The End of the World

Key Precept: How to know whose advice to follow to save yourself and loved ones from disaster.

15,000 scientists just signed the largest-ever warning about Earth’s destruction

On Nov 13, [2017] the journal BioScience published the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice”…The first warning was issued in 1992 when 1,700 members of the Union of Concerned Scientists argued that humans are “on a collision course with nature.”

…Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has “failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse,” the paper states. Its authors say they are especially troubled by “the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change…from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption.”

They also point out that this rapid heating has “unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years.” Scientists predict many current life forms could be annihilated or near extinction by the end of this century...

Time is running out, the scientists remind us.

And if that’s not bad enough, there’s always the threat of atomic warfare.

doomsday-clock

Think the human race ends in a win for mankind? Think again.

Even the scattered survivors of an apocalyptic event will wipe each other out if left to their standard modus operandi. That is what makes The Walking Dead so horrifyingly true to life. The zombies aren’t the greatest threat. It’s the other survivors.

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William James, “first among the Harvard faculty giants a century ago”, wrote in “one of his most eloquent, utterly ageless essays, a sweeping denunciation of war and at the same time, a paean to military values.”

“History is a bath of blood.” The Illiad is one long recital of how Diomedes and Ajax, Sarpedon and Hector killed. No detail of the wounds they made is spared us, and the Greek mind fed upon the story. Greek history is a panorama of jingoism and imperialism — war for war’s sake, all the citizens being warriors. It is horrible reading — because of the irrationality of it all — save for the purpose of making “history” — and the history is that of the utter ruin of a civilization in intellectual respects perhaps the highest the earth has ever seen…

But I do not believe that peace either ought to be or will be permanent on this globe…A permanently successful peace-economy cannot be a simple pleasure-economy. In the more or less socialistic future toward which mankind seems drifting we must still subject ourselves collectively to those severities which answer to our real position upon this only partly hospitable globe…Martial virtues must be the enduring cement; intrepidity, contempt of softness, surrender of private interest, obedience to command, must still remain the rock upon which states are built — unless, indeed, we wish for dangerous reactions against commonwealths, fit only for contempt, and liable to invite attack whenever a centre of crystallization for military-minded enterprise gets formed anywhere in their neighborhood.

In the article Is War Inevitable? by E. O. Wilson, he argues that, yes, it is.

Continue reading “The End of the World”

1) The Beginning

Key precept: “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” Douglas Adams

“In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)

Good writing starts with a thesis on which everything else in the account rests. The Bible’s thesis is that God created everything. Every single element in the rest of the story, which builds systematically from The Beginning in Genesis through The End in Revelation, rests on this fundamental premise.

Creation is foundational to humanity’s recognition of God’s power to form, therefore transform, and to give life, therefore bring back to life. This is the only real basis for trust in his author-ity in what has been documented that he did in the past, and will do in the future. Every statement made in the Bible, every theological belief drawn from the Bible, derives its credibility (the virgin birth) and legitimacy (ye must be born again) from the first statement that God created everything, therefore it belongs to him, and he is in charge.

So why isn’t he is control? you ask.  Why do bad things happen?

That’s the story. Plot twists and turns.

Continue reading “1) The Beginning”

2) King’s Dominion

Precept: God put mankind in charge of creation.

And God said, Let us make man…and let them have dominion” (Gen 1:26)

To have “dominion” by definition means to dominate those that oppose you. Have you ever heard of a kingdom that didn’t fight its enemies to establish and maintain its existence?

  1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
  3. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light
  4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen 1:2-5)

And right here at the very beginning of the Bible we encounter controversy – different interpretations of what the passage means. One interpretation is that God created a formless, void, and dark earth, like a black hole, then exploded it,  consistent with science’s Big Bang of energy and lights.

Another interpretation, The Gap Theory, teaches that right after God created a formed and enlightened heaven and earth (verse 1) it was means it became, formless and void (verse 2). The theory proposes a “gap” in the account of what happened between verses 1 and 2 and provides an explanation. I will not take time to reproduce the arguments for and against, the reader can follow the link provided if desired.

One of the main arguments against the Gap Theory is that all the unaccounted time happening in the gap can be used to reconcile the biblical account of creation with the “scientific” account of evolution, and that this is a slippery slope inevitably leading to a full embrace of “scientific” evolution and discarding of faith. Opponents of the Gap Theory generally fiercely defend creationism by insisting that everything in Genesis 1 occurred in seven 24-hour days.

Let’s not get caught up in rationalizations and arguments, and simply let the record speak for itself.

Continue reading “2) King’s Dominion”

3) In Earth As It Is In Heaven

Key precept: A son of God is a being who is created in God’s likeness including his spiritual immortality, power, and righteousness.

The designation of “son of God” as any being who is “a chip off the old block”, made in the likeness of God, having his attributes, is easily understood when we compare this with the designation “son of man” or “wo-man” which signifies being made in the likeness of man.

In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him…And Adambegat a son in his own likeness, and after his image…” (Gen 5:1-3)

“…she shall be called Wo-man, because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen 2:23)

The key likeness of God that mark all his offspring is a nature that is right-eous, truthful, and holy.

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Joh 4:24)

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” (I Pet 1:15)

I think we are all familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, AKA The Our Father. Are we as familiar with the introduction, which lists the qualifications for calling the Lord God “our” father?

Continue reading “3) In Earth As It Is In Heaven”

4) Light and Life

Key precept: Humanity has a relentless enemy.

There was one son of God who was made so closely in God’s likeness that he was named after God’s key attribute.

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5) 

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (II Pet 1:19)

“O Lucifer / Bringer of light, son of the morning!” (Isa 14:12)

Continue reading “4) Light and Life”

5) Lust Kills. Love Dies.

Key precept: Love conquers all, even death.

Satan can’t actually win the competition that he set in motion, but he doesn’t have to.  As has been so well demonstrated in politics, he only has to destroy the opposition.  And God placed the weapon in Satan’s hands when he placed forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17)

All Satan had to do to was convince two innocent human beings to eat the fruit.  And for that, all he had to do was tell a lie. Continue reading “5) Lust Kills. Love Dies.”

6) The King is Dead. Long Live the King!

Key precept: Paradoxically, death is humanity’s greatest strength against immortals.

We can envision the plot of the entire Bible – the conflict between God and the Adversary for rule over all of creation – as God and Satan playing a deadly cosmic chess match where the winner takes all, literally. On one side we have the white king – no, not God but his human son, to whom he gave the kingdom, the power, and the glory. On the other side we have the black king, the Adversary, who was deeply offended by God’s choice of heir.

It appeared that Satan won the very first match when he lured humanity into a death trap.

But he was mistaken. As the plot develops, we will find that every move that Satan makes, God successfully counters. That’s because God has a long range  strategy and sees the end from the beginning, and Satan is constantly playing catchup.

I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa 46:9-11)

This most specifically and especially includes the decision to

make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over…all the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) 

Although we currently interchange the words image and likeness as defining the reproduction of someone’s appearance in a work of art, we need to ensure the meanings in this fundamental revelation.

Continue reading “6) The King is Dead. Long Live the King!”

7) Forgiveness of Sin

Key precept: Humans are not action figures  –  the results of our actions reverberate through our world.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ died for usMuch more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Ro 5:6-9)

To understand how Messiah’s death saves us from sin, we need to understand what sin is, and what it had to do with death being imposed on humanity just because they ate the fruit.

Continue reading “7) Forgiveness of Sin”

8) Redemption and Restoration

Key precept: Freedom isn’t free.

Remission and atonement allows us to re-establish a relationship with God.  But what about that relationship humanity established with Satan when our ancestors sold themselves into slavery to sin? Human freedom, ownership and dominion had to be bought back, or redeemed, from the one to whom it was sold.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us

Continue reading “8) Redemption and Restoration”

9) The Seed of the Woman

Key precept: Freedom is won through the birth of a baby.

“And the LORD God said unto the serpent…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise [with a crushing blow like grinding grain] thy head [therefore destroy you], and thou shalt bruise his heel [slow down progress with a limp but not destroy].” (Genesis 3:15)

When God calls his Savior “the seed of the woman,” he is obviously leaving out the fatherhood. The meaning would have been perfectly clear to his audience.

Satan, Adam and his helpmeet would have understood that the woman would be a single parent.

After all, single parenting was the only known form of reproduction in the entire universe at this time. God alone had materialized himself as a host of spiritual sons of God and two humans.

God created [the] man  [הָֽ-אָדָֽם, reading the Hebrew letters backwards, ha-adam] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)

It is assumed from this reading that at the moment that God created “them”, one of them had male reproductive organs and the other had female reproductive organs. But is that correct? It is also possible, grammatically, to understand this sentence as meaning that God created each of them in his own image as male and female, i.e. as hermaphrodites.

Are you aghast at this idea? This actually has startling implications for understanding our current sexually chaotic social situation, so stick with me. You know the most effective lies have an element of truth. Do you want to cling to what is comfortable and familiar, or do you want to know the truth? Follow along as we study what the Bible says instead of assuming we, or our favorite denomination, already knows everything there is to know.

Think about it. Where did Eve get her femininity if not from God? 

“…in the image of God created he…female…” (Genesis 1:27)

Continue reading “9) The Seed of the Woman”