Does the Bible teach that the Earth is flat?

A surprising development in recent years has been the increase of people who believe the Earth is flat. Flat Earthers believe the earth is not a globe, but is a large flat disk. The North Pole is at the center of this disk and Antarctica is an ice barrier on the outer edge of the disk of Earth. Those who have seen the famous “Blue Marble” picture of the Earth, or any other satellite imagery of our planet, may be baffled by the belief that Earth is flat.

Flat Earth beliefs are not limited to Christians, though a large number of professing Christians can be found among flat Earth proponents. However, belief in a flat Earth cannot be equated with any form of Biblical literalism, fundamentalism, Christianity or any other specific religious group. No major Christian denomination, church or organization affirms the Earth is flat. Despite this, many proponents of a flat Earth attempt to show that the Bible teaches the Earth is flat.

The Bible does not teach that the Earth is flat. Those who claim it does make a series of reading errors that cause them to misunderstand certain passages of Scripture. The great majority of the proof texts used by proponents of a flat Earth are Biblical poetry, most frequently from the books of Job, Psalms and Isaiah. Hebrew poetry is a highly descriptive form of literature which uses striking images to make a point. The imagery is never the point of the passage, but is the tool used to make the point. The Bible does not contain any passage which intends to describe the geometry of the Earth. Every passage used as evidence for a flat Earth is a passage discussing something else. To make a passage about the shape of the earth is to misread the text. When Isaiah 40:22 describes God as “He who sits above the circle of the earth” it is doing so using poetic language. This same verse compares the heavens to a curtain and to a tent. This is clearly figurative language intended to describe the greatness of God, not the shape or nature of the universe.

Other passages used by proponents of a flat Earth misunderstand the words of the passage. For example, the King James Version says in Job 37:10, “the breadth of the waters is straitened.” From that verse flat Earth proponents argue that if the waters are straitened, not curved, then Earth must be flat. The Old English word straitened does not mean “straight”, but “to make narrow.” In other words, Job 37 is declaring God’s power to make wide waters narrower. Job 37:10 does not teach that the oceans are a flat surface which can be measured by a straight line. Additionally, Flat Earth proponents insist the Bible’s frequent use of “the face of the earth” means the Earth has a geometrically flat surface like a plane. This assertion is patently false. Though the English word “face” is used at times to refer to a geometric face, like the side of a cube, the original Hebrew word does not mean “flat plane.” The face of the earth is simply the surface of the Earth, the visible area exposed to view. To insist otherwise is to introduce a geometrical concept not present in the Old Testament word.

Flat Earth proponents also fail to take into consideration the use of idioms in Scripture. For example, an English idiom says something occurs, “Once in a blue moon.” Native English speakers understand this phrase to mean an event is rare. No one intends to say that on incredibly infrequent occasions the moon’s color changes to blue. Idiom’s are not intended to communicate historical or scientific details. The Biblical use of idioms like “four corners of the earth” or “the ends of the earth” is no more intended to communicate a fact of geography than “once in a blue moon” is intended to communicate a fact of selenography.

A proper understanding of the types of literature used in the Bible and the meaning of it’s words shows the Bible does not teach the Earth is flat. Flat Earth teaching is not just a harmless fad. Those who teach something contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible are false teachers. Flat Earth proponents may not be denying the gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus alone, but one must be careful of their teaching. Some make the shape of the Earth the most important truth and refuse to attend any church which does not affirm a flat Earth. Some create division in churches over this issue. All proponents of a flat Earth misuse of the Word of God in such a way that it gives the enemies of God opportunity to mock Him. Their poor handling of Scripture may also teach others to interpret the Bible as badly as they do and cause many to misunderstand Scripture. Flat Earth advocates tell lies about God (1 Corinthians 15:15) by declaring He said something which He did not say.


Where was Jesus’ spirit after His death?

Jesus is God the Son who became human while remaining fully God. As the only God-man Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of humanity’s sin. His dead body was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. On the morning of the third day after His death Jesus was restored to life. Where was Jesus’ while His body lay in the grave?

The simplest answer to this question comes from the words of Jesus Himself. In the final moments before His death Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) Since Jesus entrusted His spirit into the care of God, the only reasonable conclusion is God the Father received His spirit into Heaven. God the Father was pleased with the life and service of His Son. God audibly declared His pleasure at Jesus’ baptism and transfiguration. Jesus said He came to do the will of the Father (John 6:38), He glorified God in all things and finished the work God gave Him to do. (John 17:4) Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience. (Hebrews 4:15; 10:7) God the Father was pleased with the life and death of His Son. He would not refuse to take the spirit of His beloved Son. When Jesus died His spirit was received into Heaven by His loving Father whom He had perfectly obeyed in His life and death.

The Bible does not teach that Jesus went to hell after His death. First Peter 3:19 causes some to conclude Jesus did go to hell because it says that Jesus “went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” Some have concluded that after His death Jesus went down into Hell and spoke to those held there. However, First Peter 3 clearly says Jesus spoke to imprisoned spirits by “the Spirit.” “The Spirit” is not referring to Jesus’ human spirit but to God the Spirit. In other words, Jesus preached to the disobedient people of Noah’s day through the Holy Spirit. The human agent of this preaching was Noah, “the preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) First Peter 3 does not teach that after His death Jesus descended to Hell to preach to imprisoned souls.

Jesus had no need to go to Hell after His death. He paid the entire penalty of sin on the cross. When He said “it is finished” (John 19:30) He declared nothing else was required for sin to be forgiven. Jesus did not have to suffer more in hell for men to be saved. All the work of salvation was accomplished on the cross. When Jesus died it was done.

Jesus’ dead body was placed in the grave to wait for the resurrection. Jesus’ spirit went directly to Heaven to wait for the resurrection and the reunion of His spirit with His body. This is exactly what happens to the Christian at death. The body of the believer goes into the ground to wait for the day of resurrection. The spirit of the Christian goes directly to Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8) to wait for the day of resurrection. Because Jesus rose from the dead the Christian is assured of a future resurrection when he will be given a glorified body, and his spirit and body will be reunited together to never again suffer the severing of death.

Can a Christian Be Demon Possessed?

Demon possession is the name given to describe when a fallen angel takes control of a person by taking up residence in the individual’s heart. The Bible does not use the phrases “demon possession” or “demon possessed.” However, the phenomenon is clearly described in Scripture and evidence suggests demon possessions still occur today. Many questions can be asked about this phenomenon. One question in particular troubles many believers. Can a demon make his home in the heart of a Christian and control the believer’s life?

Christians can fall into sin and come back under bondage to sins which take over their lives. Christians can become addicted. Christians can fall so greatly under the power of sin that it seems as if they have no control over their lives. Christians may find themselves attacked by demons or by demon controlled people. None of these things are demon possession. Demon possession is when a demon moves into the spiritual heart of a person to become a controlling inhabitant of the individual. The subject is not directly addressed in Scripture, but several related passages work together to lead to the conclusion that demons cannot possess Christians.

In Matthew 12:43-45 Jesus tells a parable about a demon who goes out of a man but later returns. When the demon finds the man’s heart empty he gathers additional demons and they all take up residence in the heart of that unfortunate man. Caution needs to be exercised when interpreting and applying parables, but Jesus’ words hint that demons seek out empty hearts to take over.

The Christian does not have an empty heart. Romans 8 clearly declares that the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of the Christian. First Corinthians 6:19 says the Christian is “the temple of the Holy Ghost.” At the moment of salvation the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believer’s heart. From that time until the person enters heaven the Holy Spirit never departs from the Christian’s heart. (Ephesians 1:13-14) If demons require an empty heart to inhabit they will not find one in the child of God.

Second Corinthians 6:15 asks the question, “What accord has Christ with Belial?” That rhetorical question is one of a series of questions which declare God has no fellowship or camaraderie with any evil thing. Psalm 5:4 says of God, “Nor shall evil dwell with you.” God the Holy Spirit will not share a dwelling with demons.

Demons cannot force their way into the heart where the Holy Spirit dwells. Demons are created beings. They are angels who rebelled against God. As creatures all demons are under the complete control of God. If God the Spirit refuses a demon access to the heart of a person then the demon has no choice but to submit. Consider the ease with which Jesus cast out demons. Jesus is God the Son who operated in the power of God the Spirit. When Jesus commanded demons obeyed. No demon has the ability to force his way into the Holy Spirit’s residence or to drive the Holy Spirit out of a Christian’s heart.

The prospect of the Holy Spirit sharing a heart with a demon is incredibly implausible. The presence of God the Spirit will keep the Christian safe from any demons making his heart their home.

Did Noah take dinosaurs on the ark with him?

Genesis 6 tells the story of Noah building a massive ship, filling it with animals and then surviving a year long, world destroying flood. When the flood ended, Noah, his family and all the animals left the ark. The world was repopulated by these refugees who were saved from the flood. All people and land animals alive today trace their lineage back to the flood’s ark borne survivors.

The Biblical account of the flood has prompted some to wonder about dinosaurs. Were dinosaurs on the ark? If dinosaurs survived the flood, why are none left alive today? If Noah did take dinosaurs on the ark, how did he fit all those massive animals on one ship?

The Bible gives a clear answer to the first question. Yes, dinosaurs were on the ark. In Genesis 6:19-20 God said, “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female . . . two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.” Then Genesis 7:13-15 says, “Noah … entered the ark . . . and every beast after its kind . . . went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life.” The Bible says two of every kind of air breathing, land animals went onto the ark with Noah. This means dinosaurs were on the ark with Noah.

Which raises the question of how Noah was able to fit all the animals on the ark. Some dinosaurs were massive and only one pair would have filled a large portion of the space available on the ark. However, not all the dinosaurs were huge. Most animals, including dinosaurs, are fairly small. The size of the average dinosaur was closer to that of a sheep than of a school bus.

Furthermore, Noah had no reason to bring fully grown animals onto the ark. He could have filled the ship with adolescents. Younger animals would have taken up less room than full grown adult and would have been able to bear more children after the flood. Extremely large animals require several years to reach full size. For example, an elephant requires at least 15 years to reach full size. Even fast growing animals like cows usually require a couple years to reach full size. Noah could have taken on board juvenile animals that were large enough to be independent of their parents, but were not yet fully grown. This simple solution would have provided ample room for all the animals to fit on the ark.

If Noah took dinosaurs on the ark, then why are none left today? That question is best answered by asking another question. Why aren’t there any giant sloths, wooly mammoths or short faced bears left today? They went extinct. The causes of dinosaur extinction are unknown. Various ideas have been suggested by creation scientists, including a dramatic change of the environment after the flood or over hunting by humans. Whatever happened to the dinosaurs after the flood, the Biblical account of the flood is a reliable record. Noah brought dinosaurs onto the ark.

Who is God?

Certain basic facts about God can be learned from thoughtful observation of the world around us. Creation teaches the existence of God, His pre-existence, His greatness, His Divinity and His power. (Romans 1:20) That all things are made is apparent by the incredibly intricacy of the designs found throughout nature. The Maker must of necessity precede the existence of the things made. Thus, God existed before anything else. (Psalm 90:2) That God is great and powerful is clear from the magnificence of creation. Only a great God could create a universe with such beauty. Only a powerful God could fill a universe with geysers, volcanoes, stars and so many other mighty works. The Being who creates all things, who exists before all things and who fills the universe with wonders can be nothing less than Divine.

Not everything that can be known of God is learned from studying nature. What creation teaches about God is corroborated and expanded by the Bible. Scripture is God’s revelation of His character and of His deeds towards men. In the opening chapters of the Bible God is revealed to be a Triune Creator. That is, God is One God in Three Persons. He is also presented as the Sovereign ruler over all creation who orders the universe and decrees what mankind ought to do. When man disobeyed God, God was revealed to be the just and merciful judge.

In Exodus 34 God shows His glory to Moses. He declares that He is merciful, gracious, patient, abounding in goodness, abundant in truth, forgiving and punishing sin. (Exodus 34:6) The Psalms declare that God eternally exists (Psalm 93:2), is present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-10) and knows all things (Psalm 147:5). In the book of Jeremiah God declares He can do all things. (Jeremiah 32:27)

Maybe the most widely known attribute of God is His love. Scripture teaches that God shows love toward men, is a loving Father, that He acts in love towards all people. Love is more than just an action of God. Love is His character. God is love. (1 John 4:8) He never acts contrary to His nature, so all He does is loving.

Isaiah 6 reveals that God is holy. Though many understand love to be God’s greatest attribute, the Bible elevates the holiness of God as that attribute for which He is eternally praised. (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8) Holiness is God’s uniqueness from His creation (Isaiah 46:9), His perfect absence of all sin (Psalm 5:4) and His hatred for sin (Habukkuk 1:13).

Most importantly, God is the Savior who came to redeem sinners. God’s holiness and love do not contradict each other. In Jesus the love and holiness of God meet together. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, sin is punished and forgiven at the same time. Jesus’ sacrifice reveals the mind boggling wisdom of God’s righteousness. (Romans 1:17) In Jesus the gracious glory of God is revealed to all men. (John 1:14) Through Jesus God is shown to be the Savior of all who trust Him. (1 John 4:14)

Through the Bible a person can gain a fuller knowledge of God. Outside of Scripture some basic truths of God can be deduced from creation. However, all deductions and conclusions about God apart from the Bible have the possibility of being in error because all people are limited in understanding and corrupted by sin. Any conclusions about God which contradict the Bible must be rejected as wrong. Through Scripture men can know God and can know Him as Savior. Because God is gracious He has revealed His Word His nature, His works and His salvation to men.

Did the Israelites cross the Sea of Reeds?

The ten plagues culminated in the death of the firstborn son in every family in Egypt. Israel was driven out out of Egypt by the grief stricken, terror filled Egyptians. Instead of guiding the Israelites directly towards Canaan, God led Israel south into the wilderness. This set the stage for one final showdown between Pharaoh and God. Exodus 14 describes that climactic event which concluded Israel’s dramatic deliverance from Egypt.

The people of Israel were led to a camping place along the shore of the sea and close to a range of mountains. Pharaoh determined to reconquer Israel and he pursued them with all his army. The army of Egypt caught up to Israel at the sea and effectively pinned them against the waterline. God intervened and divided the waters of the sea so Israel could cross safely to the other side. When Pharaoh’s army tried to cross, the waters crashed back onto the Egyptians drowning Pharaoh and his army.

Exodus 14 does not mention the sea by name, but Exodus 13 says God led Israel into the wilderness of the Red Sea. In Exodus 15 Moses sings a song of praise to God for their deliverance. He says, “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.” (Exodus 15:4) Later books of the Bible also identify the sea Israel crossed as the Red Sea.

Some have argued that Israel did not cross the Red Sea, but that they walked across a now unknown area known as the Sea of Reeds. According to some this sea would have been much shallower than the Red Sea and much more likely to be pushed back or parted by the strong east wind mentioned in Exodus 14. Some have even suggested that this sea of reeds was nothing more than a marshy area through which the Israelites waded.

The word translated “red” can be legitimately translated “reed” as well as “red.” In fact, it is translated as reeds in several places in the Old Testament. (i.e., Exodus 2:3) However, this body of water is also identified as the location of Solomon’s fleet of ships. (1 Kings 9:26) Solomon could not have built a fleet on a marshland, nor are any lakes in the area large enough to be home to a fleet of anything larger than fishing boats. Since the Mediterranean Sea is generally identified as “the sea” or “the great sea” in the Old Testament, then the Red Sea is the only other body of water on which Solomon could sail a fleet of ships. Consequently, the sea the Israelites crossed must be what we know today as the the Red Sea or one of it’s gulfs.

Various places have been identified as the site of the crossing of the Red Sea, but none can be proven. The exact location of the crossing is of secondary importance to certain other Biblical facts. The body of water was near to Egypt and miraculously divided by God for Israel’s deliverance. The Israelites crossed the sea on dry ground with walls of water on either side of them. The Egyptians attempted to follow Israel into the sea and were destroyed by the inrush of water when it collapsed back into it’s normal bed.

The place of Israel’s crossing could not have been a shallow marshy area that was made slightly less damp by the strong east wind. None can say with certainty if the site of this deliverance was the main body of the Red Sea or one of its gulfs. What is certain is the Bible’s declaration that God miraculously delivered His people from their Egyptian enslavers by parting the water for Israel to cross on dry ground.

Are Christians Fascists?

A Christian organization aired two commercials during Super Bowl 57. In response, at least one politician described the sponsors of those ads as fascists. Is there any truth to that claim? Are conservative Christians fascists? The following is not intended to be a defense or critique of He Gets Us or its advertising. Instead, this is a direct response to claims being leveled against He Gets Us with the intent to defame all morally conservative Christians.

No, Christianity is not fascist. To start with the obvious, Christianity predates fascism by 1900 years. To equate fascism with Christianity is to ignore nearly two millennia of Christian teachings which have nothing whatsoever to do with fascist ideas. Christianity and fascism do not share any important philosophical ideals. Fascism is clearly defined and well understood by students of history. A short description of fascism is that it is a militant nationalism which is often connected with racism and tyranny. A fuller explanation of the tenets of fascism can be found in any reputable encyclopedia.

Anyone who is familiar with history will know Christians are not fascists. Certainly some Christians have followed fascist regimes. The German Lutheran Church in the 19030’s and early 1940’s is one clear example of Christians and churches who promoted fascist principles. However, the German Lutheran Church during the time of Hitler is noteworthy because it is a clear example of the abandoment of Christian principles for political convenience. When the Lutheran Church in Germany began to uphold fascist ideals, it ceased to be Christian.

The upholding of conservative Christian morals is not fascism, Christian Nationalism or an attempt to turn America into a theocracy. Biblical Christianity is not racist, hateful or militaristic. All those things can be found among professing Christians and Christian groups, but not one is an integral part of Christianity. Racism and hatred of others are plainly contrary to what the New Testament teaches is basic Christian behavior. Any thoughtful reading of the New Testament will show that Christianity is utterly contrary to the ideals of fascism.

Christianity declares all people are created in the image of God (James 3:9) and all people share the same parents (Genesis 3:20). Consequently, racism is repugnant to those who practice the second great commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) Jesus commanded Christians to show love to all people, including their enemies, to bless those who curse them and to pray for those who persecute them. (Matthew 5:44) Such a loving response to different and difficult people is not compatible with fascism. This response of Christian love also applies to those who would call Christians fascists. Christians are to love the very politicians who would slander and malign them.

Christianity teaches submission to all governing authorities, but denies that any government is the ultimate and final authority. All who are in power have been given that authority by God. (Romans 13:1) Every government and world leader stands beneath God. The Christian should always ready to “obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) Civil disobedience must always be done with respect to the King, President, Governor or Fuhrer, but such respect in no way weakens the believers commitment to obey God no matter how earthly powers may threaten or demand total obedience. Fascism cannot co-exist with a commitment of ultimate allegiance to God alone.

Christianity is not fascist, but denies key tenets of fascism. To declare any Christian group fascist because it opposes homosexuality and abortion is ridiculous. Such a statement shows a willful misunderstanding of history and a deceitful attempt to inflame the emotions of others. This is not new. Equating Christians with fascists has been a popular response to Christians speaking about issues of abortion, homosexuality or transgenderism or to Christians expressing their desire for more Christians in state and federal leadership. Christians must answers these false claims with lives and testimonies that show the love of Christ while faithfully opposing that which the Bible declares to be evil.

When did God Make Carnivorous Animals?

Genesis 1 describes God’s creation of all things, including the creation of every kind of animal. In Genesis 1:30 God says, “To every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.” God then declared the entire creation to be “very good.” Initially all animals were plant eaters.

Genesis 3 records the rebellion of humanity against God and the subsequent curse that fell on all the world. Many conservative Bible teachers believe animals began to eat meat as a result of the curse. The Bible does not say when certain animals began to be carnivorous. Passages like Isaiah 11 which speak of carnivores being restored to their original herbivorous condition and Romans 5 which says death came because man sinned. These passages lead to the conclusion that no animal ate the flesh of another until after man sinned. After man’s sin some animals became carnivorous. Whether the transition to carnivory was gradual or instant is unknown.

Those who study zoology (the science of animals) know the digestive system of a meat eater is quite different from that of a plant eater. To survive on a meat based diet the creature has to be able to eat and digest the meat. This requires unique features in the teeth, jaws, stomachs or intestines of carnivores. When God cursed the world did He renovate the innards of certain animals so they could begin to eat meat? The Bible does not say.

Most carnivores are able to live on a plant based diet. Relatively few obligate carnivores (meat eaters which can only survive on a predominantly meat based diet) exist. Cats, snakes and lizards are a few kinds of obligate carnivores. The majority of meat eating animals also have a diet containing a large percentage of plant based foods. Bears, dogs and apes are carnivores which also eat varying amounts of plant matter. A slow transition to carnivory can be imagined for those animals which are not obligate carnivores. Conditions in the cursed world may have required them to begin eating meat and the process of adaptation allowed those better able to process meat to survive and pass on their unique genetic features. Knowing man was going to sin God could have built into the genetic structure of many creatures the ability to process meat.

God could also have redesigned many animals at the same time He redesigned certain plants to bear thorns and thistles. A Divine re-plumbing of certain creatures to enable them to survive on meat is not an unreasonable assumption. The curse of Satan included a radical redesign of snake structure. The serpent was created with legs, but was cursed to crawl on its belly. For this to be a sustainable transformation something greater than mere amputation had to happen. The structures supporting the leg bones, muscles and tendons had to be removed and new structures put in place (assuming they were not already present) that allowed the snake’s muscles to push its scales backward, thus propelling the animal forward. This design change also required a change of the animals DNA or only the first generation of cursed snakes would have been legless. If God had not changed the serpent’s DNA its offspring would have been legged because the genetic code would have included the originally created instructions to form the the embryo according to the originally created, legged design. God’s curse of the serpent shows that the effects of the curse were much greater than might be thought. Thus, speculating Diving intervention to massively redesign other animals is not unreasonable.

Nothing can be said with certainty about how and when animals began to eat other animals. The Bible does not tell those details. The Bible does tell of a time when that process will be reversed. Isaiah 11 describes the conditions of the world after the return of Jesus to establish His kingdom on this earth. During that kingdom, “The cow and the bear will graze” and “the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” (Isaiah 11:7) When Jesus rules on the earth He will renovate the world to remove much of the curse. He will radically alter the behavior and internal physical structures of animals so even obligate carnivores will eat hay. Who is to say He did not perform similar alterations when He cursed the world because of sin?