Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P13 (03-08-21)
What convinces you that Jonah was in a fish? Or that there was a big flood? When you read what is recorded that Jesus said about these events, and knowing that Jesus is God, what would you have to conclude? That God is either a liar, which it is impossible for God to lie, or that those events really happened and those people really existed. Why would Jesus make some analogy between the flood of Noah to a future event in history where just as it was like in the days of Noah so will it be again, when God calls mankind, who put their trust in what God has said, to meet Jesus in the sky?
Jesus equated His own life and His resurrection to Jonah being in a belly of a whale. Was the resurrection an actual event? Absolutely. How can you equate His resurrection to an actual event to a fairy tale? Again, we are forced to conclude something about Jonah and the big fish. That is, if Jesus is indeed who He claims to be, and that is God, and He says Jonah was in a fish, then Jonah was in a fish.
What you believe about someone being in a whale will have no effect on your life at all. Whether Jonah was in a whale or not will not do one thing with how I get along with my wife tonight. And so if Jesus is not God, who cares whether he was in the fish or not. It is totally irrelevant. But if Jesus Christ is God, who is the only one who freed us from being in our sins and dead as a hammer as a human being, and He claimed and stated that there was a Jonah and a whale and Jonah was in it, then guess what? He was in it. If Jesus is God and He claimed the universe was formed by God. Then guess what? The universe was formed by God. If Jesus is God, and He created all things, including man, as recorded in the scriptures, and we were not evolved but created, then guess what? We were created. If we were evolved then God must have been an ape. If man was created in the image of God, that means God was an ape. But God says Jesus is the one who created everything visible by things invisible and is the one who holds everything together by His word.
Let us pick up on the section, The Creator in our bible study booklet, A Closer Look at the Word of God. As we discussed last week, there is evidence that really demands a verdict. We have to come to conclusions about this. We are currently in Chapter 3 titled The Old Testament: Myth or truth?
If Jesus is who He claimed to be, and that is God, which indeed He is, then God’s word, testifying about the validity of the Old Testament accounts, is absolutely paramount to our understanding as to whether they are true or not. If Jesus is God, and there had been some error in the Old Testament, would He not have corrected it? Not only did He not correct it, He confirmed it, quoted out of it, and gave parallels to it in regard to His second coming. We talked about that, just as in the days of Noah, so it will be in regard to the coming of the Son of man. So He equated His second coming to the days of Noah. Peter talked about the fact that God did not spare the ancient world when He brought a flood on its ungodly people, but He protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness.
26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
2 Peter 2:5
5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others
All of these actions, the validity of that, is again, either Jesus and His disciples were totally deceived, thinking all those things took place when indeed they didn’t or they were con artists who knew full well they didn’t, but it would make good theology and perpetuated it, or it is truly true. All of these things come back to that statement, “Who do you say that I am?” Because if Jesus Christ is who He says that He is, and He is God, then we can take by faith if Jesus testified to these things such as the flood and Noah, that there was a flood and there was a Noah.
Now Jesus also messes up any of our educational systems that deal with evolution. When He says He did not come to bring peace but a sword, this very thing He came to talk about, to divide truth from error. If God is the authority in regard to truth and error, then it goes back to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are either going to go to His tree or you are going to go to your own tree. When you go to your own tree, you look like you are hanging out of one. That is what you end up, and of course, then in creation, you got people thinking we came from apes. Again, if man was created in the image of God, that means God was an ape. That is just absolutely the conclusion you can come to if you are going to buy this nonsense of the creationists and this nonsense of people coming in with the evolutionary theory as it is taught in every major school system in this country. Every one of our little children are brainwashed with this lie in regard to evolution. Just taught like a historical fact where the fact of the matter is evolutionary theory is exactly what it is, a theory. It is not a fact. It is just theory that is in total contradiction to the word of God.
My standard of truth, as we talked about before is the word of God. That does not make me a big deal. Some place down the line, I had enough sense to realize that if I was born again of the Spirit of God, made into a brand new creation, now created in the image of God, alive spiritually.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
So for me to be made in His image, I had to be made a spiritual being. I was not a spiritual being before. I was a natural being. When I am born again, I am a spiritual being. God is Spirit. I have now been created a new creation in the image of God, restoring life to what His original creation was, as in Adam. There is a slight difference in that with this new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature
We are different even how we are today, different than how Adam was created, in that life we have today, cannot be lost through sin, as was Jesus born, who when taking upon our sin, died, death being the absence of life, when we today are born again, a new creation. From the cross on, every man born again is a new creation. What makes us different than any other person who was ever on this earth before is when we are born again is permanent. That life cannot be lost through sin as it was in Adam and any man prior to the cross. Is that not an amazing fact? It is a marvelous thing to realize. Not only am I individually a new creation, but every one of us born again from the cross on is a new creation. God never made anybody like that before.
Then we went into the super collider. The president of the United States, I could save a ton of money by mailing him a $20 bible of how this place was made and where it came from. But today we are going to talk about the creator. This is the basis of the whole thing. Who is He that created this world?
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Where did we come from? Jesus. How did we get here? We were created by the Creator. That is why you call Him a Creator. He creates. Otherwise we could call Him the Evolver. We could call God the Evolver instead of God the Creator. Because through Him all things evolve. It did not say that. He is the Creator of all things. In order for someone to be a Creator, there had to be a beginning point. The beginning point is God.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 The Son [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
How did it even get there? Jesus created it. How did the earth get here? He created it. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. So you want to know God, who is Spirit, invisible, looks like, acts like, talks like, what His heart is, look at Jesus. He is a total representative of God Himself, being a part of the godhead. He is the total image, an image we can see of an invisible God. He is the firstborn over all creation. For by Him, Jesus, all things were created, things on heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Why were we created? For Jesus. Why was the earth created? For us.
That is what we were told. He, Jesus, created for us. He had in mind to place us on a planet. So He created the planet, the stars, the moon, the sun, and the universe all for us, for man. He did that for Himself. All things were created by Him and they were created for Him. He, Jesus, is before all things and in Him, Jesus, all things hold together. Why doesn’t the universe go astance? Because of Jesus holding it together. That is God Himself. Why doesn’t the moon take off? Because of Jesus. Why does the sun not come closer and burn us all up or go back farther out and freeze us to death? Because of Jesus, who holds it together.
All things were created by Him and for Him, everything in heaven, on this earth and out in the universe was created by Jesus. So we do not need a colliderscope to figure out how we got here. Get a bible and it will tell you. If you think you are going to figure out how God did this, you got another thing coming. I am glad my tax dollars are not going for any more experimentation. But of course it does provide employment.
Now, turn to Hebrews 1:1-3.
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
How did the universe get here? It was made by God.
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
All things were made for Him. All things were made by Him. We are told that. He is the one who made the universe. Therefore, to claim that we have been evolved from animals or a lower form of life, is to deny who? Christ. Christ said that is not true. He says, “I created you.” We say, “No, Jesus. You are wrong.” It is like the sufficiency of the word of God. I have given you everything you need for life and godliness. Can you envision standing in front of Jesus, if we claim we have come in contact with Him spiritually? If not, then you would not be talking about anything different than in Jesus day, spitting in His face and hanging Him on a cross. But today, as born again Christians, we say, “I know who He is. I have had an encounter with the living God. I am born again of the Spirit.” If that is true, then Christ is alive living in you. And we are told that as a Christian we have the mind of Christ. We have been told that.
1 Corinthians 2:16
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
If I have the mind of Christ living in me, then how am I going to stand in front of Christ Himself with His own mind? He has got His mind and He has got His own mind and I say, “I do not agree with you”. It is like saying I do not agree with my own mind. My mind says this is true but I do not agree with it. I agree the bible is true but I do not agree with that. Folks, this does not make any sense. So if Christ is alive living in you, how can you deny His testimony about these things such as creation, how we got here, how man got here, about everything? And how could we stand in front of Jesus and say, “Jesus, I have to tell you something. I know you are God, and all things created by you and for you but there are problems going on today that you did not know back then and, therefore, you got to realize something and that is that you say in your word it is not complete for me today. There is still more information out here I need. I really appreciate what you did for me in regard to saving my soul, but you do not have anything to do with my habit patterns. I got an eating disorder and you do not know anything about that. I got a drinking problem and you just do not understand it. I am sick.” You can sit there and say that to me, and say that to maybe your pastor, but I would defy you, if you are truly born again, to just envision for a moment, and I am not into visualization, but to visualize for a moment, standing before Christ and looking at Him in the eyes and say this. “You are not adequate for my problem. I do not believe you created this earth. I do not believe there was a flood. I do not believe there was a Jonah. I do not believe there was a Noah. I do not believe that you have given me everything I need for life and godliness. I do not believe, Jesus, that you are adequate for my forgiveness. I do not believe that you are adequate for my problem.” I would defy you, my friends, to even envision doing that.
In front of me? Yes. In front of your pastor? Yes. But envision standing in front of the living Christ? Quite frankly, one of these days we are going to be there. It is those kinds of things that are quite frankly what faith is all about. God is saying, “Did you trust me and believe me when I said I am the solution to all your problems?” “Noah did when I told him there was going to be a flood. It was credited to him as righteousness. That is why his life was saved.” He could have gone out and tried to build an airplane and flew out of there. But he would have run out of gas. He could not float on what was going to flood the earth and that was water. Why is it so hard to believe what is told to us by God?
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
From our human standpoint, it does not make sense always that Christ Jesus is going to renew our minds and something as simple as getting my mind renewed will change my attitude toward life, about me, about God, about my future, about my past, but it does. When my attitude is changed, my actions ultimately are going to be changed. So when you are talking about behavior, talking about the treatment of behavioral difficulties, it is not behavioral difficulties we are dealing with. It is thinking problems we are dealing with. Are you saying God is not adequate to change our minds and hearts?
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
It is by faith we understand all of these things. It is by faith we understand the universe was formed at God’s command. It did not get formed by evolution. God commanded it and it came into effect. So that the things that are seen were made out of what was invisible. So then we could not have seen, and that who is God, who is Spirit, is speaking things into existence and made things that we can see.
By definition, science is the field of observing and analyzing observable data. On the other hand and his apostles claimed to speak with authority on this subject of creation, which science cannot deal with. Science must deal not with origins but with things that are already there. Yet he spoke on things like creation? Why? Because they had the testimony of the Creator, Jesus Christ. So why should you and I choose to accept the bible and its testimony? Because of the Creator. To deny the Creator is to deny Christ.
We have to understand that I cannot say I believe in Jesus but I believe in evolution. I am sorry, folks, it is a contradiction of terms in regard to the word of God.
Now let us look at Jonah. Much skepticism has been concerning Jonah or the whale or a big fish. The bible says a big fish but if you do not mind, I will just say whale. This story is cited by many unbelievers to discount the truth of the bible. The skeptics get after that one, of the relevance of the story of Jonah. That can be found by reading the words of Jesus Christ, who spoke of that event very directly. In Luke, Jesus is making an analogy. Could Jesus the Son of man use this analogy of being a sign to the generation to whom he was speaking if Jonah was not real? Can you make an analogy of a relevant event with some thought made up on it?
29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign,
And people are still doing that today.
but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.
Why would you want a sign? I need a sign. I need a sign. It is a repudiation of faith. Jesus is saying the same thing. Why do you need a sign over and above the resurrection of Jesus Christ? What better sign do you need than that? Just how much more spectacular of a side show do you need than when I have been raised from the dead? So he tells them they are a wicked generation, always asking for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. This also alleviates the need for signs today, told us of his own words. As the crowds increased, this is a wicked generation because they asked for a miraculous sign. Let me see you heal somebody. So it became a magic show. The attraction was there is something spectacular that is going on. Not miraculous but spectacular. Forget the miraculous. Give me the spectacular. But no sign will be given except one and that is the sign of Jonah.
30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.
In other words, He is saying, “I am going to be a sign just as Jonah was a sign”.
31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it
In other words, even the people from Nineveh are going to judge this unbelieving generation.
for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.
The implication is that you are not going to repent even when you hear the truth. So I am going to give you a sign that is going to be my word. When you look at what Jonah’s preaching caused the people of Nineveh to do, it is obvious. They changed their mind. There is someone greater than Jonah that was there. Again, would it have any meaning to claim to be greater than someone who did not exist. It would be like saying when Santa Claus did this then there is someone greater than Santa Claus that is here. That just does not make any sense. Jonah was a real person and a real character. Jesus certainly believed that. He should have. He was there and saw it, as God, who is omnipresent. So we are talking about a sign.
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Always looking for a sign. But He said none will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. He called him a prophet.
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.
So once again, Jesus equated His own life and His resurrection to Jonah being in a belly of a whale. Was the resurrection an actual event? Absolutely. How can you equate His resurrection to an actual event to a fairy tale? Again, we are forced to conclude something about Jonah and the big fish. That is, if Jesus is indeed who He claims to be, and that is God, and He says Jonah was in a fish, then Jonah was in a fish. Had Jesus said Jonah ate the whale, we would be forced to believe that if Jesus said it. And I am glad He didn’t because that would be a tough one. But from the fact of logic, if Jesus is God Himself and He said Jonah ate the whale, I would have been forced to either deny Jesus or to believe that He ate the whale. Again, I say thank God he did not say that. But He did say that Jonah was swallowed by the whale.
Therefore, I am forced to either believe that or to deny Jesus Christ is who He is. When people come up and say, “Do you really believe that there was a Jonah and he was swallowed by a fish?” “Yes. Let me ask you. What do you believe about Jesus Christ?” “What does that have to do with anything?” “Everything. Because it is what you believe about Jesus that will determine your eternal life.”
What you believe about someone being in a whale will have no effect on your life at all. Whether Jonah was in a whale or not will nor do one thing with how I get along with my wife tonight. And so if Jesus is not God who cares whether he was in the fish or ate the fish. It is totally irrelevant. But if Jesus Christ is God, who is the only one who freed us from being in our sins and dead as a hammer as a human being, and He claimed and stated that there was a Jonah and a whale and Jonah was in it, then guess what? He was in it. If Jesus is God and He claimed the universe was formed by God. Then guess what? The universe was formed by God. If Jesus is God and He created all things, including man, and we were not evolved but created, then guess what? We were created.