Examining The Claims Of Those Who Once Believed In Jesus: What Caused Their Unbelief?

It is a common assertion today amongst atheists that many claim to have once been a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ. Some of these persons write and speak publicly about how they stopped believing in Jesus and the Bible once they became educated. Noted New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, has written extensively about his experience as a former evangelical Christian who became an agnostic and finally an atheist, due to his education.

There Have Always Been Pretend Believers

When we examine the words of Jesus we find that these claims by alleged former believers are not true. A person can say and do everything that a true believer says and does, but not be a true believer themselves. Going to church, answering an invitation to receive Christ at church, being a missionary, pastor, Sunday school teacher, even paying a tithe and working hard for the cause of Christ, does not guarantee that a person is really a true believer.

These are things that Christians do, but they are also things that people who think they are a Christian does. Case in point, Judas Iscariot.

One would think that a man who walked with Jesus for nearly four years would have sufficient knowledge to be a true believer. We would think that a man who was intimately knowledgeable of all that Jesus said and did would know whether He was God and Messiah or not. Despite all of the knowledge that Judas had about Jesus, we later learn that he never was a true believer, he was a pretender.

This reality allows us to understand that a person can look and sound exactly like a true Christian, a believer in Jesus, but be an unbeliever in reality.

To know Jesus and be saved is a misunderstood term. The term “know,” is used in John’s Gospel 141 times. There are 4 meanings. 1. Knowing a fact. 2. Understand the truth behind the fact. 3. Knowing by personal relationship. 4. Knowing by communion.

Many people know the facts about Jesus and understand the truth of these facts, but they are not saved. We see an example of this with Judas Iscariot. Knowing Jesus by personal relationship requires acknowledgment of personal sin, repentance from these sins, and a complete surrender to Christ. Many are willing to learn about Jesus and they have some understanding of the truth regarding who He is. Not many go further and seek a personal relationship with Christ by being Born Again of the Spirit through complete surrender to Him. Many know about Jesus but very few seek constant and intimate communion with Him throughout their entire life. This is the difference between those who claim to have once been a believer, and those who remain with Jesus forever.

Examination Of The Facts

In this article we will investigate many of the proofs that allows us to know whether we are a true believer or have only a superficial relationship with Him. Regarding whether another person is a true believer, we may never know who are truly His, until Jesus comes again and we all stand before Him for the personal judgment of our life.

In the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, Jesus instructed His disciples to not seek to find out who the true followers are (the Wheat), but to let both grow together. Jesus said that when He comes to earth again, He will command the angels to separate the true believers from the false (Wheat from the Tares).

Another parable Jesus put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man (Christ) who sowed good seed (the word of God) in his field (the world); but while men slept, his enemy (satan) came and sowed tares (false believers) among the wheat (true believers) and went his way. But when the wheat (true believers) had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares (false believers) also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ” ~Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)

The primary proof that we are truly a believer is observed by our faithfulness to Jesus. If we remain faithful to Him for all of our life, this proves we are really His and He is ours (Mt 10:22, 24:13, Mk 13:13).

John wrote that people who leave, demonstrate they never were a part of Jesus to begin with.

These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us. ~1 John 2:19 (NLT)

Complete Surrender Is An Imperative

Paul wrote that sometimes people make a public profession of Jesus without an actual surrender and firm commitment to Him as the Lord of their life. The first step in this compete surrender is the awareness that our sins have separated us from God, and only Jesus can take away our sins.

First we must be willing to turn from our sins and begin to follow Jesus with all of our heart, or out salvation will not be possible. It is true that most people are not completely surrendered to Christ as the Lord of their life at first and there is a process involved in our total surrender. We see this in the lives of the disciples who first knew Jesus. Peter was a believer but He still had difficulty with completely surrendering to Jesus. It took time and Jesus was patient with Peter to give him the time necessary to firmly surrender his will to Jesus complete Lordship.

Sometimes people start out as sincere believers but when they are confronted with their sins they are not willing to turn from them. These individuals are described by Paul in 1 Corinthians who never believed in the first place.

It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you never believed it was true in the first place. ~1 Corinthians 15:2 (NLT)

Jesus said that His true disciples are those who remain with Him and stay faithful to what He taught.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~John 8:31-32 (NLT) 

Paul wrote, in commentary to Habakkuk, 2:3-4, that anyone who ceases to follow Jesus, is an offense to God.

And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” ~Hebrews 10:38 (NLT)

Doubts Can Be Expected

It must be noted in the context of a growing faith that nearly all true believers in Jesus will have some doubts about Him and their faith during the course of their life. This is natural and to be expected. The difference between the true believer and the false, is understood by the true coming back to Jesus, the false give up and never come back to Jesus.

If you are in a period of doubts, it doesn’t mean that you are a false believer. Perhaps you have let trials, suffering, persecution, or a pursuit of this world cloud your thinking about Jesus. Sometimes in the loss of a loved one to sickness and death people can struggle with their faith.

When people we care about are sick, we pray for healing with all of our heart. Sometimes despite our prayers, our loved ones still die. We imagine that either God doesn’t care, isn’t able to heal, or perhaps He doesn’t exist. We forget that when those we love are suffering and they die, God has answered our prayers. The moment our loved one dies they are healed and taken home where they will be perfect and never suffer again.

The reason we feel hurt is because we are left without those we love and will not see them again in this life. If we think past our own hurt and sincerely desire what is best for the people we love, we will understand that God has done the most living thing possible; He healed our loved one’s permanently.

If we remember that death is not the end but merely the beginning, we will see things is an entirely different way. We must also remember that we will see those we love again once we also die and enter the perfection of heaven.

The cure for periods of doubts is to focus less on the world and more on the realities of heaven. Reading and studying the Bible daily and meditation upon the truths contained within, will sustain us in every period of doubts. The Bible can keep you from sin, but sin can also keep you from the Bible.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. ~Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT)

Knowledge Results From Diligent Searching

Many people begin to fall away from Jesus simply because they are spending too much time with non-believers, watching worldly tv and movies; listening to secular music, or pursuing the things of this world. Other cannot take the ridicule of their family and friends who make fun of their faith in Jesus. Others suffer the loss of faith through the death of a family member or friend for whom they had prayed fervently.

People forget that death is not the end of human existence. The death of our body is the beginning of a perfect and endless life, without sickness, suffering and death. If we maintain our trust in Jesus throughout our life, we will see our loved ones in heaven and never be separated from them again.

Some people are lacking knowledge about God and the Bible and they need further education to clear up misunderstandings and unanswered questions. I have written extensively on the evidence for faith in Christ and the Bible on this web site. You can find some of this evidence at the following link: Evidence For God

The Four Types Of Heart

Jesus described the four conditions of the human heart in relationship to truly believing and following Him, in the Parable of the Seed and the Sower (Matthew 13:18-23).

The seed is the word of God that is heard by persons with four different types of heart. The first has a hard heart, hardened by this present world. When they hear the Gospel about Jesus, they don’t understand it and satan comes to steal away the word of God from their hearts. The second is a person who hears the good news about Jesus and the salvation He offers, and receives it gladly. This person is represented by the rocky soil. This person does not have sufficient foundation in the word of God to navigate through persecution from those who mock his new faith, and he falls away from Jesus and gives up.

The third person is illustrated by the soil that has many thorns. This person allows worry and the pursuit of things in the world, to crowd out Jesus in their life and prevent them from bearing fruit for Him. The fourth is the person who has a sincere heart after God, realizes they are a sinner and need a Savior. They approach God with deep humility and sincerity in wanting to know Him. They start following Jesus, study the word of God consistently, and never give up. These persons continue with Jesus for their whole life, regardless of what comes along, and bear much fruit for Him.

The Heart, Not Evidence

It was the heart of each person in the Parable that determined whether they were a true believer or a false believer. Education was not a factor in their faith.

Some people do not need any evidence to believe. They hear the testimony about Jesus and they sincerely believe. Jesus said these persons are “blessed.”

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29 (NKJV)

Jesus places special importance upon those who believe the testimony about Him in the New Testament and fully trust Him. There are others who need really good evidence for faith to trust Jesus, like Thomas (John 20:24-29). We notice that Jesus was ready to provide Thomas with the physical evidence he needed.

If you are one who needs evidence to build your faith, it is readily available. I am like you. I needed good evidence to cause my faith to grow. I found it in tremendous numbers over the past 44 years. I have published 32 books and written nearly 2,300 essays about faith in Jesus, based upon evidence.

There is greater evidence to prove the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, than any other event of antiquity. See the evidence here.

Time Proves All Things

If any person stops following Jesus and then makes statements that they no longer believe, this is proof that they never were believers to begin with. The idea that education can allow us to become enlightened to the truth of Jesus and the Bible is a lie. All that earthly education, wisdom and knowledge does for an individual is make them more worldly.

The first two chapters of 1 Corinthians is a lengthy dissertation about how the wisdom of this world is seen as foolishness to God. It was intentional that God chose Jesus to come in the form of a man, perform miracles to prove His identity; be rejected by the Jews, experience the betrayal of Judas; be arrested, crucified, and raised from the dead.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” And again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.” ~1 Corinthians 3:19-20 (NLT)

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. ~1 Corinthians 1:20-29 (NLT)

Judas acted like a believer, but when the time came to test his faith, we see that he never was a true believer. The testimony of the other eleven men who walked with Jesus is that the visible evidence of miracles which Jesus performed and who Jesus was as a person, finally convinced them that He is God and Messiah.

They Didn’t Believe In Jesus At First

The writers of the New Testament speak frankly in their narratives that they did not believe in Jesus at first, even when they saw Him perform miracles of healing. Despite all they saw, they still had doubts. It was not until after Jesus had been crucified and rose from the dead that these men were certain Jesus was the Messiah predicted by the Old Testament.

Judas saw all of the same evidences that the other eleven men saw. Judas knew Jesus as a loving, graceful and compassionate man. He saw all of the wonderful things that Jesus did. Judas heard Jesus describe His future arrest, and crucifixion. Judas knew that the 400 prophecies of the Messiah, written by the Old Testament prophets, were being fulfilled by Jesus. Despite all of these physical pieces of evidence, Judas still did not believe. He continued to pretend that he was a believer, even on the final night of Jesus’ life on earth at the Last Supper.

Seeing Physical Evidence Does Not Guarantee Belief

Many critics of Jesus and the Bible demand evidence for God’s existence. They assert that they need to see proof or they will not believe. We often hear people say that “there is no evidence for God,” as well as “there is no evidence that the Bible is actually true.” These statements are made while the text of the New Testament survives the ravages of time and decay over the past 2,000 years of history, and comes to us in 24,593 manuscript copies. The texts of these surviving manuscripts are identical to the modern New Testament we have today in our Bible, with every major theme and doctrine of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, preserved precisely as these ancient texts. At the same time,  these critics provide no evidence that the New Testament is not true. They submit to us only conjecture and speculation and the statements of error made by atheist scholars.

No person in the past 2,000 years has ever impeached the accuracy, reliability, or truth of the New Testament narratives. There have been many attempts, but an attempt does not mean that an impeachment was successful. I have read nearly every major assault on the reliability of the New Testament text by a great number critics, and not a single argument is supported with actual evidence.

Modern scholars substitute their Phds, and renown as scholars for the evidence that would be necessary to impeach the text of the New Testament. If any person will carefully read the books and essays of these modern militant atheist scholars, they will quickly notice that it is the opinion of these persons that are stated, but there is no evidence to support the opinions and conclusions of these non-believing men and women.

The Record Stands On Its Own

In the end, the record of the New Testament remains as a historical narrative that has never been impeached. We notice that none of these facts sway the modern critic, for it is not evidence or impeachment of their false assertions that compels them to reconsider the text of the New Testament. It is their firm resolve to reject and deny every evidence that wins the day.

Anyone who conducts research into the claims of the modern atheist quickly discovers that these individuals are not seeking evidence to cure their lack of belief. It is the purpose of the modern Biblical critic, to cast doubt upon the New Testament text so that no person reading these 27 books will ever believe the narratives are true.

As a result of these militant efforts, there are thousands today who read the comments of scoffers and critics of the New Testament, who believe these lies and never go further in their own personal exploration for truth.

It has never been true that evidence alone can compel any person to trust in Jesus and become His follower. First there must be an intense personal desire of the heart to know whether the narratives of Jesus are true, and this desire must be supported with diligent searching.

When we examine the text of the New Testament we see that most of the people who were present when Jesus performed His miracles, still did not believe in Him.

But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:
“Lord, who has believed our message?

To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?”
But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,

“The Lord has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and have me heal them.” ~John 12:37-40 (NLT)

Even more amazing is the fact that Jesus knew ahead of time that Judas would betray Him and fulfill the words of the Old Testament prophets who described the betrayer of the Messiah. See: “Betrayed By A Friend

Does Education Provide Proof That Jesus Is A Myth?

Those who are unaware and read the comments of persons who state that Jesus is merely a myth, get the idea that anyone who studies the facts of Christianity will very quickly discard these archaic ideas and become a person of real knowledge.

The truth is, the people who make these claims are amongst a group of individuals that have existed for over 2,000 years. Even during the time of Jesus, the testimony of the New Testament is that many people who actually saw Jesus perform miracles, still did not believe in Him. It is quite possible to follow Jesus and claim to be a believer, while not really being a believer at all.

But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. ~John 12:37 (NLT)

The difficulty is not with Jesus or the evidence which exists to prove His life, death, and resurrection. The problem is the human heart. As we all learn through the process of aging, the human heart is quite deceitful. It fools us into believing things that are not true, and convinces us that things which are not true, are true for us.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? ~Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)

One would think that any man who walked with Jesus for three and one half years and saw all that is described of Him in the New Testament, would be a true believer and never leave Him. And then we discover Judas in the pages of the New Testament who did this very thing. After seeing all the miracles, love and forgiveness that Jesus exhibited for three and one half years, Judas betrayed Jesus and caused His arrest and crucifixion.

But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) ~John 6:64 (NLT)

We read about people today who were once pastors, missionaries, evangelical Christians, and evangelists, who stopped believing in Jesus. Many of these persons write books, build web sites, take up an adversarial position against Christ and often spend the rest of their lives trying to impeach the Bible and every precept and principle about Jesus.

At the very foundation of this modern denial of Christ, is the claim that these persons did so only after learning the truth about Christianity and that the Bible is not true. As one who has spend the past 45 years studying the texts of the Bible, I have read the alleged impeachments of these individuals. I have yet to find one that is credible and based upon any truthful or legitimate criticism. In every case, the persons who take up their arguments about a particular text in the Bible, are in error. Whether by lack of education in the matters they seek to impeach, or by shear malice to impugn the message of the Bible, these individuals are all wrong.

I have entered into nearly 2,000 debates with atheists over the past 40 years and not once have I found a credible criticism that had merit. In every case, after simple explanation of the text that has been misunderstood, the matter was made clear and the criticism of the atheist has always been impeached.

What I have discovered in my interviews of many hundreds of atheists is that they never were genuine believers in Christ in the first place. They believed they were because they said and did all the things that Christians say and do. The problem in every case was that there was never a moment of sincere repentance of their sins by an honest sorrow for theses sins, and a genuine turning to Jesus with a determination to follow Him for the rest of their life.

How Can A Person Live And Speak As A Christian, But Not Be One?

The most reliable source for understanding how a person can walk with Jesus for a long period of time and then suddenly decide not to follow Him, is found in the text of the New Testament. In John chapter 13, Jesus gives us a clear and concise view into the person of Judas Iscariot and allows us to see the truth of who he is. In studying Judas we learn that it is absolutely possible to do and say everything right while never having been a true believer in Jesus Christ.

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. ~John 13:1-5 (NLT)

10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” ~John 13:10-11 (NLT)

Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

“I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I AM the Messiah. I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.” ~John 13:18-20 (NLT)

Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” ~John 13:21-24 (NLT)

Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night. ~John 13:26-30 (NLT)

The primary point of John chapter 13, verses 1-3, is that Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to Him, before it took place. Those who carefully study the New Testament Gospels, quickly learn that Jesus was following a carefully scripted timeline for every event that would take place. Before Jesus arrived at Bethlehem, the prophets of the Old Testament had already written over 400 Messianic Prophecies that we later discover, Jesus set out to precisely fulfill.

In 2013 I wrote a 4,042 page treatise which documents these 400 Messianic Prophecies and how Jesus fulfilled each one with great precision in the narratives of the New Testament. See: “The Prophecies Of The Messiah.”

In John 13:1-3 We See What Jesus Knew. In John 13:4-5 We See What Jesus Did

John is unique in his testimony of Jesus in that he tells us in his Gospel that Jesus was purposely completing a specific timeline.

  • John 2:4–“My hour has not yet come.”
  • John 7:30–“His hour had not yet come.”
  • John 8:20–“No one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.”
  • John 12:23–“The hour has come that the Son of man should be glorified.”
  • John 13:1–“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come…”
  • John 17:1–“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son.”

The prophets of the Old Testament predicted a Messiah, called the Son of Man, who would also be the Son of God. He would have the power to perform miracles as proof that He is God and Messiah (Isaiah 29, 35, 61). He would die for the sins of the world on a cross and be raised from the dead (Psalms 16, 22, 110, Isaiah 53, amongst hundreds of others).

When Jesus arrived in the narrative of the New Testament, He was simply completing all the prophecies written for Him—hundreds of years before He was born. God promised the world a Savior beginning at Genesis 3:15, and illustrated this in Genesis 22. Every prophet of the Old Testament wrote about the arrival of Jesus. What the men recorded in the New Testament was the fulfillment of all that these men had written in the Old Testament. The idea that the 27 books of the New Testament are a fabrication created by men who wanted the world to believe Jesus is God, when He never claimed to be, is preposterous.

The entire point of the 39 books of the Old Testament that came before the 27 books of the New Testament, was that man had fallen into sin and God wanted to redeem the world. He promised to send His own Son, the One who created the universe, to die for the sins of mankind and offer salvation to everyone who would believe. If we accept that the New Testament is all a fabrication, then we must also accept that the 39 books that came before in the Old Testament, were also a fabrication. In order to believe this assertion, forty authors wrote sixty-six books, over a fifteen hundred year period of history, all to deceive the world into believing Jesus is the Savior of the world. In order to believe such a supposition a person would have to either be the most gullible person imaginable, or highly motivated to impeach the Bible, regardless of the evidence it presents.

The bottom line is that everything written in the pages of the New Testament, was predicted by the prophets of the Old Testament. We can have great confidence in what these men wrote in the New Testament because we can see that the text is written primarily in the form of personal letters that were penned as lines of communication between leaders in the early Christian church and the members of these churches that existed all over Asia Minor.

The texts were not written in the form of novels, an odyssey, or myths to be believed. The writers penned their words matter-of fact, with a logical and truthful format that is easily understood as authentic. We can observe this by the honesty of the writers who tell us that they themselves did not believe Jesus was God or Messiah until after they had seen Him alive again—after He was brutally crucified. The writers record over 400 prophecies fulfilled from the Old Testament prophets that they did not realize at the time, Jesus was purposely fulfilling to prove He is God and Messiah. These men gave up their homes, families, and lives trying to tell the truth about what they had seen.

There is not a shred of evidence anywhere in the New Testament that it was written to deceive, but is very easy to observe that it was written to preserve truthful events.

Jesus Could Not Be Killed Until It Was The Appointed Time

One of the attributes of the texts in the New Testament is the many places where we can see that the writers are telling us that Jesus was intentionally moving towards his own death. Jesus said repeatedly that He came into the world to die for the sins of the world. He told the disciples well in advance that He was going to Jerusalem at a specific time, to be rejected by the leaders, arrested, and crucified. Jesus told these men that afterwards He would be raised from the dead on the third day. They did not understand all of this until after Jesus had done these very things.

Jesus Knew Judas Would Betray HIm

A bazare attribute of the New Testament Gospels is the narrative which describes Judas as the betrayer of Jesus and cause of His crucifixion. Even more amazing, we learn later that Jesus knew ahead of time that Judas would betray Him. We then discover that the Old Testament predicted Judas’ betrayal of Jesus in various texts.

See: Betrayed By A Friend

Not Haphazard, But Intricately Planned

In John 13:1, John describes Jesus as knowing the time when He would be betrayed and crucified, before it happened: “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father.”

When we understand what this verse means it changes everything in our understanding of the New Testament. According to many liberal New Testament scholars today who do not believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, all of the events we read in the narratives of Jesus, are merely fabrications. According to the actual text itself in the New Testament, what we are reading is a carefully executed script of all that actually took place in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, written by the men who saw and heard Jesus.

According to these men, they didn’t understand what was taking place until after the events were finished and Jesus had already been crucified and rose from the dead. These men are told by Jesus in John 14:25-26, that after He returns to heaven He will send the Holy Spirit to remind them of all that has happened so that they will be able to remember, write, and spread word of all they had seen and heard to the entire world.

These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. ~John 14:25-26 (NKJV)

The prophets of the Old Testament had predicted these events, and Jesus came to earth to fulfill them all. The disciples of Jesus understood after Jesus had risen from the dead that His rejection by the leaders of Israel; His betrayal by Judas; His arrest and conviction; His crucifixion and resurrection, were all predicted long before He arrived on earth. Not only these things, the prophets of the Old Testament also wrote that the men who saw the Messiah fulfill the prophecies they wrote, they would write their own testimony and send it to the whole world.

Jesus said this at the end of His earthly ministry as He commissioned the men who had seen and heard Him, to write their own testimony. He told them that the prophets of the Old Testament had also written that they, the Apostles, would write a personal testimony of all they had seen and heard regarding Jesus, and send it to the whole world.

Then Jesus said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. ~Luke 24:46-48 (NKJV)

Notice that Jesus tells His disciples that everything He had said and done, was “written” before by the prophets. It was necessary that He be rejected, arrested, falsely accused, betrayed by one of His own, crucified, and rise from the dead. Jesus also tells these men that what the prophets wrote and what they saw fulfilled, must be preached to “all nations.”  This was predicted throughout the Old Testament as with David in writing Psalms 22, and Jeremiah 31, specifically for the Messiah:

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. ~Psalms 22:27 (NKJV)

No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. ~Jeremiah 31:34 (NKJV)

Because the disciples of Jesus did write a preserved testimony of His fulfillment of all the prophets had written, “all the ends of the world shall know and remember” what Jesus has done (Ps. 22:27). People will not need to be taught by others what Jesus has done for them, for they can read it for themselves in the New Testament today (Jer. 31:34).

Evidence From The Text Of The New Testament

When we examine the internal text of the New Testament we find that the documents themselves provide us with evidence of a very early date of writing.

Jesus repeatedly stated that He called 12 men to act as His witnesses. “And you are my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus told these 12 Apostles that they would tell the whole world what they had seen and heard. “And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry” (John 15:27).

Jesus certainly intended that these men would immediately write and send their written testimony to the world—describing all they had seen and heard—because it was not possible for them to travel the entire world on foot. Jesus made it clear that the time to go was immediate, not decades later. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).

Jesus said that after He was raised from the dead, He would send the Holy Spirit to remind these men, all He had said and done: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).

Just prior to His return to heaven, Jesus instructed the Apostles to wait at Jerusalem for the arrival of the Holy Spirit who would enable them to remember and write their testimony: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth “(Acts 1:8). After the Apostles received this power, they would immediately send out their testimony to the churches in Asia Minor, as Paul was traveling to visit these churches.

Jesus’ final instructions to the Apostles are to tell people about Him everywhere; starting in Jerusalem, then the local communities surrounding Israel, and finally to the ends of the earth. Unless it was Jesus’ intent that a written testimony would be immediately recorded and sent out, obeying Jesus’ command to tell the whole world would not be possible.

Just 14 years after Jesus was raised from the dead, we see Paul beginning his first missionary journey to Asia Minor, teaching this Gospel to the churches in these areas. If there was no written narrative, it would be impossible to accurately tell others about Jesus on this journey. Paul said that he received the Gospel direct from Christ: “Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). It is also clear that Paul received the written testimony of they synoptic Gospel writers because he quotes text from these Gospels in his subsequent letters.

Luke begins his Gospel by telling us that “Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account” (Luke 1:1-3). Luke understood that writing an account of all that Jesus had said and done was of paramount importance. Certainly Luke wrote his Gospel early, before he wrote his second book, Acts.

In Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, he speaks of “spreading this Good News” (Ephesians 3:7). How could Paul spread the Good New, the Gospels of Christ, If he had not received these Gospels from Matthew, Mark, and Luke? What would be the point of spreading the Good News if it did not include distributing the Good News by written letters to all of the churches in Asia Minor?

At the church of Thessalonica, Paul thanks the Christians there for receiving the Gospel of Christ as it really is, the word of God; scripture equal to the scriptures of the Old Testament: “you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God “ (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

In Acts 17:10-11, while at Berea, we see Paul before the Jews as they listened to him present the Gospel to them and their response was: “to search the scripture to find out whether these things about Jesus were true.“ What scriptures were they searching? It is reasonable that these scriptures were the Gospel narratives and comparing them with the texts of the Hebrew prophets.

Evidence Of Early Writing For the Synoptic Gospels

If there were no written testimonies about Jesus recorded by the Apostles, stating what they had seen and heard from Jesus, and personally documenting the events of His healing miracles; Jesus raising the dead; His crucifixion and resurrection, Paul would have nothing to present to the people in Asia Minor except his words. It is doubtful that without a written testimony from the men who saw Jesus crucified and risen on the third day, very few would become a believer in Christ.

The idea that some unknown writers penned the synoptic Gospels very late in the first century—after the Apostles of Jesus had died—who were not eyewitnesses of these events, cannot be proven by any evidence from the historical record. What we do have in the record, are 24,593 surviving manuscript copies of the New Testament, dated earlier and in greater numbers, than any other surviving manuscript copies of any other event from antiquity.

These manuscript copies described the entire life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and state that these events were seen by those who either wrote these words themselves, or dictated them to scribes who placed them upon papyrus in the original autographs.

We have good copies of these original autographs for nearly the entire New Testament, dated from 175-225 A.D. These surviving manuscript copies contain precisely the same events that are described in our modern Bible today. We find that every Gospel writer described Jesus as performing miracles, stating that He is both God and Messiah, fulfilling the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament, being rejected by the elders of Israel, arrested, condemned to die, crucified, and risen from the dead on the third day.

We see artifacts of forensic evidence in these texts where one Gospel writer recalls certain details of the events he described, while others may omit these details but include descriptions of their own that other Gospel writers did not include. All of this while writing the same primary events described in the preceding paragraph. In truthful written testimony, differences of details are always found. These are evidence of truthful testimony by persons who were actually at the scene of these events.

Atheist critics of the New Testament have attempted to describe these differences as “contradictions,” and “discrepancies.” These are, of course, ludicrous and unfounded assertions that are not true. Contradictions occur in text by witnesses when both statements cannot be true at the same time. In every alleged contradiction alleged by critics of the New Testament, both statements can be true at the same time and not be contradictory to each other.

For example, one of the alleged contradictions alleged by critics of the New Testament is found in Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52, and Luke 18:35-43:

Blind Bartimaeus Healed

Matthew
And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him….

Mark
And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples, a great number of people also followed…

Luke
And it came to pass, that as he was near Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the road begging

People who are of a certain disposition to criticize what they see as inconsistencies in the Bible, point out that this account of Blind Bartimaeus displays a contradiction of terms. If we read the four gospels independent of each other, we miss this subtlety. By reading all four gospels together at the same time, we see this variation of terms:

All three agree that this took place at or near Jericho. The event that we are primarily concerned with is the healing of Bartimaeus.

  • Matthew states that “two blind men were sitting by the road…”
  • Mark states that “blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the side of the road, begging…”
  • Luke states that “a certain blind man sat by the road begging…”

Is it a contradiction that Matthew remembered two blind men, while Mark remembered only Bartimaeus? Luke remembered one blind man, but did not know his name?

It is possible for all of these statements to be true at the same time, and not detract from the overall narrative. These are not contradictions, but markers of truthful testimony found in genuine written text.

If we were reading a myth or a contrived story, we would not likely see a variation in recollection. We would see three men who recorded the exact same story. The fact that we are able to read the same encounter with Bartimaeus, written by three different writers who were actually there and saw these events, is proven by the slight differences each writer records. What each man considered important, is what he describes. Matthew thought it was important to note two men. Mark was focussed only on the primary subject, Bartimaeus. Luke doesn’t name anyone.

This narrative which describes blind Bartimaeus and his healing by Jesus, demonstrates an effective tool that forensic experts use in determining whether written testimony is truthful or contrived. When we get to the chapter called “Forensic Evidence,” you will see this technique utilized by the FBI today, as we apply it to other alleged inconsistencies that people find in the Bible.

Paul Presents Us With Evidence Of An Early Writing Of The Synoptic Gospels

When Paul and Silas went to the church at Thessalonica, they remained there for three consecutive Sabbaths (Acts 17:1-4). “He explained the prophecies (Jesus fulfilled) and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.

Unless there were written Gospels from the Apostles already in existence at that time to demonstrate that these prophecies about the Messiah had been fulfilled, it is unlikely the people Paul spoke to would have believed in Jesus. Paul was carrying with him, the written testimony of these men who had seen Jesus say and do the things that took place.

These preceding facts allow us to determine that the Gospels of Christ must have been written very early in the first century, not later as critics assert. This means that these Gospels were written by the men who saw and heard the things they record in their Gospels. These men were eyewitnesses who have told us the truth about Jesus.

The Apostle John

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you. ~1 John 1:1-3

Early Church Father, “Didymus the Blind,” in describing this declaration of John the Apostle, recounted that John had seen Jesus with his eyes: “Another interpretation is that we have now seen openly with our own eyes the one who was in the beginning, of whom the law and the prophets spoke, saying that he would come. He has indeed come and was seen in the flesh, and after much handling of the scriptural texts which bear witness to him, this is what we believe about the Word of life.” ~ Didymus commentary on 1 John 1.[1]

What The Eyewitnesses Said

When we read the actual text of the New Testament for ourselves, we find that there are 134 eyewitness statements by the writers in these 27 books. There are 396 places in the New Testament where Jesus’ death and resurrection are described. See the last chapter of this book for this list, “Crucified and Risen.”

Paul

Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? ~1 Corinthians 9:1

There are eight places in the New Testament where Paul states that he saw Jesus; two additional places where Ananias and Barnabas state that Jesus appeared to Paul:

1. Paul’s statement above: 1 Corinthians 9:1

2. On the road to Damascus: Acts 9:3-6.

3. Ananias said Paul saw Jesus: Acts 9:17

4. Barnabas said that Paul saw Jesus: Acts 9:27

5. At Corinth: 1 Corinthians 15:8

6. At Corinth: Acts 18:9-10.

7. At Jerusalem: Acts 22:6-10.

8. While praying at the Temple: Acts 22:12-21.

9. At the Roman barracks: Acts 23:11.

10. Before king Agrippa: Acts 26:12-18

The last meeting Paul had with Jesus in Acts 26:12-18 above, Jesus said the following to Paul:

But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. ~Acts 26:16

Jesus called Paul for the express purpose of being a witness who saw the risen Jesus with his eyes and a minister to tell people about Jesus. Jesus also told Paul that He would give him more knowledge in the future, a continuing revelation. Paul knew more about Jesus than any of the other Apostles. There are 18 mysteries that Jesus gave to Paul which are described as previously hidden from the foundation of the world.[2]

Paul later wrote that these revelations of God that were not known before Jesus arrived, came at a great cost to Paul. Along with this tremendous reservoir of knowledge about Jesus and events of the future, Paul was also given an infirmity in his body to keep him humble.

This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord…That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it…even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, to keep me from becoming proud. ~2 Corinthians 12:1-7

Paul was one of the leading Pharisees in Israel during this period, second only to Gamaliel. At the time that Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), he was carrying letters given to him by the leaders of Israel, granting him authority to arrest Christians who declared that Jesus is the risen Messiah. Prior to this moment, Paul didn’t believe Jesus had risen, or that He was the Messiah.

After Jesus appeared to Paul, everything changed. There was no hesitation by Paul. He immediately began telling people that he had seen Jesus and he believed Him to be the risen Messiah: Immediately Paul preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. ~Acts 9:20

If this meeting with Jesus was nothing more than a hallucination, how is it that right after this happened, Paul began to declare that Jesus was alive and He is the true Messiah? This story makes no sense unless Paul had actually seen Jesus with his own eyes.

Would Paul have gone from staunch persecutor of Christians, to chief architect of the New Testament—declaring the risen Jesus by writing 13 books—if he really didn’t see Jesus alive on the road to Damascus?

From that day forward, Paul became a hated Christian and lost everything that he had formerly held as valuable. Paul was no longer a respected Pharisee. He lost his wealth, home, and was marked for death by his former colleagues. Paul was beheaded in 68 A.D., and maintained that he had seen the risen Jesus with his own eyes, right up until his final breath.[3]

Peter

Peter also wrote that he had seen the risen Jesus with his own eyes.

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes. ~2 Peter 1:16

This is a reference by Peter to the Transfiguration of Jesus that Peter, James, and John also saw, as recorded in Matthew 17:1-6, Mark 13:26, and Luke 9:28-32. On that day, Jesus showed these three men what He will look like when He returns to establish His kingdom on earth. Moses and Elijah were also with Jesus during this transfiguration.

Peter later wrote that this experience of seeing Jesus as He appears after His resurrection, forever convinced him that all the prophets had written about the Messiah, was penned only for Jesus.

Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place. ~1 Peter 1:19

James

Paul said that James also saw Jesus with his eyes after His crucifixion, and finally all 12 of the Apostles saw Jesus alive as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures had said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures had said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. ~1 Corinthians 15:3-7

John

The Apostle John stated emphatically that he saw Jesus with His own eyes:

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. ~1 John 1:1

John was the only Apostle who faithfully remained with Jesus at the foot of His cross while He was being crucified. For his faithfulness, Jesus gave John a privileged view of Him that no other Apostle received. Jesus bestowed upon John the incredible eyewitness testimony found in the book of Revelation. John said that he had seen, witnessed, and testified, that Jesus was crucified and risen, 49 times in his narratives. There are 101 citations in John’s Gospel where he describes Jesus as crucified or resurrected (see the last chapter). John had no doubts that Jesus was dead on the cross, and came back to life three days later when He walked the earth for 40 days before He returned to heaven.

Luke

Luke described his acquisition of the true facts concerning Jesus by interviewing the eyewitnesses who had been with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry.

Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you. ~Luke 1:1-3

Luke tells us that he researched the eyewitness reports that had been known at that time from the early disciples. He carefully investigated everything these reports contained which described Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that had existed from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. You will discover in this book that it was by Luke’s testimony that we can accurately validate the very early writing of the New Testament Gospels.

Thomas

Thomas is unique amongst the other Apostles in that he was an extremely dubious follower of Jesus. Thomas wanted to be sure that Jesus really was God before he invested his reputation and life into making Him known.

One of the twelve Apostles, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus appeared after His resurrection. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” ~John 20:25-29

Thomas was, perhaps, the most skeptical of all Jesus’ Apostles. He refused to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead until he had actually touched Jesus’ risen body and felt the places where the nails had been driven into His flesh. Jesus appeared to Thomas so that all of his doubts could be dispelled. When Thomas saw the risen Jesus he does not call Him Rabbi any longer, he calls Him my Lord and my God.

Matthew

In his own words, Matthew tells us that he saw Jesus and that Jesus chose him to be His disciple. As with all the Apostles Jesus chose, each man had to see Him resurrected from the dead so that he could accurately testify about this in his narrative.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests. ~Matthew 9:9-10

Matthew records that Jesus predicted His own crucifixion and resurrection:

Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again. ~Matthew 20:18-19

Matthew also records Jesus’ crucifixion in chapter 27:45-50. Matthew records that Jesus was buried in chapter 27:57-61. Matthew records Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, chapter 28:1-10. His Gospel is an eyewitness account.

Matthew informs the reader that Jesus chose Him to be His Apostle, so that he would see and hear all that Jesus accomplished while on earth. In chapter 10 of Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew lists his name as one of the 12 Apostles who saw Jesus crucified and risen from the dead.

In Matthew 9:9-10, Matthew wrote that when Jesus had risen from the dead, eleven of the disciples saw Him alive. Judas Iscariot was dead by this time.

Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him. ~Matthew 28:16-17

This appearance of Jesus that Matthew speaks of is the event Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:6, where over 500 people saw Jesus alive at one time.

After that, Jesus was seen alive…Then he was seen …by all the apostles. ~1 Corinthians 15:6-7

Clearly, Matthew was an eyewitness of Jesus.

Matthew 10, describes the following Apostles. The first 11 saw Jesus alive immediately after His resurrection. Paul saw Jesus alive, later, while on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Judas Iscariot hanged himself before the resurrection of Jesus.

1. Simon, called Peter

2. Andrew (Peter’s brother)

3. James (son of Zebedee)

4. John (James’s brother)

5. Philip

6. Bartholomew

7. Thomas

8. Matthew (the tax collector)

9. James (son of Alphaeus)

10. Thaddaeus,

11. Simon (the zealot)

12. Paul of Tarsus, later.

Jesus told these men that they are His witnesses and He wanted them to tell the whole world about what they had seen Jesus accomplish.

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” ~Acts 1:6-8

Does anyone really believe that after Jesus told these men that they were His witnesses, and He wanted them to tell the world about Him, that they did nothing for 20, 30, or 40 years?

This is the bizarre claim of today’s liberal New Testament scholars. The idea that these men either did not write at all, or waited until the end of the first century, makes no sense. There is no record anywhere that this theory is true. In this book I will demonstrate for you that the Apostles began writing immediately after the Holy Spirit came to live in the Apostles in Acts chapter 2:1-4, When the Day of Pentecost had fully come…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

After this, in obedience to Jesus’ command in Revelation 1:11, These men obeyed Jesus and sent out their Gospels to the seven churches that were already established in Asia Minor, : What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.

Any alternative theory that men, other than the Apostles, wrote the Gospels late in the first century who were not eyewitnesses, is based entirely upon conjecture.

Without the certainty of eyewitness testimony to support what Jesus had said and done, the New Testament would be insignificant. This is the goal of the modern critic, to effectively impeach the text that is written so it is impossible for anyone to trust that what is recorded is true. Jesus understood this and He made certain that He called men who were not only willing to follow Him for three and one-half years, but also capable of writing a reliable testimony and cognizant of the fact that it must go out to the world.

These men had seen Lazarus dead in his tomb where he remained for four days. When Jesus arrived, Martha reminded Jesus that the flesh of her brother had begun to rot. To open the tomb at such a late date would release a terrible odor. Jesus instructed the men nearby to move the stone away from the entrance and wait. Jesus spoke only the words, Lazarus come out. If Jesus truly was God, there would be no question that Lazarus would hear Him and return to life. John wrote that He saw Lazarus walk out of the tomb alive. (John 11:1-44).

This kind of eyewitness testimony is absolutely critical for anyone who needs to know for certain that the events described in the New Testament really happened.

These men who were with Jesus for nearly four years, state that they saw Jesus brutally crucified and His side pierced by a Roman lance. These men also write that they saw Jesus dead on the cross and buried in a tomb. When the Roman soldiers came to break the legs of Jesus to hasten His death, they found that He was already dead.

Three days later these men write that Jesus was alive again. They touched the physical body of the risen Jesus and felt his flesh and bones. They saw Him eat food, and are certain that He was alive.

And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. ~Acts 10:39-42

No one in the history of the world had ever seen anything like what Jesus had accomplished. It is impossible to believe these men did nothing with this knowledge for decades. Acts 10 above states that Jesus ordered them to preach what they had seen everywhere.

Just before Jesus was crucified, He told these men that after He was killed and rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit would come and fill them—reminding each man—everything that Jesus had said and done.

But when the Father sends the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. ~John 14:26

Jesus would bring to their remembrance—everything that had taken place so that they could write an accurate account for the world. We have these narratives today in our New Testament. None of the important details which these men first penned in their individual Gospels are different from the texts we have in our New Testament today. The only errors that are verified are spelling, punctuation, different words that mean the same thing, commentary in the margins, and some omitted text of less than 400 words at the end of Mark’s Gospel. The New Testament we have today contains the same narratives that these men wrote not long after Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus’ Story Did Not Begin In The New Testament

This is a fundamental principle that the skeptic, critic, and scoffer of the New Testament does not understand. Everything that Jesus said and did, was scripted for Him before He arrived. The narratives of Jesus in the New Testament did not begin at Bethlehem when Jesus was born; they began in the first book, third chapter of the Old Testament. Genesis 3:15 describes a promise by God to send a Savior into the world who will defeat satan, sin and death, and make it possible for any person who believes, to be saved. The story of Jesus began in the first book of the Old Testament and continues through the pages of the New Testament.

Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him before it took place. How did He know? It was written in the Old Testament. In six prophecies from the Psalms, and Zechariah, we see that everything Judas said and did, was already predicted from 500-1,000 years before Jesus arrived.  of See:

In the essay, Betrayed By A Friend,we will examine the six prophecies which describe the betrayal of the Messiah by a close friend. In each subsequent part of the total story, we will see how each prophecy is developed by the predictions that came before. Keep in mind that these are six separate prophecies, which detail this entire event. The first three from the Psalms, written by David; 1,000 years before Jesus was born. The second three from Zechariah, written 500 years before Jesus was born.

  1. Psalm 41:9: Betrayed by a close friend, who ate bread with Him.
  2. Psalm 55:12-14: One who is a part of His ministry.
  3. Psalm 109:6-9: He will be replaced by another.
  4. Zechariah 11:12: Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
  5. Zechariah 11:13a: Money paid was later used to purchase a potters field.
  6. Zechariah 11:13b: The price paid was returned; thrown into the house of the Lord.

How could Zechariah and David, two men who did not know each other—who lived 500 years apart in history—write a concise and uniform story about the Messiah that describes precisely what happened to Jesus?

  1. Judas betrayed Jesus.
  2. He was a part of Jesus ministry.
  3. He was replaced by Matthias.
  4. Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver.
  5. Judas killed himself, the money used to buy a potters field.
  6. Judas went into the Temple to return the money, it was refused, he threw it into the house of the Lord.

What these six prophecies predict, is precisely what is recorded in the New Testament?

Jesus Acted As The Sovereign God Of The Universe In Completing All That Was Written For Him

Perhaps most astonishing of Jesus, is our discovery of Him as the Creator/God of the Universe. Throughout the New Testament Jesus repeatedly makes it clear that He is Yahweh-God from the Old Testament. When the Pharisee are questioned by Jesus as to who David was describing when he wrote Psalms 110:1 for the Messiah, these men refused to answer. They knew that David was describing the future Messiah as both his descendant and God’s Son. David penned Psalms 110:1 in order to predict the coming Messiah as both a man and God; as both the Son of Man (Messiah), and the Son of God (Yahweh).

In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus is described before the Pharisees, confronting them with this text from Psalms 110:1, asserting that He is both God and Messiah; David’s son, and God’s Son. There is no ambiguity in this text for what Jesus is claiming. He is saying clearly that He is God, Creator of all that exists. Men like Bart Ehrman, who is described as a New Testament scholar, has written several books in which he claims that Jesus never claimed to be God in the synoptic Gospels. There are several places where Jesus does this very thing; the most visible of these is the text from all four Gospels where the leaders of Israel ask Jesus if He is the Son of God and He says yes.

  • Matthew 26:57-64
  • Mark 14:53–65;
  • Luke 22:66–71
  • John 18:12–14, 19–24

The text of Psalms 110:1, where Jesus affirms that He is the Messiah and God for whom David wrote this prophecy, is found in:

  • Matthew 22:41-46
  • Mark 12:35–37
  • Luke 20:41–44)
  • Acts 2:33-36

Jesus Confounded The Leaders Of Israel

When the Pharisees gathered before Jesus to question Him, it was with the intent of publicly discrediting Him before all those who were listening. Instead, these men were themselves confounded. The text that the Pharisees used to trap Jesus was a well-known verse from Psalm 110:1a.

In this portion of scripture, The LORD God is saying to the Messiah, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies my footstool.” The Pharisees believed that they already knew the answer to this question when they asked Jesus: “What do you think about the Christ (Messiah) Whose Son is He?” The Pharisees believed that the Messiah was the Son of David.

The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ~Psalms 110:1a

Matthew Records This Event In His Gospel

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”  ~Matthew 22:41-45

Jesus asks the Pharisees, “If the Messiah is David’s son, then why did David also call Him “Lord?” In other words, how could the Messiah be both a human being (David’s son) and also Lord (God’s Son)?

These men knew and understood that this verse of scripture that Jesus referred to was about the Messiah. Only the Messiah could sit at the right hand of God. Jesus believed these verses from Psalm 110:1 were inspired by God and were true—as did these leaders of Israel. Jesus asked these teachers of the law how Messiah could be both God and a human being?

If the Messiah is David’s son, how can He also be David’s Lord?”

This is precisely what this prophecy from Psalms 110:1a is predicting.

The Pharisees didn’t have an answer. They were bewildered, but not Jesus. The obvious answer to this question is that the Messiah will be both David’s Lord (God) and His, Son (a future human descendant), a fact that Jesus made repeatedly concerning Himself.

The reality that Jesus is both David’s son and his Lord is confirmed by Jesus’ question which He asks of the Pharisees. For those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God, this is one of many places where He clearly asserts that He is God.

When Jesus asks this question of the religious leadership of Israel, no one was able to answer Him. This is because it was generally accepted by the Jews that Psalms 110:1 was speaking of the Messiah who will also be God. If by David’s words, the Messiah is both a son and Lord, He must also be God and man.

The idea that God could be dwelling within the person of Jesus Christ was a reality that was totally unacceptable to the leaders of Israel. Yet, this is precisely what David was predicting when he penned Psalms 110:1.

Understanding this is true, how is it that a New Testament Scholar could miss this critical piece of evidence in stating that Jesus never claimed to be God? This is precisely what Bart Ehrman and the Jesus Seminar participants assert.

Here before the Pharisees, Jesus meticulously demonstrates from the Old Testament that His identity as God and Messiah is precisely what David predicted: A man who is both Messiah and God.

Background On Psalms 110

The question of whether Psalms 110 is really about the Messiah and specifically applicable to Jesus is answered.

When we examine the New Testament, we see that both Jesus and Peter state that David was the author of this Psalm.

This fact is repeated in Matthew 22:43, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42, and Acts 2:33-35.

Understanding that David is writing Psalms 110 as a Prophet it is clear that his intent was to write about the Messiah.

David, …being a prophet  ~Acts 2:29-30

Thus says David…The anointed of the God…“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me  ~2 Samuel 23:1-2

David was not writing about his own descendants because there was no Jewish king who ever became a priest. The Messiah is a Priest forever according to 2 Chronicles 26:16-23.

There was no Jewish king who ever conquered the rulers of the whole earth as Psalms 110:6 describes.

The writers of the New Testament quoted Psalms 110:1 twenty-five times and verse 4 on five occasions. In the book of Hebrews, Paul speaks ten times about Jesus as the object of Psalms 110 as the Messiah.

Correctly Translating Psalms 110

It is sometimes difficult to understand, in English, precisely what David is saying in Psalms 110:1.

The Lord (Yahweh יהוה) said to my Lord (Adonai אדני), Sit at My right hand

Verses 1, David calls the Messiah by the name “Lord,” in Hebrew, “Yahweh-Jehovah-God,” who said to my Lord, “Adonai-Lord God Almighty.”

Although Bart Ehrman is described as a New Testament scholar, He does not know that Jesus did claim to be God in the synoptic Gospels, as well as in John’s Gospel. There is no question that Jesus claimed to be both God and Messiah, living in the body of a man, fulfilling all 400 Old Testament prophecies. In spite of the overwhelming evidence, atheists today look to Bart Ehrman and other atheist scholars, for their proof that the New Testament does not prove that Jesus was God, or was capable of performing the miracles described for Him.

These scholars ignore the massive text in the Old Testament which predicts everything that Jesus said and did in the New Testament. They ignore and deny these texts because they will not stipulate that Jesus is everything the New Testament narratives say He is. In the end, these critics of the New Testament fail because their lies and distortions cannot impeach the historical record of the Old and New Testaments which predict and document the fulfillment Jesus as the True Messiah.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin In Matthew’s Gospel

Matthew describes Jesus before the high priest as He is questioned about His true identity. The high priest uses an ancient Hebrew imperative to interrogate Jesus by placing Him under oath: are you the Christ, the Son of God?

There is no ambiguity regarding what is being asked or asserted concerning Jesus. The high priest is demanding an answer from Jesus because it was well known by this time that He had, on several occasions, claimed to be the Son of God.

And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”Jesus said to him, “It is as you said.

Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!  What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”  ~Matthew 26:62-66

Jesus answers in the affirmative that He is the Son of God, just as the high priest has said. Then Jesus uses two confirming scriptures from Daniel chapter 7 where the prophet describes the Messiah as the Son of Man, coming with the clouds.

I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.  ~Daniel 7:13-14

Daniel is the first to use the term Son of Man to describe the Messiah, and the only writer to use the phrase, coming with the clouds, in the Old Testament.

John also writes in the Book of Revelation, that Jesus will be coming with the clouds when He returns.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him (Zechariah 12:10). And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.  ~Revelation 1:7

The term clouds is used in Hebrews 12:1 to describe those who are in heaven as witnesses, watching our progress here on earth. John said that when Jesus returns, these cloud of witnesses will be coming with Him to reign over the earth as Messiah.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  ~ Hebrews 12:1

Here, Jesus applies both of Daniel’s terms, clouds and Son of Man, to Himself. Jesus also confirmed to the Pharisees in Matthew 26:62-66, above, that He is the Son of God.

By these three declarations to the Pharisees, that He is the Son of God, The Son of Man, and Coming with the clouds, Jesus is confirming three things:

  1. He is God.
  2. He Is Messiah.
  3. He Is coming again to rule over the kingdom promised to David that will never end.

There is no mistake in what Jesus has told the Pharisees. We see by the response of the high priest in tearing his garments, that he clearly understood that Jesus was claiming to be God. It was upon this declaration that the high priest pronounces “blasphemy,” and declares that Jesus should be put to death.

Did you also notice here that in addition to Jesus saying He is God and the Messiah, we also see that the Old Testament predicted the Messiah would be God?

Understanding All The Evidence That Exists, How Could Anyone Deny Jesus?

We might ask how Judas—given that Jesus had loved him so fervently and gave him every chance to believe and be saved—could still reject and betray Him? Regardless the three and one half years that Judas had with Jesus. No matter that Judas had been there as Jesus healed every sickness and disease. Not forgetting that Judas saw Jesus shout towards Lazarus’ tomb and he, dead for four days, walked out alive. None of the physical evidence that Jesus presented to Judas impacted his heart, because he did not want to believe in Jesus.

Nothing that Jesus could say or do could change the course that Judas had determined for himself.

Though Jesus knew all of this before He created the universe, came to earth and died for Judas, and showed him all the physical proof anyone could ever demand, Judas was not saved. He didn’t want to be saved. He wanted to remain in his sin and act as Jesus’ betrayer.

The body of the New Testament in fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament which predicted Judas would betray Jesus, shows us that all these events were known by Jesus, before they took place. It is for this reason that we understand how God can describe events that have not yet taken place, as though they had. In God’s foreknowledge of all things, we can understand how He can choose people for eternal life and reject others. It is because God knew us all before He made anything, and He knew who would believe and receive Christ, and who would not, that He can elect and choose people before we see their choices exercised.

Based on His foreknowledge, God elects, chooses, bestows eternal life upon those He knew before the foundation of the world, and states with absolute certainty, their citizenship in heaven.

Jesus Gives Us Evidence For How People Chose Not To Be Saved

In the parable of the seed and the soil, of Matthew 13:18-23, Jesus describes the human heart and its receptivity towards the word of God, concerning Jesus and salvation.

“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” ~Matthew 13:18-23 (NLT)

The Hard Soil that has been trampled upon by many feet on the footpath, is the heart that has been trampled upon and hardened by many things. It hear the Gospel (good news about Jesus), but cannot understand it. The devil comes and steals away the word of God so that those who hear it cannot be saved. They are lost because of their own hard heart, and their unwillingness to believe the words of Jesus and trust Him. These person could soften their hearts and believe, but they choose not to.

The Rocky Soil is filled with obstacles which prevents a person from growing roots down deep into the soil of God’s word. The rocks represent trouble, tribulation, and persecution, which has discouraged and prohibited this person who was once excited about following Jesus. Because of all these obstacles, these persons give up and no longer believe. Lack of evidence was not the fault; Jesus being insufficient is not the problem; the heart of these person is the cause of them to stop believing.

The Thorns, represent those who hear the testimony about Jesus, but because of worries, and the desire for wealth and the material things of this world, there is no room for Jesus and these person do not produce any fruit in their life.

The Good Soil is represented by those who have heart that sincerely wants to follow Jesus and produce fruit in their life. They cultivate the word of God they have heard by continued study in the Bible everyday, maintain fellowship with other believers at church, and devote themselves to prayer. They do not allow persecution, trouble or trials, the wealth of this world, or the pursuit of pleasure that many people chose, keep them from following Jesus for all of their life.

In all of these different types of persons who hear about Jesus, it is the heart and the part of these persons, which determines whether or not they remain with Jesus. There is no indication by Jesus that insufficient evidence was the reason they fell away. It was simply their own hearts which chose not to continue with Jesus that caused them to stop believing.

Jesus further explained these persons who look and sound like true Christians, by the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Both grow in the church and are indistinguishable from each other. It is only later that it can be seen, who was the false believer and who was the true believer. Jesus said that satan plants the false believers in the Christian church to undermine the good work of the sincere and true believers.

Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Here is another Parable Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds (tares) among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.“ ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.  Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’” ~Matthew 13:24-30 (NLT)

Everyone who saw and heard Judas, thought he was a true believer in Jesus. It was not until much later, at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, that it was revealed that Judas had never belonged to Jesus, though everyone thought he was a true believer.

It is important to understand that Jesus always knew that Judas was not a true believer. Despite this, Jesus love Judas to the very end. He gave Judas the trust position of treasurer, though He knew Judas was stealing from this money. Jesus seated Judas at His right hand, a place of honor at the Last Supper. Jesus wanted Judas to be save, but Judas was not willing. It wasn’t evidence that Judas lacked; he had been with Jesus from the beginning. Judas had seen visible evidence that Jesus is God. None of these proofs could overcome the heart within Judas that would not believe, repent from his sins, and turn completely to Jesus.

Judas is an example of people today who say they once believed in Jesus, but now cannot. People today use many excuses for they cannot believe in Jesus. They claim to have learned that the Bible is not true, but all they have believed are the critics, a minority view. They ignore or do not believe the majority, some 80 percent of all scholars who uphold and support the reliability of the New Testament. People believe what they choose to believe. They also choose people and views with confirm and validate their own desires.

Men like Bart Ehrman, who is a leading adversary for the reliability of the New Testament, have turned thousands of people away from Jesus. Those who read Ehrman’s books, believe that he knows what he is talking about because Ehrman is described as a “New Testament Scholar.” The problem is that Ehrman does not believe that God exists, the New Testament is anything more than ancient literature, and Jesus is not God.

It is a fundamental truth of scripture that wherever God sows His true believers, Satan will eventually sow his counterfeits (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). This was true in the ministry of John the Baptist:

But when John the Baptist saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. ~Matthew 3:7-8 (NLT)

The Tares are also seen in the ministry of Jesus while He was still here on earth:

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are! ~Matthew 23:15 (NLT)

“No,” Jesus replied to them, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing.  No, you are imitating your real father.” They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”

Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. ~John 8:39-44 (NLT)

The Bible describes the false believer as a “lion who comes to devour.” When the false believers are not successful at silencing those who trust in Jesus, they come with the tactic of deception in an effort to pull the true believer away from Christ. These persons write books and articles that claim they were also once believers but they learned the Bible is not true and Jesus is merely a myth. Jesus said that these people are liars and they were planted by satan in an effort to cause people to not believe in Him.

Remember that the story of Jesus did not begin in the New Testament. It started 1,450 years before in the words of Moses, Abraham, David, and all the Prophets. Over 400 prophecies of the Messiah were written long before Jesus arrived so that when He came, we could validate everything He said and did by these many prophecies.

According to critics of the New Testament, the writers made up the story of Jesus. As we have already shown in this essay, these men did not make up their testimony. In fact, they didn’t even believe in Jesus at first. It was not until after He died and rose again that they learned He had fulfilled all these Old Testament prophecies.

It is not possible that the writers of the New Testament conspired with the writers of the Old Testament to fabricate a false story about a false Messiah. These OT writers did not know each other; they had no ability to know or understand what their prophecies meant at the time God gave these words to these men.

The writers of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah were just as much in the dark about the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, as the men who actually saw Jesus when He began to fulfill all the words the prophets had written. These men wrote that it was not until after Jesus had risen from the dead, and He appeared to them—opening their minds to these prophecies—that they understood that Jesus is the true Messiah. It was not until after Jesus had been crucified and risen that these men knew He had fulfilled all these prophecies.

Then Jesus said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. ~Luke 24:44-46 (NLT) 

The testimony about Jesus in the Bible is true, reliable, accurate, and we can have great confidence in what these men wrote. All of the writers paid a tremendous price for writing the words they penned for us. Every man lost their homes, families, wealth, and positions, simply because they wanted to tell the truth. Every writer of the New Testament paid for their faithfulness with their lives.

It is the persons who claim to have once been a believer, who lies. It is the Tares that satan has planted all over the world who assert that education can eliminate faith in God. The more we learn about the Bible, the greater our awareness is that everything it declares, is absolutely true.


NOTES:

[1] Didymus: 313–398. Alexandrian exegete who was much influenced by Origen and admired by Jerome.
[2] The Mysteries Revealed To Paul In The New Testament:

1. The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God (Mt. 13:11; Mk. 4:11; Lk. 8:10)

2. Israel’s blindness (Rom. 11:25)

3. Salvation in Christ (Rom. 16:25)

4. The wisdom of God (1Cor. 2:7)

5. The doctrines of God (1Cor. 4:1; Col. 2:2; 1Tim. 3:16)

6. The gospel (Eph. 6:19)

7. Gift of knowledge (1Cor. 13:2)

8. Speaking in tongues (1Cor. 14:2)

9. The rapture of the church (1Cor. 15:23,51-58 Jn. 14:1-3 1Th. 4:13-16)

10. God’s will (Eph. 1:9)

11. The church (Eph. 3:1-9; 5:32)

12. Christ in people (Col. 1:26-27)

13. Doctrines of Christ (Col. 4:3)

14. Spirit of lawlessness (2Th. 2:7)

15. Faith of the gospel (1Tim. 3:9)

16. Seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20)

17. God’s delay in casting out of Satan (Rev. 10:7; 12:7-17)

18. Mystery Babylon (Rev. 17:5,7)

List from Dake’s Commentary On The Bible

[3] EUSEBIUS, Hist, Eccles. lib. ii. cap. 25

 

 



Categories: Alleged Contradictions, Following Jesus, Hated by the world, Living For Jesus, Messianic Prophecies, New Testament Criticism, Reasons For Unbelief, Resurrection Proven by Secular Sources, Robert Clifton Robinson, Secular sources for Jesus, Studying the Word of God, The Historical Jesus, True Repentance

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