Thursday, March 15, 2018

Genesis Post 10 - From Good to Bad (chapters 1-3)

In today's post, I want to back up one more time to chapters 1 and 2, for a big picture moment before moving on.

Six times in chapter 1, God uses the word good by itself, or tov in Hebrew.  Then, in the last verse of chapter one, the word tov is used a seventh time, only this time, the word is paired with me'od, or very good.

Tov Meod

Creation was not called tov me'od until it was completed.  And what completed the creation?  The formation of woman from man.  In chapter 2, Adam had been given the job of naming the animals on day six, and God brought to our attention that Adam was alone.  He then said, It is lo tov (not good) for man to be alone.  When woman was created, lo tov became tov me'od.  Not good became very good.

The LORD put Adam under anesthesia and took flesh out of Adam's side, thus creating Chava (Eve), which means life or living. And we know that she became the mother of all living.

Verse 24 says: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  Something supernatural happens when two become one.

God gives us an amazing truth with the creation of woman from and for man.  Love.  It is the reason He created us, His bride, for Himself.  All of human history hinges on this.  He is coming back to restore all things and to claim His bride!  Remember, the Bible begins and ends with marriage.

God created man for fellowship with Him.

So how long did tov me'od remain tov me'od?  We don't know exactly, how long Adam and Chava blissfully lived in the garden before they disobeyed God, but it doesn't seem like it was very long.  (We do know that he lived 930 years, and that he fathered Seth at age 130, and that Seth was born after Cain killed Abel.)

Adam was told in chapter 2 that he was not allowed to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam had only one rule.  Easy, right?  God was giving Adam a test to see if Adam, out of love, would obey Him.  Verse 17 says,

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

The Hebrew actually reads, dying you will die.  There will be instant death and gradual death.  Hold that thought; I'll come back to it.

The command was given to Adam before the woman was created.  But Adam must have told Eve about the command, because she repeated it to the serpent in chapter 3, and even adding that they may not even touch it.

Did God tell them not to touch it?  The narrative does not say that He did or did not.  Commentaries differ in their conclusions.  My opinion is that God must have said it at some point during His fellowship with Adam, otherwise Eve committed sin by adding to the Word of God.

Anyway, chapter 3.  This is the chapter that the rest of the Bible seeks to repair.  In Hebrew, it is tikkun olam - the healing of the world.  Today all of creation groans toward this very end (see Romans 8:22).

The chapter starts with the serpent, the nachash.  It was the craftiest, the most cunning of all the animals, which is why the devil probably chose it to do his nasty business.

Somehow, the devil took on the form of that serpent and deceived Chava.  (Where did that devil come from,anyway?  Hold that thought, and let's come back to that...)

"Has God really said...?"

With those words, he inflicted doubt upon the mind of Chava.  The Father of Lies began his career right here.  He wasn't blatant about what he said to Chava, but sneaky.  If he had come out with an outright lie right away, she probably would not have bitten.  He continues with his crafty ways today, which is why we must be DILIGENT!

Chava went on to assure the snake that God really did say that, and then she added the comment about not even touching it.

In verse 4, the devil/serpent replied with a lie that is still being believed today:

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

I must stop here and address this verse.  Most of Christendom teaches the immortality of man's soul; that we are eternal beings.  This Greco-Roman thinking infiltrated the church around the fourth century.  I've written about these things before.  You can click on the tab that says "Judgment" on the right if you want more bunny trails on that subject.

The truth is, only God can be eternal, with no beginning and no end.  Man definitely had a start point.  I believe that Adam was created as an immortal being, meaning he was not subject to death or decay when he was created, but that it was his sin, his failing the test of obedience, that rendered him into a mortal.  Adam was created as a complete being:  mind, body, and spirit.  His sin subjected ALL parts of him to death.

And we were all born with that sin nature, that mortality of Adam on us, for it is only faith in Yeshua that offers us immortality.  And I believe that this immortality will be given to us at the resurrection, as written in 1 Corinthians 15.  Here are some excerpts from that chapter, but I encourage you to go and read the entire thing.

For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. 

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (From Isaiah 25:8)

The devil continued with Chava and appealed to her pride, telling her she would be like God.  She ate, and then Adam ate.

In an instant, they experienced spiritual death.  They were severed from that spiritual connection to their Creator, and they knew it.  This is how death came instantly - the spirit of man died.  The process of bodily death began at that moment, too, as well as the depravity of the mind.

At the instant of their spiritual death, they perceived their nakedness, and were ashamed.  They threw together outfits of leaves. We will come back to this subject in my next post.

The LORD showed up immediately in verse 8 - most versions say something like in the cool of the day.  But that word for cool is ruach, the same word for spirit.  It can mean breeze, wind, and spirit.  And the couple hid themselves from His Spirit, for His spirit in them had died.

Then the LORD questioned them, asking them how they knew they were naked, and if they had eaten from the forbidden tree.  Of course, the question is rhetorical.  He already knew the answer.  But because He still desired a relationship with them, He engaged them in dialogue about it.

Did you notice... God still called out to them in their fallen state.  He still calls out to us today.   God is always the one that breaks the silence because man, being spiritually dead, is unable.  Hallelujah for that great love!

The first man and woman immediately began playing the blame game.  

Adam:  This WOMAN that YOU gave me...

Chava:  That SERPENT made me do it...

(Anyone with more than one child knows that this particular fallen trait of Adam and Chava is alive and well today.)

It is interesting that the serpent is suddenly silent.  

The LORD then starts at the bottom in meting out punishment.  
  • First, the serpent/devil in Genesis 3:14-15.  He is told that his head will be crushed by the Seed of the woman.  Did you catch that?  Crushed by the Seed of the woman?  The Redeemer would someday be a son of Chava - meaning, He would be a human!  And as we will see in an upcoming chapter, Chava fully believed this.  (Genesis 3:15 is the foundation of the Messiah, and a declaration of  the spiritual war that will last through the end of Revelation.  More on this soon.)

  • Then, Chava in Genesis 3:16.  She will have sorrow, pain in childbirth, and she will want to rule over her husband, but she won't get to (even though she and I and most women who ever lived will give it their best shot. See Genesis 4:7 for the same concept of sin desiring to rule over us.)

  • Then, Adam in Genesis 3:17-19.   Because of his sin, the very ground itself will be cursed.  He will  have to work very hard to provide for himself and his family.  And God also gave Adam a reminder that he will suffer the punishment of sin:  death.  The LORD told him that he will return to the dust from which he was created.
Following the instant spiritual death which Adam and Eve experienced, we see that all of mankind will then experience physical death, but it is a process.  When sin entered the world (which God had  declared tov me'od), entropy (decay, order to chaos) began in that instant.  All that was previously declared good was suddenly not so good.  Adam and Eve and all their offspring would eventually die physical deaths, too.  Dying they would die.

So where did this evil tempter come from?  We know he showed up in the garden in the form of the snake. But what was his origin?

Let's look at what we know.  Job 38 tells us that the sons of God (the elohim:  those created beings in the heavenly realm) shouted for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth.  So we know that God created the spiritual realm of elohim before He created the physical world.

The angels rejoiced over God's creation

Later, Yeshua tells us in Luke 10 that He saw the devil fall like lightening from heaven.  What caused that fall?

Ezekiel 28 begins with a proclamation against the king of Tyre, but then morphs into a proclamation against the devil himself.  We are told he was beautiful, covered in splendid jewels, full of wisdom, and the embodiment of perfection, until iniquity was found in him.  We are told that he was in Eden, the garden of God.  There is evidence that he was a lead worshiper.  But then he became prideful, sinned, and became filled with violence, and therefore God cast him out of His mountain.  (God's mountain is Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, which is why I surmise that the Garden of Eden was there as well).

He then showed back up a bit later in Eden, disguised as a snake and ready to cause major trouble.

We can draw a couple conclusions here.  First, we can see that the members of the heavenly host were given a measure of free will.  This hasn't been something I've often thought about.

Second, the devil rebelled at some point between the creation of the world and the fall of man.  Aha... the true gap theory!  Scripture does not tell us how much time passed between the devil's rebellion and when he deceived Eve.  (I don't believe it was too long of a gap... Adam was formed on the sixth day, and he was 130 years old when his son Seth was born to replace Abel, which was well past getting kicked out of the garden.)

So what made the devil prideful and angry?  Was he angry that God created beings that had something that he didn't?  The very image of God upon them?  Was he annoyed that dominion of the earth was given to man and not him?  We can only guess, but my opinion is that the devil became jealous of God's treasured creation - man.  He rebelled and took about a third of the elohim with him.

We know that the heavenly host was vast in number, according to Hebrews 12:22.  And one-third of a vast number is still probably a vast number.  But praise God that the devil and his minions are outnumbered by God's faithful messengers!  Keep this in mind as you engage in spiritual warfare.

Ok, moving on.  There was a drastic change when sin entered the world.  My next post is going to address how the first two people went from naked and unshamed to naked and ashamed.

Stay tuned if you dare.  And click here to move on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Genesis Post 9 - The LORD of the Sabbath (Chapter 2)

My last post touched on day seven, but today I want to look at the seventh day in more detail.

Ahhh, the Sabbath.  Scripture tells us that on the seventh day, God rested from His work.

It is interesting to note that day seven does not end with the mention of erev and boker, evening and morning.

God's creative work was done.  He had brought order out of chaos (secondary meanings to erev and boker).

Genesis 2:2-3 says, And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Since Genesis is the home of all biblical truth in seed form, what is the meaning of this special seventh day that God blessed and sanctified?  (Sanctified means set apart, or made holy).

The concept of the Sabbath is developed throughout the rest of the scriptures.  It not only points to a concept, it points to a Person.

In Exodus 20, the Israelites were given the ten commandments, which included a command to refrain from work on the seventh day.  But even before God gave the command to Moses on Sinai, He was already setting it up in Exodus 16 with the provision of manna for them in the wilderness, enough for each day.

Some people did not put their trust in God and tried to gather extra manna during the week.  The following day, they found it to be wormy.  But then on day six, the LORD told them to gather extra, to have enough for day seven.  Some people, remembering the worms, did not do it, and because of their disobedience, had nothing to eat on the Sabbath.

What is this about?  It was about trust.  Would His people trust and obey Him in the procuring of their bread?  It all points to Yeshua, our Bread of Life, in Whom we are to trust... even when the instructions do not make sense.

The Sabbath became the pinnacle of the Sinai Covenant.  Exodus 31:16 says,
Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.  Ezekiel 20:20 confirms that the Sabbath would be a sign between the LORD and His people.

It has been said that throughout history, it wasn't so much that the Jews kept the Sabbath, but that the Sabbath kept the Jews.  It is one of the main things that has set them apart as a people since their sojourn in the wilderness.

Jews welcome the Sabbath as one would welcome a King

When you visit Israel today, you can see just how important the Sabbath is to the Jewish culture.  Nearly everything shuts down in the land, starting late Friday afternoons.  Public transportation ceases, including the national airline, El Al, which does not fly on the Sabbath.

There have been many rules and regulations that have been attached to the Sabbath outside of what is written in the scriptures.  For example, every hotel in Israel has a Shabbat elevator.   So that a person can avoid having to press a button and "light a fire," the elevator simply stops at every floor.

Yeshua got in trouble with the legalistic rulers of His time, being accused of breaking the Sabbath by picking grain in a field and by healing people.  But Matthew 12 explains that Yeshua is the LORD of the Sabbath.  In Mark 2, He told those rulers that the Sabbath was made for man, no the other way around.  The leaders had made the Sabbath into a burden, missing its point completely.

This brings us to the ultimate point of the Sabbath.

In Matthew 11, Yeshua declares,
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Hebrews 4 elaborates.

For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’

(From Psalm 95, speaking of those who went astray from the LORD and did not trust in Him)
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.  For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

His rest is also alluded to with the coming of the seventh millenium of human history.  For six thousand years, man has worked and toiled by the sweat of his brow.  But we are on the cusp of the seventh millenium of rest, with Yeshua ruling as King from Jerusalem upon His return, per Revelation 20:4.

Yeshua, the Lord of the Sabbath, our Bread of Life, our Coming King, has BECOME the Sabbath.  It is in Him that we find our rest, both now and forevermore.  The very word sabbath is based on the Hebrew number seven, or sheva, which means completion.  We can rest in His finished work.

Click here for the next post in this Genesis series.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Genesis Post 8 - God Rests! And More Details (Chapter 2)

I just noticed that it took me seven posts to get through chapter one.  The number seven represents completion. And chapter one saw the completion of the world.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So... chapter 2.  It starts out like this:

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.  Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

I love that even God Himself rested and set apart a special day for it.  This whole week of creation sets the pattern for all of human history - six thousand years of toil and striving, and then a beautiful millennium of rest, dwelling with our Creator!  This seventh day of rest was so important that it eventually became the sign of the Sinai Covenant between God and Israel - the Sabbath.

The chapter then goes on to elaborate on many details that were not in chapter one.  For instance, we are told that there was no rain on earth, but that it got watered by a mist that arose from the ground.  More on that when we hit the flood in chapter 7.  There are also details on the four rivers in the Garden of Eden, which have led scholars to conclude that Eden was in Iraq.  But I believe that the land was different before the flood, and so I will stick with a Jerusalem-based Eden (keep reading for more on that).

Then verse 7 says,
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 being (chai nephesh - a living soul, the same term used for the animals).

Note that man was not given a chai nephesh, but became one.  Man is a complete being, made of three parts (just like God!) - body, mind, and spirit.  And just like God, we are not three separate persons, but one person with different facets.

But wait!  In this verse, we also see a word that is used in God's creation of man, but not of animals - neshama.  God breathed into man's nostrils the neshama of life - the very breath of God.  This action sets man apart from the animals.

Chapter two goes on to describe the garden of paradise that God planted in Eden.  The word Eden means pleasure.   It was the LORD's pleasure to create the earth for man.  The word that is translated eastward - kedem - can also mean ancient, or from the earliest time.  I do not believe that this garden was somewhere over in Iraq or other parts east, but in Jerusalem.  I once wrote about the symbolism of East (curses) and West (blessings), and if you want a bunny trail today, here it is.

Additionally, Ezekiel 28 - a prophecy regarding the fall of Lucifer - tells us that the devil was once God's anointed cherub, dwelling in Eden, on the holy mountain of God.  God's holy mountain was and is in Jerusalem - Mount Moriah, aka the Temple Mount.  The land of Eden is the land which would one day be promised to Abraham, and the garden that was planted in Eden would have rested on God's holy mountain.

Reading further, we see that the LORD God put two trees into this beautiful garden - the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It is interesting to note that it was only the second tree that was forbidden them, carrying the punishment of death if they did.  They were free to eat of every other lovely tree in the place.  Ah, a test for mankind.  Will they pass the test?  I think you know.  Sigh.

Chapter two wraps up with details on the creation of Adam's soulmate.  Did God save the best for last?  Ha ha.  It is interesting to note that Adam was formed from the dust of the earth, and then Eve was formed from part of Adam - the only two human beings on earth who did not have a mother.  

They were also the only two humans ever who did not have belly buttons.  

Verse 24 is a key biblical verse, especially in today's society:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

The joining of man and woman together in marriage has been God's perfect plan from the very beginning.  Yeshua repeats this verse, which is recorded in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7.  And Paul reaffirms this great truth in Ephesians 5:31, and he goes on to compare earthly marriage to our heavenly marriage to the Messiah.

The Bible begins and ends with marriage.  No wonder the devil is hard at work to mess it up.  The devil hates what God loves.

The devil does not only mess with marriage today, but also with numerous other themes in Genesis.  Gender.  Did God really create them male and female?  Creation.  Did God really create the world in six days?

Stay tuned!  You can click here to continue.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Genesis Post 7 - Days 5 and 6 - God Completes His Work (Chapter 1)

The earth has now been filled with vegetation, and has been made ready for life that breathes.  Enter day five.

Day five did not see the creation of all the animals; only the fish and the birds.  Why is that?

God is giving us a picture here.  Take a moment to look at the pattern of the tabernacle, the fifth piece of  God's furniture is the altar of incense.  That altar is a picture of the prayers of the saints ascending before the LORD - from earth to heaven.  The fish are a picture of earth-bound creatures, and the birds represent heavenly creatures.  (The Hebrew word for heavens is shamayim, and means skies.)

God's creation is so magnificent. It is no wonder that early people began worshiping the creation, because of that fact. But God's creation is a memorial to HIM, our Creator. Romans 1 speaks of this:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

When we look at creation, scripture says we are without excuse.  But because we are corruptible beings, things get messed up.  This is why God had to hand down that first oh-so-important commandment:  Love the LORD your God ONLY, and have no idols.  No other gods.   Our main purpose is to worship Him, which is why I believe He gives us the fish-birds reminder on day five.

So many worship songs sing of how the amazing creation points to our Creator.  Here are a few that come to mind, just off the top of my head (links are included, in case you need an interlude of worship about now)

Day five is the first place that the LORD uses the term that is translated living creature.  In the Hebrew, it says chai nephesh, which means living soul.  If you have ever wondered if animals have souls, the answer is no.  Animals do not have souls, they are souls.  The word nephesh simply means  a created being.  This is a good thing to remember as we head into day six.

Evening and morning complete day five.

Now enter day six, which contains God's magnum opus:  Man.  I don't say this in a prideful, man-centered way, but to demonstrate the heart of YHVH.  He created man in His own image - someone with whom He could have fellowship.

God's first order of business for day six was to create the animals:

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature (chai nephesh) according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Just like the fish and birds, the animals were created as living beings (chai nephesh).  If you ever wanted an answer to the philosophical question regarding the chicken or the egg, of course the chicken came first.  The chicken became a living soul.  (But being a bird - albeit a non-flying bird - was the chicken created on day five or day six??)

God then wraps up creation with this:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all he earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

What exactly does it mean to be created in His image?  There are many scholarly thoughts on this.  Here are my non-scholarly thoughts.

As opposed to the animals, man was given the ability to take charge and have dominion over the plant and animal kingdom.  To do this, we needed intelligence; the ability to think, to reason, to make choices and decisions.  God also gave us the free will to love and worship Him.  Animals, such as dogs, certainly show a degree of loyalty and affection toward their masters, but in a different capacity than man.  But more importantly, God uses a word in regard to man in the next chapter that He does not use with animals... neshama.  I will come back to this in my next post.

I believe that just as God is one person with different contexts (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), so is man created the same way (mind, body, spirit).  Adam was created as a complete being, in His image. 

Verse 28 tells us that God blessed Adam and Chava.  He then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, to subdue the earth, and to have dominion over all living things that move on the earth.  Male and female He created them, so that they could multiply.  (Adam and Steve are unable to multiply).

Chapter one wraps up with this:

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

When describing the completion of this sixth day, the Hebrew uses the article the, which none of the other days do.  This signifies completion.  God's work of creation is done!

It is interesting to note that there are similarities between days 1 and 4 (light), days 2 and 5 (division of sky and water), and days 3 and 6 (land, vegetation, and life).  Day seven stands alone.

Genesis 1 has been amazing and awesome, and we finally get to move on.  As we will see in chapter two, the narrative will go back and fill in more details of creation.  This circular pattern is typical of Hebraic thought.

To keep reading, click here.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Genesis Post 6 - Days 3 and 4 (Chapter 1)

On day two, we saw that the LORD separated the waters - above and below.  Now, on day three, He continues dealing with the water and adds in something else:  land.

On day three, the LORD gathered the waters together in one place, and He caused the dry and to appear.  And God saw that it was good!  (Remember, day two was not called good by God).

I want to interject a small science moment here: It is likely that the dry land was all one continent at creation.  Any kindergardener today can look at a globe and see that the pieces had at one time fit together.  The book of Genesis will soon give us a clue on how it gets broken up.

The LORD then continues with creation on day three, with the first appearance of life!  He speaks and commands the earth to bring forth grass, and the various plants and trees that would yield seeds and fruits, each according to its kind.

And so it happened.  Apple trees beget apple trees, peach trees beget peach trees, and so forth.  The plants were ready to go, ready to reproduce, and they did not evolve from swamp scum.

And once again on day three, God saw that it was good.

In Judaism, day three is called the day of double blessing, because it completes the work of day two, which was not called good on its own.  But twice, the LORD calls day three good.

It is interesting to note that throughout history, many Jewish weddings took place on the third day, the day of double blessing. This is still very common in Israel today.  And since the Biblical day begins at sundown, that translates to Monday night on our Roman calendar.   It can seem strange to stumble onto a big, expensive wedding at a Jerusalem hotel on a Monday night.   I wonder if the wedding at Cana, the place of Yeshua's first miracle, was on the third day?

So anyway, plant life is now established on day three, but the vegetation will not grow and thrive without light. So what comes next is day four.  Since this has been a short post so far, I will just keep going today.

On day four, we see the introduction of the sun, moon, and stars.  The LORD said they are for signs, for seasons, for days, and for years.  (The narrative doesn't even mention that the sunlight is needed for the plants of the day before; I guess that's just a given).

I want to focus on the first two purposes of the heavenly lights:  signs and seasons, because days and years are pretty self-explanatory.

The word for signs is ot, which means a distinguishing mark, a miraculous sign, a remembrance, an omen, or a warning.  We are just coming off a time of blood moons and a significant solar eclipse in the last two years.  I cannot tell you exactly what they mean, but I do believe they are a sign of things that are taking place and that are soon to come.  These signs have shown up all through history, too.  Even the gospels start out with wise men who studied these things and were led to the baby Messiah.

Recent phenomena in the skies

The second purpose is seasons, which isn't the best translation, because the LORD is not talking about summer and winter here.  The word is mo'ed, which means appointed times.  It is the same term that is used for the Biblical feasts of the Lord, which are His appointed times.  These appointed times are peppered throughout the scriptures, but can be seen all together in Leviticus 23.  All of these appointed times point to Yeshua the Messiah in some way or another.

The appointed times of spring - Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Shavuot were all fulfilled to the exact detail by the first coming of the Messiah.  Given this pattern, we can fully expect that He will fulfill every detail of the fall appointed times - Day of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles - with His second coming.  (Did you count those?  Seven altogether).

I need to say something about the number seven, a number on which I often elaborate.  The other day, some neighbor children and their moms came over to  my house for a play date.  One of the young girls told me she had a dream about me.  She dreamed that someone was at my door, and when I went to answer it, it was the number 7!  And she said the number kept coming back;  I was getting visits from number 7 after number 7.  This girl is nine years old.  She had no way of knowing how significant I find that number to be, and that I write about it often.

Even Disney acknowledges the number seven!

Recently, I discovered that if you count up the Biblical appointed times that are listed in Leviticus 23, you will find that there are 70 of them in a given year.  Fifty two sabbaths, eight days of Passover (Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits are included in those eight days), one day of Shavuot (Pentecost), one day of Yom Teruah, one day of Yom Kippur, seven days of Sukkot (Tabernacles).  Go ahead, count them up.  70.  It's like that number 7 that came to my door in my neighbor's dream, ten times!!

The timing of His appointed times fully depends on the sun and the moon.  The twelve constellations have historically told God's story, which is why the wise men coming from the east, who were probably biblical astrologers, knew when and where to look for the Messiah. Of course, the "zodiac" was corrupted by the devil, changing the focus of God's story to man's story.  In other words, don't be reading your horoscope in the newspaper.  Rather, learn about the appointed times and their significance to the world, especially the ones that are soon to be fulfilled when the Messiah returns!

So there was evening and morning, and day four was complete.  And God saw that it was good.

And as I wrote just a couple posts ago (but it bears repeating), the sun and the moon demonstrate that sun gives off light, but the moon has no light of its own and can only reflect the light of the sun.  So it is with us: we have no light of our own, but can only reflect the light of the Son.

Shine His light today!

To keep going, click here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Genesis Post 5 - The Precision of Creation, Waters of Day 2 (Chapter 1)

Ok, where was I?  Oh yes, chapter one of Genesis.  I can't seem to leave this amazing place.

Today I am going to start with science (totally out of character for me).

I want to bring up a concept called irreducible complexity.  This complicated-sounding term simply means that all parts of a whole are needed for the whole to function.  A common example used to demonstrate this concept is the mousetrap.  The mousetrap has five parts.  The hammer, the spring, the catch, the platform, and the hold-down bar.

Nice try, little mousie.

If you remove one of these five parts, will you catch 20% fewer mice?  No.  You will not catch any mice at all.

Creation is the same way, except that creation is billions of times more complex than the simple five-part mousetrap.

A simple bacterium, one of the simplest cells on earth, has a tail to drive it through liquid.  The tail is attached to a tiny electric motor with 40 parts.  If one was to remove one part, and it does not work.  Just like the mouse trap.

A simplified diagram of a very complex machine

Life needs billions of complex parts to be functioning at once, FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, or they will not work.

It does not take a scientific genius to see how the complex life on earth could not possibly evolve from simple swamp scum.

Our world was created with perfect precision for life to exist, in a short period of time.  Here are a few examples (out of millions) of how even just a slight altercation to our environment would affect us:
  • If gravity were any stronger or weaker, life could not exist on earth
  • If the electromagnetic waves were either stronger or weaker, there would be no molecules
  • If earth were any closer to the sun, we'd fry.  Any further, and we'd freeze.
  • If there were no moon, we would have no movement of tides.  Nothing would live.
  • Any change whatsovever to the precise 23-degree tilt of the earth would fry us or freeze us.
  • If the earth's crust were any thicker, it would create too much oxygen and would destroy the atmosphere
  • If the atmosphere's reflectivity were any more, we'd have an ice age.  Any less, we'd fry.
Colossians 1:17 lets us know that the Messiah created everything and that He is the one that holds all things together.  Whew, good to know!  His hands are quite capable.

In the old days, educated people believed in the Bible.  Today, scientists are hard at work to deny the Bible.  They prey on the uninformed; our schools teach evolution.  Creation was a blessing for mankind, but it has been turned upside down.  The carnal nature seeks to be independent of the Creator.   But the Creator still seeks us!

Ok, enough science for now.  Let's continue looking at the days of creation.

We have already talked about day one, and the separation of darkness from light.  The rest of the Bible is about that very thing... separating the profane (or common) from the holy.  Evil from goodness.   Sinful to sinless via our intercessor.  Becoming like Him, preparing to dwell with Him.

So let's move on to Day 2, which is all about separating the waters.

It is interesting to note that Elohim had called the first day good, but the second day He did not call good.  (More on that in my next post).  Is this where we get the Monday morning blues?

I need to venture briefly down the science road again (kicking and screaming all the way, since I tend to run from science).

Hydrology:  It is the study of the water cycle.  It was first studied in-depth by scientists in the 1700s.  But the Bible itself teaches us about the water cycle.  Ecclesiastes 1 shows us the water cycle - All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full.  Job 26:8-9 show us the vapor and the clouds,  Amos 9:6 speaks of the layers in the sky and the waters of the sea. Isaiah 43:16 and Psalm 8:8 speak of the pathways of the sea.  Wow, the scriptures are full of hydrology!

Water is a fascinating substance.  Water is the only substance that expands when it freezes.  All other substances shrink when they lose energy when cooling/freezing.  But God amended the law of freezing, just for water. If He hadn't, there would be no life on earth.  Lakes and rivers would freeze from the bottom up and everything would die.

Water gives energy:  when it is boiled and turns to steam, it can move freight trains.  When it rushes through water wheels, it can power a flour mill.  Water power was a driving force of the industrial revolution.

Water gives life.  You can survive 40 or more days without food, but only about 7 without water.  Our bodies are made up of about 60% water.  Cities and towns are generally built around a good source of water.

(I am suddenly very thirsty)

Water cleanses in many ways.  Scripture gives many examples of cleansing waters.  I won't elaborate here.

On day 2, we see that God divided the waters, above and below.  Before the flood, the sky was covered with what is called a firmament, or raqiya in Hebrew.  This word means a solid expanse.  If there had been airplanes back in the days of Adam, they would have bumped into this expanse.  Fasten your seatbelts; major turbulence expected!  When we look at Noah's flood, we will look at how this expanse was changed.  We will also see how the power of water is able to destroy life.

And it was evening, and morning, the second day.  (Did I mention that the Biblical day begins at sundown, which is why the Jewish days begin at sundown?)

Click here for days three and four.