Thursday, November 28, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Following the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem (AD 70) until 1948, Israel did not exist as a nation. The Bible on the other hand was full of prophetic events said to take place in the end times centering around the nation of Israel and Jerusalem in particular, naming the twelve tribes specifically.
Before I go any further, giving my definition of 'cult' would be appropriate. With no intention to demean other religious groups, I agree with Dr. Walter Martin’s definition which is “ ‘cult’ as a group of people gathered about a specific person or person’s mis-interpretation of the Bible.”
Revelation 7:4 - "I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000. Those who were sealed were from every tribe of Israel:"
So-called "Christian" offshoots (cults) from the mainstream could not fathom how those Bible prophecies could be literally fulfilled since Israel played such a prominent role in end-times prophecy, did not exist. Many attempted to reconcile the prophetic scripture by laying claim to themselves being members of one of the so called, ‘ten lost tribes.’ Hence the rise of British Israelism which even today has its adherents. ‘Spiritualizing’ those prophecies they obviously concluded that the 144,000 chosen ones, sealed from every tribe of Israel referred to spiritual “Israel”. Cults began to spring up during the 19th and early 20th century, led by people, each one who claimed they were the true Israel and that God’s chosen ones came from their ranks. The belief that the Church has replaced Israel is often referred to as “Replacement Theology.” Jesus gave a harsh warning about this in His statement to the Church of Smyrna:
“I know how much you suffer and how poor you are, but you are rich. I also know the cruel things being said about you by people who claim to be Jews. But they are not really Jews. They are a group that belongs to Satan. . – Rev. 2:9 CEV
The inconvenient truth is that Israel once again became a nation on May 14, 1948 and the ancient Hebrew language also was revived - all in the land that God gave to Abraham and confirmed to both Moses and Joshua. Since that day in 1948, Israel has become a permanently established nation in the Middle East regardless of the goal of Islamists to “drive the Jews into the sea.”
Isa 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?
That prophecy opened many eyes to the literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy in our time. It had been hidden from man until the end times. God had shown such things to the prophet Daniel, including the 70 year captivity they were to go through until
Israel indeed became a nation in one day! May 14, 1948 was the day that Israel once again became a nation. On May 15, the surrounding Islamic countries declared war on this infant nation, and Israel continues to prevail. [The fulfillment of that one prophecy, 'a nation born in a day,' validated in the minds of many believers that the biblical prophecies concerning Israel could, and should be taken literally - at face value. Yet there are those who stubbornly cling to the belief that they are ‘spiritual’ Israel, though genetically they share no physical connection]
1. Doesn't the charter of the Muslim Brotherhood advocate the destruction of the Jew?
2. Is the Muslim Brotherhood linked to both Al Qaeda and Hamas - both recognized as terrorist organizations?
3. Why has President Obama held Ramadan for members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House (WH), and have their members make dozens of visits to the WH?
Are Christians Terrorists Too?
There are those groups who attempt to justify their prejudices and violence they perpetrate on others by claiming a connection to Christianity with no resemblance to Christ or His teachings whatsoever. Some years ago I happened to be listening to a call in radio interview in which a California legislator made the statement that she saw little difference between Islamic extremism and Christian fundamentalism exhibited by the "Oklahoma bomber" (Timothy McVeigh). I was so incensed at the accusation I tried to call into the program, but was unsuccessful. How many millions of listeners accepted the legislators comment as Gospel one can only guess, but it was never brought into question for the remainder of the program. You see, Timothy McVeigh was not and did not claim to be a Christian. When asked, he said "Science is my religion." Those are the exact words you could expect to hear from many secularists, atheists and agnostics, but certainly NOT CHRISTIANS!
The online encyclopedia Wickipedia has an article (with information supplied by readers) posted, entitled "Christian Terrorism." As you read down, it inserts this caveat (for good reason): "An editor has expressed a concern that this section lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. Please help to create a more balanced presentation. Discuss and resolve this issue before removing this message. (July 2011)"
"For good reason," yet how many people religiously use that resource as settled fact? In naming names, it makes certain specious claims that are easily challenged, such as the reference to Anders Breivik, the so-called "Christian Crusader" who went on a killing rampage in Norway in July of 2011. So was he really a Christian Crusader? Noted Rabbi Brad Hirschfield rejected that contention, as did many others.
I know that there have been times in History when misled Christians have done evils in the name of Christ, and one example that has been repeated time and time-again are the infamous Salem witch hunts... So how many thousands of witches have been killed? Not thousands? Hundreds? Not to minimize the severity and horror of those who were condemned, but all of the so called "witches" couldn't fill all the seats on a bus. Compare that to the death toll in buses, planes, restaurants, night clubs, and traffic stops that are sponsored at the behest of 'Allah.'
Or as conservative radio host Michael Medved said, "
“On a recent CNN appearance, I confronted the obscenely foolish liberal argument that insists that contemporary Christian terrorism represents even more of a threat than Islamic terrorism—citing the shameful slaying of a handful of abortion doctors as proof.”
“First, the incidents of murder in the anti-abortion cause brought fewer than a dozen deaths in the last three decades, while victims of Islamo-Nazi terror—most of them Muslims, by the way—can be counted in the tens of thousands. Secondly, no nation or prominent church group promote or applaud violence in the name of Jesus, but many nations support leading voices in Islam who endorse violence in the name of Allah. Radical Islam stands alone among contemporary religious sects in suggesting that the slaughter of innocent women and children in suicide attacks will bring glory to Allah.”
In the highly politically charged atmosphere in the US today, it is more common that 'liberals,' and not conservatives (religious and otherwise) are the perpetrators of violence on their fellow man despite the false accusations in the mainstream media. With regard to conservatives and in particular evangelicals, the leftist media and liberals in general seem to share their hatred for them. Yes, you heard right. The left will castigate conservatives, and attempt to silence them. Recently the Administration was found to have targeted Tea Party conservatives by the IRS. The media is in bed with the administration and provides cover for it by the absence of reporting, or by a false narrative. An example of this is the absence or under reporting of the persecution of Christians world wide. Another example is providing their own narrative which is often silent or incorrect on certain facts in order to validate that agenda.
Friday, February 8, 2013
God Is the Only Creator
By no means a complete list but just a short compilation from the Bible showing that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is the creator.
11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
12Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; 13That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? 14It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. 15And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken. 16Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? 17Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? 18Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. 19Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, 20That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? 21Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great? 22Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, 23Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? 24By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
25Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; 26To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; 27To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? 28Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? 29Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? 30The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. 31Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? 32Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? 33Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? 34Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? 35Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are? 36Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? 37Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, 38When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together? 39Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, 40When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? 41Who provideth for the raven his food when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Psalm 95:5, 6.
The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Isaiah 40:21, 22
Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Isaiah 40:25, 26
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. 26Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; 3Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
John 1:1-4, 10
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you 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.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Historic American Thanksgiving Proclamations
During the American Revolutionary War the Continental Congress designated days of thanksgiving each year. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was made in 1777:
"FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost."
Of that proclamation, Samuel Adams wrote to another Declaration signer, Richard Henry Lee, noting the specificity of the language that, "the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and join ... their supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ." Patriot Post, 11/22/12
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Newt Gingrich: 'There's a Lot More Anti-Christian Bigotry Today Than There Is Concerning The Other Side'
During the discussion of gay marriage at the Republican presidential debate tonight, Newt Gingrich interjected to make the point that religious Christians face far more discrimination in this country than gays and other groups. He also accused the media of ignoring “anti-Christian bigotry.”
But is it true? Is there a stream of anti-Christian bigotry displayed in the media? Who are the h8ers?
Bias? You bet there is, and it is anti-Christian.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."
Monday, December 19, 2011
The following article is taken from "Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries" and re-posted here in it's entirety.
There are more than 24,000 partial and complete manuscript copies of the New Testament.
Manuscript Evidence for the New Testament
These manuscript copies are very ancient and they are available for inspection now.
There are also some 86,000 quotations from the early church fathers and several thousand Lectionaries (church-service books containing Scripture quotations used in the early centuries of Christianity).
Bottom line: the New Testament has an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting its reliability.
In the many thousands of manuscript copies we possess of the New Testament, scholars have discovered that there are some 150,000 "variants."
The Variants in the New Testament Manuscripts Are Minimal
This may seem like a staggering figure to the uninformed mind.To begin, we must emphasize that out of these 150,000 variants, 99 percent hold virtually no significance whatsoever.
But to those who study the issue, the numbers are not so damning as it may initially appear.
Indeed, a look at the hard evidence shows that the New Testament manuscripts are amazingly accurate and trustworthy.
Many of these variants simply involve a missing letter in a word; some involve reversing the order of two words (such as "Christ Jesus" instead of "Jesus Christ"); some may involve the absence of one or more insignificant words.Thus, in the Bible as we have it (and as it is conveyed to us through faithful translations) we do have for practical purposes the very Word of God, inasmuch as the manuscripts do convey to us the complete vital truth of the originals.
Really, when all the facts are put on the table, only about 50 of the variants have any real significance - and even then, no doctrine of the Christian faith or any moral commandment is effected by them.
For more than ninety-nine percent of the cases the original text can be reconstructed to a practical certainty.
Even in the few cases where some perplexity remains, this does not impinge on the meaning of Scripture to the point of clouding a tenet of the faith or a mandate of life.
By practicing the science of textual criticism - comparing all the available manuscripts with each other - we can come to an assurance regarding what the original document must have said.
Let us suppose we have five manuscript copies of an original document that no longer exists. Each of the manuscript copies are different. Our goal is to compare the manuscript copies and ascertain what the original must have said. Here are the five copies:Most of the manuscript variations concern matters of spelling, word order, tenses, and the like; no single doctrine is affected by them in any way.
Manuscript #1: Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole worl.Could you, by comparing the manuscript copies, ascertain what the original document said with a high degree of certainty that you are correct? Of course you could.
Manuscript #2: Christ Jesus is the Savior of the whole world.
Manuscript #3: Jesus Christ s the Savior of the whole world.
Manuscript #4: Jesus Christ is th Savior of the whle world.
Manuscript #5: Jesus Christ is the Savor of the whole wrld.
This illustration may be extremely simplistic, but a great majority of the 150,000 variants are solved by the above methodology.
By comparing the various manuscripts, all of which contain very minor differences like the above, it becomes fairly clear what the original must have said.
We must also emphasize that the sheer volume of manuscripts we possess greatly narrows the margin of doubt regarding what the original biblical document said.
If the number of [manuscripts] increases the number of scribal errors, it increases proportionately the means of correcting such errors, so that the margin of doubt left in the process of recovering the exact original wording is not so large as might be feared; it is in truth remarkably small.
By comparing the manuscript support for the Bible with manuscript support for other ancient documents and books, it becomes overwhelmingly clear that no other ancient piece of literature can stand up to the Bible. Manuscript support for the Bible is unparalleled!
The New Testament Versus Other Ancient Books
There are more [New Testament] manuscripts copied with greater accuracy and earlier dating than for any secular classic from antiquity.Norman Geisler makes several key observations for our consideration:
Rene Pache adds, "The historical books of antiquity have a documentation infinitely less solid."
Dr. Benjamin Warfield concludes, "If we compare the present state of the text of the New Testament with that of no matter what other ancient work, we must...declare it marvelously exact."
No other book is even a close second to the Bible on either the number or early dating of the copies. The average secular work from antiquity survives on only a handful of manuscripts; the New Testament boasts thousands.From this documentary evidence, then, it is clear that the New Testament writings are superior to comparable ancient writings. "The records for the New Testament are vastly more abundant, clearly more ancient, and considerably more accurate in their text."
The average gap between the original composition and the earliest copy is over 1,000 years for other books.
The New Testament, however, has a fragment within one generation from its original composition, whole books within about 100 years from the time of the autograph [original manuscript], most of the New Testament in less than 200 years, and the entire New Testament within 250 years from the date of its completion.
The degree of accuracy of the copies is greater for the New Testament than for other books that can be compared. Most books do not survive with enough manuscripts that make comparison possible.
As noted at the beginning of this chapter, in addition to the many thousands of New Testament manuscripts, there are over 86,000 quotations of the New Testament in the early church fathers. There are also New Testament quotations in thousands of early church Lectionaries (worship books).
Support for the New Testament from the Church Fathers
There are enough quotations from the early church fathers that even if we did not have a single copy of the Bible, scholars could still reconstruct all but 11 verses of the entire New Testament from material written within 150 to 200 years from the time of Christ.
The Dead Sea Scrolls prove the accuracy of the transmission of the Bible.
Manuscript Evidence for the Old Testament
In fact, in these scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947, we have Old Testament manuscripts that date about a thousand years earlier (150 B.C.) than the other Old Testament manuscripts then in our possession (which dated to A.D. 900).A full copy of the Book of Isaiah was discovered at Qumran.
The significant thing is that when one compares the two sets of manuscripts, it is clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes.
The fact that manuscripts separated by a thousand years are essentially the same indicates the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament's manuscript transmission.
Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.From manuscript discoveries like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christians have undeniable evidence that today's Old Testament Scripture, for all practical purposes, is exactly the same as it was when originally inspired by God and recorded in the Bible.
The 5 percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling."
Combine this with the massive amount of manuscript evidence we have for the New Testament, and it is clear that the Christian Bible is a trustworthy and reliable book.
The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the copyists of biblical manuscripts took great care in going about their work.
These copyists knew they were duplicating God's Word, so they went to incredible lengths to prevent error from creeping into their work.
The scribes carefully counted every line, word, syllable, and letter to ensure accuracy.
The Westminster Confession declares: "The Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, being immediately inspired by God and, by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them."
God's Preservation of the Bible
The Westminster Confession makes a very important point here.
The fact is, the God who had the power and sovereign control to inspire the Scriptures in the first place is surely going to continue to exercise His power and sovereign control in the preservation of Scripture.Actually, God's preservational work is illustrated in the text of the Bible.
By examining how Christ viewed the Old Testament, we see that He had full confidence that the Scriptures He used had been faithfully preserved through the centuries.Hence, the Bible itself indicates that copies can faithfully reflect the original text and therefore function authoritatively.
Because Christ raised no doubts about the adequacy of the Scripture as His contemporaries knew them, we can safely assume that the first-century text of the Old Testament was a wholly adequate representation of the divine word originally given.
Jesus regarded the extant copies of His day as so approximate to the originals in their message that He appealed to those copies as authoritative.
The respect that Jesus and His apostles held for the extant Old Testament text is, at base, an expression of the confidence in God's providential preservation of the copies and translations as substantially identical with the inspired originals.
The above article is an example of the quality materials produced by Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. Write us for a full listing of other available free resources:
Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries
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