is when we encounter Jesus in the text. Luther said that the reason why the Bible was so perfect and so infallible, was not because the church picked out what books went into it, but because it was Jesus Christ. John 1 says that the Word is God, and Luther claimed that if you did not encounter Jesus in the text, you really were just reading the Law. You missed the whole point of the Bible.

The point is to illuminate Jesus Christ.

And so we have this one prophesy about Jesus that the Jews miss. They miss the point; they miss Jesus.

Is 9:6-7
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Once again a text written 6-800 years before Christ prophesies that a ruler will be born that will forever sit on the throne of David. We know that Jesus is the offspring of David, because Joseph was in the bloodline of David. The book of Luke shows us this when we read all the sons of.

Isaiah says that there would be no end to the rule of the Messiah, and there is none. He reigns over all, He rules over all, He controls all.

Isaiah is a good witness for the Lord, but how about Moses. Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Torah. Moses wrote these books sometime between 1200 and 1330 BC, most likely, although there are those who say that Moses did not write them, that someone later wrote them around 400-600 BC.

So these writings are around 1300 years before Christ came, and look at what God says right after the fall. (Explain the fall to them)

Gen 3:15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, 
and between your seed and her seed. 
He will strike your head, 
and you will strike his heel.

This is the first prophesy of Jesus Christ. You will strike his heel means that they will crucify Jesus, like they did. He will strike your head means that Jesus will defeat Satan, and he did.

Satan has been defeated with the cross, but he has not yet been destroyed.

Jesus was prophesied about over a century before He came to earth! These are just three verses I picked, there are many more. The only way that we cannot see Jesus in the scriptures is if we suppress the truth.

Rom 1:18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth

Don’t suppress the truth. Don’t be like the atheist who denies God, or the Jehovah’s Witness who denies the deity of Jesus Christ, or the Mormon who claims that Jesus was born of a virgin goddess, or anyone who denies the fact that Jesus Christ came, died and rose again in the flesh.

We have enough scriptures to back our Christological theories that we know them to be true.

John 21:24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.

The most credible witness

Posted: March 25, 2012 in Harvest Youth

Who is the most credible witness for the risen Lord Jesus Christ?

Some say it is the women who came to see His tomb.

Some say it is Peter because he became very bold after the Holy Spirit came.

I want to talk today about Saul, or now Paul of the NT.

Paul was a Pharisee, as he admitted in Acts 23 when He was on trial.

He used to persecute the Christians violently as he describes in Gal 1:13-14
For you have heard about my former way of life in Judaism: I persecuted God’s church to an extreme degree and tried to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries among my people, because I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.

All of that changed for Paul as we read the next two verses (Gal 1:15-16)
…But when God, who from my birth set me apart and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, so that I could preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone.

We have to act when we see the Lord, and that is what happened to Paul.

But lets rewind for a moment and look at Saul before and after seeing the Lord.

Before seeing the Lord:
Stephen was the first martyr for the Lord Jesus Christ. At the end of Acts 7 we see that while the religious people were stoning Stephen, Saul was holding their coats. At the beginning of Acts 8 we see that Saul was pulling men out of their homes and killing them, and then in Acts 9 he had gotten some letters together granting permission for him to kill anyone who belonged to Christ Jesus.

After seeing the Lord:
Saul immediately becomes a Christian and writes 13-14 books of the NT. I say 13-14 because some think that Paul wrote Hebrews. He saw the Lord and it changed his life! And notice immediately he is called brother (Acts 9:17). Before Paul did anything, he is called brother. Paul did not earn his salvation; it was freely given to him.

But notice Paul does not do nothing once he is saved; he goes all over the place and tells people about the Lord.

Once we see the Lord, we are compelled to act. James says that faith without works is dead. So our outward acts express our inward condition. Saul is a great example of what a true conversion looks like, and he is a credible witness, perhaps the most credible witness for the risen Lord.

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.

Recently I was debating on whether or not I should sell my car. It is 5 years old, but I put some money into it recently and the bluebook value is not to high. So I started crunching some numbers to see if I would keep my car, buy a used car with a payment, or buy a new car. Keep in mind, right now I am in my senior year of college, so I would not buy a new car now, but in 6-9 months (if I find a job…ha) I will probably be able to.

I purchased my Mazda Protégé 5 that was 5 years old for $10,500 5 years ago in Aug, so we will say it is 60 months old (I know it’s not there yet, but were pretending). Since I had the car, it has had a few issues, so I have spent around $3500 on repairs. This is actually a lot, I was having a hard time finding a problem, and so a few parts that did not need to be replaced were and it should have been a little lower than this. Overall I have paid around $14,000 in almost 60 months, but keep in mind that when I am not fixing something there is absolutely no payment.

If I had bought the car with a car payment, I would have spent around $12,200 before repairs that re not covered by a warranty, so had the car been financed the cost would have been around $15,700 over 60 months.

The bluebook is $5000, so I lost $9,000 in value over the last 5 years, but if I had financed I would have lost almost $12,000. I drove around the average of 15,000 miles per year, and the car is still running strong, with a few repairs here and there. I should be able to keep the car for another 4-8 years and I will probably spend around $2-3000 more before it is not worth it to repair. Worst-case scenario I end up spending another $3000 and it lasts me another 4 years. So that would be a total of $17,000 for a car that lasts 9 years and is completely worthless except for scrap metal.

The average (if worst case scenario plays out) for 9 years of car would be $157 a month.
If it lasts me 12 years (which it might considering I was smart and bought a car that usually lasts a long time) it will cost me at the most $118 a month.

Suppose you buy a NEW car for $30000 and drive it for 5 years. When you go to sell the car, it will be worth around $13,000, because they depreciate so fast.

If a new car is financed for 30,000 over 72 months with a low (4%) interest rate, the car will cost you around $34,000 total.

After 60 months it will have cost you $30,000. So lest say you sell the car for $13,000 in 5 years, you will owe $4000 still to the bank, so you really spent roughly $21,000 for the car after interest and taxes, ext.

So I spent 17,000 for a car (including repairs) that will last from 9-12 years, where as someone who buys a new car spends around $21,000 for a nicer car they will drive for 5 years and then probably sell to buy another new car.

Also, I have so far spent $14,000 for 5 years, which is still $7000 less than one would lose on a new car in 5 years.

So here is a quick breakdown

5 year old car bought in cash $10,500 last 9-12 years with around $7000 in repairs averaging between $160-$115 a month.

A brand new car ($30,000) that gets traded in after 5 years (after all who wants an old car right) costs around $450-500 a month!!! Unless it’s getting 100 MPG, I do not think I will recoup my money in any way!

Many people say they like new cars or slightly used cars with payments because they like the idea that they can go to the shop and not pay a dime to get a repair, but as you can see, you are paying for that repair whether you get it or not, and you are paying much more than the repair would normally cost with a new or slightly used car.

Also, keep in mind that when a new car is purchased, and a loan is taken out, you have to get the best type of insurance, which costs more money than the no-fault insurance I have on my used car. I pay $200 a year for coverage, I know many people who pay $200 a month on their cars! That’s another $2200 a year in savings if you have a high premium. Over the course of 5 years that is $11,000 saved when you go with no-fault. So what if you get in a horrible accident and you have to pay like $4000 for a repair, well, you saved $11,000, so you still make out like a bandit! The only way this backfires is if your car gets totaled, which can happen, but usually does not.

My advice to someone who is looking to buy a car would be to buy a car with cash without the warranty they will try to sell you for $2500. If I had bought the warranty for my car then I would have just spent an extra $2500 for nothing, because the first two years, nothing happened to the car, and something horrible would have had to happen to reach the $250 warranty!

Also, buy a car under its bluebook value (which can be done) that is a reliable model no more than 6 years old if you can afford it. Even if you buy a 12-year-old car for $500, if it last you a year, it costs $50 a month!

Spend wisely people ☺

Dan Fogarty.