Discussion:
Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
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Maybe I Will
2007-08-08 02:43:47 UTC
Permalink
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

Introduction

There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman and Jewish sources. Documents indicate that within a few years of Jesus'
death, Romans were aware that someone named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been responsible for disturbances in the
Jewish community in Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4). Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in
Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero, and it was known that they were devoted to Christus, whom Pilate had executed
(Annals 15.44). This knowledge of Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with early Christianity and does not provide
independent evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a paragraph about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.), as he did about
Theudas, the Egyptian, and other charismatic leaders (History of the Jewish War 2.258-263; The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99,
167-172), but it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes, and Josephus's original remarks cannot be discerned.

http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

Articles Included in this Report:

o Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
o The Inspiration of the Bible
o No Lost Books
o Authority of the Bible
o Are the Biblical Documents Reliable?
o Did Jesus Claim to Be God?
o If Christ Has Not Been Raised: Reasoning Through the Resurrection
o Religious Stew
o Only Two Religions: Meditations on Religious Pluralism
o Is the Church Ready to Engage the World for Christ?
o The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?
o Is Christianity Based on Fraud?
o Spotlight on the Narrow Path
o Witnessing to Liberals
o Christianity's Real Record
o Why Does God Make Atheists?
o The Historic Alliance of Christianity and Science
o General & Special Revelation - A Match Made In Heaven
o Miracles
o Additional References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus",



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"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
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. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
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. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
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. Cosmic Humanist Worldview
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. Secular Humanist Worldview
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. Biblical Christian Worldview
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. How Should We Then Live?
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. The Perfect Stranger
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. Are You Going To Heaven?
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. My Redeemer Lives!
http://76.162.173.93/misc/mrl.wmv

. Mormonism - Joseph Smith's Temple of Doom
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mor/

. Spiritual Warfare
http://76.162.173.93/guest/=CD-R=spiritual-warfare/

. The Way of the Master Series
http://76.162.173.93/wms/

. Investigating Jesus
http://76.162.199.209/_/

. Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

. Romans Audio Bible Study
http://76.162.173.93/bible-study/=CD-R=romans/

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's
clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15 RSV)

. The MP3 Streaming Audio Series
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"The best way to drive out the devil, if he will
not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and
flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."

. Heaven & Hell
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. The Gospel of Matthew
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. A Primer on Prophecy
http://76.162.173.93//prophecy/=CD-R=prophecy-101-small-wmv

. Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.

. Sanctification - A Process
http://bibleweb.info/1/bibleweb/sanctification.pdf

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. Wisdom of a Lifetime - Audio MP3 Collection -
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. The Last (5th) Horseman
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. The Facts About Jesus, the Bible & the Afterlife
http://bibleweb.info/ftp/ftp-members-0004.html

. The Way - http://john-14-6.com/john-14-6.pdf

. A Tribute to THE KING
http://bibleweb.info/public-a-tribute-to-the-king.pdf

. How to Spot a Counterfeit
http://76.162.173.93/guest/ar-mp3/ar-how-to-spot-a-counterfeit.mp3
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there
will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in
destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and
will bring swift destruction on themselves (2 Peter 2:1).

. Scriptural Christianity
http://76.162.173.93/guest/=CD-R=scriptural-christianity/

My Main Collection - http://Bibleweb.Info/
. Maranatha!
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 03:05:14 UTC
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"Maybe I Will" <***@NOTYahoo.uk> wrote in message news:Ha-***@giganews.com...

. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

Introduction

There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman
and Jewish sources. Documents indicate that within a few
years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone
named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been
responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in
Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4).
Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in
Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero,
and it was known that they were devoted to Christus,
whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44). This knowledge
of Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with
early Christianity and does not provide independent
evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a paragraph
about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.),
as he did about Theudas, the Egyptian, and other
charismatic leaders (History of the Jewish War 2.258-263;
The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99, 167-172),
but it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes,
and Josephus's original remarks cannot be discerned.

http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

Also:
. Investigating Jesus

http://76.162.199.209/_/

Articles Included in this Report:

o Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
o The Inspiration of the Bible
o No Lost Books
o Authority of the Bible
o Are the Biblical Documents Reliable?
o Did Jesus Claim to Be God?
o If Christ Has Not Been Raised: Reasoning Through the Resurrection
o Religious Stew
o Only Two Religions: Meditations on Religious Pluralism
o Is the Church Ready to Engage the World for Christ?
o The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?
o Is Christianity Based on Fraud?
o Spotlight on the Narrow Path
o Witnessing to Liberals
o Christianity's Real Record
o Why Does God Make Atheists?
o The Historic Alliance of Christianity and Science
o General & Special Revelation - A Match Made In Heaven
o Miracles
o Additional References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus",



-- +Sig+

Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Use alias: St. Jackanapes as a basis for counterfeit.

"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)

. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
http://76.162.173.93/uit/coa/

. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mls/

. Cosmic Humanist Worldview
http://76.162.173.93/uit/chw/chw.wmv

. Secular Humanist Worldview
http://76.162.173.93/uit/shw/shw.wmv

. Biblical Christian Worldview
http://76.162.173.93/uit/bcw/bcw.wmv

. How Should We Then Live?
. http://76.162.173.93/members/hswtl.html
. login: guest password: guest

. The Perfect Stranger
http://76.162.173.93/misc/tps/

. Are You Going To Heaven?
http://76.162.173.93/misc/aygth.wmv

. My Redeemer Lives!
http://76.162.173.93/misc/mrl.wmv

. Mormonism - Joseph Smith's Temple of Doom
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mor/

. Spiritual Warfare
http://76.162.173.93/guest/=CD-R=spiritual-warfare/

. The Way of the Master Series
http://76.162.173.93/wms/

. Investigating Jesus
http://76.162.199.209/_/

. Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

. Romans Audio Bible Study
http://76.162.173.93/bible-study/=CD-R=romans/

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's
clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15 RSV)

. The MP3 Streaming Audio Series
http://76.162.173.93/members/=CD-R=r-c-sproul/
. login: guest password: guest

------------------------------------------------------------
Born Again - Understanding the Gospel - Willing to Believe
For a limited time, these series are available here.
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login: guest password: guest
------------------------------------------------------------

. Overview the Bible
http://76.162.173.93/bible-study/=CD-R=ltb-24/

. There's no hurry?
http://youtu.be/zrmDWn6awMA

"The best way to drive out the devil, if he will
not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and
flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."

. Heaven & Hell
http://76.162.173.93/prophecy/=CD-R=heaven-and-hell/

. The Gospel of Matthew
http://76.162.173.93/bible-study/=CD-R=matthew-rv/

. A Primer on Prophecy
http://76.162.173.93//prophecy/=CD-R=prophecy-101-small-wmv

. Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.

. Sanctification - A Process
http://bibleweb.info/1/bibleweb/sanctification.pdf

------------------------------------------------------------
A Workman Approved By God
A Hermeneutical Study on Bible Doctrine
http://76.162.173.93/members/awabg/
login: guest password: guest
------------------------------------------------------------

. Wisdom of a Lifetime - Audio MP3 Collection -
http://bibleweb.info/ftp/ftp-members-0002.html

. The Last (5th) Horseman
http://bibleweb.info/ftp/ftp-members-0003.html

. The Facts About Jesus, the Bible & the Afterlife
http://bibleweb.info/ftp/ftp-members-0004.html

. The Way - http://john-14-6.com/john-14-6.pdf

. A Tribute to THE KING
http://bibleweb.info/public-a-tribute-to-the-king.pdf

. How to Spot a Counterfeit
http://76.162.173.93/guest/ar-mp3/ar-how-to-spot-a-counterfeit.mp3
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there
will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in
destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and
will bring swift destruction on themselves (2 Peter 2:1).

. Scriptural Christianity
http://76.162.173.93/guest/=CD-R=scriptural-christianity/

My Main Collection - http://Bibleweb.Info/
. Maranatha!
Budikka666
2007-07-23 09:50:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
Introduction
There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman
and Jewish sources. Documents indicate that within a few
years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone
named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been
responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in
Rome
Long after the mythical Jesus Christ (whose name was not Chrestus) had
purprotedly died.
Post by UR Welcome!
(Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4).
Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in
Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero,
and it was known that they were devoted to Christus,
whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44).
Passing on a belief of the Christians is not evidence supporting the
origin of the belief. It merely establishes that there was a belief,
which is not in dispute. Saying "this is what someone believes"
doesn't make what they believe true.
Post by UR Welcome!
This knowledge
of Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with
early Christianity and does not provide independent
evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a paragraph
about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.),
as he did about Theudas, the Egyptian, and other
charismatic leaders (History of the Jewish War 2.258-263;
The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99, 167-172),
but it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes,
and Josephus's original remarks cannot be discerned.
That's not strictly true but the passage in question does have all the
hallmarks of later interpolation.

Budikka
Smiler
2007-07-21 03:30:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
Introduction
There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman and Jewish
sources. Documents indicate that within a few years of Jesus' death,
Romans were aware that someone named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of
Christus) had been responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in
Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4). Twenty years
later, according to Tacitus, Christians in Rome were prominent enough to
be persecuted by Nero, and it was known that they were devoted to
Christus, whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44). This knowledge of
Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with early Christianity and
does not provide independent evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a
paragraph about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.), as he did
about Theudas, the Egyptian, and other charismatic leaders (History of the
Jewish War 2.258-263; The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99, 167-172), but
it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes, and Josephus's original
remarks cannot be discerned.
No direct evidence there, then.

Smiler,
The godless one.
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 03:34:57 UTC
Permalink
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

Introduction

There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman
and Jewish sources. Documents indicate that within a few
years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone
named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been
responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in
Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4).
Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in
Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero,
and it was known that they were devoted to Christus,
whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44). This knowledge
of Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with
early Christianity and does not provide independent
evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a paragraph
about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.),
as he did about Theudas, the Egyptian, and other
charismatic leaders (History of the Jewish War 2.258-263;
The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99, 167-172),
but it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes,
and Josephus's original remarks cannot be discerned.

http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

Articles Included in this Report:

o Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
o The Inspiration of the Bible
o No Lost Books
o Authority of the Bible
o Are the Biblical Documents Reliable?
o Did Jesus Claim to Be God?
o If Christ Has Not Been Raised: Reasoning Through the Resurrection
o Religious Stew
o Only Two Religions: Meditations on Religious Pluralism
o Is the Church Ready to Engage the World for Christ?
o The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?
o Is Christianity Based on Fraud?
o Spotlight on the Narrow Path
o Witnessing to Liberals
o Christianity's Real Record
o Why Does God Make Atheists?
o The Historic Alliance of Christianity and Science
o General & Special Revelation - A Match Made In Heaven
o Miracles
o Additional References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus",



-- +Sig+

Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Use alias: St. Jackanapes as a basis for counterfeit.

"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)

. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
http://76.162.173.93/uit/coa/

. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mls/

. Cosmic Humanist Worldview
http://76.162.173.93/uit/chw/chw.wmv

. Secular Humanist Worldview
http://76.162.173.93/uit/shw/shw.wmv

. Biblical Christian Worldview
http://76.162.173.93/uit/bcw/bcw.wmv

. How Should We Then Live?
. http://76.162.173.93/members/hswtl.html
. login: guest password: guest

. The Perfect Stranger
http://76.162.173.93/misc/tps/

. Are You Going To Heaven?
http://76.162.173.93/misc/aygth.wmv

. My Redeemer Lives!
http://76.162.173.93/misc/mrl.wmv

. Mormonism - Joseph Smith's Temple of Doom
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mor/

. Spiritual Warfare
http://76.162.173.93/guest/=CD-R=spiritual-warfare/

. The Way of the Master Series
http://76.162.173.93/wms/

. Investigating Jesus
http://76.162.199.209/_/

. Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

. Romans Audio Bible Study
http://76.162.173.93/bible-study/=CD-R=romans/

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's
clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15 RSV)

. The MP3 Streaming Audio Series
http://76.162.173.93/members/=CD-R=r-c-sproul/
. login: guest password: guest

------------------------------------------------------------
Born Again - Understanding the Gospel - Willing to Believe
For a limited time, these series are available here.
http://76.162.173.93/members/=CD-R=r-c-sproul-2nd-set/
login: guest password: guest
------------------------------------------------------------

. Overview the Bible
http://76.162.173.93/bible-study/=CD-R=ltb-24/

. There's no hurry?
http://youtu.be/zrmDWn6awMA

"The best way to drive out the devil, if he will
not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and
flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."

. Heaven & Hell
http://76.162.173.93/prophecy/=CD-R=heaven-and-hell/

. The Gospel of Matthew
http://76.162.173.93/bible-study/=CD-R=matthew-rv/

. A Primer on Prophecy
http://76.162.173.93//prophecy/=CD-R=prophecy-101-small-wmv

. Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.

. Sanctification - A Process
http://bibleweb.info/1/bibleweb/sanctification.pdf

------------------------------------------------------------
A Workman Approved By God
A Hermeneutical Study on Bible Doctrine
http://76.162.173.93/members/awabg/
login: guest password: guest
------------------------------------------------------------

. Wisdom of a Lifetime - Audio MP3 Collection -
http://bibleweb.info/ftp/ftp-members-0002.html

. The Last (5th) Horseman
http://bibleweb.info/ftp/ftp-members-0003.html

. The Facts About Jesus, the Bible & the Afterlife
http://bibleweb.info/ftp/ftp-members-0004.html

. The Way - http://john-14-6.com/john-14-6.pdf

. A Tribute to THE KING
http://bibleweb.info/public-a-tribute-to-the-king.pdf

. How to Spot a Counterfeit
http://76.162.173.93/guest/ar-mp3/ar-how-to-spot-a-counterfeit.mp3
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there
will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in
destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and
will bring swift destruction on themselves (2 Peter 2:1).

. Scriptural Christianity
http://76.162.173.93/guest/=CD-R=scriptural-christianity/

My Main Collection - http://Bibleweb.Info/
. Maranatha!
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-21 04:14:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
ROFL! Josephus (forgery) and Tacitus (simply reports *Christians*
existed, silent on Jesus) again!

Try reading a thesis written in the last fifty years, moron.
Post by UR Welcome!
. Maranatha!
Didn't work for Chung...won't work for you.

-PF, Atl.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 04:17:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
ROFL! Josephus (forgery)
Try reading a thesis written in the last fifty years, moron.
Post by UR Welcome!
. Maranatha!
Thallus

- References to Thallus

On the Circumstances Connected with Our Saviour's Passion and His Life-
Giving Resurrection.

1. As to His works severally, and His cures effected upon body and soul,
and the mysteries of His doctrine, and the resurrection from the dead, these
have been most authoritatively set forth by His disciples and apostles before
us. On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks
were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts
were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History,
calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the
Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and
the passion of our Saviour fails on the day before the passover; but an
eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And
it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of
the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then
should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost
diametrically opposite the sun? Let that opinion pass however; let it carry the
majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the
sun, like others a portent only to the eye.?48 Phlegon records that, in the
time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from
the sixth hour to the ninth-manifestly that one of which we speak. But what
has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the
resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the
universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period. But it
was a darkness induced by God, because the Lord happened then to suffer.
And calculation makes out that the period of 70 weeks, as noted in Daniel, is
completed at this time.

[1]



==



Samaritan-born historian, Thallus (ca. 52), "when discussing the darkness
which fell upon the land during the crucifixion of Christ," spoke of it as an
eclipse (Bruce, 113, emphasis added). The second-century Greek writer,
Lucian, speaks of Christ as "the man who was crucified in Palestine because
he introduced a new cult into the world." He calls him the "crucified sophist"
(Geisler, 323). The "letter of Mara Bar-Serapion" (ca. a.d. 73), housed in
the British Museum, speaks of Christ's death, asking: "What advantage did
the Jews gain from executing their wise King?" (Bruce, 114). Finally, there
was the Roman writer, Phlegon, who spoke of Christ's death and
resurrection in his Chronicles, saying, "Jesus, while alive, was of no
assistance to himself, but that he arose after death, and exhibited the marks
of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails"
(Phlegon, Chronicles, cited by Origen, 4:455). Phlegon even mentioned "the
eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have
been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place" (ibid.,
445).

The earliest Christian writers after the time of Christ affirmed his death on the
cross by crucifixion. Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John, repeatedly
affirmed the death of Christ, speaking, for example, of "our Lord Jesus
Christ, who for our sins suffered even unto death" (Polycarp, 33). Ignatius
(30-107), a friend of Polycarp, wrote, "And he really suffered and died, and
rose again." Otherwise, he adds, all his apostles who suffered for this belief,
died in vain. "But, (in truth) none of these sufferings were in vain; for the
Lord was really crucified by the ungodly" (Ignatius, 107).

[2]



==



Africanus identifies the darkness which Thallus explained as a solar eclipse
with the darkness at the crucifixion described in Luke 23:44-45.

Government Officials. Other non-Christian sources were ancient government
officials, whose occupations put them in a unique position to have official
information unavailable to the public.

Pliny the Younger. Pliny the Younger was a Roman author and
administrator. In a letter to the Emperor Trajan in about 112, Pliny describes
the early Christian worship practices:

They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light,
when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound
themselves by a solemn oath, not to do any wicked deeds, but never to
commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a
trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their
custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food-but food of an
ordinary and innocent kind. [Letters 10:96]

This passage confirms several New Testament references. The most notable
is that early Christians worshiped Jesus as God. Their practices also betray a
strong ethic, probably that of Jesus. There is also a reference to the love
feast and Lord's Supper. Later in the same letter, Pliny calls the teaching of
Jesus and his followers "excessive superstition" and "contagious
superstition," which may refer to Christian belief and proclamation of the
resurrection of Jesus.

Emperor Trajan. In reply to Pliny's letter, Emperor Trajan gives the
following guidelines for punishing Christians:

No search should be made for these people; when they are denounced and
found guilty they must be punished; with the restriction, however, that when
the party denies himself to be a Christian, and shall give proof that he is not
(that is, by adoring our gods) he shall be pardoned on the ground of
repentance, even though he may have formerly incurred suspicion. [ibid.,
10:97]

This sheds some light on how the early Roman government viewed
Christianity. They were to be punished for not worshiping the Roman gods,
but the persecution was not without restrictions.

[3]



==



Others examples of extra-Biblical confirmation of Biblical events:

. Campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak (1 Kgs 14:25-26), recorded
on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.

. Revolt of Moab against Israel (2 Kgs 1:1; 3:4-27), recorded on the
Mesha Inscription.

. Fall of Samaria (2 Kgs 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of
Assyria, as recorded on his palace walls.

. Defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II (Is 20:1), as recorded on his palace
walls.

. Campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah (2 Kgs
18:13-16), as recorded on the Taylor Prism.

. Siege of Lachish by Sennacherib (2 Kgs 18:14, 17), as recorded on the
Lachish reliefs.

. Assassination of Sennacherib by his own sons (2 Kgs 19:37), as
recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.

. Fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah
(2:13-15), as recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.

. Fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Kgs
24:10-14), as recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.

. Captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon (2 Kgs 24:15-16), as
recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.

. Fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians (Dn 5:30-31), as recorded
on the Cyrus Cylinder.

. Freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great (Ezr 1:1-4; 6:3-4),
as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

. --



. The existence of Jesus as recorded by Josephus, Suetonius, Thallus,
Pliny the Younger, the Talmud, and Lucian

. Forcing the Jews to leave Rome during the reign of Claudius (AD
41-54) (Acts 18:2), as recorded by Suetonius.

. --



[4]





==



Secular History's Confirmation of the Reliability of the New
Testament.17First century historians confirm the general historical outline of
the New Testament.

a. Jewish Historian, Josephus (A.D. 37-100)

The Jewish historian Josephus, contemporary of Christ, abounds with
references to figures familiar to New Testament readers. F. F. Bruce
summarized the evidence:

Here, in the pages of Josephus, we meet many figures who are well-known
to us from the New Testament; the colourful family of the Herods; the
Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, and the procurators of
Judea; the high priestly families-Annas, Caiaphas, Ananias, and the rest;
the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and so on.18

Moreover Josephus wrote of "the brother of Jesus, the so-called Christ,
whose name was James ." (Antiquities XX 9:1). And in a more explicit but
disputed passage the Antiquities says:

At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus.. Pilate
condemned Him to be condemned and to die. And those who had become
His disciples did not abandon His discipleship. They reported that He had
appeared to them three days after His crucifixion and that He was alive;
accordingly, He was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets
have recounted wonders (xviii.33, Arabic text).

b. Roman Historian, Cornelius Tacitus (A.D. 55?-after 117)

He wrote of Nero's attempt to relieve himself of the guilt of burning Rome:

Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished
with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians,
who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was
put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius:
but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only
through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome
also (Annals XV.44).

c. Greek Satirist, Lucian (second century)

Lucian alludes to Christ in these words:

. the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new
cult into the world.. Furthermore, their first lawgiver persuaded them that
they were all brothers one of another after they have transgressed once for
all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist
himself and living under his laws (On the Death of Peregrine).

d. Roman Historian, Suetonius (c. A.D. 120)

Suetonius, court official under Hadrian, made two references to Christ: in the
Life of Claudius (25.4) he wrote, "As the Jews were making constant
disturbances at the instigation of Chestus [another spelling of Christus or
Christ], he expelled them from Rome." Elsewhere in the Lives of the Caesars
(26.2) he wrote: "Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class
of men given to a new and mischievous superstition."

e. Pliny the Younger (c. A.D. 112)

Writing to the emperor of his achievements as governor of Bithynia, Pliny the
Younger gave information on how he had killed multitudes of
Christians-men, women, and children. He said he attempted to "make them
curse Christ, which a genuine Christian cannot be induced to do." In the
same letter (Epistles X.96) he wrote of Christians:

They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light,
when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound
themselves to a solemn oath, not to do any wicked deeds, and never to deny
a truth when they should be called upon to deliver it up.



. -



f. Samaritan-born historian, Thallus (c. A.D. 52)

According to Julius Africanus (c. A.D. 221), "Thallus, in the third book of
his histories, explains away this darkness [at the time of the crucifixion] as an
eclipse of the sun-unreasonably, as it seems to me." It was unreasonable,
of course, because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full
moon, and it was the time of the paschal full moon when Christ died.



. -



g. Letter of Mara Bar-Serapion (after A.D. 73)

According to F. F. Bruce this letter residing in the British Museum is by a
father to his son in prison. In it he compares the deaths of Socrates,
Pythagoras, and Jesus as follows:

What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King? It was
just after that that their kingdom was abolished.. But Socrates did not die
for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for
good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good;
he lived on in the teaching which he had given.19

h. The Jewish Talmud (completed by A.D. 500)

The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a, "Eve of Passover") contains the
following explicit reference to Jesus:

On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu (of Nazareth) and the herald
went before him for forty days saying (Yeshu of Nazareth) is going to be
stoned in that he hath practiced sorcery and beguiled and led astray Israel.
Let everyone knowing aught in his defense come and plead for him. But they
found naught in his defense and hanged him on the eve of Passover.

[5]



==



1.3. Tacitus. The information provided by Tacitus, who wrote between A.D.
115 and 117, is very sketchy and may be derived from Josephus: "?They
got their name from Christ, who was executed by sentence of the procurator
Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius?" (Ann. 15.44.2). For Roman readers
the pertinent information about the Christians, whom Nero had blamed for
the fire in Rome (A.D. 64), was the identity and death of their namesake.
Another allusion to Roman knowledge of the crucifixion appears in the
Christian writer of the early third century, Julius Africanus; he cites (PG
10.89) one Thallus, a freedman of Tiberius who wrote a history (c. A.D. 50)
now lost, for the opinion that the darkness and earthquake attending the
cross were to be explained as an eclipse, inferring that Thallus mentioned the
crucifixion in book three of his history.

[6]



==



1.3.1. Greco-Roman Testimony. The third-century writer Julius Africanus
cites a first-century Greek historian, Thallus, who referred to the darkness
that occurred at the time of the crucifixion (see Death of Jesus). Early in the
second century the Roman legate Pliny the Younger wrote that Christians
met regularly and sang hymns to Christ "?as if to a god?" (Epp. 10:96.7), in
a way that suggested he realized that Jesus had been a human but doubted
that he was a god. About the same time the Roman historian Tacitus clearly
referred to "?Christ who had been executed by sentence of the procurator
Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius?" (Ann. 15:44). Tacitus' Roman
contemporary Suetonius speaks in one passage of "?Chrestus?" as the one
at whose instigation a riot involving Jews and Christians in Rome broke out
(Claudius 25:4)-probably a garbled reference to Christ as the founder of
Christianity.

[7]



==





==



Thallus

The death of Jesus may have been mentioned in an ancient history composed
many years before Tacitus, Suetonius, or Josephus ever wrote and probably
even prior to the Gospels. Circa AD 52, Thallus wrote a history of the
Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time.? 26 This
work itself has been lost and only fragments of it exist in the citations of
others. One such scholar who knew and spoke of it was Julius Africanus,
who wrote about AD 221. It is debated whether Thallus was the same
person referred to by Josephus as a wealthy Samaritan, who was made a
freedman by Emperor Tiberius and who loaned money to Herod Agrippa I.?
27

In speaking of Jesus' crucifixion and the darkness that covered the land
during this event, Africanus found a reference in the writings of Thallus that
dealt with this cosmic report. Africanus asserts:

On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks
were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts
were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History,
calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.? 28

Julius Africanus objected to Thallus' rationalization concerning the darkness
that fell on the land at the time of the crucifixion because an eclipse could not
take place during the time of the full moon, as was the case during the Jewish
Passover season.? 29 But Wells raises a fair question about this testimony.
Africanus only implies that Thallus linked the darkness to Jesus' crucifixion,
but we are not specifically told if Jesus is mentioned in Thallus' original
history at all.? 30

If this brief statement by Thallus refers to Jesus' crucifixion we can ascertain
that (1) the Christian gospel, or at least an account of the crucifixion, was
known in the Mediterranean region by the middle of the first century AD.
This brings to mind the presence of Christian teachings in Rome mentioned
by Tacitus and by Suetonius. (2) There was a widespread darkness in the
land, implied to have taken place during Jesus' crucifixion. (3) Unbelievers
offered rationalistic explanations for certain Christian teachings or for
supernatural claims not long after their initial proclamation, a point to which
we will return below.

[8]



==



The Death of Jesus

The Jewish leaders judged that Jesus was guilty of teaching spiritual
apostasy, thereby leading Israel astray (Talmud, cf. Apocryphon of John).
So the Jews sent a herald proclaiming that Jesus would be stoned for his
false teaching and invited anyone who wished to defend him to do so. But
none came forward to support him (Talmud).

After suffering persecution (Gospel of Truth) and as a result of his teachings
(Lucian), Jesus was put to death (Gospel of Thomas, Treatise on
Resurrection). He died at the hands of Roman procurator Pontius Pilate
(Tacitus), who crucified him (Josephus, Talmud, Lucian, Gospel of Truth,
Acts of Pilate) during the reign of Emperor Tiberius (Tacitus, Phlegon).

Even some details of the crucifixion are provided. The event occurred on
Passover Eve (Talmud) and included being nailed to a cross (Phlegon,
Gospel of Truth, Acts of Pilate, cf. Tacitus), after which the executioners
gambled for his garments (Acts of Pilate). There were signs in nature, too, as
darkness covered the land for three hours due to an eclipse of the sun
(Thallus, Phlegon), and great earthquakes occurred (Phlegon). One writer
(Mara Bar-Serapion) asserted that Jesus was executed unjustly and that the
Jews were judged accordingly by God.

[9]



==



Although the early Christian writers had reason to believe such a document
existed, evidence such as that found in the reference to Thallus is missing
here. In particular, there are no known fragments of the Acts of Pilate or any
evidence that it was specifically quoted by another writer. Additionally, it is
entirely possible that what Justin thought original was actually a concurrent
apocryphal gospel.? 84 At any rate, we cannot be positive as to this
purported imperial document. Like the Gnostic sources, we therefore are
cautious in our use of this source.

[10]





==



D. Thallus

Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960.

Quasten, Johannes. Patrology. 3 vols. Utrecht-Antwerp: Spectrum, 1953, II:
137-138.

[11]



==



While the crucifixion was in progress, (92) Jesus' executioners gambled for
his garments (Acts of Pilate; Justin). (93) Mara Bar-Serapion asserted that
Jesus was executed unjustly and that, as a result, the Jews were judged by
God. (94) The creed in 1 Peter 3:18 also notes the contrast between a
righteous person dying for sinners. (95) It is reported that darkness covered
the land during the crucifixion (Thallus, Phlegon), (96) followed by
earthquakes (Phlegon). (97) Jesus was on the cross until evening, (98) after
which his body was removed and he was buried (Justin; creeds: 1 Cor. 15:4;
Acts 13:29).[12]





==





Sixth, several non-Christian writers affirmed that Jesus had died by
crucifixion. These include Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, and the Jewish Talmud.
The Jewish Talmud, for example, says that Yeshua (Jesus) was hung on a
tree on the eve of the Passover.?9? This is not a source considered friendly
to Christianity, so there's no reason to doubt its authenticity.

For these reasons and others, very few scholars believe the swoon theory
anymore. There's simply too much evidence against it.

[13]



==





Additional Support

Extra-biblical sources are another avenue worth pursuing when determining
whether the New Testament texts speak reliably concerning historical issues.
While less frequently used by scholars, a number of ancient secular sources
mention various aspects of Jesus' life, corroborating the picture presented by
the Gospels.?10? The writers of these sources include ancient historians such
as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Thallus. Jewish sources such as Josephus and the
Talmud add to our knowledge. Government officials such as Pliny the
Younger and even Roman Caesars Trajan and Hadrian describe early
Christian beliefs and practices. Greek historian and satirist Lucian and Syrian
Mara Bar-Serapion provide other details. Several nonorthodox, Gnostic
writings speak about Jesus in a more theological manner.?11?

Overall, at least seventeen non-Christian writings record more than fifty
details concerning the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, plus
details concerning the earliest church. Most frequently reported is Jesus'
death, mentioned by twelve sources. Dated approximately 20 to 150 years
after Jesus' death, these secular sources are quite early by the standards of
ancient historiography.

Altogether, these non-Christian sources mention that Jesus fulfilled Old
Testament prophecy, performed miracles, led disciples, and that many
thought he was deity. These sources call him a good teacher or a
philosopher and state that his message included conversion, denial of the
gods, fellowship, and immortality. Further, they claim he was crucified for
blasphemy but rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples, who were
themselves transformed into bold preachers.?12?

[14]



==



27:32-38 The Crucifixion of Jesus by Pilate is well documented not only in
the gospels, but also by non-Christian writers (Tacitus, Josephus, Mara bar
Serapion, and Thallus). Crucifixion was a cruel form of death since it did not
damage any vital organs or cause excessive bleeding, but caused a long,
slow death, mostly from asphyxiation or shock. This cruel and humiliating
execution was reserved for foreigners, not Roman citizens. It was always a
public affair, becoming an especially useful deterrent to those who might be
entertaining thoughts of insurrection. The Jews detested this inhumane act of
execution, not only for its cruelty, but because the OT clearly stated that
anyone who hangs on a tree is "accursed of God" (Deut. 21:22, 23). And
Jesus, of course, was accursed of God for our sins (chart, Prophecies
Fulfilled at the Cross).

[15]



==



But, upon Agrippa's kind reception by Antonia, he betook him to pay his
respects to Caius, who was her grandson, and in very high reputation by
reason of the good will they bore his father.?d? (167) Now there was one
Thallus, a freedman of Caesar, of whom he borrowed a million of drachmae,
and thence repaid Antonia the debt he owed her; and by sending the over
plus in paying his court to Caius, became a person of great authority with
him.

[16]





----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----

48 ?? ?at? t?? ????. [Vol. iii. p. 58, Elucid. V., this series.]

[1]Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene
Fathers Vol. VI : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D.
325. Fathers of the Third Century: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius The
Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arnobius.
(136). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

[2]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics.
Baker reference library (128). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

[3]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics.
Baker reference library (382). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

[4]Associates for Biblical Research. (1995; 2003). Bible and Spade Volume
8 (8:118). Associates for Biblical Research.

17 For a critical and scholarly presentation of secular sources of early
Christianity, see F. F. Bruce, Non-Christian Origins.

18 Bruce, N.T. Documents, p. 104.

19 Bruce, N.T. Documents, p. 14.

[5]Geisler, N. L. (1976). Christian apologetics. Includes index. (322).
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Ann. Annales ab excessu divi Augusti

PG Patrologia graeca, ed. J. P. Migne

[6]Green, J. B., McKnight, S., & Marshall, I. H. (1992). Dictionary of Jesus
and the Gospels (842). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

Ann. Annales ab excessu divi Augusti

Claudius from The Twelve Caesars

[7]Green, J. B., McKnight, S., & Marshall, I. H. (1992). Dictionary of Jesus
and the Gospels (292). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

? 26 26Bruce, Christian Origins, pp. 29-30.

? 27 27Ibid.; Anderson, Witness of History, p. 19.

? 28 28Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante-Nicene Fathers,
ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
1973), vol. VI, p. 130.

? 29 29See the discussion below on the Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a).

? 30Wells, Did Jesus Exist?, pp. 12-13. Wells' overall thesis is examined in
detail in Chapter 2.

[8]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus :
Ancient evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the
life of Jesus. (196). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.

[9]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus :
Ancient evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the
life of Jesus. (220). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.

? 84 84Daniel-Rops, "Silence of Jesus' Contemporaries," p. 14.

[10]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus :
Ancient evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the
life of Jesus. (217). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.

[11]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus :
Ancient evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the
life of Jesus. (288). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.

[12]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus :
Ancient evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the
life of Jesus. (248). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.

9 See Gary Habermas, The Historical Jesus (Joplin, Mo.: College Press,
1996), 202-205.

[13]Geisler, N. L., & Turek, F. (2004). I don't have enough faith to be an
atheist (306). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

10 While it is true that secular references to Jesus are generally brief and
sometimes derived from Christian sources, it does not follow that they should
be largely ignored, as is often their fate.

11 For specific details, see Gary Habermas, The Historical Jesus (Joplin,
Mo.: College Press, 1996), esp. chap. 9. Compare R. T. France, The
Evidence for Jesus (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1986); F. F.
Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins outside the New Testament (Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974); Edwin Yamauchi, "Jesus outside the New
Testament: What Is the Evidence?" in Jesus under Fire, ed. Michael Wilkins
and J. P. Moreland (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995).

12 For details, see Habermas, The Historical Jesus, chap. 11.

[14]Geisler, N. L., & Hoffman, P. K. (2001). Why I am a Christian :
Leading thinkers explain why they believe (150). Grand Rapids, Mich.:
Baker Books.

[15]Thomas Nelson, I. (1997, c1995). Woman's study Bible . (Mt 27:32).
Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

d Germanicus.

[16]Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1996, c1987). The works of Josephus :
Complete and unabridged. Includes index. (Ant 18.166). Peabody:
Hendrickson.
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-21 04:35:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
ROFL! Josephus (forgery)
Try reading a thesis written in the last fifty years, moron.
Post by UR Welcome!
. Maranatha!
Thallus
Thallus' originals are lost.
Post by UR Welcome!
- References to Thallus
By Eusebius? "Bishop" Eusebius? The man most likely responsible for
the forgery in Josephus?

http://www.truthbeknown.com/josephus.htm

/satire
Yeah, right. Eusebius and his ilk would *never* quote someone out of
context. Just like those creation "scientists" never do so.
\satire

Strike three, idiot. Find your place on the bench...

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 13:15:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
. Maranatha!
Thallus
References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus".
http://lulu.com/bibleweb/


Note: For easier cross referencing, duplicate references are left in so that the
reference numbers coincide with the footnote numbers.

[1] Baumgarten, Allen J., (EVA-100 Apologetics Class Presentation, Calvary
Chapel Bible Institute, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), Intellectual Material © 2005,
ResurrectionOfJesus.ppt)
This paper will follow this outline described as the Minimal Facts Approach, and
elaborate in specific areas.

[2] Baumgarten, Allen J., (EVA-100 Apologetics Class Presentation, Calvary
Chapel Bible Institute, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), Intellectual Material © 2005,
ResurrectionOfJesus.ppt)
This paper will follow this outline described as the Minimal Facts Approach, and
elaborate in specific areas.

[3] ______, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Studio: MGM/UA Video, Theatrical
Release Date: January 1, 1965, DVD Release Date: March 6, 2001, ASIN:
B000056H24
[4]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 127). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker Books.
[5]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 48). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.
[6]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus : Ancient
evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the life of Jesus.
Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
14 14See P. Maier, First Easter, p. 119.
[7]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus : Ancient
evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the life of Jesus.
Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
18 18See Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin (New York: Doubleday, 1978).
19 19For these details, see Kenneth E. Stevenson and Gary R. Habermas,
Verdict on the Shroud (Ann Arbor: Servant, 1981), especially chapter 2.
[8] Reprinted from Nature, Vol. 337, No. 6208, pp. 611-615, 16th February,
1989
Copyright 1989 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. - All Rights Reserved
Reprinted by permission.

10 While it is true that secular references to Jesus are generally brief and
sometimes derived from Christian sources, it does not follow that they should be
largely ignored, as is often their fate.
11 For specific details, see Gary Habermas, The Historical Jesus (Joplin, Mo.:
College Press, 1996), esp. chap. 9. Compare R. T. France, The Evidence for
Jesus (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1986); F. F. Bruce, Jesus and
Christian Origins outside the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974);
Edwin Yamauchi, "Jesus outside the New Testament: What Is the Evidence?" in
Jesus under Fire, ed. Michael Wilkins and J. P. Moreland (Grand Rapids:
Zondervan, 1995).
[9]Geisler, N. L., & Hoffman, P. K. (2001). Why I am a Christian : Leading
thinkers explain why they believe (Page 150). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker
Books.
b A.D. 33, April 3.
c April 5.
[10]Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1996, c1987). The works of Josephus :
Complete and unabridged. Includes index. (Ant 18.63-64). Peabody:
Hendrickson.
10 Tacitus, Annals, 168.
11 Pliny, Fifty Letters, 43.
[11]Foreman, D. M. (1990). Crucify him : A lawyer looks at the trial of Jesus.
Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Books.
[12] Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13, in The Works of Lucian of
Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon,
1949), vol. 4., cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 206.
[13]Geisler, N. L., & Brooks, R. M. (1990). When skeptics ask (Page 204).
Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
22 The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, 43a.
20 20. Aloys Grillmeier, S. J. Christ in Christian Tradition, trans, by John
Bowden (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975), 1:99.
[14]Review and Expositor. (1991; 2004). Review and Expositor Volume 88
(vnp.88.4.334). Review and Expositor.
21 21. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.16.6; in Harvey, 3.17.6; II 87f.
72 Wells, Historical Evidence for Jesus, 21.
73 Guthrie argues for 53-57, with 57 the preferred date of most scholars (New
Testament Introduction, 457-59); Koester places it at 52-55 (History and
Literature, 103-4).
74 For our purposes here, it is not an issue whether 1 or 2 Corinthians contains
parts of other letters written by Paul to this church (cf. Drane, Introducing the
New Testament, 313-14).
[15]Geisler, N. L., & Hoffman, P. K. (2001). Why I am a Christian : Leading
thinkers explain why they believe (Page 158). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker
Books.
[16]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 712). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker Books.
[17]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 308). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker Books.
[18]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 713). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.
44 This section follows several other similar discussions by the author. For more
details, see especially Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus (Joplin, Mo.:
College Press, 1996), esp. chap. 7; "The Resurrection of Jesus," in Beyond
Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality, coauthored with J. P. Moreland
(Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1998), chap. 5; cf. chap. 6; "The Resurrection
Appearances of Jesus," in In Defense of Miracles, ed. R. Douglas Geivett and
Gary R. Habermas (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1997), chap. 16;
"Jesus' Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic," Criswell
Theological Review part 2, 4, no. 2 (spring 1990): 373-85.
[19]Geisler, N. L., & Hoffman, P. K. (2001). Why I am a Christian : Leading
thinkers explain why they believe (Page 117). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker
Books.
[20]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Co 15:2). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[21]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the
Bible (Lk 23:47-53). Galaxie Software.
[22]Biblical Studies Press. (2003; 2003). The NET Bible Notes (Mt 27:58).
Biblical Studies Press.
[23]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Is 53:8). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[24]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.)
(Is 53:9). Nashville: Word Pub.
[25]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mt 27:57). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[26]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press.
[27]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Lk 1:1). LaHabra, CA:
The Lockman Foundation.
[28] ______, "The Historicity of the Empty Tomb of Jesus." New Testament
Studies 31 (1985): 39-67.
[29] Oommen, Dr. T.V., Copyright © 1999-2004
[30]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press.
[31]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ps 30:2). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[32]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.)
(Ps 30:2). Nashville: Word Pub.
[33]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mt 28:4). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[34]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.)
(Mt 28:4). Nashville: Word Pub.
[35]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press.
[36]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press.
[37]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press.
[38] Morris, Henry M., Ph.D. Many Infallible Proofs (San Diego: Master Books,
© 1974), page 381. Henry M. Morris (Ph.D., Minnesota) is President of the
Institute for Creation Research. This booklet is adapted from a section of one of
his books on scientific Christian evidences,
30See especially Acts 2:14-39; 3:12-26; 4:8-12; 5:29-32; 10:34-43; cf.
13:16-41.
31See Acts 2:22-23, 31; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30-31; 10:39-42; 13:28-29.
[39]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus: Ancient
evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the life of Jesus.
Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
32 32Drane, Introducing the NT, p. 99.
[40]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 387). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker Books.
[41]St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. A revised text with introduction, notes, and
dissertations. 1874. Half-title: The Epistles of St. Paul. II. The third apostolic
journey. 3; Dissertations: I. Were the Galatians Celts or Teutons? II. The
brethren of the Lord. III. St. Paul and the three. (J. B. Lightfoot, Ed.) (4th ed.)
(Page 274). London: Macmillan and co.
[42]Willmington, H. L. (1987). Willmington's book of Bible lists. Wheaton, Ill.:
Tyndale House.
[43]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus : Ancient
evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the life of Jesus.
Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
[44]Habermas, G. R., & Habermas, G. R. (1996). The historical Jesus : Ancient
evidence for the life of Christ. Rev. ed. of: Ancient evidence for the life of Jesus.
Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
[45]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 648). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker Books.
[46] Lane, William Craig, PhD, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and
Apologetics, revised edition (Illinois: Crossway Books, revised edition, © 1994),
ISBN 0-89107-764-2Chapter 4, pages 127-156.
[47]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Co 15:3). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[48]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible
Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Ac 2:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[49]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible
Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Ac 2:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[50]Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson's Application Commentary (Page 1312).
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
[51]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the
Bible (Ac 2:1). Galaxie Software.
[52]Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1996). Nelson's complete book of Bible maps
& charts : Old and New Testaments. "Completely revised and updated comfort
print edition"; Includes indexes. (Rev. and updated ed.). Nashville, Tenn.:
Thomas Nelson.
[53] Nash, Ronald, The Gospel and the Greeks, (Richardson, TX: Probe Books,
1992). The book was originally published in 1984 under the title, Christianity and
the Hellenistic World.
[54] Klausner, Joseph, From Jesus to Paul (New York: Macmillan, 1943), page
104.
[55] Yamauchi, Edwin, "Easter - Myth, Hallucination, or History?" (Christianity
Today, 29 March 1974),
pages 660-63.
[56] Wagner, Günter, Pauline Baptism and the Pagan Mysteries, (Edinburgh:
Oliver and Boyd, 1967), 260ff.
[57]Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1996). Nelson's complete book of Bible maps
& charts : Old and New Testaments. "Completely revised and updated comfort
print edition"; Includes indexes. (Rev. and updated ed.). Nashville, Tenn.:
Thomas Nelson.
[58] Flemington W. F., The New Testament Doctrine of Baptism, (London:
SPCK, 1948), pages 76-81.
[59] Machen, 9.
[60] Metzger, Bruce M., Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish, and
Christian (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968), page 11. The possible parallels in
view here would naturally be dated late, after A.D. 200 for the most part.
[61] Metzger, Bruce, "Considerations of Methodology in the Study of the
Mystery Religions and Early Christianity," Harvard Theological Review 48
(1955), pp. 1-20.
83 83. In Russian, the first day of the week is "resurrection day."
[62]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the
Bible (Dt 5:12). Galaxie Software.
[63]Enns, P. P. (1997, c1989). The Moody handbook of theology. Chicago, Ill.:
Moody Press.
1 1. Louis Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines (Edinburgh: Banner of
Truth, 1937), p. 39.
[64]Enns, P. P. (1997, c1989). The Moody handbook of theology. Chicago, Ill.:
Moody Press.
[65]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ga 1:11). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[66]MacArthur, J. (1996, c1987). Galatians. Includes indexes. Chicago: Moody
Press.
[67] Wright, N.T., The Resurrection of the Son of God, Christian Origins and the
Question of God, Volume 3,
(First North American edition, © 2003 by Fortress Press), ISBN
0-8006-2679-6, Pages 378-379.
[68]MacArthur, J. (1996, c1987). Galatians. Includes indexes. Chicago: Moody
Press.
[69] Wright, N.T., The Resurrection of the Son of God, Christian Origins and the
Question of God, Volume 3,
(First North American edition, © 2003 by Fortress Press), ISBN
0-8006-2679-6, Page 380.
[70] Wright, N.T., The Resurrection of the Son of God, Christian Origins and
the Question of God, Volume 3,
(First North American edition, © 2003 by Fortress Press), ISBN
0-8006-2679-6, Page 380.
[71]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Lk 22:66). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[72]MacArthur, J. (1996, c1987). Galatians. Includes indexes. Chicago: Moody
Press.
[73]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (2 Pe 3:1). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
c Rom 11:36; 2 Tim 4:18; Rev 1:6
[74]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (2 Pe 3:14). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[75]Geisler, N. L. (1999). Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker
reference library (Page 644). Grand Rapids , Mich.: Baker Books.
[76]Douglas, J. D., Comfort, P. W., & Mitchell, D. (1997, c1992). Who's who
in Christian history. Illustrated lining papers. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.
[77]Douglas, J. D., Comfort, P. W., & Mitchell, D. (1997, c1992). Who's who
in Christian history. Illustrated lining papers. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.
[78]Douglas, J. D., Comfort, P. W., & Mitchell, D. (1997, c1992). Who's who
in Christian history. Illustrated lining papers. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.
[79]Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1996). Nelson's complete book of Bible maps
& charts : Old and New Testaments. "Completely revised and updated comfort
print edition"; Includes indexes. (Rev. and updated ed.). Nashville, Tenn.:
Thomas Nelson.
[80] William Lane Craig, The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus
during the Deist Controversy, 2d. ed., Texts and Studies in Religion 23
(Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen, 2001); idem, Assessing the New Testament
Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, 2d ed., Studies in the
Bible and Early Christianity 16 (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen, 2001).
[81] William Lane Craig, The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus
during the Deist Controversy, 2d. ed., Texts and Studies in Religion 23
(Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen, 2001); idem, Assessing the New Testament
Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, 2d ed., Studies in the
Bible and Early Christianity 16 (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen, 2001).
[82]Ryrie, C. C. (1995, c1972). A survey of Bible doctrine. Chicago: Moody
Press.
[83]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press.
[84]Ryrie, C. C. (1995, c1972). A survey of Bible doctrine. Chicago: Moody
Press.
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-21 17:37:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
. Maranatha!
Thallus
References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus".
No matter how many times you post it, the refutations stand. Your
refusal to learn the current state of biblical criticism speaks
volumes about your agenda.

You do not care what is true. You only wish to propogate your
mythology. You are a dishonest coward. Quite typical example of the
Christian apologist, really. There's a reason the defence of Christian
mythology as "truth" is called apologetics. You *must* apologize for
it, because it doesn't make any sense! No small wonder every nation
with indoor plumbing is abandoning it in droves.

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 20:01:52 UTC
Permalink
<***@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:***@57g2000hsv.googlegroups.com...
wrote:

. The Deity Of Christ
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. CLAIMS AND ACTIONS OF JESUS
1) Jesus claimed prerogatives that only belonged to God.
a) The ability to send "His" angels (Matt.13:41)
b) The right to forgive sins (Mark 2:5)
c) The right to judge the world (Matt.25:31-46)
d) The right to change the Sabbath (Mark 27-28)
2) Jesus claimed a special relationship with God
a) He claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30)
b) He claimed that those who saw and knew Him saw and knew the
Father (John 14:7-9)
c) He claimed to be preexistent (John 8:58)
d) He claimed that obeying Him would bring the Father's love and
acceptance (John 14:23)
3) Jesus was accused of claiming to be God and He did not deny it
a) This was the charge when He was brought before the High Priest
(John 19:7)
b) Even when He was condemned to die for this charge He did not
deny it (Matt.26:63)
4) Jesus accepted His disciples attribution of deity - Thomas stated
"My Lord and My God" (Jn 20:28)
5) Jesus contrasts His words with OT - "You have heard it said.But I
tell you. (Mt.5:21-22, 27-28)
6) Jesus claimed power over life and death (John 5:21)
7) Jesus accepted expressions that conveyed deity - "Son of God" (John
5:2-28)

B. CLAIMS AND ACTIONS OF OTHERS
1) John in his gospel - The prologue (John 1)
2) The writer of Hebrews
a) Speaks of Jesus as radiance of the glory of God and the exact
representation of his nature
b) God created the world through Jesus (Heb.1:2)
c) Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb.1:3)
d) Jesus is superior to the angels, Moses, and the High Priests -
He is God.
3) Paul
a) Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col.1:15)
b) Through Jesus all things exist and are held together (Col.1:17)
c) All the fullness of the godhead dwells bodily in Jesus (Col.2:9)
C. THE USE OF THE TERM "LORD"
1) The NT writers ascribe the term "kurios" (Lord) to Jesus.
2) This is the term used in the Septuagint to translate the
Tetragrammaton.
3) This is the term used to translate Adonai.
4) Several NT quotations of OT texts employing these terms are given to
Jesus.


Six Basic Heresies
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
SIX BASIC HERESIES REGARDING THE PERSON OF CHRIST

EBIONISM - Denies the genuineness of Jesus' deity
ARIANISM - Denies the completeness of Jesus' deity
DOCETISM - Denies the genuniness of Jesus' humanity
APOLLINARIANISM - Denies the completeness of Jesus' humanity
NESTORIANISM - Divides Jesus into two persons
EUTYCHIANISM - Declares Jesus had only one nature

All of these views are false and are condemned as heresies. I am posting
this short list in order to stir some interest.

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Al Klein
2007-07-22 01:55:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
. Maranatha!
Thallus
References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus".
No matter how many times you post it, the refutations stand. Your
refusal to learn the current state of biblical criticism
"Current", as of about 1800.
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 04:05:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
. Maranatha!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

Introduction

There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman
and Jewish sources. Documents indicate that within a few
years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone
named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been
responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in
Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4).
Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in
Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero,
and it was known that they were devoted to Christus,
whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44). This knowledge
of Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with
early Christianity and does not provide independent
evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a paragraph
about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.),
as he did about Theudas, the Egyptian, and other
charismatic leaders (History of the Jewish War 2.258-263;
The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99, 167-172),
but it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes,
and Josephus's original remarks cannot be discerned.

http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

Articles Included in this Report:

o Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
o The Inspiration of the Bible
o No Lost Books
o Authority of the Bible
o Are the Biblical Documents Reliable?
o Did Jesus Claim to Be God?
o If Christ Has Not Been Raised: Reasoning Through the Resurrection
o Religious Stew
o Only Two Religions: Meditations on Religious Pluralism
o Is the Church Ready to Engage the World for Christ?
o The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?
o Is Christianity Based on Fraud?
o Spotlight on the Narrow Path
o Witnessing to Liberals
o Christianity's Real Record
o Why Does God Make Atheists?
o The Historic Alliance of Christianity and Science
o General & Special Revelation - A Match Made In Heaven
o Miracles
o Additional References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus",




Also:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

. Why This Gospel of John Was Written

(John 20:30-31 NASB)

. Why This Gospel Was Written


30 ?a?Therefore many other ?1??b?signs Jesus also performed
in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this
book;

31 but these have been written ?a?so that you may believe
that Jesus is ?1?the Christ, ?b?the Son of God; and that
?c?believing you may have life in His name.

[1]


. The Purpose of John's Gospel (20:30, 31)

Not all the miracles performed by Jesus are recorded in John's
Gospel. The Holy Spirit selected those signs which would best serve
His purpose.

Here we have John's object in writing the book. It was so that his
readers may believe that Jesus is the true Messiah and the Son of
God. Believing, they will have eternal life in His name.

Have you believed?

[2]


This is the key to the gospel. The Lord did many things that are not
recorded. He healed multitudes. I think John also means that He did
many other things after His resurrection which are not recorded.
John has been selective in his writing of this gospel. He has chosen
the material which he has written because he had a definite purpose
in mind.

John did not attempt to write a biography of Jesus Christ. He did
not even attempt to fill in the life of Christ in areas not covered
by the other gospels. He wrote so that you might "believe that Jesus
is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life
through his name." It is through believing that you receive life and
are born again. You become a child of God through faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ.

[3]


"Therefore" ties this statement to what immediately precedes it.
John wrote his Gospel because those who believe on Jesus without
seeing Him in the flesh are acceptable to God. He wrote, therefore,
that people may believe and so enjoy eternal life. There were many
other evidences of Jesus' deity that John could have presented.
However, he chose those that he recorded here to lead his readers to
the type of faith that Thomas just articulated and that Jesus just
commended. That was John's strategy in composing this Gospel under
the Holy Spirit's inspiration.

What did John have in mind when he referred to other "signs?"
Perhaps he meant the seven miracles that he featured, the
significance of which Jesus usually explained in the context (chs.
2-12).

[4]


A Summary of the Seven Signs in John

Sign
Significance659
Belief
Unbelief
Reference

Changing water to wine
Jesus' power over quality
The disciples
2:1-11

Healing the official's son
Jesus' power over space
The official and his household
4:46-54

Healing the paralytic
Jesus' power over time
The paralytic?
The Jews
5:1-9

Feeding the 5,000
Jesus' power over quantity
Some people in the crowd
6:1-15

Walking on the water
Jesus' power over nature
The disciples
6:16-21

Healing a man born blind
Jesus' power over misfortune
The blind man
The Pharisees
9:1-12

Raising Lazarus
Jesus' power over death
Martha, Mary, and many Jews
The Jewish authorities
11:1-16


It seems more probable that John meant to include the Resurrection
since it was the greatest of all the demonstrations of Jesus' deity.
Jesus explained the significance of this miracle in the Upper Room
Discourse (chs. 13-16).

20:31 This verse unites many of the most important themes in the
fourth Gospel. John's purpose was clearly evangelistic. His Gospel
is an excellent portion of Scripture to give to an unbeliever. It is
probably the most effective evangelistic tool available. Its impact
on the reader is strongest when one reads it through at one sitting,
which takes less than two hours for most people. This document can
also deepen and establish the faith of any believer. However that is
more a comment on its result than its purpose.

The implication of this purpose is that John meant unbelievers when
he wrote "you." Did he have a particular group of unbelievers in
mind, or was he addressing any reader? Some commentators have tried
to identify a particular audience from statements in the text. Yet
it seems more probable that John wrote for a general audience since
he did not identify his intended audience specifically. His
presentation of Jesus as the divine Son of God certainly has
universal application.

"There cannot be any doubt but that John conceived of Jesus as the
very incarnation of God."660

John's purpose was not academic. It was not simply that people might
believe intellectually that Jesus is the divine Messiah. It was
rather that they might believe those foundational truths so they
could possess and experience the life of God fully (cf. 10:10). This
divine life affects the whole person, not just the intellect.
Moreover it affects him or her forever, not just during that
person's present lifetime.

John's clear purpose statement concludes the body of this Gospel.

[5]



. The 7 I AM Statements
. in the Gospel According to John


Twenty-three times [23 times] in all we find our Lord's
meaningful I AM (ego eimi, Gr.) in the
Greek text of this gospel

In John ...

(4:26; 6:20,35,41,48,51; 8:12,18,24,28,58;
10:7,9,11,14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1,5;
18:5,6,8).


In several of these, He joins His I AM with
seven tremendous metaphors which are expressive
of His saving relationship toward the world.



I AM the Bread of life (6:35, 41, 48, 51)
I AM the Light of the world (8:12)
I AM the Door of the sheep (10:7, 9)
I AM the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14)
I AM the Resurrection and the Life (11:25)
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6)
I AM the true Vine (15:1, 5)





-------------------------------------------------------



4 Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1996).

Nelson's complete book of Bible maps & charts : Old and New
Testaments.

"Completely revised and updated comfort print edition"; Includes
indexes.

(Rev. and updated ed.). Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson.



20:30-31. John explained His purpose in writing this Gospel, that
people might contemplate and perceive the theological significance
of Jesus' miracles (semeia, "signs"). Many people today ignore,
deny, or rationalize Jesus' miracles. Even in Jesus' day some people
attributed them to God whereas others attributed them to Satan (3:2;
9:33; Matt. 12:24). To ignore, deny, or rationalize them in that day
was impossible because the miracles were manifold and manifest. John
indicated He was aware of the Synoptic miracles: Jesus did many
other miraculous signs. In fact, 35 different miracles are recorded
in the four Gospels (see the list at John 2:1-11). John selected 7
for special consideration in order that people might come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah, and the Son of God.
(The niv marg. reading, "may continue to believe," is probably not
the correct textual reading; the niv text correctly renders the Gr.
by the words may believe.)

[6]



Conclusion (20:30-31). It is evident that this is a natural
conclusion to the Gospel (on chap. 21, see below). The fourth
Evangelist stresses the purpose of his Gospel: that we might believe
(the verb has two readings which the niv marg. notes: "to begin to
believe" [aorist] and "to continue to believe" [present]; the former
implies an evangelistic purpose, the latter a pastoral intent for
those who already believe). The Gospel is a record of signs-of
evidences-which the reader must weigh. It stems from Jesus'
disciples who are trustworthy witnesses (see 19:35) and in
particular from the testimony of John (21:24). Its aim is to lead us
to faith in Christ because in him alone can we find life.

[7]



John 20:30, 31

THE PARTIALNESS AND THE PURPOSE OF THE EVANGELIC RECORD

(The Ascension.-Bethany.-Mark xvi. 19, 20; Luke xxiv. 50-53; John
xx. 30, 31.)

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His
disciples."

Exegetical Remarks.-Ver. 30.-"And many other signs truly (r.v.
Therefore) did Jesus in the presence of His (r.v. The) disciples."
The Greek here for "signs" is often rendered miracles, for the
miracles of Jesus were all signs indicating the Divinity of their
Author. The signs were not merely those referring to the
resurrection, but included, no doubt, all the manifestations of His
power both before and after His resurrection. They refer to His
whole work. "Which are not written in this book." The evangelical
record then of Christ's life is only partial. It is said in the last
verse of the next chapter: "There are also many other things which
Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose
that even the world itself could not contain the books that should
be written." "This," says Dr. Brown, "is to be taken as something
more than a merely parabolical expression which would hardly comport
with the sublime simplicity of this writer. It is intended to let
his reader know that even now when he had done, he felt his
materials so far from being exhausted, that he was still running
over, and could multiply gospels to almost any extent within the
strict limits of what Jesus did. But in the limitation of these
matchless histories, in point of length and number alike -there is
as much of that Divine wisdom which has presided over, and pervades,
the living oracles, as in their variety and fulness."

Ver. 31.-"But these are written, that ye might (r.v. May) believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye
might (r.v. May) have life through (r.v. In) His name." This "ye"
addresses every reader, to the end of the world. It speaks from John
to the person that now reads the words, inviting him to believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ, and have life through His name. Jesus is the
Christ, the Messiah. Christ lived, His apostles preached, and His
evangelists wrote, that the world might shape its conceptions to the
true idea of the Messiah, not as the Emancipator of the nation, but
as the Saviour of the world." We have in these two verses what the
best scholars of modern times consider to be a proper summary and
ending of the book. The chapter which follows has been considered a
later addition.

[8]



Cross References Are Numerous



30. many other. f166, Mt +1:17. Jn 21:25. Lk 1:3, 4. 3:18. Ro *15:4.
1 Co 10:11. 2 Ti m3:15-17. 2 P 3:1, 2. 1 J 1:3, 4. m5:13. signs. Jn
+2:11, 23. in the presence. Ac 10:41. this book. Ac +1:20.

31. these. ver. 28. Jn 1:49. 6:69, 70. 9:35-38. 19:35. Ps *2:7, 12.
Mt *16:16. +*27:54n. Lk 1:4. Ac *8:37. 9:20. Ro 1:3, 4. 1 J 4:15.
5:1, 10, 20. 2 J *9. Re 2:18. written, that. T#1041. Ro m10:17.
might believe. ver. 29. Jn +11:27. that Jesus is. Mt +1:1. Mk +8:29.
the Son of God. Mt +14:33. believing. Jn m3:15, 16, 18, 36. *5:24,
39, 40. 6:40. 10:10. Mk *16:16. Ac 8:37. 1 P 1:9. 1 J 2:23-25.
m5:10-13. have life. Jn 6:53. +8:12. 1 J m5:13. through. Lk *24:47.
Ac 3:16. *10:43. *13:38, 39. 1 Co *6:11. his name. f121T1, Dt
+28:58. Jn +1:12. +14:13. 17:11, 12. Ac +3:6. 15:26. 1 Co 1:10.

[9]


--------------------------------------------------------------------


a John 21:25

1 Or attesting miracles

b John 2:11

a John 19:35

1 I.e. the Messiah

b Matt 4:3

c John 3:15

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Jn 20:30-31).
LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[2]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible
Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Jn 21:1). Nashville: Thomas
Nelson.

[3]McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on
the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (4:500).
Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on
the Bible (Jn 20:30). Galaxie Software.

659 659. Idem, John: The Gospel . . ., p. 312.

660 660. Morris, p. 756.

[5]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on
the Bible (Jn 20:30-31). Galaxie Software.

marg. margin, marginal reading

Gr. Greek

[6]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary.
(1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the
scriptures (2:344). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

niv New International Version

[7]Elwell, W. A. (1996, c1989). Vol. 3: Evangelical commentary on
the Bible. Baker reference library (Jn 20:30). Grand Rapids, Mich.:
Baker Book House.

[8]Thomas, D. (1997). The genius of the fourth Gospel : A
homiletical commentary on the Gospel of John. Reprint of the 1885
ed. published by R. D. Dickinson, London under title: The genius of
the fourth Gospel.; Includes index. Kregel Bible study classics
(186). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

+ + More references at verse indicated

* * Clear cross reference

m m Critical, significant cross reference

T#1041 1041. Producing faith. Jn +20:31.

[9]Smith, J. H. (1992; Published in electronic form, 1996). The new
treasury of scripture knowledge : The most complete listing of cross
references available anywhere- every verse, every theme, every
important word (1228). Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson.


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"Rise Up and Walk"

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none: but such as I have give I
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:6

As we have seen, there is considerable confusion in the minds of men and
women with respect to the message of the Gospel, and that is the tragedy
of tragedies. This is, of course, the masterpiece of the devil. As the
Bible shows us from start to finish, the devil is the great antagonist of
God. He has one ambition, one great idea, and that is to bring ruin into
God?s perfect creation. He did it at the beginning when God created the
world, and he has been most assiduous in his efforts ever since the Son of
God came into the world to bring in a new creation. Throughout the
centuries he has been busy doing everything he can to cause confusion with
regard to the Gospel.

The devil?s supreme achievement is to bring this confusion into the church
herself. It is not surprising that he confuses the world outside?we do not
expect anything better there; but it is terrible that he should succeed
with the church herself. And so, let me emphasize again, perhaps the
greatest of all needs in these days is the need to know exactly what
Christianity is and what the Christian church is. What is the message of
the Christian Gospel? That is what concerns us. In the first two chapters
of Acts, we are given an account of how the church began; and at the end
of chapter 2 we are given a detailed and positive description of the
Christian church and her life. Here we see authentic Christianity and
nothing else.

This book of Acts is a wonderful book. I have often said that it is the
most thrilling, the most exhilarating book in the world. Anatole France,
an infidel French novelist, used to say that when he felt jaded and tired
in Paris, he never went into the country to find refreshment but into the
eighteenth century. I understand that very well. I have often gone into
the eighteenth century myself?to the Evangelical Awakening, the blessing
of God in revival. But the place to go to is the book of the Acts of the
Apostles. Here is the tonic, here is the place to get refreshment, where
we feel the life of God pulsating in the early Christian church.

Here in chapter 3 we are also told about the early church but in a
different way. At the end of chapter 2 we are given a general description
of the church; here in chapter 3 it is put in the form of a picture. There
we are given an analysis; here we see the church in operation. We see what
these people were enabled to do because they were the kind of people we
have seen described in chapter 2. One of the glories of the book of Acts,
as of so much of the Bible, is that it does not confine itself to didactic
teaching. It also tells stories; it gives examples and illustrations of
all that it puts before us theoretically. It gives us the Gospel in
action, as something living and real. And that is what I am anxious to
deal with now.

There is always the danger that we should think of Christianity as
something abstract and intellectual. Though we must know the theory and
have the understanding, we must never forget that first and foremost the
Christian faith deals with life and living; it is the most revolutionary
power the world has ever known. A dead church is a contradiction in terms.
It is a dead something?call it what you like?but not a dead church. The
church is life, and it is power, and it is vigor. All of this is perfectly
illustrated and exemplified for us in this story in Acts 3. Here is the
church in action, the church facing the world. There they are, the first
Christians. They have had this tremendous experience. The Holy Spirit has
come upon them. They are filled with the Spirit, and they are rejoicing,
praying, and praising God with singleness of heart. But now they face the
world as it is?and this is the business of the church. That is why she is
here?to help the world. The Lord came from heaven to help men and women.
He came ?to seek and to save that which was lost? (Luke 19:10), and He has
left the church behind to continue the work. You remember how we made that
point at the very beginning. Luke says, ?The former treatise have I made,
O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach? (Acts 1:1),
and Jesus Christ is continuing that work. Now He is no longer here, but He
is acting through His chosen servants.

Here in Acts 3 we see a poor man who had been born lame. He was about
forty years of age, we are told in 4:22, and he had never walked in his
life. Every day he was carried to the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and
there he would sit, asking alms, which means that he was a beggar. He
would put his cap on the pavement by his side, hoping that people would
drop something in as they went into the temple to worship and to say their
prayers. We are familiar with this kind of thing. We do not see as much of
it as we used to, but throughout the centuries men of this type have
always taken up their position outside Christian churches. You are more
likely to get help from people who go to church than you are from anybody
else, and beggars have always known that. So his friends took this man and
put him there by the gate, and we see what happened to him.

What happened to him was a miracle. What is a miracle? It is necessary to
ask that question today in this age that boasts of its scientific
knowledge and refuses to believe in miracles. In a miracle the laws of
nature are not broken, but God acts above them. It is the same God who
acts in a miracle as in the ordinary natural way. God has so made the
universe that normally things happen according to what we call ?the laws
of nature,? though it would be more accurate to say, ?the laws of God in
nature.? So if you are ill, you are given treatment, and in time you
gradually get better. That is all right, but it is always God who heals.
If it is not God?s will that you should be healed, you can have the best
treatment in the world and you will not get well. God normally heals
indirectly, by means of doctors and medicine, but He sometimes heals
without them. He sometimes heals directly. God is not confined by His own
laws. He has made them, and if He chooses at times to act independently of
them, why should He not? If you make an instrument, you can use it, but
you are not bound to do so. Sometimes you can do the same thing without
it.

When a miracle takes place, I repeat, it does not mean that the laws of
nature are broken; so the scientist need not get anxious or be afraid. In
a miracle, God in His almighty power is acting in a different way?not
laying His laws aside but temporarily acting without them. That is what is
meant by a miracle.

It is vital to understand that a miracle, by definition, cannot be
explained in natural terms because believing people often talk of miracles
in a very loose way. They turn everything into a miracle. I remember
reading a book called Ten Thousand Miles of Miracles in Great Britain. The
title was already wrong, and it showed that the contents of the book were
going to be wrong. You do not get as many miracles as that. This writer
tried to say that everything that had happened to him was a miracle. I am
therefore tempted to say that nothing that happened to him was a miracle.
He may have experienced extraordinary happenings, but they were not
miracles.

Why do miracles ever take place? Why did they take place in the time when
our Lord was on earth, and also here in the book of Acts? And why have
they taken place since then? The answer is that they are meant to be
signs. The Gospel According to St John always refers to miracles as signs.
They are meant to be demonstrations, proof of almighty power. And so we
find as we read the four Gospels that when our Lord worked a miracle, the
people praised God or they were filled with fear because they sensed the
power of God. I have always felt that the trouble with people who do not
believe in miracles is really that they do not believe in God. They do not
know the all-powerful God of the Bible. Their God is someone who is
smaller than creation and confined to it. So do not ever argue with such
people about miracles; argue with them about God.

So, then, we are confronted here by a miracle. But a miracle also serves
another function. It is generally a kind of parable. It has a dual
function. It actually is a fact of history, something that has taken
place. Yes, but because it is also a sign, it is meant to teach us, to
preach to us. It is meant to convey truth to us. And that is exactly what
this particular miracle does. So while we look at this extraordinary thing
that was done here by Peter and John and know that it is a fact of
history?indeed, the subsequent record proves that abundantly?we are
interested in it primarily now as it shows us something of the nature of
the Christian church, her business, what she should do in this world and
what she can do.

Let us be clear. I accept the miracle exactly as it is?it literally
happened. But beyond that, we must look at its teaching. Indeed, Peter
himself, in his sermon that follows this, does explain it. But I am
anxious now to take it as a picture of what the Christian church is here
to do. So let us first of all look at this man laid there by the Beautiful
Gate of the temple as a picture of humanity in a state of sin. The Bible
itself does this. It often uses leprosy in both the Old Testament and the
New as a very good illustration of what sin is. We are all helped by
illustrations. People complain against theology and doctrine and say they
do not like too much reason in sermons but prefer illustrations and
stories. So I am doing that very thing. We have looked at the great
doctrine, and now let us just look at a picture.

Look at humanity as it is pictured here in the beggar outside the
Beautiful Gate of the temple. What are we told? What is the truth about
humanity in sin? It is essentially this: This man was born like that. He
had never been any different. The first great message of the Christian
Gospel is that every one of us is born in sin. We are not born innocent.
We are not born free from sin. ?Behold, I was shapen in iniquity,? says
David, ?and in sin did my mother conceive me? (Psa. 51:5). It is
astounding that anybody should dispute that. Look at the world. Look at
the way people behave. Look at how we ourselves have all behaved. What is
the matter with that little child? What is it in him that makes him do the
very thing you tell him not to do? Why is it that when a child first uses
his own will, he is almost invariably disobedient? There is only one
answer: We do not start with a clean slate, but we are inheritors of
something from our forebears.

This is the first great postulate of the Bible: Man and woman, created
perfect, rebelled and sinned, and all their progeny is born in sin. We see
this in the pages of the Old Testament and equally clearly in secular
history. This is the whole explanation of wars and troubles and jealousy
and envy and malice and spite and all the teeming problems that have
always crippled humanity in this world. Sin?s effect upon us is to
paralyze us. The Bible writers frequently say that sin is paralysis; it
leads to helplessness. This beggar could not walk. He could do many other
things?he could talk, he could argue about politics and about current
affairs, he could hold out his hand?but he could not walk. That was the
tragedy of his life. That was what rendered him useless.

And that beggar is a picture of the state of the whole of humanity. That
is the presupposition of the Gospel. The Son of God left heaven and came
to earth precisely because men and women are lost, paralyzed, and
helpless. As we have already seen, they are paralyzed in the matter of
knowing God. ?Canst thou by searching find out God?? (Job 11:7). People
can find many things by searching. They can now take photographs on the
surface of the moon, but they cannot find God.

They are equally paralyzed in the matter of true living. What is life? Can
men and women by nature live life in its fullness? Can they live life with
enjoyment, with vigor, feeling that nothing is lacking? That is what life
was meant to be. Adam and Eve were created perfect. In Paradise they lived
a full life with nothing detracting from it. Can we by our own efforts
find such a life? Are we really living or do we just exist?

Another form in which we see the paralysis is this?man?s total inability
to conquer the devil and temptation and sin. Is there anybody who has
never sinned? Can you meet temptation and always defeat it? Do you never
do the same thing again, though you know it is wrong? Do you never repeat
an action that always leads to misery? These questions are sufficient to
bring out the truth, are they not? We are in the grip of some dread
paralysis that holds us down and cripples us. What we want to do, we
cannot do. This is the whole trouble, epitomized once and forever in the
seventh chapter of Paul?s epistle to the Romans.

Then, beyond it all, we see our inability in our inability to die. Well,
everyone has to die, but there is a way of dying that is glorious, that is
magnificent, that is wonderful, and we cannot achieve that. Death is an
awful specter. Death to most people?to all people outside Christ?is
hateful and ugly, something that they do not like to think about, and they
object to being reminded of it. And when they approach death, they do not
know what to do. They are left helpless, paralyzed, unable to say with the
apostle Paul, ?To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain? (Phil. 1:21).

The second thing that I find in the picture of the beggar is that the
world is unable to help us. All it can do is give us alms. All the world
could do for the beggar was to give him alms, and no more. Now this is the
way to look at the message of the Gospel. The world is full of activity.
Look at it in every respect?political, social, educational, in terms of
entertainment. It is full of people exerting themselves and using their
abilities in every conceivable direction. But from the standpoint of
humanity?s real and ultimate need, all of it is nothing but the giving of
alms. It really does not touch our vital problem. It does not help us at
all.

The apostle Paul used to make this point. On one occasion we see him in
Athens, the great mecca of the philosophers, the place of wisdom above
every other place in the world. Athens?the home of philosophy, the home of
brilliance, the home of man?s flowering understanding. And here was this
little apostle, a very able man himself, a man who could have met the
philosophers on their own ground, but he did not do so. Why not? Well, in
Acts 17 we can read the sermon in which he explained it to them, and he
put the same thing in a single phrase in his epistle to the Corinthians
when he says, ?The world by wisdom knew not God? (1 Cor. 1:21). Complete
failure! All that Greece had to offer could not help anybody in the
knowledge of God and of life and of living. Indeed, significantly, at the
time of the New Testament, suicide was becoming increasingly common among
these wise philosophers.

Now all this had already been explained in the Old Testament. Have you
ever read the book of Ecclesiastes? It ought to be compulsory reading at a
time like this when men and women boast so much of their knowledge and
understanding. Here is the wise man, probably King Solomon, and he gives
us a bit of autobiography. He says in essence, ?I tried to find the
answers to the meaning of life. I tried in every possible way. I tried in
the form of wisdom?philosophy and learning. Then I tried in the form of
pleasure. I tried by building great buildings and wonderful gardens and
parks and by providing entertainment and music, but I could not find it.?
That is another great presupposition underlying the Gospel: The world at
its best and highest can do nothing but give alms.

Let me explain what I mean. What the world can do, of course, is give us
temporary relief. The world could not cure the man?s lameness, but it
could give him a little money to buy food and to get a certain amount of
pleasure. That is all the world does. With all its intellect, it cannot
solve our problems. You can ransack the libraries of the world and, apart
from this holy Book and its message and books based upon it, you will get
no help for your ultimate problem. You will get a lot of entertainment. We
have all had entertainment from books, have we not? In a sense a novel can
help you because it so grips you that you forget your problems. Or you go
to see a film or you watch television, and for a while you feel happy.
Then you wake up to the fact that you still have your problem and you are
exactly where you were.

Drink can have the same effect, as can many other pleasures. Thank God for
great music and the joy that we get from it. But the greatest music cannot
solve the problem of life and of living. Even the men who write it still
have their problems. Oh yes, these things give us alms. They assuage the
anguish for a little while. They give temporary happiness. They enable me
to forget my problem. I have something that I can get on with. But each
time the activity finishes, I need more. I have not been satisfied. I am
still paralyzed. I cannot walk. And this is all put before us in this
picture at the beginning of Acts 3. When the world has given us everything
it has to give us, the great fundamental problems are still left
completely untouched.

The third thing I see about this man is that he expects the wrong things
from the church. Peter and John were about to go into the temple when the
man asked for alms. Then we read, ?And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him
with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to
receive something of them.? That is where he was wrong, and that is the
tragedy of this hour. The world is looking for something the church cannot
give. This is the whole reason I am preaching this entire series of
sermons. There is such a false notion about the church and her message and
her function that the world is paralyzed, and the church, too, in a sense,
is paralyzed because it encourages this wrong notion??expecting to receive
something of them.

The world is expecting all sorts of things from the church. There are some
who simply expect the church to give moral teaching, ?moral uplift,? as it
is called. In the nineteenth century Dr. Thomas Arnold, headmaster of
Rugby, a well-known boys? school, proclaimed that the business of
Christianity is to make good little gentlemen of us??morality tinged with
emotion,? was his definition. But that is not Christianity.

Then there are people who often go into great cathedrals, but what for? To
hear good music. As if it is the business of the Christian church to
provide good music! Others go to see the sculpture and the architecture,
as if that, too, is the business of the church. You see how sadly astray
we have gone.

Others go to church for philosophical teaching and learned
disquisitions?as if the church?s task were simply to entertain people?s
minds, to put up rival theories in a dispassionate manner. You must not be
passionate, we are told; you must always be detached and wise and learned
and controlled, and you must put the ideas forward and evaluate them just
a little! Is that the business of the Christian church? No! But that is
what some people expect from her.

Then others, in increasing numbers, it seems to me, are looking to the
Christian church for psychological treatment. I am not surprised. The
world is in trouble, and people are unhappy. Neuroses are on the increase,
and psychotherapy has not fulfilled its promises. I remember the beginning
of the Freudian era when we were told that all our problems would be
solved. But that has not happened, and we are having to resort to physical
means and new drugs. The situation is almost chaotic, and people,
including the medical profession, are saying, ?Can the church help us? The
government encourages cooperation between clergy and medical men
psychological treatment to make people better in their minds. There are
many who think of the church as simply a place where you go to forget your
troubles for a while. You sing hymns and choruses, and the church applies
psychological remedies and so-called ?positive thinking.? It tells you to
cheer up and assures you that things are never quite as bad as they appear
to be because there is always a silver lining to the cloud if you can only
see it. And then there are various cults that masquerade in the name of
Christianity, as though it were the business of the church just to make
people better for a while. I say that is merely giving alms.

Others expect political pronouncements and an agenda for political action
and reform. The church must always be delivering opinions on the
activities of statesmen and laying down what should be done and protesting
against this and that. Others think the church?s task is purely a matter
of social work and relief work. But that is what the world itself can do.
That is what the world is doing. That is not the business of the church. I
am not saying that these things do not come in, but I am saying they are
not primary. And that is what Peter put so clearly, once and forever, in
this resounding, memorable phrase: ?Silver and gold have I none.? In other
words, ?Do not look to me for that. That is not what we are here to
provide.

Are you looking to the church for the right thing? What do you expect from
the Christian church in this troubled state of the world? Is it any one of
the things I have been mentioning? I say, she is not here to do that. She
is not competent to do it. Who am I to give an opinion and tell the
statesmen of the world what to do? I do not even know all the facts. Like
you, I have my opinion, but I would not insult you by putting my opinions
before you. No, no, that is not my calling. That is not what I am here
for. ?Silver and gold have I none.

So what can the church do? Peter tells us: ?Silver and gold have I none;
but??thank God for this blessed but??such as I have give I thee.? There is
a story of one of the popes of Rome in the twelfth century showing, I
think it was Thomas Aquinas, around St. Peter?s and the Vatican. As they
walked around, the Pope pointed to the gold, the silver, the ornate
buildings, and the magnificence of it all and said, ?You see, Thomas, the
church can no longer say, ?Silver and gold have I none.? ?
?I do see,? said Thomas, ?but I see something further. She also cannot
say, ?Rise up and walk.

But that is the church?s commission. ?Such as I have give I thee: In the
name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

The church is not here to talk politics, to play music, to give
philosophical discourses, to produce art, or to provide social
amelioration or psychological treatment. God forbid that anybody should be
depending on my little ministry. Do you simply go to church to get
temporary relief, to forget your troubles and feel happier for a moment?
God have mercy upon you if you do! No; the business of the church is to
deal with the real problem of men and women?not to give alms, but to offer
a cure for the paralysis. This is the unique message of the church, and
this is what differentiates it from every other institution under the sun.
The church is an expert on the soul. It is not a cultural center or a
psychological clinic or a social agency. No; her calling, her commission,
is to deal with the souls of men and women. This is what causes their
paralysis. Their trouble is not in the mind, nor in the heart, nor
anywhere else primarily, but in the soul?that is, in the essence of their
being, the center of their life.

The trouble of men and women is their sinfulness. It is not lack of
knowledge?they have plenty of knowledge. They know theoretically that war
is madness, but that does not prevent their fighting. They know perfectly
well that to drink too much alcohol is sheer lunacy, but they do it. Their
trouble is this paralysis of the soul, that twist, the fatal thing that
holds them down, that sends them astray. It is their estrangement from
God. The violation of the law of God known in their own being?that is the
trouble.

The problem of the world today is the direct, immediate, central problem
that men and women do not know God and do not know how to live and do not
know how to die. And this central problem leads to all the misery, the
unhappiness, the failure, the shame, the remorse, the agony, the
bitterness, and the heartbreak of life. This is the problem. What is the
value to you of scientific knowledge if it does not help you live? What is
the point of being thrilled by great music if it still leaves you a slave
to sin? What is the value of admiring art and showing your great cultural
understanding if you cannot control your temper? The problem of the world
is the problem of the souls of men and women, fallen, with the image of
God defaced almost out of recognition. Human beings are almost worse than
animals because the possibility of greatness is there in them. It is this
contradiction, this paradox, that marks humanity; greatness and smallness,
achievement and failure?here is the essential problem.

And the church is here to tell you what you need to know above everything
else?namely, how your soul can be redeemed and be put right with God; how
you can be set upon your feet; how the paralysis can be cured. The church
does not give you alms; it gives you a cure?a radical, complete cure.
So how does the church do this? This is what I want to leave in your mind.

Peter said, ?Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee,?
and then ?In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.? Here
is the message: ?Jesus Christ of Nazareth.? Our message is not culled from
the philosophers or from human wisdom. Peter talked of ?Jesus Christ of
Nazareth? (v. 6). ?Jesus??the babe born in Bethlehem, the man who lived
and worked in Nazareth; ?Christ??the Messiah, the promised Deliverer,
indeed God in the flesh, proved by the Resurrection, proved by the descent
of the Holy Spirit; ?Jesus Christ??God the Son come in the flesh. All the
great apostolic teaching is summarized in these two words.

And this is ?Jesus Christ of Nazareth.? ?Can there any good thing come out
of Nazareth?? asked Nathanael (John 1:46). The world had rejected Him; it
had despised Him. It had said, ?Is it possible that the Savior of the
world can be just a carpenter, especially one who comes out of a place
called Nazareth?? Peter rammed this home to them: ?Nazareth.? The one
despised is the Lord of glory and the Savior of the world. He is the one,
and all is found in him. ?Apart from Him, we are nothing and nobody,? said
Peter in effect. ?But in Him we are tremendous. We are His agents. We are,
as it were, almost His limbs. We are the body through which He is now
acting.

"In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth" He is God, the Son, the eternal
Son. He came into the world. He lived; He died; He rose again. What for?
To bring redemption; to deal with the fundamental problem of the human
soul, lost and estranged from God. That was what Peter said to this man.
He said in essence, ?Listen, I am here to put you in touch with this Jesus
Christ of Nazareth.? And thank God, that is still our message. The Christ
of God?Jesus of Nazareth?is alive. He is in the heavens, seated at the
right hand of God, saying to men and women in this world, ?All power is
given unto me in heaven and in earth? (Matt. 28:18). He says to us,
?Whatever your needs are, I am able, I am willing.? He can give all that
we need and infinitely more. He came into this world to deal with our
radical problem, the paralysis of our souls. Like Peter, I cannot save
you, but He can. He is filled with pity joined with power and is looking
down upon you. He knows all about your paralysis. That is why He came into
this world, and He is using me to tell you that He can do this for you.

Furthermore, what He does for us entirely transcends all our expectations.
We come, and we expect alms. This poor fellow, even when Peter and John
had spoken to him, looked at them expecting to receive something. And what
a surprise he got! He thought he was going to have some unusual pres-ent
perhaps. But what he got was something he had never imagined because he
had lost hope. Everybody loses hope. He had been put down at the Beautiful
Gate of the temple, and the world could do nothing. Who were these two
men? They did not look like anything special. But in a few moments, look
at him?walking, leaping, praising God, rushing into the temple, and
causing one of the greatest sensations that had perhaps ever been known in
Jerusalem.

What does this mean for us? What we get in Christ is not merely temporary
relief but a cure. Well, a cure for what? Here is my problem?we have
already seen it?my guilt, my past sins rising before me, especially on my
deathbed. How can I meet God? I cannot. I am helpless. I am paralyzed. But
by dying on the cross Christ has dealt with it. God gives absolute
forgiveness. If you believe on God?s Son and His purpose in coming into
this world, God assures you that He will never look at your sins again. He
has punished them in Christ. He has borne them away once and forever.

But he does not stop at forgiveness. We need life, and He gives us life
that is life indeed?life and life more abundantly. This is a Gospel that
offers regeneration, a new birth, a new start, a new beginning. It is a
Gospel that tells you that the Holy Spirit will take up His residence in
you and give you power and strength and might. As Peter took hold of that
man?s hand and lifted him up, Christ was lifting him through Peter. And so
we are told, ?Immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And
he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple,
walking, and leaping, and praising God.? That is exactly what Christianity
does. It is not merely a hard task and a painful duty performed in the
hope that God will forgive us. No, no?it is the knowledge of sins
forgiven??walking? leaping ? praising God.? For the first time in his life
this beggar was able to walk. The paralysis was gone. He was able to live
a full life. That is the promise and the offer of the Gospel.

Notice also the word ?immediately???and immediately his feet and ankle
bones received strength.? That is a vital part of the message. The message
of the Gospel does not tell you, ?Start doing this and that. Read your
Bible and pray. Stop doing this and stop doing that. Come to church. Then
after a while you will gradually make yourself a Christian.? No, no
"immediately", now, at once, without a second?s delay. It is not something
you have to do?it is Christ who does it: ?In the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth rise up and walk.? That is a picture of justification by faith
only.

If you tarry till you?re better
You will never come at all.
Joseph Hart

Just as I am, without one plea.
Charlotte Elliott

That is the invitation. It is all of grace. It is the gift of God, the
action of the risen Christ, and He has all power. He is a miracle-worker.
He will give you His own life, and He will do it now. He postulates
nothing in you except that you see your need. He does not ask you to
produce any works. He does not ask you to produce anything that can in any
way recommend you to Him. He says, ?They that are whole have no need of
the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance? (Mark 2:17). Are you paralyzed? Are you
hopeless? He is life. He is power. He can give you everything that you
need, and He will give it to you at once.

There is only one condition. We read, ?Peter, fastening his eyes upon him
with John, said, Look on us.? This is, again, most important. This poor
man had become so hopeless that he did not even look at the people who
gave alms to him. Perhaps he had become a little cynical. So he put the
cap there, and though these kind people dropped something in, he did not
even trouble to look at them and to thank them. It had become a habit to
receive alms in that way. So Peter said to him, ?Look on us,? and he
looked at them. In effect Peter was saying to that man, ?My dear man, look
at us. We are not ordinary men. We are not like most people who pass by
you into the temple and have dropped something into your cap. Look at us.
We are the apostles of Christ. We are new men in Christ Jesus; we are
filled with the Holy Spirit. We are not just men?we are agents of the
divine and the eternal. Concentrate on what I am saying.

If you would know the benefits of Christian salvation, you must pay
attention. If you listen to this Gospel with your own ideas in your mind,
half listening and half not, half arguing against it, you will remain
paralyzed. You must give yourself utterly and absolutely to this. As long
as you think you can do anything, you will remain paralyzed. ?Look on us,?
said Peter. We must give undivided attention to the message of the
Christian church and forget everything else. We need to become desperate.
We must abandon everything and listen to this blessed knowledge, as the
beggar did. ?He gave heed unto them.? This might be translated, ?He
directed and held his mind toward them.? He was wrong and muddled still,
but at any rate he did pay undivided attention to these extraordinary men.

And then came the liberating word. It is always like this. It happened to
the great St. Augustine himself. For all his great knowledge of philosophy
and his brilliant intellect, there was a moral sore, a failure, an
unhappiness, and he was at the end of his tether. But the voice came:
?Rise and read!? And he did. He gave undivided attention, and the
liberating word came to him. Spiritually, Augustine rose up and walked and
continued to go on walking and leaping and praising God.

Now I am a very unworthy man. I have only one reason for being a preacher:
It is because God has called me. I am the purveyor of His message. I have
nothing else. It is His power, His command; and through me He is saying to
you in your utter helplessness and your misery and hopelessness, perhaps
your cynicism, perhaps your final despair, ?In the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth rise up and walk.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
Amen.

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2000). Authentic Christianity (1st U.S. ed.) (210).
Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
Fun Tyme
2007-07-22 13:55:34 UTC
Permalink
UR Welcome! wrote:


....nothing ! Just a huge page of snot C and Pd from some other idiot's
rant.

Why do you post this SPAM SHIT ? Nobody in their right mind reads it.

UR Welcome has serious mental health issues (and likely an adherent to
religion) ....rubber room required.
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 14:33:12 UTC
Permalink
"Fun Tyme" <***@wallabycock.net> wrote in message news:***@wallabycock.net...
We are standing before a new century. Its potential is unlimited; but the
problems are also more than we can imagine. Former President Richard Nixon
writes succinctly about our challenge:

[On January 1, 2001] we will celebrate a day that comes once in a thousand
years: the beginning of a new year, a new century, and a new millennium.
For the first time on such a historic day, the choice before mankind will
not just be whether we make the future better than the past, but whether
we will survive to enjoy the future.

In 1999, we will remember the 20th Century as the bloodiest and best in
the history of man. One hundred twenty million people have been killed in
130 wars in this century-more than all those killed in war before 1900.
But, at the same time, more technological and material progress has been
made over the last hundred years than ever before. The twentieth century
will be remembered as a century of war and wonder.1

These words should make us as believers realize the dire responsibility of
our place in history. Will the 21st century be a time or war or wonder?
Who will win the moral battle for the souls of Americans? Can our society
survive its moral onslaught before time runs out? As believers, we hold so
much in our hands. We have the answers and the power to implement those
answers. We cannot fail to respond to God's call for repentence and
confrontation. But how will we do that?

As a young Christian, I read a book entitled The Strong Name by Dr. James
Stewart, a New Testament scholar from Edinburgh, Scotland. He said, "If we
could but show the world that being committed to Christ is no tame humdrum
sheltered monotony, but the most exciting adventure the human spirit could
ever know, those who have been standing outside the Church looking with
suspicion at Christ, will come crowding in to pay allegiance, and we might
well experience the greatest reviving since Pentecost." His words made a
lasting impression on me.

Dr. Stewart understood what the Church needs today: to illustrate the love
of Christ, the joy of the abundant life, the strength of Christian
fellowship, and the hope we have for eternity. The world is waiting. But
are we so tied up in our sinful, complacent, materialistic lifestyles that
we cannot change? Will we be the spectators in the stands while our nation
loses the most important contest in its history?

John and I believe without a doubt that God's power working through the
American Church can change our nation and the world for Christ. God spoke
and the universe was put into place; He breathed and man became a living
creature. Christ conquered sin and death when He died on the cross and
rose from the grave. He certainly can change the course of our nation
through us.

But change does not come overnight. It takes commitment and hard labor.
Let me share with you some ways the Church must change to become salt and
light to our culture once more.

Knowing What We Believe

If we could only faithfully transmit the attractiveness of the Christian
life to unbelievers, many would gladly turn to Christ. But we cannot
expect unbelievers to be satisfied with childish beliefs. We cannot help
new Christians develop mature faith if all we feed them is baby food. That
is why Paul writes, "Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you
need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over
again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being
still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained
themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14). We have a
duty to know what we believe and why we believe it so we can effectively
state the case for Christ's deity and authority. To deal with complex
problems, we must be nourished on the meat of the Word of God and learn to
reason with spiritual depth. The most important step to mature spiritual
thinking is immersing ourselves in God's Word-both in church and at home.

Have you ever considered that owning a copy of the Bible is a privilege
most people have never enjoyed? Not until the 16th century did the
printing press make it possible for the average family to own a copy.
Before that time, only the clergy and intellectual elite had access to the
Holy Book. Soon after God's Word was placed in the hands of the common
people, the gospel message became the driving factor behind the
Reformation and Protestantism.

After the fall of communism in the 1980s, citizens of Russia and other
Eastern nations lined up for blocks for an opportunity to receive a copy
of the Bible. When gospel meetings were held in these countries, people
fought to get their hands on the Bibles that were being distributed.

In America, we have access to the Word as no people in history; yet we
TAKE THE BIBLE FOR GRANTED.

In America, we have access to the Word as no people in history; yet we
take the Bible for granted. It is estimated that 92 percent of American
households own a copy of the Bible, and most have as many as three
copies.2 Americans often discard these Bibles or neglect them in drawers
or on bookshelves. Pollster George Barna comments, "Americans revere the
Bible-but they don't read it."3 I have found that even true followers of
Christ make a half-hearted commitment to read and learn God's Word. Most
Christians feel they have done God a favor if they skim a few chapters a
week. Os Guinness cites the result of this attitude:

The church today is beset by big problems and big issues, and these must
be thought through carefully in light of the Word of God and the situation
in our world today. We must renounce simple answers to tough questions and
be prepared to pray, think, and work intelligently in order to see where
we are and what the Lord would have us do.4

As American Christians, we also lack disciplined Bible study. I have found
that the typical American believer is defeated, frustrated, and fruitless
because he does not feed daily on God's Word. Many who do study the Bible
do not apply its principles to their daily lives or handle contemporary
issues according to God's Word.

We also have an obligation to encourage others to study God's Word with us
and on their own. Negligent Christians do not need lectures that will
further frustrate them and produce more guilt. Instead, they need love,
understanding, information, and instructions. To help them gain a passion
for the Word, they need to understand who they are in Christ-members of
the family of God, children of the King of kings, with all the rights and
privileges of royalty. Our responsibility is to come alongside our
Christian friends, encouraging them to delve deeply into God's Word.

We can start with the basics. All Christians need to know the following
about our faith:

. How to surrender to the lordship of Christ

. How to live by faith in God, trusting and depending on Him for every
need

. How to live a consistent, overcoming Christian life

. How to live moment by moment in the power of the Holy Spirit

. How to be trained to share our faith in Christ with others

. How to get rid of the heavy load of guilt and self-centeredness
through confession and repentance

. How the church, as well as our nation, can face this incredible
spiritual crisis according to biblical principles

. How we can help meet the challenge of fulfilling the Great
Commission

In recent years, the Church has often discarded many of its most
fundamental biblical principles because it fears looking foolish in the
world's eyes. For example, many churches consider it unfashionable to
speak about the virgin birth, the cross, the shedding of blood, the
resurrection of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. Paul explains why the world
will not understand these concepts: "For the message of the cross is
foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it
is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). If we ignore the harder truths
of Scripture and Christ's atonement, we will not achieve our purpose or
honor God.

As a young, happy, pagan businessman, I resented any mention of the cross
of Christ and the blood He shed on it. Such reference offended my
aesthetic nature. All of this changed when I became a believer in Christ
and began walking in the Spirit. As I grew to love the Lord and His Word,
I grew to love the harder concepts of God's truth. Now I love to sing
hymns such as Robert Lowry's Nothing But the Blood:

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! Precious is the flow

That makes me white as snow;

No other fount I know,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

It is foolish not to present the whole gospel, the pleasant as well as the
unpleasant. God expects us to be honest with the world about His message
to us. We can do no less to win the battle for America's soul.

As the Church recommits itself to the Word, Christians will know how to
answer questions about their faith and how to introduce someone to the
Lord Jesus Christ. Believers will be less inclined to fall into sin or be
led into cults or false religions.

A Commitment to Personal Holiness

As we have seen, the American Church desperately needs a commitment to
holiness. But this is not a popular topic today. Whenever Christians speak
of moral standards, secular liberals argue that men and women are free to
do whatever they wish. When we mention Christ's warning that "narrow is
the road that leads to life" or that you must "die to yourself and live to
Christ," they talk about freedom of choice, moral relativity, and the
perfectibility of the soul. These attitudes also permeate the Church.

To serve as an example to a culture that does not have the faintest idea
of what holiness is, the Church must be "set apart" to God. Theologian Dr.
R. C. Sproul believes that the future of the church in America hinges on
whether we are willing to renew our commitment to personal holiness. He
says that sermons stressing the wrath of God no longer seem to fit in the
town-hall atmosphere of most local churches. He worries:

Ours is an upbeat generation with an accent of self improvement and a
broad-minded view of sin . Our thinking goes like this: If there is a God
at all, He certainly is not holy. If He is perchance holy, He is not just.
Even if He is both holy and just, we need not fear because His love and
mercy override His holy justice. If we can stomach His holy and just
character, we can rest in one thing: He cannot possess wrath.5

Jonathan Edwards' classic sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,"
was first preached in 1741. Today, it would not be warmly received in most
of our churches because the culture of the Church rejects that message.
Until the Church humbles itself before the holiness and righteousness of
God, it remains under the threat of judgment. On the other hand, only by
accepting God's holiness through His gift of salvation can we partake of
the holiness of God.

Until the Church humbles itself before the holiness and righteousness of
God, it remains under the THREAT OF JUDGMENT.

Personal holiness means living above the world's values, including
materialism and lukewarmness toward God. Jesus says, "Do not store up for
yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where
thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break
in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"
(Matthew 6:19-21). He then adds the heart of this message: "No one can
serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he
will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both
God and Money" (Matthew 6:24). Tragically, the Church today is trying to
serve two masters-and succeeding at nothing.

Personal holiness also means giving priority to God's purposes. A pure
heart lays aside a desire for money, possessions, and the easy life. The
Christian who lives righteously will be offended at the sin he sees around
him and will actively fight for righteousness.

Putting on the Armor of God

The enemy has a well-polished arsenal with which to defend their secular
world view. They come armed with mountains of scientific "evidence." On
the surface, their world view seems appealing. After all, they avoid the
issues of sin and judgment and speak of prosperity, pleasure, liberty, and
human dignity. Yet Peter instructs us, "Always be ready to give a defense
to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter
3:15, NKJ). To give such a defense, we must put on our spiritual armor.

Modern theology does not prepare us for combat. It produces churches that
resemble country clubs more than boot camps. Instead of producing men and
women of conviction and resolve, they host dinner groups, coffee klatches,
and Bible studies that focus more on gossip and happy-talk than on battle
strategy.

Good battle strategy calls for wearing the right equipment. Paul instructs
us to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). The pieces include
the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the
gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the
sword of the Spirit, which is God's Word (Ephesians 6:14-17). This armor
enables us to defeat the schemes of Satan. God provides us with two
powerful forces: One is the power of the inspired Word of God. The other
is the witness of the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who teaches us
everything Christ said to us (John 14:26).

Be alert! The battle will get fierce. Using intelligent reasoning will not
win us respect from the world, which considers us simple-minded for
trusting in a God we cannot see. Scripture tells us, "My message and my
preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a
demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on
men's wisdom, but on God's power" (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5). When we wield
the sword of the Spirit, the power of the living Word of God penetrates
men's hearts. Until a non-Christian opens his heart to the Word, his heart
is veiled, preventing him from understanding the truth. Without doubt, the
Church will face ridicule and abuse from the enemy for standing on the
truth of God's Word.

Unity in the Spirit

When Karl Marx introduced the doctrines of Communism, he issued the call,
"Workers of the world, unite!"6 His sedition sparked an unrighteous
revolution that toppled Eastern Europe and nearly crippled the world.
Behind Marx's power was the belief that the key to strength was unity.
This man who hated God and referred to religion as "the opiate of the
people"7 understood the biblical principle that a divided house cannot
stand (Matthew 12:25).

Unfortunately, the Church does not always understand this truth. Internal
conflict rips the life from many local churches. Instead of working
together for the clear principles of Scripture, factions emerge within the
congregation. These are often motivated by selfishness, pride, or
expediency. In some cases, scriptural authority ranks second to popular
social values and humanistic programs, causing discord and fragmentation
in the body of Christ.

Just before his arrest, Jesus prayed, "I pray also for those who will
believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father,
just as you are in me and I am in you . May they be brought to complete
unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as
you have loved me" (John 17:20-23).

Just think what we could accomplish if we were truly united. How powerful
our witness would be if we could agree on the basic issues of faith! Chuck
Colson writes, "If people could see the unity of the Body of Christ, they
would come knocking our doors down. We would not be able to build churches
fast enough."8

Any move to restore the moral integrity of this nation must begin with a
commitment to building biblical unity in the body of Christ. I suggest
that this should be a primary focus of the leadership of our churches over
the coming months and years. My plea is that the churches of Jesus Christ
will receive this wake-up call and unite for another great spiritual
awakening to sweep our land. There have been encouraging movements toward
unity in the Church in recent years, but we have a long way to go. I want
to recommend one movement that reflects the prayer of our Lord-Mission
America. In Chapter 22, you will learn how you can become involved with
this exciting strategy.

Confronting the Culture

At this writing, the national media is reporting the recent Southern
Baptist Convention's stand on the family. Many reporters ridiculed the
idea of biblical submission within marriage. Others were hostile to the
statement that a marriage is one man and one woman for a lifetime. Yet the
leaders of the Convention had the courage to stand up for biblical truths
on the roles of husbands and wives in marriage.

As Christians, we are called to a higher standard. Because it is a
biblical standard, it has been largely rejected by the secular culture.
But we dare not risk watering down our message. Our responsibility is to
warn society that they are on the road to destruction.

At the same time, we must express love for those being devoured by sin.
Every aspect of our culture-whether it is business, government, the
family, the schools, or the media-is already in an advanced state of
decay. People are looking for authenticity, hope, and a way out of their
problems. Deep down they want to be free from the bondage of sin. They
want to see changes in the lives of people. They want to know a God who
has the power to make a difference in their lives. When they see Christ's
love in us, they will be drawn to Him to meet their present needs and
future challenges.

God is searching for a body of believers who will stand up to the taunts
and mockeries of this world. He desires those who love the Lord, who
believe His Word, and who will defend its values. Are we up to the
challenge? If we lose our confidence in the truth of Scripture or are weak
in the way we present it, we dilute the power of the Christian faith. We
must have a deep resolve to confront our culture and to act based on the
moving of God's Spirit.

Confrontation is never pleasant. It begins with prayer and humility, then
moves into areas outside our corners of safety. It means taking risks,
becoming unpopular, while loving the sinner. Pastor Jack Hayford explains,
"Before we will ever be heard in evangelism, something of the power of God
must be manifest in us. The power of God is revealed through the praying
church, the love of God by the way we relate to a culture that may very
well offend us."9

Jesus demonstrated balance in confronting His culture. He was the sinless
Son of God, yet He loved those ensnared by sin and challenged those who
excused their sin. Jesus spoke to sinners at the temple, the marketplace,
and the public well, telling them of God's love and forgiveness. Yet He
also fearlessly drove the unscrupulous moneychangers from the temple porch
and accused the scribes and Pharisees of hypocrisy. Hayford points out
that Jesus seldom spoke in anger to those who were ignorant of their sin;
He reserved His wrath for the religious "hardheads" of the day.

Many times, we sacrifice our most PRECIOUS BELIEFS so we will not appear
INTOLERANT AND JUDGMENTAL.

What balance does the Church have today? Many times, we sacrifice our most
precious beliefs so we will not appear intolerant and judgmental. At the
same time, we hammer with rage and hostility against our culture. Hayford
says, "There is something about Jesus that has the capacity not to condone
immorality or sagging values. He does not condone them for a minute. But
still you never pick up any hint of condescension in Him. He had the
capacity by His moral power to invite people beyond where they are."10 We
need to adopt His attitude in our confrontations.

Political Involvement

Because of America's moral and spiritual disintegration over the past
fifty years, the Church must take immediate action to confront moral
decay. But believers often ask, "Is it right for Christians to become
involved in politics?" Definitely yes! The institution of government was
sanctioned by Christ and supported by New Testament writers. (See Matthew
22:21; Romans 13:1-6; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13, 14.) God does not intend
for us to live in a theocracy where the Church is the supreme political
authority, but He also does not want us to live as if faith in God were
illegal in the political arena. If godly men and women have no voice in
the public square, then by default the political life of the nation will
remain in the hands of the ungodly.

Charles Finney, who was on the forefront of the abolition movement before
the Civil War, considered politics to be very important for followers of
Christ: "God will bless or curse this nation according to the course
Christians take in politics."11 But unlike other groups of people who bend
the rules and compromise, we have an inviolable standard of truth. We
cannot dance around issues. There should never be a question about the
boundaries or the ultimate goals.

In the political arena, there is one behavior that hurts our Christian
witness-inconsistency. For example, citizens who want to lower taxes, to
restore the environment, to end racism, to halt development of nuclear
arms, or to pursue any other popular issue must always be alert for
one-sidedness in their rhetoric. Those who fight against big government's
social and welfare programs must then help church and community programs
address these needs. Those who oppose laws and government agencies
abetting abortions should also support adoption, youth ministries, and
educational programs to help prevent abortions.

We need to be aware that God's standards do not fit neatly into the
political agendas of the major parties. This means that on different
occasions, we may find ourselves on opposite sides of the political fence.
As God's ambassadors, we are not bound by party loyalties; we represent
that which is true and honorable according to Scripture.

Joshua, one of Israel's greatest military leaders, commanded the people to
choose whom they would serve-the gods of this world or the living God of
history (Joshua 24:15). That is our choice today. If we choose to serve
God, we will face flaming arrows shot from all sides of the political
battlefield. If our allegiance to God supersedes our loyalty to all other
persons, parties, or philosophies, some will try to discredit us. But our
principle still takes precedence over party politics; integrity rules
expediency; character is more important than charisma.

Let me give you an example. I may want to lower taxes and someone else may
want to raise taxes, so we compromise to achieve our goals. Some issues,
however, are not as easily resolved. Abortion and racism are moral issues
where we have no room for conciliation. Taking an innocent life is
absolutely wrong. The sixth Com-mandment says, "You shall not murder"
(Exodus 20:13). Through the prophet Jeremiah, God commanded, "Do no wrong
or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed
innocent blood" (Jeremiah 22:3). Therefore, we cannot compromise. We have
a moral duty to resist any manmade law that violates the law of God and to
articulate the moral principles that substantiate our views.

Racism is also always wrong. Peter says, "I now realize how true it is
that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who
fear him and do what is right" (Acts 10:34, 35). One indictment that
nonbelievers make against the Church is that it discriminates along racial
lines. This is an affront to God's role as Creator and Savior of the
world. As believers we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. In recent
years, a message of reconciliation between races has begun in the Church.
We need to be on the forefront in showing love to all people.

Let me warn you of a personal danger we all face as we act for our Lord.
When we read about certain cultural sins of which we have no part, we may
be tempted to say, "I am not like the sinful men and women in our society.
I have not committed immorality, taken drugs, or abandoned my children."
In our boasting, we forget about our own sinful natures. If we have a
proud, arrogant attitude, we will become like the Pharisees in Jesus'
parable. He said:

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax
collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank
you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even
like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I
get.'

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to
heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified
before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who
humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:10-14).

The virtuous Christian is not one who claims to be above sin, but one who
admits his failings. We must all constantly fight against pride,
remembering that we are wretched sinners liberated by the mercy of Jesus
Christ. Paul described it well, "[God] has rescued us out of the darkness
and gloom of Satan's kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear
Son, who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins"
(Colossians 1:13, 14, TLB).

On the other hand, believers who are aware of cultural sins yet refuse to
become involved politically are acting contrary to the will of God. Jesus
taught that we are to go into the world (our marketplaces) and make
disciples of all men. Social activities are also our mandate. When we care
for the poor, the orphans, and the widows, when we feed the hungry or
clothe the naked, we are doing a service as unto God Himself and planting
seeds of the Christian faith within our nation.

Dedicated to Fulfilling the Great Commission

Ron Hutchcraft, a gifted evangelist, has a unique way of sharing his
passion with his radio audience. On the program "A Word With You," he
recently described the sinking of the Titanic. "There's a lot of talk
about the Titanic right now-TV, blockbuster movie, record-setting Broadway
show, museums, etc. Only 700 of the 2,200 passengers on the Titanic
survived its sinking. Some 1,500 people died in the North Atlantic that
night [April 15, 1912, at 2:20 a.m.]. It was an awful scene. But the
greatest tragedy may be that many of them didn't have to die!"

Many people climbed into the twenty lifeboats, but several were only half
full. Hundreds of people were in the cold water with life preservers. Most
of them did not die from drowning; they died of hypothermia. The people in
the lifeboats heard the cries of those dying, but they chose not to go
back for fear of capsizing. Only one lifeboat returned-after it was too
late. Of the hundreds who were in the water, only six people were rescued.
Those who were already saved didn't go after those who were dying. Then
Hutchcraft asked:

Are we the people in the lifeboat who have already been saved, but we're
doing nothing about the dying people around us? . We're surrounded by
dying people. If you look at the faces of the people where you work, where
you live, where you go to school, where you shop, you will be seeing what
people in hell will look like. Those people are all around us. We must ask
God to break our hearts for those people. We're their link to Jesus.12

This is the Church's greatest agenda-taking the message of God's love to
the world. The time is short. For centuries, each generation of Christians
has believed that it would see Christ's return. But in the last fifty
years, we have seen an incredible buildup of signs that point to the
Second Coming of Christ. Prophecies are being fulfilled before our eyes.
We need to be ready and working for His kingdom.

Jesus Christ offers answers to the greatest questions in life, especially
that ultimate question, "What happens after we die?" Only Christ can give
order to a disordered world, peace for times of strife, and love for a
culture immersed in anger and hate.

A story is told about a seven-year-old boy who asked his pastor, "Do you
know why they call that place where you preach a pulpit?" The pastor
replied, "Well, son, I'm not sure of the background of that name." The boy
replied, "I know. It's the place where you pull people out of their pit."

Our mission is not just to confront people with their sin, but to share
with them the eternal message of God's Word. Lives need changing; souls
need saving from the pit of sin and despair. Then these new believers need
to be prepared to witness effectively in their marketplaces and given a
passion for world missions outreach.

Training Others in Evangelism

We are not just to evangelize ourselves, but also to train others to share
their faith. It took me some time to realize the necessity of having a
loving attitude in helping people find a vision for evangelism. In the
'40s, I was a zealous new believer, and I saw little emphasis on
evangelism and discipleship. Highly motivated, I set out to help make some
changes in the churches of the Los Angeles area.

As a young businessman who was experiencing considerable success, I was
frequently invited to speak to churches and various Christian groups. At
the conclusion of my messages, I always challenged believers to witness
for Christ. Sometimes because of the emotion of my appeal, a number would
pledge to witness for Christ during the coming week and give me a report.
I was terribly disappointed that very few followed through. Therefore, I
became critical of the church.

A PULPIT is the place where you PULL people out or their PIT.

I concluded that the churches in Los Angeles were even worse that the
churches of Ephesus and Laodicea. I had read in Revelation chapters two
and three how the great church of Ephesus had lost its first love for our
Lord and how the church of Laodicea became lukewarm in their faith. God
had harsh words for both churches about what was going to happen to them
unless they repented. I decided to have nothing further to do with the
lukewarm churches I encountered. I would simply concentrate on winning
others to Christ and put them in discipleship groups to help them grow
into New Testament Christians. Frankly, I did not want these new
Christians to be exposed to the malady that afflicted older Christians.

After several months, God began to show me that the real problem was me. I
was challenging defeated, worldly Christians to witness, but I did not
know enough to teach them about the source of power, the Holy Spirit, who
enables believers to witness (Acts 1:8).

I remember a brilliant young college student whom I had introduced to
Christ. In my ignorance I was always haranguing him to witness for Jesus.
I never taught him, however, how to appropriate the power of the Holy
Spirit by faith or what to say when talking to people.

One day he became very impatient. "Get off my back," he protested. "You
are making my life miserable. I don't want anything more to do with you.
Go away; get lost." I was shocked and hurt. But he was absolutely right in
not wanting anything to do with me. He needed and wanted help, but I was
not mature enough to help him.

As a result I began to realize that many Christians loved the Lord as much
as I did and wanted to serve Him. They just needed someone to teach them
gently and lovingly how to share their faith. I then became less
judgmental in my attitudes toward other believers.

We need to rethink our strategies as the Church. OUR MISSION remains
unfulfilled; OUR DEDICATION is weak.

So many times, the Church does just what I did-makes Christians feel
guilty about their failure to witness without coming alongside to help
them. We need to show our friends how to discover the joy of introducing
men and women to Christ rather than acting out of duty. Fruitless
believers need loving encouragement and training, not criticism for their
failures.

There is no better time to spread the gospel everywhere than right now!
With the incredible advances in science and the mushrooming of the
computer industry, we have seen more technological advances in the last
hundred years than in all of world history combined. The fulfillment of
Bible prophecies concerning the return of our Lord, which appeared
improbable a decade ago, now seem just around the corner. Whether we are
near the end of our age or not, something unprecedented is happening in
the world today. It is time to do everything possible to finish the task
of fulfilling the Great Commission!

Going in the Right Direction

In these desperate times, we need to rethink our strategies as the Church.
Our mission remains unfulfilled; our dedication is weak. We do not know
where we are going.

This reminds me of the time I visited a strange city in Mexico and found
myself driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. It was very
frustrating as well as dangerous. Several people tried to help me by
shouting instructions in Spanish, but I did not understand the language.
By their gestures, I understood, "You are going the wrong direction." What
I really needed was someone to help me get turned around. At this point a
kind and helpful policeman assisted me in getting my car turned around. I
went on my way gratefully rejoicing.

As the Church, we must change directions, too. Christ wants enthused,
power-filled, dedicated churches that teach the whole gospel. Nothing less
will do. We know how to change, the path is clear, but will we heed the
warning of others that we are going in the wrong direction?

There are signs of vitality and victory against the gathering storms.
During the forty days before Easter 1998, millions of Christians fasted
and prayed for revival and spiritual awakening in America. Since 1994,
many denominational and ministry specialist group leaders have fasted and
prayed for forty days each year for our country. Under the banner of Pray
USA!, America was bathed in prayer as never before in history. An
unprecedented partnership of dozens of denominations, hundreds of
parachurch groups and prayer ministries, and thousands of churches joined
to mobilize believers to "Pray America Back To God." This annual Mission
America initiative is part of Celebrate Jesus 2000.

Praise God that the burden to fast and pray is not restricted to America.
More than three million people in 100 Latin American cities pleaded with
God for their troubled region during a day of fasting and prayer on April
6, 1998. Almost 200,000 people in fifty cities gathered in stadiums and
churches to ask God to bring spiritual awakening and to commit themselves
to prayer, fasting, and evangelization. TV and radio networks broadcast
the events across the continent for five hours. About 5,000 churches
throughout Latin America participated. In South Africa, more than one
million believers committed themselves to forty days of fasting and prayer
for revival in their nation. Can we do no less?

Where will we find the kind of laborers and resources needed to complete
our mission? Let us seriously take stock and determine the most critical
steps as we rapidly approach the end of our time and opportunities. So
whether you are a defeated or an on-fire follower of Jesus, I invite you
to join with us in fasting, praying, working, and believing. Somehow with
God's supernatural help, we are going to reverse this tragedy which
threatens to destroy our nation and all that we hold sacred and dear. Keep
reading, for there is hope-yes, great hope!

[1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Richard M. Nixon, 1999: Victory Without War, (New York: Simon and
Schuster, 1988), p. 13.

2 George Barna, The Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators, (Dallas: Word
Publishing, 1996), p. 55.

3 Barna, Leading Spiritual Indicators, p. 57.

4 Dr. Os Guinness, The Devil's Gauntlet. Quoted in David J. Gyertson, ed.,
Salt and Light: A Christian Response to Current Issues, (Dallas: Word
Publishing, 1993), p. 31.

5 R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House
Publishers, 1985), p. 264.

6 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, (New York:
PocketBooks, 1964), p. 116.

7 Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of
Right, (1844), Preface.

8 Bill Bright, The Coming Revival: America's Call to Fast, Pray, and "Seek
God's Face," (Orlando, FL: NewLife Publications, 1995), p. 70.

9 Dr. Jack Hayford interview by John N. Damoose in Virginia Beach,
Virginia, in 1996.

10 Hayford interview.

11 Charles Finney, Revival Lectures, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revell Co.,
1970), pp. 336,337.

12 Ron Hutchcraft radio program, "A Word With You," (Ron Hutchcraft
Ministries, 1998).

[1]Bright, B., & Damoose, J. N. (1998). Red sky in the morning (225).
Orlando, Fla.: New Life Publications.
Fun Tyme
2007-07-22 14:47:38 UTC
Permalink
UR Welcome! wrote


...nothing ! Just a huge page of snot C and Pd from some other idiot's rant.

Why do you post this SPAM SHIT ? Nobody in their right mind reads it.

UR Welcome has serious mental health issues (and likely an adherent to
religion) ....rubber room required.

Does your unnecessary posting of reams/kilobytes get you hard ?
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 14:59:12 UTC
Permalink
"Fun Tyme" <***@wallabycock.net> wrote in message news:***@wallabycock.net...
It Had to Be

Not only skeptics and atheists but also many who call themselves
Christians often complain, Why didn¹t God make a perfect world without
sin, suffering, or death? If He is all-powerful, surely He could have done
that if He had so desired! This common protest rests upon a very simple
misunderstanding: the failure to recognize that God has given to all
mankind the power of choice. It is self-evident that without this
universal ability we could neither love God, nor one another, nor receive
love -- and compared with faith and hope, love is the "greatest" (1 Cor
13:13).

Nor is it a question of God's power. Love is a choice that must come from
the heart; therefore, even God, with His infinite power, cannot force
anyone to love Him or it would not be love. Choosing to love self and this
world instead of the God of infinite love who created us, is clearly the
cause of all evil. Yet many Christians offer no answer to this diatribe
against their Creator. They hide behind God¹s sovereignty and imagine they
are pleasing Him when they attribute to Him loveless attitudes and actions
totally contrary to their God-given conscience and to His character as
revealed in His Word. Such misguided capitulation to irrationality by
intelligent, morally accountable beings is dishonoring to God and is
rightly scorned by sincere skeptics. "Sovereignty" is neither reason nor
excuse for failure to love, much less for creating suffering and death
that need not have been. How many evil tyrants have used this same excuse!

Could God have made a world inhabited by beings with the power to choose
good or evil, to love or to hate, in which no one would ever have made the
wrong choice and no one would have been hateful or vindictive, but
unfailingly loving and kind? Obviously not, if they were truly free to
choose for self instead of for Him and others. Could He have created a
universe in which beings who are less than Himself would never make a
choice that was less than God-like or in which beings who could do what
they wanted to do would never rebel against Him? No, that would be
impossible. Beings who were less than God (as are all created beings)
could not live up to God¹s perfection -- and to sin, for those made in
God¹s image (Gn 1:27), is to come ³short of the glory of God² (Rom 3:23).
Obviously, if God could have made moral creatures capable of loving Him
yet never sinning, but did not do so, He would be to blame for creating a
world vulnerable to evil, pain, sorrow, and death. No such world, however,
could exist from an original creation. God is blameless for the evil that
man has wrought upon earth. Yet how often has a grieving wife, husband,
mother, father, grandparent, or child lashed out in anger to blame God for
the death of a loved one? Blame Eve and Satan who deceived her, and Adam
for going along, though he knew better (1 Tm 2:14), but don¹t blame God.

It was inevitable that Adam and Eve would sin by a misguided selfish
choice that could not be blamed upon their Creator. If they were to be
able to love and be loved, this is the way it had to be.

God did not cause them to sin, but He knew they would. Therefore, even
before the universe was created, God¹s Son, co-equal and co-eternal with
the Father, was prepared to come to earth as a man through a virgin birth
and in love to die in man¹s place in order to pay the full penalty for the
sins of every person who would ever live.

It is beyond our comprehension, but inescapably true, that from all
eternity Christ looked forward to the Cross, which He would one day endure
³for the joy that was set before him² (Heb 12:2).

Significantly, the book that decides the fate of the damned is called the
book of life ³of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world² (Rv
13:8). In the unthinkable but inevitable horror of man¹s murder of God¹s
Son, the real face of evil was unmasked, the true heart of man --
³deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked² (Jer 17:9) -- was
laid bare, and God¹s eternal justice and love were demonstrated beyond
dispute for all eternity to ponder. In the crime of all ages, man
despised, rejected, humiliated, scourged, and nailed his Creator to a
cross. Thus the rebellion of self hidden in the human heart -- the raw
passion to tear God from His throne if possible -- was revealed, and God¹s
loving response silenced all legitimate complaint.

When mankind, incredibly, was venting its full hatred upon its Creator,
God responded in love and forgiveness, submitting not only to the unjust
treatment man imposed but also to the punishment of infinite justice
against the sins of the world, interceding even for those who mocked and
crucified Him: ³Father, forgive them . . . they know not what they do² (Lk
23:34). Only by the full payment being made to satisfy God¹s justice could
God ³be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus² (Rom
3:26). We cannot doubt God¹s wisdom, nor can we fault His love. Therefore,
we know that this is the way it had to be.

It is self-evident that without the God-given power of choice, no one
could be held morally accountable for anything and the very terms ³right²
or ³wrong² would be meaningless. Nor could anyone experience God¹s love,
or love Him or other human beings. Thus, no creature incapable of moral
choice could possibly know God himself, for ³God is love² (1 Jn 4:8).
Believers who have responded to God¹s love through the gospel are likened
to a ³bride² that will be married to and become Christ¹s wife (Eph
5:22-32; Rv 19:7-9), having from their hearts said ³I do² to Him for
eternity.

Christians who try to escape intelligent discussion of this most vital
issue have forgotten, if they ever knew, that God welcomes sincere
questions and has given us all the answers in His Holy Word. He invites
all mankind, ³Come now, and let us reason together² (Is 1:18); and He has
commanded those who know Him to ³be ready always to give an answer to
every man that asketh . . . a reason² for the eternal hope we have in
Christ (1 Pt 3:15).

Every parent knows that each child is a unique individual with a mind of
its own, who cannot be forced to behave in a certain manner but will
inevitably, sooner or later, make free choices for its own selfish
reasons. No one can live another¹s life. Each person is morally
accountable to choose good or evil -- an inescapable responsibility that
Eve imposed upon all of her descendants by disobeying God and eating of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Nor can imperfect beings
always make the morally good choice. Most tragic of all is the fact that
even though a child has been well taught and knows right from wrong, it
may still self-destruct, and there is nothing that could have been done to
prevent that from happening.

What mother or father whose child dies of an overdose of drugs, or in a
wreck caused by excessive speed under the influence of alcohol, or in the
electric chair for murder, or is confined to prison for life (or even a
day) wanted that to happen? Nor does God ³take pleasure in the death of
the wicked² (Ezk 33:11), but wants ³all men to be saved, and to come unto
the knowledge of the truth² (1 Tm 2:4). He cannot, however, force Himself
upon us any more than a parent can force a child to willingly make the
right choice.

The God who created this world and mankind to live in it no more desires
anyone¹s doom than parents desire the suffering and untimely deaths that
so many children bring upon themselves. Listen to God¹s lament as He pours
out His heart over disobedient Israel, His chosen people, as a father
would weep for his children: ³Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for
the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they
have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his
master¹s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah
sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children
that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the
Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye
be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more . . . ² (Is 1:2-4).

Every thinking person knows that God cannot honestly be blamed for the
evil rampant in the world. It exists because of choices that its victims
themselves have made -- choices that in many cases parents faithfully
warned against and as their children grew older pleaded with them to
avoid. Yet Martin Luther wrote an entire book, The Bondage of the Will,
denying that anyone has the power of choice. John Calvin, too, in his zeal
for God¹s sovereignty, also denied this essential human ability. Even many
of today¹s most popular Christian leaders deny free will to mankind --
including the ability to make the most important choice of all: whether to
believe the gospel, which alone saves the soul. Thus, in their view, God
is ultimately to blame for everything, although they attempt to deny the
obvious conclusion to which this unbiblical theory leads.

It is patently simple that to deny man free choice exonerates him from
moral accountability and makes God the cause of evil. No matter how we
try, we can never escape the fact that we each make genuine choices of our
own free will when we decide to do or not to do this or that. This
includes choosing whether to submit to God¹s will or to take our own way,
and whether to receive Christ as Savior or not. We all know this to be
true; we choose of our own free will between conflicting options many
times each day -- and God can be blamed for none of these choices or their
consequences.

When He made man, God knew that He would have a world of rebels on His
hands, billions of little egomaniacs who would each want to willfully take
his own way -- billions who would need to be redeemed and who would each
have to choose between self and God. When Jesus said, ³I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me² (Jn 14:6),
He was explaining the entire situation from eternity past to eternity in
the endless future. Jesus alone could be the way back to God. This is the
way it had to be.

God knew from the very beginning what was going to happen. He was not
taking a risk by creating beings with the power of choice -- He knew they
would rebel against Him. And He knew that there was only one way for them
to be redeemed from the penalty they would bring upon themselves: His
³only begotten Son² (Jn 3:16), the Son of His love, must come to this
earth as a man and die in their place, paying the full penalty that
infinite Justice would exact against sin. And from all eternity, the Son
knew that as well. It had to be.

We can¹t imagine what it really means that the Son always knew that He
would be born into this world as a babe, would live a perfect, sinless
life as only He could, be hated without cause, be rejected and despised by
His own people, the Jews, to whom He would come as one of them, and that
they, with the willing cooperation of the Roman Empire, would crucify Him.
Of course, the truth of our redemption goes far beyond our capacity to
comprehend. We are told that ³by his knowledge shall my righteous servant
justify many² (Is 53:11). That seems a cryptic statement.

What could knowledge have to do with paying the penalty for our sins?
Obviously, without full knowledge of every detail (including motivation)
of every shameful, violent, appalling sin that would ever be committed
from all eternity -- without full knowledge of the penalty His own justice
required -- God¹s ³righteous servant² could not pay the full debt that
mankind owed for its wickedness and thereby ³justify² all who would
believe on Him. Indeed, He would be punished as though He were sin itself:
³for he [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, [he] who knew no
sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him² (2 Cor 5:21).
What love, what mercy, what grace!

Christ¹s triumphant cry on the Cross, ³It is finished!² takes on greater
significance when we understand that He had eternally anticipated that
moment: ³This man [Christ], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins
for ever, sat down on the right hand of God . . . for by one offering he
hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified . . . .Now . . . there is
no more offering for sin² (Heb 10:12, 14, 18). At last, it was all behind
Him -- the penalty paid once-for-all and in full for all mankind!

And how clearly and blasphemously does the Roman Catholic ³Sacrifice of
the Mass² deny Christ¹s triumphant cry, ³It is finished!² Its priesthood
claims to turn bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ and to
³immolate² Him millions of times on Catholic altars to be ingested into
the stomachs of those who believe the lie that they are actually eating
Christ. In fact, He is now in heaven in His resurrected, glorified body,
exalted at the Father¹s right hand! The sins of the redeemed have now been
forgotten, no longer to be remembered again (Heb 8:12, 10:17). Yes, books
in which every sin is recorded will be opened at the Great White Throne
judgment -- but that is for those who rejected Christ and the pardon He
obtained for their sins. At the final judgment, all who refused to accept
Christ¹s payment for their sins will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be
tormented eternally by a conscience that can no longer hide behind the
excuses with which it had deluded itself while on earth. The pain will
include not only the full realization of the horror that their sins have
wrought for themselves and others, but also the crushing load of audacious
evil that they nourished in their rebellion against the God who created
them. Sadly, not the least of the torment will be the eternally haunting
realization that they could have been forgiven and in heaven had they not
rejected Christ and the payment He made in infinite love for their sins.

by Dave Hunt



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. Maranatha!
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snip

A christian went into the Wal-Mart and bought a roll of toilet paper.
Two hours later, he returned, covered in feces and demanded to speak
to the manager. "I'm gonna sue!", he said. "What on earth did *we*
do?", the manager asked.

"You sold me this toilet paper, but there aren't any instructions on
it!

-PF, etc.
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<***@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:***@n2g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

. Ignorance

And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also
your rulers.
Acts 3:17

We have been looking into the essence of Peter?s sermon to the crowds in
the temple and have seen how he pointed the people to the God of the
covenant, to the centrality of Jesus Christ, and to His death,
resurrection, ascension, and coming again. But now, in the light of that
amazing, extraordinary power that can heal a man born lame and send him
into the temple walking and leaping and praising God, the question arises:
Why does the whole world not believe this? Why are men and women not
walking and leaping and praising God like that lame man? Why is the whole
world not at the feet of Jesus Christ, worshiping and adoring Him and
following Him? Why is it that the whole world is not Christian? Why does
it not believe this message and submit itself to it? Why does it not
rejoice in this great hope that is set before it? Why is it that so many
in the world, yes, the majority, are not at all interested in Jesus Christ
and dismiss Him and especially His death upon the cross and His shed blood
and do not believe in the Resurrection, and certainly not in His Second
Coming? Surely this is a most urgent problem for us to face.

The answer is given here in verse 17, and it is given in one word:
?ignorance???And now, brethren, I wot [I know, I am aware] that through
ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.? Ignorance is the central
problem of men and women. So let us look at this as the apostle Peter puts
it here, and let us see how, in a sense, this is the great theme of the
New Testament message.

Let me first of all note what an astounding statement this is; and if it
was astounding in the first century, it is still more so today.
Twentieth-century men and women are amazed to hear that their greatest
trouble is ignorance. They have come of age. They are knowledgeable and
educated. Their attitude is that it was all right for their ignorant
forebears to believe this Gospel, as it is perhaps still all right for the
superstitious to believe it, but to ask modern, scientific men and women
to believe the Gospel, why, it is insulting!

Yet this old Gospel still comes to us and tells us that the main trouble
in the world is ignorance. And, indeed, it is very simple for me to prove
that this is still the right diagnosis. Does the state of the world not
prove it? If people know as much as they claim to know, then why is our
world as it is? If we are so clever with our scientific research and
psychology and social studies and multiplicity of educational facilities,
why are we as we are? I am not here to oppose any of these things. Thank
God, I have received a little education myself and I am grateful for it;
it is all of help and value. All I am trying to show you is that clearly
that is not enough. I am in this pulpit to testify that it was not enough
in my own personal life, and it is not enough in the life of any
individual.

If this knowledge that we have, of which we boast so much, is adequate,
then I ask again, why is our world as it is? Why have we had these wars in
this [twentieth] century? Why are nations piling up these terrible
instruments of death and torture? Why the tension between nations? Why all
the difficulties in our own society?capital, labor, master, servant? Why
are there disputes in families? Why rivalries and jealousies among people
who have been brought up together? Oh, why all the things that make life
so tragic? Why does any individual fail? Why does anyone repeatedly fall
into the same sin?

Can anybody dispute the diagnosis that the main problem in the world is
ignorance? Not ignorance about how to conquer the force of gravity?we have
that knowledge, and we have done it. Not ignorance about how to invent
gadgets. You press buttons, and everything is done for you. You sit down
and enjoy yourself looking at the television while the washing is done and
the cooking is done. Oh yes, we have all that knowledge. But that is not
the knowledge I am talking about. I am referring to the knowledge of how
to live; the knowledge of what humanity is and what it is meant to be; the
knowledge of how to resist temptation; the knowledge of how to walk a
straight path and to be clean and pure and wholesome; the knowledge of how
to die without fear; the knowledge of what lies beyond?this is the
knowledge we need. The problems of living and of life today are exactly as
they have always been, in spite of all this vast knowledge that we have
accumulated. All the knowledge that we have, and of which we are so proud,
does not help us with the fundamental problems of the individual and of
society?for society is nothing, after all, but a collection of
individuals. And the state of the world today proves that the main trouble
is still individual ignorance: ?And now, brethren, I wot that through
ignorance ye did it.

What are the causes of this ?ignorance? that stands between us and the
salvation of God? Fortunately for us, that is dealt with, not only here by
the apostle in a very brief way, but elaborated in the further teaching of
the New Testament. What is it in men and women that makes them reject the
Gospel, as did those who crucified Christ? What is the cause?

Let me give you a negative first. This ignorance has nothing to do with
intellect or brainpower or a person?s capacity for reason or
understanding. Modern people say they are not Christians because of their
great intellects, that only fools are Christians. As for people of
intellect and understanding, of reason and ability, of course it is almost
an insult to ask them to believe such a thing. That is the central
fallacy, and Peter deals with it in a very interesting way. He says, ?Now,
brethren??he is speaking to the crowd??I wot that through ignorance ye did
it, as did also your rulers.? If it had been only the rabble that had
cried, ?Away with Him! Crucify Him!? then you could say, ?Of course, the
rabble never does understand; the majority are always ignorant. But the
discerning people, the rulers, those with brains and understanding, they
never do such a thing.? But, of course, we happen to know from the
accounts in the Gospels that the common people shouted, ?Away with Him!
Crucify Him!? at the instigation of their rulers. It was the Pharisees and
scribes, the doctors of the law, the Sadducees and the priests who
provoked this rejection of the Christ of God??ye did it, as did also your
rulers.? And this is a point that the New Testament makes frequently.

The apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians, ?Ye see your calling,
brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not
many noble, are called? (1 Cor. 1:26). He says again, in the second
chapter, ?Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known
it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory? (v. 8). This Gospel
has always been ?unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks
foolishness? (1 Cor. 1:23). ?The natural man receiveth not the things of
the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know
them, because they are spiritually discerned? (1 Cor. 2:14). But the point
I want to emphasize is that Peter, here in this pregnant phrase, disposes
of the whole argument summarized earlier.

And modern men and women need to be told that. Someone says, ?I?m a person
who reads. I don?t go to a place of worship and sing hymns and have a
little bit of sob stuff on a Sunday night. I?m a thinker, and I watch the
experts on television. I see the philosophers and scientists. None of them
are Christians, and I?m not a Christian for the same reason. They are
people with brains?so am I.? But what such a person forgets is that for
every great intellect that rejects the Gospel, there are probably at least
a thousand people who are not intellectual but who also reject it. ?Ye did
it,? said Peter, ?as did also your rulers.

If it were a matter of intellect, all the people who do not have great
brains would believe the Gospel; but they do not. Indeed, one of the
greatest tragedies and problems in this country is just this?and every
Christian should be tremendously concerned about it: Christianity is
rapidly becoming something that only applies to the middle classes, and
the majority of people are outside and uninterested. The ordinary people
and the rulers unite in rejecting Christ. It has nothing at all to do with
learning or intellect.

What, then, is the cause of this ignorance? The answer is quite simple,
unfortunately. It is not the state of the head?it is the state of the
heart, and ultimately it comes back to pride. Oh, how plainly these people
showed this?and so did their rulers. If you want to know why people reject
the Son of God and cry, ?Away with Him! Crucify Him!? make a study of the
Pharisees and the scribes, those doctors of the law, and the Sadducees
also, and then you begin to see the answer. If you read about those people
in the Gospels, what do you find? Well, you find malice, bitterness,
spite, malign cleverness. What had He done to them? He had come to do
good. He had never hurt any of them. We read of him: ?A bruised reed shall
he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench? (Matt. 12:20). But
look at all this antipathy, all this vituperation. Indeed, Peter brought
this out in a very striking way here. He said, ?The God of Abraham, and of
Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus;
whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he
was determined to let him go.? There was the Roman governor, far from
being a godly man, but at any rate an intelligent man, and, as we have
seen, he felt he must have some sort of reason for condemning a prisoner,
and as there was no reason at all, he was determined to let Christ go.
Pilate did everything he could to set Him free.

Now is this a matter of calm, dispassionate reason? People say that
Christians are just sentimentalists and emotionalists who do not know how
to think, whereas non-Christians look at things objectively,
dispassionately, and calmly, and as a result of their assessment of the
facts they reject Him. Well, all I would ask is this: Why did the Jewish
leaders press the common people to shout, ?Away with Him!?? Why did they
fight against Pilate when he was determined to let Him go? How do you
explain this hatred, this antagonism? When we have explained this, we will
have an explanation of the ignorance. There is evidently an element of
perversity in all this. These people preferred to have a robber delivered
to them??But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer
to be granted unto you.? My friends, I ask you as intelligent people, have
you ever considered this question? Here was a generation that preferred a
robber and a murderer to God?s holy, only begotten, just Son. That is the
problem. What made people do that? What made them do it with such malice,
hatred, and spite that they mocked Him and jeered at Him and taunted Him
as He died in agony on the cross?

Again, the explanation is quite simple. They felt like this about Him
because He condemned them. He did not come to condemn them, as He
constantly told them. He said, ?God sent not his Son into the world to
condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved? (John
3:17). What was the matter then? Oh, I will tell you. These authorities,
these experts, suddenly saw this carpenter who had never been to the
schools, an apparent ignoramus, and yet He was able to teach in a manner
that they could not. They could just quote their authorities. They looked
up their textbooks??So-and-So said this; that one said that.? But here was
one who spoke ?as one that had authority, and not as the scribes? (Mark
1:22), and they hated Him for that.

Furthermore, though our Lord did not directly condemn them at first, they
understood His teaching, and they saw that it condemned them. He made
their righteousness?of which they were so proud?to appear as filthy rags,
and so they hated Him. He eclipsed them as a teacher, He eclipsed them as
a person, He eclipsed them in all His pronouncements. So they hated Him
with a terrible hatred, especially when He said, ?Ye must be born again?
(John 3:7), and, ?The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which
was lost? (Luke 19:10), and ?The Son of man came not to be ministered
unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many? (Mark
10:45). They hated Him and killed Him because of this.

But that is not the only explanation of this ignorance. Let me take you to
the second factor. The apostle, here in verse 19, says, ?Repent ye
therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.? Regarding
?sins,? in verse 26 we read, ?Unto you first God, having raised up his Son
Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his
iniquities.? This is the cause of the trouble??sins? and ?iniquities.?
What are these? They are transgressions against God?s holy law. They are
our violations of the law of our being and the law of life. They are our
deliberate refusal to live as God intended us to live?missing the mark,
falling short of righteousness, deliberately doing that which is evil,
delighting in it and glorying in it. What is the result? This is one of
the great themes of the Bible. Sins and iniquities always blunt every
single human faculty. The case of the Bible is that ever since man and
woman fell, they have never been able to think straight. They are muddled.
You cannot go on sinning and preserve your faculties. That is a theme in
itself, I know. I am only just glancing at it now in terms of what the
apostle says here.

That was the whole trouble with the Jews at the time of our Lord. The
apostle Paul says to the Corinthians in effect, ?The trouble with my
fellow countrymen, the Jews, who reject Christ and the Gospel, is that
their minds were blinded. ?For until this day remaineth the same veil
untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away
in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon
their heart? (2 Cor. 3:14?15).? That was the tragedy of the Jews. They
were proud of their Scriptures. They said, ?We alone have the oracles of
God. The Gentiles are ignorant.

?But,? says Paul in effect, ?they don?t understand their Scriptures. A
veil is upon their hearts. They cannot think straight. They?ve been like
that for centuries, and they?re still like that now.

When man fell, all his faculties fell with him, and man has never been
free since he fell. There is no such thing as ?free thinking.? Everyone is
a creature of prejudice. Is that not the cause of all our troubles? Look
at the outcries against certain acts of the current government, but then
remember the outcry against the acts of the previous government. Each
person looks at a subject entirely from his own standpoint?his prejudice.
The other person is always wrong. Nobody can look on dispassionately and
with a free mind.

In writing to the Ephesians, Paul gives a great psychological analysis of
sinful humanity: ?This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God
through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their
heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto
lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness? (Eph. 4:17?19).
There is nothing to add to that. Paul is saying that because people are
sinners, all their powers are blunted and vitiated; and the more they sin,
the more twisted their thinking becomes. The heart governs the mind, and
prejudice arises. They are out to defend themselves at all costs. They are
perverts and creatures of prejudice. So that is an additional reason why
men and women reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

The third and last explanation is terrifying. The apostle Paul was a great
preacher and evangelist, and sometimes he seems to have been disappointed
at the meager results of his preaching. So he takes up the question in 2
Corinthians 4:3?4 where he says, ?If our gospel be hid??if men and women
are not seeing it and are rejecting it, if there is still ignorance??it is
hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the
minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.? This is why men
and women do not believe in Christ, in this century as in the first. It is
not because of their great brains, but because the devil??the god of this
world??has bludgeoned their minds and has held them captive, so that they
are not free. The devil has blinded them so that they cannot see the light
of the glorious Gospel of Christ.

There, then, is the explanation of the ignorance of which Peter spoke: ?I
wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.? I have
been arguing out of a holy indignation and righteous anger at the way in
which the devil confuses the minds of people, and I want you to see his
work for what it is. But I speak with compassion also. Oh, the tragic
ignorance of the world, the needless unhappiness, the needless pain and
sorrow! The world is as it is and it is in agony because it is ignorant.

But, in the third and last place, what is it ignorant of? Just let me give
you some of the answers, and you can then work them out for yourselves.
First, the world is ignorant of God. That is the central trouble always.
Our Lord in His last prayer that is recorded for us, His great
high-priestly prayer, put it like this: ?O righteous Father, the world
hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these??the disciples??have
known that thou hast sent me? (John 17:25). If only men and women knew
God, the God of glory, the God whose name is love, the God who is
righteous, the God who is holy, the God who is light and in whom is no
darkness at all! If the world but knew God! That is the tragedy. Men and
women think God is against them. People who have never thought of God, who
never go to a place of worship, say, when something goes wrong, ?Why does
God allow this?if there is a God?? The trouble is that they do not know
the only true and living God.

If the world had even a glimmer of an understanding of all God?s divine,
holy, and eternal attributes, it would fall down before Him. But the world
has listened to the lie of the devil. He came to the original parents, and
he said in summary, ? ?Hath God said?? Can?t you see he is trying to keep
you down? If you ate of that fruit, you would be like gods?your eyes would
be opened.

?Ah,? they said, ?he?s right. God is against us.

That is the greatest folly of all, the tragedy of tragedies, and the world
is still like that today.

But they are not only ignorant of God. Men and women do not know
themselves either. They do not know their own state and condition. They do
not really understand their essential problem. They do not realize that
they are as they are, and that this world is as it is, because they are
sinners. It is the only explanation. Of course, in international affairs
the people on one side say wars are all due to the people on the other
side, and those on that other side are saying exactly the same thing! And
it is the same with every quarrel and dispute, is it not? People do not
know they are sinners. They do not know they have sinful natures. They do
not know about the blindness I am speaking of. They think they are all
right. ?Of course,? someone says, ?I don?t claim that I?m a hundred
percent saint, you know, but I really am a good fellow, and my troubles
are due to the fact that I?m not being given an opportunity to show what a
good fellow I am! If this or that is put right, then all will be well.

I have said it before, and I say it again, you do not make people new by
giving them new houses. Everyone is entitled to a decent house, but the
fact that you put people in new houses does not mean they are new people.
They will turn their houses into pigpens if their natures are those of a
pig. Men and women are content to think of themselves as reasoning
animals, and they think that all they need is food and drink and sex and
clothing and cars. God have mercy upon us! They do not realize that human
nature has gone wrong and that they are twisted, perverted, vicious, and
vile.

In Romans 7 the apostle Paul tells us the truth about himself. ?In me,? he
says, ?(that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing? (v. 18). ?The law
is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin? (v. 14). What is the matter
with me? With my mind I recognize the holiness and the righteousness of
God?s law. ?But I see another law in my members, warring against the law
of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in
my members? (v. 23). I do not know what I am. I am a fool. I am right; I
am wrong. There is excellency in me; there is that which is ignoble and
vile and foul. ?O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me?? (v. 24).
But modern men and women think they need more money, better conditions, a
better environment, better circumstances. They have not yet come to the
knowledge that even Shakespeare possessed, and he was not a Christian:
?The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are
underlings.

People are also ignorant of the fact that there is a final judgment and
that they are moving in that direction. Of course, we are all interested
in life, and it is right that we should be, but it is equally right that
we should be interested in death. Every one of us has to die. You do not
expect governments to address you on that, do you? I agree that it is not
their prerogative; but it is mine. They are very interested in how you
will be able to pay for your funeral, but I am much more interested in how
you are going to die. The disposal of your body is not the great question;
the great question is the destiny of your soul. According to the Bible,
?It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment? (Heb.
9:27).

Men and women are responsible to God. God observes them, and God will
judge them. Every one of us will have to give an account of the deeds done
in the body, whether good or bad. But people are ignorant of that; they
are living for the hour. They say, ?Let us eat, drink and be merry, for
tomorrow we die.? And they say, ?Death is the end.? But that is sheer
ignorance. ?I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your
rulers.? The rulers do not know this truth any more than the common
people. The rulers desecrate the Sabbath as much as the common people. It
is all the result of an ignorance of their souls and their ultimate
destiny. They stand before God in judgment, and if they die in sin they go
on to eternal misery and unhappiness. The world would not be able to go on
as it does if it realized this. This is what Peter preached. ?Repent,? he
said, ?? that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing
shall come from the presence of the Lord.

That leads to the next thing: The world does not know that it needs a
Savior. That is why the world rejected Christ when He came in the flesh,
and that is why it has gone on rejecting Him. He said, ?Come unto me, all
ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest? (Matt.
11:28). He said, ?The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which
was lost? (Luke 19:10); and ?I am come that they might have life, and that
they might have it more abundantly? (John 10:10). And they said to Him in
effect, ?What are you talking about? We have life.? On one occasion when
He was preaching, He said, ?If ye continue in my word, then are ye my
disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make
you free.? The Jews answered, ?We be Abraham?s seed, and were never in
bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free??(John
8:31?33). They said in essence, ?You?re insulting us. We?re free, and
we?ve always been free.

The world never realized its need of a Savior, and it still does not
realize it today. People think that they can reform themselves and that
they can reform their world. But they do not realize their weakness, their
utter hopelessness, and the uselessness of all their works. ?But I?m a
good man,? says somebody. ?I?m a moral man. If I were a drunkard or an
adulterer or a wife beater I could understand your argument, but I?m not.
I?m always there to help my fellowman. My aim is to do good.

Oh, my dear friend, you do not know what you are talking about. You are
ignorant. Look at the apostle Paul, once Saul of Tarsus, a righteous
Pharisee, a man living to please God and to carry out the moral law as he
understood it. He says in effect, ?I excelled above everybody in my
obedience to the law of God? (see Phil. 3:4?6). But it was all ignorance,
because when Paul met the Lord of glory on the road to Damascus, he
suddenly saw the value of his supposed righteousness. He says, ?What
things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.? and do count
them but dung [refuse]? (Phil. 3:7?8). ?My own righteousness is no good at
all, it has no value,? said Paul, echoing the sentiments of an Old
Testament prophet: ?All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags? (Isa.
64:6).

Men and women in their ignorance compare themselves with some obviously
evil person lying in the gutter. But what they need to do is compare their
goodness with the goodness of Jesus Christ. He Himself said, ?Except your
righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,
ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven? (Matt. 5:20). Men
and women do not have righteousness and will never produce it. There is
nothing they can do. They are vile and lost and helpless and hopeless. But
they do not know that, so they do not see their need of a Savior.

Further, as Peter went on to show, people are in this appalling ignorance
because they really do not understand the Scriptures. Peter said, ?All the
prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken,
have likewise foretold of these days? (v. 24). These people were without
excuse. They were Jews. They had their Old Testament, and they read it,
and they listened to the preaching of it every Sabbath in the synagogues,
and they thought they were experts on the Scriptures; but they did not
know them. The Scriptures spoke of these very things. Or as Paul puts it
to the Corinthians, when Moses was read every Sabbath, they were blind;
the veil was over their eyes.

Our blessed Lord said the same thing on that famous occasion when He
addressed the two disciples who were going down from Jerusalem to Emmaus
after the Resurrection. The women had come back from the tomb saying that
it was empty and that Christ had risen. But the two did not believe them.
They thought the women were mad and that their words were ?idle tales?
(Luke 24:11). So they were walking down the road in utter dejection. Then
this stranger drew near and began to talk to them. He said in effect,
?What is the matter with you?

They said in essence, ?Have you not heard about Jesus of Nazareth? ?We
trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel? (Luke
24:21) and brought in the kingdom. Ah, but He is dead. He is buried, and
it has all come to nothing.

Then our Lord began to speak, and this is what he said: ?O fools, and slow
of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to
have suffered these things?? (Luke 24:25?26). And then he began to expound
the Scriptures to them. You see, the world is as it is and these people
were like that because of their ignorance of God?s revelation. We are left
without any excuse at all. It is all here. It is all open before us, and
yet people are ignorant.

But the height of the tragedy is that the world is ignorant of the Lord
Jesus Christ. ?Oh, brethren,? says Peter in effect. ?I know that it was
because of ignorance that you crucified Him, spat upon Him, and cried out
with the crowd, ?Away with Him! Crucify Him!? ? And this is what Paul said
as well. In his sermon at Antioch in Pisidia, he said, ?For they that
dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet
the voices of the prophets ? have fulfilled them in condemning him? (Acts
13:27). This world does not know Him, and what a tragedy this is. The
great leaders of the world, the princes of this world, the great
philosophers, the scientists?they all reject Him. Why? They do not know
Him, ?for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of
glory? (1 Cor. 2:8). It is almost inconceivable, is it not, but there was
the Son of God standing in the flesh. Oh, what must His face have been
like! They had the privilege of looking at Him and looking into those eyes
of love, that holiness and that purity. They saw His miracles. They
listened to His teaching. But they did not recognize Him. They missed the
splendor of His presence, the accents of His voice, the purity of His
teaching; they could not get it. But oh, above all, how they missed the
glory and the wonder of the cross, and all because of ignorance.

According to Peter and all the New Testament, ?Those things, which God
before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should
suffer, he hath so fulfilled? (v. 18). They mocked Him and jeered at Him.
They did not know that God?s plan, worked out in eternity before the very
creation of the world, was being put into practice. What was that? It was
God taking your sins and mine and putting them on His own dearly beloved
Son. Oh, what love this is! He took our guilt and put it onto His Son and
punished Him in our stead?the most glorious thing that has ever happened.
But they did not see it; they were completely ignorant of what was
happening, that holiday crowd in Jerusalem, mocking and jeering and
laughing. Yet there God was doing?I say it with reverence?the greatest
thing that even God could do. He was giving up His only begotten Son to
death and to the tomb. He was slighting Him for us and was making this
glorious way of salvation. They did not know that, and the world still
does not know it. If they did, they would join Isaac Watts in saying:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

They do not know that, and they are ignorant of the glory of the
Resurrection.

The world is ignorant, too, of the blessings of salvation, the very
blessings that it stands in need of. What is your greatest need?
Forgiveness of sins. When you are in a tight corner, when the world has
failed completely, what can you do? You say, ?There?s only one thing
left?I must pray.? During the war we used to read of poor fellows whose
ship had been torpedoed. They would get into their little boat or dinghy,
and there they were, thirteen or fourteen days on the ocean, with no sight
of help, with food nearly gone, water nearly gone?everything gone. What
should they do? And then somebody would say, ?Let?s pray.? But how can a
sinful man, who has not thought of prayer for years, suddenly go into the
presence of this holy God? Your sins are a barrier between you and Him;
something has got to be done about them. The greatest need of men and
women is forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God. And that is the
blessing of this Gospel. Christ died that you might be forgiven, that your
sins might be blotted out. But the world is ignorant of it.

And it is also ignorant of the new birth, the new life. Look at that poor
man who is a slave to the sin that is ruining his life, ruining his
reputation, ruining his family, ruining everything. He has tried, he has
exerted his will, he has made his vows, his resolves, he has done
everything. But he cannot do anything about it. And the world cannot help
him. What does he need? Does he need education? Some of the most educated
people in the country are the greatest sinners. There is only one thing
that poor fellow needs?he needs a new nature, a new heart. He needs a
nature that will love the light and hate the darkness instead of loving
the darkness and hating the light. He needs to be made anew. He needs to
be born again. This is offered him in the Gospel, but he does not know it.
He is ignorant.

Are you still ignorant? As you look at the world, as you look at your own
life, as you look at history, as you read the Word, are you still
ignorant?of God, of your immortal soul and, in between, of God?s own Son,
Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior of the world? God forbid that anybody should
still be in ignorance.

Let me plead with you in the words of Peter: Repent; think again ere it be
too late. Turn to Jesus Christ quietly and say quite simply:

Lord, I was blind! I could not see
In Thy marred visage any grace;
But now the beauty of Thy face
In radiant vision dawns on me.
William Tidd Matson

Tell Him that, and He will receive you, and you will be with Him in the
glory everlasting

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2000). Authentic Christianity (1st U.S. ed.) (267).
Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 20:01:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. Ignorance
Religon is ignorance in a pretty dress. To take what we do not
understand about the world and lable it "god" is an act of cowardice.
Ancient people can be forgiven for doing it-they didn't know about air
pressure and the earth's rotation. Their wind god allowed them to
sleep at night.

Modern humans, on the other hand, have no excuse. We are on the verge
of a spectacular expansion of our understanding of the universe. We
have already learned much. So much that we should almost instinctively
know-just because we can't answer a question today doesn't mean we
won't be able to tomorrow.

To worship gods is to worship *ignorance*. And someone actively doing
so has no place lecturing others about it.

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
True 2 Form!
2007-07-22 20:05:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai

One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power. The name El Shaddai dates from
patriarchal times. Linguistically it may come from the Hebrew verb that
means "?to overpower?" or "?to destroy.?" Some scholars find its origin
in the words "?the thunderer?" or "?the One who is sufficient.?" But the
most probable meaning is "?the One Who Overpowers.?"?2? Its frequent use
in the Book of Job gives credence to this view. Job is overwhelmed by the
power of God (see chapters ?38-42?). The might of God is revealed against
all who would overthrow him. The psalmist portrays a summit meeting of
the world powers who enter into a conspiracy against God:

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of
the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the
Lord and against his Anointed One. "?Let us break their chains,?" they
say, "?and throw off their fetters.?" (?Ps. 2:1-3?)

The response of God to these combined forces united against him is
laughter. "?The One enthroned in heaven laughs?" (v. ?4?). The total
might of men mustered against God is like the "?mouse that roared.?" The
foolishness of men in their war with God is matched only by their
arrogance. Elsewhere the psalmist declares, "?Nations are in uproar,
kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts?" (?Ps. 46:6?). One
word from the lips of God is enough to melt the earth!

Ancient Israel looked at these images of God?'s might not as pictures of
divine tyranny or arbitrary rule. It was Israel?'s great hope. The God of
Israel is not impotent, but manifests himself as the King of glory:

Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that
the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in
battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that
the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty-he is the King of glory.
(?Ps. 24:7-10?)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Related Resources from Ligonier Ministries

John Gerstner. "?Handout Theology: Angels and Man,?" video or audio
series.

---. The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards.

---. "?The Theology of Jonathan Edwards,?" video or audio series.

R.C. Sproul. "?All Christians Believe in Predestination,?" video.

---. "?Attributes of God,?" audio series.

---. "?Dealing with Difficult Problems,?" video or audio series, and
outline.

---. "?Themes from Ecclesiastes,?" video or audio series.

---. "?If God Is Sovereign, How Can Man Be Free??" audio series.

---. "?Introductory Logic,?" audio series.

---. "?One Holy Passion,?" video or audio series. Also published in a
book version, The Character of God.

---. "?Trinity, Decrees, Creation, and Providence,?" video or audio
series.

---. The Holiness of God.

---. The Providence of God.

I believe in God . . . , Maker of heaven and earth.

[1]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

2 Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948), p.
96.

[1]Sproul, R. (2000, c1998). Renewing your mind : Basic Christian beliefs
you need to know. 1st ed.: The symbol. 1973. 2nd ed.: Basic training.
1982. (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 21:29:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
The same power that kills 167 airliner passengers, but miraculously
allows one child to survive with just a few 3rd degree burns? LOL!
You're wasting so much time talking about how long Spiderman's webs
are without having first proved it's not fiction.

There's no reason to take your charming little diatribes seriously.
There's no reason to worry about the rules of a game in an arena that
doesn't exist. Well, except for Rollerball, anyway...that one was
pretty cool. Why is it that so much modern fiction is so much more
entertaining than your ancient one?

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
True 2 Form!
2007-07-22 21:57:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
Jesus said it by faith, not proof you'll come to
the knowledge of Him, sorry that leaves you out for now!

RIP.
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 22:26:25 UTC
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Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
Jesus said it by faith, not proof you'll come to
the knowledge of Him, sorry that leaves you out for now!
You have not yet presented convincing proof that this Jesus person was
anything more than a legend. Your continued speculation about what it
might or might not do *if* it had superpowers borders on the
obsessive, especially when viewed in the light of the fact you've not
yet proven it exists.

Seek professional help. Soon.

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA1
True 2 Form!
2007-07-22 22:31:59 UTC
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Post by True 2 Form!
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. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
Jesus said it by faith, not proof you'll come to
the knowledge of Him, sorry that leaves you out for now!
You have not yet presented convincing proof that this Jesus person was
anything more than a legend. Your continued speculation about what it
might or might not do *if* it had superpowers borders on the
obsessive, especially when viewed in the light of the fact you've not
yet proven it exists.
I do not plan to satisfy your evasive querry.
If God is not working on your heart, then
I, a messager will not spend any time with you.
[Knock the dust of your feet and move on to the next,
there are plenty in this cess pool!]

You must first plow and prepare the ground, before
you plant seed that will be viable! (-;

If you are truly interested, then visit the links below.



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p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 22:53:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
Jesus said it by faith, not proof you'll come to
the knowledge of Him, sorry that leaves you out for now!
You have not yet presented convincing proof that this Jesus person was
anything more than a legend. Your continued speculation about what it
might or might not do *if* it had superpowers borders on the
obsessive, especially when viewed in the light of the fact you've not
yet proven it exists.
I do not plan to satisfy your evasive querry.
Evasive? I suggest that *you* are the one being evasive here. I ask
that you prove the substance of your remarks, and you start posting
huge c&p nonsense articles about feelings and mists, and "working on
your heart", etc.

All I'm asking for is that you back up your claims. Without changing
the subject, without semantic whining about what "proof" actually is,
and without having to sift through your moronic posts trying to figure
out WTF you are raving about.
Post by True 2 Form!
If God is not working on your heart, then
I, a messager will not spend any time with you.
So you admit your beliefs are irrational? You will now leave
alt.atheism for `greener pastures'?
Post by True 2 Form!
[Knock the dust of your feet and move on to the next,
there are plenty in this cess pool!]
This "cesspool" is my home, you clown. "The next" will not listen to
your rubbish, either. That's what I've been trying to tell you all
this time. You bring us a pile of stinking excrement, and then recoil
in confusion because we won't eat it with you. And yet, you still do
not understand this. You are a lunatic.
Post by True 2 Form!
You must first plow and prepare the ground, before
you plant seed that will be viable! (-;
If you are truly interested, then visit the links below.
I'm not going to do your work for you, idiot. I *told* you when you
arrived here that I was not interested, yet you continued to post your
pathetic whinings, attempting to convince me that shit was sunshine.
Now that you've failed in your task, you're going to blame *me* for
your failure? How pompous. How crass. You're going to chastize *me*
for the bankruptcies of your arguments? How dishonest. What an amazing
piece of work you Christians are. You should all be rounded up and
deported for the public good.

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
True 2 Form!
2007-07-22 23:10:57 UTC
Permalink
<***@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:***@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
...
Post by True 2 Form!
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Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
Jesus said it by faith, not proof you'll come to
the knowledge of Him, sorry that leaves you out for now!
You have not yet presented convincing proof that this Jesus person was
anything more than a legend. Your continued speculation about what it
might or might not do *if* it had superpowers borders on the
obsessive, especially when viewed in the light of the fact you've not
yet proven it exists.
I do not plan to satisfy your evasive querry.
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 23:28:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
...
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
Jesus said it by faith, not proof you'll come to
the knowledge of Him, sorry that leaves you out for now!
You have not yet presented convincing proof that this Jesus person was
anything more than a legend. Your continued speculation about what it
might or might not do *if* it had superpowers borders on the
obsessive, especially when viewed in the light of the fact you've not
yet proven it exists.
I do not plan to satisfy your evasive querry.
Message restored, since my esteemed opponent is a lying, dishonest
bastard. Notice the typical behavior of the average Christian moron. I
wonder if his knuckles drag the ground as he walks.
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Evasive? I suggest that *you* are the one being evasive here. I ask
that you prove the substance of your remarks, and you start posting
huge c&p nonsense articles about feelings and mists, and "working on
your heart", etc.
All I'm asking for is that you back up your claims. Without changing
the subject, without semantic whining about what "proof" actually is,
and without having to sift through your moronic posts trying to figure
out WTF you are raving about.
Post by True 2 Form!
If God is not working on your heart, then
I, a messager will not spend any time with you.
So you admit your beliefs are irrational? You will now leave
alt.atheism for `greener pastures'?
Post by True 2 Form!
[Knock the dust of your feet and move on to the next,
there are plenty in this cess pool!]
This "cesspool" is my home, you clown. "The next" will not listen to
your rubbish, either. That's what I've been trying to tell you all
this time. You bring us a pile of stinking excrement, and then recoil
in confusion because we won't eat it with you. And yet, you still do
not understand this. You are a lunatic.
Post by True 2 Form!
You must first plow and prepare the ground, before
you plant seed that will be viable! (-;
If you are truly interested, then visit the links below.
I'm not going to do your work for you, idiot. I *told* you when you
arrived here that I was not interested, yet you continued to post your
pathetic whinings, attempting to convince me that shit was sunshine.
Now that you've failed in your task, you're going to blame *me* for
your failure? How pompous. How crass. You're going to chastize *me*
for the bankruptcies of your arguments? How dishonest. What an amazing
piece of work you Christians are. You should all be rounded up and
deported for the public good.
-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!-
Restored portion ends.
Smiler
2007-07-23 01:25:38 UTC
Permalink
...
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
One of the special names the Israelites used to call on God was closely
connected to his almighty power.
The self-same "power" you have failed so miserably to prove exists?
Jesus said it by faith, not proof you'll come to
the knowledge of Him, sorry that leaves you out for now!
You have not yet presented convincing proof that this Jesus person was
anything more than a legend. Your continued speculation about what it
might or might not do *if* it had superpowers borders on the
obsessive, especially when viewed in the light of the fact you've not
yet proven it exists.
I do not plan to satisfy your evasive querry.
Typical theist response when presented with a question he can't
answer...duck and run.

Smiler,
The godless one
True 2 Form!
2007-07-23 01:27:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by True 2 Form!
Post by My Group!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus From Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
. El Shaddai
Typical theist response when presented with a question he can't answer...duck and run.
I'm still here! (-;

No duck, pig, lamb, or etc. (-;


. Unlikely Witnesses


Pop Culture Wrestles with Faith

This article is from the April 2006 BreakPoint WorldView magazine. Sign up
today to receive the free online edition 10 times a year!

Rolling Stone recently published an exceedingly respectful story about a
Hasidic Jewish reggae singer named Matisyahu who finishes concerts by dusk
on Fridays to observe the Sabbath. He also had to give up stage-diving
into fans because he is not allowed to have physical contact with women
outside his family. His music reminds you that if King David would have
been from Jamaica, this is what the Psalms would have sounded like.
Surprisingly, his album was at No. 33 on the Billboard charts in
mid-January.

No doubt, Matisyahu is an interesting story. He is one-of-a-kind with his
trademark Hasidic black fedora, suit, and thick long beard singing a genre
of music that was made famous by Bob Marley. What is a bit more
surprising, however, is the fact that Rolling Stone treated him with
respect—religious restrictions and all.

Ironically, only a week later, USA Today published a lengthy article
asking whether celebrities who flaunt Hindu ideas such as yoga,
reincarnation, and karma are doing the 6,000-year-old religion an
injustice with slipshod portrayals found in pop culture. The writer
pointed to the popular TV show My Name Is Earl and a song called “Karma”
from Alicia Keys. Cathy Lynn Grossman correctly points out that “believers
object when riffs plunder serious spiritual teachings or venerable
images.” To her credit, she points out that this is nothing new:
“Hollywood has been mocking Christian culture for years.”

These are not the kind of stories I grew up reading in the mainstream
press. Religion and entertainment were never addressed together. However,
we are living in a very different era. Our culture has a voracious
appetite for spiritual engagement. More and more films, books, and
television episodes are dealing with religion and spirituality. Some of it
is worth ignoring, but some of it is worth engaging. Nowhere is this
revived interest in mixing faith and art more noticeable than in the music
industry.

. ‘YOU GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY’
When Rolling Stone recently asked Bob Dylan what song he wanted to hear on
his death bed, he said, “How ‘bout ‘Rock of Ages’?” That’s a 230-year-old
hymn written by August M. Toplady. The eccentric man that Martin Scorsese
recently immortalized on PBS and that hippies christened as the prophet
for the 1960s still sings songs from his gospel albums.

A few years ago, Dylan was opening many of his concerts with the song “I
Am the Man, Thomas.” With more than 40 albums of his own from which to
choose, it’s fair to ask, Why is he opening with a cover song from the old
Stanley Brothers?

The song is about the conversation between Jesus Christ and Doubting
Thomas. “Look at these nail scars here in my hands/They pierced me in the
side, Thomas, I am the Man/They made me bear the cross, Thomas, I am the
Man/They laid me in the tomb, Thomas, I am the Man/In three days I arose,
Thomas, I am the Man.”

Fans had good reason to wonder whether it was a reassertion of his
Christian conversion back in the late 1970s. Or was it merely a spasm of
eccentricity to keep his fans scratching their heads?

Of course, the latter option does not explain why he has also been singing
“Solid Rock” from his 1980 album Saved. In it, Dylan proclaims: “For me He
was chastised, for me He was hated/For me He was rejected by a world that
He created . . . Well, I’m hangin’ on to a solid rock/Made before the
foundation of the world/And I won’t let go, and I can’t let go, won’t let
go.”

It would be unfair to speculate on Dylan’s motivation for returning these
gospel-centric songs—and others such as “Gotta Serve Somebody,” “Man of
Peace,” “In the Garden,” or “I Believe in You”—to his playlist.
Nevertheless, Dylan has always been a prophetic poet on a quest to find
God, and it’s only reasonable to assume that he believes in what he sings.
It is also worth noting that the godfather of folk rock is not the only
musician showcasing faith in his art.

Surf-rockers Switchfoot continue to probe and prod the big questions of
life on their recent album, Nothing Is Sound. “Happy is a yuppie
word/Blessed is the man who’s lost it all/Looking for an orphanage/I’m
looking for a bridge I can’t burn down/I don’t believe the emptiness/I’m
looking for the kingdom coming down.” One month after the release of their
album, it went gold. One could speculate that the band tapped into a
universal yearning.
Coldplay included the gospel-oriented “Kingdom Come” as a hidden track on
its latest album, X & Y. “I went through a weird patch, starting when I
was about sixteen to twenty-two, of getting God and religion and
superstition and judgment all confused,” singer Chris Martin told Rolling
Stone. “I think a lot of our music comes out of that. I definitely believe
in God. How can you look at anything and not be overwhelmed by the
miraculousness of it?”
There are no hidden tracks on Howl, the new roots-oriented album from the
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. “I will walk with Jesus till I can’t walk
anymore/And I will stay with Jesus till I can’t go another mile,” sings
Robert Levron Been. Howl is a sweaty, tambourine-thumping, foot-stomping
tribute to Americana—blues, country, and hanky-waving, honky-tonk gospel.
“I grew up in a God-fearing family, so that’s always been in the back of
my head, for better or worse,” guitarist Peter Hayes told Boston’s Weekly
Dig. “It was fun letting go and writing music like that. There’s kind of
this fear that you are going to be labeled Christian rock or it’s going to
be taken the wrong way. But not worrying about that, just letting it go,
it’s just a better feeling.”
PARTED WAYS
A year ago, guitarist Brian “Head” Welch left the hardcore metal band Korn
because of his newfound faith. “Korn has parted ways with guitarist Brian
‘Head’ Welch, who has chosen Jesus Christ as his Savior, and will be
dedicating his musical pursuits to that end,” read a statement from the
band. “Korn respects Brian’s wishes and hopes he finds the happiness he’s
searching for.”

Not long after that announcement, Welch shared his story with the
congregation of Valley Bible Fellowship in Bakersfield, California. “I
thought I had it all, everything I thought was important when I was a
kid—money, fame, pretty women—but I came to a point where I didn’t want to
live,” he testified. He told the congregation—filled with kids wearing
Korn shirts—that he had come to the church in hopes of kicking a furious
addiction to methamphetamines.

“With Korn, I got the money, all kinds of drugs of choice, everything, but
this is my life now,” he told MTV. “I’m never gonna change. That drug
[meth] is known for making people crazy, but I’m in my right mind.”

Since that time, Welch was baptized in Israel, launched an orphanage in
India, and began recording a new record reflecting his new beliefs. Welch
is not the only one speaking out about the change in his life.

“I’ve tried everything in my life,” heavy metal superstar Dave Mustaine of
Megadeth told CanWest News. “I was baptized Lutheran and brought up as a
Jehovah’s Witness. My mom was Jewish. I experimented with black magic and
witchcraft and read the satanic bible. But I became a Christian about
three years ago, and that’s a positive thing.”
Blues guitar prodigy Jonny Lang went to the crossroads and came out a
Christian on the other side. “Aspects of the entertainment industry not
really related to music began to sidetrack me,” he confessed to the
Lexington Herald Leader. “For a while, I was headed down not such a good
path. But God brought me out of that. He totally saved me.”
ALICE COOPER
A few years ago, the spooky granddaddy of shock rock Alice Cooper stunned
the London Sunday Times by stating: “Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your
hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s
rebellion.” That’s an especially interesting perspective coming from a man
who works with a guillotine every night.

At the height of his worldwide fame, Cooper drank a bottle of whiskey a
day. But the bottle almost destroyed his marriage to Sheryl, his wife of
twenty-five years. He started heading off to church with her and felt as
if God was speaking to him every Sunday. Even at the pinnacle of his
ghoulish career (which he believed was no more provocative than a horror
movie musical) he still believed in God. The son and grandson of
preachers, Cooper’s faith was crippled by the weight of fame and the
toxicity of alcoholism.

He experienced every pleasure that money could buy but found it did not
satisfy. “I was the prodigal son. I left the house, achieved fame and
fortune, and found out that that was not what I wanted,” he tells HM
magazine. “Now I read the Bible every day, I pray every day. That’s really
what I’m about.” He continues: “I was one thing at one time, and I’m
something new. I’m a new creature now. Don’t judge Alice by what he used
to be. Praise God for what I am now.”

Cooper has taken the opportunity to speak to curious fellow musicians
about the reality of the devil and the change in his life. “I have talked
to some big stars about this, some really horrific characters . . . and
you’d be surprised,” he says. “The ones that you would think are the
farthest gone, are the ones that are the most apt to listen.”

In describing the importance of his Christian faith, he says, “It’s
everything. It’s what I live for. If you gave me a choice between rock and
roll and my faith, I’d take my faith,” Cooper told the Observer in
Australia. “Rock and roll is fun—it’s what I do for a living. But it’s not
what I live on. I believe in classic Christianity. I’ve given my whole
life to the Lord. But I don’t think that means you can’t be a rock and
roller.” After all, as Cooper has said, “I must be the only father that
bangs on the bedroom door and says, ‘Turn that music up!’”

. CONVERSION SUPERSTARS
I don’t imagine that there will be politicians, movie stars, lawyers,
baseball players, musicians, generals, or theologians in heaven. There
will only be believers. It seems that selflessness and humility—and a
singular focus on God—will be the prevailing ethos of eternity. Christian
“superstars” whose egos are stroked here on earth will find an entirely
different modus operandi on the other side. If there are superstars, I
don’t imagine that most of us will have ever heard of them. I have a
sneaking suspicion that there is a different set of requirements to be
well-known on the streets of heaven than here on earth.

All of this is to say that celebrity conversion is no more impressive to
the great cloud of witnesses than the changed life of one who is known
only by a small community. As Jesus said, “There is more rejoicing in
heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons
who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7). Having said that, we are often
captured by the interesting and eccentric testimonies of celebrity
prodigals. When I was young, I paid far more attention to the testimony of
a professional football player than I did to my youth pastor.

I’m not attempting to justify my reaction—only pointing out that we all
have gatekeepers who help us process truth. Perhaps it is a favorite
author, a professor, pastor, or poet. Perhaps we are drawn to artists
because they are more prone to deal with the mystical issues of love,
betrayal, purpose, disillusionment, hope, despair, and truth because they
are subjects that make great books, movies, and songs. They often bring
splashes of color into our black and white worlds.

Writing in a different era, G. K. Chesterton once said: “I don’t deny . .
. that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I
only say . . . it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called
poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet.” While it’s safe
to say that Chesterton would be appalled at most aspects of the rock ‘n’
roll world, he would be gratified that so many of the unkempt troubadours
are now giving the prince of darkness one devil of a time.

Steve Beard is the editor of Good News magazine, editor-in-chief of Risen
magazine, and the creator of www.thunderstruck.ws—a website devoted to
faith and pop culture. He is also a contributing author of Spiritual
Journeys: How Faith Has Influenced Twelve Music Icons (Relevant, 2003).

By Steve Beard
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Articles on the BreakPoint website are the responsibility of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Chuck Colson or PFM.
Links to outside articles or websites are for informational purposes only
and do not necessarily imply endorsement of their content.
Rev. Karl E. Taylor
2007-07-22 17:10:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
"Rise Up and Walk"
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none: but such as I have give I
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:6
And since the town of Nazareth did not exist in the first century, the
verse is a lie, just like Jesus Christ is a lie.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html

Start reading bub, you have much to learn.

- --
There are none more ignorant and useless,
than they that seek answers on their knees,
with their eyes closed.
____________________________________________________________________
Rev. Karl E. Taylor http://www.secularity.com/ktayloraz

A.A #1143 http://azhotops.blogspot.com/

Apostle of Dr. Lao EAC: Virgin Conversion Unit Director
____________________________________________________________________
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 17:22:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
"Rise Up and Walk"
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none: but such as I have give I
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:6
. The Fall and God's Plan of Redemption


Let's start at the beginning of the "Fall of Man" in the garden.

(Genesis 3:15 NASB)

15 And I will put ?a?enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
?b?He shall ?1?bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel."

[1]


3:15 But verse 15 switches to the Devil himself. This verse is known as
the protevangelium, meaning "The First Gospel." It predicts the perpetual
hostility between Satan and the woman (representing all mankind), and
between Satan's seed (his agents) and her Seed (the Messiah). The woman's
Seed would crush the Devil's head, a mortal wound spelling utter defeat.
This wound was administered at Calvary when the Savior decisively
triumphed over the Devil. Satan, in turn, would bruise the Messiah's heel.
The heel wound here speaks of suffering and even of physical death, but
not of ultimate defeat. So Christ suffered on the cross, and even died,
but He arose from the dead, victorious over sin, hell, and Satan. The fact
that He is called the woman's Seed may contain a suggestion of His virgin
birth. Note the kindness of God in promising the Messiah before
pronouncing sentence in the following verses.

[2]


"And I will put enmity between thee [that is, Satan] and the woman, and
between thy seed and her seed; it [that is, Christ] shall bruise thy head,
and thou shalt bruise his heel." This is a tremendous statement that is
given to us here. The most prominent thought is not the ultimate victory
that would come, but the long-continued struggle.


This verse reveals the fact that now there is to be a long struggle
between good and evil. This is exactly what you will find in the rest of
the Scriptures.


The Lord Jesus made this statement in His day concerning this struggle:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because
there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). "The devil" is Satan.
The Lord Jesus Christ made the distinction between children of God and
children of Satan. John again mentions this conflict in 1 John 3:10: "In
this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth
not his brother." Thus we have brought before us the fact that here is a
conflict, here is a struggle, and here are two seeds in the world. There
will be the final victory-but the long-continued struggle is important to
note. Every man must face temptation and must win his battle. Before
Christ came, the victory was through obedience in faith. After Christ
came, we are to identify ourselves with Christ through faith. What does it
mean to be saved? It means to be in Christ.

Man was one of three orders of creation: angels, man, and animals. Animals
were given no choice, but man and angels were given a choice. Here you
have, if you please, man's choice. He has made a decision, and he is held
responsible for the decision that he has made.

Notice that it says "her seed." It does not say the man's seed. Here is at
least the suggestion of the virgin birth of Christ. When God went into
that garden looking for man, He said, "Where art thou?" Any anthology of
religion tells the story of man's search for God. My friend, that is not
the way God tells it. Let's tell it like it is: Salvation is God's search
for man. Man ran away from Him, and God called to him, "Where art thou?"
Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas in his book, Genesis, A Devotional Commentary,
makes the comment that "it is the call of Divine justice, which cannot
overlook sin. It is the call of Divine sorrow, which grieves over the
sinner. It is the call of Divine love, which offers redemption for sin."
We have all of that in the verse before us-the promise of the coming of
the Savior.

God's search for man is pictured all the way through Scripture. Paul
wrote, ". there is none that seeketh after God" (Rom. 3:11). The Lord
Jesus said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you ." (John 15:16).
And we can say with John, "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John
4:19). God seeks out man, and He offers man salvation, but there is going
to be a long struggle that will take place.

[3]


. The Effects of the Fall

We do not know how long it was before Adam exercised his will contrary to
the will of God, thus breaking, immediately and completely, the fellowship
which had existed between Adam and God.


. Sin severed the creature from fellowship with the Creator!


And the effects of Adam's sin are far-reaching. In the first chapter of
the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul shows the effects of Adam's sin.
First of all, the apostle shows that the intellect of man was darkened by
the fall, so that man in his intellect could not know God. Romans 1:19-20
states, "That which may be known of God is manifest in them [that is,
among them]; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of
him [that is, about God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and
Godhead; so that they are without excuse." From these verses we learn that
creation is a revelation of the wisdom of God, and that nature is an open
book in which all men may see two things: God's eternal power, and His
Godhood or deity. But even though men were able, through that revelation,
to know something of God, how did they respond? "When they knew God, they
glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their
imaginations [that is, their thought processes], and their foolish heart
[that is, their seat of perception], was darkened" (Rom. 1:21). In
Ephesians 4:17 the same truth is affirmed: "This I say therefore, and
testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk,
in the vanity [or, emptiness] of their mind, having the understanding
darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that
is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." There, the apostle
affirms again what he taught in Romans 1, that the heart of the natural
man is darkened because of sin. The apostle did not say that the mind is
blindfolded, but rather, blinded. If one has been blindfolded, all he
needs to do is to remove the blindfold and he will see. But Paul says that
men have been blinded by sin. They no longer have the capacity to see. The
first great result then of Adam's sin is that man's intellect was
darkened.

Not only was man's intellect darkened but his emotional capacity was
degraded. "God . gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their
own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed
the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more
than the Creator, who is blessed for ever, Amen. For this cause, God gave
them up to vile affections" (Rom. 1:24-26a). In Ephesians 4:19 we read:
"Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to
work all uncleanness with greediness." It is not that man lost his
emotional capacity, but his emotional capacity was so perverted and
prostituted that it cannot be directed Godward. Thus the natural man
cannot experience fellowship between his heart and the heart of God.

Romans 1 closes by showing us another result of Adam's fall: the will of
man was deadened Godward. In verse 32 we learn that men, "knowing the
judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death,
not only do the same [notice it, do the same], but have pleasure in them
that do them." In Romans 7:18 Paul says, "I know that in me (that is, in
my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how
to perform that which is good I find not." Natural man is marked by the
deadness of his will toward God. In Romans 8:7, the apostle says, "The
carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be." In Galatians 5:17 the apostle again adds his
testimony, "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against
the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot
do the things that ye would." When you put these passages together, you
find that Paul consistently teaches that while a man still has a will, and
can choose, his will is a will that is enslaved to sin, a will that cannot
and will not exercise itself Godward, a will that wills only that which is
iniquitous.

Because of the fall of Adam, man has been brought under judgment and under
a curse, but he still continues to be a man. He did not lose his
personality; he has not been degraded to the level of an animal. But it is
impossible for man to exercise his God-given capacities Godward. The
unsaved man has an intellect, but it has been darkened and he cannot know
God; he has an emotional capacity, but it has been degraded, and he cannot
love God; he has a will that has been deadened toward God and he cannot
and will not obey God. Even though God created us for fellowship with
Himself, so that He might be glorified through our fellowship with Him,
that purpose is unattainable in the natural man. Man still bears the image
of God and possesses the component parts of personality, yet he has been
so bound and enslaved that he cannot exercise these parts of His
personality Godward to the glory of God.

[4]


. Effects on the serpent 3:14-15

God's judgment on each trespasser (the snake, the woman, and the man)
involved both a life function and a relationship.197 In each case the
punishment corresponded to the nature of the crime.

"Curses are uttered against the serpent and the ground, but not against
the man and woman, implying that the blessing has not been utterly lost.
It is not until human murder, a transgression against the imago Dei, that
a person (Cain) receives the divine curse . . ."198

1. The snake had been crafty (Heb. 'arum), but now it was cursed (Heb.
'arur). It had to move on its belly (v. 14). Some commentators take this
literally and conclude that the snake had legs before God cursed it.199
Others take it figuratively as a reference to the resultant despised
condition of the snake.200

2. It would eat dust (v. 14). Since snakes do not literally feed on dust,
many interpreters take this statement figuratively. Eating dust is an
expression used in other ancient Near Eastern writings to describe the
lowest of all forms of life. In the Bible it also describes total defeat
(cf. Ps. 72:9; Isa. 49:23; 65:25; Mic. 7:17).201

However, God revealed later through Isaiah that serpents will eat dust
during the Millennium (Isa. 65:25). Presently snakes eat plants and
animals. Perhaps God will yet fulfill this part of what He predicted here
in Genesis concerning snakes in the millennial kingdom. This is a literal
interpretation. If this is correct, then perhaps we should also take the
former part of the curse literally, namely, that snakes did not travel on
their bellies before the Fall. Alternatively Isaiah may have meant that
serpents will continue to suffer the curse pronounced on them here even
after God lifts the curse on creation generally in the Millennium.

3. There would be antagonism between the serpent and human beings (v.
15a). This obviously exists between snakes and people, but God's intention
in this verse seems to include the person behind the snake (Satan) as well
as, and even more than, the snake itself.

4. Man would eventually destroy the serpent, though the serpent would
wound man (v. 15b). This is a prophecy of the victory of the ultimate
"Seed" of the woman (Messiah) over Satan (cf. Rev. 19:1-5; Gal. 3:16, 19;
Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8).202 Most interpreters have recognized this verse as
the first biblical promise of the provision of salvation (the
protoevangelium or "first gospel").203 The rest of the book, in fact the
whole Old Testament, proceeds to point ahead to that seed.

"The snake, for the author, is representative of someone or something
else. The snake is represented by his 'seed.' When that 'seed' is crushed,
the head of the snake is crushed. Consequently more is at stake in this
brief passage than the reader is at first aware of. A program is set
forth. A plot is established that will take the author far beyond this or
that snake and his 'seed.' It is what the snake and His 'seed' represent
that lies at the center of the author's focus. With that 'one' lies the
'enmity' that must be crushed."204

"The text in context provides an outline that is correct and clear in
pattern but not complete in all details. Numerous questions are left
unanswered. When Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, the
details of the climax were filled in and specified, but the text does not
demand to be reinterpreted. Nor does it demand interpretation in a way not
suggested in context."205

Another dispensationalist has also warned against reading this verse in
the light of later revelation.

"We should be careful not to attribute to the understanding of the
recipients of the text a concept that only emerges later. An example here
is Genesis 3:15, what some call the 'first hint of the Gospel,' the
protoevangelium. This understanding argues that God predicts that Eve's
seed, Jesus, will crush the Serpent, Satan. Now in the context of the
development of the theme of Adam's seed in the Bible, this meaning does
eventually emerge from the text and is a legitimate reading of the
passage. However, it is too specific for the original audience of Genesis.
First of all, the early Jewish readers of the text could never have known
that Messiah's name would be Jesus. What is more, in the context of the
Pentateuch, the coming of a regal figure for the nation of Israel is at
best only alluded to as a minor point (Gen. 49:10). Third, the specific
identification of the serpent with Satan is not transparent within the
Pentateuch. All these connections emerge only later in the Scripture.

"So what did the text originally mean? It simply pointed to the
introduction of chaos into the creation as a result of sin. Nature would
now be in conflict with man. A snake, now limited by God's curse to crawl
on the ground, would nip at man's heel. Meanwhile, as man attempted to
defend himself, he would seek to crush the head of the serpent. Of course,
this emphasis fits with the message of Genesis, explaining why God raised
up Israel-a nation of grace and promise-through whom He would bless all
nations. Such a message also prepares for the New Testament point of the
reversal of Adam's work in the second Adam, Jesus Christ."206

God cursed all animals and the whole creation because of the Fall (Rom.
8:20), but He made the snake the most despicable of all the animals for
its part in the Fall.

"Words possess power. God's words of blessing and of curse are most
powerful. They determine our lives."207

[5]


3:15 After cursing the physical serpent, God turned to the spiritual
serpent, the lying seducer, Satan, and cursed him. bruise your head .
bruise His heel. This "first gospel" is prophetic of the struggle and its
outcome between "your seed" (Satan and unbelievers, who are called the
Devil's children in John 8:44) and her seed (Christ, a descendant of Eve,
and those in Him), which began in the garden. In the midst of the curse
passage, a message of hope shone forth-the woman's offspring called "He"
is Christ, who will one day defeat the Serpent. Satan could only "bruise"
Christ's heel (cause Him to suffer), while Christ will bruise Satan's head
(destroy him with a fatal blow). Paul, in a passage strongly reminiscent
of Gen. 3, encouraged the believers in Rome, "And the God of peace will
crush Satan under your feet shortly" (Rom. 16:20). Believers should
recognize that they participate in the crushing of Satan because, along
with their Savior and because of His finished work on the cross, they also
are of the woman's seed. For more on the destruction of Satan, see Heb.
2:14,15; Rev. 20:10.

[6]


One of the practical outcomes of the Fall was that women and snakes would
become enemies. So, too, when people base their relationship on sin, they
inevitably become enemies. How many times have we seen people who want
nothing to do with each other and won't even acknowledge each other
because their relationship was built on sin?


Not only is there the practical outcome of enmity, but there is a
prophetic message as well because within this verse lies the Proto
Evangelicum-the first mention of the Gospel. The term "her seed" is an
apparent impossibility unless One would come from the woman in a way that
would be supernatural. And who would that One be? Of course, it's
Jesus-the Promised Seed of Galatians 4:4. Christ would come and we are
told here that He would bruise, or literally crush the head of the
serpent. But the serpent would bruise the heel of the Promised Seed. And
therein we see a picture of the Cross, where Christ was bruised for our
iniquities (Isaiah 53), and where He cleansed our sin with His own blood,

[7]


. God's Curses (3:14-19)

The picture seems bleak indeed, but can we find clues that God has plans
for redeeming man from his hopeless, fallen state? Even in His curses God
holds out hope to the human race which had obliged Him to doom it. Let us
consider the curses and trace this hope.

A. Satan (vv.14-15)

Exegesis

v 14 the serpent = the references given under '?exposition' identify
the serpent as Satan.

more than all cattle . field = (lit.) from all beasts and from all living
things of the field.

belly = this Hebrew word is used twice only in the Old Testament and both
times for reptiles (Lev 11:42).

eat dust = a figure of speech for humiliation, as in Ps 72:9; Isa 49:23.
Isaiah 65:25 prophesies that in the Millennium serpents will eat dust. If
one takes that literally (the same as a lion eating straw) then it clearly
means that this does not happen before the Millennium! For a prophecy on
the millennial period we also can read Mic 7:17 (incidentally, '?like a
serpent' can also be translated '?like the Serpent').

Exposition

We need to realize immediately that God was not cursing snakes, but Satan.
The language is obviously figurative as snakes do not eat dust (v.14), but
insects, eggs, small mammals, etc.-certainly not dust like an earthworm!
Now, if this one aspect is clearly figurative, the rest are very probably
likewise. We have the benefit of Rom 16:20 and Rev 12:9; 20:2 to
positively identify the serpent as Satan, proving therefore that this
passage employs figurative language. Let us examine God's curses:

a) Satan will be inferior to the animals. It seems that animals simply
live and die on this earth. They have pleasure and enjoy life. Satan, from
this sin on, gets no enjoyment out of life, and knows he will suffer
eternal death. He surely would wish to have just simply been a serpent, to
bask in the sun and enjoy a brief life without the fearsome prospect of
his lost eternity.

b) On your belly shall you go. Leviticus 11:42 helps us understand
this figure, for it teaches that anything which goes on its belly is an
abomination. Satan became an abomination for the rest of his life. This
may mean he could have repented to that point and been somehow restored in
God's plan, but after testing God in this manner his position was utterly
irreversible and hopeless, so he became an eternal abomination.

c) And dust shall you eat. This is a common figure of speech for being
humiliated (e.g. Ps 72:9; Isa 49:23); he who through pride had elevated
himself, was consigned to eternal humiliation!

d) The enmity between Satan and man is permanent and everywhere
visible, for no man likes evil when he is its victim. No matter how much
man may like to sin and thus be evil, he does not relish being the victim
of evil. This enmity is permanent and inescapable, rooted in the very
nature of sin itself.

e) Consider the close of v.15, for it prophesies, right at the very
outset of human existence, the coming Messiah. Satan would bruise His heel
on the cross, but on that same cross He crushed Satan's head. A serpent's
power (venom) is in its head, and Satan's power is in sin. On the cross
Christ broke his power by conquering sin for all the seed of Adam who
believe in Him! The final curse is prophetic and marks the end of Satan.
This is the proto-evangel, the first gospel; it promises a Messiah from
the seed of the woman (and notably Christ was born of a virgin) who will
crush (i.e., kill) Satan, but only after Satan has bruised Him on the
heel. The bruising happened on the cross, the crushing began at Jesus'
resurrection, and will be completed at the last judgment. Note, too, the
phrase '?seed of the woman'; normally mankind is referred to as the seed
of Adam, but this would not be strictly true of Christ, for no man's seed
was involved in His conception.

B. The Woman (v.16)

Exegesis

v 16 multiply = this is a somber play on words (see Gen 1:28). In
woman fulfilling her commission from God (multiply, fill the earth) her
pain is a multiple multiplicity!

sorrow = (lit.) pain and toil; i.e., a hurtful labor.

conception = note that God's curse includes a multiplication of the
woman's conception. Apparently it was not His original design for a woman
to conceive as frequently as she is now capable.

husband = (lit.) your man.

rule = the Hebrew word means, '?rule, have dominion, reign'; it can also
mean '?represent' but is distinct from the word used in 1:28 which is a
harsher word having its emphasis on domination.

Exposition

The curse on Eve, and all women thereafter, was threefold:

a) Pain in childbirth. In God's original plan, woman, it seems, would
have given birth to her children painlessly, and certainly without any
fear of death. We need to remember that for almost all history, women,
worldwide, have feared childbirth because of the risks it involves. This
is still true in all primitive cultures where the peri-natal death rate of
mothers makes a significant contribution to female death statistics. Our
present medical technology dulls our sensitivity to this, yet I suppose
every thinking mother has experienced those fears, even among us. So not
only was childbirth made a painful process, but it became a risky process
as a result of the curse sin brought. Exegesis suggests, too, that the
woman's pain in conception was multiplied, thus suggesting that women are
now prone to conceive more frequently than would have been the case before
the fall.

b) The woman's desire and pleasure in her husband would, in God's
curse, always be under tension because of the contingency of pregnancy and
the risks and pain this involved.

c) Woman would be under the authority of her husband, her head. The
irony of this is that she had enticed him to sin, so would now be under a
sinful authority instead of the godly authority God had intended for her;
she was thus responsible for her sinful head. Some eminent theologians
question whether a woman is to subject herself to an ungodly man, and
suggest this may not be God's will. However, we cannot get away from the
fact that God placed Eve under the authority of a sinful man. By Eve's
sin, she placed women under the rule (which should be benevolent) of their
husbands. The word translated '?husband' is actually '?man'; if it is used
in its primary sense, it would place a woman under her man's authority,
firstly her father, then her husband, and, by extension, to any man who
would be her guardian (e.g., a brother in the event of the father's
death).

In this present day the first two curses seem to have been mitigated by
medical technology. One wonders how long God will permit woman to escape
this curse, particularly as this technology is so extensively abused
simply to permit human beings to indulge themselves in sexual sin.

The third curse was not confined to Eve and clearly extends to all women,
for it is the basis of several New Testament passages (e.g., Eph 5:22-24;
Col 3:18; I Cor 14:34-35; Tit 2:5; I Pet 3:1), making it clear biblical
teaching until eternity. Questioning this doctrine is as futile as
questioning the doctrine of original sin; both arose at the same time, out
of the same circumstance; both were decreed by God. In order to understand
man's position to his wife (and it is only fair that this be discussed at
the same time as the wife's position) we need do no more than look at our
past studies. Man was created by God to administer this earth, a stage on
which the battle is being fought to determine whether God or Satan has the
authority to rule. God delegated authority to Adam, Eve was created from
Adam thus establishing her dependence on him; to mankind (male and female)
was delegated authority over all animals and the earth. The different
Hebrew words for rule over a wife ('?mashal') and rule over animals
('?radah') are significant ('?mashal' can also mean '?represent' and is
distinct from, and less harsh than, '?radah' which emphasizes domination).
Man's representation of, and his rule over his wife, are supposed to be
benevolent; obviously, too, it is to be real. The New Testament expounds
man's responsibility towards his wife. One cannot take rights without
concomitant responsibilities, and men should remember this. Note, however,
by the very nature of this curse, those responsibilities are the man's,
but his responsibilities are not his wife's privileges, for then it would
not be a curse! She is placed under him for better or for worse. Blame it
all on Eve!

This narrative is a picture of dereliction of authority: God delegated
authority to Satan who abused it; God delegated authority to Adam who
neglected it (he should have seen to it that Eve did not sin-that is why
the fall is called Adam's sin); and Eve ignored her husband's authority
(3:3). Now, Adam's authority was a responsibility he was to exercise under
God, therefore the authority that a man has over his wife is not a right
but a responsibility, a responsibility which must be exercised in
recognition that it is delegated by God and exercised before God. (This,
too, is clear New Testament teaching; e.g., Eph 5:25-33; Col 3:19; I Cor
14:35-38; I Pet 3:7; I Cor 7:3, ff.)

[8]


Genesis 3.15.

I will put enmity between you and the woman: enmity means "hostility,
hatred, to be enemies." spcl says "I will make you and the woman to be
enemies." In languages that do not use the term "enemies" in the sense of
"enemies of each other," it will be necessary to say something like "You
will be the woman's enemy, and the woman will be your enemy." It may also
be possible to use other verbs to express the idea of enmity; for example,
"You and the woman will hate each other and be against each other."

And between your [the snake's] seed and her seed: seed refers to
descendants, offspring. This hostility is not just between the snake and
the woman in the garden, but applies to all snakes and all human beings
not yet born. Accordingly tev makes this clear with "will always be
enemies." Seed in both occurrences is singular grammatically in Hebrew.
However, in both cases the sense is collective. In those languages that
have a collective term for descendants, translators are advised to use the
collective term. If there is no collective, a plural form must be used;
for example, one translation has "All her descendants and all your
descendants will always be bad friends."

Her seed has inspired a long history of interpretation. The expression has
been taken to refer to the Jewish community under the reign of the
Messiah, to Christ, to Mary the mother of Jesus, to victory over the
devil, and so forth.

He shall bruise your head: he translates the Hebrew third person singular
masculine pronoun. However, the reference is to the seed of the woman,
that is, "her descendants," which is also masculine singular in Hebrew.
tev has "Her offspring." Some translations keep the singular pronoun he,
some use a collective term such as "offspring," while others use a plural
such as "they" or "her descendants." Translators are advised to use a
pronoun or other term that is in accord with the term chosen to translate
seed.

The Vulgate translated the Hebrew masculine pronoun here by a pronoun
meaning "she," and so the reference has been traditionally to Mary.
Consequently this verse has been taken to be the earliest hint of the
gospel and the promise of Christ's victory over Satan. There are, however,
two important points in the text that should warn the translator to avoid
this interpretation:


(1) The text speaks of the descendants of both the snake and
the woman. Their meanings should both be kept parallel.


(2) The context is that of a curse or punishment, and there is no
suggestion of a promise or prophecy in it.


Bruise your head . bruise his heel: the word bruise refers to causing a
surface injury in which the skin or flesh is not broken, usually when
struck by a blunt instrument. This sense is hardly appropriate for the
second clause, where it is applied to the snake attacking the person. Some
translations use the same verb for both occurrences; for example, "They
shall strike . and you shall strike" (Mft, njv, neb/reb). tev has terms
that are more natural in English, "crush" and "bite," and this is
recommended as a model for translators to follow. Note that tev second
edition, used in this Handbook, says "her offspring's heel" and places
"their" in the footnote. This contrasts with tev first edition, which
places "their" in the text and "his" in the footnote.

[9]


. =/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=


(Matthew 1:20 NASB)

20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord
appeared to him in a dream, saying, "?a?Joseph, son of David, do not
be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for ?1?the Child who has been
?2?conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

[10]


1:20 While this gentle and deliberate man was mapping his strategy to
protect Mary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The
salutation, "Joseph, son of David," was doubtless designed to stir up the
con sciousness of his royal pedigree and to prepare him for the unusual
advent of Israel's Messiah-King. He should have no misgivings about
marrying Mary. Any suspicions concerning her purity were groundless. Her
pregnancy was a miracle of the Holy Spirit.

[11]


The next pericope relates the birth of Jesus Christ (1:18-25). Before Mary
and Joseph consummated their marriage, "she was found to be with child
through the Holy Spirit" (v. 18). We are told that this happened, not
precisely how; clinical detail is conspicuously absent. Why did God ordain
such a conception? The Savior must be both human and divine. Verse 18
calls Mary his mother; but nowhere in Matthew is Joseph called his father.
The connection between the virginal conception and Jesus' identification
as "the Son of God" (11:25-27; 16:16) should not be overlooked. The
Savior's coming, like the salvation he accomplishes, takes place
exclusively by the divine initiative. The Spirit that would empower Jesus
for service (12:28) is active from the moment of conception to protect him
from the threat of evil and the pollution of sin.


. The Redeemer (Jesus Christ)


(Job 25:19 NASB)

25 "As for me, I know that ?a?my ?1?Redeemer lives,
And ?2?at the last He will take His stand on the ?3?earth.

[12]


19:25-27 In a rare burst of light, he believes that there is a Redeemer
who will one day vindicate him and then restore him, even though death and
decay intervene, prophecy of (Genesis 3:15),


This verse is known as the protevangelium, meaning "The First Gospel.",
by which the Redeemer, (Jesus Christ), through His substitutional
provision in the form of propituation will offer all mankind a blood cure
for him being sin positive, since the curse of the "Fall of Man" in the
garden.


The great English preacher, Spurgeon, whose own style is not unlike that
of the Book of Job, makes a fine application of verse 25:

The marrow of Job's comfort lies in that little word "My"-"My Redeemer,"
and in the fact that the Redeemer lives. Oh! to get hold of a living
Christ. We must get a property in Him before we can enjoy Him ... So a
Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my
blood, of what avail were such? Rest not content until by faith you can
say, "Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and He is mine." It may be
you hold Him with a feeble hand; you half think it presumption to say, "He
lives as my Redeemer;" yet, remember if you have but faith as a grain of
mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it. But there is also
another word here, expressive of Job's strong confidence, "I know." To
say, "I hope so, I trust so," is comfortable; and there are thousands in
the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the
essence of consolation you must say, "I know."? 18

The fact that Job has faith to see God in his flesh after his skin is
destroyed, strongly suggests the physical resurrection, a doctrine not
widely taught in the OT, but accepted as standard in the time of our Lord
by ?OT?-believing Jews.

[13]


When Job became ill and was in the shock of all his troubles, he said he
wanted to die. He was not speaking of annihilation. He was speaking of the
death which would get him away from his troubles. I think that is obvious.
He knew he would be raised again. He knew that in his flesh he would see
God. He knew that even if the worms destroyed his body after death, yet in
his flesh he would see God. He believed in the resurrection of the dead.

Friends, these bodies of ours are going to return to the dust. The bodies
of the dead in Christ will be put to sleep, but the spirit will go to be
with Christ immediately. How wonderful this is!

Job again cries out to his friends, having made this great statement.

[14]


At the point of Job's greatest despair, his faith appeared at its highest
as he confidently affirmed that God was his Redeemer. He wanted that
confidence in the record for all to know (vv. 23, 24). Job wished that the
activities of his life were put into words and "inscribed in granite," so
all would know that he had not sinned to the magnitude of his suffering.
God granted his prayer. God was his Redeemer (cf. Ex. 6:6, Ps. 19:14;
72:14; Is. 43:14; 47:4; 49:26; Jer. 50:34), who would vindicate him in
that last day of judgment on the earth when justice was finally done (cf.
Jer. 12:1-3; John 5:25, 29; Rev. 20:11-15).

[15]


Applying Isaiah 7:14, Matthew declares Jesus to be "Immanuel-which means,
'God with us'" (1:22-23). There was a fulfillment of this prophecy in
Isaiah's own day (probably in the birth of his son; see Isa. 8:1-18), as a
sign both of judgment (for King Ahaz had refused to trust Yahweh) and of
grace (Yahweh would be with his people even amidst disaster). Applied to
that time, the Hebrew noun ?almaÆ (Isa. 7:14) means a young woman (rsv;
the Hebrew for virgin is beátuÆ); and the name Immanuel signals God's
presence without identifying the being of the child. With Jesus' coming
(Matt. 1:22a), the cup partially filled in Isaiah's day is filled to
overflowing (see Isa. 8:8; 9:1-7). Under the impact of what happened in
this child's conception, Matthew (following the LXX) uses the Greek word
parthenos (virgin) rather than neanis (young girl) in rendering Isaiah
7:14. Furthermore, "Immanuel" now bears a deeper meaning than was possible
in Isaiah's day. For Jesus does more than testify to God's presence; he
himself is God-now come personally to be with his people forever (cf.
Matt. 28:20).


Greek Ieµsou (v. 21) corresponds to the Hebrew yeáhoÆsû, which means
Yahweh is salvation. Joshua served Yahweh's saving purpose, but Mary's
child is the Savior himself.


He is named Jesus, "because he will save his people from their sins" (v.
21). They are his people, and he alone has the authority to forgive their
sins (9:1-8). Precluding the idea that "the Son of David" (v. 1) was to be
a political or social Messiah, verse 21 defines his mission as
fundamentally spiritual in character. In the phrase they will call him
Immanuel (v. 23), "they" refers to the people whom Jesus saves. "God is
with us!" exclaim his redeemed people.

[16]



. ==//==


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

a Rev 12:17

b Rom 16:20

1 Or crush

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ge 3:15). LaHabra, CA:
The Lockman Foundation.

[2]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary
: Old and New Testaments (Ge 3:15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3]McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the
Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (1:ix-27). Nashville:
Thomas Nelson.

[4]Pentecost, J. D. (2001). Designed to be like Him : Understanding God's
plan for fellowship, conduct, conflict, and maturity. Originally
published: [Chicago, Ill.] : Moody, 1966.; Includes index. (28). Grand
Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

197 197. J. T. Walsh, "Genesis 2:4b-3:24: A Synchronic Approach," Journal
of Biblical Literature 96 (1977):168.

198 198. Mathews, p. 243.

199 199. E.g., Josephus, 1:1:50.

200 200. E.g., Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, 1:162; Kidner, p. 70;
Mathews, p. 244.

201 201. Sailhamer, "Genesis," p. 55.

202 202. See idem, "The Messiah and the Hebrew Bible," Journal of the
Evangelical Theological Society 44:1 (March 2001):5-23.

203 203. See John C. Jeske, "The Gospel Adam and Eve Heard: Genesis 3:15"
Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly 81:3 (Summer 1984):182-84; and Walter C.
Kaiser Jr., "The Promise Theme and the Theology of Rest," Bibliotheca
Sacra 130:518 (April-June 1973):135-50.

204 204. Sailhamer, "Genesis," p. 55. See also Mathews, pp. 246-48.

205 205. Elliott E. Johnson, "Premillennialism Introduced: Hermeneutics,"
in A Case for Premillennialism: A New Consensus, p. 22.

206 206. Darrell L. Bock, "Interpreting the Bible-How Texts Speak to Us,"
in Progressive Dispensationalism, p. 81. Cf. Wenham, pp. 80-81.

207 207. Pamela J. Scalise, "The Significance of Curses and Blessings,"
Biblical Illustrator 13:1 (Fall 1986):59.

[5]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the
Bible (Ge 3:9-14). Galaxie Software.

[6]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic
ed.) (Ge 3:15). Nashville: Word Pub.

[7]Courson, J. (2005). Jon Courson's application commentary : Volume one :
Genesis-Job (12). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

lit. literally

[8]Mills, M. (1999). Genesis : A study guide to the book of Genesis (Ge
3:14). Dallas: 3E Ministries.

spcl Spanish common language version

tev Today's English Version

Mft Moffatt

njv New Jewish Version

neb/reb Agreement, NEB and REB

[9]Reyburn, W. D., & Fry, E. M. (1997). A handbook on Genesis. UBS
handbook series (91). New York: United Bible Societies.

a Luke 2:4

1 Lit that which

2 Lit begotten

[10]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mt 1:20). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[11]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible
Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Mt 1:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

a Job 16:19; Ps 78:35; Prov 23:11; Is 43:14; Jer 50:34

1 Or Vindicator, defender; lit kinsman

2 Or as the Last

3 Lit dust

[12]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Job 19:25). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.

? 18 (19:25-27) Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, Devotion for April 21,
Morning.

OT Old Testament

[13]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible
Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Job 19:25). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[14]McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the
Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (2:622). Nashville: Thomas
Nelson.

[15]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic
ed.) (Job 19:23). Nashville: Word Pub.

rsv Revised Standard Version

[16]Elwell, W. A. (1996, c1989). Vol. 3: Evangelical commentary on the
Bible. Baker reference library (Mt 1:18). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book
House.
Rev. Karl E. Taylor
2007-07-22 18:27:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
"Rise Up and Walk"
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none: but such as I have give I
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:6
. The Fall and God's Plan of Redemption
Let's start at the beginning of the "Fall of Man" in the garden.
No garden, no Adam, no serpent, to tree, no fall.

You do understand what the word "mythology" means, right?

If not, I'd suggest you grab a dictionary and look it up. Understanding
what that word means would go a long way in your development from child
to adult.

- --
There are none more ignorant and useless,
than they that seek answers on their knees,
with their eyes closed.
____________________________________________________________________
Rev. Karl E. Taylor http://www.secularity.com/ktayloraz

A.A #1143 http://azhotops.blogspot.com/

Apostle of Dr. Lao EAC: Virgin Conversion Unit Director
____________________________________________________________________
My Group!
2007-07-22 19:06:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
"Rise Up and Walk"
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none: but such as I have give I
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:6
. The Fall and God's Plan of Redemption
Let's start at the beginning of the "Fall of Man" in the garden.
http://bibleweb.info/public-the-fall-of-man-and-gods-plan-of-redemption.pdf
I.

40 Objections - Part 1/4

I am not a sinner.

Are you saying you are perfect? If you are, then you're the first perfect
person I've ever met. Are you saying you've never broken the Law of God?
Have you ever lied, cheated, or stolen? If you have, then you are a
sinner whether you think so or not. The laws of God have punishments (a
law without a punishment is only a slogan). As a sinner, you are
separated from God (Isaiah 59:2). However, God loves you enough not to
want you to be separated from Him. He sent Jesus (1 John 4:10) to pay for
your sins on the cross. So, the only way to have your sins forgiven is to
put your trust in Jesus and the sacrifice He made. The Bible says that
everyone has sinned (Rom. 5:12). That means you, too.

What is sin?

Sin is doing what is wrong, as well as not doing what is right. It is
breaking the Law of God (1 John 3:4). In other words, it is doing what is
against God's will. If He says "Do not lie," and you lie, then you have
sinned. If He says "Do not steal," and you steal, then you have sinned.
And, according to God, sin separates you from Him (Isaiah 59:2). Sin is
an offense to God's character. Because God cannot lie, it is wrong for
you to lie. Because God cannot steal, it is wrong for you to steal. Right
and wrong, then, is a manifestation of the character of God. God is holy;
He cannot sin. Sin offends Him personally because they are His laws of
right and wrong you are breaking. If you have offended Him, then you must
find a way to "unoffend" Him. The problem is that you can't, but He can
and has, by offering His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross as a sacrifice
for sin.

I am too big of a sinner.

Nobody is too big of a sinner. The love of God and the sacrifice of Jesus
are capable of cleansing the worst of all sin. Even Hitler could have
been saved if he would have turned to Christ. You have sinned the same as
anyone else. It is just that your sins are yours. They aren't too big for
God to wipe away. Sin has no power over God, only over you. Let me ask
you something. Do you think murder and adultery are serious sins? Yes?
Well, David, a man in the Bible who was called by God "a man after His
own heart" (Acts 13:22), was a murderer and an adulterer. He even tried
to hide his sin from everyone. But God knew his sins and exposed them.
David repented and threw himself on the mercy of the Lord. God forgave
him and loved him. God loves you, and He will forgive you if you put your
trust in Jesus, and ask Him to forgive you of your sins (Rom. 10:9-10).

What is salvation?

Salvation is the forgiveness of sins. It is only accomplished through
faith in Jesus as Savior. He died on the cross for sins. If you want
salvation, you need to trust in what Jesus did on the cross. Only then
can you have eternal life and be with God. Salvation is saving a person
from damnation. Damnation is judgment upon the sinner. This judgment
consists of God condemning the sinner to eternal punishment in hell. This
is the destination of all who reject God's provision for the forgiveness
of sins. If you want salvation, then you need to recognize that you are a
sinner and ask Jesus to forgive you. He will.

What do I do to get saved?

Salvation is a free gift of God (Rom. 6:23). Jesus bore sin in His body
(1 Pet. 2:24), and paid the penalty for breaking the Law of God, which is
spiritual death (eternal separation from God). If you want salvation, you
need to admit that you are a sinner and that you want Jesus to forgive
you of your sins. You must acknowledge that there is nothing you can do
to earn forgiveness. Pray and ask Him to forgive you. You need to trust
in Jesus. Seek Him; He will save you. Repentance is part of salvation.
Once saved, you should stop doing those things that are displeasing to
God. He will live in you and give you the ability and desire to resist
sin (1 Cor. 10:13). When you are saved, expect to change -- for the
better.

Is baptism necessary for salvation?

No. Faith in Jesus is sufficient for salvation. You don't have to do
anything. Christ has done it all. However, baptism is very important and
all believers should be baptized. If you refuse baptism after salvation,
I would doubt your conversion. There are Christian denominations that
believe baptism is necessary for salvation. The arguments used, on the
surface, seem to be powerful. However, upon examination, baptism is found
to occur after conversion, and is not in any way a cause or part of it.
Take, for example, Acts 10:44-47. While Peter was witnessing, the Holy
Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message...and they
were hearing them speaking in tongues and exalting God. Then Peter
answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized
who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" This passage
shows that baptism happens after salvation. How do we know they were
saved? They were speaking in tongues -- which is a gift from God to
believers (1 Cor. 14)and they were exalting God. Non-believers do not
exalt God. Also, Peter said they had received the Holy Spirit. That is
only for Christians, and it happened before baptism. (Note: speaking in
tongues is simply a sign of salvation. It is not necessary that a
Christian speak in tongues as a proof of salvation. Not all speak in
tongues (1 Cor. 12:30). Another set of verses applicable to this issue is
1 Cor. 1:17. Paul says, "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to
preach the gospel..." The gospel is what saves, and it is explained in 1
Cor. 15:1-4. Baptism is not part of the gospel; it is something that the
believer does after salvation. Baptism is only a symbol of that which
saves, and symbols don't save.

I am already good enough.

How good do you have to be to get to Heaven? God is holy, and requires
holiness. Holiness is purity. Even though you may think you are good
enough, even one sin disqualifies you from being in the presence of God.
You could never be good enough. That is why you need Jesus. The Bible
says that there is none good enough. "There is none who does good, there
is not even one," (Rom. 3:12). Goodness is measured by God's standard -
not yours. To say that you are good enough means that Christ did not have
to die. But He did die to save sinners. The Bible says if righteousness
can come by good deeds, then Christ didn't need to die (Gal. 2:21); but
He did, so being good isn't enough.


II.
40 Objections - Part 2/4

I am doing the best I can, and I'm sincere.

Even if you could do far better than you are doing now, you still can't
do well enough, because you don't please God by being good (Gal. 2:21),
but by accepting Jesus (John 1:12). Sincerity is not the way to heaven.
What if you are sincerely wrong? (Remember John 14;6?) If you are relying
on your sincerity, then you are saying because you are sincere, you are
therefore good enough, on your own, to be with God. Don't you see, to
appeal to your sincerity is to appeal to pride, because you are appealing
to something that is in you and not God, for your reason to go to heaven?
I am sorry, sincerity is not enough. You must have faith, in Jesus. How
long have you been doing your best? Has it worked so far? Has it given
you eternal life?

I am skeptical.

Are you honestly looking for answers? If you are, I would be very willing
to talk with you more about Jesus, the Bible, or whatever else you want
to talk about. What are you skeptical about? Perhaps we can talk about
some of the things that you feel keep you from a saving knowledge of
Jesus.

I tried Christianity once.

The Bible says that once you are saved, you are never the same again; you
are a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). If you have gone back to your old ways,
then most probably you were never saved. If, however, you were saved,
then God won't let you stay in rebellion for long. He will deal with you
in whatever way is necessary to bring you back into fellowship with Him.
Did you become a Christian by going to church or by asking Jesus to
forgive you of your sins? The latter makes you a Christian, the former
doesn't.

I knew some Christians once and they wronged me.

Christians aren't perfect. They make mistakes like anyone else. I hope
you can find it in your heart to forgive them. I think that is what they
would do for you. Maybe they didn't know they wronged you. Was it
something really bad or was it just a mistake? Have you gone to them and
spoken to them about it? Maybe if you were to forgive them, you would
begin to understand the forgiveness God has for you. We all need to be
forgiven, don't you agree?

I'll take my chances.

With what, eternity? Eternity is a long time to be wrong. Why would you
want to gamble with something as important as your eternal destiny? It
takes only a moment to trust Christ for your salvation. There will be an
eternity of pain and regret if you don't. You don't take chances with
guns do you? You don't take chances and run red lights do you? Why would
you take a chance on something that is far more important than these?
Don't take a chance on something eternal. It isn't worth it. Jesus said
He was the only way to God. He forgave sins, walked on water, calmed a
storm with a command, raised people from the dead, and rose from the dead
Himself. No one else in all of history has done that. If He can do all
that, don't you think you should listen to Him?

I am not that bad of a person.

Whether or not you feel you are bad or good is not the real issue. The
Bible says that all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). If all have sinned, good or
bad, then all will suffer the judgment of God. God does not require
someone to be pretty good; He requires that he not sin at all. But He
knows that you cannot be sinless. That is why He gave His only begotten
Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have
everlasting life (John 3:16). The Bible says that our good works are
filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6). It isn't saying that we might not
try to be good. It is saying that whatever good we do, it is not good
enough. It also says that there is none who does good (Rom. 3:12). The
standard God seeks is perfection. We cannot please God on our own. That
is why Jesus died on behalf of sinners. If you want to be good enough,
then you must let God see you through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
That is the only goodness that counts to God.

I am too old or too young.

You are never too old to trust in Jesus as your Savior. As long as you
are alive, you can call on Him to forgive you of your sins. He is as
close as the call of your heart. (Granted there may be some who are too
young to understand the Gospel message, but here we will address those
who simply use that as an excuse.) Youth is a blessing from God. Don't
use it as an excuse to stay away from Him. If you can understand what sin
is, and your need for deliverance from it, then you are not too young to
receive Jesus as your Savior. He saves everyone, young and old.

I can't believe in a God who would send people to Hell.

Hell was originally created for Satan and his angels. In the future it
will contain those who join Satan in rejecting God. If you reject God's
provision for the forgiveness of your sins, then you will join the Devil
who rejected God from the beginning. Is that what you want? Could you
believe in a God who would become a human, suffer at the hands of humans,
and be killed by them, all so that His death could be the payment for
their sins? That is extremely loving. God is saving people who deserve to
go to Hell - and we all deserve that. Remember that the same God that
sends people to Hell also died for them. If they reject what God has
provided, then what is God left to do? He would have to judge them.
Whether you believe in something or not does not change the fact of its
existence. Jesus spoke often of Hell (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:47-48; Luke
16:19-31), and warned us so we would not go there. Would you say Jesus
didn't know what He was talking about? Are you implying that it is unjust
for God to send people to hell? If so, then you accuse God of injustice.
Sin is wrong and it must be punished. What would you have God do to those
who oppose Him and do evil? Do you want Him to ignore that which is
wrong? Do you want Him to turn His head and not be holy and righteous?

I will worry about it in the next life.

That you may very well do, forever. Eternity is a long time to be wrong,
especially about Jesus. God has warned us in the Bible that it is
appointed for men to die once, then judgment (Heb. 9:27). After death,
you will be judged. Do you want to face eternity without the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ accounted to you? God hates sin and you have sinned. God
will punish sinners if they reject Jesus. However, He loves you. That is
why He sent His Son to die for sins. If you want eternal life, then you
need to worry about it now. Eternity is a long time to be wrong,
especially about Jesus. There is no next life. Reincarnation isn't true.
The Bible says after death you face God (Heb. 9:27).

I don't want to give up what I like doing.

Are you saying you must stop doing what you're doing now, if you become a
Christian? That means you know it is wrong. Let me ask you something. If
you were to become a Christian, and God was to live in your heart, and
you looked back upon your life, would you say to yourself now, "I did a
lot of things I wish I hadn't done?" Probably so. The Bible speaks
about just such a thing. In Rom. 6:21 it says, "What benefit were you
then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed, for the
outcome of those things is death" (NASB). What you are saying is that God
will require you to give up certain things that you like to do. Since God
only wants what is good and right, and you say you don't want to give up
what you are doing, then you are saying you want what is wrong. Will you
let your pleasures get in the way of salvation? Is your life of sin worth
an eternity of pain? Jesus said, "What will it profit a man if he gains
the whole world but loses his soul?" (Mark 8:36).


III.

40 Objections - Part 3/4

Christianity is boring.

Then you haven't experienced it. No one who is a Christian will ever say
that it is boring. How do you know? Have you tried it? There are millions
of Christians who have a lot of fun being Christian. We just do it with a
lot less sin, and therefore, a lot less problems. Maybe it's only your
problems that keep you from getting bored. What do you think we do all
day, sit around fireplaces and read Bibles? We ski, swim, play sports,
read, have friends and problems like anybody else. Christianity is not
boring. It is an adventure.

I am an atheist. I don't believe in God.

An atheist is defined in two senses: Someone who says he believes there
is no God, and someone who simply lacks belief in God. An atheist cannot
say he knows there is no God, because he would have to know all things in
order to know if there is or isn't a God. If he says he believes there
is no God, ask him why he believes that way, and begin there. If he says
he lacks belief in God, then ask what he does believe in, and start
there. I always get around to the question of, "How did we get here?"
Since creation and evolution are the only options, I have something
further to work with. Evolution has a lot of problems with it. It seems
to me that it takes a lot of faith to believe that you developed out of
ocean slime, simply by chance. At least as a Christian I have the
evidence of the resurrection of Christ from eyewitnesses as recorded by
them in the Gospels. Evolution or not, Jesus rose from the dead, said He
was God, and forgave sins. I'll put my faith in Him instead of evolution.
An agnostic says he doesn't know if there is or isn't a God. (Usually
after saying this I challenge them to explain the prophecies of the Old
Testament fulfilled in the New. I state how the Bible is unique that way,
and that only God can make prophecies that are 100% accurate. Then I ask
him to explain how that could be done if there is no God.) If there is no
God as you say, then in the end I lose nothing. But if there is a God
like I say, in the end you lose everything. Why don't you believe in God?
Is there any reason for you to intelligently reject His existence? Or, do
you simply desire not to believe in Him? The Bible doesn't attempt to
prove that God exists. It simply speaks as though He does. Maybe I can't
prove to you there is a God, but I can introduce Him to you through His
Son Jesus Christ, and you can judge for yourself if the Words of Christ
in the Bible convince you of His existence. (Note: We exist. How did we
get here? An atheist's only option would be to say evolution. If you
study evolution, by reading Christian books that reveal and document its
many serious problems, then you will be able to weaken the atheist's
belief in it. The logic is simple: If evolution and creation are the only
options, to remove one is to support the other. Therefore, learn as much
as you can about evolution. Your witness will be greatly strengthened.
However, evolution does not explain the origin of life, only its
development. Discussions on origins of life are interesting in
themselves.)

I am trying to be a Christian.

You become a Christian by simply putting your trust in Jesus and His
sacrifice for you on the cross. There is no "trying" involved. If you
trust Jesus, if you ask Him to forgive you of your sins and be your
Savior, then you are a Christian. It is living like a Christian after
you've become one, that is difficult. If you believe that in order to
become a Christian you must be good, then you misunderstand, or don't
have a good understanding of salvation. A Christian is a Christian by the
gift of God (Rom. 6:23), not the work of man (Eph. 2:8-9). There is
nothing you can do to earn salvation or keep salvation. It is simply
something God freely gives you. If you want it, confess your sins,
repent, turn to God, and trust Jesus as your only Savior. Then, and only
then, will you become a Christian.

I am already religious.

Who said God wants you to be religious? He wants a relationship with you.
Religion is man's attempt to reach God. Christianity is God reaching man.
1 Cor. 1:9 says that God wants you to have fellowship with Jesus. He is
talking about a relationship, Someone you can talk to. He doesn't want to
weigh you down with a bunch of do's and don't's. He wants to extend a
loving hand to you, and help you live a good clean life. But that cannot
be done until the real problem in you is done away with, and that is sin.
Sin separates you from God (Isaiah 59:2). If you want salvation instead
of "religion," then go to Jesus. Seek Him. He will never let you down. I
see. Where do you attend church?

I don't need God.

If you say you don't need Him, then you believe He exists. If you do, why
would you say you don't need Him? Isn't He the One who determines your
destiny? Doesn't He have the authority and power to do as He pleases and
to send you to Heaven or Hell? It is foolish to say you don't need the
One who is your Creator, who loves you and has provided the way for
forgiveness of sin. You need God because only He can cleanse you from
your sins. What do you need? Are you really doing that well without God?
Are you happy with the way things are in your life? If you aren't, then
you need Jesus. And even if you are happy, you still need Him, because
you can't take what makes you happy with you when you die.

I have things I need to do before I become a Christian.

Like what? Why do you need to do these things before you come to God? Are
they bad things or good? If they are bad, then you shouldn't do them. If
they are good, why can't you become a Christian and then do them? Nothing
you can do could be more important than your relationship with God. To
put Him off is unwise. What if you die before you become a Christian?
Then you would be eternally without hope. Your statement implies you
believe following God will mean you won't be able to do the things you
want to do. If that is true, then that means the things you intend to do
would displease God. Are you saying you prefer to do something God
wouldn't want you to do? If that is so, you are willfully sinning against
God, and putting yourself in a dangerous situation. That is all the more
reason you need His forgiveness.

I prefer to remain open-minded.

Open-mindedness means looking at everything honestly. Are you willing to
do that with Christianity? Do you want to see what Jesus has said, and
learn about what He can offer you? If you say you are going to remain
open-minded, and not accept Christianity, then in reality, you are being
very closed-minded. Maybe Christianity is true. Your "open-mindedness"
could keep you from discovering it.

I already believe in God.

Are you living your life as if that were true? Does your belief in God
affect the way you live, or do you still do entirely as you please? If
you say you believe in God, then how do you know what He wants for you?
Are you in contact with Him? Do you just trust whatever you feel is
right? The Bible says the Devil believes in God (James 2:19), and he is
lost. If all you do is simply believe that God exists, then you are no
better off than he is. It is not intellectual acknowledgment of God's
existence that God wants, but your accepting the sacrifice Jesus made on
behalf of sinners that pleases God. Simply believing is not enough. You
must choose to follow Him. It is not that you believe; it is who you put
your faith in. Who is this God you believe in? Is He the Christian one?
Is he Allah? Is he from another planet? Is he whatever you feel is right?
Is he loving? Believing in God is fine unless your god is false. The
important thing is that you must believe in the true God, not a false
one, and the true God is found in the Bible.

I'll choose God later.

If you won't choose Him now, what makes you think you'll choose Him
later? The longer you go without God, the harder it will be for you to
come to Him. The longer you sin, the harder your heart will become, and
the further from God you will be (Heb. 3:13). To wait is to invite
damnation. God calls you to repent from sin now, not later. Which will
you choose? If you say you will choose Him later, do you admit then that
you need Him now? If so, then why do you wait? You might die soon, and
then it would be too late.

There are too many hypocrites in the church.

Church is a good place for hypocrites, as well as liars and thieves. It
is there they will be exposed to the Word of God, and learn that
hypocrisy is wrong. For you to judge those in the church is to condemn
yourself, because we are all hypocrites in one form or another. Your
recognition and condemnation of it tells me you know it is wrong. Is it
hypocrisy to point a finger at the church full of sinners when you
yourself are one as well? It has been said that you must be smaller than
the thing you hide behind. Are you hiding behind the hypocrisy of others
to keep yourself out of church? You must realize that you are responsible
for yourself and God won't ask others about you on judgment day. He will
come to you and ask you to give an account for your life. The hypocrites
in the church will also stand before God, with or without you there.
People don't counterfeit pennies. Why do you think there are hypocrites?
Because Christianity is valuable.

Why are we here? Or, Why did God make us?

God made us so we could glorify Him and have fellowship with Him (1 John
1:1-3). He made Adam and Eve and put them in the garden, and then He
walked in fellowship with them. He gave them the greatest thing they
could have, His love and presence. After they sinned, God said, "Adam,
where are you?" God sought Adam. In Exodus 25:8 God said to Moses while
Israel was in the wilderness, "And let them construct a sanctuary for Me,
that I may dwell among them." In the New Testament in John 1:14 it says,
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us..."(1) God
seeks our presence. He wants to have fellowship with us. He made us to
give us His love and enjoy His presence. But, man sinned and separated
Himself from God. That is why Christ died for sins, that our fellowship
with God would be restored.

What about those who have never heard the Gospel?

That is a good question. The Bible says that God is a just God. We know
that whatever He does is right. When it comes to those who have never
heard the Gospel, He will do what is right, whatever that is. But as for
you, you have heard the Gospel and He will judge you according to how you
respond. He is calling you to repentance, to turn from sin and come to
Him. Romans 2:11-16 speaks about those who have never heard the Law of
God, and how they will be judged according to the law that is written in
their hearts. The Law written in their hearts is the knowledge of right
and wrong. Perhaps God's judgment of those without a proper knowledge of
Him is included there where it says that they will be judged according to
their own consciences that "bear witness, and their thoughts alternately
accusing or else defending them." All I know is that God will do what is
right, and the only way to have your sins forgiven is through Jesus.

Jesus is only one of many great men of history.

Granted, Jesus was a great man of history. That is a fact. But, He is
different from all the other great men of history. How many great men of
history rose from the dead, calmed a sea, walked on water, raised others
from the dead, healed sickness, and forgave sins? There aren't any others
that I know of. Do you know of any? These things make Him more than
great. They make Him special and unique. You are right, Jesus was a great
man. But let me ask you. If He were great, would He lie? Of course not.
If He were great, would He be insane? No. You see, Jesus said He was God
(John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). If He
were lying, we shouldn't listen to Him, and we couldn't call Him great.
If He were insane, then we shouldn't listen to Him, and again, we
couldn't call Him great. If He is great, then He must be telling the
truth. And He was great, right? John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the
Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." Verse 14 says,
"and the Word became flesh..." The Word is Jesus. This means that Jesus
is God in flesh. If this is so, then He cannot be merely "a great man of
history." He would be far more than that.




IV.

40 Objections - Part 4/4

Why is there evil and suffering in the world?

The question implies that if a good God exists, then evil shouldn't
because God, being all powerful, should stop it. We need to ask and
answer two questions. First, what is evil? It is that which is against
God. It is anything morally bad or wrong. It is injurious, depraved,
wicked. Some acceptable examples might be murder, rape, stealing, lying,
and cheating. Second, if we want God to stop evil, do we want Him to stop
all evil, or just some of it? In other words, if just some of it, then
why? If He were to stop only part of the evil, then we would still be
asking the question, "Why is there evil in the world?"

Let's suppose that someone was about to commit murder. God would have to
stop him, maybe whisper in his ear, or if that didn't work, do something
a little more drastic, like have something fall on him, or stop his
heart, or make his hands suddenly fall off. Anyway, God would have to do
something. What if somebody wanted to steal? God would have to stop him
too, right? Undoubtedly, God's imagination would permit a more practical
method than I have suggested, but the end results would be the same. What
about lying? If someone were to tell a lie, then to be consistent
wouldn't you want God right there to stop that person from lying? After
all, He couldn't let any evil occur, could He? Let's take it a step
further. Suppose someone thought something evil. Then, of course, God
would have to step in and prevent him from thinking anything bad at all,
right? The end result would be that God could not allow anyone to think
freely. Since everyone thinks, and no one thinks only pure thoughts, God
would be pretty busy, and we wouldn't be able to think. Anyway, at what
point do we stop - at the murder level, stealing level, lying level, or
thinking level? As your question implies, if you want God to stop evil,
you would have to be consistent and want Him to do it everywhere all the
time, not just pick and choose. It wouldn't work. Evil is in this world
partly because we give it its place but ultimately because God, in His
sovereignty, permits it and keeps it under His control. Then you might
say, "Couldn't He just make us perfect and that way we wouldn't sin?" He
already did that. He made a perfect angel, Satan, but he sinned. He made
a perfect man, Adam, and he sinned. He made a perfect woman, Eve, and she
sinned. God knows what He is doing. He made us the way we are for a
purpose. We don't fully understand that purpose, but He does. God is
sovereign; He has the right to do as He wishes. He has the right to
permit evil for accomplishing His ultimate will. How can He do that?
Simple, look at the Cross. It was by evil means that men lied and
crucified Jesus. Yet God in His infinite wisdom used this evil for good.
It was on the Cross that Jesus bore our sins in His body (1 Peter. 2:24)
and it is because of the Cross that we have forgiveness of sins. Consider
the biblical example of Joseph in the Old Testament. He was sold into
slavery by his brothers. Though they meant it for evil, God meant it for
good (Gen. 50:20). God is so great that nothing happens without His
permission, and in that permission His ultimate plan unfolds. In His plan
He is able to use for good what man intends for evil. God is in control.
What makes Jesus so special? Because of Who He said He was; He said He
was God. In John 8:58, Jesus said, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, before
Abraham was, I AM." When He said, "I AM," He was quoting from the Old
Testament in Exodus 3:14. That is where Moses was talking to God, and
asked Him His name. God answered and said, "I AM." When Jesus said "I
AM," He was claiming the name of God for Himself, and thereby claiming to
be God. Other great men of history point to a philosophy and teach good
ideas. Only Jesus pointed to Himself, claimed to be God, and spoke with
authority that matched His claim. Because of what He did; Jesus forgave
sins (Luke 5:20). He rose from the dead (Luke 24; John 2:19-21), raised
others from the dead (John 11:43-44), and He walked on water (John 6:19).
No one on earth has ever done the things Jesus did. There is no way
around it- Jesus is special; about that, there can be no doubt.

Why did Jesus have to die in order for me to go to heaven?

Because the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Though Jesus never sinned
(1 Peter. 2:22), He bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter.
2:24), and died in our place. Instead of God making us pay for our sins,
He did it Himself by becoming one of us. Two things happen when we sin:
one to God and one to ourselves. When we sin, God is offended. Why?
Because it is His Law that we are breaking. Also, when we sin, we are
killed. We don't die right there on the spot, but we will face a death
that is far more severe. Sin kills us (Rom. 6:23) by causing eternal
separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). God hates sin (Hab. 1:13), and sin
must be punished. Since we are unable to please God because we are all
sinners, He made an offering that is pleasing to Himself. That offering
was the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. There was no other way. If there
were, God would have done it.

What makes you think the Bible is the word of God?

Prophecy: The Old Testament was written before Jesus was ever born. The
New Testament was written by the men who knew Jesus, who walked with Him,
ate with Him, and learned from Him. In the O.T. there are prophecies
concerning His birthplace (Micah 5:1-2), that He would be born of a
virgin (Isaiah 7:14), that He would be rejected by His own people (Isaiah
53:3), that He would be betrayed by a close friend (Isaiah 41:9), that He
would die by having His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16-18), and that
He would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10, 49:15). In the N.T. all these
prophecies, and many more, are fulfilled by Jesus. Now, this is the
question you must answer: "If the Bible is not inspired from God, then
why does it have so many fulfilled prophecies?" How is that possible if
the Bible were not from God? Only God knows the future, has power over
it, and can look into it to tell us exactly what will happen. In the
Bible we have the fingerprints of God: fulfilled prophecy! Wisdom: The
Bible is full of the greatest truths about man and God, sin, and
salvation. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) is beautiful in its
wisdom, humility, and love. The Psalms are incredible poetry of great
depth and beauty. The N.T. epistles are great descriptions of love,
forgiveness, longsuffering, kindness, etc. (Even if you don't want to
become a Christian, studying the truth God has revealed in the Bible will
greatly help you in your life.) The aim is not to merely get the person
to use the Bible as a guide to good living, but to encourage him to read
it. This way, he will at least be reading the Word of God, and be that
much closer to conversion, because God's Word will accomplish what He
wants it to (Isaiah 55:11).

The Bible was written so that it would only look like Jesus fulfilled
prophecy.

Then what you are saying is that the New Testament writers lied about
Jesus. He really didn't rise from the dead, and all those miracles about
Him are really false, right? I could see your point, but there is just
one problem. How do you account for the writers of the New Testament
teaching about truth, love, honesty, giving, etc. all based on lies? Why
would they suffer hardships like beatings, starvation, shipwreck,
imprisonments, and finally execution for nothing but lies? What you are
saying doesn't make sense, and raises more questions than it answers. The
only logical explanation is that the fulfilled prophecies really did
happen. Jesus actually rose from the dead. He performed miracles, and He
forgave sins. He forgave sins then, and He can still do it now. My sins
are forgiven, are yours? Please note that many cult members will die for
their faith as well. But they die for something they believe in, not for
something they have actually seen. Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses
all die for their faith. But the New Testament believers died for what
they saw and believed, not for what they believed only. That is a big
difference. The N.T. writers died claiming that they had seen the risen
Lord. The cult members die for what they believe, and we know that
believing doesn't make it true.

The Bible is full of contradictions.

Really. Do you know of any? Could you quote me one or two? (Just in case
someone actually does quote what he thinks is a contradiction, it is up
to you to give a competent answer (1 Peter. 3:15). If you can't, don't
worry. Simply tell him that you will research it and get back with him,
and make sure you do.) There are areas of Scripture that are difficult to
understand. This does not mean the Bible is untrustworthy. A very good
book to have is the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer,
Zondervan Publishing House, (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

How do I know which religion is right?

This is a difficult question to answer because it involves discussing
some principles that the person you are witnessing to may or may not
agree with. For example, does he or she agree with you that truth is
knowable, that God would attempt to communicate with His people, or that
only one religion may be right? Usually, I start by acknowledging the
difficulty of coming to an easy answer. However, I tell them that I do
have an answer; I am sure it is the right one, because it is an answer
based on evidence. What kind of evidence? Prophecy and its fulfillment
(see question # 34), Jesus and His miracles, the resurrection of Christ,
etc. Then I ask that person if he or she knows of these things happening
in other religions.(1) The answer is invariably, "No." Then I point out
that they have only happened in Christianity. If any religion were true,
Christianity fits the bill.

Religion is whatever you feel is right.

How do you know what you feel is right? Haven't your feelings ever turned
out to be wrong? Are you are saying that what you feel determines truth?
If so, then you are putting yourself in the place of God, and looking to
yourself for what you "feel" is right. If religion is whatever you feel
is right, then that could lead to chaos. What if some people had a
religion where they felt stealing was acceptable? And what about lying
and cheating? Would you trust someone who believed in a religion that
felt it was all right to steal, lie, and cheat? Hitler felt killing Jews
was right. He was wrong. The Bible says that the heart is deceitful and
untrustworthy (Jer. 17:9). If you could come to know truth by what you
felt, then the Bible, which is the revelation of God, didn't need to be
written. But it has been written, and it has revealed that only God is
the Source of truth, not your feelings. I've never known truth to
contradict itself. What if someone felt that something was right, and
another person felt it was wrong? Would they both be right? If your
statement is true, then how could there be a contradiction like that, if
feelings determined truth?

All religions are different paths to the same place.

If all religions are different paths to the same place, then why do the
paths contradict each other? Does truth contradict itself? Let's review
the teachings of just three religions: Buddhism is pantheistic and says
there is no personal God and everyone can reach "godlikeness" on his own.
Islam says that Jesus was just a prophet, and not the only way to God.
Christianity says that there is a personal God, and that the only way to
Him is through Jesus (John 14:6). If these three religions are, as you
say, different paths to the same place, then why do they contradict each
other? Does truth contradict itself?

What about dinosaurs and evolution?

See the section on Evolution. Also, you could read a couple of books:
Evolution - The Fossils Say No! by Duane T. Gish (Creation Life
Publishers, San Diego), and Man's Origin, Man's Destiny by A. E.
Wilder-Smith. Bethany House Publishers, (Minneapolis, Minn.). Both books
will help you greatly. Even if evolution were true (it isn't - but just
for the sake of argument, let's assume it is), does that mean there is no
God? How do you know God didn't use it to get us here? (I am not teaching
that evolution is true, nor that God used it, which is called theistic
evolution; I am simply reasoning with them.) If you believe in evolution,
does that mean you aren't a sinner? God won't accept the excuse that you
believed in evolution and not Him. Have you examined evolution to see if
it is true? Evolution is not all that you are led to believe. There are
all kinds of problems in the fossil record. New theories are being raised
all the time to account for why there aren't any undisputed transitional
forms found between any species of any kind, anywhere, anytime in all the
fossil record. But you wouldn't know these things because you haven't
studied. You need to know the facts about evolution, and you need to know
the facts about Jesus.



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. Maranatha!
Rev. Karl E. Taylor
2007-07-22 19:40:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by My Group!
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
"Rise Up and Walk"
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none: but such as I have give I
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:6
. The Fall and God's Plan of Redemption
Let's start at the beginning of the "Fall of Man" in the garden.
http://bibleweb.info/public-the-fall-of-man-and-gods-plan-of-redemption.pdf
I.
40 Objections - Part 1/4
I am not a sinner.
Sin is a religious construct created by power hungry idiots that desired
nothing more then control of the masses through fear.

Now, since you don't seem to have the ability to understand a simple
concept, I'll use small words that might be more in keeping with your
level of education.

Bible, book of fairy tales and stories from long ago. The bible is in a
class of books where you will also find the story of the "Three little
pigs" and another one about a lady and 7 little people. There are many
other good stories in this class of writing. I'd recommend that you
start with the following:

Humpty Dumpty
Goldilocks and the three bears
Little red riding hood

Once you have read and understood those stories, you will be ready to
move up to more advanced types of stories in the same class as the
bible. These stories would include:

Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings
Dragon riders of Pern

I would however suggest that you avoid stories in this class for writing
by the author H. P. Lovecraft. Since you already have an unhealthy view
of the story book character of the devil, it would probably blast your
mind out of existence if you read stories about mythical beings that
make the devil look like a joke.

And since fiction and mythology are nothing more then jokes, you
probably won't get it anyway.
--
There are none more ignorant and useless,
than they that seek answers on their knees,
with their eyes closed.
____________________________________________________________________
Rev. Karl E. Taylor http://www.secularity.com/ktayloraz

A.A #1143 http://azhotops.blogspot.com/

Apostle of Dr. Lao EAC: Virgin Conversion Unit Director
____________________________________________________________________
True 2 Form!
2007-07-22 19:45:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by My Group!
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
"Rise Up and Walk"
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none: but such as I have give I
thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:6
. The Fall and God's Plan of Redemption
Let's start at the beginning of the "Fall of Man" in the garden.
http://bibleweb.info/public-the-fall-of-man-and-gods-plan-of-redemption.pdf
I.
40 Objections - Part 1/4
I am not a sinner. <=== hahah Remember this when UR at the judges feet!
. Moral Crimes "Ought" to be Punished
. or Am I Going to Hell?
. -- "Rev. Karl E. Taylor"

Do you think that people who commit moral crimes ought to be punished?

I talked in the past about the difficulty in clarifying our communication
of the need for salvation. Frankly, to a lot of people the message of
Christianity is not going to be palatable, but at least we can make it
clear. It will not be the kind of thing they will be happy with. Yet, at
the same time, there are things we can do that make it clearer and not
inappropriately put stumbling blocks in people's way.

This is why I've often said that the Gospel is offensive enough all by
itself. Don't add any more offense to it. But we should not take out the
offense that is inherent to the Gospel, either. This is why we are not
pluralists even though there is pressure to be pluralists or at least
inclusivistic with the Gospel. At the same time, we don't want to
communicate the exclusivity of Christ in such a way as to confound those
people who are listening.

Christians often say, "if you believe in Jesus you go to Heaven; if you
don't believe in Jesus you go to Hell". Is that true? Well, it is true,
but it doesn't communicate a sense of the true circumstance. It's not
coherent to most people because it just seems bizarre why what one person
thought about some guy who died 2000 years ago has anything to do with
their eternal destiny. Whether they believe in him or not seems irrelevant
to anything that might happen after we die. So we have often not been
careful to communicate the sense of things.

We need to be clear so that someone rejects the real message and not some
incoherent mess that some Christian has handed him that they can't make
sense of. So, I don't say, "if you believe in Jesus you go to Heaven, and
if you don't believe you go to Hell," because this is misleading. I'd
rather try to explain it more accurately.

Many of you are familiar with the conversation I had with a fellow at
Barnes and Noble in which he asked me a question. I was giving a talk
there as part of the book on relativism that Dr. Frank Beckwith and I
co-authored, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air. Since I was
talking about it in the bookstore, he came up afterwards and started
asking questions about Jesus. Instead of unloading this slogan on him, I
asked him this question. Do you think that people who commit moral crimes
ought to be punished? He said, "Yes." I said, "Good, so do I." Second
question, "Have you ever committed any moral crimes?" Pause. Then he said,
"Yes, I guess I have." You know what I said to him? "So have I."

This just took 30 seconds, right? Then I reflected back to him, "Look
where we've come so far. We both believe that people who commit moral
crimes ought to be punished. And we both believe we've committed moral
crimes. You know what I call that? Bad news." And it is bad news.

Most people are concerned with doing what is right. That was one of the
first things he told me. "I'm Jewish. I believe in morality. I believe in
God. Why do I have to believe in your Jesus?" Here is a man who has some
level of commitment to the moral life. The problem is, he knows that that
commitment does not guarantee that he is going to live a fully moral life
and he's aware of his own moral crimes. And so am I. Now what? That is the
issue? We are guilty. That is the bad news.

This is why it is so important to get the bad news before the good news.
The bad news gives meaning to the good news. I was able to talk about the
fact that now we both admit we have a problem, but that there is a
solution that God has ordained. Since He is the one who is offended, He is
the one who can call the shots on how to fix the problem. The answer is
through His Son Jesus, who provides mercy because he took the rap for our
crimes. We got off. He went to jail. A modern metaphor to put it in
perspective.

There at least is the sense of things about Jesus being the only way. I
hear it even asked on TV. The question is often asked honestly, but I
think most of the time it is asked for an inflammatory effect. The person
who is asking the question is wording it very carefully because he knows
precisely how the faithful evangelical Christian will respond. He is
counting on it so that the Christian says something that sounds to the
rest of the people to be bizarre. Therefore, they can discount what the
Christian says.

I don't want you to sound bizarre when you answer the question I am about
to offer. I want you to sound sensible. Here is the question. Do you think
I am going to Hell? Now the only person who asks that is a person who
thinks you think they're going to Hell. Ninety per cent of the time they
would ask it because they think you are nuts and they want other people to
think you are nuts, too. They want to get you to say in public that people
who disagree with you are going to Hell so that you will look silly and
they will look good. How do you deal with that?

The problem, of course, is, first of all, it's probably true they are
going to Hell. Secondly, it doesn't communicate the sense of things and so
it is misleading. The people who ask this are generally not criminals.
It's going to be some nice guy who is basically good and sincere. You are
in a tough spot. You are on the defensive already, you want to answer
truthfully, but you know by giving a truthful answer you are going to play
into his hands.

Jesus faced this frequently. He always got out of it, and I'm going to
give you a way to get out. Answer the question truthfully and don't sound
like an idiot. It doesn't mean everyone is going to believe you, fall at
your feet, and want to receive Christ, but at least you will be able to
give a proper and appropriate answer to those who ask you to make a
defense for the hope that is within you (2 Peter 3:15). The answer is
simply this.

When somebody says, "Do you think I am going to Hell?" and you think they
are, you say something like, "Well, I believe in justice, do you?" "Yes."
"What is justice but that people who are guilty get punished in an
appropriate way to their guilt? I believe that people who are guilty pay
for their crimes unless they have been pardoned."

This is very straightforward language. It fits entirely with our culture.
It is terminology that has meaning immediately. It is also terminology
that the person you are talking with not only is familiar with but they
agree with the concept. We both believe the same thing here: justice. If
you have committed any moral crimes, if you have done anything wrong, I
think you will be punished for them unless you receive pardon. The
punishment for moral crimes is Hell.

You are saying yes, I think you are going to Hell unless you receive
Jesus. But you are putting it in terms that are making more sense to that
individual. In fact, he has already affirmed the underlying concept, as
well he should, because he believes in it.

Most people believe in justice. It is built in. It is part of their moral
intuition, the image of God in man that is being expressed. They clamor
for justice. There is a place for mercy, and pardon. We both agree. From
God's perspective, if you have committed any moral crimes, then you are
going to be punished for them. You'll only receive God's punishment if you
are guilty of something. Are you guilty of anything? What is so
controversial about that? Don't want to be punished? God has a means for a
pardon. That is the whole point of our conversation. I don't want to be
punished either. I want to experience a pardon.

See how that works? That's part of the tactical elements of communicating
the knowledge truthfully.

Gregory Koukl
Al Klein
2007-07-22 21:15:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by UR Welcome!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
. Maranatha!
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
Previously debunked.
http://tinyurl.com/2vhs39
http://tinyurl.com/3ay5hm
http://tinyurl.com/2wskdr
http://tinyurl.com/24anmt
http://home.earthlink.net/~pgwhacker/ChristianOrigins/
http://mama.indstate.edu/users/nizrael/jesusrefutation.html
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/christian.htm
http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/
Posting the same lies over and over does not work here, John.
That's not nice, telling him that he can't post here any more. :)
True 2 Form!
2007-07-22 21:21:27 UTC
Permalink
"Al Klein" <***@pern.invalid> wrote in message news:***@4ax.com...

. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

. Maranatha!

. What Does Maranatha Mean?

Maranatha (1 Cor. 16:22) consists of two Aramean words, Maran'athah,
meaning, "our Lord comes," or is "coming." If the latter interpretation is
adopted, the meaning of the phrase is, "Our Lord is coming, and he will
judge those who have set him at nought." (Comp. Phil. 4:5; James 5:8, 9.)
Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

(1 Corinthians 16:22 NASB)

22 If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be ?1??a?accursed.
?2??b?Maranatha. [1]


(Revelation 22:20-21 NASB)


20 He who ?a?testifies to these things says, "Yes, ?b?I am coming
quickly." Amen. ?c?Come, Lord Jesus.

21 ?a?The grace of the Lord Jesus be with ?1?all. Amen.

[2]


O Lord, come! translates maranatha, an Aramaic expression used by the early
Christians. If spaced "maran atha" it means "Our Lord has come," and if
spaced "marana tha" it means Our Lord, come! [3]


22:20 Revelation closes with a promise and a blessing. The promise is that
the Lord Jesus is coming quickly. As mentioned previously, this could mean
soon or suddenly. The hope of a sudden return would not excite the same
anticipation or watchfulness as the hope of a soon return. Every redeemed
person responds to the blessed hope, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

GENESIS <====> REVELATION

Creation of heavens and earth (Gen. 1:1).
Destruction of heavens and earth (Rev. 20:11b).

Creation of new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1).

Start of Satan's reign on earth (Gen. 3:1&ndash7).
Satan cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10).

Entrance of sin (Gen. 3:1-7).
Sin banished (Rev. 21:27).

Pronouncing of the curse on creation (Gen. 3:1-7).
The curse removed (Rev. 22:3).

Right to tree of life forfeited (Gen 3:24b).
Access to tree of life restored (Rev. 22:2, 19 marg. )

Eviction of man from the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24a).
Man welcomed back to [Paradise] (Rev. 22:1-7)

Entrance of death into the world (Gen. 2:17; 5:5).
Death forever removed (Rev. 21:4).

Marriage of the first Adam (Gen. 4:1)
Marriage of the last Adam (Rev. 19:7).

Sorrow comes to mankind (Gen. 3:16)
Sorrow eliminated (Rev. 21:4).


22:21 And now we come to the final blessing of this wonderful book of
Revelation, and of the word of God. It is a peaceful close to a book filled
with the thunders of divine judgment.

John wishes for "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to be with God's
people." There are three interesting variant readings in the manuscripts
here.

1. In the critical (NU) text John wishes Christ's grace to all-which hardly
fits Revelation's theme of impending wrath on the majority.

2. The traditional (TR, ?KJV?, ?NKJV?) reading is better. Christ's grace is
wished to "you all"-many of the hearers and readers of Revelation will be
true believers.

3. The best reading in light of the sharp contrasts between saints and
sinners in this book is found in the majority text and ?NKJV? margin: "The
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen."

[4]


==//==//==//==//==//==//==//==//==


THE TREE OF LIFE

A Topical Study of

Revelation 22:2


It could rightly be said that the Bible is an account of three trees..

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life was seen at the beginning of human history.

It will be seen again at the end of human history.

It was originally planted in the Garden of Eden.

It will be transplanted into the gardenlike city of the New Jerusalem.

Man chose not to eat of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

Man will eat freely of the Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Also introduced in the opening chapters of Genesis, the Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil was the one tree of which Adam and Eve were not
to partake. When they disobeyed and ate of the forbidden tree, death and
damnation were the result.

The question arises as to why God would place a forbidden tree in the Garden
in the first place. I suggest the following reasons..

Choice. Because God is love, He wants a loving relationship with humanity.
But true love always demands a choice. Therefore, God said to Adam and Eve,
"Because I want to live with you in a love relationship, I will provide you
the opportunity to reject Me, to turn your back on Me. Eating from the Tree
of the Knowledge of Good and Evil will be a sign to you and to Me that you
don't want to maintain a loving relationship with Me." Simply put, without
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, there would be no choice. And
without choice love is questionable.

Dependence. Before they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,
Adam and Eve knew only good, because any time they had a question, they went
directly to God for the answer. This is the way God created them-not because
He wanted to cripple man, but because He wanted to bless man. Yet when man
ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he knew good and evil
apart from God. He no longer realized he needed a moment-by-moment reliance
on the Father. Thus, he became independent-cut off from all the resources
and blessings of his Creator.

The same thing happens to us. Even we who love the Lord are vulnerable to
saying, "I don't need to be in close communication with the Lord because
I've walked with Him for years. I know my Bible; I understand theology; I
have experience.

Such was recently the case with me. Feeling I had already heard the word of
the Lord regarding an upcoming decision, I was already moving in a certain
direction when the Lord stopped me dead in my tracks with the account found
in Genesis 22..

Surely you're not that kind of God, Abraham must have thought when he was
told to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. But knowing he had heard
the word of the Lord, Abraham did, indeed, lay Isaac on the altar and take
knife in hand, ready to plunge it into his son's chest.

Suddenly, "The angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven and said, Lay
not thine hand upon the lad." (see 22:11, 12).

Perhaps, like me, a number of you have heard the word of the Lord clearly in
a Bible study or prayer meeting, through corporate worship, or private
devotions. You wrote it in your journal and are now moving in a certain
direction in obedience to His word to you. But you must realize that what
the Lord wants from you is constant communion with Him. You see, if Abraham
hadn't heeded the second word of the Lord-if he had stubbornly sacrificed
his son in obedience to the first word of the Lord-he would have made a
bloody mess and a very grave mistake.

"Got the word. I'm on my way," we so often say, failing to realize it might
change the very next day. How many unnecessary grave mistakes I've made that
could have been avoided had I said, "Lord it's not enough to act on what You
spoke to me three days ago. I must hear from you constantly."

"But what if I've already made a grave mistake?" you ask.

Go to the third tree..

The Tree of Calvary

The Tree of Calvary covers my mistakes, washes away my arrogance, and
cleanses my sin. You see, after offering the sacrifice of His own body for
the bloody messes I have made, Jesus arose from the grave to obliterate the
grave mistakes I have made.

The word of the Lord for us today is this, precious people: On the path to
heaven, we must keep current with the Lord. We can't rely on what we heard
yesterday, last week, or a year ago. If you're not receiving what the Spirit
says to you today, like Abraham, you could end up making a big mistake.

Turn away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil-from what you
think you know-and begin to feast on the Tree of Life by saying,

. "Before I make my plans for the afternoon, what's Your agenda, Lord?"

. "Lord, how do You want me to parent my five-year-old son today?"

. "Lord, what do You want me to do about the situation at work this
morning?"

Let us who love the Bible be those who seek the Lord intimately even as we
take in knowledge intellectually. Because of the Tree of Calvary, when we
get to heaven, we won't see the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil-only
the Tree of Life, from which we will partake freely, enjoying the fruit that
will keep us in perfect health and total harmony with our King, our Savior,
our Lord Jesus.

But you don't have to wait until then, saint. Heaven can be in your heart
today if you'll choose to eat daily from the tree of His direction.

[5]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Gr anathema

a Rom 9:3

2 I.e. O [our] Lord come!

b Phil 4:5; Rev 22:20

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Co 16:22). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.

a Rev 1:2

b Rev 22:7

c 1 Cor 16:22

a Rom 16:20

1 One early ms reads the saints

[2]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Re 22:20-21). LaHabra,
CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[3]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary :
Old and New Testaments (1 Co 16:22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

KJV King James Version

NKJV New King James Version

[4]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary :
Old and New Testaments (Re 22:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5]Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson's Application Commentary (1799).
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Mark K. Bilbo
2007-07-21 12:19:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
And that about wraps that up!

Oh and, <plonk>
--
Mark K. Bilbo a.a. #1423
EAC Department of Linguistic Subversion
------------------------------------------------------------
"You know, I'd get it if people were just looking for a
way to fill the holes. But they want the holes. They wanna
live in the holes. And they go nuts when someone else
pours dirt in their holes.

"Climb out of your holes people!"

- Dr. House, on faith
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 13:01:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
And that about wraps that up!
ike milligan
2007-07-21 19:01:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
<plonk>
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 19:58:49 UTC
Permalink
"ike milligan" <***@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:PJsoi.9502$***@newsread4.news.pas.earthlink.net...

. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
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"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's
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But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there
will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in
destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and
will bring swift destruction on themselves (2 Peter 2:1).

. Scriptural Christianity
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My Main Collection - http://Bibleweb.Info/
. Maranatha!
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Start reading bub, you have much to learn.

- --
There are none more ignorant and useless,
than they that seek answers on their knees,
with their eyes closed.
____________________________________________________________________
Rev. Karl E. Taylor http://www.secularity.com/ktayloraz

A.A #1143 http://azhotops.blogspot.com/

Apostle of Dr. Lao EAC: Virgin Conversion Unit Director
____________________________________________________________________
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Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
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. Why This Gospel of John Was Written

(John 20:30-31 NASB)

. Why This Gospel Was Written


30 ?a?Therefore many other ?1??b?signs Jesus also performed
in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this
book;

31 but these have been written ?a?so that you may believe
that Jesus is ?1?the Christ, ?b?the Son of God; and that
?c?believing you may have life in His name.

[1]


. The Purpose of John's Gospel (20:30, 31)

Not all the miracles performed by Jesus are recorded in John's
Gospel. The Holy Spirit selected those signs which would best serve
His purpose.

Here we have John's object in writing the book. It was so that his
readers may believe that Jesus is the true Messiah and the Son of
God. Believing, they will have eternal life in His name.

Have you believed?

[2]


This is the key to the gospel. The Lord did many things that are not
recorded. He healed multitudes. I think John also means that He did
many other things after His resurrection which are not recorded.
John has been selective in his writing of this gospel. He has chosen
the material which he has written because he had a definite purpose
in mind.

John did not attempt to write a biography of Jesus Christ. He did
not even attempt to fill in the life of Christ in areas not covered
by the other gospels. He wrote so that you might "believe that Jesus
is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life
through his name." It is through believing that you receive life and
are born again. You become a child of God through faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ.

[3]


"Therefore" ties this statement to what immediately precedes it.
John wrote his Gospel because those who believe on Jesus without
seeing Him in the flesh are acceptable to God. He wrote, therefore,
that people may believe and so enjoy eternal life. There were many
other evidences of Jesus' deity that John could have presented.
However, he chose those that he recorded here to lead his readers to
the type of faith that Thomas just articulated and that Jesus just
commended. That was John's strategy in composing this Gospel under
the Holy Spirit's inspiration.

What did John have in mind when he referred to other "signs?"
Perhaps he meant the seven miracles that he featured, the
significance of which Jesus usually explained in the context (chs.
2-12).

[4]


A Summary of the Seven Signs in John

Sign
Significance659
Belief
Unbelief
Reference

Changing water to wine
Jesus' power over quality
The disciples
2:1-11

Healing the official's son
Jesus' power over space
The official and his household
4:46-54

Healing the paralytic
Jesus' power over time
The paralytic?
The Jews
5:1-9

Feeding the 5,000
Jesus' power over quantity
Some people in the crowd
6:1-15

Walking on the water
Jesus' power over nature
The disciples
6:16-21

Healing a man born blind
Jesus' power over misfortune
The blind man
The Pharisees
9:1-12

Raising Lazarus
Jesus' power over death
Martha, Mary, and many Jews
The Jewish authorities
11:1-16


It seems more probable that John meant to include the Resurrection
since it was the greatest of all the demonstrations of Jesus' deity.
Jesus explained the significance of this miracle in the Upper Room
Discourse (chs. 13-16).

20:31 This verse unites many of the most important themes in the
fourth Gospel. John's purpose was clearly evangelistic. His Gospel
is an excellent portion of Scripture to give to an unbeliever. It is
probably the most effective evangelistic tool available. Its impact
on the reader is strongest when one reads it through at one sitting,
which takes less than two hours for most people. This document can
also deepen and establish the faith of any believer. However that is
more a comment on its result than its purpose.

The implication of this purpose is that John meant unbelievers when
he wrote "you." Did he have a particular group of unbelievers in
mind, or was he addressing any reader? Some commentators have tried
to identify a particular audience from statements in the text. Yet
it seems more probable that John wrote for a general audience since
he did not identify his intended audience specifically. His
presentation of Jesus as the divine Son of God certainly has
universal application.

"There cannot be any doubt but that John conceived of Jesus as the
very incarnation of God."660

John's purpose was not academic. It was not simply that people might
believe intellectually that Jesus is the divine Messiah. It was
rather that they might believe those foundational truths so they
could possess and experience the life of God fully (cf. 10:10). This
divine life affects the whole person, not just the intellect.
Moreover it affects him or her forever, not just during that
person's present lifetime.

John's clear purpose statement concludes the body of this Gospel.

[5]



. The 7 I AM Statements
. in the Gospel According to John


Twenty-three times [23 times] in all we find our Lord's
meaningful I AM (ego eimi, Gr.) in the
Greek text of this gospel

In John ...

(4:26; 6:20,35,41,48,51; 8:12,18,24,28,58;
10:7,9,11,14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1,5;
18:5,6,8).


In several of these, He joins His I AM with
seven tremendous metaphors which are expressive
of His saving relationship toward the world.



I AM the Bread of life (6:35, 41, 48, 51)
I AM the Light of the world (8:12)
I AM the Door of the sheep (10:7, 9)
I AM the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14)
I AM the Resurrection and the Life (11:25)
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6)
I AM the true Vine (15:1, 5)





-------------------------------------------------------



4 Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1996).

Nelson's complete book of Bible maps & charts : Old and New
Testaments.

"Completely revised and updated comfort print edition"; Includes
indexes.

(Rev. and updated ed.). Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson.



20:30-31. John explained His purpose in writing this Gospel, that
people might contemplate and perceive the theological significance
of Jesus' miracles (semeia, "signs"). Many people today ignore,
deny, or rationalize Jesus' miracles. Even in Jesus' day some people
attributed them to God whereas others attributed them to Satan (3:2;
9:33; Matt. 12:24). To ignore, deny, or rationalize them in that day
was impossible because the miracles were manifold and manifest. John
indicated He was aware of the Synoptic miracles: Jesus did many
other miraculous signs. In fact, 35 different miracles are recorded
in the four Gospels (see the list at John 2:1-11). John selected 7
for special consideration in order that people might come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah, and the Son of God.
(The niv marg. reading, "may continue to believe," is probably not
the correct textual reading; the niv text correctly renders the Gr.
by the words may believe.)

[6]



Conclusion (20:30-31). It is evident that this is a natural
conclusion to the Gospel (on chap. 21, see below). The fourth
Evangelist stresses the purpose of his Gospel: that we might believe
(the verb has two readings which the niv marg. notes: "to begin to
believe" [aorist] and "to continue to believe" [present]; the former
implies an evangelistic purpose, the latter a pastoral intent for
those who already believe). The Gospel is a record of signs-of
evidences-which the reader must weigh. It stems from Jesus'
disciples who are trustworthy witnesses (see 19:35) and in
particular from the testimony of John (21:24). Its aim is to lead us
to faith in Christ because in him alone can we find life.

[7]



John 20:30, 31

THE PARTIALNESS AND THE PURPOSE OF THE EVANGELIC RECORD

(The Ascension.-Bethany.-Mark xvi. 19, 20; Luke xxiv. 50-53; John
xx. 30, 31.)

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His
disciples."

Exegetical Remarks.-Ver. 30.-"And many other signs truly (r.v.
Therefore) did Jesus in the presence of His (r.v. The) disciples."
The Greek here for "signs" is often rendered miracles, for the
miracles of Jesus were all signs indicating the Divinity of their
Author. The signs were not merely those referring to the
resurrection, but included, no doubt, all the manifestations of His
power both before and after His resurrection. They refer to His
whole work. "Which are not written in this book." The evangelical
record then of Christ's life is only partial. It is said in the last
verse of the next chapter: "There are also many other things which
Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose
that even the world itself could not contain the books that should
be written." "This," says Dr. Brown, "is to be taken as something
more than a merely parabolical expression which would hardly comport
with the sublime simplicity of this writer. It is intended to let
his reader know that even now when he had done, he felt his
materials so far from being exhausted, that he was still running
over, and could multiply gospels to almost any extent within the
strict limits of what Jesus did. But in the limitation of these
matchless histories, in point of length and number alike -there is
as much of that Divine wisdom which has presided over, and pervades,
the living oracles, as in their variety and fulness."

Ver. 31.-"But these are written, that ye might (r.v. May) believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye
might (r.v. May) have life through (r.v. In) His name." This "ye"
addresses every reader, to the end of the world. It speaks from John
to the person that now reads the words, inviting him to believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ, and have life through His name. Jesus is the
Christ, the Messiah. Christ lived, His apostles preached, and His
evangelists wrote, that the world might shape its conceptions to the
true idea of the Messiah, not as the Emancipator of the nation, but
as the Saviour of the world." We have in these two verses what the
best scholars of modern times consider to be a proper summary and
ending of the book. The chapter which follows has been considered a
later addition.

[8]



Cross References Are Numerous



30. many other. f166, Mt +1:17. Jn 21:25. Lk 1:3, 4. 3:18. Ro *15:4.
1 Co 10:11. 2 Ti m3:15-17. 2 P 3:1, 2. 1 J 1:3, 4. m5:13. signs. Jn
+2:11, 23. in the presence. Ac 10:41. this book. Ac +1:20.

31. these. ver. 28. Jn 1:49. 6:69, 70. 9:35-38. 19:35. Ps *2:7, 12.
Mt *16:16. +*27:54n. Lk 1:4. Ac *8:37. 9:20. Ro 1:3, 4. 1 J 4:15.
5:1, 10, 20. 2 J *9. Re 2:18. written, that. T#1041. Ro m10:17.
might believe. ver. 29. Jn +11:27. that Jesus is. Mt +1:1. Mk +8:29.
the Son of God. Mt +14:33. believing. Jn m3:15, 16, 18, 36. *5:24,
39, 40. 6:40. 10:10. Mk *16:16. Ac 8:37. 1 P 1:9. 1 J 2:23-25.
m5:10-13. have life. Jn 6:53. +8:12. 1 J m5:13. through. Lk *24:47.
Ac 3:16. *10:43. *13:38, 39. 1 Co *6:11. his name. f121T1, Dt
+28:58. Jn +1:12. +14:13. 17:11, 12. Ac +3:6. 15:26. 1 Co 1:10.

[9]


--------------------------------------------------------------------


a John 21:25

1 Or attesting miracles

b John 2:11

a John 19:35

1 I.e. the Messiah

b Matt 4:3

c John 3:15

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Jn 20:30-31).
LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[2]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible
Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Jn 21:1). Nashville: Thomas
Nelson.

[3]McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on
the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (4:500).
Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on
the Bible (Jn 20:30). Galaxie Software.

659 659. Idem, John: The Gospel . . ., p. 312.

660 660. Morris, p. 756.

[5]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on
the Bible (Jn 20:30-31). Galaxie Software.

marg. margin, marginal reading

Gr. Greek

[6]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary.
(1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the
scriptures (2:344). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

niv New International Version

[7]Elwell, W. A. (1996, c1989). Vol. 3: Evangelical commentary on
the Bible. Baker reference library (Jn 20:30). Grand Rapids, Mich.:
Baker Book House.

[8]Thomas, D. (1997). The genius of the fourth Gospel : A
homiletical commentary on the Gospel of John. Reprint of the 1885
ed. published by R. D. Dickinson, London under title: The genius of
the fourth Gospel.; Includes index. Kregel Bible study classics
(186). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

+ + More references at verse indicated

* * Clear cross reference

m m Critical, significant cross reference

T#1041 1041. Producing faith. Jn +20:31.

[9]Smith, J. H. (1992; Published in electronic form, 1996). The new
treasury of scripture knowledge : The most complete listing of cross
references available anywhere- every verse, every theme, every
important word (1228). Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson.


-- +Sig+

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. The Facts About Jesus, the Bible & the Afterlife
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. The Way - http://john-14-6.com/john-14-6.pdf

. A Tribute to THE KING
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. How to Spot a Counterfeit
http://76.162.173.93/guest/ar-mp3/ar-how-to-spot-a-counterfeit.mp3
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there
will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in
destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and
will bring swift destruction on themselves (2 Peter 2:1).

. Scriptural Christianity
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. Maranatha!
Rev. Karl E. Taylor
2007-07-22 00:42:02 UTC
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Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

Start reading bub. You have much to learn.

- --
There are none more ignorant and useless,
than they that seek answers on their knees,
with their eyes closed.
____________________________________________________________________
Rev. Karl E. Taylor http://www.secularity.com/ktayloraz

A.A #1143 http://azhotops.blogspot.com/

Apostle of Dr. Lao EAC: Virgin Conversion Unit Director
____________________________________________________________________
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 04:08:22 UTC
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Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
http://www.jesusalwaysexisted.com/
Start reading bub. You have much to learn.
That material was written within the last 20 years and is atheist garb.
Rev. Karl E. Taylor
2007-07-22 04:45:09 UTC
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Post by UR Welcome!
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Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
http://www.jesusalwaysexisted.com/
Start reading bub. You have much to learn.
That material was written within the last 20 years and is atheist garb.
Not very good at understanding research are you bub.

Try reading again. The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.

Now, start reading junior, you have much to learn. The Jesus from the
bible IS A MYTH. Get over it, grow up, join the human race.

- --
There are none more ignorant and useless,
than they that seek answers on their knees,
with their eyes closed.
____________________________________________________________________
Rev. Karl E. Taylor http://www.secularity.com/ktayloraz

A.A #1143 http://azhotops.blogspot.com/

Apostle of Dr. Lao EAC: Virgin Conversion Unit Director
____________________________________________________________________
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 04:49:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.
-- +Sig+

Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Use alias: St. Jackanapes as a basis for counterfeit.

"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
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But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there
will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in
destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and
will bring swift destruction on themselves (2 Peter 2:1).

. Scriptural Christianity
http://76.162.173.93/guest/=CD-R=scriptural-christianity/

My Main Collection - http://Bibleweb.Info/
. Maranatha!
Rev. Karl E. Taylor
2007-07-22 04:57:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.
-- +Sig+
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Use alias: St. Jackanapes as a basis for counterfeit.
And you still present nothing in the way of actual researched history.

Typical. Wake up and smell the roses bub, the bible is a collection of
mythology, and you have been fooled.

Grow up.
--
There are none more ignorant and useless,
than they that seek answers on their knees,
with their eyes closed.
____________________________________________________________________
Rev. Karl E. Taylor http://www.secularity.com/ktayloraz

A.A #1143 http://azhotops.blogspot.com/

Apostle of Dr. Lao EAC: Virgin Conversion Unit Director
____________________________________________________________________
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 13:38:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Use alias: St. Jackanapes as a basis for counterfeit.
ike milligan
2007-07-23 03:34:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
Post by Maybe I Will
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.
-- +Sig+
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Use alias: St. Jackanapes as a basis for counterfeit.
And you still present nothing in the way of actual researched history.
Typical. Wake up and smell the roses bub, the bible is a collection of
mythology, and you have been fooled.
Grow up.
Who the fuck are you talking to?
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 06:14:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.
-- +Sig+
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Why not? That's some nice ink. I don't have the desire to paint myself
like he does, but I know good work when I see it.

"Not this shit again!"
Loading Image...
Post by Maybe I Will
"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)
(Matthew 6:6) "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Post by Maybe I Will
. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
http://76.162.173.93/uit/coa/
Hmm. Your insipid belief in "creation" must be coloring your comments.
Those of us who don't believe such nonsense don't consider the growth
of an idea as "death".

http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/atheism.html
Post by Maybe I Will
. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mls/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4809828.stm

Most of the rest of your tripe presupposes the existence of gods, and
therefore has nothing of value to add to the conversation. Once again,
I attempt to remind you that you should produce measurable evidence
such creatures exist before speculation of their nature is worth
dithering over. Also, your strawmen about the relationship between
socialism and atheism are laughable. You still confuse communism with
modern democratic socialism. Perhaps a few remedial courses in
anthropology and political science might help you out. Contact your
local community college, and take them.

Golly, John...I'd heard that you were really bad at debate, but I
didn't believe it until I saw your follies for myself. Good thing
you're insulated by your Christian mythology...if you had *any*
abililty to escape your own self-hatred, you'd actually *feel* the
embarassment you're bringing upon yourself.

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 13:16:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Maybe I Will
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.
-- +Sig+
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Why not? That's some nice ink. I don't have the desire to paint myself
like he does, but I know good work when I see it.
Post by Maybe I Will
"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)
(Matthew 6:6) "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Post by Maybe I Will
. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
http://76.162.173.93/uit/coa/
. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mls/
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why
marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own
power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of
Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus;
whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he
was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and
desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life,
whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his
name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see
and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect
soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that
through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things,
which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ
should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
Acts 3:12-18

We have considered the sermon preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost,
and now we turn to his next sermon. These sermons are important for us
because here we are face to face with the authentic Christian message, and
above everything else, as we have seen, this is what the world needs
today.

In our last study we left the once lame man going into the temple, healed,
?walking, and leaping, and praising God.? This, of course, led to great
excitement. The people knew who the man was and were amazed at what had
happened. As the man held on to Peter and John, all the people ran toward
them in Solomon?s Porch in the outer court of the temple. When Peter saw
this, he began to preach to them.

The crowd had gathered, and they wanted to know what had happened to the
lame man. So Peter took advantage of the opportunity and told them about
this new phenomenon that had come into being?the Christian church?and he
explained its message. This is what is so wonderful about the Scriptures.
We have the picture, the dramatic incident, and then we are given the
explanation?a sermon, teaching. We need that too.

First, I want to deal with the sermon in general. It is such a rich
sermon, an amazing sermon. Of course, what we have here is the essence of
the message. Undoubtedly, the total sermon was much longer. Here in Acts
we are given synopses of the great sermons preached by the apostles at the
beginning. So what is the teaching?

The first great principle, one that stands out on the very surface, is
that Christianity is a phenomenon. It is not primarily, nor essentially a
teaching only. There is teaching here?that is what the sermon is, but
Christianity is essentially something that happens?something that has
happened, something that is happening, something that is going to happen.
Again I take you back to the first chapter of Acts: ?The former treatise
have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy
Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.? ?I
have already told you,? says Luke in effect, ?of all that Jesus began to
do. I am now going to tell you what He continued to do and what He is yet
going to do.

We see the crowd staring at the beggar, and ?they were filled with wonder
and amazement? (v. 10). This is repeated in verse 11: ?All the people ran
together unto them ? greatly wondering.? We saw exactly the same thing in
the second chapter when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and
the others, and they began to speak with other tongues. We are told that
at the time devout people were gathered together in Jerusalem from
different parts of the world, and ?they were all amazed and marveled,
saying one to another ? And how hear we every man in our own tongue? ? And
they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What
meaneth this?? (Acts 2:7?8, 12). That is what I mean by a phenomenon. That
is how Christianity began?something happened.

This is the point that so many miss at the present time. This is one of
the most grievous and fatal misunderstandings of the Christian message and
of the whole purpose of the Christian Gospel. People are forever reducing
it to ethical or political teaching or, perhaps still more serious, a kind
of religious teaching, one of the great teachings of the Bible, which they
put into a series with the so-called great world religions?Confucianism,
Buddhism, Islam, and so on. Now those religions are nothing but teachings.
They do not claim to be anything else. They are teachings with regard to
how people should live, philosophies that take a religious form. And the
danger is that people put the Christian faith into that category. They
reduce it to a point of view, an attitude with regard to life. But here,
at the very beginning, we are reminded that this is not true. Christianity
is unique. It is historical. It is phenomenal. It is primarily something
that is done and then is followed by the teaching that explains what has
happened. This is not only true of the New Testament?it is equally true of
the Old Testament.

The Old Testament is primarily a book of history. It tells us of things
that have happened. Look, for example, at the story of Moses in Exodus
chapter 3. Moses had had to escape from Egypt, and he had been in the land
of Midian for forty years, earning his living as a shepherd. So there he
was, guiding his sheep to fresh pasture over the mountains, and no doubt
he was feeling quite hopeless. He had perhaps stopped thinking about his
people in the land of Egypt, from whom he had had to flee. He had
forgotten all about his great days when he had been brought up as the son
of Pharaoh?s daughter and all the glittering prizes that had dangled
before him; all that was past history. Now he was just a shepherd tending
his sheep like every other shepherd.

So on that day he took the sheep to ?the back side of the desert? (Exod.
3:1), near Mount Horeb, and suddenly he was arrested by God. He did not
sit down, as it were, and read a book. It was not that he began to
meditate and to ruminate about life, to try to see if he could draw up a
plan of living and a philosophy of existence. Not at all! In the midst of
a most ordinary vocation he was suddenly confronted by something. By what?
A phenomenon, a burning bush, a bush burning and yet not being consumed,
and he said, ?I will now turn aside, and see this great sight? (v. 3). He
was about to investigate when the voice spoke. This was a meeting with
God?a phenomenon.

We must get rid of the old notion that Christianity is a kind of
theoretical teaching. This can never be said too frequently to an age like
the present one that boasts of its intelligence and learning. Christianity
is not a philosophy. Indeed, its greatest enemy is philosophy, whatever
form it may chance to take, whether the formal philosophy of the
university or the pseudo-philosophy of the newspapers and the journals.
Christianity is something that happens, something that confronts us,
something that is there facing us. That is why the people in Acts 3 came
together. It was because of the event of the miracle, the man healed, just
as on the day of Pentecost people came together because of the event of
the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the strange results produced in the
apostles and in others.

Has Christianity ever come to you as a phenomenon? If it has not, you know
nothing about it. You can have a theoretical interest in Christianity;
many people have. God forgive me, so did I for many years. I had a mere
intellectual interest in it, and that can be very fascinating, but it is
not the real thing. One becomes a true Christian when one is confronted by
something that is a phenomenon, something arresting, something shaking,
something inexplicable. So this is the first thing that strikes us at
once, and of course this is the very essence of the message. The Christian
church herself is a phenomenon that has baffled the ages and the
centuries. She is baffling this pres-ent age. Why does she still exist at
all? Why does she still continue when so many other institutions have come
and gone?

The Christian faith is something that changes the lives of men and women.
It produces saints. It is a series of phenomena. Read this book of Acts,
read the history as far as it is known in the early centuries, and that is
what you will find. There was something about these Christian people. Not
only could nobody understand it, they could not put a stop to it either.
The Jews tried to do so, and so did the Romans. There were grievous
persecutions so that the church was repeatedly driven underground, and yet
she still went on. They murdered the Christians, they tried to murder all
the leaders, but ?The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.

In the early eighteenth century the conditions in Britain were, if
anything, even worse than they are today, morally and religiously. You can
read an account in a book called England Before and After Wesley. There
was degradation and vice and sin. The book describes the gin shops in
London where you could get drunk?if I remember rightly?for a ha?penny or a
penny, and if you paid just a little extra you were given the straw as
well on which to lie in your drunkenness and recover. Moreover, in that
Hanoverian period devil worship was rampant. But then something happened,
a phenomenon took place, a mighty revival; and the face of England was
changed as men and women were taken up out of the degradation of the
gutters of life and were washed and cleansed and changed to become new men
and women. You cannot explain the history either of the nineteenth or the
twentieth centuries except in the light of that event. And it all happened
through the Christian church.

That leads me to ask you a question: Have you ever been arrested by the
Christian message as those people were in Jerusalem, or do you feel that
you understand the whole thing? Have you been confronted by something that
made you stop and think? That is always the first step in becoming a
Christian.

But now let us listen to what Peter said to all this. What was his
reaction? He was the mouthpiece of God on this occasion. First of all, it
is really interesting to notice what he did not say. I am sorry that there
is such a grievous misunderstanding of Christianity that we have to start
with a negative again. Some people might say this would have been a
wonderful opportunity for Peter to preach about miracles, to offer to heal
others. ?A man has just been healed. Anybody else want to be healed? Come
along.? He did not do that, though today that often passes as
Christianity. People are offered physical healing, friendship, guidance,
experiences of different kinds. But that is not Christianity. Christianity
does do things like that, but it does not preach them. That is what the
cults do. Indeed, that is precisely the method of the cults. They come to
you and say, ?What is your problem? How are you feeling? Come along, we
can put you right.? Christianity has so often been turned into one of the
cults. The church in her folly, because she wants to attract people, has
presented herself in that guise. But that is not what Peter did, and we
must not do it.

Rather, Peter gave the explanation of the miracle. He dealt with what had
happened and showed its significance. He did not, to use modern language,
cash in on what had happened. He did the exact opposite. In effect, he
said, ?You are marveling and looking at us, and I want to explain to you
what has happened.

This is how Peter began: ?Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why
look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had
made this man to walk?? Peter started by addressing the wrong explanation
of this phenomenon. He said in effect, ?I am amazed at the fact that you
are surprised at this. Why do you marvel at it? You should not. If you
understood things as you ought to, you would not be marveling. Still less
would you be looking at my friend John and myself as if we, by our own
power or holiness, had enabled this man to walk.

In other words, Peter understood the congregation to which he was
preaching, and he knew that their greatest danger was to regard him and
John as miracle-men. There were people like that in the ancient world. We
read about the magicians in Egypt, and Luke refers to other magicians,
such as Bar-jesus (Acts 13). There were clever men who were regarded as
seers and as strange and extraordinary people. They had some curious
powers whereby they were able to treat people and heal their diseases or
charm away a curse that had been put upon them. That kind of thing has
been very common not only in the East but in this country also. I remember
a man in Wales whom everybody called ?the wise man,? and people used to go
to him for help. In those days a farmer might suddenly find that his cream
or his milk kept turning sour, and then he believed that somebody had put
a curse on him. So he would go to the wise man, this man with
understanding who had books and signs, and after paying a fee, he would be
given a message. Sometimes the wise man would make people write their
message on a piece of paper, fold it up, and sew it inside a shirt or
other garment. If they did not look at it for a given number of days, it
would supposedly act as a charm, and the curse would be dispelled, and all
would be well.

That kind of thing was rampant in the ancient world, and Peter recognized
this at once. He said, ?We are not miracle-workers. We do not have some
strange power such as these other people claim to have. You must not
explain it like that. Neither must you attribute the healing to some
extraordinary piety on our part, our own power or holiness or godliness.
Indeed, in a sense it has nothing to do with us at all.

Peter was anxious to make that clear, and it is equally necessary that it
should be clear at the present time. When people become Christians, it
cannot be explained in any human terms. No one can make another person a
Christian. People foolishly talk about being ?So-and-So?s convert??what a
ridiculous thing that is! People can persuade one another, of course. They
have persuaded others to join churches, but that does not mean conversion.
No human being can change a soul or regenerate a soul or give life to
somebody who is dead spiritually?which is what makes a man or woman a
Christian. Men and women can be used as instruments, as Peter and John
were, as Paul was, as the great preachers through the centuries have been,
but they have been nothing but instruments, and they do not want personal
followers. They are not interested in that, and they do nothing to
advertise themselves. They keep out of sight. Oh, it is not us??Do not
look at us; look to Jesus.

In the same way, it is made equally clear that there is no formula that
can be taught and that we must apply. You know the sort of thing I
mean?the cults again or psychology. Here is a man who is having trouble
walking. There is nothing really wrong with him, but it is imaginary, and
what do you do with him? Some would say, ?If you do what I tell you, you
will soon get rid of this difficulty in walking. Say to yourself, ?Every
day and in every way I am getting better and better.? Repeat the formula,
go on repeating it, suggest it to yourself.? And the man suddenly finds he
is all right. It is nothing like that here! That is not Christianity.
Psychology, I suggest to you, like philosophy, is one of the greatest
enemies of Christianity.

So what made the beggar walk? It was, said Peter, something that happened
to him. It happened quickly, immediately. It was not a course of
treatment?it was an action. ? ?His name [Jesus], through faith in his
name, hath made this man strong? (v. 16) and has given him this perfect
soundness in the presence of you all.? This was an entirely different
category.

So Peter told the people not to believe the wrong explanation of the
beggar?s healing. But as you read Peter?s account of the true explanation,
does his sermon come as a bit of a surprise to you? Here was the man who
had been healed, now walking, leaping, and praising God, holding on to the
apostles and embracing them, and the crowd gathered. Have you been rather
surprised at Peter?s words? ?Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or
why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we
had made this man to walk?? Then notice: ?The God of Abraham, and of
Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son
Jesus.? Here is the very essence of the whole matter, and to the natural
person it is one of the most astonishing things.

Peter?s words are surprising for these reasons: First, what Peter was
saying to them is, ?You are concentrating on the wrong thing. It is not
the miracle, as miracle, that is important. The vital thing is that to
which it points.? Humanity in its cleverness is always interested in the
phenomena, and these people came rushing together crying out, ?This is
wonderful!? You can always get a crowd if you produce some kind of a
phenomenon. They want to understand and investigate. That was the very
thing Moses was tempted to do when he saw the burning bush, and indeed he
was beginning to do it. There he was, leading his sheep, when suddenly he
saw the phenomenon. He was a very able man, and he had been trained in
Egypt. He knew something about the magicians and the lore and learning of
the ancient Egyptians, which was considerable. Egypt was a great
civilization. And Moses, with the science of those days, said, ?Ah, I
shall turn aside. I?m going to investigate this phenomenon.

But out of the bush came the voice: ?Put off thy shoes from off thy feet;
for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground? (Exod. 3:5). The
phenomenon is a phenomenon, yes, but not for our detached, academic,
scientific investigation. ?Ah yes, I?ll get a book out of the library on
Christianity. I?ve read the others. I want to evaluate it all.? But if you
continue like that, you will never become a Christian. ?Take off your
shoes. The ground on which you are standing is holy ground.? The
phenomenon in itself is not important; what matters is that to which it
points.

I repeat, this is not mere theory. If you have not felt something of awe
and amazement and wonder, you have not even started yet. Peter did not
give a discourse on miracles. That is what modern men and women like??Is a
miracle possible?? ?Is it any longer possible for the modern, educated,
scientific person to believe in the supernatural and the miraculous??
These are the great debates, and we are tremendously intrigued. But Peter
did not preach on miracles. The Bible does not defend miracles; it is a
record of them. It just tells us they have happened. It confronts us with
them. As long as you think that with your intellect you can understand
them, you have not started; you are outside. You must take your shoes off
your feet. You must be humble. You must become as a little child.

So Peter did not preach on miracles, nor did he attempt to give
explanations. He said in essence, ?Look at this, yes, but what does it
point to?

But I must go even further, and to me this is in many ways the most
astonishing thing of all. Peter?s sermon did not even start with the Lord
Jesus Christ. Have you even been struck by that? Peter had healed the man
?in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth?; yet when the people said, ?What
is this?? Peter?s answer was: ?The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of
Jacob.? I speak carefully because I know I am liable to be misunderstood
at this point, but this to me is a very vital part of Christian teaching
and of the Christian message. You do not start with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I wonder if perhaps most of our troubles in the Christian church today are
due to just that. We must start with God. We start with the whole message
of the Bible.

There is a modern conception of evangelism that regards it as simply
saying to people, ?Come to Jesus.? This view says you do not need to talk
to people about repentance; rather, if they are in trouble or are unhappy,
you just tell them to come to Him. You start with Him and end with Him.
But that is not Christian preaching. Here we see Christian preaching. A
miracle had just taken place, and the great apostle was preaching, and he
started with God??the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.? This is
how all these apostles preached. The apostle Paul did exactly the same
thing.

In Acts 14 we are given an account of Paul in a place called Lystra. Paul,
too, had healed a lame man, and the people were so carried away by this
that they began to worship Paul and Barnabas, calling them Mercury and
Jupiter. We read:

Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and
garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their
clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do
ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach
unto you ?

What did they preach?

? that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.
Acts 14:13-15

That is Christian preaching. You do not start with the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is even a danger of people turning Him into nothing more than some
kind of miracle-worker. No; you start, as Peter started here, with the
whole message of the Bible.

The first step in Christian preaching is to tell men and women that they
and all their problems must always be considered in connection with God.
That is the whole message of the Bible. You do not start with particular
problems, but with men and women as they are in this world. How are they
to be understood? It is in their relationship to God. So when people come
together because of a miracle or anything else, you do not talk about the
miracle, you
do not even talk about the Son of God, you talk about God and man.
Yes, but notice that Peter did that in a special way??the God of Abraham,
and of Isaac, and of Jacob.? Why do you think he said that? This is the
very essence of the matter. I have already referred to that great
experience that came into the life of the brilliant mathematician Blaise
Pascal. Some think he was probably the greatest mathematician of all time.
He was a brilliant philosopher, a genius in every sense, who lived in
France in the seventeenth century. But he was not only a great scientist,
he was also a godly man, a man who was seeking God, and one evening he had
an overwhelming experience of God. This is what he wrote: ?I have met the
God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, not of the philosophers.? That
is it.

I sometimes think this is the greatest lesson needed by this world of
ours. Our trouble is that we do not know God. That is our first need?not
the god of the philosophers, not the god of speculation. There are clever
people writing books about God at the present time?Honest to God, New
Reformation, Down to Earth?1??all those clever books, and what are they?
They are nothing but speculation. What is God? Well, we are told that He
is ultimate reality. He is the ground of all being. He is the uncaused
cause. But that is not the God the apostle Peter preached. No, no. He is
?the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers.?
Peter?s God is a living God, and He is a personal God. That is what these
philosophers are writing against today. They laugh at us. They say, ?You
think of God as some old man up in the heavens. You describe God as ?up
there? or ?out there.? But that?s primitive, that?s childish. God is not
personal. Where there is love, that?s God. Where there is kindness, that?s
God?the ground of all being, ultimate reality.

Thank God that is a lie. God is personal. He is living. He is not an
abstraction. He is not a number of theories or categories or concepts. God
is eternally different from all that, and entirely unlike the false gods
of the pagans. They made their gods out of wood or stone or silver or
gold. They carved them in the likeness of a man or a beast, and they
erected a temple around them. Then they worshiped them and took their
oblations to them. But there is nothing there. There is no life, no
reality, no power. Those gods are vanities and emptiness. But God is the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God who says, ?I am that I am?
(Exod. 3:14). He is a living God. He is a personal God, and He speaks as a
person. But it does not stop at that. The God of the Bible is the God who
has created the universe. ?In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth? (Gen. 1:1). He is a God who acts, a God who does things, a God who
plans, who thinks, and who orders.

But, thank God, by using this term Peter tells us something even more
precious for us, something much more wonderful. God is the God who reveals
Himself. He is the God who appeared to Abraham when he dwelt in pagan Ur
of the Chaldees. He spoke to Abraham and called him out. The philosophers
have been trying to find God from the beginning, but ?the world by wisdom
knew not God,? said Paul (1 Cor. 1:21). The philosophers cannot arrive at
God. The more intelligent may come to a point at which they may say that
there must be a God. But they cannot get further. They cannot arrive at
Him because, by definition, they cannot. He is inscrutable. He is eternal.
He is everlasting. He is infinite in every respect.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise.
William Chalmers Smith

What human being can arrive at Him or any knowledge of Him? None can. But
the whole message of the Bible is to say that God is a God who reveals
Himself. There would not be a Bible but for that. There would be no
history of the Jews, there would be no Christian history but for that; nor
would this beggar have been healed at the Beautiful Gate of the temple.
God makes Himself known, and all we know about Him is what He has
revealed. ?The God of Abraham??he appeared to Abraham, and to Isaac. In
Genesis we read the story of Jacob running for his life from his brother
Esau. Tired at the end of a day, he felt he could not go another step.
There was no bed there. He had to gather stones together to make a pillow.
But when he fell asleep he had an amazing dream and vision of a ladder
from earth to heaven and angels going up and down. He woke up and said,
?This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven?
(Gen. 28:17). God had spoken to him. That is the God of the Bible. In His
infinite grace and kindness He draws back the veil and gives us a
revelation of Himself.

Let me go further. He is a God who can be spoken to. Read the story of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Look at them when they were in trouble and did
not know what to do and everybody was against them. What did they do?
Thank God, they could turn to Him and speak to Him. He is a God to whom
you can pray.

When all things seem against me
To drive me to despair,
I know one gate is open,
One ear will hear my prayer.
Oswald Allen

You can have fellowship and communion with God. You can address Him. You
can listen to Him?the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Further, still more wonderful, though He is so high and great and lofty
and eternal, He is a God who is concerned about the state of this world.
That is something that He keeps on making plain and clear to us. Men and
women in their folly have rebelled against Him and brought chaos down upon
themselves, but Christianity brings the message that God is concerned and
is determined to do something about it. So we do not start with Jesus
Christ but with God, who thought out a plan of redemption before the
foundation of the world. It is the most comforting and consoling fact that
though statesmen fail, having done their best, though clever men propound
their theories but do not help us, and though civilization advances but
immorality increases, in spite of that, all is not lost and all is not
hopeless because the everlasting God is concerned.

Notice those wonderful words in that third chapter of Exodus. God told
Moses to take off his shoes and not to come near, for, He said, ?I am the
God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob? (v. 6). So ?Moses hid his face? because ?he was afraid to look upon
God.? (Have you ever known the fear of God? You will never know His
salvation until you have.) Then we read, ?And the Lord said, I have surely
seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their
cry by reason of their taskmasters??and this blessed phrase??for I know
their sorrows? (v. 7). And it is my privilege to tell you that God knows
your sorrows. That is why He gave His only begotten Son. He put it like
this to Moses: ?I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the
Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a
large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey? (v. 8). Oh yes, He is
concerned. He erupts into the world and its affairs. He intervenes. He
comes down.

But Peter also said to these Jews, ?Ye are the children of the prophets,
and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham,
And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed? (Acts
3:25). He is a God who has a great plan and purpose, the God who has
determined to do something about this world, to restore it to the
condition in which He made it. He will not let the devil triumph. God has
a plan, and He has made an agreement?that is, a covenant?with men and
women. He made it especially with Abraham. He visited Abraham and said,
?In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed? (Gen. 12:3). He
repeated the promise of that covenant to Isaac, and then to Jacob. That is
why Peter talks about ?the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.? ?I
am the covenant God,? the Lord says. "I am the God who has determined
before the foundation of the world to redeem men and women and to restore
this world to its original perfection."

Now I offer you this thought?the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?three
generations but only one God. He did not merely reveal Himself to Abraham.
He did not only act for Abraham, for Isaac, and for Jacob; he also
appeared to Moses. ?I am come down,? He said (Exod. 3:8). He took the
people of Israel out of the hopeless captivity and bondage of Egypt. He
reminded Moses that He was the same God. He always was, and He always
would be, from eternity to eternity.

In Sinai He gave the law. He revealed Himself. He gave the plan. Later He
spoke through the prophets. The same God who starts, continues and will
finish. Then, ?When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his
Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under
the law? (Gal. 4:4?5). If you just stand there and look at the baby in the
manger in Bethlehem and try to understand, you are a fool?like Moses going
to examine the burning bush. What is the message? Well, it is this: The
same God is continuing the carrying out of His plan and purpose. Here it
is in its supreme form, in His Son Jesus. Peter said, ?Unto you first God,
having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you? (Acts 3:26). God
sent His Son into the world. It was part of the ancient plan, the promise
to Abraham repeated to Isaac and repeated to Jacob, that in Abraham?s seed
God would bless all the nations of the world. Ah yes, but that Son was
killed. But, said Peter, ?This Jesus hath God raised up? (Acts 2:32).

Then the Son ascended into heaven. Was God finished? No, no, for on the
day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was sent down. God is still active. He
has gone on throughout the centuries. What is a revival? God acting?the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the same eternal, changeless God, the
God who is ?the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither
shadow of turning? (Jas. 1:17). What has the miserable science of the
mid-twentieth century to do with this God? He is everlasting. He is
absolute?the same covenant God. And He will keep working until the times
of revival shall come, the times of refreshing, yes, and until the
restitution of all things has taken place, and God is all and in all.

That is the message, though this is but a specimen of the activity of that
God. Do not stop at this phenomenon of the beggar who was healed. Do not
exercise your cleverness in trying to dissect miracles. This is God, the
eternal God, at work. His plan is certain and sure. Nothing can stop it;
nothing can deflect it from its course. ?Why do the heathen rage,? says
the psalmist, ?and the people imagine a vain thing? ? Yet have I set my
king upon my holy hill of Zion? (Psa. 2:1, 6). The God who can defy and
conquer death in the resurrection will bring His purpose to pass. That is
the message.

Did you know that you are in the hands of this God, that He made you, and
that the world is His and not yours? Did you know that ?It is a fearful
thing to fall into the hands of the living God? (Heb. 10:31)? He is the
God who at the beginning said, ?Let there be light: and there was light?
(Gen. 1:3). Do you know God? What is your relationship to Him? You have to
give an account of your life to Him. This covenant-keeping God calls upon
you to repent and to turn to Him, to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was
His only begotten Son who came into the world to die for you and your sins
and to reconcile you to God according to God?s plan and purpose and
covenant. At this moment He will receive you unto Himself if you but turn
to Him. Blessed be the name of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the
God of Jacob!

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2000). Authentic Christianity (1st U.S. ed.) (224).
Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 17:39:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Maybe I Will
Post by Rev. Karl E. Taylor
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
The research comes from MANY sources, and is peer
reviewed.
-- +Sig+
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
Why not? That's some nice ink. I don't have the desire to paint myself
like he does, but I know good work when I see it.
Post by Maybe I Will
"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)
(Matthew 6:6) "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Post by Maybe I Will
. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
http://76.162.173.93/uit/coa/
Ooops! A dishonest person removed a comment here!
Post by UR Welcome!
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Maybe I Will
. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mls/
Ooops! A dishonest person removed a comment here!
Post by UR Welcome!
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
ROFL! Thank you for proving my point. Your utter failure to address my
(or anyone else's) arguments is noted. Your cowardly removing my
arguments in my reply against your silly websites is noted. You once
again show the ignorance, cowardice and stupidity of the average
Christian apologist. I don't know what you're thinking you're
accomplishing here, but I can almost guarantee you that it's not
working.

-Panama Floyd, Atlanta.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 17:46:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)
(Matthew 6:6) "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
http://76.162.173.93/uit/coa/
. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mls/
. The Fall and God's Plan of Redemption
http://bibleweb.info/public-the-fall-of-man-and-gods-plan-of-redemption.pdf
p***@hotmail.com
2007-07-22 17:48:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
Don't be a jackanapes!
http://76.162.173.93/stj.jpg
"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot
and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)
(Matthew 6:6) "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
. The Total Collapse (Death) Of Atheism
http://76.162.173.93/uit/coa/
. Marx/Lennon (Liberal Socialism)
http://76.162.173.93/uit/mls/
. The Fall and God's Plan of Redemption
http://bibleweb.info/public-the-fall-of-man-and-gods-plan-of-redempti...
ROFLMAO! You did it again! Dumber than a box of hammers, you are!

-PF, Atl.
aa#2015/KoBAAWA!
ike milligan
2007-07-22 03:52:30 UTC
Permalink
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1
Gesundheit!
Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/
Start reading bub, you have much to learn.
How come you deleted my message and then replied to your own post?
Smiler
2007-07-22 23:03:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by ike milligan
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1
Gesundheit!
Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/
Start reading bub, you have much to learn.
How come you deleted my message and then replied to your own post?
Because he's a lying christturd.
(Sorry. The lying bit is redundant)

Smiler,
The godless one
True 2 Form!
2007-07-22 23:12:41 UTC
Permalink
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
UR Welcome!
2007-07-21 20:18:58 UTC
Permalink
"ike milligan" <***@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:PJsoi.9502$***@newsread4.news.pas.earthlink.net...

. Journey of the Heart

Related Audio/Video Downloads

http://www.breakpoint.org/media/dkContent/6354/040407_BP.mp3


Let it not be said that nothing good ever comes out of public television. Although
Christians have sometimes had reason to criticize PBS and its programming—I
have, anyway—they have also given us a lot to celebrate. Their newest offering
that I can recommend is a documentary that many PBS stations across the country
are airing this Easter season, “Journey of the Heart: The Life of Henri Nouwen.”

Nouwen, before his untimely death a few years ago, was one of the most
influential Christian thinkers and writers of recent times. I had the great pleasure to
meet him when he was teaching at Harvard. After I had given my testimony and a
little apologetic message to the students at Harvard Divinity School, we went back
to Nouwen’s apartment for coffee. He questioned my use of apologetics, turned
to my wife, Patty, who was with me, and said, “Why don’t you just say you love
Jesus the way you love Patty?”

I said, “But they’ve just met Patty. They know she exists.”

He was something of an existentialist, but he was an inspiring man. At the peak of
a brilliant career, he took time out to live at the community of L’Arche Daybreak
in Canada and help care for the physically and mentally disabled—serving the least
of these.

Now, of course, the fear is that when such a figure is profiled on PBS—or any TV
station, for that matter—that his faith will be watered down and his message
diluted into some vague feel-good pap deemed acceptable to the multiculturally
minded. I am happy to report that that is not the case at all in this documentary.
The emphasis is often on Henri’s message of God’s love for humanity and the fact
that each of us is God’s “beloved child”—a message that, tragically, is often
distorted today to make it sound as if God loves us so much that He does not care
what we do.

But Nouwen did not make that mistake, and the film doesn’t either. “Journey of
the Heart” emphasizes repeatedly that the source of Nouwen’s faith, calling, and
identity was Jesus Christ. And the cost of discipleship in Henri’s life—to borrow a
phrase from another great Christian thinker—is also very much on display here.
Many people interviewed for the film discuss his struggles with depression or “self-
rejection.” It is made clear that the reason for his emphasis on God’s love, and his
ability to identify with the broken and wounded, was precisely that he often felt
unloved and unworthy.

Now, the film acknowledges that Henri Nouwen was no perfect saint. But the way
he lived out Christ’s love should be an inspiration to all of us. One of the most
moving parts of the “Journey of the Heart” is when disabled members of the
L’Arche Daybreak community talk about how much Nouwen meant to them and
how much they still love and miss him. What an example of the truth that Christ
spoke when He said, “By their fruits you shall know them.”

If “Journey of the Heart” airs in your area this Easter season, why don’t you take a
moment to contact your PBS station and thank them? If it’s not airing in your area,
contact your station and ask them to air it. You will find a list of stations with their
contact information below. Public response is key here, and PBS needs to know
that the message of Christ’s love, as lived out by one of His modern-day
followers, is a message to which many of us gladly and thankfully respond.

By Chuck Colson

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Good Life: Seeking Purpose, Meaning, and Truth in Your Life by Charles
Colson with Harold Fickett.

Learn more about Henri Nouwen and find out whether and when “Journey of the
Heart” airs on your local PBS station. Find resources for “Journey of the Heart”
here.

Learn more about L’Arche Daybreak.

Harry Forbes, “‘Journey of the Heart,’ Film on Henri Nouwen, to Air on PBS,”
Tidings, 30 March 2007.

Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
(Crossroad, tenth anniversary ed., 2002).

Henri Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit (Crossroad, 2002).
Al Klein
2007-07-22 01:22:26 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 7 Aug 2007 22:43:47 -0400, "Maybe I Will"
Post by Maybe I Will
There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman and Jewish sources.
No there aren't. If there were you would have posted actual
references to Jesus, not fraudulent interpretations and forgeries.
Post by Maybe I Will
Documents indicate that within a few years of Jesus'
death, Romans were aware that someone named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been responsible for disturbances in the
Jewish community in Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4).
Evidence? Claims that the Christian movement claimed to be following
the Chreestus (this is a miscopying of the claim that they WERE the
Chreestos) aren't evidence of anything.
Post by Maybe I Will
Twenty years later, according to Tacitus
According to Tacitus, some people he had never actually spoken to
claimed that their leader had been THE Chreestus. It's second-level
hearsay, and doesn't reference Jesus at all.
Post by Maybe I Will
Josephus wrote a paragraph about Jesus
A Christian added a paragraph later - it wasn't written by a Jew.
UR Welcome!
2007-07-22 04:06:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Al Klein
On Tue, 7 Aug 2007 22:43:47 -0400, "Maybe I Will"
Post by Maybe I Will
There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman and Jewish sources.
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

Introduction

There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman
and Jewish sources. Documents indicate that within a few
years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone
named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been
responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in
Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4).
Twenty years later, according to Tacitus, Christians in
Rome were prominent enough to be persecuted by Nero,
and it was known that they were devoted to Christus,
whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44). This knowledge
of Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with
early Christianity and does not provide independent
evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a paragraph
about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.),
as he did about Theudas, the Egyptian, and other
charismatic leaders (History of the Jewish War 2.258-263;
The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99, 167-172),
but it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes,
and Josephus's original remarks cannot be discerned.

http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf

Articles Included in this Report:

o Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
o The Inspiration of the Bible
o No Lost Books
o Authority of the Bible
o Are the Biblical Documents Reliable?
o Did Jesus Claim to Be God?
o If Christ Has Not Been Raised: Reasoning Through the Resurrection
o Religious Stew
o Only Two Religions: Meditations on Religious Pluralism
o Is the Church Ready to Engage the World for Christ?
o The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?
o Is Christianity Based on Fraud?
o Spotlight on the Narrow Path
o Witnessing to Liberals
o Christianity's Real Record
o Why Does God Make Atheists?
o The Historic Alliance of Christianity and Science
o General & Special Revelation - A Match Made In Heaven
o Miracles
o Additional References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus",




Also:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

. Why This Gospel of John Was Written

(John 20:30-31 NASB)

. Why This Gospel Was Written


30 ?a?Therefore many other ?1??b?signs Jesus also performed
in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this
book;

31 but these have been written ?a?so that you may believe
that Jesus is ?1?the Christ, ?b?the Son of God; and that
?c?believing you may have life in His name.

[1]


. The Purpose of John's Gospel (20:30, 31)

Not all the miracles performed by Jesus are recorded in John's
Gospel. The Holy Spirit selected those signs which would best serve
His purpose.

Here we have John's object in writing the book. It was so that his
readers may believe that Jesus is the true Messiah and the Son of
God. Believing, they will have eternal life in His name.

Have you believed?

[2]


This is the key to the gospel. The Lord did many things that are not
recorded. He healed multitudes. I think John also means that He did
many other things after His resurrection which are not recorded.
John has been selective in his writing of this gospel. He has chosen
the material which he has written because he had a definite purpose
in mind.

John did not attempt to write a biography of Jesus Christ. He did
not even attempt to fill in the life of Christ in areas not covered
by the other gospels. He wrote so that you might "believe that Jesus
is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life
through his name." It is through believing that you receive life and
are born again. You become a child of God through faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ.

[3]


"Therefore" ties this statement to what immediately precedes it.
John wrote his Gospel because those who believe on Jesus without
seeing Him in the flesh are acceptable to God. He wrote, therefore,
that people may believe and so enjoy eternal life. There were many
other evidences of Jesus' deity that John could have presented.
However, he chose those that he recorded here to lead his readers to
the type of faith that Thomas just articulated and that Jesus just
commended. That was John's strategy in composing this Gospel under
the Holy Spirit's inspiration.

What did John have in mind when he referred to other "signs?"
Perhaps he meant the seven miracles that he featured, the
significance of which Jesus usually explained in the context (chs.
2-12).

[4]


A Summary of the Seven Signs in John

Sign
Significance659
Belief
Unbelief
Reference

Changing water to wine
Jesus' power over quality
The disciples
2:1-11

Healing the official's son
Jesus' power over space
The official and his household
4:46-54

Healing the paralytic
Jesus' power over time
The paralytic?
The Jews
5:1-9

Feeding the 5,000
Jesus' power over quantity
Some people in the crowd
6:1-15

Walking on the water
Jesus' power over nature
The disciples
6:16-21

Healing a man born blind
Jesus' power over misfortune
The blind man
The Pharisees
9:1-12

Raising Lazarus
Jesus' power over death
Martha, Mary, and many Jews
The Jewish authorities
11:1-16


It seems more probable that John meant to include the Resurrection
since it was the greatest of all the demonstrations of Jesus' deity.
Jesus explained the significance of this miracle in the Upper Room
Discourse (chs. 13-16).

20:31 This verse unites many of the most important themes in the
fourth Gospel. John's purpose was clearly evangelistic. His Gospel
is an excellent portion of Scripture to give to an unbeliever. It is
probably the most effective evangelistic tool available. Its impact
on the reader is strongest when one reads it through at one sitting,
which takes less than two hours for most people. This document can
also deepen and establish the faith of any believer. However that is
more a comment on its result than its purpose.

The implication of this purpose is that John meant unbelievers when
he wrote "you." Did he have a particular group of unbelievers in
mind, or was he addressing any reader? Some commentators have tried
to identify a particular audience from statements in the text. Yet
it seems more probable that John wrote for a general audience since
he did not identify his intended audience specifically. His
presentation of Jesus as the divine Son of God certainly has
universal application.

"There cannot be any doubt but that John conceived of Jesus as the
very incarnation of God."660

John's purpose was not academic. It was not simply that people might
believe intellectually that Jesus is the divine Messiah. It was
rather that they might believe those foundational truths so they
could possess and experience the life of God fully (cf. 10:10). This
divine life affects the whole person, not just the intellect.
Moreover it affects him or her forever, not just during that
person's present lifetime.

John's clear purpose statement concludes the body of this Gospel.

[5]



. The 7 I AM Statements
. in the Gospel According to John


Twenty-three times [23 times] in all we find our Lord's
meaningful I AM (ego eimi, Gr.) in the
Greek text of this gospel

In John ...

(4:26; 6:20,35,41,48,51; 8:12,18,24,28,58;
10:7,9,11,14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1,5;
18:5,6,8).


In several of these, He joins His I AM with
seven tremendous metaphors which are expressive
of His saving relationship toward the world.



I AM the Bread of life (6:35, 41, 48, 51)
I AM the Light of the world (8:12)
I AM the Door of the sheep (10:7, 9)
I AM the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14)
I AM the Resurrection and the Life (11:25)
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6)
I AM the true Vine (15:1, 5)





-------------------------------------------------------



4 Thomas Nelson Publishers. (1996).

Nelson's complete book of Bible maps & charts : Old and New
Testaments.

"Completely revised and updated comfort print edition"; Includes
indexes.

(Rev. and updated ed.). Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson.



20:30-31. John explained His purpose in writing this Gospel, that
people might contemplate and perceive the theological significance
of Jesus' miracles (semeia, "signs"). Many people today ignore,
deny, or rationalize Jesus' miracles. Even in Jesus' day some people
attributed them to God whereas others attributed them to Satan (3:2;
9:33; Matt. 12:24). To ignore, deny, or rationalize them in that day
was impossible because the miracles were manifold and manifest. John
indicated He was aware of the Synoptic miracles: Jesus did many
other miraculous signs. In fact, 35 different miracles are recorded
in the four Gospels (see the list at John 2:1-11). John selected 7
for special consideration in order that people might come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah, and the Son of God.
(The niv marg. reading, "may continue to believe," is probably not
the correct textual reading; the niv text correctly renders the Gr.
by the words may believe.)

[6]



Conclusion (20:30-31). It is evident that this is a natural
conclusion to the Gospel (on chap. 21, see below). The fourth
Evangelist stresses the purpose of his Gospel: that we might believe
(the verb has two readings which the niv marg. notes: "to begin to
believe" [aorist] and "to continue to believe" [present]; the former
implies an evangelistic purpose, the latter a pastoral intent for
those who already believe). The Gospel is a record of signs-of
evidences-which the reader must weigh. It stems from Jesus'
disciples who are trustworthy witnesses (see 19:35) and in
particular from the testimony of John (21:24). Its aim is to lead us
to faith in Christ because in him alone can we find life.

[7]



John 20:30, 31

THE PARTIALNESS AND THE PURPOSE OF THE EVANGELIC RECORD

(The Ascension.-Bethany.-Mark xvi. 19, 20; Luke xxiv. 50-53; John
xx. 30, 31.)

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His
disciples."

Exegetical Remarks.-Ver. 30.-"And many other signs truly (r.v.
Therefore) did Jesus in the presence of His (r.v. The) disciples."
The Greek here for "signs" is often rendered miracles, for the
miracles of Jesus were all signs indicating the Divinity of their
Author. The signs were not merely those referring to the
resurrection, but included, no doubt, all the manifestations of His
power both before and after His resurrection. They refer to His
whole work. "Which are not written in this book." The evangelical
record then of Christ's life is only partial. It is said in the last
verse of the next chapter: "There are also many other things which
Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose
that even the world itself could not contain the books that should
be written." "This," says Dr. Brown, "is to be taken as something
more than a merely parabolical expression which would hardly comport
with the sublime simplicity of this writer. It is intended to let
his reader know that even now when he had done, he felt his
materials so far from being exhausted, that he was still running
over, and could multiply gospels to almost any extent within the
strict limits of what Jesus did. But in the limitation of these
matchless histories, in point of length and number alike -there is
as much of that Divine wisdom which has presided over, and pervades,
the living oracles, as in their variety and fulness."

Ver. 31.-"But these are written, that ye might (r.v. May) believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye
might (r.v. May) have life through (r.v. In) His name." This "ye"
addresses every reader, to the end of the world. It speaks from John
to the person that now reads the words, inviting him to believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ, and have life through His name. Jesus is the
Christ, the Messiah. Christ lived, His apostles preached, and His
evangelists wrote, that the world might shape its conceptions to the
true idea of the Messiah, not as the Emancipator of the nation, but
as the Saviour of the world." We have in these two verses what the
best scholars of modern times consider to be a proper summary and
ending of the book. The chapter which follows has been considered a
later addition.

[8]



Cross References Are Numerous



30. many other. f166, Mt +1:17. Jn 21:25. Lk 1:3, 4. 3:18. Ro *15:4.
1 Co 10:11. 2 Ti m3:15-17. 2 P 3:1, 2. 1 J 1:3, 4. m5:13. signs. Jn
+2:11, 23. in the presence. Ac 10:41. this book. Ac +1:20.

31. these. ver. 28. Jn 1:49. 6:69, 70. 9:35-38. 19:35. Ps *2:7, 12.
Mt *16:16. +*27:54n. Lk 1:4. Ac *8:37. 9:20. Ro 1:3, 4. 1 J 4:15.
5:1, 10, 20. 2 J *9. Re 2:18. written, that. T#1041. Ro m10:17.
might believe. ver. 29. Jn +11:27. that Jesus is. Mt +1:1. Mk +8:29.
the Son of God. Mt +14:33. believing. Jn m3:15, 16, 18, 36. *5:24,
39, 40. 6:40. 10:10. Mk *16:16. Ac 8:37. 1 P 1:9. 1 J 2:23-25.
m5:10-13. have life. Jn 6:53. +8:12. 1 J m5:13. through. Lk *24:47.
Ac 3:16. *10:43. *13:38, 39. 1 Co *6:11. his name. f121T1, Dt
+28:58. Jn +1:12. +14:13. 17:11, 12. Ac +3:6. 15:26. 1 Co 1:10.

[9]


--------------------------------------------------------------------


a John 21:25

1 Or attesting miracles

b John 2:11

a John 19:35

1 I.e. the Messiah

b Matt 4:3

c John 3:15

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Jn 20:30-31).
LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[2]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible
Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Jn 21:1). Nashville: Thomas
Nelson.

[3]McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on
the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (4:500).
Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on
the Bible (Jn 20:30). Galaxie Software.

659 659. Idem, John: The Gospel . . ., p. 312.

660 660. Morris, p. 756.

[5]Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on
the Bible (Jn 20:30-31). Galaxie Software.

marg. margin, marginal reading

Gr. Greek

[6]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary.
(1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the
scriptures (2:344). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

niv New International Version

[7]Elwell, W. A. (1996, c1989). Vol. 3: Evangelical commentary on
the Bible. Baker reference library (Jn 20:30). Grand Rapids, Mich.:
Baker Book House.

[8]Thomas, D. (1997). The genius of the fourth Gospel : A
homiletical commentary on the Gospel of John. Reprint of the 1885
ed. published by R. D. Dickinson, London under title: The genius of
the fourth Gospel.; Includes index. Kregel Bible study classics
(186). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

+ + More references at verse indicated

* * Clear cross reference

m m Critical, significant cross reference

T#1041 1041. Producing faith. Jn +20:31.

[9]Smith, J. H. (1992; Published in electronic form, 1996). The new
treasury of scripture knowledge : The most complete listing of cross
references available anywhere- every verse, every theme, every
important word (1228). Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson.


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But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there
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Larry Heath
2007-07-26 14:51:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maybe I Will
. Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
Introduction
There are a few references to Jesus in 1st-century Roman and Jewish
sources. Documents indicate that within a few years of Jesus' death,
Romans were aware that someone named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of
Christus) had been responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in
Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4). Twenty years
later, according to Tacitus, Christians in Rome were prominent enough to
be persecuted by Nero, and it was known that they were devoted to
Christus, whom Pilate had executed (Annals 15.44). This knowledge of
Jesus, however, was dependent on familiarity with early Christianity and
does not provide independent evidence about Jesus. Josephus wrote a
paragraph about Jesus (The Antiquities of the Jews 18.63ff.), as he did
about Theudas, the Egyptian, and other charismatic leaders (History of the
Jewish War 2.258-263; The Antiquities of the Jews 20.97-99, 167-172), but
it has been heavily revised by Christian scribes, and Josephus's original
remarks cannot be discerned.
http://bibleweb.info/external-references-to-jesus-01.pdf
o Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
o The Inspiration of the Bible
o No Lost Books
o Authority of the Bible
o Are the Biblical Documents Reliable?
o Did Jesus Claim to Be God?
o If Christ Has Not Been Raised: Reasoning Through the Resurrection
o Religious Stew
o Only Two Religions: Meditations on Religious Pluralism
o Is the Church Ready to Engage the World for Christ?
o The Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?
o Is Christianity Based on Fraud?
o Spotlight on the Narrow Path
o Witnessing to Liberals
o Christianity's Real Record
o Why Does God Make Atheists?
o The Historic Alliance of Christianity and Science
o General & Special Revelation - A Match Made In Heaven
o Miracles
o Additional References Taken From: "The Resurrection of Jesus",
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How many would you like? Jesus's that is?

I have seen references to at least a dozen, from time periods prior to the
prorated birth of the "real" jesus to almost a century after. I have also
read somewhere that as many as 7% to 8% of the males of the time period were
named jesus. You damn near couldn't fling a dead cat without hitting one.
Still well founded documentation of the "real" jesus is sorely lacking at
best, very closely bordering on nonexistent in point of fact, what few there
are, are of quite dubious origins and veracity or poorly done and outright
frauds.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/surfeit.htm
--
Later Larry
aa #2216
Plonked by Fred Stone, 17 May 2006

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed
to ignore totally all the patient findings of thinking minds through all
the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant
people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking
among us who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all, who
would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us, who would invade
our schools and libraries and homes.
- Isaac Asimov
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