Inspirational Items for Your Daily Walk with Jesus:

Daily Bible Study and Secret Prayer is the Christian's  Power-link!

 "Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect prayer and the searching of the Scriptures, will be overcome by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind."

"All who would be efficient workers must give much time to prayer. The communication between God and the soul must be kept open, that the workers may recognize the voice of their Captain."



AMONG THE EARLY arrivals were Mr. and Mrs. Emerson, accompanied by George and Lucile. But early as they were, others were already seated in the hall, discussing in earnest tones the points presented in previous lectures.

“There will be a big crowd tonight,” ventured Lucile, as people came in increasing numbers.

“Naturally,” replied her father. “From any point of view, this is the most important subject.”

“Of the series?” she queried.

“No, my dear, the most important subject in all the world,” he asserted, an unusual seriousness in his voice.

George and Lucile regarded their father in amazement and incredulity.

“But — but, Dad,” the girl finally stammered, “I thought you were an out-and-out unbeliever!”

“I am, but that does not prevent my realizing that no subject in all the world exceeds, or even approaches in consequence, the question of whether Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again, as recorded in the New Testament.”

Lucile still regarded her father with questioning and incredulous eyes.

“Do many infidels believe as you do about this, Dad?”

“Practically all. And the leading ones have so expressed themselves.”

During this conversation George and Mrs. Emerson had been amazed and interested listeners. Soon the hall was filled to capacity, and still the crowds came. Mr. Dare was introduced by Dr. Morely.

“It is my intention,” Mr. Dare said, “to consider only a very small part of the evidence bearing on the supremely important topic of today. Many valuable books, ably presenting the matter, merit your reading.

“All through His ministry, Christ appealed to the prophets in proof of His startling statements. The appeal to prophecy was not just an argument to prove Jesus the messiah, but frequently it was the sole argument. There are more than three hundred prophecies and references to Christ in the Old Testament that are expressly cited in the New Testament, as predictions fulfilled in Him.

“And no one can say these predictions were written after Christ’s time, for the last book of the Old Testament was written 400 years before Christ walked the streets of Nazareth; or if we accept the extremely critical opinion, it was at least 168 years. So there could have been no collusion between the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament evangelists.

“On Christ’s first public appearance He appealed to prophecy: ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’ Luke 4:21.

‘Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.’ Luke 24:25. And to show His disciples how they should study the bible, ‘beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.’ Verse 27.

“However much sceptics may flout prophecy, they admit that the Old Testament does give frequent intimations of the coming of a remarkable personage. And they know that for ages the whole Jewish nation lived in eager expectation of a Messiah. The surrounding nations, their enemies, knew the Jews had this expectation, and mocked them because of it.

“Some of the passages upon which the expectation was founded were the promise of the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15; the declaration that in seed of Abraham should ‘all the nations of the earth be blessed,’ in Genesis 22:18; the statement that Shiloh was to come out of Judah before the dominion of that tribe should depart, as foretold in Genesis 49:10; that a prophet like Moses was to come, according to Deuteronomy 18:18, and quoted by Peter in Acts 3:22, as fulfilled in Christ.

“A remarkable part of prophecy foretold His inclusion of the Gentiles, whom the Jews hated. Yet they recorded and jealously preserved even that prediction. ‘I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth,’ we are told in Isaiah 49:6. In Isaiah 60:3 the prophet says of God’s people, ‘The Gentiles, shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.’

“The prophecy about this coming Messiah was filled with startling pradoxes. In Isaiah 9:6 we are told that this Son of time is the Father of eternity; this weak Babe is the God of all might.

“The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah stated that the coming One was to be cut off from the land of the living, a young man without offspring, yet He shall prolong His days, shall see His seed, which shall be so numerous that even He shall be satisfied. He is to be put to death as a despised malefactor, to make His grave with the wicked, and yet the sepulchre of the rich is to be His tomb. He is to be scorned and rejected of men, and yet to justify many. He Himself is to be treated as a transgressor, and yet is to make intercession for transgressors. Perplexing paradoxes, these!

“So impossible did it seem that one person could fulfil the requirements, that many Jewish leaders said two persons were necessarily foretold. But Christ fulfils every paradoxical requirement so naturally that we have ceased to observe the actual incongruity of the predictions. They no longer even seem incompatible.

“It is admitted that many centuries before the time of Christ, certain writings by Jewish writers foretold that a member of the Jewish nation, small and insignificant though it was, should be a blessing to all mankind. As we shall abundantly prove later, the most doubting scoffers proclaim enthusiastically that Christ has been and still is, above all others of the human race, a blessing — the greatest blessing — to all mankind.

“Account for it as you please, it is a stubborn fact that this obscure Jew of a small, despised, subject race has become most gloriously a blessing to every nation on earth. This strange prophecy that seemed to be born of the overweening egotism of a race, has become a perennially amazing fact.

“Furthermore, the time of His coming was clearly marked. It was to be not only before the sceptre departed from Judah, but also while the second Temple was standing. ‘I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and . . . the glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of Hosts.’ Haggai 2:7-9.

“But this is not all: Daniel gives the exact year of Christ’s appearance as the Messiah, and of His crucifixion. (See Daniel 9:24-27 and Ezra 7:11-26 for the date of the decree, 457 B. C.) This is one of the best-established dates in all history.

“The 69 weeks, or 483 prophetic days, or literal years (see Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6), begin at 457 B. C. and reach to A. D.27, at which time Christ was anointed as the Messiah by the Holy Spirit. (See John 1:29-36; Luke 3:21, 22; 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38; Mark 1:14, 15, marginal date). The middle of the seventieth week, or seven-year period, brings us to the spring of A. D. 31, when the Messiah was to be ‘cut off.’

“However one may attempt to explain them away, these prophecies and dates do fit exactly with the life of Christ, and nowhere else.

“From explicit passages in the writings of the heathen historians, Tacitus and Suetonius, we find a general expectation that an extraordinary person would arise in Judea about the time Jesus was born. So strong was this expectation among the Jews that many false messiahs appeared, appealed to the prophecies, and gained followers among those who were looking for the Messiah, and that the Temple could not be destroyed before the coming of the Messiah, that they refused all terms from Titus in A. D. 70, and fought with desperation to the last.

“To sum up: it is immaterial to me how you account for it, but several marvellously demonstrated facts stand out:

“1. Centuries before Christ was born a number of Jewish writers, living over a period of 1,000 years, boldly predicted that one of their race would be pre-eminently righteous.

“2. He would be a prophet.

“3. He would be rejected as the Messiah by the very people who foretold His coming, but would be accepted as the Messiah by every other nation on earth.

“4. He would be a blessing to all mankind.

“5. He would live in a certain definite, specified time.

“6. He would be killed.

“7. He would die as a malefactor.

“8. All these facts are testified to by prominent heathen writers.

“9. He was to be not merely a very superior human being, but God on earth.

“10. No one else meets these specifications, and Jesus Christ does.

“11. The truth of the system of Plato or Karl Marx or Buddha or Mohammed does not depend on the question whether they were good or bad men. But if a flaw could be shown in the character of Christ, the whole Christian system would collapse utterly and at once.

“His character stands as the foundation of the whole Christian fabric. Sceptics know this, and still they do not attack, but uniformly praise Him! His character is so winning, so lovable, so beautiful, so strong, so perfect, that though, like Gilbert West, they begin their studies with the intention of attacking, they end in most enthusiastic praise, and often in worship.

“Christ runs through the Old Testament as well as the New, like the lifeblood through our bodies. He is the golden link that binds all its parts together, the light that illumes all its secret chambers, the key to its deepest mysteries and the keynote to its eternal harmony, the heart of every Bible book and prophecy.”

Mr. Emerson, who had been quiet during the whole talk, arose to speak. David Dare turned in smiling expectancy to him.

“Mr. Dare,” began Mr. Emerson in earnest tones, “I have refrained from interrupting you, for I have a real regard for the Christ, and do not want to appear in the role of a cheap disturber. Although your evidence regarding Him is interesting and not easily dissipated, it is far from convincing. For instance, Genesis 3:15, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman,’ etc., seems to me rather an unstable foundation on which to base a prophecy of Christ. And most of your other instances appear to me to be equally unsatisfactory.”

“I agree with you, Mr. Emerson,” replied Mr. Dare.

Lucile gasped, as did her brother and father and many others in the audience.

“You agree with me!” Mr. Emerson exclaimed. “I don’t understand.”

“Nevertheless, I agree with you. Any one of the more than three hundred predictions relating to Christ is insufficient to prove that He was the expected Messiah. They are like the strands of a rope, individually unable to bear much weight. But taken altogether, and woven into a rope of evidence, they form a bond which cannot be broken. Other strands will be woven into our rope of evidence.

“In estimating the influence of Jesus on history,” continued David Dare, “consider the difference between Christ and all moralists and philosophers. To gather all the wise and good precepts of all the different philosophers, and separate and discard all the error and gross immorality and absurd superstition in their teachings, would have been a great work. But that a single person, unacquainted with these philosophers, and unlearned in the wisdom of men, should in direct opposition to the established practices and maxims of his own country, formulate a system so admittedly superior to all others, challenges the studious attention of everyone.”

Mr. Emerson arose. “Do you mean to imply that the philosophers were absurdly superstitious, and the moralists themselves immoral?”

“Exactly! That is just what I mean to say,” said Mr. Dare. “No heathen moralist ever opposed himself to the prevailing vices and corruptions of his own time and country. No heathen moralist ever endeavoured to curb the inhuman and horribly bloody sport of gladiators; none spoke against lust, the deliberate, slow killing of infants and slaves by exposure, or the public encouragement and establishment of brothels. The most amazing, indecent revellings were openly practised as part of their heathen religion, and the greatest philosophers and moralists never lifted a voice against them.”

Mr. Emerson interrupted again. “You surely cannot say these harsh things about such men as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and Seneca. These men at least were not guilty of the things you say.”

The lecturer shook his head. “I am sorry to say that I must. Plato not only expressly allowed excessive drinking at the always-disgraceful festival of Bacchus, but he and Aristotle both directed that means should be used to prevent weak children from being reared. Plato, Cicero, Epictetus, and other famous philosophers advised men to continue the idolatry of their ancestors. Diogenes and Socrates inculcated and practised the most brutal lust, and Cato commended young men for frequenting brothels. Plato recommended a community of prostitutes, and advised that soldiers should not be restrained from even the most obscene and unnatural sensuality. And such things were encouraged and protected by the laws of the states. Solon, the great lawgiver, forbade lust only to the slaves. Zeno, the founder, and Cato, the ornament, of Stoic philosophy, and Seneca, the great moralist of Nero’s time, were all suicides. In fact, the things that these men, the ornaments of ancient times, did and encouraged cannot possibly be related to a mixed audience, or to any audience.”

“But they taught many fine things,” insisted Mr. Emerson.

“Granted,” replied Mr. Dare. “That is the point I am making. These men were admittedly the greatest of the heathen world, and the best they, who were the best, could give in life and precept was so poor that the human race was in a bad way indeed.

“But it is admitted by infidels, as I shall prove later, that Christ, with no secular education, so far outstripped all the moralists and philosophers combined that they rank a very poor second.”

Mr. Emerson arose again. “You have presented very fair evidence that Christ fits the specifications of the predictions of the Old Testament. Even so, that does not prove that the religion of Christianity was established by Him.”

“Well, let us inquire briefly into the establishment of Christianity,” Mr. Dare replied. “That it exists and hence came into being in some manner, no one denies.

“There can be only two theories of its origin — it was founded either by impostors or by Christ.

“The propagation of this new religion was an exceedingly dangerous occupation from the first. To the Jews, Christianity was not only contrary to their long-established beliefs, but to those opinions on which were built their hopes and consolations.

“They looked for a Messiah to deliver them from the Romans. Even to think that these expectations might be disappointed, enraged them. The whole doctrine of Christianity was novel and offensive to them. The extending of the kingdom of God to the Gentiles was a concept foreign to the Jew and certain to antagonize him, rather than win him to the new religion.

“Worse yet, it was necessary for the followers of Jesus to reproach the Jews with an unjust and cruel murder. This only made their work more difficult and dangerous. The disciples of Christianity had to contend with prejudice backed by power. They appealed to a people whom they first disappointed and then enraged — certainly a strange way of introducing a new religion.

“But this was only the beginning of difficulties. Christianity struck at the reigning power — at Rome — and made an enemy of every other religion in existence. It boldly denied, at the very outset and with no reserve, every article of heathen mythology and the existence of every god the heathen worshipped. It accepted no compromise. It could prevail only by the overthrow of every statue, altar, temple, and god connected with heathen religions.

“Christianity was not just another religion to be added to the one thousand already existing, but was a bold denouncing of all other gods as false, all other worship as vanity and folly and deceit.

“Consider here another fact. The ancients regarded religion as entirely an affair of the state — not just allied to it, but an integral part of it. Thus an attempt to overthrow the religion of the state was regarded as a direct attack on the government, as treason, punishable by death. And the early Christians knew this.

“Furthermore, the religious systems of the time had long been established. From ancient days their priesthood, endowments, rituals, and magnificent temples had witnessed to their power. Statuary, painting, architecture, and music contributed to their ornamentation, magnificence, and influence.

“These religions abounded in festivals to which the populace was devoted. Their religion, says Gibbon, ‘was moreover interwoven with every circumstance of business or pleasure, of public or private life, with all the offices and amusements of society.’

“It is clear from the testimony of Pliny and Martial that the deaths of Christians were true martyrdoms; that is, they could have saved their lives at any time by joining the heathen exercises.

“And if Christ was put to death, could His followers expect to escape a like fate, especially in view of the fact that Christ told them that death would be their fate? Even so, there was not the slightest tendency to draw back, even when confronted with the most terrible torture.

“These effects must be explained by adequate causes. When people in large numbers suffer horrible torture and certain death rather than merely continue in their former method of living in order to live, here is an effect that must have an adequate cause. And untold millions have thought Christ to be the adequate cause. Even infidels concede it, as will be shown.

“Furthermore, all accounts of the origin of Christianity agree. Both sacred and secular writers say the same thing: Christ was put to death in Jerusalem by authority of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. No contemporary or successor contradicts the story. Even the Jewish writers have not a word to the contrary.

“Neither Pliny in the first century, Celsus in the second, Porphyry in the third, nor Julian in the fourth even suspected the authenticity of the New Testament, or insinuated that the Christians were mistaken in the authors to whom they ascribed the New Testament.

“But here are the facts of a strange story that all these writers are agreed on: In the reign of Tiberius Caesar a number of people set about establishing a new religion in the world, and in the prosecution of this endeavour they voluntarily encountered great dangers, undertook great labours, sustained unheard-of sufferings, all for the story that a dead man, who was executed as a malefactor, had been raised to life. And this strange story has revolutionized history, changed the tide of empire, and altered millions of lives for the better.

“If the people who published this amazing story were not sincere, they were the biggest liars and fools ever on earth. They were villains for no purpose except to teach honesty, and with no prospect in life except to die a cruel death, execrated by all.

“Never in all the history of the world have men, women, and even children, voluntarily undertaken lives of want, of incessant fatigue, of perpetual peril, submitting cheerfully to loss of home and country, to the endurance of stripes and stoning, to long and cruel imprisonments, and even to being torn asunder by lions or burned to death, for the sake of spreading abroad a story they knew to be false, or that they thought might be false. People have never suffered these things for any other cause except for what they most earnestly believe. These facts are so well known that they are not denied by anyone, nor can they be explained away.

“Even sceptics of the most rabid admit the beneficial effects of Christ’s life as the most important influence ever to appear in the world.”

Mr. Emerson stood once more. “You have made a number of references to what you are going to prove by unbelievers, but as yet have offered evidence from none of them. When may we have this proof?” His question was followed by an impatient murmur of accent.

“At the next lecture,” replied David Dare. “And I will ask you Mr. Emerson, to read these references from the books written by the sceptics, so that you may see for yourself and for the audience that the quotations are from the infidels I say, and are not misquoted. They will all be from the original books.”