The Apple Of God's Eye

June 27, 2011

White Lies, Black Truth – Where Do You Stand?

Many things in today’s world just aren’t what they seem. It’s the era of the “sophisticated lie.” Who can you truly believe? What is behind all this lying and duplicity?

The Founder of true Christianity said: “He that is faithful [honest] in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).

He who would steal a postage stamp would likely steal money or other valuables also — if he got the chance!

A lie often has to be covered by several other lies, which have to be covered by yet more lies. Such an intricate web of duplicity is woven that it becomes almost impossible to discover the real truth.

Lying and stealing often go hand in hand. A person who steals will often need to lie to cover up his crime. Perhaps this is why the eighth commandment — “Thou shalt not steal” — is followed immediately by the commandment against bearing false witness (Deut. 5:19, 20). Elsewhere in the Pentateuch we read: “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another” (Lev. 19:11). (more…)

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April 7, 2011

Five Doctrines Which Identify The True Church Of God

WHY were you born? After death, then what? What is man’s destiny?

These are the most important questions of your life, yet they are often lost in the shuffle of most religious debates.

A cloud of superstition has crept over the main denominations of Christianity. This cloud of counterfeit doctrines prevents mankind from seeing the clear scriptures which outline God’s master plan for man.

In place of the five fundamental biblical doctrines which identify God’s true Church, man has concocted five false doctrines, which are commonly assumed to be in the Bible.

Following is a two-pronged presentation of each of the five fundamental doctrines: first an explanation of the true biblical teaching; then a study of the counterfeit.

1. The “Plan for All Seasons”

The plan of God, expressed in the four following doctrines, is pictured by the first doctrine: the weekly Sabbath (Ex. 31:13-17) and the annual holy days (Lev. 23), which picture that plan of God through seven steps and three annual seasons.

The “plan for all seasons” begins with the Passover in early spring. This solemn memorial service pictures the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who died to pay the physical and spiritual penalty for man’s sins. This initial holy day is immediately followed by the Days of Unleavened Bread, picturing sin (as leaven) being removed from the lives of newly baptized Christians.

The third holy day, Pentecost, comes during early summer. Just as the early summer harvest is a small foretaste of the great autumn harvest, Pentecost pictures the relatively “small flock” of called-out Christians who receive God’s Holy Spirit during this 6,000-year age of man’s rule.

There are four more holy days clustered in one month of autumn. The first is the Day of Trumpets, representing the trumpeted end-time warning to the world and Christ’s subsequent return to earth at the “last trump.” The Day of Atonement follows nine days later, picturing the Christian’s resurrection to sonship (being “at one”) with God the Father.

Five days later is the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles representing the millennial fall “harvest” of human beings and the rule of God for 1,000 years.

The last holy day, called the “Last Great Day,” represents the time following the millennium when every human being who has ever lived (not having a chance for salvation in this age) will be resurrected to life and given his first chance to live the way of life God intended — on a beautiful, rebuilt planet earth. (more…)

May 29, 2010

Why Did Christ Come To Earth?

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Christ came to earth the first time for a great purpose. “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see [or think they see] might be made blind” (John 9:39). Christ came to this world for the purpose of judgment, or justice.

One definition in Thayers Lexicon for judgment is “a matter to be judicially decided, a lawsuit, a case in court.”

Christ came to this earth that we “might see” what true justice is and how we are to be judged. This world hated His judgment, or system of justice, and killed Him. But the second time He comes, Christ will enforce His justice based on God’s law of love. He will rule according to what is right and wrong.

Why don’t more religions discuss this justice system. A true Christian is one who follows Christ. If we are Christians, we should seek God’s law and judgment

Christianity is often the greatest hypocrisy of all. People profess it, but they don’t believe in Christ’s message of justice. They talk about Christ, but they don’t teach His judgment or justice based on His law, the Ten Commandments.

Men don’t know what true justice is. But Christ knows and he wants to give sight to the blind. Soon, in your lifetime, Christ will implement His system of justice based on His law, in spite of man’s rebellion.

August 13, 2009

The Spiritual Significance Of Numbers

Numbers are used in Scripture, not merely as in Nature, with supernatural design, but with spiritual significance, which may be summarized as follow. (The whole subject may be studied in Dr. Bullinger’s work on Number in Appendix 10 from the Companion Bible).

One – denotes unity, and commencement.  The first occurrences of words or utterances denote their essential significance, in interpretation.  Words that occur only once, in the originals, are emphatic and important.  First day, Light.  The first occurrences of all important words and expressions are noted in the margin.

Two – denotes difference.  If two different persons agree in testimony it is conclusive.  Otherwise two implies opposition, enmity, and division, as was the work of the Second day.  Compare the use of the word “double” applied to “heart”, “tongue”, “mind”, etc.

Three – denotes completeness, as three lines complete a plane figure.  Hence, three is significant of Divine perfection and completeness.  The third day completes the fundamentals of creation-work.  The fourth, fifth, and sixth days are the counterpart and repetition of the first, second, and third, and correspond respectively.  (See the structure of Gen. 1, p. 3.)  The number, three, includes resurrection also; for on the third day the earth rose up out of the deep, and the fruit rose up out of the earth.

Four – denotes creative works (3+1), and always has reference to the material creation, as pertaining to the earth, and things “under the sun”, and things terrestrial.

Five – denotes Divine grace.  It is 4+1.  It is God adding His gifts and blessing to the works of His hands.  The Heb. Ha’aretz (the earth), by “Gematria” (i.e.  the addition of the numerical value of the letters together) is a multiple of four, while Hashamayim (the heavens) is a multiple of five.  The Gematria of Caris (charis), the Greek for Grace, is also a multiple of five.  It is the leading factor in the Tabernacle measurements.

Six – denotes the human number.  Man was created on the sixth day; and this first occurrence of the number makes it (and all multiples of it) the hall-mark of all connected with man.  He works six days.  The hours of his day are a multiple of six.  Athaliah usurped the throne of Judah six years.  The great men who have stood out in defiance of God (Goliath and Nebuchadnezzar and Antichrist) are all emphatically marked by this number.

Seven – denotes spiritual perfection.  It is the number or hall-mark of the Holy Spirit’s work.  He is the Author of God’s Word, and seven is stamped on it as the water-mark is seen in the manufacture of paper.  He is the Author and Giver of life; and seven is the number which regulates every period of Incubation and Gestation, in insects, birds, animals, and man.

Eight – denotes resurrection, regeneration; a new beginning or commencement.  The eighth is a new first.  Hence the octave in music, color, days of the week, etc.  It is the number which has to do with the LORD, Who rose on the eighth, or new “first-day”.  This is, therefore, the Dominical number.  By Gematria (see above), ‘JJjjIhsous (Jesus) makes the number 888.  It, or its multiple is impressed on all that has to do with the Lord’s Names, the Lord’s People, the Lord’s works.

Nine – denotes Finality of judgment.  It is 3×3, the product o 989 f Divine completeness.  The number nine, or its factors or multiples, is seen in all cases when judgment is the subject.

Ten – denotes Ordinal perfection.  Another new first; after the ninth digit, when numeration commences anew.

Eleven – denotes disorder, disorganization, because it is one short of the number twelve (see below).

Twelve – denotes Governmental perfection.  It is the number of factor of all numbers connected with government :  whether by Tribes or Apostles, or in measurements of time, or in things which have to do with government in the heavens and the earth.

Thirteen – denotes rebellion, apostasy, defection, dis-integration, revolution, &c.  The first occurrence fixes this (Gen. 14:4); and the second confirms it (Gen. 17:25).  It, and its multiples, are seen in all numbers, and in the Gematria (see above) of all names and passages that are associated with rebellion, &c.

Seventeen
– denotes a combination of spirit and order (10+7).  It is the seventh prime number (as 13 is the sixth prime number).

Other numbers follow the laws which govern the smaller, as being their factors, sums, products or multiples :  e.g.  24 is 12×2, a higher form of 12.

25 = 52.     Grace intensified.
27 = 33.     Divinity intensified.
28 = 7×4.    Spiritual perfection in connection with the earth.
29 = 33.     Intensifying of Divine judgment.
30 = 3×10.  Divine perfection, applied to order.
40 = 10×4.  Divine order applied to earthly things.  Hence, the number of probation.

The four perfect numbers, 3, 7, 10, and 12, have for their product the remarkable number 2,520.  It is the Least Common Multiple of the ten digits governing all numeration; and can, therefore, be divided by each of the nine digits, without a remainder.  It is the number of chronological perfection (7×360).

June 21, 2009

Reincarnation: Myth Or Fact?

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Reincarnation is a concept which is common to many religious beliefs and spiritual practices. Those who believe in this theory teach that after death a person’s “soul” is reborn in a new body, which is sometimes referred to as the “transmigration of the soul” or metempsychosis.

The abundance of reincarnation myths around the world finds appeal in the idea that a fundamental part of themselves will live on after death, even though their bodies may decay.

The immortality of the soul doctrine (especially prevalent in the West) is basic to the belief in reincarnation. But, that doctrine is false! The classic inquiry “Who am I?” is being replaced by the puzzling question “Who was I?”. The Bible plainly shows that one’s soul is NOT immortal. Notice Genesis 3:19:

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust [not another body] shalt thou return.”

Also notice Ecclesiastes 3:19-20:

“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast …. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.”

Psalm 146:4 states that when a man dies “his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts
perish.”

We can further this concept for those who say the body is irrelevant to the concept of reincarnation by quoting Heb. 9:27, which states that  a man “is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. In other words, he is NOT reborn to die over and over again.

So if this belief is not biblical, how did it start?

What is reincarnation?

“Reincarnation, literally “to be made flesh again”, is a doctrine or metaphysical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. This essential part is often referred to as the spirit or soul, the “higher” or “true” self, “divine spark”, or “I”. According to such beliefs, a new personality is developed during each life in the physical world, but some part of the self remains constant throughout the successive lives.” [wikipedia]

Answers.com terms reincarnation as rebirth of the soul in another body. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia terms it as the doctrine of the rebirth of the soul in one or more existences. Oxford University Press expresses it as existence of a soul that is periodically reincarnated in a body. And Columbia Encyclopedia references it as occupation by the soul of a new body after the death of the earlier body.

The teaching of reincarnation (a religion of the east) is making heavy inroads into Western society today. However, it is important to understand that it is in no way a scientific or religious truth.

Reincarnation in Hindu art

Reincarnation in Hindu art

The concept of this belief can be stated as follows: after death, the human soul leaves the body and passes into either 1) a plant body, an animal body, another human body, or even an extra-terrestrial body.

Belief in reincarnation has ancient roots. This doctrine is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism (including Yoga, Vaishnavism, and Shaivism).

It also appears in Jainism and Sikhism, two faiths that grew out of Hinduism and are still practiced in India. Jainism shares with Hinduism a belief in many gods. Sikhism, a monotheistic religion, combines some elements of Islam with Hinduism.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all began in India, where the idea of rebirth first appears in texts dating from about 700 B.C. They share a belief in samsara—the wheel of birth and rebirth—and karma—the idea that an individual’s future incarnation depends on the way he or she lived. People who have done good deeds and led moral lives are reborn into higher social classes; those who have not are doomed to return as members of the lower classes or as animals. Only by achieving the highest state of spiritual development can a person escape samsara altogether. (Mythencyclopedia)

The idea was further entertained by some ancient Greek philosophers, the Egyptians and Greeks,  among the Celts and Druids, and in various “mystery religions” of the Near East. It spread somewhat among the Hebrews, before the time of Christ, and has survived among various Hasidic groups in the world today.

Many modern Neopagans also believe in it, as do some New Age movements, along with followers of Spiritism, practitioners of certain African traditions, and students of esoteric philosophies such as Kabbalah, and Gnostic and Esoteric Christianity. The Buddhist concept of Rebirth although often referred to as reincarnation differs significantly from the Hindu-based traditions and New Age movements in that there is no unchanging “soul” (or eternal self) to reincarnate.

People apart from ancient Israel had no concept of a personal God,  so  reincarnation took hold as a way of explaining many of the mysteries of this life. The perpetual state of karma (as a primitive form of retribution) supposedly helps to  “expiate’ the sins of previous incarnations.

Does the Bible mention reincarnation?

While the Bible does not mention the term reincarnation, it does condemn it in context in speaking of John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John, Christ is asked about a blind man: Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind? In other words, he must have done something wrong in a previous life, or he wouldn’t have been born with blindness. To which the Savior replied: Neither he nor his parents sinned…but that the works of God might be manifest in him (John 9:2-3r).Jesus Christ here clearly refuted the idea that the existence of evil can be explained by reincarnation. Why? Because reincarnation undercuts the gospel message in three ways.

  1. First, it assumes that God is impersonal and is therefore unknowable.
  2. Second, reincarnation denigrates the Atonement of Christ.
  3. Third, it denies the fact that Jesus physically resurrected from the dead.

You see, the law of karma is entirely incompatible with the teachings of the Bible. There is no mechanistic “wheel of re-birth” (as taught by Hindus, Buddhists, and their Western equivalents). Those who are now in the grave will NOT go to heaven, as “no one has gone up into Heaven, except He having come down out of Heaven, the Son of Man…., and neither will their consciousness leave the grave:

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29)

Esoteric foolishness

Still, many tell of crackpot esoteric experiences which seems real to them, but they conveniently throw out the Scriptures to go with their own impressions and subjective opinions. Such people are attracted by superficial and grandiose nonsense about hallucinatory “memories” of previous lifetimes-often gained through “regressive hypnosis.” That might make for some exciting storytelling, and if good enough, maybe even land them an appearance on Oprah and guaranteed a few book sales. But it doesn’t make for good reality.

...according to the idea of reincarnation, if one is “saved” at all it is only after many lifetimes of working out the consequences of one’s sins. This is the cold and dreary legalism of the pagan religions which was totally abolished by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. (Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose): The Soul After Death)

The term “Christian” has been rendered nearly meaningless now with people of every bizarre belief and teaching claiming that their views can comport with Christianity. Ignoring the word of God and therefore avoiding being moved by the Spirit of God, such people circumvent the entire process of Christian growth. There is no spiritual maturity, because there is no growing where there is no knowing (II Pet. 3:18).

Christ told us that the way was narrow that leads to eternal life. Anyone who denies the clear teachings of Scripture about the afterlife denies Christ by his rejection of the Word of God.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The real nature of man is something few understand. The teaching of the immortality of the  soul is simply un-biblical and cannot be substantiated by scripture. Those who try do so with limited understanding or false pretenses.

June 4, 2009

Life after Death: It's Not What You Think!

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yinvsyang.com

Few things have intrigued mankind as much as the concept of an afterlife. After about 75-80 years, death is the surest thing in anyone’s life. Eventually, everyone has to face that fact, but what follows death? The popular belief is that an immortal soul continues to live on, either in heaven or hell. Yet is that what the Bible teaches?

Return from the afterlife?

Let’s review what happens when a man dies. First, some people claim that they have experienced “life” after they had supposedly died and returned to tell about their unusual experience.

Though many of these happenings are understandably astounding and seem to contradict what the Bible says about
death, the whole idea of this so-called “life after life” experience is based on the premise that these people died.

According to the medical profession, these individuals were clinically dead. However, medical science has not yet agreed on what constitutes actual death in a human being. Real death, according to the Bible, is total and complete unconsciousness — without memory, feeling, knowledge, or perception (Eccl. 9:5, 10; Ps. 6:5). Therefore, it is evident that those who were revived to relate their experiences were not actually dead, but simply in an unconscious state.

Furthermore, science has discovered that the human brain and nervous system are actuated by electrical signals and impulses. The brain is dependent on a steady supply of blood and oxygen to function properly. When circulation and respiration are impaired or interrupted for even a few minutes, the brain begins to malfunction, and will eventually cease functioning altogether.

It is thought by some researchers that the strange lights, sensations, perceptions, and the like, associated with “coming
back from death” may be attributable to the electrical malfunctions of the brain and nervous system associated with the
trauma of nearly dying.

The fact is: we don’t really know, but there is one undeniable truth – these people did not come back from the dead.

The truth about death

In Romans 6:23, we read that “the wages of sin is DEATH,” not everlasting life in either heaven or hell. Real death, as we have already seen from the Biblical account, is a total and complete unconsciousness — without memory, feeling, knowledge, or perception. Why does it say this? Because the Bible makes it abundantly clear that the doctrine of going to heaven after you die is complete and utter nonsense:

  1. “And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven” (John 3:13).
  2. “For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.” So we see that David also, a “man after God’s own heart” is still in the grave. Surely, he deserves a place in heaven if there was such a place to go after death?

The commentaries (as well as critics), get all convoluted about this verse. Because of the inherent belief of heaven for the saved, they cannot come up with a unified conclusion. They reason that this verse merely means t is the body that is in the grave, but not the soul. But they reason around the plain language of the Bible.

No immortal soul

Death is the effect, or “wages” earned, for living the way of sin. The reason man has to die is sin. Sin causes death. Every man is subject to death because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thus every man is destined to die.

But when he is dead, God informs us: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Note that there is no work, no device, no knowledge and no wisdom in the grave. The dead know nothing — they are simply dead! Solomon was also inspired to write, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing…” (verse 5, Revised Standard Version).

Those in the grave cannot do anything and their souls don’t praise God, as many believe. That is reserved for those living (Isaiah 38:18-19). The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, which simply means a living, breathing creature. When God created mankind, man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). He didn’t possess an immortal soul, but became a living, breathing creature. The same Hebrew word is used to describe the life of animals — “every living creature” — in Genesis 1:21, 24 and 2:19. Like the animals, man does not possess an immortal soul.

When an individual dies, his body simply returns to dust (Genesis 3:19) — just as an animal does when it dies (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20). When God created man, He created him in His own image and likeness. In the Creator’s great wisdom, He created man with a temporary physical existence — subject to decay and death — so that, should he reject God’s way of life, man would mercifully cease to exist for all eternity.

At the re-creation, recorded in Genesis, God created two physical trees — symbolic of two ways of life — two choices (Genesis 2:9). God then clearly instructed man regarding which choice he should make (verses 16-17). He told him that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would lead to death! But man did not believe his Creator. Instead, Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan’s lie that they would not die — that man is an immortal soul — that they already had eternal life (Genesis 3:4-6). Disobeying God, they incurred the death penalty. Twice God records in the book of Ezekiel that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, 20).

A change after death

But there is an actual life after death. No, I’m not contradicting myself. The patriarch Job posed the question: “If a man die, shall he live again?….” He then answers his own question by stating, “…all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14). Job was expecting a change — a change to what?

The Bible reveals that, ultimately, everyone dies physically. The Apostle Paul stated: “[l]t is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). All men die physically — all suffer the first death. As all die physically, all will, at some time, be judged. God will judge all humans according to a plan — a time order — at different periods of time. Each of God’s judgment periods is followed by a resurrection. The Bible shows that all mankind will be resurrected in one of three resurrections.

The first resurrection

God records in 1 Corinthians 15, also known as the resurrection chapter, that “as in Adam all DIE, even so in Christ shall ALL [the same “all”] BE MADE ALIVE. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (verses 22-23). At this time only God’s people are being judged (I Peter 4:17). Following this present period of judgment, all “they that are Christ’s at his coming” will be resurrected or changed (1 Corinthians 15:23, 52). These verses refer to the first resurrection, that of the saints, or firstfruits, called out of the world now, to be changed to spirit life at the return of Christ. This is the change Job awaited.

The second resurrection

But what about the rest of humanity — those not called and being judged now? I Corinthians 15:24 focuses on another resurrection — the second resurrection — that will occur at “the end” of Christ’s millennial rule on Earth. In contrast to the first resurrection, this is a resurrection to physical life and a 100-year period of judgment (Isaiah 65:20) for all those cut off from a relationship with God during Satan’s 6,000-year reign on Earth.

We find a more detailed description of the nature of this resurrection in Ezekiel 37. God is not a respecter of persons and will provide every human with the opportunity to get to know Him, choose to and learn to live by His laws, and — after a period of growth and overcoming — be born into the Family of God. This will be the greatest resurrection in terms of numbers. At this time, the billions who have lived cut off from God during Satan’s dominion will be given their opportunity to learn and become a part of God’s awesome plan for mankind.

The third resurrection

Following the second resurrection and judgment of those in it, is another resurrection — the third resurrection, also to physical life. This resurrection is reserved for the willfully disobedient who cling to the way of sin. They are resurrected to be condemned to death. Only a loving God would devise such a merciful plan that prevents man from living in eternal misery and causing misery to those around him.

All three resurrections are described in the 20th chapter of the book of Revelation.

Born again produces change

So the change spoken of in the bible can only be undergone if we are born again. What does it really mean to be born again? Christ made it very plain: “That which is born of the flesh IS flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit IS spirit” (John 3:6). And physical flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50). We must be born again, or changed to immortal spirit.

April 7, 2009

Does God Condone The Immorality And Violence Of The Bible?

The Bible is the great instruction book that tells man both how to live and how NOT to live. Jesus said that we should live by every word of God (Matt. 4:4). The Bible is a very practical book, and, besides containing direct instructions from God, it also contains examples of real-life situations from which we all can learn. It shows that disobedience to God’s laws always exacts a penalty.

The Bible shows that all people are subject to human passions and that everyone makes mistakes (Rom. 3:23). Human weaknesses and shortcomings are not covered up. In fact, the sins of even the most righteous are revealed in a plain and truthful manner. Why? God wants us to know that His laws are eternal, and that we, living in this modern, sophisticated world, are not somehow immune to or exempt from the laws which govern human behavior.

The recorded examples of the mistakes of others are meant to help keep us from making the same mistakes. The things others have done act as stop signs and traffic signals to help keep us on the straight and narrow way which leads to eternal life. Study I Corinthians 10:6 in this light.

Although the accounts of immorality are a necessary part of teaching us what is right and wrong in God’s sight, the Bible never dwells on such acts. Certainly, it may leave no doubt about the nature of an event, but no account in the Bible could be described as being “dirty” or pornographic.

The essential facts are simply recorded, and then it is left up to us to learn the lessons. Without a doubt, learning by example is far better than learning by personal experience that sin brings dire consequences and, without repentance ultimately leads to eternal death. When final judgment is passed, no one will be able to say to God that He didn’t care or that He didn’t warn us about sin. God is love, His law is perfect, and His written Word is a lamp to guide us to perfection and life everlasting (Ps. 119:105; 19:7; I John 4:8, 16; John 12:48-50; Gal. 6:8).

April 4, 2009

Why Did People Live Longer Before The Flood Of Noah's Time?

 

According to the Bible, people once lived for hundreds of years. Adam lived 930 years. Methuselah lived the longest of any person mentioned. He died at 969 years of age (see Genesis 5). Shortly after the Flood, however, we find people living much shorter life spans. Abraham, for example, lived 175 years (Gen. 25:7). A few generations later, Joseph lived “only” 110 years (Gen. 50:22). We are told in the Psalms that 70 years is considered to be a good long life (Ps. 90:10). David died at that age and was described as being an old man full of years (I Chron. 29:28). That was about 1000 B.C. 

Before the Flood
 
 
Biblical Patriarch Life Span Age at Birth of First Son
Adam 930 130
Seth 912 105
Enosh 905 90
Cainan 910 70
Mahalealel 895 65
Jared 962 162
Enoch 365 65
Methuselah 969 187
Lamech 777 182
Noah 950 500
 
After the Flood
 
 
Biblical Patriarch Life Span Age at Birth of First Son
Shem 600 100
Arphaxad 498 35
Salah 433 30
Eber 464 34
Peleg 239 30
Reu 239 32
Serug 230 30
Nahor 148 29
Terah 205 70

 

Chart Source: Biblestudy.org

There have been many speculations concerning the great shortening of human life spans. The Bible, however, does not directly explain how or why this came to be. Possibly, God simply determined that about 70 years is sufficient time for a person to fulfill his purpose. Those who are called can prepare in that length of time to receive immortality at the return of Christ. Those not yet called can learn that the ways of man do not bring satisfaction or fulfillment. Thus, when they arise in the judgment they will be able to choose God’s way.

February 23, 2009

What Constitutes Godly Music?

The arts nearly always reflect the culture and society from which they spring, and by nature tend to strengthen and stabilize trends. Studies into the psychological reactions of people to music have demonstrated its unusual power to stir the emotions. Music in the hands of a clever artist can evoke any desired emotional response. For example, motion picture producers are well aware of the power of music to command strong reactions in their audiences. If they want the movie-watcher to tremble in stark horror, they put suspenseful, trembling music behind the terrible scene.

The principles to follow in judgment are these: music should bring enjoyment, right emotional response, and should reflect good quality. Such characteristics bring honor and glory to GOD, and thereby characterize good music. Of course, even the finest music can be put to wrong uses, making it wrong, not of itself, but because of its wrong context.

If for any reason music detracts from the perfect way of life God has revealed for our good, then it is wrong, and should be avoided. I personally look forward to a renaissance of great music in Tomorrow’s World — because then the Creator of music will be in charge.

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