Monthly Archives: July 2022

Time Confusion

Time Spiral

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. (Job 38:4)

“Yea, hath God said” (Genesis 3:1) remains Satan’s first line of attack on the Word of God, so it is not surprising when I get questions like the following:

I know that you believe in a young earth, but it seems to me God was around before He did His creation of earth and us. The Bible says He framed the worlds! So my question is: how old is the universe, and how long ago before creation was it when the devil and his fallen angels were kicked out of heaven? I’m confused because it seems that the devil was in the Garden of Eden, so when did he arrive on earth?

The question stems from a very superficial understanding of Scripture. Note that the appeal to Scripture was taken out of context, quoted only in part, and then misapplied in much the same way as Satan did when he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.

So what does the Scripture really say? “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). The Greek word translated “worlds” is aiōn, and it properly means “ages;” so this is not speaking of other planets, stars or galaxies, which were not created until Day Four of Creation (Genesis 1:14-19). The writer of the book of Hebrews referred to the predetermined “ages” in God’s plan from the beginning of Creation to the culmination in the New Heavens and the New Earth (Revelation 21:1).

God is eternal; He has no beginning and no end. God is not confined to time; He “created” time: “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1), God started time; therefore He is not constrained by time. God says, “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14) – the Self-existing One. God’s eternal nature is a difficult concept for us, who are bound by time, to fathom. Nothing existed before time except God. God existed before time in the measureless realm of “eternity,” and He will exist when time ends in eternity. God is present in the past, present and future all at once, but He has revealed Himself to us in time through His Creation, through His Word (the Holy Bible), and through The Word (Logos), Jesus Christ – God incarnate. These things, as Hebrews 11:3 says, must be accepted “through faith,” “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

 We should not worry, if we cannot understand everything about God. Some things we cannot possibly know, because they are beyond our ability to comprehend. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Through His Creation, His Word, and The WORD, God has revealed all that we need to know to have an effective relationship with Him.

 God created time “In the beginning” around 6000 years ago. The Bible does not explain exactly at what point in Creation God created Satan and the other angels, but we can infer from other passages in Scripture that it was early enough in the six-day creation week that they witnessed Creation. For example, in God’s response to Job we read, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? … When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7). “Morning stars” and “sons of God” are metonyms often used in the Old Testament to refer to angels. From that, we can infer that Satan was created before Day Six on which day man was created, and he had free access to the Garden of Eden.

For other articles about God’s eternal nature and the creation of Satan see the following:

“No Time Like the Present” https://erniecarrasco.com/2015/01/18/no-time-like-the-present/

“Time for Pride to Grow” https://erniecarrasco.com/2013/12/01/time-for-pride-to-grow/

“How Art Thou Fallen” https://erniecarrasco.com/2014/05/04/how-art-thou-fallen/

“Why Satan?” https://erniecarrasco.com/2014/11/02/why-satan/

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Magog, Tubal, and Persia

Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:9)

The prophet Ezekiel speaks of a time “in the latter years”[1] when a coalition of nations will come against Israel. The prophecy names the nations by their names assigned at time of the dispersion at the Tower of Babel.[2] The names are listed in the Table of Nations[3] and illustrated in the map above. Since that time, the names of these nations have changed many times over so that we no longer recognize them as those named by the prophet. However, God does not lose track, and He does not forget.

So, as we study Ezekiel’s prophecy in Chapters 38 and 39, it requires that we look at a map depicting where these nations ended up when they were originally dispersed. Let us examine Ezekiel’s list and compare it to the map above. I will emphasis the significant names.

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:1-6)

Note, first of all, that “Gog” is a person, not a nation. He is a “chief prince” from the nation of Magog. When we look at the map (above), we find that Magog, Meshech, and Gomer are in the region we recognize as Russia.

Tubal we recognize as modern-day Turkey. The “house of Togarmah” (not shown on this map) is also in the “north quarters” of Turkey and also in modern-day Georgia (Russia). Persia was known as Elam prior to Ezekiel’s time, and we find it on the map in the area of modern-day Iran.

Ezekiel lists the lands of Cush and Lud (from Genesis 10) as Ethiopia and Libya. As we look at the map, we observe that Cush is further south than modern-day Ethiopia and corresponds more closely to modern-day Somalia.

It is worth noting that all of these nations are Islamic nations with the exception of Russia, and even Russia has a high Muslim population.

Bringing Ezekiel’s prophecy forward to our day and time, we find that the prophecy speaks of a coalition of three main nations: Russia, Turkey, and Iran with Libya and Somalia in alliance. God says to these nations, “I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth” (Ezekiel 38:4, emphasis mine). “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land [Israel], thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezekiel 38:9-12, emphasis mine).

According to Ezekiel’s prophecy, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and their allies will invade Israel “to take spoil and to take prey.” Will this take place before or after the Rapture of the Church? Prophecy experts differ in opinion about this point. However, it appears that the stage is being set for that event.

On Friday of this week, July 22, 2022, the leaders of Russia, Turkey, and Iran met for the purpose of forming an alliance.[4] We have long known of the animosity Iran has toward Israel. Turkey has not necessarily been a friend to Israel. Lately, Russia’s relationship with Israel has cooled over Israel’s support for Ukraine. Additionally, Russia has stopped the migration of Jews from Russia to Israel. To top it off, Israel is on the verge of exporting its natural gas to Europe, which has the potential of cutting into Russia’s profits. The three nations are not happy with Israel and neither are their allies, Libya and Somalia.

It seems that it is only a matter of time before the “Gog of Magog” invasion takes place. Will the Bride of Christ witness this event? I do not know. What I do know is that the invasion will fail.

And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 38:18-23, emphasis mine)

God will intervene for Israel – not because Israel is a Godly nation, but because God is faithful to His promise. He said He would do it, and He will do it. And His purpose in doing so is so that Israel and all the world will witness Israel’s miraculous deliverance. “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 38:23, emphasis mine).

For the Christian, this should be encouraging news. We are seeing prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes, and that means our Lord’s return to call us home is very near. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Ezekiel 38:8

[2]  Genesis 11:1-9

[3]  Genesis 10

[4]  “Russia, Iran, and Turkey Forming a Biblical Alliance” — https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2022/07/22/russia-iran-and-turkey-forming-a-biblical-alliance/

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Emotions

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Emotions are “an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness; any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc.; any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, etc., and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking” [or shouting] (emphasis mine).[1]

“Emotions are reactions that human beings experience in response to events or situations. The type of emotion a person experiences is determined by the circumstance that triggers the emotion. For instance, a person experiences joy when they receive good news. A person experiences fear when they are threatened … In their book Discovering Psychology, authors Don Hockenbury and Sandra E. Hockenbury suggest that an emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioral or expressive response.”[2]

Emotions are either good or bad depending on how they affect us. The “feeling” of “love” can lead to a bad decision in a mate. or it can inspire selfless acts toward others regardless of personal benefit. Anger over injustice can prompt action to right a wrong or it can drive someone toward violent vindication.

Emotions become problematic when they control our actions. I know and have known emotional people that direct their lives based on their “feelings.” They are irrational, i.e., they do not “think” about their actions – they just react based on what they feel. They do not consider the possible consequences of their actions. They do not think about how their actions may affect others. They just respond to the feeling. Does it make them happy? Does venting their anger and frustration bring relief?

There was a saying in the 60s and 70s: “If it feels good, do it.” That axiom still prevails in our society bringing our nation into such a state of confusion that anything one may say will offend someone about something, and nobody is happy.

Last week, the supreme court struck down Roe v. Wade. It was the right decision[3] based on our Constitution. It turned the abortion question back to the states where it belongs. It did not make abortion illegal. However, the decision angered many who protested (often violently) that it took away women’s rights. They argued that many “poor” women would lose access to “safe” abortions, and that they might have to resort to “back-alley” abortions or worse – do-it-yourself coat hanger abortions. Their arguments founded on pure emotion found no substance in reality. They were completely irrational. I heard no argument offered by them that gave a reasonable defense for their position – it was all emotion.

Sadly, even some Christians got sucked into the mindless arguments of the abortion defenders. One argument I heard from a “pro-lifer” defended abortion in the case of rape or incest. That is an emotional response stemming from a feeling of “compassion” for the victimized woman. (Only women can get pregnant. If that offends you, get over it!) “A 1996 study found a national rape-related pregnancy rate of 5% per rape among victims between the ages of 12 and 45.”[4] Setting aside the emotional aspect of this argument, the chances of pregnancy resulting from rape are low to begin with. Even in a healthy marital relationship, pregnancy resulting from sexual intercourse is not a given. Many married couples live years enjoying sexual intimacy without ever conceiving.

The Bible makes clear Who controls pregnancy. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). Pregnancy resulting from rape can be viewed emotionally as a tragedy, but who will charge God with error? He created that life in the womb of the rape victim, and only He has the right to take away that life. The rape victim may not have had a say in the pregnancy (married couples have no say in theirs either), but that life was put there by God. God has denied children to many married couples. (Only He knows why.) Such couples would do anything to have a child they can raise, and the child of a rape victim may be an answer to their prayer. Then too, the rape victim may in time grow to love the child within her and choose to raise it on her own. However, for a Christian to argue that such a child should be aborted comes from the heart of a fallen, emotional human being, and not from the Word or the heart of God.

As Christians, what we see going on in the world should not come as a surprise. Consider the words of Paul:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, emphasis mine)

Notice how so many of the characteristics listed are emotionally based. Note also the phrase, “having a form of godliness.” In context, Paul warns Timothy (and us) of the attitudes within the Church in the last days. Paul uses similar language in his letter to the church in Rome as he describes the moral decline of mankind. After listing the characteristics of the moral decline, in his final assessment he says, “Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:31-32, emphasis mine). Again, these characteristics describe those who direct their lives by their emotions. Sadly, there are “Christians” who guide their lives by what they feel or think regardless of what the Word of God says.

There are other issues where emotions come to play, but the Christian needs to check those emotions against the Word of God. His thoughts are far above our own, as our starting verse states. He is perfect in righteousness and holiness. We are unrighteous and fallen creatures. We need His guidance not that of our emotions.

The mess we see in our country (and the world) right now is a sign that Jesus is coming soon, and His reward is with Him. The signs of His appearing are increasing in intensity and frequency. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Emotion” — https://www.dictionary.com/browse/emotion

[2]  “Emotions and Types of Emotional Responses” – https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-emotions-2795178

[3]  “The Right Decision” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2022/06/26/the-right-decision/

[4]  “18 Profound Statistics of Rape Victims Getting Pregnant” – https://healthresearchfunding.org/18-profound-statistics-rape-victims-getting-pregnant/

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