Jesus is the Ancient of Days
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
There is no Scripture that says that the Ancient of Days is God the Father.
- A King Who is a Servant as well as a God Who is a Man
- Creation and redemption break the laws of Science
- Jesus Creates as God but Redeems as a fellow Man
- The Father judges no man because only the Son judges
- Ancient means wisdom and does not mean getting old
- Daniel sees a personification of Judge and Advocate
- The saints from 7 church ages are the Temple of God
A King Who is a Servant as well as a God Who is a Man
I TIMOTHY 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.It is not easy for humans to get an understanding of God because God is invisible.
The mystery involves trying to combine opposite characteristics into one person.
Can a king be a servant?
Can God be a man?
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound,
the mystery of God should be finished,
as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.The ministry of the seventh angel or messenger is to reveal to us a better understanding of the Godhead.
REVELATION 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Eyes speak of intelligence. "Before" means they know the future. "Behind" means they know the past.
REVELATION 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
The four beasts represent the four Gospels that are the heart of God's salvation Plan for His church.
Matthew shows Christ as the Lion, the King.
Mark sees Him as the tireless, strong burden-bearing Ox, our great Servant Who carried our sins far away.
Jesus is a remarkable impossibility as a King that we worship and yet He also is our Servant.
Luke sees Him as the ideal Man and John sees Him as the Eagle-eyed God Who sees everything.
A Man Who is God?
This seems impossible. Especially to pagans.
That is why the heathens developed a trinity of gods because they felt it was impossible for one Person to do everything.
Trinity is an unscriptural word.
So relying on a word that is outside the Bible won’t help us to understand the Bible better.
It is also a fuzzy idea that alternates between one God and three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of the three separate Persons is God, and yet there are not three Gods.
No clear-cut picture emerges, which means that we do not understand this presentation of the mystery of God.
The Godhead remains a mystery to Trinitarians, sometimes One and sometimes Three.
Ask a Trinitarian for the Name of God and they refer back to the Titles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as in water baptism. But three Titles are not a Name.
So even the Name of God is fuzzy and thus unknown as there are Three People but no one can come up with a single Name to describe all Three.
One of the main Scriptures that is used to defend the idea of the Trinity is in Daniel.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.This distinctly looks like two Persons and is thus used as evidence of the Trinity.
But, this Scripture seems to refer to two people, not three.
The Jehovah Witness belief is that two People form the Godhead, Father and Son.
This Scripture actually offers evidence in favour of their belief, rather than confirming belief in the Trinity.
Creation and redemption break the laws of Science
Creation is impossible for scientists to explain.
Why is there something rather than nothing? How did this vast creation come into existence?
Professors Steven Weinberg and Alan Guth played a big role in developing the Big Bang theory but then had to distance themselves from the theory as it neither predicted nor explained the Dark Energy and Dark Matter that makeup 96% of our Universe. Being unable to explain 96% of the Universe means the Big Bang is a rather dismal theory.
The most basic law of Physics is called the conservation of energy.
We do not know what energy is but in no experiment that has ever been performed have we ever managed to create energy or destroy energy. So energy cannot be created. The Big Bang Theory tries to explain the origin of the Universe by saying that all the energy in the Universe was suddenly created in a huge explosion. This is an exact contradiction of the most basic law of Physics and is thus false from a scientific point of view. We cannot claim to be scientific if we develop theories that contradict the laws of Science.
So no laws of Science, within our physical Universe, can explain creation from nothing.
Thus creation can only be explained by Someone who is outside our physical Universe, namely God.
And no scientist can explain how God did it because the second most basic law of Physics tells us that all of our laws of Science deal with decay and the degrading of energy, due to effects like friction that transfer useful energy out of a working system to produce random heating effects whose energy cannot be easily collected and used to perform useful work.
Empires rise and then fall as human effort finally ends in failure.
People grow up and then become frail and die. Our brief years of achievement always end in death and decay.
It can take 20000 litres of water to grow one kilogram of rice as irrigation water trickles away and evaporates. Not a very efficient system.
Far more effort and energy must be put into making something than the energy that we can get out of it.
How many hours of effort are put into a wedding compared to the few hours that the wedding actually takes?
For instance, it takes far more energy to make a battery than all the energy that we can get out of the battery.
We depend on the Sun for light and warmth but the Earth only receives about one part in 200 million parts of the Sun’s energy. The rest is “wasted” from our point of view as it radiates out into empty space from the Sun and we can never collect it and use it.
Of the Sun’s energy that does strike the Earth, only about 1% is used by plants to turn water and carbon dioxide gas into food. This is what we depend on to live. We cannot make our own food. We depend on plants which get their energy from the Sun. Plants perform a mystery that our best scientists cannot duplicate. If we understood this mystery, we could make our own food from the Sun’s energy.
Yet, ironically, we understand the Kreb's cycle that produces photosynthesis. We just cannot duplicate it without using living plants. Plants have a hidden mystery that we have not managed to puzzle out.
So when Jesus was on Earth, He created cooked bread and fish to feed five thousand men as well as the women and children that were with them. A small input of five loaves resulted in a staggering output of more than five thousand loaves. Plus an extra 12 baskets of rejected scraps. The Jews were rejecting those bread scraps.
Bread speaks of the Word of God. So the Gospel scraps that the Jews rejected would be gathered up by the disciples as the New Testament and given to the Gentiles during 2000 years of church history. When the seven church ages are over then this once-rejected Gospel will return to the 12 tribes of Israel in the 3.5 years of great Tribulation to pull out the 144000 Jews. There will be 12000 from each of the 12 Tribes.
So the miracle that scientists cannot explain was simply Jesus revealing a much deeper pattern that would run through human history.
Today, by another unexplained miracle, we see Israel back in her homeland where she is ready to meet Messiah.
President Trump won an impossible election victory in 2016 because God needed him to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. One man stood up bravely against the combined hatred of about 430 million Arabs.
God uses unlikely people to achieve His Will. But it takes courage to do God's Will.
Jesus was capable of totally reversing the laws of Science.
And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.He took a small input of five loaves and then produced an output of more than five thousand loaves.
Nobody ever did that before or since. He walked on water and then at His ascension, He walked up into the air.
We cannot duplicate those feats which proved that He was a Creator as well as being beyond our laws of Physics. He then raised to life the stinking body of Lazarus proving that He could reverse the laws of decay.
Jesus Creates as God but Redeems as a fellow Man
Another thing that humans cannot explain is redemption or forgiveness of sins.
We can try hard to live better and commit fewer sins but we can never be sinless.
Our good deeds cannot wipe out our bad deeds.
So how can we get rid of our sins and, more importantly, get rid of the desire to sin?
Redemption is a more difficult task for God to achieve because he has to deal with our often-foolish self-will.
But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.So in God is combined two characteristic abilities: to create and to redeem or save.
Not two People. One Person Who can do two acts that are impossible for humans to do.
God creates us as we cannot create ourselves and redeems us as we cannot redeem ourselves.
How does He redeem us from sin?
And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:Redemption also has a mystery. Two things have to be done.
One goat has to die and shed its blood. The other goat has to carry the sins of the people far away.
Jesus solved this problem by being Emmanuel, God with us.
God is a Spirit and the fullness of God’s Spirit lived inside the Body of Jesus.
When He died, He gave up the Ghost as the Holy Spirit left His Body.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.His physical Body took on our sins and He shed His holy Blood to wash our sins away. His Holy Spirit left His Body and then carried our sins down to hell and cast them back onto the Devil, who is the father of sin.
So one Person, Jesus, did what two goats had to do. He shed His innocent Blood (animals are sinless and thus He is called the Lamb of God) and then carried our sins far away, down into the depths of hell to dump our sins back onto the Devil, who is the source of sin.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
:3 Who being the brightness of his glory,
and the express image of his person,
and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;God's invisible Spirit lived inside the Man Jesus and expressed Himself by the way Jesus acted, behaved, and spoke. His visible actions and words expressed Who was within Him.
Who is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of every creature:
COLOSSIANS 2:9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God:
for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.Jesus was the fullness of God, in a human Man. God’s invisible Spirit lived inside the Man Jesus. Thus Jesus was the physical Person Who God used to show Himself to mankind.
Any other person, at most, could only have a part of God’s Spirit.
God is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The Father judges no man because only the Son judges
Two impossibly opposite ministries unite in Christ.
So Jesus fuses two opposites together. God and Man. He bears our burdens and died for us to carry our sins far away and as such, He is our Servant, yet He is also our King and we must live to serve Him.
Part of the mystery of God is that in Jesus we can find two opposites that are impossible for anyone else to combine in one person.
He was a dead Sacrifice and yet at the same time a living sin-bearer.
A Man Who sails on water or walks on water.
A Man Who breathes air or who walks upward into the air.
A Man Who eats food or creates cooked food.
So Scripture is dedicated to combining in Christ, totally opposite characteristics.
Jesus is a Man Who died and yet was more-than-a-Man Who rose from the dead. No other religious leader managed to do that.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.Does this represent two People?
Or is this Personification where we picture a human characteristic as if it is a Person?
Two opposite characteristics unite in Christ.
He is the Judge who will not relax the high standards of the Law.
Yet He is a Saviour who can somehow redeem us sinners who have failed to meet these standards.
No other person could unite these qualifications in a single person.
The Son of Man is obviously Jesus.
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that
I the Son of man am?But Who is the Ancient of Days?
There is no Scripture that says He is "God the Father".
The expression "God the Father" is never used in the Old Testament.
So you cannot say that the Ancient of Days is "God the Father".
Can the Ancient of Days be Jesus?
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool:
his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.The Ancient of Days is the Judge.
He has hair like pure wool. A judge used to wear a woolen wig to show that he was under submission to the authority of the law.
This ancient tradition is still carried on in England.
The woolen wig is made from the wool of a lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.Now let us look at a vision of Jesus as seen by John the Revelator.
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow;
and his eyes were as a flame of fire;A judge’s wig is made of lamb’s wool.
Jesus is the Lamb of God. He wears a white woolen wig as the Supreme Judge.
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.The Son of Man (Jesus) has a woolen wig and the sickle of judgement to cut down the sinners.
For the Father judgeth no man,
but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:Thus the Judge, the Ancient of Days, cannot be the Father.
If the Ancient of Days is "God the Father" then the Son of Man, Who is our Saviour, stands beside Him.
I, even I, am the LORD;
and beside me there is no saviour.Isaiah makes it plain, there is no Saviour standing beside God in heaven.
How can Jesus be seen standing next to God when God is invisible?
I JOHN 4:12No man hath seen God at any time.
How can Jesus be seen standing next to an invisible God? Then only one Person would be visible, not two.
Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me;
a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me:
for there is no saviour beside me.You can never look into heaven and see a Saviour standing next to God.
JOHN 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Our Ultimate Judge is the Word of God and Jesus is the Word.
We only see Jesus today as the revealed Word of God.
So whatever you say about the 1769 Version of the King James Bible, that is what you are saying about Jesus.
In Court, you cannot argue against the Law of the Land.
On Judgement Day you cannot argue against anything that is written in the Bible.
Ancient means wisdom and does not mean getting old
With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.God became a Man so that we could realize that He can understand how humans think.
Because he has shared our experience of living on earth with its problems, its unfairness, its prejudices, its violence, its thanklessness, and false accusations. He experienced all this and overcame it. Thus we can rest assured that He understands our situation because He went through worse suffering than what we have to go through. He was falsely accused, tortured, insulted, humiliated, and died in excruciating agony. Yet He never complained.
"Ancient" refers to wisdom that has accumulated over many years.
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake,
as in the ancient days,
in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?
:10 Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?The Ancient of Days did miracles in the past when He opened the Red Sea for Moses and two million Jews to pass through the waters and He can do so again today as He is still the same Person.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.Jesus is the Word of God. So Jesus has been around for a long time. He was already there at the beginning of time.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.Abraham was called more than 2000 BC.
Jesus was around even before then.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.Jesus was around in the days of Daniel. He is always present when we are in trouble.
His promise to those three Jews. If you do not bow, I will not let you burn.
I PETER 1:11
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.So Jesus was in all the ancient prophets, guiding them to fulfil bits of His future ministry.
For example, Joseph was hated by his brothers who wanted to kill him, but loved by his father. He was falsely accused in Egypt. He was imprisoned with two criminals, a baker who died and a butler who lived. He then went on to save Egypt and took a Gentile bride.
Jesus was hated by His brethren the Jews who demanded His death. He was falsely accused before Pilate. He was crucified between two criminals. The one accepted Him and got eternal life, the other rejected Him and died and went to hell.
His death is remembered by the two items in the Lord’s supper (which should be done at night time as it is not the Lord’s breakfast).
The unleavened bread of the Passover is broken as a symbol of His Body that died. That is why the baker died.
The wine is a symbol of the Life in His Blood which is the Holy Spirit. That is why the butler, who served Pharaoh with wine, lived.
Every prophet acted out some portion of the Life of Christ.
Enoch was a prophet before the Flood, and Christ was in him.
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,Enoch never died and was taken up to Paradise as he lived out, symbolically, the ascension of Jesus into Heaven.
Jesus ascended to Heaven to sit on the mercy seat where He is now the Saviour of this world, for those who want to accept Him. Then He will return as Judge to this world.
Through the 2000 years of the seven church ages, He is calling out a Bride (His true church) mainly from the Gentile nations.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.So Christ is Ancient. But He never ages as He is outside of time.
And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.His feet walked across the fires of hell as He took our sins and dumped them on the Devil.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us,
and washed us from our sins in his own blood,The only antidote to sin is the Blood of Jesus that washes a repentant heart.
Daniel sees a personification of Judge and Advocate
Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.Not two People. Two manifestations unite in Christ.
Personification, as if mercy and truth are two different people.
The Ancient of Days is the Judge who knows and demands the truth.
The Son of Man is the Advocate who understands us and pleads for us.
Jesus knows we are sinners but equally He paid the price for sin and thus can cleanse us.
He does not lower the standards (as the Judge) but because He paid the price for sin, He can cleanse us from sin.
I JOHN 2:1
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:Advocate - one who pleads another's cause before a judge
The Judge sits to maintain the standards of the Law and the Advocate stands to plead for the guilty who have repented and can thus claim forgiveness.
So Jesus is seen sitting and standing in Heaven.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them;
:22 Until the Ancient of days came,
and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.The Vatican is the little horn. It is an independent country that is less than one square kilometer in size with fewer than 800 citizens. Yet it controls the Roman Catholic Church with its 1.4 billion people.
Roman Catholic doctrines like Trinity, Christmas, Good Friday, and a man being the head of the church will prevail in the Protestant churches right to the end, until the Coming of the Lord.
It is Jesus who is coming.
I KINGS 10:4
And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,A woman symbolizes a church. She was happy to learn Solomon's wisdom and see his great house.
The Bride of Christ needs to learn the wisdom of the revealed Bible mysteries. We need to learn about the mysteries of the seven church ages because that is the spiritual House that God has built up by using each of His saints as a living stone in that great Structure that spans 2000 years.
II CORINTHIANS 11:2
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.Saint Paul calls the church a woman.
Solomon, the son of David, had much wisdom and built a house.
Jesus, the greater Son of David, has wisdom from being around for the six thousand years of human existence and He has called out a Bride over seven church ages where each age had its particular problems. The seventh church age has to return to the beliefs of the first church age (where the word "pastors" is only mentioned once and thus should not dominate the church). Our main problem is one-man leadership of each church that has produced 45000 different types of denominations and churches. There are simply far too many versions of Churchianity and we somehow have to find the truth by coming back to Scripture, not to plausible opinions that have produced a spiritual swamp.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David
Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:The seven pillars of wisdom refer to the Plan of God in each of the seven church ages. The last age has to produce the harvest. But the harvest at the end will only happen when the seed Word at the end is identical to the seed Word that was planted by the apostles at the beginning, in the first church age.
The saints from 7 church ages are the Temple of God
I CHRONICLES 28:11
Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch,
and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
:12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit,
of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:The man who built had to get the pattern from his father. He could not follow his own wisdom. The pattern came from the Spirit, not from human wisdom.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
I CORINTHIANS 3:16
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?Only our spiritual Father Jesus, who is the Word of God, can guide us in how to build the spiritual Temple of God’s seventh church age.
The Temple that God wants, not the temple that suits us.
God’s Will, not my selfish will.
To Ephesus, God spoke about the Church OF Ephesus. The church that was set up by the apostle Paul in Acts Chapter 20 to be an example to all the church ages.
After that God spoke of the church IN Smyrna, all the way to the church IN Philadelphia. These churches were trapped IN the different circumstances of each age as the truth died out between the second and fourth church ages, as described in Revelation Chapter 2.
EVIL was moving away from the first church age.
Luther turned EVIL around and the church began to LIVE as it started to move towards the first church age.
This started the restoration as the seed Word, buried in the dirt of the Dark Ages, suddenly began to germinate into green leaves with Luther's Reformation based on salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ in the fifth church age.
Then the King James Bible was translated in England.
John Wesley in England restored holiness and outreach in the 6th church age. This led to the great missionary age as the pollen traveled over the mission fields.
These churches were trapped IN the circumstances of this restoration of truth.
Then the seventh age saw the restoration of the Pentecostal gifts and was supposed to use the quotes of William Branham to return to the beliefs of the first church age.
But something went very wrong. Instead of becoming more Scriptural as the end-time mysteries were revealed, the churches began to develop their own beliefs that suited them. Instead of using quotes to understand the 1769 Version of the King James Bible, they interpreted the quotes into a sad variety of man-made ideas that cannot be proven just by using the Bible.
The seventh church age stopped becoming more Scriptural and became less Scriptural as a flood tide of unscriptural opinions swept and continues to sweep people along into the enveloping darkness as the 3.5 years of Great Tribulation draws closer. Now same-sex marriage is in the churches, just like it was in Sodom.
The Ephesian Church Age
I said that the True Church would always try to be like it was in the Book of Acts.
That is exactly right. But we have discovered that the Word also teaches
an invasion of error until there is a complete blackout of truth in the last day when the Lord is about to appear.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of
the church of the Laodiceans
God reveals the reason for the disaster of our age.
It is "the church OF the Laodiceans".
The Christians have made the fatal mistake OF making up their own beliefs.
They have made up their own churches, whatever suits them. Today there are 45000 different types of churches and denominations.
Not to mention over 100 versions of the English Bible. Take your pick. A complete spiritual swamp.
Laodicea means people's rights. Church-goers demand the right to serve God the way they want to.
This makes it the most dangerous church age of all as churchgoers interpret the Bible any way they choose to.
Pastors are obsessed with trying to be clever as they misinterpret quotes to gain some earthly applause.
The King James Version of the Bible is no longer regarded as the Absolute.
Even Message-believers believe that it has translation mistakes, contradictions, or irrelevant details. Just because they cannot understand what is written in certain places.
Today, people are prepared to criticize the Bible, but they dare not criticize their church or pastor.
They love the church more than the Bible.