Pro and Con 196, Uploaded 10-14-98, PM
Incoming Email Hello. My name is Daniel Thomas, and I am almost 18 and have been a Christian for as long as I can remember. However, now I am at a point where I find myself having doubts about the existance of God. I was hoping that you might be able to give me some arguments for the belief in God that I can think about. In essence, what would you tell an atheist in order to try to get them to believe that there is a higher power than us? Thanks
My reply God bless you richly, Daniel. Your name means "God is my judge." El means God. Truly, God is our judge. Psalm 50:1-6 says, "THE mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have MADE A COVENANT WITH ME BY SACRIFICE. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah" (which means stop and think of that, it is important).
However, John 5:22 says, "the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." II Cor. 5:19 explains this, saying plainly, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." Christ paid for your sins by SACRIFICING his life so that all those that believe in him can be saved.
We are so close to the time that His saints are to be gathered together unto Him and taken to Heaven in the Rapture, you are doing exactly the right thing in asking for help if you have the slightest doubts.
You didn't give me any information about when you accepted Christ. I don't know the real reason you call yourself a Christian. You may have been baptized when a baby and think that makes you a Christian when it does not. Therefore, before I answer your question, I should tell you what you must do to be a Christian. You should exercise your will and make a definite decision for Christ. In the words of the apostle Paul, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9). To be sure, I prayed and told Christ I accepted him as my own personal Saviour.
Man's test is to see if he will obey God even though he cannot see him. The angels were tested being able to see God and one third of them failed. Man may have been created to prove to Satan that if a lesser creature, not being able to see God, could yet obey him, God would be proven just in consigning Satan and his fallen angels to prison.
Paul said, "it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them: for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, BEING UNDERSTOOD BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE, EVEN HIS ETERNAL POWER AND GODHEAD; so that they are WITHOUT EXCUSE" (Rom. 1:17-20).
First of all, we can see God's handiwork in our own bodies. We have miles and miles of complicated circuitry. People that think we just happened by chance don't stop to think that with all our modern knowledge, man cannot make a man. If man can't do it, is it reasonable to think blind chance could do it? That isn't possible. Left alone, things tend to become more chaotic, not less chaotic, less organized, not more organized. Things regress, not progress. Even if the raw materials were present, it takes divine intervention to make a man.
It also takes omnipotence to create the raw materials from nothing. Man is not all powerful. The raw materials do not just pop out of nothing by themselves every once in awhile now. Neither did they just pop out of nothing by themselves in the past. The thing created did not create itself for it was not present before it was created. A supreme intelligence far beyond man's capabilities created the very ground we walk on.
Man is still struggling to figure out for sure how the planets were put together. Astronomers can't figure out for sure where planetesimals came from, but they have a theory that the planets were formed of planetesimals that later coalesced to form the planetary bodies. Here, they may be right. Job 38:37,38, in the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament used in Jesus' day, says, "who is he that numbers the clouds in wisdom, and has bowed the heaven (put rings around Heaven)...to the earth: For it (Heaven) is spread out AS DUSTY EARTH, and I (God) HAVE CEMENTED IT AS ONE HEWN STONE TO ANOTHER." If scientists would listen to what the Bible has to say, they would get farther, but they lay the manual God has given us aside and try to figure things out their own way.
It is like trying to figure out how to use a computer without the manual. The mastermind that made the complicated piece of equipment work also made the manual so we can use the equipment. It is the same with God. He created the universe, gave the Earth to man, and gave us a manual to live by so we have a chance to pass the test he has given us. You know what they say, "When all else fails, read the manual."
With the Bible, start with John. He wrote to prove that Christ was God. In John 20:31, he said, "these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." You first need to be certain that you are truly a Christian. When a person first believes, Jesus baptizes him with his Holy Spirit. The indwelling Spirit of God helps us understand the Scriptures, so that is a prerequisite to full understanding. However, the plan of salvation is plain and easy to understand.
God's prophecies come true 100%. This alone proves to me that God is real. No one else can even come close. The very presence of Israel in God's land is proof. When Israel became a nation, it kicked off the end-of-the-age events. Zephaniah 2:1,2 prophesied, "GATHER yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you." I think the Day of God's Wrath is the Feast of Trumpets, Sept. 13, 2007.
When Jesus Christ, the LORD of hosts (Isa. 44:6), ascended to Heaven after his resurrection in 30 AD. Hosea 5:15 came true. It says, "I will go and return to my place (Heaven), till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early." Then as chapter six begins, Israel is speaking: "COME, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days (two 1000-year days, II Pet. 3:8) will he revive us: in the third day (third millennium) he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." This came true in 1948. It was over 2000 years since Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem.
Ezek. 38:8 says, "in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations." We are living in the latter years of this age.
In Scripture, the number seven means perfection and completion. The Bible is roughly about a 7000-year span of time that has been allotted to man for his test. There are seven 1000-year days. The first 2000 years was the Age of the Gentiles. The second 2000 years was the Age of the Jews. We are living near the end of the third 2000-year span, the Age of the Church. After the Tribulation judgment, Christ will return and rule as King of kings and Lord of lords for the seventh millennium. Believers will also rule as kings and priests under Christ.
Here on Earth, Christ will sit on the throne of David. Isa. 9:7 says, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts (the 'redeemer,' i.e., Jesus Christ, Isa. 44:6) will perform this." He has the power to do this, "For it pleased the Father that in him should ALL FULLNESS DWELL...In whom are hid ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge....For in him dwelleth ALL THE FULNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY" (Col. 1:19; 2:3,9).
The planet where Christ's heavenly throne is located will be our home. Evidently, we will be able to travel back and forth at will to carry out our duties on Earth, even as the angels are now able to do. Daniel started to pray, and within about five minutes, Gabriel came to answer his prayer (Daniel 9:1-22).
Understanding much of prophecy is impossible without the Holy Spirit. It is complicated enough that the unbeliever will not understand so "they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken" (Isa. 28:13). Daniel 12:10 says, "the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."
I would usually say to read through the rest of the New Testament. This gives you solid footing for your Christian walk. Then you are ready to tackle prophecy. However, you sound like you have been raised as a Christian and know how you should live, and the time before the Rapture is short. Therefore, if you think you are ready to tackle prophecy have a go at it. You need to have your eyes wide open and know what you are facing in your lifetime. We are living in the end of this age. Troubled times are ahead, seven of the worst years since Adam, but there is a way to escape them.
Luke 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Jesus Christ).
This ESCAPE is the Rapture, the next prophecied event in God's Timetable of Endtime Events. Read about it in I Thess. 4:13-18. Verses 16 and 17 say, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught uptogether with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
To get a quick rundown on endtime events, read Matthew 24:3-51; Mark 13:4-37; Luke 17:22-37; and Luke 21:7-33. In Mt. 24:32-34, I have seen the fig tree (Israel, Joel 1:6,7) grow leaves in my lifetime. She grew Sinai, West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967. Summer was "nigh." The war started June 5 and summer arrived June 21. This is an example of God's pinpoint accuracy. In Luke 21:24b, I have seen that one fulfilled in my lifetime. Israel took Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967. This was the Sign of the End of the Age (Mt. 24:3). One 40-year generation from 1967 (2007) will be the end of this age. All of the endtime prophecies have to be packed into the next ten years. It is vital for you to know these things that are practically staring us in the face.
Next, read The Revelation of Jesus Christ. John was the scribe, but Jesus was the author. Jesus wrote it as if he stood at the point of the Rapture and looked both backward and forward to describe events. The Rapture is "at hand" in both the first and last chapters (1:3; 22:10). In Rev. 1:19, he tells John to "Write the things which thou hast seen (before the Rapture), and the things which are (at the time of the Rapture), and the things which shall be hereafter (after the Rapture, i.e., from Rev. 4:1 to Rev. 22:5). All these are "things which must shortly come to pass" (1:3; 22:6) in our days.
Revelation is like an outline into which you can fit the Old Testament prophecies to keep the sequence of events straight. After you have read Revelation, start with Isaiah and read through Malachi. Don't get bogged down trying to figure out every detail the first time through. You will get more out of it each time you read it. The more we know about the Bible, the more we can get out of it. God has packed more information in that one small book than we can ever dig out in our lifetime. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I will help all I can.
I corresponded with a young man in Sweden. I would like for you to read of his experience when he typed to me that he believed in Jesus and God. That was his moment of salvation. Here are his emails. I omitted my reply, but will be glad to send it to you if you would like to see it also. (Deleted because it is on Pro and Con 76.)
Daniel, please write me back. I am praying for you. Many others will also be praying for you.
Father, draw Daniel close to you, dispel his doubts and help him understand clearly. In Jesus' name, Amen.
His reply I thank you very much for your quick response, and just hearing from another Christian has helped. I think that might be what I feel like I'm missing. Today, I was walking to class, and I saw a girl on the sidewalk just telling random people about a bible study tommorrow night. Some said they were busy, others said weekly they would try, while still others said in voices sounding not-entirely-sincere, I'll be there. I am still wondering what she was thinking when I came to her and asked when it is. I hope that it will help me.
I personally made my own decision to believe in God first when I was seven, but after a period of recklessness, I realized that I didn't really have enough knowledge when I was seven to make that kind of a decision, so, when I was 13 or 14, well into the age of reason, I did make a concious decision to rededicate my life to Christ.
But, as I had said before, I have been feeling doubts recently, and I don't really know why. Soem people doubt due to senseless tradgedies, others because they "have no concrete proof" (you wouldn't BELIEVE how many times I've heard that one). I, however, cannot seem to feel God with me at times, probably because I haven't made time for him like I should despite my busy schedule. Since I moved to ----, where I am attending ----, I haven't attended church. It has been almost a month. I think that probably has to do with what I am feeling. Any thought, observations, insights, or suggestions would be nice, but i must now start working on my homework.
My reply Thanks for letting me know. I am so glad you did make a concious decision to rededicate your life to Christ.
Satan can put thoughts in our heads. We have to resist him and he will flee from us. Jesus said for Satan to get behind him.
Every time we make a spiritual step upward, we are tested to see if we will hang on to it or not. Hang on and soon cursing will turn to blessing. There is also the possibility that you are being tested because you are out on your own making your own decisions. As soon as Satan finds out it is a lost cause, he will put his efforts where it will do him more good.
Here is something else. Confess all known sins, and God will cleanse you of all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Any sin barrier between you and God will be gone. The fountain of living water (Holy Spirit) will well up within you and fill you. Then you are in fellowship with our holy God and are as a wise virgins ready to go with the Bridegroom when he comes. This is the way we should walk with God, not quenching the Holy Spirit.
Incoming Email Burning Issue? [HA] - Are Pigeon the same as TURTLE DOVES?
I have two books in my library that might help shed SOME light on this burning issue with [perhaps] a surprising "connection." Most birdwatchers would immediately tell you that a Pigeon is REALLY a "Rock Dove." and a "Turtle Dove" is a pale version of the Mourning Dove [which is probably the one you find on your roof in Riverside California.
Peterson's A Field Guide to Western Birds shows 10 different doves which can be grouped in two groups: fan-like tails [Pigeon] and rounded or pointed-tails [Mourning Dove]. Of interest is the Ringed Turtle Dove - "size of Mourning Dove but paler." "Where found: . . very locally in Los Angeles [city parks]."
Peter Farb's The LAND, WILDLIFE and PEOPLE of the BIBLE, p. 21 The turtledove is a little smaller than the street pigeon and more conservatively colored than the rock dove. The turtledove is a migrant that remains in the Holy land from April to October and spends the rest of the year in Africa. Solomon spoke of the springtime when "the voice of the turtle is heard in our land" (S o S 2:12) . . . At migration time, almost in one day, the whole landscape reverberates with the soft, plaintive cooing of these birds, surely one of the most beautiful sounds in nature. Now the voice of the turtle is heard in North America also, for the species has been introduced successfully into southern California." [emphasis added].
My reply Thank you! This is just what we need. I have seen one Ringed Turtle Dove here too. It was in the street as we pulled out, so I saw it clearly on the right side of the car. Dave was driving. They seem so unafraid, they do not move out of the way until you get close. I remember thinking they seem so tame.
> The turtledove is a migrant that remains in the Holy land from
> April to October and spends the rest of the year in Africa.
That nails it down. I appreciate your taking the time to look it up.
Incoming Email Today the Gartner Group, one of the leading Y2K research firms, released their testimony report given to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem October 7th, 1998, Washington, D.C. The report paints a grim scene about the future of the world as we approach Y2K, and yet Y2KSUPPLY.COM points out several glaring oversight errors in the report that make the outlook even worse!
The entire report can perhaps be summed up best by two sentences given toward the end:
"It is now clearly evident that segments of companies and governments throughout the world will not be fully prepared to deal with this problem by 2000."
... and ...
"In the U.S., industry segments such as healthcare, education, agriculture, construction, food processing, governments, and companies under 500 employees are lagging way behind in compliance efforts. Many of these will simply not finish critical systems by 2000."...
Incoming Email Mulraine@aol.com wrote: Re: COUNTDOWN DISCUSSION LIST
> INVITATION: We would like to receive some email from you folks, for posting.
> IS IT POSSIBLE CHRIST'S RETURN MAY COINCIDE WITH
> THE JEWISH FALL FEAST CELEBRATIONS?
***From Marilyn Agee: I don't think so. Song of Solomon 2:10-14 seems to give time clues for the Rapture of the Bride of Christ. It says, My beloved spake, and said unto me, RISE UP, MY LOVE, MY FAIR ONE, AND COME AWAY. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing...is come, and the voice of the turtle (lit. turtledove) is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. ARISE, my love, my fair one, and COME AWAY. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock (Christ), in the secret...of the stairs."
I left out "of birds" and "places" since they are not in the original and tend to obscure the meaning. The singing of the new song is right after the Rapture (Rev. 5:9). This is the secret of the stairs, reminding us of Jacob's ladder. The bottom was on Earth, the top in Heaven. Angels went up and down on it.
The winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The former rain in Israel starts Tishri 1. The latter rain starts Nisan 1. Since winter is the rainy season, the rain starts Tishri 1 and ends Nisan 30. It does not rain in the summer. The three fall feasts are in Tishri. The three spring feasts of Passover season are in Nisan. To me, all six are eliminated as a time of the Pre-Trib Rapture, because they are in the rainy season. Only Pentecost is left.
Flowers appear even sooner, but are profuse on Mt. Carmel in April. The turtledove is cooing on just about every twig and branch in Israel during April. The grapes begin to bear in Sivan, the month of Pentecost. I think the Rapture is likely to take place next Pentecost.
> Many Christians have given serious thought to the possibility
> that Christ's Return may coincide with some of the Fall Jewish
> Feast Celebrations. They noticed that the events in Christ's
> First Coming coincided with some of the Spring Feasts. Such as:
> PASSOVER: Christ was the Passover Lamb, put to death by crucifixion.
> FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD: His body did not decay in the grave.
> FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS: He triumphantly arose from death.
> PENTECOST: 50 days after Firstfruits. The Holy Spirit Baptized the Church.
> It is suggested there is a possiblity that His Second Coming
> MAY be centered around the four Fall Feasts.
> ROSH HASHANAH: Feast of Trumpets. (7th Trumpet?)
> YOM KIPPUR: Day of Atonement.
> SUKKOT: Feast of Tabernacles. It must be observed on Mount Zion.
> (Revelation 14:1?)
> HANUKKAH: Feast of Lights. 75 days after Yom Kippur.
***Ezekiel 29:17,21 tells when Christ will return. It says, "in the first month, in the first day of the month (Nisan 1, the first day of the Jewish Regnal Year and Sacred Year)...In that day will I cause the horn (king) of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth (the Logos, the Word) in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD."
> It is a very interesting subject and is certainly worth study.
> One must keep in mind, Mark l3:32, "But of that day and
> that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels who are in
> Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Yet, concerning
> the End of the Age and His Coming, Christ said, "Now learn
> a parable of the fig tree: When its branch is yet tender, and
> putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near; So likewise
> ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near,
> even at the doors". (Matthew 24:3,32-33)
***When Israel put forth leaves (Sinai, West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip) in the Six-Day War of 1967, it was the Sign of the End of the Age. Know that the Rapture is near.
The next verse says, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." To me, that means that this age will end forty years from 1967, in 2007. The things that were to come on "this generation" (mt. 23:36) in 30 AD came upon them in 70 AD.
The shortened Tribulation lasts 2300 days (Ezek. 8:14). I think that 2300 days starts on the Feast of Weeks in 2001 and ends with the Feast of Trumpets in 2007. The Feast of Weeks is perfect for the beginning of the Seventieth Week of Daniel. According to Joel 2:1-3, the Feast of Trumpets is the Day of God's Wrath, the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord.
Jesus Christ is revealed to us, the Bride of Christ, at the Rapture. Therefore the book of The Revelation is Rapture oriented. The Rapture is "at hand" in Rev. 1:3 and 22:10, the first and last chapters. Revelation is written "to shew unto HIS SERVANTS things which must SHORTLY come to pass" (1:1; 22:6).
Shortly is "en (before) tachos" (a brief space of time). In our days, the Rapture will take place first, then after a brief space of time, the Tribulation will begin. The Rapture is near, maybe next Pentecost, the last Pentecost before the Y2K problem creats havoc that propels the world into the Tribulation. In His love
Incoming Email Re: Love Your Work!
I have read two of your books, "End of Age" and "Revelation 2000". I have truly enjoyed both. Whether or not I readily agree with some of your conclusions, I have to admit that you have given me new "open doors" of information to consider. I believe God is truly blessing you with deeper understanding.
I look forward to reading your other books in the future. Also, I'm glad to find you have a web site! In Christ
My reply Thanks you for letting me know you enjoyed my books. "In Revelations 2000," you got a taste of what "Heaven Found: a Butter and Honey Star" is about. I was writing "The Master Key: Revelation's Secrets Revealed," which Avon Books renamed "Revelations 2000," when chapter four outgrew its bounds. First it was a 5 page report, then 6, then 30. When I got to 150, I knew it was going to be a totally unexpected book. It ended up at 190 pages. That book wanted to be written. It only took a few months in spite of my stopping and reading every word of about 15 versions of the Bible. I kept a legal pad handy and recorded every verse that had anything to do with where Heaven or the Lord's throne was, even what it was like. When I was finished, I knew it was where I had thought many years ago, but said to myself, "Nah, that can't be." But it is....God bless
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