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The Evidence #7

In the Bible, King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon is a prominent figure who is famous for the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple in 586 BC, as well as the building of Babylon . (2 Kings 25)

The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?        Daniel 4:30

Above is a photo of the Nebo-sarsekim Tablet housed in the British Museum and deciphered by Austrian Assyriologist Michael Jursa among 100,000 cuneiform tablets. The tablet is dated 595 B.C., from the tenth year of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign. The tablet documents the donation of gold to the temple by an official named Nebo-sarsekim. This same official is mentioned in the Bible in the book of Jeremiah:

Then all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer, Samgar-Nebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal-Sarezer, Rabmag, with the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon. Jeremiah 39:3

From 1899- 1915, a German expedition discovered thousand of mud bricks with had been inscribed with the name of Nebuchadnezzar II! The inscription, which was in cuneiform, translated says:

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who provides for Esagila and Ezida, the eldest son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, am I.

Furthermore, the Ishtar Gates of Babylon are currently kept in Berlin’s Pergamom Museum also has a inscription on it bearing Nebuchadnezzar II’s name!

The prophet Daniel documented in his book, the details of the military campaigns of Nebuchadnezzar II against Israel: first in 605 BC. with the capture of Daniel and many other princes, men, women and children. Later in 597 BC, the king of Babyon took the prophet Ezekiel along with 10,000 more prisoners! (2 Kings 24:14). The prophet Jeremiah was left in Jerusalem after the sieges of Nebuchadnezzar II with the remnants who tended the fields and crops for the king.

As if this wasn’t enough evidence the vindicate the Bible, there have been found official documents in the form of cuneiform tablets called The Babylonian Chronicles! The Babylonian Chronicles is a series of tablets found in 1956 which is also kept at the British Museum that records the campaigns of Nebuchadnezzar II against the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho in 605 BC, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the history of Babylon.

In Jeremiah 34:7, it is made clear that only two cities where left in tact after the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel, in the land of Judah: Lachish and Azekah. When the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah. In 1930, The Lachish Letters were discovered by James Leslie Starkey, on pieces of ostraca or broken pottery with writing on it, in this case Hebrew. Letter IV details the how the two cities are intact just as Jeremiah states!

Lastly there is a cuneiform cylinder currently held in the MET Museum which also bears the king of Babylon’s famous name! As well as another cylinder that describes the rebuilding of the Temple Ebabbar, the temple of the sun-god Shamash at Sipper!

It is astonishing the amount of evidence that archeology has uncovered that sets the Bible apart from legend! Keep reading the Bible!

 

 

 

Samhain

In light of the upcoming holiday, Halloween which was called Samhain in Gaelic by the Celts, I would like to share some resources with you in regards to its origin and topics on the state of the dead, ghosts and witchcraft. We all know that the Bible speaks against witchcraft, but the better question to ask is why? Why would these practices be forbidden in the Bible? What do they entail?

One interesting passage of scripture we find in the New Testament is Luke 20:38 where Jesus says:

For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”

Why would Christ says this? Is there a distinction between him and another god? We know from the Bible in Ezekiel and Revelation that there is a war between good and evil. If Christ says he is not the God of the dead but the living, that should tell us something profound! Not to munition that the Bible made specific laws in Israel about cleanliness and staying away from dead bodies for good reason. We know what happens to the body when a person dies! The prophet Ezekiel said that Rebellion against God was just as the sin of witchcraft. Witchcraft uses divination, spells, necromancy, etc which are not in accordance with the worship of a living God, a god of Light. In witchcraft everything is turned upside down:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” 
Are people who practice these things bad people? No, we don’t know what they have gone through in their lives, we don’t know them like God does, we are not here to judge but share what we know and be the best examples that we can in our own sphere!
We have studied in previous posts the state of the dead, the Bible makes it clear that people are not ghosts wondering around in pain, they don’t speak to us, they are asleep and feel no pain! They are not in Heaven watching their families in pain or turmoil or sitting on a dumb cloud strumming a harp! They are not in purgatory, frying for their sins for years! The are resting. Science has not found any other evidence!
Paganism consists of various groups who do not worship Christ, but see god in all things. This is why the worship of nature is prominant. This is why the Bible consistently makes a distinction between the two. As Christians, we should know about paganism so we are not ignorant, making assumptions.
So just remember this coming Samhain, that you are just like the ancient ones who came before us looking at the stars, and the seasons for the purpose of property, only as a Christian you are thankful to God for the goods you reap! If your going to celebrate
Resources:
Ancient site to check out: Ughastar, Armenia

Islam: World Religions

Muslims believe in the prophet Mohammed and their God Allah. Islam is the fastest growing religion at the present time because of the their growing populations in various regions. Islam was established in the 7th Century by Muhammed who was a merchant, who became rich after marrying Maymunah bint al-Harith of Mecca. Muhammed apparently received messages inside a cave which later became the Koran. Muslims consider themselves as the defendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham. The five pillars of the Muslim faith consist of:

  1. To pronounce the Shahada: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the apostle of God.”
  2. Speak the ritual prayer Salat.
  3. Almsgiving (Zakat)
  4. Fasting during Ramadan.
  5. Going on the Hajj to Mecca.

Some beliefs that are contrary to the Bible:

  1. Jesus is considered to be only a prophet not God: Ex. 3:14; Isaiah 9:6.
  2. the Bible is not reliable: 2 Tim 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, Ps.12:6-7.
  3. Salvation is accomplished: Salvation is attained by following the five pillars.

 

Methodism

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Why so many denominations?

The Methodist demonination grew from the Lutherans and Calvinists and the German pietistic in the mid 1600s. This church was founded by John Wesley who attended Oxford University. Methodists developed a routine to control their lifestyle that had emphasis on spiritual grow, holiness, and community. Methodist eventually spread to the Colonies. Today about 11 million Methodists today.

Methodists believe:

  1. Trinity
  2. Holy living through grace and sanctification.
  3. Salvation by grace.
  4. Reject eternally burning hell.
  5. Communion

Doctrinal misunderstandings and what the Bible says:

  1. Immortality of the Soul: ( 1 Timothy 6:15, 16)
  2. Sunday sacredness: (Exodus 20:8-11)
  3. Rejection of a literal second Coming of Christ: ( 1 These. 4:16-17; Rev 1:7, Matt 16:17, 24:27)
  4. Infant baptism & adult baptism by sprinkling: ( Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:16, John 3:5; Acts 2:38-41, 8:26-38; Col. 2:12; Romans 6:1-8)
  5. Authority of the Bible: (John 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matt 4:4)

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Lutheranism

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Why so many denominations? continued…

The Lutheran Church grew out of the Reformation, from the Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis against the Roman Catholic Church’s tradition of indulgences and other unBiblical traditions. Luther and many others broke away from Rome eventually adopting these five points:

Only Scripture, Only Grace, Only Christ, Only Faith, & Only the Glory of God.

Luther translated the New Testament into German, while in hiding, in 1534. Luther also protested against celibacy of the priest hood and the law against marriage of the priesthood. Presently there are several different offshoots of Lutheranism with over 10 million members worldwide. Recently, the Lutheran Church has actually come together with Roman Catholicism and other denominations to sign a pact to end the Reformation. Many feel that such a move is wrong and a sign of disrespect to all those who died for their faith during the Reformation by the Inquisition. Others see this as a bridge to gap the gulf between all Christian denominations to bring unity by compromising Bible principles for tradition, common points of contact and political correctness. It should be noted that, our modern world and it’s freedoms, we would not have if it weren’t for a monk who nailed 95 Thesis on a church door! The Reformation paved the way for the Enlightenment, which paved the way for the Constitution and the ability for anyone to believe anything, including atheists.

Doctrines:

  1. Biblical Authority
  2. Salvation by grace alone.
  3. The Trinity
  4. Obedience to God
  5. The literal Second Coming of Christ

Bible Misunderstandings:

  1. Baptism by Sprinkling: Matt. 28:19-20, 3:13-17 Mark 16:16; Acts 8:26-38, John 3:22; Roman 6:1-8; Col. 2:12.
  2. Communion of con-substantiation instead of symbolism: 1 Cor. 11:23-28.
  3. Sunday sacredness: Genesis 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Ez. 20:12, 20; Is. 66:22,23; Matt. 12:8, 24:20, Luke 4:16, 6:5; Acts 13:42-44; Rev. 1:10.
  4. Immortality of the soul: Gen. 2:7, Job 27:3; Ps. 146:4, 6:5, 115:17; Eccl. John 11:11-14; 1 Tim. 6:15-16.

Jehovah’s Witness

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Why so many denominations?

Jehovah’s Witness is a Protestant denomination that sprang up in the 1870s, founded by Charles T. Russel in Warwick, NY. The denomination originally came from the Millerite Movement of the 1840s which, along with others, provided proof of the prophecies of Daniel 7-9 which declared that since Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Jewish sanctuary service was no longer needed because Christ Pais the redemption price for sin. Therefore, the 2,300 year prophecy of Daniel 9:25 (457 B.C. – 34 A.D. – 1844) would end in 1844 when Christ, the High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary, would begin his work on our behalf in the Most Holy Place. It was mistakenly thought that Christ would come at that time in 1844, but later realized to be the next step in the sanctuary service.

JW eventually developed their own conclusions and believe that the one true God is Jehovah and is distinct from Jesus who they believe isn’t God. They reject the Trinity and see the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force.

Beliefs:

  1. State of the Dead – people have an immortal soul, death is sleep.
  2. God will annihilate the wicked by burning them for millions of years until they are consumed.
  3. Baptism is by immersion, then you are ordained into the ministry.
  4. The Priesthood of all believers makes all are then called witnesses.
  5. Signs of the end, consisting of worldwide conditions.

What the Bible says:

  1.  The Trinity: (Isaiah 42:8, 40:28, 33:22, 41:4; Deut. 32:3-4) compare with (Matthew 1:21, 16:27, Eph. 3:9, Acts 4:12, John 5:22, 8:58-59, Rev 19:11-16, 1:8-11, 1 Cor. 10:4, Her. 1:6-9).
  2. The Law: (Matt 5:17-18, John 14:15, Romans 6:13-14, 3:28-31, 40:8; 1 John 2:3-6; James 2:10-17; Heb 8:10).
  3. Second Coming: (Matthew 24, 1 These. 4:16-17, Psalm 50:3, Rev. 1:7, Matt. 16:27-28, 13:24-30, 2 Peter 3:10, 2 Thess. 1:7-9, 1 Cor. 15:51-54).

Another evidence is seen, that as Christians from all denominations, we need to read the Bible to see what it actually says instead of trying to fit the Bible to what we want it to say. We would have more unity if we would come together in unity on points of doctrine that is backed by the Bible as it was in the Apostolic Church.

 

Buddhism: World Religions

Buddhism was founded between the 6th and 4th centuries in India as a Sramna tradition; separate from Vedic tradition; by Siddhārtha Gautama. Buddhism has over 520 million followers worldwide. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement. “The times of Gautama’s birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE.”[1][30] 

Gautama was a rich prince in India who later renounced his position and wealth to live as and ascetic. It was as an acetic, emaciated, that he passed out until a stream revived him. He then discovered the Middle Way and the Noble Eight-Fold Path:

  1. Right belief
  2. Right efforts
  3. Right thinking
  4. Right ideals
  5. Right works
  6. Right deeds
  7. Right way of earning a living
  8. Right meditation

The Eight-Fold Path is similar to the Ten Commandments. Karma is similar to what the Bible says in Galatians 6:7-9, ‘reaping what you sow.” Christians do not believe in reincarnation, but believe in a literal time of judgement. They believe that love is the secret of life, and only by banishing hatred can it be achieved. Christians say that God or Yahweh is the embodiment of love and that if you love God you will love one another and follow the way of Christ, his teachings. The ultimate goal of life is Nirvana, a state of peace in nothingness. Buddhists see God as an impersonal being. And they believe righteousness is achieved by doing good works. Buddhists do not have prophetic writings, so the sharing of Bible prophecy could be a useful approach for dialogue between Christians and Buddhists. 

 

Nazarenes

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Why so many denominations?

The Nazarene denomination sprang from the 19th century Holiness Movement, founded by Phineas F. Bresee. Founded in 1908, they have churches all over America and even the Pacific. Their goal is the same as all other Christian denominations, the spreading of the Gospel. There are seven characteristics for the Church of the Nazarene:

  1. Meaningful Worship
  2. Theological Coherence
  3. Passionate Evangelism
  4. Intentional Discipleship
  5. Church Development
  6. Transformational Leadership
  7. Purposeful Compassion

Beliefs:

  1. The Bible as the inspired word of God.
  2. The literal Second Coming of Christ.
  3.  Salvation by faith in Christ alone.
  4. The immortality of the soul.
  5. Eternal tournament.
  6. Sunday sacredness.
  7. Avoidance of alcohol and tobacco.
  8. Separation from the world and conservative life style.
  9. Baptism by immersion.

Doctrinal misunderstandings:

  1. Sunday sacredness: Exodus 20:8-11
  2. Immortality of the soul: 1 Timothy 6:15, 16
  3. Eternal torment: Malachi 4:1-3

Nazarenes are fundamental Christians who hold high moral and ethical standards.

Mormonism

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Why so many denominations? continued…

The Mormon church or Church of Latter-day Saints, was founded by Freemason Joseph Smith after claiming to see a vision of God and a Jesus Christ figure. In September of 1823, supposedly an angel not mentioned in the Bible name Moroni appeared to Smith in a vision telling him that a new secret book containing a history of the ancient people of America, was buried in a hill called Cumorah, four miles from Palmyra, NY. After finding the book, Smith wasn’t allowed to read the book until 1827, when he translated it. Smith brought many men and women into his beliefs and polygamy to the point they had to move from the East Coast to Salt Lake Utah. On their way to Utah in 1830s:

“There were also notable incidents in which Mormons perpetrated violence. Under the direction of Mormon prophets and apostles, Mormons burned and looted Daviess County, attacked and killed members of the Missouri state militia, and carried out an extermination order on the Timpanogos. Other Mormon leaders lead the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Battle Creek massacre, and Circleville Massacre. Mormons have also been a major part in several wars, including the 1838 Mormon War, Walker War and Black Hawk War.” – Wikipedia

Before Smith was shot to death in 1844, Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Doctrine & Covenants as well as The Pearl of Great Price. But their doctrine have little harmony and consistency with the Bible.

Mormons Believe:

  1. the Bible is the Word of God as long as it is rightly translated. They Believe the Book of Mormon is above the Bible, from which Christianity springs from, Judaism.
  2. Man pre-existed with God as an immortal soul before being created, creating bodies for “spirit babies.” If you were a bad “spirit baby” you came out black of some other race other than Caucasian.
  3. God was pleased that Adam and Eve sinned because that would lead to the Earth being populated.
  4. There are immortal souls now living in the Spirit world with Jesus preaching the gospel to them.
  5. They hold baptismal services for the dead, from obituaries, in their Temples.
  6. Jesus married Mary, Martha, and another Mary at the wedding feast of Cana. Therefore polygamy is acceptable to them.
  7. Marriage must be conducted inside a Mormon Temple, for eternity.
  8. There are three degrees of heaven or caste system, with the lowest serving the higher.

Commonalities:

  1. They pay tithe.
  2. They refrain from tobacco and alcohol.
  3. They believe in prophecy, in their own view.
  4. They believe in baptism by immersion.
  5. They believe in the moral decay of society and see a need to come back to the New Testament teachings.

The Bible vs. Mormon doctrine:

  1. The Bible is inspired by God and not mistranslated. The Bibles  before 1844, are superior in that they were translated from copies of original texts in Greek Hebrew and Aramaic and not distorted. ( Psalm 12:6; Matthew 4:4; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; John 17:17, 5:39).
  2. Baptism in the Bible is done while living, recognizing your need to be washed in the grace of God. ( 1 Corinthians 15:29; Acts 2:38-41; Mark 16:16, Matthew 28:19-20; Psalm 49:7; Revelation 22:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Hebrews 11:39-40).
  3. They believe the Bible calls Sunday the Sabbath 8 times in the Greek Bible, which is false. Jesus kept the Seventh day Sabbath as all Jews have kept it from the beginning. ( Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Ezekiel 20:20; Isaiah 66:22-23; Matthew 24:20; Acts 13:42-44).
  4. Immortality of the Soul with each individual having a indestructible soul distinct from the body, that leave them at death. (Genesis 2:7; Job 27:3; Psalm 146:4, 6:5, 115:17; Ecc. 12:7; John 11:11-14; 1 Timothy 6:15-16). The Bible never calls our souls immortal.
  5. Jesus was not conceived of the Holy Ghost. The Bible says Christ was in Matthew 1:18-21 & Luke 1:35.
  6. Jesus was not born of a virgin. The Bible says Christ was in Isaiah 9:6 & 7:14 (Prophecy).
  7. There is no need of salvation because all are destined to live an immortal life according to their deeds and grace, where some will serve others in the cast system. The Bible says Salvation comes from Christ alone in John 14:6 & Acts 4:12. (Doctrines on Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 134-135, Joseph Smith).
  8. There are sins too great for God to atone for. The Bible says in 1 Peter  2:20-24 that Christ died for our sins to so that we can live righteously. (Doctrines on Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 135-136, Joseph Smith).
  9. There are sins to great for God to forgive. The Bible says in John 3:16 that God gave his Son to save mankind from sin; and that we are save by grace through the law. ( Galatians 2:20; 1 John 1:7-9; Matthew 12:32). (A Comprehensive History of the Church, B.H. Roberts, vol 4, p. 129).
  10. The way to love mankind is help your brother or sister or to kill your neighbor by spilling their blood as a “righteous killing!” – (Prophet Brigham Young, Feb. , 1857. Desert News, Feb. 18, 1857. Journals of Discourses, vol. 4, pp.219-220). The Bible says God is love and that we fellow Christians are to love one another and love our enemies by praying for them but not doing what they do. 1 John 4:8-10, 19-21.

Other Resources:

The Lost Book of Abraham: Investigating a Remarkable Mormon Claim

Mormonism

Polygamist Cult Founder’s Daughter, Rachel Jeffs, Gives Her First Testimony with Megan Kelly

Hinduism: World Religions

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Hinduism is the national religion of India, dating back about 4,000 years. Civilization came from the Middle East in the highlands of Armenia near the Mountains of Ararat. Later, with the spread of tribes, people came to the Indus Valley, starting their own civilization. This exotic civilization developed into a unique culture with Sanskrit writing, architecture, and cuisine. Hinduism is essentially a pagan religion with thousands of gods that are worshiped everyday! India also has a caste system and believes in reincarnation, which is dictated by karma. Hinduism have sacred texts called Vedas, which are taught by gurus.

Hindu’s believe:

  1. Pantheism: God is an impersonal being and present in everything.
  2. Salvation is achieved by good deeds through cycles of reincarnation.
  3. Re-incarnation is a series of cycles of life and death, called Karma.
  4. Jesus was just a good man not God.
  5. The ancient Indian sacred text, the Bagda Vita are superior to the Bible.
  6. The purpose of life is to develop the “god” within.

Comparison to the Bible:

  1. Jesus claimed to be God – Apologetics.
  2. Salvation is through Jesus not doing good works – (2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 2:8-10).
  3. Human nature has fallen to sin through the temptations of Satan, so we are not gods – (Isaiah 54:6, Jeremiah 17:9).
  4. Death is a sleep, the dead no nothing awaiting judgement – (Hebrews 9:27, 28; 2 Corinthians 6:2).
  5. Our soul is not immortal – (Eccl. 9:5, Psalm 115:17, John 11:11-14).

Extra Resources:

Ravi Zacharias Testimony

Ravi Zacharias Jesus Among Other Gods

Gods of the New Age

 

Episcopalians

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Why so many denominations? continued…

The Episcopalian church is another name for Anglican. The Anglican Church traces it’s roots the time of the Reformation with King Henry VIII, after his separation with the Roman Catholic Church in 1534. With the colonization of America, the official religion of the colonies was Anglican. Anglicans claim to be a Bible based denomination. Anglicanism sought to provide a via media or middle way between Catholicism and Protestantism. The Anglican Church spread throughout the British Empire from the time of Queen Elizabeth to the present time. Scripture is interpreted by tradition. Their doctrinal beliefs can be found in The Book of Common Prayer, created in 1549.

Doctrinal Beliefs:

  1. The Godhead.
  2. The nature of God.
  3. Truth
  4. Prayer
  5. Social Jusctice

Doctrine vs. the Bible:

  1. The Bible is culturally conditioned so not authoritative for faith. – (See: John 7:17, 17:17, 1 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:21.)
  2. Sunday sacredness – (Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11, Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Isaiah 66:22, 23; Matthew 24:20, 12:8; Luke 4:16, 6:5; Acts 13:42-44; Revelation 1:10.)
  3. Immortality of the Soul – (Genesis 2:7; Job 27:3; Psalm 146:4, 6:5, 115:17; Eccl. 12:7; John 11:11-14; 1 Timothy 6:15, 16.)
  4. Infant Baptism – (Matthew 3:13-17, 28:19-20; Mark 16:15, 16; John 3:23; Romans 6:1-6; Acts 8:35-38, 2:38-41; Colossians 2:12.)
  5. Salvation comes by living a good moral life – (Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10, 3:23-28, 5:18, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13.)