. . . fully after the LORD                  I Kings 11:6                      by Steve Flinchum

Chapter 1


(Acts 17:24-31)

    The intended design and focus of this writing is upon the subject of following and having a right relationship with the one and only true and living God. From almost the beginning of time, people have alleged or imagined the existence of other, and multiple gods. Eve was deceived with the promise that she and Adam would become "as gods." Regardless of the power or existence of other gods, there can only be one best of anything. The God who is best is the only one worthy of our attention or affection. That God has commanded that:

. . . thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.  (Exodus 34:14)

That God created all things, and His creation stands as proof of the existence and power of God. Notice the unique aspect of God's jealousy. All supposed, or false gods, willingly allow, and even encourage, the co-worship of other gods and goddesses. Can you imagine the creation of our universe being accomplished by a committee of gods and goddesses or by a board or coalition of gods? Equally absurd is any notion of evolution, that things just happened. Things do not just happen with positive results of such precision and upon such a scale as that of creation. The idea that such a balance as observed in nature could somehow develop from chance is contrary to all reasonable thinking. Just as ridiculous is the fantasy that God just kind of got the thing started with a spark, a bang, a germ, or whatever, and then let evolution kick in. That is only a doctrine borrowed from the ancient Babylonian sun worship. If God were able to cause such an unusual occurrence, was He not just as able to create the universe in the manner related in the Bible?

    The World Book Encyclopedia (1985), under the heading "How the Earth Began" says, "There is no single, generally accepted scientific theory as to when or how the earth was formed." Of the nebular theory, proposed in 1755, the article says, "This theory assumes . . . ." Of another, proposed in 1905, the article says, "The planetismal theory assumes . . . ." Then there is the gaseous theory, proposed in 1919, of which the Encyclopedia says, "This theory assumes . . . ." It says that the English astronomer who proposed the double star theory, in the 1930's, "assumed . . . ," and of the condensation theories developed during the 1940's and 1950's, it says, "They assume . . . ." The article says, "Scientists do not know any more about the earth's earliest stages than they do about the birth of the solar system. They suppose . . . ." That is an awful lot of assuming and supposing. Doesn't sound very convincing, does it? All those theories assume and suppose the existence of certain conditions and circumstances with certain arrangements of heating and cooling of various concoctions of gas and dust, solid particles, gas and liquid, clouds of gas, explosions, etc. The Bible account of creation surely sounds far more reasonable, credible, authoratative, and sincere. The Bible account was apparently so believable and evident to the writer and readers that it was accepted as fact and in no need of proof.

    The very size and shape of the earth, with its exact distance from the sun being the only position to allow it the right amount of heat and light, should be sufficient to testify to the existence of a very, very wise God.

    If the world has evolved from such adverse and unnatural conditions as has been alleged, and life can adapt to any circumstance, why is pollution considered to be so great a threat?

    If all (or any) living creatures have evolved from some one original lower form of life, which somehow came into being in some jungle, swamp, river, or mud-hole, why have men not been able to re-enact or produce a similar occurrence with laboratories, controlled conditions, and billions of dollars? If we can land men on the moon and bring them back, surely we could simulate something that happened by accident millions of years ago in a jungle! For the sake of argument, suppose that it could have happened. What are the chances that it would have happened twice, so that there would have been a mate? What are the chances that those two creatures could have been formed geographically close enough and within each others life span to have found one another? Or, if conveniently, reproduction at that time didn't require a mate, when, how, and why did the rules change? The theories of evolution depend not only upon the assumption that there was a very unusual occurrence at some point, which defies all laws of nature as we now know them, but requires the assumption of a chain of repeated occurrences of unusual and rule-changing circumstances and events of great magnitude. The supposed process of any thing evolving is totally opposite to the way things really are. Every thing runs down, cools off, gets old, wears out, falls apart, etc. Time gets used up, fire goes out, and sound dies. It is much easier for me to believe that about six thousand years ago, God simply created whatever forms of life He chose to create, and began immediately to propagate each species just as he does now.

    Even though creation stands as proof and proclamation of much about the Creator, so much so that all are "without excuse" (Romans 1:20), God has communicated to us even greater knowledge and detail about Himself in His written Word, the Bible. I see many things written and said, supposedly about the same God, that are contradictory to the Bible. If we are to learn truth about God, it is essential that our learning come from a reliable source. If the Bible is really the words of God, then any notion contradictory to it must be rejected. The Bible teaches that God is an unchanging God. Many teach doctrines that either assume or imply that God continuously changes to keep up with man. Any change, for better or worse, would imply that there either was or now is imperfection. We have no need of an imperfect God.

    Many writings and teachings that contradict the Bible can be seen to be in some, if not many, ways less condemning of man than the Bible. The Bible presents man as totally depraved since the sin of Adam, and God as totally sovereign. If the Bible were merely written by "good men," or even partly by man, it would have his fingerprints all over it--man would not be so condemning of himself. As Henry M. Morris says on page 16 of Many Infallible Proofs:

Only God would ever prescribe a standard which could be attained only by God Himself. The uniqueness of salvation by grace through faith alone clearly stamps the Christian Gospel as divine in origin.

    God didn't just give men ideas and let them put them into their own words, God gave them specific words and made sure they wrote them. In the Bible, God always tells the rest of the story, the good and the bad. If men were the authors, they would have left out many of their sins and mistakes. Think of the things that Moses, David, Solomon, Jonah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and others wrote about themselves and their families. What man would not have cleaned up the story a little, were it not God's work? The writers of the Bible repeatedly declare it to be the inspired Word of God. If it is not, they were either deceived or were themselves malicious deceivers and should be avoided. The number and accuracy of prophecies made and fulfilled that are recorded in the Bible by different writers separated geographically, culturally, and by hundreds of years, leaves no doubt about the credibility of it. And, think of all the prophecies that have been fulfilled since the writing of the Bible. Notice the harmony in every aspect of the books of the Bible with each other, even though there is such diversity of background and distance of time among the writers. Notice the scientific and historical accuracy of the Bible that has stood the test of time.

    In the "Introduction" to The Divine Inspiration of the Bible, A.W. Pink wrote:

Surrender the dogma of verbal inspiration and you are left like a rudderless ship on a stormy sea--at the mercy of every wind that blows. Deny that the Bible is, without any qualification, the very Word of God, and you are left without any ultimate standard of measurement and without any supreme authority. It is useless to discuss any doctrine taught by the Bible until you are prepared to acknowledge, unreservedly, that the Bible is the final court of appeal. Grant that the Bible is a Divine revelation and communication of God's own mind and will to men, and you have a fixed starting point from which advance can be made into the domain of truth. Grant that the Bible is (in its original manuscripts) inerrant and infallible, and you reach the place where study of its contents is both practicable and profitable.

It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of the doctrine of the Divine inspiration of Scripture. This is the strategic center of Christian theology, and must be defended at all costs. It is the point at which our satanic enemy is constantly hurling his hellish battalions. Here it was he made his first attack. In Eden he asked, "Yea, hath God said?" and to-day he is pursuing the same tactics.

    In the chapters to follow, all Bible quotations will be made from the King James Version, unless noted otherwise. I believe that it is the most accurate, commonly available English translation we have, contained in one volume. It will be noticed that at times I will be critical of the King James translation, but that is not meant to imply that it is not reliable. Even though a poor choice of word is used occasionally, the truth can be seen when studied within the context and in agreement with the rest of the Bible. No translation can be considered as inspired in the same sense as the inspiration of the original manuscripts. Those criticisms are not made carelessly. I am well aware of the danger of adding to or taking from the words of the Bible (Revelation 22:18-19). That, in fact, is a big reason for putting forth the effort to compare with the original texts. We are instructed to rightly divide "the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). "Rightly dividing the word of truth" does not allow for trying to see what a verse can be made to say, but instead demands seeking the meaning intended by God who inspired it. An honest, open mind and sound reason dictates, first of all, that the proper definition of a word must fit within the context in which it is found, and that it not contradict any other statement or teaching elsewhere in the inspired Word of God. Each criticism that will be made of the King James Version of the New Testament, I have made with the King James Version and the Textus Receptus (original Greek) side by side, diligently consulting Strong's Concordance, at least three commonly accepted Greek-English Lexicons, an interlinear Greek-English New Testament, other translations, and two Greek grammar textbooks, detailing the pertinent findings for the discretion of the reader. Caution is definitely in order, and no unsupported claim of definition should be blindly accepted, yet those who blindly and rashly choose to worship a translation made less than 400 years ago to meet the approval of a king who demanded that certain words could not be used in the translation, rather than seek the truth, will do so to their own disadvantage.

    With any amount of Bible study, one is soon confronted with someone named Jesus. It is accepted as historical fact that Jesus lived in the area and time as claimed by the Bible. Some claim that He was only a great prophet, a very good man, or a very wise teacher. Jesus and His teachings was then, and has always been, very controversial. Jesus boldly proclaimed Himself to be "the Son of God" (John 10:36). Jesus said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). In John 10:30, He said, "I and my Father are one." Jesus either was, or was not, everything He claimed to be. If He is not every thing He claimed to be, He was either badly deceived, or was the greatest deceiver that ever lived. If He was that badly deceived, He could in no way be considered as a wise or good teacher. If He were intentionally deceptive, He could in no way be considered a good man, and all His teachings should be rejected as dangerous and damnable. Since the whole Bible confirms and agrees with Jesus' claims, it too, would have to be disregarded, if Jesus were a deceiver. If Jesus is who He claimed to be, we must accept His teachings in their entirety. To reject or dispute any part is to indict the whole. An awful lot of religion and doctrine that is being sold as Christianity does not pass the test when examined by the unchanging Word of God. In following God, all religion and doctrine that is contrary to the Bible must be rejected.

    The pages that follow are by no means intended to be exhaustive upon any of the subjects addressed, but it is hoped that enough will be written to provoke the study, consideration, and discussion of some important truths that have for too long been neglected and have now been almost abandoned.

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