A Reply To Unbelievers on the Resurrection:

How do you have witnesses to the resurrection? The disciples didn’t even see Him rise from the dead. They saw Him after He had risen as it was evidenced by the wounds in His hands and His side when He appeared to them. The disciples were the ones who had spent years with Him and watching Him do miracles and watching Him heal the sick and teaching great wisdom and love and needed to see Him. After Jesus was crucified their faith in Him was destroyed. Jesus needed appear to them in order to establish the truth of who He said He was, God in flesh (John 8:24).

Non believers simply will not believe, thus (non-believers). However there is a writing from Josephus about Jesus. This is from his writing in AD 66 and is an extra-biblical source:

“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among st us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

Although some questions arose about it favoring Jesus too much asserting it could be unauthenticate but I add that that assertion has never been proven. However the real issue of the resurrection deals with the evidence. Evidence that consists of the testimony of many people who professed that they had seen the risen Jesus.As well the same people who testified to the resurrection of Christ also gave up their economic and social security and their lives were put on the line in order to proclaim that Jesus had risen. They were persecuted and murdered.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Evidence For The Resurrection Pt 2.

In continuance of a defense for the Resurrection I recommend a real good publication on the subject. It is a book written by Gary Habermas and summarizes 1400 plus scholarly writings on the subject of Jesus’ resurrection dating between 1975 and 2003. In Habermas’ book *“The Risen Jesus and Future Hope” it appears that from “Bible Thumping” conservatives to “super-liberals” have agreed on these historical facts:

1. Jesus died by Roman Crucifixion

2. Jesus was buried, most likely in a private tomb

3. Soon afterward the disciples were discouraged, bereaved, and despondent, having lost hope

4. Jesus’ tomb was found empty very soon after his interment

5. The disciples had experiences that they believed were real actual appearances of the risen Jesus

6. Due to these experiences, the disciples’ lives were thoroughly transformed. They were even willing to die for their belief

7. The proclamation of the Resurrection took place very early, from the beginning of church history

8. The disciples’ public testimony and preaching of the Resurrection took place in the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus had been crucified and buried shortly before.

9. The gospel message centered on the death and resurrection of Jesus

10. Sunday was the primary day for gathering and worshiping

11. James, the brother of Jesus and a skeptic before this time, was converted when he also saw the risen Jesus

12. Just a few years later, Saul of Tarsus (Paul) became a Christian believer, due to an experience that he also believed was an appearance of the risen Jesus


Take in consideration the above while recalling:

1. The New Testament is not a fabrication of fertile minds

2. The New Testament was written within two generations of the actual events

3. The New Testament names many historical people confirmed in other written sources

4. The actual eyewitnesses suffered persecution and death for what they claimed they experienced

5. The sufferings of the eyewitnesses could have been avoided if they denounced their claims

“Thousands and tens of thousands have gone through the evidence which attests the resurrection of Christ, piece by piece, as carefully as ever a judge summed up on the most important case. I have myself done it many times over, not to persuade others, but to satisfy myself. I have been used for many years to study the history of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fitter evidence and every kind.”
– Thomas Arnold
British Educator and Historian

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also
vain … And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your
sins. (1 Cor. 15:14, 17)

All rejoice! The Lord has RISEN!

To be continued…

God Bless
Brian Mason

*Gary R. Habermas, The Risen Jesus and Future Hope (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)

Evidence For The Resurrection: Pt 1

When I get angry comments from unbelievers it actually spurs me on! It indicates to me areas that need obvious addressing and light shed into the darkness. Although the fool says there is no God, it is still shows me the areas of evangelism that is necessary for the modern Christian.

Recently I was sent a comment from a seemingly militant atheist; He or she commented that only Paul wrote about the witnesses to the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was an interesting take on the scripture and it led me to write this series of articles.

I suppose the writer of that comment was suggesting that the apostle Paul was a liar. Well let’s look into the scripture and come to a conclusion.

Read 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8 (NASB)

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Were the words of the apostle Paul written here lies or at best an embellishment? No. You see, Paul cites 14 eyewitnesses by name. Cephas (Peter), James and the 12 apostles and Paul himself. With Paul actually naming the eyewitnesses to the Corinthians! If the Corinthians doubted the words written by Paul, the Corinthian readers would certainly called him out on it! I also would suggest that Paul writing that there was also some 500 other witnesses (who knows maybe more?) someone would have exposed the lie.

Let’s suppose Paul was fabricating his testimony,do you think he would have gone to the measures of actually naming the eyewitnesses? He would have lost any credibility with the Corinthians. Then why would he write such a hoax? Simply it does not make sense!

Please pray for the unbelievers to see and believe the truth!

Psalm 25:10 (NASB)
All the paths of the LORD are loving kindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

God Bless
Brian Mason

A Quick Message To Trolls…

I have recently received several different trolling comments from atheists and a Roman Catholic. Look, I am only one person and do not have a staff answering a myriad of carpet-bombing questions. These comments have been labeled as “spam” and will not be dealt with. I am more than willing to engage in questions or statements on a reasonable basis. If I was not intending to address questions of discussion, I would disable the ability to comment on this blog. Thank you for your consideration.

God Bless
Brian Mason

Why Was Jesus Baptized? Was It Because He Sinned?

Some confusion lies in the reason of why Jesus was baptized? Some say that Jesus sinned and needed baptism as a form of repentance. This is completely incorrect as Jesus the God-man never sinned.

Read 1 John 3:4-5 (NASB)
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

Jesus explains why He needed baptism in the book of Matthew:

Read Matthew 3: 13-15 (NASB)
13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. 

When Jesus used the pronoun “us” it was for all believers. Jesus also required baptism to enter legally into the Melchizedek Priesthood. He needed to by the High Priest and present Himself as a sacrifice for all sins. Baptism was only one of the requirements for the Priesthood. First He needed to be washed with water, then anointed with oil.

Read Hebrews 5: 8-10 (NASB)
8  Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 
9  And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 
10  being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Is It True That The Apostle Paul Was A Married Man?

As found in the scripture it seems quite evident that Paul was a widower. As a member of the Sanhedrin (before his conversion), and as a requirement to vote in the prosecution of Christians he must have been married, as most theologians agree;

Acts 26: 9-11 (NASB)
“So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.

His wife subsequently must have died as it is written in scripture;

1 Corinthians 7: 8 (NASB)
 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Why Do We Read Of “Tearing One’s Robe” In The Bible?

The tearing of one’s own clothes when I first started studying the Bible seems very strange to me at first. What a strange practice if it were in today’s society! Could you imagine? Was it a tantrum?

In the Old Testament there are a few scriptures that show this behavior;

Read Job 1: 20-21 (NASB)

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Read 2 Kings 19:1 (NASB)

And when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the Lord. 

Read Jeremiah 36:24

24 Yet the king and all his servants who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments.

The tearing of clothes was an outward sign of grief, as all scriptures writing of this are associated with immense grief. In the Talmud an exception was made for High Priests who had witnessed blasphemies, in fact it was forbidden.

Read Leviticus 10:6 (NASB)

6 Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful against all the congregation. But yourkinsmen, the whole house of Israel, shall bewail the burning which the Lord has brought about.

In contrast read Matthew 26: 64-68 (NASB)

Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”
67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,68 and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

Caiaphas’ grief was as disingenuous as the accusation of blasphemy against Jesus Christ. He was acting pompous as he thought he found something to hinge his charges on.

Hopefully this sheds some light on the scripture?

God Bless

Brian Mason

Terminology Tuesday: Patripassianism

*Derived from the Greek words pater (father) and pascho (to suffer), the term refers to an early type of modalism that suggests that the one God ( the Father) became incarnate in the form of the Son, was born of a virgin and suffered and died on the cross. This belief was declared heretical by the early church.

God Bless
Brian Mason

*Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki &, Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 89

Modernism: Is It Christian?

A good definition comes from Wikipedia.org:

*Modernism refers to theological opinions expressed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past. Catholic modernists form an amorphous group. The term “modernist” appears in Pope Pius X’s 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Modernists, and what are now termed “Neo-Modernists”, generally do not openly use this label in describing themselves.
Modernists came to prominence in French and British intellectual circles and, to a lesser extent, in Italy.The Modernist movement was influenced by Protestant theologians and clergy, starting with the Tübingen school in the mid-19th century. Some modernists, however, such as George Tyrrell, would disagree with this; Tyrrell saw himself as loyal to the unity of the Church, and disliked liberal Protestantism.
Since Pope Paul VI, most Church authorities have largely dropped the term “modernism”, preferring instead in the interest of precision to call beliefs such as secularism, liberalismor relativism by their several names. The older term has however remained current in the usage of many Traditionalist Catholics and conservative critics within the Church.

But is it Christian?

No! Modernism is anti-Christian! Let’s look at some of it’s teachings that are being pushed upon the youth of today:

- The scriptures are denied as being “God Inspired”
– If man ever had fallen he fell upward instead of downward and has been slowly evolving upward since
– It denies the blood redemption
– It teaches there is no Hell
– It teaches no eternal punishment
– It teaches universalism and all will be saved in time
– It denies the new birth

As you can see, modernism is a dangerous belief and paving the way to an eventual Hell!
1 Corinthians 15: 12-19 (NASB)

12 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? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

God Bless

Brian Mason

^http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernism_(Roman_Catholicism)

Terminology Tuesday: Heidelberg Catechism

*A confession of faith written by the theology faculty of Heidelberg University at the request of Frederick III, a prince of Germany in the sixteenth century. The Catechism served to instruct young people in the essentials of the faith and was used to prepare them for confirmation. One unique feature of the Catechism is it’s ability to combine Reformed and Lutheran perspectives into a single document.

God Bless

Brian Mason

**Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki &, Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 58