Logo Copyright © 2007 NCCG - All Rights Reserved
Return to Main Page




Symphony of Truth

In a Nutshell

Topical Guide


5 Commissions

10 Commandments

333 NCCG Number

144,000, The


Action Stations

Agency, Free





Apostolic Interviews

Apostolic Epistles

Archive, Complete

Articles & Sermons





Baptism, Water

Baptism, Fire

Becoming a Christian

Bible Codes

Bible Courses

Bible & Creed


Calendar of Festivals


Charismata & Tongues

Chavurat Bekorot

Christian Paganism

Chrism, Confirmation


Church, Fellowship

Contact us



Covenants & Vows












Ephraimite Page, The

Essene Christianity




Family, The



Festivals of Yahweh

Festivals Calendar



Gay Christians


Godhead, The






Hebrew Roots





Holy Echad Marriage

Holy Order, The

Home Education


Human Nature




Intro to NCCG.ORG



Jewish Page, The

Judaism, Messianic

Judaism, Talmudic


KJV-Only Cult





Marriage & Romance



Messianic Judaism






NCCG Origins

NCCG Organisation

NCCG, Spirit of

NCCG Theology



New Age & Occult



New Covenant Torah

Norwegian Website


Occult Book, The

Occult Page, The

Olive Branch



Paganism, Christian















RDP Page




Satanic Ritual Abuse



Sermons & Articles

Sermons Misc







Swedish Website


Talmudic Judaism



Tongues & Charismata



True Church, The




United Order, The




Wicca & the Occult


World News


Yah'shua (Jesus)




    Trouble and Doubt
    vs. The Resurrection and Life

    Sabbath Day Sermon, Saturday 2 March 2002

    I wonder how everyone in this room would react if the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus) suddenly materialised out of thin air and stood in front of us? And I am not talking about seeing a vision or an apparition, but the sudden appearance of a solid, living, breathing human being. The Scriptures record that the disciples were discussing the report which had been made by two men travelling on their way to Emmaus. They had described how the resurrected Christ had walked and talked with them for some time before they finally recognised Him as they shared a meal. In this case, however, He suddenly vanished having spent the better part of the day explaining the scriptures to them. (vv.13-35).

    A very short while after this incident, on the same day, in fact, the Saviour appeared again. As He physically manifested Himself He said to them: "Peace be with you!" (NIV) or "Shalom to you!" (HRV). And as if anticipating their reaction, continued by saying: "It is I, do not be afraid" (ibid., HRV - not, incidentally, recorded in the Greek texts but in the original Aramaic).

    Now admittedly it is not every day that such a thing happens. Perhaps you have had the experience of dozing off or daydreaming to be suddenly jolted into reality by someone standing in front of you whom you had not noticed was there. Of course, we know, that this person did not suddenly "appear" but came in the normal way on his two feet. What shocked us was the fact that we briefly lost consciousness and therefore a sense of time -- and then, suddenly, there he was.

    Well, there the disciples were talking about Yah'shua (Jesus) and then, suddenly, there He was! No flash of light, no theatrics - He was suddenly there, as if He had never been absent, as if the disciples had daydreamed and suddenly woken up to the presence of someone who hadn't been there before. Luke records their immediate reaction: "And they were frightened and were in fear, for they supposed that they had seen a spirit" (v.37, HRV), or as most of our English versions put it, "a ghost". You may remember that even before the resurrection the apostles had once thought that Yah'shua (Jesus) was a ghost when He came walking towards them across the Sea of Galilee whilst stranded in a boat. And like all people, they feared the unknown.

    Some of you may have seen spirits or ghosts and know the kind of fear these things can invoke, especially if you are not familiar with them. And yet it seems that Yah'shua (Jesus) was almost rebuking them what for most of us would be a legitimate fear: "Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?" (v.38, HRV).

    He then proceeded to show them His hands and His feet, inviting them to touch Him. Even having handled Him they did not believe, and the reason was "because of joy and amazement" (v.41, NIV). Their reaction was typical of a person who believes a loved one is dead to then have him suddenly appear on the doorstep. Joy and disbelief freely mingle.

    We need to remember that Yah'shua (Jesus) did not sneak into the room when they weren't looking because the doors were firmly locked. He did something that they had never experienced before. And when things happen to us that are beyond anything we know or have even considered, it is not unreasonable that we are sometimes shocked. We see even a contradiction in the experience of these bewildered men - all their senses told them that the person who stood in front of them was the man of Galilee whom they had known and loved so well, and who only a short while before had been tortured and killed before their eyes on a cross. It was Him - He was physical, the open wounds of the crucifixion were still visible in His hands and feet, so this was no double. This was verily Yah'shua (Jesus) of Nazareth who was alive when He should, from a carnal perspective, have been dead. They believed with their senses that it was Him but in their spirits they were having enormous problems. Their inner worlds were briefly a mass of confusion. At this supreme moment all rational thought broke down -- they were simply amazed and overjoyed, their heads in a swirl.

    And yet Yah'shua (Jesus) is gently rebuking them for their lack of faith. "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your minds?" As if the sensation of touching Him were not enough, He went ahead and ate some broiled fish right in front of their eyes (v.42). Spirits or ghosts do not eat food. He was to repeat this same eating exercise in another resurrection appearance He joined the apostles for breakfast on the beach of the Sea of Galilee.

    Now the disciples should have known what was going on when He appeared before them because He went on to show them how the events of the cross were all predicted in the Torah or Law of Moses, in the writings of the Prophets, and in the Psalms (v.44). These they were expected to know because He had expounded these scriptures so many times during His mortal ministry. His appearance amongst them there and then was in fulfilment of prophecy. And finally, He summarised the keys of salvation for all those who would believe, saying:

      ""This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (vv.46-47, NIV).

    When you ask most people who are not believers what their chief stumbling block to belief is, it is usually the resurrection. They find it hard, if not impossible, to believe that there is anything after death, and certainly not a physical life. Most other religions believe in what is called a "spiritual resurrection" in which the disembodied spirit lives on in some fashion, though many - especially the pantheistic Hindus and New Age ones - believe that the final destiny of these spirits is to be totally absorbed into a nothingness type of god. For them the final destiny of the spirit is one final "high" which they call "Nirvana" which they envisage as a blinding flash of narcotic ecstasy before the total dissolution of their personality and individuality.

    The resurrection of Yah'shua (Jesus) demonstrated that the kind of life that we are to look forward to is not something ghostly and ethereal but physical and tangible. Though infinitely better than what we enjoy in this present physical world, it is still "physical". One of the purposes of the work of Yah'shua (Jesus) on the Cross was, in addition to bringing forgiveness for sin, to ensure that the original physical creation be brought to its final destiny. The kinds of pleasures we enjoy in this life are to be perpetuated in the next, only on a much higher and purer plane of existence.

    Now in my life I have had a number of out-of-body experiences, as I know many thousands of other people have too. And it is true that there is a wonderful freedom to be away from these physical bodies that suffer pain and disease. There is most definitely a downside to mortality, purposeful to our salvation though it is. Not of us likes pain. None of likes deprivation. None of us likes sorrow. All of these are the lot of mortal man. And so there is this tendency to yearn for a state of being which is free from these things.

    When we die we lose our physical bodies and become purely spirits again. And wonderful though it is to be free of sick, diseased and pain-wracked bodies, there's a downside to being just a spirit too. You see, the physical body provides us with a range of experience not possible with just a spirit. The physical world provides us with a contrast that enables us to discern, learn and be creative, which ij the spirit alone is very difficult to do.

    Let me explain it this way. Imagine that the range of existence, from coarse physical matter to fine spirit, is like a piano keyboard which extends from bass to treble. Physical matter consists of the range of deep notes, and spiritual the range of high notes. Only in this model the keyboard is divided into two separate sections so that the notes are not a continuous scale from the lowest to the highest note. At death the low-end of the scale becomes separated from the high and disintegrates, leaving only half a keyboard. In the resurrection both halves are restored together only this time there isn't a gap between the two as in mortality. There is a continuous scale. Physical body and spirit body become inseparably connected.

    Imagine a hymn sung in four parts only being sung in two. Or an orchestra playing Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony without 'cellos, double bases, tubas, timpani, and other instruments at the lower end of the scale of notes. What richness would be lost! And though the analogy is limited, and shouldn't be taken too far, that is the difference between having a physical body and not. Only in the resurrection the scale is much broader - the keyboard extends in both directions further than in mortality giving a considerably greater range of notes.

    These things I know to be true because I have heard heavenly music and seen heavenly colour. There are far more notes and colours in the resurrection than down here. In fact, things here are rather dull by comparison. An eternity with only half a soul - a spirit - even if cut off from death and pain, would not be particularly satisfying in the long run. Yahweh has much bigger and better plans for us.

      ""This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (vv.46-47, NIV).

    The physical resurrection is the first key doctrine of the Christian faith. So important is it that we learn that there is a resurrection not only of those who are saved but also those who are damned. Not only that, but there are many different kinds of resurrection based on the kind of life you have lived (Heb.11:35) just as there are many types of glory in the next life (1 Cor.15:41-42). That means that the kind of resurrected body you get in the next world will depend on what you have done here and what kind of faith you have exercised. Some bodies will be more luminous that others - some brighter and some dimmer. Those who possess dim resurrected bodies will inhabit dimmer regions of heaven than those who have brighter ones, for the bright regions will be too bright for them and they will not be able to abide them. And the brightest are so bright that they, like God, are a consuming fire (Dt.4:24; Heb.12:29)

    And then, of course, there are those who will inhabit regions of twilight and utter darkness (Jude 1:13; 2 Pet.2:17: 1 Thess.5:5), the fate of those who reject the source of all Light, the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus). These are they who will not repent from their lack of faith in God and who cannot therefore receive forgiveness for their sins.

    These are three key doctrines that Christians are to witness of - the Resurrection, Repentance, and Forgiveness. But as such they would be entirely meaningless if Christ had not Himself arisen from the dead. Paul says that if Christ did not physically arise from the dead in an immortal body then everything Christians say and do is in vain (1 Cor.15:2). This is where we have to begin. This is where our faith is tested, to see if we will believe the witness of history. And according to the Bible there were plenty of witnesses, more than adequate to establish the fact of the resurrection in a court of Law.

    But Christianity is more than simply belief in an event that occurred two thousand years ago. It is more about turning away from unrighteousness by repenting of disobedience to the commandments. And it is more than the theory of God's forgiveness of us if we do these things. The Gospel is not about abstract concepts. It is about life itself. It is something that can, and must, be experiences in order to become real. But the reality of this truth can never be manifested until that leap of faith is made to believe - a belief that is not dependent on feelings or experience. They come afterwards ... to those who first believe.

    That initial "believing" is all important. Without it, no real repentance is possible, no joyful obedience follows, and no forgiveness of sin -- that which separates us from Yahweh -- can take place. The requirement to forgive is a great wall for many people - a mountain range for those who feel they have been grievously wronged in life. I am dealing with a lady right now who adamantly refuses to forgive those who caused her so much suffering when she was small. She has allowed hatred to grow deep roots into her soul, a hatred which she has cultivated to the point where all she wants is revenge. And it has become so bad now, and she is so blind, that she cannot see that her hatred has made her no worse than those who did such evil to her in the first place.

    I know another lady who was in exactly the same position. She nurtured a deep hatred for her parents who were Satanists. I taught her of the absolute necessity to forgive in order to be free from the shackles of hate, doubt and fear, all of which were eating her up inside like a cancer. She made a leap of faith, believing in the words of Christ, and she was completely delivered from all these negative and destructive forces. From becoming an utterly obnoxious person, she became beautiful in her soul.

    You see, the resurrection isn't just about getting an immortal body, it's also about receiving a power to live a victorious and happy life. I have seen so many people make that transition from darkness to light, something utterly impossible without the transforming power of Christ. And you don't have to be particularly bad to be in darkness. You may even think of yourself as a basically decent person who wouldn't harm a fly. But the issue isn't just how we treat others - it's how we treat our Creator, the one who made us in the first place. Yah'shua (Jesus) didn't summarise the Torah into just one commandment: "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Mt.22:39). There was another much more important one, without which it is in actual fact totally impossible to love your neighbour as yourself. For who are you? What is "yourself"? A murderer will probably treat his neighbour just like himself. So will a thief. And a liar. And an adulterer. They will all abuse their neighbour as they abuse themselves by murdering, stealing, and committing adultery. If you are the standard by which you treat others, then everyone's standards are going to be different, aren't they? Even many Satanists obey the second commandment - the Thelmists and Wiccans teach that you should do unto others what you would wish them to do unto you! The Golden Rule in and of itself is meaningless without the one that precedes it because morality is then defined by self. Living the Golden Rule doesn't make you a Christian, important though it is as a step in the right direction. What makes you a Christian is whether you are observing the FIRST commandment as well, and only if it is your priority:

      "'Love the Lord your God [Yahweh your Elohim] with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment" (v.37, NIV).

    The first and the greatest. The "Golden Rule" comes a firm second. Indeed, the "Golden Rule" is meaningless without the first, because the first determines how you are going to treat your neighbour in the first place. And to love God means, of course, to do what He tells us to do - to obey His commandments.

      "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?" (Luke 24:38, NIV)

    The reason the disciples were troubled and had doubts when the living resurrected Lord stood in front of them was because their faith was weak. In spite of all the evidence that Yah'shua (Jesus) had given them that he was the Messiah - and it was not just a little evidence but included walking on water, turning water to wine, healing lepers, raising the dead to life again, and giving them such sublime and lofty teachings - in spite of all of this, they had doubts.

    We, in our turn, are not at all unlike those first disciples. There are times when we are troubled, when doubts arise in our minds. In answer to which the Saviour answers: "Look at My hands and My feet! It is I myself!" Touch me and see ..." (v.39, NIV). We may not be able to physically touch Him, or to be able say with the crowds, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel" (Mt.9:33), but we can believe the witnesses of these men and women, and we can be spiritually empowered with the resurrection life, we can repent from dead works, and we can be forgiven and know it. We can be changed for the good, forever, and secure a place of happiness for ourselves in life and eternity. And when we have done these things, doubt will flee and we will be at rest within and energetic without as we strive to builld His Kingdom with whatever means are at our disposal (Mt.6:33).

      Yah'shua (Jesus) said: ""I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (Jn.11:25-26, NIV).

    This page was created on 1 March 2002
    Last updated on 1 March 2002

    Copyright © 1987-2007 NCCG - All Rights Reserved