"FAITH IS THE VICTORY!" In Overcoming Grief INTRODUCTION 1. Jesus promised to provide an "abundant life" when He said: "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (Jn 10:10) 2. We have already seen how Jesus provides that abundant life by helping us to overcome many things we face in this world, such as: a. Sin, anxiety, boredom, and depression b. Despair, discontent, and fear -- That is why I am persuaded that "Faith Is The Victory!", as expressed in 1Jn 5:4-5 3. Before we conclude this series, I wish to illustrate the victory of faith in Jesus in dealing with two more problems we often face: grief and loneliness [In this lesson we shall consider the subject of "grief", beginning with...] I. UNDERSTANDING GRIEF A. GRIEF DEFINED... 1. According to the American Heritage dictionary: "Deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement" 2. Synonyms include: sorrow, sadness, mournfulness, gloom 3. The feeling of grief can often be like the feeling of fear, as observed by C. S. Lewis: "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." (A Grief Observed) B. NOT ALL GRIEF IS WRONG... 1. Jesus manifested grief when He saw how others were grieved over the loss of a loved one - Jn 11:32-35 2. Paul wrote of "a continual grief" that he had in his heart - Ro 9:1-2; cf. 10:1 3. Having grief and expressing it is an important part of overcoming traumatic experiences such as the loss of a loved one 4. Paul and the Ephesian elders expressed their grief as they bid him a sad farewell - Ac 20:36-38 C. GRIEF CAN BECOME A PROBLEM... 1. When it makes one useless for any service a. E.g., when one's grief sends them into extended isolation b. E.g., when one's grief makes them unable to comfort others in their grief 2. When it begins to produce a psychosomatic illness a. Many physical illnesses are either caused or made worse by emotional distress b. Grief is certainly one kind of emotional distress that can take its toll on the body [So while there is a place for grief in the life and heart of a Christian, it is imperative that grief not take control of our lives. With the help of faith in Jesus, that need not happen...] II. FAITH IN JESUS HELPS US TO OVERCOME GRIEF A. JESUS PROVIDES COMFORT TO THE GRIEVING SOUL... 1. As previously noted, Jesus certainly understands our grief a. While in the flesh, He experienced grief - Jn 11:35 b. Indeed, He became flesh to be better suited to come to our aid - He 2:17-18 2. He therefore taught His disciples how to find comfort when troubled a. To believe in Him - Jn 14:1-3 b. To keep His commandments, that we might abide in His love - Jn 15:10-11 c. To pray, that we may have joy and peace - Jn 16:24,33; cf. Php 4:6-7 3. He also provides comfort with the promise of our resurrection - cf. 1Th 4:13-17 B. JESUS PROVIDES A FAMILY TO HELP BEAR OUR GRIEF... 1. Those who believe in Jesus and do His will are part of a family - cf. Mt 13:46-50 a. That family is the family of God, the church - 1Ti 3:15;cf. 5:1-2 b. In which we have "a hundredfold" brothers, sisters, mothers, etc. - Mk 10:29-30 c. In which we are to 2. As a family, we can bear one another's grief a. By weeping with those who weep - Ro 12:15 b. By sharing in each other's sufferings - 1Co 12:25-26 c. By comforting one another with the comfort we each receive from God - 2Co 1:3-5 3. Sadly, many do not take advantage of this blessing of a family a. E.g., those who think they can get what they need watching religious programs b. E.g., those who may "belong to a church", but never become involved -- And so when their grief comes, they must often bear it alone CONCLUSION 1. Jesus certainly did not intend for us to bear our grief alone... a. He taught us how to have lasting joy and peace, even in the midst of grief b. He died and rose from the dead, that our grief even in death might be temporary c. He now intercedes as our High Priest, to comfort us in our times of grief d. He built His church to be a family, so we can receive comfort in times of grief 2. For one to enjoy such blessings, it requires faith in Jesus... a. Faith in Jesus to believe what He taught b. Faith in Jesus to believe what He did c. Faith in Jesus to obey what He commanded that we might abide in His love d. Faith in Jesus to become an integral part of His "church family" So if we wish to overcome grief through Jesus Christ, then "Faith Is The Victory!"
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011
Homer Sometimes Nodded, but the Bible Writers Never Did!
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
Horace (65-8 B.C.), a Latin lyric poet, wrote: “Sometimes even the noble Homer nods” (Ars Poetica, 1.359). Homer was the blind Greek poet of the eighth century B.C., so well known for his works, the Iliad and the Odyssey. What Horace suggested was this: As accomplished as Homer was, he sometimes erred with reference to the facts of the incidents he mentioned.
More than a quarter of a century ago, the late B.C. Goodpasture, respected editor of the Gospel Advocate for some thirty-eight years, published an article in that journal titled “Homer Sometimes Nods” (1970). The thrust of this fascinating essay was to show that human authors, regardless of their genius and skill, are fallible. Thus, in spite of their consummate care, they will “nod” or “slip” on occasion. By way of contrast, the writers of the biblical record never “nodded.” Even though many of them were not professional scholars (cf. Acts 4:13), nonetheless they wrote with astounding precision. The only reasonable conclusion the honest student may draw is this: their work was overseen by the Spirit of God. [I acknowledge my indebtedness to the revered Goodpasture for the idea embodied in this article, and for a few of the examples that illustrate the concept developed.]
TO ERR IS HUMAN
Herodotus was a Greek historian of the fifth century B.C. Cicero called him “the father of history.” He wrote nine books dealing with the Greek and Persian wars, together with a history of the customs and geography of those empires. In one of his writings, Herodotus claimed that the reason the oxen in Sythia grew no horns was because it was too cold there (4.29). Apparently, he never had heard of reindeer!
Aristotle, the famous Greek scholar of the fourth century B.C., was renowned for his knowledge. Yet he made some colossal speculative blunders. In his work titled Parts of Animals, he argued that within the human body, man’s soul is “lodged in some substance of a fiery character.” He contended that the brain “is a compound of earth and water.” He further suggested that sleep is caused by the blood flowing into the brain, thus making it heavy. This, he declared, “is the reason why drowsy persons hang the head” (Book II, Chapter 3).
Marcus Porcius Cato was a Roman statesman who died about the mid-second century B.C. His famous work, De agri cultura (“On Farming”), has survived. In one passage (71) he gave a remedy for treating an ailing ox. It consisted of forcing down the ox a raw hen egg, swallowed whole, followed the next day by a concoction of leek and wine. However, this treatment—in order to be efficacious—absolutely had to be administered from a wooden vessel while both the ox and the administrator were standing (cited by Sarton, 1959, p. 408). It is obvious that the method of administration would have nothing to do with the curative value of Cato’s concoction. Yet such is the nature of human superstition.
Flavius Josephus was a Jewish writer who authored several works regarding the Hebrew nation, its fortunes, and its fate. Though considered a respectable historian for his day, he frequently slipped. For instance he declared that during the siege of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), a heifer, being led to be sacrificed in the temple, gave birth to a lamb (Wars, 6.3). Josephus also spoke of a certain place in Egypt where fierce serpents “ascend out of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air” (Antiquities, 2.10.2).
Samuel Johnson was the author of the first bona fide English dictionary. He also produced a Grammar of the English Tongue. In that work, the celebrated writer stated that the letter “H seldom, perhaps never, begins any but the first syllable” of a word. Regrettably he had not noticed that “h” commenced the second syllable in “perhaps.” His humiliation must have been keen.
The famous poet, Lord Byron, wrote a magnificent composition that he titled, “The Destruction of Sennacherib.” In beautiful rhyme this literary masterpiece dramatically told of the devastating deaths of the 185,000 Assyrian soldiers who once threatened Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah. The poet slipped, though, because the rebel monarch Sennacherib was not destroyed when Jehovah’s messenger smote that vast heathen camp. The king was several miles away at Lachish when the destruction occurred. He eventually returned to his home in the east and was slain by his own sons—in fulfillment, incidentally, of sacred prophecy (2 Kings 19:7; 36-37).
Adam Clarke was probably the most famous scholar produced by the Methodist Church. He spent forty years writing his famous Commentary on the Holy Bible. As meticulous as he was, Clarke occasionally erred. For example, in commenting on Genesis 1:16, he suggested that the Moon has streams and vegetation, and is inhabited by intelligent beings. Our modern space explorations have proved that speculation quite erroneous. Clarke also stated that Jewish historian Josephus never mentioned the Syrian soldier, Naaman. He was wrong, though, because Josephus asserted that the warrior who mortally wounded Ahab, by shooting an arrow randomly into the air, was Naaman (Antiquities, 8.15.5).
Alexander Cruden produced a widely used concordance of the English Bible, a task for which he was well qualified by virtue of many years of scripture study (even though, at times, he suffered from emotional illness). Yet in his volume, Explanations of Scripture Terms, concerning the whale Cruden wrote: “The [whale is the] greatest of the fishes that we know of ” (1840, p. 366). He erred. Actually, the whale is a mammal, and not a fish at all.
The religion of Islam claims that the Qur’an is inspired of God. Clearly, however, it is not, for it is flawed by many examples of “nodding.” For instance, the Qur’an suggests that the human fetus results from “sperm” [no mention of an egg] that changes into “a clot of congealed blood,” which then becomes bones, later to be covered with flesh (sura 23:14). This hardly is an accurate description of fetal development.
The Book of Mormon is revered by millions of “Latter-Day Saints.” It purports to be an infallible revelation from God given to Joseph Smith Jr. by an angel of the Lord. Whoever composed the narrative, however, “nodded” more than once (one almost is tempted to say he lapsed into a coma!). For instance, in Alma 7:10 it is said that Jesus Christ was born in Jerusalem. But, as every school child knows, the Lord was born in that “little town of Bethlehem” (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1). The Spirit of God makes no such blunders. Again, according to the Book of Mormon, a man by the name of Nephi was using a “compass” to find his direction in the sixth century B.C. (1 Nephi 16:10; 2 Nephi 5:12). It is well known, of course, that the mariner’s compass was not in use until at least a thousand years after the birth of Christ. This is a critical anachronism in Mormonism’s “sacred” book. Joseph Smith Jr. also taught that there were people living on the Moon—six feet tall, dressed like Quakers, and with a life span of 1,000 years (Huntington, 1892, 3:263). Brigham Young, Smith’s successor, when asked about this matter, concurred, suggesting that such beings lived on the Sun as well (Young, 13:271).
Mary Baker Eddy founded the “Christian Science” movement. She produced a book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which she claimed was co-authored by God. But Mrs. Eddy more than nodded when, in that volume, she wrote: “Man is not matter—made up of brains, blood, bones, and other material elements.... Man is spiritual and perfect; and because of this, he must be so understood in Christian Science.... Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death” (1934, p. 475). In spite of her denial of human mortality, she died December 3, 1910.
I cannot conclude this section without acknowledging my own fallibility. When I penned my little book, Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology (1982), I stated that “Henry Winckler” of the German Orient Society discovered the ancient Hittite capital of Boghazkoy. That was a “slip.” It was “Hugo Winckler,” not “Henry.” Henry Winkler was the “Fonz” of the old “Happy Days” television show! This merely demonstrated what many had suspected already—I am not inspired of God!
(1) The first two chapters of the Bible contain the divine record of the commencement of the Universe, including the Earth and its inhabitants. Though it was penned thirty-five centuries ago, there is not a syllable in this account that is at variance with any demonstrable fact of science. Any book on astronomy or Earth science, penned fifty years ago, already is obsolete. And yet Genesis, simple and sublime, is factually flawless. The Mosaic narrative asserts that the Universe had a “beginning” (1:1), which is perfectly consistent with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Contrast this with the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation tablets, which asserts the eternality of matter (see Pfeiffer, 1966, p. 226). The Genesis record affirms that creation activity was concluded by the end of the sixth day (2:1-3). Science says, as per the First Law of Thermodynamics, that nothing is being created today. No less than ten times Genesis 1 affirms that biological organisms replicate “after [their] kind.” In passing, we must note that modern pseudoscience (i.e., the theory of evolution) is dependent upon the notion that in the past organisms have reproduced after their non-kind! The biblical account, however, is perfectly in harmony with the known laws of genetics.
(2) The medical knowledge revealed in the Bible record truly is astounding. It is well known, for instance, that in the antique world, medicine was based upon myth and superstition. This was true both in Babylon and in Egypt. For example the Papyrus Ebers (from the sixteenth century B.C.), edited by Georg M. Ebers in 1874, offered some very strange remedies for various illnesses. Here is a prescription for folks who are losing their hair: “When it falls out, one remedy is to apply a mixture of six fats, namely those of the horse, the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the cat, the snake, and the ibex. To strengthen it, anoint with the tooth of a donkey crushed in honey” (as quoted in McMillen, 1963, p. 11). Even the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, one of the more sophisticated examples of Egyptian medical “science,” contains a spell for “transforming an old man into a youth of twenty.”
In spite of the fact that Moses was reared in an Egyptian environment, and “was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22), not one time did the great law-giver incorporate any of this magical mumbo-jumbo into the Scriptures. On the contrary, Moses was far ahead of his time in terms of medicine and sanitation. A careful study of Leviticus 13, with reference to certain skin diseases, reveals some rather modern techniques, e.g., diagnosis of certain symptoms, treatment to lessen spread (e.g., disinfection), and quarantine. No other law code in the whole of ancient history came anywhere near rivaling these health regulations. Consider, for instance, the fact that the “leper” was required to “cover his upper lip” (Leviticus 13:45). Dr. J.S. Morton has noted: “Since the leprosy bacilli are transmitted from nasal drippings and saliva, this practice of having lepers cover their upper lips was a good hygienic policy” (1978, p. 255). Concerning Moses’ procedures for quarantining, Dr. William Vis has written:
To show how far Moses was ahead of modern society we need only to remind ourselves that the word quarantine originated in the fourteenth century when the Italian ports of Venice and Genoa first refused admission to immigrants who might be harboring plague and required them to stay on board for forty days, hence the word quarantine. Even in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries leprosy spread over southern Europe until the principles of Moses were re-enacted successfully (1950, p. 244).(3) When the Encyclopaedia Britannica first was published, it had so many mistakes relative to American geography and topography that the publishers of the New American Cyclopedia issued a special pamphlet correcting the numerous blunders of its British rival. J.W. McGarvey once noted that when Tacitus wrote his celebrated work, Germany, which dealt with the geography, manners, customs, and tribes of Germany, it contained so many errors that many were inclined to doubt that this well-known Roman historian could have produced such a flawed volume (1956, 3:26-27). The Encyclopaedia Britannica stated concerning Tacitus’ work that “the geography is its weak point” (1958, 21:736).
The biblical writings contain literally hundreds of references to geography and topography relating to those lands that the prophets and apostles traversed. For example, we are quite casual in our topographical allusions. One is said to travel from Atlanta up to Chicago, whereas Chicago is almost 500 feet lower than Atlanta. Usually we speak of going “up” north and “down” south. With the biblical writers, elevation references always are precise. One travels from Jerusalem (in the south) “down” to Antioch, some 150 miles to the north (Acts 15:1-2). Not once is there a geographical or topographical blunder in the sacred volume, in spite of the fact that the ancients did not possess the sophisticated instruments that we have today.
Here is another amazing fact. In the book of Acts, the historian Luke mentions thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine of the Mediterranean islands (Metzger, 1965, p. 171). There is not the slightest mistake in any of his references. Luke has been criticized over the centuries to be sure; his influence has increased, however, while his critics’ credibility has decreased!
The Genesis record declares that while he was in Egypt, Pharaoh presented Abraham with some camels (Genesis 12:16). Liberal writers disputed this. T.K. Cheyne wrote: “The assertion that the ancient Egyptians knew of the camel is unfounded” (1899, 1:634). Professor Kenneth Kitchen has shown, however, that “the extant evidence clearly indicates that the domestic camel was known [in Egypt] by 3,000 B.C.”—long before Abraham’s time (1980, 1:228).
On several occasions in the book of Genesis it is recorded that Abraham and Isaac had associations with the Philistines (cf. Genesis 21; 26). Liberal scholars consider these references to be anachronistic (details from a later age inappropriately inserted into the patriarchal account). H.T. Frank characterized the allusions as “an historical inaccuracy” (1964, p. 323). It has been shown, however, that “Philistine” was a rather generic term and that there is no valid reason to doubt that these groups were in Canaan before the arrival of the main body in the early twelfth century B.C. (Unger, 1954, p. 91; Archer, 1964, p. 266; Harrison, 1963, p. 32). Harrison noted that the archaeological evidence “suggests that it is a mistake to regard the mention of the Philistines in the patriarchal narratives as an anachronism” (1983, p. 362).
Elsewhere, I have catalogued no less than twenty major “slips” with which the biblical writers have been charged (Jackson, 1982). Each has evaporated with the passing of time and the exhumation of evidence.
Yes, even the noble Homer may nod; those guided by the Spirit of God, however, never did. You can trust the Bible!
Cheyne, T.K. (1899), Encyclopedia Biblica (London: A. & C. Black).
Cruden, Alexander (1840), Cruden’s Explanations of Scripture Terms (London: Religious Tract Society).
Eddy, Mary Baker (1934), Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Boston, MA: The First Church of Christ, Scientist).
Encyclopaedia Britannica, (1958), “Tacitus,” (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.).
Frank, H.T. (1964), An Archaeological Companion to the Bible (London: SCM Press).
Goodpasture, B.C. (1970), “Homer Sometimes Nods,” Gospel Advocate, 112:322,325.
Harrison, R.K. (1963), The Archaeology of the Old Testament (New York: Harper & Row).
Harrison, R.K. (1983), The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, ed. Edward Blaiklock and R.K. Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Huntington, Oliver B. (1892), “Inhabitants of the Moon,” Young Woman’s Journal.
Jackson, Wayne (1982), Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Kitchen, K.A. (1980), The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, ed. J.D. Douglas (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale).
McGarvey, J.W. (1956 reprint), Evidences of Christianity (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
McMillen, S.I. (1963), None of These Diseases (Westwood, NJ: Revell).
Metzger, Bruce M. (1965), The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content (Nashville, TN: Abingdon).
Morton, J.S. (1978), Science in the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Pfeiffer, Charles (1966), The Biblical World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Sarton, George (1959), A History of Science (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
Unger, Merrill (1954), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Vis, William R. (1950), “Medical Science and the Bible,” Modern Science and the Christian Faith (Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen).
Young, Brigham (1854-75), Journal of Discourses (Liverpool, England: F.D. Richards).
Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
“[T]he principles of thermodynamics have been in existence since the creation of the universe” (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 2, emp. added). So states a prominent textbook used in schools of engineering across America. Indeed, these principles prove themselves to be absolutely critical in today’s science world. Much of the engineering technology available today is based on the foundational truths embodied in the Laws of Thermodynamics. As the writers of one engineering thermodynamics textbook stated: “Energy is a fundamental concept of thermodynamics and one of the most significant aspects of engineering analysis” (Moran and Shapiro, 2000, p. 35). Do these laws have application to the creation/evolution debate as creationists suggest? What do they actually say and mean?
The word “thermodynamics” originally was used in a publication by Lord Kelvin (formerly William Thomson), the man often called the Father of Thermodynamics because of his articulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in 1849 (Cengel and Boles, p. 2). The term comes from two Greek words: therme, meaning “heat,” and dunamis, meaning “force” or “power” (American Heritage..., 2000, pp. 558,1795). Thermodynamics can be summarized essentially as the science of energy—including heat, work (defined as the energy required to move a force a certain distance), potential energy, internal energy, and kinetic energy. The basic principles and laws of thermodynamics are understood thoroughly today by the scientific community. Thus, the majority of the work with the principles of thermodynamics is done by engineers who simply utilize the already understood principles in their designs. A thorough understanding of the principles of thermodynamics which govern our Universe can help an engineer to learn effectively to control the impact of heat in his/her designs.
THE FIRST AND SECOND LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICSThough there are many important thermodynamic principles that govern the behavior of energy, perhaps the most critical principles of significance in the creation/evolution controversy are the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. What are these laws that, not only are vital to the work of an engineer, but central to this debate?
The First LawThe First Law of Thermodynamics was formulated originally by Robert Mayer (1814-1878). He stated: “I therefore hope that I may reckon on the reader’s assent when I lay down as an axiomatic truth that, just as in the case of matter, so also in the case of force [the term used at that time for energy—JM], only a transformation but never a creation takes place” (as quoted in King, 1962, p. 5). That is, given a certain amount of energy in a closed system, that energy will remain constant, though it will change form (see Figure 1). As evolutionist Willard Young says in defining the First Law, “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another” (1985, p. 8).
the principle of the conservation of energy is considered to be the single most important and fundamental ‘law of nature’ presently known to science, and is one of the most firmly established. Endless studies and experiments have confirmed its validity over and over again under a multitude of different conditions (p. 165, emp. added).This principle is known to be a fact about nature—without exception. One thermodynamics textbook, Fundamentals of Thermodynamics, says:
The basis of every law of nature is experimental evidence, and this is true also of the first law of thermodynamics. Many different experiments have been conducted on the first law, and every one thus far has verified it either directly or indirectly. The first law has never been disproved (Borgnakke and Sonntag, 2009, p. 116, emp. added).That is why the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms defines a scientific law as “a regularity which applies to all members of a broad class of phenomena” (2003, p. 1182, emp. added). Famous atheist, theoretical physicist, and cosmologist of Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, concurred:
But what’s really important is that these physical laws, as well as being unchangeable, are universal. They apply not just to the flight of the ball, but to the motion of a planet and everything else in the Universe. Unlike laws made by humans, the laws of nature cannot ever be broken. That’s why they are so powerful…. [T]he laws of nature are fixed (“Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” 2011, emp. added).
The Second LawIn the nineteenth century, Lord Kelvin and Rudolph Clausius (1822-1888) separately made findings that became known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Suplee, 2000, p. 156). The Second Law builds on the First, stating that though there is a constant amount of energy in a given system that is merely transforming into different states, that energy is becoming less usable. Extending our wood burning illustration above, after the wood is burned, the total amount of energy is still the same, but transformed into other energy states. Those energy states (e.g., ash and dissipated heat to the environment) are less retrievable and less accessible (see Figure 2).
[T]he celebrated second law of thermodynamics…says, roughly speaking, that in any change the Universe becomes a slightly more disorderly place; the entropy goes up, the information content goes down. This natural tendency towards disintegration and chaos is evident all around us (1978, 80:506).This process is irreversible. Lord Kelvin stated that energy is “irrecoverably lost to man and therefore ‘wasted,’ although not annihilated” (Thomson, 1882, p. 189, ital. in orig.). This principle is known as entropy. Simply put, entropy states that nature is tending towards disorder and chaos. Will the paint job on your house maintain its fresh appearance over time? Will your son’s room actually become cleaner on its own, or will it tend toward disorder? Even without your son’s assistance, dust and decay take their toll. Although work can slow the entropy, it cannot stop it. Renowned evolutionary science writer Isaac Asimov explained:
Another way of stating the Second Law then is “The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!” Viewed that way we can see the Second Law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our own bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself—and that is what the Second Law is all about (1970, p. 6).Entropy is simply a fact of nature. Entropy can be minimized in this Universe, but it cannot be eradicated. That is where engineers come in. Engineers work to discover ways of minimizing energy loss and maximizing useful energy before it is forever lost. Thousands of engineering jobs are dedicated to addressing this fundamental fact of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Your energy bill is affected directly by it. If the Second Law was not fixed—unchanging—engineers could not develop the technology necessary to maximize usable energy, thereby lowering your energy costs.
Some engineers devote their entire careers to minimizing entropy in the generation of power from energy. All this effort is based on the principles established by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. These principles are established as fact in the scientific community. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines “law” as “a statement describing a relationship observed to be invariable between or among phenomena for all cases in which the specified conditions are met” (2000, p. 993, emp. added). Since laws are invariable, i.e., unchanging and constant, they have no exceptions. Otherwise, they would not be classified as laws. Tracy Walters, a mechanical engineer working in thermal engineering, observed:
It has been my experience that many people do not appreciate how uncompromising the Laws of Thermodynamics actually are. It is felt, perhaps, that the Laws are merely general tendencies or possibly only theoretical considerations. In reality, though, the Laws of Thermodynamics are hard as nails, and...the more one works with these Laws, the deeper respect one gains for them (1986, 9:8, emp. added).Evolutionist Jeremy Rifkin stated that “the Entropy Law will preside as the ruling paradigm over the next period of history. Albert Einstein said that it is the premier law of all science; Sir Arthur Eddington referred to it as the ‘supreme metaphysical law of the entire universe’” (1980, p. 6). Borgnakke and Sonntag, in Fundamentals of Thermodynamics, explain:
[W]e can say that the second law of thermodynamics (like every other law of nature) rests on experimental evidence. Every relevant experiment that has been conducted, either directly or indirectly, verifies the second law, and no experiment has ever been conducted that contradicts the second law. The basis of the second law is therefore experimental evidence (2009, p. 220, emp. added, parenthetical item in orig.).Another thermal science textbook says, concerning the Second Law of Thermodynamics, “To date, no experiment has been conducted that contradicts the second law, and this should be taken as sufficient proof of its validity” (Cengel, Turner, and Cimbala, 2008, p. 266, emp. added).
IMPLICATIONS OF THE LAWSWhen understood properly, the Laws of Thermodynamics apply directly to the creation/evolution controversy in precisely the same way they apply in the engineering world today (cf. Miller, 2007). In fact, these foundational truths, utilized daily by the engineering world, have eternally significant, spiritual implications in that they prove that God exists. How so?
If there is no God, the existence of the Universe must be explained without Him. The Big Bang theory claims that all matter in the Universe initially was condensed in a sphere smaller than the size of a period at the end of this sentence. That sphere exploded and helps to explain why the Universe, according to many cosmologists, appears to be expanding or inflating (see Thompson, et al., 2003, 23:32-34,36-47). Even if the Big Bang were true (and it is not, cf. Thompson, et al.), this theory offers no explanation for the origin of that sphere. Evolutionist Alan Guth, a cosmologist and physics professor at M.I.T., admitted that “[i]nflation itself takes a very small universe and produces from it a very big universe. But inflation by itself does not explain where that very small universe came from” (as quoted in Heeren, 1995, p. 148). He further stated, “[A] proposal that the universe was created from empty space is no more fundamental than a proposal that the universe was spawned by a piece of rubber. It might be true, but one would still want to ask where the piece of rubber came from” (Guth, 1997, p. 273). So where could the “rubber” have come from?
The only logical possibilities for the origin of the matter and energy comprising the Universe are that they are responsible for their own existence (i.e., they popped into existence out of nothing—spontaneous generation or they always existed—eternality) or Someone is responsible for their existence (i.e., they were placed here by something outside of the Universe—Creation) (see Figure 3).
Possibility 1: Spontaneous Generation of the UniverseConsider the entire physical Universe as a system consisting of all mass, matter, and energy that exists in the Universe. If one believes in the Big Bang model, the system’s boundary would be outside of the blast radius of the Big Bang, or outside of the original cosmic dot that exploded. Without God (i.e., something outside of the bounds of the Universe—something supernatural), this Universe would have to be a closed system. Since our system encompasses the entire Universe, there is no more mass that can cross into our system from the outside, which necessitates our system being closed. If mass, matter, and energy could enter and/or exit the system, the system would be an open system[NOTE: The creationist contends that the Universe is an open system, since there is Someone outside of the natural Universe Who can cross the boundary and put matter and energy into the system. However, without God, the entire physical Universe as a system logically would have to be a closed system. Atheists must so believe in order to explain the Universe without God.].
Evolutionary physicist Victor Stenger, in his book, God: The Failed Hypothesis, said:
Conservation of energy [i.e., the First Law—JM] and other basic laws hold true in the most distant observed galaxy and in the cosmic microwave background, implying that these laws have been valid for over thirteen billion years. Surely any observation of their violation during the puny human life span would be reasonably termed a miracle…. In principle, the creation hypothesis could be confirmed by the direct observation or theoretical requirement that conservation of energy was violated 13.7 billion years ago at the start of the big bang (2007, pp. 115-116, emp. added).The First Law of Thermodynamics states that in a closed system, the amount of energy present in that system is constant, though it transforms into other forms of energy. So, if the Universe as a whole initially contained no mass, matter, or energy, and then all of the mass, matter, and energy in the Universe spontaneously generated, the First Law would be violated. Without intervention from an outside force, the amount of mass, matter, and energy in the Universe would have remained constant (unchanged) at nothing. According to the scientific evidence, matter/energy could not have originally spontaneously generated. Thus, according to Stenger, the creation hypothesis is confirmed based on the scientific evidence. The initial creation of energy from nothing amounted to a miracle.
As was mentioned earlier, there are no exceptions to laws, or else they would not be laws. The First Law of Thermodynamics has no known exceptions. The Law is accepted as fact by all scientists in general and utilized by engineers in particular. Therefore, the Universe, composed of all mass, matter, and energy, could not have spontaneously generated (popped into existence on its own) without violating the exceptionless and highly respected First Law of Thermodynamics. The energy level of the Universe would not have been constant. Spontaneous generation would amount to the creation of energy from nothing (see Figure 4). The Universe could not have come into existence without the presence and intervention of a Force outside of the closed system of the entire physical Universe. The Universe therefore must be an open system that was created by a non-physical Force (i.e., a Force not composed of mass, matter, and energy) outside of the physical boundary of this Universe (above nature, or supernatural) with the capability of bringing it into existence out of nothing. That Force can be none other than a supernatural God. To develop a theory that requires the violation of that principle would be against the scientific evidence. It would be unscientific. The evidence from science indicates that matter could not and cannot spontaneously generate.
No wonder Victor Stenger, a proponent of the idea of spontaneous generation, said, “I must admit that there are yet no empirical or observational tests that can be used to test the idea of an accidental origin” (1987, 7:30). According to Stenger, the idea is “speculative” (p. 30). No solid evidence. Just speculation. Famous evolutionary astronomer, Robert Jastrow, the founder and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, said:
But the creation of matter out of nothing would violate a cherished concept in science—the principle of the conservation of matter and energy—which states that matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Matter can be converted into energy, and vice versa, but the total amount of all matter and energy in the Universe must remain unchanged forever. It is difficult to accept a theory that violates such a firmly established scientific fact (1977, p. 32).Science studies what occurs in nature, not super-nature. In nature, matter and energy can be neither created or destroyed, but “must remain unchanged forever.” This is a “firmly established fact.” Nothing comes from nothing. If a molecule will not pop into existence from nothing, a sphere containing all of the matter and energy of the entire Universe will certainly not pop into existence.
Possibility 2: Eternal Existence of the UniverseAgain, considering the entire Universe as a system necessitates that it be a closed system. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that though energy in a closed system is constant (First Law of Thermodynamics), that energy is transforming into less usable forms of energy (i.e., the Universe is “running down”). This process is irreversible. There is a finite amount of usable energy in the Universe (which explains the widespread interest in conserving energy). In the Big Bang model, that energy was originally in the cosmic egg that exploded, and now would be found within the blast radius of the original explosion. That usable energy is depleting according to the Second Law. Engineers strive to slow this inevitable depletion of energy, but it cannot be stopped.
If the Universe has always existed (i.e., it is eternal), but there is a finite amount of usable energy, then all usable energy already should be expended (see Figure 5). Yet, usable energy still exists. So, the Universe cannot have existed forever. It had to have a beginning. The eternality of matter would be the equivalent of a system with an energy input and 100% usable energy output (see Figure 6). It would be the equivalent of describing the Universe as a perpetual motion machine—a design that attempts to violate either the First or Second Law of Thermodynamics by, for instance, running forever without an energy input. No such machine has ever been designed, since such a machine would violate the laws of thermodynamics. Philip Yam, writing in Scientific American said, “Claims for perpetual-motion machines and other free-energy devices still persist, of course, even though they inevitably turn out to violate at least one law of thermodynamics” (1997, 277:82).
The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence of the Universe, either in the past or in the future (1977, p. 30, emp. added).In his book, God and the Astronomers, Jastrow reiterated this truth:
And concurrently there was a great deal of discussion about the fact that the second law of thermodynamics, applied to the Cosmos, indicates the Universe is running down like a clock. If it is running down, there must have been a time when it was fully wound up…. Now three lines of evidence—the motions of the galaxies, the laws of thermodynamics, the life story of the stars—pointed to one conclusion; all indicated that the Universe had a beginning (1978, pp. 48-49, 111).Evolutionist Kitty Ferguson, award-winning science writer, agreed. She said, “It’s also common knowledge that the universe isn’t eternal but had a beginning” (1994, p. 89). Any person who develops a theory that claims that the Universe could be a perpetual motion machine, is guilty of contradicting the solid evidence from science. They are being unscientific, and their unscientific mindset has resulted in an unscientific theory.
Possibility 3: The Inevitable ImplicationWhat does the scientific evidence actually say about the matter of origins? Forget speculation, conjecture, hypothesis, and theory—wishful, hopeful thinking that there might be some way to avoid a supernatural explanation and the restrictions that Being might have on our desires. What does the evidence say?
To repeat, logically, there are only three possible explanations for the existence of matter in the Universe. Either it spontaneously generated, it is eternal, or it was created by a non-physical Being outside of the boundaries of the Universe. Atheists use the theory of evolution in an attempt to explain the existence and state of the Universe today. In order for the theory of evolution to be true, thereby accounting for the existence of mankind, either all of the mass, matter, and energy of the Universe spontaneously generated (i.e., it popped into existence out of nothing), or it has always existed (i.e., it is eternal.). Without an outside force (a transcendent, omnipotent, eternal, superior Being), no other options for the existence of the Universe are available. However, as the Laws of Thermodynamics prove, the spontaneous generation and the eternality of matter are logically and scientifically impossible. One and only one possible option remains: the Universe was created by the Creator. The scientific evidence points to the existence of God. Bottom line: God designed the laws of thermodynamics. Creationists believe them. Engineers use them. Atheists cannot harmonize them with their beloved theory.
CONCLUSIONEvolutionists claim that science and the idea of God are irreconcilable. “Only one of them can be true,” they say, “and you cannot prove there is a God.” Not all theistic models for the origin of the Universe are in keeping with science. For instance, according to Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation account, the polytheistic Babylonians believed that matter is eternal (Pfeiffer, 1972, p. 226). This has been shown to be false. However, although not all Creation models are in harmony with the scientific evidence, one would expect the true Creation model to be in keeping with the evidence. The Laws of Thermodynamics, which science itself recognizes in its explanations of the phenomena in the Universe, were written by the Chief Engineer (cf. Miller, 2012). As expected, they prove to be in complete harmony with His existence, contrary to the claims of evolutionists. God, Himself, articulated these laws centuries ago in the Bible.
At the very beginning of the Bible, the First Law of Thermodynamics was expressed when Moses penned, “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” (Genesis 2:1-2, emp. added). In Exodus 20:11, Moses wrote, “For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested (i.e., ceased) the seventh day.” Everything in the Universe was made in six days, and then the Lord stopped creating. Nothing else is coming into existence naturally. After the six days of Creation, the mass, matter, and energy creation process was terminated. As evolutionist Willard Young said regarding the First Law: “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another.” The thrust of the First Law of Thermodynamics was expressed in the Bible thousands of years ago, although it was not discovered and formally articulated by scientists until the 19th century.
Through the hand of the psalmist, God also stated centuries ago what scientists call the Second Law of Thermodynamics: “Of old You laid the foundation of the Earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end” (102:25-27, emp. added). The Universe is wearing out—decaying, like an old shirt: the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Once again, the Creation model is in perfect harmony with science. The evolutionary model fails its thermodynamics test.
The inspired writer wrote in Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Paul declared in Acts 14:17, “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” The psalmist affirmed, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (19:1). Paul assured the Romans, “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” (1:20, emp. added). The scientific evidence points to God. There will be no excuse in the end for those who deny it.
In closing, we return to Lord Kelvin, the Father of Thermodynamics, for fitting final thoughts. In a short public speech in 1903, reported by The Times and followed up by an amending letter to the paper by Kelvin, Kelvin said:
I do not say that, with regard to the origin of life, science neither affirms nor denies Creative Power. Science positively affirms Creative Power…. It is not in dead matter that we live and move and have our being [Acts 17:28—JM], but in the creating and directive Power which science compels us to accept as an article of belief.... There is nothing between absolute scientific belief in a Creative Power, and the acceptance of the theory of a fortuitous concourse of atoms.... Forty years ago I asked Liebig, walking somewhere in the country if he believed that the grass and flowers that we saw around us grew by mere chemical forces. He answered, “No, no more than I could believe that a book of botany describing them grew by mere chemical forces”.... Do not be afraid of being free thinkers! If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all Religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to Religion (as quoted in Thompson, 1910, pp. 1097-1100, emp. added).According to the Father of Thermodynamics, evolutionists are failing to “think strongly enough.” No wonder the psalmist asserted: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (14:1).
REFERENCESAmerican Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
Asimov, Isaac (1970), “In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even,” Smithsonian Institute Journal, pp. 4-10, June.
Borgnakke, Claus and Richard E. Sonntag (2009), Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (Asia: John Wiley and Sons), seventh edition.
Cengel, Yunus A. and Michael A. Boles (2002), Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach (New York: McGraw-Hill), fourth edition.
Cengel, Yunus A., Robert H. Turner, and John M. Cimbala (2008), Thermal-Fluid Sciences (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill).
“Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.
Davies, Paul (1978), “Chance or Choice: Is the Universe an Accident?” New Scientist, 80:506-508, November.
Ferguson, Kitty (1994), The Fire in the Equations: Science, Religion, and the Search for God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Guth, Alan (1997), The Inflationary Universe (New York: Perseus Books).
Guth, Alan and Paul Steinhardt (1984), “The Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, 250:116-128, May.
Hawking, Stephen (2010), The Grand Design (New York, NY: Bantam Books).
Heeren, Fred (1995), Show Me God (Wheeling, IL: Searchlight Publications).
Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).
Jastrow, Robert (1978), God and the Astronomers (New York: W.W. Norton).
Kenny, Anthony (1980), The Five Ways: St. Thomas Aquinas’ Proofs of God’s Existence (South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press).
King, A.L. (1962), Thermophysics (San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (2003), pub. M.D. Licker (New York: McGraw-Hill), sixth edition.
Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.
Miller, Jeff (2012), “‘The Laws of Science’-by God,” Reason & Revelation, 32:137-140, December, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1103&article=2072.
Moran, Michael J. and Howard N. Shapiro (2000), Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (New York: John Wiley & Sons), fourth edition.
Pfeiffer, Charles F. (1972), The Biblical World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House).
Rifkin, Jeremy (1980), Entropy: A New World View (New York: Viking).
Spencer, Herbert (1882), First Principles: A System of Synthetic Philosophy (New York: D. Appleton and Company), fourth edition.
Stenger, Victor J. (1987), “Was the Universe Created?,” Free Inquiry, 7:26-30, Summer.
Stenger, Victor J. (2007), God: The Failed Hypothesis (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books).
Suplee, Curt (2000), Milestones of Science (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society).
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part 1],” Reason & Revelation, 23:32-34,36-47.
Thompson, Silvanus P. (1910), The Life of William Thomson Baron Kelvin of Largs, Vol. 2, (London: MacMillan and Co.).
Thomson, William (1882), Mathematical and Physical Papers (Cambridge University Press).
Tryon, Edward P. (1984), “What Made the World?,” New Scientist, 101:14-16, March 8.
Walters, Tracy (1986), “A Reply to John Patterson’s Arguments,” Origins Research, 9:8-9, Fall/Winter.
Yam, Philip (1997), “Exploiting Zero-Point Energy,” Scientific American, 27782-85.
Young, Willard (1985), Fallacies of Creationism (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Detselig Enterprises).
Australopithicus Sediba: Another Relative We Never Had
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
Recently we wrote about Woman X, an alleged human ancestor that was concocted from a small part of a pinky finger found in the Altai mountains in Siberia (Butt, 2010). A few months before that, we demolished both Ardi and Ida, which was not difficult, since both were foundationless gimmicks that reeked of propaganda masquerading as science (Butt, 2009; Lyons and Butt, 2009). The desperate rate at which the evolutionary science community is pumping out “human ancestors” belies the fact that thinking people are not buying the unfounded concept of human evolution. The cycle of reading about an “amazing” new ancestor, only to discover that the fossils prove nothing, are misrepresented and misinterpreted, and are obviously trumped-up to bolster a decaying corpse of a false theory that was long ago destroyed, is becoming increasingly tiresome.
It is a fact that alleged human evolution defies all the known, provable, testable laws of nature (Harrub and Thompson, 2003). This fact has not dissuaded the evolutionary community from parading yet another “human ancestor” before the world. The latest creature has been dubbed Australopithecus sediba, which means “southern ape, wellspring” (Schmid, 2010). Two skeletons, purportedly of a female, in her late 20s or early 30s, and a male, who may have been eight or nine years old, were discovered in a pit in South Africa (2010).
Are these creatures “links” between monkeys and man? Richard Potts stated: “The ‘missing link’ made sense when we could take the earliest fossils and the latest ones and line them up in a row. It was easy back then” (as quoted in Schmid, 2010). But Schmid went on to write: “But now researchers know there was great diversity of branches in the human family tree rather than a single smooth line” (2010, emp. added). [NOTE: Ironically, just last year, the evolutionary community was using the “missing link” terminology to describe Ida. So, Potts’ “back then” was not so far back as he would like us to believe.] In truth, however, researchers know no such thing. The “single smooth line” idea was jettisoned, not because evolutionists learned more about an alleged human-ape ancestry, but because it became impossible to fit the fossils together in a rational way that could be sustained by the evidence. There were so many contradictions, overlapping dates, and incorrect conclusions, the evolutionary “bush” idea was interjected to “keep the dream alive.”
Australopithicus sediba is yet another example of the mess we have been seeing in the past. For instance, the fossils are supposedly dated at 1.95-1.78 million years ago. Yet this date cannot be scientifically validated. The dating methods used to pinpoint such a precise figure are fraught with error, and have been shown to be incorrect (Morris, 1994; DeYoung, 2005). Furthermore, we are told that the creature has a mosaic of primitive and advanced features. One of the “primitive” features is a small brain, but the researchers noted that “the shape of the brain seems to be more advanced than that of Australophithecines” (Schmid, 2010). What, exactly, does an “advanced brain shape” look like? The only way to determine an “advanced” shape would be to assume that humans evolved from apes and then to suggest that anything closer to the human shape is “advanced.” Yet, if researchers are trying to use these fossils to prove that humans are related to apes, they cannot be granted that assumption in order to link humans to apes. In addition, many modern monkeys have “primitive,” small brains. If there are monkeys alive right now that have small brains like the one found, how can such be considered a “primitive” characteristic, without assuming human evolution—the concept that is purportedly being proven.
Furthermore, since only a few of these creatures have been discovered, “there is no way to know if the gene pool died out or was passed on to others” (Schmid, 2010). Basically, then, we are told that we cannot know if these creatures evolved into humans, or if they simply went extinct. Yet if they have such an “advanced brain” and then they died out, where would our “advanced brains” come from—if not from these creatures? You see the way evolutionists cover their tracks. If they do not find means to link this creature to humans in a way that the public will swallow, then they will relegate it to a side branch, so it is not in-line with true human ancestry, and parade another creature before the public in a few months (or weeks at the current rate).
The amount of speculation and lack of substantiation in the field of paleontology is exasperating. Words and phrases such as “may have,” “might show,” “possibly are,” “could probably show,” “there is no way to know for sure, but,” are the tell-tale signs of unsubstantiated opinion that pepper the human-evolution writings like spots on a Dalmatian. Let’s cut through such mealy-mouth jargon and confidently affirm what we know scientifically as fact. Every experiment ever done on life in nature shows that life can come only from previously existing life of its own kind. No known mechanism exists by which genetic information can be added to a single-celled organism in order for it to eventually evolve into a human. Human consciousness defies all evolutionary based explanations, as does human morality. All available scientific, historic, and biblical information forces an honest observer to conclude that humans were created by a supernatural Creator, and they did not evolve from lower mammals. We will keep repeating these truths as long as the evolutionary community keeps trumpeting new “relatives” we never had.
REFERENCESButt, Kyle (2009), “Ardi Joins a Long, Infamous List of Losers,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240241.
Butt, Kyle (2010), “Evolution Wrapped Around the Pinky Finger of Woman X,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240342.
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), The Truth About Human Origins (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2009), “Ida—A Missing Link,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240160.
Morris, John D. (1994), The Young Earth (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Schmid, Randolph (2010), “New Fossils May Fit in Gap Between Apes and Humans,” Yahoo!, [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100408/ap_on_sc/us_sci_new_hominid/print;_ ylt=AhT.dv9Gh0zQIfXB7BQyKz1xieAA;_ylu=X3oDMTBvajZzaTFyBHBvcwMxNQRzZWMDdG9wBH NsawNwcmludA--.
Christianity is in the Constitution
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Those who insist that America was not intended to be a “Christian nation” point to the obvious absence of specific directives regarding Christianity in the federal Constitution. The popular propaganda since the 1960s has been that “the irreligious Framers did not want the nation to retain any attachment to the Christian religion.” Such an assertion is a monstrous perversion of historical fact. The truth of the matter is that they were fearful of the potential interference by the federal government in its ability to place restrictions on the free exercise of the Christian religion. Consequently, they desired that the specifics of religion be left up to the discretion of the several states.
Nevertheless, we must not think for a moment that the federal Framers did not sanction the nation’s intimate affiliation with Christianity, or that they attempted to keep religion out of the Constitution. On the contrary, the Christian religion is inherently assumed and implicitly present in the Constitution. In fact, the United States Constitution contains a direct reference to Jesus Christ! Consider three proofs for these contentions (See Constitution of the United..., 1789).
First, consider the meaning of the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....” We have been told that, by “establishment of religion,” the Framers meant for the government to maintain complete religious neutrality and that pluralism ought to prevail, i.e., that all religions (whether Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism), though equally tolerated, must not be given any acknowledgement in the public sector. But such an outlandish claim is absolutely false. All one has to do is to go directly to the delegate discussions pertaining to the wording of the First Amendment in order to ascertain the context and original intent of the final wording (Annals of Congress, 1789, pp. 440ff.). The facts of the matter are that by their use of the term “religion,” the Framers had in mind the several Protestant denominations. Their concern was to prevent any single Christian denomination from being elevated above the others and made the State religion—a circumstance that the Founders had endured under British rule when the Anglican Church was the state religion of the thirteen colonies. They further sought to leave the individual States free to make their own determinations with regard to religious (i.e., Christian) matters (cf. Story, 1833, 3.1873:730-731). The “Father of the Bill of Rights,” George Mason, actually proposed the following wording for the First Amendment, which demonstrates the context of their wording:
[A]ll men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others (as quoted in Rowland, 1892, 1:244, emp. added).By “prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the Framers intended to convey that the federal government was not to interfere with the free and public practice of the Christian religion—the very thing that the courts have been doing since the 1960s.
Second, consider the wording of a sentence from Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution: “If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it....” “Sundays excepted”? The government shuts down and does not transact business on Sunday? Why? If this provision had been made in respect of Jews, the Constitution would have read “Saturdays excepted.” If provision had been made for Muslims, the Constitution would have read “Fridays excepted.” If the Founders had intended to encourage a day of inactivity for the government without regard to any one religion, they could have chosen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Instead, the federal Constitution reads “Sundays excepted”—proving conclusively that America was Christian in its orientation and that the Framers themselves shared the Christian worldview and gave political recognition to and accommodation of that fact.
Third, if these two allusions to Christianity are not enough, consider yet another. Immediately after Article VII, the Constitution closes with the following words:
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth....Did you catch it? Their work was done “in the Year of our Lord.” The Christian world dates all of human history in terms of the birth of Christ. “B.C.” means “before Christ,” and “A.D.” is the abbreviation for the Latin words “anno Domini,” meaning “year of our Lord.” If the Framers were interested in being pluralistic, multi-cultural, and politically correct, they would have refrained from using the B.C./A.D. designation. Or they would have used the religionless designations “C.E.,” Common Era, and “B.C.E.,” Before the Common Era (see “Common Era,” 2008). In so doing, they would have avoided offending Jews, atheists, agnostics, and humanists. Or they could have used “A.H.” (anno hegirae—which means “in the year of the Hijrah” and refers to Muhammad’s flight from Mecca in A.D. 622), the date used by Muslims as the commencement date for the Islamic calendar. Instead, the Framers chose to utilize the dating method that indicated the worldview they shared. What’s more, their reference to “our Lord” does not refer to a generic deity, nor does it refer even to God the Father. It refers to God the Son—an explicit reference to Jesus Christ. Make no mistake: the Constitution of the United States contains an explicit reference to Jesus Christ—not Allah, Buddha, Muhammad, nor the gods of Hindus or Native Americans!
Let’s get this straight: The Declaration of Independence contains four allusions to the God of the Bible. The U.S. Constitution contains allusions to the freedom to practice the Christian religion unimpeded, the significance and priority of Sunday worship, as well as the place of Jesus Christ in history. So, according to the thinking of the ACLU and a host of liberal educators, politicians, and judges, the Constitution is—unconstitutional! Go figure.
“Common Era” (2008), Encyclopædia Britannica Online, [On-line], URL: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/128268/Common-Era.
Constitution of the United States (1789), [On-line], URL: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html.
Rowland, Kate (1892), The Life of George Mason (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons).
Story, Joseph (1833), Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston, MA: Hilliard, Gray, & Co.), [On-line], URL: http://www.constitution.org/js/js_344.htm.
Further Remarks on the RevelationRemarks on the nature of apocalyptic literature
1. It's important to remember that the Book of Revelation is prophetic even while it is apocalyptic (1:3 and 22:7-10) which means that one does not exclude the other. But the apocalyptic style of literature is distinctive. You know it when you read it. It has a lot in common with other forms of prophetic literature and parables and it depends on the reader knowing something about biblical history and what is going on in their world. In this way it is like other biblical writings. Just the same, while it does connect with other styles of writing, it is distinctive. You can go through the Bible and, most of the time, pick out the sections that are apocalyptic in nature.
2. Whatever else is true, apocalyptic literature isn't plain prose. Read Daniel chapter 3 and then read chapter 7. You don't have to be an Einstein to note the difference. In one case the writer tells us what literally happened and he tells it without the use of bizarre images. In the other the writer tells us of events or persons of the past, present and future and uses speech he doesn't want us to take literally. (Note the lion with eagle's wings and the leopard with four heads as illustrating the point.)
3. In apocalyptic literature God is always revealed as Sovereign and in control even in the face of entrenched evil and abusive governments. See Revelation 1:4 and 4:11 and 6:10 and see Daniel chapter 4.
4. In apocalyptic literature a writer may use extraordinary people from the past to describe the present or the future. (Examples would include Israel's wilderness experience and Elijah and Elisha as "the two witnesses".)
5. In apocalyptic literature a writer uses categories of uncreation and renewal (new creation) to make his points. Genesis 1 speaks of sun, moon and stars having their place in heaven and behaving in an orderly fashion but in apocalyptic literature heavens are rolled up, stars fall and immovable mountains tumble into the seas.
6. In apocalyptic literature writers reveal states of affairs or the inner character of something or they explain the working of ordinary events in terms of their spiritual meaning. And they normally do this by using imagery. (For example: the Roman Empire is pictured as the great Prostitute and the "earth beast" is a lamb with a dragon's voice.)
7. In apocalyptic literature a writer may use past events as models to describe coming judgement or blessing. (One illustration of this from among many would be the plagues of Egypt as they are used in Revelation.)
8. In apocalyptic literature human sin is linked with the original rebellion against God. As in Genesis we find God "uncreating" (see Noah's flood and the waters coming back up over the earth to create a deep as in Genesis 1:1) so in apocalyptic judgements local rebellions result in uncreation. Isaiah 34 and the judgement on Edom illustrates the point. So also Revelation 6 and the judgement there.
9. In apocalyptic literature sin is shown to have cosmic effects and not just personal. We tend to think that sin only affects us personally but in this kind of literature we're taught that it tears down the heavens and pollutes the entire world (compare Genesis 3:17-19 and Colossians 1:19-20). As described in images oceans are turned to dead man's blood, skies are rolled up and the planet is torn apart.
10. In apocalyptic literature numbers and colours are also used to convey truths. Some of the more obvious numbers are 7 and 12 and 1,000. Illustrations are everywhere. Comment later.
11. In apocalyptic literature everything has an angel. Winds, rivers, books and congregations have angels. In such cases the angels stand for "the inner nature or function" of the thing itself. The angel is "the spirit of" the thing. For example, when Christ speaks to the "angel of the church" he is speaking to the church as it really is rather than how it looks externally.
12. The notion that apocalyptic language was chosen so that the enemies couldn't understand it doesn't make a lot of sense. Very often the writer explains what he has said under an image. Very often the writer explains the vision he has just given. Sometimes the writer himself doesn't understand the vision or the image. Besides, it wouldn't be difficult for an enemy to torture a believer and make him or her reveal the meaning.
- Whatever else is true apocalyptic language sticks in the memory. Think of the images in the parables as examples.
- Whatever else is true an image can make an abstract truth concrete. For example, to say a kingdom is savage and ruthless is one thing and to describe it in an image as a devouring beast makes the description come alive.
- Whatever else is true the images correspond to the underlying truth. For example a "lamb" suggests one thing and a lamb that speaks like a dragon suggests something else (see Revelation 13:11).
The Authors of the Book of Revelation
1. The apostle John. Revelation 1:4 and 11. John is the merely human by which the book of Revelation came to us. He received it when he was on the island of Patmos on the Lord's day (1:9). John describes himself in several ways in the introduction.
- He is the bondservant of Jesus Christ in 1:1
- He is a witness to what he saw and heard of God's word in 1:2
- He is a brother in Christ in 1:9
- He is a fellow-sufferer in 1:9
- He is a brother in the kingdom of Christ in 1:9
- He is a brother in the patience that is in Christ in 1:9
- He is the one who was on Patmos for the word of God in 1:9
3. The Holy Spirit. Revelation 1:4,10 and 4:2 and 21:10. The entire Bible reminds us that when men wrote scripture they wrote as the Spirit moved them. We hear this in places like 1 Peter 1:11-12, 2 Peter 1:21 and 1 Corinthians 2:13. In Revelation we're told and then reminded repeatedly that John received his message and visions while "in the Spirit".
4. Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:1 and 5:5 and 22:16. The Father gives it to the Son who shows it to his servants who receive it "in the Spirit." In Revelation the triune God is always the Revealer, but it is done through angels (1:2, and 22:6-9 would make this point). Whatever else this does it stresses the exalted nature of the triune God that can use exalted spirit beings to do its bidding.
Christ is described in numerous ways in the introduction (1:1-20).
- He is the faithful witness in 1:5
- He is the firstborn from the dead in 1:5
- He is the ruler of the kings of the earth in 1:5
- He is the one who loves us in 1:5
- He loosed us from our sins in 1:5
- He is the one who made us a kingdom and priests in 1:6
- He is the coming one in 1:7
- He is the high-priestly judge and Son of Man in 1:13-17
- He is the Alpha and the Omega in 1:18
- He is the Lord over death and hades in 1:19
- He is Lord over the churches in 1:20
The World English Bible
2 Kings 4-6
2Ki 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets to Elisha, saying, Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared Yahweh: and the creditor has come to take for himself my two children to be slaves.
2Ki 4:2 Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? tell me; what do you have in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil.
2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow containers from of all your neighbors, even empty containers. Don't borrow just a few.
2Ki 4:4 You shall go in, and shut the door on you and on your sons, and pour out into all those containers; and you shall set aside that which is full.
2Ki 4:5 So she went from him, and shut the door on her and on her sons; they brought the containers to her, and she poured out.
2Ki 4:6 It happened, when the containers were full, that she said to her son, Bring me another container. He said to her, There isn't another container. The oil stopped flowing.
2Ki 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. He said, Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest.
2Ki 4:8 It fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where there was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. So it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat bread.
2Ki 4:9 She said to her husband, See now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God, that passes by us continually.
2Ki 4:10 Let us make, Please, a little chamber on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a seat, and a lamp stand: and it shall be, when he comes to us, that he shall turn in there.
2Ki 4:11 It fell on a day, that he came there, and he turned into the chamber and lay there.
2Ki 4:12 He said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. When he had called her, she stood before him.
2Ki 4:13 He said to him, Say now to her, Behold, you have cared for us with all this care; what is to be done for you? would you like to be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the army? She answered, I dwell among my own people.
2Ki 4:14 He said, What then is to be done for her? Gehazi answered, Most certainly she has no son, and her husband is old.
2Ki 4:15 He said, Call her. When he had called her, she stood in the door.
2Ki 4:16 He said, At this season, when the time comes round, you shall embrace a son. She said, No, my lord, you man of God, do not lie to your handmaid.
2Ki 4:17 The woman conceived, and bore a son at that season, when the time came round, as Elisha had said to her.
2Ki 4:18 When the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
2Ki 4:19 He said to his father, My head, my head. He said to his servant, Carry him to his mother.
2Ki 4:20 When he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees until noon, and then died.
2Ki 4:21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door on him, and went out.
2Ki 4:22 She called to her husband, and said, Please send me one of the servants, and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.
2Ki 4:23 He said, Why would you want go to him today? it is neither new moon nor Sabbath. She said, It shall be well.
2Ki 4:24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; don't slacken me the riding, unless I ask you to.
2Ki 4:25 So she went, and came to the man of God to Mount Carmel. It happened, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is the Shunammite:
2Ki 4:26 please run now to meet her, and ask her, Is it well with you? is it well with your husband? is it well with the child? She answered, It is well.
2Ki 4:27 When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to thrust her away; but the man of God said, Let her alone: for her soul is troubled within her; and Yahweh has hid it from me, and has not told me.
2Ki 4:28 Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? Didn't I say, Do not deceive me?
2Ki 4:29 Then he said to Gehazi, "Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand, and go your way. If you meet any man, don't greet him; and if anyone greets you, don't answer him again. Then lay my staff on the face of the child."
2Ki 4:30 The mother of the child said, As Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. He arose, and followed her.
2Ki 4:31 Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Therefore he returned to meet him, and told him, saying, The child has not awakened.
2Ki 4:32 When Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid on his bed.
2Ki 4:33 He went in therefore, and shut the door on them both, and prayed to Yahweh.
2Ki 4:34 He went up, and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands: and he stretched himself on him; and the flesh of the child grew warm.
2Ki 4:35 Then he returned, and walked in the house once back and forth; and went up, and stretched himself on him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
2Ki 4:36 He called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. When she was come in to him, he said, Take up your son.
2Ki 4:37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground; and she took up her son, and went out.
2Ki 4:38 Elisha came again to Gilgal. There was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, Set on the great pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.
2Ki 4:39 One went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered of it wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of stew; for they didn't recognize them.
2Ki 4:40 So they poured out for the men to eat. It happened, as they were eating of the stew, that they cried out, and said, man of God, there is death in the pot. They could not eat of it.
2Ki 4:41 But he said, Then bring meal. He cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. There was no harm in the pot.
2Ki 4:42 There came a man from Baal Shalishah, and brought the man of God bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and fresh ears of grain in his sack. He said, Give to the people, that they may eat.
2Ki 4:43 His servant said, What, should I set this before a hundred men? But he said, Give the people, that they may eat; for thus says Yahweh, They shall eat, and shall leave of it.
2Ki 4:44 So he set it before them, and they ate, and left of it, according to the word of Yahweh.
2Ki 5:1 Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him Yahweh had given victory to Syria: he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
2Ki 5:2 The Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maiden; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
2Ki 5:3 She said to her mistress, Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! then would he recover him of his leprosy.
2Ki 5:4 One went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maiden who is of the land of Israel.
2Ki 5:5 The king of Syria said, Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. He departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing.
2Ki 5:6 He brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter has come to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.
2Ki 5:7 It happened, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he tore his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man does send to me to recover a man of his leprosy? but consider, please, and see how he seeks a quarrel against me.
2Ki 5:8 It was so, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Why have you torn your clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
2Ki 5:9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
2Ki 5:10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again to you, and you shall be clean.
2Ki 5:11 But Naaman was angry, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
2Ki 5:12 Aren't Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
2Ki 5:13 His servants came near, and spoke to him, and said, My father, if the prophet had asked you do some great thing, wouldn't you have done it? how much rather then, when he says to you, Wash, and be clean?
2Ki 5:14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
2Ki 5:15 He returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him; and he said, See now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, please take a present from your servant.
2Ki 5:16 But he said, As Yahweh lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none. He urged him to take it; but he refused.
2Ki 5:17 Naaman said, If not, yet, please let there be given to your servant two mules' burden of earth; for your servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but to Yahweh.
2Ki 5:18 In this thing Yahweh pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, Yahweh pardon your servant in this thing.
2Ki 5:19 He said to him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
2Ki 5:20 But Gehazi the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: as Yahweh lives, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
2Ki 5:21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. When Naaman saw one running after him, he alighted from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?
2Ki 5:22 He said, All is well. My master has sent me, saying, Behold, even now there are come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets; please give them a talent of silver, and two changes of clothing.
2Ki 5:23 Naaman said, Be pleased to take two talents. He urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants; and they bore them before him.
2Ki 5:24 When he came to the hill, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house; and he let the men go, and they departed.
2Ki 5:25 But he went in, and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, Where do you come from, Gehazi? He said, Your servant went nowhere.
2Ki 5:26 He said to him, Didn't my heart go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and olive groves and vineyards, and sheep and cattle, and male servants and female servants?
2Ki 5:27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cling to you and to your seed forever. He went out from his presence a leper, as white as snow.
2Ki 6:1 The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, See now, the place where we dwell before you is too small for us.
2Ki 6:2 Let us go, please, to the Jordan, and every man a beam from there, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. He answered, Go!
2Ki 6:3 One said, "Please be pleased to go with your servants." He answered, "I will go."
2Ki 6:4 So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down wood.
2Ki 6:5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried, and said, Alas, my master! for it was borrowed.
2Ki 6:6 The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" He showed him the place. He cut down a stick, threw it in there, and made the iron float.
2Ki 6:7 He said, "Take it." So he put out his hand and took it.
2Ki 6:8 Now the king of Syria was warring against Israel; and he took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
2Ki 6:9 The man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, Beware that you not pass such a place; for there the Syrians are coming down.
2Ki 6:10 The king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of; and he saved himself there, not once nor twice.
2Ki 6:11 The heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said to them, Won't you show me which of us is for the king of Israel?
2Ki 6:12 One of his servants said, No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.
2Ki 6:13 He said, Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him. It was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
2Ki 6:14 Therefore sent he there horses, and chariots, and a great army: and they came by night, and surrounded the city.
2Ki 6:15 When the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around the city. His servant said to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
2Ki 6:16 He answered, Don't be afraid; for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.
2Ki 6:17 Elisha prayed, and said, Yahweh, Please open his eyes, that he may see. Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.
2Ki 6:18 When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, and said, Please smite this people with blindness. He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
2Ki 6:19 Elisha said to them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek. He led them to Samaria.
2Ki 6:20 It happened, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Yahweh, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. Yahweh opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
2Ki 6:21 The king of Israel said to Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I strike them? shall I strike them?
2Ki 6:22 He answered, You shall not strike them: would you strike those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
2Ki 6:23 He prepared great provision for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. The bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.
2Ki 6:24 It happened after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up, and besieged Samaria.
2Ki 6:25 There was a great famine in Samaria: and behold, they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.
2Ki 6:26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, there cried a woman to him, saying, Help, my lord, O king.
2Ki 6:27 He said, If Yahweh doesn't help you, from where could I help you? From of the threshing floor, or from the winepress?
2Ki 6:28 The king said to her, "What ails you?" She answered, "This woman said to me, 'Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.'
2Ki 6:29 So we boiled my son, and ate him: and I said to her on the next day, 'Give your son, that we may eat him;' and she has hidden her son."
2Ki 6:30 It happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes (now he was passing by on the wall); and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth within on his flesh.
2Ki 6:31 Then he said, God do so to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stay on him this day.
2Ki 6:32 But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? behold, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door fast against him: isn't the sound of his master's feet behind him?
2Ki 6:33 While he was yet talking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of Yahweh; why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?
Jul. 6, 7
Act 6:1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, a complaint arose from the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily service.
Act 6:2 The twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not appropriate for us to forsake the word of God and serve tables.
Act 6:3 Therefore select from among you, brothers, seven men of good report, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Act 6:4 But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word."
Act 6:5 These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch;
Act 6:6 whom they set before the apostles. When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
Act 6:7 The word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly. A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Act 6:8 Stephen, full of faith and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.
Act 6:9 But some of those who were of the synagogue called "The Libertines," and of the Cyrenians, of the Alexandrians, and of those of Cilicia and Asia arose, disputing with Stephen.
Act 6:10 They weren't able to withstand the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
Act 6:11 Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God."
Act 6:12 They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, and came against him and seized him, and brought him in to the council,
Act 6:13 and set up false witnesses who said, "This man never stops speaking blasphemous words against this holy place and the law.
Act 6:14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place, and will change the customs which Moses delivered to us."
Act 6:15 All who sat in the council, fastening their eyes on him, saw his face like it was the face of an angel.