Why Not Try This? … Recognize How God Saves Those Without Scriptures

“Teacher, thank you so much for coming to Korea. You teach us about Jesus from the Bible. Now we understand the ways of God. But what about our ancestors? They never heard these things. Will they be ready for Jesus when He comes again?”

I had been in Korea about four months as a twenty year old student missionary when one of my Bible class students asked the question.

“Let me think about that for awhile and talk to you later,” I stalled for time.

The rest of the day my mind raced. I believed that God was both loving[1] and fair.[2] But I also knew that the Bible says very clearly that “Salvation is found in no one else [besides Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”[3] If we have Jesus we have life, but if we don’t have Jesus we don’t have life.[4] So how could a person who had never heard of Jesus or had access to the Bible ever be saved, even if God is fair?

A few days later after many hours of Bible study I told the students in my Bible class that I had an answer for them.

“The Bible tells us that Jesus is the only way of salvation for everyone on earth. (We looked up and read Acts 4:12. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”) But there will be people in heaven who have never heard the story of Jesus’ death on the cross for them. (We looked up and read Zechariah 13:6. “If someone asks him [the Messiah, Jesus], ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.'”)

“Imagine if someone goes swimming down at the beach, they get caught in the tide and are carried out to sea. They realize their hopeless situation and scream ‘Help! Help!’ before they sink and go unconscious. The next day they regain consciousness in a hospital room. Their first question is “Who saved me?” Someone calls in the lifeguard who came to their rescue. They meet him for the first time, even though he is the one who saved their life.

“In a similar way, all through the ages, when people have realized their hopeless situation and cried out to their Creator for help, He has saved them. (We looked up and read Romans 10:13. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”) Many in heaven will have a chance to meet Him for the first time.

“But not everyone who lived on earth will be saved. (We looked up and read Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”) But we can trust that all who cry out for help will be saved. We don’t know the hearts of our ancestors. But our loving Creator does. And we can have confidence that everyone who would really enjoy eternity with Him in heaven will have a chance to.”[5]

That answer seemed to satisfy the students. I’ve shared it on mission trips in many countries around the world since then. But is there additional Bible evidence for this position? And if people can be saved without the Bible Scriptures or even knowing the story of Jesus, why should we send missionaries? Will unbelievers be lost if we don’t? Will believers be lost if they aren’t involved in the worldwide Gospel Commission?

God’s plan of salvation and restoration has both individual and universal implications.

On an individual level God is interested in every part of our life, not just where we will spend eternity. He is fully aware of the number of hairs on our head,[6] our words before we speak them,[7] our thoughts,[8] motives,[9] secret activities[10] and the choices we make. He has a comprehensive, wholistic plan of salvation and restoration to bring us into harmony with Him.[11] Individually He wants to save us from our past, including the penalty of sin.[12] He wants to save us in the present from the power of sin,[13] and He wants to save us in the future, from the presence of sin.[14]

But His plan includes far more than our individual salvation. On a universal level it includes the restoration of all that was lost when Adam and Eve chose to trust Satan over Jesus. His plan of restoration includes the freeing of the human race from the power of Satan and sin,[15] the destruction of Satan and sin,[16] and ultimately a universe forever free of Satan and sin,[17] with everyone freely trusting God totally.[18]

God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”[19] He has provided the Bible, the Scriptures, so we can have a clear picture of His character and accept His comprehensive plan of salvation.[20]

Twenty Ways God Revealed Himself To Those Who Didn’t Have The Bible

For those who don’t have access to the Bible, God has used at least twenty other methods, indicated in Scripture, that provide lots of evidence for all people in all times to repent and receive the salvation He offers.[21] God often surrounds people with more than one of these influences to open their hearts toward Him and His plan of salvation and restoration. Satan has distorted each of these influences with a destructive counterfeit to try to confuse people about God.[22] In spite of this God has still provided these influences to give everyone an adequate chance to have a clearer, fuller view of His character and His purposes for their lives, to help them find a better way of life now and to give them a chance to escape final judgment. He has used all twenty of these influences since Bible times as well.

 

•1.      Angels

•a.      Bible Examples. Hagar, a pregnant servant girl, got into trouble with her mistress Sarai, and fled into the desert. The angel of the LORD[23] found Hagar near a spring and gave her instructions to return home and the promise that the Lord had heard her misery and would give her many descendants.[24] During another personal crisis an angel again appeared to Hagar to give her comfort and counsel when she was close to death.[25]

We see numerous other examples of God revealing Himself through angels for the salvation of people before the first book of the Bible was written.[26] Two angels visited Lot in Sodom with the urgent message that the city was soon to be destroyed and he and his family must leave immediately if they wanted to be saved.[27] An angel intervened on Mt. Moriah just as Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac his son.[28] Jacob saw angels in his dream of the ladder at the place he named Bethel,[29] heard an angel speak to him in another dream encouraging him to leave his uncle Laban and return to his kindred,[30] met angels on his way to meet his brother, Esau[31] and sensed the protection that angels had provided during his lifetime.[32]

Even after the Bible scriptures were available to people, God continued to communicate through angels in addition to the written word. Examples of this include Gideon,[33] Samson’s parents,[34] John the Baptist’s father Zechariah,[35] Jesus’ earthly parents,[36] Philip[37] and Peter.[38]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. One third of the original angels of God are now fallen angels loyal to Satan.[39] Just as God assigns His angels to watch over His followers,[40] evidently Satan also assigns his angels to human beings to become familiar with them. After a person dies, the “familiar” spirit, or fallen angel, can impersonate the dead person to relatives and friends, gain their confidence, and, over time, lead them to destruction.[41] This explains why there are severe warnings in the Bible against any kind of contact with “familiar” spirits.[42] Satan has even led some people to worship angels.[43] Belief in the immortality of the soul was Satan’s first lie[44] and prepares the way for other false beliefs such as eternal torment, ancestor worship, spirit mediums, attempted communication with the dead, prayer for the dead, and the intercession of saints, all of which involve fallen angels.[45]

•c.       Since Bible Times. Even after the Bible was written, God has continued to involve His angels in communicating the gospel of salvation to people throughout the world. In the early 1900’s an angel appeared to Chief Auka/Owkwa of what later became known as the Davis Indians in South America. The angel instructed him in the plan of salvation, the importance of observing the seventh-day Sabbath and abstaining from unclean meats, and telling him to send for “the white man with the black book” who would teach him more.[46]

A collection of angel stories, including angels appearing to those who had never had access to the Bible, appears in the book It Must Have Been An Angel, by Marjorie Lewis Lloyd.[47] In 2008 Ben Schoun, president of Adventist World Radio (AWR), wrote of angels who appeared to chiefs of several isolated mountainous villages, giving them radios and showing them how to find the frequency and time that AWR was broadcast, before missionaries later arrived to teach the Bible.[48] Because of the danger of Satan’s angels impersonating angels of God[49] it is vital that those with access to the Bible test the messages of the angels to see if they harmonize with Scripture.[50]

 

•2.      Direct Communication (from God)

•a.      Bible Examples. During the period of time between the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and the writing of the first book of the Bible by Moses, God often spoke directly to people as part of His plan of immediate and eternal salvation. Examples of this include Cain,[51] Enoch,[52] Noah,[53] Job,[54] Abram/Abraham,[55] Rebekah,[56] Isaac,[57] Jacob[58] and Moses before he wrote Scripture.[59] God continued to speak directly to people even after Bible Scriptures were recorded. Some examples include His speaking to the Children of Israel at Mt. Sinai,[60] the people at Jesus’ baptism,[61] the crowd who gathered at Jesus’ final Passover feast,[62] the Ananias who baptized Saul/Paul,[63] and the prophets throughout the Old and New Testament times.[64]

      Abraham is a prime example of how a person can be saved without Bible Scriptures. Long before any book of the Bible was written we find that “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” NIV Genesis 15:6. The apostle Paul quoted this verse[65] to make the point that Abraham believed that God justifies the ungodly who believe in Him (including Abraham himself).[66] Paul wants us to realize that long before circumcision was instituted,[67] the Ten Commandments were written by God on tables of stone,[68] the Scriptures were recorded[69] or the Jewish nation was establish,[70] Abraham found salvation by trusting God, and God counted him righteous. James also quotes Genesis 15:6, and uses Abraham as an example of someone who trusted God enough to behave as a Friend of God. Rather than a belief in God that led to no change in his life, James tells us that Abraham believed God so much that it showed in his actions.[71]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Satan likes to make people believe that they are hearing God’s voice and are His mouthpiece when they aren’t. This happened with Aaron and Miriam when they complained about their brother Moses and his wife and her ethnicity. God struck Miriam with leprosy but later healed her after seven days, delaying the movement of the entire camp.[72] Satan also likes to lead people to put some human being on a pedestal and treat them as if they are the voice of God on earth. When this happened with one of the Herods, the angel of the Lord struck him down, he was eaten with worms and died.[73]

•c.       Since Bible Times. There are indications in the Bible that those who show a spirit of repentance and cry out to Him, forsaking their idols, will hear His voice giving them guidance.[74] Those who don’t have access to Bible Scriptures will most likely hear His voice either directly or in one of the many ways He communicates with people He is trying to save. One example is a Hindu man I met in India who had two wives. About a year before Bible workers came to his village he was praying to his Hindu gods when he heard a voice instructing him he should have only one wife. After further prayer to his gods and hearing the voice again he decided how to implement the heavenly message. He called his two wives and children together, told them what the voice had said and then told them what he was about to do. He built a small house on his property for his second wife and her children, provided financially for both wives, and ate meals together with both of them and all the children, but had marital relations only with his first wife. Months later Indian Bible workers arrived in his village and began instructing people in what the Scriptures teach. When he learned the teachings of Scripture about purity in marriage he exclaimed “That wasn’t my Hindu gods speaking to me but my Creator God preparing me to follow His ways!” He and both his “wives” were baptized and united with the Seventh-day Adventist Church that was formed in that village.[75]

 

•3.      Dreams

•a.      Bible Examples. Abraham was afraid. As he and his very beautiful wife Sarah traveled through foreign lands he was concerned the local kings of the area might want to kill him so they could marry her. Even though he trusted God at times, Abraham sometimes relied on his own ingenuity to save himself. “Say that you are my sister” he told his wife. She played along with this deception at least twice, once with Pharaoh of Egypt[76] and the second time with Abimelech, king of Gerar.[77] As a result of the deception Abimelech took Sarah to be his wife, not realizing she was already married.[78] God appeared to Abimelech in a dream and told him he was as good as dead, because Sarah was a married woman, and thus she was not available.[79] Abimelech protested to God, saying that he had done this with a clear conscience, not realizing the situation.[80] God gave him instructions on how to resolve the situation and save his life.[81]

Besides King Abimelech, God used dreams to speak to others who had no Bible Scriptures. God spoke in dreams to those who were part of His covenant people, such as Jacob[82] and Joseph.[83] He also spoke in dreams to those who were clearly not part of His covenant people at the time, such as Laban,[84] Pharaoh’s baker and butler,[85] Pharaoh himself,[86] an enemy soldier during the time of Gideon,[87] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon,[88] the wise men of the east who came to see baby Jesus,[89] and Pilate’s wife.[90] God has also used dreams as an avenue of communication with His prophets and as a means of communicating Scripture to them.[91]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Satan also uses dreams to communicate with people and confuse them. Even if someone has a dream and it comes true, this is not a sign that the dream is from God. The message of the dream must be tested to see if it calls for worship of the True God or leads people to follow other gods.[92] Moses,[93] Jeremiah[94] and Jude[95] each give serious warnings about not being deceived by dreams that don’t harmonize with Bible Scriptures.

•c.       Since Bible Times. Both Joel[96] and Peter[97] tell us that we should expect to see God continue to use dreams as a method of communication with people, particularly in the last days. There is growing evidence that God is appearing in dreams to many people in the Moslem world who don’t have access to Bible Scriptures and is providing them with an opportunity to know Him and His plan of salvation.[98]

 

•4.      Garden of Eden (while still on earth)

•a.      Bible Evidence. When God created mankind He placed them in the beautiful Garden of Eden.[99] After they sinned, God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and placed cherubim and a flaming sword at the east gate to prevent mankind from having access to the Tree of Life inside the Garden.[100] This would not have been necessary if God was going to immediately remove the Garden from earth. Evidently it was God’s intention to leave the Garden of Eden on earth for sometime as a continuing witness of His goodness and the destructive consequences of sin.[101] Some think that the Garden may have remained on earth until just before the worldwide flood in the days of Noah, when God removed it from earth, but will someday restore it in a more glorious condition than at first.[102] The Garden of Eden was one of the influences God used to draw people to Himself before Scriptures were written.

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Because the Garden of Eden must have been difficult to counterfeit, Satan probably directed his deceptions toward the character of God, claiming that mankind had been unfairly removed from Eden. This seems to be the rationale he uses with his followers again during his final attempt to conquer the New Jerusalem at the end of the thousand years, until fire comes down and devours them all.[103]

  • c. Since Bible Times. The idea of a perfect garden, sometimes called Eden, or Paradise, is found in many cultures.[104] God uses this concept to remind people throughout the world that there was a perfect world in the beginning, and there will be a perfect world in the future. Some of these ideas have been embedded in Chinese characters and classics for centuries and show striking parallels with the Bible record found in Genesis. For example, “in Genesis, a river flowed from Eden and watered the garden. It separated into four headwaters. In the Chinese classic, ‘Huai Nan Zi,’ there were four waters under the heavens–divine springs for the sustenance of herbs and nourishment of all things.”[105] The Chinese text, “The Book of Mountains and Seas” tells us that in the beginning there was a tree of immortality, similar to the Bible Tree of Life, and a tree of wisdom, which made those who ate from the tree as wise as God, similar to Satan’s claim about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.[106] Two Chinese classics, Shang Shu and Guo Yu, tell us because of sin, God instructed an angel to block the way to heaven, thereby cutting off interaction between God and men.[107] The Chinese character for “greed” (“Lan”) is written as ‘a woman under two trees.’ The Chinese character for “forbid” (“Jin”) is written as two trees–and an altar. In the Chinese language, “forbidden fruit” is called “jin fruit.”[108]

 

•5.      Holy Spirit

•a.      Bible Examples. The Holy Spirit, one of the three members of the Godhead, has been active on earth since the very creation of the world, long before any written Scripture.[109] Before the Bible was recorded the Holy Spirit was appealing to all mankind in Noah’s day to repent.[110] When Bible Scripture was first being written it was because the Holy Spirit was inspiring the prophets who wrote it.[111] Even those who had scripture realized their need of the Holy Spirit to work in conjunction with Scripture.[112] Jesus said the role of the Holy Spirit is to convict the entire world of its sin, their need for righteousness beyond their own and the ultimate judgment of all people.[113] Perhaps it is through the Holy Spirit’s influence that God has put eternity into the hearts of mankind.[114]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. The work of the Holy Spirit is so vital to the salvation of mankind that Satan has used numerous counterfeits to confuse people. It’s God’s intention that each person becomes a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell within.[115] Satan, who has always tried to take God’s place,[116] tries to gain a foothold and ultimately possess any human being who allows him to do so.[117] Satan also tries to distort the work of the Holy Spirit by bringing confusion about spiritual gifts,[118] particularly the Biblical gift of tongues,[119] the proper role of emotion in worship,[120] and even how the Holy Spirit worked in the life of Jesus when He was on earth.[121]

•c.       Since Bible Times. Just as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit continues to work on the hearts and lives of those who do not have Bible Scriptures, drawing them toward God’s ways. One example comes from the life of blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller. As a girl she was taught about the invisible, unheard world by her teacher, Anne Sullivan. One day Miss Sullivan tapped out the symbols for God’s name for little Helen. Helen responded by spelling back “Thank you for telling me God’s name, Teacher, for He has touched me many times before.”[122]

 

•6.      Intermarriage (with covenant people)

•a.      Bible Examples. The Philistines were a pagan and violent band of warriors who had overrun God’s covenant people, Israel, because of Israel’s apostasy.[123] Samson, an Israelite, saw a beautiful young Philistine woman in the town of Timnah, and asked his parents to get the girl for him to be his wife.[124] His godly parents were horrified at the request and asked him “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”[125] They had no idea that the Lord was behind this request since it would result in delivering Israel, as well as giving the Philistines a chance to understand the power of the true God.[126]

There have always been problems with believers marrying unbelievers. When the godly descendants of Seth[127] began to intermarry the ungodly descendants of Cain[128] evil multiplied rapidly throughout the world, resulting in a worldwide flood.[129] God has given His people repeated cautions against believers marrying unbelievers.[130] But even when it has happened the Lord has used the opportunity to let those without Bible Scriptures become familiar with Who He is. Examples of this are the marriages of Abraham and Hagar,[131] Esau and his two Hittite wives,[132] Joseph and Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[133] Naomi’s sons Mahlon and Chilion and their Moabite wives Orpah and Ruth,[134] Solomon and his hundreds of pagan wives,[135] Esther and King Xerxes/Ahasuerus[136] and Timothy’s parents.[137]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Because marriage is one of the two institutions God gave to mankind before the fall[138]  and designed to be a symbol of the union between God and His followers[139] Satan has made it a special target. Some of the ways he has twisted what should have been a blessing into a curse are multiple wives,[140] marriage without spiritual unity,[141] adultery,[142] and other sexual aberrations that are almost unimaginable.[143]

•c.       Since Bible Times. In New Testament times both Peter[144] and Paul[145] counseled believers who found themselves married to unbelievers to not leave but to stay if possible, with the hope that the unbeliever, and particularly the children, would have the best possible chance to be saved. Throughout the centuries ever since, believers have had many opportunities to witness to unbelieving spouses. A prominent example is “Angel” the Seventh-day Adventist wife of Radio Commentator Paul Harvey, who had a tremendous influence on her husband’s life, including the creation of “The Rest of the Story.”[146]

In the 1950s a woman who grew up as a Seventh-day Adventist started feeling a pull back to God and the church. Her husband, who had a religious background but had not been a student of the Scriptures, told her “If you’re going to start going to church you ought to at least go on the right day. Everybody knows that Sunday is the right day to go to church, not Saturday.” She told him that the Bible says that Saturday IS the right day. This caused him to start searching the Scriptures and resulted in him being baptized, uniting with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, leaving his position as a mechanical engineer with an oil company and becoming a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. Today that man is my father-in-law![147]

 

•7.      Jesus’ Life and/or Death

•a.      Bible Examples. During the time Jesus walked here on earth He came into contact with people who more than likely had no (or at least limited) contact with the Bible Scriptures that had been written up to this point in time. His life and death were a powerful testimony to these individuals in calling them to repentance and a trusting faith in Him. Some examples include the Wise Men from the East who followed the star,[148] the Canaanite woman living near Tyre and Sidon, who asked Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter,[149] Pilate, the Roman governor,[150] the Roman centurion overseeing Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross,[151] and possibly the thieves crucified with Jesus, one of whom received the promise of eternal life when Jesus came in His kingdom.[152]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. While Jesus walked on earth there were others who claimed to be the Messiah. The cross Jesus was crucified on was originally designed for an insurrectionist named Barabbas,[153] whose name means “Son of the Father” or “Son of Daddy.”[154] While on earth Jesus gave repeated warnings that there would be false christs in the future, particularly during the end of time.[155] He told His true followers to not go anywhere to see anyone who claimed to be Christ since His coming would be seen by all when He returned.[156] Some who have claimed to be the Messiah (or Christ) in recent years[157] include Sun Myung Moon,[158] Jim Jones,[159] David Koresh,[160] Wayne Bent- Michael Travesser[161] and Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda.[162]

•c.       Since Bible Times. Since Jesus returned to heaven to prepare a place for those who follow Him, many of His followers have told His story to those who had no Bible Scriptures. His life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension have been repeated word of mouth to the far corners of the earth as a continuing testimony of God’s wonderful plan of redemption, resulting in the fulfillment of His words, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”[163]

 

•8.      Judgments of God

•a.      Bible Examples. Rahab, a pagan prostitute living in the Canaanite city of Jericho, had taken a huge risk. The word was out that the Children of Israel had come to conquer the land of Canaan, including her city. In spite of this she had hidden Israelite spies on the roof of her house against the king’s orders.[164] In the evening before bedtime Rahab went up to the roof and talked with the spies. She gave them an insight into her motives. “I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.  We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.  When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.  Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death.”[165] Almost forty years before this conversation God had miraculously parted the Red Sea for the Children of Israel to pass through, bringing it back together to destroy the pursuing Egyptian armies.[166] And this event was still well known throughout the land of Canaan![167] Soon God would provide a similar miracle by parting the Jordan River at flood stage[168] “so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you [the Children of Israel] might always fear the LORD your God.”[169]

The judgments of God are a powerful witness to those without Bible Scriptures that the Lord is “God in heaven above and on the earth below.”[170] They appeal to the sense of fairness God has placed in each person’s heart[171] and hint at the reality of a future judgment that every person will face someday.[172] In addition to the Red Sea and Jordan River experiences other examples of God’s judgments being a witness to those without Scriptures include the destruction of the world by water in Noah’s day,[173] the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah and surrounding cities by fire,[174] the ten plagues that fell on Egypt just before the Exodus,[175] the tumors experienced by the Philistine cities after their capture of the Ark of the Covenant,[176] and the overthrow of Babylon the night of Belshazzar’s feast.[177]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Satan has tried to confuse people about God’s judgments through many methods. He suggests that God isn’t fair in His judgments,[178] blames God for destruction that doesn’t come from God,[179] presents God as enjoying the destruction of wicked people,[180] provides his own miraculous fire from heaven to deceive people,[181] leads people to deny that there have been judgments by God such as the Flood or Sodom or that there ever will be a final judgment,[182] and inspires even God’s followers to think that they should command God to carry out His judgments against people who mistreat them.[183] The teachings of eternal torment, where the wicked are punished for seventy years of sin by being tortured by God with fire for seventy billion years and then some is one of his worst deceptions about God’s character.[184]

•c.       Since Bible Times. Without divine revelation, it is difficult to know when an act of destruction is an “act of God,” an act of Satan, or neither. But this does not prevent God from using divine judgments as an influence to draw people to Himself, His truths and His plan of salvation. One of these potential “acts of God” was a volcanic eruption and tidal wave that impacted the island of Great Sangir, Indonesia in 1856, killing thousands.[185] The amazing story of how this devastating event resulted in many people accepting Jesus and opening their hearts to His ways is recorded in the book Singer on the Sand, by Norma R. Youngberg.[186] The Apostle Peter tells us that in the last days scoffers will “deliberately forget” that there was a worldwide flood or that the world will someday be destroyed by fire.[187] This is evidence that knowledge of the flood story and God’s power to execute judgments will be well known throughout the world in the last days, though many will reject the Holy Spirit who uses judgment to bring conviction to the entire world.[188] At the very end of time the seven last plagues will be part of the judgments of God, but will not result in repentance by the wicked.[189]

 

•9.      Law of the Lord

•a.      Bible Examples. All humanity will face the final judgment,[190] and all will be judged by the Law of God.[191] These facts indicate that everyone, even those without Bible Scriptures, must have at least some basic understanding of the Law of God to be judged by it. There are several Bible examples of some who did not yet have Scriptures but were held accountable to God’s law and commandments.

The Lord warned Cain that “sin was crouching at his door”[192] long before the law or any scriptures were given in written form. When Cain murdered his brother Abel the Lord held him accountable for his actions, even though the law had not yet been written.[193] King Abimelech knew that adultery- having sexual relations with another man’s wife- was wrong, even though the Scriptures and the Ten Commandments had not yet been recorded.[194] In spite of his flaws Abraham was later commended by God because he “kept My commands.”[195] When the Children of Israel were given manna in the wilderness, they were rebuked by God for disobeying the Sabbath commandment, even though the Ten Commandments and Scripture had not yet been given directly.[196] With this Biblical perspective we can see that ancient law codes show evidence of a common origin of laws,[197] but only the law of the Lord is perfect, with the ability to bring conversion and salvation to the soul.[198] The Apostle Paul points out that the Gentiles, who didn’t possess the written Law of God, still kept its principles. How? Because the conscience God had given them would accuse or excuse their actions, thus providing a standard in the Day of Judgment.[199] Through all centuries mankind has had a sense of the principles of the Law of God, even if only dimly understood through the conscience or the remnants of God’s law that appear in the laws of men.

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Satan hates God’s law because it is a reflection of God’s character.[200] He has tried to erase a knowledge of the Ten Commandment law of God throughout the world. Even among Christians who have the Bible Scriptures he has caused confusion by driving them into the extremes of trying to save themselves by keeping the law (legalism)[201] or to disregard the law (antinomianism) because they think it was “nailed to the cross,”[202] they’re “not under the law but under grace”[203] and they “don’t need the law because they have love.”[204] God warned us that a religious-political persecuting power would attempt to change God’s law, especially as it relates to time,[205] and force others to follow its lead,[206] but God’s people in the end times would love and trust Jesus enough to keep His commandments.[207]

•c.       Since Bible Times. The consciences of mankind and the sometimes vague reflection of the Law of God in the laws of mankind still has an impact today on those who have not yet received the Bible Scriptures. Among the most primitive of people we still find standards of right and wrong that often reflect several of the Ten Commandment Law of God.[208]

 

•10.  Missionaries

•a.      Bible Examples. Nineveh was the capital of the wicked Assyrian empire and its time for destruction had come. God decided to give the people of Nineveh one final warning and opportunity to repent and be saved. So He sent the reluctant prophet/missionary Jonah,[209] who walked the streets with the message “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”[210] To the shock of everyone except God, the entire city repented, thereby postponing the destruction of the city and providing the opportunity for salvation for its 120,000 residents.[211] More than likely the people of Nineveh did not have Bible Scriptures available to them until Jonah, the missionary arrived. The Bible records other examples of those without Scriptures who had an opportunity through the life, teaching and ministry of missionaries, to turn to God and be saved. Some of these examples are the Roman centurion Cornelius and his household through the teaching of the missionary Peter,[212] the Roman jailer and his household at Philippi[213] and the philosophers on Mars Hill in Athens, through the teaching and preaching of the missionary Paul.[214] As the gospel spread with incredible speed throughout the Roman Empire to “every creature under heaven”[215] it is likely that missionaries often arrived before the Scriptures, and their lives were a witness to many who had never had access to God’s written word.

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Just as God’s true missionaries had a powerful influence on those they lived among and preached to, false missionaries caused confusion where they worked and lived. One of the purposes of the book of 2 John is to warn against these false missionaries.[216] On the other hand true missionaries are to be shown hospitality according to 3 John.[217] Occasionally God allows a dramatic confrontation to clarify who is a true missionary and who is false, as in the case of Paul and the seven sons of Sceva in Ephesus.[218]

•c.       Since Bible Times. When missionary doctor Eric B. Hare (nicknamed Dr. Rabbit) arrived in the jungles of Burma he discovered that the villagers believed in witch doctors and devil worship. His life and ministry among the people, as well as God’s intervention, was a powerful influence for God long before the people were open to learning about the Bible Scriptures.[219] This has often been the situation with missionaries who go to live among people who have been without Scriptures.[220]

 

•11.  Neighbors (with God’s covenant people)

•a.      Bible Examples. It was God’s design that the Children of Israel, His covenant people, would be a light to the entire world so all could learn of the plan of salvation.[221] Israel’s immediate neighbors, through their regular interaction with Israel, couldn’t help but see how God was pouring out His blessings on them and be open to learning about their God. We see evidence of this interest by Israel’s neighbors in the ways of God in the interaction between Hiram, king of Tyre and David and his son Solomon[222] and the Queen of Sheba with King Solomon.[223] While it is not clear how many of these foreign nations had access to Bible Scriptures, it is clear that God could use the influence of their neighbors, Israel and Judah as His covenant people, to turn their hearts toward God and His salvation.

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Satan knew that he could neutralize the witness of God’s covenant people if he could get them to lose their focus on their mission or to compromise with evil. Satan was successful in distracting King Hezekiah of Judah from his mission when representatives visited him from Merodach-Baladan, son of Baladan, king of Babylon. King Hezekiah showed them Judah’s treasures rather than emphasizing the miracle-working God who had healed him.[224] Later, when Judah had weakened itself through centuries of compromise, some of Hezekiah’s descendants become eunuchs in the service of the King of Babylon, just as Isaiah had prophesied.[225] Just before Judah’s capture by Babylon, God sent a special message through the prophet Jeremiah to the kings of the surrounding nations of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon. It was delivered to their envoys, who they had sent to Jerusalem as their representatives to Zedekiah king of Judah.[226] The Lord wanted the neighboring nations to realize that even though His covenant people had compromised and were going into captivity that He was still in charge. If the surrounding nations allowed themselves to be subjected to Babylon God would ultimately free them as He would His remnant.[227]

•c.       Since Bible Times. Aniwa is a tiny island in the Vanuatu group in the South Pacific. The island is home to about 500 people, but the Seventh-day Adventist Church had no presence there. However, Adventists on nearby islands have been praying for an opportunity to reach these people. Rosswick, a resident of Aniwa, would sometimes have to spend the night with Adventists on the neighboring island because rough seas prevented him from returning home. Through simple acts of kindness by the Adventists Rosswick eventually stepped down from leading a religious cult and pronounced himself a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, built a church and began to lead simple worship services using the three songs he had learned on the neighboring island.[228]

 

•12.  Plant and Animal Life

•a.      Bible Examples. Job, possibly the first book of Scripture ever written, calls on people to recognize that the animals, birds and fish show evidence of a Creator who holds the breath of all life in His hands.[229] At the end of the book God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind and asks a series of questions, including many that show the animal and plant life hold mysteries too deep for humans to comprehend, giving evidence of an Intelligent Designer.[230] These witnesses to God and His saving, sustaining power, are available anywhere on earth, whether Bible Scriptures are available or not. Paul makes this point powerfully by telling his readers in Romans that we can see the hand of the invisible God in His visible works of creation, leaving everyone without excuse in the judgment for not accepting God’s salvation.[231] Those who refuse to see God in His creation will be inclined to worship created things rather than the Creator, and slide toward immorality, homosexuality, greed, deceit, gossip, arrogance, ruthlessness and other destructive lifestyles.[232] Paul made similar appeals to see the Creator in the works of His hands when preaching to pagan audiences in Lystra[233] and later in Athens.[234]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Satan has attempted to blur the witness of God’s plant and animal creation in two particular ways, both prophesied in Scripture. He has caused many to worship the created things rather than the Creator Himself.[235] He has also been successful through the theory of evolution to cause many to willingly deny that God created the world[236] and lead many to be confused about this.

•c.       Since Bible Times. But God’s creation in the plant and animal kingdom is so stunning that those who examine it closely are amazed at its infinite complexity of irreducible systems.[237] Even Anthony Flew, arguably the premier atheist apologist in the last half of the twentieth century, now believes in God because “biologists’ investigation of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved.”[238] God’s created works continue to provide ample evidence of His existence and His power to all who will observe with an open mind.[239]

 

•13.  Priests (outside Covenant people)

•a.      Bible Examples. Before the first words of Bible Scripture were written Godly priests outside the line of God’s covenant people were an influence to guide people in the ways of salvation. Melchizedek, a priest of the Most High God, interacted with Abram/Abraham[240] Jethro, priest of Midian, interacted with Moses, his son-in-law, giving him wise counsel about the leadership of God’s people.[241]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Just as God had priests to point people to Him, Satan provided false priest among the pagan religions that infiltrated God’s people.[242] Even among the priests who had been dedicated to the worship of the true God were numerous examples of those who were agents of Satan, such as Nadab and Abihu,[243] Hophni and Phineas,[244] Abiathar[245] and the priests in the days of Jeremiah the prophet.[246]

•c.       Since Bible Times. During the Dark Ages, while God’s Covenant people were “in the desert” for 1,260 prophetic days,[247] a number of godly priests in the Roman Church Empire, had access to Bible Scriptures and devoted themselves to sharing truth with those who had no access to Scriptures. The teachings of a priest in England named John Wycliffe, about the Bible and salvation, were picked up by the queen of England, a Bohemian princess, and a man named Jerome, who took them to Prague and shared them with John Huss,[248] another priest who had already been exposed to Scripture by the founder of the Bethlehem chapel where he preached.[249] Huss shared Scripture truths in Prague with university students, including many from Germany. When the students returned home they shared Scripture truths with another priest, Martin Luther.[250] Luther had earlier been impressed with a Bible he had found in the university library while a student[251] and had learned of righteousness by faith from another priest when he was living in a monastery.[252] He later translated the Scriptures into the common language of the German people.[253] In this way, many godly priests were able to share the truths of salvation with the general population of the time who generally did not have access to Bible Scriptures.

•14.  Prophets (with messages to non-covenant people)

•a.      Bible Examples. The prophet Elijah had to go into hiding during a severe famine because wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel wanted to kill him. God provided water at the Brook Cherith and food delivered by ravens. When the brook dried up God sent Elijah to the town of Zarephath in the pagan region of Sidon where he was to give a message to a widow God had commanded to feed him. As a result the widow and her family, as well as Elijah, had enough to eat throughout the rest of the famine.[254] When the widow’s son later died and the Lord heard Elijah’s prayer and raised him to life the widow was totally convinced that Elijah was a prophet of God and spoke the words of God.[255]

God has used His prophets to deliver messages not only to individuals in a pagan nation but to the entire nation. These messages gave the pagan nations, probably with no access to Bible Scriptures, the chance to understand the character and plans of God, repent of their sins and receive salvation. Both Jonah[256] and Nahum[257] were given messages for Nineveh, Obadiah for Edom,[258] Jeremiah for the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon,[259] and Isaiah to all the nations.[260] Sometimes God has arranged for foreigners to interact in a favorable way with one of His prophets, such as King Hiram’s friendship with the prophet-king David and Solomon his son[261] and the Queen of Sheba’s visit to the prophet-king Solomon[262] Both of these visits resulted in the visiting foreigners praising the Lord.[263] Even a fallen prophet, Balaam, was used by God to give a prophecy of the Messiah to pagan King Balak,[264] a prophecy that was used about 1,500 years later by the wise men to search for baby Jesus![265]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Just as God has spoken through His prophets, Satan has used false prophets to mislead and deceive. When Moses was called to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt he encountered the false prophets Jannes and Jambres who were able to perform counterfeit, but inferior miracles through sorcery and magical arts.[266] There are numerous other examples in Scripture of the Lord’s true prophet coming into direct opposition with the works of false prophets so all present can know and follow the Lord if they choose. Some examples of this are Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel,[267] Daniel and the magicians and sorcerers of Babylon[268] Macaiah and the four hundred false prophets who counseled Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth Gilead[269] Nehemiah’s rebuke to the false prophet Shemaiah[270] and Barnabas and Saul/Paul against Bar-Jesus/Elymas.[271] False prophets use divination, sorcery, omens, witchcraft, spells, séances and communication with the dead but God’s prophets never do.[272] The Lord instructed the Children of Israel through Moses that false prophets in the land of Canaan were to be put to death, and their response served as a test to see if God’s people would be obedient to Him.[273] One of God’s prophets was killed by a lion because he followed the counsel of a lying prophet.[274] There are numerous warnings against false prophets found in Jeremiah,[275] Lamentations,[276] Ezekiel,[277] Matthew,[278] Mark,[279] Luke,[280] 2 Peter,[281] 1 John[282] and Revelation.[283] Jesus warned emphatically that there would be false prophets right down to the end of time as one of the signs of the last days.[284] One important role of Scripture is to help God’s followers distinguish between true and false prophets.[285]

  • c. Since Bible Times. Since Jesus warned against false prophets in the last days rather than all prophets, we should expect to see the gift of prophecy in the last days. This gift usually appears when there is a group of people who are willing to be obedient to the law of God.[286] “Over 150 years ago, in the far north along the Kobuk River [of Alaska], lived a man who predicted changes that would free his people from the bondage of shamanism. Maniilaq spoke of books bearing truth, boats moving without being paddled, kayaks flying in the skies, as well as a heavenly intelligence who watched over people. He rested every seventh day and had no fear of the shaman’s power. His final prophecies have not yet come to pass, but many natives in northern Alaska believe they will yet see a radiant city coming out of the sky to pick up the good people to take them to a beautiful land.”[287]

•15.  Sabbath-Keeping

•a.      Bible Examples. The seventh-day Sabbath was God’s gift at the creation of the world to all mankind.[288] Whenever it is kept it is a powerful witness to outside observers, often without the Bible Scriptures themselves, of God’s power to provide for, bless and transform people.[289] The Children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for many years and God was organizing events for their deliverance. Moses was sent to Pharaoh to give him the message “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness”[290] Pharaoh complained that Moses was already making the Children of Israel “rest (Hebrew- “Sabbath”) from their burdens.”[291] Evidently part of the preparation for their deliverance from Egypt was the reinstitution of Sabbath-keeping among God’s people. Pharaoh was given this as a witness to draw him to God, but he rejected the opportunity. After their deliverance from Egypt the Children of Israel, who probably had no Scriptures yet, were taught about God each week through the Sabbath manna miracles.[292] The surrounding nations couldn’t help but be aware of how God was providing food for the million-plus people in the desert.

Isaiah let it be known that foreigners were welcome to experience the Sabbath blessings with God’s people,[293] just as all will worship on the Sabbath in the new earth.[294] Nehemiah instituted Sabbath-keeping reforms after the Children of Israel returned from exile in Babylon. Merchants from the surrounding nations could not help but be impacted by his instructions to not buy or sell from foreign merchants on the Sabbath[295] even to the point of closing Jerusalem’s city gates on the Sabbath,[296] and keeping merchants from camping near the gates so they could begin selling just as soon as the Sabbath was over.[297]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Because Sabbath-keeping is a sign of loyalty to our Creator, Savior and Sanctifier[298] Satan has done all he can to distort the witness of true, joyful Sabbath-keeping from both those with and without Bible Scriptures. He has encouraged sun-worship[299] and the honoring of the day of the Sun in place of the Sabbath of the Creator.[300] Through the Jews of Jesus’ day he had succeeded in making Sabbath-keeping a burden rather than a blessing.[301] Today Satan promotes unscriptural ideas such as “No day is any holier than another,” “You can pick one day in seven to worship,” “Sunday is the day Jesus wants you to honor His resurrection,” “New Testament Christians don’t need to keep the old Jewish Sabbath” and “The gospel sets people free from the legalistic bondage of Sabbath-keeping.”[302] Bible Scripture helps the sincere seeker to expose each of these false teachings.

•c.       Since Bible Times. Sabbath-keeping has been a witness through all generations of a Loving Creator who created the world in six days and rested on the Sabbath, and Who invites us to rest on the Sabbath and trust Him for our salvation.[303] The website www.SabbathTruth.org gives documentation of Sabbath-keeping for each century from the 1st century AD to the 21st century AD.[304] The invitation to rest on the Creator’s “Sabbath,” or day of rest, is embedded in over 100 languages of the world, where the actual word for the seventh day of the week is “Sabbath” in their language.[305] A recent special graduation service at Rice University in Houston, Texas shows that whenever one of  God’s people, scattered anywhere in the world, remembers the Sabbath to keep it holy,[306] acknowledging its beginning at Friday sunset and its ending at Saturday sunset,[307] he is a living witness to God’s creative and saving power.[308]

•16.  Sacrificial System

•a.      Bible Examples. Noah and the seven family members with him stood at the door of the ark that had been their home for a year and looked out.[309] The earth had been destroyed by a flood and almost all the vegetation was gone. The first thing Noah did upon leaving the ark with all the animals was to build an altar and sacrifice some of the clean animals on it.[310] This was a practice that had probably been instituted by Jesus right after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.[311] The sacrifice of the innocent victim was a reminder of the Messiah who would come as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.[312] Before Bible Scriptures were ever given, many god-fearing people would participate in sacrifices, such as Noah,[313] Abram/Abraham[314] Jacob,[315] and Job’s fair-weather friends.[316] In time the Lord instituted the wilderness sanctuary and sacrificial system[317] that was later replaced by a permanent Temple and services.[318] All nations who interacted with Israel in any way would have a chance to understand many elements of the plan of salvation and redemption by observing the services.

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Satan worked through his agents to develop perverted sacrificial systems. These included human sacrifices,[319] perverted priests[320] and unauthorized altars, shrines and temples.[321] When Jesus was put on trial, the high priest Caiaphas appealed to the heathen principle of one person dying for the sake of the nation, rather than to the divine principle of a Messiah dying for the sins of the entire world.[322] Another form of distraction from the “once for all” atonement of Jesus on the cross[323] is the teaching that the Eucharist/mass is also essential to our salvation rather than a symbol of Jesus’ death.[324] Just as the original sacrificial system had been instituted on the east side of Eden,[325] so many pagan systems face their temples eastward and emphasize the worship of the rising of the sun in the east.[326]

•c.       Since Bible Times. Jesus was the culmination of all the animal sacrifices outlined in the sanctuary service.[327] When He died on the cross the curtain separating the holy place from the most holy place in the temple was torn in two by unseen hands from top to bottom,[328] showing that the sanctuary service and animal sacrifices were no longer necessary.[329] Since that time there have been many religions which continue animal sacrifices because they don’t know or understand these truths, such as Islam, Hinduism, a faction of the Latter Day Saints (Strangites) and Santerias.[330] But even in these animal sacrifices there is a dim reflection of the truth that we need an innocent victim to atone for our sins, and a weak but persistent witness to the only sacrifice that can take away the sins of the whole world.[331]

•17.  Slaves

•a.      Bible Examples. The Lord had a message for the most powerful monarch on earth, Pharaoh of Egypt, and his entire kingdom. No Bible Scriptures had yet been written so the Lord used an imprisoned slave named Joseph to provide Pharaoh with the opportunity to save his people and surrounding nations from a severe famine. The Lord would also use this slave to reveal more clearly who was in charge of the earth and how to embrace the principles of His kingdom.[332]

Many times since then the Lord has used god-fearing slaves to reveal something of His plan of salvation and restoration to national leaders and their entire nations who often were without Scriptures. Examples of this include the witness of the Children of Israel to Egypt as they left their slavery,[333] Daniel and his friends to Nebuchadnezzar,[334] Belshazzar[335] and Darius[336] in the land of Babylon, a slave girl with Syrian/Aram army commander Naaman[337] and Paul with Roman leaders Felix,[338] Festus,[339] Agrippa[340] and Caesar.[341]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. When Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem he took many of God’s Covenant People captive and made them slaves.[342] From this group he had some of the finest young men selected to be taught the language and the literature of the Babylonians.[343] Of this group it appears that most of the young male slaves compromised their beliefs to fit in and go along. Apparently only Daniel and his three friends gave Nebuchadnezzar and the entire empire the opportunity to learn the ways of God.[344] When Satan is successful in getting enslaved believers to compromise their beliefs, they lose their witness to those among whom the Lord has allowed them to be placed.

•c.       Since Bible Times. About 375 years after Jesus returned to heaven a young teenager named Patrick lived on the western coast of Scotland. One day raiders from Ireland captured him and took him to their land where he was enslaved and forced to serve as a cattle and swine herder for six years before escaping. In his late twenties, after a remarkable conversion experience, Patrick returned to Ireland, the land of his slavery, and took the message of salvation to the people who once almost destroyed his life. Patrick is believed to be responsible for the establishment of more than 350 churches and the conversion of more than 120,000 people in Ireland.[345] Surely this is not the only slave God has used as a powerful witness in the land where they have been oppressed, among people who most likely had no Bible Scriptures until godly slaves shared God’s plan of redemption with their captors.

•18.  Starry & Atmospheric Heavens

•a.      Bible Examples. David tells us that anyone anywhere in the world can learn something of the glory of God by looking at the starry and atmospheric heavens.[346] Those without Scriptures can learn of His marvelous ways day or night[347] regardless of their native language.[348] Isaiah echoes this theme[349] and Paul actually quotes this psalm[350] in making the point that everyone on earth is without excuse if they reject God because of the way He is revealed in the heavens.[351] When David spent time reflecting on the sun, moon and stars he realized his own incognizance and God’s majesty, implying that this experience is available to anyone anywhere.[352] Years earlier, before any Bible Scriptures had been given, the Lord instructed Abram/Abraham one night to look up and count the stars, promising that Abram/Abraham would have that many descendants. Through this divine-human exchange, involving Abram/Abraham’s counting of the starry hosts he was led to believe God and God counted it to him for righteousness.[353] When Job questioned where God was during his extreme suffering,[354] the Lord invited Job to consider the workings of the atmospheric heavens- clouds,[355] sunrise,[356] snow and hail,[357] lightening and wind,[358] rain, thunderstorms and dew,[359] ice and frost[360]– and the starry heavens- the Pleiades and Orion,[361] and other constellations including the Bear and her cubs.[362] The Lord is letting Job, who had no Bible Scriptures,[363] know that the workings of the universe are in good hands, and that we can trust their Creator who was here long before we were.[364]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Through the ages Satan has tried to lead people to worship the sun, moon and stars instead of [365] or in addition to[366] their Creator.[367] Although this detestable practice was strongly condemned by God,[368] it became so embedded in the practices of the northern kingdom of Israel that it is mentioned as one of the reasons for the fall of the kingdom.[369] Later this was one of the serious sins of King Manasseh of the southern kingdom of Israel.[370] Another deviation was the idea that the starry hosts controlled the destiny of mankind and could be understood through astrology. God demonstrated the fallacy of this belief through the experience of Daniel versus the astrologers of Babylon in interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.[371]

•c.       Since Bible Times. One night on a ship several hundred years ago French sailors were trying to show their intelligence by claiming that God didn’t exist. About this time Napoleon, their leader came upon their discussion and listened as each tried to be more impressive than the last. Finally Napoleon spoke. He gestured at the thousands of stars and planets in the night sky and said “”You may talk as long as you please, gentlemen, but who made all that?” Napoleon didn’t think much of the religion of his time, but he did acknowledge that there is a God, and saw the starry heavens as one of the great proofs of His existence.[372]

Jesus said that the starry heavens would be used to grab people’s attention and remind them of the second coming of Jesus. Immediately after the persecution of the Dark Ages the sun would be darkened, the moon would not give its light and the stars would fall.[373] These reminders that we are living during the final chapters of earth’s history have already taken place.[374] The heavens continue to declare the glory of God[375] in every age and every corner of the globe.

•19.  Strategically Placed People

•a.      Bible Examples. The evil minded Haman wanted to totally annihilate God’s Covenant People, the Jews, because of his jealousy of the Jew Mordecai.[376] He made all the arrangements with the mighty King Xerxes of Persia.[377] But God is always present, even when He is not seen.[378] Through an amazing set of circumstances the Lord had arranged for an orphaned exile named Hadassah, or Esther, Mordecai’s cousin,[379] to become queen of Persia.[380] King Xerxes had no idea that his wife, the queen, was a Jew[381] and was subject to the death decree he had just arranged with Haman.[382] But through another amazing set of circumstances King Xerxes was led to honor Mordecai at Haman’s expense,[383] hang Haman on the gallows he had built for Mordecai[384] and provide a way of escape for the Jews against their enemies.[385] The outcome was dependant on Esther recognizing that God had strategically placed her where she was for that special situation and that she must do the right thing even if it meant death.[386] If she remained detached, she would perish but God would provide salvation from elsewhere.[387]

Like Esther, God has often strategically placed people for special times and places in history to have the courage to stand up for their convictions before leaders and nations as a witness for Him. Examples include Joseph[388] and later Moses[389] before a ruling Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt, Daniel (and his three friends) before Kings Nebuchadnezzar[390] and Belshazzar[391] and the empire of Babylon, and Daniel before Darius[392] and Cyrus[393] and the empire of Medo-Persia. Jesus told His followers that they should expect to be brought before councils, governors and kings, but this should not intimidate them because God would give them what to say as a witness.[394] This is one more way people throughout the world are drawn toward God and His wonderful ways of salvation.[395]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Just a God strategically places His people throughout the world to draw people’s hearts toward Him, Satan also strategically places his people in the world to openly fight against God’s ways or to subtly distort people’s ideas of God. Some of those who showed open animosity toward God’s people include the Pharaoh of Egypt who said to Moses, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go?”[396] Kings Sihon[397] and Og,[398] and numerous others through Bible history. Some of those who seemed to appear harmless yet were agents of Satan included Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ disciple who betrayed Him,[399] Elymas/Bar-Jesus the sorcerer on the island of Cyprus who opposed Paul’s preaching,[400] the “man of sin” or “son of perdition,”[401] and the parallel beast power of Revelation who claims powers that belong only to God.[402]

•c.       Since Bible Times. The prominent United States Senator hurriedly knocked on the door of the chaplain’s office. US Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened the door. “Chaplain, can I talk with you privately, right now?” “Sure, come in” said Chaplain Black. The Senator closed the door behind him, sat down and blurted out “Quick, can you teach me how to pray? I’ve never learned how and I need to know desperately.” Chaplain Black taught the senator how to pray, shared with him some encouraging verses from the Bible then invited him to his weekly Bible study group for senators.[403] This was one more chance for a strategically placed person to share God’s plan of salvation with someone who had never learned to pray or to read the Scriptures.[404]

•20.  Word of Mouth

•a.      Bible Examples. The human race had been around for about 2,500 years before Scriptures were written.[405] During much of this time God’s people lived long lives, allowing them to share God’s plan of salvation by word of mouth with many succeeding generations at the same time. Adam, for example, lived 343 years after Methuselah was born, his seventh generation descendent.[406] Methuselah lived 98 years after Shem was born[407] and could have shared the story of salvation and redemption with many generations during his 969 year life.[408] Shem outlived Abraham, born nine generations later![409] This kind of word of mouth sharing of God’s plan of redemption helped many in pre-Scripture times live a life of faith and salvation, such as Abel,[410] Enoch,[411] Noah,[412] Abraham,[413] Sarah,[414] Isaac,[415] Jacob,[416] Joseph,[417] Moses’ parents,[418] and Moses (before Scripture was revealed to him).[419]

•b.      Satan’s Deceptions. Just as God had an ancestral line, starting with Adam and Seth and later Shem, who kept the story of redemption alive by word of mouth,[420] Satan had a line of those, starting with Cain,[421] who passed on a different message about God. Cain’s line was interrupted by the flood,[422] but afterwards Satan found willing helpers to give a twisted picture of God, particularly through the lines Ham and his son Canaan.[423] But in each generation God was drawing all people from all races to Himself through the witness of His faithful people.[424]

•c.       Since Bible Times. Wally had never learned to read or write in his fifty plus years of troubled life. He had spent twenty of those years in prison and another fourteen homeless, sleeping under bridges or in wooded areas near Wenatchee, Washington. But over a period of two years he began to learn the message of salvation and see it demonstrated in the lives of a Sabbath School class. Every Sabbath afternoon they would come to the park with a hot meal, a sack lunch, a short message from the Bible, and an unconditional love Wally had never before seen. Through a string of miracles Wally trusted God for victory over alcohol and tobacco, and freedom from his past sins. He learned to read, starting with the Bible, and was baptized into the Wenatchee Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2002. For the next two years, until health problems from his former life overcame him, he told everyone who would listen about “how wonderful my Jesus has been to me.”[425] Word of mouth witnessing about God’s salvation is still an important way for people who don’t have or can’t read Scriptures to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.[426]

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns

 Next Month we will consider the question “If God saves people without Scriptures then why send missionaries?


[1] KJV 1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

[2] KJV Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

[3] Acts 4:12.

[4] NIV 1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

[5] The inverse of this idea is expressed with clarity in the book Steps to Christ page 17. “The sinner could not be happy in God’s presence; he would shrink from the companionship of holy beings. Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him. The spirit of unselfish love that reigns there –every heart responding to the heart of Infinite Love –would touch no answering chord in his soul. His thoughts, his interests, his motives, would be alien to those that actuate the sinless dwellers there. He would be a discordant note in the melody of heaven. Heaven would be to him a place of torture; he would long to be hidden from Him who is its light, and the center of its joy. It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that excludes the wicked from heaven; they are shut out by their own unfitness for its companionship. The glory of God would be to them a consuming fire. They would welcome destruction, that they might be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them.” {SC 17.2}

[6] NIV Matthew 10:30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

[7] NIV Psalm 139:4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

[8] NIV Psalm 94:11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile.

[9] NIV 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

NIV Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

NIV 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

[10] NIV Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

[11] NIV Acts 3:21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. NIV Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

[12] See for example, NIV Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NIV 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

[13] See for example, NIV 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

NIV 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

NIV 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense– Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

NIV Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

[14] See for example, NIV 1 John 2:25 And this is what he promised us– even eternal life.

NIV John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

NIV Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

NIV Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

[15] NIV Hebrews 2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

[16] NIV Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death– that is, the devil

[17] NIV Isaiah 65:17 “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.

NIV 2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

See also Isaiah 66:22; Revelation 21:1-5. The books of Daniel and Revelation contain many outline and time prophecies that show God’s movements toward this grand climax to the history of earth. See for example Daniel 2, 7, 8-9, 12, Revelation 2-3, 6, 8-9, 11, 12, 13

[18] NIV Hebrews 2:8 and put everything under his feet.” In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

[19] 2 Peter 3:9

[20] NIV John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. See also 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Psalm 119 especially highlights the role of God’s word in giving us hope and direction in life. See especially verses 9, 11, 17, 28, 42, 67, 74, 81, 89, 105, 133, 161, 169

[21] This is why “every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” Romans 3:19. Compare Romans 1:20

[22] NIV Colossians 2:4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.

NIV Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

NIV 1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

NIV John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

[23] Some believe that the expression “angel of the LORD” refers to the Lord Himself when He appears to humans as a messenger (Hebrew: malak & Greek: aggelos = messenger) for the other members of the Godhead. This would not diminish the role of created angels in assisting humans in the plan of salvation, because “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” NIV Hebrews 1:14

[24] See Genesis 16:3-13, especially verses 7, 9, 10

[25] See Genesis 21:9-19, especially verse 17

[26] These experiences, recorded in Genesis, took place before Moses, the first Bible author, was born. See Exodus 2.

[27] See story in Genesis 19, especially verses 1, 15

[28] See Genesis 22, especially verses 11, 15

[29] NIV Genesis 28:12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

[30] See story in Genesis 31. See especially NIV Genesis 31:11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’

[31] NIV Genesis 32:1 Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

[32] NIV Genesis 48:16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm–may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly upon the earth.”

[33] Judges 6, especially verses 11, 12, 20

[34] Judges 13

[35] Luke 1:8-24

[36] Matthew 1:20, 24; 2:13, 19; Luke 1:26-37

[37] Acts 8:26f.

[38] NIV Acts 12:7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.

[39] NIV Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down– that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

NIV Revelation 12:4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.

[40] NIV Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

[41] This is evidently what was happening when Saul tried to contact Samuel through “a woman that hath a familiar spirit” though he knew this was forbidden by God. See the story in 1 Samuel 28, especially verses 3, 7-9. Compare KJV 1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;

[42] KJV Leviticus 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

KJV Leviticus 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

KJV Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

[43] NIV Colossians 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.” Astoundingly, even the apostle John near the end of his life was dazzled by one of God’s angels so much that he fell at his feet to worship him until the angel commanded him not to. See Revelation 19:10 and 22:8-9.

[44] NIV Genesis 3:4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.

[45] See Deuteronomy 18:10-14; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19-20

[46] See http://www.4hispeople.org/chief_auka.htm. Accessed 10/3/2008; http://www.lltproductions.org/seventh_day_journal.shtml Accessed 10/3/2008

[47] Lloyd, Marjorie Lewis. It Must Have Been An Angel. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association. Available for purchase at http://www.adventistbookcenter.com (Search “It must have been an angel”) or http://www.amazon.com/Must-Have-Angel-Redwood-Paperback/dp/0816303630/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212116306&sr=8-1 Accessed 10/3/2008.

[48] Ben Schoun’s letter is included in a post at http://www.prophecytalk.com/index.php?topic=4699.msg79568. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[49] NIV 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

NIV Revelation 16:14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

[50] NIV Isaiah 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

[51] See Genesis 4 especially verses 6, 9, 13, and 15. Though there is evidence that Cain will not be saved eternally this passage indicates that God wanted to save him from revenge by giving him a mark. Interestingly the Lord used blood on the door posts later as a sign of His protection (Exodus 12:7, 13, 22-23) and in the end times will protect those who have been marked with the seal of God (Revelation 9:4).

[52] Genesis 5:18-24

[53] NIV Genesis 7:1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.

[54] Job 38-41.

[55] Genesis 12:1, 7 and many other occasions.

[56] NIV Genesis 25:23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

[57] NIV Genesis 26:2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. NIV Genesis 26:24 That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”

[58] NIV Genesis 28:13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. NIV Genesis 31:3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

[59] Exodus 3 & 4, etc.

[60] Exodus 20, especially verses 22, 18-21; cf. verses 1-17; cf. Deuteronomy 4:33; 5:23-27; 18:16.

[61] Matthew 3:16-17 etc.

[62] John 12:20-33, especially verses 28-30.

[63] NIV Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.

[64] For example 1 Samuel 3; Isaiah 6:8; Jeremiah 1:7; Ezekiel 3:22; Jonah 4:10; Acts 22:10-21

[65] NIV Romans 4:3 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

[66] NIV Romans 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

[67] Circumcision was instituted in Genesis 17:10f. after God’s declaration of Abraham being credited with righteousness in Genesis 15:6.

[68] Exodus 31:18.

[69] The first five books of the Bible, and probably the Book of Job, were written by Moses who lived hundreds of years after Abraham.

[70] The Jewish nation didn’t exist in any form until after the Exodus (Exodus 12).

[71] NIV James 2:22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

[72] The story is found in Numbers 12. Note especially NIV Numbers 12:1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this.

[73] NIV Acts 12:21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

[74] For example NIV Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Cf. verses 15-22.

[75] I witnessed the baptism of this man and his two wives by an Indian pastor on a mission trip to Jaggannapeta, Andhra Pradesh, India November 2001.

[76] The story is found in Genesis 12:13-20.

[77] The story is found in Genesis 20.

[78] NIV Genesis 20:2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

[79] NIV Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”

[80] NIV Genesis 20:4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”

[81] See Genesis 20:6-18.

[82] Two dreams are mentioned in Genesis 28:12-22 and 31:10-13.

[83] Genesis 37:5-20; cf. 42:6-9.

[84] NIV Genesis 31:24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

[85] Their story is found in Genesis 40.

[86] The story with its miraculous results is found in Genesis 41.

[87] Judges 7:8-15.

[88] The story of two dreams is found in Daniel 2 and 4.

[89] The story is found in Matthew 2:1-12. See especially NIV Matthew 2:12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

[90] NIV Matthew 27:19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

[91] NIV Numbers 12:6 he said, “Listen to my words: “When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.

[92] NIV Deuteronomy 13:1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

[93] Deuteronomy 13:1-5.

[94] Jeremiah 23:25-32.

[95] NIV Jude 1:8 In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.

[96] NIV Joel 2:28 ‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

[97] In his sermon of the Day of Pentecost. NIV Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

[98] There is a collection of stories at http://www.truthnet.org/dreamsandvisions/. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[99] NIV Genesis 2:8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.

See also Genesis 2:10, 15.

[100] NIV Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

[101] The Garden of Eden was still a geographical location after Cain killed his brother Abel. NIV Genesis 4:16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

[102] See for example Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, page 62. “The Garden of Eden remained upon the earth long after man had become an outcast from its pleasant paths. The fallen race were long permitted to gaze upon the home of innocence, their entrance barred only by the watching angels. At the cherubim-guarded gate of Paradise the divine glory was revealed. Hither came Adam and his sons to worship God. Here they renewed their vows of obedience to that law the transgression of which had banished them from Eden. When the tide of iniquity overspread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters, the hand that had planted Eden withdrew it from the earth. But in the final restitution, when there shall be “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning.” {PP 62.2}

[103] NIV Revelation 20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth– Gog and Magog– to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.

[104] See article “Garden of Eden” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Eden. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[105] http://www.chinasoul.org/e/e-wk/episode01.htm, Item A10. Accessed 10/3/2008. Compare NIV Genesis 2:10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold.

[106] Ibid. Item A11. Compare the story of the two trees and the first sin is recorded in Genesis 3.

[107] Ibid. Item 12. Compare NIV Genesis 3:24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

[108] Ibid, Item A19. Compare the story in Genesis 3. The book, God’s Promise to the Chinese highlights many more parallels between Chinese characters and Bible teaching. It can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Chinese-Broadberry-Richard-Ginger/dp/0937869015 Accessed 10/3/2008. See additional parallels between the Bible record and Chinese characters and classics at http://www.eslmission.org/docs/esl/04B–CHINESE%20CHARACTERS%20AND%20THE%20BIBLE.doc and http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i3/china.asp. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[109] NIV Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

[110] NIV Genesis 6:3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

[111] NIV 2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

[112] See, for example, David’s prayer, after his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. NIV Psalm 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

[113] NIV John 16:8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. Interestingly, these three themes of sin, righteousness and judgment appear in Romans 1-3 where Paul explains that those without Scriptures are still guilty of sin (2:12; 3:9, 20), lack their own righteousness (1:17; 3:5, 21, 22) and are subject to God’s judgment (2:1-5) unless they repent (2:4).

[114] NIV Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

[115] NIV 1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.

[116] NIV Isaiah 14:13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

[117] We choose who will possess us. Romans 6:15-17. When God’s spirit is rejected people can be tormented by Satan and his evil spirit. 1 Samuel 16:14. There are numerous examples of people in the Bible who were possessed by Satan but found deliverance when they or a parent took at least one step toward Jesus. See, for example, the man who came to the synagogue in Capernaum (Mark 1:23-26), the Gerasene demoniac(s) (Mark 5:1-20), the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30) and boy at the base of the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:17-27).

[118] NIV 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.

[119] The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 14:1-40 is Paul’s effort to correct a misunderstanding and abuse of the gift of tongues in the church at Corinth (and through succeeding generations as well). For information on ecstatic utterances by non-Christians see http://www.speaking-in-tongues.net/. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[120]  See, for example, 1 Kings 18 which shows the contrast in worship styles between the prophets of Baal (verses 26, 28-29) and Elijah (verses 30-38) on Mt. Carmel. Other examples of emotion in worship, particularly at special occasions, can be found at 2 Chronicles 30:17-27; Ezra 3:10-13 and Nehemiah 12:27-42.

[121] NIV John 8:48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me.” NIV Mark 3:29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” 30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”

[122] Hanna, Martin Frederick. Cosmic Christ of Scripture, page 101, quoting www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/r/revelation_general.htm. See also http://www.afb.org/braillebug/askkeller.asp?issueid=20073. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[123] NIV Judges 13:1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.

[124] This story is found in Judges 14.

[125] Judges 14:3.

[126] NIV Judges 14:4 (His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)” See the stories in Judges 15 and 16 as well as NIV Hebrews 11:32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions.

[127] Genesis 4:25-5:32.

[128] Genesis 4:15-24.

[129] NIV Genesis 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days– and also afterward– when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

There have been many guesses on who are the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” The context indicates that the “sons of God” are the godly descendants of Seth (Genesis 4:25-5:32) who “began to call on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:25-26) and the “daughters of men” are the descendants of Cain (Genesis 4:15-24).

[130] See for example NIV Amos 3:3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” and

NIV 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” as well as the problems in the days of Ezra (Ezra 9:10-12; 10:10-44) and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13:23-29).

[131] See Genesis 16; 21:9f. 25:12-18. But notice, too, the problems outlined in Galatians 4:24-31.

[132] Notice once again the problems associated with these marriages in Genesis 26:34-35.

[133] NIV Genesis 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

[134] See the story in Ruth 1f. Compare Matthew 1:5 for the tremendous blessing that came from this marriage.

[135] NIV 1 Kings 11:1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter– Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

[136] See the story in Esther 2f.

[137] NIV Acts 16:1 He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.

[138] The Fall is recorded in Genesis 3. Marriage is given to mankind in Genesis 2:18-25 and the other institution, the Sabbath, is given in Genesis 2:1-3.

[139] See for example Ephesians 5:22-33.

[140] First recorded in Genesis 4:19 and practiced with terrible results even by some who were believers such as Abraham (Genesis 16, resulting in the future hostility between the Arabs, descendants of Ishmael, and the Jews, descendants of Isaac), Jacob (Genesis 29:16-30:24, resulting in a tragic sibling rivalry between Leah and Rachel, with their children’s names being used as part of the squabble), David (1 Chronicles 14:3, resulting in incest, murder, rebellion, adultery and power grabbing among the children- see 2 Samuel 13-18; 1 Kings 1) and Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-4, resulting in his heart being led away from following God. This damage was referred to about five centuries later in NIV Nehemiah 13:26 Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.).

[141] Genesis 6:2. See also notes 129-132 above.

[142] Exodus 20:14. This command indicates this was a problem already.

[143] Leviticus 18 lists a catalogue of sexual sins for which the Canaanites were being vomited out of the land (verse 25).

[144] NIV 1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.

[145] NIV 1 Corinthians 7:13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

[146] Private email from Phil Draper, Communications Director of the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, alluded to at http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:c0xPTg0nzhAJ:https://web7.securelytransact.com/~nortcalc/site/1/President/WordOnTheStreet2008-May8.pdf+%22angel+harvey%22+%22Seventh-day+Adventist%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us Item #7. See also http://www.paulharvey.com/index.aspx?id=5673. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[147] Retired Pastor Norman Martin and wife Dickie.

[148] Matthew 2:1-12.

[149] Matthew 15:21-28.

[150] Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 18-19.

[151] Mark 15:39  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

[152] Luke 23:39-43.

[153] Matthew 27:16-26; Mark 15:7-15; Luke 23:18-19; John 18:40.

[154] Strong’s Concordance entry for “Barabbas.” Compare the use of the word “Abba” in the KJV at Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6.

[155] Matthew 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:23-24  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect– if that were possible.

[156] Matthew 24:26-27  “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Revelation 1:7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

[157] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_claimed_to_be_Jesus for a more detailed list. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[158] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Myung_Moon. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[159] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[160] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Koresh. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[161] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Our_Righteousness_Church. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[162] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Luis_de_Jesus_Miranda. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[163] John 12:32 Italics supplied.

[164] The story is found in Joshua 2.

[165] Joshua 2:9-13.

[166] This story is found in Exodus 14-15.

[167] NIV Joshua 2:10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.

[168] NIV Joshua 3:15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. NIV Joshua 4:18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.

[169] Joshua 4:23-24.

[170] Joshua 2:11.

[171] See indications to this effect in texts such as Psalm 19:9; Isaiah 26:9; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 16:5-7; 19:2.

[172] NIV Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. NIV 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

[173] The story is found in Genesis 6-9. Variations of the Flood story and lessons that can be learned from it can be found in pagan cultures throughout time. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluge_(mythology). For examples of flood stories among the Australian Aborigines see http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v4/i1/flood.asp; in ancient China see http://www.chinasoul.org/e/e-wk/episode01.htm, Items A13, 20 & 21 and http://www.eslmission.org/docs/esl/04B–CHINESE%20CHARACTERS%20AND%20THE%20BIBLE.doc. For an excellent analysis of flood stories see http://www.grisda.org/origins/17051.htm. All items accessed 10/3/2008.

[174] Genesis 19; Deuteronomy 29:23; Luke 17:29, etc.

[175] Exodus 7-12.

[176] 1 Samuel 5-6.

[177] Daniel 5. Note how the party quickly becomes a courtroom with the hand writing on the palace wall in verses 4-6, the verdict by God in verses 25-30 and the confirmation by Daniel in verses 22-23.

[178] Even Abraham, a follower of God, questioned God’s fairness when he learned of Sodom’s eminent destruction. NIV Genesis 18:25 Far be it from you to do such a thing– to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

God went to great lengths to show Abraham how merciful He was and how the only way to save people in Sodom was if they were willing to come out. See Genesis 18:26-33.

[179] NIV Luke 13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them– do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Compare also the misunderstanding of why a man was born blind NIV John 9:2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” See also Job 1-2.

[180] NIV Ezekiel 18:32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!

[181] See how he works through earthly powers to accomplish this in Revelation 13. See particularly NIV Revelation 13:13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.

[182] NLT 2 Peter 3:3 First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. 4 This will be their argument: “Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.” 5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. 7 And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will perish.

[183] NIV Luke 9:52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them,

[184] The wicked, who ultimately reject every influence God has surrounded them with, will perish (John 3:16) and become ashes (Malachi 4:3), just like Sodom, which experienced “eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).

[185] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangir_Island. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[186] It can be read online at http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=XF4sAFhXZ4sC&dq=island+of+Great+Sangir&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=5cogsXOeR0&sig=vHloyTqXdCEFT1OuZyb-FQbPYcs&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA22,M1  or purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Singer-Sand-Occurance-Celebes-Hundred/dp/1572581425/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213384649&sr=8-2. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[187] 2 Peter 3:3-7.

[188] NIV John 16:8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.

[189] NIV Revelation 16:9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. 10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.” Compare Revelation 9:20-21.

[190] NIV Acts 17:31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” Cf. Jeremiah 25:31; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Jude 1:15.

[191] NIV James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.

[192] NIV Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

[193] See Genesis 4:8-11.

[194] NIV Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” 4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.

[195] NIV Genesis 26:5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.”

[196] The story is found in Exodus 16. See particularly NIV Exodus 16:26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” 27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?

[197] See for example a comparison of the Ten Commandments and Hammurabi’s Law Code in “Did Moses steal the Ten Commandments?” found at http://www.wcg.org/lit/bible/law/steal10.htm. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[198] KJV Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Compare Isaiah 42:4 …In his law the islands will put their hope…

[199] NIV Romans 2:14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

[200] For a comparison of God’s law and His character in Scripture see http://www.biblealive.com/content/view/81/45/. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[201] The law as a mirror (James 1:23-26) points out sin and shows us our need of a Savior (Galatians 3:24). But what the law couldn’t do because the flesh is weak Jesus did (Romans 8:3). The book of Galatians was written to help combat legalism.

[202] Jesus did not die on the cross so we could lie, steal, blaspheme His name or violate the holiness of the Sabbath (Commandment #9, 8, 3, 4). Jesus died on the cross to give us power to STOP doing these things. NIV Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (emphasis supplied). Exodus 20 lists the Ten Commandments. Exodus 25-40 gives the law of ordinances which pointed forward to Jesus’ life and death. These ceremonial laws, rather than the Ten Commandments came to an end at the cross. See Ephesians 2:15; Matthew 27:50-51.

[203] We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). What does it mean to not be under the law but under grace? It means that sin is no longer our master as we find freedom from our sins. NIV Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! The holy, just and good law of God (Romans 7:12) does not need to be changed, but our carnal hearts do so we can live in harmony with God’s law (Romans 7:14; cf. Hebrews 8:8-10).

[204] Jesus said that the law and the prophets “hang” on the two commandments to love God with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves, something like our fingers “hang” on our two arms. We express our love to God by obeying Him and enjoying it! NIV 1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

[205] KJV Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

[206] See Revelation 13 and its symbolic relationship to Daniel 7.

[207] NIV Revelation 14:12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

[208] See for example http://wri.leaderu.com/wri-table2/primitive.html#morals. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[209] The story is found in Jonah 1-4.

[210] Jonah 3:4.

[211] NIV Jonah 4:11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

[212] The story is found in Acts 10.

[213] The story is found in Acts 16:22-34.

[214] The story is found in Acts 17:15-34.

[215] NIV Colossians 1:23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

[216] See for example NIV 2 John 1:7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

[217] NIV 3 John 1:5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.

[218] Acts 19:13-17.

[219] The story is recorded in the book Clever Queen by Eric B. Hare (found on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Clever-Queen-Jungle-Devil-Worshipers/dp/1572582111/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214604922&sr=8-2). Accessed 10/3/2008.

[220] The Desire of Ages p. 638 “Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives.”

[221] NIV Isaiah 49:6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

[222] NIV 2 Samuel 5:11 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David.

NIV 1 Kings 5:1 When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David.

See also 2 Kings 5:1-18; 9:11-28; 10:22; 1 Chronicles 14:1; 2; 8; 9:10.

[223] See 1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9.

[224] See 2 Kings 20.

[225] The experience of Daniel and his friends (Daniel 1) was probably a fulfillment of the prophecy found in NIV 2 Kings 20:18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood, that will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

[226] NIV Jeremiah 27:1 Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 This is what the LORD said to me: “Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah.

[227] See Jeremiah 27 particularly NIV Jeremiah 27:6 Now I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. 7 All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him.

[228] The story is told in the Adult Bible Study Guide, April-June 2008, page 78 (found on page 8 of http://absg.adventist.org/2008/2Q/SE/PDFs/EAQ208_09.pdf). Accessed 10/3/2008.

[229] NIV Job 12:7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

[230] See Job 38:39-41:34.

[231] NIV Romans 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities– his eternal power and divine nature– have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

[232] See Romans 1:21-32.

[233] NIV Acts 14:15 “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

[234] NIV Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

[235] As predicted in NIV Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator– who is forever praised. Amen.

[236] NIV 2 Peter 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

[237] In addition to those who clearly see God at work in His Creation there are a growing number of scientists in the “Intelligent Design” movement who acknowledge that there had to be an intelligent designer because of the complexities of nature but are not unified as to who this designer was or how he designed his creation. For a creationists critique of the Intelligent Design movement see http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/0830_IDM.asp. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[238] Anthony Flew, quoted by Associated Press, December 9, 2004. Posted at http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/atheist_believes_in_god.htm. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[239] The Desire of Ages p. 638 “Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.”

[240] NIV Genesis 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” See also Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:1-17.

[241] See Exodus 3:1; 4:18; 18:1-27.

[242] NIV 2 Kings 23:5 He [King Josiah] did away with the pagan priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem– those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. Compare Zephaniah 1:4.

[243] NIV Leviticus 10:1 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke of when he said: “‘Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.'” Aaron remained silent.

[244] NIV 1 Samuel 1:3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. NIV 1 Samuel 2:12 Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD. See the contrasts between Eli’s sons and Samuel in the stories in 1 Samuel 2-4.

[245] NIV 1 Kings 2:26 To Abiathar the priest the king [Solomon] said, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign LORD before my father David and shared all my father’s hardships.” 27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD, fulfilling the word the LORD had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli.

[246] NIV Jeremiah 7:30 “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the LORD. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. NIV Jeremiah 8:1 “‘At that time, declares the LORD, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be removed from their graves. 2 They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground. 3 Wherever I banish them, all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, declares the LORD Almighty.’

[247] NIV Revelation 12:6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. NIV Revelation 12:14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

[248] “A citizen of Prague, Jerome, who afterward became so closely associated with Huss, had, on returning from England, brought with him the writings of Wycliffe. The queen of England, who had been a convert to Wycliffe’s teachings, was a Bohemian princess, and through her influence also the Reformer’s works were widely circulated in her native country. These works Huss read with interest; he believed their author to be a sincere Christian and was inclined to regard with favor the reforms which he advocated. Already, though he knew it not, Huss had entered upon a path which was to lead him far away from Rome.” {The Great Controversy, p. 99} Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc6.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[249] “Several years after taking priest’s orders he was appointed preacher of the chapel of Bethlehem. The founder of this chapel had advocated, as a matter of great importance, the preaching of the Scriptures in the language of the people. Notwithstanding Rome’s opposition to this practice, it had not been wholly discontinued in Bohemia. But there was great ignorance of the Bible, and the worst vices prevailed among the people of all ranks. These evils Huss unsparingly denounced, appealing to the Word of God to enforce the principles of truth and purity which he inculcated.” {The Great Controversy p. 99} Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc6.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[250] “From Bohemia the light extended to Germany, for disturbances in the University of Prague caused the withdrawal of hundreds of German students. Many of them had received from Huss their first knowledge of the Bible, and on their return they spread the gospel in their fatherland.”  {The Great Controversy p. 100.2} Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc6.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[251] “While one day examining the books in the library of the university, Luther discovered a Latin Bible. Such a book he had never before seen. He was ignorant even of its existence. He had heard portions of the Gospels and Epistles, which were read to the people at public worship, and he supposed that these were the entire Bible. Now, for the first time, he looked upon the whole of God’s word. With mingled awe and wonder he turned the sacred pages; with quickened pulse and throbbing heart he read for himself the words of life, pausing now and then to exclaim: “O that God would give me such a book for myself!”–Ibid., b. 2, ch. 2. Angels of heaven were by his side, and rays of light from the throne of God revealed the treasures of truth to his understanding. He had ever feared to offend God, but now the deep conviction of his condition as a sinner took hold upon him as never before.” {The Great Controversy p. 122-123} Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc7.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[252] “An earnest desire to be free from sin and to find peace with God led him [Luther] at last to enter a cloister and devote himself to a monastic life… When it appeared to Luther that all was lost, God raised up a friend and helper for him. The pious Staupitz opened the word of God to Luther’s mind and bade him look away from himself, cease the contemplation of infinite punishment for the violation of God’s law, and look to Jesus, his sin-pardoning Saviour. “Instead of torturing yourself on account of your sins, throw yourself into the Redeemer’s arms. Trust in Him, in the righteousness of His life, in the atonement of His death. . . . Listen to the Son of God. He became man to give you the assurance of divine favor.” “Love Him who first loved you.”–Ibid., b. 2, ch. 4. Thus spoke this messenger of mercy. His words made a deep impression upon Luther’s mind. After many a struggle with long-cherished errors, he was enabled to grasp the truth, and peace came to his troubled soul.” {The Great Controversy, p. 122-123} Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc7.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[253] “While his enemies flattered themselves that he was silenced, they were astonished and confused by tangible proof that he was still active. A host of tracts, issuing from his pen, circulated throughout Germany. He also performed a most important service for his countrymen by translating the New Testament into the German tongue. From his rocky Patmos he continued for nearly a whole year to proclaim the gospel and rebuke the sins and errors of the times.” {The Great Controversy p. 169} Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc8.html.  Accessed 10/3/2008.

[254] The story is found in 1 Kings 17. See also Luke 4:25-26.

[255] NIV 1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

[256] NIV Jonah 1:1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

[257] NIV Nahum 1:1 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

[258] NIV Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom– We have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Rise, and let us go against her for battle”

[259] See, for example NIV Jeremiah 27:1 Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 This is what the LORD said to me: “Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Compare Jeremiah 49:7f.

[260] NIV Isaiah 34:1 Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it!

[261] NIV 1 Kings 5:1 When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David.

[262] NIV 1 Kings 10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

[263] NIV 1 Kings 5:7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, “Praise be to the LORD today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.” NIV 1 Kings 10:9 [The Queen of Sheba said to Solomon] Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness.”

[264] The story is found in Numbers 22-24. The prophecy is found in NIV Numbers 24:17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth.

[265] The story is found in Matthew 2. Their search for the Messiah was based on the prophesied star. NIV Matthew 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” See also http://www.adventistreview.org/2003-1528/story4.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[266] NIV 2 Timothy 3:8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth– men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. The story is found in Exodus 7:1-13.

[267] The story is found in 1 Kings 18.

[268] The story is found in Daniel 2.

[269] The story is found in 2 Chronicles 18.

[270] The story is found in Nehemiah 6, particularly verses 10-13.

[271] The story is found in Acts 13:1-12.

[272] NIV Deuteronomy 18:9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.” See also Daniel 2.

[273] See Deuteronomy 13:1-18.

[274] The story is found in 1 Kings 13.

[275] See for example Jeremiah 14:14; 23:16, 32; 29:8,9; 50:36.

[276] See for example NIV Lamentations 2:14 The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.

[277] See for example Ezekiel 13:9; 22:28.

[278] See for example Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24.

[279] See for example NIV Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect– if that were possible.

[280] See for example NIV Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

[281] See for example NIV 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them– bringing swift destruction on themselves.

[282] See for example NIV 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

[283] See for example Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10 where “the false prophet” is part of a counterfeit trinity in the last days.

[284] A list of signs of the last days is given in Matthew 24. Twice Jesus warned about the almost overwhelming deception of false prophets. NIV Matthew 24:11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. NIV Matthew 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect– if that were possible.

[285] NIV Isaiah 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.” Additional ways to recognize false prophets are 1) involvement in witchcraft of any type (Deuteronomy 18:9-12), 2) less than 100% accuracy for non-conditional prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:22), and 3) denial of the full divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1-3).

[286] Lamentations 2:9 says there is a relationship between disobedience to God’s law and the loss of the gift of prophecy to His people. This indicates the inverse as well. NIV Lamentations 2:9 Her gates have sunk into the ground; their bars he has broken and destroyed. Her king and her princes are exiled among the nations, the law is no more, and her prophets no longer find visions from the LORD.

[287] Found at http://www.lltproductions.com/products/product_info.php?products_id=44 where a DVD about “Maniilaq, The Eskimo Prophet” can be purchased. An online book is found at http://www.lltproductions.com/pdf_files/Maniilaq-English.pdf.  Accessed 10/3/2008.

[288] NIV Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” The Greek word translated “man” is anthropos, from which we get our English word anthropology, the study of man. Anthropos means all mankind, or the entire human race. So when the Sabbath was made at Creation (Genesis 2:1-3) it was Jesus’ intention that it be for the entire human race.

[289] The three principles of Sabbath-keeping (rest, blessed, sanctified/hallowed) are found in the Creation account (Genesis 2:1-3) and the Sabbath commandment (Exodus 20:8-1. See also Deuteronomy 5:12-15).

[290] Exodus 5:1.

[291] KJV Exodus 5:5 And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.

[292] The story is found in Exodus 16. The miracles included 1) Manna wouldn’t last overnight except on Friday night for Sabbath and 2) Manna would appear daily except on Sabbath.

[293] NIV Isaiah 56:5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. 6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant.

[294] NIV Isaiah 66:22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD.

[295] NIV Nehemiah 10:31 “When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.

[296] NIV Nehemiah 13:16 Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. 17 I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing– desecrating the Sabbath day? 18 Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.” 19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.

[297] NIV Nehemiah 13:20 Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, O my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.

[298] NIV Ezekiel 20:12 Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.

NIV Ezekiel 20:20 Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.”

[299] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_deity. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[300] See a recent example at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_05071998_dies-domini_en.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[301] See for example Matthew 12:1-12; Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-6; Luke 6:1-11; 13:10-17; 14:1-6; John 5:1-18; 7:19-24; 9:1-34.

[302] Clifford Goldstein deals with the Scriptural truth that counteracts each of these false theories in his book A Pause for Peace: What God’s Gift of the Sabbath Can Mean for You available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0816311080/sr=8-1/qid=1220037668/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1220037668&sr=8-1&seller. See also http://www.sabbath-truth.org/. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[303] NIV Hebrews 4:9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.

[304] See “The Sabbath Through History” at http://www.sabbathtruth.com/history/sabbath_history1.asp. For more evidence see “The Almost Forgotten Day” by Mark Finley, Chapter 4, pp. 52-92, which can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Almost-Forgotten-Day-Mark-Finley/dp/B001AK052M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220320356&sr=8-1. Accessed 10/3/2008. 

[305] See an article about this with a list of languages at http://www.sabbathtruth.com/documentation/languages.asp. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[306] KJV Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

[307] KJV Leviticus 23:32 It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath. KJV Mark 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set…

[308] See the story at http://billcork.wordpress.com/2008/05/12/a-graduation-prayer/. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[309] The story is found in Genesis 8:13-22.

[310] NIV Genesis 8:20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. 22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

[311] NIV Genesis 3:21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” The Hebrew word used depicts animal skins or hides. Either the Lord created animal skins/hides without the animals, which is unlikely, or, more realistically, the first animal sacrifice took place just outside the Garden of Eden as the Lord explained the plan of redemption (see Genesis 3:15) and provided a covering for Adam and Eve instead of their handmade fig leaves aprons (see Genesis 3:7).

[312] NIV John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

NIV John 1:36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

[313] NIV Genesis 8:20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. 22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

[314] See Genesis 12:7-8; 13:4, 18; 22:1-14.

[315] NIV Genesis 31:54 He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there.

[316] NIV Job 42:7 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.

[317] See Exodus 25-40; Leviticus.

[318] See 2 Chronicles 2-7.

[319] See for example Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 16:3; 17:3; 21:6; 23:10; 33:6; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 16:21; 20:26, 31; 23:37.

[320] See Section 13b above.

[321] See for example Leviticus 26:30; Numbers 33:52; 1 Kings 11:7; 1 Kings 12:26-33; 1 Kings 14:22-23; 22:43; 2 Kings 17:9-11; 21:1-5.

[322] See John 11:49-52. “In declaring that one man should die for the nation, Caiaphas indicated that he had some knowledge of the prophecies, although it was very limited. But John, in his account of this scene, takes up the prophecy, and shows its broad and deep significance. He says, “And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” How blindly did the haughty Caiaphas acknowledge the Saviour’s mission!  {The Desire of Ages p. 540.1}

    “On the lips of Caiaphas this most precious truth was turned into a lie. The policy he advocated was based on a principle borrowed from heathenism. Among the heathen, the dim consciousness that one was to die for the human race had led to the offering of human sacrifices. So Caiaphas proposed by the sacrifice of Jesus to save the guilty nation, not from transgression, but in transgression, that they might continue in sin. And by his reasoning he thought to silence the remonstrances of those who might dare to say that as yet nothing worthy of death had been found in Jesus.  { The Desire of Ages p. 540.2} Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/da/da59.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[323] NIV Hebrews 7:27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. NIV Hebrews 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. NIV Hebrews 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

[324] See article “Sacrifice of the Mass”, New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10006a.htm. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[325] NIV Genesis 3:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Compare verse 21.

[326] See for example NIV Ezekiel 8:16 He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.

[327] NIV 1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

[328] NIV Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

[329] NIV Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. NIV Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.

[330] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_sacrifice. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[331] See Isaiah 53, particularly NIV Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

[332] The story is found in Genesis 37-50.

[333] The story of their deliverance is found in Exodus 3-15.

[334] See Daniel 1-4.

[335] See Daniel 5.

[336] See Daniel 6; 11:1.

[337] See 2 Kings 5.

[338] See Acts 23:24-24:27.

[339] See Acts 25-26.

[340] See Acts 25:13-26:32.

[341] See Acts 25:10-12, 21; 26:32; 27:22-25. Compare 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

[342] See for example 2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36.

[343] NIV Daniel 1:3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility– 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.

[344] NIV Daniel 1:7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

NIV Daniel 1:17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. 18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

[345] For a brief biography of St. Patrick see http://www.sabbathtruth.com/documentation/saint_patrick.asp. For a more lengthy biography see chapter seven “Patrick, Organizer of the Church in the Wilderness in Ireland” in the book Truth Triumphant, by Benjamin George Wilkinson. Found online at http://www.sabbathtruth.com/history/Truth_Triumphant.pdf. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[346] See Psalm 19:1-6.

[347] NIV Psalm 19:1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

[348] NIV Psalm 19:3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

[349] NIV Isaiah 6:3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

[350] Psalm 19.

[351] NIV Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Compare Romans 1:20.

[352] NIV Psalm 8:3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

[353] NIV Genesis 15:5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars– if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Paul quotes this verse in Romans 4:3.

[354] See Job 29-31.

[355] Job NIV Job 38:9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,

[356] NIV Job 38:12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?

[357] NIV Job 38:22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?

[358] NIV Job 38:24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

[359] NIV Job 38:25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, 26 to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? 28 Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew?

[360] NIV Job 38:29 From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens 30 when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?

[361] NIV Job 38:31 “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?

[362] NIV Job 38:32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

[363] The Book of Job takes place some time after the flood because of the mention of rain and seasons but before Moses began writing the first books of the Bible. Some have suggested that Moses wrote the book of Job during his forty year stay in the wilderness of Midian (Exodus 2:15-25) before leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

[364] NIV Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. NIV Job 38:18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. NIV Job 38:21 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

[365] NIV Jeremiah 19:13 The houses in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled like this place, Topheth– all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs to all the starry hosts and poured out drink offerings to other gods.'”

[366] NIV Zephaniah 1:5 those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the LORD and who also swear by Molech.

[367] NIV Isaiah 40:26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. NIV Isaiah 45:12 It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.” See also Genesis 1:14-19; Exodus 20:8-11; Revelation 14:6-7.

[368] NIV Deuteronomy 17:2 If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant, 3 and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky, 4 and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5 take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.

[369] NIV 2 Kings 17:16 They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal.

[370] NIV 2 Kings 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” 5 In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts.” See also 2 Chronicles 33:1-5.

[371] The story is found in Daniel 2. Compare NIV Isaiah 47:13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.

[372] This story is told by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the chapter “Napoleon: Man of the World” in the book Representative Men, found online at http://www.emersoncentral.com/napoleon.htm. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[373] NIV Matthew 24:29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

[374] See original historical source material for each event at http://www.specialtyinterests.net/the_historical_account_of_prophetic_environmental_events.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[375] NIV Psalm 19:1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

[376] NIV Esther 3:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

[377] See Esther 3.

[378] “God” is never mentioned specifically in the entire book of Esther, but His working is seen throughout the book on behalf of His covenant people.

[379] NIV Esther 2:7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

[380] See Esther 1-2.

[381] NIV Esther 2:20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.

[382] NIV Esther 4:13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. NIV Esther 7:4 For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”

[383] See Esther 6.

[384] See Esther 7.

[385] See Esther 8-10.

[386] NIV Esther 4:14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

[387] See Esther 4:14 above.

[388] See Genesis 41.

[389] See Exodus 3-12.

[390] See Daniel 1-4.

[391] See Daniel 5.

[392] See Daniel 6.

[393] Daniel was a contemporary of Cyrus (Daniel 10:1). Cyrus had been prophesied by name by the prophet Isaiah about 150 years before he was born that he would find some of the gates open when he subdued Babylon and that he would be use to order the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:24-45:13). It is very likely that Daniel gave Cyrus a “Bible study” of these prophecies and that this is one of the reasons he was moved “by the Lord” to decree the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4).

[394] NIV Matthew 10:18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. NIV Mark 13:9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

[395] NIV Philippians 1:28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved– and that by God.

[396] Exodus 5:2.

[397] NIV Numbers 21:21 Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites: 22 “Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the king’s highway until we have passed through your territory.” 23 But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the desert against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel.

[398] NIV Numbers 21:33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.

[399] Each of the thirty times Judas Iscariot is mentioned in Scriptures he is referred to as a traitor or he is in the act of making arrangements to betray Jesus. See, for example, Matthew 10:4; 26:14-16, 25; 26:47-49; 27-3-5.

[400] See Acts 13:1-12, especially NIV Acts 13:7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.

[401] KJV 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” The expression “son of perdition” appears only twice in Scriptures- once when referring to Judas who appeared close to Jesus but was a traitor (John 17:12), and once when referring to the “Son of perdition”, the power that claims to represent God on earth but actually directs people away from God’s ways of salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

[402] NIV Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast– all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” NIV Revelation 17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

[403] Barry Black recounted this experience during a visit I had with him in his office in the fall of 2003. Excerpts of his autobiography, From the Hood to the Hill can be read at http://www.adventistreview.org/article.php?id=938. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[404] Another recent example is Sir James Carlisle, former governor-general of Antigua and Barbuda who stood up for his faith as a witness to many throughout his island nation.  See story at http://www.adventistreview.org/2004-1550/story1.html. Accessed 10/3/2008.

[405] Some genealogies in the Bible skip several generations (Compare Matthew 1 with 2 Chronicles 2-9). But note the difference between a general genealogy (2 Chronicles 1) and a similar interlocking genealogy (Genesis 5). An interlocking genealogy gives a person’s age when their son was born, the number of years they lived after the son was born, and the total number of years lived until death. This is repeated for the son, grandson, etc. giving us interconnected links. From a careful reading of Genesis 5 and 11 we can see how many years passed between Adam and the flood, and how many more years passed after the flood until Abram was born. We can approximate that about 2,500 years passed between Adam and Moses, who is the first one to write Scriptures (Genesis-Deuteronomy and most likely Job).

[406] See the interlocking genealogy in Genesis 5:1-24 giving the ages for this family tree- Adam-Seth-Enos-Cainan-Mahalaleel-Jared-Enoch-Methuselah.

[407] Shem was born 98 years before the flood came. NIV Genesis 11:10 This is the account of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad.” Methuselah died when Noah was six hundred years old. Calculate this from Genesis 5:25-32. The flood came that same year, when Noah was six hundred years old. NIV Genesis 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.” NIV Genesis 9:28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Altogether, Noah lived 950 years, and then he died.

[408] NIV Genesis 5:27 Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.

[409] Calculated from Genesis 11:10-32.

[410] NIV Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

[411] NIV Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.

[412] NIV Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

[413] See Hebrews 11:8-10, 17-19.

[414] KJV Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

[415] NIV Hebrews 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

[416] NIV Hebrews 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

[417] NIV Hebrews 11:22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

[418] NIV Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

[419] See Hebrews 11:24-28.

[420] NIV Genesis 4:25 Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.” See also Genesis 5; 10:21-32; 11:10-32; 12f.

[421] NIV Genesis 4:16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.” See also Genesis 4:16-24.

[422] Only Noah and his descendants went into the ark and were saved. Noah was a descendant of Seth.

[423] See Genesis 9:20-27.

[424] NIV Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.

[425] Wally’s story was published in the August 21, 2008 issue of the Adventist Review. See http://www.adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2008-1523&page=28. For the full story see https://npucnewsletter.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/wally-20.doc.  Accessed 10/3/2008.

[426] NIV Romans 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

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Filed under Bible Study, Changed Lives, Church Planting, Global Missions, Outreach, Pastoring, Prayer, Sabbath, Soul Winning, Why Not Try This?

One response to “Why Not Try This? … Recognize How God Saves Those Without Scriptures

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