The sad truth is most Christians can't even defend their faith because they themselves are ignorant of God's word.

Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. -- Colossians 2:8
"My people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Hosea 4:6


Saturday, April 17, 2010

What Happen After The Empty Tomb?

   I have discuss what happen after the crucifixion up to the empty tomb.Now, let us continue investigating what happen next.
    The Jesus movement did not disappear (obviously), and in fact Christianity exists today as the world's largest religion. Therefore, we’ve got to know what happened after Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb.
   Shortly after Jesus was executed, his followers were suddenly galvanized from a baffled and cowering group into people whose message about a living Jesus and a coming kingdom, preached at the risk of their lives, eventually changed an empire. Something happened. … But exactly what?
   Maybe the supposed resurrection was actually a stolen body. But if so, how does one account for all the reported appearances of a resurrected Jesus? Historian Paul Johnson, in History of the Jews, wrote, “What mattered was not the circumstances of his death but the fact that he was widely and obstinately believed, by an expanding circle of people, to have risen again.”
   Each eyewitness account reports that Jesus suddenly appeared bodily to his followers, the women first.  Why conspirators would make women central to its plot. In the first century, women had virtually no rights, personhood, or status. If the plot was to succeed,  conspirators would have portrayed men, not women, as the first to see Jesus alive. And yet we hear that women touched him, spoke with him, and were the first to find the empty tomb.
   Later, according to the eyewitness accounts, all the disciples saw Jesus on more than 10 separate occasions. They wrote that he showed them his hands and feet and told them to touch him. And he reportedly ate with them and later appeared alive to more than 500 followers on one occasion.
   Legal scholar John Warwick Montgomery stated, “In 56 A.D. [the Apostle Paul wrote that over 500 people had seen the risen Jesus and that most of them were still alive (1 Corinthians 15:6ff.). It passes the bounds of credibility that the early Christians could have manufactured such a tale and then preached it among those who might easily have refuted it simply by producing the body of Jesus.
   If the Resurrection had not occurred, why would the Apostle Paul give such a list of supposed eyewitnesses? He would immediately lose all credibility with his Corinthian readers by lying so blatantly.”


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why There Are Sufferings?

   The Bible stated that God created everything...and therefore, He is also responsible for the imperfections?
   Is the above statement true?
   Sadly, although the above argument may sound logical and sensible the Holy Scripture does not support such claims. If an all-power and all-knowing God had all the authority to do what He pleases then why He seems not minding if the world is in chaos right now. Would it be nice if God intervene and change your next-door neighbor who had been making all the trouble in your town...and in a snap, God intervene...then one day this troublesome neighbor instantly became a gentle and kind man. What a perfect neighborhood doesn't it?
   There is another quality that God that I want to put in perspective here. He does not change. He is the Alpha and Omega. When we say He does not change it means He does not violate his own law...and if God intervene that way, he had robbed your neighbor's capacity to decide and act for himself. Sadly, God's justice does not work by cheating.
 “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed." -- Malachi 3:6
   Why doesn't God simply ban evil? To understand the answer, we must consider the consequences such an action would bring.
   Understanding why God allows evil and its resultant suffering requires a fundamental understanding of one of God's greatest gifts; as well as how man has continually abused that gift.
   The gift is free will or, as it is more popularly called, freedom of choice. God granted this freedom to our first human parents, Adam and Eve, at creation. But over the millennia we have proven ourselves to be woefully inept stewards of this precious gift and its far-reaching responsibility.
   As God explained to ancient Israel, the freedom to make choices is essential to developing righteous character (Deuteronomy 30:15-19). Without freedom to choose, we would be little more than robots, with our behavior either pre-programmed and unchangeable or dictated in all its details by an outside force such as God Himself.
   But that is not God's intent. He has different expectations of us because of His much higher purpose for us. He wants us to choose to obey Him from the heart. He wants us to enthusiastically love and cherish His values and standards, which are based on two overriding principles " loving Him with all our hearts and loving others as much as we love ourselves" (Matthew 22:35-40).
   As we will see, choosing to obey God and learning to love others when we have the freedom to do otherwise is vital for the future God has planned for us.
   NOW, would it be proper to blame someone who gave you fire just because we had not taken the responsibility; and therefore our houses turn to ashes because of our own neglect?
   Similarly, do we blame God for giving us Free Will and blame Him for our own choices?
   Would it be dull if all our actions are mandated into the tiniest detail and not leaving us room to decide for ourselves? 
   That is the case I am pointing here, why some had trouble understanding imperfections. Everything God created was perfect from the very beginning...
   So if God has nothing to do with all the imperfections currently swirling around our planets when did it all happen?
   Most people begin the history of the Bible by looking at Genesis; it seems a good starting point since it talks about creation. But earlier than the recorded event in Genesis there's already a much earlier drama that Ezekiel describes through the inspiration of God in Ezekiel chapter 28
12 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
   “‘You were the seal of perfection,
   full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden,
   the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you:    carnelian, chrysolite and emerald,    topaz, onyx and jasper,    lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;    on the day you were created they were prepared. 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub,    for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God;    you walked among the fiery stones15 You were blameless in your ways    from the day you were created    till wickedness was found in you. 16 Through your widespread trade    you were filled with violence,    and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,    and I expelled you, guardian cherub   from among the fiery stones. 17 Your heart became proud    on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom    because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth;    I made a spectacle of you before kings. 18 By your many sins and dishonest trade    you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you,    and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground    in the sight of all who were watching. 19 All the nations who knew you    are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end    and will be no more.’”

   At first reading this prophesy seems to be speaking about a certain King of Tyre. But as we take a closer examination specially verse 14 and 16, this person is not just mere human.  Anointed means someone who is ordained for a special position or mission, and as we look at in verse 14 we can see that he was made commander in chief of cherubs. Other versions render this verse as 
    14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (KJV)
   The descriptions here is talking about not just a simple human being but an Angel. Cherubs is another term for angels.There was no human either to be given the following qualities as having the "seal of perfections"; "full of wisdom" and "perfect in beauty"(v.12)
   Let us go further by what another prophet has to say about this guardian cherub. What happen to Satan?
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!-- Isaiah 14:12
   Ground mentioned here can also be translated as "Earth". Where was Lucifer sent after his fall? Here on Earth...he is the one who weaken the nations. How wide is his influence?
 Ephesian 2:2 "in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient."
   Air means here are the predominant thinking, value, worldview or philosophy of earth. That is to say, he had all the influences on Earth such as on areas of politics, government, kingdom, mass-media and even on churches. 
   What was on God's mind why did He decided to make Earth as Satan's temporary habitation? Why did He place mankind together with the angelic-rebels (Satan was not alone, he was with the other fallen angels). Let us look at this striking revelation given by St. Paul...
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?  --1 Corinthian 6:3
   The above verse states here that we shall judge angels. Isn't it great? How important us human-being in the eyes of God? He created man to show to all angels how He take care of His creations. We were made as an example. 
   Now as we pointed out it is Clear that  imperfection came only after the Angelic Revolt. And God has no intention of making a mess out of His own masterpiece. His intended gift of "Freedom of choice" was not used properly by both the fallen angels and man. 
   How about man? Man was created in the likeness of God. Molded from His own image. Let us not mistaken this image as an anatomical similarity...we are created from the righteousness of God not His replica. The real nature or the intent when God created our first parents Adam and Eve was illustrated here...
 Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy.-- Ephesians 4:24
   So where did imperfection came? Some people would like to make some leeway so they can put the blame on others. That's how perfect we are made. We can reason for ourselves...even make alibi and point to another being our own mistakes. Just look at the blaming mankind had been doing since the beginning of human history in Genesis 3...
   11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
   The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
   Modern man trying to find ways for the deteriorating planet as ozone layer depletes because of pollution, landslide due to illegal logging, Nation rise up against nations because of differences in faith, and blaming God for creating him or her imperfect...that is why we are sufferings! 
   Oh look God I can't worship you properly because you had not revealed yourself to me! 
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. -- Romans 1:18-23

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


     The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central nervous system of  The Christian faith. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true, then Christianity would be founded upon a lie. Theologian R. C. Sproul puts it this way:“The claim of resurrection is vital to Christianity. If Christ has been raised from the dead by God, then He has the credentials and certification that no other religious leader possesses. Buddha is dead. Mohammad is dead. Moses is dead. Confucius is dead. But, according to…Christianity, Christ is alive."

     Jesus’ followers wrote that he appeared alive to them after his crucifixion and burial. They claim to have not only seen him, but also to have eaten with him, touched him, and spent 40 days with him.
    So could this have been simply a story that grew over time, or is it based upon solid evidence? The answer to this question is foundational to Christianity. For if Jesus did rise from the dead, it would validate everything he said about himself, about the meaning of life, and about our destiny after death.
    Many skeptics have attempted to disprove the resurrection. Josh McDowell was one such skeptic who spent more than seven hundred hours researching the evidence for the resurrection. McDowell stated this regarding the importance of the resurrection:
“I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, OR it is the most fantastic fact of history.”
     So, is Jesus' resurrection a fantastic fact or a vicious myth? To find out, we need to look at the evidence of history and draw our own conclusions. Let’s see what skeptics who investigated the resurrection discovered for themselves.
     Now, we shall approach the subject like a True Skeptics would do. When we say we are “skeptical,” we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe.”


     In advance of his death, Jesus told his disciples that he would be betrayed, arrested, and crucified and that he would come back to life three days later. That’s a strange plan! What was behind it?
Bible scholar Wilbur Smith remarked about Jesus:
“When he said that He himself would rise again from the dead, the third day after He was crucified, He said something that only a fool would dare say, if He expected longer the devotion of any disciples—unless He was sure He was going to rise. No founder of any world religion known to men ever dared say a thing like that.
     In other words, since Jesus had clearly told his disciples that he would rise again after his death, failure to keep that promise would expose him as a fraud. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. How did Jesus die before he (if he did) rose again?
     In a mock trial under the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, he was convicted of treason and condemned to die on a wooden cross. Prior to being nailed to the cross, Jesus was brutally beaten with a Roman cat-o’-nine-tails, a whip with bits of bone and metal that would rip flesh. He was punched repeatedly, kicked, and spit upon.Then, using mallets, the Roman executioners pounded the heavy wrought-iron nails into Jesus' wrists and feet. Finally they dropped the cross in a hole in the ground between two other crosses bearing convicted thieves.Jesus hung there for approximately six hours. Then, at 3:00 in the afternoon—that is, at exactly the same time the Passover lamb was being sacrificed as a sin offering (a little symbolism there, you think?)—Jesus cried out, “It is finished” (in Aramaic), and died. Suddenly the sky went dark and an earthquake shook the land.
     Pilate wanted verification that Jesus was dead before allowing his crucified body to be buried. So a Roman guard thrust a spear into Jesus' side. The mixture of blood and water that flowed out was a clear indication that Jesus was dead. Jesus' body was then taken down from the cross and buried in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb. Roman guards next sealed the tomb, and secured it with a 24-hour watch.
     Meanwhile, Jesus' disciples were in shock. Dr. J. P. Moreland explains how devastated and confused they were after Jesus’ death on the cross. “They no longer had confidence that Jesus had been sent by God. They also had been taught that God would not let his Messiah suffer death. So they dispersed. The Jesus movement was all but stopped in its tracks.”10
All hope was vanquished. Rome and the Jewish leaders had prevailed—or so it seemed.

     Before we take on the role of CSI and piece together evidence for a resurrection, we must first establish that there was, in fact, a corpse. After all, occasionally the newspapers will report on some “corpse” in a morgue who was found stirring and recovered. Could something like that have happened with Jesus?
One place to find that is in the reports of non-Christian historians from around the time when Jesus lived. Three of these historians mentioned the death of Jesus.
  • Lucian (c.120–after 180 A.D. referred to Jesus as a crucified sophist (philosopher).
  • Josephus (c.37–c.100 A.D.) wrote, “At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, for he was a doer of amazing deeds. When Pilate condemned him to the cross, the leading men among us, having accused him, those who loved him did not cease to do so.”
  • Tacitus (c. 56–c.120 A.D.) wrote, “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty … at the hands of our procurator, Pontius Pilate.”
     Now we see proof that there is indeed a Crucifixion that occurred and therefore we can conclude that there is a corpse. Furthermore, we shall asked expert if Jesus really did die & not just unconscious or the "swoon theory."

     An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association explains why this so-called “swoon theory” is untenable: “Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicated that Jesus was dead. … The spear, thrust between His right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung, but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured His death.”

     We must remember too that a Roman Soldier carry-on the order to ensure the death of Jesus. Probably, this soldier is an expert executioner and had been doing this many times before, for sure the extreme penalty of dying on the cross was not an isolated case in Ancient Rome.
     This is a bit like going into the archives and finding that on one spring day in the first century, The Jerusalem Post ran a front-page story saying that Jesus was crucified and dead. Not bad detective work, and fairly conclusive. In fact, there is no historical account from Christians, Romans, or Jews that disputes either Jesus’ death or his burial.
     Now that we have proven beyond reasonable doubt that Jesus indeed died. Did He really rose from the grave? Let us examined the empty tomb.

     The tomb belonged to a member of the Sanhedrin Council, Joseph of Arimathea. In Israel at that time, to be on the council was to be like a rock star. Everyone knew who was on the council. The tomb would have been at a well-known location and easily identifiable, so any thoughts of Jesus being “lost in the graveyard” would need to be dismissed.
     If the"empty-tomb myth" wasn't true, why would the enemy of Jesus let the story circulate? Probably, there is indeed an empty tomb.
     The Jewish leaders were stunned, and accused the disciples of stealing Jesus’ body. But the Romans had assigned a 24-hour watch at the tomb with a trained guard unit (from 4 to 12 soldiers). How could these professionals have let Jesus’ body be vandalized?” It would have been impossible for anyone to have slipped by the Roman guards and to have moved a two-ton stone. Yet the stone was moved away and the body of Jesus was missing.

     If Jesus’ body was anywhere to be found, his enemies would have quickly exposed the resurrection as a fraud. Tom Anderson, former president of the California Trial Lawyers Association, summarizes the strength of this argument:
"With an event so well publicized, don’t you think that it’s reasonable that one historian, one eye witness, one antagonist would record for all time that he had seen Christ’s body? … The silence of history is deafening when it comes to the testimony against the resurrection."
     So, with no body of evidence, and with a known tomb clearly empty, we can accept the evidence as solid that Jesus’ body had somehow disappeared from the tomb.

Now! What happened to the Empty Tomb? READ HERE