Understanding
 The Bible
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Introduction

The outlook for the future of civilization in the 21st Century is extremely bleak, almost to the point of being terrifying. You can hardly pick up a newspaper or watch a TV documentary without realising that the world in which we live is rapidly deteriorating.

 

Green house gases that we have released into the atmosphere have apparently led to the ozone layer depletion and global warming, resulting in increasingly extreme weather patterns and rise in sea levels as polar ice caps melt. This in turn is leading to river and coastal flooding and tsunamis with multi-million pound damages to property and loss of life

 

Pollution of land, sea, rivers and air is leading to reduction in the availability of fresh clean water, which will result in disease and loss of animal, fish and plant life. Fresh water will eventually become as precious as oil. We will soon be overrun with mounds of noxious rubbish that landfill sites will be unable to contain. Recycling has been tried and proved to be ineffective, with the cost and damage to the environment of processing being greater than disposal.

 

The Earth itself seems to be under threat from earthquakes peaking at more than 2200 worldwide at magnitude of 5.0 or above during the year 2007. There are literally thousands of earthquakes every year, and increasing, most of which are not reported as they are so commonplace and usually do not result in loss of life.

 

We are beginning to experience serious depletion of non-renewable energy sources upon which we have become dependent. What oil reserves exist are often in countries with which we do not have friendly relationships. The price of oil generally continues to rise. Pipelines are vulnerable to hostile agents and terrorist activity.

 

Whilst we have had nearly 70 years without world wars, hardly a day has gone by without significant warfare somewhere on the planet. Ethnic cleansing continues to claim the lives of millions. Terrorism, and the fear of it, is on the increase with literally millions of children and young people being taught how to wage terror campaigns, create and execute suicide bombings. Perhaps most frightening is the stealthy development of nuclear warfare capability of fundamentalist groups and fanatical governments, with the capability of launching payloads into the west or importing nuclear components in suitcases.

 

Human fertility is decreasing at an alarming rate. It is estimated that by 2020 1 in 4 births will be with the help of IVF at a cost of £8000 a time. The result of this will be a new breed of genetically infertile people perpetuating the problem into the next generation.

 

Add to this the universal increasing lack of respect for life as 25% babies are aborted, the deterioration of moral values, with increasing divorce rates and the breakdown of marriage and family. Children growing up in such a climate lack discipline, respect and self-worth leading to an increase in violent crime.

 

The unstoppable rise in supply and demand of mind-altering and addictive drugs that can turn otherwise sane persons into killers. Couple this with easily available alcoholic drinks and you have a deadly cocktail roaming our streets. As a result we are seeing increased knife and gun crime on the streets of UK cities.

 

Diseases that we thought had been eradicated long ago suddenly re-emerge in forms that are even more virulent and resistant to technology. We see an increase in organisms that do not respond to antibiotics, like MRSA and bird flu.

 

On top of all this we are seeing the revelation of political corruption and the channelling of resources into the pockets of private individuals for their own personal gain. As a result we have governments that no one can trust.

 

We are also seeing the demise of erstwhile solid financial institutions and household name manufacturers as they collapse one after another. Governments are spending unbelievable amounts of money in attempts to bail them out. The money markets are becoming increasingly unreliable and vulnerable. There is no doubt that we are on the brink of recession or potentially worldwide depression.

 

We could add to these the increase in venereal diseases, AIDS, paedophilia, child abduction, child abuse, kidnapping, school massacres; the list goes on and on.

 

And it would seem that there is little or nothing we can do to change the trend towards the collapse of our civilisation and the destruction of the planet. Individuals and groups take up a particular banner and make a lot of noise about their pet subject, but any one of the above trends is potentially disastrous. So take your pick as to which one you want to fight against. It all seems quite hopeless.

 

But there is hope!

 

There is a book, written thousands of years ago in which all these things are predicted and it tells exactly why these things are happening. It also gives us the remedy. The answer is so simple and staring us in the face, but hardly anyone actually believes the solution can be so simple and so it gets overlooked.

 

Our universe, our planet and every living creature, were created by an intelligent designer, who has revealed Himself to mankind and has given us a manual for living. As individuals, nations and governments, we have systematically and deliberately rejected the Creator and ignored his manual of instructions. We have tried through science and philosophy, to argue Him out of existence, just because our finite minds are unable to comprehend Him. We have regarded His manual as myths and legends. Now we are paying the price.

 

I am not suggesting that the Creator is punishing us, so much as that, in rejecting Him, we have stepped outside the cover of His protection. We presumed that luck, chance or mother-nature, would be kind to us and ultimately make everything work out for the best, but now we discover these are not our friends, and nature is hitting back at us with a vengeance.

 

In this book, ‘What on Earth is it all about?’, I want to argue the case for believing in the Creator and His instruction manual in the hope that sufficient people will begin to take them both seriously. Only then will the tide begin to turn against these treacherous forces of destruction. After all, who would buy a car and totally ignore the instruction manual, never get it serviced, never replace the oil or check the tyres? It would run for a few thousand miles, but gradually and inevitably it would fall apart, cease to function and turn into scrap metal. Yet that is what we are prepared to do to our world, either deliberately or through unwillingness to take responsibility in the hope that someone else will sort it out.

 

So, now is the time to believe in the Creator, read the manual and start to implement the instructions. The alternative is to sit back and watch the ultimate disaster movie take place before our very eyes, certainly within the next 100 years.

 

The majority of people do not believe and have never even read the Creator’s Manual, which is known as The Bible. Of those that have a belief system, it has been estimated that 70% entering the western education system will end up losing their faith and probably never regain it1. The reasons vary and might include intellectual objections, disappointment with the Church, unwillingness to accept the moral teaching, interest in other religions, occult and New Age and peer pressure.

 

Biology, sociology, psychology and other sciences, taught in our schools and universities, tend to reinforce a naturalistic interpretation of life, apparently relegating creation, miracles, sin, salvation and other theological concepts to the trash can of obsolescence.

 

The purpose of this book is to address of these intellectual issues.

 

With regard to Creation, I believe one of the overriding reasons for rejection of faith is the almost universal acceptance of the theory of evolution, which obsoletes the necessity for a Creator to explain the emergence of life on Earth. Prior to 1859, when Charles Darwin came up with the Theory of Evolution, there was no other plausible explanation for the existence of life and most people in the western world would have believed in the Creator, and therefore what they understood from the Bible. Since then, the education system has built a protective and impenetrable wall of faith around the theory of evolution, regarding it as fact. So, as an intellectual or a scientist you would be expected to ignore the first chapters of the Bible or regard it as folklore; that is if you want to be taken seriously!

 

Almost every page of the Bible includes stories of the miraculous and supernatural. Angels appearing; seas and rivers parting to allow a million people to walk through on dry land; a nation fed for 40 years on dew; the incarnation of God the Creator as a human; the Virgin Birth; the dead being raised back to life; blind, deaf and terminally sick people healed at a word; the Resurrection and the Ascension. These are fundamental teachings of the Bible and yet most people do not take them seriously, either by having a plausible naturalistic explanation or outright rejection.

 

Much of the Bible, and particularly the book of the Revelation tells of supernatural events yet to come. To most people ‘Jesus Christ’ are swear words and yet the Bible teaches that he will return to reign as King of the Earth for a thousand years. It hints that a billion people are suddenly going to be airlifted into the sky to a place called Heaven and then some are going to come back. Is this crazy talk or can these ideas really be taken seriously?

 

Many people, including most Christians, live with the hope that everything is eventually going to turn out alright, that somehow we will get through the current crises and good will triumph. That is exactly what the Bible teaches, but before that it predicts that we will have to go through the worst period of disaster and horror the world has ever known. This will either take us completely by surprise or we will be ready and prepared if we read and believe the Bible and have the correct understanding of the text as it applies to world events. But in order to take these predictions seriously, we have to believe the Bible; that it is the Word of God and as such is absolutely true and dependable, from beginning to end.

 

If you cannot accept the first few chapters of the Bible then how can you be expected to believe or have any confidence in the rest of it? What book would you expect someone to read and tell them that the beginning is legend and myth, the end is figurative and symbolic; and that most of the material in between is poetic cannot be trusted, and then expect them to regard it as a manual for living. They would naturally conclude that it was a waste of time to read let alone study and that there must be far better sources of inspiration.

 

I was brought up as a child to believe the Bible literally, but after years of studying scientific and theological subjects I began to question the authenticity of the scriptures. The literal creation, miracles and supernatural events all became highly questionable in my mind. I believed in the God who created the universe and all life, but that He created it through evolution over millions of years. I accepted the miraculous stories, as honestly reported, but thought that there would always be some rational explanation for them, such as hypnosis, mass hallucination or some form of deception or trickery, which people in that day and age would think were supernatural. But I never stopped seeking and questioning. I did not close my mind to new information and new ideas. God says that those who seek Him will find Him; and I did.

 

At one time, I had reached such a low point in my spiritual life that I was not sure what to believe any more. I was going through all the outward display of religiosity, but inside was a yearning emptiness. I believed in the God who created the universe and who controlled the big important things like stars and planets, but how could he know me, my thoughts and actions and did He really care? I remember sitting in an audience hearing my daughter sing with some other small children ‘Jesus loves me very much’ and I found myself weeping inside and crying out to God ‘I wish it was true. Are you really there? Do you really care?’ Quite soon after that I got the answer. He was and He did.

 

I hope this book will save someone from going through the agony of doubt and enable them to engage with this amazing book that God has given us, the Bible. It is even more relevant to us today than when it was written. Science and technology have opened our eyes to see that the universe is even more wonderful than anything the biblical writers could have imagined. Rather than thinking of God as obsolete, we should be standing back in awe or even falling down in worship at who He is and what He has done.

 

This book has been written to particularly help those who are struggling with, or have lost their faith because of what they have been taught, to enable them refute the arguments and to regain confidence in their earlier child-like beliefs. I therefore feel justified in using and quoting scripture, without having to explain every detail, with the assumption that the reader will have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the Bible. Having then established the veracity of the scripture as a dependable source of information, we will look at what the future holds for all of us as described in the Bible.

 

Whilst my primary target is the Christian struggling with matters of faith, I would hope that agnostics and even atheists would get to read this and allow God to change their heart. Hopefully the reader will take the position of having an open mind and be prepared to face the facts and be drawn to an appropriate conclusion. Start at least with the position that there could be a Creator; maybe miracles do take place; just maybe there is a supernatural world. At least please don’t rule out the possibility before examining the arguments.

 

I would also hope this book will be read by Jews. It is about the book they gave to the world, the Bible, and very much focused on the Torah. As discussed in this book, I believe that a thorough and open-minded search of the Law and the Prophets clearly reveals who is the Jewish Messiah. I expect to reveal much new information that is probably not known to many people and the implications are phenomenal.

1. Decline in faith of teenagers. I have seen figures of between 60 and 80% losing their faith going from teenage to adult years. For example study the Barna group findings at http://www.barna.org

2. Wikipedia, a very useful resource: http://www.wikipedia.org/

 

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