(video) Big Questions 2: What Has God Written on the Wall?

This world is filled with Big Questions.

People who know their God can understand the Big Questions, like Daniel could read the Writing on the Wall: “Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.” God wrote two books. Both books give the same message, both together answer all of the Big Questions of life.

–Video 2 in the Writing on the Wall (Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin) series, unlocking the Big Questions

–How can we know God? If the Bible is a self-revelation of God to man, what does he say about himself through the Bible? Why do some people hate the God of the Bible, and others adore him?

We will investigate in this video series thematic lines running through the Bible. We will learn to highlight the amazing continuity of these 10 ideas God is conveying to us. Since the goal of reading the Bible is knowing God and since this is why he gave us a book, knowing who he is and his purpose and plan for the world is foundational.

This second video introduces the Big Questions in light of God’s 10 strand “rainbow-scaffold” of self-revelation in the Bible.

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(Video) Big Questions 1: How Can I Know God?

 

This world is filled with Big Questions.

About God. About our Future. About Suffering and Grief and Disaster. About Religion and Morality. About Love and Hate. These Big Questions assault us from every angle, and never leave us alone. Like Belshazzar who saw the confusing writing on the wall, these Questions need an answer, and we want a reliable and true and undebatable answers.

–Video 1 in the Writing on the Wall (Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin) series–

How can I know God? Why is he hiding? Why do we need the Bible? Why is there suffering in this world? This video introduces the Big Questions and how to find the answers to them.

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Death is an Appointment you Will Keep

Dear friend, I desire to warn you with love. You and I cannot escape death. It is an appointment we will keep . . . regardless. Are you prepared to die?

Sincerely, —Joel R. Beeke


Dear Reader,

You and I may not know each other; possibly we shall never see one another. Yet, I desire to write a personal letter to you.

I write to you because you and I have more in common than you may realize. Though we may never meet each other in this world, we shall one day be in each other’s presence because we both possess a never-dying soul. With this soul both of us must appear before God, your and my Creator, in the great judgment day. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).

You may do all in your power to put the thought of death away from you. Yet you cannot escape the fact that you must die. You know that you must die and face God. Perhaps you are reluctant to think about death because you also know judgment follows death as surely as night follows day. In all seriousness, therefore, could I possibly press upon you a more significant question than this: What is going to happen to you when you die?

The Bible, conscience, and common sense, all declare to you that there is an eternity you must face. Therefore, don’t avoid this question for your own sake: Am I prepared to die and face God as Judge?

I am sorry to have to tell you that millions today think they are prepared to meet God who shall end in hell following the great day of judgment. This is what God tells us in His Holy Word: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mat 7:22-23).

Did you ever consider what a terrible awakening it will be for those who are traveling on in this life, thinking all is well with them, to hear in that day as they stand before the Most High God, “I never knew you”? Words cannot describe the anguish of soul as this sentence will be passed upon them: “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Shall you and I also be among these disappointed “many” that Christ speaks of in Matthew 7?

Dear reader, please give me five minutes of your time to try to show you who will end in hell and who will end in heaven.

The Broad Road to Eternal Destruction

First, I must honestly tell you the Bible informs us in Matthew 7 that the vast majority of people will be going to hell. “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Perhaps this sounds cruel to you, but this sad fact is true not because God is cruel; rather, we are cruel to ourselves. We willfully defy our Creator and despise His love, while trampling upon His commandments, given for our true well-being. Due to such rebellion and wickedness, we have all earned death and hell. These are the only two things we have deserved, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23), and the “wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).

What kinds of people are included in this vast multitude which is hellbound?…

See full article…


As a Christian, what is something that God has said (in the Bible) that you disagree with?

(Quora Question) As a Christian, what is something that God has said (in the Bible) that you disagree with?: 

My Answer:

In Song of Solomon, which can be seen partly as an allegory to the relationship of Christ and the Church (*1), it is written

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you (4:7)

We are caught, as Christians, in what is referred to as the “already/not yet” of history.

While God looks at me and sees only Christ’s righteousness (Rom 5:9, Phil 3:9, Rom 5:18, Rom 9:30, Rom 4:5, Gal 3:6-7). “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21)…

…yet I look at myself and do not see this. I feel like Paul in Romans 7:

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing….So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am!

So my greatest disagreement, because of this already/not yet, has to do with my dissatisfaction with the unholiness surrounding me, in my thoughts, in my actions, in my plans and ambitions. While God sees that I am “clothed in the righteousness of Christ,” I see the not-yet.

But this is what fuels my hope, my greatest desire. It is what propels me through this world, facing what comes. As John said—John who was the “last to go” of the apostles, who had to wait the longest of the 11 for that which was promised—

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2

(*1) see This Momentary Marriage by John Piper, esp p. 127.

bloom-1850126_640

BIG QUESTIONS OF LIFE

BIG QUESTIONS OF LIFE

cropped-TOSlogo.pngThe following are significant topics and big questions on Quora.

I believe that the Big Questions of life are put here by God as a Writing on the Wall, similar to the divine writing in the story in the Book of Daniel. I firmly believe that God put these questions on earth with the express intention of it leading people to finding the truth that is only found through the Incarnation and Atonement of Jesus Christ.

In reading my answers you will find a wholistic approach to faith and apologetics that leans more on the mind, on “intelligent Christianity,” than it does on quick sound-bite answers that leave you unsatisfied. I hope they stimulate your mind and assists you in interpreting the Writing on YOUR wall.  CLICK ON —

menemene

Sarabi Dog of Alexander: Mystery and Fact

What is the connection between Alexander, the Persian Mastiff (Sarabi dog), and the Turkish Kangal? Where did the dog come from? Which breed was Alexander’s dog?

This article explores this mystery in depth.


The Sarabi dog is featured in the novel TRUNK OF SCROLLS: A FAMILY ADVENTURE. Those who love either the Persian Mastiff or the Turkish Kangal will appreciate the key role this dog plays in the story. (Get your copy today to find out!)


PERITAS

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5iIoEcICBPU/Tefbd67F6ZI/AAAAAAAAATU/qLJ9s-EqBb0/s1600/Alexander%2Bsarcophagus%2Bdog%2Bdetail.jpgPeritas was a much-loved dog of Alexander the Great (356 BC-321 BC).  Apparently there were two dogs of Alexander named Peritas. One he raised himself Plutarch writes, “he also, we are told, built another city, and called it after the name of a favorite dog, Peritas, which he had brought up himself.”  This dog might have been a greyhound type.

But another breed seems to…read more

Pi: Meaning or Message?

What is Pi? Is there a pattern?

I came across this interesting page where the author tried to turn Pi into an image using binary. Here is the 2D version.

And the 3D version:

(download here: pi_turn_movie)

Is it a Fractal of sorts?

It looks amazingly like a 9th itineration fractal…

(Elementary School Champions! Third grade students in Ms. Renner’s class at Alief ISD’s Chambers Elementary in Houston, TX made this this 9th iteration Jurassic Park Fractal.)

Is it a Message?

The connection to 9th iteration begs the question, what about the 99 Sequences in Pi and the other patterns it holds?Some people have been trying to decipher pi, as if it is a cypher from God.

  1. The Pi Code
  2. Cracking the Pi Code
  3. Flying Spaghetti Monster (from Binary Pi)

Not only do people look for meaning in English, because of COURSE God would make his cypher in English–but Hebrew scholars look for meaning in Mathematical constants.

  1. Pi in Hebrew
  2. In another search for meaning, here is Phi (the Golden Ratio) in the Tetragrammaton

Why do we search for meaning in Pi? For the simple reason that we expect intelligence at the base level of life. In a way, the hope that Pi contains a message or a pattern comes from our understanding that God is the author of Reason and Math. Galileo Galilei said that the Universe is written in the language of Mathematics.

Most likely, the future holds some more secrets about Pi. Meanwhile, continue to pursue Math and Meaning in your pursuit of Truth.

slide1sources:

http://www.befria.nu/elias/pi

http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/frac/MVC-004S.JPG

http://wallpaperbackgrounds.com/Content/wallpapers/pattern/fractal/

1290 Days

ancient-1246447_1920What would you do if you knew you only had 7 years left to live?
What would you do if you knew the world had only 7 years left?

I am not Chicken Little. I shy away from any kind of “end times” prophecy like I would the Tar Baby.

A few months ago, and again the other day I was reading in Daniel, and was floored by something.

Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Daniel 12:10-12

A note in my New Geneva Study Bible says, “the significance of these time frames is obscure,” since it is not connected to the earlier “three and a half years” prophecies. This got me thinking.

I have been to the Temple Mount, and have seen the Muslim shrine standing where Solomon’s temple used to be. IMHO, that is an abomination. I did a very little history research about this and found out something that rocked my world.

RESEARCH RESULTS

Date of Destruction of Temple of Solomon (where Ezekiel says the Spirit left.) 597* /587 BC

1290 years–>

Date of Building of the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount, between AD 688 and 691

1335 years from Dome of the Rock–>

AD 2023-2026

597 BC–>1290 years –> 688-691 AD–> 1335 years –> AD 2023-2026

WHAT THIS MEANS

All of this says to me one thing–NOT that the world is ending in seven to eleven years. It asks me,

What would you do differently if you knew the world would end in seven years?

  • Would you more earnestly do and check-off things on your “Bucket List”?
  • Would you cross of unimportant things on that Bucket list?
  • Would you reconsider your life, and even your lifestyle, and make significant changes?
  • Would you stop playing that video game?
  • Would you spend more time with your family?
  • Would you spend more free time visiting with non-Christian friends and family?
  • Would you be busier storing up heavenly treasures?
  • Would your priorities and decisions be different?
  • Would you be more patient?
  • Would you be more faithful?
  • Would you be more generous with your wealth and outward estate?
  • Would you number your days?
  • Are you doing what you would want to do in your last seven years of life?
  • Are you doing what you would want to do during the last seven years of life on earth?

For one of these days, there WILL only be seven years left on earth.

END OF LIFE/ END OF THE WORLD RESOLUTIONS

Jonathan Edwards made a couple resolutions related to this:

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

and

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

and

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.

Jesus said that no one knows the day or the hour:

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:32-44

WHAT*S WITH THE NUMBERS?

So the book of Daniel gives us numbers, and we should use them. After all, why would they be in the Bible if they were useless? Even Daniel himself saw that Jeremiah promised that Cyrus would send them back to Jerusalem 70 years after the exile.

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession…  

Daniel 9:2-4

appletree

DOGMATISM vs SELF-EXAMINATION

But we cannot be dogmatic about dates and times because of Christ’s warnings (see above). Ultimately, the purpose of the dates is to stir us up. Like Daniel, it should draw us to prayer and confession and self-examination.  Scripture expects us to be wise and consider these two questions:

Action Point:
  1. Are you living life in such a way that you would not regret how you spent TODAY if the Lord returns in 2023?
  2. How do you feel about the return of Christ? When “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.'” Do you answer “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”? (Rev 22:20)
  3. We would love to read your answers in the comments below…



Notes

*1-The typical date given for the destruction of the temple is 587 BC, Babylonian documents themselves appear to date Nebuchadnezzar’s seige to 597 BC. Jeremiah states three exiles 597 “the seventh year,” 586 “the eighteenth year” and a smaller third exile after that. (See Missing Years). No one knows exactly the date for the actual destruction when the “regular burnt offering is taken away.” There was no year 0. There have been various calendar systems since ancient times. Lunar, solar, Julian, Gregorian. It is possible these changes relate to the ten missing years as well. Because of these things, the dates actually still are cloaked in mystery. Additionally, my claim that the Dome of the Rock is an abomination of desolation is just a claim. Is it “the Abomination of Desolation”? Is it one of many that will come? *2-http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-resolutions-of-jonathan-edwards

Athiest Claims to See Hell

Can a changed life provide evidence that
a proported event has happened?

In the case below, this college professor on his death-bed experiences some of the pains of what he says was hell.  The change in his life shows that SOMETHING happened. What would a scientist say to these claims? How would the scientist explain this experience?

Part One

Part Two

It’s science week. How do we approach this from a scientific perspective? A scientist sets up the observation. Looks at the evidence. Considers the laws at work, and looks for the best explanation. Then the scientist tests their theory.

Looking at the Evidence

We have watched the videos. The man says he was an athiest. He got sick and died/almost died. During this time he had a horrifying experience which he called hell. His experience in “hell” changed when he called out,

“Jesus, please help me!”  

Then positive things happened, resulting in his coming back to this life and being healed by the doctors.

Considering the Laws at Work
& Looking for the Best Explanation

This is an issue in the mental-psychological realm

Either he saw something. (Truth-teller)

Or thought he saw something. (Self-deceived/delusional)

Or did not see anything, but said he saw something. (Liar)

From the change in his life we can probably rule out the Liar option, since many years passed between the experience and the recording, yet he did not change his story. It appears he obviously believes in his own story. So either he is delusional or telling the truth.

How can science help us know if he is telling the truth or not? Do we need to determine our boundaries?

Reductive Naturalism

…would say that the answer has to lie in the physical world. It could not be true that he experienced something in the supernatural. It was in his mind, and something he saw flipped his view of reality. So he would be delusional, somehow. They would run a battery of tests to find out what kind of psychological problems he has. Simple.

A Theistic Explanation

…would not automatically reduce the possibilities to physical world, so the option of super-nature is still on the table. He might have seen something, and that something might be supernatural.

Testing the Theory

How can we test if he is telling the truth about what he said?

We could test for delusional psychology. Test how he interacts outside of this recording. Is his lifestyle consistent with his profession of faith in God? (Or does he speak on contrary topics elsewhere, for example). We’d need to check his life. To see if he is a habitual liar, or if his actions reflect someone who is not in touch with reality.

If his lifestyle is consistent with his profession of faith in God, we could test if he speaks in accordance with theistic laws.

When I listened to him, I was keenly aware of each point he said, and compared it with what the Bible says. Why the Bible? Because through other reasoning I have come to the confidence in the reliability of the Bible in matters of supernature.

I measured his words against the Bible. It didn’t seem to contradict…

It seems simplistic, because by the same measure we would also have to say that those who see aliens could possibly be telling the truth. And those who are in non-Christian religions who have similar experiences have to be taken at face-value.

I am prepared to consider their cases in the same way. And in the same way, I would measure their words against the Bible’s presentation of the supernatural/natural world connection.

Case in point–

 “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven”

This best seller about a boy who “saw heaven” had a lot of rubbish, inaccurate according to the Bible. It came out later that the boy and his father were lying. The boy fessed up, but the father keeps reaping the royalties.

Afterlife Travelogues

Unfortunately, the “afterlife travelogue” presented above is firstly questionable because it has dangerous implications. If we believe he went to actual hell, he would be disproving the existence of hell.

What I mean is, we understand hell, and the power of the name of Jesus, from Scripture.

The Bible says,“man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment.” Heb 9:27

If his experience was actually hell,
one man’s experience would be disproving the book of Hebrews.

And if he disproves Hebrews, all of Scripture is suspect. And if Scripture is suspect, his being saved by the name of Jesus is suspect. Meaning that if he were actually in the hell Christ spoke of, he was not where he thought he was, and he could not have been rescued by the one he thought rescued him. It’s self-contradicting.

Experience must bow to Scripture. If your experience tells you something contrary to the Bible, your INTERPRETATION of your experience is wrong.

It [the afterlife-story phenomena] is not harmless. It denigrates the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. It confounds faith with superstition. It subtly elevates human experience to a higher level than the Word of God. It purports to reveal things about God and the heavenly realm that are not taught in Scripture. And it repeatedly insinuates that the testimony of someone who has been mystically enlightened can be a more effective stimulant to faith than Scripture alone…

Thus says John MacArthur. He continues…

This is just one example of a large and growing subgenre of afterlife travelogues popular today—a genre that includes at least two mega-best-selling titles from evangelical publishers. The authors of these stories—and evi­dently millions of readers as well—regard these testimonies as authori­tative, reliable, and full of superior insights that can take readers to a higher level of understanding and enlightenment beyond what we can get from the Bible.

In other words, all of these books take a similarly protognostic stance on heaven and the afterlife. All of them are dan­gerous and misleading. That includes the ones that seem fairly benign as well as the ones that are clearly steeped in occult superstition. All of them stand as reminders to us that Scripture and Scripture alone is the only safe place for Christians to learn anything about the immortality of human souls, what happens to a person after death, what heaven is like, what awaits the unrighteous in hell, and what we can expect in the judgment to come.

Conclusions

So my final conclusion (after testing his life/mental state) might be that he saw something. Maybe a dream or something dream-like. But he did see something.

But he did not go to hell.

Because his life changed drastically, 180*, I know a frightening experience happened to him. He had a supernatural, near-death experience that shook his foundations. But according to Scripture, he did not die and he did not go to hell. He got a chance to make things right. Good for him.

Comments: What do you think?