The Bible Says

The Bible Says

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

I am blessed to have been raised by Christian parents who, not only took me to church every Sunday, but they taught me from God’s Word at home. Dad was not well educated. He was raised on his father’s ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico and only went to school until the third grade where he learned to read, write and do basic arithmetic. That was sufficient at a time and place where hard work was valued above book learning – education extends beyond the confines of a classroom. After he came to the United States and met Mom, God called him into the pastoral ministry, and he spent the rest of his life pastoring small Hispanic congregations, mostly around West Texas. Before entering the ministry, he prepared for five years at the Instituto Biblico Mexicano in San Antonio, Texas that taxed his third-grade education to the limit, but he persevered and completed his training.

My parents, my father in particular, taught me at a very early age that the Bible is the very Word of God. Every word of it is true and trustworthy, even when it comes to things that are hard to believe like the Red Sea parting (Exodus 14:21-31), the walls of Jericho falling (Joshua 6:15-20), or an axe head floating (2 Kings 6:5-7). These things have no natural explanation other than the record in God’s Word. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). Therefore, if God says something in His Word, it must be true regardless of our ability to explain it.

However, one does not have to cast off reason and believe the Bible simply because the Bible says so. The Bible contains more than sufficient, historical, scientific, practical, fulfilled prophetic evidence of its accuracy to lend credence to those areas demanding “faith.” Archeologists have time and again confirmed the Bible’s historical account. For example, the Bible was long criticized for recording the existence of the Hittite people until archeological evidence proved the Bible right. To date, archeological digs uncover evidences confirming the historical accuracy of biblical accounts.

Scientifically, although not a text book on science, the Bible accurately records scientific matters. For example, the Bible matter-of-factly records the existence of ocean currents (Psalm 8:8), earth suspended in space (Job 26:7),[1] a spherical earth and expanding universe (Isaiah 40:22), the water cycle (Psalm 135:7), and even Pi (π) rounded to the nearest whole number (1 Kings 7:23). As for practical matters, one need only read and apply the book of Proverbs or Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to live a successful life. The Bible accurately records fulfilled prophecies. The prophecies concerning Israel’s captivity in Babylon were pronounced as far back Deuteronomy, prior to their entry into the Promised Land. This same prophecy was repeated by later prophets, and it came to pass. Their return to the land was predicted and it came to pass. The Diaspora was predicted and it came to pass, as was their return once again to the land of Israel which took place on May 14, 1948. All the prophecies of Jesus’ first coming, His death, His burial, and His resurrection were all fulfilled to the letter.

When the Bible is correct in all of these areas, then why should one doubt when miracles are presented? Miracles are acts whose only explanation is that of divine intervention even when those acts defy natural laws. The same God who “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), and who will do as He says also says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Jesus concurred with the prophet when He said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

There is a scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis after Lucy has visited Narnia for the first time and returns to report to her siblings. They would not believe her story. In her defense, Professor Kirke (the old man in whose home the children were staying for protection from German air raids over London in World War II), challenges Lucy’s siblings by asking them if she has ever been known to lie. Since Lucy was not prone to lying, Professor Kirke suggested that perhaps the children should take her at her word. The same can be said about the Bible. Since the Bible can be proven accurate historically, scientifically, practically and prophetically, then perhaps it should be taken for at face value when it speaks of miracles.

This brings me to what perhaps is the greatest miracle of all, next to the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e. the creation of the universe and all that it contains. This account of creation is found in the first chapter of Genesis, and it is foundational to the rest of Scripture. It is this creation account that I found myself defending against evolution and the Big Bang theory after I left home as a young man. I could not explain a literal six 24-hour day creation other than to stand on “the Bible says.” My conversations usually ended up something like this: “I believe God could have used Big Bang and taken billions of years to create everything, if He chose to. I believe God could have used evolution to create life, if He chose to. But the Bible says that God created everything in only six days. I believe God is great enough to do whatever He chooses to do. He could have created everything in a split second, if wanted; but the Bible says He did it in six days, and that is what I believe.”

I know that answer rings hollow to a hardened evolutionist, but it was good enough for me. I will never take man’s word over God’s Word about anything. Yet, far too many “Christian” leaders waffle as to the veracity of this record. Many, certainly not all, highly trained theologians and pastors wear their Ph.D.s and Th.D.s as a mantle of pride that they dare not tarnish by defending the literal reading of Genesis 1 against “experts” in the sciences. They fear appearing “uneducated” for their inability to explain biblical creation to the satisfaction of the skeptics who relentlessly insist that “science has proven” evolution. So rather than defend the clear reading of Genesis 1, they come up with silly compromises, like the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, or Theistic Evolution to appear “scholarly” in their defenses. In the end, they subjugate God’s Word to man’s word.

Some say such compromises make Scripture, especially where Creation is concerned, more believable/acceptable/palatable to people steeped in evolutionary indoctrination. After all, the teaching of evolution is ubiquitous in the world. Not only is evolution taught as fact (albeit unproven, but that’s a minor matter) in schools beginning at the lowest levels, but it is broadcast on television, the movies, and in print. Take notice when watching or listening to commercials at how many products “evolve.” Missing in these messages is the fact that this is “evolution” guided by “intelligence.” The message that comes across is that “everything evolves.” Learning channels like Discovery, Science, History, etc. often present evolution without question. Considering the constant brainwashing of our society to accept evolution as a “proven” fact, it is no wonder that religious leaders shrink back from defending biblical creation. Well, they ought to grow a backbone!

The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). There in one sentence is the universe: time, space, matter. The Bible says, God created everything there is in six 24-hour days. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11, emphasis mine). He did it in six days rather than a split second in order to set the pattern of a seven-day week for us – work six days, rest one. Furthermore, the “days” in Genesis 1 are normal 24-hour days. The Hebrew word used is yom, and with very few exceptions (clarified by context), it means a normal 24-hour day. God then took extra care to define the “day” as “evening and morning” (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)[2] to forfend against any notion of undetermined time.

The Bible says that God created plants before animals and even before the sun (Genesis 1:9-13). The Bible says there is no to plant evolution. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:11, emphasis mine). “After his kind” means no evolution, and the regenerative process resides within the seed (the DNA) of each plant. Some critics point out that plants need the sun for photosynthesis. That is only partially true. Plants need “light.” Light was created on Day One (Genesis 1:3). Even if it can be argued that plants need “sunlight,” surely plants can survive 24 hours without sunlight, which was created the following day.

The Bible says God created the earth before all other celestial objects (Genesis 1:14-19). My scientist friends might challenge me on this point because it cannot be proven “scientifically,” but this tells me that the earth is at or near the center of the universe. This is not to say that I believe in a geocentric solar system where the earth is stationary and the sun, moon and planets revolve around the earth. (I have seen models that show how this is possible; however, I will stick with what my scientists friends say in this regard – all planets, including the earth orbit around the sun.) However, that does not preclude the earth being located somewhere near the center of the universe. It just makes sense because the Bible says so. Also, according to biblical chronology, the earth (and the universe) is only about 6000 years old. The critics challenging this point to light from galaxies billions of light years away. How is it that we can see that light now, if the earth is only 6000 years old? I cannot explain it, but my astrophysicist friend, Dr. Jason Lisle offers a great theory on it that I cannot condense in the space of this article.[3]

The Bible says God created sea creatures (crustaceans, fish, marine mammals, and reptiles) and air creatures (birds, flying mammals, insects, etc.) on Day Five (Genesis 1:20-23). Here again, God created all creatures so that they would reproduce “after his kind.” The Bible says no to evolution. By the way, note that plants came before any kind of animal. Evolutionists teach that everything came from the sea; they have it backward. On Day Six, God created all land creatures that reproduce “after his kind” – no allowances for evolution. Dinosaurs would be included on Day Six of creation. Note also that birds were created before dinosaurs, which contradicts the notion of birds having evolved from dinosaurs.

The Bible says that the last thing that God created on Day Six was mankind. Male and female were both created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). At the end of the day, God assessed His total creation and declared it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). The Bible says that God placed the man and the woman in His special garden east of Eden (Genesis 2:8). There, man had complete freedom. His only prohibition was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:17). Having been created in the image of God, man had the free will to obey or disobey God. Man chose to disobey God (Genesis 3:1-7), and through his act of disobedience brought upon himself, his posterity and all of creation the curse of death (Romans 5:12). In His foreknowledge, God had a plan for that eventuality with the promise of a Savior (Genesis 3:15).

In these first three chapters of Genesis, the foundation for the Gospel is set. Without a firm foundation, the entire message of the Gospel crumbles. Those who would insert long ages to the simple reading of Genesis 1, allow for ages of death and misery long before the Fall of man. The Bible says death is the enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26). If that is true, why would God make death the curse, when death had already been around for eons of time? And if death is not the curse, then what does Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplish? If Adam and Eve evolved from some ape-like ancestor (again, death and suffering already exist, and God’s creation is not so “very good”), then Jesus, who Scripture identifies as God (John 1:1-3) was wrong when He said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). Can God be wrong?

More can be said on this topic. For now, I think I have gone on long enough. I will end by saying this: there are those who say that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, but when it comes to defending the biblical record of creation, they defer to the evolutionists rather that defend God’s Word for what it says from the very beginning. I really don’t care if a pastor can’t give scientific proof that the Genesis record is accurate. Most pastors do not have a background in science; their training is mostly in Bible and church stuff. I get that. But for goodness sakes, if you say you believe that the Bible is true, then preach it like it’s true. Creation took place exactly like God recorded it in Genesis 1; that is the bottom line. Now, if a pastor feels the need to back up that statement with scientific proof, there are scientific organizations like the Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, the Creation Research Society, and others that uncompromisingly defend the veracity of Scripture with scientific research that confirms the biblical account of creation. There are also organization like Biologos and Reasons to Believe that compromise on the biblical account and attempt to make the Bible “fit” modern science. Avoid such; they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Stand by what the Bible says!

Notes:


[1]  The book of Job is considered to predate Genesis by almost 500 years or more, and certainly long before man traveled to the moon and visually confirmed that God “hangeth the earth upon nothing.”

[2]  By Jewish reckoning, the day begins in the evening; so from dark to light, and then evening begins a new day.

[3]  Go to http://www.icr.org/home/search/ and search under keyword “distant starlight”

5 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Creation, Death, Evolution, Gospel, Origins, Religion, Science, Theology

5 responses to “The Bible Says

  1. Phil Slate

    Once again you have hit the nail right on the head.

    Thanks

    Phil Slate

  2. Excellent blog, Ernie. There is no argument about anything biblical as far as I’m concerned. I’ve diligently studied the Word since 1989 and the old statement “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it,” is enough for me. I never argue their position with anyone who says they believe in evolution or any form of calling the Bible inaccurate. God alone can open their eyes, not me. He also says …not to cast pearls before swine. Scripture is only understood with the help of the Spirit and with an attitude of faith in the God Head…Father, Son, and Spirit.

    Satan has done his best to deceive the multitudes, even within the church, so arguing with those steeped in evolutionary theory is fruitless. Without the conviction and selection by the Spirit of God, our efforts will fall on steel ears. But we are to be prepared when that individual whom the Spirit is stirring is placed before us, to speak the truth of the Word. What joy when they see the light of our resurrected Lord and come to faith and trust in Him.

    DiAne Gates

  3. Ernie, I appreciate your work here. I liked hearing of your background and your Dad becoming a pastor with so little education. That must have been challenging. I appreciate esp. your heart and dedication to the Word.

    • Thanks, Stephen. My dad was not well educated. He wasn’t familiar with the original languages or anything like that, but he knew his Bible and he studied it diligently. He also loved to sing. He had a beautiful baritone voice..The first time I ever heard “The Holy City” (Jerusalem), it was sung by my dad in Spanish. Dad sang all the time. That’s probably where I got my love for the old hymns — in Spanish and later in English. Through all of that, I inherited my love for Scripture. I have my dad to thank for that. 🙂