"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Temptation Of Jesus (1:12-13) INTRODUCTION 1. A blessing of Jesus as Savior is His ability to comfort and aid those who are tempted... a. This is because He too was tempted - He 2:18 b. He is sympathetic, and can provide mercy and grace to help in time of need - He 4:14-16 2. One of His greatest periods of temptation was at the beginning of His public ministry... a. Immediately following His baptism by John - Mk 1:9-11 b. Just prior to beginning His preaching ministry - Mk 1:14-15 3. Studying "The Temptation Of Jesus" can be fruitful for several reasons... a. It reminds us that Jesus can understand our own temptations b. It reveals how we can be more successful in overcoming temptation [With that in mind and using Mk 1:12-13 as our basic text, let's begin with...] I. THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS REVIEWED A. THE SETTING OF THE TEMPTATION... 1. The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness - Mk 1:12 a. It appears this challenge was initiated by the Spirit b. The same Spirit who descended upon Him in bodily form as dove - Mk 1:10; Lk 3:22 c. It was likely the wilderness of Judea, a very desolate place 2. Where he was for forty days - Mk 1:13 a. During which he fasted, like Moses and Elijah - cf. Mt 4:2; Exo 34:28; 1Ki 19:18 b. During which he was tempted - cf. Lk 4:2 3. Tempted by Satan - Mk 1:13 a. Mark uses the term "Satan" (lit., adversary) b. Matthew and Luke use the term "devil" (lit., accuser, slanderer) 4. Mark alone mentions the presence of "wild beasts" - Mk 1:13 a. Animals known to inhabit the area include hyenas, jackals, panthers, and lions b. Not known is whether they were a source of comfort or trial for Jesus (I suspect the latter) -- For forty days, Jesus experienced desolation, deprivation, and temptation B. THE CLIMAX OF THE TEMPTATION... 1. Mark does not record the climax of Satan's temptations at the end of forty days 2. Both Matthew and Luke do, which we briefly summarize: a. Satan's appeal to the lust of the flesh - Mt 4:3-4 b. Satan's appeal to the pride of life - Mt 4:5-7 c. Satan's appeal to lust of the eyes - Mt 4:8-10 3. With each temptation, Jesus responds "It is written..." - Mt 4: 4,7,10 -- With the aid of Scripture, Jesus was victorious over Satan! C. THE END OF THE TEMPTATION... 1. Angels ministered to Jesus - Mk 1:13 a. Exactly what they did is not mentioned b. Perhaps they provided bodily nourishment (Hendriksen) 2. This would not be the last time a. That Satan would tempt Jesus - cf. Lk 4:13; Mt 16:21-23 b. That angels would minister to Jesus - cf. Lk 22:43 -- After tribulation came consolation! [With forty days of overcoming temptation behind Him, Jesus was now prepared to begin His public ministry. What application might we draw regarding "The Temptation Of Jesus"...?] II. THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS APPLIED A. WE HAVE THE SAME ADVERSARY... 1. Jesus was tempted by the devil, and so are we - 1Pe 5:8-9 2. The devil now directs his attention towards the disciples of Christ - cf. Re 12:17 -- We should not treat him lightly, for the conflict is real! - Ep6:12 B. WE HAVE SIMILAR TEMPTATIONS... 1. The lust of the flesh - e.g., immorality, especially when young 2. The lust of the eyes - e.g., materialism, especially when middle-age 3. The pride of life - e.g., pride and arrogance, especially when elderly -- These we must overcome, if we wish to have the love of the Father - 1Jn 2:15-16 C. WE HAVE THE SAME TOOLS TO OVERCOME... 1. Jesus appealed to the Word of God, and so can we - cf. Ep 6:17 2. Jesus had faith in the plan of God (victory through suffering), we need a similar shield of faith - Ep 6:16; cf. He 10:35-39 3. Jesus undoubtedly prayed, He taught the use of prayer to overcome temptation - Mt 26:41 -- The Word of God, faith, and prayer...against these the devil has no chance! D. WE HAVE SIMILAR BLESSINGS WHEN WE OVERCOME... 1. Jesus was administered to by angels, angels will carry us home - cf. Lk 16:22 2. Jesus received wonderful blessings when He ultimately overcame and ascended to heaven; He has promised similar blessings for us - cf. Re 2:10,26-27; 3:21 -- Angels will minister to us, as heirs of salvation! - He 1:14 E. WE CAN LEARN SOME IMPORTANT LESSONS... 1. Material food alone cannot satisfy, we need spiritual food from God's Word 2. While we are to trust in the Lord, we should not foolishly tempt Him 3. Scripture can easily be abused, as well as used - cf. 2Pe 3:16 4. The way to glory is not quick and easy, but long and hard - cf. Ac 14:22; Ro 2:7 -- The Temptation of Jesus teaches much about serving God! CONCLUSION 1. Perhaps the greatest lesson from "The Temptation Of Jesus" is that we have a Savior who in all things was made like us... a. That He might be our merciful and faithful High Priest - He 2:17 b. That having suffered, being tempted, He can aid us who are tempted - He 2:18 c. That He might be sympathetic, providing mercy and grace to help in time of need - He 4:15-16 2. Are you burdened with temptations...? a. Look to Jesus as your example in learning how to overcome temptation in your life! b. Look to Jesus as your High Priest when you need to approach God in prayer and receive mercy and grace for those times when you succumbed to temptation! As in all things, look to Jesus, as the writer to Hebrews exhorts us... "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." "For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." - He 12:2-3
"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Baptism Of Jesus (1:9-11) INTRODUCTION 1. The baptism of Jesus by John served a significant role in both of their ministries... a. It came at the height of John's ministry, after which it began to decline b. It served as the beginning of Jesus' ministry, which soon overtook the ministry of John 2. The baptism of Jesus has often raised two questions... a. Why was He baptized? b. Does His baptism reveal the purpose for Christian baptism? [This study will answer these questions, first by reviewing Mark's account of the baptism of Jesus...] I. THE BAPTISM OF JESUS A. JESUS COMES FROM NAZARETH... 1. From Nazareth of Galilee - Mk 1:9a 2. Located halfway between the Mediterranean coast and the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee 3. Where Jesus grew up - cf. Lk 2:39-52 -- About a hundred mile journey to where John was baptizing B. JESUS IS BAPTIZED BY JOHN... 1. In the Jordan river - Mk 1:9b 2. In Bethabara (Bethany) on the east side of the Jordan
- cf. Jn 1:28-29 -- The Greek word (baptizo) indicates that the baptism involved immersion C. THE SPIRIT DESCENDS ON JESUS... 1. Immediately, just as Jesus comes up from the water - Mk 1:10a 2. He saw the heavens parting ("being torn open", ESV) - Mk 1:10b 3. The Spirit descends like a dove - Mk 1:10c; cf. Lk 3:22 ("in bodily form like a dove") -- Thus the Holy Spirit bears His testimony of Jesus D. THE FATHER SPEAKS OF JESUS... 1. As a voice from heaven - Mk 1:11a 2. Proclaiming: "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" - Mk 1:11b -- Thus the Father bears His testimony of Jesus [With such visual and audible effects, the baptism of Jesus was certainly a significant event! It naturally raises several questions...] II. QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE BAPTISM OF JESUS A. WHY WAS JESUS BAPTIZED...? 1. Not for the same reason other people were being baptized by John a. Theirs was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins - Mk 1:4 b. They were confessing their sins - Mk 1:5 c. Jesus was without sin - He 4:15 2. Jesus said it was "to fulfill all righteousness" - cf. Mt 3:15 a. It was God's counsel that people be baptized of John - cf. Lk 7:29-30 b. Jesus was willing to set the right example by doing the Father's will, something He delighted to do - cf. Ps 40: 7-8; Jn 4:34; 8:29 3. It also served to introduce Him to John and Israel a. John had been proclaiming that He was coming - Mk 1:7 b. John had been told that the Spirit coming upon Jesus would be a sign - cf. Jn 1:29-34 -- He was baptized to do God's will, and to publicly identify Him to Israel B. DOES HIS BAPTISM EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF OUR BAPTISM...? 1. Many refer to Jesus' baptism to explain the purpose of Christian baptism a. That baptism has nothing to do with the remission of sins b. That baptism is but a public profession of one's faith c. That baptism publicly identifies our relation to Christ, just as His baptism publicly introduced Him to Israel 2. However, there is no Biblical connection made between Jesus' baptism and our own a. Christian baptism is for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38; 22:16 b. Christian baptism is a union with Christ in His death - Ro6:3-7 c. Christian baptism was often administered in relative privacy - Ac 8:35-38; 16:25-34 -- No Biblical writer suggests that we are baptized for the same reason as Jesus C. WHAT IS THE IMPORT OF THE SPIRIT AND THE FATHER'S ROLE...? 1. They certainly bear testimony as to who Jesus is a. As the Spirit would do later, via the works Jesus did - Mt12:28 b. As the Father would do later, on another occasion - Mt 17:5 2. They also bear testimony to the nature of the Godhead a. I.e., three distinct persons in One God b. Though One in substance, there is a distinction to be made between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - cf. also Mt 28: 19; 2Co 13:14; Ep 2:18 -- Thus we see the unity of the Godhead implied in the baptism of Jesus CONCLUSION 1. With the baptism of Jesus... a. He was formally introduced to John, and by him to Israel b. The Father and the Spirit audibly and visually confirmed Him as the Son of God c. Jesus demonstrated His desire to serve and "fulfill all righteousness" 2. The baptism of Jesus is certainly significant to Christians... a. Not that we are to be baptized for the same reason as He b. But certainly in confirming that He was the Messiah c. And displaying the attitude that should be true of all His disciples ("I have come to do my Father's will") Jesus did not need baptism because He was without sin; He was baptized because it was the Father's will for man at that time. Should we who are sinners dare hesitate to do the Father's will regarding baptism for the remission of sins today...? - Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
New Study Supports Biblical Record
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
The oldest sections of the Bible date back almost four thousand years to about 1600 B.C. There is no question about the fact that the Old Testament is an ancient book. Due to its antiquity, many in the modern “scientific” world have accused the Bible of being outdated, out-of-touch, and out-of-line with our “current” state of advanced information and knowledge. The interesting thing about this allegation is that it is patently false. In fact, rare is the week that some new study or finding does not verify some aspect of the biblical record.
For example, in January of 2006, the results of a technology known as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) began to show that those who drink alcohol excessively are damaging important parts of their brain. Scientists working with this technology have shown that alcohol can damage nerve fibers known as white matter. This damage potentially affects “working memory,” which is described as “a form of memory [that] allows one to remember, say, a phone number long enough to dial it (Singer, 2006). Other studies are looking into the negative effects on white matter of alcohol consumption by teenagers, due to the fact that much white matter growth occurs during these years (2006).
These “new findings” correlate perfectly with the description of drunkenness giving in the ancient biblical record. In Proverbs 23:29-35, a very accurate description of the effects of alcohol is recorded. The text explains that those who “linger long at the wine” have sorrows, woes, complaints, and various other maladies. The writer urges his readers to avoid the temptation to drink, because the effects of alcohol bite “like a serpent” and sting “like a viper” (vs. 32). With a catalog of such negative effects, it is no wonder that the New Testament also instructs its readers to avoid drunkenness: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation” (Ephesians 5:18).
The Bible is not an outdated book of human invention. It is the inspired Word of an all-knowing God whose descriptions of natural phenomena remain as relevant and accurate today as they were thousands of years ago. It is no wonder that accurate, scientific findings continue to corroborate the veracity of the biblical record.
Higgs Boson—The "God Particle"? (2nd Update)
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
[EDITOR’S NOTE: A.P. staff scientist Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. from Auburn University in Mechanical Engineering with emphases in Thermal Science and Biomechanics.]We have been closely monitoring the progress of the search for the elusive “Higgs Boson” particle—presumptuously dubbed the “God Particle” by many scientists (see Miller, 2011a and Miller, 2011b for previous discussion). The hunt has been a roller coaster ride, with scientists thinking they have found the particle and then changing their minds time and again. The Higgs Boson particle is “thought to be the fundamental unit of matter” (“Has Quest for the Elusive…?” 2011). In theory, it could explain how other elementary particles have mass. The particle is a theoretical elementary particle that is predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics, but which had yet to be observed by physicists through experimentation, until now—or so scientists hope.
[NOTE—For the original article and a previous update, see Higgs Boson—The "God Particle"? and Higgs Boson—The "God Particle"? (Update), respectively]
|Scientists awaiting the latest update
in the search for the Higgs Boson at the European Organization for
Nuclear Research, July 4, 2012.
[Image credit Associated Press, 2012]
|The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located in Switzerland|
|Former CERN director general
Christopher Llewelyn-Smith, standing left, Lyn Evans, scientific
director, standing second left, Herwig Schopper, standing center,
Luciano Maiani, standing second right, and Robert Aymard, standing
right, wave after the presentation of results during a scientific
seminar to deliver the latest update in the search for the Higgs Boson.
[Image credit Associated Press, 2012]
|A di-photon event from a Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment in search of the Higgs Boson. Also, the purpose of studying LHC particle collision events, according to teh European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN).|
Also, the existence of the Higgs Boson in no way violates the First Law of Thermodynamics (i.e., creating energy or matter from nothing). In nature, nothing can be created or destroyed, but can only change forms, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics (Miller, 2007). So, only a Supernatural force can create something out of nothing. The Higgs Boson particle is not God.
And further, the existence of the Higgs Boson in no way disproves the existence of God. Someone had to create the Higgs Boson in the first place. And the existence of the Higgs Boson in no way verifies the Big Bang Theory, which is riddled with problems—as atheistic scientists themselves highlight frequently (see, for example, the recent article in New Scientist titled, “Bang Goes the Theory” [Gefter, 2012]).
As stated above, evolutionists consider the existence of the Higgs Boson “crucial to forming the cosmos after the Big Bang” (“Scientists Close In…,” 2010, emp. added). Notice that without the existence of this particle, Big Bang theorists recognize that the Universe could not even form after the Big Bang theoretically occurred. Its existence does not prove that the Universe did form in the manner suggested by the Big Bang Theory. Its existence does not even prove that the Universe could form after a hypothesized Big Bang occurred. Further, its existence does not prove that the Big Bang itself could occur at all. Its existence does not prove that matter could exist forever or pop into existence out of nothing, either one of which must be true in order for the Big Bang even to get started. And its existence certainly does not prove that the scientific laws governing the Universe could write themselves into existence. However, without the existence of the particle, theorists know that fundamental tenets of the Big Bang Theory could not happen. It’s another thing to say that they could happen. Thus, the discovery of the particle’s existence does not prove anything in the end, but only allows atheistic cosmologists to cross one of the many chasms that stand in the way of their theory even getting to the starting line in being considered a remote possibility. In other words, the Big Bang has not even reached square one in the realm of proof. It remains firmly in the realm of impossibility. Bottom line: the Creation model still stands as the most logical explanation for the origin of the Universe—the model that is in keeping with all the scientific evidence.
Much more is missing in the quest to substantiate the Big Bang than a little particle can solve, and the list of those missing entities continues to grow, and will continue to do so, until true science—science that is in keeping with the evidence—is allowed to flourish. It has become increasingly popular for cosmologists to label many of these missing “somethings” with the first word, “Dark.” The list of “dark,” missing entities is growing. In truth, if the scientific community would only let the “light” of truth into the picture, the darkness would disappear.
REFERENCES“The Elusive Particle: 5 Implications of Finding Higgs Boson” (2012), Fox News, July 5, http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/07/05/elusive-particle-5-implications-finding-higgs-boson/.
Gefter, Amanda (2012), “Bang Goes the Theory,” New Scientist, 214:32-37, June 30.
“Has Quest for the Elusive ‘God Particle’ Succeeded?” (2011), Fox News, April 25, http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/04/25/quest-elusive-god-particle-succeeded/?test=faces.
“Higgs Boson Hunt Over: CERN Scientists at Large Hadron Collider Find ‘God Particle’” (2012), National Post, July 4, http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/04/higgs-boson-hunt-over-cern-scientists-at-large-hadron-collider-find-god-particle/.
May, Branyon (2012), “Is the Large Hadron Collider a Big Bang Machine?” Reason & Revelation, 32:38-45, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1026.
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 (2011a), “Higgs Boson–the ‘God Particle’?” Reason & Revelation, 31:53, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=977&article=1500.
Miller, Jeff (2011b), “Higgs Boson–Update,” Reason & Revelation, 31:101, http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/4120.
Pinaire, Chris (2000), “Isaac Newton,” Wichita State University Department of Mathematics and Statistics, http://www.math.twsu.edu/history/Men/newton.html.
“Scientists Close In on God Particle” (2010), Fox News, July 27, http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/07/27/scientists-closing-god-particle/.
Gentiles, Proselytes, and the Gospel
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
According to certain religious groups, all Christians should seek to be immersed by the Holy Spirit (as the apostles were in Acts 2), and thereby gain the “God-given” ability to speak in tongues and possibly perform other miraculous feats. In an attempt to defend the doctrine that Holy Spirit baptism should be expected by believers even in the twenty-first century, some have alleged that the outpouring of the Spirit upon the household of Cornelius (Acts 10) was not done for the purpose of demonstrating to the Jews that the Gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles in the hope that they would enter into fellowship with Christ and the church (see Miller, 2003). According to one individual who wrote our offices, proof that Gentiles were converted to Christianity before Acts 10 is found in Acts 8. Since the Ethiopian eunuch was converted prior to the events that took place in Acts 10, Cornelius’ Holy Spirit baptism obviously was not intended to show the Jews that Gentiles were henceforth candidates for discipleship. Rather, the events recorded in Acts 10 supposedly are just an example of what happens when sincere believers yield control of themselves to the Holy Spirit. What can be said about such matters?
First, Luke never indicated in Acts 8 that the treasurer from Ethiopia was a “Gentile.” On the contrary, he implied that this eunuch was either a Jew or a proselyte when he stated that he had “come to Jerusalem to worship” (8:27). At this point in time, the eunuch was not yet a Christian; he had not yet heard and obeyed the Gospel (cf. 8:34-38). Thus, while he had in fact gone “to Jerusalem to worship,” such worship was not with the church in Jerusalem. It seems obvious that the reason he was reading from the Old Testament book of Isaiah when Philip approached him, and the reason he already had traveled hundreds of miles from Ethiopia “to Jerusalem to worship,” was because he was either a Jew or (more likely) a proselyte. On the possibility of the eunuch being a Jew, respected biblical scholar J.W. McGarvey stated: “It was not uncommon for Jews born and reared in foreign lands to attain to eminent positions, such as this man enjoyed, and especially in the department of finance...” (1892, p. 152). The other (more probable) possibility is that the eunuch was a proselyte—a convert to Judaism—just as one of the early servants in the church, Nicolas of Antioch, was a proselyte (Acts 6:5). The Ethiopian eunuch was a worshiper of Jehovah God, like the Jews and proselytes who were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost “from every nation under heaven,” including “Egypt” and “parts of Libya” (Acts 2:5,10). In the book of Acts, a distinction is made between proselytes and Gentiles. For example, when Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch of Pisidia, they encouraged Jews and devout proselytes “to continue in the grace of God” (Acts 13:43). But on the next Sabbath, Paul and Barnabas turned their attention to the Gentiles (13:42,44-48)—i.e., those who were not full converts to Judaism.
What Bible students must understand is that the eunuch from Ethiopia was not considered a “Gentile” in the sense that Cornelius and his household were Gentiles (Acts 10:45). Cornelius and his household were uncircumcised Gentiles who were considered by the Jews to be unclean (Acts 10:28); proselytes, on the other hand, were granted fellowship by the Jews (i.e., they were not unclean; cf. Acts 2:10; 13:43). Following the conversion of Cornelius and his household, “the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, ‘You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!’ ” (Acts 11:1-3, emp. added; cf. 10:45). How did Peter respond? Did he react by saying, “What’s the big deal? We’ve been teaching the Gospel to, and fellowshipping with, unclean, uncircumcised Gentiles for years.” Did he defend his actions by reminding the apostles and brethren in Jerusalem that Philip already had converted an unclean Gentile from Ethiopia? No. Instead, Peter informed his brethren that God had just used him (cf. Acts 15:7) to implement a monumental, permanent change within the early church. He stated:
What did his Jewish brethren understand him to mean? What was their response? According to Luke, “They became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life’ ” (Acts 11:18, emp. added).As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God (Acts 11:15-17)?
At a later meeting, following the apostle Paul’s first missionary journey, Peter spoke to the apostles and elders who had gathered in Jerusalem regarding whether or not a convert to Christianity needed to be circumcised and to keep the law of Moses. He stated:
James later would add concerning Peter’s comments: “Simon [Peter] has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name” (Acts 15:14, emp. added).Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they (Acts 15:6-11, emp. added).
Based upon these statements, it rightly can be concluded that the Holy Spirit overwhelmed those in Acts 10 for the purpose of showing the Jews that all Gentiles were valid candidates for entrance into the kingdom of Christ. The miraculous outpouring of the Spirit on that occasion is not something that Christians should seek for themselves today. It served a specific purpose—which Peter and others acknowledged. Any attempt to circumvent this purpose for Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 10, including the allegation that Gentiles (e.g., the Ethiopian eunuch) long before Cornelius had obeyed the Gospel and become members of the Lord’s church, is indefensible in light of reason and revelation.
McGarvey, J.W. (1892), New Commentary on Acts of Apostles (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-day Miracles, Tongue-speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2572.
Critical Thinking About the Geologic Column
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Modern evolutionists often appeal to the fossil record in their efforts to convince us that all life forms have evolved from lower life forms. Evolutionists insist that there exists an obvious progression of “earlier” forms of life transforming over billions of years of geological time into more complex, “later” forms of life. The words “earlier” and “later” are vital to understanding their reasoning. Evolutionary paleontologist Neil Shubin, in his national bestseller Your Inner Fish, wrote about how evolutionists approach the geologic column: “The working assumption, which is easy to test, is that rocks on the top are younger than rocks on the bottom” (2009, p. 6). This is often called the Law of Superposition. At first glance, this statement seems intuitively correct. Even from a creationist’s standpoint, the layers on the bottom, generally speaking, were laid down before the layers on the top.
A very serious problem arises, however, if the same assumption is applied to fossils. The evolutionary community often assumes that the fossils in the lower rocks represent animals that are older than the animals represented by fossils in the layers above them. For instance, in Shubin’s discussion of a fossil fish known as Tiktaalik, he mentioned certain joints in the fish’s fins. He stated: “Earlier, these joints did not exist. Later, we find them in limbs” (p. 41). What does he mean by “earlier” and “later”? He is using those words to mean lower in the geologic column (earlier) and higher in the column (later). Notice how he assumes that animals lower in the column must be “older” than (or been alive before) those in the higher layers. Throughout his book, you read about the “earliest creatures” or “most primitive living fish” (p. 55). These references all assume that the sequence of fossils in the layers manifests a temporal relationship between those creatures. The problem with this line of thinking is that it is patently false, as Richard Dawkins has so eloquently shown in his latest work, The Greatest Show on Earth.
In chapter six of his newest book, Dawkins claims to provide numerous “missing links” or transitional stages that “prove” evolution to be true (he does nothing of the sort, but that is beside the point). In an attempt to explain the Cambrian Explosion from an evolutionary perspective, he insists that the fossil record is incomplete because the process of fossilization is sporadic and leaves many creatures with little or no representation in the fossil record. To illustrate, he mentions Platyhelminths, or flatworms. He stated: “They are common, both in water and on land, and presumably have been common for a very long time. You’d expect, therefore, to see a rich fossil history. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing. Apart from a handful of ambiguous trace fossils not a single fossil flatworm has ever been found” (2009, p. 149). In his attempt to use the lack of fossilized flatworms to explain the Cambrian Explosion, he completely undermined the way that evolutionists use the fossil record.
Let us think through his example of flatworms. According to evolution, flatworms should be millions, or billions of years old, yet in all that time we have found no fossils of them. If we did find a fossil in a “late” layer that is supposed to be only a few thousand years old, would that mean that flatworms are less primitive than all those creatures below them? No. It would simply mean that they did not fossilize, and that when they do appear is no indication of their “age,” but only indicates when certain fossils of the creature were laid down. So, when we find a fossilized dinosaur, for instance, in a part of the geologic column that evolutionists say is 65 million years old, does that mean that the creature did not live before that, or did not live after that? No. All it means is that we happen to find a fossil of the creature in a certain layer of the column [NOTE: The vast ages of millions or billions of years are not scientifically accurate, and have been shown to be false (see DeYoung, 2005). I refer to them only as a reference point for how the evolutionists view the column]. It is clear, therefore, that the column cannot tell you when an animal lived in relation to any other animals. All it can tell you is in what layer you happen to find a fossil of that animal. Just as no evolutionists would suggest that flatworms, since they are not found in the fossil record, evolved only a few hundred years ago in modern times, neither can they correctly suggest that fossils can offer any evidence as to which animals are more primitive, earlier, or later living than any other animals. When reading evolutionists writings, be on the look out for animals that are said to be “primitive,” “early,” “late,” or “modern” based on their fossils. In reality, these types of temporal words have no relationship to the fossil record.
REFERENCESDawkins, Richard (2009), The Greatest Show on Earth (New York: Free Press).
Shubin, Neil (2009), Your Inner Fish (New York: Vintage Books).
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Homosexuality and Disease
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sexually transmitted disease, syphilis, has skyrocketed among men engaging in homosexual intercourse—from 5% in 1999 to 64% in 2004. Dr. Ronald O. Valdiserri, acting director of CDC’s HIV, STD, and TB prevention programs, emphasized the need to prevent outbreaks: “Syphilis increases, especially among men who have sex with men, demonstrate the need to continually adapt our strategies to eliminate syphilis in the United States” (“New CDC Data...,” 2005). However, as usual, “strategies to eliminate” do not include the only rational, moral solution: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
Only the directives provided by the One who created human sexuality can solve the nation’s problem of widespread sexually transmitted diseases. He prescribed one man for one woman for life (Genesis 2:24). He insists that “because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2). If Americans would return to the Christian value system, most of our national woes would dissolve.
Did Paul want Christians to Come Together on Saturday or Sunday?by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
For nearly two millennia, Christians have been gathering together on the first day of the week to worship God. Both inspired Bible writers and uninspired early Christians viewed Sunday as the day to eat the memorial feast as well as engage in other acts of worship. The apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Corinth (as he had earlier taught the churches of Galatia) to lay a portion of their income aside “on the first day of every week...that no collections be made when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, NASV, emp. added). Luke later wrote how the disciples in Troas came together “on the first day of the week” to break bread in remembrance of the Lord’s death (Acts 20:7, emp. added; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:17-26). Ignatius wrote in his letter to the Magnesians (believed to be penned around A.D. 110) how Christians “have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day” (1:62, emp. added; cf. Revelation 1:5). And, in chapter 67 of his First Apology (written around A.D. 150), Justin Martyr noted how Christians would gather together “on the day called Sunday” to read the writings of the apostles and prophets, instruct, pray, give, and eat of bread and wine (emp. added).
Still, despite the testimony of these men, some who claim to be Christians are not convinced that Sunday is the set day for Christians to come together and worship God (including, but not limited to, partaking of the Lord’s Supper). One argument set forth by these individuals (who still seek to keep the Sabbath) is that Paul “worshipped” on Saturday rather than on Sunday. They teach:
It was Paul’s custom to use the Sabbath for preaching (Acts 17:2). He did so in synagogues and elsewhere (Acts 13:14-15; 16:13). Gentile believers observed the Sabbath (Acts 13:42,44). For a year and a half in Corinth, Paul worked during the week and reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, teaching the Word of God (Acts 18:4,11) [“The Bible Sabbath...,” n.d.].Allegedly, since Paul frequented the Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath day, Christians have no scriptural authority for arguing that the church should meet on the first day of the week. If he consistently met with the church on the Sabbath throughout his lifetime, why don’t we?
The problem with such reasoning is that Paul’s preaching in the “synagogues and elsewhere” on the Sabbath was an attempt to win souls to Christ, not to engage in corporate worship with the church. It was Paul’s “custom” to offer salvation first to the Jews, and then to the Greeks (cf. Acts 17:2; Romans 1:16). Thus, he frequented Jewish synagogues on a day when a greater number of Jews would be assembled there—the Sabbath. In Acts 13, Paul preached of the death and resurrection of Christ (vss. 27-37), and offered his hearers salvation “through this Man [Jesus]” (vss. 38-39). In Acts 16, Paul gathered with non-Christians again on the Sabbath, taught them the Gospel, and baptized them (vss. 13-15). He was not meeting with Christians on this day to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Paul found individuals who were worshiping God, and taught them the way more perfectly, just as he did on many Sabbaths throughout his ministry (cf. Acts 17:2-4; 18:4-8; 13:27-41).
Some time ago I was asked why those to whom Paul and Barnabas preached the Gospel in Antioch of Pisidia did not just show up on Sunday to hear Paul and Barnabas’ message (Acts 13:13-52). After all, if Sunday is truly the day in which Christians “came together to break bread” (Acts 20:7—which entailed, or at least included, the eating of the Lord’s Supper, see Lyons, 2005), then supposedly the people whom Paul and Barnabas taught should have simply shown up on that day rather than on the Sabbath. The reason, however, that Paul preached to non-Christian Jews on the Sabbath, instead of the first day of the week, is two-fold: (1) If they were unbelieving Jews and proselytes, they would not have been accustomed to meeting on the first day of the week; (2) Instead of inviting them to attend the worship of the church on the first day of the week (cf. Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2), Paul chose to go where the greatest number of Jews would be gathered. Paul knew that he could reach more lost souls this way than by doing anything else. He used the Jewish day of rest and worship to advance the cause of Christ and spread Christianity among the Jews.
Truly, the day on which Jesus defeated death (Matthew 28:1) is the day Christians gather “to break bread” (Acts 20:7). The law of the Sabbath passed away with the Old Law (cf. Colossians 2:14-17; 2 Corinthians 3:3-13). Although Paul continued to enter the synagogues on the Sabbath after his conversion to Christ, it was not for the purpose of worshiping with the church, but to reason with the lost from the Scriptures. In truth, his method of evangelizing is one that all Christians should emulate: go where the lost are, and teach them, rather than staying put and hoping they come to you.
REFERENCES“The Bible Sabbath: First Day, Seventh Day or Any Day?” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/sabbsdf.html.
Ignatius (1973 reprint), “Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Justin Martyr (1973 reprint), “The First Apology of Justin,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Lyons, Eric (2005), “‘Breaking Bread’ on the ‘First Day’ of the Week,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/343.
What beauty do you see in your mirror?Do you only see an outward beauty or do you also see the beauty of Christ?
Do you want to be beautiful? Everyone can be beautiful. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
There are two kinds of beauty, outward and inward, worldly and spiritual.
Think about someone who is very beautiful. In what direction did you think? Did you think about some movie star? Or did you think about Christ? He is, after all, the most beautiful person who has ever lived.
Was Jesus beautiful outwardly? In the art world Jesus is often portrayed as a very handsome man, but according to Isaiah: “He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2). Yet, he also wrote: “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty” (Isaiah 33:17). And in Psalm 45:3 we read about the Messiah: “You are fairer than the sons of men.”
Because of His inner beauty, Jesus was the most beautiful person who ever lived: “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
From this we learn something important. It does not matter if we come short in some way with regard to our outward appearance. Everyone can be beautiful inwardly, and that is what counts.
We may not allow ourselves to be deceived by outward beauty. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). “As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion” (Proverbs 11:22).
People who live a bad life become ugly: “When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth” (Psalm 39:11).
Outward beauty passes away: “The voice said, ‘Cry out!’ And he said, ‘What shall I cry?’ ‘All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades’” (Isaiah 40:6, 7).
You find certain things beautiful. But what is beautiful to God? Do you want to be beautiful in your own eyes and in the eyes of the world? Or do you want to be beautiful in God’s sight? “Do not let your adornment be outward -- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel -- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves” (1 Peter 3:3-5). “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9, 10). Good works are “beautiful and profitable to men” (Titus 3:8).
What beauty do you see in your mirror? Do you see someone who is wearing sexy clothing? Or someone wearing modest clothing? Do you see someone who is dressed provocatively? Or someone who is dressed with propriety and moderation? Do you see someone who is wearing worldly clothing? Or do you see someone who reflects the beauty of Christ?
A mirror cannot make you beautiful. Why do we look in a mirror? To see if everything is in order. To see what needs to be improved.
Would you like to have a mirror that could make you beautiful? It does exist. The Holy Scriptures.
This mirror has the same function spiritually as a regular mirror, namely to let us see what needs to be improved. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25).
But this mirror also has special power. If you look into it intently and often you continually become more beautiful by the power of God’s Spirit.
To understand the next text, one must know the background. After Moses had heard the word of God, his face shown so brightly that the people were afraid. So Moses hung a vail in front of his face. But each time he spoke with God, he removed the vail (Exodus 34:29-35).
Paul says that all Christians now, like only Moses then, may view the glory of God: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Is that not wonderful? When we look in this mirror, we do not see our own face, but the face of Christ! And the more we look at Him in this mirror, the more we look like Christ by the power of God’s Spirit! Then we shine with the beauty of Christ.
What beauty do you see in your mirror? Only an outward beauty? Or also the beauty of Christ? Look often and long in this powerful mirror that can make you more and more beautiful! Amen.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
Bible Reading January 2 (World English Bible)
Gen 2:1 The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their vast array.
Gen 2:2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Gen 2:3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work which he had created and made.
Gen 2:4 This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made the earth and the heavens.
Gen 2:5 No plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Yahweh God had not caused it to rain on the earth. There was not a man to till the ground,
Gen 2:6 but a mist went up from the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground.
Gen 2:7 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Gen 2:8 Yahweh God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Gen 2:9 Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Gen 2:10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four heads.
Gen 2:11 The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
Gen 2:12 and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone.
Gen 2:13 The name of the second river is Gihon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush.
Gen 2:14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
Gen 2:15 Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gen 2:16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
Gen 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die."
Gen 2:18 Yahweh God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
Gen 2:19 Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
Gen 2:20 The man gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him.
Gen 2:21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
Gen 2:22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man.
Gen 2:23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.
Gen 2:25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Mat 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Mat 1:2 Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers.
Mat 1:3 Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram.
Mat 1:4 Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon.
Mat 1:5 Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse.
Mat 1:6 Jesse became the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
Mat 1:7 Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa.
Mat 1:8 Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah.
Mat 1:9 Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah.
Mat 1:10 Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah.
Mat 1:11 Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the exile to Babylon.
Mat 1:12 After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel.
Mat 1:13 Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor.
Mat 1:14 Azor became the father of Sadoc. Sadoc became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud.
Mat 1:15 Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob.
Mat 1:16 Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Mat 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.
Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Mat 1:19 Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly.
Mat 1:20 But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Mat 1:21 She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins."
Mat 1:22 Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
Mat 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son. They shall call his name Immanuel;" which is, being interpreted, "God with us."
Mat 1:24 Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself;
Mat 1:25 and didn't know her sexually until she had brought forth her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.
2016 is now just a memory, and like so many others will fade as time goes by. But general memories will remain and the feeling associated with them. This picture asks us if we remember the feeling- and the answer is OF COURSE I DO!!!
But schooldays have come and gone and with them the feelings associated with being young and carefree.
1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 (World English Bible)
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.
Love doesn't fade away, it grows as we grow in Christ.
1 Thessalonians, Chapter 3 (World English Bible)
6 But when Timothy came just now to us from you, and brought us glad news of your faith and love, and that you have good memories of us always, longing to see us, even as we also long to see you,
Christian love for each other gives meaning to life and is a reflection of a greater love to be experienced in heaven.
May God grant you blessed memories always; in the things you do and the people you care about. And some day you will enjoy these things forever with God in heaven!!!
Amen and Amen!!!