The Apple Of God's Eye

February 12, 2011

What Did Christ Look Like In The Flesh?

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The debate on what Jesus Christ looked like in the flesh has many contradictions. The Bible does not give an exact description of Jesus, but a simple study of the Bible shows that Christ could not have looked as modern pictures or movies represent Him.

As a human being, Jesus Christ was a Jew (Heb. 7:14) and looked like a normal Jewish man of His time. He was also a carpenter, working outdoors. That means He was tanned in the summer and wind-burnt in the winter, with a healthy, weathered look about Him. Since carpenters at the time of Christ were also familiar with stone masonry, Christ would have been muscular enough to carry and place large stones in homes and buildings. He was definitely not weak and feminine looking like modern pictures depict Him.

Bible description of Christ

The only Biblical description of Jesus Christ in the flesh is given as this: “[H]e hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:2). In other words, Christ had no distinguishing features or handsomeness that made Him stand out in a crowd. He even used this fact to His own advantage many times. He was able to escape harm by blending safely into a mass of other Jews on more than one occasion. Remember also, Judas had to point Him out to the authorities with a kiss (Matt. 26:48-50).

It is also important to recognize that the Jews of Christ’s day considered it a great shame for a man to have long hair (1 Cor. 11:14). So Christ would never have looked like the pampered, long-haired, easy-to-point-out man modern pictures make Him appear to be.

Other than these conclusions, we have no more information about his actual physical countenance. In fact, anything else is a matter of speculation and uncertainty. The New Testament is likely silent on these points because it is more important to center attention on the message, rather than the messenger.

Idolatrous image of Christ

Still, there is a general “standardized appearance of Christ that is largely accepted today. The image of a fully-bearded Jesus with long hair did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. Earlier images were much more varied. Beliefs that certain images are historically authentic, or have acquired an authoritative status from church tradition, remain powerful in both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. The Shroud of Turin is now the best-known example, though the Image of Edessa and the Veil of Veronica were better known in medieval times.” (Wikipedia)

The modern depiction of Christ is wrong, of course, but that hasn’t deterred Christianity at large from  using that false image in an idolatrous way through pictures, on crosses, etc. But God wants us to think of Jesus Christ as He actually is today. The Bible states:

“His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters” (Rev. 1:14-15).

As the living Son of God, Jesus Christ’s face shines with fiery brilliance. His spirit body burns like molten brass. We could not look into His face and not be harmed by the experience. All false representations of Christ through crucifixes, pictures and statues fail miserably to represent Him as He truly is. They are wholly false and must be discarded if true Christians are to worship God in spirit and in truth.

September 29, 2009

Is Your Religion Offering You A Bailout?

Rev. 12:9 says this world started with Satan deceiving the first humans and he continues to do so to the entire world today. How many people (including organized religion) believe this verse? Does it really encompass the whole world, including the thousands of bickering religions systems in existence today? Of course it does, that’s why it is in the Bible.

II Cor. 4:3 – Scripture says the God of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe (II Cor. 4:3). Now I know that many Christians will say they believe, but do they? Are their actions in tune with what God says in the Bible? Let’s have a deeper look.

This is NOT God’s world or civilization

Despite the facts and evils that fly in our face, there is no good in this present world. America likes to hold itself up as the world’s standard, but despite the blessings of Abraham, this country leads the world in pornographic filth, drug consumption and a host of other evils that make other countries shake their heads.

This is Satan’s world entirely. God, at the present time, has a hands off policy towards mankind. That is why we see unparalleled human suffering.  Jesus came to start a new civilization which will be God’s world (future). God has NOT tried to repair the world and neither is there a power struggle between God and Satan.

When Christ first came to earth, He was a light to the world, but men did not recognize Him because they love darkness (John 3:19). This is not just talking about the Jews, as some commentaries state, but about all men – the entire world. How do I know that all men would have reacted the same way? Because Jer. 17:9 says man’s mind is deceitful above all things. Notice how powerful is Satan’s deception. He has deceived mankind to be incapable of seeing things in a straightforward manner. All are full of shrewd guile, and moved only by motives of self-interest..

After 6000 years, most still think this is a good world. Satan also sees his way as better than God’s, as workable. He is an espouser of change, just not positive change. How can we even know the heart if it is so dangerously sick?

Destruction of this world’s systems?

We usually think of Christ as the “Prince of Peace.” But did you know that your Bible says He is actually coming to make war with man? Has your particular religion ever explained this to you?

Rev 19:15 – “And out of His mouth goes forth a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations. And He will shepherd them with an iron rod. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of God Almighty.”

Jesus Christ will actually fight against unrepentant sinning nations. He is coming to destroy the world’s systems of government. Some will say that God cannot do this, as He is love. But notice that Rev. 11:18 says He destroys those who destroy the earth. Man is destructive, not God. He has to put a stop to it or man would wipe himself out. God has to intervene by sending His Son to this earth.

The Pharisees in Christ’s time, much like our leaders today, could not understand that Christ would sit with sinners and not the “supposed righteous.” But He told them that THEY were wrong, and that they needed healing from their spiritual sickness, or their Jer. 17:9 mind (Matt. 9:10-13, Hos. 6:6).

Modern religion offers spiritual bailouts

We hear about bailouts, prop-ups, and rescues for companies today due to financial mismanagement However, all of these fail to address the cause, which is changing what is wrong. That is what Atonement is all about. If we keep destroying the earth, Jesus Christ has to intervene to stop us.

In Heb. 9, Paul spoke to people who knew the symbols, but not the meaning. This is much like the world today. It does not understand the Bible, and neither do religious denominations or groups who think everything will be provided for them – no change necessary, no looking at the cause. Quite simply, their religion offers to bail them out spiritually, to remove their guilt without effort, without repentance, without law keeping, without becoming one with God. This is impossible. Christ will not bear our sins and atone for them if we make no changes. The death of Jesus Christ is not enough to give us salvation, yet religion today worships only a dead Christ on the cross, not a living intercessor. This can only be done by keeping the law of God, because once we come out of sin, an unrepentant life will be of no value to God.

Verses 13-14 of Heb. 9 show a new project, a new way and new world to serve the living God. We have to have a clean slate and washing to move on from the dead works of this world to follow God. In God we live, move and have our being. Our guilt ceases to exist if we repent (Acts 17:28).

The Day of Atonement offers us the opportunity to fast (Lev. 23:29), which is a vivid reminder of being saved from destruction – the ultimate bailout. It is about salvation. Our dollar says in God we trust, yet God is the only one we won’t turn to in humility and prayer so that our guilt might be atoned for.

Our greatest need is for God to reveal our sickness, and then to change it. This is addressing the problem and starting over with what is right. If our sins are not atoned for first, then there can be a special relationship between God and His children (Lev. 23:28).

Humans are wracked with sin and deeply flawed. Sin divides man from God (Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 66:18). It is a chasm between us — a tear in the fabric of the family unity God yearns to share with us. As passionate as God’s love is, it is equaled by the passion of His hatred of sin. He simply will not abide sin.

God’s master plan involves spiritually converting human minds to the point where we come to despise sin and embrace righteousness as He does — in every thought, word and deed. This is the fundamental change required in God’s plan for mankind.

In other words, if we are ever to fulfill God’s purpose for us sinful human beings — if ever the violence set in motion by Lucifer’s rebellion is to be set right — God must institute a process of atonement. Sin must be dealt with; the presence of sin in our lives demands radical action to remove it, expunge it, wipe it out, so that true at-one-ment between man and God can occur.

Is this what your religion teaches, or does it offer a flaccid come-as-you-are doctrine? Only one can be right!

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

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