Monday, 22 December 2014

A list of scriptures supporting the doctrines of annihilationism and conditional immortality

The website Rethinking Hell also has a Facebook group where every now and then someone asks for a list of scriptures supporting the view that the wicked will one day be utterly destroyed in the lake of fire while only those who are in Christ will receive the gift of eternal life. Consider this to be my effort to fulfill that request to all those seeking to defend or introduce others to Conditionalism. Bear in mind that the traditional understanding of hell as a place of eternal conscious torment rests entirely on a specific reading of just three scriptures ( Matthew 25:46 and Revelations 14:9-11, 20:10), while the below list is constantly being updated and currently sits at well over 100 verses. Please feel free to suggest additional verses as this list below is far from complete in its current form and I could use as much help as possible in populating it.

Likewise, if a verse has been used that should not be on the list, perhaps because it speaks only of destruction or death in this life (some of the verses in the Psalms for example are unclear so I have left them out), please let me know so that I can remove it from the list. Also, most people would say that conditional immortality and annihiliationism are the same thing so why use both terms in the title; while they are certainly intertwined with one another I view them separately. One emphasizes the fate of the wicked while the other speaks of the eternal destinies of all men, whether it be life or death. Some may view this as a list of proof texts but the point is simply to show that the Bible is consistent and far from silent in its use of language and the message it presents regarding eternal life and death and I have tried to be as honest as possible in not taking anything out of context. One last note; I have purposely left this without commentary so as to let scripture speak for itself, if the reason for including a specific verse is not apparent let me know in the comments section and I will elaborate over there. Without further ado, here is my list in chronological order.

Genesis 3:3 - "It's only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, 'You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'"
Genesis 3:22 - And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
Genesis 7:21-23 - All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. (cross reference with 2 Peter 2:5-6)
Genesis 19:24-25 - Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. (cross reference with 2 Peter 2:5-6)

Psalm 1:3-6 - The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 21:9 - You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; the Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath,
And the fire shall devour them.
Psalm 37:1-2 - Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb.
Psalm 37:9-10 - For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
Psalm 37:20 - But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD's enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
Psalm 37:37-38 - Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace, But the transgressors shall be destroyed together, the future of the wicked will be cut off.
Psalm 68:2 - May you blow them away like smoke-- as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God.
Psalm 92:7 - Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.
Psalm 94:23 - He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the LORD our God will destroy them.
Psalm 97:2-3 - Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about.
Psalm 112:10 - The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

Proverbs 10:25 - When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.
Proverbs 11:4 - Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

Isaiah 1:28 - But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish.
Isaiah 1:31 - The strongest among you will disappear like straw; their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire. They and their evil works will burn up together, and no one will be able to put out the fire.
Isaiah 10:18 - The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land the Lord will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
Isaiah 13:9 - For see, the day of the Lord is coming - the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger. The land will be made desolate, and all the sinners will be destroyed with it.
Isaiah 25:7,8 - There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The Lord has spoken!
Isaiah 25:10 - For the Lord’s hand of blessing will rest on Jerusalem. But Moab will be crushed. It will be like straw trampled down and left to rot.
Isaiah 26:11 - Let your fire consume your enemies. But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy!
Isaiah 26:19 - For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!
Isaiah 65:12 - Therefore I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear,but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.”
Isaiah 66:22,24.- For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares the LORD, “So your offspring and your name will endure. “Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.

Ezekiel 26:19-21 - For thus says the Lord GOD, “When I make you a desolate city, like the cities which are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you and the great waters cover you, then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lower parts of the earth, like the ancient waste places, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set glory in the land of the living. “I will bring terrors on you and you will be no more; though you will be sought, you will never be found again,” declares the Lord GOD.

Daniel 12:2 - "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

Obadiah 16 - …and they shall be as though they had never been.

Malachi 4:1-3 - “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. “You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.

Matthew 3:12 - His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Matthew 7:13-14 - "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 10:28  - Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
 Matthew 13:30 - Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Matthew 13:40-42 - “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 16:25-27 - For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Matthew 19:29 - And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Matthew 22:7 - "But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers and burned up their cities.
Matthew 25:46
- "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Mark 8:35-37 - For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Luke 9:24-25 - For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
Luke 12:47-48 - And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Luke 18:18 - A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Luke 18:29-30 - And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Luke 20:34-36 - Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:36 - Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them.
John 4:14 - but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 5:24 - "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
John 5:39-40 - “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
John 6:27 - Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
John 6:33 - For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
John 6:40  - For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."
John 6:51 - I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
John 6:58 - "This is the bread which came down from heaven - not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
John 6:68 - Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
John 8:21 - Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come."
John 8:24 - "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am (He), you will die in your sins."
John 8:35 - "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever."
John 8:51 - I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!"
John 10:28 - "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."
John 11:25-26 - Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 12:25 - “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life”.
John 15:6 - If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Act 3:22-23  For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Acts 13:46 - Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

Romans 1:32 -  who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Romans 2:6-8 - …(God) who will render to each one according to his deeds, eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath.”
Romans 2:12 - All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
Romans 5:21 - so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:16 - Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
Romans 6:21 - What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 7:5 - For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
Romans 8:6 - For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:11 - The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Romans 8:13 - For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 9:22-23 - What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.

1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 3:15-17 - If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
1 Corinthians 15:16-18 - For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
1 Corinthians 15:50 - Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:53-54 - For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory..."

2 Corinthians 2:15 - For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 4:3 - But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

Galatians 6:8 - Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Ephesians 1:10 - In the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are in earth.

Philippians 1:28 - without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved--and that by God.
Philippians 3:19Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 – They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 - And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

1 Timothy 1:16  - “However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
1 Timothy 6:15-16 - “He who is blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who alone has immortality…”

2 Timothy 1:1 - This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:10 - ...our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Titus 3:7 - ...that having being justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Hebrews 10:27 - but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:39 - But we are not of those who draw back unto perdition (Greek: destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

James 1:11-12 - For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
James 1:15 - Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 4:12 – there is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy.
James 5:20 - …he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death

1 Peter 1:23 - For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (Jesus).

2 Peter 2:1 - But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:6 - and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly.
2 Peter 2:12 -  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2 Peter 3:6-7 - by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning  His promise, as some count slackness , but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 John 2:17 - “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
1 John 3:14-15 - "We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him."
1 John 5:11-12 - And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Jude 7 - as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 
Jude 12 - …These are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late Autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots.
Jude 21 - Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Revelation 2:10 - Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Revelation 2:11 - “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
Revelation 20:14 – Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
Revelation 21:4 - “there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away”.
Revelation 21:8 - But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Revelation 22:14 - Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

If this view on the end of the wicked (and the gift of God to those who believe) is new to you then check out these posts as well.

Conditional Vs Universal Immortality
Hell, thoughts on annihilationism

Friday, 19 December 2014

A quick word

Hi everyone!

If you have been clicking here every so often and have been disappointed to not see any new entries it is because I have being working on a couple of book projects that otherwise I just cannot seem to get around too. So the plan is to devote the next two or so weeks exclusively to that and then return to juggling everything once again. In the meantime though if you are looking for some quality reading material to keep you going, my friends over at MennoNerds have just published a new book as pictured below. You can go and check it out by clicking over here.  

See you all soon, have a blessed Christmas.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Who or what is the Word of God?

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. – Revelation 19:13

Recently I was reading 1 Peter 2:2 and it dawned on me just how conditioned we have become to reading things into texts which they do not actually say. That particular verse speaks of desiring the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby which most people have interpreted to say “read your bible”. However the next verse tells us that those who drink this pure milk will taste that the Lord is gracious. Then Paul uses the word scripture in verse 6 when he quotes from Isaiah and the Psalms which should tell us that he is making a clear distinction between the word and scriptures. It got me thinking about how many verses may have been misinterpreted in a similar manner and so I started looking through all the word of God or word of the Lord scriptures (about 500 of them) to see what they actually said.

Why is this important?

                                          image credit facebook/UnboxedFreethinker

I think the quote above puts it well. While I have a deep love for the bible and devote a significant amount of time to studying what it says; it can easily serve as a substitute to true fellowship and intimacy with Christ. One can know the commands and even do a pretty good job adhering to them without ever knowing the one who spoke them. It is similar to what Israel did at Mount Sinai in Exodus 19 and 20 when God invited them to be a kingdom of priests (19:6). There fearful response was to tell Moses that he should rather speak to God on their behalf and they would do whatever he told them. We are comfortable with the list of do and do not’s because they deal with the external, giving us a sense of spirituality without becoming too vulnerable. Let me say it this way rather, knowing scripture is extremely important but knowing God is the non negotiable.

The word or the Word?

Most of the times that we read the phrase ‘the word’ in the bible, it is simply referring to a message from God to someone or to a group of people. There are only a few cases where one could argue that ‘the word’ may be referring to scripture as a whole (possibly 1 Timothy 5:17 and Mark 7:13). So when looking at the phrase one needs to exercise some common sense and look at the context in which it was written to determine what the writer meant. With that in mind, I would like to share some of the scriptures that I came across which perhaps do not say what we always thought they did and in doing so, make a case for ‘the word’ when it is not simply a message, almost always equating to Jesus rather than scripture.

Genesis 15:1 - After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great."

The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. Abram did not receive the bible but a message from a someone.

1 Samuel 15:23 - For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."

The word of the Lord is often referred to as a ‘he’ in scripture, this is but one example.

Psalm 105:19 - Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him.

Once again, the word sounds like a person.

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

This is probably the most famous Jesus equals the word verse but even so, I have had people fight with me arguing that even John 1 refers to the bible. To me that is outright idolatry.

John 1:14 - The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word equals Jesus.

John 17:17 - Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

The context here is confirmed in verse 19, “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” Word equals Christ.

Acts 8:14 - When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.

Who or what was the word that the Samaritans accepted? Verse 5 in the same chapter tells us, “Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.”

Acts 11:1 - The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.

The word of God that the Gentiles received is described in Acts 10:42-43, “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

Acts 13:26 - Men, brothers and children of the lineage of Abraham, and those who worship God with you: To you He has been sent: The Word of Life.

A lot of versions use the phrase “message of salvation” in this verse. However the following verse reveals that Luke was referring to a person;“"For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him.”

Hebrews 11:3 - By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

To state the obvious, the bible is indeed visible and did not create the world.

1 Peter 1:23 - For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

We are born again through the living Christ. Not through seminaries and verse memory cards.

1 John 1:1 - That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

The next two verses reveal just who the Word of life is, “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:10 - If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Who is the word who is not in those who claim they have not sinned? According to verse 7, “…if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

1 John 2:14 - I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Verse 6 confirms who the word is who abides in us, “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

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. 

I shared this only because I was surprised at the amount of verses that confirm Jesus is the Word of God. This list is hardly exhaustive (about 20% of what I found) as I still wanted this to be readable. What can we gain from all of this? Read scripture more carefully, the bible is like a sign post pointing us toward life. Read it, see where it points you and be sure to share its message with others as well. But if we stop there we would be the most foolish of all men. Those who never received the Word that scripture pointed us to all along. 

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