Archive for December, 2014


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Isaiah 53:6a All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way…

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

The illustration made by Isaiah is interesting. Human beings are often described in the Bible as like sheep. The dumbest of all farm animals, a sheep will place themselves in constant peril and perish if not for the ever-present care of a watchful shepherd.

As in Isaiah’s description; All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way. Sheep constantly stray and often become lost. They are helpless, defenseless, and lacking in the basic skills of survival. In order for a sheep to survive they need the kind of care described in the 23rd Psalm: A Shepherd who leads, feeds, guides, and protects. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

It is a fundamental principle of factual authenticity that no amount of evidence is ever sufficient to convince most skeptics of the Bible and the Historical Jesus–that both are true and reliable.

This author has been actively in pursuit of the facts of Jesus Resurrection, as well as the historicity of His existence, as a real person of antiquity, for nearly 40 years. During this time, the facts which fully validate Jesus as a real person of history have continue to pile up–while those who are presented with such facts continue to deny them as credible. The person who has determined the end result of any question or unknown subject–cannot be convinced by any amount of evidence. Only those who are intellectually honest enough to admit that they do not know the full details of a particular subject and are willing to follow the facts where they lead, may discover the real truth of any endeavor.

In every discussion with today’s modern atheist who staunchly adheres to the position that the Bible is a compilation of men, and the person called Jesus Christ–is either is a myth or His life was greatly embellished in the narrative of the New Testament, I have discovered that these individuals have rarely investigated the available evidence for themselves. It is a clear and reoccurring problem with most atheists that they do not care to investigate evidence, rather they seek to support their choice that God cannot exist and Jesus is not who the Bible says that He is. Upon many interviews with these persons, I have discovered that the positions of a majority of atheists regarding God, is a matter of choice rather than a matter of facts.

In this publication I present a brief example of some of histories evidence for the man described as Jesus of Nazareth–which has been a part of the historical record for over 2,000 years. Not one piece of this evidence has ever been impeached or found invalid. Even against vigorous opposition from adversaries who refuse to accept the written historical record, this evidence from secular history has been full validated by literary and historical scholars. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Isaiah 53:5b …The chastisement for our peace was upon Him…

Colossians 1:19-20 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Isaiah speaks of a chastisement that the Messiah will endure from God in order to make peace possible for us. The Bible is clear that all human beings are in a state of enmity with God in their pre-redemptive state. Because of our sins, we are alienated from God and we cannot have fellowship with Him. In order for fellowship to be possible, all of our sins must be taken away. According to Biblical principle, this can only occur when the penalty for our sins has been satisfied.[1] Isaiah’s prophecy describes the Messiah taking the penalty we deserve and bearing the full wrath of God that was directed at us.

Understanding the wrath of God

One of the most misunderstood attributes of God is His wrath against sin. In the Old Testament, we see graphic illustrations of how this wrath is unleashed on sinners without mercy. To many, God’s anger is offensive and cause enough to flee from His presence. We should give careful consideration to why the Lord is angry against sin. God did not purpose human beings for the suffering we have endured for the past six thousand years. It is because sin came into the world that the good and perfect creation of God has been perverted and corrupted. What should be a wonderful and abundant life for all of us has been ruined by the wrongful actions of people who are doing what is right in their own eyes, without regard to the welfare of others.

Sin has prevented all human beings from experiencing the perfect life that God intended. It has caused unimaginable pain and heartache which has plagued our planet since Adam. When the Lord could endure our misery no longer, He allowed Jesus to come to earth and rescue us. In this amazing display of kindness, God allowed His own Son to take the wrath for our sins, so that we would all be spared from all future wrath.

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

Isaiah 53:5a But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities

What specifically, did Isaiah the prophet mean when He described our sins and the absolute necessity of the Messiah
death to remove those sins? Does this mean that there was no other method by which God could cause each one of us to be worthy of heaven? What is there about sin that is so mysterious and hidden from our understanding?

Isaiah said the Messiah would be wounded for the transgressions of human beings. He was bruised for our iniquities.

Transgressions: The actual sins that we commit against each other, our selves, and God.

Iniquities: The inequitable (unjust) acts of human beings in regards to what is right.

The purpose of the Messiah’s arrival was to die for our sins. We should never miss this important point in any discussion of prophetic fulfillment. If it were not for our sinfulness, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to die. We should thank the Lord every day that He loved and cared for us so greatly that He was willing to depart heaven, come to earth, to suffer unimaginable pain and suffering for us.

When I first learned what Jesus had done for me and how greatly He had suffered, I remember wondering why the whole world did not fall at His feet in thanksgiving and gratefulness. I later learned that most of the world does not consider that any of their actions would require a Savior. By its very nature, sin causes blindness. Jeremiah the prophet wrote that we are not aware of the deception which has been perpetrated against us. Even our own heart does not allow us to see the truth about ourselves.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

When the Bible describes our present condition, it does so in terms of darkness and blindness. The idea here is that we cannot see our true condition, and how desperate and hopeless our situation is. The Bible declares that without someone to help us, not one human being could survive the future judgement for sin that is the destiny of all those who are without Christ. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

The prophet Isaiah wrote nearly 2,700 years ago that when the Messiah makes His appearance in Jerusalem, He will be beaten, crucified, and rise from the dead. The leaders of Israel will see Him as He is dying on the cross and determine that He is suffering for His own sins. The prophet further describes the truth of the Messiah’s sacrifice as substitutionary and securing the salvation of every person who will embrace and accept it personally.[1]

To the present day, many Jews have been taught that Jesus died due to His own errors and that His death occurred as a result of sins which He committed against God and His word. Isaiah describes the exact opposite: Messiah will not sin Himself, but will bear the sins of the world during His sacrifice upon the cross.

Why is it that a person will hear the opinions of others and immediately accept the conclusions as accurate–without having investigated the assertions themselves? It seems that in matters of eternal significance–which is the case with Messiah, the claims of Jesus should be examined with the record of Hebrew prophecy, as well as the historical record of the New Testament narrative. The men who were present at the time Jesus conducted His three and one-half year ministry here on earth, testified that He had committed no sin, and that His death on the cross was determined in advance–for the entire world. Jesus came in fulfillment of 55 prophecies from Isaiah and the 22nd Psalm, which all described His crucifixion and death in vivid detail. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

There is a sorrow that we can experience as human beings, that is implacable. The emptiness that we feel in our hearts, which drives us to fill a void that is overwhelming, comes largely from our conscious and innermost sorrow for our sins.

Many of those who have yet to come into an awareness of God in their life, believe that by the pursuit of pleasure, wealth, experiences, or knowledge, a person can find satisfaction. In reality, the pursuit of these aspirations is much more satisfying than the actual acquisition of them. Once we attain some of these pursuits, we find that the objects of our affection remain unable to satisfy the longing of our heart. Some people spend their entire life chasing their dreams, only to discover after they have attained their aspirations that they are still unfulfilled and often empty.

We were created by God to know Him, worship Him, and have a deep and personal relationship with Him.

When we live our lives in the pursuit of God, our entire dynamic of life changes. We find purpose, great pleasure, deep fulfillment, and lasting peace. I have often listened to and read the comments of those who espouse their certainty that God does not exist. It is easy to sense that despite their outward claims of self-satisfaction, by their words, in their eyes, and on their faces, the emptiness of their soul is apparent. Many times it seems to me that these skeptics are trying to convince themselves as much as persuade others that God is not real and that they have no need of Him. Something deep inside tells the scoffer that God is real, yet they will not concede nor surrender. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING:

One of the purposes of the Messiah was to bear the curse of our sickness upon His body, at the Cross, and deliver us from all sickness forever. This is widely debated amongst Bible commentators. You will find that opinions are about half against the Messiah bearing our sickness, and half for the Messiah atoning for our sickness.

Since all sickness is unnatural and caused as a direct result of sin, it is reasonable to assume that by the Messiah’s atonement on the cross, He was also removing our sickness.

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COPYRIGHT WARNING

Mary’s sorrow

No mother should have to watch her son die. Crucifixion was the most brutal of executions—described as agony and horror, the mother of Jesus undoubtably found it unbearable to behold.

It is for certain that Mary was well acquainted with the emotions of her Son. She knew when He was happy and she could tell, even from a distance, when He was suffering. Jesus’ mother had been with Him on many occasions when He had fallen and scraped is knees. She had mended His cuts and held Him in her arms when He was in pain. When Jesus was giving His life for all of us, Mary stood at the foot of His cross, and it is certain that she suffered personal torment as she watched her son die such a horrible death. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

In their peripherally limited understanding, many scientists today state that everything which exists must have a first cause. Nothing can exist unless it has a cause. This premise is true of all temporal objects but untrue of those things that are eternal. Anything which is eternal by its existence outside of time would have no beginning and is therefore not created. God is before all things and is outside of the conventional rules which apply to the material universe or the beings which inhabit it. God was not made by a God before Him, and that God by another before Him, and so on. These are human observations, and they are not based on facts.

In order that God could exist, He would have to be before and above all other things. He would permit no other god’s and in reality, no other God could exist if there was One all powerful, eternal and perfect God. This is the claim made by the God of the Bible.

The pagan concept of many gods is ludicrous, when we consider that a God with the power to create the cosmos must Himself be the only one. It is impossible that there could be competing gods for the title of God. From the naturalistic mind of today’s scientists and astronomers, if there were a God, He would necessarily have come from a God before Him, and so on. If we follow this line of reasoning, what do we do when we get back to the beginning? Where did the first God come from? Who created Him? (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Luke 19:41-42 Now as Jesus drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”

How does the Lord feel when countless numbers of human souls depart this earth without the covering of His sacrifice and find themselves in the torments of hell? How does the Lord feel after He has done everything that He could do to prevent the loss of a single eternal spirit, and they are lost because they were unwilling to be saved? (more…)