Sunday, June 25, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon History of the Bible #`1 ]

I Tim. 3:10-17

The logo for a local Radio station in Los Angeles is, “Give us 22 minutes, and we will give you the world.” Give me 20 minutes in five succsessive readings of your time, and I will give you the Bible from Geneis to Revelation. I Tim. 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” “All scripture” necessarily includes all sixty six books of the Bible, and this passage establishes the authenticity of the Bible as a book of history. Christians should be thoroughly acquainted with this book. We will not live long enough to know all we should know about it, but while God grants us life, let's learn all we can. . As a book of history, the Bible has this unique characteristic. It is the only authentic history we have of the first five or six thousand years of the human race. The Bible is the most highly regarded book in the world.. We cannot count the number of Bibles that have been sold. The Bible has been translated into more than 40 languages of Europe and over a hundred languages in Africa and the Pacific islands. In addition there are over 400 portions of the Bible in language versions of Africa. In English there are over 3,000 versions of the Bible or portions of the Bible. Needless to say, it is the most respected and sought after book on the face of the globe.. Paul said, “ I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,” and we can all say as truthfully, “We are not ashamed of the entire 66 books of the Bible. In spite of such ratings, some surveys show that nine out ten Americans own a Bible, but less than half ever read it. It is reported that Mark Twain said of the Bible, “It is a book which people praise and don't read.” It is a shame that people know so little about a book that has made a greater impact on human history than any other book ever written.

I would suggest to you that all knowledge of any sort whatever, if it is to be helpful and remembered, must be brought together in some kind of a definite and organized way. We should study the history of the Bible like we would study the history of the wonderful nation in which we live. To remember and appreciate our great country we need to divide it into its historical periods, as they unfolded. The first was the aboriginal, the period when the first inhabitants appeared. The World Book Encyclopedia says that Indians were the first North Americans, followed by the Eskimos. The second was the period of discovery during which five leading nations of the world at the time were sending explorers and discoverers Third, the period of settlement and development. Fourth, the period of Revolution, when the yoke of bondage was laid aside, and a new nation was born
upon the earth. Last of al, from the inauguration of Washington down to the present time, we have become the greatest nation on the face of the earth. This is the approach we should make to the history of the Bible.


To increase our knowledge and appreciation of the Bible as a whole, I shall begin a series of sermons on the history of the Bible.
The history of the Bible covers a period of some forty-one hundred years --- from about 4000 B.C. to 96 A.D., according to Archbishop Usher's chronology. His findings were based on the genealogies from Adam to Noah as recorded in the original Hebrew Bible. Some are of the opinion that the time of Adam goes back to nearly 6,000 B.C., based in the genealogies as recorded in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. That is a very insignificant difference. I prefer Usher's chronology because it is based on the original Hebrew scriptures. The dates found at the top of all Old King James Bibles have been generally accepted by Churches of Christ since 1800, and perhaps are as nearly correct as any
one can determine. Those dates are one great plus for the Old King James Bible. The Bible you have most likely does not have those dates, and as a result you never know when the events took place about which you are reading. As a preacher, I miss those dates. They are very helpful.

It will be my endeavor to give you a bird's-view of all the Bible story from first to last, a general outline and an abbreviated look at all divisions of Bible history. It is generally believed that there are five periods of Bible history. The first is the period of the “Early Races, covering a stretch of time from about 4,000 B.C. to 1900 B.C. , some 2100 years. The second period was “The Call of the Chosen Family,” from 1900 B.C. on down four hundred thirty years to nearly 1500 B.C. The third was the Israelite nation from 1500 to 1100 B.C.. The fourth was the Israelite kingdom from 1100 to 587 B.C. The fifth and last was the Jewish nation from 587 B.C. down to 70 A.D., the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The dates presented are in round figures, plus or minus a few years. Let us now consider the first period of Bible history.
The first thing to be remembered about the first period is that the first eleven chapters of Genesis tell us all that we know about the first two thousand years of world history. . The history of the world and mankind begins with Genesis 1. There was no life on earth previous to the six days of creation in Geneses 1 and 2. I say this because there is a fabulous speculation that there was another world that existed millions and millions of years before Adam and Eve. Some would have us believe there was
a cosmos before the present cosmos. They speak of it as the pre-Adamic world, and during that time the Dinosaurs existed and the long Geologic ages of the theory of Evolution transpired. . During this time the fallen angels were cast out of heaven and God wrecked and destroyed that first


world.. Then the six days of creation took Him millions and millions of years to create the Cosmos in which you and I now live. The modern educated world does not believe all this stuff, but it is taught in most Universities in the entire world that Dinosaurs existed millions of years before human beings ever existed on this earth. We warn people if they go out of the Bible to believe things not taught in the Bible, they may come to believe in fairy tales. The Bible history does not teach anything about a pre-Adamic world or great animals living for millions of years on earth before human beings ever came into existence. These are fairy tales.

As we read what did happen., as recorded in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, we must conclude that this was a fantastic period of human history. Conitions of life, in some ways, differed from life as we know it today. One outstanding feature of this period was that it was the time of beginnings: the beginning of our material universe, the beginning of our solar system, the beginning of our earth, the beginning of all life, human and animal, the beginning of man's struggle against Satan and the fallen angels, the beginning of sin, the beginning of death, the beginning of musical instruments, the beginning of polygamous marriages. The first period was when all things began on planet earth.

The second thing to be remembered about this period was the length of years men and women were allowed to live. People lived to be hundreds of years old. Adam lived to be 930. Enoch, who never saw death, was 365 when he was translated to heaven. Others lived to be 700 and 800. Methuselah lived to be 969. The Bible does not say that Methuselah was the oldest person who every lived; he is simply the oldest on record. Others may have lived longer than he did. The Bible does not explain the purpose of such long lives, but it has been suggested that such was necessary enhance the population of the earth. It all began with two people, and had not people lived long lives, it would have taken much longer to populate the earth. Our bodies were originally made to live much longer that 100 years or so. It was learned from experience that it was not in the best interest of man to live hundreds of years. It would appear that the longer he lived, the more earthly minded he became, and the less heavenly
minded he became. The longer he lived, the more evil he became. Apparently, It was in the best interest of the human race that life on this earth was shortened by God to 70 or eighty years. Methuselah lived to be 969 but he died in the flood. with the ungodly. Seventy or eighty years is long enough for man to accomplish his purpose and eternal destiny.

The next unforgettable event that occurred in this time period was the flood. The first 1600 years of human history was a time of


unprecedented evil. There is much evil in the world today, but it cannot be compared with the evil that developed in the first period of Bible history. This evil situation was brought about, seemingly at least, by the marriage relationships of the sons of God with the daughters of men who had no respect for God. It was the intermarriage of those who worshiped God and those who did not worship God. After stating these marriages took place, the next statement says that the wickedness of man was great and every thought of his heart was only evil continually. . The record goes on to say the earth was corrupt and filled with violence. This condition was not allowed to continue. Because of this unprecedented spread of evil, God said in Gen. 6: 7, “ I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping things and birds of the air....”

God issued a decree that there should come a great flood on the earth, and everything that had the breath of life in its nostrils should be wiped out of existence. The command was given to Noah to make ready for this great event that was soon to transpire. Noah began to preach righteousness to the people who lived before the flood. It is generally thought he warned them for a hundred and twenty years. He preached to all, but he succeeded in saving only his own family. The church is somewhat like the Ark, for it is the only place of safety in this world which is destined for another great catastrophe. If we can succeed in saving our family as Noah did, we will not have lived in vain.. The flood came, and the Bible says all the high hills were covered with water, and the waters rose twenty two feet above the mountains. Our earth was submerged in water just like it was when originally created(Gen. 1:2).. Lest someone think all this was just a Hebrew legend, the apostle Peter verifies the flood story by saying, ”By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”( 2 Peter 3:5,6). Peter also informs us that only eight people remained alive after the flood, saying, “When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the
ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water, the like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us...{I Peter
3: 20,21). Peter is making a comparison between those who were saved in the ark and Christians who are saved not the New Testament church, for the word of God says, “For by one Spirit we were all l baptized into one body..”(I Cor. 12:13).

I have one more thing to say about the flood. God said, “I will
destroy every beast.” All beasts on earth died in the flood. God made


beasts of the earth on the sixth day of creation, and this includes dinosaurs. This necessarily implies that the dinosaurs died in the flood.. I would ask those who believe the dinosaurs lived millions of years before man to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did not exist in this first period of Bible history. There is no way they can prove that. Let them prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the animals whose remains they have excavated from the earth, are not the beasts which the Bible says God would destroy in the flood.. There is no way they can prove that either. When we go to the museums and see these great animals, we are seeing those great creatures who lived and died in the first period of Bible history, just like all oter animals. . We are looking at creatures that have not been in existence for more than four to six thousand years.

There is one more interesting event that took place in this first period and is recorded in Genesis 11. Soon after the flood the posterity of Noah settled in the Tigris-Euphrates valley in ancient Mesopotamia. Again they became unmindful of God's providence and grew conceited and proud. They said, “We will build a tower and make us a name, that no matter where we wander or where we go, we will never get outside the view of this splendid monument.” According to profane history, they laid the foundation well–a square two hundred and seventy-two feet, then up, pyramid-like, until at least 153 feet of height was reached. I don't know whether they intended to a build a tower to heaven or build a structure that would save them from another flood that wiped out the world.

Before the building of this tower, the races of all mankind were united on the earth. They were all of one accord, spoke the same language, were of one tongue, one tribe, one dialect and one in every respect. But this was all marred by the building of the Tower of Babel in about 2200 B.C.
From that time unity no longer prevailed. God wanted them to spread out and repopulate the earth. Therefore Cod confused their language so that they could not understand one another's speech. This caused the people to
diserse and scatter in all directions. This was the beginning of languages on the earth, along with new nations, new families and new tongues.. From the tower of Babel to the present day scholars tell us there are now some 2, 796 spoken languages. Nothing quite as exciting as all these events happens until we get to the fifth and final period of Bible history.

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