By David J. Stewart
Jesus Was Seen By Over 500 People After He Arose
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1st Corinthians 15:3-8).
The Bible not only declares that Jesus arose from the grave, but also tells us of all the people who saw Jesus in His resurrected body (a physical body). Jesus was seen at the tomb by Mary and others, He was also seen by Cephas, He was also seen by the twelve disciples, He was also seen by over FIVE HUNDRED disciples at ONE TIME, He was seen by the Apostle Paul himself on the road to Damascus.
Jesus did not raise up from the dead in secret; on the contrary, He appeared unto literally hundreds of people... “For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; FOR THIS THING WAS NOT DONE IN A CORNER. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:26-28). The Apostle Paul was witnessing to King Agrippa concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. The king admitted that he almost became a Christian, what held him back? Why didn’t he get saved? Only God knows. How sad that so many people will go to Hell, having missed Heaven by a thread. Paul explained to King Agrippa that Christ died, was buried and arose again and these things were NOT done in a secret corner.
Jesus was crucified before a multitude of people, He was buried in a secure tomb with constant guard watch, He was miraculously raised up and seen of Literally hundreds of people. This was no mere rumor started by some religious group. The evidence was overwhelmingly in favor of what Paul was saying to the King, so much that the King was tempted to trust Christ but He chose foolishly not to do so. Oh how foolish was that man! I’ll guarantee he regrets his decision now!!! He is suffering in Hell for his sinful unbelief. Acts 26:28, “...ALMOST thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Unfortunately, “Almost” is NOT good enough. I wonder how many people are burning in Hell right now that “almost” accepted Christ as Savior, but didn’t do so. Why play with God?
All History is Accepted by Faith
There is as much proof that Jesus Christ arose from the dead as there is that Alexander the Great existed. As a matter of fact, there is much more. Can you prove to me that Julius Caesar ever lived? No! You can show me some archeology and a history book, but you CANNOT absolutely prove that this man ever lived. You CANNOT prove to me that anyone in history ever lived—apart from something you read in a book, saw on TV, heard in a class, etc. Everything we believe concerning history is by faith! I CANNOT prove to you that Jesus ever existed. Who says George Washington ever existed? Can you prove that? No, you CANNOT.
However, no one questions whether or not George Washington existed. Why? Because we blindly accept some of the things we hear and read. The only exception is the people who are still living today who can tell us about things that happened fifty to one hundred years ago. Beyond the last century, history is all by faith—We go by what we read and hear. Everything we believe concerning history is based on something we’ve seen or heard—everything!
This is why I won’t argue over which Greek text the Bible came from. You can’t prove anything to me and I can’t prove anything to you. There has been so much corruption and tampering throughout history. I don’t believe that God would leave His children at the mercy of historical research to verify which Bible is the true Bible. I believe the King James Bible is the preserved Word of God. Why? Because it burns the heart like no other book has ever done. These new watered down Bibles don’t do anything for me. The King James Bible has stood the test of time. Show me the Christians who can quote verse after verse, word perfect from of their HIV bible’s, you’ll have a hard time finding one. I have never met one!
These phony bibles have no conviction, no power, no gravity that pulls us closer to it’s Divine Author. The King James Bible has been preserved for the English speaking people. But you say, “there are more reliable Greek manuscripts now available.” Oh, is that so? Who says! You can’t prove anything to me because you weren’t there centuries ago and neither was I. We must accept history by faith. The big question is what will you accept as truth and what will you reject as lie? I choose to accept the King James Bible as God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved, incorruptible Word because it faithfully upholds the Deity of Jesus, the Godhead and the precious name of Jesus.
Evolution is accepted solely by faith. There is NO proof of Evolution. Dinosaur bones don’t prove anything except that there were once dinosaurs. The only thing scientists have learned about the Missing Link is that it is STILL MISSING. If men came from apes, then why are there still apes? Unbelievers have been searching frantically for centuries to uncover any morsel of proof that a half man/half ape creature ever existed. The Bible clearly teaches that such a creature has never existed. A man is a man and an ape is an ape (1st Corinthians 15:39)—Settled!!!
May I say, I am not against history! History contains much truth as well as many lies. In fact, the truth is almost always found in the midst of lies. You and I could argue all day long over which historical items are reliable and which one’s are not. I have faith in God’s Word for what It is today, for what It is doing for my heart personally in the present. The bottom line is you either believe the Bible or you don’t. Either you believe Jesus was resurrected or you don’t. There is nothing I can magically show you to make you believe. The Bible teaches that Jesus arose and is alive forevermore. The Bible is clear concerning the Lord’s resurrection. Either you accept this as truth or you don’t. I surely hope that you do believe it for your soul’s sake.
The Myth of "Good Friday"
There is no such thing as “Good Friday.” That’s right, it was really “Good Thursday” if anything. The Bible says that Jesus arose on the FIRST DAY of the week... “The FIRST DAY of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre” (John 20:1). The first day of the week was Sunday then just as it is now. There are only two days from Friday to Sunday. So Friday is not accurate... “Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After THREE DAYS I will rise again” (Matthew 27:63). Jesus had told everyone that He would rise up after three days. If Christ arose on Sunday, then He had to die on Thursday. There are many erroneous teachings that have come from false religion that are NOT supported by the Bible.
Some theologians believe that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday and rose again Saturday evening. The Jewish day didn't extend from midnight to midnight as today; but rather, from sundown to sundown (or about 6 p.m. to 6 p.m. the next day). Either way, we know of a certainty that Jesus DIDN'T die on a Friday. The Catholic tradition of Good Friday has it's origin in the pagan Philistine worship of the fish god, Dagon.
There is nothing in the Bible about abstaining from meat on Fridays. There is nothing in God’s Word about abstaining from marriage for ministers. There is nothing in the Bible about sprinkling holy water or of saying “Hail Marys.” There is nothing in the Bible about baptizing babies. There is nothing in God’s Word that says we should confess our sins to a priest or to recite a Rosary. Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to this world. The Devil has duped the minds of so many simple people through false religion (2nd Corinthians 11:13-14). I encourage you to learn the Bible and serve God for yourself. In John 5:39 Jesus commanded for each of us to... SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!! Don’t allow religion to control you—Allow God to control you. Give God your heart and let His Holy Spirit guide and teach you. Trust Him as your Savior. Believe upon Jesus Christ to forgive your sins, not the Catholic priest or Lutheran minister.
Jesus Christ Arose BODILY from the Grave
I’d like to clarify here that Jesus Christ arose BODILY from the grave. There are a great number of ministers who will tell you that they believe in the resurrection of Christ but they really don’t. Ask them if they believe that Jesus arose bodily from the grave and see what they say!!! You may get laughed at. The Bible is clear in 1st Corinthians 15:6 that Jesus was SEEN by over 500 people after He arose from the dead. Jesus asked Thomas to touch the scars in His hands and side... “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not FLESH AND BONES, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). In Acts 1:9 Jesus ascended BODILY into the clouds... “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
They saw Jesus physically ascended into the clouds when He left earth, and He will return in the same fashion... “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Jesus had a physical body when He arose and ascended into heaven!!! The Scriptures are clear on this and we must beware of any false prophets who would teach us otherwise. Amen!
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