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,  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…”
The US professor warns that the climate crisis, the threat of nuclear war and rising authoritarianism mean the risk of human extinction has never been greater…
In When at Times the Mob Is Swayed: A Citizen’s Guide to Defending Our Republic, Burt Neuborne mostly focuses on how America’s constitutional foundation in 2019—an unrepresentative Congress, the Electoral College and a right-wing Supreme Court majority—is not positioned to withstand Trump’s extreme polarization and GOP power grabs…as many Holocaust survivors have said, few Germans or Europeans expected what unfolded in the years after Hitler amassed power…
In the article Is War Inevitable? by E. O. Wilson, he argues that, yes, it is.
Our bloody nature, it can now be argued in the context of modern biology, is ingrained because group-versus-group competition was a principal driving force…Each tribe knew with justification that if it was not armed and ready, its very existence was imperiled…Any excuse for a real war will do, so long as it is seen as necessary to protect the tribe…
Wars and genocide have been universal and eternal…Archaeological sites are strewn with the evidence of mass conflicts and burials of massacred people…At the present time, we are still fundamentally the same as our hunter-gatherer ancestors, but with more food and larger territories…The struggle to control vital resources continues globally, and it is growing worse.
William James, first among the Harvard faculty giants a century ago, wrote in “one of his most eloquent, utterly ageless essays…“History is a bath of blood…”
This fact challenges the myth of “the noble savage” envisioned as “living off the land by hunting and gathering what it had to offer…if there was not enough food in a group’s direct vicinity, it meant they had to move around and lead more nomadic lifestyles in order to sustain themselves.”
This vision of native peoples satisfied with the bare essentials, minding their own business is pure romanticism. The theory of evolution, developed in the same time period as the discovery of many indigenous peoples, is predicated on the observation of the “survival of the fittest”, and it is a fact that apes have inherently violent natures.
As the famous explorer Captain Cook discovered to his mortal chagrin, evidence supports the most ancient historical records that humanity has from the outset been murderers and thieves, with the strong oppressing the weak.
…it is obvious that the techniques of organized warfare had been developed and were ready for extensive application at the beginning of historic times as man crossed the boundary of the pre-historic world into civilization. The societies of the Tigris-Euphrates and Nile valleys were forged from the outset in war, and the skill of war was one of the most important distinguishing characteristics of the early civilizations.
And current civilization. Truces and surrenders only provide brief respites to gather armies and stockpile weapons. When the balance of power tips to one side, it all starts again. Every single great power has risen only to fall. Do we Americans really believe that our government is strong enough to override this inexorable course of history?
The human race does not ends in a win for mankind. Even the scattered survivors of an apocalypse 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.
So megalomaniac leaders put their faith in alliances with non-human hyper dimensional beings.
Think about that for two seconds.
What other reason would supermen have to ally themselves with mere humans other than to gain access to our resources for themselves? And after the more highly advanced civilization enslaves and plunders the less advanced civilization, what do they do?
tThe Rape of Africa was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonization of African territory by European powers… [in just 30 years AFTER slavery was abolished] (between 1881 and 1914). The 10 percent of Africa that was under formal European control in 1870 increased to almost 90 percent by 1914…
Technological advances facilitated European expansion overseas…Medical advances also played an important role…
the demand for raw materials, especially copper, cotton, rubber, palm oil, cocoa, diamonds, tea, and tin…
large native populations were also a source of military power; Britain and France used large numbers of British Indian and North African soldiers…
…,many atrocities were perpetrated in the Congo Free State…laborers who failed to meet rubber collection quotas were often punished by having their hands cut off…up to [half] of the estimated 16 million native inhabitants died [in 25 years] between 1885 and 1908…[from] “indiscriminate war”, starvation, reduction of births and diseases… It has been estimated that sleeping sickness and smallpox killed nearly half the population in the areas surrounding the lower Congo River…
A similar situation occurred in the neighbouring French Congo…brutal methods, along with the introduction of disease, resulted in the loss of up to 50 percent of the indigenous population…
to build the Suez Canal…sources estimate…that 120,000 workers died over the ten years of construction due to malnutrition, fatigue and disease, especially cholera…
Germany became the third-largest colonial power in Africa….Weltpolitik (world policy) was adopted by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1890, with the aim of transforming Germany into a global power through aggressive expansion…which ultimately led to World War I.
The Second World War was the most destructive war in history. Estimates of the dead range as high as fifty-five million…millions of homeless and hungry men, women, and children wandered through city and countryside…
Yet the First World War, not the Second, was the single most important event in shaping the history of Europe during the twentieth century...For the First World War differed fundamentally from the wars that had preceded it…By 1914 war had become total, requiring the complete mobilization of civilians at home in support of the national war effort…Wilson commented on the eve of American entry into the war, “the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into every fiber of our national life…”
Modern technology had enabled the combatants to kill with unprecedented efficiency. Democratic nationalism had infused civilians and soldiers alike with the determination to fight until they had administered a crushing defeat.
The First World War shattered the hope that civilization in the West was making continuous progress toward a more rational and enlightened world…
Europeans came to the realization that they had not, after all, progressed very far from barbarism; the supposedly civilized men of the twentieth century had outdone in savagery the barbarians of all preceding ages.
So, Evolution was used to bolster a conviction that Europeans were entitled to oppress and wipe out inferior beings.
conquests of territories were inevitably followed by public displays of the indigenous people for scientific and leisure purposes…”human zoos” could be found in Hamburg, Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Milan, New York City, Paris, etc., with 200,000 to 300,000 visitors attending each exhibition.
In [1906 at the Bronx Zoo in New York City], Madison Grant, head of the New York Zoological Society…a scientific racist and eugenicist, placed [Pygmy] Ota Benga in a cage with an orangutan and labeled him “The Missing Link” in an attempt to illustrate Darwinism, and in particular that Africans like Ota Benga are closer to apes than were Europeans…
Space. The Final Frontier
As part of the drive to dominate, massive government resources have been expended since the most ancient times accessing the more advanced denizens of the heavens for alliances, via ziggurats and astronomical calculators up to modern day space probes and interstellar and nuclear research programs. Despite the overriding knowledge of the domination of the weak by the stronger, and the underlying belief in Evolution with its dictum of Survival of the Fittest, the masses applaud this as “progress.” If history teaches us anything, the future of we peons is that we can count on the powerful making alliances amongst themselves and discarding the rest of us once they’ve used up what they can get from us.
There is even a shockingly open declaration of the need to wipe out this dysfunctional world and start from scratch.
And how’s that going to turn out? “Destroy a weary universe”?! Does it really take the most brilliant scientist of our day to analyze that?
The Higgs boson, sometimes referred to as the ‘god particle,’ much to the chagrin of scientists who prefer the official name, is a tiny particle that signals the existence of…an invisible energy field present throughout the universe that imbues other particles with mass…
a theoretical physicist at the CERN lab, where the Higgs boson was discovered, explained… an unlucky…change in energy, could trigger [destabilization of the universe]…
Here’s how Hawking describes this Higgs doomsday scenario…the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay…at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming.”
Is the following prayer your response to the intense anxiety this subject provokes?
Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.
How about overcoming fear, not with speculation, but with truth?
All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.
Or as Douglas Adams sums it up: “Don’t panic.”
I am proposing that you resolve your anxiety about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything by finding a solid basis for faith in the midst of a crisis.
Death Is Our Biggest Crisis
First I need to define “faith”. It is not blindly believing in some religion. It is the expectation of a future outcome based on knowledge of past events. We put our faith in people and systems.
I know a woman who, every time she crosses a bridge on her way to work, worries that her car will plunge over into the river. That thought doesn’t even cross my mind. I have faith in my driving and my car’s responsiveness to my handling, established in 50 years of experience. My acquaintance, on the other hand, has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
Like me driving over a yawning chasm, most people put their faith in themselves and their life experiences. We trust in our ability to figure out the truth intuitively, without need to gather and study any data about the subject at hand.
But when it comes to the biggest crisis we’ll face in this life – do I continue to exist after death, and if so, how – can we trust ourselves, really?
This isn’t a question I can really afford to ignore, neither can I trust my own limited experience on such a significant issue.
This is where we inevitably put our trust in a leader and his promises. We trust who we deem to be an authority on religion, philosophy, or science.
- Religion automatically posits the existence of God or gods as powerful spirit beings to whom humans can turn for help resolving super-human problems.
- Philosophy and science generally look for explanations and solutions in the observable four-dimensional world, which means leaving spiritual interventions out of the study.
This is fair, because maximizing consistency in the subjects under study is the only way that consistent predictions about future expectations can be made about cause-effect relationships. An example of this is a medical study on the benefit of taking a baby aspirin daily to prevent heart disease. It can’t include prayer to God for healing because of inconsistency in belief or use of prayer by the study subjects, not to mention unpredictability in God’s intervention.
The key difference between philosophy and science is how they arrive at their conclusions, AKA beliefs about the world.
In-duction is a process where in-dividual arguments and premises are used to develop a generalization or a conclusion that can be attributed to much more than the initial subjects. In this method, the conclusion may be validated or disproved by the preceding premises.
Philosophy – which includes psychology – starts by observing human behavior in specific instances and generalizes this to draw conclusions about human nature in the entire population. Due to the limited data used by philosophers for their theses, there is a high probability of a faulty conclusion. Most of all, while typically expressed as facts, philosophical conclusions are in reality only theories which may be disproved or overthrown by a paradigm shift.
As you read the following example you can use your emotional reaction to test your own use of analytical thinking vs blind trust in social trends to guide your beliefs. Do you find yourself stressed, distancing yourself from this argument therefore this presenter of the argument? Are you honest enough to examine yourself?
- in 1952 the American Psychiatric Association published its first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-1), the definitive criteria for diagnosing behaviors as psychiatric illnesses. At that time it classifed “homosexuality” as a “sociopathic personality disturbance.”
- But in 1968 the second edition (DSM-2) reclassified homosexuality as a “sexual deviation.”
- This was in turn replaced in 1973’s DSM-III by a new category called “Ego Dystonic Homosexuality”, as a political compromise to homosexual social activists.
- In 1987 the DSM-IV completely removed homosexuality.
So in just 35 years the psychiatric community changed from pronouncing adult homosexuality to be a sociopathic condition to being a normal variant of sexual behavior. But we’re not settled on psychiatric “facts” yet.
- In 2000 the revised DSM-IV (TR) included children for the first time in homosexuality with a diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder in Children. As a disorder this was considered a illness to be treated by changing the patient’s thinking, behavior and emotions.
- In 2013 the DSM-5 removed the GIDC diagnosis and replaced it with Gender Dysphoria. The difference is that dysphoria = unhappiness to be resolved by social support of the individual’s sense of self.
- “There is some controversy around the inclusion of gender dysphoria within the diagnostic manuals, as it may inadvertently pathologize gender variance through its inclusion in this manual.
- Minority stress is seen systemically through the chronic violence toward transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, high rates of homelessness, underemployment, and poor medical care for these individuals.
- the dysphoria is not the result of the individual’s gender identity itself.
While stated as a factual relationship of cause (discrimination) and effect (severe depression), the association of mental and social problems with society’s disapproval of this behavior is statistically a simple correlation. We find one occurring with the other. There is no proof that disapproval is the major reason for mental and social problems, simply a hypothesis – a guess – that that is the case. There is bias by the social scientists’ failure to engage in scientifically conducted research on other possible causes in a controlled study.
If we are objective on this issue, we see that a massive social paradigm shift on sexuality has come about by accepting a minority social activists group’s self-benefiting demands after a couple of decades while rejecting millennia’s-long social leaders’ prohibitions with the interests of all of society in mind. On what basis do we place our trust that the outcome for our children’s future will be positive? On one’s own rejection of civil or religious authority? Certainly not on time-tested evidence.
Would you trust your child’s future to such unproven treatment in the medical field?
Philosophical conclusions are inevitably limited by the observations of human behavior available to the philosopher, and colored by the philosopher’s prejudice. Since philosophy often starts with the premise that there is no God, they aren’t trustworthy for determining best course of action for consideration of any life hereafter. And that’s not a rabid Christian speaking. That’s Norman Mailer.
…atheism is a cropless undertaking when it comes to philosophy…It is, after all, near to impossible for a philosopher to explore how we are here without entertaining some notion of what the prior force might have been. Cosmic speculation is asphyxiated if existence came into being ex nihilo [out of nothing]. In Sartre’s case–worse. Existence came into being without a clue to suggest whether we are here for good purpose, or there is no reason whatsoever for us.
That’s from Francis Bacon.
Bacon has been called the father of empiricism…Most importantly, he argued science could be achieved by use of a skeptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves…the general idea of the importance and possibility of a skeptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method. This method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology.
In contrast to philosophy, science primarily studies material substance and uses de-duction to draw conclusions about reality. In the reverse process of in-ductive reasoning, de-duction starts with general information to arrive at specific conclusions. The greater amount of data gives science greater credibility than philosophy…but that doesn’t mean greater accuracy.
As with philosophy, scientific conclusions are often presented or accepted as facts, but in fact science only derives generally accepted explanations about material reality. Even the cardinal fact-finder, the scientific method, is only applicable when direct observation is possible, and must be validated by repeated experiments.
When experimentation is not possible, science
- formulates a hypothesis, which by definition is a statement of the desired condition, then
- develops a theory via imagination,
- bolstered by assuming regularity and similarity to known conditions.
If just one assumption is wrong, then the conclusion is wrong.
Because life after death isn’t accessible for experimentation, the scientific method can’t give answers to the questions about its reality or condition, and can only speculate. Many scientific theories, such as evolution and the Big Bang, begin with a desired hypothesis that God does not exist, then invent a more-or-less plausible alternate explanation for currently observed reality. These provide welcome, but hazardous, shelters, for people looking for justification for their own rejection of a higher authority than themselves.
Philosophy and psychology are most applicable for understanding the behaviors directed by the personality, i.e. soul. Science is most applicable to researching the material body.
Religion is different from both science and philosophy in that it depends on revelation for truth about hyper-dimensional beings who relate in some way to humans, to which one responds with trust in the revelator.
With that definition, it can be seen that any purportedly scientific or philosophical teachings involving aspects of human experience that are unknowable by direct observation are, in fact, religious teachings on which people base their faith on someone’s revelation, like philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche pronouncement that “God is dead.”
Richard Dawkins pronounced “God never existed” in his religion of material Evolution. “Books about evolution are believed…because they present overwhelming…evidence…any reader can go and check…When a science book is wrong, somebody eventually discovers the mistake and it is corrected.”
Whaaat? In the same breath you preach a dogmatic trust in science books while admitting continuous errors in scientific claims? Why does anyone listen to you? Can you recognize the cult leader in this man? Most of all, his claim that there is overwhelming quantities of mutually buttressed evidence for evolution is a flat out lie.
Belief in evolution is…passionately defended by the scientific establishment, despite the lack of any observable scientific evidence for macroevolution (that is, evolution from one distinct kind of organism into another). This odd situation is briefly documented here by citing recent statements from leading evolutionists admitting their lack of proof…
And a-theism, no less than theism, is a religion! Even doctrinaire-atheistic evolutionist Richard Dawkins admits that atheism cannot be proved to be true.
Of course we can’t prove that there isn’t a God.
Therefore, they must believe it, and that makes it a religion…
Eminent scientific philosopher and ardent Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse has even acknowledged that evolution is their religion!
Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion — a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality . . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today…
They must believe in evolution, therefore, in spite of all the evidence, not because of it. And speaking of deceptions, note the following remarkable statement.
We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism. . . . we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
The author of this frank statement is Richard Lewontin of Harvard. Since evolution is not a laboratory science, there is no way to test its validity, so all sorts of justso stories are contrived to adorn the textbooks. But that doesn’t make them true! An evolutionist reviewing a recent book by another (but more critical) evolutionist, says:
We cannot identify ancestors or “missing links,” and we cannot devise testable theories to explain how particular episodes of evolution came about. Gee is adamant that all the popular stories about how the first amphibians conquered the dry land, how the birds developed wings and feathers for flying, how the dinosaurs went extinct, and how humans evolved from apes are just products of our imagination, driven by prejudices and preconceptions.
A fascinatingly honest admission by a physicist indicates the passionate commitment of establishment scientists to naturalism. Speaking of the trust students naturally place in their highly educated college professors, he says:
And I use that trust to effectively brainwash them. . . . our teaching methods are primarily those of propaganda. We appeal — without demonstration — to evidence that supports our position. We only introduce arguments and evidence that supports the currently accepted theories and omit or gloss over any evidence to the contrary…
The leading evolutionist is generally considered to be Sir Julian Huxley, primary architect of modern neo-Darwinism. Huxley called evolution a “religion without revelation” and wrote a book with that title (2nd edition, 1957). In a later book…he argued passionately that we must change “our pattern of religious thought from a God-centered to an evolution-centered pattern…” “The God hypothesis . . . is becoming an intellectual and moral burden on our thought…we must construct something to take its place…”
the reader is reminded again that all quotations in the article are from doctrinaire evolutionists…The evolutionists themselves, to all intents and purposes, have shown that evolutionism is not science, but religious faith in atheism. [All bolded emphases added.]
According to evolutionists themselves, they offer an alternative religion to one that demands morality to one’s fellow man. Makes sense, since Godless Evolution was revealed as the justification for ungodly colonial practices by England during the height of its imperial power at the end of the 19th century.
evolution is…influenced by the social and cultural context within which Charles Darwin found himself. The first and most obvious enabling feature of Darwin’s context was the status of England as an imperial power in the 19th century. With England’s powerful navy and outposts from Tahiti to South America to Africa…The voyage of the Beagle was actually part of England’s empire-building effort.
A second important cultural factor was the changing political and ideological attitude in England…The new attitude of freedom and competition, exemplified by Malthus’s theory about the “struggle for survival,” was a foreshadowing of Darwin’s own theory of competition in the natural world…[As well as the most famous political “struggle”, Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf.]
Traditional…geologists held that the catastrophes described in the Bible, such as Noah’s flood, had actually taken place and caused many of the signs of geological change that could be seen. This view was known as catastrophism. An alternative to catastrophism was the view called uniformitarianism. Proponents of uniformitarianism argued that the world’s current geological state was the result of uniform forces working slowly over long periods of time… [And how is the belief in unproven uniformitarianism holding up with current concerns over experienced rapid climate change?]
Traditional Christian views held that the world started with its Creation…6000 years was not enough time to create the incredible diversity of life in the world…[so] time was allied with uniformitarianism…that the earth had existed…long enough for a slow and gradual process like evolution through natural selection.
Evolution is the religion that demands blind trust in the revelator DESPITE EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY. Such as Richard Dawkins’ claim that books about evolution present overwhelming quantities of mutually buttressed evidence. I’m sorry, but what a liar. And it is the religion that was used to justify enslaving and murdering millions of people in colonialism and two world wars under the dictate of “survival of the fittest”. Can you really believe that this religion will benefit you in this world and any possible hereafter?
There is one book has never – ever – been proven to be wrong about anything it has reported in the course of human history for over 3,000 years. Oh, it has constantly been claimed to wrong, but never proven to be wrong. And the way to escape destruction and death is its theme.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto…his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw…I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying…What thou seest, write in a book…And I turned to see…one like unto the Son of man…And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;“ (Revelation 1)
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever,
- who created heaven, and the things that therein are,
- and the earth, and the things that therein are,
- and the sea [outer space], and the things which are therein [aliens, explained in the next post],
that there should be time[-space] no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth…And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” (Revelation 10)
What makes the Bible unique among all other religious, philosophical or science books is the proof it gives to back up its assertions.
Of all religious leaders, Yahweh’s Consecrated Savior – delegated before time began – alone proved, by his own resurrection, to have the power to fulfill his “exceeding great and precious promises: that…ye might be partakers of the divine nature” reported by contemporary “eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that
- The Chosen or Sent One / Messiah / Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
- And that he was buried,
- and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
- And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also…” (I Cor 15:3-8)
And one of the last statements in the Bible is that God keeps accurate records on human activity, and we will be held accountable for what we do.
“I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)
And here is where people freak out and reject the God of the Bible. Hell. Are we using the primary defense mechanism – Denial – to suppress this nightmare, and in the process completely denying the existence of a good God? How much do you really know about this concept of hell?
So for a good start on this study, let’s objectively examine what the Bible reports about hell in the above passage. I’ll be using the skills I developed for examining psychiatric documents to determine the disposition of the persons being judged. Are they free to go or locked up, innocent or guilty as charged?
Note also, that in order to do a proper job I need to draw on data found elsewhere in the Bible and in this blog. One of the biggest issues with understanding the Bible – as with any complex subject matter – is basing one’s confidence that understanding has been achieved with one small piece of information when there is much more to the whole picture.
All the dead humans – as souls -, are resurrected – i.e. in their bodies – to stand before God in judgment.
The evidence, both for and against the accused, has been documented in books during the accused lifetimes, i.e. our actions do determine our future.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it. This is outer space, in which hyper dimensional beings live and, evidently, die.
And death – the condition of being disconnected from sources of life without being annihilated – and hell – the location for isolated souls until the day of resurrection – delivered up the dead which were in them.
and they were judged every man – individual according to their works.
And death – the condition and hell – the place were cast into the lake of fire – a place of torment day and night for ever and ever. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)
Clearly anyone finding themselves in this situation wants to find their name written in the book of life. How does that happen? Diverse interpretations can be found among Christian denominations as well as non-Christian religions, so I propose resolving the confusion by relying on the original documentation.
As will be detailed later in following post The King Is Dead, Long Live the King, life is defined as interaction with the environment:
- physical to meet the body’s needs for material oxygen, water, food,
- social to meet the soul’s needs for mental stimulation and emotional care, and
- spiritual, i.e. source of energy, for initiation and maintenance of energy
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
According to the Bible, once God breathed life into Adam, that life was transferred to Eve, “the mother of all living” and from her to all humanity. Medically we know that life begins at conception when the merging of the genes from the sperm and egg kick starts the energy producing mitochondria in the mother’s single egg to begin the division that ultimately forms a complete human being.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought…Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:14-16)
A straightforward interpretation of this passage is that all human beings start out written in the book of life. What happens to cause some of these names to be dropped out of the book? The wise man Solomon provides an explanation.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them…when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and…
- man [personality, soul] goeth to his long home [grave], and the mourners go about the streets…
- Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:
- and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12)
Shocking as this may be to millions of professing believers, gaining eternal life by asking Jesus to come into your heart is not found anywhere in the Bible, Old or New Testament.
Our contemporary networked society provides an understandable interpretation of Solomon’s advice as linked to previous scripture. Remember your Creator = Stay connected to the one who gave life in the first place, maintains it throughout our lifetime, restores it at the resurrection and is the only deity capable of making it permanent throughout eternity.
Long before there was a religion called Christianity the Bible explained how to maintain an essential connection to the source of life.
“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul…O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Let not them that wait on thee, O LORD God of hosts, be ashamed…the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me…But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD / YHVH, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me…from them that hate me…let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies…I am in trouble: hear me speedily. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies…Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. But I am poor and sorrowful: let THY [emphasis added] salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock…The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart / soul shall live that seek God. For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.” (Psalm 69)
Notice how the writer of this psalm admits that he sins, yet despite having the information that God keeps a record of our actions and we will be judged on the basis of our actions, he focuses not on his failings but on on his relationship with Creator God. He does not trust in his ability to defeat his enemies, most of all death, but rather in the multitude of God’s mercies, his lovingkindness, in the truth – i.e. existing promise – that he will save, he will redeem. He will remember our sins no more, if we will remember him. Think of it like an estranged spouse willing to forego justice, restitution, wanting restoration of the family more than anything else, willing to pay the price that forgiveness requires.
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.” (Isaiah 43:25-26)
This blog will prove that there is only one way to have eternal life, and it is simply to connect with the Creator God that brought us into existence in the first place.
“These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me / Moses. And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it….And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; The…signs, and those great miracles…” (Deuteronomy 18:22-27, 29:2-3)
And the way to let go of eternal life, to be blotted out of the book of the living, AKA the right-eous, the ones who have a right relationship with their Creator, is to to refuse to acknowledge his authority and power because he doesn’t let you be in charge.
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron…made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…And they…offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play [hold an orgy]. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves…And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods…Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.” (Exodus 32:1-34)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
- For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
- Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
- Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And…changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:18-25)
We lose eternal life when we choose to trust in another claimant source of life, whether another god or in humanism as the highest being. Seriously? Reread the beginning of this blog if you’ve been trusting in humanity. And stay tuned for a review of mankind’s history of oppression by lying hyper dimensional beings if that’s your hope.
It is a fact that the Bible is not popular because it condemns certain activities as being destructive to individuals and society. I find it ironic that the same groups that demand tolerance of their lifestyles are viciously anti-tolerant of a biblical lifestyle. And yet, the devastating effects of certain behaviors on society are well documented in the sciences.
Greed for instance. How many victims of capitalism do we need to prove that America’s entitled Christians are totally antithetical to biblical leadership models, and world evangelism?
I’ll bet you were expecting me to denounce homosexuals and abortions, right? It is so much easier to rail against the vulnerable members of society forced to deal with the strictures of life created by the powerful than to do something about the sources of society’s injustices.
And herein lies a major objection to the Bible. The exclusionary, entitled, and racist attitude of Christianity.
I agree wholeheartedly with that.
Recent events in American threw back the covers and exposed Christianity as a corrupt religion in bed with politics. Regardless of the current pope’s popularity and good intentions, we can’t ignore how corrupt the Vatican has been throughout its history. Martin Luther is revered for setting the Protestant Reformation in motion. He also set a death sentence against any sect who broke away from his totalitarian leadership. and when the Jews refused to convert en masse to his religion, he became so violently opposed to Judaism that the Nazis quoted him to justify their actions. Whichever flavor you choose, Christianity is tainted.
And the Bible called it. Revelation chapters 2-3 documents the corruption that was already pronounced by 100 AD.
- thou hast left thy first love….But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
- “means “Victor of People”, a compound of νίκη nikē ‘victory’ and λαός laos ‘people’. The connotation is “people’s champion” or “conqueror of people”.” This can be understood as the rise of a dominating clergy over the laity, the opposite of Nico-demos, or “A victor among the people“, as in a demo-cracy.
- thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who [in pursuit of wealth] taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
- thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
- I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
- I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Regardless of our religious indoctrination, surely we can all agree that power corrupts. And as the multitude of competing denominations and spin-offs proves, the Bible can’t be equated with any one religious system. So can we all drop all the baggage of the Christianity we’ve come to know and despise for its hypocrisy and self-serving evil, and just focus on the message of the Bible?
Revelation chapters 2-3 clearly details how to stay written in the book of life. We must overcome.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh:
- will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
- shall not be hurt of the second death.
- will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it [name = attributes, so this gift is the ability to call on / draw on power. This blog acknowledges the ancient knowledge of pagan religious systems.]
- to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.
- the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
- will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
- will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 2-3)
The last reference to overcoming defines for us just what we need to overcome. As was experienced by the only begotten Son of God – constant temptation to be drawn away from the sacrifices demanded of everyone who would identifies with Creator God as their father-figure / role model / authority. We all prefer the easy, comfortable lifestyle, but as every human parent knows, that’s just not possible if we are going to be a good parent.
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil…when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred…the tempter…said…command that these stones be made bread. But he answered…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up…and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith…cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up…Jesus said unto him…Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God…the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him.” (Matthew 4:1-11)
“I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end…And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And…being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:37-44)
“For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer…sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way…So also Christ…Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death…Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:1-9)
“Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me.” (Acts 20:18-19)
“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful…I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world…we are despised…we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked [unprotected from the elements], and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (I Corinthians 4:1-16)
Overcoming is so much harder than asking Jesus to come into your heart and then going about your merry way, or even keeping Jewish religious laws. It means overcoming our selfish human nature to mature into the likeness of Creator God – willing to sacrifice our prerogatives for the benefit of others within our sphere of influence, however large or small that may be. We aren’t all the Apostle Paul trudging through a pagan stronghold facing death at every turn. But we all have the same commandments to follow.
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40)
When the powerful elite’s reckless disregard for human life reaches the inevitable conclusion of planetary destruction, Creator God steps in and brings this human history to a close. And what matters at that point in time is where each person stands in his relationship with God. With him, or against him?
Did that soul believe in Creator God as demonstrated by his works in following his first commandment, our prime directive?
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
Dominion is the opposite of domination. Being fruitful is the opposite of being destructive. Multiplying is the opposite of making extinct. Replenishing the earth is the opposite of squandering natural resources.
According to the Bible, God’s checklist of those who are right-eous, right on target with his instructions, has nothing to do with going to church or professing belief, and everything to do with acknowledging the power and authority of Creator God and siding with him in secular actions in which we do not exploit or seek power over or sacrifice others for our personal gain, but humbly and sacrificially share our resources with the needy and care for the vulnerable like a shepherd over a flock of sheep.
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling [cares only for money], and careth not for the sheep…And other sheep I have [currently], which are not of this fold [Judaism or Christianity]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:11-16)
“all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh….Now the [destructive] works of the flesh [drives and cravings for bodily sensations] are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit [production] of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law….If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk [behave] in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:14-26)
This perspective eliminates Christianity as the bastion of salvation, whether the requirement to be baptized into the Catholic version or the Baptist, opening up the opportunity for eternal life to billions more humans who never encountered the Bible, let alone the name Jesus. Let alone the self-indulgent Christians wreaking death and destruction in the name of Christ on colonized peoples. But still, what about that awful hell? Isn’t that just heinous?
As an avid reader, I have found that science fiction – presenting the sciences in a human interest story – does a superior job of explaining scientifically obtuse concepts than religious leaders whose frame of reference is limited to a poor education. Refusing to make an effort to understand what they weren’t taught, or to venture into “the devil’s territory” to learn the beliefs of all ancient peoples and contemporary worshippers of the gods and nature does not reflect a higher level of “faith”. It betrays fear, the opposite of what God has given his children.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7)
The television show The Expanse provides an example of dead things from the sea of outer space being cast into the lake of fire, not by a cruel being, but to save humanity.
The Expanse’s protomolecule has the power to turn people into zombies, making it the most dangerous substance in the galaxy…Protogen [Inc.] seeks to further their experiments by integrating the protomolecule with human physiology and create a hybrid being that will serve as living weapons…its first test saw a Hybrid soundly defeating a group of Earth soldiers…The Hybrid doesn’t require a spacesuit when fighting in a vacuum, making it a deadly foe to be dealing with in space…the protomolecule…can also reshape and repurpose whatever it comes into contact with.
When a crew on a spaceship discover they are in possession of some of these protomolecule, unlike Protogen, they don’t strategize how they can amass power and wealth with it. They assure its everlasting destruction by launching it into the sun. They are the heroes of the story.
If you continue to read this blog – my scientific analysis on what the Bible is telling us – you’ll discover that The Expanse is dead on target with the Bible’s depiction of the sea of outer space, aliens, hybrids, the walking dead and hell.
And the humans who choose to form a connection, in some way, with evil beings either human and hyper dimensional in order to amass wealth and power at the cost of the quality and length of life of millions of enslaved and ravaged people. If it were your children who suffered, would you let them off the hook with a wave of the hand? Are you OK with Jeffrey Dahmer being released from prison to live next door to your family?
The lake of fire is not so much a matter of justice as it is an essential aspect of salvation. As long as undead evil beings are allowed to intrude into the world of the living, they will continue to wreak havoc and spread death. Utter elimination from life is the only way death can be destroyed. The only way humans can live forever in peace is to end the constant war against the Adversary of God’s children.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And…I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh [the seduction of the enemy to join him] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8)
Everyone has a choice to make – acknowledge and side with good or join forces with evil. And everyone lives, or dies, by their choice. Surely our experiences in this life validates the extension of this premise to life after death?
Of all the sources of information on the afterlife, the Bible offers the most comprehensive, reliable, verifiable, and plausible information. There is good reason why, according to Guinness World Records, “Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion.” And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that the first section of this book, commonly called the Torah, has been in continuous circulation for about 3,500 years. So there is something special about this book.
I encourage you to give this book a fair hearing. Ignore the patently hypocritical politicization of religion. Put aside what other people have said about it and find out for yourself if there is a reality to a relationship with a powerful, just but merciful and loving hyper-dimensional Being.
The posts in this blog use the same procedures used in scientific research and literary and legal hermeneutics to assess the reliability and validity of the claims made in the Bible’s about Creator God’s involvement in human history,
As a medical professional, I have applied rigorous research methods to my own evaluation of the claims of the Bible.
- directed toward the solution of a problem…
- In this blog, the problem is determining if there is life after death, and what, if anything, can be done to guarantee it.
- emphasizes the development of generalizations principles, or theories that will be helpful in predicting future occurrences.
- In this blog, that apply to all humanity.
- based upon observable experience or empirical evidences.
- involves gathering new data from primary or first-hand sources or using existing data for a new purpose.
- characterized by carefully designed procedures that apply rigorous analysis.
- strives to be objective and logical, applying every possible test to validate the procedures employed the data collected and the conclusions reached.
There are varieties of ways through which topics are researched. Based on the nature of the topic being researched in this blog, the following types of research are employed.
Qualitative Research: doesn’t involve measurements or numbers but instead characteristics of human perception and behavior.
- Inductive analysis is a major part of qualitative observational research because…questions evolve during the research process. The researcher can form any hypothesis through the answers and work backwards to prove or disprove it or even build on it.
- Naturalism or naturalistic inquiry…focuses on how people react or behave when they are put in a real life situation…hinges on the reality that things in general are coherent, consistent and predictable.
- Context sensitivity – The researcher…should not negate an opinion or thought on the basis of a personal bias.
Basic/ Fundamental /pure or Theoretical Research: Its utility is universal.
Longitudinal Research Examples…are historical…and genetic research.
Philosophical Research: focusing on the vision of others, that would be God’s vision in the Bible.
Case-Study Research: deals with unusual events like resurrection from the dead.
And if the idea of being that objective about studying the Bible wigs you out, wait until you discover the process required to effectively carry out research. This blog has followed this process.
(i) Formulating the Research Problem – Is there continued existence of the self after material death, and do I have any control over what happens?
(ii) Extensive Literature Survey – of various answers to this question.
(iii) Developing the Research Hypothesis – There is hyper-dimensional life after four-dimensional death and the Bible documents how to access it.
(iv) Preparing the Research Design – Qualitative observations of God’s involvement with humanity as documented in the Bible.
(v) Determining the Research Design – Compare and contrast the statements made about God for reliability – consistency throughout the account – and validity – supporting evidence external to the account.
(vi) Collecting the Research Data – Read through the Bible systematically to develop a coherent record of God’s involvement with humanity.
(vii) Execution of the Project – Compare and contrast internal statements against 1) themselves and 2) external evidence.
(viii) Analysis of Data – Statements that are consistent within the Bible establish reliability, statements that are consistent with known data outside the Bible establish validity.
(ix) Hypothesis Testing – If the Bible is shown to be reliable and valid, the hypothesis is determined to be true.
(x) Generalization and Interpretation – The Bible is a trustworthy document for using as a guide to life.
(xi) Preparing of the Report or Presentation of the Result – In my case, this blog.
Hermes was also the inventor of language, an interpreter, a liar and a trickster. As Socrates noted, words have the power to reveal or conceal and can deliver messages in an ambiguous way. The Greek view of language as consisting of signs that could lead to truth or to falsehood was the essence of Hermes, who was said to relish the uneasiness of those who received the messages he delivered.
The term exegesis is interchangeable with hermeneutics.
exegesis may include the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the author, text, and original audience. Other analyses include…grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself.
One of the early examples, and one of the larger corpora of text commentaries from the ancient world, comes from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) in the first millennium BCE. Containing over 860 manuscripts…these commentaries explore numerous types of texts, including literary works (such as the Babylonian Epic of Creation), medical treatises, magical texts, ancient dictionaries, and law collections (the Code of Hammurabi)…
They shed light on what the concerns of the Mesopotamian literate elite were when they read some of the most widely studied texts in the Mesopotamian intellectual tradition, a perspective that is important for “seeing things their way.”…
the Protestant Reformation brought about a renewed interest in the interpretation of the Bible…back to the texts themselves. Martin Luther and John Calvin emphasized scriptura sui ipsius interpres (scripture interprets itself).
Eight rules of determining truth by applied hermeneutics.
- Definition – Define terms as they will be used in your research.
- The definition of science according to the Science Council:
- Evidence is collected
- Experiments and/or observations MUST be made
- Then a process that fails to gather evidence and conduct experiments and/or make observations can’t be science.
- The definition of science according to the Science Council:
- Usage – Foreign words, idioms, and slang (Short LANGuage) can confuse the meanings of words.
- cool, hot, wicked, cookies, mouse
- “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”…(Revelation 1:10) Does John mean Sunday or the Day of the Lord?
- Context – The big picture. The truth, the WHOLE truth, and NOTHING BUT the truth. Matthew 16:24 “If any man will come after me, let him…
deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”
- Background – We can’t just read the Bible and interpret it from our way of life. Historical and cultural settings must be understood.
- Logic – Building complex arguments from simple statements to prove something is true.
- Critical thinking uses logic to separate truth from falsehood and reasonable from unreasonable beliefs.
- Studying and judging for yourself “Is this true?” Don’t believe something just because a respected person said it.
- Break Complex information down into smaller pieces of simpler information. If one small piece is wrong, the whole thing is wrong.
- Uncover the source and recognize hidden agendas and bias. Is it to sell you something or use you? Especially in social media.
- Precedence – Once the evidence for a case has been examined and a decision made, this judgment covers subsequent similar cases.
- Unity – Any document must be understood as a unified message, and any part of the message must be consistent with the rest of it.
- Old Testament: “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth.” Genesis 6:7
- New Testament: For God so loved the world…John 3:16
- Hermeneutical analysis requires searching for an explanation that brings consistency between destruction of mankind on one hand and love of mankind on the other.
- “There were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown….and the earth was filled with violence…And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark…”(Genesis 6)
Believe me, the Bible becomes way more interesting when you set aside the boring memories of Sunday rituals and stories dumbed down to grade school level.
- Inference – Using observable facts and logical reasoning to prove non-observable truth. We can’t see God, but there is enough scientific evidence in the observable facts of an amazingly complex physical world to infer the existence of a Creator/Sustainer God who owns & controls it all.
The Bible claims to teach us how to become fully alive, and survive all forces of destruction – even death. I encourage you to explore the Bible with an open mind. What have you got to lose?
Oh, yeah. Freedom to make your own rules. Control over what you can do in life.
Seriously, how old are you? Do you really believe you have control over your life now? And do you seriously believe you will have any control in a crisis?
Who are you trusting to save you and your loved ones? The politicians and scientists? The unknown aliens with their own agenda? Your religious leaders? Religious dogma? I encourage you to discard your religious bias and give the Bible objective consideration as being what it says it is – a word from Creator God himself.