Proofs of Christianity 16


12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Exodus 12:12 (KJV)

Now, let me address another part of Dr. Hagins’s assertion – that the worship of Egypt is the true god, and the true religion, and that Europeans stole it. Again, I will not be able to answer all of this tonight, but may be able to answer more in detail this weekend…

Let me ask some simple questions Dr. Hagins has not considered.

If Egypt is the true religion, i.e., the true god is the Egyptian pantheon of Horus, Semiramis, Ra, Set, Anubis, etc…

  1. why did the Egyptian religion fail? If the Egyptian mythos is the true religion, would not Ra be angered that all persons had left their worship? Would they not be punishing the world for forsaking them?
  2. What exactly are the plagues Egypt swore would befall the world for forsaking their mythos? where are these prophecies written, and where is the historical fulfillment of those plagues or curses?
  3. why have the Egyptian holy writings not survived intact, miraculously preserved like the Bible has been?
  4. where have the followers of Ra been, since 50 BC?
  5. what fulfilled prophecies and miracles prove the Egyptian religion is the true religion?
  6. If the Egyptian religion is the true religion, why did Ra, Horus, Set, and the others allow the God of the Hebrews to utterly humiliate them during the 10 plagues and afterwards during the Exodus?
  7. if the Egyptian mythos is the true religion, why did the legends, beliefs and practices of that religion change over time?
  8. are the Egyptian pantheon capricious and fickle? Why would they change the legends, beliefs and practices of their religion if they were the true religion?
  9. Why is it only the rulers of Egypt were permitted to enter the afterlife? what about the common Egyptian? Where is their elaborate pyramids?
  10. What are the Egyptian doctrines of sin and atonement? if the Egyptian gods are the true gods, how do you bridge the gap when you’ve offended them? If you have sinned and offended your gods, your sin offerings are tainted by your hands… so how can you atone for them? and if the Egyptian gods are going to atone for them, when did they do it, and which one elected to do it? Where in the Egyptian writings is this recorded in prophecy then fulfilled?
  11. If the afterlife of the Egyptians is limited to the Pharaohs, then for heaven’s sake what’s the point? Are YOU a Pharaoh? If not, you better amass one big army and get ready for a nasty fight, because the Egyptian military is no joke – and they’re not just about to sit back and let you conquer their country with an offended, “I say! That’s very rude!”
  12. How do we benefit from these doctrines if we are not Pharaohs? Trust me, Egyptian motif decor around your house does not make you a Pharaoh. How do we benefit, without our own elaborate tombs? and why does it require elaborate tombs? To launch us into the afterlife? If the Egyptian gods are so powerful, can’t they give you a boost, or afoot-up? how about a jump start, or reaching down a hand or a ladder for you to climb up?
  13. And if you do build your elaborate tomb, what difference does it make if it’s not exactly perfect? What if its 500 feet on one side, and 500 feet 2 inches on another? Does that affect it at all? Everyone makes a big deal about the supposed perfection of the Great Pyramid – what about the Bent Pyramid??? Did its owner make it into the afterlife? “sorry buddy – you hired cheap labor!”

So, now, let me start answering the video, now that I’ve asked these questions.

Dr. Hagins makes a big deal about the stories of the Bible supposedly being stolen from Egypt. it’s interesting to me that several people have placed challenges for Dr. Hagins to produce any documentary evidence for his claims, and he has yet to avail himself of any of the reward money, which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars. If someone were to place a challenge to me to produce documents I had in my possession and the reward was $10,000 or more, I’d be driving to the bank to deposit that cash!

Dr. Norman Geisler, author of more than 70 books, writes, “The first real parallel of a dying and rising god does not appear until A.D. 150, more than a hundred years after the origin of Christianity. So if there was any influence of one on the other, it was the influence of the historical event of the New Testament [resurrection] on mythology, not the reverse. The only known account of a god surviving death that predates Christianity is the Egyptian cult god Osiris. In this myth, Osiris is cut into fourteen pieces, scattered around Egypt, then reassembled and brought back to life by the goddess Isis. However, Osiris does not actually come back to physical life but becomes a member of a shadowy underworld…This is far different than Jesus’ resurrection account where he was the gloriously risen Prince of life who was seen by others on earth before his ascension into heaven….even if there are myths about dying and rising gods prior to Christianity, that doesn’t mean the New Testaments writers copied from them. The fictional TV show Star Trek preceded the U.S. Space Shuttle program, but that doesn’t mean that newspaper reports of space shuttle missions are influenced by Star Trek episodes!” (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be An Atheist, 2004, p. 312).

Dr. Ronald Nash, the author of many books including The Meaning of History and The Gospel andthe Greeks: Did the New Testament Borrow from Pagan Thought? writes, “Which mystery gods actually experienced a resurrection from the dead? Certainly no early texts refer to any resurrectionof Attis. Attempts to link the worship of Adonis to a resurrection are equally weak. Nor is the case for a resurrection of Osiris any stronger. After Isis gathered together the pieces of Osiris’s dismembered body, he became “Lord of the Underworld.”….And of course no claim can be made that Mithras was a dying and rising god. French scholar Andre Boulanger concludes: “The conception that the god dies and is resurrected in order to lead his faithful to eternal life is represented in no Hellenistic mystery religion.” (The Gospel and the Greeks: Did the NewTestament Borrow from Pagan Thought?, p. 161-162)

Dr. Gary Habermas and Dr. J.P. Moreland write, “Not one clear case of any alleged resurrection teaching appears in any pagan text before the late second century A.D., almost one hundred years after the New Testament was written.” (Cited by Dan Story in The Christian Combat Manual: Helps for Defending your Faith: A Handbook for Practical Apologetics, 2007, p. 206).

The Claims of Dr. Hagins are astoundingly similar to the Zeitgeist movie, so much so I have to wonder if Hagins was influenced by it? This kind of shoddy research has been going on since the 1960’s. What it amounts to is the speculate writings of someone in the 60’s, who was quickly refuted by Christian Apologists. However, the writings would be quoted by someone else without bothering to research, and lo and behold, we have to answer it again. And again. and again.

Dr. Ben Witherington says, “There was no such thing as the concept of bodily resurrection in Egyptian religion, and certainly not of a mythological deity, Horus, was not believed to have a human body. Sometimes commentators will use the term resurrection to speak loosely about an afterlife in another world, not a bodily return to this world.” (“The Zeitgeist of the ‘Zeitgeist Movie'”)

Michael Houdmann says, “Horus becoming a teacher at age 12 (mimicking the account of Jesus at the temple as a youth) is nowhere to be found in accounts of Horus; neither are there any statements to the effect that he had 12 “disciples.” According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers and some indications of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. No accounts of Horus being betrayed are found in his portrayals and he certainly did not die by crucifixion in any account. There is an incident described in one story of Horus being torn to pieces, with Iris requesting that the crocodile god pull him out of the water, but the movie does not mention this, as it does not fit their agenda. Further, the movie puts the account of Horus as originating in 3000 B.C., which predates the invention and practice of crucifixion, so there is another historical problem that must be overcome. The claims of Horus being buried for three days and resurrected are not to be found in any ancient Egyptian texts, either. Some accounts have Osiris being brought back to life by Isis and going to be the lord of the underworld. But there is no mention of a burial for three days and no mention of his physically coming out of a grave in the same physical body he went in with and never dying again. And there is certainly no account of Horus dying for others as Jesus did. In the end, the attempt to prove Horus was a picture/forerunner of Jesus simply fails from lack of any historical evidence.” (“Is There Any Validity to the Zeitgeist Movie?”)

The Zeitgeist movie began trucking out the same tired “stolen religion” conspiracies we’d been hearing since the 60’s. How did these originate?

“The Beatles. The Beatles grew long hair, we grew long hair. The Beatles dropped acid, we dropped acid. The Beatles discovered Hinduism, we discovered Hinduism.” a Beatles Fan (sorry this is another quote out of the memory banks – I don’t remember who said it – David Gerrold?)

Hippies began looking into Hinduism, because their idols began looking into it. Sloppy research led some to believe the quote of some Hindu Yogi’s that “Jesus came to India to study Hinduism”, and that was circulated for a long time. Others began to add the Attis (or Apis) Cult claims, then adding Mithra into it, then Hercules, etc. I can remember having a book listing all those claims like an encyclopedia. If all you did was read a book like that, it would be devastating. Unfortunately, ALL the claims were stretched beyond truth, or the product of shoddy research, and “a friend said that a friend said that a friend said…”

Bottom line is… this stuff has been circulated over and over again since around 1967. And it’s been refuted time and time again.

now Mr. Hagins is using shoddy research to push the same thing, this time borrowing the same “research” to push his agenda. It amounts to the same thing, just from an Egyptian perspective. I’ve already answered many of his claims with this series, and today (again) I’m only briefly answering what he’s got on this series. It would require an entire month’s worth of articles to show the rampant errors in his approach.

Hagins makes a big deal about Serapis. This is a combination of a Roman god Apis (or Attis) and an Egyptian god. Odd that he should be turning to one of the gods of one of the very cultures he despises, but that’s his prerogative, if he wants to be wrong.

On benstanhope, Hagin’s Serapis Letter is analyzed, and I quote…

Hagins tries to show Christianity and Jesus evolved out of Egyptian religion by quoting the following correspondence “dated” to AD 134:

“Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The worshipers of Serapis [here] are called Christians, and those who are devoted to the god Serapis [I find], call themselves Bishops of Christ.”

So what’s the big deal? In short, this letter is a widely known forgery. It’s a fake.

Despite the obvious fact that the letter (if it were authentic) would be a century too old to demonstrate any meaningful Christian etiology, it is part of a late 4th century forgery entitled Historia Augusta. The Historia Augusta contains so many anachronisms that it is easily dated to AD 395. The “Serapis letter” itself is full of anachronisms demonstrating this point. Hadrian was only in Egypt in 130, and the letter mentions his adopted son Lucius Aelius, who Hadrian did not adopt until six years after. Hadrian also salutes Servianus as consul, but Servianus did receive position as consul until 134. The letter also mentions the “Patriarch of Jewry,” a position that did exist until he created it after the Jewish Revolt in 132.

Glanwill W. Bowersock, in a proceeding volume of the Genevan conference on the Historiae Augusae gives a scholastic survey of the dating of the texts. He writes:

“The presence of fiction in the Historia Augusta is by now an established fact. The mischievous author of this work pretended, as we all know, to be writing historical biographies; but this pretense, though compelling the inclusion of genuine historical material, imposed no perceptible limits on his wit and invention.”[1]

Günter Stemberger (PhD Jewish studies, Innsbruck and Göttingen), commenting on the Serapis letter confirms, “We should hardly assume the existence of an actual event on which these remarks were based.”[2]

If you’re interested in reading more on this, feel free to consult that web page. He does provide the citations for his quotes.

Since some will be searching for posts and web pages for Dr. Hagins, I’ll re-blog my post on proof for Jesus’s existence tomorrow, and then I’ll be done with this subject for a while, and should be finishing up this series. I’d hoped to be done with it by September 1, but again, I’ve fallen behind because of my schooling. Well, that does take precedence.

Now, this puts a major damper on Dr. Hagins conclusions. If his Serapis letter is a fraud, and I think I’ve found enough scholarly evidence of that, and if his major case for the Egyptian mythos being the true religion is shot down (and I think I took care of that today) and if I can establish ONCE AGAIN that Jesus Christ is a historical person…

…Then all of Dr. Hagin’s books, videos and seminars are worthless.

Tune in tomorrow.

Proofs of Christianity 15


As a request from a good friend, I’m answering some of the claims of this video…

I’m not going to be able to answer all of this today… I’m just going to hit a couple of the highlights for you. I may be able to get more of them tomorrow and Sunday.

First of all, I noticed how Dr. Hagins resorted to a tactic coincidentally used by Brian McLaren of the Emerging Church – using the tactics of making himself seem innocent, and constantly cueing his audience for repeated affirmations. You smile at his describing himself as his parents saying, “Why do you have to ask so many questions?”

Yes, we’ve all heard that. And his pausing to remind his viewers “remember, I’m a little boy now…” yes, we all were children once. Some of us are still there, it seems!

Mentioning his grandmother with some affection (we usually loved our grandmothers, so again he gets that affirmation with us).

He brings up couches vs. sofas and making those of us who are of the same age agree – yes, we remember when they were called that. We remember the big stand up freezers and washing machines and etc. We remember black and white tv’s too. And black and white pictures on the wall.

So, we’re smiling, relaxed, and feeling warm with acceptance as he begins to steer the discussion into: “What is Christianity.”

He describes his grandmother having a picture of the Last Supper. Uh-oh…. he’s surely not about to make doctrinal stands based upon a painting, is he?

The Lubavitch Rebbe, Menachem Mendl Schneerson
The Lubavitch Rebbe, Menachem Mendl Schneerson

Sure enough… he does. Most of what he’s talking about, is derived from two paintings his Christian grandmother, a woman so thankful to God for salvation she would stand in front of the painting of Jesus and speak to it as if Jesus was standing in the room with her. I doubt that was idolatry, as she was addressing the person alleged to be in the painting.

However, Dr. Hagins begins to try to converse with the painting too… bypassing crucial steps number 1,2 and 3… Understand you are a sinner in need of salvation, repent and ask the Lord to save you, believing that Jesus Christ is God and is raised from the dead.

He’s totally lost this point, and cannot understand the first thing about Christianity. He’s not saved. It’s no wonder he went awry.

85836The next statement he makes after this (and after trying to play on the audience’s fear of looking foolish), is to answer his question, at 13:18 into the video. “Christianity may be defined as a Euro-Gentile, psycho-philisophical vehicle of spiritual and intellectual enslavement.”

Huh?

The Lubavitch Alter Rebbe
The Lubavitch Alter Rebbe

His entire premise is based upon a premise of all biblical stories being stolen out of Egypt.  I’ll try to deal with that a little more tomorrow night. There’s a major flaw with his premise right off the bat.

He’s deriving his doctrine not from the Bible, but by artwork from Leonardo Davinci’s “The Last Supper”. And his premise is that, since these men are white, it was designed to be a system to enslave minority groups by presenting the image of his conquering slavers as deity.

The RaMBaM, Rabbi Maimonides
The RaMBaM, Rabbi Maimonides

There’s a major problem with that. Jews.

See, Jews are considered white in America. And Jesus and the Apostles are Jews.

I’m a Jew, ethnically. You’ll have noticed I’ve shown pictures and artwork of Jews. Apparently, some Rabbi’s like the Baal Shem Tov and the RaMBaM for some reason never posed for photographs back 400 and 900 years ago.

Does DaVinci’s artwork correctly portray what Jesus and the apostles looked like? I seriously doubt it. And of course, many of the famous pictures supposed to portray Jesus Christ do seem to portray a Gentile Jesus, often with blond hair and blue eyes.

However, in all the time I’ve had this blog, I’ve never decried that. I doubt Jesus had long hair. I’m not going to be dogmatic about it, because the Bible is sparse with details.

I will say Jesus probably looked more like some of the Jews on this page. And anyone who’s describing meeting a blonde or brown haired Jesus in this day and age are misled, lying, or suffering from mental issues. The Bible describes Jesus Christ now as having white hair and beard, and skin like brass. Try to paint THAT!

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:12-18 (KJV)

Israeli Border Police
Israeli Border Police

Jews in Jesus’s day had a slightly more olive complexion than now. Perhaps a little darker than the Israeli border policeman in this picture.

So… how exactly does the worship of a Jew portray the European conqueror? What’s the logical line of thought here? Well, if your mindset is originating say… right this very minute, and peering backwards into imaginary times in your mind with absolutely no proof… yeah, it could look that way.

If you continue to think of the Jews as Gentile Europeans, sure. But I’m not a gentile. And the apostles and Jesus were not Gentile not European.

Now, perhaps Ray Hagins needed to think of it this way… “you’re showing me white men, and a white god. What’s this got to do with me?”

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)

There you go. for God so loved the WORLD. Everyone. There’s no Filipino’s in the Bible, either. Nor British. No Scots. No Irish. No Chinese. No Japanese. Yet, that one verse speaks of ALL of them. Including Mr. Ray Hagins.

But there is an African.

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:26-39 (KJV)

There are Africans in the Bible. There are Egyptians in the Bible. The Gospel is the same for all of us. Jews, Arabs, Native American tribes, Pacific Islanders, Orientals, whites, Africans, everyone. The Gospel is open to all of us.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. John 12:26 (KJV)

More coming tomorrow…

Proofs of Christianity 14


Continuing on, we talked a day or so ago about fulfilled prophecy. I gave one incident in particular. In reality, the bible is full of such events.

Let’s go through a few of them.

2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. 3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. 4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 5 The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. 1 Kings 13:2-5 (KJV)

15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove. 16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. 17 Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel. 18 And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria. 19 And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. 20 And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men’s bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem. 2 Kings 23:15-20 (KJV)

The two events were about 3 centuries apart.

26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. 27 So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country. Joshua 6:26-27 (KJV)

33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. 34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun. 1 Kings 16:33-34 (KJV)

This is the easiest one to counter any objections to. Many will object that this could have been written at the same time (in light of my demonstrating how difficult it would be to edit the Bible in the manner that people always claim.)

The Samaritans only have Genesis-Joshua in their Bible. Why, I don’t know. They try to claim to being the original Jews when we know they actually are the descendants of native tribes who lived in the area, mixed with Babylonians who were sent in to colonize after the first fall of the kingdom of Judah.

If all this was written at the same time, the Samaritans would have 1 Kings as well. They don’t.

If the bibles were edited, theirs probably would not be. And copies of the Samaritan Bible have been made.

64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: Deuteronomy 28:64-65 (KJV)

“when was this fulfilled???” Uh… look around you! Do all of the Jews live in Israel? Nope. I live in the USA. And I know quite a few others who live here too. This was fulfilled partially in the Babylonian captivity. It was completely fulfilled in 70 AD. THe scattering was so complete that Jews have been traced moving all across the world. It wasn’t until just after World War II that this started to reverse, with the Divine establishment of the State of Israel:

8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Isaiah 66:8 (KJV)

Israel was established as a state in one day.

Amazing.

Proofs of Christianity 13


One of the biggest proofs of Christianity is the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible. I’ve mentioned before in other articles that no other religion has specific prophecies that are fulfilled. Christianity alone is like this.

Objection: “Nostradamus has entire quatrains that have been fulfilled…”

Answer – the Bible is different. Nostradamus’s quatrains are often vague. You can read into them just about whatever you want. The Bible’s prophecies are specific. We can tell because of literal fulfillment of them that we should interpret the Bible literally. We’re going to address quite a few of them here. I don’t know if I’m going to do them all right now, or in my upcoming series on Judaism, which will be the next topic coming up.

The Bible’s rule for “Who is a prophet of God?” is very specific. You must maintain 100% accuracy, or you are a false prophet, not of God. Back in the days of Israel as a kingdom, anyone who claimed to be a prophet and was wrong was put to death.

1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (KJV)

Isaiah the prophet was writing from 783 to 704 BC, according to Merrill Unger.

24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; 25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; 26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: 27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: 28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Isaiah 44:24-28 (KJV)

According to Unger, this passage would have been written in 735 BC.

1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; 2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. Isaiah 45:1-4 (KJV)

Cyrus, or Koresh in Hebrew, was not born for another 140 years, and did not begin ruling until 559 BC. The literal fulfillment of these verses would not occur until 538 BC. Yet, Isaiah calls him by name twice, and specifically says that Cyrus would rebuild Jerusalem, and also the Temple – 197 years before it occurred.

Anyone who’s studied the Jewish laws about books of the Bible immediately discounts the often cited “that was edited in later.” Jewish scribes would simply not permit any editing of a Biblical book. A scroll that revealed errors would be immediately repaired or sent for burial. Scribes often memorized, using mnemonic devices (phrases), the middle letters down every paragraph on a scroll. Any editing by anyone would be detected immediately. And again, we have the situation where someone would have to go to every synagogue in Israel and Judah and find every scroll of Isaiah, and edit ALL OF THEM exactly letter for letter the same. Over the objections and possibly even physical resistance of the Levites there. The idea is roughly the same as suggesting that Catcher in the Rye was edited, and someone had to go to every library, house and bookstore to edit each individual copy. It’s a ludicrous assertion.

And that brings up the question… if the words in Isaiah are written in a scroll, how do you insert the words??? Let’s look at how that would look in a Scroll.

21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. 23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. 24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am  the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; 25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; 26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: 27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: 2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth  salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have  created it. 9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Okay, these are written like this (actually right to left, and in Hebrew, but this is an example for the non-hebrew speaker. Okay, the Cyrus prophecies amount to 4 verses right in the middle of this. Print this out, and without cutting the paper, edit it so that you can put the 4 verses in their place,, right after verse 25 and before verse 2. Oh, and remember, there were no chapter and verse numbers. You have to unroll the scroll of Isaiah to the right part, and now do your editing.

Huh.

Not as easy as it looks.

Impossible, actually, without taking the old Isaiah scroll and destroying it, and putting in new ones with the 4 verses inserted.

This is the Achilles heel of every theory that insists on the corruption or editing of the Bible. elsewhere I’ve gone at length to describe the laws of writing out a scroll of the Bible, including such things as making sure there is enough ink on the quill before writing the Holy Name, and not allowing anyone or anything – not even a king – interrupt you while writing God’s name. The maximum number of letters per paragraph and equal spacing cause the blocks to be remarkably uniform. And the complexity of trying to insert ANYTHING into the middle of a block like that – or even appending verses to the beginning or middle of a paragraph block is impossible.

Any change would be detected, and in any group, there’s always going to be SOMEONE who opposes the changes!

Let’s hear no more conspiracy theories about the Bible being edited.

So, then, we have to take the prophecies of Cyrus as being written by Isaiah – and that Isaiah specifically named ahead of time the name of the man who would rebuild Jerusalem, and its Temple.

Conclusion – Isaiah was a prophet, inspired by God. I can think of no other conclusion.

On Comments and Debates


I’m still in the midst of my Finals (actually, almost done with them… but my last test is coming up, and this is my final chance to affect my final grade, so it has a lot of my attention). and once that test is sent in, I start the Master’s college program, so that involves work on my thesis as well as classes.

So, as a result, my posting on the blog is still going to be a little spotty over the next couple of weeks, until I settle down in the routine.

I’d jokingly say that if I ever end up with a full time ministry, I’ll have much more work to dedicate to the blog, but alas – I think that may be wishful thinking! Right now the bi-vocational “full time job – full time student” thing has left me extremely busy and unable at this point to post daily as I’ve done in the past. The new theme will show that my time of posting daily actually has only happened a few times. On the average, I think I’ve been forced to miss four or five days a month on average.

That’s major reason number one why I’ve limited my answers to comments on the blog. If I had all day to sit around and do nothing, sure – I’d probably have been able to get into comment debates. But if you check EVERY POST I’ve done on this topic – I’ve stated right up front I do not have the time to engage on comment debates.

Why this has escaped everyone’s notice is beyond me.

Yes, I check your blogs after we’re done with the debates. I’m not surprised that several have decried my policies about debates, and two have written long diatribes about “comment censorship”.

Nice.

You’ve got your blog – you can write what you want.  And all of you that have them do just that! Except for one Atheist blog that seems to do nothing besides post all of my posts (and those of other Christians) that have the tag “apologetics”. Kind of odd, if you ask me! If your tagline is “THERE IS NO AFTERLIFE!”, why would you subscribe to the RSS of apologist blogs like mine that have the tag “Apologetics”? are you trying to get all your readers saved? That’s most certainly going to be the result!

This is my blog. It’s for me to write my opinions and my articles. If I want to go on a rant about outboard motors, I have that privilege.

I do not have to allow comments. I choose to, as a courtesy. If you’ve got a WordPress blog, you know you can choose whether to allow pings, comments, ratings, subscriptions, etc.

And right now, because I’m busier than I’ve been in quite some time with trying to finish up Seminary, I’ve actually disabled comments on some blog posts. I’ll re-enable them in the future. But right now, I think it’s easier doing it that way than leaving the comments in moderation for over a month.

It’s not your blog. I’m saying this nicely, as politely as I can. If you want to write articles advocating heresy, go right ahead. I’m going to warn you that unless you repent, you’re going to face even worse punishment in Hell for all eternity than would the simple unbeliever.

But I’m under no obligation to let you use MY BLOG as a forum for YOUR beliefs.

So, two people were upset over my stated policies on comments. I’m very sorry. But that was actually one of the first things I did when I went public with the blog, instead of just having it on my PC. I wrote a comment policy to explain:

  1. I don’t have enough time available to get into comment debates, online debates, email debates, or even public, moderated debates. I work a 40+ hour per week job, I have family time I won’t give up, I am a full time Seminary student (and will be for 2 more years, unless I opt for a doctorate, which will require another 4 years after that!). I think the most honest approach was the invitation from James Trimm who politely invited me to an online debate. I turned him down, although I appreciate the fact he was honest enough to make that intention clear from the start.
  2. The Bible does not permit me to debate heretics. I gave an entire page of scriptural quotes, that one ecumenical and possibly emergent commenter found upsetting – despite the fact that all I did was put the Scriptures online, without comment! I am permitted only two rebuttals of a heretic, according to the Bible. I deviated from that once, and was convicted of it immediately. I let it go a week or so, and then repented, and obeyed the Lord. There will be no further deviations of that.
  3. If I take time away from writing people to engage in fruitless debates, then I spend FAR MORE TIME engaging in debates than writing. It GREATLY delayed my series on Mormonism, and I felt as a result that if I’d written on it instead of debating, it would have been a much better series.
  4. There may not be enough time left before the Rapture to debate everyone who disagrees with me. And trust me, there’s quite a few! I’m still praying that several people I’ve debated with briefly get saved, especially Atomic Mutant, who is a genuinely funny and nice guy. I’d rather look back as I’m standing on the clouds with the Lord and say, “I said everything I could possibly say…” instead of, “Wow, I spent all that time in fruitless debates, and NONE of those people are here with us! I wasted all that time I could have spent on articles.”
  5. The most important website after the Rapture will probably be the Surviving the Tribulation website, and not this blog. That’s a bottom line statement. And it’s more important for me to finish that one, than this one! Because there will be a Rapture, whether you believe in it or not. And people will be be left behind, like it or not. And if I can help any of them survive if even for a few more weeks, it’ll be worth it.

Censorship: a person who examines books, movies, letters, etc., and removes things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, harmful to society, etc.

Censorship is if I go on YOUR BLOG and remove what I don’t like. My blog is for my expressing and defending my faith. My policy has been stated since day one – if you don’t like what I write, get your own blog. It’s not censorship if I do not allow comments to go through – I am not obligated to let ANY comments to go through! WordPress has free blog hosting. Help yourself.

The next thing I’ve noticed is, on at least two blogs, the engaging of imaginary straw men and debating those! I read with some amusement as a Messianic proceeded to cite my name and construct imaginary arguments he would have with me – in quite a few cases, none of the arguments that he claimed I would raise are ones I would raise! (“Mr. Dean would no doubt raise this argument, to which I would answer…”)

That’s a prime example of the straw man argument, but amplified to hysterical proportions! I didn’t bother to respond – after all ,it’s his blog, and his like minded Messianics chortled at the supposed ease in which this person supposedly would have defeated my arguments – not noticing the errors in his logic, his twisting of scriptures, and of course – the complete illogic of attempting to say, “Here’s the arguments Mr. Dean would cite.”

One thing that absolutely drives me nuts is the ARF argument – abort, retry, fail. In other words, you say “A”, I respond “A is incorrect”, and you repeat… “a”. No, I just answered that. “A” is incorrect. You can repeat it a thousand times, and I can refute it a thousand times. That was what the exchange with the Mormon was turning into, an endless repeating of the same point. And the one Roman Catholic who was offended by a couple of my posts was turning into that as well.

I am sorry that some of my writings offend. But in many cases, my tone of voice has been very mild (especially lately, now that I’m working very hard on curbing my tongue and trying not to be so harsh), and STILL I’ve offended. Why? Truth hurts. It’s HORRIBLE to be told you’re wrong, and headed for Hell. But I HAVE TO warn you that’s where you’re going, if you’re not saved.

Last but not least, three times people have written short novels in the comment box. Those didn’t go through. Is that censorship? Nope. I don’t have the time to answer your 600 page essay that’s in the comment box. And the Bible also enjoins me to refrain from foolish and vain questions. Besides, I’ve got to assume that this is a pre-written  comment/article you already had “canned” and copied and pasted into the comment box.  Few people will take 4 hours to sit on my web page, and type that long into a comment box.

The bottom line is, most people that leave comments sometimes have good things to add. That’s a joy to answer. But some people only want to be contentious. Recently I had a good discussion with someone who even admitted to me I would not be able to convert him from his heresy. We’d hit the Biblical limit to the posts, and I deleted his comments after that point. I’m really sorry. I’d hoped to get him saved, and when I read his responses to twelve simple questions, it was obvious he was not saved, alas.

Contentious, argumentative, good discussions – it doesn’t matter what it is, I HAVE to obey Scripture when it tells me to refrain from foolish questions, to admonish a heretick once, twice, and then reject and avoid, to separate from error and heresy.

And that is my final word on the subject.

Proofs of Christianity 12


Archaeological proofs of the Bible

From what I’ve read recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that if an archaeologist dug up the Ark of the Covenant, they’d probably bury it again.

I’m basing this pure and simply on the House of David inscription. The supposed experts found an inscription that read “the house of David”. Their conclusion – this was proof only that the House of David existed, but not that King David himself existed. Indeed, their conclusion was that King David was probably mythical.

How they derived that theory that King David was probably “mythical” simply from finding an inscription that read “the house of David” I’ll never know.

It roughly amounts to finding proof that someone was a direct descendant of Napoleon, but deciding that did not constitute Napoleon existed!

We have proofs of The House of David. We have proofs of the kings of Israel and Judah, especially Omri – one of the LEAST mentioned kings in the Bible – but having proof that the dynasty put in place by King David is not proof that King David existed.

Really.

And what was your grade point average in college? Barely passing? Look, this is the most illogical conclusion I’ve ever read! It’s like saying the Chin Empire in China is no proof the Chin emperor existed!!!

I’d like for my readers to know, every know and then I get frustrated and annoyed. It helps to vent. And in case my Atheist readers have never noticed it, my years as a Heinlein fan gave me a very unhealthy form of sarcasm. No, I haven’t read any Heinlein since probably the early 90’s, many years before I was saved.

Next, the Genesis “Table of the kings” Genesis 14.

1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness. 7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar. 8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; 9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. 10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. 11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. Genesis 14:1-12 (KJV)

“Scholars” and historians often scoffed at this chapter… until all of the same kings and kingdoms were discovered on the Elba tablets. Indeed, one of the Elba tablets lists them in the same order! (Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell, pg. 68)

The account of Joshua and Jericho is widely held to be myth by historians… yet excavations in Jericho by Garstang 80 years ago showed the walls had collapsed, falling outwards as the Bible says. Anyone who questions the account of Jericho has not studied it… or is lying.

McDowell reports that Wellhausen, the author of the heretical JEPD theory that Wellhausen was skeptical about the bronze items in the tabernacle – yet such artifacts have been found in Egypt in the same historical period.

This is why I question whether an archaeologist who is not a Christian would actually turn over evidence of the Bible. And I wonder how many times evidence has been turned in to Universities and museums… and promptly been hidden in back rooms. Or how many times the excavation has simply been filled in again hurriedly for fear of discovery.

Indeed, according to Hovind and “The Evolution Cruncher“, there has been at least two occasions where such evidence has been unearthed, turned in… and people have been fired for it. Please contact Vance Havner or Kent Hovind for more information – I do not have the accounts. I merely report them.

There are numerous documents, inscriptions, etc. – all confirming the Biblical record. So far the Bible has such a strong historical verification, you’d think the scoffers would give up by now.

Pray for David Cloud


David Cloud is very ill in the hospital, and his condition is critical. Unless a miracle happens, we run the risk of losing this powerful and tireless champion of fundamentalism, correct doctrine, Christianity, and the Bible.

Don’t just add this to daily prayers… please pray NOW.

see Way of Life for more information.

Dear Subscribers and Fellow Supporters,

We are posting this note as an emergency request for prayer on behalf of David Cloud, who has been in the hospital on the mission field for the last several days with pneumonia, a swollen pancreas, and swollen intestines. He will be in the hospital for at least three or four more days as they try to clear up the pneumonia and get his pancreas functioning normally again.  If his pancreas doesn’t heal and begin functioning normally then the prognosis can be very bad. However, we trust that all will be well and the Lord gives peace and grace day by day, moment by moment.

Received from his wife Linda a few hours ago: “His condition has been changed from Acute to Serious and the doctors most likely will move him to ICU. Only our pleadings have kept him out so far, because there is no privacy and no resting in ICU with the constant noise. His pancreas has not shown signs of improving. They are keeping him off of all foods and liquids, which of course has made him much weaker. His oxygen level drops significantly when he is off of oxygen for a few minutes. If his pancreas does not kick in and begin working properly, then other organs can begin to become damaged and it could be a downhill road from there. I have peace as I know the Lord does the right thing at all times. But we do covet prayers and thank those who are praying.”

If you care to email Bro. Cloud to let him (and family) know you are praying, please address it to: support@wayoflife.org

http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/emergency_prayer_request.html