“… I know there’s a God who knows my name, and a Son who died to take the blame. I believe Jesus is coming back ‘cause promises are promises and facts are facts. These days some say there’s no way to believe, just keep it loose, you’re free to choose. There’s no absolute, it’s all relative you see. So I’m calling all defenders of the Truth to live a life that spells out God’s worldview…As sure as there’s a law of gravity that says what goes up must come down, this is the ultimate reality: that God is, and God loves and God can be found. Well, I know there’s a God that knows my name, promises are promises and facts are facts.” (1994, Steven Curtis Chapman)
It’sfacts that I’d like to talk about in this newsletter. After all facts are facts, right! Little facts can leave unbelievers with little wiggle-room about the Gospel. Fact is the Bible was written over a span of 1500 years, over 40 generations, by over 40 authors, in many different places, on three continents and in three languages, and still has the continuity of God’s Spirit in it front to back. The following facts have always encouraged me to belief!
Have you looked to see the first words that Jesus said to us? Now surely, he must have spoken from the time that all children first speak, he must have been talking from about age three. However, it was not until he was twelve years old (and then the Holy Spirit of God provided only one sentence) that Jesus shares words with us. From birth to twelve- nothing, from thirteen to 30- nothing! His first recorded words are in Luke 2:49, “Why is it that you are looking for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” His first words can be contrasted with the last thing he would say: “It is finished.” What was finished? Jesus had finished the Father’s business! He had come to do the Father’s will and did it. Truly in these two simple verses we find that He really was the beginning of things and the end of things. The Spirit ‘highlighted’ the first thing he said and married it perfectly with the very last. The continuity of His Word confirms for believers that His Spirit wrote this book in great detail!
Do you remember the first words of Jesus at the start of his earthly ministry? At the age of thirty, he was baptized, anointed and then lead away for 40 days to be tempted of the devil. Not one word is attributed to him between twelve and thirty. However, the first recorded ministry words by the Spirit of God of Jesus were, “It is written.” Three times he says those words. By contrast, what were the last words Jesus said during those ministry years? He closed his ministry years with the prayer in John 17. Jesus’ last words on that last ministry night: “Thy Word is Truth”, “I have given them Thy Word”, and “I have given them Thy Words which You gave me”. Fact, the first words at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry were about the Word of God and the final statements of Jesus’ ministry were about the Word of God! Continuity!
The first question in the Old Testament is “Where are you?” God said that to show Adam that he was lost and guilty, to show Adam he needed something to redeem the condition he had gotten himself into. The first question in the New Testament is “Where is he that is born?” Where is this Savior that Adam needed? Where is he, that we all might worship him and serve him, the one that paid the price so that we would not be lost or guilty. The constancy of purpose is found in the Scripture again four thousand years after the first question.
The fact of God’s preference for the second born fascinates me as well. We concentrate a lot on the first-born in Scripture, but have you looked at the preferences God has for the second born? Abel was preferred over Cain. Isaac over Ishmael. Jacob over Esau. The potter of Jeremiah 18 was pleased with the second vessel over the marred first. God prefers the New Heaven and the New Earth to the present ones. Rather than our first birth (natural) He prefers our second birth over the first. The first Covenant was taken away, preferring the better New Covenant. Adam was the first man (born earthly); Jesus (born heavenly) was the second man. Imagine the grandeur of the Second Coming over the first. It’s a fact that second birth preference holds true from Genesis to Revelation.
The Word of God illustrates the ‘Fullness’ of God in a terrific way as well. We all know that God is three in one, or stated another way, the complete character of God is understood when we know all three attributes of God, not just a single characteristic of God. Look at Numbers 6: 23-24: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you; and be gracious unto you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee; and give you peace.”
Three blessings to be ‘fully’ blessed? To be a complete work of blessing, yes. All three of the Godhead blessing: the Father’s Work of Blessing (Creator), the Son’s blessing of Grace (Redeemer), and the Spirit’s blessing of Peace (Comforter). The Holy Spirit of God reveals God in His fullness front to back of Scripture. The Lord appeared to Abraham as three persons. The Israelites were to journey three days into the wilderness to separate themselves from the slavery of Egypt. A three-year old heifer, she-goat and ram were used for the complete sacrifice. Full deliverance came to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The fullness of the Godhead is made up of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Genesis shows the Father giving Life, Exodus shows the Son, the Deliverer, Redeeming his people, and Leviticus shows the Holy Spirit empowering Worship. Jonah’s deliverance came after three days in the belly of the whale. It was on the third day of Creation that the earth came up out of the water, symbolic of our resurrection. Jesus rose on the third day. He was crucified on the third hour. At the sixth hour, darkness covered the earth. At the ninth hour, Jesus declared it was finished. The fullness of God’s character is revealed as being the same ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow.’ There are three gifts of Grace: Faith, Hope and Love. The full man is Spirit, Soul and Body. Temptation is composed of three: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. (Eve saw the tree of good and evil as good for food, pleasant to the eyes and would make us wise.)
God is Love. God is Spirit. God is Light. The Spirit, the water and the blood are the perfect witness to the Grace of God. Jesus ministry lasted only three years. Everything that needed to be said about him and everything that he needed to accomplish was accomplished in those three years. He fulfilled the Law in three years. Jesus raised three people from the dead. The inscriptions on the cross were in three languages (to show the completeness of the rejection by all mankind). God is: which was, which is and which is to come. The angels cry, “holy, holy, holy” in reference to God. The completeness of God is revealed in Prophet, Priest and King. Jesus has appeared to put away sins, is now in the presence of God to advocate for us, and will appear again for those that are looking for Him. The completeness of God is revealed in the Trinity of God from Genesis to Revelation.
One last little fact. While there are many words for deceit and lies in the Hebrew language, there is only one word for Truth. (There is and always has been, and always will be only one real truth!) The word is ‘emeth’ and it’s composed of the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the middle letter of that alphabet and the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Not surprisingly, in the Greek text, Jesus is described as the Alpha (first letter of that alphabet) and Omega (last letter of that alphabet). Again, consistency from the first Hebrew word to the Greek. As Jesus stated in John 14:6, “I am the Truth.” Facts, placed in the Word of God delicately by the Holy Spirit of God for you and I to “know there is a God that knows my name.” After all, promises are promises and facts are facts! “God is, God loves, and God can be found!”