Prequel of the Bible: The Selfishness Paradigm | TBN

Prequel of the Bible: The Selfishness Paradigm

Watch Prequel of the Bible: The Selfishness Paradigm
November 17, 2019
27:29

It Is Written with John Bradshaw

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Prequel of the Bible: The Selfishness Paradigm

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  • -John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written.
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  • I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me.
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  • There are few things more beautiful,
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  • more peaceful, or more relaxing than a place like this.
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  • [soft music]
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  • Botanical gardens are a feature of many major cities,
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  • and if you've ever visited somewhere like Butchart Gardens
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  • on Vancouver Island in British Columbia
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  • or the remarkable 300-acre Kew Gardens near Richmond
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  • in southwest London in England,
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  • you know how spectacular they can be.
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  • And gardens like these are typically kept immaculate.
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  • They're orderly, everything in its place,
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  • manicured.
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  • But look closely and you'll see
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  • that things are not as they appear.
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  • It's not all beauty.
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  • Things certainly aren't orderly,
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  • and they're definitely not peaceful,
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  • at least not on a biological level.
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  • Let me show you what I mean.
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  • [ominous music]
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  • Take a closer look and you'll see a life-and-death drama
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  • playing out.
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  • Bugs or insects are going about their rather ruthless business,
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  • hunting, preying on other insects or spiders.
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  • Wasps attacking spiders.
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  • Ants hauling away other bugs or insects.
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  • And often these little things are locked in a battle,
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  • the outcome of which isn't always sure.
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  • And it isn't pretty.
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  • These aren't sanitized battles that are taking place.
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  • You've got little creatures injecting venom,
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  • paralyzing their victims, and then taking the victim,
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  • still alive, heart still beating, but unable to move,
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  • back to its nest where it might even lay eggs in the victim.
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  • In some cases, the eggs hatch,
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  • and the paralyzed victim becomes a living food source.
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  • To advance its own interests,
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  • one little creature takes the life of another.
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  • Look at a rosebush and you'll often see aphids,
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  • which make their living by piercing the tender young bark
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  • of the plant and drinking the rich sap.
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  • These aphids are, in turn, hunted by a voracious creature
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  • that we've somewhat romanticized: the ladybug.
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  • A ladybug can eat dozens of aphids in a day.
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  • It can actually bite humans.
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  • It doesn't feel like much more than a little pinch for us,
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  • but for aphids, different story.
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  • A ladybug is an aphid-eating machine.
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  • Basically, she takes their lives
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  • in order to advance and further her own life.
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  • That's how she, or he, for that matter,
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  • goes about his or her business.
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  • And there's no peace in the soil underneath the beautiful bushes.
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  • The soil is alive.
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  • In a handful of soil are billions of microorganisms.
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  • And they're at war with each other.
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  • Opposing armies of different types of microorganisms
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  • are almost continually at battle,
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  • and the winner eats the loser.
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  • The opposing sides employ some pretty sophisticated strategies
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  • and counter-strategies, including mimicry,
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  • camouflage, and chemical warfare.
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  • Let's call it what it is.
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  • In a handful of soil, there plays out a hellish scenario
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  • of war, strife, and death.
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  • [ominous music]
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  • And what's happening in the soil under our feet
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  • is not so different from what's happening in the grass
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  • and the bushes and the trees and the water all around us.
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  • In fact, from the bottom of the oceans
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  • to the tops of the mountains,
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  • we see the same pattern repeated throughout nature,
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  • where creatures survive by taking the lives
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  • or the resources of other creatures.
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  • By taking.
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  • Selfishness is a fundamental part
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  • of the planet's operating system.
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  • In fact, the organizing principle
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  • of much of the natural world is selfishness.
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  • And that principle isn't confined
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  • only to the natural world.
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  • Selfishness is the organizing principle
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  • for most human endeavors, our global society, our industry,
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  • and our economy.
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  • Economists will tell you that Wall Street can't really operate
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  • without it.
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  • In fact, pretty much the entire world,
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  • from all of nature to most everything humanity does,
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  • operates on a selfishness paradigm.
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  • Or, in other words, on a selfishness-based system.
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  • And for Christians, that's a real problem.
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  • In fact, it's a huge problem.
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  • But at the same time, it's a fitting way for us
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  • to start to talk about the prequel of the Bible.
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  • Now, like any prequel, the prequel of the Bible
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  • is the back story,
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  • the story behind the stories that you know.
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  • But once you know the prequel,
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  • it makes everything else you know fuller and deeper
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  • and more meaningful.
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  • And in our case,
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  • it helps explain a world based on selfishness.
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  • [soft music]
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  • So, back to the question of the selfishness paradigm
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  • and the way nature and human society operate.
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  • Here's the problem for Christians:
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  • The Bible says that God created the world.
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  • More than that, in the book of Genesis,
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  • the Bible gives a detailed account of God's creation,
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  • of how He systematically built up the fundamental systems
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  • of the world--our atmosphere, our, our hydrosphere,
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  • our soil system--
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  • and how God added life forms to populate each completed system--
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  • birds, fish, plants, and animals.
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  • And then when all the systems were complete,
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  • He added humans.
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  • The Bible describes creation as a very intentional
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  • and systematic process undertaken by God.
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  • It also says He was pleased with each component system
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  • as He finished creating it.
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  • And that He was very pleased with the final result,
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  • where all systems and life forms worked together
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  • in one flawless, balanced, intermeshed whole.
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  • But what kind of world would God create?
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  • What kind of world did He create?
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  • I'll have more in just a moment.
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  • [music]
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  • -John: Now, here's a question: Can God be trusted?
  • 00:06:46.020 --> 00:06:49.210
  • Either you've asked that question yourself,
  • 00:06:49.220 --> 00:06:51.170
  • or you know somebody who has, and I've got an answer for you.
  • 00:06:51.180 --> 00:06:55.040
  • I'd like you to get today's free offer,
  • 00:06:55.050 --> 00:06:57.110
  • "Can God Be Trusted?"
  • 00:06:57.120 --> 00:06:59.120
  • To receive it, call 800-253-3000,
  • 00:06:59.130 --> 00:07:02.270
  • write to the address on your screen,
  • 00:07:02.280 --> 00:07:04.200
  • or visit us at iiwoffer.com.
  • 00:07:04.210 --> 00:07:08.040
  • "Can God Be Trusted?"
  • 00:07:08.050 --> 00:07:09.160
  • I have an answer for you, 800-253-3000,
  • 00:07:09.170 --> 00:07:12.250
  • or visit us at iiwoffer.com.
  • 00:07:12.260 --> 00:07:15.210
  • [fire crackling, crickets chirping]
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  • [coyote barking]
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  • [ominous music]
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  • [insects chirping]
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  • [camera rattling]
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  • [wind blowing, insects buzzing, feet crunching grass]
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  • [indistinct voices]
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  • [wind blowing]
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  • [night insects buzzing]
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  • [music]
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  • [dramatic sounds, heart thumping, creaking]
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  • [dramatic music]
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  • [Crowd cheering]
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  • [soft music]
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  • -John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me today
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  • on It Is Written.
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  • I'm John Bradshaw.
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  • Now, the Bible says that God is love.
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  • He is the very definition, the very distillation of love.
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  • He's also a lot of other things.
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  • He's nurturing; He's caring; He's generous; He's kind;
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  • He's supportive; He's creative.
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  • But God is love.
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  • Now, thinking about this logically,
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  • if God is love, then those things that He creates
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  • wouldn't be--in fact, I would say couldn't be--
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  • in opposition to His character.
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  • But just by observing the world around us,
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  • it's obvious the organizing principle of the world
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  • is not love, but selfishness.
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  • That is, the organizing principle of the world
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  • is the exact opposite of what God says He is.
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  • Now, a God who would make a world based on selfishness,
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  • where the things He made would torture and kill one another,
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  • is not a God of love but is a monster
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  • and isn't a God that is worthy of our worship.
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  • Let me say that again:
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  • A God who would intentionally create a world
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  • so that what He made was designed to torture and to kill
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  • one another, that God is not worthy of our worship.
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  • So this question: Who is God?
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  • This other question: What did He make?
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  • They are very important.
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  • [soft music]
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  • As we look at who and what God is
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  • and grapple with the difference between who God says He is
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  • and what we see in the world around us,
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  • we can run through several possible reasons
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  • for what really is a massive disparity.
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  • And I can think of four.
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  • One: Maybe who God says He is and what we see in the world
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  • are different because the Bible is false,
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  • and God is actually a monster
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  • who tortures the things He creates.
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  • Number two: Maybe there's no God.
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  • Maybe the Bible's just a book of fables.
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  • That would explain it.
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  • Number three: Perhaps the Bible is true,
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  • and God is who He says He is,
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  • but something happened to change the world
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  • from the way He created it into what it is today.
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  • And maybe there's a fourth reason:
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  • Maybe God created the world it actually is right now,
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  • but we simply don't understand it or Him.
  • 00:10:42.060 --> 00:10:45.050
  • Now, each one of these four possibilities touches directly
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  • on the character and the existence of God.
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  • As we start talking about the state of the world,
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  • we're also thinking about and talking about
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  • the character of God.
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  • So we have four possible reasons for the disparity
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  • between who God says He is
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  • and what we see in the world around us.
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  • God says that He is love.
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  • But the world around us isn't based on love,
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  • but selfishness.
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  • So let's look at those four possible reasons
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  • and see if we can narrow down that list.
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  • What was our first reason?
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  • Maybe God actually is a monster
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  • who tortures the things He creates.
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  • Well, the entire Bible says otherwise.
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  • "God is love," 1 John 4, verse 8.
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  • "I have loved you with an everlasting love,"
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  • Jeremiah 31:3.
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  • "The thoughts I have towards you are thoughts of peace
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  • and not of evil."
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  • Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11.
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  • "God so loved the world that He gave..."
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  • John 3:16.
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  • So we can reject that first proposition.
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  • Now, what was our second reason?
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  • There's no God, and the Bible is a book of fables.
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  • Well, this is It Is Written,
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  • and not "It Is Proposed" or "It Is Speculated."
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  • So we'll scratch that one off the list.
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  • Now, let's look at the fourth reason.
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  • God created the world just like we see it,
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  • but we simply don't understand it or that or Him.
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  • Well, undoubtedly, there's a lot that we don't understand,
  • 00:12:11.230 --> 00:12:14.020
  • but God gave the Bible so we could understand it.
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  • Jeremiah wrote, "And you will seek me and find me,
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  • when you search for me with all [of] your heart."
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  • God wants us to know Him.
  • 00:12:22.290 --> 00:12:24.280
  • So, no.
  • 00:12:24.290 --> 00:12:27.010
  • Now, that leaves one more possibility
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  • to explain the disparity between who God says He is
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  • and what we see in the world:
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  • The world changed after God created it.
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  • The book of Job helps us with this,
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  • especially Job chapter 38.
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  • There's a conversation going on between God and Job
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  • where God says to Job,
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  • "Where were you when I [created the world]? ...
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  • When the morning stars sang...
  • 00:12:52.130 --> 00:12:54.120
  • and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
  • 00:12:54.130 --> 00:12:57.200
  • Now, there's a lot going on between Job and God
  • 00:12:57.210 --> 00:13:00.240
  • in this passage, but what God said was very important
  • 00:13:00.250 --> 00:13:04.120
  • in relation to the question that we're pursuing.
  • 00:13:04.130 --> 00:13:06.260
  • Did the earth change after God created it?
  • 00:13:06.270 --> 00:13:09.250
  • Those morning stars God talks about are angels.
  • 00:13:09.260 --> 00:13:13.180
  • When God created the earth, it was so special, so beautiful,
  • 00:13:13.190 --> 00:13:18.090
  • so amazing that the angels sang and shouted for joy.
  • 00:13:18.100 --> 00:13:24.040
  • If God had created a world that was contrary to His character,
  • 00:13:24.050 --> 00:13:28.030
  • if it was a world where the natural
  • 00:13:28.040 --> 00:13:29.240
  • and the biological systems didn't operate on love,
  • 00:13:29.250 --> 00:13:33.070
  • on universal giving and nurturing,
  • 00:13:33.080 --> 00:13:36.010
  • the angels would have responded with shock and confusion.
  • 00:13:36.020 --> 00:13:39.130
  • But they sang, and they celebrated,
  • 00:13:39.140 --> 00:13:42.090
  • indicating that the world as it was originally created
  • 00:13:42.100 --> 00:13:45.090
  • was really different from what we see around us now,
  • 00:13:45.100 --> 00:13:48.220
  • and it was completely consistent with the character of God.
  • 00:13:48.230 --> 00:13:52.210
  • Its organizing principle was love.
  • 00:13:52.220 --> 00:13:57.060
  • So can we be sure about that?
  • 00:13:57.070 --> 00:13:59.010
  • Well, yes, we can.
  • 00:13:59.020 --> 00:14:00.160
  • In the first part of Isaiah chapter 11 Jesus is foretold,
  • 00:14:00.170 --> 00:14:04.120
  • including His character and His ministry.
  • 00:14:04.130 --> 00:14:07.110
  • And then, a few characteristics of His restored kingdom
  • 00:14:07.120 --> 00:14:10.260
  • are described, including that a lion will lay down with a lamb
  • 00:14:10.270 --> 00:14:15.030
  • and that snakes will not be a threat, even to children.
  • 00:14:15.040 --> 00:14:19.100
  • In verse 9, Christ is quoted in the first person
  • 00:14:19.110 --> 00:14:22.140
  • and says of the re-created earth,
  • 00:14:22.150 --> 00:14:24.220
  • "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain."
  • 00:14:24.230 --> 00:14:29.250
  • Which means the re-created earth will be very different
  • 00:14:29.260 --> 00:14:33.130
  • from the one in which we live.
  • 00:14:33.140 --> 00:14:34.270
  • It'll be so different, in so many ways,
  • 00:14:34.280 --> 00:14:37.220
  • that it will require a different organizing principle.
  • 00:14:37.230 --> 00:14:41.130
  • Its entire system of operating will be different.
  • 00:14:41.140 --> 00:14:45.180
  • How does this assure us that God didn't create the world
  • 00:14:46.120 --> 00:14:49.190
  • the way it is now?
  • 00:14:49.200 --> 00:14:50.260
  • [lions snarl]
  • 00:14:50.270 --> 00:14:52.220
  • Two things.
  • 00:14:52.230 --> 00:14:53.290
  • First, in that same chapter, Isaiah 11, it says in verse 7,
  • 00:14:54.000 --> 00:14:59.010
  • "The cow and the bear shall graze;
  • 00:14:59.020 --> 00:15:01.240
  • their young ones shall lie down together;
  • 00:15:01.250 --> 00:15:04.080
  • and the lion shall eat straw like the ox."
  • 00:15:04.090 --> 00:15:08.010
  • [soft music]
  • 00:15:08.020 --> 00:15:10.200
  • So bears will graze like cows, and lions will eat straw.
  • 00:15:10.210 --> 00:15:15.120
  • This is so different from the reality we now see around us.
  • 00:15:15.130 --> 00:15:19.250
  • We know that the world just doesn't work that way,
  • 00:15:19.260 --> 00:15:21.180
  • at least not right now.
  • 00:15:21.190 --> 00:15:23.120
  • What the Bible describes is foreign to us;
  • 00:15:23.130 --> 00:15:26.050
  • it's almost unbelievable.
  • 00:15:26.060 --> 00:15:28.140
  • But let's go back to the book of Genesis,
  • 00:15:28.150 --> 00:15:32.040
  • towards the end of the first chapter of this amazing book.
  • 00:15:32.050 --> 00:15:35.170
  • God is giving instructions for His newly created earth.
  • 00:15:35.180 --> 00:15:40.030
  • There's a passage describing what humans and animals
  • 00:15:40.040 --> 00:15:43.130
  • are supposed to eat.
  • 00:15:43.140 --> 00:15:44.250
  • And in verses 29 and 30, the Bible says this:
  • 00:15:44.260 --> 00:15:49.020
  • "And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb
  • 00:15:49.030 --> 00:15:52.180
  • that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth,
  • 00:15:52.190 --> 00:15:56.070
  • and every tree whose fruit yields seed;
  • 00:15:56.080 --> 00:16:00.060
  • to you it shall be for food.
  • 00:16:00.070 --> 00:16:03.100
  • Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air,
  • 00:16:03.110 --> 00:16:07.170
  • and to everything that creeps on the earth,
  • 00:16:07.180 --> 00:16:09.190
  • in which there is life,
  • 00:16:09.200 --> 00:16:11.140
  • I have given every green herb for food.'"
  • 00:16:11.150 --> 00:16:14.160
  • What the Bible is saying is that everything God created,
  • 00:16:14.170 --> 00:16:18.010
  • humans and animals, ate plants.
  • 00:16:18.020 --> 00:16:21.250
  • They didn't kill other creatures to survive.
  • 00:16:21.260 --> 00:16:24.190
  • Now, that kind of world would require
  • 00:16:24.200 --> 00:16:26.030
  • an entirely different system of operating
  • 00:16:26.040 --> 00:16:28.140
  • from what we see around us today.
  • 00:16:28.150 --> 00:16:30.190
  • But then that's exactly what the Bible says existed.
  • 00:16:30.200 --> 00:16:33.170
  • When God created the world, it was profoundly different
  • 00:16:33.180 --> 00:16:37.270
  • from what we see around us today.
  • 00:16:37.280 --> 00:16:40.100
  • And here's the thing;
  • 00:16:40.110 --> 00:16:41.230
  • God will return the world to His original model
  • 00:16:41.240 --> 00:16:44.240
  • when the earth is made new.
  • 00:16:44.250 --> 00:16:46.240
  • And something that wasn't changed
  • 00:16:46.250 --> 00:16:49.000
  • doesn't need to be restored.
  • 00:16:49.010 --> 00:16:50.270
  • Now, we can go even further with this.
  • 00:16:50.280 --> 00:16:52.150
  • In Revelation 11:18, where John writes
  • 00:16:52.160 --> 00:16:55.080
  • about the very end of days and the condition of the earth,
  • 00:16:55.090 --> 00:16:58.180
  • God says that He will "destroy those who destroy the earth."
  • 00:16:58.190 --> 00:17:03.160
  • So not only is the earth fundamentally changed,
  • 00:17:03.170 --> 00:17:06.230
  • not only did God not change it, He's unhappy about it,
  • 00:17:06.240 --> 00:17:11.210
  • and He will bring to justice those who did the changing.
  • 00:17:11.220 --> 00:17:14.280
  • He will destroy those who did it.
  • 00:17:14.290 --> 00:17:18.070
  • So, based on what the Bible says,
  • 00:17:18.080 --> 00:17:20.040
  • we can be sure that the earth was changed dramatically,
  • 00:17:20.050 --> 00:17:23.230
  • fundamentally from the way God created it.
  • 00:17:23.240 --> 00:17:26.290
  • We can also be sure that it will be restored to what it once was.
  • 00:17:27.000 --> 00:17:32.020
  • Now, in a moment, I will introduce you to a friend.
  • 00:17:32.030 --> 00:17:36.080
  • Well, not a friend exactly,
  • 00:17:36.090 --> 00:17:40.120
  • but a scorpion is a good example of just what I'm talking about.
  • 00:17:40.130 --> 00:17:44.230
  • Back with more in just a moment.
  • 00:17:44.240 --> 00:17:47.190
  • [music]
  • 00:17:47.200 --> 00:17:53.210
  • -John: Thank you for remembering that It Is Written
  • 00:17:56.210 --> 00:17:58.200
  • exists because of the kindness of people just like you.
  • 00:17:58.210 --> 00:18:02.030
  • To support this international life-changing ministry,
  • 00:18:02.040 --> 00:18:05.100
  • please call us now at 800-253-3000.
  • 00:18:05.110 --> 00:18:09.180
  • You can send your tax-deductible gift
  • 00:18:09.190 --> 00:18:11.020
  • to the address on your screen,
  • 00:18:11.030 --> 00:18:12.160
  • or you can visit us online at itiswritten.com.
  • 00:18:12.170 --> 00:18:16.110
  • Thank you for your prayers and for your financial support.
  • 00:18:16.120 --> 00:18:19.060
  • Our number again is 800-253-3000,
  • 00:18:19.070 --> 00:18:23.130
  • or you can visit us online at itiswritten.com.
  • 00:18:23.140 --> 00:18:26.110
  • -John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me on It Is Written.
  • 00:18:28.090 --> 00:18:31.030
  • Now, here's a major question that we really need to answer.
  • 00:18:31.040 --> 00:18:33.240
  • It baffles a lot of people.
  • 00:18:33.250 --> 00:18:36.010
  • How did the earth get changed from what it was
  • 00:18:36.020 --> 00:18:39.050
  • to what it now is?
  • 00:18:39.060 --> 00:18:40.210
  • What happened to God's earth, the earth He specially created,
  • 00:18:40.220 --> 00:18:44.290
  • the earth that reflected His character,
  • 00:18:45.000 --> 00:18:46.200
  • the earth that dazzled the angels?
  • 00:18:46.210 --> 00:18:49.230
  • This is the question that the prequel of the Bible answers,
  • 00:18:49.240 --> 00:18:52.090
  • and we'll find that both the question and the answer
  • 00:18:52.100 --> 00:18:56.140
  • are incredibly important.
  • 00:18:56.150 --> 00:18:58.150
  • Now, think of the implications of what we're talking about.
  • 00:19:01.070 --> 00:19:04.100
  • This is God we are discussing.
  • 00:19:04.110 --> 00:19:06.060
  • He is the distillation of loving-kindness.
  • 00:19:06.070 --> 00:19:09.070
  • How did the world, the world made by God,
  • 00:19:09.080 --> 00:19:12.000
  • become something that does not reflect His character?
  • 00:19:12.010 --> 00:19:15.170
  • Think through some of these questions:
  • 00:19:15.180 --> 00:19:17.090
  • Can anything happen that's contrary to the will of God?
  • 00:19:17.100 --> 00:19:21.160
  • How could it, if God is all-powerful?
  • 00:19:21.170 --> 00:19:24.130
  • And if it did happen, then how did it happen?
  • 00:19:24.140 --> 00:19:27.270
  • And think about Jesus and His life and ministry.
  • 00:19:27.280 --> 00:19:30.200
  • How does Jesus play into all of this?
  • 00:19:30.210 --> 00:19:33.270
  • We've answered some important questions,
  • 00:19:33.280 --> 00:19:35.150
  • but a critical question remains.
  • 00:19:35.160 --> 00:19:38.080
  • How did the earth become something that operates
  • 00:19:38.090 --> 00:19:41.010
  • according to principles that are inconsistent
  • 00:19:41.020 --> 00:19:44.030
  • with the character of God?
  • 00:19:44.040 --> 00:19:45.250
  • [ominous music]
  • 00:19:45.260 --> 00:19:53.090
  • [scorpion skitters over gravel]
  • 00:19:55.120 --> 00:20:00.080
  • Now, let's think for a moment about the scorpion.
  • 00:20:14.080 --> 00:20:18.250
  • You can find them right here in the desert.
  • 00:20:18.260 --> 00:20:22.120
  • They're plentiful, actually.
  • 00:20:22.130 --> 00:20:24.120
  • You can find them very easily.
  • 00:20:24.130 --> 00:20:26.270
  • [fast percussion]
  • 00:20:26.280 --> 00:20:28.140
  • The scorpion is an intimidating creature.
  • 00:20:28.150 --> 00:20:31.080
  • Look at that stinger on its tail.
  • 00:20:31.090 --> 00:20:33.040
  • They're dangerous things.
  • 00:20:33.050 --> 00:20:35.040
  • But even apart from the stinger, its claws are imposing as well,
  • 00:20:35.050 --> 00:20:39.030
  • and it uses its stinger and claws together to deadly effect.
  • 00:20:39.040 --> 00:20:43.240
  • It's a predator that grabs other small creatures and injects them
  • 00:20:43.250 --> 00:20:47.090
  • with excruciating poison,
  • 00:20:47.100 --> 00:20:49.280
  • a venom specifically designed to overwhelm the nervous system.
  • 00:20:49.290 --> 00:20:55.040
  • Now, the venom works in a couple of different ways.
  • 00:20:55.050 --> 00:20:57.260
  • The prey is overwhelmed with excruciating pain.
  • 00:20:57.270 --> 00:21:01.110
  • Before long, it cannot coordinate its movements,
  • 00:21:01.120 --> 00:21:04.140
  • and it's incapacitated.
  • 00:21:04.150 --> 00:21:06.150
  • And then the scorpion will eat its prey,
  • 00:21:06.160 --> 00:21:10.130
  • whether it's dead or alive.
  • 00:21:10.140 --> 00:21:13.070
  • And female scorpions will, at times,
  • 00:21:13.080 --> 00:21:16.080
  • actually eat male scorpions during or after mating.
  • 00:21:16.090 --> 00:21:21.090
  • Some scorpions, not this one, fortunately,
  • 00:21:24.110 --> 00:21:27.080
  • can actually kill people with their sting,
  • 00:21:27.090 --> 00:21:29.290
  • scorpions such as the deathstalker.
  • 00:21:30.000 --> 00:21:32.220
  • That's one that you'd find in the Middle East.
  • 00:21:32.230 --> 00:21:35.060
  • Now, this one wouldn't kill me if it stung me,
  • 00:21:35.070 --> 00:21:37.020
  • but it would hurt,
  • 00:21:37.030 --> 00:21:38.070
  • something like a bee sting, maybe a little more.
  • 00:21:38.080 --> 00:21:41.040
  • So I would treat this one with a great deal of caution
  • 00:21:41.050 --> 00:21:43.200
  • and respect.
  • 00:21:43.210 --> 00:21:45.140
  • Altogether, the scorpion was cunningly,
  • 00:21:45.150 --> 00:21:48.010
  • it was brilliantly designed for its purpose
  • 00:21:48.020 --> 00:21:50.190
  • and for its environment.
  • 00:21:50.200 --> 00:21:51.260
  • But the question the scorpion raises is this:
  • 00:21:51.270 --> 00:21:55.110
  • Does it reflect the character of God,
  • 00:21:55.120 --> 00:21:57.210
  • that is, as we know it now?
  • 00:21:57.220 --> 00:21:59.250
  • And if it doesn't, how did it come to be this way?
  • 00:21:59.260 --> 00:22:03.170
  • [somber music]
  • 00:22:03.180 --> 00:22:07.220
  • The prequel of the Bible answers this question,
  • 00:22:07.230 --> 00:22:10.190
  • and the prequel takes the form of a hidden story in the Bible,
  • 00:22:10.200 --> 00:22:14.080
  • an intentionally hidden story, actually.
  • 00:22:14.090 --> 00:22:16.280
  • And it takes some real diligence to track it down.
  • 00:22:16.290 --> 00:22:19.130
  • It's scattered across books of the Bible that were written
  • 00:22:19.140 --> 00:22:21.270
  • over a period of some 1.500 years.
  • 00:22:21.280 --> 00:22:24.170
  • And it's non-linear.
  • 00:22:24.180 --> 00:22:26.180
  • By that, I mean it doesn't appear in order in the Bible.
  • 00:22:26.190 --> 00:22:30.210
  • One writer has part of the middle of the story, let's say,
  • 00:22:30.220 --> 00:22:33.250
  • while another writer hundreds of years later
  • 00:22:33.260 --> 00:22:35.190
  • fills in part of the beginning of the story.
  • 00:22:35.200 --> 00:22:37.280
  • The fact that it's non-linear is actually quite important
  • 00:22:37.290 --> 00:22:41.040
  • because the Bible treats some key material this way,
  • 00:22:41.050 --> 00:22:44.250
  • as in the book of Revelation.
  • 00:22:44.260 --> 00:22:46.230
  • As non-linear Bible stories go,
  • 00:22:46.240 --> 00:22:48.190
  • what we're going to look at next is probably the prime example.
  • 00:22:48.200 --> 00:22:53.150
  • And when we unlock the story,
  • 00:22:53.160 --> 00:22:55.180
  • you might find it profoundly alters your understanding
  • 00:22:55.190 --> 00:22:58.130
  • of why there is death, disease, suffering,
  • 00:22:58.140 --> 00:23:01.160
  • and injustice in the world.
  • 00:23:01.170 --> 00:23:03.160
  • It also explains why this creature exists.
  • 00:23:03.170 --> 00:23:06.140
  • So what do we know about God?
  • 00:23:06.150 --> 00:23:08.140
  • We know that God is love.
  • 00:23:08.150 --> 00:23:10.100
  • John wrote those words twice in nine verses
  • 00:23:10.110 --> 00:23:13.150
  • in the book of 1 John.
  • 00:23:13.160 --> 00:23:15.130
  • Here's what we know.
  • 00:23:16.130 --> 00:23:17.240
  • Out of this chaos, God is going to create something phenomenal.
  • 00:23:17.250 --> 00:23:22.090
  • [soft music]
  • 00:23:22.100 --> 00:23:23.160
  • Revelation 21:4 says that "God shall wipe away all tears...
  • 00:23:23.170 --> 00:23:29.040
  • and there shall be no more death,
  • 00:23:29.050 --> 00:23:31.200
  • neither sorrow, nor crying,
  • 00:23:31.210 --> 00:23:34.130
  • neither shall there be any more pain:
  • 00:23:34.140 --> 00:23:36.240
  • for the former things are passed away."
  • 00:23:36.250 --> 00:23:40.190
  • In Isaiah 65:17, God says,
  • 00:23:40.200 --> 00:23:43.130
  • "I create new heavens and a new earth:
  • 00:23:43.140 --> 00:23:46.120
  • and the former shall not be remembered
  • 00:23:46.130 --> 00:23:48.100
  • nor come into mind."
  • 00:23:48.110 --> 00:23:50.070
  • John wrote in Revelation 21:1,
  • 00:23:50.080 --> 00:23:52.250
  • "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:
  • 00:23:52.260 --> 00:23:56.030
  • for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away."
  • 00:23:56.040 --> 00:24:00.240
  • One day, no more bugs paralyzing other bugs.
  • 00:24:00.250 --> 00:24:05.060
  • No more toxic venom.
  • 00:24:05.070 --> 00:24:07.080
  • Better yet, no more crime, no more murder, no more injustice.
  • 00:24:07.090 --> 00:24:14.070
  • You know, Peter noticed what we notice.
  • 00:24:14.080 --> 00:24:16.250
  • He noticed a dysfunctional world coming apart.
  • 00:24:16.260 --> 00:24:20.100
  • He noticed the world filled with death and hate and pain,
  • 00:24:20.110 --> 00:24:24.010
  • and he wrote in 2 Peter 3 in verse 13,
  • 00:24:24.020 --> 00:24:27.050
  • "Nevertheless we, according to His promise,
  • 00:24:27.060 --> 00:24:30.060
  • look for new heavens and a new earth
  • 00:24:30.070 --> 00:24:33.220
  • in which righteousness dwells."
  • 00:24:33.230 --> 00:24:36.260
  • And we do. We look for that.
  • 00:24:38.020 --> 00:24:40.170
  • Are you looking for that?
  • 00:24:40.180 --> 00:24:41.280
  • If you are, I can tell you where you can find it.
  • 00:24:41.290 --> 00:24:44.240
  • You can find it in Jesus Christ,
  • 00:24:44.250 --> 00:24:47.110
  • who left heaven and came to this earth gone astray
  • 00:24:47.120 --> 00:24:50.210
  • to show you that in spite of what you see,
  • 00:24:50.220 --> 00:24:52.280
  • in spite of what you don't understand,
  • 00:24:52.290 --> 00:24:55.100
  • that God is love,
  • 00:24:55.110 --> 00:24:57.180
  • and that the God who is love
  • 00:24:57.190 --> 00:24:59.140
  • loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him.
  • 00:24:59.150 --> 00:25:04.150
  • Next time on It Is Written,
  • 00:25:07.150 --> 00:25:09.040
  • we'll delve deeper into the prequel of the Bible.
  • 00:25:09.050 --> 00:25:12.220
  • We'll find out how it came to be that the earth
  • 00:25:12.230 --> 00:25:14.180
  • was so radically changed from what it was
  • 00:25:14.190 --> 00:25:17.280
  • to what it has become.
  • 00:25:17.290 --> 00:25:19.220
  • And we'll begin to answer some of the most important questions
  • 00:25:19.230 --> 00:25:23.200
  • that have ever been posed.
  • 00:25:23.210 --> 00:25:25.280
  • -John: Now, here's a question: Can God be trusted?
  • 00:25:27.170 --> 00:25:31.090
  • Either you've asked that question yourself,
  • 00:25:31.100 --> 00:25:33.040
  • or you know somebody who has, and I've got an answer for you.
  • 00:25:33.050 --> 00:25:36.220
  • I'd like you to get today's free offer,
  • 00:25:36.230 --> 00:25:38.280
  • "Can God Be Trusted?"
  • 00:25:38.290 --> 00:25:41.000
  • To receive it, call 800-253-3000,
  • 00:25:41.010 --> 00:25:44.140
  • write to the address on your screen,
  • 00:25:44.150 --> 00:25:46.070
  • or visit us at iiwoffer.com.
  • 00:25:46.080 --> 00:25:49.230
  • "Can God Be Trusted?"
  • 00:25:49.240 --> 00:25:51.050
  • I have an answer for you, 800-253-3000,
  • 00:25:51.060 --> 00:25:54.140
  • or visit us at iiwoffer.com.
  • 00:25:54.150 --> 00:25:57.110
  • -John Bradshaw: Let's pray together now.
  • 00:25:58.110 --> 00:26:00.030
  • Our Father in heaven, we thank You today
  • 00:26:00.040 --> 00:26:02.180
  • that in spite of the confusion and the chaos and the carnage
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  • that we see in the world today,
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  • that high above the circle of the earth
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  • there is a God who is love,
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  • a God whose Son Jesus will one soon day come to this earth
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  • and take us home to a place of absolute perfection.
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  • We pray that that day would come soon,
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  • but until it does, give us faith in You.
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  • Help us to trust in You, to believe in You.
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  • We thank You; we praise You; we love You.
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  • This is Your world.
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  • We look forward to Your kingdom to come,
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  • in Jesus' name.
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  • Amen.
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  • Thanks so much for joining me.
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  • I'm looking forward to seeing you again next time.
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  • Until then, remember:
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  • "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone,
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  • but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
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  • [theme music]
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