A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label God's Sovereignty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's Sovereignty. Show all posts

December 23, 2023

Questioning "The Sovereignty" of God ... Is He In Control of Everything?

Several years ago, I presented this question on this blog, and in the intervening years, I have discovered that it is still a stumbling block to Christians and their understanding of God. Without a doubt, the question of whether you believe God is in control of everything [or not] will shape your belief system and your view of Him. And depending on your answer, it will likely determine whether you believe you have Power and Authority in the Name of Jesus. And it will definitely shape how you respond to life's adversities and spiritual attacks. So, I decided it was time to take another look at this confusing obstacle to a Believer's understanding of God.

Those who respond "yes" [to God controlling everything] will point to the characteristic of His Sovereignty, saying it means God has supreme power, authority, and control over His creation.  They will cite Scripture they believe points to God's sovereignty over nature and nations. They will quote Bible verses they say validate God's sovereignty over history and the affairs of men. And, ultimately, they will say that even if something bad happens... It was God's WILL!  God can use everything and everyone for His purpose, and therefore that means that He controls things by His will.  So, I knew -- for me -- I had to determine what this concept of God's sovereignty had to say about whether or not He controls everything.

But here is an astounding thing that I discovered when I first tackled this dilemma ... I looked up "Sovereignty" in the Dictionary and got this definition:  jurisdiction, rule, supremacy, dominion, power, ascendancy, domination, authority, control, influence.  I thought, "Okay, that is how the secular world defines sovereignty. How is it defined in Strong's Concordance?", which is an index to the Bible that lists words, and allows one to compare how that word is used in different passages, and to see different meanings, depending on the context. Well, guess what? I went to my well-worn Concordance... and the word sovereign wasn't listed! You know how you try to justify something that doesn't seem possible?

When the Concordance went from the word, southward to the word sow, I found myself repeating the alphabet to make sure I wasn't looking in the wrong place.  Surely this couldn't be! But there it was ... Neither sovereign nor sovereignty were listed in Strong's Concordance.  So, what does that say when a well-trusted and accepted reference book doesn't even acknowledge the concept of sovereignty?  This well-respected book provides an independent check against translations, and offers readers of the Bible an opportunity for greater, and more technically accurate understanding of the Scriptural text (from both the Hebrew and Greek perspective) -- yet how was I supposed to understand text that seemingly didn't exist?

Now, I was faced with an even bigger dilemma! One of the primary arguments that God is in control of everything has been the characteristic of His Sovereignty... yet, that word doesn't seem to be used in the Bible?!?!  How can that be?  This quandary demanded more research, and I was actually amazed to find the following information....  The words sovereign and sovereignty do not appear in the 1611 King James Bible at all!  (MY CAVEAT: I am not advocating a "King James only" interpretation. I merely reference it because it is the oldest among the Bible versions in use today and it is the interpretation/translation used by the Concordance, which is the most utilized reference book for defining words in Scripture).

I discovered that sovereign and sovereignty appear sporadically in the ESV and Amplified versions (written in 1971 and 1965, respectively).  Sovereignty appears eight times in the New American Standard version (published in 1971), although it refers to the LORD God, only twice. But the word sovereign appears 297 times (I looked it up on biblegateway.com) in the NIV translation, written in 1973, and nearly all usages refer to the title, "Sovereign LORD".

So, by now I'm curious as to what appears in the King James instead of this word sovereign. What I found was that "Sovereign Lord" in the NIV replaced the use of "LORD God" in the King James.  Apparently, the translators of the 20th Century NIV decided to translate the word LORD as Sovereign.  This word, LORD, was translated in the King James Bible from the Hebrew Adonai (meaning Lord, Master) and Jehovah (meaning Lord).  When I compared the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (and written and completed before Christ was born!), with every occurrence of the NIV's Sovereign LORD, I found the various terms "Master and Lord", "the Lord thy God", "O Lord, King of gods", or simply "Lord".

So, let me make my position clear ... Every time you read “Sovereign God” in the NIV Bible, it actually should read “Lord God”. The original Hebrew did not mean "sovereign" and that was a translator’s decision.  And while I cannot explain the reasoning behind this recent mis-translation, I can definitely see how assigning the word "Sovereign" has resulted in a faulty doctrine. Let me elaborate...

So, once it was decided that God would actually be called sovereign, then His sovereignty became an established theological characteristic according to the NIV Bible, and is actually listed in Theopedia (a conservative, evangelical, Christian encyclopedia) as an official characteristic of God.  So, man's ignorance of the Hebrew language, along with religious tradition have actually created a false doctrine of God's "Sovereignty", which now translates into His control of everything because of our 21st Century dictionary definition of what "sovereign" means -- refer back to the third paragraph.

But regardless of whether you are willing to follow the argument I've presented on the historical mis-translation or not, I still want you to understand why I feel it is important you recognize that God is NOT in control of everything. Let me start by asking you a simple question ... If you think God IS in control of everything... how has the world come to be in such bad shape? Why isn't God controlling His world better? Surely, He doesn't approve of the wickedness, crime, and perversion we see in the world today?

And if you truly believe He is All-Powerful, and has the power to prevent the evil, why do we continue to see such evil being perpetrated by humans? Take, for instance, the recent viral videos of innocent people being assaulted for no reason by roving gangs intent only on causing harm [or death]. Or consider the increase in child molestation and torture; or the hate crimes and racial prejudice resulting in burned synagogues, and crimes against religious organizations. Do you think it's  God's will that His people suffer torment and agony? If He is in control of everything, then why doesn't He stop these things from happening? And, as it is oftentimes preached, if there is a purpose for His good in these horrible situations, does that fit your impression of God -- that He would let such pain and humiliation be inflicted upon one of His creation to serve His own purpose?

Now, let me break down my own thoughts ... Yes, God has infinite Power and CAN control anything He wants to. But He used His free will to create us in His image.  Put in very simple terms, if God has free will, then so do we, because we are made in His image. But it is quite evident that it is our free will that has caused the world to be in such bad shape. It is the decisions we make to follow either our flesh or the temptations of the Enemy -- instead of following Lord God-- that result in the pain and misery on this earth. Could He have made us to be creatures that automatically follow Him in every circumstance? Absolutely! But how would that have glorified Him? Wouldn't we all just be robots then? And how does that glorify God? He wants us to choose [out of our own will] to glorify Him. 

Ultimately, our free will results in a decision either to be loyal to Him, or to follow a path to rebellion. (And there's another facet to this question of free will -- Satan was created by God as Lucifer, and he used his free will to make a decision to rebel. And he is trying to convince us to do the same).

Here's what we need to understand ... What we see on earth is man using his free will to disobey God to serve his own selfish desires. Think about this --- If everything was "sovereignly" controlled by God, then there would be no need to pray, no need to give financial offerings, no need to even live right — because whatever happened would be what God wanted regardless of our efforts. In effect, if God controls everything, why even bother to pray? After all, wouldn't God just make things happen for the best anyway?

Now, you could say, "But God is all-powerful. He is able to intervene in human affairs, and my prayers can help convince Him". Yes, our prayers rising to Heaven can, and do, result in God intervening in our lives.  But God has given us His power, too, through the Holy Spirit, and the authority to use it!  Jesus makes that very clear in Luke 10:19 ... Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 

Yet we doubting and faithless Christians do not believe this word from our Savior!  Oh, we have no problem believing that God exists -- but all this other stuff about demons, and spiritual attacks, and supernatural forces of evil; well, that's outside the box that we've put God and ourselves in.  But the ancient Jews, to whom Jesus was talking to in Luke 10:19 knew exactly what He was referencing. "Serpent" referred to a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy; and "Scorpion" symbolized torment and wrath.  Yet, we choose to ignore Jesus's gift [to us] of authority over both, and over ALL the power of the enemy!  These terms and symbols are all dealing with the supernatural, spiritual realm.  Jesus has given us authority and power to resist them, and yet we limit ourselves to praying and asking God to handle it for us, and then wondering why He let us down!

Can you consider the possibility that He doesn't want to be the "medicine cabinet God" that handles everything for us?  Can you see that the next time we encounter an attack by the enemy, we have the choice to continue to just sit back and ask God to take care of it for us -- OR we can choose to use the power and authority Jesus has given us over ALL the power of the enemy, and handle it ourselves?  I'm going to ask you to answer this question: Which glorifies Him the most? -- evil forces on the earth continue to torment and attack us over and over because we never stop them; we just wait for God to answer our prayers ... OR, we declare to the spiritual realm that we are using our free will and our authority to call upon the mighty Name of Jesus [and are using His power that abides within us] to wage war as part of His Kingdom servants on this earth.

My spirit gets a very clear picture --- God doesn't want to be in control of everything!  He wants a partner, not a puppet!  He made us in His image and He wants us to act like it!  He sent His Son into this evil world , and transferred His power to Jesus to establish God's Kingdom on earth.  Then Jesus transferred His power to us, and here we are 2,000 years later, with scarcely an idea that we possess that power, let alone know how to use it.  It is not God's will that the world be in the shape it is in, nor that we suffer in our lives from all the slings and arrows of the enemy.

Will there be things outside our control, even if we use the power assigned to us?  The answer is yes. The Prince of this world still has his power, too.  But I don't think Jesus wanted us to believe that God would control everything.  Jesus, Himself, was God ... and He could have called down a legion of angels to stop his crucifixion and controlled the whole outcome.  But He came to our realm to show us the way to fight in the spiritual war that started in Heaven and continues to this day on earth.  He used the Power and Authority given to Him by God to heal the sick, bind and cast out demons, and spread the word that the Kingdom of God (God's heavenly government) was here to take back territory.  It's time we use our free will to work with God and take control of our lives!

This concept that God is sovereign over every thing on the earth must be understand in the context of how it weakens the power and authority of the Believer. In case you haven't noticed, Evil is growing and expanding in the earth. Humans are not prepared for just how bad it's going to get, and if you're expecting God to make it easy for us, then you haven't been reading the Bible. Our free will choices have led to this wicked state of affairs, and there is an accounting that will take place. We have no time to spare! Let us step into our God-given power and authority, and our true identities in Christ, recognizing that our deliverance from the evil of this world is not guaranteed until the moment we are face to face with our Savior. Jesus didn't experience His own deliverance from the Evil, but He glorified the Father with His choices. AND NOW we have the opportunity to declare His Glory, His Judgment, His Grace, His Mercy, His Power, and His Love so that the lost may decide to choose Him over Satan's false promises. We are made in the image of Jesus! Let us walk out this life like our Savior did!

#God'ssovereignty #freewill #isGodincontrolofeverything? #falsedoctrine #questioningGod #wrongbibletranslations #isGodsovereign #God'sfreewill #whyisthereevilintheworld #whydoesGodletbadthingshappen

Romans 14:12      So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.       

November 26, 2023

The Devil's In The Details -- Part One

I recently listened to a teaching on how Satan lost his position in the heavenly kingdom of God, and couldn't help but recognize how he has been able to tempt so many men and women to follow in his footsteps. That alone is a scary thought! Who me? I couldn't possibly be equated with Satan's rebellious sins ... could I??

So, I have been spending time in the Word [and in my heart] to see exactly what God has to say about His enemy, and to see if I need to go before Him seeking repentance and reconciliation. The first thing I needed to do was to find out what God thought about Satan, and there is no clearer picture than Ezekiel 28. The Book of Ezekiel begins with God telling the prophet to speak to "the prince of Tyre". 

Before we can begin to explore what God revealed through his prophet, Ezekiel, we  need to know about the city of Tyre, and to whom God was speaking. According to my research, the ancient city of Tyre is located along the coast of Phoenicia in what is now modern Lebanon. The site has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The city became a prominent Phoenician city-state between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, settling prestigious colonies around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Carthage and Leptis Magna. 

Furthermore, the biblical city of Tyre and the modern city of Tyre are the same. It is 50 miles south of Lebanon's capital city, Beirut. From a Biblical perspective, Tyre is about 105 miles north of Jerusalem. Tyre was known for their wickedness and idolatry and many prophets predicted doom upon the city-state. According to history, it was Alexander the Great who later conquered Tyre. In the New Testament, Jesus mentioned Tyre as an example of a city that refused to repent, as evidenced in Luke 10:13 ... Woe (judgment is coming) to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented and changed their minds long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes [to show deep regret for sin].  

But God wants Ezekiel to speak to the prince of Tyre. And here's where the Scripture makes the connection to Satan. Holy Spirit made it clear that God is not only speaking about a human prince, but also to a "spiritual prince" [as referenced by Paul in Ephesians 6:12... our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places

Remember when Daniel prayed to YHWH while in captivity in Babylon? The Bible tells us that it took 21 days for the Angel Gabriel to answer Daniel's call. Why so long? Gabriel tells him that he was held up for 21 days by "the prince of the kingdom of Persia". This prince was one of Satan's high-ranking angels from the kingdom of darkness, sent to work in this realm to stall Daniel's purpose for the Kingdom of God. We need to see that Satan can send his demonic messengers to influence human men in their roles on the earth, so that they identify with Satan, and then act in their human capabilities, representing his evil desires. So, the prince of Tyre is a human leader influenced by Satan's "princely" angel assigned to the city of Tyre. It is to this human leader [influenced by Satan] whom God begins to speak to [through Ezekiel] in verse 2.

The entire chapter of Ezekiel 28 identifies the beings to whom God is speaking. In Part One of this two-part post, we will take a look at the first being God addresses, the satanically influenced human leader of Tyre; the human being who is behind the wickedness and idolatry demonstrated by the city Tyre. It is my intent to identify him by God's own description of him and then to highlight the spiritual characteristics that not only identify him and his followers, but differentiate them from Christ's qualities, of which we should be equated. 

In verse two, God accuses this human leader of having a heart that elevates himself. He actually tells him, "You have said you're a god, sitting in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas". Here, the seas represent humanity; and this leader is declaring that he is centered in the midst of humanity; he is at the heart of humanity. Yet, what does God tell him? He is [only] a man [weak, feeble, made of the earth], and is most certainly not God. Furthermore, this human leader imagines himself to be more than mortal, and thinks himself as wise as God; to be wiser than Daniel; that no secret on the earth is hidden from him. Then God acknowledges that by his wisdom and understanding, this leader has acquired riches and power; bringing gold and silver into his treasuries.

Then God says something that struck my spirit deeply... By your great wisdom and by your trade, you have increased your riches and power, and your heart is proud and arrogant because of your wealth. The King James Version says by your traffic ... The Hebrew word for "traffic" is rekullah, meaning "trade as in peddled merchandise". Are you beginning to get the picture? Yes, God is speaking to the ancient leaders of the wicked and idolatrous city/kingdom of Tyre. But the Bible is the living Word of God and speaks to us in our time, too. Can you recognize the Pride of our nation and leaders in what God speaks to Tyre? Are our nation's leaders not operating in this same proud and arrogant spirit, trading in human lives through sex trafficking, child pornography, and drugs? None of this trade would exist if US leaders truly wanted it eradicated. By default, they are complicit in its existence.

God goes on to tell ancient Tyre that there is a price that will be paid for their Pride. He will bring strangers upon them; "the most ruthless and violent of the nations". He warns that they will draw their swords against the beauty of Tyre's wisdom and defile their splendor. We are seeing that today in our homeland! The beauty of our physical land and the once magnificent qualities of our national identity are being squandered. God further warns that ancient Tyre will be brought down to the pit of destruction by these invaders, unable to still claim to be a god. He reminds Tyre that they are only men (made of earth) and not God; unable to save themselves from those that wound and profane them. "You will die the death of the uncircumcised [barbarian/pagans], by the hand of strangers, for I have spoken, says the Lord". 

I ask you, can you see that the Pride and Arrogance of our once grand nation is on the verge of bringing us down to destruction? That strangers have been brought upon us, even as our leaders proclaim that we are still the "Greatest Nation on Earth"? Can we, with true humility, still say that? Or has our pride so corrupted us that we think that God will allow us to continue in our wicked "trade and trafficking", without calling us to account? 

I believe God blessed this nation into existence; that we once represented everything good about men who followed the Lord -- the freedom to become who we were designed to be; to reap what we have righteously sown; to recognize, honor and worship the One who bestowed such riches upon this land. But I also believe that we have been guilty of taking it all for granted; that we thought we didn't need to protect those blessings because we began to think it would never end. Just like the human prince of Tyre, we began to worship ourselves and our abilities, thinking we were still honoring Him, even as we proclaimed that He was no longer needed in our schools or the halls of Congress. We began to become our own gods, thinking we were as wise as God, able to outthink Him and make our own plans. And now we are reaping what we have unrighteously sown.  

God warned ancient Tyre that He was taking away His protection from them and removing their position of authority in the land. We may soon experience that in our own land. But even in the midst of that kind of invasion, we must remain true to who God created us to be. We have not been promised a rich and prosperous nation forever; to live in comfort and wealth. We have been promised eternal life by walking humbly with Him; giving Him glory [rather than ourselves]; and steadfastly remaining in faith, even in the midst of sorrows and persecution. That is the message of the first half of Ezekiel. In Part Two, we will take a look at the "spiritual" king of Tyre; who that might be and how his pride and arrogance will be his downfall. 

#princeoftyre #kingoftyre #prideandarrogance #ezekiel28 #ephesians6:12 #satansinfluence #thedevilisinthedetails #prideandhumility #reapwhatyousow #godsrighteousjudgment #manversusgod #manswickedheart #iamgod #wickedandidolatrous #godofheavenandearth #pridegoesbeforeafall

Jeremiah 9:23-24     Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”    



May 11, 2023

Trust God To Move!


I know, without a doubt, that millions of people in this nation are praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 ... Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. Yet things just seem to be going from bad to worse, don't they? You may be asking, "Does God hear our prayers and the millions of voices crying out to Him"? And I can hear you thinking, "Things are getting pretty desperate down here in the good 'ol USA, Father. We could use Your intervention and a move on Your part to restore this nation to its greatness". So, I want to ask you a question ... do you trust God to move in the midst of the crises we are facing?

I know how extremely serious and grim it looks. We will soon see thousands of people storming our southern border to enter "this land of milk and honey". And with them come the threats of overwhelming every system that exists to ensure our health, safety, and economic welfare. Our government officials [at the highest level] are serving themselves, instead of the people they've been given the authority [by God] to serve. Our success and future as a nation have been mismanaged to the point that we are in extreme danger of losing who we are. The principles that we have held dear -- the right to free speech; the right to determine the degree of our prosperity and well-being; the promise of law and order that guarantees safe and secure communities; the right to defend ourselves; and the freedom to live and let live in peace and comfort -- all this seems but a moment away from disappearing.

But, I will ask you again ... Do you trust God to move in the midst of these crises? I ask because I want to share a concept expressed in a sermon by Pastor Marty Strait, of Pathway Church in Longview. TX.  The good Pastor said, "It's not a question of IF God wants to move. The question is WHO is He going to move through"? Ponder that for a moment ... I know that there will be people who will say that God no longer makes big Biblical moves in the world today. They will say He doesn't show up in the pillars of cloud and fire like He did for the Israelites in the Exodus; He doesn't divinely guide us, appearing in a miraculous way to lead us out of this quagmire we have built for ourselves. The Bible makes it clear that it pleased God to appear to His people who cried out in the midst of their bondage in Egypt. Perhaps it appears to some today that God is not likewise pleased to answer our cries and groanings for deliverance. Why is He silent? Why does He not move in our land?

Those are some serious questions that deserve some serious attention. First, I would like to state that I believe it always pleases God to move in the affairs of men, and He desires to lead and guide us in miraculous ways. He is our never-changing Immutable God! We were created for relationship with Him from the beginning in the Garden, and He has moved, is moving, and will always move through those who are uncompromised. So, when we ask where He is during this, our moment of need -- or why hasn't He responded to our prayers to rescue us -- perhaps we need to ask how many of us are compromised? Which of us are unquestioningly and consistently "turning from our wicked ways", which is a prerequisite to God hearing and responding to our prayers and restoring our land?

It's not enough to just pray and worship our Righteous and Holy God. We have to change and turn from our wicked ways. Sadly, I think too many of us have compromised with our culture -- exchanging our "works" for the Lord and our "worship" of His Majesty for self-proclaimed righteousness. Have any of us accepted standards for our society that are lower than God has commanded? Be honest! Have any of us modified God's commandments in order to strike "a bargain" or make concession with the rest of society? Have we been agreeable to take the middle ground in moral issues rather than the high ground, in order to avoid conflict? 

If we've answered "yes" to any of these questions, or even have doubts as to how we should answer, then we have not fully turned from what God considers "wicked ways". And because we have not been attentive to changing our ways -- by compromising and making concessions -- perhaps we also haven't understood the consequences of breaking relationship with God and how it leads to disharmony, and ultimately the breaking up of what is good and desirable [in God's eyes] for man and society. 

When I did a deep dive on the meaning and understanding of the word "wicked" in Strong's Concordance, I found a most interesting exegesis... "As absolute Sovereign, the Lord creates a universe governed by a moral order. Calamity and misfortune will surely ensue from the wickedness of ungodly men. When He purposely withdraws His powerful hand, resorting to providence and sovereignty, and leaves the situation to ungodly men, He has created a situation wherein peace and wholesomeness will not stand. The ungodly men will wreck the peace and establish that which is poor, less than His reflection, and hurtful to all considered". In other words, a nation, a society -- and yes, even a Church -- that has been willing to accept  compromise, lower standards, and concessions that do not represent God, can expect ungodly men to rule the day. 

That is unacceptable to our righteous God! He will not honor anything but our complete and full repentance. We cannot rightly serve Him if we are not "all in". Make no mistake, I believe He wants to work through us and display a Mighty, Miraculous Move in this nation! But let's take seriously the conditions our God lays before us ... humble ourselves; pray; seek His face; and turn from our wicked ways -- REPENT WITH A CLEAN HEART. He makes it clear: IF we will do these things, THEN He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and wicked ways, and restore our land! There is no compromise, no doing it half-way! Be bold in admitting the mistakes we've made and how we've taken Him for granted! And then trust that HE WILL MOVE in a mighty way and restore our nation. This is no time to doubt or fear; it's time to commit, submit, and trust that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do! 

2 Chronicles 6:30-31    ... then hear from heaven Your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart You know, according to all his ways, for You, You only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear You and walk in Your ways all the days that they live in the land that You gave to our fathers.

March 25, 2022

Why The Old Testament's History Speaks To Us Today


This week as our Home Church/Ekklesia meets, we will be diving into the Bible's Genesis, Chapter 11, which features a short exposé on Nimrod and the Tower of Babel on the plains of Shinar. We have also asked our group to read chapters 7-9 in the Book of Jasher, a book in the Apocrypha, which is a group of texts that aren't in the Canon, but have a thread related to the canonical biblical writings. Plus this ancient Book of Jasher is referenced in Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18, and 2 Timothy 3:8. 

I subscribe to the suggestion of Proverbs 25:2, which says, "It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out". Since we are called priests and kings in Revelation 5:10, it makes sense to me that God references this ancient Book so that we will search out more of what God wants us to know. Also, it fills in a lot of historical gaps in the Bible and, for me, actually helps me to better understand the lives of the Biblical characters, and see how it relates to modern man.

But the focus of this blog post is not extra-biblical and apocrypha books. It is about connecting what God is showing us at the beginning of the Bible to help us understand and see what is happening in what I believe are the rapidly approaching Last Days. I know the skeptical will say, "Why do you spend so much time delving into the Old Testament? We have a New Covenant with Jesus, and everything that happened before Him is obsolete for us." I have a different viewpoint.

The God of Genesis is the same God of the Book of Revelation. He hasn't changed, and everything about Him should be important to us. The entire Bible is meant for us to learn from; to learn His Nature and Character; to learn the strategies of the Enemy; to see how God has worked throughout history to reconcile Himself to His creation and restore us to our original purpose in Genesis -- to manage this earth as a colony of Heaven; to rule with the authority and dominion He gave us; and to make Earth look and act like Heaven. I find it extremely helpful to see the ways in which the Enemy tempted men to rebel, and then to go further and learn from the mistakes that men made out of their pride, arrogance, and lust for power and wealth. And we must not forget Jesus's warning, As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man!

From the Bible we only get the hints of what it was like in the days of Noah. But when you add the historical background that the Book of Jasher provides, you see that the lives of Noah, Nimrod, and Abraham all overlap. For instance, did you know that Abraham studied at the feet of Noah? Abraham was the eight times great-grandson of Noah, and was sent to live with Noah when his life was threatened by Nimrod, who was the tyrant of ancient Babylonia, and his reign was wicked and brutal. He was the most powerful king of the ancient world, and Abram's father, Terah, served him as "the prince of Nimrod's host [army]". On the night that Abram was born, Nimrod's wise men and conjurers saw a very large star in the East sweep across the sky and swallow up the stars of the four corners of heaven. They said to each other, "This only betokens the child that has been born to Terah this night, who will grow up and be fruitful, and multiply, and will possess the whole earth, he and his children forever; and he and his seed will slay great kings, and inherit their lands" (Jasher 8:4).

Just like King Herod at the birth of Jesus, King Nimrod demands the death of the child, Abram. His father, Terah, secrets him away to live in a cave for 10 years, and then "when Abram came out from the cave, he went to live with Noah and his son Shem, and he remained with them to learn the instruction of the Lord and His ways, and no man knew where Abram was, and Abram served Noah and Shem, his son, for a long time" (Jasher 9:5). That's a lot of information that explains a lot of unanswered questions in the Bible. And for me, it explains why Abram listened to the Lord when He said, "Go away from your country, and your relatives, and from your father's house to the land which I will show you" (Genesis 12:1) and verse four that says, "So Abram departed [in faithful obedience] as the Lord had directed him". 

Keeping in mind that in the culture of the time, "your father's house" could mean your ancestor's home (such as your eight times great-grandfather, Noah), and why Abram recognized God's voice. He was raised to know the Lord by Noah and Shem! And Abram would certainly have known of the wicked reign of Nimrod, who not only built the city of Babel, but other cities as well, and Jasher 11:4 says Nimrod "vexed the Lord, and rebelled and transgressed against Him". Verse 7 says he "continued in wickedness and teaching wickedness to the sons of men; and Mardon, his son, was worse than his father, and continued to add to the abominations of his father."

But it is not only the ancient books that give us additional information that supplements the Bible, but the writings of Josephus, a Jewish historian who was born just a few years after Jesus's crucifixion, and who provides a treasure load of cultural significance to the history of the Bible. Of Nimrod, Josephus writes, "Now it was Nimrod who excited [the residents of Shinar] to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, who was the son of Noah -- a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded [the people] not to ascribe [their prosperity and plentiful condition] to God, as if they could believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny -- seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power" (Chapter 4, Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews). Sound familiar?

Josephus goes on to write of Nimrod's arrogance and attempt to take revenge on God for what He had done to their forefathers; by building a tower to conquer God for sending the Flood and destroying mankind. These events that took place at the Tower of Babel have had a devastating effect on mankind ever since. Nimrod was the first to attempt to establish a totalitarian world government and religious system that discredits God and ruthlessly dominates the world. It resulted in the Kingdom of God versus the Rule of Man (sponsored by the kingdom of darkness). It has been the objective of Satan since the Garden of Eden -- a one world order that governs the earth through tyrants that he places in power. From Genesis to Revelation, it is a book of rebellion against God. 

Throughout Biblical history [and the history of the world], it has been a story of man's attempt to thwart God's Sovereignty over His Creation. But, at every turn, we see the power of the Lord to stop the events that attempt to glorify mankind instead of Himself. And, so, it should not surprise us that we see it continuing in our own time here on earth. But we, who believe and trust in Jesus Christ, know how fruitless those attempts will be. We know the present plans, and all future plans, to dethrone God from the earth are futile and in vain. We know the truth of the Word and the historical testimony the Bible gives to the Divine Will of the Creator, and eventually, there will be a last rebellion of man against God, and every knee will bow and all mankind will be brought into submission to the Lord. We must pray that the growing rebellion we see across the globe will be quelled by the appearance of the Lord with His Heavenly Host! We will sing and shout praises of His Glory as we witness the defeat of Satan's influence in the earth, once and for all!

Philippians 2:9-11   For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.

September 4, 2021

The New Religion of Artificial Intelligence

You may think I am just being clever with the title of this blog post. But there is an actual church dedicated to “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” This church is called Way Of The Future. As ludicrous as this sounds, it is real! None other than Tesla founder and technology guru, Elon Musk, warned in 2017 that there are developers of digital super-intelligence that have plans to create a new religion centered on a "divine AI god". 

The man behind the Way Of The Future artificial intelligence church (WOTF), is Anthony Levandowski, the man who engineered the self-driving car. Although his reputation has been under fire amid allegations of pirating industry secrets, Levandowski leads the way among this generation's godless in promoting the divine attributes of Artificial Intelligence. Just consider this statement in a 2017 article on the Wired website: “What is going to be created will effectively be a god ... It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?” Try calling it God, with a capital "G".

But to emphasize that humankind is still falling for the same old lie that deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden -- namely, that we don't need God -- the self-appointed "Dean" of the Way Of The Future Church goes on to say, “Humans are in charge of the planet because we are smarter than other animals and are able to build tools and apply rules. In the future, if something is much, much smarter, there’s going to be a transition as to who is actually in charge. What we want is the peaceful, serene transition of control of the planet from humans to whatever. And to ensure that the ‘whatever’ knows who helped it get along.”

No, Mr. Levandowski, humans were designed to be in charge of the planet by their Creator; to govern the earth as He governs Heaven. The ultimate control of the planet is in the hands of this One True God of the Universe, YHWH. But because there are humans who refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty, they bow down to whatever they create to be their little "g" god; whether it be Science, Politics, Money, or Artificial Intelligence. This philosophy plays into the hands of the devil, who seeks to overthrow the true God's dominion over man and the earth, and become the "whatever" of godless men's souls. Also, this philosophy is nothing new. What has become known as the idea of "Singularity" has been promoted ever since man discovered the capabilities of technology.

My research takes the understanding of the possibility of Singularity back to John von Neumann, one of the WWII German scientists recruited to work on the Manhattan Project, who commented [and warned] on the "accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue." In other words, as fast as AI is advancing, there could be a very real danger of human extinction. This "singularity" where men and machines become one, with the machine being in control, has been predicted by modern technology engineers to occur between 2030 and 2050.

But this idea that AI could become a god is especially heinous and abominable. Consider what was written by John Brandon in a 2017 article on the VentureBeat website: "In the next 25 years, AI will evolve to the point where it will know more on an intellectual level than any human. In the next 50 or 100 years, an AI might know more than the entire population of the planet put together. At that point, there are serious questions to ask about whether this AI — which could design and program additional AI programs all on its own, read data from an almost infinite number of data sources, and control almost every connected device on the planet — will somehow rise in status to become more like a god, something that can write its own bible and draw humans to worship it" [my emphasis].

Think it's not possible? In this same VentureBeat article, an expert named Vince Lynch [who builds custom AI] likened Artificial Intelligence to organized religion. In the Bible used by Christians, for example, Lynch says there are many recurring themes, imagery, and metaphors. “Teaching humans about religious education is similar to the way we teach knowledge to machines: repetition of many examples that are versions of a concept you want the machine to learn,” he says. “There is also commonality between AI and religion in the hierarchical structure of knowledge understanding found in neural networks. The concept of teaching a machine to learn … and then teaching it to teach … (or write AI) isn’t so different from the concept of a holy trinity or a being achieving enlightenment after many lessons learned with varying levels of success and failure.”

The article goes on ... Indeed, Lynch even shared a simple AI model to make his point. If you type in multiple verses from the Christian Bible, you can have the AI write a new verse that seems eerily similar. Here’s one an AI wrote: “And let thy companies deliver thee; but [I] will with mine own arm save them: even unto this land, from the kingdom of heaven.” An AI that is all-powerful in the next 25-50 years could decide to write a similar AI bible for humans to follow, one that matches its own collective intelligence. It might tell you what to do each day, or where to travel, or how to live your life.

Again ... do you doubt that this can actually happen? The generation that is now approaching 30 has been surrounded by technology since birth. It's all they know! They've had a cell phone in their hands from nearly day one! From watching videos as children to receiving their news of the world today, they have been subjected to technology as their primary source of information. As crazy as it sounds, those within the digital and AI services community refer to the Bible as "a large data asset pertaining to God in the Old and New Testaments". It is proposed that AI could build algorithms based on the Christian Bible to then communicate what "God might do or say" ... but what "God" would it be promoting?

Granted, there are experts in the field that doubt AI could ever build compassion or the equivalent of a "spirit" as part of its process or operation -- both of which are essential to real faith. The reality of a machine being able to create a divine nature is certainly grounds for skepticism. But could humanity decide to "worship" it, nonetheless? Don't we already? How many people trust and obey their GPS, or ask Alexa for advice? How many of you have had conversations with your children or grandchildren in which they implicitly declare a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, and impartation of information they have received from their cell phone? Could we go a day, a week, a month or [gasp] forever without our cell phones or computers? 

And when you consider that we now willingly implant technology within our bodies, I discern that we must take Elon Musk's statement that "humans will deepen our ties with technology even further, to the point where we become cyborgs, as a way of upgrading our inherent natural abilities". Where does he think those "inherent abilities" came from? And the audacity of the created to think they can upgrade the Creator's divine design! So while, on one hand, Mr. Musk warns of an AI god; on the other hand, he proclaims that "the future of humanity depends on us merging with machines" -- hence his venture into his new company, Neuralink. [See my post on this related subject here]. 

All of these prognostications and warnings all come back to the same idea -- the interconnectivity of man and technology. Will man's desire to be like YWHW, to know as He knows, to create as He creates, be the downfall of mankind? Will we repeat the same mistakes of judgment that took place in the Garden and at the tower of Babel? Will we abandon our true faith to idolize, follow, and worship the false gods of technology and AI, just as the Israelites abandoned YHWH? If, as obedient followers of Jesus Christ, if we are not careful to safeguard and teach God's Truth to this and future generations, then I'm afraid the answers to the above questions are "Yes". And God will not interfere with our free will. 

I appreciate the warnings of men like Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawkings, that AI is dangerous to the future of humans. But, ultimately, it is our responsibility as the Ekklesia of Heaven on earth to declare the Truth and speak out against the lies. We have an Enemy that is exploiting and corrupting our God-given intelligence; encouraging mankind to be complicit in his plans to build a superhuman controlling power -- plans that could ultimately lead to the extinction of all who do not pledge their loyalty to YHWH. In this case, I advise us to consider the words of the duplicitous Mr. Musk: "With Artificial Intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out". 

But for those of us whose minds, hearts, and spirits remain firmly fastened to Christ, I solemnly urge you to be cognizant of where we are headed in this age of technology. It will be up to us to declare the Sovereignty of our true Lord and Master. We will find ourselves battling upstream against the culture, but the destiny of future generations depends on us. While it may seem unlikely that humans could ever get so far off base as to worship a cold and impersonal machine, if we are honest with ourselves, we are further down that road than we care to admit. We must take a stand for God and His Divine Truth! The history of mankind has proven that when we stray from Him, we further the devil's plans and strategies. As the old saying goes, "if we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything". And our "something" is none other than Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible! He is above all; from whom all things came and for whom we exist! We praise and worship Him only!

Psalm 135:18     Those deaf to God can only make a deaf image. Dead men can only create dead idols. And everyone who trusts in these powerless, dead things will be just like what they worship—powerless and dead!




August 10, 2021

Are Christianity and Science Compatible?

As I've delved into the ancient history of civilizations and cultures, there is none that fascinates me more than the founding of this great nation. From the time I was about nine-years-old, I inhaled every history book I could get my hands on. I loved learning about the Pilgrims and their flight from religious persecution to come to the New World where they could freely worship their Christian faith without "state" interference. I often wished I could have lived in colonial times, and in my childhood innocence, I dreamed of what it would have been like to have grown up during the American War for Independence. I loved the stories about early American heroes, pioneers, and adventurers -- Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark. 

I appreciated the freedom our nation offered to worship as we wished, while applauding the inventive and scientific minds of our young nation. I truly thought that faith and science could co-exist in harmony and mutual respect in this land of opportunity. Sadly, I'm also feeling like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls back the curtain and she realizes everything she's heard about the magical land of Oz is tarnished. Mind you, I still count my blessings that God chose to send my spirit to live in this country. In the history of nations and empires, no other country has come the closest to allowing men and women to have dominion over their lives. Ideally, we would have transferred that idea of "dominion" into God's plan for us to take dominion [authority] for His Kingdom on earth. That's still my goal [and a reality] but I am also seeing how, from the beginning of this Republic we call the United States, the Enemy has been undermining our founding principles and there is an alternative history that has been running commensurate with our idealistic narrative. Let me share that undercurrent, which has been existing in the shadows throughout our history and is now ready to stake its claim on our future.

In a fascinating article titled Christianity, Science, and the Enlightenment, a group of authors contributed this concept: "The 17th Century was the moment when opposition to Christianity's cultural authority came to be located, not so much among scientists, but among intellectuals who championed science as an alternative to Christianity." Here's how those anti-Christian intellectuals saw it ... the Bible could not adequately explain the causes of the world's natural phenomena. Therefore it was claimed that Christian intellectuals were not connected to reality. But Christian authorities did themselves no favor by declaring that many of the "scientists" of the day were heretics. It also didn't help the relationship between Christianity and Science that Church authorities asserted that faith transcended any scientific reality. 

And that brings us to one of our most fascinating Founding Fathers and the beginning of a cultural clash in America between Christianity and Science. As schoolchildren, we have all been taught about Ben Franklin's experiment using a key and a kite during a lightning storm to prove the existence of electricity and its properties. At that time in our nation's religious conscience the events of a storm, with angry clouds and lightning, were often considered to be representative of God's wrath; a judgment against unrighteous living. Franklin didn't see it that way.  He saw the need to protect homes from the devastating consequences of a lightning strike and set about trying to figure out the causes of this natural phenomena, which led to his invention of the lightning rod. In fact, he wrote a letter to the provincial governor of New York, stating, "It has pleased God in His goodness to Mankind, at length to discover [to them] the means of securing their habitations and other buildings from mischief by thunder and lightning". Obviously, Franklin found no conflict between God or Science. But then, just as now, the religious spirit which was alive and well in the colonies, found many inhabitants who objected to the invention of the lightning rod on the grounds that it was subverting God's will!

Franklin's discovery concerning electricity, and his subsequent invention, brought him to the attention of the Royal Society of London, founded in 1660 by King Charles 11. And this is where we begin to see the conflict between Christianity/Religion and Science. The official title of this organization was "The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge", and their primary charge was to study and disseminate scientific understanding of the world. Founded by Freemasons, its Fellows have included some of the most preeminent figures in history, including: King George IV; Sir Isaac Newton; Sir Winston Churchill; the philosopher Voltaire; scientists Benjamin Franklin and Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles); James Watt, Scottish mechanical engineer who invented the steam engine and brought about the Industrial Revolution; Edward Jenner, a physician who developed the smallpox vaccination; Sir Alexander Fleming, bacteriologist who discovered penicillin; and Enrico Fermi, an Italian nuclear physicist who became part of the Manhattan Project, which was responsible for developing the atomic bomb.

By now, I hope you are seeing where history is taking us. The Royal Society of London is closely associated with the period of history called "The Enlightenment". The website, British Literature Wiki, says, "The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, began in Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Its purpose was to challenge ideas based on faith and without scientific merit." One of the most influential men of The Enlightenment [and a President of the Royal Society] was Sir Isaac Newton. Described as a mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, Newton also discovered calculus, the fundamentals of optics, his famous law of gravity, and three basic laws of motion. He was definitely a scientist. But he also identified as a naturalist [the philosophy that everything can be explained by natural laws and forces without reference to the supernatural, aka God]. Sir Isaac was also deeply religious, and wrote this stunning statement: "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an Intelligent Being ... This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all ... The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, and absolutely perfect". Sounds like a devout Christian, right? Newton was also a Freemason, and here is where his world (our ours) of science and religion collide.

According to the website, Answers In Genesis, "Few people know that Newton spent much more time researching and writing on theology than science. Most of his time was consumed with harmonizing biblical history and the chronology of other ancient peoples, as well as attempting to decode biblical prophecy." In the Enlightenment, these "men of reason" were attempting to rescue the "true knowledge" and "pure religion" from what they saw as a corrupted and perverted theology. Like many men of this era, Newton was a complex man. But if you haven't already, I would urge you to read my previous post, How God's Sacred Knowledge Got Corrupted. There you will see that from the beginning of mankind, there has been a struggle between two opposing forces, both claiming that they possessed "true Knowledge" and "true Faith". Both claim Adam as their ancestral father, and both claim they have the "sacred Knowledge" that God deposited in the Tree of Knowledge. 

But we can clearly see how that knowledge has been used for both good and evil. I believe that God created the sciences, which He hoped to share with mankind for their betterment -- in His time and His ordained ways. If man had followed His commandment not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge on his own, but wait on the Lord, then can we presume that man would have always credited God with being the provider of all things good? Don't you think God had determined from the beginning that He would give man what he needed to survive in the world and to progress in understanding and knowledge as He led us in righteous growth and development? Instead, man fell for Satan's lie that he could become his own god, which has led to that sacred knowledge becoming corrupted and exploited. Evil forces have mixed and blended faith and science, and unfortunately there have been times when science has dethroned faith. One only needs to think on the Nazi Holocaust and the evil medical experiments on prisoners, conducted by Dr. Josef Mengele, or the Tuskegee experiments and Agent Orange experiments, to see how supernatural forces can distort and subvert what God meant for good. Understanding in the science of the human body has led to good ... penicillin, for instance; the study of vitamins and minerals in proper nutrition and health; and the study of the human anatomy has taught us how muscles and movement affect our overall health. 

Because of disparate views of if -- and how -- God intervened in the natural world, there soon became a split between Christianity and Science. They began in harmony with both positions seeing the world as "a mirror of God's greatness", and Christian intellectuals actually embraced the new knowledge and sought to celebrate science as proof of the truth of Christianity. But Christianity and Science soon took divergent paths. As scientific investigation advanced, Christian intellectuals credited everything as the result of a Divine hand -- from spider webs to the law of gravity to human emotions. Everything was argued as evidence for the existence of the Christian God. But these Christian thinkers rarely advanced to the upper echelons of state churches, and there soon came a new belief system known as Deism. The definition of Deism will show its profound influence on how Christianity and Science began their moves away from each other. 

Deism is defined as 1) A religious belief holding that God created the universe and established rationally comprehensible moral and natural laws, but does not intervene in human affairs through miracles or supernatural revelation; 2) The doctrine that God is distinct, and separated from the world; and 3) Belief in the existence of a personal God, accompanied with the denial of revelation and of the authority of the Christian church. You can see how this belief system could give men permission to pursue Science apart from the influence of Christianity and faith. Matthew Tindal, a major Deist figure in the 17th and 18th centuries, and a Freemason, stated that "All that was right and moral in Christianity might be reasoned from the laws of nature without recourse to Scripture and the fabulous stories it contained." 

Now, keeping in mind that the Royal Society of London, one of the foremost promoters of intellectual Science in the world (even today), was founded by Freemasons, I refer to my post from yesterday, Gnosticism, Freemasonry, Moral Relativism, and the Modern Church. In that article I made the following statement, which should begin to tie up the loose ends of the compatibility of Christianity and Science ... "The modern era of Freemasonry became popular in the 18th century, and coincided with the birth of modern science which began to separate itself from religion. This new effect of science on Christianity resulted in a theology that began to reject and deny the literal truth of the Bible in favor of one that became infected with allegorical interpretations. [This created a huge schism between literal and interpretative translations of the Bible]." So, here we see that both Christianity and Science became infected with belief systems that were corrupted from God's original plan.

Ben Franklin, both a Deist and a member of the Royal Society of London, most definitely played an important role in advancing the split between Christianity and Science in the early days of our nation. While we have, for the most part, maintained our identity as a Christian nation, we can see the influence of decidedly non-Christian forces in our laws that seek to minimize Christianity in favor of a humanistic and scientific worldview. It has become vastly apparent in these last view years. So, are Christianity and Science compatible? I guess that depends on your view of God, and if He reigns supreme in your heart and mind. Where we are headed as a nation and in the world does not look promising at the moment. But I am one who waits on the Lord and trusts Him to see His will done on earth as it is in Heaven. That does not mean He will swoop in and rescue us from all the tragedies that come when mankind places his authority over the sovereignty of the Most High God. He has shown in His Word that He will not suffer disobedience and rebellion forever. Those who place their scientific authority above His will and purpose will soon come to know the fallacy of their pride. They who believe that our faith is merely filled with "romances void of possibility"; who worship "a hero composed of qualities impossible to define"; and whose Name "is only a vague word", will find that all that they have invented by the power of their own minds will soon be burned up in His Divine wrath. As it stands now, I am afraid Christianity and Science do not have much in common. Let us continue to pray that brilliant minds turn back to the Creator. The survival of millions who put their faith in mankind depends on it. 

For a deeper analysis on this fascinating subject, read the entire article, Christianity, Science, and the Enlightenment. 

 Ecclesiastes 8:17     Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out. 



June 7, 2021

Chimera Concern Revisited

If your spirit is on alert, you are probably seeing the word "chimera" tossed around in the media reporting on the latest scientific marvels.  What exactly is a chimera? It is an organism, organ, or part consisting of two or more tissues of different genetic composition, produced as a result of organ transplant, grafting, or genetic engineering. Do I have your attention now? And you may have read a recent headline in the New York Post that said, "Scientists create first human-monkey embryo in controversial experiment". Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California have conducted a controversial experiment that entails growing human stem cells within a macaque monkey embryo, in effect, trying to create a human-monkey hybrid. In the lab, these embryos are called monkey-human chimeras, and created in a petri dish — in other words, in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryos were monitored during a 20-day period and have since been destroyed. But exactly why are these experiments being conducted?

Well, the scientific and medical community will tell you, "Ultimately, we conduct these studies to understand and improve human health." In fact, according to the article in the NY Post, lead researcher, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, went on to say, "These chimeric approaches could be really very useful for advancing biomedical research not just at the very earliest stage of life, but also the latest stage of life." Hmmm, let's see, why would scientists want to engineer research on the very young and the very old? Population control perhaps? 

And that takes me to a blog post that I wrote in 2014 at the height of the Ebola scare. The title of that blog post was The New Chimera: Ebola & Genetically Engineered Vaccines. Is what I'm considering coming into sharper focus yet? Let me recreate some of what I wrote seven years ago and see if you recognize anything familiar .... I wrote the following:  As I sat yesterday afternoon, watching Congress's House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations grill the top federal health professionals on our Ebola crisis, my Biblical worldview helped me to quickly see through the subterfuge.  Doctors and officials from the foremost government agencies all appeared -- the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Homeland Security; Texas Health Resources; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the National Institute of Health (NIH) -- supposedly to answer the cares and concerns of our elected representatives.  Naturally, we would hope that these politicians truly represented the interests of the American people.

If you just listened to the hearing through the lens of "how to better protect Americans", you might think that these bureaucratic organizations are centered on limiting the spread of Ebola.  You would have heard lots of talk about travel restrictions, travel bans, and quarantines.  But if you listened closer, as one who "has ears to hear", you would have picked up on the testimony of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Health.  

He referred to the NIH's Phase I early-stage human clinical trials of an Ebola vaccine on healthy volunteers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  (Does it bother you that the military is always the guinea pig?  But, I digress).  The NIHs own press release revealed that "the investigational vaccine is based on a recombinant type of chimpanzee “cold” virus, called chimp adenovirus type 3 (ChAd3)."  Exactly what does this mean, and how does it relate to "The Days of Noah"? 

First of all, if you have been a reader of my blog, then you know that I have a different slant on Chapter 6, verse 4, of Genesis.  For your enlightenment, here is a quick synopsis: I believe this controversial passage of Scripture happened just as the Bible records, and tells us of Satan's attempt to pollute the human genome into something that no longer resembled "the image of God".  The Scripture reads, "In those days, giants lived on the earth and also afterward, when divine beings and human daughters had sexual relations and gave birth to children (the Nephilim). These were the ancient heroes, men of reknown."  From this verse, it is my discernment that the ancient heroes were what we consider the mythological demigods, such as the Titans and the Olympians; and included such superstars as Zeus, Apollo, Cronus, Atlas and Prometheus.  They were genetically part Fallen Angel, and part human.

 At the same time, all the mythological creatures that we think of as folk tales or legend -- hybrid creatures, known as Chimeras, appeared as mintaurs, satyrs or centaurs, among others -- and are the result of the same kind of genetic manipulation.  We think of them as myths, but every culture contains ancient stories of them, and their images have been seen on countless archeological findings.  This kind of Fallen Angel-technology has been known since the "days of Noah", and the knowledge is once again  being revived. [Think how much further they've come in the last seven years!]

So, how did I make the connection between a disputed Bible verse and that crisis with Ebola? To see the relationship, one must consider Jesus's warning to us before His death and resurrection.  When asked by His disciples when He would return, He answered, "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah...".  In the days of Noah, God saw how wicked man had become and how the inclination of the thoughts of the human heart had become evil. Obviously, Jesus knew this kind of evil behavior would occur again.

At the time [in 2014], I contended that the Ebola event, just as "in the days of Noah", could be an example for such wickedness.  Consider this: As stated, the NIH's investigational vaccine was based on a recombinant chimpanzee virus.  It is my understanding that recombinant DNA is "DNA molecules that are extracted from different sources and chemically joined together; for example DNA comprising an animal gene may be recombined with DNA from a bacterium", producing a new genetic combination -- in this case, Ebola. Fortunately, the world did not see the feared epidemic of Ebola that some scientists prophesied. But now, in 2021 we once again see experimental vaccines at the center of what has turned out to be a pandemic of Covid-19. And we have seen extraordinary numbers of those at "the latest stage of life" die; the very ones that scientist Belmonte claims could benefit from such "advancing biomedical research".

During those Congressional hearings in 2014, it was hard not to perceive the excitement with which Dr. Fauci talked about the Phase I experiment.  "If we don't contain [Ebola}, we may well need a vaccine." Looks like he got his wish in 2020 and 2021. Back in 2014, he was quick to sing the praises of the possible vaccine for Ebola.  "Contracts need to move forward as quickly as possible... We need to expand production and get rapid approval from the FDA ... The ultimate goal is to expand into Africa; if successful after Phase I, we will expand into larger trials in West Africa."

 Of course, then it all sounded like good humanitarian policy, [and probably still does in 2021] until you consider that there are other Biblical prophecies that come into play ... the death of 1/4 of the world's population ... pestilence and plague ... and who is to say that Satan can't work on multiple levels?  And one cannot ignore the Apostle Paul's warning against the evil deeds of men and their use of "sorcery".  It is important to understand that, in the Greek, this word is rendered pharmakeia, (where our word, pharmaceuticals comes from) and Strong's Concordance has established that it means, "the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers."  The word's primary reference was to drugs, and to those who employed them for whatever reason (in this case: for godless purposes). 

At the time, I just couldn't reconcile the contradictory statements by influential health officials.  On one hand, Dr. Frieden, of the CDC, proclaimed that there was no need to worry; that Ebola had very little likelihood of spreading to the general population; and that they were quite capable of controlling it.  On the other hand, Dr. Fauci called for government funding to rapidly advance the production of a vaccine, in preparation for the possibility of "a raging epidemic."  Keep us docile and discourage vigilance ... while planning for mass vaccinations ... and with a drug that introduced non-human genes into our bodies.  As a Christian, that just didn't work for me.... and it still doesn't!

So, in summarizing, I know that there will be those who do not see either of these situations as I do.  I respect our differences of opinion, because I know that vaccines have become a lightning rod issue. I want to state I am not against vaccines. It is a personal decision of each person whether to receive any type of vaccine or not. But I honestly have to ask, Is there a possibility that we actually possess a "God gene", as molecular geneticist Dean Hamer claims?  Indeed, Paul tells the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15:39) that "Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another...".  So when he says just a few verses later, "flesh and blood cannot [become partakers of eternal salvation and] inherit or share in the kingdom of God;", he is telling us that at some point, if we combine our DNA with a different kind of flesh, God will no longer recognize us as worthy of salvation.  And didn't Satan show us "in the days of Noah", that it is his game plan to pollute or corrupt that perfect DNA to claim us as his own? 

Keep that in mind as I share the remarks of professor Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, who disagrees with the Salk Institute’s approach, and recently told the BBC that this monkey-human embryo experiment “opens Pandora’s box to human-nonhuman chimeras.” He went on to say, "These embryos were destroyed at 20 days of development, but it is only a matter of time before human-nonhuman chimeras are successfully developed, perhaps as a source of organs for humans.” If that occurs, we will no longer be able to say that humans are made in the divine image of God. Dr. Anna Smajdor, ethics specialist at the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, has this opinion to offer: the scientists behind this research state that these chimeric embryos offer new opportunities,” because such experiments cannot be performed on humans, Smajdor told the BBC. “But whether these embryos are human or not is open to question.” Lord, deliver us from this evil!

 1 Thessalonians 3:23    Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

March 4, 2021

Gates and Paths; Narrow and Wide


Earlier in the week, I took part in a discussion on the portions of the Human Spirit, and at one point, the conversation centered on the narrow gate and wide gate mentioned in Matthew 7:13-14. The seventh Chapter of Matthew is full of nuggets to live by, according to God's moral and legal standards. And we, in the 21st Century Western Church often forget those characteristics of our Father in Heaven. We don't like to think of God as legalistic. We will say we are under His Grace and Mercy and no longer under the Law. But we forget that He is a legalist. He sets standards, guidelines, and codes of honor, morals, principles and ethics to live by. There are requirements to being considered righteous, and it's not a sliding scale! 

That brings me back to Matthew 7:13-14, Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it. 

I would also venture to say that, from our modern perspective, we tend to see those that enter the wide gate as non-Believers. It's just taken for granted that we, who are Saved, are those referred to as entering the narrow gate on the way to everlasting life. If you believe in Jesus, then you are perceived as automatically going through the narrow gate. Have you ever thought that? I know that's how I interpreted it for years. I think this avenue of thought comes from our lack of understanding about the significance of "gates". 

In the Old Testament a gate [like today] was an entry point into an enclosed area; a door or opening. But unlike today, gates were the place where local courts convened, and justice was executed. Similarly, the New Testament asserts that gates stood for those who held government and administered justice there. And metaphorically speaking, according to Matthew 7:13-14, God has placed gates at the entrances of the ways [paths] that lead to either life or destruction; heaven or hell. A gate can be as thin as a curtain, such as in Matthew 27:51 when the veil in the Temple is torn at Jesus's Resurrection. It opened the way for man to once again have access to God. Or a gate can be synonymous with great power, as in Matthew 16:18 when Jesus refers to the "gates of Hades"; the power of death. So, you can see that the narrow gate has great significance and whether you enter into it or not, has great consequences.

Soooo... what if it's not as simple as all those destined to go to Heaven will go through the narrow gate, and all those going to Hell will seek the path to the wide gate? I agree that this particular scenario is absolutely relevant. But note that Scripture says the path to the narrow gate is difficult to travel, while the path to destruction and death is broad and easy to travel. Could it be that a choice between both paths could be possible for Christians? Here's why I ask that question ...

We know it is the desire of God's heart that all men be Saved. But, in His Sovereignty, He gave us Free will; we have to make a choice -- accept Him or reject Him. There is no middle ground. On top of that, we must accept ALL of Him! Again, there is no middle ground -- there is no area of His righteousness in which He is willing to compromise. He will never relax the rules of His moral law. Yet, look at the state of the Church and Body of Christ today. We have compromised with the world and accepted no-contest divorce, and gay marriage (even in our church leaders)! We have stood by and watched abortion, transgenderism, lawlessness in the streets, and the righteousness of our God mocked across our land. It has been a difficult path to walk in this culture and nation for a Christian! Satan has made sure the path has been wide and easy to travel for us. "Just stay silent; don't rock the boat," he whispers. "Did you see the loss of business that Christian baker suffered when he held to God's principles and refused to cater a gay wedding? It's okay to go to Church on Sunday and pray for the baker. You don't have to really stand up and proclaim God's Truth! He understands how difficult that would be for you and the trouble it would cause you. That's right, just keep praying that He do something about it!"

You see, Satan has been witness to the power and the authority in the Believer, and if he can convince us to stay silent or inactive in the Word, then he knows that he's got the edge in this spiritual battle on earth and in the heavens. We can no longer afford to say we love the Lord, yet remain rebellious towards His Word. That makes us a liar according to John 14:23-24, If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep [obey] My word. That doesn't mean just the commandments that are easy to follow, or that we like and agree with. It means even those hard statutes and moral laws that make us unpopular with just about everyone in our compromised culture. James 4:4 makes it pretty clear that friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God. So how many Christians today will find themselves caught up in the surge of people being shoved down that broad path to the wide gate because they didn't anchor themselves on that difficult path to the narrow gate; they allowed themselves to make concessions to please the world and chose to take the easy route than to persevere on the road towards holiness? 

I'm not saying the path to the narrow gate will be a breeze. Your faith will be tested, and you will be persecuted. Just get that in your head now! But that narrow path is the only way to access the Father and His Kingdom! And it's going to cost us. We won't be able to arrive at that narrow gate by "pretending" to act like a Christian. Jesus makes that clear in Matthew 7:21-23. Although followers prophesied in His Name and cast out demons in His Name, Jesus told them He didn't know them! What if that narrow path is found within the boundaries of the wide path? Would it be possible to think you're on the right path to the narrow gate, while being seduced by the culture of to embrace the wide path that is all around you? I see it all the time .... professed Christians who embezzle money; self-proclaimed Believers who are still steeped in the iniquities of their family bloodlines; and people who I know love Jesus, but are lying to their spouses about secret addictions. 

It is hard to be holy! And speaking for myself, I have to rely on Jesus for every ounce of righteousness I possess! But Father is strict about entrance into that narrow gate! That gate is the doorway into His sanctified Kingdom in Heaven. Jesus tells us in John 3:1-5 that Salvation is the first necessary step to get into that narrow gate. We can't see or perceive the Kingdom without being Saved; and we certainly can't enter the narrow gate into the Kingdom unless we're Saved. But everyone and everything in the Kingdom of God in Heaven is up to His standards. I believe that Salvation alone does not guarantee that much-desired entrance. Jesus wants to see a changed life! He wants to see evidence that you are seeking the Kingdom first [having a heart that has been circumcised and cleansed] and also seeking righteousness! We can't play at being a Christian, while continuing in our sin. His blood was too costly to be sold at a reduced rate. So take some time and contemplate where you are on your path. Are you focused on staying on the narrow, more difficult path -- or are you prone to wander out into the masses who are on the more easily traveled wide path? The Body of Christ needs to become convicted of the importance of entering the right gate ... the narrow gate that leads to eternal life in the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Anything less could lead to an unwanted and unplanned detour. It might make your journey more comfortable in the short run, but will it be worth sacrificing your eternity with Jesus?

Isaiah 35:8     A highway will be there, and a roadway; And it will be called the Holy Way. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for those who walk on the way [the redeemed]; And fools will not wander on it.