Tag Archives: The Bible

The Two Witnesses

5 Mar
By Doug Batchelor
An Amazing Fact
The brightest man-made light on earth emanates from the top of the Luxor hotel, a giant pyramid structure, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A total of 45 xenon lights, each one as big as a washing machine and with the brightest bulb available, shoots a powerful blast of radiant light straight up into the sky. The light beaming from the top of this artificial mountain is so bright, astronauts can see it as they fly overhead. Airline pilots are cautioned to avoid the area, as the beam of light can blind them temporarily if they fly through it. Sadly, this brightest man-made light on earth is totally wasted—it’s not illuminating anything as it blazes into empty space.

 

Did you know there is a story in the Bible that tells of a mountaintop blazing with heavenly light? Even though it is seldom addressed, this event, called the Mount of Transfiguration, or sometimes the Glorious Mount, is one of the most pivotal moments in the New Testament. This monumental experience found in the Gospels of Matthew 16, Mark 9, and Luke 9 is full of profound meaning for Christians, and it helps illuminate many other amazing Bible truths.
ASCENDING TO THE LIGHT
After a long day of teaching and ministering to the multitudes, Christ and His disciples separate from the clamoring crowds. Jesus then says something very unusual: “There are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1 NKJV). It probably seemed to His disciples that Jesus was predicting something really big. But what?
Then, six days after Jesus makes this cryptic announcement, they reach the foot of a “high mountain.” There He handpicks His own trusted “trinity” of apostles—Peter, James, and John—and with them in tow, He leaves the others in the valley and begins the long assent up the steep hill. As the sun is setting, they finally stumble wearily onto the summit. Jesus immediately kneels and begins to pray, and at first the disciples attempt to join him; yet exhausted, they soon drift into a deep sleep.
Then something extraordinary happens! Combining the testimony of Luke and Mark, we’re told, “As He prayed, He was transformed before them. The appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. Exceeding white, like snow such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” (See the full account in Luke 9:29-31 and Mark 9:2-9 NKJV.)

THE REASON FOR THE REVELATION
Suddenly awakened by the cosmic event, the disciples see Christ shining with a heavenly light radiating from within. He is not just the humble son of Joseph and Mary, but with unveiled glory, He now appears as the majestic Creator of the universe.

In the classic book, The Desire of Ages, the author helps us better understand Jesus’ primary reason for this heavenly visitation. In His prayer, “He pleads that they may witness a manifestation of His divinity that will comfort them in the hour of His supreme agony, with the knowledge that He is … the Son of God and that His shameful death is a part of the plan of redemption.”

The loving Father grants them this brief glimpse of His Son’s glory, because He knows the disciples were soon to see their Master completely humiliated. Their teacher was about to be naked, beaten, and bleeding—appearing very helpless and very mortal. So in the same way a little tree stores sap during the warm, bright spring to sustain it during the cold, dark winter, Jesus knows His disciple’s faith needed a bright boost on the mountain to see them through the approaching dark day on Calvary.

The disciples also needed the reassurance of this event because they continued to confuse the purpose of the Messiah’s mission with the popular Jewish fables of earthly glory. Jesus knew it was going to be devastating for them to see their hopes for earthly glory punctured by Roman nails, so the Father granted this vision to remind them Christ’s kingdom was heavenly, not earthly.

WHY MOSES AND ELIJAH?
Along with the glorious light of heaven, the brightest ever seen on earth, two of the greatest celebrities of Scripture appeared at the side of Christ. “And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus” (Mark 9:4 NKJV).

Someone might ask, why these two individuals? God had also taken Enoch to heaven, why didn’t he come along for this special visit? Very simply, the two prominent individuals who did come were living symbols of the Word of God. Moses represents the law, and Elijah represents the prophets. Jesus says in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to [fulfill].” Moses is the great lawgiver, and Elijah is the greatest of the Old Testament prophets.

Throughout the Bible, the Word of God is often portrayed with a dual image. The Ten Commandments were written on two tables of stone. The Word of God is also portrayed as a sword with two edges. Two lamps and two olive trees portray the two sacred divisions of the Bible. But the ultimate testimony of God’s Word is Jesus: “In the volume of the book it is written of me” (Hebrews 10:7). The volume of the Book, the Bible, all points to Jesus, who is the combination of two natures, the human and the divine. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14).

In Luke 16:31, Jesus concludes His parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Here Jesus places a very high priority on God’s Word, and we shouldn’t miss it. No matter what miracles you witness, even someone rising from the dead, you should still place the plain Word of God on higher ground.

THE ULTIMATE ENDORSEMENT
Around election time, politicians begin to campaign and jostle for the support of voters. One common way for them to achieve this is by getting endorsements from as many popular and credible leaders as possible. The Glorious Mount experience is the ultimate endorsement.
Ever since the time of Abraham, every Jew had been looking for the coming Messiah. Several counterfeit Christs had appeared on the landscape of Hebrew history. Now as a symbol of supreme support, Jesus stands glorified flanked on the right and left by the two greatest heroes of ancient Israel. Moses and Elijah surround Jesus to give us a very vivid picture that the Word of God points to and endorses Jesus as the Messiah.
This endorsement from Moses and Elijah represents the endorsement of the law and the prophets, God’s Word, that Jesus is the “coming one” (Matthew 11:3). No other individuals could have offered greater validation for Jesus’ ministry than these two giants of Scripture.
The transfiguration is also a direct fulfillment of prophecy. Malachi foretold, “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” One reason the Word of God is so wonderful is because it is so precise. Both Moses and Elijah did appear in the New Testament prior to Jesus’ sacrifice to encourage and endorse Him.
TWO OR THREE WITNESSES
In Revelation 11:3-12, we find the great prophecy of God’s two witnesses. “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth” (Revelation 11:4). We know that a lamp is a symbol for the Word of God, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). When Zechariah sees two olive trees in vision, he asks the angel what they represent. “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6). It also takes the olive oil of the Spirit to illuminate the lamp of God’s Word.

Revelation warns what will happen to those who would harm God’s two witnesses, the Holy Bible. “If anyone wants to hurt them fire proceeds out of their mouths and devours their enemies.” This happened in the experiences of both Elijah and Moses. Fire came down from heaven on the Egyptians as they pursued God’s children and it consumed the sons of Aaron. It also consumed the soldiers when they challenged Elijah. In addition, “These have the power to shut up heaven so no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over water to turn them to blood.” Did Elijah pray and the rain stop? Did Moses pray and the water turn to blood? So again we see why God likens the two witnesses, His Word, to the ministry of Moses and Elijah.

Then, as if the endorsement of Moses and Elijah was not enough, a cloud overshadows the mountaintop and the voice of the Almighty is heard saying, “This is My beloved Son, Hear Him.” The Bible says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (1 Corinthians 13:1). On the Mount, two humans redeemed by Christ testify He is the Messiah, and of course, the third is the voice of God Himself! And what better confirmation of truth could God have offered—the lawgiver and the greatest prophet and His own audible testimony? In effect Moses says, “This is the One.” Elijah says, “This is the One.” Then God Almighty says, “This is the One.”

A DIVINE DISCUSSION
When I first read this passage, I wondered, “How did they know it was Moses and Elijah?” They had no journalistic photographs or archived video footage with which to compare these beings. Then I realized they probably overheard some of the conversation and heard Jesus address them by name.

Fortunately, the Gospel of Luke even gives us a little insight regarding what these great men discussed. It says, “Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:30, 31 NKJV). Of course, “decease” refers to His sacrifice on Mount Calvary.

I cannot imagine any other two individuals who would be better qualified to encourage Jesus to go forward with His sacrifice. Both Moses and Elijah understood the sting of persecution, and rejection by their own people. Keep in mind, both Moses and Elijah had been in heaven for hundreds of years, not because of their good works, but because they were enjoying an advance payment on the sacrifice that Jesus was about to make. In other words, if Jesus did not go through with the plan to die for mankind, Moses and Elijah had no right to remain in heaven. They were obviously very motivated to encourage and inspire Jesus to go forward. Ultimately, their purpose was to be witnesses to Christ and to support Jesus in His coming trial and sacrifice.

THREE TABERNACLES
As the eyes of the disciples adjusted to the light and they collected their wits, I image the first thing they did was remove their shoes when they realized they were on holy ground. After a few terrified minutes of eavesdropping on this divine dialogue, Peter feels compelled to say something. “And Peter answered and said toJesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Mark 9:5).

It is interesting that Bible history records three earthly temples: one in the wilderness during the time of Moses; Solomon’s temple standing during the time of Elijah; and the third temple built after the Babylonian captivity. This third one is the one Jesus cleansed. There are also three aspects or stages of salvation: justification, symbolized by Moses; sanctification, the ministry of Elijah; and the God-filled man or glorification represented by Jesus.

MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE
Many of the high points in the Bible are also mountaintop experiences. The Lord often arranged profound events on mountaintops because they make natural monuments. Whenever God’s people looked upon these prominent peaks, they would remember the important events of their sacred history.

Consider, for example, that after 40 years in the wilderness, God delivered His covenant to Moses on a mountaintop. Mount Sinai had the fire of God with smoke and thunder shaking the summit. After 40 days in the wilderness, God also spoke to Elijah on Mount Sinai with fire, wind, and an earthquake (1 Kings 19:11, 12). After 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus rebuked the devil on a high mountain (Matthew 4:8-10). God also makes His promises on mountains. It was in the mountains of Ararat that God made His covenant with Noah. He made His covenant with Abraham on Mount Moriah. The whole nation of Jews confirmed its Promise Land covenant from Mount Gerizim (Joshua 8:33). Of course, Elijah was on Mount Carmel when fire and rain came down, a symbol of God’s reviving Spirit raining on the church. Moses first glimpsed the Promised Land from Mount Nebo, and it is from a high mountain John first sees the holy city (Revelation 21:10). Most important, God’s loving covenant of salvation was sealed on Mount Calvary.

Like Jesus, Moses stood on a mountain with stretched-out hands, supported on the right and the left by Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:12). Of course, when Jesus died on Calvary, two thieves surrounded Him on the right and the left representing two kinds of sinners, the same way you have Moses and Elijah flanking Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. I think before we climb the Glorious Mount, we need to climb Mount Calvary. God wants to confirm a covenant with you and fill you with His Spirit, and it will happen when you humble yourself upon the mountain where Jesus was slain.

THE FINAL WORD
The Glorious Mount rings with divine authority. Mark 9:7 says, “And a cloud came and overshadowed them” (NKJV). This cloud is actually veiling the glory of the Father, who declares, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him.” God the Father comes to sanction His Son who receives His total approval.
This is so important for us to understand. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, God the Father speaks personally at Christ’s baptism in the low Jordan valley, and identifies Jesus as His Son. He says, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” announcing that the Jewish nation no longer needs to look for anyone else as the Messiah (Matthew 3:17 NKJV). Anyone who came before Him was a fraud, and anyone else coming after is a counterfeit. Jesus is the one!
Then at the end of Jesus’ ministry, God the Father again identifies His divine Son on the mountain, commanding something very simple. “Hear Him.” That’s a complete sentence, easy to understand. But “hear” means more than just hearing the audible sounds. It really means “listening with undivided attention and doing.” Jesus says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church” (Revelation 2:17). God the Father, in person, is commanding you and me to listen to Jesus’ word and to do it.
There have been be a lot of counterfeits, frauds, imposters, and cult leaders trying to impersonate Christ. But God the Father says about Jesus in the Bible, “Hear Him.” He is the true Word! That’s something very powerful to contemplate.
SUDDENLY
As the last echoes of God’s thundering voice resonate from the mountain, the trembling disciples cower in fear. Mark 9:8 says, “Suddenly” it all ended. Just as quickly as the light flashed on, it went off. “When they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesusonly with themselves.” As the glory evaporates and their eyes become adjusted to the darkness, Moses and Elijah and the Father and the cloud are all gone; all they can see is Jesus. He promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

It’s easy to have our vision obscured by the kaleidoscope of images that we see in the Bible. And it’s easy to have our minds clouded with the collage of images we see in modern life. But after it all fades, and we’re at the base of the mountain again, what really matters? I think God is telling us to only hear Jesus, to only see Jesus. He was the only one left with them; everyone else might forsake you, but Jesus says, “I will be with you till the end” (Matthew 28:20). Always remember that Jesus is still there for you even after the glory disappears.

DON’T MENTION IT
Christ again says something else very unusual to the dazed disciples. You and I can barely imagine how these three apostles are feeling “as they came down the mountain” (Mark 9:9). That incredible event must have been life-changing, and they were probably in spiritual shock, even more than when Christ calmed the storm or walked on water. They might even have been glowing with the lingering residue of light still dissipating from their faces, like Moses was glowing after speaking with God. What doubts about Jesus could they possibly have now? They were probably ready to die for Jesus that very moment.
But then Jesus commands them not to tell anyone of the things they had seen. I imagine that might have been one of the most difficult mandates they ever received from their Lord. They have just witnessed a glimpse of heaven. They’ve seen Moses, and they’ve seen Elijah. Like ancient Israel, they’ve heard the commanding voice of God reverberating from a mountain, and now, they are told not to make any comments regarding this remarkable event. Don’t mention it. Keep in mind. He is asking three fishermen not to comment on the most exciting experience of their lives. I don’t know if I could have kept it quiet.
TIMING TO TELL
Fortunately, they were not asked to “never mention it.” More precisely, Jesus asked, “That they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of Man were risen from the dead” (Mark 9:9).

Why would Jesus make this request knowing their hearts had been so profoundly touched through this event? I believe He wanted them to store this experience in reserve for when they would really need it. Peter, James, and John were chosen to be the leaders of the early church, and when all seemed lost, and when things got hard, they could say, “Don’t be discouraged. We want to tell you about something we saw that night with Jesus on the mountain.” But sadly, it appears just when they needed it the most, they didn’t remember this experience—when their Lord went to the cross, they forgot who He was.

Has God given you a mountaintop experience? Maybe He has answered prayers and worked miracles that right when they’re happening, you say, “Wow, praise the Lord!” But then when the glory fades, you end up in a valley with the devil crowding you. And the memory of what’s happened on the mountain has all but evaporated.

It’s just like when God had told the children of Israel not to make idols, and they heard the voice of God, and they felt the ground shake, and they saw fire consume a mountain. They glibly promised the Lord they would obey. Yet a few days later, they’re worshiping a golden calf.

The devil is a master at inducing mountaintop amnesia. If you give him just five minutes of your attention, he can make you forget a whole lifetime of miracles. If you entertain his suggestions, if you embrace his discouragement and his doubts, all those mountaintop memories can dissipate just when you need them the most.

LAST-DAY SIGNIFICANCE
The experience on the Glorious Mount is especially important for the end-times; that’s why after His resurrection, Jesus returned to teach on this. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets [here are Moses and Elijah again!], he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

Revelation 12:17 says, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The woman represents the church, and the dragon, the devil, wants to destroy her. The church in the last days has two outstanding characteristics: They “keep the commandments of God, and they have the testimony of Jesus.” What is the testimony of Jesus? Revelation 19:10 explains, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” So the members of the last-day church are identified as a people who will keep the law (the commandments) and have the prophets (the spirit of prophecy).

Isaiah 8:16 says, “Bind up the testimony, seal the Law among My disciples.” Moses, before he died, exhorted the children of Israel to keep the law. He repeats the Ten Commandments to them in Deuteronomy 5 and says, “These words that I have spoken unto you this day shall be in your heart. You shall bind them upon your hand. They shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” So the law and the words of the prophets are sealed by the Holy Spirit in the mind and hearts of God’s people. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

We must saturate ourselves with the law and the prophets, with the Word of God, for a special purpose in these last days. Mark 9 says, “His clothing became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them” (NKJV). Mark is really struggling here for words to describe the bright aura of light the disciples saw around this heavenly assembly. The garments of Christ were radiant white, just like new snow, and glowing like the sun. Of course, the robe that Jesus wore is a symbol of His purity. It is what He is wearing in heaven. Wonderfully, you and I are offered this same clothing purified by His blood, if we stay true to His Word. “These … washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love” (1 Peter 1:22 NKJV).

WHAT ELIJAH AND MOSES WON’T DO
Since we are talking about the end-times, it’s important to look at one crucial issue that’s causing much confusion. In Revelation 11, we read about two witnesses. “And I’ll give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” Please note this doesn’t say these two witnesses will only prophesy for 1,260 days, for witnesses for God witness all the time. This of course, refers to the Dark Ages from AD 538 to 1798, when the law and the prophets, the Bible, was obscured.

There are many good Christians out there who believe that in the last days, Moses and Elijah will literally come down to the earth again to preach, only to be killed and lay in the streets for three-and-a-half days. It’s a half-truth, because the two witnesses, the Word, is symbolized by Moses and Elijah. But these two men of God are in heaven with their glorified bodies, and the Bible doesn’t tell us that He wants two others to step down from heaven to be killed. Moses and Elijah will not be coming back to earth in this way.

A TYPE OF THE SECOND ADVENT
To make a full circle, let’s go back a brief moment to where we began. One of the most important lessons from the Mount of Transfiguration is that it represents a miniature picture of the second coming of Jesus.

Referring back to this experience, Peter identifies the event as a sample of Jesus’ coming. “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” (2 Peter 1:16, 17).

Remember that Jesus said some of His disciples would not experience death before they saw the kingdom of God coming with power. Of course, we know that these disciples died long ago, but they were given an advance peek of what it will be like when Christ returns.

A number of exciting insights can be gleaned from this story. Consider the parallels:

There will be two categories of saints when Jesus returns: the resurrected and the living. Moses, who died and was resurrected (Jude 1:9), is a symbol of the large class of people who will awake from their dusty graves when the Lord calls them -“The dead in Christ shall rise.” Elijah represents the other class of people who will be alive when Jesus returns. Like Elijah, who was caught up into heaven by a fiery chariot, and Enoch who walked with God until he walked right into heaven, they will be translated with new, glorious bodies without ever tasting death.

During the transfiguration, Jesus, Moses, and Elijah are wearing white garments, the same kind that the redeemed will wear. Clouds of glory also accompany them; Jesus left in the clouds and said He would come back in the clouds. And even the voice of the Father in heaven was heard on the Glorious Mount, just as it will be when Christ returns on the right hand of the Father (Matthew 26:64).

SIX DAYS TO COME
There might even be some significance to the fact that this all happens six days after Jesus makes the promise. After Christ told the disciples they would see His kingdom come, He tarried six days before He took them up the mountain. I believe this yields some fascinating truths.

However, before we go on, both Matthew and Mark record this period as six days. But Luke mentions that the delay was eight days. Many antagonists like to point at this and say, “Contradiction!” But that’s just not so. Matthew and Mark, both Jews, recorded time differently than Luke, who was Greek. Luke includes the day Jesus spoke of the event to happen and the time it took for them to return home, and he also gives a rough estimation, “about eight days.” No, there is no fire or smoke here—these three accounts match up just fine.

But after six days, Jesus takes the disciples up. In 2 Peter 3, we’re told, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (NKJV). After the fall of Adam, God promises that Christ will come to defeat the devil—and when Christ came, He said He would come again. If we can approximate the date of creation to about 4004 BC, we know that for 2,000 years, God preached His message through the patriarchs, men like Adam, Methuselah, Enoch, and Noah. In 2004 BC, Abraham was born. For the next 2,000 years, God reached out with His gospel through the Jews, the Hebrews. And they faithfully waited for the Messiah to come through their descendants. Then roughly in 4 BC, Jesus Christ was born, and for the last 2,000 years, God has shared His good news through spiritual Israel, the church. If you add these three 2,000s together, you get 6,000. If we apply the theme Peter writes about, well, that should give you goose bumps! Psalm 90:4 reaffirms, “A thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it has passed.”

I’d also like to add that the Lord says the righteous will live and reign with the Lord for 1,000 years—a Sabbath of rest. After this time in heaven, God creates a new heaven and a new earth, upon which New Jerusalem will come down. I could certainly be wrong, and date setting is prohibited in the Bible, but I believe that the plan of salvation is encompassed in seven thousand years. I believe it is going to happen this way.

If we’re in overtime right now, we should not be surprised. We should be thankful, because the Bible says the Lord is longsuffering and not willing that any person should perish. God is going to do as much as He can, but with all that is happening in the news today, we ought to be trembling that we are living during the sunset of the sixth day. The millennial Sabbath is soon to begin!

A BIBLE THEME
The story of the transfiguration is not the only story in the Bible in which a six-day period is invoked. For instance, in Job 5:19, “He will deliver you in six troubles, yes in seven no evil will touch you.” In addition, Athaliah reigned for six years before Josiah was coroneted. When Josiah came forth from the temple, Athaliah was slain and he was crowned—the trumpets even blew, and afterward the Sabbath began.

Hebrew servants were released after six years of servitude. They also sowed the fields for six years and left the land desolate on the seventh. Likewise, the earth will be desolate for a thousand years, a time when the gospel will not be sown. Jesus says, “I am the Sower. The Gospel is the seed.” When He comes in Revelation, it is with a sickle to harvest.

But most interesting is when Moses stayed at the base of Mount Sinai. We all know that he stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights, like the flood. But the time before that, Exodus 24 says, “For six days he stayed at the base of the mountain.” After that, God called him up to the top to receive the commandments. This is just like what happened on the Glorious Mount. After six days, Jesus went up the mountain, and Moses met Him there.

The Bible fits together perfectly! It’s like a puzzle. It’s significant that it says, “after six days.” That tells me that if this is a miniature picture of the second coming, we are very near the return of the Lord.

THE TRANQUILIZED CHURCH
It is prudent to keep in mind that the Glorious Mount happened very unexpectedly. The atmosphere surrounding the mountain was quiet and dark—the drowsy disciples were snoozing. Then, BANG! It happened. Christ will come as a thief in the night, when many of His followers are unprepared.

There is a sober warning for us in this experience. At the most pivotal moments of church history, Satan seems to sedate the saints. Just before this revelation of glory, the Scriptures declare the disciples “were heavy with sleep” (Luke 9:32). When Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane, the Bible tells us that He picked the same three disciples to pray with Him. And they again went to sleep. Likewise, in the parable of the 10 virgins, Jesus warns us just prior to the second coming that “they all slumbered and slept” (Matthew 25:5). It seems at the most critical moments in Jesus’ ministry, the saints are snoring. This is why Jesus warns, “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming; in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping” (Mark 13:35, 36 NKJV).

When they should have been kneeling with Him in the garden, remembering the glory they witnessed, they fell asleep. And because Peter, James, and John were asleep on the Mount of Transfiguration, they lost the full potential of their experience. They forgot the Glorious Mount, so they were not ready to follow Christ to Mount Calvary. I wonder if that haunted them for the rest of their lives: that missed opportunity because they slept when they should have prayed?

A MORE SURE WORD
So how do we stay awake? To the powerful weapon of prayer, we can add the witness of Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets. God’s Word can prepare you for anything. In 2 Peter 1:17, Peter refers back to the Glorious Mount. It is the only time that any of the three disciples write about it. But before Peter’s death, he writes passionately, “For [Jesus] received from God the Father honor 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 on the holy mount” (vs. 17, 18 NKJV).

Yet even after Peter reflects on that defining moment in his life, he adds, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto to ye do well that ye take heed” (v. 19). Can you imagine saying that after seeing Christ in all His glory sandwiched between the two greatest Old Testament characters, with the voice of God the Father seared forever into your memory? Yet Peter confesses that however great that experience was, he had something more important, more dependable. God’s Word is a light that “grows brighter and brighter until the day dawn.”

Peter saw Christ glorified; he received a glimpse of heaven. But you and I have something worth more. We have the Bible. Christ tells us through Peter that your Bible is more trustworthy than a vision. If you want a mountaintop experience, you have it within your reach if you reach for your Bible. Nothing is more important than the testimony of Moses and Elijah, the double-edged sword, the Law and the Prophets, the commandments of God, the testimony of Jesus—it is the most precious thing God has committed to mortals. It is Jesus, the Word who became flesh.

GLOWING FOR GOD
As a child, I was always fascinated by those pale green illuminating plastic toys you could hold up to a light and watch glow even after the light was turned off. I remember one of those toys was a glow-in-the-dark plastic sword. After exposing it to the light, I could find my way through the dark house just by the glow from my sword.

The Lord has given us a special warning message in the Mount of Transfiguration. There are some very troubling days ahead, and now we must spend time on the mountain gathering light from God’s Word to see us through the dark valleys. The message from the mountain tells us that Jesus is the One, and that we too can wear the same robes He, Elijah, and Moses wore that day. He’s telling us to listen to the testimony of Jesus, and to the laws and the prophets—which point to the fulfillment through Christ. It’s a picture of Jesus’ imminent second coming, and a warning not to become spiritually sleepy. The mountaintop experience helps to remind us that even when the glory fades, Jesus is always still with us and Jesus is the only way to heaven.

Seven individuals appeared on the mountain that day: Three from heaven—Moses, Elijah and God the Father; Three from earth—Peter, James, and John. And then there was Jesus—the bridge, the ladder, between heaven and earth

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The Faithful Witness

28 Feb
Have you ever been perplexed by the great number of English Bible versions? Have you wondered which one you should choose as your primary study Bible?

In the span of just a few generations more than a hundred English Bible versions have become available. The King James Version (KJV), the Revised Standard Version (RSV), Today’s English Version (TEV), New English Bible (NEB), Jerusalem Bible (JB), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and the New International Version (NIV) are just a few of the most popular ones in use today.

Each version has strong points and weak points. No version is perfect. But this does not mean that our choice of a study Bible is not important. The Bible is God’s chosen medium of communicating with man, and we should use the best version we can find for studying the deep truths of His Word. But which version is most reliable and how can we identify it?

Many scholars evaluate Bible versions following a naturalistic method. We, however, will use a faith-oriented approach that also takes into consideration scholarly evidence. We will compare various versions to the biblical description of the inspired Word of God. The version that best fits this description will be our Bible of choice.

The Word of God is described in several places in the Scriptures. Romans 10:17 provides us with the first notable characteristic: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The inspired Word of God establishes and builds our faith. It is our firm foundation, and as we sincerely study it, our confidence in God and His Word will grow. “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is, however, the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2); thus a characteristic of His Word is that it builds our faith.

A second characteristic can be found in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” From this, it is clear that the sacred Word gives a pure account of doctrine and instruction for one’s life. It is not adulterated by man’s opinions or teachings.

The last characteristic of the Word of God that we will review is found in 1 Peter 1:23: “The word of God … liveth and abideth for ever.” The Scriptures were given by inspiration of God and have been preserved for use by God’s people in every age. They have not been hidden away from mankind but have been a visible, convicting, living part of the Christian church. Not only have they abided in the hearts of men, but faithful copies of the Scriptures have been passed on from one generation to another. Time and again both Jesus and Paul affirmed the accuracy of the Scriptures by widely quoting from them. Never did they warn that the Word would be corrupted or lost. Instead Jesus declared, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). Even during the Dark Ages, the Holy Scriptures were not lost. Revelation 11:3, 4 tell us that during the 1,260 years of papal supremacy, the two witnesses—the Old and New Testaments—still prophesied powerfully.

Psalm 12:6, 7 says, “The words of the Lord are pure words. … Thou shalt keep them, 0 Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” We can clearly see that the Scriptures have been divinely preserved right down to our generation.

In summary, the Bible describes the Word of God as having the following characteristics:

  1. It does not cause confusion or doubt, but builds our faith.
  2. It is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
  3. It has been divinely preserved and has had an active role within the church throughout every age.

Having set forth these characteristics from Scripture, let us compare the various Bible versions to them.

 

The Word of God Builds Faith

 

The first characteristic of the inspired Word of God is that it builds our faith. To one extent or another this is true of every Bible version. Through the aid of the Holy Spirit, points essential to salvation are brought home, and many people can relate their conversions to one Bible version or another. But there is still a broader aspect of this subject that should be examined.

What general effect has the proliferation of Bible versions had on people’s faith in the Word of God? Of course this is something that cannot be precisely measured, for there are many factors that influence society. However, we can generally observe the difference between people’s attitude toward the Bible today compared to their attitudes when there was only one accepted version.

When the KJV was the primary Bible used, ministers strongly preached from it and laity eagerly committed its words to memory. As a sacred book, it was highly respected. Faith in God and the authority of His Word were paramount.

Today, however, there is quite a different outlook. Faith in God and the Scriptures is at an all-time low. Many people have lost their respect for the Scriptures. Ministers no longer preach the Word, but instead deliver philosophical sermons on the general “message” of Scriptures. And rarely do laity commit Bible texts to memory. An epidemic of ignorance concerning the most basic Bible content is plaguing even churchgoing youth. 1

Have the modern versions contributed to this lamentable condition? Let’s consider several ways that modern versions may have encouraged such a situation.

First, there has been wide promotion in recent years of versions using “modern speech.” Although these versions are helpful to some people, they lack the dignity that fosters reverence and special regard for the Scriptures. The Bible is an ancient, divine volume, but when it is fashioned like a common book, it gets treated like one. A study of the Good News Bible (TEV) indicated that university students “first devoured it because as they said, it read just like a newspaper. But later they had little interest in going back to it—for the same reason!” 2

Second, modern versions have not lent themselves to memorization. When everyone was using the KJV, frequent repetition of the same wording was heard which helped fix it in the mind. Now, however, verses are read from versions which vary so much that they are scarcely recognized as the same passage. People just cannot seem to decide which version to memorize.

Third, when you start using a modern version, it may not be long before you notice differences between it and the more familiar KJV. In turning to Luke 4:8, you will find that when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, His command “Get thee behind me, Satan” is not recorded. There is not even a footnote to mark its omission. Similarly, you may find yourself wondering whatever happened to Jesus’ call of sinners “to repentance” (Mark 2:17 and Matthew 9:13) or to the last line of the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:13).

Another look at most modern versions uncovers additional perplexities. In the RSV, MV, and NEB, you will find a footnote to Luke 23:34 indicating that some ancient manuscripts omit Jesus’ saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Immediately it raises the question, “Did Jesus really say that?” It appears that scholars question it, so why shouldn’t you?

A comparison of the modern versions with the KJV reveals over two hundred cases in which a verse’s authenticity is seriously questioned either by complete omission or by footnote. The most pronounced of these are John 7:53-8:11 (John’s account of the woman caught in adultery) and Mark 16:9-20 (Mark’s account of the appearance and ascension of Jesus). Footnotes and marginal readings can be helpful, but is it possible that modern scholarship has overwhelmed the Bible student with a plethora of critical readings varying from version to version?

Later we will look at a major cause of omissions. But for now, it can be postulated that the proliferation of versions has weakened the faith people once had in the authority of the Scriptures.

Soon after the publication of the most popular 19th century Bible version, an article in the Catholic Dublin Review made this startling claim: “The ‘Bible-only’ principle is proved to be false. It is now at length too evident that Scripture is powerless without the [Catholic] Church as the witness to its inspiration, the safeguard of its integrity, and the exponent of its meaning. And it will now be clear to all men which is the true church, the real Mother to whom the Bible of right belongs.” 3

This is a sobering thought. Protestantism itself has no grounds for existence apart from a strong faith in the Word of God. If Protestants stop viewing the Bible as the sure Word of God, in a crisis, what “authority” will they look to?

To summarize our findings, we see that all versions can fit the biblical characteristic of building faith. However, a question arises regarding the effect the proliferation of modern versions has had on people’s confidence in the authority of Scripture.

 

God’s Word is Profitable for Doctrine

 

Our second characteristic of the Word of God is that it is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. This important characteristic of the Word of God is conditional upon the reader allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. The Spirit must not be hampered either by one’s own bias or by someone else’s.

Every Bible version contains bias from its translators; the degree depends on the methods used in translating. The freer the translation, the greater the possibility of bias, and the less reliable the version is for study purposes. A paraphrase, like the Living Bible, is not a good study Bible. A paraphrase is largely an interpretation of Scripture—which by definition must be influenced by the author’s personal beliefs.

Dynamic translations like the NEB, TEV, and Phillips are also not recommended as study Bibles. 4 These Bibles are translated by giving what is assumed to be the meaning of what the Bible writers wrote. Although they are very readable, you cannot be certain that you are reading any more than the translator’s own idea of the passage.

The best method of translation for a study Bible is formal translation. 5 The KJV, RSV and NASB are examples. 6 These translations try to convey the meaning of a passage, while at the same time preserving the words of the original. When there is a noun in the original, a formal translation will generally have a corresponding noun in the English, a verb will have a verb, et cetera. While this method may still leave the translation of a few passages obscure or ambiguous, the reader at least has before him a more literal translation of the words of the original. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, he will be able to discern the meaning for himself. The KJV and NASB give us further help by italicizing any words which the translators felt necessary to insert into a passage to make the meaning clear.

Versions translated formally are far less likely to have been influenced by the personal doctrinal bias of the translators and they more closely fit our second characteristic of the inspired Word.

When using various translations to teach doctrine, you will find that some doctrines are more easily taught from one version than another. But all doctrines common to the Christian faith can be found in every version. Generally, however, the KJV presents many doctrines more clearly than other versions. This is especially true of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. It should also be noted that it is much harder to prove the deity of Christ when using modern versions. A short time ago I attended a meeting held by a group of young people who seemed to be avid Bible students. I was amazed to find that they denied the deity of Christ and supported their positions by referring to textual renderings from various modern versions.

Between all the modern versions, you will find that nearly every verse proving the deity of Christ has been altered in one or the other versions. (See 1 Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 3:9, and Romans 14:10,12 in the RSV, NEB, NASB, TEV, NIV, and JB; and Acts 20:28 and Romans 9:5 in the RSV, NEB, and TEV.) It is apparent that there has been a fundamental change in translations since the KJV. With that in mind, we now turn to a discussion of our last characteristic of the inspired Word of God.

 

Providential Preservation of Scripture

 

Our final characteristic is the most revealing. It says that the Word of God has been divinely preserved and has had an active role within the church throughout every age. Before we delve into this discussion, it is necessary to gain a little background information.

When looking into the history of the biblical text, we must be aware that the original manuscripts were written in the common languages of their day. Basically, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. The first manuscripts of the Bible, written by the inspired authors, are no longer in existence. Only copies of copies remain as witnesses to their original words. When these copies are compared with one another, several hundred thousand differences can be noted. Most of the variants are misspellings or other obvious errors 7, but thousands of other variants must be closely evaluated.

To help evaluate variant readings, scholars have divided the manuscripts into text-types, i.e., groups of manuscripts containing similar readings. Throughout the years, scholars have examined the existing manuscripts, considered their various readings, and have constructed their own Greek or Hebrew text which they believe accurately represents the readings of the original manuscripts.

When a translation is to be produced, scholars either choose existing Greek and Hebrew texts from which to translate, or they formulate their own text.

The text of the Old Testament has been essentially settled 8 since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The New Testament text, however, has been the cause of much heated debate. For the past hundred years there has been a rivalry between two Greek texts—the Received Text 9 and the Critical Text. 10

The Received Text was derived primarily from the Byzantine text-type and includes texts published by Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. The New Testament of the King James Version is a translation of this Greek text.

The Critical Text is derived primarily from the Alexandrian text-type and includes such published texts as the United Bible Society, Nestle-Aland, and Westcott-Hort. The New Testaments of most modern versions such as the RSV, TEV, NEB, and NASB are translated from these critical texts.

A Bible version is considered only as good as the text from which it is translated. 11 Therefore we must determine which Greek text is superior—the Received Text or the Critical Text. This may sound like an impossible task for someone without a background in textual criticism. But by following the biblical teaching of preservation, we will not find it difficult. The preferred Greek text must be one which has played an active role within the church throughout every age.

The Critical Text has received wide acclaim within the past hundred years, as evidenced by the large number of Bible versions translated from it. As stated above, its readings are largely influenced by the Alexandrian line of manuscripts (or text-type). Out of over 5,000 Greek manuscripts in existence, only a small handful (often less than ten) contain this text-type. 12 However, prominent among these few are two manuscripts which many scholars value more highly than most other manuscripts. They are called Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, and they date a little over 200 years from the original writings. 13

Sinaiticus was discovered in 1844 by Constantine Tischendorf while visiting St. Catherine, a monastery at the base of Mt. Sinai. He found 43 leaves of it in a basket just before it was to be burned. 14 Several years later he acquired the remainder of the leaves from the monastery, and by 1862 he had published the complete manuscript.

Vaticanus’ history is not as dramatic as Sinaiticus. Pope Nicholas V brought it to the Vatican in 1448. 15 For hundreds of years, the Roman Catholic Church guarded it so closely that no Protestant scholar of ability was allowed to study it for any length of time. 16 Those who were granted permission to look at the manuscript were searched to assure they didn’t have paper or ink. Then if they were caught looking too closely at any passage, two attendants would snatch the manuscript from them! 17 In 1866, however, the Vatican finally allowed Constantine Tischendorf, under supervision, to copy the manuscript. In 1867 he published it.

Realizing that these old manuscripts contained significantly different readings than those of the Received Text, Tischendorf was jubilant. He believed that his efforts had at last restored the inspired Word of God to mankind after having been lost for 1,500 years.

In Tischendorf’s time, the New Testament had been in existence for approximately 1,700 years. The Alexandrian Text had been out of circulation for 1,500 of these years. If the Alexandrian Text is the pure form of the New Testament text, then it would mean that the church was deprived of its benefits for 88 percent of the time since it was written! Such an idea is strangely out of step with the biblical description of the inspired Word of God. The Scriptures have been alive and abiding in God’s church throughout the ages. They have never been lost, only to be discovered in a wastepaper basket or lying on a forgotten shelf in the Vatican. In addition, the “benefits” of the Alexandrian Text to the church have been dubious indeed.

Not only does this text-type not meet our biblical standard of accurately representing the Word of God, but it has trouble meeting scholarly standards for accuracy of transcription. Minor differences within text-types are normal; however, the number of variants within the Alexandrian Text is enormous. Not including minor errors such as spelling, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus disagree with each other over 3,000 times in the space of the four Gospels alone. 18 This means that one or the other must be wrong 3,000 times. That averages to a disagreement on almost every verse of the Gospels! It is, in fact easier to find two consecutive verses in which these two manuscripts differ the one from the other, than two consecutive verses in which they entirely agree. 19

Undoubtedly these manuscripts suffer from scribal carelessness. Vaticanus exhibits numerous places where the scribe has written the same word or phrase twice in succession, 20 a clear indication that the writing was not checked. The scribe of Sinaiticus occasionally skipped lines in copying and made so many obvious errors that during the time Sinaiticus was used, ten different readers noted corrections. 21 However, instead of questioning the reliability of these manuscripts, scholars have accepted many of their peculiar readings. Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are the basis for most of the two hundred omissions from the modern New Testament versions mentioned earlier in this booklet.

For several years the Alexandrian Text was blindly considered to be a pure or “neutral” representation of the original text of the Bible writers. But recent scholarship has confirmed that what has been restored should not be considered the original text, but simply the text that had the highest authority in Alexandria, Egypt in the third century. 22 Alexandria, Egypt, an area to which none of the original manuscripts were addressed, 23 has little claim upon our confidence as possessing a pure text. A look into the history of Alexandria, especially during the time these manuscripts are believed to have been produced, is quite revealing.

Alexandria, a great center of commerce and Helenistic culture, was renowned for its schools of philosophy. Philosophical teachings permeated the community—including the Christian church. Christian “thinkers” regarded Greek philosophy as a tool for understanding and applying Scripture, and like the pagans around them, they started a school which became the main focus and stimulus of their intellectual and spiritual life. The leaders of the school were usually experts in Greek philosophy, and they greatly influenced the theology of the Christians in Alexandria.

One of the most notable leaders of this school was Origen. Origen studied deeply into Platonism and Stoicism, seeking to harmonize their philosophic principles with the Scriptures. To do so, he allegorized the Scriptures—a process that allowed him to interpret them any way he wished. Further, he questioned the authenticity of certain portions of Scripture that did not conform to his own idiosyncratic beliefs. His teachings not only promoted a critical attitude toward the Scriptures, but they helped breed numerous heresies in Alexandria, including the doctrine of Arianism. 24

The Arian controversy centered around the nature of Christ. The Arians taught that Christ was a created being, while the conservatives of the day taught that Christ was eternal, wholly uncreated, and equal with the Father. For over sixty years the controversy raged. Just when it looked as if one side had won, the other side would rise to dominance.

Constantine, the great mixer of paganism and Christianity, was emperor when the controversy began in A.D. 320. More interested in politics than pure religion, Constantine favored whichever side seemed to his advantage. At first, Constantine exiled the Arian leaders, but three years later (A.D. 328), he not only welcomed their return but made one of them his personal advisor. 25

It was during this upsurge of Arianism that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are believed to have been produced. 26 Several scholars believe that they may be identified with two of fifty Bibles that Constantine ordered to be prepared in A.D. 331. 27 Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were both written on parchments of vellum by talented calligraphers, a very expensive specification included in Constantine’s order. 28

Constantine called upon Eusebius of Caesarea to be in charge of the preparation of the Bibles. Eusebius is well known as an enthusiastic admirer of Origen, and was inclined to favor the Arians. If such a one was in charge of preparing these manuscripts, it is no wonder the Critical Text—and consequently nearly every modern version—lacks fervent support for the deity of Christ. If Eusebius used any of the critical skills of his mentor, he was likely to dissect the Scriptures, thinking he was correcting them. This may explain some of the omissions characteristic of the Alexandrian Text and likewise of most modern versions.

Other obviously careless omissions in these manuscripts may have been because Constantine’s order required extreme haste in accomplishing the work. Repeatedly, Constantine urged Eusebius to press the project with all speed. Corrections would not only be costly but time-consuming, and few were likely made. 29

Of course, without further documentation, no one can be certain of the exact history of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. But it seems likely that they were affected by the philosophical schools of Alexandria. Whether through Eusebius, other misguided critics, or one of the countless heretics that Alexandria bred, 30 it is apparent that the Alexandrians’ attempt to “correct” the Scriptures failed. Within 200 years this text-type fell into discredit and disuse. 31

It is interesting to realize that several of the omissions and peculiar readings of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were once found only in Roman Catholic Bibles. Dr. Benjamin G. Wilkinson, history professor and late president of Washington Missionary College, has proposed that Jerome, a great admirer of both Origen and Eusebius, transmitted many Eusebio-Origen errors into the Latin Vulgate. 32 The Latin Vulgate has been the recognized Bible of Catholics for centuries. The English Rheims-Douay version is translated from it. History is replete with episodes of violence wrought by the Catholic Church against all who did not receive the Latin Vulgate. To deny their Scriptures was to deny the Church’s self-appointed authority. When the modern versions began to appear with several readings previously propagated only in Catholic Bibles, Thomas S. Preston of St. Ann’s Church of New York was recorded in Dr. Warfields’ Collection of Opinions and Reviews as saying, “It is to us a gratification to find that in very many instances they have adopted the reading of the Catholic Version, and have thus by their scholarship confirmed the correctness of our [Catholic] Bible.” 33

In summary, we find that the Critical Text hardly fits the biblical description of the Sacred Text. It is based on a text-type that lay idle for 1,500 years except for some renderings retained within the Catholic Church. In addition, the text reflects the Arian views prominent in the fourth century in Alexandria, and it contains numerous omissions likely due to misguided editing and careless copying.

An examination of the Received Text, on the other hand, yields quite a different story. Unlike the small number of manuscripts supporting the Alexandrian Text, the Received Text is derived from the Byzantine text-type which is represented in 80 to 90 percent of all Greek manuscripts. 34 That amounts to approximately 4,000 witnesses! Dotted over hundreds of years, these witnesses come from many different places—Greece, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria, Alexandria, other parts of Africa, not to mention Sicily, southern Italy, Gaul, England, and Ireland. 35 This is quite a contrast to the limited locality and time-range of the Alexandrian Text.

Although none of the Greek manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type date before A.D. 400, most scholars agree that in order for this text-type to be so widespread and predominant among the Greek manuscripts, it had to have a much earlier existence. 36 Indeed, distinctive Byzantine readings are found in all of the oldest versions, 37 in the papyri, 38 and in the Scriptural quotations of the early church fathers. 39 In numerous places the Byzantine text-type can be shown to be as early or earlier than any text-type. 40 It was the authoritative Scriptures of the Syrian church, the Waldensian church of northern Italy, and the Greek Orthodox Church. Wilkinson’s study also suggests the Byzantine text-type was the Scriptures of such early churches as the Celtic church in Scotland and Ireland, and the Gallic church in southern France. 41

During the Dark Ages, apostasy seemed almost to swallow up Christendom, but God still had a people with whom His Word would live and abide forever. As the true church fled into the wilderness (Revelation 12:6, 14), it resisted error and clung to the Scriptures. Prominent among these faithful believers were the Waldensians, who used a Latin translation of Byzantine manuscripts dating back to A.D.157. 42 Traveling about as merchants and peddlers, they quietly passed on their precious hand-copied portions of Scripture.

When Greek language and literature once again began to be studied, Europe awoke as from the dead after 1,000 years of darkness. A revival of learning ensued and God raised up a man to lay the foundation of the mightiest reformatory movement in history. Erasmus was endowed with such a giant intellect that he could do ten hours of work in one. He amazed Europe with his prodigious scholarship. Ten columns in the catalogue of the library of the British Museum are taken up with the works he translated, edited or annotated. 43 In addition, he was a prolific writer. A reformer at heart, Erasmus wrote several books that rocked Europe by exposing the ignorance of the monks, the superstitions of the priesthood, and the bigoted, coarse religion of the day. 44 Of all his publications, however, his crowning work was the New Testament in Greek. This was the first scholarly attention paid to the Greek text of the New Testament in over a thousand years. A later revision of this Greek text became known as the Textus Receptus or Received Text.

When Erasmus prepared his Greek New Testament, there were hundreds of manuscripts for him to examine, and his wide travels certainly permitted him to do so. But after much study, he chose to use but a few representative manuscripts. These manuscripts, like the vast bulk of all New Testament Greek manuscripts, were of the Byzantine text-type—the same text-type that had been preserved and used by the church in the wilderness. This was no coincidence. Through the publication of Erasmus’ Greek New Testament, God’s providence was preparing the way for the many subsequent translations that would guide His true Church as two-thirds of Europe broke away from the Catholic Church in the Great Protestant Reformation.

As the torch of truth was passed on to the Reformation, we find version after version translated from the Received Text. Luther, that great giant of the Reformation, used a Waldensian Bible and Erasmus Greek text (the Received Text) in producing his German translation of the New Testament. Similarly based were Olivetan’s French translation, Diodati’s Italian translation, and Tyndale’s English translation. 45

When the time was right, God’s providence directed for an English translation to be produced that would sum up the best of all ages. With Erasmus’ Greek text, several Waldensian-influenced Bibles, and the literary excellence of Tyndale, 46 forty-seven scholars produced the King James Version of 1611.

The translators of the KJV were men of spiritual integrity as well as outstanding scholars. The general chairman of the project was Lancelot Andrews, one of the greatest linguists of his day. Known to spend five hours a day in prayer, his personal piety was unquestioned. Even the usually arrogant King James had great respect for him. Although these men did not all agree doctrinally, they all had reverent regard for the divine inspiration of Scripture. In addition, the translating was engineered so that no one man would have undue influence upon any portion of Scripture. Every part of the work was reviewed critically at least fourteen times.

With the Old Testament based on the Masoretic text-type and the New Testament based on the Byzantine text-type, the work was accomplished just in time for it to be carried by our pilgrim fathers to America where for three hundred years it became the “authorized” Scriptures for millions of English-speaking people in the New World. In addition, it has been the Bible of every English-speaking country on the face the globe. It has been the guide of conduct to men and women in every class of life and of every rank in learning and education. So deeply has its language entered into our common tongue, that one probably could not take up a newspaper or read a single book in which some phrase was not borrowed, consciously or unconsciously, from the KJV. The wide and positive influence of the Authorized Version cannot be exaggerated. 47

The New Testament Scriptures of the early church, the wilderness church, the Reformation church, and the Scriptures of our founding fathers were all in essence the Received Text. The blood of martyrs has been shed over it, nations have been founded upon it, and divine providence has protected it. The Received Text is the Greek text that has played an active role in the church through-out the ages, and as such it best fits our third characteristic of the inspired Word of God.

 

A Dramatic change in Scholarship

 

The contrast between the Received Text and the Critical Text is overwhelming, yet the Critical Text has held an honored position in the scholarly world in recent years. The preface to the Revised Standard Version will tell you that since “we now possess many more ancient manuscripts” (i.e., primarily Vaticanus and Sinaiticus), we “are far better equipped to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text.” It will also tell you that the Greek text of the King James Version “was marred by mistakes.” You may wonder how scholars came to such conclusions about the highly respected authorized version. To understand, we must go back in history about 100 years.

The last half of the 19th century brought many changes to the world. While great truths such as the Sabbath and the three angels’ messages were being proclaimed, grievous errors such as spiritualism, evolution, and Marxism were on the rise. Just as these false movements sought to dethrone God as the creator of the universe, critical scholars were trying to discredit the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Disregarding the providential care of the biblical text, men began to analyze it as they would any ancient piece of literature. Foremost among such men were Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort.

Westcott and Hort were both Cambridge professors well known in the field of textual criticism. These men shared several points of interest, including a fascination with the theory of evolution. But the one conviction that most closely united the two men was a prejudiced animosity for the Received Text. Dr. Hort was only twenty-three years old and had not yet even studied textual criticism when he described the Received Text as “villainous” and “vile.” 48 In spite of the unorthodoxy of these men, their scholarship has exerted a molding influence upon the distinctive readings of the modern versions.

In 1890 a major revision of the KJV was being considered. By this time, spelling and grammar had changed and many of the Old English words used in the KJV were considered obscure in meaning. Some critics believed that increased scholarship and the recent availability of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus necessitated a revision. Although there was much fear and distrust of revision in the public mind, it was sanctioned under the condition that no changes be made in the KJV except as were absolutely necessary. 49 Fifty-four men, including Westcott and Hort, were asked to be on the Revision Committee, and they began what should have been a short work.

A grueling ten years later, the committee introduced to an astonished public what amounted to a totally new translation based upon a Greek text different than the Received Text. The Revised Version of 1881 made 36,000 changes in the English of the KJV, and nearly 6,000 in the Greek text. 50 Shortly before the Bible was released to the public, Westcott and Hort published their own critical text of the New Testament. This Greek New Testament was drawn from Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and in essence was the Greek text that had been used by the Revision Committee for translating the Greek into English. 51 It then became evident that Westcott and Hort had exercised disproportionate influence over the Revision Committee.

Most people were unaware that Westcott and Hort had, under pledge of secrecy, circulated among the Revision Committee copies of their own edition of the Greek New Testament. 52 Eloquently expounding upon the methods they had used to compile their text, they overwhelmed the other members of the committee. Their methods gave preferential status to Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, 53 and have since shaped the thinking of all who approach textual criticism. 54

One of the most misleading of their rules declares that the oldest manuscripts contain the preferred reading. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are about 100 years older than any of the existing Greek manuscripts supporting the Received Text. However, age does not guarantee purity. In fact, some of the earliest manuscripts were very corrupt. History records that during the century following the completion of the New Testament, manuscripts suffered the greatest abuse. 55 It was during this time that a number of heretics are known to have made corrupted copies of the Scriptures. Even while Paul was alive, someone was passing around false manuscripts (see 2 Thessalonians 2:2). The age of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus is no criterion for considering their readings to be pure. In fact, it can be the basis of questioning their reliability. These manuscripts could have only survived because they were little used. The dry climate of Egypt and the sturdiness of vellum are not sufficient to explain their survival. Reliable manuscripts of the Scriptures ultimately disintegrated from continual use while these manuscripts were preserved by disuse. One must question why they were not used when copies of the Scriptures were so precious and few. 56

Like the theory of evolution, Westcott and Hort’s theory contained a missing link. They had to explain why the majority of manuscripts support the Byzantine readings of the Received Text and not the Alexandrian readings of the Critical Text. Realizing that it was absurd to insist that a variety of scribes, separated by time and space and working independently, would all “alter” their manuscripts so as to produce the uniform readings of the Byzantine text-type, Westcott and Hort devised a theory. They theorized that in the fourth century an official ecclesiastical command had been given to adopt a standardized form of the Greek text. They reasoned that the Greek text, thus propagated, contained many errors. This theory became known as the Syrian Recension.

Although scholars accepted the theory for a short time, its error was soon exposed and refuted. There is absolutely no historical evidence of such an official revision of the Greek text. Even if such a theory were true, it assumed that men who were only 200 years from the originals were so ignorant they couldn’t recognize the correct manuscripts to use as authority. Strangely enough, today, nearly 1,900 years from the originals, scholars feel better able to judge than they could. Sir Frederick Kenyon, a pioneer in the field of papyrology and for many years director of the British Museum, summed it up when he wrote, “Is not the whole theory artificial and illusory, the vain imagining of an ingenious mind, like so many of the products of modern criticism, which spins endless webs out of its own interior, to be swept away tomorrow by the ruthless broom of common sense?” 57

When the theory of the Syrian Recension crumbled, Westcott and Hort’s scholarly treatise was left without a foundation. Yet scholars still refused to recognize the providential hand of God in the spreading of the Received Text. With no suitable explanation of why the Byzantine text-type is found abundantly in Greek manuscripts from all over the world, 58 most scholars still cling to the framework of textual criticism set up by Westcott and Hort. Thus, the most popular editions of the Greek text today—Nestle-Aland and UBS—vary little from the Westcott-Hort text.

However, uncertainty prevails as more and more scholars recognize the weaknesses of the Alexandrian Text and of Westcott and Hort’s scholarship 59 that has so molded the science of textual criticism. In Westcott and Hort’s day, it was believed that the original text of the New Testament had been virtually reconstructed. But today many scholars have come to consider this a well nigh impossible task. 60

While others despair, we can have assurance that the same text the church used through the ages still most accurately reflects the original writings of the New Testament. And that text is today known as the Received Text.

 

Which Version?

 

Having faith that God has preserved His Word in the church throughout the ages leads to the acceptance of the Received Text as the most reliable Greek New Testament. But for those who cannot read Greek, a translation is necessary.

Looking over the English Bible versions available, you will find that the only versions using the Received Text as the basis for the New Testament are those of the King James tradition. 61 Foremost in this tradition is the KJV itself. As we have seen, for over 300 years the KJV has built the faith of its readers, it is a formal translation profitable for studying doctrine, and both its Old and New Testaments are based on text-types that have been providentially preserved through the ages by the priesthood of believers. Truly, it best fits our biblical description of the Word of God.

This does not mean, however, that the KJV is a perfect translation. One weakness is its readability. 62 Although this difficulty has often been exaggerated by detractors of the KJV, it is true that its English has not been updated since 1769. Thus it contains archaisms. This is not a problem for those who have grown up reading the KJV, but its language may discourage others. For those who struggle with the English of the KJV, the New King James Version 63 is to be recommended.

Compared to the deficiencies of the Greek text 64 followed by most modern versions, the weaknesses of the KJV 65 are very minor. The New Testament of most modern versions is based on an Egyptian text rejected by Christendom 1,500 years ago. 66 While we can acknowledge the good points of modern versions and appreciate their usefulness for reference and commentary, 67 there is no more reliable English study Bible than the KJV. The KJV translators not only provided an accurate English translation 68 of the best manuscript tradition, but they masterfully rendered the English in a literary style befitting the dignity of Sacred Writ. 69 Although publishers have hoped to multiply their profits by producing a version which would replace the KJV, it still remains the most trusted Bible for the majority of English-speaking Christians.

As we stand in these last days of earth’s history, our faith in the Word of God must be strong. We must confidently turn to the Scriptures for guidance and be able to present its saving truths to others clearly. While other versions often make the most relevant truths ambiguous, the King James Version resoundingly affirms them. No other version speaks so convincingly of last day issues. Certainly there was a divine purpose at work in the production and preservation of such an authoritative transcript of Holy Writ. As we study the Holy Scriptures, may each of us individually be assured that “the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). And may we accept its wondrous truths not only intellectually, but make them a dynamic, meaningful part of our everyday lives.

 

NOTES

 

1. “Bible Illiteracy Plagues Youth,” Group, (November/ December, 1984), P. 27 as quoted in Ted Letis, “An Open Letter to the International Bible Society and the Zondervan Corporation,” (April 29, 1985).

2. The New Testament Student and Bible Translation (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1978), p. 155 as quoted in Letis, “An Open Letter.”

3. “The Revision of the New Testament,” Dublin Review, VI (July-October, 1881), p. 144.

4. Don F. Neufeld, “Supernatural or Human Beings?” Review and Herald (February 10, 1977), p. 14.

5. Gerhard F. Hasel, Understanding the Living Word of God (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 1980), p. 104.

6. JB and NIV are also considered formal translations but are admittedly freer, less literal. (See Hasel, pp. 104-105.)

7. Wilber N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1980), p. 16. 8. The Masoretic Text has been recognized as the most carefully preserved and transmitted Hebrew text-type. (See Hasel, pp. 92-93.)

9. Also known as the Textus Receptus, Traditional Text, Greek Vulgate, Ecclesiastical Text, Syrian Text, Koine (Common) Text and often used synonymously with Majority Text.

10. I am using the term Critical Text to refer to the majority of Greek texts produced in recent years. These texts as a whole differ from the readings of the Received Text.

11. Sakae Kubo and Walter Specht, Which Version Today? (Washington, D.C.), p. 8.

12. Pickering, p. 16.

13. Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 47.

14. Metzger, pp. 42-43.

15. Ira Maurice Price, The Ancestry of Our English Bible, 12th ed. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1940), p. 150.

16. Ibid. 17. Frederick Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958), p. 202.

18. Herman C. Hoskier, Codex B and Its Allies (2 vols.; London: Bernard Quaritch, 1914), II, p. vi.

19. John Burgon, The Revision Revised (London: John Murray, 1883), p. 12.

20. F.H.A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 4th ed. (2 vols.; London: George Bell and Sons), II, p. 120. Also Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1951), p. 308, states that Vaticanus is “disfigured by many blunders in transcription.”

21. F.C. Cook, The Revised Version of the First Three Gospels (London: John Murray, 1881), p. 172. Also Burgon, p. 13.

22. George Salmon, Some Thoughts on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (London: John Murray, 1897), pp. 52, 155. Also Ernest C. Colwell, Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. IX (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1969), p. 54 says “The Beta text-type (Hort’s ‘Neutral’) is a ‘made’ text, probably Alexandrian in origin, produced in part by the selection of relatively ‘good old mss.’ but more importantly by the philological editorial know-how of Alexandrians.”

23. Pickering, p. 111.

24. Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), pp. 147-152.

25. Ibid., pp. 152-158.

26. Cook, p. 244.

27. T. C. Skeat of the British Museum has suggested that Vaticanus was a “reject” among the fifty copies. (See Metzger, pp. 47-48.)

28. Cook, p. 164.

29. Cook, pp. 161-162, 170.

30. Edward Hills, The King James Version Defended, 4th ed. (Des Moines: The Christian Research Press, 1984), p. 134 writes, “Egypt during the early Christian centuries was a land in which heresies were rampant. So much so that, as Bauer (1934) and Van Unnik (1958) have pointed out, later Egyptian Christians seem to have been ashamed of the heretical past of their country and to have drawn a veil of silence across it. This seems to be why so little is known of the history of the early Egyptian Christianity.” Hills also suggests that Gnostic and docetist influences explain many of the peculiar readings of the Alexandrian Text. (See pp. 136-138, 143.)

31. Hoskier, p. 9.

32. Benjamin G. Wilkinson, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated (Washington, D.C., 1930), pp. 19-22.

33. Dr. Warfields Collection of Opinions and Reviews, Vol. II, p. 21 as quoted in Wilkinson, p. 229.

34. Pickering, p. 116.

35. Pickering, p. 142.

36. Pickering, p. 119.

37. Hills, pp. 172-175, 186-188. (Predominating in the Syriac Peshitta and Gothic.)

38. Colwell, pp. 48-49. Also Gunther Zuntz, “The Byzantine Text in New Testament Criticism,” The Journal of Theological Studies, XLII (1942), p. 55.

39. John Burgon, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated and Established, completed by Edward Miller (London: George Bell and Sons, 1896), pp. ix-x cites Miller’s investigation regarding the witness of the patristic quotations. (Also see Pickering, pp. 65-76 for discussion concerning this.)

40. H. Sturz, The Byzantine Text-type and New Testament Textual Criticism (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1984), pp. 53-131.

41. Wilkinson, pp. 24-40.

42. The Italic Version. (See Wilkinson, p. 35.)

43. Hills, p. 196.

44. Wilkinson, p. 53.

45. Wilkinson, p. 40.

46. Ibid.

47. Kenyon, Our Bible, p. 307.

48. “Hort organized his entire argument to depose the Textus Receptus. While still a student at Cambridge, twenty-three years old, Hort clearly indicated in a letter the identity of the villain: ‘I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus. … Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning on late Mss.; it is a blessing there are such early ones. …’ (December 29 and 30, 1851)” Colwell, p. 158 quotes Hort’s letter published in Arthur Fenton Hort, Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, I (London and New York, 1896), p. 211.

49. H.F.D. Sparks, On Translations of the Bible (London: the Athlone press, 1973), p.7.

50. Edmund Beckett, Should the Revised New Testament be Authorised? (London: John Murray, 1881), p. 37.

51. Metzger, p. 135.

52. Luther Weigle, The English New Testament (New York & Nashville: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1949), p. 96. Also Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 24.

53. Kenyon, Our Bible, p. 204.

54. Colwell, p. 106.

55. Metzger, p. 201.

56. Pickering, p. 129, Kirsopp Lake, R. P. Blake and Silva New, “The Caesarean Text of the Gospel of Mark,” Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 21(1928), pp. 347-349 suggests that scribes “usually destroyed their exemplars when they had copied the sacred books.”

57. Kenyon, Our Bible, p. 173. Colwell on p. 106 records, “Kirsopp Lake described Hort’s work as a failure, though a glorious one.”

58. Pickering, p. 97.

59. Pickering, pp. 31-97.

60. Including such scholars as Rendel Harris, Conybeare, Kirsopp Lake, G. Zuntz, H. Greeven, R. M. Grant, K. W. Clark, Frederick Kenyon, and K. Aland as quoted in Hills, pp. 66-67.

61. Includes KJV, NKJV, and KJVII. The latter, however, is no longer readily available.

62. This is not to suggest that translations should be written in colloquial language. Contrary to a commonly held view, the New Testament was not written in the uncultivated dialect of the market-place. (See Nigel Turner, Christian Words , p. xiii.) Neither was the original KJV written in the contemporary English of its day. (See Hills, pp. 218-219.)

63. The NKJV is an excellent compliment to the KJV.

64. The Greek text is of primary importance in choosing a Bible version. See Kubo and Specht, Which Version Today?, p. 8. Also Alex Roberts writes “It is of the utmost vital importance to be assured of the trustworthiness of the text…. Without this everything else must be comparatively worthless.” Alex Roberts, Companion to the Revised Version of the English New Testament (London and New York: Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co., 1881), p. 34.

65. Of lesser significance than readability are a few places where the KJV could have been more literal in a consistent translation of verb tenses and articles.

66. Pickering, p. 136. Also Hoskier, p. 9.

67. There are places where modern versions more clearly and in a few cases, more accurately translate the same Greek found in the Received Text. (The NASB is particularly helpful due to its consistently literal renderings. See Kubo and Specht, So Many Versions? , p. 338.)

68. “Making the King James Version Even Better,” Adventist Review, July 5, 1979, p. 13 says of Dr. Arthur Farstad, New Testament editor of the NKJV, “He admitted that he had been biased by his studies at various seminaries in the direction of accepting the view that the KJV contained numerous inaccuracies in translation. He now has reversed this conviction, concluding instead that the initial KJV translators worked with extreme accuracy, selecting valid options in the Greek text.” [Emphasis supplied.] Also John Skilton wrote “[The A.V.] is a conscientiously close translation. While not a literal, word-for-word rendering which is insensitive to English idiom and style, it is faithful to its text and is remarkably successful in conveying the sense of that text into good English.” John H. Skilton, “The King James Version Today,” in John H. Skilton, ed., The Law and the Prophets (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1974) p. 104 as quoted in Letis, “Hugh Broughton Redivivus,” The Majority Text: Essays and Reviews in the Continuing Debate.

There have not been significant advances in the understanding of biblical Greek since the KJV was translated. The discovery of secular papyri has not been as beneficial in Christian word study as once hoped. (See Turner, pp. xii-xiii.) Also Cadbury commented, “It would be a mistake to exaggerate the extent to which such revised judgments of the language can be actually recorded in translation. … Improved knowledge of the original is often mainly a matter of slight nuances … than such as to necessitate one English rendering instead of another.” Henry J. Cadbury, “The Vocabulary and Grammar of New Testament Greek,” in An introduction to the Revised Standard Version of the New Testament (The International Council of Religious Education, 1967), p. 105 as quoted in Letis, The Majority Text.

69. Skilton, p. 107 as quoted in Letis, The Majority Text says “The Authorized Version had a remarkable sense of appropriateness, felicity, and effectiveness of expression. It had the instinct and feeling of genius for music and rhythm. It could discover the ‘inevitable’ word or phrase for a given context. Its style admirably reflected the dignity, majesty, and sublimity of the original.”

How Evolution Flunked Science Test

4 Jan
By Joe Crews
Introduction
Recently I talked to a man with a fantastic amount of faith. Not one shade of doubt crept into his animated description of man’s origin and destiny. He was an evolutionist I met on an airplane. With incredible confidence he bridged the eons of prehistoric time to explain the existence of modern plant and animal life. His detailed description of human ascent from a tiny, one-celled monad was so vivid and convincing that one could almost believe he had seen the microscopic amoeba turn into a man.
What is this evolution doctrine that inspires so much faith in its disciples? How has it turned great scientists into dogmatic opponents of any other viewpoint? Many evolutionary scientists have united their professional influence to forbid any classroom instruction contrary to their own views. Does the theory of evolution merit this kind of fanatical support, which would silence all opposing ideas? When religious people take such a position, they are called bigots, but scientists seem to escape that charge. In February of 1977, nearly 200 members of the nation’s academic community sent letters to school boards across the United States, urging that no alternate ideas on origins be permitted in classrooms.
This indicates that the evolutionists are feeling the threat of a rising revolt against the stereotyped, contradictory versions of their theory. Many students are looking for honest answers to their questions about the origin and purpose of life. For the first time, the stale traditions of evolution have to go on the defensive. But let’s take a look at what they have to defend. Then you will understand why these evolutionary scientists are people of such extraordinary faith, and why they are so fearful of facing competition at the school level.
Spontaneous Generation
How does the evolutionist explain the existence of that first one-celled animal from which all life forms supposedly evolved? For many years the medieval idea of spontaneous generation was the accepted explanation. According to Webster, spontaneous generation is “the generation of living from nonliving matter … [it is taken] from the belief, now abandoned, that organisms found in putrid organic matter arose spontaneously from it.”
Simply stated, this means that under the proper conditions of temperature, time, place, etc., decaying matter simply turns into organic life. This simplistic idea dominated scientific thinking until 1846, when Louis Pasteur completely shattered the theory by his experiments. He exposed the whole concept as utter foolishness. Under controlled laboratory conditions, in a semi-vacuum, no organic life ever emerged from decaying, nonliving matter. Reluctantly it was abandoned as a valid scientific issue. Today no reputable scientist tries to defend it on a demonstrable basis. That is why Webster says it is “now abandoned.” It never has been and never can be demonstrated in the test tube. No present process is observed that could support the idea of spontaneous generation. Obviously, if spontaneous generation actually did take place in the distant past to produce the first spark of life, it must be assumed that the laws that govern life had to be completely different from what they are now. But wait a minute! This won’t work either, because the whole evolutionary theory rests upon the assumption that conditions on the earth have remained uniform throughout the ages.
Do you begin to see the dilemma of the evolutionists in explaining that first amoeba, or monad, or whatever formed the first cell of life? If it sprang up spontaneously from no previous life, it contradicts a basic law of nature that forms the foundation of the entire theory. Yet, without believing in spontane¬ous generation, the evolutionist would have to acknowledge something other than natural forces at work—in other words, God. How do they get around this dilemma?
Dr. George Wald, Nobel Prize winner of Harvard University, states it as cryptically and honestly as an evolutionist can:

“One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are—as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.” Scientific American, August 1954.

That statement by Dr. Wald demonstrates a much greater faith than a religious creationist can muster. Notice that the great evolutionary scientist says it could not have happened. It was impossible. Yet he believes it did happen. What can we say to that kind of faith? At least the creationist believes that God was able to speak life into existence. His is not a blind faith in something that he concedes to be impossible.
So here we are, face to face with the first contradiction of evolution with a basic law of science. In order to sustain his humanistic explanation of the origin of life, he must accept the exploded, unscientific theory of spontaneous generation. And the big question is this: Why is he so violently opposed to the spontaneous generation spoken of in the Bible? A miracle of creation is required in either case. Either God did it by divine fiat, or blind, unintelligent nature produced Wald’s impossible act. Let any reasonable mind contemplate the alternatives for a moment. Doesn’t it take more faith to believe that chance could produce life than it does to believe infinite intelligence could produce it?
Why did Dr. Wald say that it was impossible for life to result from spontaneous generation? That was not an easy concession for a confirmed evolutionist to make. His exhaustive search for a scientific explanation ended in failure, as it has for all other evolutionary scientists, and he had the courage to admit it. But he also had an incredible faith to believe in it even though it was a scientific impossibility. A Christian who confessed to such a faith would be labeled as naive and gullible. What a difference the cloak of higher education makes upon our easily impressed minds! How much simpler and sweeter the faith that accepts the inspired account: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Chance Life—A Ridiculous Improbability
What would be involved in the accidental development of a single living cell? The fact is that the most elementary form of life is more complicated than any man-made thing on earth. The entire complex of New York City is less complicated than the makeup of the simplest microscopic cell. It is more than ridiculous to talk about its chance production. Scientists themselves assure us that the structure of a single cell is unbelievably intricate. The chance for a proper combination of molecules into amino acids, and then into proteins with the properties of life is entirely unrealistic. American Scientist magazine made this admission in January of 1955:

“From the probability standpoint, the ordering of the present environment into a single amino acid molecule would be utterly improbable in all the time and space available for the origin of terrestrial life. “

A Swiss mathematician, Charles Eugene Guye, actually computes the odds against such an occurrence at only one chance in 10(160). That means 10 multiplied by itself 160 times, a number too large even to articulate. Another scientist expressed it this way:

“The amount of matter to be shaken together to produce a single molecule of protein would be millions of times greater than that in the whole universe. For it to occur on earth alone would require many, almost endless, billions of years” (The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, p. 23).

How can we explain the naive insistence of evolutionists to believe something so extremely out of character for their scientific background? And how can we harmonize the normally broad-minded tolerance of the educated, with the narrow bigotry exhibited by many evolutionary scientists in trying to suppress opposing points of view? The obvious explanation would seem to be rooted in the desperation of such evolutionists to retain their reputation as the sole dispensers of dogmatic truth. To acknowledge a superior wisdom has been too long cultivated by the evolutionist community. They have repeated their assumptions for so long in support of their theories that they have started accepting them as facts. No one objects to their assuming whatever they want to assume, but to assume happenings that go contrary to all scientific evidence and still call it science is being dishonest.

Mutations—How Big the Changes?
Now let’s look at a second basic evolutionary teaching which is contrary to scientific law. One of the most necessary parts of evolution, which is supposed to provide the power for changing the amoeba into a man, is mutation. This refers to abnormal changes in the organism that are assumed to be caused by chemical changes in the genes themselves. The genes are the hereditary factors within the chromosomes of each species. Every species has its own particular number of chromosomes that contain the genes. Within every human being are 46 chromosomes containing an estimated 100,000 genes, each one of which is able to affect in some way the size, color, texture, or quality of the individual. The assumption is that these genes, which provide the inherited characteristics we get from our ancestors, occasionally become affected by unusual pairing, chemical damage, or other influences, causing them to produce an unusual change in one of the offspring. This is referred to as a mutation. Through gradual changes wrought in the various species through mutation, it is assumed by the evolutionists that the amoeba turned into an invertebrate, which became an amphibian, then a reptile, a quadruped, an ape form, and finally a man. In other words, the species are not fixed in the eyes of the evolutionists. Families are forever drifting over into another higher form as time progresses. This means that all the fossil records of animal history should reveal an utter absence of precise family boundaries. Everything should be in the process of changing into something else—with literally hundreds of millions of half-developed fish trying to become amphibious, and reptiles halfway transformed into birds, and mammals looking like half-apes or half-men.
Now everybody knows that instead of finding those billions of confused family fossils, the scientists have found exactly the opposite. Not one single drifting, changing life form has been studied. Everything stays within the well-defined limits of its own basic kind and absolutely refuses to cooperate with the demands of modern evolutionists. Most people would give up and change their theory when faced with such a crushing, deflating blow, but not the evolutionist! He still searches for that illusive missing link which could at least prove that he hasn’t been 100 percent wrong.  But let’s look at the vehicle that the evolutionists have depended upon to provide the possibility of the drastic changes required by their theory. Sir Julian Huxley, a principal spokesman for evolution, said this:

“Mutation provides the raw material of evolution.” Again he said, “Mutation is the ultimate sources of all … heritable variation” (Evolution in Action, p. 38).

Professor Ernst Mayr, another leader of the evolutionists, made this statement:

“Yet it must not be forgotten that mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation found in natural populations and the only raw material available for natural selection to work on” (Animal Species and Evolution, p. 170).

Please keep this clearly in mind: Evolutionists say that mutation is absolutely essential to provide the inexorable upgrading of species that changed the simpler forms into more complex forms. BUT—the scientific fact is that mutation could NEVER accomplish what evolution demands of it, for several reasons. As all scientists agree, mutations are very rare. Huxley guesses that only about one in a hundred thousand is a mutant. Secondly, when they do occur, they are almost certain to be harmful or deadly to the organism. In other words, the vast majority of such mutations lead toward extinction instead of evolution; they make the organism worse instead of better. Huxley admits: “The great majority of mutant genes are harmful in their effect on the organism” (Ibid. p. 39).
Other scientists, including Darwin himself, conceded that most mutants are recessive and degenerative; therefore, they would actually be eliminated by natural selection rather than effect any significant improvement in the organism. Professor G. G. Simpson, one of the elite spokesmen for evolution, writes about multiple, simultaneous mutations and reports that the mathematical likelihood of getting good evolutionary results would occur only once in 274 billion years! And that would be assuming 100 million individuals reproducing a new generation every day! He concludes by saying:

“Obviously … such a process has played no part whatever in evolution” (The Major Features of Evolution, p. 96).

Does this sound sort of confusing to you? They say mutation is necessary to make the changes required by their theory, yet they have to confess that it is scientifically impossible for multiple mutations to make the changes. This is too typical of the puzzling twists and turns made by our evolutionist friends in their efforts to uphold an exploded theory. So the second point of contradiction with true science has been established.
Mutations, of course, do effect minor changes within the basic kinds, but those changes are limited, never producing a new family. They can explain many of the varieties of both plant and animals but can never explain the creation of basic kinds as required by evolution.

Fossils Support Creationism
Since we have discovered that the fossil record gives no support to the idea of species gradually changing into other species, let us see if fossil evidence is in harmony with the Bible. Ten times in the book of Genesis we read God’s decree concerning the reproduction of His creatures—”after its kind.” The word “kind” refers to species, or families. Each created family was to produce only its own kind. This forever precludes the drifting, changing process required by organic evolution where one species turns into another.
Take note that God did not say there could be no changes within the family. He did not create all the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, etc., in the very beginning. There was only a male and female of each species, and many changes have since occurred to produce a wide assortment of varieties within the family. But please keep it straight in your mind that cats have always remained cats, dogs are still dogs, and men are still men. Mutation has only been responsible for producing a new variety of the same species, but never originating another new kind. Selective breeding has also brought tremendous improvements such as hornless cattle, white turkeys, and seedless oranges, but all the organisms continue to reproduce exactly as God decreed at Creation—after its kind.
The “common ancestor” that evolution demands has never existed. There is not a “missing link.” Man and monkeys are supposed to stem from the same animal ancestry! Even chimpanzees and many monkey groups vary tremendously. Some are smart, others dumb. Some have short tails and some long. Some have no tails at all. Their teeth vary in number. A few have thumbs and others do not. Their genes are different. Their blood is different. Their chromosomes don’t jibe. Interestingly enough, apes only breed with apes, chimpanzees with chimpanzees, and monkeys with monkeys.
But when we start comparing humans with monkeys, we get even more impossible differences than those among the simian types. In fact, these differences constitute another unanswerable support for the Bible rule of “after its kind.” The fact that some monkeys can be trained to smoke a pipe, ride a scooter, or even hoist a test tube in a laboratory does not prove that scientists are evolved animals, or that monkeys are retarded, developing humans.
It has already been stated that evolutionists expected the fossil record to support their theory of species changes. Their doctrine demanded vast numbers of scaly reptiles transforming their scales into feathers and their front feet into wings. Other reptiles supposedly should be changing into fur-bearing quadrupeds. Did they find those thousands of multi-changing creatures? Not one! No matter what particular strata they sifted through, all the fossils were easily recognized and classified within their own families, just as God decreed. If the evolutionary doctrine were true, the strata would be teeming with hundreds of millions of transition forms with combination features of two or more species. Not only so, but there would have to be millions upon millions of observable living links right now in the process of turning into a higher form. Darwin confessed:

“There are two or three million species on earth. A sufficient field one might think for observation; but it must be said today that in spite of all the evidence of trained observers, not one change of the species to another is on record” (Life and Letters, vol. 3, p. 25).

How interesting! Then why insist that it had to be that way? This is one of the marvels of those who cling to a traditional theory. Even the most ancient fossil forms in the lowest fossil beds have stubbornly retained the same features of their modern counterparts, and it is amusing to listen to the exclamations of surprise by the evolutionists. The creationist is not surprised at all. His Bible told him it would be that way, and he hasn’t been forced to puzzle over contradictory evidence.

The Mystery of the Empty Strata
Another frustration for the poor evolutionist is the strange case of the empty strata. As one digs deep into the earth, one layer or stratum after another is revealed. Often we can see these layers clearly exposed in the side of a mountain or roadbed cut. Geologists have given names to the succession of strata that pile one on top of another. Descending into Grand Canyon for example, one moves downward past the Mississippi, Devonian, Cambrian, etc., as the scientists have tagged them.
Now here is the perplexity for the evolutionists: The Cambrian is the last stratum of the descending levels that has any fossils in it. All the lower strata below the Cambrian have absolutely no fossil record of life other than some single-celled types such as bacteria and algae. Why not? The Cambrian layer is full of all the major kinds of animals found today except the vertebrates. In other words, there is nothing primitive about the structure of these most ancient fossils known to man. Essentially, they compare with the complexity of current living creatures. But the big question is: Where are their ancestors? Where are all the evolving creatures that should have led up to these highly developed fossils? According to the theory of evolution, the Precambrian strata should be filled with more primitive forms of these Cambrian fossils in the process of evolving upward.
Darwin confessed in his book, Origin of the Species:

“To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system I can give no satisfactory answer … the case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained” (p. 309).

How amazing! Darwin admitted having no way to defend his theory, but he still would not adjust his theory to meet the unanswerable arguments against it.
Many other evolutionary scientists have expressed similar disappointment and frustration. Dr. Daniel Axeliod of the University of California calls it:

“One of the major unsolved problems of geology and evolution” (Science, July 4, 1958).

Dr. Austin Clark of the U.S. National Museum wrote concerning the Cambrian fossils:

“Strange as it may seem … mollusks were mollusks just as unmistakably as they are now” (The New Evolution: Zoogenesis, p. 101).

Drs. Marshall Kay and Edwin Colbert of Columbia University marveled over the problem in these words:

“Why should such complex organic forms be in rocks about 600 million years old and be absent or unrecognized in the records of the preceding two billion years? … If there has been evolution of life, the absence of the requisite fossils in the rocks older than Cambrian is puzzling” (Stratigraphy and Life History, p. 102).

George Gaylord Simpson, the “Crown Prince of Evolution”, summarized it:

“The sudden appearance of life is not only the most puzzling feature of the whole fossil record but also its greatest apparent inadequacy” (The Evolution of Life, p.144).

In the face of these forced admissions of failure to find supporting scientific evidence, how can these men of science continue to press so dogmatically for their shaky views? No wonder they fight to keep students from hearing the opposing arguments. Their positions would crumble under the impartial investigation of honest research.
The absence of Precambrian fossils points to one great fact, unacceptable to the evolutionists—a sudden creative act of God that brought all the major creatures into existence at the same time. Their claims that creationism is unscientific are made only to camouflage their own lack of true evidence. The preponderance of physical scientific data is on the side of creation, not evolution.

Uniformity or the Flood?
The subject of strata beds leads into the interesting question of how these layers were formed, and why the evolutionists have guesstimated their age in the billions of years. The dating of those layers has been done on the basis of the theory of uniformity. This theory assumes that all the natural processes at work in the past have operated exactly as they do today. In other words, the creation of those strata can only be explained on the basis of what we see happening in the world now. Scientists must calculate how long it takes for sedimentation to build a foot-deep stratum. Then that age is assigned to any 12-inch layer, no matter how deeply located within the earth.
Is that a valid assumption to make? Have all the natural forces of the past been just what we can demonstrate and understand today? How naive and conceited to compel ages past to conform to our limited observation and experience! We can assume what we please, but it proves absolutely nothing except our own gullibility. The Bible explains very graphically about a Flood that ravaged the face of this earth, covering the highest mountains and completely destroying all plant and animal life outside the ark. The destructive action of the Deluge is expressed by these words in the Bible:

“The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11, 12).

The existence of those strata can be scientifically accounted for in perfect harmony with the Bible record. The universal Flood of Genesis provides a much more reasonable explanation of the strata than evolution’s speculations. As the waters receded from the earth, powerful tides and currents carved out the great canyons in a short time. Layers of debris, according to the specific weight, were laid down, compressing plant and animal life into a compact seam or stratum. Only thus can we explain the vast oil reserves and coal beds around the world. These are the result of vegetation and animal bodies being buried under extreme heat and pressure. No such process of fossilization is taking place today. No oil or coal is forming by present natural forces at work. Uniformity fails here.
The fact is, there had to be a gigantic cataclysmic overturn of nature, killing and burying millions of tons of plant and animal life. The position of some fossils standing upright through one or more strata indicates that the process was not slow or age long. The material had to be deposited quickly around the body of the animal, or it could not have remained in its erect position. The flood buried millions of fish, many of them contorted as though suddenly overtaken by a phenomenal force. Marine fossils have been recovered from the highest mountain ranges, and a checklist on other scientific evidences points to a universal deluge over the entire planet.

Survival of the Fittest
“Natural selection” is a coined phrase of the evolutionist to describe the survival of the fittest. Simply stated, it is the natural process that enables the strongest of each generation to survive and the weaker, more poorly adjusted ones to die out. The assumption of evolution is that since only the strongest survive to father the next generation, the species will gradually improve, even advancing into other more highly developed states on the evolutionary scale.
Darwin believed that natural selection was the most important factor in the development of his theory. Many of the top teachers of evolution today are hopelessly at odds on the question of how vital it is. Sir Julian Huxley believes in it, as this statement indicates:

“So far as we know … natural selection … is the only effective agency of evolution” (Evolution in Action, p. 36).

He is disputed on this by another one of the heavyweights in the field, Dr. Ernst Mayr:

“Natural selection is no longer regarded as an all-or-none process but rather as a purely statistical concept” (Animal Species, p. 7).

G. G. Simpson, who is regarded as the leading interpreter of the theory today, rejects these opposite views. He said,

“Search for the cause of evolution has been abandoned. It is now clear that evolution has no single cause” (The Geography of Evolution, p. 17).

By the way, when you read about the great unity and agreement that exists among the scientists regarding evolution, don’t believe a word of it. Each one is busily experimenting with new speculative possibilities as to how the changes took place and then abandoning them as they appear more and more ridiculous. The one basic tenet they do agree on is that there was no divine fiat creation as described in the Bible.
But come back a moment to the matter of natural selection. What is the evidence that it can actually reproduce all the changes involved in the transition from amoeba to man? Is there scientific proof that it can even make one small change? When it comes right down to answering those questions, the spokesmen for evolution do some of the fanciest footwork in semantics you ever saw and make some of the most amazing admissions. Even though Simpson supports natural selection as a factor, he recognizes the scarcity of evidence in these words:

“It might be argued that the theory is quite unsubstantiated and has status only as a speculation” (Major Features, pp. 118, 119).

But listen to Huxley’s circular reasoning on it. He says:

“On the basis of our present knowledge natural selection is bound to produce genetic adaptations: and genetic adaptations are thus presumptive evidence for the efficiency of natural selection” (Evolution in Action, p. 48).

Did you follow that gem of logic? His proof for natural selection is adaptation or change in the organism, but the change is produced by natural selection! In other words: A=B; therefore B=A. His “proof” proves nothing. Were the changes produced by natural selection, or did he invent natural selection to explain the changes? It is just as likely that the changes produced the natural selection theory. The ludicrous thing is that even the changes from species to species have never been verified. As we have shown already, there is not one shred of fossil evidence or living evidence that any species has changed into another. So Huxley’s proof for natural selection are changes which never happened, and the changes which never happened are offered as proof for natural selection. Surely this is the most vacuous logic to be found in a science textbook.
But let us continue with Sir Julian’s explanation about the reliability of this natural selection process:

“To sum up, natural selection converts randomness into direction and blind chance into apparent purpose. It operates with the aid of time to produce improvements in the machinery of living, and in the process generates results of a more than astronomical improbability which could have been achieved in no other way” (Evolution in Action, pp. 54, 55).

Don’t miss the force of that last sentence. The evolutionary changes wrought by natural selection are “astronomically improbable,” but because our friend Huxley sees no other way for it to be done, he believes in the astronomically improbable. Poor man! He is wrong when he said the complex order of life today could have been achieved in no other way. God created the wonders of cell and gene and all the millions of processes that leave the Nobel Prize winners baffled.
But since Sir Julian doesn’t believe in a divine creation, he has to invent a miracle-working process to explain the existence of these complex creatures—obviously got here somehow. To illustrate the omnipotence of his “natural selection” god, Huxley computed the odds against such a process. The computations were done on the likelihood of every favorable evolutionary factor being able to produce a horse. Now keep in mind that this is all a chance development through the operation of nature, time, mutation, and natural selection. In his book, Evolution in Action, Huxley gave the odds this way:

“The figure 1 with three million naughts after it: and that would take three large volumes of about 500 pages each, just to print! … No one would bet on anything so improbable happening; and yet it has happened” (p.46).

We commented before about the faith of evolutionists to believe in the impossible. Since this figure of compound probability is effectively zero, how can a scientific mind, in the absence of any demonstrable evidence, be so dogmatic in defending his theory? Why did Huxley employ a mathematical formula to illustrate the impossibility of his theory working? Perhaps he used the figures to accent his personal testimony. Just as born-again Christians seek occasions to bear their personal testimony of faith in Christ, Huxley demolishes the scientific possibilities of his theory in order to magnify the personal faith aspect of his personal testimony for the god evolution.
Marshall and Sandra Hall in their book The Truth—God or Evolution? share their reaction to Huxley’s absurd faith in the chance production of a horse. It will provide a fitting climax of proof that evolution indeed flunked the science test.

“And, let us remind you who find such odds ridiculous (even if you are reassured by Mr. Huxley), that this figure was calculated for the evolution of a horse! How many more volumes of zeros would be required by Mr. Huxley to produce a human being? And then you would have just one horse and one human being and, unless the mathematician wishes to add in the probability for the evolution of all the plants and animals that are necessary to support a horse and a man, you would have a sterile world where neither could have survived any stage of its supposed evolution! What have we now—the figure 1 followed by a thousand volumes of zeros? Then add another thousand volumes for the improbability of the earth having all the necessary properties for life built into it. And add another thousand volumes for the improbability of the sun, and the moon, and the stars. Add other thousands for the evolution of all the thoughts that man can have, all the objective and subjective reality that ebbs and flows in us like part of the pulse beat of an inscrutable cosmos!
Add them all in and you long ago stopped talking about rational thought, much less scientific evidence. Yet, Simpson, Huxley, Dobzhansky, Mayr, and dozens of others continue to tell us that is the way it had to be! They have retreated from all the points which ever lent any semblance of credibility to the evolutionary theory. Now they busy themselves with esoteric mathematical formulations based on population genetics, random drift, isolation, and other ploys which have a probability of accounting for life on earth of minus zero! They clutter our libraries, and press on the minds of people everywhere an animated waxen image of a theory that has been dead for over a decade.  Evolution has no claim whatsoever to being a science.  It is time all this nonsense ceased. It is time to bury the corpse. It is time to shift the books to the humorous fiction section of the libraries” (pp. 39, 40).

These examples of evolutionary folly are only the tip of an iceberg, but they reassure us that we have no cause to be embarrassed for our creationist faith. Millions of Christians have been intimidated by the high-sounding technical language of educated evolutionists, many of whom are vitriolic in their attacks on special creation. What we do need is more information on exposing the loopholes in the evolutionary theory; its base is so riddled with unscientific inconsistencies, often concealed under the gobbledygook of scientific jargon.
To follow our ancestry back through the sons of Adam, “who was the son of God,” is so much more satisfying than to search through dismal swamps for bleeping monad forebears. The human race has dropped, even in our lifetime, several degrees deeper into moral perversion and violent disorder. Humanists cite our animal ancestry as an excuse for much of this bizarre behavior. Why blame people for action dictated by their bestial genes and chromosomes? This rationalization, like a temporary insanity plea, provides license for further irresponsible conduct. The true cause for evil and the true remedy for it are found only in the Word of God. Sin has defaced the image of God in man, and only a personal encounter with the perfect Saviour will bring a reversal of the problem of evil.

Proof that we are living in the end times

12 Oct

People we are living in the END TIMES and Jesus wants you to spend eternity with him please turn away from this world and turn towards Jesus for the hour of his Judgement has come. Now is the time  to give your hearts and lives to Jesus before it is too late we dont have much time left HE IS COMING REAL SOON!

Lets see what the Bible says about what the signs are of the SECOND ADVENT also known as the SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST.

WE ARE GOING TO BE LOOKING AT VERSES FROM THE BIBLE PLEASE LOOK THEM UP FOR YOURSELF SO YOU CAN READ AND DISCOVER THE TRUTH FOR  YOURSELF.

The Scripture gives many signs that will tell us when the return of Christ is near. These signs are prevalent in our world today:

•    An increase in knowledge (Daniel 12:4).
•    An increase in demonic activity (Revelation 16:13-14, 1 Timothy 4:1-7)
•    An increase in lawlessness  (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
•    Departure from the faith (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
•    Rise of false teachings such as evolution (2 Peter 3:3-7)
•    Rise of false Christs (Matthew 24:4-24)
•    Increase in traffic and modern transportation (Nahum 2:4)
•    Poverty and economic instability (James 5:3-4)

Matthew 24:4-14 Gives us more signs and we can all agree its happening in our world today.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Violence

Jesus also predicted that tension between nations would increase prior to the Second Coming.  

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12 NKJV).
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places (Matthew 24:7).

The Greek word for “nation” used here is ethnos, from which we get the word ethnic. Sadly, there may be talk of peace today, but ethnic violence is rife.

Moral Decay

During the time just before Christ’s Coming, moral corruption and intemperance will abound.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV).

The Bible also tells us that before Christ’s Second Coming, many will be indifferent to these warnings:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:37-39 NKJV).

Fear

…men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth… (Luke 21:26 NKJV).

 There will be a growing fear amongst people on Earth, as they contemplate the future of the planet and their own way of life. 

The escalation of fear in our society is marked. This includes not only fear from the peril of increased violence, but also terrorism, globalism, governmental control, economic failure, and disaster. A strange mixture of indifference and fear characterizes our time

Be Alert

Of all these signs, the one with the greatest finality is this:

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).

Please people dont fool yourself into thinking you have alot of time left YOU DONT TIME IS RUNNING OUT FAST AS PROPHECY IS BEING FULFILLED FAST.

I BEG YOU TO TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

For more informations on this subject please go to any of the following websites:

www.amazingdiscoveries.org

www.amazingfacts.org

www.Bibleprophecytruths.com

TIME IS RUNNING OUT REAL FAST!

I would love to hear from you please dont be shy to  post your comments 

May the grace of God be with you always.

hocuspocus13

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