30 April 2015



painting vs. reality

Photo credit: JFXie / Foter / CC BY

Doublethink--the acceptance of two contradictory ideas or beliefs at the same time. (doublethink. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/doublethink)

Nancy Pearcey writes an article in Evolution News entitled Darwin's Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails. A couple of quotes from her article are telling

  1. In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots -- that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one "can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free." We are "constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots."


    A dual consciousness is a signal that contrary evidence from general revelation is being suppressed.

    Slingerland acknowledges that his reductionist view of humans as essentially robots is contrary to ordinary experience. Gesturing toward his own daughter, Slingerland writes, "At an important and ineradicable level, the idea of my daughter as merely a complex robot carrying my genes into the next generation is both bizarre and repugnant to me." Such a reductionistic view "inspires in us a kind of emotional resistance and even revulsion."

  2. Marvin Minsky of MIT is best known for his pithy phrase that the human brain is nothing but "a three-pound computer made of meat." Obviously, computers do not have the power of choice; the implication is that neither do humans. Surprisingly, however, Minsky then asks, "Does that mean we must embrace the modern scientific view and put aside the ancient myth of voluntary choice? No. We can't do that."


    Why not? Minsky goes on: "No matter that the physical world provides no room for freedom of will; that concept is essential to our models of the mental realm." We cannot "ever give it up. We're virtually forced to maintain that belief, even though we know it's false." False, that is, according to Minsky's materialist worldview.


Now think of some of these doublethink statements.

  1. Bruce Jenner, "I am a woman."

  2. Unnamed patient I took care of, "I am Jesus Christ."

  3. Unnamed patient I took care of, "I am the Virgin Mary."

  4. Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland, "I am god."

  5. Unnamed physician who called me at work, "This is god speaking." I did know who he was, and he was not being funny, Trust me.

We could name many others, but you have met these people yourself. They claim one thing but live another.


  1. The Calvinist (TULIP) who believes in exhaustive determinism who writes that people believe in the doctrine of God's sovereign but balk at determinism, he becomes angry at his wife for something she does/does not do.

  2. The prophetic healer(?) who becomes sick and requests prayer, or teaches on physical healing in the atonement, the sick are healed, and the dead rise, has glasses, dentures, pacemaker, wheelchair, etc.

  3. The one who believes in speaking reality and God cannot do anything until we speak it, speaks it and nothing happens.

  4. The person who believes in miracle healers today go a healer for healing and nothing happens but still believes it.

  5. The person who thinks they are worthless but have many gifts for the church and society.

  6. The person who thinks they are ugly but miss the obvious beauty that others see.

  7. The person who thinks they are stupid when they are not.

There are times when we all have experience some of these, but where is the reality?

We should be facing reality.

Another false belief is that we are good. We do not obey any of the Ten Commandments perfectly. We have all lied, stolen, coveted, etc.

We might as well as face reality. The so called healer, prophet, or teacher that believes in healing, seed faith, "blessings," etc. are wrong, for where is the reality?

29 April 2015

Bible Study/Commentary

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20



A1 Scripture

B1 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 EMTV (17) But we, brothers, being unwillingly separated from you for a short season, in presence, not in heart, were all the more eager to see your face with much desire. (18) Therefore we desired to come to you--I, Paul, time and again--but Satan hindered us. (19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? (20) For you are our glory and joy.

B2 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 GNB (17) As for us, friends, when we were separated from you for a little while---not in our thoughts, of course, but only in body---how we missed you and how hard we tried to see you again! (18) We wanted to return to you. I myself tried to go back more than once, but Satan would not let us. (19) After all, it is you---you, no less than others!---who are our hope, our joy, and our reason for boasting of our victory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes. (20) Indeed, you are our pride and our joy!


A2 Outline

B1 Absence

C1 Not physical but in heart

C2 Hindered by Satan

B2 Thessalonians

C1 Cause

D1 Hope

D2 Joy

D3 Reason to boast

C2 To whom--Jesus Christ

C3 Glory and joy


A3 Notes

B1 1 Thessalonians 2:17

C1 Absence

D1 Went to preach in another place

D2 They had been gone about 6 months

D3 The words "unwillingly separated" is the Greek word aporphanizo which means abandoned as in orphaned. It is the sadness of a parent losing their children.

E1 "I will not leave you orphans; I am coming to you. (John 14:18 EMTV).

E2 The word orphan (comfortless in KJV) is a related word.

D4 The reason they left was the ill treatment they had received. "Then the brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away during the night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. (Acts 17:10 EMTV)

C2 The word "desire" is the Greek word epithumia. It means in a bad sense lust for something God does not approve, money for instance. In the good sense the word means to long for, as we long to be home, for our family, for heaven, for good health, etc.

D1 They could not be there for various reasons (preaching responsibilities primarily), but they still thought of them and wanted to visit them o so badly.

D2 Obviously we note here that some desires, lusts, are OK with God.

B2 1 Thessalonians 2:18

C1 Satan is the great deceiver.

D1 The word satan means adversary, which is certainly the case here.

D2 Compare "Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!" So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD." (Job 1:9-12 NRSV)

D3 Satan

E1 Afflicts Christians Job 1:9-12

E2 Has authority over non-Christians Acts 26:18

E3 Blinds unbelievers to the Gospel of Christ 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

E4 Fights the saints 2 Thessalonians 2:9

E5 Is a murderer Hebrews 2:14

E6 Tempts so people will sin 1 Chronicles 21:1

E7 Can cause sickness (not all sickness is from the devil, most is because we live in a curse world) Job 2:7, Luke 13:16

E8 Lies John 8:44

E9 Deceives

F1 His promises are lies Genesis 3:5

F2 Wrests and twists the plain, normal sense of the Scriptures Matthew 4:6

F3 He carries out plans against God's people and how they want to serve Jesus (preach the Gospel, live holy, avoid sin, etc.)

F4 Appears as an angel of light (preventing he is god or an angel sent by God) 2 Corinthians 11:14

E10 Jesus defeats him. Luke 4:13, John 12:31, 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 1 John 3:8, and Revelation 20:10

C2 Hinders

D1 The word "hinders" is the Greek word egkoptō.

D2 This means to cut into, that is, impede, hinder. The word has been used in Greek regarding a road. The road was cut into, that is, made something that a vehicle could not travel on it.

D3 It is used as "weary" in "But that I not weary you any longer, I beseech you to hear us briefly in your graciousness." (Acts 24:4 EMTV) Here it is used as to hold you back from something, waste your time, delay your work, etc.

D4 How satan hindered them is not known. Maybe it is left unknown to comfort all of us who are hindered by satan is various ways.

B3 1 Thessalonians 2:19

C1 Hope, or joy, or crown of boasting brings the idea that these Christians bring much joy into Paul's and the other missionaries' lives.

C2 Boosting here would have the idea of complimenting them to others as in we might do when talking to others about our children.

C3 A special joy will be had at judgment day when Paul and the missionaries see these Christians welcomed into heaven and the joy of God.

C4 The coming of Jesus Christ

D1 The Greek word is parousia.

E1 It means a coming along side, so in this case any way it will be us alongside Jesus.

E2 He comes for us.

E3 It is used also for arrivals.

E4 It is used in Matthew 24:3; Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:37; Matthew 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 10:10; Philippians 1:26; Philippians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9; James 5:7-8; 2 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:4; 2 Peter 3:12; 1 John 2:28.

D2 Jesus Christ has 3 main "comings."

E1 First as a suffering Messiah, the Passover Lamb, to die on the cross for sinners, paying the penalty for sin.

E2 Second as a Savior for the dead and living saints before the Tribulation.

E3 Third as a Judge to deal with the wicked, with Israel, to set up His kingdom on earth, the Millennium, and eternity.

B4 1 Thessalonians 2:20

C1 Encourages the saints with these words.

C2 Encouraging words stimulate spiritual growth and development as they do in any situation.



28 April 2015

Sunday School Lesson--Resurrection Theories

Resurrection Theories

resurrection theories

Key Theme God's Word is the standard we use to judge every thought.

A1 Objectives

B1 Describe several of the common theories skeptics use to discredit the Resurrection.

B2 Provide biblical refutations to the false theories of the Resurrection.

A2 Scriptures

B1 1 Corinthians 15:3-28

B2 None

A3 Notes

B1 What is resurrection?

C1 Not resuscitation (think of CPR and Code Blue)

C2 Not temporary (think of Lazarus)

C3 Empty tomb (think Jesus)

C4 A rising from the dead that is permanent.

B2 Types of people regarding the Resurrection

C1 When they hear of it (Quote--Philip Schaff, the great historian wrote, "the purpose of the historian is not to construct a history from preconceived notions and to adjust it to his own liking, but to reproduce it from the best evidence and to let it speak for itself." Source

D1 Believe

D2 Don't believe

E1 Scoff and have no further need or desire of

E2 Make excuses and barriers to justify rejecting it and ease their conscience.

F1 Atheist--There is no supernatural

F2 Agnostic--No one can know for sure, so it is irrelevant

F3 Religious (even nonreligious) crowd

G1 Body stolen by disciples

G2 Swoon theory

H1 Type 1

I1 Jesus fainted while on the cross fooling the Roman guards who thought he was dead. He was then buried.

I2 Even though he had been beaten, nailed, and been denied food and water, he revived after lying in a damp, cold tomb for 3 days.

I3 After waking up, he got the burial clothes off, rolled back the heavy stone, beat up the Romans guards, left, and told everyone that he had raised from the dead.

H2 Type 2 (The Passover Plot by Hugh Schoenfeld reference link

I1 Jesus pretended to be Messiah, so came up with a plot to fake a death.

I2 He faked his death by taking a drug that make him swoon. This fooled the guards, so they shoved a spear into his side, which killed him. This was not in the plan.

I3 He was buried.

I4 The disciples saw an unknown young man walking around and said that Jesus had risen from the dead.

G3 Missing body theory

G4 Wrong tomb theory

G5 Twin theory

H1 Jesus had a twin

H2 Twin died

H3 Jesus took advantage of that and said he was risen

G6 Vision theory

G7 Hallucination theory

G8 Hypnosis theory

G9 Spiritual resurrection theory

G10 Simon of Cyrene died instead theory

G11 Judas Iscariot died theory

G12 Jesus in the heart theory (He lives today in our hearts)

B13 Jesus was buried in a common grave. Wild, scavenging animals came and ate his body. The body was gone when the disciples checked and thus the rumor started that Jesus rose from the dead.

G12 Reference/sources

H1 https://bible.org/article/false-theories-against-resurrection-christ

H2 http://www.strangenotions.com/refuting-the-myth-theory-6-reasons-why-the-resurrection-accounts-are-true/

A4 Questions

B1 What are the main points of "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. Thereafter He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all, as of one born out of due time, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." (1 Corinthians 15:3-9, EMTV)

C1 Christ died

C2 Christ was buried

C3 Christ was raised on the third day

C4 Christ appeared to many including Cephas, the twelve, the 500, and Paul.

B2 Dan Barker wrote in "Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?" "There have been many reasons for doubting the claim, but the consensus among critical scholars today appears to be that the story is a "legend." During the 60-70 years it took for the Gospels to be composed, the original story went through a growth period that began with the unadorned idea that Jesus, like Grandma, had "died and gone to heaven" and ended with a fantastic narrative produced by later generation of believers that included earthquakes, angels, an eclipse, a resuscitated corpse, and a spectacular bodily ascension into the clouds. The earliest Christians believed in the "spiritual" resurrection of Jesus. The story evolved over time into a "bodily" resurrection."

C1 How would you answer this?

D1 "Consensus among critical scholars?" Who. There are many scholars who believe it is true, even some Jewish rabbi's.

E1 Sources

F1 For Dan Barker's view

G1 See this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_and_origin_of_the_Resurrection_of_Jesus

G2 Some names, E. P. Sanders (Duke University), James D. G. Dunn (University of Durham), Helmut Koester (has taught at Harvard), Thomas Sheehan (a PhD professor at Stanford and professor emeritus at Loyola University), Dan Barker (atheist), Jeffery Jay Lowder (atheist), and Michael Martin (atheist).

F2 Against Dan Barker's view

G1 Links:

H1 http://www.reasonablefaith.org/jesus-resurrection

H2 http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/crj_explainingaway/crj_explainingaway.htm

H3 http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/historical-evidence-for-the-resurrection

G2 Some names, William Lane Craig,

G3 Some books

William Lane Craig, Knowing the Truth about the Resurrection (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant, 1988); Reasonable Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994), 255–98; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus (Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 1989); Norman L. Geisler, The Battle for the Resurrection (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1992); J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City
(Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), 159–83; Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994), 175–98.

G4 http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/garyhabermas.htm

D2 "Growth period" How does he knows? Is this logic or assumption?

D3 "Earliest Christians believed in spiritual resurrection of Jesus. The story evolved over time into a bodily resurrection."

E1 Peter preaching within ~3 months of Jesus resurrection states, ""Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you took, and by lawless hands, nailing Him to a cross, you killed Him; (Acts 2:22-23, EMTV)

E2 Jewish leaders react violently to the preaching of the resurrection. "Now while they were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. (Acts 4:1-2, EMTV)

C2 Which is more reasonable, Dan Barker's view or the Bible's view?

C3 Where do we start?

D1 Is logic more important than evidence? Is evidence logical?

D2 Do you accept the supernatural? Do you believe in ghosts, apparitions, and/or aliens (citizens from another galaxy/planet)?

D3 What do you accept as evidence?

E1 There are four traditional types of evidence: real, demonstrative, documentary, and oral (testimonial).

F1 There are four main categories of evidence:

Real: "Real" items of evidence are things; for example, a gun allegedly used in a robbery.

Testimonial: A person tells under oath what he or she knows about the matter being tried.

Demonstrative: Common examples are maps, graphs, plaster casts of tire tracks. They customarily illustrate and corroborate testimonial evidence.

Documentary: Documents (writings) are, of course, things, and hence a form of real evidence, but their consideration warrants its own category when the document is offered not simply as a piece of paper, but to claim that what is written on the paper is true.

F2 http://court.laws.com/evidence

F3 http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/evidence/outline-evidence-law/general-principles/types-of-evidence/

E2 Standards of proof http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=6363

D4 What is truth?

D5 Are you open to truth?

D6 Does a person have to be alive to be an eyewitness? (Consider a written note as "Smith did it."). Do you accept eyewitness accounts?

E1 At 200 feet a person cannot see another person's eyes. Source.

E2 The less acquainted one is with someone, the less they will be able to identify someone accurately.

E3 The greater amount of time since a person sees another, the less the identification will be accurate.

E4 The disciples saw Jesus at less than 5 feet. "Then He said to Thomas, "Bring your finger here, and see My hands; and bring your hand here, and put it into My side. Be not unbelieving, but believing." (John 20:27, EMTV)

E5 The disciples knew Jesus personally over 3 years. "And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. (John 2:1, EMTV). This is nearly the start of Jesus 3+ years of ministry. Consider also his mother, Mary, who would recognize her son accurately.

D7 If similar stories existed in the past 3,000 or so years, does that mean that this resurrection account is false? (We need to look at the evidence for this account. Another account that is similar needs to stand on its own).

D8 Gospel of Mark

E1 Written by Mark


1. Pseudo-Barnabas (c. A.D. 70-130)

2. Polycarp (c. 110-150)

3. Hermas (c. 115-140)

4. Papias (the bishop of Hierapolis A.D. 140)

5. Irenaeus (c. 130-202)

6. Justin Martyr ([Dialogue, 106.3] c. 150-155)

7. Clement of Alexandria ([preserved in Eusebius' Historia Ecclesia, vi.14.6ff] c. 150-215)

8. Tertullian ([Adv. Marcion, iv.5] c. 150-220)

9. Origen (c. 185-254)

10. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-386)

11. Eusebius (c. 325-340)

12. Jerome (c. 340-420)

13. Augustine (c. 400)

14. The Anti-Marcionite Prologue to Mark (A.D. 160-180) 15. Muratorian Canon (c. 170)

E2 Date

F1 Those who feel that the Gospels were written from one, have a late date that of second century. This is from the idea of the Marcan priority theory.

G1 Image

G2 See: http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Synoptic_Problem.htm

G3 This is the acceptance sequence of sources per "modern" scholarship today.

G4 The basic assumption is that the Bible is only the writings of men.

G5 There is no supernatural

G6 There is no future knowledge (prophecy) as, for example, the foretelling of Jerusalem's destruction.

G7 Man is smarter than God, and we are smarter than the early church leaders as in "We know that these things that happened are myths" or whatever excuse they want to come up with. Also, "we are scholars, experts, in these things."

G8 The Marcan priority is highly questionable. Why wouldn't Matthew, Mark, or John not write the life of Jesus?

F2 It seems more reasonable to consider the date of the Gospel of Mark to be AD 60 give or take 10 years.

G1 Many modern scholars do not accept this.

G2 Mark was certainly alive during Peter's life (Acts 12:12[~44AD], 1 Peter 5:3), Jesus's life, and Paul's life (Acts 13:5).

G3 Early church writers attribute Mark to have gotten his material from Peter. (See note above about eternal evidence).

G4 the events indicate an eyewitness. Compare Mark 3:21, Mark 4:26-29, Mark 7:32-37, Mark 8:22-26, Mark 13:33-37, and Mark 14:51 which are not recorded in the other Gospels. Also more material, fuller explanation, is given is some passages as Mark 6:14-29 (John the Baptist's death) and Mark 7:1-23 (the religious washing rites).

G5 It is probable that the early church would want the recorded life of Jesus to read and teach from. They would want that information from the most reliable sources possible, namely the Apostles themselves.

G6 Mark records the resurrection of Jesus.

D9 what does the skeptic, infidel, atheist, and so called Christian have to gain if the resurrection did not happen?

E1 William Lane Craig, "Without the belief in the resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being. The disciples would have remained crushed and defeated men. Even had they continued to remember Jesus as their beloved teacher, his crucifixion would have forever silenced any hopes of his being the Messiah. The cross would have remained the sad and shameful end of his career. The origin of Christianity therefore hinges on the belief of the early disciples that God had raised Jesus from the dead."

E2 Jesus would not be the Messiah.

E3 He would not be God, as He claimed to be.

E4 Jesus was a liar, for He prophesied that He would rise from the dead.

E5 We would still be in our sins, for there would be no possible payment for sin that any person could provide.

E6 the early Christians would be liars. Consider Peter's sermon in Acts--"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you took, and by lawless hands, nailing Him to a cross, you killed Him; whom God raised, thus doing away with the labor pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it. For David says concerning Him, "I foresaw the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh also will dwell in hope. Because You will not abandon my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will fill me full of joy with Your presence." "Men, brothers, let me speak with boldness to you about the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to seat Him on his throne, foreseeing this, he spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, 'that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.' This Jesus God has raised up, of which we all are witnesses. Therefore having being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: `The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.' Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:22-36, EMTV)

D10 Other Biblical writings

E1 "But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:10-11, EMTV). Romans was written during Paul's Missionary Journeys AD 55-58, so when Paul writes about Jesus being raised, it would have been close to only 25 years since the event.

E2 "Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), (Galatians 1:1, EMTV)

D11 Early church writers

E1 Irenaeus (~132-202) "Against Heresies" Chapter 28:3 "He was likewise preached by Paul: "For I delivered," he says, "unto you first of all, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures." (1Co 15:3, 1Co 15:4) It is plain, then, that Paul knew no other Christ besides Him alone, who both suffered, and was buried, and rose gain, who was also born, and whom he speaks of as man. For after remarking, "But if Christ be preached, that He rose from the dead," (1Co 15:12) he continues, rendering the reason of His incarnation, "For since by man came death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead."

E2 Tertullian (~155-240) "Against Marcion" Book 3, Chapter 8, "Christ's death, wherein lies the whole weight and fruit of the Christian name, is denied although the apostle asserts it so expressly as undoubtedly real, making it the very foundation of the gospel, of our salvation and of his own preaching. (1Co 15:3, 1Co 15:4, 1Co 15:15, 1Co 15:17, 1Co 15:18) "I have delivered unto you before all things," says he, "how that Christ died for our sins, and that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day." Besides, if His flesh is denied, how is His death to be asserted; for death is the proper suffering of the flesh, which returns through death back to the earth out of which it was taken, according to the law of its Maker? Now, if His death be denied, because of the denial of His flesh, there will be no certainty of His resurrection. For He rose not, for the very same reason that He died not, even because He possessed not the reality of the flesh, to which as death accrues, so does resurrection likewise. Similarly, if Christ's resurrection be nullified, ours also is destroyed. If Christ's resurrection be not realized, neither shall that be for which Christ came. For just as they, who said that there is no resurrection of the dead, are refuted by the apostle from the resurrection of Christ, so, if the resurrection of Christ falls to the ground, the resurrection of the dead is also swept away. And so our faith is vain, and vain also is the preaching of the apostles. Moreover, they even show themselves to be false witnesses of God, because they testified that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise. And we remain in our sins still. And those who have slept in Christ have perished; destined, forsooth, to rise again, but peradventure in a phantom state, just like Christ."

24 April 2015

Bible Study

1 Timothy 2:13-16


wheat field


A1 Scripture

B1 Because of this we also give thanks to God unceasingly, so that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you received not the word of men, but just as it truly is, the word of God, which also is at work in you that believe. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus, because you suffered the same things from your fellow countrymen, just as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are hostile to all men, forbidding us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but the wrath of God has come upon them to the uttermost. (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16, EMTV)

B2 And there is another reason why we always give thanks to God. When we brought you God's message, you heard it and accepted it, not as a message from human beings but as God's message, which indeed it is. For God is at work in you who believe. Our friends, the same things happened to you that happened to the churches of God in Judea, to the people there who belong to Christ Jesus. You suffered the same persecutions from your own people that they suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us. How displeasing they are to God! How hostile they are to everyone! They even tried to stop us from preaching to the Gentiles the message that would bring them salvation. In this way they have brought to completion all the sins they have always committed. And now God's anger has at last come down on them! (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16, GNB92)


A2 Outline--Their conversion

B1 Thanks to God

B2 The Word of God--Gospel

C1 Received

D1 From their preaching

D2 Treated as

E1 Not word of men

E2 Word of God

C2 Effects

D1 Believers

E1 Imitators

F1 Of Christian congregations in Judea

F2 Persecuted

E2 Believers

D2 Unbelievers

E1 Persecutors

F1 Killed the Lord Jesus

F2 Killed their prophets

F3 Persecute Christians

E2 Unpleasing

F1 To God

F2 To all people

E3 Forbid

F1 Preaching the Gospel to Gentiles

F2 Prevent salvation of people

E4 Results

F1 Sin

F2 Wrath of God


A3 Notes

B1 Verse 13

C1 Thankfulness is a mark of a true Christian

D1 Thankfulness is to recognize the kindness of help received.

D2 Jesus was thankful

E1 And He took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks, He broke them, and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the crowd. (Matthew 15:36, EMTV)

E2 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, (Matthew 26:27, EMTV)

D3 The Apostles and early Christians were thankful

E1 And from there the brothers, when they heard about our circumstances, they came to meet with us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns, whom when Paul saw, he gave thanks to God and took courage. (Acts 28:15, EMTV)

E2 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, EMTV)

D4 Non-Christians typically are not thankful

E1 Because, having known God, they did not glorify Him as God, or give thanks, but became vain in their reasonings, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:21, EMTV)

C2 Word of God

D1 Can refer to

E1 Scriptures

E2 Jesus

E3 Gospel As it is used here, it refers to the Gospel, the Good News, itself.

D2 Faith is believing God

E1 The Thessalonians believed that yes, they are not good people, and yes, they deserve punishment.

E2 Jesus is the only savior from this situation and punishment.

E3 They believed it was not just some guys telling some tales or philosophy but truly believed it for what it is--God's message.

E4 God's gospel, His word, is the medicine that cures the world's ills, but people must not be noncompliant to this doctor's prescription.

E5 Cross references

F1 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (John 15:3, EMTV)

F2 Sanctify them by Your truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17, EMTV)

F3 But thanks be to God, that though you used to be slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from your heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (Romans 6:17-18, EMTV)

B2 Verse 14

C1 The things that happened to the Christians in Judea are now happening to them.

C2 People still have the true God, the true message, their true condition, and their true future punishment.

C3 To shut this truth up, the rejecters persecute, even kill us.

B3 Verse 15

C2 Those, who hate and reject God, killed Jesus Christ, the true prophets, the believers, and any who wants to follow and obey God.

C3 They are described as "not pleasing God," and "hostile to all people."

B4 Verse 16

C1 Some of these not-pleasing-God and hostile-to-all-people actives are

D1 Forbidding the preaching of the Gospel

D2 Sin

C2 Some of the punishment from God for this is God's wrath.

D1 Temporal punishments (not all are from God but may be. Use caution).

D2 Spiritual punishments

D3 Eternal punishments

Sunday School Lesson

The Great Commission--God reconciles sinners to Himself through the Gospel of Christ.


Bible Background


A1 Objectives

B1 Explain the purpose of the Great Commission.

B2 Describe who is responsible for fulfilling the Great Commission.


A2 Scriptures

B1 Matthew 28:18-20 The Great Commission

B2 Romans 1:16-17 The importance of the Gospel

B3 Romans 10:14-17 The need to preach the Gospel


A3 Notes

B1 Matthew 28:18-20

C1 Commission--a formal appointment by a superior to do a particular job. It comes with all the authority and ability to accomplish the task.

C2 Who

D1 Context--the 11 Apostles

E1 By pure, simple, plain interpretation this commission is given here to the 11. Judas is dead at this point. The other 500 witnesses to Jesus's resurrection may have also been present ("Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have fallen asleep." (1 Corinthians 15:6, EMTV). The text does not say. For surety we know that the 11 were present.

E2 This commission to preach the Gospel is given to these 11.

D2 Application--all Christians

E1 We also must preach the Gospel.

E2 Humans

F1 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, (Ephesians 4:11, EMTV)

F2 You however be watchful in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5, EMTV)

E3 Angels (referring to the Tribulation Time--"Then I saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people," (Revelation 14:6, EMTV)

C3 Major points

D1 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me."

E1 Not just authority to commission preaching the Gospel.

E2 Not just authority to be head of the Church.

E3 Not just authority in spiritual matters.

E4 But all authority whether spiritual, governmental, familial, financial, medical, etc.

E5 How much authority does God have?

F1 Does He decree every action, thought, desire, word, and deed?

F2 Does He decree that there will be a limited, liberation free will?

F3 The former is TULIP Calvinism, thus everything that happens has been decreed by God--every breath, every heartbeat, every blade of grass in the meadow so also every rape, every sickness, everything uncomfortable that happens.

F4 The genuine plain, normal reading of the Scripture sure does seem to include a free will to make choices.

F5 God is still sovereign, and when He wishes something done, it will be done, none can stop or hinder Him.

D2 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations."

E1 Go--not sit around. Wherever we be or whatever we do, we can be ready to preach.

E2 Make disciples--followers of Christ. Teaching them doctrine and God's rules for living. It would include "preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2, EMTV)

E3 We have to believe the Gospel ourselves.

E4 We must know what the Gospel is.

D3 "...baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."

E1 This baptism is the physical baptism.

F1 A witness to a clean conscience because of the cleansing blood of Jesus. "...which as an antitype, baptism now also saves us—(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21, EMTV)

F2 Water does not wash away sins.

F3 Baptism shows that we have obeyed Christ's Gospel and ask for a clean conscience.

E2 The baptism of the Holy Spirit is upon all believers by the Holy Spirit, Himself.

F1 "...in whom you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14, EMTV)

F2 "...who also has sealed us, and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:22, EMTV)

F3 "...so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:14, EMTV)

D4 "...teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you..."

E1 Through Jesus and His Apostles there are over 1,000 rules that cover everything needed in this life either directly, by example, or by principle.

E2 The word "observe" is "tereo" and means to guard to prevent escape. So applied it could be said of marriage, laws, responsibilities, This is sort of like watching the speedometer to maintain the speed limit. Compare:

F1 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

F2 "...that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Timothy 6:14, EMTV)

D5 "lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen."

E1 Though Jesus is in heaven, He sees and knows all things. He is able to help instantly. He is able to comfort any and all sorrows and fears. We cannot do this, but God can.

E2 He says this to encourage believers knowing full well that they will experience persecution.

E3 "But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fulfilled, and all the Gentiles might hear, and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (2 Timothy 4:17, EMTV)

E4 "But whenever they hand you over, do not worry how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; (Matthew 10:19, EMTV)

B2 Romans 1:16-17

C1 Not ashamed of the Gospel

D1 Some people are ashamed to the point of denying that they are Christians.

D2 Some water down the Gospel so as to not be "offensive."

D3 Some are ignorant of the Gospel and so preach a false gospel.

D4 Some deliberately preach a false Gospel

C2 Power of God

D1 The word power here is strength, power, not necessarily authority though someone with strength and power would have authority.

D2 Thus God is able to do what He says.

D3 The Gospel, when the conditions are met, does have strength, power, to accomplish what God wants.

C3 Salvation to everyone who believes

D1 The condition--believes. Believes what? What God has said.

D2 It is limited by those who believe or do not believe.

D3 It is not limited by God decreeing some in and some out whether it be a passive or active view.

E1 The Westminster Confession is the active view of there is a set number of those elected to salvation and those elected to damnation. Chapter III iii and iv.

iii. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels(1) are predestinated unto

everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.(2)

(1) 1 Timothy 5:21; Matthew 25:41

(2) Romans 9:22,23; Ephesians 1:5,6; Proverbs 16:4

iv. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and

their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.(1)

(1) 2 Timothy 2:19; John 13:18

E2 The passive view is that God does not actively choose but rather just passes by/over them. John MacArthur is one who believes that God just leaves them to go on their sinful way.

E3 So what's the difference? In either view the unchosen crowd cannot/will not be saved.

C4 Jew first

D1 Per God's promise. Does not mean that a Gentile could not be saved but that God gave opportunity to the Jew first.

D2 Still holds true. God is interested in saving Jews as well as Gentiles.

C5 Then Greek--Gentiles.

C6 Righteous of God

D1 Sin debt must be paid.

D2 God is righteous in this and accomplished it with the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.

C7 Revealed from faith to faith--preaching the Gospel from one generation to other, one people group to another, and so on.

C8 The just shall live by faith--the Gospel has always been the same. It was the same Gospel preached to Adam and Eve as it is today. Abraham is an example of Old Testament person being saved by faith.

D1 Romans 4:9 Does this blessing then come upon the circumcision, or also upon the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.

D2 Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith that it may be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those of the law, but also to those of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

D3 Galatians 3:6 EMTV Just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness."

B3 Romans 10:14-17

C1 What about those who have never heard? Do they have no opportunity for salvation?

D1 The Gospel is the same whether Old Testament or New Testament.

D2 Believe God in the same way Abraham or any other Old Testament person.

D3 God still uses prevenient faith to initiate salvation, just as He does for any person.

D4 Those who have never heard have heard and can believe.

C2 God considers preaching the Gospel a beautiful thing.

C3 Not everyone who hears the Gospel, believes the Gospel. Paul quotes Isaiah--Romans 10:16 EMTV But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

C4 Faith comes by hearing. God initiates salvation. When the prepared heart hears, they can resist or not resist.

C5 The importance of the Scriptures in preaching. "Hearing comes through the Word of God."

21 April 2015

Review of Ashampoo SoftMaker Professional 2016


This is a review of Ashampoo's new office SoftMaker Professional Office 2016. Ashampoo
is a well-known software developer based in Germany. I have used and continue to use some of their software. I never have had issues with poor installs or uninstalls and generally like their software.

I was allowed to try the beta version of this software, for which I'm grateful.


  1. No problems. It installed easily without any warnings or difficulties.

  2. I unchecked all languages except for US English. There were many languages represented, so most people will find either their own language or one they can work with.

  3. The proofing tools are similar. I choose just US English and Greek.


  1. TextMaker

    1. odt

      1. There is an accurate preview.

      2. The document opens correctly.

    2. rtf—no issues

    3. docx/doc—no issues whatsoever. Both opened correctly even those with complex formatting as different fonts, different font colors, spacing, indentations, tabs, outlines, inline links, bullets, tables, columns, and tables.

    4. htm/html—again no issues. I was able to open all that I tried with correct formatting.

    5. "Recover text from any file" is interesting as Professional Office 2016 could read various strange extensions though without formatting. Sort of like Notepad can.

    6. It does not open xps or pdf

  2. Presentations

    1. ppt/pptx—all opened and carried out their shows correctly even those with animations.

    2. odp—does not open

  3. PlanMaker

    1. .xlsx—it does not read the dates correctly. There are only ####

    2. .xlr—it does not open

    3. .pmd—it does open and read everything correctly


  1. A new document is easy. You can use premade templates or make your own.

  2. Copying and pasting is accurate.

  3. Copying and pasting a web page is hit and miss, like most office type suites. Personally I use OneNote for saving pages.

  4. Copying and pasting from a pdf has some of the formatting rendered incorrectly, just like most office suites. I use Nitro 10 and use that to convert to a docx or rft.

  5. It handles tables and nested tables with various formatting. If you have an image, you can select it and right click, choose properties and apply things as "Layout, format, filling, lines, shadow, 3D, effects, properties, autoshapes, and picture effects as well.

  6. Columns and flowing text are easy to do. The image is from TextMaker 2012.

    SoftMaker Screenshot

Save and Export

  1. .pdf—There are various options for the user as page selection, generating a Table of Contents, preferences as to quality, options for initial view, and protection. It generates a pdf well. When I used TextMaker more, I never had issues with exporting to pdf and opening it. The formatting is correct. You'll be pleased.

  2. .epub—It is OK for most purposes.




You can do just everything you would want. I have used it a number of times in their Office 2010 and 2012 and found it to be very good.

Here is a screenshot. The link is active. Click on picture.




It is your usual spreadsheet. I've used this in the past without any difficulty. I do know that the maximum number of columns has been increased greatly.

The welcome page on the help file-- Welcome to PlanMaker, the powerful and easy-to-use spreadsheet application.

We have made every effort in the development of PlanMaker to ensure its functions provide the maximum benefits while minimizing user time and effort.

Some of PlanMaker's features

Available for Windows, Linux, and Android

More than 330 built-in arithmetic functions

Integrated charting module that lets you present numbers vividly in charts

Makes creating attractive worksheets easy through numerous formatting options. Long, boring columns of numbers can be turned into attractive tables with the AutoFormat command. With cell styles and character styles, you apply frequently needed formatting with a key press.

The full range of PlanMaker functions is available through a well-designed, ergonomic user interface that includes user-configurable toolbars and keyboard mappings, as well as context menus for commonly used commands (accessible with the right mouse button).

...and much more!

PlanMaker is in continuing development, and we welcome comments and suggestions from our users. If, in the course of your work, you encounter a need for a feature that isn't present, or you have other suggestions, write to us – we want PlanMaker to measure up to the users' wishes!

Features of the Android versions

For Android devices, two different versions of PlanMaker are available:

PlanMaker HD for Android

This version contains practically all features of the Windows version. It is available only for tablets.

PlanMaker Mobile for Android

This version contains only parts of the features of the Windows version. It is available for tablets as well as smart phones.

All instructions in this manual refer to the HD version. (The Mobile version comes with its own user manual.)

I could have explored every detail and feature but it would take up too much space.

In summary Ashampoo has done a lot to improve their office line. I have used the 2010 version and liked it so much I bought the 2012 version. I now use Office 365 for business purposes, but if not for that I would buy this again. Even though there are free office suites out there. I believe everyone should at least try SoftMaker Professional Office 2016 when it becomes available soon. You will not be disappointed.

17 April 2015

Sunday School—The Resurrection

The Resurrection




A1 Objectives

B1 Describe what happened a Jesus's tomb after His death.

B2 Explain why Jesus's Resurrection was necessary to secure our redemption.

A2 Scriptures

B1 Matthew 28:1-10 The Resurrection and the first ones to the tomb.

B2 John 11:25-26 Jesus speaks of the importance of His resurrection to Martha.

B3 John 14:19 The effect of the resurrection on His followers.

B4 1 Peter 1:3-9 The promise of a future life.

A3 Notes

B1 For objective #1 see A5

B2 Necessity of the Resurrection

C1 Proof of Jesus character ("...who was declared Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord," (Romans 1:4, EMTV)

C2 Proof of atonement. ("And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins!" (1 Corinthians 15:17, EMTV)

C3 Proof of our resurrection

D1 "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." (John 11:25, EMTV)

D2 "Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, and in which you stand, through which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. Thereafter He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all, as of one born out of due time, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than them all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain and your faith also is vain! And we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we bore witness concerning God, that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise—if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are to be pitied above all men." (1 Corinthians 15:1-19, EMTV)

C4 Proof of our justification ("Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was credited to him, but for us also, to whom it was going to be credited, those believing on Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up for our transgressions, and was raised for our justification."

(Romans 4:23-25, EMTV)

C5 Proof for preaching Gospel, that is, that it is truth. ("And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain and your faith also is vain! And we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we bore witness concerning God, that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise—if in fact the dead are not raised." (1 Corinthians 15:14-15, EMTV)

C6 Proof of our need for holiness. ("Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin may be done away with, that we should no longer serve sin. For he who has died has been justified from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we also shall live together with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, no longer dies. Death is no longer master over Him. For what death He died, He died to sin once for all; but what life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:4-11, EMTV)

C7 Proof for our new body at our resurrection.

D1 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11, EMTV)

D2 "For our citizenship exists in heaven, from which also we eagerly await for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body, that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subject all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21, EMTV)

D3 "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:44, EMTV)

C8 Proof for our hope ("Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1:3, EMTV)

C9 Proof of new life.

D1 "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4, EMTV)

D2 "having been buried together with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised together through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12, EMTV)

C10 Proof that Jesus is the Judge ("because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed, having given proof to all, by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31, EMTV)

B3 Jesus's sovereignty

"Arminian theology strongly affirms the sovereignty of God in all things. Arminian scholar Roger Olson writes,

"CLASSICAL Arminianism goes far beyond belief in general providence to include affirmation of God's intimate and direct involvement in every event of nature and history. The only thing the Arminian view of God's sovereignty necessarily excludes is God's authorship of sin and evil. Faithful followers of Arminius have always believed that God governs the entire universe and all of history. Nothing at all can happen without God's permission, and many things are specifically and directly controlled and caused by God. Even sin and evil do not escape God's providential governance in classical Arminian theology. God permits and limits them without willing or causing them."

The point of difference between Calvinism and Arminianism is the definition of sovereignty. On the Calvinistic view, sovereignty means meticulous control (i.e., theological determinism), while on the Arminian view, God's sovereignty necessarily means His complete freedom and authority (or right) to act any way He so wills. On this view, God certainly has the freedom and authority to exercise meticulous control over every minute detail (though the Arminian can't see how this doesn't necessitate God's authorship of sin), but He also has the freedom and authority to not exercise meticulous control. For the Arminian, if God chooses to not exercise meticulous control, that decision is itself a sovereign decision. As (Arminian) apologist J. P. Holding writes,

"SOME Calvinist commentators point to various passages of specific events such as the selling of Joseph into slavery (Gen. 45-50), the crucifixion of Christ (Acts 2:23), and the military actions of the Assyrians (Is. 10). And they are not wrong to do so. Yet one cannot falsely generalize from these particulars and assume that God chooses to exercise His right of sovereignty in the same way for things like the moving of a finger. Perhaps He does, but perhaps He does not; perhaps He does at some times, but not at others.

Yet to suggest such a thing hardly removes any sovereignty from God, for a simple reason that I have yet to see dealt with by a Calvinist commentator (though I may see it in the future): The decision to do nothing is itself a sovereign decision."

Thus, the Arminian concludes that even if God decides to do nothing in a given scenario, that decision is an exercise of, rather than an abdication of, His sovereignty. Arminian theologians Jerry Walls and Joseph Dongell write... Read the rest here

B4 Jesus's omnipotence

Only he that can do all things else cannot deny himself: He cannot counteract himself, or oppose his own work. Were it not for this, he would destroy all sin, with its attendant pain in a moment. He would abolish wickedness out of his whole creation, and suffer not trace of it remain. But in so doing he would counteract himself; he would altogether overturn his own work, and undo all that he has been doing since he created man upon the earth. For he created man in his own image: A spirit like himself; a spirit endued with understanding, with will or affections, and liberty; without which, neither his understanding nor his affections could have been of any use, neither would he have been capable either or vice or virtue. He could not be a moral agent, any more than a tree or a stone. If, therefore, God were thus to exert his power, there would certainly be no more vice; but it is equally certain, neither could there be any virtue in the world. Were human liberty taken away, men would be as incapable of virtue as stones. Therefore,(with reverence be it spoken,) the Almighty himself cannot do this thing. He cannot thus contradict himself, or undo what he has done. He cannot destroy out of the soul of man that image of himself wherein he make him: And without doing this, he cannot abolish sin and pain out of the world. But were it to be done, it would imply no wisdom at all; but barely a stroke of omnipotence. Whereas all the manifold wisdom of God (as well as all his power and goodness) is displayed in governing man as man; not as a stock or stone, but as an intelligent and free spirit, capable of choosing either good or evil. Herein appears the depth of the wisdom of God, in his adorable providence; in governing men, so as not to destroy either their understanding, will, or liberty. He commands all things, both in heaven and earth, to assist man in attaining the end of his being, in working out his won salvation, so far as it can be done without compulsion, without over-ruling his liberty. An attentive inquirer may easily discern, the whole frame of divine providence is so constituted as to afford man every possible help, in order to his doing good and eschewing evil, which can be done without turning man into a machine; without making him incapable of virtue or vice, reward or punishment. John Wesley On Divine Providence

A4 Questions

B1 Matthew 28:1-10

C1 Verse 1

D1 What day is this? (Sunday. It is the day after the Sabbath).

D2 What time of day is this? (At dawn break).

D3 How many hours since Jesus died? (Approximately 36 hours).

D4 Is this 3 days and nights? (Yes).

C2 Verse 2

D1 What caused the earthquake? (An angel came from heaven).

D2 Who rolled the stone away? (The angel)

C3 Verse 3

D1 How is the angel described?

D2 Does this sound like a witness to the events?

C4 Verse 4 What were the guards doing? (Fainted from fear)

C5 Verse 5

D1 What language did the angel speak? (Their language)

D2 How come the women didn't faint? Are women tougher than men?

D3 Why did the angel say, "Don't be afraid?"

D4 How did the angel know they were looking for Jesus?

C6 Verse 6

D1 The angel states, "He is not here." So where was he? (Stay tuned)

D2 What proof does the angel offer that Jesus is not there? (Come and see)

D3 Does Jesus keep His word? (He arose just as He said He would).

C7 Verse 7

D1 What does the angel tell the women to do? (Leave here and go tell the disciples)

D2 What are they to tell the disciples? (He is risen and go to meet Him in Galilee like He told you to do)

C8 Verse 8

D1 How fast did the women obey? (Fast they "quickly" left and "ran" to tell the disciples)

D2 What two emotions did the women have? (Fear and joy)

D3 What were they afraid of?

C9 Verse 9

D1 What did they see as they were running? (Jesus)

D2 What did Jesus say? (Rejoice) Why did He say this?

D3 Why did they hold His feet? (Bowing before Him and showing respect and submission)

C10 Verse 10

D1 What did Jesus tell them? (Don't be afraid).

D2 What were they to tell the disciples? (Go to Galilee)

B2 John 11:25-26

C1 What is the importance of the resurrection?

C2 What is the importance of believing Jesus?

C3 Is there hope for those who believe when they die?

C4 Is verse 26 a genuine offer to all people or only a few elite?

B3 John 14:19

C1 Who will see Jesus after He rises from the dead?

C2 Will we who believe live again?

C3 How does this happen?

B4 1 Peter 1:3-9

C1 Do we earn this "living hope"? (No, it is by His mercy)

C2 What is hope? (Faith is believing someone/something, hope is an expectant emotion)

C3 What are the four things about this inheritance that we are to receive? ("...incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in the heavens for you").

C4 Who or what guards our faith? (The power of God)

C5 When is our salvation to be revealed?

D1 At the last of time. This is the rapture.

D2 JFB commentary has "...the last day, closing the day of grace; the day of judgment, of redemption, of the restitution of all things, and of perdition of the ungodly."

D3 Some understand this to be when Jesus returns to earth (see 1 Peter 1:7), and others believe it to be the Day of Judgment.

C6 Does this knowledge help us in our day to day trials?

C7 What do trials accomplish in our lives? (May us for Christ-like in the same sense that gold is purified in fire).

C8 Did the people Peter writes to see Jesus? (Not in this life)

C9 Why do people believe? (God initiates salvation. Jesus has done all the work. We believe. It is related to humility. We can choose to believe or not believe).

C10 What kind of joy is this? (Great and glorious. Some understand this joy to have an effect on a believer, that is, an "unnatural" effect on us).

C11 What is the outcome of our faith? (Salvation)

C12 What is salvation? (Mercy and grace. Mercy in that we do not get what we deserve, and grace in that we receive this gift).

A5 Other notes

Resurrection--True or False


Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead or was it a vision?


Bart Ehrman, the famous apostate, atheist, deconverted Christian, holds that it was only a vision, so also others (for example Francis Maloney, "The Resurrection of the Messiah: A Narrative Commentary on the Resurrection Accounts in the Four Gospels" as reported by Kermit Zarley in his blog).


Kermit Zarley brings reasonable logic for believing this view is false (see the reference link above).


How many post-resurrection appearances in the NT gospels are we talking about? In my book, I state that there either nine of ten. None of them are described as a "vision." Rather, I think the authors clearly present their narratives with the purpose of causing their readers to think that these were historical events that actually happened, thus certainly not visions that people only think in their minds. But in saying this, I need to address Luke 24.13-43.

Luke's says that on the first Sunday afternoon following Jesus' crucifixion death, two of Jesus' disciples were walking from Jerusalem seven miles to the village of Emmaus (Luke 24.13). Luke says, "While they...

This is well worth reading.


So how many people saw Jesus alive after His resurrection? It was at least 520 people. It is never enough for some folks, but these passages of Scripture were written in the first century and seem most reasonable.


What about where Jesus tells Mary to not touch Him, but later He invites the apostles to touch Him? Is this a contradiction? Many have written about this, but here is my opinion which is partly based on M. R. DeHann's argument.


  1. Jesus rose from the dead.

  2. Mary Magdalene sees Him.

  3. Jesus wants her to be the first witness. It is not written as to why, but it seems reasonable to me that since women in those days were not considered to be reliable witnesses, Jesus wants to show the world and especially the Apostles that women are very reliable witnesses. Jesus scolds the Apostles even for their unbelief of NOT believing the women.

  4. Jesus ascends to heaven to present His blood in the heavenly Temple.

  5. After completely His priestly ministry there, returns to earth when He visits/appears to the people. First He appears to other women, then Peter, the two on the Emmaus Road, then the 11.


The Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus

  1. Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11, John 20:11-18

  2. Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary the mother of James (Matthew 28:9-10, compare with Mark 16:1)

  3. Peter (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5)

  4. Cleopas and the other disciple on the Emmaus Road (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-35)

  5. Ten Apostles with Thomas absent (Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-25)

  6. Eleven Apostles, including Thomas (John 20:24-29)

  7. Seven Apostles at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25)

  8. Eleven Apostles at some mountain in Galilee where Jesus told them to meet Him. (Matthew 28:16-20)

  9. Over 500 brethren who were together at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6)

  10. James, His half-brother (1 Corinthians 15:7)

  11. With the Apostles for a meal. (Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:3-8)

  12. His ascension. (Acts 1:9-11, Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-51)

  13. Paul (Acts 9:1-6, Acts 18:9-10, Acts 23:11, 1 Corinthians 15:8)