The last century marked a prosperous period for the church from an earthly perspective. But now, as the twelfth century unfolds, any fanciful hope of a great spiritual revival, redeeming of creation through a common grace of God, or a turning of the kingdom of this world to God are swiftly dashed to pieces. Genesis 5 ends with the words “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth” (Gen 5:32). Notice how old Noah was when the birth of these sons takes place! Up to this point it was a child born early in the life of a patriarch that was chosen to represent the line of Christ and the elect church. What was going on with the church during those 500 years? What about the many children that were undoubtedly born to Noah before Shem, Ham, and Japheth? What about all the children born in the church during this time?
To put it simply, the young people were leaving the church in droves. Between the death of older saints and apostasy, Noah, his wife, his three young boys and their new brides were the only ones left when God brought salvation to his little flock by way of the earth shattering flood. These were dreadful days for the church, and we think of the words of Christ as he spoke of the days shortly before his return on the clouds of glory: “But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days” (Mark 13:17-20). For some 500 years, then, the church dwindled, and God tells us that the world grew in wickedness and was characterized by violence. The world knew clearly that it was the church which hindered its progress and it began a systematic program of eradication.
Concerning this period of time before the Flood, God has revealed to us a number of truths that emphasize how weak and helpless the church is in herself. Our Lord describes us as sheep. We require constant supervision. In comparison to the world, we have no “street-smarts.” The church, after all, realizes that this world is not even her home and spends her time and energy putting up spiritual treasures into the kingdom of heaven. But even in her spiritual life and godliness, she has no strength of herself, and is completely dependent upon God. Peter instantly began to sink apart from faith in Christ. We will consider next month, the Lord willing, the devastating effects of earthly and sensual attractions that governed the selection of marriage partners.
In contrast, the world is the intelligent and subtle wolf. It is shrewd and clever in attaining with a single eye its goal of glory and power. When Satan brought Jesus to the mountain top to show him the kingdoms of this earth, he saw real power and earthly glory. Satan has been given a very real power and authority in this world. All the good treasures and powers hidden in this earth to be discovered and used by man for the glory of God are systematically developed and channeled into service to Satan. The giants of commerce, money, and technology serve the kingdom of this world.
Today we stand amazed at the power of technology and the glory of modern cities. Satellites scurry around the globe knitting together the lives of everyone and giving to each man, woman, and child the power to buy, sell, communicate, and know whenever and whatever he wants. If our eyes could see the networks of communication, each of the seven billion human lives on this earth would be like individual nerve cells in a brain—a brain that is the mind of Satan himself—a psychotic brain that is determined to overthrow the living God. The church within this world are like so many cancer cells waiting to be identified and eradicated once and for all. The church doesn’t stand a chance…apart from Christ.
The church of the twelfth century lived among giants—not only physically large, but intellectually, economically, and socially as well. They “became mighty men which were of old, men of renown (Genesis 6:4). To comprehend the power of these “mighty men,” we only need to look around at today’s multitude of billionaires, the powerful organizations and corporations, and the glamour of their lifestyles. Then we need to give these men hundreds of years to live, IQ scores that would make Einstein look like a schoolboy, and an enormous physical capacity to carry out their grand dreams. The Darwinian thinking that has saturated our schools and culture for the past hundred years has pretty well ironed into our minds the idea that somehow, even if we confess not to believe in evolution, that we are much more advanced than anyone could have been in “olden times.” We can hardly get the “cave man” picture from our minds. From our childhood, we have been bombarded with the evolutionary artist’s rendering of “early man” as a dumb-looking ape with some sort of spark in its eye that speaks of some greater destiny. Our pride continually stokes the notion that we must be much more advanced than these men of old.
These were not “men of renown” just for their times. If these men were to walk into the great science labs of today, the corporate headquarters of the world, or Wall Street and begin to speak, they would soon silence the greatest minds of today and turn them into mesmerized students. Scientists and archeologists continue to stand in awe over what have been called the “seven wonders of the ancient world.” The wonders are not limited to these massive works of engineering. A list of what is now called “ooparts” (Out-of-place artifacts) is growing. These are man-made mechanisms, tools, or artistic objects which clearly belong to BC times, but according to evolutionary thinking can’t possibly come from earlier times. Some explain these artifacts as the product of alien life, and various cults and sects, including the Mormons have developed religions around the idea that the civilizations before the Flood used space travel. God has revealed that man was capable of fantastic inventions, but we have no reason to go off into the bizarre directions that these cults and sects go.
We have space here to describe only a couple of these “ooparts.” The first defies the evolutionary notion that man had, already long before Columbus, acquired the technology and ability to navigate the oceans, explore, and chart coastlines using complex star charts, navigation inventions, and calculations. The following gives a description:
In 1929, a group of historians found an amazing map drawn on a gazelle skin. Research showed that it was a genuine document drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, a famous admiral of the Turkish fleet in the sixteenth century. His passion was cartography.
Piri Reis’ high rank within the Turkish navy allowed him to have a privileged access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople. The Turkish admiral admits, in a series of notes on the map, that he compiled and copied the data from a large number of source maps, some of which dated back to the fourth century BC or earlier.
The Controversy—the Piri Reis Antarctica map
The Piri Reis map shows the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica ice free. The northern coastline of Antarctica is perfectly detailed. The most puzzling however is not so much how the Piri Reis Antarctica map managed to be so accurate 300 years before it was discovered, but that the map shows the coastline under the ice. Geological evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC.
On 6th July 1960 the U. S. Air Force responded to Prof. Charles H. Hapgood of Keene College, specifically to his request for an evaluation of the ancient Piri Reis Map: …
…Dr. Charles Hapgood, in his book Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (Turnstone books, London 1979, preface), said that:
It appears that accurate information has been passed down from people to people. It appears that the charts must have originated with a people unknown and they were passed on, perhaps by the Minoans and the Phoenicians, who were, for a thousand years and more, the greatest sailors of the ancient world. We have evidence that they were collected and studied in the great library of Alexandria (Egypt) and the compilations of them were made by the geographers who worked there. Piri Reis had probably come into possession of charts once located in the Library of Alexandria, the well-known most important library of the ancient times. http://www.ancientdestructions.com/site/destructions/piri-reis-antarctica-map.php
Not only do these maps defy the false evolutionary thinking that man really only began to blossom intellectually at the time of the Greeks, but it exposes a world of men shortly after the tower of Babel who were exploring the new world and apparently had the technology to map Antarctica before the new seasons following the Flood had time to cover the continent in ice.
Another discovery in 1901 was an interesting looking clump of bronze from a Roman shipwreck that went down near the Greek island of Antikythera some 100 years before Christ was born. It was not until a team from the Cardiff University in Wales was able to apply X-ray tomography to the artifact that its complexity was revealed. It turned out to be a highly complex mechanical device with some 37 gears that were not thought to have been invented until the 16th century. By turning a crank, the device would calculate the positions of planets as well as solar and lunar eclipses for any given day in the past or future. It could also perform mathematical calculations. The discovery has forced historians and sociologists to rethink what they had before said was impossible (November 20, 2007 and July 31, 2008 LA Times).
What do these discoveries have to do with life 600 years before the Flood? God has revealed to us that the Flood destroyed the world that then was. The only glimpse we get of that world is what God has revealed about it and what Noah and his sons brought with them into the new world. Even with a drastically reduced lifespan and the devastating blow at the tower of Babel, the children of Noah who had not even belonged to the ancient “men of renown” were able to recreate and develop quickly some of the things that had been learned and developed before the Flood. When we understand these great achievements of mechanical computers, navigation, and construction marvels to be mere shadows and memories of the knowledge that existed before the Flood, it only serves to heighten our wonder of these men of renown. Then, too, what artifacts we have discovered are likely only the tip of the iceberg.
Man in his earthly kingdom under the guidance of Satan has limped along with severe handicaps of reduced life span, famines, warfare, disease, poverty and language barriers ever since Babel. Even so, look around you and see what he has achieved! In Revelation 13, he is described as a great beast that had been wounded. Today he is using the power of electrons to work a healing of the wound and restore the collective power of men. Before the Flood, the church witnessed the amazing and wonderful, yet fearful development of the powers of man. The church also understood that she was the one thing on this earth that stood between the beast and its goal of dethroning God. As long as the church exists on this earth, the world sees God’s faithfulness and purpose in saving his elect and working all things to his glory. And when the world develops in glory and power, it will do everything possible to destroy the church which gets in its way.