STUFF (that no longer fits in the closet)


Although it is obviously pervasive in our North American culture, I thought I was doing “pretty good” in fighting my tendencies to accumulate material possessions.  Hadn’t I been “flylady-ing” (she’s super cute, BTW) for years?  Pursuing a simpler lifestyle? (a la Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist)

The Holy Spirit has increasingly been bringing materialism to the forefront in my life.  Nudging it in front of me repeatedly until I finally acknowledged it.  How?  It sounds so ridiculous to spell it out.  We are on a budget so I try to buy second hand if possible, if that will help cover my embarrassment to admit:

One is an expensive leather belt I wanted to win on eBay, and didn’t.  Why didn’t I enter a higher max bid??  How come I didn’t set my watch alarm so I could try to snipe it at the last minute?  Oh, how I coveted that belt.

Another is a set of  micro doggy toys that my daughter would have LOVED – and I saw at a thrift shop for $4 but my husband didn’t want me to buy them, stating that my daughter already has a lot of doggy toys (she does, but not MICRO ones!).  OH, how I hemmed and hawed for DAYS afterwards and wished I would have just talked him into it or gone back the next day myself.  (I went back the next week and they were gone)

And today’s is a kids’ toy that I had listed to sell (trying to simplify and clear out STUFF, remember).  I hadn’t even actually given it to my kids, and had picked it up off a swap and buy site but decided we didn’t need it.  I tested it out to make sure it worked right before the person came to pick it up.  And it was SO COOL!  I didn’t want to sell it!  I tried messaging the person to see if they had left yet so I could change my mind!!!  (They had.)  Argh!

So here, three silly examples in the last while of insignificant personal possessions that I agonized over afterwards.  Definitely spent a disproportionate of time thinking about, regretting, and longing after.  Coveting.  Envying.  Doesn’t exactly sound Biblical, does it?  One could even say – Sinful.

And I felt ashamed.  Why do “things” have such power over me?  Why do I struggle with wanting to buy more?  better?  newer?  When God has blessed me with overabundance already?  We are constantly bombarded with wonderful, beautiful, neat, fun, and exciting THINGS.  It’s too much for me to handle on my own – my weak human flesh-nature.

And I think this is the place we need to get to in our weaknesses – “it’s too much for me!  Too hard!  I can’t DO it!”  We need to realize we need help from OUTSIDE ourselves.  Our sin nature IS too big for us to overcome on our own.  We DO need outside help – supernatural help.  And this is where the Holy Spirit comes in.  To sanctify us.  To draw us closer to Christ-likeness.  To help us throw off the sin that grabs at our ankles and winds its way up our legs, ever growing, ever consuming until it strangles us with its mighty grip.  We aren’t abandoned to wallow in our sin.  We can surrender ourselves to Jesus and His Lordship of our lives and throw off the chains of sin.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  1 Corinthians 6:11

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

UPDATE:  I prayed and told God that these were too much for me, that I couldn’t let go on my own.  And their power over me was broken! 🙂  We need to get to the end of OURSELVES and surrender to JESUS – this is where we find freedom!

Economic Materialism – Definition

Consumer research typically looks at materialism in two ways. One as a collection of personality traits and one as an enduring belief or value.

Materialism as a personality trait

Belk’s conceptualization of materialism includes three original personality traits.

  • Nongenerosity – an unwillingness to give or share possession with others.
  • Envy – desire for other people’s possessions.
  • Possessiveness – concern about loss of possessions and a desire for the greater control of ownership.

Materialism as a value

Acquisition centrality is when acquiring material possession functions as a central life goal with the belief that possessions are the key to happiness and that success can be judged by people’s material wealth.

Growing materialism in America

In the United States, there is a growing trend of increasing materialism in order to pursue the “good life.” Research shows that recent generations are focusing more on money, image, and fame than ever before – especially since the generations of Baby Boomers and Generation X.

In one survey, 1 in 14 Americans would murder someone for 3 million dollars and 65% of respondents said they would spend a year on a deserted island to earn $1 million.

A survey conducted by the University of California and the American Council on Education on a quarter of a million new college students found that their main reason for attending college was to gain material wealth. From the 1970s to the late 1990s, the percentage of students who stated that their main reason for going to college was to develop a meaningful life philosophy dropped from more than 80% to about 40%, while the purpose of obtaining financial gain rose from about 40% to more than 75%.

Materialism and happiness

However, an increase in material wealth and goods in America has actually had little to no effect on the well-being and happiness of its people. Skitovsky called this a “joyless economy” in which people endlessly pursue comforts to the detriments of pleasures.

Using two measures of subjective well-being, one study found that materialism was negatively related to happiness, meaning that people who tended to be more materialistic were also less happy. When people derive a lot of pleasure from buying things and believe that acquiring material possessions are important life goals, they tend to have lower life satisfaction scores. Materialism also positively correlates with more serious psychological issues such as depression, narcissism and paranoia.

However, the relationship between materialism and happiness is more complex. The direction of the relationship can go both ways. Individual materialism can cause diminished well-being or lower levels of well-being can cause people to be more materialistic in an effort to get external gratification.

Instead, research shows that purchases made with the intention of acquiring life experiences such as going on a family vacation make people happier than purchases made to acquire material possessions such as a car. Even just thinking about experiential purchases makes people happier than thinking about material ones.  (Source)


Following the 10 Commandments in the Church Age

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t agree with at least SOME of the 10 Commandments.  We know that we shouldn’t kill each other, that adultery is disruptive to families, and that stealing from someone makes them mad.

I have been convicted to look at the 10 Commandments (and God’s other instructions to us as well).  Armed with nothing but my Bible, my question was – Do these apply to us today?  Or has this church age of Grace abolished the Law as some say?

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”  John 14:21

From the beginning of creation, God set out His rules for us to live by (His Law).  At first, there was only one rule: Don’t eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  After the fall of man, God introduced other laws for humanity to govern relationships with Him and with each other.  God spoke directly to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and others, and communicated His rules for living.

Salvation has always been through faith in the Messiah.  Eve had faith that “her seed” would redeem her.  We see that people like Seth, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham knew what God expected, had faith in Him, and “walked with God”.  This is discussed in Hebrews 11 (the “hall of Faith”).

Our conscience bears witness to God’s Laws (concrete definitions of good and evil).  Sin is the breaking of God’s laws in our thoughts, words, and deeds.

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.  Romans 2:14-16

At the time of Moses, God gave the written 10 commandments, as well as many other social, national, and ceremonial laws, to the people of Israel.  God was establishing His nation and the rules to govern it – remember that Israel was a Theocracy (God is the government and judge, so God establishes the laws of Israel and enforces them).  These chosen people were bound by these laws and a sacrificial system that was meant to represent the future atonement for sin that would be accomplished by Jesus the Messiah.  The Law itself did not save, but brought death (a knowledge of sin) (Romans 4:14-16).  Those who had faith in this sacrificial system pointing to a future Messiah were saved by grace through their faith (the sacrificial system pointing forward towards Jesus’ ultimate once-and-for-all sacrifice).

Romans 7 discusses God’s laws, and how they reveal our sin.  So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.” Romans 7:14  The Fall enslaved man to a sin nature.  The only way out was Jesus’ atoning blood sacrifice.  When Jesus came, He came to fulfill the entirety of the Law.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is  accomplished.  Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19

Through Jesus we are freed from the  ceremonial and sacrificial system meant to atone for sin.  (As Gentiles, we are also not under the Theocratic laws of Israel, but are to follow the laws in our lands).  This points to Commandment #4, the Sabbath rest – because the finished work of Jesus on the cross allows us to “rest” from the “work” of maintaining salvation (purification rites, daily morning and evening sacrifices, and punishments for transgression of the Law).  (more on the Sabbath Day here)(more on salvation here)  We are still saved by grace through faith, this time pointing backwards to Jesus’ once-and-for-all sacrifice.  In this age of Grace, we are released from the letter of the Law, having died to that which held us captive (sin).  We are now freed to serve in the new way of the Spirit. (Romans 7:4, 6)  But what is this new way of the Spirit?  

“What then shall we say?  That the law is sin?  By no means!  So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law,weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us,who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Rom 7:7,12,14,22-25; 8:1-11)

We are freed from judgment under the law – there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  We are forgiven.  We are released from the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH and are now bound by the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE.  A mind set on God, who lives according to the Spirit, submits to God’s law – which is holy and righteous and good.  Let me state again – the New Covenant does not make God’s law defunct, but releases us from it’s condemnation and judgment.

After salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells us and begins the process of Sanctification (making us holy, or Christ-like).  Obedience to God (in all the instructions He gives) is what enables us to maintain fellowship with Him and what enables us to please Him.  It helps keep the communication lines between ourselves and God open (as does confession when we don’t follow his instructions).  Yielding our spirits to His in obedience is what enables us to grow spiritually.  God’s laws are good and right and holy (Romans 7:12), and it honors Him when we obey them.

Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:19

Jesus clarifies the intent of the commandments by pointing to the heart.  The Pharisees, with their outward strict following of God’s Laws weren’t cutting it – they were like “whitewashed tombs”, pretty on the outside and rotting on the inside.  Following the Spirit of the 10 Commandments, which goes far beyond their letters, is right, and good, and pleasing to God.  However, we must not do so in our own strength as a legalistic commitment to rules for rules’ sake.  This turns it into “religion”.  We follow God’s commandments with a right heart before Him because we love him with all our heart, soul, and strength and desire to please Him.  We are enabled to do this through HIS strength, not our own!

May we learn to delight in God’s laws in our inner being as  the Apostle Paul (NT – Romans 7:22) and King David (OT – Psalm 1:1-4) did:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
         Nor stand in the path of sinners,
         Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
         And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
         Which yields its fruit in its season
         And its leaf does not wither;
         And in whatever he does, he prospers.


What Do I Believe? Statement of Faith


The Bible is our “daily bread” – the Word of God.  It is the main way God speaks to us!  If we don’t “eat” of it regularly (daily!), we wither spiritually.  We can only identify the false if we know the truth!  I believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments (66 books), is supernaturally inspired and is inerrant in the original manuscripts.  I believe that it has been preserved by God throughout translation (moreso the word-for-word translations as opposed to the thought-for-thought translations), so that it is divinely authoritative.  I believe the Bible is sufficient for all life’s issues today!  (Matthew 5:18; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)


I believe in one God that eternally exists and reveals Himself in three persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – each having the same nature, attributes and perfections. (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; John 1:1-2, 14, 10:30, 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

I believe in God as sole Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and that creation was by divine command, from nothing and not through an evolutionary process. (John 1:3, 10; Acts 17:24-25; Genesis 1:1)

I believe that God, by His sovereign choice and out of love for humanity, sent Christ into the world to save sinners. (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 John 4:14)


I believe that Jesus Christ – the Word of God – was fully God in the flesh and fully man, that He was born of a virgin and that He lived a sinless life under the Law.  He taught and performed mighty works and wonders and signs exactly as revealed in the four gospels. I believe that He willingly laid down His life and was crucified and died to pay the penalty for our sins.  He raised Himself from the dead on the third day. Forty days later He ascended to the Father’s right hand where He is Head of the Church and intercedes for believers. From there He is coming again personally, bodily and visibly to this earth to set up His millennial kingdom. (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Hebrews 1:1-2, 7:25; Luke 1:30-35; Ephesians 4:8; John 1:1-5, 10-14, 14:3; Colossians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:3,11; Revelation 20:4)


I believe that the Holy Spirit is a person and is God, possessing all the divine attributes. He convicts of sin, regenerates, indwells, and seals all believers at the moment of their salvation, and has the goal of conforming them to the image of Christ. He also teaches, comforts, gives spiritual perception and understanding, and power according to our willingness to yield to Him. (John 3:5, John 14:15-26; 16:7-11; Acts 5:3-4; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30, 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:13)

The Spirit gives spiritual gifts to each believer for the purpose of building up the body of Christ.

I respectfully acknowledge that there can be some difference of opinion surrounding the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Although I believe in the continuation of the manifestation gifts of the Spirit, they are at His discretion and for the purpose of drawing attention to and glorifying Jesus.  We see the Holy Spirit working in signs and wonders where the gospel of Jesus Christ is actively being preached, to give testimony to the truth of the gospel (Acts).  He “comes upon” believers on occasions as He wills, separate from His sealing ministry at the time of salvation.  God is not the author of confusion or chaos and believers must always be on guard and test the spirits.  (John 16:13-15; 1 John 4:1; 1 Corinthians 12)  One is neither more-holy nor less-holy by having these “experiences”.  (I do not believe in a separate, subsequent one time “baptism” in the Holy Spirit.  I only believe in one baptism – that by water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Matthew 28:19).


I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature and became alienated from God. I believe that all people are morally corrupt, and of themselves utterly unable to remedy their lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 1:18, 3:23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12)


I believe that salvation is a gift of God and is received by mankind through personal faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sin.  This faith must come from the heart.  I believe that mankind is justified by grace through faith apart from works and that all true believers, once saved, are kept secure in Christ.  It is good and right to examine one’s own salvation (2 Corinthians 13:5).(Acts 13:38-39; Romans 4:5, 6:23, 8:1, 38-39; John 10:27-29; Ephesians 2:8-9)

I do believe it is possible to reject salvation, despite a knowledge of the truth.  Whether these people were ever truly saved or just believed it (along with everyone else around them, including a display of fruit), I am unsure.  However, the story of the Prodigal Son indicates that someone who was at one point a son, becomes dead, and becomes alive again IF he returns (which he does, in the story.  The story does allude to the possibility of him not returning, in which case, he would remain dead in his sins.  The Lost Sheep also alludes to a sheep, who was part of the flock, who gets lost and is sought by the Shepherd. (Hebrews 10:26, Luke 15:11-32, Hebrews 6:4-6, Luke 15:3-7)

I believe that salvation is through each person’s choice (free will) to accept or reject God.  Jesus’ sacrificial death was sufficient to save every human, but many will reject it.  God, existing apart from time, has known since before creation (foreknowledge) what each human will choose.  Those He foreknew would believe in Jesus alone for salvation are called the “elect” throughout the Bible (Old and New Testament).  In the Old Testament, salvation was through faith in a coming Messiah.  In the New Testament and beyond, salvation is through faith in Jesus as the Messiah.  Saving faith is demonstrated by actions that are congruent with one’s belief in Jesus – faith without works is dead.  (James 2:14-26) (Conversely, actions do not necessarily indicate saving faith – God is aware of the attitudes and beliefs of the heart).


I believe that the true Church is composed of all persons who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit through saving faith in Jesus Christ; that they are united together in the body of Christ of which He is Lord and Head; and are commissioned for the God-given tasks of worshiping, fellowshipping, teaching, evangelizing and exercising the spiritual gifts. The Church is the Bride of Christ.  (Acts 2:42, 47; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23-24; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2)

I believe that the establishment and continuance of the local church is clearly taught in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)

I believe that the local church is autonomous and free of any external authority or control. (Acts 13:1-4, 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16, 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4)


I believe the ordinances for the believer are water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as a memorial. They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation. Both are evidences of obedience and fellowship with the Lord. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41, 8:12, 35-38; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)


I believe that a Christian should walk in holiness and not after the flesh, with the goal of being conformed to the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As a new creation, walking in the Spirit, the Christian learns to grow in faith, in obedience to Scripture, in prayer, in fellowship with the saints and in a life of service. I believe that the Christian will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to have his life evaluated according to his deeds, to determine his/her eternal reward. (Galatians 5:16-26; Hebrews 10:25; Ephesians 4:20-24; Hebrews 11:6, 12:1-2; John 17:17; Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)


I absolutely believe in the personal, premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, of the believer to everlasting glory and the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Titus 2:11-13; John 14:1-6; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11-15; 2 Peter 3:10)

(adapted from AWANA’s doctrinal statement, but similar to many evangelical statements of faith)


Am I “Good” Soil??? The Parable of the Sower

“A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root,they withered away.  Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears, let him hear.”

“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it,the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.  As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Matthew 13:2-9, 18-23

In the parable of the sower, good seeds of the gospel are sown into 4 different kinds of soils (heart conditions):

1.  Jesus is Distasteful.  – In one person, hard-packed soil on the path, the gospel is snatched away by doubts, half-truths, and deceptions of the enemy right away.  These people aren’t interested, don’t understand, or are skeptical.  I kind of think of this person as someone who is offered a bite of a new recipe and either refuses to try it, or tries it and immediately doesn’t like it.

yuck face

2.  Flirting with Jesus – In another, rocky soil, initial zeal (or emotional experience) quickly dries up at exposure to persecution or challenge.  To them, Jesus is like a fabulous dip to eat once in a while – something to flirt with.  They are swept up by emotional experiences but fall away when the “good feelings” are replaced by hard times of testing their faith.  Their “faith” may ebb and flow, but they won’t commit wholeheartedly. Or they will try, but can’t maintain passion because they are trying to do it by their own efforts.  Their foundation is on the “sandy land” – they spring up quickly but can easily be swept away.


3.  Jesus-Lite – In a third, the soil is good and there is evidence of sprouting, but the cares of this world, money, and life’s passions (thistles and thorns) choke out cares about eternity.  There is too much competition for the roots to grow deep enough to anchor in, and the seedlings don’t get enough nourishment.  These people may “follow” Jesus for a short time or a long time, but add Him on to their lives like a “side dish”.  They likely believe they are “Christian” and call themselves so.  They may go to church on Sundays, have Christian friends, and be pretty moral.  They may be actively involved in the church or in ministry, but the root motive might be friendship or good feelings. These seedlings are SO CLOSE! to the productive soil.  In Luke’s version, these seeds produce fruit – but the fruit doesn’t ripen. Ultimately, the world succeeds at choking out the good news in their lives (day-to-day concerns and passions of this life take over), proving that in the end they choose the world over Christ.  No one can serve two masters.

side salad

4.  Jesus as Bread and Butter – Only one soil sprouts up a productive crop for its owner (demonstrates that it is good soil).  These people treat Jesus as the “main course”, their bread of life.  He is their pearl of great price, their treasure beyond compare.  With Christ as their foundation, they have built on the rock.


I personally had many “seeds” of the gospel sown into my life.  Some, I ignored (#1).  Sometimes I had emotional feel-good experiences, where I “felt” close to God (#2).  Note that these kind of warm fuzzy experiences are felt in other religions, too, as well as in other life experiences!  Many times, what I did have sprouting would get choked out by things of this life/world.  Either busyness, or hobbies, or entertainment, or friends, or dating, or any number of things (#3).

Some will tell you that all the soils are “saving soils”, or that all but the first one, where the seeds get snatched away, are “saved”.  I don’t believe this is true.  The first 3 soils don’t produce “saved people”.  However, they produce a lot of people who may call themselves “Christians”.  This, and because the church generally (wrongly) tolerates many types of hypocritical behavior, is why the church is so divided and ineffective in North America.

Jesus says, “the one who endures to the end will be saved”. (Matthew 24:13)  As in, those who truly believe (with their hearts), WILL hold fast to their faith until death.  These are the ones who take root, and produce a crop – this is the “wheat”.  And for these ones who believe, salvation cannot be lost: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand”. (John 10:28)

Do not assume that you are good soil.

yuck face kale-artichoke-dip_03-31-13_1_ca side salad puwv2vfu_400x400

The Bible – God’s One and Only Book

Isaiah 44:6-8

This is what the LORD says- Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come- yes, let him foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

The Bible is unique and special.  It’s amazing that most of us don’t read it more often – it is the one and only book that God has given us to understand Him, our world, and ourselves.  Does it tell us everything we WANT to know?  Of course not.  But it does tell us everything we NEED to know.  Maybe not everything we need to know to practice medicine, law, or be an electrician – but certainly everything we need to know about what truly counts in this life.

The life we have been gifted is part of a story.  It’s not the whole story – life is not centered on us just as our Earth is not the center of our solar system.  Oh, sure, people believed the Earth was the center of the universe for a very long time.  Just as many people yet believe that life is about them.

Our story is a small paragraph in God’s story.  How it reads is partly up to us.

Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors.  (The remaining 500 or so reach into the future and may be seen unfolding as days go by.)

God is not the only one, however, who uses forecasts of future events to get people’s attention. Satan does, too. [As him and his horde are “invisible” and have been around throughout the history of mankind, he sees what is going on – he also is well aware of the Bible].  Through clairvoyants come remarkable predictions, though rarely with more than about 60 percent accuracy, never with total accuracy. Messages from Satan, furthermore, fail to match the detail of Bible prophecies, nor do they include a call to repentance.

The acid test for identifying a prophet of God is recorded by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:21-22. According to this Bible passage (and others), God’s prophets, as distinct from Satan’s spokesmen, are 100 percent accurate in their predictions. There is no room for error.  (Reasons To Believe)

Approximately 30% of the Bible is prophecy.  Prophecy is God telling humanity what is going to happen, before it happens.  How can He do this?  Because He exists outside of time.

“I make known the end from the beginning,” He proclaims, “From ancient times, what is still to come.” (Isaiah 46:10)  He’s chosen this way to authenticate Himself to us because He’s the only One who can do it and be right every time. (from

It is critical to  know that Jesus fulfilled Biblical Prophecy when He came the first time – as a Servant.  Why?  Because He’s going to fulfill Biblical Prophecy when He comes the second time – as Judge and King.  If you have never read how Jesus of Nazareth irrefutably fulfilled Biblical prophecies (written hundreds and thousands of years before His time), now would be a good time to do so!  Because if Jesus fulfilled prophecy the first time He came, He will certainly do so the second time as well.  Here’s a little bit about proving the existence of God.

Apart from Jesus’ first coming, there are many other fulfilled Biblical Prophecies.  Remember, we are looking for the Bible to accurately detail events that occurred in the future.

Here is an article listing some:

  1.  The prophet Isaiah foretold that a conqueror named Cyrus would destroy seemingly impregnable Babylon and subdue Egypt along with most of the rest of the known world. This same man, said Isaiah, would decide to let the Jewish exiles in his territory go free without any payment of ransom (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 45:13). Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of these feats (and he did, eventually, perform them all), and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile.
  2. Mighty Babylon, 196 miles square, was enclosed not only by a moat, but also by a double wall 330 feet high, each part 90 feet thick. It was said by unanimous popular opinion to be indestructible, yet two Bible prophets declared its doom. These prophets further claimed that the ruins would be avoided by travelers, that the city would never again be inhabited, and that its stones would not even be moved for use as building material (Isaiah 13:17-22 and Jeremiah 51:26, 43). Their description is, in fact, the well-documented history of the famous citadel.
  3. Jeremiah predicted that despite its fertility and despite the accessibility of its water supply, the land of Edom (today a part of Jordan) would become a barren, uninhabited wasteland (Jeremiah 49:15-20; Ezekiel 25:12-14). His description accurately tells the history of that now bleak region.
  4. Joshua prophesied that Jericho would be rebuilt by one man. He also said that the man’s eldest son would die when the reconstruction began and that his youngest son would die when the work reached completion (Joshua 6:26). About five centuries later this prophecy found its fulfillment in the life and family of a man named Hiel (1 Kings 16:33-34).
  5. The day of Elijah’s supernatural departure from Earth was predicted unanimously—and accurately, according to the eye-witness account—by a group of fifty prophets (2 Kings 2:3-11).
  6. Jahaziel prophesied that King Jehoshaphat and a tiny band of men would defeat an enormous, well-equipped, well-trained army without even having to fight. Just as predicted, the King and his troops stood looking on as their foes were supernaturally destroyed to the last man (2 Chronicles 20).
  7.  One prophet of God (unnamed, but probably Shemiah) said that a future king of Judah, named Josiah, would take the bones of all the occultic priests (priests of the “high places”) of Israel’s King Jeroboam and burn them on Jeroboam’s altar (1 Kings 13:2 and 2 Kings 23:15-18). This event occurred approximately 300 years after it was foretold.

The Bible also forecasted scientific discoveries:

“Not only is the Bible filled with the fundamentals of science, but it is as much as 3,000 years ahead of its time. The Bible’s statements in most cases directly contradicted the science of the day in which they were made. When modern scientific knowledge approaches reality, the divine accuracy of the scriptures is substantiated. For example:

Biblical Statement Science Then Science Now
Earth is a sphere (Is. 40:22). Earth’s a flat disk. Earth is a sphere
Number of stars exceeds a billion (Jer. 33:22). Number of stars totals 1,100 Number of stars exceeds a billion
Every star is different (1 Cor 15:41). All stars are the same. Every star is different.
Light is in motion (Job 38:19-20). Light is fixed in place. Light is in motion.
Air has weight (Job 28:25). Air is weightless. Air has weight.
Winds blow in cyclones (Eccl. 1:6). Winds blow straight. Winds blow in cyclones.
Blood is a source of life and healing (Lev. 17:11). Sick people must bled. Blood is a source of life and healing.

For centuries the conjectures of science also were at odds with Genesis 1 concerning the origin and development of Earth and of life on Earth. However, science has progressed beyond these conjectures and now agrees with Genesis 1 in the initial conditions of Earth, the description of subsequent events, and in the order of these events. The probability that Moses, writing more than 3,400 years ago, would have guessed all these details is less than one in trillions. Below is a partial list of other fundamentals of science explained in the Bible:

  • conservation of mass and energy (Eccl. 1:9; Eccl. 3:14-15).
  • water cycle (Eccl. 1:7; Is. 55:10).
  • gravity (Job 26:7; Job 38:31-33).
  • Pleiades and Orion as gravitationally bound star groups (Job 38:31). NOTE: All other star groups visible to the naked eye are unbound, with the possible exception of the Hyades.
  • effect of emotions on physical health (Prov. 16:24; Prov. 17:22).
  • control of contagious diseases (Lev. 13:4546).
  • importance of sanitation to health (Lev.; Num. 19: Deut. 23:12-13)
  • control of cancer and heart disease (Lev. 7-19).

In the crucible of scientific investigation, the Bible has proven invariably to be correct. No other book, ancient or modem, can make this claim; but then, no other book has been written (through men) by God.”  (all from reasons to believe)

Are there any prophecies that have “failed” to come true in the Bible?  People sometimes fail to remember that there are many prophecies that are as yet future (even though they were given in the Old Testament thousands of years ago).  God Himself said, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. What I have said, that will I bring about, what I have planned, that will I do.” (Isaiah 46:10-11).  We are surely seeing some of these old prophecies coming true in these “last days”.  Here is a good discussion of that.


Aiming for an Eternal Perspective

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.  Phillipians 2:14-16

I admit it, I grumble sometimes.  Refereeing toddler-fights, negotiating kids out the door on time, and whining are all triggers for me.

One of my friends posted a comment to the effect of something being a “first world problem”.  How true, and how humbling.  For many people on this planet, a day’s worth of food or water can be a huge challenge – not to mention health issues.

In reality, no one has any choice over where they are born, their genetics, circumstance, family or heritage.  Rich or poor, first-world or third-world, blonde hair or black.  God sovereignly places us.  Our job is to do the best we can to live for Him where He has purposefully placed us.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:11-13

We have to remember that God’s perspective is not our perspective.  He always has the spiritual/eternal in mind.  Our hearts are of more concern to Him – and should be where our concern lies as well.  With our hearts, our children’s hearts, our loved ones’ hearts.  I can get so caught up in the trivialities of day-to-day life that I forget the Big Picture.

In encourage you to watch this today.

Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day.

At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.

With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..   (source)

It is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Jesus – The Messiah Foretold by the Old Testament

It is critical to  know that Jesus fulfilled Biblical Prophecy when He came the first time – not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Why?  Because He’s going to fulfill Biblical Prophecy when He comes the second time – this time as Judge and King.

I can’t possibly do better research on this one than has been done by others.  Here is a great list of many of the prophecies about Jesus and their literal fulfillment.  And here is a discussion of the major ones, taken from “The True Identity of Jesus of Nazareth”, by Jack Kelley, is a summary of some of the major fulfilled prophecies :

Of all the so-called holy books, only the Bible authenticates itself. It does so through a method we call predictive prophecy and it works like this. Only God knows the end from the beginning. To help us learn to believe Him, He told His ancient people things that hadn’t happened yet. Then when they came to pass just like He said they would, He had them document everything and preserve it for future generations. We call this documentation the Bible, which by many accounts consists of nearly 40% predictive prophecy, some fulfilled and some still to come.

When asked what work God requires of us, Jesus replied, “The work of God is this. Believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:28-29) The first prophecy of this appears in Genesis 3:15 and it’s repeated through out the Old Testament. Because He’s told us so many things in advance and has always been right, He expects us to believe in Him.

Let’s review a few of the better known prophecies relating to Jesus of Nazareth and see if we can prove that He’s the One God sent. Could this have all happened by coincidence, or can we know that Jesus is the promised Redeemer?

It’s About Time

It’s a fact of history that Ptolemy Philadelphus II had the Hebrew Scriptures translated into Greek beginning in about 282 BC. They didn’t do it all at once, but by 150 BC the work was pretty much complete and so each prophecy we’ll look at was a matter of public record at least 150 years before the fact. With that, let’s get started.

Born Of A Virgin

The Lord had Isaiah tell us that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. This would make Him unique among all men and clearly identify Him as the One God was sending. Isaiah wrote the following passage about 750 BC.

Prophecy: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.(Isaiah 7:14)

FulfillmentThe angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:30-35)

Probability of coincidental fulfillment: Impossible to calculate. But since there were about 300 million people alive on Earth when Jesus was born, let’s say 1 in 300 million. (See The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy for an explanation on why the virgin birth was necessary).

Born in Bethlehem

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah’s, also writing about 750 BC. The Lord had him identify the place where the Messiah would be born.

Prophecy: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. (Micah 5:2)

Fulfillment: So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:4-7)

Probability of coincidental fulfillment: Bethlehem has always been a small town. Of Earth’s total population, if 3000 people lived in Bethlehem at that time, then the likelihood of a child being born in Bethlehem would have been about 1 in 100,000.

Rides Into Jerusalem On A Donkey

Zechariah wrote after the return from Babylon. His first 8 chapters were written at the beginning of his ministry in 519 and 518 BC and chapters 9-14 at the end of his career, around 480 BC.

Prophecy: Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech 9:9)

Fulfillment: As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:29-39)

Probability of coincidental fulfillment: The population of Jerusalem 2000 years ago was about 50,000 but it being Passover, pilgrims from all over the Middle East would be arriving and would have swelled the number to many times that. It’s said that 100,000 lambs were sacrificed that Passover so using the ratio from Exodus of one lamb for every 10 people would mean that upwards of 1 million people crowded into Jerusalem and its surrounding area for the Passover. (Remember every able-bodied Jewish male in the world was required to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem.) Now, what’s the likelihood that any one of them, while riding into town on a donkey that first Palm Sunday would cause the crowd to spontaneously hail him as the Messianic King of Israel? We can only guess. 1 in 1 million?

Betrayed For 30 Pieces Of Silver And The Money Used To Buy A Potter’s Field

Again, this prophecy of Zechariah’s was written about 480 BC.

Prophecy: I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”-the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter. (Zech 11:12-13)

Fulfillment: Then one of the Twelve–the one called Judas Iscariot–went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matt 26:14-16)

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said,”for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. (Matt 27:3-7)

Probability of coincidental fulfillment: This one’s also impossible to calculate. It’s hard enough to get someone to write about you 500 years before you’re born, but then you have to get your betrayer and your sworn enemies to cooperate in fulfilling what’s been written.

Though Innocent Made No Defense

This prophecy comes from the Book of Isaiah, written about 750 BC.

Prophecy: He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)

Fulfillment: Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.

When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge–to the great amazement of the governor. (Matt 27:11-14)

Probability of coincidental fulfillment: I don’t know of a single person who wouldn’t defend himself before his accusers, especially if he was innocent. Above all, it’s a violation of the 9th Commandment. If there were 1 million people in Jerusalem that day and if He was the only one who wouldn’t defend himself when charged with a capital crime then the probability is 1 in 1 million.

He Was Punished For Our Sins

This is another promise the Lord had Isaiah write down in about 750 BC and one of the most crucial for us to prove.

Prophecy: But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Fulfillment: This had been described as a primary goal of the Messiah through out the Old Testament and from the beginning of His ministry, Jesus was identified as the One Who takes away the sins of the people (John 1:29) But did he?

After His death the Apostle Paul would write, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21and When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14) The Apostle Peter agreed. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18) Both these men died horrible deaths rather than change even a word of their testimony and are reliable witnesses. As Peter said, “We were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”

Probability of coincidental fulfillment: Using our 300 million number for the inhabitants of Earth, could you find 300 men who had never sinned and could be convinced that by dying the horrible death of crucifixion, the sins of mankind would be forgiven? If so the probability is 1 in 1 million.

The Clincher

In Daniel 9:26 we find the most specific prophecy of all. It was written just as the Babylonian captivity was ending, about 530 BC. In it The Angel Gabriel explained to Daniel that the Messiah would come to Israel and be executed in a narrow window of time between the 483rd year after permission to rebuild Jerusalem was granted and the subsequent destruction of the city and Temple. From history we know that this time frame was 38 years in duration.

Prophecy: Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. (Daniel 9:24-26)

Fulfillment: When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:37-42)

It was the first Palm Sunday, the only day in His entire ministry when the Lord allowed the people to call Him Israel’s King. It was the 10th of Nisan, 483 years to the day after Persian King Artaxerxes Longimonus signed a decree authorizing Nehemiah to go and begin rebuilding Jerusalem – in 445 BC (Remember that Biblical prophecy years are 360 days, so to calculate the date we have to multiply 483 x 360 and divide by our 365.25.  And remember there’s no year “0”). (Nehemiah 2:1-6) It was the day ordained in history for the Messiah to arrive in Jerusalem. When they missed it, He prophesied the destruction of the city.

The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you. (Luke 19:43-44)

38 years later the Romans destroyed the city and tore the Temple apart stone by stone until not one was left standing on another. Another case of predictive prophecy fulfilled.

What’s It All Mean?

If you’re looking for the Messiah, you have to find someone who fulfilled not only the seven prophecies we’ve listed here but all the 300 or so others given in the Old Testament as well. And then He had to give His life for us within the 38 year window of time God revealed to Daniel.

The probability of one man fulfilling just these seven prophecies by chance is so small as to be unworthy of consideration. The true identity of Jesus of Nazareth is that He’s Israel’s Messiah and our Redeemer. That fact can be proven with greater certainty than you can prove that you are who you claim to be.