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Was Jesus a Liar or Did it Really Happen?

One cannot claim on the one hand that he has faith in a man and yet on the other hand doubt that man's veracity. The man either tells the truth or he lies. You can either believe what he says or you cannot believe it, cannot believe it for you know he is prone to be tell things that are not so. Such is the case with Jesus. We either believe Jesus as a man whose word you can trust or take him as one whose word is not always reliable; it is either one or the other. If his word is sometimes unreliable you never know when to believe him and when not to. He cannot be fully trusted. This article comes as a result of a sermon I heard recently in which the preacher made the comment that with so many people today everything in the Bible is said to be figurative or symbolic and thus is not to be taken at face value, everything that seems incredible is simply the use of figurative language to make a point and thus when scripture is looked at in this way one does not have to deal with the supernatural in the affairs of men for the simple reason that the supernatural did not happen. Looking at scripture this way presents some very real problems for many of the things people wish to deny Jesus declared to be factual by the comments he made pertaining to them. The problem then becomes do you believe Jesus or do you think he lied. I thought it would be good to compile a list of some of the things Jesus spoke of in such a way as to confirm their reality. The listing was compiled by starting in Matthew and just taking events in the order in which I found them in a red letter edition of the New Testament and thus the reason we start with Sodom and Gomorrah is that was the first confirmation I came to of an Old Testament miraculous event as I ran my finger up and down the pages of Matthew then Mark, Luke, and John in order seeking passages where Jesus confirmed Old Testament miraclesMatt. 10:15. I quote the Luke passage for it is more in depth than Matthew but I will include what Matthew quotes Jesus saying as well. (1) Jesus confirms Sodom and Gomorrah and what happened there saying, " Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:28-29 NKJV) "Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!" (Matt. 10:15 NKJV) The words Jesus spoke confirms what the Old Testament had to say about Sodom and Gomorrah. Did Jesus lie? Can one believe the Bible account of Sodom and Gomorrah? The Bible says "the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord." (Gen. 13:13 NKJV) In Gen. 18:20 Gomorrah is included with Sodom as a place whose "sin is very grievous." (Gen 18:20 NKJV) In Gen. 19:5 we see the nature of their

sin. Two angels came to Lot (Gen. 19:1) but their appearance was that of men (Gen. 19:5). The men of Sodom came to Lot and insisted that he " bring them out to us that we may know them carnally." (Gen. 19:5 NKJV) They were engaged in homosexuality, men with men engaging in unseemly sexual acts. One cannot be an advocate of gay marriage and be a faithful Christian, not if he/she believes the Bible. In 1 Cor. 6:9-10, in the New Testament, not the old, Paul speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit gives a list of those who "will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9 NKJV) and says "do not be deceived" (1 Cor. 6:9 NKJV) about it. In that list we find "homosexuals" and "sodomites." (1 Cor. 6:9 NKJV) Did Jesus lie about Sodom and Gomorrah? Do you believe what he said? (2) Jesus confirms the story of, as he calls him, " the prophet Jonah." (Matt. 12:39 NKJV) "But He answered and said to them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. '" (Matt. 12:39-40 NKJV) There are many people that do not believe the story of Jonah but Jesus says it happened. They think that a man could not survive in the belly of a giant fish for three days and nights but the reason they reject it is that they discount the supernatural. They think scientifically that such a thing could not happen. My answer to that would be of course not. Clearly it is a supernatural event out of the norm but the biblical text tells us as much. This was no ordinary fish for the Bible says "the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah." (Jonah 1:17 NKJV) God made this giant fish for a specific purpose, put him in a specific location at just the right time, to do a specific task (swallow Jonah), and designed him in such a way so that a man could survive inside him. Jesus said this happened. Did Jesus lie? Do you believe him? Can we believe in Jesus, a supernatural being having no earthly father, and then say supernatural events have never happened, that miracles are just a fairy tale? If the miraculous is always to be rejected then who can believe in the virgin birth of Christ and/or his resurrection? How can we believe in our own resurrection if we do not believe in the miraculous? Even if evolution was true would that not also be just as much a miracle as the things we read in the Bible? Both are beyond the realm of human reason and understanding. Evolution is a mathematical impossibility and thus would be just as much a miracle as anything the Bible speaks of. Evolution has life evolving from non-living matter. If true is that not a miracle? Both the evolutionist and the creationist believe in miracles but the one will admit as much while the other refuses to acknowledge it.

(3) Jesus confirms man's creation and Adam and Eve. "And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' ?"" (Matt. 19:4-5 NKJV) Thus man was a creation of God and did not evolve. There was a beginning and at that time male and female were created or made by God. Please note Jesus says you can read about this, "have you not read." (Matt. 19:4 NKJV) Jesus was speaking this in the first century, not the twenty-first. The question then is where were they to read this? Was it from Professor so and so at the University of you name it? From what evolutionist were they to read this from in their time? We know where they were to read from and it was not from any evolutionist or professor thus Jesus confirms the account given in Genesis of the creation. Jesus further confirms the account of Adam and Eve as being real people and not mythological when he confirms the life and death of Abel. Since Abel was the son of Adam and Eve then no Adam and Eve no Abel. "Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar." (Matt. 23:34-35 NKJV) Jesus says Abel died a righteous man thus Abel did indeed live, the son of Adam and Eve. If Adam and Eve were mythological instead of living human beings the question naturally arises how about Abel? Was Abel also mythological? At what point in time do we move in the biblical account from mythological beings to actual living human beings? One man wants to know. This same man wants to know if Jesus was a liar. (4) Jesus confirms the flood account. "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matt. 24:37-39 NKJV) Jesus says there was a flood, a man named Noah, and an ark. Who was taken away in the flood? Jesus says " took them all away" thus it was a universal flood. God said to Noah, " the end of all flesh has come before me." (Gen. 6:13 NKJV) Those who want a local flood only have to deal with these passages. Was Jesus a liar? Were only a part of them, a part of all flesh, taken away? Do you believe Jesus told the truth? (5) Jesus confirms the burning bush incident. "But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD

OF JACOB' ?" (Mark 12:26 NKJV) This was the bush that burned with fire but was not consumed (Exodus 3:2-3). A bush that burns with fire and yet is not consumed is a miracle. Jesus is saying the passage is legitimate and is putting his stamp of approval on the account being a matter of factual history. (6) Jesus confirms the miraculous feeding of the widow in Zarephath and her son of 1 Kings 17 for approximately 3 years and 6 months. When Elijah met her she had but barely enough food for that single day for herself and son (see 1 Kings 17:12) but Elijah speaks to her word from the Lord, "The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth. " (1 Kings 17:14 NKJV) That ended up being nearly 3 years and 6 months (see Luke 4:25). Here is what Jesus said about that confirming it as a real event, " But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow." (Luke 4:25-26 NKJV) (7) Jesus confirms the miraculous healing from leprosy of Naaman. " And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." (Luke 4:27 NKJV) You remember Naaman was told by the prophet Elisha to dip 7 times in the river Jordan (1 Kings 5:10) and he would be cleansed. After hesitating he finally did so and was cleansed. We have Jesus here confirming another Old Testament miracle. (8) Jesus confirms Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt. He says, " Remember Lot's wife." (Luke 17:32 NKJV) What is to remember about her if she did not turn into a pillar of salt upon disobeying God (Gen. 19:17, 29)? That is the very thing we are to remember lest we too disobey. As I come to a close I ask do you believe what Jesus taught? Do you believe the things he said about the events I have listed above? If you doubt them you question Jesus' veracity. How can you believe Jesus is Lord and Savior and yet doubt his word for to doubt his word is to doubt him? If Jesus is prone to fairy tales then how do you know what to believe or think? Why would we expect God to be held in rein by the scientific method when God by definition is outside and above nature for he is the one who, if he does exist (I do not doubt that he does), created nature? He who created nature is not bound by what he created. The creation does not reign over the creator. The creator has not created a thing more powerful than himself, a thing he cannot intervene in and change to suit his purposes.

If you or I build a house do we not have the power to take that house and remodel it? Why then cannot God intervene miraculously in the affairs of nature and of mankind, of which he created both, to suit his own purposes? Why does supernatural intervention surprise us to the point that we deny that it can happen, we deny miracles? Those who doubt generally do not want to believe. They do not search for God. They are running from faith because they do not want to believe for belief would mean being bound by God and his commandments which limit our freedom to do as we please and I add, as we all know, we are all inclined to do what we want to, to do what pleases us. It is our human nature. Even among religious people in Christendom many have their doubts about various passages in the Bible and especially the miraculous but why? I think the root of the matter is that doubt allows us the freedom to build our own unique version of Christianity to suit ourselves. If we really cannot trust the Bible completely then we get to build the Bible (the doctrines and commandments) that most pleases us. It allows one to have a smorgasbord religion where one can pick and choose rather than just take what God has served up. We like the meal we would prepare better than the one God has prepared. It is a liberal brand of Christianity but by design to meet a purposeto get to live life the way we desire.