Religion, Philosophy and Technology: The Health of the Nations

Review: We have seen how from three families of people (Shemites, Japethites and Hamites), all from the three sons of Noah, have been apportioned specific responsibilities from God with corresponding specific capabilities for the fulfillment of these responsibilities.

  1. To Shem, the responsibility for man's religious and spiritual well-being.
  2. To Japheth, his mental well-being.
  3. To Ham, his physical well-being.

It is not to be implied that every Semite has tended to be more religiously minded, and every Japhethite more interested in intellectual exercise, and every Hamite more mechanically inclined or more practical than members of the other two families. All that is intended is that the great religions of the world – both the true and false religions – have their roots in the family of Shem, all true philosophical systems have originated within the family of Japheth, and the world's basic technologies are Hamitic contributions.

THEME: When all three families work together as one, the world is in balanced harmony. Civilization as a whole will advance because the purposes of God are being carried forward. But as long as there is racism, division, war and superiority of one peoples over and against another, there will be no peace.

No society prospers which is overly materialistic, or overly intellectual, or overly spiritual. Man is neither an animal nor an angel. He cannot dedicate himself to mere physical survival and the exploitation of his animal appetites. Nor can he dedicate himself to nurturing his soul to the neglect of his body. And by the same token, of course, he cannot retire to an ivory tower either, for he starves in body and soul.

One of the effects of the Fall is to rob man of a proper balance. Man becomes a creature of extremes, of improper enthusiasms, of unbalanced dedications, and correspondingly of a tendency to fatal neglect. Many neglect their spiritual life in our materialistically oriented culture. Many neglect the needs of the body in the mystically oriented cultures of lndia. Many neglect the exercise of their minds, as primitive peoples have often been accused of doing. Any such neglect violates human nature and severely hinders the normal development of the whole man. Both excess and neglect are equally unhappy in their consequences and serve rather to heighten than to restrain the disastrous effects of the Fall.

Neither the spiritual contribution of Shem, nor the intellectual contribution of Japheth, nor the technological contribution of Ham really benefit man as they were intended to do without the balancing constraint of the other two. God has come to redeem the world and to redeem individual people.

REDEMPTION – is God’s plan to restore individuals and civilization as a whole to that which was intended in the First Adam. History can only be understood in terms of God’s movement in this world.

The Revelation of God to Man in the Person of Christ

In harmony with this view of history that after the revelation of Himself had been established through the Old Testament – the nature of true religion, of true worship, of what God required of man and of what man might hope for in God – and after God had "fulfilled" the Old Testament revelation of Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ His Son, as well as seen to it that the details of His message and lifework were sufficiently preserved in a record, the Gospels – then God turned to the Gentiles, the Japhethites, to take this body of religious truth and set it forth as a Christian theology.

God used Hebrew for the Old Testament and probably a form of Semitic speech, namely, Aramaic, as the basis of the Gospel record. But then He turned to a Japhetic language in order to convert this revelation into a structured organic systematized faith, in short, into a theology. Scholars have recognized the uniqueness of Semitic forms of speech, and particularly of Hebrew, as a vehicle for the presentation of truth which concerns man's soul, and then turned to Japhethetic languages as the most perfect vehicle for the organization of this revealed truth into a Christian theology.

The Communication of the Gospel to the World

  1. The Hamites – their gods are gods of power and strength who crush enemies and get things done.
  2. The Japhethites – their gods are those with human intellectual perfection (Greek and Roman gods).
  3. The Shemites – their God (monotheism) is the God who redeems the soul of man.

The Semitic languages favor a World View which is religious and spiritual in color. The Indo-European or Japhetic languages favor a World View that is reflective and favorable to philosophical thinking rather than the Divine. The reminder of the world's languages, or Hamitic languages, are of such a kind that they do not encourage reflection or abstract, but concrete, specific, particular thinking, leading to a very practical view of things… Ask a Hamite how many apples, for example, would there be if he had two and you had two, the Hamite would not say "four" but more probably, "Well, I do not have two apples!"

Semites put the emphasis on behavior (wrong behavior made right), while Indo-Europeans place the emphasis on thinking right (philosophy) with an emphasis upon the abstract, and the Hamites view of the world is an entirely practical one, rooted in the present, uninterested in the abstract, interested in particulars rather than categories, earthy, and very largely disinterested in unlikely possibilities.

Cultural Missions

The Gospel of Jesus Christ spreads among the Hamites through food and water.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ spreads among the Japthethites through intelligent conversation.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ spreads among the Shemites through a discussion of sin and the soul.

Conclusion:Since we are one family, it would be wise to know your brothers.

(Adapted from Arthur Custance, Noah’s Three Sons, Part V).

See Appendix 23The Evolution of Racism


No Person Can Serve Both God and Money

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Have you ever known a person who has suffered a financial loss with a shrug and says, "Here today, gone tomorrow," or "Easy come, easy go”? Those folks may be living closer to the truth than we realize. After telling a parable in the first portion of this chapter, Jesus gives some explicit teaching as to how His disciples are to live. You can’t serve both God and money. At the beginning of F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby, a very wealthy couple, Daisy and Tom are described in this manner: "They had spent a year in France, for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together." By the end of the book, after the husband of Tom's mistress has shot Gatsby and then committed suicide, the narrator explains: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess.”

  1. Serving wealth instead of God creates many messes in life.
    “The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil: and those longing for wealth… have pierced themselves with many griefs” (I Tim. 6:10). The Word of God gives us a clear sense of these griefs.
    1. The grief of not living… (Luke 8:14). In the parable of the sower, Jesus says people who hear the Word of God, but are caught up in a desire for riches are like seeds thrown onto thorny ground – “they are choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of life."
    2. The grief of not resting… (Luke 12:29-34). Jesus said, "Do not be of anxious mind (about material things) … but provide for yourselves treasure in the heavens (relationships) where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
    3. The grief of not seeing… (Luke 16:19-23). "There was a certain rich man who fared well… but died and was buried. And in hell, he lifted up his eyes…" Riches have a way of blinding a person.
  2. Serving God means wealth becomes the means for His purpose for my life.
    “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of your wealth, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). Your wealth can’t get you to heaven, but it can definitely keep you out of heaven. You can’t serve both God in this life and your wealth.
  3. As a follower of Christ, I am to use my wealth to serve God and His people.
    We are a steward of God. A servant of Christ. A steward takes in with one hand and distributes with the other according to his master’s will (Matt. 6:19-21, 33). The proper use of our earthly goods, from the proper motives, is an evidence of God’s grace in us.
    1. Is it a practice of mine to view all I have as God’s?
    2. Is it a practice of mine to prayerfully consider how I invest God’s resources?
    3. Is it a practice of mine to respond quickly and generously as the Spirit prompts me?
      “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future” (I Tim. 6:17-19).
  4. The starting place for serving God and not wealth is in the small things.
    “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10). Start with the small and be content with it.

The Potential of Mankind in the Sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth and the Eternal Kingdom

Hugh Dryden, writing on The Scientist in Contemporary Life, wrote “Man's life at its fullest is a trinity of activity: physical, mental, and spiritual." Dryden was not speaking of the theological concept of man as a trichotomy of body, soul and spirit. What Dryden is pointing out is that there are three areas of human involvement which must all be taken into account and nurtured if man is to develop his personality to the full. He must live in the sense of surviving as a viable entity, which means food and warmth and shelter and so forth.

For man to reach his fullest potential, he must be allowed to stretch his mind and explore with his intellect whatever attracts his attention, which means mental stimulation and challenge. And he must not overlook the fact that there is a spiritual side to his nature which is not satisfied either by bread alone or by intellectual exercise or rational argument, but something which transcends them both. A healthy body and a healthy mind do not guarantee, but may contribute to, spiritual well-being. It is not solely a matter of emotions and yet it must involve the emotions to be satisfying. For most men, it is best described under the general heading of Religion, but it is best understood in terms of man’s soul.

Research into the factors which influence personality development has shown that whenever these three "needs" are appropriately cultivated, character develops in a normal and healthy way. But when one of them is neglected or denied the individual becomes somehow unbalanced.

It would be wrong to suppose that, as man is constituted at present, any one of these three "capacities" is more important than the other. The overly spiritual man is no more a balanced person than the overly sensual. It may seem that he would be a preferred type, but experience shows that the mystic can be quite as unbearable at close range as the "trousered ape" (to use C. S. Lewis' phrase). Neither does the purely intellectual prove to be any more desirable at close quarters. It is difficult to know which is more unpleasant, spiritual or intellectual pride, but both can be insufferable.

Thus, as an individual, man can live in any one of the three realms almost to the exclusion of the other two with virtually no awareness of his own loss. He can become almost entirely sensual, or almost entirely intellectual, or almost entirely a mystic. In the first case, he is likely to be looked upon as crude, in short, an animal dedicated to his own physical comforts. In the second case, he is likely to be thought of as impractical, a "brain." In the third case, he is likely to be looked upon as other-worldly, a man whose feet are not on the ground. Of course, there are many combinations, though there are limits to these.

There may be a man whose animal tastes are strongly defined and yet who has a keen mind. Such a man "succeeds" in the worldly sense of the term. He is a clever creature. On the other hand, the man who is both a "brain" and spiritually inclined is apt to be a theological type, a success in his chosen field. But a combination of the animal and the spiritual is hard to conceive; the bridge between the spiritual and the physical lies in the intellect, which can be joined to either of the other two or can unite them all.

As with the individual, so with a society, a culture, or a nation as a whole: when the "body," the "mind," and the "spirit" of a people receive equal encouragement and cultivation, the society enjoys a measure of health and well-being which is not only reflected in a higher level of creative activity but in a reduction of the evil effects of the Fall. By contrast when any one of these three components dominate (or is seriously neglected) the effects of sin in human nature become in some way aggravated. This is particularly clear when a society becomes dedicated to the satisfying of its animal instincts, the things of its "body." It ends up by degenerating; it becomes barbaric. It is not quite so obviously detrimental when a society turns "intellectual" to the exclusion of all else, and we probably have little to go on from a study of history.

The Golden Age of the Greek philosophers may be a case in part, and at times "intellectuals" have possibly dominated life in India. There is little question that such societies do not or cannot survive for long. The needs of the body must be recognized, and these needs can only be ignored by the few if they are in a position to demand that the many take care of the matter for them. Intellectual elites survive only while a lower class is willing to serve their need, and history shows that human beings will not perform this kind of service indefinitely.

Nor does a purely spiritual society do very well, either. Not a few such experiments have been made, retreats from the world, cloistering’s in out-of-the-way places. The greatest danger has been spiritual pride, and spiritual pride is surely even more disastrous to man's total health than intellectual pride is, for it has no self-correctives.

What is true of the individual, history therefore has shown to be true of whole cultures. And nations also have personalities. Revival is not always merely personal and spiritual. It may be intellectual, too. And it is most certainly national.

In some circumstances, the physical side of man's life has been so badly neglected that a frightful poverty has resulted and the consequent desperately small margin of survival (characteristic of some primitive cultures of recent times which have recollections of much happier days) contributes to the decay of the other capacities as well. Revival in intellectual life and revival in spiritual life are both apt to be observed anew when the burden of physical life has also been eased.

It appears that the world in pre-Flood times shared a measure of spiritual truth which was presumably revealed at the very beginning but had increasingly become corrupted due to man's sinful disposition and his tendency to worship what he himself creates.

At the time of the Flood, it may have been true that Noah was the only man left with any measure of purity of faith and spiritual understanding. One gathers from Genesis 9 that Shem shared more of his father's spiritual insight and love of God than either Japheth or Ham, and Shem's godly disposition seems to be the source from which arose the subsequent stream of spiritual insight that remained after the Flood. However, by the time of Abraham, this stream had narrowed to one man. God called Abraham out and took him under His wing in a special way, through whom He would bless all the nations.

The question is simply: “How does God redeem the world to bring about man’s fullest potential?

  1. A kingdom to come?
  2. A kingdom that is now?
  3. A combination of them both?

See Appendix 22Is the Kingdom of God Now or Then?


Make Friends for Yourselves: The Parable of the Unrighteous Manager

Luke 16:1-9 (NASB)

Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Remember that parables are stories or fables that parallel real life. We don’t build our doctrine upon parables, but we do find that the parables of our Lord are like windows that shine light onto His truth. This parable of the unjust steward causes confusion and consternation among Christian commentators.

  1. It seems (and rightly so) that the “unjust steward” failed in his responsibilities to his master.
  2. It seems (and rightly so) that when the unjust steward stands before his master, he’s commended.
  3. It seems (and rightly so) that the commendation is for “making friends” with his master’s money.
  4. It seems (and rightly so) that Jesus tells His disciples to learn from the wisdom of this world.
  1. Everyone who thinks himself faithful and obedient to God is, in reality, an unjust manager.
    This unjust steward represents all men and women. God is the Master, we are simply stewards.
    1. It’s no accident this parable comes after the parable of the elder brother.
      The elder brother was proud of his service to his father and thought himself worthy of blessing. The Pharisees and Sadducees who listened to Jesus tell His parables all felt themselves superior.
    2. There comes a time in all our lives when we feel deeply our failure as God’s stewards.
      This manager was reported … as squandering the master’s possessions” (v. 1). Remember when Charles Spurgeon was told that people were spreading all kinds of nasty rumors and lies about him. His friends asked, “Mr. Spurgeon, what should we do about this?” Spurgeon replied: “Leave the gossips alone. What they are saying is lies, but if people knew the real truth about me, it would be worse than the rumors.” That deep sense of one’s own failures is profound.
    3. A gospel church is a place where the obedience of Christ is honored more than our own.
      Someone asked what I thought about the men’s movement “Promise Keepers.” I said, “I would be more apt to join if the name of the movement was “The Promise Keeper” referring to Jesus Christ.
  2. When our failed stewardship ends (death), we will stand before the Master and be commended.
    This is the Good News. This is the gospel. It’s about having a Master who loves sinners who fail. The gospel is about finding a righteousness that is outside of yourself, one that is found in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. “God sees no sin in His people,” writes John Gill. Do you comprehend that? “And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he acted shrewdly while a steward” (v.8).
  3. My Master is at peace with me, so His only concern is that I love people like He loves me.
    What did this guilty, failed manager of the master’s money do to earn the praise of the master? He forsook all trust in himself (v. 3). He focused on the future (v. 4). He forgave others’ debts (v. 5). The Old Covenant Law is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself” (Lk. 10:27). Nobody lives the Law. After Jesus fulfilled the Law, and in love for us, died for us, He gave a New Commandment to “love others as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Nowhere are you called in the New Covenant to love God with all your heart. Why? He loves you.
  4. We ought to impact lives with the Lord’s money here so that people will welcome us in heaven.
    Jesus said, “Make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness so that when it fails, they (the friends you’ve made in this life) will receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Lk. 16:9). Matthew Henry said, “God withholds His grace from covetous people more than we are aware of.” We’re to use the wealth we have to make friends by showing them the unsearchable riches of Christ.

The Incarnation and the Cross: Jesus Redeems the Whole World and the Whole Man

Theme: The world was made for the body of man, the body was made for the spirit of man (which doesn’t exist apart from the body), and the spirit was made for God.

God's ultimate objective in creating the physical order was to place man within it. We look around and see the majesty of creation, and we find ourselves asking the same question when David looked at the heavens in all their magnitude and then said, "What is man that Thou art mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4).

While the Scripture gives us reasons for why man is created by God and important to God, skeptics of Scripture try to deemphasize the importance of mankind, and emphasize man’s evolution from animals. To understand that mankind is important to God, and that the physical order was made for mankind, we must think about two great questions:

  1. In what way is man unique in the universe, and
  2. In what way is man related to God?

There are three orders of creatures which have conscious life:

  1. The angels – About the angels, we know nothing except by revelation, but from revelation, we learn that they are exceedingly numerous, that they can act upon the physical order if they choose – though they are not dependent upon it for their existence – and that some of them at least have sinned against God. If the argument from silence carries any weight in such matters, they are not redeemable, for Scripture gives no indication of such a thing.
  2. The animals - A similar argument from silence suggests that the plan of Redemption does not involve them either because, though they do have bodies, they are not held to be morally accountable before God. Thus the angels are not redeemed because they have no necessary corporeal existence, and the animals are not redeemed because they have no moral accountability.
  3. Adam - Between these two orders of created beings stands man who has a corporeal existence, unlike the angels which render the Incarnation necessary to make his redemption possible. At the same time, the necessity for his redemption stems from the fact that he is morally accountable, unlike the animals. His possession of a body makes his redemption possible; the possession of a fallen spirit makes his Redemption necessary.

Man is, therefore, neither animal nor angel but a unique creature of God sharing something of both, the moral accountability of the angels and the dependence upon the physical order of the animals. He bears a relationship to God as a consequence of his uniqueness, which makes him higher than the angels. But this status which he may achieve, and for which I believe he was created, is possible only because he has a special kind of physical life, a special kind of mental capacity and a special kind of spiritual potential. And the Bible is deeply concerned with the history of all three (Shem, Japheth and Ham).

Mankind’s spiritual potential can be shown to be dependent ultimately upon his special kind of mental capacity, and this, in turn, results from his possession of a special kind of central nervous system which is only partly shared by the animals. It is, however, dependent upon the world in which he lives, the physical order of things in which he moves and has his being, the air he breathes with its special composition, the fluid which forms so large a part of his body, the temperature of his environment, the gravitational forces. So we move from God to the human spirit, to the mind, to the human body, to the world which he inhabits, and on out into a larger realm.

It seems impossible to create an adequate World View unless man is made the key or the end for which the world was made, and the world the end for which the universe was made. In short, God made man for Himself, the world for man, and the universe for the world. So we must begin with God Himself.

We have in the New Testament, especially in the Gospels, a portrait of what God is like. This much is certain. God loves man and seeks his company even at unimaginable cost to Himself; and for all our indifference, His delight is still with the sons of men. From Scripture, it is clear that God created man because He sought beings capable of entering into a unique relationship with Himself, a relationship that was to result from an experience which man was to undergo, an experience Involving:

  1. A Fall from a state of innocence to a state of conscious guilt, and then
  2. A Redemption to an entirely new level of virtue and fellowship with God as a direct consequence of that Fall.

The special relationship of mankind to God is "special" because it involves redemption.

It is apparent that angels worship God and rejoice with Him and in some sense form His "Court": yet Scripture implies that while angels may be in the company of God, they can never achieve the status of companions, for they neither comprehend nor respond to His love, knowing only of His holiness.

The only one way in which the love of God could be displayed comprehensibly was by sacrifice, a sacrifice in which God Himself becomes like His creatures in order to enter into their world, experience their kind of life, and finally assume their guilt and translate His great love into comprehensible terms by becoming responsible for the very sin which had been a necessary element of the experience.

We can have and do have, no other clear proof of the reality of God's love for man except that which was displayed at Calvary. And, if man had not sinned, there could have been no occasion for the Cross. It is foolish to speak of the love of God while at the same time ignoring the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ His Son. Apart from Calvary, the evidence of God's care for man is easily overwhelmed by the facts of history which suggest rather His total indifference. Scripture properly sees the key to all history is the ultimate revelation of God's thoughts towards Man, the death of Jesus Christ. It is comprehensible revelation, a revelation which is bound up in historical events occupying time and space in man's time-and-space world. It is the climax of divine planning and preparation.

To fulfill God's desire for the true companionship of creatures capable of responding to His love, no other being seems to have been possible than such as Man is. This being cannot be conceived without taking into account his unique capacities as well as the physical environment in which he lives out his life. These circumstances invite us to examine the relationship between man and the universe in this light. Mankind’s varied capacities require us to examine how God undertook to preserve man against destroying himself completely after he had sinned, while His purposes were being carried through to completion. The animals do not belong in the spiritual world as far as we know, and angels do not belong in the physical world, but man belongs in both, and thus is neither animal nor angel. He is unique because he is redeemable, and the mode of his redemption is the key to the universe’s existence.

See Appendix 21Why the Cross


Resurrection Day (Son of God, Son of Man)

II Samuel 12:15-18 (NASB)

Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!”

“The LORD struck the son that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill…and the son died.”

What an unusual verse for an Easter Sunday message, right? David had an affair with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and she bore to David a son. After the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin, the Bible says “The Lord struck the son” of David, and he died. What? Why did God judge the son for the father’s sin? A few weeks ago in our 8:00 a.m. service, one of our members told me the tragic story of a new mother who was breastfeeding her baby. The mom fell asleep, and when she woke, her baby was on the ground dead. I contacted the parents. They cried, “Why is God punishing us by taking our baby away? Why?

  1. In the Old Testament, God punished the sin of a man on the son of that man.
    This is difficult for us in a modern, western culture to comprehend or understand. But let me prove it.
    1. Ham sinned against Noah and God punished Canaan, Ham’s son (Gen. 9:24-25).
      We are not sure what Ham did to his naked, drunken father Noah, but when “Noah awoke and saw what Ham had done,” he pronounced a curse on Canaan, the father of the Canaanite people.
    2. The Lord said, “I visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children (Ex. 34:6-7).
      Don’t gloss over this. In the Old Agreement (Covenant), the son of a man paid for his father’s sins.
    3. David sinned with Bathsheba and the Lord struck the son of David.
      If you believe the Word of God, “the Lord struck the son” borne to David for the sin of David.
    4. The people of Israel were well aware God punished the son for his father’s sins.
      Of course, that does not mean people weren’t also punished for their own sins. But when you have an infant who dies in infancy, or an infant borne with a deficiency, where is the infant’s sin? The disciples met a man “blind from birth” and asked the question, “Who sinned, this man or His parents?” (John 9:2). What kind of question is this? The kind asked by people who understand that the Covenant of Law is quite clear that the son of a man is punished for the sins of that man.
  2. Likewise, among the Israelites a deed of courage and honor was credited to the father.
    This is something that we intuitively do even today. We will see someone stellar and ask, “Who is he?”
    1. David killed Goliath and Saul asked, “Whose son are you, young man? (I Sam. 17:58).
      Some say Saul asked this question because he didn’t know David. Not true. Saul knew David. This question was a cultural one. “Your father deserves the praise and glory for your heroic actions.”
    2. Jesus called Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah” (Matt. 16:16-17). – Why? Peter had just correctly identified Jesus as “The Anointed One,” and as was the custom, an honorable action was credited to the father.
    3. Jesus said, “I do what I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:13).
      So, grasp in your minds that in the Old Covenant way of thinking, the son of a man was punished for the sins of that man, and the father of a son was glorified for the honorable deeds of the son.
  3. Jesus Christ is both the Son of God and the Son of Man.
    Anyone who takes their marching orders from the Old Testament Scriptures is missing Jesus Christ. Jesus is the “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). “I want to know Christ” (Phil. 3:10). We know that Jesus is “the Son of God,” born of a virgin. He is Emmanuel, God with us. In HIM, all the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt” (Col. 2:9). But why is He called “The Son of Man?” Jesus is the Son of Man, because when He died at Calvary, He bore the judgment of God due my sins.

The Devolution of Man (Part II) The Crowning Achievements of Primitive Cultures

The premise of modern science is that mankind is evolving from apes. The proposition of Scripture is that God created man (Adam) in His image, recreated and repopulated the world after the flood (2345 B.C), and natural man is forever devolving in mind, soul and spirit unless he is “born again” from above.

To prove the devolution of man, one examines ancient civilizations and what they accomplished. The descendants of Ham began the great ancient civilizations of the world, using their giftedness in technology and exploration (Sumeria, Egypt, Indus Valley, the Americas, Australia, etc.).

Shem gave to the world a very special kind of legacy, essentially in the realm of the spirit. Japheth’s contributions have been in the realm of the intellect. Japheth took the technology of Ham and created science. But science, unredeemed by a true spiritual perception of Shem, is far from beneficial for man in the long run. Shem, Ham and Japheth thus were each called to play a unique and vital part.

When any one of the three sons of Noah has failed to contribute, or when one has dominated the other two, civilization (though seeming to gain at first) has always suffered a decline. But when each has contributed in the proper measure, enormous strides forward are made and the development of civilization has been almost explosive.

What, then, will world civilization become when the Lord Jesus Christ establishes His eternal Kingdom of Righteousness in which not only the three sons contribute in perfect proportion, but their contribution will be entirely for peace and not for war? Surely this will be an age of wonders and exploration indeed!

Civilizations Exploded Around the World at the Same Time

German archaeologists, working near Peru’s north-central coast about 320 km (200 miles) northwest of Lima, have discovered the oldest known ancient monument in South America.

Radiocarbon dating has well known limitations, especially given that the Flood buried massive amounts of carbon from the biosphere. But even allowing for this systematic bias towards ‘older’ dates, it’s significant that it places the plaza at 5,000–5,500 years ago—roughly the same as similar markers of civilization in many other parts of the world, including the Middle East and southern Asia. From the Bible, we know that the actual date of multiple civilizations springing to life around the world at the same time is likely to be 3,000–4,000 years ago, some 500–1500 years after the Flood.

As one article puts it, quoting prominent Peruvian archaeologist Ruth Shady, the find ‘raises questions about what prompted “civilizations to form throughout the planet at more or less the same time” (Whalen, A., Ancient ceremonial plaza found in Peru, AAP, 27 February 2008).

This is no mystery to the Bible-believer, of course, given the history in Genesis of how a civilization at Babel, after the Flood, scattered all over the globe in a short period of time.

Many of the dispersing groups would have carried with them the ‘know-how’ of city-building, causing civilizations to appear to spring up ‘suddenly’ in many parts of the world. Those who did not would have had to ‘start again’ in caves and makeshift dwellings, rapidly establishing a very different kind of society for later researchers to try to fit into an evolutionary scheme.

Shady, who was not involved in the plaza find, had earlier demonstrated that ‘a complex urban center in the Americas thrived as a contemporary to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt—1,500 years earlier than previously believed’. This Peruvian monument, which clearly had to be made by a complex, established civilization, is dated a few centuries earlier still, reinforcing her conclusions.

She said that its discovery demonstrates that ‘human beings of the New World had the same capacity to create civilization as those in the Old World’.

The Ancient Civilizations Were Stellar in Practical Sciences

Indeed. Genesis also tells us that the dispersion which led to this ‘burst of civilization’ was associated with the sudden emergence of the various language families. This would then lead to diversity within each group, including the emergence of many new (but interrelated) languages within isolated groups. But no languages show any relationship to those in another family, because these ‘root’ languages (e.g. Indo-European) originated suddenly and supernaturally.

So it’s not surprising to read the following comment in a recent book by an evolutionist on the origin of language:

‘One of the greatest mysteries of prehistory is how people in widely separated places suddenly and spontaneously developed the capacity for language at roughly the same time. It was as if people carried around in their heads a genetic alarm clock that suddenly went off all around the world and led different groups in widely scattered places on every continent to create languages’ (Bryson, B., Mother Tongue, Penguin Books, London, England, p. 14, 1991).

Stripped of their evolutionary presuppositions, such statements make perfect sense in the light of Genesis—the true history of the world.

You will notice that on the various “science” channels, like “Discovery,” when it comes to human civilization, ALL the evidence stops at around 6,000 years. Human dwellings like the Lascaux caves, of course, “look” older and bring up fantasies of “cavemen”, but when it comes to civilization the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the biblical time line.

See Appendix 19Some of the Amazing Achievements of Ancient Civilizations

See Appendix 20Alexandria’s Library: The Loss of Comprehension of our Ancient Past

(Sources: Arthur Custance, Noah’s Three Sons and Creation.Com).


Angry at Grace: The Parable of the Older Brother

Luke 15:25-31 (NASB)

“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.

In Luke 15:2 the Pharisees and Scribes, the self-righteous legalists who professed to be the children of God, saw Jesus receiving publicans and sinners. They began accusing Him saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them” (v. 2). Everything that follows in Luke 15 is in response to this criticism. The three parables (the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son) reveal Jesus came to seek out sinners. The religious legalist is one who is righteous in his own eyes and thinks himself too holy, too spiritual, and too good to be loved by grace alone, entirely of the merits of Christ. The self-righteous person will not give up his own righteousness for the righteousness of Christ, and so will condemn others for their sins. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son who came home, there is an older brother who becomes very angry at grace.

  1. Those angry at grace are most often ignorant of grace.
    Grace is a word on the tongue, not a way of life. Grace is a song that is sung, but not seen in the soul. “Now his older son was in the field…” (v. 25). He was in the field “working.” Usually those who are angry at grace work – they work for righteousness, they work for God’s approval, they really work!
    1. Their joy comes from one’s personal performance, not grace.
      The older brother heard the music and dancing and asked “What are these things?” (v. 26). The symphony of grace is foreign to the ears of those ignorant of grace. How can this be? “Your brother has come home... father has killed the calf…and he has received him back” (v.27). John Gill comments “the preaching of the Gospel by the servants setting forth the love of God, the righteousness of Christ… Like music, it is delightful and charming; it is a sound of love in the Father, Son, and Spirit; of free grace, and rich mercy; of liberty, reconciliation, and forgiveness.” But the older brother is angry at grace because his younger brother did not deserve the favor.
    2. Their affection is pulled out by one’s contributions, not grace.
      But he became angry and was not willing to go in” (v. 28). Separation from God and His people is always a symptom of those who get angry with grace. The prodigal “came to his senses.” But the older brother could not rejoice over a sinner repenting because he never experienced this grace.
  2. Those angry at grace must show they are better than others.
    For so many years I have been serving you and I have never…but when this son of yours” (vs. 29-30).
    1. Comparing personal righteousness is self-righteousness.
      I’ve not neglected a command of yours…but he devoured your wealth with prostitutes” (v. 29).
    2. Contrasting temporal rewards is self-righteousness.
      I never neglected a command of yours, yet you have never given me a goat” (v. 29). When we start looking at someone’s life and questioning God for their “blessings,” we convey a belief that everything we receive is earned. Grace is grace because it is given without merit.
    3. Closing out others from your life is self-righteousness.
      But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes…” (v. 30). He didn’t say, “When MY BROTHER came home”? Separation is normal to those angry at grace.
  3. Those angry at grace are to be loved like the father loves his son.
    “Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours” (v. 31).
    1. Though his son separates, the father unites – “The father came out and pleaded” (v. 28).
    2. Though his son is angry, the father is gracious – “Son, all that is mine is yours” (v. 31).
    3. Though his son is ignorant, the father loves him – “You have always been with me” (v.31).

The Devolution of Man (Part I) Subduing the Earth

Ecclesiastes 7:29

“Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

When God created man, He made man in His image. Man was upright in his standing before God. He was holy and healthy. He was created with a mind adept to do great things. After the flood (2345 B.C.), man began to devolve in longevity, language and intellect. As man spread out, man began to flame out.

This means that those who first scattered (the descendants of Ham) were smart and technologically adept. They went to subdue the earth. And the great advancements of mankind were in the beginning.

The Eskimos

The descendants of Ham scattered around the world. We could examine the Indians of the Sonoran Desert, or the Bedouins of the Far East, or the rather rugged Peruvians who lived in the Andes, or the Native Americans of Arizona. All of them show advancements that astound even the modern scientist.

Dr. Erwin H. Acherknecht, a leading expert on the ancient Eskimo, writes, “The Eskimo is one of the great triumphs of our species. He has succeeded in adapting himself to an environment which offers to man but the poorest chances of survival. His technical solution of problems of the Arctic are so excellent that white settlers would have perished had they not adopted many elements of Eskimo technology.”

Our culture builds upon what others have invented. We press buttons, we push nodules, or we twist knobs. But the Eskimos had to “subdue the earth” and live off the harshest of possible climates.

A. Killing the wolf

“Take the Eskimo's most annoying enemy, the wolf, which preys on the caribou and wild reindeer that he needs for food. Because of its sharp eyesight and keen intelligence, it is extremely difficult to approach in hunting. Yet the Eskimo kills it with nothing more formidable than a piece of flexible whalebone.

He sharpens the strip of whalebone at both ends and doubles it back, tying it with sinew. Then he covers it with a lump of fat, allows it to freeze, and throws it out where the wolf will get it. Swallowed at a gulp the frozen dainty melts in the wolf's stomach and the sharp whalebone springs open, piercing the wolf internally and killing it.”

B. Harpooning the walrus

“When the Eskimo gets a walrus weighing more than a ton on the end of a harpoon line, he is faced with a major engineering problem: how to get it from the water onto the ice. Mechanical contrivances belong to a world in whose development the Eskimo has had no part. No implement ever devised by him had a wheel in it. Yet this does not prevent him from improvising a block and tackle that works without a pulley. He cuts slits in the hide of the walrus, and a U-shaped hole in the ice some distance away. Through these he threads a slippery rawhide line, once over and once again. He does not know the mechanical theory of the double pulley, but he does know that if he hauls at one end of the line, he will drag the walrus out of the water onto the ice.

C. Protecting the eyes

“Carved out of whale bone or hard wood, the snow goggles of the Eskimo are well known to explorers and no one will travel in the Arctic without them or something to replace them if he wishes to escape the very unpleasant ailment of snow blindness. Like everything else the Eskimo makes, they are very effective, and often so designed that he does not need to turn his head to see to either side of him. This is important, since the game he usually hunts would catch the movement.”

The Egyptians

The pyramids of Egypt are amazing structures and fascinate people today. There are about 100 altogether, some only symbolic and small. But there are 17 great pyramids, and the size and composition of these stagger the minds of those who visit them.

It seems the first settlers of Egypt were descended from Mizraim, the son of Ham (Genesis 10:6, 13). That’s why, at the first dynasty, there bursts on the scene a people of culture and skill who already possessed a form of writing.

There are several theories to explain how the blocks for the huge pyramids of Egypt were placed in position. There is no need for mysterious theories or space-age technology.

The stones could have been dragged up a ramp. However, such a ramp would need to extend for hundreds of meters and would contain an enormous amount of bricks or rubble. An alternative idea is that a spiral ramp was wrapped around the pyramid as it rose in height. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s leading archaeologist, concluded that it could have been a combination of the two.

Actually, the lower layers are no problem. The platform on which the pyramid is built was carved out of the bedrock and is below ground level, so blocks could have been cut from this basin. As the height rises, the blocks become smaller, so that it would not have been so difficult to raise them, though it would still have been a formidable task.

No qualified archaeologist accepts that the stones were ‘poured’ like concrete. The fact that in many places lime plaster has been used as mortar to join the stones together makes it obvious that they were quarried stones. Most of the stones have been hewn from a vast quarry about 500 meters (1,600 ft.) from the pyramid. Square cuts in the sides of this quarry reveal where the blocks came from.

The early Egyptians did not use the wheel, which would have been useless on the sandy plateau on which the pyramids were built. Instead, they used sledges, and the route along which the blocks were dragged can be traced.

So, although the technology is perfectly understandable, we are still in awe at the skill the builders displayed in lifting these huge stones into place with such precise symmetry.

The pyramids of Egypt were built to reflect the stars, corresponding to the pagan beliefs of the Hamites as they “built a tower open to the heavens.”

The Egyptians were brilliant, and had they had our technology, they would have flown to the stars far sooner than we are flying to Mars.

Appendix 18


The Lost Son Comes Home: The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-24 (NASB)

And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

John Piper spoke to 40,000 young people in the year A.D. 2000 a message entitled “Don’t Waste Your Life,” and Piper’s popularity, because of that one talk, skyrocketed. Three years later Piper published a book of the same title (600,000 in sales). If we had to summarize the most beloved story Jesus ever told, a parable that has changed millions of lives, the story of the prodigal son is most likely that one story.

  1. The son entered a rebellion all sons of God understand.
    The son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country” (Luke 15:13). The KJV says that the son entered a “far country.” In the story of us, from whom or what are we far?
    1. We journey far from the Father and His family.
      Our attitude is one of “Give me…” (v. 12), and we lose sight of “Take up your cross” discipleship. This journey, far from the Father, involves isolation from those related to the Father. It’s an axiom that the evidence one is far from God is that we distance ourselves from God’s people.
    2. We journey far from faithful service to the Father.
      And there (e.g. the distant country) he squandered his estate with loose living” (Luke 15:13b). These two things go hand-in-hand. Moving far from the Father leads to a lifestyle of loose living. How do we get here? How do we end up living double lives? We’ve gone to the far country.
    3. We journey far from the food that sustains us.
      When he spent everything, a severe famine occurred … and he became impoverished” (v. 14). Jesus said, “People should not live by bread alone, but by every word from God” (Matt. 4:4). When I live by the Spirit, staying close to my Father, the Bible becomes like warm, fresh bread.
  2. The son exhibited a response to the far country all sons eventually have.
    He came to his senses” (v. 17). Notice, all those truly related to the Father will come to their senses. “I will get up and go to my Father” (v. 18). This is the response that all sons far from the Father have.
    1. Sin will sometimes delay the response.He hired himself out to feed swine” (v. 15).
      For a Jew to feed swine (an unlawful animal), was about as low as a Jew could go. When we run from God we find ourselves going further away than we ever dreamed and doing worse things than we ever dared comprehend. Shame keeps us in the hog pen far longer than necessary.
    2. Shame will sometimes delay the response.I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (v. 19).
      Do you notice anything strange about v. 19? He obviously at one time thought himself worthy. It’s my experience that if I think myself worthy of His favor I’ll be broken of it in a far country.
    3. Surroundings will sometimes delay the response.And while he was still a long way off” (v. 20).
      Having been to Israel several times, I know the terrain of the country. To go from Jericho to Jerusalem (30 miles) is a tortuous, tough walk. This boy was in “a far country” and to get home to his Father must have been a brutal journey. So it is with us during our journey of grace. There will be those who doubt you, mock you, trouble you, and do all manner of things to prevent you.
  3. The son experienced a reception from the far country all sons need to consider.
    His Father saw him (a long way off) and had compassion for him, ran and embraced him” (v. 20).
    1. God’s grace reaches further than any far country experience.
    2. God’s grace embraces the shameful, guilty sinner even when other people will not.
    3. God’s grace is the only hope any person has when it comes to making the journey home.
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