Chapter Four (continued)

“That’s all you’ll be seeing of them,” Jacob explained to Jimmy. We’ll still be here, but you’ll get a little of your privacy back.” Millie breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief and went back to use the bathroom. “Those of us who are staying,” Jacob continued, “will be taking turns going into the store to use the bathroom there. We’ll buy some provisions, too.”

When they had completed their chores Jacob had Jimmy pull back out. Jacob saw the group they’d left behind walking toward a Greyhound station just down the street. They waved and the RV continued eastward, stopping briefly to fuel up and then merging back into the I-10 freeway.

Millie returned to the passenger seat next to her husband. Looking over to him, she smiled. It didn’t work. His expression remained surly. She continued smiling. “What?” he asked testily.

“Don’t you realize what we just accomplished?” she said. “What’s happened every time we’ve come into Fort Stockton? Don’t tell me you don’t remember.”

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “This is the first time we didn’t have a breakdown as we came into town. I’d be jumping with joy if we didn’t have a more serious problem on our hands. More serious than breaking down.”

“That’s all in your mind,” she countered. “After what I’ve heard from them, they’re about as dangerous as toothless snakes.”

“Yeah, but they’re still snakes.”

“Oh, go on,” she said, disgusted. She sat straight in her own seat, looking at the road ahead.

Sid sat down next to Earl. “Any more time-stamped prophecies?”

Earl laughed. “Yes. Almost as amazing as Daniel’s about Jesus. You’d find it extremely relevant to yourself.”

“From our own Scriptures?”

“How about Hosea?”

“Sure. What’ve you got?”

“Hosea Chapter 6. The prophet says that after three days, God will revive Israel. In the context of Psalm 90, that would be in the third millennium after Hosea’s prophecy. You know that this prophecy is accurate, because it’s already happened.”

“Okay, I’d say that was impressive, but not as much as Daniel. Hosea still had several hundred years to work with on that and still be right.”

“I agree. But I’m just warming up. Would you rather have the same prophecy, but this time to the very day?”

“That would grab me. Sure.”

“Ezekiel’s still in your Scripture, just like Daniel and Hosea. Would that suit you?”

“Of course.”

“Ezekiel 4 then, verses 4 through 6. God has Ezekiel lie on his left side for 390 days, counting a day for the years of Israel’s iniquity. Then he was to lie on his right side for another 40 days, counting a day for the years of Judah’s iniquity. A total of 430 years, like Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. You’ll recall that you left Egypt 430 years after coming in. According to Exodus 12, it was to the very day.”

“Yeah, I know all that. So where do the 430 years come in?”

“The captivity in Babylon, from 606 B.C. until 536 B.C., was 70 years. So that took care of 70 of the 430 years.”

“Which leaves 360 years remaining. Our Diaspora, the Great Dispersion, lasted a lot longer than that.”

“It sure did. The late Dr. Grant Jeffrey, who, as far as I know, was the first to figure it out, had that very problem with it. I don’t know how long it took him to do it, but he finally came to a passage that put it all together. It’s in Leviticus 26, where God says that if, after Israel continues to refuse to listen to Him after her punishment, she will be punished seven times as long. After her 70-year punishment, Israel did indeed refuse to listen to God.”

“So that meant, you’re saying, that her follow-on punishment, instead of lasting for 360 years after the end of the Babylonian captivity, actually was to last seven times that long?”

“Yes. Multiplying 360 times seven comes out to two thousand, five hundred twenty prophetic years, which amounts to 907,200 days. Which, in turn, brings us to a date for Israel’s return to her land of 1948. I made quick-and-dirty calculation myself and arrived at 1948, but Jeffrey claimed that a detailed calculation showed that it was to the very day of April 14.”

“Unbelievable!” Sid breathed.

“I’ll say,” Jacob said. Millie nodded her head in assent.

“Yeah,” Jimmy cut in brusquely. “It’s way too over-the-top. There’s gotta be a catch somewhere.”

“No, Jimmy. There’s no catch. I’ve redone the calculation several times, and it still comes out to 1948. And when you add in Hosea’s prophecy about it, and then read Ezekiel Chapters 36 and 37 that speak of Israel’s rebirth out of Hitler’s holocaust, it all dovetails together. Scripture itself is supernaturally written, just as it claims to be.”

Jimmy frowned, then looked over at Millie. He shrugged his shoulders. “We don’t need God,” he said. “We never did. We’re evolving quite nicely without Him or His intervention.”

“Evolving?” Jacob said. “As in Evolution? That’s my field. I was a microbiologist before they came after me for being a Jew. What do you know about it, Jimmy? How about DNA, and the fact that it’s a molecular chain inside of which is pure information, almost a gigabyte of information about its human host. Every one of the trillions of cells in your body carries this information. A colleague of mine – a highly respected scientist, I might add – calculated the odds against a much smaller chain of information having come about by chance. The number was larger than all the known particles in the universe. That’s particles, not stars.”

“But think about the time involved,” Jimmy blustered.

“What about it? Suppose that you had twenty million years to create a small chain of information, like for a bacterium. The number representing that time, even in miniscule units of microseconds, is puny, insignificant next to the number associated with the odds against chance accomplishing the creation of the DNA for a bacterium.”

Jimmy’s face reddened in embarrassment, but Jacob didn’t back off. “And that didn’t even take into account the chicken-and-egg problem of protein production. Some sections of DNA called genes are really software subroutines that specify the assembly of proteins out of amino acids. We haven’t figured out much about the rest of the human DNA chain, but we do know a lot about the human genome. A gene tells a machine in the cell to assemble amino acids in a specified order to make a protein. Now here’s the problem. The machine responsible for the assembly consists of proteins. So there’s the issue of what came first – the protein-based machine or the instructions it uses to make proteins, because if the instructions came first they’d be meaningless. On the other hand, if the machine came first, it would be meaningless, having no instructions to act upon. Obviously, they had to have been operational at the same time, which increases the complexity factor by a huge amount.”

“Another big issue that the odds didn’t take into account is chirality,” Jacob continued. “Which means that the molecular orientation of every single backbone structural element in the enormously long DNA chain must be right-handed. The problem with that is that the molecular orientation of these elements is equally likely either right- or left-handed, so there’s a fifty-fifty chance of each such molecular component being of the wrong orientation. This is for every DNA chain in every creature. If just one coding element is of the wrong orientation, it will gum up the works. So what do you think that this little restriction does to the odds? But wait – there’s more!” Jacob said in a quip that evoked images of a high-pressure sale, “All the amino acids associated with life have to be of a left-handed orientation, which adds even more to the complexity burden.”

“What about the fossil evidence?” Jimmy said in an attempt to regain control over the conversation. “You know, the missing links between man and ape. Lucy.”

“I hate to tell you this, but they’re all frauds, every last one of them, including Lucy. And when I say frauds, I’m talking about rank dishonesty. If you want be to go into details, I’ll be glad to do so. It’ll take me some time, but I’m game.”

“If that was the case, why would such a prestigious magazine like National Geographic present Lucy and her place in the evolutionary chain as an established fact. Nat Geo is just one of a whole host of sources of that kind of information. That tells me that better people than you say that evolution is a fact. Proven. Q.E.D. They’re teaching the factual basis of evolution to every school child in the country.”

“A terrible tragedy. So Jimmy, do you believe everything you’re told? If there’s something too deep or requires too much effort for you to understand for yourself, do you run to the self-proclaimed experts and accept everything they say as truth? Sure, I’ll buy into the fact that there are better people than me who say evolution is a fact. But I didn’t automatically accept everything they said. I searched out the issue and acquired an in-depth understanding of Darwin’s thesis. Then I continued on and gained an understanding of the alternative thesis from those who were capable of effectively rebutting the evolutionary point of view. In the process I found real experts in the area, who themselves are better than the evolutionists that are better than me. What these scientists had to say opened up a new world to me – the world of molecular biology. Then I, too, became an expert in the field. All I can tell you about National Geographic, by the way, is that its staff appear to be committed naturalists, which is essentially equivalent to being committed atheists whether they perceive that identity or not. They’re not stupid. They’re just blind, refusing to contemplate the overwhelming evidence against evolution for the simple reason that they don’t want to. Their marketing success is based entirely on a population like themselves that doesn’t know God nor ever wants to.”

“Shut up and leave me alone.”

Seeing a sign for a rest stop ahead, Jacob made a quick calculation. With Millie opposing him, Jimmy probably wouldn’t alert the authorities about them. He decided to take a chance. “We’ve put you folks out enough,” he told Jimmy. “Thanks for your hospitality, but if you pull into that rest stop, we’ll get out of your hair.”

“Are you serious?” Jimmy asked.

“Yes, I am. You think we’d put a gun to your heads and shoot or something?”

Jimmy was quick to comply. When they stopped Joyce gave Millie a fierce hug. “God bless you,” she said, and walked out of the vehicle. Millie watched her leave, observing her struggle down the steps on her prosthetic legs. What was left of the group walked together toward the restrooms. Jacob turned his head back to the RV and saw Millie behind their large windshield. She was speaking with Jimmy. It wasn’t a pretty picture. “Well, we still have some sleeping bags between us,” he told Earl. Maybe we can take turns in them come nightfall.

“Yeah,” Earl said dejectedly. “At least it’s not freezing.”

When they returned from the restrooms Jimmy was standing at the entrance, waiting. Jacob saw him, but ignored his presence.

“What’s up, Jimmy?” Earl asked.

“Come on back to the RV,” he said. “Millie’s convinced me that it’s the right thing to do. I’m not saying I’m converted just yet, but Millie is.”

Earl laughed inwardly. Poor Jimmy, he thought. Millie must have given him both barrels. “I don’t know,” he replied. You really want to do this thing?”

“I do,” he admitted. “But just you and Joyce. We can’t handle more than you two.”

Earl knew that what Jimmy wanted was to sleep in his own bed tonight, with Millie beside him. He also knew that Jacob hadn’t exactly endeared himself to them. This presented a problem. He didn’t want to abandon Jacob and the others, but he was also concerned with Joyce’s welfare above all. He decided to talk to Jacob and see how he responded. “Thanks for the offer, Jimmy, but wait one, please.” he said.

“Hey guys,” he called to the others as he walked over to them.

“What’s up?” Jacob replied.

“Something came up that I don’t know how to handle. Jimmy’s just offered Joyce and me a ride farther up the road. But we’re the only ones they invited.”

Jacob laughed at that. “Being the bad cop does have its downside. By all means, go. It’s best all around. Joyce gets to stay off her prosthetics a while longer, and with you two gone, it just might be easier for the rest of us to get a ride.”

“I was hoping you’d say that. But I still feel a bit guilty leaving you behind.”

“Don’t. You’ve done enough for us already. Besides, I have a feeling that God will help us all out of the tight spots ahead, so don’t worry about us. Just take care of yourself and your lovely wife.”

“Thanks, Jacob. I don’t know if we’ll ever see you again, but know that our hearts are with you.”

“As ours are with you.” They clasped hands all around, and Earl gave them a last wave of the hand as he turned back to Jimmy.

“Okay, Jimmy,” he said. “I guess we’re on, and thanks again.”


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