Open-Eyed Faith :: By Sean Gooding

John 14:10-11

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, performing His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me— or at least believe on account of the works themselves.”

Psalm 19: 1-3, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.”

Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

I saw an interview with a prominent brother in the Lord the other day, and he expressed how he has questions at times about his faith. Did I ask all the right questions? Did I check under every rock? Did I really think this through? Some of us, me included, at times have the same questions. We are never called to have ‘blind faith’ in the Lord. Our faith is evidence-based. The very word believe is an action word, and in particular, it is the idea of taking action. So, I believe the chair can hold me up; therefore, I sit in it; this is the idea of Biblical faith. It is more practical than hypothetical.

I see so many challenges to the Bible and its authenticity; the mere fact that they constantly challenge it like no other ‘religious’ book is, to me, the best evidence of its truth and longevity.

If one were to take the time to look through all the archeological finds that support the scriptures, like the many copies of the Old and New Testament, either in part or whole, artifacts prove the existence of King David. The fragments show Pontius Pilate and other officials of the time.

There are many evidences of the Bible’s authenticity. However, I was watching a short video yesterday, and it mentioned two things that have been well-known for some time. It just so happens that I am reading in Deuteronomy, as I am at the end of the Torah. And so, I wanted to share these two things; maybe some of you have a few doubts or questions, and this may help. As the text shows, Jesus and God the Father called us to faith based on evidence and believe because of what we do or because of what we see. When John the Baptist’s followers came to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, He told them to report what they had seen. When we get up in church or to share the Gospel with someone, we are speaking about what Jesus has done for us. There is a relationship that is tangible.

As mentioned, I was watching a short video with Dr. John Bergsma, and he was laying out two things from the exodus that we know for sure and how they authenticate the timing of the events in the exodus from Egypt.

The first was the construction of the Tabernacle; the Egyptian kings lived in Tabernacle-like compounds when they went to war. Their dwellings would have an outer and inner court, and they would have a box like the Ark of the Covenant with the cherubim on either side. In-between was their god, Pharoah. There are actual pictures of this in the engraving, and even some of the dimensions are very similar. In fact, there is a box like the Ark of the Covenant in the tomb of King Tut. The box has two cherubim on it, and in between, there is the god Anubis on it.

So, the God of Israel set up a similar Tabernacle, and in this, He dwells between the cherubim as a Spirit. The 2nd Commandment forbids any kind of image being used to represent God. He is the Unseen God; there is nothing that can describe Him, and no image can portray Him. So here we have a setup like we know for sure that Egyptian kings used when they went to war. We know that these things are true and that they are real, but many of us, myself included, have not heard this, nor do enough of us research to find out the truth that the world system tries to hide from us.

He goes on to add one further bit of evidence for us: from the Egyptian 2nd Kingdom period, we have a set of Treaty documents between Egyptian kings and the kings of the Hittite Empire; there are several copies in Egyptian, Hittite, and other languages. The structure of the treaties looks like the book of Deuteronomy. So, we have a kind of prologue about the parties involved, then some major constitutional principles, then we lay out specific laws, and then we end with instructions on how to store the treaty document, how often it should be read publicly, a list of blessing for following the covenant, and then a list of curses for breaking the covenant.

This has been known since the 1950s, but I bet a lot of us have never heard of this; I surely had not. But we are to recall that Moses was brought up in the royal court where he would have seen these documents being written, and his story tells us that these formats date back to the time of the exodus.

These kinds of incidental and cultural confirmations are truly authentic; this is not name-dropping but rather shows the influence of the time on the people. Moses was a Jew, but he was raised as an Egyptian; he learned their ways, and it was a part of who he was. God used that because it was also familiar to the people, the Jews who had been raised in Egypt. They saw the Pharoah’s war tabernacles, and then surely Moses saw the treaties. Thus, God used the familiar to teach the unfamiliar.

We are not called to ‘blind faith.’ Not once does God call us to faith that is not based on evidence. Jesus called the disciples out of the boat even as He was walking on the water past them. Jesus calls us to love others sacrificially because He loves us that way and showed it to us.

As we get closer and closer to the call home, the Bible tells us that many will turn away from the faith (Matthew 24:10). Now, no one is saved because of evidence; they are saved by hearing the word of God. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

But once we are saved and begin to explore the scriptures and hear the criticisms, the Holy Spirit has a plethora of evidence out there and a host of Godly men who are both saved and scientists, highly educated, who can help us see the firm foundation that we stand on in Jesus more clearly.

Keep reading, keep searching, and keep finding the little pieces of evidence that God has graciously given us to bolster our faith.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding

Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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