GET TO GRIPS WITH THE BASICS OF FAITH IN GOD (FROM A MESSIANIC BELIEVER’S PERSPECTIVE)
NOTES: Although my beliefs are broadly related to Christianity, I do not consider myself to be a Christian (just as a believer). The reason is two-fold.
Firstly, the bible was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. These are the languages of the peoples who existed in the area the bible covers as the bible was being written, and the bible was written from the perspective of their world view. Today’s translations of the bible are from Latin and Greek manuscripts which are based on the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts. In the process of translation the meanings of some Hebrew words are lost, and other Hebrew words are replaced totally with Greek and Latin words which are a best effort at explaining concepts from Hebrew culture (transliterations). For instance, Jesus is a Greek name, the Hebrew equivalent is Yahshua (or Yehushua) – this is what “Mary” (Miryam) actually called her son – the meaning of the name in Hebrew is that the Lord will save (See Matthew 1:21). Also, the word Messiah means “the annointed one”, and this too has been replaced by a Greek word – “Christ” meaning an annointed pagan priest. Paganism is the opposite end of the field of belief from belief in God as described in the bible, so to call the Savior of the world as described by the bible “Jesus Christ” presents some problems. The real name of “Jesus Christ” is in fact “Yahshua Messiah”. I am only explaining briefly here ideas that are more fully explained in this excellent book “The Letter Writer (Paul’s Background and Torah Perspective)” ISBN 1-892124-16-5.
Secondly, the Christian church does not live by the scriptures it has translated, please see my other notes “Has The Ground Vanished From Beneath Your Feet?” and “In Search Of The Truth” for more information on this. This is mostly to do with what is taught in the Christian Church rather than the conduct of Christians, although what is taught will have an effect on them. Some teachings found in scripture are ignored by the Christian Church, even some words Yahshua himself preached. Some scriptures are misinterpreted, and some scriptures are “read into” whereby additional meanings that are not written explicitly in the text are added to it. Tradition also plays a big part in Christian belief, and traditions although they make us feel comfortable, and give us a sense of community are not always in line whith what God requires from us. In short “Lawlessness” creates a good climate for the coming of the “Anti-Christ” or Anti-Messiah” – a future world leader or power that will cause great suffering on the earth. It could be true that some people who believe they are doing right and worhsipping God will be surprised one day to find they have been following a wrong course, Yahshua said himself:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’  Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (Mt 7:21-23).
HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE BIBLE
References like ‘Ecclesiastes 12:13’ appear to help you find the scriptures quoted in your bible. You are encouraged to do this so that you can read the original context of the scripture. In the example, ‘Ecclesiastes’ is the ‘book’ of the bible (there are 66), (a list of ‘books’ can be found on the contents page at the start of your bible). The ‘12’ represents ‘chapter 12’. The ‘:13’ represents ‘verse 13’. Elsewhere you will see similar references like ‘:9-12’, this is an instruction to read from verse 9 to and including verse 12. In most bibles, the chapter numbers are in large bold type, and the verse numbers are in small type.
The majority of names and references in this article are based on the Greek translations to aid with people being able to understand the names, places and scripture references. There is a Hebrew bible available, I have one written by David Stern – “The Complete Jewish Bible” ISBN 965-359-015-4.
I am not a preacher or an authority on Messianic Belief, I just thought it would be an idea to share with you what I have learned so far in case you are interested.
OK BACK TO WHAT THIS ARTICLE IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT!
Where do we start with this? Do you believe there is a God? Is there only one God, or many ‘gods’? How did the world and the universe come to be, by an accident (the big bang) and evolution, or by God (creation) as described in Genesis? What happens to us when we die? Nothing? Or, is there a heaven and is there a hell?
Believers assumes three important things.
1 God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (creation).
2 There is only one true God.
3 When we die there is only one of two places we can go, to heaven or to hell.
Considering questions like these actually makes a lot of people feel quite uncomfortable. Indeed more difficult questions arise like:
If there is only one God what happens to people who believe in other God’s and choose to follow other religions?
How did God create the world in six days!? And if God created the world in six days doesn’t this mean that the theories of evolution being taught in our schools are meaningless?
If there is a heaven and a hell, why do we end up in either of those two places?
It seems every question opens up the possibility of creating groups of people who are either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, or those who will benefit or those who suffer harm. I will try to answer all these questions at some point in this essay. I am trying to communicate my understanding in as simple terms as possible, so if there are any points you do not understand, e-mail me and we can try to sort through it.
CREATION OR EVOLUTION?
Well there are many studies that attempt to ‘prove’ that this world has been in existence for millions of years, and actually came together as part of a cosmic ‘accident’. This theory assumes that we evolved from other creatures, initially out of some kind of soup like organic compound which struggled to survive. Scientists use Radio Carbon Dating, which is the process by which Scientists determine the age of the earth and the various fossil remains they have found. However there is a problem with this method, take Niagra Falls in the USA for example. The rock formations should show that rock is older the further downward you test, however in parts of Niagra Falls this isn’t the case. When Radio Carbon Dating is used, in some areas the rock further down in certain sections tests as being newer than the rock above it, and that creates a problem which hasn’t been explained by scientists.
Science says the world is an accident! We came from nowhere, were born from virtually nothing, and we are going nowhere after our deaths either. Imagine telling that to a child. How do you think he or she would react? What effect does this kind of philosophy have on mankind?
Well in my opinion one just has to look around at this world and the way people treat it, themselves and one another to realise. We treat our environment badly, destroying rainforests, polluting the seas, embracing the danger of nuclear power, and creating masses of waste. Concerning what we do to ourselves, there is abuse of food, drink, tobacco, drugs, and self harm. How do we treat others, well we have hatred, murder, theft, and rape.
There are reports availble by The Millennium Ecosystem Assesment, and additional information is available from Millennium Development Goals, and the World Resources Institute which point to the truth in things I am saying. Over 1300 of the worlds top scientsts incuding members of U.N. organisations and governments been involved in the development of the Millennium Ecosystem Assesment report. There seems to be a consensus among many scientists that we are degrading the world in a way that will affect future generations.
OK this all represents humanity in its worst extremes, and I wouldn’t claim that there is no good in mankind, for there is both in the religious and non-religious spheres. However, I feel the extent to which these problems are clearly visible in our society is a logical consequence of our general acceptance of the idea that we are here by chance (among other things). Therefore, on this premise there is no God to determine how we should live, and it doesn’t really matter what you do because when you die there is nothing. Perhaps many feel live fast and die young is the way to go!
I am not saying that all the ills of the world are cause directly by our general acceptance of evolution theories, but rather saying that on a very deep level, all our attitudes and relationships are affected by how we view this world and our place in it.
On the contrary side the bible teaches that God created the world for man, and that man’s task is to be the guardian or caretaker of the world.
“…  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. …” (Genesis 1:26-30).
The account of biblical creation, and the “creator-God” can be found in Genesis chapters 1 – 3.
Straight away we can see we are special, created by God for a purpose – to rule over his creation which he created for us. With this privilege comes ‘responsibility’ to look after this ‘gift’ of the world that we have been made custodians of. A realisation of our responsibilities is perhaps the antidote to many of the problems in today’s world where people (organisations and even nations) are showing in very graphic ways that they either do not want the responsibility, or can not manage it properly.
When I go out to the park, or am travelling through the countryside, I can’t but help see the beauty of the world (as tainted as it is) that evolutionist’s claim is an accident. When I see birds flying, I find it hard to imagine that such graceful motions are the result anything other than God’s design.
Evolution says that species develop over time, but God says all things were created at one time. The environment shows that we are loosing many species of animals and plants, but what species are being created? To me if evolution were right, new forms of life would come into being as the environment changes and these new life-forms would show signs of adapting to the environment. Yet all we have is more of the pests that are already life-forms, and viruses (an overall loss). This to me suggests a world in decay rather than one that is evolving.
Why is the world in decay? Because man is not living up to his responsibility to take care of the world that God has made for him. Man thinks that the world is an accident, man is selfish and cares mostly about what is going to happen in his time, and he does not regard what will happen in the future with enough concern to make the changes needed in order to provide a better future now.
Why doesn’t God stop this degradation of the world? I think because God wants people to have hope in the world to come, to realise this earth as long as it has been here, is only temporary.
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD
Following on from the last section, from the Believers point of view, there is only one God, the God that created the world.
“…  “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. …” (Isaiah 44:6)
Wait a minute, someone might ask – why do we you worship a God associated with one nation if he is the God that created the whole earth? Well put simply, God chose Israel to be his chosen people through which he would demonstrate his power (in delivering them from Egypt and Pharaoh), his discipline and justice (through the laws he gave them and the judgements he passed upon them), and ultimately God would demonstrate his plan of salvation for all mankind. We can look at Israel’s history as a type of “case study”, and see patterns in their behaviours that match with the behaviours of other nations. We can also begin to see the things that please and displease God, and how he reacts to them. When we get to the New Testament which begins with the Gospels concerning Yahshua Messiah, we can see how God’s love is reaching out to mankind, and how he wants us to live in peace with each other, and with reverence to him.
“…  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no saviour.
 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed–
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. …” (Isaiah 43:10-12)
This is not to deny that others believe that there are other god’s, however those god’s according to the bible are idols or ‘demons’, beings that are in league with Satan (the Devil). This applies to Idols, statues etc that are man made as well as spirits. How can an Idol be a God if a man actually had to make it, for surely the truth is that God made us? And as for spirits, many of these are contacted through communication of the dead or are fallen angels. The Believers God is the God of the living, and not the dead.
“…  […] We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.  For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),  yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Yahshua Messiah, through whom all things came and through whom we live. …” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6)
“…  When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? …” (Isaiah 8:19).
In many idolatrous religions, children were sacrificed to idols and spirits, this forms one of the many reasons why God opposes such practice (note Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
Yahshua describes Satan as the prince of demons, and strangely as the prince of this world (Matt 12:24-29, John 14:30, Luke 10:18, Isaiah 14:12:1-15, John 16:11, Revelation 13:1-17).
It is true that demons and Satan have power, reading books like Job (chapters 1 & 2), Mark (3:7-11 & 5:1-18), Luke (4:33-36) and Acts (8:4-25) show instances of the graphic nature of Satan’s hold on people and the forces of nature (Think of the 2004 Tsunami and Revelation 12:12). Yet God’s power seeks to work positively against Satan’s power which seeks to destroy what God has created for us to enjoy.
The bible teaches that Satan’s dominion or power over the people of the earth will be destroyed. In Isaiah 14 Satan, termed Lucifer in the King James Version of the bible is perhaps also represented as the King of Babylon. Babylon is a figurative power for opposition to God’s sole rule of the world. Revelation chapters 17-22 show how Satan’s kingdom is overcome, in order to restore to the world to a state something like (in fact better than) what it was in the beginning before man sinned in the Garden of Eden.
A basic truth to glean from all this is that it is ‘sin’ that separates us from God, and one another; and it is sin – caused by demonic forces that is destroying this world. The destruction of the earth that sin causes (Isaiah 24) is the reason why God wants to recreate the world (Isaiah 66:22-24). He wants to purge out those who sin and cause this destruction, and give eternal life on the new earth to those who believe in Yahshua and live according to his rules.
WHAT IS SIN?
So far I have covered how Believers view the world was created, that there is one God, and that the world is going to be re-created. I hinted at the reason for this, which is ‘sin’. This may not mean very much to you and so in order to understand the concepts of sin and what it does please read on.
Adam and Eve were in the perfect environment in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapters 2 & 3), and God gave them one command, that being not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:17). Satan deceived them, and made them disobey God (Genesis 3:1-24). This ‘disobedience’ is basically what ‘sin’ is. The effects that sin had on Adam and Eve were shame, fear, and it caused them to be separated from God to an extent also (Gen 3:24).
The stories that follow in Genesis include more tales of wrongdoing and how God further punishes the inhabitants of the world with the flood (Genesis chapters 6-9). Why does God do this? The answer is, because God wants to rid the world of the people who corrupt it.
It can be seen that sometimes God tells people that they have sinned, even though they have not broken a rule he set, for example when Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4), God had not given the command “do not murder” (note Genesis 4:6&7). However, I believe that as we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) there are certain things that we should know are wrong. Look at Cain’s response to God’s questioning of him in Genesis 4:9, Cain clearly lied to God because of his fear and guilt.
Things don’t improve a great deal after the flood, the sorry story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis chapters 18 & 19, perhaps gives a glimpse of what the whole world will be like in the times of lawlessness that are to come (see 2 Peter chapters 2&3, and Jude), and perhaps are here with us even now.
To counter this corruption in the world God later gave us laws, they are often referred to in their simplest form as the 10 Commandments, these are:
 And God spoke all these words:
  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
 “You shall have no other gods before me.
 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labour and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
 “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
 “You shall not murder.
 “You shall not commit adultery.
”You shall not steal.
”You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” (Exodus 20:1-17).
Here is the most concise definition of what sin is:
 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
This is basically saying that when we break the law we sin. ‘Sin is lawlessness’ means that once we have broken one law we have in effect broken them all. It’s like sticking a pin into a balloon, the integrity of the balloon is destroyed and it is unfit for its original purpose. In the same way when we break a law we destroy the integrity of the whole body of law, so that its purpose for us is destroyed. Thus James writes:
 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. (James 2:10&11).
The bible tells us that we have all sinned, read the commandments above, I haven’t kept them all have you? If you are feeling rather perfect there are 600+ others if you want to check those out also!
With this in mind doesn’t that make our case before God hopeless, seeing as we have all sinned? Well fortunately for us, no. Even under the Old Testament Covenant (the early part of the bible) there was a priestly system designed by God and operated by people called ‘Levites’. Under this system people brought what gifts or sacrifices they needed to bring to a priest in order to have their sins atoned for (or forgiven). These were often animal sacrifices (not children as with pagan religions), sometimes grain etc.
Things are a little different under the New Testament covenant, as there is only one sacrifice for sin – Yahshua (see Matthew chapters 25-28 explains the narrative story). Hebrews chapters 7-10 talks in detail about this from spiritual point of view.
 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Yahshua Messiah to all who believe. There is no difference,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Messiah Yahshua. (Romans 3:21-24) What does this mean? Well, that because we all have broken the law, we can never make up for the loss of what we have broken (try patching 613 holes in a balloon and see if it is capable of the job for which it was originally created). God is willing to ‘overlook’ this loss which our sins have caused if we believe in his Son, Yahshua. Why? Because of God’s love for mankind, and his willingness for us to be reconciled to him.
 But he (Yahshua) 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.
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5&6)
The whole of Isaiah 53 is about how Yahshua’s death was God’s way of providing atonement or forgiveness for our sins, satisfying the demands of the statues God had already set in place. If we have the faith to believe this is true, then our sins are forgiven. Yahshua came into the world to save sinners, in Hebrew the name Yahshua means to save people from their sins:
 Then Yahshua told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, `Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:3-7)
 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32).
Why did Yahshua come into this world, leaving a perfect place for him in to save sinners through his death, and enduring such persecution while he lived?
 “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.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:16-21)
This shows us that God’s love is reaching out to mankind through Yahshua. If we accept him, we have eternal life, if we reject him by the same token we have eternal death. This is why many people Believers preach ‘The Gospel’ message. We are trying to reach out to people to show them that this world is only temporary, defiled by sin, as we are also. Yahshua wants us to be with him, so that we can share in the blessing of a new life. The message is preached with such urgency because Believers don’t want to see people die in hell, and neither does Yahshua. Unfortunately much of the time people do not want to hear the message, or simply do not believe it. The latter chapters of Revelation show how Babylon (symbolic of all opposition and rejection of God), is destroyed and those who constitute that kingdom go to hell. The Revelation also shows, how those who believe in God, through his Son Yahshua enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
HEAVEN AND HELL
Heaven is the world created anew in perfection as it was before man sinned with differences that will make it better, for it is to be an eternal kingdom, those who enter heaven live forever. Yahshua promised us eternal life (in heaven) if we believe in him:
“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 3:16)
Revelation chapters 21/22 tell us a little about heaven, but it is interesting to note this:
 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Yahshua replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,  nor will people say, `Here it is,’ or `There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20/21)
But what of the alternative, what if we reject the message of salvation and eternal life in heaven? Well again in Revelation 20:11-15 we see that those whose names are not written in “the book of life” they were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is perhaps symbolic of what we know to be ‘hell’, and the ‘book of life’ is a record of those who will enter heaven. Revelation 14:9-12 is of note hear as it suggests that hell is eternal (worshipping the beast and his image basically means you have rejected God’s kingdom by following the Anti-Messiah). Yahshua confirms hell as a place of eternal punishment in Matthew 25:31-46.
How do we gain eternal life through Yahshua if he died!? To understand this you have to read Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20/21, because Yahshua didn’t just die, he actually rose from the dead!! It seems like such a sad story when you consider that someone had to die and bear the punishment for the wrongdoings of all mankind, but when you consider that he rose from the grave because death was not strong enough to contain him, that changes the view somewhat.
 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 14:10-18)
There are eye witnesses to the fact that after Yahshua had been buried, the tomb that he was in became empty, and Yahshua walked around in full human physical form. Some people might imagine this in some kind of spooky supernatural horror-movie type way, but Yahshua rose from the dead in a completely different manner to this. Yahshua rose from the dead because death could not hold him (see Romans 6:9).
Death came about because of Adams sin. God told Adam that on the day you sin you will die (Genesis 2:17), we take this metaphorically, because when God created Adam he was immortal, he could have lived for ever if he had not been disobedient to God. The point to draw from this is that it is sin, disobedience toward God that caused death to become part of human nature, we are all naturally the seed, or descendents of Adam, therefore we are all destined to die, sin and death are the characteristics we inherited from Adam after he sinned.
We are created in God’s image (the internals – Gen 1:26/27) as we are naturally the descendents of Adam we have sin and death also sown into our nature, meaning we have a part of us which is prone to disobey God. Messiah said that to enter heaven we must be “born again” (John 3:5). Basically, being born again refers to baptism, where we are said to be born of the Holy Spirit, and renewed by inwardly so that we begin to overcome our natural desire to disobey God (see Romans 8:4).
The bible teaches that Yahshua is perfect, and without sin, therefore death could not hold him, death can only hold those who are under the power of sin. Yahshua is God, who has a “divine nature”, when we become a part of his church, and follow his teachings and commandments, we are said to be a part of his “body” (i.e. the church – see Ephesians 5:29-32 & Revelation 19:7&8). The power of God is revealed through the church, the members of the church share in the blessings of this, and because Yahshua can not die and we are a part of his body, we will inherit eternal life.
This is not to say that we will never die, but that there is a resurrection of the dead where those who have believed in Yahshua will be raised with imperishable bodies into eternal life (see 1 Corinthians 15), death will not hold us forever – just as it could not hold Yahshua. The bible also makes a distinction between a bodily or physical death (the first death), and spiritual death (the second death). Those who believe in Messiah will not suffer the second death (but will inherit eternal life), whereas those who have not believed will suffer the consequences of eternal death.
RESPOND TO THE BIBLE MESSAGE?
Yahshua message to all is “repent and be baptised”, we need to repent of our sins, what we have failed to keep of God’s law, and the things aside from that, where we know we have done wrong. Sin affects the way we live, when we are in Messiah we are a new creation and we have hope.
John chapter 3 is a very important part of the bible, it links with Matthew chapter 3:11-17, Mark 1:1-13, Luke 3:1-23, John 1:19-34. It describes an ordinance or rite that Believers must pass through in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, that is baptism. Many believe that if you were christened as a child, then you do not need to be baptised. However, I take a different view in relation to the scriptures already cited above that show the context under which baptism was carried out. The people sought out John to be baptised, they repented of their sins and were willing to be baptised. Arguably when a child is baptised he or she is without sin (no repentance), and does not make the choice to be baptised and profess faith in Yahshua Messiah.
Baptism centres around a conscious personal decision to turn away from our sins ‘repentance’, and acknowledgement that Yahshua Messiah is the Son of God, as we are baptised in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Arguably a child can not make these decisions.
The important thing to remember is the forgiveness of sins, the freedom and new life that we have in Messiah, where we can live as God intended us to, with the spirit of God (the holy spirit) living within us and helping us to change daily, coping with all that life passes our way.
This is the end of the basics section, there is enough here to fit you with the knowledge of the kingdom of God. I will just leave you with these two scriptures to consider:
 But when the kindness and love of God our Savoir appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Yahshua Messiah our Savoir,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7).
 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”
 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
 Yahshua answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:1-7)
May this explanation of God’s word add richly to your life and encourage your faith in Yahshua the Son of God.