Conspiracy Theories

In 2022 - The Power of His Resurrection, Lectureship by Daniel StearsmanLeave a Comment

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The week and a brother, Tim Simmons does a great job and we appreciate him. And for a moment, I thought this was George Beals and stuff. And so almost took it down, but I’m glad I realize, Hey, it’s not, I didn’t touch it. So anyway, but a brother Daniel steersman, and if you do have a program,

you may have one that has Jody apple for two sermons, and then Daniel for a third one in this afternoon session. And as we have mentioning all week, we’ve had locked, you know, still dealing with the COVID and some of the other things going on. And so Jody apple will not be here. This, this, this lectureship. And so we have Aaron Johnson filling his spots,

however, since, and when I was discussing with Aaron and by the way, George Beals has them cornered in the lunchroom. So we may have to go get them after a while. But anyway, when I was discussing with Aaron Johnson, he has said that, well, will there be lessons that establish the facts and truth about the resurrection? And I says,

yes, of course there will be lessons all over the place. But then I got to thinking the immediate time right now, there won’t be a, you know, in other words, if a person just tuned into lectureship right now at one 30 on Tuesday, and there would not be, he didn’t listen to any of it else. There wouldn’t be.

But I do remember Daniel’s manuscript was very, very good and probably about 60% of it is, is dealing with the facts of the resurrection and the appearances before certain people. And even in those comments, he’ll talk about, you know, how ridiculous it is to think that all these people could be wrong when they say the same thing and all this kind of stuff.

And so I got to thinking more about that, that maybe Daniel’s lesson would be best to have first because whether, you know, how much he presents that part of his manuscript is up to him, of course, but w w he had that first and he does present some of those facts. Then the others can draw on those, having already been stated.

And so of course, each one can develop his lesson as he chooses, but that information will be there. And so we decided to bump Daniel up to the first one of this session. And so he will speak first and he preaches for the Warner Robbins congregation. And I’ve been there since 2019. I think something like that. And I always will have a huge course.

I’ve always respected he and his brother and his father and all that. But when he set aside pharmacy, he was a pharmacist trained pharmacists and still dabbles in that, through medical ethics and things of that nature. But he, he left a full-time career of being a pharmacist to being a gospel preacher. And you got to take your hats off to that for sure.

And we appreciate him for that. He teaches, still teaches for us remotely. And I don’t think you’ll find a better ethics instructor, especially when he deal in the, in the, in the, in the field of medical ethics and those kinds of things. You will not find a better one in the brotherhood than what we have right here in Daniel’s steersman.

And so in just a moment, he’s going to give us a lesson on the conspiracy theory of the empty tomb or the resurrection. However you want to put that, but before he speaks to us, oh yeah. And also we’ll have these back-to-back sermons. And if you have questions on these topics or things relating to these topics, please write those down.

There are some papers provided over there, and so you can write them down, give them to me, or just put them in the box. And we will take a break after this, after these three lessons from three to three 30, and then we will begin to answer those questions at the three 30 to four 30 session. So please do that.

And so we’re going to have a brother, Bruce lead us in a prayer, and then Daniel will come up and deliver us the lesson on the conspiracy theory of the resurrection. Bruce Let’s pray together. Holy father, in heaven, we approached your throne at this time. And father, we give you thanks for this day and the blessings of life and health and the measure of health that we’re able to enjoy.

Father. We are thankful for this opportunity that we have in this week, in this lectureship of being able to be strengthened in faith. As we look deeply into the resurrection, in fact, that is the basis for our resurrection, faith and father. We thank you for the blessings that you have provided us in your word, the testimony that has been given so that we can be built up in faith regarding your son,

Jesus Christ, and your declaration of him to be your son by his resurrection, from the dead father. We thank you for the meal that we’ve received. We thank you now for the spiritual meal that we going to receive and bless your servant Daniel, as he brings it to us, all of these things, we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Good afternoon. Good to see you all this afternoon. Appreciate you being here. I thank God for the opportunity to be before you, I thank God so much for the impression that this school has had upon my own life and my own soul. And I was a, a younger boy and I think around 11, 12 years old, when my dad moved from Clearwater to Lakeland and began working in this school.

And so for many years, the school has had a, a pull on my soul and your faces and your influence have certainly had a part in that. And I, I thank God for the, the direction of the school. I thank God for what it stood for over the years. I thank God for, for Ted’s work and Brian’s work in the school and their direction that it’s under and the stability that has the influence that it has on local congregations and also on helping men develop skills so that they can stand in the,

so I appreciate the school so much and, and what it stands for, who I get into my lesson. I want to say just a word about a book that I brought that you might be interested in. Brother Beales has cited this and one of his lessons, but it’s called the utterance of God. It’s a book that was recently released by the Warren center.

And this is a group out of West Virginia that is publishing materials, putting materials out there from the late Thomas Warren brother, Warren had an argument for the inspiration of the Bible that he set out, but he never fleshed it out in this form. And so they put together, they included a lot of works from different authors, brother, Warren, some of brothers Warren’s work is in that,

but also some men, David, life’s got a great chapter on prophecy. There’s some work in here from Doug Burleson, Dick Stan, so and others stuff on archeology stuff on historicity stuff on the uniqueness of the Bible. So it’s a great book. If you buy it online, it’s about 35 bucks plus shipping, I think 34 95 plus shipping. I have it here for 30 with no shipping.

So if you’re interested in that, please let me know. I’ll be happy to get one into your hands. So it’s a great work. When Jesus died, his enemies had every hope, had every hope that their problem had gone away. He had been charged with violating the Sabbath. He had been charged with treason. He had been charged with blasphemy.

The Jews were aggressive. They were persistent. They were coming after him. They would insist that pilot crucify him. Pilot will go down in history as one who turned a blind eye towards judge justice. And twice he would say about Jesus. I find I find no guilt in him. In fact, the second time he’ll say to the Jews, take him yourselves and crucify him for,

I find no guilt in him. Like our day religion was highly politicized. They would say, if you release this man, you’re not Caesar’s friend, everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar. And so they would cry out a way with him away with him, crucify him. John chapter, 19 verse 15 pilots said to them, shall I crucify your king?

The chief priest answered. We have no king, but Caesar. So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. Not only pilot would declare the innocency of Christ Jesus, but Herod would as well. He says, look, nothing deserving. Death has been found, has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him in the crucifixion.

Although so many Jews were against Jesus and all those so many did not believe in him. Their problems would not go away. He was put to death. He was crucified, but the problem simply wouldn’t go away. You see, as Jesus is dying that in some respects, it is as if the creation is groaning and crying out. What happens when Jesus dies?

Well, there’s darkness over the land for three hours. You see when he dies at the temple, the curtain tears in the temple from, from top to bottom, you see the saints coming up from the tomb and going into Jerusalem. You see the earthquake in and you see a Centurion, those directly involved in the execution of Jesus. You see him saying truly,

this was the son of God. The Jewish problem that was Christ. Jesus simply did not go away. And it simply would not go away. When we think about salvation, we often think about the price that Jesus paid and the death. We think about salvation in the offering of Jesus, as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

We think about the peace offering that he is and was, we think about the fragrance that he is. We think about, think about all that is evolved in the forgiveness of sins. Without the shedding of blood. There is no forgiveness of sins, but, but Paul makes this point in Romans chapter five in verse 10, that when he says that we,

we are saved by his life, yes, Jesus did die for all humanity. He is and was, and will always be the perfect sacrifice. But Paul makes the point that we are saved by his life. And when we talk about the resurrection and we talk about the empty tomb, we’re talking about a risen savior, a living savior, and the fact that he is alive and the fact that he is risen,

yes, Jesus is the lamb that takes away the sins of the world. But as, as a living resurrected Lord, he is Victor. He is the one who conquers. He is the lion of the tribe of Judah. And now he is in his glorified, exalted state. And so when we talk about conspiracy theory of the empty tomb, I want us to think this afternoon,

as we reflect on the resurrection, I want us to think about three different facets. If you will, in the time that we have left, the first question that I want to ask this afternoon, as we think about the conspiracy theory of the empty tomb is did David Hume disprove miracles, bear with me Here. Okay. When we think about who David Hume was,

David Hume was a Scottish philosopher who lived in the 17 hundreds. He lived from 17, 11 to 1776. He was highly influential on people like Charles Darwin today. David Hume is still influential in scholarly circles. He has information comes out of the period in Europe, known as the enlightenment and Hume’s essay has a collection of essays called an inquiry concerning human understanding.

This was something that was published in 1748. And in this collection of essays, there’s one particular essay that deals with miracles. And this is a, a, a document that is highly influential in undermining religious faith, all throughout Europe, all throughout the Americas. Hume is often quoted in terms of his skepticism. When you think about what David Hume was,

he was what is known as an empiricist. An empiricist is someone not only who says we use our senses, our five senses to come to knowledge, but they would lean towards an understanding that our empirical senses, what we observe is an exclusive way on how we arrive at knowledge. I want to share with you a quote from whom and what he says.

You know, this context here in which Hume is trying to undermine and being dismissive of ear miracles. He’s talking about a scripture, relying on the eye witness of the apostles. He writes our evidence then for the truth of the Christian religion is less than the evidence for the truth of our senses. What’s he saying? He’s saying that our senses are how we arrive at knowledge and in what these apostles observed.

Well, that’s less reliable notice what he continues to say, because even in the first authors of our religion, it was no greater. And it is evident. It must diminish in passing from them to their disciples. What’s he saying, he’s saying that you really can’t trust history and you really can’t trust the eyewitness of those apostles because then they gave it to disciples.

And what’s really reliable as what we observe, what we see, what we taste, what we touch, what we smell, what we handle, the, these are what you can trust, but, but trusting those apostles. Well, he would call that into question nor can anyone rest such confidence in their testimony as in the immediate object of a census,

what’s he saying, he’s saying trust that trust, which you observe, but be skeptical of what other people observe. That’s what he’s saying. So when, when Hume has his discussion about miracles, he undermines religious belief. He inserts this historical skepticism. And so something is true, whether it happened five minutes ago or 500 years ago, it’s not more true because it happened five minutes ago,

right? Truth is truth, no matter when it occurred. Correct. So when we think about Hume and his influence on people, we ought to see that our senses are not always reliable. People will have hallucinations. That is sometimes they’ll send something when it’s not really there. Sometimes people are diluted and they are subject to illusion where a stimulus might be there,

but they may have a misperception of that. Our senses are not always reliable. And so Hume, when he has this discussion about miracles, he has these ideas and he dismisses miracles on the grounds that they’re tainted with superstition that they’re improbable. In other words, they don’t occur normally. And he says that people who tell of miracles, well, these people are ignorant and people from barbarous nations.

So that’s, Hume’s take on miracles. Now, let me ask us this question. How many miracles would it take to prove that David Hume’s assertions are false? Just one miracle, right? Just one miracle would approve that the David Hume is misguided in his beliefs and misguided in his understanding, which miracle are we going to choose? Are we gonna take the Virgin birth?

Will we take the water to wine? When we take the filling of the fishing nets, will we take the calming of the storm? When we take the feeding of 5,000, when we take the fact that Jesus healed every manner of sickness and disease, which miracle are we going to rely on this afternoon? We’re talking about the miracle of the empty tomb.

It would take only one miracle to prove that that Hume is wrong. In Luke chapter 24, Luke tells us of an encounter following Jesus’s resurrection. The scripture reads as they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, peace to you, but they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them,

why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your heart hearts? Verse 39. See my hands and my feet that it is I myself touch me and see for a spirit does not have flesh and bones. As you see that I have. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling,

he said to them, have you anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate before them question does this in the testimony that Luke gives us concerning Jesus. The fact that there are those that, that are even there in his immediate presence that are struggling with the reality of the risen Lord. And he’s trying to convince them,

he’s saying, see my hands and my feet and he’s showing them. But then he does this. He eats a piece of broiled fish. What’s that proof that proves that this notion of, of this spiritual apparition ghost, like a appearance of Jesus, but not a risen physical Lord, that proves that to be false. And so the notion that Hume asserts,

and that is the notion that that miracles are not trustworthy falls on its face. When we begin to consider the evidence. Well, what about another objection? Did someone steal the body of Jesus? Is it possible that grave robbers or his disciples stole his body? If you look back in history, Rome is interesting in the fact that grave robbing is something that actually did occur.

There’s an inscription in Nazareth Nazareth that dates before 80, 70 it’s perhaps from the time of Tiberius would have, which would have been between 14 and 37 AAD or Claudius, which would have been 41 to 54 Ady. And this inscription in the Nazareth for bay, the removing of bodies. And so it wasn’t impossible for the body of Jesus to be stolen.

But we’re asking the question about this particular instance. We’re not asking, did it happen in Nazareth? We’re asking, was his body stolen? And so in Matthew chapter 27 in verse 62, the text reads the next day. That is after the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered before pilot. Now I want you to notice in the text here,

it talks about the day of preparation. What day would that have been? This would have been the day before the Sabbath day, Jews would have busied themselves in chores and making sure food was ready and making sure everything was ready so that when the Sabbath day came, they could certainly rest. And so this day of preparation is significant. If we’re going to ask the question,

did somebody steal the body of Jesus? We must first establish that Jesus did in fact die. Is there credible evidence that establishes the fact that Jesus did in fact die? Now, just like when we talked about miracles, we’re not talking about one miracle. We’re talking about multiple lines of proof, multiple lines of evidence that converge. We’re not talking about one,

Evan, one, a witness who says, yes, I can testify to the fact that Jesus died. We’re talking about multiple witnesses who are some of those? Well outside the Bible, you can read Josephus his testimony. You could read inside the Bible about Jesus, his mother, his aunt, Mary, the wife of Clovis, Mary Magdalene could attest to his death.

You could read about the beloved disciple, who Jesus and trusted the care of his mother. He could attest to the fact that Jesus died. You could look at the soldiers who cast lots for the garments of Jesus, who could attest to that. You could look at the soldiers who broke the legs of the other two, but not Jesus, because why he was already dead.

You could look at the soldiers who pierced the side of Jesus and water and blood came forth. They would do this, knowing that Jesus was already dead. You could look at the Centurion who watched over the body of Jesus, who could attest to the fact that Jesus had died. You could go to the Centurion who then in turn, goes to pilot.

And remember that pilot is surprised that Jesus is dead already. What do we have here? It’s not one witness. Who’s saying, I know that Jesus is dead, but it’s multiple. And they converge in there, their account corroborates each other. It’s synonymous. It overlaps. When you look in verse 63, and this is interesting. The text says and said,

sir, we remember how that imposter said while he was still alive. After three days, I will rise. Now stop for just a moment and think about this. The Jews called Jesus and imposter. What’s an imposter. Well, an imposter is a fraud and imposter is somebody who deceives other people. But think about this because this is interesting detail. Why would the Jews,

why would the Jews take his promise to rise in three days? So seriously, if they were so certain that he was a fake, do we spend a lot of time or energy or effort planning or contemplating events that we believe wholeheartedly that are fully impossible? Do we spend a lot of time on those things? We don’t do we, but I think it’s interesting here in the text that they,

they call them an imposter, but then they go and say, well, let’s make sure though, right? If you’re so certain, he’s not going to write, why are you giving attention to that? It’s an interesting detail in the text in Matthew 27 in verse 64, the text says, therefore, order the tomb to be made secure until the third day,

Les, his disciples go and steal them away and tell the people he has risen from the dead. And the last fraud will be worse than the first. So, so the Jews are saying to pilot, Hey, I want you to make this tomb as, as secure and assured as you can, because we heard what he was going to say. And we don’t want us disciples come and steal them.

Pilots said to them, you have a guard of soldiers. Go make it as secure as you can. So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Now question, is it possible that from the moment that Jesus was buried till the time when, when pilot ordered the guard to be sent to the tomb, is it possible that in that interim,

in that period of time, that there is a window of possibility that somebody stole the body of Jesus? Is that possible? What evidence lead us to that conclusion? Now, if we move back further in the text in Matthew 27, verse 57, notice what the text says when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arithea named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.

He went to pilot and asked for the body of Jesus and pilot ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen, shroud her 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there sitting opposite the tomb.

Now, now think about this. Is it possible that somebody stole the body of Jesus, whether it be a disciple or a grave robber or something like this? This information is significant. Why it puts three witnesses here at not just any tomb, but one specific tune whose tomb is it? It’s Joseph. And then if you notice in verse 61,

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, are there opposite, not just any tomb, but this specific tomb. Why is this matter? Because when the Centurion handed the body upon the order of pilot over to Joseph Ravera Matthia, there was a transfer of custody of Jesus’s body. It was not just put in any tomb. It was put in Joseph Avera, Mathius tomb.

There are witnesses. There, there are women there that are opposite that tomb, but the scripture also gives us some other information in the gospel of John. And that is that Nicodemus is with Joseph Rivera. Matthia he brings 75 pounds of spices and helps with the binding of the body of Jesus. So if we were to ask the question, well, was Jesus’ body just putting the tomb and kind of left?

No, that body’s being prepared. The Sabbath day is coming. The women are there two women by name or they’re opposite. Joseph air Matthia prepares the body Nicodemus brings 75 pounds of spy. There were four witnesses that can give us hard. What else happens? There’s physical evidence. It’s one person’s tomb. It’s Joseph Rivera. Matthia that stone is rolled. A seal is set there’s physical evidence.

His body is bound with linens, right? Spices are put upon there’s physical evidence. And so this notion about his body being stolen is simply not credible. What about a coverup? Is it possible that we really don’t know what happened to the body of Jesus? Following the resurrection? Now think about this. There are people in two camps when Jesus dies,

there are the disciples who are loyal to Jesus. There are those who mourn for his passing, but there are also those who are enemies still of Christ. And remember they want their problem to go away. And they think that having put him to death, it may be somehow some way the problem has simply gone away. Now, if we go back and prophesy to the days of David David,

some 1000 years before Christ was on the scene, prophesied that Jesus would not be abandoned and she’ll, or the holy one would see corruption in acts chapter two, David foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of Christ. So Peter confirms this reality. If we roll forward 250 years to the days of Isaiah, we see that Isaiah, foretells the fate of this suffering servant and how he’ll be buried in a rich man’s tomb.

We look at Jesus’s prophecy and how on multiple occasions, he promised to rise on the third day. And then when you get into acts chapter 28 in the first 10 verses there, we read of his resurrection. So the question before us is, is it possible that that his death was a coverup in Matthew 28, verse 11. Notice the texts while there were going behold,

some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priest, all that had taken place. What had taken place, Jesus had risen. The guard know about it, right? The guard know, knows that the, that the stone is rolled, that the seal is broken. The guard are very aware of that. So who do they go to?

They go to the Jews. They tell the chief priest verse 12. And when they had assembled with the elders and taking counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers who’s involved in the coverup. Yes. And the Jews. Right? And then in verse 13 and said, tell people, his disciples came by night and stole him away.

His disciples came by night and stole them away while we were asleep. And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble. So they took the money and did, as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Now think about this. Is there credible and reasonable evidence that demonstrates that a coverup by the disciples is what happened.

Think about this. Imagine if you were able to interview the guard, imagine if you were to have this conversation with the guard, can you tell us what happened to the body of Jesus magazine, asking the guard that, and the guard would say, given this cover up, they would say, yes, yes. We can tell you it was stolen away by night.

And then could you imagine if you were interviewing the guard, would you be able to tell us who stole the body of Jesus? The guard would answer. Yes. So we can tell you it, it was the disciples. Can you explain to us exactly what you were doing when the body was stolen? Yes, we can. We were asleep. So let me make sure I understand this.

Can you explain how the disciples stole the body? How you know that the disciples stole the body of Jesus. If you were asleep, can you explain how a sleeping witness could be trusted for details concerning what happened while they were not awake or where you see there’s problems in their testimony? Right? There were holes in it. You see the coverup was not by the disciples and attempted cover up was by,

by the enemies of Christ. Do any of these theories, many of these questions that we address this afternoon, do they prove that the tomb was in fact occupied? Now, David Hume did not disprove the possibility of miracles. Miracles have occurred. They certainly occurred in one tremendous miracle occurred in the resurrection. Someone did not steal the body of Jesus. Four witnesses were there.

A guard was posted. The coverup fails. There are so many post-resurrection appearances. Remember acts chapter four, one in verse three says for 40 days, Jesus showed himself alive. The behavior of the disciples following the resurrection is inconsistent with the notion that the tomb was in fact occupied. Remember Peter 50 days following that weekend, what is he preaching? He’s preaching the resurrection.

And that is consistent with the idea that the resurrection certainly did occur. So many post-resurrection appearances appearances to Mary Magdalene, to the other Mary appearances, to Joseph, to Nicodemus to Mary, the mother of Joseph’s, who could identify where Jesus had lay had been laid. There’s physical evidence there strips of linen. There’s a face cloth. There’s a move stone.

There’s a broken seal. There’s the testimonies of the enemies. Even pilot, who had been told about what had happened, but then think about this. There is the risen Lord and whatever someone may offer, oh, it was covered up. Oh, the disciples stole it. There’s the body of Jesus in flesh and blood eating fish right before their very eyes.

There was every reason not to disbelieve, but to believe he appears so many times following the resurrection, he appears to the 11 in Galilee appears to Thomas, to James, to Joseph called Barsabas to Messias. He appears to more than 500. Paul says he appears to Peter and the disciple that Jesus loved. He appears to Peter Thomas, Nathaniel, James, and John,

by the sea of Tiberius. And he appears to Paul on the road to Damascus. It’s not one piece of evidence that affirms that the tomb was found empty. It’s lineup online it’s eye witness after eye witness, it’s physical evidence, all pointing to one fact, Jesus has risen and you and I this afternoon can know. And if there’s ever any element,

the smallest element of doubt, whether he is risen or not, just look to the evidence, take it to heart. Jesus is risen.

Daniel Stearsman
Conspiracy Theories
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