Passion Week Chronology in Detail

I will try to convert the Chronological Chart as given in Roy M. Allen’s book, Three Days in the Grave, to semi-outline form. I am very limited in what I can do from my keyboard on this site with regard to format. A chart, which is two-dimensional, is difficult to represent here, so bear with me. It is the information that counts. Obviously, a week has only seven days, but when considering the events of the Passion Week, we must start a few days before the week itself to establish the starting point of the chronology.

THE TEN DAYS OF THE PASSION WEEK

Day One

Nisan 8th day.  Jewish  Day: 6th day.  Modern Day: Friday

Events:  Daytime.

Arrival at Bethany. John 12:1

“Six days before the Passover” (John 12:1)

The supper and anointing. John 12:2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Time: our Friday night.

Day Two

Nisan 9th day.  Jewish Day:  7th day Sabbath. Modern Day: Saturday

Events:  Daytime

The Curious Crowd.  John 12:9

Day Three

Nisan 10th day.  Jewish Day: 1st day.  Modern Day: Sunday

Events:  Daytime

The lamb set aside

The Triumphal Entry:  John 12:12, 13, 14, 15

Events:  Night time

Return to Bethany:  Mark 11:11

Day Four

Nisan 11th day.  Jewish Day:  2nd day.  Modern Day:  Monday

Events: Daytime

Return to Jerusalem

The Fig Tree Cursed:  Mark 11:12, 13, 14

The Temple Cleansed:  Mark 11:15

Events:  Night time

Return to Bethany:  Mark 11:19

Day Five

Nisan 12th day.  Jewish Day:  3rd day.  Modern Day:  Tuesday

Events:  Daytime

Return to Jerusalem

The Fig Tree is Found Dead:  Mark 11:20

Olivet Discourse on the way to Bethany:  Matthew chapter 24, 25

Two Days before the Passover:  Matthew 26:2

Day Six

Nisan 13th day. Jewish Day:  4th day.  Modern Day: Wednesday

Daytime Events

Disciples sent to make preparation:  Luke 22:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Night time events:

Jesus and disciples go to Jerusalem

The “Last Supper” eaten

[My Note:  In answer to the question, “Did Jesus eat the Passover?,” the answer is clearly NO, as this chronology proves]

Day Seven

Nisan 14th day. Passover. Jewish Day: 5th day.  Modern Day: Thursday.  Preparation Day for the Feast of the Passover.

Night time events:

Jesus Arrested [at night, our time just past midnight so on Thursday morning]

Jesus condemned

Daytime events:

THE DAY:  The Crucifixion

Jesus dies:  descends to the Heart of the Earth. Matthew 12:40.  The lamb slain. [my note: our 3:00 pm].

“The First Day”

Night time events:

“The First Night” [This begins in fulfillment of the type prophecy of Hosea 6:2, The “Two Days”]

Day Eight

Nisan 15th day. Jewish Day:  6th day. The Passover Sabbath. Preparation of the Sabbath.  Feast of the Passover:  The lamb eaten. Modern Day: Friday

The Second Day

“The First Day Since”

The Second Night

Day Nine

Nisan 16th day.  Jewish Day: 7th day Sabbath. Modern Day: Saturday

Night time events:

“In the third day” (Hosea 6:2)

The Third Day

“The Second Day Since”

The Third Night

Day Ten

Nisan 17th day. Jewish Day: 1st day. Modern Day: Sunday

Night time events:

“Raised again the third day”:  John 20:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

“The third day since” (Luke 24:21)

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:14, 15, 16)

Jesus appears to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus

Jesus appears to Peter (1 Corinthians 15:5)

Night time events:

Jesus appears in the Upper Room (John 20:19)

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The importance of getting Bible interpretation right

The Nugget:

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

My Comment:

It is most important that when we read and study the Bible that we leave our denominational and school of theology blinders off and read the text for what it actually says.

The Issue:

Most of us initially “get it wrong” on some very important Bible teachings. In my studies of the Bible I have learned that most readers and most Bible scholars have a totally mistaken understanding of what the Bible teaches regarding the Atonement of Christ. This is a crucially important issue.

Another issue about which very few are aware is the matter of just what day of the week was Jesus crucified. I ran across that issue today when reading a challenge on this topic posted in a Facebook site titled “Christian and Muslim Theological Discourse.” Here is the response I just wrote:

My Response:

Unfortunately, the Muslims do not understand the Bible correctly. Many Christians do not understand the Bible correctly either.
 
But Muslims more than 500 years after the fact mistakenly believe they can legitimately rewrite history to their liking. Obviously, they are logically, historically, and factually wrong.
 
Most certainly from the primary historical documents found in the New Testament, the record shows Jesus died on the cross of Calvary.
 
As for the question about three days and three nights, this is a complex question which would take a full book to explain. It turns out that I discovered I have a book in my personal print library that fully explains this issue. I believe I bought the book more than 50 years ago. Apparently, this book is now very rare. It was published in 1942 in an edition of 2000 copies. The author is Roy M. Allen. The book is titled Three Days in the Grave. This hardbound book is 159 pages long. It contains a fold-out chart which graphically presents the full chronology of the events of the Passion Week. The author was a scientist who wrote an article on optics for the Encyclopedia Britannica.
 
Some students of the Bible believe Jesus died on Wednesday. Most students of the Bible believe Jesus died on Friday. The biblical evidence when considered fully and accurately shows the Bible records that Jesus died on the cross on Thursday.
 
The author was motivated to conduct his exhaustive study of this issue when he carefully considered two verses:  Matthew 12:40 and Luke 24:21.
 
Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 
 
Luk 24:21  But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
 
If Sunday (the First Day of the week) is the third day SINCE these things were done, then:
 
Saturday, the Seventh Day of the week is the second day since these things were done;
 
Friday, the sixth day of the week is the first day SINCE these things were done.
 
Therefore, “these things” were done on Thursday. “These things,” of course, were the events of the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ.
 
It is NOT stated in Scripture that the body of Jesus Christ was interred for three days and three nights. Rather it is His soul or spirit (these are accounted as being the same in Scripture) was to be “in the heart of the earth” for this time period. The body of Jesus was not buried in the heart of the earth but in the rock-hewn new tomb of Joseph of Arimathea where it was embalmed and laid to rest above ground.
 
Jesus promised the repentant thief on the cross next to Him that “today thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Before the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ “paradise” was in Hades (Greek) or Sheol (Hebrew), spoken of as in the heart of the earth, and revealed and explained by Jesus Himself as having two divisions, between which there was a “great gulf fixed” (Luke 16:26), one division or side was for the unrighteous dead, the other division was the abode of the righteous UNTIL the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day (see Ephesians 4:8 and related passages in the Bible).
 
Therefore, the time that the body of Jesus was dead involved a longer period of time than the time the body was interred in the grave until His resurrection, and this difference helps to account for the literal three days and three nights of Matthew 12:40.
 

So, Adeleke Issa, it is not the body of Jesus that is involved in this question, for it was not in the tomb for the full three days and three nights, as you correctly state. Rather, the time specified pertains to how long Jesus was dead until His bodily resurrection. And that time span does correspond to the specified “three days and three nights.”

So Why Does It Matter?

Jesus commanded us to share His Gospel to every person (Mark 16:15).

We make it far more difficult for others to believe the Gospel if we do not have the details of the Gospel correct ourselves!

That is why every Christian must study the Bible carefully to learn how to “rightly divide the word of truth” in a manner that is correct and understandable to others. That is what Real Bible Study is all about!

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The Bible was too poorly written to be inspired by God

My Comment:

I saw the following Muslim claim about the Bible. I decided to post my responses here.

The Muslim claims and my responses:

(1) “The Bible was too poorly written to have been inspired by God.”
 
This is a statement of opinion not based on fact.
 
(2) “It doesn’t take a lot of linguistic knowledge to assess the Bible’s literary quality as being deficient when compared to many books and novels of a secular nature.”
 
Again, a statement of opinion, mistaken at that, not fact.
 
In graduate school, I took all the linguistic courses available at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. I might know a tiny bit about linguistics. In my belief and understanding about linguistics, I consider your assertion to be unfounded.
 
It is not a legitimate criticism to compare the Bible to “many books and novels of a secular nature.” The Bible must be understood in the light of its purpose as well as in the light of the background culture of the authors who wrote it.
 
(3) “This is a problem for Christianity because it claims that the Bible was inspired if not fully dictated by a supreme being who by default must have writing skills superior to what any human could ever attain.”
 
Says who?
 
I have no problem believing in the divine verbal inspiration of the Bible. I have been studying this subject since 1954. I have a personal print library of many scholarly books written about this subject. I have studied those books for well over half a century. The evidence presented in these books is overwhelming and irrefutable. Besides what men may say about the Bible, we have the record of what God says about the Bible. I will take His word over yours.
 
2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 
 
Psalms 119:160
160  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
King James Version
 
Though the Bible is the inspired Word of God, God employed the varied writing styles of the individual authors to convey His truth to us. This does not imply nor does it require dictation.
 
2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 
 
But you or your unidentified source is correct that what is written in the Bible is beyond what any unassisted human writer could ever attain.
 
Only the Bible records detailed predictions of future events which have been proven to come true exactly as predicted. Accurate predictive prophecy is something human beings have not succeeded in providing, but it is found in the Bible.
 
(4) “Millions of evangelicals and other Christian fundamentalists believe that the Bible was dictated by God to men who acted essentially as human transcriptionists. If that were the case, one would have to conclude that God is a terrible writer. Many passages in the Bible would get kicked back by any competent editor or writing professor, kicked back with a lot of red ink—often more red than black.”
 
Says who?
 
Such claims against the Bible are mere nonsense. As for competent editors and writing professors, some have appointed me to these very positions. In my judgment, any editors or writing professors who would take such a stance against the Bible would merely be displaying their ignorance of the Bible.
 
(5) “Mixed messages, repetition, bad fact-checking, awkward constructions, inconsistent voice, weak character development, boring tangents, contradictions, passages where nobody can tell what the heck the writer meant to convey. This doesn’t sound like a book that was dictated by a deity.”
 
Anyone making such claims against the Bible is simply displaying their ignorance of the Bible.
 
I have frequently told my students that their criticisms of great literature, whether Shakespeare or the Bible, reveal more about themselves than the work of literature they think they are criticizing.
 
(6) “A well-written book should be clear and concise, with all factual statements accurate and characters neither two-dimensional nor plagued with multiple personality disorder—unless they actually are. A book written by a god should be some of the best writing ever produced.”
 
All factual statements in the Bible have been proven accurate. Only the Bible, among all written records and documents from ancient times that have survived to our time, gets the precise details of the ancient history it records exactly right, down to the very spelling of the names of ancient kings and kingdoms. See the writings of Dr. Robert Dick Wilson on this subject, as one excellent scholar who presents a vast amount of evidence to buttress his claims.
 
The Bible surely is the best writing ever produced as judged by those competent to make such a judgment.
 
(7) “Why does the Bible so fail to meet this mark? One obvious answer, of course, is that neither the Bible nor any other books . We humans may yearn for advice that is “god-breathed,” but in reality, our sacred texts were written by fallible human beings, who try as they might, fell short of perfection in the ways we all do.”
 
It looks like your copy-and-paste of your unacknowledged source is defective in this section.
 
But the general claim can be discerned. I disagree with the claim for it is unconvincing in terms of my knowledge and experience.
 
(8) “The textual quality of the Bible is there for anyone to judge, and the most objective reviews indicate that it is inferior to that produced by thousands of merely human authors. This is conclusive evidence that the Bible was not inspired, much less dictated, by a supernatural being.”
 
This paragraph was certainly written by someone not truly acquainted with the Bible or the many evidences that prove it to be divinely inspired. I knew this much when I was a teenager and wrote my senior English research paper on this very subject. I have posted my research paper on my own website earlier this year.
 
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The story of the temptation of Jesus is full of problems

The story of the temptation of Jesus is full of problems, as follows:
1. It is only mentioned in Mark, Matthew, and Luke, but not in John.
 
John wrote at a later date and did not encumber his Gospel with what was already fully documented in the Gospels written before his. John wrote with a specific purpose and organized his content accordingly:
 
Joh 20:30  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 
Joh 20:31  But 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. 
 
Therefore, this objection is invalid and a mere rationalization which ignores the evidence in the New Testament.
 
2. It supposedly happened after Jesus went into the desert and fasted for 40 days- a very unlikely occurrence and likely not survivable.
 
Jesus by trade was a carpenter, a young man of about thirty years of age, and without question in excellent physical health. There is no reason to doubt the account as given. This objection also is a mere rationalization advanced to assert a viewpoint contrary to the historical record given in the New Testament.
 
3. It involves the physical appearance of Satan and a highly unlikely conversation between the two.
 
Such an objection reflects the mere unbelief of those who deny the existence of the supernatural. It is, once again, a rationalization not based upon the facts presented in the historical record of the New Testament and the Bible as a whole.
 
4. It speaks of being on a tall mountain such that Jesus could see all of the kingdoms of the world, something that might make sense on a flat earth.
 
Such an objection assumes the objector knows more about what happened and where it took place than is revealed in the account itself. According to John 3:13 Jesus spoke of himself as being on earth and in heaven at the same time. If Jesus (John 1:48, 49) could see Nathaniel before they met for the first time and tell Nathaniel where he was in a manner that brought Nathaniel immediately to full faith in Jesus because of this fact, there is no reason to doubt Satan could show Jesus the kingdoms of the world of that day from whatever mountaintop he chose to do so.
 
5. It clearly lacked any witnesses other than Jesus and Satan.
 
To accept the implied problem requires that we must accuse Jesus and the Gospel writers of being untruthful, something even the enemies of Jesus were challenged on the spot to do, a challenge they could not meet.
 
Joh 8:45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 
Joh 8:46  Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 
Joh 8:47  He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. 
 
6. Jesus is tempted to worship Satan, but since Jesus was divine, such would not be a valid temptation, because Jesus could have attained everything Satan offered (turning stones into bread, jumping off the mountain safely, and taking over the kingdoms of the world) without needing to worship him.
 
From the record of the temptation itself and from the record in the rest of the Bible regarding the character and purpose of Satan himself, there is no reason to believe that Satan did not intend to cause our Lord Jesus Christ to fail at the very outset of His ministry. Satan chose what he knew would be the most opportune time to tempt Jesus–when Jesus would be weakened from His forty days of fasting. Yet Jesus “passed the test,” and so showed that He was fully qualified to do the work God appointed for Him to do.
 
If you acknowledge that Jesus was divine, then aware of this fact taught in the New Testament, you can hardly with any consistency put forth the kind of objections to the New Testament account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as you have posted here.
 
“It is unfortunate for Christianity that this mythical episode was documented in the gospels. It strains credulity, and it is not necessary to the overall message of the gospels. It does nothing to enhance the image of Jesus. Furthermore, it telegraphs the fact that other stories in the gospels are likely mythical- even those that otherwise sound plausible.”
 
There is no basis in fact to suppose that the record of the temptation of Christ is merely a “mythical episode.” It hardly “telegraphs the fact that the other stories in the gospels are likely mythical.” Luke begins his Gospel account with a statement that flatly contradicts such a notion:
 
Luk 1:1  Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 
Luk 1:2  Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 
Luk 1:3  It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 
Luk 1:4  That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. 
 
Luke continues his accounting in the book of Acts with this statement:
 
Act 1:1  The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 
Act 1:2  Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 
Act 1:3  To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 
 
Jesus Christ showed Himself alive after his physical death and bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day “by many infallible proofs.”
 
That rather firmly settles the question.

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Daily Bible Nugget #482, Hebrews 12:14 Part 5

The Nugget:

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 

My Comment:

I have been using the hymn “Take Time to Be Holy” to illustrate just what it means to follow or pursue diligently “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”

I suspect that for most readers, the subject of “holiness” is strange to your ears. It may not be talked about in most churches and it may not be a popular theme even on Christian radio. But you must focus carefully on this issue if you ever hope to see the Lord.

I have discussed in prior posts here the following clauses of the hymn “Take Time to Be Holy”:

Take time to be holy.
Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always,
And feed on His Word.
Make friends with God’s children;
Help those who are weak,

The next and final clause of the first stanza reads: “Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.”

I am thinking of a Bible verse which fits right in with this theme:

Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

If all we say or do can be done in the name of the Lord Jesus with thanks to God and the Father by Him we surely are meeting the standard the Bible has set for us to follow.

When I was a high school student at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, I wrote the following note or outline in my loose-leaf Bible:

Should you, or should you not?

  1. Be fully persuaded in your own mind (Romans 14:5)
  2. If there’s a doubt, it’s wrong–your conscience (Romans 14:23)
  3. Their conscience (1 Corinthians 10:29)
  4. If it offends none (1 Corinthians 10:32)
  5. If it pleases all (1 Corinthians 10:33)
  6. If it is to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
  7. If it is not a compromise (1 Corinthians 10:21)

1Jn 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 

Col 2:6  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 

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On what day of the week was Jesus crucified?

The Nuggets:

Luk 24:21  But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. (KJV)

Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  (KJV)

My Comment:

We have all been taught, and the Christian church as a whole have long recognized, that the crucifixion of Jesus took place on Friday.

Some few have argued that Wednesday must have been the actual day of the crucifixion.

From the clear statement of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus as they spoke to the stranger that began to accompany them as they returned home from Jerusalem, we learn just what day Jesus must have been crucified.

“And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.” That rather settles the matter. Since this was spoken on the third day, which was the first day of the week, our Sunday, it is simple to count back three days:

One day back would be Saturday, the Seventh Day of the week.

Two days back would be Friday.

Three days back must be Thursday.

There really is no honest way around this fact. A careful study of all the associated events given in the New Testament fully confirms this view.

Did you learn something new?

I did.

So I have changed my mind in terms of what I previously believed or assumed.

Will you?

Does it matter?

Indeed it does matter in principle. It is important to be faithful to what we learn the Bible teaches. It is necessary that we learn not to be so attached to our prior learning and assumptions and traditions that we become unable to respond to new insight as we study the Bible.

Does this mean we need to start yet another church that will conform its practice to this newly realized truth?

Of course not.

Just realize that time-honored institutional or cultural practices do not always conform accurately to the historical evidence recorded in the Bible.

Think I am mistaken? Please leave your comment below!

Posted in Doctrinal Discussions | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Calvinism compared to the Bible

The Nugget:

1 Thessalonians 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (KJV)

1Th 5:21 but continue to prove all things until you can approve them, and then hold on to what is good. (Williams NT)

My Comment:

We must come to the Bible with our eyes and hearts wide open to receive its truth. When we actually study the Bible and learn for ourselves what it says we will often learn something new that we had not noticed before. Sometimes when we learn something new, the newly learned truth will contradict what others have taught us about the Bible. We need to be willing to change our mind, and  renew our mind, as a result of what God teaches us from His Word.

I am always ready to learn something new from God’s Word, and am willing to change my mind about what I believe the Bible teaches when I am faced with enough evidence. Are you?

There is a search icon in the upper right-hand corner of this site but apparently only I can see it. My good friend Pastor Robert Anderson asked me for help in finding the articles I have written here that answer some of the mistaken doctrines of Calvinism. Here is my answer I wrote for him today, posted here for the convenience of others who may be interested in studying this matter for themselves.

The Question:

“Mr. Smith, which link deals with Calvinism? Could not find it. Is there a search button?”

My Answer:

There is a search pane in the upper right-hand corner but only I can see it! My sons have not had the time to see if they can make it public yet.

Here are some links to pages when I simply searched for “Calvinism”:

(1) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1521

(2) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=227

(3) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1932

(4) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1760

(5) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1744

(6) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1564

(7) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1537

(8) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1533

(9) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1491

(10) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1463

(11) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1455

(12) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1417

(13) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=1123

(14) http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=997

These are the most obvious search results using the single term “Calvinism.” Page 227 is the most often visited page on my site and is one of the most thorough refutations I have written of the so-called “five points of Calvinism.” But the other pages listed above should not be neglected.

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Daily Bible Nugget #481, Hebrews 12:14 Part 4

The Nugget:

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

My Comment:

If the Bible declares that there is an essential requirement that must be met in order to see the Lord, then it is imperative on our part that we learn what that requirement is and how to meet it.

Holiness is that requirement. “Holiness” is a strange word to modern ears. So let me continue to “unpack” just what is involved by explaining the message of the great hymn, “Take Time to Be Holy.”

So far I have explained and applied the following clauses:

(1) Take time to be holy
(2) Speak oft with thy Lord
(3) Abide in Him always
(4) And feed on His Word
(5) Make friends with God’s children

The next clause is “Help those who are weak”:

This everyone can do, and if we all did this in accordance with whatever natural or spiritual gifts God has granted each of us individually, many problems could be solved or at least alleviated.

Christians who know their Bibles can help those who do not know this wonderful and most important book in the world get to know it. Do this by answering Bible questions others ask of you. You never know just how much spiritual fruit in the life of the person will be made possible because of the truth you share with them.

If someone asks you a question about the Bible or your faith it would seem to me that you have an intrinsic right to answer the question, whether the ACLU or the Freedom From Religion Foundation like it or not. An accurate reading and understanding of the Bill of Rights would prove that freedom of speech is not limited to political speech but includes religious speech and speech about the Bible even in the public school classroom as in Mr. Smith’s English or history classrooms! The early church transformed the Roman Empire by communicating the Gospel to others by word of mouth even in that hostile environment. Christians today need to fearlessly share their faith with others so they too can have eternal life with God starting in the here and now (1 Peter 3:15; John 5:24; Acts 16:31). This is how to help those who are weak spiritually become strong.

Help those who are weak academically to do better in school. Read good books to children at home from the time before they are born until they have finished high school and even college. Home education is possible to do in every home and is most important. There are matters of history that are not taught well if at all in public or private school. The American founding fathers are not known well today. The reasoning that inspired the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution is almost unknown today. If the underlying reasoning were known, attacks against and restrictions upon the Second Amendment would not be what they are today. Encourage children, teenagers, and young adults to read the Bible. Learn to read and understand it in the King James Version. Why? When you reach the point where you can read the King James Version of the Bible with ease your reading comprehension should be hovering at the 12th grade or better reading level. This will provide a great academic as well as spiritual boost to everyone who does this.

Help those who are elderly. Take time to listen to what they have to say and teach you. Take time to help them get to where they need to go. I spent much time with an elderly gentleman who everyone that knew him called “Uncle Frank.” I learned much from him. I took him to wherever he needed to go. On Sunday I would sometimes have him help teach my high school Sunday school class. Uncle Frank said he really appreciated that.  I enjoyed reading the Bible to some elderly residents of a rest home that I passed each day as I walked home from school where I taught. I would step up on the veranda, take a seat, and read to them from my pocket New Testament or pocket Bible. Sometimes I visited elderly “shut-ins” with my pastor and read the Bible to them. They said they loved hearing God’s Word. See if you can find opportunities to help elderly people in your circle of contacts. Become a blessing to them.

It may be possible for you to help those who are weak economically by sharing what you have with them or otherwise finding ways to assist them (1 John 3:17;  Acts 20:35).

Just imagine how much love and joy we can spread to others if all of us take time to “help those who are weak.”

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Daily Bible Nugget #480, Psalm 34:4

The Nugget:

Psa 34:4  I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

My Comment:

Psalm 34:4 was a verse that I rested on after the events of March 13, 1986. I mentioned what happened on that date in the Preface of my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, where I wrote, “I almost did not live to finish my editorial work on the New Treasury, for I was shot in the head by an unknown assailant on March 13, 1986, when I had typed the text only as far as 1 Samuel 3. The Lord miraculously spared my life. During my recovery, I kept working on the book, often without income. This time away from teaching permitted a more thorough revision and expansion than I originally planned.”

I was knocked to the ground by the force of the shot, and I fell into the mud of the parking lot, breaking and losing my glasses. I was escorted—literally carried—by two teachers to the ambulance which had pulled up to the front entrance of the school where students were entering for the start of the school day. The students were laughing and making fun of me as if they were rejoicing that I had been shot. One of the two teachers was so upset at the behavior of the students that he gave his two-week notice and quit teaching.

I had been harassed and bullied by students every day at Southeastern High School. These were not my own students. My own students usually treated me with respect and appreciated that I was doing all I could to help them improve their reading comprehension skills. Other students came to my classroom door to hurl insults at me. They called me names. They constantly threatened me with physical harm. They threw textbooks at me and broke my glasses on one occasion. Before that two students broke into my locked classroom, ordered the ninth grade students to stand along the walls of the classroom, while the two intruders proceeded to hurl desks at me. I was hit in the head, and required stitches, and was out of school for a month recovering. When I appeared in court, the judge “hurled the book” at the two students and ordered them to be jailed for two years.

Another time a girl with a very short skirt came into my room during my world history class and sat in the upper-level seating and mocked me, asking if I enjoyed what I saw. She said she bet that I had never before seen what she was showing me. All the while she was “calling me out of my name” and using very foul language. When I reported the incident, absolutely nothing was done to her for such outrageous behavior.

Kindly forgive my rant, but when I read online where thankfully only a very few of my Christian acquaintances are posting “memes” and writing comments about “white privilege,” they do not know how hard it was for me to try to serve the Lord as a teacher in the black community when I am not black because of the persistent racism I was subjected to on the part of unruly students at Southeastern High School. I was in the minority, and I certainly was not benefiting from any so-called “white privilege.” Christian people of color need to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) and stop playing this unwinnable game of always being the victim, and always dwelling on the past.

What is needed is a focus on the present and how to reach minority students to help them be successful in life.

I learned by direct experience that what most students need is to (1) increase their level of reading comprehension and (2) learn to embrace moral and spiritual principles that will guide them well in life.

I solved the reading comprehension problem by writing my own self-instructional reading program which raised student achievement an average of two years in a single semester.

I solved the morality issue by sharing daily proverbs and quotations with my students and having them write about them. Students told me that the proverb and quotation weekly writing assignment turned their lives around.

Even visitors to my classroom (college coaches, college admissions officers on career day, etc.) remarked at how different my students were compared to the rest of the students they observed whether in other classrooms at my school or other schools in the city. They said my students were better behaved, more respectful, more focused, and knew where they wanted to go and knew how they were going to get there.

I have been the victim of “gun violence.” But I do not believe that we need more “gun control.” We need to understand and follow the Bill of Rights and Constitution in this country.

The First Amendment DOES NOT forbid me as a teacher from teaching morality and moral values to my students, including the morality of the Bible. That is what is needed to restore morality to this country.

The Second Amendment has a clause that reads “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” Most judges and legislators and even our current President, President Trump, seem not to fully understand what that clause means.

Guns are not the problem. People are. This includes people in law enforcement and the FBI who KNOWINGLY ignore alerts they receive that if followed up properly would prevent most of the “mass shootings” at places like our public schools and other “gun free zones.” Gun-free zones are a very bad idea. Criminals know they can carry out their murderous plans without the fear that anyone will be there who will shoot back.

Many if not most of the shooters in the mass murders that have taken place are between the ages of 16 and 25 who were also on the kind of drugs or medicines that contain warnings that the medicine is not to be given to patients in that age range because of the small but dangerous risk that the side effects of the drugs may lead them to commit such acts.

It looks to me like it is not a problem of guns but of improperly prescribed medicine.

It is not the problem of guns but of law enforcement officials who fail to act on alerts they receive that would let them know someone may engage in a mass shooting at a school.

It is not the problem of guns but of school administrators at all levels who gloss over student felonious behavior and fail to report such behavior so the school violence statistics won’t look so bad. It goes back to the moral principle I have stated often before:  Where there is no penalty, there is no law.

I am thankful that most of my minority students came from family backgrounds that were solidly Christian. My students at Southeastern High School and at Denby High School displayed more appreciation to me as a Christian teacher who cared for them than students I taught at a Christian school in Florida.

It was not my own students who gave me trouble, but the undisciplined and disrespectful students from elsewhere in the school who because of their assured anonymity felt free to cause me as much trouble as they could. And that problem lies squarely at the feet of school administrators who did not maintain proper control of the school. At Southeastern High School more students were wandering the halls during class time than were in classes. No wonder such schools start out with a ninth-grade class of 1000 students and graduate only 300 of them four years later.

 

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The Bible and Reincarnation

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT REINCARNATION?

by Vijay Chandra

The whole thrust of the Bible opposes reincarnation. It shows that man is the special creation of God [man is the apex of God’s creation]. Man was created in God’s image with both a material body and an immaterial soul and spirit. He is presented as ‘distinct’ and unique from all other creatures—angels and the animal kingdom alike.

The Bible also teaches that at death, while man’s body is mortal, decays and returns to dust, his soul and spirit continue on either in a place of torment for those who reject Christ or in paradise [heaven] in God’s presence for those who have trusted in the Savior Jesus Christ. Both categories of people will be resurrected, one to eternal judgment and the other to eternal life with a glorified body [John 5:25, 26, 27, 28, 29]. The emphatic statement of the Bible, as will be pointed out below, is that “it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment” [Hebrews 9:27].

 

This statement and the concept that mankind’s creation in God’s image is unique from animals and even angels stands totally opposed to the idea of ‘reincarnation’—dying and coming back as another person or in the form of an animal or insect, etc. The claim of some that they have information of their past history is nothing more than some kind of encounter with demonic powers who have been present throughout history. In the Hindu scriptures, this is emphasized and this puts fear in the hearts and minds of Hindus.

There are six basic theories.

The human race has come up with six theories about what happens to us when we die.

  1. Materialism: Nothing survives. Death ends all of me. Seldom held before the 18th century, materialism is now a strong minority view in the industrialized world. It leads to atheism.
  2. Paganism: A vague, shadowy semi-self or ghost survives and goes to the place of the ‘dead’—the dark gloomy underworld. This is the standard pagan belief. Traces of it can be found even in the O.T. Jewish notion of ‘sheol’. The ghost that survives is less alive, less substantial, less real than the flesh and the blood organism now living; it is something like a ‘ghost image’.
  3. Reincarnation: The individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body. Reincarnation is usually connected with the next belief, pantheism, by the notion of ‘karma’: that after the soul has fulfilled its destiny, and learned its lesson sufficiently, it reverts to a divine status or is absorbed into [or realizes its timeless identity with] the divine All.
  4. Pantheism: Death changes nothing, for what survives death is the same as what was real death, only the one, changeless, eternal, perfect, spiritual, divine all-inclusive. Reality is sometimes called by a name [Brahman] and sometimes not [as in Buddhism]. In this view—that of Eastern mysticism—all separateness, including time, is an ‘illusion’. Therefore, in this view, the very question of what happens after death is mistaken. The question is not solved but dissolved.
  5. Immortality: The individual soul survives death, but not the body. This soul eventually reaches its eternal destiny of heaven or hell, perhaps through intermediate stages, perhaps through reincarnation. But what survives is an individual, bodiless spirit. This is Platonism, often confused with Christianity.
  6. Resurrection: At death, the soul separates from the body and is reunited at the end of the world with its new, immortal, resurrected body by a divine miracle. This is the Christian view. This view, the supernatural resurrection of the body [1 Corinthians 15:1-25] rather than the natural immortality of the soul alone, is the only version of life after death in Scripture. It is dimly prophesied and hoped for in the Old Testament, but clearly revealed in the New Testament.

 

For both [5] and [6], the individual soul survives bodily death. That is the issue we shall deal with here. We do not take time to argue against paganism, reincarnation, or pantheism, but only against modern materialism [1] since that is the source of most of the philosophical arguments against immortality in our culture.

 

Why does Christianity reject Reincarnation?

We can give ten reasons for the rejection of the devilish doctrine of reincarnation:

This doctrine was developed to put fear into the hearts of Hindus and Buddhists.

  1. It is contradicted by scripture [Hebrews 9:27].
  2. It is contradicted by the orthodox tradition, in all churches.
  3. It would reduce the incarnation, referring to Christ’s incarnation [John 1:1-18, Philippians 2:5-11] to a mere appearance, the crucifixion to an accident, and Christ to one among many philosophers or ‘avatars’—a mere reincarnation. It would confuse what Christ did with what creatures do: incarnation with reincarnation.
  4. It implies that God made a mistake in designing our souls to live in bodies, that we are really our spirits in prison or angels in costume.
  5. It is contradicted by psychology and common sense, for its view of souls as imprisoned in alien bodies denies the natural psychosomatic unity.
  6. The false doctrine of reincarnation has a very low view of the body, as a prison, a punishment.
  7. It usually blames sin on the body and the body’s power to confuse and darken the mind. ‘This passing the buck’ from soul to body [just like Gnosticism] as well as from will to mind, confuses sin with ignorance.
  8. The idea that we are incarnated in order to learn lessons we failed to learn [so getting another chance to do good, etc.] in past earthly life is contrary to both common sense and basic educational psychology. I cannot learn something if there is no continuity of memory. I can learn from my mistakes only if I remember them. People do not remember these past ‘reincarnations’.
  9. The supposed evidence for reincarnation—remembering from past lives while under hypnosis or ‘past life regression’ can be explained—if they truly occur at all—as mental telepathy from other living beings, from the souls of the dead humans in purgatory or hell, or from demons. The real possibility of the latter should make us extremely skittish about opening our souls to ‘past life regression’.

    [It must be noted that while I agree with the demonic aspect, I do not agree with the idea of purgatory nor can I agree with the idea of the souls of the dead humans communicating with living people. The dead are confined, according to Scripture, and cannot reveal themselves. This is suggested in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 and the extreme surprise of the witch of Endor when she saw Samuel who was dead (1 Samuel 28:8 ff). She claimed to be a medium or one who contacts the dead, but when Saul requested that she contact Samuel and when God brought him forth, it startled her and brought great fear. This appeared to be her first experience with the real thing, i.e. with seeing the dead because this is normally not possible. When people do experience such experience or contact, what they are seeing or experiencing is better identified as demonic].

  10. Reincarnation cannot account for itself. Why are our souls imprisoned in bodies? Is it the just punishment for evils we committed in past reincarnations? But why were those past reincarnations necessary? For some reason at the beginning of the process that justly imprisoned our souls in bodies in the first place? This must have antedated the series of bodies. How could we have committed evil in the state of perfectly pure, heavenly spirituality? If we sinned in that paradise, it is not paradisiacal after all. Yet that is the state that reincarnation is supposed to lead us back to when all our embodied yearnings are over.

 

If the answer is given that our bodies are not penalties for sin but illusions of individuality, the pantheistic One becoming many in human consciousness, no reason can possibly be given for this. Indeed, Hinduism calls it simply [lila], a divine play. What a stupid game for God to play! All the world’s sins and suffering are reduced to meaninglessness.

And if evil is itself only illusory [the answer given by many Hindu Gurus and mystics] then the existence of this illusion is itself a real and not just illusory evil. Augustine makes this telling point:

 Where then is evil, and what is its source, and how has it crept into the creation? What is its root, what is its seed? Can it be that it is wholly without being? But why should we fear and be on guard against what is not? Or if our fear of it is groundless, then our very fear is itself an evil thing. For by it the heart is driven and tormented for no cause, and that evil is all the worse if there is nothing to fear yet we do fear, thus either there is evil which we fear, or the fact that we fear is evil [Confession, VII.5].

 

So what is the answer? It is found in the Holy Scripture, the Bible:

 

  • The first, most glaring dissimilarity between reincarnation and Biblical doctrine occurs in the idea of a recurring cycle of existence. Does each person live many times in the same or different form?
  • The answer from the Bible is “it is appointed for men once to die, and after this comes judgment” [Hebrews 9:27].
  • The Bible pictures death as a separation of the soul from the world, Christ himself describing death as God requiring man’s soul [Luke 12:20].
  • When a believer in Christ dies, rather than merely being promoted to a higher status for another lifetime, he or she enters his or her eternal estate, secured for him by God’s grace. The divinely inspired apostle said ‘We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and be home with the Lord’ [2 Corinthians 5:8]. Christ’s record of the rich man and Lazarus shows that both the saved and the unsaved enter their respective rewards following death [Luke 16:19-31].
  • So then, one’s life is not followed by an indefinite number of succeeding lifetimes. This vital difference established, more tangible differences emerge.
  • Classical ideas of reincarnation know nothing of a “Personal God” who enters a holy relationship with His creatures [John 3:1-16]. In fact, Ultimate reality is usually conceived as a cognitive process within man himself, rather than a personal God. Further, reincarnation schemes make men’s spiritual advancement contingent upon his mortal efforts, attempting to make merit outweigh demerit. Christianity shows, however, that salvation cannot be earned by sinful man, but rather, it is merited by Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection for all who believe [Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as the result of works; that no one should boast”.
  • Also, many theories of reincarnation hold that man’s spiritual, physical, and moral conditions are determined by a former life and therefore not under his control [Bible rejects this theory]. Physically, this has led to a passive, pessimistic acceptance of untold misery that was actually unnecessary. Spiritually, it is even more devastating. The Bible reveals that no one is bound in his sins against his or her will, and though born under Adam’s curse, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” [1 John 1:9]. As Isaiah says in Isaiah 1:18, through God’s forgiving grace, “though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow, they are red like crimson, they will be like wool”. Consequently, the Christian does not worry about his or her merit outweighing his demerit, for his or her sins have been forgiven, God having promised that “I will remember their sins no more” [Hebrews 8:12]. The Hindus or other religions that believe in reincarnation must deal with the sin issue. If, as they believe, by their good deeds they will come as human beings and if they continue with their sins and then die and coming as human beings again—it is like a prison house with no way out. Hindus need liberation from this devilish doctrine of reincarnation. It will only happen when Jesus Christ frees them from their sins.
  • Some people attempt to equate reincarnation with the Christian doctrine of the resurrection, but in doing so violate the meaning of both reincarnation and resurrection. Reincarnation advances a future life on earth, bound by similar constraints and physical laws while the resurrection speaks of that time when earthly bodies with all their accouterments will be transformed and fitted for their eternal estate [John 5:29]. Reincarnation holds that matter is essentially evil [Gnosticism’s teaching], while resurrection demonstrates that there is moral dualism between matter and spirit. Reincarnation posits a future life in a different body [or even a different physical order entirely], while resurrection promises that one’s body will take on a new, incorruptible glorified form. Describing the resurrection, Paul says [in 1 Corinthians 15:42, 44] “it is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body—it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body”. 

 

Dear Hindus – seek forgiveness of your sins through Jesus Christ or the doctrine of reincarnation will lead you to eternal hell from which there is no escape.

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