The History Of The Knowledge and Worship Of God

by Sandy Simpson, 8/9/13


I have written this study as a further refute to the claims of people like Don Richardson, Daniel Kikawa, Danny Lehmann of YWAM and many other World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People (WCGIP) advocates.   Here is a short sample of what they claim:


Gonna be talkin' a little bit about Christian history. Actually not just Christian history but the history of God and His involvement in Hawaii from the very beginning of time.” (Danny Lehmann of YWAM, interview with Leon Siu of Aloha Ke Akua, at Calvary Chapel Komo Mai, 4/01/06, evening service)


His involvement in Hawaii from the very beginning of time.  If we go back to the book of Genesis we realize that God has been, He's not only the Creator God but He's also the creator of cultures and peoples” (Leon Siu, interview by Danny Lehmann at Calvary Chapel Komo Mai, 4/01/06, evening service).


“Christians should cease representing Jesus as the Son of the foreign God of a foreign people, especially if these foreigners had never shown concern for or had any involvement in the lives or culture of the natives. We should instead introduce Jesus as the Son of their creator God. God lovingly created them in the beginning never left them without a witness and, in his great love for them, even sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for them!” (Daniel Kikawa, Perpetuated in Righteousness, p.27)


There is a definite “history” of the knowledge and worship of Elohim in the Bible, but not what the WCGIP advocates teach. The worship of YHWH was never present in Hawaii “from the beginning of time” especially since Hawaii was not discovered till around 300AD, but also because the Bible clearly states that the Gentiles were without God and without hope in the world.  God did not “create” cultures.  He dispersed them at Babel because of their polytheism by confusing their one language into many and they were then forced to populate the earth as God had required.  Jesus is not the son of Hawaiian gods but the Son of YHWH who was exclusively revealed to the line of Shem and gave His name to Moses for Israel (Ex. 3:14).


God preserved the knowledge and worship of Himself through the line of Adam to Jesus because of the need for a Savior.  I am not saying every person in that lineage was obedient to the Lord or even worshipped Him, but they certainly knew about the True God as opposed to those who ran after false gods from the Ancient Times and particularly after Babel.  The knowledge and worship of Elohim only existed within that line on through to Moses who was then given the name of God (YHWH) and the Law.  The Bible is clear that the pagans, the heathen, the Gentiles who were not of Israel “do not” and “did not know God”.


Gal. 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
1 Cor. 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Rom. 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
1 Thess. 4:5 ...not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God...
Ephesians 2:12-13 ...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
2 Thess. 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.


Let’s look at some examples from the Bible that form a line of the knowledge of God through the line of Adam to Noah and then through Shem to Moses.


Adam begat Seth through whom the Savior would eventually come as foretold by God in Gen. 3:15, 22:18, 26:4, 49:10, etc.  Just before that time Cain sinned and started a whole trend of disobedience to God in the Ancient World (Jude 1:11).  The line of Seth included Enoch, who walked with God and God took to heaven (Gen. 5:21-24) and Lamech (Gen. 5:28) the father of Noah who was called “a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9) Noah then, after the Flood, blessed his son Shem (Gen. 9:26) saying “may Canaan be the slave of Shem”, which is why the King of Salem, Melchizedek, would qualify to be Shem or possibly a theophany of Jesus Christ. 


Terah set out with his family for Canaan but stopped at Haran (Gen. 11:31).  This indicates that the call for Terah and family first came to Terah to go to Canaan but he would not go, so God then called Abram, who obeyed God, whom he knew (later made known to Moses as YHWH) … though the worship of false gods was certainly abundant in Ur and Haran.  Later in Canaan the king of Salem (later to be Jerusalem) Melchizedek came out to Abram to bless him in the name of the Lord (Gen. 14:18-19) and Abram tithed 1/10th of his spoils to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:21).  How did Abram know about tithing and altar blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin?  Because he was in the line of Shem and that knowledge of what God required had been passed down to him along with the genealogies, either written or oral, that were finally passed to Moses. 


Could the “accounts” of Adam, Noah, Shem, Terah and Abraham have been passed down in written form to Moses?  I believe that a written language, most likely Hebrew, had been used in the Ancient World because it would have been an easy accomplishment to develop a written language for people who lived such long lifespans.


The Lord Jesus Himself and the Gospel writers said that the Law was given by Moses (Mark 10:3; Luke 24:27; John 1:17), and the uniform tradition of the Jewish scribes and early Christian fathers, and the conclusion of conservative scholars to the present day, is that Genesis was written by Moses. This does not preclude the possibility that Moses had access to patriarchal records, preserved by being written on clay tablets and handed down from father to son via the line of Adam–Seth–Noah–Shem–Abraham–Isaac–Jacob, etc., as there are 11 verses in Genesis which read, ‘These are the generations [Hebrew: toledoth = ‘origins’ or by extension ‘record of the origins’] of … .1 As these statements all come after the events they describe, and the events recorded in each division all took place before rather than after the death of the individuals so named, they may very well be subscripts or closing signatures, i.e. colophons, rather than superscripts or headings. If this is so, the most likely explanation of them is that Adam, Noah, Shem, and the others each wrote down an account of the events which occurred in his lifetime, and Moses, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, selected and compiled these, along with his own comments, into the book we now know as Genesis (Should Genesis be taken literally? by Russell Grigg, The seminal author on the colophon concepts was P.J. Wiseman, Creation Revealed in Six Days, Marshall, Morgan & Scott, London, 1948, pp. 45–53. For an excellent evaluation of this by a evangelical linguist see The Oldest Science Book in the World, by Dr Charles V. Taylor, Assembly Press, Queensland, 1984, pp. 21–23, 73, 121. )(


If you read the “accounts” of Adam, Noah, Shem, Terah, Abraham, etc. you can clearly see that each has a unique style which would tend to diminish the possibility that those accounts were passed down orally and increase the likelihood that those records were written and passed down.


Shem was still alive in Abram’s time and Abram obviously knew this man, so he was either a theophany of Jesus Christ, as Jesus appeared in a variety of forms in the Old Testament, or his great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather Shem.  Later it was said of Melchizedek that he met Abram while Levi was still an unborn seed in Abram (Heb. 7:10).  I believe this is significant and mentioned because Levi is in the line of Shem to Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus.  I believe Shem was giving his blessing to Abram and assuring that the promised Seed (Gen. 3:15) would be established as God intended.  This was an acknowledgement that Abram (later to be called Abraham) was being obedient to the Lord to bring about His promises to the Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16).


John Gill says that the Targums indicated Shem was Melchizedek, though he also postulates it might have been a theophany of Jesus Christ and (erroneously) concludes that he thinks it was a Canaanite prince.  I say erroneously because (1) no Canaanite would have known God or (2) been so old as to seem to be without parentage.  Gill’s conclusion does not square with the fact that Shem was blessed by Noah who prophesied that Shem would have Canaan as his slave (Gen. 9:26).


Both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem say, this (Melchizedek) is Shem the son of Noah, and which is the sense of the Jewish writers in general, and of many Christian ones… (John Gill Commentary)


Matthew Henry states basically the same three possibilities as John Gill and notes the mention in the Jewish writings of Shem being Melchizedek.


The rabbin, and most of our rabbinical writers, conclude that Melchizedek was Shem the son of Noah, who was king and priest to those that descended from him, according to the patriarchal model. … (Matthew Henry Commentary)


Poole states the same as the above:


Shem, as the Jews and many others think, who probably was alive at this time, and, no doubt, a great prince. (Matthew Poole Commentary)


JFB states that Melchizedek was a “type of the Savior” which is correct. Eccletic Notes believes Melchizedek to be a theophany which was the popular theory in modern times and when I was growing up.


My point is not that they believed Shem was Melchizedek since most of them believe that he was a Canaanite heathen king.  My point is that the old Jewish writers and commentators all agreed that it was Shem.  This makes sense given the prophecy and blessing by Noah for Shem.  I am sure this is part of what led the early Jewish writers to conclude this as well as oral and written history.  They would have also known that God kept the line of Shem true to the knowledge of God and it would have been impossible for a Canaanite, one of those who had disobeyed God at Babel in the worship of Nimrod and Semaramis, (see my article detailing the establishment of polytheism in all cultures after Babel except for Israel) to know God that long after the flood unless he had come in contact with the line of Shem.  After all, later the Canaanites had to be destroyed for their pagan polytheism, demonic involvement and animistic worship.


The fact is that through history, in the Ancient World, in Israel, and culminating in the Gentile Church any human could not know specific revelation of God without hearing it from one of those sources.


The Ancient World


2 Pet. 2:5  if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;




Ps. 67:1-2   For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song. May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, Selah that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.


The Church


Rom. 10:14  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?


There is an argument that Melchizedek could not have been Shem based on Heb. 7:3.  Speaking of Melchizedek it states:


Hebrews 7:3  Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.


If this were literally the case then Melchizedek could only have been a theophany of Jesus before the Incarnation.  He could not have even been a reappearance of Enoch, for instance, because Enoch had parents.  But this could also have been the general understanding at that time by observers of this man, Melchizedek, who seemed to live forever and everyone in Canaan had lost track of whether or not this man had parents and probably ascribed deity to him.  This then this could be referring to Shem who lived for 600+ years.  If a person lived that long today wouldn’t people think that the person was immortal without parents unless they had proof to the contrary?  Remember that the general lifespan during Abraham’s time had fallen to 175. ( Two years after the flood Shem was 100 years old (Gen. 11:10) and lived another 500 years, well into the life of Abram.


Noah's prophetic blessing, on awakening from his wine, may be regarded as having been fulfilled in his descendants, who occupied Syria (Aramaic), Palestine (Canaan), Chaldea (Arpachshad), Assyria (Asshur), part of Persia (Elam), and Arabia (Joktan). In the first three of these, as well as in Elam, Canaanites had settled (if not in the other districts mentioned), but Shemites ruled, at some time or other, over the Canaanites, and Canaan thus became "his servant" (Genesis 9:25,26). (


I believe it was also fulfilled by Shem himself if he became the King of Salem (later to be known as Jerusalem) and his name had changed to Melchizedek by the time of Abram.  It would have been hard to explain his existence so long after the flood which could possibly account for the name change.  I don’t see that as a problem, especially with others changing their names or having their names changed by God (Abram/Abraham, Jacob/Israel) because those names in Hebrew are reflective of their roles or personalities as they progressed in life.


From Shem the knowledge of Elohim was passed down through his line through Jobab (Job-Gen. 10:26) and through to Terah after Babel. 


As I do not buy the assertion that Elohim was known and worshipped by any Gentile pagan cultures because of many Scripture verses to the contrary, therefore Melchizedek could not have been a “Canaanite king” apart from the line of Shem. On that basis I also do not believe that Job popped up out of Gentile heathen cultures, becoming a person God allowed to be tested in at the request of Satan to prove his faithfulness.  There is a man in the line of Shem, Jobab, who is of the right time period to be the man Job of the Biblical account. 


Indeed, it was the conviction of Dr. Bernard Northrup, a translator of both Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, that the Jobab of Genesis 10:29 was exactly the same person as the one featured in the Book of Job. … They have taken the Jobab of Genesis 36:33-34, from the line of Esau, and made him the Jobab of the book of Job. In doing that, they have acknowledged that the name Jobab and Job are the same name in related languages. However they have chosen the wrong Jobab! They should have chosen the one from Genesis 10:29. You then ask why? The reason is that, at the time of Jacob and Esau, the maximum age that was attained according to Scripture was 147 for Jacob and 175 for Abraham. These numbers are concordant. But the Alexandrian LXX tells us Job died aged 248 years or about 100 years longer than the Scriptural norm for the time of Esau. In fact we have to go back to the days of Peleg before we find people living about 250 years as a typical lifespan. Therefore, the choice of Jobab between the descendant of Esau or the nephew of  Peleg is made plain by the mathematical consideration of their ages. (


So I think it is Biblical to assume that both Melchizedek and Job were of the line of Shem.


Until Babel the entire world had only one language (Gen. 11:1).  Could this have been an ancient form of Hebrew? 


… this (one world language of Gen. 11:1) the Targumists take to be the holy or Hebrew language; and so Jarchi and Aben Ezra, and the Jewish writers in general, and most Christians; though some make a question of it, whether it might not be rather the Syriac, or Chaldee, or Arabic; (John Gill Commentary)


Of one speech, which even heathen writers acknowledge; and that probably was the Hebrew tongue. (Matthew Poole Commentary)


"The whole earth was of one language" - The whole earth - all mankind was of one language, in all likelihood the HEBREW; and of one speech - articulating the same words in the same way. It is generally supposed, that after the confusion mentioned in this chapter, the Hebrew language remained in the family of Heber. The proper names, and their significations given in the Scripture, seem incontestable evidences that the Hebrew language was the original language of the earth-the language in which God spake to man, and in which he gave the revelation of his will to Moses and the prophets. (Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary)


It seems that the one world language of the time was Hebrew since the names, all the way from Adam, are Hebrew names (as Arnold Fructenbaum and others have written).  Of course it might be possible that Moses renamed them later with Hebrew names, as he did insert the name YHWH in his writing of the story of Abram which was not known until Moses, but it is highly doubtful he renamed all the people the Bible mentions before his time.  This is because the names are consistent through the history of the Bible where many spoke of the Ancient World and those names have specific meanings in Hebrew.  Also Jesus did not correct the use of the names but used them Himself. 




The God of the Bible, YHWH, was never worshipped in Hawaii or any other Gentile nation, for that matter.  This is a doctrine of demons being taught worldwide by YWAM and others that, if allowed to continue, spells the effective end of true evangelical mission work.  It also tends to lift up the pride of Gentiles instead of bringing them to repentance (Luke 24:47) which is a necessary result of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).  Those who refuse to acknowledge God’s people, Israel, through which came the Savior (a Jew, Jesus Christ) are only setting people up for deception by the enemy. 


You can check out the WCGIP section of my site for many articles on this subject here.  Or you can get the book “Idolatry In Their Hearts” by myself and Mike Oppenheimer or the DVD series that goes with it.