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I believe...

The Great Controversy

I believe we are amid spiritual warfare. Prior to the creation of Earth, the devil was cast from heaven after challenging the authority of God (Ezekiel 28:12-17). He took with him some of the heavenly angels. Those angels are now what we might consider demons. This supernatural dispute brought up the question, "Why is God, God?" God created the world and the Garden of Eden. God created humans and allowed them to have free will to help settle this dispute (Genesis 1:26-28). In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve (the humans) had access to the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. God told them not to eat from it. This was a test- humans would rely on God or do things their own way. The devil, taking on the appearance of a serpent, convinced Eve to eat from the tree of Good and Evil by lying to her (Genesis 3:4). The devil is who is ultimately responsible for the sin, suffering, and pain in the world. From that moment on, dominion over the earth was given to the devil and the human race was at odds with God.


God knew what would take place in the Garden of Eden because God is all-knowing (1 John 3:20). He had a plan in mind to reconcile humanity and restore dominion of the earth to the human race. In the process this plan would reveal his true, selfless nature of love. Jesus, who is fully man and fully God (John 1:14), would come and die on behalf of the human race (Genesis 3:15). Through Jesus, not a single human life has to be lost. Anyone who accepts Jesus will have eternal life despite the mistakes of Adam and Eve. 


The Bible tells us that all of humankind has fallen short of God's glory and God's law (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). The only way to receive eternal life is to accept and believe in Jesus (John 3:16). We are saved by grace, not works (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus came, lived, and died as a perfect man to restore the human race. God values our choice and therefore allows us to choose if we believe or not. Only those who choose Jesus are saved. Those who reject him are lost (Mark 16:16). That being said, we as humans do not know who is lost or saved and it is not our job to determine or speculate what God's judgment will be (James 4:12). 


The Law of God  

When we accept Jesus into our lives and confess our sins, we receive the Holy Spirit as a guide (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit helps us know how to discern what is right and wrong. As we discover God's love for us we are transformed more and more to be just like Jesus (Romans 12:2). God gives us the Bible to study and pray over. In the Bible is everything we need to know about how to be a follower of Jesus. Jesus is the fulfillment and perfect example of the Law of God. The law of God is "Love God and love your neighbor" (Mark 12:30-31). How do we do this? By following the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are not old law. They are separate from the other levitical regulations that Moses received. The first 4 commandments tell us how to love God and the latter 6 tell us how to love our neighbor. We cannot desire or follow the Ten Commandments until after we accept Jesus. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we demonstrate these things in our lives.



 the Bible speaks of two types of death: spiritual and physical. Spiritual death is not what many people assume. There is no scripture to support the concept that souls live and operate apart from the body. Anything regarding a "soul" comes from greek mythology and pagan influence. Instead Spiritual death is a metaphorical phrase. It discusses what humans are like in their hearts and minds prior to accepting Jesus (Ephesians 2:1). Anyone who is spiritually dead can become spiritually alive the moment they accept Jesus and repent of their sins (1 Peter 3:18). Physical death is what happens to our bodies prior to the second coming of Jesus. There are two physical deaths discussed in the Bible. The first is death that we witness today- old age, perishing to an illness, etc. When we die we lose consciousness. Our body turns back to dust and we know nothing until the second coming of Jesus when Jesus raises us from the dead (Genesis 3:19, Ecc. 9;5, Hebrews 9:27). The second death, is death that only the lost experience. Those who do not have eternal life in Jesus must pay the price themselves for their sins. The wages of sin is death ( Romans 6:23). After Jesus comes again and takes the saved to be with him, the earth will be destroyed and cleansed with fire (Malachi 4:1, 2 Peter 3:7). The lost do not go to live in hell or be tormented forever. Instead they die a final second death (Revelation 21:8)