Author: Christopher
•9:21 AM

            Before I was saved, I was involved in the occult. This involvement gave me a different perspective than most. I was not in awe of the so-called miraculous proofs spoken of in the Bible. I personally knew what it was like to have visions of future events and to experience supernatural visitations. I had firsthand knowledge of astral projection, telekinesis, ESP, etc. I was lost, but I knew what spiritual power was. One day, as a high school senior, I passed a book that had been left in a stairway. As I did so, I unconsciously changed my course, and moved away from it. The realization of what I had just done brought me to a halt. Wonderingly, I bent and picked up the book; it was a commentary on the book of Revelation. I took it upstairs and turned to the first page. While reading, I came to realize that the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed himself to be God through the fulfillment of prophecies, through the performance of miracles, and through the resurrection from the dead.

            Much has been written on the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed himself to be God  through the fulfillment of prophecies. And, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of specific prophecies regarding Christ which he is said to have fulfilled. His humanity was foretold (Genesis 3:15). His lineage though Abraham (Genesis 12:3), Isaac (Genesis 17:19), and Jacob (Genesis 28:14), and many others was also foretold.There are prophecies regarding his life, and his death. Zechariah foretells his betrayal for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13). It is also prophesied that his death would be bloody (Leviticus 17:11) and sacrificial (Exodus 12:21). It is even written that God would forsake him (Psalm 22:1). So many are the prophecies regarding Christ, that Acts 10:43 declares, “To him give all the prophets witness” (King James Version). However, though they are many, prior to my own salvation, these prophecies and their fulfillments did not impress me. I did not believe that these prophecies were written prior to their fulfillment. Maybe they were written after the fact? And not only this, but like others involved in the occult, I myself had seen the future on several occasions. I did not see God’s hand in these things.

            But more than through fulfilling prophecies, the Lord Jesus Christ also revealed himself to be God through the performance of miracles. During his ministry, he healed many sick people (Matthew 4:24, 14:14, 19:2). He also controlled the weather (Luke 8:24). He multiplied food (Mark 6:41). And, he also did many other things “which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25). However, prior to my salvation, I knew it was possible to experience supernatural power and not be God. The Bible itself tells us that Pharaoh’s wise men cast down their rods, and these also became serpents (Exodus 7:12). Moreover, I had read of holy men in India who could control the weather, and of medicine men who could heal the body and mind. And, if healing the sick meant that Jesus was God, what did that make Peter whose shadow could heal the sick (Acts 5:15)? No, these miracles did not prove anything to me.

            But it is not just the prophecies and the miracles, the Lord Jesus Christ has also revealed himself to be God through the resurrection from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ stands alone in the history of mankind. Not only is his defeat of death the subject of prophecy (Hosea 13:14), but it is also attested to by many historical witnesses (I Corinthians 15:6). The New Testament declares that Jesus is indeed alive today and “for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). But, again, prior to my salvation,such testimony did not sway me. It was recorded in the Bible, and I did not believe that the Bible was true. I did not believe the witnesses. After all, it all could be lies and “cunningly devised fables” (II Peter 1:16). None of these things moved me.

            So what did change my mind? First off, it was not a ‘what’ that changed my mind; it was a ‘Who.’ Because the Lord Jesus is risen from the dead, he is alive right now. And,it was he who changed my mind. He sought me when I was lost (Luke 15:4), and he revealed himself to me just as plainly as he did to Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3). His reality overcame my doubts. He himself is the one proof which cannot be reasoned away. And so, while it is true that the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed himself to be God through the fulfillment of prophecies,through the performance of miracles, and through the resurrection from the dead, the greatest proof – the most convincing one – is that the Lord Jesus Christ still reveals himself to us today.

Author: Christopher
•4:30 PM




Some of my posts are a little off the wall, and this one is even more out there than most. Stay with me though and we may learn something together.

Many, many years ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with a very painful condition. She was in the beginning stages of shingles. As you probably know, this condition occurs when the chicken pox virus which has laid dormant for some years in the lining of a nerve, wakes up. It is very painful. 

She asked me to read her something from the Bible. When I asked, "What?" She replied, "Anything. It's all good." So I started reading the Gospel of John. Several hours later, I finished. I had read the entire book out loud.

I believe her mother must have come to get her because she was not present with my other friends and I later that night. (This was, as I said, a long time ago and some details are fuzzy.) One of us said that her father went to a church where they didn't lock the door at night. She asked if we wanted to sneak in and pray for our friend who had the shingles.

Three of us crept into the dark church building that night and sat in the main aisle. We were in the middle of the aisle. The other two prayed first. I remember that an electrical current was flowing through my entire body. At first, I had noticed it in my hands, but eventually it was coursing through all of me. Have you ever held onto an electrical generator? That's what it felt like, except there was no pain.

I couldn't move. I couldn't open my mouth. Well, to clarify, I could move but with great difficulty. It was as though I had been opened up and liquid electricity had been poured into me. This seemed to have short-circuited my own muscles.

Side note: After this occurrence, there were several times when I would have the electrical current feeling in my hands only, but never anything like this.  It happened once when I was street preaching, and several times when I was praying.

Back to the story. 

Just recently, I was reading of a Christian faith healer who mentioned this physical sensation of grabbing onto an "electric dynamo" when he was in the process of healing people. He said that it was like the "power of God" was coursing through him. 

So, I googled this. Apparently, this feeling does happen during intercessory prayer. 

Hmmmm...

And, I just read of a lady in the 1800's who felt the "power of God" in her hands when she was praying for her son. The boy had just cut himself deeply with an axe. His mother had gone into the other room to pray. She felt something in her hands, and came out of the back room to pray for her son. The bleeding stopped. She went and prayed again. Then she laid hands on him again, and the wound closed. She kept doing this until the would was quite healed.

I wonder if through my own ignorance, I missed the opportunity to heal my friend of shingles? 

I had just read 21 chapters of the Bible out loud. I was praying fervently for her healing. I was with a group of believers. I was full of faith.

I really think I missed it.




Author: Christopher
•8:36 AM
When I arrived at work this morning a little before 8am, I noticed that we didn't have any coffee. Since life without coffee is not going to happen, and since the boss let's us purchase coffee on the company card, I headed out to the closest store, a CVS. 

At CVS, I headed straight back to where the coffee k-cups are at, and then I picked up some creamer, too (just in case). I had been really wanting some munchie snacks for later, and since I love chocolate chip cookies, I grabbed a 10 for $10 special. It would cost me a buck.

Or, I could put it on the company card. It was after all, only one dollar.

Noboday would know.

I would. And, God would.

But, it was just a dollar.

Then a thought came to my mind: the supernatural can only happen in a pure heart with an honest mind.

So, I decided that I would rather have God on my side, and pay for my own cookies.

I set down the coffee and creamer, and said to the lady that the cookies would be on a different card. She rang them up on the company card.

Then she rang up the cookies, and without my asking, she scanned the $1 OFF coupon that showed up after the coffee...and I got my cookies for free.

A little lesson this morning. God only works with truth.

*munch munch*
Author: Christopher
•4:48 PM
There's an old saying that Christians sometimes use to refer to the new birth, "Born once, die twice, born twice, die once." The nonbeliever will die both spiritually and physically, but the born again believer will only die physically. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that "it is appointed unto men once to die" and that is the end of that.

But wait a second, what about reincarnation?




Most believers take belief about reincarnation and lump it under the heading lies-the-devil-tells-some-people, and then summarily dismiss it. I used to do it myself.  It's a deception plain and simple.

And yet it isn't plain and simple. At least not to me anyway. I saw a story once about a young boy who remembered growing up in a different county. He was able to direct his parents to his 'old' house; he knew things that he just shouldn't know. He could describe the inside of the house without ever having been inside it. This story changed my view on reincarnation.

It wasn't that I questioned the biblical idea of dying once. It just brought this topic of reincarnation out into the open where it couldn't just be dismissed with a thoughtless wave. And there are a number of similar cases of children recalling past lives -- just Google it.

Well, I think I have found the answer to this puzzle, or at least it is one that satisfies me. I have been reading a book titled The Field by Lynne McTaggart. It's all about the latest scientific research in the ZPE field, aka the ether. In this book, one of the physicists makes the startling discovery that memories are NOT stored in the brain. They are instead stored outside the brain in the ZPE field (this is the extremely powerful quantum field that underlies everything and permeates everything). Indeed, it is speculated that the ZPE field stores all information that has ever existed! (I realize that such an idea may be very foreign to you if you think of your brain as a computer, but prior to the invention of the computer, the brain was thought of as a lens focusing light, personality, etc. In those days, ideas came from God from outside the body. Inspiration means exactly that.)

Now, if my memories are stored outside my brain, it is quite possible that every once in awhile somebody else might accidentally link into it and get the wrong memories. It's like two computers with the same IP address or two houses with the same mailbox number -- sometimes the mail gets sent to the wrong house!

There is some evidence that yogi masters can access the ZPE field by inducing an alpha state in their brain waves. This same thing occurs when people are hypnotized. If that's so, then it also helps to explain why people who are hypnotized often come away with memories of past lives. They accidentally link up to the wrong address when they were under hypnosis. They experience genuine memories!

I like this argument a lot. It allows the Bible to be true while also allowing that, at times and under certain situations, some people do have memories of past lives. It also enables a skeptic like myself to say that just because you remember living that life does not mean that you are the one who actually lived it; it just means that you remember it.

What do you think?






Author: Christopher
•8:57 PM
This is my answer to a friend's post about the God of the OT who seems so contrary to the grace of the NT:

 I have gone through many of these same thoughts myself. I finally heard a fella say something last year that really helped me with the OT stuff.

The basic premise goes like this: When people reject God, they
also reject grace. And, especially with the nation of Israel, this is so true.

Back then, it was as if Israel stood before God and said, "Let us see what it's like to live a life without grace." They refused Him and all that he is.

And God gave them what they asked for. He gave them hard religion, curses, plagues and death.

What I mean is God was NOT showing them what He was like, He was showing them precisely what HE is NOT like.

Read that again.

This makes what Jesus said even more amazing. He healed, he fed, he comforted, he wept, he forgave, etc., and then He said, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father."

It was as if He were answering this question that you and so many others have raised, "Is this murderous tyrant really God?" (paraphrased) No. It isn't.

That is life without God. That is life without grace.
Author: Christopher
•1:25 PM
After a year in a dark cell with his freedom taken away, John the Baptist wondered about this One whom he had proclaimed as the Messiah. Where was the kingdom? "Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?" (Luke 7)

But Jesus replied, "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

God is God and He does it His way, not ours, in His time not ours. 

And John was left in the prison. He died there. 

Wow, I can so identify with this! Like John, I have proclaimed the Lamb. I have seen heaven opened as it were. I have seen the multitudes repent and turn to the Lord. But now, for the last four years, I have not had a pulpit. I have not had a congregation. I feel shackled and locked up.

Lord Jesus, did I do it right? If I did, then why have I been set aside? Why am I voiceless in this wilderness? All I want is to stand before the people and shout the grace of God, and to be heard.

Will I die here? Without ever preaching again? Without ever seeing another soul turn to you?

I am tempted to be offended at You. I am tempted to despise the darkness and the loneliness. 

In my heart is anguish and jealousy and frustration. 

I wish I could send you a messenger like John did. 

Maybe then You would answer.

 


Author: Christopher
•3:44 PM
Men want to prolong life. They don't want it to fade. They don't want it to end. They are afraid of it ending.

But not so with God. God has full confidence in his own resurrection power. God does not feel the need to prolong life. He knows that when a life ends, it can be resurrected to a newer, better life; A prolonged life only drags out the dying.

But men don't understand this. When the Lord Jesus mentioned that he would be crucified and then raised from the dead, Peter's response was, "This shall not be unto thee!" (Matt. 16).  Peter was not saying that Jesus shouldn't rise from the dead. He couldn't see that far. He couldn't see past the dying part. He didn't want Christ to die. The minds of men can only see up to death; they can not see through the death to the resurrection.

But God can and often does. Have you ever noticed that many of the miracles in our lives are not prolonging a life, but resurrecting a new one?

The treads on my car tires had begun to wear through. I prayed for God to reveal his mighty resurrection power. Well, that's not really what I prayed. What I really prayed was, "Lord, I need new tires. Please give me new tires." No sooner had I spoken the words than the left front tire blew out. God had allowed it to die. This was scary for me because in my human mind I wanted the new tires without the death of the old ones. But that is not how resurrection power works. It can't be raised to new life (quickened) unless it first dies (I Corinthians 15:36).

And God gave me new tires.

One day while I was at work, my wife called me. "Honey, the clothes dryer is on FIRE." After making sure that the right people had been notified, I hung up the phone and began dancing around the office with a big smile on my face. My boss wondered what had happened. I told him that we were getting a new dryer! Then I explained that God had allowed our old dryer to die, which could only mean one thing (since we obviously needed a clothes dryer), we were going to get a better dryer!

And, of course, we did.

When my job died, I wasn't so happy about it. I prayed the prayers of prolonging for months, but things at work just got worse. The dying was being dragged out. I was scared that one day I would arrive at work to find that we were permanently closed. Oh, how I worried and prayed. And, I sent out resumes and more resumes. But no hope came. Then just when I was as terrified as could be, God made a way through death. That job died, and a new and better one sprung up in its place.

God has full confidence in his resurrection power. Because of this confidence, he often will let that which we want or need the most to be taken away from us. He lets it die in order to answer our prayers. And he gives us a new life, a new job, a new set of tires.

So, maybe we need to stop praying for the situation to keep going.

Maybe we need to have more faith in God.

And pray for something new.