MHGinTN
Since Mar 26, 2000

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My blog site: http://porchmaunderings.blogspot.com

**************************[Isaiah 43:25]

Two little brothers fought and bickered all day long. Every time their mother turned around, these boys were at each other, bickering. Came bedtime and the youngest was bathed and put to bed. As the older brother was getting his bath, his mother worked on his conscience, asking how he would feel if he went to bed without making up and forgiving his brother and in the night his brother died? The oldest boy thought about it while the bath continued, then when mother was toweling him off he responded: "Okay. All right, I'll forgive him ... But if he's alive in the morning ..."

That's the way most of us forgive. I'm so glad God 'remembers no more' our sin when we come to Him for forgiveness. He's had a lot to forget with me. ;^)

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A free-for-downloading less-than 100 pages book on stem cells, cloning, etc., in a layperson's terms; America, We Need To Talk is available by clicking here (http://porchmaunderings.blogspot.com several entries down at the site) Sorry folks, after thousands of downloads in Adobe and html at another website had to post the booklet at my blog, so it's in html format only. But it is free for downloading.

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e-mail addy removed to stop scurrilous attacks from opposition computer geeks; freepmail if you want to contact me directly

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A POIGNANT POEM:

Posted by freeper, Ford Fairlane, a few years back during an abortion discussion.

A PRAYER OF MARY

You didn't make it, Unborn Child, they wouldn't let you be.
To your bud of life they took a knife … it's the New Morality.

They didn't mean to hurt you, Love, you have to understand.
Forgive them what they did to you, their life was so well-planned.

They couldn't take you with them up the ladder of success,
Money, it meant more to them than a child from heaven-blessed.

Tell me, little Unborn Child, what did Creator say?
Did He wrap you in his love and wipe your tears away?

You hover on the edge of time. I see your faceless form.
You laugh whenever children play, Oh God, for you I mourn!

He sent His only precious Son to teach us all The Way.
Still, we kill the unborn ones, it happens every day!

You didn't make it, Unborn Child. They wouldn't let you be.
They just expunged a blob of cells…. It's the New Morality.

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“MAMA” - Written by Jo Nuvark (Bonnie Adams) - November ‘92
God knew us before we were in our Mother’s womb. (Psalm 47:4 and 139)

Mama... Mama, don’t blame me for your blues.
I may be inconvenient, but it’s much too late to choose.
Listen with your heart, you’ll hear my still small voice.
Let me live I’ll be your life, your child not your choice.

Mama... Mama, give me time to work my charms.
When you see my face, you’ll know the place for me is in your arms.
I’m not lonely just alone and looking forward to
The way you’ll hold me Mama just like God is holding you.

Like a summer breeze and the morning dove,
We were chosen for each other by the Lord of love.
Agreeing with each breath and sigh in unison,
We’re two hearts beating rhythm as a single drum.

Mama... Mama, I’m yours by God’s design.
Your custom composition, a clipping from His vine.
Eternally He’s known our names for such a time as this.
Fashioned for each other’s needs to cherish, love and bless.

Mama... Mama, if it’s hard to understand,
Just look at this from heaven, then you’ll see God’s plan.
Let my smile dance with yours. Let our songs be one voice.
Mama; Oh Mama, make me your choice.

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Important questions regarding the Bible and Christianity, and the response, from a recent thread at FR:

"You would say we have to bend to God’s will. Let’s assume for the moment that you are right. There are over 50 different versions of the Bible – which one is the actual, correct version that God wants us to follow? And how can we be sure?" ... This is an honest and therefore interesting series of questions. Please allow me to address them with 'agape'.

In my writing I study the scriptures. Interestingly, the more languages in which one reads the scriptures, the more the essence of the written 'epistles' shines, for the Spirit Who inspired the writers of the New Testament 'books' is the same for all of the writers! Here's an example.

In Paul's letters to the various churches he either established or helped to establish and edify, Paul maintains one major theme: we are cleansed (in spirit) from our Sinful nature by the blood of Jesus The Christ, and we are then transformed in our soul --a life-long process changing mind, will, and emotions-- by the indwelling presence of God's Spirit, possible in our inner man (spirit within the soul) because of the cleansing Jesus's blood accomplishes when we 'faithe' (act based upon belief and sustained by confidence in the promises of God) that He is sufficient for our need to be cleansed.

[A deeper, 'meaty' issue to explore when you have accepted Christ as personal Savior, is the one God includes in the Bible for our study and contemplation, 'works versus faith', and the historic process the early Christians went through as the issue bounced back and forth between Paul and Peter and James and the various Churches. I personally believe God included that issue in the Bible so we can study it and the outcome, for our current edification.]

If you choose to test these notions, it will not matter which translation in which language, this theme will shine forth clearly, even when you read the letters written by Peter or John, or the Gospels written by John, Mark, Mathew, or Luke. The reason for this is that the message IS the Gospel. The Gospel is administered by God's Spirit.

If you choose to do it, you can even trace the Gospel in the pages of the Old Testament, whether read in Hebrew or in Greek (as in the 3rd Century BC Septuagint). The reason this is possible is related to what scriptures Paul preached from ... he quotes the Septuagint often and precisely.

To cut to the chase, there is not really conflict in the Gospel as God's Spirit administers it through His Word, but men can and have made minor changes, such as when the Bible was translated from Latin and Greek to English in the day of King James; the word 'agape' is translated as charity and a couple of other alternate English terms, but the message remains clear, yet when one digs into the Greek and sees that 'agape' (one of three Greek word for Love) is the word 'love' translated so many different ways in the English, the Gospel shines even more, not less. [A short Book, Colossians, will reveal this interesting tendency to translate 'agape' as charity in several places ... the King James compilers didn't like repeating a word too often in a paragraph, though Paul repeated for empahsis.]

So, which 'version' is accurate? They all are! Read the modern language version first because it will flow quickly, leaving an impression which can be amplified by, then studying in, the Douay Rheims, New American Standard, or New King James or other modern version. What makes the newest versions so important is the stack of older manuscripts now available that were not known in the days of the King James translation. Which one does God want us to follow?... None of them, He wants you to follow Jesus Christ, THEN be edified by His Word in any version you feel His voice coming through! It's so easy too, just whisper a thank you to God for dying on the Cross to redeem YOU and believe in your heart that God has in fact raised Him from the dead (and if you have a problem with that fact, write to me, I'll explain to a level of psychological certainty), and you will be saved, right then --not at some pie in the sky future-- and by His loving presence you will have an astonishingly interesting and glorious life thereafter! That new life starts with your open affirmation that you believe God when you submit yourself for baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ... in any Christian denomination you choose to start your journey. He will direct you thereafter as you listen to His voice within. And this exact same thing has happened for hundreds of millions since 33 AD! Join the family, read the book.


A Word study regarding salvation:

Pax vobiscum is Latin for 'peace be with you'. Thank you for offering this opportunity to tell what is the Hope that IS within me, by the blood of Jesus Christ. I do not believe that you receive salvation after all that you can do. I do study the scriptures so the following is offered with agape and based upon years of study. Hope it is edifying for you and other readers ...

In John's Gospel account of Jesus and the coming of the Christ --to be 'God With us' and then God in us following the Resurrection and Church Day of Pentecost,-- in that Gospel we are given the scene of one Nicodemus, member of the Jewish Sanhedrin in that day, coming to Jesus at night to ask Him for something to show He was Messiah. They get into an exchange during which Jesus tells Nicodemus that a man must be born again, born of the Spirit, in order to enter into Heaven. Throughout the letters of Paul --and especially in the letter to the Romans-- Paul addresses this notion of being born again, born of the Spirit, for Salvation in Christ. And he, Paul, explains it using the verb tenses and cases in the Greek which indicate an immediate deliverance followed by an ongoing transformational process called ‘sanctification’. The Blood of Christ cleansed the Mercy Seat in Heaven and thereby those who died before the Cross were made righteous because of their belief (‘faithe‘) in God’s Promises. The Blood of Christ cleanses your heart allowing God’s Spirit to come into your inner self, your spirit, and dwell there to transform your soul as you ‘faithe’ in the promises of God to transform you, thereby ‘establishing’ the Law of God (fulfilling the Law) in your heart, as Paul put it.

When one reads these passages in the Greek, there are certain specific aspects of the Greek words which give insight into the specifics of the written passages. Here's a simplified example from Romans chapter ten:<p>

Romans 10:8-10 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (KJV)

Romans 10:8-10 10:8 But what doth it say? `Nigh thee is the saying -- in thy mouth, and in thy heart:` that is, the saying of the faith, that we preach; that if thou mayest confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and mayest believe in thy heart that God did raise him out of the dead, thou shalt be saved, for with the heart doth believe to righteousness, and with the mouth is confession made to salvation; (Young’s Literal Translation)

The underlined words --faith, believe, and believeth-- all derive from the Greek word ‘pisteuo’. In the Greek the verbs give rise to the nouns, so ‘pisteuo’ --to faithe-- gives rise to ‘pistis’, the noun --faith. Important to the understanding of the use of ‘pistis’ is that it is at its heart an action word which, in the way written in the passage, is an ongoing action, an immediate application with continuous force, an unending application --not continuous if referred back to, but a thing instituted by God not man, then remaining in effect WHILE the ‘faither’ lives the remainder of life ‘faithing’. Faith is action based upon belief sustained by the confidence that what God promises He will do. That is why we read repeatedly that Abraham ‘believed’ God and it was counted for him righteousness. … The words in blue --confess and confession (’homologeo‘)-- are derived from ‘homos’ which is Greek for ‘at the same place or time’; adding ‘logeo‘ we have ‘at the same time or place spoken‘. … The word in red --salvation (soteria=deliverance)-- is derived from the Greek word ‘soter’, meaning ‘a deliverer’.

It has been offered at FreeRepublic that ’Salvation is a thing that is worked out on one’s knees in prayer and in repentance.’ More accurate it is to say, salvation --deliverance-- is something you receive immediately when you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. Then you seek to live the rest of your life, daily, as you function in every aspect of living, ‘faithing’ in the promises of God that He will transform your soul by the renewing of your mind. You receive deliverance in your spirit and remain delivered in your soul (your behavior mechanism) --are transformed-- through a daily walk (which should include time on your knees and/or in quiet solitude with His Spirit sifting and cleansing your soul) in which you ‘faithe’ in His Spirit within which you received the minute you were delivered. You received a deliverer (soter) in your dead human spirit when you confessed Jesus Christ. You are ‘sotered’ daily, to coin a word mixing Greek and English, in your behavior mechanism, your soul.

Pax vobiscum

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Another recent short essay on the nature of Salvation in Jesus Christ:

Romans 3:28 is both plain as plaster and as complex as a child's smile: The Gospel of faith in Jesus Christ has replaced the impossible requirement to follow the law without transgressing in even one jot or tittle else you are in violation of the whole law. Paul taught repeatedly that the flesh (that is the body and the soul/behavior mechanism) cannot keep the law, the Torah.

Mormonism teaches that one confess Jesus, then do all that you can do to keep the law so you will work your way to ‘deserving’ exaltation! BUT, I would ask them, if it is God in you to will and to do of His good pleasure, who is to do the keeping of the laws and ordinances of the Gospel? [caption: what is the 'work of God': John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.{KJV} Romans 3:28 For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law.{Douay Rheims Version}]

I would not presume to explain the particulars of what Mormons believe is ‘God’s Kingdom after this life’ … Mormonism appears to teach there are many levels in ‘that’ kingdom and that Mormons can earn their way to these differing levels; Mormonism assimilates some truth of the scriptures --like Paul‘s vision of the Heavens-- but they base their levels of Heaven assertions upon Joseph Smith‘s claims, then cite Bible passages as if they substantiate those Smithism assertions.

Paul told some Church members: (1 Corinthians 3:15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.{KJV} The reason Paul gave this teaching is related to what Salvation is, when it happens and how it functions in the life of one ‘faithing’ in Jesus Christ. Works and especially keeping the law type works are not the means to salvation. Salvation in the Greek is ‘deliverance‘ (‘soteria’, related to ‘soter‘= deliverer); deliverance requires the Deliverer; Salvation comes when the Deliverer sprinkles His blood on the mercy seat and takes His place on the Mercy seat; deliverance comes day-by-day as He on the mercy seat transforms the soul of the faither as the old nature inherited from Adam is crucified to end its reign over you, bit by bit.

Once the human spirit is cleansed, The Holy Spirit of God comes to indwell that human spirit (that‘s why we ‘work out our own salvation with fear and trembling‘, it is the God of Creation Who is in you! … our ‘own salvation’ is the daily crucifixion of the old nature so the indwelling Spirit can transform you, and Jesus promised THAT Spirit would never leave you or forsake you once He‘s there) .

Transformation of the human soul/behavior mechanism will manifest works of righteousness/fruit of the Spirit (note the capitalization), but it will be ‘works’ which GOD does, not ‘all that you can do‘. Through The Word all things are made so The Son of God is the One deserving of exaltation and praise for HIS creative works. The Jewish believers were under the admonition to follow the law which could make no man righteous because no man but Jesus ever fulfilled it all without failure … but with faith Abraham and Rahab were counted righteous! It was ‘seeded‘ in the Old Testament that righteousness would come ONLY through faithing in His faithfulness. The perfect will of God is that we faithe in His faithfulness, so that His Son is the deserving One because He was first in Faith, even unto the death of the cross. [caption: Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.{KJV}]

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth (Greek word is ‘pisteuo’= faithe) unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision (Jews) only, or upon the uncircumcision (Gentiles) also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Faithe is an action word --action based upon belief sustained by confidence in God’s promises-- and your fuel level of faith --your confidence in the promise of God-- is renewed daily by the Word as your mind ‘hears‘)
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Without faith, it is your flesh, your nature inherited from Adam, doing all that you can do.)
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (If you are not born of the Spirit, you cannot renew your own mind for you have not the LIFE of God in you to Create new LIFE.)

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Peter is the Rock -vs- Jesus is the Rock

> Perhaps there is another more obvious answer that ...(we) are missing. We need only look at the preceding verses to find it:
15 Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? 16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:15-18 Douay- Rheims)
When Jesus talks about "this rock" he is not referring to Peter, but instead Peter's confession of faith in the preceding verses. Jesus isn't jumping from one subject (that He is the Christ) to another (primacy of Peter). It is a continuation of the same subject - who do people believe that Christ is. If you look at the following verse 20 you can see that Jesus has not changed subject because he is commanding them not to reveal that He is the Christ.
> Jesus thus does not declare the primacy of Peter, but rather declares that his church will be built upon the foundation of the revelation of and confession of faith of Jesus as the Christ. The "rock" gentlemen is our faith in Christ. (posted by Between the Lines)
...

[That was so well stated that I would only add, 'faith' is an action word, as in 'to faithe' in the delivering Power and Grace of God through Jesus Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit indwelling the faither.]

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One method of Hermeneutical understanding of Matthew 16:18 is to do a word study of all the scriptures which were then known as the Holy Word of G-d when Y'shua spoke these words. This will allow one to understand that all of the Holy Word of G-d was inspired by YHvH; the whole counsel of G-d.

The only conclusion that one can come to unless you are predisposed to believe in man's tradition over the Holy Word of G-d is that Y'shua was speaking of himself as the "Rock " e.g.



Genesis 49:24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed
[Or archers will attack...will shoot...will remain...will stay] supple,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

Deuteronomy 32:3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock , his works are perfect, and all his ways are
just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Deuteronomy 32:15 ..... He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Saviour.

Deuteronomy 32:30 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten
thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless
the LORD had given them up?

Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not like our Rock , as even our enemies concede

Deuteronomy 32:32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness.

1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no-one holy [Or no Holy One] like the LORD;
there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2 He said: "The LORD is my Rock , my fortress and my deliverer;

2 Samuel 22:3 my God is my Rock , in whom I take refuge, my shield and the
horn [Horn here symbolises strength.] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour — from violent men you save me.

2 Samuel 22:32 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?

2 Samuel 22:47 "The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God, the Rock , my Saviour!

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me:
'When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,

Psalm 18:31 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?

Psalm 18:46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God my Saviour!

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 42:9 I say to God my Rock , "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

Psalm 78:35 They remembered that God was their Rock , that God Most High was their Redeemer.

Psalm 89:26 He will call out to me, `You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Saviour.'

Psalm 92:15 ..... "YHvH is upright; he is my Rock , and there is no wickedness in him."

Psalm 95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 144:1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock , who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.

Habakkuk 1:12 O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy
One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to
execute judgment; O Rock , you have ordained them to punish.

shalom b'shem Yah'shua  (posted by XeniaSt)

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Because I've gotten several requests on my chocolate peanut butter icebox pie, here's the very easy recipe:

Three and one half cups of Vanilla flavored yogurt ... use the plumping not the fluid
Two Boxes of Devil's Food Chocolate Instant pudding
Five tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
One tub of Cool-Whip, 8ounce/three cup size
One graham cracker readi-crust pie shell
Place the pie shell in the freezer and pull the Cool-Whip down into the fridge to thaw
Mix cups of vanilla Yogurt with the pudding powder and whisk--it gets really stiff, fast--then plop it into the frozen pie shell and place it in the fridge while you mix the Cool-Whip and peanut butter by folding motion; place the Cool-Whip mixture atop the pudding in the pie shell and return to fridge for at least one hour. It will cut like a cooked pie and is delicious! I'm planning on trying a dozen melted caramels in the pie shell and back into the fridge before putting the pudding in. I also plan to make a coconut cream pie this week using a similar methodology, with Cool-Whip/peanut butter topping and toasted coconut sprinkled on top. The trick to the thick pie filling is using yogurt--instead of milk--with the instant pudding. You can make all sorts of great Strawberry or Blueberry concoctions using those flavored yogurts. Folding a cherry or blueberry pie filling into the yogurt (reduce yogurt amount by 1/2 cup) before adding the pudding powder is a geat way to form the base for a trifle. OH! And the pie loses the slight yogurt tang by the second day in the fridge. I have no idea what it tastes like after four days in the fridge ... I've never had one last that long without being devoured.

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My Political Views
I am a center-right moderate social authoritarian
Right: 2.46, Authoritarian: 1.73

Political Spectrum Quiz

ELSIE'S ROCK CHART:

 
Is Peter the 'rock'?
 


NIV Matthew 4:18-19
 18.  As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
 19.  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
 
NIV Matthew 8:14
  When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
 
NIV Matthew 10:1-2
 1.  He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil  spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
 2.  These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
 
NIV Matthew 14:28-31
 28.  "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
 29.  "Come," he said.   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
 30.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
 31.  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
 
NIV Matthew 15:13-16
 13.  He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.
 14.  Leave them; they are blind guides.  If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
 15.  Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."
 16.  "Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them.
 

As you can see, Simon was already known as 'Peter'
BEFORE the following verses came along.....


NIV Matthew 16:13-18
 13.  When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
 14.  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
 15.  "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
 16.  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ,  the Son of the living God."
 17.  Jesus replied, "
Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
 18.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades  will not overcome it.
 19.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be  bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

NIV 1 Corinthians 10:4
   and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
 
NIV Luke 6:48
   He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
 
NIV Romans 9:33
  As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
 
 
 
NIV 1 Peter 2:4-8
 4.  As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--
 5.  you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
 6.  For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
 7.  Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, "
 8.  and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.


But, since there WAS no NT at the time Christ spoke to Peter, just what DID Peter and the rest of the Disciples know about ROCKS???

 

NIV Genesis 49:24-25
 24.  But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
 25.  because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty,  who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.
 
NIV Numbers 20:8
   "Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink."
 
NIV Deuteronomy 32:4
  He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
 
NIV Deuteronomy 32:15
   Jeshurun  grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior.
 
NIV Deuteronomy 32:18
  You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.
 
NIV Deuteronomy 32:30-31
 30.  How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up?
 31.  For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede.
 
NIV 1 Samuel 2:2
  "There is no one holy  like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
 
NIV 2 Samuel 22:2-3
 2.  He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
 3.  my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn  of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-- from violent men you save me.
 
NIV 2 Samuel 22:32
  For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
 
NIV 2 Samuel 22:47
  "The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!
 
NIV 2 Samuel 23:3-4
 3.  The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: `When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,
 4.  he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.'
 
NIV Psalms 18:2
  The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn  of my salvation, my stronghold.
 
NIV Psalms 18:31
   For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
 
NIV Psalms 18:46
  The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
 
NIV Psalms 19:14
   May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
 
NIV Psalms 28:1
   To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.
 
NIV Psalms 31:2-3
 2.  Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
 3.  Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
 
NIV Psalms 42:9
   I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"
 
NIV Psalms 62:2
   He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
 
NIV Psalms 62:6
   He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
 
NIV Psalms 62:7
   My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
 
NIV Psalms 71:3
   Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
 
NIV Psalms 78:35
   They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.
 
NIV Psalms 89:26
   He will call out to me, `You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.'
 
NIV Psalms 92:14-15
 14.  They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
 15.  proclaiming, "The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."
 
NIV Psalms 95:1
   Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
 
NIV Psalms 144:1
   Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
 
NIV Isaiah 17:10
   You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
 
NIV Isaiah 26:4
   Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
 
NIV Isaiah 30:29
 And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.
 
NIV Isaiah 44:8
   Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." 
 
NIV Habakkuk 1:12
   O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.

.....No other rock.............
 
And now you know the Biblical position!


30 posted on 06/19/2015 12:36:38 PM PDT by Elsie ( Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)

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THE ISSUE IS: DID HE COME OUT OF THE TOMB?
From a sermon preached each Easter season by Pastor Eugene Scott

You won't settle that (question) by thinking about it; you research it. Now, to research anything you have to get a foundation in facts. Most people are fuzzy-minded; they argue a resurrection didn't occur because it can't occur, and anybody who says it did must be lying. Any other fact, you research it.

If you're going to ask, "Did Scott preach this message within an hour on this specific Sunday?" you've got to assume that I was here and that I preached at all. You've got to assume that the Cathedral exists. You've got to assume that that Sunday came and went. We don't have to discuss that; we take those facts for granted when determining if the message was less than an hour. Before we argue whether I preached an hour (or more), let's at least agree that I preached. You don't have to agree whether it was good or bad, but that I was here and my mouth moved and said things.

That's known as the frame-of-reference – what's taken for granted.

And if someone says "Wow, I don't believe you were there!," then stop with debating clocks. It's much easier to prove I was here than to prove how long I preached, because you don't yet know when I started. Was it the preliminary remarks? Was it the first mark on the board? That's more debatable, but to prove whether I was here at all or not, that's a little easier.

You need to approach the Resurrection the same way. There are certain facts that have to be assumed before you discuss the Resurrection.

One is, did Jesus live at all? Why are we talking about whether He raised if we don't believe He lived? There was a time that was debated; not much anymore. For purposes of today and any meaningful discussion of the Resurrection, you've got to at least assume:

Fact 1. That Jesus lived. If you don't believe that... Do you agree that it's probably easier to prove that He lived somewhere sometime than that He died and rose again? Do you agree with that? So give me the easier task. "Well, I'm not sure He lived, so don't give me that Resurrection bit." I have more time to do other things than that. Don't get into any argument about the Resurrection with somebody who doesn't believe Jesus lived. That's easy to prove; until that's crossed, don't get to the next one:

Fact 2. That He was crucified at the instigation of certain Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem. Roman authorities ordered and carried out the execution. At the instigation of certain Jewish leaders (not all the Jews, they weren't to blame for that, His Disciples were Jews, just certain Jewish leaders), the Romans carried out the execution. Unless you believe that, there's no sense going to the Resurrection. The crucifixion's much easier to prove than the Resurrection.

Fact 3. That He was considered dead. Notice I say considered dead, because a few people believe He recovered from the grave – resuscitated. He was considered dead: pierced with a sword, taken down from the cross, taken to a grave. Of course, one theorist has come up with a concoction that Jesus practiced this, and had people take Him to the grave knowing He was going to come out. He practiced on Lazarus first (so goes the theory) but of course Lazarus was stinking before he started practicing. Some of the theories stretch the brain more than just accepting the Resurrection, but at least He was considered dead. If you don't believe that, discussing the Resurrection is premature.

Fact 4. He was buried in a known, accessible tomb. People of that day, and particularly the Jewish and Roman leaders who participated in the crucifixion events, knew where the tomb was and could get to it. You couldn't get into it because of the rock and guards, but the tomb's location was known and accessible.

Fact 5. He was then preached raised. I'm at this point not saying He raised, but He was preached raised, that the tomb was empty, and that Jesus ascended. It's important to remember that the whole preachment included: empty tomb; raised from the dead; and ascending into heaven. All three of those claims were preached. Now, if you don't believe He was preached with all those claims, I'm doing it today: But He was preached early on and in the same city where He was killed! If you don't believe that (that this series of claims were preached), that's easier to prove than the Resurrection.

Fact 6. The Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion were more interested in disproving His Resurrection than we would be today. Common sense will tell you the Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion had more interest in disproving the Resurrection than someone 2,000 years removed, considering it intellectually with a lot of skepticism mixed in, because the Jewish leaders' reputations and bread and butter and lives were at stake. If they instigated His crucifixion, accusing Him of trying to set up a kingdom and accusing Him of blasphemy, and then all of a sudden it's true that He raised from the dead, they are going to be looking for new jobs. So common sense says they had more psychological interest in disproving the theory, and would put themselves out a little more than most people on an Easter Sunday would.

Fact 7. The Disciples were persecuted because of preaching the claims of His Resurrection. They were horribly persecuted because of this preaching, starting with those Jewish leaders who first persecuted them – first they called them liars, then said they stole the body away. The whole Book of Acts tells of the Disciples' persecution for preaching the Resurrection. Later, centuries later, Christians in general became a target for the evils in the Roman Empire and became scapegoats, and were punished for other reasons, but every record agrees that the earliest persecutions would have stopped immediately if the Disciples had quit preaching this Resurrection message, and the Ascension of Jesus. That's why they were persecuted, because the Jewish leaders had their reputations at stake.

Thus, Fact 8. The tomb was empty. All this leads to the fact, common sense says, if the Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion (Fact 2), having the extra interest because their livelihood was at stake (Fact 6); and if He was buried in a known, accessible tomb (Fact 4), they would have gone immediately to that tomb and discovered the body. Therefore, it is axiomatic that the tomb was empty. The tomb became meaningless because it was empty!

Centuries went by and the tomb was lost to history, because there was no body in it! Then, when the "relic period" began to grow, people got interested in his tomb, in which there had been no interest because there was no body in it, and tried to find it. And the whole church world still fights today over the classical site of the ancient historic churches, and Gordon's tomb that most of the Protestants identify with, just off from the bus station below the escarpment of a rock called "Golgotha" that has an Arab cemetery on top. The fight occurred because the tomb was lost to history; there was no body in it.

Now, these facts are easier to demonstrate than the Resurrection, but unless these facts are accepted, you can't deal with all the theories about the Resurrection. For example, the preaching has been so effective that all through the centuries people have come up with theories to explain it. Now, the reason that I do this every Easter is that I try to demonstrate that you don't have to park your brains at the door of the church when you come in, intelligent analysis is in order.

You don't just make people believe, but if you expose yourself to evidence, something happens inside and there will be a psychological reaction. My quarrel with people who deny the Resurrection and live a life style that pays no attention to it, is that I can ask them 15 questions and find they haven't spent 15 hours of their life looking at evidence for it.

If the Resurrection is true, this is the center of the universe. If the Resurrection is true, this is the central fact of history. You have to be a fool among all fools of mankind to think it's not worth at least 30 hours of study in your whole life.

Furthermore, there are many intelligent people in the world who have looked and come away convinced. That's why I am doing this. Because the Disciples' preachments are so sincere in their nature, all kinds of theories have been broached to explain their belief, but the theories won't fly if you assume the eight facts previously stated.

Theory 1. The Disciples stole the body.
Theory 2. The Jewish leaders stole it.
Theory 3. The Roman leaders stole it.
Theory 4. The women went to the wrong tomb. You know, it was dark and they got lost like "women-walkers" – they didn't have women drivers, but women walkers. They went to the wrong tomb, and they believed He rose, and I mean, they ran screaming and crying out of the garden, "We went and He wasn't there!" They went to the wrong tomb; they went to an empty one waiting for somebody else.
Theory 5. It was all hallucinations. Glorified day dreams. They were sincere; they believed that this happened because they had all these hallucinations.
Theory 6. Resuscitation theory. He was crucified and He was considered dead, and He was buried in a known tomb, but He wasn't dead, and in the coolness of the tomb He revived and came out wrapped in the grave clothes and, thank God, the guards were asleep, and He pushed that rock out of the way – and here comes Frankenstein!
Theory 7. The Disciples lied. They made the whole thing up. They'd bet on the wrong horse and they just couldn't live with it so they made up this whole story and it took them seven weeks to figure it out, and then they told it.
Theory 8. IT'S ALL TRUE. They are telling exactly what they experienced and what they saw. Now, just as you got the "startling alternate" (as offered by CS Lewis) when you consider the only Jesus in history, that He's either a madman, a nut, a faker, or He's what He said He was, and that requires a definition of divinity, you have a "startling alternate" here.

All these theories sound good in isolation. Even the first theory (the Disciples stole the body), which the Jewish leaders themselves concocted. But this theory on its face forces you to indict the Disciples as liars. You are thus again forced to a "startling alternate.

"I hate – I've always hated it when I was doing my degree in history – I hate a self-righteous objective historian: "I'm objective; I take no opinion." There's no such thing as a knowledgeable person that doesn't have an opinion. Knowledge forces an opinion; no exposure to facts keeps you neutral. Knowledge forces an opinion, and when you study the facts about Jesus listed above, there are only two options allowed. Either the Disciples lied or they honestly reported the truth. Let's examine each Theory and deduce the option:

#1 They stole the body (Theory 1), then they obviously lied (Theory 7).
#2. The Jewish leaders stole the body (Theory 2)? These facts preclude that: they were more concerned than anyone to disprove the preachment (Fact 6), so why would they make the tomb empty? And if they had, they would have said, "Wait a minute; we took His body from the tomb." They couldn't even think of that story; they told the one about the Disciples (Theory 1), but even if that were tenable, the Disciples didn't preach just an empty tomb and the Resurrection. They preached a seen and living Jesus with whom they partook food; they preached the Ascension with equal vigor. So even if the Jewish leaders' taking the body would explain the empty tomb, the Disciples are still telling the add-ons of the encounters with the Resurrected body and the Ascension, so they have expanded and "made up" a lot of the story – in other words, they still lied.
#3. Roman leaders took the body (Theory 3)? With the controversies in Jerusalem, with the contacts the Jewish leaders had with the Romans, enabling them to get the crucifixion done, don't you think they would have exposed that fact, that officials of the Roman government took the body? But even if that explains the empty tomb, it does not alleviate the Disciples' responsibility for preaching a Resurrected body that they had encounters with, and the Ascension, so they're still lying.
#4. The women went to the wrong tomb (Theory 4)? It was a known accessible tomb (Fact 4). The Jewish leaders interest (Fact 6) would have taken them to the known tomb, and all they had to do to explain the wrong tomb theory was go to the tomb where the body is – and they would have done it.
#5. Hallucinations (Theory 5)? Well, the empty tomb (Fact 8) blasts that. If it had been just hallucinations, there would have been a body in the tomb. You have to couple it with spiriting the body away. So, they're still lying.
#6. Resuscitation (Theory 6)? Well, that Frankenstein coming out of the tomb doesn't quite measure up to the good Jesus that was preached. It might explain the empty tomb, but it doesn't explain the kind of Jesus that they had preached, doesn't explain the Ascension – they still made the rest of it up. So no matter how you look at it, if you assume the eight facts which are much easier to demonstrate than the Resurrection, there are only two options, two conclusions, because it boils down to the veracity of the witnesses.

That's why I have no respect for those who deny the Resurrection and have not read the classic, Sherlock's Trial of the Witnesses. He postulated a courtroom scene where all the witnesses were gathered and subjected to the kind of evidence of an English court.

Or they haven't read Who Moved the Stone? by an attorney who set out to disprove the Resurrection and ended up writing one of the most convincing proof arguments.

You are faced with a "startling alternate": either OPTION 1 (which is Theory 7): these Disciples made the story up to save face and the whole thing is a lie, or OPTION 2 (which is Theory 8): They're telling what they truly experienced as honest men.

Now, if you are having trouble distinguishing between "Facts," "Options" and "Theories," let me make it clear: There are eight facts which reduce eight theories to only the startling alternate theories 7 and 8, which become the only two credible theories, thus the only two remaining options, "Theories" 7, they lied, or 8, they told the truth!

And when we come to that point, the entire Christian faith revolves around this question: were these Disciples who were the witnesses honest men telling what they saw, or conspirators who concocted a lie to save face? There are four reasons why I cannot believe they were lying:

Reason 1. Cataclysmic change for the better on the part of the witnesses. Everybody agrees Peter was unstable, and even when with a group he could not be counted on to stand. He fled in fear and he denied his Lord, he was always in trouble because of his extremes and his instability. After the Resurrection, he is the man that preaches to a mocking mob, he fulfills his destiny to become the Rock, he dies with courage requesting that he be turned upside down because he is not worthy to die in the position of his Master – a cataclysmic change that can be identified to a point in history, and that point in history is where they began to tell this story of the Resurrection.

John? He was self-centered to the extreme. He was one of the brothers called "Sons of Thunder." He wanted to call fire down from heaven on everyone that opposed him. He and his brother used their mother to seek the best seat in the kingdom. After they began to tell this Resurrection story, every scholar agrees John was a changed man. Instead of a "Son of Thunder," he's almost wimpish in his never-failing expression of love. He is known as the "Apostle of Love" – a total cataclysmic change.

Thomas is consistently a doubter: from start to finish, he's a doubter. He's a realist; he questions everything. When Jesus is going to go through Samaria and faces death, and tells His Disciples about it, Thomas then says, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." That's courage, but he thought Jesus would actually die; that's a humanistic view. When Jesus is discussing going away, building mansions in heaven, says, "Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," all the rest of them are surely shouting about the mansions. Thomas is listening to every word. He says "We don't know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Now that's a consistent thumbnail sketch of a personality trait. Who is it that's doubting when the Resurrection comes? Same guy. "I won't believe 'til I touch Him, put my hands in the marks of death." The moment arrives. Jesus is there and says to Thomas, "Behold my hands and my side." He says, "It is more blessed to believe without seeing." That is an axiomatic truth, but He did not condemn Thomas. He just stated that fact, and then He offered to submit to the test, which is what we are doing today. He said, "Behold my hands and my side." And Thomas cried, "My Lord and my God."

It is significant that in the most philosophic area of the world, where the Vedanta philosophies have produced Buddhism and the Eastern religions that flow out of it, it is Thomas that pierces the Himalayas to die a martyr near Madras, India, to be the herald of faith in the most challenging philosophic area of the world at that time, and never again does he waver an instant in faith – a total change from a consistent doubter to an unwavering "faither."

Now, you can say, a crisis will change people, but a lie will seldom change people for the better; they'll get worse. These men are cataclysmically changed for the better; I don't think that telling a lie would do that.

Reason 2. Indirect evidences and internal consistencies. There are indirect evidences of truth. Mark wrote to Gentiles; you can count it in Mark's Gospel, he has Christ referring to Himself as "Son of Man" more often than any other Gospel. Count it yourself. Now if he was a liar, knew he was lying, trying to perpetrate a fraud, why would he have Jesus refer to Himself with a phrase that suggests humanity when his purpose is to try to represent Jesus as the Son of God? If he's a liar, he'd just have Jesus refer to Himself as the Son of God. But ironically, as God's little hidden evidences of honesty, in Mark's Gospel, written to Gentiles, designed to prove that Jesus was the Son of God, he had Jesus refer to Himself as the Son of Man more than any other Gospel.

Now, Jesus did refer to Himself as the "Son of Man" because Jesus was preaching to a Hebrew audience that read the Book of Enoch and read the Book of Daniel where the Son of Man was viewed as Messiah coming in clouds of glory to set up His kingdom. So it's quite proper for Jesus to refer to Himself as the Son of Man in a messiah mentality, but if you are writing to Gentiles who don't know anything about the Old Testament, and trying to perpetrate a lie that Jesus is the Son of God, unless you're just basically honest and telling the truth, you wouldn't have Jesus say "Son of Man" as often. Why not change what He said to serve your purpose? Inherent honesty. I could give you a dozen of those, but that is what historians call indirect evidence of honesty.

Let me give one more. In the New Testament world, women were thought incapable of being a credible witness. The Disciples knew that, so why would they present women as the first witnesses of the Resurrection? If they were telling a lie, they would know that their world would discount women witnesses. Liars would have avoided recording women witnesses. More intrinsic evidence they were simply reporting what actually occurred. The fact that the Disciples waited seven weeks is used by those who say they were lying as the time needed for them to cook up the lie. If they are smart enough to tell a lie of this nature, my judgment is, they would have figured that out. They waited seven weeks because Jesus told them to wait. That's the action of honest men, even though waiting that long hurts their story – if they were going to make up a lie.

Reason 3. Price paid. You don't pay the price these men paid to tell a lie. All of them, save John, died a martyr's death: Bartholomew flayed to death with a whip in Armenia; Thomas pierced with a Brahmin sword; Peter crucified upside down, St. Andrew crucified on St. Andrew's cross (from which it gets its name); Luke hanged by idolatrous priests, Mark dragged to death in the streets of Alexandria. These men paid beyond human belief for their "lie."

Reason 4. They died alone. St. Thomas Aquinas' great – greatest, I think – proof of the veracity of the Disciples and the Resurrection is that they died alone.

Now, as I do every year when I finish this message, I can conceive of a group of men trying to save face, telling a story, having bet on the wrong man, crushed by His failure (as they would view it), trying to resurrect Him with a lie. I can conceive of them staying together and group pressure holding together the consistencies of their lie, because they don't want to be the first one to break faith and rat on the others and collapse the whole thing. (I>Pointing to men in the congregation, Gene continued)Let's assume that Bobby Boyle and Jerry McIntyre and Richard Williams concocted this story. You don't have television, you don't have satellite, you don't have FAX, you don't have telephone, and as long as you stay together under great pressure, you don't want to be the one, Jerry, to let Richard and Bobby down.

But now separate you. You, Jerry, be Bartholomew in Armenia, and you, Bobby, be Thomas over in India. And Richard, you be Peter in Rome. You have lost contact with each other. You can't pick up a phone and call anybody; nobody knows where you are, and since you know you are telling a lie and you know you don't really expect the generations forever to believe it, and you, Jerry, in Armenia, are being flayed to death literally – that is, skinned with a whip, your skin peeled off of you – all you've got to do to get out is say, "It's all a lie," and "Forgive me; I'm leaving town."

Bobby wouldn't know it; Richard wouldn't know it. You could see them next time, exchanging stories together and saying, "Boy, I really tore them up there in Armenia. I told the story, and nobody could forget it the way I told it." Bobby and Richard wouldn't know you lied. You, Bobby, you're going to be pierced with a sword in India; you are never going to see Jerry or Richard again. All you have to do to get out of the pressure is say, "It's a lie." You, Richard, you're off in Rome; you're a little more exposed, but with your life at stake, all you have to say is, "Sorry. Maybe I dreamed it" and wiggle out and head to France. As Thomas Aquinas said, it is psychologically inconceivable that these men, separated, each one paying the supreme price for their story and each one dying alone, that some one of the group wouldn't break away from his fellows and say, "Hey, it wasn't true!"

To die alone. And not one shred of evidence surviving 2,000 years of hard-looking critics, you will never find one record any where on the face of this earth where any one of these men ever wavered unto their terrible death in telling this story. Therefore, I came to the conclusion there's no way these men were lying. They were telling what they thought and experienced and saw as true.

I remember doing this with my professor Larry Thomas at Stanford, and he said to me, "Gene, I am convinced. These men believed what they were telling. Therefore, some one of these other eight facts must be wrong." Well, if you're honest and you say that, I've got you, because those other eight are a lot easier to demonstrate. What is the alternative?

IT'S TRUE, AND HE CAME OUT OF THAT GRAVE. Well, if that is true, then what? All the rest of this is true, and I have a starting point for a faith in a God eternal. And I then have crossed over that threshold where I can now comprehend what Christianity is, for if I can believe that Jesus Christ came through those grave clothes, through that rock, through that door, and sailed off in the blue, then molecular displacement is nothing to Him – He can do it without creating an explosion. It is true that all things consist in Him, and He can control them.

Therefore, it's not difficult at all to believe that that same substance of God, placed in Mary, came forth as Jesus of Nazareth through the Holy Spirit. God says He places that same God-substance in us when we trust Him. That is the true born-again experience – a generator of life, a regeneration, a new creation that penetrates my cell structure and is placed in me as a gift from God when I connect by trusting His word.

That's the genesis of all Christianity, properly seen, that Christ is in us the hope of glory. I don't have to become some mystic or far-out freak to understand what Christianity is. I can now spend my life pursuing His words, including the authority He attaches to the Old Testament, and the promises that are written therein. And each time I grab hold of those and act on my belief, and sustain the action in confidence, that faith connection keeps in me a life substance the same as that which raised up Christ from the dead. That new life substance is as capable of changing my nature as radioactive material, invisible though it may be, can change your cell structure as you hold it.

God puts a life in us capable of regenerating, and that's why spirituality is the expressions of the spirit, and why righteousness is called the fruit of the spirit. It is that new life growing out through us which can only be maintained by faith in His word, but it was founded and based upon the solid rock of the provable quality of "He raised from the dead," and it gives me faith to believe that He will do the other thing He said, which is come again.

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