Creation – Faith

Creation Theology
If we wish to understand Creation, and the origins of the universe, plants, animals, and even mankind we must turn to the scripture. Scripture is the sole authority on all spiritual matters, and Creation is indeed a spiritual matter. (2 Corinthians 4:18). While we understand that in this world we have certain laws of nature and science that are used to sustain the way in which life is organized and controlled, we must also allow that the origin of these comes from the supernatural, or spiritual. All of Creation is a construct of God. Scripture gives us an explanation of these events and reveals God to us as the Creator. Science can help us to validate some things found in scripture. Historical records can give account to the trustworthiness of certain biblical figures, their actions, and how they lived their lives. Archeology can validate the existence of ancient civilizations and allow us to reconstruct what daily life may have been like for our forefathers. Paleontology, and other related studies, can also show us the different species of animals that once thrived on the earth, and give us possible evidences of why they are no longer with us. Geology can give us clues to catastrophic events like the flood, and the subsequent ice age. Laws of nature and physics can give us the boundaries of universal laws that have existed since the creation event. DNA and gnome mapping can give us insight into the complexity of life and how traits are carefully passed down from generation to generation. We can see the safeguards that are put in to protect the species from crossing unseen lines of generational evolution through defect and mutation. All of these studies point to an intelligent design. They tell us of the need for a highly intelligent designer. These sciences can point us towards the reality of God. Scripture can tell us who God is. Nature can show us his intellect, and his involvement in our everyday lives. The Gospel Jesus Christ tells us about his love for all of his creation, especially mankind as a whole, and as individuals. Genesis reveals God’s plan of salvation established before the creation of the universe.
Science, however; is restricted to being able to measure, and interpret the things that are inside of the creation. Science cannot give answers to the things that are outside of the created universe. Science cannot give us a full understanding of eternity, origins of the universe, or even gravity for that matter. Science cannot answer questions like: What caused the creation event? Where did matter originate? Where did energy originate? When the end of space is reached, what is after that? Is there a God? If there is a God, where is he? If there is a God, why did he create us? These are questions that demand an authoritative answer. An opinion or a guess does nothing to satisfy this deep need of an answer. Mankind has always had one stirring question, “Why are we here?” Where science finds its limits, scripture abounds with the answers. Science can drive us to realize the need for an existence of God, but scripture tells us of the certainty of God. Scripture introduces us to God and reveals who he is, why we were created, and what our purpose is.


The Old and New Testament Scriptures of the Holy Bible are our authoritative text that answers all of these questions and more. When the Apostle, Paul of Tarsus, wrote his child in Christ, Timothy, he encouraged this young Pastor that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16). We can see the confidence that the apostle had in the scriptures. We can see the confidence that Pail told Timothy he needed to have in the authority of scripture. We too as believers in Jesus Christ, should also have this bold confidence in the scriptures. Many modern Christians have been brought up in the aftermath of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. We have been told that this science is the authority of human origins and that as such, it is unquestionable. At this point I employ you to do your own research. Just as Paul said that we should search out the scriptures to see if what he was saying was true, we should search out what Darwinist are saying to see if it is true. If an apostle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is willing for you to search out and verify that what he is saying is true, then shouldn’t we have the same challenge accepted by Darwinist? Can Darwin’s theory really be proven, or is it something that we have to just take on faith and hope? I think you will find as, I did and, many modern scientists are finding out; the Big Bang, Evolution, and even the fossil records are all taken by faith, just like Christianity and the Holy Bible. Darwin himself proposed excuses for why his theory may never be proven. He stated that the geological record was a history of the world imperfectly kept. Then later he laid out the process of how the evidence should be regarded. He said that in cases of positive paleontological evidence we can implicitly trust them, but negative evidence is worthless. Darwin says that any possible evidence found to support evolution must be admitted as science, but any evidence that does not support evolution must be ignored. That fails the scrutiny test, doesn’t it? We must grant that science either cannot or will not give truthful answers to things that are inside of creation. Nor, can science, by its very nature, give us answers to things that are outside of the laws of nature and science. We should turn to the only authority who can. This authority is the Holy Bible, and it begins with the book of Genesis.
Genesis is the first of five books referred to as the Pentateuch. The author of the Pentateuch is traditionally ascribed to Moses. This book is believed to have been written from 1450-1410 B.C. Genesis contains a record of the real-life history of individuals, peoples, tribes, and nations. Much of the information concerning these events are readily available in archaeological finds that have corroborated the customs, languages, and common life events recorded in the Bible. From this book we get such familiar stories as Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, the Plaques of Egypt, Moses and the Ten Commandants, and the Origins of life. One of the great things that the Pentateuch does is give detailed enough lineages that can be used to get a general estimation of the age of the earth.


Interestingly we can see through the linage of Adam, how the Creation event could have been passed down with accuracy from Adam to Noah. Adam is reported to have fathered his son Seth at the age of 130. He then live on for another 800 years, dying at the age of 930 years. (Genesis 5:3-5) Adam would have lived long enough to relay the events of creation, the fall of man, and the promise of a redeemer to generations of descendants including: Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah. Methuselah is the Grandfather of Noah. It is clear by Noah’s faith in God that he was well aware of who God is, and that God was the Creator of the Universe. Genesis 9:29 tells us that Noah lived 950 years. Just counting Adam and Noah, this gives us over 2000 years of historical data from the creation to after the flood. Here is another something that these genealogies give us. Noah lived 450 years after the birth of Shem. Shem had Arphaxad when he was 100. Arphaxad had Salah at the age of 35. When Salah was 30 he had his son Eber. Eber had Pelet when he was 34. Then Peleg had Reu at the age of 30. When Reu was 32 he had Serug. Serug had Nahor at 30. Nahor had his son Terah at 29. Then finally at the age of 70 Terah had Abraham, who it the father of the Jewish nation. That is a total of 400 years. How long did Noah live after having his son? The answer is 450 years. Noah could have passed on the eyewitness testimony of Adam, and his own eyewitness testimony of the flood to all of his descendants for 9 generations, including Abraham. Including the linage of Noah up to the life span of Abraham gives us another 500 years of constant history. This means that we have a constant chain-of-custody of the world-wide flood, and the beginning of the creation event to include the creation of Man. (Adam). Abraham had his son Isaac who had his son Jacob (Israel) who the tribes of Israel come from. This then leads to Joseph and the Egyptian slavery. This leads us into Moses the author.


The English word genesis comes to us through a Latin word based on the Greek tittle to this book. The Hebrew word used translates to, “in the beginning”. Merriam-Webster defines Genesis as, “the origin or coming into being of something”. In the book of Genesis, in the Holy Bible, we find the origins of the universe, and everything that is contained within. This includes the stars, earth and moon, man, sin, civilization, and time. This also includes the laws that govern science and nature. Genesis also reveals to us a personal God, the purpose of man, and the anticipation of a redeemer. “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:14-15) With all of these things that Genesis covers, it never mentions the origin of God. This is simply because, God existed prior to the creation event. The Genesis story just begins with a simple assumption.

Examples of this found in scripture are:
• John 17:24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
• Ephesians 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
• Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began”
• Hebrews 1:10, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:”
God simply IS, and God simply CREATED. This is the first matter of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1). Through faith we know that the whole structure of the universe was planned out and implemented by God. From generation to generation men have staked their lives, their families, and the existence of the human race on this faith in God. (Hebrews 11) God as the Creator is the single important most concept upon which the rest of the scriptures hinge upon. The apostle John wrote concerning Jesus that, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). The word beginning refers to the creation event, thus reinforces that (1) Jesus existed prior to creation, (2) Jesus is God, and therefore God existed prior to creation. We know this because the following verse tells us the all things were made by him (Jesus, God). We must believe that God is, and that the events he has let us know concerning creation are true. Without this basis we cannot proceed in faith. If God lied about the events, timing, or sequence of creation, then we cannot trust anything else that God reveals about himself in the scriptures. (Psalm 33:4; Psalm 56:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; John 8:32; John 17:17; Revelation 21:5) Our faith would be in vain. But God has provided this record for us, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4), this is so that we can take comfort in what he has promised, and look forward to his fulfillment of his promises. We can look forward in hope to the resurrection of life in Jesus Christ, because it is this same God who has ordained it. This God, who created the entire universe has always cared for his creation, and always will.


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
The beginning is not a reference to eternity. This beginning is a reference to the creation of the universe. This also gives us the establishment of time. Time gives us past present and a future. Without a reference in time we cannot know how things were established. There would be no order, and no frame to the events that God was soon to put in effect, in his creation. If there were no construct of time the meaning of days, years, or seasons would have no effect or purpose. We must also consider that the sequence of events was important and necessary to the design of creation, and that God thought it important enough to tell us of the sequence. This shows forethought and intelligence in the design and manner of creation. But this does something else. It tells us that before “time” began, God IS. This means before there was a universe, before there was time, space, matter and all the things that were needed to create life, let alone sustain it, God IS. He exists. One more thing to ponder, if there is a beginning, there must be an end. This shows that there is a completed plan of events that must transpire, and eventually there will be an end to the creation. This also means that time itself will end. God, however, will still exist-because he exists outside of time and creation. “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” (Isaiah 43:13)
God does not need anything to sustain him or to give him life. This is an extremely hard concept for us to fathom, because everything in our world and the universe needs something else to sustain it. Nothing is self-sustaining in all of creation. We have no way to comprehend how something could have always been in existence, or how it is self-sustaining. We are like a fish in an aquarium we have no reference for anything outside of the aquarium’s environment. The fish can look at everything in the aquarium. The fish, if it were capable, could know that everything it needs to live is present. It gets food, oxygen, the water is cleaned, and his environment never runs out of water. The fish can see in everything around it the care of the owner of the aquarium, but it cannot grasp the concept that there is another whole world outside the aquarium. The fish has no comprehension of how the aquarium was put together to give it life. The fish is born into the aquarium, and therefore has no reference of the age of the owner of the aquarium. It does not know how the owner came into existence and it cannot comprehend such a concept that the owner has always been there, even before the fish was brought into the aquarium. This is the way man is with God.


We have no frame of reference available to us to understand how God could have always been in existence. Since we cannot know this, Genesis starts off with a simple assumption, God does exist. Instead of explaining God right off, Genesis explains how everything was brought into existence by God, and the rest of the scriptures reveal God to us gradually, so that we can come to know the Creator. It is like any other relationship we encounter. No one ever meets someone and immediately receives a dissertation on who they are or where they come from with follow up questions and evidentiary procedure motions after that. Nor do we immediately know what there likes and dislikes are, and so on. Instead we learn intimate details of someone over time from spending time with them and having mutual experiences with them. We learn about who someone is by seeing them in life events and watching how they handle those events. How someone handles both good and bad events can reveal a lot about them. This is how we learn about the Creator, in the study of scripture, study of his creation, and in time spent in prayer and worship. We enter a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, and learn of him as we spend time with him. Therefore, God, who has always existed, decided to create. This first verse tells us where space, time, matter, and energy all came from.


God created. (John 1:3). God created the heaven and the earth. First is it important to understand that this verse clearly shows that God is separate from his creation. I mention this to directly dispel the belief of pantheism. Pantheism is a belief that the culmination of the universe and everything in it is
God.

We see in the first two chapters of Genesis that:

(1) God existed first,

(2) God created,

(3) everything God created was good.

This would also dispel polytheism, because there is only one God who made everything. It would also dispel the eastern philosophies that give root to a good and bad mutual relationship of interaction in the universe like yin-and-yang, or karma. God and the universe are exclusive, and separate from one another. The universe was created by God, for God. Consider the following verses concerning God’s existence as separate from his creation:
Before the mountains were brought forth,or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Psalm 90:2)
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)
It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name. (Amos 9:6)

In Genesis 1:1 the word heaven is singular and references space. At this time God spoke the physical universe into existence. Space gives us three dimensions: length, height, and width. This is important because there must be a place created in which everything could be placed. In computer programming this is called a container. We could also look at it like this, you need a pot to make a soup in. Without the space in the pot, you could not put all of the ingredients together to make the soup. This is what the creation of space did, it make a place to put all of the ingredients needed to make the creation event possible. The word earth is a reference to the creation of matter. Matter also had three dimensions: liquid, solid, and gas. We now have a container that has something in it. The matter in its raw state was uninhabitable. Even at this stage though we now have established the basic building blocks of life. We also have a suitable environment that life can be created in. There is also the construct of time through which project benchmarks can be measured. Even at this stage there is evidence of an intelligent design. This is the same intelligence of design that is used in boardrooms by project managers, engineers, and military strategists all over the world today. We have a timeline and a project board, and ingredients and a place to prepare them.


Here is what Isaiah has to say concerning creation:


Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12)


I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (Isaiah 45:12)


Since God created the universe this makes him the Creator. Seems simple enough. As the Creator he has absolute authority over his creation. He directs the creative process. He establishes the boundaries. God engineers the dependencies and sets the foundation. He establishes the rules, rewards, and even the punishments. He manages the workflow and is responsible to provide everything necessary for the project completion. He answers to no one, including his creation. (Job 37:14-16). Since he has complete autonomy over his creation, he is under no obligation to explain anything. Furthermore, his creation has no authority to demand an explanation if one is not forthcoming. It is arrogance for the creature to look to the creator and either deny he exists, or to tell him that the manor of which he created, makes no sense. Lucky for us, God wants us to know who he is, and has supplied the answers we need in scripture and in creation itself. (Job 12:7-10; Psalm 19:1; Psalm 96:11-12; Isaiah 43:20; Romans 1:20) What then can we learn about God in his act of creation as revealed in the scriptures?
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)


Before we move forward in this verse, we must discuss the white space between verse one and verse two. This is referred to as the Gap Theory. The gap theory suggests that there is a very large time interval that takes place between the two verses. This theory is referred to as Theistic Evolution. This is considered by some theologians to explain the claim of evolutionist, that the earth is billions of years old instead of the thousands of years of age that the genealogies within the bible place the age of the earth. This theory tries to give time for the gradual crawl of creation out of the primordial soup, and crawling to the land and eventually forming animals which through billions of years. This is saying that God created man through the process of evolution. Now to further explain, this theory tells of a preexisting time period in which there was life on the earth, and then the earth was flooded and made formless and void. This is commonly referred to as the Luciferian flood. After this period, God decided, he would re-vamp his creation to creation 2.0, a much-improved version of creation. At first it may seem logical and appear to fit science and the Genesis account together rather nicely. Many Christians do adapt to this theology because it does seem to match the science with the theology and Genesis. I myself when I was a new Christian also thought that this might be a possibility when I heard other older Christians speaking to this theory. This is however; a heretical doctrine which compromises the Christian’s faith. Once I began to really study the science and the Scripture, I began to realize that either evolution or creation had to be correct. The truth is you either must take God at his word and believe on him in faith or call him a liar and be honest with yourself, that you have no faith in him. Here is somethings to consider; if this Christian-Evolution doctrine were true then why wasn’t the Luciferian flood recorded or even referenced, in the Scriptures, like the flood of Noah? If God cared so much to give us the sequence of events, why leave out such an important detail?


Scripture makes references to a flood in the time period of Noah and his family, but not to a previous flood. (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:4-5). There are several cultures that have differing stories of a great world-wide flood, in which the gods saved one man, and his family in a boat. But no ancient civilization tells of another world that existed prior to this one, or that it was wiped out twice. Peter tells us, “All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:5-6) Peter’s reference here is clearly to the very beginning, when time began. In fact, he could have easily said, since the beginning of time, everything functions the same-nothing has changed since the creation. The sun, the moon, the stars, people’s attitudes and manners, are all the same since they were created. This statement, by the way, says that there has been no evolution from one species to another. (Genesis 1:26-27; 5-10) A literal reading of the scripture suggests a continuation of thought from verse one to verse two to verse three. Before we move on there is something else to consider with this theory – Death. 1 Corinthians 15:21 says, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” The scripture goes on to specify that it was Adam who brought death into the world through sin. (1 Corinthians 15:22). That means there could not have been death prior to the creation of Adam.


If we do not believe the first two chapters in Genesis, then we cannot believe anything else in scripture. Is God a liar? “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:4). It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psalm 118:8) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17) Now, true science and true scripture will actually line up and support one another. God himself tells us to look to nature to see his handiwork. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”(Romans 1:20) Science changes as they gather more information and gain greater understanding of the laws of nature, mathematics, energy, and even the mysteries of the universe in space. Proof of this is easy to see by comparing textbooks over time. For instance the original concepts of geological layering supported a young earth model, one of only 6-7 thousand years of age. Then later the geological layering was reported to have reflected, hundreds of thousands, and even billions of years. Now there are openly conflicting views of how old the earth is and how reliable the data actually is. This is largely because, everyone is just guessing. They make estimates in order to back up their own point of view. More scientist have openly put their reputations on the line, by reporting that Darwinism is an unprovable hypothesis. Harold Urey is quoted as stating, “All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel that it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did.” Geologist dispute the old earth age theory based on the Geological Column pointed out that it is more likely a cataclysmic event that cause the layering, much like the one recorded in the Bible concerning the Noetic flood.


The earth was without form and void. Some have translated the word was as the word became. Although in Hebrew the word may mean became as in Chapter 19 verse 26, the construction of the clause does not support such a consecutive statement describing something that happened subsequent to verse one but rather describe something included in verse one. In other words, the initial creation was formless and empty, a condition soon remedied. The phrase means that at this point in God’s creation activity the earth was yet unfastened an uninhabitable. What is important to see in verse two is that God moved. You see this is showing the sovereignty of God. He is taking divine action. We see here the Holy Spirit of God moving on the waters. This is a glimpse of the Triune God head. This is an amazing revelation of God. Right from the beginning God shows us that there is the Father, then he shows the Holy Spirit, next he reveals the Word. (Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 1 John 5:7; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 48:16)
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

This brings us to another revelation-God speaks. God is a God who communicates with his creation. God begins his very creation by speaking things into existence. This becomes the model of God as he unveils himself to his creation. Throughout the whole Bible God is talking and desiring to be heard. More importantly he speaks not only in signs and miracles, but in manners that we as his creation can understand. He uses written language, thundering voices, dreams and visions, and even still whispers. But this verse also reveals something else about God. God is a God of light.


God said, let there be light: and there was light (Genesis 1:3) at this time there was no sun or stars or moon. This is an important part of the verse that gives us a truth concerning the Almighty God that we will see reemphasized in Scripture repeatedly. 1 John 1:5 tells us, “this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” I think that it is comforting to see that the Lord started creation by shedding light. I can picture a craftsman getting ready to make a great piece of furniture or a great wood carving. He goes out to his shop, he opens the door and stops staring into the blackness of the work area. He then reached in sliding his hand along the inner wall. His searching fingers finally find the switch. Then he flicks the light switch, and the darkness is driven from the room. Now, he can begin his project. I know, God didn’t really need the light to work. But this is an indicator of who he is. He is light. This gives a great meaning to what Peter says, “but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) so here in the very beginning we see a truth concerning God, that he is light and desires for us to walk in light so that we could be with him. When God said let there be light, he was revealing himself to his creation.


Evidence of God’s participation in creation is mentioned several times in this first chapter of Genesis. In the first chapter various phrases are used that show the authority of God and the power of his word. The use of these phrases demonstrates the intimacy of God and his act of creation. “God said” is used 10 times in the first six days of creation. “God called” is used three times and first six days of creation. “God made” and “he made” are used five times in the first chapter of Genesis. “God created” is used three times in the first chapter of Genesis. Other phrases used in the first six days include; “God saw”, “God blessed”, and “God set”. If you notice the phrase God called, this is an act of naming and is evidence of Lordship or ownership. The phrase God set, shows us that God established limits and boundaries to creation. One of these would be detailed in verse 11 where God says, “after his kind” thus establishing fixed boundaries beyond which reproductive variations cannot go.

We see these things happen in the first chapter of Genesis:
• Day 1 God Said = Light (v.3)
• Day 2 God Said = Firmament (v.6)
• Day3 God Said = Dry Land/ Grass/ Herbs/Fruit (vv.9,11)
• Day4 God Said = Sun/ Moon/ Stars (v.14)
• Day5 God Said = Fish / Fowl (vv.20,21)
• Day 6 God Said = Living Creatures/ Beasts/ Man (vv.24,26)
Let us take a closer look at what scripture says concerning these portions of creation.


What is a Day? When we consider what the author of Genesis is speaking of in a day, we must understand that Genesis is considered to be a historical book. Many of the places, events, and individuals recorded in the Genesis accounts have been located and verified through many archeological sites. Many of the major events recorded in Genesis, to include the flood of Noah, have been recorded in other ancient religions and traditions from around the world. So when we examine this crucial point of what a day is in Genesis 1, we need to do so from the context of the surrounding scripture. The Hebrew word used for “day” in Genesis 1 is Yom. The word Yom does have different meanings available to it depending on the context of its use. It can denote:

(1) the period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness);

(2) the period of twenty-four hours, which is used over 400 times in the Old Testament;

(3) a general vague “time;”

(4) a point of time;

(5) a year (in the plural; 1 Sam. 27:7; Exod. 13:10, etc.).

Being that the mention of each day covered in the creation dialogue says, “the evening and the morning were” (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19, 23,31), we can easily do away with explanation (1) of Yom meaning the period of light in a day (daylight). The meanings of (3), (4), and (5) are commonly grouped together under the allegorical or figurative theology. This means that in some way or another these three show up in an attempt to add time to the length of a day. This is an attempt to show that the time period used in creation was not a short time period, but that God did each phase of creation over longer “representative” days (periods).
Great periods of time or phases for the term day was not intended by the Moses (the author of Genesis), nor God. In addition, basic science tells us that there are certain things needed to create and sustain life. None of which could have been able to develop on its own, and sustain itself over billions of years while the support structure slowly evolved. It is a scientific impossibility. For example, plants could not have existed without the sun. We know according to Genesis that God created the plants on day three, but the sun on day four. So how could the plants have survived for 1000-2000 years, much less billions of years without the sun to initiate photosynthesis? A geological period of time assigned to each day is not likely.


24 hour day (literal) – The phrase, “evening and the morning”, indicates that these are literal days. The use of this phrase is repeated 61 times in the Old Testament, and always refers to a 24-hour sequence in time. Science has shown that life can exist where there is no light.
“So what about life that does not depend on the Sun to survive? Deep in the ocean, there are some autotrophs that use energy from the Earth’s hot core to make their food. The only examples I know about are bacteria that live near hydrothermal vents (jets of hot water coming from deeper in the Earth). These bacteria use chemicals like methane and hydrogen sulfide and the energy from hydrothermal vents to make their food. We call this process chemosynthesis (which roughly means “making things [food] from chemicals”). Other life forms can eat these bacteria and also survive without sunlight. The only examples I know about are called giant tube worms, riftia pachyptila. Scientists only discovered these strange chemosynthetic bacteria in 1977. Now we know that life can exist without sunlight, but there are still a lot of things that we don’t know about how it works. I would definitely say that humans need the Sun to survive, and we probably always will.”
“Plants and some microbes use the energy from the sun to perform photosynthesis. In photosynthesis, light energy is used to combine CO2 in the air with water to make sugars and oxygen. Any organism that doesn’t perform photosynthesis usually eats an organism that does to indirectly get the energy from the sun. However, there are living things very deep in the ocean near deep sea vents that do not need the sun to survive. They are so far down in the ocean that no sunlight reaches them and they get all of their energy from chemical dissolved in the water near the vents. Also the very first organisms that ever existed didn’t use photosynthesis and got their energy from chemicals like deep sea vent organisms. In different sense, every organism needs the heat provided by the sun because then the entire Earth would be too cold for any life to exist. So not every organism needs the energy of the sun for food, but all living things need the heat of the sun to survive.”


This recent discovery is not only essential for the establishment of a day not depending on the sunlight, but also because according to Genesis the Sun was not created until Day Four. The cycle of light and darkness upon the face of the earth does not define what a day is in the solar system. The rotation of the earth is what determines the 24hours of a period we call a day. We will address these by making the argument in support of meaning (2), the day is meant as a 24-hour cycle. Once the literal 24 hour meaning of the Yom is removed from the translation then all types of other timeframes and events in the Bible become questionable. These event of coarse would include, (1) was Adam created as a man or an ape? (2) Is the fall of man an actual event, or metaphoric? (2) If Adam was not a real man, then was Jesus? (3) Was death the result of sin or not? (4) Is there a need for a redeemer? (5) Is there an afterlife? (6) Do we need to have a moral law, or any law? Thank the Lord we can have confirmation in the context of the text immediately surrounding the word Yom, and in other scriptures and events. We also have witnesses and confirmation of others closer to the source, and the original author’s support documented.


The Hebrew word Yom is used 2,303 times in the Old Testament, of those Yom is used 1452 times in the singular. In Genesis 1 the predominant use of the word Yom is in the singular-referring to a 24- hour day. This is attested to the fact that the mentions of Yom in Genesis one are associated with a number. There is a sequence of numbers used here and there is no skipping around. When Yom is used in other places in the Bible with a number, it is used as a 24- hour sequence. The Pharisees in time of the gospel events held to this position that the days in Genesis were literally 24 hour days.


Moses believed in the literal 7 days of creation. The 10 Commandments, in establishing the Law of the Sabbath, refers back to Genesis 1:1-2:3. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11) This gives us the basis for our seven-day week. Or did God mistakenly say the wrong thing over and over when he was talking about how long the creation even took? When the information concerning genealogy records in Genesis chapters 5-10 are put together we can literally count backwards to the time that Adam was on the earth, and thus to the beginning of creation itself. Adam was 130 years old when he had Seth. Seth has Enosh when he was 105 years of age. At age 90 Enoch had his son Cainan. Cainan had Mahalalel when he was 70 years old. Mahalalel was 65 when he had Jared. Jared waited until he was 162 years old to have his son Enoch. Enoch was at the age of 65 when his son Methuselah was given birth to. Methuselah was 187 when he received his son Lamech. Lamech was 182 and had a son we are all familiar with, his name was NOAH. Noah had his sons starting when he was 500 years old. It is estimated by the texts that from Adam to Jesus was approximately 4000-5000 years, since Jesus’ resurrection it has been approximately 2000 years. These dates vary depending on the text, however in the matter of billions of years verses thousands they are close enough for the argument.


This historical record establishes the fact that the age of the earth is measured in thousands of years and not billions. Burt Lockwood wrote,
One needs to only examine historical records to know that we have pretty complete records for civilizations that existed down to the village and town (tribe) level up to 6 or 7 thousand years ago, and none earlier than that. Who wrote the history of 120,000 BC for example? Obviously, no one. Yet according to one scheme of man’s history, homonids (a primate of a family that includes humans and their fossil ancestors) no different than modern man existed up to 2 or 3 million years ago, and these “men and women” not physically different from us were not able to start recording history until 6 thousand years ago. Or could it be that history started 6 thousand years ago because that is when God created the universe and Adam and Eve? I leave that to your scholarship and wisdom to decide. Since Adam was created “very good,” I doubt he lacked in intelligence or ingenuity, and he lived much longer than any of us do today; so, he had plenty of time to figure out a written code. Even the native American Indians, who supposedly did not write, used colored beads (wampum) to record their histories, a method of code no longer available today, long lost.


If there were large geological periods then God would still be resting, but God is not resting. We know this because of his continued work in sustaining his creation. (Psalm 36:6; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17; 2 Peter 3:7) God does not need to rest, he rested to provide model for us, to give us time to reflect on his creation, as a testimony to his authority and his majesty. Isaiah wrote, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31) God has given us a time of renewal in the Sabbath. This is a foretaste of the final rest we will receive when we have completed our kingdom work here on earth and joined him in his full presence in his kingdom.


Science itself has begun to dispute the old-earth view of the planet. The use of Carbon dating that was once used as a scientific tool to support an older earth has run into some issues. Not in the science of carbon dating, but in the presence of carbon in the fossil records. Carbon 14 has a theoretical longevity of 100,000 years. Anything older than that should not possess readable amounts of Carbon 14. The problem is that there has been numerous fossils and non-fossil findings from the Precambrian era that have Carbon 14. The Precambrian Era compasses all of the geologic time prior to 600 million years ago.

Paul Giem wrote in an article for Geoscience Research Institute:
It is interesting to follow the implications of the data further. Since it is believable that most fossil carbon has roughly the same 14C/C ratio, it is reasonable to conclude that all this carbon was in the biosphere at approximately the same time. In that case, since most, if not all, fossil carbon was deposited by water, the data suggest a flood of massive proportions, and that the biblical account has to be taken seriously. If the difference between fossil carbon and Precambrian carbon is approximately 0.05 pmc, and we assume that 0.05 pmc is the true level of residual carbon-14 in pre-Flood fossil carbon, then the first simplistic approximation to the time of burial of fossil carbon is 19,000 years ago. A reasonable upper limit for the time of burial is 25,000 years ago, and with favorable assumptions regarding the pre-burial 14C/C ratio, a time of burial as recent as 4,300 years ago (the traditional Masoretic date for the Flood) is not unreasonable from these considerations alone.
What this ongoing research seems to imply, is that the commonly accepted theories of evolution based of the current dating methods of using Fossil records, and the Geological Column are flawed. Either Carbon 14 dating cannot be trusted, do to error, contamination of subject material, or the assumptions of the Geological Column are inaccurate. This means the dating of fossils are in accurate also. This is because fossils found in certain layers of the Geological Column are given an assumed age according to the layer of the column they are found in. Amazingly enough that is also how the layer is aged also. The layers age is based on an assumption of what is found in the layer. We suppose that a layer is of a certain time frame because of the fossils found within it based on a chart that makes basic assumptions, needed to support the theory of evolution. The fossil and geological charts are both theoretical charts that are based on one another’s theory. The Carbon 14 dating based on those charts would also be proving inaccurate data, and in some cases the data would be conflicting. Even if we did assume that the layering of the earths surface (Geological Column) was indeed a method of measuring time, and that fossils that are found in a particular layer depicted when they animal or plant life died we would still have to come to grips with the fossils of sea animals found on the tops of mountains. In addition, thee are whole time periods in the Geological Column that are in reverse order and that are missing from wide areas of the globe. This would mean billions of years of discrepancy across the planets Geological Column. How then can we determine with any scientific accuracy which timeline to use? It seems more likely that a catastrophic event, like a world wide flood would have cause the rapid layering, and mixture of the fossil records. This would then be further evidence of the validity of the scripture by proving the Noahtic flood (2348 BC) did indeed happen as relayed in Genesis 6:9-9:17. Here is what the book of Psalms 104:3-9 explains on the flood.
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
Genesis claims that all human life on earth came from two people, Adam and Eve, as a divine act of God. When God created man, he made man distinct from all of the other creatures. (Genesis 1:26-27) The Apostle Paul tells us, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (1 Corinthians 15:39) and Genesis 2:7 it shows us that Adam and Eve were created in a very intimate way. “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.” (Genesis 2:7) when we take this information and look back at chapter 1, where, the scripture shows that on the sixth day God created the beast and the animals.
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.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. 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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 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.(Genesis 1:24-28)


This scripture shows a separate entry of God creating man as a separate creation from the rest of the animals. This shows the distinction between man and beast, and man distinction from the other animals in creation. Between these two references we can see that man was not formed from any other animal. But he was formed as a separate being, man was formed by the hands of God, and this formation was from the dust on the ground, not from another animal. It also immediately gives man a purpose in existence. Man is to have dominion over the earth and every living thing. Man was created and given lordship from the very beginning. This is demonstrated later when God brings all the creatures of the earth to be named by Adam. This is the same exercise of dominion and authority we mentioned previously concerning God in the creation when he set boundaries and named things. Even so in the scripture it says, “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.” (Genesis 2:19) So Adam had the authority to name, and whatever he named it, it was called that from then on.


This means that the creation of man was not an evolutionary process that took millions of years to complete, or employed a random development of thousands of increasingly complex organisms to reach our present state. We can also look at Genesis chapter 2 verse 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.” (Genesis 2:23) This little verse tells us that he did not have a mother. It also tells us that God and Adam were in communion, because, it is clear that, God informed Adam of how Eve was created. In verse 21 of the same chapter it tells us that Eve was created after God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. While Adam slept the Lord God took one of Adam’s ribs close up his flesh and created Eve from that rib. This tells us that Man and Woman are each distinct and interdependent on one another. Man is made for Woman, and Woman is made for Man. Adam declared, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)


Man is different from all other animals in many ways. Man has the ability to think in analytical terms. This means that man has a superior reasoning capability, we have the ability to discover how things work. This gives us a unique avenue available for us to study the creation event unlike no other animal can. We can discover the intelligence needed to create such a wonderful place like the earth, and the universe. Man has the ability to communicate on many different levels. Man can not only speak and communicate in many different languages and symbols, but we have the ability to learn and create new languages, and methods of communication.


We have the ability to design methods of communication that can talk to satellites that are at edge of our galaxy. Another form of communication we have is the ability to record and pass down historical events, like those recorded in Genesis. We communicate our impressions, and feelings through art, music, and liturgy. Mankind is the only creature that buries its dead. Man is the only creature that has a moral compass. Man is the only one who can know what is right from wrong, and good from evil. (Genesis 2:17) Having this ability gives us another uniqueness – since we have a moral code -the Creator can punish us for choosing to do what we know is wrong. However; there is something wondrous in this also, man alone had the ability to know God for who he is, and worship him in spirit and in truth. We have the ability to love God for who he is, our magnificent creator.


Jeremiah 10:12 says, “He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” When we look at all the sophistication of creation, with all the components that are necessary to create life, and the dependencies required to sustain it, we must understand that it took intelligence and great understanding in order to put in place the environment in which we live. God is the only power in or out of the universe they could have provided the energy necessary for the creation event. In his wisdom, he established the laws of physics, the laws of energy, the laws of time and space, and the laws of thermodynamics. In these unseen things, we can clearly see that there is one Creator, nothing happened by chance, and when the creation first made it was very good. (Genesis 1:31).


In Scripture we can see the God created the universe and man, and Israel, and the church to reveal his glory. Isaiah 43:7 tells us that everyone that is called by his name (speaking of the Lord) was created for him and his glory that were made by him and for him. The apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians, “for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16). The psalmist David in Psalm 19 tells us the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. He goes even further to tell us that all creation speaks in unknown language and shows its knowledge through all the earth concerning the creator our Lord God. This means, if we look and use true science, we can see the signs and we can read the language that all creation itself is declaring that God is its creator and gives him glory. We must understand that God did not need to create us, in order to make himself complete. God simply is. He whole in himself. Rather God created us to demonstrate his excellence. Creation shows us his great wisdom and power and ultimately it shows us his mercy and his lovingkindness in Jesus Christ. God created the universe simply to take delight in his creation. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)


Much like a modeler creates a model just to see the finished work. He enjoys the work of his hands. We can also look at this way, a composer must compose because it is in his nature to do so. God created the universe to fulfill his own expectations. And God said the creation was good, then we can logically see that when God finished the creation it was complete, and it was good; everything was functioning as it should. So God took delight in it, and rested. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3)



Bibliography
26 May 2016. 14 August 2019. http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=5412.
Edgeworth, Dr. Arv. Dismantling Evolution Made Easy – A Simple Guide for taking Evolution apart, piece by piece. Unk, 2008. PDF. 13 August 2019.
Gawne, Richard. American Institute of Biological Sciences. Vers. Volume 65, Issue 11, Pages 1077-1083. 30 September 2015. Internet. 20 August 2019. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/65/11/1077/374311.
Giem, Paul A. Origins. 1 Jan 2001. Internet. 29 Jul 2019. https://www.grisda.org/origins-51006.
Jr, Gleason L. Archer. “Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.” Harris, R. Laird. Moody Press, 2003. 29 July 2019.
Lockwood, Burt. The Fulness of Time. 14 February 2017. Web. 9 August 2019. http://www.blogos.org/exploringtheword/adam-Jesus-timeline.php.
Patterson, Roger. Chapter 6 Grological Column. 20 January 2011. 21 August 2019. https://answersingenesis.org/geology/geologic-time-scale/geologic-column/.
Staff. Age of Earth. 2014. 9 August 2019. https://genesisapologetics.com/faqs/age-of-the-earth-does-the-bible-really-say-that-god-created-everything-in-six-days-just-6000-years-ago/.
Urey, Harold C. Christian Science Monitor 4 January 1962: 4. Magazine.

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Wake Up Christians in America

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The Christian Post reported on a study that was released by Gordon-Conwell’s Center for the Study of Global Christianity; which said,that over 900,000 Christians were Martyred for their faith in the last 10 years. This plays out to an average of one Christian being martyred every 4-6 minutes. In America we would like to think that the martyrdom of the saints is a thing of ancient past.

We have books in our bookshelf that give descriptions of the early church and other time periods where Christians were martyred, sometimes by other christian sects. We pull the book down and haphazardly read an account and say, wow, I would have stood up just like that Christian. We then pat ourselves on the back, because we are such a good christian and then put the book back on the shelf, and sit into our lazy chair to watch some comedian on TV made fun of Christians or God. In truth, persecution of Christians world wide is higher than it has ever been.

In the 20th and 21st Centuries, more Christians were martyred than any other time in history. That means that more Christians have died, for their faith, in the last 118 years than in the preceding 19 Centuries. The numbers are growing, while we sit and grow fat.  We bury our heads in the sand and tell ourselves it does not concern us.  Yet this relentless murder of Christians is pandemic of the entire world, including in America, where violent and legal attacks are carried out on a routine basis against Christians.  NE News Now reported that across the globe there are more than 200 million Christians that are threatened because of their faith. This is a consensus revealed in 105 of the 190 nations in the world.

All of this goes on while,in American church, we have watered down gospel. A gospel that actually is not the gospel is preached instead.  We have become a nation of Christians who have ears that itch to have pleasing self-centered, even devilish doctrines entreated to us. World know preachers of mega churches go on interview after interview and openly proclaim that they do not teach the gospel, because there is no money in it. Instead, the church in America had been inundated with a “name it and claim it” gospel. Sin and consequences are not discussed in the pulpit. American churches have desecrated themselves before God and man, and no longer stand for the truth.  Instead of confronting sexual immortality, and infant murder, they welcome it into their churches and in some- even ordain that which should be expelled.

Self-help and the way to financial happiness have become the mantra of the mainstream American church. We are so absorbed and praying for that new house, or new car, or other ways of pleasing our own covetous desires that we have left God out or our churches, schools, business, legislation, families, and our own hearts. We no longer care to reach the lost, instead we try not to offend them and try to act like them, to show how accepting we are.  We have lost the love that gives us the need to be objective and warn the lost that they will die in their sin without accepting the truth of Jesus.  We have become the ones that the Lord said, “In that day, I will say, depart from me for I never knew you.”

You know how I know this? Take a look at John 15:18-27.
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.He that hateth me hateth my Father also.If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

Here Jesus says that the world will hate you. We can expect this because it hates Jesus. A young Pakistani Christian invited some friends and family to his home after he was converted from Islam to Christianity. He showed them the Jesus movie. They told him that if he didn’t stop showing that movie he would be killed. He continued his mission, and invited another small group to his home and showed them the Jesus movie. Two nights later, a group of men stole into his home and cut him to pieces. Stabbing this young Christian to death because of his love for Jesus.

Jesus said that if you were of the world the would would love it’s own. But because you are of the Kingdom of Heaven, the world doesn’t know you. Because they do not know you, they hate you. You are reminder to them of sin that they are guilty of. You are a reminder that there is a just and righteous God who will judge sin, and who will destroy all who live in sin. They hate you because you have spoken to them and revealed sin. This is the same reason they hated Jesus.

But Jesus said that he has sent us a comforter, the Holy Spirit. Who indwells all who believe. The Spirit of God in Christ is who gives us the ability and courage to speak the truth. We, who believe, are not concerned with these worldly issues. Who cares who said what? Who cares about that new car, or new house? We are not of this world. We are just passing through while on mission. We are missionaries of Jesus, each one of us. We are here to do exactly what Jesus did, bear witness to the truth. We are here to tell the whole truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are here to expose the lie of the false teachers and false prophets who teach that God will give you a new boat if you just pray hard enough or give enough money to their false religion.  We are here to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.  People are dying for Christ.  However, allot more are dying without Christ.  “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).  Maybe we need to stand up, before there are none of us left to bring the message.

Ref:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/over-900000-christians-martyred-for-their-faith-in-last-10-years-report.html

https://onenewsnow.com/persecution/2015/09/20/every-5-minutes-a-christian-is-martyred

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/christians-massacred-call-to-grieve.html

https://www.christianpost.com/news/nigeria-christians-slaughtered-by-fulani-militants-at-baby-dedication-children-among-the-dead.html

By What Manner is this “Good” Friday?

It is Good Friday! A day that Christians around the world hold holy and dear, a day that we remember the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the day of our dear Savior’s death, but we call it ‘Good’ Friday… how could anyone call the day of someone’s death good unless they were talking of a merciless dictator like Hitler or Stalin? Christ is recognized by the world as being the first real equal rights activist, and one of the first nonviolence practitioners (Funny they forget He took a whip to people, John 2:15), as well as model for most philosophers and philanthropists to follow, so how can we call the death of this overall respected and trusted being to be a good day? This is a day where our Lord suffered through the worst punishment the human body could take, and is described here:

Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who allegedly claimed to be the King of the Jews.  Preparations for the scourging were carried out when the Prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful the Romans would have made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter, but the Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.  The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs.

At first the thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.  The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.

The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. Flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used in bundles for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding, the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.

After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. Already having adhered to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, its removal causes excruciating pain just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, and almost as though He were again being whipped the wounds once more begin to bleed. (Dr. C. Truman Davis, 2018)

But that was not the only thing Christ endured before finally dying! Christ carried the cross to Mount Calvary a staggering 650-yard journey with a 75 lbs. weight affixed to His back. Pushing his muscles beyond the point of failure, Christ is recorded to have stumbled 3 times before the Centurion loses his patience and orders a denizen to help Christ with the weight. How can any of this be considered good? How? Even further the death on the cross is regarded as one of the cruelest forms by which to die. Not only are there nails in your wrists and feet, but you are slowly suffocating. To which to breathe you must pull by the nails in your wrists and push yourself up by the nail in your feet, causing even more pain just to breathe and live a little longer. So, again, I ask how can any of this be good? Let me remind you of the prophecy from Isaiah found in Isaiah 53:

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:1-12, KJV)

This is where we begin to see why it is a Good Friday, as Christ was put through all of this to bear our iniquities. But let us read in Romans 5 to get the full picture.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:6-11, KJV)

Christ died for us, while were enemies of Him! And we were justified by His blood. By His death, we were forgiven. Christ presented Himself as a perfect sacrifice for all of our sins! By this we have JOY in knowing that our sins are no more and we no longer have to fear the day of judgement or what comes after death for those who believe. This is why it is Good Friday! Because a good thing has been done, the remission of sins by the shedding of His blood. No one else could fill the sacrifice as God alone could.

If you are in a stage of doubt as to believing that Christ died for you, because you are a good person, we have to remember that everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23), and that where sin is God cannot be (1 John 1:5), and to be without God is death (Romans 2:1-11). Here is the good news, Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to this world to die for our sins because He loved us and all you have to do is believe that He is who He is (John 3:16-17, 1 John 1:9). To accept this free gift of salvation all you have to do is believe in your heart and confess it with your mouth (Romans 10:9-11)! I would encourage you not to wait, because tomorrow is never promised, and there is no better time than the present to begin your walk with God than now (2 Cor. 6:2). This means so much more than just a religion, it begins a relationship with God almighty (1 John 1:3-4). If you have any questions or are interested in finding a good church to be a part of, reach out to us via our contact link or through email at twocministries@gmail.com ! God Bless you, go in peace!

Maundy Thursday: The Prayer of Intercession

The Prayer of Intercession is probably my favorite chapter in the entire Bible. This prayer is an intimate conversation between Christ and the Father on our behalf that we may know His heart and how much He cares and loves for us. Beyond anything else, save His crucifixion, this prayer shows how much Christ truly felt our emotions, of love, longing, loss, heartache, and joy. Through this, we can see that He truly experienced the human condition. While He certainly holds true to His divinity, He also remains humble and makes requests for us, who He counts as a part of Him.

Following the Last Supper, and a whole lot of divine revelations to His disciples they begin to walk to the Garden of Gethsemane. Along this walk Christ begins to pray in the middle of the night. His prayer is said aloud for His disciples to hear and that they may be filled with the same spirit that He has in these final moments. As a soldier and his unit preparing for combat, He says this prayer to fill His team with confidence in the things to come. It is His last battle cry, His rally to arms. Though, it was not for combat, it was for love and the work of the ministry. Let’s read this powerful prayer. John 17 holds the entirety.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:1-5, KJV)

This first part of this prayer is Christ acknowledging His Father’s will that He has fulfilled already and asking for the strength to bring it to completion that He (Christ) may glorify His Father even more. He even says that God has given eternal life, and that eternal life is found in the truth that God is God alone who sent Jesus (who is God, the Son ref. John 1:1-4, Rev. 1:8). It is simple, and plain, yet profound and a centerpiece to our faith. To call yourself Christian is to believe in the fact that Christ is both the Son of God and God, himself. Carrying on in verse 6:

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. (John 17:6-8, KJV)

These verses are Christ acknowledging His Father’s will. He says that His disciples were chosen by the Father and that everything that He taught and said was His Father’s will. Christ says that everything that was given to Him, He turned and gave it to His disciples. Like a band of brothers, He kept no secret from those He loved most, all the words and lessons that God had, He gave them to His friends, disciples, and his most trusted followers that they might be fully equipped for the work of the ministry after He left. Now, He gets personal starting in verse 9.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:9-12, KJV)

Here we see Christ begin praying specifically for His apostles. Because they are special to Him, He says those that are given to Him, as our most treasured friends are, so were these men to Him. God grants friendship, kinship to be the bonds by which we learn how to love one another and it was something that He felt Himself. Christ asks that God keeps His friends, as in keep them in His will that they may be one in the spirit of God and fellowship. Jesus knows the hard times that are going to ensue following this prayer and He wants them to be kept together despite what they would do (Judas’ betrayal and suicide, Peter’s denial, the general cowardice in the face of controversy). Christ wants them to hear this also, because He knows that it is important that they hear how He prays for them that they might know how to pray for one another. We get to go even deeper with what comes next in verse 13.

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (John 17:13-19, KJV)

This is one of my favorite parts of His prayer, here this is where Christ prays for their protection, but not as we might pray for one another’s protection. See, I normally hear in prayers, and have prayed myself before, that God keep people from danger, or from death, but Christ does not. More rather Christ says that He prays aloud (these things I speak in the world) that they may have JOY despite the hate that this world shows them. He even goes as far as to say, do not take them from the world, instead keep satan away from them and sanctify them in Your Word that they might be filled with joy and strength. That is just beautiful! He knows this world will turn against them and so instead of trying to keep them out of it, He prays that they be filled with joy because they are doing what is right and when the world hates on them it is because they are doing what is right! The only protective thing He asks is that Satan be kept away from them. And that is who we truly fight against in this world, not people, but Satan and his many schemes and deceptions. Now, let us see what Christ prayed for us! Beginning in verse 20:

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:20-23, KJV)

All right, now we are getting into why the prayer of Intercession is so important for us! Here we see Christ change from just His present disciples, and begins to pray for all those who would believe by the accounts, testimonies, and witness bore by His apostles, and that is everyone else who ever became a Christian, i.e. YOU and ME! Christ prays for our salvation here, prays that all those who should believe in the testimony of other disciples that we would be made one with God! And this is to honor and glorify God, because the world will see when we begin to act as believers and our lives change, as they should, that there is no denying that we are followers of Christ. As we talked about yesterday, that the world should know we are Christians by our love! Because as He said that “the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them” (John 17:23, KJV), that is what we are to embody as a unified body of believers. It does not matter what you think of another believer, because you cannot claim to love God and hate your brother (1 John 4:7-21). This is so important as a believer, it is beyond an imperative, that it is so important that God, Jesus, made certain to make it not only His final command before dying, but also prayed for it that we may know just how important it is to Him.

In closing, Christ turns back to His praying for His disciples that are with Him beginning in verse 24:

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:24-26, KJV).

In closing for His prayer, He returns His focus on His disciples. He prays that they would be able to truly bear witness to the glory of God that they may have a full understanding that God is who He says He is. And lastly, that they may have the same love that the Father has for the Son. Again, it is a beautiful picture of how real Jesus was. He had friends that He wanted to know just how awesome His Dad was, and He would stop at nothing to prove to not only them that God loved them and was all powerful, but He did not want to rest until the entire world has heard this! Shortly after this prayer Christ and His apostles arrive in the Garden Gethsemane where Christ begins to pray for strength to fulfill His Father’s will by going to the death of the cross. But all of that, and more we will cover tomorrow.

Maundy Thursday: The Command

Maundy Thursday, what does that even mean? I, like most of you, have grown up knowing about Maundy Thursday, but never what does that really mean. So, let us dig in. Grab your Bible and a good bit of spare time we are here to dig in deep to the Word to be enlightened about this special day in our faith.

We are going to be covering 3 things today and another tomorrow, all about and just covering what happened on Maundy Thursday and just how important and vital it is to know! Though, first off what is this word Maundy? The word itself just is not in our normal vernacular. The word comes from the Latin word ‘mandatum’ where we get mandatory from, and it means commandment! So, Commandment Thursday. Now that has a different ring to it, but what commandment has/was given to us this day that this day if forever remembered as Commandment (Maundy) Thursday? We will cover this shortly, today we are here to discuss the Last Supper, Christ’s revelation of omnipotence, and the Commandment of Christ.

The Last Supper as we know it, is a symbol of Christian unity in our time. But to Christ it was something different altogether, this last meal was His opportunity to impart His last few lessons before departing this Earth to accomplish His Father’s will (though not a permanent leave of absence). Often times, we place great importance on someone’s last words or moments before they pass, and with Christ we should make no exception. This last night and meal are filled with lessons and doctrine, so much so, that we are covering even more of this tomorrow! Alright, enough delay, have your Bible handy? Good, turn to John 13:1, Luke 22:13-20)

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. (John 13:1)

And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:13-20)

And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:2-17)

With a complete reading of the Last Supper, we see some important things done. First, the creation of Communion, the act of partaking of the body and blood of Christ (symbolized through bread and wine) in remembrance of what Christ was about to do. It is important to note, that this was done with only those who were truly followers of Christ (with the exception of Judas who was already taken by satan’s scheme). To partake of this tradition, legacy, and remembrance, you have to believe and have nothing left between you and God (1 Cor 11:23-34). You are not to partake if you are not already at peace or one with God. You must have confessed your sins to Him and cleared your plate of all things, for this Communion is a pure symbol between Christ and you. To accept the gift of the new testament, you have to have confessed to the truth and accepted the gift of Salvation. Though that is not our focus, what He does after is.

In John 13:2-17, we see another lesson entirely. One of leading through servitude and a reminder that we still will sin and must remember to constantly ‘wipe our feet’ as it were. Christ lowers Himself (once again) to be the lowest of people and clean the apostles’ feet. This was traditionally done by the lowest in social standings of household or group. Yet, Christ not wanting to waste the opportunity to teach in His last moments cleans their feet and tells them that as long as we are in this world, we will become dirty, and we need to constantly turn to Him in confession and repentance. This way we might become clean again. Additionally, we see this wonderful lesson of servitude, that as a follower of Christ we ought to see ourselves as the least of us and serve others. There is no greater way to reach to others and show them just how God loves them than by being the literal hands and feet of God and serving them! Getting down on your knees and helping someone with their uncleanliness.

Through the events of this night Christ makes it undeniably clear to them that He is God and the Son of God. First Christ identifies His betrayer (John 13:18-20), then He tells of Peter’s denials to come (John 13:34-35), but the most important revelation comes after these. Those first two are just Him revealing that He is omniscient (all knowing) and that He sees into the future. Then He lays down the truth of how to get to heaven (though He has before Luke 9:23). In John 14:1-11.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. (John 14:1-11)

Here, Christ lays it bare before His disciples. He told them, this is the way it is, nothing is hidden from you anymore. In Him have they seen the Father, and through Him they would join the Father in heaven and inherit the Earth. Amidst the confusion and panic of the prophesies that He is spewing out about His most trusted followers, He lets them know, that there is a great deliverance for them in faith. He even says that they should go on to do greater things than He has (referring to the work of the ministry). Jesus just lays out the whole picture for His disciples fully knowing that these were amongst His last words before the time of His death.

Next, the Commandment of Christ. After all of this, let us see what commandment Christ has given to us that this day should be known as Commandment Thursday. John 13:34-35 reads “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Now, keep in mind that Christ has already given them and all who heard the commandment that we should love our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and love our neighbor as ourselves, so why is this different? Here He says to love one another as He has loved them! And that is with His life! His entire Earthly life was to bring redemption to mankind despite our sins, despite our fallacies, and despite the rejection by His own people. He tells us that we should love in a way that the world would know us by our love! That is radical in our day and age. Most of the world will easily tell you that Christians are bigoted, close-minded, intolerant, and hateful people. The truth is that most of us who call ourselves by His name, do not show the same love that God did for us.

John 15:13 says this: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” The God of all creation (John 1:1-4) just said that there was no greater form of love than sacrificing yourselves for those you love! Now, He is not asking for martyrs, He is asking that we sacrifice our pride, and our livelihoods to serve Him and one another. He says we are His friends if we keep His commandments (John 15:14-15). Again, right before this saying He repeats the command that we are to love as He loved (John 15:9-10). After that, He goes on reaffirming His divinity by the rites of His Father. No other commandments are given until His ascendance into Heaven where we are left with the great commission. In other words, Christ’s dying wish is that we would love so dramatically that the world would not be able to deny His presence in our lives. There is an old hymn that says “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love” and I challenge you to make that so for your life. If we are truly followers of Christ then we ought to love like it. This does not mean compromising our values or bending over backwards for the world, but more rather as Christ did, teaching, and preaching the truth through servitude and humbleness.

Fasting: More than a Trend

Fasting, for most of us this word means little more than just not eating or some trendy diet to try. Yet, when we look into the purpose and ideology behind fasting, we get a much deeper image and a truer sense of what it is to truly fast. The practice in the Hebrew tongue is read as ta’anit (pronounced ta’anith) and it holds a deep root in their traditions in remembrance for God delivering them.

The practice of fasting originates with Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) as we can read in Leviticus 23:26-32

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Also, on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.  And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an     atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (King James Version)

The word says we are to afflict our souls… the word afflict is defined as to cause pain or suffering. We are to atone or repay for our sin by afflicting our souls with how we live for the day, and if you did not follow you were cut out from the people. This affliction is done by not eating or drinking (to include water), not wearing shoes, no bathing, no wearing or perfumes or oils and additionally not working as on the sabbath. And this day was always followed by the observance of the sabbath day, so it would be 2 full days before anything was done. This was done as a direct commandment from God to honor Him and remember His will for His people, and as to make ourselves a living sacrifice for our own sins as this was done under the Law still.

The next earnest and voluntary example of fasting we find comes from David in 2 Samuel 12:15-21

And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the  child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child,    while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. (KJV)

Here David has multiple reasons as to why he fasts. At first it is to plead for his son’s life, but then he begins to mature spiritually and he begins to seek God’s will in it all. He mourns for his son, but becomes obsessed with atoning for his sin that caused this situation in the first place (2 Samuel 12:13). Upon receiving news of his son’s death, the first thing he does before eating is clean himself and go praise the Lord in open worship before eating. David’s fast was again an atonement for his sins and in seeking of the will of God as was the purpose of the day of atonement that was set out in Leviticus.

Now, the way Christ fasted was on the complete next level… in the book of Matthew we see Christ venture into the woods for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-4)

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (KJV)

Christ denied himself any contact with others and prayed to strengthen His spirit for the things to come (not just the devil’s temptations). This is the first thing Christ does as part of His ministry. He got baptized by John and then goes straight way to the wilderness to fast, to prepare His spirit to meet the will of God for the ministry that His Father had ordained for Him. Christ later talks about fasting, and reminds us for whom we should be fasting. Reading Matthew 6:16-18 we see we aren’t to fast for others to know that our pride might grow, but rather that we might humble ourselves to God.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you,      They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:16-18,KJV)

So, what is the big deal with people coming out and saying I am doing the Daniel ‘fast’ and coming out trying to lose weight through intermittent fasting? Well, none, however it is not truly fasting as is described biblically. For one, the Daniel fast is based off of Daniel abstaining from delicacies to express his mournful state (Daniel 10:1-3) in addition to living out the Proverb 23:6, where it is said we should not eat even the bread of a miser (defined as someone who holds much wealth). When you do not eat because of a diet, you are not fasting, rather you are regimenting your diet or food intake to help lose weight, not abstaining from the world to seek God first. That is what a fast is all about. Giving God glory by truly denying oneself.

Let us look at what each example of fasting has in common, first and foremost, they were each done in response to, or in seeking God’s will. Yom Kippur was a commandment, while David and Jesus were preparing to accept the will of God. When you fast, you should seek God’s will first, no matter what it is that you are giving up, or abstaining from, your purpose should be to seek God’s perfect will and to put Him first with denial of yourself. When you fast you should truly live out as Christ said we are to do, deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Him (Luke 9:23-24).  The entire fast should be focused on reminding yourself of who God is, what He has done, is doing, and will do for you. God is an awesome, and powerful being, there is no one like Him, when you fast, your spiritual eyes should open up and take in just how awesome our God is! Your days of fasting should be filled with His praise and worship, also spent studying His word and perfect ways. A huge part of fasting is just pondering the endless aspects of God.

Secondly, it should be a true denial of yourself. When you fast, you aim to build dependency on God. Not eating or drinking is the baseline for a fast, not the be all or end all of a fast. With Yom Kippur, they did not even bathe or wear shoes! They were humbled to the point where they took no pride in their appearance, smell, and they even endured walking without protection for their feet. And its not like they had sidewalks or paved roads to walk on, they had the desert (they were still wondering the desert with Moses at this point), so often this meant great pain from the sand and rocks drying, cutting, and cracking their feet.

Which brings me to the final part of fasting, it should not be easy. When you fast, it should be a great burden on you. A large part of fasting is enduring by reliance on God. You cannot rely on when it is something that is within your normal capabilities. For example, as a soldier I am used to traveling and being alone, so isolating myself is not a good way to increase reliance on God, however giving up video games, social media, exercise and other things that would strain myself and increase my dependence on him. Remember, all of those are done in addition to the not eating or drinking, not just the other activities being abstained from.

In short, your fast is about God, not you. You should fast in order to prepare yourself for the will of God, not to seek the favor of God. Fasting is done in direct submission to God and His will for you. A fast is not some light hearted diet or trend, it is a lifestyle of worship to God. It is worshiping through sacrificing your self and honoring God with the true recognition He deserves and that is with everything you are.

Palm Sunday Observance

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the observance of the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem prior to his arrest, trial, and subsequent execution.  It is commemorated on week prior to the Resurrection Celebration of Jesus’ rising from the dead.   Many Christians refer to this week as Passion Week and it is the end of the period of Lent. This entry into Jerusalem is a demonstration of the King entering Jerusalem and Jesus’ submission to his role in the redemption of Israel, and all of mankind.  This is a deliberate move by Jesus in fulfilling prophecy. 

In the book of the prophet Daniel we see in chapter 9 that there will be 483 years from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah.  Nehemiah chapter 2 records for us, “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king,” (Nehemiah 2:1), Historical documents from the Babylonian era puts this date at March 14, 445 B.C.  This brings us 483 years later, (using Jewish calendars) to April A.D. 32. [1] 

The timing of the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem was of not just to take in the sites and see family and friends.  The arrival of Christ at this time had significant theological, political, and prophetical implications. Jesus came to Jerusalem during the time of Passover.  This was a special celebration of the Israelites delivery from death.  Passover was a time of special pilgrimage.  Jerusalem’s population of 40,000 would swell to over 240,000 in anticipation of this great festival of thanksgiving. The term Passover comes from the Jewish word Pesach, which means “to pass over”.  In Exodus we are relayed the story of how God delivered the Israelis from slavery in Egypt through 10 plagues, the last of which was death itself.  They were sparred the death of the first born by sacrificing a lamb and spreading it’s blood on the door posts, top, and both sides.  When death came and saw the blood of the lamb, death passed over that house.  Any home that was not covered with the blood of the lamb was entered by death and the life of the eldest son was taken.  So when we consider the offering of Jesus as a lamb for the slaughter, and in whose blood we are covered, we know that death passes over us also.  Death is the penalty for sin.  In Egypt, death was the penalty for disobedience to God.  Sin is disobedience to God.  Let us take a look at the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on start of Passion Week and the Passover. What Jesus was about to do in the manor he chose to enter Jerusalem would not only have an effect not only on Jesus and his followers, not the Jewish and Roman leaders, but mankind and all of creation. 

In entering Jerusalem on a little donkey, Jesus declared himself the long awaited Messiah, and the deliverer of Israel and the nations of the earth as promised to Abraham thousands of years in advance.  If you are not familiar with the telling of the events witnessed in scripture you can find them at:

  • Luke 19:29-44
  • John 12:12-19
  • Mark 11:1-10
  • Matthew 21:1-11

I know that some reading this do not have a bible to reference these events so here is Matthew’s account.

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.  – Matthew 21:1-11

Both John and Matthew make reference to something. Nestled in their accounts is a reminder of the faithfulness of God and the importance of the study of his Word.  In here is another prophecy from the Old Testament.  The prophet Zechariah proclaimed, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9).  Just as a side note, for those of you who have read the Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14:4, John tells us that when Jesus comes at his second coming, that he will place his foot on Mount Olivet.  I think it is no accident that Jesus entered Jerusalem from the direction of the Mount of Olives. 

Now the meaning this manor that Jesus entered Jerusalem was not lost on the Jews nor the Pharisees. The entering of a man into the city on an ass was probably not such a big deal.  This had everything to do with who the man was and what he represented.  Jerusalem was ripe with rumors of a messiah.  They were looking for the return on the throne of David.  They anticipated to have a great man of God to deliver a message from Jehovah.  They desired to have an Israelite above all other Israelis to liberate them from the oppression of Rome and bring God’s judgement to the world.  The fame of Jesus as a man of God was all out the region.  There were witnesses the asserted he could heal the sick, even those afflicted by the incurable diseases like leprosy.  Others told how he had restored sight, a sign that God was with him.  Then there were the ones who told how Jesus had cast out demons, and how he stood up to the religious hierarchy, and that even the authority of the Pharisees could not supersede his.  This man possessed authority both in heaven and in earth.  Then, came the stories of his raising at least two people from the grave.  This man, Jesus of Nazareth, had authority even over death.  Surely this is the Son of David, the Son of God who has come to deliver his chosen people.  Wow what an exciting day!

As Jesus entered into the city in such a symbolic way, the message was receive loud and clear.  The common people of Jerusalem and all of Israel that were gathered began to tear the branches from the trees and lay the branched and their cloaks in to the path of their king.  Like a red carpet event in Hollywood, California, people were in a fanfare of the undeniable message being given to them by Jesus.  They worshiped him and called out loudly, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” (Luke 19:38).  The Gospel of St. Matthew gave another point of view of these events when the author wrote, “The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed were shouting: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’”(Matthew 21:9)  The term “Hosanna” is from the Hebrew hishi’a na and had the intent of “save”, but; the meaning is that of a complete thought.  The expression means, “Salvation, Thank You” and is intended as a show of recognition and gratitude to Jehovah for his “saving us”. It was clearly a great time of jubilationfor Jesus and the crowd.  But not everyone was happy with the proceedings.  The religious leadership in Jerusalem were greatly trouble by this display of public affection for Jesus.  They feared a riot and the inevitable consequences that would be inflicted upon them from Rome, and the challenge to their authority presented in this bold challenge. Surely they must have also feared the wrath of God from the apparent blasphemy of this Jesus of Nazareth. 

The Pharisees quickly challenged Jesus’ motivations for entering Jerusalem in such a public manor; and told him to tell the crowds to be quiet.  They wanted him to deny that he was the messiah and that he was the Son of God.  Instead, Jesus insisted that he is who he is, and that if the crowds were silent then the stones would cry out to give him the honor he deserves.  Wow, can you see this.  Jesus was saying that he is the creator of the world.  Creation itself recognized its creator, but not man.   Jesus in essence told them I cannot deny who I am and even if the crowd did not, then the rest of creation would testify that I am the Son of God, the Word who was in the beginning, the creator of everything that is seen and unseen in heaven and in earth.  This laying of the palm leaves at the triumphant entry of the promised Messiah into the city of Jerusalem, and the confrontation at the gate, marks the beginning of the Passion Week and the advent of Palm Sunday.


[1](Chuck Missler, 11-1-2004, Koinonia House, Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Precision of Prophecy http://www.khouse.org/articles/2004/552/)