Why Should You Believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible? − Part 1

Posted in Bible Study, Ministry, The Shield with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2014 by The Shield

399341_10150940194808358_1412427173_n                                                                                                    Dovers seal

Why Should You Believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible? − Part 1

Jesus Is Lord − Lesson 1

Introduction:

Have you ever wondered whether God exists, whether Jesus really is God’s Son, or whether the Bible is really true? If not, you are an unusual person. All people ask these questions at times. The purpose of this study is to examine the evidence for some of the most basic claims of the Bible.

What Claims Does the Bible Make?

1. The Bible claims that God does exist.

Read HEBREWS 11:6.

*1* To please God, what must we believe? (a) whatever our parents taught us, (b) whatever our preacher says, (c) that God exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him. Answer (type the letter of the correct answer in the blank): .

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1).

2. The Bible claims to be an infallible revelation of God’s will.

Read 2 TIMOTHY 3:16,17.

*2* Where did the Scriptures come from? (a) they are inspired by God, (b) they express the opinions of men, (c) they are ancient legends of unknown origin. Answer: .

"…The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 14:37). [See

Eph. 3:3−5; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Thess. 2:13.]

3. The Bible claims that Jesus is God’s Son.

Read JOHN 20:26−31.

*3&4* What did Thomas call Jesus? Answer (type the correct word[s] in each blank): My and my .

*5&6* What must we believe in order to have eternal life? Answer: Jesus is the , the Son of.

"…we have heard for ourselves and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (John

4:42). [See also John 8:24; Luke 19:10; Matt. 16:15−18; 10:37; John 1:1,14.]

Note: these claims do not permit compromise. We cannot say, "The Bible is just a good book," or "Jesus was just a great man." The Bible claims it is God’s word, and Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. If these claims are not true, then Jesus is a liar and the Bible is a fraud!

What Kind of Evidence Will We Study?

God the Father is invisible (1 John 4:12). We cannot perform laboratory experiments to determine if He exists, but this does not mean we must accept "blind faith" without evidence. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. His life can be investigated like any other historical fact. Likewise, many other claims of the Bible can be investigated by logical and historical evidence.

In our daily lives, all of us determine our beliefs on the basis of this kind of evidence. For example, a hunter may not see an animal, but from its footprints he knows it exists and he knows much about its nature. In the same way, God has left "footprints on the sands of time."

A judge and jury do not physically observe a crime, yet they reach a verdict about what happened by the testimony of witnesses.

Read ACTS 14:17.

*7* God did not leave Himself without what? (a) people, (b) witness, (c) time, (d) money. Answer:

Let us call God’s "witnesses," and you be the judge. Weigh the testimony honestly, then reach a verdict (Rom. 10:17), but remember that you are not determining the guilt or innocence of someone else. Rather, your verdict will determine your own eternal destiny!

Witness #1: The Existence of the Universe

No one can deny the existence of the universe. The question is: what is the origin of the universe? Only two explanations are available: (1) there is an all−wise, all−powerful God who created it; or (2)

matter is eternal and, beginning from an original simple life form, all living things developed gradually over millions of years by process of evolution. Consider which of these two views best fits the evidence.

A. Life Comes Only from Life.

Read ACTS 17:24−28.

*8* What does this verse say is the origin of life? (a) life on earth has always existed, (b) an unplanned accident of nature produced the first primitive life by spontaneous generation in an ancient swamp, (c) life on earth was created by a living, wise, powerful God. Answer:

One of the most firmly established laws of science is the Law of Biogenesis, which says that life comes only from living things. There is no evidence that dead matter can spontaneously generate life.

The Bible agrees with scientific fact, for it says that life came from the eternal, living Creator (cf. Acts 14:15). However, evolution contradicts scientific proof, since it requires that dead matter sometime spontaneously came to life. Which view best fits the evidence?

B. Living Things Reproduce after Their Own Kind.

Read GENESIS 1:11,21,24,25.

*9* What kind of offspring do living things have? (a) the same kind as the parents, (b) with enough time, entirely different things may evolve, (c) you never know. Answer:

Every year millions of living things reproduce, and the offspring is always the same kind as the parent. This is exactly what the Bible says. The offspring of dogs will be other dogs, not fish, birds, or people!

Evolution, however, teaches that all the present kinds are the offspring of previous different kinds, all the way back to one original life−form. But there is no convincing evidence for this. Living things adapt to their environment, but where is the proof that they produce totally different kinds of living things (fish to reptile to bird, etc.)?

If evolution was true, there should be many fossils of intermediate "links" between present kinds of living things. However, the "links" are still missing!

C. The Human Race Is Unique.

Read GENESIS 1:26−28.

*10* Man is created in whose image? Answer: In the image of .

*11* Man has dominion over what? (a) fish, (b) birds, (c) animals, (d) earth, (e) all the preceding. Answer:

Simple observation shows that man is far above the animals.

Only man has rational intelligence. What animal uses abstract symbols (letters and numbers) to speak, write, or do mathematical calculations? What animal invents new tools and machines, trains animals, uses fire, or records wisdom to pass on to future generations?

Among animals there are many shades of intelligence. If man evolved from animals, why are there no animals with shades of intelligence right up to ours, instead of so vast a gulf?

Only man creates new beauty to appreciate in the form of music, art, poetry, humor, etc.

Only man has a conscience and sense of religious values. What animal by nature feels a sense of guilt or seeks to find and worship the cause of its existence?

If man evolved from animals, how do we explain these vast differences? If we develop new characteristics according to "survival of the fittest," how does appreciation of art, etc., make us more fit to survive?

The Bible, however, easily explains all these differences. Man shares these characteristics in common, not with the animals, but with God in whose image we were made.

D. Design Must Come from a Designer.

Read ROMANS 1:20.

*12* How can we see the power and Deity (Godhead) of God? Answer: We see them by the things God .

Read PSALMS 19:1.

*13* What do the heavens declare? Answer: The heavens declare the of God.

Intelligent beings can recognize the work of another intelligent being.

When an intelligent being designs something to accomplish some purpose, that thing bears the marks of intelligence − it is intelligible. Other intelligent beings can study how it works, etc. Even if we have never met the maker, we know he must exist and we can appreciate the degree of his intelligence.

To confirm this concept to yourself, take this test. Try to name one thing that has these characteristics: (1) It appeals to your intelligence − it "makes sense" as a logical, reasonable way to accomplish some purpose. But, (2) you know it did not originate as the effort of some intelligent being

− it "just happened" by blind chance. Can you name any such thing? A car? house? bridge?

The universe bears countless marks of being designed by an intelligent Being.

Cameras are designed by intelligent beings, but no camera can match the overall performance of the

human eye. Where did your eyes come from?

Computers are made by intelligent beings, but the human brain can surpass computers in many ways. Where did your brain come from?

Factories are made by intelligent beings to manufacture a product. But who made the human reproductive system?

Read HEBREWS 3:4.

*14* As a house must have a maker, who ultimately built all things? Answer: The ultimate maker of all things is .

When you consider all the organs of the human body, then all the other plants and animals, the heavenly bodies, and all the complex laws of nature, is it reasonable to argue that all this came without intelligent planning?

Science is founded on the conviction that the universe is intelligible − it is so orderly and systematic that the human intelligence is able to grasp much about its working. Doesn’t this, of itself, prove that an intelligent Being invented it? And doesn’t the fact that much of its working is beyond our ability to understand and to duplicate, prove that the intelligent Being who made it is far superior to us?

Every effect must have an adequate cause! Evolution says that life began by blind chance and then random mutations produced all advanced life forms. The Bible, however, says that the all−wise, all−powerful, living God intentionally planned and created the universe and all the life forms in it. As you reach your verdict, you must determine which view is more reasonable and best fits the evidence.

*15* Every effect must have an adequate what? Answer: .

(For more information about evolution vs. creation, see the links at the end of this study.)

Witness #2: The Accuracy of the Bible

Although the Bible is a textbook on religion, it often touches on other subjects such as history, geography, or science. It was written 2000−3500 years ago, when scientific error abounded. Skeptics have searched it mercilessly to disprove it. But if, despite this, we find that it contains none of the common errors of its day − if it actually speaks truths that were unknown to scientists till centuries later − then this should strengthen our confidence that it is not from men but from God.

Consider the following examples in which the Bible has been proved to be accurate, even when "scholars" disagreed with it.

A. History and Geography

1. The Hittite nation

Read 2 SAMUEL 11:3.

*16* Uriah was of what nationality? Answer: Uriah was a .

The Bible often mentions Hittites (Gen. 15:19−21; Num. 13:29; Josh. 3:10), but for years skeptics said the Bible was wrong. Then in 1906, Hugo Winckler excavated Hattusa, the Hittite capital. We now know that, at its height, the Hittite civilization rivaled Egypt and Assyria in glory! (See Biblical World, pp. 290ff.)

2. Pithom and Raamses

Read EXODUS 1:11.

*17&18* Name the two cities the Israelites built in Egypt. Answer: They built and . The Bible says that Israelite slaves built these cities using bricks of clay mixed with straw, then clay and stubble, then clay alone (Exodus 5:10−21). In 1883, Naville examined the ruins of Pithom and found all three types of brick. (See Biblical World, pp. 458,459.)

3. The Book of Acts

Sir William Ramsay was a skeptic who sought to disprove Acts by tracing Paul’s journeys. Instead, his studies converted him! The turning point came when he proved that, contrary to accepted views, the Bible was right when it implied Iconium was in a different region from Lystra and Derbe (Acts 14:6). (See Archaeology and Bible History, Free, p. 317.)

Consider these quotations from prominent archeologists:

"…it may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries." − Dr. Nelson Glueck (Rivers in the Desert, p. 31)

"…archaeology has confirmed countless passages which have been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contradictory to known facts … Yet archaeological discoveries have shown that these critical charges … are wrong and that the Bible is trustworthy in the very statements which have been set aside as untrustworthy … We do not know of any cases where the Bible has been proved wrong." − Dr. Joseph P. Free (Archaeology and Bible History, pp. 1,2,134)

B. Science

Read ISAIAH 40:22.

*19* What is the shape of the earth? (a) circle, (b) flat, (c) cylinder. Answer: .

Isaiah wrote this when men thought the earth was flat ("circle" = "a circle, sphere" − Gesenius). Today we have pictures taken from space to show the earth’s shape, but how did Isaiah know?

Read JOB 26:7.

*20* How is the earth held up? Answer: The earth hangs on . Ancient men believed many errors. How did Job know the truth?

Read PSALM 8:8.

*21* Fish pass through what in the seas? Answer: They swim or pass through the of the seas.

Men knew of no paths in the sea until Matthew Maury read this verse. He searched till he discovered the ocean currents, and became known as the Father of Oceanography. (Impact, 9/91, pp. 3,4).

Read ECCLESIASTES 1:7.

*22* What does this verse tell us about rivers? (a) rivers run to the sea, (b) the sea does not get fuller, (c) rivers go back where they were before, (d) all the preceding. Answer: .

Today we understand how this happens by the water cycle and evaporation. How did Solomon know? The Bible has contradicted unproved theories, but properly understood it has never contradicted any proved scientific fact. Yet it has often stated scientific truths centuries before men knew them.

While the Bible has been repeatedly proved accurate, those who criticize the Bible have been consistently unable to disprove it. This surely strengthens our faith in other Bible teachings.

Personal application questions:

(These questions are for you to ponder. Your answers will help us understand your thinking, however they will not affect your "score.")

*23* Do you believe that the hypothesis of evolution agrees with the Bible?

*24* What is your reaction to the evidence in the lesson showing the accuracy of the Bible in history, geography, and science?

*25* Which view do you believe agrees best with what we observe in nature: evolution or creation?

If you have not already done so, save this lesson to your computer or email me at tjcoao@gmail.com and I will send you the pdf. Then print out the lesson (or at least open it in your browser or PDF reader offline − not on the Internet). Read the lesson and study in your Bible the passages indicated >>> Scripture <<<. Following each passage, study each question that has a number enclosed in asterisks (*1*, *2*, etc.), and write down your answers on paper. Some questions include more than one number because they have more than one blank to fill in. ("Think" questions should be carefully considered for your own benefit, but your answers will not be submitted to us.) Please take your time, study each passage carefully, answer the questions honestly, and consider the applications to your own life (John 12:48; 2 Tim. 2:15).

When you have studied the whole lesson and written down answers to all the indicated questions, go to this link http://www.classroomclipboard.com/568578/Test/AB983AEB616E41CD88D856D55231DFCC for the answer quiz for this lesson (or simply click on the link at the end of this lesson).

Characteristics of an Apostle

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2014 by The Shield

 

As the year 2014 unfolds, you can expect to hear much on the topic of the ministry of the Apostle. The next couple of posts will be centered on the year 2012 and the governmental Apostolic word that Father is breathing. Friend, we have not heard all there is to hear on the office of the Apostle or on what it means to be an apostolic people. My ear is pressed close to Father’s heart for fresh vision in these areas – as I’m sure yours is, too.

Before pressing forward, we must be certain of foundational truths concerning the office of the apostle. May this article be somewhat of a refresher on the characteristics of that office. Of late, this title has been granted all too easily. Alarmingly, “apostle” has trended more secular in application – encompassing anyone who demonstrates governmental authority in realms outside the four walls of the church. Depending on which teacher you follow in the prophetic/apostolic community, you might define an apostle in any number of ways. As will be described in the coming posts, I hold to the idea that there is a definite office of apostle as described in the New Testament. That office is demonstrated scripturally within the organized church government. An apostle will raise up apostolic people who manifest apostolic qualities in every realm of life. These apostolic people will rise in governmental authority wherever Father sends them. Whether or not they are officiating “apostles” in the true biblical sense of the word will depend on certain criteria.

The title apostle comes from the Greek word (apostolos) meaning a delegate, messenger, or one sent forth with orders. An apostle is a pioneer, one who is destined to build in terra nova, or rebuild in places of desolation and ruin. Let us rehearse what we see apostles demonstrating in scripture in the following acrostic for the word APOSTLE.

A – Affiliated.

A true apostle will affiliate with other apostles and with other ministries within the church. The first twelve apostles remained affiliated after the birth of the church. In Acts 8, Philip the deacon held a successful revival in Samaria. The apostles in Jerusalem heard about it and sent both Peter and John to look in on the move. They discovered that Philip had not been praying for the new believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. As a team, they imparted what was lacking. Apostles confer with one another, and work together for the benefit and growth of the kingdom. Those who refuse to network are not demonstrating true apostolic behavior.

P – Power.

Paul wrote in 1 Cor 2:4, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.” According toStrongs, this refers to the dynamis power of the Spirit of Jesus present in Paul’s preaching style. There is something dynamic about the preaching of an apostle – which reminds the listener of the authority of Christ.

O – Order.

An apostle creates order, in a fledgling work, or in an existing work that is dealing with a spirit of chaos. Ephesians 2:20, “Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” The spirit of wisdom and counsel that operates in the apostolic mantle creates order – which is foundational to building any lasting work.

S – Signs.

2 Corinthians 12:12 “The things that mark an apostle–signs, wonders and miracles–were done among you with great perseverance.” Perhaps, the most significant mark of an apostle is the ministry of signs that corroborates his or her office and kingdom mission. Many have assumed the title of apostle, but fail to consistently demonstrate the miraculous.

T – Teaching.

2 Corinthians 12:1 “I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.” Apostles bring revelatory teaching to the body of Christ. The epistles are written chronicles of revelatory teaching which came through the first apostles. Such revelation is given to establish the Kingdom in places of darkness. The teaching of an apostle is the key to undoing specific enemy strongholds and to expand the borders of the church.

L – Leaders.

As builders and founders, apostles have an anointing to identify, mentor, and mature leaders. Acts 6:6, “They presented these men (who would become deacons) to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.” A large part of their ministry will be geared to instilling and developing leaders within the body of Christ to manage Father’s household. The true apostle will also mentor men and women leaders in the community as the Lord grants them great influence beyond the walls of the church.

E – Entrepreneurs.

The Apostle Paul was a tentmaker in Acts 18:3. He joined Acquila and Priscilla in Ephesus, and made tents alongside them for his own maintenance. (In other words, the ministry could not fully support him at that time. He had to financially rely on his secular trade.) Interestingly, this was not the only time Paul worked to support himself during his Apostolic ministry. We have record that Paul worked outside of the church to support himself and others as an apostle in Acts 20:34 and again in Thessalonica (2 Thessalonians 3:9-10). Apostles aren’t afraid of hard work, neither will they shy away from secular work, considering it “beneath them”. Because of the entrepreneurial anointing that resides in the apostolic mantle, often they will bless and mentor other businessmen and businesswomen.

We must be cautious before titling one as an apostle. A label cannot lend credence when it is cheaply given. More tragic than the misnomer, is the abuse of God’s people. Those who follow a misnomer will only become disillusioned and disheartened at the waste of their resources and time.

Although the call to the office can only come from The Apostle, and chief cornerstone – it will be easily recognized by these marks. We all, however, are called to be apostolic people – who will demonstrate great signs in the days ahead


Apostle R. M

2 Thessalonians 1:3“[Thanksgiving and Prayer] We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.”

Know Your Purpose!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 15, 2013 by The Shield

Jeremiah 29:11

10-11This is God’s Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the .

God has a purpose for each one of us. Some of us know our purpose while others are still in the process of uncovering it. When we know our purpose, God uses it to enable us to renew His kingdom, but in order to renew His kingdom; we must continually renew our purpose and ourselves. Don’t let God’s purpose for your life become stale and feel old to you. Allow God to renew His purpose in such a way that it feels as fresh as the day you first uncovered it. Ask Him to expand your purpose and show you specifically the ways you can contribute to renewing His kingdom in the same way He has renewed your life and purpose.

The Shield

Apostle Rodrequez M. Dover, B. Th, M. Div, D. Th

Apostles Seal 2

Know who you are!!

Posted in Ministry, The Shield on December 28, 2012 by The Shield

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV)

God has a purpose for each one of us. Some of us know our purpose while others are still in the process of uncovering it. When we know our purpose, God uses it to enable us to renew His kingdom, but in order to renew His kingdom; we must continually renew our purpose and ourselves. Don’t let God’s purpose for your life become stale and feel old to you. Allow God to renew His purpose in such a way that it feels as fresh as the day you first uncovered it. Ask Him to expand your purpose and show you specifically the ways you can contribute to renewing His kingdom in the same way He has renewed your life and purpose.

20121227-193910.jpg

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF SCRIPTURE STUDY Day 5

Posted in Ministry, The Shield on December 26, 2012 by The Shield

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF SCRIPTURE STUDY

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:25 KJV)

TALKING TO GOD
Thank God for His Word, which helps you understand what is best for your life, and pray that God would give you a desire to study and obey it.

DIVING IN
Grab a notebook and pen, and head outside or go exploring within your own home. Write down what you see, hear and smell. Younger kids can work with a parent or sibling. When everyone’s finished, discuss the details you noticed when you carefully studied your surroundings. Talk about what you’ve never noticed before.

GOING DEEPER
Just as you can find new things in a familiar environment, you can always find new things in the Bible — even if you’ve read it before. When you read the Bible you should seek to discover new details of who God is, what He’s like and how you can become like Him. One way to make these discoveries is by studying the lives of Bible characters. Or you can study certain subjects, like prayer or giving. You can also study the Bible from beginning to end and journey with God through history. No matter what type of Bible study you choose, the Holy Spirit brings God’s Word alive in your heart by helping you discover things you’ve never noticed before.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER
– What stories in the Bible are special to you? Why?
– What are the benefits of studying the Bible?
– What are some topics you would like to study in God’s Word? (Refer to the concordance in the back of your Bible for topical ideas.)

By: Rodrequez M. Dover, B.Th, M.Div, D.Th

20121226-164445.jpg

Note Thoughts on Christmas 2012

Posted in Ministry, The Shield on December 25, 2012 by The Shield

Marry Christmas to all you my Facebook Family!!! Thank God, He came as a gift to give me or us the greats gift Of all eternal life!!! I know Gal-gotta or Calvary but if Jesus never was born He could have never died and gave me the greats gift every yes grace it good, mercy even better but forgiveness of my sins is now and will always be the Greatest gift.

Now unto the Lamb that take it away the sins of the righteous be Glory and Honor forever and ever Marry Christmas to all!!!!!!

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF 2

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2012 by The Shield

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF 2

TALKING TO GOD
Thank God for providing for your needs every day. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be more aware of God’s generosity.

DIVING IN
Write the following categories on separate slips of paper: after-school activity, toy or electronic gadget, snack, drink, TV show. Place the folded slips in a bowl. Take turns pulling a slip from the bowl, each person reading the category and then naming one favorite thing in that category. Discuss how easy or difficult it would be to give up each thing for a while.

GOING DEEPER
Fasting means giving up something you enjoy or need for a designated period of time. In the Old Testament, fasting was common for entire nations who were seeking God’s help or direction (2 Chronicles 20:3, Jonah 3:5). In the New Testament, Jesus fasted (Matthew 4:2) and taught His disciples about fasting (Matthew 6:17-18). (Fasting is not always a good idea for children or pregnant women. They can consider giving up something else that they really want or like.) Fasting should be a normal part of our lives; it allows you to focus your time and attention on God. When combined with prayer and time in God’s Word, fasting strengthens your faith and helps you become more confident of God’s power.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER
- What are some of the benefits of fasting?
- How does fasting bring you closer to God?
- What is one thing you enjoy that you can give up for a day? THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF FASTING

TALKING TO GOD
Thank God for providing for your needs every day. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be more aware of God’s generosity.

DIVING IN
Write the following categories on separate slips of paper: after-school activity, toy or electronic gadget, snack, drink, TV show. Place the folded slips in a bowl. Take turns pulling a slip from the bowl, each person reading the category and then naming one favorite thing in that category. Discuss how easy or difficult it would be to give up each thing for a while.

GOING DEEPER
Fasting means giving up something you enjoy or need for a designated period of time. In the Old Testament, fasting was common for entire nations who were seeking God’s help or direction (2 Chronicles 20:3, Jonah 3:5). In the New Testament, Jesus fasted (Matthew 4:2) and taught His disciples about fasting (Matthew 6:17-18). (Fasting is not always a good idea for children or pregnant women. They can consider giving up something else that they really want or like.) Fasting should be a normal part of our lives; it allows you to focus your time and attention on God. When combined with prayer and time in God’s Word, fasting strengthens your faith and helps you become more confident of God’s power.

TALKING TO EACH OTHER
- What are some of the benefits of fasting?
- How does fasting bring you closer to God?
- What is one thing you enjoy that you can give up for a day?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,941 other followers