By GILDA PINEDA DIONELA
Modernism is a system that snatched the truth away from most people in the United Kingdom. It started around the 16th century birthed by the intellectual circle in London led by Sir Walter Ralegh called the Durham House Set. At that time, Britain was a ‘missionary sending’ and strong Bible believing nation. The questions in the Bible raised by the members of the group were Adam as the first man; and Noah’s flood. Then, the rise of evolutionary teaching led by Charles Darwin and other prominent critics of the Bible followed in succeeding centuries up to the present. Modernism was adapted in Europe and America, known to Asians like me as the “West”. All together it has been more than 400 years since the modernist minds were enslaved by deceitful knowledge, of despising the existence of God and His living Word, the Bible. The germination of the seeds non-belief in the Bible started in London, it then spread in many formerly Bible believing nations. In London, it germinated then in London it shall be uprooted so that people may know that the Lord Himself is speaking.
Many of the greatest treasures of Great Britain are not modern, they are ancient. In the Northern part of the United Kingdom there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Hadrian Wall. Its enormous historical importance is staggering. It was a massive barricade ten feet thick and fourteen feet high built around AD 122. It was 73 miles long and traversed northern Britain from Wall’s end, on the River Tyne in the east, to Bowness-on-Solway in the west. The purpose for which it was built according to archaeologists and historians, was to separate the barbarians from Roman Britain. Hadrian wall was named after Emperor Hadrian who reigned from AD 117 to 138. In Stanegate Road, one mile south of Hadrian’s Wall one can find Vindolanda Forts. It was built around AD 85 having nine forts built on top of each other. Everything found in these locations are mind blowing and breathtaking. These survived almost 2000 years of war, strong winds, storms, and other natural calamities for them to be seen today.
The common purpose of the Hadrian Wall and Vindolanda Forts was to protect Roman Britain for the glory of Imperial Rome. The Roman Army was the strength of the Empire. The Emperor was the acknowledged Commander. He wore a wreath of laurel on his head to signify victory and during festivals, a special robe to signify a triumphant leader. The legions consisted of 3000 – 6000 soldiers. The most important group of officers to hone the soldiers to become the fiercest in the history of combat who were as tough as nails, were the Centurions. Then came the soldiers. The soldiers underwent intense training to the point of exhaustion as well as having to perform civilian duties to include road building, quarrying, mining and bridge-building. The soldiers built these archaeological treasures of Great Britain.
The Hadrian Wall and Vindolanda Forts authenticated the historicity of the Bible. The excavation of over 1300 tablets, postcard sized documents which recorded their daily life in Vindolanda showed the Roman title in the Bible such as Centurion. These tablets were written by soldiers, wives, and officers as correspondence to different cities and forts of the Roman empire such as Rome, Antioch, Athens, Carlisle, and London.
CORNELIUS – THE CENTURION
There are at least 3 Centurions mentioned in the New Testament. In Acts chapter 10, the conversion of Cornelius the Centurion is narrated. He belonged to a God-fearing family who prayed regularly and gave generously to the needy. He heard the story of Jesus Christ while an officer assigned in Caesarea. Yet hearing and knowing the story was not enough. One day at about 3 o’clock an angel appeared to him and told him that his prayers and gifts to the poor had come up as a memorial offering to God. He was asked to bring Simon Peter. He sent his soldier servants to accompany Peter to visit his house. It took four days before Cornelius and Peter met. Cornelius being a Gentile or non-Jew, heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and gave his life to Him. He and his household were saved, they received the Holy Spirit and His gifts, and were then baptised in water.
I believe in miracles and angel visitations. But miracles alone will not save anyone from eternal condemnation unless the receiver accepts the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The appearance of an angel to Cornelius was divine but more than memorial, God wanted Cornelius to spend eternity with Him. Seeing an angel and good works did not guarantee his salvation. Cornelius had to wait for Peter for him to hear and understand the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The angels are created beings a little bit higher than man. They are servants of God too, but they are not created to evangelize to man. The angel could have preached to Cornelius for him to be saved on the spot but no, it must be a man with flesh and blood like him (destined to be Peter) to bring him the “good news”. This story is profound and deep, but I am only giving you a preview. God saw the heart of Cornelius, his role in the history of Christianity was massive that it took two remarkable visions or miracles for his conversion. One for him, seeing an angel; the other one for Peter who fell into a trance (read the Bible). Visions to my mind, are such so as to strengthen and direct the receiver as to what to do in the extraordinary task ahead. While miraculous healing occurred out of compassion, as led by the Holy Spirit, (and not to make an impression),. I believe the life of Cornelius after conversion was never the same again though he remained as generous and godly as before. One of the results of baptism by the Holy Spirit is an extraordinary boldness to share the gospel of Jesus. I believe Cornelius shared his new-found faith with his fellow Roman citizens. Because of that he could have been discharged from his position and face severe persecution. The book of Acts is full of signs and wonders, but we must understand, they needed these. It was at the time believers were used as human torches in the garden of Nero. Disciples were stoned to death, imprisoned and oppressed beyond description. Peter left his family and business behind and chose to follow Christ. Being a follower of Christ meant taking up one’s cross daily. Despite all the hardships, the true followers of the Messiah stood firm for what they believed in. Then the supernatural intervened to help and confirm the message about Jesus Christ.
The story of Cornelius is one of the answers to the question of Durham House. What about the first man, Adam, and Theory of Evolution, about the origins of man?. The House asked how? The Hebrew word Adam was taken from the word “Adamah” which means earth. God formed man from the dust of the earth. Also, the word “dam” in Adam means blood. From the beginning Adam meant flesh and blood like you and I. The flesh and blood became alive because of the breath (Spirit) of God. Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”. According to Dr. Georgia Purdom, PhD in molecular genetics, “Basic biological scientific facts proved that there are only two distinct genders and sexes; male and female. Every normal human beings have 23 pairs of normal chromosomes. Twenty- two pairs are autosomes and one pair is of sex chromosomes. The sex chromosomes are; XY for male and XX for female.
Now let us talk about the last Adam. Since the fall of the first male and female, mankind needed redemption. The same way that angels couldn’t convert or witness to Cornelius but only gave him the message from God, no other being can redeem man to restore his relationship with God but a man with “flesh and blood” who is, at the same time sinless God, Jesus Christ. Jesus the begotten Son of God became man, was tortured and humiliated. He wore a crown of thorns instead of a wreath of laurel. He was paraded down the streets with his flesh ripped because of whipping, and then nailed on the cross. On the third day rose again. The depth of shame He experienced on earth becomes the victory of mankind to those who believe in Him. God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. Human beings can not approach God without the blood of Jesus. Even if angel Gabriel himself declared how blessed and commendable one human being is, he or she cannot be the right mediator between man and God though he or she is blessed forever indeed. Finally, who is the real modern man and woman today? Are they those who believe in the teaching of men which was proven wrong by recent advancements in technology and excavations? Or are they those who believe in Jesus who is the Alpha and Omega? I am a modernist living in London looking forward to spending eternity with the King of Kings of the Holy Bible in a place called heaven.