Jesus On The Issue Of Swords

Jesus spoke on several occasions regarding swords. It seems strange He would encourage His disciples to sell their cloak and if they didn’t have a sword buy one.

“…he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” (Luke 22: 36).

“Then they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.’ And He said to them, “It is enough’.” (Luke 22: 38).

Yet, Christ rebuked Peter when he drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the soldiers who came to arrest Him ((John 18:10).

To a casual reader this might sound contradictory. The explanation is found in the Greek word MACHAIRA translated “sword.” It did not refer to a large long Thracian weapon. It was a reference to a short curved bladed knife most men carried at all times like many do smaller pocket knives today. It was utilitarian. It was used to dress wild game, prepare it for cooking, and then served somewhat like a fork with which to eat. Persons traveling alone needed one. In the case of the disciples going together two were enough.

Christ wasn’t encouraging His disciples to prepare for combat but for open country survival.

On another occasion Christ said, “I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew 10: 34).

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and gives individuals peace not obtainable elsewhere. However, He knew the world would violently reject Him. He knew people would be divided over Him. This is a figurative statement revealing that in society and even in some families members professing faith in Him will often be disowned or disinherited.

As a sword separates what it cuts so faith in Christ will result on occasion in believers being separated from nonbelievers.

Ask a young person being ridiculed and left out by non-Christian friends what the sword means.

Ask the rising young Christian in business who refuses to go along with the secularist who designs a scheme to cheat clients what the sword means.

Ask the individual believer who will not compromise morally and go along with worldly actions what the sword means. It means separation.

Faith in Christ separates His followers from the world.

Another figurative use of the word sword appears in the account of the elderly Simeon saying to Mary, “…a sword will pierce through you own heart” (Matthew 10: 35). It is a summary expression for extreme mental and emotional anguish. In the crucifixion this was fulfilled.

Jesus: Did He Descent Into Hell?

One frequently asked questions is: “Where was Jesus those three days His body was in the tomb?” Before relating to that, let’s establish one basic fact. Some interpretations of the passage before us imply people have a second chance to be saved after death. This is a cruel false deception designed by the devil. It is not a Scriptural principle that any person has a second chance after death.

Let’s make clear the one and only one chance any person has for salvation. I Peter 3:18, says that Christ died “that He might bring us to God” = PROSAGO. From PROSAGO two nouns are derived. One means “the right of access.” Through Christ we have the “right of access” to God. The other noun means “introducer” or “the giver of access.” Hence, Christ is represented as the one who gives us access to God. Earlier He had said, “I am the way… (John 14:6.) He is the only way of access to God.

Now consider the question regarding Christ during the days between the death and resurrection.

Many opinions are held by Godly people as to the exact meaning of Christ going and preaching to the spirits in prison I Peter 3:19). The Greek language in which the text was written used no commas or periods, no punctuation at all. By taking this into account and observing the verb tense used in the text, a clearer understanding can be obtained. This meaning is found in this reading: “By the spirit…” (vs. 18), “…he went and preached to the spirits which are now in prison…” When? “…in the days of Noah” (vs. 19).

Thus, He preached, by the Spirit, through Noah, to the disobedient spirits now in prison in the day of their disobedience.

By the same eternal Spirit by which He was made alive He went and preached to disobedient people in the time of their disobedience, which was in the day of Noah.

It is apparent this was not a proclamation offering anyone a second chance of salvation after death. The word translated “preached” is not the word for evangelize, euangelizo, but kerysso, meaning “to announce.”

It should be noted that the Greek word for “hell” is not used, but rather Hades, the place of all departed dead. So all the departed dead from the time of Noah had this announcement made to them in their lifetime.

Where was He then during those three days between death and resurrection? He was where He said He would be when He said to the thief on the cross, “Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise…”

This passage does not imply there was a second chance for those who were in hell at the time of the crucifixion to be saved. Neither is there such a second chance for any persons.

“It is appointed unto man once to die and after the judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27.)

“He that believeth not is condemned ALREADY…” When? Here and now because they have refused to accept Christ’s “right of access.” They have rejected Him as “the give of access.”

Now there emerges a second superficial difficulty in this text. A study of it makes clear the meaning.

A casual reading of I Peter 3:21 makes it appear that baptism saves. What it really teaches is that baptism is not intended to wash away out spiritual filth any more than it is designed to wash away physical body filth. It is instead a beautiful pledge to God.

Baptism does not save us. It is a pledge of a “good conscience.” The resurrection saves us. Our response to the resurrected Christ is to be confirmed at baptism.
The term “the answer of a good conscience” translates EPEROTEMA. In business transactions, there is a question and answer making a contract legal and binding. The question, “Do you accept the terms of the contract, and bind yourself to keep them?” The pledge, “I do” is “the answer.”

Baptism is a pledge of commitment. Basically the question is, “Do you accept the terms of my service? Do you accept the privileges and promises, and will you undertake the responsibilities and demands of it?” Baptism is a resounding, “Yes!”

In a wedding, the ring is a sign or token of a covenant. The question is posed, “Do you…” The pledge, “I do.” The rings are the symbol of the commitment.

“We are buried together with Him in baptism” (Romans 6: 3,4). It is the grace of the resurrected living Lord that saves us.

This truth is paralleled by a statement regarding Noah. Noah was saved “by the water.” From what? He was saved from the flood tide of sin by the rising waters. The flood was the occasion for God delivering Him from the sinful world. Likewise baptism does not save us. It is associates with the occasion of the resurrection Christ saving us. Baptism is associated with the occasion of Christ saving us. It was the ark that delivered Noah. So it is Christ only that delivers us.

The ark is a type of Christ.
1. It was the Divinely chosen means. It was God’s idea.
2. It was the exclusive means.
3. The ark took the beating for those inside.
4. Entrance was voluntary.
5. Entrance was free.
6. Once people were in, God was in charge of their safety.

The Islamic Faith Compared With The Christian Faith

JESUS CHRIST said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; NO man cometh to the Father but by me” (John 14: 6).

Today there is a great tide sweeping the world of a religious movement needing Christianity’s attention. It is the Islamic faith. Islam is the faith. Muslims are the people who practice the Islamic faith.

Westerners often call the religion of Islam “Mohammedanism” and those who practice the religion “Mohammedans.” Adherents object because they say it makes it sound like they worship Mohammed and they don’t. They worship Allah. They prefer to be called Muslims.

Islam claims over 800,000,000 adherents, making it the second largest religious group in the world. Islamic peoples in over 70 countries are now riding a crest of cultural and religious resurgence.

Their growth in Europe has resulted in Belgium and Austria adopting it as one of the religions taught in public schools.

ORIGIN OF ISLAM. Arabs believe God told Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael instead of Isaac. Islam, meaning “submission,” was born among Arabian tribes who claim to descend from Ishmael.

In the first century after Christ, His devotees carried the gospel all over the known world. Christianity was embraced by millions. It conquered even the pagan Roman world. Rival religions paled before it. Pagan religions collapsed before it.

Had the devotion evidenced by these early believers continued, there would have been no fertile soil in which the Islamic faith could have rooted.

Unfortunately, Christianity succumbed to a malignant temptation that turned the conquerors into the conquered.

Having overcome pagan superstitions of the past, Christianity began to absorb certain traditions which the apostles found detestable. In Rome, most of it began by the worship of images, penance, a human priesthood, free use of wine, and adaptation of pagan feast days, which diluted Christianity.

Satan had devised a ploy to destroy the Christian faith. The first step was to do it from within by corruption. Prophetically Paul had written, “After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,…speaking perverse things” (Acts 20:29,30).

A young illiterate named Mohammed, who lived in the 600s, was the founder of the Islamic faith. He grew up in Mecca, a city in southwest Saudi Arabia. His father died before his birth and his mother soon after. His grandfather and later an uncle became his guardians. They were desert dwellers.

At the age of 25 he entered the service of Khadija, a wealthy widow. Though she was 15 years older than he, they later married. They had two sons and four daughters. The sons died young. One of the daughters married Ali, son of Abu Talib. Many Muslims trace their ancestry through the Fatima Dynasty.

Mohammed was overwhelmed by the corruption he saw in the church of his day. Mohammed found a religious void and rushed to fill it with his authoritarian teachings. The emerging Islamic faith fed on the decadent representation of Christianity that prevailed around the Mediterranean at that time. Mohammed believed he was facing in Christianity the “Great Satan.” This is a term still used by Muslims to refer to Christians and the western world in general.

Mohammed spoke of Christians and Jews as “people of the Book.” It grieved him that Arab people did not have a book of their own.

Mohammed professed to receive from the angel Gabriel, the pure word of God, called the KORAN, Arabic for “recitation.” The Koran teaches high ethical and moral principles in an epic poetic style that is music to Arab ears. It to the Muslim is not what the Bible is to a Christian. It is to the Muslim what Christ is to the believer. To Christians Jesus is the Word made flesh. To the Muslim the Koran is the Word made text.

He began his writings in Mecca where many thought him to be mentally unstable and his work fraudulent. His first writings were poetic and inspirational. In 622 Mohammed moved to Yathrib, later known as Medina. At first his ideas were treated with “amused disdain” and “pretentious.”

The Battle of Badr (624) proved decisive in establishing Islam as an aggressive force.

The portion of the Koran (Qur’an) “sent down” during this period took a more aggressive political and legal tone in contrast to the previous poetic and mystical reflections. By reading from the readings emerging from these two periods confusion results as to whether Islam is peaceful of militant. In the more belligerent portion are found such comments regarding Christians and Jews as:

“God fight them, what liars they are” (Surah 9:30).

“O believers, take not Jews or Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. God guides not the people of the evildoers” (Surah 5:56).

The Koran maintains war is an evil, but insists the extinction of Islam is a greater evil (Surah 2:217). History reveals there have been many occasions when adherents to Islam have had difficulty differentiating between defense of Islam or offensive conquest on societies.

Once established he returned by force to Mecca (630) where he established his base for continued military action.

At the death of Mohammed in 632, points in the Koran needed clarification for long-term guidance. This gave rise to “Tradition” (hadith sharif); the collective thoughts, sayings, and deeds of Mohammed. For example, Al-Ghazali, an eleventh-century Muslim legal scholar wrote:

“Know that the key to happiness is … imitating God’s Apostle in all his goings out and comings in, in his movements and times of quiescence, even in his manner of eating, deportment, his sleep and his speech….So you must sit while putting on trousers and stand while putting on a turban: You must begin with the right foot when putting on your sandals, and eat with your right hand: When cutting your nails you must begin with the forefinger of the right hand and finish with the thumb: in the foot you must begin with the little toe of the right foot and finish with the little toe of the left.”

With lightning speed, Islam militantly conquered the Byzantine Roman and Persian empires. Allah’s horsemen routed proud rulers of the orient, north Africa, and lower Europe as far as Spain and Switzerland by A.D. 712. At the point of the sword, Christianity acquiesced. Once orthodox lands capitulated.

Their rigid discipline soon boasted a progressive society. They developed vast libraries, gave us our numeral system, invented the cifr (cipher). Six centuries before Copernicus they knew the earth revolved around the sun. Surgically they practiced anesthesia and by the 14th Century demonstrated the circulation of the blood.


THE BIBLE They recognize the Old Testament prophets as God’s messengers. They accept the teachings of Christ in the gospels but not the rest of the New Testament.

GOD Many Christians think Allah can be equated with our God. Why would our God espouse that which conflicts with Himself? Many of the teachings of the Koran conflict with and contradict most of our New Testament. No one true God would oppose Himself.

WOMEN Women are regarded in Islam as temptresses whose irresistible attractiveness rivals even Allah’s power to secure and maintain the allegiance of men. One of their prominent works,

“Beyond the Veil,” by Fatima Mernissi, says, “The Muslim order faces two threats: the infidel without and the woman within” (p.12). It is a “whole system…based on the assumption that the woman is a powerful and dangerous being” (p. 14).

“The whole Muslim structure can be seen as an attack on, and a defense against, the disruptive power of female sexuality.”

Islamic law allows for a man to have four wives but he must treat all equally. He can divorce one by simply saying, “I divorce thee” three times before witnesses.

WAR The Arabic word JIHAD is sometimes translated from the Koran to mean “holy war.” It more clearly means “striving for the faith.” This striving can take the form of moral persuasion, preaching for conversion, or military conquest.

In the book, “Islamic Way of Life” the pillars of Islam are noted: “Last is jihad, that is, exerting oneself to the utmost to disseminate the Word of God and to make it supreme, and remove all the impediments in the way of Islam, be that through the tongue, or the pen, or the sword.”

Islam’s first wars were basically fought against polytheistic Arab tribesmen who resisted Mohammed’s crusade against idolatry.

Their militaristic temperament has been apparent from their beginnings in A.D. 622. The armies of Allah exploded across the basic Arab lands into Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and parts of India.

Around the turn of this century, Turkish Muslims turned on the Christian minority in their country and killed 5 million Armenians and 1 million Greeks. More recently, they overthrew the Christian government of Chad. Idi Amin killed a half million in his attempt to make Uganda a Muslim country. A prolonged bloody struggle continues in the Philippines as they try to turn it into an Islamic State.

Iran continues its repression of anything not Muslim. Saddam Hussein tried to enlist the Muslim world in a jihad against the coalition forces.

DIVISIONS There are two primary divisions within Islam.

Shiites comprise about 10% of the Muslim world and are primarily in Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait. The word Shiite means “partisans of Ali.”

Shiites believe Ali’s 12th successor who mysteriously vanished in A.D. 878 is still alive. They believe he is yet to emerge and establish Ali’s kingdom on earth.

Sunnites believe Mohammed’s successors should be chosen from the community. Their doctrine is more flexible. Sunnite means “tradition of the prophet.”

There are a number of smaller sects. The Bahai faith grew out of the Shiite group.

LIFE AND DEATH Their concept of salvation is a works religion. They believe the angels in heaven keep a record of man’s works. At death, the angel places the record book in the right hand of the good and they go to heaven. The book is placed in the left hand of the wicked and they go to hell.

As a part of their good deeds, they pray five times a day facing Mecca. These prayers consist of recitation of portions of praise from the Koran.

JESUS In accepting the teachings of Christ they believe He was referring to Mohammed when He spoke of the Paraclete (the Holy Spirit) who would teach men all truth.

The Koran acknowledges Jesus as the Jewish Messiah who was rejected by the Jews. In the Koran He is even called “the Word of God.” It affirms Jesus’ virgin birth and miracles. They deny Christ as being God incarnate and reject the Trinity. They deny His atoning death and resurrection. Adherents of Islam believe God saved Jesus from the cross by confusing the Romans, causing them to crucify someone else. The Koran states “they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them” (Surah 4:155).

The Koran says, “Glory be to Him and no “son’ to Him whose are all things in the heavens and the earth” (Surah 4: 171).

They teach Christ was taken to heaven and will return to earth to help establish Allah’s kingdom.

They believe Christ will die when He comes to earth again and be buried in Medina next to Mohammed where they already have an open grave prepared for Him.

Is There A God

One of my majors in a state university was biology. Yet, when I was asked two questions recently I had no proof to support my beliefs. One question was, “Can you prove there is a God?” The other, “Can you prove the theory of evolution?” My answer to both is “No.”


You don’t know what you don’t know, you know.

Let that simmer for a few seconds.

Let’s start with the question regarding the existence of God. I asked the inquirer what percentage of all knowledge he considered himself to have: 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or maybe 98%. It just might be that 10% would be high for most folks. He said 50%. Then I asked if he thought that in the unknown 50% there just might be a God? You don’t know what you don’t know, you know.

One of the laws of logic is you can’t prove a negative. To do so you would have to know everything there is to know about everything and know that the things proposed doesn’t exist. In light of this you can’t prove the negative there is no God.
For scientific reasons, which will be shared shortly, there is no way to prove there is a God. However, certain lines of logic support the concept.

The law of design demands there to be a God. Simply stated, where there is design there must be a designer. Observe a watch. An elemental observation reveals it does specific things exactly. It was designed by a designer to do them. Expand the principle and observe the universe. There is obvious design to it. Where there is design there has to be a designer.

Also obvious is the fact that where there is a law there must be a law giver. When there is a highway sign posting the speed law it is evident somebody established the law. Biology is brimming with observable laws of science. Where there is a law there must be a law giver.

The debate regarding evolution will never be settled. What ever one believes it is a theory not a science. Before insisting evolution is a science consider two principles of science. For a concept to be considered a science there are three requirements. It must be demonstrable, observable, and repeatable. For those concepts to which one or all three of these do not apply there is a word: “theory.”

Has anyone demonstrated evolution? Some persons bring up change within species and some old wives tales that have long been debunked. However, no one has ever produced a human being from a virus or ameba showing every stage of development. Has anyone demonstrated the creation of a universe from nothing? Remember the issue is “creation,” not change in substance.

Has anyone observed something coming from nothing?

I read in the filed of astronomy and find it intriguing. There is a lot of change going on in the universe but it all started with something.

Has anyone repeated the concept of unbroken evolutionary development? Has anyone developed the full chain of different phases of life from a primordial swamp to Madison Avenue?

If a thing isn’t demonstrable, observable, or repeatable it is a theory.

You don’t know what you don’t know, you know!

Humanism And Creation

A theory is a conjecture regarding a possible explanation of some phenomena. It serves as a basis of contention to support a supposition.

Conversely, a fact is a truth known to be proven by actual experience and/or observation.

In science for something to be considered a fact it must be based on what has been observed and is repeatable. Follow that line of thought and consider if creation is a fact or theory?

From a scientific point of view it is a theory. No one was there to observe the emergence of the universe and the appearance of diverse life forms. No one has ever repeated the process.

Keep tracking on the difference in a theory and a fact. Is evolution a fact or theory? No one has ever observed the emergence of a universe from nothing. After all, creation means to produce something from nothing. No one has ever demonstrably created a universe from nothing and shown the process to other observers. For it to be a fact such would have to be true.

In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Humanism was among nontheistic religions that would pass muster as a valid religion.

In 1976 the House of Representatives passed an amendment against secular humanism as a formal religion that should not be “taught” in public education.

The “Humanist Manifesto I” first appeared in 1933 and II in 1973. Edwin H. Wilson joined 34 other Unitarian ministers and professors in drafting it. There are a lot of distinguished individuals who embrace humanism. Many of them would offer various definitions of the movement. A myriad are candid in stating it is a climate of opinion that omits God, the supernatural, and substitutes self, science, and the progress of mankind.

“Humanist Manifesto I” states: “Religious humanist regard the universe as self-existing and not created.” It further sates: “Humanism asserts that nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values.”

“The Humanist Manifesto II” states, “As non-theists, we begin with humans, not God, nature not deity….”

Evolution is the explanation of origins advocated by humanism. Based on their Manifestos the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is a religion and the House of Representatives said it should not be taught in public schools. This coupled with the definition of a theory shows evolution is a religious theory not a scientific fact.

Pollster George Gallup found 44 percent of Americans poled, a fourth of them college grads, hold to the Genesis account of creation. Of the rest, 38 percent believe God directed the development of mankind. 9 percent believe in evolution, and 9 per cent said they didn’t know. Those figures vary from pole to pole.

Both evolution and creation are theories espoused by religious bodies. Which theory do you accept by faith? My minor in biology in college led me to accept creation.