Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Genesis 3:2-5 comments: ye shall not surely die

2  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3  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. 4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Satan makes the woman, whom we later know as Eve, part of his deception, his con-game. We learn in verse 6 that Adam is with her, even though it is often told by preachers that Adam could not possibly have stood by and watched his wife get sucked into the con but later we also see that Adam is quick to blame even God for his actions. Adam is not tricked here, as we understand by what Paul said in a letter to Timothy. He stands by and watches what his wife is being pulled into.

1Timothy 2:14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

 Eve acknowledges that she and Adam are permitted to eat of every tree but one. In fact, she goes beyond what God actually said, in neither shall ye touch it. We often do that with doctrine. God ordains a thing and we go beyond what He said to satisfy our own imaginings, making our new-improved rule God’s standard, when in reality, we have played the part of Eve.

Here, then, Satan makes a shocking statement, calling God a liar or calling into question what God meant by what He said. This is one of the most profound examples of wickedness in history, repeated by every drunk and drug addict before they take their first drink or shoot-up the first time, every sexually immoral person considering their lust, every teenaged boy with a heavy foot on the gas pedal, and every hot-tempered man of violence. Ye shall not surely die. Oh yes, you will, Sparky.

Some people might claim that Satan is telling Eve that they have misunderstood what God meant by what He said but what God said was so clear as to not be uncertain at all. Satan simply denies that what God said was true.

Satan basically tells them that God has tricked them and what He is doing is preventing them from being as gods themselves, having a knowledge of good and evil. Their eyes would be opened. But, while what he is suggesting seems desirable, being as gods, knowing good and evil comes at a price too horrible to contemplate, for death is at the end of that road. To disobey God when there was only one thing you could do on earth that constituted disobedience and the consequence of that one thing was too high a price to pay for such knowledge was the great tragedy of history.

We believe that we must have what we want and to get it we are willing to either deny that what God says will happen will actually happen, or as in the following passage, we simply justify it in our mind.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Genesis 3:1 comments: The Big Sting

1 ¶  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Subtil or subtilty, our modern subtle or subtlety, refers to a shrewd and clever individual, sly in plotting and schemes. This is someone who is full of guile and devices to corrupt and pervert those around him. His type is almost applauded in our culture as resourceful and a “winner” and someone who is likely to get the upper hand.

That Satan came in the guise of a serpent has long been understood by Christians. A serpent, in the history of the mythologies of the world, can also be a dragon and called a worm. It is a powerful motif in many cultures. This is not merely a talking snake. This serpent would have been a magnificent creature.

In the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel the prophets the writers may be talking about a human king and yet also give a description of Satan himself as human kings are often possessed of the traits and self-aggrandizing characteristics of Satan. This is part of the multi-dimensional layout of the Bible. Where the author is giving a description of Satan, as well, is clear to most readers. Here are some descriptions of Satan buried in writing about a human king.

Ezekiel 28:11 ¶  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12  Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13  Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17  Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18  Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19  All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

Isaiah 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

In these passages you get a glimpse of Satan’s majestic appearance, his original position, and his pride. One can imagine him resenting man’s position as having dominion over God’s creation greatly and plotting a way to take man’s place. Satan envies not only Adam. He envies God. It is that pride and ambition that has condemned him.

Satan twists God’s words in his trick. Did God say you can’t eat of every tree in the garden? The ultimate con-man will let his mark talk themselves into the deception. In this way the woman becomes part of the con.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Genesis 2:21-25 comments: one flesh

    21 ¶  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The Creator made the human female from the bone of a male. Woman is the only creature not made directly from the ground. She was made from material already present in the man. What is truly important about this passage is the fact that this is the pattern for marriage before God, the union of a man and a woman as one flesh, this union being the consummation of the marriage. There are a great many sermons to be had in this passage but I will try to avoid sermonizing so as not to take away from what the text literally says. Suffice it to say that many days of sorrow could have been avoided in a young man or woman’s life if they had gone to sleep in a manner of speaking and let God bring them a mate and many an unhappy marriage could have been happier if a young man or a young woman had been capable of leaving the control of their mother and father to start a new life together.

In their original state of innocence the man and the woman had no sense of shame for their nakedness. There were no inhibitions for them in that regard.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Genesis 2:18-20 comments: first creatures named

18 ¶  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19  And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

The word meet means worthy or useful in this context. Here it does not mean to run into someone by accident or design nor is there such a word in the Bible as, “helpmeet.” A help is a person who helps. The following verses reveal one way the Bible defines itself, that is by word substitution. Notice the two words I have put in bold print.

Matthew 3:7 ¶  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Luke 3:7  Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

The power to name represents the power to have dominion over just as the power to tax represents the power to govern. God gives Adam the power to name, not just a label, but recognition of what the beast is in relation to man. God therefore defines animals in the Bible in reference to their relation to agricultural man and military man, as in beast of the forest and beast of the field and function as in a fowl flying, which includes a bat in Leviticus 11, or a fish swimming in the sea which includes a whale comparing Jonah 1:17 and Matthew 12:40. Modern taxonomic classifications having to do with species, family, order, etc. are post-Bible terms that man uses to categorize animals in certain ways that are different from the Bible’s categories. In the Bible, as in modern day reality a beast of the forest is not going to pull your plow as a matter of rule. Here is a reference by God Himself to what we would call a rhinoceros today, which had a much larger range of existence in early days as shown by the Lascaux Cave paintings in France.

Job 39:9  Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? 10  Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? 11  Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? 12  Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

Although Adam did give names to everything there was not found one creature that was useful or worthy to be his co-administrator over God’s creation as the stewards of God’s earth.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Genesis 2:16-17 comments: in the day that thou eatest

16 ¶  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17  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.

This barrier, so to speak, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a real literal, tree, is very important. Mankind was not to reach beyond that barrier. Obedience to God presents blessings and eternal life. Disobedience was a barrier to the fellowship with God that eternal life depended on. God told mankind’s first representative, Adam, not to eat of it. God would grant all things to him and, by extension, to us but we were to obey. There was no law, no rules, no restrictions, no commandments, save this one thing, along with being fruitful and multiplying which seems more of a permission as it carries more obvious benefits, joys, and pleasures.

For a Christian to obey God requires belief, faith, and an expectation of things to come, which benefits are not always apparent. Our choices, our pleasures and entertainments, our professions, and those things and people we surround ourselves with often appear to us to be simply a matter of our own will. However, if we do not choose based on our obedience to God, if our free will is not harnessed to what God has ordained, then we will give the illusion of the goodness of our own will power over us. The end result of our own will, being corrupted by sin, is more sin, and disaster. Of course, this can be complicated by a so-called man of God dictating his will to a congregation as a substitute for God’s, even saying that the so-called man of God is repeating something that God has laid on his heart when it is his own prejudices, bigotry, fear, and self-righteousness that is being expressed. This is done for the purposes of control and self-justification. It is very important, therefore, to know what the Bible says so you can compare everything said to God’s word.

God said that Adam would die if he ate of the tree and he began dying that very moment he ate of it. The penalty for his disobedience was death. Dying is a process. In a way, we begin dying as soon as we are born. With each cell division and in each generation mankind passes on more and more deleterious mutations, so much so that some researchers into genetics have been alarmed at the accumulated damage and amazed that human beings have not become extinct because of it. (19) We will see a statement in a few verses that shows that future generations have the image or appearance of God that Adam had lacking in respects in them.

(19) Alexey S. Kondrashov, “Contamination of the Genome by Very Slightly Deleterious Mutations: Why Have We Not Died 100 Times Over?” Journal of Theoretical Biology, (1995) vol. 175, pp. 583-594.  James F. Crow, “The High Spontaneous Mutation Rate: Is it a Health Risk?” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (Aug 1997) vol. 94, pp. 8380-8386.

The process of dying, mutations, decay, old age, disease, and death are the profound consequences of this disobedience. Death is the great plague of life.

Hebrews 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

To eat of this particular tree was disobedience to God. Disobedience to God is sin. Death is the result of sin.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Genesis 2:8-15 comments: eastward in Eden

8 ¶  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10  And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11  The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12  And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13  And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14  And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. 15  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Speculation is rampant as to where the Garden of Eden was located. However, the destruction wrought by the Flood of Noah’s time has erased all traces and, even if it had not, there are cherubim keeping it from being seen by us as you will see later. The fact of later place names of Eden given to locations in the ancient world or that name given to a person is not a guide as today we see how memory of times past leads us to name towns and places in America after European places and cities. Whether it be New York, New York or Hanover, Pennsylvania the newer place was named after a memory of the older. I believe that Eden is now in the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, based on what the Bible says in Revelation literally. The word paradise comes to us from the Persian for a type of large garden or park, typically a hunting preserve for them.

General locations of these rivers are given, hard to pin down today, which indicate a general location for Eden. It was in the Middle East. I would suspect by all of the references in the Bible to how special Jerusalem is that there was a beautiful garden planted by God that encompassed thousands of square miles in the vicinity of Israel and the land promised to Abraham’s descendants. This is the part of earth that concerns God the most as this is the location for the drama revolving around His restoration of mankind to where they were meant to be, but not by their own doing, but by His actions.

Not only did God plant beautiful, life-giving trees for food in this garden but the Tree of Life was there. It is now in the heavenly city.

Revelation 2:7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations…14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Eating of the fruit of the Tree of Life restores the body and permits the person to inhabit a physical body forever.

Genesis 3:22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

So, clearly this is like some tree you have never seen and has not ever been classified by a scientist.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the one that was in the event that cursed our ancestors and us to death and dying. Why, we ask, was it called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? The fruit imparted no knowledge. The simplest answer is that not eating of the tree, obeying God, is good, and eating of the tree, disobeying God, is evil. Doing what God said to do and not doing what God said not to do is the essence of good and evil. The easiest way for Satan to undercut that, and we will see this shortly, is to call into question what God said.

When you know, from reading the Bible, that God says to love your enemies and you hate even those who disagree with you, much less those who would do you hurt you have made the evil choice because you are disobeying God.

Matthew 5:43 ¶  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

When you have read the book of Job and know that God is angry at those who misrepresent Him and yet you, when somebody suffers, think you know what secret sin they are hiding that makes them worthy of their pain, you are choosing evil. Evil is malicious, meaning disaster, calamity, and trouble. Like vengeance, it is God’s prerogative those who oppose Him. It is not your right to express, particularly in the congregation of the Lord.

For us, in the context of our behavior in the congregation of the Lord, the local church, we are not to even allow the appearance of such malice to express itself, but we have failed in that, have we not?

1Thessalonians 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Romans 12:17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Which way have you chosen?

If you wish to get snarky about the Law given to Moses, the religious and civil law for the Hebrews, and start using examples from there to point out things about killing Canaanites or stoning wayward children, understand first that, for Christians;

Galatians 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

The laws given to Moses are not your marching orders unless those commands are repeated by Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, Jude, and James under the new covenant.

Mankind’s first job, his constant employment, was to care for the Garden of Eden. What a wonderful, unmodern, thought. Imagine the lack of running around like a madman, keeping schedules, cellphones, televisions, timeclocks, deadlines, and greed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Genesis 2:4-7 comments: man becomes a living soul

4 ¶  These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5  And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6  But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7  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.

In verse 4 we have another use of the word day, as a period of time rather than a 24-hour day. It is also used later in the Bible for the time of God’s judgment on a gentile nation or Israel.

Isaiah 34:8  For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

There are three heavens; the atmosphere, outer space, and, “the abode of God and the blessed dead,” as I once read it called. The account in Genesis, chapter 1, refers to the creation of the first two.

2Corinthians 12:2  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

Of course the third heaven is not mentioned because it had to exist prior to the creation of things physical. The sons of God, spiritual beings who are represented by angels, rejoiced to see the creation of the earth.

Job 38:7  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Genesis, chapter 1, presents literally a view of the creation of the physical universe and biological life.

Verse 5 is another example of how vastly different the earth was at the beginning as God watered the seeds of what He created with a mist to water the ground and there was no rain. The reason given is that there was not a man to work the ground that God had created. Plant life was created on the third day while man is not created until the sixth.

The first man was created from the dust of the ground. Perhaps we moderns can think of that as the elements of the earth. Man is a creature created from that which was already formed. This first man became a living soul when God breathed into him. These are first things, the original seeds of plants, before they grew, watered by the mist and man becoming alive when given breath. Some have used this to say that a baby isn’t alive until it breathes due to man not being a living soul until he breathed for the first time. But, like the mist that watered the ground the first man’s entry into the status of living was a one-time thing at the very beginning and can hardly be considered as a justification for abortion as awareness, the essence of a baby’s consciousness, or of God’s knowledge of the unborn’s condition, is present regarding the unborn child from then on.

Regarding the unborn John the Baptist;

Luke 1:44  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

And the prophet, Jeremiah;

Jeremiah 1:4 ¶  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

At least since Darwin’s time science has grown to theorize that mankind descended, along with modern apes, from an ape-like creature, through stages of mutations that helped move him forward from the primitive ape to man in a process of evolution called natural selection. However, evolutionists also accept the contradictory evidence that man is vastly different from an ape. For instance, on the site, macroevolution.net, that postulates the idea that humans are hybrids, the result of matings between pigs and chimps, it is noted that one reason for that conjecture is the tremendous difference between man and primates. Many stark as well as subtle differences are listed on the website between man and primates.(17)

We have been bombarded in the popular culture with statements about how we share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees. However, scientists also say we share genes with the Swedish mudworm so does that mean we are descended from mudworms?(18) Years ago scientists argued that so-called Neanderthals differed from modern humans by so much that we could not be related, however, the point spread they noted from a genetic perspective was no more than that which existed between populations of chimpanzees and they were still chimpanzees. What lies under the surface is not the possession of similar building materials but that a bus stop, a tool shed, a house, and a civic center, while using similar materials are vastly different structures. So, with genes, it is not the possession of similar genes or the same genes but the expression of those genes.

In any event, evolution as the development of mankind from worms to ape-like creatures to Neanderthals to brain surgeons is a fairy tale for adults who are justifiably terrified of God’s judgment but just haven’t come to terms with their terror. Believe the Bible and your hold on truth is secure while modern man dances like a dervish around you into oblivion.

2Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Man was created directly by God on the sixth day of creation.

(17) Eugene M. McCarthy, PhD in Genetics, http://www.macroevolution.net/human-origins.html (accessed 5.17.2016).

(18) “Humans Related to Humble Mudworm,” BBC News, 21 Aug 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3170245.stm

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Genesis 2:1-3 comments: the nature of reality

1 ¶  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

So, on a physical, literal day, the seventh, God ceased from the creating He had done the last six days. There are those commentators who insist that this seventh day, as it does not speak of an evening and a morning, goes on forever and God stopped creating anything. Certainly, there will be things made from this point that did not exist before this. For instance, in the upcoming verses God plants a garden. Later, He will create, in a manner of speaking, Israel. At some point in the future He will prepare a great fish specially to swallow a man. He is even preparing a place for us in eternity. In Job He tells us that He is doing things in places where man does not see. So, whether or not He is doing something along the lines of the original creation we will not know until we are with Him physically. One thing is clear. God likes to make things and He likes variety by the diverse nature of creation itself.

The book of Job, which many believe is the oldest book penned in the Bible, explains that all physical reality is by the direct action of God. There are no laws of Physics, constants and laws are all semantic and cultural constructs to explain events without God, as all things are by a direct action of the will of God either in allowing something to happen or causing something to happen. For instance, in God’s arrival in Job He asks several rhetorical questions such as, “where were you when I did such-and-such,” or, “can you do what I do every day?” These questions are designed clearly to show us and Job God’s involvement in all reality. Here, God states that every clod of dirt that forms in a farmer’s field, trillions of times over around the world each day, is formed by Him as He asks Job if Job can do that. He then says in this manner, contrary to what we think when we watch a nature video on our computer, that the predator gets his prey from God, not from his own ability or luck.

Job 38:38  When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together? 39  Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, 40  When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? 41  Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

This sentiment is repeated elsewhere.

Psalm 104:21  The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.

Science, since Isaac Newton’s time, after this Bible was published, of course, just like the Counter-Reformation’s triumph in Richard Simon’s criticism of the Old Testament was applauded by Enlightenment thinkers and German theologians and rationalists, reduce God, when He was even considered at all, to the First Cause only. God was reduced to acting at one time in history, like the fundamentalists who believe that only the original writings of the Bible writers were inspired by Him. God was shoved back into a distant corner and everything else operated by so-called natural causes or man’s will. The Bible denies this. If God is a watchmaker He not only makes the clock but causes the hands to turn and the gears to wind. If you want to see God’s will in action get up and walk across the room. He has permitted it or else you stumble and fall, have a cramp, or worse, an aneurysm or a heart attack. God’s will permits a man to throw a punch at me and God’s will permits me to defend myself or not.

So, what of evil you ask? What of disaster and calamity, say, of the 2004 tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands? First, we have to understand and the Bible will explain that there is no war between God and Satan. God is totally in control. He permits Satan to do what he wishes to mankind under specific restrictions but Satan can go no further. Read Job. What about our free will? We have the freedom to choose whom we will follow; God or our Self. But, as offences will come but woe to the man through whom they come (Matthew 18:7). If you choose Self and sin it will take you, as the preachers say, further than you want to go and make you stay longer than you want to stay, and make you pay more than you want to pay.

God controls all outcomes, even the ones we think of as horrible.

Job 2:10  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Lamentations 3:37 ¶  Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? 38  Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? 39  Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? 40  Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. 41  Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Isaiah 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

We have the consolation that God loved the world at the Cross and loves those that have received Christ and are His. The rest of the world is under God’s wrath. Satan is already judged and has but a short time. Those who reject Christ, along with Satan, will spend eternity in agony.

History is filled with examples of God’s judgment. Abraham Lincoln even acknowledged that the American Civil War was a judgment from God on the entire nation. God uncovers, God reveals, God permits, until our evil overflows and then God visits and disposes. We have our will, we get our way, and then God has His.

The God presented in the Bible is totally in control of all reality, all that is or could be, and it is time that Christians fell on their faces and acknowledged His might as well as His goodness and His love and understood that they are totally dependent on His mercy. For God is totally in control and makes happen every cell function, every beat of your heart, and when you will enter into eternity down to the second.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Genesis 1:31 comments: six days to create

31 ¶  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

The initial act of creation took six physical, literal days. The Bible doesn’t specifically say when this happened. This is disturbing because it could have. For example, the beginning of the building of Solomon’s temple is pinned to the Exodus from Egypt as shown in;

1Kings 6:1  And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

But, God did not see fit to set the creation down in a specific statement of a date although many, including myself, believe that it probably did not take place much earlier than 6,000 years ago as a general reading of who was father to whom can show. This goes against all modern dating techniques and the theories of both atheistic evolutionists and intelligent design advocates. They all believe in long ages of millions and billions of years although some of the latter believe in a God or gods while some of the former believe in panspermia from a stellar cloud or perhaps the seeding of earth by an alien super-civilization.

In any event, modern dating methods are either pinned to events in history whose date we think we know when calendars in the past have been as much a cultural and religious construct as they have ever been an accurate method of dating. So, some dating methods are pinned to historical events which are pinned to other historical events and processes whose dating accuracy is, at best, uncertain. Other dating methods are pinned to things that are subject to transport contamination where the materials being measured may have been altered by some other material. Other dating methods are pinned to events that are affected by climate conditions. Most of them are dependent upon things happening in the distant past, which is not observable, as they are in the present, of which the Bible denies this is the case. The conditions of creation were vastly different than they are now.

As an example, dinosaur bones have typically been dated by the strata of earth they are found in and the bones not carbon-dated themselves. Recently, not only have red blood cells been found in supposed 60 million years old bones, which is an improbability at best, but actual carbon-dating of dinosaur bones have declared them to be no more than a few tens of thousands of years old rather than tens of millions.

My point is, to the young Christian who is uncertain, that there is not enough evidence as the fossil record is incomplete and inconsistent and the methods and procedures of dating are uncertain and questionable that we should not spend any time doubting God’s word, the musings of theoretical scientists aside. Long ages of earth fit rather easily into pagan Hindu mythology just as the Big Bang Theory’s Singularity is a linear descendant of the Kabbala’s mustard seed or the Hindu Golden Egg and modern atheistic evolution is merely a continuance of ancient Greek philosophers guessing about man moving from puddle to paradise rather than from God’s creation to Satan’s helpless stooge.

The conclusion is that God’s creation took six days to complete and it was good. Enough said, so it is settled for anyone who has faith in God’s written word.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Genesis 1:29-30 comments: a diet of plant-life

29 ¶  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

This is one example of how vastly different things were on the early earth. Notice what God said to Noah after the Flood.

Genesis 9:1 ¶  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

There are various possibilities. Perhaps God did not create predators until after the Flood or perhaps all creatures, even meat-eaters today, were capable of surviving on vegetable matter, then.  Even today everyone has known of a house-cat who liked green things so it is not that a predator cannot eat such things but that, as cats are obligate carnivores today and must have meat, so the original cat-creatures had to not have that need for health and survival. The point is that the entire ecosystem, lush and tropical as it may have been, did not require killing for survival.

With regard to the conditions under which we live a famous atheist scientist noted.

The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive; others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites; thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored….In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. (14)

But, is death necessary at all in biology? Another evolutionary scientist acknowledged that it is not.

Humans on rare occasions may survive to 120 years, some turtles to 200. But all animals eventually die. Many single-cell organisms may die, as the result of accident or starvation; in fact the vast majority do. But there is nothing programmed into them that says they must die. Death did not appear simultaneously with life. This is one of the most important and profound statements in all of biology. At the very least it deserves repetition: Death is not inextricably intertwined with the definition of life. (15)

Nevertheless, here we have a clear statement that both man and beast’s diet consisted of non-animal matter in the early earth.

“Dentition suggests an omnivorous diet, in which nuts and fruits, grubs, and perhaps some kind of vegetable shoots were more important than animal flesh.” (16)

Note Paul’s statement;

Romans 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

The question we have to ask ourselves is this. Is this, in Romans, the world of men or the world as in the earth? There are two distinct usages of world in the Bible, based on context. One might be considered the people that dwell upon the earth and one the earth itself.

Revelation 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Job 37:12  And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.

[A third possible meaning can be the world system of things; philosophy, entertainment, and politics and trends.

1John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.]

In any event, the early earth was a vastly different place, at least until the time of Adam and Eve’s downfall, than it was after that or is now. Of course, the question also hinges around what we, in this modern age, regard as life or living. The Biblical definition will be important for our consideration in a few chapters. As there is some philosophical question today over whether or not something that replicates itself is alive, such as a computer program, or, by strict definition, whether a virus, which does not have its own machinery for reproducing but takes over the host’s equipment for that, is a living thing, the question of what constitutes life is important for our understanding here.

(14) Richard Dawkins, River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic Books, 1995), 154-155.

(15) William R. Clark, Sex and the Origins of Death (London: Oxford University Press, 1998), 54.

(16) William H. McNeil, Plagues and Peoples (New York: Anchor Books, 1976), 36.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Genesis 1:26-28 comments: in our image

26 ¶  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

In verse 26 it is said that man is made to look like God in His three parts of body, soul, and spirit. Man could have been made to fly or walk on all fours like a beast as God does have a prototype of a beast with a man’s face as you can see by looking at the verses I mentioned earlier in Ezekiel and Revelation with regard to the cherubim. So, the definition here and elsewhere of the three parts of God making men in His image will become an important point in the walk on earth of Jesus Christ, who is the body, the image, and the likeness of God.

Hebrews 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Colossians 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

As God consists of three parts that can operate independently but with the same will; hence the use of our here, so man is composed of three parts.


1Thessalonians 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

2Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Mankind had dominion, stewardship, or management over all life on earth as given by authority of God. The first man was genetically perfect, no doubt. This is God’s initial bestowing of a title, an authority under Him, a kingship, if you will, over His living creation to mankind. As Genesis 37:8 and other verses show us, having dominion means to reign over.

The words man and him include male and female, or them, the specifics of which creation will be revealed in a few verses.

Here in 28 we have an issue with the word replenish which plays a certain role in the belief in a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This English word is used seven times in some form in the Bible. The word it comes from in Hebrew is used 108 times for fill as in verse 22. Replenish meant in 1611 in English to fill again and to fill and to provide that which is lacking. Taking the strictly modern meaning of replenish as to fill again is typical of 19th century interpretation where the Bible was taken literally, not in the context in which it was written, but in the context from which it is interpreted at the time, which leads to sore errors. You don’t need the Hebrew to see by comparing verses and God’s command that replenish in verse 28 is linked to fill in verse 22 as a synonym.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Genesis 1:20-25 comments: life on land and water

    20 ¶  And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21  And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22  And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23  And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

    24 ¶  And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

In this passage we can see the origination of living things from the sea and the earth. God calls for abundance. From the evidence available some scientists have estimated the biomass or total life on earth, at various points in their assumed epochs or time periods, to be 500 times the biomass of earth we find today on an earth that was uniformly tropical in climate. Based on the fossil evidence available to us, which does not show a uniform progression of life from simple to complex as theoretical scientists would have you believe, remains of tropical plants can be found all over the earth. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas are thought to be by the majority of scientists the result of an immense decaying biomass formed under intense pressure over time.

Contradicting evolutionary theory God brought great creatures of a large size into being in one day along with birds and other fowls, or any winged creature.

A whale is a large sea creature and can be what we today would call a mammal or it can be one of the many types of fish we observe. The classification of mammal and reptile came after the Bible was written and is purely man’s way of categorizing animals as the word mammal once had to do with the breast and a reptile was any creeping or crawling thing, not just a snake, but included an earthworm.

Cattle includes sheep and beeves or bovine creatures useful to man.

Genesis 30:32  I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.

Numbers 31:28  And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:

God divides creatures into categories based on their usefulness to mankind although they are God’s property and He knows them all and regards their lives very closely.

Psalm 50:10  For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11  I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

Matthew 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

And their uses by man are limited by God’s standards of mercy and kindness.

Proverbs 12:10  A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Luke 14:5  And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

2Samuel 12:3  But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

And as we have seen in history and know, in fact, if we are honest wild animals rarely are useful as domesticated companions of mankind. A unicorn is a one-horned animal, probably the rhinoceros, which once had a range from China to Spain as evidenced by the Lascaux cave paintings in France.

Job 39:9  Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? 10  Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? 11  Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? 12  Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

They reproduce after their kind meaning no cat ever became a dog and, contrary to the musings of theoretical scientists, no giant lizard ever became a bird. Fossil evidence suggests there were a few prototypes of all of the species we have today. Diversity within a kind is immense but there is no evidence that a dog-like creature became a possum, so get over it.

Some final thoughts on evolution, as understood, for this section. Standard evolutionary thought is that mutations cause changes in an organism which are then selected for survivability which is called natural selection. This is supposed to be how the original one-celled creature became the diverse life on earth in spite of the relative genetic complexity of even the simplest organism. However, this survival of the fittest breaks down on a number of intellectual levels. One, a pod of shrimp, save for a few, being eaten by a whale would more likely be called the survival of the luckiest, wouldn’t you say? Two, creatures do live long enough to pass along harmful mutations, of which most mutations are harmful or even deadly, so this survival of the fittest also includes survival of the unfittest, too. Third, even scientists who believe in evolution understand that basic structures like the limb, wing, leg and foot, arm and hand of many creatures don’t reflect any necessary survival trait that came into being but a common form that looks more like the design of an engineer than an accident caused by brute forces of nature working with accidental mutations. There are so many problems and questions raised by atheistic evolution that are simply solved by believing what God has said here through Moses.

One thing is sure. God loves diversity in nature and has created an abundant and varied bundle of life. (1Samuel 25:29)

It would appear to me that the living creatures that surround the throne of God in Revelation 4:6-7 and Ezekiel, chapters 1 and 10 may be representative of the prototypes in the spiritual world for living creatures on earth and, hence, what we are told about represent only a small part of what we will see. It is important to note that Satan is one of these cherubim, these spiritual creatures, as per Ezekiel 28, and we do get a glimpse of animals, notably horses, in the spiritual world in 2Kings 6 and other places.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Genesis 1:14-19 comments: the fourth day

14 ¶  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18  And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The Bible teaches an earth-centered and an earth-focused universe. Theoretical scientists dismiss this notion as, in order to push an atheist agenda this cannot be accepted. However, some of the most brilliant scientists have admitted that the earth appears, from their own observations, to be in a central location in the universe although they simply cannot intellectually accept that.

Fred Hoyle, one of history’s great theoretical scientists, wrote in a textbook published in 1975;

However, [refers to a diagram of the universe] would demand a special relation of our own galaxy to the universe, since in this figure we have taken our galaxy to be located in the center of a nonuniform distribution of galaxies. It hardly seems plausible that our galaxy would be in any such privileged position. So we answer the above question [would anywhere appear to be the center making the universe acentric?] affirmatively on intellectual grounds rather than because such an answer is determined by observation.(10)

The fact that, according to the observations of many theoretical scientists, based on the data they have collected based on their own theories and mathematical models, the earth may be in a central position in the universe is interesting, to say the least. Regarding the belief that was once widely held by both scientists and Christians, that the earth was the center of the solar system (geocentric theory) rather than the sun (heliocentric theory), as Copernicus theorized, Hoyle had this interesting statement to make. “We now know that the difference between a heliocentric theory and a geocentric theory is one of relative motion only, and that such a difference has no physical significance.” (11) Remember there are no walls, ceiling, or floors in space so determining relative motion without those reference points can be very complicated and often the evidence and mathematical calculations can point to one way and also prove the reverse.

In the controversial book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe by University of Washington scientists, Peter Ward, a geologist and paleontologist, and Donald Brownlee, astronomer and astrobiologist, put forth the evidence and theory that showed that for life to exist on earth the universe was perfectly suited and even a slight variation in much of the observable universe would result in a lifeless earth.

From our perspective here the earth appears to be the center of the universe and the only place where the existence of life is necessary. The Bible here states clearly that the sun and the moon were created for the earth, for purposes here, and were not formed by a random process without meaning.

However, modern ideology, that life is basically an accident and we are insignificant, swirling in an equally insignificant position in the universe, is the prevailing modern myth that you are allowing your children to be indoctrinated by in public school and in college.

By the way, with regard to the moon in verse 16 the Bible tells us that it does not generate light of its own…

Job 25:5  Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.

…just as we are told that the earth is not attached to any object…

Job 26:7  He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

…and that it is circular in shape…

Isaiah 40:22  It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

…and that in the expanse of outer space there is a vast empty place as Job 26:7 stated above, which we have confirmed by observation. (12)

And yet, theoretical scientists, in the main, deny the Bible’s truth. However, any honest reading of philosophers of science will show you that theoretical science is driven by ideology as much as it is any honest assessment of the evidence.(13)

Your best bet is to believe the Bible as literally written. It is a primary source, given to men by the God who created them, and is thoroughly reliable while the musings of theoretical scientists are not. The sun and the moon exist to perform certain functions with regard to the earth, not as accidental events of nature in space-time.

(10) Fred Hoyle, Astronomy and Cosmology: A Modern Course (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman & Co., 1975), 87.

(11) Ibid., 416.

(12) Sarah Knapton, “Mysterious Supervoid in Space is Largest Object Ever Discovered, Scientists Claim,” The Telegraph, April 20, 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11550868/Giant-mysterious-empty-hole-found-in-universe.html.

(13) Suggested reading includes Richard Lewontin's Biology as Ideology,  Paul Feyerabend’s The Tyranny of Science and Against Method, Ian Hacking’s Representing and Intervening, Nancy Cartwright’s How the Laws of Physics Lie, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and The Copernican Revolution, and E.A. Burtt’s The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, all of which I have read and have in my library.