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    Dating biblical events in an old earth framework

     

    As Christians who believe in the Bible, of course we think the events of the Bible happened just as the Bible records them. But when did they happen? This article will examine this question. The Last Common Denominator Young earth creationists say that the world is 6,000 years old, therefore they would say the events in Genesis happened less than 6,000 years ago. Unlike young earth creationists, old earth creationists simply don’t know exact dates (some YECs believe Adam was created at 9:00 A. M., on October 23, 4004 B. C.!) However, old earth theory requires these events to be older, because of the scientific evidence which must match the Bible’s story. We will start with the last common denominator, and work our way back to the Garden of Eden. There is no way to know for certain what the proper age is for any of these events, but we can make certain speculations about the age. For instance, for many years, scientists thought that the first humans in North America ventured here via a land bridge between Russia and Alaska about 13,000 years ago. Another site, the Meadowcroft site in Pennsylvania, contains artifacts dated to 16,000 years ago. Based on this and other discoveries, many scientists now believe that North Americans also arrived via boat, prior to the Bering Straight land bridge of 13,000 years ago.2 Thus, for archaeological evidences, the earliest date we have for North America is about 16,000 years ago. The most recent event, which would be the last common denominator for all human races, is spoken of in Genesis 11. The Tower of Babel tells the story of how God confused the language of the people, and spread them throughout the world. Thus, these early North Americans must have migrated at some point after the Tower of Babel. Therefore, the only thing we can say with any certainty is that the events of Genesis 11 happened sometime prior to 13,000 to 16,000 years ago. This is our starting point for understanding dating of events within our old earth framework, and it is only a rough estimate of the real date for the Tower of Babel. We only know for certain that the Tower of Babel could not be younger than 13,000 years ago (or could it? More on this later.) However, this assumes that the people spread from the Tower within a few years of God confusing their language. Did they come directly from the Tower to North America…or did they gradually spread in North America’s direction. This could greatly add to the time since the Tower of Babel. The Flood of Noah The next event prior to that would be the Flood of Noah. We do have a good estimate for the time from Noah’s Flood to the Tower of Babel, as you will see. According to Genesis 9:28, we know that Noah lived 350 years after the flood. Genesis 10 then goes on to list the genealogies of the descendants of Noah’s Ark. It is apparent that the genealogies of Genesis 10 are not necessarily in chronological order with Genesis 11. In other words, the Tower of Babel in Chapter 11 occurred sometime in the middle of these genealogies in Chapter 10. I say this because Genesis 11:1 says “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” However, we read in Genesis 10:4, 20, that the clans each had their own language. In fact, Genesis 10:25 actually refers to the events of the Tower of Babel. Right in the middle of Shem’s descendants it says “One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided” (NIV). (Other versions say “the inhabitants” of earth were divided up). Concerning these genealogies, the NIV states that in the original Hebrew, Sons could also mean descendants, successors, or nations. While not significant for the genealogies between the Flood and the Tower, we will come back to this thought later. The most definitive passage for dating back to Noah’s Flood is Genesis 11:10-19. This gives the descendants, from Noah’s son Shem, to Peleg, who we previously learned was alive when the Tower of Babel incident occurred. Thus… 0 Shem is 98 when the flood ended 2 Shem is 100 when Arphaxad is born 37 Arphaxad is 35 when Shelah is born 67 Shelah is 30 when Eber is born 101 Eber is 34 when Pelag is Born 310 Pelag lived to be 209 Using this chart, the Flood must have happened a minimum of 101 years prior to the Tower of Babel. If the split at the Tower was caused by God near the time of Pelag’s birth, this would lend support to his father, Eber, naming him after this event. However, we can’t be certain of this. The only thing we know with any degree of certainty is that it happened during Peleg’s lifetime. Thus we have a range for the Flood of 101 to 310 years prior to the Tower of Babel. Adding this to our minimum age of 13,000 to 16,000 years, and we come up with a range of 13,101 to 16,310 years ago for Noah's Flood. This is assuming the migrations to North America involve post-Adamic men...more on this later. Eve Next we must consider mankind’s origins. The most favored theory now is the “Out of Africa” theory, which shows that a genetic “Eve” from which we are descended came from Africa about 150,000 years ago. This “genetic” evidence is based on mutation rates of mitochondrial DNA of 1 every 20,000 years. Some research suggests a ratio of 1 to 10,000, thus cutting 150,000 to 75,000 years. Interestingly, the people from this genetic Eve are said to have migrated from Africa to the Middle East, and from there they spread out over the world. Although the African Eve is said to be 150,000 years ago, the migration to the Middle East is said to have occurred around 80,000 years ago. Thus, 80,000 years ago is the last common location for all mankind (using this model). This brings up an apparent problem. According to the Bible, Eve came from the Garden of Eden, which was located in the Middle East. How could our genetic common ancestor have come from Africa? It is based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). mtDNA is passed down from mother to offspring. Unlike other DNA, mtDNA is passed down without change, without merging with the male mtDNA. It is subject to random mutations, thus over time, minor differences can be shown. If I have a specific mutation, and someone else also has it, it confirms that sometime in the past we had a common maternal ancestor. This ancestor could be a few generations, or a hundred generations ago. Using mtDNA extrapolations, and assuming a mutation rate of 1 per 20,000 years, and by examining mtDNA evidence of fossil hominids, they arrive at the conclusion that there was a genetic Eve from Africa 150,000 years ago. This may be true, but it doesn’t affect our conclusions…more on that later. Now, on to the next piece of the puzzle. We must consider when migration from the Middle East occurred. Archeological and DNA evidence suggests human migration to Europe about 50,000 years ago, and migration to Australia no later than 40,000 years ago. With the first migration from the Middle East around 50,000 years ago, where does this leave us? We now have a range of 50,000 to 16,000 years ago for the last common location for our ancestors…the Tower of Babel. This is assuming that we are all descended from these migration peoples. However, this may or may not be the case. Will the Real Eve Please Stand Up! How could there be a genetic Eve in Africa 150,000 years ago, and a Biblical Eve in the Middle East? At some point, Adam and Eve (the Biblical ones) were created. Before Adam and Eve, other non-soulish hominids were created by God. We share similarities in mtDNA with these pre-Adamic hominids. For instance Neanderthal mtDNA differs from ours by 7 percent…enough to show similarities (93 percent), but far enough apart to prove that they did not contribute to our current gene pool. The hominids that existed 50,000 to 150,000 years ago also shared a significant portion of their mtDNA with us. It gives the appearance of God using each successive pre-Adamic hominid to refine the model. Is this saying God could not create us perfectly in the first place? No, it merely is a record of what God did. We cannot infer anything from this about God’s power and abilities…after all, can you create a hominid? No, you can’t…you are not God! Why He did it that way, we don’t know. We only know that at some point, He created a hominid in His image (with an eternal spirit), and ended the creative process. Therefore, these early hominids from mtDNA evidence, that are said to be our ancestors, may not be at all! They may have spread all over the world, and then when God created Adam and Eve, some 20-30,000 years ago (?), these others went extinct. We share most of our mtDNA with them because they were our “template.” My Proposal for Adam and Eve’s Date of Creation One thing is clear…we now have one hominid species, created in the image of God. Where in the past can we point to a place in time, when the last non-modern hominid went extinct? This would be a good basis for the maximum dating of the Biblical Eve. This would be the Neanderthal, which went extinct around 29,000 years ago. Although not conclusive, it may be safe to assume that when God made Adam and Eve, his final creation, there were no previous hominids present. This would put the Garden of Eden no later than 29,000 years ago, and would allow plenty of time for the migration to the Americas after the Tower of Babel, which occurred a minimum of 16,000 years ago. With this conclusion, prior dated hominids do not create a problem for us…they were merely non-soulish hominids, not in God’s image. To tie up loose ends...remember our Tower of Babel date, which had to be at least 13,000 years ago...not so. I give 29,000 years as the oldest date for Eden, but it could have been younger. These 13,000 year old migrators could have died when Adam and Eve were created. Thus, they could have been pre-Adamic, non-eternal hominids. So, we really have a range of 29,000 years, all the way down to 6,000 years, if you like. Hebrew Scholars Dates for the Garden, as given by some of the best Hebrew scholars, place it between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago, with some scholars placing it as young as 6,000, or as old as 60,000 years ago. This is within the range of 29,000 years ago or later which I propose as the oldest possible date for the Garden. Conclusion The bottom line is that we don’t know the exact dates for early Biblical events. All we can do is make an educated guess. Since the last non-modern hominid died out 29,000 years ago, it is safe to assume that Biblical history starts sometime within the last 29,000 years. Does it matter when it started? Praise the Lord that it does not. Our salvation does not depend upon the timing of God’s creation. Thus, you are free to debate these matters and come to your own conclusions. I hope that this article provides you with some food for thought to get you started. This is a condensed article. For a list of references, access the original page on the Answers In Creation website. This article comes from the Answers In Creation website ( answersincreation. org). The source article is located at answersincreation. org/biblicaldating. htm.

         
    Dealing with heart disease

     

    Dealing with Heart Disease. There are two different types of Heart Disease, the disease of the flesh and the disease of the spirit. For a moment I would like to talk to you about the Heart Disease of the flesh. In 1999 I had a massive heart attack, in fact I had three. On the first one I was pronounced dead by a Doctor from a prestigious Hospital. God in His mercy raised me up to continue my ministry, but He also allowed my body to maintain the Disease. I understand what many go thru when their hearts fail them. I know the pain and sometimes the despair that follows the attack. Fear wasn't with me but was rebuked. I was ready to leave this world and be with my Saviour. Living with this disease is sometimes difficult because the symptoms don't show outwardly. Have you ever heard people say, ” I don't see a thing wrong with you.?” I have. Heart disease is a silent killer that gives little or no warning just as Cancer. There sometimes is no outward sign that a person has the disease. I have experienced, nights without sleep, pains that come and go and depression that I have to rebuke. Yes, ministers also are attacked by Satan. I know how it affects family and friends. Many friends walk away from you, because they don't want to deal with it. The best friend I have is my wife Juanita. She is always there with words of incouragment and comfort. This reminds me of the times Jesus sent out the disciples by twos, one would be able to lean on the other and help each other. Thats how I feel about my wife, she is my best friend. To be able to live with this dibilitateing Disease, I turned to the Bible for my answers, the first question I had for God was, 1. Why Me? The answer I received was, 1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. But the most surprising of His answers was, ”Why Not You, My Son also had to suffer.” I accepted these answers and went on. 2. How will I continue on with my ministry? 1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. The key word here was grace. His Grace would be sufficient for me to continue in His path. Unlike the Scientologist, I accepted the help of my doctors, took my medication, blessed each pill by the grace of God and trusted in Him. I don't think about dieing, for its up to the Lord. I learned one thing real fast, I have no controll over my time to die, so why worry about it. The Joy of the Lord is my strength. The best example that God showed me was the life of Job. Job 1:6-12 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. So I put myself in Jobs shoes. Satan have you considered my servant Anthony? So put yourself in Jobs shoes. Satan have you considered my servant ..................? To live with Heart disease, 1. Live. Don't let the disease rule you. 2. Grace. Let Gods grace fill you with understanding of why you. For God Grace is sufficient. 3. Faith. Let your faith in God deliver you thru all the pain and suffering that you go thru. 4. Believe. Believe that God has a reason that you are allowed to be inflicted. 5. Show. Show the world what your God can do. 6. Witness. Be a witness to His majesty and Power. 7. Rebuke. Rebuke the spirit of infirmity. 8. Stand. Stand, and when you've done all, stand on Gods word. 9. Don't Fear. Don't fear or fret about the body but consider the soul and the one who has power over body and soul. 10. Read. Read Gods word daily, it comforts the Body, Mind and Soul. Remember this one thing, Prayer isnt automatic. Many Christians believe that God will answer all prayers because of the statment by Christ. Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. This statment has a condition that goes along with it, ”If it be Gods Will !” Mat 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Praying in the will of God is important,” not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Luke 21:25-26 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Now to the Spirit. Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. Mans heart is a complex thing not just in the flesh but especially in the spirit. Man has come from the creation of God in His image to a creature that is being killed in spirit by the cancer that has taken over this world. I just want to share with you a letter that I received today from a good friend of mine. “Dear Brother Smith, It has been a long time you never heard from me, an incident occurred that completely took me off my feet. My wife was shot by armed robbers on september 10th, over $30,000 collected from her as she was working on her new clinic site, 8 bullets has so far been removed from her head, the rib's were broken by bullets and the right leg. She will be injected for 28days and no one is permitted to see her during these period. Brother it's a tormenting period for me, help me in prayers please. Bishop Dr. Joseph Rankin” This world is dieing. Many are calling for peace, but peace is unattainable in this life. Prostitution, Homo-sexuality, Rape, Murder, Theft, Unrighteousness, war, rumors of war, Earthquakes, Floods, Fires, And man still fails to repent or to see the signs of the times. There are many that say that they belong to God, but which god do they belong to. John 8:44-47, 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. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. The cancer of mans spirit is growing each and every day. Many worldwide are calling for an alliance of Christian, Judaism and Islam, to bring about world peace and prosperity. They want to join all three under one universal name. But there can only be two that can align themselves together, Judaism and Christianity, for the Jews and Christians are brothers. All other, so called religions that denigh the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not of God but of that spiritual cancer. You cannot make an alliance with the Devil. His promises to you are worthless and misleading. Death and destruction are in the paths of man, for he knows not the God of our fathers. Rejection has become the norm around the world. Many are ignoring the signs of the times, many are being cautious stating that the things that have are are going to happen are fulfillment of prophecy. The cancer in man has blinded him from the truth. He no longer sees the suffering of others, he no longer sees the signs of the times, the signs in the heavens, the signs in the earth and the signs on the earth. Hell enlarges its boarders daily and is never full. Man is on a course that puts him in the number that will have not only one death but will die a second time. Heb 3:10-12, Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 1Jo 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. Apostasy; An abandonment of what one has professed; a total desertion, or departure from one's faith or religion. Rev 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 2Pe 2:14-22; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. Apostasy; An abandonment of God for the lust of the flesh, power, coruption, instability, hipocrits all. Lost and dieing without hope of a resurection in Glory. Falling as a tree in the woods with no sound to be heard, falling with cancer without any truth within them. False teachers, flase preachers, false prophets, without understanding, without knowledge, without wisdom. As a tree falls, so shall it be raised. My words are nothing compared to the words of God.

         
    Death before the fall of man

     

    Young-earth creationists have long argued against the occurrence of death before the fall of man. This mistaken doctrine stems from two verses in the Bible. The first is Genesis 1:29-30, which states, "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, where-in there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so." Yes, the Bible says that God gave the green plants to all animals to eat. However, nowhere does the Bible say that animals "cannot" eat meat...it only says they were given grass to eat. In other words, they were not prohibited by God from eating meat. Also, nowhere does the Bible claim that there was no physical death before sin…it is inferred from the Genesis text and this verse, Romans 5:12, which states, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Why many theologians have interpreted this to mean "all" death, including physical death, is unclear, as there is no theological reason for it to infer physical death, when you consider the context of the passages in Genesis. In Genesis, it is obvious that the passage means spiritual death, not physical. Here's a simple logical answer...when Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he entered into spiritual death...he did not physically die when he bit the fruit. We know this because he had children with Eve after he ate the fruit. Adam did not introduce physical death, but spiritual death. In fact, if you read Satan's dialogue with Eve, then you will see the answer plain as day. He told Eve she would not die, but all the while Satan knew that he would be introducing spiritual death to the world. How else was Satan to prevent people from following God...killing them physically did not end their spiritual relationship with God. By introducing spiritual death, Satan knew he could prevent people from worshiping God. Ecosystem Apparently, young-earth scientists are a little weak when it comes to understanding the ecosystem and the food chain. God designed nature to be self-renewing. As creatures die, their remains decompose, and nourish the plants. As the plants grow, they are eaten by the animals. The animals are killed by predators, and what is not eaten is left to decompose to nourish the insects and plants, and the cycle starts all over. This IS the way God designed nature. There is no reason to believe this process was different in the Garden of Eden. Again, this is what we observe of the ecosystem. If God never intended carnivores to eat meat, then He would have designed them differently, for example, lions with molar teeth for chewing plants. A lion, with sharp teeth for killing, is not an efficient creation for the processing of plant matter. Therefore, God’s design is flawed, because He intended the lion to eat plants, but equipped it for killing. If you believe in a young-earth, then you MUST believe in a flawed creation! With that said, let's examine a few creatures of God's creation that proves there was death before Adam's Fall. Spiders, Snakes, and Poison Spiders are wondrous creatures. They spin their silk webs in order to ensnare their victims before consuming them. How would they have survived in a pre-death world? Would their webs have been used to catch falling leaves? No, they could just simply go into a tree, or to the ground, to feast on the leaves. Spiders were created with only one diet in mind...a dead insect. Also, why were some spiders created with poison? What is the purpose of this poison? They didn't need to poison the leaves, or whatever else they were supposed to eat in the Garden. And, it could not have been for self-defense, since there were no predators in the Garden? In fact, the same thing goes for poisonous snakes. Poison only has one purpose...to kill. Even poisons that incapacitate are for the same thing in the end, for once the creature is incapacitated, it is consumed. The only logical conclusion is that God created poison to kill. Poison serves no purpose in a calm, friendly Garden with no death. If God did create poison, according to the young earth model, then His creation was not perfect, as the poison served no purpose. Venus Fly Trap I'm sure everyone has seen one of these carnivorous plants. Before the fall of man, did it catch falling leaves? It certainly could not have evolved this trait after the Garden. Other plants that eat insects are the Sundew and the Pitcher Plant. These plants live in wet places, where there is poor nitrogen content in the soil. The plants get the nitrogen they need from the insects. Bats Bats feed off of flying insects. Before the Fall, did they use their natural radar to catch falling leaves and eat them? The previous three examples list insect eating organisms. Many young earth creationist organizations now teach that insects do not fall in the category of "nephesh creatures." Their current teaching is that death before sin only applied to these nephesh creations.(Footnote 1) This term is generally applied to land-dwelling creations, which Adam named in Genesis 2:19. By picking and choosing the type of creatures this "no death before sin" rule applies to, young earth creationists avoid problems such as insect and microorganism death. The "nephesh rule" of interpretation allows them to ignore clear evidence that insects died before the Fall. Sea Lions, Seals, and Walrus (and Penguins) All of these marine mammals feed on fish. To get around this argument, young earth creationists could again claim that fish are not "nephesh creatures," since they were not named by Adam. This list could go on for many pages. But, I'm sure you get the point already. There was clearly death before sin. Young earth creationists resort to the "nephesh" rule in order to avoid any problems, picking and choosing which creatures are truly "nephesh" and which ones are not. Naturally, if the evidence for an organism's death contradicts the young earth view, the organism is said to be non-nephesh. Conclusion According to the young-earth model, there is no death before sin. However, why did God create creatures designed specifically for killing? God is perfect, and his creatures in the Garden would have been created perfectly to fit into the ecosystem. Poison has no purpose but to kill. According to the young-earth model, the "perfect" animal created by God would not need poison. Yet poison exists. Young-earth creationists cannot explain this. This is not so much an issue of old-earth/young-earth, as it is about biblical interpretation. This debate stems from their inaccurate assumptions that "death before sin" equates to physical death, when in fact, Adam and Eve "died spiritually" when they ate the fruit, not physically.

         
    Deceptive diagnosis

     

    The book, Deceptive Diagnosis: When Sin is Called Sickness, explores the major shift in how Christian evangelicals view and deal with sin. The authors, Dr. David Tyler and Dr. Kurt Grady, believe that the Church stopped calling sinful and deviant behavior “sin,” and started calling it “sickness” beginning in the mid 1960’s. The sexual sinner Apostle Paul wrote about became the sex addict. The thief became the kleptomaniac. The drunkard became the alcoholic. The rebellious child became afflicted with “Oppositional Defiant Disorder.” A family in which the husband will not work, the wife will not keep the home, and the children will not obey is no longer considered sinful; it is dysfunctional. The liar became a compulsive liar. The gambler became a compulsive gambler. The “deeds of the flesh, which are immorality impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing” (Galatians 5:19-21) were all redefined using psychopathological words. Tyler and Grady believe the landscape of evangelicalism today is very disturbing. Christians have jettisoned their commitment to the Bible and embraced psychology. Biblical definitions and categories have changed and a new vocabulary has emerged within the Church. Behaviors and attitudes once regarded as sinful have undergone a dramatic change. Sin is called sickness and confessing sin has been replaced with recovering from sickness. The word “sin” has nearly disappeared from our vocabulary. As such, the impact of the Gospel to a non-believer is less pronounced and the need for progressive sanctification in the believer is minimized. Although we try to make ourselves feel better by calling sin by another name, it is always there. It never fully goes away. “Deceptive Diagnosis” claims that in 1946 the federal government took responsibility for promoting American’s mental health. Some of the initiatives included the National Mental Health Act (1946), the National Institute of Mental Heath (1949), the National Mental Health Study Act (1955), and the creation of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health (1955). It was believed that American society would be dramatically transformed with the building of new mental health centers, the incorporation of training programs as well as countless locations disseminating mental health principles. On February 5, 1963 President John F. Kennedy delivered a national speech on mental health. He referred to mental health as the nation’s number one health problem. In order to confront what was considered a mental health care crisis, Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Centers Act on October 31, 1963. This gave Federal Government backing to the diseasing of America and calling sin sickness. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter organized the Commission on Mental Health. The agency studied the state of the nation’s mental heath and concluded a quarter of all Americans needed mental health services. In the 1980’s an eruption of twelve step programs provided a disease label for virtually anyone who wanted one. The television talk shows capitalized on and added to the success and growth of the disease model. From Donahue to Oprah, common everyday people and celebrities alike pour out their heart-wrenching stories of codependency and other addictions, disorders and compulsions. No segment of society was exempt. Therapeutic holidays such as National Depression Screening Day, National Anxiety Disorder Day and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week were created. Local malls provided a convenient venue on these special days where people could be diagnosed and learn more about their disease. For those who were too busy to go to the malls, a program of mental health education and screening for early detection and intervention was available online or by telephone. The authors’ of Deceptive Diagnosis believe that if a person thinks he is morally fine though physically sick, he will not repent. If one’s bad behavior is a disease, he will not go to Christ for cleansing. If, on the other hand one decides to call sinful behavior, sin, he has made a major shift in his perception of reality. He has acknowledged, like the prodigal son, something is wrong with himself. Confession of sin requires responsibility on one’s part. Tyler and Grady believe that evangelicalism has opened its gates to a Trojan horse by introducing the teachings of modern psychology. Some Christian psychologists have become so beloved that to criticize them would be almost like criticizing the Bible itself. While their intentions may be good, intentions are not the issue. The issue is whether today’s Christians are mixing men’s ideas with the Bible. Amazingly, most of today’s Christian leaders who rightly cry so fervently against so many false teachings are saying little if anything about subtle shifts in biblical interpretation that undermine the faith of millions. In many cases, it reflects a lack of awareness and understanding of the teachings of psychology. The book states there is a tendency today is to forget the roots and ignore the essentials. The doctrine of sin is understandably disliked by the world. Moreover, what is alarming and tragic is the opposition Christians have for the doctrine of sin. There was a time when sin was clear and definite. But who can say that is true today? Vagueness characterizes what we think of sin. Sin is sin, but it is sickness too and Christians must consult the “experts” who are trained in detecting these things. There is no clarity of view, no definition of position and the language is confused. In fact, any attempt to recognize a clear distinction between sin and sickness is branded as being anti-Christian and unloving. The apparent glory of Christianity today is in its vagueness. Tyler and Grady promote the case that labeling sin as sickness is seen nowhere more clearly than in the fields of clinical psychology and psychiatry. From the world’s perspective, clinical psychology and psychiatry are the answer to the mental and emotional problems of man. The word “psychology” actually means “the study of the soul.” Sigmund Freud, in what was lauded as breakthrough scientific exploration, cast aside the study of the soul and redefined psychology in terms of human behavior. Freud placed practical theology in the crosshairs of psychology through his underlying premise that man’s problems are based in man and are solved through man and man alone. He knowingly or unknowingly created a religion around man with theories that are in direct opposition to God’s word. Today’s mental health industry is largely built upon Freud; some 250 to 450 counseling theories are in practice worldwide. They are either directly Freudian, built from underlying Freudian philosophy or are built in opposition to Freud In man’s attempt to run from sin, he also reduced man’s lifespan thus sparing him from a miserable existence mired in sin. Since the Garden, man has continued to run and hide from God, shift the blame for his behavior onto others, and cover his sin so no one will see how miserably depraved he is. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is man’s attempt run, hide, and cover-up. A collection of sins or sin-related behaviors have been composed into convenient lists, labeled as diseases, explained to the lay public using fundamentally flawed research tied to unproven chemical imbalances…and the list goes on and on. The authors believe we have witnessed a severe blow to the body of Christ as a result of the DSM and the disease-oriented culture it has helped to create. Believers everywhere they are sick, diseased, genetically predisposed to illness, etc. Those same believers have been led away from the language and direction of the Bible and into themselves. Progressive sanctification is a foreign concept to many today. Becoming more like Christ each day does not require medication; it requires submission, humility, reconciliation, forgiveness, and most of all repentance. It requires a steady diet of God’s Word, an environment bathed in His presence, and consistent work for His Kingdom. Evangelism begins with believers becoming sanctified and developing a burden for the lost. Those wayward souls do not need more therapy nor do they need an excuse for blame shifting. Dr. Tyler and Grady’s book challenges the worldview of today’s church. Statistics tell us church membership has been steadily decreasing year after year. Sunday School, which was once popular, has also been declining in attendance. Prayer meetings, missionary groups, and fellowship meetings in general are weak and feeble. Today, because of poor attendance, many churches have cancelled mid-week and Sunday evening services altogether or have limited preaching in favor of other activities where the activity is the focus and the gospel is absent or only alluded to by association. Mega churches are growing in prominence, but they are generally marketing driven entities short on doctrine and long on a feeling orientation. Thus, the church as a whole is declining in attendance and in its knowledge and commitment to Scripture. The authors believe that the critical necessity for an accurate diagnosis of a person’s problem is fundamental to solving, or curing, the pathology. If the diagnosis is wrong, the treatment is likely to be not only ineffective, but also potentially dangerous. Dangerous in the sense that the original problem is not addressed and that the wrong treatment carries with it the potential for side effects or other unwanted results. Psychology and Worriers Anonymous will not solve man’s problem. Psychology may help man feel better about himself, but Jesus is the only hope for his sin problem. Jesus Christ is the Great Physician who possesses the cure to the most serious, life threatening problem man faces: his inability to deal with his sin and separation from a Righteous and Holy God. The book “Deceptive Diagnosis” lays the problem on the front door step of the Christian church and it’s up to the church repent and turn back to the Bible as the sole source for truth.

         
    Defense of christianity using the resurrection

     

    Why is the death, burial, and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ such a big deal? Why didn’t Jesus just die like everyone else and go to Heaven and wait for us there? Why did it have to be so gruesome and public, His death, His burial, and His resurrection? Because it validates everything Jesus said while He was on earth, it validates everything he taught and shared for three years. You see, if Jesus Christ hadn’t come back from the dead after three days, there would be no Christianity, no followers of Christ, no hope. But He has. And because Jesus Christ came to earth, we can have life and have life everlasting. When He was on earth, He talked a lot about His Kingdom and how He was going to create a new temple in 3 days. The people of His time did not understand, thinking that He was referring to an earthly kingdom. If He had left earth, been buried, and didn’t resurrect, He would have been the purveyor of another false religion. Today, He would be the prophet or god of just another dead religion. But because he came back from the dead, rose from a sealed, guarded tomb and appeared to over 500 people before He ascended to the Father to prepare a place for us in Heaven, we have proof that He was, is, and always will be, Who He said He is. Who did He say He is? He said He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him. What do we know about the details of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? “More than we know about the death of any other man in all the ancient world.” (Wilbur Smith) But just to focus on His burial for a moment, Matthew, one of Jesus disciples, tells us: At the end of the day that Jesus died, a rich man of Arimathaea, Joseph, went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. So Pilate commanded the body to be delivered to Joseph. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. He laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and he left. The next day the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver (meaning Christ) said, while he was alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, in case His disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. So Pilate said unto them, You have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as you can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. (Matt 27: 57-66) What do you think? How sure was, ‘as sure as you can’? My guess is, not only did the chief priests and the Pharisees make sure that the stone that had been rolled over the mouth of the stone cave, where the body was buried, was extra heavy and unmovable, but they stood watch over the tomb. They had Roman soldiers guarding the tomb. Nobody was going to come take the body of Jesus! He would remain in that tomb forever! But what do we know now that really happened? Matthew tells us this: At the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulchre. And there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers shook, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said to the women, Do not fear: for I know that you seek Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as He saide, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall you see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and ran to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (Matt. 28: 1-10) After this time, Jesus Christ appeared repeatedly to the apostles and was seen by as many as 500 people at one time, during a period of 40 days after His resurrection. He repeatedly offered proofs of His resurrected life. If Jesus the Christ had not risen from the dead, then He had done nothing any other prophet or god had ever done. He would have simply died. But He didn’t just die. He died and rose again, from the dead. Broke out of His tombclothes, escaped from a cave that was sealed with a great and heavy stone, and guarded by brutal Roman soldiers. Why? So that we would be without excuse. So that we would have the infallible proofs, the historical evidence, 2000 years later and counting, that Jesus Christ was not just a man, not just a prophet, but God Himself in living flesh. What does that mean to you and me? For me it means that He really is Who He says He is. He said He is the Way the Truth and the Life and that no one comes to the Father but through Him. That is serious. That means that there is no other religion, god, or prophet who can offer genuine life, redemption from the fallen state of this earth, no matter what they claim. You see, Jesus the Christ is the only one who has died and risen again with witnesses. Mohammed is dead, Buddha sleeps, no tribal gods ever visited the earth, and no man becomes god through his own goodness as many religions claim. Do the math, look at the evidence. For 400 years, Jesus Christ was predicted to come to earth. He came to earth as he said he would. He died and rose again from death, with proof. Either He is who He says He is or He is a fraud, and all the witnesses, on multiple occasions, over 40 days, were deceived, hallucinogenic, and willing to die horrible, bloody deaths via public stonings and hangings and beheadings over something they didn’t really see, over a person they didn’t really talk to, in whom they did not really believe. One of the greatest incredulities of history would be that over 500 hundred people who claimed to have seen Jesus resurrected would be willing to die for the belief that He really rose again, and not one of them would have been willing to expose the lie, that Jesus wasn’t who He said He was, to escape death. What does this mean to us, today? For those of you who have never been presented a logical proof that Jesus was Who He said He was, and have never accepted the life Jesus offers, you have no excuse. You now know the facts, what really happened and why. You have seen a logical explanation for why we can believe today what others have believed for two centuries. You see, truth never changes. The truth never lies. And you can see today that the truth is that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. You have but one option—make Jesus Christ the eternal king of your life, and accept his gift of everlasting forgiveness and life. What about the rest of us? What do we do now? While He was on earth, showing proof after proof of his resurrection, of His divinity, He gave a final commandment to all of us who believe that He is who He said He is: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt 28: 19-20) Note: Scripture references are taken from the KJV and may be edited for readability and flow.

         
    Developing spiritual understanding part 4 some conclusions

     

    Acts 19:5 5 When they heard [this,] they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all. Acts 19:5 5 When they heard [this,] they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all. The Bible records that Jesus received the Holy Spirit in “Full measure.” (KJV) John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him]. (CEV) John 3:34 The Son was sent to speak God's message, and he has been given the full power of God's Spirit. Coloss 1:19 For God in full measure was pleased to be in him; Well, it appears to me, that the Spirit of God is distributed in measured amounts as determined by God himself. Should I be afraid to ask God for what some people call “ The Holy Spirit baptism?” Philippians 4:6~7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (GodsWord) Luke 11:11 "If your child asks you, his father, for a fish, would you give him a snake instead?" 12 "Or if your child asks you for an egg, would you give him a scorpion?" 13 "Even though you're evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Proverbs 28:1 "A wicked person flees when no one is chasing, but righteous people are as bold as lions." Acts 2:17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:26 In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words. I feel that one thing that we must remember is that “Gifts” are to be used for glorifying God’s Son, Jesus by up building His chosen body ~ the church. Some are for personal prayer and building oneself up, but they are not given for personal boasting or showing off. I feel it it is important to remember that just because some claim to have spiritual gifts, or even heal others, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily in tune with God. Perhaps this section of Matthew Chapter 7 will put some of this and other scriptures above into perspective? 12 "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13 " Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 " Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' 24 " Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." Well, I have been saying some things that may not be embraced by everyone who reads this. This is all right because I trust some good seeds have been planted. It is up to my Lord Jesus Christ to see that they grow, if they are ~ in fact ~ good seeds. If they are not, I pray for a crop failure. Now, I must look at ~ what might be considered ~ another sacred cow. With some trepidation, I realize that, like my understanding of Spiritual gifts, this one might cause others to wonder if I am a Christian at all. I ask that you examine the scriptures before passing judgment. Wey NT 2 Cor 13:1 This intended visit of mine is my third visit to you. ("On the evidence of two or three witnesses every charge shall be sustained.") 1 Peter 1:2 You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure. (TEV) Philippians 2:6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Deuteronomy 6:4 (ASV & Darby)) Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah: John 5:15 The man left and told the leaders that Jesus was the one who had healed him. 16 They started making a lot of trouble for Jesus because he did things like this on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus said, "My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working." 18 Now the leaders wanted to kill Jesus for two reasons. First, he had broken the law of the Sabbath. But even worse, he had said that God was his Father, which made him equal with God. 19 Jesus told the people: I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do. 20 The Father loves the Son and has shown him everything he does. The Father will show him even greater things, and you will be amazed. 21 Just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants to. 22 The Father doesn't judge anyone, but he has made his Son the judge of everyone. 23 The Father wants all people to honor the Son as much as they honor him. When anyone refuses to honor the Son, that is the same as refusing to honor the Father who sent him. 24 I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life and will never be condemned. They have already gone from death to life. Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is, `HEAR, O ISRAEL ! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; James 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: So, what about the “Trinity?” Well, when I study it, it appears that the teaching was not practiced in the early church. Shouldn’t something as important as dividing God into three parts or personages be addressed in the scripture? Certainly history records Constantine, not a believer then himself, forced the bishops to accept duality of God and Jesus in the 2nd century. The Holy Spirit was added later. Perhaps a good determinant of how much “Peace” one has can be evidenced by how much one submits to God. Romans 3:17 And the way of peace they have not known." Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 1 Peter 3:11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, Ephesians 2:15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [that is,] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man [from] the two, [thus] making peace, Philipp 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philipp 4:9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 2 Peter 1:2 I pray that God will be kind to you and will let you live in perfect peace! May you keep learning more and more about God and our Lord Jesus. 1 Peter 1:2 You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure. What about feeling guilty about our old sins, and reminding others about their past mistakes and sinful ways? Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 10:17 then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more." Heavens, If God doesn’t remember our sins and misdeeds, what right do we have to? (NASB) John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, The Bible records that Jesus received the Holy Spirit in “Full measure.” (Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:26 In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words. I feel that one thing that we must remember is that “Gifts” are to be used for glorifying God’s Son, Jesus by up building His chosen body ~ the church. Some are for personal prayer and building oneself up, but they are not given for personal boasting or showing off. I feel it it is important to remember that just because some claim to have spiritual gifts, or even heal others, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily in tune with God. Perhaps, it is our job to continue to search the scriptures and ask God for his wisdom that we may understand His will for us in our lives?

         
    Developing spiritual understanding part 1

     

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. My Developing Spiritual Understandings: by Russ Miles © 2004~05 Philipp 3:12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Having asked God ~ in the Name of His son, Jesus ~ for wisdom and insight, I begin the work of resolving some of my own theological conflicts. I feel, my developing spiritual understandings, some of God’s knowledge ~ that He has graciously shared with me ~ may be of interest to some others who seek to remove the denominational barriers dividing many of us. With utmost humility, some trepidation, and limited formal education, I embark, accepting this self~assigned task. Matthew 6:1 "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. First of all, I profess to be a Christian. Therefore, whenever possible, I will use The Bible, God’s inspired written Word to mankind, as the authority for my reasoning’s. Is this the only “Inspired” Word of God? Probably not, but it is the most widely available, generally accepted, compilation of His reflections to mankind through these particular chosen authors. The Bible is a great place to start. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. While this is, perhaps ~ the most well known ~ certainly the most memorized, scripture today ~ as taken from the New King James Version translation ~ I feel other translations offer rich insights into many disputable, and more difficult for me to understand, truths of God’s Word. For example: (CEV) John 3:16 God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. (TEV) John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. I am not married to, nor confined by, any one single translation. Thousands of dedicated scholars have had the inspiration, and diligence to complete these works. Although there are many more, the ones I will attempt to stick to in this study are: New King James Version NKJV New American Standard Bible NASB King James Version KJV Revised Standard Version RSV Modern King James Version (Green's Translation) MKJV Literal Translation Version (Green) LITV American Standard Version ASV John Darby's New Translation Darby Weymouth New Testament Translation Weymouth Young's Literal Translation Young Contemporary English Version CEV Today's English Version TEV Reina Valera 1960 RVR60 International Standard Version ISV Rotherham's Rotherham's JPS 1917 JPS 1917 I only pray that I do not do with God’s sacred Word what the Apostle Peter said others have done in interpreting the Apostle Paul’s writings. (TEV) 2 Peter 3:16 This is what he says in all his letters when he writes on the subject. There are some difficult things in his letters which ignorant and unstable people explain falsely, as they do with other passages of the Scriptures. So they bring on their own destruction Even by Peter’s and Paul’s time, people had misinterpreted scriptures and written statements to justify their own positions about what they wanted to explain God was saying. Now that we have had another 2,000 years and major language changes, we can even more easily do this, either accidentally, or even on purpose. NKJV 2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you know [this] beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; CEV Matthew 7:13 Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. Matthew 7:14 But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it. Luke 13:24 Do all you can to go in by the narrow door! A lot of people will try to get in, but will not be able to. What cautions! So, I warn you, do not take everything that I say as direct from God ~ but rather see my words as the soulful meditations of a much loved ~ seeking the truth ~ happily forgiven ~ man. Look up the scriptures for yourself. Pray for Almighty God to lead you to the truth and reveal the errors in my understandings and thinking. John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Philipp 3:16 In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have already attained. 1 Peter 4:11 If any one preaches, let it be as uttering God's truth; if any one renders a service to others, let it be in the strength which God supplies; so that in everything glory may be given to God in the name of Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the might to the Ages of the Ages. Amen. Of significance ~ regarding the scriptures: (TEV)2 Timothy 3:16 & 17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.” Perhaps, I must set aside ~ for the moment ~ some of the doctrines I had accepted as fundamental, as a result of the training and instruction that I have had to date. I know it will be difficult for we want to believe that what we have learned from our personal knowledge quests, pulpits, or Bible studies ~ is right. Some of the things I am suggesting here are in conflict with many of the traditional Christian foundations and other widely accepted church beliefs. Ephesians 4:3 Try your best to let God's Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. Again, I am cautioned: (CEV) James 3:1 My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others. Let me just say here that I am but an ardent, anxious student who wants to stay in the mouth of God, while heeding the warnings. Revelation 3:16 Thus, because, lukewarm, thou art, and neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit thee out of my mouth. I have, in my life, run both hot and cold. Yes, I have been lukewarm too. I can tell you, hot is better! It is a lot more satisfying. Okay, I am ready for some meat. Let’s ask some questions: “Exalt Jehovah our God?” Job 33:12 " Look, [in] this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is greater than man. Job 36:22 " Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him? Psalms 7:11 God [is] a just judge, And God is angry [with the wicked] every day. 1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. Rev 3:19 I correct and punish everyone I love. So make up your minds to turn away from your sins. 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Psalms 99:5 Exalt Jehovah our God, and worship at his footstool. He is holy! How can I worship this God?” John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth. [ Please see Developing Spiritual Understanding ~Part 2]

         
    Developing spiritual understanding part 2

     

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Wow! That seems pretty restrictive, doesn’t it? As a child, and then for years, I pondered the dilemma of how a Good God could automatically condemn the millions of poor souls who had never heard of Jesus and never would. The clear answer I have received is, “He doesn’t.” As He loves his mankind creation, God has always made a Lawful provision for His people to get to Him. It is by turning from their evil ways ~ and His son, Jesus, will be the final judge of that. (CEV) Romans 2:14~16 Some people naturally obey the Law's commands, even though they don't have the Law. This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, when God has Jesus Christ judge everyone's secret thoughts, just as my message says. (TEV) Romans 2:14~16 The Gentiles do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law. Their conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them. And so, according to the Good News I preach, this is how it will be on that Day when God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all. So, even if one does not know The Lord Jesus, they will still be judged by Him, judged according to our actions and our heart’s condition. It seems to me that God wants to give people the time to change and stop doing what is wrong. 2 Peter 3:9(NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (BBE) 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his word, as he seems to some, but he is waiting in mercy for you, not desiring the destruction of any, but that all may be turned from their evil ways. (GodsWord) 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord isn't slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act." For those of us who are blessed to have been introduced to Jesus, it is a little different. We have the recorded life example of Jesus, His own words, and those of the early apostles, to serve as model of how we must live to help us. Receiving salvation via Jesus is pretty simple. These three translations all say how. (NKJV) Romans 10:9~10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (CEV) Romans 10:9 So you will be saved, if you honestly say, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others. (Darby) Romans 10:9~10 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from among [the] dead, thou shalt be saved. For with [the] heart is believed to righteousness; and with [the] mouth confession made to salvation. Once we have done that, what next? We are told in the scripture to be baptized. Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God's gift, the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip's message about the good news of the Kingdom of God and about Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 1 Peter 3:21 "Baptism, which is like that water, now saves you. Baptism doesn't save by removing dirt from the body. Rather, baptism is a request to God for a clear conscience. It saves you through Jesus Christ, who came back from death to life." Entire volumes have been written about baptism. Baptist denominations have been established which indicate the importance of the act. Catholics consider baptism a sacrament. Certainly there is more involved here than the simple act of emersion in water. Perhaps something occurs in the process which is spiritual. But, at the least, the baptized person should come out of the water convinced that he or she has been totally forgiven for past sins, saved from eternal death, and determined to serve Jesus. Does this mean that we can continue sinning (doing what God has made clear to us is wrong) once that we become Christians? I don’t think so. Mark 10:19 "You know the commandments, `DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.' " Romans 13:9 For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 1 Cor 6:9~10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. So, it seems that we Christians must change too, if we are ~in fact~ believers. 1 Cor 15:34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. Well, what about ‘Grace?’ (NASB) Ephesians 2:8~10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. James 2:18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." James 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. So what are we, as Christians, to do if we have a sin or weakness problem? We confess to Jesus who paid the price of our penalty for us, make a genuine, heart~felt commitment to stop, and ask for help in overcoming the weakness. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, does that mean that we can go right on sinning? 1 John 3:9 Whoever is a child of God does not continue to sin, for God's very nature is in him; and because God is his Father, he can not continue to sin. But I thought that we were not held to the “Law” any more! Matthew 5:19 So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven. So what “Law” are we talking about here? I feel that the “Ten Commandments” are the “Law” that is referred to in this New Testament scripture, that Jesus was talking about the “Big ten” ~ specifically ~ and not the rules and ceremonial ordinance laws that the Jews were to practice to cover their sins and atone for their shortcomings. Matthew 5:17 " Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. Ephesians 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, Is there a case for “Eternal Security?” Perhaps. Matthew 5:19 So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven. 1 Cor 3:14~15 "If what a person has built survives, he will receive a reward." If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire. (NASB) Romans 8:38~39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. I believe, if our time doesn’t run out, God will lead His lost sheep back ~ perhaps into a new, more loving, fold ~ so we may serve Him even better than we once had. Because He knows people’s hearts, God is willing and able to use people’s mistakes for the glory of establishing the kingdom of Christ Jesus. Perhaps, this is the very reason many of us are still alive? John 14:26 but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and shall remind you of all things that I said to you. John 15:26 And when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, that One will witness concerning Me. John 16:7 But I tell you the truth, it is advantageous for you that I should go; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. There is an unforgivable sin, but most people have not committed it because they have never know the Spirit in such a way as to be able to deny Him ~ the Comforter ~ that provides the blessed assurance that we are going to be right with God ~ and led out of our blind spots ~ cleaned up if you will ~ and make us better witnesses of God’s enduring power and love. [ See the Holy Spirit in Developing Spiritual Understanding ~ Part 3 ]

         
    Developing spiritual understanding part 3

     

    Matthew 12:31 "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Matthew 12:32 "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. Luke 12:10 "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. Wow! This is very serious. Maybe we would be wise to learn about this Holy Spirit. Let us see if we can find Him in the Old Testament. How about the second verse of the Bible? Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 41:38 So the king said to them, "No one could possibly handle this better than Joseph, since the Spirit of God is in him." 1 Samuel 10:10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 1 Samuel 19:20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing [as] leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 1 Samuel 19:23 So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because Jehovah has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; Daniel 5:14 "Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. Could this be the same Holy Spirit that is referred to so much in the New Testament? Let’s look at the conception of Jesus and the virgin Mary. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "[The] Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. So, Jesus was the son of god, conceived by the impact of the Holy Spirit on Mary. Yet, He had not yet received the Holy Spirit himself. When did Jesus receive the Holy Spirit? All four gospels record the event as happening when Jesus was baptized by His cousin, John. Matthew 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. Mark 1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Luke 3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." John 1:32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. Now that Jesus had received the Holy Spirit, what was the impact on Him? Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Hebrews 4:15 Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! Does that mean that when we accept Jesus, we are immediately empowered to resist temptation and not sin? I wish! Even after, we still fall short. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; I think that all includes us ~ even after we accept Jesus ~ too. Fortunately for us, He knew that we would need some time to get cleaned up so we could more effectively serve. Matthew 9:13 "But go and learn what [this] means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard [it,] He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call [the] righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Isn’t that good news? When the Apostle John was writing to the churches, who were made up of Christians, he said : 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Do we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus or are baptized in His name? Wow, this is a much disputed question that has been a cause for division. I feel that we receive “Salvation,” certainly “Saving Grace,” perhaps a measure of the Holy Spirit when we publicly embrace Jesus ~ but not the “Gift” of the Spirit. Aren’t the “Fruits of the Spirit,” manifest in our lives, proof that we have received the Holy Spirit? Those who have put to death the “Works of the flesh?” Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV) Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Is this the way we are to know who is really one of God’s? Is this a clue as to whom we should listen to? Matthew 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:20 "Thereforeby their fruits, you will know them. The fruit of the Spirit is manifest by many fine believers who have worked diligently to discipline themselves, even though they might not ever have received the “Gift” of the Holy Spirit. These fine lovers of Christ are to be commended. So what is the difference? Perhaps by examining a number of scriptures we might see: John 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on [them,] and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 2:33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Acts 10:43~7 Acts 10:43 "To Him all the prophets witness that, through Jesus name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins." While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we [have?"] Acts 19:2 he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 1 Thess 1:6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit. [ &q

         
    Did the sabbath change to sunday

     

    In over 105 languages Saturday translates to Sabbath. In Italy it is called Sabbato, in Russia Subbota, in Portugal Sabbado, in Spain Sabado and in Poland Sobota. All of these names mean “Sabbath” or “rest day” in the various languages. The fourth commandment of the Bible says Exo 20:8-11 “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…” So if Saturday, or more accurately Sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday, is the true Sabbath of the Lord, then why do people go to church on Sunday? Who changed the day to Sunday, and when? Did Jesus? Do we keep Sunday in honour of his resurrection? It has been established by many historians and theologians that the books of Matthew and Luke were written between 60 and 80 AD. Luke does not tell us of a day change, but instead he states in Luke 23:56, “…And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Jesus also showed that the Sabbath would still be kept after the cross when He was talking to the Disciples about the forthcoming destruction of the temple in about 70 AD. Jesus says in Matthew 24:20, “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” Historians also confirm that the seventh day Sabbath was kept by Jews and Gentiles alike, until about 120 AD when the persecution of the Jews for Sabbath keeping became so great that many Christians decided to start keeping Sunday, so as to distance themselves from the Jews. Some began using the excuse that it was in honour of the resurrection, as there was no biblical basis for the change. In 321 A. D. Constantine, who was a pagan, became Caesar in Rome and when he began to see the balance of power shift from paganism to the Church he passed the first law enforcing Sunday worship in 321 AD. Two years later he joined the Roman Catholic Church and began mingling paganism and Christianity. It was well after 400 AD before Sunday eventually took on the name of the Lord’s Day. In many papers and documents the Roman Catholic Church openly take credit for moving the sanctity of the Seventh day Sabbath to Sunday, by their own authority, which they say is above that of the scriptures. “The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed...the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” Canon and Tradition, p. 263. So it seems that if we keep the Sabbath on the seventh day, we are following God’s commandment, but if we keep Sunday, we are following the traditions of man. Does that really matter? The Bible says in Mark 7:6-9 “Jesus answered them, “How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! You are hypocrites, just as he wrote: ‘These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me. It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!’ “You put aside God's command and obey human teachings.” And Jesus continued, “You have a clever way of rejecting God's law in order to uphold your own teaching.” All Bible references are from the King James Version.

         
    Die altstadt von jerusalem

     

    Die Hauptstadt der drei Weltreligionen, bildet ebenfalls die Hauptstadt von Israel: Jerusalem. Jerusalem galt schon Mittelalter als das Zentrum der Welt, als die Stadt der Kцnige. Bios heute ist ein Glanz um Jerusalem, der fьr viele unbergreiflich und doch spьrbar ist. Jerusalem ist eine Mischung aus Altem und der Moderne, aus Jugend und Alteingesessene, aus Religionen, ein Gemisch aus Geschichte und Zukunft. Wer in Jerusalem spazieren geht, wird sofort die Atmosphдre der heiligen Stadt erspьren. Jerusalem ist durch seine Geschichte und Gegenwart geprдgt. Kontraste lassen sich in der ganzen Stadt erspьren. Noch nie war eine Stadt so sehr im Mittelpunkt verschiedener Gruppen. Diese ganzen Eigenschaften kann man nirgends so deutlich wiederfinden wie in der Altstadt Jerusalems. Die Altstadt von Jerusalem ist nicht zu unterschдtzen, sie ist enorm und in mehreren Vierteln eingeteilt. Sie enthдlt zwar einige Gebдude aus frьheren Zeiten, wird aber in ihrer heutigen Lage von der Stadtmauer Sьleyman des Prдchtigen aus dem 16. Jahrhundert umschlossen. Obwohl der Berg Zion mit der Dormitio-Kirche sich auЯerhalb der Stadtmauern befindet, wird auch er zur Altstadt gerechnet. Die Altstadt von Jerusalem wird in folgenden Hauptvierteln eingeteilt. Das muslimische Viertel, das grцЯte und auch am dichtesten bevцlkerte Viertel der Altstadt. Bis in die Zeit der Kreuzfahrer hinein war dieser Stadtteil von Juden bewohnt. Nach dem Massaker an der jьdischen Bevцlkerung infolge der Eroberung durch die Kreuzritter 1099 wurden diese aber von hier vertrieben, und ab dem 12. Jahrhundert kamen arabische Siedler in diesen Teil der Stadt. Im muslimische Viertel gibt es jedoch mehr zu sehen als einen arabischen Bazar und дrmliche Hдuser. Sehenswьrdigkeiten wie ein Teil der Via Dolorosa, die St.-Anna-Kirche, der Teich Bethseda, die GeiЯelungskapelle, die Verurteilungskapelle, die Ecce-Homo-Basilika das цsterreichische Pilgerhospiz und die Burg Antonia werden von touristen aufgesucht. Das christliche Viertel Seit dem 4. Jahrhundert war es im christlichen Viertel – aus dem Wunsch heraus, dem heiligen Grab mцglichst nahe zu sein, - zu einer verstдrkten Ansiedlung von Christen gekommen. Touristen kцnnen in diesen relativen kleinen Viertel die Grabeskirche, die Erlцserkirche, der Muristan, die Zitadelle, das Salvatorkloster und das lateinische, das griechisch-orthodoxe und das griechisch-katholische Patriarchat besichtigen. Das armenische Viertel Das armenische Viertel wird von vielen Touristen vermieden und ist damit auch das unscheinbarste Viertel. Die in diesen Viertel lebenden Armenier vermeiden den Kontakt mit Touristen und leben zurьckgezogen. Trotzdem kann man einige Sehenswьrdigkeiten im armenischen Viertel genieЯen, so wie zum Beispiel das armenische Patriarchat mit der Jakobuskirche, die Markuskapelle und der maronitische Konvent. Das jьdische Viertel zдhlt vielleicht zu den spannendsten Vierte in der Altstadt Jerusalems. Um genau diesen Teil Jerusalems ging es wдhrend des 6 Tages Krieges. Nach dem Unabhдngigkeitskrieges 1948 wurde die Altstadt von jordanischen Truppen erobert, und alle jьdischen Bewohner wurden vertrieben, ihre Wohnhдuser und alle 58 Synagogen systematisch zerstцrt. Doch die Mauern dieses Viertels greifen schon frьhern Jahrhundert zurьck. Geschichte wurden hier geschrieben. Trotz der Zerstцrung dieses Viertels zдhlt heute das jьdische Viertel zum reichsten und am besten modernisierte Viertel der Altstadt. Beliebte Sehenswьrdigkeiten des jьdischen Viertels ist die Klagemauer, die Ramban - und die Hurva-Synagoge und die vier sephardischen Synagogen.

         
    Differences the old and new testament

     

    The Bible is a Book that has two main divisions in - the Old Testament and the New Testament. Even though there are these distinct parts of the Bible - it still has only one theme - redemption. This is necessary to understand because the whole Bible revolves around this theme, and some have said that there is a scarlet thread (of blood) that runs form cover to cover. Other Similarities Before the differences are looked at, let's consider some other similarities that exist between the two halves. The books were all written by men - even the two books that bear the names of women - Ruth and Esther. The theme of both Books is redemption, and in both Books redemption occurs through faith. The Redeemer is the same in the Old Testament and the New - though it was not as clear in the Old. God always had the plan of sending His Son to become the Redeemer by dying for the human race (see Isaiah 53, and Psalm 22). Also, in both the Old Testaments and the New, the blood of sacrifice is necessary for redemption (Leviticus 17:10 and Hebrews 9:22) Another similarity is that the Bible begins with a tree, the Tree of Life - from which mankind is forbidden to partake after they sinned, and the Bible ends with the Tree of Life - offered freely to the redeemed to partake of its fruits. It also begins with man and God walking together in fellowship in the beginning, and once again, after God's working to redeem man, in the end, forever. The Main Difference Between The Two All of the differences can be summed up by saying that the Old Testament begins the teaching, or revelation, while the New Testament finishes (or completes) that same revelation. In other words, the story is incomplete without the New Testament. The completion that is accomplished here is not just referring to a completed Book, but something more. The complete revelation of God to man, and of God's finished work of man's redemption, is completed in Christ - Who is God in the flesh. The New Testament is God's infallible record of what Christ has done - and will yet do. Other Differences Between the Two 1. The Old Testament deals largely in pictures and types. Much of the truth about Christ that is in the Old Testament was hidden or unknown until Christ came. While they did know that everything relating to the Tabernacle and the Temple was to be made "according to the pattern," most of them probably did not understand that the Pattern referred to was Christ Himself. The New Testament, however, reveals what many of the things in the Old Testament meant. A couple of the events of the Old Testament were prophetic through their illustrated truth, and of which the New Testament tells us that they were types (pictures) of Christ: Abraham's offering of Isaac - pictured the Father Who willingly offered His only begotten Son; and of the Son Who refused not to die – both believing that God would raise him up – which is exactly what happened in Christ’s case Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness - pictured Christ being lifted up for us, and putting Satan and his power to death. Moses striking the Rock - he was to do it once because it pictured that Christ would be smitten once, and from Him would flow living waters. 2. In the Old Testament, once the Temple was built, God dwelt in the Temple - distant (the place of His revealed presence), but in the New Testament, God lives in the heart of each believer - close and personal, showing that the fellowship with God has been restored. 3. The Old Testament begins with God calling out a people-nation to Himself (Genesis 12), while the New Testament shows Him beginning with that nation, through 12 Jewish apostles, and calling unto Himself the whole world. 4. The Old Testament largely deals with the Law of God, but in the New Testament, the focus is on the grace of God. This is not because God had changed in any way, but it was because the complete Sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins had been accomplished - Christ died for our sins. 5. The Old Testament shows God remaining largely hidden, and access to Him could only be gained through the Temple, and with an animal sacrifice. The New Testament shows that Christ has given every believer free access to the Throne of God. The difference between the two is further illustrated in the Bible by an incident that occurred just after Christ died on the Cross. In the Temple, there was a thick curtain, behind which only the High Priest could enter once a year. When Christ died, this curtain was ripped from the top to the bottom without human hands. This miracle showed to all who saw it that God would no longer remain hidden away behind these pictures, but now every man could have full access to God through Christ by faith.

         
    Dinosaurs in the bible interpreting job 40 41

     

    For many years young-earth creationists have pointed to the book of Job, chapters 40-41, as evidence that dinosaurs lived recently. In order to set the record straight, let’s examine this passage of scripture, and see what the possibilities are. I may surprise a few old-earth creationists by my conclusions with this one. First, let’s read the portion of Job 40 that is in question, in the King James Version. Job 40:15-24 – Behemoth 15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. 19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. 20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. 21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. 22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. 23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. 24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares. What are the possible interpretations for this passage? There are two mainstream interpretations for this passage (I will give two other possibilities later in the article.) Interpretation #1 First, behemoth represents a dinosaur. This is the view of the young-earth theorists. They claim the “moveth his tail like a cedar” is referring to a sauropod dinosaur (a “saurapod” is a plant-eating dinosaur, such as Apatosaurus, Diplodicus, etc.) However, it is not without problems. I see three problems with this interpretation. First, while most of the passage could be attributed to a sauropod, verse 23, in which he “drinketh up a river”, does not sound like a sauropod. The New American Standard version states “If a river rages, he is not alarmed; He is confident, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth. Given the smallness of the sauropod’s mouth, this is unlikely. The second problem with the sauropod interpretation is verse 21. The KJV is good, but a more literal translation is better here. The NASB says, “Under the lotus plants he lies down, The willows(reeds) of the brook surround him.” It is difficult to imagine the Argentinosaurus, at 100 feet long, and a height of 70 feet when standing (sitting, probably 20 feet), resting under the limbs of a lotus plant (or, tree), nor would he be able to take cover in reeds only a few feet tall. The last problem I see with this interpretation is verse 18. The NASB says, “His bones are tubes of bronze, His limbs are like bars of iron.” No dinosaur has ever had metal bones. However, these three problems don’t prove conclusive enough to claim that behemoth was not a dinosaur, so the possibility remains that the sauropod interpretation is correct. With that said, there is one final thought to ponder…since there is no physical evidence (fossils) of dinosaurs that lived in the past 6,000 years, this interpretation cannot possibly be correct.1 Interpretation #2 Second, many modern scholars interpret behemoth to be a hippopotamus. This appears to be the most likely explanation. The hippo theory solves the problem with verse 23, and drawing up the Jordan into his mouth. The gaping mouth of the hippo provides adequate credence to this verse. And in verse 21, the hippo can easily rest under shade trees, and hide in the reeds. However, there are two problems with this theory. First, back to verse 17 and the tail like a cedar…this is not at all like the tail of a hippopotamus. Second, the same problem exists with verse 18, and the bronze bones. This interpretation is favored by the old earth progressive creationist Dr. Hugh Ross, and by well-known Christian apologist Gleason L. Archer.2 You can see from these two interpretations, that neither of them is perfect. Before we give the other two possibilities, lets look at leviathan (Job 41:1-34); 1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? 2 Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? 3 Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee? 4 Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever? 5 Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens? 6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? 7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears? 8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more. 9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? 10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me? 11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine. 12 I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. 13 Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle? 14 Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. 15 His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. 16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. 17 They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. 18 By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. 19 Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. 20 Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. 21 His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. 22 In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. 23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved. 24 His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. 25 When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves. 26 The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. 27 He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. 28 The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble. 29 Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear. 30 Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire. 31 He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. 32 He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary. 33 Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. 34 He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride. As before, there are two main theories concerning leviathan. Interpretation #1 First, according to some young-earth believers, leviathan is one of the sea dinosaurs. Ken Ham, in his book The Answers Book, states that it may have been something like Kronosaurus or Liopleurodon (Page 243). The Institute for Creation Research calls Leviathan a dragon, and equates it to other passages in Isaiah and Revelation.3 What are the problems with this interpretation? First, verses 19-21 describe leviathan as breathing fire like a dragon. There are no known dinosaurs, sea-going or otherwise, that had the ability to breathe fire. Using this interpretation, it is not possible to take this passage literally. In addition, verse 31 says he makes the deep to boil like a pot. Is he so hot from breathing fire that he evaporates the water around him??? No dinosaurs had this capability. Interpretation #2 The second theory, put forth by modern Bible scholars, is that leviathan represents a crocodile. This belief is held by Gleason Archer, in his book Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, and by Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe. Archer makes a good case for the crocodile, however, using a literal translation, there is no possibility that this interpretation is correct. I’ve never seen, nor heard of, a fire-breathing crocodile. New Theories I propose two possible theories concerning behemoth and leviathan. New Theory #1 We have seen that the dinosaur interpretation has problems. Nevertheless, Behemoth and Leviathan could represent dinosaurs, just as the young-earth theorists believe. However, there is no proof in the geologic record that man and dinosaurs lived together. With that said, I believe it is possible that God used the extinct dinosaur as an example for Job. He may have shown him an image, or created one on the spot, or merely talked about the dinosaur…nobody knows. One thing is for certain…the conversation between God and Job was one-way…with Job on the receiving end. Since he was receiving this scolding, he would not have interrupted God and asked him what a behemoth was. More than likely, he was trembling in fear, merely listening to God speak. It is not out of the question that God could have used a pre-existing species as an example of his creative power. There is no doubt that God created the dinosaurs. They are a great testimony to his power, whether alive or dead. This option sounds very good, considering that there is no proof of dinosaurs living only 6,000 years ago. New Theory #2 Behemoth and Leviathan represent angelic creations of God, on the same level as the Seraphim and Cherubim. They were never intended to live on earth, but merely served as God’s example in this story. As such, we have no clue what their role is in God’s creation. Given the impossible literal interpretation of leviathan, this is an attractive theory. However, it is not without problems. In Psalm 74, Leviathan was killed and given to the beasts of the field for meat. You could not do this for an angelic being! Conclusion I agree with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis…there simply isn’t enough evidence to decide conclusively. However, there is one certainty about Job 40-41…they are not dinosaurs that lived 6,000 years ago. With the possibilities presented, I leave it up to the reader to decide for themselves what the correct answer is. We probably won’t know for certain until we get to heaven. What do I believe? I lean toward the dinosaur theory. You may say, “How can Bible writers, such as David in Psalm 74, write about a dinosaur if it lived 65 million years ago?” This is simple. There were certainly dinosaur fossils available in Bible times. They are in the rocks now, so they must have been in the rocks then. David, and others, probably saw these fossils, and wrote about them). This interpretation does not harm the inerrancy of the Scriptures. --- 1 Dinosaur Evidences for an Old Earth, Answers In Creation website, answersincreation. org/poop. htm 2 Archer, Gleason, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, page 239-240 3 icr. org/pubs/imp/imp-241.htm

         
    Disasters what did jesus say to us

     

    DISASTERS-WHAT DID JESUS SAY? Peggy Kannaday (Luke 13:1-5) What did Jesus say to do in a time of disaster? There were two disasters that The Lord talked about. The first one was about those who lost their lives because of Pilate, and also those who lost their lives because the Tower of Siloam fell on them. Jesus used these two instances, as an opportunity to teach those Galilaens about what their attitude should be in response to these disasters. We are now being faced with one disaster after another, and we need to learn what Jesus taught about the subject. Jesus was quite clear in saying that those that were killed were not any worse sinners than the people that survived and lived. Jesus was saying to the people that when a terrible catastrophe occurs; it is a warning to all that survive the ordeal. Jesus not only tells the people that they are no better than the ones that perished, but He goes a step further, and He tells them that they should repent or they also will perish. When we see the disasters through the news reports; what do we do? First, and foremost; we repent of our own sins, and we turn to God. That is the most important response. After that, we need to pray, and The Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us. Those that have matured in the Lord; the real sons and daughters of God are those who inquire of The Lord before they do anything. They know that whatever they do; it is of small value unless it is in obedience and anointed by The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will show us how to pray and what to do. Disasters are being televised in every area of the world today, and our first response is to humble ourselves, pray, seek God and turn from any and all of our own evil ways. It is a warning to us, and we must realize that it is only by the grace of God that we have not perished. Repentance is a wonderful opportunity to be refreshed, renewed, and revived in The Lord. The Lord went about saying, “Repent for The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. Why did Jesus emphasis this point? Because we do not know when our time to die will come, but The Lord Jesus was warning us to always repent in order to be right with Him. We are never to take our salvation for granted because we are told to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling“, and also that “those who endure to the end will be saved”. We are told to “take heed when we think we stand; lest we fall”, and we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we should. Presumption is something to be shunned. It is only by the grace of God that we will be saved, and all the works in the world will not usher us into The Throne of God. Jesus preached repentance all of the time because He loved all of the people, and He didn't want even one person to perish without eternal salvation with Him. We here in these perilous times need to do the same. Each new disaster and tragedy is an opportunity for repentance, refreshing, renewal and revival. When we do what Jesus taught us to do first, then we will be greatly effective in whatever He leads us to do. Jesus only did what The Father revealed for Him to do, and how much more should we only do as He directs. Let us put The Lord Jesus Christ in His rightful position as The Head and Lord of The Church, which is His Body.

         
    Discover romance and compatibility with palmistry

     

    Some people seem to be natural romantics, while others appear to be romantically challenged. To determine how romantic someone is, look at the height and quality of the Mount of Venus. If the mount is high and firm, the person is a true romantic. If the mount is high and spongy, the person will be sensual and interested primarily in satisfying their own needs. Venus shows the amount of physical energy and stamina we possess and also reveals the degree of sexuality. Someone with a firm, high mount, will have a strong sexual drive. If this person’s partner has a similar mount, their sex life will be explosive. Someone with a creative, curving Head Line will be more romantic than someone with a straight, practical, down-to-earth line. Again, though, we want balance. People with Head Lines that swoop right down into the Mount of Luna are likely to live in a world of day dream and fantasies. These people will be romantic, and in love with the idea of being in love. Unless they have some strong character traits shown elsewhere on their hands, they will always be disappointed with the realities of life and will retreat into a fantasy world where everything is perfect. Compatibility Compatibility is a fascinating area. I believe that most relationships can work as long as there is love and good will on both sides. However, some relationships involve an incredible amount of work, just to keep the couple together. In some cases, one partner is doing all the work. Hand Shapes Fire Earth Air Water First, look at the hand shapes. This reveals the basic temperaments of the people involved. It’s a positive sign if both people have the same type of hands. For instance, Fire and Fire are a good match since they have similar temperaments. It’s not quite as easy if the hand shapes are different. Fire and Earth do not relate well, as fire scorches earth. Fire and Air get on famously, as air fans and stimulates fire. Fire and Water are not compatible, as water puts out the fire. Earth and Air get on well, as air allows living things to grow and flourish in earth. Earth and Water also get along well, as water enables life to exist on earth. Air and Water would have a placid, unexciting relationship as both are necessary for survival, but do little for each other. Heart Lines Once you’ve determined the hand shapes, look at the ending positions of the Heart Lines. The Heart Lines should be reasonably similar on both parties’ hands and should end at the same place. Bear in mind, if one partner has a chained Heart Line, they’ve experienced disappointments in love. This person will be cautious about a total commitment to a new relationship. Ideally, the Heart Lines should end between the Jupiter and Saturn fingers. This shows that both people have realistic expectations. If both people have Heart Lines that end on the Mount of Jupiter, they’ll be overly idealistic and have many disappointments. If one partner has a Heart Line that ends on Jupiter, but the other partner doesn’t, the relationship will be difficult. The partner with the Heart Line that ends under Jupiter will be constantly disappointed. They will dwell on their partner’s imperfections. If one person’s Heart Line ends on the Mount of Saturn, they’ll be selfish. It’s hard to imagine a happy relationship when both partners have Heart Lines that end on Saturn. If one person has a Mental Heart Line and the other a Physical Heart Line, check to see if they both end in a similar area. For instance, the Physical Heart Line may end between the Mount of Jupiter and the Mount of Saturn. The Mental Heart Line may end between the Jupiter and Saturn fingers. This still indicates compatibility, but the Mental Heart Line shows a more impersonal love and difficulty in expressing innermost thoughts. The partner with the Physical Heart line would want flowers, small gifts and constant reassurance that they’re loved. This partner with the Mental Heart Line would also tend to be a little detached at times. A number of compromises would have to be made by both partners in this relationship. Thumbs After you’ve assessed the shape of the hands and the quality of the Heart Lines, it’s time to look at the thumbs. For compatibility, both partners’ thumbs should be similar. Imagine the relationship if one person had a strong, thick, stubborn thumb and the other a small, flexible thumb. The second person would be constantly dominated by the first. If both partners have strong, stubborn thumbs, they’ll have to learn to compromise. They’ll have some interesting learning experiences along the way, but ultimately will manage to adjust. If both partners have highly flexible thumbs, they’ll get along very well. Both partners will be flexible and want to please. However, they’ll most likely have difficulties making important decisions. Mount of Venus Finally, check the Mount of Venus again. As mentioned earlier, both partners should have approximately the same size Venus Mounts. Partners with different size Venus Mounts will experience sexual frustration. A partner with the high, firm Venus Mount will have a strong sex drive, while a partner with a low, almost inverted Venus Mount, will find the occasional sexual encounter is enough. If a couple’s Venus Mounts are a similar height and degree of firmness, they are likely to be sexually compatible.

         
     
         
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