Read all of chapter 5. Jesus is talking about keeping the heart pure. He was not saying we should let people [or government] do whatever they please to us. Nor should we invite Osama bin Laden over for tea. The Torah was not made so we can be justified to take revenge on people. Criminals should be punished, but without a revengeful heart. Just like if you are raising a child. You need to punish that child when he breaks the rules, but never do it in anger.
In verse 41 Jesus says "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain [two]." Does that mean, if the IRS tells you to give them one thousand dollars that you should give them two thousand? No, but if you are forced to give it, having a poor spirit about it will just make it worse.
Yahweh also tells us in this chapter that you should not lust because you will have committed adultery in your heart. God is not making up more rules. Lust always precedes physical adultery. Therefore, lust has always been evil. Sometimes people need God to tell them the obvious. If everyone of us kept our hearts pure, God would not need to "spell it out" for us.
Lets see, Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. His dad, Enoch, begot him when he was 65 years old. If he were only 65 months old, he would be less than 5 1/2 when he became a dad. They sure didn't waste time on populating the earth back then did they?
They did live to be 900 years old. To find out how they were able to live to be 900 years old, you should watch Dr. Hovind's Creation Seminar The Garden of Eden.
I am sure you have heard teachers/professors say that before Columbus sailed to America, most people thought the Earth was flat. That is simply not true. Scientists believed and proved that the earth was round before Jesus Christ was alive. The earth circumference was calculated (with only about a 10% error) by Eratosthenes back more than 200 years before Christ by measuring the sun's shadows on different locations of the earth. Pythagoras, also thought it must have been a sphere, more than 500 years before Christ.
The Bible does not say or imply that the earth is flat. That accusation didn't even come up until Darwin's theory of evolution became popular and people wanted to discredit the creation account by discrediting the Bible. A great, short article that you can read about how the Bible does not teach that the earth is flat at: Did Bible writers believe the earth was flat?
I was listening to an atheist talk once. When someone asked her on her belief in Jesus, she said that Jesus was a fictional character.
I would believe that too if there was not an enormous amount of historical records, taken from first hand accounts, about Jesus. Not that I need history to prove the Bible to me, but if Jesus did walk this earth and performed these miracles, and fed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes, more than 4 people would write about it.
If Jesus decided to come to your town today for a visit, how many people would grab their video camera? There would be a lot of people who would want to record this historical event. Well, 2000 years ago, the pen and paper was the only way people could record an event. I have no doubt that almost every time Jesus spoke, or performed a miracle the people who saw this, wanted to write about it, so they could pass that information to there relatives in another town, or to share the information with their children and grandchildren. It is a fact that there are more historical records from first hand accounts that Jesus walked the earth than there is of George Washington's existence. Glenn Kimball, a historian, has been reading ancient manuscripts for over 25 years, and he is not even close to reading all the historical documents about Jesus.
Now, History is not always factual, even when it is from first hand accounts. Studies show that eye-witnesses are not very reliable.
When Dr. Kimball or any other historian, says anything that clearly goes against scripture, I can safely say that he is wrong in that area, because scripture trumps history. The difference between scripture and history is that scripture is inspired by God, and is 100% reliable.
5. The Bible teaches that pillars hold up the earth.
For this explanation, go here: Pillars of the Earth
6. Jesus' fasting was a part of the temptation.
I have heard people say that the devil chose to tempt Jesus when He was at his weakest, because He was in the middle of a long fast. I have also heard that the fast was part of his temptation. That is simply not true. Jesus came to earth for many reasons. One reason was to, as the Army says to their leaders, 'Lead by Example'. The Bible tells us how to fight in spiritual warfare. "And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." (Mark 9:18-29 KJV)
That is why Jesus was fasting. He was getting ready for the spiritual warfare battle of the millennium and He wanted to show us how to prepare for spiritual warfare.
The evidence for Him being poor (followed by the rebuttal in parenthesis) is: a. He was born in a manger. (That was because there was no room in the inn, not because they had no money). b. He was a carpenter. (The historians that say Jesus was rich, do not claim that He was a "self-made rich guy", although I know carpenters today that are self made millionaires.) c. Archeologist showed that the Nazarenes were mainly agricultural, poor people. (If Jesus was rich I don't think he would have to show off his riches by living in a mansion)
The Evidence for Jesus being wealthy: a. He was a direct descendant of King David. (They could have blown all the money or it could have been stolen) b. The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh would have made him rich. (They could have given it all away or it could have been stolen). c. Judas was Jesus' personal accountant (Does not mean he had to deal with much money). d. Mark 6:35-37 implies that Jesus had access to enough money to buy food for five thousand men, and who knows how many women and children. "And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?" The word "pennyworth" was translated from the Greek word "denarius", which would have been about one day's wage (Matthew 20:2-13). Two hundred denarius would be about eight months of a man's wage. Notice that the disciples did not say, "we do not have enough money to do this", they asked Jesus if he was sure he wanted to spend that much money on food for these people. (This could mean that one of Jesus' disciples was rich or Jesus could have set up a missionary fund from peoples donations).
Since all scriptural evidence for both sides can be argued, In my opinion this subject isn't of any significant importance. Dr. Glenn Kimball, a historian, who for over 25 years studied ancient text and has written many books on Jesus states that he in fact was wealthy and can point to many documents that back his opinion. You can go to his website here:ancientmanuscripts.com. Steven Collins also touched on this subject in his book The "Lost" Ten Tribes of Israel...Found!
But remember, the only perfect word is the Word. History can be wrong sometimes too. The point I'm trying to make is, often we assume things without evidence to back up what we are assuming. Since it is not a scriptural fact that Jesus was poor and there is plenty of evidence that he could have been wealthy, ponder the idea for a while, and see if it fits your theology better. I personally think that Jesus came, not only to save us from our sins, but to live his life as an example to us. Also, having a lot of money is not a sin. The love of money, (no matter how much you have or don't have) is a sin.
The King James was translated from the Textus Receptus and almost all of the newer versions are translated from the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts. For more information on the different manuscripts go to Chick.com
Let us look at that verses more closely.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Now, do the scriptures actually say that the Spirit of God descended in the form of a dove? No. It says the Spirit of God descended like a dove. If I told you that I fell off a cliff like a rock, would you some how think that I fell off a cliff in the form of a rock? I don't know how this belief came, I assume it came from reading the scriptures too fast.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
The question is, what fell to the ground? Was it his sweat? Was it "great drops of blood"? The answer is it was his sweat "as it were great drops of blood".
If I told you that after basketball practice, my sweat was as it were elephant tears were falling off my face, how could you logically conclude that elephant tears were falling from my face? I have seen articles of people hearing about cases where people actually sweat blood when under much stress (I sure would love to see a video of this, with medical doctors testing and running labs on the blood that is excreted).
Even if it is possible to sweat blood from mental anguish alone, the bible says "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood". "as it were" is translated from "hosei" which also means "like" or "as though". Lets use those words to see if the verse is more clear:
his sweat was like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. his sweat was as though great drops of blood [were] falling down to the ground. Again, I think people are reading the bible way too fast and not thinking much when they read.