"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Paul's Arrest In Jerusalem (21:27-40) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                Paul's Arrest In Jerusalem (21:27-40)


1. As Paul was traveling to Jerusalem nearing the end of his third journey...
   a.  He knew that chains and tribulation awaited him - Ac 20:22-23
   b. That the Jews would deliver him to the Gentiles - Ac 21:10-11

2. Even so, he arrived at Jerusalem...
   a. With the contribution for needy Christians in Jerusalem
       - Ro 15:25-27; cf. 1Co 16:1-4
   b. Warmly greeted by the brethren, the elders, and James - Ac 21:17-19
   c. Agreeing to reach out to Jewish Christians who had been misinformed - Ac 21:20-26

[It was in the course of carrying out the advice of James and the elders
in Jerusalem that the chains and tribulations foretold began to be fulfilled with...] 


      1. Prompted by Jews from Asia who saw Paul in the temple - Ac 21:27
         a. Diaspora Jews were often known for their great zeal for the temple
         b. Paul had already experienced trials from Jews in Asia - cf. Ac 20:19
      2. Making false accusations against him - Ac 21:28-29
         a. Similar to charges made Diaspora Jews against Stephen - Ac 6:9-14
         b. But also accusing Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple
            (a capital offense)
      3. Disturbing the crowd who seized Paul and dragged him out of the
         temple - Ac 21:30
         a. Either the temple itself, the court of men, or the court of women
         b. Out into the court of the Gentiles

      1. As the crowd sought to kill Paul, the Roman commander received
         word - Ac 21:31
         a. On the east side of the temple was the Antonia Fortress,
            named after Mark Anthony
         b. Housing Roman soldiers who could quickly assist temple police
            with crowd control
      2. The commander sent soldiers that stopped the crowd from beating
         Paul - Ac 21:32
         a. At least two centurions and their contingents
         b. That would be at least 200 soldiers
      3. The commander bound Paul, sought to determine his identify, what
         he had done - Ac 21:33
         a. Note that Paul was bound with two chains (likely for hands and feet)
         b. Thus fulfilling the prophecy of Agabus - cf. Ac 21:10-11          
      4. Unable to ascertain the truth, he commanded Paul to be taken to
         the barracks - Ac 21:34
         a. The commander wanted to know who Paul was and what he had done
         b. But the crowd did not even agree why Paul was worthy of death
      5. Paul had to be carried up the stairs due to the violence of the mob - Ac 21:35
         a. Remember that Paul had already been beaten by the mob - cf. Ac 21:32
         b. Together with hustle and bustle of the mob, Paul would need assistance
      6. The mob cried out "Away with him!" - Ac 21:36
         a. So the crowd called out when it was Jesus before Pilate - cf. Jn 19:15
         b. I can't help but wonder what Paul thought, especially if then
            he had part of the crowd

      1. Paul asked to speak with the Roman commander - Ac 21:37
         a. Paul spoke in educated Greek which surprised the commander
         b. Paul also spoke with great politeness, also surprising given
            the circumstances
      2. The commander assumed Paul to be an Egyptian insurrectionist - Ac 21:38
         a. Three years before, an Egyptian led a large band of assassins
            out to Mt. Olivet
         b. He predicted the city walls would fall flat; Felix sent 
            troops to disperse them
      3. Identifying himself as a Jew from Tarsus, Paul asked to speak to
         the people - Ac 21:39
         a. Tarsus in Cilicia was not an insignificant city
         b. Again, Paul's request to speak is made with politeness
      4. Granted permission, from the stairs Paul begins to speak - Ac 21:40
         a. Motion with his hands, silencing the people
         b. Speaking to them in Hebrew (or Aramaic)

[Paul's speech before the mob continues into the next chapter which we
hope to examine in our next lesson.  But in reflecting on the events we
have just studied, allow me to offer some...]


      1. Were made by Jews from Asia - Ac 21:27
         a. Who had possibly clashed with Paul in Ephesus - cf. Ac 20:19
         b. Who likely were biased against Paul and his doctrine - cf. Ac 19:8-10
      2. Who misrepresented what Paul actually taught - Ac 21:28
         a. That he taught against the Jewish people, the Law of Moses,
            and the temple
         b. When he taught Jesus was Israel's hope and fulfillment 
             - cf. Ro 9:1-5; 10:1-4
      3. Were false, based on faulty assumptions - Ac 21:29
         a. Paul had been seen in the city with Trophimus the Ephesian
         b. His accusers assumed that Paul brought Trophimus (a Gentile)
            into the temple  
      -- Those with bias and an agenda often resort to half-truths and 
         mistruths to mislead and manipulate others

      1. The reaction of the people is a perfect example of mob mentality
         a. Also known as herd mentality, or the bandwagon effect
         b. When people are influenced by their peers, or what they see others doing
         c. Especially in large gatherings, such as political rallies, 
            concerts, sporting events
         d. They are swayed by reasoning, "if many believe so, it is so" 
         e. Also known as "appeal to the people" (argumentum ad populum)
      2. Some well known examples of mob mentality
         a. The French Revolution's Reign of Terror
         b. Hitler's rise to power and the Holocaust
         c. Popular urban legends spread via the Internet
      -- People are easily swayed when they are in large crowds, or
         give credence to the idea that the majority is always right

      1. Later identified as Claudius Lysius - cf. Ac 23:26
      2. In the midst of the turmoil, he determined to know the truth- Ac 21:33
      3. He was willing to give up first impressions upon learning the
         truth - Ac 21:37-39
      4. He was willing to let Paul tell his side of the story - Ac 21:40
      -- Like Cornelius (Ac 10:33), Claudius was willing to listen before
         passing judgment


1. Paul's arrest in Jerusalem shows people at their worst, and at their best...
   a. The worst - allowing religious prejudice and mob mentality to
      attack the innocent
   b. The best - allowing search for truth to change one's opinion and 
      open to more information

2. How can we avoid mob mentality, being misled and manipulated by those
   with bias...?
   a. Be more like the Jews of Berea than the Jews from Asia - Ac 17:11
   b. Seek to understand what others believe, or are saying
   c. Make truth your priority, think for yourself, don't just follow the crowds
   d. Remember what happened in the flood, in the wilderness, and in the holocaust

The likelihood is that the majority is always wrong, for as Jesus said...

   "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the
   way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
   Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to
   life, and there are few who find it." - Mt 7:13-14
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Paul's Perplexing Purification (21:17-26) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

               Paul's Perplexing Purification (21:17-26)


1. When Paul arrived in Jerusalem at the end of his third journey...
   a. The brethren received him and his companions gladly - Ac 21:17
   b. The next day, Paul and his companions met with James and the elders- Ac 21:18
   c. He recounted what God had done among the Gentiles through his
      ministry - Ac 21:19
   d. James and the elders glorified the Lord for what Paul reported- Ac 21:20

2. But James and the elders had a concern...
   a. The church at Jerusalem included thousands of Jewish Christians - Ac 21:20
   b. While believers in Christ, they were zealous for the Law (of Moses)- Ac 21:20
   c. They had been informed that Paul taught the Jews among the Gentiles
      to forsake Moses, not to circumcise their children, nor to walk 
      according to the customs - Ac 21:21
   d. When the assembly (church) meets, they will certainly hear that
      Paul has come - Ac 21:22

[The church leaders proposed a course of action, in which Paul 
participated, and which has perplexed many since.  Let's take a look at
"Paul's Perplexing Purification", which began with...

      1. Four men had taken a vow - Ac 21:23
         a. They were likely Jewish Christians (note:  "We have four men...")
         b. It was likely a Nazarite vow - Num 6:1-21
      2. With such a vow, these four men would:
         a. Consecrate or separate themselves to the Lord - Num 6:1-2
         b. Abstain from wine, vinegar, grape juice, fresh grapes,raisins - Num 6:3-4
         c. Let no razor come upon their head - Num 6:5
         d. Not go near a dead body, even if members of their family- Num 6:6-8
         e. If defiled by a dead body, undergo an eight day purification- Num 6:9-12
      3. At the completion of such a vow, offer the following at the tabernacle (temple):
         a. One year-old male lamb as a burnt offering - Num 6:13-14
         b. One year-old ewe lamb as a sin offering - Num 6:14
         c. One ram as a peace offering - Num 6:15
         d. A basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with
            oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and a grain 
            offering with their drink offerings - Num 6:15
         e. Which the priest at the tabernacle will use to help complete
            the vow - Num 6:16-21  
      4. In particular, for Paul to participate by:
         a. Being purified with the men - Ac 21:24
            1) Not as the vow keepers; Nazarite vows were 30 days minimum
            2) Probably as a Jew defiled by traveling in Gentile nations
         b. Paying their expenses so they can shave their heads - ibid.

      1. That what they heard about Paul was not true - Ac 21:24
      2. That Paul also walked orderly and kept the law - ibid.
      3. That it was Gentile believers (not Jewish Christians) who were told:
         a. They did not have to keep the law - Ac 21:25
         b. They should keep themselves from things offered to idols,
            blood, things strangled, and sexual immorality - ibid.; cf.Ac 15:19-29

[Such was the counsel of James and the elders of the church in Jerusalem,
hoping to dispel false rumors that had been spread about Paul's ministry
among the Jews during his journeys.  This leads us to...]


      1. The next day he enters the temple with the four men - Ac 21:26
      2. Having been purified with them - ibid.
      3. To announce the completion of the days of purification - ibid.
      4. At which time (in seven days) an offering should be made for
         each one of them - ibid.

      1. Paul acted ignorantly, not fully aware that the Law was no longer binding
         a. Yet Paul had already preached "the whole counsel of God" - Ac 20:27
         b. Paul had already penned Romans, 1st & 2nd Corinthians, and
            Galatians, which clearly reveal Paul was not ignorant
      2. Paul acted hypocritically, like Peter did at Antioch - cf. Ga 2:11-13
         a. Yet Paul had endured so much mistreatment already - cf. 2Co 11:23-29
         b. Paul was willing to be bound and to die for Christ - cf. Ac 20:22-24; 21:13
      3. Paul acted consistently (my view), with what he taught elsewhere
         a. The Law was no longer in force - cf. Ro 7:1-6; Ga 3:24-25
         b. Justification comes by faith in Christ, not by the Law of Moses - Ga 2:16
         c. Yet a Jewish Christian (like Paul) could observe the customs
            of the Law - cf. Ac 16:1-3; 18:18; 1Co 9:19-20
         d. A Jewish Christian could therefore observe elements of the Law provided:
            1) He did not do so seeking justification, for that comes
               only through the sacrifice of Christ (any sacrifices 
               offered would be remembered as shadows of the true) - Ga 5:4
            2) He did not bind it upon others, especially Gentiles - cf. Ga 2:3-5


1. It may be that behavior like Paul's was permitted during a period of transition...
   a. In which the Law and the First Covenant was obsolete and thus
      growing old - He 8:13
   b. The New Covenant began when the Law was nailed to the cross, but
      the Old Covenant was definitively finished when the temple and it's
      sacrifices came to an end in 70 A.D.

2. In any case, through Paul's teaching we know that...
   a. Christ is the end of the Law to those who believe - Ro 10:4
   b. That any who seek to be justified by the Law are fallen from grace- Ga 5:4

In our next study, we shall consider what happened while Paul was in
the temple carrying out the proposal of James and the elders in Jerusalem...
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

The Baha'i Movement by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


The Baha'i Movement

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

One of the rapidly growing religious movements today is the Baha’i group. Originating in Iran in 1844, this cult has been established in thousands of places around the world. The founder was Mirza ‘Ali Muhammed, who claimed to be the forerunner of one who would be known as the great World Teacher. This Teacher, it is alleged, would be the only holy prophet who would usher in the latest revelation from the Divine Source. He would unite the human family into a conglomeration of diverse peoples and inaugurate an era of peace.
In 1863, a man named Mirza Husayn ‘Ali announced that he was that Great Teacher. He adopted the name Bah ’u’ll h (“The Glory of God”), from which the term Baha’i is derived. After Bah ’u’ll h’s death in 1892, the organization was led by his oldest son for the next 29 years. He, in turn, was succeeded by a grandson who led the movement until 1957. Since then, the Baha’is have been governed by a group called “Hands of the Cause,” with world headquarters being in Haifa, Israel. The Baha’i movement is anti-biblical from numerous vantage points.
1. Baha’ism denies the uniqueness of Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God. The New Testament teaches that Christ is the Father’s “only begotten Son.” The Greek word for “only begotten” is monogenes, a term employed with reference to Christ to indicate that “He was the sole representative of the Being and character of the One who sent Him” (Vine, 1940, 3:40). Bah ’u’ll h, however, claimed that Christ was but one manifestation of God! He contended that he himself was “a later manifestation.”
2. Christ declared: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Lord shed His blood for one church (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4), and He is the Savior of that body exclusively (Ephesians 5:26). Yet devotees of the Baha’i philosophy seek to unify all religions upon the basis of doctrinal compromise, and at the expense of the plain teaching of Christ. Allegedly, advocates of this system revere the teaching of Jesus, Mohammed, Bah ’u’ll h, and all other great “prophets.”
3. The Son of God taught that only the truth can set you free from sin (John 8:32), and that truth is embodied in the words that came from God through Christ, and through His inspired spokesmen (John 17:8,17; Luke 10:16). The New Testament, sealed by the Savior’s blood (Matthew 26:28), contains that revelation, and was to be God’s final communication to humanity (Jude 3). Baha’ism advocates a subjectivism, asserting that “truth is continuous and relative, not final and absolute.” This system of confusion cannot be from God (1 Corinthians 14:33).
4. Baha’ism repudiates the New Testament doctrine of a visible, audible return of Christ to judge the world (Matthew 25:31ff.; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The doctrine of the Baha’i cult contends that the prophecies regarding the second coming of Christ were fulfilled with the arrival of Bah ’u’ll h. Such a theory, of course, is void of any evidence.
The Baha’i movement is greatly at variance with biblical revelation. The system must be opposed. Its sincere disciples should be exposed to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.


Vine, W.E. (1940), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Westwood, NJ: Revell).

3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible is from God by Eric Lyons, M.Min. Kyle Butt, M.Div.


3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible is from God

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The Bible is the most popular book that has ever been printed. It was one of the first books mass produced on Gutenberg’s printing press in 1455. To estimate a total number of Bibles and portions of it that have been produced and distributed worldwide throughout history would be virtually impossible, but the number stands well over 10 billion, since the United Bible Society alone has distributed over nine billion in the past 70 years (“God Facts,” n.d.). Without dispute, the Bible is the best selling book of all time worldwide (“Best Selling…,” 2014).
Why is the Bible so popular? The reason most often given is that those who are printing, distributing, and reading the Bible believe it is the inspired Word of God. Most people who read the Bible do not think it is good advice from mere men. Nor do they think it is a book of fairy tales written for entertainment. Instead, they believe the Book they are reading is the product of the one true God.
Oftentimes, when people are asked to give reasons that support their belief that the Bible is from God, they say that the Bible claims to be from God. It is certainly true that the Bible contains numerous statements that claim inspiration. Second Timothy 3:16-17 states: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God….” In fact, anyone who wants to search the entire Bible will discover that it contains more than 2,700 instances in which divine inspiration is claimed (e.g., “God said;” “the Lord said;” “by revelation He [God] made known”).
Yet, even though we would expect to find that any book produced by God would claim divine inspiration, such a claim does not prove anything in and of itself. It is a necessary trait of inspiration, but it is not a sufficient trait. Various books claim to be inspired by God (e.g., the Quran, the Book of Mormon), but are contradictory to the Bible, and can be proven to be inaccurate and deficient in other instances (see Miller, 2005; Miller, 2003). Simply because a book or writing claims divine inspiration is not positive proof of its inspiration. Any person could stand in front of an audience and claim to be the President of the United States of America. In fact, he could make that claim over 2,700 times. But his multiple claims to the presidency would fail to prove his case unless he could provide more adequate and sufficient evidence.
When Jesus revealed Himself to the world as the Son of God at about the age of 30 (Luke 3:23), He did not expect people to believe Him simply because He said He was the Messiah. On the contrary, Jesus said, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38, emp. added). If the Messiah was not to be trusted merely based upon claims of messiahship, neither should the Bible. Again, though the claim of inspiration is important (and expected if the Bible is the Word of God), mere claims prove nothing.
Those who penned the Bible did not expect the world to receive their writings as God’s Word simply because they claimed they were. The Bible writers insisted that their writings were not based on imaginary, unverifiable people and events, but instead were grounded on solid, verifiable facts. The apostle Peter wrote: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). In his introduction to the book of Acts, Luke stated that Jesus “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3, emp. added). The Bible writers understood and insisted that the information they penned was accurate and factual, and should be accepted, not based on a lack of evidence or a “leap in the dark,” but on an abundance of verifiable proof.
So what is the proof that the Bible is of supernatural origin? Why should an honest truth-seeker come to the conclusion that the Bible is the special revelation from the Creator of the Universe? In short, the main, overarching reason that the Bible is demonstrated to be of divine origin is because the Bible writers were correct in everything they wrote—about the past, the present, and even the future.
Eighteenth-century English poet Alexander Pope succinctly noted in “An Essay on Criticism” what every rational person knows all to well—“to err is human” (1709). Even though we may set high standards for ourselves and learn all that we can, and even though we may put as many safeguards in place as is humanly possible, mistakes will be made; ignorance will be revealed; errors will occur. As great of a historian as Herodotus was, he sometimes erred. As brilliant of a man as Aristotle was, he was terribly incorrect at times (see Jackson, 1997). As accomplished a writer as was the eighth-century B.C. Greek poet Homer, sometimes “even good old Homer nods” (Horace, 1.359). It simply is humanly impossible to be correct about everything a person says or writes. “With God,” however, “all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).
If an all-knowing, all-powerful God exists (and there is ample proof that He does—see Lyons and Butt, 2014), then such a God could produce written revelation for His human creation that was flawless in its original production. He could guide uneducated men to write about events that occurred hundreds or thousands of years before their time with complete accuracy. He could “move” (otherwise) ordinary men to write flawlessly about any number of contemporary people, places, and things (2 Peter 1:20-21). He could even guide man to write about future events with perfect accuracy. In truth, the all-encompassing reason (which shall be dissected into three parts) that a person can come to the rational conclusion that the Bible is “given by inspiration of God” is because the writers of the Bible were amazingly accurate…about everything.

Reason #1: Predictive Prophecy

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a horrible tragedy shocked the United States of America when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Amidst the tragedy, a rumor circulated that Nostradamus, a supposed fortuneteller, had predicted the turn of events. Web sites with information on Nostradamus received thousands, even millions of hits. After all was said and done, the rumored prediction had been fabricated and misunderstood; Nostradamus had not predicted the future. But it was obvious from the public’s response that anyone who can accurately predict the future is more than just a little special. The prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Who is he who speaks, and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?” (Lamentations 3:37). The prophet’s point was clear: no one accurately foretells the future unless God informs him of it. Therefore, if the Bible accurately predicts the future, we can know that it is from God.
The fact is, the Bible contains numerous prophecies that ancient history has shown to be perfectly fulfilled in every detail. Consider a few examples. [NOTE: For many other instances that space restraints will not allow in this article, please consult Apologetics Press’s book Behold! The Word of God or visit the “Inspiration of the Bible” section of www.apologeticspress.org.]

The Fall of the City of Tyre

According to history, the Phoenician city of Tyre stood as one of the most ancient and prosperous cities in history. During a visit to the temple of Heracles in Tyre in the fifth century B.C., the historian Herodotus inquired about the age of the temple, to which the inhabits replied that the temple was as old as “Tyre itself, and that Tyre had already stood for two thousand three hundred years” (Herodotus, 2:44). According to the early 20th-century Hebrew and Greek scholar, Wallace Fleming, in his book The History of Tyre, “As early as 1400 B.C., Tyre was not only a great city but was considered impregnable” (1966, p. 8).
In the early sixth century B.C., however, the prophet Ezekiel mentioned several events that were to occur in Tyre as punishment for the city’s arrogance and merciless actions (26:1-14,19-21). The prophet predicted: (1) Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, would build a siege mound against the city; (2) many nations would come against Tyre; (3) the city would be broken down, scraped like the top of a rock, and the stones, timber, and soil would be thrown in “the midst of the water;” (4) the city would become a “place for spreading nets;” and (5) the city would never be rebuilt.
History reveals that everything Ezekiel prophesied about Tyre came to pass.
  • Nebuchadnezzar “besieged Tyre for thirteen years in the days of Ithobal, their king” (Josephus, 1.21). The king of Babylon severely damaged the mainland as Ezekiel predicted, but the island city remained primarily unaffected.
  • Regarding the prediction that “many nations” would come against Tyre, in 392 B.C., “Tyre was involved in the war which arose between the Persians and Evagorus of Cyprus” in which the king of Egypt “took Tyre by assault” (Fleming, p. 52). Sixty years later, in 332, Alexander the Great besieged Tyre and crushed it. In fact, Tyre was contested by so many foreign forces that Fleming wrote: “It seemed ever the fate of the Phoenician cities to be between an upper and a nether millstone” (p. 66). Thus, Ezekiel’s prophecy about “many nations” remains as a historical reality that cannot be successfully gainsaid.
  • By 333 B.C., Ezekiel’s 250-plus-year-old prophecy that Tyre would be destroyed and its building material cast into the midst of the waters had yet to materialize. But that situation was soon altered. Ancient historian Diodorus Siculus, who lived from approximately 80-20 B.C., wrote extensively of Alexander the Great’s dealing with Tyre (see Siculus, 17.40-46). Secular history details Alexander’s destruction of Tyre, which coincides precisely with Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning what would happen to the city’s building materials. As Ezekiel had predicted, the stones, timber, and soil of the mainland city were thrown into the midst of the sea in an unprecedented military maneuver (Fleming, p. 56), which allowed Alexander to create a land bridge upon which his army could come across to defeat the island city of Tyre. For Ezekiel to have accurately “guessed” this situation would be to stretch the law of probability beyond the limits of absurdity.
  • Ultimately, in A.D. 1291, the Sultan Halil massacred the inhabitants of Tyre and subjected the city to utter ruin. “Houses, factories, temples, everything in the city was consigned to the sword, flame and ruin” (Fleming, p. 122). After this major defeat in 1291, Fleming cites several travel logs in which visitors to the city mention that citizens of the area in 1697 were “only a few poor wretches...subsisting chiefly upon fishing” (p. 124).
Taking these accounts into consideration, it is obvious that many nations continued to come against the island city, that it was destroyed on numerous occasions, and that it became a place for fishing, fulfilling Ezekiel’s prediction about the spreading of nets. Furthermore, it is evident that the multiple periods of destruction and rebuilding of the city have long since buried the Phoenician city that came under the condemnation of Ezekiel. The Columbia Encyclopedia, under its entry for Tyre, noted: “The principal ruins of the city today are those of buildings erected by the Crusaders. There are some Greco-Roman remains, but any left by the Phoenicians lie underneath the present town” (“Tyre,” 2006).
So accurate were the prophecies made by Ezekiel that skeptics are forced to suggest a later date for his writings. Yet, such a later date cannot be maintained, and the admission of Ezekiel’s accuracy stands as irrefutable evidence of the prophet’s divine inspiration. With the penetrating gaze that can only be maintained by the Divine, God looked hundreds of years into the future and instructed Ezekiel precisely what to write so that in the centuries following the predictions, the fulfillment of every detail of the prophet’s words could be denied by no honest student of history. “When the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent” (Jeremiah 28:9).

The Fall of Babylon and the Rise of Cyrus

Imagine taking a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and visiting the State House where the Constitutional Convention took place in 1787. During the tour, your guide points to a document dating back to just this side of the Convention—about the year 1820. The piece of parchment tells of a man named George W. Bush from Austin, Texas who would be President of the United States within the next 200 years. But how could someone know that a man named George W. Bush would be born in the United States? And how could someone know more than a century before Mr. Bush ever was born that he would be President of the United States? Furthermore, how could someone in 1820 know that a man from Texas (named George W. Bush) would be President of the United States when Texas wasn’t even part of the Union yet? Such a prophecy truly would be amazing! Yet, obviously no such prediction was ever made. Amazingly, the Bible makes a comparable prediction, which was fulfilled with complete accuracy.
In the eighth century B.C., Isaiah vividly described how God would destroy the powerful kingdom of Babylon, “the glory of kingdoms” (13:19). Writing as if it had already occurred (commonly known as the “prophetic perfect,” frequently employed in the Old Testament to stress the absolute certainty of fulfillment), Isaiah declared Babylon would fall (21:9). He then prophesied that Babylon would fall to the Medes and Persians (Isaiah 13; 21:1-10). Later, he proclaimed that the “golden city” (Babylon) would be conquered by a man named Cyrus (44:28; 45:1-7). (This prophecy is remarkable, especially since Cyrus was not even born until almost 150 years after Isaiah penned these words.) Not only did Isaiah predict that Cyrus would overthrow Babylon, he also wrote that Cyrus, serving as Jehovah’s “anointed” and “shepherd,” would release the Jews from captivity and assist them in their return to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple. All of this was written almost two centuries before Cyrus conquered Babylon (539 B.C.).
Amazingly, secular history verifies that all of these events came true. There really was a man named Cyrus who ruled the Medo-Persian Empire. He did conquer Babylon. And just as Isaiah prophesied, he assisted the Jews in their return to Jerusalem and in the rebuilding of the Temple.
Jeremiah also predicted the destruction of Babylon, the most powerful nation in the world at the time the predictions were made (Jeremiah 50-51). He predicted that Babylon’s water would be dried up, and her soldiers would be drunken and sleep a perpetual sleep. The precision of his predictions was remarkably verified when Cyrus redirected the Euphrates River and entered Babylon through the opening where the river usually entered. The entrance was left unattended because the Babylonians were getting drunk during a festival celebration.

Messianic Prophecies

Throughout the pages of the Old Testament there are over 250 prophecies about a coming Messiah. Each one of these is fulfilled in minute detail in the life of Jesus Christ. While it is true that most people’s lives can only be chronicled after they have lived it, the life of Jesus was chronicled before He arrived on Earth. In addition, a host of the prophecies concerning Christ were intentionally specific and could not have been arranged by a mere human who was falsely claiming to be the Messiah. For instance, the Old Testament told where the Messiah would be born (Micah 5:2), a situation that cannot be manipulated by the one being born. The circumstances of the Messiah’s death were detailed, even down to His burial, which provides another instance in which the deceased could not have connived a fulfillment.
In contrasting the God of Israel with the pagan idols of old, the prophet Isaiah issued a challenge to those who believed in the potency of their pagan deities. Isaiah said this about the idols: “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them…. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods” (41:22-23). According to Isaiah, any deity that could consistently forecast the future would be recognized as a true God, while any unable to tell the future should be relegated to the rubbish pile of false religions. In order to prove that the God of Israel was the true God, Isaiah quoted this from the mouth of God: “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done” (46:9-10). Truly, Isaiah’s God could tell the future. The fall of Tyre and Babylon, the reign of Cyrus, and the coming Messiah are but a few of the more prominent examples. When evidence is honestly considered, the truth seeker must admit that the prophecies contained in the Bible show that it was penned by the inspiration of God.

Reason #2: Scientific Accuracy and Foreknowledge

While the Bible does not present itself as a scientific or medical textbook, it is only reasonable that if God really did inspire the books of the Bible, they would be completely accurate in every scientific or medical detail found within their pages. Furthermore, all scientific and medical errors that fill the pages of other ancient, non-inspired texts should be entirely absent from the biblical record. Is the Bible infallible when it speaks about scientific disciplines, or does it contain the errors that one would expect to find in the writings of fallible men in ancient times?
The Egyptians were renowned in the ancient world for their progress in the field of medicine. Dr. Samuel Massengill, early 20th-century pharmaceutical chemist, noted that “Egypt was the medical center of the ancient world” (1943, p. 13). Herodotus recorded that it was king Darius’ practice “to keep in attendance certain Egyptian doctors, who had a reputation for the highest eminence in their profession” (Herodotus, 3.129). Among the ancient documents that detail much of the Egyptian medicinal knowledge that has survived, the Ebers Papyrus (discovered in 1872) ranks as one of the foremost sources (Bryan, 1930, p. 1). It consists of a host of medical remedies purported to heal, enhance, and prevent. “Altogether 811 prescriptions are set forth in the papyrus, and they take the form of salves, plasters, and poultices; snuffs, inhalations, and gargles; draughts, confections, and pills; fumigations, suppositories, and enemata” (p. 15). Among the hundreds of prescriptions, we find disgusting treatments that caused much more harm than good. For instance, under a section titled “What to do to draw out splinters in the flesh,” a remedy is prescribed consisting of “worm blood, mole, and donkey dung” (p. 73). Remedies to help heal skin diseases included such things as cat dung, dog dung, and a hog’s tooth (p. 92). It seems that the Egyptians were among the first to present the idea of “good and laudable pus” (McMillen and Stern, 2000, p. 10). While it must be noted that some of the Egyptian medicine was helpful, the harmful remedies and ingredients cast a sickening shadow of untrustworthiness on the entire Egyptian endeavor as viewed by the modern reader.
Admittedly, the Bible is not devoted to long lists of medical prescriptions. The Bible writers did not intend to write a medical textbook. There are, however, especially in the first five books of the Old Testament, numerous rules for sanitation, quarantine, and other medical procedures that were to govern the daily lives of the Israelites. Interestingly, the harmful remedies and ingredients prescribed by other ancient civilizations are missing entirely from the pages of the Bible. In fact, the Pentateuch exhibits an understanding of germs and disease that the “modern” medical community did not grasp until relatively recently.

Germs, Labor Fever, and Biblical Sanitation

In 1847, an obstetrician named Ignaz Semmelweis was the director of a hospital ward in Vienna, Austria. Many pregnant women checked into his ward, but 10-18% of those women never checked out. About one out of every six that received treatment in Semmelweis’ ward died of labor fever (Nuland, 2003, p. 31). Autopsies revealed pus under their skin, in their chest cavities, in their eye sockets, etc. Semmelweis was distraught over the mortality rate in his ward, and other hospital wards like it all over Europe. Nuland noted that Australia, the Americas, Britain, Ireland, and practically every other nation that had established a hospital suffered a similar mortality rate (pp. 41-43). If a woman delivered a baby using a midwife, then the death rate fell to only about 3%. Yet if she chose to use the most advanced medical knowledge and facilities of the day, her chance of dying skyrocketed immensely!
Semmelweis had tried everything to curb the carnage. He turned all the women on their sides in hopes that the death rate would drop, but with no results. He thought maybe the bell that the priest rang in the wee hours of the morning scared the women. So, he made the priest enter silently, yet without any drop in death rates. As he contemplated his dilemma, he watched young medical students perform their routine tasks. Each day the students would conduct autopsies on the dead mothers. Then they would rinse their hands in a bowl of bloody water, wipe them off on a shared, dirty towel, and immediately begin internal examinations of the still-living women. Medical doctor and historian Sherwin Nuland commented concerning the practice: “Because there seemed no reason for them to wash their hands, except superficially, or change their clothing before coming to the First Division, they did neither” (p. 100). As a 21st-century observer, one is appalled to think that such practices actually took place in institutes of what was at the time “modern technology.” What doctor in his right mind would touch a dead person and then perform examinations on living patients—without first employing some sort of minimal hygienic practices intended to kill germs? But to Europeans in the middle-19th-century, germs were virtually a foreign concept.
Semmelweis then ordered everyone in his ward to wash his or her hands thoroughly in a chlorine solution after every examination. In three months, the death rate fell from 18% to 1%. Semmelweis had made a groundbreaking discovery…or had he? Almost 3,300 years before Semmelweis lived, Moses had written: “He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean” (Numbers 19:11-12). Germs were no new discovery in 1847; the biblical text recorded measures to check their spread as far back as circa 1500 B.C.

Germs and the Water of Purification

When Old Testament instructions are compared to the New Testament explanations for those actions, it becomes clear that some of the ancient injunctions were primarily symbolic in nature (e.g., John 19:31-37). With the presence of such symbolism in the Old Testament, it is important, however, that we do not overlook Old Testament instructions that were pragmatic in value and that testify to a Master Mind behind the writing of the Law. One such instruction is found in Numbers 19, where the Israelites were instructed to prepare the “water of purification” that was to be used to wash any person who had touched a dead body.
At first glance, the water of purification sounds like a hodge-podge of superstitious potion-making that included the ashes of a young cow, hyssop, cedar wood, and scarlet. But this formula was the farthest thing from a potion intended to “ward off evil spirits.” On the contrary, the recipe for the water of purification stands today as a wonderful example of the Bible’s brilliance, since the recipe is nothing less than a procedure to produce an antibacterial soap.
When we look at the ingredients individually, we begin to see the value of each. First, consider the use of ashes. The chemical known as lye is one of the main ingredients in many soaps today. In fact, lye, in high concentrations, is very caustic and irritating to the skin. In more diluted concentrations, it can be used as an excellent exfoliate and cleansing agent. Various lye-soap recipes reveal that, to obtain lye, water often is poured through ashes. The water retrieved from pouring it through the ashes contains a concentration of the chemical. Moses instructed the Israelites to prepare a mixture that would have included lye mixed in a diluted solution, which would have been ideal for stopping the spread of germs.
What about the specific ingredients for the water of purification? Hyssop contains the antiseptic thymol, the same ingredient that we find today in some brands of mouthwash (McMillen and Stern, p. 24). “Cedar wood has long been used for storage cabinets because of its ability to repel insects and prevent decay. In oil form, applied to humans, it is an antiseptic, astringent, expectorant (removes mucus from respiratory system), anti-fungal, sedative and insecticide” (“Cedar Oil,” n.d.). The Israelites were instructed to toss into the mix “scarlet,” which most likely was scarlet wool (see Hebrews 9:19). Adding wool fibers to the concoction would have made the mixture the “ancient equivalent of Lava® soap” (McMillen and Stern, p. 25).
Thousands of years before any formal studies were done to see what type of cleaning methods were the most effective; millennia before American pioneers concocted their lye solutions; and ages before our most advanced medical students knew a thing about germ theory, Moses instructed the Israelites to concoct an amazingly effective recipe for soap, that, if used properly in medical facilities like hospitals in Vienna, would literally have saved thousands of lives.


The Old Testament record added another extremely beneficial practice to the field of medicine in its detailed descriptions of maladies for which living individuals should be quarantined. The book of Leviticus lists a host of diseases and ways in which an Israelite would come in contact with germs. Those with such diseases as leprosy were instructed to “dwell alone” “outside the camp” (Leviticus 13:46). If and when a diseased individual got close to those who were not diseased, he was instructed to “cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’” (13:45). It is of interest that the covering of one’s mustache (“upper lip”—ASV) would prevent spit and spray from the mouth of the individual to pass freely through the air, much like the covering of one’s mouth during a cough.
In regard to the understanding of contagion that is evident in the quarantine rules in the Old Testament, Roderick McGrew noted in the Encyclopedia of Medical History: “The idea of contagion was foreign to the classic medical tradition and found no place in the voluminous Hippocratic writings. The Old Testament, however, is a rich source for contagionist sentiment, especially in regard to leprosy and venereal disease” (1985, pp. 77-78). Here again, the Bible exhibits amazingly accurate medical and scientific knowledge that surpasses any known human ingenuity available at the time of its writing.
Many physicians who have compared Moses’ medical instructions to effective modern methods have come to realize the astonishing value and insight of the Bible. As 20th-century pharmacologist and Hebrew scholar, Dr. David Macht of Johns Hopkins University, once wrote: “Every word in the Hebrew Scriptures is well chosen and carries valuable knowledge and deep significance” (1953, p. 450). Indeed, the accurate medical practices prescribed thousands of years before their significance was completely understood provide excellent evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible.

Reason #3: The Overall Factual accuracy of the Bible

Suppose we were to ask a group of historians to author the most up-to-date history of the United States of America on the market. Suppose we gave them years to finish it and unlimited resources to use for their research. At the end of that period, with their newly published volume in hand, could we be confident that they had accurately recorded the significant dates and information perfectly? No, we could not. In fact, within just a few years, as every decent publishing company owner knows, we would need a second edition. Within a decade, so much new information would have come to light that a third or fourth edition would be necessary. And within 20 years, we most likely would need a completely new book if we wanted to preserve history accurately. But when we look into the 66 books of the Bible, we find perfect historical accuracy that has never needed updating or correcting.
Every single statement of the Bible that can be historically checked or verified has shown that the Bible writers never once made a mistake. The fact that the books of the Bible are perfectly accurate indicates that an intelligence beyond human ability must have been involved in the composition of the books.

The Accuracy of Acts

Sir William Ramsay was a one-time unbeliever and world-class archaeologist. His extensive education had ingrained within him the keenest sense of scholarship. But along with that scholarship came a built-in prejudice about the supposed inaccuracy of the Bible (specifically the book of Acts). As Ramsay himself remarked:
[A]bout 1880 to 1890, the book of the Acts was regarded as the weakest part of the New Testament. No one that had any regard for his reputation as a scholar cared to say a word in its defence. The most conservative of theological scholars, as a rule, thought the wisest plan of defence for the New Testament as a whole was to say as little as possible about the Acts (1915, p. 38).
As could be expected of someone who had been trained by such “scholars,” Ramsay held the same view. He eventually abandoned it, however, because he was willing to do what few people of his time dared to do—explore the Bible lands themselves with an archaeologist’s pick in one hand and an open Bible in the other. His self-stated intention was to prove the inaccuracy of Luke’s history as recorded in the book of Acts. But, much to his surprise, the book of Acts passed every test that any historical narrative could be asked to pass. In fact, after years of literally digging through the evidence in Asia Minor, Ramsay concluded that Luke was an exemplary historian. Lee S. Wheeler, in his classic work Famous Infidels Who Found Christ, recounted Ramsay’s life story in great detail (1931, pp. 102-106), and then quoted the famed archaeologist, who ultimately admitted:
The more I have studied the narrative of the Acts, and the more I have learned year after year about Graeco-Roman society and thoughts and fashions, and organization in those provinces, the more I admire and the better I understand. I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it here [in the book of Acts—KB/EL]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s, and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment, provided always that the critic knows the subject and does not go beyond the limits of science and of justice (Ramsay, 1915, p. 89).
Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, is now widely acknowledged as an extremely accurate historian in his own right—so much so that Ramsay came to believe in Christianity as a result of his personal examination of the preciseness of Luke’s historical record. What legitimate reason is there to reject Luke’s amazingly accurate testimony? As Wayne Jackson summarized:
In Acts, Luke mentions thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine Mediterranean islands. He also mentions ninety-five persons, sixty-two of which are not named elsewhere in the New Testament. And his references, where checkable, are always correct. This is truly remarkable, in view of the fact that the political/territorial situation of his day was in a state of almost constant change (1991, 27:2).

The Pilate Inscription

The last few days of Jesus’ life were the most tragic of any in human history. Amidst all the violence, there stood one man who had the power to stop all the torture. One man could call off the Roman soldiers and save Christ from being crucified. His name—Pontius Pilate, the Roman official who governed the area of Judea at the time of Christ’s death. The story of the crucifixion can hardly be told without mentioning the name of this Roman official who sentenced Christ to death—even though Pilate knew He was innocent (John 18:38; 19:4,6).
Although the Bible mentions Pilate on several occasions, his name could not be found among the archaeological evidence. For hundreds of years, no stone inscriptions or other physical evidence could be produced to support the idea that a man named Pilate had anything to do with either Christ or Judea. Because of this, many mocked the Bible and claimed that creative biblical writers concocted Pilate from their own fertile imaginations. After all, if Pilate were such a prominent leader, wouldn’t there be some kind of archaeological evidence to verify his existence?
Critics were silenced when, in 1961, an Italian archaeological team working at Caesarea found a stone tablet that measured 32 inches high, by 27 inches wide, by 8 inches thick. On this slab, now known as the “Pilate Inscription,” were the remains of this simple title: “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea”—almost the exact same title as the one given to him in Luke 3:1. This, then, became yet another find to remind us that the more we uncover the past, the more we uncover the truth that the Bible is indeed the Word of God (see Price, 1997, pp. 307-308).
The truth is, numerous archaeological finds have verified the Bible’s accuracy. As the renowned archaeologist Nelson Glueck wrote: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible” (1959, p. 31). Truly, the perfect historical accuracy, without the tell-tale mistakes that are found in works written by mere humans, testifies to the Bible’s divine origin.


No series of books in human history has maintained the supernatural consistency that is present within the pages of the Bible. From the first book of Genesis to the last book of Revelation, approximately 40 men penned individual treatises that combine to form the best-selling, most widely distributed, perfectly unified, flawlessly written book ever produced. Mere human genius never could have produced a work with such predictive prophecy, scientific foreknowledge, and overall factual accuracy. Common sense demands an adequate explanation. The only rational conclusion, which is in keeping with the evidence at hand, is that the Bible is “given by inspiration of God.”


“Best Selling Book of Non-Fiction” (2014), Guinness World Records, http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction/.
Bryan, Cyril (1930), Ancient Egyptian Medicine: The Papyrus Ebers (Chicago, IL: Ares Publishers).
“Cedar Oil” (no date), Spavelous, http://www.spavelous.com/Articles/Health_Nutrition/Aromatherapy_Chart.html.
Fleming, Wallace B. (1966), The History of Tyre (New York: AMS Press).
Glueck, Nelson (1959), Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Cudahy).
“God Facts” (no date), http://www.wwj.org.nz/gfacts.php.
Herodotus (1972 reprint), The Histories, trans. Aubrey De Sélincourt (London: Penguin).
Horace, “Ars Poetica,” http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/horace/arspoet.shtml.
Jackson, Wayne (1991), “The Holy Bible—Inspired of God,” Christian Courier, 27:1-3, May.
Jackson, Wayne (1997), “Homer Sometimes Nodded, but the Bible Writers Never Did!” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=249.
Josephus, Flavius (1987), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus: Against Apion, trans. William Whitson (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” Reason & Revelation, 34[10]:108-120, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1175.
Macht, David I. (1953), “An Experimental Pharmacological Appreciation of Leviticus XI and Deuteronomy XIV,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 27[5]:444-450, September-October.
Massengill, S.E. (1943), A Sketch of Medicine and Pharmacy (Bristol, TN: S.E. Massengill).
McGrew, Roderick (1985), Encyclopedia of Medical History (London: Macmillan Press).
McMillen, S.I. and David Stern (2000), None of These Diseases (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell), third edition.
Miller, Dave (2003), “Is the Book of Mormon from God?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1187.
Miller, Dave (2005), The Quran Unveiled (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Nuland, Sherwin B. (2003), The Doctor’s Plague (New York: Atlas Books).
Pope, Alexander (1709), “An Essay on Criticism,” http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/ldc/ling001/pope_crit.htm.
Price, Randall (1997), The Stones Cry Out (Eugene, OR: Harvest House).
Ramsay, William (1915), The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (London: Hodder and Stoughton).
Siculus, Diodorus (1963), Library of History, trans. C. Bradford Welles (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
“Tyre” (2006), Columbia Encyclopedia, http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Tyre.aspx.
Wheeler, Lee S. (1931), Famous Infidels Who Found Christ (Peekskill, NY: Review and Herald Publishing Association).

What Caused God? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


What Caused God?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.


What caused God?


Everyone knows the Christian’s response to this question: God is eternal; He had no cause. Although atheists may think that this answer is a cop-out and unscientific, both observation and Revelation declare otherwise.
From what we observe in nature, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Scientists refer to this fact as the First Law of Thermodynamics. Evolutionists allege that the Universe began with the explosion of a ball of matter 13.6 billion years ago, yet they never have provided a reasonable explanation for the cause of the “original” ball of matter. An attempt was made recently in the April 28, 2007 issue of New Scientist magazine titled “The Beginning: What Triggered the Big Bang.” Notice, however, the last line of the article: “[T]he quest to understand the origin of the universe seems destined to continue until we can answer a deeper question: why is there anything at all instead of nothing?” (194[2601]:33, emp. added). The fact is, a logical, naturalistic explanation for the origin of the “original” ball of matter that supposedly led to the Universe does not exist. It cannot exist so long as the First Law of Thermodynamics is true (i.e., matter and energy cannot create itself).
Since the physical Universe exists, and yet it could not have created itself, then the Universe is either eternal or something/someone outside of the Universe must have created it. Relatively few scientists propose that the Universe is eternal. In fact, there would be no point in attempting to explain the “beginning” of the Universe if they believed it always existed. What’s more, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter and energy become less usable over time, has led scientists to conclude that the Universe has not always existed.
If matter is not eternal, however, and it cannot create itself, then the only logical conclusion is that something/someone outside of nature (i.e., supernatural) caused the Universe and everything in it. Christians call this Someone, “the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).


“The Universe Before Ours” (2007), New Scientist, 194[2601]:28-33, April 28.

On Whom did the Tongues of Fire Rest? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


On Whom did the Tongues of Fire Rest?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, He commanded His apostles “not to depart from Jerusalem” until they had received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-8). During their wait, they assembled with many of the women and other disciples who had followed the Lord during His earthly ministry. Peter (who emerged as the leader of this early gathering), when assembled with over 120 of the disciples, proposed that a new apostle be picked to take the place of Judas (Acts 1:15-26). The new apostle, chosen by casting lots, was named Matthias, “and was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26). All these events are recorded in Acts 1. At the beginning of Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came upon certain people, and appeared as divided tongues of fire on their heads. The question arises: on whom did the Holy Spirit come?
Many have answered that the Holy Spirit came upon all the disciples that were gathered together in Acts 1:15 (about 120). According to this idea, the Holy Spirit came not only upon the apostles on the Day of Pentecost, but also empowered others with the very same powers given to the apostles. Those who reach such a conclusion, do so because they assume that, in Acts 2:1, the statement, “they were all with one accord in one place,” refers to the 120 disciples. Upon further investigation, however, this conclusion can be seen to be inaccurate. In truth, only the apostles received the miraculous “baptism of the Holy Spirit” on the Day of Pentecost.
It is important to a proper understanding of the Bible to remember that the chapter and verse divisions in our present-day Bibles were not in the original texts, but were added many hundreds of years after the original autographs of the Bible were written. The chapter division between Acts 1:26 and Acts 2 often causes a misunderstanding. Some assume that the events in Acts 2:1-4 must go all the way back to Acts 1:15. If we remove the chapter division, however, this problem is easily resolved. Acts 1:26 and 2:1, without the division, read as follows: “And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
When these verses are combined, as they are in the original text, it is easy to see that the ones who were “with one accord in one place” were the apostles. The pronoun “they” in Acts 2:1 does not refer to the 120 disciples, but to the immediate antecedent—the apostles. This fact is illustrated further by the fact that, in Acts 2:14, the Bible records that Peter was “standing up with the eleven,” and in 2:37 the text mentions that the audience spoke to “Peter and the rest of the apostles.” Further, in Acts 1:2,4, it was the apostles whom Jesus commanded to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit had come upon them.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit that was accomplished on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 was not a phenomenon that came upon hundreds of disciples, but only upon the apostles (see Miller, 2003). They were the only ones who had the tongues of fire on their heads. Many modern-day religious people who claim to work miracles believe that they have been given the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”—like the 120 disciples. An accurate understanding of the Bible, however, shows that the promise of Holy Spirit baptism was given only to the apostles. And, while it is true that the Holy Spirit dwells in every true Christian (1 John 3:24), it is not true that such is accompanied by miraculous powers. Today, the evidence of the Spirit in Christians is not the ability to speak in tongues or work miracles, but the presence in their lives of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 2:22-23).


Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-day Miracles, Tongue-speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2572.

The Messiah--Person or Ideal? by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


The Messiah--Person or Ideal?

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Harold Kushner is one of the most prominent Jewish voices in America today. Almost invariably, whenever the Hebrew point of view is desired, the news media solicit his opinions and publicize them widely. This Jewish leader has attracted considerable attention over the past couple of decades as a result of several controversial books he has authored.
In 1971 Kushner produced a book titled, When Children Ask About God. In this volume the famous “rabbi” offered advice to parents about how to cope with their children’s “fears, fantasies, and religious needs.” It is difficult to imagine a literary production that contains more error per square inch of space. As one surveys the pages of this work, he is reminded of the admonition of another Hebrew writer—one almost twenty centuries ago. A divine penman suggested that there are some, who by reason of time ought to be teachers, but who have need that someone teach them their ABCs all over again (Hebrews 5:12).
Consider, for example, Kushner’s observation regarding the term “Messiah.” He has written: “Today, few people still look for a person, called the Messiah, to appear and change the world.” He goes on to assert that the idea of “Messiah” arose in ancient times because people grew tired of unjust rulers, and so they longed for an ideal ruler to come and deliver them. He concluded by suggesting that the term “Messiah” merely embodies an “age” when “all the people will agree on what the world needs.”
Kushner’s view has no basis whatsoever in fact. There is not the slightest evidence in the Old Testament that his opinion regarding the Messiah is valid. Rather, this prominent scholar’s view is the result of his own skeptical inclinations regarding the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, Kushner even goes so far as to deny that God is a person.
But what of Kushner’s idea concerning the Messiah? Let us reflect upon this momentarily. The notion that the Messiah is but an “ideal” is negated thoroughly by a consideration of the test of the Old Testament Scriptures. No better refutation can be found than that which is detailed in the book of Isaiah, chapter 53. This marvelous section of divine literature is a galaxy of prophetic testimony regarding the nature of the Messiah, Who, incidentally, is identified specifically in the New Testament as Jesus Christ (see John 4:25-26). Consider these crucial points in this regard.
First, there is ample historical evidence that the early Jews, both before and after the birth of Jesus, believed that Isaiah 53 was Messianic in its import. It was only after the early Christians began to use it as an apologetic for their claim that Jesus of Nazareth was this Messiah that novel (i.e., nonpersonal) views of the passage became vogue.
Second, anyone who is able to read this chapter with reasonable skill can see clearly that a person is the object of the prophet’s oracle. Verse 2, for example, reads: “For he [the Messiah] grew up before him [God] as a tender plant.” Again: “He was despised, and rejected of men.” Count the personal pronouns referring to the Messiah that are employed within this chapter. Aside from rationalistic bias, there is no compelling reason whatsoever for denying that a real person is being described here.
In the New Testament, Paul spoke of certain Jews who refused to believe in Jesus as the Christ because of the “veil” that shrouded their hearts (2 Corinthians 3:15). Mr. Kushner is of that sort. There is ample evidence that the Messianic hope is fulfilled gloriously in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Is There Intelligent Life in Outer Space? by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


Is There Intelligent Life in Outer Space?

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


I have heard a lot about the possibility of life in outer space. Has science established that extraterrestrial life does exist? What, if anything, does the Bible have to say on this subject?


There can be little doubt that the prospect of intelligent life existing in outer space has intrigued evolutionary scientists for generations. Pick up almost any evolution textbook, and you will find a reference to, brief discussion of, or whole chapter on, extraterrestrial life.
Some years ago, Carl Sagan, the late astronomer of Cornell University, raised private funding for a radio telescope that would search the skies for a message coming in to us from supposed extraterrestrial beings. Dr. Sagan, and Dr. Frank Drake, were asked by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to design an interstellar communication specifically aimed at extraterrestrials, in hopes of letting them know that we are here. Consequently, attached to NASA’s Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spaceprobes (1973) were identical gold plaques, inscribed with pictorial messages sent across the light-years to tell about Earth’s civilization. Since that time, various other attempts either to accept communications from alleged extraterrestrials, or to communicate with them, have been made.


One might ask: “Why all the interest in the possibility of intelligent life existing in outer space?” There are several answers to such a question.
First, there are some who firmly believe in the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life because they are convinced that, if life evolved here, it not only could have evolved elsewhere, but must have done so. Carl Sagan is but one example of evolutionists who follow this line of reasoning. In an interview in January 17, 1980 issue of New Scientist magazine, Dr. Sagan made the following points:
  1. There are something like 1022 stars in the Universe, and as about one in a million of these stars is a yellow dwarf star like our Sun, this means there are about 1016 Sun-type stars in the Universe.
  2. Now one in a million of these Sun-type stars probably has a planetary system similar to that of our Sun’s. Therefore there are about 1010 planetary systems in the Universe.
  3. One in a million of these planetary systems must have a planet similar to that of Earth, and life must have evolved on those planets in the same manner in which it has evolved here on Earth. Therefore, there are at least 10,000 planets in the Universe that have life on them.
Paul Davies, the renowned physicist and cosmologist, stated in his book, Other Worlds:
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains about 100 billion stars grouped together in a gigantic spiral assembly typical of the billions of other galaxies scattered throughout the universe. This means that there is nothing very special about the Earth, so probably life is not a remarkable phenomenon either.... [I]t would be surprising if life were not widespread throughout the cosmos, though it may be rather sparse (1980, p. 151).
Sir Fred Hoyle joins such thinkers. In his book, Lifecloud, he wrote: “With so many possible planetary systems, should we not expect inhabited planets to be moving around some of the nearby stars? We certainly should” (1978, pp. 145-146). It is evident, then, that many evolutionists believe intelligent life exists on other planets simply because evolution must work that way.
Second, there are some who believe life will be found in outer space because life simply could not have “just happened” here on the Earth. However, far from invoking a Creator, their intended point is simply that the available evidence indicates that life is too complex to have occurred here on the Earth by purely naturalistic processes. So, life must have evolved somewhere in outer space and been planted here. This is the view of Sir Francis Crick in his volume, Life Itself:
If a particular amino acid sequence was selected by chance, how rare an event would this be?... Suppose the chain is about two hundred amino acids long; this is, if anything, rather less than the average length of proteins of all types. Since we have just twenty possibilities at each place, the number of possibilities is twenty multiplied by itself some two hundred times. This is approximately equal to...a one followed by 260 zeros.... The great majority of sequences can never have been synthesized at all, at any time (1981, p. 51).
Dr. Crick then made the following fascinating admission: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going” (p. 88, emp. added). But, while acknowledging the impossibility of the accidental formation of life here on the Earth, he refuses to accept the idea of an intelligent Creator, and instead opts for “directed panspermia”—the idea that life was “planted” on the Earth by intelligent beings from outer space.
Dr. Crick is not alone in this viewpoint. The same year that Life Itself was published (1981), Sir Fred Hoyle authored Life from Space, in which he took essentially the same position. In fact, in an article that year in Nature, he wrote:
The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate mater is one to a number with 40,000 noughts after it.... It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence (1981, 294:148).
Dr. Hoyle opted for a kind of pantheistic intelligence that created life spores in other parts of the Universe, with these spores ultimately drifting to Earth to begin life as we know it. Because of the tremendous (and impressive) complexity of life—and the obvious design behind it—other scientists are opting for this viewpoint as well. Leslie Orgel, one of the heavyweights in origin-of-life experiments, is on record as advocating this position (1982, pp. 149-152).
Third, there are, without a doubt, some evolutionists who are determined to believe in some form of intelligent extraterrestrial life because they are convinced this somehow will nullify creation. For example, Ian Ridpath, in his book, Signs of Life, has suggested: “Religions which contend that God made man in His own image could be severely shaken if we found another intellectual race made in a different image” (1975, p. 13).
Jonathan N. Leonard likewise has shown his disdain for the concept of creation in his classic essay, Other-Worldly Life:
Scientists point out that there is nothing miraculous or unrepeatable about the appearance of life on earth. They believe it would happen again, given the same sufficient time and the same set of circumstances. It would even happen under very different circumstances. There is no reason to believe that conditions in the atmosphere and oceans of the primitive earth were modified by any outside power to make them favorable for the development of life. They just happened that way, and it is likely that life would have appeared even if conditions had been considerably different (1984, pp. 186-187).
Such writers make it clear that they believe if extraterrestrial life were to be discovered, it somehow would “disprove” the existence of a Creator.


What response should the creationist offer to these various evolutionary positions on the existence of intelligent life in outer space?
First, let us note that any claims made concerning the existence of life in outer space are just that—claims—and nothing more. In their more candid moments, even evolutionists admit such. Michael Rowan-Robinson of the University of London has observed:
From the almost imperceptible wanderings of several nearby stars we can deduce that they have small companions, but the masses of the companions deduced in this way are, with one exception, one or two per cent of our Sun’s mass, that is 10-20 times the mass of Jupiter. Such objects could in fact be tiny stars, rather than planets, for they may be undergoing nuclear reactions in their core. This one exception is Barnard’s star, the next nearest to the Sun after the Centauri system, five light years away. It has been claimed that this star has one or two companions of mass about that of Jupiter. This is still a matter of dispute between astronomers. It is an act of faith, based on rather shaky probabilistic arguments, to say that other planets like Earth exist in the Universe (1980, p. 325, emp. added).
Freeman Dyson, in his classic text, Disturbing the Universe, wrote eloquently on this very point:
Many of the people who are interested in searching for extraterrestrial intelligence have come to believe in a doctrine which I call the Philosophical Discourse Dogma, maintaining as an article of faith that the universe is filled with societies engaged in long-range philosophical discourse. The Philosophical Discourse Dogma holds the following truths to be self-evident:
1. Life is abundant in the universe.
2. A significant fraction of the planets on which life exists give rise to intelligent species.
3. A significant fraction of intelligent species transmit messages for our enlightenment.
If these statements are accepted, then it makes sense to concentrate our efforts upon the search for radio messages and to ignore other ways of looking for evidence of intelligence in the universe. But to me the Philosophical Discourse Dogma is far from self-evident. There is as yet no evidence either for it or against it (1979, p. 207, emp. added).
These two evolutionists have an excellent point—there is no evidence for any of these grandiose claims regarding “habitable planets.”
Second, let us note that the claims being made often are blatantly contradictory. For example, consider the following. G.E. Tauber, in his work, Man’s View of the Universe (1979, p. 339), suggested that there are “about a billion possible candidates in the galaxy alone” where intelligent life could exist. That is one billion planets just in our own Milky Way galaxy. Yet listen to this estimate by Sir Fred Hoyle:
Of the two hundred billion or so stars in our galaxy, about eighty per cent fail to met the conditions discussed above as being necessary for life. The remaining twenty per cent are not in multiple star systems and have masses in the appropriate range, three-quarters to one-and-a-half-times the mass of the Sun. The grand total of planetary systems in the galaxy capable of supporting life is therefore close to forty billion (1978, p. 145).
Notice that these two men are both discussing the same thing—potentially habitable planets in the same galaxy (the Milky Way). Yet one places the number at one billion, while the other sets it at forty billion. And their books were published within one year of each other! Mark Twain, by all accounts, was correct when he observed in Life on the Mississippi: “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such a wholesale return of conjecture for such a trifling investment of facts” (1883, p. 156). How can we be expected to accept as credible figures that are as vastly different as these?
Third, those who wish to convince us of a “directed panspermia” via some intelligence in outer space apparently have failed to understand that they have not addressed the issue at hand; they merely have moved it to another planet. Creationists are not the only ones who see this as a problem. Fox and Dose, two evolutionists who figure prominently in origin-of-life research, commented: “Another criticism that has been voiced is that moving the origin of life to an extraterrestrial site also moves the problem to that locale. Only by the broadest interpretation invoking organic chemical precursors can the site be stretched to such a distance” (1977, p. 324). The question obviously arises: “Did the intelligence that allegedly directed the panspermia evolve, or was it created?” And we find ourselves right back where we started. Whether there is intelligent life in outer space or not does not answer the basic question of where that life, or life on Earth, originated.
Fourth, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for life on other planets. Scientists have little choice but to admit this fact, as the following quotations clearly indicate.
(1) Ervin Laszlo, in his book, Evolution: The Grand Synthesis, observed: “The search for life, especially intelligent life, outside the confines of our home planet has always fascinated poets and scientists; in recent years it has motivated major research efforts. Alas, these efforts have not brought positive results” (1970, p. 122, emp. added).
(2) Paul Davies noted: “Although we have no supportive evidence at all, it would be surprising if life were not widespread throughout the cosmos, though it may be rather sparse” (1980, p. 151, emp. added).
(3) Theodosius Dobzhansky and his co-authors, in their text, Evolution, stated: “The subject of extraterrestrial life, exobiology, is a curious field of science, since its subject matter has never been observed and may not exist” (1977, p. 366, emp. added).
(4) The late Isaac Asimov, in reviewing several books for Science Digest, offered his comments on one by I.S. Shklovskii and Carl Sagan (Intelligent Life in the Universe). In his review, Dr. Asimov said: “There are so many books on extraterrestrial life (I have written one myself) that they would almost seem to be a cottage industry. This is in a way surprising, since we have absolutely no evidence that any such phenomenon as life on other worlds exists” (1982, p. 36, emp. added). When Dr. Asimov observed that we have “absolutely no evidence” of extraterrestrial life, his statement, and the conclusion to be drawn from it, hardly could be any plainer.
(5) Hubert P. Yockey, writing in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, remarked:
Faith in the infallible and comprehensive doctrines of dialectic materialism plays a crucial role in origin of life scenarios, and especially in exobiology and its ultimate consequence, the doctrine of advanced extra-terrestrial civilization. That life must exist somewhere in the solar system or “suitable planets elsewhere” is widely and tenaciously believed in spite of lack of evidence, or even abundant evidence to the contrary (1981, p. 27, emp. added).
(6) In an article on “Being Optimistic about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” that appeared in American Scientist, astronomers David Schwartzman and Lee J. Rickard wrote:
The basic argument for an optimistic assessment of the likelihood of intelligence elsewhere in the universe is really a reassertion of the ancient belief in the plurality of worlds, the idea that our own world must be duplicated elsewhere. In modern form, the idea assumes that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, conditions favorable to the emergence of life and intelligence as they exist here on earth are present abundantly in the universe.
Is it still reasonable to be optimistic about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence? After all, researchers around the world have been listening for electromagnetic signals from other civilizations in the universe for more than 25 years now, using ever larger telescopes and increasingly sophisticated equipment. [Cosmologist Frank] Tipler estimates that 120,000 hours of observing time have been spent on the search, with, of course, no positive results (1988, 73:364).
(7) Four years later, in his article, “Is Anybody Out There?,” for a special edition of Time magazine, Dennis Overbye asked:
And what if, after a millennium of listening and looking, there is only silence—what if we still seem alone? If interstellar migration is as easy and inevitable as Finney and Jones have outlined, and if the galaxy, 10 billion years old, is populated by other advanced races, critics of SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence—BT] argue, ETs should have come calling by now. There is no scientific evidence that they have, and the lack of it has led some scientists to argue that there is no life out there at all (1992, pp. 79-80; references to Finney and Jones are to Ben Finney, physicist at the Los Alamos, New Mexico National Laboratory, and Eric Jones, anthropologist of the University of Hawaii).
(8) That same year, Dava Sobel wrote an article for Life magazine by the same title (“Is Anybody Out There?”), discussing the work of Dr. Jill Tarter, NASA’s project scientist (the agency’s chief administrative officer) in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence [SETI]. Sobel observed:
For all her childhood fascination with interstellar travel, Jill Tarter, now 48, would be the first to tell you that extraterrestrials have never visited earth and probably never will. NASA SETI researchers dismiss flying saucer reports and alien abduction stories. Most do not believe that travel over vast distances in space is possible or desirable. The energy required for sending bodies through space, unlike radio waves that have no mass, numbs the minds of even the most nimble scientists. Conservative estimates indicate that a spaceship carrying 10 people and traveling 5 light years to and from a nearby star system at 70 percent of the speed of light would consume 500,000 times the amount of energy used in the U.S. this year (1992, 15[9]:67).
(9) Robert Jastrow, the founder and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA and the current director of the Mount Wilson Observatory, was asked to review the 1996 book, The Biological Universe, by Steven J. Dick. In his review, Dr. Jastrow wrote:
All these numbers are so small that, even when multiplied by the vast number of planets probably present in the universe, they force us to conclude that the Earth must be the only planet bearing life (1997, pp. 62-63).
(10) That same year, Robert Naeye wrote an article for Astronomy magazine titled “OK, Where Are They?” In his article, he commented:
If one chooses to shun speculation and stick solely with observations, one can ask the same question that Nobel physicist Enrico Fermi put forth in 1950: If the Galaxy is teeming with intelligent life, where are they? The sobering reality is that there is no observational evidence whatsoever for the existence of other intelligent beings anywhere in the universe. But until that happens, it seems prudent to conclude that we are alone in a vast cosmic ocean, that in one important sense, we ourselves are special in that we go against the Copernican grain. If so, humanity represents matter and energy evolved to its highest level; whereby a tiny part of the universe on a small rock orbiting an average star in the outskirts of an ordinary spiral galaxy has brought itself to a state of consciousness that can ponder the questions of how the universe, and life itself, began, and what it all means (1996, 24:42-43).
(11) A year later, Seth Shostak penned an article for Astronomy magazine, “When E.T. Calls Us,” in which he discussed the results (or lack thereof) of the SETI program.
This is Project Phoenix, the most comprehensive search ever undertaken for intelligent company among the stars. Run by the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California, it is the privately funded descendant of a former NASA program. Here, at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s 140-foot telescope in Green Bank, Project Phoenix scientists are systematically scrutinizing a thousand nearby sun-like stars for the faint signal that would betray intelligent habitation. So far, they have found nothing—not a single, extraterrestrial peep (1997, 24:37).
(12) Then, in his 2001 book, The Borderlands of Science, Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine, wrote: “In three decades [Carl] Sagan changed the theory [of the existence of extraterrestrial life—BT] from heresy to orthodoxy, even though there still exists not one iota of concrete evidence of any life, simple or complex, intelligent or not, beyond Earth” (p. 217, emp. added).


Some will ask what, if anything, the Bible has to say about this subject. The astute Bible student is aware of the silence of the Scriptures on this particular matter. The biblical record does not affirm the existence of extraterrestrial life. [NOTE: The word “extraterrestrial” is used here to denote beings with physical makeups, as opposed to spiritual beings such as angels.]
The Bible does make many positive statements about the Earth and the Universe. And in those statements, it is clear that the Earth has been appointed a very unique role. For example, the psalmist stated that “the heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men” (115:16). The Earth, apparently, was created uniquely for mankind. Statements made by the inspired apostle Paul in Acts 17:24-26 echo this same sentiment. It is of interest to note that many celestial bodies—the Moon, the Sun, and stars—are mentioned in Scripture, and even spoken of as having definite purposes. Specifically, the Sun and Moon are said to be useful for marking off days, seasons, and years (Genesis 1:14). And, we are informed that “one star differeth from another star in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:41). Yet no celestial body, except the Earth, is spoken of in Scripture as being a “dwelling place.”
Furthermore, the Earth is unique in that Christ’s activities are described as having occurred on this planet. It was on the Earth that the godhead became incarnate through Christ (see John 1:1ff.). It was on the Earth that Christ died for the sins of men (Hebrews 2:9). It was on the Earth that His bodily resurrection occurred (1 Corinthians 15), and from the Earth that He ascended to His Father in heaven (Acts 1:9-10; Ephesians 4:8-10).
There is also another aspect that should be considered in this light. The Bible clearly states that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love, of course, allows freedom of choice, and the Scriptures make it clear that God does exactly that (see Joshua 24:15; John 5:39-40). Since God is the Creator of the Universe (Genesis 1:1ff.), and since He likewise is no respector of persons (Acts 10:34), were He to create other intelligent life, His loving nature would require that freedom of choice be granted to such life forms. It also follows that since God is loving, He would offer instruction to such intelligent beings—just as He has to man—on the proper use of freedom of choice. Creatures possessing free moral agency, however, are not perfect; they make mistakes. Such mistakes (violations of God’s instructions) require that justice be administered, since God is not only loving, but just. Because God is merciful, He institutes a way for those separated from Him—as a result of their own mistakes—to return. The Scriptures, however, teach that there is only one way to stand justified before God, and that is through His Son (John 14:6). [NOTE: The angelic host, while certainly possessing freedom of choice, was not allowed this opportunity, apparently due to its completely spiritual (i.e., nonphysical) nature, and to the fact that angels had experienced God’s glory firsthand as they stood in His presence. Therefore they were without any excuse for their rebellion against His authority (Hebrews 2:16).]
The Scriptures also speak to one other important point. The Hebrew writer stated that Christ died “once for all” (7:27; 9:28). The wording in the original Greek is explicit, meaning that Christ’s death was a once-for-all, never-to-be-repeated event. Creatures possessing freedom of choice make mistakes in attempting to carry out God’s will. Forgiveness of those mistakes comes only through Christ (John 14:6). Since Christ died only once (Hebrews 7:27), it is a seeming violation of Scripture to suggest that He somehow go “planet hopping” to die again and again as the propitiation for infractions of God’s plan by creatures (possessing freedom of choice) in other parts of this vast Universe. These biblical principles should not be overlooked in any discussion of the existence of extraterrestrial life.


The only conclusion that can be drawn currently is that science has produced no credible evidence of intelligent life in outer space. There have been many speculations and opinions offered, but empirical evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life is completely lacking. A good suggestion might be, therefore, that we spend our time on more important pursuits.


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Shostak, Seth (1997), “When E.T. Calls Us,” Astronomy, 25:37, September.
Sobel, Dava (1992), “Is Anybody Out There?,” Life, 15[9]:67, September.
Tauber, G.E. (1979), Man’s View of the Universe (New York: Crown).
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