Category Archives: Creation

The Fullness of Time

Adoration of the Child

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  (Galatians 4:4-5)

It’s that time of year again; Christmas is in the air. Regardless of your perception of Christmas – it’s too commercial, it’s under attack, it’s just a pagan celebration dressed up in Christian garb, etc. – it is altogether appropriate that Christians set time aside to commemorate the first advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

At this time we remember the miraculous conception and birth of God made man (John 1:14), but too often our focus shifts away from the significance of that event to the sappy sentimentality of the Nativity scene. As sweet as the image of a cuddly infant lying in a feeding trough adored by loving parents and worshipped by shepherds and wise men may be, the fact remains that this baby was God clothed in human flesh. The thought that the Creator condescended to take the form of His fallen creation (Philippians 2:7) to redeem as many as would receive Him (John 1:12), should leave us awestruck.

This was no afterthought on the part of God. In my article, “Why Satan?,” I address the issue of why God allowed sin in the first place, but along with the possibility of sin, God provided a way out (Hebrews 4:3; Revelation 13:8). From the very beginning there was the promise of a Savior (Genesis 3:15). Eve understood this promise, and at the birth of her first-born she rejoiced, “and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1). The literal translation of the Hebrew actually says “I have gotten a man Yahweh (the Lord).” She believed that she had given birth to the Savior according to the promise of God. But the time was not right. God wanted His creation, man in particular, to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28; 9:1). Abraham “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be” (Romans 4:18).  That promise was not only for Abraham, “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25). For “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So, when the time was right, God entered the world He created (John 1:3) as a helpless baby – fully God and fully man – to give up His life to buy back and restore His fallen creation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Very soon, at the fullness of time, He will return for His own as He promised: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). So, regardless of your perspective on Christmas, as Christians it is a good time to remember that baby in the manger was God who came to die for us that we may live with Him, and soon we will be with Him.

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Miracle of the Incarnation*

Baby Jesus in Manger

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”

(John 1:14).

At Christmastime many of us take time to reflect on the birth of Christ and the miracle of His incarnation; but His birth was not a miracle.  Jesus came into this world like billions of babies before Him and like billions of babies after Him.  Yes, the angels announced His birth to humble “shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8), and some magi saw “His star in the east” and came “to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2); but His birth, as special as it was, was no miracle.  A line in a favorite Christmas carol says, “The cattle are lowing, the dear baby wakes; but little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.” That is a sweet sentiment, but it is completely false.  Jesus cried at His birth just like any other baby.  He wet and soiled his diapers, just like any other baby.  He took nourishment from Mary’s breasts as any baby would from its mother.  There was nothing miraculous in any of that.

The miracle was not in His birth, but in His incarnation as a zygote in a virgin’s womb.  Skeptics challenge this on the impossibility of a virgin conceiving without the natural function of a man, but the impossibility of such a thing is what qualifies it as a “miracle.”  Mary expressed the same concerns when the angel relayed the news of her impending pregnancy.  The angel assured her that “with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).  This was in keeping with and in the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy saying “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).  Critics will point out that the Hebrew word translated “virgin” here is ‘almā, which strictly translated means “young woman.”  However, the translators of the Septuagint translated the same Hebrew word into the Greek parthenos, which has no other meaning than “virgin.”  This is the same Greek word that Matthew uses when he points to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “Behold, a virgin [parthenos] shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

Another problem arises with Jesus’ lineage.  He was prophesied to be in the line of David the king (2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16).  This promise was confirmed to Mary by the angel Gabriel: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32).  Matthew presents an ancestral line (Matthew 1:1-17) that disagrees with the ancestral line presented by Luke (Luke 3:23-38).  Matthew traces Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph, His adoptive father.  This line is the “legal” line to the throne of David; however, this line had been cursed by God at the time of Jehoiachin (Coniah) shortly before Judah fell to the Babylonian empire.  Jeremiah records: “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man [Coniah] childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:30).  Luke, on the other hand, records Jesus’ genealogy through Mary who takes a branch through Nathan, another son of David.  This line escaped the curse.

That resolves the legality issue of Jesus’ right to David’s throne, but now we have another problem.  Since the conception was “parthenogenetic,” that would imply that Jesus received at least part of His genes (His DNA) from Mary.  Mary, being human, is under the curse of original sin, as we all are.  That being the case, Jesus could not be the sinless sacrifice required to atone for our sin.  The Roman Catholic Church recognized this dilemma early on and attempted to resolve the problem by proclaiming Mary sinless.  To achieve this status, they further proclaimed that she was immaculately conceived, i.e., she too was virgin-born.  That begs the question then, how was Mary immaculately conceived, if her mother had a sin nature?  And what about her grandmother, and her great-grandmother, etc.  If one follows that line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, one comes to Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it is generally accepted that Eve sinned.  The solution cannot be in Mary’s sinless nature, for she, herself, was in need of a Savior.  “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46-47).

The truth is, that if one of Mary’s ova was used in the conception, Jesus would have inherited our sin nature.  Even half of a sin nature is full of sin for “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).   In his book, The Chemistry of the Blood (Zondervan, 1943), Dr. M. R. DeHann attempted to resolve this problem based on the idea that it is the blood that makes atonement for sin (Hebrews 9:22).  He concluded that since the embryo develops its own blood, and since there is no blood exchanged between the embryo and its mother, therefore Jesus’ blood was sinless.  At first sight, this may look like a good solution, however, the embryo develops its own blood based on the genes that it gets from its parents.  There is no DNA in red blood cells, but there is DNA in an ovum, and Mary’s ova were contaminated.

The only reasonable solution that remains is that Jesus’ earthly body was a wholly (and yes, “holy”) and unique creation without the inherited sin nature of any human parent.  Understandably, the objection immediately arises that He, therefore, could not really be considered fully human.  To answer that objection, we must recall the creation of the “first Adam” (Genesis 1:27; 2:7).  God created man from the dust of the ground, including his DNA.  There was no human agent required for this process.  It should not be a stretch, therefore, to accept that God created an entirely new body for the “Second Adam.”  It should also not stretch the imagination, in our technological age, to understand that this new creation was implanted into Mary’s womb to be carried to term.  Mary was the “surrogate” mother of Jesus.  She contributed none of her DNA to give Him life, and therefore she contributed none of her sin nature.  Mary’s little lamb was truly “without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).  Conceived in this way He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26), and because He developed in the womb from a zygote, He was “made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).  Jesus understood this. Once …

While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.  Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.  But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?  And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother (Matthew 12:46-50)

There is substantial scriptural support for the argument that Jesus’ body was an entirely new creation.  He “was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7).  Before His condescension, in conversation with His Father “he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Hebrews 10:5).  It was the Divine plan from the beginning that the Savior “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20) would come to be the ransom for our sin.  Paul tells us that “The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy: the second man [Jesus] is the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47).  John tells us that “The Word was made flesh” (John 1:14).  This is as it should be “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

The miracle was the incarnation, not the birth.  It is an awesome thing to consider that the Creator of heaven and earth, would prepare for Himself a body of the same kind as His creation, begin life as a single human cell, go through the process of development in the womb of a virgin girl, pass through the birth canal, gasp for His first breath, grow up as a child and experience all the bumps and bruises of growing up, grow into manhood, only to give His life in the place of His fallen creation, so that we might experience life eternal with Him.  Who could conceive such a plan except a loving God!  It is too marvelous for words.

Merry Christmas!

*NOTE: This article was inspired by my Sunday school teacher and friend, Henry M. Morris III, D.Min., in a lesson he presented to our class on December 16, 2012.  Dr. Morris is CEO of the Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, Texas.

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Who Got It Right?

After the Flood_Joseph_Anton_Koch

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.. (Matthew 5:18)

Someone wrote to me with the following question: “Just wondering if you have done any research into the first civilization, according to science, known to man the Sumaritans [sic]. Their writings contain the original creation story that Moses and many others passed down?”

This is a common question that stems from the study of early world history that is based on evolutionary thinking. The inquirer is assuming that because the Sumerians wrote on clay tablets which have been preserved for thousands of years, that theirs is the oldest known written language, and that other cultures were incapable of writing.

The people before the Flood where highly intelligent people (Genesis 4:22-24) and probably had other methods of writing. It is quite possible that Noah had written records handed down from Adam, who died only a few hundred years before Noah was born. Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, was alive around 250 years before Adam died. It is very possible that pre-Flood people wrote on papyrus or something like it so the genealogical record could be passed on. We might also consider the fact that God only gave Noah some general instructions for constructing the Ark (Genesis 6:14-16). I am sure you would agree that drawing out floor plans on clay tablets would have been rather cumbersome. So it seems reasonable that Noah had something more functional on which to draw his plans for the Ark.

The inquirer’s suggestion is based mostly on assumptions made by secular archeologists. Archeology is not an exact “science;” it is a “forensic” science that is highly subjective. Most secular archeologists are biased on the side of evolution, which influences their perception of what they discover. They assume that man “evolved” 100,000 years ago, and did not become “civilized” until sometime around 10,000 B.C. to 8000 B.C.

Since these “scientists” make assumptions based on evolutionary thinking, it is only fair that I be allowed to make some assumptions based on the biblical record. I am going to assume that Noah carried some sort of “paper” records on the Ark and continued to copy those records using the same medium. Paper records would not last thousands of years like those written on clay tablets, therefore, from our perspective, it “appears” that the Sumerian clay tablets are the oldest written record when in fact they are not, and they were actually pretty crude methods of writing even for their time. I will further assume that Noah and his descendants through Shem had more advanced methods of writing, albeit less durable than clay tablets. Writing on paper (papyrus) would require continual copying in order for the records to be preserved. Now, since no one can really corroborate either assumption, I will suggest that my assumption is just as valid as that of the evolutionary archeologists.

Having said that let me also suggest that the Sumerians, by the time they recorded their origins account and Flood story, had a distorted memory of those events. It is often suggested that Moses borrowed the Flood account from the Epic of Gilgamesh. But when one compares the Ark of Gilgamesh with the Ark of Noah, the two are completely different vessels. In fact, Gilgamesh’s Ark is built in the shape of a cube which would render the vessel extremely unseaworthy, while Noah’s Ark (or a model of it) has been laboratory tested and shown to be incredibly stable. What this shows is the Sumerians got it wrong and the Bible got it right.

The nature of such questions is the result of Satan’s unchanged tactic revealed in Genesis 3:1-5: (1) Create doubt in God’s Word: “Yea, hath God said …?” (2) Deny the veracity of God’s Word: “Ye shall not surely die,” and (3) Accuse God of keeping one from something better: “For God doth know that … ye shall be as gods.” His methods have not changed in over 6000 years, and sadly, even Christians fall for his lies. But the Author of the Bible says, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot [the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet] or one tittle [the smallest distinguishing mark of a Hebrew letter] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). So, who got it right? Would you rather believe the words of men, or the Word of God?

 

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Mine!

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:8)

We have all experienced watching toddlers at play before they learn to share. One will grab a toy that does not belong to him, but he likes it and assumes possession. Another child sees the same toy, wants to take possession of it, and the fight is on. “Mine!” They both cry. Eventually, a grown-up has to step in and attempt to teach the youngsters how to share.

We grown-ups can sometimes behave the same way with the things God has blessed us with. We assume that because we worked to earn the money to buy those things, they belong to us. We think, “Mine!” Then, there are those who do not work and covet the things of those who do, and they think, “Those should be mine!”

God looks down on His children (by that I mean all of His creation, not just “His Children,” i.e., Christians) and says, “No. Mine!” He is Creator of everything – the earth, all the creatures that dwell on the earth, the plants, the seas, all of the mineral wealth of the earth, all of the heavenly bodies and all the wealth they contain, and every human being that has ever walked or will ever walk on the earth. Since He is Creator of all, that makes Him owner of all. We do not own anything. As Klaus Schwab might say, “You own nothing; now be happy.”[1]

Thankfully, God is not Klaus Schwab, nor does He share the attitude of the elitist World Economic Forum (WEF).[2] God does indeed own it all. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:10-12, emphasis mine). “Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine” (1 Kings 20:3). “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, emphasis mine).

Unlike the WEF, God wants to share His wealth with His creation. “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 [fill] 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 1:26-28, emphasis mine).

God made the earth and everything in it and outside of it before He created man. He made all of this for us. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18, emphasis mine). He made it all. He owns it all, and He put man in charge. Then man blew it, but that is another story.[3]

So, what about all of “my labor” to get all of “my stuff”? As Barack Obama once said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”[4] BHO had the right idea, but the wrong conclusion. The “somebody” to whom he referred is the government. However, the fact is that the “somebody” is God, and He does that for all of mankind. Jesus said that God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

God created mankind in His image.[5] Therefore, we have life, abilities, talents, skills, creativity, ambition, motivation, etc. All of these come from God. Also, because He gave us dominion over the earth’s resources, we benefit from the “gifts” of others. For example, “my pickup” was designed by an engineer. The materials to construct it came from the earth and were fabricated and assembled by those having those kinds of skills and talents. It was delivered to the dealership by those who operate trains and drive trucks. It was sold to me by a person talented in filling out detailed paperwork. I earned the money to purchase it by using the skills God gave me to serve my employer, and so on. It all belongs to God, and He has shared what belongs to Him to bless me and you.

So, you can recognize that you actually own nothing, and you can be happy knowing that all that you have comes from a generous heavenly Father. Our part is to be good stewards (i.e., managers) of the blessings God has placed in our care. They all belong to Him. They are not ours.

Dear reader, if you do not know this generous God, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “You Will Own Nothing and Be Happy,” Klaus Schwab – America Out Loud

[2]  The World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

[3]  Genesis 3

[4]  ‘You Didn’t Build That,’ Uncut and Unedited – FactCheck.org

[5]  Genesis 1:26-28

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9:11

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:11)

 

Twenty-one years ago, the world gazed in shock as they watched endless replays of passenger jets flying into the Twin Towers in New York City. If that was not horrific enough, not much later another passenger jet flew into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane, destined either to the White House or the US Capitol building, crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA as a brave group of passengers fought to wrest control of the airplane from hijackers. The actions of those brave passengers cost them their lives and the lives of the others onboard, but it prevented a much worse outcome if the terrorists had succeeded.

Today we remember the events of that fateful day we have come to call 9-11. For a very brief time following those events, our nation was united as never before since at least World War II. For a while, Americans filled the pews of churches and for a moment, there was a feeling of revival. However, the revival was short-lived, and our nation quickly followed the path of the rest of the world into the depths of sin and depravity as this nation has never seen.

The list of sins is long and putrid, but the one that captured my mind was spot-lighted by 9-1-1; it is the sin of nature or earth worship. By earth-worship, I am referring to the Globalists’ agenda to “save the planet” from man-made climate change. The plan to save the planet is Satanic. From the beginning of creation, Satan has wanted to destroy the human race who was created in the image of God. Satan hates God, and he hates God’s most prized creation – the human race.

Globalists are not so much interested in saving the planet as they are in eliminating the majority of the human race and controlling those who remain. If they were serious about their concern for the planet, they would set the example by riding their bicycles rather than flying in private jets, and they would build their carbon-hogging mansions as far away from the sea coasts as possible in case the ocean levels really rise as they claim. However, climate change or global warming is not really their concern. They fancy themselves as the ruling elites, and they desire to lord it over a few peasants that they can control. They no longer hide their intentions. If anyone is interested in knowing their plans, they have published it freely on the website of the World Economic Forum.

For the child of God, this should not cause fear; rather it should cause us to watch and give us hope in the promises of God.

Genesis 9 records the end of the Global Flood where God destroyed all air-breathing land-dwelling creatures on earth, animals and humans. The flood waters receded from the land surface of the earth and Noah and his family and all the animals onboard the Ark came out to walk on dry land for the first time in over a year (371 days). The first thing Noah did when he came out was to build an altar and offer burnt sacrifices to the Lord.[1] “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:21-22, emphasis mine).

The Globalists seek to stoke the flames of fear with their predictions of global catastrophe (which, by the way, they are causing by their draconian measures) due to climate change – increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere causing global warming, drastic weather changes bringing about crop failures, famines, and disease. However, note the promise of God – while the earth remains the weather will not change. God, not man, controls the weather.

Globalists also predict that rising global temperatures will cause the ice caps to melt. As a result, the ocean levels will rise and flood all the coastlands. Skeptics often ask, “If there was really a global flood, where did all the water go?” “We now know, of course, that the earth has plenty of water to launch a global flood. It has been calculated that if the earth’s surface were completely flat, with no high mountains and no deep ocean basins, that water would cover the earth to a depth of about 8,000 feet.”[2]

The Globalists’ problem is that they do not know the Creator God who controls the elements and keeps His promises. “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11). Granted, the earth has experienced many devastating floods but never has there been a planet-covering, earth-destroying flood like the one recorded in Scripture.[3]

The destruction of this planet is yet future, but it will not be from ocean levels rising or by warming or cooling temperatures. There will be famines and pandemics, and people will die as a result of wars.[4] However, the world will end according to God’s plan, not by human mismanagement of the environment. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up … Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter 3:10, 12).

Once again, those who have placed their trust in Christ need not worry. “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). That time is nearer today than ever before. We have God’s Word on it.

Reader, Jesus is coming soon. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you are not a member of His body, you will miss Him when He comes. Don’t do that! Please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Genesis 8:20

[2]  “Did Noah’s Flood Cover the Himalayan Mountains?” — https://www.icr.org/article/did-noahs-flood-cover-himalayan-mountains

[3]  Genesis 6-8

[4]  Matthew 24

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