Hey, Good morning; and welcome to STAG. Iím Jack.
Itís Easter. Christians all over the world are proclaiming today that Jesus is risen. Jesusí Resurrection founds Christianity. But how can we be convinced about an event that took place 2,000 years ago? And how can we expect to make major behavior modifications based on a human impossibility, coming back to life after three full days?
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THE RESURRECTION: Well, of course, we canít be eyewitnesses, but for anyone with the desire to do some research, more than years and years of study will not exhaust the available evidence relating to Jesusí Resurrection. Christianity is based on a humanly impossible premise, that dead people can come back to life. And that Christ was the Firstfruits, is what they call it. Jesus was called the Firstfruits of the Resurrection. And from his time forward, people have been saved from the final death, just like Jesus. Thatís the topic today, the Resurrection. It has nothing to do Easter.
Let me give you a few facts about Easter. The word ďEaster,Ē in the first place, comes down to us from a couple of different words from the ancient Middle East, Babylon, Egypt, and so forth. Ashtart is one of them. Ishtar is another one, and Ashtaroth is a third one. You notice how close these sound to ďEaster.Ē These were the names given to the wife of Nimrod in the Bible. Her name was Semiramis, and Nimrod started the pagan belief system. He died, and Semiramis, his wife, filled it out and perpetuated it. And many of the things about the pagan belief system were grafted into the Christian belief system in Rome, at the Roman church. Iíve done a lot of shows on Christmas. Christmas doesnít have anything to do with Christ; itís all about Tammuz. Tammuz was Semiramisí son. The 40 days of Lent that everybody celebrates in the Roman Catholic frame, that 40 days is the 40-day mourning period for Tammuz, when he died early. We have these fertility symbols that hang around with Easter: eggs, bunny rabbits; itís all fertility stuff. The Easter sunrise service; thatís a pagan sunrise service. Sun worship is what it is. Easter has nothing to do with Christ. Passover does, but not Easter. Easter is a grafted-on pagan festival
Okay, now some facts about the Resurrection. When one takes the time to research, many historical facts can be found regarding Jesusí ministry and his crucifixion and the four years that followed, and not a single fact is going to provide convincing evidence as to the Resurrection. Any one of these facts canít evoke much more than a ďso what?Ē But when you take them as a body, the facts are startling. As mundane as it might sound, just the fact of the growth of Jerusalem Christianity has far-reaching ramifications, as does the historical fact that the tomb was empty. See, we hear almost nothing in Christianity about the tomb being empty. Itís just a throwaway, something that people just throw in sometimes. But itís one of the most important facts that founds the Resurrection study. Nobody, absolutely nobody, ever said that the tomb wasnít empty. Itís such a given fact that almost no attention has been paid to it. And thatís mainly what weíre going to look at today, the fact that the tomb was empty, and some of the things surrounding that.
Hereís some of the important facts, out of many, many, that make the case a mystery. Number one, in a matter of months, there were thousands of converts, three thousand in one day. The very first day, when Peter stood up and preached on Pentecost, three thousand people were converted. Did you ever talk to anybody about Y2K or the Federal Reserve? Itís almost impossible to convert people to a belief system that entails a change of lifestyle. You just canít do that. And here, in a matter of months, were thousands of converts.
Another fact, of course, is that Jesus died. He did die. And, as we said, the tomb was empty. Fact number three, the tomb was empty. Nobody ever disputed the fact that the tomb was empty.
Now, another fact that enters into this is what the message was. After the crucifixion, what was the message that was preached by the apostles and the disciples? Well, that Jesus rose from the dead; thatís one thing. And that He ascended into heaven. And, maybe as a sidelight, that the tomb was empty. But they preached those three things: the empty tomb, that He ascended into heaven, and that He was raised from the dead. And you know, the fifth fact is that the apostles never Ė we can find no record of any of the apostles or disciples repudiating their claim. Nobody said, ďOh, well, I guess I made a mistake.Ē Thousands went to the lions in the Roman circus, peacefully, some joyfully. How do you do that for a lie? How do you do that for something that you donít believe so strongly in? Some belief that youíre willing to die for? And the apostles, as I said, many more Ė this is a separate fact Ė not only didnít they repudiate their claims, but many of them died for it; they were murdered. Speaking of a joyful martyrdom, Paul must have been very puzzled at the way Stephen took his murder; while Paul held his clothes.
And the last fact I want to mention, fact number seven ó maybe the most important fact out of all the evidence, and thatís Paulís conversion. Weíll get into Paulís conversion pretty heavily. The champion on one side of the issue becomes the champion on the other side of the issue, a complete 180. And not just an acquiescence, a virile, vigorous, offensive campaign for either side. Listen, this just couldnít have happened. Itís impossible, the Resurrection. Come on! But it did. And you donít think that I know how this sounds? People being raised from the dead after three days? And youíre not going to be even close to being convinced when Iím through here.
I do want you to be convinced that I believe it. I want you to understand that so large a body of evidence exists as to found the conversion of thousands, of millions, of people. See, the Resurrection isnít a feeling; itís a fact. And anyone who understands the responsibilities of Christianity will want proof of its veracity before adopting a belief system and putting into practice its teachings. When you adopt Christianity, you release hold on not only the world around you, but your very own life. You renounce all claim, first claim Ė let me put it that way Ė to the things of your own life. Nothing is yours any more. First. Thereís one thing that comes first, and if youíre not willing to renounce everything, including your own life, in favor of that first thing, then youíre not being a Christian. People who take up that sort of a lifestyle donít do so by whim. They must have overwhelming evidence. Youíve got to have evidence to provide the courage to accomplish your own suicide! You know, and that evidence isnít found on Christian TV.
In 1920, an English journalist researched the material about Christís Resurrection. And in 1930 Frank Morison published Who Moved the Stone. I have the book here, and Iím going to read a lot out of it today. Hereís what the cover says: ďI want to take this last phase of Jesusí life with all its quick and pulsating drama, its sharp, clear-cut background of antiquity, and its tremendous psychological and human interest, to strip it of its overgrowth and primitive beliefs and dogmatic suppositions, and to see the supremely great person as he really was.Ē Thatís what Frank Morison said. The editor puts this in: ďSuch was English journalist Frank Morisonís drive to learn of Christ. The strangeness of the Resurrection story had captured his attention, and, influenced by skeptic thinkers at the turn of the century, he set out to prove that the story of Christís Resurrection was only a myth. His probing, however, led him to discover the validity of the biblical record in a moving and personal way.Ē Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone.
So I put together a little overview out of the material of the book. And mainly Mr. Morison has dealt with the many ramifications of the empty tomb. Itís a pivotal historical fact, way more important than it first appears.
Okay, letís go through the book here. ďMark now how the probable course of events, so long as the belief that Jesus had risen was nursed in private, declared and encountered only to intimates behind closed doors, the external situation in Jerusalem might have remained unchanged. But the moment the claim of the disciples was seriously and publicly circulated, itís obvious that two things were inevitable. In the first place, a heated controversy was unavoidable between the partisans of the new movement and those who opposed it.Ē I mean, they were out there preaching right in the temple, right? Against what was going on in the temple.
ĒSecondly, however anxious the authorities might be to let the dangerous question of their policy against Jesus sleep, they could not ignore a campaign to preach their mortal guilt under their very noses and in the temple precincts. The events would be too strong for them. They would be compelled into some repressive action in self-defense. To have failed to have done so would have been to abrogate their position and to concur by silence.ď So they got out Saul!
ĒNow, the question that we have to consider seriously is whether it is possible for all this widespread agitation and conflict of ideas involving, as it did, the definite claim that Jesus had risen, to have been conducted successfully, or indeed at all, in the actual and physical presence of the remains of Jesus.Ē Oh, yeah, he died and raised from the dead. They canít do that when the body is close by. ĒThis is a concrete point to which we shall return repeatedly, for it is vital and quite fundamental to our understanding of the case. Itís impossible to read the records of the period without being profoundly impressed by the way in which, for friend and foe alike, the tomb of Jesus sinks into utter, undisturbed oblivion. No one in later years seems to have gone to Josephís garden looking for the rock-hewn cave and said, ďOh, this is the place where the Lord is buried.Ē
ĒAnd the moment the women returned from the garden, the tomb of Jesus passed historically into complete oblivion. There is no trace of any controversy. The assumption that the tomb was empty seems to have been universal. The only controversy of which we have any record Ė and itís clearly a heated one Ė was on the vexed question as to whether the disciples had secretly removed the body. Now this is a very formidable fact. It suggests that something had already occurred to make the vacancy of the tomb common ground. And to place it high out of reach of dispute or argument.
ĒHistory decrees that this controversy had to be fought out in
Jerusalem where no real illusions could prevail, where anybody could go and see the tomb between supper and bedtime. And where the overwhelming body of official, authoritative and conclusive witnesses existed. And yet, it is in the center of solid and conservative realism that, according to Luke, no fewer than 3,000 converts were made in one day, increased shortly afterwards to 5,000.
"Now thereís another aspect of this question that must not be overlooked; I mean how it was that the disciples themselves came to believe this astonishing thing.--some people say it was a hallucination, right, group hallucination--Well, somehow, the rugged fisherman Peter, and his brother Andrew; the characteristically doubting Thomas; the seasoned and not-too-sensitive tax gatherer, Matthew; the rather dull Philip, intensely loyal but a little slow to apprehension. They do not fit easily into the conditions required for an absolutely unshakeable collective hallucination. And the pivotal phrase there is ďabsolutely unshakeable,Ē-- see, because they were martyred, right? Unshakeable. If itís a hallucination, these guys donít fit. -- And if itís not both collective and unshakeable, itís no use to us. The terrors and the persecutions that these men ultimately had to face, and did face unflinchingly, did not admit to a half-hearted adhesion secretly honeycombed with doubt. The belief has to be unconditional and of adamantine strength to satisfy the conditions. Sooner or later, too, if the belief was to spread, it had to bite its way into the corporate consciousness by convincing argument and attempted proof. Within twenty years, the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish church and impressed itself upon every town in the eastern literal of the Mediterranean, from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had begun to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire.
ĒI do not think that we shall ever reach a full understanding of the Resurrection problem until we prepare to recognize that the story of the womenís adventure, as told in this very early narrative of Mark, is not only the true story in the sense that the women actually went, and that they fled on discovering another person in the tomb; but true also in a far deeper and more important sense that the place they visited really was the original grave of Christ. It says there that a young man was working. If the young man, whom they surmised at the tomb was a gardener, well, he was there to be questioned at any time. And to give the true version of what had taken place. It can hardly be contended that he could not remember encountering three agitated women at such an unusual hour bent on such an exceptional mission.-- I mean, they were bringing all these spices and stuff to the tomb, right?-- If he was a workman preparing a grave for an interment, then some Jewish citizen must actually have been buried in a mistaken tomb within a few hours. There was the young man himself to whom the appeal could be made. And there were the friends, the relatives, and the mourners of the deceased person, who had only too sorrowful an occasion to know that the latter was buried within a few yards of the notorious Nazarene. Can we imagine, with all this conclusive evidence available, that the personal enemies of the disciples Ė and there were many Ė would never have sought it out? Surely we cannot. And in that simple reply, it seems to me, lies the dismissal of the theory of the womenís mistake.Ē See, thatís one of the theories.
Name any one of your pet theories about what happened with the empty tomb, and one of them is that the women got the wrong tomb. They were stricken by grief, and it was dark, and they made a mistake. But, you see, they met this guy at the tomb. And who was he? ďBut whether they told their stories in the first seven minutes or at the end of the first few weeks, the result must have been the same. Think of those four years of persistent propaganda, the steadily deepening conviction, and the success of the story. I mean, the new converts were being made every day. Think of the weekly discussions and disputations in the synagogues. Think of the innumerable private controversies as to whether this Jesus was the Messiah or whether he was not. And think of the highly placed Sadducees who were prepared to go to almost any length to discredit and overthrow the cause. And think of the opposition suddenly being reinforced by the logical and relentless mind of Paul. You think of all these things, admittedly historic, and then reflect that the evidence that could have pricked the bubble was to be obtained for the asking by merely walking the distance no greater than 2,000 yards.
ĒCan we fly in the face of this cumulative and mutually corroborative evidence? Personally, I donít think we can. The sequence of coincidences was too strong.-- Thatís something I always say: how many coincidences make a fact?-- When we remember the swinging around of the disciples from panic fear to absolute certainty. The singular matter of the seven-week gap Ė see, they were told to wait seven weeks before they started preaching. That just doesnít make any sense; things die down and people forget. Seven weeks.-- The extraordinarily rapid adhesion of converts in Jerusalem; the strange absence of administrative vigor on the part of the authorities; and the state of growing of the church, both in authority and power, until the whole situation blew up into a frenzy of attempts at suppression under Saul. You take all these things together and we realize that we are in the presence of something far more tangible than the psychological repercussion of a fishermanís dream. Thus, by another converging line of thought, we come back to the point from which we started. However baffling and disconcerting it may seem at first sight, the evidence for the essential accuracy of the womenís story is overwhelming in consistency and strength.
ĒOkay, now I want to take a look at Paul, the evidence of the man from Tarsus. Who is Paul? Itís almost impossible to imagine anything more fortunate, from a purely historical point of view, than the fact that at just the moment when Christianity was taking its measure of its adversaries, there chanced come to Jerusalem a young man whom, judged even by the high modern standards, could claim to be a very competent and almost impartial observer. The name of this young man was Saul. He was a Hebrew of very careful upbringing, intensely zealous in the performance of his religious duties, but with a mind broadened by the contact with wider life and speculative thinking of the Greco-Roman world. He was acquainted with at least some of the writings of Herodotus, of Epimenides and Menander; we find references to those people in his later speeches. And he hailed from Tarsus in Cilicia. The year was about A.D. 34, and Tarsus was kind of a crossroads of commerce. He was highly educated; he knew three or four different languages and so forth. He was a Roman citizen.
ĒThe fact that we have chiefly to deal with in this chapter is that this young man, coming from some freshness of the problem, began by being the outstanding figure on one side of the controversy and ended by being the outstanding figure on the other. He attempted to suppress the movement by force, but was himself suppressed and assimilated by it. It is clear that when Saul of Tarsus first came into prominence as a protagonist in this affair, a public controversy must have been going on for a considerable time. The movement had grown from its original nucleus of 19 or 20 people to a large following requiring seven deacons to deal with and supervise the daily administrations. And the only possible way in which such growth could have taken place was by direct propaganda.-- See, they didnít have satellite TV or newspapers.-- That is to say, by public and private argument and teaching, word of mouth. And yet it grew at such a prodigious rate.
ĒWhile it may thus be true that the highly placed representatives of the Jewish hierarchy ďdid not argue with the Christians,Ē itís obviously not true of the Jews themselves. It could not possibly be true. Practically every convert of the faith for that first five years was a Jew himself. You could not have a movement growing at an average rate of 18 to 20 new converts every week for five years without affirmative ideas involving both public and private argument. And itís in this character of that argument that the real interest of the story lies. Now, if anyone will sit down and try to reason out quietly how it was that this small body of personal adherents of Jesus grew within four or five years to the dimensions required by the severity of the great persecution, he will be increasingly perplexed by one fact: the fact that all of this took place within a surprisingly short distance of Josephís tomb. And whatever may have happened to Joseph himself, this tomb was irremovable. And if, therefore, the negative critics were right, we should have a really ironical situation that throughout the period when the disciples were gaining converts daily at a prodigious rate, that the conclusive proof of their main contention lay within 2,000 yards of the scene of controversy, in the very tomb where everybody knew he had been placed on the afternoon of the crucifixion.
ĒNow this indeed might have been a quite intelligible situation had the disciples taken almost any other line than that which they did. A momentís reflection will show that many things could be said about Christ during the critical weeks following the crucifixion without raising even the distant condition of the grave. It could be asserted that he was a great and good man, whose violent death in the height of his power was a national calamity, and a national disgrace even. It could be contended that the sublime teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and the parables marked him as one of the greatest of a long line of prophets and seers born in Israel. It might even be asserted that, though at some risk to oneís personal liberty, that the whole persecution was a deliberate murder and a heinous offense in the sight of God. We could imagine any one of these statements being discussed in private and semi-public meetings in Jerusalem after the excitable Jewish manner, with much heat and volubility, and then the whole company, so to say, putting on their hats and going home without a single person giving thought to the silent chamber in Josephís grotto? I donít think so! But we cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, conceive of such meetings being held in the very heart of the city to celebrate and proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus without the mind of every single hearer going back instantly to the crucial matter of the tomb. Very subtly, but decisively, the condition of the grave itself would become the final arbiter in this matter. Either it contained the remains of Jesus or it did not. If it did not contain the body, then one thing is certain, absolutely certain: Paul must have been aware of that very surprising fact. He must have known from the very beginning, through the whole period of his disputations with the Christians, and the great persecution must have been deliberately launched in spite of it.
ĒOne could hardly imagine a considerable body of people going about Jerusalem and declaring openly that Jesus had risen side by side, as it were, with the phenomenon of the empty tomb without the two circumstances being very widely and publicly connected. The authorities might affect to ignore the disciplesí claim, but the fact that the body of a first-class political prisoner had disappeared in mysterious circumstances could not, in any conceivable circumstances, be unknown to them. And if the authorities knew it, Saul would know also.ď
ĎThis is Walter Cronkite from BBC News. The body of President John F. Kennedy disappeared late this afternoon from Bethesda Naval Hospital. Film at 11:00!Ē You see, what if that was one of the headlines? See, if Kennedyís body had disappeared, the whole world would know it. They had to know.
ĒSo if the Marcan narrative is true, Saul of Tarsus must have been abundantly informed concerning the real facts, not only from the official side as regards the supposed abduction of the body, but through his disputations in the synagogue with Christians and the other disciples. What we are asked to assume is that throughout the entire period when Saul was challenging Christian parity to the first and greatest fight of his existence and, of course, for many years afterwards, that the body of Jesus lay in Jesusí tomb. No, itís ridiculous.
ĒConsider first the small but highly significant fact that no trace exists in the Acts or the missionary apostles or in any of the apocryphal documents of indisputably early date of anyone going to pay homage at the shrine of Jesus Christ. Thatís remarkable, this absolutely unbroken silence concerning the most sacred place in Christian memory.
ĒConsider the next very singular matter of the documents. The testimony is curiously inverted. It faces strangely in the wrong direction. If Christianity began by proclaiming merely the survival of Jesus and progressed through slow stages of legendary accretion to the belief of the physical vacancy of the tomb, then the oldest and most primitive documents ought to be at least invented. The clear lamp of the original normality ought to be seen shining through their primitive and archaic language. But itís not so; itís precisely the Matthean and Marcan documents, which by universal consent reaches back to the lost origins that are the most sharply cut in their outlines and describe the vacant tomb in the coldest objectivity.
ĒI submit that Saul came on the scene with this fact. It wasnít doubted. It never had been. But it was the subject of a bitter difference of opinion between the opposing camps. The Christians asserted that the body had been raised. The Jewish rulers declared that it had been stolen. But it must not be overlooked, however, that someone entered the fray as a partisan of the priests. He must have shared their knowledge and taken largely their point of view. If the reader will try to put himself in the place of Saul, he would see how difficult it was for a really logical mind to be opposed to Christians without taking the most sinister view concerning the vacant tomb. The whole thing would look like a plant. He could hardly avoid drawing the conclusion that even if the disciples themselves had not actually planned it, that they were at least privy to the abduction and the concealment of the body. Well, that lifted the whole thing out of the region of legitimate discussion into the field of deliberate falsehood and deceit and called for only one thing: the utter and ruthless extermination enforced by the full power of the state.
ĒEverything we know about Paul is consistent with the assumption that he believed the tomb of Christ had been vacant on the morning when the women came to the tomb. Nothing we know about him supports the suggestion that he knew it had never been disturbed. I cannot find, however, that any modern writer has recognized and worked out the important bearing the historic phenomena of the grave must have had on the conversion of Paul. It will be apparent to anyone who gives this subject a momentís thought that so completely and exhaustive intellectual conversion as that of Paul must have rested not merely on a partial acquiescence in one aspect of the discipleís case, but on a fundamental satisfaction to its truth as a whole. And yet volumes have been written on the psychology of the conversion of Paul as though it were a subject that could be discussed independently of Saulís thought on the problem of the grave. This problem lay at the core of the whole controversy, and it was clearly impossible for Saul to have reached the point of extreme and violent antipathy to Christian belief without having his own private opinion concerning it. Then if the conclusions of this study are justified, then the fact was that the tomb was vacant on Sunday morning.
ĒHow can we account for the incident of Paulís conversion, having the admittedly historical consequences that it did? Why should a man of this tough breed, of this admittedly sane and virile, mental caliber, be uprooted in an instant from his cherished belief and swept like chaff before the wind into the dogmatic camp of his most hated enemies? It is not the immediate effects of the conversion that weíre concerned with, though these are noteworthy. But how does this reorientation of a manís entire suppositions survive the solitary communion in Arabia? It says that he went out into the desert for three years.Ē And a lot of scholars say that he was taught by Christ Himself during that time, and thatís what I believe.
ĒAnd then he waited for nine years in Tarsus, just hanging around. After all the bitter persecutions and hardships on the great missions, why was one of the greatest intellects of the ages brought over and fixed in an instant of time from one pole of dogmatic belief into another?
ĒOn the intellectual side of this phenomenon, the truth is clear. When Saul was really convinced that he had seen the risen Jesus, the immense, over-powering significance of the empty tomb swept for the first time into his mind.Ē See, everything up to this point was based on his knowledge that the tomb was empty, but that it was a fraud. And now the tomb was empty, but it wasnít a fraud. See, the whole thing was just swept away. ďIt was as though the great stone itself had crashed into and carried away his last defenses. He saw that if the disciples were not deceivers, but they were right, right through the whole range and gamut of their claim.Ē And not only that, but all the crazy stuff that Jesus said, that he knew heaven from the inside, that His death would make right all the wrong of the world, that He had authority over everything in heaven and earth. All that crazy stuff that no human being could possibly believe true about himself. All those things had to be true now, too. ďAnd Paul realized that one could not associate a martyrdom so glorious as that of Stephen with a vulgar deception involving connivance and the abduction of a corpse. He began to understand why Peter was so sure, that why everyone connected with this movement was so unaccountably joyous and so immovably convinced. The curious thing is, indeed itís the master circumstance of all the strange stories, that once this conviction had been reached, its effect on any normally constituted mind was enduring. The vacancy of the tomb was a historic fact, fixed and unalterable. Its authority grew rather than declined with the passing years. It was never shaken throughout Paulís lifetime. And in this writerís judgment, remains unshaken until today.Ē
Skeptics, while allowing the historicity of Jesus, will not accept his Divinity. Wanting to give some credibility to Jesus, they will argue long and hard that he was a Good and Wise teacher. This argument is a diversion that cannot be logically demonstrated. At the second level of investigation, neither of
these terms holds up.
If Jesus was Good, meant well, honestly tried to help people, then he must have been a deluded lunatic who didn't realize that no human being could do the things he said he did in the sections below. Take a look.
1-Jesus said he'd lived forever:
Joh 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
2-He described the Eternal world from the inside: he saw Satan
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Mat 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
3-Jesus seated all authority in himself.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
4-Jesus thought he was perfect. He presumed his adequacy to forgive sin. He defined the Law.
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Luk 7:48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
5-Jesus said that the Wrong of the world could be fixed by his death. "a ransom for many."
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Paul confirms it in 1 Timothy. 1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
No rational human being could make these statements. If Jesus was good, he would have to be out of touch with reality. Nuts, to say that he saw Satan fall. Same thing for goes for being wise. If Jesus was wise, not a nut, then he knew that his claims were humanly impossible, and was defrauding the poor guilt-ridden people. Therefore he was not Good.
Good. Wise. Good or Wise. Good and Wise. None of these terms mean anything unless Jesus was who he said he was, the Son of God.
What founds your belief system; authority? I donít care what you call it, but a belief system is something that you actually put energy into. You have a spiritual practice. And you expect that practice to do you some spiritual good. Weíre not counting some physical practice that just makes you feel physically good. Have you ever taken a minute and looked at what founds your actions? What are you getting out of your belief and who says so? What authority do you use to accomplish your spiritual improvement? Why do you believe that your source can accomplish your improvement?
Simon Greenleaf literally wrote the book that all English speaking courts use to define evidence. He did a study of the Apostleís words and concluded that their claims would hold up in court as true. Not just that they believed what they were saying, but that what they were saying had to be true.
People stay with Christianity because of the people, not because of the system.
People seek Ego-salve. They want to be part of the Right group. They want to be better than others in their spiritual walk. Christianity, for the most part, is a big jar of salve for the ego. Feel good religion. Reap many blessings. Get rich. Have some ďtrueĒ friends. Be a good person for helping with the food drive or Orphan fund. Ego.
A couple times ago I did a show I called ďNo Religion.Ē Jesus did away with all religious practices as the way to get in touch with God. All religion has its roots in Ego. Even if the superiority complex is not there, the religion will supply a false peace of mind, which salves our survival instinct. Ego again. There are many reasons why Christians feel good about their religious practices. If they were taught their Walk out of the Bible, theyíd lose their sense of security in a moment. True ďChristianityĒ doesnít salve your ego, it slaughters it! True ďChristianityĒ doesnít salve your ego, it slaughters it!
I donít try to convert anyone. In fact, my show may be aimed more at Christians than anyone. And are you one of those who gives the Resurrection lip service only? You better start taking God seriously and do the research thatís necessary to put your mouth on more solid ground than someone elseís pronouncements. See, again, if you hold a belief system like Christianity, this isnít something you do on Tuesday afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00. Okay? Itís a complete change of lifestyle. And you canít do that without evidence to back it up. And you certainly canít defend your faith or explain your faith to anyone else if you donít study the evidence. Youíve got to do your homework with this stuff. And itís not that Ė well, we have to defend Christianity. Thatís not what Iím talking about here. We donít have to go around defending Christianity. I donít feel like I have to defend Christianity. But if I am able Ė listen to this Ė when Iím able to defend Christianity successfully, then I have a solid belief. If I canít defend it successfully, then I donít have a belief system; I donít know what Iím talking about here!
Jesus came out of that tomb. He just came out of the tomb; thatís a fact. And so will anybody else who acts in trust of Godís Word. Itís called faithing. Thatís what Jesus did. He acted on the trust that God had said He would raise Him up from the dead in three days. And He put Himself through that horrendous act of crucifixion and all that bodily harm on that promise. See, God has been known to change His mind, okay? He gave us warning that the places that I know that He changed His mind. But Heís been known to change His mind. And it isnít an absolute that He was going to raise Him in three days. From the hearerís end, you know, well, maybe things will change in the meantime and the plan will change and you wonít have to raise Him from the dead. You see, the supreme act of faith was Jesusí crucifixion. And when you act in faith, God puts His life force into your body, the indwelling of the Spirit. And He put so much life force in Jesusí body that it brought Him back to life. Not only that, it healed Him, and it changed His body so He could walk through a locked door.
WRAP:1- Itís a miracle. And you know what? Miracles do happen. Who Moved the Stone? By Frank Morison
2- You want to talk about the resurrection or most any other subject, STAG is a comfortable place to so that. Weíre at 88 Briceland Rd in Redway. The number is 707 923 ALLY (2559).
Iíll be back here on May 6.
3-In the mean time I invite you to visti my web site. Stag.ws and check out the radio archive while youíre there. Send me and email. STAG@asis.com.
4-Why did we do this show? Why do we study the evidence of the Resurrection? The same old reason: 5- To show that God is real. And you can trust what He says with your life.
This is Jack. Bye.
I love mail.