The 40 Days of Easter

By Brian G. Chilton

Easter is my favorite holiday. It is nice because of the warming weather, the blooming of flowers, the greening of the grass, and the growth of leaves on the trees. Everything looks dead during the winter, but everything seems to come to life around Easter.

The best reason for my love of Easter is that it is the holiest day of the year for Christians. Easter represents the day that Jesus physically and literally rose from the dead. While I am Southern Baptist, I personally practice liturgical, spiritual disciplines. I credit Dr. T. Perry Hildreth, a professor at Gardner-Webb, for turning me to these practices. That is to say; I have a cross in my prayer garden that bears cloths representing the colors of the church year. The green cloth represents an ordinary time when no special occasion is celebrated. Red is used for Pentecost, Holy Week, and special church days. Purple is used during the time of Lent. I personally use blue for Advent (the time before Christmas) although purple is the standard color. White is used for Christmas and the Easter season.

Interestingly, the white cloth does not remain on the cross only for Easter. It remains on the cross for 40 days. Why? Jesus just did not appear to his disciples on one day. He appeared to them numerous times over the course of 40 days!!! The following marks a chronological listing of Jesus’s resurrected appearances over this time. While skeptics claim that these appearances are irreconcilable in their descriptions, I do not see how that is the case. While Jesus most certainly appeared to many more people than Scripture indicates, a strong case for Jesus’s resurrection can be made by the numerous individuals who saw Jesus alive after his death over the course of 40 days.

  1. Mary Magdalene: Early Easter morning (Jn. 20:11-18). First, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. Mary was not the ideal choice if one was wanting to invent a story for two reasons: Mary was a woman, and Mary had at one time been demonically possessed (Lk. 8:2). The testimony of women wasn’t trusted in antiquity. Add the fact that Mary had something in her past, that makes a bizarre and in fact embarrassing claim for the church, something that holds great historical and apologetic weight. In his infinite wisdom, Jesus appeared to a woman who had faithfully served him despite whatever it was in her past.
  2. Women at the Tomb: Early Easter morning (Matt. 28:8-10). It appears that the women first accompanied Mary Magdalene. The women went to tell Peter and John. Peter and John came with Mary back to the tomb (Jn. 20:3-10). Perhaps the women stayed back as Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene stepped into the tomb. After Peter and John left, Jesus appeared to Mary, and then to the other women at the tomb. Again, this would have been an embarrassing fact for the early church. Jesus first appeared to women instead of the men.
  3. Peter: Early to mid-day Easter (Lk. 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5). Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5 both indicate that Jesus met with Peter in a private meeting sometime between Jesus’s appearance to the women at the tomb and his later appearances to the disciples at Emmaus and his primary disciples. Notice especially the language of Luke 24:34. When the disciples heard from the Emmaus disciples, they said, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then they began to describe what had happened on the road . . .” (Lk. 24:34). 1 Corinthians 15:5 also notes that Jesus met privately with Peter, named by his Aramaic name Cephas(1 Cor. 15:5), before meeting with the disciples.
  4. The Emmaus Disciples: Late Easter afternoon (Lk. 24:13-32). Later in the day on Easter, Jesus appeared to two disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Some believe that these two disciples may have been a married couple with only the husband, Cleopas (Lk. 24:18) being named. They did not realize that it was Jesus until they welcomed him into their home. They then ran back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples.
  5. The Eleven w/out Thomas: Easter evening (Lk. 24:36-49; Jn. 20:19-23). Luke 24 and John 20 indicate that Jesus met with the disciples later in the evening. Can you imagine what was going through the disciples’ minds as they heard reports of Jesus appearing to people, yet they had not seen him themselves? They had to wait awhile before they could see Jesus for themselves. Thomas was not present. This is a major question I have concerning Thomas: Where was he? Was he pursuing other work since Jesus had died? He was gone for nearly a week. Where was he? Where did he go?
  6. The Eleven w/Thomas: Next Sunday after Easter (Jn. 20:24-29). Thomas had heard the reports that Jesus had risen. He did not believe them. He would not believe unless he saw Jesus for himself. He would the next Sunday as Jesus appeared to the disciples with Thomas in their presence. Thomas no longer denied Jesus’s resurrection. He believed.
  7. 500 or More at One Time (1 Cor. 15:6). It could be that this meeting is the same as number 11 on our list. However, we do not have enough evidence to know when this gathering took place. Suffice to say, Jesus appeared to a large gathering of disciples. He was seen of over 500 disciples at one time. Personally, since only men were numbered in antiquity, I think you see the same effect with this number that you would with the feeding of the 5,000. I think it is possible that there were 1,500 or even perhaps 2,000 that witnessed the risen Jesus at this encounter.
  8. James and Perhaps Other Family Members (1 Cor. 15:7). James had a private meeting with his risen brother. I think it is strongly probable that Jesus also met with his other family members at this time.
  9. Reinstatement of Peter: The Meeting with the Seven (Jn. 21:1-23). The disciples went back to Galilee for a period before they were to go back to Jerusalem for the ascension and Pentecost. During an intimate meeting near the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus reinstated Peter before six other individuals.
  10. 72 Apostles Implied (1 Cor. 15:7). In 1 Corinthians 15:7, a distinction is made between Jesus’s appearance to the Twelve (1 Cor. 15:5) and his appearance to “all the apostles” (1 Cor. 15:7). Jesus had twelve disciples, but he also had a larger body of disciples outside of the twelve. Luke notes that Jesus appointed “seventy-two others, and he sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself was about to go” (Lk. 10:10). I think this means that Jesus appeared to all the seventy-two disciples that he had previously commissioned while in Galilee.
  11. Great Commission Gathering (Matt. 28:16-20). Some people confuse the Great Commission gathering with the ascension. This is simply not the case. The ascension transpired on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Jesus’s meeting with the disciples, and most likely many others, when he gave the Great Commission happened while they were in Galilee (Matt. 28:16), thereby making this occurrence different than the ascension event.
  12. Ascension (Ac. 1:1-11). Jesus’s final public post-resurrection event happened at his ascension. Being that the ascension happened in the bustling town of Jerusalem on a prominent mount in the area, it would be difficult to ascertain just how many people witnessed the ascension of Jesus.
  13. Appearance to Paul (Ac. 9:1-9). Lastly, Jesus appeared after his ascension to Paul. Saul Paul was a man who was an antagonist to the Christian faith. However, the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to Paul transformed him from a skeptic to a passionate communicator of Christian truth.

So, what apologetic truths can be found from these appearances? A lot! But, to simplify, we see that Jesus’s post-resurrection appearances:

  1. Had embarrassing factors (seen first by women).
  2. Transformed skeptics into believers (Thomas, James, and Paul).
  3. Was not a one-time event but witnessed by many over the course of 40 days.
  4. Was publicly seen by multiple people which dispels any rumors of hallucinations.
  5. Allowed those who were weak to become strong in their faith that Jesus had risen (e.g., Peter).

I believe that Jesus appeared to many others during this period. Jesus’s resurrection was not a hallucination. His appearance was not a one-time showing. The fact that Jesus appeared after his resurrection as he did verifies that Jesus had indeed defeated death. This is something that we should not only celebrate for the forty days of Easter but 365 days a year!

 


Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com and is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University. Brian has been in the ministry for over 15 years and serves as the pastor of Huntsville Baptist Church in Yadkinville, North Carolina.

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37 replies
  1. Jesse Mace says:

    What does “men were numbered in antiquity” mean? Does that mean that they only counted men and not women, and children?

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      I do think that’s what is meant. I tried to Google and the search showed that ancient Greece (at this time) didn’t count slaves, women, or children as citizens. Under point 1 above, the author states, “The testimony of women wasn’t trusted in antiquity.” It’s like they didn’t count or couldn’t be trusted, just as children couldn’t.

      Reply
  2. bob says:

    The testimony of women wasn’t trusted in antiquity.
    – and –
    Had embarrassing factors (seen first by women).
    .
    Prove it!
    .
    Even in the bible, both OT and NT, there are many passages about the trustworthiness of the testimony by women – John 4:39 – “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified…”
    .
    Josephus relates his account of the heroic acts at Gamala and Masada from no other source than two women and shows no embarrassment at this.
    .
    Please stop making unsubstantiated claims.

    Reply
  3. Andy Ryan says:

    “While Jesus most certainly appeared to many more people than Scripture indicates, a strong case for Jesus’s resurrection can be made by the numerous individuals who saw Jesus alive after his death over the course of 40 days.”
    .
    How do we know that numerous individuals saw Jesus alive? We only have anonymous accounts in the Bible claiming that many people did. You can argue that Saul/Paul isn’t an anonymous figure, but his account is the one most vulnerable to being explained as a hallucination. He falls, sees a bright light, can’t get up unaided – this sounds like some kind of fit. It sounds like temporal lobe epilepsy. Here are the symptoms of TLE:
    Some attacks began with a flash of light seen in both eyes, followed by a psychic state in which the predominant force was one of intense religious experience, of resounding elation in which he would feel compelled to proclaim the glories of God.
    Hmm…
    People with TLE also go on to have personality changes, decreased interest in sex, greater interest in religion, intensified mental life and other symptoms that all sound a lot like Saul/Paul’s ‘conversion’.

    Reply
    • Mark Heavlin says:

      Acts 9:1-19 1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out threats of murder against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 to ask for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As Saul drew near to Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” 5 “Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the voice but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could not see a thing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was without sight, and he did not eat or drink anything. 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Here I am, Lord,” he answered. 11 “Get up!” the Lord told him. “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and all the harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And now he is here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” 15 “Go!” said the Lord. “This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings, and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” 17 So Ananias went to the house, and when he arrived, he placed his hands on Saul. “Brother Saul,” he said, “the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 At that instant, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and his sight was restored. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. And he spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
      .
      So in your extensive medical opinion does someone who suffers form TLE get better when “something like scales fall from their eyes after 3 days”?
      .
      Always good to read the entire passage to avoid any confusion.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        Yes, that fits the symptoms. Temporary blindness following a grand mal seizure, with recovered sight after a few days is very common. You could have looked that up yourself – you thought you had a gotcha but you actually backed up my point.

        Reply
        • Mark Heavlin says:

          Reading comprehension is something that some people just do NOT have I guess.
          .
          “You can argue that Saul/Paul isn’t an anonymous figure, but his account is the one most vulnerable to being explained as a hallucination.”
          .
          Acts 9:7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the voice but did not see anyone.
          .
          So; let me get this straight then – In your expert medical opinion LTE is also accompanied by the people you are with hearing the same voice as you but seeing NOTHING?
          .
          And then of course; it is healed by a man named Ananias also having a vision but he doesn’t go blind. Then he has to come and lay hands on you to heal you? Is this also your expert medical opinion as well?
          .
          Tell me in your expert medical opinion do you think that the house also has to be on Straight Street?
          .
          Tell where you got your medical degree from again please? Because if I ever run across someone else with a degree from there they are NOT touching me.
          .
          Acts 9:10-19 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Here I am, Lord,” he answered. 11 “Get up!” the Lord told him. “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and all the harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And now he is here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” 15 “Go!” said the Lord. “This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings, and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” 17 So Ananias went to the house, and when he arrived, he placed his hands on Saul. “Brother Saul,” he said, “the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 At that instant, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and his sight was restored. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. And he spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
          .
          You should be worried because you are BLIND.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            “In your expert medical opinion LTE is also accompanied by the people you are with hearing the same voice as you but seeing NOTHING?”
            .
            Nope, I just think that part of the story is made up. Who are these other guys? What are their names, where are their accounts of what happened?
            .
            Try to ditch the sarcasm and rudeness -they don’t help your argument.
            .
            My point stands – text book example of someone having a seizure.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            “Try to ditch the sarcasm and rudeness -they don’t help your argument.”
            .
            What argument? Just sounds like another atheist complaining that they do NOT believe what is clearly written in The Bible. In my opinion the sarcasm is warranted unless of course you can show me your medical degree. Even then trying to diagnose someone who has been dead for almost 2,000 years and form a medical opinion on such limited data seems well rather bizarre.
            .
            “Nope, I just think that part of the story is made up. Who are these other guys? What are their names, where are their accounts of what happened?”
            .
            Quite frankly you could have everyone involved in this story’s names, their wife’s and kid’s names; birthdays etc… and it would still NOT be enough evidence for you.
            Because you are BLIND.
            .
            “My point stands – text book example of someone having a seizure.”
            .
            Wrong again. Your opinion and it is that just your opinion only. You are by free will welcome to hold your opinion but it in no way makes you correct. Given the choice of your opinion versus The Holy Bible ( read the inerrant WORD of GOD ), any sane person would choose the inerrant WORD of GOD as do I.
            .
            Tell where you got your medical degree from again please? Because if I ever run across someone else with a degree from there they are NOT touching me.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Trying to diagnose someone who has been dead for almost 2,000 years and form a medical opinion on such limited data seems well rather bizarre.”
            They’re pretty specific symptoms. Others with medical degrees have made this point. e.g. Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran, a neuroscientist.
            .
            “Tell where you got your medical degree from again please?”
            Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran obtained an M.B.B.S. from the University of Madras in Chennai, India, and subsequently obtained a Ph.D. from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. They’re both pretty prestigious.
            .
            “Quite frankly you could have everyone involved in this story’s names, their wife’s and kid’s names; birthdays etc… and it would still NOT be enough evidence for you.”
            But we don’t – it’s pointless conjecturing how I’d react if there’s was a load of extra evidence when it doesn’t actually exist. Go and find their names, their own accounts, etc and then we can talk.
            .
            ” and it is that just your opinion only”
            I already gave you the name of another who shares it. You can also find peer reviewed papers on the subject, with extensive references, written by people with, yes, medical degrees. Feel free to google your way to, for example, ‘St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy’ if you wish to read one. A referenced, peer-reviewed paper written an expert in that field cannot be dismissed as mere opinion.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            Mark: “Tell where you got your medical degree from again please? Because if I ever run across someone else with a degree from there they are NOT touching me.”
            .
            Andy: “Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran obtained an M.B.B.S. from the University of Madras in Chennai, India, and subsequently obtained a Ph.D. from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. They’re both pretty prestigious.”
            .
            And tell me exactly how this answers the question of where you got your medical degree from? Maybe I should have asked when you changed your name?
            .
            .
            “But we don’t – it’s pointless conjecturing how I’d react if there’s was a load of extra evidence when it doesn’t actually exist.”
            .
            Actually it is NOT pointless. As you are already rejecting some of the evidence provided by the story. Tell me exactly what your arrogant opinion actually has to do with the TRUTH here? – EXACTLY – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
            .
            .
            “A referenced, peer-reviewed paper written an expert in that field cannot be dismissed as mere opinion.”
            .
            Sure it can when it FAILS to address ALL of the evidence of the story. No reliable medical doctor would hazard a guess and that is all it could be without actually examining the patient personally. That in and of itself makes any paper by them suspect. Especially when they are also ignoring the rest of the evidence. Again you have to make the assumption that it was a actually a medical condition to even call the doctors in this case “experts in the field”. Care to beg the question while also ignoring evidence? Only in the delusional BLINDED mind of an atheist.
            .
            .
            “Go and find their names, their own accounts, etc and then we can talk.”
            .
            Goodness reading comprehension just is NOT what it used to be. This story is a compilation made from multiple peoples’ perspectives including the men who were travelling with Saul/Paul. So you think that the rest of the way to Damascus they discussed where they were going to eat dinner that night. Or were they talking about what had just happened????? “Acts 9:7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the voice but did not see anyone.”
            .
            Acts 9:1-19 1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out threats of murder against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 to ask for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As Saul drew near to Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” 5 “Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the voice but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could not see a thing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was without sight, and he did not eat or drink anything. 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Here I am, Lord,” he answered. 11 “Get up!” the Lord told him. “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and all the harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And now he is here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” 15 “Go!” said the Lord. “This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings, and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” 17 So Ananias went to the house, and when he arrived, he placed his hands on Saul. “Brother Saul,” he said, “the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 At that instant, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and his sight was restored. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. And he spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
            .
            .
            If you are going to ignore some of the evidence provided why bother to even read the account at all? Why NOT just ignore the whole story and not even comment?

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “This story is a compilation made from multiple peoples’ perspectives including the men who were travelling with Saul/Paul”
            How do you know? The best we can say is that it was written by Saul/Paul himself. Other than that we have no idea who wrote it or what or who they used for a source. If that the people with Saul heard something too is a mere embellishment then we’d have no way of telling or checking. There’d be little way for anyone reading the account contemporaneously to check either.
            .
            “And tell me exactly how this answers the question of where you got your medical degree from?”
            That would be a relevant question if I was asking you to take my word for it or rely on my expertise. But I’m quoting experts, doctors whose judgements are available to you too. In response you can provide your own expertise to counter theirs or quote other experts – you’ve done neither.
            .
            “No reliable medical doctor would…”
            You’re playing no true Scotsman. I’ve just quoted some reliable medical doctors. You’ve done nothing to throw doubt on their reliability.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “If you are going to ignore some of the evidence provided why bother to even read the account at all? ”
            .
            I said in my first post on this thread:
            “How do we know that numerous individuals saw Jesus alive? We only have anonymous accounts in the Bible claiming that many people did. You can argue that Saul/Paul isn’t an anonymous figure, but his account is the one most vulnerable to being explained as a hallucination.”
            .
            So I was already from the start calling doubt on the accounts of anonymous people. I said then we knew nothing about them. I brought up Paul/Saul as the only person people could argue isn’t an anonymous figure. Seven of the Biblical letters attributed to him are accepted as relying on the actual man’s dictation.
            .
            I’m not being inconsistent – claims about anonymous guards who were with Saul on the road to Damascus come under the same bracket as NT claims that people saw a risen Jesus. I have no idea what’s true there and what isn’t – from a historical perspective all that seems likely we can have a reasonable confidence in saying is that there was a man called Saul who had an experience that made him a convert to Christianity. Beyond that, who knows. The Bible is not evidence on its own. But if the description of Saul’s OWN experience IS accurate, it fits the symptoms of frontal lobe epilepsy, according to many medical experts, whose judgement you haven’t countered.

          • toby says:

            S/Paul’s account of the road to Damascus strikes me as being quite similar to that of Joseph Smith. “Something happened! Now let me make money at it! . . . and probably do weird sex stuff.”

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            Maybe you could actually give us a full breakdown of the two accounts then and compare the two since you are the expert? Instead of making claims that are ridiculously FALSE.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            Also, I was wondering if you have all of this evidence why you have kept it to yourself all this time? I mean you could be world famous as the person who disproved The Bible. Tell me again how many trips it took you to the Middle East to find this evidence? And where exactly it was that you found it?

          • toby says:

            As a bible believer tell me again how many trips it took you to the Middle East to find this evidence that it’s true? And where exactly it was that you found it?

  4. Bryan says:

    “Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

    Christian Whitmer

    Jacob Whitmer

    Peter Whitmer, Jun.

    John Whitmer

    Hiram Page

    Joseph Smith, Sen.

    Hyrum Smith

    Samuel H. Smith”

    So the Book of Mormon is true because witnesses.

    Reply
    • bob says:

      Bravo Bryan – but get ready for it – Mark will dazzle you with his canned response – “Mormonism isn’t true because it’s a cult”.

      Reply
      • Bryan says:

        Thanks Bob. I’m sure he will but first he will quote 75 lines of scripture.

        My point really has nothing to do with Mormonism. My point is just because there are SUPPOSED witnesses that does not mean it really happened. I wonder if Mark believes in The Miracle of the Sun?

        “Also known as the Miracle of Fátima, refers to an event that allegedly occurred on 13 October 1917 above a large crowd who had gathered in Fátima, Portugal, in response to a prophecy made by three shepherd children. The prophecy was that the Virgin Mary (referred to as Our Lady of Fátima), would appear and perform miracles on that date. Newspapers published testimony from reporters and other people who claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity, such as the sun appearing to “dance” or zig-zag in the sky, careen towards the earth, or emit multicolored light and radiant colors. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.”

        Reply
        • Mark Heavlin says:

          “I wonder if Mark believes in The Miracle of the Sun?”
          .
          You want me to render an opinion on something that happened over 100 years ago in Portugal and all the participants are probably now dead? Tell me what would be the point?
          Either it happened or it didn’t.
          .
          Now concerning the Virgin Mary? Well I will refer you to Matthew 13:54-57 and specifically verse 55 where it names 4 brothers of Jesus and then verse 56 where it mentions Jesus’ sisters ( as in plural ). So Jesus had at a minimum at least 6 siblings. As The Bible only mentions a singular Virgin Birth; I will let you draw your own conclusions as to how Jesus has at least 6 siblings. You can probably figure that out.
          .
          Matthew 13:54-57 54 Coming to His hometown, He taught the people in their synagogue, and they were astonished. “Where did this man get such wisdom and miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother’s name Mary, and aren’t His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 Aren’t all His sisters with us as well? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him.

          Reply
          • toby says:

            You want me to render an opinion on something that happened over 100 years ago in Portugal and all the participants are probably now dead? Tell me what would be the point?
            Either it happened or it didn’t.

            The self-awareness is deliciously weak with this one. Can’t render an opinion on that, but you’re full of them on a 2000 year old book. I mean, what would be the point? You impress me as someone I could sell a bridge too. Or oceanfront property in Colorado.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            “The self-awareness is deliciously weak with this one.”
            .
            NOPE. You are wrong again. I am/was completely aware of my position here.
            .
            .
            “Can’t render an opinion on that,”
            .
            “Can’t” is the wrong word here. The correct one is “Won’t” or “Will not”. Just as when BOB asked me to render an opinion about his “x” number of great grandfather who was a slave owner and also a Christian. What does my opinion have to do with whether either story is true or NOT???
            .
            .
            “but you’re full of them on a 2000 year old book”
            .
            You make the faulty assumption that it is just a 2000 year old book. It is NOT. What it is is The Holy Bible – the inerrant WORD of GOD.
            .
            Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
            .
            John 10:34-36 34 Jesus replied, “Is it not written in your Law: ‘I have said you are gods’ 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came — and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36 then what about the One whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world? How then can you accuse Me of blasphemy for stating that I am the Son of God?
            .
            .
            “You impress me as someone I could sell a bridge too. Or oceanfront property in Colorado.”
            .
            Nope. Wrong again.
            .
            And you impress me as someone so flippant and gullible that you would lose your own soul for eternity for a lie of Satan.

          • toby says:

            Oh good. We have Susan-lite back. Diet Susan, half the length and more insults. A sort of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Susan.

          • Mark Heavlin says:

            You are delusional. And still wrong again. Verse 18 of John Chapter 3 pretty much sums it up. Maybe you should try and comprehend it?
            .
            Do try and keep up – SUSAN was a “universalist”. Something she could NOT prove via Scripture from The Holy Bible.
            .
            John 1:1-5 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
            .
            John 3:16-18 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

      • Mark Heavlin says:

        Actually, I was gonna say that BRYAN reminds me a lot of SUSAN. Both have a fettish for a certain religion. And like to make claims that neither can back up with actual Scripture from The Holy Bible.

        Reply
  5. Bryan says:

    No, I have been pointing out that Mormon BS is the same as Christian BS when it comes to apologetics.

    You may run out of food and need to buy some more, you may run out of gas and need to refuel your car but you will NEVER run out of half-baked, convoluted “proof” that your fundamentalist beliefs are true.

    I use Mormonism because I think it represents a perfect example of how religions start and how they evolve from cults to respectability.

    Reply
    • toby says:

      Don’t forget Jim Jones, David Koresh, those Hale-Bop comet idiots, scientology, etc. All classic examples of cult formation that if you look at the new testament you can see traces of in writings attributed to Paul. He was in it for money. It’s all there between the lines. He saw an opportunity to con people and he took it. And people fell for it. Just like those that follow Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, etc. It just so happens that christianity has survived because it’s so malleable and non-specific that anyone can cherry-pick what they want from it and feel good about themselves.

      Reply
  6. Andy Ryan says:

    The funny thing here is that Mark said that I’d disbelieve no matter how much evidence there was. But our interaction went like this:
    Me: Here’s the symptoms Saul is described as having and why it sounds like frontal lobe epilepsy
    Mark: But what about being blind for three days – does THAT sound like frontal lobe epilepsy?
    Me: Yes, it’s a standard symptom of it
    Mark: But you’re not a doctor. No doctor would say this.
    Me: Here are the names of doctors who agree with me
    Mark: No reputable doctor would say this
    Me: These are qualified, reputable doctors
    Mark: But you’re not a doctor. No evidence would be enough for you.
    Me: Again, you don’t need to take my word for it – there are peer reviewed papers written by qualified doctors on the subject
    Mark: I’m glad you’ve come to share my opinion.
    .
    Who seems impervious to evidence here?

    Reply
    • Mark Heavlin says:

      If you are going to plagiarize me at least you could have the decency to NOT misquote me; but I suppose that is beyond your intellectually dishonest ability.
      .
      The real question is who is impervious to the TRUTH here ?

      Reply
  7. Susan says:

    Mark is making misstatements above. I already proved it. He just refused to look at the proof.

    I supplied the “all” verses, several articles with the doctrinal corrections explaining the correction and various mistranslated verses for the false doctrine but for his own personal reasons he is unteachable.

    When you actually perform the Gospel you will be running into hardened sinners and even unrepentant Christian hypocrites who act more like Pharisees than Bereans.

    Heavlin assumes certain key words are not translated. He is content to contradict the divine and forgiving character of God to prop up a false doctrine from the mind of man.

    We were given the Word so men’s false emotions would not rule over God’s perspective but some people forget that and botch things up.

    If you can’t inspect the Word meanings then you just lost a tool to interpret the Gospel.

    But the whole point is not whether or not “I” proved anything.

    The question is did YOU bother to learn God’s perspective?

    This is why you do not handwave the scriptures away. Are you going to learn the truth or let other people who might have made mistakes control interpretations.

    This is not just any truth either.

    This is The Truth which brings transformation to people.

    So don’t leave the whole transformational process in the hands of men assuming they are holy. Get busy in letting God make you holy.

    Wouldn’t you rather know like a genuine Christian disciple then leave everything in the hands of a person who’s heart motive you cannot read?

    Start working with God in the scriptures so He can build a spiritual mind in you.

    Don’t depend on others to be spiritual for you be spiritual in God’s way yourself.

    Reply
    • Mark Heavlin says:

      “Mark is making misstatements above.”
      .
      Which one if my above statements is wrong Susan? Post it below so we can clearly see which you think it is. Otherwise, let it go.
      .
      .
      “I already proved it. He just refused to look at the proof. I supplied the “all” verses, several articles with the doctrinal corrections explaining the correction and various mistranslated verses for the false doctrine but for his own personal reasons he is unteachable.”
      .
      If by proof you mean using Scripture OUT OF CONTEXT and repeating the same falsehood over and over thinking that it will make it be true. Well Then you are still WRONG.
      .
      .
      “unrepentant Christian hypocrites”
      .
      I would love to see your definition of this term. It should be a real twisting of the English language.
      .
      .
      “Heavlin assumes certain key words are not translated. He is content to contradict the divine and forgiving character of God to prop up a false doctrine from the mind of man. We were given the Word so men’s false emotions would not rule over God’s perspective but some people forget that and botch things up. If you can’t inspect the Word meanings then you just lost a tool to interpret the Gospel.”
      .
      I assume NOTHING. And I would certainly NEVER attempt to contradict Scripture as it can NOT be done. You and your “universalist” position however do this with every passage you have attempted to use to prove it.
      .
      John 3:18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
      .
      .
      “But the whole point is not whether or not “I” proved anything. The question is did YOU bother to learn God’s perspective? This is why you do not handwave the scriptures away. Are you going to learn the truth or let other people who might have made mistakes control interpretations. This is not just any truth either. This is The Truth which brings transformation to people. So don’t leave the whole transformational process in the hands of men assuming they are holy. Get busy in letting God make you holy. Wouldn’t you rather know like a genuine Christian disciple then leave everything in the hands of a person who’s heart motive you cannot read? Start working with God in the scriptures so He can build a spiritual mind in you. Don’t depend on others to be spiritual for you be spiritual in God’s way yourself.”
      .
      As it is I who continue to quote Scripture IN CONTEXT and you who continue to quote Scripture OUT OF CONTEXT – I suggest you go look in the mirror for the hand-waving and who is using doctrines of men.
      .
      John 3:18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

      Reply
      • Susan says:

        “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

        1 Timothy 2:4–5

        Does that passage say all believers?

        In Him we were also chosen as God’s own, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything by the counsel of His will,

        What if there are two groups? The predestined who are blessed and holy making it to the First Resurrection. The second is the believers and unbelievers.

        Research it.

        Do you want sound doctrine or not?

        Do you want the mind of Christ or do you settle for context?

        Eternity

        עוֹלָם
        olam
        Hebrew words used for space are also used for time. The Hebrew word qedem means “east” but is also the same word for the “past.” The Hebrew word olam literally means “beyond the horizon.” When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This concept is the olam. The word olam is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive. This word is frequently translated as “eternity” meaning a continual span of time that never ends. In the Hebrew mind it is simply what is at or beyond the horizon, a very distant time. A common phrase in the Hebrew is “l’olam va’ed” and is usually translated as “forever and ever,” but in the Hebrew it means “to the distant horizon and again” meaning “a very distant time and even further.”

        http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/m/vocabulary_definitions_eternity.html

        How dare those translators choose the wrong word. But that mistake happened way back in Catholicism with Jerome’s Vulgate translation.
        The popes learned well to subvert Christ’s church and rule everyone with fear and anybody that challenged them got the Inquisition. Tyndale burnt at the stake by the pope. What was his crime? Translating the text used by the KJV Bible into the vernacular so the pope’s power was loosened over the people.

        Who is called Holy Father? Why the pope, of course. But Christ said not to call anybody Father but God.

        If you want to let the antichrist popes sow a false doctrine in your head then go ahead. I don’t accept the doctrinal lie it contradicts the nature of God and causes division in the body of Christ and in the world.

        The Bible says that Jesus died for the church (Ephesians 5:25). It also says he died for the whole world (1 John 2:2). Which one cancels out the other? Neither. They are both true.

        Ephesians 5:25
        “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

        1 John 2:2 King James Version (KJV)

        2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

        This world is loaded with antichrists. What is the definition of antichrist?

        Here it is:

        1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

        A lot of groups deny Jesus came in the flesh. Like the Muslims they deny his resurrection and that he is the son of God.

        There are many antichrists in this world.

        Commentary from bible study tools.com:

        Antichrist [N] [T] [E] [H] [S]
        The term “antichrist” occurs only in 1 and 2 John, and there in both singular and plural forms. It is part of a complex of images and figures that represent the activity and power of evil of those forces that are hostile to God. The Old Testament uses the figure of a dragon to symbolize evil’s conflict with God existing from the time of creation to God’s final triumph ( Isa 27:1 ; cf. Gen 1:21 ; see also the reference to Rahab the dragon/sea monster defeated at the time of creation, Psalm 89:9-10 ; cf. Job 9:13 ; 26:12 ). The dragon figure is applied to earthly powers who are enemies of God, such as Nebuchadnezzer ( Jer 51:34 ) and Pharoah ( Eze 32:2 ). The figure of the beast also denotes forces (specifically political powers) hostile to God ( Dan 7 ). Both these figures reappear in the New Testament, particularly in Revelation. The dragon is used twelve times in Revelation and designates the devil and Satan and the enemy of God’s Messiah. The beast is a central image in Revelation used to symbolize that which opposes and parodies God.

        The New Testament indicates the presence of cosmic opposition to God through reference primarily to forces, people, or a person who seek to deceive those who already know God’s Messiah. The cosmic struggle with evil is now chiefly localized in the church. So the spirit of antichrist ( 1 Jo 4:3 ), the false Christs ( Mark 13:22 ) and antichrists ( 1 Jo 2:18 ), the antichrist ( 1 John 2:18 1 John 2:22 ; 4:3 ; 2 John 1:7 ), the man of lawlessness ( 2 Th 2:3 ), and the “desolating sacrilege” ( the 1:1 Mark 13:14 the ; masculine participle suggesting a person such as the antichrist ) all concentrate their activity on the elect or the community of faith. These figure(s) lie and deny Christ ( 1 John 2:22 ; 2 John 7 cf. 1 John 4:3 ), lead astray ( Mark 13:22 ), oppose and even declare himself as God in the temple ( 2 Thess 2:4, ; cf. Mark 13:14 ).

        In both Testaments these figures function not only to describe the magnitude and threat of evil but to affirm God’s control over creation. In the Old Testament and New Testament the image of the beast is used to describe both the power and intensity of evil and to declare God’s ultimate victory. The figure of the antichrist and the man of lawlessness do not occur in the Old Testament, although their New Testament use is replete with Old Testament allusions. In the New Testament these figures function in line with the Old Testament conviction that God will ultimately defeat the forces of evil.

        The predominant venue for these figures in the Bible is in the context of discussion of the last days. The eschaton is recognizable because of the unleashing of evil and will be characterized by a particularly vivid and horrific confrontation between God and his enemy ( 2 Thess. 2 ; 1 John 2:18 ). This expectation accords with that of Jewish apocalyptic literature (Sybilline Oracles, Book 3; 4 Esdras 5:6) and early Catholic Christianity (Didache 16:1-4). The constant biblical conviction is that God will ultimately triumph over every opposition to him and his people, whether such enmity is manifested in earthly or supernatural powers. The last battle will be won by God and the beneficiaries will be God’s people.

        You have to examine the doctrine because if many early Protestant leaders are correct and the popes are a type of antichrist then they changed things even the afterlife doctrine.

        Christ is the victor. He saved the world yet the pope does not set anyone free. Catholicism is famous for it’s guilt.

        After persecuting the anti-Catholic world for close to 2,000 years the popes are now engaging in ecumenism trying to build up relations with other groups. But their crimes are sky high and they are just like Satan wanting to sit on the throne of God on this earth.

        It is confusing I know some of my early best friends were Catholic and nice people but the doctrinal system is flat out wrong. Too bad Luther did not catch the translation errors but he had a lot to reform.

        There are two resurrections. Are the Bereans the Blessed and Holy? While the believers are Thessalonians? Believing is easy. Even the devils believe.

        A lot of universalists were persecuted by “The Church” not acting very churchlike so who are the Bereans, who are the believers and who are the antichrists.

        Many church founders like Wesley of Methodism are great scholars so if Wesley who wrote a biblical commentary thought the pope was the antichrist maybe he is and maybe you should check the doctrine.

        Quotes from popes:

        The Popes claim the title of Vicar of Christ, which means “substitute Christ.”

        The word antichrist doesn’t just mean “against Christ“, it means “in place of Christ.”

        Pope Boniface VIII said “We declare, assert, define and pronounce to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every creature altogether necessary for salvation… I have the authority of the King of Kings. I am all in all, and above all, so that God Himself and I, the Vicar of Christ, have but one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do. What therefore, can you make of me but God?” (5)

        Pope Pius IX said, “I alone… am the successor of the apostles, the vicar of Jesus Christ. I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (6)

        Pope Pius X declared, “The Pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, he is Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who is speaking, hence, when anyone speaks of the Pope, it is not necessary to examine but to obey.” (7)

        Pope Pius XII said, “…recognize the Holy, Catholic, Roman Church to be the only true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which neither sanctity nor salvation can be found. Call them to the unity of the one fold, granting them the grace to believe every truth of our holy faith and to submit themselves to the Supreme Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.” (8)

        These blasphemous Papal proclamations oppose what Jesus told us in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

        End Time Deceptions
        http://christianitybeliefs.org/end-times-deceptions/pope-quotes-verify-they-are-antichrist-son-of-perdition/

        Reply
        • Mark Heavlin says:

          “Does that passage say all believers?”
          .
          Nope; it says all men. However; the English word “will” is the Greek word [ θέλει ] – which more properly translated here means “desires”. The commentaries on biblehub.com give a clear refutation of your assertion of these 2 verses as proof of “universalism”. Link provided: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/1_timothy/2-4.htm
          .
          Berean Study Bible – 1 Timothy 2:4-5 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
          .
          .
          “What if there are two groups?”
          .
          There are two groups – Believers and NON-Believers. That you would lump the 2 distinct groups into one and attempt to create a seperate third and NOT provide Scripture from THE HOLY BIBLE is patently absurd.
          .
          .
          “Do you want sound doctrine or not? Do you want the mind of Christ or do you settle for context?”
          .
          I will remind you of the massive mistake you made just over a month ago concerning this very point which was corrected by “ANONYMOUSONE4JESUSCHRIST”.
          .
          Link provided: https://crossexamined.org/qa-biblical-reliability-hebrews-64-6/
          .
          .
          “The entire ROMAN CATHOLIC church rant.”
          .
          WRONG BOARD. I have already proven that your assertion on this is incorrect.

          Reply

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