Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Seven Things Our Teens Need to Know

Friday, February 21st, 2020

Phil Griffin has provided the devotional thought for this week; it’s geared to teenagers but it’s good advice to adults as well. It’s entitled, “Seven Things Our Teens Need to Know.”

1. You do not have to be in a romantic relationship to enjoy your high school years. Read Romans 8:28

2. You are beautiful in a unique way, even if no one has ever told you that. Read Psalm 139:14

3. While your education is important, you are not defined by your GPA, the classes you take, where you’re going to college, or what you do after high school. Read Matthew 6:34

4. It’s okay if you don’t fit in. It’s okay if you’re not liked by other teens. No matter how much pressure you feel to fit in with a certain group or be included with certain people, standing out is not always easy, but it’s a good thing and it will make you stronger and braver than you’ve ever been. Read Romans 12:21

5. Don’t beat yourself up over the past. In Jesus, there is forgiveness for all sins no matter what has happened. Read Galatians 5:1

6. Surround yourself with wise people that are older than you and believe what you believe. Don’t ever feel like you’re in this alone, especially if you’re dealing with abuse or self-harm. God has placed people in your life to help. Read Proverbs 19:20

7. Never feel like you have to dress a certain way or act a certain way just to win the approval of someone else or a certain clique at school. As a follower of Christ, you’re not after people approval. You’re after God approval! Read Galatians 1:10

Reprinted from Imagine Church.

Is the Sky a Solid Vault?

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Is the Sky a Solid Vault?

Job 37:18 speaks of God “spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze.” Incidentally, Genesis 1:17 also refers to “the vault of the sky.” A vault can be defined as an arched structure forming a ceiling or roof over a wholly or partially enclosed construction. I believe that this is an apt description of the sky forming an arch above the earth.

Concerning being “hard as a mirror,” this passage reminds me of my first job as a software engineer, and my training in celestial mechanics. I helped program the onboard computers for the first Space Shuttle mission in 1981. My programs included flight control during all three phases of the mission: ascent (liftoff), orbit, and descent (re-entry). The re-entry into the atmosphere comes to mind here. When re-entering the atmosphere from space, the attitude and acceleration of the Shuttle must be precise; otherwise, the Shuttle could literally “bounce” off the atmosphere (or it could burn up). In this respect, this barrier between our atmosphere and space could indeed be described as being “hard as a mirror.” Perhaps the Bible was speaking of truths not discovered by science for another 4,000 years or so.

Also, by definition, the sky is indeed a vault. Genesis 1:8 says, “God called the vault ‘sky.'”

Does the Bible Imply That the Earth is Circular?

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

Does the Bible Imply That the Earth is Circular?

Isaiah 40:22 says that God “sits enthroned above the circle of the earth…” If you or I were sitting above the earth and looking down upon it, it certainly would appear to be circular, just as astronauts have viewed it from space; i.e., from afar, a three-dimensional sphere has a two-dimensional circular appearance until one gets close enough to have some depth perception. So, “circular” does not deny “spherical.” Genesis 1:18 says that God made the sun and the moon “to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.” I see no contradiction of this passage with what science now knows.

Job 1:7 says that Satan was “roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Again, I see nothing here that contradicts science. Certainly, I can walk “back and forth” in my office, but this suggests no implication as to the shape of the earth.

Going Overboard on Curbing the Opioid Epidemic

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

My son had six procedures on his nasal passages, sinuses, and throat. The doctor sent him and his wife home with a prescription for hydrocodone (liquid). While he was in excruciating pain and bleeding, they went to three pharmacies trying to get the prescription filled. They discovered that their usual pharmacy, Walmart, simply doesn’t fill such prescriptions at all. CVS didn’t have enough of it on hand to fill it. The third one, another CVS, finally did. By the time they got it, my son (a very strong and vibrant man) was hurting and shaking so badly that he could hardly take the medicine.

Aren’t we going overboard on the opioid epidemic when a patient is unable to fill a doctor-prescribed opioid for legitimate pain? I realize that, in the United States, there were 49,000 deaths involving opioids in 2017. If only we could be as concerned about the 1,000,000 deaths by abortion every year.

The Divine Council

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Psalm 82:1 talks about “the divine council,” and Psalm 82:6 says, “You are gods, children of the most high.” What is this divine council of (multiple) gods? Isn’t there just one true God?

Yes, there is just one true God. God is one in essence, but three in persons (the Trinity). Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,'” This indicates a plurality as well, but this is referring to the three members (persons) of the Triune God (the Trinity): the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

However, Psalm 82 presents us with the situation of “the divine council” which is more difficult to understand and to explain.

The Hebrew reference to “gods” there is the word “elohim.” It is masculine and plural. (See also Job 1:6, Job 2:1, and Job 38:7.) Many Christians shy away from these passages because they’re afraid that they’ll learn something that will upset their whole system of faith in God. However, I’ve always taken the approach that the Bible can defend itself. I don’t mind testing it, because I don’t want to believe something that’s not true anyway.

I’ll touch on the two primary (of many) schools of thought on this:

One argument is that, although “Elohim” is almost always used for God, there are exceptions. One exception is Exodus 7:1 where God told Moses that he would be as “God” to Pharaoh; that is, God’s representative to Pharaoh. But in Psalm 82 (as in Exodus 7:1), this could be referring here to human leaders who God has invested authority in (judges, kings, etc). Psalm 82 shows how these leaders were misusing their authority, so God pronounced judgment on them. The use of “gods” in Psalm 82:6 is also “Elohim” used to refer to human leaders in positions of God ordained authority. Jesus actually quoted this verse in John 10:34 and seems to be saying that if those dishonest judges can be called “gods” erroneously, why would these Jews He is talking to object to His legitimate claim to be the “Son of God” (John 10:36)?

However, I lean toward the second school of thought here, as Michael Heiser explains in his book The Unseen Realm. These “Elohim” are spirit beings – not humans. There is a hierarchical structure to the spirit world.

First of all, at the top of this structure is the one true God – the one essence of God, in the three persons of god (the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Only God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent (see The Essence of God). God has complete authority and control over everything, including the whole spirit world. This one true God may be referred to as Yahweh. Heiser says, “Yahweh is an elohim, but no other elohim is Yahweh.”

Then, under the one true God, there is a hierarchy of lesser spirit beings (which may be referred to loosely by the term Elohim). The Bible doesn’t spell out his hierarchy, but we have some clues. Before the fall of Satan, he was high up in this hierarchy. However, now Michael is the archangel. Gabriel is another angel mentioned in the Bible. There is also a host of good angels and a host of demon angels.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

What are The Foundations of the Earth?

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

What are The Foundations of the Earth?

Psalm 18:15 and Psalm 104:4 reference “the foundations of the earth.” Many verses state that God laid the foundations of the earth, but each verse adds a little to that simple fact.

Psalm 102:25 tells us that God laid the foundations “of old,” and Hebrews 1:10 echoes the thought that God laid the foundations of the earth “in the beginning.” Job 38:4 simply states that God laid the foundations of the earth, but Job 38:6 indicates that the foundations are themselves fastened upon something else. Hebrews 1:3 names this “something else” as the Lord Jesus Christ who “upholds all things by the word of His power.” Proverbs 8:29 tells us that the earth’s foundations were appointed. Proverbs 3:19 indicates that the earth was founded by wisdom while Jeremiah 31:37 indicates that the foundations are not searchable. Micah 6:2 tells us that they are strong; so strong that the earth should never be removed (Psalm 104:5).

So, the foundations themselves are fastened upon Christ, the sustainer of the universe. Also, these foundations are located somewhere under the earth, and they are not searchable (Jeremiah 31:37). Science would certainly agree that these foundations are not searchable. Whenever there is an earthquake, shock waves are propagated throughout the interior of the earth. But there is one area which the waves fail to penetrate. That area is the earth’s core, the very central part or “foundation” of the earth. Until recently seismologists assumed that the center of the earth was composed of molten iron. Scientists now believe that the core may be rocky. No one knows for certain. Man’s concept of the outer layers of the earth’s crust has significantly changed in recent years. How much more so will his ideas of the earth’s interior change in the future?

Deaths Reported at the Debate

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Various Democratic presidential candidates have waxed eloquent about many appalling statistics on death, both in the United States and other nations, mostly at the most recent Democratic Party presidential debate.  These included:

  • 72,000 deaths due to opioid overdoses in the U. S. every year.
  • 40,000 murders due to gun violence in the U. S. every year.
  • The deaths of “tens of thousands” of children in Yemen (over an unspecified time period).
  • The deaths of 11,000 Kurds who were fighting ISIS.  Again, the time period was not specified, but it was also noted that 440 Kurds died in the week after President Trump announced the removal of U. S. troops from Syria.
  • 29 deaths due to vaping in the U. S. so far, in total.

They also waxed eloquent over women’s rights to abortions in the U. S., but I noticed that they left out a couple of things:

  1. They didn’t refer to these abortion as “deaths.”
  2. They didn’t cite the statistics on these deaths:  one million every year for the past 47 years.

 

The High Sabbath of Passover Week

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Question:  

John 19:14 says, “It was the Day of Preparation for Passover Week, about the sixth hour. ‘Here is your King’, Pilate said to the Jews.”  Per other Gospels, on that day and that hour, Jesus was having His Last Supper with his disciples. Could you please shed some light and insight about this time ‘contradiction?’ 

Thank you for your question. It entails several things that most believers are not aware of.

Few Christians know that the Jewish Passover is currently a seven-day period in Israel and eight days for the Jews who live outside of Israel. At the time of Christ, the Jews had two names for the same festival; it was called the Feast of the Passover or the Feast of the Unleavened Bread.

The first month in the Jewish calendar is Nissan (also spelled “Nisan”), and it occurs during the months of March thru April in the Roman calendar. Nissan is the month in which the Passover is observed.

The 13th day (Tuesday) of Nissan is called the preparation day for the Passover. The Passover meal is eaten after 6:00 PM, which means that it is really eaten on the 14th day of Nissan. From the New Testament we know that Jesus and his disciples ate the Passover meal on a Tuesday night (Matt.26:17-19; Luke 22:13-20).

The 14th day (Wednesday) of Nissan was called the first day of the Passover and people still worked on this day. This was the day that Jesus was brought to Pilate at 6:00 AM,  (Matt.27:1-2) and was crucified the sixth hour (12:00 PM).

The 15th day (Thursday) of Nissan was the Feast of the Unleavened Bread and also known as the high Sabbath.

The Jews therefore felt, because it was the preparation day, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day (for that sabbath day was a high day). They besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31)

This is not to be confused with the regular Sabbath. The high Sabbath was a holy day for the Jews and no work could be done on this day. All roads and bridges leading to Jerusalem had been cleaned the day before from garbage and the corpses of dead animals were removed. Furthermore, all graves had been whitewashed so that the pilgrims coming to Jerusalem would not be defiled. This was the reason the Jewish leadership did not want to have anyone hanging on a cross on the high Sabbath.

The 16th day (Friday) of Nissan was called “The Morrow After” the Sabbath and this was the day of the cutting of barley sheaves.

The 17th day (Saturday) of Nissan in the year Jesus was crucified was the regular Sabbath. Jesus rose from the dead sometime between 6:00 PM Saturday night and 6:00 AM on the first day of the week (Sunday morning). This timeline is consistent with Jesus’ words that he would be dead for three days and three nights:

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)

Jesus was dead and in the grave at the beginning of the 15th day (Thursday) of Nissan. Using the timeline Jesus provided of three full days and nights, Thursday night was the first complete day, Friday night was the second complete day and Saturday night was the third complete day. If we correctly interpret the timeline provided by the four gospels, it is not possible for Jesus to have been crucified on Friday as commonly thought, but He was crucified and buried on Wednesday. Please refer to the Scripture citations of the Passover week timeline for the specifics of that week.

The period from the 17th day to the 20th day of Nissan was called The Lesser Festival.

The Fall of the Roman Empire (& the USA)

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Historians have given us five basic reasons historically that the magnificent Roman Empire fell, and each of these is an area of moral breakdown.  To see how the United States is following that same model, please click here.

Marianne Williamson’s Department of (Some) Children

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has proposed a plan for a Department of Peace.  The plan mentions a follow-up agency called the “Department of Children and Youth” that the Department of Peace would work with, but it doesn’t go into details of that program. Williamson puts a heavy focus on early childhood intervention. Her plan seeks to “teach violence prevention and conflict resolution” in public schools, along with treating gang psychology.

I think she needs to rename the”Department of Children and Youth” to the “Department of Some Children.” She’s missing a whole segment of our population–the one million children that we intentionally kill by abortion each year.  Talk about early childhood intervention:  how about the “earliest” childhood intervention–when the child is still in the womb?  If she would adopt a pro-life position, she could start out by saving those million lives from violent abortions, and then she would have one million more kids to “teach violence prevention” to.

You can’t promote both violence prevention and (violent) abortions.