Tom: Thanks, Gary. You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him. We are going through, in this segment, Dave Hunt’s new book—it’s called Seeking and Finding God. Dave, last week, I’d say we were at the end of chapter 3 in this book, and it’s not a big book—it’s about 130 pages, something like that, and it was designed to be given out as an extended tract with some good reasons for why people ought to respond to the gift, the unspeakable gift that God has given to us, salvation in His Son, through His Son, by faith and by faith alone.
Dave: Why they ought to think very carefully about what happens after death.
Tom: Right. And Dave, we’ve been talking about some ideas regarding what happens after death. We went over materialism—some people say, “When you’re dead, you’re dead.” That’s it, it’s the end. You’re annihilated, you cease to think, there’s nothing beyond life as we know it in the physical sense. Then we talked about “spirit survival”—that is, certainly we’ve made the case that your body may go into the grave, but your mind, your spirit, go on. But spirit survival, from the perspective of those who are New Agers, those who believe in Eastern mysticism, and so on, it’s really an evolution upward, from bodies to the spiritual realm, and there is no accountability, there’s no judgement, you just get better and better as you evolve higher and higher.
Dave: Mm-hmm, it’s been called “spiritism” for centuries.
Tom: Dave, last week, we were talking about reincarnation, and you gave the example and it’s…. you could ask around, folks, many Christians, professing Christians, believe in reincarnation, and that is that they live their life here today, they die, and then they are reincarnated, they come back, as, well, they would say as another person, being given the opportunity to do better in life.
Dave: Yeah, Tom, it directly contradicts the Bible, of course. Hebrews:9:27 says, “As it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, the judgement.” That’s it. You don’t come back, you don’t die again and again. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and “unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time, without sin unto salvation.”
I remember the Lord sitting me next to a man on the airplane. He was reading a book about reincarnation, and he’s thinking very seriously about it. You know, and I can tell him it’s not an accident that the Lord sat us together, and I told him what I tell anyone who’s interested in it, there are three things about reincarnation. Number 1, it is amoral. Number 2, it’s senseless. Number 3, it’s hopeless.
It’s amoral because if I’m a husband who beats his wife in this life, the law of karma, that is, the law of cause and effect, sowing and reaping, would say that I must come back in another life so that I can be a wife who’s beaten by her husband. Now the problem is that my husband in the next life who beats me, then the law of karma says that he must come back in yet another life as a wife beaten by her husband. The murderer must become the victim of murder. The perpetrator of each crime must become a victim of the identical crime. This is the law of karma. Therefore, it never solves the problem of evil; reincarnation and karma, in fact, perpetuate evil. There is no solution. So, it is amoral.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Dave, some would say, “Well, wait a minute. Doesn’t the Bible teach as you sow you’re going to reap? Isn’t that, in a sense, something like karma?”
Dave: What you sow, you reap. But, there is forgiveness with God. In Hinduism, Eastern mysticism, reincarnation, karma, there’s nowhere to go for forgiveness. There’s no basis for forgiveness. In Christianity, Christ paid the penalty. You don’t have some impersonal law. You are dealing with a personal judge, personal God, who deals righteously, and He is the One who pronounced the penalty for sin, but He came as a man through the virgin birth and paid the penalty Himself so that we could be forgiven if we would trust Him.
Tom: Dave, as you know, somebody who’s a Hindu, when they get an idea of what, in the West, what we Americans think about reincarnation, they have to laugh, sadly, because it’s transmigration, according to their view. It’s called samsara, the wheel of sorrow. As you pointed out, there’s no way out. There’s no forgiveness. There’s none of that. Yet, when Americans talk about reincarnation, they’ve elevated it to some point of, “Oh, well, in a past life I was the Queen of England, or I was Napoleon.” It’s sort of been homogenized for Western culture. But, as you pointed out last week and today, it’s irrational, it’s illogical, and it’s a sad perspective on life.
Dave: Mm-hmm. Well, first of all, it’s amoral. Two other things: It’s senseless. Do you remember all your past lives, Tom? Do you even remember the most recent one?
Tom: I’m having trouble remembering last week’s program! (Chuckles.)
Dave: Okay. Neither does anyone else. There are some cases of déjà vu, someone who says, “Oh yeah! I remember being here!”—even some instance where a person can say, “Yes, I lived there, and my parents were so-and-so,” and the names and places are factual, but we’ve already talked about reincarnation therapy. They can regress you into the past, and you can remember certain things—supposedly you are remembering—but this is demonic. This is a demon who is putting that in you and planting those memories and so forth. But that’s no proof. The 99.9999% of the people have no recollection of anything. Furthermore, just to remember the name of someone or some village and the location of a well or whatever, that’s not going to help you. What mistakes did I make in the past? What lessons did I learn? Now I’ve come back to build upon them. So, it’s senseless. You don’t remember anything. You don’t know the mistakes you made. You may be making the same mistakes over and over. You’re not learning anything from all of these past lives.
In fact, you look at the world around us, does it get better? Do people get smarter? Do they become wiser? No, the world is going down, down, down, okay? So it’s amoral, it’s senseless, and it’s hopeless. Now, Tom, the fact that you and I are sitting here across from one another making this radio program, even the very words that we are speaking—this is all the result, as all of our experiences are, the result of prior lives, the “karma” that we build up in prior lives. So we had to come back…..
Tom: They would say.
Dave: They would say, right! (Laughs) Right. So we had to come back and live another life in order to work off the karma from a past life. The problem is, in the process of supposedly working off the karma from a past life, we build up more karma! (Chuckles) That means, we’ve got to live another life, we’ve got to come back again and again, and every time you come back to work off the karma from a prior life, you build up more karma, which requires yet a future life, and so, it’s hopeless! As Gandhi said it, “Reincarnation is a burden too great to bear.” And they speak, as you said, of the wheel of reincarnation. Now the only way, supposedly, to get off is by yoga, but most people who practice yoga in the West—they don’t know that that’s the goal of yoga, is to get off of this, to escape time, sense, and the elements, to reach moksha, you know, it’s a way of dying to get out of here. But anyway, we have no proof that that works. Reincarnation isn’t factual.
And if you go into the past, Tom, we’re sitting here because of the karma we’ve built up in a prior life, but the prior life we lived was the result of karma in a prior life, and that was the result of karma in yet a prior life, and a prior life, and a prior life, and you go back to the beginning, supposedly, where the three gunas—this is what they call them—of the godhead, supposedly were in perfect balance in the void, and something happened to cause an imbalance in the godhead, and the prakriti began, the manifestation began, and we are all reaping the results of bad karma that began with an imbalance in the godhead. It’s built into the very fabric of the universe, and there is no escape. So, it’s amoral, senseless, and hopeless.
Tom: Mm-hmm. If you’ve just tuned in, we’re going through Dave Hunt’s book, Seeking and Finding God, and the objective of the book, one of the main points that we’re trying to present here, is that, what are your thoughts about eternity? People spend a lot of time and energy, a lot of thought planning, the whole nine yards, with regard to this temporal life, but what about what’s beyond? And that’s what we’re exploring. We’ve gone through materialism—people that say, “When you’re dead, you’re dead,” and we’ve discussed that over the last couple of weeks. Spiritual evolution—dealt with that last week. Is that a possibility? Well, I don’t think you’re going to find it to be even a hope. And we’ve been just dealing with reincarnation. Dave, before we get on to chapter 4, what ought to be the hope of everyone?
Dave: Well, first of all, it begins with a question of the origin of the universe. Is the universe it? Are we just a manifestation of the universe? That brings you back to evolution. If we’re just the ultimate product of evolution, why are the environmentalists upset with what man does? Why should we be concerned? You don’t make any complaints against beavers when they dam up a little stream and wipe out a meadow, you know. You don’t get upset with a volcano when it erupts and spews pollution into the air! Why should we be concerned about exhaust from an engine or pollution from factories that are spewing smoke into the air? I mean, if we’re just the ultimate product of evolution, then whatever we do, it’s just “natural,” it’s part of nature.
So, we have to decide, is that all we are? No, you can’t come to that conclusion, because nature didn’t create itself. We’ve been through that. The DNA, the written instructions in the DNA—in a language coded to be decoded by proteins, certain protein molecules! This is information. Einstein himself acknowledged “Matter cannot form itself into information.” Okay, so we have written instructions how to build a body with trillions of cells, all in that little cell, that single cell that we begin with. How to operate these incredible, complex, intricate, ingenious nanochemical machines inside the cell. And one cell, Linus Pauling said, is more complex than New York City, okay?
So when you face the evidence, you know there was a Creator. He must have had a purpose. We’ve gone through the fact that thoughts are not physical. Your brain doesn’t think, or you’re the prisoner of your brain, wondering what your brain will think of next. You make the decisions. You make the choices. And one day, when that brain that you have used like a computer (it didn’t originate the thoughts) is laid in the grave, then you continue to exist. We have no reason not to believe that. Then, we’ve got to face it, Tom. This Creator, who created us as eternal beings, not just our bodies, but the Bible says, “made in His image,” and if we were not in His image, we couldn’t even reason about nature, we couldn’t recognize right from wrong; we couldn’t have a concept of truth and justice and so forth, He’s the One that we are accountable to.
He makes the rules. We’d better find out what His rules are! I’ve talked to so many people who say, “Well, I haven’t done so bad. I haven’t lived such a bad life. I’m no worse than anybody else. I try to do good.” But I say, by whose standards? Do you set the standard? Or does God set the standard? And maybe we’d better find out what God has to say about this. You can’t even play a game without rules. Who makes the rules? You don’t make the rules. That would be a horrible world; that’s the problem, we’re all trying to make our own rules! We don’t want to go by Hitler’s rules, and when man gets in charge, he does it for selfish reasons, okay?
Well, we better find out who this God is and what He has to say. And we get into that in the book. He spoke to us through His Word. Well, the Bible claims to be the Word of God. Is it or isn’t it? You can save a lot of time by going to the Bible first, because it says all the rest of them are wrong. I don’t care whether it’s the Qur’an, the Hindu Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, the sayings of Buddha, Confucius. The Bible says they are all wrong. Jesus said, “They are thieves and robbers.” So if we can prove that the Bible is true, that we can rely upon the testimony of the Bible concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who came to this earth, who paid the penalty for our sins, died, was buried, rose again, then we’ve saved a lot of time, and now we have something you can hang your hat on, you can hang your eternal destiny on, and that we can trust. Well then, let’s find out what the rules are that He has made.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Dave, chapter 4, as you know, is titled, In Search of the True Faith, and you make a statement here, “Whatever expectations people entertain of life after death, such beliefs are generally categorized as part of their religion.” Another word for religion is faith, and by that definition, there are many faiths in the world, and of course, we know a phrase that is popular today, “People of faith.” So what about that? People of faith?
Dave: Well, Tom, it depends on what you mean by faith, of course. People believe all kinds of things and it’s amazing, the pitiful reasons they have—we give some examples here, Tom, at the beginning of chapter 4. For example, Thomas Hobbes—he was a 17th century philosopher, mathematician, spent years analyzing the evil in man, attempting to solve the problems of society, but he failed to make an adequate investigation in preparation for his own demise. In other words, he, as you just said, he’s putting all the emphasis upon this life, but this is not the end of our existence. This life is very short. If we continue living forever, we’d better plan for that. And, as his death approached, he made this sad confession. He said, “Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.” What? I mean, Tom, I wouldn’t leap into the dark on this earth! And you’re going to leap into the dark for eternity? It doesn’t make sense. That’s why God says, “Come now and let us reason together.”
Omar Khayyam—he viewed death as the “door of darkness”; similar idea. He said, “…the road which to discover, we must travel too.” Now we’ve got problems. If I can’t find out about this until I travel this road, when I get on this road, and it’s heading in the wrong direction, it’s too late to get back! Did Jesus die for our sins? Was He buried? Did He rise again the third day? We can absolutely prove this with evidence that would stand up in any court of law, okay? Well, then, He will tell us about this. You’re not going to find out anywhere else.
And Shakespeare suggested that, “In that sleep of death, what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause.”
Tom.: As you say, maybe a little more than pause is necessary here!
Dave: We’d better think seriously about it right now! So, whatever expectations people have about life after death, that’s what religion supposedly is concerned with—they call this their faith, people of faith.
Tom: Dave, again, there are ideas that are out there that, I just wonder how thoughtful people are when they consider them, or do they consider them? If somebody said in a crowd, “Well, you’re people of faith”, (everybody would say) “Oh wow! You know. That’s great, that’s something really good!” But what are they putting their faith in? There’s such a diversity. We just went over numerous things: materialism, spiritualism, evolution.
Dave: Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, put it like this—he said, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint”! (Laughs.) That’s a pretty graphic way to put it!
Dave: You trust someone…you ever had people let you down?
Tom: And I’ve let people down.
Dave: Somebody makes a promise to you, and you rely on it at a crucial point, and then they don’t come through, you’ve got problems. Now, you’ve got a religion that makes a promise to you—now Tom, you were a Catholic, okay, and you know the Catholic church promises, “We’ll say masses for you after your death, we’ll get you out of purgatory—cost you a little money, but we’ll keep saying masses until we get you out of there.” Well, is that true? They sell tickets to heaven. And you know, this was what sparked the Reformation. That’s what upset Martin Luther. That’s how they built St. Peter’s cathedral…
Tom: In Rome.
Dave: Yes, because they were selling tickets to heaven. They even had, well, let’s not go back into that, but people go to church, and they are trusting the pastor. They don’t read the Bible for themselves—they’re trusting what the pastor has to say. Well, is it true or isn’t it true? I mean, you’re going to take a leap into eternity just on the hope that maybe what your pastor says is right? Maybe what some other religious group says is right? You’d better investigate it for yourselves. That’s why we call this program, another one of the reasons why we call this program “Search the Scriptures Daily.” The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to see whether what Paul said was true. Please check us out. Check the Bible out and if you want some help in checking the Bible out, because, you know, I remember when I was in university, I read everything that I could find, that the skeptics, atheists, critics, Bertrand Russell: Why I am Not a Christian, and on and on it goes….
Tom: Pathetic, Dave! (Chuckles.)
Dave: Yeah, pathetic. All this kind of stuff…
Dave: There are plenty of critics about the Bible. This Bible’s been examined with a microscope, an electron microscope. They’ve tried to destroy it down through the ages, and maybe you’ve been deceived by some of this, or maybe you’re concerned. We can help you. You’re going to have to do your own thinking, but we’ll give you the evidence. Call our ministry, we’d be glad to help you, but let’s get this settled! That’s how this book starts. Let’s not take a leap into the dark for eternity! Let us be 100 percent certain what we believe, why we believe it, where we are going to spend eternity.
Tom: Dave, you mentioned, and we’ve mentioned on many programs that, you know, I’m a former Roman Catholic, and, growing up in the Church, there was an idea that, well, yes, there’s the Bible, sacred scripture, but there’s tradition. This is what the Church has always believed. This is what the Church Fathers have believed, and so on. So, you’re sort of swept into the idea that, “Oh! Well, the Church has been around for a long time, it must be true. You know, who am I to challenge it?” and so on. But if they just will, if they would just look into some of these things and compare it with what the Word of God says, I think their eyes would be opened.
Dave: Oldest, largest church, tradition, means nothing as far as God is concerned. We’d better find out what God has to say and there are ways to do that and be absolutely certain. God will not leave us guessing.