The Great Mystery
The Great Mystery - By Jack Kinsella - https://www.raptureforums.com/jack-kinsella/the-great-mystery/
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1st Corinthians 15:53)
Throughout the New Testament, the word translated as ‘mystery’ comes from the Greek ‘musterion’ which literally means ‘secret’ or ‘hidden thing’. In our modern English, however, ‘mystery’ is understood in the Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmesian sense of the word.
Paul’s use of the word ‘mystery’ when describing the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:53 means a truth that had not yet been revealed.
Paul cannot be referring to the Second Coming of Christ; His return at the end of the Tribulation is one of the oldest prophecies recorded in Scripture.
Daniel 12:1-3; Zechariah 12:10; 14:4 all mention the 2nd Coming, and Jude quotes Enoch, the “seventh from Adam” who “prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints.” (Jude 1:14)
The Rapture, therefore, is a previously unrevealed secret, a ‘hidden thing’ of God previously unknown to men.
As the end of this present Age approaches, there are many Christians who are beginning to wonder if we might already be in the Tribulation now. We aren’t. I know that for sure. How? Well, I’m still here!
There are lots and lots of folks who think I am way out there for adhering to a pre-Tribulationist doctrine. (I know this to be true, also, because I get emails from them every time I comment on the Rapture, saying, “Kinsella, you’re way out there!”)
They’ll go on smugly (and endlessly), playing word games like ‘the word ‘Rapture’ isn’t even in the Bible’ as if that meant something. (Try and find the word ‘Bible’ in the Bible. Does its absence mean there’s no Bible?)
Or babble mindlessly about Margarent MacDonald and C.I. Schofield, before pronouncing Dispensationalism and a pre-Trib Rapture a modern-day ‘invented’ doctrine. I say ‘mindlessly’ because they don’t know what they are talking about — they are just quoting somebody else’s research as if it were the Gospel itself.
We have dealt with the Margaret MacDonald argument in previous Omega Letter reports, so we won’t address that particular ‘controversy’ here.
Instead of building the argument based on what the Bible doesn’t say about the Rapture, it is helpful to take a good close look at what it DOES tell us about the Rapture.
First, notice that the Rapture involves the movement of believers from the earth to Heaven:
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
The ‘dead in Christ’ rise first, those believers who are ‘alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds. The operative word here is ‘rise’.
At the Second Coming, the Lord returns WITH His saints;
“To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” (1st Thessalonians 3:13)
So the Rapture is not the same event as the Second Coming. Things that are different are NOT the same, and the Rapture and the Second Coming are clearly different.
What would be the point of Rapturing the Church then, anyway? The Lord returns to establish His kingdom on earth, so why pull out all the Christians? Who is He gonna rule?
“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right Hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:32-33)
If all the believers are raptured at the Second Coming, that would also include the Tribulation saints. Where would the believers in mortal bodies come from if they are raptured at the Second Coming? Who would be able to enter into Christ’s Kingdom?
Then there is Daniel’s 70 weeks. The Church was absent for the first sixty-nine weeks — the countdown was suspended at the Cross so the Church could be born. Daniel makes it clear that all 70 weeks are determined ‘upon Israel’.
Revelation 19:7-8 says, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
If the Bride is made ready to accompany Christ to the earth at the Second Coming, (while part of the bride is still on earth during the Tribulation) then how does the Bride (the church) also come with Christ at His Return?
There is the example of Enoch. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24) Not only does Enoch prefigure the Rapture, note that Enoch’s Rapture was pre-Flood, not mid-Flood, or post-Flood.
The Scriptures are plain, clear and concise on the topic of a pre-Tribulation Rapture — provided one interprets the Bible literally, instead of figuratively or symbolically.
While no man knows the day or the hour of the Rapture, the Second Coming can be accurately predicted, since Daniel tells us He returns exactly 1,290 days after the antichrist;
“opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Daniel 12:11)
The pre-Tribulation Rapture is often called the “Blessed Hope” by those who look for His return before the Tribulation begins. Those who believe the Church will go through the Tribulation sneeringly call it the ‘Great Escape’.
Don’t let anybody steal away your Blessed Hope:
“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1st Corinthians 15:16-19)
The Rapture happens before the Tribulation, which means that He is coming for us soon! Call it the Blessed Hope or the Great Escape, but He IS coming.
And given the current state of global affairs, it it can’t be much longer until we hear the trumpet. Maranatha!
Revelation 11: The temple and its place in the divine economy - By Mark Creech - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/revelation-11-the-temple-and-its-place-in-the-divine-economy.html
We currently live in an era when temples, church buildings and other religious edifices are mostly diminished in importance. We rightly understand God to be everywhere, and it isn’t necessary to go to a building to find Him.
Of course, the New Testament speaks of the Church as the Temple of God (Ephesians 2:20). However, one cannot read the Bible without noticing that the Temple, the building, is given a place of prominence in God’s economy.
There have been two Temples in the history of Israel. First, Solomon’s Temple was a matchless structure of beauty but was ultimately destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in approximately 590 B.C. Seventy years later, when the Babylonian captivity ended, Cyrus, the King of Persia, allowed some Jews to return to Jerusalem, and they built the Second Temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel around 520-515 B.C. Zerubbabel’s Temple was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, a Greco-Syrian Ruler who erected a statue of the god Zeus and sacrificed a pig on the altar. King Herod would later remodel and expand the Second Temple under Roman occupation. However, in 70 A.D., the Romans utterly destroyed it to put down rebellious Jewish factions.
In Revelation chapter 11, John is transported into the future to see another Temple. It must be another or a Third Temple, because the first Temple was long gone, and the Second Temple, the one of John’s day, had been destroyed 20 years before John gave his account. This is the only way to understand the passage unless one spiritualizes the Temple as a symbol of the Church, which leads to considerable confusion.
Here’s what John said:
“Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, ‘Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar and count the number of worshipers. But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months'” (Revelation 11: 1-2).
The text begs an important question: If temples or edifices dedicated to the worship of God are of little consequence, why would they have such a prominent place in past and future dispensations?
An executive order issued by North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper in 2020, during the height of the COVID pandemic, caused me to consider this question’s importance.
Governor Cooper’s executive order essentially closed church buildings. Outdoor church services were allowed if strict social distancing was exercised. Drive-in services were acceptable if people remained in their cars. Indoor worship services and weddings were only approved for gatherings of ten people or fewer in the same confined space.
Fortunately, the constitutionality of the Governor’s executive order was challenged in court and knocked down. Nevertheless, the circumstances brought to the fore particular religious beliefs prescribing why corporate worship services are preferable inside an edifice consecrated to the veneration of God and his ways.
There are specific reasons for church buildings and their beautiful sanctuaries, which go far beyond protecting parishioners from the elements. Unfortunately, sometimes these reasons are little understood, and the Church’s members unwittingly disparage their importance.
The point of the church sanctuary is to provide a place where the atmosphere is conducive to inspiring one to worship, which is not always an easy task for earth-bound, fleshly entities such as ourselves. The sanctuary doesn’t resemble a place in the commercial or the secular world; neither is it even like our home life. Instead, it’s more of a refuge from the troubles and anxieties of what is mostly a profane and irreligious world.
Christians of yesteryear seemed to understand this better than some believers today. So, they constructed grand cathedrals and church houses to reflect God’s majesty and provoke the most profound experience of worship from the people.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the tremendous lessons that may be garnered from God’s pleasure in the temple.
Although I am not a Catholic, Msgr. Charles Pope, a Catholic writer, presents the argument marvelously, saying:
“Churches are meant to remind us of Heaven. Until recent decades, they were built along lines that spoke to heavenly realities both Moses and John saw as they were shown the heavenly worship and vision. Churches have high jeweled (stained glass) walls because Heaven does. Churches have glorious throne-like altars with the tabernacle at the center amidst tall candles because in Heaven, there is a throne-like altar with the Lamb upon it, and Jesus stands among the lampstands. Painting and statues of saints and angels, incense, priestly robes, standing/kneeling appropriately, and singing hymns remind us of the communion of saints and angels in the heavenly worship. All of this is revealed in the heavenly visions contained in the Bible.”
In other words, whether Catholic or Protestant, the externals for corporate worship have a spiritual purpose in assisting us to focus entirely on God, His Kingdom, and his will for our lives.
Brian Kingslake, in Out of This World, also addresses the question of the importance of the temple, so to speak. He says:
“The whole subject of the relationship between the externals and the internals of religion is very interesting. Just as the stone walls and locked doors of a church building protect the altar Bible, the Communion vessels, and the rich carpets of the sanctuary so the externals of religion can protect and preserve the more precious worship of the heart. The fact that we discipline ourselves to attend service in a certain building at a definite hour and take part in a certain ritual that has evolved during the ages, can help to preserve and protect our spiritual consciousness. To depend entirely on one’s spiritual vitality is beyond the capacity of most of us. Structure can get in the way, but without any structure, there is a tendency for our thoughts to dissipate and degenerate into trivial and superficial or sentimental nothingness. We need to get together with our friends from time to time to ‘fill our tanks at the filling station to recharge our flat batteries.”
Many pastors tell me large swaths of their congregations have not returned to their churches since the pandemic, but they are watching streamlined services over the internet. Quite frankly, this misses much of the point of going to Church.
There is still something else to see here about corporate worship.
John indicates there will be a future Temple in Jerusalem during the end times. Because of where this passage falls in the Book of Revelation, it is apparently a part of the Tribulation period.
The Jews have always wanted to build another Temple. It’s the very heart and soul of their religion. But the current Temple Mount in Jerusalem is occupied by the Dome of the Rock — an Islamic Shrine where Muslims believe Mohammed ascended into Heaven. Trying to move it would create a world conflict. However, John sees a Third Jewish Temple; how this comes about is unclear and left to much speculation.
The command for John to measure the temple and its worshipers, says George Eldon Ladd, has nothing to do with determining their actual dimensions. It’s a metaphor. It’s a symbol of setting aside something for preservation or destruction. Ladd writes:
“Zechariah saw a man measuring Jerusalem, which was symbolic of her divine protection (Zechariah 2:1-5). Ezekiel had an elaborate vision of measuring Jerusalem — a symbol of the fact that Jerusalem would yet become the true city of God (Ezekiel 40-43). In other places, measuring is a symbolic act indicating destruction rather than preservation (II Kings 21:13; Isaiah 34:11; Lamentations 2:8). In John’s vision, the measuring of the temple, its inner courts, and those who worship there is a symbol of preservation and protection … The key to our understanding of this passage is found in the fact that the outer court and the entire city of Jerusalem are both trampled by the Gentiles. The most natural meaning of Jerusalem is that it stands for the Jewish people. When Jesus spoke of the trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles (Luke 21:24), he meant to designate the city as representative of the entire people. When in contrast to the city as a whole, the temple proper and its worshipers are preserved, the contrast seems to be between the Jewish people as a whole and a remnant who are true worshipers of God. Historically, all Jews had access to the inner court of Israel to engage in the worship of God. Yet it is obvious that here the Temple and its worship cannot represent all Israel, for they stand in contrast to the outer court and to the city of Jerusalem as a whole, which represents the nation. This suggests a contrast between a faithful remnant of believing Israelites who, in contrast to the city as a whole (the holy city), are true worshipers of God. Israel as a whole will be trodden down by the nations — they will fall under the divine judgment because they have become spiritually apostate.”
So, what can we learn from this about worship?
The spiritual apostasy of the Jews is that they would look to the sacrifices of bulls and goats in the Temple for their salvation rather than the one sufficient sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. In the end, only the true worshipers of God will be preserved and saved. Those who seek to worship in some other way, God will reject. In this dispensation and the Tribulation period, all must come to him solely based on the shed blood of Jesus.
Today church buildings and temples are full of people counting on their membership, baptism, confirmation, attendance record and services in the name of God for their salvation. Others attempt to get into God’s favor through another religion and not Christianity. But unless we realize our spiritual bankruptcy as sinners and cast our only hope of redemption in Jesus Christ as Savior, we cannot be considered authentic worshipers of the Lord.
Jesus said we are to worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23), meaning worship must genuinely flow from the heart and conform to God’s disclosure of himself in Scripture.
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The World Economic Forum's 'AI Enslavement' Is Coming for You! – JB Shurk - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=6007
When Sir Thomas More wrote his socio-political satire about a fictional island society in the New World, he gave it the fabricated name, Utopia, derived from simple Greek and meaning, "no-place." Although More was humorously telling his audience that his idealized community existed nowhere, centuries of central planners chasing the fantasy of utopian societies have failed to get the joke. Worse, for every peaceful religious community seeking separation from modern civilization, there is a power-hungry tyrant seeking to impose his will upon everyone else.
It seems as if not a generation goes by when some megalomaniac does not rise to proclaim, "If only the world does exactly as I demand, I will deliver you paradise here on Earth." Usually, these same narcissists go down in history remembered as either vainglorious buffoons or bloodthirsty tyrants -- often both.
Today, Klaus Schwab rises as leader of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to promise a "Great Reset" for the human race. He envisions a future Utopia achieved through technological precision, centralized management of Earth's resources, careful observation of citizens, the merger of human and artificial intelligence, and the monopolization of government power by a small professional class with recognized expertise.
Although the WEF has spent the last 50 years organizing conferences, publishing policy proposals, and connecting global leaders in industry, banking, information technology, intelligence gathering, military strategy, and politics, its mission objective is remarkably simple: the smartest, best people in the world should rule everyone else.
Separated from all its pretensions about "saving the world" from unchecked population growth and climate apocalypse, the WEF is nothing new. Its foundations have been around at least since the time of Plato, when two and a half millennia ago the Greek philosopher proposed that the ideal city-state would be ruled by "philosopher kings." Just as Plato surveyed the world and predictably concluded that people from his own vocation should logically govern everyone else, the World Economic Forum's global "elites" have come to a strikingly similar determination.
Far from advancing anything forward-looking or modern, Schwab and his acolytes walk in the footsteps of an ancient Greek. For a half-century, the WEF's members have been on a quest to devise the perfect global government without any say from Western nations' voting populations, and to no-one's surprise, those same "philosopher kings" have nominated themselves to do the ruling. How convenient.
As is true of almost all visions of Utopia, the WEF's new world order will be remarkably centralized. "Experts" on climate change will determine what kinds of energy may be used by businesses and consumers. "Experts" on sustainability will determine what foods humans (at least the non-"elite" variety) may eat. "Experts" on disinformation will determine what kinds of news and which side of a debate may be known and promoted. "Experts" on healthcare will determine how many times each citizen must be injected with ever-newer "vaccines," whether citizens must be kept in lockdown "for their own good," and whether face masks must be worn to prove continuing compliance.
"Experts" on extremism will determine what kinds of speech are "harmful." "Experts" on racism will determine which groups in society have unfair "privilege." "Experts" in inequality will determine whose property must be taken and which groups the State should reward. "Experts" in whatever the State requires will determine that the State is acting reasonably every step of the way. However, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, individual rights, and other personal liberties will mean little in a WEF-constructed future running on philosopher-king-approved expertise. At no time can an individual's needs, wants or concerns be allowed to obstruct the "greater good." This is Schwab's drab vision of Utopia.
Should he and the WEF clan pull it off, they will do so by using technology to enfeeble, rather than empower, the human race. Already, people have become familiar with the new terms of their future enslavement. Central bank digital currencies will allow governments not only to track every citizen's income and purchase history in real time but also to limit what a person may spend depending upon government-determined social credit scores, perceived infractions of the "common good," or perhaps unfair possession of "systemic privilege."
Digital vaccine passports will not only provide universal tracking of every person's movements but also ensure stick-and-carrot compliance with future mandatory orders during declared "health emergencies." Personal carbon footprints measuring each individual's "culpability" for so-called man-made climate change will have the effect of recording everything a person eats and everywhere a person goes, while constantly "nudging" each citizen with digital rewards or penalties to modify behavior toward the government's preferred standards. It should go without saying that when any government possesses such omnipotent powers, invasions of privacy will only expand, declared "health emergencies" will become only more numerous, and government "nudging" will become only more intrusive.
If this sounds more dystopian than utopian and every bit like an unwanted prison overseen by unaccountable government agents, that is precisely what it is. WEF zealots do not even hide their intentions anymore, already going so far as to push the construction of "Smart Cities" or "Fifteen Minute Cities" in which tens of millions of people can be relocated, live side-by-side in small apartment complexes, and move through a constant maze of entrances and exits accessed solely through digital ID verification and approval.
In essence, the goal is to create a digital panopticon implementing all of the surveillance programs above, to provide future rulers with absolute control, while leaving everyone else in a permanent state of docile incarceration. In WEF parlance, such schemes of total supervision and behavioral modification will create a "sustainable" future for humanity. No doubt prison wardens feel much the same way when convicts are kept behind bars in rows of secured cages. The difference is that in the WEF's Utopia, no crime must be committed to reap Schwab's unjust "rewards."
Now, if Westerners appreciated just what is coming their way, they might go apoplectic and resist the WEF's new world order. For this very reason, the most important war being waged today is one that is never discussed openly in the press: the covert war over information. When people are allowed to openly debate ideas in the public square (including the digital square of social media and web pages free from search engine shadowbans), that "free market of ideas" will go where the people debating those ideas take them.
For government "narratives" not only to survive but also to dominate all dissenting opinion, government-allied platforms must tilt the scales of free speech in their favor by ridiculing, censoring or outright criminalizing the thoughts and words of dissident minds. In any other market, such intentional interference would be considered anticompetitive collusion in violation of antitrust laws, but because the World Economic Forum's acolytes treat competing free speech as dangerous "misinformation," the "free market of ideas" has been transformed into a controlled "safe space" for the government's friends.
What happens when government ambivalence toward free speech is combined with the amoral technocratic force behind the WEF's plans for global Utopia? Well, as Herr Schwab recently proclaimed at the World Government Summit in Dubai when discussing artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, and digital identities: "Who masters those technologies -- in some way -- will be the master of the world." (After that, is one-world-government still considered a "conspiracy theory"?) If the WEF controls the digital world, then it will essentially control the people. Once the stuff of science fiction, WEF technocrats even have a plan to "hack" into employees' minds by monitoring and decoding their brainwaves.
Google is onboard with such thought control: it has declared its intent to expand a "pre-bunking" program meant to "immunize" people against what Google sees as "propaganda" or "misinformation" by indoctrinating unsuspecting Internet users with Google's own home-brewed yet approved propaganda. By manipulating Google's users without their knowledge, the search engine behemoth can ward off competing ideas -- brilliant!
Microsoft founder Bill Gates feels the same way. In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, the self-styled vaccine expert argues that AI technologies should be used as powerful tools to combat "digital misinformation" and "political polarization." This comes on the heels of a recent discovery that Microsoft has already been using a British think tank, Global Disinformation Index (GDI), to secretly blacklist conservative media companies in the United States and prevent them from generating advertising revenue.
The kicker? The U.S. State Department has been funding GDI's "disinformation" work through taxpayer funds to the National Endowment for Democracy and its own Global Engagement Center, which are then transferred to GDI before GDI launders the tawdry viewpoint discrimination back to Microsoft and other companies behind a thin veil of "objectivity."
Following the WEF model of creating an all-powerful partnership between private industry and government authority, Microsoft and the State Department have figured out how to undermine dissent by having third-party organization, GDI, label all such speech as "harmful disinformation" on its "Dynamic Exclusion List."
Likewise, publicly funded news outlets throughout the West -- including Germany, Canada, Switzerland and Belgium -- are working together to "develop online-based solutions" to target "hate comments and increasing disinformation." What could possibly go wrong when State-controlled institutions collude to control the dissemination of information? As former Twitter "Trust and Safety" executive Yoel Roth testified before Congress, "Unrestricted free speech paradoxically results in less speech, not more."
From this Orwellian doublespeak standard, the clear line separating protections for free speech from outright censorship is whether the speaker articulates points of view in agreement with the WEF's ruling coalition of Big Tech titans and government authorities or not. In Schwab's Utopia, there is no room for truly free speech.
What happens when the job of censoring the public is placed entirely in the digital hands of artificial intelligence? Even though some political leaders have cautioned that AI could be an "existential threat" to humanity, and even as technology pioneers such as former Google chief Eric Schmidt admit that AI-powered computer systems should be seen as every bit as powerful as nuclear weapons, the rush toward AI-constructed Utopia is full speed ahead. That should give anyone of sound mind troubling pause. After all, the cognitive biases of Big Tech "elites" such as Gates, Schmidt, and others will almost certainly translate into digital biases for any artificial intelligence.
ChatGPT, an AI software program launched late last year, is already scaring the bejesus out of people with its overt political bias. In one instance, the AI concluded that using a racial slur was worse than allowing a city to be annihilated by a nuclear bomb. In another, the AI justified the suppression of Trump voters as necessary to "defend democracy" and prevent the spread of "dangerous speech," while simultaneously arguing that "AI should not be used to suppress the free speech" of Biden supporters. Meanwhile, no sooner had some experimenters gained access to Microsoft's new AI-powered chatbot than the synthetic brain started threatening people.
These troubling early signs give credence to Schmidt's warning that AI should be regarded as equally and inherently dangerous as nuclear bombs. Where he and other WEF-allied global "elites" differ from the scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, however, is in their seemingly urgent desire to turn these awesome AI weapons directly against Western peoples.
Clearly, if Schwab's World Economic Forum intends to usher in an AI-powered Utopia where he can be the "master of the world," then he has little use for human beings. In a very real sense, humans become nothing more than "things" to be counted, shuffled, categorized, tagged, monitored, manipulated, and controlled.
They become nothing more than cogs in the WEF's great trans-humanist, technocratic machine -- useful for a time, perhaps, but ultimately a burden to feed and house and logically expendable. If artificial intelligence can do the thinking that Schwab needs and support the ideas that Schwab adores, then humans are just in the way. Should the World Economic Forum get its centralized Utopia, the "thingification" of the human race will be a giant step toward its eventual disposal.
‘Willingly Ignorant’: What Evidence for God Would Secularists Be Prepared to Accept? – By Ken Ham - https://harbingersdaily.com/willingly-ignorant-what-evidence-for-god-would-secularists-be-prepared-to-accept/
Have you ever had someone say that if you would just show them enough evidence for God’s existence, they would believe? Atheists often say this, but do they really mean it? Well, I’ve found that, in most instances, they don’t.
Why do I say this? Well, what you will often find is that when you give them evidence that confirms there’s an intelligence—a Creator—behind life or the universe, they will claim it’s not evidence at all and just reinterpret it within their secular worldview.
Here’s an example. I have often appealed to the existence of the molecule of heredity, DNA, which makes it obvious life had to have been created by an intelligence and couldn’t have arisen by natural processes. After all, DNA is a complex information and language system. Information and languages cannot arise from matter by natural processes. And yet, when challenged with this example, I find secularists scoff and claim that DNA did arise by natural processes even if they can’t prove it right now.
So, what evidence for God would they be prepared to accept? Well, I’ve sometimes asked atheists the following, and I’ve had quite a number who have responded with something like, “If there’s a God, then why doesn’t he show himself to us? If God did that, then I would believe.”
My answer to that is this, “Well, he did come to earth and showed himself to people, but the majority still rejected him. In fact, they crucified him on a cross.” I explain that the Bible states that God stepped into history in the person of his Son to become a (perfect) man (the God-man). During his time on earth, he showed himself to us and dealt with a problem we all have—sin. He provided the solution to our sin problem by dying in our place and being raised from the dead. And even though there were “many proofs” (Acts 1:3) of his resurrection, most still rejected him.
Remember what Jesus said to Philip in John 14:9, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” Yes, God did show himself to us—and he still speaks to his people every day through his Word!
God’s Word tells us, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Yes, a person is without excuse if they don’t believe.
When I debated Bill Nye “The Science Guy” in 2014, one of the questions that was asked during the Q&A at the end concerned what evidence we would be prepared to accept to show our position was wrong. I answered, “None,” simply because I am committed to my stand on God’s Word as truth. Certainly, models based on my foundation are subject to change, but the foundation itself is not. Bill Nye answered by saying if someone found an out-of-place fossil, he would be prepared to question his evolutionary belief. Well, he wasn’t being truthful, as I had already given such an example in my presentation and he obviously rejected it. In other words, he was just as committed to his foundation that man determines truth as I was committed to my foundation that God’s Word is truth.
At a conference where I talked on Noah’s ark and the flood a few years ago, an atheist said to me, “I don’t care if they find a big boat on Mt. Ararat and drag it down the main street. I will not believe in Noah’s ark.” That reminds me of the scoffers in 2 Peter 3 who “willingly reject” (or deliberately disbelieve) creation and the flood.
And this isn’t a new problem! Think about the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. The religious leaders wanted to kill Lazarus to get rid of the evidence (see John 11)!
Now, this doesn’t mean evidence isn’t important—it’s very important to give answers for what we believe as Christians (1 Peter 3:15), but in doing this, we should always be directing people to the Word of God that saves.
We can’t save people ourselves and neither can the evidence! Only God’s Word by God’s Spirit can save.
Romans 10:17 KJV – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Editor’s Note: Willingly Ignorant?
Bible Prophecy serves as remarkable proof of God’s divinity and the relevance and authority of Scripture. Jesus explained the purpose of revealing events yet to come, saying, “I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe” (John 14:19).
While fulfilled prophecy opens the eyes of many, there are some who adamantly reject this proof of God for their own purposes. Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophesies during his first coming. It was this fulfillment of prophecy that caused and still causes many to come to the saving knowledge of the truth. Despite this, many Jewish leaders refused to recognize Him as their promised Messiah and advocated for Him to be killed.
Likewise, following the Rapture of the church and the commencement of the Tribulation, “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” will see the reality of Biblical Prophecy and be saved for eternity. During this same period of time others will harden themselves further against the Lord and be given strong delusion to believe the deception of the antichrist.
As Ham noted in the above article, many are willfully ignorant in their rejection of the truth:
2 Peter 3:3-7 KJV – “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
So what, then, are Believers to do?
2 Timothy 3:24-26 KJV – “the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
Daily Jot: What was the Last Supper? - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
As we enter the High Holy Days commemorating the death and resurrection of the Christ that all who believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, it is fitting that we understand exactly what was the “Last Supper.” The traditional Christian concept of the Last Supper is Christ having dinner with his disciples and instituting communion—the bread and wine sacrament. But it is far deeper and more meaningful than it appears. Christ, a Jewish Rabbi, was in Jerusalem to partake in the Passover, the first of the spring feasts instituted by God after the exodus from Egypt. God’s people were instructed to observe this holy convocation “forever and throughout the generations (Leviticus 23).”
The ”Last Supper” was actually a Passover Seder, the ritual celebration of the retelling of the exodus from Egypt. As recorded in Luke 22:15, Jesus “said unto them, “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” The Seder requires four cups of wine symbolizing various acts of G-d in relationship with his people—the cups in order are Sanctification; Deliverance; Redemption; and Praise. Also required is eating Matza, unleavened bread that is pierced with many holes, also referred to as the bread of affliction. Luke and Matthew recall the actual order of the Seder ceremony as administered by Jesus. “And he took bread (Matza), and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me (Luke 22:19).”
After the Seder dinner, Christ administered the cup of Redemption: “Likewise also the cup after they supped, saying, “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22:20).” Also in Matthew 26:29, “For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Christ was crucified and died while the lambs were being sacrificed for the Passover. As is written in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” Not a bone was broken in his body as was required of the Passover Lamb in Numbers 9:12 and as recorded in John 19:34, “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was dead already, they did not break his legs.”
The Passover Seder emblems of Matza and Wine symbolically represented Christ’s body and blood given for the remission of sins. The Telling of the Passover relates to God’s plan of salvation for mankind as fulfilled by Christ’s death and resurrection. Each part of the Passover Seder points to Christ and his work of salvation—now and at the end of days. There are so many wonderful aspects of the Passover Seder that bring clearer understanding to Christ’s work of salvation. It is far more than the “Last Supper.” It is the story of God’s salvation plan through Christ, the Passover Lamb of the new Covenant. He is risen that all who believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Daily Devotion: Our Father Knows Best - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." —Matthew 26:39
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/our-father-knows-best/ - Listen
From the moment of His birth, Jesus lived in the shadow of the cross. When Joseph and Mary dedicated Him in the temple, the prophet Simeon said to Mary, “A sword will pierce your very soul” (Luke 2:35 NLT).
Simeon predicted what Jesus would go through and what Mary would experience as she watched her son hang on the cross.
Jesus knew this was coming. And He began to aggressively address it at a place called Caesarea Philippi. He was very specific about it.
Matthew’s Gospel says, “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead” (Matthew 16:21 NLT).
Jesus knew, worst of all, that He would experience separation from the heavenly Father as He bore all the sins of the world on the cross.
So, in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39 NLT).
That is a way of saying, “Lord, if I am about to pray anything that is outside of Your will, I am asking You to overrule it. I know that Your plan is better than mine.” Jesus died fulfilling the plan and purpose of God.
Every Christian will come to their own Gethsemane, a time when they grapple with the hard issues of life. It is during those times that we must say, “Lord, I want Your will to be done, not mine.” Our heavenly Father knows best.
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