Category Archives: Satan

The Devils Believe!

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19)

I do not run into many Christians these days except at church or at the Christian ministry where I work. Oh, I am certain that they are out there, and it is possible that I encounter them everywhere I go; I just cannot tell them apart from non-Christians. A recent Barna study[1] on the state of the Church in America revealed that while 75% of Americans pray to God, 35% attend a church service, 34% read the Bible, 19% volunteer at a non-profit, 18% volunteer at church, 17% attend adult Sunday school and 16% attend small group.

Judging from those statistics, it seems that at least ¾ of Americans acknowledge God. The 35% and 34% that attend church and read their Bible are pretty much the same group of people, so if we subtract them from the 75% who say they pray to God, that leaves 40% who acknowledge God, but there it ends. Just knowing about God or tacitly acknowledging Him gains no one entry into heaven.

James was brutally direct when he says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). Imagine that! The devils believe, and yet their destiny is sealed. To those who think that “knowing” God and “being good” should be sufficient, “Then shall he [Jesus] say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41, emphasis mine). “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10, emphasis mine).

The devil knows God better than any of us here on earth. The Book of Job records that Satan has direct access to God. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them” (Job 1:6, emphasis mine). The devil is an eyewitness to God’s creative power. In responding to Job’s questions, God replies, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7, emphasis mine). The “morning stars” are the “sons of God” (bene elohim), and they are the whole host of created angelic beings including Satan and all of his angels (demons). They witnessed God’s power in creation. As humans, we benefit from all that God has created, and we marvel at the incredible design in all that He has made; but no one saw Him do it – not even Adam and Eve. However, Satan and all of his demons were eye witnesses to God’s awesome power.

The devils believe, and they “tremble” before God. The Greek word translated “tremble” is phrissō, and it means to “bristle”, to “chill”, or to “shudder.” In other words, in the presence of God, they get goose bumps, their hair stands on end, and they shiver in fear. Jesus illustrated this fact when He confronted a “Legion” of them who had taken possession of a man. “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29, emphasis mine). They know Him, and they know His power. They also know what awaits them in the end. However, no matter how intimately they “know” God, their knowledge does not alter their status. They are doomed to hell.

Reader, do you know God? Do you believe that He exists? Do you even toss a prayer up to Him now and then? Perhaps you even “say grace” before you eat: “God is good. God is great. Let us thank Him for this food. Amen.” Maybe you even visit church from time to time – especially on Christmas and Easter. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). If that is all you have, you are in the same company with the devils, and their destiny is your destiny. However, while their destiny is fixed, you have a way out. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6, emphasis mine). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12, emphasis mine).

“Believing in Him” means more than simply “knowing” about Him. Knowing God will not help the devils, because, while they acknowledge God as God, they do not “submit” to Him as Lord. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandmentsHe that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:15, 21, emphasis mine). The context within which James exposes the “belief” of the devils, he discusses how “true faith” (belief) is expressed. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works … But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:18, 20, emphasis mine). True faith is demonstrated in a tangible ways, not for show nor under duress, nor as a sense of obligation, but out of a sincere love for the Savior, Jesus. Remember, the devils believe, but they are still bound for hell.

Notes:


[1] “The State of the Church 2016” https://www.barna.com/research/state-church-2016/ – accessed 03/31/2017.

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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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Easter’s Wrong!

Shocked

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (Acts 12:4)

The two highest church attendance days are Christmas and Easter. Easter probably wins the high attendance day of the two since it always falls on a Sunday. Neither day is historically accurate, but Easter typically comes nearer being right than does Christmas. Both holidays (holy days) come to us thanks to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in its attempt to “Christianize” the pagan celebrations of Saturnalia, which celebrated the return of the sun, i.e. the days getting longer, and Ishtar, whose origin is rather convoluted but basically has its source in the ancient fertility goddess of Babylon from whence come the icons of Easter eggs and bunnies.[1]

The pagans celebrated their “Queen of Heaven” on the first day of the week (Sunday) following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Some form of this religious practice was observed by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. By the time the RCC came into power, pagans continued the practice, so, in order to accommodate the pagan population, the Church put a Christian spin on the celebration. There are several parallels that can be made between that pagan religion and what we believe as Christians.[2] Jesus was born of a virgin, He died, He was buried, and He rose again. Superficially, the pagan story sounds familiar, but this should not be surprising since Satan is the ultimate counterfeiter. Jesus said, “He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).  Since the celebration of Ishtar fell around the time as the Jewish Passover, and considering the parallels, it was not difficult to remake the pagan celebration into a Christian one. (Oh! Don’t be so shocked! We still do that today. In order to attract the “world” we adopt worldly practices, bring them into the church, and put a Christian face on them. Sometimes “Christian” events look no different than rock concerts. The only differences, if you can hear them, are the words of the songs. And for those of us who love the “old hymns” many of the tunes of those good old hymns originated in pubs and saloons. So, this is not unique to the RCC.)

Despite the title I chose for this article, my purpose here is not necessarily to bash our observance of Easter. (I prefer to call it “Resurrection Day” or “Resurrection Sunday.”) I believe that it is right and proper that we celebrate the Advent of our Lord and His death, burial and resurrection – the resurrection being key. They are highly significant events that altered the course of history and the destiny of man. But if we are going to celebrate these very special days, we should at least try to be “biblical” about it rather than “traditional.” Arguably, Christmas could remain as December 25th. While widely accepted by biblical scholars that the birth of Jesus probably took place around mid-September (more likely around the celebration of the Jewish Feast of Booths or Sukkot), counting back nine months would bring one to around December 25th as the time of conception, which would also be the actual “incarnation” when God came to be “with us” (Emmanuel) as a human embryo.

Easter, however, does not always line up exactly with Passover as is the case this year. Jesus was crucified on Passover. Jesus said, “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified” (Matthew 26:2, emphasis mine). The Jewish day began at sundown, around 6:00 PM, unlike our western day which begins at midnight. On the afternoon before the Passover, Jesus sent His disciples to make arrangements to celebrate the Passover Seder (Matthew 26:18-19). “Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve” (Matthew 26:20, emphasis mine). “When the evening was come,” Passover had begun. After they had  finished the meal, Jesus went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives where He was arrested in the middle of the night – it was still Passover – and illegally tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion (Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19). Jesus died at the ninth hour, 3:00 PM (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:44-46), at the same time that the Passover lamb was being sacrificed at the Temple. It had to be this way in order to fulfill the Law of God given to Moses (Deuteronomy 16:1-6).

So, Jesus died on Passover, at precisely the right time in order to fulfill the Law of God and make a once for all atonement – a covering – for our sins. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11, emphasis mine). “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission [of sins]” (Hebrews 11:28, emphasis mine).

Biblically, then, Easter (Resurrection Day) should be celebrated in association with and very closely linked to the Jewish Passover. “Easter” is nowhere found in the Bible except as mistranslated in our beginning verse above (Acts 12:4). The Greek word translated “Easter” in this verse is pascha, the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew pesach or Passover. Evidently the translators of the King James Bible were taken in by centuries of RCC tradition.

“Easter” is not biblical, and it becomes painfully obvious especially this year. As noted above, Easter is the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the vernal equinox. This year, the vernal equinox took place on March 19. The first full moon after that will be on March 23, making the 27th Easter Sunday. The problem is that the Jewish calendar is lunar, not solar. Nissan (Abib in the OT) is the first month of the Jewish religious calendar, and Passover is celebrated on Nissan 15. This year, 2016, Nissan 15, Passover, begins on Friday, April 22 at 6:00 PM and goes to 6:00 PM Saturday, April 23. We are celebrating Resurrection Day nearly one month before Passover, and that, to me, just seems wrong. You cannot have “resurrection” before the Passover sacrifice! If we were being biblical instead of traditional, we should be celebrating Resurrection Day on Sunday, April 24. Instead, we will just go with the flow and celebrate it according to the Roman Catholic tradition. This is why, especially this year, Easter’s Wrong.

Notes:


[1]  See “The Pagan Origin of Easter” http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract1.html

[2]  Ibid.

 

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Says Who?

After the Flood

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,   (2 Peter 3:3)

“Scoffers,” as defined by the Apostle Peter in the context of this verse, are those who reject the teaching of Scripture concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, but more generally, scoffers ridicule all teachings of Scripture. Scoffers become, as the Apostle Paul described, “fools” – “Professing themselves to be wise” (Romans 1:22). A “fool,” as defined by the Bible, is one who “hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). While the world has always had a good number of “foolish scoffers,” it seems, to me at least, that their ranks have swelled in these “last days,” or perhaps they have just gotten more brazen. The open and unapologetic Christian will sooner or later encounter scoffers that will mock and challenge one’s faith in the Word of God. When that happens, Peter says, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15, emphasis mine).

Recently I had an electronic exchange with a scoffer pretending to be a Christian. (“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20) This scoffer mocked the account of the Global Flood recorded in Genesis. He questioned the construction of the Ark, the collecting of the animals, the supposition that dinosaurs were carried onboard and the logistics of taking care of the menagerie. He asserted that dinosaurs did not live at the same time as the biblical account of the Flood, then chided that it made “me ashamed that fundamentalist Christianity is part of our culture, that these ‘adults’ actually live in a mass fantasy world, manipulated by others in their own fantasy world, some of whom have PhD after their name” – referring to creation scientists. He continued, “Don’t you realize that the New Testament gives us permission to abandon the fantastic myths of the Old Testament, and that the only teaching of Jesus is compassion, for which we don’t need a Bible, or for that matter, a religion?” (emphasis mine)

Proverbs teaches us to “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” (Proverbs 26:5) I assumed the scoffer to be “Christian” from his suggestion “that the New Testament gives us permission to abandon the fantastic myths of the Old Testament.” Although I found it rather astounding that a “Christian” would only accept less than one-third of the Bible. Obviously, he does not know his Bible very well, which is not something for which to be proud, if one really is a Christian. Consider the following:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (John 1:1-3, 14)

Obviously, that is talking about Jesus, but compare that with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Here the New Testament (NT) claims that Jesus IS God. That being the case, consider the following:

But from the beginning of the creation God made them [Adam and Eve] male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. (Mark 10:6-8, emphasis mine)

For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. (Mark 13:19, emphasis mine)

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44, emphasis mine)

In the verse above Jesus was referring to Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent [the devil] was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? … And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die” (emphasis mine)

But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (Matthew 24:37-38, see also Luke 17:26-27, emphasis mine)

Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Matthew 10:15, emphasis mine)

But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Matthew 11:24, emphasis mine)

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (Mark 6:11, emphasis mine)

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:29, emphasis mine)

For as Jonas [Jonah] was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (Matthew 12:40-41, emphasis mine)

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58, emphasis mine)

By now, it should be obvious to even the most Bible illiterate that Jesus, who is God the Creator, affirmed the “myths” of the Old Testament (OT). Not only that, but being God Himself, He is also Author of those “myths.” The NT says that ALL Scripture is “breathed out” by God.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, emphasis mine)

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:20-21, emphasis mine)

The writers of the NT only knew the OT as “Scripture.”  So, how did they view the “myths” of the OT?

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (Ephesians 3:9, emphasis mine)

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8, referring to Genesis 3:1-5, emphasis mine)

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7, emphasis mine)

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (1 Peter 3:20, emphasis mine)

And [God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (2 Peter 2:5-6, emphasis mine)

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7, emphasis mine)

By faith they [Israel] passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. (Hebrews 11:29-30, emphasis mine)

So, the NT confirms all of these “myths.” What then should we do? Discard the New Testament? If Jesus is who the NT says He is, then the scoffer needs to rethink his prideful arrogance. If all the accounts of the OT are simply myths, then Jesus was either misinformed, which precludes His omniscience, or He was lying. In either case, He would be disqualified as God because God, by definition, is all-knowing, and He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18)

If the scoffer really is a “Christian,” (which I doubt), he should take into consideration that the NT confirms the OT miraculous accounts. Therefore, at least by NT standards, the OT is true. If the OT is true, then science rightly practiced will validate what it has to say about Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the division of nations, as well as all other fantastic accounts of the Bible. The Institute for Creation Research does scientific research that confirms what the Bible has to say about creation and other matters of science. The Bible is not a science text book, but when it speaks on scientific matters, it is accurate and trustworthy. The scoffer knows neither the Bible nor science.

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A Day Is A Day

Evening and Morning Was One Day

Evening and Morning Was One Day

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4)

In a previous post, No Gap, I discussed the “Gap Theory” compromise of the biblical creation account.  The Gap Theory is only one of several compromises of theistic evolution.[1] Another popular compromise is the “Day-Age Theory.” This offshoot of theistic evolution maintains that God used long ages – billions of years – and evolution to create rather than the six literal days stated in the Bible. The Day-Age Theory attempts to stretch the days in Genesis 1into six long periods of undetermined time. “[The] ‘days’ of creation were interpreted figuratively as the ‘ages’ of geology.”[2]  In order to back up that assertion, the proponents of the Day-Age Theory will cite the psalm above or 2 Peter 3:8: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Besides the hermeneutical problems with this view, a logical dilemma arises that refutes any form of theistic evolution. To see this, one must have a clear understanding of who God is and what His attributes say about Him. To begin with, God is inconceivably great beyond anything the human mind can imagine. “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, emphasis mine). Considering God’s “thoughts,” one of His attributes is that of omniscience; He is “all-knowing.” Hence, He innately knows all that can be known, and there is nothing He does not know. “Shall any teach God knowledge?” (Job 21:22). “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?” (Job 40:2). “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Since that is so, why would God need to take billions of years to create by means of evolution, slowly developing from a single cell one thing, and then the next, and then the next, etc. until in the end He evolved man? That makes God out to be something of a mad scientist experimenting in a laboratory to see what He can come up with next. God does not need to experiment! God has nothing to learn; He has no need to practice. Besides all that, billions of years of evolution also involves billions of years of death. This is contrary to God’s nature. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4, emphasis mine). God is concerned with life, not death. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26, emphasis mine). If death existed before the completion of creation, God would have erred when He said that it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Besides that, death before the fall creates greater theological problems. (I deal with this issue in No Gap.)

In addition we must consider God’s omnipotence; He is “all-powerful.” There is nothing He cannot do. “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14). “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

Given that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, i.e., there is nothing impossible for Him, it is not unreasonable to believe the Genesis literal six-day account of creation. In fact, given His omniscience and omnipotence, He could certainly have created in an instant what He took six days to create.

Simple logic with a basic understanding of God’s nature refutes theistic evolution and the Day-Age Theory. Furthermore, these compromises fail when applying proper hermeneutical principals. A plain reading and understanding of the text of Genesis 1, as I explained in No Gap, precludes any possibility of long ages. The Hebrew word, yom, for day can only mean a normal 24-hour day. To further stress this point, God encapsulated the completion each creation day between the boundaries of “evening and morning.” There is no other way to interpret this narrative without pulling in from outside sources information not contained within the text. This system of hermeneutics is known as eisegesis – reading into the text what is not there.

The proponents of the Day-Age Theory in attempting to legitimize their compromise will cite 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4, but when properly interpreted, in context, these passages speak of God’s eternal nature and have nothing to do with specifying time limits. God is not bound or limited by time; His transcendent nature places Him outside and inside of time simultaneously. Therefore, one day with Him is like one thousand years and one thousand years is like a day. Peter employs a literary device known as simile; otherwise he would have left off the “like.” Likewise Moses in his psalm says, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4, emphasis mine). But when God says He completed the work in one day, He means one day. So, why did He take six days to create rather than an instant? He created in six days and rested on the seventh day to set the pattern for our work week – six days of work, one day of rest. Have you noticed that the seven-day week is ubiquitous around the world? Furthermore, He wrote it in stone: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11, emphasis mine). The Hebrew word yom for “day” used here in the Fourth Commandment, is the same word yom used in Genesis 1. God was not talking about long ages when He gave this commandment, and He was not talking about long ages when He gave His creation account.

Another argument offered by the compromisers suggests that Genesis uses “poetic” language. This argument falls apart simply by comparing the narrative text of Genesis 1-4 with the literary style of parallelism employed in the Wisdom Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). One does not even need knowledge of Hebrew to see the difference. So, claiming that Genesis 1 employs poetic language is a weak argument in support of a sad compromise.

No long ages fit into the narrative of Genesis 1. The Day-Age Theory compromises and weakens the Word of God. It is a diabolical instrument of Satan to create doubt for God’s Word, and disparage the very character and nature of God. There is no gap in Genesis 1, and there are no long ages. A day is a day, plain and simple.

Notes:


[1]  Henry M. Morris, “Evolution and the Bible,” http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-bible/, accessed 10/23/15.

[2]  Ibid.

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Marring the Image

This photo appeared on my Facebook News Feed. I have no idea who is pictured in this photo.

This photo appeared on my Facebook News Feed. I have no idea who is pictured in this photo.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

The image above appeared on my Facebook news feed recently. Naturally, there were many negative comments made about the young man, who I seriously doubt any of the commentators knew personally. What surprised me was what one young (I presume) lady said in his defense. In part she said, “The guy aint [sic] a pedophile, a murderer or a rapist, he has body modifications, so get over it. It is his body, his decision and he is not harming anyone.” How she knows that I haven’t an inkling. My guess is that she knows him as well as the other commentators, but what struck me was her assertion that “it is his body, his decision and he is not harming anyone.” All three points of her assertion are debatable, so let’s begin with that.

“It is his body.” Is it really? The best place to start is at the beginning. On the sixth day of creation, the Triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).  The Hebrew word translated “image” is tselem and it means an illusion, or resemblance – a representative figure. In other words, we were created to “look” like Him. God has a human body; His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. We were also created in His “likeness.” The Hebrew word translated “likeness” is demûth meaning resemblance or similitude. The commentator Albert Barnes notes that this implies a “‘likeness,’ in any quality.” Adam Clarke said:

The image and likeness must necessarily be intellectual; his mind, his soul, must have been formed after the nature and perfections of his God. The human mind is still endowed with most extraordinary capacities; it was more so when issuing out of the hands of its Creator. God was now producing a spirit, and a spirit, too, formed after the perfections of his own nature. God is the fountain whence this spirit issued, hence the stream must resemble the spring which produced it. God is holy, just, wise, good, and perfect; so must the soul be that sprang from him: there could be in it nothing impure, unjust, ignorant, evil, low, base, mean, or vile. It was created after the image of God … Hence man was wise in his mind, holy in his heart, and righteous in his actions.

So, as I look upon the young man in the picture, I see the image of God albeit marred. We take offense when we see some work of art vandalized. Our sensitivities are bruised when we see graffiti on public structures or buildings. Why? Because deep inside we know that the vandals do not have to right to disfigure the work of another. It is just wrong! In like manner, our bodies are God’s work of art! He created each one individually to bear His resemblance. The psalmist beautifully phrased it this way:

– I will praise thee [God]; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

– My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

– Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:14-16)

Can we really say that our body is our own to do with as we wish – that it’s our decision? The Bible teaches otherwise. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Some may object, “Paul is addressing Christians.” Yes, and I see many “Christians” following the pattern set by pop culture. Again, I do not know anything about the young man in the picture. For all I know, he may claim to be a Christian. One thing is sure, God knows. The point, whether he is or isn’t a Christian, is that he has taken it upon himself to vandalize the image of God that he bears; he has no “right” to do that. Having been created in the image of God, he has free will to do as he wishes, and he has reasoning abilities to distinguish and decide how to exercise his will. But just as any vandal, he does not have the right to disfigure, damage, or destroy another’s property. God’s creation – all of it – is His property.

Who does it harm? Well, think of the possibilities. First of all, this person obviously has a low regard of his own worth. I am no psychiatrist or psychologist, but it seems obvious to me that he is desperately trying to draw attention to himself. He feels invisible otherwise. No one really sees him, so this is one way to shout, “Here I am! See me?” Someone who has a low regard for his own life will certainly not have a high regard for someone else’s life. The young lady who defended him saying that he is not “a pedophile, a murderer or a rapist,” had nothing on which to base that assessment. A pedophile has no regard for the value of a young child’s life. A murderer has no regard for the life of another human being. A rapist does not value the great worth of a woman. None of these sociopaths value the lives of their victims, and upon close examination, none of them value their own lives.

Someone who is willing to distort and disfigure their own appearance cannot be trusted. Some of the commentators on the Facebook post noted that this young man would have a lot of trouble getting a job. Is it any wonder? Unless one is running a tattoo parlor or a pot house, how many employers would be willing to put a face like that on their business? How many (sober) moms out would entrust a young child to the care of someone that looks like this? Yes, I hear the outcries of the self-righteous saying, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1 taken out of context). The “judging” in this case refers to God’s judgement, which is reserved solely to Him. But God, as part of His image, has given everyone the ability to “judge rightly,” i.e., discern. Further down in that same passage Jesus says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6). Obviously, one has to exercise a certain amount of “judgement” to discern what is “holy” and who are the “dogs” and what are “pearls” and who are the “swine.” Likewise we, even in our fallen state, have the ability to make certain judgment calls. In teaching about “false prophets” Jesus said, “[By] their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). What is “fruit” but what a tree puts forth that can be seen and tasted. In the winter, when the trees have all lost their leaves, I can’t tell one tree from another; but when the summer comes, and I see the fruit that a tree is bearing, I know what kind of tree it is. Even if I were blind, I would still be able to smell and taste the fruit. People are the same; if they “look” messed up, they probably are, and they have the potential of harming others.

Now, I do not want to cast a broad net. I realize that people make mistakes that they later regret and their lives change, but the outward scars remain. I also realize that there are some people who look really good on the outside, but inwardly they are rotten to the core. A recent case in point were the would-be ISIS terrorists shot down in Garland, Texas by police before they were able to carry out their act of terror. The two men came from Phoenix, Arizona where neighbors in their apartment complex testified that these were two really nice guys. They were friendly toward their neighbors, helpful, hard workers, etc. – certainly not the kind that would attempt to commit such an atrocity. It goes to show that you cannot always judge by what you see; but most of the time you can.

Leaving the judgment of the heart to God, let’s focus back on just the image in the picture. Here is the image of God, distorted, disfigured, damaged and permanently scarred. What would possess someone do that to themselves? May I suggest Satan? Consider that Satan was created as a high-ranking angel, an archangel to be exact. In ranking, he was next to God (See “Why Satan?”). He, along with all the other angels, was created before God created man on Day Six of creation. He observed God’s care in the creation of man. He noted that God created man in His own image — not so the angels including Satan (Lucifer was his name). Lucifer watched as God gave to man dominion over all of His creation (Genesis 1:26-29), and now the angels were to serve man: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Oh! How this must have galled Lucifer! He has hated man ever since, and his goal from the beginning has been to mar the image of God – to destroy that which God most cherishes. When I look on the face of this young man, I see a young man so deceived by Satan that he succumbed to Satan’s bidding to mar the image of God that he carries. This image saddens me deeply. What saddens me more is when I see “Christians” ignorantly fall for the same deception – piercings, tattoos, immodest dress, vulgar language, etc. What kind of “fruit” do they exhibit? Appearances do matter. No one can judge the heart except God, but we are to bear His image and His likeness, and we cannot do that when we follow that pattern of the world that Satan displays as “pop culture.” Whose image shall we bear? Shall we persist on marring the image of God, or shall we remember that we “have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).

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It’s Not That Bad

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  (Matthew 24:37-39)

Unless you have totally detached yourself from all society, isolated yourself in a cave, or numbed your brain with drugs, you know that the world is in moral decline. We have ejected God from the public square, spurned His law and called what is good evil and what is evil good (Isaiah 5:20). We accept that which is unnatural and hold it up as something to be praised and held in honor. We castigate those who hold firm to their passé morality, and stigmatize them as evil haters. We hail outlaws as heroes and call true heroes cowards. We slaughter our progeny and fearlessly defend the life and welfare of animals. We fight against polluting the planet and think nothing of the moral pollution of our minds. Boy! Are we screwed up!

We hear of wars and rumors of wars. Natural and man-made catastrophes are increasing all over the world, and for the most part, life, for the vast majority of people, goes on as usual. The words of Jesus recorded by Matthew above make me wonder. Just how bad were things at the time of Noah? Genesis records that “it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth … for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:6-7). Things must have been pretty bad for God to take such extreme measures. “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Genesis 6:11-12). Is that not what we see today? Mankind is corrupt and the earth is filled with violence. So, why does Christ delay His return? Surely, things are as bad today as they were in the days of Noah.

It seems that there have been periods in world history that were far worse than they are today, and Jesus did not return then either. When Jesus spoke these words, He was not referring to the moral condition of the world, but rather the suddenness of the destruction that fell upon them. Note that they were conducting life as usual, “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” There is nothing particularly sinful in that, but as they carried on life as usual, destruction came on them suddenly, “And [they] knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). But there may be more to it than they were just carrying on life as usual. The world was violent then and evil was so rampant that God said, “Enough!”

For Christians (and I always feel that I need to qualify that with the adjective “true”) the world does not have to get as bad as in the days of Noah. Paul would remind us, as he did the Christians in Thessalonica, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, emphasis mine). That “falling away” is the Greek word apostasia, which means a “defection from the truth.” We see that happening today, but God still has a remnant. I heard today that the number of “true” Christians, according to Barna, is down to about 7%, but that remnant is still strong. Paul says that the “son of perdition,” a.k.a. “Antichrist,” will not be revealed until “he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7, emphasis mine). That word “lets” (“letteth”) is actually two Greek words: katechō meaning “to hold down,” and arti, meaning “suspension.” That “He” is the Holy Spirit who indwells every child of God. When the Bride of Christ is “taken out of the way,” there will be nothing left to restrain evil.

It’s bad now, but it’s not that bad. Christ will call for His Bride at any moment. As in the days of Noah, life will be going on as usual. Then suddenly, millions of people – Christians – will disappear from all over the earth, and the trouble begins. It’s not that bad now, but it’s going to get bad. I hope you are ready!

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