Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekly Bible Study – October 13, 2014

The Doctrine of the Substitutionary
Spiritual Death of Jesus Christ. Part 2



Scripture References, Word & Phrase descriptions: If available on the website you're viewing this on, a few links (i.e., those without an already written scripture quote or brief explanation) are hover pop-up active, meaning the scripture reference will just pop-up if you hover your cursor over it (don’t click on the link, just hover your cursor over it), they work best using the Firefox browser – pop-ups in Internet Explorer, Chrome & other browsers only appear for a few seconds at best. If you don’t have Firefox (or hover pop-ups aren’t available on the website you’re viewing this on), that’s OK, move your cursor off and on the link until it is read; or left click the link which will open the verse at the online bible; or you can always use your Bible to look up the verses.

Prepare yourself for learning the Word of God!

Before we begin, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (that is; you have believed [trusted] in Him for His promised gift of eternal life), it is important to prepare yourself to learn God's Word so take a moment to name, cite or acknowledge (confess) your sins privately to God (i.e.; with your thoughts directed only to God the Father).

1 John 1:9 says: "If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (known sins) and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [unknown or forgotten sins]." NKJV (New King James Version) [italics added]

If you have never personally believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior (that is, believed in Him for eternal life), the issue for you is not to name your sins; the issue for you is to have faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life:

John 6:47 says: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me (Jesus Christ) has everlasting life." NKJV [italics added]

Notice again what Jesus said in John 6:47: "…he who believes in Me (Jesus Christ) has everlasting life." It doesn't say, "will have"; it says, "has." Therefore, the very moment you believe in Jesus Christ for His promise of everlasting life, you have it (it's really just that simple; nothing more and nothing less), and it can never be taken away from you (John 10:28-29). Furthermore, the gift (Ephesians 2:8c) of everlasting life (also called eternal life in scripture) is available to every human being; there are absolutely no exceptions.

John 3:14-18 says: "14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." NKJV

Let us now bow our hearts and take a moment to prepare for worship and learning God's Word. If there is any known sin in your life, this is the time to just cite it privately to God the Father with your thoughts directed towards Him. With your head bowed and your eyes closed, you have total privacy in your mind and soul:

Study to show yourself approved to God!


Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary:
God’s Word is Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings


The Doctrine of the Substitutionary
Spiritual Death of Jesus Christ. Part 2

OPTION: If you would prefer to go directly to the Grace Bible Church website to read this study message, all verse reference links are active there (but not hover active) and Enlarged Text is also an available option – right click the above link then left click “Open Link in New Window” or “New Tab”

Terms & Abbreviations used:

PPOG = Predesigned Plan of God
Human Good = Evil + Good Deeds while not in fellowship with God
OSN = Old Sin Nature
TLJC = The Lord Jesus Christ
SSE = Spiritual Self Esteem
PVTD = Positive Volition Towards Doctrine
+H - The Happiness of God
NVTD = Negative Volition Towards Doctrine
Doctrine = Bible Truth

To look up other “terms”, go to:

Alphabetical Listing


Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotes and references
are from the NASB – New American Standard Bible

The Doctrine of the Substitutionary
Spiritual Death of Jesus Christ. Part 2

JOH 3:1-8, Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.” Here is our Lord dealing with religion. Religion needs a spiritual birth. Religion needs changes.

Because you see religion is Satanic.

Religion has false doctrine, called doctrine of demons, 1TI 4:1.

Religion has a devil’s communion table, 1CO 10:19-20.

Religion has another gospel, GAL 1:6.

Religion has another Jesus, 2CO 11:4.

Religion has another Spirit, 2CO 11:4.

Religion is called “whitewashed tombstones”, beautiful on the outside but inside full of dead-men’s bones. So our Lord’s words in JOH 3:7, “Do not marvel” suggest the reaction of Nicodemus.

Nicodemus was totally shocked in spite of all his human accomplishments. He was totally baffled.

In verse 8, Jesus illustrates that a spiritual thing is not something that you can see.

JOH 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

When you were born again you didn’t see it. God the Holy Spirit entered you into union with Christ.

The Holy Spirit came to indwell inside of you, you didn’t feel it or see it either. Where does the wind begin and where does it end? The wind cannot be seen, only the effects are visible. You know wind exists because it hits you in the face. However, you do not know how the wind got there or where it’s going. So, it is with the spiritual birth. It is unseen, but it is nevertheless real.

So in JOH 3:9, Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

He had not been taught this at his theological seminary and please notice our Lord uses a little sarcasm at the right time.

JOH 3:10-13, Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak that which we know, and bear witness of that hich we have seen; and you do not receive our witness. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things? And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, {even} the Son of Man.”

No man has ascended up to heaven, simply means that all Old Testament saints were in Abraham’s bosom and none had ascended into heaven as of yet. Abraham’s bosom is a reference to paradise which was located in the middle of the earth before Christ ascended into heaven. The first man to enter into heaven in a resurrection body was the Lord Jesus Christ. However, in verse 13, the Lord Jesus Christ declared He was in heaven at the very moment He was speaking to Nicodemus.

He could be in heaven at the same time that He was also in His human body because He is the God-man, the unique person of the universe. Nicodemus was familiar with Numbers 21 which gives us the story of the serpent. What did our Lord mean when He said “The son of man must be lifted up?”

He meant that true life could only come out of death. He meant that in order for a new creation to begin the old creation must be destroyed. When our Lord died on the Cross He put an end to the Adamic race and began a new one.

Our Lord referred to His sacrificial death as a lifting up because the Jews were looking for a Messiah who should be lifted up. They wanted the Messiah to be elevated to the throne of David but before this, He must be lifted up upon the Cross and put to shame. To illustrate the character the meaning and the purpose of His death, the Lord refers to the well known incident in Numbers 21.

In Numbers 21 Israel was murmuring against the Lord and against the man of God.

NUM 21:4-9, Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. And the people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.” And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

Israel was murmuring against the Lord and against Moses. So that in verse 6 the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people. The interesting thing here goes back once again to the original language.

Because in verse 6, the word for serpent is the same word used for the serpent in the arden of Eden in Gen 3, nachash (naw-khawsh’); meaning a snake or literally an image of a serpent. This serpent lies and deceives the individual in a literal way. However, when the Lord says in NUM 21:8 to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard” The word for serpent here is the Hebrew word nachash (naw-khawsh’) referring not to a snake, but a mythological type of a serpent. Which simply means that the Lord jesus Christ does need to use sin to fulfill His plan and policy literally. He can use a type of sin or something that represents, as in, in this case a nachash, a type or representative analogy of sin. Now, why is this so important? It is important because there are teachings like BUddism that teach that we need evil to reveal sin.

There are even Christians who teach others that we need evil to appreciate good.

And they quote verses and passages like ISA 45:7 to justify their opinion, which says “I am the One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these." These fiery serpents bit the people so that some of the people died and many others were wounded from the poisonous bites of the literal serpents. In verse 7, notice that they confessed they had sinned and they cried unto Moses for relief. Moses cried unto God and the Lord told him to make a serpent out of brass and place it on a pole.

The Jews who were bitten by the fiery serpents were told to look at the brazen serpent “in faith” and they should be healed. This all was a foreshadowing of our Lord. It spoke of Christ being lifted up on the cross in order that He might save, through the look of faith, those who were dying from sin.

Why use a serpent?

The serpent was an appropriate figure of that deadly and destructive power, sin.

In GEN 3:15, the serpents’ seed is said to be unregenerate sinners.

The serpent therefore represented the sinner. Now, the poison of the fiery serpents’ bite effected the entire system of its’ victims. There was no deliverance therefore for the Jews unless God provided one. The remedy which God provided was a “public exhibition” of the destroyer, the serpent on a pole.

GAL 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”

Now, the question arises, Why didn’t Moses use one of the actual serpents and spike a fiery serpent on the pole?

Because it would have damaged the typology.

It would have pictured God’s judgment on the sinner himself and worse still, it would have misrepresented our sinless substitute, TLJC.

HEB 7:26, For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens.

The type chosen was in the likeness of a serpent, it wasn’t an actual serpent, but a piece of brass made like one.

The correlates with ROM 8:3, For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God {did:} sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and {as an offering} for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

HEB 4:15, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as {we are, yet} without sin.

The one who is the sinners Savior was sent, in the likeness of sinful flesh. How could a serpent fitly symbolize the Lord Jesus Christ, the holy One from God? A serpent is one of the last things we would ever think would represent the Lord. However, the brazen serpent foreshadows Christ only as He was lifted up on the cross.

The lifting up pointed to the Cross. The serpent was a reminder and emblem of the curse. It was through the agency of that old serpent, the devil, that our first parents were seduced nd brought under the curse of a holy God. On the Cross never forget, the holy one of God was made a curse for us.

So, the serpent accurately prefigured the crucified Savior being made a curse for us. But why a serpent of brass? This brings out once more the perfect accuracy of the type or the doctrine of typology. In the scriptures brass symbolizes divine judgment! The brazen altar illustrates this truth for on it the sacrificial animals were slain. Upon the brazen altar descended the consuming fire from heaven. In Rev 1 Christ is seen as judge inspecting the seven churches, we are told that His feet were like fine brass.

REV 1:15 and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace,

Brass is harder than iron, or silver, or gold, it told, then, of Christ’s mighty strength. He was able to endure the awful judgments which fell upon Him, a mere creature, though sinless would have been utterly consumed.

From what has been said so far, it is evident that when God told Moses to make a serpent of brass and to place it on a pole and told the Jews to look on it and they should live, that He was preaching to them the Gospel of His grace.

Moses was commanded by God to make a serpent of brass, it was something the Lord provided. Moses was commanded to fix this brazen serpent upon a pole. Therefore, the divine remedy was publicly exhibited so that all Israel might look and be healed. The Lord’s promise in NUM 21:8 was that “It shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten, when he looks upon it shall live.”

The point is that man was to look away from himself to the divinely appointed object of faith.

The brazen serpent was lifted up so that those who were too weak to crawl up to the pole itself simply could look and be healed.No matter how many times he may have been bitten, no matter how far the poison had advanced, if they looked they could be healed, anyone could be look and anyone could be healed.

It is interesting that man became a lost sinner by a look as in GEN 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Now the sinner is saved by a look, ISA 45:22 “Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.

After salvation the Christian life continues by looking.

HEB 12:2, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

At the end of the Christian life we are still to be looking for Christ, Philippians 3:20.

PHI 3:20, For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

From the beginning to the end it’s a mere look. Some might say, I don’t know if I’m looking right. In that great crowd of bitten Israelites there were some with young eyes, some with old eyes that looked at the serpent. Some with clear vision and some with dim vision. Faith is simply the eye of the soul looking toward the Lord Jesus Christ, even if it’s only a little faith.

LUK 17:6 “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.”

JOH 3:14-16, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

“God” refers here to the first person of the Trinity, God the Father. Since God is perfect, His plan is perfect. Man’s biggest problem which was sin was solved by a perfect God in eternity past. Everything we will ever need in time, every sin that we would ever commit has a divine provision from a perfect God. Every sin in the human race that would ever be committed has a divine solution “in Christ”. God knew every failure we would ever have, every suffering and every heartache.

Therefore He made a provision for every situation in this life. There will never be a trial, or a testing or a suffering too great for the plan of God to handle. Billions of years ago at a certain point of time God loved us. Love requires thought not emotion and billions of years ago, God thought about you. And when He thought about you, He loved you. And because He loved you, He decided to act upon that love.

The mental attitude preceded the action. The mental attitudewas love, the action was the cross. God the Father loved you before you ever loved Him. However, it says that God so loved the world. It is true that God is love but here God so loved the world. God’s love for both the believer and unbeliever is centered around the Cross. It is true that God is love and because God is love the cross exists, When a member of the human race by passes the cross or rejects Christ as his or her personal Savior, he then ecomes the object of divine wrath.

People often wonder why is there a hell? First of all, MAT 25:41 tells us hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. The reason is because God has more than one characteristic. God is love and He is also righteous and just and holy, HAB 1:13, Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, And Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor.

The Bible is very dogmatic about a literal hell, over one hundred-sixty-two texts in the New Testament alone are given, Over seventy were uttered by the Lord.

Hell is said to be banishment from the presence of God, 2TH 1:4.
Hell is a place of torment and punishment, ISA LUK 16:23.
Hell had to be enlarged by God to make room for man, ISA 5:14.
Hell is a place of eternal fire, MAT 13:42, 50; REV 20:15 and outer darkness, MAT 8:12.
Hell is a place of worms which discomfort their victims, where the conscience does not die, MAR 9:44; 46; 48.
Hell is a place where others can be recognized, ISA LUK 16:23.
Hell is a place where people will pray but will not be heard, LUK 16:27.
Hell is a place where desire remains unfulfilled, LUK 16:24-27; REV 22:11.
Hell is said to be a bottomless pit, REV 9:1.
Hell is said to last forever and ever, REV 14:11.
Hell is a place where the victims are eternally dying yet they are not in a state of death but a process of constantly dying, REV 2:11; 20:14.

However, God so loved the world that He did something so that no one would ever have to suffer in the eternal state.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

God loves those who are incapable of loving Him. Spiritual death means more than being separated from God, it means we do not even have the ability to love God. And, God loved us when we had no capacity to love Him.

The following link is to a good news message describing how one can receive eternal life:
Ticket to Heaven, it was written for anyone not absolutely certain about their eternal future.

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