The Apple Of God's Eye

June 23, 2011

For Evolutionists Only….

hollyforrestteaches.blogspot.com

Most creationists are guilty of the very thing they accuse evolutionists of doing: misinterpreting the evidence!

Actually, the commonly accepted religious concept of creation has changed little since medieval theologians insisted the earth is flat.

Only some six or so thousand years ago, according to this concept, God created “out of nothing” the universe and everything in it.

Not only does this idea overlook the actual biblical account of creation, it also represents a misinterpretation of the physical evidence to support a preconceived and erroneous notion.

One can only wonder how many educated people have rejected the whole idea of special creation merely because they have not heard the true biblical account. The biblical account of creation, as recorded in the first chapters of Genesis, is compatible with the entire body of provable, observable, measurable, recordable scientific data. What this means is that the physical evidence of and by itself does not require choosing between an evolutionary process on the one hand or belief in a universe that is only about 6,000 years old on the other hand. (more…)

March 28, 2011

Geology Reveals: Two Creations, Two Worldwide Floods

findingtruthmatters.org

Here is startling proof — from the Bible and geology — demonstrating not only two widely separated creations, but two world-wide destructions! Few have understood this astonishing truth!

Contrary to what millions have been led to believe — the true facts of science and the truth of your Bible agree! Theologians have long kept hidden this surprising truth. It conflicts with their theology. Atheistic professors have suppressed it. Science has refused to believe it.

Only a few understand where the key which unlocks the amazing geologic history of the earth is. It has been in the FIRST TWO VERSES OF YOUR BIBLE all these years — and you probably never noticed it.

The FOUNDATION of Knowledge

The very first truth revealed in your Bible is: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This earth was created so perfect, so beautiful, that “the morning stars {the angels — Rev. 1:20} sang for joy” (Job 38:7).

Yet the very next inspired verse of your Bible reveals that this perfect earth was destroyed by a terrible catastrophe! Genesis 1:2 reveals, “And the earth was without form, and void.”

The original Hebrew word, which the King James translators translated “was” in verse two, ought to be translated “became.” It is so translated in Genesis 19:26, in Genesis 2:7, and in many other verses of the Bible. Turn to the example in Genesis 19:26. In this verse the same Hebrew word which is INCORRECTLY translated “WAS” in Genesis 1:2 is here CORRECTLY translated “BECAME.”

Notice, God warned Lot and his wife not to look behind as they escaped from the burning city of Sodom. Lot’s wife disobeyed this command and looked back longingly at the wicked city of Sodom, “She BECAME a pillar of salt” (v. 26).

Obviously, Lot’s wife had not always been a pillar of salt! But when she sinned, she became a pillar of salt.

In like manner, the earth wasn’t originally created a waste and in confusion! The correct translation of Genesis 1:2 from the original inspired Hebrew makes clear: “The earth BECAME without form, and void.”

This truth is further brought out when we note in Genesis 1:2 that the English “without form” was translated from the original Hebrew word “tohu,” which means “desolation” or “confusion.” Is God the author of confusion?

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write: “God is not the author of confusion” (I Cor. 14:33).

Isaiah said, “He {God} created it {the earth} NOT IN VAIN {“tohu” in Hebrew — that is, not in chaos and confusion} (Isa. 45:18). It BECAME that way! (more…)

February 27, 2011

What Is Human Consciousness?

soulresearchinstitute.org

Human beings have been given the wonderful gift of consciousness. We are aware of ourselves and our environment. We are able to appreciate the aesthetic beauties of the earth. We can readily perceive the past — or think we can — and the present and the future. We have the ability to perceive good and evil.

But what are the origins of human consciousness? How and when did we come to have this marvelous gift?

Man Looks at the Problem

Evolutionists have proposed to explain the origin of the physical being called man. But evolution offers no viable explanation for the existence of consciousness — not even the vastly inferior animal consciousness that was before man’s. Eminent scientist and Nobel prize winner, Sir John Eccles, has said:

“The genetic code and natural selection explains quite a lot. But not how I came to exist. It doesn’t explain even the origin of consciousness, even animal consciousness. If you look at the most modern texts on evolution you find nothing about mind and consciousness. They assume that it just comes automatically with the development of the brain. But that’s not an answer” (International Herald Tribune, March 31, 1981).

But if evolutionists cannot really explain the existence of consciousness, the Holy Scriptures do.

God Gives the Answer

The biblical book of Job contains some of the most beautiful poetic language in English literature. But the intrinsic worth of this ancient work goes far beyond mere beauty of language. It records a conversation that the man Job had with the Creator God.

The Almighty had asked the patriarch Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements — surely you know!” (Job 38:4-5, RSV).

These verses reveal that intelligence vastly superior to man’s was present at the time of creation. Further, the same verses show that God possessed by his very nature the marvelous attribute of consciousness. Man was nowhere around at the time. He took no part in the creation work.

Centuries after Job died the prophet Isaiah was privileged to record God’s Word to the children of Israel in a similar vein. “Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth — Who was with me?” (Isaiah 44:24). (more…)

February 25, 2010

A Credible Religious Answer To Evolution!

Mankind has a long history of seeking God, but it now appears that human intellect is in a rush to eliminate Him. Supposed superstition, ignorance and fear is said to give way to intelligence in order that human civilization may be brought fully into being.

And no wonder. The gods of some nations have been carved by men’s hands out of wood, stone, or other existing material. The gods of some religions and individuals have been carved out of human imaginations and faulty human reasoning. Some have worshiped the sun, or other inanimate objects of nature. All these gods are merely the created—most of them formed and fashioned by man, therefore inferior to man.

But He who did the creating—He who brought everything that exists into existence, including all else falsely called God—He who created all matter, force and energy, who created all natural laws and set them in motion, who created life and endowed some of it with intelligence—He is God! He is superior to all else that is called “God.” He, alone, is God! (more…)

December 12, 2009

How Did Adam And Eve Learn Right From Wrong?

Adam was not born, he was suddenly created as a full grown adult man. The same applies to Eve. Many would suppose that both were created with a storehouse full of knowledge automatically implanted in their minds. But this assertion is wrong.

Consider: How do adults of today come into possession of the knowledge that they have? They are not born with it. A newborn babe knows nothing at birth, but absorbs knowledge slowly, cumulatively additive. It must learn, must be taught.

Now let’s examine the difference between Adam at the instant of his creation and  a baby at the instant of birth. within a portion of a single day, an adult man was created out of the dust of the ground with a mind, as yet unfilled with knowledge, but capable of receiving knowledge, reasoning and acting upon it. The difference between Adam and a baby is that Adam started off as an adult, with an adult capable mind, but as much without knowledge, and therefore as helpless, as a newborn baby. So he had adult capacity, but no adult knowledge.

Therefore his very first need was to be given essential knowledge. And herein lies a truth even religion has forgotten – that god – besides being a creator, is also an Educator.  God instructed both Adam and Eve in the basic foundation of all knowledge – the same as is available in the bible today. And yes, this includes the Ten Commandments. We know that Adam and Eve sinned and sin is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4). Only by the law of God is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20), or else Eve would not have known to say that she and her husband could die if they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:3).

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Jam. 4:17).

Our first parents rejected God’s revelation of knowledge through rebellion. And their children have been rejecting and rebelling against the supreme Educator of all mankind ever since. They reject Him as both Ruler and Educator, and most reject him as Creator.

God the Educator

The very last act of God’s creation by work was the creation of man. It was on the sixth day of that first week and it was the final act of the work of creation. That day, by God’s order, ended at sunset (Gen. 2:2).

Now here is a point of distinction which must be made. God did not end creating at this point, only His work – those things made by work. Now he created the sabbath by rest, not by work, blessing and sanctifying it (setting it apart as Holy from other days). He established the sabbath as the day for assembly and spiritual instruction.

Now this was a good thing, because here was Adam and Eve needing instruction. Did the creator walk off or vanish out of sight, leaving the man and woman helpless and without knowledge? No, the record shows that the Eternal God began speaking to the man – communicating knowledge – giving instruction.  He taught the Gospel to the very first man, giving that man, so far sinless, His fellowship on His Sabbath day.

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying…..(Gen. 2:15-16).

The eternal God immediately began speaking to, teaching and instructing, the man. We can know certain things with of what was said, but the inspired record in the first few chapters of Genesis reveals to us only the briefest summary – hits only the high spots. But even though the record omits many of the details, it spans the fields covered. Much of the detailed instruction may be accurately filled in from other parts of the Bible.

The fields covered then were:

  1. the true Gospel (spiritual truth).
  2. the Ten Commandments (God’s way of life).
  3. man’s transcendent potential (gift of eternal life).
  4. necessary physical knowledge to live in a healthy way.
  5. knowledge of the marriage institution and of sex.

One of the trees in the Garden of Eden was the tree of life, symbolized as God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. “But,” continued God, “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die”(Gen. 2:16-17). Here, in briefest condensation, we find the teaching of the Gospel – that “the wages is sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life” (Rom. 6:23).

The Bible says all have sinned – including Adam and Eve (Rom. 3:23, 5:12). God could not have allowed Adam to sin, without first having taught him what sin is.

December 7, 2009

Does God Condone Public Nudity?

bensbreakfastblog.wordpress.com

The account of Genesis is very brief and merely summarizes conversations and events. But filling in omitted gaps and details becomes somewhat more clear from what we learn from later passages, and from history.

In the creation chapter of Genesis 1, it is written that God instituted the very first marriage in history:

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).

Notice that marriage came from the mind of God and naturally, as Creator, God instructed Adam and Eve in the right purpose and use of sex. It was He who made the male and female sex organs (verse 27), pronouncing them “very good” (verse 31) and there was no sense of shame between Adam and Eve in regard to their nakedness (Gen. 2:25).

Where did the concept of shame regarding nakedness come from? Notice that in the very next verse, Satan begins to discredit revelation (God’s teaching) as the fountain source of knowledge. And as soon Satan was done with the every first lie in history and Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked, sewing fig leaves together to make themselves aprons (Gen. 2:7).

Something now had changed. A sense of shame came about them in regard to their nakedness. And when they heard the voice of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, both hid themselves from His presence.

Now God already knew what they had done, but their very words “I was naked and I hid myself” confirmed their sense of shame in the presence of God who asked:

“Who told you you were naked?” (verse 11)

This was a new attitude and God rightly asked who put this thought in their mind. Of course it was Satan, and not God! Remember, while God instructed them in the true and right knowledge of sex and marriage, they were naked. But nothing in all in what God taught them gave them any sense of shame towards sex. Satan had implanted this evil idea in the effort of making what God designed appear to be contaminated and degrading.

God clothed Adam and Eve

Now under what circumstances and why did God clothe Adam and Eve? During His first instructions to both after their creation, it was a situation of husband and wife. They were married by God and as long as they were the only two humans on earth – alone by themselves – God gave them no instructions to cover their bodies. It was not necessary because God is present everywhere – omnipresent – anyways. When a husband and wife today are alone in the privacy of their bedroom, God is invisibly present. But when other people (mankind) are introduced, then we read that God Himself clothed Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:20-21).

Yes, God made them coats of skins Himself. The word “clothed” here is inspired as “labash,” which means the donning of apparal or raiment. It implies the idea of adorning or decorating, rather than concealing or covering (hiding) a thing.

Shamefulness in hiding nakedness is implied in the word “kasah.” In the incident of Noah’s drunkenness, he apparently had been violated by Canaan, son of Ham. hem and Japheth, also sons of Noah, backed up with a garment on their shoulders, “and covered the nakedness”of their father (Gen. 9:23). Here, they were hiding, or concealing the result of a sinful act. Here also is the word “kasah” used for the act of covering.

Both labash and kasah imply the covering of nakedness, but the difference is that labash is of purpose and intent, adding attractiveness rather than adding shamefulness, while kasah implies concealing due to shame.

Public nudity though is not approved by God, who intended to keep men and women from exposing their pubic regions, except in the privacy of marriage. God designed sex for use only between a husband and wife whom God has joined in holy wedlock. He designed sex for righteous uses—and one of them is to bind husband and wife together in a loving relationship unshared with any other. The very privacy of this marriage relationship makes it sacred, makes husband and wife dear to each other in a special way never shared with another in adultery. This entire sacred relationship is greatly impaired, or destroyed, when shared with any other. That is why fornication and adultery are so harmful to their participants, and therefore capital sins.

The private, sexual act between a man and wife in marriage prevents temptation by others that could lead to sinful, wrong use in the carnal mind. Of course, mankind has long forgotten these instructions, and the filth and vulgarity in this age is something to behold. With the Internet today, you can view all kinds of nudity and perversion. But what’s wrong with that? Undue exposure of the female body is automatically lust-arousing to the carnal male mind.Young people can wreck their lives before even learning how to live. They’ll grow up and become addicted to lustful sex and never be able to understand the real beauty of a family. Solomon was told by his mother, “It’s not for kings to get into such slop as that.”  Perversion is all around us, and if we focus on it, we’ll give in to it, because it’s such a strong pull.
God does not condone public nudity, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality or other perversions because he wants us to focus on family. He wants sex between a loving husband and wife to hold that family together—to strengthen that union. It is a type of the family of God!

October 21, 2009

Who Wrote The Book Of Genesis?

special.lib.gla.ac.uk

special.lib.gla.ac.uk

The Jewish community, which has the responsibility of preserving the Hebrew Old Testament (Rom. 3:1-2), ascribes this book to Moses. There can be no doubt that Moses is the author of Genesis as well as the rest of the Pentateuch (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy).

Jesus verified this by saying to certain religious leaders of His day, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my works?” (John 5:45-47). Here is Jesus’ own personal testimony that Moses wrote scripture.

But what part? Jesus gave the division of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44: All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms…” A little earlier, Jesus, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets… expounded unto them (the disciples) in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (verse 27). Jesus began with Moses because it was Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible. This does not, however, preclude the fact that Joshua and later prophets added further comments to the law as Moses wrote it. See Deuteronomy 34:5-12 for the account of Moses’ death. Also Genesis 14:14 where the later name Dan is used instead of Laish (Judg. 18:29).

Definition of Genesis

Genesis is the “book of origins.” It constitutes that part of the Bible which is commonly called the introductory book of the Old Testament. The name Genesis is derived directly from the Greek translation of the Hebrew word bereshith, meaning “in the beginning.” The book of Genesis starts with a brief statement about the pre-Adamic world and goes on to cover the first 2,000 years and more of man’s history, from the creation of Adam and Eve to the settlement of the children of Israel in Egypt. The highlights of the first eleven chapters are a description of creation; God’s instruction to the first man and woman; the account of their disobedience which cut them and their progeny off from God’s Holy Spirit; man’s sinful degeneration which resulted in total destruction of human life, except for Noah and his family, by a Flood; and the disbursement of the races at the tower of Babel after the Flood.

Chapters 12 through 50 contain the account of Abraham’s calling and God’s promises to him due to his faithfulness; the story of Isaac and Jacob; and the account of Joseph and his family in Egypt. Genesis can rightly be summed up in the following words: “The book of Genesis is the true and original birthplace of all theology. It contains those concepts of God and man, of righteousness and judgment, of responsibility and moral government, of failure and hope, which are presupposed through the rest of the Old Testament, and which prepare the way for the mission of Christ” (The Foundations of the Bible, page 155). The record of Genesis is written in abbreviated form, and certain questions, as a result, have been frequently asked about its content. It is the purpose of this publication to answer a number of these questions in the light of the entire Bible (Genesis to Revelation).

October 17, 2009

Sabbath Questions: How To Keep God's Sabbath Day Holy!

Do you keep God’s Sabbath holy? Do you find the Sabbath a real delight and joy? Or is it a day of “bondage” or question to you? How often have you wondered if you have broken the Sabbath by a particular act or thought? How many times have you felt condemned about the Sabbath?

Should you attend a funeral, a wedding, a movie on the Sabbath? How do you take care of unconverted relatives who drop in unexpectedly on the Sabbath? Is it okay to have a family outing on the Sabbath? How many dishes should you wash? This is just a sampling of some of the many questions asked regularly about the Sabbath.

Since God’s Sabbath is special HOLY time set aside by God, you need to understand it, know its purpose and meaning to you as a true Christian. Too often, the tendency is to the two extremes — either treating the Sabbath too lightly as the world does, or becoming completely Pharisaical — afraid to move on the Sabbath.

Petty Arguments

Because of the many supposed complications in keeping the Sabbath, men have excused themselves from keeping it — saying it is too difficult. Of course, these are only their puny excuses to keep from obeying God, but many of the questions which come up are derived from these petty arguments. You need to understand them. Once they are cleared up completely in your mind, you will be ready to understand how to keep the Sabbath as God intended!

Fire on the Sabbath

They say you cannot build a fire on the Sabbath according to Exodus 35:2. Then what about people who live in cold climates? Won’t they freeze to death? If this is true, then God made the Sabbath too harsh, and it should not be kept — according to the rebellious, carnal mind!

Notice Exodus 35:2 with the context around it. Verse three says, “Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day.” From the original Hebrew, this word, “kindle,” means a consuming flame, a flame that would devour — that is, a great, roaring fire! The question is why would you need such a fire on the Sabbath? Read the rest of Chapter 35 and you will see. They were building the tabernacle and needed a fire large enough to work metal!

Haven’t you ever looked out on the Sabbath day and noticed some trimming you would like to get done on your lawn, or have a job you would like to get finished — and catch yourself wanting to get it done in spite of the Sabbath? This is exactly what the Israelites were doing. They were so zealous for the tabernacle that Moses even had to tell them to stop bringing materials. God knew that if He did not stop them, they would work right through the Sabbath on the Tabernacle.

This was not a cooking or household heating fire! It was an industrial fire. The same principle holds true today. There should be no industrial fires kindled on the Sabbath. On the other hand, fires of the proper type were commanded by God to be kept burning! Notice Leviticus 6:13: “The fire shall be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” Hence a sacrificial fire (from which the Israelites cooked their meat and grain) remained burning on the Sabbath! God was not even discussing a cooking, sacrificial or personal heating fire — but a fire which is used for work that should be done only on one of the other six days provided for that purpose.

Sabbath Day’s Journey

The Sabbath day’s journey question seems to stipulate that a true believer should travel no more than the distance from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem (Acts 1:12) about 2,000 cubits or approximately seven-eighths of a mile. But yet almost all the Sabbath keeping people who attend church around the world travel many times that distance each Sabbath! Does this mean they are breaking the Sabbath each week by attending church?

If you will check carefully, you will find that this reference is the only place in the entire Bible a “Sabbath day’s journey” is mentioned. This was a common expression of the Jews at that time, but was never employed by Christ and his disciples. It was derived as a custom by the legalistic Jews from Exodus 16:29: “…let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”

The explanation of this is found in Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary, page 573, under “Sabbath day’s journey”: Acts 1:12. The law as regards travel on the Sabbath is found in Ex. 16:29. As some departure from a man’s own place was unavoidable, it was thought necessary to determine the allowable amount, which was fixed at 2,000 cubits or about 1,000 yards, from the wall of the city. The permitted distance seems to have been grounded on the space to be kept between the ark and the people, Joshua 3:4, in the wilderness, which tradition said was that between the ark and the tents. We find the same distance given as the circumference outside the walls of the Levitical cities to be counted as their suburbs. Num. 35:5. The terminus a quo was thus not a man’s own house, but the wall of the city where he dwelt.

Notice it is not a law of God, but simply a tradition of the Jews! Since God required attendance at Sabbath services, they had to leave their homes or tents and travel to the tent of meeting. It just happened that the distance from the fringe tents to the center of the encampment where the tent of meeting was, measured about 2,000 cubits. Rather than strive to understand and obey the principle of the Sabbath, they punctiliously set about on their own to draw up definite physical limits for Sabbath observance.

God has never set on his people a “Sabbath day’s journey”!

Ox in the Ditch

Christ said, “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day?”  (Luke 14:5.) From this, many have argued that their job was an ox in the ditch because it requires them to work, or they work at a job which has “regular emergencies” requiring work on the Sabbath.

They reason that God surely would not want the men to lose their jobs which provides for their families and also enables them to continue to give offerings to God’s Work. Some have gone so far as to work on the Sabbath, then give that whole day’s pay as an offering, to avoid losing their jobs. But these persons have not known that God says, “Hath the Eternal as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Eternal? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” (I Sam. 15:22).

God is not interested in sacrifices or offerings at the expense of disobedience to His laws!

But what about the ox or ass in the ditch? How often should you expect it to happen, and what does it really mean and how does it apply today to people who don’t own oxen and asses?

First, you need to understand literally what an “ox in the ditch” means. Since the ox and the ass are rather sure-footed creatures, the odds against them regularly being stuck in a ditch are quite high. When you add the fact that the Sabbath is only one day out of a total of seven, the odds go even higher. Normally, in order to have an ox in the ditch, you have to have the following factors: It must be Sabbath, you must have some kind of severely inclement weather (snowstorm, rainstorm, etc.), and you need a clumsy ox!

Rest assured that if the ox is in the ditch on the Sabbath, Christ makes it very clear you should pull it out. But an ox in the ditch on the Sabbath is a very rare occurrence — that is, a genuine emergency.  Normally, a farmer can go through a whole lifetime and be able to count on one hand the number of oxen (cattle) or asses he has pulled out of a bog or ditch — and the odds are seven to one against it being on the Sabbath.

The principle of the ox in the ditch obviously includes such genuine emergencies as personal injuries, burning houses, power failures, accidents and other occurrences which would entail injury, loss of life or personal property.

The principle does not include, however, the person who “pushes his own ox into the ditch” by acquiring or keeping a job where he knows he will be required to work on the Sabbath each week, or by “putting off” work which should have been done during the week. Nor does it include harvesting or plowing on the Sabbath — even if there has been bad weather or machinery breakdowns during the week. God says, “Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing [better translated, “plowing” — see Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2758} time and in harvest thou shalt rest” (Exodus 34:21).

Jewish Ritualism — Pagan Permissiveness

By their strict adherence to certain physical limitations they (not God) placed on the law, the Jews consistently broke the spirit of the law. One story is told of how the Pharisees, to prohibit a profit from milking on the Sabbath, decreed that the cows should be milked on a rock so the milk would not be gathered in a bucket and sold. This apparently worked fine until one enterprising person began milking his cow on a rock — which had been placed in the bottom of a bucket!

Christ scorched them with the truth, “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers”  (Mat. 23:4). They were totally carnal and could not see nor understand the principles behind the law.

On the other hand, the pagans have rejected completely God’s laws, thinking they could make up for it with self-flagellation, pilgrimages, enforced fasts, assuming that is what God wants. They have completely forgotten what God is like.

Our so-called “Judeo-Christian” society has inherited a strange mixture of this ill-conceived “marriage.” This is what the people of God must come out of! We have grown up being too lax in some things — thinking we had to be punished for nonsensical things — and too strict and legalistic in others. We must come out of this and strive to learn the right balance of living and keeping the Sabbath from God!

From the Beginning

God ordered the Israelites at Mount Sinai to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy! (Ex. 20:8.) They were to remember how the Sabbath began and what it was all about from the beginning. Genesis 2 describes the Sabbath as the day God hallowed by resting. He rested the seventh day after working six — thereby setting the perfect example.

It was done for man — for his well-being and benefit. It is not nearly as complicated as some think!  “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath,” states Christ (Mark 2:27). It was created after man for his good and physical and spiritual health — not before man with a long list of stringent requirements and harsh bondage!

FIRST a Day of Rest and a SIGN!

It is a day of rest for God and man! God set us a positive example by taking extra pains to set aside this special space of time — holy to Him — as His time, belonging to Him, It was so important to Him that He set it up as a special sign to man, to be observed throughout his generations.

Notice Exodus 31:12-17: “… Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations…. Ye shall keep the Sabbath…for it is holy unto you… It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel FOREVER: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”

A sign is an identifying mark, or brand. God’s people were to have been identified throughout their generations by the keeping of God’s Sabbath. A mark or brand shows ownership. God “bought” the children of Israel out of the bondage of abject slavery to the Egyptians. His token of ownership became the Sabbath Day! “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual COVENANT” (Ex. 31:16).

Why would His people be different, strange and even “peculiar”? Because of this covenant! “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine,” says God! (Ex. 19:5.) He continues, “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” (Deut. 14:2).

In an evil world fraught with wretchedness, misunderstanding, and separation from God the Almighty Creator, only His people, Israel, would have His sign, His identifying mark or brand of the Sabbath day. The world lost sight of the Creation and the True God because they did not have His sign of Creation, the Sabbath!

God worked six days creating physical masterpieces on earth, and rested the seventh,  creating the spiritual masterpiece — the everlasting sign and symbol of creation with Him as Master of creation! When rebellious man lost sight of that sign of creation, he lost sight of God!

When Israel later lost sight of the Sabbath, they too lost sight of God with disastrous results! Notice Jer. 17:27, “But if ye will not hearken unto Me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched!” The result was the sacking and destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (See Jer. 52:12-30). God’s people lost His protection!

Type of the Millennium

God’s people today still are to have this sign and covenant with their Creator! “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (Heb. 4:9). The original Greek word for “rest” here is “Sabbatismos” which means a literal Sabbath observance! It denotes a literal cessation from labor as a type of the far more important meaning of the Sabbath.

But notice Heb. 4:5: “… As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest [Gr. “Katapausin“]” — and again, “And God did rest [“Kata­pausin”] the seventh day from all His works” (verse 4). In addition to a Sabbath observance, “Katapausin” literally means “the act of giving rest; a state of settled or final rest” (The Analytical Greek Lexicon by Bagster). It can also mean a place of rest, place of abode, dwelling, habitation.

“For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest [i.e., final rest or habitation], then would he not afterward have spoken of another day?” This is the millennial rest, a time of final settling down, cessation from the 6,000-year struggle of man in a sin sick world. “For he that is entered into His [God’s] rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His” (verse 10). A day with God is as a thousand years (II Pet. 3:8), and this represents that final SEVENTH-thousand-year rule of peace and rest under Jesus Christ!

The Personal Application

Theologists have for years argued the technical “meanings” of the Sabbath, but how does it apply to you, personally? How does it affect your weekly life? You cannot understand the ultimate meaning of the Sabbath without first knowing and applying the Sabbath properly in your own life!

It is a time of relief and relaxation from your regular daily work and cares. God did not intend man to slave his life away seven days a week. He made man to need a day of rest and recuperation from a vigorous, work-filled week. Far from a day of bondage, it is a day of freedom — freedom from daily cares and problems; freedom from the stress and frustration you have already endured for six long days.

Notice God’s positive instruction on the Sabbath: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord” (Isa. 58:13-14). Here are three important facets to keeping the Sabbath.

Let’s analyze them:

1. YOUR ways. This means course of life, mode of action — that is, your employment, enterprises, finances, the more serious business of making a livelihood. You should not involve yourself in doing what you normally do during the week — those things by which you feed, clothe and care for yourself physically. This includes working at your job or business, working around the house, sewing, cleaning, washing the car — all the things that pertain to your physical maintenance during the normal course of the week.

This is the day to be about God’s ways! You rest from doing your ways. Devote this time to God’s business of eternal life. The Sabbath gives you extra time to study and meditate about God’s course of eternal life, His principles and mode of action. You will need all the knowledge about God’s business you can acquire if you hope to be an active and living part of it one day!

2. YOUR pleasure. Your desire, delight, that which you take extra pleasure in doing — hunting, fishing, golfing, swimming, cards, movies, boating — those things which take up the majority of your “leisure” time. This would also include the many time-consuming hobbies such as the “ham” radio operator, woodworking shop, stamp collecting, etc. Of course, it would be impossible to list all the hobbies and activities available, but you know what yours is. Whatever your pleasure, or leisure-time activity is, you should not engage in it on the Sabbath.

You should engage in God’s pleasure on the Sabbath. What is God’s pleasure? It is His creation — planning, working and building for the future of eternity! “… for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). Just as you have or may have had an absorbing interest in your hobby or leisure-time interest and all of its interesting facets and details, God has an absolutely absorbing interest in His creation and all its myriad facets! He gives us the Sabbath to learn to have an interest and pleasure in His creation. His pleasure — the true and lasting pleasure — is to become our pleasure!

3. YOUR words. This is the spiritual application of the first two principles. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” We talk about what we are thinking. Our words show what is going on in our minds and hearts. This is obviously the most difficult of all! We may cease our ways and our pleasures, but it is much more difficult to cease thinking or talking about them!

Really, it is no problem just to rest and do no physical exertion on the Sabbath. Some people regularly do this seven days a week! You must serve God with your mind. Those who can’t or don’t control their minds call the Sabbath bondage, because they can’t wait ’til sunset to be about their ways and pleasures which they have been thinking about all day anyway!

Once you are able to get your mind and thoughts on God’s pleasure and God’s ways on the Sabbath, you will find out what real delight and joy in the Sabbath is! “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord” (Isa. 58:14).

How do you accomplish this? Devote your Sabbath time to Sabbath service, extra Bible study,  extra prayer and especially extra meditation! This is your one time in the week when you don’t have to worry about getting to the job, making payments, working out schedules, cleaning house and all the other things you find that takes away from your study, prayer and meditation during the week. This is free time — free from all your daily cares and worries — free to be completely absorbed in God and His word.

However, there is one more basic element necessary to make all this possible — that is preparation.

Preparation for the Sabbath

Many do not or cannot properly observe the Sabbath because they have not understood when or how to prepare for it. On the Sixth Day of the week— Friday to us—God said, “Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord; bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe (boil) that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” (Ex. 16:23).

The preparation day is the time to get everything ready for the Sabbath so you won’t even be tempted to do it on the Sabbath. Specifically mentioned are baking and boiling — or, the heavier cooking and household duties. The principle here includes everything which can be done before the Sabbath begins such as cooking a roast, baking a cake or pie, cleaning house, getting chores done, etc.

Obviously, there are some things which cannot be done before the appointed time on the Sabbath. Common sense will tell you which would be easier, to fry an egg on Friday, store it in the deep freeze, thaw it out the next morning and eat it, or to simply wait until Sabbath morning to cook and eat. But the items which will keep for a period of time such as roasts, bread, etc. should be prepared ahead of time.

Keep a Checklist

Many find themselves run “ragged” on Friday trying to frantically get everything done only to collapse in a heap Friday night to discover something they forgot to get done! This can all easily be avoided if each member of the family will make a checklist of everything he must get done to prepare for the Sabbath. Then, each week, all he has to do is run down the list in a rapid, organized manner to get everything done.

But remember, the preparation day is only one day. Don’t make the mistake of leaving everything — house-cleaning,  baking,  cooking,  grocery shopping, car washing, etc. — until that day! Do this and you will find the Sabbath a day of total collapse rather than a peaceful day of rest and relaxation with enough energy to communicate with God! It is to be a day to prepare for the Sabbath, not a day to catch up on what you should have been doing all week.

Plan to have everything in readiness to truly greet God’s Sabbath — making sure there are no other things pressing on your mind or schedule. Only when you have everything done and out of the way can you really become absorbed in the Sabbath as you should. Plan it this way and you will be amazed at how much more you delight in the Sabbath. You don’t have to go to work, nor worry about the endless trivia which clutters up every normal week. This is the day to completely put all that away from you!

A good checklist will help you accomplish this. Just sit down and think it over carefully. Then prepare a list you can use every Friday, and you will be amazed at how much easier and more simple your preparation becomes.

What About the Many Questions ?

The main reason God has never “listed” in the Bible any “do’s and don’ts” for the Sabbath is that He wants us, as individuals, to learn to think, be personally responsible and use the principles He has given us. It is too easy to lose sight of the goal when you have a myriad of legalistic lines drawn up for you. But once you know and can apply the principles, you will be able to almost automatically answer your own questions.

Just remember some very basic questions to ask yourself: “Is this in God’s service? Is this a genuine emergency, or can I put it off till tomorrow? Should I have already done this as a part of preparation? Have I prayed about this and thoroughly gone over the principles in my mind?” If you find there is some question which still bothers you after thoroughly studying it out, you should seek advice from one who should know more about the principles of Sabbath-keeping — your local minister.

Apply these principles and you will soon find that God’s Sabbath is one of His greatest gifts to mankind — a gift for rest, peace, knowledge and true delight!

Source: The Good News, 1968

September 7, 2009

Is Intelligent Design Really Intelligent?

1

Why is it so difficult to get one answer to the question, how did human life begin on Earth? Think about it. Our prosperous and well-educated Western societies, founded on Judeo-Christian principles cannot come to a satisfying conclusion as to whether human life originated as a planned, purposeful act of a supreme, all-powerful being, or as the result of a random, gradual process called evolution. There can only be one answer to this question. Yet examining the beliefs people embrace on the subject is massively confusing.

  1. What is termed “old-earth creationism,” is the acceptance scientific evidence that the universe is billions of years old but nevertheless that God created all there is by separate acts of miracles.
  2. What might be called “young-earth creationism” is the arguement that the universe, earth, and all life were created in just six days about 10,000 years ago.
  3. Most scientists say that science cannot prove the existence of God, and believe in a Theory of Evolution the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.
  4. The Intelligent-Design Theory states that creation is the work of an intelligent designer (though he is not specifically named), and that the Earth is billions of years old, not the thousands of years that most “biblical creationists” believe through their “literal” reading of the Bible.

In truth, true religion says the Bible account in Genesis actually describes a re-creation of the Earth. Therefore man was created 6000 years ago, but the earth is also millions of years old.

Gen. 1:2 is not actually the initial condition of the earth. Without form and void is not a regular sequence of events, but means  tohu (Strong’s # 8414 – waste & desolation) and bohu (Strong’s # 922 – to be empty, ruin).

Looking at this a little more in depth through the scriptures, we can see there is something wrong with this condition. Isaiah 45:18 says God did not create the earth in vain – same word tohu (waste and desolation). Is there a contradiction?

No, we simply understand that something happened between verse 1 and 2. The word “was” is Strong’s # 1961 [hayah], which is better translated as “became.” So the earth “became” without form and void. Something happened to cause it to become waste and desolate. It was not created like this by God.

Albert Barnes’Notes On The Bible further states:

“On the second day Gen. 1:6-7 a new disposition of the air and the water is described by the verbs “be” and “make.” These indicate a modification of what already existed. On the third day (Gen. 1:9, 11) no verb is directly applied to the act of divine power. This agency is thus understood, while the natural changes following are expressly noticed.”

In other words, the air and water was already in place before a great destruction came about, and then re-made by God. The grass, herbs and fruit are new creations, (though modifications of existing materials in place), not having been necessary in the time of dinosaurs. These were now necessary for the nourishment and existence of man to come.

In the fourth day (Gen. 1:14, Gen. 1:16-17)  the words “be,” “make,” and “give” occur, where the matter in hand is the manifestation of the heavenly bodies (two great lights) and their adaptation to the use of man. In these cases it is evident that the word “create” would have been improperly or indirectly applicable to the action of God. It does not prove the universe was created a couple of days before man. The Hebrew words in Genesis 1 indicate the universe already existed then.

  1. “Create” means “bara” or to create a new condition or circumstance.
  2. “Make” means “asap” which is creating or making something from existing materials. Moses used these 2 words deliberately and carefully.

In verse 1, God created from new, but in verse 16, they were “made.” Whatever happened in the destruction, God was making it right again. So verse 16 was not a new, fresh creation but God was working from materials that were already there at the beginning of the universe.

Looking at verse 21, we again see that the original language implies creation from new, when the sea creatures and birds of the air were made.

In Genesis 2:3, God rested from the work He created and made. A lot of parts of the universe were already there – from the earth and universe.

The Bible is an old book and if it wasn’t inspired by God, you would expect to find scientific inaccuracies, yet this is not so. Scientists are just coming to understand these truths. Satan will try to confuse religion and science about the truth of God. We should read and believe what the Bible says – that the earth is older than mankind. And we should give thanks directly to God for it all.

August 27, 2009

Why Does God Get The Blame, But Never The Credit?

claimdynamics.com

claimdynamics.com

We live in a funny world. When things go wrong, God is to blame, but when they go right, we will not give due credit. Take for example the innocent deaths of children dying the world over: It must the fault of God, because he created us and now has deserted mankind, right?

Or what about when a devastating tornado or hurricane hits a small town and wipes it off the map, or the 9-11 disaster: “Where is He when we need Him,” is the oft repeated cry, or “it’s an act of God,” putting God in the position of being accused. Airlines also invoke God when weather causes flight delays or accidents – it’s not the fault of the airline – blame God.

Then there’s insurance policy clauses, contracts or wildfire’s, earthquakes, floods and avalanches. Some people scream at the heavens, or bury their head in their hands and cry, “Why, God?”  Others seek to cast blame, even for those things which are not of human origin.  In legal and insurance realms the reference is made to Acts of God, which may or may not be insurable. Someone’s got to be blamed, even if no fault is found!

Conversely though, when we find ourselves in a life threatening bind, a big financial constraint or when we are emotionally distressed, we invoke God’s name for help. At this time, we may have no other recourse – no one is watching so what harm can a small prayer do, right. If He exists, then perhaps he will help us, because we’re essentially good aren’t we?

Process theology to the rescue

Now comes the school of religious thought called process theology. These modern theologians say that the question of why God allows these tragedies, or why God is not apparently powerful enough to stop them, has vexed religious counselors for centuries. And well it may. Because people simply do not understand that question!

If God is all good, if God is love, he wouldn’t want humanity to suffer, would he? And if God is all powerful, as the Bible says he is, why doesn’t he stop suffering? Why doesn’t he prevent it?

The credibility of God is now at stake, say the theologians. The world, they contend, has grown weary of religious spokesmen trying to defend God and explain why God allows these things – and at the same time saying that God is all love, God is all good, God is all powerful and he could stop it, yet he doesn’t. So modern theologians now have come up with this new theology called process theology in an attempt to explain this apparent paradox.  God, they say, is entirely loving, but is lacking in power.

They say nothing of the real purpose of life. They say nothing about the restoration of the kingdom of God, the only gospel that Jesus Christ preached.

The Origin and Purpose of Life

But what is the real trouble with this question? What is the reason that God has not stopped all this violence, all this human suffering?

In all the religions of this world – the many different religions we call non-Christian, and even the religion of Christianity – not one religion knows who and what God is. What is God? Is he a trinity? Is God one person? They just don’t understand.  Not one religion on earth fully knows what and why man is. Why are we here? What is the purpose, if any?

Notice what God says about all this in Isaiah chapter 40, beginning with verse 17:

“All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?… It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers [that is to God]; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

“… To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might [there it speaks of God’s might, his power], for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (verses 17, 22, 25-26).

The earth turns on its axis. The different seasons regularly come. It is the power of God that is causing all of that. And that is mighty power.

And God formed man after the God kind, not after an animal kind, but in form and likeness of God. There is a very special purpose for man on earth and when you understand that, you begin to understand why God is allowing all the suffering on the earth today.

Notice, now, Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God [Lord there is the name of the one that became Christ] formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man [made of the dust of the ground] became a living soul.”

Man Must Choose

The man that God created now had to make a choice.

Character is the ability of some separately created entity to come to a knowledge of right as from wrong, of truth as from error, of good as from evil. To choose the right, or the good, and to reject the evil – even though he might want to do the evil – to have the will to do the good, that is character.

God is the supreme, holy, righteous, perfect, spiritual character. And He is reproducing that character in man. How is that divine character going to get into something made out of the ground? God placed a human spirit in the first man. That human spirit could have a relationship with God, who is spirit.

But God placed before that man two choices, symbolized by two trees in the garden of Eden. The one tree was the tree of life. How does God give that life? It comes through the Holy Spirit. The person that has the Spirit of God has life, and he that has not the Spirit of God does not have life. If the Spirit of Christ is in you, you are his (I John 5:11-12).

If the Spirit of God is not in you, you are “none of his” (Rom. 8:9, last part). And, verse 11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make immortal] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

God made us mortal, but he made us to become immortal. And God required that the man had to make a choice, because character had to be built in the man! Character is built through choice.

The other tree, the other choice before man, symbolized the way of man’s taking to himself – deciding altogether by himself – the knowledge of good and evil. How do we come to know the truth of God? In I Corinthians 2:9 we read, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart [mind] of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” – in other words, spiritual knowledge.

God reveals these things to us only by his Spirit. The Spirit of God reveals God’s knowledge – spiritual knowledge and spiritual character. But man decided to take the basis of that kind of character to himself, to decide right from wrong, truth from error, by himself.

So, in punishment, God at that time closed up the tree of life. In other words, he shut up the Holy Spirit from man.

God had set out a 7,000-year plan and purpose in which to develop the godlike character in man, made from the dust of the ground. God’s purpose is to make us immortal like God, until we become God as he is God. That has got to come through human experience, but it has to come from God, with our consent, our desire, our decision and our wills.

I John 3:1-2 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us [here is the fact that God loves us], that we should be called the sons of God [ultimately to be born of God, though now begotten of God; for God is reproducing himself, and we’re called the sons of God]:… now [even right now] are we the sons of God [but only begotten, not yet born], and it doth not yet appear what we shall be [in other words, what we shall be one can’t see yet]: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Man is clay to be molded

The purpose of God is character building. That is why he made man of matter. We could be molded spiritually, in a body of earthly clay, into divine character. We read in Isaiah 64:8, “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

Even Job asked, “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait [meaning in the grave], till my change come. Thou [God] shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands” (Job 14:14-15).

Job knew he was the work of God’s hands. We all are the clay. God is the potter. A potter molds and fashions clay into the form and shape he wants. Now God will – if we put ourselves in his hands, if we surrender to him, and to his will – take us and mold and shape us into the godlike character of love.

God is love. God will put his divine love in us, a love with which we were not born. It is a gift of God through his Holy Spirit.

We sow what we reap

Notice Isaiah 45:9, “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!… Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?… ”

What about the theologians reasoning that today’s divided Christianity is God’s religion, that this is God’s world, and God isn’t powerful enough to stop all of evil?

God is allowing man to make his own decisions. And if man makes the wrong decision, God has said whatever we sow we shall reap. God has told his people that ever since the beginning. He told Adam that. He told ancient Israel that. And Jesus Christ told us that. If we sin we will have to reap the consequences. God allows it. He allows suffering and the pain of sin for a good purpose.

God has given man a mind to think with. He gives man revealed knowledge in the Bible. Man can take that knowledge and learn to go God’s way. That is necessary for the development of character so we can become like God.

In Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name [Jesus said], saying, [that] I am [the] Christ; and shall deceive many.”

How can they do that? Jesus said in Matthew 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” They make the commandments of God of no effect by their tradition (verse 3).

The commandments of God are the right way to live; they reveal God’s way of life. Human beings have not kept the commandments of God. They have said, and many preachers are saying today, that the commandments of God are done away.

The commandments of God are the way of love, of love to God and love to neighbor. The first four of the Ten Commandments tell you how to love God, the last six how to love your neighbor. That is the way God lives and the way Christ lived while on earth.

But in Jeremiah 50:6 God says that the shepherds, the ministers of this world, lead his people astray and deceive them. That is exactly what has happened. The world has been deceived, and the deceived theologians can’t seem to understand why God allows all this suffering from disobedience till we learn our ways are wrong.

God allows it to teach us lessons. God allows it because we ourselves have brought it on ourselves, and because we have failed to develop the kind of character needed to become his children, to be glorified, to be given the gift of eternal life so as to live in happiness and peace and joy. There’s no other way for peace.

Man has brought all this on himself, in defiance of God! Man has been shaking his fist at God, telling God he won’t obey God and going his own way, the way that has seemed right to a man. It’s all a matter of cause and effect. It’s the way we have lived that has brought all these troubles on us, not God.

But God will show man whether he has power. God will finally deliver man from the evils of today’s civilization by his divine powers and establish his kingdom of peace over all the earth.

July 28, 2009

Why Are Animals Dangerous?

There is a reason the world — including the animal kingdom– suffers strife and violence. In chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis, we see that in the beginning, before sin entered the world, God’s creation had been one of total harmony and peace! God offered our first parents a way of life which would lead to every blessing imaginable and, ultimately, to eternal life.

However, they rejected God’s way and chose the way of Satan the devil instead. Because of their disobedience and rebellion, God told Adam and Eve the earth would come under a curse (Gen.3:17-19). The result of sin is misery, suffering, violence, and death. This is why even the nature of most wild animals was changed, becoming fierce and hostile toward man and each other. Instead of assisting man during his lifetime, the earth became a hostile environment in which to live.

Thankfully, Jesus Christ will soon intervene in the affairs of mankind and establish God’s Kingdom on earth. When this occurs, there will be a restitution of peace and harmony between all living creatures. God’s creation will be restored to its original state before sin entered the world. Then the nature of animals will again be gentle and tame. You can read of this in Isaiah 11:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (verses 6-9).

When Jesus Christ establishes God’s Government on the earth, the cause of sin will be removed. The nature of the animals — including poisonous snakes and spiders — will be changed, and the entire earth will experience peace and prosperity undreamed of by man!

July 14, 2009

Where Is God When We Suffer?

ChristianComputerArt.Com

ChristianComputerArt.Com

If God truly loves His spirit-begotten children, why does He sometimes permit suffering and pain? Perhaps we have failed to understand just HOW God expresses His divine love.

IF GOD is wiser than we, His judgment must differ from our own on many things. What seems right to us may be wrong to God and vice versa. We are told by Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isa. 55:8). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the manner in which God expresses His love is not always what we might expect.

A Grandfather — Or a Father?

Humanly speaking, we tend to wish for a God who is a kindly grandfather type, rather than a father. We would like to believe that God is more of a “senile benevolence,” as C.S. Lewis expressed it, who is concerned only that we all have a “good time” here below. We would like God to express His love for us by merely extending kindness (by which we really mean indulgence) as opposed to outgoing concern and involvement. Carnal man would like God to keep him out of painful situations and to bless him with “goodies” and spiritual bon-bons. Human inclination tends to resist too much direct involvement on the part of God.

A plaque in a gift shop reads, “God is not dead — He just doesn’t want to get involved.” This is a shallow slogan reflecting a tragic misunderstanding of God’s nature — typical of most of humanity. Yet when we look around at the world, how much of God’s direct involvement do we actually recognize?

We do see endless suffering and pain. We see injustice of every type. But where is God in all of this?

Who Has Rejected Whom?

The problem, of course, is not that God does not want to “get involved.” Rather, it is that man does not want God to be involved unless it is on man’s terms.

Historically, when God thundered to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai, the people shrank back in fear. This was no kindly, senile grandfather! Rather, the powerful rock-shattering voice of the living God penetrated to the depth of their consciousness! Here was power! Too much power for puny men to cope with. “Let the man Moses speak on behalf of God,” the people pleaded. They wanted to deal with someone who was vulnerable — flesh and blood like themselves. God’s direct involvement was too much for them to handle.

Later, when the children of Israel asked the Prophet Samuel to arrange for them to have a human king like all the surrounding Gentile nations, God clearly framed the real problem. He said: “… they have not rejected thee [Samuel], but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (I Sam. 8:7).

And humanity has been rejecting God ever since. It is man who does not want to get involved with his Creator! Isaiah was inspired to write: “And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee …” (Isa. 64:7).

God’s Love

To extend His love toward His creation, it was necessary for God to make the first move. We are told by the Apostle John that Christ said: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him …” (John 6:44).

It just isn’t in us to automatically love our Creator. God must first express His love toward us before we are able to reciprocate. We are told in Scripture that “God is love” (I John 4:8). He personifies it. He is the ultimate source of all love.

John further states, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us…” (I John 4:10). Man does not by nature love God. In fact, we are instructed that the natural human mind is animosity and enmity toward God! (Rom. 8:7.) How then does a human being ever come to love God? John answers: “We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).

But how is the love of God expressed? And how may it be reconciled with the suffering and pain we sometimes are allowed to endure?

God, in His revealed Word, makes several analogies which help throw light on this problem.

The Artist and His Creation

Perhaps the least profound example which may be used to illustrate God’s love for his human creation is the love of the artist for the artifact.

Jeremiah used an illustration from the arts in chapter 18, verse 6 — “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel.”

Have you ever seen a landscape or portrait artist lovingly labor over a painting? He plans it, draws it in with loving care, and applies the pigment with careful diligence. Each stroke is significant. All the elements are painstakingly weighed against each other. Color, value, hue, light and shade, intensity and chroma are all evaluated and considered. The artist exults in the rendering and rejoices if the result is what he set out to achieve.

A sculptor may set out to sculpt a magnificent marble piece. He goes to great lengths to select the material with which to work. He may oversee the quarrying of a fine marble monolith. He examines it closely for quality and purity. He makes sure it is carefully protected as it is shipped to his studio. There he begins work by careful planning and measuring. Each stroke of the hammer is cautiously yet authoritatively executed as the chisel does its creative work. Soon the piece begins to emerge. The more it looks like what the sculptor envisioned, the more he delights in his work.

God is a great Artist who is lovingly involved in a great work of art. He is the Master Architect and Builder who is producing a great spiritual house. Peter used this analogy in I Peter 2:5. “Ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house … acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Paul also used this analogy: “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we [Christians] …” (Heb. 3:6).

God is also a Master Potter who will not be satisfied with the clay until it has achieved a certain character. Of course, any artist or artisan has to manipulate the materials with which he works. He does so with care and devotion. He pays attention to detail. He plans, he tests, he probes. He works with the end product in mind. So it is with the great Artist of the universe. He lovingly works with man and his environment to produce a glorious product that will give both Himself and the product immense satisfaction upon its completion. Great art glorifies the artist who produced it!

God intends that His children be brought to glory — a condition of spiritual perfection and maturity. This in turn will glorify the Creator Himself. And all of this expresses God’s great love for His human creation.

The Shepherd and the Sheep

A second analogy of God and His people is that of the shepherd and the sheep. Asaph spoke of humanity as “… thy people and sheep of thy pasture …” (Ps. 79:13). This type is used throughout the Bible. Jesus is spoken of as the “good Shepherd.”

This analogy is somewhat more sophisticated than the previous one. The relationship of a shepherd to his sheep — a man to his beast — illustrates some rather important points. Man is responsive and intelligent, yet decidedly inferior to God, as is the sheep to the shepherd. Yet even a human shepherd, far above the intellectual plane of his sheep, is deeply concerned with their welfare. He will fight off bears, wolves and other carnivores who attempt to rob him of his sheep. He will comfort them when they are frightened. He sees that they have adequate pasture and water. The good shepherd goes to great lengths to see that his sheep are well taken care of.

Think of a man and his dog. Why does a man train his dog? Primarily that he may love it, not that it may love him! But in addition, his training also makes the animal better able to serve him, not that he may serve it.

Man does not extend himself to the same degree to train a roach or a rat. The man takes pains with a dog — or a horse — because they are high on the intelligence scale of irrational creatures. A rat or a roach would hardly be worthy of such time and concern. A dog is more naturally lovable. And the man works at making it fully lovable — at least as much as is fitting between a human being and a brute beast.

No ridiculous anthropomorphic analogy should be made of this, of course. This is a limited analogy. But nevertheless God does make it. And we may learn from it.

God takes such pains to express His love to man because man alone is worthy of such concern. He is the apex of God’s creation. God is naturally able to love man quite readily — and yet He strives to make man fully lovable!

Now ask yourself this question. Could a dog who was being house trained or corrected for some social indiscretion possibly conclude that its master was “good”? (I speak facetiously of course, since a dog is incapable of such rationality). Even so we sometimes fail to see the goodness of our Master, His purpose and methods.

Husband /Wife

We may now proceed up the metaphorical ladder. God further explains His love to man by the analogy of the marriage relationship. This very expressive analogy is frequently used in the Bible to depict yet another aspect of God’s divine love for humanity.

Physical Israel was depicted as an abandoned baby girl left to the mercy of the elements. God found her, cleaned her up, reared her and espoused her (Ezek. 16). But when she reached the full flower of her beauty she betrayed her divine husband.  This was spiritual adultery.

The same kind of spiritual marriage relationship is also used to illustrate Christ’s relationship to spiritual Israel — the Church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify” — set apart or separate — “and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).

Now think about this. When a man enters into a love relationship with a woman, does he cease to care about her beauty, her appearance and cleanliness? Of course he doesn’t! He becomes more acutely concerned with such things. Love is more sensitive than hatred to every blemish, every line or wrinkle in one’s beloved. Hatred is disinterested, but love is extremely interested and highly involved. Love pays attention, but hatred ignores.

God, too, is highly concerned with every spiritual wrinkle or blemish a member of His Church may have. His concern and love may be expressed in a way that we do not recognize as love, however.

When God purges us of spiritual blemishes by whatever means He may choose to use, we all too often interpret His correction as undeserved suffering. Did Job take it kindly when God showed His love to him by allowing him to suffer so intensely? Not at all. Job writhed in self-pity. He claimed undeserved suffering. He argued with God and even accused Him! But finally he saw what God was doing and his reciprocal love to God grew even greater and deeper. His latter end was greater than the beginning.

Christ is a loving, concerned husband. He wants a wife who is spiritually healthy, morally clean and deeply affectionate toward Him. He will have such a wife by CLEANSING her in advance of His marriage (Rev. 19). While this cleansing may be painful — much like “grandma’s lye soap” — now, it will be much appreciated later when Jesus comes in His Kingdom!

The Father/Son Analogy

Perhaps the greatest and most profound analogy used by God to illustrate His great love for mankind is the father/son analogy. This reflects the very relationship between God and Christ.

When this analogy was originally made and recorded as scripture, paternal authority stood on a much higher plane than it does today. Today the image of paternal authority is somewhat tarnished. But in biblical times it meant much more.

In this analogy — love between father and son — paternal love is essentially authoritative and the son’s love is that of obedience.

A son is a reflection of the father. Naturally the father wishes that reflection to be favorable. He wishes the son to be honorable — to glorify rather than besmirch the family name. The father uses his authority (if done correctly) to make the son into what the father in his superior wisdom realizes he should be.

God chastens and corrects His children in like manner, to strengthen their quality of character. This chastening is an expression of divine love. If God neglected to do this we could not consider ourselves His children.

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth (Prov. 3:11-12).

Discipline is grievous to him who forsakes the way, he who hates reproof shall die (Prov. 15:10).

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Heb. 12:6-8).

Of course we do not rejoice in correction at the time we are receiving it! It is not until later that we realize the good fruit of it. Then we are able to appreciate the love which was extended our way when the punishment was meted out (Heb. 12:11).

Why We Were Created

Was man created so that he could love God? Quite the contrary!

Man was primarily created so that God could take pleasure in and express love toward him. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

God does not exist for the sake of man. Nor does man exist exclusively for his own sake. He exists as an object of God’s outgoing love!

As a great Master Artisan or Craftsman, God takes pains to ensure that His product is of the finest possible quality and beauty. God expresses His love to His sheep by protecting, feeding and caring for them as a concerned shepherd. As a loving husband strives to enhance his wife’s beauty and comeliness, so God purges the Church of blemishes and moral uncleanness. And as a kind, concerned, yet firmly authoritative Father, God chastens and corrects His spiritual children.

All of these biblical analogies can aid us in comprehending the love of God for His human creation. But none of them is truly adequate to convey a really profound understanding of God’s love.

Humanly we are limited. We see as if through a darkened glass. The whole of God’s tremendous love is much greater than we can understand. But we can indeed be grateful God is not limited, and that neither is His boundless love and concern for His human creation — especially His spiritually begotten children.

Source: The Good News, 1973

June 24, 2009

Evolutionists Versus Creationists: Who Has The Truth?

2Evolutionists and creationists are at it again! Each claims to have the answer to the puzzle of creation. But does either represent true science or true religion?

Evolutionary doctrine is deeply ensconced in today’s schools as a legitimate part of most science classes. It is no longer presented as an unproven idea or theory. It is presented as fact. When children go to school they are usually taught the theory of evolution as the only intelligent answer to existence. Virtually all science teachers speak about it as dogmatically as though they saw evolution happen. Class instruction is done so effectively that students generally are embarrassed to admit before their peers that they still believe in a Creator God.

But what if creation were taught in schools? Which version would be taught? Could creationists agree on the exact version to include in the school curriculum?

Liberals, calling themselves theistic evolutionists, consider the Genesis account symbolic or allegorical. They would insist that God brought about the creation through the process of evolution.

Fundamentalist groups, often called scientific creationists, are in the forefront of a crusade to free school children from the evolutionists’ firm grasp. They would teach that all creation, including the sun, moon and stars, took place very recently — hardly more than six or seven thousand years ago. They seek scientific evidence to show that the fossil beds and fossil bearing strata were nearly all laid down during a Flood in the historic past. They contend that life forms were separated and arranged into sequential layers by the water’s turbulent action.

The real beginning

However, the Bible teaches that creation took place anciently — “in the beginning.” That when the creation first appeared the angels were so enthralled with its magnificence they “sang together and … shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). That God placed an archangel on earth to administer God’s government in love and concern. He rebelled (Ezek. 28:15-16). Destruction came to the earth. Then God’s Spirit moved upon the face of the waters (Gen. 1:2) and God began to recreate today’s realm. This time he gave mankind (rather than the angels) dominion over the physical creation.

It is obvious that no single version of creation will satisfy this world’s differing religious groups. So, even if creationists were given equal forum with evolutionists, what version would be taught? Even if a compromise could be worked out, who could be trusted to teach it convincingly enough to compete successfully with evolutionary teachings?

Roles Reversed

The problem that we face in education today is just the reverse of that which men faced a few centuries ago. At that time the church sat above the government in matters of education. Few dared to teach anything contrary to the religious dogma because of its backing from the civil government! When discovery or experimentation uncovered facts that were contrary to traditional teachings, the church not uncommonly vigorously repressed them.

When men were finally freed from that oppression in the pursuit of truth, the liberated world assured itself that it would not again come under such bondage. Educational institutions that were once part of the church became a part of the state. It is under state control that most schools now carry out the mandate of teaching future generations what the adult society considers the ideals of life.

The doctrine of evolution, timidly suggested by Charles Darwin, came just at the right time. It was seized upon and promoted beyond Darwin’s wildest dreams. It became instantly popular and has continued to grow in influence simply because it was the nearest thing to a plausible explanation of creation without a creator.

Interpreting the will of the adult generation to be the desire to be free of hindrance from doing what they want to do, educators feel safe only in taking the evolutionary approach. By denying God’s role in creation, freedom to do as one pleases seemed complete. But, there remains a problem. How can one explain the evidence of God’s creation without the Creator?

This is why not all scientists are evolutionists. A significant number of scientists now acknowledge that the magnificent, intricate universe is so extremely well organized and complex that it requires a supreme designer and sustainer in order to exist. Some freely admit that the God of the Bible is the only intelligent answer. A few even worship him in truth.

The question then becomes, not whether to include religious views of creation in the classrooms, but whether evolution should continue to be taught as a scientific theory of origins. Evolutionists know that the question of origins lies outside of the scope of natural science.

You Must Choose!

If you believe evolution, you must believe that man has no ultimate purpose in the universe. But if you believe in creation, you have a unique choice. You can believe you were created to spend eternity in idleness and ease in heaven, or that you were created for a grand purpose — of becoming a son of God (Heb. 1:1-5, 2:6-10, Rom. 8:29). Most creationists thoughtlessly assume the former view. They do not know we humans were born to become sons of God and that our creation is not yet complete!

We are created in the form and shape of God, but out of matter. We are not yet spirit. Before God will complete our creation and give us eternal, spiritual LIFE from his very own person, we must develop godly CHARACTER. Or we would not be fit to be his sons. This is what human life is all about! Evolution knows nothing of it. Most creationists are blinded by their false ideas of Christ and his message and have not understood it.

God cannot create righteous, godly character by fiat. This has been demonstrated by the creation of angels. God created angels as perfect spiritual beings, but some turned sour and chose to do evil (Ezek. 28:14-16, Rev. 12:3-4). Chief among them was the archangel Lucifer.

We humans were created as fleshly beings and given TEMPORARY physical life so that if we turn sour we will not live forever as evil beings. This physical life was made to ebb away and our bodies to grow old and die.

It is in this physical state of existence that God works in a chosen few, now, to build the type of character that is required of sons of God. We have our part, choosing God’s ways and his laws, striving against temptation and resisting the devil and the practices of this world. This, if you please, is the tree of life of Genesis 2:9 and 3:22 that Adam and Eve rejected.

Only those whom God now calls and works with can enter the process of further creation. When God calls us he sets before us the same choice as he set before Adam and Eve. He says to us just as clearly as he said to ancient Israel: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut. 30:19).

You cannot create righteous character within yourself by yourself. God must do that in and through you by his Spirit, which is his very nature. You must become willingly and wholeheartedly oriented toward God, like clay in the hand of the Master Potter (Isa. 64:8, Jer. 18:1-6, Rom. 9:20-21). You must TRUST him to shape you into what he decides. You cannot start until the Potter singles you out and begins to deal with you.

Only then, if you become soft and pliable through the addition of God’s Holy Spirit, can you begin to be shaped into the CHARACTER of God. If you turn away, to remain lumpy and hard, he will cast you aside and work with other clay.
The ways of God are outlined broadly by the Ten Commandments and are enlarged upon throughout the rest of the Bible. The example of how to live by them successfully and perfectly was first demonstrated by Jesus Christ (I John 2:6), who blazed the trail for all who henceforth will live God’s spiritual way.

When This Truth Will Prevail

One day truth will be taught in all schools. It will be God’s truth as recorded in the Bible. Not false religions of men. It will be truly scientific. It will acknowledge not only the Creator but his laws and his authority. It will teach us all that there is to know about the creation around us; how and why it was put here, and what our role shall be according to God’s exciting plan and purpose.

In that day enlightenment will be so complete that it will make today’s knowledge explosion seem like the popping of corn by comparison! Here’s how it will be brought about:

When Christ returns to the earth to bring the whole world peace, he will come to set up the kingdom of God. It will be a world-ruling empire and Christ will be its “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:6, 16; 20:4). When forced to think about God’s perfect laws of love and happiness, people will become more enthralled with life than they have ever imagined that they could be.

Stubborn evolutionists, confused creationists — and all men alike — will be ashamed that they strove so hard to deny God’s way while they clung to their own folly. What a wonderful day that will be!

Source: The Plain Truth, February 1983

June 1, 2009

Evolutionary Bafflegab!

tutor2u.net/blog

tutor2u.net/blog

For too long the creation versus evolution controversy has revolved around points of secondary importance. It’s time to get to the heart of the matter!

Most “creationists” are guilty of the very thing they accuse evolutionists of doing: misinterpreting the evidence!

Actually, the commonly accepted religious concept of creation has changed little since medieval theologians insisted the earth is flat. Only some six or so thousand years ago, according to this concept, God created “out of nothing” the universe and everything in it.

Not only does this idea overlook the actual biblical account of creation, it also represents a misinterpretation of the physical evidence to support a preconceived and erroneous notion.

One can only wonder how many educated people have rejected the whole idea of special creation merely because they have not heard the true biblical account. The biblical account of creation, as recorded in the first chapters of Genesis, is compatible with the entire body of provable, observable, measurable, recordable scientific data. What this means is that the physical evidence of and by itself does not require choosing between an evolutionary process on the one hand or belief in a universe that is only about 6,000 years old on the other hand.

What the Bible Really Says

Where most “creationists” err is that they assume the Bible places the creation of the universe at a point in time about six or so thousand years ago. The Bible, however, says nothing about such an idea.

Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Those words describe a complete episode in the prehistory of the universe. There follows a time lapse of indefinite length between this verse and the verse that follows — a time lapse that may well have spanned multiple millions of years as measured by scientists using radiometric dating methods. The Bible does not describe this period in great detail, nor reveal how long it lasted.

As verse two of Genesis 1 opens, we are confronted with a totally different scene. We now see an earth that had come to be in ruins, in darkness and covered with water. Some great disaster had befallen the earth.

The English word was in this verse is better translated “became” or “came to be.” “Now the earth became without form, and void; and darkness came to be upon the face of the deep.” (See the New International Version rendering and footnote.)

This revelation of earth’s history is important because the second major error most creationists make is to attribute the near totality of earth’s strata to a flood in Noah’s day. They overlook the physical evidence of events, including flooding, before and up to the climax of Genesis 1:2!

From verse two the Genesis account goes on to describe a recreation, how God reshaped and refashioned, nearly 6,000 years ago, the already existing, but now desolate earth. The Bible thus reveals an earlier period for the earth and its original inhabitants long before man was created.

Why Evolution Then?

Many evolutionists have taken for granted the false explanation of the Bible. They have therefore concluded that the written biblical record of creation could not be true. Having carelessly set aside the biblical account, educators and scientists were left with no choice but to believe in some form of evolution and to interpret all physical evidence accordingly.

One highly celebrated proponent of evolution who totally rejects the traditional — and false — explanation given to the Genesis record of creation conceded in private, “The evolutionary explanation may not be complete or compelling but nothing else is possible.”

In other words, the evolutionist, after he has left the Creator out of the picture, because he found the traditional interpretation of Genesis to be in error, has no choice but to try making evolution work. As this well-known author remarked, “no alternate explanation to evolution is possible.”

Evolutionists are stuck with evolution. This, in spite of the fact that they cannot adequately explain the mechanism by which evolution is supposed to have taken place. There are all those gaps in the “evolutionary tree.”

Oh, there have been attempts to fill those gaps- — with a measure of wishful thinking. Charles Darwin, for example, wrote in The Origin of Species that “the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true [he doesn’t sound convinced!], such must have lived upon the earth.”

“Must have”? But where? When? Who has found the proof that this “inconceivably great” host of intermediate species existed? Where are all those missing links that “must have” lived on earth? One hundred years after Darwin this essential proof is embarrassingly absent!

Even a sizable number of evolutionists have come to accept that “transitional links” will never be found. But since they are aware of no plausible alternative to evolution that would involve God, the Creator is kept out of the picture. In an effort to bridge the gaps in the biological record, as revealed in geology, the idea of “punctuated evolution,” or evolution by leaps, has attracted recent interest. If, however, a long, slow process of evolution has failed to leave a credible record, it is certain an evolution-by-leaps has left even less of one.

Some seek to get around the difficulties in the evolutionary concept by resorting to a form of theistic evolution. This brings God into the evolutionary process. But only far enough to get evolution over the rough spots like the origin of the first living cells, missing links and other such troublesome problems. It is merely another effort to interpret the physical evidence without giving God the credit.

Not that the Bible is specifically a science textbook. It is not. But where the Bible speaks on scientific matters, it is in harmony with the facts of science.

Correctly understood, the Genesis account renders totally unnecessary any attempt to explain the physical evidence in evolutionary terms. Consider a couple of the popularly cited “proofs” of evolution and see how easily they fit into the biblical account of creation.

Evolutionary science places heavy emphasis on comparative embryology. So what if the embryos of humans, chickens, pigs and turtles look similar at certain stages in their development? That’s no problem. One Designer designed them all. Why wouldn’t there be similarities? Why wouldn’t there be a repetition of themes just as individual buildings by the same architect or different models of automobiles made by the same company may have similarities? Most houses and most automobiles look similar in the early stages of manufacture. So it is with embryos. A pig embryo, however, never becomes a chicken. Nor a chicken a turtle. Nor a turtle a human. Each reproduces after its kind.

But what is the origin of the different “kinds” with their individual characteristics? Evolutionists have derided creationists for continually citing examples of the “wonders of nature.” But such chiding does not answer the question: How can the design evident in the “wonders of nature” be explained? The skill of the garden spider in building its web, the interdependent partnership between certain insects and flowers, the deadeye accuracy of the archer fish, the entertaining antics of dolphins and seals, the agile trunk of elephants, and man himself — an assemblage of 30,000,000,000 living cells functioning harmoniously, capable of thought, of emotion, of expression, able to split atoms he cannot see or to construct immense edifices — these and incalculable numbers of other “wonders” cannot be rationally accounted for by a blind, purposeless, unintelligent, time-and-chance process of evolution.

The subject cannot be avoided. Nor can the conclusion: Design demands a Designer!

What about the “survival of the fittest”? Which schoolchild has not read about the light-colored moths and the dark-colored moths on the tree trunk? The light-colored ones, if more conspicuous, are quickly eaten by birds. The dark moths survive because they are less visible.

“See?” proclaim the evolutionists, “survival of the fittest.” And indeed it is. The principle of survival of the fittest does have a place in the natural scheme. But it does not bring about a change from one life form to another! It does not explain the arrival of the fittest. It merely helps determine the survivability under given conditions of varieties naturally occurring within the boundaries of each Genesis kind. The dark-colored moths do not become something else. They are still moths. And so they shall ever be.

These are two of the primary proofs given for evolution. And yet, as these examples illustrate, the physical evidence of and by itself does not require an evolutionary explanation. In order to fit into the concept of evolution the physical evidence must be interpreted according to evolutionary thought. It is not the evidence itself that is even the central issue in the creation versus evolution controversy. It is the interpretation of that evidence that is the crux of the whole matter!

In other words, the evidence used or discovered by evolutionists does not pose a problem for creationists who understand the true biblical account of creation.

Seeing the Facts Clearly

Interpretation of evidence is one thing. There is unfortunately, however, another factor sometimes at work: lack of candor. The marvelously complex human eye could not have evolved from “primitive” eyes, yet evolutionists still obscure the facts.

They say eyes in existence today range all the way from light-sensitive spots near the heads of some animals, to indentations, to indentations with a membrane, to lens-like membranes, to everything up to humans. So far, so good. This is evidence. It is true. No creationist would deny it.

Now comes the interpretation! The evolutionist takes the quantum leap and takes for granted that evolution has occurred, by believing that all the various stages in the evolution of the eye still exist today. But that is only one way of interpreting the evidence. That is not proof. A creationist could just as easily say that “all the various kinds of eyes God created still exist today.”

But then evolutionists cloud the issue even further by looking at [all the varieties of eyes in] the living world, to see how something as complex as the eye could evolve.

But here’s the problem! “Could evolve does not mean it “did” evolve that way.” Evolutionists cannot claim that if you line up all existing eyes in the living world in order of complexity, from the light-sensitive spots to the human eye, that the arrangement would show how the eye evolved? That would be laughable!

Why? Because if you line up all living creatures in an order based solely on the complexity of their eyes — from simple eyes to complex eyes — the position of the creatures themselves in such a lineup would be out of conformity with the “evolutionary tree.”

Such a common statement then, that by looking at all the different eyes “we can easily see how something as complex as the eye could evolve” implies what evolution itself cannot support. Yet this type of reasoning — even in textbooks — misleads many people.

When all is said and done, we are still left with the question, how did the different eyes develop if they were not created?

The Creator’s Credentials

The realm of the physical sciences confines itself to what can be experimented with, observed, measured and weighed — the physical, material universe. While many scientists — including evolutionists — may allow for the possible existence of God, most freely admit they do not allow belief in the spiritual to affect their theories. They pride themselves in their powers of inductive reasoning. But they leave out data from an entire dimension — the spiritual. Why? Because they cannot quantify it — measure it. There is, then, a built-in antisupernatural bias in most scientific reasoning.

It is no wonder science never even claims to have the truth! Rather, its avowed goal is only to find a closer approximation to “truth.” Significantly, the Bible describes as one of the characteristics of our times that some would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 3:7).

Jesus Christ promised his followers, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). He meant spiritual truth, certainly. But not exclusively. He also meant truth concerning even a physical matter that affects one’s worship and perception of the true God.

Where science sticks to the facts in areas such as chemistry, physics or mathematics, there is no argument. But when human beings depart from strict observation and measurement of physical laws and begin to theorize and interpret evidence erroneously, when they ignore an entire dimension of evidence — the spiritual — when they seek to take away the credentials of God the Creator and Lifegiver, then it is they who have encroached upon the realm of the spiritual, and not vice versa!

The credentials of the true Creator God set him apart from all gods. One day the apostle Paul confronted a crowd of idolators and admonished them to worship the real God. Which one? The “living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein” (Acts 14:15). That is how God is identified.

On another occasion Paul was standing amid lifeless idols worshiped in ancient Athens. But Paul didn’t worship those gods. He worshiped the real God. How did Paul identify this one true God and distinguish him from gods humans had made? Listen to Paul! “God that made the world and all things therein … he is Lord of heaven and earth …” (Acts 17:24).
The theory of evolution attempts to strip the Almighty Creator God of those credentials, making him little different from impotent idols, the works of men’s hands!

To demonstrate God is the Creator, we don’t have to produce lengthy volumes detailing all the proofs. The evidence is already available. It is everywhere. It is beneath our feet, in stratified deposits. It is all around us, in everything we can see, hear, touch, taste and feel. It is above us, stretching out incalculable numbers of light years into space. It has been gathered by geologists, biologists, paleontologists, astronomers. It has been written up in countless volumes. One needs only to separate erroneous interpretation from measurable facts.

Whereas scientists who acknowledge God as Creator can look at the physical evidence and see God’s handiwork — brilliant, imaginative, colorful, sometimes even humorous — evolutionists look at the same evidence and try to construct a workable godless theory. Those who understand the true account of creation simply give God credit for his workmanship and marvel at what he has done and at the ultimate purpose of life; evolutionists have to contend with an idea whose mechanism they cannot explain and which is purposeless.

It all boils down to a matter of rejecting the false and unscientific, traditional explanation of creation and accepting the true biblical record of creation (this makes all the evidence explainable), or rejecting God as Creator (in which case faith in some form of evolution, with all of its difficulties, is the only — and erroneous — alternative).

Why not look at all dimensions of knowledge — including the most important?

Source: The Plain Truth, November/December 1983

May 24, 2009

The First "Christian" Trinitarian

The central doctrine of most Protestant and Catholic churches for many centuries has been that of the trinity. This doctrine is so important that the Catholic Encyclopedia states:

“This [the trinity], the Church teaches, is the revelation regarding God’s nature which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth to deliver to the world: and which she [the Catholic Church] proposes to man as the foundation of the whole dogmatic system.”

Both Catholic and Protestant theologians quote Theophilus of Antioch (circa 180 A.D.) as the first person to write about this most important doctrine. But isn’t it strange that such a major doctrine was avoided in religious writings for nearly two centuries?

Furthermore, Theophilus’ allusion to the traditional trinity — “the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” — is quite nebulous at best. Notice what Theophilus wrote in commenting about the fourth day of creation in the first chapter of Genesis:

“And as the sun remains ever full, never becoming less, so does God always abide perfect, being full of all power, and understanding, and wisdom, and immortality, and all good. But the moon wanes monthly, and in a manner dies, being a type of man; then it is born again, and is crescent, for a pattern of the future resurrection. In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, “Theophilus to Autolycus”).

Here is the first statement by a theologian that is supposed to teach the doctrine of the trinity. But does his statement really teach this? Read it — simply. He does not say that God is a trinity of PERSONS, or that the Holy Spirit is a part of that trinity. He just refers to God, His Word and His wisdom. Theologians have tried to imagine into this unusual statement “their trinity” — and yet even the editors of the Ante-Nicene Fathers state in a footnote that the word translated “wisdom” in English is the Greek word sophia which Theophilus elsewhere used in reference to the Son, not the Holy Spirit. Theophilus could not possibly have gotten the idea of a trinity from the Bible — if he really did have a trinity of persons in mind, which appears unlikely from the preceding statement — as the Bible nowhere even alludes to God being a trinity.

From the time of Theophilus, it was several hundred years before this doctrine became a part of the Catholic dogma. It was in the last twenty-five years of the FOURTH century that “what might be called the definitive trinitarian dogma ‘one God in three persons’ became thoroughly assimilated INTO Christian life and thought” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, “Holy Trinity”).

From this it is evident that this “central doctrine” of Catholicism and Protestantism was not a part of the “faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) during or prior to the time of Jude, but was ADDED by later theologians. The doctrine of the trinity was not what Jesus Christ “came upon the earth to deliver to the world.” He came to preach the Good News of His soon-coming Kingdom, to establish His true Church, to give His life as a sacrifice for all who repent, and to give God’s Holy Spirit to those who are baptized — the Spirit that empowers believers to be ONE with the Father and the Son!

Source: Tomorrow’s World, September/October 1970

May 13, 2009

Seven Proofs Of The Existence Of God!

Filed under: Evolution,God — melchia @ 3:53 am
Tags: , , , ,

There is a delusion gripping the minds of people today. It holds them in its sway, deceiving them, making them veritable slaves. It is the concept of “no God.”

Sir Julian Huxley, grandson of the famed evolutionist, has stated: “There is no longer either need or room for supernatural beings capable of affecting the course of events in the evolutionary pattern of thought. The earth was not created, it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body.”

Is there “no longer any need for a concept of God”? Is the Bible merely a collection of Hebrew fables, or the dynamic living Word of an intelligent, all-wise Creator Being? Here are seven proofs to counter this claim.

Proof Number One

Is the Bible totally out of harmony with all science? Do modern-day discoveries in the sciences render the Christian helpless to reconcile his belief with the “enlightened age” in which he lives?

The first Positive Proof of the existence of God is so broad, so all-encompassing, so diverse in its many ramifications that it is possible only to barely scratch the surface in this article. However, there can be no clearer way to substantiate this proof than to quote from a typical college textbook which discards the Biblical record. In the foreword material, the authors offer various explanations as to the origin of the earth:

“Our own galaxy, which we remember is but a tiny part of the universe, has probably existed a million, million years.

“But some progress has been made in attempting to explain how and when the sun and its nine planets came into being. The study of the solar system gives us at least a clue to the origin of that part of the universe most important to us — the earth. The explanation commonly accepted today is called the Hypothesis of Dynamic Encounter formulated about 1900 by T. C. Chamberlain and F. R. Moulton of the University of Chicago. In brief it suggests that our solar system had its birth when the sun was approached by another huge star. The latter, through the operation of the law of gravitation, detached from the sun great masses of flaming gas. The orphan masses from the parent sun gradually cooled and crystallized to become the nuclei of planets. These continued to revolve around the sun, held in their orbits by the gravitational pull of the parent body. The evolution of the earth to its present state was very gradual” (Wall-bank and Taylor, Civilization Past and Present, Vol. I, page 31).

Even though it is outdated in certain respects, I quote this statement in full for a very special reason. Let’s go back and carefully ANALYZE what we have just read. Notice carefully the italicized words in the quotation you have just read. We have such words in the opening phrases as “probably, some progress has been made, attempting to explain, at least a clue, explanation commonly accepted, and the “suggestion” of a “hypothesis” — the very word itself meaning “we guess.”

Then, in very careful wording, having begun with a number of “possibles” and “perhapses” the book begins to tell of definite past occurrences which are said to have taken place. But let’s analyze further this very vital first proof of the existence of God.

In the very beginning the writers, even though beginning with many attempts to explain, clues and guesses, admit the existence of our solar system, a “sun,” another “huge star,” the “operation of the law of gravitation,” great “masses of flaming gas,” and admit that these gases “gradually cooled.”

They also mention how these gases “crystallized” and then continued to “revolve around the sun, held in their orbits by the gravitational pull of the parent body.” What a fantastic array! Here is a tremendous, limitless, imagination-defying expanse — an entire universe. Here is a whole solar system, a huge sun, the operation of certain, definite, immutable, unchangeable LAWS. Here is a supposed collision between gigantic, breathtakingly huge astral bodies, resulting in the supposed formation of our present solar system.

Think of it! All of these myriad laws — of heat, light, energy, motion, the rotation of astral bodies, the laws of gravity, and myriad other laws, entirely too numerous to mention — are admitted to exist. Where to begin? Is it an attempt to explain the existence of our present solar system? Decidedly not. Scientists and astronomers tell us that our solar system is only one of many such systems in our great galaxy called the “Milky Way.” However, even our galaxy is only one of myriad galaxies, which form only a part of the vast, limitless expanse of the universe. Our planet, astronomers assure us, is merely a third-rate planet in a second-rate solar system, lost in the expanses of seemingly limitless space.
Do you begin to comprehend? By what law did one star approach another? By what law did heat gradually cool? By what law was there a “gravitational pull”? By what law was there the existence of the “operation of the law of gravitation”?

Yes, there it is. In dissecting and looking carefully into the statements of some of the preposterous hypotheses which have been advanced, you begin to see that in every case the writers have begun with an orderly, law-abiding universe, governed by irrefutable laws. The existence of law, unchangeable, immutable, irrevocable, unseen and yet active, absolutely demands the existence of a great lawgiver.

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy …” (James 4:12).  That Lawgiver is God!

Proof Number Two

Before seeing this next amazing, irrefutable proof, it is first necessary to state, in simple terms, the meaning of the word “evolution.” Of course, there are many processes called “evolution.”

The process of development of music from simple to complex is, in a sense, an “evolutionary” process as is true in all technological inventions. This has perhaps led many to assume such a development is also true in organic, living material.

Here is one such stated idea:

“Evolution is the gradual development from the simple, unorganized condition of primal matter to the complex structure of the physical universe; and in like manner, from the beginning of organic life on the habitable planet, a gradual unfolding and branching out into all the various forms of beings which constitute the animal and plant kingdom” (Richard Swann Lull, Organic Evolution, page 6).

Evolution theorizes from the beginning of organic life — already having LIFE with which to begin. It does not now show, nor has it ever shown, nor will it ever be able to show, how life itself first CAME into existence.

The theory of evolution (the word “theory” means “we think”) states simply that all life forms that we know today, including humankind, have gradually evolved from the most simple life forms to the complex, intricate, interdependent species we see about us today, each reproducing according to its own kind.

Evolution postulates that life evolved in a “gradual process,” by “resident forces” into the complexity of life we see about us today. And herein, at the very basic trunk of the tree of all evolutionary thought, lies one of the greatest proofs of God!

Evolutionists, geneticists, biologists, scientists in any field whatsoever have never been able to demonstrate, nor to offer the slightest evidence that the not-living can make itself into the LIVING. It is true that certain laboratory experiments have taken place in which supposed “dead cells” are said to have been “revived” and brought back to life by the means of certain chemical compounds. In other experiments, scientists have diligently tried to produce organic type compounds called amino acids. This, however, is a far cry from “spontaneous generation.”

There is a broad, gaping, yawning chasm of separation between life and death. The great gap between the not-living and the living is so broad, so insurmountable, so unfathomable by man, that evolutionists can only “suppose” and guess, offering vague, ethereal, nebulous “theories” as to how life for the first time “might have” begun accidentally! However, on the other hand, there is an absolute, demonstrable law of science which comprises the second major proof of the existence of a life-giving God. That is the law of biogenesis!

“Bio” means life! “Genesis” means beginning. This law, then, is a law concerning the beginning of life. This law, simply stated, is the absolute law that life comes only from life. That the not-living can never give rise to, give birth to or produce the living.

There is perhaps no law known to science that can be any more firmly and easily demonstrated than the law of biogenesis. The very existence of life demands a Life Giver!

God states dogmatically, “And the Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).

Almighty God — the Life Self-Existent, the One who has life, who is Life, who was before all things — imparted life to the first man and set within man, the animals, and all plants the cyclical character of life which enables them to reproduce according to certain set laws. God is the great Life Giver!

Proof Number Three

Many of these amazing proofs of the existence of an Almighty God “overlap.” That is, each is, to a degree, interrelated with the others. The third major proof of God can be stated quite simply from the quotation you saw under Proof Number One.

You will notice that evolutionists, in trying to substantiate their theory, always BEGIN with an orderly universe and the existence of matter. Notice the so-called Theory of Evolution BEGINS with matter, laws, and “simple” life.

What is matter? Matter occupies space and has weight. It is not always necessarily seen, since certain gases, and even the air which you breathe, are also classified as “matter.”

Until recently, scientists talked of the law of the “conservation of matter.” However, with the discoveries in nuclear physics, and following Madame Curie’s experiments with radium, scientists have now found there is a certain amount of “disintegration” in matter!

This deterioration of uranium is a scientific fact! Uranium (U238) gradually disintegrates through many intermediate states into lead (Pb206). Uranium, as you may well know, is radioactive and gives off energy in the form of radiation.
Gradually, over a period of seemingly limitless years, this radioactive material disintegrates into lead! There is no proof of any new uranium coming into existence today!

Hence science has firmly established that there has been no past eternity of matter! Matter must have at sometime come into existence. It had to have been, at some time, created.

Creation, then, the very existence of things, absolutely demands and requires a Creator. That which is made requires a Maker. That which is produced requires a Producer. Therefore, the third great proof is that the creation requires a great Creator.

Proof Number Four

The One who is quoted in the first person as being God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:24-25).

Scientists have attempted to show the evolutionary pattern by “comparative embryology,” by a study of selective breeding, genetics, and various other aspects of biology.

However, without taking the tremendous amount of space necessary to even faintly scratch the surface of such a broad subject, suffice it to say there is an absolute, irrefutable, immutable, unchangeable law, which absolutely prohibits a jump from one kind to another kind!

There are hundreds of different varieties within a certain species, and while there may be small, tiny dogs, such as the Mexican Chihuahua, and also huge dogs such as the St. Bernard or the Great Dane, they are still dogs! They are not cats, or horses, nor are they even beginning to show a gradual trend toward developing into another species. They are all of the same kind.

Comparative embryology tries to point out that the beginning embryos of fish, polliwogs, and humans look very much alike. This is absolutely true. But while it proves absolutely nothing for the case of evolution, this does offer a STRONGER proof of the existence of God. Scientists are defied to attempt to make the embryo of a fish turn out to be a polliwog, a man, or anything other than a fish of the exact same kind of fish which laid the egg in the first place.

Proof Number Five

Look about you. You live in a complex, intricate and interdependent world. It is a world of great design. You have never seen an ugly sunset. You have never seen an ugly scene in the desert, in the mountains, at sea, or anywhere on the surface of this entire earth, unless it were a scene made ugly by man. All is in harmony. Life, as we know it, is entirely interdependent upon other forms of life. Nothing lives or dies to itself.

The question to the evolutionists is: Which “evolved” first, the corn or the bee? Did the bee evolve slowly for thousands, millions or billions of years independent of the cornstalks, the flowers and the pollens from growing things which are his life source?

Did the flowers, grasses, trees, and grains all evolve slowly and gradually over a period of millions or billions of years independent of the little bee, upon whom they must rely for their very continuation of life?

These are totally insurmountable, and unanswerable questions to the evolutionists! The old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” is a question which the evolutionist feels worthy only of disdain. Why? Simply because he cannot answer it.

It is better, from his point of view, to merely scoff, make fun of and attempt to dismiss such a question when he cannot answer it.

This total interdependency of all life forms — the tremendous design within this universe shows a common Beginner, one main Architect, one great Designer with an overall framework of a plan of creation into which all life forms fit.
Nothing lives or dies to itself. Each living thing, whether plant or animal, when it dies, supplies further life for other living things. Observe a forest. A tree grows, finally dies and falls, only to become part of the fallow forest floor, supplying life-giving elements for the young trees which it had sown in its lifetime.

This great universe, and the complex intricate earth on which you live and draw breath, is a world of great design. It is a world of such complex and intricate design as to take the very breath in beginning to investigate even the minutest part.

The cleavage properties of minerals, the wings of a bird or a fly, the beauty of a sunset, the facets of a quartz crystal, and above all, the marvelous, tremendous masterpiece of all design, the human body, all point out that for such intricate design, there had to be an eternal Designer. Design in the universe proves the existence of a Designer!
[Photo Caption – Left: Even when magnified 100 times, the titanium alloy (top) still follows a definite pattern of construction. Slightly oxidized iron crystals (below) have been enlarged 10,000 times, revealing even more intricacy. Right: From the tiniest metallic crystals to the most gorgeous sunset, everything is in perfectly designed harmony.]

Proof Number Six

This sixth proof of the existence of an Almighty God is perhaps the most astounding of all. It is fulfilled prophecy!
About one full third of your Bible is prophecy; and while most of that one third pertains to our present day, there are many, many prophecies which have already been fulfilled, and which are presently BEING fulfilled.

God sent His prophets hundreds of years ago to such major cities as Babylon, Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Tyre and Sidon. These prophets — simple human beings who had been commissioned with a message — foretold the decay, fall and particular type of fate which was to befall each of these ancient cities.

And without fail, in every single instance, exactly at the time prescribed, all these things HAPPENED! The very fact that God is able to foretell the future, and bring it to pass, is a great proof of His existence!

Proof Number Seven

This last proof is perhaps the greatest proof of all to true Christians. It is the proof of answered prayer. However, since the skeptics, atheists and doubters have never prayed, and hence have never had prayers answered, they continue to DOUBT.

Now take George Mueller’s example.

George Mueller is dead now, but he was a great man of FAITH. He founded five great orphanages and other charitable institutions in Bristol, England. He started out, as FAITH always does, with a very small work, without any financial backing, and absolutely no means of support, except to get down on his knees and send up a believing prayer to God.
For nearly seventy years George Mueller continued that great work, and it grew into a tremendous institution until it housed thousands. Every dime for feeding, clothing, sheltering, and schooling those thousands of orphans came in only one way — as a result of believing prayer.

Altogether he received more than a million four hundred thousand pounds — that was about seven million dollars — sent to him in answer to his prayers!

Real answered prayer is NOT the mere working out of events as a result of “concentration.” Many people seem to assume answered prayer is merely an accomplishment as a result of “positive thinking” or a psychological adjustment.
This is a gross error!

Real answered prayer is a direct, miraculous supernatural intervention from Almighty God! It is the result of obedience to God’s laws, asking according to His will, and then believing in faith until the answer comes.

These seven, irrefutable unchallengeable PROOFS of the existence of Almighty God represent only the minutest beginning of the subject. They are, nevertheless, proofs. It’s about time people quit assuming — it’s about time they began to really PROVE all things.

It’s about time YOU said with Job, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25).

Source: Tomorrow’s World, October 1971

April 5, 2009

Scientism: Materialism On Steroids!

Scientism is the belief that the sciences have no boundaries and will, in the end, be able to explain everything in the universe. It is an ideology unto itself.

The Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics defines scientism as “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of natural science to be applied to all areas of investigation.”

Is hard science really the only way of understanding reality? If something can’t be “proved” through the scientific method, through observable and measurable evidence, is it then irrelevant? In general, scientism leaves little or no place for the imagination and rather than further human understanding, it limits it.

For example, the education system teaches children not to think, but to accept taught dogma. Any student that uses logic and solid “contrary” evidence to question the Theory of Evolution is ridiculed and insulted into quiet submission. This is a type of brainwashing, or conforming to the system. Individual thoughts or opinions are not allowed. This “team player” attitude, forcefully thrust upon students with massive peer pressure, is little else than a soft pedalled version of brainwashing techniques used by communist countries.

Society today is replete with children unable to think logically, scientifically and accurately. They are taught to doubt elements of purpose around them, and accept unscientific theories like evolution, or the result of life by pure chance. All of this defaults to atheism. It assumes incorrectly that what we believe, and the way we live, is always based on provable “facts,” which never include – gasp – faith.

Yet science itself has always had a speculative component, as we see with theories about quantum physics and the Big Bang and evolution. Arguing that any other idea counter to evolution is “nonsense” reflects blindness to the real insights offered by God through nature.  Agreed, God cannot be observed or measured by scientific instruments or, for that matter, scientifically proven to even exist. But the reality is that the workings of God can, indeed, be observed when measured against the Light of the Word of God.

Getting back to evolution, few today would argue that it is an incomplete theory. Those who will must explain how the concept of consciousness has engendered in the form of its highest evolutionary accomplishment – mankind. At what point in the evolutionary tree did it start? And what prompted the process? It’s no good to merely talk about it – prove it, as creationists are consistently told.  If you can’t prove when man became self aware and started looking back and observing himself, then all lines of reasoning become pantheistic, which is a religious belief system of its own when boiled down to the lowest common denominator. It is, as the atheist Richard Dawkins describes, “materialism on steroids.” Here is a great link to disproving the theory of evolution through its many problems, errors and lies.

“So, armed with only the observations of current and historical geologic processes and other empirical data, and assuming natural history has been a continuum across billions of years, the present secular paradigms of geological and evolutionary theory are about the best belief system that the educated mind of carnal mankind could be expected to conceive and accept from the available physical evidence. Without the input of Biblical Authority, current theories are, in reality, incomplete. And many questions and mysteries remain unresolved, especially in relation to the origins of mankind.”  Scienceblog.com

March 28, 2009

Pagan Holidays Or God’s Holy Days – Which?

Editors Note: This article is the introduction to the above mentioned booklet. I will keep sections short, for brevity, and include other parts of the booklet in different articles and subjects.

—————————————–

From The Booklet: Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days— Which?
by Herbert W. Armstrong

Does it make any difference which days we observe or whether we keep them? Does the Bible establish whether we are to keep certain days holy to God? Were these days given to ancient Israel only? Are they binding today only on the Jewish people, while Christians are commanded to keep holidays such as Christmas?

In the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel is an amazing prophecy picturing, for twenty-five hundred years into future, from the day it was written, the course of the Gentile kingdoms. Starting with the ancient Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, this prophecy foretells the successive world rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander’s Greco-Macedonian kingdom with its four divisions, and finally, of the mighty Roman Empire.

Out of the original Roman Empire, symbolized by “horns” growing out of the head of a “beast,” are pictured the ten resurrections of the Roman Empire that have continued since its fall to the present, and are scheduled to continue until the coming of Christ.

Among these ten kingdoms, which have ruled in the Western world since the fall of Rome to the present, appeared another “little horn,” whose “look was more stout than fellows.” In other words, another government, actually smaller, yet dominating over all the others. Students of prophecy recognize this “little horn” as a great religious hierarchy. And in the 25th verse of this prophecy, it is stated that this hierarchy shall “think to change times and laws.”

How Time Was Changed

This same power is mentioned again in the 17th chapter of Revelation, here pictured as ruling over the kings and kingdoms of the earth, persecuting the true saints.

In every possible manner, this power has changed TIME.

  1. God begins the days at sunset, but “the little horn” has changed it so the world now begins the day in the middle of the night by a man-made watch.
  2. God begins the week with the ending of the true Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, but the world begins the working week in the middle of the night, the second day of the week.
  3. God begins the months with the new moons, but this “little horn” has induced the world to begin the months according to a clumsy man-made calendar of heathen origin.
  4. God begins the year in the early spring, when new life is budding in nature everywhere, but ancient heathen Rome caused the world to begin the year in the middle of dead winter.
  5. God gave His children a true rest day, designed to keep them continually in the knowledge and true worship of the true God, a memorial of God’s Creation, the seventh day of the week. But the “little horn” has fastened upon a deluded world the observance of the days on which the pagans worshipped the Sun, the first day of the week, called SUNday.

Pagan Origins

Ancient Rome’s pagan holidays have been chained upon a heedless and deceived world. These include certain annual holidays Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, as well as many more, every one a pagan day, every one used to stimulate the sale of merchandise in the commercial markets. Upon honest investigation, the earnest seeker-after-truth learns that these days are all of heathen origin and pagan significance. He learns that he can have no part in them.

But is the Christian of today left without any annual holy days? Did God never give to His people annual holy days, as well as the weekly Sabbath? Are not ancient Rome’s annual holidays mere counterfeits of God’s true holy days, exactly as Sunday is a counterfeit of the true Sabbath?

Banishing Prejudice

We are told to study, not argue, not to refute, but to show ourselves approved unto God to learn God’s will. We are commanded, as Christians, to grow in knowledge as well as in grace (II Peter 3:18). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable to correct and to reprove us, where we have, through assumption, false teaching, or prejudice, been in error.

Most people have supposed that all the annual Sabbaths and feast days of Israel were done away. And yet Church history shows that the early true Church did, for more than four hundred long years at least, perhaps much longer after Christ’s resurrection, continued to keep and observe these annual holy days given by God!

And just as the Sunday observer is inclined to look, at first, upon any argument for the weekly Sabbath with prejudice, as a heresy, and to examine every argument only in an attitude of attempting to refute it— so it will be only human, only natural for us, if we are not on our guard against it, to look upon any presentation of these annual Sabbaths in the same spirit of prejudice. But remember that, “he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Proverbs 18:13).

Study This Twice

Certain objections will be sure to come to the mind all of which, will be dealt with and explained later on. But unless the reader is careful to guard against it, the mere presence of this objection in his mind will, to him, overthrow each point as it’s presented— and then, when the objections are later explained, the points made will not come back to the mind, unless the whole exposition of the subject is carefully studied again from the first.

And in each case, the objection will be one of the very arguments used by Sunday preachers in attempting to overthrow the truth of the weekly Sabbath! For the weekly Sabbath and the annual Sabbaths stand or fall together. The arguments used against the annual Sabbaths will be the identical arguments used to overthrow the Sabbath and if these arguments could hold, then they would abolish the weekly Sabbath!

Such arguments as “the annual Sabbaths are part of the law of Moses,” or “they offered sacrifices on the annual Sabbaths,” or “Colossians 2:16 does away with the annual Sabbaths,” are not scriptural.

For the annual Sabbaths were not part of the law of Moses, but were observed before the ritualistic ordinances contained in the law of Moses were given. Sacrifices were offered on the weekly Sabbath, but this does not do away with the Sabbath. In fact, sacrifices were offered on every day of the year (Numbers 28:3).

Colossians 2:16 refers, not alone to the annual Sabbaths, but to the annual days, the monthly new moons, and the weekly Sabbath. Whenever the Bible uses the expression “Sabbath days,” with new moons and holy days, it is referring to the weekly Sabbath days, the new moons and the annual holy days or feast days. The “Sabbath days” of Colossians 2:16 refers to the weekly Sabbath. Compare I Chronicles 23:31 with II Chronicles 2:4; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Nehemiah 10:33; Ezekiel 46:3. If Colossians does away with the one, it also abolishes the other.

The Old Testament Church

When did the true Church begin? In Acts 7:38 we learn that the congregation of Israel was called the church in the wilderness, in the days of Moses. The English word “congregation” used throughout the Old Testament is only another rendering, having the same identical meaning, as the word “church” in the New Testament. The word translated “congregation” in the Old Testament is ekklesia in the Septuagint the same identical Greek word that is always translated CHURCH in the New Testament.

Israel was both church and state. As a kingdom, it was for years ruled by a system of judges, over 50s, 100s, thousands, etc., later having a king. But as a congregation, or church, Israel was organized with a leader Moses, Joshua, etc. and the priests of the tribe of Levi. The law of Moses contained those ritualistic or ceremonial laws which were ADDED, because of transgressions, to the Old Covenant— added until Christ— to teach and instill into them the habit of obedience. These consisted of meat and drink offerings, various washings, and physical ordinances. Also they had the sacrifices, as a substitute for the sacrifice of Christ.

Prior to the Law of Moses

In the 12th chapter of Exodus, while the Children of Israel were still in Egypt, long before any of the Law of Moses had been given, prior to the time when God revealed to Moses and the Israelites He would make the Old Covenant with them, we find God’s annual holy days being observed. And in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus we find a summary of these annual holy days or set feasts.

Now when God made the Sabbath for man, He gave man a rest day carrying great significance and purpose. To His Church in the wilderness, God said that the Sabbath was a covenant sign between Him and His people. A sign is a supernatural proof of identity. It is the sign by which we know that He is God. How does it prove that to us? “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested.” It is a memorial of creation.

And creation is the proof of the existence of God. Creation identifies God. The Sabbath is a weekly memorial of creation. A weekly reminder of God’s power to create. Therefore it identifies God to us, keeps us in the true memory and true worship of the true God. No other day, but the seventh day of the week, could have that great significance and meaning. It was designed to keep us in the true worship of God.

The Purpose of Holy Days

Now in like manner, when God gave His Church seven annual Sabbaths, God, in His wisdom, had a great purpose. These days, too, were given to keep God’s children in the true memory and worship of God, by keeping us constantly in the understanding of God’s great plan of redemption. For these annual days picture the different epochs in the plan of spiritual creation, mark the dispensations, and picture their meaning.

The whole story of spiritual regeneration was, in these feast days, to be reenacted year after year continually. They have vitally important symbolism and meaning.

It is an historic fact that any nation which ever profaned God’s holy Sabbath (weekly), has lost contact with and knowledge of the true God, and gone into idolatry. The only nation which ever did keep God’s Sabbath is the only one that was kept in the true memory and worship of the true God— and only when they kept the Sabbath. When ancient Israel began to profane God’s Sabbath, they began to worship idols!

And in the same way, when in these New Testament times we have failed to observe God’s annual Sabbaths we, as a nation and people, are without knowledge of God’s true plan of reproducing Himself.

The so-called Christian churches today do not understand or teach what sin is— they do not teach that sin must be put away— they do not understand what man is, the purpose of life, the meaning of being born again, and of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit— they do not understand that God’s Church, today, is not to convert the world, but to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom as a witness— to live a life of overcoming sin, enduring unto the end, and that the over-comers shall reign with Christ, being kings, and priests, in His Kingdom.

They do not understand that Christ is coming again, and those who preach the second coming fail to understand its meaning and purpose. They have no knowledge or conception of the good news of the coming Kingdom of God— the only true New Testament Bible gospel.

Not understanding these vital steps in the true plan of regeneration, the Christian churches teach that the Law is abolished. They teach the pagan doctrine of the immortality of the soul, going immediately to heaven or hell at death and they teach that death is only life.

And all is confusion!

God’s feasts, or holy days, or Sabbaths, were commanded to be kept year after year, and forever! Thus God purposed to impress the truths these “high” Sabbaths picture upon all the minds of His children through all time, keeping His Church in the true understanding of His plan!

February 27, 2009

Proof: Jesus Christ’s Killers Found

heartofwisdom.com/.../

heartofwisdom.com/.../

If I asked you straight out who killed Jesus Christ, would you be able to give a correct answer? Some say it was the Jews, others argue it was Pilate. Certainly no one involved would argue anything but their innocence. But as you read, let me throw a startling statement at you. There is evidence that you the reader killed Christ as surely as if your hands were on the spear that pierced His side. Not you alone of course, but every one of us is guilty. Here’s how!

Definite Proof

In Acts 2:5-36, it states that men from every nation dwelling gathered in Jerusalem (verses 9-11), to witness a great event. Most still talked about the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ; the great earthquake at the time of His death, and the rent in the great veil of the Temple. These were no ordinary circumstances. Indeed, some even said they had seen dead men, risen from their graves, walking the streets of Jerusalem.

So the buzz was in the air and the rumours were flying, until that Pentecost morning of June 18, 31 A.D., when a great rushing of wind sounded about the city. Running to the source of the sound, a crowd began forming around a house with an upper room. The door opened and the eleven plus one stepped forth — and others with them. There was a eerie silence as everyone held their breath waiting for an explanation.

Then, as those that came forth from the house began to speak, an amazing thing happened — every person, regardless of his nation or language, heard them in his own native tongue. You can guess that there was a lot of amazement and wonder at this? What did it mean? Between the confusing din, some even began to accuse the apostles of drinking too much wine — of being drunk!

It was time for an explanation and the man called Peter held up his hands, stilling the crowd. His voice, strong and powerful, boomed out to the crowd the first recorded sermon of the New Testament. He explained the circumstances and denied their accusations by preaching the Word of God, under special inspiration from God.

But do you suppose he tried to calm the crowd with soothing words? No, in fact, he started out by accusing the large group of crucifying Jesus Christ (verses 22 and 23). What a beginning, considering that these people from all over the earth had not participated physically in the crucifixion! Yet Peter said under inspiration, “You have taken, and [you] by [your] wicked hands have crucified and slain. He repeated himself for good emphasis in verse 36.

It doesn’t matter if we are not directly descended from these people, just as it didn’t matter to Peter that those gathered in front of Him had not physically participated in the killing of Jesus Christ. We are all just as guilty as the High Priest who blasphemed and condemned Jesus Christ to death (Mark 14:63-65); just as guilty as those who spat on Him; or as those who struck Him with fists, bludgeoning His face until it was raw and swollen. Yes, even as guilty as the man who scourged Jesus Christ with a cat-o’-nine-tails (Matt. 27:26) until His skin was ruptured and torn and His bones were exposed (Ps. 22:17), leaving Him just short of death.

At this point, Jesus Christ was not even recognizable as a human being. The scourging was preparatory to the most vicious death yet devised by man. Christ was nailed to a cross by nails that drove deep into the red, raw flesh, pinning His hands and feet to that stake. We also cannot escape blame for this act, nor the final indignity of thrusting the spear in Jesus Christ’s side. Then we helped raise the cross and dropped it into the hole, as Christ’s flesh tore on the nails when it hit bottom.

Are you confused as to how you and I individually participated in an event that happened roughly 2000 years ago? Let me explain. Are you a Christian, an atheist or something in between? Do you practice the faith of Islam, Judaism, Taoism or other religions? Or are you someone “morally” upright, yet never attend a church service? It doesn’t matter. Most people the world over, irregardless of religious leanings, beliefs, faiths and so on literally curse Jesus Christ every day of the year when they trample on God’s Holy Days, or His weekly Sabbath. They mock Jesus Christ when they fail to keep the law of God and spit in His face by trying to do away with the Ten Commandments altogether. Everyone, through their actions and words, is guilty of crying out “crucify Him” in a thousand different ways (Mark 15:13).

We have helped put to death the only Saviour this world has ever known! We have despised and rejected “… a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed. All we [all of us] 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 (Isa. 53:3-6).

Disobedience to God’s laws caused His excruciating death. Yet here is the love of God, that while we are going about our despicable deeds and evil behaviour, Jesus Christ was commending His love toward us. He died for us (Rom. 5:8). This sacrifice applies to all people, of all times. Can we comprehend what Jesus Christ – the former Word who was with God for all eternity (John 1:1) – endured? The God who had lived from eternity without beginning or end, without mother or father, without pain, and the very express image, brightness and character of the Father and His power. He sat down with the Father and made the plans to come to this earth and suffer that we might live!

This God of majesty, power and awesome splendour took the job willingly, predetermining to endure the cross that we might live (Heb. 12:2). He was made a mortal man to suffer death for you and for me! Think of how humbling it would be to come in the same weak flesh and blood as your creation, but with the ultimate purpose of destroying death, pain, sickness, disease and misery (Heb. 2:9, 14).

And while doing so, this great being was tempted just like we are tempted — conquering the downward pull of the flesh perfectly without sin (Heb. 4:15). It wasn’t without effort either, as He prayed and humbled Himself before His Father for strength, “… and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Those who deny Him fail to understand that all “nations [on earth] are as a drop in a bucket and are counted as the small dust of the balance ….” (Isa. 40:9-15). Think about that. What is your net value to God? When all nations in totality are only a drop in a bucket, how significant are we, who are counted as specks of dust? Yet this great God sacrificed Himself for us! That is almost incomprehensible.

What’s Your Reaction?

So how concerned are you, or am I, over this terrible death? We have a responsibility which must be taken literally. God says it is He who calls us (John 6:44), and desires we realize the seriousness of our crimes, repenting of them (Acts 2:38). This does not apply to those who sin or drift along, nor to the scoffers and those full of pride and vanity. Not if we keep sinning! Not if we just drift along, or are filled with pride and vanity!

God desires humbleness (I Pet. 5:5-6) and will resist all other forms of character. When we exercise true repentance of our past misdeeds and are properly baptized and, by God’s Spirit put into the true Church of God, the living body of Christ — then we have God’s complete forgiveness.  He is able to blot out our sins, our transgressions — no matter how wicked we have been (Ps. 51:1). And yes, this despite all having participated in the killing of Christ. We indeed have a God of love and deep concern.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.