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  1. If God Made the Universe, Who Made God? by Paul Copan

    Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell mused, "If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause." But the question of what or who caused God is misguided.

    First, science supports the notion that the universe had a beginning and that something independent of the universe brought it into being. The well-accepted scientific belief in the universe's origination and expansion and the second law of thermodynamics (energy tends to spread out) support the universe's absolute beginning from nothing (from whence there was nothing but God). This sounds remarkably like Genesis 1.1! The chances of a thing's popping into being from literally nothing (non-existence, all by itself) are exactly zero. Being cannot come from nonbeing; there's no potential for this. Even skeptic David Hume called this "absurd" - a scientific (real) impossibility.

    Second, believers reject the claim "Everything that exists has a cause" and affirm "Whatever begins to exist has a cause." To say "Everything needs a cause" would necessarily exclude an uncaused God. This is "question begging" (assuming what needs to be proved). It's like presuming that since all reality is physical (which can't be demonstrated), a nonphysical God cannot exist.

    Third, why think everything needs a cause, since an uncaused entity is logical and intelligible? Through the centuries, many believed that the universe didn't need a cause; it was self-existent. They thought a beginningless/uncaused universe wasn't illogical or impossible. But now that contemporary cosmology points to the universe's beginning and an external cause, skeptics insist everything (in nature) needs a cause after all!

    Fourth, a good number of uncaused things do exist. Logical laws are real; we can't think coherently without using them (e.g., the law of identity, X = X, tells you: "This book is this book"). Moral laws or virtues (love, justice) are real. But none of these began to exist. They are eternal and uncaused (being in God's mind).

    Fifth, the question "Who made God?" commits the category fallacy. To say that all things, even God, must be caused is incoherent - like the question "How does the color green taste?" Why fault God for being uncaused? When we rephrase the question to say, "What caused the self-existent, uncaused God, who is by definition unmade, to exist?" the answer ...
  2. The Head Gives Authority, Members Have Fellowship

    Head Gives Authority, Members Have Fellowship

    The use of the body lies in fellowship. The first body principle is that of authority, the second principle is that of fellowship. The supply of coordination is based on the supply of authority and the supply of fellowship. What comes from the Head is authority, what comes from the body members is fellowship. The Head gives authority that we may have order in the body—that is to say, order in the church. Further, though, within the members there is mutual fellowship. These are the two fundamental principles of body life.
    —CW, 111: 17-18, 56-7, 59-60, 148

    The ground of the Church is quite an important matter. For the Lord has truly shown in the Scriptures that the Church has a definite ground. I would suppose all the brethren know that the blessing of God is in the Church, that God’s Spirit is in the Church, that God’s light is in the Church, and that especially the life of our Lord Jesus is in the Church. Though we usually pay attention to the Lord’s life being in us individuals, His life is in fact in the Church. Since God has deposited so many spiritual things in the Church, it is evident that she becomes an important issue. . . . Whether the place I am in is a church forms a most serious personal challenge for each one of us to consider.

    We must see clearly before God that many spiritual things are in the Church, not upon individuals. The word of the Lord is plain yet wonderful: “upon this rock I will build my church.” And the outcome will be, added the Lord, that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16.18b). In other words, this promise is given to the Church, it is not given to individuals. How often in the Christian life it is hard individually to resist, but when the Church arises, Satan is defeated. I surmise that in these years there has not been a lack of personal blessings, but such are nonetheless rather limited. Only in the Church are the blessings unlimited and abundant. Hence, as a person walks outside of the Church the presence of God as well as the blessings he receives become circumscribed. He will not be able to touch many things in God. Pardon me for speaking frankly, but within the last ten years I have noticed that the people who do not know the Church are unable to keep that which they had had before but gradually lose out; whereas those who know the Church keep on growing and find the riches of the Head as their richness. ...
  3. The First Way to Hell: Suicide

    The First Way to Hell: Suicide

    Suicide is a shortcut to hell. There is no way which leads to hell more quickly than this. Note this brief Bible passage: “He [Judas] might go to his own place” (Acts 1.25). Judas had never believed in Jesus Christ. Though outwardly he pretended to be one of His disciples, he was “a son of perdition” (John 17.12) who had never experienced salvation. After he died, he went “to his own place.” What was his own place? It was destruction or perdition. After he died, he went to hell. How did he go to hell? He killed himself by hanging.

    If anyone wants to go to hell, suicide is the most convenient method of doing so. A razor, a rope, or a cup of poison will quickly send the soul to the place of eternal suffering. Hell may be quite distant from you in this life; it might, in fact, take many years for you to end up there. But if you commit suicide, you shorten the days of your life on earth and speed yourself to the place of eternal perdition.

    Once an unbelieving master asked his believing chauffeur what the shortest road to hell was. At that time his car was speeding along the highway. The chauffeur opened the car door and said to his master: “If you jump out of the car, you will immediately arrive at that place. Since you do not believe in the Lord, you will go to hell as soon as you fall to your death.”

    The easiest and quickest way to hell is indeed suicide. If you want to arrive at hell in a few hours, swallow a large dosage of raw opium and you will be at your destination. If you wish to arrive in hell in a few minutes, take some cyanide and you will surely be there. And if you consider these ways far too slow, and you want to descend to hell in less than a minute, blow your brains out with gunshot and you will certainly be there. There are many other ways to commit suicide. For example, you may starve yourself to death or you may leap into the sea. Or you may lie on the railroad track and let the train break you in two.

    By committing suicide, a person deprives himself of the hope of salvation. But if he continues to live on earth, he may hear the gospel of the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus and believe for salvation. But if he kills himself he destroys forever the opportunity to hear the gospel. Please take note of this observation: whether one is saved or perishes is a matter decided in this life. If you refuse and do not believe in the Lord Jesus in this ...
    Tags: hell, suicide
    God Only Saves One Way
  4. Revelation 6.12 Signs Before the Tribulation

    Rev. 6.12 says there will be "a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon became as blood" before the Tribulation. The Tribulation begins with the first rapture according to readiness "before the throne" in 3rd heaven (7.9) before the 1st trumpet (8.7) of 7 trumpets that comprise the 7 year Tribulation.

    The great earthquake must be a rare one. 320,000 people died in Haiti 2010, the 2nd most deaths of any earthquake on record. Japan 2011 was 9.0 in magnitude, the 4th greatest in magnitude and radiation fallout continues to this day. Back to back, year over year, never has this occurred before in human record.

    There are 4 kinds of solar eclipses. The rarest is the Hybrid occurring 5% of the time. There are 3 types of hybrids. The rarest of all hybrids is the H3 occurring 5% of that 5%. The H3 hybrid completes itself as a total eclipse producing that black sackcloth effect. It is even more rare when NASA says it is the long version lasting more than 1 minute and 30 seconds. The 4th long H3 since Christ was Nov. 3, 2013. It won't happen again till 2172.

    The lunar tetrad that goes red is even more rare when it lands on Passover and Tabernacles, and again, on Passover and Tabernacles over 2 years. The 8th time since Christ is 2014-15. It won't happen again till 2582-83. There is no unique solar eclipse attached to it around 2582-83.

    For a prophecy of Jesus to return to be true, it must occur sometime after these 3 events in Rev. 6.12.

    The year that Jesus steps down on the mount of olives (Zech. 14.4, Acts 1.11, Rev. 1.7) must be in the year of the "sign of the Son of Man" (Matt. 24.30). "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." The most striking sign envisioned to date by anyone on earth is asteroid Apophis April 13, 2029 which is about 3 football fields in length and comes within satellite distance of earth. The last time an asteroid of this size actually hit earth was about 80,000 years ago. Apophis won't hit earth, but if it did hit land, it would kill tens of millions of people.

    Jesus would step down on earth later that year somewhere between Tisha B'Av, Day of Atonement or even Tabernacles, because the last 3 feasts pertain to His second coming. ...
  5. Simple Proof for the First Rapture being According to Readiness

    This is a simple proof for the first rapture being according to readiness.

    Initial Outline
    The Tribulation is comprised of 7 trumpets from Rev. 7 to 11, and Rev. 12 to 19 give the details of those major points outlined by the Trumpets. The Seals are the past 20 centuries. The 7th Seal opens up the 7 Trumpets of the Tribulation. The 7 bowls of wrath make up the 7th Trumpet. Rev. 5 is the risen Lord recounting the cross as is the 1st Seal. Rev. 4 is the picture of the universe from heaven. Rev. 2 & 3 is the church age. Rev. 20 is the millennial kingdom. Rev. 21 is after that in the New City and New Earth.

    First Rapture Readiness
    The first time we see saints in heaven in Revelation is "before the throne" in 3rd heaven in 7.9. This occurs before the first trumpet of the Tribulation is blown (8.7).

    So who is taken at that time?

    "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left" (Matt. 24.40). "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (v.42).

    Who is being spoken to? Believers since it says "your Lord". What are they told to do? "Watch..." So if you don't watch you won't be taken. It's always better to be taken to be with the Lord.

    What other passages say the same thing?

    "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" (Luke 21.36).

    What are "these things"? The Tribulation. Where will those stand who watch and pray always? Rev. 7.9 said "before the throne" in 3rd heaven. Whereas those believers alive and left at the 7th trumpet of the Tribulation will "meet the Lord in the air" (not the throne) according to 1 Thess. 4.14-18 since it is according to completion, not according to reward. This "trump of God" (1 Thess. 4.16) is the last trumpet" (1 Cor. 15.52). Saints go to meet the Lord in the air at the start of the 7th trumpet where there "were great voices in heaven" (Rev. 11.15) then at the end of the 7th trumpet Jesus completely "shall descend from heaven" (1 Thess. 4.16), stepping down on the mount of olives (Zech. 14.4, Acts 1.11, Rev. 1.7).

    If "thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, that hour which ...
  6. Deliverance


    For that which I do I know not; for not what I would, that do I practise; but what I hate, that I do. But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good. So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but to do that which is good is not. For the good which I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I practise. But if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. I find then the law, that, to me who would do good, evil is present. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I of myself with the mind, indeed, serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 7:15-8:2

    The Desire for Deliverance from Sin

    A person who believes in the Lord may immediately be delivered from sin. This experience, however, is not necessarily shared by all new believers. Many are not delivered from sin after they first trust in the Lord. Instead, they often find themselves falling into sin. There is no question at all that they have been saved, that they belong to the Lord and have eternal life. Yet the great difficulty remains that they are frequently disturbed by sin. Because of this, they are unable to serve the Lord as they would like.

    It is most painful for a saved person to be disturbed by his continuing sins. Since he is enlightened by God, his conscience is sensitive. In him is the life which condemns sins; so he has the consciousness of sin. He deeply feels his corruption and he abhors himself. This is really an exceedingly painful experience.

    Out of this experience comes a problem: many believers do not really know what sin is. Some believers say that sin can be avoided by resisting it. Thus they exert all their strength to resist the temptation to sin. Others contend that sin needs to be overcome. Hence they fight with sin all the time, hoping ...
  7. Premillennialism vs. Amillennialism

    Quote Originally Posted by soterion
    Mark 1:14-15 teaches that the time for the kingdom to be established was fulfilled and that it was at hand when Christ first came, not 2,000+ years later when He will someday return.

    Acts 2:22-36 teaches that Jesus was seated on the throne of David when He was resurrected and exalted to the right hand of God.

    1 Corinthians 15:20-28 teaches that when Christ returns, He will deliver up the kingdom to God. The kingdom will not begin on earth when He comes back; rather, it's existence on the earth will end.
    How do you know the "gospel of the kingdom of God" is the 1000 years where Satan "should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled" (Rev. 20.3)? Are not the nations deceived still now with wars and rumors of wars? Whereas “the kingdom of God is righteous and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14.17). "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison" (Rev. 20.7). Was Satan in prison prior to Jesus? or is Satan in prison now with 10,000 children dying every day due to starvation? Overcomers in Christ "shall reign with him a thousand years" (v.6). Who is reigning over the nations now in the highest positions of government (2.26,27) certainly not believers? Could it be Jesus at the right hand of the Father does not mean He is reigning on earth for 1000 years right now?

    Let us review the things we have already seen previously concerning the kingdom of heaven. After the birth of Christ, there comes one who prepares the way for Him. His name is John, and he proclaims that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The Lord, together with the apostles whom He sends forth, announce the same news. What does it mean? Later on, as noted in chapters 8 and 9, we see that the Lord heals the sick and casts out demons, and that all these are closely related to the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5-7 speaks of the nature of the kingdom of heaven: which is, that those who belong to this kingdom are absolutely righteous towards themselves, absolutely gracious towards others, and absolutely pure towards God. In Matthew 10 we learn that the Lord sends out His apostles. And in Matthew 11-12 we see that a great transition begins occurring, as though the kingdom of heaven is now being taken away from the Jews.

    Now with regard to the kingdom of heaven found spoken of in Matthew 13, some interpreters have asserted ...
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