Hall of Faith

1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.”

Have you ever examined the biblical lineage of the Patriarchs and compared their relative ages? You might be astonished to find out how many of their histories overlapped and how the authenticity of their testimony was not from old lore but directly from the mouth of their relatives.

One of the criticisms that opponents of the Bible have wagered is that the testimony of Moses was fallible. Many will say, how does Moses know what happened in creation, he wasn’t there to witness it. Although Moses wasn’t alive at the time of Creation, his family lineage wasn’t as far off as you might presume.

I purchased a timeline a few years ago that demonstrates perspective of the timeline of world events. It correlates events with a biblical timeline and demonstrates some interesting facts.

Let’s start with Adam:

In Genesis are the accounts of Adam’s sons Cain, Able, and Seth. There were many more works that have been lost in history but according to the historian Josephus, it is found as a footnote in The Works of Josephus where it states: “The number of Adam’s children, (as it says in the old tradition), was 33 sons and 23 daughters.

It is estimated Adam and Eve lived nearly 930 years. Seth, Adam’s 3rd born lived 912 years. Seth’s son Enos lived 905 years. Enos’s son Cainan lived 910 years.

Now before I go on and bore you to death with biblical lineages, I must explain why I am highlighting this period of history. These men lived such lengthy lives that their timelines overlapped far more than we see today. The average age of an adult male in the U.S. is approximately 76 years, women it’s closer to 80 years. We would lose a lot of information if we didn’t have books, video and pictures to remind us of our past. Even with all these resources, people still practice historical revisionism in our schools and universities so that they might emphasize one part of history and diminish another. Eventually, people who don’t research history themselves, will lose the ability to understand our past and will be doomed to repeat it.

As we look at the biblical timeline, we witness some interesting conclusions:

In counting from 1 to the time of Christ we reach 4004 years. If we attribute the timescale to this number we can gain some perspective. Seth was still alive when Noah was born. Seth was born around 3874 B.C., around 130 years after the Creation event. Noah was born in 2948 B.C, roughly 14 years before Seth died. Since many of Adam and Eve’s subsequent children were alive far longer than Seth, there is a distinct possibility that much of the Creation story was passed down from one generation to the other, directly, not indirectly as people have postulated.

Shem, Noah’s oldest son was born in 2446 B.C. and lived 600 years, he died in the year 1846 B.C.. Abraham was born in 1996 B.C. and would have been alive for 150 years of Shem’s life.

Methuselah was born in in 3317 B.C. and was alive with Adam, Noah, and even Shem…imagine the stories that were passed down directly from Adam to those around him. The stories weren’t ancient history to these men, it was relative history because they were living history books. Shem could have shared stories with Isaac since he was still alive for 50 years of Isaac’s life. We see 2 generations removed from the time of Adam until the time of Isaac.

From Isaac, we see Jacob, Levi, Kohath, Amram, and then Moses comes onto the scene. When it comes to history, God interacts with people in every generation. The Lord has been the same from the moment He created Adam until today. This consistency of God’s love is a reflection of His character, He simply doesn’t change based off the way society views sin, goodness, or in its attempts to reinvent history.

Sadly, we also witness the rapid rise of ancient chinese culture through the lineage of Japheth, Egyptian culture through the lineage of Ham, and Phoenician culture through the lineage of Shem. All three men contributed to pagan and idolatrous cultures within a relatively short period of time. What does this say about the sons of Noah? The faith of Noah was quickly lost as this family spread out and began to rebuild the culture of mankind. Man’s sinful nature continued in these people and although the power of God was on display, their hearts were turned toward pride.

It was well known among the people of Armenia just 100 years ago that the Ark was visible and even explored by several groups of people. The Tsar of Russia sent an expedition in the 19th century and they brought back gopher wood that was made into a necklace for Anastasia. President Jimmy carter took a diplomatic trip to the region in the 1970’s and claimed to see remnants of the Ark from the plane. Whether it was a U.S. reconnaissance plane that took photos of the wreckage in 1949 or explorer Ron Wyatt who found remnants during the ’70’s, Noah’s ark is real historical fact and every civilization since the flood has recorded it.

1 Corinthians 15:40-45 “There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”

The story of Creation isn’t the only story worth validating, if this were all that human existence amounted to, it would be lacking a significant measure of history…..The history of faith that God instilled in men and women who trusted Him is worth noting.

The faith that Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Ruth, Deborah, Esther, Mary, Paul, the disciples and the list goes on, was started and finished by Jesus. He authored our faith before Creation began and the last Adam that Jesus represents will finish it.

Though our bodies will die, the faith we have in Christ Jesus lives on into eternity. The heritage of faith was established by God’s faithfulness to us and endures through His people.

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

A Moment in History

The most significant event in history was Jesus’ death and resurrection. Everything in history prior pointed to this singular moment in time and everything since has been the result of this moment.

What was it that set apart the people in God’s Word? Why are they mentioned and others left out?

Hebrews 11:1-2 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Read through the 11th chapter of Hebrews and you will hear the lineage of faith. The common theme…they believed God and they obeyed God.

Hebrews 11:32-39 “And what more shall I say? Time will not allow me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging fire, and escaped the edge of the sword; who gained strength from weakness, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight.

Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused their release, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Still others endured mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.

They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were put to death by the sword. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, oppressed, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and hid in caves and holes in the ground.

These were all commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. God had planned something better for us, so that together with us they would be made perfect.

How do you want to be remembered? By your accomplishments in this world or by what God did through the faith you exhibited?

For those redeemed by the Lamb of God, there will be a great reunion with these pillars of faith one day in Heaven. We will see that they were ordinary men and women who had extraordinary faith. Faith is a choice, and the choice isn’t dependant on your bloodline or physical ability, it is founded on your trust in Jesus.

Jesus is the One who supplies strength and power. If you want to make a difference in this world, draw near to Him.

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