The Apple Of God's Eye

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 18, 2009

What Does It Mean To Cast Your Pearls Before Swine?

Matthew 7:6 is an analogy Jesus used to show how people who have not had their minds opened by God to receive spiritual understanding will often react when they hear the true Gospel.

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

Put another way, Jesus was teaching His disciples not to try to convert those who are not yet being called (John 6:44). Such people are likely to respond by treating God’s truth like dirt.

Just as a pig would trample fine pearls into the mud because it doesn’t know any better and cannot appreciate such worth, the person whose mind is not yet receptive cannot grasp the awesome value of the truth. To them, the truth would be meaningless and would be discarded. They would just trample it underfoot, so to speak.

God’s truth should never be forced upon anyone, but true Christians should “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh … a reason of the hope that is in [us], with meekness and fear [gentleness and respect]” (I Pet. 3:15).

In other words, it is right to explain what he believes when someone sincerely asks. Such interest may indicate that God is opening the person’s mind.

Notice how, at another time, Jesus used pearls to express the value of the truth and of God’s Kingdom. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:45-46). God wants us to treat His truth like a priceless gem.

March 14, 2009

A Passover Examination

Every year, the Passover comes and goes. The world largely ignores this day, but even those that partake of it may view it as a matter of routine, while glossing over its deep meaning. The Passover is one of the most important occasions in a true Christian life, and its solemn meaning must be refreshed annually. That is why 1Corinthians 11:27-28 admonishes us to examine ourselves before we partake of its symbolism.

An important aspect of the Passover is how we partake of it. Jesus’ body was broken for us, for our healing. So we read in verses 29-30, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself not discerning the Lord’s body.”

Albert Barnes’ Notes On The Bible says many people interpret the word “unworthingly” to mean their personal qualifications; or to be “unworthy” or “unfit” to partake of the Passover. But the word “unworthily” ” (ἀναξίως anaxiōs) is used as an “adverb,” rather than an “adjective,” and simply refers to taking this ordinance in a proper manner, with a deep sense of our sinfulness, and our need of a Saviour and Redeemer.

Does accepting Christ or baptizing save you?

So although the world, in large part, does not obey of the biblical command to observe the Passover, the meaning of it has been appropriated and twisted. Quite a few denominations believe that if you are “saved,” you go to heaven when you die. Otherwise, they say you go straight to hell, a torture that continues eternally. But on the bright side — all you have to do is accept Jesus Christ, and the blood of Christ saves you. Bingo, there’s your ticket to heaven, right? Not so fast!

Let me set the record straight here — the blood of Christ does not save anyone! Such a statement is unbiblical. Romans 5:9 says we are “justified” (or rendered innocent), by the blood of Christ. In other words, it was shed for our forgiveness of sins past and we are reconciled to God the Father by the death of Christ. But we are to be saved by His resurrection, and through our own resurrection, made possible through Jesus Christ.

Others think if they’re baptized they’re saved. That is also not biblical. You are not a Christian merely because you’re baptized. Here’s Mark 7:6-9 says on the matter: “How be it in vain do they worship me.” Yes you can accept Christ, believe in Christ, worship Him, but still do it in vain. “…teaching for doctrines the commandments of men and making the commandments of God of none affect by your tradition.”

So how exactly are you saved? What is the biblical teaching on the subject?

Two conditions to be saved

Luke 13:3, 5 tells us exactly the opposite of what some denominations teach — regardless of how many times you’ve been baptised, or what you believe — if you have not repented you will perish. Read it for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you worship and accept Christ as your Saviour, nor how much you believe in Him. You must repent to be saved.

John 8:30-31 states: “As Jesus spoke these words many believed on him.” Here are people that believed on Christ, yet He said to them: “If you continue in my word then you may be my disciples indeed.” They were told to do something, not merely believe!

Notice the immediate reaction of the people. Verse 33 shows they began to dispute Him right away. They believed on Christ, but they did not believe what He said.

So just accepting Christ, just believing on Christ doesn’t save you. You have to believe what He says, and you have to repent.

Contrary to popular religious opinion, there are two official biblical conditions to be saved: (1) repentance and (2) faith.

Mark 1:14-15 shows that Jesus came into Galilee preaching, “…the time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand, REPENT ye, and BELIEVE the gospel.” A lot of people don’t fully know what that means. They say, Oh, I’ve repented; yes, I know I’ve sinned. But they haven’t really repented without a full understanding of what it means, and they are not Christ’s until they have the Holy Spirit of God, and they cannot have the Holy Spirit of God until they have repented.

Again, let’s let scripture verify this in Rom.8:9: “But ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man (or woman) have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.” Pretty plain right? Verse 11 continues to show us that without the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and leading us, there is no salvation.

Another fact – without the Spirit of God, we cannot comprehend spiritual truths. So you read in 1 Corinthians 2, and beginning verse 9, “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the mind of man,” [the spiritual truths], the things that God has prepared for us.” Then the next verse says, “But God has revealed them to us.” See it comes from God, but He reveals it by and through His Spirit.

Many understand a certain amount of the Bible, because so much of it is related to ordinary materialistic or physical knowledge, and much of it is history, which can also be readily understood. But when it comes to real deep Spiritual teaching, the natural mind of man cannot comprehend.

Repent…Believe…be baptized

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to a total of one hundred and twenty people. And Peter preached the first really Spirit inspired sermon by a human on that day. Then in Acts 2:37 it shows the people were “pricked in their heart.” They were really hit emotionally. “And said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” What are we going to do now, now that we’ve heard what we did and heard how Christ had been crucified. Then Peter said unto them, “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

There is no promise in the Bible that anyone will receive the Holy Spirit until after he has repented and been baptized, which is only an outward physical ceremony picturing your real repentance and belief. Going into the water pictures the death of the old self and as a type of the death of Christ. Coming back up out of the water is a picture of the resurrection of Christ and your coming up to live a new and a different, a much-changed type of life, going a different direction from this time on.

So real repentance means you have to admit you’ve been going in the wrong direction, believe you’ve lived wrong and done wrong – been wrong through and through. That is the type of repentance most have never admitted to, they merely accept what they believe is the truth in their own goodness and their own righteousness. These people haven’t got any more real salvation than a cat, a dog, or a cow.

David’s Repentance

A lot of people can’t understand how David could ever be called a man after God’s own heart. He shed so much blood, and deliberately disobeyed God in taking a census of His nation. And God really punished him for that. And another time he saw a woman taking a bath out of his window and told some of his servants to bring her over. She then became pregnant. So David committed adultery with another man’s wife and ultimately sent him up in the forefront of the battle where he was killed. David now became a murderer.

However, the 51st Psalm shows a prayer of David when he woke up and finally realized what had happened. Most people would say that had any man done those things, he’s no good, or God couldn’t use a man like that. Yet it is God who calls him a man after His own heart because David was crying out to God: “Have mercy upon me Oh God according to thy loving kindness, unto the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.” Here he begins to admit how wrong he was. And further, “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquities, cleanse me from my sin.” Now he’s confessing it. “For I acknowledge my transgression and my sin is ever before me.” And then, notice verse 10, where it says, “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit in me.” He confessed his sins and David never did it again.

Every one of us has sinned. God knows every sin of man and all had better be forgiven before the Passover is taken. Eph. 2:1 shows that every person is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins because of walking in disobedience with Satan who leads with “the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” That means some steps of examination have to be undertaken.

What can a Christian do?

And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation for our sins….” God wants to forgive us, but Christians who have the Holy Spirit, must confess their sins and repent, because that changes everything. God is then “faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23) but converted Christians are not in disagreement with Him. They don’t mean to sin, but often slip up, forgot, or maybe get careless.

God will grant forgiveness, but not to the Christian who doesn’t change his main attitude and main purpose. If repentance and acknowledgement is lacking, and if they continue on, pretty soon they’ll just be lost entirely.

Annual Passover is great reminder

It’s good to have this Passover season come once a year and to have Christians realize they make mistakes; maybe through thoughtlessness, maybe through a deliberate act. But as they come to realize it, they must repent quickly. No one should say, “I’m not worthy to repent.” You’re never too unworthy to go to God and ask for forgiveness, and ask Him to get you back on the track.

Now, it says, “let a man examine himself, and then let him take of that Passover.” We have to examine ourselves and we should before the Passover, to know that we are walking with Christ as we should be.

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