Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Episode 1: Beginnings - An Honest Review

Did You Watch The History Channel's "The Bible"? Are you wondering if the god portrayed in this mini-series is really the God of the Holy Bible? Well, let's compare notes:

This is what you watched on the History Channel:

I’m God. I just made a world. I made some people too. I thought I told them not to eat that fruit. Hmm…they killed each other with a rock. Guess I’ll just drown everybody. But, I’ll save this Scottish guy and his family. Oh no, the boat is leaking…who designed this thing anyway? Hey look, Abraham is on a mountain, I’ll make him a bunch of promises and see if he bites. Oh, good…he conned his nephew in to tagging along. Oops! Guess I should have given them more land. Well, Lot will figure it out. Uh-oh. That Sodom place is getting a little wild. I should send my ninja angels to deceive Lot and kill a bunch of innocent city dwellers. Brimstone. Brimstone. Fire. Explosion. Hmm…Lot’s wife looked back, I think I’ll turn her in to salt. I never liked her anyway. Back to Abraham. He has two sons. I’ll tell him to sacrifice one of them for no good reason at all…but, then I’ll change my mind. Well, I guess that backfired. Now Isaac is mad and running back to Mommy. Well, I’ll just send a famine and abandon everyone for 400 years and see how that works out. Oh, no. Now they are slaves and they forgot about me. Well, I’ll just tell that runaway murderer who doesn’t know anything about me to go set his people free…to clear his conscience. Then he can get revenge on his old nemesis and everyone wins. Go, Moses. Go set your people free. I’ll be with you. Plagues. Plagues. Plagues. Death Angel. Hmm…Pharaoh is finally letting Moses and Moses’ people free. Moses is such a hero! All 100 of Moses’ people are safe and free of bondage...and they took their two camels and a goat. I wonder where they’re going to go now. What? Moses’ people are trapped against the Red Sea and Pharaoh is in pursuit? No biggie. Moses will get them across. He has a stick. Whew. That was a close call with the water and the torches and the chariots and all. Wish I could have helped some. Well, here are some laws. The end.

These are some of the questions you might have after viewing such chaos:

Who is God? How did He create the world? Why did He create us? He cleansed the earth because Cain killed Abel? Who are they? Why did he save this Scottish guy(Noah) and his family? Who is Abraham? Why did God promise him all that stuff? What did Lot have to do with any of it? Why was Sodom so bad? God doesn’t like cities? What happened to Lot’s wife? Do angels really know Judo? Why would he ask Abraham to sacrifice his son and then change his mind? What about the other kid? How did everyone end up in slavery in Egypt? Why was Moses raised by the pharaoh’s daughter? How did Moses know what to do? Where to go? What to say? Why did the death angel kill all the first born? How did Moses part the waters with that stick? What were they supposed to do once they got across the water? What did any of this have to do with God?

Here are the answers:

The god of the Hollywood Bible is NOT the God of the Holy Bible.

(Genesis 1) The God of the Holy Bible is NOT arbitrary, absent, or powerless. He is unchanging. He is everlasting. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last...the Great I AM. He created the Heavens and the earth and everything in, on, and under, and around it with his omnipotent power. There is no limit to his power. It is beyond our human comprehension.

(Genesis 2) He created us to fellowship with him. Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden in sinless perfection, enjoying spiritual fellowship with God.

(Genesis 3) Eve was deceived by the serpent (Satan, who began as God’s most beautiful and powerful cherubim, but was cast out of Heaven for his wicked rebellion) and she and Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Because sin had entered the world, and the wages of sin are death, the spirit of mankind died. That meant the spiritual fellowship they had enjoyed with God was no more. They had transferred their loyalty to “their father, the liar” (the devil) and taken all of mankind with them. God covered their shame with clothes of skin….providing a picture for them that blood (the death of the animal to obtain the skin) was required in payment for sin. The fig leaves (their own works) would not suffice. He was grieved by their sin, and in his perfect holiness, could not condone it, but even so, God is merciful. And as He justly cast them from the garden and revealed the curse they had earned, He also made a promise of redemption: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This promise was fulfilled in Christ’s victory at the cross.

(Genesis 4) Cain and Abel were the first offspring on earth. They were also the first to be born at enmity with God, conceived in sin, and bearing the curse earned by their parents. Cain acted out his sinful nature with anger, pride, arrogance, and eventually violence. He rejected God’s standard of blood and demanded His approval (we’re a sinful, complacent country who has no reverence for you- but, you better bless us anyway! – sound familiar?). God is unchanging and warned Cain that the bending would have to be on his back, not God’s. Cain rejected God, killed his brother in a jealous rage, and then arrogantly denied responsibility. This was the first manifestation of our new nature in action. It isn’t pretty, is it?

(Genesis 5) Wickedness, selfishness, anger, violence, perversion, deceit, callousness, greed, and envy flourished in the hearts of men through the generations. The Bible tells us of one man, who is called to build a boat (in the desert). Why Noah? The Bible says “Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was a just man, was perfect in all his generations, and walked with God.” This is something really amazing…. Here are the meanings of the names given to each man in the lineage from Adam to Noah:

Adam - Man
Seth - Appointed
Enosh – Mortal
Kenan – Sorrow
Mahalalel – The blessed God
Jared – Shall come down
Enoch – Teaching
Methuselah – His death shall bring
Lamech – Despairing
Noah – Comfort and rest

Now, in chronological order: Man appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring despairing comfort and rest. This was fulfilled in Christ’s victory on the cross.

(Genesis 6) Noah lived in a time of corruption and depravity, and yet, he walked with God. He faithfully took 100 years to carefully craft the ark to God’s exact specifications.

(Genesis 7) His wife, his three sons, and their wives were the ONLY people on board the ark when the door was closed. And therefore, the ONLY people to survive the flood.

(Genesis 8) When they unloaded over a year later, God commanded Noah and his son’s to be fruitful and multiply to fill the earth.

(Genesis 9)Ham’s descendants were fruitful in Africa and Asia. Shem’s descendants were fruitful in Persia and Arabia. And Ham’s descendants were fruitful in Europe. And that, my friend…is where you and I came from.

Through the unavoidable sin nature of Noah’s descendants, the world was once again filled with wickedness and rebellion. The people had created new gods to worship and it was time for God to act on his promise. (Ps. Time is a physical property and God is a spiritual being. So, God is not governed by time, but outside of it….so, our perception of time is ours only. God is eternal and everlasting).

(Genesis 12) The Lord called a man named Abram (9 generations from Shem) and commanded him to “get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” He was promised that he would be made in to a great nation. Abram was the first patriarch of this great nation…God’s chosen people (Israel).

(Genesis 13) Abram was a wealthy man. His flocks of cattle were numerous. And he had many workers, herdsman, and trained servants to manage and protect his possessions. God blessed his nephew Lot with abundance as well. When they dwelt together, the herdsman quarreled over grazing territories. Abram was a wise diplomat and a selfless patriarch. He approached Lot with this altruistic offer,“ Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Lot lifted his eyes to survey the land, chose the more lush abundant land (the eastern cities of the plain), and foolishly pitched his tent toward Sodom. After Lot’s departure, God told Abram to lift his eyes and survey the land. Then He promised him everything his eyes could see…to him and to his seed after him (keep in mind, Abraham didn’t have any children yet).

(Genesis 14) When war broke out and Lot was captured, Abram took his 300 trained servants and slaughtered the enemy and rescued his nephew. Lot returned to Sodom…only this time he resided within the city and sat at the city wall (playing with fire).

(Genesis 15) Since Abraham obeyed God’s command to leave his country and kindred, he then asks God about His promise to bless his seed (considering he was 75 years old and had no heir). God confirms his promise and cuts a covenant with Abraham, and with his seed (God’s chosen people). But, instead of a gentleman’s handshake like you would expect, Abraham slept through it (God put Abraham in a deep sleep). God performed both halves of the agreement. Which means this covenant was a one-sided, unconditional, guaranteed promise from God. Abraham (or his descendants – Israel) couldn’t break the covenant if they tried. This was a picture of our salvation. A one-sided redemption that was paid for in full by Christ’s victory on the cross.

(Genesis 16) Abram’s wife Sarai was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that Abram asked her to lie about her relation to him, so dignitaries would not kill him and take her for their own bride. Sin nature. But, despite her outward beauty, she was a perpetual skeptic. She doubted God’s promise of decedents to Abram and convinced him to create a legal heir (through the cultural law of the time) through her handmaiden (which backfired when God followed through on His promise). Years later, Abram reverently welcomed a pre-incarnate Christ (Jesus is God….God is everlasting. I know it’s hard to wrap our minds around, but Jesus was Jesus before the manger) and two angels to his camp. He asked Sarai to prepare a meal for them to display respect and hospitality. During their visit, the Lord promised Sarai a son. (ever the skeptic) She laughed in disbelief and is confronted for her doubt. God makes his promise clear(and then delivers on it the next year).

(Genesis 18) As the two lesser visitors depart, the Lord remains with Abram (who recieves the title “friend of God”). The Lord reveals to Abram the fate of the cities of the plain (5 in total). He declares the sins of these cities to be very grievous and severely offensive to God. Abram knew God had the divine right to destroy evil, and yet, concerned for his nephew Lot, he petitioned for mercy. He asked that the righteous not be destroyed with the wicked. The Lord was willing to spare the cities for the sake of a few righteous people, but He knew there were not even 10 righteous among them(out of 5 cities!). For Abram’s sake, God sent his angels to save Lot and his family from the impending destruction.

(Genesis 19) When the angels reach Sodom they are greeted by Lot himself, who rose up from his post at the city gate and greeted the visitors. When they state their intention to stay that evening in the streets, Lot beckons them home with him and treats them to a meal with his family. Before bedtime the citizens of Sodom attack Lot’s home and demand access to his visitors, making violent and perverse threats against the men (displaying the sinful culture within these wicked cities). The angels respond by blinding the attackers and revealing the fate of the city to Lot. He is told to hastily fetch any brethren he has. But, when Lot tells his sons-in-laws (legally betrothed to his daughters) that God intends to destroy the city, they reject his warning with apathy. The next morning Lot, his wife, and their two daughters hesitate and linger in the city (unwilling to exchange the familiar corruption for the unknown).  They are eventually physically taken by the hand and ushered out by the angels (and the mercy of God).  Lot's wife turns back in nostalgia and longing for what she is losing.  She is turned to salt.  Once Lot and his daughters are out of the city, the angel warns Lot to remove himself completely from the plain and escape to the mountains. Lot instead asks for refuge in Zoar, describing it as “just a little city” and asks God to overlook it in His wrath. Although Zoar was scheduled for destruction, (it’s citizens as depraved as the 4 others) it is spared for Lot’s sake.  Lot ultimately determines that he “fears to dwell in Zoar” and carries on to the mountains where the results of raising his family in a morally depraved culture become evident. The wicked decisions of his daughters result in the birth of the Moabites and Ammonites (future enemies of Israel).

(Genesis 21) A year later, Abram was miraculously given his promised seed through Sarai (his almost 100 year old supposedly barren wife) and they had a son named Isaac (which means laughter-a clever play on the skepticism they showed). God also changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah (the definition of these new names define the promises of God in advance).

(Genesis 22) When Isaac was grown (somewhere between 25-30) God tells Abraham to take Isaac, his only son, whom he loves (the first time the word Love comes up in the Bible) to Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. Knowing that God had promised many nations through Isaac, he faithfully obeys, figuring God would work the details out (and He does). So, with two of his servants, Abraham and Isaac embark on a 3 day journey to the hills of Moriah. At the base of the mountain, Abraham tells his two servants to wait there, so he and Isaac can go up to worship God and promises they will (both) return to them afterward. This statement declares Abraham’s faith in God to preserve Isaac against all logic (God had promised Abraham a great nation through his son Isaac…and God always delivers on his promises). On the trek up, Isaac asks about the absence of the sacrifice. Abraham reassures him by saying, “The Lord will provide himself a lamb.” And sure enough, before Abraham takes his son’s life, God stops him and provides a replacement sacrifice in the form of a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham named that site “Jehovah Jireh”, which means “the Lord who provides.” Abraham obeyed in faith. This event was a foreshadowing of another Father who offered his Only Son, Whom He Loved to be sacrificed on that same mountain range two thousand years later. It was a picture of what was to be fulfilled in Christ’s victory on the cross.

(Genesis 23-50) God blessed Abraham’s son Isaac and uses him to reveal a picture of Christ as the bridegroom and the church as His bride. God blesses Isaac’s son Jacob (who’s name is changed to “Israel”) and uses him to reveal a picture of sanctification and the struggle of the flesh. God blesses Jacob’s son Joseph and uses him to reveal a picture of Christ…falsely accused, and yet glorified and in a position of judgment…and ultimately mercy. God blesses Joseph’s sons Manasseh and Ephraim and uses them to reveal a picture of adoption through salvation and a Christian’s position as a legal heir beside Christ.

Joseph uses his clout with the Pharaoh to move his father’s (Jacob) entire family (about 75 people) in to Egypt to endure a famine. The reigning Pharaoh allows them to move in to the land of Goshen and live peaceably. God blesses the little family unit and they multiply and flourish…and become a great nation (sound familiar?). On Joseph’s death bed he prophecies that God will bring them out of that land and lead them to the land promised to Abraham. He also commands that when they go, they are to take his body with them to bury it in the “promised land”.

(Exodus 1) The Israelites did not know it would be 400 years before they would journey out of Egypt (although that prophecy was in the original covenant with Abraham), but when a new Pharaoh assumes the throne, “who knew not Joseph”, he becomes intimidated by the their growing numbers and fears a revolt, so the Israelites are made slaves to the Egyptians and are used for the construction of their pagan towers, tombs, and structures. When that doesn’t slow them down, the Pharaoh orders the killing of Israelite baby boys.

(Exodus 2) A woman named Jachobed hides her baby away in the reeds of the Nile river. When he is discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter, she keeps him and raises him as her own, naming him Moses (which means “drawn out” –of the water). Through the courageous acts of Moses’ sister Miriam, Jachobed is allowed to nurse him and teach him about God before he is weaned and sent back to grow up under the Pharaoh. When Moses is 40 years old, he acts in rage at the injustices he sees between the Egyptians and Israelites. He kills a slave master, hides the body, and runs away in fear. He lives in the desert for 40 years, where he marries, has children, and works as a shepherd for his father-in-law.

(Exodus 3) One day while tending to his father-in-law’s sheep at Mt. Horeb, he sees a bush that is on fire, but is not consumed (a picture of mercy). When he goes in to take a closer look, the Lord calls his name. Moses sheepishly answers, “Here I am.” God commands that he remove his shoes for he is standing on Holy ground, announcing himself as the God of “your father, and of Abraham and Isaac”. Moses puts his face to the ground in reverence and fear. God tells him that he has heard the cries of His people in Egypt and he is going to send Moses back to lead them out of bondage. Moses claims he is unworthy, incapable, and even ineloquent.

(Exodus 4) God becomes angry with Moses and outlines what is to take place. He tells Moses that his brother Aaron will accompany him to act as spokesman, he equips him with wonders to reveal, and warns him that the Pharaoh’s heart will be hardened and will not let God’s people go except by a mighty hand. God tells Moses to do as he is told and God will worry about the mighty hand. So, Moses returns to Egypt and stands before the Pharaoh with his brother Aaron, demanding the release of God’s people so they may go in to the desert and worship Him.

(Exodus 5-10) When the Pharaoh refuses, God brings plagues upon the people of Egypt. Each plague representing an idol (of false god) of their culture (a painful irony for the Egyptians). The Pharaoh shows temporary remorse after each plague, but never true repentance. After the 9th plague, God tells Moses to prepare for Passover.

(Exodus 12) He reveals the last plague which is to be the death of the first born (both animals and people). He gives specific instructions to the Israelites: Choose a lamb without spot or blemish (one for each household) on the 10thday of the first month and slaughtered it three days later. The blood was to be drained in a basin and splattered on the door posts and lintels. The meat was to be roasted by fire and eaten the evening of the 14th. The people were to have their shoes on, their bags packed, and eat with haste, burning any meat that was not consumed. This was to be known as Passover and was commanded to be commemorated “forever”. The Israelites that obeyed these commands (and any Egyptian visitors that were in the homes covered in the blood) were spared as God “passed over” their homes in judgment. The blood on the door represents the blood of Christ that covers a sinner from due judgment. This was a picture of Christ’s victory on the cross.

(Exodus 14) That night, when the Pharaoh’s first born son is found dead (along with the first born of every Egyptian family and animal), Moses is summoned (the same night) and told to take the Israelites out of Egypt to go serve the Lord. Since everyone was ready to go (all 2-3 million of them…along with their thousands of cattle, abundant herds, belongings, a mixed multitude that tagged along, and the treasures of Egypt as restitution -promised to them by God), they began their exodus (which means “going out”).

God’s presence (His Glory) acted as a shadow of protection (a pillar of cloud by day) and a guiding light (a pillar of fire by night) as He lead them out of Egypt and through the desert. When Pharaoh’s heart hardened (as foretold by God at the burning bush) he rallied 600 chariots and pursued the Israelites through the desert. God lead His people to a geographical dead end (not to create doubt and panic, but to gain glory through miraculous redemption). As the Pharaoh’s army caught up to them at the edge of the Red Sea, God (the pillar of fire) moved between Pharaoh’s army and His people and remained there for a night. During which time, He sent a supernatural wind to divide the waters of the Red Sea, making a dry path for the Israelites to cross on. When they reached the other side, God (the pillar of fire) moved out of the way and the Egyptians pursued them between the walls of water. Once the majority of the army was within the path, God caused the chariot wheels to fall off and commands Moses to stretch his hand out over the sea again. When Moses obeys, the waters collapse on Pharaoh’s army and “there remained not so much as one” that had entered the water. Those who survived, returned in shame (and a proper fear of God) to tell the tale (and people are still trembling 40 years later when Moses’ successor sends spies in to the land of Jericho). When the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore of the Red Sea, the Israelites broke out in to praises to God through songs lead by Miriam and Moses.

(Exodus 15-Numbers 19) The Lord lead His people in to the wilderness and they quickly lost faith. Murmuring began against Moses about the lack of food and water. God commanded Moses to strike a rock with his staff and enough fresh water poured forth for the millions of thirsty travelers and their animals. This is a picture of a sacrifice…the striking…or death of an animal to bring forth living water (blood for cleansing from sin). After much more murmuring and 40 years in the desert offering ritual sacrifice for their sins, Moses becomes frustrated and impatient with the Israelites and their perpetual unbelief. When the people once again require water, God brings them back to the rock. This time God commands Moses only to speak to the rock. The depiction Moses was supposed to reveal through his obedience was a picture prophecy of our redeemer, “the rock” (Jesus) and our access (through faith, not works) to forgiveness. Christ was struck (crucified)once and now all have access to the living water made available through Christ’s victory at the cross.

(Numbers 20) But instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff- in a rage (sin nature).  God considered this sin so treacherous that He forbade Moses from entering the promised land (after 80 years of leadership). Wondering what Moses did that was so bad?

The same thing the Roma Downey and Mark Burnett did when they presented a series called “The Bible”, but edited out the True, Glorious, Powerful, Living Word of God.

God declared that “the rock”(Jesus) would bring forth water through communion (and Christ's sacrifice). Moses brought forth water by force (and his own works of the flesh). When Moses misrepresented God to the people of Israel, he was guilty of slander.

His disobedience was an assault on the character of God......And so is the mini-series presented on the History Channel.

The god portrayed in this fictional mini-series is NOT the GOD of the HOLY BIBLE.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4

For more about the heresy of The Bible Mini-series: Beloved, Be Not Ignorant
For a brief, but very thorough study: The Bible in 24 Hours

For a stiring sermon on the infallibility of God's Holy Word: Why I Choose to Believe the Bible



No comments:

Post a Comment