The Apple Of God's Eye

March 7, 2010

Nostradamus: Are His Predictions Accurate?

loveforlife.com.au

How did the 16th century psychic Nostradamus map out the future of the past four centuries? Or did he?

The summer of 1981 witnessed a strange sequence of events in Europe. Earlier that spring, against a Western tide of political conservatism, a socialist swept into power in France. Then came the near assassination of a Pope. And to the surprise of many, riots erupted in England.

Unrelated events? At first glance, it would seem so.

But a new translation of a medieval book of prophecy rocked Europe when it appeared to predict the above three events nearly four centuries in advance.

“Roman Pope do not approach the city in which the two rivers bathe,” reads an English translation of the obscure French writings of the 16th-century medical doctor Michel de Nostredame — better known as Nostradamus. “Your blood and that of your followers will flow near this place when the rose will flower.”

Mysterious Poetry

This verse is from Nostradamus’ 16th-century book The True Centuries — a book divided into 10 sections of about 100 verses or quatrains. This particular verse is number 97 from book II.

At first, these words would appear to be a meaningless jumble. But M. Jean-Charles de Fontbrune (a pseudonym), a French pharmaceutical executive, claims to have interpreted the “rose” in the latter part of the verse. He shocked Europe by claiming it as the party symbol of French President Francois Mitterrand. During the 1980-81 French campaign, President Mitterrand would often hold aloft a freshly cut rose as the symbol of forthcoming prosperity. (more…)

September 15, 2009

Is It True Homosexuals Are "Born" That Way?

How do human sexual emotions develop? Why do certain youths develop into homosexuals or transvestites? You may be in for a surprise — or a shock! It does not automatically happen that a young man and woman become sexually attracted to each other. Nor does it automatically happen that they want to deeply love, cherish, marry and protect one another. These emotions or desires are not all inherited or innate in the human constitution.

Not Inborn

Heterosexuality — sexual desire toward a member of the opposite sex — is not altogether inborn. Nor is homosexuality — sexual desire toward a member of one’s own sex. Nor, for that matter, are other sexual feelings or fears about sex.
Human beings are not born with an inherited sexual orientation or sexual instinct that drives them irrevocably in a certain direction.

There is a reason why many homosexuals assume they were “born that way”; why they assume their sexual attractions and emotions are as natural to them as the color of their eyes. Genetics and hormones play a part in developing human sexuality, but not in the way many think. And individual responses to cultural, parental and personal experiences play a very big part in molding human sexual feelings. But, in addition, there is critical knowledge beyond biology and cultural studies that is missing in modern education about human sexual and emotional development.

Scientific sex research is late on the scene. It began just after the middle of the 19th century. Sex researchers have indeed gained certain knowledge and understanding about genetics, hormones and environment and their combined effect on shaping human sexuality. Yet, “the impetus behind the homosexual urge contained in the male bond remains unexplained,” writes psychologist C.A. Tripp in summarizing such research in his book: “The Homosexual Matrix,” page 53. But the missing impetus is explained in the pages of your Bible!

Humanity through the ages has rejected essential knowledge from the Creator. Researchers, rejecting revealed knowledge, are looking for answers to damaging human problems — sexual and otherwise — only by their own limited physical tools of discovery and reasoning. They look for answers in the physical makeup of the human body or brain when the major problem is a spiritual matter — a problem in the spiritual attitude, motivation and desires of individuals.

Researchers have developed theories to explain individual human sexual feelings, problems and motivations without understanding the true nature of human nature. We must understand this first. Then we can rightly use the added demonstrable discoveries of human sexual research.

Why has humanity been plagued with so many sexual problems? Why sexual fears and phobias? Why so many unhappy intimate marital relationships? Why so many damaging feelings among human beings and between the sexes?

The Great Deceiver

Since the beginning of time, Satan has worked in human cultures to pervert attitudes, emotions and relationships. He implants selfish moods and attitudes which humans believe are only inborn feelings. Some human minds, during early childhood, have allowed and accepted wrong moods or feelings of attraction to the same sex. This process starts so early in some that many homosexuals and lesbians think these are totally inborn human feelings.

Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden and from contact with God’s Spirit. Ever since, humanity, as a whole, has been cut off from God’s Spirit, which would have guided them in the right ways of living and to life itself.
Mankind was given 6,000 years to develop societies under Satan’s sway and experience the results. The terrible results are recorded in the Bible, and, frequently, secular history. Genesis, the introductory book of the Bible, alone records the experience and tragic consequences of almost every type of wrong human and sexual act — as a warning to humanity in all generations. But much of humanity has refused to learn. Human beings today are merely repeating these ugly experiences of previous generations — though we like to think of many of them as new.

Through the ages God has called a few people to walk in his ways. God gave his laws and inspired the Bible (II Tim. 3:16) so mankind would not be totally without knowledge of the way they should live. So they could, if they wanted to understand, find the cause of human problems.

Most humans though have rejected such knowledge. They have failed to heed the instruction of revealed knowledge from their Creator. Many educated don’t believe there are fallen spirit beings influencing and deceiving all humanity (Rev. 12:9); they don’t believe that Satan is the unseen ruler and god of this world (II Cor. 4:4).

But the apostle Paul revealed, contrary to the enlightened education of this world, how Satan injects his wrong attitudes, desires and emotions into unwary minds:

“Wherein in time past ye [now converted Christians] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”

With what results? “… [fulfilling] the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Eph. 2:2-3). There are no inborn limits or controls to what the human mind can entertain but that which an individual learns or chooses to restrain.

Here are the damaging moods, desires and attitudes produced by Satan’s “get” way in those who yield to them: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest … Adultery, fornication [sexual immorality], uncleanness [any physical, moral or sexual uncleanness], lasciviousness, idolatry … hatred … strife … envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like (Gal. 5:19-21).

Satan and his host inspire attitudes of rebellion, selfishness and lust in human beings. They can insinuate wrong thoughts and desires in minds that are vulnerable to them, even those of young children. But not everyone is equally vulnerable. How any one person responds to various thoughts or emotions depends upon his culture, upon his upbringing and experiences, upon his learning and internalized values, upon the strength of character. In short, the direction of an individual’s sexual feelings and values depends upon what thoughts and emotions are allowed in his mind and developed from infancy on.

How Sexual Sin Enters

Humans are born with sexual emotional capacity. If wrong and damaging emotional and sexual feelings take root in human minds, it is because humans allow and do not resist them. Perhaps they don’t realize they should. Perhaps they choose not to resist when they could. Perhaps certain temperamental or emotional weaknesses may make some more vulnerable to certain sexual temptations than others. Some wrong experiences leave deep impressions. Other misleading emotions, feelings and desires, repeated enough, become deeply learned and conditioned in the human mind.

“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables,” goes an old Spanish proverb. Satan well understands this deep conditioning in human minds and emotions. He works to thwart God’s purpose through them. Though many deny it, all humans have been deceived (Rev. 12:9). All become, in one way or another, the slaves of various deceptive sins, pleasures and feelings (John 8:34; Heb. 3:13). They can’t shake or escape them all on their own power.

It takes strong spiritual power from God, as well as high human motivation and effort, to break the damaging cables of wrong thinking and feeling and then learn the right thinking and emotions revealed in the law of God. A person’s most important sex organ is his or her brain!

If a person is properly guided in youth by proper role models, example and teaching, he or she will come to respect and desire to adopt the correct sexual identity. Each will develop respect and love of the opposite sex and develop a right heterosexual desire. Each will also prepare to serve and love, in a right way, other human beings of all ages.
But sex education and emotional feelings are not primarily learned by formal instruction. Sex education and emotional feelings about sex automatically start from infancy with the way parents and other influential persons treat others of their own and the opposite sex, and how they treat children. Additional verbal or formal instruction merely reinforces learning.

Wrong sexual feelings develop not only out of a wrong culture but also out of ignorance. Many parents have failed to teach their children age-appropriate knowledge about sex. Hush-hush about sex in homes has reaped a fearsome price. Many young people are not taught any right and wholesome attitudes about sex. They are taught no right standards of sexual conduct. They are not taught that certain sexual practices are wrong or damaging and why they are to be avoided. They may have had improper examples of what it means to be a loving, caring male or female. All this may distort a young person’s view of sex and right relationships with one’s own and the opposite sex.

The seedbeds of unfortunate emotional or sexual feelings may be laid in the earliest years of life. Many young persons do not understand their feelings and emotions because they lack proper association or communication with understanding or concerned parents who could help to evaluate their feelings. Without the proper parental example of love, concern and guidance, wrong or misguided affectional feelings toward others can begin to stir sexual feelings and start a wrong pattern of association in the mind.

Millions of individuals simply follow peer practices or any exciting erotic emotion or thought that crosses their minds. They seem “natural.” But what they may not realize is that wrong thoughts and feelings (adulterous, homosexual or otherwise immoral) can be learned not only from others, but from their own uncontrolled thoughts — and these thoughts are not always natural, but can be injected into their minds unknowingly by an evil spiritual source — by Satan or his demons.

Individuals may have allowed themselves to respond to such emotions or patterns so early in life that they become a “natural” part of the way they have always felt. They look back on their life and conclude they must have been “born that way.”

Misguided Choosing

Humans seek excitement — something to fill the void, emptiness or loneliness of their lives. What they need is a sense of worth to themselves and others. WheneWrong Sexual Feelings, ver wrong sexual or emotional seeds are allowed and cultivated in an attempt to fulfill these needs, they will grow — in youth or even after one is married. Scripture warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).

To some, extramarital involvement or homosexual thoughts or acts (a person may not even realize what they are) seem a way to find affection, gain attention, recognition, security or money. Maybe they seem a way of proving sexual prowess or masculinity. Maybe they seem the only option available, given one’s lack of confidence or misled desires, feelings or fears about the opposite sex.

One wrong thought, uncontrolled or accepted, leads to still more. Maybe a person doesn’t know he should resist temptation. Maybe he doesn’t care. Minds that feed on wrong emotional or erotic thoughts in various fantasies will eventually have them ingrained as desires and emotions. Too many cop out and totally blame others for their problems and emotions in life.

One’s society or culture may be partly to blame. Parents may or may not have set a right example in their relationships and teaching. Satan may have tempted. But individuals also repeatedly allow themselves to respond to wrong ways of living and thinking.

Godly Sexuality

God is very concerned about the cultural and family environments of human beings. Family and environment are where the foundations of human relationships and sexual feelings, values and ideas are established. A variety of forces in the world is trying to change the concept of family life and the social learning environment so that any sexual experience becomes acceptable.

God’s laws and awesome purpose for human beings still stand. Sin — the breaking of God’s law (I John 3:4) — damages, arrests, limits or prevents full human maturity and godly development. It restricts the proper development of values, outlook and goals in life.

Sin, and sexual sin in particular, distorts wholesome feelings to one’s own and the opposite sex. It subtly destroys health and minds. It works to destroy respect, appreciation and ability to successfully experience the God-ordained family unit. It undermines the proper example and teaching that adults should be giving to children and future generations.

Wrong sexuality opens the door to rapid degeneration and physical and spiritual disease of the human body, mind and spirit. The end results are greater and greater social evils. Only if humans follow God’s revealed laws about right relationships to God and between the sexes can true happiness, fulfillment and social stability be achieved.

The Real World of Sexuality

Many unfortunate human sexual and emotional feelings exist — some too obscene to describe (Eph. 5:12). All these warn us of the great varieties of sexual/emotional conditioning that can happen to improperly controlled minds and lives.

The majority of males in most cultures are heterosexually oriented. But even heterosexuals allow their minds and sexual feelings to be diverted by wrong desires. Some heterosexuals develop a degree of homosexual interest (some feelings of bisexuality). Heterosexual males with effeminate (female) mannerisms also exist.

Feminine heterosexual females again are the majority. But there are also masculine-mannered females. The latter, however, may still be heterosexual and maternal in interests.

There are many masculine-appearing (even super-masculine) male homosexuals and, at the other extreme, effeminate (or “swish” type) male homosexuals. There are all degrees in between. The effeminate type are usually only a small proportion of male homosexuals but, because they are more noticeable, are often erroneously stereotyped to represent the whole.

Female homosexuals (lesbians) are often typically feminine in outward appearance and manner. Others are very mannish (“butch” or “dyke”). There are all degrees between these appearances and mannerisms. In modern cultures, not all homosexuals are readily discernible from heterosexuals by outward appearances.

There are as many variances in appearances, shape, personality, temperament, preferences in attractions and professions among homosexuals as among heterosexuals. The vast majority of homosexuals of both sexes clearly identify themselves with their gender, but prefer their own sex sexually.

Other Unfortunate Conditioning

Transvestites are persons who cross-dress on various occasions. Research indicates most of these persons are males with heterosexual inclinations, although some have homosexual interests. The majority of transvestite males identify themselves as males but have learned to get an erotic or emotional kick out of wearing items of clothing of the opposite sex, or in passing as a member of the opposite sex. Some can function sexually only after doing so.

This distorted emotional condition can often be traced back to early repeated cross-dressing by parents, siblings or by the person himself at some time. Such dressing began to produce exciting emotional or sexual responses that were repeated and cultivated.

God commanded the law of Deuteronomy 22:5 to prevent such distorted emotions: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

The law of Deuteronomy 22:5 also is intended to discourage another human distortion: transsexuality – males or females who feel they have the mind and emotions of the opposite sex and are trapped in the wrong physical body. Often such feelings have been traced back to very early childhood upbringing that deprecated or ignored the child’s true sex or caused them to experience or value only the feelings and emotions of the opposite sex.

Effeminate mannerisms in males may be due to rearing in a totally, or nearly exclusive female environment. Maybe a male wasn’t allowed or encouraged to identify with a male and male outlook and thinking. The person picked up certain female ways of acting or feeling about things.

Effeminate mannerisms may also be a way of portraying non-aggressiveness or reveal that the male does not want to be treated or threatened as an ordinary male may be. Many of these males still have heterosexual interests.

Effeminacy is harmful because it damages a male’s proper leadership and thinking in a family unit. The learning and conditioning of human sexual interests and emotional feelings are strong. So strong, in fact, that a person assigned the wrong sex at birth for some sex organ abnormality and then raised as a person of that assigned sex, readily develops the expected heterosexual interests for that sex even though his or her true genetics and hormone levels are of the opposite sex. These rare occurrences are sometimes not discovered until puberty changes force the true sex to appear.

The book:  “Sexuality and Homosexuality — A New View” by Arno Karlen, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, contains other backgrounds and causes of damaging sexuality.

Sexuality Not Private

Human sexuality is more than one’s gender or a sexual act. It is not just a private matter as so many want others to believe. Human sexuality is a total way of thinking, acting and feeling. One’s sexuality affects the way one responds to his or her own and the opposite sex, to marriage, to the family experience and to every aspect of life. That’s why sex has so much impact on human lives and culture. It’s the reason why the Creator commands men and women to develop it rightly.

Source: The Plain Truth, July/August 1984

August 9, 2009

Eye Opening Proof: Evolution Did Not Occur!

“That…eye…the human eye,”complained one science writer while attempting to justify the theory of evolution. How can anything so intricate and complex as the human eye, he asked, have evolved? He posed the question, but he could give no adequate answer. The best he could do for his readers was to make a hazy suggestion as to how he thought evolution “could have”occurred.

Charles Darwin himself struggled with the eye problem. He wrote in a private letter of a time when “the thought of the eye made me cold all over”(Letter to Asa Gray, April 3, 1860).

In his work, “The Origin Of Species,”Darwin conceded: “To suppose the eye with all its imitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”

Absurd indeed! There is no way to account for the existence of such an engineering marvel as the human eye by a slow process of chance natural selections. All of the vital parts of the eye have to be present and functioning if sight is to be possible. Nowhere in nature can there be found developing non-working eyes. Even the so called primitive eyes of lower life forms are complete and able to perform exactly as designed. Their intricacy varies from that of their human counterparts only by degree.

Consider for a moment, how marvelously made are the masterpieces through which you are now reading this. The part of the eye that is visible is only a portion of a gel-filled globe set in a protective socket of the skull. Enclosing the gel are three major layers of tissue. The tough fibrous outer layer is the sclera. What is seen in front as the white of the eye is part of this layer. Also part of the sclera is transparent covering (cornea) over the opening or pupil of the eye.

Just inside the sclera is a layer of blood-vessel rich tissue. And within that is the layer known as the retina, upon which images are formed much as they are formed on film in a camera.

Light enters by way of the pupil and passes through an adjustable lens that focuses the light rays onto the retina. The human retina contains some1.3 million light-sensitive cells – the rods and cones, so named because of their shapes. Different ones of these cells react to different luminous intensities and colours. These cells pick up the light stimulus and translate it by a photo-chemical process into nerve impulses that travel to the brain. The impulses become vivid, colourful, moving, three dimensional mental images capable even of being stored for future recollections.

The eye is an incredibly intricate mechanism. Just how complex can be realized by checking a reference work such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, where in the 15th edition, a discussion of the eye and sight fills more than 34 pages. The highly diversified and specialized parts of the eye – the muscles, ligaments, tissues, fluids, canals, nerves, pigments, blood vessels – all work together to produce sight. This complex organ could not have developed gradually to fill a creative need.

If the entire eye were present except for the lens, the eye would not work. If it were all there but the retina, there would be no sight. All the vital parts have to be in place or the eye is useless. This is a real problem for evolutionists, since the theory of natural selection holds that creatures evolve only what is of immediate benefit.

In other words, evolutionists themselves must admit that animal life forms cannot blindly look two generations, three generations or more into the future, contemplate needs, establish goals and work towards them. Evolution cannot plan ahead. It lacks the foresight.

The arrangement of creatures in the so-called evolutionary tree simply does not show a long, slow development of the eye, with splendidly working mechanisms, interspersed with transitional-phase, non-functioning, defective eyes. Each creature has been given eyes which perfectly satisfy its needs.

An oyster doesn’t have to be able to watch TV in order to survive, but it does need to be able to detect passing shadows. So it has been given small, sensitive spots which can detect changes in the intensity of light. They may be called “simple,”but the oyster’s sensitive spots are complete. They work and fulfill the oyster’s needs as is proved by the fact that oysters are a thriving species.

Nor can all eyes in smaller lifeforms be called “simple.” According to the evolutionary concept, one would not expect a small tropical minnow like anableps, for example, to have the uniquely complicated eyes it has. it actually has what amounts to four eyes, because each of its two apparant eyes has two separate corneas and two separate retines. As the anableps swims along the surface of the water, one section of each eye looks up with a special flattened lens suitable for viewing in the air, while the other section peers down into the water with an oval lens such as other fish have. A true engineering marvel.

It is impossible to account for the eyes of any creature great or small by a process of Darwinian evolution. It is equally impossible to explain them by blind, random mutations, quantum leaps or any other humanly devised theory. It took the great creator God to skillfully design and make the eye.

As the scripture says: “…he that formed the eye, shall he not see?…he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man (like the evolutionary theory), that they are vanity”(Ps. 94:9-11).

The marvelous human eye is God’s workmanship. The evidence is obvious and there for all to look at. But, as has often been said, there is none so blind as he who will not see.

Source: The Plain Truth, August 1983

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 23, 2009

How Old Is Mankind – 6000 Years Or 600,000?

mankindRemove from a library shelf any volume on ancient man. Examine its opening chapter. What will you find? Expressions as: “it is thought,” “there appears to be some basis for believing,” “it has been suggested,” “it may be presumed,” “one may safely assume,” and “others are of the opinion” — just to mention a few.

What do all these carefully chosen expressions really signify? Just this: Science has no demonstrable evidence for accepting as fact what has been written in the book. The conclusions are mere speculation!

Never Safe to Assume

Just how old is Man? Is there any AUTHORITY who can tell us? Several modern writers, relying only on geological inferences, place the appearance of man about 25,000 to 35,000 years ago. Others suggest the period is no less than 100,000 years ago. No small number of scholars assume it may be 500,000 years ago. And there are a few who place it several hundred thousand years earlier. Do any of these men really KNOW?

And how could intelligent, able men arrive at such absurdly varying figures for the origin of man and the beginnings of ancient history? They all have access, remember, to the same geological and archaeological sources of information. They all have the same facts — but they don’t have the same answers! Why?

The answer is, they are all interpreting geologic and archaeological evidence in accordance with their private theories. They are only guessing. They have no way of knowing.

One well-known writer phrased it this way: “We know that there is no absolute knowledge, that there are only theories; but we forget this. The better educated we are the harder we believe in axioms” (Lincoln Steffens “Autobiography”, page 816). (more…)

June 18, 2009

Mystery Of The Ages: Free Book Clarifies Life's Unanswered Questions!

1One of the best books I have ever read is called, “Mystery Of The Ages,” by Herbert W. Armstrong. It really clarifies the most important knowledge ever revealed from the supreme Source of understanding—about man, his origins, his identity, the world around him—knowledge that has mystified humans since mankind first appeared on Earth.

I highly recommend this book as it is written in a straightforward manner, with no twisted scriptures, no private interpretations – nothing but factual truth, straight out of the word of God.

If you have an open mind, then you are ready for the true biblical answers to seven of life’s most puzzling mysteries:

1. WHO AND WHAT IS GOD?

God reveals himself in his Word, the Holy Bible, yet almost no one has understood it. The Bible, as author Bruce Barton said, is “the book that nobody knows.” The Bible itself is the basic mystery that reveals all other mysteries.

2. THE MYSTERY OF ANGELS AND EVIL SPIRITS

Is the existence of spirit beings fact or myth? Is there a devil? Did God create a devil? If there are holy angels, what is their purpose? Do evil spirits influence humans and even governments today? Do they affect your own life?

3. THE MYSTERY OF MAN

What and why is humanity? Is man an immortal soul? Do the dead know what the living are doing? Is man flesh and blood being with an immortal soul within? Is there meaning and purpose to human life?

4. THE MYSTERY OF CIVILIZATION

How did civilization develop? Why does our world of awesome advancement and progress also have such appalling evils? Why can’t the minds that develop marvels of science and technology solve the problems of human helplessness?

5. THE MYSTERY OF ISRAEL

Are the Jews the ancient nation of Israel? Why did God raise up one special nation? Are they God’s favorites? Does God discriminate against other nations? Is God a respecter of persons? What is Israel’s purpose in the divine order of things?

6. THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

Why should there be the institution of the Church in the world? Is it one Christ-originated Church, or does it consist of many differing denominations? Does it have government and authority? How could one recognize the true Church today?

7. THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Jesus’s gospel message was “the kingdom of God.” Is the kingdom of God something within each person? Is it something that may be set up in men’s hearts? Is it the institution of the Church? Or is it something else altogether?

These are the seven great mysteries that concern the very lives of every human being on earth. The plain truth of all these mysteries is revealed in this eye-opening book, and it is yours FREE for the asking! It is given away here.

April 30, 2009

Worldwide Church Of God Morphs Into Grace Communion International

32Herbert W. Armstrong was the Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). Those studying the Bible with a critical eye recognized him as restoring long lost biblical truths. He stood against traditional Christianity’s error and taught the plain truth of the Bible. Now he’s dead and his successors have effectively dismantled any semblance to what was originally, and correctly, taught.

The final separation of the new WCG from “all things Armstrong” occurred recently with their official announcement that the church’s name will now become “Grace Communion International.” I’m not sure how much closer they could get it to sounding like the Amway of Evangelical Churches. 

The change was also picked up by another religious news source:

Worldwide Church of God Changes Name to Signal Inner Change: Religion News Service reports that the Worldwide Church of God, which re-examined and later rebuked the teachings of founder Herbert W. Armstrong after his death in 1986, has changed its name to Grace Communion International. “We are a church that God radically transformed,” said church president Joseph W. Tkach, who is a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals. “Our new name is consistent with the transformation and aptly describes what God has made of our fellowship.” Armstrong denied the Christian belief in the Trinity and took Old Testament law to heart and encouraged works of righteousness to earn salvation. The church lost half its members, 95 percent of its 1,000-person staff, millions of magazine readers and its college in Pasadena, Calif., when it officially repudiated Armstrong’s teachings and “prophetic speculation” in the mid 1990s.  http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religiontoday/11602619/

Changes in the WCG/GCI

WCG membership peaked in 1986, with about 150,000 members worldwide. However, the new leadership began systematically rejecting and destroying every teaching and tradition Mr. Armstrong established. Immediately, massive doctrinal changes swept the Church, initially concealed from the membership. 

In 1989, Gerrald Flurry and John Amos were disfellowshipped for adhering to the original doctrines of the WCG. The Philadelphia Church of God was then established to most accurately, among all WCG offshoots, preserve the teachings and legacy of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.

By 1990, numbers dropped to about 133,000, and in 1992, as income continued to decrease, a prominent minister and 3,000 members left to form the Global Church of God.

Perhaps the most traumatic change came in December 1994: Tkach announced that Christians do not have to keep old covenant laws. Many members did not accept these changes and in early 1995, hundreds of ministers and 12,000 members left to form the United Church of God

By 1996, attendance was approximately half  of 1990 numbers (67,000).  In the US, membership slid from 89,000 to 49,000. Thousands more stopped attending any church, and many congregations were left with only half the members they used to have. Church income dropped another 50 percent, and hundreds of employees were laid off. Now, the Worldwide Church of God is about half the size it used to be.

The television ministry, once one of the largest in America, is gone. Circulation of The Plain Truth fell from a peak of 8,000,000 down to less than 100,000. And as stated before, the number of employees in Pasadena fell from 1,000 to about 50, as reduced income forced them to remove some pastors from the payroll, and lay pastors were appointed for small congregations. Ambassador College/University was forced to close because the church could no longer subsidize it, and its properties have been sold. The church’s properties in Pasadena were also sold in 2004. An office building in Glendora was purchased, and all offices were relocated there in 2005. 

Grace Communion International now claims 42,000 members in 900 congregations worldwide, though those numbers are suspect.

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