The Righter Report

Satan’s Copycat Imitations of God

Satan’s Copycat Imitations of God

1. Satan has a throne (Revelation 2:13).

2. Satan has his own doctrines (Revelation 2:24; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Corinthians 2:10).

3. Satan has a synagogue (Revelation 2:9; 3:9).

4. Satan has a communion table (1 Corinthians 10:21).

5. Satan has people sacrificing at his altar (Deuteronomy 32:17; 1 Corinthians 10:20).

6. Satan has a counterfeit cup (1 Corinthians 10:21).

7. Satan gives his doctrines to men to teach (1 Timothy 4:1).

8. Satan is an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

9. Satan has demonic and human messengers (2 Corinthians 11:13).

10. Satan has a kingdom (Matthew 12:26).

11. Satan does counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders (Revelation 16:14; Exodus 7:8-12).

12. Satan has false prophets, apostles and teachers (2 Corinthians 11:13-14; 2 Peter 2:1; Mark 13:22; Matthew 13:38).

13. Satan has a city, Mystery Babylon, to oppose the city of God in New Jerusalem (Rev. 17:5).

14. Satan has his own harlot church, to counterfeit the Bride of Christ (Revelation 17:5).

15. Satan and his demons seek worship (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; 2 Chronicles 11:15; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20; Revelation 9:20; Matthew 4:8-10).

16. Satan has his false Christ, the rival of Jesus, the Christ (1 John 2:18-22).

17. Satan has his own Trinity (Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet (Revelation 16:13-14; John 5:43).

18. Satan inhabits some human bodies, counterfeiting the Holy Spirit living in the redeemed (John 13:27 with 1 Corinthians 6:19).

19. Satan seals his followers with a name on their foreheads, which is counterfeit of God’s name on His people’s foreheads (Revelation 13:16 with 7:1-3).

Source: The Foundations of Christian Doctrine, Kevin J. Conner – Available at Amazon

God bless,

The Righter Report

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why I know the Gospels Were Written Early

By J. Warner Wallace;  Originally published Nov 9, 2015

The first criteria I use to test the reliability of a witness is simply this: was the alleged “eyewitness” really present when the crime occurred? You can’t be a true eyewitness if you weren’t even there to see what it is you said you saw! This simple criteria is part of a four part reliability template I describe in my book, Cold-Case Christianity, and reflects the California jury instructions for jurors who are asked to assess the reliability of eyewitnesses on the stand. As a skeptic, I examined this issue related to the claims of the Gospel authors.  Matthew and John were allegedly eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus. Mark (according to the first century bishop, Papias) chronicled the eyewitness account of the Apostle Peter, and Luke recorded his own investigation of the eyewitnesses. But how early are these accounts? The evidence indicates the Gospels are indeed early enough to have been written by eyewitnesses. Here is an excerpt from Cold-Case Christianity describing the evidence for the early dating of the New Testament Gospels:

The New Testament Fails to Describe the Destruction of the Temple
We begin with perhaps the most significant Jewish historical event of the first century, the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD 70. You might think this important detail would be included in the New Testament record, especially since this fact would corroborate Jesus’s prediction (in Matthew 24:1–3). But no gospel account records the destruction of the temple. In fact, no New Testament document mentions it at all, even though there are many occasions when a description of the temple’s destruction might have assisted in establishing a theological or historical point.

The New Testament Fails to Describe the Siege of Jerusalem
Even before the temple was destroyed, the city of Jerusalem was under assault. No aspect of this three-year siege is described in any New Testament document, in spite of the fact that the gospel writers could certainly have pointed to the anguish that resulted from the siege as a powerful point of reference for the many passages of Scripture that extensively address the issue of suffering.

Luke Said Nothing About the Deaths of Paul and Peter
The apostle Paul was martyred in the city of Rome in AD 64, and Peter was martyred shortly afterward in AD 65. While Luke wrote extensively about Paul and Peter in the book of Acts and featured them prominently, he said nothing about their deaths. In fact, Paul was still alive (under house arrest in Rome) at the end of the book of Acts.

Luke Said Nothing about the Death of James
James was martyred in the city of Jerusalem in AD 62, but like the deaths of Paul and Peter, the execution of James is absent from the biblical account, even though Luke described the deaths of Stephen (Acts 7:54–60) and James the brother of John (Acts 12:1–2).

Luke’s Gospel Predates the Book of Acts
In the introduction to the book of Acts, Luke wrote: The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. (Acts 1:1–2) It’s clear that Luke’s gospel (his “former book”) was written prior to the book of Acts.

Paul Quoted Luke’s Gospel in His Letter to Timothy
Paul appeared to be aware of Luke’s gospel and wrote as though it was common knowledge in about AD 63–64, when Paul penned his first letter to Timothy. Note the following passage:

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Tim. 5:17–18)

Paul quoted two passages as “scripture” here—one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing” refers to Deuteronomy 25:4, and “The laborer is worthy of his wages” refers to Luke 10:7. It’s clear that Luke’s gospel was already common knowledge and accepted as scripture by the time this letter was written.

Paul Quoted Luke’s Gospel in His Letter to the Corinthians
Paul also seems to have been familiar with the gospel of Luke when he wrote to the Corinthian church (nearly ten years earlier than his letter to Timothy). Notice the similarity between Paul’s description of the Lord’s Supper and Luke’s gospel:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood.”(1 Cor. 11:23–25)

And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. (Luke 22:19–20)

Paul appears to be quoting Luke’s gospel—the only gospel that has Jesus saying that the disciples are to “do this in remembrance of me.” If Paul is trying to use a description of the meal that was already well known at the time, this account must have been circulating for a period of time prior to Paul’s letter.

Luke Quoted Mark (and Matthew) Repeatedly
Luke, when writing his own gospel, readily admitted that he was not an eyewitness to the life and ministry of Jesus. Instead, Luke described himself as a historian, collecting the statements from the eyewitnesses who were present at the time:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)

As a result, Luke often repeated or quoted entire passages that were offered previously by either Mark (350 verses from Mark appear in Luke’s gospel) or Matthew (250 verses from Matthew appear in Luke’s account). These passages were inserted into Luke’s gospel as though they were simply copied over from the other accounts. It’s reasonable, therefore, to conclude that Mark’s account was already recognized, accepted, and available to Luke prior to his authorship of the gospel.

Based on these facts, an early dating time-line can be established:

The evidence from history (and the texts themselves) most reasonably points to the early authorship of the Gospels.

Written by J. Warner Wallace – J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also an Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and a faculty member at Summit Ministries. He holds a BA in Design (from CSULB), an MA in Architecture (from UCLA), and an MA in Theological Studies (from Gateway Seminary).

Reprinted by permission of J. Warner Wallace from the following webpage:

April 25, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who Wrote the Gospels?

Many have questioned who the original authors of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – were. Skeptics and those with a revisionist liberal agenda love to argue that the Gospels are anonymous. They will even argue that Matthew copied from Mark and Luke copied from one or all of the others. For the record, opinions are split as to who did author the first Gospel, Mark or Matthew. Origen of Alexandria, an early Christian scholar provided the following synopsis:

“Concerning the four Gospels which alone are uncontroverted in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the Gospel according to Matthew, who was at one time a publican and afterwards an Apostle of Jesus Christ, was written first; and that he composed it in the Hebrew tongue and published it for the converts from Judaism. The second written was that according to Mark, who wrote it according to the instruction of Peter, who, in his General Epistle, acknowledged him as a son, saying, “The church that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son.” And third, was the Gospel according to Luke; and last of all, that according to John.” 

Concerning the argument that one or more Gospel authors copied another Gospel author, there’s simpler explanations for common material. One is that Matthew and Peter and John most likely sat around campfires after Jesus’ resurrection and recalled what Jesus said and did. No doubt Jesus went over everything with them in the 40 days after his resurrection and before his ascension.  The disciples may have even taken notes on parchment to be used later in their separate Gospels. In addition, John 14:26 clearly cites the Holy Spirit as helping them recall what Jesus said and taught. 

John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have told you.

That’s the source skeptics tend to ignore and sweep under the rug because they refuse to admit God and the supernatural exist.

Study Bibles such as the NIV Study Bible like to try to have it both ways when attributing authorship. The NIV Study Bible says, and I quote, “Although the first Gospel is anonymous, THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS WERE UNANIMOUS IN HOLDING THAT MATTHEW, ONE OF THE 12 APOSTLES, WAS ITS AUTHOR.” The fact is, the early church fathers were unanimous that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote the gospels that bear their names. That’s the best evidence available.

Following are web pages that contain the quotations of the early church fathers, confirming traditional Gospel authorship:

Matthew

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/1-church-fathers-and-matthews-gospel/

Mark Authorship

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/2-church-fathers-and-marks-gospel/

Luke Authorship

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/3-church-fathers-and-lukes-gospel/

John Authorship

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/4-church-fathers-and-johns-gospel/

The Righter Report

March 25, 2021 Posted by | Evangelical, God, History, Human Interest, Theology, Theology Articles, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Three Little Trees

The Three Little Trees – a Christmas Story

Intently studying the new Christmas tree that her mother and father had just erected in their foyer, little Christina slowly walked up to it and was immediately taken with the wonderful aroma of pine cones and winter frost that still lingered on its branches.

“Mommy, why do people have Christmas trees,” Christina asked? “Oh, I suppose that the Christmas tree means different things to different people, honey,” the mother cheerfully replied, as she worked the string of Christmas lights through the branches of the tree. “But mommy, what does it mean for us – for you and me and for daddy?” The child-like innocence of Christina’s question made her mother hesitate and stop what she was doing. She turned around and sat down on the floor, crossed her legs and gently lifted little Christina into her lap.

“Christina, honey, I don’t know what the Christmas tree means to other people, but I can tell you about all the wonderful things I think about when I see one.” Let me tell you a little story. And starting with the birth of Jesus, she told Christina all the wonderful news about his birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection, and what it all meant. And then to put it into a child’s perspective the mother smiled and said, “You see, long ago on a mountain top, far, far away, there were three other little trees. And as they started to sprout their branches and reach for the sky, they each dreamed about what they wanted to become when they grew up.

The first tree looked up to the stars and said, ‘I want to be a treasure chest. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I want to be the most beautiful treasure chest the world has ever seen.’

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean and said, ‘I like the water. I want to be a mighty sailing ship carrying kings on their journeys across the seas. Why, I’ll be the strongest ship in the whole world!’

The third little tree looked down into the valley below and saw the hustle and bustle in the streets and the hectic pace of the people in the village and said, ‘I don’t want to leave the mountain top. I really like it here. I want to grow up and be so tall that when people look at me, they’ll raise their eyes and look up to heaven and think of God. Why, I’ll be the tallest tree in the whole world!’

Years passed. The rains came and the winds blew, the sun shone bright, and the little trees grew tall and strong. And then one day three woodcutters climbed up the mountain .

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, ‘This tree is beautiful. I have something special I want to make from it, and it’ll be perfect for me.’ And with one mighty swoop of his woodcutter’s axe, the first tree fell.

‘Now, the time has come for my dream to come true,’ the first tree thought. ‘Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, and surely I shall hold wonderful treasures!’

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, ‘This tree is strong. It will be perfect for me.’ And with a swing of his powerful axe, the second tree fell to earth.

‘Now my dreams also will come true,’ thought the second tree. ‘I will be hewn into a mighty ship to sail the seas, and great kings will ride my bow!’

But then the third tree felt her heart sink when the third woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to the heavens. ‘Remember, I want to stay on the mountain top, she cried.’

But the woodcutter never looked up. ‘Any tree will do for me,’ he muttered. And with a powerful swing of his shining axe, the third tree thundered to the earth.

The first tree continued to rejoice when the woodcutter brought him into the carpenter’s shop. But his joy was turned to sorrow when the carpenter fashioned him into a simple feed trough for animals. Instead of being covered with precious gold and jewels, he was now covered with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals to eat.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her into the shipyard. ‘Now, my dreams will also come true!’ she thought.

But no mighty sailing ship was christened that day. Instead the once mighty oak was whittled, hammered, and sawn into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and frail to sail the mighty oceans, or navigate the raging rivers. Instead, crestfallen, she was taken to an inland sea, and there she would spend her days.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut into her strong and weathered timbers, and left her in a cluttered woodpile in the lumberyard. ‘What happened?’ asked the tree that once pointed to the heavens. ‘All I ever wanted was to grace the top of the mountain and point to God.’

Again, the years passed by. The dreams the little trees once had were nearly forgotten. But then, something wonderful happened. In the distance, the angels were heard singing to the shepherds. A bright and shining star began its transit across the heavens, and came to its place of rest above the hewn out timbers of the first tree, where a beautiful young mother placed her newborn son into the feedbox.

‘I wish I had time to make a cradle for him,’ the father whispered. The mother gently squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight glistened off the smooth and sturdy wood.

‘Why this manger is beautiful,’ she said. ‘There is no need for another.’

And suddenly, the first tree knew that God had honored his dream, and that he was now holding the greatest and most precious treasure in the whole world.

‘God sure works in mysterious ways,’ he thought, ‘but this is better than anything I could have ever imagined.’

Some years later, a kindly stranger and his friends crowded into an old fishing boat. The weary traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out upon the moonlit sea. But soon, a terrible storm arose. The rains came, the winds grew fierce, and time after time the waves crashed into the little boat, sending it reeling from side to side. The little tree shuddered and grew afraid. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers through such a raging storm. Then, the kind but tired traveler awoke. He took hold of the mastline and stood up on the bow of the little vessel, stretched out his hand, and said, ‘Peace, be still.’ The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly, the second tree knew that she was carrying the greatest King who had ever lived, and that in some mysterious way, God had also made her dreams come true.

Shortly thereafter, early on a Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched when she was carried through an angry, jeering crowd. She shuddered when the soldiers nailed the arms and feet of a weary and bleeding man to her cross timbers. She felt ugly, cruel, and harsh. In the middle of the day, the sky turned dark. And when it was over, a terrible earthquake shook the ground, and made the third little tree long for the peace and serenity of its favorite mountain top, and the now-forgotten dreams that seemed so real, not so long ago.

But early on a Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third little tree looked upon the risen Savior, and rejoiced that God’s mysterious love had now changed everything. The third tree remembered her dream – ‘I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God.’ It made the tree glad. Now, whenever people think of that third little tree, they think of God. And surely that was better than being the tallest tree in the whole world.’

“So you see, Christina, God really does make dreams come true, though not always in the ways we expect. When I look at a Christmas tree, I remember the birth of Christ. I see the first little tree that was made into a manger. I remember the second little tree that our Savior rode in and calmed the great storm that rose up. And I remember that last little tree upon which our Lord was crucified, and how precious it also was. These are the things I think about when I see a Christmas tree.”

Glory be to God. And Merry Christmas to all.

– The Righter Report

December 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

In 2003, scientists Arvind Borde and Alexander Vilenkin and Alan Guth published a paper documenting that the universe cannot be infinitely old (the universe is expanding). It had to have a beginning. Dr. William Lane Craig, a doctor of philosophy and theology, quoted Vilenkin in defense of his Kalam Cosmological Argument:

“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place (that the universe had a beginning), cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape: they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”

No longer can men argue that the universe has been around forever. Be thinking about a divine Creator.

Jesus is Lord!
– The Righter Report

May 12, 2016 Posted by | Evangelical, God, Human Interest, Science, Theology, Theology Articles, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Deity of Jesus Christ in Scripture

“I am the Alpha and the Omega…” – Jesus, Revelation 22:13

Skeptics and liberal critics often try to cite passages in the Bible concerning Jesus’ incarnation as a man, and ignore those passages that confirm the deity of Jesus Christ, who is God the Son. This is one of the most frequent attacks on Christ and Christianity, for if Jesus is not divine, how can he be our God and Savior? Following are the Scriptural evidences that answer this challenge.

Scholarly author Kevin J. Conner lists 27 initial scriptural evidences demonstrating the deity of Christ:

1. Jesus existed in the beginning (John 1:1; Philip 2:6; Rev. 19:13; Micah 5:2).
2. He was with God (John 1:1).
3. He is God, the Son (John 1:1; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:8, 10; I John 5:20).
4. He is God manifest in the flesh (John 20:28; I Tim. 3:16; Col. 2:9; Acts 20:28; Heb. 1:8).
5. He is God foretold (Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 45:6).
6. He is Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).
7. He is the true God (I John 5:20 with Titus 2:13; Romans 9:5).
8. He is the great God (Titus 2:13).
9. He is God our Savior (II Peter 1:1).
10. He existed in the form of God before His incarnation and was equal with God the Father (Philippians 2:5-7)
11. He is the only wise God (Jude 25).
12. He is omnipotent over disease. (Matthew 8:1-4; Luke 4:39)
13. He is omnipotent over demons. (Matthew 8:16-17; Luke 4:35)
14. He is omnipotent over nature. ((Matthew 8:26)
15. He is omnipotent over death. (Luke 7:14-15; John 11:25)
16. He is omniscient, knowing the hearts of the Pharisees. (Matthew 12:25; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 7:39-40)
17. He knew the thoughts of the scribes. (Matthew 9:3-4)
18. He knew the history of the Samaritan woman. (John 4:24)
19. He is omnipresent. (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13; 14:20)
20. He was worshiped as God by the angels (Hebrews 1:6); worshiped as God by the wise men (Matthew 2:2); worshiped as God by the shepherds (Luke 2:15); worshiped as God by a ruler (Matthew 9:18); worshiped as God by Thomas (John 20:28); worshiped as God by the apostles (Matthew 14:33;28:9)
21. He forgives sins. (Mark 2:5)
22. He saves (only God saves). Matthew 18:11; John 10:28).
23. He judges. (John 5:22)
24. Paul, Peter, Jude, James, and John called Him God. (Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 3:22; Jude 25; James 2:1; I John 5:20; Revelation 1:18; 19:16)
25. He is God’s Son, who was sent to bring us eternal life. (John 3:16)
26. He arose from death in the flesh (John 20:26-28; Luke 24:39-43; I John 4:2-3).
27. One with the Father (John 10:30).

For additional evidences of the deity of Jesus Christ, see the following article: Jesus must be Jehovah

Also review this terrific study of Christ as God in the Old Testament: Jesus, the Divine Messenger of the Lord

In addition, Jesus is assigned these divine names and titles in Scripture: Divine Names and Titles of Jesus

There are many more evidences of the deity of Jesus Christ that are not listed above, but what I have referenced provides sound and numerous Scriptural confirmations that Jesus is presented as the Divine Lord and Savior of the Bible.

– The Righter Report

March 21, 2013 Posted by | Evangelical, God, History, Human Interest, Theology, Theology Articles, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ave Maria, by Ryland Angel

A masterpiece song.

January 5, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment