In the Beginning

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“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

This is a simple statement.  Yet this statement is all inclusive and it assumes one key element.  It is all inclusive in that it includes Space, Matter, Time, and Scientific Laws.  The phrase, “in the beginning” implies that there is the start of a time frame.  Time has a starting point in the initial creation of the heaven and the earth.  Note also that heaven, at this point, is singular. This would also mean that these, the heaven and the earth are somehow contained in something. 

When I teach a class on Genesis 1:1 I often draw a cube on the whiteboard and explain that this is very similar to the aquarium that someone would put into their home.  In order to set up an environment to keep fish in, one must first have the space to put everything into. In this manner is how we can see that a container is necessary for God to put the heaven and the earth into. We also know that the universe runs in set patterns and dependencies.  Everything has its place and function.  There are scientific principles and laws of nature that govern how things interact within the universe. By way of example, we have the Law of Gravity, the Laws of Physics, and such things as these. We also have quantitative Scientific laws like mathematics, chemistry, and engineering. All of these things existed from “in the beginning”.  

To have intelligent conversations on any subject, certain things must be agreed upon as a starting point. This first verse of Genesis is assumptive that we can agree that God exists. Therefore, it does not explain the existence of God, or where he came from. It does not do so, because the purpose of the story being relayed is not to explain the existence of God.  It is given us the explanation of our existence. So, it only tells us that God it is who created.  God created everything.  Knowledge of God is assumed, even if we do not know who he is.  God himself is taken as a literal, legitimate individual.  What we learn is that it is God who had the ability to create things. Scripture says that a fool says that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). 

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The assumption is that any intelligent person in their right mind should know that there must be a God.  The understanding that the universe could not have come into existence by itself is something that anyone who has intellect, should know. Therefore, the notion that the universe suddenly created itself, or that it somehow was always in existence is for the weak minded and unlearned.  All that one has to do is to look and see how everything in this universe breaks down, wears out, and degrades over time, if it does not have something else to maintain it, or to act upon it for its restoration or betterment.  Nothing in nature ever evolves into a higher lifeform. The necessity of God for creation and maintenance is plain to see throughout the universe. It is a universal law.

The Jewish and Christian beliefs of God creating everything from nothing is not shared with any other belief system in the world.  This is referred to in the Latin, “creatio ex nihilo” (creation from nothing) and has been a long-held belief in Christianity dating back the beginnings of the Church.  The idea that God is so absolute in his power that he can cause something to be in existence from nothing is what makes the Judeo-Christian God unique from all other God’s and belief systems in history.  This ability makes him the only creator in existence. 

Some other Creation Stories:

  • Greek Mythology – In the beginning was chaos.  This is not a creation from nothing.
  • Norse Mythology- In the beginning was a chasm. This is not a creation from nothing.
  • Rig Veda (an ancient Sanskrit writing) – There was the “first fashioner” he created Earth and Sky, but before him there were cosmic waters. This is not a creation from nothing.
  • Chinese Mythology- Heaven and earth were in a state of chaos or cosmic egg for 18,000 years and it broke apart and formed the heaven and the earth. This is not a creation from nothing.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology- the Earth was made from the killing and dividing of another god. 
  • Egyptian Mythology has three different creation myths.  The predominant one has two gander producing eggs that are the sun and the earth.  This is not a creation from nothing.
  • Zoroastrian Mythology- creation was made after a cosmic war between “lies” and “truth”.  Truth won and created the earth, then tried to destroy it, but cosmic man thwarted the plan by returning to earth as a plant stalk and repopulating the earth with vegetation. From the stalks we then see the produce of the first man and woman.  This is not a creation of everything from nothing.
  • Hindu and Buddhist see the universe as eternal with no beginning or end, it has always existed
  • Scientology from what I can see of it seeks to claim that it is the oldest of creation beliefs and that the cosmic lifeforce may have initiated a spark on non-active substances and then created all things. This still is not a creation from nothing.

Now I know that these are extremely abridged versions of these beliefs.  But I only have them here to show you that Judaism and Christianity are not the only cultures who believe in a creation event that is not some string of cosmic accidents that somehow led to men being formed.  Instead, in these we see that generally all cultures in history have believed that there was an actual creation event in antiquity, and that one or two gods or entities are responsible for this spectacular one-time experience in cosmic history.  The purpose of Genesis 1:1 is to introduce God (the I AM) as the ONE who is the actual creator.  This is where Judaism and Christianity differ from all other people, religions, philosophies, and theories that have ever populated the earth. We believe, according to scripture, that God is the one who created all things from nothing.  That means that there was absolutely nothing when God created everything. God is the point of origin for all things we know. This means that everything we have ever seen, touched, smelled, and felt comes from God who created all things:

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  • Psalm 90:2 – Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
  • Colossians 1:16-17 – 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.
  • John 1:1-4 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
  • Revelations 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Therefore, having read these verses, we can see, with just a quick glance, that God existed before the creation.  There is only one God and he created everything.  All powers and authorities within this creation are subject to his creation authority.  We can also see that everything was created for his own pleasure, not ours.

Yet there is another theology out there that rejects this whole premise of a God, or even an unnamed divine essence that created everything.  They reject all matters of faith in the claims of science.  This theology is known as Atheistic Humanism. They are armed with what they call scientific evidence that destroy the faith-based creation of Christianity.  They attempt to remove God from the creation event.  In doing so they are attempting to remove his authority over them.  The approach is simple, their claim is that someone who could believe in an invisible God to create everything and to just take it on faith is unhealthy thinking and ludicrous.  However, when you get to investigating what Atheists accept (believe) as truth, you will find that it also takes a great amount of faith.  Lee Strobel who has become famous for switching his stance from atheism to Christianity tweeted, “To continue in atheism, I would need to believe that nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason. I simply didn’t have that much faith.”[1]

I like you have known quite a few individuals, some friends, some family, who have looked down their nose at me for believing in Jesus Christ, and for taking the Word of God at face value.  Yet this statement made by Mr. Strobel is one that I have heard from many people who used to be atheist.  At some point their mind realizes that everything they believe to be true is just that… it is a belief and when confronted with the lack of real evidence to support their rational mind, they concede that this belief takes just as much faith as believing in Jesus and the Word of God.  Then they begin to ask questions.  They begin to want real answers.  In finding no answers anywhere else then turn back to that ignorant Christian, and to what God says.  They begin to examine the Word of God and for the first time they begin to see what God has been telling all of us.

Isaiah 45:11 – Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

The Lord is not hiding in the darkness and hoping to not be seen.  Instead, he is putting out an invitation to all men.  To seek him out.  He says to ask about the work of his hands.  The entirety of creation speaks to his glorious work. (Psalm 19:1-7; Romans 1:20) God wants us to know that he is the creator.  That is why Genesis 1:1 starts with “In the beginning God Created the heaven and the earth.”. Later the gospel of John tells us that in the beginning was the word and that all things were made by him. (John 1:1-3) The very word of God is tied to his being the creator.  “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) God’s revelation of himself in the first verse of Genesis, and the steps that he took to create everything, is his guarantee of his word.  It is given to us so that we can have confidence in everything else that is revealed in the scriptures.  The first sentence in Genesis is the foundation of all Jewish and Christian faith.  God exists.  God created everything.  God is all powerful.  God has all authority.  The word of God is trustworthy.  Psalm 148:8 says, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”  What a strong foundation for faith and hope.  If he created all things, then he can make you a new creation in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

God tells us that we can ask him about his works.  He tells us that the heavens declare his majesty.  Everyday we can look up to the skies and see proof of the work of his hands.  The creation shows knowledge.  No matter what language you speak or education level you reach, God’s creation is speaking to you about the God who created all things, including you. 

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The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:1-7)

It is amazing to me that this verse speaks of the cycles of nature and the manner in which the sun circles the earth.  This reveals from the very beginning that people of faith have always know the earth was circular, well if they read anyways.  Approximately 150 B.C. the ancient Greeks made a globe to represent the earth.  It is believed that Moses wrote the Pentateuch (1st five books of the Old Testament) around 1445 B.C. I make this point to show you that men and women of faith do not need to fear what science says.  Instead, we should run to science and get involved and ensure that the science being performed is in fact science.  Just because someone claims a theory, that does not make the theory true.  The book. “On the Origin of Species” published in 1859 which is used to promote the theory of Evolution has yet to be proven with the principles of the scientific method.  Yet it is taught as an indisputable fact.  Now this undisputable fact is not just one set of facts or a unified theory either.  Darwin had four principles to his theory. Enst Mayr writes saying that Darwin had five theories of evolution. [2] Within each of these theories there are many more theories that have changed over time. Other theories on the origins of like include:

  • The Big Bang
  • The Electric Spark
  • Extra-terrestrial Origen (Panspermia)
  • Spontaneous Origin
  • Biochemical Evolution
  • Community Clay

These are just a few of the many that Humanistic Theology seeks to use in their running away from the truth. When you look at these theories (fancy ford for “belief”) you will see some very big leaps taken on speculation. Talk about “faith”.  It is a tragic comedy that those who believe in a constantly changing and scientifically unsupported theory are calling those who believe in an unchanging biblical view of creation to be fools. We see the proper demonstration of the pot calling the kettle black. 

Christians have been told that they are stupid and ignorant to believe in the Bible when science so clearly disproves it.  I would say yes, Christians have been stupid and ignorant, but not because of science disproving the Bible.  Because science has not disproved the Bible, instead the deeper the science and the more serious the scholar and the archeologist looks, they find that the Bible is validated by the scientific studies performed.

Therefore, we have been stupid for trusting the wrong source for our information.  Trusting in the religion of humanism and being willfully ignorant to the fact that lies are we listening to are well within the scope of words among prideful, self-seeking men.  Especially those who hate and reject God and are willing to go to any length to discredit his word.  We are ignorant of what science truly says concerning creation, the flood, and the events we now see unfolding as we come to the end of the age.  Just as the Word of God revealed the beginning it revealed the end also.  God is the one constant from the beginning to the end.  It is his design, his plan, and it is for his purposes.

No, the Christian does not need to fear science.  The Christian should seek out honest science and seek out the truth of God revealed in the Holy Bible.  God has never said that we should bury our heads in the sand.  Instead, he says to think, gain wisdom, seek knowledge, get understanding.  “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) God does not want us to be ignorant of his creation.  Creation teaches us about God. Good science that follows the principles of science and discovery teaches us about this creation that God has made.  In this proper study we can find out so much about God and his handywork.  We can see how much love he has poured into the universe, the earth, and into men and women like you and me. 

There is an importance in what we discover in scripture and in science.  We find that we can trust the scriptures as passed given and preserved by God as they have been passed down from one Godly man to the next generation.  There are clear points in scripture where the author has put their own pen to the page and those are noted in the passages.  But the events that happen in the first chapters of Genesis, especially “in the beginning”, could have only been know by God.  It is God himself who passed these events to Adam.  We must therefore take what we have been given by God as the very Word of God and accept the truth of what it says.  We must take the text of the Creation as literal events and not try to bend them or twist them in order to make them fit into the theories of men.  I repeat the warning of Paul the Apostle, “Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightiest be justified in thy sayings, and mightiest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:4). If we cannot believe that God performed creation that way that scripture tell us that he did, then we cannot believe anything else that the scripture states about God, Sin, or Salvation in Jesus Christ. 

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Therefore, humanistic theology tries so hard to discredit the first 11 Chapters of Genesis, especially the creation.  If it did not happen the way it is recorded, then everything else is subject to ridicule and reinterpretation.  This is the same approach that the serpent took with Eve in the Garden of Eden when he asked, “Yeah, hath God said…?” (Genesis 3:1).  I encourage you to put away the fables of men, and to study the scriptures and the science for yourself.  There are plenty of resources available today for you to look at the science that disproves the theories of men.  You will find that the only reason you are having problems is because of your own ignorance and unfounded fear of the evidence concerning creation.  Evidence that supports a short earth.  Evidence that supports a catastrophic flood.  Evidence that proves that man was a purposeful and fully functional creation, unique from anything else on the earth.  Man was not the biproduct of an accident that took billions of years to form, instead he was a thought out, purposefully engineered creation by a God who loves and cares for him, and for you as a unique and designated offspring of that life.  Adam was designed for a purpose, and so are you. 

Strobel, L. (2017, Dec 12). @LeeStrobel Tweet.


[1] (Strobel, 2017) Tweet from Lee Strobel Dec 24,2017@11:22AM

[2] (Gruyter)

Bibliography

Gruyter, W. d. (n.d.). https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9781400854714.755/pdf. (D. Gruyter, Ed.) Retrieved Apr 21, 2022, from https://www.degruyter.com/: https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9781400854714.755/pdf

Is Tithing Different Than Other Commandments?

Many Christians seem to think that we are set free from sin because of Grace, but we must absolutely pay tithes or suffer consequences from God.  They seem to think that if they become a believer and then commit a sin afterward that the Lord will forgive if they confess and then they move on with no other consequences.  The exception to this is tithing.  They believe that because tithing was instituted prior to the Law of Moses that the Lord handles that sin of disobedience differently and will curse them with failing to obey that commandment. They receive this belief because many preachers teach that very doctrine. 

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These teach that God had instituted tithing before he instituted the Law and so the act of tithing is separate from the Law and Grace issues of salvation and obedience.  But is this a true doctrine that is supported by the scripture?  Did God only institute tithing before the Law and so separate the lack of tithing from other sins?  Does God hold you accountable because Jesus fulfilled the Law?  If Jesus only fulfilled the Law and somehow the command to tithe is exempt, did he save anyone from condemnation? I move that God did not only institute tithing prior to the Law and so is expected with believers under grace, but that he also instituted the general law of righteousness and expects believers to adhere to those also.  For now let us look at the tithe doctrine.

Where do we get this doctrine?  Well, there is a story way back in Genesis that predates Moses and the giving of the Law in Exodus. This story involves Abram (Abraham) and Lot. When Abram was living in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron (modern day location is in the West Bank). In this story his nephew Lot and he had separated because of issues with their herdsmen and the resources available to feed their flocks.  Lot went towards Sodom and Abram to Hebron.  Sometime after there arose a war between the kings of the region, and Lot got swept up in the ones who were taken as slaves and pillage from several of the nearby kingdoms.  Just on a short side note.  This might serve as a good lesson on being to close to the world.  Ok, back to the main topic of this writing.   

When Abram heard wind of it, he took his men and “smote” the enemies and brought back all those who were captured and all of the things that were pillaged. When this occurred there was a king that came to honor Abram for his righteousness and obvious blessings of the Lord.  The name of this king was Melchizedek.  He was the king of Salem (Peace).  He brought bread and wine as a gift to Abram.  Abram in return gave him a 10th of everything he had to show honor to God’s king and priest, and to give thanks for the blessing God gave him.  This is affirmed by the writer of Hebrews, see Genesis 14:20 and Hebrews 7:2, in the King James Version, for comparison.

Genesis 14:20 – And blessed be the most-high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Hebrews 7:2 – To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

Now a little more on Melchizedek and Salem. Melchizedek (Melchisidech) was a king and priest to El ‘Elyon (Hebrew for “God Most High”), of Canaanite origin. The name Melchizedek is an old Canaanite name meaning “My King Is [the god] Sedek”, or “My King Is Righteousness”.  Salem is believed to be Jerusalem in later texts.  The name Salem means “complete or perfect peace”.  You can probably see where the writer in Hebrews was headed.  Jesus is considered by the writer of Hebrews to be a king and priest after the order of Melchisidech.  This then shows that with Christ there is a change in the priest hood. The priesthood of Melchizedek was changed to the Levitical priesthood under the Law of Moses.  Now the priesthood in the manner of Melchizedek could pick up under Grace.  This would show that tithes were expected prior to the Law, and now after the Law. 

Further we see that Jacob also offered tithes to God.  Now this tithe was a promise to be faithful to God because God was faithful to Jacob.  It is put a little differently, however, it can still be seen of the giving of 10% of everything that God had given Jacob.

Genesis 28:20-22 – And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Once more we see that the tithing of Jacob was prior to the Law given in Exodus.  One could even make the argument that the requirement of tithes for Israel comes from the vow that Jacob made to God, that he would give the place Bethel as a temple and he would give a tenth of all he had from the Lord back to the Lord as gratitude. 

Here next we can see the command and the purpose of the tithe. 

  • Leviticus 27:30 – Tithe is declared the Lord’s
  • Numbers 18:21 – God says tithes are for the support of his priests
  • Malachi 3:8 – God says that to not tithe is robbing him
  • Haggai 2:8 – any treasure we have belongs to God
  • Deuteronomy 12:11-14 – bring all sacrifices, offerings, and tithes to the house of God

We an see that before the Law, Abram honored God by giving to his servant priest because of the priestly duties of king Melchizedek and in honor of what God had given Abram.  We also see that Jacob, who is Israel, performed an oath before the Lord to place a temple and to tithe.  Under the Law we see that the reasoning that God applies. The Hebrews in their exhale seem t have forgotten the vow and the reasoning of the tithe, so God reminds them in the Law. The tithes are a thanks offering to God for what he has given.  Since God does not need what is made by man, the tithes are used to support the priest in their duties and the maintenance of the temple.  In this tithe offering to God the priests gain the ability to concentrate on their priestly duties.  In the modern-day church this is reflected in church practice of paying a pastor, providing a parsonage, or giving a love offering to an evangelist, or charity to a missionary.  We are commanded to care for our clergy. 

1 Corinthians 9:9-14 – don’t muzzle an ox, he needs to eat while working

Luke 10:7 – ministers should eat what is given them by their hosts

Philippians 4:16-19 – shows Paul giving thanks for provisions given to him by the church

There is therefore a clear precedence for the continuation of tithing.  Now, if we cannot under grace ignore such a decree of God that he finds pleasing, how can we then ignore other items that please him?  Did you just get a confused look on your brain? 

Remember the premise.  Many Christians believe that Grace covers us from sins like lies, murder, sexual immorality and such.  They believe this because scripture does tell us this. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14).  That is straight from the Apostle Paul.  In this chapter of Romans, Paul goes at length to explain how it is that we are dead to sin, all is forgiven, and we are not held accountable to the Law unto death anymore.  Well, those who believe on Jesus the Son of God as both Savior and LORD, and I mean the only LORD who is God, they are saved -and only those. The Apostle of Christ even explains how when we sin, it is not really us who have been redeemed, but this flesh that is still holding us.  Paul tells us that we can rejoice because we are no longer slaves to sin, we can choose who we submit to, we do not have to submit to our flesh and transgress…  Uh oh.  That means that since we have been set free from sin, we should be servants not to sin, but to righteousness.  That means we are now set free to choose to be morally upright like Jesus our Master. 

So how does all of this relate?  Well first let us see the truth.  This does not only apply to the Law of Moses, but to the Law AND the prophets… the entirety of scripture.  Jesus said,

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-20) 

Now without getting too theological, there are those who will say that Jesus was talking to the Jews.  I will agree with that.  There is evidence that God deals with different people in different manners depending on his purposes.  He is God and I must concede this point, much as I treat my children different according to age, maturity, trust worthiness, and so forth.  I think it reasonable that God knows that people are different and must be dealt with by different methods.  Keeping in mind the truth of the Gospel that anyone who truly believes and submits to Jesus as the Son of God who is both savior and Lord of their life is saved, Jew first then Gentile.  However, it still appears that Jesus is referring to his kingdom, that would mean that it covers his servants, wether under the Law or Grace.  Jesus expects that you will still be righteous in heart and actions.  We call this sanctification.

That aside, is there precedence on other sins other than the lack of giving tithes that God has revealed prior to the Law of Moses?  Yes, there is.  He is a short list (that means not all inclusive).

  • Genesis 3:1-20 – Fall of Adom and Eve = lies, deceit, covetousness, not trusting the Word of God, disobedience; false god; idolatry; lust; covetousness; unrepentance      
  • Genesis 4:5 – Cain and Able = Disobedience, False Worship, Vanity, Pride
  • Genesis 6:5-7 – Cain and Able = wickedness evil imaginations, lust
  • Genesis 6:9 – Cain and Able = Lies; unrepentance
  • Genesis 6:8-10 – Cain and Able = Murder (killing); lack of honor for parents
  • Genesis 6:11, 13 – Noah and the Flood = violence; disobedience; unrepentance
  • Genesis 9:5-6 God holds murderers accountable to death
  • Genesis 9:21-25 – Drunkenness; disrespect to parents
  • Genesis 11:1-9 – Babel= False gods, idolatry, pride, disobedience
  • Genesis 19:1-38 Sodom and Gomorrah; sexual immorality, violence, idolatry, disobedience, lack of fear of the Lord, unrepentance  

All the above are just a small portion of the things that man did that God disapproved of prior to the Law of Moses.  Tithing is not mentioned in any of the things that resulted in punishment in these texts. However, if we hold that the reason, we must tithe is because that it was demanded prior to the Law of Moses then we must also be in compliance with these other items that are identified prior to the Law. So, either grace covers all our sins or it does not.  Don’t worry, it does cover all sin and no works are necessary (Romans 11:6).

Do we then have an excuse to refrain from tithing? Paul says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1) That seems like a valid argument.  Paul is quick to answer.  “God forbid”.  If we are truly dead to sin, then we cannot, and must not sin just because our sins have been forgiven.  Instead, we should live a new life.  A life of love and gratitude towards God.  Our lives and everything in them are a gift of what God has already given.  Out tithe is then an offering of thanksgiving for what God has already done.  Not for what he might bless us with.  Certainly not an obligation under or outside of the Law.  Indeed, our tithe is no longer a tithe, but 100% of all we are and posses.   

If we see the tithe as an offering to God, as the ancient Hebrews saw all their sacrifices, then this is a different issue all together.  The Hebrews viewed all their possessions as actually belonging to God.  Without the blessings of God, then they would have nothing at all.  Therefore, they gave God back the best portion of what he had given them.  The tithe was not only in money, but in grain, livestock, currency, etc. The motivation was not for the blessings but rather, it was to be pleasing to God.  God had already given the blessings.  This tithe was simply a show of respect and gratitude in honor of God’s provisions. It is a reasonable service.  This it the same thing that Paul says concerning our sacrifice of love towards God and one another.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

Here, Paul says that Jesus Christ has given us life.  How do we just give 10% of life back to Christ?  We do not.  We must give all that he has given us.  For if we are truly dead to sin, then we died.  The only life we have now, is in Christ.  That means 100% is now our offering.  The first fruits of life is love.  We must give love back to God.  We do this by presenting not part, but all of our lives as a living sacrifice, sanctified – set apart for him in Jesus Christ.  He has become not only our savior, but our Lord.  Not just Lord but the one and only LORD. 

With this mindset the heart is freed to give.  This is just one part of what Paul was trying to explain.  Since we have been set free from the penalty, we are now free to love God of our own choosing.  We can now give not only our tithes, but so much more.  We can not only chose obedience in tithes but in not bearing false witness, no gossiping, no showing respect to some people and disrespect to others, no murders, no abortions, no sexual immorality, etc.

We know that God is not trying to steal from us, nor is he trying to keep us from good things.  But we are simply allowing God’s plan to work.  What plan?  His plan of redemption. The furtherance of the gospel is supported with your sanctification and your giving. The tithe is for the maintenance and care of the temple (church), and the food and caring of the priests (clergy) so that they can perform their duties before God and man.  It is reasonable that we should care for these things before God.  It should be understandable that we are the manner in which God cares for his servants. 

Many times, I receive calls from people who desire to take from the church, and even expect that the church should give to them.  However, if the storehouse of the Lord is empty because his people have neglected to fill it, then the Lord will not be pleased, and the outreach cannot be sustained.  Without the tithing the building falls in disrepair, and the pastor must make choices between service to the Lord of feeding of his family.  From the unbeliever, seeing a church in disrepair, or clergy that are starving and in debt or working two jobs is a sign on unbelief from the congregation.  Who would want to believe a God who cannot take care of his own clergy and temple?

Look at Malachi chapter one.  The Lord says that bringing second best is a show of disrespect.  Giving with bitterness in your heart of contempt from feeling like your have been forced or coerced to give is not love, and neither is giving in expectant of blessings in return.  He says that you profane the altar of the Lord when you hold back from him.  I often have eyebrows raised when I tell those in attendance that if they cannot give their tithes with a happy heart then they should not give at all. The altar of mercy is desecrated by complacency.  Even with that stern rebuke the Lord is still merciful.  Even though we should not expect a blessing in return for tithing, the Lord will bless you for giving joyfully. 

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, Smith. The LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)

Therefore, we cannot say that tithing is different than any other commandment under the Law.  We cannot say that tithing is not covered under Grace.  We can say that obedience in tithing, like obedience in not committing other sins, brings blessing that are inclusive of Gods good nature.  For the Lord says, “Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of they life shat be many.” (Proverbs 4:10)  So then should we not tithe?  No, rather we should tithe, but for the correct reason. 

Is this “The Greatest Story Ever Told”?

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I heard this on the radio this morning.  The host said, “What if I told you a story about someone who could heal all your hurts.”  Then they went on to say, “well it is not a story”.  It is the greatest story ever told.  They went on to explain that Jesus came to heal all of their hurts.  Then they just said that we should have joy over that. It was not a bad thing to say at the first hearing.  I assumed that their reference was to the movie, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” that was released in 1965 by directory George Stevens.  This is a movie adaptation of the biblical telling of Jesus of Nazareth, from his birth to his ascension, after his resurrection from the crucifixion.  Or maybe it was referring to the Gather song, “It’s Still the Greatest Story Ever Told” which sings of the coming of the messiah as the baby Jesus, and how God became his own flesh and blood creation out of love for mankind.  Now, this is the greatest story ever told.  It also happens to be true.  God became man.  The Creator became his own creation to reveal his love of his to his creation. But to say that Jesus came to heal your hurts is the greatest story is a sweet little lie, or at the minimum a very incorrect statement, and no where near the truth.

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You see, since the ancient of times, we have had great men of renown (Genesis 6:4).  We have had wise men, like Solomon to give us sage advice and provide a model of sound judgement.  Men like his father King David to show us how to protect the weak and provide for one another have been around since the beginning.  We have even had men who have walked and talked to God, men like Enoch, Job, Noah, Moses and Abraham.  We even have references to peoples hurts and sicknesses being healed in the Old and the New Testament, without it being a miracle.  The author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts was a physician himself.  God, from his throne was already reaching out to his people and healing their lands, their health, and giving them protection from their enemies.  Jesus did not need to come here for any of that kind of stuff.  Jesus did not come here for that kind of stuff.  Did Jesus heal?  Yes, he did.  Did he come here to heal, yes, but not superficially.  Does he care for you and your problems? Yes, he does.  But that is not the reason why him coming is, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”.  You see we can already do all of these things for one another, if we so chose to do.

We can provide emotional support and care.  We can provide medical treatment, and life saving measures.  We can prolong life beyond what would have been.  We can deter the effects of many diseases and even put many in remission.  We can provide food and clothing to the orphans and widows.  We can encourage one another when going through rough patches.  But what we cannot do, is restore our relationship to God.  We cannot raise ourselves from spiritual death, and make ourselves holy before God. This is what makes “The Greatest Story Ever Told”.  God sent his only Son to restore our relationship to himself.  Only God can give life.  Only God can sustain life.  Therefore, only God and bring us back to life.

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In the beginning God created man with his own hands, and gave him life.  Genesis 1:26-27 – 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. Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Here we see the special relationship that God and man had from the very beginning.  God created man with a special vision and purpose in mind.  He created man as a model after himself and man was to be the caretaker of creation.  He was God’s representative on earth.  God planned him out, formed him with his own hands from the earth.  This shows man’s relationship to God and to his creation. The God breathed life into man.  God gave man life in an intimate and direct manner.  Then man became a living soul.  Man from the very beginning was flesh, spirit, and soul.  Man was alive and if you were to continue reading in Genesis you would see that he was in fellowship with God.  He walked and talked to God with no mediator in between, no fear. 

Then a horrible event took place.  Man was deceived by an enemy of God, who was once one of God’s chief angels.  This fallen angel wanted to God.  So he used cunning words to deceive the woman and the man that God was unfair and unjust.  This deceptive picture of God caused man to question God’s word and authority.  This led to the first sin of disobedience against God.  Because man’s image of God had been distorted by what they were told about God, they believed incorrectly, and sinned.  This is the same reason that I am writing this today.  This false image of who Jesus is and why he came is a deception that must be confronted, lest anyone come to Jesus for the wrong reasons, and miss out on the real reason he came.  Did Jesus heal people of their hurts, diseases, and deliver them from devils?  Yes, he did.  However, those were just signs to prove his authority for why he really came.  The reason he came is so much more important than just physical healing or food for your stomach.  He came to give you life, life that you have never had before.  He came to deliver you out of the hands of death.

You see sin, brought death.  Not just spiritually, but physical death also.  Diseases, famine, pestilence, injustice, mental illness, and far more are all brought about by sin.  These are not brought about by God, but by our fallen condition, caused by sin.  We have never known a day without sin, since the fall of mankind in the beginning.  This is part of the reason we cannot redeem ourselves.  We do not even have an idea of what true justice, or righteousness looks like.  But God does.  He above all knows the cost that sin has had upon us, his special creation.  Therefore, Jesus came to make us his righteousness.  He was sent by the Father because someone had to die for the sin that we were trapped in.  It had to be someone who had never sinned, nor was a receiver of the curse of sin through the bloodline of Adam. 

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  This is the statement made by God through the apostle Paul. The only payment for sin is death.  That is the only reward that sin ever brings – eternal death.  But God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ.  The apostle John recorded the words of Jesus as this, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) So, let us take a moment to reflect on these two statements made by God.  Sin, of which we are all guilty of by inheritance, action, or omission is punishable by death.  There is no alternative to this debt.  Unless the debt is paid for us. 

Now, here comes the Creator.  He loves us so much, that he created us with a special purpose and in an intimate manner and remembers the intimacy we once had.  He desires to have this intimacy once again with his creation (you and me) so much that he decides to pay the death penalty for us.  He does this though sacrificing his own son, Jesus Christ. Since Jesus died in our place, anyone who believes and accepts this payment of our death debt through the death of Jesus can be saved based on that belief. Now we who believe are brought from death to life.  We are not just spared death and given a life, but we are given eternal life.

So what is eternal life? Jesus put it like this, And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3) Eternal life is the restoration of the creation to the Creator.  We once again are able to walk in fellowship with God.  Remember, he is the source of life.  Life emanates from him.  Without him there is no life. We are tied into the source of life for eternity because he is eternal.  He does not change, nor die, and neither do we.  We have eternal life through Jesus Christ unto God the Father, sealed by the Holy Spirit.

What is the difference in what you believe? He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36) You see we must have a clear understanding of who Jesus is and why he came.  He came to do far more that just heal our hurts.  He came to restore our relationship to God himself.  He came to deliver us from death and from the wrath of God.  Those who reject him, or who do not believe on him, are already under the wrath of God.  Deliverance from the wrath of God comes in this way…

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That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Believe that he was sent by God the Father to redeem you.  Believe that Jesus did everything necessary to redeem you though his death, burial, and resurrection.  Believe from the heart is not a feeling, but a choice to fully believe this as the truth.  Belief on Jesus is what makes you righteous before God, and confession of this faith in Jesus Christ is what ties this belief to your acceptance of salvation.  This is because it is prof of your belief.  Not for God, but for yourself and for those who need to hear the truth.  God Saves… this is “The Greatest Story Ever Told”.  It is the story of how God loved you so much that he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for you, so that you could live with him.  God has done for you what you could not do.  He saved you from wrath, and death.  He gave you eternal life. 

Does God Ignore Some Prayers?

There seems to be a lot of confusion over the question of prayer, and if God answers all prayers. Many Christians sit in pews and listen to pastors who teach that God answers all prayers. The pastors say that sometimes God will say “yes”. They will admit that sometimes God says “no”, or even “maybe”, or “wait”. These are all valid answers. I have seen examples of such answers that I have given to my own children in seeking to be a good parent. Children sometimes ask for things that are not good for them. Or for things that are inappropriate for them. However, there were times to when they were asking things with the wrong attitude, or the while they were being punished, or things that they just knew that I would not allow, but they asked anyway.


On those occasions, I simply ignored the pleading. I had all the right to as a parent. Just because I was asked, it did not mean that I must answer or even that I had to listen. You may have been in a similar situation with your children. Lucky for us we serve a God who is the essence of what is good. He loves us from his goodness, and his goodness gives us love. Therefore, He always seeks our best interest, within his will. We are his children, and we are treated as such. But, what about those who are not his children? Does God have to pander to their requests? Does he have the right to disregard their prayers?


The Holy Bible starts out with a simple assumption, that God exists. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) If God exists, and he created the heaven and the earth then God is sovereign. We either must believe that or not. Now if we believe that God is sovereign then we must believe that he is not under our jurisdiction. He is free to determine what he must and must not do. God gets to choose his own actions. God’s actions are governed by his own character.


This character is what has been the demonstration of what is true in love, charity, longsuffering, righteousness, and all things that are good. Our since of justice comes from the character of God. God as creator does not have to answer for himself to his creation. We simply must accept that he can choose to answer any prayer that he so chooses to answer. In accepting that as truth we must also accept as truth; God can choose to not answer, and even ignore some prayers. We do not dictate the terms to God. It is God who dictates terms to his creation.

To ignore the sovereignty of God would put us in the same place as Satan. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Ezekiel 14:12-14) You would think that we would see and understand that to stand in the presence of God and make demands of him is to put ourselves in the position of God. This is what happened in the Garden of God in Eden. There Satan tempted Eve to sin, by telling her that she would be like God. (Genesis 3:5) We must listen to what the Word says and not what we desire. So, are there times that God chooses to ignore prayers? What does the Word say about unanswered and ignored prayers?

Well James the half-brother of Jesus wrote, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3) The epistle of James is believed to have been written around 49-50 AD, that would make it the earliest written letter written, after the Ascension of Christ, in the New Testament. Here James is answering the same question that we are still asking today. Why doesn’t God answer all prayers? In this short sentence James tells us that if we ask to consume it in our lusts, that is to say, to satisfy fleshly desires, or in self-serving desire, then you are asking in vain because God will not honor that prayer. So, the motivation of our prayer has to be sincerely unselfish. So, is it wrong to ask for the things we need? No, Jesus himself told us that we should ask that our joy may be full. Jesus also says that we should seek the kingdom of God first, because the Father knows everything we need, and he will supply our need. So, James does not contradict Jesus. Both Jesus and James, tell us that we should ask with the proper motivation.

We also see that the Lord will not hear those who think immorality in their heart. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalms 66:18) What an eye opener this verse is. To put it in context, the writer is actually praising God for hearing his prayers, and NOT those of the wicked. He draws a contrast and comparison between himself as a righteous man before God who seeks to do the will of God and those who do not seek the will of God. These who enjoy and keep sin in their hearts will have their prayers unanswered because they are separated from God and God will not hear them. Pay close attention to what Isaiah says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) Iniquities are knowledgeable sins. These are sins we know are wrong and choose to continue in them. These separate us from God, and then he will not hear us. This is what leads the Apostle John to write, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” (John 9:31) There seems to be a theme developing here. The theme that wrongly motivated prayers and a desire to continue in sin are some things that motivates God to NOT answer prayers. Heck it even seems that he ignores those who do such things.

In fact, God tells the prophet Jeremiah, because Israel has violated these two principles and rejected God, he will not hear them when they pray, and he forbids prayer for them. Did you hear that? Don’t believe me? Listen to Jeremiah 14:10-12, “Thus saith the Lord unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the Lord doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.” Wow he will not hear their prayers, not anyone else’s prayers for them. He will not listen even if they fast, no matter how often nor how long they pray, because they have rejected him. I think that it is fair enough to say that the doors of heaven can be closed to those who leave God, should he so choose.

Ok so far we see that God can choose to ignore prayer from those who have improper motives rooted in selfishness. God will not hear those who choose to live in sin, or who have forsaken God for another god. Now we move on to those who have actually rejected God. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Word of God and the Word of God was with God in the beginning and created all things. The Word also tells us, “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.” (Proverbs 3:19-22) and then scripture also tells us that this wisdom of God that Created, this Word of God that Created, this Jesus that Created, if you reject him. Then you will cry out and the Father will not hear you.


• Proverbs 1:24-28 – Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
• Matthew 10:33 – But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
• John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There we clearly that the rejection of Jesus Christ means that the Father does not know you. That would mean that he is not your Father. You would not then be his child. He would be under no obligation to hear those who have rejected Jesus.
God does have a real heart for those who listen to him, those who abbey his will, and those who care for others. So much so that Zachariah tell us that God proclaims that those with hard hearts, who refuse to listen to the Lord and his commandments he will not hear. (Zechariah 7:11-13). Proverbs 28:9 tells us that those who turn there ears away the hearing of the Law of God, God considers their prayers an abomination. That means that God thinks that those who do not even bother to listen to his law and then want to pray to him, that their prayers are an outrage. There is another form of ignoring that God does not particularly care for and will cause prayers to be unheard. Those who ignore the plight of the poor, when they ask of God, their prayers will be, likewise, ignored. (Proverbs 21:13)
God will not hear the prayers of those who mistreat his people either. These are those who hate good, love evil, who seek to hurt and kill the Saints of God.


• Psalm 18:40-41 – Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.
• Micah 3:2-4 – Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.


These have cried in the past and the Lord choose to ignore their pleas. There are other examples of prayers that do not get answered. Prayers from those who worship idols (Jeremiah 11:11-14; Ezekiel 8:15-18. Those who do not believe will not receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:6-7).

So then if we are all unrighteous, who does God hear?
Those who seek and call upon him in belief that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek him to know who he is.


• James 1:5 – But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
• Jeremiah 29:12 – Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
• Job 33:26 – Then he will pray to God, and He will accept him, That he may see His face with joy, And He may restore His righteousness to man.
• Psalm 91:15 – “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
• Psalm 145:18 – The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
• Psalm 65:2 – O You who hear prayer, To You all men come.

• Jeremiah 36:7 – Perhaps their supplication will come before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and the wrath that the Lord has pronounced against this people.”
• Matthew 7:11 – If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
• John 14:13 – Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
• John 14:14 – If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
• John 16:23 – In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
• John 15:7 – If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
• James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
• Matthew 21:22 – And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
• 1 John 5:14 – This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
• 1 John 5:15 – And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
• Romans 10:12 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

Scripture is clear. God is sovereign and he chooses to ignore those who do not recognize or who ignore his sovereignty. But to those who sincerely seek him, and desire to know him. He will reveal himself to them. Those who are repentant and who confess that Jesus is the Son of God who died, was buried, and rose again from the grave, and desire to perform his will, God will hear, and answer. He will fulfill the desires of that person’s heart. God hears those who hear him. If you first ask to hear God, he will let you hear him, that your joy may be full. You want to hear something really neat? God prays for us. (Romans 8:27; John 17:15; 1 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 9:15) In addition, for those who accept Jesus as Christ, those have been made righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21) This means the unrighteous man that John said God would not hear… we are no longer that unrighteous man. Therefore, God hears us, because of Jesus Christ, in order that the Son of God may be glorified of the Father. What wonderful news!

How Are Ye So Far Removed?


There is something that puzzles me greatly in the American churches. Lifeway Research and Ligonier Ministries partnered together to conduct a survey that they refer to as the State of Theology. Now this survey was conducted which included the results of 3000 Americans. This survey asked questions like:

• True or False: God is a perfect being and cannot make a mistake
• True or False: There is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
• True or False: God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
• True or False: Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God
• True or False: Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God
• True or False: The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being
• True or False: Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation


Now these are just a sampling of the questions that were asked in this survey. These questions can tell where an individual stands on these issues; and they are issues. These are the issues of life and death. What you believe on these affects your eternal fate.


We should expect that those who do not call themselves Christian should not believe in certain things that are in the bible. However, we should expect that “evangelicals” should believe what the bible says, and that the bible has authority over every other ancient and modern writings, philosophies, cultures, religions, or political and economic influences. While there is a wide difference in what people say that an evangelical is, the National Association of Evangelicals makes these distinctions to identify its members to the world.


• The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
• It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
• Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
• Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.


An evangelical should not be defined on political, social, or cultural trends that are made up in American or world societies. They should be distinct and adhere to these basic beliefs at a minimum.


Historically evangelicals have shared a strong conviction that (1) it is their duty to convert others to be “born-again”, (2) it is their duty to actively express and demonstrate the gospel through missionary work and social reform programs, (3) they have typically taken the defense that the Bible is the ultimate authority on spiritual matters and obedience is a necessity, and (4) the historical crucifixion of Jesus Christ is what makes it possible for redemption of humanity.


It would seem then, that an evangelical is someone who confesses to believe in Jesus Christ for their savior and Lord. This survey shows that many evangelicals to not believe in basic biblical truths.
Many evangelicals do not believe:
• Jesus is God, Creator, and has always existed
• The bible and the information within it are accurate and true
• Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation
• Belief in Jesus is a requirement by God to receive eternal life
• The Holy Spirit is an equal part of the Trinity of God
• Hell is a real place where the unbelieving will be punished forever
• Jesus will return to judge all the people who have ever lived on earth
• Sex outside of marriage is a sin
• Abortion is a sin
• The Bible condemns homosexuality and all sexual immorality along with other sins


I cannot understand how those who say that they believe in the authority of scriptures can be so mislead that the very foundation of their belief is Jesus is in error. Paul the Apostle would have said, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; bur there be some that trouble you , and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7) How is it that you who call yourselves followers of Jesus Christ, who have professed to believe the gospel are so far removed from the very truths you profess to believe. If you do not believe the gospel that was first delivered to you, and have taken on a new gospel, then you do not believe in the gospel of grace that was revealed to you.


This means that their faith would be in vain. John wrote, “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31) Again he wrote, “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” (1 John 3:23) The question is, do you believe what was written for your benefit? We are given the scriptures so that we can know what it is that we should know about God and to know that what we believe is correct. If we are told in just these two samples of scripture that Jesus is the Son of God and, we are commanded to believe that he is the Son of God; then failure to believe means that we are lacking something very important in our faith. The truth that Jesus is God, and that he is the Son of God is a requirement of belief in Jesus that cannot be ignored. If we then do not believe in this, we are not believers in Jesus, and we are not saved. We have simply… NOT believed on the name of Jesus.


Scripture also tells us, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) It is just as simple and clear as that. You see God does have all authority. He has chosen that men can be saved in only one way, believe that Jesus is God and that he became flesh and died for men, that their sins may be forgiven. This is the only way, belief in Jesus. This is what believing in Jesus means, if you don’t believe everything the scriptures say concerning him, then you don’t believe in him, or in the authority of his name as the living Son of God.


The problem is that we have progressively listened to the serpent in the garden. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he made her to question the authority of the Word of God that she had received. Once this doubt was in her head, she was vulnerable to the rest of his attack. Here is the account of the temptation of Eve in the garden.


Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:1-6)


In here we see somethings that we should take note of, as those who believe. The first is that the form that Satan had taken. He was in the form of a serpent. The serpent in creation was subject to Adam and should have been confronted and put in his place with the authority God had given to Adam. Instead of putting the serpent to silence Eve listened to him. Second, the serpent is described as more subtle. This means that he was very intelligent and quite crafty. Notice that his approach is to say “Yeah, hath God said”. Did God really say this? Surely God didn’t mean you could not eat of that tree… Right there he usurps the very words of God and pulls the authority associated with it into question. If what she thinks that God said is not what God actually said, then it may not be wrong to eat of every tree in the garden after all.
Thus, it is with society. The serpent had slowly taken away the belief that what God has given us in scripture is accurate. This has been done through philosophies, pseudo sciences, textual criticisms, false teachers, errant preachers, and teachers who do not teach the whole counsel of God, and cults. Worst of all is that there is a new English version of the Bible out every day it seems. With so many versions in just English alone then how can you know which is the word of God? These have eroded trust in the bible and those who wield it.


If the Bible is not accurate, it cannot be trusted. If it cannot be trusted, then it may that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. It could be that we could save ourselves. It could be that God cannot tell us what is right and wrong. It could be that there really is no heaven nor a real hell. It could be that we do not even need to be saved at all. Do you see the progression?


Still there is this verse that calls to us. “But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” What things have been written that we may believe? Well that is the entirety of the Holy Bible. We are taught in the scriptures who God is. God is the creator, and as such he has supreme authority. In fact, his authority is beyond question. So, if God says something, it is fact and is trustworthy. If God caused 40 different authors located in three different continents over a span of almost 2000 years to reveal himself to us and to tell us something so urgent that we need to know, then shouldn’t we listen to it and take it for truth also?


These things are written so that you may believe… that seems like such an important statement. What then can we believe if we take the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. To start with we can believe that Jesus is God, and Creator. (John 1:1-3) Here the Apostle John tells us that Jesus is the living breathing Word of God. He says that Jesus was always with God from before the beginning because he is 100% God. John tells us that God did not make anything without Jesus, because Jesus is the one who created everything. So, in Genesis when it say, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”, that was Jesus who did the creating. In the first few verses of Genesis we see all three parts of the Trinity of God at work. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all in existence, and in union together. (James 2:19; Deuteronomy 4:35; Deuteronomy 6:4) Here we see that there is only one God in existence. This sole God created everything we have ever known in our lives and in the history of mankind. The theory of evolution is just that a theory. In fact, there are three different theories of evolution in existence today and they have all changed over time, as new science if brought out. This new science is more and more proving the Genesis narrative of creation.


Jesus as God has always existed. Since he has always existed, he was not created. Instead, he was the one who created everything. This gives him full authority over all of creation. This means that everything else written in the Bible is true also. So later when John also writes to us, “and the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14), that this same Jesus, who is the Word, who is God, became a man and then walked among us. You see, Jesus was not a man who became God. There is no place in the bible where a man has ever become God. Neither is there anything written in the bible that says any other spirit, angel, or creature became God. There is only one God. No other God has ever existed. Anyone who tells you that you can become a god, or that Jesus is one of many Gods is telling a lie, from Satan. By the way, Satan is not a God either.


This Jesus, who is God in the flesh, walked among us and did teach many things about God, and how we should live, and what heaven is all about. He also taught us what hell is like. He affirmed the scriptures that tell us that God is a God of justice and he pours out his wrath on the unrighteous (sinful and rebellious). But Jesus also let us know of the great love and mercy that God has. Jesus was not just a great teacher of spiritual truths, he was the embodiment of the truth of God. This same creator who originally breathed life in to the first and every man since creation, also came to ensure that we can have eternal life in the presence of God. He was perfect and did not sin. Then Peter tells us this Jesus “who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) Why did he do this? Love. God loves you.


We cannot earn our way into heaven. We cannot buy our way into heaven. We cannot be a good person at heart and gain our way into heaven. Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” So here we are. We have all sinned in some way. Even if we had not the original sin of rebellion that was passed down from Adam, we have all still sinned. That is evident in our life. If does not matter how insignificant we may think our sin is, or even if we do not think it as a sin. If we have murdered, or if we have just told a little white lie or taken a pen from the office stationery at work, it is still a sin. The cost for that sin is death. Death is the result of failing to meet the standard of God. Because God is so holy, things that are not holy cannot enter his presence. Jesus made the way for man to enter the presence of God. He took that price of sin, the debt you owe, and paid it. Jesus died in your place. Jesus died, no one else. There was no angel, no ancestor or yours, no saint, and certainly no devil that stepped in and took the shame of your sin and bore it on their shoulders and died because of. That is why Jesus is the only way to heaven.


Then something happened to attest to us that Jesus is indeed God. He overcame death. Only God can defeat death because only God has the power and authority to. You see, death did not come into existence until after the fall of man. The fall of man did not happen until after the creation. God was before the creation. Jesus is the creator. God is the only one who can bring man back to God. Since there is only one God, he sent a piece of himself, as Jesus, for the specific purpose of redeeming us and all of creation back to himself. Jesus came, died, was buried, and rose from the dead, then he ascended to heaven where he resides waiting to return to take possession of the earth. But, to take possession, he will have to judge all of creation. Love is what keeps him on his throne in heaven. It is the will of God that no one should perish in hell. He desires that all should be saved. So, he is giving you every opportunity to live. You see in we are deceived by the devil so easily because we like to sin.
Let us go back and visit John again. John 3:16 is one that everyone loves to quote, the believer and the unbeliever also. But we never seem to get past to the other verses that accompany it. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21)
God does love. God did sacrifice his only Son for this love. God does require that you believe on this sacrifice and honor the name of his son, Jesus. Salvation is a free gift given to those who believe. But, did you catch the latter verse? “…but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” The ones who do not believe are already condemned; not chosen to be condemned. No, these are already condemned because of their own lack of belief. They have chosen to “not“ believe and chosen to reject Jesus, because they love their sin to death. That is why we are so easily deceived. We love the darkness. Only those who love the light, receive the truth.
What should we do then? “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19) Well, we should repent. Repentance must come before salvation. Repenting is a confessing to God that His ways are perfect and that you are not. You agree with his authority to say what is acceptable and what is not. Then confessing those things to him that you agree are not acceptable, those things we call sin. Confessing to lay those down and to never return to them again. Luke 13:3 tells us that except we repent… we will die. Repentance is first. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Confession is a part of repentance.
We do not need to confess to a man, in fact in some cases it may be better not to. Confession is made to God, it is him of whom you are believing in, not a man. So, then repentance and confession are made to Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The key here is to believe. Believing on Jesus is a choice. It is a choice and not a feeling. You are choosing to believe what the scriptures have said about God, and Jesus as the Son of God, and the sacrifice he made for you. This is what we call faith. We believe, not because we have seen, but because the trust that what God has said in the Bible is accurate and trust worthy. Without this giving of our trust in the truth of God and Jesus, then it is impossible to receive salvation. “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) It does not matter if you call yourself a Christian already, what matter is does Jesus know who you are?

Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23) Paul, one of Jesus’ apostles, tell us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We need to make sure of what we believe and why we believe it.


If you are not yet ready to believe, keep seeking him through his scripture, the Holy Bible. The Bible is what God has chosen to reveal himself to us by. Do not be a fool. There is no need to look anywhere else to seek God. Find a church, get into Sunday School, and attend a Pastor’s class or two and study earnestly in your bible. When your ready, ask God, and he will reveal himself to you.


Bibliography
Ligonier. (2020, 09 08). The State of Theology. Retrieved from thestateoftheology.com: https://thestateoftheology.com/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkdFeFl6RTRZemcwTmpGaiIsInQiOiJMVnBwTmQwNEs3blk0TW5oZ054ZGRuV2pTUnBibXcxdUxkSHlQU2hDQWxvU1RDamw4dmUrakRPa0ZcLzAyTlp3WDFFaDUxR0lHUmNUa0Q2cUZSRGZ1clJ5Q29WSWZNeXVmN1JGZHh4M2NMZldFMndEVHQ4Mzd0YzZ2RXZtMk1Jc0EifQ%
National Association of Evangelicals . (n.d.). What is an Evangelical. Retrieved from nae.net: https://www.nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/

Anne Askew and Transubstantiation

On this day, June 18th, 1546, Anne Askew was convicted of heresy after being tortured for her outspoken beliefs on the false doctrine of transubstantiation.  She is one of only two women who have been tortured in the Tower of London and then burned at the stake.  On, July 16, 1546 Anne Askew was martyred for her Baptist faith in Smithfield, London.  She had refused to recant her witness under extreme torture of the rack.  This torture has so disfigured her body that she had to be transported to the stake via a wheel chair. 

Transubstantiation is the belief that during the communion of the Lord’s Supper, the bread and wine actually become the spiritual blood and body of Christ.  This teaching has no doctrinal proof found in scripture.  In scripture at what we call “the Last Supper”, which took place on the Jewish Passover, Jesus instituted the “Lord’s Supper” as a memorial service that is to remind us that sin causes death, and he sacrificed himself to pay the debt of sin for us.  His death is what brings us life.  His body was broken and his blood spilled out on our behalf.  Jesus calls this process exchanging his death for ours, the New Covenant. (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; John 13:1-7) It is his blood that the New Testament is written in.  His blood was shed for the remission of sins. The wine is to remind us of this blood that he poured out for us.  In Luke 22:19, Jesus himself says, “Do this in remembrance of me”.  Clearly this is meant as a symbolic ceremony to ensure that we do not forget that the Son of God himself gave his life for ours.  Much like we put flowers of a grave to remember a loved one who has passed.  The flowers do not become the loved one, nor do they become the center of affection. 

I know that this is hard for some believers to accept.  So let’s take a look at what Paul writes when he spoke to the Corinthians.  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) 

You see the Corinthians had a misunderstanding of what the “Lords Supper” was also.  This came from their pagan beliefs. They were mixing pagan rituals into the ordinances of the church. Paul addresses these by clarifying the purpose of the ceremony.  First, the apostle says that he is passing on to then exactly what he was received directly from the Lord.  In these few sentences Paul says that this ceremony is for a “remembrance”, just like Jesus did.  The purpose “remembrance of me (Jesus)”… “to show the Lord’s death until he returns”. 

We do not conjure up the Lord, as if any man could conjure the living God, and then force him to be re-sacrificed on our behalf.  The epistle to the Romans say, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” (Romans 6:9-10) Something very important is revealed in this passage.  Sin is payed for.  Since Jesus died for sin, and then rose from the dead, sin has no hold on him, or those who believe on him.  He lives to God.  We who believe in him, so likewise, live unto him (Jesus Christ) and so then to God.  We are alive already, in Christ.  Sin no longer has the ability to hold us under the bondage of death.  This is why we do not need to fear death.  This is why Anne Askew did not need to fear death.  Taking of the communion does not wipe away our sins each time we partake of it.  Instead it is a reminder that our sins have already been wiped away, once and for all times.  “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). 

Our problem is that we are still in this corruptible flesh.  Because we are in this flesh, we do not see the spiritual realm around us.  We cannot see the glorified Christ yet.  We need to be reminded of our hope.  When we forget God and his grace, we tend to walk away from him.  This has been demonstrated in the history of Israel.  It has likely been demonstrated in your own life history also.  God knows this and in his love, he instituted this memorial service, not just to remind us that he died, but that he arose and is returning!  “Ye do show the Lord’s death till he come”; what an excellent reminder to us to not give up the hope that we have inside.  We then can endure the horrible tortures of the rack like Mrs. Askew, if we, like her, keep the knowledge that Jesus lives, and he is returning for us. 

Is the Rapture True?

Is the Rapture True?Clouds 1

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Podcast Version 

I was asked about a YouTube video concerning the doctrine of the rapture. The video was made by a pastor, and tells that the doctrine of the Rapture is a Satanic doctrine. He states that the Rapture Theory started in the 1830s by a woman named Margaret McDonald. Mrs. McDonald had a dream that she thought was an evil dream. She shared this dream with two preachers and then they turned it into the Rapture Theory. His argument is that there are no reference works regarding the rapture prior this event. He states that the manuscripts, which we study from, never mention the word rapture. This is a brief explanation that he gives, but you can see the arguments that he uses to say that there is no rapture. (Murray, 2019)
These things confuse believers on what the scripture says. I submit to you what the scripture has to say concerning this troublesome doctrine. I will show you some things in the scripture and you can then decide if the argument I make is worth listening to. All the scriptures referenced will be taken from the King James Bible, who’s source manuscripts easily out-date the 1800 time period.
In looking into this doctrine of the church, with the study of “the manuscripts”, we can see that at least one rapture event is prophesied in scripture. Some theologians even argue that there will be several, separate rapture events in the end times. These include the rapture of the church, the rapture of the two prophets who are martyred by the beast in Revelation 11, and the rapture or Jews who believe. However, for this topical discussion we are concerned with the rapture of the church. However; even in this focus, the rapture of the church is believed by different Christians to occur either before the tribulation period, halfway through the tribulation period, or after the tribulation period. Since this question is whether a rapture occurs at all, we will focus on this topic; Is the Rapture True?
This word “rapture” is an eschatological (study of end things) term used by Christians to refer to the gathering of believers who are lifted from this earth and joined with their glorified bodies and Jesus Christ. I will have to admit that the word “rapture” is not used in scripture. That is to say; in our current English language, the word rapture in not in scripture as that exact word. This does not mean that the rapture event is not discussed. Jesus does tell us, “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.” (John 14:1-3)
It is noticeably clear in this passage that Jesus wants to comfort his disciples, and those who believe in him. In fact, later in the same chapter he says that he is speaking to those who love him and obey his commandments. In the ending of the previous chapter and on into this verse Jesus is warning his disciples that he must return to his Father. He wants them to know that his death is not a mistake, and it is not the end. In fact, it is a new beginning. Just as in Genesis the Lord said, let there be light, Jesus sheds light on the events to come. He is going away and leaving them there. While he is away, he is preparing for when he returns to take them to where he has gone. Now this does not say rapture, but there is a clear message that Jesus is returning, and he will take those who love him back to the Father to be with him. This is one reference in scripture where this topic is mentioned by Jesus Christ himself and recorded by the Apostle John. The gospel of John is believed to have been written around 85-90 A.D. This is a little before the 1800s.
Now I know, you are thinking that is a nice passage, but it does not really say that we will be taken to the skies. It just says that Jesus is coming back, and he will take us with him. Now, before we move further. Even if there were no other verse that spoke of this subject in scripture, I would still be excited. You see this does say, that Jesus is returning! It does say, he is preparing a place for us! It does say that he will receive us to himself! In other passages concerning the return of the Lord Jesus Christ it says that he will come in clouds of glory. It also says that he will return in the same manner that he left. Well, when he left, he arose into the clouds. We even have an event from the Old Testament where God raptured a prophet. The passage is 2 Kings 2:1. In this passage the prophet Elijah was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind. See then that the rapture event is not a new thing for God.
We can go even further back to Genesis 5:24. Here there is another man, named Enoch, who loved God and was obedient. This verse tells us that “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Wow! God took Enoch! It does not say that Enoch died. It says that “he was not”. He disappeared; God took him. See God’s method of rapture is not limited to sweeping us up into the clouds. He does not even need to descend to the earth to do it! He is God and he is amazing!
Let us now move to another Apostle. This is what the Apostle Paul has to say concerning this topic in his first letter to the church at Corinth dated approximately A.D. 55.
“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:49-57)
In this chapter Paul makes several contrasts and comparisons to what being a carnal man and a spiritual man in Christ means, and the changes that occur within us and to us. In this portion he tells us that corruptible things cannot enter into heaven; instead we need a heavenly body. We need one that is no longer corrupted by the things of this world. The things of this world are unclean, sinful, and full of death. God is life. He is a living God; of the living in Jesus Christ. Our current bodies of flesh and blood cannot join him. Paul tell us that God is somehow able to overcome this obstacle for us. Paul calls it a mystery. God is going to give us a new body. This new body will not die, it is not corrupted by sin. Paul says that this transformation will happen instantly, at the sound of the last trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise from the grave and be incorruptible. Then those of us who believe, that are still alive will be caught up also. We will all be changed, and death will have no hold on us. Jesus Christ has defeated death for us. This is amazing news!
So far we can see in just these few passages that:

• We don’t need to worry
• Jesus ascended into heaven and is returning
• Jesus has prepared a place for us
• Jesus is going to raise us up to be immortal and incorruptible

I still hear the nay Sayers out there; “I still don’t see where the word rapture can come from”. Well let us continue to seek out what the Apostle to the Gentiles says. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers concerning the rapture because some of them had been taught, by a false teacher, that the believers who had already died would miss the rapture. This false doctrine was causing many believers to lose heart, especially those who had a loved one who had already died. They wondered if they would see them again, or if they had believed in vain.
Paul wrote in his first epistle to the church at Thessalonica, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
First Paul writes that they do not need to be worried about the fate of the fellow loved ones who have believed in Christ and have already died. They did not miss the rapture. We have a hope that non-believers do not have. We that believe that Jesus died and rose again, including those in the grave right now, the Lord will bring them to his kingdom, when he comes for everyone else. He even, says that the Lord, himself, will come down and raise them from the dead. They will be raised up before he receives those who believe on him and are alive. Paul tells us that “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up”. This “caught up” is our primary concern in this text. This is where the rapture doctrine is pointed to directly. The word rapture comes from the Latin word rapere, meaning rapid. It is used as rapiemur, which means “we shall be caught up” (Ladd, 1978) This Latin word is used in translation of the Greek harpazo, meaning snatch away, or seize. I think that we can see that the word rapture and the doctrine are well rooted in scripture, and the source manuscripts. These manuscripts also easily out-date the dream of a woman from the 1800s and the supposed false doctrine of two unnamed preachers.
Here for further study:

• Luke 17:34-37 – I tell you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two [men] shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body [is], thither will the eagles be gathered together.
• Revelation 3:10 – Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
• Matthew 24:29-31 – Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Here I echo the same concern that Paul said, “I would not have you to be ignorant”. I implore you to search the scriptures for yourself, and to not take the word of any man over what God himself has spoken. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Don’t let yourself be taken by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Bibliography
Ladd, G. E. (1978). The Last Things, An Eschatology for Laymen. Grand Rapids : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. .
Murray, P. D. (2019, July 13). Satan’s Message – Im Going To Fly You Away. Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8go4ClW2bk

 

Matthew 7:6 Judgement and Spiritual Discernment

Matthew 7:6 Judgement and Spiritual Discernment

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your perls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Jesus starts this chapter off by saying that we should not judge one another.  Then he gives the reason why.  He says that we do not have proper understanding to judge one another and therefor put ourselves in danger of judgement.  Instead, Jesus says that we should concentrate on our own faults and seek to correct ourselves.  To assume that you have no faults is to lie to yourself.  But more directly Jesus says that you who judge others of hypocrisy would do well to make sure that you are not being hypocritical yourself.  This then would mean that we should use wisdom in judgement because there is a terrible responsibility and consequence for not using righteous judgement.  In addition, this set of verses is not talking about judging if something is right and wrong.  Instead it is a discussion on the weight of the judgment.  Remember in this discourse, Jesus has drawn several contrasts and comparisons between the religious and the ones who would seek the Kingdom of God. He corrected misconceptions, in what true sanctification is verses what it was perceived as. He addressed matters of the heart, clarified the Law of Moses and the Law of Reconciliation.  Jesus gave us an understanding that God sees what a man is like in his heart and not in his appearance. He also said that love should be the primary motivation in everything we do. In judgement then, we should not judge harshly or put undue burdens of punishment.  In these verses in Matthew, it also does not say that we should not judge the brother with a “mote” in his eye. It does say that we should be more concerned with our own sinfulness than someone else’s.  Paul says that we should work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. In Matthew 7:1-5 we receive a warning that our judgement is subject to review by God who is the rightful judge, so be aware. It does not say that we cannot be discerning.  The whole of Proverbs is concerned with us seeking wisdom and making correct decisions in order that we may be prosperous in the will of the Lord. So it is a discussion of judging with a good heart, in love, and in accordance with scripture. So what does scripture say about this?

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your perls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Romans 14:4 it tells us, “who art thou that judgest another man’ servant?  To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand”.  We are all at different levels of spiritual maturity in Christ, but it is the Spirit that instills knowledge and understanding.  To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  This is a point where we all have to start at.  We have to recognize that God exists and is the Creator and source of all existence.  Without God nothing can exist.  He is the supreme authority over all the Creation.  It is God who then establishes all kingdoms, and all their rulers.  He established all powers, principalities, and dominions.  This includes Pastors, teachers, musicians, church counsels, deacons, and other ministers of the Word.  Each God has given authority fit to their position and function.  This is established and blessed by God. We also then can trust that God knows what he is doing and that he established these for our benefit.  He gives according to his will.  He is the master who will ultimately judge the work of his servant.  For you to judge his servant is to assume the place of God and thereby expose yourself to judgement from God.  We are then forbidden to make judgements of condemnation.

We are warned several times in scripture that there will be those agents from the enemy who will try to infiltrate our churches in order to lead astray the flock with misleading doctrines and smooth talking sentiments of partial doctrines.  Those who feed us what we want to hear instead of the truth.  The most dangerous lie is one half-based in truth. (Matthew 7:15;24:24; 1 Timothy 4; Ezekiel 13:9; Jeremiah 23:6; Luke 6:26; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 1 John 4:1-6; Matthew 7:15-20)

That being understood; in our verse, Jesus reveals that we are still to use discernment. Because although we are not to judge hypocritically, we are to discern with scripture and hate evil and the deeds of the wicked.  Our opinion is not the standard by which we make decisions judgement of others.  Because our opinion is inherently flawed.  However, scripture has definite ideas on what sin is, its effects, and how it should be dealt with.  Just to note, our opinion of someone should never be used as a basis for judgment either.  Bias distorts discernment. Instead we should be looking to be a loving family member, seeking to help our brother or sister in Christ. We should make sound decisions based on the things we have learned and been taught in sound doctrine.  The Apostle Paul wrote Timothy concerning this very issue when advising him on ordaining elders in the church and what their responsibilities are.  Take a quick look:

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:7-9)

So a Bishop (Pastor, Elder) is to hold fast (depend on in obedience) the faithful word (the scriptures and teachings of the faithful) that he was taught (the elder is instructed) so that he will have the ability to teach others and convert the lost by the use of sound (proper, complete) doctrine. Why? Well in verse 11 it tells us so that the mouths of the unruly, vain talkers, and deceivers may be stopped from subverting the teachings.  They are to be rebuked sharply (Titus 1:13) Discernment of the believer is an absolute necessity. Even though we love, love does not dictate that we turn our eyes from correcting sin in the church. Just to clarify, correcting sin in the church is not everyone talking about it behind someone’s back. That is gossip and gossip is a sin.  I hope also you understand that this is not a lofty gaze on someone who is being the “police” of the church.  We should do all things in love and humility.

Romans 12:9 “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” We all like the first part of this verse, Love without hypocrisy, be sincere.  However; we also see that a part of loving with sincerity is to hate evil and to cling to goodness.  This is a choosing between good and evil.  We should choose to be good, not evil. This is a part or our sanctification. “I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.” (Psalm 26:5) We should love those around us, and especially in our church to care enough to confront sin issues.  While a loved one is in sin they are out of communion with God, the church, and their family.  This is easily seen in cases that involve extreme behavioral sins.

Everyone who sees signs of drug dependency, alcoholism, or spousal or child abuse, knows that there is a sin issue that needs to be confronted.  I mention these issue specifically because most everyone understands that these typically require internal and external intervention.  These will most often require the removal of the offender for a limited time.  This is in order to allow repentance, forgiveness, and healing to take effect.  When these are done in love, restoration is always the goal.  The separation or removal of the offender is done for love and is best for all parties involved.  To allow such behaviors to go on would actually indicate a lack of love and concern for family and church members involved.

Jesus in Matthew 7:6 tells us to be discriminating. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your perls before swine, …“.

The Apostle Paul give us an example of this in his correspondence with the Corinthians. In 1st Corinthians Paul has to address the issue of sin in the church.  In chapter five, Paul is confronting an issue of incest among members of the church.  The matter was no small or private thing.  It had affected the church on many levels, so much that people outside of the church were talking about it.  Paul told the church that they should be ashamed of what was being allowed to happen in the membership of the local church.  He accused them of having a false doctrine of love.  He said they were puffed up, proud, of their tolerance of the sin, when they should have executed church discipline and confronted the sin.  This is what love does.  Love confronts sin, it does not turn a blind eye, or become an excuse for acceptance of sin.

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. (1 Corinthians 5:1-3). 

Now Paul says that they should be taken away from among you.  We must understand that in the verses following this Paul talks about the need for personal sanctification and the detrimental effects that willful sin has on the individual and the church.  It takes over the whole of the host that allows it to remain. Paul is saying, for the good of the individual and the church, the sin must be identified and removed. A patient suffering from Cancer has to have the cancer physically removed and follow up medical procedures initiated in order to have any hope of recovery. This is the drastic measure of church discipline.  It is never entered into lightly, and should always be done with the end result focused on reunification of the believer in fellowship with God first, and the church second.  Christ himself give us the process of moving from individual confrontation of sin to ultimate church discipline.

  • Have a conversation (Matthew 18:15)
  • Take a witness to confront again (Matthew 18:6)
  • If the individual will no listen – Involve elders of the church (
  • If they still do not listen – bring the matter before the whole of the church (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:4)
  • If they are unrepentant- Remove them from membership/ fellowship (Matthew 18:17)

This is an unfortunate step that is sometimes necessary.  No one likes to have to take this step.  We are in the business of the spread of the gospel.  However as our verse in Matthew 7.6 tells us, not everyone will receive criticism well.  Let’s face it, no one likes to be corrected, especially if they already know what they are doing is wrong. Some will even become violent.  In our efforts to reach out to the community in love and care for their needs, we will expose ourselves to some who would take the generosity, but reject the love of Christ.

Unfortunately some will pretend to believe, in fear that if they do not act like a church person, the church will stop helping them.  When the church asks them to conform to what they confess, instead of doing what is good, they return the good for evil.  They do this because they were never really a believer.  Now we must also see that Paul is not calling for condemnation of the rebellious believer.  Instead, he says “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that they spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5) Paul is saying that if they desire to live in the flesh, then return them to the world.

There are many benefits to being in fellowship in the church.  Those benefits could keep someone living comfortable in sin by absorbing some of the consequences that sin brings.  Paul is saying let them go out into the world and suffer the consequences of their actions.  This suffering of consequences of sin, may bring them to true repentance, and the allow them to be restored into fellowship with the Lord and the church. This drastic measure does not apply to the majority of believers who sincerely seek to walk in the Spirit and are seeking to grow closer to the Lord, but have a besetting sin, that they are struggling to overcome.

Some believe, but have difficulty in their walk and need close discipleship in order to grow.  We must be wise to the difference in trying but failing and not trying but lying. We are called to be discerning.  In 1st Corinthians, Paul says “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” Paul later tells them that it is shameful that they are so ignorant that they cannot be discerning among themselves to use proper church authority and discipline. This all being said, Jesus gives his own warning. He said, “lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

They will disregard your sharing of that which is holy, or sanctified (gospel, truth) and treat it like rubbish to be trampled on.  Then they will rend you.  Rend means to violently tear apart.   This is where you hear phrases like: “who are you to judge me?”; “you think you’re not a sinner?”; “they think they are better than me”.  Then they spread lies, and even become physically confrontational, and violent.   James tell us, “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” (James 3:14)  James therefore says, if you have contentions in your heart, then stop lying to yourself.  If you are filled with hatred and anger then you are not filled with the love of Christ.  So then someone who says they are a believer, but responds with arrogance and returns condemnation or violence against someone who loved them enough to tell them of their error before God, instead of repentance is not walking in the Spirit of Christ. They have not clear judgement.  This is a point of understanding raised in Proverbs 9:7.

He that reporveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:  and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. – Proverbs 9-7

  • One who corrects a scorner or a wicked man will be turned on by the one they are trying to help.
  • The wicked man will lash out against the one trying to help them.
  • Like a dog who bites the one who feeds them.

Interestingly, this verse does not tell us, “don’t reprove a scorner, nor rebuke a wicked man”.  The, verses 6-9, of this text draw a comparison and contrast between the wise and the wicked in their response to correction.  The correction, or how it was managed, or by whom it was directed is irrelevant to the response. In other words, it would be great if the correction was delivered in a very tactful way, which was discrete and sensitive to the receiver’s feelings and privacy.  However; the delivery method does not change the reaction of the rebellious hearted man or woman.  Especially in light of the Politically Correct attitude so prevalent today. This generation looks for a reason to be offended where there would otherwise not be one, except that it was invented in the ever self-absorbed, mind of the spoiled child.

What good is this discernment and correction then?  Well believe it or not, it is a sort of “leave no man behind” focus of discipleship.  We should be concerned with our fellow believers, and their needs, physical and spiritual.

  • Ephesians 4:26–27 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
  • Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
  • 1 Peter 3:8–9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

The whole reason for discernment and church discipline is based on forgiveness and restoration.

Galatians 6:1–2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

We should walk in Sprit not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16).   So then focus on yourself and encourage others to be vigilant, rejoice in the hope of the Kingdom of Heaven, being patient in tribulation, and in continuous prayer.

There will always be differences in opinion in a church and feelings will get stepped on from time to time.  Clergy are human also and will make errors in judgement.  Church members will take offence to the preacher and hurt the preacher’s feelings.  But we must always keep in mind that we are all part of the same body.  When one part of the body is hurt, the whole body suffers.  Sin hurts the individual, and it hurts the whole body of Christ.  Sin must be dealt with directly and swiftly.  In being dealt with we mean that it should be addressed out of love for the benefit of the believer and the church.

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.

The Importance of Baptism

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38 (King James Version)

Baptism, a tradition in our common faith, that a number of us do without full knowledge of how important this act is. Quite often, we are baptized at a young age before we know the importance and the meaning of the act of baptism. Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing, plenty of people in the Bible as we will discuss we simply told be baptized and so they got baptized. Though as you mature in your faith, it becomes important to understand just how import this symbolic act is.

The act of Baptism was so important to God, that Christ Himself got baptized and is one of 8 events that is recorded in each of the gospels (the others being: call of the first disciples, Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, the agony at Gethsemane, Judas’ betrayal of Christ, Peter’s denial of Christ, Christ before Pilot, then the death, burial, and resurrection). You can read the story in John 1:29-34, Luke 3:21-22, Matthew 3:13-17, and Mark 1:1-11. Mark 1:1-8 reads as this:

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the            prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and   unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. (KJV)

And Matthew 3:13-17 gives us a better completion of the story:

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all  righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the  Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven,   saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (KJV)

Christ felt it to be so important to be baptized that He led the way with His own example. Then God, the Father said He was well pleased with His Son for the act of righteousness and faithfulness. So, if God almighty humbles Himself to be baptized, that should speak to the level of levity that this act has.

So, what is the big deal??? Well, Paul writes on that subject in Romans 6:4-11:

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)

It is the marking of our new life as believer’s. Used to be the circumcision, but now our mark which also serves as an outward symbol and metaphor for the death, and resurrection of Christ. To show the world that we are no longer who we used to be. That from that day forward we are Christians, followers of Christ renewed by the Spirit of God. The act of being fully submerged is the dying to our former selves as Christ died on the cross to take away our sins, and then the reemergence from the water a parallel to the resurrection of Christ in that a promise was fulfilled and our sins are no more. When we are baptized it is our symbol of dedication and a public testimony that Christ has begun this work of Salvation in us that will be completed on Christ’s return (Phil 1:6).

It marks the beginning of the relationship that you have with God. Like getting a friend request on Facebook or other social media, God has sent the request to everyone. And when you repent and accept Jesus as Lord, and Savior, that is you accepting the friend request. But, what makes a friend special on Facebook? It is the one you tag in everything, and the one that you talk about how proud you are to know them! Think of baptism as your first tagging of God in your life! That is the first moment that you acknowledge and profess Him before all of man! That is what is so important about baptism. What is the point of accepting Christ if you are ashamed of Him? There is no point, baptism is merely the completion of your old life and marks the beginning of your new one.

We can see this in the life of Paul, formerly known as Saul. In Acts 9, we read of Saul’s redemptive encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, but his new life did not begin until he was baptized by Ananias (Acts 9:10-19). After his baptism Saul became one of the greatest apostles of Christ and went on to author the majority of the New Testament. Another great way to think about it is this: A brother in Christ once told me about this riddle. There are 7 birds on the wire, and all 7 decide to fly away. How many flew away? The answer might surprise you, but the answer is 0. None flew away, all 7 are still sitting on the wire. Just because you decide to do something, does not mean you have actually done it. This is the same with repentance and acceptance of Christ. If you never take the first step of Baptism, then have you truly dedicated your life to God?

In the Great Commission given to us in Mark 16:15-17 we are commanded to go all over the world and preach the gospel and “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16, KJV). We are actually commanded to believe and be baptized! The book of Acts contains another great example, in Acts 8:26-39 we have the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch. Now, eunuch was a man that was devoted to purity of not only himself but of generally a lady he protected or some position that he held. In other words, they were men of righteousness and were beyond reproach. In this story, we can tell he clearly believed the word of God, he just did not quite understand it. Phillip was directed to go and preach to this Eunuch that he might understand the word of God. The eunuch, having it been placed on his heart, was full of conviction and asked Phillip to baptize him then and there on the middle of the road, in the middle of nowhere. That is how important baptism should be to us as believers!

The act of baptism should so important to us that when we confess our belief in Christ that we should straightway seek to act on that belief and be baptized! Even Christ did not begin His ministry until He was baptized! If nothing else is gained out of this, then remember that the Lord, your God, decided it was so important to Him that we should be baptized when we come to Him that He set the example and began His earthly ministry by being baptized. Now, yes Christ had performed miracles and even preached before then, but He did not set out to complete His Father’s work until after being baptized.

All of that to say this, baptism; is it important to your belief? Yes, we are all called to be baptized. If you are still having doubts about this whole Jesus is Lord talk, then I would encourage you to check out the other posts on this site and really read into the Bible for yourself and put to test the things you read in it! God is still in the miracle business, let the next one He works be in the transforming of your life! Repent of your sins, believe in your heart, and confess that Jesus is Lord and follow it up with baptism, and be saved! A future without worry of what comes after death is just a prayer away! If you have questions, please feel free to email us at twocministries@gmail.com . God Bless You, and have a Wonderfully Blessed Day!