Monday, March 24, 2014

The Global Flood

Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Genesis on Sunday nights, and last night he was in Genesis 7, which is the account of the flood. I appreciate very much the fact that he believes and teaches the Scriptures as literal instead of trying to discover something other than the clear and obvious meaning of a passage. This includes the book of Genesis.

Too many today want to make the Scriptures mean something other than what they say. One truth that is constantly attacked is the global flood of Noah. Why is this important? Why is it a big deal if someone says the flood was local as opposed to global? It is important because we need to believe what God has told us. If He has deceived us about the extent the judgment He brought by the flood, how can we believe Him about anything else, such as the reality of sin, the necessity of salvation, the virgin birth, the sacrifice of Christ, the resurrection, the coming judgment, etc.?

There is no doubt that the flood was God's judgment on the sin and evil of mankind at that time. Many hate the very concept of God judging sin, but the truth of the matter is that God judged the world once, and He will judge it again. This truth is denied because man does not want to face the reality that God will hold the human race accountable for sin.

If one reads Genesis literally, it is really difficult to come up with anything but a global flood. The only way to conclude that the flood was local is to come to the Scriptures with a preconceived idea and interpret the events described according to that bias. Even many Hebrew scholars who do not believe that Genesis is true will admit that a literal reading of the text indicates actual 24-hour days for the creation week and a worldwide flood rather than a local flood. Reading anything else into the text requires some interesting mental gymnastics. It is in no way realistic and objective to read Genesis and come to the conclusion, using the Scripture alone, that the days of creation were millions of years and the flood was only local. Having one’s mind already influenced by someone’s agenda is the only way this can happen.

Following is an excerpt from an article about Progressive Creationism and some of its assumptions. The entire article is found here. Much of what is in the article is parallel to last night's message, which is found here on "Sermon Audio."

One of the Major Assumptions of Progressive Creationism:  The flood was “universal” (meaning “local”) but not global.

The claim is that Noah built an ark that carried him, his family, and the animals on an inland lake that was big enough to drown all of the humans who lived at that time. This is what is meant by a “universal” flood – it was just as widespread as humanity had migrated by that time, and there was no necessity for it to be any larger, since its purpose was to wipe out the human race other than Noah and his family.

There are several flaws in this thinking. I will address those with a series of questions and brief answers.

If the flood was local, why did Noah need to build an ark? Could he not have just moved elsewhere? God is neither stupid nor is He inefficient. He knows what He is doing. There would have been no reason for God to tell Noah to spend 120 years building an ark when he could have simply taken his family to another area of the earth away from the flood.

Why take animals on the ark when there would have been large numbers of most, if not all, of the same species of animals outside the area of the flood? But God had said He was going to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life. Are we to believe that not only all humans but also all animals lived in the area where this supposed local flood took place?

“And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.” (Genesis 7:21-23, NKJV).

How could a local flood cover the tops of all the mountains? Even though it appears that the mountains were not as high before the flood as they are now (Psalm 104), it would still be impossible for a local flood to cover all of the mountains by 15 cubits (22½ feet, assuming an 18-inch cubit). “And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered” (Genesis 7:19-20, NKJV).

Would not a local flood make God a liar when He said he would never again flood the entire earth as He had done? There have been many local floods since Noah’s time, and each and every one of them would underscore God’s dishonesty if they were like Noah’s flood.

“Then the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease’” (Genesis 8:21-22, NKJV).

"And God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ And God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth’” (Genesis 9:12-17, NKJV).

“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you” (Isaiah 54:9, NKJV).

If Noah’s flood was only a local flood, every time we see a rainbow, we should consider that to be a sign of God’s dishonesty. Clearly, that is absurd. God gave that sign to humans and to the animals as a token of His promise that He would never again destroy the world in the same way He already did, and that promise is just as valid today as it was in the days of Noah.

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19, NKJV).

“…it is impossible for God to lie…” (Hebrews 6:18, NKJV).

“…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began…” (Titus 1:2, NKJV).

The bottom line is that both evolutionists and progressive creationists need a local flood, because a truly global flood explains the many fossil-containing rock layers without any need for millions or billions of years. A global flood would certainly change the topography of the earth. It is interesting to note that some scientists who have observed Mars have concluded that the only possible cause of its topography would be a global flood. Of course, the fact that Mars has little or no water does not seem to be an issue for them. On the other hand, when the topography of the earth is observed, there is immediate rejection of a global flood and the question, “If there was a global flood, where did all the water go?” Why do they ask this? The answer is obvious – a global flood would make the Bible true, and we obviously can’t have that because it would destroy evolution and progressive creationism. So “scientists” who are willing to accept a global flood on a planet with little or no water are not willing to accept the possibility of a global flood on a planet that is covered 70% by water.

Christian in an article entitled "Where did the Flood Waters Go?" offers the following: 

“If the waters are still here, why are the highest mountains not still covered with water, as they were in Noah’s day? Psalm 104 suggests an answer. After the waters covered the mountains (verse 6), God rebuked them and they fled (verse 7); the mountains rose, the valleys sank down (verse 8) and God set a boundary so that they will never again cover the Earth (verse 9). They are the same waters!”

“Isaiah gives this same statement that the waters of Noah would never again cover the Earth (Isaiah 54:9). Clearly, what the Bible is telling us is that God acted to alter the Earth's topography. New continental landmasses bearing new mountain chains of folded rock strata were uplifted from below the globe-encircling waters that had eroded and leveled the pre-Flood topography, while large deep ocean basins were formed to receive and accommodate the Flood waters that then drained off the emerging continents.”

“That is why the oceans are so deep, and why there are folded mountain ranges. Indeed, if the entire Earth's surface were leveled by smoothing out the topography of not only the land surface but also the rock surface on the ocean floor, the waters of the ocean would cover the Earth's surface to a depth of 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers). We need to remember that nearly 70 percent of the Earth's surface is still covered by water. Quite clearly, then, the waters of Noah's Flood are in today's ocean basins.” 

Monday, March 17, 2014

James M. Bramblet Memorial Service

The following bio was read at the memorial service for James M. Bramblet on March 8 by one of his grandsons, James Bramblet, Pastor of Campbell Baptist Church in Campbell, California. It was written by Terry Bramblet, one of James M. Bramblet's sons. The memorial service was held at Lakewood Baptist Temple in Lakewood (Tacoma), Washington.
James Mathew Bramblet
March 2, 1924 - January 25, 2014
Jim Bramblet was born at home near the small community of Kendrick Idaho.  At the time his parents were farming on land owned by his in-laws at a place called Texas Ridge.  Jim’s sister was convinced by her older brothers that he actually arrived in the doctors black bag.
When Jim was 15 an evangelist came to the community and a revival started; including the salvation of both Jim and his future wife Vivian.  As we understand it all of his family was saved except for one older brother who was away at college.  As a result of this evangelistic campaign eventually all three of the Bramblet brothers spent their lives serving God.
After completing high school Jim decided to attend Bible School at Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland Oregon.  It just so happened his future wife had moved to Vancouver Washington, just across the river. While at school he received his Selective Service notice and ended up in the Navy for the next three years.  During those three years, Jim and Vivian were married and their first child was born (Timothy).
After the navy and after finishing at Multnomah Jim and his small family moved to Moscow Idaho to take advantage of the “GI Bill” at the University of Idaho.  During this time two more children arrived (Terry and Janet).  Jim spent his weekends and summers preaching in a little town called Elk River, Idaho.  His plans were to become a pastor or missionary upon completion of school.  God had other plans though.  After graduation he was asked to teach at the Elk River High school, which he did for two years (a fourth child came along, Bill).  God was leading him to think about Christian School education and after the two years teaching in Elk River he was asked to become the principal of a small Christian School in Portland Oregon called the West Hills Christian School.
For the rest of their lives Jim and Vivian would be involved in starting or working with five Christian grade schools, two high schools and one teachers college.
Jim also believed in hard work.  Working with and for Christian schools often meant that he had no income during the summer months.  He would try his hand at about anything, construction, farming, working at a graveyard, and even building rock walls.  One year the whole family worked in the fields picking various fruits and berries.  Sometimes at the schools he was not only the principal but the main teacher, the janitor and the bus driver.
Jim Bramblet was a consistent man of God throughout all of his adult life.  He was the same at home as he was in public.  He loved to serve God and passed that along to his children and grandchildren.  He is survived by four children, twelve grandchildren, twenty-six great grandchildren, one missionary, three preachers, at least one teacher and many home school moms.
Several weeks before Jim died he was talking to some of his children about his future.  Did he want us to have the doctors work to help him get better or should we have them just keep him comfortable.  His first reaction was that he wanted “God’s will”.
We will miss his companionship and his wise advice.  We were blessed to have him as our dad.
…..So that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)
You can read an article entitled "In Memory of James M. Bramblet" here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Have We Forgotten Who God Is?

A prominent progressive creationist “…repeatedly makes the claim that life COULD NOT exist unless the universe was about 14 billion years old ... He further said, “…it is impossible for God to have created everything in six days of approximately 24 hours each …” (The ‘God’ of the Big Bang is NOT the God of the Bible! by Tim Chaffey).

“Let’s face it, there was a bishop … who added up the dates listed in Genesis and he came up with the world had been around for 6,000 years … There ain’t no way that’s possible … To say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it’s time we come off of that stuff and say this isn’t possible. We’ve got to be realistic that the dating of Bishop Ussher just doesn’t comport with anything that’s found in science … and you can’t just totally deny the geological formations that are out there. Let’s be real … let’s not make a joke of ourselves” (Pat Robertson).

Whatever the Lord pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places (Psalm 135:6, NKJV).  But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3).

It is dangerous ground to tell God what He can and cannot do, and it is also dangerous ground to assume that God lied to us when He told us what He did.

"When Moses writes that God created Heaven and Earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days ... if you cannot understand how this could be done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are" (Martin Luther).

"Have we forgotten who He is? Behold, All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom will ye liken God? (Isaiah 40;17-18)." (The Sovereignty of God, by Arthur W. Pink).

For a more thorough treatment of this topic, click here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sound Doctrine in Music

I continue to be impressed by the selection of music at our church. There are old songs that are very good and some that are not so good. There are new songs that are almost nonsensical in their content, but I continue to be exposed to new songs (at least new to me) that have solid doctrinal content. This is amazing, considering all the “7-11” theologically shallow drivel that is being passed off as Christian music today. Here are a few excerpts:

I will glory in my Redeemer
Whose priceless blood has ransomed me.
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
And hung Him on that judgment tree.
I will glory in my Redeemer
Who crushed the power of sin and death.
My only Savior before the holy Judge
The Lamb who is my righteousness.
Words and music by Steve & Vikki Cook
© 2000 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)
by Greg Habegger
My Jesus fair, was pierced by thorns,
By thorns grown from the fall.
Thus He who gave the curse was torn
To end that curse for all.
My Jesus kind, was torn by nails,
By nails of cruel men.
And to His cross, as grace prevailed,
God pinned my wretched sin.
My Jesus pure, was crushed by God,
By God, in judgment just.
The Father grieved, yet turned His rod
On Christ, made sin for us.
My Jesus strong, shall come to reign,
To reign in majesty -
The Lamb arose, and death is slain,
Lord, come in victory!
O love divine, O matchless grace -
That God should die for men!
With joyful grief I lift my praise,
Abhorring all my sin,
Adoring only Him.
Technically speaking, God did not actually die on the cross, because it would be impossible for God, the very source of all life, to die. However, the song does not lose any of its impact, because the One who is God died in a perfect, sinless human body, the body that was prepared for Him for that very purpose. 
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:  “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come — In the volume of the book it is written of Me — To do Your will, O God.’” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:5-10, NKJV).
The final one is much older, but it is of the same sound theology as the first two.
Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me...

…Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM…
…My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
Original Words by Charitie Lees Bancroft (1841-1892), Alternate Words and Music by Vikki Cook