Two high profile renouncement’s of faith have shaken the Christian world in recent days, with “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” author Joshua Harris taking the atheist plunge first, followed by Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson declaring that he is “genuinely losing his faith.”
John Cooper, from the popular Christian band Skillet wrote a lengthy (and scathing) post on Facebook offering some fierce push-back on some of the complaints made by these two apostates:
“I have a few specific thoughts and rebuttals to statements made by recently disavowed church influencers…first of all, I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, “I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it… therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.” I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed?”
A very strong observation, as many who critique the Christian faith enjoy throwing arrows yet leave the inadequacies and folly of their own worldview conveniently unaddressed. Why should someone believe this wavering person, especially when they are entering into a worldview that has no worthy justifications to explain virtually anything we currently experience in life?
I’ll fast forward to the crown jewel of the post, in which Cooper responds brilliantly to some of the (frequently asked/answered) questions raised by the Hillsong worship leader, who claimed these were issues the church “never talks about.”
“Thirdly, there is a common thread running through these leaders/influencers that basically says that “no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.” This is just flatly false. I just read today in a renown worship leader’s statement, “How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.” As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the inerrant Word of God. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.
Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Further and further they are sinking in the sea all the while shouting “now I’ve found the truth! Follow me!!” Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers… I implore you, please, please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT. “The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8)
Amen and amen! Beautifully said by Cooper all the way around. If you check out the full post you’ll also be treated to his astute yet often looked observation that these leaders backing away from the faith say we just need to love people — yet by removing God you remove all justification and reason to even bother loving people in the first place! Everything becomes relative without Him, and Cooper does a nice job of fleshing this idea out.
From article in Faith Wire by Managing Editor, Dan Andros
A majority of evangelicals now believe that God accepts the worship of all religions, according to a new study released by Ligonier Ministries. At a time when a darkened world needs the light of the Gospel, it’s disheartening to see many within the evangelical church confused about core Biblical doctrine.
“I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me”John 14:6
Chris Larson, president of Ligonier Ministries, says the results of the 2018 State of Theology survey conducted by LifeWay Research and released Tuesday shows an urgent need for bold teaching of historic Christianity.
In the survey in which a representative sample of 3,000 Americans were interviewed, evangelicals were asked about their views on a series of theological statements including: “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”
Some 51 percent of respondents were shown to agree with the statement, while 42 percent disagreed. Two years earlier in 2016, 49 percent of evangelicals were found to agree with the statement while 43 percent said they disagreed.
“The Bible is clear that the Gospel is the only way of salvation, and God will not accept the worship of other faiths. It is only through Jesus Christ and by His Spirit that we are able to worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:24),” the researchers note.
Among other troubling theology embraced by evangelicals according to the survey, is that a majority of evangelicals believe that most people are basically good by nature and that Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father — some 78 percent of evangelicals agree with this. Only 71 percent of evangelicals supported this idea in 2016.
“These results are a serious cause for concern. It is the depth of man’s sin that led Jesus to die on the cross. How, then, can a majority of evangelicals say most people are good by nature? Down through history, Christians have proclaimed that Jesus is truly God, not some sort of created being. The evangelical world is in great danger of slipping into irrelevance when it casually forgets the Bible’s doctrine,” he said.
The results of the 2018 State of Theology survey, which was conducted from April 24 to May 4, 2018, echoes previous studies which have been pointing to a rejection of orthodox Christian beliefs by many American Christians.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN, HE IS IN TOTAL CONTROL OF HISTORY AND HIS UNIVERSE:
Amazing evidence of God orchestrating current events in intricate detail and giving us a picture of what will unfold with people and events in the Bible. Ahab/Bill Clinton, Jezebel/Hilary Clinton, Obama/Joram, Trump/Jehu. If you are unsure of Biblical inerrancy, this should convince you that you need to get on your knees, and ask for forgiveness for doubting God’s word. You will see some amazing clips of history in the making. Mind blowing, powerful messages.
If this does not excite you to want to get in step with God and what He wants you do in these “last days” then nothing will.
Once again, science has finally caught up with God’s Word: It turns out that sexual intimacy and childbearing result in a unique enmeshing of a man’s DNA into a woman’s body!
This phenomenon is known as ‘microchimerism’ and is a clear affirmation of Genesis 2:24, which says,
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
As science is finally affirming, ‘one flesh’ is a physical reality, not just a metaphor. It makes sense, then, that God’s good design for marriage and sexuality be for one man to unite with one woman—exclusively, for life.
Both Jesus and Paul quoted the above verse when they were teaching on marriage, with Jesus concluding: So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. (Matthew 19:6)
So it should come as no surprise that science also affirms the dangers of not following the Creator’s design. For example, women are known to be at risk from sexual involvement with multiple partners as it can impact their health and increase pregnancy risks such as miscarriage, low birth weight and dangerous (potentially fatal) diseases.
Having the DNA of a separate individual integrated into one’s body for life, conveyed via the process of procreation, emphasises the depth of the intimacy achievable for a male and female union. Following God’s instructions contained in His Word regarding sexual behaviours results in better health outcomes for women. This is as expected since God is the author of life and He said:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Article by Dr Kathy Wallace, BA, BHSc Hons, BM BS, FRACGP. Dr Wallace is a medical doctor who works as a GP in Adelaide, South Australia. She did her undergraduate studies at University of Adelaide, with Honours in Neuropathology, and her graduate-entry medicine at Flinders University.
Creation Ministries have Dr Wallace speaking at their October 2-5, 2018 Gold Coast, SuperConference. Check it out on http://www.creation.com
The Bible is a book made up of different types of writing: history, laws, songs, prophecy, wisdom, and letters. One thing these writings have in common is their authors assumed they were writing about real people and events. As Peter explains:
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honour and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.” (2 Peter 1:16-18)
“With the Bible you have this notion that there is providence, a purposeful plan by God himself that is then worked out across time in a linear, understandable, traceable fashion.” – George Grant
There are many internal indicators that Biblical writers were referring to actual events. The authors provide specific dates, identify locations, describe geographical features, or point out man-made monuments that were still existing when the original readers read the text.
Actual events such as the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, the giving of the Law to Moses, or the anointing of King David are the bedrock on which every type of Biblical writing is based.
In other words, the Bible is essentially a book of history. Note that the word ‘history’ can be used in two related ways:
‘History’ can refer to the written record of people and events in time (as in, ‘the book of Kings is a history of Israel’);
‘History’ can be used in a more comprehensive sense to refer to the actual people and events themselves (as in, ‘David’s flight from Saul is history’)
The Apostle Paul points out the connection between historical events and what the authors of the Bible reveal about those events when he tells the Corinthians: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.” (1 Cor 15:14-15)
Paul sees history as being directly connected to what he and the other apostles are revealing to people through their preaching. He explains that: “The gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Gal 1:11)
What is revelation?
Revelation is God’s act of revealing Himself through His words and actions to people throughout the history of the world.
General Revelation: God has revealed Himself generally through the physical attributes of the creation itself. We see this in Psalm 19 where David says: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
Special Revelation: God has also revealed Himself through personal manifestations and spoken words. Psalm 19 continues: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
Special Revelation is the revelation that is included in the books of the Bible. It is what Paul was referring to when he talked about the revelation that God provided to him and the other apostles. It is also what Peter is referring to when he explains that “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)
Although General Revelation provides us enough knowledge to know that God exists, it does not provide a record of His words and deeds in time. This is why Special Revelation is so important: we cannot know what God has actually done in the past unless He specifically tells us.
There are three important points to the doctrine of revelation:
1. From the beginning of time, men and women were placed in the world so they could perceive God’s power and divinity in the creation and worship Him.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20
What is the truth being suppressed by certain men? The truth of General Revelation that God is powerful and divine, and should therefore be worshipped by everyone. Because this truth has been revealed through what God has made, those who reject it are without an excuse.
What is “plain to them,” and how is it perceived?God’s invisible attributes are made visible through the creation, specifically His eternal power and divine nature. These can be seen by looking at the world around us, whether it is looking at a sunrise, seeing a mountain peak, watching the way a bird flies, or studying the complexity of DNA. Every aspect of creation reveals something about God.
What is the purpose of God revealing Himself through His creation?He desires men and women everywhere to know Him and worship Him. In the verses immediately following this statement, Paul explains what happens to people who choose to worship the creation instead of the Creator: they eventually turn to sexual sin.
Why does Paul say God’s attributes have been clearly perceived “ever since the creation of the world”?He wants to show there has never been a time when man was not present on the earth to worship God. Paul is referring back to Genesis 1 and the creation of Adam and Eve on the sixth day of creation as the starting point for the worship of God.
Is there a connection between those who reject God’s General Revelation and the desire to use intellectual disciplines (such as philosophy and science) to argue that He does not exist? Yes, these are examples of different ways of suppressing the truth. People are turning to the creation to worship it instead of God. That worship can take many different manifestations, whether bowing down to an idol made of wood or an idol made of intellectual ideas. In the case of modern science, many people have taken the natural world and set it up as the maker of all things. Atheistic evolutionary theory is the idolatrous idea of the progressive self-creation of all things.
2. God spoke to select men who accurately recorded His words and actions, as well as the events surrounding them.
Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Exodus 24:3-4
These are the stages of the people of Israel, when they went out of the land of Egypt by their companies under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Moses wrote down their starting places, stage by stage, by command of the Lord. Numbers 33:1-2
Why is it important to God that His words and actions, as well as the events surrounding them, be recorded? God reveals Himself through words and actions at specific places and times; they are a part of history. For instance, the Ten Commandments were spoken three months after the Israelites left Egypt. They are God’s verbal commands intended to guide His people, so He instructed Moses to write them down for future generations to remember and follow. God also instructs Moses to write down the stages (or steps) of the people on their journey. He wants them to remember how He guided them, protected them, and provided for them at a certain time and place, so they can trust that He will do it again in the future.
How important is Special Revelation for knowing what God said and did in the past? God’s Special Revelation is the only way for us to know exactly what God has said and done in the past. When it comes to questions about origins, therefore, it is very important that we start with Special Revelation. As God’s interactions with Moses on Mt. Sinai reveal, He was intentional about what He wanted Moses to write down. We must therefore be careful to base our understanding of history on what God has revealed to us about it.
Can General Revelation be used to know what God said or did in the past? No, General Revelation is intended to reveal the invisible attributes of God such as His power and nature; it was not intended to reveal His words and deeds. In a sense, General Revelation is “ahistorical” since it occurs in the same way for all people at all times.
There are some people who say the Bible is “true” but that the events it describes are not actual history. Is there a problem thinking this way? When talking about the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul points out that if it did not actually happen, there is no hope for salvation. We all naturally understand that actions have consequences: if we don’t fill up our car with gas, it will stop running; if we lock a door and lose the key, we cannot open it. Truth is therefore connected to reality: if something is said to have happened, but did not, then it cannot also be true.
3. God expects us to know the events recorded in the Bible and accept them as history so we can direct our lives according to what He has said and done.
Read Matthew 19:3-6: And Pharisees came up to [Jesus] and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Why does Jesus quote the account of the first marriage in Genesis 2 to address the Pharisees’ question about divorce? Jesus looks at the creation of the first man and woman—and their marriage in the garden—as the model for all other marriages. Adam and Eve were therefore the standard for all marriages coming after them.
Why is it important for Jesus’ argument that the account in Genesis 2 be historically true? Jesus is making the claim that what God did in the garden has direct consequences for all marriages after it. If the original marriage of Adam to Eve was not real, then it does not have authority over any other marriage. Jesus, however, points out there was an original structure to God’s created order, and divorce was not part of it.
How important are a real Adam and Eve to the life and work of Jesus? They are absolutely essential. Luke 3 shows that Jesus connects His lineage directly back to Adam as the first “son of God.” The consequences of Adam’s sin were the reason mankind and the world became corrupted and in need of salvation. Jesus came to earth to save us from the results of Adam’s sin.
The doctrine of revelation is the foundation of how we know who God is and what He has done in the world. Revelation, therefore, is where we must start when considering the question of origins. General Revelation reveals God’s invisible attributes to the entire world, but it cannot tell us anything specific about history. It is therefore left to Special Revelation to reveal God’s words and actions in time. Together, these two types of Revelation provide us an accurate, yet inexhaustible, fount of knowledge about creation and God Himself.
Taken from IsGenesisHistory.com. The videos are a must view. Use them to teach the inerrancy of God’s Word.
There are at least 500 legends of a worldwide deluge. Many of these show remarkable similarities, with many aspects similar to the details about Noah’s Flood in the Bible
Perhaps all the peoples of these remote civilisations, including Australian Aborigines, had different flood experiences that, by chance, had all these features in common, on which they based their stories. However, the more reasonable alternative is that these legends all find their root in the same one global Flood experience that Genesis records.
Now Noah’s Ark on a Roman coin!
Imperial Rome produced a series of now-rare bronze coins depicting Noah’s Ark—the first known coins depicting a biblical scene. These coins, averaging about 3 cm in diameter, were produced during the reigns of five Roman Emperors: Septimius Severus, Macrinus, Gordian III, Philip, and Trebonianus Gallus, covering a period of 61 years (AD 192–253).
Noah’s Flood was an important historical event, not only for the Jews and Christians who lived in the city, but for the Romans as well, whether they understood this or not. It shows their common heritage and history, for they are all descended from Noah and his family, just as is everyone else today.
The history depicted on the coin speaks of a fallen humanity descended from Adam, God judging the world for its sin by flooding it, and God remembering Noah and keeping him safe throughout the Flood, for which He received His due praise. The New Testament indicates that the Ark is a ‘type’ of Jesus (1 Peter 3:20–21); coming to Him in faith and repentance ensures salvation from God’s judgement on sin. So the story on the coin can be used by Christians to point people to Jesus, the Saviour of the world.
What’s on the coin?
One side of the coin carries the image and name of the Emperor, which obviously changes depending on the time of minting, but the core features remain essentially the same. On the reverse side it depicts Noah and his wife inside the box-shaped Ark with waves lapping at the bottom of it. Noah’s name in Greek, ΝΩΕ (Nōe), can be clearly read in the middle of the Ark. On top of the Ark on the right is the raven, and on the top left is the dove with an olive branch in its mouth. On the left side of the coin Noah and his wife are again shown, standing outside the Ark on solid ground with their hands raised upwards to God in praise. This important feature shows that they recognised that God remembered them (Genesis 8:1), bringing them safely through the global Flood.
The Ark has appeared on many later coins. Here are some examples. Constant reminders of a real event when God judged mankind.
God’s history book, The Bible, gives us an account of a future event when God will pour out His wrath upon the earth and sadly, the majority of people will be unprepared for that event as they were in the days of Noah.
1649 golden ducat, commemorating the end of the Thirty Years’ War, by the city of Regensburg (Germany)
“He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen.” Genesis 16:12
The descendants of Ishmael are acting exactly as predicted in Biblical prophesy. Erdogan is intent on reestablishing the Ottoman Empire when Turkey ruled all of the surrounding Muslim countries. Moreover, of all the Muslim countries it is the most powerful, with an army of 350,000 active personnel and 360,500 reserve personnel and its Air Power similar in numbers to Israel.
The Turkish president called for an emergency session of of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul to be held on Friday to discuss the situation in Gaza. A massive anti-Israel rally is also scheduled to be held concurrently in Taksim Square in Istanbul.
On Monday, a six week Hamas-led protest-turned-riot culminated with 35,000 Palestinians challenging the security fence and approximately 60 Palestinians killed. Erdogan was quoted in the press as saying that Israel is a “a terror state” that has committed “a genocide.”
“Israel is wreaking state terror,” Erdogan said in a speech to Turkish students in London broadcast by state television. “Israel is a terror state. What Israel has done is a genocide. I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America.”
The videos show members of the tire-burning and wire-cutting units saying their highest aspiration is to die for the sake of Allah, to cut the Zionist enemy’s main barbed-wire fence and take it down with “the fingernails of their children.'”
One tribal leader declared that the Palestinian people will liberate its land with blood, women and children.
Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon called this a Palestinian cycle of death. “First, they incite people to violence. Then, they place as many civilians as possible – including women and children – in the line of fire to maximise civilian casualties. Then they blame Israel, and then they come here to complain to the UN,” Danon said.
Also, undaunted, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Erdogan , issuing a statement that “Erdogan is among Hamas’s biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter. I suggest that he not preach morality to us.”
There is only one possible end to the Satanic inspired hatred of the Jews and it is prophesied in God’s Word.
This video reveals what happens when you stand up for the authority of Scripture particularly when it challenges the church about going out to preach the Gospel – disciples making new disciples.
Jesus clearly says that new wine in old wine skins doesn’t work (Mark 2:22). It will burst the wine skins and the wine is spilled. What we are seeing now is that churches are splitting. It is the work of the Holy Spirit and we will see much more of it in the future. The more the kingdom of God grows, the more families and churches will be divided.
We hope this video will bless you, encourage you and help you to not compromise for the sake of a false peace, but stand firm on the truth and on the word of God. You can see that Joel and Torben love the church, but there is a church system and a compromise that is not from God. Joël – a senior pastor – tells about how he got fired from his church after trying to reform it. Torben Søndergaard is also telling about how Christian leaders in Denmark are warning against and spreading lies about him and The Last Reformation. There are really a lot of lies and manipulation going on in churches. Let’s work together in the name of Jesus.
The original creation, which was declared by God to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31), did not contain such aberrations as death and suffering. Evolution claims, without any mechanism that could accomplish it, goo turned into you as a result of natural selection, survival of the fittest and therefore death, suffering and disease. Mutations don’t help, as they involve loss of DNA information not an increase, which is what would be needed to go from goo to you by way of the zoo.
The Bible provides the true reason for death, suffering and disease, the historical event of “The Fall” caused sin and death to enter and corrupt the created order (Romans 8:20–22). This can only be true within a ‘young-Earth’ framework.
Sadly, many Christian apologists who accept the evolutionary long-age paradigm of earth history are unaware of the massive inconsistency. Old-Earth belief directly undercuts the biblical defence against objections posed by death and suffering. The secular paradigm is built upon ‘dating’ methods and assumptions which place death, suffering, disease, cancer and carnivorous activity long before the Fall of man. Thus, pointing to the Fall as the terminus a quo2 for death and suffering is logically inconsistent, and many thoughtful sceptics have picked up on this.
Here is a typical sceptic question: “ … knowing the world as we see today, if extrapolating back millions of years, we have millions of years of death (as the engine of evolution), suffering, cancers, parasites and diseases. How is all that equated for if “The Fall” is responsible for it?”
The point made is that you cannot use “The Fall” as a response to why we have death and suffering if you also accept the evolutionary time scale, because they contradict each other! If you want to accept the old-earth view then you must acknowledge the history that goes with it, i.e. millions of years of death, disease and bloodshed before the Fall. But once you accept that, you have no option but to say that God did in fact create these things and even pronounced them “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Long age Christian apologists will invariably say, “the effects of “The Fall” are a spiritual issue rather than a physical one”. And yet, the description of the effects of the Fall clearly includes physical elements: the serpent is cursed above all livestock, women will experience unpleasant pain in childbirth, the ground is cursed and will bring forth thorns and thistles, and growing food will be a laborious task (Genesis 3:14–19). Also, and most importantly, man was to die a physical death; ‘dust to dust’ (v.19). These unquestionably are physical changes.
The age of the earth is not a secondary, peripheral issue, related only to the creation-evolution debate. It is absolutely pivotal in determining how we answer fundamental questions relating to death and suffering. If we are inconsistent, astute sceptics will pick up on it. It also demonstrates the irrational fear that so many Christian apologists have over the age issue, causing them to repeatedly make these types of contradictory statements. This fear seems to be driven by the incorrect assumption that deep time has been irrefutably demonstrated. However, such an assumption is unwarranted given the abundant evidence available today that the deep time paradigm is flawed.
The solution really is quite simple: rather than trying to invent different explanatory models or interpretations of Genesis that can accommodate millions of years, we need to realise that the Bible can and should be taken at face value. Its explanation for the origin of suffering and death needs no alteration and the problem only appears when secular evolutionary assumptions are imported into our theology (see Plumbing and paradigms). It is those compromising assumptions that need to be thrown out! Only then can we present the biblical explanation of death and suffering without contradictions.
Excerpts from another great Creation Ministries article by Thomas Fretwell, “Christian apologists trip over the age of the earth … again“
I do hope this account of the first five books of the Bible by RABBI ERIC TOKAJER will bring them alive for you as it did me.
The Bible is a history of the world from beginning to end, and that history is told over and over, one page at a time. Every word written adds more colour to the picture, and every phrase written provides more depth and contrast to help us see the fullness of the story as it is retold. To lay the foundation for what I am saying, let’s simply look at the first words of each of the five books of the Torah.
The book of Genesis begins with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1, TLV). So, Genesis begins by introducing us to GOD.
The book of Exodus begins with the words, “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came into Egypt with Jacob, every man with his family” (Ex. 1:1). ” Exodus begins with the word “and,” connecting us to the book of Genesis, which introduced us to GOD. Exodus introduces us to the children of Israel, who are in bondage because they went to Egypt.
The book of Leviticus begins again with the word “and.” “And the LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying ..” (Lev. 1:1, MEV). The “and” connects Leviticus to Exodus and Genesis as the picture continues to be painted.In Leviticus, GOD calls Moses from inside of the Tent of Meeting while Moses is outside of the Tent of Meeting. We are introduced to a GOD who is inviting His people into His home.
At this point, we have been introduced to GOD. We have been introduced to His people in bondage in Egypt. We have been introduced to GOD calling to man.
The book of Numbers also begins with “and.” “And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai in the Tent of Meeting on the first day of the second month in the second year after they went out from the land of Egypt, saying” (Num. 1:1). The “and” in Numbers connects the book of Numbers to the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus, we are introduced to Moses as one who has entered GOD’s home.
So, in Genesis, we are introduced to GOD. In Exodus, we are introduce to GOD’s people in trouble/bondage. In Leviticus, we are introduced to a GOD who invites His people into His home. In Numbers, we are introduced to a GOD who has welcomed His people into His home.
The Book of Deuteronomy begins with the words, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab” (Deut. 1:1). Deuteronomy, like Genesis, does not begin with the word “and” because it is the conclusion of the story being told in the Torah. What story, you may ask? The same story told with every word and every stroke of paint: the Gospel.
Genesis tells us about GOD. Exodus tells us we are in bondage. Leviticus tells us GOD wants us to dwell with Him. Numbers tell us how we dwell with Him. Deuteronomy tells us to tell others about Genesis through Numbers so they can participate in Deuteronomy themselves. You see, the Bible/Torah isn’t a bunch of commandments and a burden too heavy to carry.
The Bible/Torah is our history, yours and mine. Each word is a stroke of colour that introduces us over and over to GOD. And when we view it from the right perspective, we are impacted by the beauty and intricacy of the Good News in every word and phrase that GOD loves us so much that He wants to spend eternity with us.