Tag Archives: bible

Creation In The Stars

Rev. Kevin R. Airrington
It amazes me that every single science discipline supports a Creator. What’s more is not only does every science discipline (including math) support creation, they also disprove evolution. And no, evolution is not a science; it’s not even a theory. 🙂 Evolution is a faith based religion, which takes more faith to believe in than the Christian faith I might add. 🙂 I am working on a series of books for kids. One of the books is called “On the 4th day God created the moon.” This is basically an astronomy book for grade school kids from the biblical perspective. Here is a snippet of that book for this discussion. Scientists estimate that there are a lot of stars in the universe.

There are about 70 sextillion stars out there. That’s 10 to the 21st power or 70 with 21 zeros after it.

It looks like this:  70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Now that’s a lot of stars!  And that’s the ones we know about; we don’t know about the ones we don’t know about. 🙂 There are enough stars out there that we know about, that each person on earth could own 11 trillion stars. You can have 11 trillion of your own stars…yeah!  Have fun…go name ’em. 🙂 The evolutionists want us to believe that all 70 sextillion stars formed over 70 billion years.  That’s impossible!  Do the math with me real quick.

That is over 3.5 trillion stars forming in a year or 6.5 million stars forming every minute…EVERY MINUTE!!!  We don’t see that happening today…nor have we ever saw that happening.  In fact, we have never ever seen a star form.  Oh, sometimes they will say we have…and their evidence is a bright spot.  A bright spot!  🙂  They cannot tell if a dust cloud moved out of the way or a supernova took place (stars get brighter just before they explode).  Even if we have seen a star form…this is a long way off to 6.5 million stars forming in a minute.   You might say, “gee professor, maybe the universe just stopped making stars, did you ever think of that dummy?”  Uh, yes, I have.  So, the universe is popping stars out at the rate of 6.5 billion stars a minute and then for some reason it just stops?  Or at least kicks them out 1 every 10 years or something?  Will you look at what they want your kids to believe Martha?

I believe God…He created the moon, the sun and the stars on day four.  It took Him only one day and the stars were created and completely mature with the light reaching earth etc. Praise God! “Stars burnt out billions of years ago.”

“Stars burnt out billions of years ago, but the light is still just reaching us.”  You know, I can believe that they burnt out some time ago…not billions of years ago…but maybe some burnt out 100 years ago or 1000 years ago.  What’s cool is God…THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, and no, not that wimp Zeus is capable if creating a star and sticking it in the sky and making the light reach the earth instantly.

Can I get a witness?  You sure can.  The Bible tells us that God created the angels, including the god of some of you, Satan (ouch) on day 2 of the creation week, how do you know that Kevin?  Don’t worry about it. Just kidding, read this: http://airrington.com/?p=1384.  It probably needs a rewrite…but you will get the point.  The angels were there to watch God do all of this.  “No, now you see there Kevin, now you are off your rocker, the angels have always lived with God, they are eternal just like Him.” Really?  To be honest I am not even sure if they are everlasting like us.

Why did God create angels?  Hebrews 7:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

He created angels to minister to us!  And, just in case you have never read Genesis, chapter one in the Bible…and I mean the BIBLE, God’s Word, The King James Authorised Version, I will give you a hint, down on day six, God created, man, cows, rabbits, tigers, bears, dinosaurs…you know all your basic land animals.  AND YES, DINOSAURS.  Oh and then He created woman…named her Eve, the mother of all living. 

Until God created man, four days later, there was no need for angels.  And you want to know something else cool?  You and I are assigned our own personal guardian angels.  It’s true.  And about every 6 months God gives me two more and the angels pleas with God, “Have you seen him drive his wheelchair God, we can’t take it no more!”

Psalm 91:11, “ For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Cool huh?  And look, it’s 911!  I think when we get to Heaven we are going to be amazed at all the things that angels do.  For more about angels, see my book, AN ANGEL IN MY BATHTUB.

Psalm 19:1, The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

 

IF THE PREACHER WONT DO IT I WILL 

Rev. Kevin R. Airrington
January 30, 2017

Sin is sin and sin bites…u repentant sin will send you straight to Hell.  There is simple no such thing as a little boy saved

A little bit pregnant…get the point?  Either you love Jesus…you have been forgiven and you are on your way to Heaven or you are playing church…you continue in your sin and he’ll awaits you!

This is the truth my beloved.   They is no such thing as a white lie…there is no such thing as taking something that does not belong to you and saying you will pay them Tuesday…there is no such thing as I don’t hate them I just don’t care for them…and on and on.

Hell is real…unrepentant sinners will have everlasting life in this place of torment and suffering.

The devil is a liar and a deceiver…”yeah hath God said….” Did He?   Well hold on you …i don’t trust you…so ima checking.

This the Bible calls judgement is coming faster than we think…and if we don’t make haste boy will it all be a waste!

Satan fooled a naive woman…a woman of some wisdom for she lived on this earth some 100 years…he also fooled a man…a man too week…too focused on the physical beauty…the warmth of her body next to his clouded his mine…

But why?  Listen…Adam quite possibly was the smartest man to have ever lived.  I have given this a lot of thought…

First he came from God Almighty!

El Gibbor – THE MIGHTY GOD – Is a 9:6

El Haggdol – THE GREAT GOD – Deut 10:17

El Hannora – THE AWESOME GOD – Neh. 9:32

El Vegas – ONE GOD – Mal 2:10

El Olam – THE EVERLASTING GOD – Gen 21:33, Ps 90:1-3, 93:2, Isa 26:4

El De’Ot – THE GOD OF KNOWLEDGE – 1 Sam 2:3

Gen 1:17 & 2:7 ADAM WAS MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE! He formed him from the dust of the ground and then breathed the breath of life into his nostrils and he became a living soul.  THE NESHAMA CHAIYIM – THE BREATH OF THE SPIRIT LIVES.

God created Adam & Eve fully functioning young adults.  They were not tossed in the garden of Eden with their diapers on and a bag of seeds and given instructions they could not understand.

First day…they could:

1) communicate- complex language skills

2) name all the animals

3) no what sex was

4) Adam did not see God make Eve…but he trusted God.

So this man, Adam…who came straight from ELOHIM (Gen 1:1Gen 2:7).  Had a brain full of wisdom and knowledge…yet for a brief moment sex, lust and the beauty becomes his ELOHIM!  It becomes his idol.  It would not be for sometime later that GOD would write in a rock with his very own finger, “THOU SHALL NOT HAVE ANY OTHER gods BEFORE ME!”

The very first commandment!  As intelligent as Adam was…he was still able to destroy the very first commandment – even before it was written down.

There punishment?  God throws the man & the woman out of the garden of Eden…and send angels with flaming swords to keep them out!

Sin will keep you from Heaven.  SIN EATS AT YOU LIKE A MAGOT EATING STINKING ROTTING FLESH!

Sin does not care if you are the smartest man on the planet or the most beautiful. It will find you…it will do its work on you and ultimately sweetheart you WILL pay the ultimate price!

But all I did was smoke a ?.  Yes, that’s all you did.  All Adam did was choose the beauty of his drop dead gorgeous wife over God all MIGHTY.  All Adam did was blow his testimony in front of his wife…all the while a stinking snake in a clever disguise of deception and deceit laughed and carried on knowing that Adam was one step closer to hell.

Was it with it?  Thrown from paradise? WAS IT WORTH IT?  Well all I did was…all I said was…

Is it a sin to cause your brother to stumble?

1 Thess 5:22

Rom 14:1-23

Col 2:8

1 Pet 5:8

Ga 5:13

1 Cor 8:9,13

Matt 18:16

Mark 9:42

Luke 17:1-14

STOP IT!  STOP IT! STOP IT!

IF YOUR PREACHER WONT TELL YOU I WILL!

HOW TO GROW

A person who is “born again” starts a new life similar to that of a newborn infant.  Years ago I ran across seven rules that promote good health in babies . These can be adapted and applied to a Christian’s spiritual growth:

1. Daily Food. Take in the “pure milk of the word” by study and meditation.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth!” 2 Timothy 2:15

2. Fresh Air. Pray often or you will faint. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

3. Regular Exercise. Put into practice what you learned in God’s Word.

“And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Luke 8:21

4. Adequate Rest. Rely on God at all times in simple faith.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

5. Clean Surroundings. Avoid evil company and whatever will weaken you spiritually.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”  Proverbs 13:20

6. Loving Care. Be part of a church where you will benefit from a pastor’s teaching and from Christian fellowship.

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

7. Periodic Checkups. Regularly examine your spiritual health.

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

When you were a kid did your parents stand you against the wall and mark off your height?  How exiting it was TO SEE THOSE TICK MARKS GO UP UP UP THE WALL.  Of course we can’t measure spiritual growth by mere marks on the wall. But as we study the character of Christ, each of us can examine our life to see if we are growing more Christlike.

Great Christian leaders agree that we can measure our growth in grace by the growth of our love for private Bible study.  And we can be sure that there is something seriously wrong when we lose our appetite for the Bread of Life. Perhaps we have been eating too many sweets; or taking too little exercise; or we have not been regularly breathing in the fresh air that sweeps over the mountain tops of spiritual communion with God.

This next Sunday my cousin Melody is getting baptized.  I just spoke with her on the phone.  She is so excited.  For years I have tried to share Christ with her…and  she would smirk and perhaps make fun of me a little bit.  A few months ago…she gave her whole heart to God.  She is not perfect….but I see her growth.  It is exciting to watch her.  She said her new bed partner was her Bible and devotional books.  She goes to church, women’s group…home group.  She just wants to be involved.

Oh to be young again!  Remember the zeal you had when you were first saved?  The zeal that Melody is experiencing right now…we can all experience.

John MacArthur says: “The more we grow, the more exciting the Bible becomes to us. The Word is a source of life that helps us mature and grow stronger. Then we are able to defeat Satan, and we come to know more about God and His character. We are enriched in every possible way.”

If you are not growing…maybe you need to have a look at our walk.

God Bless You,

Reverend Kevin Airrington

YOU STUPID MOTHER F******* CHRISTIANS!!!

I have had it! I cannot keep silent no longer.

Rev. Kevin Airrington
July 22,2015
There is way too much cursing on television these days.

I remember when George Jefferson saying H-E-L-L in the 70?s was a big, huge deal. Watch prime time television and you will see times have certainly changed. I’ve seen folks cursing on television (the real curse words) and pray right after! *Whew*  That is a comment from godsygirl.com.  She is right, I have heard EVERY WORD.  F…S…and the one that makes my blood boil GD!  Praying right after is great but let me ask you this, “Why in God’s name would you invite garbage into your living room that you would not do via your television?”  It’s just a question.  🙂

The problem is we have become desensitized to sin.  Now, I am a big boy and the rule at the Airrington house is, “NO RATED R MOVIES!”  Have I watched rated R movies…well of course I have.  But, I have also walked out of a theater, wasting the 60 bucks on tickets, popcorn etc.  I have heard Christians and pretenders say, “I just ignore it.” I’m sorry how can you ignore a bunch of F BOMBS and people taking MY LORDS NAME IN VAIN!!!!  or “It don’t really bother me that much!”  This one is very revealing.  This “Christian”, probably a PRETENDER uses profanity on a regular bases.  I guarantee it.

I have a very dear brother…and I say that with all sincerity.  He is a dear brother.  Before we go to movies together…I check with Focus On The Families Online Movie Review Guide: PLUGGED IN.  My brother is in the category of, “I just ignore the bad language.”  I have known him for about 20 years and I have never heard him swear.  Together we try and pick movies with little swearing (almost IMPOSSIBLE)

Although, I don’t think he knew he was doing this at the time but my cousin Rob Rossi paid me a compliment awhile back. First you have to understand we are different. We love each other…we get along (most days)…but we are different. We have different values, we raise our families different…not wrong just different. I am what some might call a man of God and he is what some might call a man of Busch Beer. smile emoticon

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One day Rob says, “Cuz…” That’s what he calls me when he has something real special to say to me. smile emoticon “Cuz…I see a lot of Christians they do this and they do that and they swear like I do but you don’t and that impresses me.” Now, if my cousin says he is impressed you better listen up because he don’t hand out the compliments often. This doesn’t mean he is a bad guy…he just don’t compliment often. And in spite of what some people may call a flaw in his character…I think he is a pretty nice guy…

My first thought was to use an old Billy Graham line in a 20/20 interview years ago with Barbara Walters…He said, “I am no better, I just repent daily.” And I do, believe me. But that almost sounds a like, “I am better than you.”

I too notice a lot people who claim to be Christians…make no issue of letting the profanity fly. I am not talking about your slip here and there (Although this is questionable as well)…but they swear like it is a part of their vocabulary. What? Christian you are not in control of your mouth? Then who is? The Bible warns us not to be under the control of anything, except the Holy Ghost.

The Bible is clear…swearing is a sin.

The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7, Joshua 1:18). It is furthermore described as imaginations of the unrenewed heart (Genesis 6:5; 8:21), defiling (Proverbs 30:12; Isaiah 59:3), disgraceful (Proverbs 14:34), and unrighteous (1 John 5:17), among other things.

Jesus specifically taught that what comes out of a man’s mouth is evidence of what is in his heart. Luke 6:45

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

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Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” John MacArthur has written of this verse, “The word for ‘corrupt’ refers to that which is foul or rotten, such as spoiled fruit or putrid meat. Foul language of any sort should never pass a Christian’s lips, because it is totally out of character with his new life in Christ.”

1 Peter 3:10 says, “For He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”

This bears repeating in case you went to sleep on me. The Bible speaks loud and clear on the issue of cussing. The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7, Joshua 1:18). We can conclude that from the Biblical definition of sin, our overview of cursing and Scripture’s many expressions on the use of our tongue is without question a sin to curse. As Christians, we are expected to rest on the promises of God, “cleansing ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Cursing is contrary to resting on God’s promises for it is a failure to follow the Lord’s greatest commandments–to love God and to love people (Matthew 22:37-40). When we curse an individual, we do not love people; and when we curse God, we do not love Him. And if you tale the Lord MY GOD’s Name in vain…that is using His name as a curse word. Holy S., GD, Jesus Christ (as a cuss word)…this is very serious!!!

Now, this is gonna sting. I believe if you are not in control of your tongue, then you probably are not saved. Jesus gives us two examples of how to determine if someone is a Christian. I believe He means for us to know the difference. He said you will know them by their love and you will know them by their fruits. How can you show love to someone when you curse them or God? And how can you have good fruit if your are producing what John McArthur calls spoiled fruit or putrid meat.

I do not cuss because it does not please my Lord. Not because I repent daily…who cares…I mean not who cares because I do repent daily…but I don’t swear because I know that it does not PLEASE JESUS. Nowhere do we have a record of Jesus swearing. Are we not Christians? Doesn’t that mean to be Christlike?

So, Kevin, I have trouble with my tongue am I going to Hell. Well, maybe, however, we are all guilty of breaking the law. All 10 commandments. You say, “I never committed adultery.” Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust you have committed adultery. Well I never murdered. 1 John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” We have all lied, stolen, etc.

We are all guilty of breaking the law. Thankfully, God became a man nd he dwelt among us and then died on a tree and on the third day rose again…God forgives us of our sins through the redemption found only in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). He is just to forgive sins if we confess them. If you have trouble with your tongue…repent! Get right with God. Ask the Holy Ghost to be in control of your mouth. What a terrible example…an ambassador of Christ you are spewing swear words!

Listen you cannot convinced me heaven is your home if you cannot control your tongue…so listen up!!! Please…I am trying to warn you not judge you.

Be sure and Like and share if this message touched you. Also, if you Love Jesus…tell someone about Him today.

P.S. Many of you know me…and understand how at times I use shock value to get my post read. This is only because I feel it is important. I apologize if it was offensive to anyone.

Incoming search terms:

The Feast of Tabernacles: God’s plan for mankind involves restoration

The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the restoration process.
 
After being Baptized with the Holy Ghost and then giving his first inspired sermon the apostle Peter summed up God’s instruction for man this way: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitutionof all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21).So, what are these “times of refreshing: and “times of restoration” that Peter is talking is talking about?We can be certain that God’s plan for mankind involves restoration. The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the restoration process, which will start with the return of Jesus Christ, pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, and the banishment of Satan, depicted by the Day of Atonement. Once these events have taken place, as represented by the previous Holy Days, the foundation is in place for the restoration of the creation to peace and harmony with God.

The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, which begins with an annual Holy Day (Leviticus 23:34-35), pictures the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ over the earth after His second coming (see Revelation 20:4). This period is often called the Millennium, which simply means “1,000 years.”

That age to come, a wonderful “rest” following the hardships of the present age, is symbolized every seven days by the weekly Sabbath (Hebrews 4:1-11) and every year by the Feast of Tabernacles. Also called the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16), it celebrates the great harvest of humanity when all people who are alive on earth will learn God’s ways. Humanity will at last be restored to a right relationship with God (Isaiah 11:9-10).

In the beginning, God created mankind to cooperate with Him in a beautiful relationship characterized by love, peace and obedience to His laws. At the completion of His creation, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). This time of peace and harmony abruptly ended because of Satan’s deception and man’s disobedience (Genesis 3:1-6). Disobedience cut mankind off from God’s way (verses 21-24). The Bible describes the tragic result: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5).

This broken relationship between God and man has continued through history to our time. Paul reflected on this state: “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:(Romans 5:12).

Paul knew that the breach created by man’s disobedience is healed through Jesus Christ: “For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Christ] came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

Isaiah prophesied the restoration of the world

God used the prophet Isaiah to reveal parts of His magnificent plan for restoring the world. Written at a time during which Israel faced punishment for continued disobedience, the book of Isaiah was inspired by God to give the nation encouragement through the promise of a better world to come.

Jesus Christ, after reading in the synagogue one of Isaiah’s prophecies, acknowledged the special understanding given to the prophet: “These things said Esaias [Isaiah], when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” (John 12:41). Isaiah prophesied not only of Christ’s earthly ministry, but also wrote of Christ’s return in power and glory (Isaiah 66:15-16).

The basis for the messianic rule of Jesus will be God’s law. Again, as Isaiah foretold, “it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2-3).

A world of peace and abundance

After Christ’s return, He will bring the creation in its entirety into harmony with God, and peace will no longer be the exception. King David said, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165).  If everyone knew God’s law and lived by it the world would be a wonderful place to live.  Can you imagine such a place?

To bring about amazing transformation in the lives of people more than just knowledge would be needed.  Among people we would need to see a spiritual change.  Not the kind of change that takes place on the outside that makes us look religious, but the kind that takes place on the inside that makes us look like Jesus. God, speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, describes how it will happen: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.(Ezekiel 36:26-27).

People will willingly and enthusiastically obey God from their hearts as the Spirit of God influences them.  People will begin to set their personal interests aside and place the interests of others ahead of their own. Other people will be thought of as better than themselves. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3). Personal goals will be to help their fellow human beings instead of exclusive self-concern. Amazingly, we will see an end to theft of personal property. A blatant disregard for others’ property and feelings will be eliminated. Because the world will finally be at peace, countries will “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3).

During this 1,000-year period, God will change even the nature of wild animals, reflecting the peace that will descend upon society. Conditions on earth shall return to that of the Garden of Eden before sin brought death into this world.  Describing this idyllic time, Isaiah 11:7-9 says: ” And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.   They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Reversing the effects of sin

Physical infirmities shall be healed by God.  Isaiah 35:5-6 prophesies of this time during which “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”

Of even greater importance will be the spiritual healing that will take place.  Jesus Christ will complete the healing He begun during His ministry on earth according to the Prophet Isaiah: ” The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind [heal] up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.(Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19). We will start to see a reversal of the accumulated results of generations of people following Satan’s sinful ways.

As already mentioned, the Feast of Tabernacles is also called the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:16). This name signified the completion of Israel’s annual harvest.  In this setting, God said, “Ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 12:12, 18; 14:26). So this feast is a time of celebration for the abundance God has given. The same bountiful harvest theme continues in the future fulfillment of the festival. Through Isaiah, God spoke of the desert becoming productive land: “…for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. “(Isaiah 35:6-7).

Although, Isaiah 35:7b has little to do with the context of this article, I will take a short side bar to discuss a word found here.  Just because I find it so fascinating, we will discuss the word “dragon”.

The word “dragon” is the old English word for “dinosaur”.  The word “dinosaur” was not found in the dictionary until 1841.  The word was first coined in Modern Latin by Sir Richard Owen, from combining form of Greek deinos “terrible” and sauros “lizard”.  Prior to 1841 they described these animals by the use of the word dragon.  Thus prior to 1841, you will find throughout literature and the Bible the word dragon to describe dinosaurs.

In Exodus 20 God tells us that He created everything, including dinosaurs in six days.  Dinosaurs have always lived with man…they lived with Adam in the Garden of Eve, they were with Noah on the Ark and some of them may still be alive today.  That’s all, side bar over. 

Abundant harvests will be produced at that time. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.” (Amos 9:13).

The significance of tabernacles

The name of the Feast of Tabernacles derives from God’s command to ancient Israel to build temporary “tabernacles,” sometimes called “booths,” to live in during the festival. The Israelites left their houses and built temporary dwelling places (Hebrew succah, meaning “hut of woven boughs”) to live in while rejoicing before God. These reminded them of their release from slavery and their dwelling in booths when God brought them out of Egypt (Leviticus 23:34
, 41-43).  This festival emphasizes rest, peace and prosperity as it meets the needs of all the people, including strangers, widows and the poor.  This of course, is in stark contrast to the hardship of slavery.

The Bible emphasizes that, as with booths or temporary dwellings, our physical life is transitory. The Apostle Paul’s writings reflect this theme: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” (2 Corinthians 5:1-2).

Hebrews 11 recounts the examples of many of God’s faithful servants down through the centuries. It then concludes that “these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (verse 13).

The Feast of Tabernacles is an annual reminder of our temporary state and that we also “seek a homeland” (verse 14). This lesson is reinforced when we travel to a site of the Feast of Tabernacles and stay in temporary dwellings such as hotels and campgrounds.

This festival reminds us that, in spite of our material possessions, we are still mortals in need of a literal transformation so we may possess eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).

In the accounts of the vision that has come to be called the “transfiguration,” Jesus gave a glimpse of the Kingdom of God to Peter, James and John. Christ appeared in glory and was talking with Moses and Elijah. Peter’s immediate response was to suggest that they quickly construct three tabernacles. He seemed to understand the important connection between tabernacles and the future age of God’s Kingdom.

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.” (Matthew 17:1-9; Luke 9:27-36).

The role of the resurrected saints in the Millennium

The judgment of the inhabitants of the earth who live during the 1,000 years as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles (Isaiah 2:4; 51:4-5) begins in earnest as Christ brings “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). This judgment is a time of universal opportunity for salvation. And to this end, God has allocated 1,000 years during which the resurrected saints, the first fruits of God’s harvest, will reign with Christ on earth as kings and priests, leading the way so many others can enter God’s Kingdom (Revelation 5:10; 20:6). “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”  Jesus promised that “he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26). People whom God resurrects at Christ’s return will experience the unparalleled opportunity to work with Him to help all nations build a right relationship with God.

The foundation for this relationship begins with instruction in God’s law, including the observance of these very festivals we are now studying. Notice the words of the prophet Zechariah: “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.(Zechariah 14:16). Other prophets described the time as an era of God’s law covering the earth “as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14).

Many will assist Jesus Christ in this universal educational program of helping others understand God’s way. Speaking of this time, Isaiah says teachers “yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:20-21). The opportunity to help others understand and be reconciled to God is a wonderful calling. Each who serves in this way will be called “the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In” (Isaiah 58:12).

God calls people out of the world at this time to become His chosen people, sanctified and redeemed by Him (2 Corinthians 6:16–7:1). They are to live exemplary lives as God prepares them for service during Christ’s millennial reign and beyond.

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12).

One final conflict

If one reads God’s plan for saving humanity you will not find one place where he forces anyone to obey Him. You are free to either accept or reject God’s way of life.  For that matter, you can choose what you will or won’t do with your life.  Go ahead, if you want to wreck your life with drugs, alcohol, fornication, adultery, lying, cheating stealing or any number of other of sins, it is all your choice.

The spiritual convictions of man will be tested by Satan after the 1,000 years of the Millennium and God will allow this. Revelation 20:7-10 describes this time.  The devil will be loosed by God from his place of restraint and allowed to deceive those who are not convicted of the perfect righteousness of God’s way.  God will destroy by fire those who follow Satan in this rebellion. The devil’s futile efforts will be thwarted. This final, tragic rebellion against God will come to nothing, and Satan’s destructive, deceitful influence over humanity will finally draw to a close.

The Bible says to choose this day whome you will serve.  With that choice be God or will that choice be the world?  Will you rule as kings and priest with Jesus or will you be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and his demons?  The decision is yours.

 

References   

King James Version Bible

Reveling Through Revelation, J. Vernon McGee, 1974

 

Pastor Kevin Airrington

What is your Verdict?

VALIDITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
Copyright ©2012 Pastor Kevin R Airrington


Juries in the United States are asked every day to determine if there is enough evidence in a criminal trial to convict a person “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In this article I am going to ask you to weigh for yourself the historical and the physical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from about 29 a.d. and then, you judge for yourself if the Bible is a credible document.

About 2,000 years ago an event was supposed to have occurred and the Bible records evidence of that event.  Much of the evidence that is recorded in the Bible is supported by outside documents and first-century historians.  If the man we call Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead then the Christian faith and the New Testament are complete and entire frauds.  In short, prove the Resurrection to be false and the entire Christian religion would fall apart and Jesus would found to be a liar.

But if true, this single event, above any other in the history of mankind, provides something solid to believe in. It provides evidence of the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth more powerfully than anything that he ever said or did.  It proves that Jesus is who He claimed to be: the Son of God.

Any event that claims to be historical must satisfy certain tests of authenticity.  For example, we know that people and events were historical by the things that were said and not said about them in their own time and the time immediately following.

Examine within these few pages the arguments that demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was truly raised by God from the dead. You will then have a solid basis for faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and with your whole heart, soul, and mind lay hold upon the hope of eternal life.

If true, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the single most important event in the history of mankind, and therefore the one most crucial to establish as an authentic historical event. In fact, the Resurrection is the very linchpin of the Christian faith, holding together every claim and every blessing. If the Resurrection could be proven a fraud, Christianity would disintegrate as a total fabrication with little redeeming merit. Jesus would not even be an example of a “good moral teacher,” as some maintain, for his most important prediction—that he would be raised from the dead—would be found a lie.

As Christians, our very salvation depends in large part upon the reliability of the four historical records of the birthlifedeath, and especially the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.   The most important, most vital element for our salvation is a deeply held historical factual raised Jesus from the dead.   Romans 10:9 asserts: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  We are trifling with the bedrock of our salvation when we entertain doubts about the historical accuracy of any part of Scripture.  But most crucial are those parts that make historical claims upon which our salvation depends.

Therefore, those who argue that historically the resurrection is not provable and even unnecessary are contradicting the testimony of the apostolic witnesses.  The Apostle Paul’s entire ministry was built upon the foundation of the Resurrection, and it was his personal encounter with the risen Christ that caused him to develop a firm conviction in the reality of this event. In the following verses, I have highlighted in bold type Paul’s statements of the consequences to the Christian faith if the Resurrection of Christ did not, in fact, happen.

1 Corinthians 15:14-20

(14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

(15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

(16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

(17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

(18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

(19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

(20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Later in his life, Paul’s public testimony to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and his proclamation of the Gospel in Ephesus caused such uproar that the Roman authorities took him into protective custody lest he be killed by the Jews.  After several appeals according to Roman law, Paul found himself standing before King Agrippa, his last level of appeal before the Emperor himself.

Given permission to speak freely, Paul launched into a passionate account of his life, concluding with his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.  When Paul then verified the Resurrection from Old Testament prophecy, the governor, Festus, interrupted him and told him he was crazy. The truth of Paul’s brilliant reply remains emblazoned across the pages of human history.

Acts 26:25-26

(25) “But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

(26) For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.

Amen! And that is why, taken together, the following historical proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ present evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Resurrection narratives have the ring of historical truth

The Resurrection narratives (Gospels) bear unmistakable signs of being historically accurate. The earliness of these accounts, at a time when hostile witnesses were present, would have made a fabrication unlikely and dangerous.  There is agreement on the main facts and great variety in the witnesses given, yet they are not a mere repetition of some standardized story with all the discrepancies worked out.  The accounts of Christ’s resurrection appearances are clearly independent of one another, as their surface dissimilarities suggest.  Deeper scrutiny, however, reveals that these appearances are non‑contradictory.  Henry Morris writes:

It is a well‑known rule of evidence that the testimonies of several different witnesses, each reporting from his own particular vantage point, provide the strongest possible evidence when the testimonies contain superficial contradictions that resolve themselves upon close and careful examination. This is exactly the situation with the various witnesses to the resurrection.1

2. The Apostle Paul’s life and ministry is a strong witness of the Resurrection

At the time Paul met the resurrected Christ, he was an ardent antagonist to the Christian faith.  A highly educated man, he was not easily persuaded of anything that appeared contrary to or inconsistent with the Mosaic traditions.  It could be said that he would have been the last person on earth to accept the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah based on the Jewish expectations of the time. The fact that he became so fully persuaded of the resurrection of Christ that he completely dedicated his life to his risen Lord is powerful evidence of the reality of the Resurrection.   Canon Kennett writes:

Within a very few years of the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus was in the mind of at least one man of education [the Apostle Paul], absolutely irrefutable.2

3.  The empty tomb is a historical given

No reputable New Testament historian doubts the historical fact that the tomb in which Christ was placed after his crucifixion was empty. Therefore, there are only three explanations for it. His enemies took the body, his friends took the body, or Jesus was raised from the dead. The first possibility is extremely unlikely, because his enemies would have certainly displayed his body if they could have, in order to humiliate his disciples, quell the rumors of his resurrection, as well as to cut short any new religious movement that threatened their Mosaic traditions.

It is equally unlikely that his friends would have taken his body, because after his crucifixion they were profoundly disappointed and discouraged and did not believe that he would be resurrected. It is absurd to think that under these conditions they would invent a scheme in which they would steal away the body to fabricate a story they obviously did not believe.

4. The disciples were devout Jews

The disciples were Jews who took seriously their Jewish privileges and obligations. Therefore, it is unthinkable that they would have been party to making up a new religion for personal gain. To a first‑century Jew, such an act was equivalent to lying against the God of Israel, as Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15:12‑19 (where he called it bearing false witness, contrary to one of the Ten Commandments). For a first‑century Jew, lying against God and perverting His revelation would mean risking one’s salvation and future participation in the Messianic Kingdom. Would such a person risk divine retribution for a few years of prestige as a leader of a new religion? The answer can only be an emphatic “no.”

5. The testimony of women

The presence of women at the tomb is strong evidence that the biblical record is true. Women had virtually no credibility in the firstcentury Jewish culture, and their testimony in a court of law was considered worthless. For example, if a man was accused of a crime that only women witnessed, he could not be convicted on that basis.  If the account of Jesus’ resurrection were a fable added later in an attempt to authenticate Christianity, why would the record have women be the first to see him and testify to the empty tomb, unless it had really happened that way? Women bringing testimony of his resurrection that is then denied by the male disciples makes the latter look bad, and these men were the first leaders of the Christian Church.  A fabricated story added later by the Church would certainly have painted their first leaders in a more favorable light.

6.  Jewish propaganda presupposes the empty tomb and the missing body

The Jewish Temple authorities paid those who had seen the tomb empty to lie and say that the disciples had stolen the body, and they even murdered many of those who preached about his resurrection. With such a powerful incentive to squash the new movement, they would have stopped at nothing to produce Jesus’ dead body if they could have. The fact that they did not means they could not because he was risen.

7. His enemies would have produced his dead body to silence the believers

If he did not rise from the dead, what became of his body?  If his enemies stole it and never showed it openly, that would have encouraged the very rumors of a resurrection that they were very anxious to prevent.  But the decisive proof that His enemies did not take the body is that they surely would have quickly produced it with great fanfare, for they stopped short of nothing to discredit the story.  As William Lane Craig argues:

This is historical evidence of the highest quality, since it comes not from the Christians but from the very enemies of the early Christian faith.3

8. There was no veneration of the tomb

If Jesus was not resurrected, why is there no record of his disciples venerating his tomb as so often happens to religious leaders?  Though God forbade it, the practice continued among the Israelites to the point that God Himself disposed of the bodies of Elijah and Moses lest their followers venerate their gravesites.

9. A non-Christian historian testifies in support of the Resurrection

Josephus, the firstcentury Jewish historian, wrote about Jesus Christ and the growth of Christianity as follows:

And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake him; for He appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him. And the tribes of Christians, so named from Him, are not extinct at this day.4

Though some have tried to dismiss this corroborating secular testimony as fraudulent, this is unlikely because Josephus’ writings were well received at the time of their writing by both Jews and Romans. He was even made an honorary Roman citizen.

There is no record of any objection being raised to this passage by early detractors of Christianity, and had this been a fraudulent and late insertion into the writings of Josephus, this fact would have been openly debated in the literature of the day. Because this did not happen, the silence of the critics is damning to their cause.5

10. No alternative explanations in the early non-scriptural sources

There is no alternative explanation for the rise of the Christian Church given in early historical sources that would even attempt to give the “real” story.  In the event that the story was fabricated, surely some critic would have attempted such an alternative explanation.  But the only adequate explanation for the rise of the Church that has ever been given is that the early Christians believed Jesus had been raised from the dead.

11. The biblical records of the Resurrection appearances give a unified witness

The Four Gospels and the Apostle Paul give a unified witness of eleven resurrection appearances.  Because these records are harmonious and noncontradictory, the burden of proof is upon those who would say that they do not tell the truth.

The eleven resurrection appearances, in their likely order, are as follows:

  1. To Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:11–18)
  2. To the other women (Matt. 28:8–10)
  3. To Simon Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5)
  4. To the two men on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13–35)
  5. To eleven of the disciples (except Thomas-Luke 24:33–49; John 20:19–24)
  6. To the twelve a week later (John 20:24–29; 1 Cor. 15:5)
  7. To seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1–23)
  8. To more than five hundred followers (1 Cor. 15:6)
  9. To James (1 Cor. 15:7)
  10. To all the Apostles [this could be speaking of the Ascension](1 Cor. 15:7)
  11. To the Twelve at the Ascension (Acts 1:3–12)6 

12. The idea of Christ’s new body was a totally foreign concept

The disciples had enough trouble believing that Christ would die and then be raised, and would never have even conceived of the idea of the Messiah having a different body.  It is virtually inconceivable that early Christians fabricated such a story, which even today sounds like science fiction to many doubters.

13.  Modern scholars and historians admit that there is strong evidence of his bodily resurrection

J. P. Moreland confirms this and quotes other scholars:

Almost no New Testament scholar today denies that Jesus appeared to a number of his followers after his death. Some scholars interpret these as subjective hallucinations or objective visions granted by God which were not visions of a physical being.  But no one denies that the believers had some sort of experience. The skeptical New Testament scholar Norman Perrin admitted: “The more we study the tradition with regard to the appearances, the firmer the rock begins to appear upon which they are based.” Dunn, professor of divinity at the University of Durham, England, agrees: “It is almost impossible to dispute that at the historical roots of Christianity lie some visionary experiences of the first Christians, who understood them as appearances of Jesus, raised by God from the dead.”7

Thomas Arnold, former Professor of History at Rugby and Oxford, and one of the world’s greatest historians, made the following statement about the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better, fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair enquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died, and rose again from the dead.8

Simon Greenleaf is one of the most highly regarded legal minds ever seen in America. He was an expert on the laws of evidence, and the founder of the Harvard Law School. He analyzed the accounts in the Four Gospels of the resurrection of Christ in terms of their validity as objective testimonial evidence, and concluded:

It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.9

14. The conviction of his followers in the Resurrection

Those who first published the story that Jesus had risen from the dead believed it to be a fact.

They rested their faith not only on the fact of the empty tomb, but on the fact that they themselves had seen Jesus alive after his burialHe was seen not once or twicebut at least ten recorded times; and not just one at a time, but in groups of two, seven, ten, eleven, twelve, and over five hundred.

15. The martyrdom of his followers for their belief in the Resurrection

The firstcentury believers preached and acted with conviction about the truth of his resurrection, many of them even dying because of their belief. If his friends had stolen the body to make it look like he had been resurrected, they would have known that they were believing a lie, and men do not become martyrs for what they know to be false.

16. The unanimous testimony of eye-witnesses, who could not all have been deceived or deluded

Some critics say that the early Christians had a vision or a hallucination of Christ after his death, in the same way people today claim to have “seen” the pop icon Elvis Presley.  Could it not have been an ecstatic visionA dreamA fantasy of an excited imagination?  Perhaps an apparitionNone of these is at all probable, for different groups of people do not keep on seeing the same hallucination. Over five hundred people in a crowd would not all dream the same dream at the same time.

Some modern Christian apologists have argued that it is irrelevant whether or not Christ actually was physically raised, because his “spirit” went to be with God.  God then supposedly gave Christ’s followers a “vision” of Christ continuing to live “spiritually” at God’s side. Such a mystical and spiritualistic concept would not have satisfied the Hebraic mind of the disciples, however, who believed the dead to be dead until raised in a bodily, physical resurrection.  It would also have placed the Christian faith on a subjective, mystical basis without historical claims and would not account for the early disciples’ energetic witness of the bodily resurrection of Christ.

17. The unbelief of the disciples concerning his resurrection

With the exception of Joseph of Arimathea, the followers of Jesus did not believe that he would die and then be resurrected. They were not expecting the event, and when it happened they did not believe it at first. They considered it an “idle tale” (Luke 24:11 ‑ KJV). They did not believe it until they had to, when they were directly confronted by the risen Lord.  Henry Morris writes:

One thing is certain: the disciples could not have fabricated the story of the resurrection from their own imaginations. On the contrary, they somehow failed to anticipate it even after such an abundance of prophetic preparation for it, both from the Scriptures and from Christ. It took the strongest of evidences to convince them it had actually taken place.10

18. The idea of a resurrected Messiah was a hard sell to the Jews and absurd to the Greeks

The picture of Jesus was not in keeping with then current conceptions of what the Messiah would be like (a theocratic ruler who would deliver Israel from Gentile oppression) and it would have been hard to convince others of its truth.  The Greeks, with their doctrine of the immortality of the soul, thought the idea of a bodily resurrection absurd and unnecessary (Acts 17:32).  If the disciples had invented an event or a doctrine around which to build a new religion, it would have been more in line with the standard expectations of the day.

19. He could have gotten out of the tomb only by resurrection

The “swoon” theory has proposed that Jesus was not really dead when they buried him, and that he “came to” again. But in that case, weak and exhausted, encased in heavy grave wrappings; he could scarcely have moved, much less removed the heavy stone door (about 2,000lbs) and gotten out of the tomb.   Furthermore, the Roman authorities had sealed the door, and even if he had been successful in moving the stone, the guards would have rearrested him and further humiliated him. Since there is no record of such an event, it must not have happened, because his enemies would have made much of such a bizarre happening.

20. The very existence and growth of the Christian Church makes no sense if he was not raised

Some critics say that the resurrection was a later addition to the story of Christ, invented years later by the Church to glorify a dead hero.  But it is known, from historical records outside Scripture, that the sect known as Christians came into existence in the reign of Tiberius, and that the thing that brought them into existence was their belief that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The Resurrection was not a later addition to the Christian faith, but the very cause and incentive for itThey rested their faith, not on historical records, but on what they had seen with their own eyes. The records were the result of their faithnot the cause of it. Christianity hinges on the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection, for without it the entire faith is found fraudulent.  Had there been no resurrection, there would have been no New Testament, and no Christian Church.

21. The disciples had nothing to gain by fabricating a story and starting a new religion

His followers faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyrs’ deaths. In light of this, they could never have sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie.  Religion had its rewards for them, but those rewards came from a sincere belief that what they were living for was true.

22. The unanimous testimony of the early Christian leaders

If the empty tomb and resurrection was a fabrication, why did not at least one of the disciples break away from the rest and start his own version of Christianity?   Or why did not at least one of them reveal the claim as a lie?  The Temple authorities were willing to pay good money to anyone who would provide such information.  Or if money was not alluring enough, what about the possibility of proving the Resurrection a lie in order to draw disciples away to follow some enterprising would‑be cult leader?  History has shown that this role is a popular one, and this would have been a golden opportunity.

Without the strong and persuasive evidence of the Resurrection, the continued unity of the early Christian leaders is inexplicable in light of the human tendency to want to promote oneself.  The assumption that they were all committed to the truth of their message is the only adequate explanation of their continued unity and the lack of any revelation of fraud.  Those who lie for personal gain do not stick together very long, especially when hardship decreases the benefits.

23. All of the alternate explanations proposed for the Resurrection lack credibility

In light of the evidence of the empty tomb, the Resurrection appearances and the rise of the Christian Church, a reasonable person should conclude that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a wellestablished historical fact.   In a court of law, such evidence would compel conviction unless contradictory evidence could be brought forward to introduce “a reasonable doubt.”   But all alternate explanations and theories are extremely doubtful and counter‑intuitive.

Therefore, Christians are being rational, sensible, and fully consistent with common sense when they rest their faith on this wellestablished historical event.  Not only is there compelling historical evidence to back the beliefbut extravagant benefits in the future are promised to those who believe it.  According to the Bible, the only sure promise of everlasting life for mankind, both individually and collectively, depends upon belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As Halley writes:

What a Halo of Glory this simple belief sheds on human life. Our hope of resurrection and life everlasting is based, not on a philosophic guess about immortality, but an historic fact.11

What is your Verdict?

From my research I have found 23 pieces of evidence proving the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We have more evidence of proof of the Resurrection than we do evidence that Abraham Lincoln ever lived.  Yet, you believe Abe lived, don’t you?

Maybe this article has helped you come to your own verdict and you are ready to offer the same kind of prayer that changed my life over 23 years ago.  Perhaps you are still skeptical; let me encourage you to continue in your research, but act quickly as the Bible says we are not guaranteed our next breath here on earth.  Hear me for just a moment, there is a lot riding on your verdict!  If Jesus really is the Son of God, then your eternal future depends on how you respond to Him.  John 8:24 says, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”  Those are strong words; I get it!  But please understand my friend, they are meant with the most concerning love for you.  Jesus paid it all for you.  He is opening the door to Heaven for all who will put their trust in Him.  The choice is yours.  The evidence is in; it is not disputable — what is your verdict?

1.  Henry Morris, The Defender’s Bible (World Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995), p. 1576.

2. New Bible Dictionary (Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1975), p. 1087.

3. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics   (Crossway Books, Wheaton IL, 1994), p. 277.

4. Translated by William Whiston (originally published in 1737), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus (The Winston Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1957), p. 535.

5. For more on the authenticity of Josephus’ reference to Jesus, see Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1999), pp. 55–57.

6. Traditionally, Judas Iscariot is excluded from the number witnessing his ascension because of the record in Matthew 27:5 that seem to indicate that Judas went and “hanged himself” shortly after the crucifixion. It seems more likely, however, that Judas was received back into the company of the disciples in the period between his repentance and the Ascension, which he witnessed. After he saw Jesus ascend, and all hope of the restoration of a Davidic kingdom lost, Judas went and killed himself. His absence then precipitated the need to replace him, which became the first order of business after the Resurrection (see Acts 1:16–26). If Judas had killed himself before the Resurrection, it is logical to assume that Jesus himself would have been involved in choosing his replacement, since he chose the original 12. The fact that Judas was received back into the company of the disciples after his betrayal of Jesus speaks volumes about the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus, as well as the committed brotherhood of the disciples.

7. J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1987), pp. 171 and 172.

8. Thomas Arnold, Sermons on Christian Life (London, 1854), p. 324.

9. Simon Greenleaf, the Testimony of the Evangelists (New York: 1874), p. 28.

10. Morris, op. cit., The Defender’s Bible, p. 1574.

11. Henry H. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1955 edition, p. 497. 

 

Other Information, Books, Booklets, and Articles available from:

Airrington Ministries: www.airrington.com

Save a VillageTM: www.saveavillage.org

For Further Evidence

Craig, William Lane, Reasonable Faith, Westchester, Ill Crossway, 1994

Geivett, R. Douglas, & Gary R. Habermas. Eds. In Defense of Miracles. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press 1997

Habermas, Gary, & Antony Flew. Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987

Hanegraaff, Hank.  The Third Day. Nashville: W Group, 2003.

Morrison, Frank.  Who moved the Stone? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987

Wilkins, Michael, J. and J.P. Moreland, eds. Jesus Under Fire. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985

Wilson, Ian. Jesus: The Evidence. San Francisco: Harper 1988

Schonfield, Hugh. The Passover Plot. New York: Bantam 1965

Johnson, Timothy Luk. The Real Jesus. San Franscico: Harper 1996

Strobel, Lee. The Case For Easter. Grand Rapids:Zondervan 2003