The Apple Of God's Eye

June 27, 2011

White Lies, Black Truth – Where Do You Stand?

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

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

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

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

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

June 13, 2011

Hypotheses, Intellectual Curiosity And Controversy = Scientific Truth?

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Never has there been an age like this one. An avalanche of scientific information is pouring down on us and few can keep up with the torrent of new knowledge. But is man the wiser for all this new knowledge?

Are the latest conclusions of geology, of archaeology, or history any nearer the truth? Or are we being crushed by the sheer weight of new ignorance — new superstitions, this time garbed in the respectable clothes of Scientific Knowledge?

It would seem this ought to be the wisest, most knowledgeable generation that has ever lived. But it is not! And there is a reason. Never in the history of the world have so many been speculating so much. Speculation, hypothesizing, intellectual guessing have become the lifeblood of the sciences — especially the social sciences. The result is an age typified by a chaos of ideas.

The reason? Only those facts which fit an hypothesis are concerned! The purpose of hypothesis is not eternal truth — only intellectual curiosity to see whether the hypothesis be so! No wonder the scholarly world is in confusion? That the genuine history of man has been rejected and forgotten. That Scripture is labeled “unscientific” and “myth”

WHY HYPOTHESES?

Scientific and historical journals are filled with “learned” conflicts and controversies. These conflicts are not due to a lack of factual material. There are often “too many” facts. Controversies in philosophy, in science, in education are the direct result of hypothesizing. Theories and hypotheses by their very nature breed controversy. What is needed is a true view of the factual material already available. Present material is more than sufficient to solve every one of the primary questions regarding Man, his origin in time, and the record of his experiences.

Can the facts of geology, of archaeology, of human history and the Bible be reconciled? Not if the method of study now in vogue in the educational world is used! Crowning the heap of discarded theories with another hypothesis will not resolve the problems.

Yet a solution is possible. The facts of geology, of archaeology, of human history and the Bible are reconcilable. It is the hypotheses and theories of Science and Theology that are not! No one, caught up in the vicious cycle of intellectual guessing, finds it easy to divorce facts from hypotheses. But once one is willing to do that, the gnawing questions of science and history find answers.

Why haven’t men been willing to face facts, and forget hypothesizing? The answer is simple. Facts do not automatically organize themselves into clear and unmistakable answers. There is always the need of some kind of yardstick, some standard, to guide man in organizing the myriads of facts lying mutely before him.

A geological stratum by itself does not answer when? or why? A potsherd by itself does not reveal who? or when? Even a written record by itself often fails to convey motive, proof of accuracy, or history of transmission.

Scholars and scientists must of necessity resort to some external framework or yardstick by which the recovered facts may be judged. Only two choices are available — hypothesis or Divine Revelation. The educated world has chosen the former. It has, without proof, rejected the latter. Hypotheses appeal to human vanity, to intellectual curiosity, to the desire to hear of something new. Divine Revelation requires acknowledgement of a Higher Power, the subjection of human reason to the revealed Mind of the Creator. But human reason revels in its own superiority. By nature it opposes and exalts itself against Higher Authority.

No wonder educators take for granted that the facts of geology, of archaeology, or human history contradict the Bible. Not until human beings are willing to acknowledge God, to acknowledge His Authority, His Revelation, will they ever come to a satisfactory — and satisfying — explanation of Man and the Universe. Not until human reason is conquered will the scholarly world enjoy the privilege of understanding the meaning of geology, of archaeology, of history and the Bible.

Why don’t today’s educators know the answers to these problems? Because they have discarded the key that would unlock the answers. That key is God’s revelation of essential knowledge for man — the Bible. But men don’t want God telling them anything authoritatively. They therefore refuse even to test whether the Bible is authoritative.


Source: Compendium Of World History, Volume 2, by Dr. Herman Hoeh

May 8, 2011

God’s Word Versus Man’s Traditions

Why do we do the things we do?

Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:  “This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.  In vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”  Jesus, Mark 7:6-7

Some scholars, theologian and clergy believe the only way to understand the Bible is to have it explained to you by someone who has studied it.

Unfortunately, too many people subscribe to this belief.  All too often they listen to a priest, rabbi, or preacher tell them what the Bible says. And as if this was not bad enough,  they go even further into blindness by setting their own standard of morals and conduct.  They, in effect, become a god unto themselves.

The main problem with North America, and the world is that they have become a people who have deserted the Word of God, replacing it with their own “evolving”  moral code of diversity and tolerance. Now we see mainstream society accepted abortion, gay rights, pornography, false religions and every other immoral concept that has been devised in the heart of man.  “To each his own,” they say, and go merrily on their way, not coming close to understanding why our nation and world is in the condition that it is in.

There is a living God who oversees the affairs of men and nations.  This was true of Israel of the Old Testament and it true of the nations of the world today.  As a Bible oriented, moral and family value respecting nation we have become the greatest nation on the face of the earth.  This was also true of Old Testament Israel.  But like Israel, we have forsaken the commandments of God in favor of the traditions of man.  Is there any reason that we should not expect the same fate that befell Israel when they deserted the teachings of God?

It is time that America woke up and turned back to the faith and values that have made us great and condemn the immoral practices being legally practiced  in our nation today.  If we choose to live as heathens we cannot expect the blessings of the God of righteousness.

May 1, 2011

Should A True Christian Admit Jehovah’s Witnesses?

apologetics315.blogspot.com

When the so-called “Jehovah Witnesses” come to the door of the true Christian, would it be discourteous not to admit them? How does God look at it?

God says “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isa. 55:8).

What does God Command?

“For many deceivers (including “Jehovah Witnesses”) are entered into the world … Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not (obeys not) in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God … If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine (of Christ, and of God’s true Church), receive him not into, neither bid him God-speed: for he that biddeth him God-speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (II John 7-11)

These “Jehovah Witnesses” DO NOT OBEY GOD! They argue against God’s Commandments, and especially against the Sabbath. They will argue Scripture, in a spirit of contention, which your Bible forbids. “Jehovah Witnesses” especially will argue against God’s Law. They transgress God’s Law, and don’t abide in the doctrine of Christ. Therefore their deeds are evil. God says the true Christian also, is partaker with them of their evil deeds if he receives them into his home.

Should you, then, be discourteous or un-Christian? Of course not. When these people come to your door, just smile and tell them politely, but firmly, you are not interested — you do not discuss religion – and be closing your door as you say it, and be sure you do close it as soon as you have said merely that short sentence. Do not give them any chance to talk back, or continue the conversation, or get into an argument.

You can’t change them! You can’t talk them into the truth! If you already know the truth, they cannot deceive you with false teachings, or talk you into anything. Any further conversation with them are idle words.

April 21, 2011

How Much Do You Hate Sin?

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Being in the middle of the Days Of Unleavened Bread (2011), I am really impacted this year by how sin impacts my life, others around me and how God views my attitude towards it. Being sinless Himself, I need to realize that God also hates sin.

But what about me? Do I minimize sin? Do I justify the wrong I do by comparing my sins to someone else’s? What attitude should I have toward sin? As the Days of Unleavened Bread unwind, I need to seriously review these questions.

How Does GOD Look at Sin?

It is obvious that certain sins hurt people more than others. Adultery, for example, clearly inflicts greater and more lasting damage to more people than forgetting an appointment.

On the other hand, we must realize the evil of what many people may consider to be “small” sins. After all, sin is sin — wrong is wrong — evil is evil, no matter what the degree. To ask which of two sins is worse is about like asking which was more sinful — Sodom or Gomorrah?

Regardless of how “minor” or “small” men may think some sins are, God says: “For the wages of sin is death …” (Rom. 6:23). That’s death in the lake of fire! No sins, therefore, should be trifled with, tolerated, or secretly harbored. The ultimate penalty for ALL sin — whether large or small — is the same: Eternal Death!

That some sins exact an immediate penalty is clear. But the damage done by some “small” sins over a period of time can also be devastating. To compare one’s own sins with those of other people, to minimize one’s own sins, and in the process to seek justification for them is exceedingly foolish and spiritually dangerous!

The Apostle James warns: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he IS GUILTY OF ALL” (James 2:10). The converted Christian should seek out and eliminate every sin — every wrong thought — every evil way. He should not be hanging on to “small” faults just because they do not seem to be as serious as certain obviously great sins. (more…)

March 28, 2011

Geology Reveals: Two Creations, Two Worldwide Floods

findingtruthmatters.org

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

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

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

The FOUNDATION of Knowledge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 12, 2011

What Did Christ Look Like In The Flesh?

pressthat.wordpress.com

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.

Pope Pius XII Is No Saint: History Reveals A Narrow Spirit And Heart While Millions Died

ivarfjeld.wordpress.com

“Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), reigned as the 260th pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City, from March 2, 1939 until his death in 1958. Some historians view the record of his long papacy and wartime predicament sympathetically; others view his actions (or inactions) critically, if not harshly. The interpretations of non historians vary even more widely, with some (John Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope) accusing him of pursuing personal power at the expense of the Jews, while others (Ronald Rychlak, Hitler, the War, and the Pope) argue he did everything in his power to help them. (Freelibrary.com)

In We Remember, a 1998 statement on the church’s role in the Holocaust, the Vatican claimed that Pius saved “hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives.” It was an absurd statement.

“Pope Pius XII, prior to his pontificate, successfully negotiated the Reich Concordat with Adolf Hitler in 1933, effectively destroying all political opposition to the fledgling Nazi movement in Germany. According to cabinet meeting minutes from July 14, 1933, Hitler considered the German-Vatican pact a “great achievement”—particularly “in the developing struggle against international Jewry.” (The Unapologetic Pope)

Since the death of Pope Pius XII i on October 9, 1958, there has been a concerted effort by the Vatican and Jesuits to diminish the overwhelming evidence of racial hatred, inaction and evil by this Roman Pontiff, particularly to the Holy Inquisition undertaken during his reign against the Jews.

In the 1960′s, it was the Jesuit sponsored work Three Popes and the Jews (1967), by Panchas. E. Lapide that attempted to portray the grand illusion and claims that Pope Pius XII never met Hitler once, in direct contradiction to the testimony of those closest to Pius for most of his life since Munich and his rise to Pontiff. (more…)

February 9, 2011

Why God Hates Gossip

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Do you know what scourge victimizes more people every year than all the sicknesses and accidents in the world? It is the deadly poison of gossip.

The Bible reveals that Satan the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). But how does he accuse us? By spreading rumors and causing gossip.

Satan introduced gossip into the world shortly after the creation of Adam and Eve, when he spread rumors about God. Satan told Adam and Eve that God lied to them. He made them suspect God’s loving concern and wonderful plan for all mankind to inherit eternal life.

God told the man, after putting him in the Garden of Eden: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).

God’s command was clear. But Satan put doubts in the first couple’s minds. He made them question why God had forbidden them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He made them feel that God was keeping from them something that was good for them.

Notice how Eve answered Satan (who appeared to her in the form of a serpent), when she repeated God’s order.

Eve told the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Gen. 3:2-3). (more…)

April 30, 2010

What Is Truth?

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Just before Christ was crucified, Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler over Jerusalem asked a question of Christ that has puzzled mankind for thousands of years. That question was, “What is truth?” It was a good question; a deep question even. But strangely, Christ didn’t answer him. Why not? Did He not have universal truth to give? He sure did, but there was a very specific reason He did not answer.

Many in this world believe the Bible is open to interpretation to anyone professing Christianity. That notion could not be more wrong. Christ did not answer because he had a vile and corrupt ruler in front of Him who hated the law of God. It doesn’t matter if people today say they are Christian; if they do not obey God, they are not Christians – period. We can’t just throw the law of God out the window when the Bible is obviously a book of law from beginning to end. Christ wants us to know that if He’s going to reveal what truth is, that we have to do something. (more…)

October 3, 2009

The World's Deadliest Weapon!

1What is the world’s most devastating weapon? Most people would probably say the H-bomb. Some might say the cobalt bomb. Others may point to a rumored laser bomb, a doomsday device, or even chemical and biological weapons. But none of these is right!

There is another weapon that every man carries around with him daily. It is with him when he gets up in the morning and shaves. It is with him when he goes to sleep at night. This weapon is not just some theoretical device which has never been used. In the history of mankind, it has been responsible — directly or indirectly — for the deaths of multiple millions!
But men have no monopoly on this weapon. Women also use it quite consistently — often to devastating effect.

The Worst Weapon in the World

What is this horrible weapon? It is the human tongue! Men have misused the tongue. They have turned it into a “world of iniquity.” Notice what God’s Word says:

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell [gehenna — or the lake of fire]. “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3 :5-10).

The tongue, as these verses show, does not have to be a deadly weapon. When used correctly, it can be a wonderful tool for great good! But unfortunately, too few people have learned how to properly control it! Most often the tongue is used as an unguided missile which explodes upon the object of its aim with deadly effect.

How This Weapon Is Used

There are many wrong uses of the tongue. But perhaps the most dangerous and harmful of all is gossip. Gossip can do more damage and create more division than nearly any other activity.

In a study by Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D., entitled, “What Gossiping Reveals About You,” some interesting answers are brought to light. Doctor Rubin found that women have no priority on gossip! Men gossip just as much. “In fact, nearly everyone gossips to some extent, but some people carry it too far. To them, gossip becomes a chronic way of life that cannot be altered without psychiatric help.”

Some men and women are “chronic mouthmovers.” They must either eat or talk. And many times they gossip just to keep their mouths moving — spouting a steady stream of words.

Boredom and apathy also breed gossip. Idle talk becomes a filler to compensate for empty hours. Lonely people whose lives have become dull and devoid of interests use gossip as a form of reaching out or relating.

God’s Word shows idleness to be indeed one of the major causes leading to gossip. Speaking of younger widows, Paul says, “And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they aught not” (I Tim. 5:13).

Malicious Gossip

“Repressed anger is perhaps the most common cause of malicious gossip,” says Dr. Rubin. He goes on to explain that many people cannot admit their anger toward someone else. So they disguise it. They release their venom in the form of deadly gossip — hatred and murder (I John 3:15) in the form of words! They seek to destroy through the spoken word!

God’s Word bears this out: “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool” (Prov. 10:18). Also God says, “He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him” (Prov. 26:24). And again, in verse 28 of the same chapter, “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”

Jealousy and envy are also common motives for gossip. Says Dr. Rubin, “The object of gossip is to put down that person so as to remove the craving for what that person owns.” When we put down another person, we think we are raising ourselves. This is sheer vanity!

Have you ever envied another person? Have you been jealous of the things someone else possessed or the prestige of his position? We would all have to admit that at some time we have. When we did, we found ourselves tempted to speak evil of others. We wanted to impute motives and make insinuating remarks. We tried to excuse our stations in life in comparison with theirs by implying evil — gossiping. Subconsciously we wanted to “put them down” verbally — thus exalting our own self-image.

Tales CAN Hurt!

The Bible plainly tells us that words can — and often do — cause damage. Notice: “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth” (Prov. 26:20). In verse 22 God says further, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

Yes, words can hurt — they can hurt one’s reputation; they can hurt a person’s health; they can hurt friends; and they can hurt the one who misuses them himself! God certainly minces no words here. He tells us plainly how destructive the use of the tongue can be. Its use in spitting out thoughtless or mischievous words may cause irreparable damage to someone’s entire life!

The misuse of the tongue can cause serious offense. Notice what Solomon wrote: “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city…” (Prov. 18:19). How often have you “let fly” with your mouth and offended somebody else?

An Incredible Paradox

How can men praise God — stand in Church and sing praises to God, and lead in prayers over their family table and in Church — and at the same time speak evil from motives of repressed anger or envy of their brothers in the Church? Blessing and cursing comes from the same mouth. God says these things ought not to be! (James 3:10.)

“He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge” (James 4:11).

How many are using their tongues for a wrong purpose while claiming to belong to the body of Christ to help proclaim God’s Word to the world? Again, God commands, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings… grow …” (I Peter 2:1-2).

This is the way to preserve your life. God explains, “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile (I Peter 3:10).

We must not tolerate gossip and the tearing down of others through malicious, evil words. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26).

What Not to Say

Some will say that they do not gossip — they merely tell “the truth.” Thus, they feel that in telling “the truth” they are justified! But they fail to realize that the Bible defines a gossiper as one who not only speaks lies, but also repeats evil — even if it is “the truth” — when and where it is none of his business, or the business of the listener! You don’t always have to tell something just because you know it! Many things are far better left unsaid, even though they are true.

There are many things which are better forgotten. Says the Apostle Paul: “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Eph. 5:12).

Whenever you repeat any information about an evil deed to someone who should not be involved and has no business knowing, then you are gossiping. When you talk about anyone’s faults to someone who can do nothing about them, you are gossiping. Even when you repeat the truth — whether that truth is about an evil deed or sin — to a person who is merely a bystander, you are gossiping.

Gossip, naturally, also takes the form of misinformation. To imply motives, or to insinuate untruths, is gossip and lying. This kind of gossip is absolutely forbidden in the Bible because of its devastating effects. “He that covers a transgression seeks love; but he that repeats a matter separates friends” (Prov. 17:9).

How to Conquer Gossip

What can you do about gossip? How can you overcome this abominable habit in yourself? There is something you can do personally. You can begin an active campaign against gossip by stopping it at its source!

Here’s how. First, learn to recognize gossip in your own conversation. There will be many limes when you will be so absorbed in conversation that you will not realize you are actually gossiping. However, after the talk is over, you can look back and see where you gossiped. Once you apply your mind to analyzing your own words, you can catch yourself while talking. Then, as you are conscious of your words — which we certainly should be, since we are going to be judged by them — you will finally begin to think BEFORE you speak! (Prov. 15:28.)

Second, REPENT of gossip. Don’t take it lightly. You will never overcome gossip until you are deeply convinced of its evil. Most people, after they’ve gossiped, just shrug their shoulders saying, “Well, I guess I really should not have said those things, but. …”

Go to God on your knees. Realize the seriousness of gossiping. Ask God to forgive you for your attitude of heart which may have been the spirit of murder, or at least the spirit of carelessness and unconcern. Realize that Christ had to die to pay the penalty of THAT sin, too!

Third, don’t REPEAT gossip. If you’ve been gossiping — CHANGE! Put an END to gossip in your life!
You know how empty you feel after an unprofitable conversation centered around gossip. So decide not to do it again! Determine in your mind not to tear down yourself and others by your words. Instead, be positive — use words profitably to uplift and build up others as well as yourself.

Once you recognize gossip and repent of it, and henceforth stop repeating the pattern of conversations that lead to it, you will not be a gossip. But remember. Don’t lend your ear to gossip, for this encourages others to gossip. And it is just as wrong.

A gossiper needs an ear. He must have someone to listen to his talebearing. But if he finds no one to listen, then he can’t gossip. So simply don’t listen to gossip! God’s Word condemns the listener just as much as the gossiper. Yet many of us actually encourage others to gossip. We egg the gossiper on, delighting in the tidbits of poison he pours forth. We want to mind other people’s business. We want to get the juicy evils that come from gossip.

Have you ever noticed that people tend not to be as excited to hear good news as to hear bad news? Have you ever noticed how slowly good news spreads and how quickly bad news gets around? Why?

Because of human nature! By nature we want to listen to gossip and spread it. But you can stop it! Just DON’T listen! And don’t gossip yourself.

Judged by Our Words

There is a Judgment coming. And God’s Word plainly tells us that we will be judged by how we use our tongues. God says, “A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Prov. 18:6-7).

Jesus put it right on the line when He said: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that man shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:34-37).

Can anything be plainer? Jesus tells us we will have to give account for our words. We will be judged by what we have said! Words are not empty. Words are much more powerful than we might imagine. We all feel — humanly, that is — that after words are spoken, they’re forgotten. But words are not forgotten. And although the sounds of words fade and the vibrations stop — those words can linger on and face you in the future.

What are the fruits of your words? Have your words separated friends? Have they hurt the reputation of another? Have your words caused strife? If so, you will have to give account.

Let’s practice — the instruction of Psalm 15:1.: “Lord who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in they holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.”

Determine now that you will not listen to gossip and not spread it. Determine in your own heart and mind to spread news of good events!

Source: The Good News, January-April 1971

September 2, 2009

What Happens When We Die: It's Not What You Think!

flatlandhowler.blogspot.com

flatlandhowler.blogspot.com

Public enemy No. 1! That’s how death can be described. It will slay us all, and at a time of its own choosing.

But paradoxically, although we all know we will die, very few know exactly what death is. Certainly death must be the least understood although most relentless enemy!

Yet it need not remain a mystery to those who will look into their Bibles to read — and believe — what God says. For God has not left us in ignorance about this important subject.

The basic doctrine

Since life is merely a temporary, mortal, chemical process (with man being made from the physical elements — “dust”), death is just the cessation of life. One who is dead has no consciousness separate from his body and feels no pain nor pleasure, but is as if asleep. Nonetheless, we all will live again after death, after a passage of time, when resurrected back to life again.

The usual teachings of this world

Most professing Christians believe that at death they do not really die — that is, cease to live in any form. They instead believe that at death only the body dies, and that the “soul” is then liberated to live on in heaven or hell (depending upon the moral merit of the former life).

Others believe in reincarnation, thinking that their soul, which is liberated at death, will be placed in a new body to live again, with this process occurring over and over. Scientists who believe evolution seem to recognize death for what it is (the total cessation of life), but they also err because they know nothing of the hope of the dead — life again after a resurrection. Even other beliefs about death exist.

Yet, surprisingly, these concepts are not from the Bible!

The Bible teaching

Perhaps the main reason why people, religious or otherwise, do not understand death is because, first of all, they do not understand what life is. The Bible makes it plain.

Genesis 2:7 records, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Authorized Version).

Notice! Man does not have a soul. He is a soul. The word translated “soul” here is the Hebrew word nephesh. It means a living, breathing, physical creature. The word carries no implication of immortality. In Genesis 1:24 it is translated “living creature” and refers to animals.

Further, the Scriptures say dogmatically that the soul can die and therefore cannot be immortal. See Ezekiel 18:4, 20 and Matthew 10:28.

The Bible nowhere teaches that man has an immortal soul. In fact, the immortal soul doctrine was adopted by professing Christianity from pagan Egypt through the Greek philosophers.

But note that man, as God stated, is composed of the physical elements of the earth and is dust. God plainly told Adam, who sinned, “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). But men do not want to die, so they do not want to believe God. They do not want to believe that man’s life is merely a physicochemical existence that will run down and stop — die!

Hence, they choose instead to believe the lie Satan told Eve when he said, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). They believe that within this dusty body, as a sort of prisoner of the flesh, is an immortal soul that is unleashed at the death of the body and that continues in conscious life forever.

To be sure, man is not merely an animal. For one, man is made in God’s image and in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). And man’s potential — that of being born into the God Family — is far more incredible than the fate of any animal.

Further, God reveals that there is a spirit in man (I Corinthians 2:11) that gives man mental superiority over animals. It is this spirit that imparts the power of mind to man, and the power of moral decision, including the ability to grow in character. But this spirit is not the man. And it is not an immortal soul. It is something in man that gives man a dimension of life above the animals. It does not give him immortal life, however.

To understand death requires that we know that man’s life is merely a chemical process involving physical elements. When that process stops, we die. We are dust, and when we die our bodies decay and return to the dust.

When we die, all conscious thought and awareness ceases. Notice Psalm 6:5: “For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?”

And compare Ecclesiastes 9:4-5: “For him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing.”

The apostle Peter knew that even the righteous die and lose all consciousness and bodily presence, for he stated: “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. … For David did not ascend into the heavens” (Acts 2:29, 34). Even righteous David was not an immortal soul that left his body and went to heaven. Even David was dust and decayed back to the elements.

Other scriptures supply even more detail about death, comparing it in a figure of speech to sleep (I Corinthians 11:30, I Kings 2:10). When a person is asleep, he loses consciousness and is unaware of his surroundings.

The topic of death is in some ways unique. Most people will not believe what God says if their senses tell them differently. For example, Adam and Eve did not believe God’s warning about the tree of good and evil, because the fruit of it looked good and desirable. Yet, in the case of death, people will not believe God when He says death is what it indeed appears to be to the most casual observer — namely, the cessation of life! People will not believe God no matter what He says, whether our senses tell us to agree or not.

But caution! Nothing said here means to imply that death is the end of all hope of life. It is not. An old saying goes, “Where there is life, there is hope.” But the great God says, in effect, that even where there is death there is still hope — in fact, the main hope.

That hope is the resurrection of the dead from death to life again. Notice Job’s question and answer about death: “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14, AV).

Realize this: The demonstrable fact of the resurrection of the dead proves once and for all that humans are not immortal souls. If we were, why would the dead have to be resurrected? They would already be alive.

And see further Christ’s startling statement: “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live” (John 5:25).

Jesus knew His statement might startle His audience, so He said further: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation [judgment]” (verses 28-29).

The Scriptures are plain that all people will be resurrected, even those who will eventually be cast into the lake of fire to die the “second death.”

The apostle Paul chose to comfort the living relatives of those true Christians who had died by reminding them of the wonderful resurrection to come (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

To alleviate their sorrow, Paul explained that the dead in Christ will be resurrected at Christ’s return, and that they — along with us, if we qualify — will forever be with Christ.

Yes, the truth about death is far less foreboding than the fanciful imaginations of well-intentioned but errant religionists!

Key verses

When properly understood, this topic of death can fill us all with real hope, for then we know the wonderful truth that we will all see our beloved deceased relatives again. Therefore it may be well to note specially the basic scriptures that describe the truth about death. Here are some of them:

Genesis 2:7 and 3:19 — man is a mortal being made from the dust. Genesis 1:24 — the Hebrew word translated “soul” in Genesis 2:7 is translated here as “living creature” and refers to animals. Ezekiel 18:4, 20 and Matthew 10:28 — the soul is not immortal; it dies. Psalm 6:5 and Ecclesiastes 9:4-5 — the dead have no consciousness. John 11:11-14 and I Kings 2:10 — death is compared to sleep. John 5:25, 28-29 and I Corinthians 15 — the dead will be resurrected.

Death is indeed an enemy, but through the resurrection from the dead this enemy is annihilated. Therefore Paul says in I Corinthians 15:26, 54-55 (AV): “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death…. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Source: Good News, March 1986

August 31, 2009

What Is The Difference Between Advice And Gossip?

thephoenix.com

thephoenix.com

What is the difference between getting advice from others, and gossip.

Advice is an opinion given about what to do or how to behave. Gossip is casual talk about someone else’s behaviors or affairs. The difference is easily understood by adding up the numbers.

When a person truly desires to help another person in their affairs or with a behavior, they will only talk about the matter with one person. It is a serious talk loaded with concern. Generally that one person is more mature or wise and has proven they can keep even the smallest personal matters secret. This one person is often one in authority, like a parent or a minister.

Gossip on the other hand is considered the domain of fools:

“Hate is covered up by the lips of the upright man, but he who lets out evil about another is foolish” (Prov. 10:18).

This type of behaviour kills friendships and relationships. It is often discussed with many people and the numbers grow quickly. Two become four, four become eight, 16 quickly become 32. Another’s problems are often discussed among peers who are eager to hear the latest about anyone’s bad behaviors or failures. The conversation has either an overtone of a put-down or joking. With gossip, no secret is kept silent. In fact, the real truths are often clouded over. No advice is given because no real advice is sought after.

Advice from the wise, when followed, often produces positive results. There are good fruits. But gossip, when it runs its course, hurts everyone—especially those who spread it!

August 9, 2009

Questions On Evolution: Scientific Fact Or Science Fiction?

The origin of life is the least understood biological problem.

While acknowledging this fact, evolutionists go on to believe as an article of faith that life came into existence on this planet spontaneously from nonliving matter by chemical processes. They further accept as an article of faith that life progressively evolved by blind chance into the vast array of living things we see today. This belief is claimed to be “fact.” Those who do not accept this “fact” are ridiculed as ignorant and unscientific.

Is evolution scientific fact, or is it science fiction? The odds are fantastic against even very “simple” constituents of living organisms occurring by chance. And there is an even greater improbability of such constituents producing living organisms by chance.

In particular consider a protein consisting of a chain of about 100 amino acids. If all the known stars in the universe had 10 earths, and if all the earths had oceans of “amino acid soup,” and if all the amino acids linked up in chains 100 acids long every second for the entire estimated history of the universe, even then the chance occurrence of a given very simple protein would be extremely improbable.  As such, below you will find answered a number of the more common evolutionary counterarguments, as well as additional queries:

  • There may be many combinations of amino acids that would work. So the probability of their forming by chance would be much greater than that of a specific combination.

No scientific experimentation has shown that a different combination of amino acids could be substituted for a given protein and still perform exactly the same way. The marvelous complexity of the specific functions performed by the combination that does work in nature demands the correct sequence of amino acids to be present in each case. (We are aware, of course, that various proteins may be consumed and reassembled into other proteins by an existing living organism.)

A given life form requires specific combinations of specific molecules. Just any arbitrary random combination will not work. It is much like a combination lock. If you do not know the combination, you can spin numbers at random to try to open the lock. You may spin perfectly good numbers. They might even work on some other lock at some other time and in some other place. But if they do not open the given lock — the one you are trying to open — it does not do you a bit of good.

Now if you would calculate the probability of finding the right combination by random spinning, the probability depends only on the available numbers for the given lock. The probability has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not some other combinations may open some other locks.

  • If you do not specify which protein, we are therefore only dealing in possibilities not probabilities.

You should use the standard mathematical definition of probability as applicable to the problem under discussion. The probability of a given protein of 100 amino acids occurring by chance is 10-130. The fact that that a specific one was not identified is irrelevant. If it were a more technical article, a  specified complicated protein like hemoglobin, would be pointed out, and there would be used essentially the same line of reasoning. The point is that even the supposedly simplest components found in living things are actually very complex. Their existence cannot be explained on the basis of blind chance.

  • The experiments of Stanley L. Miller in the 1950s showed that the “primeval soup” of the sea would contain surprisingly large quantities of the building blocks of life: amino acids, nucleotides, etc.

Whether or not this is the case does not matter. In fact, we can be even more generous than Mr. Miller by giving each star in the universe 10 “earths” and each “earth” an ocean of “primeval soup” mixed to the evolutionists’ recipe. Nevertheless, it did not make the evolution of even one “simple” protein probable.

  • The fundamental building molecules are not proteins but DNA.

The attempt to use DNA in the synthesis of proteins only makes the situation worse for evolution. DNA is even more unlikely to come into existence by chance than protein is. It would be like someone claiming that a table of logarithms came into existence by being generated by a computer that, in turn, came into existence by chance.

  • Smaller self-replicating chains could form and progress in small steps to produce longer and longer chains.

There are a number of difficulties with such a model. First of all, scientists have not found any evidence of such occurring in nature. Second, even if it could occur, the probabilities of ending up with the right sequence, after all the small steps, would still be immeasurably small by essentially the same reasoning given in the article. Third, what would be the role or purpose of such intermediate chains? Why and how would they survive to produce more complicated chains? Certainly, there is no evidence of the existence of intermediate chains being somehow related to intermediate species.

  • Natural selection is an established theory. The hypothesis of Darwin has been confirmed by experimental work.

There is not necessarily a disagreement with this — up to a point. But natural selection can only explain the survival of the fittest. It does not explain the arrival of the fittest. 

  • Natural selection is adequate to explain the variety of living things we see today.

Even evolutionists do not make this claim. They require spontaneous generation and mutations (at the very least) in addition to natural selection.

  • But this does not rule out mutation as a mechanism for improvement when combined with natural selection. For example, a chess player might be competing against many opponents whose starting position is on occasion changed — slightly, randomly. Then it might be supposed that those opponents with the better starting positions are more likely to win. Suppose the losers drop out and the winners play many further games (dropping out only if they lose all games from the previous starting position, the chance of a random change continuing). Then might it not be reasoned that after much time, the starting positions in use might improve?

The analogy regarding starting positions in a chess game is interesting. The reasoning applied, however, is fallacious on several grounds. Even if the starting positions are being changed slightly, but randomly, there is no guarantee that an improved starting position that results in a winner one time will result in an improved starting position the next game. Quite the contrary, a small modification of an excellent starting position could conceivably be a disastrous starting position.

Moreover, the chess players are presumably intelligent beings. They perform at varying skill levels. So it makes no sense to attribute their characteristics to that of a blind chance mechanism of mutations and natural selection.

The theory of probability applies only to chance phenomena and not to deterministic phenomena. For example, it would be nonsense to ask the question: “What is the probability I will paint my house green?” There is no answer. If I want to paint it green, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. Similarly, the theory of probability cannot be applied to deterministic games such as chess or checkers.

On the other hand, the theory of evolution is based on the assumption that living forms came into existence from nonliving matter by chance. It is amazingly improbable that even the simplest constituents of living things come into existence by chance. This is a valid application of probability.

  • Mutations are like errors in the genetic code. It is this random error-making in the genetic machinery that furnishes evolution with the stuff of creative change.

No one is saying that mutations could not account for some changes in the structure or appearance of organisms. But mutations cannot produce genuinely new forms of life. While minor variations in appearance or structure might be produced by mutations, there is no evidence whatsoever that mutations produce the kind of quantum leaps required by the theory of evolution.

  • The fossil record clearly shows evolution has taken place.

The fossil record provides considerable evidence that evolution did not occur. Consider the facts. Evolution would require a fossil record that shows the gradual changing of one species to another with numerous transitional forms. But instead the fossil record shows broad gaps between fossil species for which there are no intermediate forms.

Note this startling admission of an evolutionist:

“The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid” (Macro-evolution: Pattern and Process, Steven M. Stanley, page 39).

  • Scientists have created life. They made a simple organism that could eat oil spills in the ocean and then die out for lack of food.

Actually, these organisms were not created from nonliving matter. They were developed from existing living organisms through genetics. These genetic engineers have no more claim to creating life than a dog breeder does.

  • You are presenting to your readers the fallacy that science is a finished product and that whatever is speculative in science is therefore wrong.

You have probably all heard someone at one time or another say something like, “Science tells us that…”  and then they make some claim or other.  But science doesn’t tell us anything because it is a mechanism, a method, a tool.  Science doesn’t provide conclusions; humans do.  Those conclusions can be arrived at logically, honestly and accurately  or  irrationally, dishonestly and carelessly—that depends on the scientist.  The Scientific Method involves five steps:

  1. Observation – collecting data
  2. Hypothesis – forming a preliminary possible explanation of the data;
  3. Testing – test the hypothesis by collecting more data, using a control
  4. Results – interpreting the results of the test and deciding if the hypothesis should be rejected.  The hypothesis is rejected if the results contradict it, showing that it is wrong.
  5. Conclusion – stating a conclusion that can be evaluated independently by others using this same method.

After years of scrutiny, certain observed phenomena  (such as gravity)  become established as law.  The problem occurs when scientists usurp the name of science to make authoritative statements of philosophy.  Unfortunately, scientists are not always very clear as to when they are engaging in science, and when they are engaging in philosophy.  Philosophy  can be both reasonable and rational, but it is not scientific, by definition,  because it is not an observable phenomenon  in the physical world.

Many scientists cheerfully admit that they are speculating. We have no complaint with scientific speculation as long as such is truthfully identified as speculation. Evolutionists however do not admit that the theory of evolution is speculative. Instead, they palm off speculation as fact. In the March 23, 1981, issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Rolf M. Sinclair, a physicist at the U.S. National Science Foundation, is quoted as follows:

“The fact of evolution is as incontrovertible as the fact that the earth is spherical rather than flat.”

The author and biochemist Isaac Asimov stated:

“Scientists have no choice but to consider evolution a fact” (“The Genesis War,” Science Digest, October, 1981, page 85).

“Having the fact of evolution before us … ” (ibid., page 85).

“Evolution is a fact … ” (ibid., page 87).

Honestly, does that sound like speculation to you?

  • Your acceptance of God’s existence is not based on rational thinking. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines faith or belief in God as a “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.”

A dictionary is not an arbiter of truth. Actually, dictionaries give several definitions of faith. Not every dictionary definition of faith demands the exclusion of logic, reasoning or material evidence. True faith, the kind of faith spoken of in the Bible, is not a blind, superstitious, illogical faith. It is a faith based on “evidence of things not seen” and is in harmony with logic, reason and the factual world.

  • Where did God come from? Since the creator of the universe would have to be more “complicated” than the universe itself, the probability of God coming into existence by chance would be less than the probability of the universe coming into existence by chance.

This is a popular argument. It has two fundamental flaws.

First of all, an Eternal Being does not need to come into existence, since he has always existed. It makes no sense to ask: “What is the probability that a Being, who always existed, came into existence?” The question is inherently contradictory.

Second, eternal existence is not a chance phenomenon. Someone or something either always existed or did not always exist. No probability is involved. For this reason we cannot apply probability to questions such as, “Does God exist?” or “Has the universe always existed?” 

  • Why could not God have chosen to use evolution to produce life forms we see in the world?

Where does a 500-pound gorilla sit? Wherever he wants. How did an Eternal God create life? Obviously, however he wanted! Would a superintelligent, superpowerful Divine Being use a chaotic, random, haphazard process such as evolution to create life?  Here is a quote the eminent scientist Sir Fred Hoyle:

“The thought occurred to me one day that the human chemical industry doesn’t chance on its products by throwing chemicals at random into a stewpot. To suggest to the research department [of a chemical corporation] that it should proceed in such a fashion would be thought ridiculous” (Engineering and Science, November, 1981, page 12).

This leading scientist, who would have liked to believe in evolution and who was seeking the origin of life in the blind forces of nature, finally had to conclude:

“A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question” (ibid., page 12).

What about you? Do you believe that “simple” life forms came into existence by blind chance in a cosmic chemical stewpot? Do you further believe that such simple living things gradually developed such marvelously intricate structures as hearts, lungs, eyes and brains through “random errors in the genetic code”?

The physical evidence from the factual world leads to only one conclusion — living things had to be planned, designed and created by a Supreme Being!

  • Could A Simple Protein Not Form By Chance?

Proteins are essential molecules for the existence of physical life. Protein molecules consist of chains of chemical compounds called amino acids. A relatively simple protein would consist of a chain of about 100 amino acids.

Suppose we have a “soup” full of amino acids. We want these acids to link up at random to form a protein consisting of 100 amino acids. How many different combinations are there?

There are on earth 20 different types of amino acids available to form proteins. If we wanted a chain of two such acids, there would be 20 possibilities for the first acid and 20 for the second — or 20 x 20 =400 possibilities. If we wanted a chain of three such acids, there would be20 x 20 x 20 = 8,000 possibilities.

For a protein consisting of a chain of 100 acids, therefore, we have 20 x 20 x. … x 20 = 20100 possibilities. But 20100 is approximately equal to 10130, that is, 1 followed by 130 zeros. So we have 10130 possibilities, but only one combination is the right one for a given protein.

Is it reasonable to believe that such a protein could have formed by chance during the history of the universe? The odds against such an event are beyond astronomical.

Source: The Plain Truth, 1983

July 12, 2009

Free Beer During Service: Church Of England Loses Reality!

2782874518_601ff9e585_m[1]Well, the state of modern religion is starting to border on the insane. I found an article in the London Telegraph which shows just how desperate churches are becoming to attract members. This article says the Church of England offered beer and barbecued meats on Father’s Day. Men attending St. Stephen’s church in Barbourne, Worchester were handed bottles of beers by children to slake their thirst during the service.

Other churches offered bacon rolls, chocolate bars, and even a hog roast to the few who found economic times hard enough to sit through a sermon in order to get their alcohol fix and grab some “manna.”

In some ways it is understandable, as a study recently found that less than 20% of men in England attend church monthly. So if you have the wrong message, at least give them the right product to fill the pews.

The archdeacon of St. Stephen’s defended the beer giveaway, comparing it to the flowers that are given to mothers on Mother’s Day. Another bishop tried to legitimize the giveaway by comparing it to the gospel story in which Jesus turned water into wine, because He was “in favor of partying.” This from a man supposedly versed in the Bible, which advocates moderation, rather than a party spirit.

He argued that the free beer was intended to be symbolic of “the generosity of God”. Nothing about the gospel message. Don’t you just love recognizing the truth of the Bible?

July 5, 2009

What Does "Selah" Really Mean?

blog.jstaten.com

blog.jstaten.com

What does the word “selah” (Hebrew: סלה‎) as found in the Psalms and the book of Habakkuk really mean? There have been numerous studies and articles on the meaning of “Selah”–and not a whole lot of agreement.

Selah is found in two books of the Bible, but is most prevalent in the Psalms, where it appears 71 times. It also appears three times in the third chapter of the prophet Habakkuk (3:3, 9,13) .

There is a great deal of confusion about the meaning of “selah,” primarily because the Hebrew root word from which it is translated is uncertain. As such, “selah” may be the most difficult word in the Hebrew Bible to translate concisely.

The Psalms were written as songs and  accompanied by musical instruments and there are references to this in many chapters. Thirty-one of the thirty-nine psalms with the caption “To the choir-master” include “Selah” so the musical context of selah is said to be obvious. Many scholars believe that it was a direction for the musicians to repeat verses, play interludes, tune the instruments, and so on.

Some render “selah” from two Hebrew words: s_lah, to praise; and s_lal, to lift up, or even salah, to pause. From these words comes the belief that “selah” is a musical direction in the Psalms. This would encompass all the meanings—praise, lift up, and pause.

The Septuagint translates Selah into Greek as Äéáøáëìá diapsalma, which may mean interlude. And Strong’s Dictionary gives the meaning under number H5542 as; “suspension (of music), that is pause: Selah.”

However, where it is mentioned again in Habakkuk 3:13, we realize this passage was not written to be sung, though Habakkuk’s prayer could inspire the reader to praise God for His mercy, power, and grace.

Interestingly, Holman’s Bible Dictionary says many of the musical theories proposed  by scholars (the pause either for silence or musical interlude, a signal for the congregation to sing, recite, or fall prostrate on the ground, a cue for the cymbals to crash, a word to be shouted by the congregation, a sign to the choir to sing a higher pitch or louder) are unproveable.

A more plausible meaning?

Another plausible meaning translated “selah” is from the primary Hebrew root word [calah] which literally means “to hang” or “to measure or weigh in the balances.” An example of this word [calah] as it is literally translated ‘valued,’ is in the book of Job, indicating that which is measured.

Job 28:15-16

  • “It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
  • It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.”

These verses use the same Hebrew word [calah], showing the context of “measuring against.” The translation ‘valued’ illustrates the measuring of something for an exchange. In this case, it shows us that wisdom cannot be measured against gold, as it is obviously is beyond monetary value.

In verse nineteen we see this very same illustration again. Referring to wisdom, Job says, “The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.”  Again, the word translated “valued” in this verse is the same Hebrew calah. Job repeats that wisdom is beyond comparing against even jewels, and when weighed in the balance against wisdom, the finest jewels cannot equal its value.

In the French book “The Music of the Bible Revealed,” by Suzanne Haik-Vantoura, we find the same explanation which seems to fit every use of the word in the Bible. The author, who is a Jewish music student, concludes that “selah” was part of the sung text and not an instruction to the players. While she does not define the word itself, her work does suggest that “selah” is similar to the word amen at the end of a prayer, an exclamation of confidence or and certainty of what has been said.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible agrees, stating that it is added “as a mark of attention, something of moment and importance being observed.” The purpose would be to emphasize the truth or seriousness of a passage, and that we should measure and reflect upon what has been said.

And the Adam Clark Commentary says it may come from äìñ salah, meaning to strew or spread out intimating that the subject to which the word is attached should be spreadout, meditated on, and attentively considered by the reader. This may be confirmed by by Psalm 9:16, where the word “higgaion’ (signifying meditation), is put before selah at the end of the verse.” So it is a fit subject for meditation; and shows selah to be really a nota bene; attend to or mind this.”

Vine’s Expository offers another similar explanation: “The word is never used at the beginning of a psalm, nor has it any grammatical connection with the context. Its usual position is either at the end of a strophe or at the end of a psalm. It often connects what precedes with what follows (sometimes by way of contrast, as if to stress both, as if saying, “This being so, give heed to what is now to be said.”

From all facts presented, we can easily see there is a lot of disagreement as to what various experts think is meant by the word and what is conveyed in the use of it. Logically, God knew that the Psalms would be read and not sung over many years of their use, and that there would be confusion about a musical term put into them. He also knew they would be printed in a book to teach His people spiritual concepts of His word of truth in the end time. As such, it seems highly likely that He would put in a word to call special attention to exhort us to ‘weigh’ these things thoughtfully, and to reflect and consider in good sense judgment what is ‘really’ being said, whether we read or sing the psalms.

June 29, 2009

The Tongue: An Unruly Evil

“Show me a Christian that has tamed the tongue,  and I’ll show you a perfect man.”

True Christians are God’s ambassadors on earth. Their citizenship is in heaven and they represent and speak on behalf of the true God of the universe. So God wants to teach them to speak like Him, which means knowing how to rule the tongue.

“For we all make many mistakes, and if anyone makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also” (Jam. 3:2, RSV).

We all make mistakes, but mistakes should not be our way of life. If Christians are able to bridle the whole body, then Christ can rule over them.

“Behold we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small helm; whithsoever the governor listeth”(verses 3-4).

A whole ship can be guide through waves and storms with a little rudder. Our tongue expresses what is in our mind – and if we can just control our tongues, we actually guide our whole being and demonstrate a great deal of character.

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of inequity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell”(verses 5-6).

Hell comes from the Greek word Gehenna, and refers to the lake of fire. God is talking about His begotten sons here, whose eternal lives are at stake. The expression “whole body”, speaks of defiling our whole being — setting the body of Christ on fire — making it a world of inequity. Just by the wrong use of our tongue, we can talk ourselves right into the lake of fire.

Why is it so important to tame our tongue? Because those whom God is working with now will teach every person who has ever lived. Christians need the mind of Christ to direct everything they say. Jesus Christ continually spoke uplifting words while He was here on earth. This is the mind that must be in Christians. They must learn to exercise wisdom in this area. They must learn to say things that will encourage people and lift them up.

A parent also can alter the entire direction of a child’s life, just by the words he speaks to the child. Once your communication turns negative, the cycle quickly becomes destructive. This is the time to repent and watch the tongue. Christ holds the Christian parent accountable for every word he utters.

In general, manking cannot control the tongue and has turned this world into tohu and bohu. It is ruled by deceitful and desperately wicked hearts (Jer. 17:9).

James teaches us about the tongue as no other book in the Bible does. The tongue should express the thoughts of Christ’s mind (Phil. 2:5). But good or bad, the tongue expresses what is on the mind.

“For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison”(Jam. 3:7-8).

Our tongue is full of lethal poison, and no man can tame it. Only God can. Notice: “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God” (James 3:9).

James emphasizes the fact that we are made in the likeness of God. We look like God and were also created with a mind that  animals dont havein order to develop the mind, or image, of God! Man has a much higher potential than any animal which can’t be given the love or wisdom of God! But to achieve that potential, he must learn to control the tongue. That takes the character and mind of Christ. The more you get that mind in you, the more you overcome your human nature and become a force for good!

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (verse 10). Do we bless God, but don’t talk like Him? Do we  love to praise God and “love Jesus”—but at the same time, commit unlawful acts? That is like bitter and sweet water coming from the same fountain, and God will have none of that!

We are ambassadors for Christ. We speak for Him. Do we talk like God? Do we talk like the Bible? Is our speech grounded in God’s Word?

“Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh” (verses 11-12). God demands that we speak the truth. How incongruous would it be to receive bitter and sweet water from the same fountain.

Water is a type of God’s Holy Spirit. We must let God’s Holy Spirit produce pure thoughts in our minds—not contradictory thoughts of confusion.

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (verse 13).

A good conversation is coupled with wisdom, which is the mind of God. This is edifying and uplifting and shows the fruits necessary for Christian growth. God makes a big deal out of a little member of our body. True Christians should take note and make the necessary chanhes to please their creator. Nothing else will satisfy God. And nothing else will bring the reward of eternal life.

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 4, 2009

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

yinvsyang.com

yinvsyang.com

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

Return from the afterlife?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The truth about death

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

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

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

No immortal soul

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

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

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

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

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

A change after death

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

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

The first resurrection

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

The second resurrection

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

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

The third resurrection

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

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

Born again produces change

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

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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