Jonah, Lesson 1

Read Jonah 1:1-11


No book of the Bible has been subjected to more scorn and ridicule by skeptics and infidels than the book of Jonah. There may be one exception, that being the first three chapters of Genesis. Despite the criticism of men, the Lord vouches for its genuineness. Matthew 12:40 says, “For as Jonah was three days…” etc. The Lord used the experience of Jonah as a type of His own death and resurrection and in doing so lifted the book above the realm of fiction, allegory, or fable.

The Importance of the Resurrection

Easter 1975

The truth of the resurrection of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. In 1 Corinthians 15:14 Paul says, “If Christ be not risen from the dead, then our preaching is vain and your faith is vain also.” Inseparably linked with the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of all those who have died in Christ. Furthermore, Paul says that if Christ is not raised from the dead, then there is no hope for believers who have died—they have perished. Moreover, he asserts that if Christ was not resurrected, preachers are false prophets and our faith is in vain.

Jonah: Lesson 6

Read Jonah 1:17, Jonah 2:1-10 and Matthew 12:38-41

Three Days and Three Nights

The principle question before us this morning is: Was Jesus in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights? According to tradition, the Lord was crucified on Friday; this has become known throughout the Christian world as “Good Friday.” If this theory is correct, then the statements of our Lord are incorrect.

Mark 8:31 “and after three days rise again.”

Matthew 27:63 “this deceiver said while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again.”

1 Corinthians 15:4 “And that He was buried, and that He rose again according to the Scriptures on the third day.”

Jonah 1:17 “And Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish.”

In the face of such clear statements, the “Good Friday” theory is impossible. There is not a shred of biblical evidence to support it. The assumption that a part of a day counts for a whole day is taken from the Talmud and is not found in the Bible. If Jesus died on Friday, at 3 pm, He was dead for three hours on Friday, all day Saturday, and a few hours on Sunday. This is supposed to be three days and three nights? In actuality it was one day and two nights.

How can we believe this when Jesus Himself said, “three days and three nights?”

The Jewish day began at sundown and ended at sundown. This rule was laid down in Genesis 1:5, which says, “The evening and the morning were the first day.” The weekly Jewish Sabbath began at sundown, at 6 pm Friday evening, and closed on Saturday evening at 6 pm.

Jonah: Lesson 4

The Futility of Works

Jonah 1:12-18

In a previous message we learned that the only way the storm that threatened the sailors could be calmed was for Jonah to be cast overboard. There was no other way, no other alternative. In the same way, there is no salvation apart from the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, but proud and stubborn humanity is slow to believe God’s Word. Instead they seek to save themselves through their own efforts and works. Most men and women will exhaust their own devices until they are utterly lost, and then will accept God’s remedy for sin.

“When you have tried everything, read the instructions.”

This principle is illustrated in our narrative. There were at least two things the sailors tried before they would submit to God’s command to throw Jonah overboard. The first attempt to save themselves is found in Jonah 1:5, “They cast forth their wares.” They thought that by getting rid of their cargo they could survive the storm. Their efforts were of no avail.

Similarly, many people today try to reform. They stop lying, stealing, swearing, killing, and lusting. This is the way of religion – live a decent life, join the church, etc. [Describe at this point, reformation - Use the example that can be seen through the evil spirit cast out, who later returns and brings six others (Matthew 12:43-45).]

The Importance of the Resurrection

Easter 1975

Read Matthew 28:1-10.

The truth of the resurrection of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. In 1 Corinthians 15:14 Paul says, “If Christ be not risen from the dead, then our preaching is vain and your faith is vain also.” Inseparably linked with the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of all those who have died in Christ. Furthermore, Paul says that if Christ is not raised from the dead, then there is no hope for believers who have died—they have perished. Moreover, he asserts that if Christ was not resurrected, preachers are false prophets and our faith is in vain.

The resurrection of Christ is just as important to our Christian faith and hope as the death of Christ on the Cross. Romans 14:25 says, “Jesus was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” To be saved, we must believe in the resurrection of Christ as well as His death. Romans 10:9 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

There are three questions that I would like you to consider:

    How can sinful man be reconciled to a thrice-holy God? How can the infinite chasm separating deity from humanity be bridged? What ladder shall be able to rest upon earth and yet reach into heaven itself?

There is only one answer to these questions. The initial step in the work of human redemption must be the incarnation of Christ’s deity, followed by His death, resurrection, and ascension.


Revelation: Chapter 20

The Judgment

In my opinion, Revelation 20:11-15 is the greatest and most solemn announcement in the Word of God. This is the time of which the writer to the Hebrews warned us - “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” 


The Great White Throne - The word throne is mentioned more than thirty times in Revelation, but this throne is unique, because it is “a great white throne.” For Rev. 20:11 says, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.” This judgment takes place in space, because the earth flees from the presence of the Lord Jesus. It cannot take place in heaven, because no unbeliever has access to heaven. See Rev. 21:8.

Truth and justice will meet with sin and rejection right here at this throne; and it is a Great White Throne. The judgment will be “great,” because almighty power will be demonstrated. It also will be “great” because of the vast crowds that will be there: every unbeliever from the time of Adam, the fallen angels, and the great hosts of angels and believers - they will assist at this judgment (See 1 Cor. 6:2-3). This great throne is “white,” emphasizing the holiness and purity of the Judge. This dazzling whiteness will be in contrast to the blackness of sin of those who stand before the throne.  


The Imperial Cult And The Resurrection Of The Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:3-4)


In 1987, I was participating in the “Who is the Pharaoh of the Exodus?” conference in Memphis, TN. During one of our lunch breaks, a group of us, who were alumni of the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, went to a local eatery. Sitting opposite me was Bishop Mesrob Mutafyan, a bishop of the Armenian Church in Istanbul, Turkey. (He has since been elevated to one of five Patriarchs in the Armenian Church). During our conversation, the subject of liturgy and creeds came up. Since I was from a non-liturgical church I asked him why they repeated the liturgy and creeds over and over again. His answer was very helpful. He said that historically, many people in the churches had never learned to read. When they repeated the liturgy (which is mostly Scripture verses) over and over again, it helped them memorize the Word of God. By repeating the creeds, the participants became grounded in the doctrinal truths of their faith.

One creed that the Western Church recites is the so-called Apostle’s Creed. While it was not composed by the early apostles, one church historian described it as “by far the best popular summary of the Christian faith ever made within so brief a space,” and went on to say “It is not a word of God to men, but a word of men to God, in response to His revelation” (Schaff 1990:1:15, 16). It is solid theology in a concise creed. I believe that Romans 1:3-4 was one of the original creeds concerning the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Literary Structure

The creed in Romans 1:3-4 is composed of two lines with three clauses in each line and a summary statement at the end. It was formulated by either the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem, or by the great Hebraic minds of the apostle’s Peter (cf. Matt. 16:16) or Paul, based on the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures (Romans 1:2).

Chapter 7: Resurrection

He preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection . . . And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead (Acts 17:18, 30, 31).

Apart from the great fact of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead we would have no gospel to preach. By “resurrection” we do not mean that our Lord’s spirit continued to live after His body died, but that He was actually raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, and came forth from the tomb in the very same body that had been impaled on Calvary’s cross. In that body, now glorified, He sits at God’s right hand, and in that same body He is coming again as the Judge of both living and dead—the saved and the lost. This is what is emphasized for us in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

The entire passage, beginning with verse 16, is of tremendous interest, but I have no thought of attempting to explain it all, though I hope you will read it carefully at your leisure, if you are not thoroughly familiar with it, for it is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of a preacher’s eloquence that we have anywhere in the Bible.

Paul appears here at his best, from the human standpoint, but he also speaks as a divinely inspired servant of Christ. Of Apollos we read elsewhere that he was an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, and it is very evident from this sample sermon that Paul was a man o£ the same stamp; although on the other hand he did not particularly cultivate what was simply rhetorical, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

The Glories of the Resurrection - Ephesians 1

The death of the Lord Jesus is the chief demonstration of the love of God. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the chief demonstration of the power of God.

Ephesians 1:19

In the resurrection we see power—God’s power—God’s great power and God’s exceeding great power. The power that raised Christ from the dead and enthroned Him at God’s right hand was the greatest exhibition of divine power that the world has ever known. The reason for this seems to be that the infernal hosts were massed to frustrate God’s plans by keeping Christ in the tomb, and by preventing His ascension once He was raised. God triumphed; and Christ’s resurrection and ascension were a shattering defeat to Satan and his hosts.


Ephesians 1:20

Christ was raised from the grave of mortality to the throne of eternal God - from the darkness of the tomb to unapproachable light - from this small world to the metropolis of the universe. Following our Lord’s ascension, God made Him to sit at His right hand—a place of privilege (Hebrews 1:13)—of power (Matthew 26:64)—of distinction (Hebrews 1:3)—of delight (Psalms 16:1)—and of dominion (1 Peter 3:22).


Ephesians 1:21

Christ’s glorification is described as: “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.” There are different ranks of angelic beings, some evil, some good. They have different degrees of power. No matter their rank—authority—power—or dominion—Christ is far above them all. This is not only true of this age, but also in the coming age—the Millennium—then He will be King of kings and Lord of lords.

The Importance of the Resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15

If Christ be not risen:

- Our preaching is in vain.

- Our faith is imaginary or meaningless. 

- We are still in our sins.

- Those who have died in Christ are lost; they have perished.

If Christ has not risen from the dead, we are to be pitied and, of all people, we are the most miserable. In other words, the fabric of our faith lies in shambles around us. But Paul continues on the positive side: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of them that sleep in Jesus.”


Christ appeared ten times during the days of manifestation, before His ascension. He also appeared to three men one or more times after His ascension:

(1) To Stephen at his stoning (Acts 7:55-60).

(2) To Paul at his conversion (Acts 9:3-8), at Corinth (Acts 18:9-10), in the temple at Jerusalem (Acts 22:17-21), later at Jerusalem (Acts 23:11), and in another vision (2 Corinthians 12:1-4).

(3) To John on Patmos (Revelations 1:10-19). He appeared also in other visions in The Revelation.

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