The Natural View and the Spiritual View #1

Saturday, February 8, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

Herein is offered the first of several (brief) devotional arcs addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate.

As a Bible teacher and student, and a geologist (Earth scientist) pursuing my Master of Science degree (anticipated later this year), I enjoyed the debate. Raised in a Christian home where Bible creationism was believed, and spending nearly two decades in public schools learning evolutionary theory (over seven years in university), I will here evaluate both views and reduce them to “layman’s terms.”

Unfortunately, many professing Christians vacillate concerning, or completely avoid, the Creation/Evolution issue. Sadly, they are unsure how to answer the “scholars’” anti-Bible theories and “evidence,” or they prefer to avoid the “superstitious Bible-toter” stigma and exemption from the “in-crowd”—mainstream scientific community and its agreeing public.

The Creation/Evolution issue actually predates Christ’s earthly ministry. It has been especially controversial during the last 150 years, since British naturalist Charles Darwin published his book, “The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life” (notice this full title [rarely seen or reported] conveys racial undertones—evolutionary theory was once utilized to teach there are superior human races!).

It is now imperative to define terms.

Evolutionary theory asserts that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) descended from one original ancestor (which itself “evolved” when random organic molecules mysteriously combined), and this morphing of one organism into totally different species we see today—in order to adapt to environments and survive predation—involved a four-billion-year-long process of genetic mutations (man is considered “most evolved”).

Bible creationism, embracing the Bible’s creation account (Genesis chapters 1 and 2 especially) as literal, historical narrative, teaches that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) are not genetically related, but each “family” of organisms was created perfectly by the Lord Jesus Christ within six literal days in the recent past, but which species then used pre-inserted genetic material to adapt to a fallen world (the curse brought on by man’s sin).

Proceeding onward….

God’s Family #6

Thursday, February 6, 2014

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).

How enjoyable it is to fellowship with other members of God’s family!

The Bible’s first verse says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God needs a body of individuals to execute His will in both realms (originally, these agencies were angels and mankind, respectively). When Lucifer/Satan polluted heaven with sin, and when Adam joined Satan and corrupted earth with sin, God began His two-fold plan to restore heaven and earth to Himself. Most of the Scriptures discuss God creating the nation Israel to function as His earthly people, but what about His restoration of the heavenly places? God kept His plan for heaven secret until the Apostle Paul’s ministry (Ephesians 3:1-11).

God already had the nation Israel’s believing remnant as His people, but that was just part of His will. Why is God forming the Church the Body of Christ? God the Holy Spirit through Paul wrote in today’s Scripture and its context: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit(verses 19-22).

Now, God has revealed His secret will—heaven’s restoration (Ephesians 1:9,10). In Paul’s epistles alone, Romans through Philemon, we learn that God is currently creating a body that will fulfill His will in heaven (as Israel will fulfill His will in earth; note Matthew 6:10). God is forming the Body of Christ to be His dwelling-place, a body through which His life is to be lived now and forever (Ephesians 2:21,22)! Just as Jesus Christ will live His life in and through Israel on earth (Jeremiah 31:33,34; Matthew chapters 5-7; John 1:12; 2 Peter 1:3,4; et cetera), our grand reunion with our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ in heaven is just the beginning of God’s will for heaven….

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Saturday, December 21, 2013

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).

Ironically, God’s wisdom ordained the birthplace of the Prince of Peace to be the contentious Middle East….

Almost from the very beginning of time, the Middle East has been a battleground, the chief war zone of good and evil. Originally the peaceful home of Adam and Eve, today it is the most contentious region on the globe. Because of Adam’s sin, what was a paradise is now known as the area where man joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Adam and Eve utterly failed to reign over the earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28). Instead they united with the opposition, and were banished from God’s presence and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23,24).

“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Verse 14 says that Adam “is the figure of him that was to come.” God would send another Man, Jesus Christ, and He would accomplish what Adam failed to do: glorify God on the earth by dispossessing it from Satan, and reigning in righteousness. This is the “government” spoken of in today’s Scripture.

“For if by one man’s [Adam’s] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (verse 17). Adam plunged the human race into sin and made it God’s enemy; Jesus Christ offers mankind eternal life, forgiveness of sins and a reconciled relationship with God! This was God’s goal in sending Jesus Christ.

As our world desperately continues to seek peace, let us remember there will be no peace on earth until the Prince of Peace returns to His nation, Israel, and rids our planet of Satan and his policy of evil (the root of the Middle Eastern turmoil). At Christ’s Second Coming, there will be peace on earth (Luke 2:14), and especially in the Middle East.

Final Arrangements #1

Friday, December 13, 2013

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12 KJV).

When all of life is over, all of life has just begun, so when all of life is over, be sure you have the Son!

A lost person once inquired, “What is the point of living if we are all going to die anyway?” This is an excellent question, and the Bible has an excellent answer! Dear readers, the simple fact is that death was not God’s original plan for us. Adam and Eve had complete, unbroken fellowship with each other and with their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. On the same day Adam rebelled against God, he and Eve died spiritually—they were spiritually separated from God and thus they hid when He approached them (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:7-11).

The three Persons of the Godhead said, “And now, lest he [mankind] put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22). Adam and Eve were already dead spiritually, but in order to prevent them from eating the tree of life (which would have enabled them to physically live forever, except now they had sinful souls and spirits), God forced them out of the Garden of Eden. He placed Cherubims, angelic-like soldiers, to guard Eden, and a flaming sword to guard the tree of life. Adam and Eve eventually died physically, having never set foot in that paradise again.

Since sin is present, and man no longer has access to the tree of life, physical death is certain. Adam and Eve were literally destined to physically live forever and ever in harmony with the Lord Jesus Christ, but Adam willfully relinquished that life, that eternal life (and it affected all of his descendants). Our Lord Jesus defined “life eternal” as “knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [he hath] sent” (John 17:3)—eternal life is enjoying God’s life and God’s fellowship. However, man in his natural (lost) state is alienated [separated] from the life of God through the ignorance that is in [him]” (Ephesians 4:18).

This is why the Son is necessary….

Big Brother Versus Heavenly Father #6

Saturday, November 9, 2013

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5c,6 KJV).

Big Brother is watching; Heavenly Father is, too!

Ever since Adam sinned, Father God has watched the world’s governments degrade. God loves freedom so much that He has permitted man to do just about anything he wants, even though He foreknew man would screw up creation! (In His wisdom, thankfully, God will still set it all straight one day, too.)

For 6,000 years now, but especially the last 2,000, Satan has operated earth’s governments. Paul, discussing the future seven-year Tribulation and the culmination of Satan’s domination over earth, wrote 20 centuries ago: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Our Dispensation of Grace is preventing Israel’s program from resuming, but once our program concludes (at the rapture), Israel’s program will recommence where it paused in Acts (Romans 11:25-29).

The final week of years of Daniel 9:27, the “Tribulation,” will be the last time a world empire oppresses Israel. God will allow the antichrist, a smooth-talking politician inspired of Satan, to institute a global regime, thereby claiming to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. The antichrist will deny Jesus as Messiah, and claim the title for himself (Daniel 11:36-38; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 13:1-18).

Once Satan’s policy of evil climaxes, God will purge Israel of its unbelieving Jews (those following the antichrist’s satanic religious system; Zechariah 13:8,9; Matthew 13:37-42; Revelation 14:9-11). Believing Jews—who accept Jesus as Christ—will be beheaded for rejecting the antichrist (Luke 21:12-18; Hebrews 12:1-4; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 1 Peter 5:6-10; Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 20:4; et al.). Today’s Scripture is God’s comforting words to believing Israel: do not fear the antichrist’s fury (cf. Matthew 10:16-42).

When those seven years expire, Jesus Christ will return to earth, destroy the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:8), and (finally!) establish His kingdom with believing, redeemed, and resurrected Israel (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 20:4; et al.).

Until then, God is doing something else today….

Big Brother Versus Heavenly Father #2

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5c,6 KJV).

Big Brother is watching; Heavenly Father is, too!

Mankind was to have dominion over the earth for the glory of his Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:26-28). However, man willfully sided with the opposition, Satan, in Genesis chapter 3.

Approximately 2,000 years after Adam was created, God chose to create the nation Israel (beginning with Abram/Abraham in Genesis chapter 12), a nation that would do in the earth what man had failed to do for the last two millennia. It would be through this nation that God would regain His dominion and authority in earth; through Israel, God’s will for the earth would be accomplished.

Moses told Israel: “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: and thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deuteronomy 28:13,14).

Israel was to be God’s chief nation in the earth, thereby dispossessing it from Satan, and exalting JEHOVAH above all the earth. However, Israel deliberately disregarded God’s Law and followed pagan idols. She fell into sin, and she broke the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law); that is, like Adam, Israel also sided with God’s adversary, Satan.

About 400 years after King David’s reign over Israel, Israel’s monarchy was lost to Gentile domination. At that time, the last of the Jews in Jerusalem were deported to Babylon (God’s response to Israel’s centuries-long wickedness, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:5-21). Israel lost her political strength, and this is one reason why earth’s governments are still corrupt.

Of course, God has not forsaken Israel forever, and government restoration of earth is still on His agenda….

Shallow #6

Sunday, October 27, 2013

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV).

If the professing “Church” is to impact our culture as the Lord Jesus Christ intended, then it had better recognize today’s Scripture as applicable to it!

Adam deliberately rejected God’s Word—so did Cain, Noah’s generation, and the post-diluvial (“after the Flood”) human race at Babel. For 2,000 years, God has attempted to use mankind in the earth for His glory, but mankind has audaciously and willfully rejected His Word and will. Dear readers, secular humanism is nothing new!

So, in Genesis chapter 12, God finds Abram, a pagan Syrian, and through this one man—whom He will later rename “Abraham”—He will create a group who will accomplish His will in the earth (which Adam and all of his descendants up to that point had failed to do). According to the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3), God created that nation, Israel, using Abraham’s son Isaac, Isaac’s son Jacob and Jacob’s 12 sons (heads of the 12 tribes of Israel).

About 500 years after the Abrahamic Covenant was instituted, God through Moses leads Israel (now about two million in number) out of Egyptian bondage. In Deuteronomy 4:1-49, Moses cautions Israel not to reject God’s Word to them (the Mosaic Law). They are to obey His every command when they arrive in the Promised Land. “For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?” (verse 7). The wayward nations (Gentiles) were to see the wisdom of the Creator God demonstrated in Israel’s behavior and lifestyle (verse 6).

Alas, as the centuries passed, Israel went deeper and deeper into apostasy. Circa 700 B.C., JEHOVAH chided Israel: “There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1). Rather than knowledge of God’s Word in Israel’s land, there is idolatry, lying, murder, stealing, adultery, and violence (verses 2ff.). Like the billions before them, they too have intentionally rejected God’s Word and will for them (verse 6)….