Archive for category Apologetics

You can’t see It! But it’s there!

250px-Pecatonica_Battleground1As a bird flies, 3 miles across the Coosa River from where I live, are the remains of old Fort Williams.   No one can visit this historical site or plunder amongst its ruins. There are no cannons ceremoniously displayed within its ramparts, or storehouses dotted with plaques educating one to the enlisted militia and commanders who passed through its breach.  A major battle in American history started from this depot, now a little over 200 years ago.  Then, Major General Andrew Jackson led a brigade of Tennessee Infantry into the wilderness of the Mississippi territory which is now Eastern Alabama and decimated Chief Tecumseh and his band of Red Stick Warriors.  The event was the battle of Horseshoe Bend, a decisive victory for America in the War of 1812 and one which promoted Jackson to national prominence and eventually the White House.  The Creeks would lose around 1000 men at this battle while Jackson’s army suffered only about 50 losses. Most of these men would be carried back to Fort Williams and buried on a hill across a creek (Cedar Creek), from the Fort.  To this day, all that remains of this place called Fort Williams are the men buried in the red clay dirt.   Actually, there are no original stone markers, only recorded documentation and oral accounts of where they are probably buried.  A doctor from Atlanta Georgia claims to have seen the old ruins covered in brush and vines around the turn of the last century, as he ventured down the Coosa River.  In 1914, Lay Dam was built and a partial flooding of the Coosa River probably covered whatever visual evidence remained. By 1967, another 15 foot extension of Lay Dam, further inundated the river above, creating Lay Lake thus deepening the waters above the old Fort and further obscuring any visual evidence.

There are many who claim that there is no God, simply due to the fact that they cannot see Him.  It’s astounding to think that educated men, can be so narrowed minded as to propose that the existence of something must be based on what we may see, hear, or touch.   One of the most widely held notions is that there is no scientific evidence which can promote the existence of God or an Intelligent Designer.   To date there is no scientific evidence that there is life beyond this planet. However, we spend billions of our tax dollars in the pursuit of finding it. Can you imagine the uproar if it was even suggested within the Halls of Congress that we spend billions of tax dollars promoting Bible studies or help in evangelizing?

Why is it so much easier to believe that we were seeded here by aliens eons ago, than to believe a Supreme Being engineered us and lovingly put us here 10,000 years ago? Why is it more reasonable to believe that Christ was just a good man and prophet than it is to believe He was the Son of God, who died to take away our sins? Why is it more intelligent to grasp the Bible as an old archaic collection of Jewish literature that has no bearing on our souls, than to believe it is the communication from the Supreme Creator and pertains to everything we need for life and Godliness? (2 Pet.1:3)

Then again, maybe they’re right! After all, who really believes that Andrew Jackson really defeated the Indians and became president? You can’t even find this so called Fort Williams!  Heb 11:3  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Darryl Fuller

Lost Books

Thomas Jefferson loved books! In 1770 his family home in Shadwell burned, and all the books he had collected were lost. This, what he considered his greatest loss, invigorated him to restock his library. In the midst of the American Revolution and while serving as the United States Minister to France in the 1780s, Jefferson acquired thousands of books for his library at Monticello.  jefferson-library-locThen in 1814, the British burned Washington D.C. They employed as kindling, all the books from the Library of Congress (3,000) to start a fire in the Capitol. Devastated by the lost of such a collection, Jefferson offered the sale of all his books (6,487 volumes), to Congress at a tenth of their value. For $23,950 dollars the U.S. government acquired Jefferson’s library and refilled the Library of Congress. Then in 1851, another fire devastated over 4000 of those books, and to date has not been fully recovered. Thus, in just a short amount of time, thousands of precious volumes have been lost.

The collection of books we call the Bible and its remarkable preservation is indeed a gift from God! Hold it tight and cherish it fervently. The 66 books you have in your lap or off to your side have made the most remarkable journey. Although the Bible that is near you now is one of millions of copies, its abundance was not always so.

Original books that have survived for more than 500 years are hard to come by. A few have made it and are locked away tightly in museums and vaults. Books such as:

The Gutenberg Bible which is the world’s oldest mechanically printed book – the first copies of which were printed in 1454-1455 AD. Printed by Johannes Gutenberg, in Mainz, Germany, it is considered to be oldest printed book using movable type in the West. There are 48 original copies in known existence, of which 21 are complete. Estimated age: 559 years old.

Scotland’s Book of Kells. The pocket-sized book of Psalms is housed at the University of Edinburgh, where it went on public display in 2009 for the first time. The book is thought to have been created in the 11th century AD, making it Scotland’s oldest surviving book.Estimated age: 938 years old.

Discovered in 2013, was a ‘Siddur’ – a Jewish prayer book dating back to around 840 AD. The complete parchment, still in its original binding, is so old that it contains Babylonian vowel pointing – akin to the Old or Middle English for the English language. This allowed experts to date the book to the times of Geonim – Babylonian & Talmudic leaders during the Middle Ages.Estimated age: 1,173 years old.

The Book of Kells is kept in the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland, and is thought to have been created by Celtic monks around 800 AD. The book is an incredibly ornate illuminated manuscript Gospel book, written in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament.Estimated age: 1,213 years old.

Europe’s oldest known surviving intact book is the St Cuthbert Gospel, bought by the British Library in 2012 for £9 million pounds as part of a fundraising campaign. The book was buried with St Cuthbert, an early British Christian leader, on the island of Lindisfarne off Northumberland, in around 698 AD. Only just surviving the Viking conquests, the book was moved to Durham to avoid Viking raiders, narrowly escaping destruction. The book was again rediscovered in 1104 AD.Estimated age: 1,315 years old.

The preservation of such books is a testimony to the power and providence of God.   Consider the example of Thomas Jefferson. Within an 80 year period, thousands of his books were lost.  Since around 127 A.D. the collection of the 66 books of the Bible have withstood every fire, war, plague, and catastrophe  that you could think of.

Interestingly, within the canon (collection of books) of the Bible, God reveals the names of other books that have been lost.  By God’s providence, these books, for whatever reason, were not preserved.  They include:

  • The Book of Jasher (whose title fully translated means the Book of the Upright or the Book of the Just) is mentioned in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18. From the context in the Book of Samuel it is implied that it was a collection of poetry.
  • The Book of the Wars of the Lord Referenced in Numbers 21:14.
  • The Book of  Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the Seer” (also called Story of the Prophet Iddo or The Annals of the Prophet Iddo) is mentioned in the book of 2nd Chronicles. (II Chr 9:29, 12:15, 13:22). Iddo was a seer who lived during the reigns of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijah.
  • The Manner of the Kingdom.
    Referenced in 1Samuel 10:25.
  • The Acts of Solomon
    Referenced at 1Kings 11:41.
  • The Annals of King David
    Referenced at 1Chronicles 27:24.
  • The Book of Samuel the Seer. Also called Samuel the Seer or The Acts of Samuel the Seer, which could be the same as1 & 2 Samuel
    Referenced at 1Chronicles 29:29
  • The Book of Nathan the Prophet Also called  Nathan the Prophet or The Acts of Nathan the  Prophet 
    Referenced at 1Chronicles 29:29, and also 2Chronicles 9:29.
  • The Book of Gad the Seer
    Referenced at 1Chronicles 29:29
  • The Prophecy of Ahijah   might be a reference to 1 Kings 14:2–18.
    Referenced at 2Chronicles 9:29
  • The Book of Jehu could be a reference to 1 Kings 16:1–7.
    Referenced at 2Chronicles 20:34
  • The Sayings of the Seers
    Referenced at 2Chronicles 33:19
  • The Chronicles of King Ahasuerus
    Referenced at Esther 2:23, Esther 6:1, Esther 10:2, and Nehemiah 12:23.

Although we do not have these lost books, we can nonetheless be assured we have God’s complete message to us.   2Pe 1:3  His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.

Jesus also, in His prayer before His crucifixion stated: John 17:8  For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

 

                The Library of Congress has restored a great deal of Thomas Jefferson’s collection and all may go to Washington and view or read these books. In his lifetime he  collected and lost thousands of books, but all we really need is 66.  Chances are you’ve got that library sitting next to you.  It’s a lot older, far wiser, contains the secrets of God, the mystery of all ages, the eternal truth and precious promise of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Cherish it! It’s come a long way and endured much sacrifice to be in our hands, so don’t lose it!

Darryl Fuller            

Prophet or Charlatan

This past Thursday, I had opportunity to meet with several Mormons and tour their worship facility. The moment you walk in the door you get the feeling you’re walking into any protestant denominational worship facility. However, within a few feet, paintings of Jesus (a very Anglo Saxon looking Jesus) appear along with paintings of Joseph Smith.  As I walked further into the facility, Jesus diminished and Joseph Smith increased.  Joseph Smith, contrary to what they may say, is a big part of who they worship.  One of their rooms is a resource facility, lined with pictures of  Joseph Smith and their modern day head prophet Thomas Monson. There’s a picture of him right next to Jesus and Joseph Smith. All of the books and teaching material in this room are by far centered on the book of Mormon. I saw no commentaries, encyclopedias, lexicons, dictionaries, atlases, concordances or any bible related material at all. Next, They invited me to have a seat in there genealogy and media center library, a long room with state of the art computer terminals and hi-definition flat screen displays on either side of the room. There was 6 stations to be exact, all very tidy and quite impressive. Within this short tour I was overwhelmed with the propaganda of Mormonism, not Christ.  It was an impressive selling tool. A kind of feeling you get when you walk into a car dealership. They overwhelm you with new looks, new smells, sparkling clean, bright colorful pictures, great slicks and fancy brochures, but if your not prepared and haven’t done your homework, your about to go into a debt you can’t really afford. Just enough of Jesus, to make you believe you are there to worship Jesus, but your really their to bow before Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and Thomas Monson. Theirs is not a religion of God but of men.

Once in the media room they showed me a video of Joseph Smith receiving his vision from the angel Moroni and their proclamation of how he was a prophet of God.  When we finished the video I asked them if we could stay and discuss some of the things they had shown me and they agreed. I asked if they would open the bible and turn to Deut. 18:20-22, it reads as follows:  But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’  (21)  And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’–  (22)  when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.  After reading this passage, I asked them this question: If Smith was a true prophet, he too should have repeatedly predicted the future, and His predictions should always come true. If his predictions ever failed, this would prove He was not a true prophet and we should not follow him? They agreed.

I presented them with the facts:

The Civil War

Smith predicted the Civil War on 12/25/1832 (Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-6; 130:12,13), one month after South Carolina had passed a law on 11/19/1832 threatening to secede. The whole country feared war, not just Smith. However:

Smith said war would be “poured out on all nations” (87:2,3), yet no other nations participated in the Civil War. He said the war would result in a “full end of all nations” (87:6), but no nation at all ended. And he said the war would occur “previous to the coming of the Son of Man (130:12). The war ended in 1865, but Jesus still has not returned. Joseph Smith and Mormon Scripture fail the test of fulfilled prophecy.

The coming of the Lord

In 1835 Smith said “… the coming of the Lord, which was nigh – even fifty-six years should wind up the scene” (History of the Church, Vol. II, p 182). Yet, the world still stands today.

Prophecies regarding Mormon apostles

Smith made predictions about Mormon apostles (History of the Church, Vol. II, pp. 188ff):

* Lyman Johnson – Smith said, “no power of the enemy shall prevent him from going forth and doing his work … he shall see the Savior come and stand upon the earth with power and great glory” (p 188). Johnson apostatized (1836), was disfellowshiped (1837), and drowned (1856).

* William M’Lellin – Smith said, “The tempter shall not overcome him … His days may be prolonged until the coming of the Son of Man” (p 190). He was excommunicated that same year (1835) and was later part of mob action against the church (Historical Record, Vol. 5, pp. 38f).

* John Boynton – Smith said, “Thou shalt overcome all the evils that are in the world … [and] shall see the face of thy redeemer in the flesh” (p 191). But he apostatized and never returned.

Did Smith’s predictions all come true, or is Smith a false prophet?

[Above facts confirmed by two sources: Mormonism, Ken Green, p 15; and Mormonism – Shadow or Reality, Tanner and Tanner, 1972 Ed., pp. 187,188]

Mormon temple in Jackson County, Missouri

In 1832, Smith wrote Mormon Scripture designating a specific plot of land in Jackson County, MO. He stated three times that a temple would be built there. “For verily this generation shall not pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord…” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:2-5,31). To this day, no temple has been built there (a Mormon splinter group owns the land and refuses to sell). This is admitted in Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p 180. (Cf. Doctrine and Covenants 124:49ff.)

The facts being presented, I asked the question again: According to God’s word in Dt.18:20-22, is Joseph Smith a true prophet of God?  They refused to answer.  Matter of fact; this pretty much ended the tour and discussion. I was invited politely to leave and that there was no sense in having another meeting. I had offended the spirit of God (but actually the truth had touched some nerves) and there was no way I was going to see their burning conviction.

I said that I would leave, and that I wouldn’t call on them anymore but before I left I wanted them to understand that if they wanted to talk to me, the door was always opened. I explained that they should not be afraid of the truth and pleaded with them to examine the scripture, not the book of Mormon.

Before we left, Mr. Evans, the one who asked me to leave, turn to me and said; would I mind leading them in a prayer. I agreed and prayed to God that He would open their eyes, that they could see His truth and Glory, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He thanked me and we parted ways.  I pray they’ll both do as the Bereans; Act 17:11  Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

I ask all who read this article to pray for those in the Mormon church, that their eyes may be opened to the error of their way.

Darryl Fuller

 

Let the record show…

Nestled on a ridge with an unprecedented view of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is the largest house in the United States.  At just over 178,000 square feet, the Biltmore Château, near Ashville, is as impressive inside as it is out.  Created by George Washington Vanderbilt II, he called the estate his “little mountain escape”.biltmore_house_at_sunset___asheville__nc_by_bulephotography-d4v0ugj

There is a record of this process and account of how the house was made, the history of it and the Vanderbilt’s and a history of all the contents within the house. One only needs to go to the Biltmore estate, library or the internet, to learn of it.  Some of what you will learn is how he came to create such a place in the middle of nowhere, inaccessible by road or rail. How he laid it’s foundations and completed all of it in just six years, then rested on the seventh year. You’ll come to understand how he filled the house with furniture and tapestries, hundreds of carpets, prints, linens and decorative objects from all over the world and especially Europe. Items,  that predate the foundation of the house by hundreds of years. How he planted a garden around it and filled it with the choicest of plants and herbs from around the world. How he brought in fruit trees and established a school of forestry.  He started there a poultry farm, cattle farm, hog farm and a dairy. It was a self sustaining estate that would later have groves and vineyards, fountains and parks and people from all over the world would come and walk through its halls and gardens and marvel at this architectural wonder.

The record says that he did this in six years, from 1889 to 1895.  That he had a railroad specifically built to the sight in order to bring material and men in to complete the task. The record shows that he hired an Architect from New York, a Richard Morris Hunt, to design his dream home. The record is authenticated by several of that day, and his descendants who have inherited this gift.  There are multiple copies of this record and a lot of witnesses, none of whom are alive today, who saw with their own eyes the creator, George Vanderbilt II and his creation.  Following is how a Darwinian advocate might see this.

It seems to me and with some reasonable assurance that it would and is quite impossible for someone, or anyone, to have completed such an undertaking in just six years.  After all, it took millions of years to form the Grand Canyon, and the Grand Canyon isn’t half as magnificent as that house.  Clearly the record is wrong or grossly inaccurate. It was probably changed by the National Parks service or the descendants of the Biltmore estate  in order to preserve their power and livelihood. They concocted this story in order to attract tourist and draw millions of people in.  People who would spend millions of dollars every year, just to walk in its gardens and marvel at its design.  All of these people are fools and have bought a pack a lies.  How on earth could you believe that someone would build a marvelous structure like this and then build it in six years?  The truth is and can be proven through scientific theory, that this house has been here for well over 3.5 billion years.  Samples chipped from the stone clearly show through carbon dating that it may even be older than 3.5 billion, maybe in the order of 4>billion.  Residue in the fireplaces, within the rooms show that the last known fires did not occur until well before the last ice age, some 350,000 years ago.  Of course all the books, lamps, electrical outlets, carpet, tapestries and other furnishings can be accounted for in the modern period, but to say that George Vanderbilt II put them there is jumping to wild conclusions.

As far as the flora that has come to inhabit this particular section of the geographical strata we call the Appalachian  ridge, we can only hypothesize.  Clearly a lot of the plant and flora are not indigenous to this area.  The growing sentiment is that this section of the Appalachian ridge was seeded by aliens from another world. Our estimate is that somewhere between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, aliens from a warm earthlike planet, landed here, marveled at the huge house and decided to enhance its beauty with seeds of plants they had collected from other parts of earth, 1000’s of years earlier. In all cases, the written account of this estate does not equate with scientific theory and logical reasoning. 

Preposterous to believe such nonsense, isn’t it? But there are many such “experts” who readily believe this of God and His creation. They are equally not hesitant to dismiss the written record or question its validity.  They marvel at men’s ingenuity rather than God’s. I hate to tell them but the real creator of Biltmore was God!  It just took men thousands of years to finally put it up.

Darryl Fuller