THE ARK OF REFUGE - - THEN AND NOW








At the end of the 6th day of the Creation Week, God looked at all He had made and declared it “Very Good” (Genesis 1:31). But, by only the 10th generation from Adam the human race had become so evil, wicked, violent, and corrupt, that God had no choice but to judge His creation.


Genesis chapter 6, verses 5, 11 and 12, gives 4 reasons why God sent the worldwide Flood: 1) “The wickedness of man was great in the earth”; 2) “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”; 3) “The earth was filled with violence”; 4) “The earth ....was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth”. - - that is, taken in the context of the Hebrew writing, all the people had corrupted their way.


These four types of iniquity that were prevalent in Noah’s day, have become a way of life for many in today’s world. But we should not be surprised! After all, when people are taught from kindergarten to adulthood - - through every branch of the media and much of the education system - - that the world made itself (and therefore God is unnecessary or does not exist), and that they are nothing more than highly evolved animals, it is to be expected that they would give themselves over to these sorts of behavior.


As a result, the Ten Commandments have become just “ten suggestions”, abstinence is regarded as “neurotic inhibition”, perversion is “an alternative life style”, and the only absolute left in society is that there are no absolutes.


Jesus said: “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37). Therefore, the warnings given to Noah’s generation are very relevant for us.


However, there is one important thing to remember, and thank God for, about the Flood and Noah. God’s mercy regarding the Flood is just as evident as His judgement - - and is seen in the fact that God provided a way of escape for those who were prepared to believe what He had said, heed the warnings He gave, and take advantage of the means of salvation which He provided by instructing Noah to build an Ark.


Noah and his family were the only people in that day that believed God, and only those eight people boarded the Ark “in faith” and were saved.


Just as in the days of Noah, God has given us warning of the judgement to come (Isaiah 34:4; Micah 1:4; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Rev. 3:3); and He has provided the way of salvation (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9, 10).


For Noah, the Ark was the only refuge from divine judgement, and it had to be entered by faith. For us, this speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Savior and Ark of refuge for fallen mankind - - whose sacrificial death on the Cross, for all, must be appropriated by faith. When we believe in our heart that Jesus IS LORD and God has raised Him from the dead, we have assurance that we can enter into the rest and safety of our Ark, Jesus, when He returns to complete His work of redemption and reconciliation.

IT’S A FACT---HE IS RISEN!


IT’S A FACT---HE IS RISEN!

“...Jesus Christ, who being in the form of God coming in the likeness of man, And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).


But praise God, He rose again just as He said He would (Mark 9:9, John 2:19) - - and ascended to the right hand of the Father where He ever makes intercession for us (Ephesians 1:20, Romans 8:24).


Now there are many who do not believe the historical eyewitness accounts that Jesus really died and rose again, and they have devised many stories in an attempt to explain away the Empty Tomb.


Some have suggested that the disciples stole Jesus’ body and then lied, saying that He rose from the dead. But - - the disciples couldn’t have even made it to the tomb without being noticed by the Roman guards. Then there’s the fact that most of the disciples died for their belief that Jesus rose from the dead. They would not have died for something they knew to be a lie!


Others say that the story of the resurrection is just a myth or a legend. But the Gospels were written between 25 and 65 years after the event - - hardly enough time for a legend or myth to develop. Some of the eyewitnesses to the event were still around to answer any questions.


Some critics say the Jesus simply fainted on the cross (the so-called “Swoon Theory”) and then revived in the cool tomb and got up and left. But - - Jesus would have had to somehow unwrap Himself from the grave clothes, push aside the large stone (which was so heavy that it took several men to place it there), and then walk past the Roman guards outside. Could an almost-dead-by-crucifixion man have the strength to do this? Also, a Roman soldier had pierced Jesus’ side with a spear while He was still on the cross, and the blood and water that flowed from the wound showed that He was truly dead.


Still others have said that the Roman soldiers or other Jews removed Jesus’ body from the tomb. But those people had no reason to do that - - instead, they would have wanted to keep the body in the tomb to stop any stories that Jesus had actually risen. If the disciples would say He had been seen alive, the soldiers could easily prove the story false by producing the body.


Yes, Jesus did die a terrible death on the cross, for you and for me - - but Jesus, the creator of all things, was not defeated by death. He rose again in three days, showing that He had power overall things including death, hell, and the grave. The bodily resurrection of our Savior and Lord Jesus from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity - - the final evidence that He paid the price for our redemption and that His sacrifice, that covered every area of man’s existence, was wholly accepted by God the Father.

CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION

It probably goes without saying, but the fact is - - the Christian life hinges on the reality of the resurrection of Jesus. If the resurrection is not a fact, then, as the Apostle Paul said; “our preaching is in vain and your faith is also in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). “Vain” means, of course; empty, powerless, and of no effect.


But Jesus did rise from the dead, and as a fact of history, He appeared to hundreds of people in the 40 days following the crucifixion - - even to 500 at one time (1 Cor., Chapter 15). Jesus also appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos and proclaimed: “I am He that liveth, and was dead: and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18 KJV).


Jesus’ death and resurrection, in a manner of speaking, “undid” what Adam’s sin did back in the Garden of Eden. Adam’s sin had caused separation from God. Jesus’ death and resurrection paid the penalty for sin (in full - - once and for all) and opened the door to fellowship with God.


Jesus’ suffering entailed more than being nailed to the cross. Around 700 B.C. the prophet Isaiah made known the purpose of the cross of the coming Messiah. “Surely He has borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God and afflicted. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4,5).


Those words “sorrows” and “griefs” also mean “infirmities” and “sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17). Jesus’ sacrifice covered every area of man’s existence. Suffering in our place and being separated from the Father, Jesus suffered spiritual torment, mental distress and physical pain.


But Praise God! - - as a result, Jesus defeated Satan and gained victory over death, hell, and the grave. Then, when Divine justice was satisfied, God raised Him from the dead and He ascended into heaven - - where He is now seated at God’s right hand, making intercession for us.


Christ’s resurrection, then, was the final evidence that He had paid the price for our redemption - - that His sacrifice for us was accepted by God the Father, and that we could have eternal life and be forever reconciled to God as a result.


Because Jesus took on human form and became obedient unto death on a cross, and rose from the dead, we can have the free gift of eternal life with Him. But remember, a gift is only a gift if it is accepted. He gave all that He had so that we might have everything we need.


This is the Blessed Hope we have through our Risen Lord!

TRUE  SCIENCE

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning or wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

There is an enormous amount of propaganda being circulated these days, emanating from the highest circles of establishment science and education, that suggests that Biblical Christian faith is either antagonistic to science or is at least irrelevant to it.


The most popular mantra, expressed by some who have been unable to successfully refute the facts of the Creation Model of origins, is that creationists are “anti-science” (which is, of course, absolutely untrue). The “establishment” argues, therefore, that science must be taught on a purely naturalistic basis, with no reference whatever to God, or Creation, or to the supernatural.


A Christian is then forced to make a choice - - the “establishment” (not all scientists per se, as many are also Christians), or God. God’s Word makes it plain that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). It is understood, of course, that this word “fear” means “reverential trust, profound awe, and intense awareness of God’s absolute Holiness” - - and that “wisdom” is usually defined as “knowledge guided by understanding”


The New Testament notes that in Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Since Jesus is the incarnate Word of God, and “Without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3), it is necessarily true that true science must be built on the knowledge of Him who created the world and the universe that scientists seek to study.


This is why science itself could only have developed - - as indeed the leading historians of science recognize it did - - in the context of the Christian worldview. Nearly all the founding fathers of modern science (Kepler, Newton, da Vinci, Linnaeus, Boyle, Pascal, Pasteur, Faraday, Kelvin, etc.) were men who believed in God, special creation and the Bible. They conducted their scientific research and inquiry with the motivation that they were merely “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”.


But when scientists try to eliminate God from His creation, using the evolutionary humanist philosophy as an explanation for the origin and history of our world, they are not building up science, but “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20). True science always supports the Scriptures.


As Dr. Werner von Braun, father of our space program, once said: “Looking at the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator”.

ORIGIN OF LIFE - - THE FINAL FRONTIER FOR SCIENCE ?


It was back in the 1930’s, when a well-known researcher stated at a conference of leading scientists of the day, that there was nothing significant left to discover. (this was shortly before the invention of the atomic bomb, the transistor, and the laser).

But even after all of the scientific advances in the last few decades, life itself seems to be the “final frontier” for many branches of science.


The book, “Biology and the Future of Man”, contains the following declaration: “Indeed, only two major questions remain shrouded in the cloak of not-quite fathomable mystery: 1. the origin of life (the events that first gave rise to remarkable cooperative functioning of nucleic acids and proteins), and 2. The mind-body problem (the physical basis for self-awareness and personality). Great strides have been made in the approaches to both of these problems, but the ultimate explanations are perceived very dimly indeed.”


So, what options do we have? There are really only two. Depending upon our premises, presuppositions, and biases, everything comes down to one of two alternatives: 1) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), or 2) “Once upon a time, billions of years ago, under a deadly sun, in an ammoniated ocean topped by a poisonous atmosphere, in the midst of a soup of organic molecules, a nucleic acid molecule came accidentally into being that could somehow bring about the existence of another like itself”.

Two choices. Take your pick. Pick the first and you will see all natural history as divinely guided by a pre-existent creator toward the pinnacle of His creation, Mankind, with whom He could have fellowship. Pick the second, that mankind is the product of a cosmic roll of the dice, and that time, chance and matter added up to an impersonal man and universe, and you are left with no God, heaven or hell - - or for that matter, any confidence in humanity and its future.


These two options have significant implications for the way we view ourselves and others. Both sides have their authorities, creeds and prophets, and in the final analysis, both are matters of faith. But the real question is, “which one has the facts going for it?”.


By the way - - have you ever thought it strange that a brilliant researcher would spend 30 or 40 years of his or her life in a laboratory trying to create or duplicate life, to prove that no “intelligence” was necessary to form it in the beginning?

FREE TO BE “POLITICALLY INCORRECT”


Back in the 1980’s, when the term “politically correct” became popular, it soon became obvious, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that any professing Christian - - and especially a creationist - - was quite “politically incorrect”.

Many had hoped that this trend would be rejected by the so-called “open-minded” advocates of academic freedom. Wrong! Almost overnight, political correctness was accepted and defended by many leaders in academics, politics, the media, and yes, even by some church leaders.


Today, many thought systems are labeled “politically incorrect”. But why does belief in the Genesis account of creation and the Flood seem to be at the top of the list? There are probably many reasons, but the primary reason is that evolution is the foundation for most thought systems now deemed “correct” - - from humanism, to new age, to post-modernism (a term I don’t even pretend to understand).


But evolution can’t stand the test of open scientific inquiry. Therefore, the Biblical account of special creation and a world-wide Flood must be ridiculed - - even censored. It follows then, that in the name of “tolerance”, the PC crowd belittles and maligns any person or thought that is not, in their view, “tolerant” - - that is, which does not value every viewpoint or action as being equally valid.


Christianity, through its foundational message of Special Creation, insists that absolute truth does exist, in faith and practice as well as science and history. The intolerant “Politically Correct” movement against the truth of God’s Word seems to gather momentum each year, especially in the schools and universities - - and unprepared Christian students often fall prey to the concepts of the evolutionary world-view.


If standing for what God is for, and against what God is against, is considered by some as being “intolerant” - - intolerant of those views and actions that exalt the words and thoughts of fallible man over those of the Creator God - - so be it!

Actually, I hate to say it, but we could be called something even beyond “intolerant” or “politically incorrect” About 20 years ago a survey conducted in the UK showed that only 26 % of those surveyed expressed belief in the God of the Bible. Even among the 103 British church Bishops surveyed, 25 percent no longer believe in the virgin birth and a few admitted they didn’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead.


After reviewing the survey results, a University of Aberdeen sociology professor concluded that “Britain is now a post-Christian society”, and Christians are “a Deviant Minority”. Just being politically incorrect doesn’t sound so bad.

WHY ARE THERE FOUR GOSPELS ?


The question is often asked: Why four Gospels? - - Why not one or two? Or even five or six? Consider the following (taken from The Chuck Missler Update, Nov. 2001):
The words of each Gospel were given, of course, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. However, they were given in a way that would be best understood by each writer - - from his perspective, according to his background. Therefore, each Gospel presents Jesus from a different point of reference.

MATTHEW: A Levite and Tax Collector - - writing to the Jew.
– emphasizes Jesus as Messiah; the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.
– gives Jesus’ genealogy from Abraham through David to Joseph.
– concludes with the Resurrection.
– focuses on What Jesus Said (as an official, Matthew probably able to record words nearly verbatim).
– records first miracle as the cleansing of the leper (a Jewish metaphor for sin).

MARK: Served as a secretary for Peter - - writing to the Roman. – emphasizes Jesus as the Obedient Servant of God.
– the only Gospel not concerned with Jesus’ genealogy.
– concludes with the Ascension.

– focuses on What Jesus Did.
– records first miracle as casting unclean spirit out of man at synagogue.

LUKE: A Gentile and a doctor - - writing to the Greek.
– emphasizes Jesus as Son Of Man (His humanity).
– gives Jesus’ genealogy from Adam through Abraham to David same as Matthew, but Luke does not go through Solomon - - instead goes through Nathan, to Mary.
– concludes with the promise of the Holy Spirit (A bridge to the Book of Acts).
– focuses on What Jesus Felt.
– records first miracle same as Mark (casting out an unclean spirit).

JOHN: Writing to the Church.
– emphasizes Jesus as the Son Of God.
– gives Jesus’ genealogy as the “Preexistent One”.
– concludes with Jesus’ promise to come again (a bridge to the Book of Revelation).
– focuses on Who Jesus Was.
– records first miracle as the changing water into wine. (also records 7 miracles, 7 discourses, and 7 “I AM” statements).

WHY  THE  WORD  BECAME  FLESH

 

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God”……..”And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”…. (John 1:1, 14).  These familiar scriptures assure us that Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, the Word, the Creator, set aside His position and came to earth as a man, and lived among us for some 33 years.

    Many have asked the question; “Why?” - - Why did Jesus come down from heaven?    Actually, Jesus Himself gave us several reasons why He came.  For example, in the first, and most significant, reference in the New Testament to this question, Jesus said; “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law or the prophets; I am come not to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).  He also tells us, “For I came down, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me”(John 6:38) - - “For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10) - - “I am come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32) - - and, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

    Remember, when Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden, God immediately judged the serpent (Satan).  God said: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:14-15). 

    These were the first prophetic words about a coming Messiah (v.15), and they set in motion God’s plan that would bring Jesus (God’s only begotten Son), the seed of the woman, the Redeemer, the Savior of mankind, our hope of glory - - to take upon Himself the form of man.

    NOTE:  Jesus also said:  “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).  That word “saved”, sozo (sode-zoe) in the Greek, is interpreted in Strong’s as meaning to “save, heal, cure, preserve, keep safe and sound, rescue from danger or destruction, and deliver”.  Sozo also “saves from physical death by healing, and from spiritual death by forgiving sin and its effects”.    In some cultures Sozois translated simply; “to give new life” and “to cause to have a new heart”    Amen!  

THE  NECESSITY  OF  THE  VIRGIN  “CONCEPTION”


 

    “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign.  Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”  (Isaiah 7:14).

    The one basic fact that makes Jesus’ birth different from any other in history is that He was born of a virgin.   For centuries, this virgin birth (or more specifically, the conception by a virgin) has been laughed at, refuted, and attacked - - and at one time or another most people have probably wondered:  “Why a virgin birth, anyway?”

    The answer is - - if it were not so, God’s plan of redemption would never have been complete.  Jesus had to be born of a virgin in order for Him to be without sin - - without the blood of fallen man flowing in His veins.  To have authority in the earth, He had to have a physical body, so He had to be born of a woman.  But to have authority with heaven, He had to be pure in Spirit - - one with the Father.

    Every person born after Adam sinned, has been born in sin - - with a sin nature.  But Jesus did not have an earthly father, and this is what makes being  “born of a virgin” a must!

    Medical science once thought that the mother furnished the blood for the baby in the womb, but for some time now it has been known that this isn’t true.  Under normal circumstances, blood doesn’t pass from the mother to the baby.  The blood type and chemistry is determined by the father.

    As we know, the life of the flesh is in the blood, but because of Adam’s sin and the fall of man, the death of the flesh is also in the blood.  Therefore, if Jesus had an earthly father, He would have had death in His blood like we do.

    So, thankfully, the conception of Jesus was indeed a supernatural act.  God created the first cell for the body of Jesus.  The Holy Spirit over-shadowed Mary and, by the power of God, a seed - - “a Holy thing” - - was planted in her womb. The embryo within her was the Word of God (John 1: 1, 14).  It had to be this way, because to redeem mankind that was under the law (Gal. 4:5), the Son Himself had to be “without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). 

    Just as Adam was specially made by God, the “last Adam” was a special creation.  Jesus, as the “last Adam”, had to be like the first Adam before the fall.  He had to pass the same test that Adam failed.  The ultimate sacrifice had to be a perfect man - - in right standing with the Father - - to restore mankind to its rightful position in God’s eyes.  A most significant event!

    

    

ONLY  JESUS  COULD  FULFILL  OLD  TESTAMENT  PROPHECIES OF  THE  MESSIAH


 

    The Old Testament contains several hundred references and some 60 direct prophecies concerning the coming Messiah - - all of which, of course, were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.   For example:


1) The Messiah was to come from the seed of Abraham;  2) He would come through the line of Isaac (Genesis 21:12) - - which eliminates one-half of the lineage of Abraham; 3) He would be of the line of Jacob (Num. 24:17) - - which eliminates one-half of the lineage of Isaac;  4) He would come from the tribe of Judah (Gen.49:10) - - which now eliminates eleven-twelfths of the tribes of Israel;  5) He would come from the family of Jesse, namely the house of David (Isa. 11:1) - - which eliminates all of Jesse’s sons except David;  6) He would be born in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) - - which eliminates all the cities of the world except one;  7) and the “clincher”, He would be conceived and born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). 


Other prophetic statements concerning the Messiah include:  He would receive gifts from the Magi;  He would come out of Egypt;  He would be known as a Nazarene;  He would be preceded by a messenger (John The Baptist);  He would receive special anointing of the Holy Spirit (Christ means Anointed One);  He would begin His ministry in Galilee;  He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey;  He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver;  He would be crucified between two thieves;  He would be buried in a rich man’s grave;  He would be resurrected on the third day and ascend into heaven;  etc.

These and other Old Testament declarations establish a solid confirmation of Jesus’ credentials as Messiah, and that He alone could be that “Babe in the Manger”.  In fact, scholars have determined that the probability of a single person fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies is only one chance in 10 to the 127th power!  We can, therefore, be confident in the fact that Jesus is indeed exactly who He says He is! 

 

 

THE  CONCEPT  OF  “RACE”  IS  NOT  BIBLICAL


    Racially motivated hate crimes seem to be making headlines far too often these days.  But one point should be made clear, so there can be no misunderstanding - - the concept of “race” is not Biblical!  There is no mention of races, as such, in Scripture - - nor is there any theological meaning to the term.

    Therefore, it must be concluded that races are arbitrary entities invented by man for his own convenience and anthropological studies.  Actually, as Dr. Henry M. Morris once wrote, the term “race” is strictly an evolutionary concept used by Darwin, Huxley, and others in the 19th century “to rationalize their white racism”. 

    So, then, what does the Bible say?  The testimony of the Bible is that all men who have ever lived are descendants of Adam and are of essentially the same race - - the human race.  While the Bible does not mention races, it does have a lot to say about nations and languages.  “And God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth…” (Acts 17:36).  This distinction of “nations” is even in heaven, as Revelation 7:9 gives the vision of  “a great multitude which no one could number; of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues …”.

    After the “confounding of their language” at the tower of Babel, and the dispersion of people away from the area of Mesopotamia, miraculous physiological changes must have occurred in the centers of the peoples brains that control speech.   The resulting confusion and incoherent arguments finally led each family to go its own way and establish its own national and linguistic identity.

    A certain amount of isolation and national inbreeding was genetically essential for the development of national “traits”.   National characteristics would have developed rapidly, because different innate genetic factors for skin color, stature, hair texture, etc., were originally created in Adam and Eve to permit development of different family characteristics as the human race would multiply and fill the earth (Gen.1:28; 9:1).  These characteristics, however, are superficial and could never result in a new “kind” of man.

    The bottom line is, all “nations” are alike before God in that they all need a Savior, and in that all can come to the Savior, Jesus Christ, if they will.  (see Galatians 3:26-29; and, of course,  John 3:16).











YOU  ARE  SPECIAL  TO  GOD



    Just a note to students and tweens who have been fed the lie of evolution throughout your years in school - - you are indeed special in the eyes of the Creator.

    In Matthew19:4 and Mark 10:6, Jesus said: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female”.   In this statement, referring to Genesis 1:27 as literal history, Jesus presents two important facts.

    First, that He (Jesus) is a creationist - - after all, He is the Creator! (John 1:1-3 & 14 and Colossians 1:16).  Second, it clearly establishes that Adam and Eve were created “at the beginning” (on the sixth day of the creation week) - - not after the earth had already existed for 4 or 5 billion years.

    Humanism (a name that sounds like a system that really “cares” about humanity) is prevalent throughout our society these days - - but it is a belief system based entirely on a foundation of evolution and declares that there is no need for a God.

    The Humanist Manifesto, formulated by the renowned educator John Dewey, was first printed in 1933 and expanded in 1973.  It accepts evolution as a proven scientific fact and makes some amazing “affirmations” - - including: that, “the universe itself is self-existing and not created”, that “faith in God is outmoded and dangerous”, and that “no deity will save us, we must save ourselves”.

     When people accept this doctrine and the belief in a process of evolution from the non-living primordial ooze, to living cells, to animals, to apes, to man - - that is, from goo to you by way of the zoo - - it’s no wonder so many tend to feel worthless; just an “accident” of random chance; without purpose or hope.

    But this is not true!  You were created as a spiritual being, “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:4), and very special to God.   Men and women were made to not only have a body (formed from the “created” earth) and a soul (mind, will and emotions), but especially to possess an eternal spirit capable of communion and fellowship with the Creator.

    The human body was specifically planned to be most suited for this divine fellowship (including an erect posture, and a brain and tongue designed for articulate speech - - none of which are shared by the animals).  The human body was designed in the form in which God had planned from eternity that He Himself would one day assume (1 Peter 1:20).

    You are indeed distinct from the rest of creation, and are worth so much to God the Father that He gave everything He had so that you could have everything you need (see Isaiah chapter 53 and John 3:16).  Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, He made the way for each one of us to receive the gift of eternal life with Him (see Romans 10: 9-10).


EXILED  FROM THE  GARDEN - - A  BLESSING FOR  US ?


    When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, several events were set in motion.

    First was their feeling of guilt- - which was expressed in two ways, shame and fear. They saw they were naked and were ashamed - - and, in fear, they tried to hide from God.

    Then came condemnation.  The serpent was cursed (Genesis 3:15), Eve was to be subject to pain in childbirth (Genesis 3:16), and the ground was cursed so Adam’s life would involve hardship and toil (Genesis 3:17). 

    And finally, there was separation- - separation of Adam and Eve from their intimate fellowship with their Creator.  They had died spiritually and the process of physical death had begun.  Because of the Fall, sin and death entered into the whole universe - - forcing God to place a curse on His entire creation.  Since that day, “… the whole creation groans and travails until now(Romans 8:22).  But thank God it’s only temporary!

    The curse was reinforced by the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.  Genesis chapter 3, verses 22-24 explains exactly what happened and what had to be done about it;  “Then the Lord God said “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” - - therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he had been taken.  So He drove out the man; and He placed Cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life”.

    Being driven out of the Garden and making death the penalty for sin, actually provided a future blessing for us.  If Adam and Eve had remained in the Garden they could have eaten from the tree of life and mankind would have been immortal.  We then, would all be cut off from God forever! However, if we repent and have faith in Christ’s work on the cross for us, physical death brings us into the presence of God in heaven to be with Him for eternity.

    So, death was the ultimate penalty for sin and the very means by which believers are restored to God and, in His eyes, perfection.  And as a bonus, the Bible assures us that in heaven there is no more curse and  “the tree of life is in the midst of the Paradise of God” and is available once again (Revelation 2:7 and 22:2-3).

 

THE  GOAL OF  “HUMANISM”


 

    The Humanist Manifesto of 1933, largely formulated by the renowned educator John Dewey, has only in recent years received the attention from the Christian community that it deserves.  But, for the past 50 years or so, the 15 tenets of the religion of Humanism (yes, it has been declared a religion by the US Supreme Court) have had a profound impact on American schools and society.

    It is surprising, however, that many Christians still do not understand what humanism really is (or isn’t), or what its underlying foundation is based upon.

    At first glance, Humanism may sound like an admirable philosophy - - a concern for humankind and for the improvement of the human condition.  Noah Webster’s original 1828 Dictionary actually describes a humanist as “one well versed in the knowledge of human nature”. Sounds OK so far.

    More recently, the Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary describes Humanism (a word not in use in 1828) as “Human nature, the study of the humanities, an attitude, thought, or action centering upon human interests or ideals”.   Still sound OK?

    But what does Humanism stand for today?  The first two tenets of the Humanist Manifesto are: 1) “Religious Humanists regard the universe as self-originating and not created”, and 2) “Humanism believes that man is part of nature and has emerged as a result of a continuous process”.   This is exactly what evolution teaches!  The belief in a long process of evolution of the universe and mankind is thus acknowledged to be the very foundation of Humanism.

    Then, in 1973, the 2ndHumanist Manifesto reaffirmed and amplified those tenets.   Among other things, the 2ndManifesto proclaimed; “as non-theists, we begin with man, not God - - nature, not deity.  No deity will save us; we must save ourselves”.

    Knowing this, it is then obvious that the term “Humanism” is not really the proper term with which to describe this religion.  Humanism should be called what it really is: HUMANITARIANISM - - which some modern dictionaries define as: “The tenet denying the divinity of Christ; the doctrine that man’s nature is perfectible through his own efforts”.

    The goal of humanism is, therefore, to cast doubt, dissension, compromise, apathy, etc., within the ranks of those who believe the Genesis account of Creation, the Fall and entrance of sin into the creation, judgement through the world-wide Flood, and the need for a Savior.   In other words, the religion of Humanism is concentrating on not only casting doubt upon, but completely destroying, the very foundation of Christianity - - namely, that God’s Word is Truth!

   

    

the king of creation


 

    The Bible has much to say about the reigns of the many kings throughout the early history of the Middle East.  But Scripture also contains many references to God as King.  For example: In Malachi 1:14 God says “For I am a great King”,and Jeremiah 10:10 calls Him “the everlastingKing”.  A few of the references to God as King stand out as especially significant - - as noted by the author of a 1980 publication, “King of Creation”:



1.  He is the King of Time: because He created time (Psalm 74:12).


2.  He is the King of Space: because He created infinite space (Daniel 4:37 & Nehemiah 9:6).


3.  He is the King of Matter: because He made all things in Space & Time (Rev. 4:11b),


4.  He is the King of Energy; because He energized the infinite and eternal universe; God is        light (Psalm 24:10 7 1 Timothy 6:16).


5.  He is the King of Life; because He is “The King eternal, immortal”(1 Timothy 1:17).


6.  He is King of all the Angels; He created the host of heaven (Col.1:16 & Zech. 14:16).


7.  He is the King of all Nations; (John 1:49 & Jeremiah 10:7). 


8.  He is the King of all the Redeemed (Col. 1: 13,14 & Rev. 15:3).


 


Sadly, in the hearts and minds of many, these days, God is no longer King.

  

They have rebelled against His authority, refuse His salvation, and even deny His true existence.


 


But, since He is the Creator of all things, He is indeed the “King of all Creation” - - Sovereign, Master and Ruler, Lord and Judge of all things.

   

As the pinnacle of His creation, we, His creatures, can only

  

“acknowledge His authority, trust His wisdom, believe His Word, obey His commandments, receive His grace, accept His free gift of salvation and eternal life, and praise His name!”


THE  NECESSITY OF  THE  VIRGIN “CONCEPTION”


 

    “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign.  Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”  (Isaish 7:14).

    The one basic fact that makes Jesus’ birth different from any other in history is that He was born of a virgin.   For centuries, this virgin birth (or more specifically, the conception by a virgin) has been laughed at, refuted, and attacked - - and at one time or another most people have probably wondered:  “Why a virgin birth, anyway?”

    The answer is - - if it were not so, God’s plan of redemption would never have been complete.  Jesus had to be born of a virgin in order for Him to be without sin - - without the blood of fallen man flowing in His veins.  To have authority in the earth, He had to have a physical body, so He had to be born of a woman.  But to have authority with heaven, He had to be pure in Spirit - - one with the Father.

    Every person born after Adam sinned, has been born in sin - - with a sin nature.  But Jesus did not have an earthly father, and this is what makes being  “born of a virgin” a must!

    Medical science once thought that the mother furnished the blood for the baby in the womb, but for some time now it has been known that this isn’t true.  Under normal circumstances, blood doesn’t pass from the mother to the baby.  The blood type and chemistry is determined by the father.

    As we know, the life of the flesh is in the blood, but because of Adam’s sin and the fall of man, the death of the flesh is also in the blood.  Therefore, if Jesus had an earthly father, He would have had death in His blood like we do.

    So, thankfully, the conception of Jesus was indeed a supernatural act.  God created the first cell for the body of Jesus. The Holy Spirit over-shadowed Mary and, by the power of God, a seed - - “a Holy thing” - - was planted in her womb. The embryo within her was the Word of God (John 1: 1, 14).  It had to be this way, because to redeem mankind that was under the law (Gal. 4:5), the Son Himself had to be “without blemishand without spot”(1 Peter 1:19). 

    Just as Adam was specially made by God, the “last Adam” was a special creation.  Jesus, as the “last Adam”, had to be like the first Adam before the fall.  He had to pass the same test that Adam failed.  The ultimate sacrifice had to be a perfect man - - in right standing with the Father - - to restore mankind to its rightful position in God’s eyes.  A most significant event!