As the American Republic descends further into a slippery slope led by posturing, mendacity, and creative fables, and as growing chaos in and between numerous nations spreads, the wisdom and necessity of grasping the essence of living becomes crystallized.
This crisis can not be solved by the problematic thinking and behavior that led us to this moment in time. Thus, a fresh and contemporary look at the Greatest Story Ever Told provides insights on how the travails of our time can be resolved.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each claim Abraham as an important spiritual leader who led the belief in the one true God. The Muslim Quran – while not formally preaching the divinity of Jesus, nevertheless reveals an account of the infant Jesus speaking as if he were a mature adult. Islam holds Jesus in high honor.
In the Muslim Quran, Maryam (Mary) – “…she pointed to him [baby Jesus]. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?” [Jesus replied to that question and] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He [Allah, God] has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.” (Surah 19:29-33, per the Legacy Quran).
It is interesting that in Islam, the infant Jesus from the cradle predicts his own death and resurrection. The Quran, much in keeping with the traditional Christian belief of billions throughout the ages, also pointed to the miraculous virgin birth of the Madonna. The Quran holds Mary [Maryam] in high esteem. “Maryam ibnat Imran, the mother of Isa [Jesus], English: Mary, daughter of Amram, holds a singularly-exalted place in Islam as the only woman named in the Quran, which refers to her seventy times and explicitly identifies her as the greatest of all women, stating, with reference to the angelic saluation [sic] during the annunciation, “O Mary, God has chosen you, and purified you; He has chosen you above all the women of creation.” – per Wikipedia.
While most Jews do not acknowledge Jesus as their long-foretold Messiah, there are some who do. “Alfred Edersheim found 456 Old Testament verses referring to the Messiah or His times. Conservatively, Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry,” says Got Questions.
Jesus was born into a Jewish home. The ancient “Jewish historian Flavius Josephus around 93-94 AD, contain two references to Jesus of Nazareth and one reference to John the Baptist…” says Wikipedia. Ancient Roman sources mention Jesus Christ too. A “Roman historian named Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, who was the chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian and who had access to the imperial records, mentions Jesus in a section he wrote concerning the reign of Emperor Claudius. He refers to Christ using the variant spelling of “Chrestus.” or Christ, which is Greek for Messiah, says BibleStudy.org.
Thus, Josephus and various millennia-old Roman and other sources make independent references to Jesus, entirely apart from the New Testament Christian Scriptures. Ancient churches and other artifacts make it clear that Jesus was no mere myth. It has been observed by experts that there is far more historical evidence for the life of Jesus of Nazareth, as some historians have noted, than there is for Julius Caesar. Yet no one denies the existence of Caesar. So, why do some deny Jesus Christ lived or the unique role he plays in human history? All of time, in the Gregorian calendar, is divided into BC (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, in the Year of our Lord (Jesus Christ). While some today are trying to erase this usage, the CE or Common Era is nevertheless based upon the original A.D. dating format.
While Thomas Jefferson was a deist, not a Christian, he nevertheless penned a collection of the sayings of Jesus. As the Masthead referenced in A Masonic Journey months ago, Masonic influences and practices are found among several of America’s Founding Fathers. Masonry is not Christian in the strict sense. Masonic symbols are part of American images, found on dollar bills among other examples.
That noted, the founders of the American Republic routinely looked for the inspiration and insights of faith, morality, and often Christian beliefs. Those Christian beliefs were prominent in England, much of Latin America, Canada, and most of Europe. Christian faith and other philosophical, legal, and moral thoughts were wove it into fabric of what gave our nation the Declaration of Independence, the failed and transitory Articles of Confederation, and ultimately the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Over the years, other constitutional amendments moved the nation toward the ideal of a “more perfect Union” which Abraham Lincoln said should be by, with, and for “We the People.”
When authentic judicial pronouncements are made, they look to precedent. Precedent is a type of legal history. It includes by its very nature a peek into the language and thinking of the times.
The American founders had no computers. There was no Internet. There were no cell phones, telephone land lines, gas or electric lines. For those who step on board a sailing vessel of that era, the ships in the times of the founders were a testament to the courage of their sailors. While vessels then while quite seaworthy, they were not nearly as safe as vessels found today which might benefit from weather radio, radar, GPS, and more. The stars – and by modern standards – crude instruments like sextants helped guide those who began to crisscross the Atlantic Ocean.
When you step into the shoes of the women and men of that epoch, one should feel admiration for their strong beliefs, work ethic, and often courageous efforts.
That era produced the men and women who supported or fought for freedom from the British King and Crown Monopolies. Faith was a common inspiration.
In our age that is often hooked on special effects – displayed even during many concerts, or some sporting events, and in video games that often seem immersive – one should imagine a time without any such eye-candy.
There is a literal information struggle in our time, as the report last with insights from Australia, India, Europe and beyond night reflected. The level of misinformation in nations around the world, not just the U.S., is serious. As billionaires, tech titans and media moguls strive to control and manage information ever more, the need to get back to basics is arguably profound. Or as the insightful Quran verse cited above said, “He [God] has not made me a wretched tyrant.”
MHProNews has long maintained that which is demonstrably true. Our publishing always seeks to use evidence and reason, not mere whim, flimsy opinions, or wishful thinking. American history is neither as bad as some on the far left claim, nor as pure as some who hold other extremes may posture. Great historic figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, or Ronald Reagan had flaws, some of which we have previously probed. As MHProNews recently reported on Martin Luther King Jr Day, for all of his accomplishment, Dr. King had his weaknesses and often serious failings too. Every president in our history has had strengths and weaknesses. Every soul ever conceived, save two – per traditional Christian belief – has the taint of sin. But despite our sin, heavenly grace gives us the ability to rise up and do often amazing accomplishments.
Which brings us to the meaning and purpose of life and the greatest story ever told.
Imagine the richest man ever in our era died today. He goes unrepentant into eternal hellfire, was his wealth and bad deeds worth it? Eternity is forever. Compared to eternity, 10,000 years is a blink of an eye. So, why is it that ill gotten or improperly used wealth or talents are squandered in a life of typically under 100 years? The answer is found in part in Psalm 14:1, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile…” (NIV per BibleHub).
“The fool” doubts or denies God, says Scripture.
A cynical, atheist reporter named Lee Strobel from Chicago set out to disprove Christianity once and for all. As his interviews and research developed, the evidence compressed Strobel’s skepticism dwindled to zero. That reporter realized that the evidence that God is real is actually overwhelming. While our recent report that included proofs for God’s existence was entirely different than that reporters (see that deeper dive, linked here), the two complement each other. Indeed, all truth – scientific and religious, properly understood – are always entirely compatible. That former reporter became a minister. Every piece of evidence or thinking he could think of against faith proved to be as naught in the face of authentic evidence for belief. A movie was based on that true story of Strobel, called “The Case for Christ.”
The Science Behind Faith?
The Shroud of Turin was thought to be debunked by a carbon dating test. It turns out that the sample of cloth used for the carbon dating tests of what millions believe is the burial shroud of Jesus Christ mentioned in the Gospels was compromised. Scientists studying the Shroud for decades are fascinated and moved by its revealed secrets. There are hundreds of videos on this topic, this one produced by secular Unexplained Mysteries is fairly recent. It explores various aspects of the controversial and historic burial cloth.
That video above does not explore more nuanced evidence, which includes the pollens found on the Shroud. Some of those pollens are found only in the Holy Lands. MDs and scientists who have closely studied the Shroud, and the Sudarium, the head cloth that would have gone with the Shroud, have often been moved to conviction as a result of their study.
As Norman Baron, who posted a comment a month ago on the first Shroud video above noted, “For those with faith, no evidence is necessary; for those without it, no evidence will suffice.” – St Thomas Aquinas.
But as wise as the brilliant philosopher Thomas Aquinas was, the story of Lee Strobel noted above reveals that those who study the issues with even a modest degree of intellectual honesty may be moved by the evidence in favor of faith.
About the time of the Spanish Flu pandemic, a very public and miraculous event occurred.
At Fatima, Portugal in 1917, the “Miracle of the Sun” was witnessed by an estimated 70,000 to 100,00 people. No miracle since the time of Christ has reportedly had more witnesses. Atheists, agnostics, public officials, and reporters present became believers. These are the types of things the mainstream media covered at the time. But today? They are rarely mentioned, as if it never occurred.
Ten seconds into this under 2 minute video below are screen captures of period newspaper accounts of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. That occurred on October 13, 2017. Mary, the Mother of Jesus tells the shepherd children that she had been visiting for several months that if the people of the world do not repent of their sins, the errors of Russia would fill the world.
What are the errors of Russia that the Madonna said would spread throughout the world?
Leftist Wikipedia says that “On November 6 and 7, 1917 (or October 24 and 25 on the Julian calendar, which is why the event is often referred to as the October Revolution), leftist revolutionaries led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin launched a nearly bloodless coup d’état against the Duma’s provisional government.” Socialism, Marxism, Communism, Fascism, these are – say scholars – among the errors of Russia that have indeed spread throughout much of the world. More on that later below.
It is worth noting among the millions who go to Fatima every year besides Catholics or other Christians, Muslims are among those commonly in the crowds. In Islamic belief, Muhammad’s daughter was named Fatima. That is a separate but intriguing story for another time.
In Japan, Latin America, Europe, Africa, North America there are well documented reports of miraculous events that scientists also cannot explain. As a disclosure, this writer has seen a few examples of phenomenon that defies science and medicine first hand.
Each of these are arguably part of what should be a contemporary take on “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” The video below was directed by George Stevens and “his epic retelling of the Four Gospels of the New Testament,” including “A huge all-star cast (including Charlton Heston as John the Baptist) animate the vast landscape of the film. Based on The Bible, Fulton Oursler’s “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and radio scripts by Henry Denker.” Released in 1965, it has a run time of 3:19:11 (over 3 hours). So you better plan on watching this video when you can set aside the time. Besides being award-winning, it is a true classic.
This next 2:40 minute video clip is taken from the full-length movie above. The clip recounts the imagery of the Magi or “wise men” from the East following the Star to Bethlehem, which was the place foretold long before where the Messiah would be born. The gifts brought by the Magi are rich in symbolic meaning, including the gift of myrrh, which was for preservation of a body.
The gift of myrrh would seem to be an odd gift to a newborn child. This short clip from the Smithsonian Channel sheds light.
Some 12 years after the release of The Greatest Story Ever Told is the epic movie Jesus of Nazareth. This one is most commonly a day-off treat, as it has a run-time of 6:20:27; nearly 6½ hours in length.
A clip of just under 13 minutes from the movie above is found below. While the epic above is lengthy, it sheds significant light and inspiration that is timeless.
In conjunction with Biblical reading, these videos about the life of Christ can bring the Gospel narratives to life.
Battle Between Good and Evil
“All the world’s a stage” wrote William Shakespeare, who explained that all the men and women merely “players” – actors – in what by analogy he suggested was a kind of morality tale that involves our life and that of others that we know. Shakespeare was a believer.
As deception and dark deeds cover our struggling Republic, these points of factual evidence and religious inspiration should bring eternal optimism and hope. There is a battle between authoritarian powers who are flexing their muscles in the U.S.
The message of Fatima includes at its heart a call to conversion and a return to a deep devotion to Jesus.
Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 – ESV).
By way of contrast, Jesus never said, ‘do your own thing.’ Or ‘Do whatever you want to do.’ While there is a wide range of ‘liberty’ in faith, there are also clear do and don’t do instructions in Scripture, such as the Commandments.
Jesus said, “If you follow my teachings, you will truly be my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
People are never “freed” by lies.
Jesus said to skeptics and doubters that, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – (John 8:44 ESV).
Got Questions notes that: “Satan told the first lie in recorded history to Eve, in the Garden of Eden. After planting seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind with a question (Genesis 3:1), he directly contradicts God’s Word by telling her, “You will not certainly die” (Genesis 3:4). With that lie, Satan led Eve to her death; Adam followed, and so have we all.” God made Adam and Eve in the divine image. The tragic irony then and now is that by chasing the lie, the first couple – or us weak souls today – are running away from the very thing that gives us all that we could hope or dream for – and it is ultimately eternal. Never ending joy. The more a society follows the Gospel, the more true peace and authentic justice there will be. The cherry on top is eternal joy when a man or woman sheds “this mortal coil,” as Shakespeare poetically described death.
That author noted that Satan “uses the tactic of deceit to separate people from their heavenly Father. Some of his more common lies are “there is no God,” “God doesn’t care about you,” “the Bible cannot be trusted,”… “The apostle Paul tells us that Satan “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), so that what he says and does sounds good and seems reasonable. But it is nothing more than a false appearance.”
Those observation quoted are very much in keeping with the posturing of certain elites, which the Capital Research Center (CRC) periodically refers to as “deception and misdirection.” The wealthy often given to a foundation or nonprofit that gives them a tax break while advancing their own agenda. In doing so, they often posture one thing, but are doing another. As Warren Buffett’s son Peter Buffett said, there is a Philanthro-feudal industry. The highly acclaimed documentary, Poverty, Inc cites those who explained that if you want to abolish poverty, you have to abolish “the poverty industry.”
This trailer above is taken from the full length video below. “Having a heart for the poor isn’t hard,” says the end of the clip above, “Having a mind for the poor, that is the challenge.”
As but one of several takeaways from compelling and eye-opening documentary drama above, it that support for free enterprise, not socialist or Philanthro-feudalistic ‘give away’ programs are what lifts people out of poverty.
Do you see how Gospel values and ancient Biblical wisdom come up time and again in battling the issues of our time? Just because someone creates a nice sounding narrative does not make that narrative true. A sound test for what is and is not true is to see how well or badly it comports with the eternal truths taught in the Bible.
That noted, “Today, Satan still uses people to spread his lies for him. Often, he uses charismatic but foolish people to further his falsehoods, as in the case of false religions and cults,” said Got Questions.
That writer noted that the Bible has many names for “Satan to describe his true nature, including “ruler of this world” (John 12:31), “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4), “tempter” (1 Thessalonians 3:5), “deceiver” (Revelation 12:9), “Beelzebub” (literally, “lord of the flies,” the ruler of demons, in Matthew 10:25), and “Belial,” meaning “wicked” (2 Corinthians 6:15).
Satan has told more lies to more people…than any other being ever created. His success depends on people believing his lies. He has used everything from “little white lies” to huge, pants-on-fire whoppers to deceive folks…The Bible teaches that all liars “will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Proverbs 19:9 also teaches that anyone who lies will be punished.”
That writer draws to a close by noting that “Avoid this fate by obeying Mark 1:15: “Repent and believe in the gospel.” Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), and He will never deceive you. Those who come to Jesus in faith will find that “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).”
Much of what that source noted on the issue of lies was on point, as the quoted items above reflects. But certain nuances not quoted arguably missed the mark. Some believe that by saying a few nearly magical words, that God will forgive all sins, past, present, and future. God does forgive. As it says in 1 Timothy “This is good, and pleases God our Savior who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2-3, NIV per Bible Hub).
Many overlook or downplay the words that preceded that phrase. The Apostle Paul said “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Tim 1-2), which is then followed by the more famous “This is good, and pleases God our Savior who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
All authentic “Scripture is inspired by God,” wrote the Apostle Paul to Timothy, not just some of the Bible. Some have taken to adding to the Biblical books or removing some, even though the book of Revelations made clear that such should not be the case.
Revelation 22:18 (NIV) 18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll [i.e. book]: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll [i.e.: book] of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” Deuteronomy 4:2 says something similar, 2 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” Logically, since the Hebrew Bible or “Old Testament” Scriptures were not yet fulfilled that a Messiah would come, there was clearly going to be more revealed.
But that final “New Testament” revelation – once completed – should not be added to or taken from.
Taking some passage out of context has been a tool of division and confusion. Jesus is tempted by the Devil who cited Scripture as part of the demonic temptation.
God wills that all should be saved, and that comes by learning, living, loving and embracing what is true. As 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV says “…it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him…”
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville uproar in 2017, MHLivingNews published an analysis in concert with the expressed written approval Rev Donald Tye Jr. That is found below.
Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 NIV. The more we turn to God’s will and God’s ways, the deceptive and destructive individuals who try to place themselves above God will be thwarted.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Karl Marx Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai, Jack Dorsey, George Soros Challenge Most Revolutionary Documents in World History – Costing 60+ Million Pro Opportunities – News Analysis
As a closing note that should not be overlooked by our industry’s professionals. Jesus was a “tektōn.” That Greek word “tektōn (τέκτων) is a common term for an artisan/craftsman, in particular a carpenter, woodworker, or builder,” explains Wikipedia.
As our recent and related report linked above and here explained in some detail, there are moral codes that to a significant degree Christians, Jews, and Muslims largely shared. That moral code includes the right to private property. Jesus was no socialist or communist. That is made clear by his reaffirm the commands given to Moses, which prohibited theft and more. You only prohibit theft – “you shall not steal” – because private property is legitimate!
Why is this review important now? Because even above man’s law is God’s law. The Creator of all did not give Moses ten suggestions. Rather, God gave Moses Ten Commandments.
Whenever human behavior or what postures as law fails to coincide with Divine law, human law should yield to the Divine.
In conclusion, among the reasons our society is in such a troubled state in the U.S. and nations around the world have failed to maintain or more fully embrace the essential principles that powerful forces have obscured. God made humanity to be co-creators. “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it…” (Gen 1.28.). The misunderstandings and deceptions relative to that first commandment recorded in the Bible by God to Adam and Eve are unpacked here.
What the uber capitalists and the many in the socialist-Marxist-fascist-communist and authoritarian movement have in common is that they are either godless or they ignore the Divine law. Our generation is reaping the consequences of decades of undermining traditional beliefs. There are no quick fixes. We must personally and by example do our best to restore and share the proper understanding of the meaning and purpose of life.
It is not a new false gospel of political correct views that saves us, as the decent into greater darkness has demonstrated. Rather it is the authentic Gospel truths that sets humanity free.
Because when we “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV). “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him…” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV).
That is the “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” It is called the “Gospel” or “Good News” because we are meant to share it.
That’s a wrap on this installment of the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
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