A Remarkable Occurrence, by Werner Keller

via: The Bible as History, A Confirmation of the Book of Books

About 1050 B.C. Israel’s very existence was threatened. It saw itself to be on the point of losing all the fruits of its conquests and all its work of colonization, which had gone on almost two hundred years. It was on the verge of falling under the yoke of the Philistines and facing an existence of hopeless slavery. The only way to meet this frightful peril would be to amalgamate the loosely federated tribes and form a solid united front. It was in the face of this pressure from without that Israel became a nation. In those days there was only one possible form of government, a monarchy. The choice fell upon Saul, a Benjamite, a man renowned for his bravery and his great height. (I Sam. 9:2) It was a wise choice, for Saul belonged to the weakest tribe (I Sam. 9: 21), and the remaining tribes would therefore have no cause to be jealous.

Saul constituted his native town Gibeah as the capital (I Sam. 10:26; 11:4), collected round him a small standing army, and began guerrilla warfare. (I Sam. 13:1ff.) By surprise attacks he hunted the Philistine occupation troops out of the tribal territory.

That Saul was a tactician of a high order has recently, after 3000 years, been demonstrated anew. One example, unique in its way, shows how accurate the Bible is even in the smallest details and how reliable are its dates and information.

We owe to Major Vivian Gilbert, a British Army officer, this description of a truly remarkable occurrence. Writing in his reminiscences [The Romance of the Last Crusade], he says: “In the First World War a brigade major in Allenby’s army in Palestine was on one occasion searching his Bible with the light of a candle, looking for a certain name. His brigade had received orders to take a village that stood on a rocky prominence on the other side of a deep valley. It was called Michmash and the name seemed somehow familiar. Eventually he found it in I Samuel 15 and read there: ‘And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.’ It then went on to tell how Jonathan and his armor-bearer crossed over during the night ‘to the Philistines’ garrison’ on the other side, and how they passed two sharp rocks: ‘there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez and the name of the other Seneh.’ [I Sam. 14:4] They clambered up the cliff and overpowered the garrison ‘within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plough.’ The main body of the enemy awakened by the melee thought they were surrounded by Saul’s troops and ‘melted away and they went on beating down one another.’ [I Sam. 14:14-16]” Thereupon Saul attacked with his whole force and beat the enemy, “So the Lord saved Israel that day.”

The brigade major reflected that there must still be this narrow passage through the rocks, between the two spurs, and at the end of it the “half acre of land.” He woke the commander and they read the passage through together once more. Patrols were sent out. They found the pass, which was thinly held by the Turks, and which led past two jagged rocks—obviously Bozez and Seneh. Up on top, beside Michmash they could see by the light of the moon a small flat field. The brigadier altered his plan of attack. Instead of deploying the whole brigade, he sent one company through the pass under cover of darkness. The few Turks whom they met were overpowered without a sound, the cliffs were scaled, and shortly before daybreak the company had taken up a position on “the half acre of land.”

The Turks woke up and took to their heels in disorder since they thought that they were being surrounded by Allenby’s army. They were all killed or taken prisoner.

“And so,” concludes Major Gilbert, “after thousands of years British troops successfully copied the tactics of Saul and Jonathan.”

“The Bible as History, A Confirmation of the Book of Books” (1956) pages 178-179 by Werner Keller

I Am A Christian

Sometimes when we look a the religious landscape around us we may be startled by the copious number of groups claiming to be following after Christ. I have often be queried and questioned along the lines of “what denomination are you”; “What do you believe” and other similar thoughts. As I write this I have been a Christian for almost 12 years. Looking back, I should have written something like this years ago. It might have helped both myself and members of my immediate family understand some of my faith a little clearer and staved off some of the misunderstandings that arise from time to time. I hope that as you read this, you will gain insight into the truth that is God’s Word.

The word Christian is used specifically in three bible passages:

•1 Peter 4:16

•“But if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name.”

•Acts 11:26

•“The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

•Acts 26:28

•“You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

In 1 Peter chapter 4, verses 15 -19, we find the following text:

As you read the text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Wears name glorifying God
  • Part of house of God
  • Has obeyed the gospel
  • Is “Righteous” – “Saved”
  • Acts “according to the will of God”
  • Involved in well-doing as defined by Creator

By way of contrast one would not be a Christian if they:

  • Wear a name glorifying one other than God
  • Not part of the house of God
  • Have not obeyed the gospel
  • “Ungodly” – “Sinner”
  • Acts contrary to the will of God
  • Involved in well-doing as defined by man

This simple text helps us understand that simply declaring yourself to be a Christian does not necessarily make it so. In the world about us we find many who would cling to the name Christian even though they have no part or parcel of the work of and for Christ. Dear reader ask your self the question, where do I find myself in the text of 1 Peter 4:15-19? Have I obeyed the Gospel? or am I still in rebellion to Christ?

Consider that if you were to follow after the ideal of many well intentioned folks and lean upon a creed book, or some other religious manual, they do not create Christians as shown in the bible, they create just what was indented by their authors, orthodox Baptists, Methodists, Catholics and the such-like as shown below.

The next text that we will look at is Acts chapter 11, verses 21-26

In this second text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Is a believer who has turned to the Lord
  • Is a member of the same church as in New Testament time
  • Is one who is added to the Lord
  • Is a disciple of Christ

Again, by way of contrast one would not be a Christian if they:

  • Are an unbeliever who has not turned to the Lord
  • Are a member of church not found in New Testament time
  • Are one who is added to human organization
  • Are a disciple of man

In Acts chapter 11 we find the import reference to the facts that disciples of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch. Note how the word was used. It describes them, the people the very ones of turned to the Lord. It was not used to denote a school, a home, or any such thing, it identifies whom they follow. To often do we find that the name of Christ has been sullied by it’s use in areas that He did not command! Dear reader, again ask your self the question, where do I find myself in the text of Acts 11:21-26? Have to the Lord? or am I running far from him?

The final primary text that we will look at is Acts chapter 26, verses 27-29

In this last text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Believes the preaching about Jesus
  • Is persuaded to become a follower of Christ
  • Obeys the same gospel obeyed by Paul

In this, the last of our three texts, Acts chapter 26, the apostle Paul is preaching to King Agrippa. The King asserts in response to Paul’s preaching that he could become a Christian. Paul Replied that he could and in so doing he would become such as Paul was. Looking back in the life of Paul we can note four Bible passages.

Acts 22:16

16’And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

Dear reader, ask your self the question, Have I been baptized like the apostle Paul? if not then how can you claim to be a Christian?

Romans 6:3-11

3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Dear reader, ask your self a question, Have I been baptized into Christ so I can be baptized into His Death? if not then how can you hope in the resurrection?

Acts 19:1-5

1And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, 2and he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Dear reader, ask your self a question, Have I been baptized as Christ commanded? Even though you may have been immersed, it does not mean your sins were washed away.

1 Corinthians 12:13
13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Dear reader, Finally ask your self this question, to whom am I joined. If you are baptized such as Paul was then you will be baptized into one body, Christ’s body!

Who Wrote the Gospels? Audio and Video by Tim McGrew

Via: www.apologetics315.com

Who Wrote the Gospels? Audio and Video by Tim McGrew“Who wrote the Gospels? Are there good reasons to attribute their authorship to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? In this talk, Dr. Timothy McGrew lays out the case for the traditional authorship of the Gospels, while countering Bart Ehrman‘s claims that the Gospels are forgeries. This is one hour of content followed by twenty minutes of Q&A. PowerPoint file is hereNoteshere! Visit the Library of Historical Apologetics.

Full MP3 Audio here(1hr 45min)
Video on YouTube here.”

External Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Video

Via: www.apologetics315.com

External Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Video“In this lecture, entitled External Evidences for the Truth of the GospelsDr. Timothy McGrew maps out the external and internal evidence bearing on the authenticity of the Gospels and explores some of the positive external evidence for their truthfulness. These include non-Christian sources and incidental historical confirmations. This is one hour of content followed by thirty minutes of Q&A. PowerPoint file is here. Visit theLibrary of Historical Apologetics.

Full MP3 Audio here(1hr 30min)
Video on YouTube here.”

Internal Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Video

Via: www.apologetics315.com

“In this lecture, entitled Internal Evidences for the Truth of the GospelsDr. Timothy McGrew presents inteInternal Evidence for the Gospels by Timothy McGrew Audio and Videornalevidence bearing on the authenticity of the Gospels, with a special emphasis on undesigned coincidences in the Gospel accounts. This is about 45 minutes of content followed by fifteen minutes of Q&A. PowerPoint file is here. Handout PDF here. Visit the Library of Historical Apologetics. This is the third of a series—part 1 herepart 2 here.

Full MP3 Audio here(1hr 30min)

Video on YouTube here.”

An Introduction to the study of Christian Evidences

The workbook we are following can be found here: Evidences Workbook: edited by Harry Osborne

2012.01.15 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 01
2012.01.22 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 02
2012.01.29 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 03
2012.02.05 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 04
2012.02.12 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 05
2012.02.19 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 06
2012.02.26 – Phillip W. Martin . am Bible study – 07

Gospel Meeting with Jesse Flowers, September 2008