Fact Or Fiction?
Is the Bible REALLY the Word of a Supreme Being? Or, as the skeptics and evolutionists say, is it a collection of Hebrew myths, distorted history, poetry and glaring contradictions? Is there any real PROOF that the Bible is the word of God? For if it is not, then hundreds of millions of Christ-professing "Christians" are deluded into believing in myths!
by Garner Ted Armstrong
D oes the Bible contradict itself? Skeptics say yes, many times. Does the Bible present us with wholly impossible scenarios; unbelievable historical accounts, and unscientific claims? Scoffers and doubters say yes. Evolutionists, agnostics, skeptics of every sort are quick to challenge the Bible on many fronts.
A favorite attack against scripture is the age-old question, "Where did Cain get his wife?"
Another is why the fifth commandment says "Thou shalt not Kill," and yet, God commanded the Israelites to kill thousands of their enemies: "Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
"But of the cities of these people, which the L ORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
"But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the L ORD thy God hath commanded thee" (Deuteronomy 20:15-17).
"You see?" challenge the scoffers, this "God" you say inspired the Bible says "Thou shalt not kill," and then turns right around and says, "kill them all, even their little babies!"
Several times a year, I receive angry, challenging letters from such doubters, who are trying to convince themselves there is no God, or, if there is, He did not inspire the Bible to be written.
How about you? Are you equipped to answer challenges from those who point out alleged Bible contradictions, or who say the Bible is uninspired?
The Claims Of Scripture Itself
The Bible claims to be inspired. Jesus Christ said, "Search the scriptures ; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Therefore, Christ plainly said the Hebrew Old Testament was inspired, and that it contains information which, if accepted, points the way to eternal life. He said, as recorded only a few verses later, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses , in whom ye trust.
"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me [in the first five books of the Bible].
"But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47). Christ therefore placed His stamp of approval on the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. If one accuses Christ of being either ignorant, deceived, or deliberately lying, then one is obviously rejecting Jesus Christ as the Son of God; the Savior of the world; the soon-coming world ruler, and one is perilously close to a blasphemy which will not be forgiven.
After His resurrection, Jesus Christ reminded His disciples of His many Bible-based statements during His Messiahship: "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses , and in the prophets , and in the psalms , concerning me.
"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures " (Luke 24:44, 45). Here, Jesus Christ lists the three divisions of the Hebrew Old Testament, commonly called the "Torah" (the first five books of the Bible), or the "law," the Prophets, including all the major and minor prophets, and the "Psalms," or "the Writings," which includes all the other books.
The Bible itself claims to be the inspired word of God. Peter wrote, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
"For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
"And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation .
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:16-21).
John the apostle wrote, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
" Who bare record of the word of God , and of the testimony of Jesus Christ , and of all things that he saw .
"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:1-3).
Paul used the Old Testament scriptures to preach Christ, and salvation. "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
"And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures ,
"Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ" (Acts 17:1-3).
Luke wrote that Apollos, a gifted and noted speaker, "...mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures [the Old Testament ó the only "scriptures" extant then] that God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him" (Acts 28:23-31). Thus ends the book of Acts, with Lukeís testimony that Paul continually taught from the Hebrew Old Testament; "out of the law [Torah] of Moses, and out of the prophets," all day long, day after day, week after week, month after month for two years.
One thing is sure. Jesus Christ Himself plainly said the Old Testament scriptures are the word of God. All the disciples believed the scriptures were inspired. Paul believed the Old Testament was inspired. What about the writers of the Old Testament? Did they believe they were writing Godís own words?
Scoffers Were Predicted
Today, evolution is taken for granted by the vast majority. Evolution is the basis of all formal education; inculcated into the minds of youths in western societies from their early childhood. Evolution is palpably evident throughout the "nature" shows which children love; television documentaries about fish, dolphins, whales, lions, elephants, birds, insects ó all continually reinforce the concept that there is no God; that all life "evolved" over vast aeons of time.
To evolutionists, the natural forces in place today provide evidence that the earth has always continued as it is, with "resident forces" acting upon the earth, and "natural selection" bringing about the "survival of the fittest" as all forms of life gradually "evolved" from one life form to another.
Thus, man is said to have begun as a "chance strike of lightning in a primal soup of methane and ammonia," or as a "spark of life in an ancient sea," or as "green slime," or "brown scum," or "cracks in rocks," or from either supreme heat, or supreme cold. Each of the above postulates can be found in erudite texts and articles written by science writers. The "big bang" theory; that all matter was once contained in one gargantuan "atom" which exploded is commonly accepted today by evolutionists.
All of which says "There is no God worthy of mention." Evolution directly contradicts the Bible, which says "In the beginning God created..." Evolution says, instead, "In the beginning was the hydrogen atom."
To evolutionists, any catastrophism is anathema. While many have come to believe that a meteor once struck the earth, which is largely accepted as the reason for the "sudden die out of dinosaurs," the concept of catastrophes interrupting the gradually changing "resident forces" is generally rejected. For example, the great flood of Noahís time, mentioned by Christ and the apostles, and set forth in Genesis chapters six through nine, is rejected as pure myth.
Peter wrote, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers , walking after their own lusts,
"And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation [everything is cyclical, they say; there have always been droughts, famines, and storms] .
"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
"Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:3-7).
In a later section we will deal with the flood of Noah, and various challenges against it by scientists and religionists alike. The point is, Peterís prophecy has come true! Millions deny the flood of Noahís time. Yet, Jesus Christ Himself said, "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
"And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Jesus was Christ" (Acts 18:28). When Paul was under house arrest in Rome, knowing that he was in peril of his life, he nevertheless continued to faithfully preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, using the Old Testament scriptures! Luke wrote, "And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening .
"And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not....And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of man be" (Matthew 24:37-39). Evolutionists accuse Christ, therefore, of being either ignorant or deceived, because Christ clearly believed in a universal deluge.
Paul wrote that evolutionists have no excuse for denying what their own eyes tell them:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them [is evident to them]; for God hath showed it unto them.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [the material universe; all creation], even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:18-20).
Today, many theologians attempt to reconcile anti-God evolution with "theistic evolution," saying there might have been a "First Cause" or a "God" of some sort who used evolution as His creating method. But this is nothing short of gratuitous; an attempt to give in to evolutionists, and still maintain there is a God.
Such people claim that the "days" of creation were actually thousand, or even million-year periods, and not literal days. The Bible says otherwise: "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
"And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
"And God called the light Day , and the darkness he called Night . And the evening [darkness] and the morning [daylight] were the first day" (Genesis 1:3-5) .
There has never been a time when the Bible was under such attack as today! From evolutionary classrooms to the pulpits of churches, men scathingly ridicule the Bible as myth.
Peterís prophecy has come to pass. For several in-depth articles which DEMOLISH the "theory of evolution" be sure to look into our web site at "http://www.gtaea.org," go to the literature page, and type in "evolution" or "creation." There, you will find the existence of God absolutely and scientifically PROVED !
Is the Bible a deliberate attempt by dozens of collaborators over centuries to create a myth about a "God," and form a monotheistic religion? Were the prophets coconspirators in an elaborate scheme to deceive you and me?
Godís prophets were not arrogant "wannabes" who arrogated to themselves some high "spiritual" office. Instead, they were humble men who felt inadequate for the task appointed them. Isaiah wrote of having seen a vision of the throne of God; of seraphim crying "Holy, holy, holy, is the Eternal of Hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory" (Isaiah 6:1-3). Isaiah then said, "Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Eternal of Hosts" (Isaiah 6:5).
Then occurred, in Isaiahís vision, a seraphim who flew from the altar with a coal from beneath and, laying it upon Isaiahís mouth, said, "Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged" (Isaiah 6:7). Isaiah was now a vessel sanctified for Godís work. Yet, he was told that the people would not understand or heed his message; that they would be "dull of hearing" until the time of the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, when God will visibly manifest Himself.
God said to Isaiah, "Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
"Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
"Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
"And the L ORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land" (Isaiah 6:9-12). Jesus Christ emphasized the fact that the vast majority of mankind would be blinded; unable to comprehend spiritual things. He quoted Isaiah, thus giving this prophet his stamp of approval and divine authority, when His disciples asked Him why He spoke to the masses in puzzles, or parables. Christ answered, "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not ; and hearing they hear not , neither do they understand.
"And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
"For this peopleís heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (Matthew 13:13-15).
Millions believe Jesus Christ came to save everyone He could! Nothing could be farther from the truth! Instead He plainly said most were BLIND to the truth, and said this was in Godís intent, "LEST" they should be converted; should understand with their heart.
Bear this in mind as you continue through this booklet! It was not then, and it is not now Godís intention to reveal His truth to every human being! Jesus Christ said, " No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him : and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44). Remember this basic principle, and never forget it! It takes a miracle from God to open a human mind to His truth! Mere reading of the Bible by a carnal mind (Romans 8:7) will never bring any person to repentance and salvation. Those who read the Bible with a skeptical attitude will remain skeptics. Why? Because they do not TREMBLE before Godís Word. Isaiah wrote, "Thus saith the L ORD , The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the L ORD : but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isaiah 66:1, 2).
Isaiah trembled before God. He knew he was unworthy of conveying Godís message. He was a reluctant prophet, not one who vainly arrogated to himself any authority. Notice how Jeremiah likewise felt unworthy: "Then the word of the L ORD came unto me, saying,
"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
"Then said I, Ah, Lord G OD ! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
"But the L ORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
"Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the L ORD .
"Then the L ORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the L ORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth .
"See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant" (Jeremiah 1:4-10). Jeremiah said he was too young for the job; that he would have no credibility! Yet God sent him as one of his prophets.
Amos wrote, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophetís son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit:
"And the L ORD took me as I followed the flock, and the L ORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel" (Amos 7:14,15).
Daniel fainted when he saw an archangel who came to commission him as Godís prophet: "And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
"His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
"And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
"Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
"Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
"And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
"And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
"Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words" (Daniel 10:4-12). Like so many other prophets, Danielís experience with a great archangel so traumatized him that he was left weak and trembling. This was no pompous individual who assayed to become a "faith healer" or "evangelist" parading around in a white suit, claiming to "heal" people! Instead, Daniel was a meek and humble man who was stultified at the calling of God. He was not a volunteer.
It is important to know that each of Godís prophets related that God, no doubt through angelic messengers, spoke to them directly! They did not seek it. They were not volunteers. Instead, they were chosen. Paul wrote, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [compare with John 1];
"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:1-3).
The New Testament writers absolutely believed that the Old Testament scriptures were inspired! They believed that God Himself had inspired the prophets! In most cases, they gave their lives , often in the most horrible fashion, for that conviction. This was not mere "belief," but deep conviction ; a knowing brought about by their personal experiences with Jesus Christ during His sojourn in human flesh, and His many miraculous appearances to them following His resurrection!
Reluctant Disciples; Unwilling Witnesses
The Bible is hard on its heroes. Every human being save Jesus Christ is presented to us as eminently human; with human failings, foibles, silly mistakes, false assumptions and sins. Davidís sin with Bathsheba; Abrahamís lie to save his wife from Abimelech; Peterís brazen rebuke of Jesus; Paulís participation in the martyrdom of Steven and earlier persecution of Christians; Jeremiahís lamentations ó all are obviously humans, subject to normal human emotions.
Did the disciples concoct a "new religion" and foist it off upon unsuspecting masses?
Many sensational books have made just such a charge. Write a book which debunks Jesus Christ as a fraud, and you have an instant best-seller. Write the truth about the Bible, and about Christ, and only a precious few are interested. Many years ago, a book entitled The Passover Plot alleged that Jesusí "death" was just that; a part of a conspiratorial plot to stage a death, when in fact Christ was not really dead at all.
But consider the record of the disciples themselves. For one thing, as Christ was being led away by the armed guards of the High Priest, having been betrayed by Judas, every one of His disciples forsook Him!
If you have not read my booklet, "The Young Revolutionaries," it is available on our web site at http://www.gtaea.org. You can print it and read it in hard copy. If you do not have a PC, they are available in most local libraries, and for a small fee you can be given access to the web site, and the librarian will print out any literature you require. I urge you to read this fascinating book.
Consider the case of Peter, the disciple. Bombastic, zealous, rough around the edges, Peter was often abrasive and impetuous. For years, he and the other disciples had assumed Jesus Christ was a revolutionary who would overthrow the Sanhedrin, topple the Herods, and then kick out the occupying Romans. Notice what the disciples thought was the one most important question they could ask Jesus on His final appearance before them: "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). They did not speak of the "Kingdom of God," nor did they envision a globe-girdling millennial rule of Christ. Rather, they asked if NOW , at long last, after what had been to them many, many abortive attempts, was He FINALLY ready to "restore the kingdom TO I SRAEL !"
What that meant was they expected Christ to establish a new GOVERNMENT on the throne which was being usurped by the Herods; to restore a greater Davidian or Solomonic Kingdom, from the headwaters of the Tigris-Euphrates in modern-day northern Iraq to the seven streams of the Nile in the Egyptian delta. They did not ask Him anything whatsoever about "religious services," or about the myriad things which have led to major disputes and divisions among the denominations in "churchianity." They asked nothing about hair styles or length; about dresses or robes for the clergy; about candles, bells, chants, or holy water. They asked nothing about celibacy, or "orders" for women; they asked nothing about "praise worship" or religious postures.
Instead, they asked, in essence, a POLITICAL question. Would Christ FINALLY , now that He had all power, ascend to Davidís throne and RULE I SRAEL right then and there?
Christ answered, "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
"And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
"Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:7-11). This miraculous phenomenon was the final anchor for their unbounding faith. They SAW Him ascend. They watched until He was a tiny speck, fading from sight into the clouds!
After a period of a month and ten days, during which He had appeared and disappeared many times, these unwilling witnesses; these men who had forsaken Him in bitter disappointment and anger, were deeply convicted!
Space does not permit me to retell the entire story here (please read the "Young Revolutionaries" book), but remember that Peter tried to trigger the revolution when he attempted to kill Malcolm, the servant of the high priest. "And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priestís, and smote off his ear.
"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matthew 26:51, 52; compare with Luke 22:49-62).
All the disciples shrank back into the darkness. Peter followed at a distance, afraid of being discovered. Later, he cursed and denied that he ever knew Jesus.
When the disciples were told that Christís tomb was empty, they were doubtful. "It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
"And their words seemed to them as idle tales , and they believed them not.
"Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass" (Luke 24:10-12).
Christ would suddenly materialize before their startled eyes, as they were discussing all the stupendous events of the past four days. "And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
"But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
"And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
"And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet" (Luke 24:36-40).
Christ Himself chastised the disciples for their unbelief. When Mary Magdalene had seen Him first, and related her experience to the disciples, "...she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
"And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
"After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
"And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
"Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart , because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen" (Mark 16:10-14).This was no plot to deceive the world, and begin a false religion based on fraudulent claims. Remember, "doubting" Thomas said he would never believe unless he personally saw Christís wounds: "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
"The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
"And after eight days again his disciples were within , and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut , and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
"Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
"And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed [does that include you?].
"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book" (John 20:24-30).
Many allegations of fraud have been presented. Some say Jesusí enemies stole His body. But if so, they would have publicly displayed it, for the entire issue was whether or not He was truly the Messiah, the Son of God. Had the Jews "stolen the body," they would have openly rejoiced, paraded the body through the streets. Instead, the Jews accused the disciples of having stolen Jesusí body!
But do men DIE , being crucified upside down, sawn asunder, impaled, burnt alive, or stoned to death, for what they KNOW TO BE A LIE ?
Some have said Jesus Christ was only in a "swoon," that He revived, and removed the stone, and disappeared, in order to keep the myth alive. But I have been inside the tomb where Jesus Christ was buried for three days and three nights. The "door" was formed of a huge slab of rock, shaped like a wheel. There was a channel carved uphill from the opening into the tomb, and the stone was positioned above it, so, when the restraining chocks were taken away, the stone would roll downward into an ever narrowing rock-hewn channel, wedging itself solidly in front of the opening.
It would have required dozens of powerful men, with pick axes and crow bars, laboring for many hours, to remove that huge stone! It was disc-shaped, and much taller than a man. It must have weighed several tons! Could Jesus, after being beaten within an inch of His life, in some alleged "swoon," have revived, and removed that stone by Himself? Nonsense.
Such allegations mean that those who make them are calling every one of the New Testament writers liars and frauds. They have to explain to themselves how it is that men who were unwilling witnesses would go to the stake and give their lives in excruciating suffering for what they knew was a fraud!
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is historic FACT , not some kind of hallucination or fantasy. The FACT of the resurrection is not some later invention to justify the "Christian" religion, but the very reason for its beginning. It is the CORNERSTONE of Christian faith; that Christ is alive; that He was resurrected from the tomb, as He said. Paul told the Corinthian church, "I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures :
"And that he was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve:
"After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once ; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
"After that, he was seen of James ; then of all the apostles .
"And last of all he was seen of me also , as of one born out of due time" (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). This is a powerful witness, for Paul states to his readers that they can ask nearly FIVE HUNDRED living witnesses, or ask any of the apostles about having SEEN Jesus Christ alive after His death and burial. The Christian religion BEGAN on the fundamental belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Where Did The Bible Come From? How Did We Get it?
Believe it or not, there are more ancient manuscripts available from the Old Testament than there are from the New! It was in 1844 that a German scholar named Tischendorf visited the St. Catherineís monastery on Mount Sinai. The monks were cleaning up the place, and had stuffed a waste basket full of pages of vellum, or written pages from sheepís skin, which they were going to burn. The monks were secretive people, and not very good housekeepers. Tischendorf noticed that the vellum pages were in Greek. When he looked at them closely, he found they were parts of an ancient "Septuagint" version of the Old Testament. The "Septuagint" is so called because there were seventy copyists in Alexandria, Egypt, assigned to translate the entire Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. This was allegedly commanded by the High Priest in Jerusalem at the behest of Emperor Ptolemy II, since so many Jews spoke only Greek, and could no longer read the Old Testament in Hebrew.
Tischendorf managed to salvage 43 such leaves, but an additional search turned up no more. He visited the same monastery again in 1853, and again searched for any more such vellum pages without success. Then, in 1859, he returned again, and this time a steward told Tischendorf he had an ancient copy of the Septuagint. When he brought it out, Tischendorf found it was the remaining pages of the manuscript he had found fifteen years earlier. It contained 347 vellum leaves in all, beautifully written by hand on fine vellum; measured 15 x 13 1/3 inches for each page, and included the entire New Testament. He eventually secured the entire manuscript for the Imperial Library in St. Petersburg, where it remained until 1933. That year, it was sold to the British Museum for half a million dollars.
I have seen this original manuscript, and Ambassador College obtained a very expensive photo copy of many pages, actually reproduced on heavy parchment, which were on display in the library for many years.
The other most ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament are the "Vaticanus," produced in the 4 th century; has been in the Vatican library since 1481, but some fragments of the New Testament are missing; the "Alexandrinus" made in the 5 th century in Alexandria, Egypt, which has been in the British museum since 1627. Some fragments are missing, but it contains the entire Bible. Another is the "Ephraem" manuscript, containing about half of the New Testament in Greek. There are, altogether, about 4,000 known manuscripts of the Bible or parts of the Bible, all of which were produced from the 2 nd to the 12 th centuries. No manuscripts exist prior to that time.
The original letters of Paul, which were kept by the churches to which they were addressed for many years, have all been lost. But copies of these writings were made for other churches, and sent there from the earliest times. As older copies wore out, newer ones were made.
In contrast, there is no known complete copy of Homer dating earlier than AD 1300, and no known copy of Herodotus, the Egyptian historian, prior to 1,000 AD. There are vastly more manuscripts available for the Bible than these ancient writers, but no one challenges either Homer or Herodotus!
For further study into the origin, preservation, transmission and translation of the ancient texts of the Bible, one can obtain vast information from various libraries in the world over the Internet. The many Bible handbooks are instructive. A good laymanís Bible Handbook is "Halleyís," and a collegiate-grade book is The Angus Bible Handbook , which I have used for many years. It is particularly good for alleged biblical contradictions. I challenge any skeptic to STUDY the Angus Bible Handbook , and to meticulously, carefully attempt to dismantle it, prove it wrong! It is a daunting, and ultimately impossible , task!
Angus includes many, many examples of scriptural anomalies and alleged contradictions, and satisfactorily explains each one.
Still, there are many thousands who, while they believe the Bible is the word of God, are nevertheless perplexed by seemingly irreconcilable difficulties in scripture.
As mentioned earlier, many demand, "Since Adam and Eve had Cain, and the Bible says Cain had a wife, where did Cain get his wife?" The truth is that Adam and Eve had many, many children ó perhaps as many as twenty five or even many more, over a span of a phenomenal nine hundred and thirty years. This is not to suggest that Eve bore children all during such a life span, or that Adam remained virile until his death. However, the great age of the patriarchs is stated again and again in Genesis, and no doubt was due to several factors:
(1) Prior to the Noachian Deluge, or world-wide flood, the Bible states there was a different weather pattern on earth; that the atmosphere contained much, much more moisture then than now.
(2) The earth was very likely protected to a much greater degree from ultraviolet rays from the sun from the time of the creation of Adam until the flood, when the "waters which were above the firmament" (Genesis 1:7) were unleashed.
(3) The intake of Carbon 12 from the sun would have been almost nil, accounting for the errors in assigning vast ages to wood samples from preflood times through radiocarbon dating.
Questions about Cainís wife stem from people reading Genesis 4:17 prior to reading subsequent chapters. The problem verse says, "And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he [Cain] builded a city, after the name of his son, Enoch." Notice, however, Genesis 5:1-5, "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
"Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
"And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
"And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters :
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." When Cain was born, the exclamation from the parents was, simply, "Itís a boy." The Bible says Eve remarked, "I have gotten a man from the Eternal." The name: "Cain" means "acquired."
It is remarkable that after Cain killed his brother Abel, probably at the time when both men were in their 30s or 40s, the next son born elicited a far different response from Adam. Now, he had a son "in his own likeness, after his image."
Notice that Seth, the third son, was one hundred and five before Enos was born, and that "Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years and begat sons and daughters" (Genesis 5:7).
The simple answer is that Cain married one of his own sisters . As the human family expanded, more and more children of both sexes were born. Each of the patriarchal families may have had fifteen, twenty, thirty or more children, for they were fertile for literally hundreds of years. All the possible color variations of the human race were contained in the body of mother Eve from her creation. God is the Author of the races of mankind, and no race of people exists which are "Satanís seed."
The "Loose Brick" Approach To Scripture
There are many who believe the Bible is shot through with errors; with direct contradictions and discrepancies. To many, if they can find just one passage which seems, on its face contradictory, they believe they can dismiss the Bible ó especially its moral and spiritual requirements.
One such alleged discrepancy is found in 2 Samuel 24:9, which says, "And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men." Yet, as some point out, 1 Chronicles 21:5 says, "And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword." But this is a discrepancy of 270,000 men!
Or is it? Samuel says the "valiant" men numbered 800,000! But 1 Chronicles says that ALL of Israelís army numbered 1,100,000 "men." The simple answer is that there is a difference in soldiers, even as in any army today. "Crack troops" such as Rangers, Special Forces, or Navy "Seals" are reckoned as tougher, better trained and more battle-ready than average soldiers.
So it was in ancient Israel. The "valiant men that drew the sword" numbered 800,000, while there were 300,000 other men, who, while part of the army, were not "elite troops."
There is an alleged discrepancy between the numbers of the "Men of Judah" (Samuel says 500,000 men, while Chronicles says 470,000 men "that drew sword." But any army has a large number of noncombatants, such as porters, cooks, clerks, medics, and even members of the band! The simple answer is that there were 30,000 men who were noncombatants, OR that, while they are not included as men who "drew sword" and were expert swordsmen, they may have been spearmen, or bowmen.
Some point out that Matthew made a mistake when he wrote, "And they took counsel, and bought with them the potterís field, to bury strangers in.
"Wherefore that field was called, the field of blood, unto this day.
"Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
"And gave them for the potterís field, as the Lord appointed me" (Matthew 27:7-10).
But, say the detractors, Zechariah said, "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
"And the L ORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the L ORD " (Zechariah 11:12, 13). The problem is solved when it is realized that some of the earliest and best manuscripts do not include the name "Jeremy" at all, but merely say "spoken by the prophet." In any event, it is immaterial, for the account in Matthew says it was "spoken" by the prophet, not written .
Now, what about Paulís alleged "mistake" when he said, "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand" (1 Corinthians 10:8). But, critics point out, Numbers 25:9 says, "And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand." But the plague lasted for some time! Paul says all but one thousand of the victims fell in one day. There is no contradiction, therefore. The total number of deaths was 24,000, but 23,000 died in the same day!
Did Peter make a mistake about the horrible end of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ? He said, "Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
"And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, the field of blood" (Acts 1:18,19).
But they say Matthew wrote, "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
"Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
"And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself" Matthew 27:3-5).
So which was it? Did Judas hang himself, or did he fall headlong, and all his bowels gush out? The answer is BOTH occurred. No headlong fall causes a humanís bowels to "gush out."
But when a corpse has hung for a long time, the body bloats to unimaginable proportions, as putrefaction sets in. Ultimately, the rope broke, and Judasí body did indeed fall headlong, and his bowels gushed out! There is no contradiction here.
But what about the story of "Jonah in the whaleís belly"? How could ANY fish actually swallow a man? And, once the man was swallowed, how could he breathe? Many doubt the account of Jonah.
Jonah wrote, "Now the L ORD had prepared a great fish [note this well!] to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights .
"Then Jonah prayed unto the L ORD his God out of the fishís belly [Jonah no doubt prayed IMMEDIATELY . There is no need to assume he waited for hours, or days, to cry out to God, for such is unthinkable, and illogical],
"And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the L ORD , and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
"For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
"Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
"The waters compassed me about, even to the soul [Hebrew: Nephesh , meaning life]: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
"I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O L ORD my God.
"When my soul [life] fainted within me I remembered the L ORD : and my prayer came in unto thee,
"They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
"But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the L ORD .
"And the L ORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
"And the word of the L ORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
"Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee" (Jonah 1:17; 2:1-10; 3:1, 2).
Most so-called modern "critics" are virtually unanimous in their dismissal of the book of Jonah as a "combination of allegory and myth." Yet, Jesus Christ Himself said, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whaleís belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
"The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here" (Matthew 12:40-42). Thus, Jesus Christ places the historical fact of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomonís capital alongside the book of Jonah. Did Jesus Christ believe in myths? No, He was the One of Divine Elohim who had PREPARED the great fish; the One who very likely resurrected Jonah, and who commanded him to preach to Nineveh!
The Century Bible says: "...apart from the fact that the Lord referred to the Queen of Sheba in the very next sentence, and thus places Jonah on the same level of Ďliteral validity,í the question [of Jonahís authenticity] is placed beyond all controversy by the further fact that seven times in Johnís Gospel the Lord declared that every one of His words that He uttered was given Him to speak by the Father. Those who strike at these words of Christ are striking at God Himself, and are making the whole of divine revelation of none effect. All the puerile and fanciful assumptions used for arguments are swept away with one stroke, and are overwhelmed by this decisive and conclusive fact."
The simple facts are these: There is no proof that Jonah remained alive for three days and three nights! There are other instances of resurrections from the dead in the Old Testament. Further, Jonah is a type of Christís DEATH AND BURIAL , not a type intended to imply that Christ remained alive in the tomb! The type is more thorough, and is complete, if Jonah actually died, and was revived when vomited up.
Notice his soulful prayer! These may well be the words of a man who knew he was about to die! It is a prayer of repentance; of chagrin; of self-abasement; of the observation that they which "observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."
When Jonah cried out "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever," he was probably referring to the fact that the sailors had BOUND Jonah, very probably with iron chains or bars! There is no evidence that he was not bound.
In any event, the entire matter is resolved when one accepts the fact that God Almighty, who has ALL POWER , plainly said He had "prepared" a great fish (the type is irrelevant, though it may have been a gigantic grouper which weighed several hundred pounds) to swallow Jonah.
One need not argue about the size of the throat of a whale, or how Jonah breathed, with these facts in mind.
The Bible was never intended to be a book about science. Instead, it is the handbook from the Creator of man to tell us what we are, why we are here, and what is our fabulous human potential! As one once said, "A home without a Bible is a ship without a compass."
Did Angels Marry Women Before the Flood?
Those who espouse the "Satanís seed" doctrine, alleging that the Devil himself had sexual relations with Eve, are motivated by deep-seated racist prejudices. There is no scriptural basis for angelic beings having intercourse with humans.
Jesus Christ is the final arbiter. When confronted with a trick question concerning marriage in the kingdom, He told the Pharisees "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
"For in the resurrection they neither marry , nor are given in marriage , but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:29, 30). Satan is a fallen archangel. Christ said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18). This not only reaffirms Christís pre-human existence as the Logos of the Divine Family Elohim , or Theos (God), but also confirms that Satan was once a "Cherubim that covereth" (Ezekiel 28:14); an archangel next to the throne of God.
The false belief that angels cohabited with women stems from a misunderstanding of Genesis 6:1-4 which says, "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
"That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
"And the L ORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." The assumption is that "sons of God" can only mean angels. But Adam himself is called "the son of God" (Luke 3:39). The obvious inference from the emphasis on men taking wives of "all which THEY chose," shows men were departing from Godís direction, and from their patriarchal parentís direction. Men began to incorporate references to God in their names at this time. Names such as Enoch (the "E" from "El"ohim),
Jared (the "JA" from JAH, or YAH), and, later "Elijah" (meaning, God, He is God), and "Daniel," (meaning, God will judge), illustrate this point. Modern names like "Godwin, Goodson, Godoy and Goodpastor show how the same tradition is carried on.
A common error is in assuming these illicit (ill advised) marriages were the CAUSE of gigantism! Not so! Notice that the scripture says "And there were giants in the earth in those days, and also AFTER that..." So the giants were NOT the result of illicit marriages at all, but came BEFORE the improper marriages.
The giants were men of huge stature, and are found in the fossil record in the form of the Neanderthal skeletons discovered in many parts of Europe; huge, massive bones which indicated human beings of 7, 8, 9 and more feet tall, or men with very thick, wide torsos, very large feet and hands, who must have been extremely well-muscled, and powerful.
Even during Davidís time the Bible speaks of giants such as Goliath, who may have measured 10 feet tall, and who carried armor weighing 180 pounds, as well as a spear whose head alone weighed 21 pounds. Goliath had several children who are mentioned in 2 Samuel 21, who were later slain by Abashai and Elhanan. Goliathís brother had a "spear which was like the staff of a weaverís beam," and one of his sons "was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number" (2 Samuel 21:20).
It was AFTER the occurrence of gigantism that the illicit marriages were said to have taken place! Angels do not produce semen. The reproductive organs of humankind are passed down from generation to generation, having commenced with Adam and Eve. Christ plainly said angels neither marry, nor are given in marriage.
When in college, I did extensive research into the skeletons of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man. Many skulls showed plain evidence of having been opened by chisel-type instruments; having obvious tool marks around the hole in the skull. Had the hole in the skull been caused by a dull instrument, such as a stone axe or bludgeon, it would have been broken and splintered, and crushed inward. But the skulls I saw pictured were intact except for a fairly neat, round hole. This presented proof of cannibalism, where severed heads were thrown into a fire, and a hole cut into the skull to access the cooked brain inside. Many such skulls, along with other large bones of the human body, were found in the remains of ancient fire circles.
Immediately following the statements concerning illicit marriages and gigantism, God said, "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
"And it repented the L ORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
"And the L ORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them" (Genesis 6:5-8). This was not merely "sin" in some abstract form, such as being "alienated from God." This was wickedness and evil on such a scale that it caused God to decide to utterly obliterate the entire human race!
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Eternal" (Genesis 6:8). It was only ONE MAN who had remained righteous before God; only ONE MAN who had carried on the traditions of Godís righteous patriarchs!
Later, God said, "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
"And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
"And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (Genesis 6:11-13.
Noahís Ark And The Flood ó Fact Or Fiction?
Some of the most disdainful of modern-day scoffers leap on the dimensions of the ark, and then bring up many (to them) insurmountable difficulties in an attempt to prove there never was an ark, and never was a universal deluge.
Strangely, thousands of theologians, willing to compromise with misled evolutionary geologists, debunk the Bible account of a universal flood, and insist it was merely local. Was it only a local flood, which "grew with the telling" until a "myth" of a great global flood occurred?
Interestingly enough, there is a UNIVERSAL FLOOD TRADITION among dozens of primitive societies. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia lists many of them.
In pagan Babylonian tradition, an ancient king named "Xisuthros," warned of "one of the gods" of an impending disastrous flood, built a ship, took into it his friends and relatives and all different kinds of animals. The ship was eventually stranded in Armenia, where, upon subsidence of the water, he sent out birds. The third time, they failed to return, whereupon he emerged, built an altar, and sacrificed.
In Greek tradition, a hero named Deucalion was "warned by the gods" that a great flood was coming on the earth due to manís wickedness. He built an ark, which rested on Mt. Parnassus, and twice sent out a dove.
The Hindus claim that Manu, being warned, built a ship and survived a global flood which destroyed all other creatures.
The ancient Chinese claimed "Fa-He" who to them was the founder of Chinese civilization, survived a flood sent from heaven in punishment for manís rebellion, and that he escaped with three sons and three daughters.
The islanders of Polynesia have a tradition of a flood in which eight people were saved alive.
Various of the American Indian tribes had a flood tradition in which eight, or three persons were saved in a boat above the waters on a high mountain.
The ancient Druids of Ireland, Scotland and England believed in a destruction of all mankind for its wickedness in which a righteous patriarch escaped and repopulated the earth.
In Mexico, there is a flood tradition in which one man, his wife and children, were saved when a flood overwhelmed the earth. The Peruviansí tradition said that one man and one woman were saved in a box that floated upon flood waters. Thus, every part of the human race, in all parts of the earth, maintain an ancient flood tradition. Greeks, Druids, Peruvians, Fiji Islanders, Eskimos, Babylonians, Indians, Chinese; every color of the basic human racial strains possess an ancient flood tradition.
How? Why? When God scattered the races following the attempt to build the tower of Babel, the three main divisions of human kind began overflowing the earth in different directions. Ham and hundreds of thousands of his progeny drifted southward and southeastward; Japheth drifted eastward, and Shem drifted into the Mediterranean and northwestwards. Today, the "yellow races" are essentially in Asia, and Japan. The black races are basically found in Africa and India, as well as the central and South Pacific Islands. The so-called "white" races (Caucasians, so called), are found in Europe and the west.
The further these early families, clans, tribes and nations migrated away from original centers of population and knowledge, the more they lost the original truths their forebears had understood. Thus, in the thousands of years following the flood, as the human family repopulated the world, various garbled versions of an original truth which had been handed down from Shem, Ham and Japheth survived in the form of seemingly mythological tradition.
The closer to the original seat of knowledge, the more precise the tradition. For example, in the ruins of ancient Nineveh was found an epic impressed in stone. Obviously, polytheism and myth had colored the tradition by the fifth dynasty after the flood. In brief, the epic said, "The assembly of the gods decided to send a deluge. They said, ĎOn the sinner let his sin rest,í O Shuruppak, build a ship, save your life. Construct it with six stories, each with seven parts. Smear it with bitumen, inside and outside. Launch it upon the ocean. Take into the ship seed of life of every kind. I built it. With all that I had I loaded it, with silver, gold, and all living things that I had. I embarked upon the ship with my family and kindred. I closed the door. The appointed time arrived. I observed the appearance of the day. It was terrible. All light was turned to darkness. The rains poured down. The storm raged, like a battle charge on mankind. The boat trembled. The gods wept. I looked out upon the sea. All mankind was turned to clay, like logs floating about. The tempest ceased. The flood was over. The ship grounded on Mt. Zazir. On the seventh day I sent out a dove. It returned. I sent out a swallow. It returned. I sent out a raven, it alighted. It waded about; it croaked; it did not return. I disembarked. I appointed a sacrifice. The gods smelled the sweet savor. They said, ĎLet it be done no more.í"
As recently as 1929, Dr. C. L. Woolley, conducting a joint expedition on behalf of the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania, found, at Ur, the site of Abrahamís early life, beneath layers of relics of human habitation, a thick bed of solid water-laid clay. It was a full eight feet thick, and contained no fossils to indicate human habitation. Yet, beneath it was the ruins of another city! Woolley deduced that no ordinary overflow of a river could have piled up sediment to such a depth, but that he had found evidence of a flood such as that detailed in Genesis. Woolley wrote of his experiences in his book, Ur of the Chaldees .
Was there really a worldwide flood? The Bible says yes! Notice, "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
"But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sonsí wives with thee.
"And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
"Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
"And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
"Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he" (Genesis 6:17-22).
Noah, together with his sons and no doubt many hired laborers, began construction of an ark. For a long one hundred and twenty years, Noah continually preached against the extreme wickedness and sin all around him; proclaimed that a great flood would come in retribution!
Noah, A Preacher Of Righteousness
Noah was prophesied to do what he did. Notice what was said of him by his father, Lamech. It is contained in the lengthy genealogy of Genesis 5, the "Book of the Generations of Adam:" "And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech:
"And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
"And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
"And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
"And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the L ORD hath cursed.
"And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:
"And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
"And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth" (Genesis 5:25-32).
What was the " WORK " to which Lamech referred? Was there a work of God being performed among sinning mankind even prior to the flood? Jude, the brother of Jesus Christ, wrote a brief letter which was accepted as canonical, along with Paulís epistles, as the New Testament was forming in the centuries following Christís resurrection. He wrote, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam [take careful note!], prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
"To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14, 15). This is nothing less than the proclaiming of the good news of Christís coming world-ruling kingdom! This was not merely the promise of a Messiah, but a prediction of His SECOND coming; His invasion of earth to conquer the Beast, and establish His world-ruling kingdom (Revelation 19:11-21).
Was Enoch, one of the ancient patriarchs, the seventh first-born son from Adam?
Note: Adam had Cain, then Abel, who was slain, then Seth. But the genealogical table in Genesis 5 says, "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
"And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
"And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos" (Genesis 5:3-6).
So it was S ETH , and neither Cain nor Abel, who was reckoned as Adamís successor in the biblical genealogical tables! Then the genealogy does NOT deal with the first born son, but with some other criterion.
The truth is found in Lamechís prophecy about Noah, above. Noah would comfort "us," meaning the patriarchs who were previously named, "concerning our [their] WORK ..." Since the "toil of their hands" is mentioned later, and since such a statement could hardly refer to the saving of homes or crops, since all was destroyed by the flood, it is obvious, both from Enochís prophecy and Judeís repeating of it, that a WORK of PREACHING THE GOSPEL of a coming Kingdom of God on this earth was being carried on PRIOR TO THE FLOOD !
Notice what happened to Enoch! "And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
"And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
"And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
"And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
"And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him " (Genesis 5:18-24).
Twice, it is emphasized that "Enoch walked with God." This could have been both literal and figurative, for the "Spokesman" of Divine Elohim (meaning more than one; see John 1 and Hebrews 1) walked and talked with Adam, and much later with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There could have been manifestations of the deity, either through an archangel, or by appearances in human form, any number of times prior to the flood.
Where did Enoch go, and why? Where did God "take" him? Paul wrote, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found , because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5).
Enoch was taken away to a place of protection; concealed by God, because there was a plot to kill him!
For a thorough study of the question: "Are Enoch and Elijah in Heaven?" look into our web site at "http://www.gtaea.org," and download the booklet on that subject. Briefly, Enoch was not found because people were looking for him, no doubt with intent to do murder! Enoch was a "preacher of righteousness," as was Noah. Enoch wrote a book which is referred to in scripture.
Later, Lamech was to speak of "our work" and that Noah would "comfort" them concerning that work.
Jesus Christ said Enoch was NOT taken to "heaven"! Notice, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13). David, though prophesied to be in the first resurrection, and to sit upon his throne over all twelve tribes of Israel (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23, 24), is not in heaven. Peter, speaking under inspira-tion of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, said, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day...For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
"Until I make thy foes thy footstool" (Acts 2:29-35). The word "translated" means the same thing as transmitted, or trans-located. Notice that Enoch is included in Paulís statement " These all died in faith, not having received the promises , but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13). Therefore, Enoch eventually DIED , just like all the other patriarchs. He is not in heaven!
Noah was not the seventh from Adam genealogically , but was the seventh faithful patriarch, for there was only ONE man in each generation who remained faithful to God, and who carried on the "work" of proclaiming the coming retribution for sin, and the possibility of salvation.
Noah was one of the most unsuccessful preachers of all time! For one hundred and twenty long years, he proclaimed the penalties for sin, and the rewards of righteousness. Yet, in all that time, Noah did not have a single convert! Not even his wife, or his sons, truly believed his preaching.
Not only was Noah a "preacher of righteousness," he was a builder who was backing up his work of witness and warning by building an ark which would insure his, and his familiesí survival.
Note that it was SETH , and not Cain nor Abel, who is reckoned as Adamís successor. Look at Genesis 5 again. Cain was the firstborn, hence:
|Cain||1 st from Adam|
|Abel||2 nd from Adam|
|Seth||3 rd from Adam|
|Enos||4 th from Adam|
|Cainan||5 th from Adam|
|Mahalaleel||6 th from Adam|
|Jared||7 th from Adam|
|Enoch||8 th from Adam|
|Methusaleh||9 th from Adam|
|Lamech||10 th from Adam|
|Noah||11 th from Adam|
Therefore, as you read through the "Book of the Generations of Adam" in Genesis five, you are not being given the names of the firstborn, but the names of the righteous successors to each patriarch who continued the "work" being done in that wicked pre-flood generation.
Was The Flood Merely "Local" In Nature?
Peter said scoffers would deny that there had been a global deluge. There are such scoffers, just as Peter predicted. That includes many who stand in pulpits, claiming to be the ministers of Christ, who do not believe the Bible is inspired, and who claim the flood was only "local."
But the Bible says the flood would cover the whole earth , and that all of the high mountains were covered: "And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
"And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
"And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
"Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
"And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
"All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died" (Genesis 7:17-22). The "fifteen cubits upward" implied that the tops of the highest mountains were covered by that depth.
It is important to realize that the mountains in the pre-flood period might not have been anywhere near so high as they are today. The flood was not only accomplished by waters from the heavens, but by the gradual subsidence of the land masses, allowing flood waters to cover the land from the oceans. The continents may not have been in their present location prior to the flood. The tectonic plates which form the uppermost part of the earthís crust may have moved considerable distances as the flood waters covered the earth.
Remember, the flood came on over a period of 150 days! While it rained for 40 days, the water "prevailed" for a much longer time. There was a period of mountain building due to tectonic plate shifts, intrusion of subterranean magma (just as continually occurs around the Hawaiian Islands and Iceland, as well as other areas of the earth, today) occurred both during and after the flood.
The gravitational pull of the moon was not suspended during the rising of the waters, nor during their subsidence, which required many, many years. The present topography of the earth proves there were vast inland basins which contained huge amounts of water. The present "Great Salt Lake" is but a tiny saline puddle at the bottom of what was once "Lake Bonneville," that once covered much of Utah.
Actual strand lines (ancient shore lines) prove that Lake Bonneville was once 1,000 feet higher than the shore line of the present lake.
The same thing is true of the ancient "Lake Lahontan," which covered some 8,400 square miles of Nevada and the surrounding area.
I have written before of how I have stood on rocky precipices high in the western Colorado Rockies with millions of little fossil snails and other seabed shells beneath my boots at the nine to 11,000 foot level. The highest mountains on earth contain fossils which were once dwellers in shallow seabeds!
During the incursion of the waters and their subsidence, huge basins, river courses, bays, estuaries, valleys and canyons were scoured out. Massive "islands" of floating vegetation, consisting of thousands of uprooted trees, shrubs, fronts, ferns, grasses and the like were deposited on the shores which began to appear as imagination-defying tidal bores swept across the rising continents.
As turgid tides, bearing billions of tons of mud and sand swept over them, they were buried deep beneath. In Pennsylvania, one finds thick beds of coal, then a bed of shale or sandstone, then another coal bed, then another bed of rock, then another coal bed, and so-on, like so many pages of a book, stacked conformably atop one another. This "cross bedding" or "inter-bedding" of sedimentary strata is a fact of geology. It would have required a floating "raft" of vegetation about forty feet thick to be compressed into a one-foot thick seam of anthracite coal.
As all know, coal is nothing more than ancient plant life, compressed by the weight of the succeeding rock layers. Many coal deposits contain perfectly preserved imprints of ancient kinds of foliage; palms and ferns unknown today.
That the entire face of the globe displays massive and imagination-defying mountain building, faulting, upthrusts, synclines, geo-synclines, hogbacks, huge canyons (such as the Grand Canyon of Arizona), inland seas and lakes (such as the Caspian sea, and the Great Lakes of the U.S.), granitic upthrusts (such as McKinley in Alaska and Whitney in California) and volcanic intrusions (such as "Aconcagua" in the Andes) is well known to geologists.
The rocks of the earth; from the Aleutians to Tierra del Fuego; from the Atlas Mountains to the Andes; and from the Himalayas to the Alps, show massive catastrophes of the past. The rocks cry out "a huge FLOOD did this!"
The "White Cliffs of Dover" of England (and of World War II fame from the song) consist of huge cliffs of solid seashells. Such a massive deposit could not have been accomplished over a vast period of time, for the action of tides and waves gradually tumbles, breaks, polishes, and eventually disintegrates the shells, turning them into sand. The huge cliffs represent a massive deposit which was accomplished in a very short period of time.
Any serious student of the Bible who has sincere questions about the flood should obtain a copy of The Genesis Flood by John C. Whitcomb, Jr., and Henry M. Morris. It is published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. I recently found that it is available from "Amazon.com" on the Internet.
Any doubting scoffer will be turned into a humble BELIEVER by reading carefully this collegiate-grade book of 518 pages which answers ALL the various objections and difficulties concerning Noahís ark and the flood.
Also completely demolished is the "local" flood theory.
First, why a "local" flood when all the sinning men and women had to do was to move?
Why not tell Noah and his family to simply move? Noah preached, and built the huge ark over a period of 120 years. Men could have moved to any part of the earth in such a span of time; about five generations! A local flood would never have required the building of an ark, nor the collection of animals.
The book also deals with the size and carrying capability of the ark. The sheer size of the ark baffles many. God commanded Noah to make the length of the ark "three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits." A "cubit" was either a "long cubit" of 20.4 inches, or a "common cubit" of 17.5 inches in Hebrew measurements.
Using the smaller of the two, the ark would have been 437.5 feet long, 72.92 feet wide, and 43.75 feet high. God told Noah to build it with three decks (Genesis 6:16). Thus, the ark when completed, would have had a total deck area of 95,700 square feet, or about the square footage of 20 standard basketball courts! Its carrying capacity would have been that of 522 standard railway stock cars! That carrying capacity represents eight, freight trains of 65 cars each, plus two extra cars!
It was not until 1884, when the Cunard Ocean Liner "Eturia" was launched, that man had built a ship as large as the ark.
One major objection is: "How did Noah get all those animals into the ark?"
Some have proposed that Noah would have had to place a total of one million animals in the ark, supposing that the number of species today represents the number of species then! But some doubters insist that Noah would have had to take into the ark 18,000 FISH , 1,700 tunicates, 88,000 mollusks, 25,000 worms, 10,000 coelenterates, 5,000 sponges, 15,000 protozoans, 4,700 echinoderms (like starfish and sea urchins) and the like!
Many and incredibly stupid are some of the "requirements" doubters place on the carrying capacity of the ark! But not a ONE of such creatures would have been required to be aboard, for an adequate number, representing each species, could easily have survived the flood.
Instead, Noah took aboard the GENESIS KINDS of animals and birds. Today, there are HUNDREDS of varieties of dogs, from tiny Pekingese to Irish wolfhounds; from Rat Terriers to Collies. All came from an original "Genesis KIND ," like the wild dogs of Africa or Australia.
If all species of dogs were allowed to intermix, the eventual outcome would be a reverting to one Genesis "kind" of dog. It is manís selective breeding which has resulted in all the incredible variety.
At the outside, Whitcomb and Morris prove there would have been no need for more than 35,000 individual vertebrate animals on the ark. Remember, the AVERAGE size of animals is that of a sheep! There are comparatively FEW larger animals, such as elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotami, giraffes, and Cape Buffalos and Eland antelope. For every very large animal, there are dozens of much smaller ones, down to the tiny shrew.
Remember, there was no specific command that Noah needed to take old adults, such as huge bull and cow elephants, into the ark. He could have easily taken very young ones.
Since it is proved there was no need to accommodate more than 35,000 animals in the ark, and since the average number of meat animals per railroad stock car (sheep) is about 75 in a single deck, this proves that about 240 animals could be accommodated in a standard two-decked railroad car. Two trains hauling 73 such cars could carry up to 35,000 animals.
But the ark had a capacity up to 522 stock cars of such size.
Whitcomb and Morris explain in intricate detail about the caring for the animals in the ark (including hibernation and estivation), as well as the question of fodder.
God said Noah was to take on board "all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them [the animals]" (Genesis 6:21). It is quite possible that carnivorous animals subsisted on the same kind of vegetation, such as roots, tubers, fruits, nuts, grains, grasses (hay), vegetables, and the like which sustained Noah and his family for the period of the flood.
The reason Noah was commanded to take seven pairs (or, as some insist, three pairs and one supernumerary, making seven), of clean animals into the ark may be for one primary purpose: that of food, and for sacrifice. Remember, Elephants, Giraffes, Hippos, buffalos, or oxen are all herbivorous. Only a comparatively few pairs of "unclean" animals, such as the cat kind, the dog kind (dogs can and do subsist for some time on grasses and vegetation), and a few others. Furthermore, there is reason to suspect, since Christ says He is coming to effect the "restitution of all things," that the disappearance of carnivorous traits in the millennium among present-day meat eaters may in fact be a "return" to a pre-flood state in which modern-day carnivores, such as lions and cheetahs, will once again become vegetarians. See Isaiah 11:1-9.
One objection to the universal flood and the ark being borne upon its waters until it rested atop Ararat is almost hilariously funny! A man named "Custance," who wrote in opposition to the flood, mused that the "rarified atmosphere" at elevations above Mount Everest (which he assumes existed at the time of the flood) would "render all but a few creatures insensible in a very few moments for lack of oxygen." He opined that Noah and his sons would have been terribly taxed to climb up and down three flights of stairs at such a high altitude!
The gentleman forgot that the atmosphere is measured from sea level , and that, as the level of the sea rose, so the pressure remained constant!
Such are the kinds of arguments proposed by those who are of shallow minds, and just a bit in over their heads (pun intended).
The earth was covered with water, not once, but perhaps many times! When you and I are ushered upon the scene in Genesis 1, we learn that the earth was covered with water ; that "...the earth was without form, and void;[Hebrew: tohu and bohu ] and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2).
The Hebrew terms mean "void, empty, vain, waste."
But God says "For thus saith the L ORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [ tohu ], he formed it to be inhabited: I am the L ORD ; and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:18). There was an earlier, pre-Adamic creation which was destroyed!
Luciferís World And His War Against God
Billions of years ago this earth was a fabulously beautiful place. It had been created as the master jewel of the universe, and placed upon it to rule over the creatures which were created was a great archangel named "Lucifer." Lucifer means "Shining Star of the Dawn," or "light-bringer." Notice what Godís word says of Lucifer and his reign in that long ago pre-Adamic time: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
"Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire" (Ezekiel 28:13-16).
Here, the Prince of Tyre is typical of Lucifer, who became Satan, the Devil. None of the descriptions of Lucifer could ever be applied to a mere human.
The "precious stones" listed are minerals, found on this earth. The chemical formula for all such minerals is interesting, for it proves an earth in that far distant past which contained the same elements as our earth, today.
Notice that Lucifer is a created being; that he was one of the "anointed cherubs" who was depicted by the two cherubim overshadowing the mercy seat in the tabernacleólater, in the temple. The mercy seat pictured the throne of God.
This description of Lucifer shows him as perfect in his ways UNTIL iniquity, which means "lawlessness," or sin, was found in him. The expression "multitude of thy merchandise" means "by the abundance of your trafficking; your merchandising," and refers to Satanís countless years of influencing his angelic followers with his poison jealousy, enmity, vanity and greed; his desire to overthrow God!
Satan went about as the original "traveling salesman," murmuring, griping, complaining, influencing his angelic followers until they were fully infected with his vitriol; fully committed to his evil agenda against God. They have remained so to this day.
Now, notice a parallel account in Isaiahís prophecy: "How art thou fallen from heaven , O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven , I will exalt my throne above the stars [angels] of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds [proving a watery planet, with an atmosphere]; I will be like the most High.
"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [Hebrew: Sheol , as a pit or grave, not implying fiery regions], to the sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:12-15).
Jesus Christ said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18).
Christ, in His prehuman state, was THERE when the original "star wars" occurred. Notice what Christ showed John in vision: "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" [a picture of the "Church in the wilderness," Israel with twelve tribes, and a figure of the New Testament church with twelve apostles at its beginning]:
"And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered [a figure for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ],
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads [a picture of Satan, and the earthly kingdoms he has controlled, plus the final "ten horns" which are the BEAST (Revelation 17:12-14) which will assay to fight Christ at His second coming],
"And his tail [as if the tail of a comet] drew the third part of the stars of heaven [a third of the angels], and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born [Satan influenced Herod, who massacred thousands of babies in an attempt to kill Christ],
"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron : and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne [Christís ascension to the Father]
"And the woman [the church during the Middle ages, suffering horrible martyrdom and persecution] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
"And there was war in heaven : Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
"And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
"And the great dragon was cast out , that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world : he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:1-9).
Space is filled with debris. When you look at the lifeless face of the moon, you see countless impact craters which were made when huge meteors and asteroids smashed into its surface. The lifeless face of Mars; the poisonous gases surrounding Jupiter, the thick, poisonous atmospheres of other planets and the misshapen moons in their orbits testify to a cataclysm so huge, so gargantuan as to defy human imagination.
Because of such phenomena, the average astronomer today accepts the "big bang" theory for the origin of the universe. After all, he can see vast clouds of dust, huge "belts" of asteroids and meteors; he can detect how tiny grains of rock, hurling through space at speeds far, far in excess of the speed of sound, can impact small rocks, creating perfectly shaped, tiny impact craters.
I have seen lunar rocks through a microscope. I was astonished to see such little impact craters, perfectly shaped, as if a boy had shot a "bb" gun into hardening clay, yet so tiny as to be virtually invisible to the human eye.
On any given clear, dark night, one may see any number of meteorites streaking across the sky, burning up into dust as they are drawn into the earthís atmosphere by gravity. Yearly, the earth passes through various "belts" of millions of such pieces of rock, most of which burn up, but a few, now and then, impact the ground.
"Meteor Crater" in Arizona is one mile wide. Scientists have never found the meteor remains, which plunged so deep into the earthís crust as to be inaccessible even through deep drilling.
Our solar system and our galaxy, as well as the entire visible universe, shows WRECKAGE on a scale to defy imagination! The EARTH ALONE shines forth in blue and white beauty; our "spaceship" earth, like a jewel of LIFE amid an endless region of lifeless hulks!
This earth has been covered with water several times, as proved by the topographical features of the entire planet. The "atolls" of the Pacific represent the gradual accumulation of coral polyps over thousands of years, which have created roughly circular or semi-circular rings of islands atop what was once a huge volcanic cinder cone, which, like Krakatoa, once exploded, or was inundated with encroaching waters. The deep lagoons inside many such atolls, such as Ulithi, where an entire fleet sheltered during the final months of World War II, may be the deep remains of ancient cinder cones.
Scientists know the process of "island building" is still going on in places like Hawaii.
For perhaps billions of years, Satan and his demons wandered about over the surface of this lifeless, destroyed planet. Thick clouds and vapors, like a Venusian atmosphere, obscured the sun. Not a bit of light penetrated to the surface of raging, foaming, endless seas, stygian black, with no living creatures.
Christ gives us a clue as to the nature and desire of demons who were THERE during all that time, chained by Godís power to this earth. When He had cast out a dumb demon, and a child, freed from possession, then spoke, the Pharisees accused Him of casting out demons in collusion with "Beelzebub," or Satan. Christ said they were perilously close to committing the unpardonable sin! He then said, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places , seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out" (Luke 11:24).
But this is only part of the fascinating story. Believe it or not, during the flood of Noah, the One who became Christ testified to Satan and the demonic spirits who are "chained" to this earth that the flood was a TYPE of an impending destruction of the whole earth BY FIRE !
In the beginning of this book, you read Peterís prophecy; how "...the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:7).
Now, notice a much-misunderstood part of your Bible: "For if God spared not the angels that sinned , but cast them down to hell [Greek: Tartaroo , meaning a "place of restraint," or "incarceration"], and delivered them into chains of darkness , to be reserved unto judgment ;
"And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly...The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (2 Peter 2:4-9).
Here Peter writes of the ancient "star wars" to which Christ referred, when Satan and his demons were cast out of heaven, and forced by the power of God to remain ON THIS EARTH .
But the result of their rebellion destroyed the earth, and all pre-Adamic life upon it! It was this vast, global destruction which entombed billions of creatures, and billions of tons of vegetation beneath the rocks which were formed atop them, which provides mankind with his "fossil fuels" today!
Crude oil and coal are the result of living matter being buried deep beneath the surface.
Genesis the first chapter shows a world covered with thick clouds, no light penetrating, with nothing save storm-tossed seas! For some vast, indeterminate period, Satan and his rebellious angels, now demons, could only wander endlessly over lifeless oceans, with not a single pinprick of light to be seen!
This is a clue as to their ultimate fate, which is pictured by Jude to be like "...Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever" (Jude 13).
Now read how Christ was active DURING THE FLOOD OF NOAH in witnessing to these rebellious angels: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness [both literal and figurative, in the sense of spiritual darkness] unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 6).
Peter, encouraging the faithful that God will avenge every wrong, and reward every good, wrote, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
" By which [by means of the power of the Spirit] also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison [Satan and his demons in Tartaroo or chained to this earth by Godís command] ;
"Which sometime were disobedient [this tells us WHICH spirits; those who were disobedient!] , when [now we learn WHEN Christ preached to them] once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah , while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water" (1 Peter 3:18-20).
Instead of seeing this fascinating truth, the major churches teach that Christ was NOT REALLY DEAD when He was in the tomb, but that He was IN HELL !! They teach that Christ descended to hell to preach to the lost! What abysmal IGNORANCE of Godís Word!
The plain truth is, Christ used the time of the flood, which was a powerful reminder of the AEONS the demons had spent wandering over stygian black seas, as a time to witness to the evil spirits of their coming punishment, which will be to become like "wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." He did this DURING THE FLOOD OF NOAH !
Any geologist who is truly observant knows that this earth was submerged in water, not once, but at LEAST twice, and very probably many more times!
The Grand Canyon of Arizona is a poignant testimony to that fact. All along the Kaibab plateau are huge, thick layers of various rocks, mostly sandstone. They show a consistency of material as if one had mixed them in a blender. Thick seams of rock, with tiny grains of sand now hardened, not infused with large boulders or jagged debris, but smoothly blended, and laid down in succession.
What this displays is tidal action in very shallow seas or inland basins, overflowing the region with monstrous amounts of effluvia, then receding, allowing the mud to harden. Then, another tidal overflow from yet another direction, carrying somewhat different materials, with different colors and characteristics, until, over thousands of years, there was a level plain with stacked strata almost like the pages of a book. The bulk of the rocks on earth are sedimentary, or water-deposited.
Then, at some time, a massive FLOOD scoured the plain, attacking the lowest and softest areas of the rocks, gouging out what is today the Grand Canyon. Along the Colorado River shores are mixed, jumbled rocks, conglomerates and chaotic deposits, featuring huge, house-sized stones, which show evidence of having been rolled and tumbled, interbedded with much smaller rocks, and the whole infused with gravels and sands! This is nothing less than testimony to what happened to all the rocks which once formed a level plain on the Kaibab, where today a gigantic, one mile deep canyon remains!
The rocks of the earth loudly proclaim that they were inundated with waters, not once, but AT LEAST twice! The Bible says the same thing. The continents were completely submerged at the time just before Adamís creation, and completely submerged again at the time of Noah.
Fulfilled Prophecies, A Proof Of God,
And Proof Of The Bible!
There are DOZENS of instances of fulfilled prophecies in the Bible. Many of them relate to Christ Himself, where the Old Testament writers prophesied of specific events surrounding His birth, His ministry, His betrayal, arrest, death, burial, and resurrection.
Here are a few of them: It was prophesied that Christ would be of Davidís lineage (Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 1:69, 70; 20:42-44; John 7:42; 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalms 89:3, 4; Isaiah 9:6, 7; 11:1).
He would be born of a virgin: Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14. He would be born in Bethlehem: Matthew 2:6; John 7:42; Micah 5:2. He would sojourn in Egypt: Matthew 2:15; Hosea 11:1.
He would grow up in Galilee (Matthew 4:15; Isaiah 9:1, 2. And at Nazareth: Matthew 2:23; Isaiah 11:1. An Elijah-like forerunner would announce His coming: Matthew 3:3; 11:10-14; Mark 1:2, 3; Luke 3:4-6; 7:27; John 1:23; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; 4:5.
His appearance would result in the massacre of children: Matthew 2:18; Genesis 35:19, 20; 48:7; Jeremiah 31:15. He would perform a healing ministry: Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4. He would teach using puzzles, or parables: Matthew 13:14, 15, 35; Isaiah 6:9, 10; Psalms 78:2. He would be despised, disbelieved, and rejected by the religious leaders and rulers: Matthew 15:8, 9; 21:42; Mark 7:6, 7; 12:10, 11; Luke 20:17; John 12:38-40; 15:25; Psalms 69:4; 118:22; Isaiah 6:10; 29:13; 53:1.
He would make a triumphal entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:5; John 12:13-15; Isaiah 62:11; Zechariah 9:9; Psalms 118:26. He would be like a shepherd which had been smitten: Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27; Zechariah 13:7. He would be betrayed by a friend for exactly 30 pieces of silver: Matthew 27:9, 10; John 13:18; Zechariah 11:12, 13; Psalms 41:9.
He would die alongside criminals: Luke 22:37; Isaiah 53:9, 12. He would be buried by a rich man: Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60. They would torment Him by giving Him vinegar and gall, as a pretense of giving him water: Matthew 27:34; John 19:29; Psalms 69:21;
They would beat Him until He could see His ribs through the flesh: Psalms 22:17. They would pierce His hands and feet: Psalms 22:16. They would pierce His side: John 19:37; Zechariah 12:10. They would gamble over His garments; Psalms 22:18; They would laugh at Him as He died: Psalms 22:7.
He would rise from the dead the third day: Matthew 12:40; Luke 24:46; Johah 1:17.
That a great destruction of Jerusalem would follow His death: Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20; Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:1, 2.
His birth, youth, place of dwelling, baptism, and His message were foretold. Dozens of Old Testament prophecies pointed toward Christ, and Jesus Himself KNEW he was fulfilling them as they occurred. Because the prophecy said he would be "numbered among the transgressors," He told the disciples only two swords were "enough" (Luke 22:38), meaning enough to fulfill the prophecy, and certainly not enough to fight off a large group of armed men.
His betrayal, death, burial and resurrection were foretold. In fact, as seen in the types and shadows of Godís annual Holy Days, the entire Old Testament points toward the need for a Redeemer; a Savior, who would atone for the sins of the world, and become the future world ruler!
Not only do the Old Testament prophecies abound with specific, detailed prophecies of Christ, they also sketch the entirety of world history from the most ancient empires to the present, and the future just ahead of us now!
Daniel prophesied of the rise and fall of the four world-ruling kingdoms which prevailed from his time until the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire! He also foretold a future RESURRECTION of the same system in the end time! His prophecies, particularly in Daniel 4, 7, and 11, depict an end-time revival of the so-called "Holy Roman Empire" which will embody ten nations called the "Beast" by both Daniel and the Revelation, which system will assay to FIGHT C HRIST at His second coming!
Several times in Danielís 7 th chapter, he begins with the various ancient world-ruling kingdoms, and concludes with the second coming of Christ, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth! Notice them: "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened" (Daniel 7:7-10). The "little horn" was an ecclesiastical system with succeeded in overthrowing the Vandals, Ostrogoths and Heruli who had successively occupied Rome.
The fourth beast depicts Rome, which succeeded the Greco-Macedonian Kingdom of Alexander the Great. The Romish kingdom, then, is prophesied to become once more extant until earthly kingdoms are destroyed, and the "Ancient of days," Jesus Christ, sits on his throne, and the final judgement begins!
Notice further: "As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:12-14). Again, the earthly kingdoms are to be taken away, and Christ is to return and set up His kingdom.
Notice the third time in the same prophecy that the final ten-horned beast power is to prevail UNTIL the time of the second coming of Christ: "I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
"These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth [they did; Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome].
"But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
"Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
"And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
"I beheld, and the same horn [the "little horn