Nevertheless, some people, especially those who don’t like the moral constraints of the Bible, want to say that the Bible has changed since it was written. If Jesus was proved to be the authentic Son of God through the resurrection from the dead, this cannot be so.
The textual evidence for the integrity of the Bible is better than for any other ancient book or document. Compared to other ancient writings, we have more manuscripts still in existence, and manuscripts whose age we know is much closer to the time of original writing, than it is in the case of other ancient writings. All variations which exist are of a very minor nature which do not affect any major doctrine of the Bible. We believe that it can be deduced which manuscripts in fact are closest to what was originally written, but it is outside the scope of this lesson to discuss this.
There are amazing mathematical patterns in Bible when looked at in the original Hebrew and Greek languages. Hundreds of facts based around the number 7 appear in every passage of the Bible when you look at the numerical values of the words in the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible. Many of these patterns were discovered by Ivan Panin in the 19th century. This discovery turned him from being an agnostic to being a Christian. His subsequent research provides a virtually irrefutable evidence that the Bible is not simply the product of human minds. No computer today could create such a text. The conclusion is once again that the Bibleis the Word of God. (more…)
Faith is not religion. Many times people say “We have our faith”. What they mean is this: “We have our religious ideas and doctrines, our traditions, our ways of doing things passed down through the generations. Don’t you try to change them.” This is not the Biblical idea of faith.
Faith is not mental assent. It is not agreeing with your mind, “Yes, that is true.” Many professing Christians believe mentally that the Bible is the Word of God, but this faith does not change the way they live. It is not a faith that can save. (James 2:14)
Even demons have that kind of faith. They know and believe that God exists (James 2:19) – and tremble. They have no loving confidence in God. (more…)
Thank you for all the positive influencers in my life today.
Thank you for everyone who has ever prayed for me
And for anyone who will pray for me in the future. Thanks
especially for the people of strong faith that you have placed
in my path and the positive impact they have had on my character.
Insulate me from experiences that compromise my full potential. Move me away from distractions, diversions, and temptations. Keep my thoughts fixed instead on what is true, pure, excellent and worthy of praise. I know that nothing guards my heart more than being in your will.
Protect me, Father, from any person or relationship that would slowly prod me down the wrong path. Cause me to become hypersensitive to the people in my life and the sometimes subtle influence they are having on my spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical habits. Bring wise, genuine friends into my life, and dissolve any ties with those who may weaken my relationship with you.
In Jesus’ name,
Where Is the True Church? and Its Incredible History!— Chapter 4 – “TRUTH” OR “LOVE”—WHICH COMES FIRST?
The apostle John repeatedly taught the importance of both Bible truth and godly love. To understand the identity of the true Church, it is vital to recognize which of these is the foundation for the other.
The large, respected, well-known church of this world in which I grew up was comprised of millions of “believers”—people who believed in and talked about Jesus. No doubt, most of them were sincere. They also talked much about “Christian love.” Many sermons had this topic as their theme. Sometimes it seemed that “Jesus” and “love” were the only two subjects preached. In fact, this describes the diet served every week from pulpits in tens of thousands of churches. (more…)
“When I don’t fear death as much, I am less afraid of dying to myself. It sounds so obvious. When I’m absorbed with myself – my needs, how much attention I’m getting, doing things my way, everything in reference to me – it is pretty difficult to find God. The “space” inside of me is pre-occupied. However, as my openness to and hunger for a loving presence grows, I am de-selfished and freer. Often my self-pity or self-focus comes out of a fear that I won’t have “enough.” I fear any “emptiness” so I “fill” it quickly. However, when I ask to be emptied, I discover an empowering fulness. When I become more and more focused on how very much is being offered me in the loving presence of Jesus, discovered in every part of my day, I discover the power of Augustine‘s prayer: “O Lord, Our God, you have created us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
Ark of the Covenant: Mystical Object or Historical Artifact?
The Ark of the Covenant means different things to different people. For some, the Ark is a mystical object that contains supernatural powers too terrifying to comprehend. For the pop-culture minded, it is the priceless treasure sought after by the fearless Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. To others, it is an ancient artifact that is highly coveted for its “religious” significance, similar to the “holy grail.” With all the societal myths surrounding the Ark, it is worthwhile to take a moment to investigate its true origin and purpose. Is the Ark of the Covenant as powerful and terrifying as some have portrayed it to be? Is it merely something dreamt up by Hollywood to lure our movie-going dollars? Or could there be more to this ancient object that has relevance for us today?
Ark of the Covenant: The History Behind it
The Ark of the Covenant is first mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 25. Following Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt, God instructs Moses to build a Tabernacle (or tent) in which the Israelites will worship God. Placed in a special area known as “the Holy of Holies,” the Ark of the Covenant was the most sacred object in the Tabernacle. Detailed instructions were given by God to construct the Ark. It was to be made with acacia wood and overlaid with gold. Dimensionally, the Ark was to be 2.5 cubits (1 cubit is approximately 18 in.) long and 1.5 cubits wide and high. Atop the Ark were two gold cherubs that stood with their wings covering an area of the Ark known as the “Mercy Seat.” (more…)
When is a person converted? I have known many who doubted their conversion because they had never been taught the meaning of true conversion. When under fire—under pressure—they lacked the confidence to know they could effectively address their problems. They were not sure that they even had the power to overcome them.
Since the devil—the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33)—deceives the whole world, he also seeks to confuse professing Christians about this most important subject. In fact, because so much is at stake in this understanding, he pulls out all stops. The thing he hates most is even a single human being turning to God. (more…)
The truth of the gospel—God’s astonishing purpose for man—has been withheld from the world. It explains why you were born. It is incredible knowledge that will leave you dumbfounded! This amazing understanding is now revealed—along with the cover-up to suppress it!
Billions are now deceived. Previous billions have been. Even you have been lied to. A complete seduction has taken place, and all the world’s religions have played a part in it. Knowledge of your incredible future—your awesome potential—has been kept from you!
Many wonder and worry about the unknown—and what their future holds. Others fear they do not even have a future. Still others fear that civilization has no future. You need never be in doubt about your future again—or of mankind’s. (more…)
How did mankind get into the state of confusion, division, war, competition and disagreement existing all over the earth today? God’s original command to Adam was, “But of the tree of theknowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17).
In the next chapter (3:6), Eve, with Adam following, rebelled and ate of this wrong tree. Notice that this tree represented knowledge that was both “good and evil.” In other words, the tree was not entirely evil—it contained a mixture of true and false knowledge! It is the same with the churches of this world. Some do have small amounts of true (“good”) doctrinal “knowledge,” mixed with much false (“evil”) doctrinal “knowledge.” For 6,000 years, God has told His true servants to avoid mixing truth with error. He warned Adam that eating of the wrong tree would result in death. It did. (more…)
It may surprise you to hear that the Bible has a deeper meaning in the words it uses and the stories it tells. This deeper meaning does not predict the future by some mysterious code; it is about you as you are on the inside. Once you see this, the Bible becomes an extraordinary tool for personal discovery, something very different from the Bible you may have struggled with and given up on. Learning about this deeper and more spiritual meaning may reawaken your interest. If you have never been interested in God or religion, or feel turned off by them, you may appreciate a chance to look again in the light of this new way of seeing the Bible.
Here is a simple example for you. Many battles are mentioned in the Bible. We have battles inside us, conflicts between our selfishness and our desire to love other people. The Bible says that the people always won their battles when they obeyed God. ‘God’ means the highest truth we can know. When we choose to go with this truth instead of our ego, we willalways win our battle. The strategies for success are there in the details of each Biblical battle plan. (more…)
In one of the most powerful, dramatic and profoundly important statements in the Bible, Jesus Christ declared, “I will build My Church” (Matt. 16:18). He did not say “churches,” “fellowships,” “sects,” “denominations” or “communities of believers.” No matter how men try to place an interpretation on it, this passage speaks of a single Church—of one, undivided organization! Jesus continued, “and the gates of hell [the grave] shall not prevail against it.” He promised that His Church could never be destroyed. (more…)
What does “being called” mean? What of the billions who never heard of Jesus Christ—are they lost? Are you being called? How can you know—for sure?
IIs the Bible True? – “…By inspiration of God“
So, is the Bible true? If the Bible is indeed what it claims to be, the implications for us are considerable. The Bible candidly claims to be “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Of course, the Bible is not the only book to claim divine inspiration, but it is unique in that it offers substantial evidence to back its claims. It even goes so far as to challenge its readers to put it to the test, exhorting us to “Test all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). (more…)
Gospel of Judas – What Is It?
The Gospel of Judas was discovered in the 1970s in an Egyptian cave. Until recently, no institutions were willing to pay the exorbitant fee to get the manuscript due to its dubious origin. A foundation in Switzerland eventually purchased the codex to release its content.
In 2006, National Geographic announced that the manuscript has been authenticated by carbon dating, studied, and translated by biblical scholars. However, up to one-third of the gospel according to Judas is missing or illegible.
This manuscript held by National Geographic is likely dated to the 5th century AD.
Gospel of Judas – Who Wrote It and What Does it Say? (more…)
On this page, let us explore the teachings ascribed to Jesus. Some of these teachings are no doubt much earlier and much more authentically from Jesus/Yeshua than other words that were attributed to him by later persons with a certain religious-political agenda. (For instance, note the clearly inauthentic, long-winded diatribes against the Pharisee Jews put into Jesus’ mouth in the Gospel of Matthew—when Jesus was himself a Pharisee Jew, not an Essene, Zealot, or Sadducee Jew.) For these teachings from rabbi Jesus we draw on the six best sources in our possession today—the reconstructed “Q-text,” the crucially important Gospel of Thomas, as well as the well-known synoptic textsGospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, and Gospel of Matthew, and, finally, the well-known yet enigmatic Gospel of John.
When most people think of Jesus Christ’s time on earth as a human being, they think either of a dead Savior hanging from a cross or a helpless baby lying in a manger.
Few picture a growing, energetic boy who played games with His childhood friends and performed household chores. Few imagine God-in-the-flesh—a Man who sweated as He eagerly labored in His human father’s profession. Who may have had to diplomatically rebuff peer pressure from family and friends to get married and start a family—or to participate in any other activities that would have thwarted His supreme Purpose. Who freely laughed and expressed a good sense of humor. Who was unafraid to shed tears in empathy for others. Who enjoyed delicious food and drink, and life in general, yet always with perfect moderation. (more…)
It started with Mary. She was a young Jewish girl engaged to Joseph, a carpenter. Mary thought she had her life planned: marriage, bearing children, raising a family, growing old together with Joseph, one day enjoying her own grandchildren and perhaps great-grandchildren.
Mary had no hint that she had been selected to experience a monumental, life-changing event, a major step that would be part of the overarching Plan of God, affecting all peoples—past, present and future. (more…)