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Archive for the 'Brian Keating’s Articles' Category

Introduction

As most people know, mainstream Christian churches teach that Jesus, himself, is actually Almighty God – by virtue of the fact that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. Basically, the Trinity teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all equally God; but there is still only one God – not three gods.

A small minority of Christian churches have “Unitarian” beliefs. In essence, that belief holds that only our Heavenly Father is Almighty God. That belief also holds that Jesus is the son of God – but not God, himself.

Introduction

One of the concepts that most Christians are aware of is the fact that after Jesus was crucified, he was dead – and in his tomb – for a period of time, before God resurrected him.

Most mainstream Christian churches assert that Jesus was in the tomb for parts of three days. The general tenets of that doctrine are as follows:

– Jesus died – and was placed in his tomb- shortly before sundown on a Friday;

– He was dead, and in the tomb, all day on a Saturday;

– Jesus came back to life – and emerged from his tomb – shortly after sunrise on a Sunday.

Introduction

As many people know, the Bible is actually a miniature “library”, of 66 separate books. Christians refer to the first 39 books of the Bible – Genesis through Malachi – as the “Old Testament”; and the remaining 27 books – Matthew through Revelation – as the “New Testament”.

In addition, most people are aware that the Old Testament is sacred to both Christianity and Judaism. In other words, Christians and Jews both believe that God inspired the writings in the Old Testament.

One item that is not so well known is the fact that almost all of the information in the New Testament is based upon information in the Old Testament. It is estimated that between 90 and 95 percent of the concepts in the New Testament are directly linked to passages in the Old Testament.

Introduction

The most recognizable symbol of modern-day Christianity is the cross. In essence, almost every Christian church – and most Christian-based organizations – display crosses on their buildings and in their literature, as part of identifying themselves as Christians. (Note that Catholic organizations often display crucifixes, rather than crosses. A crucifix is a cross which is depicted with the body of Jesus on it.)

Interestingly, the earliest Christians did not use the symbol of the cross at all, to identify themselves as Christians. In fact, the cross did not become widely used by Christians until the early 4th century – during the time of Emperor Constantine.

Introduction

One of the ideas that Scripture discusses at length is the concept of resurrection. In essence, Scripture tells us that after we die, we will eventually be brought back to life – so that we will live again, on the earth. To be more specific, the Bible states that Jesus, himself, will resurrect people, after he returns to the earth.

There are many, many passages in Scripture which discuss this concept of resurrection. For example, consider the following passages:

John 6:40 (ESV):

40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Introduction

One of the events that is well known to students of the Bible is that of the “Babylonian captivity”. The basic points about that event are as follows: First, the Babylonian empire defeated Judah in the late 7th century BC – i.e., close to 601 BC. The majority of the Jewish people were eventually exiled to Babylon – and were kept in captivity there for a number of decades. After that, Babylon itself was conquered by Medeo-Persia; and the Persian king Cyrus subsequently allowed the Jews to return to Judah.

Introduction

One of the terms that is frequently used among believers is “forgiveness”. Basically, most believers are aware that each person can receive the forgiveness of his sins, through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Another term, which is also used fairly often, is “atonement”. Most believers have heard that term as well – however, many people think that atonement is exactly the same thing as forgiveness. In other words, many people believe that the terms “forgiveness” and “atonement” are synonyms.

Of course, there are some similarities between those two terms in Scripture. In particular, both forgiveness and atonement have to do with sin – i.e., they both deal with sins that people have committed. However, that does not necessarily indicate that the meanings of those two terms are identical.

Introduction

One of the subjects that is frequently discussed among believers is the topic of self defense. The basic question that arises about that subject is as follows:

Is there any type of situation, in which it is permitted for a believer to use physical force, in order to defend himself (or others) from a violent assault?

Of course, as the apostle Paul tells us, Scripture contains all of the information that we need, in order for us to be “trained in righteousness”:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV):

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Introduction

One of the previous articles on this site discusses the group of people called the “Nephilim”, who are first referenced in Genesis chapter 6. In particular, that article investigates the origins of that group.

That article puts forth the possibility that the Nephilim were the children of rebellious angels, who mated with human women. As a result, the Nephilim were essentially a race of “superhuman bullies”. Here is the link to that article:

Who were the “Nephilim” of Genesis 6?

As mentioned in that article, it appears that the rebellious angels were “imprisoned” in some way, after they committed the sin of mating with human women. In particular, 1 Peter 3:18-20, 2 Peter 2:4-5,9-10 and Jude 1:6-7 all state that God imprisoned those angels because of their sin.

Introduction

One of the intriguing items about Jesus ministry is that during his time on the earth, his mission was to spread the gospel to Jewshttp://www.texansjerseyschina.com not to Gentiles. In addition, Jesus also instructed his disciples to only preach to Jews – not to Gentiles. For example, consider the following passages:

Matthew 15:24 (ESV):

24 He [Jesus] answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Matthew 10:5-6 (ESV):

These twelve [disciples] Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

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