July 27, 2003


In Mark 6:14-16, King Herod heard about Jesus "for His name had become well-known. And he said, 'John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.' Others said, 'It is Elijah.' And others said, 'It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.' But when Herod heard, he said, 'This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead.'"

The King Herod mentioned in this passage is known in history as Herod Antipas. He was a son of "Herod the Great" who killed the male infants throughout the region of Bethlehem at the time Jesus was born, an uncle to Herod Agrippa, I, who later killed the apostle James, as recorded in Acts 12.

As our text relates, the Herod of Mark 6 is the one who killed John the Baptist. So, all in all, the Herods were a bloody lot. 

Note that there were numerous different opinions as to the identity of Jesus. Herod was "certain" in his own mind that Jesus was John the Baptist come back from the dead. This, of course, was mostly Herod's own guilty conscience talking to him. While John was alive, he did not work miracles (John 10:41), but Herod apparently reasoned that the miraculous power came along with the resurrection. Of course, Herod was wrong. Jesus was not John the Baptist.

Others suggested that perhaps Jesus was the Old Testament prophet Elijah. The prophet Malachi had foretold the coming of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Messiah or Christ, Mal. 4:5. Most Israelites had made a literal application of that passage, and looked for the Old Testament prophet to literally return to the earth. Actually, that prophecy had been fulfilled by John the Baptist, who had come in the spirit and power of Elijah, Luke 1:17; Matt. 17:11-12.

In another setting where the identity of Jesus was discussed, some suggested that perhaps He was Jeremiah or one of the other Old Testament prophets returned from the dead, Matt. 16:14. There were apparently superstitions that the prophets would return to the earth, though there was no such promise in the Scriptures. All such guesses were wrong. Jesus was not Elijah or Jeremiah or John the Baptist.

Some folks suggested that perhaps Jesus was "the Prophet foretold by Moses in Deut. 18:15-19, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear." Jesus was indeed that Prophet, but even those who had guessed correctly were not aware that the Prophet and the Messiah were one and the same.

--Clarence R. Johnson


Sometimes God's presence seems so real...
Beyond my comprehension;
And evidence of daily help
Demands my full attention.

'Tis then I feel I understand
The way He loves and guides me,
Because I know He holds my hand,
And travels close beside me.

But other times in fear I cry,
"My God, I feel forsaken.
The storm is wild, and I'm so weak,
My faith is sorely shaken!"

But at those times, by will I choose,
No matter what my feeling,
To trust in God, believe His Word,
And go to Him for healing.

I find the less I understand
His ways, far past my knowing,
The more I learn to simply trust,
And so, my faith is growing.

-- Betty Jo Mings


Do not worry about science. It has its legitimate field, and in its field it has done wonderful things. We reap its benefits and are glad. The average preacher knows little about science, and the average scientist knows less about the Bible.

The claim that science and the Bible do not agree should disturb no one. What is called "science" it not static. Each generation brings new light; most of the old theories have been exploded by scientists themselves. Yet, each generation of scientists boldly announces that science has disproved the Bible.

But it can as easily be proved that science has disproved itself. With all their dogmatism about the Bible and science, there are few theories that real scientists are willing to take their stand on and say: "Here is the ultimate truth; no future discoveries will contradict this." So long as they cannot afford to affirm that they have arrived at ultimate truth, how can they with honor say that science disproves the Bible?

Besides if the Bible fully agreed with the scientific theories of one age, it would not agree with theories of the next age. The Bible is unchangeable and cannot keep up agreement with that which constantly changes.

Some of the foremost scientists recognize the limitations of science and are firm believers in the Bible. Preach the word! No known truth contradicts the Bible.

--R.L. Whiteside, Gospel Power, Anersona, AL 5/11/97


[Editor's Note: Although the following article is old (from 1989), as far as we know, it is up-to-date. Even if more possible "planets" have been discovered, the principle with which this article deals is still valid. Please read and benefit. -CRJ]

In the solar system of which the earth upon which we live is a part, there are nine known planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Are there other planets in the cosmos?

In his book: GEMINI: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF MAN'S VENTURE INTO SPACE, Virgil "Gus" Grissom wrote, "There is a clarity, a brilliance to space that simply doesn't exist on earth, even on a cloudless summer's day in the Rockies, and from nowhere else can you realize so fully the majesty of our earth and be so awed at the thought that it's only one of untold thousands of planets" (p. 108). Grissom was not alone in his belief that there are planets scattered all through the cosmos. This concept is taught, as fact, in many high school science courses and in most institutions of higher education.

In volume 18 of our 1979 WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA, along with the article: "Solar System" by A.G.W. Cameron, professor of Astronomy at the Howard College Observatory of Harvard University, there is an illustration to depict the shape of "The Milky Way." The caption under that illustration reads, "Many stars have their own solar systems." The truth is that neither professor Cameron nor any other astronomer in 1979 could point to a single planet outside our own solar system. If the caption was: Many scientists believe there are many other solar systems in the cosmos, it would have been true. As it stands, it merely passes off an opinion as being a solid fact.

The reason I know astronomers could not point to a planet outside of our solar system in 1979 is the fact that only recently have astronomers found an object outside our solar system which may be a planet. An Associated Press release carried in the Dover-New Philadelphia, Ohio TIMES REPORTER (Nov. 11, 1987) reports: "Astronomers say they have found the most direct evidence yet of a planet-like object that orbits a star other than the sun." It is described as "a gaseous object, twice as hot as Venus and bigger than Jupiter." It "is believed to orbit the white dwarf star Giclas 29-38, considered a nearby star at 270 trillion miles from earth,' said Ben Zukerman of the University of California, Los Angeles." The release also suggested the object "could be the first discovery of a brown dwarf, a hypothesized body that is midway between a planet and a star." That is, of course, if such things as "brown dwarfs" exist.

Knowing how many planets there are, really is not important, but for our children to know that college and university professors are not always careful to "tell it like it is" is important. Faith in God should not be discarded for the unfounded speculations of atheists, who have acquired a professorship in some educational institution, rejected God and made a god of science. According to Rom. 1:18ff, they are not the first to reject God and make for themselves a god who is no God.

--Fred A. Shewmaker, Guardian of Truth, October 5, 1989



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