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Jan 1955 - Editorial

One would expect that those who set out to teach children, or to instruct those who are to teach children, things about the Scriptures would be men with some regard for the claims made by the Bible to be the Word of God. Instead of this it is found by a perusal of the books produced or used by these persons that the Bible is regarded as on the same level as any other book, to be criticised and pulled. to pieces, accepted in part or rejected, according to the whims of the readers. The very least that could be expected of these religious teachers is that they are believers in Christ as the Son of God, and that He was Truth Incarnate, but it seems to be a small thing with these men to ignore or pervert even the simplest statements of the Lord Jesus Christ when He refers to the Old Testament characters. It means nothing to them that the Lord should refer to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as real persons. They think that they know better than that, so that they are ready to affirm with very great assurance that the persons named, along with many others, were not real persons. They are simply characters in beautiful stories, according to their ideas. So they affirm, or some of them do, that the first real person named in the Bible was Moses!

The question that demands an answer is this, Who are we to believe, these agnostic critics or the Lord Jesus Christ? When the Lord spoke of a coming day when Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be found sitting down with men from the east and the west, in the Kingdom of Heaven, was He referring to these patriarchs as mythical characters or were they real? One thing is quite certain, that if we cannot accept as true the simple statements made by the Lord then we might as well deny His claim, stated to Pilate, amongst others, that lie came into the world to bear witness to the Truth. We cannot begin to pick and choose among His many statements and brand some of them as the truth and shun the rest. Yet this is precisely what is being done by students and teachers of theology. When the Lord spoke of Noah, was He talking of him as men of today would talk about David Copperfield? Surely not!

The testimony of the Lord Himself to the existence and lives of the patriarchs is vital, and it can only be rejected in association with the rejection of the Lord. However. much the perverters of Scriptural truth may think themselves to be Christians they are in fact enemies of Christ in that they deny His fundamental claim to be the Son of God with infinite knowledge of past events and men. If anyone on the earth at any time could say, "I know," it was the Lord. He spake of events as an eye-witness: "I beheld Satan," He says, "fallen as lightning from heaven." The Jews were under no illusion as to His claims, for when He said "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it and was glad" (John 8.56), they asked the question, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?" To this the Lord replied, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was (born), I am." The words "verily" are His insistence that He was speaking absolute truth, and part of that truth was that there was a time when Abraham was born- If the present-day teachers of theology do not accept this they are morally in the same category as those Jews who proceeded to take up stones to cast at the Lord. How they can reconcile it in their consciences to call themselves Christians is beyond understanding.

It is because of this evil and insidious teaching that during this year, D.V., we shall be devoting attention to the types and shadows in Genesis, and it will be accepted as beyond all question that the men referred to by name in that book actually lived upon the earth, and that what is said about them in the inspired word of God is literally true. It will be our object to state our firm belief that what was written about these men was written for our learning, because they were real men, men of like passions with ourselves, and not merely characters of men's imagination.

The apostle Paul, writing of the resurrection, quoted all the evidence for it, and yet wrote sadly that some said that there was no resurrection. " If there is no resurrection of the dead," he said, "neither bath Christ been raised ... and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain ... If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable."

If men deny the things that are vital regarding Christ then they are undermining the foundation on which faith rests and they are left with nothing. If Christ did not speak the truth about the patriarchs then little credence can be given to any other words of His. The two things stand or fall together, so that it is our duty solemnly to affirm that we do accept the testimony of Christ with regard to all the writings which spoke of Him; that is, beginning at Genesis and onwards through the Old Testament, we accept the Writings of Truth, because He is the Truth, and the Scriptures speak of Him.