By Zander Dell Raines
Copyright 1998, Apocalypse Productions
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BC YEARS-AN OVERVIEW
THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE-ABIB 1, 4000 BC
THE SEED OF THE WOMAN-1,656 years
THE FLOOD OF NOAH-ZIF 17, 2344 BC
THE SONS OF NOAH-857 years
THE EXODUS OF ISRAEL-ABIB 14, 1487 BC
THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL-479 years
THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE-ZIF 2, 1008 BC
THE KINGS OF ISRAEL-426 years
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE-TAMMUZ 9, 582 BC
THE CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL-70 years
THE PROCLAMATION OF CYRUS-ETHANIM 1, 512 BC
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES-512 years
THE COMING OF THE CHRIST-AD 1
THE BC YEARS-AN OVERVIEW
Since the time of the creation of the Christian calendar, many scholars have come up with several different dates for the birth of Christ, that run anywhere from 2 BC to 12 BC or earlier. However for this study we will use the date as originally given to make the BC dates relate in the literal sense of the word.
For instance, the year of His birth is actually as it was given; thus making 7 years before His birth 7 BC, which literally means 7 years Before Christ. Thus is you prefer an earlier date for Jesus' birth, say 4 BC, you only need to add 4 to the date I will give making it 11 BC. In this way, you may adapt the BC years to whatever birth date you prefer.
The years of the Old Testament events are given clearly in the Bible if you use the original Hebrew texts. The Greek texts of the Old Testament have so tampered with these years that they have destroyed the delicate balance needed to facilitate this study. Thus the Hebrew Massoretic text, as it is commonly found in the Authorized King James Bible will be the source for this study. Using the years thus given, the dates and years around which this study will be built are as follows:
the creation of the universe-Abib 1, 4000 BC
the seed of the woman-1,656 years
the flood of Noah-Zif 17, 2344 BC
the sons of Noah-857 years
the exodus of Israel-Abib 14, 1487 BC
the judges of Israel-479 years
the building of the temple-Zif 2, 1008 BC
the kings of Israel-426 years
the destruction of the temple-Tammuz 9, 582 BC
the captivity of Israel-70 years
the proclamation of Cyrus-Ethanim 1, 512 BC
the times of the Gentiles-512 years
the coming of the Christ-AD 1
THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE-ABIB 1, 4000 BC
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.-Revelation 14:6-7
Here, in the midst of the great tribulation, the worst period of time in all of human history, God sends forth an angel to preach to men the everlasting gospel. When we usually think of the gospel, we think of Jesus dying for our sins. Here however is the everlasting gospel. We are to give glory to the God who made the heavens, the earth, and the sea. The God of the bible is, first of all, the god of creation, and to deny the literal truth of the first three chapters of the book of Genesis is the deny the word of God. It doesn't matter what any man might try to teach to the contrary. The story of the creation begins in....
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The Hebrew word for God is elohim. There is only one true God in the bible. A mystery that confused all of the ancient Old Testament scholars was the word elohim because it is not singular but plural. The same mystery is evidenced in....
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
Notice that the Bible says us when speaking of God. You see these types of verses quite a few times in the Old Testament.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of god moved upon the waters.
For centuries men laughed at the God who wrote those words. The basic building block of the universe is not water, but hydrogen, the simplest of all atoms. In 1766 Dr. Henry Cavendish discovered the element, hydrogen. He found it by experimenting with the most common form of hydrogen found in nature, water. In fact for many years before, men had called it by its earlier name. It was called simply the water element. It is indeed a wondrous God who can take the most profound truths, and put them in simple terms so that common folk like you and I can understand. God called it water over 4,000 years before men would be able to figure out what it actually was. So here we see the first thing that God created. He created hydrogen, the basic building block of all matter.
and God said, let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Light is the most basic form of what we today call energy. Here then we have the two main ingredients of our universe, matter and energy, as any proper science book will tell you. Sir Isaac Newton first discovered this fact. However it was not until the time of Albert Einstein that modern man would discover the third ingredient. We still need one more item to make our creation recipe complete, so that we can begin to create the universe as we know it.
and God called the light day, and the darkness he called night, and the evening and the morning were the first day.
Now God has created the third and final building block by which our universe began. He created time. So now we have matter, energy, and time; from which all the rest of our universe will spring. No scientist could describe it better or simpler than it is put in the first five verses of Genesis.
The first question we always run into here is how long were the days of creation? Evolutionists would have you believe that each day was a billion years long, but what does the word of God say? In the scriptures the word day can mean any one of four different things. One of these terms appears in....
Jesus answered, are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of the world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
This is the word day as we most commonly think of it. It is the twelve hours when the sun is shining. The next definition for day is found in....
and it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
Here we see what we call a literal day consisting of a period of twenty-four hours. You see the word day used in one of these two ways at least 90% of the time that it appears in the Holy Scriptures. The rest of the times that the word day is used is in a symbolic fashion, as in....
And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
This is the least used of all the terms for day. This day is a symbol for one year. This is only used in a few Old Testament prophecies, and that's all. In almost all other places where day is used as a symbol in prophecy it has the meaning found in....
II Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
This is a direct reference to the day of the Lord, a prominent Old Testament topic. Here we have a day that represents 1,000 years. So which one of these days are the days of creation? To determine that we just need to look at all the references to day in Genesis 1. This would include verse 5, 8, 12, 19, 23, 31.
God is giving us a very clear message through all of these verses. The day of creation had an evening and a morning, or what we would call a literal, twenty-four hour day. Let no one deceive you on this. A sizable portion of the first chapter of Genesis is devoted to stating repeatedly this most important truth. Whenever you read any Bible passage, God makes it very clear as to what is the most important part. He simply repeats it over and over again as any good teacher would do. Here He says six times that the days of creation are six literal, twenty-four hour days, and anyone who would say that God is wrong here should simply hang their heads in shame.
and God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Firmament as used in these verses means the atmosphere and all that is above it, as noted in verses 14 and 20. The word firmament means to expand our atmosphere simply expanded like a balloon around the surface of the earth, and divided the waters so that there was a water canopy above it and water beneath it.
and God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land earth: and the gathering together of the waters called he seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that is was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.
The water beneath the atmosphere becomes what we know as the oceans, and for the first time dry land appears. God causes the earth to produce all the plant life that we see around us today. Also notice that god here begins to catalog life as soon as he creates it. He divides life up into distinct groups called kinds. A kind is any living thing that can mate with another and produce offspring.
and God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great light; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And god set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Here God creates the sun, moon, and stars. One theory that people try to use to prove that the earth is billions of years old is called the day-age theory. One version of this theory says that the creation days were twenty-four hour days, but then a long period of time would pass between each of the days of creation. However notice that the plants were made on the third day, and that the sun is not created until the fourth day. If a billion years, or even one year, passed between the time the plants were made and the sun was made, then all plant life would have died out long before the sun started shining. Here we have yet another proof that the entire creation took place in one literal six-day period.
and God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Now the birds and all marine life appears. Here we also see the whales mentioned. One thing that unbelievers use on Christians concerns the story of Jonah and the whale. One of the verses always mentioned in this controversy is....
Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Here God says a great fish swallowed Jonah. Now the next verse that is always sighted is Jesus speaking in....
Here God says that a whale swallowed Jonah. At this point the unbeliever always smiles and says, "Everyone knows that a whale is not a fish.", To the Christian's embarrassment. Next time, instead of turning red, respond with something like, "Who was it that told you that a whale is not a fish?". Today the scientific community says that a fish is a certain thing, and that a whale does not fit the definition. The scientific charts, which are always sighted for this, were all made less than two hundred years ago. God, who made them both, says that a whale is a fish nearly two thousand years ago. God can classify animals any way he wishes to. He's God. He made them. It is man who can along later, after the fact, and changed the terms so that they won't fit together any more. Do we believe God or men? If God says a whale is a fish, by His definition, then it is incumbent on man to change their charts, not for God to change His word.
and God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that is was good. And god said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Notice that God again says that all things reproduce after their own kind. For all the ingenuity of science, man still can't make a dog mate with a cat and produce offspring. God only knows what we'd have in the world today if man had. God has three major classifications for land animals; cattle, creeping things, and beasts of the earth. Also here again we see the mystery of the godhead when God says, 'let us make man in our image'. Man is given dominion. This means that Adam was the ruler of the entire earth. I am sad to say that things didn't stay that way very long. Genesis 1:28-31
and God blessed them, and god said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life. I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Two very important facts are given here. First God said for man to replenish the earth. Many people feel that this means there was a pre-Adamic race of men, because the word replenish, as we commonly use it today, means to fill something up again. However in the truest sense of the word replenish simply means to fill up. You can check this fact out in any dictionary. You see, the trouble with our understanding of the Bible is not that we don't understand Hebrew or Greek, but that we don't, for the most part, understand English. This is to be expected in a day when many high school graduates cannot even read their diplomas.
The second point I wish to make here is that man and all other living creatures were vegetarians. Before the flood of Noah, all living creatures ate plants. All those old movies about dinosaurs eating each other are simply fairy stories. We really don't know what they ate for a very good reason. No ever watched them eat. God says here that they all ate plants and that's good enough for me. In fact, during World War II, a startling fact was uncovered. Most of the zoos in Europe ran out of meat due to the war. In desperation, zookeepers fed the lions and tigers cabbages, hay, and anything else they could to keep the animals alive and guess what? Those big carnivores existed for months, and in some cases for years, on vegetables. God's word says that they will live like that again some day, by the way.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had made. And god blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Here is a most important truth that we as Christians often overlook. God rested, not because He was tired, but because He was finished. He also rested on the seventh day as an example to us. God created man to work six days and rest one. If we ignore this basic rule of life, I promise you, we'll live to regret it. This is one reason why we hear of so many people that get rich, then have nervous breakdowns and heart attacks. They ignored this important principle. Genesis 2:4-7
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
God is the greatest teacher of all time, and the Bible is the greatest textbook. God shows us something, then He'll patiently go back to fill us in on important details we might have missed the first time. You see this phenomena all through the Bible. For instance the most important story of all time is the story of Jesus. God tells us this story, then goes back not once but three times, to be sure that we get the point. We call this the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You will also see this principle at work in Genesis, usually when you see the word generations.
Notice here also that it doesn't rain but a mist waters the ground daily. It stays this way for over 16 centuries until the great flood of Noah comes. That's one reason that no one believed Noah's warning above the flood. They had never seen it rain upon the earth.
While man's body is formed of the earth, it is not until God breathes the spirit into him that man really became a human being. We have a body, soul, and a spirit. We did not come from monkeys, frogs, or some little one-celled animals. We came from God. While Charles Darwin may have believed that idea at one time, I can promise you that he does not believe that theory today, wherever he may be.
And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel; that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria; and the fourth river is Euphrates.
Here is an exact description of the original location of the Garden of Eden. Did you ever wonder what became of the Garden of Eden? If you notice, the tree of life is in the midst of the garden. Take your Bible and run all the references on Eden, the tree of life, and paradise. You'll be amazed at what God's word has to say about this. Try it for yourself and find out.
and the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Question. Where is Eve while this is going on? If you look ahead to verse 21, you'll see that she's not created yet. This fact will become very important later on.
and the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the lord god formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Adam was a miraculous man. The day he enter the world, he can not only speak, but he is able to correctly give names to every kind of animal in the world. Also notice that God tells us something else very important about the way that man is made. It is not good for us to be alone. There are many cases of people who have been isolated for long periods of time and have lost their minds. God knew this. He made us that way for a reason.
Now God performs the first surgery. He puts Adam to sleep, and removes a rib. Did you ever wonder how many poor souls would have been save from needless pain and death, if doctors had realized this simple fact sooner. Put the patient to sleep before you operate on him. Then God made a woman from the rib. Again educated men laughed about this for hundreds of years.
What a ridiculous story. Making a person from a rib? It is just within the last few years that science has discovered that this process is indeed true. We just weren't smart enough to know it yet. Today that process is called cloning.
Please take careful note. It says one man and one woman. Two shall be one, not three or more. Also take note of the fact that it is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. One man was meant to marry one woman and anything else is sin in God's eyes.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, god hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
God has a plan for man. It was and is a glorious plan. Leave it to the old devil to come along and try to ruin everything. He's done this to each and every one of us at one time or another. Here he comes to muck up things for Adam and Eve. Satan brings Eve three lies. Take careful note of these lies. Never forget them. These lies will later come to be the basis for every false religion in the world today.
The first is 'Yea, hath God said?'. Satan did not come to Eve and say there was no God. That wouldn't work. Satan didn't even come to Eve saying he was God. Eve knew better than that. For Satan to destroy Eve's faith in God, he must destroy her faith in God's word. Satan is still in that same business today. The second lie is 'ye shall not surely die.'. The one thing that Satan is most frightened of is hell and the final judgment.
Every false religion has some other fate for their believers, either oblivion or reincarnation. For Satan's plan to work he must destroy your faith in the fact that it is given man once to die and then the judgment. For Satan any lie would be better than this eternal truth. He fears it terribly.
The third lie is 'ye shall be as gods.'. This is the lie that got Satan kicked out of heaven in the first place. Satan's entire master plan is wrapped around the fact that he really believes that someday, somehow he will finally defeat the forces of heaven and become God himself. Now he is using this same lie on Eve.
If you'll look closely at Eve's responses to these lies, you can begin to see where she got into trouble. She recites what God has said, but then she adds the phrase 'or touch it'. God had commanded Adam to not eat it only. At that point in time,
Eve had not even been created yet. Thus we come to a very important question. Who told Eve not to touch it? Was it Adam? Or did Eve make this up herself? We don't know, but for whatever reason Eve has made a fatal mistake. She has added to the word of god. Now remember Eve is sincere. She means well, but she has added to God's word and that has gotten her into trouble. Whole groups of people are still falling into this same trap today. They are sincere, they may mean well. In some cases, they may even think that they are doing God a great service, but adding to God's word has always, and will always get you into trouble.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her: and he did eat.
Now that Satan has found an opening in eve's defenses, he uses his famous one-two-three punch to finish Eve off. Satan tries to use this same attack on Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness, but Jesus is ready for him and only answers with God's word, correctly applying it and thus warding off Satan's fatal three way attack. This attack is given in detail in....
I John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world.
Notice the progression revealed here. First is the lust of the flesh. Eve sees the tree is good for food. Next is the lust of the eye. She sees it is pleasant to the eyes. Now Satan delivers his fatal blow, the pride of life. Eve sees that it is desired to make one wise. Eve takes the fatal bait. So does Adam. The rulers of the earth are defeated. Now if I beat the champion in any arena of life, I would then become the new champion. Satan has beaten the rulers of the earth. Thus he is now the new ruler of the earth. Jesus Himself will later state this fact in the New Testament.
And they eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Adam and Eve immediately have fallen natures. They have sinned, and now they are what we would call lost or accountable for their sins. Their innocence is gone, and they try to cover their nakedness with the works of their hands, aprons they make from fig leaves. We have already spoken of the three lies of all false religions. This is the fourth false doctrine of the system that god will later call Mystery Babylon. All false religions devise some system of works and rituals to pay for people's sins. God rejects all of men's attempts to cover their own sins. Only the blood of Jesus can truly do that.
and they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, what is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Now Adam and Eve first action after realizing they have sinned is to try to hide from God. Do you remember the last time you tried to hide from God? It's kind of hard to hide from someone who is everyplace at once, but we still all try, don't we?
God calls out to them, and at first Adam is honest. He's too scared not to be honest. Any lost person is afraid in the presence of God. They have a right to be. However, God questions Adam further he starts to lie. He is blaming the woman, God, anybody else for the fix he's in. Eve is blaming the serpent. There is even a term in psychology for it. It is called projection. Every lost soul does this too, until they realize that their sin is their own fault. A lost man must get to the point that he realizes his sin is his own fault before he can ever be saved.
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Now God speaks. First he puts a curse on the serpent. It is important to note that with God's first curse comes the first blessing. Verse 15 is the first prophetic verse in the Bible and it concerns Jesus. As you read through the Old Testament you will see this blessing passed from father to son, from generation to generation.
To Eve is given labor in conception. To Adam is given physical labor for survival. The earth is also cursed, and at this point, everything in the worlds begins to die, and we have been doing that ever since.
and Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
This is a very important verse also. You have some people today who believe that there were other people whom God had created in addition to Adam and Eve. This is called the pre-Adamic race theory. The Bible says very clearly here that Eve is the mother of all living. So here we can see that God's word puts an end to the pre-Adamic race theory.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
and the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
It is very important to see here that God's reason for putting man out of the garden is not punishment. He does it to keep us from the same fate as Satan. If we had eaten of the tree of life at this point in time, we would have been evil forever. He will not allow us access to that tree again until this sin problem is resolved, when there is a new heaven and a new earth where sin is eternally done away with.
So now we see how the earth began and how mankind fell into sin. One question still remain however. How long ago did all of this happen? Many student of the Holy Scriptures have carefully counted out the years as given in the Old Testament and, for the most part, have all arrived at the same conclusion. From the creation of the world until the birth of Jesus Christ is exactly 4,000 years. While it takes some time to do this, I would advise any serious student of god's word to do this. With a handful of scriptures and a few hours it is not that hard to add up the figures needed to show this. I have done it myself, and the experience has greatly increased my understanding of the Bible, and if I can do it, I know that just about anybody can. The Bible doesn't stop at the year however. God is much more precise than that. The month of the creation is given in....
In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover.
The first month of creation is the same month as the Passover. God gives us the name of this month in....
Observe the month of Abib and keep the passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.
So the creation of the universe occurred in the month of Abib, which occurs in the spring of the year, around the month of April; a most appropriate time of the year, don't you think? We have already seen that creation began on the first day. It also said that the day began with an evening. The Jews still reckon time that way today, and their day begins around 6:00 PM. Using this information, we can get the exact time for the beginning of God's creation. It was around 6:00 PM on the day of Abib 1, in the year of 4000 BC. As you can see, God tells us when the world began, down to the day and the hour, and a God who can do that is a God that is worthy of our worship, or as it says in....
thou art worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
THE SEED OF THE WOMAN-4000 BC to 2344 BC
and the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.-Genesis 3:22-41
Here is recorded the fall of man and the first human birth in history. This must have seemed quite a miracle to Adam and Eve. It was doubly important to them because of the promise that God had made to them before He drove them out of the garden. This promise is given in....
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Adam and Eve must have wondered if this was the man that God had spoken of. More importantly, Satan must have thought so too, and he began to act on this thought. If Cain was to be man's redeemer, then Satan had to destroy him. We will see in time how Satan begins to corrupt Cain so that the devil would win the battle for the souls of men. After Satan had committed himself to this plan, however, another event takes place that must have been very confusing for the devil....
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Now there are two boys. Could Satan be wrong with his first assumption? Could the younger boy, Abel, be his real enemy? Satan is already committed to the corruption of Cain, but what about this other son?
Please take note that Cain is a farmer, and Abel is a shepherd. All creatures before the flood ate plants, so being a farmer would make perfect sense, but why be a shepherd? One reason would be to make clothes, but a much more important reason is given in....
And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was wroth, and his countenance fell.
Here we see that God has already introduced the sacrifice system to man. Although the written laws concerning sacrifices would not be written down until the time of Moses, almost 2,500 years later, God has already begun the system that would point forward to the coming of His only begotten Son. While Abel brings a lamb, Cain brings plants to his altar. Did you ever wonder why Cain's sacrifice was rejected? It's not hard to understand if we look back at....
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skin, and clothed them.
Adam and Eve had tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves, but God rejected those coverings. There is an important reason for this. God was teaching them an important principle that we see throughout the rest of the Bible. This principle is given in ....
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Now Abel knows God's plan. He learned it from his father Adam. He brings a lamb. Therefore Cain knows God's plan also, but he brings plants, and plants don't bleed! You see, Cain's work was raising plants, and that's what he presents to God to cover his sins. He presents the works of his hands. This is why God does not honor Cain's sacrifice. Every false religion in the world today has some form of works by which they feel they will get to heaven. God will not honor their works either. Just as in Genesis 3 we are shown the first 3 laws of Mystery Babylon. Here, in chapter 4, we are shown the 4th law.
The rest of the Old Testament will be concerned with the rivalry between God's true worship and the false religions of the world. The animal sacrifice system will continue until the ultimate sacrifice comes. This is the one that all the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed to. John the Baptist says it best in....
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!
God talks plain to Cain. He knows what Satan's up to, and Cain is fulfilling Satan's desire. God explains to Cain that if he will do well, he can still rule over Satan, with God's help. God still tells us that today. Too bad we don't listen to Him any more than we do. Cain doesn't answer God. He just hangs his head, and walks away. You can plainly see where his heart is in the very next verse.
And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shall rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Keep in mind here that Abel was not simply killed because of his righteous actions. That is just the excuse that Satan used on Cain to get him to do it. The real reason that Abel was killed is because Satan was trying to destroy the seed promised by God. All through the Old Testament, Satan is trying his best to stamp out the seed, man's only chance at salvation. Abel was killed because Satan is really trying to kill the Messiah. Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, etc. are constantly being attacked by Satan as he tries to destroy Christ before He was even born. Later on we'll take a look at the lineage of the seed, also called the blessing, as it existed before the flood.
Once again God confronts Cain. He starts with a question. Now let's make this very clear. God knows exactly where Abel is. The only reason that He is asking this question is to give Cain a chance to admit his sin and repent. Cain decides to do a very stupid thing. He tries to lie to an all-knowing God. Have you ever tried doing that when God caught you in something wrong. It's downright stupid to try to lie to an all-knowing God, but we still do it anyway. Now the walls are down. God has given Cain a chance to repent, but he tries to lie out of it instead. So now God passes judgment. You have to admit, if you are a farmer, and God curses the ground you are standing on, you're in big trouble!
Cain is sorry, but not because he has killed Abel. He is sorry because he is caught, and he tries to tell God that He is being too hard on him. What audacity! There he stands with the blood of his own brother on his hands, complaining to God for the treatment he is receiving. It's truly a great sign of God's mercy that He didn't strike Cain dead on the spot!
When Eve named Cain, a man from the LORD, she sure named him right. He runs from the LORD all the rest of his days. In Genesis 4:16-17, it says that Cain knew his wife. Many people wonder where Cain's wife came from. I actually grew up reading this text all wrong. I used to think that it meant that Cain went to Nod and met this woman and they had kids. The scripture said he "knew" her. That's the same as in Genesis 4:1 when Adam knew Eve. It doesn't mean that Adam met her. They already knew each other in that sense of the word. Genesis 4:1 states that they had sexual relations, and Eve had a baby. It means the same thing with Cain here also. Who was Cain's wife? She must have been one of his kinfolk that had descended from Adam and Eve, of course.
It is also interested to note in these verses that Cain built a city. One generation from Adam and cities are being built. That's quite a different story from evolutionists saying that we lived in caves for millions of years, ain't it! Lots of wicked people built cities in the Bible. Then they had wicked cities. That's still true today. If you don't believe me, then go down to New York or San Francisco and see for yourself.
Lamech is given more time than anyone else in this group. This is to show how evil Cain's clan is becoming. Lamech is the first person recorded in the Authorized King James Bible as having two wives. He is the first adulterer. Today we would call him a bigamist, but that's not what God calls it. Lamech's sons are very intelligent, but a man being smarter does not necessarily make him a better person. You can educate a sinner, but all you'll get is an educated sinner, and that's more dangerous than what you started out with. Also notice that none of the people in this lineage have their death recorded in scripture. There is a very good reason for that which we will discuss later on. As we have already seen, Lamech is evil and things just continue to get worse.
What a guy! It's not bad enough that he is an adulterer. Now he goes out and commits murder, not once, but twice! Then he has the brass to come home and brag about it to his family. Is there any wonder why God decided to wipe this godless bunch off the face of the earth?
Satan thought the seed promised by God was Cain, so he destroyed him. Then he thought it was Abel, so he killed him. God had Satan fooled all the time. It is Seth, the third son, who is the seed that is to carry on the blessing. By the time that Satan figures this out, there are so many people on the face of the earth that he can't tell which man is the right one!
Also note here that men begin to call upon the name of the LORD. Then, just like now, if you call upon God, He'll hear you. As the good book says, everyone that calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!
We have been spending some time discussing Cain and his descendants, but what about the godly line that would lead to Jesus. In Matthew 1, we see the Bible's first statement that Jesus is the promised Messiah. It is only the first of many. In Luke 3, we see that the line stretches all the way back to Adam, but not through Cain or Abel.
The word "generations" in the Authorized King James Bible usually means that we are about to go back and review something important that we have already covered one time. We have seen Cain and the wild bunch that came after him. Now we are going to go back and see Adam and his righteous descendants.
Notice that on this list we begin with Adam. One the last list we started with Cain. That's because Cain was kicked out of the family. He wasn't just kicked out for killing Abel, but also because he never believed God and repented. This group will later be called the children of men. The group we're reading about now is called the sons of God. Although Adams was created, and not born, he was the first person called a son of God according to the genealogy given in:
The verses leading up to that one trace the lineage of Jesus Christ all the way back to Adam through his mother Mary. In Matthew 1 you can read Jesus' lineage traced through his step-father Joseph. In Genesis 5 we have the same list only in reverse.
Here we want to stop and pick up some important facts about this list of names. God put certain things in to help clear up any problems we might run into when studying the genealogy to Jesus Christ later on.
First, it is already evident that Seth is not Adam's first son. Seth is, however, Adam's firstborn. The term firstborn applies to the male child in any who would lead the family on the death of his father. The list we are following now is the list of those in each generation who were chosen by God to be next in line for the blessing of the seed that would lead finally to Christ. They also became the high priest for the family when the father died. This would remain true until the time of Jacob, when Joseph will become the firstborn, but the blessing of the seed will go to his older brother, Judah.
Second, take not that Adam had many children. How many children could a couple have if they lived 900 years? Lots! That's where Cain's wife came from, all of those other kids.
Third, please note that, for the first time, the death of a man is mentioned in the generations. None of the deaths are mentioned in the previous list of Cain's descendants. Did you ever wonder why this is? The answer is right there in your Authorized King James Bible.
Finally, notice the raw power that existed in the body that God created for Adam. According to Genesis 2 and 3, Adam ate a deadly poison when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Here we read that it took over 900 years for that poison to finally kill him. When God makes something, He makes it to last.
Those that believe in evolution tell us that man is always improving, yet we have already seen just how intelligent that pre-historic man was. All over the earth today, thousands of years later, there still stand great structures like the pyramid at Geza, and great cities like those found in the jungles of South America that bear testimony to the great genius of early man. The men who lived before the flood were mental giants compared to us today. Imagine, if you will, a man like Albert Einstein and what he accomplished in his lifetime. Now think of what he could have accomplished if he had lived for eight or nine hundred years, in a world that was a paradise compared to our world today. We cannot begin to guess at the knowledge of the pre-diluvian man.
Enoch is the first speaking prophet mentioned in the Authorized King James Bible. One of the prophecies that he spoke is given in....
Just think of it! Here is Enoch, a man who lived at the same time as Adam, who saw Jesus coming back with his saints to judge the earth. Even before the flood, God had revealed much of His plan to His people. It also seems that Enoch spent a lot of time talking about the ungodly people of his day. It's easy to understand why after we have studied Cain's family. By the standards of his day, Enoch did not live very long. There is a very special reason for this. The scriptures say that Enoch did not die, as the others before him. The Authorized King James Bible says that God took him. This is further explained in....
TRANSLATED! I love that word! When we translate something it means that we change it from one form of language to another. That's what God did to Enoch's body. He changed it from a mortal form to an immortal one, so that he would not die. When Enoch's job was done on this earth, God took him out of it before His judgment fell on the evil world of that day. God is going to do that to His people again some day too!
Here we have the Bible's oldest man. Did you ever wonder why God let Methuselah live so long? It is yet another example of God's grace extended to sinful man. You see, Methuselah's father was Enoch. Enoch gave his son a very special name. The word "Methu" means "Death". The word "Selah" means "Stop and think about it." You see the term "selah" several times in the book of Psalms. So the name Methuselah means "When he dies, stop and think about it." Stop and think about what? Let's read on and see what God meant here.
Now according to this, Methuselah was 187 years old when he begat Lamech. When Lamech was 182 years old, he begat Noah. We need one more piece of data to complete our calculations. This is found in....
When Noah was 600 years old, the flood comes. Taking these three figures, we get 187 + 182 + 600 = 969 years. This is the same figure as Mehuselah's age. Now Methuselah did not die in the flood. He is listed as one of the faithful. If he had been alive when the flood came, he would have been with Noah on the ark. Therefore Methuselah died the same year that the flood came. Now you have to admit that God's coming judgment was indeed something that men needed to stop and think about.
In other words, nearly 1,000 years before the flood came, God had told Enoch that judgment was coming. Enoch also knew that the judgment would not fall as long as Methuselah was alive. That's why God allowed Methuselah to live so long! God have men nearly 1,000 years to repent while Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and finally Noah preached repentance. So when the year came for Methuselah to die, all men would know that their time was about to run out! In spite of all this, mankind would still, on the whole, continue to go their evil way. Methuselah's long life is yet another testimony to God's long-suffering grace! Now, let's take a moment to see what it was that would finally cause God to bring the flood. We find this in....
Now there is a lot of disagreement over what God meant when he said "the sons of God". As you have already seen, I believe these were men who believed in God, but there are at least two other schools of thought on this matter. The first I call the pagan theory. This theory is that there are other gods, like Jesus, the Son of God, who mated with these women. You see this same idea a lot when you read ancient Greek and Roman mythology. The characters, like Hercules, Theseus, and Perseus were all supposed to be children born of such marriages. The other theory I call the angelic theory. In this, people believe that fallen angels mated with these women, causing the giants to be born. This group also usually will state that nowhere in the Old Testament are men called the sons of God. However they seem to overlook the fact that fallen angels are not called sons of God anywhere in either Testament.
I don't subscribe to either of these theories for a couple of reasons. First, it breaks God's law of kinds given in Genesis 1. All living creatures can only mate and produce offspring with their own kind. You have to admit that angels and people are definitely two different kinds of creatures. Also according to the scripture, Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, so there's not a bunch of other divine sons running around on earth or in heaven. As far as the angels go, Jesus makes a very important statement about this in....
According to Jesus, angels neither marry, nor are given in marriage. There's a simple reason for this. God created angels to serve Him forever, not to reproduce. God created man to reproduce offspring and populate the earth. You never see any lady angels or baby angels in the Bible. You will see angels take the form of men when they appear to us, but that only means they look like men. They are, in actuality, a different type of being altogether, so they could not mate and have kids with anyone because God did not make them that way! We have already seen where Adam was called a son of God (Luke 3:38), but that is in the New Testament. In the New Testament all of the saved are called the sons of God (John 1:12). Some people believe that men are not called sons of God in the Old Testament, but they must not have read....
As we mentioned earlier, the sons of Seth are marrying the daughters of Cain. Now all down through the Bible you will see that when godly men start messing with ungodly women, or vice versa, they always end up in trouble. Samson, David, and Solomon are just a few examples of this. At this time we also see there are giants on the earth. We read earlier about the mark of Cain. God's mark on Cain was to make him a giant. Sure enough, when Seth's kids start marrying Cain's kids, they get giants for kids. God changed Cain into a giant to protect him, and his kids carried that change in their chromosomes. Here, in the Bible, God is showing us what today is called the science of genetics, thousands of years before men knew anything about it. Yes, it's all in the book!
Here is another evidence that the sons of God that are mentioned here are men. God is holding man alone to blame for the evil that is going on and never mentions angels. Whenever godly folk start hanging out with ungodly folk, they will almost always end up in trouble. That's what happens to the whole earth in the story here. Now God has allowed it to go on long enough. Now keep in mind that God doesn't repent like men do. We repent when we realize that we have done wrong and turn away from our sin. God does not sin. When God says he repents, He means that He has to turn His back on those who refuse to repent and let His judgment fall. If you don't want God, He will not force Himself on you. God doesn't like to do it, but sometimes it is the only way to get us to turn back to Him.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. How did Noah find grace? The Authorized King James Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith. Noah was a just man. How was he just? The Holy Scriptures say that the just will live by faith. Noah was perfect. How was he perfect? The word of God says that God counts our faith as righteousness. Noah walked with God. How? The Bible says we walk with God by faith and not by sight. Yes, it is by faith that we all are saved! God has taken us right up to the edge of the great flood, but now we go back about 100 years to when God first told Noah about the flood. Noah has at least three kids, and it was a terrible world to have to raise those kids in. By the way, it is not much different from the world today. God didn't wait long then, and He won't wait much longer now either!
Now Noah already knows that the time must be getting close. His grandfather, Methuselah, is already over 850 years old. His daddy Lamech is a priest also, but he will be dead in a few years, so when Methuselah dies, Noah will become the family high priest, and great grandfather Enoch has long since gone on. Noah himself is already 500 years old and closer to God than anyone else on the planet. How close to God do you think you could get in 500 years? If you love the LORD, someday you will get to find out!
God said to make the ark about 450 feet long. That's the length of one and one half football fields. It was 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. That would make it roughly the size of a World War II aircraft carrier. It also had three floors on the inside. Now that's some big boat for one man to make, but when you've got three strong sons, and a hundred years to build it in, it can be done, with God's help.
So God gave Noah his marching orders. First, build a boat on dry land, fill it with animals and food. Then get in and wait. That must have seemed awfully ridiculous to the people living then. they laughed at Noah for a hundred years, while he built and prepared as God had directed. In the end, however, God had the last laugh! As the word of God says in....
Are you being laughed at because, like faithful Noah, you are trying to do God's will. don't fret! God will deliver you someday, as it says in....
II Peter 3:11-13
Now let's take a moment here to review all the facts that we have accumulated thus far. God's first great event in history is called the creation. The story of the creation begins in....
To determine just when the creation began, we need to drop down a few verses to the first reference in the scriptures to time as we know it.
The event called the creation started on the first day of all of history. The Bible uses only numbers for the days and months until the time of Moses, when the months are given names. Before that time, God simply numbered the months, as we will see in more detail later on. Therefore the creation began on the first day of the first month of all time. God gives us the name of the first month using two verses. The first verse is....
The first month is the month in which God directed the Jews to celebrate the passover. God gives us the name of this month in....
With this information, we now know that the creation of the universe began on the first day of the month of Abib. On the Christian calendar, the month of Abib falls in the spring around the month of March and April. God began his creation in the spring, a most appropriate time of year, don't you think!
The periods of time that span God's seven great events are very carefully counted out year by year in the Bible. God, in His infinite wisdom, had the Old Testament writers document all of the years from the creation of the universe to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The first of these periods begins at the creation and ends at the flood. The best name to describe this period appears in one of the most important of all Old Testament passages found in....
The seed is a term that refers to the line of humanity that begins with Adam and ends with Jesus. The word seed specifically points to Jesus himself in most scriptural references. However in some cases it can refer to the ancestors of Jesus also, as we see in....
The period of time that we call the seed can be counted out by years in Genesis chapters 5 and 7. God counts the years, beginning at the creation of Adam, from the conception of one son to the next. The scriptures also reveal the number of years from Noah's conception to the flood itself in....
Thus the total years from the creation to the flood break down as follows:
There is a total of 1,656 years from the creation of the universe to the flood of Noah. Therefore if the creation took place in 4000 BC, the flood of Noah took place in 2344 BC.
THE FLOOD OF NOAH-ZIF 17, 2344 BC
In Hebrews 11:7, Noah is listed as the third name in a long list of the faithful Old Testament saints. Noah was born around 2944 BC, 600 years before the great flood. For several centuries, Noah's ancestors; Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech had preached that God's judgment was coming upon all the people of the earth. When Noah became 500 years old, God revealed to him the form that this judgment would take. God tells Noah that he must build an ark, roughly the size of a modern day aircraft carrier, because in 100 years God was going to cause something to happen that had never taken place before. What God was speaking of is first mentioned in....
It had never rained upon the earth before the time of the flood. Now God would cause a rain that would destroy all life on the face of the globe. What was God's reason for doing this? Because the situation on the earth had become that desperate. Have you ever wondered what the world looks like from God's view? As an example, take the last time you were out on a clear night. When you looked up toward God, what did you see? You probably saw a night sky full of stars.
That is very similar to what God sees when He looks at the world. The Bible says that the earth is in darkness. It became a kingdom of darkness with Satan's victory over Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Every saved person is a light in that darkness because we have the light of God in our hearts.
Now imagine your horror if you looked up at a night sky, and found that nearly all the stars had gone out. That's how God felt in the days of Noah. By the time of the flood, there were only 9 tiny lights left in the kingdom of darkness. Then, with the death of Methuselah, there remain only 8, Noah and his family. In time their earthly lives would also end, and the entire world would be lost to Satan. There would be no one left to tell the future generations of God's plan of salvation.
It is at this point in time that God decides to turn the tables on the enemy, and to end this threat to all the souls that were yet unborn. God would destroy all of this evil generation, but not before He would spend the last 100 years trying to win them all back to Himself. However, after a century of preaching, not one new convert comes forth, so dark has the hearts of men become. Then, and only then, does God call his children out of the world, and into the ark of safety as shown in....
As the ark is being loaded, we see two new terms introduced into our Bible vocabulary, clean and unclean. What do these terms mean? The explanation is given in....
According to this and other scriptures, clean animals were to be eaten, while unclean were not. This was a very new concept indeed considering what God had told Adam before the flood in....
Before the flood, all living creatures ate plants. There were no meat eaters in God's original creation. As we will see later, this rule is about to change, not only for man, but for animals as well.
The last week before the flood, God uses a miracle to load the ark. Animals gather from all over the earth to enter the ark. Even the hardest hearted of sinners must have wondered when this began to take place. Put another way, even the dumbest of animals answered God's call, making them smarter than most of the men on the planet at that time.
God's way of measuring time in the Old Testament is extremely accurate. By adding up the years from the creation until the time that Noah is 600 years old, you get a total of 1,656 years. By subtracting this figure from 4000 BC, the year of the creation, you arrive at the year of the flood, which is 2344 BC. God even gives us the name of the second month in....
So the flood began on Zif 17, 2344 BC which is exactly 1,656 years, 1 month, and 16 days after the beginning of the creation. Is God precise or what? An interesting side note here is that over the past few decades, scientists have been studying what is called continental drift. it seems that all of the continents are drifting apart, and were once all part of one huge land mass. This original super-continent is called Pangea. An entirely new branch of science called plate tectonics has been built up around this theory. It was during the great flood that this single land mass broke up as we have just read in Genesis. As I have always said, good science will always catch up with the Bible sooner or later!
The rain falls for forty days. Weathermen say that if all the moisture that is currently in the atmosphere turned into rain, it would fall for less than 9 hours. The reason that it rains so long here is because God had originally place a huge layer of moisture above the atmosphere of the earth that protected it from the harmful rays of the sun and created a green-house effect in our atmosphere. This is one reason that people lived so long before the flood. This moisture canopy is what crashes down for forty days destroying all life on the face of the earth.
Now 15 cubits is roughly 22 1/2 feet, so the waters rose over twenty feet above the top of the highest mountains. Why so high? A Christian friend of mine recently commented that this might have been because there were giants before the flood, and that God was going to be sure it covered them, even if they made it to the mountain tops. An interesting thought, to say the least.
Have you ever wondered why God went to so much time and trouble to kill all those folks, when He could have done it just as well with a simple snap of the fingers? The reason is that the story of the flood is one of the greatest stories of God's mercy and grace in all of the Old Testament. God waited until nearly every saved person on the planet had died out to give those lost folks every chance possible to be saved. He sends prophets and miracles to get man's attention. Then finally He sent the flood itself and really got their attention!
Even after the door of the ark was shut, God gave those folks 40 days to run, hide, and think about God. If Noah had been right about the flood, maybe he was right about God too! As the waters rose, men forgot all other matters and thought about God. Face it! If you won't cry out to God when the water reaches your knees, you'll never cry out to Him, and it has always been a great truth of the scriptures that whosoever calleth upon the name of the LORD shall be saved. There was also countless children at that time that would never grow up to become lost, because the flood took them before they became accountable. All those people physically died in the flood, but only eternity will reveal just how many of them turned to God in those last days after God closed the door of the ark.
When it says here that God remembered Noah, it simply means that God never forgot those in the ark. They were as safe as a bug in a rug. God didn't bring them this far to just let them drown. The eighth chapter of Genesis is almost entirely given to the recording of dates surrounding the flood. There are a total of seven dates given here, so we will spend some time discussing each of these. The first date we have just read. On the 17th day of the 7th month, exactly 150 days after the flood began, the ark landed on Mt. Ararat. God gave the name of the 7th month in....
I Kings 8:2
Now God never puts anything in the Bible that is not important. It is very important to note that there are exactly 150 days from Zif 17 to Ethanim 17. If 150 days equal exactly 5 months, then 1 month would equal exactly 30 days. 30 days times 12 months will give you exactly 360 days in a year before the flood. In fact, many ancient cultures before the flood recorded the year as being only 360 days long. Today our year is 365 1/4 days long. That means that during the flood period, the orbit of the earth actually changed, putting us slightly further away from the sun. This is one of the reasons that life shortened after the flood. The earth's atmosphere is now colder than before the flood.
God gives us the name of the 10th month in....
On Tebeth 1, the mountain tops are seen again around Mt. Ararat. The waters are now going down and will finally settle into the oceans where they still are today. By the way, the reason that the oceans are so salty today is because of all the dead animal and human bodies that were swept to the bottom of the oceans during the flood.
Noah sends out a raven that he has on the ark. It doesn't return, so he sends out a dove. The dove returns because there is not yet sufficient land above the water for vegetation to begin growing again. This experiment is repeated forty days later. This would fall on the 11th day of the 11th month. God named the 11th month in....
Therefore, on Sebat 11, Noah made his next attempt to find dry land.
Now we're up to Sebat 18. This time the dove returns with an olive branch. Plant life has begun to take root again and grow. Today we still use this symbol, the dove with an olive branch, as the symbol of peace all over the world.
As last, on Sebat 25, the dove does not return. It has finally found a place to next, so quite a bit of the land must be above the water now.
God's first month appears in....
So, on God's new year's day, Abib 1, in the year of 2343 BC, Noah removed the covering from the ark. He had to remove the top of the ark to get out because God had shut the door, and when God shuts something, it stays shut!
Noah and his family finally leave the ark on Zif 27. They had lived in the ark a total of 370 days, or 1 year and 10 days by pre-flood years. Now at last, God has given them a new world to dwell in from an evil mankind, at least for the moment.
Noah's first official act after leaving the ark is to offer a sacrifice to God for His deliverance from the flood. We should all remember to thank God for deliverance from the floods in our lives.
Here is another thing that makes God and man alike. God has a heart. How often we must break God's heart. This is the third time God has cursed the ground. The first was with Adam in Eden. The second was with Cain. The next time judgment comes, the earth will be burned up and replaced with a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
It is important to note that God mentions here the four seasons: seedtime or spring, harvest or fall, summer, and winter. These seasons will now become much more pronounced and noticeable with the earth's new orbit. As men spread over the earth, those that reject God will begin to worship the sun in the sky above them, and the seasons that are caused by the orbital change of the earth. The festivals our Gentile ancestors began during the subsequent centuries away from God, we are still celebrating today, in Halloween, and the Gentile sides of Christmas and Easter.
In the ninth chapter of Genesis, we are introduced to some very important facts. First, man's relationship to animals takes a radical change from one of dominion to one of fear. Before the flood, animals simply obeyed men. Now they run from them in fear. This is because man will now have to eat animals to live. Animals also now must eat flesh to survive, and guess what Noah and his family are made of! God also here institutes capital punishment. This is yet another area where, if we listened to God today, our society would be much better off. God proclaims His first covenant in....
I want to make it very clear here that this is the story of a worldwide flood. Some feel that it might have just been a localized flood of some sort, but to believe this is to say that the verse we have just read is a lie. God said it. That settles it, whether I believe it or not.
Every time that we see a rainbow or a cloud, it is a sign of God's promise that there will never be another worldwide flood. Notice here also that not only rainbows, but clouds are also a new thing on the earth, because after the flood, the atmosphere has changed as it begins to rain on a regular basis now. The faith of Noah's family was probably really put to a test the first time it rained after the flood, but as the thunder roared, old Noah explained why it would never be another worldwide flood. God has been faithful to that covenant from that day to this, and will continue to do so until the world is no longer around to be flooded. Praise His holy name!
What in the world would make Noah go out and get drunk after all he had been through with God? It would seem that he would know better, doesn't it? We don't know for sure, but a florist friend of mine recently made an interesting comment on this. he said that the conditions on the earth prior to the flood might have been such that grape juice simply did not ferment as it does now. Noah might have thought it was just grape juice when he drank it. Whether he knew it was fermented or not, he got drunk anyway.
Satan wastes no time, does he? Before the flood, Cain became Satan's man. Here we see that the devil has found another willing servant in Noah's son Ham. Now Ham is one evil guy! He sees his father in a bad fix, and runs off to blab about it! Ever seen somebody like that? More importantly, have you ever been somebody like that? Notice that Noah's other sons know to cover their father's nakedness. You won't find any laws concerning nakedness written down until nearly 1,000 years later, but God showed these folks what right and wrong was long before Moses wrote any of it down.
Notice that Ham is not cursed for his evil. His son Canaan receives the curse. This fact will be explained later, but for now, let me say this one thing. One of the truest texts of scriptures, and one of the saddest facts of life, is that our sins are often visited upon our children.
Shem here is chosen as the family firstborn. This does not mean that he is necessarily the oldest. It means that he was chosen by God to be the family high priest when his father Noah dies. Shem is also to receive the blessing which means he is the one who will be the father of the people from whom Christ shall be born, as foretold in....
Through Shem shall come Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel from which shall be born Jesus Christ. However, there shall come a day when the descendants of Japheth would take over Shem's place in God's program. We will expand on these verses later on. Let me say for now that Noah, through the Holy Ghost, is making one of the most sweeping prophecies in all of human history.
Noah dies around 1994 BC at the age of 950 years, the oldest living man after the flood. At Noah's death, one half of all Old Testament history has ended. In fact this is also one third of all human history up to today. It is no wonder that Satan hates the first ten chapters of the Bible so much. One half of Old Testament history is covered in the first ten chapters of Genesis. The story of the creation and the flood are very important parts of our Christian heritage, and the devil would do anything to destroy our faith in this part of the word of God because it reveals so much about him and his evil plans. Genesis 10 tells of the genealogy of Noah's sons after the flood. The first five verses cover the sons of Japheth. A very important verse is....
Did you ever wonder, if all the people after the flood came from one family, why we have all the different languages around today. It's because all the people of the earth were divided up by their tongues, or languages, shortly after the flood at the tower of Babel. When this occurred, the sons of Japheth would migrate northward from the Middle East. In time they would populate the continent of Europe, and become what we call today, the Caucasian race. Verses six to twenty cover the children of Noah's son Ham. An important set of verses here is....
Nimrod is the first king mentioned in the Bible. It was he that directed the building of the tower of Babel, causing God to confound man's languages. After that most of Ham's descendants move southward from Babel. As the centuries pass, Ham's descendants will populate the Middle East and Africa, from which we get our Ethiopian race. Meanwhile the children of Canaan will become the Canaanites who will settle the land that would eventually become Israel.
The last part of Genesis 10 tells us of Shem's children. When the languages become mixed, Shem's children will move eastward. These people will populate Asia, and from them will come the third major race of mankind, the Mongolian. As we have already mentioned, one of Shem's descendants Abraham will become the father of the nation of Israel. As Noah foretold in Genesis 9, Canaan would serve Shem.
This prophecy would be fulfilled when, around 1500 BC, the children of Israel would leave Egypt and conquer the land of Canaan, re-naming it Israel, which it is still called today. These are the same people who would finally become so hard-hearted that, when the Messiah Jesus Christ does come, they reject and crucify Him. Because of this rejection, the blessing of the spreading of the Gospel is turned over to the children of Japheth, as foretold by the last part of Noah's prophecy.
The entire New Testament outlines how God prepared the children of Japheth to sit in the tents of Shem, as shown in
Paul's writings in....
So here we see that Paul echoes the truth given by a man who lived over 2,000 years before him, Noah; the priest, prophet, and boat builder. In closing I wish to say that the story of Noah and the flood are so vitally important to the truth of the Holy Scriptures that Jesus Himself referred to them when speaking of His own return in....
THE SONS OF NOAH-2344 BC to 1487 BC
Abraham was called the father of the faithful. He was the first of the patriarchs of Israel. Through Abraham and his seed the line was to be continued that would end in the greatest blessing of all time; Jesus Christ, come in the flesh. The lineage through which this blessing would come began with Adam and Eve. In the midst of man's fall into our present, sinful state, God gave them the blessing, also called the promise of the seed in....
The line of the seed went from Adam, through his son Shem and his descendants, to Noah at the flood. The earth was then re-populated by Noah and his sons, as we see in....
These three sons of Noah and their children spread over the whole earth and became the three major races that we know of today. The sons of Shem would move east and become the Mongolian race, occupying the continent of Asia. The sons of Ham moved south and became the Ethiopian race, occupying the continent of Africa. Finally the sons of Japheth moved north and became the Caucasian race, occupying Europe. It would be the sons of Shem that would ultimately bring forth the promised seed of Genesis 3, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Before we can begin to discuss this period of biblical history, which I call the sons period, we need to review the history of the world leading up to their time. In the world of science, one of the basic laws is called Newton's third law. This law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It could easily be said that the entire history of the earth could be based upon the same premise. The first action in the physical universe took place in....
This was God's first action, the creation of a perfect universe. Satan initiated the first reaction by causing man's fall. In the midst of the curse that resulted from this reaction, God revealed his next action, as we have already seen. God gave the promise of a redeemer. Satan's reaction to this was to try to search out and destroy the seed before He could destroy the devil. Over a period of several centuries, Satan nearly corrupts the entire race of man in this effort.
God's next action was the flood of Noah. With the flood, He would cleanse the earth of sinful men, thus giving mankind a fresh start. As soon as Noah and his family left the ark, Satan started back to work again. As in any military campaign, Satan began searching for the weak link in his victim's defenses. The first weak link he finds is Noah's son Ham. Years later, he would also use Ham's grandson Nimrod to begin the first organized revolt against God after the flood, as shown in....
This was the first stage of a program that still exists today, and will continue until Jesus Christ Himself returns to finally destroy this evil system in its entirety. This system is even given a name in....
This system, called Mystery Babylon, as shown here is the mother of all the false religions in the world today. Every false worship system on the earth share some or all of the doctrines of Mystery Babylon. The first 3 doctrines are given in Genesis 3. They are....
1-"Yea, hath God said?"-or questioning the word of God.
2-"Ye shall not surely die."-or no final judgment for the wicked.
3-"Ye shall be as gods."-or man is able to become a god.
The 4th principle of Mystery Babylon is found in Genesis 4. This principle is shown when Cain brings a sacrifice of his own choosing despite the clear instructions of God to the contrary. God had specified an animal sacrifice. Cain was a farmer and brought the works of his hand, the fruit of the ground. Today we call this salvation by works, and this is the 4th doctrine of Mystery Babylon. Around 300 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus would come to the correct conclusion when he said that all the religions of the world originally came from Babylon. That is, all except one.
You can see in the story of the tower of Babel that all of these factors are already at work again within the first century following the flood. Some scholars feel that this tower was built in a literal attempt to enter heaven. Others feel it was built as a ziggurat and to be used to read the stars and tell the future. Still others feel that it was man's effort to build a structure tall enough to reach above the waters should another flood come. Whatever the original reason, here men are trying to save themselves rather than turn to God for their salvation. The very audacity of it! Men thinking that they could build a tower and, in effect, enter heaven by crawling in through God's bedroom window. It is a true sign of God's grace and mercy that he didn't fry them all on the spot! God does react to this new rebellion, however, in....
From Babel men migrated to the four corners of the earth. The sons of Shem, for the most part, would travel into Asia and today are called the Mongolian race. The sons of Japheth would travel into Europe and become the Caucasian race. The children of Ham travel south into Africa to become the Ethiopian race. The most important fact here is that all men are created equal. They come from one original lineage and they all adapted to the part of the world that they finally came to live in.
The equality of all people is one of the basic tenets of the Holy Scriptures. It has always been the evil in men's hearts that made them want to enslave one another. That is, it was that way until 1859. In that year a book was written called "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of the Favored Races in the Struggle for Life". This book would take the scientific community by storm. Today we know this book by its shorter title, "Origin of Species", by Charles Darwin.
Darwin's cousin, Sir Francis Galton, was so impressed with this book that he became a pioneer in the field of study that we today call Eugenics; the science of the breeding of humans to create a super race. In 1907 at the Vienna University in Austria, a young student had his life totally changed by these teachings. In 1924 this young man wrote a book entitled "My Struggle". Today we know this book as "Mein Kampf". The author was Adolph Hitler. The whole goal of Nazism was to eliminate the inferior races and breed a super race of men. As Hitler himself put it, "I have taken evolution and applied it to world politics.".
Before we leave the tower of Babel, we need to see the two new parts of the Mystery Babylon doctrine that were introduced there. These two doctrines are revealed to us by the prophet Isaiah, when speaking of Babylon in....
It is at the tower of Babel that men are first introduced to sorcery and astrology. Sorcery is using supernatural sources to control the natural world. Astrology is using the stars to foretell the future. Both of these evil disciplines are still with us today. If you don't think so, just watch some Saturday morning cartoons or check your local paper for the horoscopes.
The last part of Genesis 11 is given to the counting of the years from the flood until the death of Terah, the father of Abraham. By adding these years together, you will discover that there are 427 years from the flood to the death of Terah.
At this point in time, God stops counting the years by the generations. At the death of Terah, when Abram is 75 years old, God makes a very important promise to Abram and the rest of the period that I call the sons of Noah is measured from this point. Therefore if the flood occurred in 2344 BC, then the year of Abraham's promise would be 1917 BC.
Now keep in mind that Satan is still trying to track down and destroy the seed, but by now men have spread over the earth by the thousands so he's probably lost the trail again. However, several miraculous happenings that occur around Abraham in Genesis 12 through 21 have probably caught the devil's attention by now. This is one reason why Abraham and his descendants face so much trouble and persecution during this period. Abraham is promised that through his seed all the world would be blessed. Paul gives us some very important insights into this promise in....
The law was given to Moses during the Exodus. Here then Paul tells us that it is 430 years from the promise of Abraham to the Exodus. According to this, and other verses, the Exodus occurred around 1487 BC. With all of this in mind, let us now return to Abraham's promise. God promised Abraham a child by Sarah. This child did not come until 25 years after the promise was made. Finally, when Abraham was 100 years old, God fulfills his first promise to him in....
Abraham's son Isaac, at the age of 60, fathers the next person in the line to Jesus in....
Just as with Cain, Satan corrupts Esau, and nearly corrupts Jacob, but after many years of hardship, much of which he brought upon himself, God prevailed in Jacob's life. In the process of time, Jacob would begat 12 sons. Now Satan is stumped once again. Which son will be in line to carry the seed. He must have been totally at a loss until a most unusual event takes place in....
Joseph's father, Jacob took note of what Joseph had said. You can bet that the devil did too! Satan used the envy of Joseph's brothers in an attempt to kill Joseph, and thus destroy the coming Messiah before He was even born. At the last moment, however, the brothers sell Joseph into slavery instead. While in Egypt, Satan tried to use an evil woman to get Joseph killed also. God intervenes once again and Joseph is put into prison, a place from which in time, he would arise to be the governor of all of Egypt.
God used these events to bring Jacob and his family under the protection of the nation of Egypt. In Genesis 47 we see that tremendous wealth is transferred to Egypt because Pharaoh listened to the warnings of Joseph. This caused Egypt to become the first of the world powers of the Old Testament world. All of this happened because a young man was sent to Egypt as a slave. Years later, when a Pharaoh would be raised up that knew not Joseph, all of this wealth would be given to the Egyptians slaves when God took them out of Egypt, forever destroying that nation as a world power. One of the most interesting facts in this story is that all the time that Satan spent trying to destroy the seed by destroying Joseph was time wasted. The blessing of the seed came not through Joseph, but through another of his brothers, as revealed in....
Here we see that it is through Joseph's brother Judah, or as it is given in the Greek language Judas, that Christ came into the world. So, after all his persecution of Joseph, Satan would understand years later that it was all in vain. You think he would learn after a while, don't you?
So finally, after sojourning in Canaan for 215 years, the children of Israel would enter Egypt where they would stay for yet another 215 years. It is at the end of this time that God will call the nation of Israel out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. At that time, in a matter of days, Egypt is stripped of all that God had given it because they, as a nation, had turned their back on God. Our own nation should take heed of this warning while there is still time to repent. There is one more point that we need to consider before we end our discussion of the sons of Noah. That is one particular person who is mentioned in....
The person we wish to discuss here is the third son of Issachar, Job. This is the same Job who is mentioned in the book that bears his name. The book of Job was written around 150 years before the time of Moses. This makes the book of Job the oldest book in the Bible. Job lived about 700 years after the flood, around 1650 BC. The age of his book becomes very important when you consider the creature that he describes in....
Now, when I was a young boy, I just knew what this thing was. I had seen pictures of it in my science book at school. It was my favorite of all the dinosaurs. It was called the brontosaurus. Recently I learned that the scientists now say there was no brontosaurus. They had made a mistake, and put the wrong head on a skeleton. Later they found the right head, and now they call it an apatosaurus. They can call it whatever they want to. It will always be behemoth to me. As if that wasn't enough, the very next chapter of Job describes a giant reptile even stranger than our friend behemoth. This creature is mentioned in....
The rest of this chapter describes a fearsome giant beast covered with scales. These and other huge lizards described in the Bible roamed the earth in the time of Noah and Job. for the most part, they dies out shortly after the flood. Today we call these creatures dinosaurs. Now the word dinosaur does not appear in the Bible. The reason is that this word did not exist when the Authorized King James Bible was translated. This word was created a little over a century ago, and it means big lizard. If you look in the Bible for big lizards, you can find plenty of them, as we have just seen. Today scientists say these creatures died out millions of years before man appeared on the earth. Do you ever wonder how Job could have seen them in his day, if this were true?
For years, scholars laughed at the Authorized King James Bible because it spoke of these creatures. Then some years ago, the laughter suddenly stopped as scientists began digging up the bones of these huge animals. Today we call them dinosaurs, and men readily accept the fact that they once existed. So, once again, modern man finally gets smart enough to figure out that the Bible is true, after all. As I have always said, true science will always catch up with the Bible sooner or later.
We still face one problem here however. The modern theory of evolution teaches that the dinosaurs died out millions of years before man appeared on the earth. If that is true, then how can it be that, not only the Bible, but also nearly every culture on the face of the earth have stories, legends, and even detailed drawings of dinosaurs. Of course, some are called dragons, sea serpents, behemoths, or leviathans, but the descriptions are almost all the same. How could men from all over the earth know of something that died out millions of years before any of these men were born? This is only a problem, however, if you want to believe man's latest theory of his origin. I'll stick with the word of God, thank you. It is far more accurate.
In closing, I wish to say this. As mentioned earlier, God promised Abraham a son. It was 25 years before this promise was fulfilled. God also promised a land to Abraham's children, but it was centuries before the children of Abraham would enter this land. What I am trying to say here is be patient. God will provide you with whatever it is you need, but He will do it in His own good time. He will do it at the exact moment that it is best for Him and us, and so that we wouldn't feel sorry for Abraham, the Apostle Paul tells us what else God also gave him in....
THE EXODUS OF ISRAEL-ABIB 14, 1487 BC
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.-Hebrews 11:23-29
One of the most miraculous series of events in Old Testament history is called simply the Exodus. Here in Hebrews, the Apostle Paul gives us a brief outline of the story of the children of Israel and their departure from the nation of Egypt. A more detailed summary of this is given in the book of Acts. This outline ends with....
In this passage Stephen under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, tells us that the people of God who wandered in the wilderness, over 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, were called the church. For 40 years the church lived in the wilderness, until God had prepared them to possess the land that He had promised to their ancestor Abraham, over 400 years earlier. Jacob and his household entered Egypt around 1700 BC. In Egypt, at least for a while, life was very good for God's people. Why then did they ever decide to leave? A major event took place that changed the status of God's people in this land in....
This Pharaoh saw God's people as a threat to his kingdom. Satan put in Pharaoh's heart a plan to kill all the Israeli baby boys in Egypt. All through the Old Testament, one of Satan's main attacks has been against the male descendants of Adam through Abraham. This is because of a curse placed on Satan by God in....
Satan knew that some day a woman would bring forth a man child who would destroy Satan's power. By the time of Moses, the descendants of Abraham, through whom the seed was also promised, were so numerous that the devil had no way of knowing which was to be his ultimate enemy, so the devil causes Pharaoh to pass a law in an attempt to destroy all the baby boys in Israel, and thus destroy his enemy, either directly, or by wiping out the lineage that would lead to Jesus' birth. This horrible deed is just another in a long line of crimes for which the devil will finally be judged and destroyed. In spite of the devil's trap, however, God sees fit that Israel does survive. He also saw to it that a very special baby boy would be born at this time. That baby's name was Moses.
Moses, who was born around 1570 BC, was ordained by God to lead the Hebrew children out of Egypt. Moses lived 120 years. His first 40 years would be spent being raised as a crown prince of Egypt, being educated in the best universities on the face of the earth at that time. His next 40 years would be spent as a shepherd in the land of Midian, where God educated him for the great work that would occupy the last 40 years of his life, leading the church in the wilderness.
Exodus chapters 7 through 12 tells of Moses' mission in Egypt before Pharaoh, trying to set God's people free. In the course of time, God would have to place 10 major plagues upon Egypt, the like of which the world had never seen, before Pharaoh would finally let God's people go. The first plague is described in ....
In striking at the Nile River, God was striking at much more than just a body of water. What God is really coming against is the first of 10 major gods of ancient Egypt. You see, the Nile was more than just a river to the Egyptians. These people worshipped the Nile River as the source of all life. Thus with His first plague, God shows that He is more powerful than the Nile, the river god of Egypt. This is only the beginning. After seven days of bloody water, Pharaoh still refuses to let God's people god. Now God, through Moses, brings His second plague upon Egypt.
As previously mentioned, the Egyptians believed that all life sprang from the Nile River. It was believed at that time that from the mud of the banks of the Nile, life sprang up first as frogs, then developed into all other, higher life forms, including man. Put mathematically, the Egyptian belief was that "frog + Nile = man". We laugh at such a ridiculous idea today.
However, if we take the current theory of evolution and stated it in its simplest terms, we would say that "frog + time = man". Basically we have replaced the Nile River god with Father Time, but the result is still the same. It would seem that, after a while, we would learn better, doesn't it? The second plague show that God is more powerful than evolution, whether caused by a river or by time. Up to this point, the sorcerers of Egypt are actually able to duplicate, on a smaller scale, what God is doing in the first two plagues. Things are about to change however in....
Notice that now the magicians are unable to copy God's work. The third plague shows that God is more powerful than the sorcerers of Egypt and magic in general. Pharaoh is still hard-hearted however, so now God adds another plague in....
From now on, the children of Israel will not have to suffer from any of the remaining plagues. God first showed His power to Pharaoh, then to Pharaoh's sorcerers. Now the people of Egypt will begin to see for themselves that the people of the true God of all the earth are spared from the plagues, thus giving all Egyptians a chance to believe in the living God. With plague number 4, God shows that He is indeed the Lord of all of the earth. Pharaoh still will not let God's people go, so God brings forth a 5th plague in....
You may wonder why God struck the cattle. Part of Mystery Babylon's doctrine from the beginning of time has been that "thou shalt not surely die". In Egypt, people believed that men did not "surely die" but came back to life in another body, sometimes as an animal. Today this belief is called transmigration. The Egyptians worshipped animals because they believed them to be their own ancestors. This belief is still prevalent in the Far East today. In India people are starving to death, yet they will not eat the cattle around them for fear of being guilty of devouring one of their ancestors. This belief also followed Israel into the wilderness when Israel rebelled and worshipped the golden calf. Here God shows us that He is more powerful than ancestor worship and other teachings of reincarnation.
Notice that now not only are the magicians beaten, but they are also afflicted by this plague themselves. You might say that God is literally rubbing salt in their wounds! Once again, Moses states God's command to Pharaoh, let my people go. It is the hardness of Pharaoh's heart that is causing all of this misery for his people. Now even Pharaoh, the great king of Egypt, is struck with a plague. God shows here that He is more powerful than Pharaoh and his magicians. Pharaoh's hard heart will finally cause the destruction of his nation as a world power. Don't blame Pharaoh too much though. A lot of us are just as hard-hearted today!
Did you hear that? some of Pharaoh's servants now believe in God. They have tapped into the message that God is giving to Egypt, and now they have saving faith just like Israel. In fact, quite a few Egyptians would follow Israel into the wilderness when they leave. You hear about them later on in Leviticus and Numbers. They are called the mixed multitude.
God warns in His word that we should not worship the host of heaven. That is the point of attack of the seventh plague. Here God shows he is the Lord of the heavens also.
Imagine at this point that you are the average Egyptian in the street. You have been struck with swarms of flies. Your cattle have died. You're covered with boils. Now fiery hail is destroying your land. Yet just a little ways down the road are your Hebrew neighbors in Goshen. Down there, no flies. Their cattle are healthy. They are not sick, and now the sun shines while your home is getting wiped out by fiery hail from heaven. No wonder the Egyptians began to believe. Forget about Pharaoh! Any Egyptian would have to be terribly hard-hearted and downright hard-headed not to see what God is saying. You see, those plagues weren't just to save Israel. God could have brought them out the first day Moses went into Egypt, if He had wanted to. The point is that God loved the Egyptians too. he didn't want them to go to hell either. Ain't God good?
God has struck the animals, the heavens, even the people themselves. Now He strikes the earth. Yes, the Egyptians worshipped the earth too. Most ancient cultures did. You can see that this was part of the thinking of our Gentile ancestors every time you hear the phrase "Mother Nature". We used to even see television commercials about it. Centuries ago, however, it wasn't just a joke. People used to bow to idols of mother earth. In fact, the concept is coming back again in certain parts of the New Age movement. With this plague, God shows that he is more powerful than Mother Nature.
Another important point here is how God strikes the earth. The locust destroyed the crops of Egypt. In Genesis 47, God used Joseph to make Egypt the richest nation in the world. They became rich because of the grain that they saved up for seven years before a great famine struck the land. Now God strips Egypt of the very thing that He had used to make them rich and powerful. As Job said, "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." In spite of all this, Pharaoh still refuses to let God's people go.
Now here God is drawing the most detailed picture to date of the situation facing everyone here. The apostle John draws a similar picture in....
There is a war going on here! The kingdom of light is battling the kingdom of darkness, and in this ninth plague, God is clearly showing which side everyone is on. You've got to admit, even if you were the most hard-hearted man in Egypt, you would have something to ponder if everywhere there is darkness, yet when you look over at your Hebrew neighbor's house, it's lit up like a Christmas tree. You see, the Egyptians also worshipped the sun as a god. His name was Amon-Ra. Here God shows that he is more powerful than Amon-Ra, one of the two most powerful gods in the entire Egyptian pantheon. God is also giving all the Egyptians one last chance to repent before His final judgment must fall. Still, Pharaoh will not repent. Therefore God pours out the last and greatest of His plagues.
Pharaoh finally gets the point, but at what a cost! The heart of his entire nation is broken as all of their firstborn children lie dead. Remember, our story began with Pharaoh killing all the baby boys of Israel. Now Pharaoh's first wicked judgment has been turned back upon his own people. You see, the power of death is also one of the major gods of Egypt. His name was Set. This dark god was the counterpart of Amon-Ra, the sun god. In this last plague, God shows that He is more powerful than Set, the god of death.
It is on this night that the first Hebrew holy day is established. It is called passover. God the Jews to kill a lamb and place its blood on the top and sides of the doorway in each home. If you visualize this in your mind, you can clearly see that those bloody marks would perfectly correspond to the wounds that Jesus would suffer while He hung on the cross. Centuries before it occurred, God gives His people a perfect picture of the price He would pay for our redemption. Praise His holy name! Keep in mind also whom God is executing judgment against, as is shown in....
You see the problem in Egypt was that it had fallen victim to Mystery Babylon, and worshipped all manner of false gods, turning away from the one true God. Time and again the nations of this world have fallen into this trap. For instance, the apostle Paul faced this same problem in the nation of Greece in....
Finally God's people begin to leave Egypt. Then, one last time, Pharaoh tries to stop, and this time destroy, Israel. We all know the story of how God parted the Red Sea and destroyed Pharaoh's army. We need to really stop and think about this. Here we see the most powerful nation on the planet. Within a few short days, this nation's economy collapses; its families are left heart-broken; its cattle, land, and crops are destroyed; its wealth carried away; and its army totally annihilated! This, I feel, should really be considered by our own nation today. It happened to Egypt. Its happened to many others. If we do not turn back to God, He may also see fit to have the same thing happen to us!
The last part of the book of Exodus, along with Leviticus, is given primarily to the building of the tabernacle and the Hebrew sacrifice system. The tabernacle was a large tent that God had the people build in the wilderness. Everything in the tabernacle and the services connected with it were types and shadows concerning God, and particularly the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. A short walk through the tabernacle will show us just how much there is in it that tells us about the Lord.
As we approach the tabernacle, we first must enter the court. This is the yard surrounding the tent itself. The court is enclosed by linen curtains. Once we've entered the court, the first thing that we see is the brazen altar. This altar is made of brass and was made for the sacrificing of animals as is shown in....
All of the sacrifices of Israel pointed to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the male without blemish. Beyond the altar we next see a large, round laver. The lave is also made of brass and it is filled with water. Anyone entering the tabernacle must first be washed at the laver. This was for the purpose of purification. Today, after we have believe on God's sacrifice, we are purified by the washing of the water of the word.
We are now past the laver and stand before the door of the tabernacle. There was only one door to the tabernacle. That door also represents Jesus. Jesus is the only door, and none cometh to the Father buy by Him. At this point we enter the tabernacle itself.
The first part of the tabernacle is called the sanctuary. In front of us sits a incense altar. One our right is a table that has shewbread and wine upon it. On our left is a large candlestick which uses olive oil to give light to the sanctuary. All of these objects are made of gold.
The New Testament tells us that incense represents the prayers of the saints. Jesus taught us to pray to our Father who art in heaven. The table of shewbread and wine represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In the Holy Scriptures, the oil which here is in the candlestick, represents the Holy Spirit. So here in the sanctuary we can see all three parts of the Godhead represented; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Directly behind the incense altar, there is a curtain that stretches completely across the tent. This curtain God called the veil, and it is described in....
The very colors that God placed on the veil testify of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the scriptures, the color blue represents heaven. Purple is the color of a king. Scarlet, or red, is the color of blood. Linen, or white, represents purity. When you put these together they give forth an almost unbelievable statement about Jesus. What they say is this. From heaven (blue) will come a king (purple), who will shed his blood (scarlet) to make us pure (linen). Many centuries later, Jesus Himself would be born to fulfill this colorful prophecy right down to the letter.
Behind the veil is another area. This area was so holy that only the high priest could enter here, and he could only enter it once a year. This was on the day of atonement when he brought the blood of the sacrifice and poured it over the most holy of the objects in the tabernacle. Paul describes this object in ...
As stated in this text, there was only one ark of the covenant, and it contained three very special objects. This three-in-one relationship is a direct reference to the Godhead. The tables that contained the ten commandments the Father who gave the law to Moses. The pot of manna is also a reference to God. Manna was the bread that God sent down from heaven to feed the children of Israel in the wilderness. Jesus tells us what this bread represents in....
Therefore the pot of manna represents Jesus, the Son of God, the bread of heaven. Finally we come to Aaron's rod. God performed a miracle when He brought this dead stick back to life. This also calls to mind a statement by the apostle Paul in....
So here we have a complete picture of the tabernacle. Now let's go back and review just what the tabernacle has to say about God, and Jesus in particular. First, it says that He is our sacrifice. It says He would be a male without blemish. He is the only door. He is the bread of life. He is the king who will come from heaven to shed His blood to make us pure. Finally, He is one part of the three-in-one, the Godhead. Did you hear all that? When God gave Moses the pattern for the tabernacle, He was giving him a miraculous description of His coming Son. The only place in the Bible where a more complete picture of Jesus is given is in the gospels and, keep in mind, God gave all this to Moses about 1,500 years before Jesus was born. Hallelujah! Yes, my friends, there can be no doubt. Jesus Christ is the hero of this book from cover to cover.
The book of Numbers tells of the nation of Israel as it traveled in the wilderness. God starts out Numbers in a strange way. He spends the first four chapters of the book just tell the people how to lay out the camp that they would live in while in the wilderness. Now, don't take my word for this. Try it out for yourself. If you will take a little time and draw out the camp as described in the first four chapters of Numbers you will see that the camp lays out into the perfect form of a cross! Hundreds of years before Christ came, God had His people lay out their camp into the shape of a huge cross, roughly ten miles wide and ten miles long. Can you imagine? For forty years, God had a gigantic cross laid out in the Sinai desert for all to see.
If you read the story of Balaam in Numbers 22-24, you will see that Balaam was sent upon a mountain to look down and curse the people of Israel. When he looked down on God's people what did he see? He saw a huge cross stretched across the desert floor, then God told him to lay off! God help us all today to see Jesus in everything that we do. As Paul put it in....
THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL-1487 BC to 1008 BC
Here, in a few short verses, the Apostle Paul describes a period in the history of Israel that is commonly called the judges. this period is covered by the Old Testament books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth; and covers a total of 479 years. While Paul spoke of the heroes of this time, the book that bears the name of this period paints a very different picture.
The stories that follow this verse tell of the idolatry, violence, and perversion of a people who had been rescued from the slavery of Egypt only to become, for the most part, slaves to the sin in their new God-given homeland. What caused this problem with Israel, and with all earthly nations is described in....
The reason that Israel is so special is that they were descended from a very special man. This man's name was Abraham and God had made a promise to Abraham in....
The land that God is speaking of here is Canaan. After its conquest by the Jews, its name is changed to Israel. Even this promise, however, is only part of a much larger picture. Abraham is only one man in a very unique lineage. This lineage stretched all the back through Noah and his godly son Shem to Adam and his godly son Seth. It would stretch forward into the future and would end with the birth of Jesus Christ. By the time of Moses, Satan has tried for over 2,500 years to totally wipe out this line of people. He wanted them destroyed because he knew from this line of men would come One whom he deathly feared. God had told him that this man would come forth one day in....
Since that day, Satan's main aim on earth has been to destroy this seed, and thus not lost his strangle hold on the people of the earth. During this time, Satan has deceived almost all of the world into worshipping him, as God shows us in....
For this reason, God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and for 40 years, kept them isolated in the wilderness of Sinai. Here He taught them to worship the only true God under the leadership of Moses. All of the adult generation of the nation of Israel that entered the wilderness died, and all of the idolatrous practices that they had learned in Egypt died with them. Finally the people are ready to enter Canaan. Moses is not allowed to lead them in however. The reason for this is given in....
Moses died there in the mountains of Moab, and God buried him so no man could find his grave. God then chooses Joshua to lead the people into the promised land. Actually it is not Joshua or Moses who was really leading God's people as we see in....
One reason that God did not allow Moses to enter into the promised land was so that the people would realize that it was not Moses, Joshua, or any other man who was truly leading them. As Stephen tells us here, we must look to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for our leadership today, just as Israel did when they entered the promised land of Canaan.
With the death of Moses, the new leader Joshua is suddenly faced with a terrible problem. Here we have a people who have always looked to Moses for leadership. Now the people are left alone in the wilderness with an entire country full of enemies before them. Before they can even enter the land, they must first cross the Jordan River, which is a flood tide at this time of year. It is at this point that God shows them that He is still with them. God tells Joshua to lead the people right up to the water's edge. Then God takes over in....
And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood [and] rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
Of all the miracles that were performed by God through Moses, the greatest of them all had been the parting of the Red Sea. Here God lets His people know that this same power is still with them. What a wonderful God we serve! Now the people must face their first battle. Before them stands Jericho, a great city surrounded by immense walls of stone. How could they ever hope to conquer this? Would they use grapples, ladders, or battering rams? No, God's directions are very different from what any other good military leader might suggest. He tells Joshua to have the people simply march around the city. They do this once a day for six days. One the seventh day, God tell them to march around seven times. Then He tells them to blow their trumpets and give a mighty shout, for the Lord had given them the city. The result of these seemingly useless maneuvers is given in...
By God's command, everyone in this city is slaughtered, with the exception of one woman and her family. The woman's name is Rahab and she was spared because she had hidden the spies of Israel when they were in Jericho. This lady joins the people of God and later, when she marries, she becomes a very important factor in the big picture of the gospel, according to....
Now Jesse was the father of David the king of Israel. So Rahab, because of her faith, became the great-great-grandmother of King David. Thus she would ultimately become an ancestor of Jesus Christ Himself! Under Joshua's leadership, Israel conquered the thirty-one kings in the land of Canaan. Then the land was divided between the twelve tribes of Israel. By the way, did you know that there were actually thirteen tribes of Israel at this time? Back in Genesis when Jacob was blessing his twelve sons, God had him also bless his two grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, so that his son Joseph would receive a double blessing. Thus these two boys became equal heirs with the eleven uncles. However, when God had them divide the land, He told them to make only twelve divisions. The reason for this was that one tribe, Levy, had been chosen by God to be His priests. Their inheritance then became something much more important then mere land, as we see in....
Although the Levites technically received no land, God did give them special cities spread throughout Israel for them to live in. This was done so that the Levites would be spread all among the people of God so that they could teach them. Certain of these cities also served a dual purpose. These were called cities of refuge. In Israel, if someone was killed, it was the duty of the next of kin of the victim to execute the murderer. The cities of refuge were a haven that the murderer could flee to until it could be determined whether or not the death was accidental. If the murder was intentional, the murderer was given up to be executed. If the murder was accidental, the murderer was safe as long as he remained in the city of refuge. If he ever left there, however, the victim's next of kin could execute him. The murderer had to live in the city of refuge until his death, or until....
The death of the high priest would free the murderer from the death he had caused. This is a very beautiful type and shadow of Jesus Christ, our high priest who died to free us from sin. Here we see yet another wonderful example of how Old Testament events pointed to the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After many years, the land is conquered and divided among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joshua's job is now finished. The book of Joshua ends with his death at the age of 110. The book of Judges picks up at this point. God's people ask for guidance after Joshua dies. Their prayer is answered when God sends an angel in....
When the people had first entered Canaan, God had instructed them to utterly destroy and drive out all the people that they found there. This reason for this was understandable. The Canaanites were a very wicked people. They practiced the sacrifice of their own babies to their pagan gods. Their sexual perversions included using small children and animals in their sex orgies. God wanted these people driven from the land so that His people would not fall prey to their evil ways. Instead of following God's orders, the people made treaties with many of their enemies, thus allowing their own children to be raised to learn of the evil Canaanite ways.
All throughout the book of Judges, the Israelites are constantly fighting and being conquered by first one, and then another of their enemies. God did not desert His people however. At the appropriate time, God would raise up leaders called judges who would gather the people and defeat their enemies. The list of the names of the judges includes men like Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar, There was at least one woman judge named Deborah who led Israel to victory against wicked King Jabin. There was also Gideon who helped defeat the Midianites. After Gideon's time as judge ended, for a short time, a new thing appeared in Israel. A man called Abimelech sought to become the first king of Israel. The people had first asked Gideon to be their king, but his was reply to this was short and sweet, as we see in....
So the people chose Abimelech to be their king. He ruled over Israel for only three years, then was killed. After Abimelech, other judges arose including Tola, Jair, Jepthah, Ibzan, and Abdon. After these came the most well know of all the judges of this time in Israel. His name was Samson. Everyone has heard of Samson. Samson, with the strength of many men. Samson, who killed a lion with his bare hands. Samson, who killed the Philistines by the hundreds. Even the mighty Samson had a fatal flaw however. Samson's weakness was his desire for wine and women. His heart was stolen by Delilah who ultimately learned the source of his great strength. When Samson finally told her that his strength lay in his long hair, it proved to be his undoing. However, contrary to popular belief, Delilah was not the person who cut Samson's hair, as we can see in....
Here we have poor Samson, sold out by the one person he trusted and loved. Many people can share their own experiences about this kind of pain. In the end, we must all learn that only God will never leave us nor forsake us. Samson learned this the hard way. When he is at his lowest, however, God hears his cry and gives Samson back his great strength one last time.
The entire period covered by the book of Judges is a total of 299 years. This is no short period of time, when you consider that it is longer than the United States has been a nation. The last five chapters of Judges goes back and reviews these years one last time to show just how evil the people had become. One story in this section is almost identical to the story of Sodom of Gomorrah. This shows us just how far this people had drifted from God. Today we have an entire philosophy based on the phrase, "If it feels good, do it!". This current philosophy is not unlike the one we see repeated in the last verse of the book of Judges....
The little book of Ruth tells the story of some of the people who lived during the time of the judges. It begins with the sad story of Naomi, a woman who left Israel with her family because of a famine in....
After all of this tragedy, Naomi decides to returns to her homeland. One of the daughters-in-law named Ruth will not let Naomi leave alone, for as she puts it in....
Ruth, who was raised in Moab, has learned of God from Naomi and her family. She does not want to return to her old life, but wants to learn about the God of Israel. Don't you wish that there were more people like that today! So Ruth goes with Naomi to Israel. Here she learns of the Jewish social security system. Ye see, God has commanded those who are fortunate enough to be blessed with good crops to leave some of the crops in the field for those less fortunate. Now the poor had to do some work to get it. They have to go into the fields and glean the crops that they want for themselves. Now Naomi is too old to do this so it is Ruth who goes to glean the fields. On her first day she works in the fields belonging to a man named Boaz. Boaz happens to see Ruth as she is working and directs his men to help Ruth in her efforts. She finally comes home at the end of the day loaded down with a large amount of grain and Naomi is astounded. Then she questions Ruth in....
When Naomi hears Ruth's answer, she becomes very excited. She has a right to be. Naomi realizes that Boaz is one of their near kinsmen. In the Mosaic law, God gives a provision called the kinsman redeemer. When anyone in Israel falls on hard times, it is the responsibility of the nearest kinsman to help them out. This responsibility takes three forms. If a man in Israel falls victim to his debts and becomes bankrupt, then the nearest kinsman would have the responsibility of paying off the debts for them. If a man in Israel were murdered, the nearest kinsman became what was called the avenger of blood and it was his responsibility to kill the murderer. Finally if a man in Israel was married and died childless, the nearest kinsman would have the responsibility of marrying his widow, and raising up a son to receive the dead man's inheritance.
There were three qualifications that a man had to meet to become a kinsman redeemer. First, he had to be the nearest of kin to the man involved. Second, he had to be able to accomplish whatever was required. For instance, if a man was a million dollars in debt, the kinsman redeemer had to be able to pay off the million dollar debt. Third, he had to be willing to take on the responsibility of the kinsman redeemer. If he were not, it then fell to the next nearest kinsman and so on until someone could be found that met all three requirements.
Naomi decides to attempt to get Boaz to take on the responsibility of being their kinsman redeemer. For this purpose, she waits until time for the threshing of the wheat. At this time, the men would take the harvested grain to a level place that they called the threshing floor. Here they would crush the wheat to break off the hulls. They would then throw the wheat into the air, and use the wind and fans to blow the hulls, also called the chaff, away from the good kernels of wheat. They would then store the good grain and burn up the chaff that remained. John the Baptist used this process as an example to describe the coming of Jesus Christ in....
Here we see John telling the people that Jesus is coming to the world with two types of baptism. One is the Holy Ghost or salvation. The other is fire or hell. Every man and woman on the face of the earth must decide which they want to receive. To refuse is to choose hell, the final abode of the lost of all ages. Naomi explains to Ruth how to ask Boaz to help them by being their kinsman redeemer in....
Needless to say, Boaz is shocked when he finds this beautiful young woman laying at his feet in the middle of the night. He understands what she is suggesting and says that he will help her. Then he sends her home to Noami loaded down with grain. This shows Naomi that he will help them, as she puts is in....
As soon as the sun is up, Boaz seeks out the city elders. You see, there is still one problem. There is one man who is nearer kin to Naomi than Boaz is. For that reason, Boaz goes to seek out this man to do what we call at home some good old country trading....
No sooner does the nearest kinsman refuse the responsibility of being the kinsman redeemer, Boaz then publicly declares to the elders of the city his intention to redeem Naomi's property and marry Ruth. So everyone lives happily ever after. While this is a lovely story, you might wonder just why this story is included in the Holy Scriptures. The true significance of this story becomes evident in its closing chapter. Here we see that Ruth becomes of the mother of Obed. Then we are told in....
In other words, because of Ruth's faithfulness, she becomes the great-grandmother of King David of Israel. There is still a greater significance that would not become known for another thousand years. We are shown this in....
So here once again, the story told in the book of Ruth finally points us to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It actually points us to Him in another way also. The Old Testament principle of the kinsman redeemer applies to God just like it does to us. You see, God has always wanted to be our kinsman redeemer, but He had to meet the qualifications just like everyone else did. He has always been willing. He has also always been able. The problem was that He was not one of our kinsmen. It wasn't until Jesus Christ, the second person in the Godhead, became a man that He could truly say that He was our next of kin. So the whole idea of the kinsman redeemer, just like the rest of the Bible, actually points to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. Don't you just love it!
For me one of the most important points made by this story, and the story of Rahab, is that faith can work wonders. Because of their faith in God, Rahab the harlot and Ruth the Moabitess became part of the lineage that would ultimately lead to Jesus Christ. So take heart! Whatever Satan may try to do to you, or whatever your past may have been, be secure in the knowledge that, if your faith is now in Jesus Christ, your future is safe within the arms of God, as the Apostle Paul put it so aptly in....
THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE-ZIF 2,1008 BC
And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.-I Kings 6:1
With this simple statement, we are introduced to one of the most fascinating events of the Old Testament, the building of the temple in Jerusalem. Israel has become a new nation in the Middle East, and had entered their new homeland. As we have already seen, the events that culminated with the building of the temple had begun centuries before, when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. For forty years, the people had lived in the wilderness of Zin. Finally, lead by Joshua, the people enters Canaan, the land promised to their ancestor Abraham some five hundred years earlier. After Joshua's death, for nearly three hundred years, Israel was ruled by the judges. The birth of the last of these judges is chronicled in....
I Samuel 1:20
Samuel's mother Hannah was barren and prayed to God. Because He had answered her prayer, Hannah dedicated her son to the service of God. When the boy was weaned, Hannah takes him to Eli, the high priest. Here Samuel was raised caring for the tabernacle of God that the children of Israel had built in the wilderness. Eli was a very good man, but he had a fatal flaw. He did not discipline him children. For this reason, his two sons, Hopni and Phineas, grew up to be very evil men although they were priests of the most high God. Eli and his sons finally die under God's judgment, leaving the young Samuel alone to lead the nation of Israel. Samuel's first official act was to call the people back to God in....
Now Baalim and Ashtaroth were new names for the same old gods that spring up in all pagan nations. Baal was the name of the male god from which all false gods would develop, and Ashtaroth was the name of the female god from which all goddesses would come forth. While little is said of this first goddess in the word of God, the identity of Baal is clearly given in....
Here the Pharisees are accusing Jesus of being in league with the prince of devils, old Satan himself. Note that their name for Satan here is Beelzebub, which is just another way of saying Baal, as we see in....
II Kings 1:1-2
Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.
The Jews clearly understood that the worship of all false gods was really the worship of Satan and his fallen angels, as Moses tells us in....
Moses made it abundantly clear that to sacrifice to anything other than the Living God was to sacrifice to devils. The entire world would be much better off today is they could just come to understand this one basic truth. For instance, Baal and Ashtaroth, as we have already mentioned, are only two names that Satan and the fallen angels hide behind. Baal was the main god of the Canaanites and Ashtaroth was the main goddess. Later in the Bible these two gods will again appear under the names of Tammuz and the queen of heaven. Satan caused these religions to grow out of the hero-worship of an early Biblical character and his wife. The name of the man is given in....
Nimrod, the first king mentioned in the Bible, was the man who masterminded the building of the tower of Babel. While his wife's name is not given in the Holy Scriptures, according to ancient history, her name was Semiramis. After the construction of the tower was halted and men's languages were confounded, this false religion was carried to the ends of the earth by the various groups working on the tower.
In Egypt, Nimrod was worshipped as Osiris, while Semiramis became the goddess Isis. The Canaanites and Assyrians worshipped them as Baal and Ashtaroth. In Greece, they became known as Saturn and Venus. Even today in America, many of the aspects of the worship of Nimrod can still be seen in our legends about Santa Claus.
His wife and her son would become the centerpiece which would translate into the many Madonna type figures that you see in many religions of the world. These same two figures became the major enemies of God's people as they tried to establish themselves as a nation in the promised land. After Samuel faithfully serves God for many years as prophet and judge, God directs Samuel to anoint the first official king of Israel, Saul of the tribe of Benjamin, in....
I Samuel 9:27-10:1
At first Saul helps to rally Israel against her enemies. However, as time goes on, Saul becomes filled with pride because of his position. God, as always, is patient but finally Samuel must face Saul with God's judgment on his evil ways in....
I Samuel 13:13-14
While Saul's pride may have caused him to fall out of favor with God, we shouldn't be too hard on King Saul. Every day you can find Christians who have fallen into the same trap. In fact, if we were all really honest, we have all been there at one time or another. In the preceding text, we have the first allusion to the next major character in our story. Samuel calls him "a man after God's own heart". At this point in time, this young man is only a teenager, working as a shepherd among the flocks of his father, Jesse of the tribe of Judah. God sends Samuel to Jesse's house and in....
I Samuel 16:13
The rest of the book of I Samuel details Saul's vain attempts to keep his throne and kill David. These chapters are filled with the daring exploits of David as he battles Goliath, flees from King Saul, and befriends Jonathan, Saul's son and the heir apparent to the throne of Israel. One particular story concerns what happened between David and a man named Nabal. This story begins in....
I Samuel 25:1-3
David sent men to Nabal asking for any provisions that he might give them. Nabal's reply to this request is short and to the point in....
I Samuel 25:10-13
David's reaction to Nabal's insult is sudden and vengeful. It is terribly out of character for David. Why should a simple insult from a farmer cause David to go out to kill this man and his family? Keep in mind that David has just returned from the funeral of his dear friend and mentor Samuel. Samuel was almost like a second father to David. David is broken-hearted. He is at a very low point in his life. Nabal's insult is the last straw. Now David goes forth with four hundred armed warriors to kill every man in the household of Nabal. Meanwhile one of Nabal's servants reports what Nabal has done to his wife Abigail in....
I Samuel 25:14-17
Son of Belial! You will see this phrase used several times in the Old Testament. As we have already seen, Baal or Bel is just another name for the devil. Jesus would later tell the Pharisees that their father was the devil. We were all the children of the devil at one point in our lives. Now, however, if you've been born again, all that has changed, as we see in....
Once you have received Jesus into your heart, you then become a child of God. Now we see in our story that Nabal is a lost man. We also know that David is a saved man. What about Abigail? If you have any doubts about Abigail's spiritual condition up to this point in the story, all you have to do is let her actions speak for themselves. First she loads up food for David and his men. Then she sends her servants ahead and rides out to meet David alone. Imagine the picture! Down one side of a valley storm four hundred armed warriors with blood in their eyes. Down the other side of the valley comes little Abigail, all alone on her donkey. You've got to admit that this lady has guts! Then, just as the men get to her in....
I Samuel 25:23-26
Four times in her discourse, Abigail refers to the God of David as the LORD. This is a term that is used almost exclusively by those that believe in God in the Old Testament. Yes, Abigail is a believer, but there is still a great difference between how Abigail and David, both believers, handle this situation. David is on his way to kill an entire household because of one man's insult. Abigail, on the other hand, has the courage to go out alone and face four hundred armed men. What is it that makes such a difference between them? The apostle Paul gives us the answer to this question in....
You can see from the story that David is walking after the flesh in this situation. when David was at his lowest, the devil attacked, and nearly caused David to commit a grievous sin. Abigail's intercession shocks David back into his senses, as we see in....
I Samuel 25:32-33
So David and his men return home. God says in the Bible, "Vengeance is mine. I will repay.", and he does in....
I Samuel 25:38-39
Abigail, because she followed God's leading, became the wife of the king of Israel. David, because he was willing to follow God, married a rich young widow and was able to supply his men with all that they would need. Even Nabal, who would not follow God, was still given ten more days to repent. Did he repent? The Bible does not say. However, if when you are walking the streets of gold someday, you should run into Nabal, tell him "Hi" for me, and tell him to look me up when I get there!
If Samuel's death had a hung effect on David, the effect that it had on King Saul was nothing less than fatal. For forty years, Samuel had been Saul's chief advisor, and now, with the Philistines breathing down his back, Saul stands alone. One of God's earliest commands to Saul was to drive all the witches out of Israel. The practice of witchcraft was a capital offence in Old Testament times. Now, in his desperation, Saul seeks out one of these same witches as a medium to call forth the spirit of Samuel from the grave. Samuel then tells Saul what will happen to him because he has done this in....
I Samuel 28:16-19
This judgment is swift in coming. During his very next battle with the Philistines, both Saul and his sons are all slaughtered by their enemies. His dead body is even put on display in....
I Samuel 31:8-10
Such a sad end for Israel's first anointed king! However, we are not told here how long he reigned over Israel. We are given this information in....
II Samuel tell the story of Israel's next king. His identity is given in....
II Samuel 5:3
Under God's guidance, King David drives out of Israel many of their enemies so that the nation can finally know a period of peace and security. God continues to bless David until, like Saul and most every other human, David commits his first great sin in....
II Samuel 11:2-4
Not only does David commit adultery, but he later commits murder to cover up his first sin. God gives King David nearly a year to repent of his evil, but finally judgment comes. You see, even mighty King David is not above the judgment of God. God sends Nathan the prophet to confront David with his sin, and to tell him that their child shall die. David cries unto God to spare the child. His grief over this sin is so great that King David's counsellors fear that he will totally lose his mind if he learns of the child's death. However, when he is given the news, David responds with a short, yet very profound statement in....
II Samuel 12:22-23
This statement, supported by many other scriptures, shows us that babies do indeed go to heaven when they die. David said that the baby had went to where he would one day go, meaning that when he died he would be where the baby was. Now, if King David did not make it to heaven when he died, you and I might as well give up trying right now!
This is but the first of many examples of how miserable David's life became because he took many wives. Years later, his son Amnon would rape his own half-sister Tamar. Tamar's brother Absalom would finally kill Amnon, then later lead an armed revolt against David. Finally David's son Absalom would also be killed. There can be little doubt that God meant for marriage to be for one man and one woman for life. Whether you are a poor man or a king, God's rules apply just the same to everyone, even David, the man after God's own heart!
The last days of King David's earthly life are told in the book of I Kings. David lives to the ripe old age of 70. Now that's considered old today, but keep in mind that David's ancestors had lived as long as eight or nine hundred years. Just before he dies, King David names the successor to his throne, then in....
I Kings 2:10-12
Solomon was considered the wisest man who ever lived. Solomon wrote three books that were added to the Old Testament; Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. His greatest achievement, however, was the building of the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was built to house the items contained in the tabernacle. The tabernacle had been built many years before by Moses under God's instruction in the wilderness of Zin. God gives us the date that the temple was begun, right down to the month and the day in....
II Chronicles 3:1-2
The temple in Jerusalem was the center of all worship in the nation of Israel. I Kings, chapters 5 through 8, covers the construction and dedication of this building. It was ninety feet long and thirty feet wide, filled with brass and golden objects which were set aside for the worship of God. It would stand for over four hundred years before being destroyed, but that's a story for another time.
The most important fact is that the Spirit of God would come and dwell there. Time and again priests, prophets, kings, and just common folks like you and I could go there to worship and pray to God. Of all the world at that time, there could be no more wondrous spot on the planet than the temple at Jerusalem. In spite of all of Solomon's glory, as the years passed, even this great king was found to have a weak spot that would prove to be his undoing. It was a weak spot that was shared with his father, and just about every man that ever lived, as shown in....
I Kings 11:4-5
Solomon is now following the same false gods that his father David had tried so hard to drive from the land. This began a pattern that would be followed by nearly all the kings to come after him. Finally Solomon goes the way of all men in....
I Kings 11:42-43
Once Rehoboam ascends to the throne, an event takes place that will affect the nation of Israel for centuries to come. Rehoboam announces that he will be more cruel to the people than his father ever was. The people react to this announcement immediately in....
I Kings 12:16
Rehoboam's foolish attitude divides a great nation. The ten tribes of the north chose a king named Jeroboam, while the two southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin, remain loyal to King Rehoboam in Jerusalem. Over one hundred years ago, America was also divided by a war between the north and the south. Our civil war lasted less than five years, yet we are still reeling from the effects of this today. The prophet Ezekiel tells how long the division lasted Israel and Judah in....
The house of Israel, or the ten tribes of the north, stayed divided from the house of Judah, or the two tribes of the south, for three hundred ninety years! Can you imagine what America would be like today if we were still divided as we were during the Civil War? How much hatred, warfare, death, and destruction would we have endured by now? If you can, then multiply all that carnage by three and you will begin to get an idea of what the nation of Israel was like by 586 BC. This period is literally speckled with kings, most of which would prove to be more evil then their predecessor. This period is also the time during which nearly all the Old Testament prophets lived and their books of the Old Testament were written. The last few chapters of I Kings is given almost entirely to one such prophet. He suddenly bursts upon the scene in....
I Kings 17:1
The prophet Elijah called the people to repentance during the dark times when Judah was ruled by wicked King Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel. During the ministry of Elijah and his student Elisha, some of the greatest miracles of the Old Testament occurred. It was Elijah who defeated the prophets of Baal, called fire down from heaven, raised the dead, and parted the Jordan River. Elijah was taken directly to heaven in a fiery chariot. The most amazing fact about Elijah was that, in spite of all this happening around him, he was actually no different from you or I, as we see in....
Elijah, or as he is called in the Greek, Elias was just a man like any other. So what was it that gave Elijah such great power? It was not knowledge, money, or his own great righteousness. It was rather the simplest of commodities. It was the same thing which we obtain salvation today, the same thing that can turn the most wretched of sinners into a glorious saint of God. What was it that turned an unknown Jew from a small village into the mighty prophet Elijah? It was the same thing that took hold of a wicked Pharisee on the road to Damascus, and turned him into the mighty apostle Paul. It was plain and simple faith, or as Paul himself puts it so well in....
THE KINGS OF ISRAEL-1008 BC to 582 BC
And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:-Acts 13:21-23
In this text, the Apostle Paul, speaking to the people of Antioch, puts in a nutshell the entire time span of Israel's history that we call the kings. Saul was the first man, anointed by God, to be king over the nation of Israel. After his death, David ascended to the throne, and the rest of the kings that reigned in Jerusalem were all of the seed of David. In Matthew 1, the first chapter of the New Testament, we find this lineage traced all the way to Jesus Christ. In other words, had Israel been a free nation at that time, Jesus' step-father Joseph, and finally Jesus Himself would have sat on the throne in Jerusalem as king of Israel!
The period of history that we call the kings extended from around 1091 to 582 BC. Saul, David, and Solomon ruled over the twelve tribes of Israel after they had entered and conquered the land promised to Abraham many centuries before. It was Solomon who built the temple around 1008 BC. Then Solomon's son came to the throne around 971 BC, as we learn in....
I Kings 11:43
Throughout the time of the kings, God also had special men of his own choosing who would remind the kings of God's will for the nation, as we see in....
II Kings 1:3-4
Elijah was only one of the many prophets that God sent forth to call the king and the people back to God. As we see here, God did not like for His people to follow other gods, which were actually only Satan's devils. This was a major and constant battle throughout the entire Old Testament period. The first of this time's prophets was Samuel. Samuel was also the last of the judges to rule over Israel. God sent Samuel to anoint Saul, and later David, as kings over the nation of Israel. After Samuel's death, God called forth another man to remind King David of God's will in....
II Samuel 12:7-9
Now God had taken David, a lowly shepherd boy, and made him king over the entire nation of Israel. David had used his position to steal a man's wife and then have that man killed. The rest of his life, David would suffer as not one, but three of his sons would die, due in one way or another to ramifications of this sin. It has always been a true Bible principle that to whom much is given, much is required. We can see this principle clearly in the life of King David. Just as with the prophet Nathan and King David, so each king in turn would have a man of God who would endeavor to turn the nation back to God's path. Often the kings did not appreciate the words of the prophet, and would have them imprisoned or even killed. However, from time to time, the kings would remember whom it was that was really in charge, as in....
II Kings 20:1-5
When God does things, it's usually to draw us closer to Him. When we listen, as good King Hezekiah did, and just pray to Him about it, He will often turn our entire situation around and bless us, in spite of what our circumstances might be. Like all good fathers, our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us. It's up to us to just listen and obey. It's really rather simple, if you stop to think about it. Why we so often refuse to see it is a mystery to me.
Isaiah is the first of the writing prophets of the Bible. In fact, nearly all of the prophetic books of the Old Testament were written during the time of the kings. A list of the great prophets of God during this period would include men like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Haggai. All of these men were called out to proclaim God's message, and often had to suffer for that message, as Paul tells us in....
Of such stock were the prophets of Israel. Thank God for such men! We all need to pray that God will continue to raise up such men today, to show our nation's leaders God's will for America before it is too late for us also! Six books of the Old Testament are dedicated to the history of the kings of Israel. Did you ever wonder why so much time was spent on them? Just a quick reading shows that they, for the most part, wee a pretty sorry bunch! No, there is another reason for the careful record of the kings, and it stretches all the way back to....
All of the Old Testament, beginning at this point in time, is actually the story of Satan's attempt to destroy the seed of the woman before He can be born. You see, staring with King David, the lineage of the Christ, as mentioned earlier, goes through the kings of Israel. Keep in mind that there is a great war that has been waged throughout the history of our planet. Satan triumphed over Adam in the garden. God told Satan how that He would reclaim the earth.
In this war, God has revealed that He will fire one shot and one shot only, the seed! Satan knows this, and throughout the Old Testament period, Satan is on a search and destroy mission against the seed. He hopes to thus assure his victory over mankind on planet earth. It is the devil corrupted Cain and killed Abel. Then he corrupted the entire world, when God sent the flood. In Egypt, Satan tries to wipe out the seed by killing all the baby boys of the Hebrews. He tried again to corrupt Israel throughout the time of the judges.
Now, once again, Satan tried to destroy Jesus before He is even born. As we saw earlier, God told the evil king of Samaria, Ahaziah, that he would die and he did. It is at this point that Satan strikes through Ahaziah's mother in....
II Kings 11:1-3
This is the closest Satan will ever come to destroying the seed in the Old Testament. Only one baby, little Joash, stands between the devil and his total victory, but God shows that He is still in control. In this case, He uses one quick-witted girl to save the day, and spoil all of Satan's plans. At this point, let me say that if God could do such a great work with the young girl Jehosheba, don't think that God can't use you too, if you will only trust and obey. During the time of the kings, the situation for the people was constantly changing as a good king would die and an evil king would ascend the throne, or vice-versa. One good way to tell what type of king you are reading about in this part of the Bible is to look for certain phrases, as in....
II Kings 18:3
A good king, in God's sight, was like King David. An evil king, on the other hand, was also likened to another major character of this time period, as in....
I Kings 15:34
An evil king was said to be like Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Who was this Jeroboam? His story is told in....
I Kings 12:19-20
Jeroboam was a rebel. he was a deadly enemy of King Solomon who had been exiled. When Solomon died, Jeroboam saw his chance, and returned to Israel to lead the ten northern tribes in rebellion against Judah. Jeroboam even went so far as to install idols throughout northern Israel to keep him people from returning to Jerusalem to worship. The split that Jeroboam helped create in the nation of Israel lasted for nearly four hundred years!
From this point forward, we have a divided nation with King Rehoboam ruling the house of Judah in the south and Jeroboam ruling the house of Israel in the north. Jeroboam was the first in a long line of evil kings who ruled the northern ten tribes. Their history is outlined in the books of I and II Kings. Meanwhile in the south, Rehoboam rules the tribes of Judah and Benjamin for seventeen years. When he dies in....
I Kings 15:1-2
Abijam's reign was short-lived, followed by his son's rule in....
I Kings 15:9-10
Good King Asa's reign helped to bring the people back to God. This policy was continued by his heir in....
I Kings 22:42
Jehoshaphat was not only a man of God, but he was also a brilliant leader. He trained his son for the throne for four years, as we see in....
II Kings 8:16-17
Jehoram, despite his father's instructions, turned away from God. He was followed by an even more evil son in....
II Kings 8:25-26
As we have already seen, Ahaziah died to be followed by his wicked mother, Athaliah. Athaliah killed all the crown princes, and ruled Judah herself for six years. Then the remaining prince, who had been hidden from Athaliah, was brought to the throne and wicked Athaliah was killed. the next king of Judah is enthroned in....
II Kings 12:1
Jehoash does much to undo the evil of other kings. Upon ascending the throne, he changes his name to Joash. After forty years, Joash is replaced by his son in....
II Kings 14:1-2
Amaziah did much to continue the policies of his father. The next of the royal seed takes over in....
II Kings 15:1-2
King Azariah changes his name to Uzziah during his reign. Uzziah also followed God. His heir would also follow in his footsteps in....
II Kings 15:32-33
Jotham was also a godly king. However, Judah's good fortune is changed when his heir comes to power in....
II Kings 16:1-2
King Ahaz was a godless rebel. He did a lot to bring idol worship back to Jerusalem. His sixteen years on the throne was a period of back-sliding for Judah. However, the situation is turned around again for the better, when we read....
II Kings 18:1-2
It was good King Hezekiah that re-instituted the passover in Jerusalem. He even sent letters to the northern ten tribes, inviting them to worship together at the passover, but for the most part, the house of Israel laughed at the request. Little did they know that Hezekiah's letter was actually God's last attempt to call them all to repentance for in....
II Kings 18:11-12
So Israel the rebel was conquered. Now only the house of Judah remains to face the might Assyrian army. God saves these faithful few, as you can read in chapters eighteen and nineteen. In II Kings 20, we have the story that we went over earlier concerning how God extended the life of King Hezekiah. If he could have seen the future, King Hezekiah might have changed his prayer because it is during his final fifteen years of life that the most wicked king of Judah is born, as we learn in....
II Kings 21:1
For fifty-five years, Judah suffered under the heel of a man who seemed determined to destroy all worship of the true God of heaven. During Manasseh's reign, nearly all the good done by the previous kings of Judah is erased. His son also followed in his footsteps in....
II Kings 21:19
By the end of Amon's rule, Judah has suffered under fifty seven years of evil leadership. This curse is finally broken when the new king ascends to the throne in....
II Kings 22:1
Good King Josiah, like Hezekiah, brought true worship of God back to His people. Sadly to say, he seems to be the last of the godly kings of Judah. In the case of Josiah and his heir, I am afraid that like father like son does not hold true as we see in....
II Kings 23:31
King Jehoahaz's reign was very short-lived. Because of his evil deeds, God sent Egypt against Judah. Pharoah-nechoh dethroned Jehoahaz and replaced him with another of Josiah's sons in....
II Kings 23:36
King Jehoikim was not only a godless man, but also one of the first Bible critics. When God sends a prophetic message to Jehoikim by the prophet Jeremiah, the king calmly has it read, then cut to pieces and burned in a fire! Just as Israel's response to Hezekiah's letter, so Jehoikim's response to Jeremiah's letter proves to be his undoing. God allows Babylon to make its first of a series of attacks against Jerusalem. Jehoikim is followed by his son in....
II Kings 24:8
Once again Babylon attacks Judah. This time they take Jehoichin and several others captive, including the prophet Ezekiel. The king of Babylon sets Jehoichin's uncle on the throne of Judah in....
II Kings 24:18
King Zedekiah proves to be a bad choice for king also. He rebels against Babylon. This rebellion was the last straw for the growing Babylonian empire. Babylon launches its final, and most vicious attack against the city of Jerusalem in....
II Kings 25:1-7
So ended the reign of the kings of the nation of Israel. Here is one of God's prime examples of how men can take God's gifts and totally corrupt them. So it has been since the world began. God delivers, man rebels, and God must finally pass judgment. so ended the kingdom of Israel. Seventy years later, the people return and try to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. About five hundred years after the rebuilding begins, Jesus Christ would come to this same city and be rejected, bringing about another, even more devastating, destruction of the city of Jerusalem. Only this time the people would be scattered to the ends of the earth. From the time of the first conquest of Jerusalem, Israel would not be a self-governing nation for over two thousand five hundred years. God would finally allow them to return to re-establish themselves as a nation in 1948, during our own lifetimes.
Before we close this discussion of the kings of Israel, I wish to make mention of another, far greater kingdom, and another, much more final, judgment. While we can do nothing to help change Israel's past fate, we can do a lot to change our own future destiny, as we can clearly see in....
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE-TAMMUZ 9, 582 BC
The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together. Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.-Lamentations 2:8-11
Here we see the prophet Jeremiah describing the greatest tragedy to ever befall the nation of Israel. It is here, along with other passages, that the prophets of God give the only title that would begin to give justice to this tragic event. They simply call it the destruction. The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem was the final judgment that God passed on his disobedient people as a sovereign nation.
Beginning with Moses around 1487 BC, the children of Israel had continually offered burnt sacrifices every day to God for over 800 years. However, they finally turned to sin to the extent that God allowed the temple to be destroyed and Israel, as a sovereign nation, has not offered another sacrifice in Jerusalem from that day to now, nearly 2,600 years later. While some might think that God was too harsh on His people, you must remember that God had given Israel everything that they possessed and, in return, they had totally turned their backs on Him. This problem did not begin overnight either. It stretched back all the way to the very first anointed king of this nation in....
I Samuel 28:7-8
It was King Saul that God had first commissioned to drive all the witches out of Israel. Under Old Testament law, the penalty for being involved with witchcraft was death. if you finish the story as it concludes itself in I Samuel 31, you will see the terrible penalty that King Saul paid for his transgression. Israel's next king did not fare much better. King David, while extremely loyal to God in his early years, also fell into Satan's snare in....
II Samuel 11:2-4
David even went so far as to kill Bathsheba's husband to cover up their sin. It was this kind of sin that would finally lead to Israel's ultimate downfall. While we all can see that adultery and murder are wrong, God also saw another major problem that King David was falling prey to in....
I Chronicles 21:1-4
Sins like witchcraft, adultery, murder, and as we see manifested here, pride are just a few of the many problems that plagued this nation. When these things are finally judged by God, He will usually make use of one of three very distinct methods for disciplining any nation involved in these sins, as we see in....
I Chronicles 21:9-12
Famine, war, and disease are God's methods for showing the nations of this world that they are headed down the wrong road. Jesus Himself gives us a similar list of judgments in....
You can also see this list of God's national judgments in the vision of the four horsemen given in Revelation 6. No one is immune to sin, however, for even one of the wisest men to ever live, King Solomon, son of David, fell victim to this deadly cycle of sin in....
I Kings 11:4-5
At this point, it would probably be a good idea to spend some time on these particular false gods. Milcom was the major god of the Canaanite people. Throughout history, he has been known by many different names. Baal, Ra, Molech, Tammuz, Zeus, Jupitor, and Quatzecoatal are just a few of these names. Nearly all false religions in the world have derived their worship, in one form or another, from this character. His name was originally Nimrod. Nimrod lived shortly after the flood of Noah and is the first king mentioned in the Bible. He also led the first organized revolt against God after the flood when he tried to build a tower to heaven. It was then that God passed a very special type of judgment against the first worldly kingdom in....
Although Nimrod later died, his false religious system spread all over the world, and you can still see traces of it in all of the false religions in the world today. This system is called Mystery Babylon. in Revelation 17. Ashtoreth was the major goddess of the Canaanites during the Old Testament times. She is mentioned quite frequently in the Bible. Throughout history, she also has been know by many different names. Venus, Athena, Diana, Juno, Ching-Mu, and Mary are just a few of the names given to her by her followers.
Many of the stories surrounding all goddess worship find their origin with one woman. Her name was Semiramis. Semiramis was the mother of Nimrod, and when her husband Cush died, she married her own son. The legend of Semiramis was carried with the people that were scattered at Babel, and all goddess worship of today has grown out of these stories. This is how the seed of all false religions was spread over the entire earth by Nimrod and his mother/wife Semiramis. Around 300 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote that all religious systems in the world at that time had sprung forth from Babylon, or as we have already seen, the tower of Babel. During the time of the kings of Israel, because of King Solomon's involvement in this idolatrous system, God would see to it that Solomon would be the last king to rule over a united kingdom, as we see in....
II Chronicles 10:1-2
The ten northern tribes rebelled against Rehoboam and chose Jeroboam for their king. This groups retained the name of Israel. Judah and Benjamin, the two southern tribes, remained loyal to King Rehoboam and became known simply as Judah, from which we today get the word Jew. This began a long period of strife in the land. During this time, God let His people see firsthand what God showed the prophet Daniel in....
So God allowed the most evil of the people to sit upon the throne of Israel. People like Ahab, Mannasseh, Athaliah, and wicked Queen Jezebel were only a few of these evil rulers. There were very few good kings throughout this period. One such good king was named Hezekiah. God had repeatedly tried to bring all twelve tribes of Israel back to Him, but for the most part, they refused to respond. Finally, under King Hezekiah, Judah began to celebrate the feast of the LORD once again. God then directed Hezekiah to send a letter throughout all of Israel inviting everyone in the ten northern tribes to Jerusalem to worship together once again. The response to this letter is well worth noting and is given in....
II Chronicles 30:10-11
Did you read that? The ten northern tribes of Israel laughed at God! With all that already happened to them, they still rejected God. I remember hearing a story one time about something like this happening in America years ago. A major earthquake hit California as the World Series was being held there. The entire stadium was shaken. One newsman reported that a moment after the quake there was an eerie silence as everyone wondered what was going to happen next.
Not long ago in America, such an event would have driven people to their knees, begging God for forgiveness. Instead of this, after a moment of silence, a wave of nervous laughter could be heard coming from the crowd. God had sent an earthquake in their midst, and the survivors laughed! With such hard hearts out there, God's patience cannot tarry much longer, I'm afraid. It did not wait long for the ten northern tribes of Israel, then called Samaria in....
II Kings 17:5-6
So it was that God finally brought judgment upon His people. We need to heed His word here in America lest we face a similar fate someday. This is what became of Israel for rejecting a letter from God. A short time later, the army that had destroyed Israel surrounded the city of Jerusalem itself, and another letter is sent out. This letter came to King Hezekiah from Satan, by way of the king of Assyria as we see in....
II Chronicles 32:17
Now when Hezekiah read that letter, he did what we should all do in such circumstances. He went to God and laid the letter on the altar, as we read in II Kings 19. God spared Judah because of Hezekiah's faithfulness. However, upon the death of Hezekiah, Judah began to become more and more evil. Nearly all of Judah's final kings were evil men who led the people away from God. God finally had enough of this and allowed judgment to fall on Judah also, as we read in....
II Chronicles 36:5-6
King Jehoikim totally rejected the word of God. God sent a special message to Jehoikim by way of the prophet Jeremiah, asking him to repent of his sinful ways. Jehoikim's response to God's word is given in....
Because of his rejection of God's word, Jehoikim was the last king to sit on the sovereign throne in Israel. A closer reading of Jerhoikim's response to God's word is not terribly unlike the way in which many of our leaders, and even many so-called Bible scholars treat the bible today. This type of scholarship goes all the way back to Genesis 3, when Satan first began questioning God's word. Can our judgment as a nation be far off? God help America to repent while there is still time. God revealed to the prophet Ezekiel three other reasons for the fall of Israel. Jehovah took Ezekiel on a tour of the temple in Jerusalem. God's first stop is the temple's basement in....
The priests of Israel are offering prayers to pagan idols in the basement of God's own temple in Jerusalem! The very thought of this taking place must have broken God's heart. Now God takes Ezekiel to the courtyard of the temple in....
Here we see the women of Israel weeping, not for God or the lost sheep of Israel, but for the false god Tammuz, which was another name for Nimrod, the builder of the tower of Babel. Finally God takes Ezekiel to the front door of the temple in....
Now we see the men of Israel standing before God's temple, worshipping the sun. Is there any wonder that God had to do something? God did do something, as we see in....
II Kings 25:1-3
Now the date of the destruction of the temple is so important that God gives it twice more in the Holy Scriptures. The second time it appears is in....
The third appearance of this date we find in....
While the name of the fourth month is not given in the Bible, the fourth month on the Jewish calendar is named Tammuz. Looking back at our references to the causes of the destruction of the temple from Ezekiel, that name seems most appropriate. Don't you think? The Holy Scriptures contain many details concerning the destruction of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. One of the most poignant of these descriptions is given in....
There may be some people today who, like Jeremiah, feel that God is angry with them. If that is so, and if your iniquities have separated you from fellowship with God, let me leave you with a word of encouragement. God will turn back to you if you will only repent! You are not alone in your sin. All of God's children have fallen short at one point or another. I will leave you with the words of King David. The words that you are about to read were written by him after he had been confronted by the prophet Nathan concerning his sin of adultery and murder. These words are found in....
THE CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL-582 BC to 512 BC
And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years.-II Chronicles 36:20-21
The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem happened on Tammuz 9, 582 BC. This judgment fell on the nation of Israel because they had turned away from God. This judgment was carried out by the Gentile nation of Babylon under the leadership of King Nebuchanezzar. As we just read, this captivity was to last for 70 years. Finally the Babylonians would be defeated by the Medo-Persians and the people of Israel would be allowed to go home.
II Chronicles 36:22-23
This incidence itself would be the fulfillment of a prophecy given by Isaiah nearly two hundred years earlier. The king who would allow the people of Israel to come home would be given by name in this prophecy many years before he was even born, as we see in....
One of the groups taken into captivity included the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel's story, as we have already seen, gives many of the reasons for the captivity of Israel, and his story begins in....
Yet another group of captives was made up of several young men of the nation and included the prophet Daniel. The story of Daniel and his companions, who were given special names by their captors, is given in....
While God had passed judgment on the nation of Israel for turning away from Him, he still watched over those who were faithful to him. Regardless of how evil any nation has become in the history of the world, there is always a remnant of the people who are faithful to God. Such people have a very special name in the Bible. We first find this name in....
Thus we see that believers who receive and follow God's word are called saints. This is not like sainthood in Catholicism, where some cardinals get together and vote you in. If you are a Christian, in God's eye, you are one of His saints. God wanted Israel to follow him, but as we have already seen, as a nation they finally turned away. To better understand what happened, we need to look at a warning that was given to the nation Israel in....
Here we see the beginning of all of Israel's problems. They always got into trouble when they would rebel and build an altar to another god. This is one of the things that God showed to Ezekiel. It is this type of behavior that broke His heart then, and we still do the same things today, if we are not careful. If we were to take the two types of people that are in the world today and divide them into teams, we would have the Saints against the Rebels. Let's take a look at a person who might would have been a good candidate for the captain of the Rebel team in the Old Testament.
For 6,000 years a battle has raged. For every person in the world today, the battle is the same as it was when Satan first deceived Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. There are basically three lies. First, the devil will question God's word. Then he will convince you that you can become god. Then he will also assure you that there is no final judgment (Genesis 3:1-5). Once this is done, he is able to convince you that it is your good works that will get you to heaven (Genesis 4:2-3). Finally he is able to lead you down the primrose path to idolatry (Genesis 31:19), astrology, and sorcery (Isaiah 47:1-13). Whenever a person finally gets serious with God, he must first put away all of these ungodly practices, as we see in....
When god's people no longer follow Him, judgment will always soon follow, if they do not repent and turn back to Him. This is the fate that would befall the ten northern tribes of Israel, as recorded in....
II Kings 18:11-13
While God allowed Israel to be captured by Assyria, He would deliver Judah from them because of the faith of good King Hezekiah. Assyria is one of the Gentile kingdoms that God used to rule over Israel. Finally, however, the southern nation of Judah would also turn from God and He would allow them to be conquered by the Gentile nation of Babylon. However, as we see in the book of Daniel, God would continue to preserve His saints, even in captivity.
Daniel had a gift from God for discerning dreams, similar to the one that his ancestor Joseph had. Just as God had used this gift to lift Joseph to a place of power, so He does the same with Daniel in....
When Daniel learns the situation, he has a prayer meeting with his three friends, and then God gives him the interpretation of the dream. Thus he is able to save all the wise men of Babylon, which by the way, included Daniel and his three friends. Many years later, another group of such wise men would visit the Baby Jesus at His birth. If you stop and think about it, this makes perfect sense. Only Jewish wise men would travel all that way just to worship a Jewish baby. At this point in time, however, it is the king's dream that is very important to the understanding of the big picture that God is painting with these stories. The dream goes as follows.
While the king is amazed by this story, he misinterprets the meaning and, instead of worshipping God, builds a golden image of himself, which nearly costs Daniel's friends their lives (Daniel 3). Finally, however, King Nebuchadnezzar gets God's message and becomes a believer. You can read his testimony in Daniel 4. While God used Daniel to turn King Nebuchanezzar from a rebel into a saint. However, the heir to Nebuchanezzar's throne does not fare as well, as we learn in....
It is at this point in time that Medo-Persia becomes the next kingdom to rule over Israel. It is the Medo-Persian King Darius that would throw Daniel into the lion's den (Daniel 6). Daniel would be rescued by God, and would be given a vision that is, in many ways similar to the dream given to Nebuchanezzar, in....
Once again, God is giving Daniel insight into the future of the nation of Israel. The identity of these beasts is given in....
Here we see that the kingdom of Medo-Persia would be conquered by Greece which would ultimately fall in turn to the Gentile kingdom that would be ruling over the nation of Israel at the time of the Apostle John.
The city mentioned here can only be Rome. This kingdom is very significant because it is this kingdom that would give birth to the final Gentile kingdom which is described in a vision that Daniel is given from God in....
To summarize, God reveals to the Prophet Daniel that there would be four kingdoms from the time he lived until the time that the world would end. The first kingdom was the one that had taken Daniel into captivity, Babylon. This kingdom would be followed by Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Finally a world ruling kingdom that would arise out of Rome that would exist when Jesus comes back to set up His kingdom. The Apostle John also sees a similar vision in....
Notice that the beast in this vision has seven heads and ten horns. If you will go back at this point and read again about he four beasts in Daniel's vision (Daniel 7:1-14), you will be able to see that these beast, collectively, have seven heads and ten horns also. The parallel between the beasts of Daniel and the beast of Revelation is no coincidence. As we say back home, this is a God-incidence. The Apostle John was shown many wondrous things in the book of Revelation. Now that we have seen the political system that leads up to the last days, we need to take a look at the spiritual side of this last days kingdom. For this, we go to....
Here again we see the beast of Revelation. we also see that John is told of seven kingdoms. Five have already ruled. Looking from John's perspective and going back in time, we find that the first kingdom to rule over Israel was Egypt, followed by Assyria. Then we see the four beasts of Daniel's vision which represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The seventh kingdom is the one world government that will be ruling over the whole earth during the Great Tribulation spoken of by Daniel and by Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 24. This final human kingdom will be taken over by the eighth, which is the devil's kingdom coming from hell itself. Thus we see the true power behind all the wars, factions, rebellions, and revolutions of history. It is the power of Satan, the original rebel himself who has opposed God and his saints throughout all of history. This is the final kingdom that will be finally conquered when Jesus returns as we see in....
THE PROCLAMATION OF CYRUS-ETHANIM 1, 512 BC
Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.-Ezekiel 3:6
The nation of Israel passed under the judgment of a righteous God when they decided to follow the gods of the Gentiles instead of the Living God who had made them a nation. They were brought before the eternal court of the universe and found guilty for turning their backs on God. The verdict was handed down in due order. They had followed the gods of the Gentile nations, now they would literally follow them as they were taken into captivity.
The nation of Israel was to be a light unto the Gentile nations around it, but they failed to keep faith with God, and were thus judged. America today should take heed to this same warning. This period of judgment began when the temple was destroyed and the sacrifices, which had been offered daily for over 900 years, ceased and the nation of Israel went into captivity. This captivity ended when, under the leadership of Ezra, the people returned to their homeland and....
The seventh month of the year, according to the Holy Scriptures, is given a name in....
II Kings 8:2
Now if we know that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 582 BC, and the captivity of Israel lasted 70 years, then we also know that the people started to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple in 512 BC. Thus we know that the temple sacrifices began again on Ethanim 1, 512 BC, seventy years after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES-512 BC to AD 1
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, the LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is thee among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.-Ezra 1:1-4
The temple sacrifices began again on Ethanim 1, 512 BC. It is at this point in time that we again take up our narrative as King Cyrus frees certain of the Jews to rebuild the temple. While Ezra and his people face much opposition by the Gentiles around Jerusalem who do not want the temple rebuilt, the work begins. Once the work is begun, God sends two prophets, who wrote two of the last books of the Old Testament, to help encourage the men in....
While Ezra and his people begin the work of rebuilding the temple, the city still lies in ruins around them. This situation is rectified when, some time later, God calls forth another Jewish leader with a slightly different task in....
When Nehemiah learns of the sad state of affairs in Jerusalem, it breaks his heart. While he is serving King Artaxerxes, the king notices his sorrowful condition, and asks what is troubling him. God uses this event to have Nehemiah sent to help with the work of rebuilding the temple and the city. However, God does not only chronicle the events surrounding those Jews who returned from the captivity, but also those who still lived in the Gentile nations scattered around Israel. He also provides for His followers as they live in these foreign lands also, as the story of Esther tells us.
King Ahasuerus, although an unbeliever, would be mightily used of God to preserve His people in this foreign land. The story begins with a party that the king throws for his followers in....
When Queen Vashti offends the king, he replaces her with Esther. Through this seemingly random event, God is able to preserve the Jews in this part of the world from a terrible slaughter. Thus God shows that he protects his saints, even though he must pass judgment on the nation as a whole. Just as dates have been carefully recorded by the Holy Scriptures from the creation to this point in time, God will continue to record His Old Testament timetable. Up to this point, God has used various methods to count the years.
First, in Genesis, we counted the years between the times that one generation would be born and the next would be begotten. These years carried us from Adam to Abraham. God's second method was to give us the years of the sojourning, the time from Abraham to Moses. Then we counted the years that the judges ruled over Israel from Moses to Samuel.
Next we counted the years that the kings of Israel reigned. The problem we face now is that there are no longer any Jewish kings to count the years by. God was prepared for this, however, as we are about to see. We know that Nebuchadnezzar carried out the destruction of the temple in 582 BC. From this date forward God will use the Gentile kings that He has appointed to rule over Israel to count the years from this point forward. Our first stop will be the heir apparent to King Nebuchadnezzar, as we learn in....
It is important to note that God does a shift here from the temple in Jerusalem to the palace in Shushan, which was the royal throne of the Gentile kingdom ruling over Israel. This will become an important fact as we go along. Also notice that we are now counting the years, not according to the kings of Israel, but according to the different Gentile kings who rule over Israel after the destruction of the temple. As a jumping off point for the next stage of our chronology, we must first turn to Daniel again....
Here we see that Daniel determines that the time for God's people to return to Jerusalem is near. He comes to this conclusion, not by some scientific method, but by simple faith in God's word. How many of us today would be better off if we did the same. We also know the name of the king that would send the Jews back to their homeland in....
As we have already seen, Cyrus released the Jews in the first year of his reign. This means that Cyrus would command Ezra to rebuild the temple 70 after the captivity began. As we have already noted, the captivity began in 582 BC. Therefore we know that Cyrus began to reign over Israel in 512 BC. Daniel also tells us how long he ruled....
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
From this we can see that Cyrus reigned over Israel for 3 years, then Darius began to rule. Simple math now shows us that, since Cyrus' reign began in 512 BC, Darius began his rule over Israel in 509 BC. With this date, we discover that the counting of the years by Daniel now ends. To continue the counting, we need to turn to a book that we have already been used by God to give us the date that ended the captivity. We find the length of Darius' rule over Israel in....
Here we see that Darius was ruling over Israel for 6 years. Then, once again, a sudden change takes place as we see in the very next chapter.
Now the throne changes again. Thus we see that, after Darius reigns 6 years, Artaxerxes comes to the throne. If Darius' reign began in 509 BC, then the reign of Artaxerxes would have begun in 503 BC. As we have already seen, Nehemiah would lead a second group of Jews back to rebuild the city during the reign of Artaxerxes. The exact year that this would happen is given in....
As we have already mentioned, because of Nehemiah's sorry, the king commands Nehemiah to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Following our chronological path, if Artaxerxes began his reign in 503 BC, and Nehemiah leaves 20 years later, then he began the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem in 483 BC. At this point, you might begin to wonder as to why we spend so much time counting these years.
There is a very important reason for this. Remember that God has been very meticulously counting all the years of the Old Testament from the creation to now. There is a very important reason for this. In Daniel 9, the prophet is terribly trouble because it is time for God's people to return to Israel and Daniel sees no evidence that this is taking place. At that point, he does what all of us should always do when we are troubled. He fasts and prays. Not only does God answer his prayer, but God reveals a lot more. Our main concern here is a prophecy that God gave to Daniel in....
God not only assures Daniel that the people will return to Israel on time, but he also gives Daniel the year in which the Messiah would come to Jerusalem! The weeks mentioned in this text is a week of years, not days. Thus the time of the Messiah's coming would be counted from the year that the commandment would be given by Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem.
From this point in time, God tells us to count seven plus threescore plus two weeks. Threescore is 60, so our calculation of the years becomes 7 + 60 + 2. In other words, there are 69 weeks of years from Nehemiah's return to the Messiah coming to Jerusalem. Since a week of years is seven years, our the next step in our formula is 69 x 7 which equals 483.
This means that God reveals here that there would be 483 years from the 20th year of Artaxerxes in 483 BC to the coming of the Messiah in AD 1!
I want you to take a moment for this to sink in. The God who created the universe, carefully counted the years from the time of creation to the year that Jesus Christ would first come to the temple in Jerusalem. This event took place forty days after His birth, when we read in....
It is on this fateful day that Simeon the prophet and Anna the prophetess would declare before the people of Israel that the Messiah has been born. Thus God has brought us full circle. The Old Testament begins with the creation of the earth and ends with the Creator coming to the earth. God did all this, not in 4 billion years, and not in 4 million years. In fact, He did it not in 4001 years or even 3999 years, but in 4,000 years exactly. Any God who is able to manipulate world history in such a way as to bring about the salvation of all mankind is a God who is worthy of our worship.
THE COMING OF THE CHRIST-AD 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.-John 1:1-5
Here we see the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ given from the father's perspective. This is just one of the three times this story is given in the Holy Scriptures. The first time is in....
There are many fascinating facts that can be revealed by doing parallel study of the birth of Jesus as it appears in the books of Matthew and Luke. The story in Matthew is given from the perspective of the stepfather, Joseph. The story in Luke is given from the perspective of the mother, Mary. As we have already mentioned, for the father's perspective, you will need to go to John, chapter one. The story of the birth of Jesus actually begins on earth with the story of the birth of the forerunner, his second cousin, John the Baptist. Thus the gospel of Luke begins with the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth.
Everything that God puts in His Holy Scriptures is there for a reason. Therefore, we need to take a moment to see the significance of the phrase in the middle of this verse, "of the course of Abia", or as it would read in the Hebrew, Abijah.
I Chronicles 24:1, 5, 10
There are 24 divisions, or lots, among those that serve at the tabernacle. This is how the labor was divided up. The Jewish year is a lunar year, which means it is divided up into 12 lunar months. Thus each month, two divisions of priests would serve. Put another way, each priest would serve at the tabernacle for two weeks of each year. The year, according to the Bible, begins, not in January but in the spring, around the month of April. This month is called Abib. This means that the first two divisions of priests served in Abib. The seventh and eighth divisions would serve in fourth month, which would be around July. We wish to make note of this month for future reference as this is the time that Zacharias is serving in the temple and something very important happens to him.
We all know the rest of the story. The angel Gabriel reveals to Zacharias that his wife will conceive and have a baby who would go forth in the spirit and power of Elijah. Thus, when Zacharias goes home, his wife conceives John the Baptist in July or August. With this in mind, let's look at what happens six months later.
Now the same angel Gabriel visits Mary with the news that now she will conceive the baby Jesus. Please take note that Gabriel sees fits to tell Mary, not only that her cousin Elizabeth is pregnant, but that she is six months pregnant. Thus, if Elizabeth conceives in the summer, then Mary would actually conceive six months later, which would be late December or early January around the first of our current Gentile year.
Now here is where a lot of people get in trouble, because they are looking at things from a Gentile perspective. It would take many months for the wise men of the east to put together a caravan and travel all the way from their land to Israel to find the king of the Jews. Please note that the reason that they are coming to Israel is because they know of the prophecy that a star would mark the begatting of this king. This prophecy is given in the Old Testament in....
From Genesis through Matthew 1, God makes it very clear that, to Him, life begins when a father begats a child. This is not a reference to a baby being born, as the father does not give birth to a baby. The mother does. When the father knows the mother in the biblical sense of the word (Genesis 4:1), a child is conceived.
This gives us insight into two important facts about these kings. First, they have a copy of the Old Testament. Secondly, they believe the Old Testament enough to make a massive and expensive caravan and take months to see this prophecy fulfilled, knowing that, if they begin when the star appears, or when the child is conceived, they have nine months to get to the child at the time He is born.
There is only one type of person who would do such a thing at this point in history. Thus we know that these men are Jews, most likely descendants of those who were carried away to the east following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, such as Daniel and others in....
There is another reason that these men understand that this is the time that such a star should appear. Again they would have been referring to the prophet Daniel and insight that God gave him in....
The commandment to restore Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes to Nehemiah. Anyone counting the years from that commandment would know that "seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" or 483 years had passed since this commandment was given and the time was near for the Messiah to come. Thus we understand also why these wise men are looking for this star at this particular point in time. Notice also that, while their Bible has the book of Numbers, they have to ask where the baby was born. This means that their Bible does not contain this vital piece of information, which is found in....
The book of Numbers was written by Moses around the time of the Exodus from Egypt, around 1500 BC. The book of Micah, however, was not written until Hezekiah was king of Judah (Micah 1:1). This was after the time that the ten northern tribes of Israel were taken into captivity. The Bible that would not contain Micah, because it was not written yet, would be the one that belonged to those who were taken into the Assyrian captivity. Thus we learn much more about who these wise men are. Think about it a minute. There is only one nationality of people who would travel hundreds of miles to worship a Jewish king. These wise men are Jews, just as the Jewish Daniel was a wise man in the court of king Nebuchanezzar.
Notice very carefully the question that Herod puts to the wise men. He does not ask when the child was born. He merely asked when the star appeared. Keep in mind that, to the Jewish wise men, the star marks the beginning of the Incarnation, or the point at which the Messiah is conceived. Herod, on the other hand, is an unbeliever who served the Roman Caesar. Thus he follows the Gentile belief system. For this reason, when told that the star appeared nearly a year ago, he would consider the child he is looking for to be nearly a year old, not a newborn babe. This is another fact that will become very important as our story continues.
Here is another place where tradition gets in the way of the truth. Notice that the wise men find the child, not at the manger, but rather in a house. Needless to say, while the child was born in a manger, Joseph would immediately have found a house for them the next day. Since he was in the town of his family, this should be rather easy to accomplish although he was not able to achieve this goal on the first night of his arrival.
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
If you look at a good Bible map of the time that Jesus lived, you will notice that Bethlehem is around five miles south of Jerusalem. On the other hand, the town of Rama is around five miles north of Jerusalem. Weeping for the children being killed happens, not just in Bethlehem, but in a circle that is roughly ten miles across with Jerusalem as its center. This ungodly bloodbath takes place to kill the baby Jesus, just as a similar bloodbath in Egypt took place to kill the baby Moses.
What a godless man King Herod was! God is not slow in judging this vile man either, as we will soon see. However, because of God's intervention, the baby Jesus is long gone. Now keep in mind that Herod thinks the child is around a year old, so he commands his soldiers to kill all children from two years old down, just to be sure his troops do not allow any child near this age to escape. What a monster!
Joseph is given a dream that warns him of Herod's impending plan. Thus he is able to escape into Egypt. To know how long this journey would take, we need to go once again to the Old Testament in....
Again going to our Bible map, we can see that the distance that this covers is just a little shorter than the distance from Bethlehem to Egypt. Since the mode of travel in Jesus' day was roughly the same as the mode of travel in Moses' day, we can safely say that the trip to Egypt would take around twelve days. However, yet another tradition that runs contrary to the biblical facts, is the tradition that says Jesus stayed in Egypt for many years. Such is not the case because, our story has Jesus back in Jerusalem much quicker than that. To understand this, we must go back again to the writings of Moses in....
First we need to note that the child is circumcised on the 8th day. If the trip to Egypt takes 12 days and Jesus is to be circumcised on the 8th day, then He must have been circumcised before they left for Egypt. When we add this to the 12 days of journeying, they would arrive at Egypt no earlier than 20 days after His birth. Also take careful note that, if a woman gives birth to a son, she is considered unclean for 7 days plus 33 days, or a total of 40 days. Then she is to bring her gift to the temple on the 40th day. Needless to say, God is faithful in all His promises, and He is also faithful in this one, as we see in....
This verse tells us something very important about when Jesus would arrive in Jerusalem after Herod's death. Remember that He had to be at least 20 days old when He entered Egypt, and yet He arrives back in Jerusalem on the 40th day after His birth. Allowing 12 days for the return trip, this means that the news of Herod's death must have reached Joseph no later than the 28th day after Jesus' birth. This means that Herod must have died within a few days of his command to kill the babies around Jerusalem. As I mentioned earlier, Herod's judgment was not long in coming for his vile deed.
According to Luke, it is at Jerusalem, during the purification ceremony, that Simeon and Anna proclaim Jesus as the Lord's Christ. By then, the entire region would have been buzzing of the stories of the shepherds, wise men, and Herod's killing of the babies and his subsequent death. Then this announcement takes place, of all places, in the very temple in Jerusalem itself! Does God know how to get His point across or what! Now to finish the story of our Lord's birth, we need to return once again to Matthew, as Joseph learns in Jerusalem, of the new king on the throne and the new danger to his family.
Joseph learns, while in Jerusalem, that there is now a new king on the throne, thus he is faced with a very serious problem. For all that anyone knew at this point, the baby that Herod feared had been killed in the bloodbath around Jerusalem. However, now it has been publicly announced that the baby is still alive, and it has been announced at the temple in Jerusalem itself! Although Herod the Great is now dead, the danger is still present with Herod's son on the throne. Therefore God warns Joseph again and he decides to return, not to Bethlehem, but to his home in Nazareth for the safety of his family. Thus God puts in place the facts necessary to fulfill all the details that had been given centuries before concerning the many prophecies about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.-Ephesians 6:13-17
When the Apostle Paul was describing our spiritual armor in this passage, he said that our sword is the word of God. The word of God is our major weapon against Satan, the enemy of your soul. You see how Jesus used his sword in the story of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness in....
"It is written", this is how Jesus responded to Satan's attack, and it is still the best way for us to respond to him today. The average Christian, however, has not studied enough of the Bible to know what is written. This is especially true concerning the Old Testament. While we are truly a New Testament church, if we do not study the Old Testament, then we have left off over one half of God's word and, in the words of an early saint of God, "a half of a sword is a sorry sword indeed!".
All of Jesus' teachings were quoted directly from the Old Testament. The same is true for the teachings of the apostles, and all other New Testament writers. Many New Testament doctrines are misunderstood simply because we don't go back and study the references given concerning them in the Old Testament. The entire last book of the New Testament, Revelation, cannot begin to be understood without the scriptures it refers back to in the Old Testament. One of the greatest problems facing the church today is our lack of a thorough grounding in the teachings of the first half of the word of God.
God divided the Old Testament into six very distinct time periods. These periods are marked off by seven events that were each accomplished by the sovereign will of God. These events are the creation of the world, the flood of Noah, the exodus of Israel, the building of the temple in Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple, the proclamation of Cyrus, and the coming of the Messiah. These events were so important to God that he gives the day, month, and year in which all of these events, save one, occurred. However very few Christians, including a lot of Bible teachers, could not tell you what any of these dates are. This is one of the major reasons that the body of Christ is in such sad shape today! For the purposes of this study we have used the year of Jesus' birth as it is given in the Christian calendar, AD 1. The term AD is a Latin term, Anno Domini, and it means the year of the Lord and is itself taken from the words of Jesus himself in....
Since the time of the creation of the Christian calendar, many scholars have come up with several different dates for the birth of Christ, that run anywhere from 2 BC to 12 BC or earlier. However for this study we will use the date as originally given to make the BC dates relate in the literal sense of the word. For instance, the year of His birth is actually as it was given, thus making 7 years before His birth 7 BC, which literally means 7 years Before Christ. Thus is you prefer an earlier date for Jesus' birth, say 4 BC, you only need to add 4 to the date I will give making it 11 BC. In this way, you may adapt the BC years to whatever birth date you prefer.
The years of the Old Testament events are given clearly in the Bible if you use the original Hebrew texts. Thus the Hebrew Massoretic text, as it is commonly found in the Authorized King James Bible will be the source for this study. Using the years thus given, the dates around which this study has been built are as follows:
EVENT DATE TIME
the creation of the universe Abib 1, 4000 BC
the seed of the woman 1,656 years
the flood of Noah Zif 17, 2344 BC
the sons of Noah 857 years
the exodus of Israel Abib 14, 1487 BC
the judges of Israel 479 years
the building of the temple Zif 2, 1008 BC
the kings of Israel 426 years
the destruction of the temple Tammuz 9, 582 BC
the captivity of Israel 70 years
the proclamation of Cyrus Ethanim 1, 512 BC
the times of the Gentiles 512 years
the Messiah cometh AD 1
To summarize, God's first great event in history is called the creation. The story of the creation begins in....
To determine just when the creation began, we need to drop down a few verses to the first reference in the scriptures to time as we know it.
The event called the creation started on the first day of all of history. The Bible uses only numbers for the days and months until the time of Moses, when the months are given names. Before that time, God simply numbered the months, as we will see in more detail later on. Therefore the creation began on the first day of the first month of all time. God gives us the name of the first month using two verses. The first verse is....
The first month is the month in which God directed the Jews to celebrate the passover. God gives us the name of this month in....
With this information, we now know that the creation of the universe began on the first day of the month of Abib. On the Christian calendar, the month of Abib falls in the spring around the month of March and April. God began his creation in the spring, a most appropriate time of year, don't you think! God's second great event is the flood of Noah. The flood occurs 1,656 years after the creation, and the date for the flood is given in....
Please notice the precision with which God gives the date of this event. Why would He take so much time to give the exact day of the flood? To build up our faith, that's why! Also notice, as we mentioned earlier, that the months are numbered at this point in time, and are not given names yet. The name of the second month is given in....
I Kings 6:1
The name of the second month is Zif. Therefore God's second great event, the flood of Noah, began on the 17th day of Zif. God's third great event was so earth-shattering that the second book of the Bible is named after it. The exodus of Israel from Egypt began to take place only after God passed through Egypt one night and killed the firstborn of every unbelieving household in the land. On this selfsame night, God instituted the passover ceremony to protect His followers and their firstborn. The date of this event, as we have already seen, is....
We already know that Abib is the first month of the year, therefore the exodus of Israel took place on the 14th day of Abib. God's fourth great event is the building of the temple in Jerusalem. The date that the temple was begun is given in....
II Chronicles 3:1-2
Since we already know that the second month is Zif, then the temple construction began on the second day of Zif. The fifth great event on God's Old Testament timetable is the saddest of them all. God's people had turned away from Him until finally, being a just God, He had to let His judgment fall on the people of Israel. The details of this sad chain of events is documented in no less than four books of the Bible. These books are II Kings, II Chronicles, Jeremiah, and Lamentations. One of the best passages to summarize this event is given in....
This event was so overwhelming that it came to be known simply as the destruction. God did not want us to forget this day, so he gave the date in three different passages of scripture. One of these is....
The name of the fourth month of the ancient Jewish calendar is Tammuz. Therefore the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple occurred on the 9th day of Tammuz. The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem stopped the Old Testament sacrifice system as set down by God through Moses. The sixth event in God's Old Testament schedule allowed these sacrifices to begin again. This event is described in....
The day that God, through the Persian king Cyrus, allowed the levitical sacrifice system to begin again is given in....
The name of the seventh month is given in....
I Kings 8:2
Therefore the day that God re-instituted the sacrifices by means of the proclamation of Cyrus was the first day of Ethanim. God's seventh event, the event that would close of the Old Testament period of history, was indeed the most important event of all time. This event is described in....
While God does not tell us the exact day of the Messiah's birth, we are fairly sure that it is not December 25. However we do know who the Messiah is. He is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and all the prophecies of the Old Testament point to Him as we are told in....
Now that we have gone over the dates for God's seven great events of the Old Testament, we need to go back and connect the dates. The periods of time that span these events are very carefully counted out year by year in the Bible. God, in His infinite wisdom, had the Old Testament writers document all of the years from the creation of the universe to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The first of these periods begins at the creation and ends at the flood. The best name to describe this period appears in one of the most important of all Old Testament passages found in....
The seed is a term that refers to the line of humanity that begins with Adam and ends with Jesus. The word seed specifically points to Jesus himself in most scriptural references. However in some cases it can refer to the ancestors of Jesus also, as we see in....
The period of time that we call the seed can be counted out by years in Genesis chapters 5 and 7. There is a total of 1,656 years from the creation of the universe to the flood of Noah. The name we will give the second Old Testament period is given in....
This period tells the stories of first the sons of Noah, and second the sons of Abraham. The years of the period we call the sons are counted in the books of Genesis and Exodus and total 857 years from the flood to the Exodus. The third period we will give the same name as the seventh book of the Bible. The judges period began with Moses, the first judge of Israel, and ends with the first three kings of Israel, the first two of which were anointed by Samuel, the last judge of Israel. The total years of this period are given in....
I Kings 6:1
If the construction of the temple began at the first of the 380th year after the exodus, then 479 years passed between the exodus and the temple. This can also be determined by counting the years in the books of Judges through I Kings. Our fourth Old Testament period has the same name as the twelfth book of the Bible. The kings period covers the years extending from the building of the temple to its destruction. By counting the years in I and II Kings, you will discover that this period covers 426 years. The fifth Old Testament period is named in....
The number of the years from the destruction of the temple unto the proclamation of Cyrus, king of Persia, which is commonly called the captivity, is given in....
II Chronicles 36:21
Threescore and ten equal seventy. This verse shows us that it was seventy years during the captivity period. The name that best describes the final Old Testament period is given in....
Although the nation Israel was allowed to return to their homeland under the proclamation of Cyrus, it was never again a sovereign nation, but would continue to be ruled by successive Gentile kingdoms, as revealed in Daniel 2. Thus the best name for this period would be the Gentiles. Daniel was later given a vision that revealed the number of years that would climax the Old Testament period of time with the birth of the Messiah. Using the figures given in the books of Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah; you can compute the total of these years. There are 512 years from the proclamation of Cyrus to the birth of the Messiah. This concludes the computation of the years of the entire Old Testament period.
The facts we have presented thus far are all fascinating, but if we are able to relate these dates to our current calendar years, we discover facts that are nothing less than astounding. To do this we need a reference point in time from which to begin these calculations. Thanks to the massive works of earlier Christian historians, we have such a date to work with. While we do not know the day of Jesus' birth, the Christian calendar sets the year of Jesus' birth at AD 1. Using this year as an anchor, we can do some very interesting computations.
If the birth of Jesus Christ if set at AD 1, and the period of the Gentiles covers 512 years, then the proclamation of Cyrus was carried out on Ethanim 1, 512 BC. The captivity period lasted 70 years, so the destruction of the temple took place on Tammuz 9, 582 BC. The kings ruled for 426 years so the building of the temple began on Zif 2, 1008 BC. The judges led Israel for 479 years, thus the exodus took place on Abib 14, 1487 BC. The period called the sons covered 857 years, so the flood of Noah began on Zif 17, 2344 BC. Finally the first Old Testament period, which we have called the seed, covered 1,656 years. This means that the creation of the universe began on Abib 1, 4000 BC. Then entire Old Testament period lasted from 4000 BC to AD 1, a period of exactly 4,000 years from the creation to the Messiah.
Since the time that the Christian calendar was begun, many different scholars have changed the date of Jesus' birth anywhere from two to twelve years, that I know of. If you feel that one of the later discovered dates for Jesus' birth is more correct, this should not prove a problem when dealing with these figures. If you feel Jesus was born on 4 BC, for instance, just add 4 years to all of the above dates, and you will have the corresponding dates, while not affecting the total calculations in the least. Of course this will only work if you believe that what the Bible says in these areas is true.
Yes, you read it right the first time. Our physical universe was created only 4,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. This means that the known universe is only about 6,000 years old today. It is not 5 or 6 billion years old as the current theory of evolution teaches. While I do not have time to go into all the details now, I have worked closely for many years with the Institute for Creation Research in El Cajon, California, and there are thousands of scientists who are deserting this theory because of the amount of scientific evidence that contradicts evolutionary teaching.
At the present time, many scientists are raising serious questions in the area of radiometric dating systems that give the ancient dates necessary for the evolution theory to even have a chance of possibility. I am personally convinced that the entire system of neo-Darwinian evolution will be overthrown in time. I say this in spite of my own evolutionary teaching received in the public school system here in America. I also say it in spite of the fact that I believed the theory myself for many years. I rest my belief in this area on one fact and one fact only. I believe that our earth is only 6,000 years old simply because God's word says so. That totally settles the matter for me.
There is one more thing that I need to address before we leave the first part of this study. We must learn more of the Old Testament for one very important reason. The Old Testament reveals to us the one man, out of all the people who have ever walked the earth, whom every man must know in order to be saved from their sins, and thus gain access to eternity with God. The Old Testament tells us of the God of heaven who is not only powerful enough to accomplish all the wonders of the Bible, but all-knowing enough to give us not only the years, but also the month, and the day when each of these wonders took place. Now that's the kind of God that is worthy of worship! As the Apostle Paul puts it....