Tag Archives: Flood

Pre-Flood Fish Food

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30)

Our lead verse above often leads to questions about the diet of carnivores prior to the Fall recorded in Genesis 3. Those who raise the question point out that some animals’ teeth are designed for eating plants and others are designed for eating meat. I can answer that question by simply pointing out that my dogs (and probably yours) eat grass, carrots, apples, potatoes, green beans, watermelon, etc. Not only that, but their kibble is made mostly of vegetable products; they do not have to eat meat to survive. In addition, many animals existing today survive on a purely vegetarian diet even though they have sharp meat-eating teeth;[1] for example, panda bears are strict vegetarians, even though they have a mouth full of sharp meat-grinding teeth! Likewise, dinosaurs were all vegetarians before the Fall[2] for the same reason.

Someone recently asked, “What about the sea creatures? Can we assume that there are plants in the oceans? How would that make any sense? What were the sea creatures feeding on if not one another according to the food chain? Doesn’t that represent some kind of death already existing before the fall?”

That is a very good question. The Bible says that when God finished creation, He said it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Since the Bible calls death “the enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26), death cannot be a part of a “very good” creation. Both humans and animals were vegetarian, as pointed out in our verse above. (Genesis 1:29-30); therefore we can safely conclude that applied to sea creatures as well.

We must first define what “life” is. The Bible says that “life is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). Therefore, anything that has blood has life. “Life,” according to God’s Word, is not the same as defined by modern science. Modern scientists define life as anything that grows and reproduces, so to modern scientists, plants are “alive,” but that is not what the Bible says. Many creatures grow, reproduce and move freely in the oceans, like plankton. These are considered “motile organisms.” However, they have no blood; therefore, according to the Bible, they do not really have “life.” Whales eat tons of plankton every day and so do other sea creatures. Besides that, many kinds of plants grow in the shallows where sunlight for photosynthesis can still penetrate. Therefore, it should not be difficult to conclude that all sea creatures were vegetarian before the Fall (Genesis 3).

Consider also that the Fall took place probably less than a month after creation – perhaps even within the following week. I say that because Adam and Eve were perfect human specimens, created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). They had absolutely no physical flaws. God gave them instruction to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and [fill] the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Eve did not conceive until after the Fall (Genesis 4:1). Considering that a woman’s menstrual cycle is about 28 days and that Eve was the most beautiful woman in the world – literally – Adam, I am certain, would have gotten busy right away to keep God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply.” Eve, being the perfect example of femininity and physical health should have gotten pregnant right away. Since that did not happen until after the Fall, we must conclude that the Fall occurred before she became pregnant, and therefore less than one month after creation. That should not be too long to survive a vegetarian diet. I could even do that for a month, although, I might not be too much fun to be around!

Aside from the academic exercise of a pre-Fall animal diet is the question of death before sin.[3] If death existed before Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the forbidden tree, then how can death be the logical consequence of sin? Death before sin destroys the whole premise of the Gospel. Therefore, biblical compromises like the Gap Theory,[4] the Day-Age Theory,[5] and Theistic Evolution[6] must be rejected. With all of that, we can conclude that all creatures were vegetarian prior to the Fall.

Notes:


[1]  “Why God Created Large, Sharp Teeth?” – http://www.icr.org/article/why-god-created-large-sharp-teeth

[2]  “How Do the Dinosaurs Fit In?” – http://www.icr.org/article/how-do-dinosaurs-fit-in

[3]  “The Curse of Death” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2015/06/14/the-curse-of-death/

[4]  “No Gap” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2015/10/18/no-gap/

[5]  “A Day Is A Day” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2015/10/25/a-day-is-a-day/

[6]  “The Bible Says” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/04/03/the-bible-says/

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Creation, Death, Gospel, Origins, Random Musings, Science

Natural Selection

Animals

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24-25)

Natural selection is the means by which Charles Darwin proposed all life on earth sprang from a common source. From where or how that common source first appeared he did not explain nor can his modern devotees.

According to Dictionary.Com, natural selection is “the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures, as predators, changes in climate, or competition for food or mates, will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits in succeeding generations” (emphasis mine). That is a very reasonable definition of what we observe in nature. (For purposes of this discussion, I will limit “life” to those creatures that have “breath” and “blood” in keeping with the biblical definition of life.) All living things possess traits that enable them to survive and thrive in their unique environments. A population achieves stasis when the dominant traits pass on to succeeding generations. Weaker elements of the population are eliminated either through infanticide (mothers kill their own young when they detect abnormalities) or through genetic deficiencies that prevent certain individuals from surviving in their environment. This “process” assures a healthy population.

Not long ago, my wife and I visited a raptor rescue organization in Sitka, Alaska dedicated to restoring to health bald eagles and other predatory birds found wounded in one fashion or another. Once the birds are healthy, they are returned to the wild. At the shelter, they had a female bald eagle that they kept for public education purposes. She was beautiful except that her upper and lower beak overlapped – crossed over each other – in a way that would prevent her survival in the wild. With her distorted beak, she would not be able kill and eat her prey. She could survive in the shelter only because she was handfed small portions of food that she could manage. The staff at the shelter neutered her so that she could not reproduce and pass on the defective trait to her progeny. However, in the wild, the process of natural selection would ensure that her defect would not propagate because she would likely starve to death before procreating. That is what natural selection accomplishes; it prevents perpetuation of unfavorable traits in succeeding generations.

Darwinian evolutionists acknowledge this attribute of natural selection but further attribute an additional process whereby minor changes in the traits over long periods enhance a creature’s ability to adapt to its environment. They suggest that minor beneficial mutations over time improve the creature’s chances of adapting to changing environments. Never mind that such beneficial mutations have never been observed or that such a notion violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i.e. entropy. Things in nature tend to degenerate; they do not improve. That is why natural selection is important to maintain stasis in a species.  Without it entropy takes over, and a species degenerates to the point of extinction.

Evolutionists “believe it is totally rational to explain that life’s complexity results from the ever-upward pressure of natural selection’s ability to see and save traits, though it, itself, is undirected and absolutely blind to any goal. [They] must use words like ‘undirected’ and ‘blind’ to reinforce that natural selection, not God, creates nature’s design.”[1] “Genetic alterations called mutations can profoundly affect expression. Evolutionists believe a major source of new genetic material is mutation. The vital need, however, is some type of management—a substitute designer that ‘sees,’ ‘selects,’ ‘saves,’ and ‘builds’ with mutations. ‘Natural selection’ is intended to fill this role.”[2]

So, unwittingly, evolutionists attribute to nature intelligence and discernment to select traits suited for the creature as dictated by their environment. Nature and natural selection effectively take the place of God as Designer and Creator.

The absurdity of the evolutionists’ notion of natural selection presents several problems besides the obvious. Nature is just what is. It does not possess the ability to think, to choose, or to select. Nature is simply what exists around us – our environment. It is the air around us, the earth beneath us, and the creatures that share our planet. That is all nature is. That aside, for nature to produce the diversity that we see in life, it would have to overcome the hurdle of irreducible complexity, i.e. everything needed for life and for reproduction must be present all at once in order for the creature to survive. Even the simplest single-cell life form is so complex that it cannot survive if a single protein is missing in its makeup. Not only that, but if nature could manage to create the first single-cell creature from which all other life would spring, it must accomplish this feat not only once, but multiple millions of times simultaneously to ensure survival of the prototype. Nature must then overcome or reverse the effects of entropy to allow minor beneficial mutations to change the creature into other forms without losing the original prototype. Variations at first reproduce asexually, but as they become increasingly complex over millions of years, sexual reproduction becomes necessary. Here nature must jump another huge hurdle. Nature now must create male and female simultaneously. If nature creates a male and no female, or vice versa, the new species dies – no evolution. The more we ponder this belief, the more the problems exacerbate. One wonders how such a notion qualifies as “science.” Of those who religiously hold to this fantasy, the Bible says, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

God built into His creation a system by which stasis can be achieved and maintained. This system might be called natural selection or it might be called survival of the fittest, but in either case, the purpose is to maintain the health – the good traits – in a population. In nature, there exists a food chain where predator lives off prey, but if the predator exhausts its food supply, the predator will starve and die out as well. When the jackrabbit population explodes, the coyotes feast, until the jackrabbit population diminishes. Then the coyote population begins to die off. Only the strongest of the population survive. Meanwhile, with the diminishing coyote population, the jackrabbits multiply and there is resurgence. Eventually the coyote population comes back due to the abundance of food, and the cycle starts over. This is by God’s design and it has nothing to do with evolution. Following the Global Flood recorded in Genesis 6-9 God promised, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). This is exactly what we see in nature. When God created sea creatures and creatures of the air on Day Five (Genesis 1:20-23), He determined that they would reproduce “after their kind.” He created them all complete and perfectly suited to their environments, and He declared His creation “good” (Genesis 1:21). When God created the land animals on Day Six (Genesis 1:24-25), He determined that they would reproduce “after their kind.” He created them all complete and perfectly suited to their environments. The Bible makes no allowance for evolution. Natural selection, as a system designed by the Creator, serves to maintain the health of a population, but its design does not promote evolution of one “kind” into another. God does not need “nature” to help Him create. He created nature, and all the systems needed to run this wonderfully complex world in which we live. Nature does not “select.” God creates!

Notes:


[1]  Randy Guliuzza, P.E., M.D., “Natural Selection Is Not ‘Nature’s Intelligence’” http://www.icr.org/article/natural-selection-not-natures-intelligence/

[2]  Randy Guliuzza, P.E., M.D., “Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: How Natural Selection Is Given Credit for Design in Nature” http://www.icr.org/article/darwins-sacred-imposter-how-natural/

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Creation, Evolution, Origins, Religion, Science, Theology

Loving God

Woman in Worship 6214442_ml

If ye love me, keep my commandments … If a man love me, he will keep my words. (John 14:15, 23)

How can one love God? Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). How does one love or worship “a Spirit”? By definition, a spirit is immaterial. A spirit cannot be heard, seen, smelled, tasted, or touched. Those who choose not to believe in God use this as an excuse. Understandably, it is difficult for us material beings to relate to the Spirit of God. Some, I think, attempt to make the connection by raising hands and swaying to the music of a Sunday morning worship service in order to achieve some sort of euphoric state. (I’m not making fun. I have no way of knowing what goes on inside the heart of others. I’m only making an observation.) I cannot do that. I am not a touchy-feely person that requires a lot of external stimulus. I know God intuitively. God is real regardless of how I feel or whether I can sense Him or not, but to love Him, I must understand His personhood.

One aspect of God’s personhood is His desire to have fellowship with His creation. From the beginning we read, “And they [Adam and Eve] heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day … And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:8-9). God feels hurt when betrayed, but acts justly, yet with mercy. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, God expressed hurt when He said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22), and although He had created the Garden of Eden just for them, He acted justly “and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden” (Genesis 3:22-23). Yet He showed mercy toward the couple. Rather than kill them outright, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 2:21) substituting the life of innocent animals to cover their sin.

From the beginning we find that, while God is just in punishing sin, His love for us, His creation created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), manifests itself in His grace and mercy. We see this pattern revealed again in His dealing with Cain for murdering Abel (Genesis 4). We sense God’s pain: “And he said [to Cain], What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). Because of this horrific act, God executed justice by banishing Cain to a life of wandering (Genesis 4:12), but He showed mercy on him by placing an identifying mark on him to keep others from taking revenge on him (Genesis 4:15).

Still, a greater example comes from the Flood account in Genesis 6-9. By that time mankind had become so wicked and corrupt, “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:6, emphasis mine). The word translated “repented” is the Hebrew word nâcham, which means to “sigh” or “breathe strongly,” or, by implication, “to be sorry.” It does not mean that God changed His mind (Malachi 3:6). The end of that verse expresses God’s hurt over man’s depravity: “it grieved him at his heart.” God’s justice came in the form of the Flood. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8, emphasis mine). Because of His grace, i.e. love, God showed mercy in saving His creation from complete destruction.

We could go on and on with examples, but from the beginning of Genesis, the pattern was set for the personhood of God. He is just, loving and merciful (and much more). We should also note, in these first examples that it is man who does wrong, but it is God who first responds out of His love for us. Indeed, “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). John writes in his Gospel, “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, emphasis mine). The word order in the Greek emphasizes God’s love – “so loved God the world.” So great is God’s love that He acted. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

The shama proclaims “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, He quoted the shama, (Matthew 22:36-38). It seems rather paradoxical that God, who first loved us, demands that we love Him when our natural inclination is to reject Him. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:10-11, emphasis mine). Yet this jilted lover reached down to those who rejected him (John 1:10-11) and literally gave His life to rescue us from the very clutches of eternal death.

When we come to a deep understanding of that reality, our desire should be to return that love. But how? We can’t wrap our arms around Him. We can’t kiss His wounded head, hands, and feet. How can we express our love for Him in a tangible way that truly demonstrates our love?  How can we “love the LORD [our] God with all [our] heart, and with all [our] soul, and with all [our] might”? God gave the answer. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). In short, we demonstrate our love for God by obeying His commandments. Someone might say, “But that is Old Testament. We live under the New Testament; we are not bound by the Law.” That is both true and false. We cannot be saved by obeying the Law, but that does not nullify the Law. It still serves as our standard, i.e. our guide book. There is a saying, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

The Law gives us something to aim for. The fact that we cannot perfectly meet that standard is the reason Jesus had to die in our place. And He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Note that “commandments” is plural. Jesus, who is God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14), gave those commandments to Moses, and He says, “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). However, He did condense all of His Law down to two: (1) “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  (2) “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Then He said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). If we can do all of that, then we are keeping all of His commandments, and thereby we demonstrate our love for Him. But how do we know we are keeping those two? Check the guide book – the Old Testament.

Loving God has nothing to do with the euphoric experience you get, or don’t get, out of Sunday morning “worship” service. Loving God means obeying His commandments. That is how you show your love for God, and no fuzzy feelings are required.

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NOah Sail!

Ark Model Display at the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Ark Model Display at Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (Genesis 6:14)

The creation ministry Answers in Genesis opens its long-awaited project the Ark Encounter on July 7, 2016. As implied by the name, the project promises to give visitors an “encounter” with Noah’s Ark. The main attraction is a full-scale model of Noah’s Ark based on the Egyptian Royal cubit of 20.6 inches and making the model an enormous 515 feet long. That is almost the length of 1 ¾ football fields.

The Ark will house many exhibits including life-sized animal models – many animated to be sure – to help visitors experience what life on the Ark might have been like. This will include the storage of food for the crew of eight, plus that of all the animal passengers. It will instruct the visitors on how the care and feeding of so many animals could be accomplished with only eight people onboard.

noah-arkThe importance of this attraction lies in the understanding that a large majority of people today reject the Bible as myth due to accounts such as that of the Global Flood recorded in Genesis 6-9. Even many liberal theologians compromise with the secularist in attributing the origin of the account to the Epic of Gilgamesh, or suggest that the Flood was only local and not global as described in Scripture.  Many adults today, if they think of Noah’s Ark at all, remember the stories read to them as children and remember the pictures of a tiny little boat with animals sticking their heads out of different port holes. Or they remember cute little bathtub toys with which they played at bath time. So, the idea of a wooden vessel large enough to house so many animals defies reason. The Ark Encounter will change that thinking, or at least give them something to think about.

I look forward to visiting sometime after it opens, and I would encourage others to plan a trip up to northern Kentucky to experience it for yourself. While there, you can also visit Answers in Genesis Creation Museum. To get the most out of the visit, I would plan for at least three days. It will really be worth your time.

ark sail

The Sail

Not to take anything away from this most excellent endeavor by Answers in Genesis, but I do have one small bone to pick with the exterior design of the Ark. The ark replica under construction sports a tall stationary “sail” at the bow of the “ship” and a rudder-like structure, called a skeg, at the stern of the “ship.”

The Skeg

The Skeg

Tim Lovett is the designer of the ark replica. I do not know anything about Mr. Lovett, but according to the cover on his book Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box, he is a naval expert and a mechanical engineer. Lovett employed sound reasoning in the design of his ark. The “sail” is a wooden superstructure that rises high above the weather deck along the centerline of the ship. I say “ship” because the hull construction of this ark resembles what one would imagine for a modern ship with a tapered prow and stern. Hence the idea of “Thinking Outside the Box.” Prior to Lovett’s ship-like ark, most conventional thought rendered the Ark more box shaped – like a barge – than a navigable ship. Though unconventional, Lovett’s design makes good sense. The design prevents “broaching” i.e. catching a wave broadside. A tsunami-like wave in order of 100 ft or higher (which we would expect from the catastrophe described in the Flood account) could possibly swamp and capsize the vessel. On a navigable ship, an experienced sea captain would turn his ship into the wave to prevent broaching, but the Ark was not a navigable ship. Taking this into consideration, Lovett designed his ark with a sail and skeg that take advantage of the wind that generates the waves (sometimes but not always) and the motion of the wave to turn the ark in the direction of the wave and accomplish something similar to that of the experienced sea captain. It really is a very clever design.

Lovett defends his design by pointing to the ship construction of the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, etc., and suggests that pre-Flood people probably possessed similar shipbuilding skills. If that were the case, then Noah probably had access to the same technology, and assuming, as we do, that pre-Flood people were actually of higher intellect than modern man (being that they were genetically closer to the perfectly created man, Adam), then it stands to reason that Noah had the intellect, knowledge and skills to build such a vessel.

There Lovett argues from scriptural silence. The Bible makes absolutely no mention of maritime travel in the pre-Flood world. We can surmise that they were technologically skilled by the descriptions given in Genesis 4:20-22, but the description is rather limited: they kept cattle, made musical instruments, and worked in brass and iron. That is really not up to the standard that we might consider technology today, however, that is not the point of the narrative. These people were not “knuckle draggers;” they were highly intelligent, yet there is nothing said about their abilities to navigate the open seas. Would that not be significant? So, Noah’s shipbuilding skills are merely a product of Lovett’s speculation, and we should leave it at that. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we remember that it is “speculation,” not Bible.

Let us consider what the Bible does say. We know that the human race had become wicked and corrupt (Genesis 6:1-7) to the point that God had no other option than to destroy them all; “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). God instructed Noah to build an ark. The Hebrew word translated “ark” is têbâh, and it means “box” – not a “ship” or a “boat.” It is a box.  Further, God instructed Noah what building materials to use: gopher wood and pitch. No one knows what gopher wood is. Some think it is some kind of extinct tree, and some think it may have been a method of construction or a process of laminating wood. We do not know. The point is that Noah knew what it was. “Pitch” is the Hebrew word kôpher which literally means “cover,” the same word that is used for “atonement.” Some have suggested that it was bitumen – a tar – but whatever it was, it was meant to seal the Ark and make it watertight.

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Noah was given the dimensions for the Ark 300 x 50 x 30 cubits (Genesis 6:15), and it was to have three decks and animal pens (Genesis 6:14).  God’s instructions also included a “window” (Genesis 6:16). The Hebrew word translated “window” is tsôhar, which literally means “double light,” and is translated elsewhere in the O.T. as “noon” or “midday.” Considering these details, one would think that something so prominent as a “sail” or a “skeg” would have been noted. But again, this is an argument from silence that does not necessarily negate Noah having added this detail of his own volition. We can infer from Scripture that Noah employed some of his own initiative when, at the end of the Flood, we read, “And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made” (Genesis 8:6, emphasis mine). In this case the Hebrew word translated “window” is challôn, which is always translated as “window” in the O.T. This was something different than the “window” God specified for construction.

So, could the Ark withstand the ravages of the catastrophic global flood without the benefit of a sail and skeg? To answer that question, we must answer some fundamental questions. Who brought the judgment upon the human race (Genesis 6:7)? Who decided to save Noah and his family (Genesis 6:18)? Who gave the order to build the Ark and provided the specifications (Genesis 6:14-16)? Who selected and called the animals to the Ark when it was completed (Genesis 7:7-9)? Who caused the fountains of the deep to burst and for the rain to fall for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:11-12)? Who caused the waters to continue to rise for 150 days (Genesis 7:24)? The answer to all of those questions is God. It was all God’s doing. The next question to ask is: “What was God’s purpose for the Ark?” “Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive” (Genesis 6:20, emphasis mine).

Considering that God directly planned, directed, and superintended every detail of this catastrophic event, it stands to reason that (since His plan included preserving life on the Ark) He also kept the Ark safe through the turbulence of the storm.

Noah was instructed to build a big box, not a ship. God did not require him to possess shipbuilding skills, only enough skills to build a watertight box. God would take care of the rest. So, while Tim Lovett’s design is clever, well thought out, and reasonable, it is really unnecessary when God’s plan all along was to preserve life. More than that, a simple box preserved in turbulent waters, glorifies God more than a sleek ship designed by man. A ship designed to resist rough waters glorifies the ingenuity of man; but with a simple box, God gets all the glory.

The Ark is a “type” of Christ. Salvation is through grace; it is not by works of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). Those who place their trust in Christ are saved from the storms of life and preserved to enter into a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). It is all God’s doing. The only thing man needs to do is obey God’s call and enter through the only door (John 14:6) to be saved. No clever scheme of man, no matter how refined, can compete with God’s very simple design.

So, if you have an opportunity to visit the Ark Encounter, please do so. It will really be a blessing to you. But when you look at that massive sail and skeg, take it for what it is: a clever product of someone’s imagination. And remember, God does not need our help to accomplish His will.

You might also be interested in reading about the Arm model I built: Building the Ark.

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Ready

 

Are you ready question - vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night … But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4)

What kind of future events fill you with anticipation? You know the feeling. Like the first time that most beautiful, unattainable girl agreed to go out with you. That was one time you took extra time to make sure you smelled good, had every hair in place (I remember I used to have hair!) and your duds were in keeping with the latest style. Remember the feeling in the pit of your stomach, the sweaty palms, and the dry mouth? Remember how you rehearsed in your mind the lines you would say and your concern over making a good impression? How about the time you bought your very first new car? You spent weeks researching all the specifications, options, and colors until you found exactly the one that was perfect for you. You couldn’t wait for the day to go down to the dealer and pick out your baby. Then you sat for hours in the salesman’s office fighting to get the best deal while the salesman ran back and forth to the manager’s office doing the deal dance. Finally you had an agreement, but then you had to qualify for credit. Remember the agony? Would your credit pass? Would that shiny new baby ever be yours?

That is kind of how I feel about the imminent return of Christ. I am sure some of you feel the same way. What is He waiting for? What is taking Him so long? What has to happen before the time is right? The answer to that last question is “nothing.”  Nothing needs to happen next for the Lord Jesus Christ to return for His Bride the, the Church, i.e. the body of true believers in Christ. That is what makes His return “imminent;” it could happen at any moment.

The stage is set. Israel is back in her land (Isaiah 51:11; Jeremiah 30:9-10; Jeremiah 31:7-13; Ezekiel 31:1-14; Zephaniah 3:20). There are wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East (Matthew 24:6). Jerusalem has become “a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3). The depravity of mankind is rapidly increasing. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold (Matthew 24:12). The world is “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Back[stabbers], haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, 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 1:29-32). People are “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, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2-4).

Jesus said that the days before His return would be like the days of Noah. So what was going on in the days of Noah? Although Genesis 6:1-5 gives us pause to scratch our heads, it portrays some very unnatural activity taking place. The “sons of God” (bene Elohim) are understood to be angelic beings in other places in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Job. They “came into the daughters of men” (Genesis 6:4). The phrase “came into” implies a sexual union. The objection to this comes from the words of Jesus who said that in heaven we neither “marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God” (Matthew 22:30). So, does that mean that angels cannot procreate or that procreation won’t be going on in heaven? Whatever was going on between the “sons of God” and human women was creating a creating a race of giants. The Hebrew word for “giants” there is nephalim, meaning “fallen ones.” God found Noah to be “perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:9). The Hebrew word translated “perfect” is tâmı̂ym, meaning “entire, without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sound, without spot, undefiled, whole.” In other words, Noah’s generations, i.e. he and his family, had not been contaminated by this mingling by the “sons of God” with the “daughters of men.” Whether by copulation or by some other means, the human genome was compromised. Jesus said the days before His return would be like that. You might ask, how can that be? I don’t want to chase this rabbit right now, but you may want to watch these two online videos to gain some insight: https://prophecywatchers.com/videos/tom-horn-and-joe-ardis-inhuman/ and https://prophecywatchers.com/videos/tom-horn-joe-ardis-inhuman-part-2/. But in short, there are well meaning scientists that are working on human DNA manipulation to “improve” the human race. To hear them talk about it, their goal seams quite noble – engineer humans that require less food to eliminate hunger. But this is very real, and it is taking place right now. Naturally, this kind of thing is always kept from the general public for obvious reasons. So when Jesus said “as the days of Noah” I do not believe He meant things were just going on as normal – marrying and giving in marriage. No, I think He meant more than that.

So, the time is near. Christians do not have to look for the Antichrist to come on the scene because we will not be around when he shows up. In fact, our presence here in the world is the only think keeping him at bay (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). So Christians should be looking for the Christ not the Antichrist.

I am ready. Are you? Those who love His appearing are promised a special reward – “a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Of course, being ready does not mean packing your bags and waiting for your ride. Jesus left us work to do (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) and He instructed us to “Occupy til I come” (Luke 19:13) especially “as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Still, I wish He would come already. I am ready!

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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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Eyes That See Not

Miracles 9812570_ml

Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.  (Ezekiel 12:2)

In this day of technological marvels it is increasingly more difficult to believe in miracles. It seems that every extraordinary accomplishment or phenomenon can be explained by some naturalistic means. Today we possess the ability to send men to the moon and return them safely. We send probes deep into space to explore distant planets in our solar system. Our space telescopes look deep into the far reaches of our universe. Medical science, while it has yet to find the cure for cancer, has made remarkable progress in healing patients having the dread disease. Scientists in the study of eugenics continue to make inroads into the modification of human DNA with the hopes of creating super humans with capabilities for greater physical endurance, greater mental agility and intellectual acuity, better vision with the ability to see into the infrared light spectrum, and all of this while consuming less food.[1],[2] This, of course, is for the betterment of mankind, and is seen as our next step in human evolution.

No wonder, then, that scoffers deny the miracles recorded in the Bible. However, this is nothing new. Skepticism in the Word of God has existed since the Garden of Eden: “Yea, hath God said …” (Genesis 3:1). During the Age of Enlightenment (a misnomer in my opinion) “reason” supplanted “faith” so that every effect resulted from a natural cause. Reason, then, eliminated miracles because from this perspective, everything has a natural explanation. Enlightened theologians attempted to explain the miracles of the Bible though natural means. Some who were less capable for the task simply rejected the miracles altogether and relegated them to the category of myth. Thomas Jefferson, for example, redacted the New Testament by excluding every record of Jesus’ miracles from the Gospels.[3]

Rejection of the Bible continues today in greater force due to our technological advancements. So, what is a miracle, anyway? By definition, a miracle is “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause[4] (emphasis mine). By definition, a miracle has no natural explanation and can only be attributed to the supernatural. Arguably, the greatest miracle of all is the universe itself, and all that it contains – from the largest star to the tiniest subatomic particle. Even though there is great disagreement among atheistic scientists about the origin of the universe, they all tenaciously seek a natural explanation for the existence of it all. The Big Bang theory is in such crisis that some have proposed an “eternal” universe disregarding the Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy – everything is dying). Yet the Bible offers the simplest explanation of all: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, emphasis mine) – beginning (time), heaven (space), earth (matter/energy) – the universe. The existence of the universe is a miracle – an immense effect brought about by a “supernatural” cause – God.

If one rejects this greatest of all miracles, which has no natural explanation despite all the theories man can contrive, then no other miracles recorded in Scripture are credible. For this reason, liberal theologians contend that the Global Flood (Genesis 6-9) was just local in spite of the unreasonableness of the command to build an Ark for the event. The confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel mythically explains the diversity of languages. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah resulted from an asteroid impact or a long-since vanished volcano. The Red Sea crossing came about by a hot easterly wind that died up the very shallow Reed Sea – a marsh. The quail with which God fed the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16:13) were migrating and coincidently tired out exactly where Israel was camped so that about a million Israelites ate until full. Downplaying such miracles takes little effort, but they are equally defensible by employing some simple logic. What about the sun stopping (Joshua 10:11-13), or regressing ten degrees (2 Kings 20:11)? Can an ax head really float (2 Kings 6:5-6)? These things defy the physical laws as we know them, and since the skeptic fails in concocting natural explanations for such occurrences, these miracles are attributed to either fantasy or myth. Either way, the skeptic rejects all miracles. For the skeptic, miracles either have a natural explanation, or they will have a natural explanation when “science” learns more, or they are simply fantasy.

These are they who “have eyes to see, and see not” (our starting verse); but for those who “have eyes to see,” miracles are real, and they happen every day.  The creation of a new life in the womb occurs thousands of times daily. Those who “see not” attribute that to natural biological reproduction. But out of millions of sperm cells deposited during sexual intercourse, how does one particular sperm cell just happen to fertilize one particular ovum to create one very unique individual? Who writes the DNA code for the 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent) that make up the one-of-a-kind person we are individually? Even identical twins are not exactly identical. The naturalist has no explanation for this and attributes it to random chance. God says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee …” (Jeremiah 1:5). Those who have “eyes to see” respond, “I will praise thee; 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). They who “have eyes to see, and see not” suffer from a spiritual blindness that prevents them from seeing the supernatural work of God – the miracles that take place every day.

They who have “eyes to see,” believe the words of Jesus when He said, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). When God answers their prayer, they who have “eyes to see” recognize the Source and give credit to Whom credit is due.

Recently my brother-in-law was involved in a farming accident where he was run over by a huge farm tractor. There are so many ways that he could have died that day. He tells me that when the tractor ran over him he was completely at peace knowing that he would soon see Jesus. He says, “I kept looking around expecting to see heaven, but all I could see was corn stalks.” The tractor he had been driving was pulling a trailer full of silage, and it was coming toward him to get him a second time. The tractor had crushed his pelvis and broken his hip so that he was unable to move, yet he felt that “Someone” rolled him out of the way of the oncoming trailer. Some time elapsed before his son-in-law found him and contacted emergency services. He was flown to Omaha where he spent two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. He had several surgeries to reconstruct his pelvis and replace his hip. Today, nearly four months after the accident, he has returned to work and is walking with the assistance of a cane. The skeptic would attribute his recovery to the excellent work of the physicians that attended him, and they completely miss the miracle that transpired. Those who have “eyes to see” know that even before anyone knew of the accident, God was already at work to preserve his life. Then as soon as “believing” friends and family were made aware of the situation, petitions to the Father started flooding the gates of heaven on his behalf and continued throughout his recovery. Those with “eyes to see” see the miracle that those who “see not” miss.

For them who “see not” the miracles that God performs every day but have a desire to see, Jesus says, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). “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). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).  To have eyes that see requires only that one take God at His Word and ask. “[I]f thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). If you have “eyes that see not,” Jesus says, “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Revelation 3:18). That “eye-salve” is the Word of God contained in the Bible. It will teach you how to see the miracles of God.

Notes:


[1]  http://www.inhumanthemovie.com/

[2]  Horn, Thomas and Nita Horn, Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald The Dawn Of TechnoDimensional Spiritual Warfare, (Defender Publishing LLC, January 1, 2011)

[3]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

[4]  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/miracle?s=t

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