By Dr. Richard Ing
March 1, 2005
Recently, we have seen many cunning attacks on the credibility of the Bible and Jesus. If Satan can destroy the testimony of all or even most Christians, he can neutralize us and create much hatred for Christianity. His ploy is so cunning and insidious that we almost never realize the implications of his tricks until they are almost upon us.
THE DA VINCI CODE
A popular book called The Da Vinci Code has hit the book stands and has become the New York Times #1 best seller. It is full of innuendoes, implications, half-truths and lies that many have accepted as truth. Dan Brown, the author, contends that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and she was his partner in preaching the gospel. Since the four Gospels mention her more than any other woman, the author claims that she was probably the wife of Jesus and the passage where Jesus kissed her was indicative of their intimate relationship. Brown further claims that Jesus had a daughter by the name of Sarah and when he was crucified, Mary and Sarah fled to France where Sarah eventually married a French king and began a line of kings in Europe that are the rightful heirs of the kingdom of God on earth.
The writer further alleges that the devious and corrupt Roman Catholic Church found out about the existence of the scrolls that contained the “truth” about Jesus and attempted to find and destroy them. They subsequently annihilated many towns and organizations that supposed had the scrolls. The Catholic Church purportedly destroyed the Knights Templar because they knew the truth. In fact, the so-called search for the Holy Grail is really a hunt for the scrolls that threaten the authenticity of Christianity. In a wide stretch of the imagination, the author claims that Leonardo Da Vinci knew the truth and in his painting of The Last Supper, portrays the young apostle John, seated to the right of Jesus, as a woman because his face appears to be feminine. He was trying to tell the world but feared for his life, so the author claims.
Brown intimates that the royal families of Europe are the rightful heirs of the earth and will one day rule the world. France, Italy and other European countries are now experiencing a sudden and large upsurge of tourism as many Americans are following the path laid down in the book in an attempt to verify the claims it contains. So one has yet authenticated the spurious evidence the author produced, but considers it exciting and fun to try. History channels on television have given wide attention to the claims in the book and have interviewed a significant number of noted religion professors who agree with the theory.
Regardless of its falsities, the book has created much doubt about the Bible and the Church’s foundational doctrines about Jesus - who He was and what He did. Some Christian preachers have even accepted the “truths” in the book. The truths in the book are no more than bogus history!
LIFE ON MARS
Another recent development is the interest in and claims made by many pseudo-scientists that there is life on Mars, - that the space probe has discovered canyons and what appears to be river beds - thus proving that there was water on Mars at one time. Water indicates the high possibility of life. The fact that there is no visible sign of water is of no consequence since the water could have turned into ice and is buried under the surface of Mars. Thus, even though there is no sign of life on the surface, there could even be cities under the surface and at least microbial life.
Some have gone so far as to claim that a rock formation on Mars that looks like a human head shows that there may have been life on Mars and the humanoid life tried to tell us through the carving of the rock formation that humanoids exist on Mars.
Recently, a so-called scientist claimed that he extracted ice from the Artic that was over 30,000 years old and when he melted the ice, it was filled with microbes that came to life and were swimming vigorously.
The end result is that the theory of creationism is a lie and evolution is the true creator. Therefore, God is non-existent.
Another growing movement is the alleged UFO (unidentified flying objects) phenomena that indicate that there is alien life on other planets. Scientist claim that since there are millions of galaxies in the universe, there are bound to be planets similar to earth that would support life. Furthermore, these UFO’s are evidence of extra-terrestrial life that does not originate from a God-creator but is the natural consequence of nature. The simple truth is that Satan can do miracles and through these miracles will deceive the whole world. Rev. 12:9; Rev, 13:14; Rev. 18:23; Rev. 19:20. In order for Satan to deceive the whole world through miracles, the miracles must lead mankind to believe that there is no God and that evolution is the only truth. Therefore, mankind molds and determines its own destiny – not God!
I’m reminded of a newspaper ad taken out around the middle 1980’s by a man with the last name of Yee from Pearl City. He claimed that he was abducted by aliens in a flying saucer that landed on Mt. Tantalus. The aliens told him that they were from a distant planet and had come to teach men now to live in peace. When asked what the name of their organization was, they replied, “Ashtar Command.” The word “Ashtar” is derived from the word “Ashtorah,” the goddess of Babylon. The name was changed slightly as the Babylonia religion traveled to Assyria, Sumeria, Phoenicia and so on. In the Book of Revelation, Babylon is one of the names given to Satan’s kingdom. I am convinced that aliens are actually demons. Satan is capable of doing such miracles as devising space craft and alien creatures.
The theory of evolution has been capably debunked by many writers, but you never see any articles in the mass media about it. But every time some archaeologist or scientist finds something that even remotely contributes to the theory of evolution, it gets front page coverage. Many of the so-called humanoid fossil evidence of a missing link have been found to be frauds, but the scientific community covers it up. For instance, the famous Scope’s trial in which the court found Darwin’s theory of evolution valid, was largely based on the testimony of scientists claiming that a single tooth was that of a humanoid missing link. Thirty-five years later, with better techniques, a group of young scientists found that tooth was actually from a prehistoric pig. Yet, that finding was never published in the mass media and evolutionists continue to cite that Scope’s trial as proof of evolution.
Recent DNA studies conclude that the DNA in a single cell is incredibly complex. The presence of DNA is required for reproduction. A cell cannot be duplicated without it. Molecular biologist Michael Denton wrote, “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.” Yet, evolutionists never talk about the fact that the odds of a single living cell suddenly being created by lightning striking rolling muddy water and containing complex DNA and one hundred thousand million atoms is astronomical. Scientists claim that 1 chance in 1050 is already impossible, the chance of a single living cell being created out of nothing is more like 10380.
Dinosaurs became extinct 265 million years ago and the first so-called human-like creatures appeared a mere 200 thousand years ago. The three most prominent museums of natural history located in Chicago, New York and London, each claim to have several large warehouses of fossils of dinosaurs. On the other hand, you could put all the fossils that scientists claim to the proof of the missing link between man and apes on a billiard table. They would all fit into a small box. How is it that there can be 265 million year old fossils all over the place, but hardly anything of humanoids that are only 200 thousand years old?
CALCULATED TO CREATE DOUBT
All of these recent developments have an insidious effect - to undermine the Christian faith and create doubt about Christianity or even the existence of God. The loss of faith may cause millions of Christians to fall away, especially when they see miracles that are not from God. Jesus warns us that the Devil is able to appear as an angel of light and Satan’s beast will do miracles that will deceive the whole world. Rev. 12:9; Rev. 13:14; Rev. 19:20.
Jesus prophesied that Satan is going to do many miracles and cast doubt on Christianity. We need to be prepared for such great deception. Remember - God has given the Devil the power to do great miracles and to deceive. It is not beyond his power to create unidentified flying objects, counterfeit water and life on Mars and bring to life microbes over 30,000 years old, if such is the case.
Satan’s ploy of creating doubt that will cause you to lose your faith is nothing new. David Wilkerson, in a recent newsletter, points out that John the Baptist was raised up from early youth to proclaim the coming of the much-anticipated Messiah. By choice, he dwelt in the desert and in caves by himself, living off the land and eating locusts and honey. He baptized Jesus and even saw a dove land on Jesus and heard a voice proclaiming, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” Mt. 3:17; Mk. 1:10,11; Lk. 3:22. Yet, when John was in prison and about to be beheaded, he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” Mt. 11:3. John had begun to doubt. “Jesus answered and said unto them, God and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Mt. 11:4-5.
Why had doubt crept in? There is a big difference between John gladly giving up his life for the Messiah, and him dying in disappointment, thinking that Jesus was just another prophet used by God to do miracles. After all, many prophets had done wonderful miracles. But Jesus also said, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” He was subtly saying, “Yes, it is me. Do not be offended that I do not appear to be the Messiah based on your own expectations.”
Many Israelites were praying for and expecting the Messiah to make his appearance. But like many of the Israelites, John probably expected to see a military conqueror that would amass a huge army and destroy the oppressive Roman government. He expected to see a large, charismatic man with the bearing of a military general and king. Instead, Jesus was just average looking. Isaiah 53:2 says, “… he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” How perplexing and even disappointing Jesus must have appeared to the natural eye.
Even the disciples had their expectations. John 1:45 says, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him: We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael and probably all the disciples expected the Messiah to come out of Bethlehem. These little discrepancies planted seeds of doubt and even though the disciples saw Jesus perform many miracles that had to be from God, they still had lingering doubts because they too expected Jesus to establish God’s kingdom on earth by destroying all evil and casting down the Roman government. They saw nothing of what they expected.
Judas Escariot probably betrayed Jesus in order to force His hand. Judas was impatient and thought, “If He is really the Messiah, I’ll force His hand. Surely, He wouldn’t let the Romans harm Him if He is the Messiah because He has to establish His kingdom on earth.”
When Jesus was arrested, all the disciples fled for their lives. Their faith and trust in Jesus was shattered because doubt was still hidden in their hearts. If they truly believed that Jesus was the Messiah, they would have willingly stood with Jesus at the risk of their own lives. If fact, they all bragged to Jesus that they would die for Him. When the moment came, however, they all ran away. Mt. 26:35. Why?
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
Satan is going to increase his attempts to put doubt in our minds. He knows that the time of our testing is close. Already, there are many recent developments that have cast much doubt about the gospel and Jesus.
Throughout the centuries, many Christians have been side-tracked by the very leaders of the Church. What happens when famous church leaders begin to teach something foreign and even directly contrary to Bible teachings? Will it not cast doubt on the Bible as being the true and inerrant Word of God? After all, wouldn’t these leaders have much more insight and understanding than the average Christian? When most of the leaders of Christianity suddenly join the Roman Catholic Church’s Ecumenical Movement to bring all churches and religions together, what is the message we receive? Is it not that the Bible is not really the inerrant Word of God and we can disregard the sections that tell us not to fornicate with the enemy and not to compromise the Word of God? When our very leaders impliedly proclaim that we can disregard the Bible in favor of social and political correctness in the modern age, doubts as to the Bible are planted in our minds.
CHRISTMAS AND EASTER
Likewise, when Church leaders adopt pagan festivals such as the birth of Tammuz, the sun god of Babylon, and use it to celebrate the birth of Jesus and when they adopt the Spring Festival of Ishtar (Easter), the Babylonian goddess of fertility and witchcraft, doubt is placed in our minds as to the need for the Bible as our guide. Indeed the Roman Catholic Church has disregarded the Bible for almost two thousand years, in favor of man’s pagan traditions and customs.
OUR PERSONAL WALK WITH GOD
What are your personal expectations concerning your walk with the Lord? Are you shaken when things do not take place as and when you expect them to and the power and anointing has not come to you? Are you discouraged because nothing new seems to have taken place in your walk the last ten years? Have you quit praying and studying the Word because God hasn’t talked to you for ages and it doesn’t seem that He is going to use you? Have you lost faith in your local church and its leaders because Y2K didn’t happen and the promised revival is long overdue? Have your prayers gone unanswered? Are you casting out devils and healing the sick the way you think you should? Are you beginning to think, “What am I doing here?”
What about the church? Are you disappointed that the church hasn’t grown or that the power of God seems to have faded away? Like John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ disciples, are you expecting God to do things the way you expect them to? When your expectations about your local church and its leaders don’t take place, are you discouraged? Have you quit praying in the morning and reading the Bible? John the Baptist almost quit and all the disciples ran away.
OUR COMING TESTS
One of the final tests for all overcomers is the level of your faith in the end times. Jesus said in Luke 18:7-8, “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Impatience will cause many to be discouraged, run away, quit and lose their faith. 2 Th. 2:3. Will you be one of them? God promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night to Him. But because God didn’t come according to their expectations, they lost their faith. God’s “speedily” may be their “slowly” or “never.” Jesus said, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Mt. 24:13.
THE ULTIMATE FAITH
Revelation 13:10 says, “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.” When God said, “Vengeance is mine!” will you believe Him? What if it seems that the enemy is winning on all sides but God said to be like sheep led to the slaughter, willing to die for His great name’s sake? Will your doubts cause you to jump the gun and fight back with physical power, forsaking the Spirit of God? Will you kill with the sword and take captives? Will you give up on the Holy Spirit because He is not talking to you or your walk appears dry? Are you relying on your own ideas and doing things mechanically? Has your zeal vanished? If so, you have lost your faith.
HAVE FAITH AND PATIENCE
God has made many promises to this church and our members. Be patient and diligent. Hold fast to your faith and beliefs. Do not let the enemy cause doubt to creep in just because things did not happen the way you expected them too. God is in control. He is testing you. Be steadfast. Do not turn to the right or to the left. Stay the course. Turn not to the right or the left, but stay in the center of God’s will.