Tag Archives: Institute for Creation Research

Life on Other Planets

NOTE: NASA has no idea what these planets look like. This is the rendition of an artist’s imagination.

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. (Psalm 148:5)

Recently the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) created quite a stir concerning the discovery of seven earth-sized planets around the TRAPPIST-1 System.[1] Several of the scientists are absolutely gobsmacked and giddy over the prospect of the possibility of life on these planets.

“For thousands of years, people have wondered, are there other planets like Earth out there? Do any support life?” said Sara Seager, astrophysicst [sic] and planetary scientist at MIT. “Now we have a bunch of planets that are accessible for further study to try to start to answer these ancient questions.”[2]

Given the propensity of these scientists to reject the supernatural creative acts of God, they understandably seek proof of spontaneous generation on other worlds where they are free to speculate to their heart’s content. Failing to prove evolution here on earth, they hope to prove it elsewhere where their speculations escape scrutiny.

It is bad enough that they suck the mindless masses into the void of fantasy, but sadly, many “Bible-believing” Christians get sucked into the same vortex. I received an email from such a one just recently that read as follows:

While I am in agreement with the thought that the universe is God’s creation I’m not sure I understand comments that suggest life is impossible anywhere else.  While we know the Bible is truth, there is truth outside of the Bible.  God may have created life elsewhere for His purposes, what am I missing?

The writer referred to an article recently published on the Institute for Creation Research website[3] about the seven newly discovered exoplanets.

While many cautiously practice speculating about non-disclosures in the Bible, danger lurks when personal opinions become truths that can lead the believer astray. So for this one, and others that may be going off on a tangent, I offer the following.

The best resource to address the question of life on other worlds is the Bible.

The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29, emphasis mine)

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:18, emphasis mine)

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21, emphasis mine)

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:25, emphasis mine)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27, emphasis mine) Question: How many “images,” according to this verse, does God have?

And the Word [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, emphasis mine)

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8, emphasis mine)

For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21, emphasis mine)

The Bible defines “life” more narrowly than how secular scientists define life.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11, emphasis mine)

For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off. (Leviticus 17:14, emphasis mine)

Basically, no blood, no life. So, if the question has to do with “life forms” such as bacteria, plants, or things like that, it is possible that such things could exist on other planets. However, one must ask, what would be the purpose? God does not create anything without purpose. What was God’s purpose for creating here on earth? (By the way, bear in mind that God created earth before any of the other heavenly bodies.)

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. (Isaiah 43:7, emphasis mine)

The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works. (Psalm 104:31, emphasis mine)

I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (Isaiah 45:12, emphasis mine)

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. (Psalm 57:5,11, emphasis mine)

And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory. (Psalm 64:9-10, emphasis mine)

The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. (Psalm 97:6, emphasis mine)

Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. (Psalm 148:11-13, emphasis mine)

That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. (Isaiah 41:20, emphasis mine)

To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. (Isaiah 40:25-26, emphasis mine)

From the verses above, we see that at least part of God’s purpose in creation is twofold: for His glory and personal satisfaction, and so that man, whom He created in His image, can glorify God. Therefore, we must ask, how can we glorify God in that which we cannot observe? We continue to find more and more in the submicroscopic and subatomic levels right here on earth, so that we can marvel at God’s creation right here on earth. So, how would His purpose be accomplished by creating life on other planets beyond our observation? How can we glorify God about “life” of which we know nothing? (By the way, those NASA scientists are evolutionists. They do not believe in the Creator God of the Bible. They believe in evolution by “natural causes,” therefore, they “assume” that life “could” evolve on other planets. This is why they get so excited about the possibility. However, they have no rational basis to substantiate that belief. They cannot even prove life evolved here on earth.)

If we speculate that the “life” on other planets might be human-like, we need only to remember that humans were made in God’s image. That raises the question, in whose image were those creatures created? The question presents serious theological problems. Man’s sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) brought the curse upon all of God’s creation (Romans 8:22); therefore, those creatures would be under the curse of death too. However, Jesus died to redeem mankind, not Klingons or Vulcans. To redeem them, Jesus would have to die for each of those “races”, but the Bible says, “[We] are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10, emphasis mine). Jesus’ death on the cross was a one-time deal; therefore, Jesus’ sacrifice excludes Klingons and Vulcans. God is just and righteous in His judgment; therefore, I conclude that all life is here on earth alone.

Reader, if you reject the Creator God, you are just as alien to God as Klingons and Vulcans, and in grave danger of spending eternity in hell. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:20, emphasis mine). “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15, emphasis mine). There is a way of escape for you; however, you must decide. The Bible says, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21, emphasis mine). Do that now.

Notes:


[1] Probing the Seven Worlds with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/probing-seven-worlds-with-nasas-james-webb-space-telescope

[2]  Ibid.

[3]  Seven Earth-size Planets Discovered: http://www.icr.org/article/9867

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Jesus’ Seven Signs in John (2)

Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. (John 4:52)

Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. (John 4:52)

This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.  (John 4:54)

Men often boast about their abilities, but when it comes time to show what they can do, they fall far short of even their own expectations. Jesus not only demonstrated His deity by His claims, but He performed inexplicable acts attributable only to supernatural power. In the previous post, we looked at Jesus’ first sign – that of turning simple drinking water into a highly complex solution i.e. wine.[1] The low-key act called no attention to Himself, and He accomplished it by the will of His divine mind. He simply thought it, and it was done.

Jesus performed His second sign in much the same way. His first sign demonstrated His power over matter. The second sign demonstrated His power over life itself.

After the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned water into wine, Jesus went down to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover (John 2:13). This was the first Passover celebrated during His three-year ministry. John, unlike the Synoptic Gospels, records the first time that Jesus “cleansed” the Temple by chasing out the merchants and money changers (John 2:14-17). While there, Jesus intrigued a Pharisee named Nicodemus. Knowing that Jesus was sent from God, “for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2), Nicodemus met with Jesus in secret to learn what He had to say. Jesus gave him the greatest lesson that anyone has ever heard, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, emphasis mine).

When the Passover concluded, Jesus returned to the region of Galilee by way of Samaria. There He met with a Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well (John 4:12), and He gave her “living water” (John 4:10) that became in her “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). She was “born again” and became an instant evangelist taking the “good news” to her village (John 4:28-30). “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did” (John 4:39).

Jesus remained with the Samaritans two days before returning to Cana of Galilee (John 4:43). There a “certain nobleman” met Him with an urgent request (John 4:46). That he was a “nobleman” indicates that he probably served as a “courtier” or officer in the king’s court. The Greek word translated “nobleman” is basilikos, which means, “belonging to, or befitting the sovereign.” At any rate, he was not of the “common” folk.

His son was deathly ill, and “When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death” (John 4:47). At first glance, Jesus seems somewhat annoyed with the request. “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Although Jesus addressed the nobleman’s request, His response was not directed at the man. After all, the he came a long way from Capernaum down to Cana only because “he heard Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee,” and he believed only Jesus could save his son from certain death.

One of the reasons I appreciate the “old” King James Bible is for the distinction it makes between the singular and plural second person personal pronouns – thee, thou, thine and you, ye, your – as expressed in the original languages (Hebrew and Greek). All the latest modern translations simply use “you” which can be either singular or plural, which adds ambiguity to the text. The distinction is important here, because in responding to the nobleman’s request, Jesus does not address him directly otherwise the text would read, “Except thou seest signs and wonders, thou wilt not believe.” However, that is not what Jesus said. He said, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” “Ye” – in Texas we would say “y’all.” Jesus addressed the crowd around Him.

John reported this as Jesus’ second miracle, but actually, Jesus had already performed many miraculous acts as recorded by the other Gospel writers. The curious crowd followed Jesus because He gave sight to the blind, opened deaf ears, healed the lame, cleansed the leprous, cast out demons, etc. It was in this same region that He entered the synagogue in Nazareth and announced, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). Applying the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2 to Himself, the incensed crowd attempted to throw him over a cliff (Luke 4:28-30). “You claim to be Messiah,” they probably thought, “show us what you can do!”

In spite of all He had done, they would not believe. Jesus knew this, but He was not there for their entertainment. The nobleman was not a curiosity seeker nor did he come to be entertained. He had a serious need that only Jesus could meet. He believed this. “The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die” (John 4:49). Only Jesus could save his son’s life. “Jesus [desiring not to perform for the crowd] saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” (John 4:50, emphasis mine). Unlike the crowd who need to “see signs and wonders” in order to believe, the unnamed nobleman took Jesus at His word, by faith, and returned to his home believing that his son would live.

Capernaum was a day’s journey north of Cana on foot. As the man neared his home, his servants ran out to meet him with the news that his son had recovered and was well. “Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house” (John 4:52-53, emphasis mine). The “seventh hour” would have been around one o’clock in the afternoon.

Interestingly, John remarks that the nobleman “himself believed, and his whole house.” Is it that he was unbelieving until he witnessed firsthand his son’s recovery? Perhaps that was true for “his whole house,” but certainly not for him. In the first place, consider that he believed enough to seek Jesus out in the first place. In the second place, he took Jesus’ word that his son was healed, and he returned home without question. He did not need to “see” to believe. What I believe John is saying is that his faith was confirmed when he realized that his son was healed the very instant that Jesus said, “Thy son liveth.” His “whole house” believed due to his testimony.

John records this as “the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee” (John 4:54, emphasis added), but as noted above, that is not exactly true. What prompted John to make that statement? Dr. Henry M. Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research, offers an excellent explanation:

Jesus actually had done many miracles in or near Jerusalem (John 2:23; 3:2) since the miracle of turning the water into wine. This is called the second miracle, either because it was the second done in Galilee or else because John was specifically counting only the seven great signs (all of these being miracles of creation) described in detail in order to win men to Christ (John 20:30,31). [2] (Emphasis mine)

I believe the latter to be the case. John’s purpose in writing his Gospel was to testify that Jesus was God in the flesh. He opens his Gospel with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).

As in the miracle of turning water into wine, Jesus performed this miraculous act telepathically, i.e. by the mere power of His mind He made it happen. All it took was for Him to say, “Thy son liveth,” and it was so, even though He was miles away from where the sick lad lay. However, this was a small thing compared to when He called Creation into being by the mere power of His Word, “Let there be … and it was so.” This second miracle was nothing less than an act of God – Jesus.

NOTES:


[1]  Jesus’ Seven Signs in John (1)

[2]  Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Henry Morris Study Bible, (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2012), 1577.

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NOah Sail!

Ark Model Display at the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Ark Model Display at Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (Genesis 6:14)

The creation ministry Answers in Genesis opens its long-awaited project the Ark Encounter on July 7, 2016. As implied by the name, the project promises to give visitors an “encounter” with Noah’s Ark. The main attraction is a full-scale model of Noah’s Ark based on the Egyptian Royal cubit of 20.6 inches and making the model an enormous 515 feet long. That is almost the length of 1 ¾ football fields.

The Ark will house many exhibits including life-sized animal models – many animated to be sure – to help visitors experience what life on the Ark might have been like. This will include the storage of food for the crew of eight, plus that of all the animal passengers. It will instruct the visitors on how the care and feeding of so many animals could be accomplished with only eight people onboard.

noah-arkThe importance of this attraction lies in the understanding that a large majority of people today reject the Bible as myth due to accounts such as that of the Global Flood recorded in Genesis 6-9. Even many liberal theologians compromise with the secularist in attributing the origin of the account to the Epic of Gilgamesh, or suggest that the Flood was only local and not global as described in Scripture.  Many adults today, if they think of Noah’s Ark at all, remember the stories read to them as children and remember the pictures of a tiny little boat with animals sticking their heads out of different port holes. Or they remember cute little bathtub toys with which they played at bath time. So, the idea of a wooden vessel large enough to house so many animals defies reason. The Ark Encounter will change that thinking, or at least give them something to think about.

I look forward to visiting sometime after it opens, and I would encourage others to plan a trip up to northern Kentucky to experience it for yourself. While there, you can also visit Answers in Genesis Creation Museum. To get the most out of the visit, I would plan for at least three days. It will really be worth your time.

ark sail

The Sail

Not to take anything away from this most excellent endeavor by Answers in Genesis, but I do have one small bone to pick with the exterior design of the Ark. The ark replica under construction sports a tall stationary “sail” at the bow of the “ship” and a rudder-like structure, called a skeg, at the stern of the “ship.”

The Skeg

The Skeg

Tim Lovett is the designer of the ark replica. I do not know anything about Mr. Lovett, but according to the cover on his book Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box, he is a naval expert and a mechanical engineer. Lovett employed sound reasoning in the design of his ark. The “sail” is a wooden superstructure that rises high above the weather deck along the centerline of the ship. I say “ship” because the hull construction of this ark resembles what one would imagine for a modern ship with a tapered prow and stern. Hence the idea of “Thinking Outside the Box.” Prior to Lovett’s ship-like ark, most conventional thought rendered the Ark more box shaped – like a barge – than a navigable ship. Though unconventional, Lovett’s design makes good sense. The design prevents “broaching” i.e. catching a wave broadside. A tsunami-like wave in order of 100 ft or higher (which we would expect from the catastrophe described in the Flood account) could possibly swamp and capsize the vessel. On a navigable ship, an experienced sea captain would turn his ship into the wave to prevent broaching, but the Ark was not a navigable ship. Taking this into consideration, Lovett designed his ark with a sail and skeg that take advantage of the wind that generates the waves (sometimes but not always) and the motion of the wave to turn the ark in the direction of the wave and accomplish something similar to that of the experienced sea captain. It really is a very clever design.

Lovett defends his design by pointing to the ship construction of the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, etc., and suggests that pre-Flood people probably possessed similar shipbuilding skills. If that were the case, then Noah probably had access to the same technology, and assuming, as we do, that pre-Flood people were actually of higher intellect than modern man (being that they were genetically closer to the perfectly created man, Adam), then it stands to reason that Noah had the intellect, knowledge and skills to build such a vessel.

There Lovett argues from scriptural silence. The Bible makes absolutely no mention of maritime travel in the pre-Flood world. We can surmise that they were technologically skilled by the descriptions given in Genesis 4:20-22, but the description is rather limited: they kept cattle, made musical instruments, and worked in brass and iron. That is really not up to the standard that we might consider technology today, however, that is not the point of the narrative. These people were not “knuckle draggers;” they were highly intelligent, yet there is nothing said about their abilities to navigate the open seas. Would that not be significant? So, Noah’s shipbuilding skills are merely a product of Lovett’s speculation, and we should leave it at that. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we remember that it is “speculation,” not Bible.

Let us consider what the Bible does say. We know that the human race had become wicked and corrupt (Genesis 6:1-7) to the point that God had no other option than to destroy them all; “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). God instructed Noah to build an ark. The Hebrew word translated “ark” is têbâh, and it means “box” – not a “ship” or a “boat.” It is a box.  Further, God instructed Noah what building materials to use: gopher wood and pitch. No one knows what gopher wood is. Some think it is some kind of extinct tree, and some think it may have been a method of construction or a process of laminating wood. We do not know. The point is that Noah knew what it was. “Pitch” is the Hebrew word kôpher which literally means “cover,” the same word that is used for “atonement.” Some have suggested that it was bitumen – a tar – but whatever it was, it was meant to seal the Ark and make it watertight.

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Noah was given the dimensions for the Ark 300 x 50 x 30 cubits (Genesis 6:15), and it was to have three decks and animal pens (Genesis 6:14).  God’s instructions also included a “window” (Genesis 6:16). The Hebrew word translated “window” is tsôhar, which literally means “double light,” and is translated elsewhere in the O.T. as “noon” or “midday.” Considering these details, one would think that something so prominent as a “sail” or a “skeg” would have been noted. But again, this is an argument from silence that does not necessarily negate Noah having added this detail of his own volition. We can infer from Scripture that Noah employed some of his own initiative when, at the end of the Flood, we read, “And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made” (Genesis 8:6, emphasis mine). In this case the Hebrew word translated “window” is challôn, which is always translated as “window” in the O.T. This was something different than the “window” God specified for construction.

So, could the Ark withstand the ravages of the catastrophic global flood without the benefit of a sail and skeg? To answer that question, we must answer some fundamental questions. Who brought the judgment upon the human race (Genesis 6:7)? Who decided to save Noah and his family (Genesis 6:18)? Who gave the order to build the Ark and provided the specifications (Genesis 6:14-16)? Who selected and called the animals to the Ark when it was completed (Genesis 7:7-9)? Who caused the fountains of the deep to burst and for the rain to fall for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:11-12)? Who caused the waters to continue to rise for 150 days (Genesis 7:24)? The answer to all of those questions is God. It was all God’s doing. The next question to ask is: “What was God’s purpose for the Ark?” “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” (Genesis 6:20, emphasis mine).

Considering that God directly planned, directed, and superintended every detail of this catastrophic event, it stands to reason that (since His plan included preserving life on the Ark) He also kept the Ark safe through the turbulence of the storm.

Noah was instructed to build a big box, not a ship. God did not require him to possess shipbuilding skills, only enough skills to build a watertight box. God would take care of the rest. So, while Tim Lovett’s design is clever, well thought out, and reasonable, it is really unnecessary when God’s plan all along was to preserve life. More than that, a simple box preserved in turbulent waters, glorifies God more than a sleek ship designed by man. A ship designed to resist rough waters glorifies the ingenuity of man; but with a simple box, God gets all the glory.

The Ark is a “type” of Christ. Salvation is through grace; it is not by works of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). Those who place their trust in Christ are saved from the storms of life and preserved to enter into a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). It is all God’s doing. The only thing man needs to do is obey God’s call and enter through the only door (John 14:6) to be saved. No clever scheme of man, no matter how refined, can compete with God’s very simple design.

So, if you have an opportunity to visit the Ark Encounter, please do so. It will really be a blessing to you. But when you look at that massive sail and skeg, take it for what it is: a clever product of someone’s imagination. And remember, God does not need our help to accomplish His will.

You might also be interested in reading about the Arm model I built: Building the Ark.

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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”

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Says Who?

After the Flood

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,   (2 Peter 3:3)

“Scoffers,” as defined by the Apostle Peter in the context of this verse, are those who reject the teaching of Scripture concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, but more generally, scoffers ridicule all teachings of Scripture. Scoffers become, as the Apostle Paul described, “fools” – “Professing themselves to be wise” (Romans 1:22). A “fool,” as defined by the Bible, is one who “hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). While the world has always had a good number of “foolish scoffers,” it seems, to me at least, that their ranks have swelled in these “last days,” or perhaps they have just gotten more brazen. The open and unapologetic Christian will sooner or later encounter scoffers that will mock and challenge one’s faith in the Word of God. When that happens, Peter says, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15, emphasis mine).

Recently I had an electronic exchange with a scoffer pretending to be a Christian. (“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20) This scoffer mocked the account of the Global Flood recorded in Genesis. He questioned the construction of the Ark, the collecting of the animals, the supposition that dinosaurs were carried onboard and the logistics of taking care of the menagerie. He asserted that dinosaurs did not live at the same time as the biblical account of the Flood, then chided that it made “me ashamed that fundamentalist Christianity is part of our culture, that these ‘adults’ actually live in a mass fantasy world, manipulated by others in their own fantasy world, some of whom have PhD after their name” – referring to creation scientists. He continued, “Don’t you realize that the New Testament gives us permission to abandon the fantastic myths of the Old Testament, and that the only teaching of Jesus is compassion, for which we don’t need a Bible, or for that matter, a religion?” (emphasis mine)

Proverbs teaches us to “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” (Proverbs 26:5) I assumed the scoffer to be “Christian” from his suggestion “that the New Testament gives us permission to abandon the fantastic myths of the Old Testament.” Although I found it rather astounding that a “Christian” would only accept less than one-third of the Bible. Obviously, he does not know his Bible very well, which is not something for which to be proud, if one really is a Christian. Consider the following:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (John 1:1-3, 14)

Obviously, that is talking about Jesus, but compare that with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Here the New Testament (NT) claims that Jesus IS God. That being the case, consider the following:

But from the beginning of the creation God made them [Adam and Eve] male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. (Mark 10:6-8, emphasis mine)

For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. (Mark 13:19, emphasis mine)

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44, emphasis mine)

In the verse above Jesus was referring to Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent [the devil] was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? … And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die” (emphasis mine)

But as the days of Noe [Noah] 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, (Matthew 24:37-38, see also Luke 17:26-27, emphasis mine)

Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Matthew 10:15, emphasis mine)

But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Matthew 11:24, emphasis mine)

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Mark 6:11, emphasis mine)

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:29, emphasis mine)

For as Jonas [Jonah] was three days and three nights in the whale’s 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. (Matthew 12:40-41, emphasis mine)

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58, emphasis mine)

By now, it should be obvious to even the most Bible illiterate that Jesus, who is God the Creator, affirmed the “myths” of the Old Testament (OT). Not only that, but being God Himself, He is also Author of those “myths.” The NT says that ALL Scripture is “breathed out” by God.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, emphasis mine)

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 Ghost. (2 Peter 1:20-21, emphasis mine)

The writers of the NT only knew the OT as “Scripture.”  So, how did they view the “myths” of the OT?

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (Ephesians 3:9, emphasis mine)

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8, referring to Genesis 3:1-5, emphasis mine)

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7, emphasis mine)

Which sometime were disobedient, when 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 3:20, emphasis mine)

And [God] 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 Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (2 Peter 2:5-6, emphasis mine)

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7, emphasis mine)

By faith they [Israel] passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. (Hebrews 11:29-30, emphasis mine)

So, the NT confirms all of these “myths.” What then should we do? Discard the New Testament? If Jesus is who the NT says He is, then the scoffer needs to rethink his prideful arrogance. If all the accounts of the OT are simply myths, then Jesus was either misinformed, which precludes His omniscience, or He was lying. In either case, He would be disqualified as God because God, by definition, is all-knowing, and He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18)

If the scoffer really is a “Christian,” (which I doubt), he should take into consideration that the NT confirms the OT miraculous accounts. Therefore, at least by NT standards, the OT is true. If the OT is true, then science rightly practiced will validate what it has to say about Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the division of nations, as well as all other fantastic accounts of the Bible. The Institute for Creation Research does scientific research that confirms what the Bible has to say about creation and other matters of science. The Bible is not a science text book, but when it speaks on scientific matters, it is accurate and trustworthy. The scoffer knows neither the Bible nor science.

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No Gap

earth-implosion

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

Ever since Charles Darwin published his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, (in which, by the way, he never addresses the main thesis of his book) it seems that Christian theologians have been scrambling to defend the Genesis creation account and allow for millions of years of evolution. Even now with all the great research being done by creation scientists in the fields of biology, cosmology, geology, meteorology, paleontology, physics, and others, and by great organizations like Answers In Genesis, Creation Ministries International, the Creation Research Society, the Institute for Creation Research and others, still we have far too many Christian pastors and theologians that cower at the roar of atheists and evolutionists when it comes to the question of origins. They fear being labeled as ignorant and uneducated and likened to geocentric flat-earthers. Rather than defend the clear teaching of Scripture on this matter, they will either completely capitulate to the evolutionists, or they will find some compromise to accommodate evolutionary concepts. What really frustrates me is when some of these cowards claim to defend the infallible, inerrant, Word of God. If the Word of God is truly infallible and inerrant, then compromise is not an option.

One such compromise is known as the Gap Theory which proposes that there is a “gap” of long ages – billions of years – between the first two verses of Genesis 1. “According to this concept, Genesis 1:1 describes the initial creation of the universe. Following this, the standard events of cosmic evolution took place, which eventually produced our solar system about five billion years ago. Then, on the earth, the various geologic ages followed, as identified by their respective assemblages of fossils (trilobites, dinosaurs, etc.).”[1] Following this, some sort of global cataclysm takes place destroying all life and God must re-create the earth. Thus, Genesis 1:2 is describing the earth “becoming” without form and void. This idea was popularized by the Scofield Bible, and widely accepted for almost a century, but it was due more to fear of ridicule than solid Bible apologetics.

The first problem with this view begins with the first word of the second verse – “And.” We must first keep in mind that the original text did not include chapter and verse divisions. The text was a continuous reading. The “And” at the beginning of verse two is the Hebrew letter waw (pronounced “vav”). In Hebrew grammar, this construct is known as a “waw consecutive” indicating that there is no break between what precedes it and what follows. The text, then, is one continuous thought without any break: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void.” By the way, punctuation marks were not part of the original Hebrew text; punctuations were added by the translators as they thought proper according to English grammar. The same is true for the remainder of verse two: “and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Each of those “ands” is a “waw consecutive” indicating no break in the action. Furthermore, verses 3-5 all begin with a “waw consecutive,” indicating no break in the action from the beginning of verse one to the end of verse five. Simply analyzing the Hebrew grammatical construction of these first five verses of Genesis destroys any notion of “gaps” in the creation account in Genesis. Attempting to insert a gap in the text is simply sloppy hermeneutics.

The second problem presents itself with the final statement in verse five: “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” “Evening and morning” define a normal 24-hour day. In addition, the Hebrew word translated “day” is yom, and it is normally understood to mean a single 24-hour day. Although it is rarely used to indicate an undetermined time as in “the day of the Lord” or “in that day” or “in those days”; it is never used to indicate an indefinite amount of time as in millions of years. There are other options for specifying longer periods of time. For example, in Daniel 9:24, the use of shâbûa‛ meaning “seven” and translated “weeks” in the King James Bible (KJV), is used to indicate a period of seven years. Later, in Daniel 12:7, the use of mô‛êd, meaning “an appointment” or a “fixed season” and translated “time” in the KJV, is used to indicate a year, although “year” in Hebrew is actually shâneh. Hebrew does have a word for an indefinite amount of time; that word is ‛ôlâm, which is often used in the sense of eternity. So, God had other word options to indicate eons of time, yet He chose to use the word for a normal 24-hour day.

Finally, God regards “death” as an enemy. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26, emphasis mine). At the end of the sixth day, God assessed His work, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31, emphasis mine). Think about this: God, who is incapable of any error whatsoever, declares His creation, not just “good,” but “very good.” The Hebrew word for “very” is mǝ‘ôd, and it is an adjective meaning “vehemence” or “vehemently.” That is a very strong word describing God’s assessment of His perfect creation. Now think about this: if God considers death the enemy, why would He allow billions of years of death inserted between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and then turn around and exuberantly declare His creation “very good”? That makes no sense! God does not contradict Himself like that. Furthermore, the enemy, death, entered through Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12), and the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). That being true, then how could death have existed before Adam’s sin? And if death existed in “the gap” prior to Adam’s sin, then how could death be “the enemy” and the “penalty” for sin? So, the “Gap Theory” raises some serious theological issues.

If a preacher, pastor, theologian or layman professes to believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, it is time to claim ALL of it, stand by ALL of it, defend ALL of it, and stop making excuses and compromising with the secularists that disregard both the Bible and the Creator. There is NO GAP in Genesis. The only gap that exists is the chasm of sin that separates man from God, and that gap cannot be bridged by compromising any part of God’s Word.

Notes:


[1]  Henry M. Morris, “Why the Gap Theory Won’t Work” (http://www.icr.org/article/why-gap-theory-wont-work), accessed October 16, 2015.

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Kings and Priests

golden-city-of-heaven-image

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6)[1]

Heaven is a place everyone wants to go, but what will we do when we get there? Some imagine Heaven as a place “up there” in the clouds somewhere where we will all sit around in white robes plunking on harps. Everyone looks forward to seeing friends and loved ones there (provided they chose Jesus during their time on earth). The last two chapters of the book of Revelation describe Heaven as a recreated earth with a “new Jerusalem” in the form of a cube 1500 miles cubed – that is 3.375 billion cubic miles. The description is beautiful beyond imagination, but it is a physical place where the saints will be employed as “kings and priests.”

The phrase “kings and priests,” in Revelation 1:6, is best understood as “kingdom of priests” or, as some translations have it, “royal priesthood.” Jesus is “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). That statement itself suggests that there are other kings and other lords, but Jesus rules over all of them. Revelation 1:5 says:

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (emphasis mine).

“Prince” translates the Greek word archōn, which means “first” or “chief ruler.” That establishes Jesus’ reign as supreme. Below Him is His “kings and priests” who reign with Him, but are subject to Him. Dr. Henry M. Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research, writes:

Those who were slaves became kings and priests, (or “a kingdom of priests”) seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and serving as a holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices to God (1 Peter 2:5). In the coming Kingdom, He promises that we shall actually “reign with him” (Revelation 20:6; 2 Timothy 2:12). But though we shall reign with Him, we are still His servants (Revelation 22:3) and it will be our joy to acknowledge His glory and dominion forever.[2]

Other scriptural confirmation (all emphasis mine):

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood [kingdom of priests], an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9)

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father (Revelation 2:26-27).

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (1 Corinthians 6:2)

But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever … And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him (Daniel 7:18, 27).

So, regardless of whatever else will occupy our time in Heaven, one of those tasks will be to serve as kings and priests in service to the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Hope to see you there!

NOTES:


[1] Scripture citations are linked to The Henry Morris Study Bible online Bible at http://www.icr.org/ that has additional notes.

[2] Henry M Morris, The Revelation Record, (Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., 1983), 38.

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