The Ancient Path
Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths,where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16a
In many Western countries today, there has been a catastrophic loss of knowledge concerning the historical basis of Christianity. Though the roots of Christianity (Genesis 3:15) pre-date all major religions, and belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is solidly intertwined with historical fact, few in the West know this, as these truths have been nearly erased from mainstream history books and institutions. Few know that no other belief system has such a solid historical structure as the foundation of Christianity.
Did you know that the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem (historical fact) was prophesied by a Jewish prophet at least 750 years before (Micah 5:2)? Did you know that Christ’s virgin birth by Mary was prophesied by another Jewish prophet around 700 years before (Isaiah 7:14)? Did you know that Christ’s crucifixion and death on the cross in the first century was predicted to the year (Isaiah 53:4-6; Daniel 9:26)? Did you know that the “father” of the modern day Arabs and Jewish people was Abraham, whom the Bible traces back to around 2166 B.C.? Did you know that in the first Century, the Apostle Paul noted that the Gospel was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8)? Did you know that it was prophesied that Jesus would be a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:3; Matthew 1:1)?
Did you know that the “gospel” simply means “good news,” and the “good news” of Jesus pre-dates Buddha by 1500 years? This “good news” will be explained in this little book you hold in your hand. You are about to learn the story of how God created man and the universe in one six-day period. God placed the first man and his wife in a garden to take care of the animals and ecological environment. God gave them liberty to do all that their hearts desired, except for one thing: Don’t eat the fruit of one particular tree (Genesis 2:17).
As you read, you will learn that because of pride and disobedience, our first ancestors fell from their exalted position as friends of God and overseers of the earth. You will learn why the world, in so many ways, is now so horrible. You will learn why there is war, famine, disease and evil in a world that the Bible says God made “very good” (Genesis 1:31). You will read how in the beginning even the animals were at peace with each other and only ate vegetables. In the beginning, nature was not “red in tooth and claw” as it is today (Genesis 1:30). Read on dear friend, and discover that there IS hope for you and this world. Learn the story about Jesus, God’s Son, who died for you. Follow “The Ancient Path” as it unfolds in the pages of God’s love letter to humanity.
The Ancient Path
In the beginning of time, God created the universe and the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and put them in a beautiful garden with only one command to obey: Don’t eat the fruit from one tree. Our first ancestors chose to disobey God and brought misery and death into the world. God promised them that someday He would send a Redeemer who would restore man’s relationship with God. If they would believe God’s promise, they could be saved.According to the Bible, the descendants of Adam and Eve refused to change and continued to rebel against God. So, God told one man, Noah, to build a huge boat and put two of every animal on it. God was going to flood the entire earth and destroy all life except that which was on the Ark. Just eight persons in Noah’s family were saved from among all the people. Most cultures record a Flood story, myth, or legend. The word for ship in Chinese consists of three traditional characters: boat, eight, and people. This amazing fact has caused many scholars to date the Chinese characters as early as 3000 B.C., because the origins of these characters may reflect knowledge of the biblical account of the worldwide Flood recorded in the Bible (see Genesis 7:13).
⾈⛵ + ⼋8 + ⼝?= 船? Boat eight people shipAfter Noah and his family and all the animals left the Ark and started a new world (Genesis 8:18-19), God commanded Noah and his descendants to populate all the earth (Genesis 9:1). But Noah’s descendants were prideful and refused to obey, and settled near Babylon in ancient Iraq to build their own city and make a name for themselves. At that time, all people spoke the same language. God came down and confused their language, so they could not understand each other (Genesis 11:1-7). Normal life and work became impossible. Those who spoke the same language gathered together and moved away all over the earth, creating all the different ethnicities in the world today. Still, they went their own way, and weren’t interested in knowing God.
Men Begin To Create Their Own ReligionsAlthough our first ancestors knew God personally, over time that knowledge was lost, and men began to create their own religions. Some said humans were like animals; others said men were descended from “gods.” Still others said the universe had always existed, simply proposed rules of ethical living, and avoided the subject of God. Men began to worship trees, rivers, their ancestors, the moon, and the sun. Some said all men were “God”! The knowledge of the promises and The Ancient Path back to God was lost.
A Special Promise
Around 4,000 years ago, God spoke to a man named Abraham in a place called Ur, in modern day Iraq. Abraham was born in 2166 B.C. and lived among a people who were following a man-made system of worshiping “gods” which they had created. God told Abraham to leave his parents and his country to go to a new country which God would show him (Genesis 12:1-3).
At the age of 75, Abraham followed God’s instructions and traveled to what is now known as Israel in the Middle East. God gave Abraham three great promises. The greatest promise was: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
Abraham became the father of the Jews (the Israelites) and the Arabs. But the blessing to all the nations of the earth would be through his descendant, the One originally promised to our first ancestors (Genesis 3:15).
God repeated His promise to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob. God gave Jacob twelve sons whose families, called Israelites, were eventually enslaved in Egypt by wicked kings. These wicked kings, Pharaohs, abused the Israelites and made their work harder and harder, hoping they would die (Exodus 1). Finally, around 1446 B.C, God sent them a great man named Moses to deliver them from slavery in Egypt.
Moses the Deliverer
Moses was 80 years old when God called him to confront the Pharaoh with God’s demand: “Let My people go” (Exodus 3). Though Pharaoh at first refused, God sent plagues upon his nation, and he finally agreed to let the Israelites go (Exodus 4-10). Before God sent the final plague, God told Moses to tell His people, the Israelites, that each household must kill a perfect young male lamb as a sacrifice and to brush its blood on the top and sides of the door of each house. This blood would protect them from the Destroyer that God was about to send to punish Egypt.
The Jews obeyed God and put the blood of the lambs on their doors. When the Destroyer came, God saw the blood and spared the households whose doors were marked by the blood of a lamb.
Pharaoh finally allowed the Jews to leave Egypt and nearly two million followed Moses to freedom. Then, Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his armies to chase God’s people. But, God did a great miracle and caused the Red Sea to open up for His people to pass through and caused the walls of water to collapse upon the pursuing Egyptians. The Egyptian army was destroyed (Exodus 14).
God led the Israelites to a place called Mount Sinai where God gave them the Ten Commandments that they were to keep, as a sign they were agreeing to be His people. Even though God placed them safely in the land as He had promised, the Israelites became ungrateful, forgot God and His Ancient Path, and went their own way.
A Substitute to Pay for Their Sins
Instead of destroying the Israelites for disobeying Him, God commanded that a spotless, young male lamb, in perfect health, be brought before His place of worship. The man who had disobeyed God was to place his hands on the head of the lamb, symbolizing the transfer of the man’s rebellion and disobedience to the lamb. The lamb was then killed. This all happened before 1400 B.C. Still, the people forgot God and His Ancient Path, and went their own way.
Around 1000 B.C., God raised up David, a descendant of Abraham, to be a great King in Israel. God clarified that the One promised to Adam and Eve, and later to Abraham, would descend from David and would rule on David’s throne eternally. God said this future King would be a “son of David” (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 1:1).
Over time, God sent other prophets to give more details about the great “son of David” whom He had promised. Around 800 B.C., one prophet foretold that this “Son” would be born in a small town called Bethlehem, and that His “origins are from eternity” (Micah 5:2). Around 720 B.C., another prophet said that this coming Ruler would be a “child” born of a virgin in Israel, and yet would be called “Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6).
A Miraculous Birth
Finally, around two thousand years ago, in ancient Israel, an angel appeared to a young virgin named Mary, in a small town called Nazareth. The angel told her she would have a child whom she should name “Jesus” because He would “save His people from their sins.” Because of a government ordered census at the time, Mary and the man she was engaged to, Joseph, had to travel to Joseph’s hometown, Bethlehem, to be counted.
While there, Mary gave birth to the child Jesus in a lowly cow stable in fulfillment of all the promises made over thousands of years (Luke 2:1-8).
That night, angels appeared in the sky to shepherds in Bethlehem to announce that: “Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
A great distance to the East a star appeared in the heavens to guide great philosophers to come to Israel to worship this new King (Matthew 2:1-12). This child, Jesus, was an earthly descendant of the Jewish king David who lived around 1000 B.C., and who was himself a descendant of Abraham (2000 B.C.).
Jesus grew up in Nazareth and became great in wisdom and everyone loved Him. When He was thirty years old, He began the work for which He had been sent to earth. Jesus called Himself the Son of God, and said that “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30). Jesus existed forever as God, but took on the form of a man (John 1:14). He said: “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). By “I am,” Jesus confirmed He had no “beginning” but had always existed, from eternity, eons before Alexander the Great, Socrates, Confucius, or Buddha were born.
He created the universe (John 1:2-3; Colossians 1:16) and “upholds” it even now (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).
The Only Sinless Man
Despite the fact that God is infinitely holy, and hates sin, Jesus didn’t come to earth to punish mankind for its disobedience. Instead, He came to die in our place…just like the little, innocent lamb. When Jesus began to teach about the Kingdom of God, a great prophet at that time saw Jesus and said: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus lived a perfect life and never sinned (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5), even though He was tempted in every way that we are. Finally, at the age of 33, according to the plan which God determined before He made the universe (Acts 2:23), Jesus was arrested and tried for blasphemy (making Himself equal with God). Though tried by a Roman judge, Jesus was found not guilty, but still sentenced to die (John 18:38; 19:4, 6). But, this was actually the result that God had ordained (Acts 4:27-28; Revelation 13:8).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus was nailed to a tree (in the form of a cross), died in our place, and was buried.
BUT, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. This incredible event was confirmed by over 500 people who saw Jesus ALIVE after He had been buried (1 Corinthians 15:6). He spoke to them. He embraced them. He walked with them, and taught them, for 40 days.
And then He returned to heaven, promising that HE WILL COME AGAIN (John 14:2-3; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62). At the time of His return, all those who have refused to believe in Him in this life, will die in their sins (John 3:36; 8:24). In the future, when He returns, it will be to judge the world (Rev. 19:11ff).
Before He went back to heaven, He told His followers to go into all the world and tell others, so they too could find The Ancient Path (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8). From that time, the truth of Jesus has spread out from Israel to all the world.
The Ancient Path
Since Jesus went back to heaven, most people have continued to go their own way, and don’t think about God (Matthew 7:13-14). Some follow the old religions and philosophies created by man, and others have created new ones. Most ignore The Ancient Path to God. This path is traceable back to God’s promise to our first ancestors over six thousand years ago. This promise of a coming Redeemer was repeated to Abraham as the “blessing to all nations” (Genesis 12:3), and to Israel as the eternal “Son” (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 1:1). Jesus is God’s Way for our sins against Him to be forgiven (John 14:6). He lived a perfect life in our place and then died for the sins of all the world (John 1:29; Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 1:5).
This wonderful truth is now ours. By putting our trust in Jesus and His death on the cross, FOR US, as our Substitute, we can have our sins forgiven, and our relationship with God restored (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6), and “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Do you want to know God, and know that you are forgiven of all your sins (1 John 5:13)?
Ask Jesus to forgive you, and make Him the Lord of your life, putting all your trust in Him to save you (John 3:16). He will come into your life and give you a new heart and put His Spirit in you and CHANGE you (Revelation 3:20; Ezekiel 36:26-27)!
If you are interested in learning more about The Ancient Path, please contact the nearest Bible believing church, or the person who told you about this website, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). -Jesus Christ