The Need of God-fearing Men

The Need of God-Fearing Men

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In Pasadena Texas there used to be a huge Baptist Church on Vista Blvd.  This is the church that I made my public confession of faith in.  The attendance there was probably close to 200 on a Sunday morning, and at least half of that on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening services.  Later I moved to the state of Washington and attended a Baptist church in Roy.  This little country church was packed every service, and even had a radio tower that they used to broadcast their services our over the radio station.  A few year later I moved back to Texas and wound up briefly attending several churches that also had high attendance and great outreaches and ties into the surrounding communities.  In between these churches, I attended several other churches, as I tended to move quite a bit.  I have also had the opportunity to preach at several different churches of various sizes.  In looking back over these churches I could see something that seems insignificant to most, but stands out to me.  There was a difference in the churches that were growing and involved in the community and those who were dying, or at least in peaceful slumber.  The churches that had a fervent men’s ministry were the ones that were growing.

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When we look at what makes a church not only survive, but to thrive in an area, we can look at a lot of different factors.  Many studies go into looking at the local demographics of the area.  What is the income level?  What is the major ethnic population?  What is the major health or poverty driven issue?  What is the current and projected economic climate? Are jobs on the increase or the decrease?  How many children per home?  How many single mother homes are in the populace?   All of these are good questions, and can help to develop outreach opportunities and meet the needs of the people surrounding the church.  However; this information does little to spur the motivation of the church to do anything. We often look at aging churches and try to find ways to get youth programs off the ground.  The idea is that without youth in the church, the church will silently die of old age.  This is true in more than one way.  But what I am speaking of is something more fundamental.  We need men in the church to have a heart for, and to be, active in sharing the Gospel of Christ.

I heard a story one time concerning Charles Spurgeon and his boiler room.  The story goes that some college students came to see Charles Spurgeon preach.  They had arrived early and as they waited, a man from the church offered to give them a tour.  The guide took them into one room, referred to as the “heating plant”.  In this room were an estimated 700 saints praying.  The guide, who turned out to be Charles Spurgeon himself, explained that the secret to his success is not him at all.  Mr. Spurgeon explained that the power of the Holy Spirit was at work in answering the prayers of these saints that desire another soul would be saved.  The secret to these successful churches was the presence of an active, praying Men’s Ministry.

I want to make something clear.  Men’s Ministry is not an event driven service.  It is great to have the Men’s Ministry around to do all of the heavy lifting at an events like VBS or at a Kid’s Festival or a Fall Festival, however; that is not the only way the men should be of value in the church ministry.  They should be intimately involved in every aspect of the ministry of the local church and their families.

Each of these churches I attended that were growing had an active men’s ministry that prayed before, during, and after every service.  They arrived hours ahead of time, and remained as long as needed.  They painted, moved furniture, worked the plumbing, cut the grass and did many other things.  In fact, in the church in Roy, Washington we all met one Saturday morning and worked all day spreading truckloads of rocks around to make a new parking lot and did other landscaping items.  We were there from before the sun came up, until the sun went down.  The ladies brought us food and water as we worked. In all of these churched, men were subject to the Spirit of God and had a desire to see one more soul saved.  Men are the leaders in the church.  When I was in the Army, I learned that Leaders lead by example, and from the front, not the rear.  A leader does not sit in an office and dictate to others what needs to be done.  A leader teaches, demonstrates, and then supervises what needs to be accomplished.  A leader takes personal responsibility in the accomplishment of the mission. This is what an effective Men’s Ministry does.

These men, of the Men’s Ministry, lead by active service.  John 13:12-15 says, “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am. If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”   This shows us how important this principle of leadership in the church is to Christ.  He himself made a point to ensure the disciples understood that in order to be a leader in the kingdom they must lead in service of the kingdom.  We forget that Jesus actively disciple all of these men.  I know what you’re saying, “Of course he did, that’s why we call them ’the disciples’”.  However, when we get a young man in the church we do not grow them into elders.  Instead we just hope that they will eventually figure it out, stay long enough, or the Lord will instruct them himself.  We forget that we, as men have been given a ministry towards other men. Men need to be disciple in the church.  Men need to be held to a standard and accountability.  These effective Men’s Ministries that I witness did not wait for some young or new male church member to approach them.  These men actively recruited all men in attendance at the church.  To be honest, most did not even care if you were a member of the church, they just wanted to get you active in spiritual growth.

I showed up at one of these churches early one morning.  While waiting for the rest of my family to arrive, an elder from the church came up and asked me my name.  I told him, and he smiled and said, “Well, Mr. Harvey, you’re just in time for the prayer meeting.”  Then he conducted me to an upstairs room where 12 other men were already praying.  The Pastor ducked his head in right before the door closed and told them some names to add to the list and disappeared.  Just like that I was in the Men’s Ministry.  I joined the church that service.  That was all it took.

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Men’s ministry assists the church, as the men in the church are disciple to mature faith and understanding of the scriptures, their roles in the family, local church, the Kingdom of God, and community. The Men’s Ministry is the place where this close discipleship can occur through fellowship, study, accountability, counsel.  Most of all the Men’s Ministry servers through men fervently praying for their families, the church, community, and one another in the unity of group prayer meetings.  There is nothing the devil can defeat a church with that has a group of righteous men praying in earnest for the spreading of the gospel.

Men, the apostle James tell us in his epistle that we should confess our sins to one another.  We should also pray for one another.  Then James tell us that the powerful passionate prayer of a righteous man is very advantageous to the plea being made. (James 5:16)  Wow!  Now imagine how powerful a whole group of such men praying together in agreement before the Almighty God would be, especially with the Spirit of God praying right along beside them, in perfect communion with the God, the Creator of the universe.  Prayer then is the foundation of the men’s ministry.  However, it also includes mentorship in Christ.  Group study of the Word, and proper fellowship.

Fellowship in scripture is not just having coffee before services, or having a lunch after Sunday morning services.  I includes, but is not limited to Men’s Breakfasts, prayer groups, and bible studies.  The word for fellowship in the Greek has a deeper meaning.  It means to share on one’s self.  This means that we should be living in fellowship.  We should be involved in one another’s lives.  We should be giving towards one another.  We should be living with one another on a daily basis.  Giving time, money, food, encouragement, advice, and emotional and spiritual support to one another.  This is what happened in the early church, they gave sacrificially to one another, even to other churches.  Another thing to consider is spiritual leadership.

The man is to be a spiritual leader in the church and in the home.  1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong”.  This means that we should be like men of wisdom who have understanding.  We should act like mature men, not like children.  We should be strong in doctrine, not carried away by every spirit.  We should search the scriptures to test what we have been told and what we interpret concerning scripture.  We should be proficient and able to identify truth from error.  We, men, should be able to instruct others on the meaning of the scriptures.  We should have the backbone to stand up for what is good and right before God.  In this age of effeminized men we need men who can show themselves as men.  Men who set the example of righteousness, no matter what the cost.  Men who lead.  If a woman goes to church, she will undoubtable drag her children with her.  The husband may not go.  She has no authority to make him.  The children, especially the boys will have a divided desire.

The boys will develop a resentment with one parent or the other, and the church.  This is because, boys want to be like their fathers.  The hidden message in their heart will be on of, “If dad doesn’t have to go, why should I?”  In all honesty, that is a very good question. If the father does not put any emphasis on church attendance then their children will fail to realize the importance of the church, Sunday school, or even Christ himself.  However; if the father goes to church then everyone goes to church.   He has that authority.  The wife who wishes to please her husband will go.  The children who see that both parents are in attendance will desire to go, because the importance of the church is recognized by both parents.  More so if the father is actively involved in the church.  Then the children see that a relationship with Christ is of most importance.   The child who understands the importance of a relationship with Christ will tell their friends, and invite them to church to meet Christ.  A family who worships Christ together, grows in love towards one another, the church, and in Christ Jesus.

The Church does not need to change its culture to make themselves more attractive to society.  To much of that nonsense has already happened.  We don’t need men that are effeminate, unsure of scripture, afraid to confront evil, or not daring enough to step on a few toes for Christ. What the church needs is a culture where men are righteous, caring, and active in their families, the church and community.  Men that are bold in their profession of faith.  Men that stand up for what is right.  Men who confront evil no matter what the personal cost. Men who would rather step on a toe or two in love, rather than see someone waist their life and die and go to hell.

When God made mankind, he first made a male and put him to have dominion over all of his creation. When Jesus selected his apostles, out of thousands of men, women, and children; he chose men.  When the disciples gathered together to replace Judas Iscariot, out of over a hundred men and women gathered together, the Holy Spirit chose a man. When the first deacons for the church were chosen, the Holy Spirit of God chose men.  The first recorded martyr was also a man.  The Holy Spirit moves through righteous men.  I am not saying that the Holy Spirit does not use women also, however; there seems to be no shortage of active women in the church today.  That being said, this is why scripture encourages men saying, “if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” (1 Timothy 3:1) You see the Lord wants men to desire to be of service.  He says that it is a good thing to have a desire to be of service; teaching, preaching, caring for the flock.  Then he gives some criteria.

I know what you are most likely thinking.  This is the criteria that he gives for pastors and deacons, however; shouldn’t all Christian men strive for these?  He says that a man of God should be blameless.  There should be no cause for accusation in his life.  He should have a clean witness both in and out of the church.  He should be the husband of one wife.  This man should have no eyes for any other woman than his wife.  He should have no mistresses, or practice polygamy.  He should be vigilant.  This means he should be aware of his surroundings. Attentive to the needs of others.  Aware of the dangers of the enemy about him.  He should be sober.  He should be of a good nature and not into mischief.  He is temperate, not into brawling, or striking others.  He does not boast or throw his weight around trying to impress himself.  The list goes on, and then includes some very specific things for the bishop. (1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Titus 1:5-9)

These are the things that we should be shepherding and disciplining young men in the way. This is the culture that we should seek to have in the men of our churches.  Real men who stand up for God and that do not let anything stop them from seeking the will of the Lord.  Men like this who pray together have a great effect on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in a church.  In Ezekiel 34 we can read that there are dire consequences for Israel because the shepherds of Israel failed their duties.  Israel became scattered having no leadership.  The people became the victims of wolves and beasts of prey.  They were weak and sickly.  This sounds like some churches you may know, does it not?

Something else to be aware of in Ezekiel 34:1-10, the Lord says, “I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock”.  Now let us move to Revelation chapter 3.  “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:15-17) Remember the Lord is talking to the members of the church.  He says that they have become self-sufficient and think that they have everything and that they have lost their zeal.  They are not doing the things of the Lord.  Because of this they are worthless to him, and he will spew them out.  Ever wonder if a church closed because God wished them to close?  They had become slipshod and non-responsive to the Spirit and the Lord simply pulled their charter.

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Men of God you must understand that you are important to the ministry of your local Church.  In fact, you are an invaluable asset to your church.  Your skills and craftsmanship are a great asset to the church, but your leadership and compassion for others has a far more reaching effect.  You have knowledge and understanding that some young man needs to tap into to see the working of Christ in his life.  We need men of God engaged in the fight for what is good, and right, and virtuous. (Philippians 4:8) These are the things that we should be doing.  We should learn to do well, seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, and protect the orphans and widows.  (Isaiah 1:17) This is the work that God has for men.

Survey of Galatians

Survey of Galatians 

The epistle of Galatia is believed to be written in either 49 or 55 8.D.and addresses issues in the church the dealt with issues of salvation by faith alone and Christian ethics. Paul addresses the question of how: can a man, who is sinful by nature, come to a God, who is holy by nature. His answer is this: there is only one way – to accept the salvation of God’s grace that is made available through Christ death and resurrection. Salvation cannot be obtained through obedience to the law of Moses. Man, by his very nature is too weak and too self-serving to be able to accomplish selfsalvation and self-centered occasion. Certain Jewish Christians referred to as Judaizers, or teaching that works are necessary, and that Paul’s gospel was not true gospel and that Paul was not a genuine apostle. Paul answer was to clarify his doctrine of justification by faith plus nothing, and of the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, not the law of Moses he reasserted his apostolic authority received from Christ Jesus who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul’s theology of salvation by faith effectively negates any other form of salvation that includes human effort through works, adherence to the law of Moses, or self-justification. 

Authorship 

Galatians is authored by Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.  Paul starts this letter of by proclaiming who he is, and by what authority he is writing in. (Galatians 1:1).  It is believed that the letter to the Galatians may have been one of the earliest writings of the New Testament.  

Historical Settings 

The term Galatia was used in both the geographical and political sense. The former referred to the North – Central Asia minor, North of the cities of Pisidian Antioch (Atcs 13:14), Iconium (Acts 13:51), Lystra (Acts 14:8), and Derbe (Acts 14:19-21); the latter referred to the Roman Providence (organized in 25B.C.) that included the southern district of those cities just mentioned. If the letter was written to Christians and North Galatia, the churches were founded on the second missionary journey and the epistle was written on the third missionary journey, either early from Ephesus (about a. D. 53) or later (about 55) from Macedonia. In favor of this is the fact that Luke seems to use Galatia only to describe North Galatia (acts 16:6; 18:23 and parent. 

If the letter was written to Christians in South Galatia, the charges were founded on the first missionary journey, and the letter was written at the end of the journey (probably from Antioch, about a. D. 49, making it the earliest of Paul’s epistles) and the Jerusalem counsel (acts 15) convene shortly afterward. In favor of this dating is the fact that Paul does not mention the decision of the Jerusalem counsel that more directly on his Galatians argument concerning the Judaizers, indicating that the Council had not yet taken place. 

Key Verse 

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  – Galatians 1:8 

Major Themes 

The major themes discussed in his epistle, justification by faith and its defense, explanation, and application of the items discussed include Paul’s three years in Arabia (1:17), his correcting of Peter (2:11), the law is a teacher (3:24), and the fruit of the spirit (5:22 – 23). 

Doctrine 

  • Justification By Faith Alone 
  • Blessings received by faith in Christ 
  • Must be untied to Jesus by faith 
  • Blessings cannot be “earned” 
  • To abandon faith is to lose 

Outline 

  1. Greetings and Introduction 1:1-10 
    1. Paul’s Confidence in the Gospel 1:1-5 
    2. Paul’s Confusion and Rebuke 1:6-10 
  2. Paul’s Defense of Justification by Faith  
    1. His Authority 1:11-2:21  
      1. Premise of Revelation 1:11-24 
      2. Premise of Jerusalem Church 2:1-10 
      3. Premise of Authority to Rebuke Peter 2:11-21 
  3. Paul’s Explanation of Justification by Faith 3:1-4:31 
    1. The Believer’s Own Experience 3:1-5 
    2. The Children of Abraham 3:6-9 
    3. The Legal Requirement Satisfied 3:10-4:11 
    4. Personal Testimony of their Teacher 4:12-20 
    5. An Allegorical Argument 4:21-31 
  4. How Then to Apply to Life 5:1-6:10 
    1. How does Justification by Faith relate to our Liberty in Christ? 5:1-12 
    2. How does Justification by Faith relate to Love? 5:13-15 
    3. How does Justification by Faith relate to the Flesh and the Spirit? 5:16-26 
    4. What the Sins of a Brother? 6:1-5 
    5. What about Giving? 6:6-10 
  5. Instructions and Exhortations 6:11-18

References 

Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. The Ryrie Study Bible: King James Version. Chicago: Moody, 2008. Print. 

Commentary 1 Corinthians 8 Touching Things Offered to Idols

1 Corinthians 8 – Touching Things Offered Unto Idols

There came a question to Paul that was directed against sanctification and idolatry. The Jewish Christians had raised a good point of conversation that Paul is about to confront.  The root of this debate may very well be rooted in such scriptures as these:

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

Exodus 20:1-6, KJV

“And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.”

Exodus 23:13, KJV

“I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.”

Deuteronomy 5:6-10, KJV

“Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”

Deuteronomy 6:13-15, KJV

This means that likely the concerns had been brought up by those who had influenced by Judaizers or Messianic Jews who were familiar with the customs of the Hebrews from antiquity. They were struggling with a real issue of faith.  Sometimes when we come from a legalistic background we cling to some of the structures that were involved in our upbringing because they give us a certain amount of security.  The danger that these individuals were facing wasn’t one of eating mean and displeasing God and being therefor condemned.  What they did not realize is that they were running a chance at putting themselves back into the bondage of legalism in trying to fulfill the law.  Paul’s gospel of Grace goes allow deeper than most of us would be willing to publicly debate. I venture that most Christians have not idea how radical the gospel that Paul preached really is.  This is just one little glimpse into the liberty that Paul says we have in the Gospel.

Paul makes an argument that is directly related to the dispensation of Grace that is now upon the world.  Just as Paul will argue concerning that salvation is by grace through faith, walking in faith is different from walking in the Law.  Paul has to open the eyes of the believers to a fact that they may not have considered.  The fact is that there are actually, no other gods to worship.  Knowledge of the truth of God can sometimes take a little longer to set free some of those who have lived in bondage, than other believers.  We are all growing in this knowledge of God and the truth of salvation by grace.  None of us, even Paul had a full understanding of the ramifications of the effects that faith in Jesus gives us.  Grace has truly set us free.  Our understanding of this is made through the process of the sanctification of the Spirit towards us and the development of our knowledge and relationship to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The best way I know to describe this is through my personal grow.  I converted to Christ out of Roman Catholicism.  I was raised up from a baby to believe the atonement for my sin was made through.

  • Confession to a Priest
  • Penance
    • Making a restitution
    • Repeating Prayers from the Rosary
    • Performing some other work that showed repentance and obedience to the church and to God. (Community Service, etc…)

Now these were so engrained in me that after I converted, I still had the intense urge to go to a confessor.  Even though I knew that I was now a priest to God and could confess directly to him.  I also carried a rosary years after, not because I prayed the prayers, but because it still gave me a sense of security.  As I grew in the knowledge of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, I eventually understood that these things were unnecessary and were just crutches that held no real power to affect my relationship with God.  God loved me for who I was.  In accepting his love, I was made free of these trinkets and idolatry. But God never rejected me, he allowed me to grow and love him, because at my heart I was seeking him and the truth in him.  I know several converts from Catholicism that struggle with these same issues when they are first converted.   Grace allows them to grow in full discipleship and love. Spiritual maturity takes time, patience, and some enduring.  Most of all it takes love and fellowship.

1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

The apostle Paul now turns his attention to a specific question or questions in relation to foods that were offered to idols and if it was lawful for Christian to eat of these foods. We must understand that when foods were offered to pagan gods in Corinth there would often times be remains that were left. If this offering was a private offering than the offer would be allowed to take them home. These remains would then be used in other meals provided to guess that would attend. If the remains poor from public sacrifices then the remains will be sold to the market. These remains would then be purchased by the local citizens and again they would wind up in the evening meals. The question became can a Christian eat meat that was sacrifice to idols, no matter how they came to the table.

2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

This issue; issue of presumption of knowledge, has often caused problems in the Christian community and in the church. Some of us are just smart enough to be dangerous. (Job 32:13; Ecclesiastes 7:16; Jeremiah 8:9; 1 Corinthians 1:20; 3:18; 2 Corinthians 1:12; Proverbs 3:7:26:12: 28:11) In arrogance some of us set ourselves on a pedestal to tell others how what they do is misunderstood are incorrect.(Romans 12:16) We don’t do this an attitude of love rather we do this in a demonstration of our perceived intelligence. (Psalm 36:3; Jeremiah 8:8)

Paul says if you think you know something about God, you better rethink what you thought. The truth of salvation and a God himself is deeper than any of us could ever comprehend with our carnal mind. There is no greater evidence of ignorance more common than a conceit of knowledge. You see he that knows the most and understands it also understands his own ignorance and the imperfection of human knowledge. So he that imagines himself as a knowledgeable man is being vain and conceited and only tempts his own imagination. So Paul says it’s one thing to know the truth but another thing to understand the truth. We would say it’s one thing to have book knowledge and another to have common sense.

3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

Here said Paul says that if a man loves God everyone can see it. It doesn’t matter whether he eats food of idols or not. The testimony of his life reads like an open book. A man of God lives a certain way, treats people a certain way, and has expectation of how he should be treated before God. Anyone who encounters a man that loves God, knows that the man loves God by his countenance. A man or woman of God does not need to put on pretense, or have the need to give false impression, because their heart is what reveals their love for Christ and their actions. These actions include not only a love for God but a love for others. (Luke 10:27) This love is manifest and their day-to-day life.  This love of God is not only evidenced to others, but God loves those who love him. (John 14:21-24; Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 John 4:19; Proverbs 8:17; John 10:14,27-30)

4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

Paul is trying to make a point that the educated Christian should understand. There are no idols, because there are no other gods. All other gods are from the imagination of men and their evil desires and possess no power or authority because they are not real. This means there is only one God. Since there’s only one God, the meat could not have been sanctified to another god because the other god does not exist.

5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

Paul recognizes that there are many cultures that worship many different gods. Some of the gods found in Corinth would be Artemis, Nike, Tyche, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Apollo, Zeus, Helios, Asklepios, Pan, and Dionysus.

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Paul’s realized that others believed that these idols actually represented other gods. Paul makes a point to clarify, even though people worship these idols, there is actually only one God. This God we call our father. Our father created all things, and everything belongs to him, and his son our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one who created all things and sustains, us we belong to him and the father through him.

7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

Now Paul makes a distinction. Paul says I understand that some of you come within upbringing that determines that there are other gods. Paul also understands that even though they have been converted to Christianity they still have tendencies and beliefs that are centered on their old gods. In coming to Christ these individuals have placed Jesus into a category with other gods; false gods. Paul understands this as a weak point and their faith that must be strengthened. So he says, if your conscience bothers you concerning the eating of meat offered to idols even though the are no other idols then you should not eat food offered idols, because your faith is incomplete. You don’t have an understanding yet that those other gods really do not exist. As one grows in faith we learn to put away the child’s things that we once knew.

8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

Since we are held by Christ and on the grace period meat cannot be what commands us to Christ. Since we love and live in the grace there is no law that condemns us before God. What we eat has nothing to do with our spiritual us. That is eating the meat of idols or refraining from eating the meat of idols has no effect on our standing with God through Jesus Christ. Spiritually it does not make us healthier or weaker in the spirit. Meat is for sustainment of the body.

9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

We must understand that each of our faiths are at different points of maturity. We also come from different backgrounds which give us different weaknesses and our belief. We must be cautious to ensure that the liberties or freedoms that we take in Christ do not hinder someone else and their walk. Just because we are free to do as we would, it does not mean that we should do as we would. This in itself shows a weakness in our own belief. If we move in selfishness and not in love then we show the incompleteness of our faith in Christ.

10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

The reason why we must be careful with how we live our liberty is that if someone else a week or faith sees us to do something that they think is wrong, then they would be encouraged to do what they think is wrong. This does not help their faith instead it allows them to live in compromise of their convictions.  If they do not adhere to the convictions of the Holy Spirit in their lives, then they will never mature.  Being a Christian requires the ability to stand up against the world system, and to resist temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13; Matthew 4:1-11; Matthew 26:41; James 1:3; James 1:12-16; James 4:7; Hebrews 2:18; Ephesians 6:11)

11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

Knowledge without understanding can be a dangerous thing.  I once saw a young man hurt themselves rather seriously.  His car had over heated.  He knew that he needed to check his radiator.  He opened the hood, and removed the radiator cap.  When he did the pressure build up from the overheated liquid cause an eruption that spewed scolding hot water up into the air, and onto the young man.  He pulled away as fast as he could but it was too late.  He received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his hand, arm, and parts of his chest and face.  His knowledge of what needed to check the radiator was correct.  However, his understanding of the functioning of the radiator was insufficient, and it nearly killed him.  This is the same thing.

If someone does not know why the eating of something offered to idols is no longer a sin, then making them to eat the meat will only lead to their destruction.  It is then that sin can be taken too far.  For instance Paul makes a distinction between, sin and being judged by sin, when he says that we can sin no more.  However, we all know that there are other consequences to sin.  Paul makes a designation between sins of sexual immorality and other sins also.  He says that sins of sexual immorality are against your very nature. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)  James and Paul both say that us to willfully live in known sin is an abomination to God, and Christ.  They even beg you to consider that if you do these things that you really do not believe in Jesus and the painful sacrifice he performed on your behalf, nor do you believe that he lives and sees your behavior.  If you did believe and understand that, you would act differently, out of love and respect. (Hebrews 10:26)  Paul’s periphery is that knowledge of Christ must be in juxtaposition with the understanding of its implications on liberty and sanctification with regard to our spiritual maturity and conscience.

12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

And this we must remember our primary motivation of love and the second commitment to Christ gave. We are commanded to love one another as we love ourselves. So to cause a brother to fall or doubt his faith is an act of selfishness, especially if it is a boast of one’s own spirituality. This selfishness is a sin against our brother because we wound their conscience and we calls them to sin against Christ by violating their own conscience.

13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Paul sums up his argument at this point and gives us a guiding principle that regulates our conduct and morally in different matters; a principle of love. We should voluntarily regulate our liberty so that we don’t cause someone to commit offense and stumble. In Galatians chapter 5 verse 13 it reads “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty fornication to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Our liberties are given to us to be servants of one another, and to allow us the freedom to relate to one another and to the lost in a manner in which we can lead them to Christ, and encourage the fellow believer. These liberties are a benefit for the Kingdom of God and his Christ, not of our own.

Paul addressed this same principle in Romans 13:8-14.  In this passage Paul tells us to accept the brother (or sister) who is weak in their faith.  He adds to is that we should not accept them in to vain argumentation and pointing out the weakness of their faith with conjecture or cynicism.  Instead we should accept them in love.  It is in love that the commandments are fulfilled, not in the refraining of the eating of meats, or other traditions of man.  “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 8:10)

The Execution of Rev. Hans Bret on January 4, 1577

The Execution of Rev. Hans Bret on January 4, 1577

In 1660, Author, Thieleman van Braght published a book cataloging some of the events of the martyrdom of the Anabaptists.  This work was titled, “The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians – “Who Baptized Only Upon Confession of Faith, and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus, Their Saviour, From the Time of Christ to the Year A.D. 1660.”

The Anabaptist believed that infant baptism was not scriptural and did not save the soul of the infant.  They maintained that in order to receive salvation, one had to first believe on Jesus Christ, and repent of their sin.  Baptist was an act of obedience required by Christ for all who believed on his name.  Since an infant was unaware of personal or generational sin, they could not repent.  To add to this, an infant does not yet have a manner to understand who Christ is nor what atonement should mean, so therefore could not believe on Jesus Christ as their savior.  The Anabaptist required that any adult coming into their folds have a confession of faith in Jesus Christ and be baptized in believer’s baptism.  This meant that they were to be re-baptized.  The Anabaptist did not initially call themselves Anabaptists, this was a mocking name placed on them by the Catholic and Protestant religions of the period.  Eventually they accepted their title as a badge of distinction.

This distinction would cost them dearly for their lives would be the price to stand on the scriptures and adhere to their faith in Christ.  The persecution of the Anabaptist by the Catholic and Protestant religions is reported to be so severe that more Anabaptist were martyred in the sixteenth century then the amount of Christians  martyred by Rome and pagan religions in the first three centuries of the origins of the church.

Hans Bret, a baker by trade, and Anabaptist by faith is one such life laid down for Christ.  He was in his twenties and an earnest bible scholar who supported his widowed mother and drew many converts who sought his teaching and preaching of the Word.  On May 6, 1576 in the evening hours his home and bakery were surrounded by the bailiff and his posse. They arrested young Hans and several others who were meeting in his establishment.  Thrown into prison and charged with heresy for being re-baptized Hans Bret was sentenced to execution by burning at the stake.  He was tortured and beaten multiple times while awaiting his execution.  This young man never retracted his statement of faith.  In his dark prison cell, he wrote several letters to friends and family and encouraged them in their faith and the faithfulness of God.   Tradition tell us that before they carried him out for his sentence, his tongue was burned up by torch, so that he could not preach from the steak.

I often wonder when I read these accounts of the horrific way a fellow believer has been martyred; if I could endure such an event.  Could you endure such an event for your faith?  We are living in a time where Christians have no backbone.  We cower down when confronted about our faith.  We are afraid to lose friends, family or our jobs, of social standings.  It makes me wonder if we really believe at all? I know that Hans Bret believed.  I know that Rev. Bret only wanted to share the truth and to care for those that he loved.  He loved enough to die for them, so that they could keep the faith.  Keep your eyes upon Jesus.

Reference: https://www.nobts.edu/geauxtherefore/articles/2018/Martyr.html

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!

By What Manner is this “Good” Friday?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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