Why and When?
This teaching is a composite from several of my teachings, and is in response to a couple of questions I have had recently regarding why I depend so much on scripture.
I apologize for the length of the teaching, but I promise you will gain insight, if you take the time to read it!
I have done several Easter sermons, in which many of these thoughts originally came to the surface and were shared. You see, at certain times of the year, Easter being one, folks who rarely attend a church service come out, and expect to hear an Easter sermon. This usually includes a re-telling of the story of the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus. How He was crucified, placed in a sealed tomb, but on the third day, as foretold in Scripture, rose again. He did this all for the redemption of our sins, so that we can be accepted into the Kingdom of God.
There are many Christian holidays, but Easter is the most important one. It is the day of celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. A day that every Christian should fall down on his or her knees and give thanks for the gift of eternal life, only available because of what happened 2000 years ago. And, because of that great gift, we set aside this Holy day to celebrate our redemption.
It’s a great and glorious story. And, if you truly understand the reality of the significance of what happened on that day, the standard Easter sermon is all you need.
It serves as a reminder of what a loving, caring, and, most importantly, forgiving God we serve. It serves as a reminder of what a sacrifice was made by our blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ. You, that truly understand all this, would be blessed by a standard Easter sermon. An annual reminder.
But, for those that hear the words, but don’t fully understand the significance, it’s just a day to dress up and go to church. A day to be around people who “get it.” A day to fellowship with Christians and to hope that some of the “good” rubs off. Just enough “good” to last for another year, until we can come back again and do it all over again. An annual reminder that we fall short of “something” that is available to us, but deep down, we just don’t quite grasp what all the fuss is really about.
I know that there are people in every congregation that believe that Jesus was here. They believe He was crucified. They believe He died on the cross. They believe He rose on the third day. They believe He ascended to Heaven. They believe all this, but there is still something missing.
This brings me to some of the questions I have recently been asked, all of which can be reduced to just two. Two questions are in many hearts, but most are afraid to ask them, for fear that they might appear to not be as “spiritual” as the rest of us. The truth of it all is that we all need to be reminded of the answers to these questions. I would be willing to bet that almost every person reading this teaching today has had a time when one or both of these two questions has entered your mind. I would be extremely surprised, if they haven’t!
So, I am going to try to spread some light on the two questions, while also reminding you of the significance of what causes our celebration of Christian holidays.
I think we would all agree, and so would most anyone you stop on the street and ask, that, based on the commandments of the Bible, we have all sinned. We can all be classified as “sinners”.
Christians only need to be reminded of one verse to come to this reality:
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
We all know we are sinners.
Every Sunday, from Christian pulpits around the world, you can be sure of one thing. Sometime during the service, you will hear the words “for our sins.” Let me give you four examples of scriptures that use that exact term:
1 Corinthians 15:3 – For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.
Galatians 1:4 – Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.
1 John 2:2 – And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
So what is the first question that comes to mind?
“Why did He do it?”
Think about it. Everyone, even agnostics, recognize that it would be impossible to meet the requirements of the Ten Commandments. The basic commandments leave us all as sinners. We all tell little lies. We all bear a little false witness. Sometimes a little lie can protect someone’s feelings.
How do you like my haircut? “Looks great!” Inside, you may be thinking “Good grief. Why on earth would you pay good money to have someone put a bowl over your head and
have the goat graze on the excess hair?” But, you bear a little false witness to protect someone’s feelings.
Honor thy father and thy mother. This is a tough commandment. I think it is Mark Twain who is credited with saying something like, “When I was 17, I was amazed at how little my parents knew about life. When I turned 21, I was even more amazed to see how much they had learned in just 4 short years.” We have all had run-ins with our parents, for which we are later regretful.
How about the “covet” requirements? Ever thought? “Nice car. Sure wish I had it.” Ever wished you had your neighbor’s car, your friend’s house, or my good looks?
We have sinned. So, why did this all happen? How does this fix it, and “Why did He do it?”
The Bible, at first glance, seems extremely complicated. In one respect, it is. It is a series of events and teachings that have both basic and deep meaning. It is truly the word of God and has a purpose in all our lives. I believe all scripture to be divinely inspired by God. I believe it to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The scriptures support this belief. I believe God has protected the scriptures and insured that they are what we need to be reading. I do not believe that there is any contradiction in the Bible. I believe that every possible contradiction can be easily explained by putting the scripture in context and examining all aspects. If you don’t believe this, ponder this: If God “spoke into existence” the entire universe, created man, and knows the number of the hairs on your head, why would you doubt that he could handle such a simple thing as protecting His word?
Matthew 10:30 – But the very hairs of your head are numbered.
Luke 12:7 – But even the very hairs of your head are numbered.
If God knows the very number of hairs on each of our heads, why would you doubt His ability to protect His word for our edification?
Hebrews 11:3 – Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Now, assuming that you believe, as I do, that the Bible is the true word of God, let me simplify the whole story for you.
In the beginning, God spoke the world into existence.
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
God created the earth. He then created man and gave man free will. He does not desire to have communion with man, if man does not want to have communion with Him.
Therefore, He gave us the ability to decide for ourselves if we will serve Him, or not.
He created the Garden of Eden, in which man could dwell. Genesis describes that a river flowed from the base of the tree of life to water the garden, and that it broke into four rivers, the Pison, the Gihon, the Hiddekel, and the Euphrates. I find it interesting that both Babylon and the place where it all began (the Garden of Eden) are located in Iraq. In the last decade or so, the focus of the world went right back at the location where it all began.
The first commandment of God to man can be found in Genesis 2:16-17, where God gave Adam freedom to eat anything he wanted, but commanded him not to eat of one tree – the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God warned him that the day he ate of it, “thou shall surely die.”
God saw that Adam needed a companion, so he put Adam to sleep and created Eve from Adam’s rib, to dwell with Adam in the Garden. She was called woman, because she was formed from man. She was truly flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. They were one flesh, the first married couple. Genesis 2:25 says, “They were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.”
They were not ashamed, because there was not sin. They had not broken any commandment of God. Adam and Eve had full communion with God. He actually walked in the
Garden. He talked to them, just as you and I talk. It was total communion with God.
Then came the temptation.
Satan was once an angel of God. Ezekiel 28:17 says “11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
He was full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Not the ugly horned red guy with the pitchfork, but just the opposite. Ezekiel goes on to tell us that Satan was in the
Garden of Eden.
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
He was evidently a great musician. And it goes on to say that he was the anointed cherub, because God created him as such.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
God found iniquity in him. Because God had created him in beauty, knowledge, musical ability, he thought he could become God.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”
In his pride, Lucifer rebelled against God. He even led his angels in revolt against God.
Isaiah 14:12-15 – 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
He was cast down to the earth.
Eze 28:17 – Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.
One – third of all the angels of heaven fell with him.
Rev 12:4 – His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.
So, Satan is in the Garden of Eden. He is referred to as the “serpent”, and uses his ability to convince Eve that it’s okay to eat of the tree of which God had commanded Adam not to partake.
Gen 3:4-8 – 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 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. 6 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. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Notice what happened to them? Satan used his ability to deceive (because of all his tools) to convince Eve that she and Adam could be like God, if they ate of this tree. In other words, God doesn’t want you to eat the fruit, because you will be like Him. Eve was convinced, that the fruit was delicious, that the tree was beautiful, and that it would make her wise, like God.
Verse 8 is very interesting to me. 8 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. God was walking in the garden, in the cool of the day. How much closer communion can one have? They gave
it all away, because they chose to believe the lie of the master liar.
Now, because of this sin, God did several things, he condemned the serpent to crawl on its belly and eat dust. The woman was condemned to bring forth children in sorrow and to serve her husband. The man was condemned to work the ground for food, with the ground now having thorns and weeds, and he was to die physically and return to dust upon death. They were all cast out of the garden and could never enter again. No more access to the tree of life.
Adam and Eve could have lived forever, never aged, and had daily communion with God, but that was lost, because of the sin. Having to die physically and return to dust was bad enough, but the real loss was the daily communion with God. Being able to walk with Him, talk with Him, get to know Him, have all your questions answered by Him. A great loss!!!
Satan was now the prince of the earth and holds the title deed to the earth. It’s interesting to me that Satan, even though he does not dwell there, still has access to heaven.
Job 1:6 – Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
Job 2:1 – Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
Rev 12:3-4 – And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a
third of the stars of heaven [angels] and threw them to the earth.
Rev 1:20 – The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
But, they will be thrown out just before the tribulation starts.
Rev 12:7-9 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The rest of the Old Testament is a story of a movement toward redemption. With Satan now in control of the earth, God had to develop a way to redeem the title deed to the earth. Permanent redemption had to be made for the original sin. Sin was passed down through the male seed. Throughout the Old Testament, long lists of descendants are given. So-and-so begat so-and-so, and so-and-so begat so-and-so. In order for man to come back into fellowship with God, sacrifice was necessary. Blood sacrifice became a way of life, throughout the Old Testament. A permanent redeemer was promised and prophesied, but, annually, sins were covered by blood sacrifices. This was first demonstrated when Cain and Abel brought forth their sacrifices to God. God accepted the blood sacrifice of Abel, but not the gifts from Cain. From that story, we have the first murder.
All covering for sin in the Old Testament was temporary. Everything had to be repeated annually. Several things happened, but they were all temporary and not complete. There were many forms of rituals performed as part of these sacrifices. All sacrifices had to be without blemish, the best of the best. Before the priest could enter the Holy of Holies, he would grind incense over the hot coal, and the smoke would rise up and form a cloud in the room. This was not so that the priest could look upon God, but so that God could look upon the priest. The priest would lay his hands upon the head of the sacrificial lamb and then cut the lamb’s throat and spread the blood of the lamb on the altar as a sacrifice to God to cover sins for one year. The blood of the sacrifices was spread upon the altar to cover the sins for one year.
God’s plan for permanent redemption was perfect, and it made perfect sense. With the sin being passed down through the male, it makes sense for the conception to be from a virgin birth. That happening, would insure that the male child born, would be born without that original sin, and could be the second Adam, the atonement for the failures of the first.
Satan, being the prince of this earth, tried to have him slain as an infant. He tried everything he could to stop the birth of Christ, but he failed. Satan had opportunity to tempt Jesus and offered Him the world, if he would just bow down to Satan. He again, just as he did in the Garden, misquoted scripture to try to put sin on Christ. Every attempt failed. He even went so far as to indwell one of the disciples, in an effort to somehow derail the perfect plan of God, but that didn’t work either. When his efforts failed, he no longer needed the body of Judas, so he committed suicide to get back into the spiritual realm.
God’s plan worked. Adam sinned and was condemned to die, both physically and spiritually. Because Jesus was born of a virgin, he was not born under the original sin of Adam. He was the second perfect man. Because Jesus was not under sin, he did not have to die. He chose to die.
In His death, He became the sacrificial lamb, His blood covering our sins, not just past sins, but present and future sins. All we have to do is get under the blood.
When God looks at us, He doesn’t see us in our sinful state, He sees us as part of the body of Christ, no sin, just love.
He has such a great love for us, even in our sin, that he chose to die, so that we could get back the daily communion with Him, through the Holy Spirit.
John 16 7-15 – 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
John 14:1-3 – 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
This brings us to the second question: Where is He, and when is He returning?
We can find the answer in
2 Peter 3
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 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. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Peter begins this third chapter by making reference to the whole epistle.
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance (3:1):
The word pure could be better translated, “sincere”. None of us could boast of pure minds, but I would hope we all have sincere minds. Peter is seeking to stir up their sincere minds by remembering the things that have been written.
In the first chapter of 2 Peter, verse 21, he says “the prophecies came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy
Spirit”. He is speaking of remembering the Old Testament prophecies about event, many of them yet future.
That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of our Lord and Saviour (3:2):
The Bible is composed of the writings of men, the Old Testament prophets, holy men, spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit and the New Testament written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for reproof and rebuke and correction”.
Peter is including the Old Testament plus the writings of the apostles in the New Testament that bring to us our full canon of scripture.
Knowing this, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, who are walking after their own lusts (3:3),
In Chapter 2 of 2 Peter, he spoke of false prophets who were more interested in their own welfare, rather than the church of God. Here, he is speaking about the last days, when there would be scoffers who again are walking in their own lusts. One major reason people scoff at the scriptures, and especially the teachings of Jesus, is because they are ruled and controlled by their own lusts. Jesus said in:
John 3:17-19 – 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Because a man is controlled by his own lust, and does not want to give up his own lust and desires, he scoffs at the word of Jesus. He scoffs at the idea that God would intervene in the affairs of man. Peter tells us that in the last days, these scoffers would come.
And they would say, Where is the promise of His coming (3:4)?
One of the things they would be scoffing about would be the promise that Jesus is coming again. Their declaration is interesting.
all things continue as they were from the beginning (3:4).
What today we refer to as uniformitarianism, is the background for the evolutionary theory. All things continue as they were from the beginning. Nothing has really changed. The interesting thing to me is that we openly teach this theory as fact in our schools today, as at no other time in history. Evolution is based on one continual process, with no change.
Peter goes on to say,
They are willingly ignorant of the fact, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished (3:5,6):
They are willingly ignorant. They choose not to believe that God has, at times past, intervened in the history of man, bringing judgment upon the earth. There are two forms of thought here. Some Bible commentators believe that this may be a reference to a pre-historic earth. There are some who believe in the possibility of the Gap Theory. I’m not going to get into that, because it would take a full lesson to do so, but basically, it is a theory that there was a break “Gap” between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. It was an indefinite period of time, in which a pre-historic man may have existed. The theory is based on the fact that Verse 1 of Genesis states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Then, the second verse says, “And the earth was without form and void.” Those that support the gap theory use the translation “And the earth became without form and void.”
I believe Peter is referring to the flood of Noah, not the “Gap”. The Hebrew word “Bara” is used for created, which is to bring into existence, something out of nothing. In addition, Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we believe that the worlds were made by things that are not seen”. In light of the fact that today, we have knowledge of atomic particles and that the universe if made up of invisible atoms, this is not only an interesting, but also an incredible statement. The things we see are made out of things we don’t see.
If we had no mountain ranges today, the earth would actually be covered with water to a depth of about six thousand feet. In Genesis 1:9, God said, “Let the dry land appear.” God separated the dry land from the waters. He brought into existence the mountain ranges and the various continents upon the earth.
High in the Himalayas, they find fossils of seashells. How did they get up at those extremely high elevations? If you go up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, you can see there in the strata, seashells. These seashells are the bottom kind of ocean life and you can see them at the 7,000-foot level of the south rim of the Grand Canyon. How in the world were the oceans once up that high? There are a lot of mysteries about our world that we do not yet fully understand but there surely are evidences of cataclysmic upheavals.
But Peter speaks of the willing ignorance. Emmanuel Velikovsky, in his book Earth in Upheaval totally destroys the theory of uniformitarianism. Because of that, his work has come under much criticism by the evolutionists. He points out and proves that there have been great cataclysmic changes in the earth’s structure in the past. But, these men are “willingly ignorant, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.”
An interesting phrase, “by the word of God.” God spoke the earth into existence. All through the creation story in Genesis, it repeats the phrase “And, God said.”
In Psalm 33:6, David said, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all of the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth”.
They are willingly ignorant of this, “whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” I believe this is probably a reference to the flood in Noah’s day. In Chapter 2 of 2 Peter, he makes reference to Noah. Most scientists today are willing to acknowledge that much of geology today is better explained by a universal flood, but they are unwilling to acknowledge that there was a universal flood.
In fact, it is commonly accepted by most scientists today that the Grand Canyon was formed by a large amount of water over a short period of time, not a small amount of water over a long period of time. But, our children are still taught that the Colorado River is responsible for the formation of the Grand Canyon over millions of years.
They are willingly ignorant. They don’t want to believe in the flood because then they would have to believe in the Bible as God’s truth.
But the heavens and the earth, which are now (3:7),
Prior to the flood, the earth and heaven were under different kinds of atmospheric conditions.
Genesis 1:6-7 – 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 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.
There was a water canopy around the earth. It would have protected the earth from much of the ultraviolet radiation that we now experience. Birds flew between the water above the firmament and the waters below the firmament.
Genesis 1:20 – 20 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.
The effects of this protection would decrease the wear and tear of the suns rays. Man would live longer, much longer.
In some of today’s geological findings, we find the fossils of butterflies that had wingspans that were two or three feet. In some of the fossils, there are ferns that were ninety feet high. The canopy of water would have created a universal green house effect. The earth would have had great humidity. Before the flood, there was no rain. The tremendous humidity would have created ideal growing conditions. A mist watered the ground.
Genesis 2:6 – 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
The South Pole was at one time, a very tropical region. They have found charcoal deposits 200 feet below the ice. The north-pole arctic regions were once tropical areas. Giant mammoths have been found, perfectly preserved, frozen in the icy tundra. The change that took place was dramatic and instantaneous. Some of these mammoths that had the tropical vegetation in their digestive tracts, were frozen in place while they were eating this tropical vegetation. I believe this happened at the time of the flood.
We recently experienced a “Tsunami”. It was devastating. It resulted in massive death and destruction. Scientists have stated that it caused the earth to move and resulted in a minor change in our axis. If a wave the size of our recent catastrophe can cause the earth to move its axis, what effect would the flood of Noah have had?
Imagine for a minute that the earth was once on an axis that provided perfect climate globally. Every spot on the earth had a tropical climate, vegetation, and life. There was a canopy of water around the earth, causing ideal growing conditions, and ideal living conditions. People could live for long periods of time. Then, God decided that man was evil and had to be destroyed. The water from the upper canopy was released onto the earth from both sides of the globe. At first, just like rain, but at some point, a large amount of water is released. That could result in quite a tidal wave, causing the earth to reel on its axis. As the tidal waves reached the ends of the earth, the planet was thrown off axis, just enough to immediately freeze the ice caps and set a whole new climate condition over the planet. Now, keeping that in mind, read with me
Job 38:4-11 – 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Just a thought!!!!!!!
“But the present heavens and earth which are now,”
are being reserved by the same word [that is, the word of God that created them] they are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and the perdition of ungodly men (3:7).
Isaiah 24:18-21 – 18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. 19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
As God intervened once with the flood, destroying the men that once inhabited the earth, God will once again intervene in divine judgment against wicked men. But this time it will be with fire.
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, a thousand years as one day (3:8).
This is one of my favorite scriptures. If we examine the Bible, we find it was 2000 years between the Garden of Eden and Abraham, 2000 years between Abraham and Jesus, and 2000 since Jesus.
Scoffers say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” We see a lot of comedy projects aimed at the Rapture, the Mark of the Beast, the Return of Jesus. I saw a banking commercial recently that shows people having a number sign stapled to their forehead, so that they could get their foreheads scanned for purchases. You can see scoffers on every channel of your TV.
Peter gives us an explanation. One of the problems with Christians today, is that we try to make our image of God conforming to the realm in which we live, instead of seeking to understand that God exists outside of time. In the eternal realm, different measurements apply. There is no time in the eternal realm.
Moses wrote in Psalm 90:4, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” A watch in the night was six-hours. A thousand years to God is like a six-hour stint.
In Hosea, we see an interesting passage of scripture, in light of a day is as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. Hosea 6:1-2, speaks about the Jews in these last days who will say, “Come and let us return unto the LORD: for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”
God has a covenant with the nation of Israel that is not completely fulfilled. The covenant with the nation of Israel was to bring their Messiah. It was also to bring in the everlasting peace; it was to bring in the kingdom of God. That has not yet taken place. The prophecy was divided into sixty-nine sevens, with one seven year period separated from the sixty-nine. The sixty-nine seven-year periods were to run between the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Messiah the Prince. That was fulfilled 483 years after Artaxerxes gave the commandment to Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, when Jesus the Messiah came.
But, God has unfinished business with the nation of Israel. That will take place during a seven-year cycle, which will precede the glorious coming again of Jesus Christ and His thousand-year reign upon the earth.
God has worked in patterns of six and one. It can be seen throughout the Bible. Six days of labor and one day of rest. When a person was sold into slavery, they were to be slaves for six years and set free the seventh. God has established this six and one pattern throughout the Bible. We are extremely close to the six thousand years of man’s existence upon the earth. Adam was created about six thousand years ago. He was sold into the bondage of sin or sold himself into the bondage of sin about six thousand years ago. The seventh year could very well be the seventh millennium of peace and rest, after the fulfillment of the covenant with Israel.
Hosea writes concerning the Jews in the last days, they will say, “After two days He will revive us.” It is interesting that it has been almost two thousand years since the Jews were dispersed by the Romans when Titus conquered Jerusalem in 70 A.D. “in the third year, after two days, he will revive us.” The nation of Israel coming to life after two thousand years existing again as a nation is not, in my mind, a coincidence. “In the third day,” it says, “we shall live in His sight.” Live in the presence of the Messiah. I believe it could be a reference to the glorious reign of Jesus Christ.
So Peter tells us that people make the mistake because they don’t realize that with God, there is no time of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, or even millenniums. “A day is as a thousand years.” It’s a relative term. “A thousand years is as a day unto the Lord.” And then Peter assures us that,
The Lord is not slack concerning His promises (3:9),
John 14:3 – Jesus said, “If I go away, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Now Peter is telling us “He’s not slack concerning His promises.” He then gives us the reason for the delay.
He is longsuffering to us and He’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (3:9).
The reason for the delay is to give every opportunity for people to receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour to be forgiven of their sins. Peter first tells us that God is just giving extra time for people to come in to the kingdom, then he assures us that, though it has been a while, Jesus will return.
That the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (3:10);
Jesus mentioned His coming as a thief in the night. He said, Luke 12:39 – “If the good man of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have been watching for him and his house would not have been broken up.” He tells us to watch and to be ready, because we don’t know the day or the hour in which He is coming.
It will be “as a thief in the night;”
in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved (3:10,11),
The basic elements will melt with a “fervent” heat.
what manner then of persons ought we to be in all holy manner of life and godliness (3:11),
If you are tied into worldly things, this should hit you hard. Material things will burn, they will pass away, and they will be no more. You can’t take them with you. Knowing this, what manner of persons ought we to be? If you are attached to any material thing, let it go. Knowing from what I have taught you today, you should realize that Satan has all the tools to fool any of you. If you have a lusting heart, he will introduce you to Internet porn. If you like getting high, he will get you hooked. If you like your beer or scotch, he will work you toward alcoholism. If you lust after your neighbor things, he will give you opportunity to steal. If you have your heart in the worldly things, he will use it to harden your heart. If you lust after other men or women, he will give you plenty of opportunity to ruin your marriage. If you cannot handle money, he will drag you to the bottom. If you have anything that you worship, he will use it to destroy you and your chances of salvation. Don’t let it happen.
As we look for and hasten the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat (3:12)?
Isaiah 24:19 – “The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.”
Isaiah 34:4 – “And all the host of heaven will be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as a leaf
falleth from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.”
Isaiah 13:13 – “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, we look for new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (3:13).
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you might be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless (3:14).
We need to be looking for His coming, living a godly, holy life, being diligent in the things of the Lord, living in the grace of God, covered by Christ’s blood, without spot and blameless. These are all in response to seeing that all these things are going to be dissolved.
Account the longsuffering of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also concerning the wisdom that was given unto him hath written unto you (3:15);
He recognizes the writings of Paul.
And also in all of his letters, he is speaking in them of these things; which are some of them hard to understand, which they that are unlearned and unstable have twisted, as they do also other scriptures, to their own destruction (3:16).
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing that you know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness (3:17).
You know these things, because you have been taught them many times. Once in this teaching, so you do know them. It’s up to you to believe them, or you can choose to ignore them and figure the Lord is delaying his coming. Or, you can ignore the truth and continue in the manner in which you choose. Continue with the things you know are wrong. Be a scoffer.
Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (3:18).
That is the reason why teachers like me (having my training from Calvary Chapel), take you through the bible, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. That you might grow
in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Today, you have the right to choose, the same as Adam. You can ignore the truth and stay in your sin. You can be a scoffer and ridicule the truth. You can get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and miss His coming altogether.
Or, you can make a change. What manner of person ought you to be???????
Just my thoughts!
Don D. Stephens