Alberta Atheism Theism Deity and Book of Life

The most important book that ever existed will be the Book of Life.

No matter where we live on this planet, our name is recorded in many places, and for certain our government has it entered somewhere.

The Christian scriptures, several times, speaks of books that God keeps about us and one all important book called, the Book of Life.

Different books will be opened by God the Father or by Jesus in the future. The book of Daniel 7:9-10 (NIV) mentions such a time.

“As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”

Another scripture mentions a time when very powerful and important people, good or bad, will appear before God. One can think that would include people such as kings, presidents, dictators, etc., from the past and present. The eternal destiny of each will be determined by whether their name is recorded in the Book of Life.

Revelation 20:11-12 (NIV)

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

For most of us, who would be considered ‘small’, the biggest concern also is to be sure our name is recorded in the Book of Life.

Salvation through Jesus Christ has been offered to all. John 3:16 states: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Further information is given in Revelation 21:6-7 (NIV):

He said to me: It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son”.

Everything quoted above refers to Jesus Christ and not to some minor deity from some other belief system or organization.

If you are someone who would like your name written in God’s Book of Life, you can do so by accepting Jesus as your savior. Below is a prayer you could say or you can talk to Jesus, person-to-person, using your own words.

Sample prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I ask forgiveness for my sins and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life. I want to live a new life with you as my Savior. Thank you Jesus. (Quoted from God Life)

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Heaven One

Even though heaven is a basic belief of Christianity, not much is said about it in churches and there is not an abundance of books available on the topic. Atheism, of course, offers no information about heaven because of no belief that God exists.

Some religions faiths have beliefs about death and the afterlife, but this is based on some individual’s thinking which evolved into a religion. However, there is an exception to this. This exception is Jesus Christ who came to earth. He made significant comments about heaven which are recorded in the Christian scriptures.

Heaven, where God lives, and our earth were peaceful places until one powerful and beautiful angel called Lucifer made a decision which has affected our world and all humanity to this very day. Lucifer became enamored with his own beauty, wisdom and capability to the extend that he thought he could upstage the very God who created him. The scriptures tell what happened in Ezekiel 28:15 & 17. “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.” “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.” (NKJ)

Lucifer was exiled to our world with a third of the angels whom he misled. It is generally thought that these angels became demons and now do his bidding to lure as many humans as possible into hell in their afterlife.

Jesus said he came down from heaven to provide salvation for the human race. He said, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me” Jesus also told his disciples that he was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them. He further said if it were not so he would have told them (John 14:2-3). One can read various opinions about Jesus Christ but one cannot find an accusation that he was a liar.

Since there is a heaven where Jesus now is and where the throne of God is, then heaven has a location. Heaven can’t just be everywhere in general and nowhere in particular. The word “heaven” is used in the bible in three distinct senses. In the scriptures we read of three heavens. The first heaven is the air which completely surrounds our earth. The second heaven is the region of the planets and stars. This is where some principalities and powers of evil are, as explained in the bible, in Ephesians 6:12 which says, “We wrestle…. against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The third heaven is where God lives. Jesus in Mathew is quoted as saying “Our Father in heaven….”. 1 Kings 8:30 calls heaven the dwelling place of God.

Lucifer when he made his mistaken assumption spoke of the “congregation in the sides of the north….”. When Jehovah visited the prophet Ezekiel it came with a whirlwind which “came out of the north” (Ezekiel 1:4-28). Job 26:7 states, “He (God) stretches out the north over the empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.” (NKJ) North in scripture is an important direction and indicates where God lives.

There are many founders of world religions, but one can not find one where the founder came down from heaven, died to provide salvation for mankind, rose from the dead, then went back to heaven to prepare places for his followers who accepted his death and forgiveness of sins. Furthermore, He rose from the dead. His tomb became empty after 3 days. No other religious founder can make such a claim.

Since no other religion can make the promise that Jesus made regarding heaven, one of the main beliefs prevalent in the world is reincarnation which postulates that there are endless rebirths. There is no clear explanation who or what is in charge of assuring that this belief system is a fact. There are even contradictions of belief about reincarnation among those who believe in it. But this is material for another post in the future.

Death is the separation of soul and body. The Christian scriptures clearly teach that we have a soul and depending on the decision we make about Jesus determines where we go in our afterlife. That our soul/spirit exists can be shown by the following scriptures: Gen. 25:8; Luke 23:46; 1 Kings 17:20-22; Luke 8:49-55; II Samuel 12:19-23; 2 Cor. 5:6-9; 2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Peter 1:13-15; Phil. 1:21-24; James 2:26. Virtually all translations of the bible contain these references.

Many people who have not researched the topic of the afterlife and heaven think that believers go to heaven and will be in this heaven forever. But this is not all there will be, because the scriptures clearly indicate that there are further plans that God has for those who have accepted what Jesus accomplished by his death and resurrection. That will be given in the next post, Heaven Two.

If you are not a Christian you can take a step that will guarantee that you will go to heaven when you die.

Below is a sample prayer, but you can speak to Jesus in your own words too.

“Lord Jesus, thank you for coming down from heaven and dying on the cross and rising from the dead so I can have forgiveness of my sins. I now receive you as my Savior.”

If you do not have a bible, try to get one and read the New testament, because it has the information you need to get to heaven.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Covid-19

The Covid-19 virus has appeared unexpectedly, affecting millions regardless of belief. Atheism or Theism. This has undoubtedly caused everyone to think about their life now and about their hereafter.

Someone has said, “Everything that lives will also die”. History records events that show that death is part of our existence. World War I brought about the death of 40 million people, both military and civilian. World War II brought about at least 85 million deaths. The Black Death plaque of 1346-53 caused 50 million deaths and, more recently, the Spanish flu of 1918 killed 50 million people. Today, we are faced with a pandemic flu that will probably cause the death of millions world wide.

Science has given us the ability to positively control the environment we live in. But, unfortunately, that has not done away with political strife and the ensuing warfare so prevalent in our world. Science has also given us the ability to ameliorate the suffering from many diseases and has been able to lengthen the average life span, but ultimately we all die.

The Christian scriptures say, “For what is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. Some people live a short time and some longer. But we can never be sure which way it will be for us. Psalm 103:15-22 states, “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone and its place remembers it no more”.

Given the impact of Covid-19, probably most people all over the world have given some thought about death and what happens when death occurs. Those who hold to atheism maintain that there is nothing after death. But there is no evidence that warrants this conclusion. All of us should review our belief about what evidence we have for our thinking about eternity. If you practice some form of the occult or believe in some New Age beliefs there is no indisputable guarantee of what happens when you die. Other people who placed their faith in men such as Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Horus, Zoroaster, Methros, etc., have no undeniable proof which validates their philosophy. Indeed, there is no agreement among themselves about what happens in the hereafter.

Many of the philosophers who teach the various world religions claim that their founders predated the founder of the Christian faith. That argument, however, is erroneous and misleading.

The Christian faith and history is based on the existence of Jesus Christ. His history is explained in the Christian scriptures. John 1:2 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning”. The Word was Jesus as explained elsewhere in the bible.

Jesus existed before early man, whenever that may have been, and surely existed at the time of the creation of Adam and Eve. The bible goes on to give evidence of Jesus’ existence in the Old Testament in his pre-incarnation appearance as noted in Genesis 12:7; 16:13; and 17:1. To further prove His existence in this period of time, you can enter in your computer, “Jesus in the Old Testament”. Next, we know of Jesus in the New Testament through His birth, all the miracles He did, and His crucifixion and resurrection, and ascension into heaven, and importantly, it is crucial to note that He established the Christian faith. He explained to the disciples that He would be crucified and resurrected, and return to heaven. In doing so, because He shed his blood, everyone could have their sins forgiven if they accepted Him as their Saviour.

Romans 6:23 further clarifies this: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. No other founder of a religion could do what Jesus did because only He was deity. The bible also speaks of Jesus in the Book of Revelation and His role when the history of the world, as we know it, will be forever changed. In short, Jesus Christ was involved in the creation of the world and will be involved at the climax of his creation. He will, as the saying goes, “have come full circle” with His creation.

No other founder of a religious faith could do what Jesus did. While He was on earth He healed the sick, drove our demons from the demonized and raised the dead. He was able to do this because He was God come in the flesh (1 John 4:2, 1 Timothy 3:16). Furthermore, no other religious founder died and rose from the dead. Revelation 1:17 quoting Jesus, says: “….I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One. I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever. And I hold the keys of death and Hades”.

When Jesus was crucified and shed his blood, it was not the blood of an ordinary man, but it was blood shed by deity, by God Himself, and not to cancel out the sin of just Adam, but to provide salvation for all who would ask for forgiveness of their sins.

You also can receive forgiveness and when you die go to heaven. Below is a model prayer, but you can talk to God in your own words as well.

“Lord Jesus, I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. Forgive me my sins and save me. Come into my heart and become my Saviour and Lord”.

(All scripture is from the NIV bible)

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Bible Part Four

 

The bible has proven to be a reliable and inspired book for hundreds of years, for billions of people everywhere . It has given the only accurate information about God himself and how he views his creation and the human race in particular.

After Jesus ascended to heaven the bible records that the gospel message was preached everywhere as he had directed. As the number of Christians grew and they gathered to worship, there was a need for leaders to teach about the new faith. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection a new covenant was established to replace the old. This New Covenant needed to be taught to new converts and the written manuscripts played an important role.

The initial leaders were the early apostles and those they had mentored. Some of them   wrote letters which were circulated among the churches. As time progressed the doctrines of the church were established. Christian history seems to suggest that these writings began to form the New Testament by the year 200 A.D.. These letters were given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. No one particular person decided what should be included in the bible, but rather various church leaders and those who attended church councils.

When Constantine became Emperor he wanted better control of his Empire. There was friction and disagreements from some Christian leaders, so to solve this problem he called what is known as the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. The Church called another council in 397 A.D.,the Council of Carthage, and it was at this council that determined what books would be included in the bible and is the bible we have today.

Once the Canon was closed in 397 A.D. no new writings, or thoughts could become part of the New Testament. Since then there have been many translations of the New Testament, slightly different from one another because of language, culture, country and ruler preference, but what is important is that the doctrines in all the different translations, right to our present day, have remained the same. This is witness to the care that was taken by scribes and modern-day scholars to maintain the integrity of the Christian scriptures.

The Old Testament was originally written on leather or papyrus beginning with the time of Moses and through to the time of Malachi. The oldest copy of the Old Testament was about 900 AD until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Qumran area, some seven miles south of Jericho and fairly near the Dead Sea. In 1947 a Bedouin shepherd was in search of his animal. While doing so he threw a little rock into a cave and heard a tinkling sound, so investigated. Inside he found a number of containers with scrolls in them.

Archaeologically this was a notable discovery because part of it was a complete manuscript of the book of Isaiah. It was dated back to about 300 B.C. to 70 A.D. When the newly found Isaiah manuscript was compared to the oldest Isaiah, in the 900 A.D. Old Testament, there were no differences or errors. This is important because it shows how carefully the scribes had copied one manuscript from another. This, one can conclude would also be true for the entire Old Testament and the New Testament. Further, this refutes the claims of critics that the bible has errors in it, is not inspired, and is not God’s word.  Christian scriptures alone explain that Jesus’ death and resurrection can lead to eternal life if we ask for forgiveness of our sins.

You can see the caves where manuscripts were discovered by entering,  “Qumran Caves”.

In the same area where the caves are located there was a settlement of religious people called the Essenes. Historians say that in 70 A.D. a Roman army was about to invade their territory, so in order to protect their many religious manuscripts, they hid them in the caves where they were preserved for hundreds of years, and  now have become very important for bible scholars and historians. See, ‘Essenes Settlement Image’ in your computer.

The Israeli government has built a museum in Jerusalem where the recently discovered  Isaiah manuscripts are on display. The humidity in the museum is carefully controlled because the manuscripts are fragile. Water is sprayed on the roof to maintain the humidity inside at a certain level. The manuscript, as stated above, is not different from any other Isaiah manuscript. Obviously the scribes took great care as they copied manuscripts.  This manuscript is viewable if you enter in your computer,  ‘Isaiah Manuscript Museum Images’.

The manuscripts from the past and those most recent are in agreement. However some bible scholars suggest that Mark 16:9-20 may have been added to the original. If it was added later it is of little consequence because it does not change any doctrines.

Critics of the bible say you can’t trust the bible because in it are contradictions. Evidence, however, does not support this accusation. An author, John W. Haley, authored a book  “Alleged discrepancies of the Bible,” many years ago. Another more recent book  is by Archer Gleason, in “Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties”.  Currently there are writers on the internet who have addressed this issue and show that these ‘contradictions’ are not a problem as suggested by critics. On the web see the following sites.  “101 ‘Cleared- up’ Contradictions in the Bible,” by Jay Smith, Alex Chowdhry, Toby Jepsen, James Schaeffer and edited by Craig Winn.   “101 ‘Contradictions’ in the Bible,” by Mathew Elton.   “What Do the Scriptures Say?,” by Mike Scott.  Of course there are other books and websites that also address this question.

Information from the past, and present, tells about the significance of the bible. In some  countries where Christianity is forbidden and ridiculed, people have no hope for the present or the future. They wonder why they are here and what will happen to them when they die. No hope is found in the Communist Manifesto, the Human Manifestos, the Atheist Bible or the Satanic Bible. The only bible that offers hope is the Christian bible because it tells of Jesus birth, death and resurrection.

Wherever you are in the world, God knows where you are. You can ask God to forgive  your sins and ask Jesus to be your Lord and friend.  The bible says, “…. there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we can be saved.” (Acts 4 :12). The bible also says, “Most assuredly, I say to you he who believes in Me has everlasting life”. (John 6: 47). That person, of course, Is Jesus.

The bible is reliable. It was inspired when it was first written and it is still inspired today when you read it.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Bible Part Three

This blog is the third in a series about the bible and how the bible proves that God exists.  Prophecy in the Christian scriptures provides valid evidence.

There is a prophecy in the scriptures about a Persian king, Cyrus the Great. Before Cyrus is considered, some historical facts are needed to provide background information.

The Jewish people in Judah and Jerusalem had frequently been warned by God, through his prophets, that they should be careful not to rebel against him. Certainly one of the big issues with God was that the Jews  Continue reading

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Bible Part Two

The bible provides valid evidence that there is a Supreme Being, who is God of our world and the universe. If there is no God there would be no Old Testament and New Testament that make up the Christian scriptures.

In the previous blog it was stated that there are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled when Jesus came to our earth. As in the last blog, it is suggested that you enter into your computer,  “353 Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ”, to see where these prophecies in the bible can be found and studied. To show that these prophecies are valid and factual, and recorded in the bible, another author’s work can also be consulted. Go to,  “Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus”.

In total there are over 2000 prophecies in the bible as they pertain to ancient nations and particularly to the nation of Israel who so often seemed to forget her God. What is recorded in the bible is historically accurate, as are the prophecies, even more so as biblical scholarship continues. None of the prophecies and their fulfillment came about by happenstance. The predictions were given to certain people, chosen by God, as prophets, who then conveyed the messages to the leaders of nations and Israel in particular.

At this point, the question may arise as to how the prophets received the messages that were to be passed on to those who were in positions of leadership.  If you are a non believer you likely reject the belief that God exists and believe that there are no incorporeal  beings. However, the scriptures do tell how the prophecies were given. These were conveyed by the Holy Spirit to prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Moses, Hosea, Daniel, Jeremiah and others. God conveyed his messages in different ways. God spoke with an audible voice to Abraham, (Genesis 15:18). Through an angel, (Revelation (2:1-3). By writing on a wall, (Daniel 5:5). By dreams and visions, (Numbers 12:6). By miracles (Acts 2:22), and by impressions on the mind.  Unfortunately, the Israelite kings paid no attention to the prophets and seemed to forget, that in the distant past, God had led them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea by a series of great miracles.

The bible contains information that of 12 kings of Israel, only 2 took note of what God was asking them to do. In the bible, in the book of Judges, is recorded the sort of warnings God issued to his people through his prophets. However, the people did not respond to the warnings. For example, it is recorded: “And they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, ….They went after other gods of the people round about them and bowed down to them and provoked the Lord to anger.” (Judges 2:12) (Amplified Bible).

The Christian scriptures provide a record of the greatness of God. It tells us that he was involved at the very beginning of the universe, our planet included. Also, it tells us that he created all the incorporeal beings that exist. One such being, Lucifer, rebelled and with a host of his followers, evil angels, caused evil to be introduced into God’s creation. He caused man to sin and as a result God sent his son to be born of a virgin, to die and resurrect, so that we need not perish but can have eternal life.(John 3:16). The many prophecies referred to above, in the second paragraph, are predictions that God made through his prophets that a change was coming. At one time there was a sacrificial system to deal with the sin issue, but that was to change. The Lord, through Isaiah the prophet, said “…I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.” (Isaiah 1:11) (English Standard Version). And, of course, as prophesied, that change came through Jesus Christ.

If you are a nonbeliever I would simply ask that you consider the prophecies and give some thought as to whether they were just accidental statements or could they have originated from a God who was, and still is, involved in all that exists including our own lives.

The bible says, ” To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

God welcomes you to become one of his children. If you care to, you can ask him to forgive your sins and come into your heart. You can talk to him as to a friend.

Thanks for visiting.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Bible Part One

Many who embrace atheism maintain that the bible is of little value. However, if the christian scriptures are carefully studied there is proof for the existence of a Supreme Being and that is what this blog is mainly about.

An integral part of the bible are prophecies proclaimed by Old Testament prophets hundreds of years ago. This is a big and complex topic so only certain prophecies will be mentioned appropriate for this blog. Those who have counted the prophecies in the bible say there are over 2000 but for this blog reference will be made to only 300. Information will be given where you can find them.

Perhaps there are some readers who are not particularly acquainted with the bible so some additional information may prove helpful. The bible was written between 1500 BC and 100 AD. It was not written by one individual but by many over the centuries. Each  small portion of the bible is called a “book” and in many cases named after the author. The original books , of course, were not written in our current languages but in a language determined initially by the language and location of the author, probably Hebrew or Greek. Since then both the Old Testament and the New Testament have been translated into most of the current languages worldwide.

The bible used by those of the Catholic faith has 46 books in the OT and 27 in the NT. The Protestant bible is composed of 39 books in the OT and 27 in the NT. The difference probably is of minor consequence. Those of the Jewish faith also use the OT.

In the book of Isaiah 46:9-10, Jehovah said,”….I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come”.  I say: “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (NIV). If you adhere to atheism one can imagine your thoughts here because you probably don’t believe that God exists. Further, you probably don’t believe that anything incorporeal exists. But read a little further.

According to the scriptures, after Adam and Eve were deceived God showed his sufficiency to rescue the human race he created. This was done by implementing a plan that began with Abraham and the Israelite nation. It is stated, He chose it, a little weak nation, to begin to carry out His plan. Through Israel the lineage was found that would allow God’s son to come to earth to provide salvation for those who wanted it.This, during Old Testament times was not well understood and even today there seem to be many who do not believe the bible which says that Jesus exists and has come to provide salvation.

The Israelites at times would drift away from their relationships with God and he would warn them through his prophets that this would bring them serious consequences.The history recorded in the bible tells of their many defeats by other nations and how they were removed from their own country to live under the jurisdiction of other nations. People today can also loose their relationship with God, but it is a good idea to renew this relationship and it is available if sought.

Eventually the time came 2000 years ago when Jesus was born, died and resurrected to provide an escape from the prison that Satan had created. This freedom applies to people for today and for those yet to come.

If you are a non-believer you are probably thinking, “Where are all the prophecies, the evidence, referred to in this blog?”  God spoke through his prophets many times, during Old Testament times, that he would send a saviour who would undo the negative consequences generated by the fall of earth’s earliest humans. You can see these prophecies listed by those who have thoroughly researched this. If you enter into your computer,  “353 Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ”, you will find them listed for your viewing.

Three hundred on target prophecies cannot be just some kind of good luck or accident. Continue reading

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Antony Flew

Antony Flew was one of the world’s preeminent atheists who in 2001 announced that he no longer embraced atheism, but believed in the existence of a God.

Many will not have heard of Antony Flew. Flew was born in 1923 and died in 2010. Younger people may not have heard of him and many of the older generation perhaps are not aware of his change regarding atheism.

Flew grew up in a religious environment, as his father was a Methodist minister. He records this in his book,  ‘There is (no) a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind’. He states on page 15, “…. by the time I reached my fifteenth birthday I rejected the thesis that the universe was created by an all-good, all-powerful God.”

He goes on to say, “One might well ask if I never thought to consult my clergyman father about my doubts regarding the existence of God. …. I tried for as long as I could to conceal from everyone at my home my irreligious conversion.” (Flew p.16.)

As time progressed Antony studied to become a philosopher and during his lifetime taught philosophy in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Also, he became a prolific writer authoring over 30 books and numerous papers and debated many theists. In 1985 during a series of debates he met two  Christian philosophers, one of them being Garry Habermas from Liberty University, which grew into a friendship. For years he said there was not enough evidence to believe that a God existed, but he slowly changed his mind.

Flew’s interests were many and varied such as ethics, logic  education, psychic phenomena, and an expert on the philosophy of David Hume and his belief about miracles. He wrote a book,  ‘Merely Mortal: Can You Survive Your own Death?’  His answer it seems was “No”. The problem, it seems for those who hold to atheism, is the belief that there can be no incorporeal existence. But in the christian scriptures it speaks of a natural body and a spiritual body, in 1 Corinthians 15:44.  And spirit, soul and body in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

Antony, in the last of his public debates, at a symposium at New York University, in 2004, announced that he accepted the existence of a God. (Flew p.74).  When asked whether new information in science had caused him to think differently he responded, “Yes I now think it does….almost entirely because of the DNA investigation…It has been shown by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life that intelligence must have been involved.” In short, he no longer was an atheist.

In 2004 Flew declared his belief as deism. Deists deny the divinity of Jesus and picture God as uncaring and not interfering with his creation. Many people, if asked whether they believe in God say, “I  don’t believe in God, but there might be ‘Something'”. Deism and the belief in Something is rather nebulous and has nothing positive to offer. But God does care about his creation, humans included. The christian scriptures say, “What is your life? You are like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” (James 4:14). In other words, we all will die some day. But the good news is that John 3:16, explains that if we accept Jesus, that is, ask for forgiveness, we become friends with him now and forever.

You can ask for his forgiveness now and ask him to become part of your life.

Flew said in,  ‘There is a God’,    “I have said in some of my later atheist writings that I reached the conclusion about the nonexistence of God much too quickly, much too easily, and for what later seemed to me the wrong reasons. (Flew p.12). If you are someone who is searching for information about the existence or nonexistence of God you would find Flew’s book very useful.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles David Hume

David Hume was a Scottish philosopher well known for his philosophical empiricism and his views about miracles. He was born in 1711 and died in 1776. Although his views were recorded over 200 hundred years ago, when the question of miracles is addressed today, philosophers still rally around his perspective.

Hume was a sceptic and probably an atheist and denied that miracles ever took place in history. The really big issue, of course, for everyone when thinking about miracles is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, because that is the biggest of miracles. Hume did not believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and also felt the early christians could not be believed, so there was no proof that God existed.

The biggest question, of course, is whether God exists

As a philosopher Hume undoubtedly has influenced millions. He believed that everything that happened in our world did so according to “the  law of  nature” and, if there was a god he could not work a miracle because he could not transgress this law of nature. Further, he argued that if someone reported a miracle then that individual was mistaken, delusional or lying for some reason. He never did say what he would conclude if he saw a miracle happen.

David Hume was proud of his arguments against the  belief in miracles and so in effect against the belief in a supreme being. He said in his publication,   ‘Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding’, “I flatter myself, that I have discovered an argument of a like nature, which, if just, will , with the wise and learned, be an everlasting check to all kinds  of superstitions, delusions, and consequently, will be useful as long as the world endures.”

No one in our modern society would accept what in the philosophical, scientific or religious sphere is clearly spurious, and if it is, it should be identified as such. This blog is not about many happenings that people might call miraculous, but is restricted to physical miracles or healings which happen to people through the actions of  God as described in the christian scriptures.

In Hume’s argument against miracles every objection always refers to someone else, who supposedly is deluded, mistaken, or lying. Nowhere in the his writings does one find information that says that he personally went to the person who claimed a healing/miracle to determine the validity of such a claim. In the literature of today the same holds true. One needs to ask if you are agnostic or atheist why not go to the people directly involved and ask questions? And don’t just go to one such person but several. Are you afraid you might find evidence that is contrary to you current belief. All you need to do is find one genuine healing/miracle to prove that God exists. And that can change your life.

Much is said about finding evidence. History  provides ample evidence in regard to miracle/healings. On occasion a claim may not be genuine, however, written records show that God has often helped those who revered him.

Below is information that shows that miracle/healings have occurred over the centuries.

  •  The Old Testament to the New Testament, 16 recorded instances.
  •  The New Testament, 40 recorded instances.
  •   The Patristic Church Fathers. 50 AD – 600 AD. See web,  ‘Patristic Fathers’.
  •   Medieval Period. 600 – 1400, See web,  ‘The Voice of Healing’.
  •   Reformation Period. 1400 – 1700, See Web,  ‘The Voice of  Healing’.
  •   1700 – 1800,  Cornelius Jansen,  John Wesley,  See Web, ‘The Voice of Healing’.
  •    1900+, Emily Gardiner Neal. See Web,  ‘1988 Wheaton College Archives’.
  •    1900+, Fr. McAlear, See Web,  ‘The Finger of God for Healing, Catholic Online’.
  •     1900+,   See Web, ‘Smith Wigglesworth, Evangelical’.
  •     1900+, Francis Mcnutt, See Web, ‘Christian Healing  Ministry’.
  •     And there are many others.

In the New Testament, Mathew 10:8, Jesus told his followers to heal the sick. Since then a good number have been doing so, in different times, different places, and even in different ways.

If you are an unbeliever you can research this topic more intensely and come to understand and accept the truth that healing is possible because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Ultimately, you will decide whether David Hume’s view of miracles is valid, or if Jesus’ view is valid.

David Hume is buried in a tomb in Scotland which you can see if you search,  ‘David Hume, Tomb’. He died some 250 years ago. On the other hand Jesus died about 2000 years ago but he needed no permanent tomb because he was resurrected from the dead.

In Revelation  (King James 2000 Bible) Jesus said, “I am he that lives, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen: and have the keys of hades and of death.

Jesus also said, in Mathew 11:28, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” You can, if you want, do that today.

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Jesus Myth Archeology Part Four

In recent years archaeologists have uncovered many tombs in Israel, particularly around Jerusalem. One tomb in particular termed,  ‘The Family Tomb of Jesus’, has created a great deal of controversy. In 1980 a construction crew uncovered a tomb in the Talpiot suburb of Jerusalem. Some have claimed that this tomb is where Jesus and family members were buried. The main contention by many is that Jesus was buried in this tomb and was not resurrected. In other words, he decayed in the dirt of the earth for the last 2000 years.

Because many reader may not know about ossuaries and tombs, which were common in the Middle East 2000 years ago, some background information may be helpful.

After people died they were placed in a tomb for a year, assuming they could afford one. After a year when the flesh had decayed, the bones were placed into a bone box called an ossuary. The box was carved of limestone, common in the area, to fit the size of the bones of the deceased. The ossuary containing the bones was placed in a tomb which usually was a man made cave. As you will see not everyone was placed in such a tomb.  However, one archaeologist has stated that he knew of 900 tombs in the Jerusalem area. Sometimes the name of the person in the ossuary was inscribed on the outside. If you care to see what ossuaries look like go to Google and enter, ‘Ossuaries Around Jerusalem’ and once there click on, ‘images’.

Now back to the Talpiot Tomb uncovered in the Talpiot area of Jerusalem. When the tomb was uncovered by a contractor, hoping to build there, Israeli archaeologists were contacted who then investigated the tomb. In the tomb they found 10 ossuaries, six of the ten had inscriptions on them. According to one source about 17 skeletons were in the ossuaries and another 18 were lying about elsewhere in the tomb. A good number of the bones were damaged and deteriorated.(See Dr. Craig Evans, ‘The Tomb of Jesus and Family’).

The ossuaries and bones were taken by Israeli officials .The contents of the ossuaries were removed and probably reburied. The ossuaries are now stored in a warehouse which holds many other ossuaries.

In 2007 a documentary prepared by two gentlemen, namely Jacobovici and Cameron, was aired on TV and caused a great deal of debate on the part of Christians and non-Christians alike. In short the TV program maintained that Jesus and his family were buried in the Talpiot Tomb, based on the names inscribed on the side of the ossuaries. One scenario laid out by some non- believers which is totally contrary to what the Christian scriptures say, is as follows. After Jesus died he was placed in a tomb. At night Jesus was removed by his followers and taken to the family tomb. This would have been the Talpiot family tomb. Jesus body would have been left there for his flesh to decay. After a year disciples and followers returned and placed his bones in an ossuary.

The names on the ossuaries were, ‘Jesus?,son of Joseph’; Mariamne Mara’; ‘Maria’; ‘Matia’;’ Judah, son of Jesus’ and ‘Joseh’.Some archaeologists and other experts have opinions that differ from those who produced the TV documentary, and some of their differing views are briefly stated in the paragraphs below.

The names that appear on the ossuaries don’t prove much because the names were very common at the time of Jesus. An ossuary inscribed ‘Jesus son of Joseph’ had been found elsewhere before.  One expert has said that the inscription ‘Jesus’ is not clearly inscribed and could read ‘Hanun’and not ‘Jesus’. That being the case it would negate everything believed about the Jesus family tomb.

Jesus’ family lived in Nazareth and if they were to have a family tomb it would not likely have been in the Talipot area.

A DNA test was conducted with what little material remained in the ossuaries which belonged to ‘Jesus’and ‘Mariamne Mara’ (Marymagdalene ?). The test showed they were not genetically related, so gave rise to the idea that they  were married and had a son named Judas. That, of course, is a very questionable assumption. Furthermore, Judas would have been an unlikely choice for a son’s name given that it was the name of the disciple that betrayed Jesus.

There is some disagreement about the name and meaning of ‘Mariamne Mara’. One observer suggested that perhaps there were two ladies in one ossuary.

The name ‘Matia’ translated is Mathew. Jesus had brothers and sisters, mentioned in the bible, but a sibling named Mathew is not to be found. If he was not a relative then how did he end up in the family tomb?

What about the ossuaries that had no inscribed names? Furthermore, what about the skeletons and crushed bones that were not in ossuaries but found elsewhere in the tomb? Who were they and how did they get there? If all the bones in ossuaries and those not in ossuaries had been tested for DNA then the question about the tomb being a family tomb would have been resolved. However, it still would not have proven that the tomb belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth.

One report stated that there was a substantial amount of soil in the Talpiot Tomb. Also, there was evidence that the tomb had been entered by grave robbers so material likely was moved about. The tombs in the area in question have been there for many hundreds of years, so there was ample time for tombs to be vandalized. This makes coming to a valid conclusion, about the Talipot ossuaries, based on science, virtually impossible. However, there is another source of information which is different and reliable and provided by eyewitnesses.

It is important to understand that the body of Jesus of Nazareth was not stolen and hidden away to deceive anyone. The scriptures say that God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believed on him could have eternal life.( John 3:16).While Jesus was on our earth, even during his death of three days, he was under the care of God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Also, the scriptures say that angels were present at his tomb. In addition, Pilate gave instructions that guards be stationed at the tomb. Jesus’ resurrection was a physical resurrection, not just a spiritual one as some have argued. Jesus was resurrected and seen by many people.

Mary Magdalene went to the tomb on Sunday morning and found the tomb empty. An angel was there and explained to her what had taken place. Among several sightings were two women returning from the tomb, (Mathew 28:9-10): two disciples on the road to Emmaus,(Luke 14:13-32);  Peter in Jerusalem, (Luke 24:34) ;  disciples and followers in a locked room in Jerusalem, (John 20:19-23) ; seen by 500 believers at one time, (1 Corinthians 15:16) ; Finally, he walked with his disciples and ascended into heaven.

The above may be hard to believe if you deny the existence of anything incorporeal. However, God does exist. That’s how we got here. We’re not here by accident. We will never fully understand how the universe, all the planets, and our earth came to be, but we need to give credence to the the idea that God exists and loves us as shown by the death of his son.

Jesus said, ” I came that you might have life and have it abundantly”.  (and that would include eternal life).(John 10-10).

Archaeology is an interesting study, but its not possible to ever have contained Jesus in an ossuary. In Revelation 1:17-18, Jesus speaking says, “….Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore…. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death”.

“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day, according to the scriptures”. ( 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Start a dialogue with Him. Talk to Him. Ask Him to forgive your sins, and make Him a friend and Lord of your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Jesus Myth Part Three Archeology

Archeology is providing information that Jesus of Nazareth was not and is not a myth, but walked our planet some 2000 years ago for about 33 years, died and was resurrected.

The blog of August 28, 2015 addressed the issue of whether Jesus was a ‘copycat’ version of some other so called deity of the past. The October 29, 2015 blog noted what historians from the past recorded about him.

The bottom line for all the blogs is to answer the question, is there a God? In order to determine a valid conclusion one needs to look at all the evidence. As was mentioned in a previous blog, Satan, going back to the distant past, rebelled which had very negative ramifications for all life on earth. As humans we were not and are not exempted. However, we know from scripture that Jesus came to address the evil that came from Satan’s actions.

Palestine in Jesus’ time had a population of about a half million. The average life span reportedly was only about 40 years and many children died at an early age. The scriptures tell us that droves of people followed Jesus to receive help. Medical knowledge was minimal so there was a great deal of suffering.

Jesus healed the sick and the demonized wherever he went. There were others with the name Jesus, but it was only Jesus of Nazareth who could bring relief for the suffering, die, be resurrected, and provide redemption for all mankind. If Jesus had died and not been resurrected he would be considered to be just another philosopher, mentioned briefly in University introductory philosophy courses. However, he was God in the flesh and is alive. This is difficult for non-believers to grasp because of the belief that nothing incorporeal exists.

History tells us that after Jesus’ resurrection he told his followers to go and preach the good news everywhere. In addition there were times when Christians were persecuted and many martyred. Many moved on to other locations. At first Christians worshipped in their homes. As their numbers grew they built small churches where they could meet and worship. Archeologists are finding some of the churches from early Christian times. Over time these churches disintegrated and often destroyed by invading armies. Jerusalem, for example, although not a minor centre, has been overrun by seven different armies and usually rebuilt.

Recently, an ancient church has been unearthed in Jordan. If you enter into your computer, World”s Oldest Christian Church, Jordan, you can view the floor mosaic laid down in about 230 CE. A dedicatory phrase was found that reads, ‘to God Jesus Christ’. According to current information at least 40 such ancient churches have been discovered. The early Christians knew that information passed down to them by previous Christians was reliable, because miracles were still happening as they did in Jesus time and as they did in the time of the apostles. All the early churches being discovered today are evidence that Jesus was not a myth.

With Constantine as Roman Emporer (306-337) the Christian faith was tolerated and larger churches became more common. Enter, ‘Constantine and Churches’, and you can view the larger churches of that time.

As churches were established in the early years of Christianity, church leaders wrote letters as there was no bible as we know it today. The letters were written on papyrus, a plant material, or on parchment made from animal skins and formed into a scroll. All the originals, it seems, are lost, but early copies have been found.

In 1934 an Oxford Scholar, while sorting through unpublished papyrus belonging to the John Rylands library recognized a fragment in Greek containing part of four lines from the gospel of John 18:37-38. The fragment, among other items, had been found by a farmer in a town along the Nile River in Egypt. Scholars have dated it to be from about the beginning of the second century. Since it is a copy of an original, the original very likely was written by John, an eye witness of Jesus. There is no evidence from this piece of archeology that Jesus was a myth.

An author, Josh Mcdowell, in his book, ‘Undaunted’, tells he was an atheist and was going to prove Christianity was a sham. He went to Europe to talk to scholars to get the information he needed. He also went to the John Ryland museum and there he saw the fragment mentioned in the above paragraph. The fragment when matched with our modern bible said in part, with Jesus speaking, “I have come into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice….and (Pilate) going again to the people said to them, “I find no fault in him”. (John 18:37-38).

The fragment mentioned above is on display in the John Rylands University Museum. You can see it by entering into your search engine: John Rylands University Library, Papyrus P52.

Jesus said, “I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6:38)

Jesus speaking said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”. (Luke !9:10)

Archeology is one indicator, among others, that Jesus is not a myth. He is looking for you and if you look for him he will become your friend.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Jesus Myth Part Two

This blog continues to address the question of whether Jesus is a myth, as some philosophers would want one to believe. For the benefit of those who are readers for the first time, some information will be reviewed from the blogs of July and August, 2014.

A Roman historian, Cornelius Tacitus, in his writing speaks of  “Christus” who suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius and Pontius Pilate.  (The Annals, Book 15:440).  There is no reason for him to have made up a story about Jesus if Jesus didn’t exist. Jesus was not and is not a myth. Also, Jesus and Pontius Pilate are mentioned in the bible in the book of Luke. The scriptures are historically reliable.

Pliny the Younger, in about AD 112, wrote a letter to Emporer Trojan asking how he should deal with followers of Jesus who met before daylight and sang verses as a hymn to Christ, as a god. (Wikipedia:Pliny the Younger; Epistle Concerning the Christian Religion).  This request for advice, by Pliny the Younger, was after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The christians knew exactly who they were worshipping. Pliny and the Emporer, one can be certain, also knew who Jesus was. Between the death and resurrection of Jesus and the rule of Trojan was only about 100 years.  During that time period christians were martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ.

Josephus (b.37-d.100) attested Jesus existence when he wrote ,”Now there was about this time Jesus…. he was a doer of wonderful works”. ( Josephus, ‘Antiquities of the Jews’, Book 18, 3:3)  Josephus is considered a reliable historian and provides information that Jesus did exist.

Suetonius (A.D. 69-122) wrote in his publication, ‘Lives of the Caesars’,  “Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.”   Obviously, since Christians were being punished for their faith in Jesus this provides proof that Jesus existed. They would not have been prepared to become martyrs if they considered Jesus a myth.

Lucian of Samatosa (AD 115-200) a second century writer, mentioned Jesus as a man people worshipped and that he was crucified in Palestine because he introduced a new cult into the world. Lucian did not speak positively of Jesus but it does show that he existed. ‘Life and Writings of Lucian of Samatosa’,  by W. Tooke.

Justin Martyr (100-160) states in,  ‘Dialogue with Trypho’ , that John, one of the apostles was an eye witness of Jesus.

Polycarp, (69-150? A.D) an early church father knew the apostle John and said that he was a disciple of Jesus. It is generally held that John was banished to the Isle of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation. He was eventually allowed to leave the island and became a Christian leader at Ephesus.

Irenaeus, (A.D. 130-200)  provided further information and said  that Polycarp had personal contact with the apostle John and with others who had seen Jesus. (Eusebius V.XX).  Also see on the internet, ‘The Historicity of Jesus Christ’,  W. Jackson.

Polycarp and the christian martyrs before him believed that Jesus was God in the flesh, was crucified, died and resurrected. There is recorded an interesting verbal interchange between the Roman proconsul and Polycarp who was about to be martyred. The proconsul kept threatening Polycarp what he could do to him if he didn’t renounce his christian faith. Polycarp replied saying, “Eighty and six years have I served him and he never once wronged me; how then shall I blaspheme my King who has saved me ?’.  After a further short verbal exchange he was taken to a stake and burned before all the people in the Stadium. ( pp, 25-26, ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’, Spire Edition, 1998.)

The Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, (Jewish Scriptures) say that on the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged which means he was crucified. The christian scriptures also use the word “hanged”,in Galations 3:13. It has the same meaning in this case as the word “crucified”.

The catacombs in Rome give witness to the existence of Jesus of Nazareth and the christian faith. During Roman times many people were buried in underground corridors. Many of these were of the christian faith as shown by their “art work”. This art work reflected their understanding and faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross and by his resurrection. If you enter,  ‘Christian Artwork in Roman Catacombs’, on your computer you will be taken to this material.

In Revelation 1;18 John quotes Jesus who said, “I am he who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore,…. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

In John 11-25, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live”.

The christians buried in the catacombs left a witness, through their art, that their spirit/soul went to heaven when they died. They further believed that in the future they would experience a resurrection.

Jesus is not a myth, and has made a way for us to receive forgiveness. All one has to do is ask.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Deity Myths Part One

Much has been written to prove that Jesus never existed, that he was nothing more than a “myth” from the past. Furthermore, many argue that he was just a “copy cat” version of other gods and any facts about him can be found in other ancient and present day religions.

The individuals who are convinced that Jesus is just a myth would be pleased, perhaps, if it were true, because it would be a step closer to prove that there is no God. However, it is crucial to look at the facts to evaluate the evidence.

What becomes obvious as one studies the ancient religions is that none seem to end up with only one god. The gods seem to have been created by the active minds of persuasive people, and so more gods were generated to suit their culture as time progressed. Many of the gods were personified and became images and objects of worship. Statues of many gods were formed. For example, in Egypt the god Khnum took on the form of a statue. The god Horus took on the form of a sculpted hawk. Later in time, in the Greco-Roman mystery religions, numerous gods also were worshipped. Some of these gods were Bacchus, Ceres, Mithra, Zeus etc.. What needs to be noted here is that none of these gods ever existed in flesh and bone form. They were fictional, lifeless, supposed gods. They had no spiritual components that could positively affect the lives of people who worshiped them. These non existent gods may have had an emotional impact on worshipers but had nothing to offer of long term spiritual value. Whatever spiritual nature they might have had would have been negative and the type described in my posts of May 26, 2014 and June 22, 2014. Almost all the gods of  past civilizations were myths, except Jesus Christ. They provided no spiritual benefits then and they provide no spiritual benefits now.

Some of the myths mentioned above still seem to be important to some people today. Freemasonry places value on gods of the past such as Venus, Isis, Bacchus, Ceres and Mithra. A brief laudable overview of Masonry beliefs and practices can be found in the book,  ‘The Gods of the Lodge’, by Reginald C. Haupt, JR.

The “copy cat” issue is an important one because non believers argue that there is no significant difference between Jesus and other deities and so he too was a myth. They hold that aspects about Jesus were taken from other deities and applied to him. Scholars have researched this claim and found that it is erroneous. The scholars went to the original texts of the religions in question and found that most similarities claimed did not exist.One could guess that later writers assumed this would not ever be checked out so information was added to the later texts. To find the details for this research on your computer enter, “Investigating the Similarities between Jesus and Pagan Figures,  The Divine Evidence’.

Jesus was not some kind of mythical copy cat version of some other small gods. The scriptures say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…and the Word was God…All things were made by him… And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1, 3, 14)

Jesus said…” I AM the bread of life…the living bread which came down from heaven”. (John 6:35, 51)  Two thousand years ago Jesus came as God in the flesh, was crucified, resurrected and now offers salvation. All other gods are insignificant and are of no help when our life is over.

You can talk to Jesus from anywhere and he will hear you. Perhaps you live in a busy city or perhaps you live where there are few people. Talk to him and he will hear you. Ask him to come into your heart and be your savior, Lord and friend. Millions upon millions have found him to be that and that he is not a myth.

 

 

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Moral Evil

This post is about moral evil and follows the previous post about natural evil.

Moral evil is the result of an agent who has the capability to create harm, pain and suffering. We are all familiar with the pain, physical and/or emotional that others may have caused us.  On a larger scale we know of the many dictators who caused unbelievable suffering and death to millions. Probably most of these dictators did not believe that there was a God taking note of what havoc they were creating.

Both atheists and theists can agree that moral evil exists but differ in their belief on what causes it. Both see our human condition and all the problems that can be caused by wrong thinking. Education and counselling ,of course, is available that can hopefully lessen harm to self and to others. However, there is one major difference between the belief systems of atheism and theism.

The problem with the atheistic perspective, about moral evil, is that it does not allow for incorporeal existence of any kind. No Supreme Being, no evil spiritual beings or benevolent ones. Those who hold this belief have not gone to where the evidence is. This evidence was clearly laid out in a previous post or two. Just as it is impossible to prove that God does not exist, so it is impossible to prove that incorporeal beings do not exist. Those holding to atheism need to do the research and go where the evidence leads. Avoiding information that is available is hardly scientific.

One reliable source of information about the beginning of moral evil is given in the Christian scriptures. Much has been said about Adam and Eve and the error they made in the Garden of Eden, but to understand the source of moral evil one needs to go back in time, presumably before their appearance.

Lucifer, later called Satan, was created the most beautiful and powerful angel. This resulted in arrogance and to his downfall as quoted below.

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens. I will raise my throne to above the stars of God….”(Isaiah 14:13).

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth”. (Isaiah 14:12).

According to Revelation 12:9 there was a war in heaven, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceives the whole world, he was cast out to the earth and his angels were cast out with him”.

Now that Satan and his angel followers were turfed out of heaven and have access to our earth, what is their goal? Jesus as quoted in John 10:10, said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”. Further the scriptures say, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

It would seem, based on scripture, that certainly some moral evil is due to the influence of the evil one and his evil followers. One need only observe current events to see that something evil is transpiring caused by what Jesus explained, as quoted in John 10:10 above.

Jesus in John 10:10 is also quoted as saying, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly “. This Jesus can do because of his death on the cross and his resurrection.

In the Lords Prayer there is a portion that says, “deliver us from evil”. Some translations say, “deliver us from the evil one”.

God can forgive us and deliver us if we ask him to! Do research and follow where the evidence takes you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Natural Evil

A great deal of debate by philosophers and theologians has taken place about the topic of evil.

Different viewpoints have been expressed determined by whether there is the belief that God exists. All agree that there are two basic types of  evil namely, natural and moral. This post will address the issue of natural evil and the next moral evil.

Anyone who pays attention to the news media soon realizes that there are frequent natural catastrophes happening in the world, some major and some minor, all of them causing suffering and pain. Such catastrophic events have a long history. For example, ten million died in India in 1769 because of a famine. On million starved in Ireland in 1845. A 1887 flood in China caused a million deaths. We all know about the big earthquake which caused great damage to SanFrancisco in more recent times. In addition, of course, are the more personal catastrophes that can happen to us. Over time, as knowledge has increased, we have learned to control the environment around us to some extent, but it seems the big natural disasters are and will be beyond our reach. Certainly these kind of natural evil events will continue until the Creator brings about  a change.

The universe is massive, but our immediate concern is our solar system of which we are a part. As the earth, revolves and orbits, hurdling through space, it follows natural laws. In doing so, seasons come and go with concomitant movement of air masses that can create hurricanes, tornadoes etc. which cause so much pain and suffering. Another example, paramount in our existence, is the force of gravity. It keeps our solar system in place but can also give rise to pain and suffering as in earthquakes, causing buildings to fall to the earth and destroy anything and anyone beneath. However, without gravity our earth and   the rest of the solar system would have been flung into outer space and we would not exist.

The big question then is how is one to view these natural evil disasters?  From an atheistic viewpoint, as best I can determine, the perspective is you do the best you can for yourself and for others and when you expire its over, forever. The first part is realistic and laudable, but the “forever” portion is questionable because there is no proof that God does not exist. More about this towards the end of this post.

The scriptures say, “God saw all that he had made and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). From God’s perspective, at that point in time, he was pleased with what he had done. However, there were some negative aspects that will someday be done away with.

Paul in the scriptures is quoted as saying, “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). He was quite aware of this given he almost drowned in a shipwreck and when he did reach land he was bitten by a snake.

 

John, a prisoner on the small island of Patmos, had a vision recorded in Revelation 21:1 which says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away….”  The creation of a new heaven and a new earth can only happen if there is a God to do it. He is the only one that can create a world without natural evil. This, will happen sometime in the future, beyond our lifetime, so it is important that we get to know him now and accept the salvation he provided for us by dying on the cross.

A philosopher that readers may want to become familiar with is Anthony Flew. Flew was a predominant atheist philosopher following the Second World War. In 2007 he published a book,  ‘There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed his Mind’

Thanks for visiting.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Easter

Easter is not of equal importance to all people. For those who hold to atheism, agnosticism or humanism it may be just a holiday. For christians, all over the world, it is a time to remember Jesus’ victory over death and a means to have our sins absolved and a guarantee of life with him in the future. Jesus’ resurrection is proof that God exists and loves his creation.

Most everyone is familiar with what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Just as an aside, historians think that the Garden of Eden was situated in what is today Iraq. The apostle Paul said,  Romans 5:12,  sin entered our world by Adam and Eve not following the instructions given by God. If taken literally it was a serpent that mislead them. In any case the serpent was evil, a concept they did not understand. The scriptures relate in Ezekiel, how Lucifer, a long time ago, became arrogant and was turfed out of heaven onto the earth and became Satan. Adam and Eve, God’s creation, one can be sure, were Satan’s prized targets. Some readers at this point may wonder about the question of Adam and Eve versus early man. This will not be pursued now. The main stress here is that evil exists due to the actions of Satan. The posts of May 2014 and June 2014 have some related information.

Because Adam and Eve failed to follow God’s instructions they sinned. The result of this was and still is, that everyone is subject to both physical and spiritual death. Satan and his angels, now evil, do their best to destroy humans. Satan does not like humans, so tries his best to prevent people from accepting God’s forgiveness.

Adam and Eve having broken God’s law and having been mislead by Satan, created a situation that needed addressing. What they did was a serious matter. The scripture in Hebrews 9:22, explains God’s perspective about sin, where it states, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins,”. God for Old Testament times established a procedure to follow to receive forgiveness by sacrificing animals.

The shedding of blood was an extreme action which was a strong reminder that sin had serious consequences. It spoke of life and death. Easter was in the distant future but for a time it was a way of receiving forgiveness. Some may wonder whether God was pleased with all the sacrifices. He wasn’t. Isaiah 1;11 records God’s perspective when he said, “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well- fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats”. These sacrifices would have continued indefinitely but God had another plan. He knew there would be an Easter in the future.

The Godhead, namely, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit implemented a plan that would provide a permanent means of forgiveness for all humanity. John 3;16 explains the plan. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed on him would not perish but have everlasting life”. God’s son, Jesus, would come to earth and become a sacrifice so that all people for all time could receive forgiveness, if they asked for it. Jesus was the “Son of God”. The sacrifice of a mere man or an angel would not have been adequate to provide forgiveness. The death of Jesus, the Son of God, as deity, meant that the blood of deity was shed and always available to do away with our sins. This forgiveness is available to us today no matter who we are or where we are. It doesn’t matter if one is currently perhaps espousing theism, agnosticism, atheism, humanism, or some other belief system, Jesus died and was raised from the dead to provide forgiveness for everyone if it is accepted.

A simple model prayer might be, “Father God, I believe Jesus died on the cross for me and I ask that you forgive me for all my sins. I believe you raised Jesus from the dead and I receive Him now as my personal savior and friend.

Talk to God in your own words too, and invite ‘Jesus into your heart’.

Always remember that Easter tells us that a great miracle happened about 2000 years ago. Jesus died and rose from the dead, so we can have forgiveness now and when we die we will be with him for all eternity. If you accept him he will never leave or forsake you!

Thanks for visiting.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Miracles Today Part Two

This post continues to address the question whether God works miracles today outside what is termed ‘natural laws’.

As one who has had an interest in the topic of miracles for many years, I have followed the evidence which has led me to conclude that God does indeed work miracles today. Check back to the last post for data that proves that this does happen. For more proof that God works healing miracles today refer to,  ‘The International Order of St. Luke the Physician’, with the main office in San Antonio, Texas, and with branch offices in several locations in North America. They publish a magazine, ‘Sharing, A Journal of Christian Healing’.

In researching the topic of miracles/healing over the years it has become apparent that those who have experienced a healing don’t go rushing to the local news media looking for a spot on the evening newscast. Rather than make a big issue out of their experience they quietly go on living their lives.

An interesting aspect of whether miracles can happen today is that some christian denominations hold to the belief that that’s not for today, it’s not valid in our modern times. This flawed belief is because they give a questionable interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:8. There Paul lists some manifestations in the church of his time and states that these would stop in the future. However, if you read carefully, the word ‘miracle’ and ‘healing’ does not appear in the list, so in other words it is reasonable to believe that miracles can still occur today. After Jesus’ resurrection, he told his followers to go and tell people what he accomplished on the cross and to heal the sick. There was no suggestion that that was to cease.

Even though there is ample evidence that physical miracles occur today, and you can find them if you look for them, does not mean that they are common place. Just because not everyone who asks God for a miracle gets one, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about them. Further, if one receives God’s intervention once, does not mean that such a person will not need medical attention in the future. The point of this post is to simply show that miracles do happen and it only takes relatively few to provide evidence that God exists and cares about us.

From our human perspective, a perhaps negative aspect of our existence is that eventually some negative physical illness will cause us to pass from this earthly scene. Until that time we get help from what medical science has to offer and in some cases God might intervene with a miracle. Scripture states, and miracles provide evidence, that a supreme being exists, and is benevolent, so I think it prudent to establish a positive connection with him.

Luke 18 tells of a tax collector who wouldn’t even look up to heaven but beat his chest and said, “God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Jesus speaking said, “I tell you that this man… went home justified before God.” That is the kind of attitude and the kind of words, in your own words, that can begin a relationship with God you never had before.

Remember, Jesus as God, exists, is alive, and still works miracles today.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Christmas

When this post is read Christmas and New Years might be past and only memories remain. Depending on circumstances, for some people the memories will be positive and for others sad. Christmas may be gone but life moves on. Perhaps some observations about Christmas and what it has meant for some people in the past and what it means now might be beneficial.

The Ancient Romans worshipped many and various gods. Many of the gods and goddesses were those worshipped prior by the Greeks. Gods worshipped in countries they conquered were also accepted into their culture. They virtually had a god for every aspect of their life. At one point in their history they worshipped the sun. They recognized their dependence on the sun’s yearly course in the heavens. The emporer Aurelian (214-275 AD) built a large temple dedicated to the ‘Unconquerable Sun’. He decided the sun would receive special attention on December 25. Also, it was the winter solstice and the last day of the Saturnalia which concluded with a week of celebration. Bonfires were built with the belief that this would energize the sun for another year.

Going back in time, almost 1000 years before the time of the emporer Aurelian, the birth of Jesus was predicted by God. Speaking through Isaiah he said, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin will conceive and bear a son and call his name Immanuel, (Isaiah 7;14). The word Immanuel means “God with us”. The birth of Jesus is recorded in Luke chapter 2.

The prophecy in Micah 5:2 says, “But you Bethlehem …. out of you shall come forth to Me the One …. Whose goings forth are from old, From everlasting”. This prophecy, some 600 years before the birth of Jesus, tells where he would be born and the word “everlasting” indicates that he was God.

That Mary gave birth to Jesus was a miracle, worked by God the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Mathew 1:18, ” ….she was found with child of the Holy Spirit”. God here set aside a natural law and worked a miracle. This miracle would impact the world forever.

As stated previously, the Romans had a major celebration on December 25. However, for certain Jesus was not born on December 25. Where Bethlehem is located December is wet and cold and probably the animals would not have been in the fields. Also, the shepherds would not have been in the fields to hear and see the angel of the Lord and the other angels. It is likely then that Jesus was born during a warmer time of the year. Further, The World Book Encyclopedia and historians state that the exact date of Jesus’ birth is uncertain.

Christianity, of course, started after Jesus’ crucifixion and christians were severely persecuted. The scriptures and the church did not call for any celebrations related to the birth of Jesus. This, however, slowly changed when the emporer Constantine claimed conversion to Christianity and in the Edict of Milan decreed that there be more tolerance for the Christian faith in the empire. Even though persecutions decreased people were slow in accepting Christianity. As a result the church in Rome decided to celebrate Jesus birth during the winter solstice to coincide with the Roman celebrations and attempt to christianize the celebrations. This, however, did not bring about a significant change. The Romans mostly continued their celebrations as before. Eventually the church of that time, during the fourth century, approved December 25 as the day to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Rightly or wrongly that’s the way it is today.

This has been a bit of history about Christmas. It’s not all important to know the exact date of Jesus’ birth, but it is important to understand that he came as was predicted by the Old Testament prophets quoted above. Jesus came, born as a man, so that later he could offer his life to provide forgiveness for our sins.

Every person, daily, is in a different situation and a different place. God is omnipresent so he knows where you are and all about you and he wants to establish a relationship with you. Talk to him and ask him, in your own words, to come into your life.

Jesus said, spiritually speaking, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Jesus also said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mathew 11:28).

God superseded natural laws to bring about Jesus’ birth, and some 30 years later his death and resurrection, because he cares for us.

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Past Miracles

Writings from the past record that miracles happened. This provides proof that there exists a Supreme Being who can function outside natural laws and do as he wishes. It also shows that this Being cares about us.

Some happenings may be miraculous but difficult to verify because of the incorporeal elements involved. In this post some emphasis will be on corporeal, on physical events that were experienced and/or observed.

However, the the main point of this post is not to concentrate primarily on just miracles, but to pursue the question whether God exists and does he concern himself with humans. That is the all important question.

Moses was born about 1393 BC and grew up as an Egyptian prince. The bible says he killed an Egyptian and in fear fled for his life and as a result became a shepherd for a while. Obviously, Moses did not always lead an exemplary life. The Hebrews at that time were worshipping other gods and Moses probably was doing the same. To get his attention God (Jehovah) created a burning bush which he, Moses, went to see. In the course of a short conversation with God Moses in effect asked who he was talking with. The answer was, “I AM Who I AM” . Because of this miracle burning bush Moses became a theist who worshipped only Jehovah. At a later point in Moses’ life, Miriam, his sister in-law, became leprous. Moses prayed for her and she was healed. (Numbers 12:13)

Naaman, in the Old Testament, an army commander suffered from leprosy but was healed.(2 kings 5:1-14).  Job of the Old Testament suffered from a severe skin condition. He said, “My skin turns black on me and my bones burn with fever. (Job 30 : 30).  Job 42:10-17, says he was healed of his affliction. In these situations and all other Old Testament miracles, Jehovah, God, was the source of the miracles.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Jesus came to earth born as a man some 2000 years ago. At about age 30, before his crucifixion, he healed many people. The scriptures say he healed many more than those mentioned in the Gospels. Jesus sent out his disciples to teach the gospel and to heal the sick.(Luke 10:9).  The disciples came back and said, “Even the devils are subject to us through your name”.(Luke 10:9).  The book of Acts written after the crucifixion states that Jesus’ followers prayed for those with physical ailments.(Acts 3:6-8).  All these things were happening because God cared about the people and their suffering. Christianity spread as followers of Jesus spoke of their faith. Many were martyred as a result.

Moving on, one comes to what is called the Early Church Fathers. This takes in the years from about 100 AD to 600 AD. These individuals lived in troubled times and a few were killed for their faith. A good number of them recorded what was happening in their time, including information about miracles. Even though they were leaders in the early church, their writings are not mentioned much in the churches of today. Several will be mentioned below regarding miracles.

Justin Martyr (100-165) was originally a philosopher who for a time embraced the teaching of Socrates and Plato. He later became a christian and wrote of men who, “… have healed and do heal”. He was killed for his faith during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.

Irenaeus (120-200) wrote, “others again heal the sick by laying hands on them and they are made whole”.  This he said was done by calling upon the “…name of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

Tertullian (155-220) converted to Christianity about 190-195. Writing in 211 he makes reference to a number of sick healed by Christians.

Origen (185-253) said  “not a few cures are brought about in the name of Jesus”.

Augustine (354-430) witnessed numerous miracles as recorded in his books,  ‘City of God’  and  ‘Retractions’. Augustine doubted that miracles occurred in his day but changed his thinking when in fact miracles occurred that he could substantiate.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1190 – 1153) spoke of miracles as did Martin Luther (1483-1546).

Mentioned above are some individuals, from the past, who witnessed miracles that God worked in the lives of people they knew. In their minds they were convinced that God had done the miracles. Does God work miracles in our modern times? The answer apparently is affirmative and will be discussed in a future post.

Underlying the miracles that God performs is his intent to indicate to people that he cares about them, both their physical well-being and more importantly about their spiritual well being, namely their souls. God wants you to establish a relationship with him and he with you.

Romans 10:9 says, ‘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’.

1 John 4:15-16 states, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us ….”

Thanks for visiting.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Agnostic To Theist

This post will relate the story of an agnostic lady who became a Christian and believed in Jesus and his ability to do miracles.

Emily Gardiner Neale was not raised in a religious environment, but as time progressed evidence caused her to change her belief. She said in her book,  A Reporter Finds God, ” I came to scoff but remained to pray”. The emphasis in this post is not meant to be so much about miracles but about the question whether God exists and does he care about us.

Ms. Neale was a journalist during World War Two. After the war she wrote articles which were carried by periodicals such as, Look, Redbook, McCalls, Woman’s Day and Readers Digest. However, her writing was to change to a new emphasis.

In her book,  The Reluctant Healer, One Woman’s Journey of Faith, she says that her neighbor asked for a ride to a local Episcopal church. The neighbor explained that his wife was in the hospital with their sick daughter and he wanted to go to the church to request prayer for the daughter. She provided the ride to the church and was invited to stay for the church service which she reluctantly did.

After a hymn and a prayer the minister explained that Jesus told his disciples to spread the gospel and that healing was part of the gospel. Ms. Neale says, “I was far from sure that he was the Son of God, and I had never pretended to believe in the so-called miracles of his earthly ministry”. (p. 13  Reluctant  Healer).

The minister asked those who sought healing to come to the front for prayer. A lady next to Ms. Neale with a swollen neck went to the front. When she returned the swelling was gone. A young boy, with a mass of warts on his hands, went to the front for prayer, returned and all the warts were gone. Neale says, “I had the uncanny feeling that all this was a dream or I was loosing my mind”. Originally, before this, she had thought of writing an article to show that claims of healing were not true.

She decided to visit other churches where prayer was offered for those with health issues and found that people were being helped. She continued her research and spoke to clergy, families and physicians. In time she accepted the Christian faith and prayed for others. She lead weekly healing services for 10 years at Calvary Church in Pittsburg. She later moved to Cincinnati where she also conducted weekly services. Neale wrote several books about her spiritual journey and answers many question that non believers undoubtedly have. Her books may be available in libraries and used books available on the internet.

David Hume (1711 – 1776) was a prominent philosopher who wrote against miracles. Many today still hold to his reasoning. From his perspective a miracle is impossible because it would be a violation of the laws of nature, which never change, so for him there never could be a first miracle. Clearly from what Neale experienced, there is a God who operates under laws which supersede the laws of nature. Hume also argued that if someone gave testimony of a miracle it would not be believable because a miracle has never happened.

It would have been an interesting event to see Hume and Neale at the same healing service. What would his reaction have been to see the boy with the warts on his hands, before and after prayer. What would Hume’s testimony have been? How would he have explained what he saw? Would he have believed his own testimony ?

The purpose of healing miracles in the past and in the present, was and is, to get our attention to think about God. In past posts it has been explained that Jesus existed and was deity. Also, he died and resurrected so he is qualified to deal with our sin issues. No matter where you are or who you are, you can talk to him. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. (Mathew 11:28).

Thanks for visiting.

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity Jesus’ History Part Three Resurrection Atheism Denial

The resurrection of Jesus has been denied by those espousing atheism since he died 2000 years ago.

One of the main reasons for denying the resurrection is the belief that there is no God. Connected to this stance is the belief that there are no living incorporeal beings. This was discussed in the posts about minor gods.

Below are some of the arguments against the resurrection as stated by non believers.

There are those who say Jesus was removed from his tomb and taken to another location so a resurrection could be claimed. This argument however is not valid. The chief priests and the Pharisees knowing that Jesus had said he would be resurrected in three days and that the disciples might remove his body, asked Pilate to secure the tomb. Pilate then ordered the tomb sealed and guarded by soldiers. As related in the scriptures, Jesus was resurrected while the soldiers were at the tomb and so they knew they were in trouble. They went to the chief priests and the priests paid them to lie and say the disciples came and stole him away while they slept. See Mathew, chapter 28. The basic fact here is that Jesus resurrected and has been alive ever since, as is recorded in many places in the New Testament.

Another argument, to try to deny the resurrection, is that Jesus did not really die on the cross but survived the crucifixion and the tomb. This, of course, is fiction. Before releasing Jesus body, Pilate wanted to know whether Jesus was dead. A Roman soldier, to be sure of Jesus death, thrust a spear into his side. Then he was released to Joseph of Arimathea who with Nicodemus prepared his body for burial. See John, chapter 19.  Another pertinent fact is that the Romans were experts at crucifying people so it is doubtful that anyone ever got off a cross alive.

Someone has argued that Marymagdalene and the other Mary and later Peter and John, on the first day of the week, meant to go to Jesus tomb but in fact by mistake went to another tomb that was empty and thought Jesus had resurrected. There was no mistake.When Joseph of Arimathea placed Jesus body in the tomb Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting in front of the tomb. So, on the first day of the week they for sure knew where the correct tomb was. Also, the angel appeared at the tomb and one can be sure no mistake was made by the angel See Mathew chapter 27 and 28.

A further issue raised is that Jesus had a twin sibling, and someone else suggested  a brother, and in both cases when Jesus died they got into the act by playing the role of Jesus. My guess would be that that would be impossible given that they were not deity as Jesus claimed to be before his death and was seen to be after his resurrection and ascension.

Finally, there is an opinion that the many sightings of Jesus after his resurrection were due to hallucinations. These sightings, according to scripture, were more than 500. See 1 Corinthians 15:6. How 500 plus people would all hallucinate, the same way, about the same person, at the same time, and at various times, is inexplicable and simply not so. There is no logical reason to believe that the people who saw Jesus were hallucinating or suffered from some mental malady.

All human individuals who founded a religion died and are somewhere permanently buried. The exception to this is Jesus of Nazareth who was resurrected three days after dying on the cross. There is no tomb and there is no dead body, because he is alive.

In reference to Jesus, scripture in Revelation 1:17-18 says,… “do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore….

A lot of changes occurred when Jesus was resurrected. For one, you can talk to him whenever you want. More about such topics in the posts ahead.

Thanks for visiting.

H…….

 

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Alberta Atheism Theism Miracles Deity and Jesus’ Pre-existence History Part two

Christian scriptures state that Jesus is deity and had a pre-existence before he came to earth.

In the last blog, secular history sources showed that Jesus was a real person who lived on our earth some 2000 years ago for about 33 years. Now we need to determine what scripture says about him and his existence before then.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  John 1:14 states, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”  John 1:3 says,  “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”  Isaiah 9:6 refers to Jesus as, “Everlasting Father.” The fact of Jesus’ pre-existence underscores his deity. (This does not rule out the question of creation, evolution, Big Bang etc. That is for another blog.)

There are many prophecies in the Old Testament that were addressed to the people of that time to try to get their attention and to do as God wanted them to . However, there also were prophecies given that reached into the future such as the coming of Jesus to our earth 2000 years ago.

There are some 300 prophecies given in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by the birth and life of Jesus. Some critics have argued that the New Testament writers wrote the New Testament in such a way, after Jesus was gone, to make it seem as if Jesus had fulfilled all the prophecies about him. This would suggest that the New Testament writers were deceptive and that, of course, is not correct. Also, it would further imply that Jesus was not deity, but an ordinary human.

One non believer has argued that there were many other religious figures with the name Jesus so how could one be sure which Jesus is relevant. The scriptures are clear that it is the one in the bible, namely, Jesus of Nazareth. Acts 4:10 says, “…let it be known to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” For the major part of Jesus’ life he lived in the town of Nazareth. As an aside, it should be noted that Peter in the above statement is talking about a miracle.

Some have claimed that perhaps Jesus was merely an individual who was familiar with the prophecies so he just went about fulfilling them. The following prophecies were given hundreds of years before Jesus was born and could not be fulfilled by anyone else. For example, Born of a virgin, Isaiah 7:14, Mathew 2:18-21;  Sold for 30 pieces of silver, Zachariah 11:12-13, Matthew 26:14-15;   Manner of death, Psalm 22:16-18, Mark 15:24;  Jesus resurrection, Psalm 16:10, Mark 16:6;  Born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:6. In any case, why would anyone else, other than Jesus, somehow try to pretend they were Jesus and get crucified. And for sure, such an individual would not have been raised from the dead. Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead by God because Jesus was deity and His son.

The question may occur to some, where was Jesus before he came to our planet? As deity he was waiting for the right time to come which he did. John 3:16 explains, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life’.

For more information about the prophecies pertinent to Jesus, you can go to the internet and enter,   ‘365 Messianic Prophecies’.  If you care to read any of these prophesies in total, a modern translation is a good idea. A lot of bible scholars, both believers and non believers, have studied the scriptures, and on a rare occasion may disagree on what a particular prophecy means. As a whole though, without question, the message is clear that Jesus Christ, as deity, came to our planet because he wanted to extricate us from our hopeless state.

In spite of the topics discussed in the various blogs, the main question has to remain the main question, and that is, is there a God and does he care about us? The scriptures as a whole carry the message that God cares. That is why history shows that Jesus, preexistent and deity, came to our earth to die on the cross.

Thanks for visiting.

 

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