Posted in creation, genesis, God, revelation, solar maximum

God the creator and God the UNcreator

By Elizabeth Prata

Earthquake, tornado, sinkhole, flood, tsunami, ice/snow storm…People are unsettled after a natural disaster and they go looking for answers. The views here at the blog spike after a disaster but they rise the most after an earthquake more than any other natural disaster.

Personally I think quakes unsettle people because this is the very ground we walk on that is moving, splitting, and otherwise kicking up. If solidity isn’t solid, than maybe invisible God is real…The subconscious thought or fear is likely, “If the earth isn’t solid, then what is?”

God of course.

Continue reading “God the creator and God the UNcreator”
Posted in Book of Revelation, encouragement, genesis, jesus, prophecy

The Tree of Life

It is profitable to ponder God’s role as vine-dresser, and the agricultural metaphors of the branch, the tree, and the pruning, and the fruit.

I was listening to a sermon about us being the branches connected to the vine, (John 15:4). We had a rain-wind event here and a tree in the yard lost a good portion of itself. Can this branch produce any fruit? No. Apart from the tree, it can do nothing. That is any lost person who is apart from Jesus and any saved person operating in the flesh and not the Spirit.

EPrata photo

In addition to the branch, I was also thinking of the agricultural metaphors of vine, tree, branch, fruit, and then…I started thinking about the Tree of Life.

I like trees, and I love the Tree of Life. I like thinking about God’s tree, the life He gives us, and the tree of life in Heaven we will see. Here are some mentions in scripture of the Tree of Life. It is mentioned in Genesis and Revelation (nice bookends), and also in other places.

The Tree of Life defined:

One of two trees situated in the centre of the Garden of Eden. It is also mentioned in Revelation, where it symbolises life and salvation. [Manser, M. H. Dictionary of Bible Themes]

The tree of life as a metaphor:
Pr 15:4 See also Pr 3:13-18; 11:30; 13:12. [Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes]

The Tree of Life described:

Some people wish they had a tree which grew money, but there is an even better tree—the “tree of life.” The term in Greek, xulon zōēs, denotes “a tree that gives life”—that is, eternal life (John 20:31). This tree symbolizes the eternal life God has made available to humanity. We see this tree in the very beginning of the Bible and at the very end. 

The “tree of life” was placed by God in the midst of the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8–9). God told Adam that he could eat from every tree of the garden except the “tree of the knowledge” of good and evil (Gen. 2:16–17). When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were expelled from the garden lest they “take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever” (Gen. 3:22). The Genesis narrative suggests that God intended the “tree of life” to provide Adam and Eve with a symbol of life in fellowship with and dependence on Him. Human life, as distinguished from that of the animals, is much more than merely biological; it is also spiritual—it finds its deepest fulfillment in fellowship with God. 

The book of Revelation contains the only references to the “tree of life” in the New Testament (Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14, 19). The Bible begins and ends with a Paradise in the midst of which is a “tree of life.” The way to the “tree of life,” which was closed in Genesis 3, is open again for God’s believing people. This was made possible by the second Adam, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for the sins of all humanity—from Adam to you and me. Those who have washed their robes in the blood of Christ (Rev. 7:14) and have sought forgiveness of their sin through the redemptive work of Christ, receive the right to the “tree of life” (Rev. 22:14), but the disobedient will have no access to it. This tree will give constant, continuous life to all who partake of it, for it symbolizes the eternal life of God made available to redeemed humanity. [Carpenter, E. E., Holman Treasury of Key Bible words]

And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)

And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22)

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)

through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2)

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. (Revelation 22:14)

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30).

The Garden must have been so beautiful. I can’t wait until all is restored (Isaiah 51:3). Heaven where the Tree is must be so majestic. What the tree symbolizes is even more wonderful- eternal fellowship in righteous and holy life with God. Thank you, Lord, for all you have given us now and all we have to look forward to, forever.

The Tree of Life in art:

In Gustav Klimt’s famous mural, The Tree of Life … signifies the connection between heaven and earth and the underworld. For Klimt’s admirers, the mural also has another significance, being the only landscape created by the artist during his golden period. Klimt used oil painting techniques with gold paint, to create luxurious art pieces during that time.

The concept of the tree of life is illustrated by Gustav Klimt’s painting, in a bold and original manner. The swirling branches create symbolism, suggesting the perpetuity of life. The branches twist, twirl, turn, spiral and undulate, creating a tangle of strong branches, long vines and fragile threads, an expression of life’s complexity. With its branches reaching for the sky, the tree of life roots into the earth beneath, creating the connection between heaven and earth…While the artist uses a richness of symbols, gold for paint and other luxurious techniques to illustrate a magical world, the presence of a single black bird draws the viewer towards the central part of the painting. The black bird is a reminder that everything that has a beginning also has an end, as black birds have been used as a symbol of death by many cultures… (source)

Posted in abram, encouragement, genesis, Sarai

Our Lord’s tenderness toward women: Sarai

I’ve written before about how tender our Lord is. There are many scenes in particular when He is tender with women. His quiet leading of the sinful Woman at the Well…his gentle chiding of Martha … His dawn appearing to Mary in the garden after His resurrection…all beautiful and tender.

I especially love His care of Hagar in the wilderness. Badly used, cast off, alone and about to die, the Lord incarnated and appeared to her, and personally reassured her. I wrote about that twice.

Our Tender and Loving Jesus

Hagar in the Wilderness Drinking from the Living Waters of Life

Harem bed in Istanbul

Here is another example of our Lord’s amazing care and tenderness toward His people. Sarai. See the passage in Genesis 12:10-16,

Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

The Bible is great because it shows us the sins of the sinful people the Lord with which the Lord is building His bride. We are all flawed and sinful, and here Abram was no exception. Counted as righteous, a great man, and a Patriarch of the faith, Abram was still a human…and we know what that means. Sometimes we stumble. Badly.

He lied and a worse, didn’t have a thought for Sarai, knowing likely she would end up in a harem. He knew her beauty would attract the attention of the harem keeper and this would be reported to Pharaoh. That is exactly what happened.

But did God say ‘Because Abram will be my Patriarch, I will fix this.” ? Or, “Because of Abram who is great in my sight, I will fix this.”? No. What did God say?

But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. (Genesis 12:17)

Because of Sarai.

God personally intervened. His rescue of the situation focused on the protection of Sarai. Calvin’s Commentary says,

And here we have a remarkable instance of the solicitude with which God protects his servants, by undertaking their cause against the most powerful monarchs;

If you are feeling lonely tonight, marginalized, overlooked, or downtrodden, remember the Lord’s intervention with the Woman at the Well, His tenderness to Martha and Mary, and His descent from heaven itself to comfort Hagar in the desert. He protected Sarai and restored her marriage.

Hagar praised Him, saying

So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” (Genesis 16:13)

We have a good and gracious God. Lord Jesus is in control and whatever is happening is for your good and His glory. What a comfort.

Posted in 50 shades of grey, gender war, genesis, perversion

Why Christian women are drawn to 50 Shades of Grey

In Genesis 2:18 God made woman so as to be a helper for the man. It is in the very DNA of woman to want to help, to submit. She will want her husband.

John MacArthur writes that after the Fall,

“women continue to be naturally drawn and necessarily drawn to husbands and to children as the source of their fulfillment and their joy, even though they know that those are the realms in which there is the potential of the greatest pain and sorrow. [referring to Genesis 3:16a] They’re still drawn there, almost inexorably because that’s the way God made them. (source)

Though woman will want her husband, the Fall caused woman to be cursed with a rebellious nature against his authority, which in turn would cause men to want to rule harshly over them. (Genesis 3:16b).

MacArthur again,

In her sin Eve took the lead. She acted independently. She spurned her husband’s authority. She was going to go out on her own and call her own shot, as it were, act on her own behalf. She took the lead, she led the man into sin, usurping his role, acting independently of him in the temptation, overturning the divine order. … All of a sudden man is changed and becomes a selfish and dominating monarch. The subordination of women was always God’s plan but in a lovely and enjoyable harmony of perfect fulfillment of mutual wills delighting in God and in each other. … Your desire shall be for your husband.” Now let’s talk about the word “desire.” What does it mean? It is of Arabic root meaning to seek control. (source)

On the other hand, verse 16, the end, “And he shall rule over you.” Let’s look at the word “rule” for a minute, mashal. It means to dominate, to reign, literally means to install in office. The idea is as the woman seeks to overthrow the rank, as the woman seeks to twist the divine order, as the woman seeks to master her husband, seek control over him, he dominates her. (source)

Satan perverts everything he touches.

Fifthly, Satan is a perverter. It’s amazing that Satan has gotten a hold of every good thing that God has ever made and perverted it. He perverts everything. God made fruit for us to drink of, and Satan perverted it into alcoholism. God made sex for us to enjoy, he perverts it into something filthy and adulterous. He is in the business of perverting everything that God has made good. (source)

50 Shades of Grey is a book about dominance and submission. It is adult porn related to the seamier sadistic elements of the aforesaid ‘things satan perverts.’ The book and movie are not romance and nothing about the storyline of either are in any way acceptable for mental or emotional consumption.

However, the unsaved, secular woman will gravitate to the notion of dominance and submission because of the biblical mandates of having been created to be a helpmeet and wanting her husband. That old 1970s original feminist slogan, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle” is not true. Women need men and men need women. But because satan is a perverter, he will pervert the woman’s innate need to submit and he will twist the man’s innate need to lead. The result is a book like 50 Shades of Grey.

But what of Christian women? Surely they know to stay away from pornography and perversion like this? Any person even casually committed to reading the bible will know that this is a perversion of marital relationships … right?

Not always. Christian women have the same need as secular women to be led and to be a helpmeet, and Christian men have the same need to lead as non-Christian men. The wonderful thing about it is that Christians have the biblical blueprint and the Holy Spirit in us to illuminate the blueprint to our minds. We know what we should do, but once again, satan is a perverter. He will grab the carnality in us and twist it. Women innately want to submit and will do so if they meet a dominating man. Alternately, if they cannot submit, some will follow their curse and lead, eventually dominating.

Many Christian women are falling for feminism, and with the poor examples that abound of women who step out of their role as helpmeet – and are not rebuked for it. Then as each generation comes along they entrench further into it. Sin takes hold. Women innately want to submit and will do so if they meet a dominating man. Satan will twist that into BDSM and 50 Shades. Alternately, if they do not submit, some will follow their curse and satan will urge them to lead, eventually dominating, becoming ministry feminists. Either way, satan wins, because the Christian woman’s witness has been tarnished

Christian men likewise have allowed satan to twist any unaddressed sinful carnality in them, and they have abdicated their role as leader and done one of two things. Either they have abdicated their role entirely and simply do not lead, or they have grabbed on to their role a little too hard and they rule with an iron fist. We see evidence of this in the Covering Theology movement, rampant excommunications in the vein of Mark Driscoll and pastors like him, Pharisaical Pastors acting as tyrants operating outside the realm of accountability, and more. When some husbands “rule”, they dominate, as in sado-masochistic domination.

50 Shades of Grey touches upon man and woman’s most innate, intimate, unmet needs. This is true whether a person is a Christian or not.

Not that you don’t already know this, but the entire structure of the BDSM movement with all its rules, protocols, and standards is simply a satanic twist on Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 and the submission and leading that God put in place. Christian wives or singles who enjoy this book need to be taught Godly submission. To that end we need stronger pastors who stand up to women who want to teach men, or who otherwise want to lead in an unGodly way, and pastors who are actively working to train up elder women to be good examples to the younger women. Men who enjoy this book or are curious about it need to be taught Godly leading. They need strong pastors and courageous brothers to call them to account, to encourage them to be gentle with their wives, and to actively study the bible and to pray.

The holy word is always the antidote for righting our thinking on any topic, especially God’s ordinance of marriage and complementarian relationships.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

50 Shades of Grey? It’s really just black and white

Fifty Shades of Grey and Christian Women (HT Do Not Be Surprised)

More ‘50 Shades’ Ticket Preorders Have Happened in Mississippi Than Anywhere Else
In Mississippi and Arkansas and even Alabama, where sex toys are banned, the desire for 50 Shades of Grey tickets is stronger than anywhere else.

Posted in creator, genesis, God

Hunter’s Moon 2013

I love weather. I grew up in New England, where the old adage attributed to Mark Twain goes like this: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” I’ve been through hurricanes, the Ice Storm of 1998, The Storm of the Century, The Blizzard of ’78, snow, Nor-easters, winds, humidity, heat, you name it. A friend from Nova Scotia said once she was hanging bathing suits on the clothes line outside, and it began to flurry. Her toddler said, “Mommy, is summer over?”

When you grow up in New England with weather so severe and changeable, you become almost part of the weather. Not in the same way fishermen and farmers do, but we did live by the ocean and were on the water a lot. We always ‘kept a weather eye’. Weather was always the most important backdrop to any daily activity. That is because you could die. In New England during winter, you always had a trunk stocked with chains for your tires, a blanket, anti-freeze, a shovel and ice scraper, extra food, and a weather radio. If you slid off the road and got stuck in a snowbank, you could freeze before you were found and rescued. Even though we are living in a millennium of new technology and largely insulated from the elements except for the times I mentioned above, this generation and only a few prior to mine have lived exposed to it and submitted to it. For 7,000 years, men have lived by the weather, the elements, and the stars and planets.

“Cold feet” by EPrata

Anyway, I read the weather website and I was involved in this article and I became so excited when I saw God the Creator in it. The article opens this way,

It’s that time again, time for another full moon. The one that falls directly after the Harvest Moon (which was Sept. 19) is called the Hunter’s Moon, and it happens tonight, Oct. 18.

Hunter’s Moon. I hadn’t heard of it. I’d heard of Harvest Moon, Blue Moon, Blood Moon, but not Hunter’s Moon. The article continues:

The Hunter’s Moon isn’t just any full moon. Like with other moons this time of year, its path — called an ecliptic — is shallow. That means for several nights in a row, the moon sits farther north on the horizon, according to EarthSky. “It’s this northward movement of the moon along the eastern horizon at moonrise,” EarthSky writes, “that gives the Hunter’s Moon its magic.

Typically this time of year, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. Say it appeared in the night sky at 7:00 p.m. today, tomorrow it would show up around 7:50 p.m. For several days around the Hunter’s Moon, however, it only rises 30 to 35 minutes later. (In that same example, it would emerge at 7:00 p.m. tonight, 7:30 p.m. the next.)”

Why does this matter? Well, if you lived at a time when you needed the moonlight to harvest and hunt by, it clearly did. “The light of moon allowed farmers to harvest their crops later into the night,” O’Leary said of the September Harvest Moon. By the Hunter’s Moon in October, “it’s time to go hunting for Thanksgiving and the fall. The prey is easier to find. Rather than the moon being up in the sky an hour or two after sunset, it’s up in the sky sooner…. There’s less of a period of darkness.

Source

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.” (Genesis 1:14-19)

Isn’t God so precise! He not only set the planets in the sky for lights to guide us, but just when the cycle of light diminishes yet the harvest needs to be done, He extends the light so that they can gather the crops, hunt, and provide food for themselves before winter. He thinks of everything. He is so wonderful and glorious. The more I read the word and contemplate His attributes, the more I am in awe and love Him for Himself.

Posted in creation, genesis, God, revelation, solar maximum

God the creator and God the UNcreator

I mentioned before that any time there is a large earthquake, this blog sees an increase in views. People are somehow more unsettled after an earthquake than most other natural disasters, though any disaster sees people flocking to sites in search of the meaning of it all.

Personally I think quakes unsettle people because this is the very ground we walk on that is moving, splitting, and otherwise kicking up.  If solidity isn’t solid, than maybe invisible God is real…The subconscious thought or fear is likely, “If the earth isn’t solid, then what is?”

God of course.

But any natural disaster sends people searching for what, where, why. God is creator. He made the earth and the stars and the heavens and the stars and everything in between. He made it…and He can UNmake it.

Wikipedia photo, Linnaean taxonomy

Man assigns lists and categories to everything in the natural world, trying to organize it, in order to understand it. I remember being very interested in the biological taxonomy of mollusks in my 30s. Wikipedia explains taxonomy–

The establishment of universally accepted conventions for the naming of organisms was Linnaeus’ main contribution to taxonomy—his work marks the starting point of consistent use of binomial nomenclature.[129] During the 18th century expansion of natural history knowledge, Linnaeus also developed what became known as the Linnaean taxonomy; the system of scientific classification now widely used in the biological sciences.

The Linnaean system classified nature within a nested hierarchy, starting with three kingdoms. Kingdoms were divided into classes and they, in turn, into orders, and thence into genera (singular: genus), which were divided into Species (singular: species).[130] Below the rank of species he sometimes recognized taxa of a lower (unnamed) rank; these have since acquired standardised names such as variety in botany and subspecies in zoology. Modern taxonomy includes a rank of family between order and genus and a rank of phylum between kingdom and class that were not present in Linnaeus’ original system

I bought plastic divided tackle boxes at Wal-Mart and collected shells from all the oceans I sailed on and

Initiamenta conchologica, or, Elements of conchology
Printed and published by Reeve, Brothers,1846-1849.
biodiversitylibrary.org/item/54210

all the beaches I walked on, and labeled them and placed them within a taxonomy … and it felt so good to organize the world. I felt that if I could organize it, and then I could understand it, and then I could control it.

Of course that is a mistake, no matter how fun it is to study natural history. But I wasn’t saved then and I didn’t know God.

And in the end, man doesn’t really understand the world or the universe much at all. See the following articles:

The Sun That Did Not Roar
This is the height of the 11-year solar cycle, the so-called solar maximum. The face of the Sun should be pockmarked with sunspots, and cataclysmic explosions of X-rays and particles should be whizzing off every which way. Instead, the Sun has been tranquil, almost spotless. As W. Dean Pesnell, the project scientist for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, dryly noted, “We’re not having much of a solar maximum.” A week ago, a solitary sunspot blemished an otherwise blank yellow disk. In the ensuing days, a few more specks appeared, but even a small explosion, or coronal mass ejection, last Thursday seemed like the halfhearted effort of a slacker star. “The truth of it is there isn’t a lot going on,” said Joseph M. Kunches, a space scientist at the Space Weather Prediction Center. “It’s been a bit of a dud. You look at the Sun today and you say, ‘What?’For scientists trying to understand the dynamics in the interior of the Sun, it has been a humbling experience enlightening them about how much they do not know.

They do not know as much about the order of the universe as they thought they knew.

Wikimedia commons, TS Franklin, 2005

Despire dire forecasts, it’s a dud year for hurricanes
“The preseason predictions were all dire, using words like “extremely active” and “above-normal” to describe the forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that seven to 11 hurricanes would form, while AccuWeather predicted eight.  However, the season so far has been a welcome if unexpected dud, with not a single hurricane yet through the first week of September. (A typical full June-November hurricane season, based on weather records that go back to 1950, has seven hurricanes.)’

Really? Scientists know so much about how the wind blows that they can predict how many hurricanes there will be? I don’t think so. They do not know as much about hurricanes as they think they know.

Climate change AKA global warming? Nah.

Climate change is on ice: UN scientists reveal the world’s barely got any hotter in the last 15 years
In a report Report compiled by over 800 scientists and used 9,000 scientific studies UN scientists said today they are ’95 per cent’ certain that climate change is man made, but still could not explain why the world has barely got any hotter in the last 15 years.”

The earth is not as solid as we think and the wind is not as constant as we think and the sun is not as active (or inactive) as we think. The Tribulation will be a time when all the cycles and taxonomies and orderliness of what has been a seeming normal will morph into a new normal: the horror of uncreation. Man wasn’t around when God created the stars and the earth but he will be around when He uncreates it.

For example, the wind won’t blow.

“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of

Hans Holbein the Younger 1497/98-1543,
The angels holding back the four winds
Series/Book Title: Apocalypse

the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree” (Revelation 7:1).

The sun is cooling now but later it will turn hot, so hot it will burn men in an instant–

“The fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory” (Revelation 16:8-9)

Hail will be supersized, 100 lbs, and crush mens’ heads.

“And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.” (Revelation 16:21)

The Tribulation  will be a time when God will uncreate the earth, unspooling it from the seeming normalcy humanity has enjoyed, to now when things are starting to go haywire, to future then when nothing will be normal.

Spurgeon wrote that in the creation, “The light which broke in upon the primeval darkness was of a very mysterious kind, and came not according to ordinary laws, for as yet neither sun nor moon had been set as lights in the firmament.

MacArthur wrote of the uncreation of Revelation: “The present laws of thermodynamics, which state that matter can not be created nor destroyed,  will no longer be in effect. As a result, “he universe “will be burned up,” it will be totally consumed. (2 Peter 3:10-13). The absolute reverse of creation will occur. It didn’t take eons of evolution to create the universe, nor will it take eons to uncreate it. The uncreation of the universe, like its creation, will take place by the word of God.” (source “Revelation 12-22 MacArthur New Testament Commentary  By John F MacArthur”)

All praise our holy God who creates, makes things orderly in their time, makes things disorderly in their time, and will dissolve the universe when it is time!

Posted in gay marriage, genesis, homosexual, marriage

‘I am still not getting what I want’: UK Gay couple suing church for refusing ‘wedding’. And, God ordained marriage as explained by Genesis

Part 2: Social media is changing child custody disputes, child-support payments, & divorce
Part 3: Tim Gunn chose celibacy thirty years ago. How about you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With the homosexual agenda advancing into so many areas, especially marriage, I have been thinking deeply about God-ordained marriage and why its absence from society isn’t good for society. I have assembled three blog entries that are loosely related to the topic of marriage in these days of apostasy.

photo credit: jakebouma via photopin cc

Great Britain recently became legal in Engnland and Wales. The story below from last week notes that the legislation hadn’t yet been signed off on by the Queen, but she has approved it by now.

Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom, David Cameron

England’s Gay Marriage Law To Become Legal After Lower House Approval
Gay marriage is to become legal in England and Wales after the lower house of the British parliament approved the final changes on Tuesday to a law that had Prime Minister David Cameron’s backing but split his ruling Conservative party. The law had the support of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s two other main political parties, but damaged Cameron’s standing within his own party with many of his own lawmakers criticising him for being too liberal. … After a two-hour debate, the House of Commons passed the bill, meaning it now only needs to be approved by Queen Elizabeth, a formality.

Prime Minister Cameron had promised that though homosexual marriage would become legal, churches would not be forced to perform them if it went against their beliefs.

However, this did not deter the gay lobby. They are now suing the Church of England to force them to perform gay marriages. As one gay man said, “I’m still not getting what I want.”

And isn’t that exactly what sin is all about. Pursuing your ungodly lusts no matter the cost to yourself or others. Jude 1:16a says, “These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts;”

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, left,
with boyfriend Tony. (source)

‘I am still not getting what I want’: Gay couple suing church for refusing ‘wedding’
“Less than two weeks after the coalition government’s gay “marriage” bill was signed into law, a homosexual man has launched a lawsuit against a Church of England parish in Maldon for refusing him and his civil partner the lavish church wedding of their dreams. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle that he has launched the suit because, despite the law, “I am still not getting what I want.”  Section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which comes into effect next year, grants anyone in a civil partnership the ability to convert that partnership into a “marriage.” But the law contains measures specifically to preclude unwilling churches from being forced to participate.”

Other articles say that the courts will decide…

You know that satan never stops and he never sleeps. He was given an inch and he is taking a mile. Give him a mile and he will take the city.

Let’s go back to Genesis 1-

Michaelangelo, Sistine Chapel Painting, God creating Adam

In the Creation account, God created the universe and everything in it in 6 days. Each time as the day ended (24-hour day) God surveyed His work and declared it good. (Genesis 1:4, 8, 10, 12, 21, 25).

When He created man, it is the first time we read of the Holy Executive Council together, all three intimately participating in the creation. Until that point we read ,”And God said, And God said, And God said.” But with man, it is recorded, “Let Us make man…” It is an important moment.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)

After He made man, he said it was “very good.”

So from this we gather that man is the most important of His creations, because he is the only one made in His image. And it was the only creation that God declared ‘very good.’

Now, think for a moment. What was the first thing we read of in the bible that was ‘not-good’? No, it wasn’t the serpent of chapter 3. It is in Genesis 2:18:

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

The first thing that was not-good was that man was lonely. He was alone with no society to commune with except God. Then God caused the beasts to come before the man to see what he would name them. And still, the man was alone. We often focus on the helper part of the verse in 2:18. But look at the part that says “fit for him.” Dogs are man’s best friend. An animal could have become a nice companion for the man, as they have done today. But no. Monkeys are funny and sort of look like humans, they are sociable animals, they have opposable thumbs…why wasn’t a monkey a good helper? Because he was not fit for the man. (“The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:20).

God made a woman.

Michaelangelo, Sistine Chapel painting, Creation of Eve

“And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-24).

One flesh. That is one reason why divorce is such a violent act, it is literally a ripping apart of flesh.

As an aside, notice the comment at the last part; there were no parents yet. No one had a mother and a father. God had just created Adam and Eve. They had no clue about procreation and parents yet. God was ordaining society!

This is the foundation upon which the first society is built. Here we have one man, and it was not good for him to be alone. And all the beasts were brought, and still none helper was found “fit for him.” So God created woman. God then ordained future generations of society and of sexual conduct by declaring how society was to continue: through the man and woman as one flesh. They come together as one flesh and they leave the parents and they build another foundational block of society through their marriage. That is how it works, and it is beautiful.
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Part 2: Social media is changing child custody disputes, child-support payments, & divorce
Part 3: Tim Gunn chose celibacy thirty years ago. How about you? 

Posted in genesis, revelation

Do not forsake the Old Testament!

Have you considered the beauty of the beginning to end of all that God has done? We may not understand all of it, but it is beautiful what He has done under the sun.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The bible is a beautiful perfect quilt in which each piece has its place to form the bigger picture. It is so important not to add to it nor take away from it. (Revelation 22:18-19, Proverbs30:6, Deuteronomy 4:2). The Genesis to Revelation picture is something that inspires me and spurs me to know more of Him, ALL of Him from beginning to end of Himself that He revealed. Do not forget to read your Old Testament, for Christ and the Spirit and God are there too.

Posted in bible, faith, genesis, johan's ark

God, Noah, the ark, and the origin of wisdom

Yesterday I wrote an essay about Thomas Jefferson and how he had edited the bible down to 46 pages. He excised all mentions of anything supernatural or miraculous, including the  flood and the ark.

Genesis 1-11 is often the first battle ground for people to begin chipping away at the truth of God’s word. They cannot believe the 6-day creation, the fall of man, the global flood, the ark, the tower of Babel and so on. So they don’t.

But disbelieving those things means one does not believe by faith that God has revealed Himself in His word. It also means they don’t believe the bible is true. It further means they believe themselves a better barometer of truth-detection than God.

However, God is sovereign. That means He has dominion over all of creation, from the furthest universe down to the deepest atom.

I’m struck by one example of His dominion over all, how he calls the animals to do His will.

For example, the ark- He sent the animals to Noah.

“Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.” (Genesis 6:20)

He sent the ravens to Elijah.

“You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” (1 Kings 17:4, 6)

He sent a fish to Jonah

“And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17)

He sent a worm to Jonah

“But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.” (Jonah 4:7)

God sees the smallest bird, the tiniest worm, and the most discouraged Christian. Nothing escapes His eye. We have a God who sees.

“So she [Hagar] called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” (Genesis 16:13)

Could not a mighty God who creates, sees, redeems, gives grace, and judges make an ark to hold animals? Boat builders even do that.

Johan did it. He is a Dutch man who created a life sized replica of the ark.

Dutch Creationist Rolls Out Life-Size Noah’s Ark Replica
“A carpenter who spent three years and more than £1million building a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark has opened it to the public. … The narrative of the ark, in which God commands Noah to prepare for a great flood sent to purge the world of evil, specifies that the boat was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. Mr Huibers converted this ancient unit of measurement, which is based on the length of the forearm, to determine that his recreation had to be about 450ft long. This puts the boat, nicknamed ‘Johan’s Ark’, at more than half the length of the Titanic”

Johan’s feat of biblical proportions
“Floods of visitors are amazed by Dutch builder’s replica of Noah’s life-saving ark. Just as the first storms of winter roll in, Dutchman Johan Huibers has finished his 20-year quest to build a full-scale, functioning model of Noah’s Ark. Huibers used books 6 to 9 of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, as his inspiration, following the instructions God gave Noah down to the last cubit. Translating to modern measurements, Huibers came up with a vessel that works out to a whopping 130m long, 29m across and 23m high. Perhaps not big enough to fit every species on Earth, two by two, as described in the Bible, but plenty of space, for instance, for a pair elephants to dance a tango. Johan’s Ark towers over the flat Dutch landscape and is easily visible from a nearby highway where it lies moored in the city of Dordrecht, south of Rotterdam.”

“Another visitor, Martin Konijn, was impressed with the level of detail. “You might know the story of Noah, okay, but if you see this you begin to get an idea of how it would actually have worked in practice.”

Exactly.

And of course the ark could hold two of each kind. (Not species, kind. Not variety, kind. Not sub-species, kind).

GotQuestions gets technical.

Thus, the ark could have been up to 550 feet long, 91.7 feet wide and 55 feet high. These are not unreasonable dimensions. But how much storage space does this amount to? Well, 550 x 91.7 x 55 = 2,773,925 cubic feet. (If we take the smallest measurement of cubit, 17 inches, we end up with 1,278,825 cubic feet). Of course, not all of it would have been free space. The ark had three levels (Genesis 6:16) and a lot of rooms (Genesis 6:14), the walls of which would have taken up space. Nevertheless, it has been calculated that a little more than half (54.75%) of the 2,773,925 cubic feet could store 125,000 sheep-sized animals, leaving over 1.5 million cubic feet of free space (see – http://www.icr.org/bible/bhta42.html).

John Woodmorappe, author of the definitive Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study, estimated that only about 15% of the animals on the ark would have been larger than a sheep. This figure does not take into account the possibility that God may have brought Noah “infant” animals, which can be significantly smaller than adult animals.

How many animals were on the ark? Woodmorappe estimates about 16,000 “kinds.” What is a “kind”? The designation of “kind” is thought to be much broader than the designation “species.” Even as there are over 400 dog breeds all belonging to one species (Canis familiaris), so many species can belong to one kind. Some think that the designation “genus” may be somewhat close to the biblical “kind.”

Nevertheless, even if we presume that “kind” is synonymous with “species,” “there are not very many species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. The leading systematic biologist, Ernst Mayr, gives the number as 17,600. Allowing for two of each species on the ark, plus seven of the few so-called “clean” kinds of animals, plus a reasonable increment for known extinct species, it is obvious that not more than, say, 50,000 animals were on the ark” (Morris, 1987).

Ultimately, today’s post and yesterday’s post are about faith. Do you believe what God says about Himself? Do you believe that what is written in the bible is directly inspired by the Holy Spirit? Do you believe it was accurately recorded and represents the best and only reliable information we have about God? Do you believe the things that the bible says happened actually happened as written? (Ten plagues, Red Sea parting, Lazarus raised from the dead etc?)

These are questions we need to ask ourselves, and be ready to make an answer to all who ask. (1 Peter 3:15). If you have an area where you could study more so as to give a reasonable and accurate answer, do so. Answers in Genesis exists to give people who are curious about these things a scientific and sound basis for questions such as how the animals could fit into the ark, why fossil dating is unreliable, and so on.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Christianity-defending) ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible.”

It’s about faith. Don’t be like Thomas Jefferson and claim that some things Jesus said were like diamonds and the rest a dungheap. It’s all good. Even the stuff you have a hard time believing. After all, if God was so common and understandable, He wouldn’t be God. It is about faith in His wisdom, not ours.

He offers the best knowledge,the highest wisdom and the most solid protection. Lean into His understanding

If we lean onto our own wisdom, it is no different than a man who uses a newspaper to wrap himself in to keep the cold away. Man’s words will tear and rip and the knowledge he finds in those pages will melt away in the first storm or rain.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 source

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)

Faith is a holy thing–

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,” (Jude 1:20)

In the end, it is faith that is the victory–

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”  (1 John 5:4)

God is sovereign. He calls the animals to do His bidding. He tells Noah to build the ark. He sends the animals to it. “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22). God is not asking us to build an ark. All He commands us to do is to believe. (John 6:29). Do you?

Posted in creation under attack, enoch, genesis

Religion professor attacks Christians in class, plus Cain and Enoch

I love going back to Genesis when I do my daily reading of the bible. Everyone has their favorites, and I love beginnings. Genesis was graciously given to us as a way to see where we came from and what happened to set us on this course, now that we are so near the end. Each chapter drips with mercy- God’s mercy to Adam and Eve after they sinned, God’s mercy to Cain after He murdered his brother…

I made some observations in reading Genesis 4 last night. Some things resonate with the end time, as if they were bookmarks.

After Cain killed Abel, Cain worried that in his wanderings apart from his home tribe and apart from the presence of the LORD, that those who found him would kill him. To me, this says that Cain well knew that apart from the LORD, people could be murderous. As early as it was in man’s history, Cain knew that by himself he was a sitting duck. He understood what sin could do and what people were capable of.

He asked the LORD to protect him. What chutzpah! He had just killed his own brother, after being reprimanded by God Himself for failing to give the right offering in proper heart-manner. God had told him that unless Cain appeals to the LORD to hold back his sin, sin would rule over him. It was crouching at the door even then. (Genesis 4:7). But Cain disobeyed and gave a false offering, allowed sin to rule him and killed his brother, was cursed by God and exiled, was worried that others would in turn kill him. Cain did not repent but still had the guts to ask for mercy. God gave it.

“Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.” (Genesis 4:15).

We don’t know what this mark looked like, but God has put a mark on those whom He will put a mark ever since Genesis and He will do so until Revelation. See these verses:

“and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” (Ezekiel 9:4)

“set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:22)

He seals the 144,000– “Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” (Revelation 7:2-3)

“They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4)

Of course, satan is a counterfeiter and will incite the Beast (antichrist) to force a mark on all those who must worship him. (Revelation 13:16)

So Cain’s line went on and was ungodly.

“Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden” (Genesis 4:16) and there is no record he ever went back to the LORD.

Cain married and had a son named Enoch. This name means initiation and was the beginning of the descendants of those who were against God. (Though Cain’s line was wiped out in the Flood of Genesis 7). This is not THE Enoch who walked with God and was taken alive to heaven. That Enoch was seventh from Adam and another, different man who came along a bit later.

Cain built a city and named the city after his son Enoch. Again, Cain sinned, because God has said go forth and multiply, and Cain did the opposite. Cain had failed to honor God, failed to repent when God chastised him, murdered, lied, disobeyed…sin had indeed overtaken Cain.

Four generations later, Cain’s line had birthed Lamech. For no reason that is recorded, Lamech disobeyed the marriage law and took two wives. And here we see in Lamech the entrenchment of sin and how it twists thinking.

Lamech killed a man in self-defense. He knew Cain’s story because he recounts it to his wives. And he assumes that because God had promised vengeance on anyone who killed Cain, seven-fold, that God would do the same to Lamech, and even 77-fold! Lamech’s inflated sense of self is amazing isn’t it?! At once sense he knew he had sinned, but repentance was not in him. Instead, he rested on a twisted version of a previous promise God had made to someone else. That is what unrepentant sin does to you.

And that is how people twist the bible today. Without faith and repentance, without a seeking to know His nature and character by studying His written word, they twist something that God had previously said and either spiritualize it or personalize it and it ends up being far from the intended meaning- and usually not even applicable.

Praise the Lord that there were some who stayed close to the LORD.

“And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:25-26).

It is now 240 years after the creation of man. We don’t know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden so we don’t know how long it was between creation and sin, therefore we don’t know how long it was after the first sin when Cain killed Abel. However Cain was an adult with a profession when he gave the false offering (Genesis 4:2) to God and there were ‘others’ out and about Cain was worried might kill him, so we can assume a hundred or two hundred years for sin to begin to express itself regularly in human behavior. We can see how quickly sin does crouch at the door, desiring to rule over us.

But just so, we read that they called on the name of the LORD. Knowing that without God there is no help for sin, they began to call out. The phrase call upon seems to mean a corporate worship. And the name they called upon was Yahweh.

He reveals Himself to us, desiring proper worship and a relationship with His people. Though the story of Cain is an evil one of sin and disobedience and death, alternately, those who call upon the Lord in worship receive relationship and life.

I post this not only to share observations, but to urge one and all to read the Old Testament. I’ve noticed that today’s Christian rarely reads the OT and fewer read Genesis. Genesis is under attack. Unless we read it we cannot defend it. Read about this recent attack at the University level. This Professor teaches at Florida International University (FIU).

“A university dean [of religious studies] in Florida, who moonlights as an Episcopal priest and is an admitted lesbian, recently caused controversy after a video surfaced on the web that provided snippets of a lecture she delivered to her Epistemology class, in which she discusses religion and evolution. “This is a book of myth, and that’s going to offend some of you,” stated professor Lesley Northup of Florida International University’s Honor College in the video. “And I don’t really care.” “I know that some of you out there are creationists. You really don’t believe in evolution,” another clip reveals. “I personally don’t think you should be allowed to leave this university with that belief.”

Here is a video of the Professor saying it the bible is a “book of myth” and anyone who believes it should not be allowed to graduate (implicit insult is that Christians are too stupid to hold a degree)–

So go back to Genesis. Read of God’s incredible mercy and care of His people. Read of blessings and sin and worship and struggle and praise of the early peoples. Eve was the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20) so she is your mother, my mother. We want to know our family tree, don’t we?! Genesis 1-12 records the beginning of the beginning. We’re a generation that is so near the end that we have a unique perspective to see the entire history of man unfolding from Genesis to (nearly) Revelation.

Jude wrote,

“It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14-15)

Prior to the flood, Enoch prophesied that the Lord would come again. From the earliest moments (Genesis 3, for example, and Jude’s mention) God promised redemption and release from sin. If Jude knew of Enoch’s prophecy, and by extension us, and the Flood killed everyone alive except 8 people, that means Enoch’s prophecy was carried through the flood and that Noah taught it to all his sons, who taught it to their sons, and so on, so that all generations would know and be comforted that holiness will be victorious at last!

Go back to the beginning. Because it is almost the end.