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The Same Jesus

Dr. Wright gave this presentation at the 2022 Faith & Science Conference.



Transcription:


Okay, well it seemed appropriate as a closing topic for our conference to kind of bring it back to why this actually matters. And so my talk, my presentation is the Same Jesus.


What we know, and hopefully what has become clear as we've gone through this conference, is that Jesus Christ is the creator. In Isaiah, he says, I have made the earth and created man upon it. Not much room for equivocation, right? All things came into being through him, and apart from him, nothing came into being that has come into being. Again, closing any possible gaps, right? And then Paul in Colossians, for by him all things were created. And then, as if that's not enough, both in heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him. So again, not leaving much room for, or any room for equivocation.


So why is there such a battle then in the world over a belief in Jesus Christ as the creator? Why would there be this battle? As I talked earlier about why do you want me to believe that? And why do people believe that? And the Romans get a little bit of an explanation. Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. So man has created all of these theories and made their own religion in their own image, pointing to the creation rather than the creator. This is the big question, though, is what actually is the cost of that kind of rejection?


I've felt for a long time that we underestimate the significance. It's not simply, although it would be significant enough, that we deny Jesus Christ. What happens if we do that long enough? If we continually deny the truth that we've been given? And these two scriptures are powerful and they're a little frightening. In Hosea the prophet said, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. So those are the words of God given to this prophet. It's pretty significant, isn't it? If we just deny it and we just ignore it, it's not a simple thing. It's not just, well, they choose to believe something else. There's real significance to what's going to happen to us. And he said, I also will forget your children.


There's a cost for those who come after us. Are we seeing that in my presentation on what happened to Hope, are we seeing a cost to the children that we don't teach the truth? Or that we allow others to teach false teaching? And then Proverbs, But since you refuse to listen when I call, and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my review, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you. I will not when calamity overtakes you. When calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster swoops over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you, then they will call to me, but I will not answer. They will look for me, but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they do not accept my advice and disperse my review, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. Again, it's a little scary, right? So, I love how the Lord ends this.


For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm. So there's great significance to not being one of the ones that reject this knowledge, right? Both to us and to our children. This is a video that I recorded, as you'll hear, in the Garden of the Gods. I just want to play it for you real quick. Okay, this is Dr. Bob again, and I am here at the unfortunately named Garden of the Gods at the Visitor Center. And here they have an exhibit that explains this uniformitarian idea of the evolution of the Earth itself. Unfortunately, like many, it communicates that as a series of foregone conclusions or facts, rather than as the theory that it is. But what's a more important lesson for us to discuss here is how do we confront these type of situations. In Peter, he gives us a roadmap. He tells us to be prepared always to offer a defense. So we should know what the truth is. So as we look at this, realize that there are a number of assumptions that have been made that have led them to the conclusion that this is millions or billions of years. But those are simply that, assumptions.


Secondly, when he says to be prepared to offer a defense, we have to be informed with the knowledge of what the geology and what the biology actually describes, and not what someone's conclusions from it are. So when we look at the sand sediments, to look what really is the age of these sediments. How do the individual grains of sand tell us about their origin and their makeup in the sedimentary deposits. When we look at the biology, do we have any indication of species-to-species evolution, or do we instead see examples of adaptation. So those are all things that are important. He says that we should be prepared to offer this defense.


But the next part is perhaps even the most significant part, and that is to be prepared to offer a defense for the hope that is within us. That tells us a lot about the environment that we would be in when the opportunity comes to share the truth of the Bible's accuracy regarding the origins of man and the origin of the earth. So when we talk about being prepared to offer a defense for the hope that is in us, we need to recognize that people are going to see this hope exhibited in us, this hope in Christ. That's going to lead them to have a desire to know more about it. So are we living in such a way that people want that kind of hope, that kind of joy that comes from a relationship and an understanding of Jesus Christ?


So rather than being about the rocks and the plants and the animals, it really is about the hope that is in us in Jesus Christ as the creator of everything and why that matters. So he talks about be prepared to offer a defense for the hope that is in us and to do it with gentleness and with kindness. So that gives us the last piece. It should never be a confrontational thing. We know people who have never met a discussion or an argument they aren't willing to take, and so this is just one more opportunity for us to avoid those kind of confrontational situations and instead to witness by our actions the hope that is in us. And through that hope and that joy that they see in Christ, they want to know more, and we can explain to them the relationship between a hope in Christ and a knowledge and understanding of who he is as the creator of the world. So this is directly tied to that. Now it's also interesting that Paul, when he wrote in his letter to the Romans, he warned us that there would be those who would come. He calls them scoffers. There would be those as scoffers who would come into the world, and what they would offer is the opportunity as a result of their ungodliness, he says, and their unrighteousness, that God in essence would withdraw from them and they would begin to worship the creation, not the creator.


So that's another thing we need to be conscious of as we're looking at this, is this represents a worship of the creation in absence of the creator, or in replacement of the creator. And to recognize that as we turn our attention to the creator, to Christ himself, that people will recognize that hope and that joy that's in us and have a desire to know, and we then should be prepared to offer that explanation, that information, but never to seek out confrontation or conflict as a way to do that. So here they present this as being foregone conclusion and fact, when in fact these are theories of men, just as Paul warned us would come in the last days. So once again, this is Dr. Bob from the Garden of God's Visitor Center in Colorado. So that's one of the videos for the segments that we've recorded all over the country that we'll be going up this fall on our website, theclubmuseum.com, to help people in their home education, their Christian education supplements, to their kids and to families, to help us to put things in the proper context. And when we're in one of those settings, we kind of know how do we present this information from a biblical worldview as opposed to what the world is saying. Because they're going to get it. There's going to be school field trips, there's going to be Disney movies now that will portray this whole evolutionary concept and all of these theories of men, these scoffers that kind of run the show in many areas right now. But we need to be aware too that Matthew 12, 15 and many other places throughout the Scriptures where there's one of the key attributes of Jesus Christ is that He heals. For a number of years I worked as a management trainer in senior retirement communities, and one of the biggest problems I had was dealing with staff who were dealing with old people that are mean. So we would spend some time talking to them about how they aren't mean, but just think about it, you wake up one morning and all of a sudden things don't work. It used to be easy to get up and walk to the bathroom, now it hurts. You used to be able to read anything you wanted to, now you can't see. So we kind of try to change the dialogue to say not mean, just grumpy, and they're just sad. They're hurting and we need to recognize that that hurt affects us and how we interact with others. One of the great things I look forward to is the opportunity to have Christ heal all of that. And I think about how would people behave if they weren't hurting, if they weren't in such pain, if they didn't have so much sorrow. Genuinely from this fallen earth, how would they behave then? How would they feel then? I don't think we know, most people, who they truly are. We're dealing with a version of them who's suffering and hurting and dealing with all this pain. But the time will come, just as it did in Christ's day, Matthew 12, 15, when He said that Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from them, from there. So this is when people are kind of challenging Him a little bit. But many followed Him, and He healed them all. I believe that that means literally what it said. He healed all of their pain, all of their sorrow, all of their challenges. And I look forward to that. One of my favorite stories in Scripture, and as I was going through my education process, I kept coming back over and over and over again to Job. Partially because, I mean, I think when I first began, involved in this work and everything, I mean, it's great to actually have a book of the Bible that talks about dinosaurs, right? It talks about Behemoth and Leviathan and everything. That's just fun. And it's fun to reflect on it being the oldest written book of Scripture. That's kind of neat, right? It's Job, isn't it? Yes, Job predates all the other books in terms of its writing time. And when it was actually hand-willed, put to parchment, it's the oldest. And it represents that to us in a number of ways. We also can tell, based on the fact that He mentions snow and ice more than anybody, that He's probably more familiar with it. So it's probably a book that's written as the ice age is still kind of raging a little bit. But the overall thing that people see when they look at the book of Job is they see it's a book about a guy who suffered a lot, right? That's clearly it, but is that the purpose of the book? You know, that everybody's going to suffer. I don't think so. Because it's interesting to me that when Job, he's having all these horrible things happen to him, he has a number of advisors that come to him. And these, I think, are close friends, religious teachers. They obviously have some kind of significant relationship with Job. And they come to him, and over and over, they're going to explain to Job why these horrible things are happening to him, right? He must have done something, right? God says that if you do good things, good things are going to happen. If you do bad things, bad things are going to happen. So they must explain it. I like to look at it as saying, because if you look at what they say, there's nothing that's necessarily obviously wrong, right? I mean, do we all kind of believe if we do good things, God will bless us? And if we do bad things, then we're going to suffer the consequences? We kind of all have that idea. So I tell everybody, that is the truth that misses the greater truth, right? It misses the greater truth that sometimes bad things just happen. You may not be a bad person. It may not even have been a bad person doing something to you. It may just be that you live in a fallen world. But Job goes through all this, he gets all this horrible advice, which only sends him further and further into despair, right? Maybe you did something, and you didn't even know it. Maybe you did something, and you forgot to repent about it. And then the worst, maybe your kids did something, and God's just punishing you for that. And then Elihu comes, kind of sets the stage, and God shows up. So what's Job's big question? Why is this happening to me? Right? And how does God address it? Creation. He reminds him, I made everything. I made everything. Some interesting scriptures from Job. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? This is the early part of Job, right? Things are just kind of getting started. But he's exhibiting faith, isn't he? He's exhibiting faith. And then later on, as things continue to get worse, this testimony from Job is phenomenal. He says, I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth. He, even through all of his struggle and all of his trials, looking forward to the day, he says, when he will see Christ in the flesh. I think it's the first reference in Scripture, the oldest reference in Scripture, to the second coming, when Christ comes back. Because he's going to see Him actually in His resurrected body. So he's looking forward to all of that. And so when God shows up, and it's just, his answer to why do these things happen to me, to Job, is to teach him and remind him about creation. What is Job's response? I cover my mouth. There is no response, right? And God accepts that as reverence, as gratitude, and He restores everything to Job. And after Job prays for his friends, He actually even forgives Job's friends for their bad advice. So key to our understanding of why suffering happens is our understanding of God as creator of everything. It's the great answer to how do these things happen. Now there are a lot of little things along there that teach us some great things about God's role in our lives, about God's role in this world. Don't forget that every time Satan wants to do something to Job, he has to go ask God. He has to go ask God. And it's easy enough for us to think, well, then it's God's fault. But we have to remember that God is the being who exists outside of our time and our experience. Does God know how this ends? God knows how this ends. And so when God, I can see God looking forward to the end of the story. I'm going to get to bless Job. I'm going to get to... into the presence of God. And yet he talked with Satan. Of course. But he's unclean. He's unclean. God can talk to whoever he wants, but it says into his presence is what we're talking about. He's talking to Moses. Because he doesn't talk to Moses? Yes. Is Moses unclean? Yes. Moses couldn't withstand his full glory is what he says. So he would have to create a barrier between... He tells him to go into the cleft of the rock, right? And I'll pass by. So it's not that he won't communicate. If he didn't communicate with any unclean thing, we have no hope of ever hearing it. So Christ's moral life reflected his role as creator. So what we're going to do now for the rest of this is just kind of talk about the fact that Christ, in the seven creative acts of creation, God then creates a pattern, which God then, as he's living his mortal existence, then echoes for us. So we don't just see Christ in creation. We see Christ in his mortal ministry, reaffirming all those attributes that he demonstrated for us in creation. So there can be no doubt, one of my favorite papers I ever worked on was the God of Genesis and the God of John. And recognizing that we're talking the same individual and the same personalities, the same characteristics, and that creative story is echoed in the New Testament, in the book of John. So first off, the same Jesus who declared, I am the light of the world, created the light in the world. He says to them, Jesus said, Truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. Now we don't give, if you study any Hebrew, if you have any opportunity to study Hebrew, I'd recommend that you study the etymology of that phrase, I am. It's not just a simple, well, I'm here. This is me. It is I am. It is all-inclusive. You may not be aware of this, but in the beginning of Genesis, when it says in the beginning, who created? It uses the Hebrew term elohim, right? Elohim. So elohim being a plural noun, but surprisingly used in a singular sense. The first verse of the Bible, the first verse of the record, is a testimony to the fact of this nature of God, God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in one. Right there from the beginning. But there's also a hidden, a little hidden thing in there. If you go look at the, even on your phone, just call it interlinear, all it means is you're gonna see the Hebrew and the English together, and interlinear Genesis 1-1. Because you're gonna find something surprising. Because he doesn't just say, in the beginning, elohim. It says in the beginning, there's Aleph and Atah. The first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the beginning, I am. The beginning and the end, God created the heavens and the earth. We don't get that in English, because we don't read Hebrew. But it's there. Aleph and Atah, the beginning and the end. I am. John 1-9 says, the true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world. So he's celebrating the arrival of Jesus Christ as man. Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. The same Jesus that said, that created the light, that said, let there be light, also was the light of the world. It's interesting to me, there's been this great disparity among many people, that light was created before the moon and the sun, and the heavens. Right? The challenge is, because we're so used to thinking, and this is my interpretation, we're so used to thinking of light in terms of the sun, that we think that's light. And I would suggest that that's a partial light. That's an inferior light. When we are talking about how could these plants and animals possibly have the sizes that they had, I think we need to remember that they are living in this light. He creates first light, and then he creates the sun, the moon, and everything else. I personally believe that that light, that light continued until the fall. So that first light continued until the fall. I was just speaking with, I know some of you know, Dr. Carl Wall in Glen Rose, Texas. And he's done a lot of work with hyperbaric chambers, and all this. He spends a lot of time on primordial world, so the pre-NOAA world. Yeah, the pre-NOAA world. And so he and I were having a conversation, and I mentioned this to him, and he just lit up. There are researchers at ICR that have been working on light. And in particular, they have looked at what happens if you take these organisms that live their entire lives in caves, in the dark, in the darkness. And then you subject them, not just to light, but to high intensity, different kinds of wavelengths of light, ultraviolet, these different wavelengths of light, just to see what happens to these organisms. Under certain types of ultraviolet and high energy light, when they take these sightless salamanders, which have no color, in a very short time, they become brilliantly colored. I say that's the true nature. What that says to me is, as we live in this world with this inferior light, we are just shadows of ourselves, of the cells that are made in the image of God. And I think all organisms, we are all living this life as shadows of ourselves, because we are living absent this life, which I think left with the fall. The same Jesus who walked on the water created the waters and the expanse of heaven. And this is an interesting, I mean, we know that he made the waters and he walked on the water. Let's look at the scripture more closely. The boat was already a considerable distance from the land. You know the story, right? They're out there in the boat. Christ is not with them. Buffeted by the waves, because the wind was against it. This boat's being buffeted by these waves because the wind was against it. Storms move us away, right? They can move us away from God. But during the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. So storms may move us away, but Christ is still able to cross over to us. Wherever we are, regardless of what storms there may be around us that are pushing us away, that Christ is able to go out to us. The same Jesus who fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes commanded the earth to bring forth grass, herbs, and fruit and fish in the seas. One of my, I have to say, it's one of my favorite stories of the loaves and the fishes and the feeding of the 5,000 because as we see here in Luke, late in the afternoon, the 12 came to him and said, send the crowd away so they can go to surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging because we are in a remote place here. Right? So they're out, middle of nowhere, all these people have come to hear Jesus speak. And he replies to them, give them something to eat. In another gospel account, his concern is that if you send them away, they're going to perish by the way. Right? They're going to perish by the way. So he's more concerned that if he sends them away, that they've been sitting here all day and they haven't eaten anything. They may not make it home. They're going to faint out of hunger and thirst and they're going to make it home. We've got to take care of them. And they said, we only have five loaves of bread and two fish. We must be going to buy food for this crowd. So then what happens next? I was talking yesterday with this conference and everything. I told my wife, it was a crummy morning, and God showed up. It was a wonderful day. And I think that's, I'm sure those people there would say the same thing. You know what? We're hungry and we're starving and it's just horrible. And then God showed up. But I think it's also important that he knew how many people were there. He knows how many people, he knows how much food he needs to have. When they get to the end, he's fed everybody. They then collect up all the scraps. And there is surplus, right? There's more than enough. And the same thing with the widow, her son, right? And he tells her to go and fill all the jars. And she fills just a few. And he changes it to oil. And then the question is, why didn't she fill more? Because she goes and then sells it to the neighbors, right? She has enough to support her and her son. So we underestimate God's ability to provide. The same God who creates all this wonderful creation, he has the ability to provide and surplus, right? To show us his capability, his ability. The same Jesus whose star came forth to testify at his birth. He said the sun, moon, and stars and their rotation for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. This is an interesting phrase, right? For signs and for seasons. What do we tend to think about that? What do we tend to think about that? When we hear that the stars are for signs and season for days and years. So there's some kind of reckoning of time, right? We see how when the sun, we go around the sun, when the earth rotates, we know that's a day. And when it goes around the sun, we know that's a year. And when the moon goes around, it's full phase, we know that's roughly a month. For them, it was a month. For the Jews, it was a month. But there's more to it. Signs. The Hebrew word for signs is the same word, as used for Cain's mark and for Noah's token. So the same word that we translate elsewhere in the scriptures as the mark of Cain or as the token of the rainbow. The stars were arranged by God to signify something to those on earth. Not just scattered evenly or randomly around in space. You may not know, but if you go and look at Job 38 and Isaiah 40, He even named the stars and the constellations. The heavens declared the glory of God. The skies proclaimed the work of His hands. We see it in Psalms 19. And He said also to the people, when you see a cloud rise out of the west straightway, you say, they're coming to shower. And so it is. He's demonstrating to them, that you know how to recognize signs. When you see a cloud in the distance, you know there's going to be rain coming. So why are you having so much trouble understanding that when I say this is going to happen and then that's actually going to be true? You need to have the faith in the signs just like you do with the rain clouds you see on the horizon and know that rain is coming. So when you see the signs for me coming, just know I'm on my way. The same Jesus who was baptized to demonstrate His faithfulness and the dove descended upon Him is the one who put the fowls in the air. It's interesting, and we talked a little bit, some of you went through the museum, often I give this presentation to people who haven't been to the museum, but with Noah, Philo of Alexandria argued that the two birds there are symbolic. The raven represented vice and his version, never returning. As it is comfortable in the story world, while the dove represents virtue, hence it must return, as it cannot bear to live among the remnants of such havoc. And as an aside, Jonah is the masculine given name from the Hebrew word Yonah, meaning dove. So just, we keep seeing these patterns, right? They're showing God's use of these terms for us to recognize the messages that He has for us at a deeper, deeper level. And the same Jesus who healed the blind, man with clay, created man from the dust of the earth. When we look at that word, Adamah is the Hebrew word for ground or earth. Adam means red. So there's an etymological connection between Adam and Adamah. Adamah designating red clay or red ground. When Christ then takes the clay and He mixes it with spittle and He puts it on the blind man's eyes, He's reminding him who He is. I made you out of the dust of the earth. That's me. And so now I'm going to make you whole. He's reminding him again of His role as the creator, as He heals him. It's interesting when we look at the pattern of creation, the first and the fourth day both deal with bringing the light into the world, right? The second and fifth day are both concerned with the ocean and the sky. And the third and the sixth day deal with the land and its life, animal, and plant life. So again, we see this great Hebrew pattern where we are retelling this story and reinforcing these truths. The same Jesus who rested when His creation was complete rose from the tomb to finish His work. When we have any question about Christ's role as the creator, or in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. This is a great scripture when somebody says that Genesis doesn't yawn there, it just really leaves a day. So He goes on again in Exodus. He brings up the same seven-day period for creation. Does that mean we're supposed to work for six thousand years and rest for a thousand? No. He said, He made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. I have made the earth and created man upon it. I, in my hands, have stretched out the heavens and all their hosts in my commandment. One of my favorite phrases, when people start talking about how there's distant stars and everything else, we gotta, again, if we look at the Bible as being an accurate historic record, we have to say, is there something to explain that? And He said that He stretched out the heavens. He didn't just place stars where they are, He actually stretched it out. What does that mean for us? Do, if you have a chance, do a little bit of research on the speed of light and the decaying speed of light and things like that, and you start to see how these truths that exist in the Bible, they tell us something. I always tell my students, stop reading to get to the period. Look at each word. You read that phrase, and you have stretched out the heavens. What does that mean? And find out what that means, because it actually is amazing in describing this amazing universe that is making the world that we live in. From Colossians 4, by Him, all things were created that are in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. We know there's a lot of people that thrones, dominions, principalities, powers. There's some case to be made for that actually defining the organization of spirits in heaven. And He's actually talking about, I created not just the things that are here, but all of them as well. Created them all. All things were made by Him, and without Him, there's not anything made. So there's over and over, Christ Himself and those that knew Him best, they said, I did this. I made this. So when we don't, when we refuse to accept that, when we try to look for alternative explanation, we're denying the one person who has the inside information, has the insight, has the authority to say, I did that. It's not something we can easily abandon, because if we do, we're also denying Him the power to be our redeemer. He said, I swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like a morning mist. Return to me where I have redeemed you. Only because He had, because He created us, does He have also then the authority and the ability to redeem us. So a belief in a God who didn't make us, and yet somehow He's going to come down and redeem us, or a God who, or a death that did not come into the world because of sin, is somehow through His death going to reclaim us from the penalty of that sin. It just doesn't make sense. It's a different gospel than any of us are familiar with. And so I've just been partying today. I'll move all this stuff in a minute. I want to thank you again for coming, and I'm hoping that through all this you gained some great scientific insight. Maybe you got some good information about archeology or history or geology or paleontology or any of those things, but most important of all, I'm hoping that all of that, whatever you learned, that it pointed you to Christ. That's the real reason we're doing this. It's not just an exercise because we like science and we'd like it to agree with our religion. It's because everything He made points us to Him. It's interesting, kids will come to the museum and I'll hold up a dinosaur bone and I'll say, it says in the Bible that all things testify of Him. How does this testify of Him? This rock or this bone or this fossil, how does this testify of Him? It testifies of Him because one, He's the creator of all things. Two, because when we look at the fossil record, what we're seeing is the evidence of the greatest judgment this world has ever seen. And it should give us a lot of confidence that the coming judgment is actually coming. If He was willing to destroy His entire creation, save eight souls because of their wickedness, what's in store for a wicked world? And just as Noah only had one place to look for safety, God told him, build an ark. Noah built an ark, but more importantly, Noah stayed faithful to the covenants he'd made to God. So whatever He asked us to do to stay faithful to our ark, to Jesus Christ, we need to be willing to do because I guarantee you, the judgment's coming. The price will be paid. And we want to make sure that we can be one of those who are, when we are standing there in His presence, that we can say, I'm so glad you healed me. And eliminate all the sorrow or pain and awfulness that sometimes is so much a part of our world. I thank you for being here. I'm really, really grateful to be able to have this opportunity to spend those two days together. I'm really, I'm already excited for being able to do it again next year.

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