The Worst Decision I Ever Made With Respect to Eternity. How Jesus Got Me Out Of It and What I Learned Along The Way
by Walt Giddings
June 28, 2020
Greetings kindred. We are on a first name basis here. My name is Walter. I am not your real teacher. The Holy Spirit is our real Teacher. As my classmates in God’s classroom you will do the work with me.
The last time we met on the topic, Foundation. I testified that in my sophomore year in junior college, October 1964, I watched the movie Inherit the Wind, starring Spencer Tracy, Frederick March, and Gene Kelly. Because of Inherit the Wind I decided the Bible was a beautiful book of fables, for which I was not responsible, for which I had no accountability.
From the age of nineteen in October 1964 to the age of thirty seven July 1982, I wallowed in doing things every way but God’s way. Isolated at the house I was losing, I decided to read this book I bought a year ago, Miracle on Main Street by Tupper Saussy. On page ten it quotes Deuteronomy 25: 13-15. When I finished, I went back to page ten and read again the Bible verses. I now understood a Scripture from the Bible that had been a closed Book to me. If I had understood that Scripture I would have been a wiser steward of the household dominion. The thought occurred to me, what else is in The Bible?
Psalms 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
God was teaching me, a sinner, and I was not worth the powder to blow me to kingdom come! Tis mercy all!
In the First Congregational Church I had grown up singing in the choirs. How on earth could Inherit the Wind give me a foundation to abandon The Bible? Does Scripture instruct us there are two types of foundation: rock and sand? Why did I, as a college sophomore, think sand was rock? What happened to me when I viewed the movie Inherit the Wind?
Seven years after I returned to The Bible, the thought occurred to me to go to the Library and see what they had done to me. In 1990 I found an eye witness account of the 1925 Monkey Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, a copy of the Broadway play Inherit the Wind, and the movie on VCR. I watched that movie again, and I saw what they had done to me. For the first time I discovered the Play contains a disclaimer. The co-Authors claim their work is fiction. Reading the eyewitness account of the 1925 Trial in Dayton, Tennessee confirmed that.
The Movie follows the play closely. The courtroom scenes where a Christian of national reputation takes the witness stand as an expert witness on The Bible are straight out of the play. The Christian is crucified on the witness stand for his belief in the Bible. The word “crucified” means impaled!
During the movie I judged the Bible to be a book of fables to which I owed no study, troubled my own house, joined the fastest growing church in America, the congregation of the faithless, freedom from religion, and inherited the wind.
In my sophomoric folly I had no understanding that my soul, or my life was in my circulating blood. That my blood is congealed light I knew not. That I bore the marks of Adam’s fall I had no understanding. That I had nothing to give in exchange for my own soul was nowhere in my thoughts.
15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.
16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?
Did Paul echo these words, we just read from Ecclesiastes, in his first epistle to Timothy?
1 Timothy 6:7: For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
What happened inside me, watching the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind, that turned me away from the Bible my grandfather had given me?
In the play that courtroom scene of the movie is identified as the end of Act Two. The part that grabbed my attention begins when the Court bars the testimony of scientists. The Judge rules Testimony, that the earth is a lot older than six thousand (6000) years, would have no bearing on the question of the violation of a state statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution. The Clarence Darrow character act-alike, knowing his client’s defense is gone, asks if the Court will admit expert testimony on The Bible.
The William Jennings Bryan act-alike says he does not object to defense using the Bible to defend the accused teacher. The Court says it knows no precedent where defense calls the prosecutor as a witness. The Court notes the prosecutor would be a defense witness against the prosecution of the accused teacher. The Judge says he would allow his refusal. The Bryan act-alike says his testimony is not against anything. It will be for The Bible.
The Defense asks if the Prosecution interprets the Bible literally. He questions him about the nature of Original sin, and asks him if all the begetting of Genesis chapter five was done by Original Sin.
The prosecution makes a mistake on the stand by asking what the agnostic defense considers holy. Given the question’s platform, the Defense answers the mind of Adam, asks if we should stop the advance of knowledge by frightening people with a fable, and claims Darwin’s revelation of our origins requires giving up our trust in Genesis.
The prosecution replies faith is everything. The Defense asks why God tested us with the capacity to think, and says the ability of the mind to reason sets us apart from the rest of creation which is physically stronger than man.
As a sophomore in college in the autumn of 1964 the defense of rationalism thrilled me. I was and I are a public fool graduate. Worse, I sang in the children’s choir, junior choir, senior choir and the adult choir growing up in the First Congregational Church. The theology in our hymnbooks was better than what came from the pulpit. The Pastor’s sermons did not teach me how to study the Bible. The sermons never showed me the Bible’s built-in dictionary. The sermons never showed me that Scripture interprets Scripture and we are not stuck with man’s interpretation. Nor did the sermons demonstrate to me the Scriptures are in harmony. For watching the withering cross examination of the Christian witness of national reputation, I was worse than unprepared. I was defenseless. I was a sophomore.
In Foundation part one I shared with you the meaning of the word sophomore. It is a compound English word composed of two Greek words that appear in the Koine Greek of the New Testament Scriptures:sophos means wise, moros means fool; sophomore means wise fool. The Greek word moros comes down to us in English as moron! Both Greek words, sophos and moros Paul wrote in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter three, verse eighteen.
1 Corinthians 3:18: Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise.
Wise translates sophos and fool translates moros. If there be any sophomores within the sound of my voice, please take heart in the Scripture we just read together. I was a sophomore twice:high school and college. And I did not do well in either. The Apostle Paul gives us the road to wisdom in this verse: becoming fools that we may be wise. Sophomore sheep have organic brains that are being retooled for adult life. It is a fragile time and risky. It so easily becomes deadly. Looking back at the greatest mistake I made with respect to eternity I remember the one thing I never discarded. I deeply respected my father and mother. In all my heedlessly immoral acts I continued to honor my father and my mother. Looking back on that, I see me reaping the first promise in the Ten Commandments. And I see a frustrated Great Shepherd patiently waiting for me to respond to him. I wish I could tell a better story about myself. But that will not happen on this assignment from The Holy Spirit.
I do not intend to blame anyone or anything else. I simply wish to point to what I lacked that left me so defenseless. Like anyone else I faced a choice. Nobody held a gun to my head. I threw out the Bible. As brother Jamie so eloquently said in his message title Tabernacles 2017, “I am the Problem.” There are conversions at sword point and axe edge in the Koran. There are no conversions at swordpoint in The Bible. Jesus loves volunteers. The accusation that the Christian religion is oppressive is a lie straight from the pit. I chose to act on my youthful lusts.
Psalms 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
Why did I believe the Bible was a book of beautiful fables?! In the last scene of Act Two, the defense grabs a rock from the exhibit table in front of one of the witnesses that intended to testify the earth is millions of years old, and asks the prosecution how old he supposes it is. The prosecution says his interest centers on the Rock of Ages, not on the age of rocks. The defense opens the split rock revealing the fossil remains of an ancient marine creature found in the area and which lived millions of years ago when the area’s mountains were deluged in water. The prosecution answers that the professor has the fact of the flood right but is mixed up on his times and ages. The rock is not over six thousand years old. The defense asks how he knows this.
The prosecution cites the Bible scholar Bishop James Ussher, The Annals of the World, first published in Latin 1650. Bishop Ussher calculated the exact day and hour of creation. By precise computation involving the ages of the prophets in Genesis Ussher concludes the LORD began creation October 23rd, 4004 B.C. at 9:00 a.m.
The defense asks if that was Eastern Standard Time. The courtroom bursts into laughter. Rule out Daylight Saving time. The Lord did not set the sun until the fourth day. More laughter. The prosecution squirms and says correct. The defense presses, asking if it was a 24 hour day. The prosecution replies the Bible says a day. The defense says no way to tell absent the sun. Could that have been 25 hours? The prosecution admits it is possible. The defense says you have interpreted the first day recorded in Genesis is undetermined. Could it have been thirty hours, a month, a year, a century? He holds the fossil rock under the prosecution’s nose and asks, or ten million years (?!)
The local prosecutor, realizing that the defense has taken captive the prosecution’s expert witness on The Bible, jumps to his feet objecting, asking the court to demand the purpose of the defense’s line of questioning. The prosecution shouts he’s trying to destroy belief in the Bible and in God. The defense shouts back, I’m preventing you bigots and ignoramuses from controlling this country’s education. The judge threatens to clear the court to restore order. The prosecution shouts how dare you assault the Bible! The defense says the Bible is a good book but it is not the only book. The prosecution says it is the revealed word of God set down by the men to whom it was spoken. The defense asks how do you know that God did not speak to Darwin. What if the teacher of evolution had the power to ram a bill through the legislature that only Darwin should be taught in school. The prosecution comes unglued, and says preposterous, there is only one great Truth. The defense says so you are the great Arbiter of what is truth. The prosecution says no, every man is a free agent. The defense says, what then is the teacher of evolution doing in the county jail (?!)
Are we able to understand what occurred in my sophomoric mind at the age of 19 as I watched this movie? Can we see that a sophomore, a wise moron, would not want to be a “bigot” or “ignoramus” criminalizing people for being mistaken? Can we see, that for someone to whom the Bible is a closed Book, he might be thrust away from ever opening the Library of God again? Do we see how discouraged someone could be from ever giving the oldest literature in Adam a hearing? Can man ever undo that kind of damage?
Jeremiah 32:27 Behold I am the God of all flesh: Is there any thing too hard for me?
God revealed the power of His Word for truth to me. Muslims believe that the utterance of the words in the Koran, or the reading of them quietly, signifies the very presence of Allah, a wicked angel joined with Lucifer in rebellion. What is the matter with us? (Scroll up to vvs. 17-19). If the Koran signifies the presence of a fallen angel, how much more the Bible signifies the Presence of the One True Ever Living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and us? Are the Muslims a witness against our nation?
Jeremiah 32: 17-19
17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.
18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompenseth the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them:the Great, the Mighty God the Lordof Hosts is his name.
19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
“For thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of Adam.” In Luke chapter eighteen we have Jesus holding forth on the difficulties of saving the souls of Adam.
Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
In this room, and within the sound of my voice, I am not the only one who has received great mercy and lovingkindness from God our Maker. He swept me off that slippery slope down to the Second Death by instilling in me, the faithless, his pure gift of faith. I never at any time deserved His pure gift. And that Second Death is infinitely more horrifying than the first death.
In our recounting of part of the last scene, Act II, did you notice where the defense hooked the prosecution?
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
What was the device that was used to instill doubt in me?
I have warm and wonderful fellowship at every feast. Back home, my batteries charged, I return to the combat of life. I have that warm and wonderful fellowship because of the long suffering, the patience, the lovingkindness, the forbearance, yes, even the charity of the brethren that seek to edify me and not their own. And in your charity I see Christ in you, the hope of glory. In 1986, the Wall of Water Tabernacles I found The Church of Israel, the powerful second witness to what Pastor Jerry and The Christian Reform Fellowship were witnessing to me, a tenderfoot, a rookie, a child in desperate need of fellowhip in This Message. Words adequate to express my gratitude, and the thanksgiving in my heart fail me now. What an honor and privilege it is to give back where I have been so well fed.
We read 2 Corinthians 2:11 about Satan’s devices. Verse 10 is our homework assignment. Forgiving each other prevents our old Adversary from getting advantage of us.
Your second homework assignment is to find a copy of the Play, Inherit the Wind, and read the disclaimer by the co-Authors. The disclaimer is educational. It reveals the entire Play as a setup to discredit an expert witness on the Bible and turn men from giving the Oldest Literature in Adam, the Bible, a hearing. It did that with me, until God did with me what man cannot do. And as soon as I was co-buried with Christ in baptism into His death, Jesus got me out of the greatest mistake I ever made with respect to eternity. You have two reasons for your second homework assignment. First, if you hunt the Play down and read the disclaimer for yourself you will own it! You will have an unforgettable acquaintance with a device of Satan. Paul has told us we should not be ignorant of them. Second, I have studiously avoided quoting from the Play, even the disclaimer. It has the tightest protection in the copyright business. In 1 Foundation, I detailed the consequences I endured from departing from The Bible. This recording is my proof I did not quote from the Play, much less give it an unauthorized reading. When I reveal their trick the Copyright Administrators will look for any legal means to murder my living. What would you do if you were at war with God?! Are the media at war with God and Christian Civilization? Are they training up Lynch Mobs in every American Neighborhood? Is Carnal Nature predictable?
What is the device the Play uses out of Satan’s bag of deceptions?
A few years ago I obtained an English reprint of Annals of the World by Bishop James Ussher. It became one of my most precious volumes in my private reference library. It is stunningly effective in giving us a Christian world view of History. It will convict the reader of the truth of 1 John 5:19.
1 John 5:19 And we know we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
The largest assembly in America, the Congregation of the Faithless, does not believe this Scripture. Seriously. They do not believe the whole world lies in wickedness. I remember what it was like to believe the whole world does not lie in wickedness, and to do accordingly. Nor will they believe Paul in Galatians. He is speaking of Jesus Christ:
Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.
Do we have to be prophets to predict this: the change agents of language will paint all who believe these Scriptures with a new pejorative term, “worldophobes”?
We are talking about eternity and time. Eternity is the easiest to discuss, but the hardest to understand, because we have no frame of reference. Eternity is To understand the device Satan uses, I should ask you a series of questions. When “God created the heaven and the earth”, how old was Adam? When God formed a forever-living body for him “out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”, how old was Adam? When Adam, the prophet of God on earth, said a “man shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be [or become] one flesh,” how old was he? When Adam took of the fruit from his wife “and did eat”, how old was Adam? When Adam and his wife “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden”, how old were they?
We are talking about eternity and time. Eternity is the easiest to discuss, but the hardest to understand, because we have no frame of reference. Eternity is “always was and always will be”. Time is the hardest to discuss, and the easiest to understand because we have a frame of reference. We are aging. We are dying. Eternity has no beginning, no end. When did time begin? Will time end? The defense tripped up the expert witness on The Bible. I liked his first answer: The Bible calls it a day. Peter quotes with understanding Psalms chapter ninety.
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
When Adam was created male and female, the Bible calls that a day.
Genesis 5:2 Male and female created hethem; and blessed them,and called their name Adam in the day when they were created.
Was that a day in eternity, or a day in time? The Bible expert witness got tripped up over that.
Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.
When was Adam zero years old? This is no idle question. In Appendix B of the English reprint of Ussher’s work, the editors, Larry and Marion Pierce, give a brief summary of the over one hundred pages of Ussher’s calculations showing how meticulously Ussher calculated from Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 and some other Bible passages. Ussher’s calculations flat work going forward. If other histories give a different year for the events of world history I will most readily accept Ussher’s dates. Ussher started from the Bible, not secular history. The next to the last entry in the summary of Ussher’s calculations is from Genesis 5:3 reporting Adam at the age of 130 when Seth is born. The next entry going back to the beginning is the cipher zero. Ussher assigns zero to all thirty one verses of Genesis chapter one.
Was Adam zero years old at the creation? Or was Adam zero years old on the sixth day of Replenishment? Is it Ussher himself that gives us the clue? In his Epistle to the Reader, he offers the year 4004 B.C., giving a brief history of men’s attempts to chronicle the ages. And he says, “..if I have any understanding in this matter...anyone could...define the time between the foundation of the world and Christ’s time.” Was the foundation of the world 4004 B.C.?
Does the phrase, “the foundation of the world” appear in the Scriptures? Yes. It is repeated in the New Testament Scriptures ten times. It occurs twice in Matthew, once in Luke, John and Ephesians, twice in Hebrews, once in First Peter, and twice in Revelation. The very first use of the phrase in Matthew 13:35 reports Jesus Christ quoting Psalms 78:2.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.
3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
In order to prevent you from rifling Bible pages at a furious rate, we have provided you with a Supplement collecting all ten references. In our first reference to the foundation of the world in Matthew 13:35 we have something very special. The Author of Psalms 78:2 is not only quoting himself but He is adding some unique insight for our understanding.
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Can we clearly see the reason the sayings of old, which we heard and knew and our fathers told us were such a riddle? Is it because God kept some select things secret from the foundation of the world? Does the term “the foundation of the world” pin point more specifically the term “of old” in Psalms 78? Is the foundation of the world both a time reference and an event?
Matthew 25:34 Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Did Adam abdicate Dominion? Was Adam the small g god of the world until he sinned? Did the foundation of the world make preparation of the kingdom for the blessed of the Father necessary and imperative, if the sons and daughters of Adam were to inherit? Did any need exist to prepare the kingdom for the blessed of the Father before the foundation of the world?
50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation.
51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple; verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
Is that the blood of all the prophets from A to Z? Was the first of all the prophets to have their blood shed, Abel? Does knowing Cain murdered Abel tell us of what generation all this blood shall be required? Could any of God’s prophets have been murdered before the foundation of the world? What was the foundation of the world and when did it occur? Did Adam become zero years old at the foundation of the world?
John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
John 17:24 is the first of three Scriptures discussing events clearly occurring before the foundation of the world. Do both Christ and we predate the foundation of the world ? (Ephesians 1). Here is the second of the three Scriptures saying “before”.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
“He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” Did we get our question answered? Can we say on Scriptural basis that Christ and we predate the foundation of the world?
This next verse has been rendered into an entire Bible Study in itself on numerous occasions and rightfully so. Today we will focus on the subjunctive phrase at the end.
Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
That last phrase is “although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” The meaning of this last phrase centers on the word “works.” Serious students of the Scriptures know there are two kinds of works: the works of faith and the works of salvation. Which one is under discussion here in Hebrews?
We go here to receive a most important nugget of wisdom on Bible interpretation. This is a major statute under the Bible Study Law, Scripture Interprets Scripture, we are not stuck with man’s interpretation.
Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) be fore him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
“Even God, who ... calleth those things which be not, as though they were.” Paul is quick to tell us who this God is! He is the God of Israel’s Resurrection. And here is a major statute in the Laws of Bible Study. He is the God who calleth those things which be not as though they were. Whatever event this foundation of the world is, it is the time and event God called the works of salvation finished.
We come to the first of the two Scriptures that flat anchor our insight into the nature of the event Scripture calls the foundation of the world. Here, Hebrews 9, we are taught that our High Priest Jesus Christ, though descended from Aaron through Mary, is not of the order of Aaron.
Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appear ed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
If Christ was a high Priest after the order of Aaron, “then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world.” That is “since,” not before. This is not one of the three Scriptures marking events before the foundation of the world. Why are the works of salvation pictured as finished from the foundation of the world? Why are the sufferings of Jesus Christ our Saviour pictured as finished since the foundation of the world? God, who calls those things that be not as though they were, calls the works of salvation and the sufferings of Jesus Christ “finished” from or since the foundation of the world. What is the foundation of the world? In First Peter chapter one the Scriptures, speaking of Jesus Christ who shed his precious blood “as a lamb without blemish and without spot,” say:
I Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
We just read the third and last of the three Scriptures that mark events before the foundation of the world. Whatever the foundation of the world is, there are events that precede it. God foreordained Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world. What is the foundation of the world, and when did it occur? We are now ready to read the second of two Scriptures that anchor our insight into the nature of the event Scripture calls the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
The slaying of the Lamb and the sufferings of Jesus Christ are both from or since the foundation of the world. God called the two events, the sufferings and the slaying of Christ, that were not at the foundation of the world, as though they were. Why does God date the sufferings of Jesus Christ and his slaying from or since the foundation of the world? Could it be that the event called the foundation of the world made the sufferings and the slaying of Jesus Christ absolutely necessary and imperative if God were to regain His Family?
We find the last verse mentioning the foundation of the world in Revelation chapter seventeen.
Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall won der whose names were not written in the book of life, from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
There seem to be no end of people dwelling on the earth whose names were not written in The Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world. Classmates, have any of you ever found Scriptures indicating that any of our names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life after the foundation of the world? Did Ephesians 1:4, on our ten verse supplement, instruct us that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world? If our names are on the Scroll of Life before the foundation of the world, can they only be blotted out? I speeded down the slippery slope toward the second death from age 19 to 38. I have the power to get my name blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life!I scare myself. I am my own terrorist! I do not want that old man inside me to get resurrection. I want the new man in the image of Jesus to grow and mature inside me.
How old is Lucifer? How old is Michael the archangel? How old is Gabriel? Are angels millenia of years old? And each millenium is ten centuries? Pastor Jerry has often preached from the pulpit, God is tired of rebels with eternal existence! Is that why, he asks, this mortal life is a filter? This mortal life will filter out rebels from the Kingdom! Do angels age? [No!] Are the bodies of angels flesh and bone and blood? Or, are they spiritual bodies?
When Adam fell, did he fall from immortality unto mortality? Did Adam begin to age when he became mortal? Did Adam get the forbidden fruit from the woman? Does that mean not from the Tree? When “he did eat”, was he then zero years old? We read in Genesis 5:5:
“And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” How can we arrive by count at 930 years unless we depart from the cipher zero? Bishop Ussher extrapolated the ages of the patriarchal prophets back to zero. Are we doing anything new here?!
Is aging for mortals? Is the foundation of the world Adam’s Fall? !
Was Adam’s Fall 4004 B.C.?