FACTS ABOUT GOD 

Tracts at www.atstracts.org 

 

 

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The Resurrection On Trial

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In this Order:

Do All Roads Lead to God?

Is the Bible True? - Christ's Resurrection - World Religion Differences

Then more Facts On the..

Atheist & Agnostic - Jehovah Witness - Mormon - Muslim - Witchcraft

Finally.. What Does it Mean to Follow Jesus?

 

Do All Roads Lead to God?

There is a common belief today that “All roads lead to God.” While it is noble to respect each other’s religious faith, the Bible teaches that the only way a person can be reconciled to God is on God’s terms.

Here are five “landmarks” that set Christianity apart from other roads.

 

The Bible is the only inspired, infallible Word of God! Historians agree as to the authenticity of the New and Old Testament writings, and contrary to popular belief, transmission of the text was completed with 99.99% precision (determined by textual criticism and comparisons of thousands of existing manuscripts). Conclusive evidence for the infallibility of the Bible includes: the bibliographical test; historical and archaeological confirmations; the Bible’s harmony and unity (considering it contains 66 books written over 1,500 years, by 40 authors on 3 continents); and the Bible’s fulfilled predictive prophecies. There were 330 specific prophecies about the coming Messiah in the Old Testament—fulfilled with 100% accuracy in the life of Jesus centuries later! God spoke to the Old Testament prophets revealing history in advance because He is outside of time. The Bible itself declares, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God [by the Holy Spirit]....”

 

Reference: 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19?21; Matthew 5:18, 24:35; Psalm 119:89.

 

Compare: No other “written religious authority” in history has provided such purity of text, such historical/archaeological confirmations, and such extensive prophecy fulfilled anywhere near 100% accuracy! God Himself is the founder of Christianity. The God of the Bible is the eternal, triune God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). He is the creator and sustainer of all life, creating the human race to enjoy a relationship with Himself. Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity—God the Son. Jesus humbly took the form of a man and came to earth as Savior to redeem us.

Jesus predicted to His disciples that He would die and then rise from the dead three days later, an event which would validate His claims to be God! He did not try to escape death on the cross, but He submitted to it. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

 

Reference: John 1:29, 2:19; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 John 4:2; Matthew 12:40, 26:52-54; Titus 2:13; Revelation 13:8.

 

Compare: All other religions’ “founders” were mere men, not God Himself! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him [Jesus] should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)! God the Father gave up His Son for us. His gift of eternal life is free to us, but it cost Him crucifixion. God loves every person with an unconditional, divine love! He created us to live in relationship with Him, but the Bible says that sin and death entered the world through Adam, (in the garden of Eden). Thus, all humanity is guilty of sin. (going against God. Romans 3:23).

The penalty of sin is spiritual death (Romans 6:23), but Jesus willingly died on the cross, in our place, to pardon us. If we were to ask God to prove His love for us, He would point to the CROSS! The cross was the supreme demonstration of God’s love for us!

 

Reference: Matthew 26:31,39; Hebrews 9:22, 13:20; Revelation 13:8; Isaiah 53:4?6.

 

Compare: No other religions’ “founders” loved people so perfectly, nor sacrificed so greatly to prove it! Other religions require human works for redemption. The Good News of Christianity is that God has provided us with the way to Himself. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central pillar of Christianity, and the evidence for its historicity is conclusive. We have the actual eyewitness accounts of this event (the gospels of Matthew, John, etc.); the empty tomb (despite the Roman guards and strict precautions), the transformation of the apostles, and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. By His resurrection Jesus conquered sin and death, thereby offering new life, eternal life, to us! Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”

 

Reference: John 11:25; Acts 1:3; Hebrews 12:2; Matthew 17:9; 1 Corinthians 15:1?8.

  

Compare: No other religions’ “founders” ever conquered death by resurrection (returning to life).

Jesus Christ claims to be the only way to eternal salvation (life in heaven). In His own words Jesus declared: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Our eternal destiny depends on our personal decision, whether to trust in the only One who can settle our “sin issue” so we can commune with God.

 

Logically, if there really is a God, then we must come to Him by His own prescribed way! That prescribed ROAD, according to the God of the Bible, is by FAITH in Jesus Christ! Religions are based on various systems of works, whereas Christianity is based on Jesus and what He has already done for us! 

 

Reference: John 14:6; Matthew 25:41; Acts 4:12; John 3:16; Romans 10:9; 1 Peter 3:18.

 

Compare: Other religions and philosophies claim that all roads lead to God, b ut ..

their - contradictory beliefs cannot be reconciled.

 

Therefore..

It cannot be true that “All roads lead to God.” When we consider the various teachings about God from different religions, we see that they cannot all be true. They contradict each other in critical ways. God cannot at the same time be both impersonal and personal, both singular and triune, both finite and infinite, both knowable and unknowable. There is no way to reconcile the various world views, such as pantheism, monotheism, and polytheism. Logically, either none of them—or only one—is true!

 

The real issue is Truth, an issue of infinite importance.

In Conclusion..

Jesus Christ voluntarily died on a Roman cross 2,000 years ago to pay the penalty for our sins and to demonstrate His love for us. He was “God Himself who came in the flesh”—the promised Messiah. He offers every person the free gift of eternal life. The Gospel of Grace is: Whoever believes in the biblical Jesus Christ—who lived, died, and then three days later resurrected—will have eternal life in heaven! Christianity is founded on a Person, not on a teaching system as with other religions. Christianity is a relationship. God longs to have a personal relationship with you through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

(Revelation 3:20; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 11:25)

 

Religion is man on a quest for God! Christianity is God reaching down to man!

 

Author: Marilyn Joy Tyner

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Is the Bible True?

 

Evidence for the validity of the Bible including evidence from Prophecy, Archaeology and Science.

Written by Dallas Theological Seminary professor Roy Zuck.

Is the Bible a trustworthy, supernatural book? Or is it an antiquated collection of folk tales and superstitions?

Many people reject the Bible, dismissing it as full of errors and therefore unreliable. So they ignore its message and say it has no relevance for them. Is there any evidence to back up the claims that the Scriptures are true? Suppose you were in a court of law where the Bible was on trial. Could a defense attorney bring forth any evidence to support the view that the Bible is reliable? Actually, there are a number of pieces of evidence that can be examined. Here are several.

Evidence from Prophecy

No book other than the Bible has ever given precise predictions of future events (prophecies) hundreds of years in advance, predictions that were fulfilled exactly. Far from vague generalities or general guesses like those given by fortunetellers, the prophecies in Scripture contain explicit details which no human could possibly devise on his own. Imagine trying to come up with the name, ancestry, birthplace, and kind of death for a person who would be born in AD 2800. That would be humanly impossible! Only God could make such predictions and see them carried out perfectly. But that is exactly what we have in the Bible. Jesus’ identity, name, birthplace, triumphal entry, betrayal, suffering, death, and burial—all were foretold in the Old Testament seven hundred years before He was born.

If only 48 prophecies about a person were fulfilled, the odds would be 1 in 10157. That’s a one followed by 157 zeros! And Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies!

God’s prophets also predicted the downfall of many nations—Ammon, Edom, Moab, Philistia—and cities such as Babylon and Nineveh.

About 150 years before Cyrus, king of Persia, was born, Isaiah predicted his birth, gave his name, and told that he would release the Jews from captivity (Isaiah 44:28). And Josiah, one of Judah’s kings, was named 300 years before he was born (1 Kings 13:2). Only God could have revealed these facts, a clear indication of the supernatural nature of the Bible.

Prophecy, then, stands up in court as a strong witness that the Bible is true!

Evidence from Archaeology

Critics have questioned many of the Bible’s historical statements. Yet archaeological discoveries in recent decades have turned up evidence that proves them wrong.

For example, the Bible refers to the Hittite people 36 times. Since no record outside the Bible had affirmed their existence, objectors said the Bible couldn’t be trusted. However, excavations in Turkey have now shown that the Hittite Empire was extensive.

The Ebla tablets, discovered in Syria in the 1960s, include the names of Ur, Sodom, and Gomorrah, cities that Bible opponents said did not exist. These tablets also dispel the notion that since writing was not practiced in the 1400s B.C., Moses could not have written the first five books of the Bible. Yet these tablets were written about a thousand years before Moses! The Bible’s references to the many Assyrian kings are accurate. Archaeologists have uncovered Assyrian artifacts that record the names of all these kings. Certain customs recorded in Genesis are also noted in the Nuzi tablets found in present-day Iraq.

So again and again archaeology gives strong court evidence that disproves the claims of the plaintiffs of the Bible.

Evidence from Impact

Read the Muslim Koran, the scriptures of Hinduism, or the writings of Buddhism, and you will find no satisfactory answers to the questions: Where did the universe come from? How did the human race originate? What is wrong with the world? Why is there suffering in the world? What is the answer to people’s sense of guilt? How can people live upright lives? What will happen to the world? Only the Bible answers these questions. Only the Bible gives an answer to people’s grief, loneliness, sadness, bitterness, and hatred. Only the Bible tells what is wrong with the human heart and gives a solution. Unlike any book written by a mere human, the Bible can transform people’s lives, make people good inside, and give them peace, forgive- ness, and purpose.

Countless numbers of people through the centuries have been rescued from despair, despondence, and distress by the message of the Bible. This book has given hope to the spiritually hopeless, life to the spiritually dead, deliverance to the spiritually enslaved. No other book in the world can make such a claim.

Evidence from Science

Does the Bible have scientific errors? Many people think so. But the Bible is accurate when it addresses various aspects of science. Take water, for example. It evaporates from the ocean, collects in clouds, and falls on the earth as rain or snow. This cycle accords with what the Bible says in Job 26:8; 36:27-28; and Ecclesiastes 1:7. But for centuries scientists did not understand this phenomenon.

Up until only a few centuries ago people believed the earth was flat, but several hundred years before Christ Isaiah wrote of the circular shape of the earth (Isaiah 40:22). And centuries before that, Job had said that the earth is suspended on nothing (Job 26:7). In 1628 William Harvey discovered the circulation of blood in the body. Yet long before that, the Bible recorded the fact that the life of living beings is sustained by their blood (Leviticus 17:11).

Here stands yet more evidence for the defense of the Bible.

The Defense Rests Its Case

Prophecy, archaeology, impact, and science—this huge body of evidence gives testimony that the Bible is God’s reliable truth. If the Bible has mistakes in history, science, or geography, we might wonder if it is reliable when it discusses spiritual subjects. But because it is trustworthy in physical matters, it is also dependable in religious issues.

The Bible’s central message focuses on the problem of sin—and God’s answer. Jesus died on the cross to deal with sin. In fact, He carried our sins on the cross so that we may have salvation by trusting in Him as our Savior. Because the Bible is trustworthy, Jesus Christ can be trusted. He said, “I am the way the truth and the life” (John 14:6). That is, He is the way to God, He is trustworthy and true, and He offers us spiritual life. By trusting in Him, you, like millions of others throughout history, can find salvation and peace in Christ.

Here’s how to become a Christian:

1. Acknowledge that you are a sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

2. Believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was resurrected. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “Christ died for our sins...he was buried...[and] was raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

3. Turn in faith to Jesus Christ by praying a prayer like this: “Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am sinful and I need your forgiveness. I believe that You died and rose again to pay the penalty for my sin. I now receive You as my Savior. Please forgive me and give me eternal life. Amen.

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Jesus' Resurrection: Where's the Evidence?

  The Resurrection. Some might wonder what all the fuss is about, thinking, Who cares? What difference does it make if Jesus rose from the dead? And if he did, where’s the evidence?

   First of all, it makes all the difference in the world. If Christ did not rise, then thousands of believers have died as martyrs for a hoax.

   If he did rise, then he is still alive and can offer peace to troubled, hurting lives. Countless scholars—among them the apostle Paul, Augustine, Sir Isaac Newton and C.S. Lewis—believed in the resurrection. So we need not fear committing intellectual suicide by believing it also.

   Paul, a first-century skeptic, turned believer, wrote that "Christ died for our sins...he was buried...he was raised on the third day...he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve (disciples). After that, he appeared to more than five hundred...at the same time, most of whom are still living" (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

 

   Now let’s consider the evidence:

   1. The explosive growth of the Christian movement. Within a few weeks after Jesus was crucified, a movement arose which, by the later admission of its enemies, "upset the world." What happened to ignite this movement shortly after its leader had been executed?

 

   2. The disciples’ changed lives. After Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, most of the disciples fled in fear. Peter denied three times that he was a follower of Jesus. (The women were braver and stayed to the end.) Yet ten out of the eleven disciples (Judas committed suicide.) were martyred for their faith. According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down; Thomas was skewered; John was boiled in oil but survived. What turned these cowards into heroes? Each believed he had seen Jesus alive again.

 

Christ told the disciples He would rise after His death and when. He told them "I and the Father are One."  He told them .. all authority in Heaven and Earth is Mine. In short He preached of Himself - not of just the way to heaven, but  Himself ! He told the disciples He would prove it to them. And nothing else, but His bodily Resurrection - could have - permanently changed them from post-cross cowards into - Forever Believers.

 

Totally separated from the others, persecuted (their families too) - alone, under torture unto death - not one of the disciples recanted. Separated from each other - not one said .. stop the torture, we made it up (the others wouldn't know of the recant). Why?.. They  each saw the resurrected Jesus with their own eyes. That is their eyewitness testimony. Asbury Smith's book, 'The Twelve Christ Chose' gives historical details of the disciples' tortures and death. They each.. either lied or told the truth.

 

There is no historical middle ground. And there still isn't !

 

Why

would they each give their all - for a lie? Why would they be false witnesses to a false Christ?

And what about the hundreds of eyewitnesses and facts outlined in points 3 and 4 below?

 

   3. The empty tomb. Jesus’ corpse was removed from the cross, wrapped like a mummy and placed in a solid-rock tomb.

   A one-and-a-half to two-ton stone was rolled into a slightly depressed groove to seal the tomb’s entrance.

   A "Green Beret"-like unit of Roman soldiers guarded the grave. Sunday morning, the stone was found rolled away, the body was gone, but the grave clothes were still in place. What happened? Did Christ’s friends steal the body?

   Perhaps one of the women sweet-talked (karate-chopped?) the guards while the others moved the stone and tiptoed off with the body. Or maybe Peter (remember his bravery) or Thomas (Doubting Thomas) overpowered the guards, stole the body, then fabricated—and died for—a resurrection myth.

   These theories hardly seem plausible. The guard was too powerful, the stone too heavy and the disciples too spineless to attempt such a feat.

   Did Christ’s enemies steal the body? If Romans or Jewish religious leaders had the body, surely they would have exposed it publicly and Christianity would have died out. They didn’t, and it didn’t.

   The "Swoon Theory" supposes that Jesus didn’t really die but was only unconscious. The expert Roman executioners merely thought he was dead. After a few days in the tomb without food or medicine, the cool air revived him.

   He burst from the 100 pounds of grave clothes, rolled away the stone with his nail-pierced hands, scared the daylights out of the Roman soldiers, walked miles on wounded feet and convinced his disciples he’d been raised from the dead. This one is harder to believe than the resurrection itself.

   4. The appearances of the risen Christ. For 40 days after his death, many different people said they saw Jesus alive. Witnesses included a woman, a shrewd tax collector, several fishermen and over 500 people at once. These claims provide further eyewitness testimony to the resurrection.

   As a skeptic myself, I came to realize that attempts to explain away the evidences run into a brick wall of facts that point to one conclusion: Christ is risen.

   The above does not constitute an exhaustive proof, rather a reasoned examination of the evidence. Each interested person should evaluate the evidence and decide whether it makes sense. Of course, the truth or falsity of the resurrection is a matter of historical fact and is - not dependent on anyone’s belief. If the facts support the claim, one can conclude that he arose. In any case, mere intellectual assent to the facts does little for one’s life.  A major evidence comes experientially in personally receiving Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness.

 

Jesus said, "I stand at the door and knock."  You must choose to Hide or Seek.  Author: Rusty Wright

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Christ's Resurrection -There is no middle ground

Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, examines the reliability of the greatest feat in human history.

What if Jesus wasn't raised from the dead? What if He was? There is no middle ground.

 

 

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” - 1 Corinthians 15:17

Islam and Judaism swear the resurrection of Jesus Christ never happened.

Jehovah’s Witnesses claim Jesus’ physical body was discarded, destroyed, or dissolved into gasses. Jesus Seminar fellows laugh it off as mere wishful thinking. What if they are right?

 

What if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead?

Then the Historical Jesus - Flat Out Lied about .. Who He Is !

 

If that’s the case, there is no Christianity…no redemption, no purpose, no hope…no future, but wrath.

But if Christianity is factually reliable, then Jesus’ resurrection is the greatest feat in human history.

How can we know today what actually happened 2,000 years ago?

 

For one, there were witnesses.

Jesus gave his disciples many convincing proofs that he had risen from the dead. Luke wrote in Acts 1:3, “He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God .” Likewise, the apostle Peter made a powerful proclamation confidently stating that many credible eyewitnesses could confirm the fact of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances: “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact”

(Acts 2:32 ). The apostle Paul also points out that Christ “died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day….and after that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:3–6).

It would have been one thing for Paul to attribute these supernatural experiences to people who had already died. It was quite another to attribute them to multitudes who were still alive. As the famed New Testament scholar of Cambridge University C. H. Dodd points out, “There can hardly be any purpose in mentioning the fact that most of the five hundred are still alive, unless Paul is saying in effect, ‘The witnesses are there to be questioned.’”

Point two…the effect.

What happened as a result of the resurrection is unprecedented in human history. In the span of a few hundred years, a small band of seemingly insignificant believers succeeded in turning an entire empire upside down. While it is conceivable that they would have faced torture, vilification, and even cruel deaths for what they fervently believed to be true, it is inconceivable that they would have been willing to die for what they knew to be a lie. As Dr. Simon Greenleaf, the famous Royall Professor of Law at Harvard, put it:

“If it were morally possible for them to have been deceived in this matter, every human motive operated to lead them to discover and avow their error….

If then their testimony was not true, there was no possible motive for this fabrication.” Peter, who was once afraid of being exposed as a follower of Christ, after the resurrection was transformed into a lion of the faith and suffered a martyr’s death. James, the half-brother of Jesus, who once hated everything his brother stood for, after the resurrection calls himself “a bond-servant…

of the Lord Jesus Christ”

(James 1:1 nasb). He not only became the leader of the Jerusalem church but in a.d. 62 was martyred for his faith. The apostle Paul, likewise, was transformed. Once a ceaseless persecutor of the growing church, Paul became the chief proselytizer of the Gentiles. And these men were not alone. Within weeks of the resurrection, not just one, but an entire community of at least ten thousand Jews gave up the very traditions of their national and religious identity.

So, what about you?

Each day, people of every tongue and tribe and nation are baptized in the name of the risen Christ. They have come to realize that Christ cloaked himself in human flesh to restore the relationship with God broken by our sin, that Christ lived the perfect life we could never live, and that he died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day rose again from the dead. When they believe that this is no mere fantasy, but a well-attested fact of ancient history, they take the final step and personally experience the resurrected Christ.

Recognizing that they are sinners, they repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of their lives. Today Christians everywhere not only know Christ evidentially but experientially as well. Christ is more real to them than the very flesh on their bones.

By the Christian Research Institute: To contact the 'Bible Answer Man' broadcast with your questions, call toll free in the U.S. and Canada, 1 (888) ASK HANK (275– 4265), Mon–Fri., 5:50 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern time.

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World Religions - Is There a Difference?

The following is an opportunity to look into the major world faith systems...Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Included is a brief description of each, their distinguishing characteristics, and what a person can gain from each. The author then presents for your consideration the ways in which Christianity differs from these other world faiths. Each of these religions has extremists with differing beliefs. The description given here focuses on the heart of that religion.

Hinduism

Most Hindus worship one Being of ultimate oneness (Brahman) through infinite representations of gods and goddesses. These various manifestations of gods and goddesses become incarnate within idols, temples, gurus, rivers, animals, etc.. Hindus see their position in this present life as based on their actions in a previous life. If their behavior before was evil, they might experience tremendous hardships in this life. A Hindu’s goal is to become free from the law of karma...to be free from continuous reincarnations.

New Age

New Age promotes the development of the person’s own power or divinity. When referring to God, a follower of New Age is not talking about the transcendent, personal God who created the universe, but is referring to a higher consciousness within themselves. A person in New Age would see themselves as God, the cosmos, the universe. Everything that the person sees, hears, feels or imagines is to be considered divine.

Highly eclectic, New Age presents itself as a collection of ancient spiritual traditions. It acknowledges many gods and goddesses, as in Hinduism. The Earth is viewed as the source of all spirituality and has its own intelligence, emotions and deity. But superseding all is self, the originator, controller and god of all. There is no reality outside of what the person determines.

Buddhism

Buddhists do not worship any gods or God.

People outside of Buddhism often think that Buddhists worship the Buddha. However, Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) never claimed to be divine, and Buddhists reject the notion of any supernatural power.

The universe operates by natural law. Life is seen as consisting of pain: pain in birth, sickness, death and continuous sorrow and despair. Most Buddhists believe a person has hundreds or thousands of reincarnations, all bringing misery. And it is the desire for happiness that causes a person’s reincarnation. Therefore, the goal of a Buddhist is to purify one’s heart and to let go of all desires. A person must abandon all sensuous pleasures, all evil, all joy and all sorrow.

Islam

Muslims believe there is the one almighty God, named Allah, who is infinitely superior to and transcendent from humankind. Allah is viewed as the creator of the universe and the source of all good and all evil. Everything that happens is Allah’s will. He is a powerful and strict judge, who will be merciful

toward followers depending on the sufficiency of their life’s good works and religious devotion. A follower’s relationship with Allah is as a servant to Allah.

Though a Muslim honors several prophets, Muhammad is considered the last prophet, and his words and lifestyle are that person’s authority. To be a Muslim, one has to follow five religious duties:

I. Repeat a creed about Allah and Muhammad;

II. Recite certain prayers in Arabic five times a day;

III. Give to the needy;

IV. One month each year, fast from food, drink, sex and smoking from sunrise to sunset;

V. Make a pilgrimage once in one’s lifetime to worship at a shrine in Mecca .

At death—based on one’s faithfulness to these duties —a Muslim hopes to enter Paradise . If not, they will be eternally punished in hell.

Christianity

Christians believe in a loving God who has revealed himself and can be personally known in this life. In Christianity the person’s focus is not on religious rituals or performing good works, but on enjoying the relationship with God that he intended and growing to know him better.

Faith in Jesus Christ himself, not just in his teachings, is how the Christian experiences joy and a meaningful life. In his life on earth, Jesus did not identify himself as a prophet pointing to God or as a teacher of enlightenment. Rather, Jesus claimed to be God in human form. He performed miracles, forgave people of their sin and said that anyone who believed in him would have eternal life. He made statements like, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness....” 1

Christians regard the Bible as God’s written message to humankind. In addition to its being a historical record of Jesus’ life and miracles, the Bible reveals God’s personality, his love and truth, and how one can have a relationship with him.

Christians confidently turn to a wise and powerful God who genuinely loves them. They believe God answers prayer and that life takes on meaning as they live to honor him.

There is  a difference !

In looking at these major belief systems and their views of God, we find tremendous diversity:

The world’s major religions are each unique. Yet only one affirms that there is a personal God who wants us to know him.

In Hinduism a person is on their own trying to gain release from karma. In New Age a person is working at their own divinity. In Buddhism it is an individual quest at being free from desire. And in Islam, the individual follows religious laws for the sake of paradise after death. In Christianity, you see a personal relationship with a personal God—a relationship that carries over into the next life.

 

Salvation

We all are aware of our faults, our sins. God loves us but hates our sin, and he has said that the consequence for our sin is separation from him. But God provided a way for us to be forgiven and to know him. Jesus, the Son of God in human form, took our sin on himself by suffering on a cross and dying in our place. The Bible says, “By this we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 2

God is offering us complete forgiveness because of Jesus’ death for us. This means forgiveness for all our sins...past, present and future. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 3

Christianity does not require a commitment to a method of self-improvement, meditation, good works or even the Ten Commandments.

Our hope is not in following laws or standards, but in knowing a Savior who fully accepts us. We don’t earn our place in heaven by religious efforts or good deeds. He has provided the way for us. Heaven is free.

Would you like to be totally forgiven and come to know God’s love for you? It is as simple as praying: “God, please forgive me and come into my heart right now. Thank you, Jesus, for dying for my sins. Thank you for coming into my life as you said you would.”   Author: BATZING, PETER

(Endnotes) 1John 8:12 ; 21 John 3:16 ; 31 John 4:9 (NIV)

 

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The Evidence of God - a brief outline of the facts

for Atheists (don't believe) & Agnostics (can't believe)

Former atheist, Lee Strobel, shows how the facts of science

systematically erode the foundation of Darwinism.

I was once full of confidence that Darwinism justified my atheism. I felt I had investigated the issue sufficiently, having studied biology, chemistry, geology, anthropology, and other sciences. No doubt about it, natural selection acting on random variation had put God out of a job.

But then I began to go beyond the obvious, to set aside my prejudices, to ask questions I had never posed before, and to pursue the clues of science and history wherever they led. Instead of letting naturalism limit my search, I opened myself to the full range of possibilities.

Frankly, I wasn't prepared for what would happen.

The facts of science systematically eroded the foundation of Darwinism until it could no longer support the weight of my atheistic conclusions. After two years of intensive scientific research I came to a startling conclusion the data of the physical world points powerfully toward the existence of a Creator.

POSSIBILITY #1: DARWIN - As I considered the evidence afresh, I tried to honestly weigh which hypothesis, Darwinism or Design, best accounted for the most current data of science. Looking at the doctrine of Darwinism, which under-girded my atheism for so many years, it didn't take me long to conclude that it was simply too far-fetched to be credible. I would have to believe that: Nothing produces everything -- Non-life produces life -- Randomness produces fine-tuning --Chaos produces information -- Unconsciousness produces consciousness -- Non-reason produces reason

Based on this, I was forced to conclude that Darwinism would require a blind leap of faith that I was not willing to make. The central pillars of evolutionary theory quickly rotted away when exposed to scrutiny. For example, naturalistic processes have utterly failed to explain how non-living chemicals could somehow self-assemble into the first living cell. In addition, the overall fossil record has stubbornly refused to confirm the grand claim of Darwinian transitions. The majority or, according to some experts, all of the world's forty phyla, the highest in the animal kingdom, virtually sprang forth with unique body plans more than five hundred million years ago. The sudden appearance of these radically new life forms, devoid of prior transitions, has turned Darwin's Tree of Life on its head.

POSSIBILITY #2: DESIGN - One has to consider many different issues and see whether they point toward or away from the existence of an intelligent designer. Consider some of the evidence that was adduced in my investigation:

The Evidence of Cosmology - As described by William Lane Craig, the argument is simple yet elegant: first, whatever begins to exist has a cause....second, the universe had a beginning....therefore, the universe has a cause. Even once-agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow conceded the essential elements of Christianity and modern cosmology are the same: The chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply...

The Evidence of Physics - One of the most striking discoveries of modern science has been that the laws and constants of physics unexpectedly conspire in an extraordinary way to make the universe habitable for life. For instance, physicist-philosopher Robin Collins has said, "gravity is fine-tuned to one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion."

The Evidence of Astronomy - Similar to the fine-tuning of physics, Earth's position in the universe and its intricately choreographed geological and chemical processes work together with exquisite efficiency to create a safe place for humans to live. "If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision, we could never have come into existence," said Harvard-educated astrophysicist John A. O'Keefe of NASA. "It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in."

The Evidence of Biochemistry - Darwin said, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." Biochemist Michael Behe has demonstrated exactly that through his description of irreducibly complex molecular machines.

These complicated, microscopic contraptions, such as cilia and bacterial flagella, are extremely unlikely to have been built piece-by-piece through Darwinian processes because they had to be fully present in order to function. Other examples include the incredible system of transporting proteins within cells and the intricate process of blood-clotting.

The Evidence of Biological Information - The six feet of DNA coiled inside every one of our body's one hundred trillion cells contains a four-letter chemical alphabet that spells out precise assembly instructions for all the proteins from which our bodies are made. Whenever we find a sequential arrangement that's complex and corresponds to an independent pattern or function (books, computer code, DNA), this kind of information always implies an intelligent source.

The Evidence of Consciousness - Many scientists are concluding that the laws of chemistry and physics cannot explain our experience of consciousness. Professor J. P. Moreland defined consciousness as our introspection, sensations, thoughts, emotions etc. that make us alive and aware. He said, "You can't get something from nothing." If the universe began with dead matter having no conscience, "how then, do you get something totally different conscious, living, thinking, feeling creatures from materials that don't have that?"

THE IDENTITY OF THE DESIGNER - In my opinion, the findings from cosmology and physics by themselves were sufficient to support the design hypotheses. All the other data simply built a more powerful case. But who or what is this master Designer? Each scientific principle contributes some clues to unmasking the Creator's identity.

Physics suggests the Creator is intelligent and involved. Astronomy shows the Creator is incredibly precise, implying care, concern and purpose. Biochemistry and Biological Information demonstrate the Creator is... creative.

Consciousness shows the Creator's rationality, which suggests omnipresence and the credibility of life after death.

These characteristics do not describe the god of deism, who supposedly formed the universe but then abandoned it. Nor is it pantheism, the idea that the Creator and universe are co-existent. Polytheism with its multiple gods falls short, as does the impersonal force of New Age beliefs. In contrast, however, the portrait of the Creator that emerges from the scientific data is uncannily consistent with the description of the God whose identity is spelled out in the pages of the Bible.

As the apostle Paul wrote two millennia ago: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made [that is, his creation], so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).

The question of whether these qualities might also describe the deities of any other world religions became moot once I added the evidence that I discovered through the study of ancient history and archaeology (see author's book, The Case for Christ).

With Darwinism, my faith would have to swim upstream against the strong current of evidence flowing the other way. But putting my trust in the God of the Bible was nothing less than the most rational and natural decision I could have made.

I was merely permitting the torrent of facts to carry me to their most logical conclusion.

FAITH & RESPONSE - I see faith as a reasonable step in the same direction that the evidence is pointing. Faith goes beyond merely acknowledging that the facts of science and history point toward God. Faith is responding to those facts by investing trust in God, a step that's fully warranted due to the overwhelming evidence. If you're a spiritual skeptic or a seeker, I hope you'll resolve to investigate the evidence for yourself, and then respond accordingly.

First, is there a God who created the universe?

Second, did God reveal himself to humankind through the Bible?

Third, is Jesus the Son of God deity united with humanity and can he help us as he claimed?

You'll soon find that the universe is governed by both physical laws and spiritual laws. The physical laws point us toward the Creator; the spiritual laws tell us how we can know him personally, both today and forever. Author: Lee Strobel Bible references: NIV Taken from The Case for a Creator, by Lee P. Strobel. ©2004 Used by permission of The Zondervan Corporation.

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A Former Jehovah's Witness Speaks Out 

As a baptized member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I knew I had the “truth.”

   I was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness in 1960 at age 26 with my wife, Marjorie. I served as an appointed congregation Elder during the mid-1970’s and did all the Watchtower Society requires. Marjorie and I even raised our child as a Witness and looked forward to surviving “Armageddon” into endless life on paradise earth.

   From the mid-1960’s the Watchtower publications, studies, and teachings clearly predicted that Armageddon would occur in 1975—the conclusion of the present world system.

   Understandably, many Witnesses were disappointed and disillusioned when there was no Armageddon in 1975. Surprisingly, Watchtower leaders denied responsibility for the Armageddon predictions, and instead they blamed “overenthusiastic members.”

LOOKING DEEPER

   My suspicions about the Watchtower denials led me to study the Society’s history. Amazed, I discovered other times when the organization had falsely prophesied the end of the world. Needing more time for research, I resigned as Presiding Overseer of my Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation. In my odyssey of study into past prophecies and teachings, my wife and I discovered some incredible Watchtower claims.

   The founder and first President of theJehovah’s Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, was born in 1852. Troubled by various Christian church doctrines, such as teachings on hell, he became a skeptic at age 17.

   In 1870 Russell heard the teachings of William Miller, who originally taught that Christ would return in October, 1843. When this event failed, Miller’s followers continued to set new dates, each a failed prophecy of “things to come.” But the Millerites did provide Russell with (1) a religious denial of hell, and (2) stimulating studies in end-of-the-age prophecies. These became foundations for the new religious organization that Russell would later establish.

   Russell gradually popularized his end-time studies and founded the International Bible Students Association. On December 18, 1884, Zion’s Watchtower Tract Society became a publishing subsidiary of the Association. By 1886 Russell had published The Divine Plan of the Ages, projecting that in 1914 Armageddon would occur along with the dawn of Christ’s thousand year rule on earth. When 1914 came and went without event, Russell changed the date of his prediction to 1915, which also proved false.

ANOTHER PRESIDENT, ANOTHER PROPHECY

   After his failed prophecies, Russell died on October 31, 1916. Joseph (“Judge”) Rutherford then emerged as the new head of the Watchtower. Reworking Russell’s chronologies, he predicted Armageddon would be in 1918. When that failed, he predicted that in 1925 Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other “ancient worthies” would be resurrected to usher in the new world.

   By 1929, Rutherford was still convinced of that resurrection of “ancient worthies” and built a mansion for them in San Diego, calling the house Beth Sarim, “House of the Princes.” He died in the house in 1942, shortly after proclaiming that the end of the world was only months away.

   The 1914 prophecy is a good example of how The Watchtower has covered its failures by modifying its predictions afterward. After the first failed prophecy in 1914, it taught that the world only entered its time of the end in that year. Later it said that the “generation” that saw the events of 1914 would see the end of the world. By 1995, time for Armageddon was running out. So the Witness leadership changed the meaning of the word “generation,” stripping it of any reference to a set number of years. Thus the “end” could be postponed indefinitely...and the Watchtower could avoid embarrassment.

   The failed 1975 Watchtower prophecy that Marjorie and I experienced was just one of many it had predicted. All of this made us realize that the Watchtower Society fits the biblical definition of a false prophet in Deuteronomy 18:21-22:

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

ANOTHER CHRIST, ANOTHER GOSPEL

   In addition to the Watchtower’s failed prophecies, I learned that many of their basic teachings disagree with the Bible. For instance, according to Watchtower teachings Christ the Son was originally the first created being of Jehovah God and He was the incarnation of Michael the archangel.1 According to them, Christ resumed the name Michael when He ascended to heaven after His resurrection.2

   However, the Bible clearly teaches that Christ the Son is eternal, creator, God.3 Nowhere does it say that Michael became Christ or vice versa. In fact, the Bible sharply distinguishes between created angels and the eternal Christ.4

   Jehovah’s Witnesses also teach that one’s soul is inseparable from one’s body, so when a person dies there is no continued existence of the soul.5 In contrast, Christ taught that there is life after death.6 In fact, Christ promised continuing life the same day after death.7 Other Bible passages confirm the soul’s continuing existance after physical death.8

   Jehovah’s Witness teachings about spiritual salvation and peace with God differ from the Bible also. The Witnesses teach that Christ’s death only provides an opportunity for a person to attain eternal life through obeying God’s laws. There is no assurance of eternal life.9 They believe that one can live in God’s paradise only through (1) studying the Bible, (2) associating with Jehovah’s Witnesses, (3) changing living habits from the former way to God’s way (requiring baptism as a Jehovah’s Witness), and (4) being a preacher and a witness of God’s kingdom.10

   However, the Bible clearly teaches that Christ’s death alone provides salvation from sin for all who trust in His sacrifice alone on their behalf.11 In fact, God grants salvation only when one trusts Jesus Christ as Savior.12 The eternal life given by grace to believers is also preserved forever by God Himself.13

   Following Charles Russell’s original teachings, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in a hell where those who reject Christ go after death.14 However, Jesus Himself taught about the reality of hell for those who reject Him as Savior.15

FINDING PEACE

   After our research, Marjorie and I turned in our formal letter of disassociation from the “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.” Afterwards, I experienced a peace of mind and freedom that I had never known in my 22 years as a Jehovah’s Witness. Jesus Christ had personally come into my life, and I knew for certain that my salvation did not rest on my worthless works. God had given it to me as a free gift of His grace.

   The Watchtower organization taught us that we had to go through them to get to God the Father, but we are witnesses to the truth in Jesus Christ. He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”16 Jesus Christ alone is the “one mediator between God and men...who gave Himself as a ransom for all men.”17

   Marjorie and I are witnesses of the marvelous salvation Jehovah freely offers in Christ. I invite you to stop trusting in your good works and ask the Lord Jesus alone to save you. “Whoever believes in the Son [Jesus Christ] has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”18

   Yes, the living Lord extends this invitation to Jehovah’s Witnesses today: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”19

Author: Leonard A. Chretien

If you have any questions about what you have read, you can contact Leonard Chretien at P.O. Box 8007, La Jolla, CA 92038.

I have trusted Christ as my Savior after reading this tract. Please send me free information about my new life as a Christian.

END NOTES
1Let God Be True, p. 32; 2Your Will Be Done on Earth, p. 316-7; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 30; 3John 8:58; cf. Revelation 1:17-18 and Isaiah 44:6; 4Hebrews 1:1-14; 5Make Sure of All Things, 1953 ed., pp. 349, 352; 6Luke 16:19-31; 7Luke 23:39-43; 82 Corinthians 5:5-8; Philippians 1:19-24; 9Studies in the Scriptures, V.1, pp.150,152; 10From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, pp. 242-249; 111 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 2:8-9; 12Acts 4:10-12, 10:42-43; Romans 3:21-24; 131 John 5:11-13; John 6:39, 10:28-29; 14Make Sure of All Things, 1953 ed., pp. 154-155; 15Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50; Mark 9:47-48; see also Revelation 20:11-15; 16John 14:6; 171 Timothy 2:5-6; 18John 3:36; 19
Matthew 11:28.

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The Mormon Mystique

Former Mormon James Walker compares Mormon beliefs to the Bible.

 

A Brief History of Mormonism

   Joseph Smith, the founder and first prophet of Mormonism, was born on December 23, 1805, in the town of Sharon, Vermont. According to the official account, when Smith was 14, two persons radiating with light appeared to him, identifying themselves as God the Father and Jesus Christ. From them Smith said he received instructions to join no existing religious groups, for they all were evil in God’s sight.

   Smith later wrote that on the evening of September 21, 1823, an angel named Moroni appeared to him three times. Each time Moroni told Smith that he was sent from God to reveal ancient gold plates inscribed with the history of the inhabitants of the Americas. With the plates were also two "seer" stones used to translate the characters on the plates. The next day Smith allegedly found the plates buried in a hillside near Palmyra, New York, but he was told that they would be given to him only when he became worthy.

   According to Smith’s writings, he retrieved the golden plates on September 22, 1827. Smith later began translating the plates using the "seer" stones. From these translations the first edition of the Book of Mormon was published in March of 1830.

   Smith claimed that in late 1829 or early 1830, the Apostles Peter, James, and John appeared to him and restored the "Melchizedek priesthood." Ordained with this new authority, Joseph organized his church on April 6, 1830. Several years later a number of Smith’s followers led by Brigham Young migrated to Utah and built Salt Lake City. From that desert arose the empire now known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

   As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believed that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that the LDS Church was the only true church on earth. You see, I was born into an LDS home. My father’s side of the family had been members of the Church for four generations. At the age of eight I was baptized into the LDS church and received the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

   From that early age to adulthood, I was involved in many aspects of Mormon life. I tithed and attended Priesthood, fast and testimony, and Sacrament meetings. I also performed my duty in our Family Home Evening and Home Teaching. I even obtained my temple recommend and entered the Salt Lake City temple to perform baptism for the dead.

   As my commitment increased, a good friend of mine, who was not a member of the Church, became concerned about me. He had been researching the LDS church and shared some facts I didn’t know. I began to wonder about my personal salvation. Although I was in good standing with the Church, I was not sure I was keeping all the laws. I also read in the book of Mormon, “...it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”1

   As a Mormon, I thought I had been trusting Christ as my personal Savior, but I was really trusting my testimony and my good works for salvation. I finally knelt down and admitted to my Heavenly Father that even on my best days I was not perfect. I, like everyone else, was a sinner.2 It was hard, but I told God I was no longer going to trust in my own good works or any church for eternal life. From that time on, I was going to trust His Son Jesus Christ alone to save me from my sins.3,4

A True Comparison

   Mormonism’s doctrines are very different from those in the Bible.

The True God:

   The god I worshiped as a Latter-day Saint was very different from the God of the Bible. I had worshiped “God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.”5 The names were right—but the god was wrong.

   The god that I worshiped as a Latter-day Saint had a body of flesh and bone6, was a glorified, exalted man7, and was one of many gods.8

   I even learned that the Mormon god has Eternal Wives through whom spirit children are born9 and these children have the potential to become other gods.10

   However, the God of the Bible does not have a body of flesh and bone. “God is a Spirit...; A spirit hath not flesh and bones.” He is not a man who was exalted to godhood. “God is not a man....”11 The God of the Bible has no wife and stands alone as God.12

True Sin:

   Mormonism teaches that Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden was a “fall upward” that was not sinful, but rather was necessary to propagate the human race.13 It also says that man has the potential of becoming God, just as Christ did; man is king of kings and lord of lords in embryo.14

   However, the Bible says that Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden caused spiritual and physical death for all persons.15 Mankind’s ultimate goal is not godhood, but rather people have been punished precisely because they thought they could make themselves like God.16

The True Christ:

   The Christ of the Bible and the Christ of Mormonism are two completely different persons.

   Mormonism says that before Christ’s earthly ministry He was the first spirit child born to the Heavenly Father and Mother.17 In fact, Mormonism teaches that Satan [Lucifer] was originally the spirit brother of Christ.18 Mormonism also teaches that God the Father in His glorified physical body had sexual intercourse with the virgin Mary that resulted in the conception of Christ’s physical body.19

   But the Bible teaches that Christ is the only Eternal God, not the product of conception.20 Satan was originally a created angel who led a rebellion against God in heaven.21

   Mormonism says that Christ’s blood shed on the cross provides for the universal resurrection of all people. Its effectiveness for cleansing personal sin, however, depends on each person’s repentance and good works.22 In contrast, the Bible says that the blood of Christ shed on the cross was sufficient for the cleansing and forgiveness of all an individual’s personal sin.23

The True Gospel:

   Before I trusted in Christ as my Savior, I followed what Mormonism taught me about getting to heaven. Its gospel—its message about how to get to heaven—included “all of the laws, principles, rites, ordinances, acts, powers, authorities, and keys necessary to save and exalt men in the highest heaven hereafter.”24 So Mormonism's full salvation comes through a combination of faith, baptism in the church, and works.25

   The Bible’s Gospel message focuses on Christ. When He died for us on the cross, we were forgiven and offered eternal life. To avoid any confusion, the Bible clearly explains that the Gospel does not include laws, or ordinances, or works.26

   Both gospels say they lead to eternal life, but each has its own definition of what that eternal life is. In Mormonism, eternal life is the power to attain godhood and have children in heaven. That can be achieved only through obedience to the Mormon church and having one’s marriage sealed in a Temple ceremony by the Mormon priesthood.27 In the Bible, eternal life is entering into an eternal knowledge of and fellowship with God and is achieved by personal faith in Christ as Savior.28

   Mormonism and the Bible teach two different messages about getting to heaven. In fact, they are direct opposites. Both can’t be true; I had to choose one or the other. How about you?

 

Your Invitation: 

   I urge you to come to the God of the Bible, the only true God.29 He loves you and sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins.30 You can find wonderful freedom when you admit to God that you are a sinner and trust Christ alone as your Savior.31 “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).

 

Author: James K. Walker - Information & Resources: James Walker now serves as president of Watchman Fellowship, an evangelical Christian discernment ministry based in Arlington, Texas. If you have questions or would like further information, please contact James Walker at: Watchman Fellowship, Inc. P.O. Box 13340 Arlington, Texas 76094 Voice: 817-277-0023 Fax: 817-277-8098 / www.watchman.org  = Walker, James: Witnessing to Mormons Resource Library (3 cassette tapes and witnessing manuals). Roberts, R. Phillip: Mormonism Unmasked, Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998. Tanner, Jerald and Sandra: The Changing World of Mormonism, Chicago, Moody Press, 1980. Cares, Mark: Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons, Milwaukee: WELS Outreach Resources, 1998.

 

12 Nephi 25:23. 2Romans 3:23. 3Acts 4:12. 4Ephesians 2:8-9. 5First Article of Faith; McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (MD), 1966, p. 270. 6Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 130:22. 7Gospel Through the Ages (GTA), 1945, p. 104. 8MD, pp. 576-77. 9Ibid., p. 516. 10Ibid., p. 745; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, 1976, p. 132. 11John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 90:2. 12Isaiah 43:10; 44:6; 46:9. 13Journal of Discourses, (JD), V. 13, p. 145; V. 10, p. 312; Pearl of Great Price, Moses 5:10-12; Doctrines of Salvation, V. 1, pp. 114-15. 14JD, V. 10, p. 223; History of the Church, V. 6, p. 306; D&C 76:50-70; 132:20. 15Genesis 3:16-24; Romans 5:12-14. 16Ezekiel 28:1-10. 17MD, pp. 278, 590. 18GTA, p. 15. 19MD, p. 547; JD, V.1, p. 51; V. 4, p. 218. 20John 1:1-2. 21Ezekiel 28:11-19; Colossians 1:16. 22Third Article of Faith; MD, pp. 62, 669. 23Colossians 2:13; Romans 8:36-39. 24MD, p. 331. 25Ibid., pp. 669-70; Ensign, Nov. 1982, p. 61; Moroni 10:32-33; 3 Nephi 27:19; Alma 12:16-18; 34:32-35. 261 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 10:43; John 3:16; Romans 3:19-24; Colossians 2:16-17; Titus 3:5-7. 27JD, V. 11, pp. 221, 269; MD, p. 411. 28John 17:3; Romans 3:21-25, 6:23; 1 John 5:11-13. 29Deuteronomy 4:35, 39. 30John 3:16. 31Isaiah 53:6; Acts 13:39; Romans 10:9-13. 

 

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For My Muslim Friend

 

Who is the Most Unique and Miraculous Person Who Ever Lived?

In order to find the answer to this question we need to consider the total: birth, life and end of life. Let us examine the prophet Jesus, (Isa)* the Messiah.

1. The prophet Jesus, the Son of Mary, had a virgin birth, and so His birth was unique and miraculous. He was the only one who ever lived who had a mother but no father. (Adam and Eve had no father and no mother.)

2. Jesus, the Word of God, had a unique and miraculous life. He performed many miracles of love, kindness, compassion and healing. He healed people who were born blind, people who were crippled from birth, and others who were lepers. The prophet Jesus was also sinless.

3. The Lord Jesus, the Messiah, ascended to Heaven, making the end of His life unique and miraculous. He has no grave where one can go and worship.

There are other people who performed miracles, or possessed one of these traits, but the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of Mary, was the only one who had ALL THREE—a unique and miraculous birth, a unique and miraculous life, and a unique and miraculous end to life. Wouldn’t that make him the most unique and miraculous person who ever lived?

What Do Christians Mean by “Son of God”?

Mecca is known as the Mother of Villages, a traveler is known as a Son of the Road, and the Mother of the Book is said to be in the mind of God, yet we do not believe this biologically or physically. We do not believe that villages did not exist before Mecca and that Mecca got married and produced all of the other villages of the world. We do not believe that the road got married and had baby travelers. And, we do not believe that the Mother of the Book got married and had baby books. We all use these kinds of concepts to convey ideas spiritually, not biologically or physically.

When Jesus is called the Son of God, it does not mean that God got married and produced a son. When the Bible says that Jesus is the Son of God, one of the things it means is that the prophet Jesus revealed what God is like, just as a son reveals what his father is like. Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of Mary, pulled back the veil to show us humans more clearly what God is like. So, what do we see?

What Did the Messiah Jesus Reveal About God?

1. The prophet Jesus revealed that God is love. God is full of love, and this was most clearly shown when God sent Jesus, the Messiah, to die on the cross to pay the price for our sins to be forgiven. (For 2,000 years authoritative history has known and recorded the historical fact of Christ’s death which was witnessed by numerous people. Any unbiased history text will point this out.) Scripture says: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

2. Jesus, the Messiah, revealed that God is very personal. He wants to bless you with real life, filled with joy and peace. God is interested in the details of your life—your joys and challenges. He wants a personal relationship with you. God is not simply sitting on a throne in Heaven, waiting for your death to add up your good and bad works. He is personally interested in your life today, with your needs and concerns. He wants to help you. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).

3. Jesus, the Word of God, has shown that God has provided assurance for the forgiveness of sins. When Jesus, the Messiah, died on the cross, He was the final “Qurban,” or sacrifice, paying the price for our sins to be forgiven by God. Therefore, when we accept this, we can know that we are forgiven. We do not earn God’s forgiveness through doing many good deeds. God freely forgives us because of the complete and perfect atonement of Christ on the cross.

If the forgiveness of our sins was based on our works, it is true that we would never know if we have done enough good works to earn forgiveness. Our good works cannot erase our sin. If some drops of poison are mixed in a cup of tea, adding more tea will not get rid of the poison. It is the same way with sin. Adding more good works will not get rid of sin. It cannot balance it out. We cannot enter into the presence of Almighty God with sin in our lives. Our sin has to be removed because God is pure and holy. Everything in His presence is pure and holy. There can be no sin in heaven.

4. When He rose from the grave, Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of Mary, showed that God gives assurance of eternal life. We can know that we are going to Heaven because Christ was victorious over death. He is unlike anyone who ever lived. He rose from the grave and ascended to Heaven. No one else has done this. The Word of God says, “And this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John17:3)

God is all-powerful, and we weak, little humans, who are here today and gone tomorrow, cannot tell God what He can do and cannot do. If God wanted to send the prophet Jesus to suffer the just punishment for our sins and to overcome death in the resurrection, He can do that. And we cannot tell Him that He can or cannot do that. God is all-powerful.

What Does the Prophet Jesus Say to us Today?

In Matthew 11:28-30, the prophet Jesus, who cannot lie, says “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

Many believe that it is wise to read all of the books sent by God. If you would like to find out more about the prophet Jesus, please write and ask for a free copy of the biography of Jesus, or a copy of the Injil. Please specify what language you would like. You may also request a free copy of a video on the life of the prophet Jesus. Again, please specify the language that you would prefer.

For an excellent Internet resource you can visit: www.answering-islam.org.

 * Jesus (Isa) has many titles, including the Son of Mary, Messiah, Word of God, Lord, Savior and Prophet. Jesus prophesied many things and He was a prophet, priest and king.

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Wicca - Is Witchcraft the Way?


A rapidly growing movement highlighting appreciation for nature, called "Wicca," is a spiritual path that uses witchcraft. Many young people are now exploring Wicca.

This tract explains exactly what Wicca is, and the important differences between Wicca and Christianity.

In our fast-paced, crazy world, we need to contemplate the whisper of the wind, the stillness of forests, the song of birds, the peace of moonlight, the dance of spring. One rapidly growing movement highlighting appreciation for nature with its seasons and cycles is called “Wicca,” a spiritual path that uses Witchcraft. Many young people are now exploring Wicca because organized religions often leave their souls unsatisfied. Others get “turned off” by so-called “Christians” who make Christianity nauseating.

                    Wicca is a nature-based religion offering its followers a connection with “Mother Earth,” which they often call “the Goddess.” It claims that by “tapping” into Earth’s energies and “nature spirits” people can cast wholesome “spells,” perform “white magic,” and improve their lives. Obviously, we all need improvement, but is connecting with nature spirits the right way to do it?

   Pam Bolton (Oregon) was a practicing witch for many years. Her heart had longed to belong to a spiritual group, and she liked the idea of experiencing magical power. Witchcraft seemed perfect—designed just for her. Pam had the books, athame, cauldron, candles, altar, jewelry, and runes: everything she needed. Yet as time went on, what had promised fulfillment turned frightening. Unexpectedly, dark troubles entered her soul. According to Wiccan teaching, “Satan” and “demons” don’t exist. So what were those voices inside her head? Negative energies? Her own thoughts? Pam was clueless. “Protective” spells didn’t help either. Eventually, this quiet and devoted young lady entered a nightmare filled with hostile spirits trying to destroy her.

                    Pam later met a Christian man who was different. He wasn’t a witch-basher, yet he showed her what the Bible plainly says about evil. “Satan is real,” Pam was kindly informed, not just a figment of “Christian imagination.” She was also told that what she thought were friendly forces of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, where really sneaky and malicious “spirits of devils” (Revelation 16:14) in disguise. This was not what she wanted to hear. But the seed was planted—and it wouldn’t go away. As time went on, Pam read for herself what the Bible teaches about God, creation, the entrance of evil, tricky fallen angels, and being “saved” from sin and death through personal faith in Jesus Christ.

   As Pam’s internal conflicts deepened, in desperation, she began praying to Jesus asking Him to rescue her from dangerous supernatural forces. After many struggles, something miraculous happened inside her heart—she found peace! What Pam had sought in Witchcraft, she found in One who said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).

                    If you are searching for deeper insights about the Creator of life, consider what the Bible teaches about God, sin, and salvation. Instead of promoting evolutionary theory, this ancient Book contends: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Dancing from the Creator’s hand, our entire universe—from distant stars to complex living cells—sprang into existence. Everything was beautiful. The crowning act of this cosmic burst came when the Supreme Intelligence created two perfect human beings named Adam and Eve “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27).

                    Adam and Eve were given freedom to eat from every tree inside an exotic Garden called Eden (see Genesis 2:8). Yet in His infinite wisdom, Earth’s Maker created one tree—“the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”—which He commanded Adam and Eve to avoid as a test of their love for Him. Earnestly, He warned that if they tasted its forbidden flavors, they would “surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

                    In the branches of this forbidden tree an invisible entity named “Satan” (a malevolent fallen angel) spoke soothingly to Eve through a serpent (see Genesis 3:1-4). Mocking God’s Word and replacing truth with lies, this subtle spirit promised Eve enlightenment and godhood. “You will be like god” (Genesis 3:5), the deceiver whispered. Foolishly, Eve took the bait. That very act of trying to become a little god is what the Bible calls “sin” (see Romans 5:12); and it plunged Adam, Eve, and their descendants—including you and me—into an ongoing battle between the forces of light and those of darkness.

                    In mercy and love, the Infinite Creator responded unselfishly by sending His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ, to be incarnated as a God-Man and to live among us nearly two thousand years ago (see Micah 5:2). He saw humanity’s loneliness, pain, and confusion, and in fulfillment of mysterious biblical prophecies, this God-Man suffered the horror of sin’s death penalty when He died on a splintery cross outside Jerusalem. “Christ died for our sins…He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). After dying, He rose to life.

                    In contrast to the delusive muttering of nature spirits (who are really fallen angels in disguise), the Resurrected God-Man extends His personal invitation to each of us: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). While some Christians may fear you, or not understand you, Jesus Christ knows you fully. He loves you just as you are, and offers you forgiveness no matter what you’ve done. He gave peace to Pam. He wants to give you peace too, but He waits for your permission.

                    We invite you to thoughtfully consider the Son of the living God. The Bible says that He loves you with an eternal love, died for your sins, and opened the door to peace forever with Him.    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

If you are a Witch, Wiccan, or Pagan, and would like to learn more about your Creator and His Son, we recommend  www.exwitch.org

Adapted from Hour of the Witch by Steve Wohlberg - Published by Destiny Image.

 

 

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