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Thread: Hold These Thoughts

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    Post Hold These Thoughts

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    Hello; and welcome to a random selection of common Bible subjects. This thread isn't a filibuster so feel free to jump in and comment at any time.

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    Post The Everlasting Gospel

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    †. Rev 14:6-7 . . And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the everlasting gospel to herald to the people who dwell on the earth-- to every nation, tribe, language, and people. Fear God! he shouted. Give glory to Him! For the time has come when He will sit as judge. Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all the springs of water!

    It's easy to mistake the everlasting gospel for the gospel of Christ but neither Christ's name nor his cross are anywhere in the angel's message.

    The everlasting gospel is very elementary. Pretty much all it says is:

    1• There's a supreme being.

    2• He deserves respect.

    3• There's a frightful reckoning looming on the horizon, and

    4• The cosmos-- all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --is the product of intelligent design.

    Giving "glory" to God simply indicates giving someone credit where credit is due; and "worship" basically just simply means admiration.

    It's quite natural to admire celebrities, pro athletes, and super achievers-- to give them credit where credit is due --but not quite so natural to do the same for the cosmos' architect.

    Anyway, point being: people either believe in intelligent design and the wrath of God or they don't. If they do believe, then they will admire the creator's genius and also dread meeting up with Him in a face-to-face. If they don't believe; then they will neither dread Him nor admire Him: simple as that

    The everlasting gospel is not only everlasting, but it's also everywhere.

    †. Ps 19:1-4 . .The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

    The pronouns "they" and "their" refer to the heavens and the skies.

    Clouds, rain, snow, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, and hail, speak volumes-- sunrises and sunsets can be especially glorious at times; and who isn't awed by eclipses, aurora, comets, meteor showers, constellations, star clusters, and planetary motions?

    Now; as beautiful and awe inspiring as the heavens and the skies can be, they aren't really meant for man's entertainment. Their primary purpose is to inform man that there is a mysterious someone out there above it all who designed the heavens and the skies-- constructed them, makes them work the way they do; and keeps them going.

    In other words; this element of the everlasting gospel gets by just fine without a Bible and/or a Bible thumper. It doesn't need the voice of a human evangelist and/or the assistance of a translator. The heavens and the skies are illiterate; and yet eloquent. The are also multilingual-- there is nobody anywhere on earth unable to hear what the heavens and the skies have to say about a mysterious someone out there above it all who designed the heavens and the skies, constructed them, and makes them work the way they do.

    †. Rom 1:18 . .The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness

    The "wrath" about which that passage speaks corresponds to an element of the everlasting gospel; which is:

    "The hour of His judgment is come" (Rev 14:7a)

    "His judgment" is directly related to the everlasting gospel's command to "Fear God, and give glory to Him" (Rev 14:7b)

    When you get right down to the bottom line: there are people on a road to the wrath of God for little more than refusing to believe in intelligent design.

    †. Rom 1:19-20 . .What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature --have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Others are on a road to the wrath of God for little more than their failure to give the intelligent designer the respect He deserves.

    †. Rom 1:21 . . For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave Him thanks.

    The everlasting gospel as per that angel in Rev 14:6-7 may be brief, but it sure is lethal.

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    Post Why Adam Didn't Drop Dead

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    †. Gen 2:16-17 . . And the Lord God commanded the man, saying: From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.

    That passage has always been an embarrassment for Bible thumpers because Adam didn't drop dead the instant he tasted the forbidden fruit. In point of fact, he continued to live outside the garden of Eden for another 800 years after the birth of his son Seth. (Gen 5:4)

    So; is there a reasonable explanation for this apparent discrepancy?

    Well; first off let me point out that in order for the threat to resonate in Adam's thinking; it had to be related to death as Adam understood death in his day, not as the Bible thumpers understand death in their day. In other words; Adam didn't expect to die spiritually. No, he expected to die normally; viz: physically; like as in pass away.

    How can I be so sure that God meant normal death instead of spiritual death? Because according to Gen 3:19 that's how it worked out; and to make sure Adam stayed normally dead, God blocked his access to the tree of life. (Gen 3:22-24)

    Anyway; the trick is: Adam wasn't told he would die the instant he tasted the fruit. God's exact words were "in the day"

    Well; according to Gen 2:4, the Hebrew word for "day" is a bit ambiguous. It can easily indicate a period of time much, much longer than 24 hours' viz; the "day" of Adam's death began the moment he ate the fruit.

    That was a milestone in human history. Up till Adam tasted the fruit, the only days on record were the six of creation, and the one when God ceased creating. Adam inaugurated a new day by tasting the fruit-- the day of death.

    "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men" (Rom 5:12)

    Well; like Jack Palance's character Curly in the movie City Slickers said: "The day ain't over yet"

    †. Ecc 7:2 . . It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of gaiety, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this seriously.

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    †. Rom 1:18 . .The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness
    IS BEING revealed...how does that fit in this age of grace...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quest View Post
    IS BEING revealed...how does that fit in this age of grace...
    The so-called age of grace isn't an age of universal immunity; for many are called but few are chosen.

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    Post Who's Your Daddy?

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    †. Gen 2:21-23 . .Yhvh God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

    The Hebrew for "rib" in that passage is is tsela' (tsay-law') and Gen 2:21-23 contains the only two places in the entire Old Testament where it's translated with an English word representing a skeletal bone. In the other twenty-nine places, it's translated "side"

    In other words: Eve wasn't constructed directly from the dust of the earth as was Adam. She was constructed from a human tissue sample amputated from Adam's body; ergo: Eve got her human life from Adam; consequently any and all human life produced by Eve's body is Adam's human life.

    It was apparently the creator's deliberate design that all human life be biologically related to a sole source of human life-- the one and only human life that God created directly from the earth's dust; viz: Adam.

    So then; it is not quite accurate to say that Christ didn't have a human father because if Christ is biologically related to his mother, and if his mother is biologically related to Eve, then Christ is biologically related to Adam.

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    Post The Length Of A Creation Day

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    †. Gen 1:5b . . And there was evening and there was morning, a first Day.

    In accordance with a normal, strict chronological sequence; evening and morning would indicate overnight; viz: a day of creation would take place entirely in the dark; which fails to comply with the definitions of Day given at Gen 1:4-5a and Gen 1:14-18.

    Seeing as how it says evening and morning instead of evening to morning, then we're not really looking at a chronological sequence but merely the Am/Pm portions of daytime because evening and morning is all the same as morning and evening.

    In other words: morning represents the hours of daylight between sunup and high noon, while evening represents the hours of daylight between high noon and sunset.

    NOTE: I suspect that God did His work of creation during what is defined as daytime rather than what is defined as nighttime in order to convey the idea that His work was a work of light as opposed to a work of darkness. That makes sense to me seeing as how there were no actual mornings and afternoons till the fourth day. I also suspect that Christ rose from the dead during daytime instead of nighttime in order to convey the very same idea.

    Now, just exactly how long were the days of creation? Well; according to Gen 1:24-31, God created humans and all land animals on the sixth day; which has to include dinosaurs because on no other day did God create land animals but the sixth.

    Hard-core Bible thumpers insist the days of creation were 24-hour calendar days in length; but scientific dating methods have easily proven that dinosaurs preceded human life by several million years. So then, in my estimation, the days of creation should be taken to represent epochs of indeterminable length rather than 24-hour calendar days.

    That's not an unreasonable estimation; for example:

    "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven." (Gen 2:4)

    The Hebrew word for "day" in that verse is yowm (yome) which is the very same word for each of the six days of God's creation labors. Since yowm in Gen 2:4 refers to a period of time obviously much longer than a 24-hour calendar day; it justifies suggesting that each of the six days of creation were longer than 24 hours apiece too. In other words: yowm is ambiguous and not all that easy to interpret sometimes.

    Another useful hint as to the length of the days of creation is located in the sixth chapter of Genesis where Noah is instructed to coat the interior and exterior of his ark with a substance the Bible calls "pitch". The Hebrew word is kopher (ko'-fer) which indicates a material called bitumen: a naturally-occurring kind of asphalt formed from the remains of ancient, microscopic algae (diatoms) and other once-living things. In order for bitumen to be available in Noah's day, the organisms from whence it was formed had to have existed on the earth several thousands of years before him.

    So then, why can't Bible thumpers accept a six-epoch explanation? Because they're hung up on the expression "evening and morning".

    The interesting thing is: there were no physical evenings and mornings till the fourth day when the sun was created and brought on line. So I suggest that the expression "evening and morning" is simply a convenient way to indicate the simultaneous wrap of one epoch and the beginning of another; and even more important, evening and morning indicate periods of light only, rather than periods of light and darkness together. In other words: none of God's creative activity was done in the dark. I think that is very significant.

    Anyway; this "day" thing has been a chronic problem for just about everybody who takes Genesis seriously. It's typically assumed that the days of creation consisted of twenty-four hours apiece; so we end up stumped when trying to figure out how to cope with the 4.5 billion-year age of the earth, and factor in the various eras, e.g. Triassic, Jurassic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic, Cretaceous, etc, plus the ice ages and the mass extinction events. It just never seems to occur to us that it might be okay in some cases to go ahead and think outside the box. When we do that— when we allow ourselves to think outside the box —that's when we begin to really appreciate the contributions science has made towards providing modern men a window into the Earth's amazing past.

    Galileo believed that science and religion are allies rather than enemies— two different languages telling the same story. In other words: science and religion compliment each other— science answers questions that religion doesn't answer, and religion answers questions that science cannot answer; viz: science and religion are not enemies; no, to the contrary, science and religion assist each other in their respective quests to get to the bottom of some of the cosmos' greatest mysteries.

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    Post Creation's Light

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    In the April 2014 edition of Discover magazine, astrophysicist/cosmologist Avi Loeb states that the Bible attributes the appearance of stars and galaxies to the divine proclamation "Let there be light". Is Mr. Loeb's statement correct? No; of course not. God created light on the very first day of creation; while luminous celestial objects weren't created until the fourth.

    The Bible is notoriously concise in some places; especially in it's story of the creation of light. Well; the creation of light was a very, very intricate process. First God had to create particulate matter, and along with those particles their specific properties, including mass. Then He had to invent laws to govern how matter behaves in combination with and/or in the presence of, other kinds of matter in order to generate photons. The same laws that make it possible for matter to generate photons also make other conditions possible too; e.g. fire, wind, water, ice, soil, rain, life, centrifugal force, thermodynamics, fusion, dark energy, gravity, atoms, organic molecules, magnetism, radiation, high energy X-rays and gamma rays, temperature, pressure, force, inertia, friction, and electricity; et al. So the creation of light was a pretty big deal; yet Genesis scarcely gives its origin passing mention.

    †. Gen 1:1-2 . .The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep

    That statement reveals the cosmos' condition prior to the creation of light; and no mystery there because sans the physics that make light possible, the cosmos' particulate matter would never have coalesced into something coherent.

    2Cor 4:6 verifies that light wasn't introduced into the cosmos from outside in order to dispel the darkness and brighten things up a bit; but rather, it radiated out of the cosmos from inside-- from itself --indicating that the cosmos was created to be self-illuminating by means of the various interactions of the matter that God made for it; including, but not limited to, the Higgs Boson.

    Some Bible students regard science an enemy of religion; but I sincerely believe that is a bad attitude to take towards science. Galileo believed that religion and science are allies rather than enemies-- two different languages telling the same story. Religion provides answers to questions that science cannot answer, while science provides answers to questions that religion does not answer.

    1Tim 6:20 commands Christ's followers to avoid "science-- falsely so-called". However, not all science is false. Previous to what we might call the modern era, many scientific ideas were theoretical and largely untested. and therefore subsequently proven largely false. But that all began to change as men begin making, not ideas, but discoveries; and discoveries are far more reliable than untested ideas.

    There are well-meaning folk who prefer to keep science out of the first chapter of Genesis. I truly believe that is an error because though the cosmos has a supernatural origin, it is not a supernatural cosmos; rather, it is a very natural cosmos and the creation story makes better sense, at least to me anyway, when it's approached from that angle.

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    Post Day And Night

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    †. Gen 1:4b-5a . . God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

    Day and Night simply label two distinct physical conditions-- the absence of light, and/or the absence of darkness. Labeling those physical conditions may seem like a superfluous detail, but when analyzing crucifixion week in the New Testament, it's essential to keep those physical conditions separate in regards to Christ's burial and resurrection if one is to have any hope of deducing the correct chronology of Easter week.

    †.
    Gen 1:14 . . God said: Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish Day from Night

    On the first day; God defined Day as a condition of light; and defined Night as a condition of darkness. Here, it's further defined that Day, as pertains to life on Earth, is when the sun is up; and Night is when the sun is down.

    These definitions occur so early in the Bible that they easily escape the memories of Bible students as they slip into the reflexive habit of always thinking of Days as periods of one earth rotation of 24 hours. That's okay for calendars but can lead to gross misunderstandings when interpreting biblical schedules, predictions, and/or chronologies.

    †.
    Gen 1:15-18a . . God made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to distinguish light from darkness.

    For the third time in Genesis, "day" is defined as when the sun is up, and "night" is defined as when the sun is down; and yet people still don't think God means it.

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    Post The Image And Likeness Of God

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    †. Gen 1:26-27 . . Then God said: Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

    Genesis 9:5-6 outlaws murder: not on the basis that its morally wrong, but because humanity was created in the image of God.

    James 3:9 frowns upon cursing people: not on the basis that it's morally wrong; but because humanity was created in the image of God.

    I take it from those passages that were it not for the fact that mankind was created in the image of God, human life would be very cheap, and have no more value than a gerbil or a garden slug. The image and likeness of God is what lends human life a measure of dignity over and above the animal kingdom. Were it not for their image and likeness of God, people could go on safari and hunt each other for sport, like human wildlife, and mount their heads on walls and mantles.

    Gen 5:3 indicates that at least one of the meanings of "image and likeness" is the reproduction of one's self by means of engendering biological children. However; humanity bears small resemblance to its creator because God isn't physical. According to John 4:24 God is spirit, while according to John 3:6 humanity is solid. According to Ex 3:14 God is imperishable, while according to Matt 10:28, humanity is perishable: body and soul.

    Though humanity obviously isn't God's biological offspring, it still seems to me "children" is the best way to define humanity's image and likeness of God: at least in a limited way; for example:

    †. Ps 82:6 . . I said: You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.

    Now, obviously humanity's status as sons of the Most High isn't a biological status because according to Gen 2:7 human life was constructed from the dust of the earth; in other words: humanity wasn't born a son of the Most High by means of the Most High giving birth. So then; I think it safe to conclude that humanity's status as a son isn't a natural-born status; but rather, an honorary status; viz: the image and likeness of God is conferred rather than inherited. And a pretty amazing status it is too seeing as how it's about as close to divine as a creature can get without actually having biologically descended from God.

    †. Ps 8:5 . .You have made man a little lower than the angels; and You have crowned him with glory and honor.

    The "glory and honor" spoken of in that Psalm pertains to the image and likeness of God; which puts humanity pretty high up on the food chain-- not because they are brighter and smarter then the other creatures; but because the image and likeness of God lends mankind an amount of value that no other species on Earth can match.

    Q: If mankind was created in the image and likeness of God, then why is mankind so prone to evil?

    A: Because mankind isn't biologically related to God, nor is mankind a chip off the olde block, so to speak. The term "image and likeness" is merely a status. It has no bearing whatsoever upon either the qualities, or the character, or the personality of mankind's creator. Were mankind biologically related to God, it would be 110% sinless in thought, word, and deed.

    †. John 3:9 . .Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

    Q: But doesn't Acts 17:28-29 say that mankind is God's biological kin?

    A: According to Acts 22:3, Paul the apostle was accomplished in Judaism; so he knew very well from the schooling he underwent with Gamaliel that according to Gen 2:7 human beings are definitely not God's biological kin. No; Paul simply appealed to Greek poetry to point out to the Athenians that if human beings were truly God's biological offspring, then the father of human beings surely would be made of something other than metal and/or stone. I think maybe the Greeks took their religious art just a mite too seriously.

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