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Tag Archives: Genesis

Cave Men – In the Bible!

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Cave men—in the Bible

by David Catchpoole

Photos by Tas Walker

Residents at the opal-mining town of  Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen,  comfortable furniture and modern lighting.

Residents at the opal-mining town of  Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen,  comfortable furniture and modern lighting.

Residents at the opal-mining town of  Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen,  comfortable furniture and modern lighting.Residents at the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen, comfortable furniture and modern lighting.

Evolutionary stereotypes of the first humans as primitive “Stone Age” cave men who had not yet evolved agriculture just do not square with the Bible’s account of history. The Bible says that in Adam’s day, people “worked the soil” (Genesis 4:2—following the events of 2:15 and 3:17), forged bronze and iron tools (4:22) and made and played musical instruments (4:21). There never was a “Stone Age”!1 (Nor the evolutionary-defined “Bronze Age” or “Iron Age” for that matter.)

So what are we to make of the abundant evidence of human cave-dwellers in the past, such as caves with campfire ash, meal leftovers and charcoal etchings on cave walls?

Firstly, we can note that the caves we see in the world today are all post-Flood. In fact, their very existence—i.e. their formation and worldwide distribution—can really only be satisfactorily explained in terms of conditions generated by the global Flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6–9).2

Secondly, we see that the Bible itself refers many times to people in caves (post-Noah and post-Babel). However, these are not the “cave men” of evolutionary stereotype. Rather, they are “fully human”—i.e. the descendants of Adam (and Noah)—who for one reason or another3 spent time in caves.

These included Sodom and Gomorrah’s only surviving refugees—Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:30), the five Amorite kings hiding from Joshua (Joshua 10:16–18,22), and Samson in the cave at Etam (Judges 15:8).

When David left Gath he escaped to the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1), and later he and his men were in the back of a cave at En Gedi when Saul entered (1 Samuel 24:1–4). Others who spent time in caves were Elijah (1 Kings 19:9,13), Obadiah’s one hundred prophets (whom he supplied with food and water—1 Kings 18:4,13), the ‘men of Israel’ when the Philistines were camped at Micmash (1 Samuel 13:6), and the Israelites at the time of Gideon (Judges 6:2).

These and the many other people in history who found it convenient to live in caves at various times4,5 (and even today—see photos) were not “primitive”, “prehistoric”, “Stone Age” sub-humans, or some such evolutionary stereotype. They were descendants of the first man and woman, created in the image of their Creator (Genesis 1:27), with an in-built capacity for intelligent thought, speech and creativity.

The Lord has said that there will be people occupying caves at some future time, too, as they try to hide themselves from him.

As an outlet for their creative urges, and a welcome distraction while holed up inside a cave, they could have whiled away the time drawing charcoal figures on the walls, or composing poetry. Two of the Psalms, for instance, were written by David when he was ‘in the cave’ (Psalms 57,142—see titles), a poignant record of his crying out to the Lord.

The same Lord has said that there will be people occupying caves at some future time, too, as they try to hide themselves from Him (Isaiah 2:19,21; Revelation 6:15), unsuccessfully (Jeremiah 23:24).

References and notes

  1. See also: Niemand, R., The Stone Age a figment of the imagination? Creation 27(4):13, 2005, <creation.com/stone>. Return to text.
  2. Silvestru, E., Caves for all seasons, Creation 25(3):44–49, 2003; <creation.com/all-seasons>. Also see Emil Silvestru’s DVD presentation: Geology and Cave Formation—A Post-Flood Story”. Return to text.
  3. In at least some cases the trigger might have been a traumatic event (e.g. displacement by war or natural disaster), with a concomitant loss of community expertise (e.g. knowledge of construction and agriculture). See: Catchpoole, D., The people that forgot time (and much else, too), Creation 30(3):34–37, 2008; <creation.com/all-seasons>. Return to text.
  4. Other references in the Bible include Jeremiah 49:8,30, Ezekiel 33:27 and Hebrews 11:38. Return to text.
  5. See e.g., Mizzi, J. and Matthews, M., The amazing cave people of Malta, Creation 26(1):40–43, 2003; <creation.com/malta>. Return to text.

(Available in Indonesian)

Benjamin is a Ravenous Wolf

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Well, that is what the book of Genesis says – it says Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.  Jacob, the great patriarch is prophesying over his sons on his death bed and he prophesies over Benjamin that he would be a ravenous wolf.

The context is that Benjamin was given 5 times as much food as his brothers, and the Lord spoke this to me in a prophetic word when I was only 20 years old.  The Lord told me that He was going to open up His Word to me and show me many things as long as my attitude was always that of a ravenous wolf to His Word.  The prophecy was given to me by an old and trusted friend, who was the person who laid hands on me when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time.

Many times when I have been tired of the battle, or haven’t felt like reading the Word, I have remembered that prophecy, and like Paul told Timothy to do, I have waged war with the prophecies that I have been given.  I have confessed that I am a wolf towards the Word of God: hungry and ravenous for it, and that I feed on it ravenously.  I then would pick up my Bible and start to read it, confess it, meditate on it and study it, picking every piece of meat up that I could get.  Thinking about wolves for me has always been a positive experience based on a powerful prophetic word that has beat in my heart for many many years.

Imagine my surprise last month to be called a wolf in a negative way by a blogger who I thought was trying to have a debate on healing in the atonement.

I always thought that the point of a debate is to have a healthy discussion of what the Word of God teaches.  It amazed me to see Christians put forth their ideas and opinions based on tradition, based on experience, based on what a certain preacher said and not based on the Word of God.  I would try and bring the discussion back to what the Word of God teaches which is that Jesus Christ on the cross completely redeemed us from all sickness (Gal. 3.13, Deut. 28.15-68, Isaiah 53.4-5, 1 Peter 2.24), but people wanted to talk about all sorts of things other than the Word of God!

People are quite prepared to call you names, but not deal with the Word of God!

Eventually two of my posts were actually moderated and not put up in the debate.  Then someone had posted a genuine question for me, which I wanted to answer, but I could not.  But the person running the blog, well she left the question to me up on the blog, but never allowed me to reply, which to me made it look like I wasn’t answering a genuine question or could not answer the genuine question.

I send a post to the lady running the blog saying could she either politely explain publicly that she was moderating my posts and that is why no answer was appearing to the question, or could she at least remove the question and pass on my contact details to the person who asked if she did not feel that she wanted her debate on healing to continue.

Now this is where it gets interesting: she then, directly because I asked her to be honest in the way she moderated her blog – and bear in mind we are talking about someone who is supposed to be a Christian,  sent me a post (which is public and I can direct you to it if you are interested!) in which she called me a heretic, a supporter of evil, a mocker and a total disgrace.  She then closed her rant with the comment: You are a wolf Ben.

As I read the last 5 words of this rant, which clearly did not come from the Spirit of the living God, I was reminded again of something I haven’t really thought about for a while, probably not since moving to London and starting Tree of Life Church: Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.

Since that moment, I have had such a hunger for the Word of God like I have not had for years – and I have been a Word person for 11 years now, ever since the 1997 International Believer’s Convention in Birmingham, England.

You see people who argue for this, that and the other and don’t talk about the Word – I don’t hate people like that, I feel compassion for them.  They have to fight feelings of shame, guilt, and rejection without the Word.  They have to fight rejection without the Word.  They have to fight sickness without the Word.  They have to fight poverty without the Word.

When every wind of doctrine and heresy comes through the church, they cannot stand because they don’t know the Word.  And I have committed to God what I committed to Him many, many years ago when He first called me to plant a church: Tree of Life Church will always be a Word based Church.  Every doctrine we teach, every practise we indulge in will be based on one question: WHAT SCRIPTURE DO YOU HAVE FOR THAT.

Tree of Life Church is a word of God based, word-faith, charismatic cell-church.  I promise I will never forget that.  And if you listen to the Word as we preach it and blog it and podcast it, and however we get it out there, then your marriage will be restored, your body will be healed, you will get out of debt.  Your life will be changed.  You will be able to stand before God without fear of shame or fear of embarrassment.

Jesus is Lord!

Blessings,

Ben

The Gospel in Genesis (Chuck Missler)

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We frequently use the familiar term, gospel, or good news. Where is the first place it appears in the Bible? The answer may surprise you.

An Integrated Message

The great discovery is that the Bible is a message system: it’s not simply 66 books penned by 40 authors over thousands of years, the Bible is an integrated whole which bears evidence of supernatural engineering in every detail.

The Jewish rabbis have a quaint way of expressing this very idea: they say that they will not understand the Scriptures until the Messiah comes. But when He comes, He will not only interpret each of the passages for us, He will interpret the very words; He will even interpret the very letters themselves; in fact, He will even interpret the spaces between the letters!

When I first heard this, I simply dismissed this as a colorful exaggeration. Until I reread Matthew 5:17 and 18:

“Think not that I have come to destroy the Torah and the prophets; I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

(A jot and tittle are the Hebrew equivalent of our dotting an i and the crossing of a t.)

An Example

A remarkable example of this can be glimpsed in Genesis Chapter 5, where we have the genealogy of Adam through Noah. This is one of those chapters which we often tend to skim over quickly as we pass through Genesis it’s simply a genealogy from Adam to Noah.

But God always rewards the diligent student. Let’s examine this chapter more closely.

In our Bible, we read the Hebrew names. What do these names mean in English?

A Study of Original Roots

The meaning of proper names can be a difficult pursuit since a direct translation is often not readily available. Even a conventional Hebrew lexicon can prove disappointing. A study of the original roots, however, can yield some fascinating insights.

(A caveat: many study aids, such as a conventional lexicon, can prove rather superficial when dealing with proper nouns. Furthermore, views concerning the meanings of original roots are not free of controversy and variant readings.)

Let’s take an example.

The Flood Judgment

Methuselah comes from muth, a root that means “death”;1 and from shalach, which means to bring, or to send forth. The name Methuselah means, “his death shall bring”.2

Methuselah’s father was given a prophecy of the coming Great Flood, and was apparently told that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld; but as soon as he died, the flood would be brought or sent forth.

(Can you imagine raising a kid like that? Every time the boy caught a cold, the entire neighborhood must have panicked!)

And, indeed, the year that Methuselah died, the flood came.3

It is interesting that Methuselah’s life, in effect, was a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood.

Therefore, it is fitting that his lifetime is the oldest in the Bible, speaking of the extensiveness of God’s mercy.

The Other Names

If there is such significance in Methuselah’s name, let’s examine the other names to see what may lie behind them.

Adam’s name means man. As the first man, that seems straight forward enough.

Seth

Adam’s son was named Seth, which means appointed. Eve said, “For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”4

Enosh

Seth’s son was called Enosh, which means mortal, frail, or miserable. It is from the root anash, to be incurable, used of a wound, grief, woe, sickness, or wickedness.

It was in the days of Enosh that men began to defile the name of the Living God.5

Kenan

Enosh’s son was named Kenan, which can mean sorrow, dirge, or elegy. (The precise denotation is somewhat elusive; some study aids unfortunately presume that Kenan is synonymous with Cainan.)

Balaam, looking down from the heights of Moab, uses a pun upon the name of the Kenites when he prophesies their destruction.6

We have no real idea as to why these names were chosen for their children. Often they may have referred to circumstances at birth, and so on.

Mahalalel

Kenan’s son was Mahalalel, from Mahalal which means blessed or praise; and El, the name for God. Thus, Mahalalel means the Blessed God. Often Hebrew names include El, the name of God, as Dan-i-el, “God is my Judge”, etc.

Jared

Mahalalel’s son was named Jared, from the verb yaradh, meaning shall come down.7

Enoch

Jared’s son was named Enoch, which means teaching, or commencement. He was the first of four generations of preachers. In fact, the earliest recorded prophecy was by Enoch, which amazingly enough deals with the Second Coming of Christ (although it is quoted in the Book of Jude in the New Testament):

Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against.”
Jude 14, 15

Methuselah

Enoch was the father of Methuselah, who we have already mentioned. Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah.8 Apparently, Enoch received the prophecy of the Great Flood, and was told that as long as his son was alive, the judgment of the flood would be withheld. The year that Methuselah died, the flood came.

Enoch, of course, never died: he was translated 9 (or, if you’ll excuse the expression, raptured ). That’s how Methuselah can be the oldest man in the Bible, yet he died before his father!

Lamech

Methuselah’s son was named Lamech, a root still evident today in our own English word, lament or lamentation. Lamech suggests despairing.

(This name is also linked to the Lamech in Cain’s line who inadvertently killed his son Tubal-Cain in a hunting incident.10)

Noah

Lamech, of course, is the father of Noah, which is derived from nacham, to bring relief or comfort, as Lamech himself explains in Genesis 5:29.

The Composite List

Now let’s put it all together:
Hebrew English
Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow;
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The Despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort.

That’s rather remarkable:

Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.

Here’s the Gospel hidden within a genealogy in Genesis!

(You will never convince me that a group of Jewish rabbis conspired to hide the Christian Gospel right here in a genealogy within their venerated Torah!)

Evidence of Design

The implications of this discovery are more wide spread than is evident at first glance.

It demonstrates that in the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, God had already laid out His plan of redemption for the predicament of mankind. It is a love story, written in blood on a wooden cross which was erected in Judea almost 2,000 years ago.

The Bible is an integrated message system, the product of supernatural engineering. Every number, every place name, every detail every jot and tittle is there for our learning, our discovery, and our amazement. Truly, our God is an awesome God.

It is astonishing to discover how many Biblical controversies seem to evaporate if one simply recognized the unity the integrity of these 66 books, penned by 40 authors over thousands of years.

It is remarkable how many subtle discoveries lie behind the little details of the text. Some of these become immediately obvious with a little study; some are more technical and require special helps.

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