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Are Dinosaurs in the Bible?
Greetings Janet in the Precious Name of Jesus the Christ.
You ask where dinosaurs are referenced in the Bible. We will never fully understand all that the Bible has to offer. However, we at ProJesus believe that the Bible is in-errant. We all may question a point in the Bible, but with study and intelligent query we will discover the truth. So, your questions are encouraged and welcome.
We at ProJesus don't pretend to have all the answers right away. We make use of the writings of experts in the field. No need to "re-invent the wheel". Thus, you will find in this text, an excellent discussion by Duane Gish and Kelly Segraves.
The first two sections below are exclusively from the Bible (NKJV). Knowing that the two animals mentioned were real, you will get a good feel about them. Some other information , of which you did not request, may be very interesting and helpful.

Job 40:15-24 "Look now at the Behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword.

Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there. He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, Though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare. NKJV

Job 41:1 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, Or will you leash him for your maidens? Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hand on him; remember the battle--Never do it again!

Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me? Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.
"I will not conceal his limbs, His mighty power, or his graceful proportions. Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle? Who can open the doors of his face, with his terrible teeth all around? His rows of scales are his pride, Shut up tightly as with a seal; One is so near another That no air can come between them; They are joined one to another, They stick together and cannot be parted. His sneezing flash forth light, And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

Out of his mouth go burning lights; Sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, As from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth. Strength dwells in his neck, and sorrow dances before him. The folds of his flesh are joined together; they are firm on him and cannot be moved. His heart is as hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone. When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; Because of his crashing they are beside themselves. Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; nor does spear, dart, or javelin.

He regards iron as straw, And bronze as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee; Sling stones become like stubble to him. Darts are regarded as straw; He laughs at the threat of javelins. His undersides are like sharp potsherds; He spreads pointed marks in the mire. He makes the deep boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a pot of ointment. He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair. On earth there is nothing like him, which is made without fear. He beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride." NKJV

Scholars differ in their views as to who these creatures were. Consider first, the view that the Behemoth and Leviathan are mythological, as some suggest. Take into account these facts:
(1) God told Job to "look at" the behemoth, (40:15).
(2) God said He "made" the behemoth, as He had made Job (40:15).
(3) The detailed descriptions of both animals' anatomies befits real not mythological beasts.
(4) Animals in myths were based on real creatures, but were given exaggerated features.
(5) The 12 animals in Job 38:39 to 39:30 were real, which would cause one to expect the
Behemoth and the Leviathan to be real also.

The Behemoth (chap. 40). God mentioned several things about the behemoth: its position with Job as a fellow creature (v. 15), its diet (v. 15), its physical strength (vv. 16-19), its habitat (vv. 20-23), and its fierceness (v. 24). The word behemoth is the plural of "beast." Since one animal is described in verses 15-24, the plural probably points up the animal's greatness. Suggestions as to the identity of this animal include an elephant, a rhinoceros, a plant-eating brontosaurus (dinosaur), a water buffalo, and a hippopotamus. However, the key to the description of the behemoth is; He moves his tail like a cedar. The animal that best fits this detail is the dinosaur.

The Leviathan (chap. 41). The discussion of the leviathan is longer than God's comments on any of the other animals. The leviathan was the largest and fiercest of all the aquatic dinosaurs. (Henry Morris, The Remarkable Record of Job, pp111-125)

(The following was compiled from Dinosaurs by Design, Duane T. Gish)
We know that God created dinosaurs because God created all living things. God created man and dinosaurs on the sixth day of creation. Genesis 1:24-26

If God created dinosaurs along with all the other animals (and Adam and Eve), then why don't we find the word "dinosaur" anywhere in the Bible? The answer is simple. The Bible was translated into English in about 1600, but fossils of dinosaurs were not discovered until almost 250 years later and the word "dinosaur" didn't exist until 1840.

Even though the Bible doesn't use the word "dinosaur," the Bible does describe an animal that must have been a dinosaur. This is found in Job, Chapter 40. Job 40:15-24 See above

Some people have suggested that this creature that the Bible calls a behemoth was an elephant. But have you ever seen the tail of an elephant? The tail of an elephant certainly doesn't look like a cedar tree, does it? Besides, the behemoth was so big he thought he could drink up a river, even the Jordan river, and wouldn't even have to be in a hurry to do it! Have you ever seen an elephant that big? There is no animal on the earth today that even comes close to being as big and fearsome as the behemoth described in the Bible. But, as we will see, the description of the behemoth sounds very much like what we would expect of an Apatosaurus, or perhaps the huge Brachiosaurus, or some other great big dinosaur.

Thus, the Bible gives us information that humans and dinosaurs really did live at the same time, a long time ago, for here in the Book of Job we find a good description of a dinosaur. This tells us that people in those ancient times, after the great Flood of Noah, still remembered dinosaurs.

Job tells us about another great animal--called leviathan--that lived in water. Job 41--all 34 verses--describes a very fearsome beast. These verses tell of an animal that can't be caught, is very hard to kill, and if you do battle with him, you won't want to try it again. The very sight of him causes so much Fear that people cringe in fright. Leviathan has no fear of man nor other animals. (Dinosaurs by Design, Duane T. Gish, pp82 and 83)

When did this (Job) live'? Since he is describing dinosaurs, it would be most helpful to put him in a time period. We are not given an exact date for Job, but we do have several clues. It is believed that Job is the oldest book in tile Bible except for tile first 11 chapters of Genesis.

He certainly lived before the days of Moses, since there is no mention of the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic laws. As a humble servant of God, if he had known the laws of God, he would have quoted them often. But, the Bible says that he "was blameless and upright, and one who feared (honored) God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1). God's laws were known to men and women from the very beginning.

Most scholars place Job around 2,000 B.C., after the Flood of Noah, but before great cities were built. The animals described in the book of Job were alive after the Flood. No dinosaurs, as far as has been determined, still survive today. The leviathan, possibly the dragon of widespread legends, certainly has not survived to this day.

From our reading of the record in the Bible and our study of fossils we have very good evidence concerning the nature, structure, and way of life of these very unusual and fascinating creatures. (Compiled from Dinosaurs by Design, Duane T. Gish, pp20-21)

Dinosaurs, the alleged ancestors of birds, according to evolutionists, have thick and solid bones because of their massive structure. Whereas the bones of living and extinct birds are hollow and thus very light. This light-weight bone structure is very important in the flight of birds.

Reptiles have the slowest metabolism in the animal kingdom. Birds, have some of the fastest. Reptiles cannot regulate their body temperature because they are cold-blooded, while birds are warm-blooded.

Bird and dinosaur lungs are completely different. The bird lung was designed for flying, unlike dinosaur lungs.

Evolutionist claim that since some dinosaur hip bones have the same shape as bird hip bones, they must be related. Just because one part looks like something else does not mean it came from it.

Feathers are the most complex epidermal appendages (things attached to the skin) found on animals. Feathers have a wonderful design where the ridges allow the barbs to slide, keeping the surface intact, yet allowing the flexibility required for flight. Feathers did not evolve for insulation from frayed scales or collogen hair found on some dinosaurs. Actually, a hair-like structure on dinosaurs would have been a better insulator than feathers.


Dinosaur Monument
If you visit the Dinosaur Monument in Vernal, Utah (See below), you will be told that the dinosaurs buried in the mountainside did not live in the area, but actually lived upstate someplace and were washed down by some type of local flood. It is also suggested that quite possibly they were trapped while crossing a sandbar. Or, it is said that for some reason not well understood, the dinosaurs died out, their bones lay on top of the ground and later a local flood washed the bones down the state. Whatever the reason for the extinction of dinosaurs in that area, they were buried .by some type of water action
At the monument dinosaur bones are found buried in a hillside in the Morrison formation, named after the man who happened to find them. They are encased in sandstone which is a type of water deposited rock; thus, the dinosaurs were buried by some type of water action. That is exactly what you would expect if there had been a great flood which took place in the days of Noah. You would expect to find plants and animals, even dinosaurs, buried by some type of water action.
A Reptile that Grows
What is a dinosaur? The name "dinosaur" means "terrible lizard." A dinosaur is nothing more than a large reptile. An interesting and significant fact about reptiles is that a reptile continues to grow for as long as he lives. If a reptile lives for 100 years, that reptile will grow for 100 years. This is different from man who grows upward for twenty years and outward the rest of his life. With reptiles that does not happen; the longer a reptile lives, the longer he has time to grow and the larger he becomes.
This is fascinating because of the Biblical framework which tells us that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth by power. God created everything in six days and at the end of that period, on the sixth day, God created man to have dominion over all the creatures. Then on the seventh day God rested. We are told that Adam named all of the creatures and therefore must have named dinosaurs. We learn something else about the conditions God created for man on this planet. They were perfect. It was a perfect environment, there was no sin, no death, no decay.
Vegetation was perfect for man and animal to eat. We are told that it did not rain on the earth but a mist came up and watered the ground. Without rain there was no erosion, nothing to take the trace minerals out of the soil. Therefore all of the plants which were created perfect had the proper amounts of minerals, including all of the trace elements. The early earth environment was perfect in every respect. But man fell into sin.
Evidently the fall of man affected the world in which we live and because of Adam's expulsion from the Garden, he had to deal with weeds, thorns and thistles. Immediately after the fall things were not drastically different. Even though Adam was cursed he was so perfectly created, he lived to be 930 years old.
The environment was such that man before the flood lived longer than he does now. Methuselah made it to the age of 969. Our average life span is about 70 years. The reported average life span in India is only 42 years. The initial impression is that people in India live to 41 and then die. But this is not exactly true.
Some people in India live to great ages just as they do here, reaching the century mark. In India the infant mortality rate is much higher, more children die at birth. And, of course, if you have one person who lives to be 100 and one who dies at birth, the average is 50. People in the United States are led to believe that we live longer than our predecessors of earlier times. Again, this is not exactly correct. A century ago some lived to great ages, but many more than today died of childhood diseases or at birth.
Modern medical care has greatly altered the picture and lengthened the average life span. Nevertheless, our average life span is only 70 years whereas the average life span before the flood was 911 years.
The antediluvian life span was some 13 or 14 times longer than our life span today. Since man lived longer, it seems logical that animals also lived longer. This affects our little reptiles.
If a reptile were allowed to live 13 or 14 times longer than it does today, provided with the proper amounts of trace minerals in the soil so that the vegetation produced for it to eat contained all the proper proteins, vitamins, and minerals, the results would be a pretty good sized reptile. Take the four-foot iguana who lives on the Galapagos Islands today, increase his life span some 13 or 14 times and the result would be a very large reptile. Take the twelve-foot Komodo Dragon living in Sumatra today, increase his life span 13 to 14 times, allowing him to grow the entire length of time, and he would be an extremely large reptile.
Both of these reptiles look very much like some of the dinosaurs which roamed the earth in the past.

The Uinta Basin is a large depression in remote northeast Utah, encircled by several mountain ranges and bisected by the Green river - the basin extends approximately between Vernal in the north and the town of Green River in the south and is largely inaccessible by road. Habitation in this area is restricted to the Uintah/Ouray Indian Reservation, reached only by several long dirt tracks. North of the basin, the Green river crosses from Utah into Colorado and is joined by the Yampa river, and for many miles both rivers flow through deep twisting canyons and gorges cut through the mountain range.

The Landscape: The canyons around the river junction form the centerpiece of the Dinosaur National Monument, although almost all visitors come for the other main attraction - a steep cliff face, now enclosed within a large building, with hundreds of large fossilized dinosaur bones. This dinosaur 'quarry' is close to the Green river, 6 miles from US 40 near Vernal. For 50 miles north and east, the land becomes mountainous and a large area of colorful canyons and ridges is protected within the monument boundary although there are only a few access roads to several viewpoints. As with most National Parks, entrance fees were dramatically increased in 1997, from $5 to $10 at Dinosaur, as part of a national program to modernize and extend visitor facilities.

The Quarry: The approach to the monument from the southwest is dominated by Split Mountain, a rocky peak that really does look as if it has been recently cleaved by some great force - many twisted strata are exposed.

Still just about in the Southwest, Dinosaur Valley contains many fossilized dinosaur footprints, preserved in flat limestone rock layers exposed by the Paluxy River - a scenic tributary of the Brazos, one of the largest rivers in central Texas. The valley is contained within a state park, 40 miles from the suburbs of Fort Worth and close to the little town of Glen Rose, on Farm Road 205. The park includes 4 miles of the river, which here flows around a large 180° meander, while other tracks are located on private land upstream. Apart from looking at prints, the park is good for camping, hiking, mountain biking, swimming and observing nature.

The Park: Visitors to the park are greeted by two large plastic dinosaurs near the entrance, beyond which there is a loop road with several short paths leading to viewpoints along the river, and also a campground with 46 shady, well-separated sites. The number of tracks visible depends on the river level, which can vary by 10 feet during the year, and the flow may dry up almost completely during a hot summer. Footprints are best viewed when covered by a small depth of water - they tend to be less distinct when dry, and those permanently above the river level are liable to erode and disappear quite quickly.

Tracks: Tracks of two species are commonly found - distinctive three-toed prints, up to 2 feet long left by a carnosaur (carnivorous animal) of the same family as tyrannosaurus rex, and even larger saucer-shaped impressions from a sauropod - the general name for huge, slow-moving, plant-eating dinosaurs. There are also occasional tracks from a third creature - similar to those of the carnosaur but wider, with less distinct toe impressions. All date from the Cretaceous era, about 100 million years ago.

Locations: Fossilized footprints are found in 3 main locations along the river. First is The Blue Hole - a large pool, up to 20 feet deep and popular for swimming - with many 3-toed prints on rock ledges just above or below the water. The main location is 300 yards further - both of the common types of tracks occur quite extensively. Several trenches in this area indicate where large slabs with particularly fine fossils were excavated and donated to museums. The third location is 1 mile downstream, close to the campsite - various well-defined trails of up to 20 steps cross the river bed, at this point quite flat and usually with shallow water.

Back to Questions

Explain the Doctrine of Election/Predestination!
Greetings G.F. in the Precious Name of Jesus:
Our replies to questions and comments are usually not of this length. However, your subject matter warrants and requires as complete an answer as possible.
Your questions and comments are great! You have touched on four somewhat separate issues:
1. You tend to believe that all mankind has a choice for salvation and God.
2. A cult taught you that we are puppets etc.
3. Information from a friend told you that we should not tell people about Jesus because Jesus has already called or elected those that He and He alone selected.
4. Is God Love and is He fair? Do we have a choice for heaven or hell?

Your topics of pre-destination and/or election and free-will have been debated, especially over the past 400+/- years, by many high profile Christians A portion of the ideology from both sides, Calvinists and Arminianism, will be touched upon and the view of ProJesus will be offered a little further in this article. The answers to your questions (No's.1 and 4) will be dealt with throughout this article.

Concerning your comment (No.2): There are some cults that believe it is useless to pray or follow any belief system. However, most of the cults believe we can gain something like salvation by being good, doing "good works", etc. Our main effort with cult members should be, to lovingly explain what can be gained by knowing the LORD Jesus Christ, who is LOVE. We need to preach the Gospel and show that Jesus is the Christ, the Creator, our Savior and our GOD.

Your comment (No.3) stating that your Christian friend told you it is useless to tell people about Jesus, etc. As you pray for your friend or share the Gospel with that friend, God works in your heart so that when He does what He has chosen to do, you will be in harmony with His will. Through prayer, God lets you in on what He is doing; as your faith is strengthened, and your love and faith increase, He is glorified.

The heavenly Father in a similar way choose to work through us because He is a God of relationship. He wants to involve us in His work! You may be a key element in His plan. So you see it is important for you to speak with your friend and/or pray for him/her: the LORD can and will use you in His work. For example it says in James 5:16-17: "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Further, the "Great Commission" stated by the LORD before He rose to heaven says in Matt 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…………teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you." This verse spoken by Jesus Himself definitely calls people to tell others about Christ.

What does it mean to be a part of the Christian Religion? There are certain distinctions that cause some Christians to stand out in a crowd (See the ProJesus article "Are you a Christian or are you a Christian" which is on the ProJesus web site). Many Christians could point to a shared commitment of regular and efficient Bible study or the emphasis upon love that transcends all cultural and ethnic barriers.
We at ProJesus maintain a stand for a pre-tribulation to mid-tribulation rapture and pre-millennial view of the second coming of Jesus Christ. We have also expressed a steadfast love and support for the nation of Israel, its right to a historic homeland and its need for the Messiah.
There will be differing views on various subjects where Bible believers and teachers disagree. For ProJesus to answers questions from the general public, it is important to state as clearly as possible the doctrinal basis of our belief. We encourage a degree of doctrinal understanding and unity among those who teach the truths of God's Word.

Below is an outline of the beliefs of both Arminianism and Calvinism.
What are the "Five Points of Arminianism"? They are the following:
Arminius believed that the fall of man was not total, maintaining that there was enough good left in man for him to will to accept Jesus Christ unto salvation.

Arminius believed that election was based on the foreknowledge of God as to who would believe. Man's "act of faith" was seen as the "condition" or his being elected to eternal life, since God foresaw him exercising his free will" in response to Jesus Christ.

Arminius held that redemption was based on the fact that God loves everybody, that Christ died for everyone, and that the Father is not willing that any should perish. The death of Christ provided the grounds for God to save all men, but each must exercise his own "free will" in order to be saved.

Arminius believed that since God wanted all men to be saved, He sent the Holy Spirit to "woo" all men to Christ, but since man has absolute "free will," he is able to resist God's will for his life. He believed that God's will to save all men can be frustrated by the finite will of man. He also taught that man exercises his own will first, and then is born again.

If man cannot be saved by God unless it is man's will to be saved, then man cannot continue in salvation unless he continues to will to be saved.

Interestingly, John Calvin, the French reformer, did not formulate what today we know as the Five Points of Calvinism. This came out of the Canons of the Council of Dort (1618), and subsequent statements among the many Reformed Confessions have expanded upon these matters.
Those in the reformed tradition who answered the teachings of Arminius chose the word "TULIP" as an acrostic to summarize their answer to the Five Points of Arminianism":
1. "T" = TOTAL DEPRAVITY - The Calvinists believed that man is in absolute bondage to sin and Satan, unable to exercise his own will to trust in Jesus Christ without the help of God.

2. "U" = UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION - The Calvinists believed that foreknowledge is based upon the plan and purpose of God, and that election is not based upon the decision of man, but the "free will" of the Creator alone.

3. "L" = LIMITED ATONEMENT - The Calvinists believed that Jesus Christ died to save those who were given to Him by the Father in eternity past. In their view, all for whom Jesus died (the elect) will be saved, and all for whom He did not die (the non elect) will be lost.

4. "I" = IRRESISTIBLE GRACE - The Calvinists believed that the Lord possesses irresistible grace that cannot be obstructed. They taught that the free will of man is so far removed from salvation, that the elect are regenerated (made spiritually alive) by God even before expressing faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. If a totally depraved person wasn't made alive by the Holy Spirit, such a calling on God would be impossible.

5. "P" = PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS - The Calvinists believed that salvation is entirely the work of the Lord, and that man has absolutely nothing to do with the process. The saints will persevere because God will see to it that He will finish the work He has begun.

Both sides of the question on pre-destination and/or election and free will have been supported by outstanding scholars, theologians and preachers. Below is a list of a few of the scholars and the era in which they lived.
Calvinism                                             Arminianism
John Calvin 1509-1564                         Jacob Hermann (Arminius) 1560-1609
William Wilberforce 1759-1833             Hugo Grotius 1583-1645
Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892                 John Wesley 1703-1791
                                                           Charles Grandison Finney 1792-1875

Despite the history of disagreement between the two sides, the evangelical coalition has held Calvinist and Arminian believers together. At least as many member churches of the National Association of Evangelicals are Arminian in theological orientation as Reformed**. However, some noted modern day Calvinists like Michael Horton and R. C. Sproul have questioned the validity of the evangelical credentials of any and all Arminians: those Protestants who deny the unconditional election and affirm resistible grace.

It should be noted here that Arminius himself had never denied the first and the last of the five points of Calvinism and his followers debated those among themselves for centuries. A noted Arminius, Roger E. Olson, was advised by his college professor that Arminiaism usually leads to liberal theology." Olson, knowing this belief wasn't entirely true, endeavored to prove that Arminian theology and modern evangelicalism could be combined comfortably. **Protestant, especially Calvinist: relating or belonging to a Protestant Church, especially one based on the teachings of John Calvin rather than those of Martin Luther.

A SHORT COMMENTARY by Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel
All details are not clearly presented in the Bible. In no area of controversy is this more obvious than in the long simmering debate between Calvinists and Arminians. In the midst of this heated argument it is easy to ignore or neglect the plain statements of the Bible, or to believe that we have the ability to fully understand the ways of God (Romans 11:33-36).

But how tragic it is when we become more concerned with being "right" than being loving. When we discuss the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it is easy to disagree over terms such as "baptism" and "filling" and to miss the blessing and power of God's Spirit in our lives. The way we conduct our debates and express our opinions will sometimes "quench" as well as "grieve" the blessed Spirit who dwells within the believer. In the midst of our arguments over spiritual gifts, we can miss the Biblical admonition to love, which clearly is greater than all the gifts (I Cor. 12:31-14:1).

Our desire is to bring believers together in the love and unity of the Holy Spirit. Our focus is on our awesome God, not on ourselves. We are committed to glorifying our Lord in all we say and do. Chuck Smith is the founder of the Thousands of Calvary Chapel churches throughout the world. He began in 1965 in Costa Mesa. We at ProJesus agree 100% with the comments by Chuck Smith.

Perhaps no issue is as important or as potentially divisive as the doctrine of salvation, reflected in the debate between followers of John Calvin (1509-1564) and those of Jacob Hermann (1560-1609), best known by the Latin form of his last name, Arminius. Since the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century, Christian churches and leaders have disagreed over such issues as depravity, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, election, predestination, eternal security and the nature and extent of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Interestingly, John Calvin, the French reformer, did not formulate what today we know as the Five Points of Calvinism. This came out of the Canons of the Council of Dort (1618) some 54 years after the death of Calvin.
Although trained in the reformed tradition, Arminius had serious doubts bout the doctrine of "sovereign grace" as taught by the followers of John Calvin. He was a pastor of the Reformed congregation in Amsterdam (1588), but during his fifteen years of ministry there, he began to question any of the conclusions of Calvinism. He left the pastorate and became professor of theology at the University of Leyden. It was his series of lectures on election and predestination that led to a violent and tragic controversy. After Arminius' death in 1609, his followers developed the Remonstrance of 1610 which outlined the "Five Points of Arminianism." This document was a protest against the doctrines of the Calvinists and was submitted to the State of Holland.

In 1618, a National Synod of the Church was convened in Dort to examine the teachings or Arminius in the light of Scripture. After 154 sessions, lasting seven months, the Five Points of Arminianism were declared to be heretical. After the synod, many of the disciples of Arminius, such as Hugo Grotius, were imprisoned or banished. Because they were not about to "disband". The Arminians spread to other countries and to other branches of Protestant Christianity who already believed much of their same doctrine (Mennonites, Ana-Baptist, etc.).

Some of the groups that split unfortunately followed a path to the left that led to the Unitarian Church and other similar cults. When John Wesley took up some of the teachings of Arminianism, the movement began to grow, and it affected the Methodist tradition as well as the beliefs of most Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

We will discuss, for a moment, our free will as it pertains to our thoughts not our works. Jesus himself commanded that we "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." (Matt. 4:17) John the Baptist spoke the same word (repent) in Matthew 3:12. Acts 2:38 instructs its hearers to repent and receive the forgiveness of sins.
Let's define repent: To be sorry: to recognize the wrong in something you have done and be sorry about it. In religion: change ways: to feel regret about a sin or past actions and change your ways or habits.

Notice that this repentance is a free will action and is a thought process not a works. This is very important. In religion man must acknowledge that he is fallen and sinful in the eyes of God. This realization of a marred image and broken relationship with God causes an accompanying need for change. How is this change brought about? Man must respond in faith and turn towards Christ. " the vehicle by which we are enabled to receive the grace of God".

We believe that Christ died for us, has forgiven us, and enabled us to be called to Him. We also must believe in Christ, and know that He is our sufficiency. We must acknowledge our dependence on Him, that we are weak and finite creatures, and that Jesus, God the Son, alone is our means for relationship with God the Father.
Once we have responded to the offer of salvation from God, our mind and spirit are transformed. We are regenerated. 2 Cor. 5:17 says "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Although the realigning of our relationship, spirit and desires occurs instantaneously with repentance, it is the beginning of a process, not simply an end in itself. It starts with the repair and rebridging of our relationship with God. Our spirit is now in proper alignment and order with Christ and our spiritual impulses have been redirected.

We continuously struggle to bring our sinful nature and mind into submission to Christ. We can be confident however, that the process is still occurring. We may be filled with contrary impulses and desires; one towards the things of the spirit, and one towards the things of the world and flesh, but we are still Christ's. The apostle Paul comforts and assures us that "...And I am sure that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

The apparent paradox between predestination and free will, both of which are taught in scripture, and which are, on the surface, mutually exclusive. The paradox is generally seen as a question of whether God's sovereignty is absolute and his decrees fixed and unalterable, or whether man has been given space to decide for himself whether to follow God or not, and to influence the course of history independently of God. "Calvinism" and "Armenianism": Most evangelicals can be defined in terms of their link between the two ideologies; most are somewhere in the middle, believing that God has a fore-ordained plan for our lives (as do Calvinists), but also that man is free to follow that plan or reject it (an Armenian perspective); they devise arguments to explain how God's sovereignty is not incompatible with, nor compromised by, man's free will.

Most evangelicals care little about logic**, so this question does not trouble them; those who are troubled by it inevitably gravitate to one of the two theological poles. **I would like to add a note to this portion of the text. I am a Civil Engineer and in such work I am completely engulfed in decisions which require a logical outcome. But, these logical evaluations I am referring to are step by step discoveries over time. Thus you might say I would have a decision that is considered by some as a "proof". Read ahead, you will be more confused.

If all that happens in the universe is predetermined and unchangeable, as a logical understanding of Calvinism would lead us to believe, prayer is neither necessary nor or any value: the realities are fixed, and prayer will not change anything. And if free will is absolute, as Armenianism logically leads us to believe, prayer is similarly of little value: God regards the free will of the individual as sacrosanct, and will not override it. If so, what effect will prayer have on that person?

This contradicts not only the scriptural command to pray, but also the scriptural testimony of the many occasions on which God's own heart was moved by prayer. It also contradicts all logic that tells us to pray for everything. Any theology which precludes the need for prayer is false; therefore, both the Calvinist and Armenian positions have fundamental flaws.

The eternal kingdom belongs to God the Father, Jesus Christ(God the Son), and God the Holy Spirit. All authority on earth has been given to Jesus. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we become joint heirs with him. He entitles and empowers us to participate, through prayer, in the exercise of the sovereignty of God. Through prayer we cross the boundary out of time and into eternity, where we participate in the sovereign election of saints and determination of world events that happen within time. Hallelujah! (Extracted from an article by David Cannon 7/14/98)

The thrust of the argument is found in the common debate between Calvinism and Armenianism. But both of these belief systems are man's interpretation of the Bible, that I believe still falls far short of the knowledge of our all knowing Lord. But I do believe in both free will AND predestination. But how each of these apparently contradictory themes work together is a mystery that our earthly minds may never fully comprehend.
While this mystery is a riddle that we will never solve, it is good that we study it fervently and use our best efforts to know the Lord's heart.

So again, if both doctrines are moderately represented, then they both have to have some truth and we should trust in them and in the Lord who inspired them. Though we may never figure out this ambiguous paradigm, we must trust that it is true until we get to heaven and completely understand how these complex doctrines are interwoven.

"Hard to be understood" we may well allow them to be, when we consider how men of the strongest understanding, improved by all the advantages of education, have continually differed in judgment concerning them (Predestination and Free-Will). And this very consideration, that there is so wide a difference upon the head between men of the greatest learning, sense, and piety, one might imagine would make all who now speak upon the subject exceedingly wary and reserved.

1. The first point is, the foreknowledge of God. God foreknew those in every nation those who would believe, from the beginning of the world to the consummation of all things. But, in order to throw light upon this somber question, it should be well observed, that when we speak of God's foreknowledge, we do not speak according to the nature of things, but after the manner of men. For, if we speak properly, there is no such thing as either foreknowledge or after-knowledge in God. All time, or rather all eternity, (for the children of men,) being present to Him at once, He does not know one thing in one point of view from everlasting to everlasting. As all time, with everything that exists therein, is present with Him at once, so He sees at once, whatever was is, or will be, to the end of time. In a word, God, looking on all ages, from the creation to the consummation, as a moment, and seeing at once whatever is in the hearts of all the children of men, knows every one that does or does not believe, in every age or nation.

Indeed, if man were not free, he could not be accountable either for his thoughts, word, or actions. If he were not free, he would not be capable either of reward (Note: the Bible mentions rewards repeatedly) or punishment; he would be incapable either of virtue or vice, of being either morally good or bad.

2. "Whom He did foreknow, them He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son." This is the Second point: (To speak after the manner of men: For in fact, there is nothing before or after in God:) In other words, God decrees, from everlasting to everlasting, that all who believe in the Son of his love, shall be conformed to his image; shall be saved from all inward and outward sin, into all inward and outward holiness.

3. "Whom He did predestinate, them He also called." This is the Third point: He calls both outwardly and inwardly, - outwardly by the word of His grace, and inwardly by His Spirit.

4. "Whom he called, them he justified." This is the Fourth point. It is generally allowed that the word "justified" here is taken in a peculiar sense; that it means He made them just or righteous.

5. "Whom he justified, them he also glorified." This is the Fifth and Last point. Having made them "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," He gives them "the kingdom which was prepared for them before the world began." This is the order wherein, "according to the counsel of His will," the plan He has laid down from eternity, He saves those whom He foreknew; the true believers in every place and generation.

The sum of all is this: the almighty, all-wise God sees and knows, from everlasting to everlasting, all that is, that was, and that is to come, through one eternal now. With him nothing is either past or future, but all things equally present.
What is it, then, that we learn from this whole account? It is this, and no more: - (1.) God knows all believers; (2) wills that they should be saved from sin; (3) to that end, justifies them, (4) sanctifies and (5) takes them to glory.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for this his goodness; and that they would be content with this plain account of it, and not endeavor to wade into those mysteries which are too deep for angels to fathom!

The emergence of theological Modernism during the 19th century, particularly historical criticism of the Bible (see Biblical Scholarship), produced a movement of reaction within many denominations. From 1910 to 1915 conservative scholars produced a series of booklets entitled The Fundamentals, and in 1920 a conservative northern Baptist journal coined the designation Fundamentalist for the defenders of orthodoxy.

The term Fundamentalism gradually came to designate only the most uncompromising and militant wing of the movement, however, and more moderate Protestant conservatives began to adopt the older designation of Evangelical. They created the National Association of Evangelicals in the U.S. (1942) and the World Evangelical Fellowship (1951), the latter reviving an international body formed under Britain's Evangelical Alliance (founded 1846). The constituencies of these bodies are largely outside the World and National Councils of Churches, but large numbers of Evangelicals exist within the mainstream ecumenical denominations.

The largest U.S. Protestant body, the Southern Baptist Convention, embraces Evangelical tenets; other components of Evangelicalism include Pentecostalists, the Charismatic Renewal (including its Roman Catholic wing), Arminian-Holiness churches, conservative confessionalists such as the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and numerous black Baptists, as well as independent "faith missions" and interdenominational ministries such as Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade for Christ, and World Vision. Current Evangelicalism bridges two elements that were, for the most part, antithetical in the 19th century, the doctrinaire conservatives and the revivalists.

Evangelical educational materials are produced by a number of publishing houses, and such publications as Christianity Today are widely read. Evangelical preachers have long made extensive use of radiobroadcasts, and during the 1970s evangelical programs on television proliferated, reaching an audience of more than 20 million. According to a recent estimate, there are about 157 million Evangelicals throughout the world, including about 59 million in the United States.

Read carefully this verse in which Moses is relaying the words of God to the people of Israel. Notice the promises and the human free will required. Deut 30:19-20 says: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." These verses have extreme importance in life and in indicating our free will. There are close to one hundred additional verses that definitely reveal our free will.

SUMMARY It is not our purpose to take sides on these issues or to divide the body of Jesus Christ over human interpretations of these Biblical truths concerning our salvation. We simply desire to state how we at ProJesus understand the Bible's teaching regarding these matters.
We believe that all are sinners (1) and unable by human performance to earn, deserve, or merit salvation (2). We believe that the wages of sin is death (3), and that apart from God's grace, no one can be saved (4). We believe that none are righteous, or capable of doing good, as much as some try to do good, (5), and that apart from the conviction and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, none can be saved (6). Mankind is clearly fallen and lost in sin. (1) Romans 3:23, (2) Titus 3:5, (3) Romans 6:23, (4) Ephesians 2:8-9, (5) Romans 3:10-12, (6) John 1:12-13; 16:8-11; I Peter 1:23-25.
We believe that God chose the believer before the foundation of the world (1), and based on His foreknowledge, has predestined the believer to be conformed to the image of His Son (2). We believe that God offers salvation to all who will call on His name. Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." We also believe that God calls to Himself those who will believe in His Son, Jesus Christ (3).
However, the Bible also teaches that an invitation (or call) is given to all, but that only a few will accept it. We see this balance throughout scripture. Revelation 22:17 states, "And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." 1 Peter 1:2 tells us we are, "elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." Matthew 22:14 says, "For many are called, but few are chosen (elected)." God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God's invitation to salvation. (1) (Ephesians 1:4-6, (2) Romans 8:29-30, (3) 1 Corinthians 1:9.
We believe that Jesus Christ died as a propitiation (a satisfaction of the righteous wrath of God against sin) "for the whole world" (1), and that He redeems and forgives all who will believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation from sin, death, and hell (2). We believe that eternal life is a gift of God (3), and that "whosoever believeth" in Jesus Christ will not perish, but will have eternal life (4). 1 Timothy 4:10 says "we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe." Hebrews 2:9 states that Jesus, "was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ was clearly sufficient to save the entire human race. (1) 1 John 2:2 & 4:9-10, (2) Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19, (3) Romans 6:23, (4) John 3:16-18.
We believe that God's grace is not the result of human effort or worthiness (1), but is the response of God's mercy and love to those who will believe in His Son (2). Grace gives to us what we do not deserve nor can earn by our performance (3). We believe that God's grace and mercy can be resisted by us. Jesus said in Matthew 23:37, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." We are not condemned because we have no opportunity to be saved, but a person is condemned because he makes a choice not to believe (4). In John 5:40 we read "And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." Jesus also said in John 6:37, "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:40 states, "And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone who seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life." In John 7:37 Jesus said "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." In John 11:26 He adds "whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."
Jesus clearly acknowledges the fact of human resistance and rejection. In John 12:46-48 He said, "I am come as a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came, not to judge the world but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day". (1) Romans 3:24-28; 11:6, (2) Ephesians 2:4-10, (3) Romans 11:6, (4) John 3:18.
We believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord (1) and that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ (2). We believe that the promise of Jesus in John 10:27-28 is clear: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." Jesus said in John 6:37, "him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." We have this assurance in Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." We believe that the Holy Spirit has sealed us unto the day of redemption (3). (1) Romans 8:38-39, (2) Romans 8:1, (3) Ephesians 1:13-14 & 4:30.
Jesus said in Luke 9:62, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." I Corinthians 6:9-10 insists that "the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God" and warns us not to be deceived. A list is then given of various kinds of sinful lifestyles with an ending remark that they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Similar statements and conclusions are given in Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:3-5.
It is no wonder that Peter says in I Peter 1:10, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." We thank God for the encouragement of Jude 24 - "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."
Maintaining a Bible centered balance in these difficult issues is of great importance. We do believe in the perseverance of the saints (true believers), but are deeply concerned about sinful lifestyles and rebellious hearts among those who call themselves "Christians." We don't have all the answers to these matters, but we desire to be faithful to the Lord and His word. If we find ourselves basing our view of salvation on the performance and attitudes of people we become discouraged and concerned. But when we keep our eyes on the Lord, and trust in Him alone and in His power, we say with Peter in 1 Peter 1:7 "…..That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold….". Please read 1 Peter 1:3-9.
It is not easy to maintain the unity of the Spirit among us on these matters. It seems that the sovereignty of God and human responsibility are like two parallel lines that do not seem to intersect within our finite minds. God's ways are "past finding out" (Romans 11:33), and the Bible warns us to "lean not unto thy own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). May God help us all to love each other, to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Jesus Christ has forgiven us! In difficult doctrinal matters, may we have gracious attitudes and humble hearts, desiring most of all to please Him who has called us to serve Him in the body of Christ. Discussion- YES! Disagreements - YES! Division - NO!
Jesus said, "By their fruit ye shall know them." When a particular position on the Scriptures causes one to become argumentative, legalistic, and divisive, we question the validity of that position. We seek to embrace those things that tend to make us more loving and kind, more forgiving and merciful. We know then that we are becoming more like my Lord.
Seek those things that produce the loving nature of Jesus in our lives. Let us always have the right attitude, one that pleases Jesus. God can change my understanding of the facts in a moment, but it often takes a lifetime to effect changes of attitude. (A portion of this summary comes from Chuck Smith)

Back to Questions

Who was Cain's wife?
Greetings Vanessa in the Precious Name of Jesus
You asked about the beginning of life when Cain had a wife: where did she come from and when? Your question is a good one and is asked often because people are curious how this world started. The answer can be a simple one. It may not seem simple due to the amount of text we are sending. However, our desire is to include the necessary Bible references in this study for the subject matter.

To begin with, Jesus Created Adam and Eve to be the "Only" parents for the whole future human race. In other words, as you know, Jesus didn't start His Creation from the beginning with four or five sets of husbands and wives to "fill the earth". He started with one couple, Adam and Eve. Scripture tells us that at first Adam and Eve had three sons: Cain, Abel and Seth. Scripture does not tell us if any other sons or daughters were born before Seth. We do know that Adam was 130 years old when he had Seth: then Adam lived 800 more years and had sons and daughters (how many we don't know, probably a whole bunch of kids in 800 years). (See Genesis 5:1-5)

Notice all that took place on earth prior to sin entering the world at Genesis 3:6b. Now, please take the time to read Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 3:6a. The full text is below for your convenience.

Genesis 1:1 The History of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. Note: The Greek word here for "very good" is me'od which means exceedingly or exceptionally, remarkably, extremely, extraordinarily, outstandingly. Jesus is not just saying that His recent Creations are OK. I picture Him looking at His Creation and saying to Himself , "this is all outstanding and beautiful". (Scripture continues) So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:1 The Garden of Eden
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (See John 1:3)

4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said:
"This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3:1 The Temptation and Fall of Man
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, (NKJV)

Here is where the Scripture ends and we continue the study. As we said above, sin began with the verse Genesis 3:6b-7: "she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings". (More on this below, see "A")

Before we go any further let's go back to Genesis 1:31 where we have made the wording bold. There is a very important lesson here. Jesus, God the Son, is proclaiming that all He Created was and is extraordinary and perfect. This includes the genes and the DNA within Adam and Eve's bodies. (A gene is a basic unit of heredity: the basic unit capable of transmitting characteristics from one generation to the next. It consists of a specific sequence of DNA or RNA that occupies a fixed position (locus) on a chromosome.) Having said that about the gene, it tells us that a seed and sperm from Adam and Eve's family members would produce a perfect, or near perfect, offspring: that scenario is not possible today. I'm sure that it took many generations with sin and sickness before relatives were told not to marry. Maybe Moses' writings were the first to relay this information to the people. (See Leviticus 18:1-23)

I doubt that Jesus would have allowed Cain to have sexual relations with his mother, Eve. However, I am also sure that a sister who was born either before or after Seth was Cain's wife. You see, their genes would still be perfect or at least close to perfect. They were the second couple on earth to have children.

So Vanessa, it is true that the Bible does not give all the details on every subject, however, I pray that you will see what the Bible does say "between the lines". Cain's wife must be one of his sisters and that is perfectly okay. About 1800+/- years after Adam, Abraham married his half sister and Isaac and Jacob both married their cousins. It really wasn't until God gave Moses "The Law" that the people were told not to marry a close relative. (See Leviticus 18:1-23)

Here is another place that the Bible speaks to us "between the lines". Gen 4:13-14 "And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me." Notice that Cain tells God: that anyone who finds him will kill me. That verse tells us that there were "many" people on earth at that time. So, this event was before Seth was born when Adam and Eve had many children, grandchildren etc. or: the other possibility is that this event took place after Seth was born along with other brothers and sisters.

("A" from above) This is a different subject matter but I thought pertinent. Here is a little more information about the coverings that Adam and Eve made for themselves. After the LORD talked to Adam and Eve about their future, please notice here that Jesus made tunics of skin for them. Gen 3:21 "Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them." This is the first sacrifice of an animal and the spilling of its blood. This sacrifice leads up to the last sacrifice which is Christ's death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

We have included, for your information, an additional attachment which covers Cain's descendants.

We pray that this information will assist you in explaining to your friend(s) about the early inhabitants of earth.

Back to Questions

Expound on the Ascension!
Greetings to you Norman and Molly in the Precious Name of Jesus:
Below is a little background on the Ascension.
The fortieth day after Easter Sunday, commemorates the Ascension of Christ into heaven, according to Mark:16:19, Luke:23:50-51, and Acts 1:2,9-11. His earthly ministry ceased with His ascension into heaven. To a large extent the ascension was for the benefit of Jesus' followers. They could no longer expect His physical presence. They must now wait for the promised Holy Spirit through whom the work of Jesus would continue.

In the Eastern Church this feast was known as analepsis (the taking up) and as the episozomene (the salvation). The terms used in the West, ascensio and ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by His own powers. Mount Olivet, near Bethany, is designated as the place where Christ left the earth. The feast falls on Thursday, and in some churches it is one of the most solemn in the calendar, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, Easter and Pentecost.

The ascension marked the beginning of Christ's intercession for His followers at the right hand of God (1 Cor. 15:20-28). There He makes continual intercession for all believers (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 4:14; 6:20; 7:25). Although Christ is not physically present with His people today, He is no less concerned for them or less active on their behalf.

This reign will last until His Second Coming, when He will return to the earth as the reigning Messiah (Acts 1:11 & 3:20-21) ("This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven").

The appearances of Jesus are clearly at the heart of early Christian belief. The consistent witness of the New Testament is that in the appearances of Jesus something incredible happened. The two followers in Emmaus, upon realizing it was the risen Jesus, forgot their concern with the lateness of the hour and rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the others (Luke 24:29-33).

The doubting Thomas uttered Christianity's greatest confession when he realized that the risen Christ was actually addressing him (John 20:27). Peter left his fishing nets for good when the risen Savior asked him, "Do you love Me?" (John 21:15). And at a later time (1 Cor. 15:8), the persecutor Paul was transformed into a zealous missionary as the result of a special appearance by the risen Lord (Acts 9:1-22).

A key point here is, Jesus did not suddenly disappear from them, never to be seen by them again, but He gradually ascended as they were watching. But the angels immediately said that He would come back in the same way in which He had gone into heaven. We can not now say where heaven is. Rather than taking extra space here for an explanation of heaven, I will simply suggest you obtain a copy of Randy Alcorn's book titled "Heaven", also, see chapters 54 to 57 of Wayne Grudem's book "Systematic Theology".

When the New Testament writers speak of the resurrection of Jesus, they are bearing witness to, not just what God did for them but what God the Father did to Jesus (God the Son). Certainly, as a result of the resurrection of Jesus human lives were transformed. For Paul this transformation of Christians is not termed resurrection but salvation. "In Christ" is the expression Paul uses for the spiritual experience of the living Christ.

Although no documentation of it exists prior to the beginning of the fifth century, St. Augustine says that the Ascension originated with the Apostles, and that it was observed by the Church long before his time. The Ascension is frequently mentioned in the writings of St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and in the Constitution of the Apostles. Perhaps, prior to the fifth century it was commemorated in conjunction with the feasts of Easter or Pentecost. In some churches, the Ascension was depicted by elevating the figure of Christ above the altar, through an opening in the roof. In others, the figure of Christ was made to ascend and that of the devil was made to descend.

The day celebrates the completion of the Lord's work for our salvation, the pledge of our glorification with Christ, and His entry into heaven with our human nature glorified.

The Bible explicitly speaks of Christ's appearance as a "second time," the phrase "second coming" occurs nowhere in the New Testament. Many passages, however, speak of His return. In fact, in the New Testament alone it is referred to over 300 times.

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus told His apostles that He would return (John 14:3). When Jesus ascended into heaven, two angels appeared to His followers, saying that He would return in the same manner as they had seen Him go (Acts 1:11). The New Testament is filled with expectancy of His coming, even as Christians should be today.

The New Testament makes it clear that the Second Coming will be a climactic historical event. The Lord will return in the same manner in which He left (The Ascension). His coming will be personal, bodily, and visible. The time of the Second Coming is unknown. In fact, Jesus stated that only the Father knew the time. Therefore, the return of the Lord should be a matter of constant expectancy.

Of some interest are a few of the Holy days of obligation in the Catholic Church and their descriptions.
Ascension of the Lord
May 8, 2005 (Sunday) A Holy Day Of Obligation
All ecclesiastical Provinces, except Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia and the State of Nebraska, have transferred this Solemnity to the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Sundays are always a day of Holy Obligation. Commemorates the Ascension of Christ into heaven 40 days after his Resurrection from the dead.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 15, 2005 (Monday) A Holy Day Of Obligation
This Solemnity falls on Sunday in 2004. Sundays are always a day of Holy Obligation. Commemorates the taking into heaven of Mary, soul and body, at the end of her life on earth. A truth of faith that was proclaimed a dogma by Pius XII on Nov. 1, 1950.
Note: Catholics are deeper into the celebration of the Ascension than the Protestants.

Octave of Christmas
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
January 1, 2005 (Saturday) A Holy Day Of Obligation
The Bishops of Region 11 have determined that due to the pastoral reality and the pastoral hardships resulting from the obligation to attend Mass on January 1, the obligation of attending Mass on Saturday January 1, 2005 has been dispensed.
Please make note that January 1st is not a Holy Day of Obligation in the Diocese of Orange. It remains a Holy Day of Obligation for the Universal Church.
Celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary's role in salvation through her divine and virginal motherhood as the Mother of Jesus Christ, Son of God.
The Ascension of the Lord by Allen Ross Th D…Ph.D.
This was a study prepared in Cambridge England on the Ascension
When we consider the doctrine of the Ascension, we must not only think of it as the culmination of Jesus' earthly ministry, the crowning victory, but we must also think of it as the beginning of a new phase of His ministry.
The doctrine is not covered very well in many theology books or commentaries; all too often it seems to have been tucked away as an afterthought. Of course, if some theologians deny the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, they are not likely going to do very much with the ascension.
But even those who believe in the resurrection give little more than a nod to the Ascension and what it means. When Allen Ross was studying in Cambridge in England it was an Ascension Day service that made an impression on him, perhaps because it was, well, unexpected. His professor cancelled classes for the services; and the services culminated in the choirs of St Johns College ascending to the roof top of the chapel tower to sing anthems to the exalted Christ that echoed across the skies over the city.
But when he returned to the United States and tried to attend an Ascension Day service in his church, he was surprised to learn that the church had completely forgotten about it. (And this was a liturgical church that was to observe these things.)
Note: Europeans are deeper into the celebration of the Ascension than the United States.
The Nicene Creed affirms that Christ Jesus "ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and He shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end." In other words, the Creed affirms what the Bible clearly teaches, that after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, after He appeared to various people and groups, He departed from His disciples from the top of the Mount of Olives.
That is, He simply ascended from the earth in the clouds and entered into the heavenly court to be exalted. The ascension teaches that there is in heaven today a "God-man," Jesus, who is fully human and fully divine. And because He ascended into heaven, those who are alive at his second coming will be caught up to be with the Lord in the air, along with those raised from the dead. And that coming of the Lord will be in the same manner as his departure. The doctrine teaches that neither time nor space interferes with our Lord's movements; He was able to travel between earth and heaven (whether a distance or a dimension we cannot say) by His own power.
So Jesus completed his mission to redeem His fallen creation by bringing glorified humanity into heaven at His ascension--in His own person. This is but the foretaste of things to come, for we will follow Him there. In fact Ephesians says that we are already seated in the heavenlies, because we are in Him. Our future is certain.
The significance of this aspect of the Ascension as explained by Scripture is that heaven is our home and not this world. The entire ministry of our Lord has been and continues to be to fit us for glory. So the lesson should be clear: We must live above the world and not like the world (world meaning the present world system that has no place for the Lord). The Scripture again and again tells us not to love the world, neither the things that are in the world, for it is passing away; we are not to lay up treasures here on earth where there is corruption, but in heaven; and we are not to be conformed to this world.
Rather, we must measure everything by heavenly standards, by spiritual, eternal things (2 Cor. 4). We do not belong here. Our rightful place is with Jesus in glory. The more that we grow spiritually, the more that we become like Jesus Christ, the more we will realize that we do not belong here, and that our stay here is an earthly ministry in our eternal life. If our rightful place is with Jesus: we must first accept His teachings in the Gospels and acknowledge Him as God, Creator and Savior of the world and that He is the only one who can forgive me of my sins.
It is note-worthy to mention other ascensions. Gen 5:23-24 "So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." Enoch ascended to be with God, he did not die. You will notice that all the other before and after Enoch lived for about nine hundred years. In another instance, Elisha was talking with Elijah in 2 Kings 2:9-11. "Elisha said, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. So he said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so." Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." So Elijah also ascended into heaven, he also did not die. Finally, The Two Witnesses in Revelation were killed. Rev 11:7-8 & 11-12 "The beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city….. Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them."
Here are some additional Bible verses. John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven." Now Paul tells us in Eph 4:7-10 "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." (Ps 68:18) (Now this, "He ascended" - what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) Also, see 1 Thess 4:17.
We usually compose our answers much shorter, however, the more we investigated the Ascension, the more we thought you would like to have most of the information. We pray that this material is helpful.
In the Service of Christ our King, Creator and Savior

Back to Questions

Was Christ "saved"?
Greetings to you Shontae in the Precious name of Jesus:
You asked if Jesus Christ, the man, is saved.
I will begin with a short story, a parable. The kingdom of heaven is like a Monarch of a certain town. The Monarch is also the lifeguard. Now that town decided to have a pot-luck party at the beach so the people could go swimming. Now the Monarch of the town was a very wise and honest man who informed the people that they should not eat a certain food if they were planning on going into the water because it would cause cramps which would cause them to drown. This particular food was quite delicious. Against the Monarch's strict directions, all the people there ate some of the "forbidden" food. After the meal the beauty of the day lured all of the people into the water. As predicted by the Monarch, all of the people did indeed get sick, got cramps, and started yelling for help. All of the people needed someone to save them, so the Monarch provided their salvation. Who was there to save the Monarch of the town? Does the Monarch need to be saved? The Monarch does not need anyone to save him because he is the lifeguard, the spiritual ruler of the town.
Say that eating the particular, delicious, food and then going into the water is a sin. Now, think about our life here on earth. We all sin and need someone to save us because we can't be "good enough" ourselves to eliminate our sins.
That is where Jesus comes in. Let's look at 1 John 1:8-10, it says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He(Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." This verse states unequivocally that Jesus will forgive our sins and thus, He is the only one who can save us.
Let us look further into just who Jesus really is! In the Bible, John 1:1-3, gives us one of the best accounts concerning Jesus, It says, "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." In other words, Jesus was in existence from the beginning, from all eternity. Jesus was God and is God and He created all things.
Your question is: "Was Jesus Christ in the flesh (the man) saved?" The question might have been asked: "Did Jesus Christ need to be saved?" The answer to the last question is NO! Let's look at 1 Cor 15:24-25 to see why: "….in the end, when He (Jesus, God the Son) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He (Jesus) puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He (Jesus) must reign till He (Jesus) has put all enemies under His (Jesus) feet." It's very clear here that Jesus will terminate the control of all kings, rulers and presidents all around the world.

Here are a couple of additional verses that may be of some assistance.
1.Acts 4:9-12 "….let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (God the Son), whom you crucified, whom God(the Father) raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole……Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Only Jesus can save us!
2. Heb 4:14-16 "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Note here that He (Jesus) was without sin. Therefore, there was nothing for Him to be saved from. He was perfect!!
I have also included below a chart titled "Who saves us God or Jesus, or are they the same". You will ascertain, with this information, that Jesus is in fact God, our LORD, Creator and Savior.
In the Service of Christ

Old Testament Isa 43:11                  I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no Savior.

New Testament Acts 4:12                Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven (Jesus)

Old Testament Jonah 2:9                 Salvation comes from the Lord

New Testament Titus 2:13              The glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Old Testament 2Sam 22:12              ...Exalted be God, the rock, my Savior.

New Testament John 4:42                ...and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.

Old Testament Isa 12:2                    Surely God is my Salvation

New Testament Heb 1:8                   But about the Son He says, your throne, Oh God, will last for ever and ever,...

Old Testament Isa 45:22                  Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other

New Testament Titus 3:4                 ...And love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, ...through Jesus Christ our Savior

Old Testament Deut 1:17                 ...For judgement belongs to God

New Testament John 5:22                ...All judgement to the Son

Old Testament Isa 55:3                    ...Hear me that your soul may live

New Testament 1 John 5:20              ...In His Son Jesus Christ, He is the true God and eternal life

Old Testament Mal 3:6                     I the Lord do not change

New Testament Heb 13:8                 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever

Back to Questions

Is Baptism required for salvation?
Greetings Michael and Claudia in the Precious Name of Jesus.
Thank you for your question: Is baptism required for salvation?
Your question is frequently asked. Unfortunately, many Christian denominations set "Requirements" for Salvation that have no Biblical basis. Baptism happens to be one of those so-called requirements. Other erroneous requirements are: 1. Speaking in tongues, 2. Confessing after every sin. 3. Attending only that particular church. There are others, all of which are wrong and very damaging.

Let's look at a passage in Romans 6:3 which says, "Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" There are three parts of this blessing: that is, (1) the death and burial of the old man and/or his sin. (2) The resurrection of the new man, which descends into us, due to the benefit of our own death and burial. (3) The Resurrection of Christ, of which baptism is a sign and pledge. Please understand that baptism is used here as an outward sign (or pledge) that we will follow Jesus. It has nothing to do with salvation.

Now let's look at a verse from the LORD in Matt 28:18-20: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you'". There is nothing here that says one must be baptized to be saved. Mark 16:15-16 says it a little differently but with the same meaning. "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.'" Jesus does not say that if you are not baptized you will be damned. He is not saying that baptism is necessary to salvation, but that the person who is saved will be baptized. It is the rejection of Christ which brings eternal damnation. See what John the Baptist says, below.

John makes it very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ is superior, and he gives his followers this wonderful testimony concerning the Lord Jesus. "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life." It is true for you right now, Michael and Claudia if you believe the Gospel of Jesus. It couldn't be any clearer than that. John the Baptist preached the gospel, as you can see. He told the men that they are lost without Christ, but they have everlasting life through faith in Christ. What a testimony this man had. What a tremendous witness to the LORD Jesus Christ.

Let's look at a verse that Paul wrote to the Roman church. This verse is used extensively when discussing Salvation. Romans 10:9 says; "......if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Simply put, if you believe that Jesus is God, our Creator and our Savior and that He rose from the dead, you are saved for all eternity. Of course, there is much more to learn and to do. This makes you a believer and is the first step on the road of Christian growth. Enjoy your time with Jesus!
Do you have a follow up question? ProJesus is here for you.
In the Love of Jesus:

Back to Questions

Who forgives "Jesus the Savior"?
Greetings Shonna in the Precious Name of Jesus:
May I first apologize for the delay in this reply? We were doing some work on the web-site and the e-mail.
Your question was how can you have God forgive your sins and also be your savior?

Jesus is very simply "All things to all men and women". John 13:3 says
"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands."
Thus, Jesus is God, He is the Creator of the universe and He is the Savior of the world. He is your Savior and mine. He forgives your sins and mine.

The Bible in Matt 9:2 says: "Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed". When Jesus saw their faith and knowing full well that God and only God can forgive sins, "Jesus said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." This of course made the religious leaders of the day very angry because Jesus was saying that He in fact was God. They were angry to the point that they wanted to have Jesus killed.

This act by Jesus led to His suffering, His death on the cross and His Resurrection from the dead. Why did He do this for you and me? Because He loves us that much, that's why.

The Bible states in Romans 10:8-9, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." This verse makes it quite clear, if we sincerely believe that Jesus is God and He rose from the dead we will be saved. We will be with Jesus in Heaven for all eternity.
Now Shonna, who do you say that Jesus is?
In the Love of Jesus the Christ

Back to Questions

Did God create good and evil?
Greetings Bill in the Precious Name of Jesus:
Once we understand that God is the all-powerful Creator it seems reasonable to conclude that he also preserves and governs everything in the universe as well. Though the term providence is not found in Scripture, it has been traditionally used to summarize God's ongoing relationship to his creation. Moreover, the biblical doctrine does not teach that events in creation by chance (or randomness), nor are they determined by impersonal but by God, who is the personal yet infinitely powerful and Lord.

We may define God's providence as follows: God is continually involved with all things in such a way that he (1) keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them; (2) cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and (3) directs them to fulfill his purposes.

What About Evil? If God docs indeed cause, through his providential activity, everything that comes about in the world, then the question arises, "What is the relationship between God and evil in the world?" Does God actually cause the evil actions that people do? If he does, then is God not responsible for sin?

In approaching this question, it is best first to read the passages of Scripture that most directly address it. We can begin by looking at several passages that affirm that God did, indeed, cause evil events to come about and evil deeds to be done. But we must remember that in all these passages it is very clear that Scripture nowhere shows God as directly doing anything evil, but rather as bringing about evil deeds through the willing actions of moral creatures.

Moreover, Scripture never blames God for evil or shows God as taking pleasure in evil, and Scripture never excuses human beings for the wrong they do. However we understand God's relationship to evil, we must never come to the point where we think that we are not responsible for the evil that we do, or that God takes pleasure in evil or is to be blamed for it. Such a conclusion is clearly contrary to Scripture.

There are literally dozens of Scripture passages that say that God (indirectly) brought about some kind of evil. Quoted here is an extensive list (in the next few paragraphs) because Christians often are unaware of the extent of this forthright teaching in Scripture. Yet it must be remembered that in all of these examples, the evil is actually done not by God but by people or demons who choose to do it.

A very clear example is found in the story of Joseph. Scripture clearly says that Joseph's brothers were wrongly jealous of him (Gen. 37:11), hated him (Gen. 37:4, 5, 8), wanted to kill him (Gen. 37:20), and did wrong when they cast him into a pit (Gen. 37:24) and then sold him into slavery in Egypt (Gen. 37:28). Yet later Joseph could say to his brothers, "God sent me before you to preserve life" (Gen. 45:5), and "You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today'' (Gen. 50:20).s Here we have a combination of evil deeds brought about by sinful men who are rightly held accountable for their sin and the overriding providential control of God whereby God's own purposes were accomplished. Both are clearly affirmed.

The story of thc exodus from Egypt repeatedly affirms that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh: God says, "I will harden his heart" (Ex. 4:21), "I will harden Pharaoh's heart" (Ex. 7: 3), "the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh" (Ex. 9:12), "the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart" (Ex. 10:20, repeated in 10:27 and again in 11:10), "I will harden Pharaoh's heart" (Ex. 14:4), and "the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt" (Ex. 14:8). It is sometimes objected that Scripture also says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Ex. 8:15, 32; 9:34), and that God's act of hardening Pharaoh's heart was only in response to the initial rebellion and hardness of heart that Pharaoh himself exhibited of his own free will. But it should be noted that God's promises that he would harden Pharaoh's heart (Ex. 4:21; 7:3) are made long before Scripture tells us that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (we read of this for the first time in Ex. 8:15).

Moreover, our analysis of concurrence given above, in which both divine and human agents can cause the same event, should show us that both factors can be true at the same time: even when Pharaoh hardens his own heart, that is not inconsistent with saying that God is causing Pharaoh to do this and thereby God is hardening the heart of Pharaoh. Finally, if someone would object that God is just intensifying the evil desires and choices that were already in Pharaoh's heart, then this kind of action could still in theory at least cover all the evil in the world today, since all people have evil desires in their hearts and all people do in fact make evil choices.

What was God's purpose in this? Paul reflects on Exodus 9:16 and says, "For the scripture says to Pharaoh, 'I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth'"
More detail on this subject can be found in "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem.

The following is an excellent paper written by Gregory Koukl. Mr. Koukl is founder and president of the organization "Stand to Reason", based in Southern California (
What is evil? Could it have a purpose? Here is a view of evil from an adult rather than a childish perspective. The first step in answering the problem of evil is this: We've got to get clear on what this thing "evil" actually is. It does seem to follow that if God created all things, and evil is a thing, then God created evil. This is a valid syllogism. If the premises are true, then the conclusion would be true as well. The problem with that line of reasoning is that the second premise is not true.

Evil is not a thing. The person who probably explained it best was St. Augustine, and then Thomas Aquinas picked up on his solution. Others since them have argued that evil has no ontological status in itself. The word ontology deals with the nature of existence. When I say that evil has no ontological status, I mean that evil, as a thing in itself, does not exist.

Let me give you an illustration to make this more clear. We talk about things being cold or warm. But coldness is not a thing that exists in itself; it has no ontological status. Coldness is the absence of heat. When we remove heat energy from a system, we say it gets colder. "Cold" isn't a thing. It's a way of describing the reduction of molecular activity resulting in the sensation of heat. So the more heat we pull out of a system, the colder it gets. Cold itself isn't being "created." Cold is a description of a circumstance in which heat is missing. Heat is energy which can be measured. When you remove heat, the temperature goes down. We call that condition "cold," but there is no cold "stuff" that causes that condition.

Here's another way of looking at it. Did you ever eat a donut hole? I don't mean those little round sugar-coated lumps you buy at the donut shop. I mean the hole itself. Donut holes are actually what's left when the middle is cut out of a donut. There's a space called a hole, a "nothing," the condition that exists when something is taken away. Same thing with a shadow. Shadows don't exist as things in themselves; they're just the absence of light.

Evil is like that. Evil isn't like some black, gooey stuff floating around the universe that gloms onto people and causes them to do awful things. Evil is the absence of GOOD, a privation of good, not a thing in itself. When God created the universe, he created everything good. He made a universe that was perfectly GOOD. Everything was as it should be. After God was completely done with creating everything, something happened that reduced the good in the world. That loss of good is called evil. That's why in Genesis 1 we read "it was good" many times.

From the record we know that God didn't create evil. But something did happen in which evil-the loss of good-took place, and as a result a lot of other grotesque things came about. So donut holes don't exist; they're just the absence of donut. Shadows don't exist; they're just the absence of light. And evil doesn't exist; it's just the absence of good. The next question is, if God created everything good, why would He allow evil to infect His creation? Satan would be the first example of an independent source of evil.

Adam and Eve would also be a source of evil with regard to the human race. They didn't get Satan's evil; they initiated their own. Satan influenced them--he made his own hole in goodness--but Adam and Eve made their own holes in goodness. They're responsible for their own evil. It isn't that Satan did something bad and passed that stuff on to them, because evil is not a stuff. This is a key point in this discussion. They cannot "dip into" evil because it's not a thing to dip into.
When we make a shadow, we don't do it with shadow stuff, but by blocking existing light.

In the same way, evil doesn't cause our actions. In fact, it's the other way around. Our actions are what cause evil-or the loss of goodness-in us, and that loss of goodness does have an impact on future actions, giving us a predisposition to cause further evil. God did not create Adam and Eve with bad stuff in them. What He did was to create them with a capability to rebel against Him or choose to do wrong. This is called moral free will, and it's a good thing, but it can be used for bad. It can be used to rebel against God, which digs out a hole in goodness, so to speak.

Satan and man both used their free moral agency to originate actions that fell short of the goodness of God. I'm sure God had a good reason for allowing evil. It has caused a lot of suffering, but that suffering has, in turn, also brought about a lot of good under God's direction. When you forgive someone who's wronged you
and you treat him kindly, is that a good thing? Sure it is, but you couldn't forgive him if he hadn't done something bad against you. I'm not saying that we should do evil so that the good of forgiveness could come about. I'm showing that it's not a contradiction to claim that good can come out of evil.

It's not good to promote evil itself, but one of the things about God is that He's capable of taking a bad thing and making good come out of it. Mercy is one example of that. Without sin there would be no mercy. That's true of a number of good things: bearing up under suffering, dealing with injustice, acts of heroism, forgiveness, long-suffering. These are all virtues that cannot be experienced in a world with no sin and evil.

Now the real question at this point is, "Was it worth it? Good can come out of evil, but was it worth it in the long run, the measure of good that comes out of the measure of evil in the world?" And my response is that the only One who could ever know that is God. You and I couldn't know that because our perspective is too limited. Only God is in a position to accurately answer that question. Apparently God thinks that, on balance, the good is going to outweigh the evil that caused the good, or else He wouldn't have allowed it to happen.

Christ paid a tremendous price, an example of the tremendous love God had for us. God would not be able to show His sacrificial love unless there was something to sacrifice for.

Here's the problem, and this is why we don't think that, on balance, it's really a fair trade. We think that life is about giving us pleasure and making us happy. That's what we think. This view is very prevalent in the United States. Our personal happiness, pleasure, and enjoyment are the most important things in life. That's not what the Bible teaches at all, though. There are aspects of enjoyment, but the ultimate reason we were created was not so we can have fun and enjoy life. God's purpose for creating us was to develop us into certain types of people who were fit to spend eternity with Him. He does that by conforming us to His image by helping us grow through the process of living in a fallen world. This is part of the message of the book of Hebrews.

Even Jesus was conformed-made mature-by the process of suffering. In God's mind, the goal of the process-being conformed to the image of His Son-is a much greater good than the bad of the evil that we have to put up with on this earth. The balance is definitely on the side of good. I admit that this is not an easy issue, and part of the reason is that we bring some baggage to the discussion.

Part of the baggage is that we have this idea that if God put us here on this earth and created the world for us to live in, then it seems to make sense that the summum bonum-the greatest good-is our immediate sense of personal pleasure and satisfaction. Therefore, if there is some circumstance in which we can't have immediate satisfaction, then God must either have abandoned us, not exist, or be evil for allowing such a thing.

Last weekend I had a conversation with a young man about homosexuality. He challenged me with this point: Why would God create people as homosexuals if He didn't want them to experience the pleasure of homosexual sex? Now, of course, I didn't agree with Him that God created people to be homosexuals. It wasn't God's design that they have this desire. But even if I conceded such a thing, why must I admit that-since one was created with a capacity for pleasure-only a mean, cruel God would allow conditions in which they'd have to say no to that pleasure?

When you think about it for a moment, doesn't it strike you as odd that we've developed a view that in order for us to acknowledge God as good, He must give liberty to all of our passions? And if God doesn't give liberty to all of our passions, if He doesn't allow us what we want, when we want it, if He ever asks for self sacrifice, if He ever allows a condition in which we hurt, in which we suffer, in which we are inconvenienced, if He ever allows a circumstance in which our bodily desires are not given full reign, then certainly He must be a cruel God? Isn't that an odd view?

Do you know what kind of person thinks that way? A child. A child sees what it wants and goes to get it, and if it's stopped, that child puts up a fuss. I was with a little two-year-old today who wanted to go into the house while wearing muddy shoes. She was stopped, and she put up a fuss when her shoes were removed. Mom and Dad new, though, that there were other things more important than their daughter's desires at that moment. Now she didn't understand it. All she knew was what she wanted (understandably, by the way, she's a two-year-old; that's the way two-year-olds think). Unfortunately, we've bred a society that are, in many ways, like a bunch of adult two-year-olds, grown-ups who believe it's their divine right to feel every pleasure they can possibly feel, to never encounter any difficulty, any pain, any suffering. And if they do, then God must be a cruel God.

Now I realize that some of you might be thinking, "come on, Koukl, you're really whitewashing this, aren't you. How can so much egregious suffering be justified?" I don't at all mean to brush away the terrible impact of evil on people's lives. But I'm talking about a frame of mind that we do seem to have, a frame of mind that we are first and our pleasures are first and God owes that to us. And if He denies us our pleasures to any degree, then there must be something wrong with Him.

Now if God is a good God, and He denies us our pleasures, then I'll tell you one thing, there's a good reason He does so. That's what it means to be a good God. I'm not going to buy the idea-the infantile idea that Americans have-that in order for God to be considered good, He has to give me everything I want, when I want it, or conversely, He must protect me from every injury and every difficulty. No, it's fair to say that God has allowed suffering in the world for very good reasons, even though we're not clear on all of those reasons.

By the way, what's the alternative? If you conclude there's no God because of the existence of evil, then there's no possibility of ever redeeming that evil for good. British philosopher Bertrand Russell said that no one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God. My response to Mr. Russell is, "What would you say to a dying child?" What could an atheist say? "Too bad"? "Tough luck"? "Bum deal"? You see, in that circumstance, there's no possibility of redemption for that evil. In fact, it doesn't seem to make sense to even call it evil at all if there is no God.

But with God, at least there's the possibility that the evil can be used for good. That's the promise of the Scriptures. And so, instead of the syllogism, "God created all things, and evil is a thing, therefore God created evil," we start from a different point. "All things God created are good-which is what the text says-and evil isn't good, therefore God didn't create evil." Then we can progress to, "If God created all things, and God didn't create evil, then evil is not a thing."

You see, those two syllogisms are just as valid as the first one (if God created all things, and evil is a thing, then God created evil), and it seems that the premises are more reliable. The premises seem to be accurate and true. The questions we have to ask ourselves are: Do we have reason to think that God is good, and do we have reason to think that evil is not a thing? If we have good reasons to think those two things, then our new set of syllogisms work.

We can then strongly trust that when God does allow a privation of good (evil) to influence our lives, He does it not for evil designs, but ultimately for good purposes.
What makes you think the ability to take away evil from the world has anything to do with God's strength?

I was thinking more about this the other day. I often try to think through some of these issues to see if there is a shortcut to the solution that won't undermine the argument, that won't rip the guts out of it. When we talked to Dr. Geivett, (who has written a whole book on the problem of evil) he spelled out the classical objection to the problem of evil, the most damaging objection, potentially, to Christianity. That objection is this: there is something inconsistent in what Christians believe about the nature of the world and the nature of God. In other words, the Christian belief is contradictory.

As Dr. Geivett pointed out, having an argument that is contradictory is the worst thing that could happen to you, because it means your view is false. Period. So if it can be shown that the Christian view is contradictory then at least at that point the Christian world view is false. Here's how the objection is usually stated: If God were all good, as you say, He would want to deal with the problem of evil. And if God were all powerful, as you say, then He would be able to deal with the problem of evil. Obviously, evil exists, therefore He is either not all good or He is not all powerful, or maybe He is neither. In any case, the presence of evil in the world disproves the Christian view of God. See how that argument works? It is called a defeater.

This observation of an apparent contradiction defeats the Christian's view of God. Now of course if the argument is sound, then Christianity has been defeated. I think that is fair to say. I don't think the argument is sound, though. And we've talked in different ways about how Augustine has argued and C.S. Lewis has argued and others have unfolded this particular argument and for some it might have been complex. Well, I'm going to give you a short cut, because what Doug Geivett said really stuck in my mind.

In his response Dr. Geivett questioned both of the premises. His question was, "What makes you think that taking away evil in the world has anything to do with God's strength?" Here is how it can be played out. This will make it very clear. When this comes up again I'm going to tell this story.

Let's pretend that you claim to be the strongest person in the world. More than that, you are the strongest person in the universe. You can pick up an entire building. You are so strong that you can pick up an entire city. You are so strong you can pick up an entire country. In fact, if you had a place to stand, you could lift the entire planet, even the solar system. You have so much strength, you can do anything that strength allows you to do. This is your boast to me.
"OK," I say, "let's see if you can prove it."
"Just give me any test you want" you respond.
"If you are so strong, then make a square circle."
"I can't do that."
"You're not very strong, are you?"
"This has nothing to do with strength, does it? Because no matter how strong I am, I could never make a square circle, because making a square circle has nothing to do with power. It is a self-contradictory concept, having square circles. They can't be made by anybody regardless of how strong they are. This test is unrelated to the issue of power."

Now, how does this tie into our discussion of the problem of evil? Simply this. God certainly is strong enough to obliterate evil from the earth or to have prevented it in the first place. No question about that. But let me ask you a question. Is it a good thing that God created human beings as free moral creatures, capable of making moral choices? It strikes me that the answer to that is yes. Because God is good--which is one of the things in question here--God created free moral creatures. But this changes everything, doesn't it? What makes you think that strength has anything to do with God creating a world in which there are genuinely free moral creatures and no possibility of doing wrong?

You see, now we're back to square circles. It's just as ridiculous to ask God to create a world in which we have genuinely free creatures with no possibility to do wrong, as it is to ask Him to create a square circle. The task has nothing to do with His strength. It has to do with the nature of the problem. If you're going to have morally free creatures--that is, human beings that can make moral choices for themselves--and if God is good, then He is going to create creatures that will be truly morally free. But that entails, of necessity, at least the possibility of evil in the world. This has nothing to do with God's power.

It is unrelated to the issue of power just like making square circles is unrelated to the issue of power. It relates to the nature of the good universe that God created, a universe that was populated by beings that were morally free. Morally free creatures by necessity, by definition, have the possibility of going bad. Now you know why this is not a good argument against the existence of God. It just doesn't apply.

One could even argue there's a kind of category error here because in this particular case, according to Christianity, dealing with evil has nothing to do with strength. It has to do with the nature of the game itself. What's neat about the Christian point of view, is that God did the good thing by creating morally free creatures that went bad, yet still did the loving thing by cleaning up the mess man created in such a way that greater good results. Now that's the result of a Master mind.

I have given you so much information already, so, if you also would like this article please let me know.


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Is pork O.K?
Greetings Brian in the Precious Name of Jesus:
The first bit of information we find about diet, from the Bible, is in Genesis 9:2-4 where the LORD tells Noah what they can eat. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. The people are now able to eat meat. All the generations from Adam to the flood ate only food from the earth, fruits and vegetables.

Now we jump ahead about 1000 years to the time of Moses. This is the time when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and the Law. So, from the time of Noah till Moses the Israelites were allowed to eat all types of meat.

Chapter eleven (11) in the book of Leviticus provides a great deal of information about foods, for the Israelites, that were permitted and forbidden by God. Leviticus 11:7-8 gives us information about the swine or pig: "...and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you." NKJV Also see Deuteronomy 14:3-21.

The following are two commentaries on the subject.
God spoke both to Moses and to Aaron about this matter, for it was particularly required of the priests that they should put a difference between clean and unclean food, and teaches the people to do so. After the flood, when God entered into covenant with Noah and his sons, he allowed them to eat flesh (Gen 9:13), whereas before they were confined to the productions of the earth, fruits and vegetables. But the liberty allowed to the sons of Noah is here limited to the sons of Israel. They might eat flesh, but not all kinds of flesh; some they must look upon as unclean and forbidden to them, others as clean and allowed them. The law in this matter is both very particular and very strict. But what reason can be given for this law? Why may not God's people have as free a use of all the creatures as other people?
It is reason enough that God would have it so: his will, as it is law sufficient, so it is reason sufficient; for his will is his wisdom. He saw good then to try and exercise the obedience of his people, not only in the solemnities of his altar, but in matters of daily occurrence at their own table, that they might remember they were under authority. Thus God had tried the obedience of man in innocence, by forbidding him to eat of one particular tree.
Most of the meats forbidden as unclean are such as were really unwholesome, and not fit to be eaten; and those of them that we think wholesome enough, and use accordingly, as the rabbit, the hare, and the swine, perhaps in those countries, and to their bodies, might be hurtful. And then God in this law did by them but as a wise and loving father does by his children, whom he restrains from eating that which he knows will make them sick.
God would thus teach his people to distinguish themselves from other people, not only in their religious worship, but also in the common actions of life.
While the laws relating to uncleanness providentially had many good hygienic results, this was not their primary purpose. The distinction between unclean and clean was not even a matter of "sinful" and "unsinful," for much of the ritual defilement came about through accident, illness, physical processes, and other actions that were proper and even commendable.
Actually there were three ritual states - holy, clean (pure), and unclean (impure). Thus ceremonial cleanness was merely a neutral state between the impure and the holy. The intent of the laws of uncleanness was essentially theological and religious - to set forth obedience to the laws of Israel's covenant Lawgiver because He had ordained them. However, this does not preclude a divine rationale in the selection of unclean and clean animals, including hygienic reasons in at least some cases.

The Orthodox Jewish people of today still abide in the custom of refraining from the eating of pork.

Now we transition to a time after Christ's Death and Resurrection. Peter saw a vision from the LORD about food and what he could now eat. Peter responds in a very curious way. Acts 10:9-16 states: The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common." This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

While Peter is wondering what this means, a voice speaks to him. Isn't it interesting that he calls Him, "Lord," but he doesn't obey what the Lord tells him to do? Now don't miss this. Here is a man who is on this side of the Day of Pentecost. He is living in this age of grace when it makes no difference whether we eat meat or whether we don't eat meat. However, Peter is still abiding by the Mosaic system and he is not eating anything that is ceremonially unclean. He is sincere and honest about it. Well, you see that the Lord is teaching him that he is no longer under the Mosaic system and is free to eat anything. Under grace you can eat meat or not eat meat. That is your business. Eating some certain food may give you indigestion, but it certainly will not change your relationship with the Lord.

What God has cleansed you must not call common. This rebuttal gives Mark 7:14-23 more meaning. It is generally recognized that Mark wrote down Peter's words. In retrospect Peter must have recognized that Jesus as the Messiah cleansed all goods from ceremonial defilement.

Therefore, today, we are allowed to eat all animals but of course we are to take care of the preparation.

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Why is Jesus' way the correct "religion"?
Greetings in the Name of Jesus:
To answer your question "Why is Jesus the correct religion", is simple and complex at the same time. Very simply, Jesus said that He is God and we should follow His instructions. However, to give you a little more information, I will begin with the presupposition that we were created. There are only two choices, either we were created or we evolved from some pond.

The evidence for creation over evolution is enormous. Over the past 20 years, scientists have uncovered many of the mysteries of life, for example D.N.A. Every thing in the universe points to an intelligent designer. Thus as I stated above, we will start with the premise of creation.

So then, the obvious first question would be: who is the designer, the creator? Who is God? Of all the founders of the various world religions, none of them even infers, in the slightest way, that they are the creator of the universe and God. None that is except for Jesus the Christ.

Why is Jesus God and Creator and not Mohammed or Buddha or Confucius? The Bible is very clear on the position that Jesus took concerning His Divinity. So, since Jesus claimed to be God He is either a lunatic and a liar or He is the LORD of the universe; He is God! If Jesus is that liar and lunatic, we of the Christian faith are to be pitied more than all men because we have been deceived. If that is the case, then we must search further as to who is God.

The Muslim's believe in Allah, the Buddhist and Hindu's have many gods, as do most world religions. All world religions except Christianity are based on good works to obtain salvation. Salvation depends on how good a person has been here on earth. That scenario just doesn't work. For example, a teenager selling drugs to make money for his family may be mistaken as being a "good" person.

Information on many world religions can be found on the web site.

The next step is to explore; "Is Jesus God?" What is the evidence for this situation? First, did Jesus really live on earth? Besides the Bible narrative, there were many secular writers, at the time of Christ who verified that Jesus was in fact a real person. i.e. Historians like Pliney and Tacitus.

Since I mentioned the Bible, let me indicate an additional presupposition. The Bible is without error. That statement is based on the study of ancient manuscripts, archeology, the accuracy of Bible translations (The Dead Sea Scrolls), the reliability of the Bible eyewitness authors i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul etc, and other areas of study. If we follow this line of reasoning, we must conclude that all that Jesus taught was the truth. After all is said and done, that's what we are after, the TRUTH.

Now let's look at some of the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
Old Testament                     Prediction Nature of Prophecy         New Testament Fulfillment
Isaiah 7:14                           Born of a Virgin Matt                             1:22-23
ISAIAH 7:14                        To be called Emmanuel                          Matt 1:23
Micah 5:2                            To be born in Bethlehem                         Matt 2:5-6
Ps 22:16 & Zech 12:10         Piercing of hands & feet                          Mk 15:25 & Jn 19:34
Ps 16:10                              Raised from the dead                              Matt 28:2-8
And, there are many, many more prophecies which Jesus fulfilled.

We have presented evidence to show that the Bible is inerrant. So now, about the question, is Jesus really God. Let us consider a few questions:
1. Why did Jesus die?
    Jesus was crucified for what He said about Himself!
2. What did He say about Himself?
    Jesus said that He has the power to forgive sins!
    Jesus said that He and the Father are one!
    Jesus said "If you see me, you have seen the Father"
    Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life no one goes to the
                Father (Heaven) except through Me"
                What does that mean to you?
    Jesus said "The Father entrusts all judgement to the Son"
    Jesus said "Because you have seen me, you have believed", in response
                to Thomas' statement "My Lord and my God"!

Possibly the most powerful verse in the Bible that claims Deity for Jesus is in
John 1:1-14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made...........He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.......The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." "Word" in Greek is Logos meaning Divine. Thus, this verse confirms that Jesus is Divine and the Creator of all things.

Where we spend eternity is the "Most Important" decision we make during our life.
Who guides us to eternal salvation and glory or to eternal damnation? (Yes, "Hell" is mentioned in the Bible).

Let's consider the following information from the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament God is relaying, in very strong language, that He and He alone is the Savior. However, Jesus also says that He forgives sins and is our Savior.

Old Testament Isa 43:11           I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no Savior.
New Testament Acts 4:12         Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven (Jesus)

Old Testament Jonah 2:9          Salvation comes from the Lord
New Testament Titus 2:13        The glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Old Testament 2Sam 22:12        Exalted be God, the rock, my Savior.
New Testament John 4:42         and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.

Old Testament Isa 12:2             Surely God is my Salvation
New Testament Heb 1:8            But about the Son He says, your throne, Oh God, will last for ever and ever,...

Old Testament Isa 45:22           Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other
New Testament Titus 3:4         And love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, through Jesus Christ our Savior

Old Testament Deut 1:17          For judgement belongs to God
New Testament John 5:22         All judgement to the Son

Old Testament Isa 55:3             Hear me that your soul may live
New Testament 1 John 5:20       In His Son Jesus Christ, He is the true God and
eternal life

Old Testament Mal 3:6              I the Lord do not change
New Testament Heb 13:8          Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever

These Old and New Testament verses confirm that Jesus in the New Testament is the same as the God of the Old Testament. Jesus is GOD. Previously, we mentioned that all world religions rely on good works, except for Christianity. According to the Bible, Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. Romans 10:9 states: "..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."

Who is your Savior? Whom are you trusting? Do you fear the grave, or have you been able to put off that fear because you received the free gift of eternal life by trusting in Christ alone, by resting your hopes not in what you have done for God, but in what He has done for you upon a Cross? That is the Good News.

The greatest problem of all: the matter of death. The greatest Problem Solver of all: Jesus Christ--the only hope beyond the mortician's bench.

Jesus said in John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (Heaven) except through Me."

Let's say that all Christians and I are wrong. But, if I have accomplished good works here on earth, it seems to me that I would be in the same situation with every-one else. However, what if Christianity is right and Jesus is God and you refused to acknowledge Him, where will you be on judgement day? Is it worth taking the chance with your eternal life?

Who is your hope? Who is your savior today? I urge you to repent and invite Christ to come into your life. Trust Him as Savior and Lord of your life, and the bands of the fear of death will be broken, and you will be set free.

Christianity is not a religion in the way the dictionary defines religion. True Christianity is a "Relationship with the Living Jesus".

Why do we tell people about Jesus? We don't gain any extra points from God. So, why then do we do it? Purely out of the Love of Jesus that is in every true Believer and Follower of Christ our King.

Who do you say that Jesus is?

Below is a news article by Jim Bishop. It really makes sense to me.
There Is No God? By Jim Bishop
Jim Bishop, popular author of 21 books, including "The Day Christ Died" and "The Day Kennedy Was Shot," died in 1987. This column, written in the 1965, was a favorite of his wife, Kell. What about the planets; they made themselves. No power keeps them on their steady course. The earth spins itself to keep the oceans from falling off toward the sun. Infants teach themselves to cry when they are hungry or hurt. A small flower invented itself so that we could extract digitalis for sick hearts.
The earth gave itself day and night, tilted itself so that we get seasons. Without the magnetic poles man would be unable to navigate the trackless oceans of water and air, but they just grew there.
How about the sugar thermostat in the pancreas? It maintains a level of sugar in the blood sufficient for energy. Without it, all of us would fall into a coma and die.
Why does snow sit on mountaintops waiting for the warm spring sun to melt it at just the right tune for the young crops in farms below to drink? A very lovely accident.
The human heart will beat for 70 or 80 years without faltering. How does it get sufficient rest between beats? A kidney will filter poison from the blood, and leave good things alone. How does it know one from the other?
Who gave the human tongue flexibility to form words, and a brain to understand them, but denied it to all other animals?
Who showed a womb how to take the love of two persons and keep splitting a tiny ovum until, in time, a baby would have the proper number of fingers, eyes and ears and hair in the right places, and come into the world when it is strong enough to sustain life?
There is no God (Jesus)?

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Describe the Crucifixion!
Greetings Hannah in the Precious Name of Jesus:
It is so good to hear from a young lady who is interested in learning more about Jesus the Christ, our Creator and Savior.
I will be using a lot of Scripture in answering your question, some of which are at the end of these comments.

In chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was teaching His Apostles about the Kingdom of Heaven. Then we go to chapter 26 where Jesus again tells His Apostles that He must die, they still don't understand the fact that Jesus must die. They are still expecting Him to be their King and overthrow the Romans. In spite of everything, they don't realize that Jesus is God the Son, our Creator and Savior! That is, not until after the Resurrection when they all change their attitude, and the Holy Spirit comes upon them.

Matt 26:1-2 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified." Matt 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane. This is the place that Jesus was betrayed by Judas. In the Bible, Matthew 26:50 states; Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him to be crucified. The story continues in the Gospel of Matthew 26:57 to 27:2 which tells us of the plot to kill Jesus (Please read this text below before you continue).

Now we will pick up at Matt 27:15-18; Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" The crowd demanded that Pilate release Barabbas and they further yelled that they wanted Jesus crucified. Matt 27:26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. Notice the word "scourged" in the last sentence.

We will now go to a prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the scourging and death of the Messiah (Jesus). Isaiah 52:14 "Yet many will be amazed when they see Him (Jesus) .....they shall stand dumb-founded, speechless in His presence. For they shall see and understand what they had not been told before. They shall see my Servant (Jesus) beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there." TLB. This was a terrible, unthinkable, beating that Jesus endured for us. Isaiah continues with more description of the crucifixion, please read Isaiah 53 below before you continue.

Now we go back to the New Testament where Jesus was crucified. Matt 27:35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: This fulfills the prophecy in Psalms 22:18 "They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots." As part of the crucifixion, the Romans used large spike nails that were driven into Jesus' wrists and feet. I can not imagine the pain that Jesus must have felt when the nails were hammered into His body.

When a person was crucified, death actually came by asphyxiation. When the body was hanging from the arms the person on the cross was not able to get a breath of air. He would have to push his body up with his feet to breathe. Remember he has nails in his feet. At the end, the legs of those crucified would be broken so they would not be able to push up to get air. They would then die a very painful death. John 19:31-37 "Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

Then it came to pass on the third day, on Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the dead. John 20:18-20 "Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." Now when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. After His resurrection, Jesus was with His followers for forty, then He was taken up in a cloud to Heaven.

There is a lot more detail in the Gospels and in the book of Acts concerning the death and Resurrection of Jesus. May I recommend a small book by Lou Strobel titled "A Case for Easter", I would be glad to send you a copy or you could purchase one at your local Christian bookstore. Also, there is a great video about the Resurrection, it is available from the Christian Research Institute. ( or 1-800-7000-CRI) We hope that this information will be helpful. If you would like further explanation, please write us again

Hannah, have you seen the movie by Mel Gibson "The Passion of the Christ"? If not, I suggest you go with someone who has been a Christian for a few years. After viewing the film, you may have questions. Please feel free to ask us any additional questions.
Hannah, who do you say that Jesus is?

Below are the additional Scriptures FYI.
Matt 26:57-27, Isaiah 53

Back to Questions

Christians are closed minded!

Hello Ryan,>br> Thanks for your note to us. Well, first of all, the points you have raised have been echoed down the centuries and you have re-enforced those ideas. Maybe it would help to possibly look at the bigger picture. I'm fairly sure that you believe in a "Higher Power" according to your understanding. Our limited understanding will by itself breed misunderstanding. That is at the center of so much of what you have stated.

We as Christians by confession believe that God is LOVE. While in many areas of practice, Christians fall short and in fact have done exactly the opposite. The problem lies in the many failures of those who claim to know Christ and in their deeds, say the opposite. There is only one individual who lived the perfect, sinless and loving life and that was the Lord Jesus. Since the time of His resurrection, man has done a pretty good job in the name of religion to compromise, water down and pervert the true message of Jesus!

There is little use in pointing fingers whether at the Catholic Church, protestant churches or fringe "cults". How can you truly organize in human, carnal means what is spiritual and life giving? We need organization in terms of processing the spiritual into practical situations and applications, but that is very limited. What this often produces is pride, arrogance and self-indulgence, which God did not authorize. Oh sure the Lord could put a stop to the evils of man made religion, but then he would have to strip all of us of our will to choose.

God never will violate our will, Ryan, but rather it is up to us to do our own homework and truly look at the evidence for faith. God doesn't expect us to check our brains out at the door of the church. On the other hand there is no possible way to explain even the simplest things we take advantage of everyday. Electricity for example. We know it works, but HOW it works we have theories only. How does the atom actually stay together? There is no reason that anything should stay intact, but it does.

I would like to send you a book by Josh McDowell called "Evidence that demands a Verdict".
Mc Dowell's book is probably one of the most scholarly works on the subject of solid historical evidence for the Deity of the Lord Jesus and the truth of the Scriptures.

A mathematician who claims that 2+2=4 would not be viewed as narrow-minded or bigoted. Unless he can be proved otherwise, then his case rests. So it is with the Lord Jesus, He said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by Me" John 14:6. That would truly be a bigot speaking, except for the fact that Jesus fulfilled over 100 prophecies, overcame death by resurrecting and conquering death. Millions of transformed lives attest to the power of Christ to change lives! No other religious leader can say that. They are still silent in the grave.

One thing that I would really like to propose Ryan, is to look at the pure source of faith in Jesus and not organizations, denominations, or even televangelists. Just you, the Bible and prayer. Another thing to remember is that Jesus came "not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance". (Luke 5:32 ) People who are self-righteous and have need of nothing have excluded themselves from the mercies of the Lord.

Another thing to remember is that Christians still have many struggles and obstacles in life. Many times we don't process the trials of life correctly. We were in bondage to sordid addictions. (Some of us). The process of deliverance sometimes takes years. Sometimes it can be instantaneous! There is divorce, adultery, corruption and family breakups in many churches. Its because there are people who don't take the Cross of Christ very serious.

People who use church and religion for self-serving purposes are easy targets for the devil! Satan is always on the search for compromise and brings temptation. Now when someone falls, it makes big news in the papers, all the while the devil is laughing his head off in the shadows. Our eyes will cause us to stumble if we don't choose to look at Christ Himself who walked that perfect life. He has promised to bring healing and deliverance if we walk patently with Him and choose to allow His dealings in our lives.

The Christian life includes pain, discipline and persecution many times. The Name of Jesus isn't a magic wand (in the occult sense) to wave all our issues away in a moment of time. He is very practical. He has all the power to live a victorious life free of addictions and dependencies. It's a lifestyle and a day-by-day trusting. The Name of Jesus will dispel the darkness, bring healing of emotions, torments, addictions and deliverance from demonic strongholds in our lives!

Many who start off believing often give up because they perceive the pressure to be too great or fear of losing their identity or for lusts of other things. In other words, to follow Christ means, "counting the cost". Salvation was completely paid for at the cross. You can't earn God's favor by doing good deeds. (Thank the Lord for that!) Those who choose Christ have embarked on an adventure of many challenges on many different fronts.

The Christian life isn't for the weak-minded. on the contrary, it is for the courageous. God doesn't mess with your personality. He likes who you are, but He's interested in making you the best person you can be through Christ.

Thanks Ryan for your inquiry. Would it be ok if we pray for you? Fair enough?

Take Care
Mark at ProJesus

Blessings to you Ryan in the Precious Name of Jesus:
You have made some general comments on a few different subjects. In the future, where you feel that we are in error, please ask your question, and provide your evidence, on a particular subject rather than a general comment. We would be pleased to dialog with you on any subject. Yes, we do appreciate your thoughts. An answer to your general comments would require many pages of text. Therefore our reply here will be brief.

You say Christians are closed-minded towards other religions, sects or views. I would like you to consider that we as Christians are eager to share the most incredible news the world has ever heard. That news is that Jesus, God the Son, came to earth as a man, suffered and died for our sins, He then rose from the dead to provide an opportunity for all mankind to join Him for all eternity in Paradise. "Who do you say that Jesus is?"

We share this Good News out of love. What other motive could we possibly have? We don't collect "Good Boy" points from God for this ministry.

Concerning evolution, Darwin believed that knowledge in the sciences would increase, after 1850, so that there would be proof for his theories. However, just the opposite has occurred. In the last 10-20 years scientific studies in biology, geology, astronomy, physics and others sciences have refuted most of the basis for Darwin's theories.

I will mention only one item here. Consider the possibility of evolution with the 18 foot tall Bull Giraffe, whose neck is so long they need a huge two-foot heart to pump enough blood to its brain. But what happens when the giraffe bends over to get a drink and then becomes aware that it is being stalked by a lion? The Giraffe must quickly raise its head and start running. What happens to the blood that is now in their brain? The giraffe has a valve system along its throat with a "sponge" like container that collects the extra blood. This system keeps the giraffe's blood pressure from bursting in its brain. This blood system is ready to work at a moment's notice. After a short period of time the blood system returns to normal. This system is found in no other animal, and could not have evolved since it has to work properly from the get-go; it could not have evolved a piece at a time.
Please see the article "Evolution-Flaw or Fact", it is on the web site.

There are many world religions, all of which have doctrines or guidelines, which they follow. Most doctrines from one religion to another are very different. They all can not all be true. So, which is the truth? provides this forum for discussion and reasoning on various issues and topics. We ask you to study the evidence regarding Christianity, as if in a "court trial", and determine for yourself: "What is the truth"? Only then will you be able to make a truly informed decision.

In the Love of Jesus
Fred at ProJesus

Back to Questions

Why do Christians go to church on Sunday and not the Sabbath?
Greetings Steve in the Precious Name of Jesus:
I like to think that every day of the week should be Holy to the Lord. After-all, Jesus Created something fabulous every day for six days.

I am aware the fourth of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses tells us to keep the Sabbath Holy. Jesus taught much about the Sabbath. The Pharisees objected to doing any activities on the Sabbath. Jesus corrected them when he told them that it was good to heal and help other people or even animals on the Sabbath.

As a side issue, we might consider the professions that Christians would be denied if they were forced to worship Jesus only on Saturdays. Firemen, doctors and policemen among many others would be affected.

Now, let's look at John 20:19-22.
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

This appearance was on the same day that Jesus rose from the tomb, it was the first day of the week, the day after the Jewish Sabbath. This was a private meeting of the disciples, ten of them, and a few of their friends were with them. Jesus could have waited until the next Sabbath but He did not, thus inferring that the disciples should meet on His Resurrection day.

The Apostle Paul gives us some information about the day that Christians met in
Acts 20:7.
7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

Take note that it was upon the first day of the week that they came together. Where we have a record of the day on which the early church met, it was always the first day of the week.
In our verse, Acts 20:7, it says that when the disciples came together to break bread it was "upon the first day of the week." This means that they celebrated the Lord's Supper on Sunday. It was on this day that Paul preached to them. The early church met on the first day of the week. That was the important day because it was the day when Jesus came back from the dead. Under the old creation the seventh day was the important day, the Sabbath day. That belongs to the old creation. On the Sabbath day Jesus was dead, inside the tomb. On the first day of the week He came forth. We meet on that day because we are now joined to a living Christ. That is the testimony of the first day of the week.

Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Cor 16:2 "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money". This infers that Sunday was their regular meeting day.

Dan 7:25 states, "and he shall speak great words against the most High......and think to change times and laws" KJV. This verse refers to the future Tribulation period and the anti-christ. Yes, the anti-christ will make many changes to try to deceive the new Christians.

You make mention to 1 John 2:4. I don't believe I would call any of the Apostles liars simply because they met on Sunday and not on Saturday. Also Revelation 14:12 mentions those who keep the Commandments.

Allow me to repeat here a verse you may already know. Salvation, being with Jesus for all eternity, has nothing to do with keeping the Commandments. Romans 10:9-11 states,
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with trying to keep the Commandments. The problem is, we can't. Jesus told us that no one is good enough. Without His saving grace there is no Salvation.

Who do you say that Jesus is?

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Who Created Jesus?
Greetings, Peter, in the Precious Name of Jesus:
Your question is a great one and is asked by more people than any other. The answer is simply, we just do not know. Jesus tells us, in the Bible, that there are a great number of mysteries throughout creation. Some questions He answers now and some He will answer in Paradise. For the answer to your question, we will have to wait till we see Him in Heaven.

The primary question for our lives is; who do you and I say that Jesus is. So, I ask you, Peter, who do you say that Jesus is?

In the Name of Jesus

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The Names of God!
Greetings Betty in the Precious Name of Jesus:
We have not heard of a new movement concerning the use of God's name as you mentioned. The Name Jesus was not made up nor is it the name of a false god. In Matt 1:20-23 an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." The prophet referred to here is Isaiah (Is 7:14). Further, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said in Luke 1:30-32; "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."

The name Christ is not a last name as some suspect it to be. Christ is the title that Jesus was given upon His birth. It is correct to write the LORD's name: Jesus the Christ. Christ means; Anointed-One or Messiah. Many times in the Old Testament, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, was prophesied to come and save the people.

There are many names used in Scripture to describe God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. The important question is; are you using His Name with reverence, respect and admiration?

The Orthodox Jew said that God's name was so holy it shouldn't be spoken or written. They used the letters YHWH when referring to our Almighty God.
Here are a few names used for God. You are Holy, You are Mighty, You are Worthy, You're Lord of Lord's, You're King of Kings, You're Emmanuel, You're the Great I AM, You're the Prince of Peace, Ancient of Days, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, Y'shua, Jehovah, YHWH, LORD, Lord, Eloheim, Abba, Son of God, God the Son, etc. Etc. You get the idea; there are many names for our Loving Savior and Creator.

In recent years, in the United States, just using the name Jesus was looked on as being intolerant. However, in most places, it is still O.K. to use the word God. It is inferred that the word Jesus is religious but the word God is not. I wonder how God feels about that situation?

In that same theme, when I want to give the standard salutation, "God Bless you"; I always change it and say, "The LORD Bless you". A greeting like "God Bless you" given to a Muslim, a Buddhist, etc., would not be taken as if you were referring to Jesus in your blessing. No other world religion refers to their god as LORD, therefore, I/you are able to distinguish myself/yourself as to whom I/you are calling on for the blessing when I/you use the word LORD.

We pray that this information will be helpful.
Who do you say that Jesus is?
Yours in Christ

Back to Questions

General information on Wiccan and clouds!
Greetings Grant, in the Precious Name of Jesus:
As I read your memo, I see that you have two thoughts, one about the clouds you saw as a child and the second item deals with Wiccan and theology. You stated that you will not listen to any theology, however, the explanation of your vision requires me to speak about the LORD.

I was awakened a few nights ago, at 2:00 AM. I do believe that the LORD had me get out of bed and write what I was told. It was revealed to me the meaning of your vision. Believe me, the more I wrote, the more excited I became.

You didn't give me your age, but the vision when you were a 12-year-old, probably didn't have the impact it would now. The clouds and everything, being white is very significant.

The Bible tells us in Mark 13:26-27 " Then they will see the Son of Man (Jesus) coming in the clouds with great power and glory." Further Revelation 19:11-14 says, "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war............He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses." You saw two faces in the white clouds.

There are many verses in the Old Testament that are prophecies concerning the Second Coming of Jesus. Jesus Himself said that He will come again to judge all of mankind.

We all will see Jesus come with great power (Acts 1:9-11 "Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."). You indeed saw Jesus in the clouds and He was on a white horse. Behind Jesus were the heavenly host of angels wearing white linen and also riding on white horses.

Jesus breathed life into Adam (Gen 2:7). Jesus also will use His breath to blow Satan away. At which time the angle from heaven will throw Satan into the bottomless pit. This is depicted in Rev 20:1-3 "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit."

In my mind, you had an especially electrifying vision. Jesus picked you out in particular to share this vision. Christ is showing us through you that He is alive and will do exactly what the Bible says He will. After all, He Created us and wants the best for us.

Jesus came to earth the first time, 2000 years ago, to suffer, die and rise from the dead for all the sins of all mankind. Your vision verifies that He will return as King of the Universe. Jesus the Christ wants that all should make the choice to follow Him. Scripture tells us, 2 Peter 3:8-9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

Allow me to mention my understanding of a few ideologies that are within the Wiccan movement.
In the second half of the 20th century, a self-conscious revival of pre-Christian paganism occurred in the United States and Europe. The foundation of this revival was witchcraft, or Wicca which is an Old English word meaning female and male witches is a form of neo-Paganism**.

**"Neo-Paganism: The new paganism--a nature-oriented religious movement whose followers either are nature worshippers or have a very high regard for nature. It includes the reinventing or revival of the old gods and goddesses of pre-Christian polytheistic mythologies.

Some books were written about Wicca in the beginning of the twentieth century while such books are unreliable they gave inspiration to some people seeking spiritual alternatives. It is officially recognized as a religion by the U.S. government. Wicca prides itself in being a diverse movement. Covens (groups) under the inspiration of Gerald Gardner spread to the United States, from Europe, in the 1960's. These covens harmonized well with the counter-cultural mood of the 1960s and grew rapidly during that decade and into the 70's and 80's.

Major Wiccan themes include love of nature, equality of male and female, appreciation of the ceremonial, a sense of wonder and belief in magic, and appreciation of the symbolism and psychological realities behind the gods and goddesses of antiquity. Modern witchcraft is entirely different from Satanism.

Though neo-pagans** share certain common beliefs and practices, Wicca knows no central authority, and practitioners do not all have the same views, beliefs and practices. Their primary principle, is 'If it harms none, do what you want.'
Judges 17:5-6 "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." This was the typical mindset that constantly kept Israel away from God.

Every community, state and country has a set of laws. They are the rules set down by the people and they are expected to live by them. When closely analyzed, most laws and/or rules have a connection to the Ten Commandments.

You say you were taught about Jesus as a young child. If you were to die tomorrow, would you be able to face Jesus and account for your life?

With all that said! I have only a few questions.
1. Were we Created or not?
2. If yes, then who Created us?
3. Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?
4. Who did Jesus say that He is?
5. Will we live for all eternity? Where?
6. Should we follow Jesus?

In the service of Christ:

Grant's reply.
Let me start by saying thank you for taking the time out to actually write to me, and not reply with an automated message. I am happy being Wiccan, and do not believe that you have interpreted the Wiccan Rede quite the way it was meant. A common mistake, many new practitioners do the same. The Wiccan Rede simply means what the Christian "motto", and many other religions around the world do, "Do unto others, as you would have then done unto you." In other words, live a good life, help others, and listen. Do not anger easy, and put your faith in the Goddess. I am not foolish as to the fact that the mainstream version of Wicca is a rather new practice, I have done my research. I just turned 20, and have had many many visions, and speeches with Jesus. No doubt you will call this a demon, as that is what I have gotten from many "regular" Christians. In other words, those who are not priests, but regular parishioners. As I am also gay, I find that Christianity chooses to interfere too much in the way I live my life, and chooses to condemn me for it. Because the Bible preaches love, to help "sinners", since Christians are not to judge, but preach the word, I find many to be hypocrites. I have gone on and on rather than just getting to the point.

I thank you for taking the time out to help me understand this, and not attempting to convert me, therefore I will answer your questions.

1. Were we Created or not?
We are all one, that is why we will not harm anything. We are all lost souls, looking to get back to the Great Spirit. Become one with the whole again

2. If yes, then who created us
We are a part of the one, therefore we have always existed, and will until we become a part of the whole once again

3. Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?
Jesus Christ, in the way that I have always known him, was a great prophet. The world needed change from things that ailed it. He was an old soul, powerful, magical, and intelligent. He knew that many priests of the Christian persuasion were corrupt, and greedy. He gave people a new hope in living in a very dark depressing age. But since there are many parallels with what you would call the "pagan" religions.

4. Who did Jesus say that He is?
Jesus proclaimed himself as the Son of God. Which is true, as we are all brothers and sisters in the great scheme of things. He called this force God, while others of the time called it the Goddess. (I do not remember the specific name that is given in the Bible, but there was one.)

5. Will we live for all eternity? Where?
We believe in reincarnation. After we "die", we go to a place called Summerland, where our souls rest, and take in all we have learned in the present life. Then we are reborn. We do this until we have learned all there is to learn and know, then return to the whole, or become Spirit Guides. Some people call theses angels. They are there to guide us, and protect us

6. Should we follow Jesus?
His lessons of love, and self sacrifice, we should follow. These are what should make up the human spirit. (At least should at any rate.) he cared for all, as we should all care for each other.

People do many things in His name. I do give him honor, yes. We should follow his teachings of love, and non judgment. The way he believed in what he was saying, his devotions to what he was preaching, everyone should have that kind of faith in their religion. His specific teachings, however, I do not agree are for everyone, especially those who would use it to judge, and sacrifice others for their belief.

Response by ProJesus
Greetings, Grant, in the wonderful Name of Jesus:
Thank you for following up with another memo. The following presupposition will cover my beliefs on the Bible, Jesus, Creation and Eternal life. I believe in the Creation of a young earth and universe (6000-8000 years). Jesus, God the Son, was the Creator of the universe and all the plant and animal life here on earth. Humans were Created by Jesus after His likeness. Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago to die for our sins and rose from the dead to ensure our eternal life with Him. I believe that the Bible is without error. The Bible is God's special Book to us. There are no errors in the Bible. For more information please read and/or download the Booklet titled "Why Jesus". Also, there is additional information on the Scriptures under said section.

Let me start by saying thank you for taking the time out to actually write to me, and not reply
with an automated message. I am happy being Wiccan, and do not believe that you have interpreted the Wiccan Rede quite the way it was meant. A common mistake, many new practitioners do the same. The Wiccan Rede simply means what the Christian "motto", and many other religions around the world do, "Do unto others, as you would have then done unto you." In other words, live a good life, help others, and listen. Do not anger easy, and put your faith in the Goddess.
The first Commandment of Jesus is in Matt 22:37-40 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
I am not foolish as to the fact that the mainstream version of Wicca is a rather new practice, I have done my research. I just turned 20, and have had many many visions, and speeches with Jesus. No doubt you will call this a demon, as that is what I have gotten from many "regular" Christians. In other words, those who are not priests, but regular parishioners. As I am also gay, I find that Christianity chooses to interfere too much in the way I live my life, and chooses to condemn me for it. Because the Bible preaches love, to help "sinners", since Christians are not to judge, but preach the word, I find many to be hypocrites.
We all must know and remember that Jesus loves us as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us as we are. I don't see your visions as being demonic. I speak to Jesus everyday and I have had visions. Anytime you look to man for answers you will likely be disappointed. For all men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Place your trust in Jesus and follow His directions.
There is only one reason that Jesus came to earth. He loves you and me and He sacrificed His life for us so we could be with Him in eternity. Eternity is something we can't earn on our own merits. Romans 10:9-10 says; "....if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." We may be good but we aren't good enough.
I have gone on and on rather than just getting to the point. I thank you for taking the time out to help me understand this, and not attempting to convert me,therefore I will answer your questions.

1. Were we Created or not?
We are all one, that is why we will not harm anything. We are all lost souls, looking to get back
to the Great Spirit. Become one with the whole again.
We were all created as special unique individuals. No two personalities are alike and no souls are alike.

2. If yes, then who created us?
We are a part of the one, therefore we have always existed, and will until we become a part of the whole once again.
Most scientists agree that the universe had a beginning. The Bible states that "In the beginning God"

3. Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?
Jesus Christ, in the way that I have always known him, was a great prophet. The world needed
change from things that ailed it. He was an old soul, powerful, magical, and intelligent. He knew
that many priests of the Christian persuasion were corrupt, and greedy. He gave people a new hope in living in a very dark depressing age. But since there are many parallels with what you would call the "pagan" religions.
In all of Jesus' dialog, in the Bible, He doesn't leave any room for being a great prophet. He was killed for who He claimed to be. As C. S. Lewis said in his book "Mere Christianity"; Jesus was either a liar and a lunatic or He was and is the LORD, God of all Creation.

4. Who did Jesus say that He is?
Jesus proclaimed himself as the Son of God. Which is true, as we are all brothers and sisters in
the great scheme of things. He called this force God, while others of the time called it the
Goddess. (I do not remember the specific name that is given in the Bible, but there was one.)
Jesus stated, undeniably, that He is God. He said: "I and the Father are One". Meaning that He is God the Son, and equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The three are One God within the Trinity. The term "Son of God" in the Greek means : Messiah, God.

5. Will we live for all eternity? Where?
We believe in reincarnation. After we "die", we go to a place called Summerland, where our souls rest, and take in all we have learned in the present life. Then we are reborn. We do this until we have learned all there is to learn and know, then return to the whole, or become Spirit Guides. Some people call theses angels. They are there to guide us, and protect us.
Reincarnation is a belief within the theory of evolution. Evolution is really a dying religion. Every day scientists are discovering something new in nature, which makes the theory of evolution almost impossible. Please read the article of our web site titled "The Mathematical Impossibility of Evolution".
If we believe in Jesus when we die, we will be in His presence. We must remember that Jesus is a merciful God but He is also a just God. In His justice, He must reject those who do not believe that He is the only way to eternal life. To Love Him is to obey Him.

6. Should we follow Jesus?
His lessons of love, and self sacrifice, we should follow. These are what should make up the human spirit. (At least should at any rate.) he cared for all, as we should all care for each other.
People do many things in His name. I do give him honor, yes. We should follow his teachings of
love, and non judgement. The way he believed in what he was saying, his devotions to what he was preaching, everyone should have that kind of faith in their religion. His specific teachings,
however, I do not agree are for everyone, especially those who would use it to judge, and
sacrifice others for their beliefs.
Following Jesus is a good thing. It's good for our time here on earth and for all eternity.
I urge you and yes I challenge you to put Jesus on trial. See if you don't discover, as I did, that Jesus is all the Bible says He is. See what all the evidence says about Him.
With all that said, I do not mean any disrespect, and realize you have a certain duty to "protect
and watch over" those in this world. The reason I am Wiccan, is for the fact that it believes in
taking responsibility for your actions. Realizing always that what goes around comes around. I
cannot imagine all the email you get, and wished to turn to those of the Christian faith, since
Jesus is a Christian "deity". I use the term loosely, and I apologize for any miscommunication,
but that is the best word I can come up with. Do forgive me. =). Thank you again for taking the time out to write to me, I greatly appreciate it.
Your relationship with Jesus will make you feel loved, significant; He'll tell you that you matter; you count. Jesus will empower you to achieve things you never could on your own.
John 10:10-11 "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."

In the service of Christ:

Back to Questions

Where did God come from?
I am currently involved in the 6 week purpose for life, I have never read the bible, although we all know where Jesus came from, were did God originate from??

Hi Valerie:
Rick Warren's "A Purpose Driven Life" is excellent. We are also using it in a small group study.
Reading Christian literature is great. However, nothing takes the place of the Bible.
The Bible, in many places tells us of the "Mystery" of Christ and God. One great mystery is where did God come from? No one on this earth will be able to answer that question.
I will try to help with some information. Allow me to start by comparing two verses in the Bible; Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created" and John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made". The "Word" here is Jesus the Christ. They are equal, in John 1:1 Jesus is God the Son (the Creator) and God in Gen 1:1 is God the Father. ONE GOD, two persons. Then there is God the Holy Spirit. The three make up the Trinity. Please read the article "God the Father" on the web site. It will help in understanding the Trinity.
If most people in your study group are new Christians, you may like to invite a "seasoned" Christian to some of your meetings.
We at ProJesus will be pleased to assist you with your questions.
In the Service of Christ

Back to Questions

What was Jesus' life like from ages 1 to 12?

Answer----Greetings to you Len, in the cherished Name of Jesus our Savior:
You asked, "Where can I find out what the life of Jesus was like from ages
1 - 12 and even 12 - 30?

There are a number of historical novels and fictitious books available, but
there is not any substantiated information. Books about the early life of
Jesus, or the lost years of Jesus have no confirmed basis of truth. In fact
some of them reveal a person quite out of character with our Lord. (Many
years ago, I read one in which he cursed a boy for some slight causing death
to the offender).

I would suggest that since His divinity was not revealed until after he started his ministry, that his boyhood and young adulthood were probably very ordinary in most respects; He played and worked much like every other commoner. Like Joseph, he was known as a carpenter (no doubt learned the trade from Joseph), so until he was 30, he would have earned his living in that manner.

Because his mother came from Nazareth, the villagers may perceived him to be illegitimate since Mary became pregnant before she was married. If that is so, the villagers may have looked down at Jesus and treated him harshly, in which case he may have had a lonely childhood.

Christ's appears in the temple at age 12 to be "about His Father's business"
(Luke 12:49) We know that Jesus was an apprentice carpenter following
Joseph's mentoring.

There are evidences of spurious writings depicting Jesus doing supernatural things as an infant, but these writings (We cannot identify specific writings) have long since been rejected from the traditional canon of scripture set down by church leaders.

It should also be noted that Moses likewise is portrayed in like manner having his birth announced but his childhood is not recorded but that he simply was raised
in Pharaoh's household.

Only as God's ultimate plan is revealed in his adult life do we have record. Many things that God will work out in a person's life is often behind the scenes and ultimately, God alone has knowledge of such important information that for whatever His reasons may be, are kept hidden.

We read in Acts 1 how intent the disciples were to ask of Jesus concerning
the literal/visible manifestation of the Kingdom that would be fulfilled.
Jesus didn't reveal that event to them. In fact we read, And He said to
them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put
in His own authority. Acts 1:7 (NKJ)

We know that the Faith is also "mystery" according to Paul 1Timothy 3:9. A
mystery is simply a truth that hasn't been revealed, much like many of the
Old Testament types and shadows that point to the fulfillment in Christ. We
know that when we enter that literal Kingdom, then all will be revealed.

Otherwise, faith is what carries us until then. "And this is the victory
that overcomes the world, even our faith. I John 5:4 In the end, it's not so surprising that Jesus did not reveal any details of His youth.

In the Service of Christ the "Everlasting" King:
Mark and Lee

Back to Questions

Explain the "Trinity" and the reference to Jesus as "God the Son"

Answer----Greetings in the blessed name of Jesus the Christ.
Thank you for taking the time to ask about the Trinity. Granted, the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. However, the concept of the Trinity is stipulated to us throughout the Bible.

There are other "Christian" words and or terms that are not in the Bible which includes: Rapture, Abortion, Holy Communion, Abstinence, Bible and others.

I agree with you that Scripture tells us that there is only one GOD. I personally believe what Scripture says with all my soul, as do the staff at ProJesus. So the question is, how do we explain that Jesus, God the Son, is the second person of the Trinity?

First of all, the concept of the Trinity is a great mystery, however God the Father, Jesus (God the Son) and God the Holy Spirit have given us much evidence for the existence of the Trinity.

Let's begin in Genesis. After God had made the trees, the birds, the fish and the animals, God said in Genesis 1:26: "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.".

Notice the use of the words "Us and Our" plainly indicating more than one.

Some religions and/or cults say that God is referring to or talking to one of the angels, like Michael or Gabriel. However, the Bible is very clear that the Son is far superior to the angels: Hebrews 1:2-4 says "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels…..".

Therefore, if God and an angel are very different from each other, they could NOT have made man in their image. It is universally accepted that angels do not create anything. Only God is the creator.

Time and space do not allow me to list all of the Bible verses that refer to separate persons yet one God, therefore, I will only enumerate a few. After the Flood, the people on the earth said to one another In Genesis 11:3-9 "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens

But the Lord came down and said: "now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city." Again the plural word "Us" is used for the Lord.

For a moment, let's go back to the beginning of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Compare this to John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." And John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father."

There is no doubt that the "Word " mentioned here is Jesus the Christ. So, in Genesis 1:1 God created everything and in John 1:1-3 Jesus created everything. That is a simple mathematics problem, which states when two entities are both equal to a third entity, they are equal to each other. Thus, Jesus is God, yes God the Son.

Isaiah 9:6-7 says in his prophesy "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom. Isaiah tells us about a "Mighty GOD" born for us.

Now let's shift to a few verses in the New Testament. What did Jesus say about Himself and what did others say? Read John 10:25-30 so as to not take verse 30 out of context. John 10:30 states "I and My Father are one."

From the Bible Knowledge Commentary John 10:30 is described as follows. When Jesus said I and the Father are One, He was not affirming that He and the Father are the same Person. The Son and the Father are two Persons in the Trinity. This is confirmed here by the fact that the word "One" is neuter. Instead, He was saying They have the closest possible unity of purpose.

Jesus' will is identical to the Father's regarding the salvation of His sheep. And yet absolute identity of wills involves identity of nature. Jesus and the Father are One in will and also in nature for both are God.

Paul affirms the equality of God the Father and Jesus, God the Son in Colossians 2:1-3 as follows: "For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." The underlined words equate God the Father and Jesus, God the Son, with "ALL the wisdom and knowledge."

What is more astounding is to discover that Wisdom was brought forth before anything else. (See Proverbs 8:12-26) by Jesus (John 1:3)

The following are a few verses on the Person of the Holy Spirit. Notice that only a "Person has a mind and a will.

Rom 8:27 "Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
1 Cor 12:11 "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills".

2 Cor 13:12-14 "Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." This verse incorporates all three persons.

Can Jesus be "just a man"? What does John the Baptist say about Jesus?
Matt 3:10-12 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" John says that Jesus is mightier than he is.

O.K., what does Jesus say about John the Baptist? Matt 11:11 "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist" John the Baptist is the greatest human ever to be born. That is a powerful statement. So, Jesus is greater!! How?

Who Saves, God or Jesus? The following list will show that Jesus of the New Testament is equal to the God of the Old Testament. When it's reasoned out, we discover that God would NOT allow a man to judge our salvation no matter how "good he is. Therefore Jesus is God!


Old Testament Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no Savior.

New Testament Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven (Jesus)

Old Testament Jonah 2:9 Salvation comes from the Lord

New Testament Titus 2:13 The glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Old Testament 2Sam 22:12 Exalted be God, the rock, my Savior.

New Testament John 4:42 And we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.

Old Testament Isa 12:2 Surely God is my Salvation

New Testament Heb 1:8 But about the Son He says, your throne, Oh God, will last for ever and ever,...

Old Testament Isa 45:22 Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other

New Testament Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, through Jesus Christ our Savior

Old Testament Deut 1:17 For judgement belongs to God

New Testament John 5:22 All judgement to the Son

Old Testament Isa 55:3 Hear me that your soul may live

New Testament 1 John 5:20 In His Son Jesus Christ, He is the true God and eternal life

Old Testament Mal 3:6 I, the Lord, do not change

New Testament Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever

I like the verse in Mal 3:6 best: "I, the Lord, do not change". God the Father didn't change His mind sometime in history and give a mortal man the ability to "Save" another human being.

I realize that this answer is very lengthy, but your question deserves a complete answer. Further information is available in the article on the ProJesus web site titled "God the Father".

The following Bible verses will assist you in your study.

Mal 2:10 Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?

John 12:45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

John 14:7-10 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?

Rom 3:29-30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

1 Cor 8:4-6 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

Eph 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

James 2:18-19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!

John 10:29-33 I and My Father are one." Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."

Eph 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Phil 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

LordNT:2962kurios (koo'-ree-os); from kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority,

1 Peter 1:1-2 To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

QUESTION (12) The Trinity (Continued)

Answer---Greetings in the precious name of Jesus.
First of all, we at ProJesus believe that the Bible is inerrant. Where the Bible states that there is only one God, we take that as being the truth. Isaiah 45:5 says: "I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me." also, Mal 2:10 reads: "Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?"

So, you see, there is a mystery because we use the term "person" when referring to the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are not separate Gods or gods.

As was presented in the previous letter, the evidence is overwhelming for the doctrine of the Trinity.

Allow me to make a couple of illustrations.----Space is one illustration and is an example of a trinity, whether we speak of the space in a huge building or a dot on a piece of paper. Both have: 1) height, 2) width and 3) depth. Another illustration, which I like best, is the sun in the sky. We see one large ball in the sky. We know that the sun has 1) heat, 2) light, and 3) gravity. The sun gives us all three without one affecting the other yet the sun is "one".

Remember, Jesus was fully man during His time here on earth as well as being fully God. If Jesus is God as we believe, and He was and is a single entity, there is no way He could have come to earth, die for our sins and rise from the dead three days later. Why? Under those conditions, with Jesus (GOD) here on earth, God could not be in Heaven or anywhere else watching over His creation.

Therefore, the Trinity makes sense. Jesus (God the Son) was able to come to earth as the Bible predicted in many verses, while God the Father was in Heaven and the Holy Spirit indwelled in His Creation (You and me).

Jesus told His followers that He must leave so the Holy Spirit could come to them. Jesus said in John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Holy Spirit), that He may abide with you forever-- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."

Included in the doctrine of the Trinity is a strict monotheism which is the teaching that there exists in all the universe a single being known as God who is self-existent and unchangeable (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8).

Therefore, it is important to note that the doctrine of the trinity is not polytheistic as some of its critics proclaim. Trinitarianism is monotheistic by definition and those who claim it is polytheistic demonstrate a lack of understanding of what it really is.

God is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son; the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as Father.

They are distinct persons; yet, they are all the one God. They are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance. They are co-eternal, co-equal, and co-powerful. If any one of the three were removed, there would be no God.

The following additional verses may be helpful: 2 Sam 7:22; John 10:29-33;
John 12:45; John 14:7-10,23; Rom 3:29; 1 Cor 8:4-6; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 1:17;
Eph 4:4-6; Phil 2:5-11; James 2:18-19; 1 Peter 1:1-2

I pray that you will find this additional information useful.

In the service of Christ,

Back to Questions

How did Judas die?

Answer----Blessings to you in the name of Jesus, God the Son.
There are a few situations going on in the verses, Matt 27:3-10 and Acts 1:16-19. Besides the death of Judas there are the topics of the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas to betray Jesus, also, who purchased of the potter's field with the money Judas threw back to the chief priests.

Matthew, in his Gospel, may have been more interested in the purchase of the field which he sees as the fulfillment of Scripture spoken by Jeremiah 32:6-12 & 18:1-4 and Zechariah 11:12-13.

Notice here that Matthew states almost as an after thought that Judas "went and hanged himself". Matthew and the chief priests may have heard that Judas hanged himself and were not eye-witnesses to the suicide.

The vast majority of this passage in Matthew reflects on the coins, the chief priests and the prophecy. Matthew tells us that the chief priests bought the potter's field with the thirty pieces of silver to bury strangers in. We know that Judas returned the thirty pieces of silver and that he hanged himself. (Continued Below)

Matt 27:3-10 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." And they said, "What is that to us? You see to it!" Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood."

And they consulted together and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, "and gave them for the potter's field, as the LORD directed me." NKJV

In the book of Acts, Dr. Luke states, " and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out."

A little history may be helpful here. Remember in Luke 4:23-30 (See verse below) the crowd was trying to throw Jesus over a cliff? It was historically at this type of cliff that most suicide hangings occurred. The man would climb onto a tree limb, put a rope around his neck, and then jump off the limb committing suicide.

In many cases, the tree limb would break and the man would, " falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out." this would happen when he hit the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. The rocks would have collected over the years from the stonings that had occurred.
There is another possibility. Matt 27:45-51 states that there was darkness over all the land, the temple curtain was torn, there were earth quakes and rocks were split. It's presumed that Jesus died at about the same time that Judas committed suicide and these overall conditions could have broken a limb and thrown Judas to the bottom of the cliff.

Dr. Luke says in Acts 1:17 "Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity" Did Judas really buy the field? Probably not! The chief priests bought the field and it is said that "Judas bought it because of his actions".

Acts 1:16-19 Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry."

(Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) NKJV

Luke 4:23-30 Then He (Jesus) said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land........So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.

Matt 27:45-51 "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?".........Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

We pray that we have helped you with your question.
We at ProJesus encourage you to inquire about any question.

In the service of Jesus, God the Son, our Creator and Savior.

Back to Questions

Explain Jesus being in the tomb 3 days and nights

Answer----Greetings in the Precious name of Jesus, God the Son.
Thank you for your question on the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
These "three days" have been debated since the time of Christ. Matt 12:40
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall
the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." KJV

In addition: Matt 17:23 "And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall
be raised again." KJV

There are two schools of thought. One, which is held by a small minority of
Bible scholars, is that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday and raised on
Sunday. This idea has more problems than it solves.

The second possibility, held by the majority of Bible Scholars is, the
traditional, Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday.

It was common at the time of Jesus to use the phrase "three days and nights"
referring to any part of three days and nights. Esther Chapter 4 and 5
gives us evidence that the three days and nights were not necessarily a 72
hour period. When Jesus describes the time of His resurrection after His
crucifixion, He states: "on the third day"; He DOES NOT say after three
days, which would have required the 72 hours.

So, the phrase, "on the third day" or "three days and nights" can be understood to mean within three days and nights. Notice that the Apostle Matthew did not flinch in his writing when he used both terms.

Jesus died on Passover, which was a Friday. Thus Friday (day), Saturday (day), Sunday (day), Friday (night), Saturday (night) and Sunday (early morning which was night).

Once we solve the problem of the "three days and nights", we can concentrate on the main focus of Jesus' teaching which was that He rose from the dead
and that He will live forever. He was alive then, He is alive for us today!
Ask Him to come into your heart!

In The Service of Jesus,

Back to Questions

Please provide information about the furnace used on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Answer---Your project on the fiery furnace is very interesting. To have a complete study of the subject, we need to look at the Bible as a whole and not just the one event. Notice in Gen 11:3-4 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

The folks at the tower of Babel were using bricks to build their tower to heaven. They probably had a furnace to harden the bricks. The Scriptures mentions many types of furnaces, some real and some times the word furnace is used as a metaphor to describe the future pain of hell.

The Psalmist uses the furnace to describe how the Word of the LORD is true as in Ps 12:6, And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. And in Isa 48:10, See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

The LORD (Jesus) uses the furnace to describe the testing and anguish that we must endure. The Lord is even more specific to Ezekiel Ezek 22:16-20 Then the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are but the dross of silver. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into Jerusalem. As men gather silver, copper, iron, lead and tin into a furnace to melt it with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you. Melt you!!! Wow!! That's pretty tough!

In the days of Moses you may remember that the Pharaoh required the slave drivers to stop providing the straw for the bricks that the Israelites were making. Ex 5:7-8 "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota.

Now we come forward to the time of Daniel, when the leader of Babylon was King Nebuchadnezzar. He set up a large image on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. The people were told: Dan 3:4-6 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace."

So, here we are to a situation with a furnace again. This may have been a furnace for metals or for bricks and maybe both. The temperature for refining metals is higher than that for bricks.

One of the world's oldest building materials, the brick was used at least as long as 4,000 years ago. It is a small, clay block that has been burned in a kiln for strength, hardness, and heat resistance.

The kilns were made of that same brick and varied in size from a small one to bake a few loaves of bread to a kiln large enough for men to be thrown into. Adobe brick, made of clay mixed with straw or chopped reeds and dried in the sun, is used in hot, dry places as the Middle East .

Brick making is practiced worldwide in many cultures, one current manufacturing technology is derived from traditional hand methods, virtually unchanged from the days of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

After the bricks are molded from clay (some times straw is added), the next step is burning, in which the chemical properties of the clay are changed to give it strength and durability. In the continuous kiln (the most modern automated type), 3,000 or more bricks are piled on a single fireproof car that passes with others through tunnels up to 500 feet long. They move from a preheating zone to the furnace, or burning, zone, and then to a cooling zone. Temperatures within the kiln may reach 2,100o F (1,150o C).

The brick-kiln furnace had an opening at the top to cast in the materials, and a door at the side near the bottom to extract the metal or bricks. Note that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were thrown into the top but the king saw them from the opening on the side.

Dan 3:18-26 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king's command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.

The Babylonians used the furnaces to inflict their cruel capital punishments but it did not work on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

Following are a few notes pertaining to Dan 3:18-26; It was customary to remove the clothing of those being executed, but because of the haste in which the king wanted his command carried out (the king's command was... urgent) this practice was not followed this time.

The flames leaping through the top opening of the furnace killed the men who had thrown the three into the fire. Concerning the fire being seven time hotter this may by a good interpretation; (One seven times.) Possibly the Aramaic word had, rendered one, has here the sense of our indefinite article "a" or "an"; hence a seven.

This would be some familiar kind of seven-fold thing (e.g., the Heb: word for week is seven, as is also the similar word for an oath). This seven would then be, as Zoeckler suggests, a seven of completeness of judicial penalty. Possibly they used seven times the fuel which was designed to signify that the king looked upon their crime as seven times more heinous than the crimes of others, and so made their death more ignominious.

I am also including three verses which give additional information about fire and the furnace.

Mal 4:1 "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty.

Matt 13:40-42 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire.

Rev 9:1-2 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace.

This story is not considered true by many skeptics. There is another situation where a person lived after being "burned at the stake". In the year 168 A.D., Polycarp, the leader of the church in Smyrna, was ordered to be burned alive. He was tied to a stake and the fire was set. According to eyewitnesses, Polycarp did not burn. Then the executioner, being angry that Polycarp did not die, stabbed Polycarp with his sword and his blood poured out and quenched the fire. Unlike Shadrach, Mechach and Abednego, Polycarp did die, but from the stab wound not the fire.

Back to Questions

What is Baptism?

Answer---Many Christian denominations have their own traditions about Baptism as well as other Christian celebrations. (Note: There is a great deal of information on the inerrancy of the Bible on this web site. Simply click on Scriptures. I state this because I will be using the Bible in this information as an expert). There is no reference to Baptism, as we know it, in the Old Testament Bible until John the Baptist came on to the scene.

John, was six months older than Jesus, his cousin, and is believed to have been a member of the Essences at an early age and my not have seen Jesus for many years. The Essences were a group of Jewish teachers who led a quiet, prayerful life in or around Quaram (The Dead Sea Scrolls were found there), near the Dead Sea.

As the Bible teaches, John started his ministry at the River Jordan saying: Matt 3:1-2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight'. So, John is the Prophet of whom Isaiah spoke. His key word here is "repent", the Greek is "metanoeoo" which means to "completely change one's mind", which is a whole lot more than simply saying "I'm sorry".

John further stated: Matt 3:11 " I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." So, John is baptizing with water. We will discuss the Baptism by Jesus in a moment. This information allows me to give a partial answer.

Note, all who came to John were adults who had the mental capacity to "change their minds" and to start living a righteousness life. Note here: The Greek word to baptize is "baptisma" which means "to immerse, or submersion, as in afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed". Another Greek word is baptizoo which is defined as to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water".

Can you see how they took these Greek words and incorporated them into the symbolic, dipping and cleansing of sins from the body? This is not to say that baby baptism is wrong or unbiblical. However, there are many references that call for adult baptism.

Allow me to change directions and discuss for a moment, the "dedication of a child". We read in Luke 2:21 & 23 "On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived........... When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord". So, Joseph and Mary took eight day-old Jesus to the temple "according to the Law of Moses", to "be dedicated".

Let us return now to what John the Baptist said about Jesus: "... He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." What does that mean? Let Jesus tell us by way of Nicodemus, who was one of the head Pharisees; he was in charge, he was the man! John 3:1-7 "....Nicodemus said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." What is interesting here is that Jesus really ignores the statement by Nicodemus and Jesus tells him what is important. Those words "Born Again" upset some people, however, they are really the center of Jesus' message throughout the Gospels.

Nicodemus continues: "How can a man be born when he is old?".................."Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'

If we go back to what John the Baptist said: He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." , and what Jesus said : "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. ." One statement leads to the next. Jesus is really explaining to Nicodemus the need to be Born Again, in other words the Baptism of the Spirit.

I believe that the Baptism by the Spirit is for us today, however the Baptism by fire, mentioned by John the Baptist, is most likely in the future when Jesus comes in Judgement. Jesus came the first time 2000 years ago to die for our sins and to provide for our salvation by His resurrection and ascension into heaven. Jesus talked about sin and hell but he never said that he was on earth to judge us. He WILL Judge when he comes again.

Let's look at a verse written to the Christians in Corinth where Paul tells the Christians about being Baptized by the Spirit. He doesn't mention John's Baptism of repentance with water.

1 Cor 12:12-13 states: "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink".

Then again in Ephesus: Acts 19:1-7 "While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them".

So, you see from this information, there is a water Baptism which is an outward gesture of the person's desire to repent from their sins and to follow Jesus. The Baptism of the Spirit is different in that you don't have water poured on you nor are you dipped in water.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit comes from within your very soul. After all, it's your soul that is important NOT the body. To emphasis this, let us again see what Jesus said about the body (flesh) and the Spirit: John 6:61-63 "Aware that his disciples were grumbling......... Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."

Finally, what did Jesus say just before His ascension into heaven? The famous "Great Commission" in Matthew and Mark are similar, but I listed them both.

Matt 28:16-20 " Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Mark 16:15-17 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

Jesus commands His Apostles to GO and tell all people about Him. AFTER they know about Him and really KNOW Him, THEN Baptize them etc. etc. Jesus emphasis over and over again we must be baptized by the Holy Spirit.

This is not merely a personal but a universal demand. The necessity lies in the inadequacy of the flesh. This includes what is merely natural and what is sinful-man as he is born into this world and lives his life apart from the grace of Jesus. Flesh can only reproduce itself as flesh, and this cannot pass God's demands. There is much more information on Baptism that will be answered in future articles.(Rom 8:8)

Back to Questions

What is a Cult?

Answer---To start with, let's see what Mr. Webster says is the definition of a cult. Cult: "Religious worship, common doctrine or leader, based on fanatical (extreme) beliefs, veneration (reverence) for a leader, united philosophically.

In theological terms, a cult is a group that denies "essential Biblical doctrine while claiming to be Christian. Cults include: The Jehovah Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Christian Science, Unification Church, The Way International, Transcendental Meditation, Unity School of Christianity, Scientology, New Age and others. Aberration groups will also be discussed (Deviation from the correct course).

One of the most devastating experiences someone could face is to have a loved one involved in a cult. There are a few traits of a cult that will help us to recognize them. It is of utmost importance for us to discern a cult when we see one. The first trait of a cult is its manipulation of Scripture. The Bible is twisted to fit the leader or group's interpretation. Private interpretations are forbidden because the leader of the cult is the only one, of course, who is able to understand God's voice properly. Their teachings distort the historic, orthodox claims of Christianity.

Next there is little concern for individual thought and development. Education is usually discouraged while the convert is bombarded with the cult's doctrine. Members are called to leave or neglect their old family and life-style for a brand new one.

A third trait is time. They will want you to spend much of your time working for their organization. Family, school and leisure are most often neglected. Cults tend to have an exclusive "us" - "them" mentality in which society and old associates are all out to get them. Anyone outside of the group is suspect.

If a religious group exhibits one or more of the marks mentioned above, that group may well be considered a cult. Jesus Christ said that in the last days many false prophets would arise and deceive many (Matt. 24:11, 24).

To avoid the deception of the cults, we should be rooted in the teachings of the historic Christian faith, and receive Jesus Christ, God the Son, second Person of the Trinity, as Lord of our lives. (CRI CP0201)

An aberrational group affirms essential orthodox Christianity, but it adds teachings that undermine the ideology of true orthodox Christianity.

Aberrational groups include: Seventh-day Adventism; The Local Church of Witness Lee; many of the the Church of Christ groups; and many of the teachers of the Word of Faith movement. While each of these groups affirms the essential elements of orthodoxy, each one adds teachings that undermine historic and essential Christian doctrines; therefore, evangelical Christians do, indeed, consider each of these to be aberrational groups.

Listed here are a few books to assist you further in your research on cults.
Abanes, Richard. Defending the Faith: A Beginner's Guide to
Cults and New Religions. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997.

Ankerberg, John and John Weldon. Encyclopedia of Cults and New
Religions. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1999.

Geisler, Norman L. and Ron Rhodes. When Cultists Ask: A Popular
Handbook on Cultic Misinterpretations. Grand Rapids:

Martin, Walter. The Kingdom of the Cults. Rev. 30th Anniversary
ed. Hank Hanegraaff, General Editor. Minneapolis: Bethany, 1997.

Rhodes, Ron. Challenge of the Cults and New Religions. Grand
Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.

CRI founder Dr. Martin used to say that the best way to recognize a counterfeit is to be thoroughly familiar with the genuine (Jesus Christ and His Word the Bible).

Back to Questions

Why should I pray?

Answer---If God knows the future and the outcome of every event, what is the purpose of praying? And why should I pray for anything other than "God's will be done" since I know that's what is going to happen?

There have been hundreds of books written on the subject of prayer. So, what can be said in a few words about how to pray, what to pray about and why? What did Jesus say about prayer ? Let's look at some Bible verses and the "Lords Prayer", then lead into our summary.

<>In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus tells the parable of the persistent widow to encourage us to pray always and never give up.

<>In Matthew 6:5-8 Jesus said; "And when you pray....go to your room....for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."

<>In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus instructs us in the "Lords Prayer" by telling us "This is the way you are to pray":

Giving worship, praise and thanksgiving to the LORD should be a  part of every prayer, remembering who we are  praying to: Jehovah, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, etc.
Remembering  who He is (Creator), where He is (everywhere) and what He has done (everything).
He is the Holy of Holies...Every knee shall bow at His name.
Gods Kingdom comes when His will is done. Every prayer must be within the will of Jesus, God the Son.
Jesus created the heavens and the earth (John 1:1-3). He rules everything
We ask for what we need and/or want: food, healing, relationships, etc.
We ask the Lord for forgiveness, remembering to forgive our neighbors, otherwise the Lord will not forgive us. 
We ask for help in overcoming our earthly desires that offend Jesus, pray for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, Faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
We ask for help resisting all evil desires be they physical, mental or spiritual (i.e. greed, envy, lusts etc.).

After reviewing the "Lord's Prayer", shouldn't we consider each prayer as a conversation with Jesus? Prayer is a combination of: Praise, Repentance, Asking and Yielding to Him. Further, Jesus, God the Son, gave us the perfect example when He prayed to God the Father in Matthew 26:38-42 "...My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.

Yet not as I will, but as you will...." (The subject of this prayer will be addressed at another time). So, we see that prayer is far more than asking for a better job, a larger house, health or whatever the request may be. Nor do we just pray for God's will.

The acronym "PRAY" can easily be remembered. P=Praise, worship and thanksgiving, R=Repent of our sins, by asking for forgiveness and above all changing our lifestyle to keep from sinning, A=Ask Jesus for our needs and/or wants, and finally Y=Yield to His decision.

Be still and listen to Him. Note: Learning to listen may be the hardest part of prayer. To quiet our minds, by eliminating all of life's busyness is very difficult. Try to close your eyes (not while driving) and just picture yourself somewhere with Jesus, like the beach, the mountains, etc. Let Jesus do the talking while you are just listening.

To summarize: We pray by ourselves or with others (Matthew 18:20 "For when two or three come together in my name..."), we pray for all things at all times. But most important, we pray to be obedient because Jesus told us to pray!!

A final note: In 2 Chronicles 2:14-15, the LORD says, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place." The key word here is the very first "If". Everything that the LORD says is based upon "If " the people will do what they are told to do.

They didn't and the LORD did not heal their land. This verse was during the reign of Solomon. We know that after Solomon's reign, the kingdom was split and the people never had peace again.

Back to Questions

If God is Perfect, why aren’t we?

Answer---If we are created in God's image and God is perfect, why are we less than perfect? Genesis 1:26 states, "And God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness....". The Hebrew word for image is defined: likeness (as from a shadow)

2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the LORD'S glory, are being transformed into His likeness (image). The Greek for image is (elkon), meaning, to be like, to resemble.

Adam and Eve were created perfect, that is without sin, however, they showed, through their free will that they could/would not maintain the perfect standards set by their creator, because they weren't satisfied being like God: they wanted to be like God, so they went their own way.

Being created in God's image is being made like Jesus but not having all of His righteous and holy attributes. Scripture verifies this in Isaiah 64:6 "All of us have become like one who is unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" and Psalms 14:5 says "Great is our Lord and of great power; His understanding is infinite." Our very best is like a filthy rag, but Jesus' knowledge and wisdom is infinite.

True Christians know that Jesus is the one and only GOD and the Creator of all things. Many other religions will tell us that if we are just good enough that we will become gods.

At the resurrection, those whose names are in the Lamb's Book of Life will be with Jesus for all eternity in a "perfect" world. Jesus will be in us: See Ephesians 3:16-17 "...He (the Father) may strengthen that Christ may dwell in your hearts...".

Also, Matthew 5:45 says, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect", but because of our sin nature we can not be perfect without surrendering our lives to Jesus and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Back to Questions

Who were the "sons of God"?

Answer----What about the "sons of God" in Gen 6:2-4? Who were they?
Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Let us look first at Matt 22:30: Jesus states, "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given to marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." Thus it is clear that these "sons of God" are not angels because they "they took them wives".

The most probable is that these "sons of God" referred to great men of renown and "mighty men" who lived in the area, probably from the tribes which were descendents of Cain. These people (mighty men) built cities, made tools out of bronze and iron and played musical instruments

Back to Questions

Kill or Murder, is there a difference?

Answer----We shall not "kill". The word "kill" in Hebrew means "Homicide", war is not homicide. In Joshua 6:21 and in many other verses, the Israelites are carrying out capitol punishment directed by the LORD for the evil in that city. If they did not destroy the city, they would be disobeying God. Whereas, the direct taking of a life (i.e. a drive by shooting) is against the fifth commandment.

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