Tag: Bible

The 9 and the 1: Who Really Got Healed?

Luke 17: 11-19

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up [their] voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw [them], he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on [his] face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where [are] the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

I was reading this scripture to day and much jumped out.  Allow me first to paint the picture that appeared in front of me as I read it a bit like a play-by-play:

  • There were 10 lepers who were isolated, hurting, sick, down, suffering
  • 9 out of 10 (presumably) were Jews whilst 1 out of 10 (presumably but not written) was a Samaritan – a heathen if you will
  • Famous Healer Jesus comes nearby and the group of lepers cry out for the benefit of healing
  • Faith Healer Jesus does not do a show, neither does he lay hands on them, neither does he even say ‘you’re healed’ but simply instructs them to show themselves to the priest to be healed  [side point: At this point would a Samaritan have been allowed into the congregation of the Jews to even show himself to the priest?  I’d like to know the answer to this question for full revelation on this scene.]
  • En route to the priest, with the Samaritan with them, they are all physically healed from the horrible sickness of leprosy
  • *Only* the Samaritan at this point:

    1.  Turned back towards Jesus

    2.  Loudly glorified God with no shame

    3.  Fell down on his face at the feet of Jesus (humility)

    4.  Gave thanks

  • The others did… what?  Kept walking to the priest?  Did they even go to the priest?  Did they get what they needed for life on earth and were now happy because they could fit in with the congregation again?  How in the world could these 9 keep walking?  How could they not run with the Samaritan back in joy and humility and fall on their faces?

My Commentary

They (the 9) were only healed on the outside, not the inside.  And, note what Jesus then said to the Samaritan:

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luk 17:19)

He didn’t say “go, catch up to the other 9 who are probably still on their way to the priests and show yourself to the priests’.

No, the Samaritan was complete.  Jesus saw that this man, only, was truly healed both inside and outside.  He was made *whole* – and it was his faith that made him whole, not his membership in or association with a religious organization.

This also shows you that even through sickness and suffering it is possible that you may not be healed *completely* by God or be made *whole*.

My presumption about the 9 is that they may have gone on to possibly lose their healing, or, face other tribulations by the grace of God that would finally bring them to the place where the Samaritan was: a place of humility and thanksgiving.

The Samaritan (the 1) passed the test.

The 9 failed.

The 1 was made whole.

The 9 were not.

“Arise, go your way [not the way the other 9 are going] as you are healed, my friend.” is my translation of verse 19.

For what good is the healing, really, if the person doesn’t come to a vibrant knowledge of Jesus Himself?  As painful as this is to even write, it would be better to continue to suffer in leprosy until death and walk into the throne room of God knowing the true Jesus, than die without Jesus in perfect health.

I know that our loving God does not sit there and enjoy watching us suffer, but I also know that He did not enjoy sitting there watch His only begotten Son suffer on the cross for our sins either.

It may be torment for the parent of a drug addict to stop helping their child financially and watch them suffer so, but for the greater good of their child there is no other way.

The pit of suffering and torment – no matter what kind – seems to be where the human cries out to heaven.

I am torn because I know that God heals and He heals today.

But what good is a physical healing if the person doesn’t change once and for all and believe and be baptized and born again into the new and amazing life in Christ?

I repeat that I am torn because I know that God heals and He heals today.

But I also know that He does *not* heal 100% every time.

There are two camps that most people reside in:

Camp 1: God doesn’t heal today – that was for some other time.

Camp 2: God heals 100% of everyone, every time because it’s God’s will to heal – and if you don’t get healed it’s your faith’s fault.

In Camp 1, you can simply not worry about it and say ‘It’s God’s will’ when someone isn’t healed (and kind of bench the book of Acts) and in Camp 2 you can blame the humans’ lack of faith for the lack of God’s movement in your life.

Both camps are unappealing to me and very unbalanced and I don’t want to be in either of them.

I want to know God, hear his voice and live the exciting life in Christ – whatever that is for me.

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The Macro and Micro Plan: Free Will vs Predestination

There is a Macro Plan and a Micro Plan and both work together as one:

  • The Macro Plan is the overarching world-wide plan of God which includes things like nations fighting nations, kingdoms, spiritual warfare, weather disasters, armies, domination of one religion over the other, etc. Events of the Macro Plan not only have been prophesied in the Bible but every single one has come to pass and there is not one thing that a man can do in his power to stop the Macro Plan from completing
  • The Micro Plan is the intricate meandering journey of our life which starts with birth and ends in death. We make small decisions which affect the course of our life. For example we choose to buy a business and the plan fails – even though it seems like it shouldn’t have – which leads to brokenness and depression. Yet because of the brokenness and depression we call out to God for help and our lives start going yet a different direction. We are sure that failure was designed to crush us yet we discover, in hindsight the result of the horrible event was something beautiful. The heat from the fire produced pure gold. The pressure from the weight of the burden created valuable diamonds. Although it would appear outwardly that free will has been removed, it is not so. It is in fact free will which brings both the Macro and the Micro Plans to their ultimate fulfillment.

Imagine for a moment observing an ant hill from above. You are planning to stick a shovel under that hill and relocate it (or worse), but watching the ants for a minute shows that they remain quite focused on their work and their lives. Yet, standing above that ant hill is someone who knows more accurately how their future is going to unfold. But they still choose to carry that heavy load up the hill and down again in utter futility.

Imagine again that you walk over a few steps and notice that a few ants have begun to build their home and foundation – a brand new ant hill – in the middle of the gravel road, in a tire track in the road just an arms length in front of the truck that made it. The truck is facing forward and it is impossible for that truck to miss the ant hill when it starts moving. Because you love ants, you grab a big stick and every so gently scrape the ant hill out of the way of the tire. From the ants perspective, God has crushed them and ruined their lives. But we know the truth because we see more than their Micro Plan and have a much better understanding than those little ants. We see the Macro Plan and understand it. We made this Macro Plan.

Also, it is impossible to deny that the Micro Plan of our individual lives intertwine intimately with the Micro Plans of others. How else can we explain these people who pop in and out of our lives? It is undeniable that some seem to be there just to ruin our lives while others are like a life line of encouragement of hope. It is much like how two ants might meet on the way back to their ant hills one day. They were busy doing their busy work but then this random ant from another place and colony pops into their life; sometimes to attack and bite, other times to help carry the load.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. (Romans 8:28)

It does not say ‘all good things’, but it says ‘all things’ which means both bad things and good things (and neutral things).

A wise man once said that predestination and free will is like this analogy:

A man walks towards the gates of heaven and written on the gate says “Knock and it shall be opened” and then after walking in and looking back at the gate it said on the other side “Predestined before the foundation of the world”

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The Church and God’s Will: G2M or MITM?

Historical Truth 1 – Old Testament G2M

A good while back the Israelites had neither kings, nor judges.  This was God’s will.  He set it up this way.  They followed God directly in cooperation with Moses. The cloud moved, they moved.  The role of Moses was not one of ‘king’, nor leader, but perhaps if you had to slap a title on him it would be ‘prophet’ – delivering God’s messages as an obedient mail man.  He was a normal man, not without sin.  It was not Moses who brought them out of Egypt, it was God – and God made sure this point wouldn’t be confused by means of wild and terrible acts against their oppressors.  This relationship, was God-to-Man (or G2M for the sake of creating an acronym).  He was a pillar of smoke during the day and a pillar of fire by night.  God said move left, and the people moved left.  God said move right, and the people moved right.  God said “jump” and the people said “how high?” – kind of.

However, when Moses went to the mountain to speak to God, he stopped to tie his shoe and took a bit longer than expected and the people, losing their G2M mouthpiece for longer than they wanted, ended up making a golden calf to worship – a heinous and adulterous breach in their relationship with God.  It proved that having a man-in-the-middle (MITM) was an unnatural relationship and doomed to fail.

Following Moses,  the Israelites set up more leaders (kings/ judges) because they preferred a MITM relationship rather than G2M.  The end result of this choice was a total degradation and ultimately the complete abandonment of the God who delivered them.

There was a restoration, of sorts, in Nehemiah but it was never as G2M as it was with Moses.  There was always a MITM.

Historical Truth 2 – New Testament G2M
The book of Acts was not only a restoration of this G2M relationship, but the fullness thereof where God’s own Spirit was poured into man and ‘the people’ went wherever God’s Spirit instructed.  Jesus had ripped the veil, the holy place of God was accessible to all men, and the MITM relationship was fully, officially, and legally ended.  God had taken up residence inside his newly restored earthly tabernacle – the body of believers.

As you read the book of Acts, you see that they acted as one body, and did acts of God on the earth – without priests, pastors, kings, or judges. Everyone was G2M when the Spirit poured out on the believers in Acts 2, but at some point, it went MITM and then the church went bad – real bad.

My Opinion (Read at Own Risk)

MITM is not the will of God, nor can anyone spiritually grow in this secular, man-made environment. It is a recipe for stunted spiritual growth at best, but spiritual degradation at worst (I’ve seen this too much to track it).

I reason that if you were to remove the Pastor, the Priest, or the (insert your one-man-show church position) that many of the churches would cease to prevail at that moment. They would either go to another establishment that had a strong leader, or they would leave the church completely.

But it’s happening anyway.

People are tired of hearing ‘about God’.  They want to know God, or not bother.

And thank God!

Imagine going every week to a travel agency where they pumped up a trip to a nice resort.  They showed you nice pictures, they showed videos, they walked you through slide presentations, they showed how awesome it was in this place. You went week after week diligently because you badly wanted to go.  But no one showed you how to go.  How horrible would that be?  How long would you keep going to torture yourself?  The reality never happens.

Same deal in many churches.  How long will go you and hear about transformed lives: miracles, signs, wonders, love, joy, giving, dying to self, blah, blah, blah, and blah… but not get a chance to live it? The reality never happens.

But worse than all of this is the fact that most sincere believers I know just want to *know God*.  We want God to be the ruler of our hearts and lives.  We want to be holy, pure, and with a clean conscience before God and man.  We want to walk with Him, talk with Him and experience the fullness of His plan for our life.  We want to love God and love others – but all we have is a well-composed 3-point sermon (and some coffee and cookies afterwards for ‘fellowship’).

Thank God the people are tiring of it because God was tired of it the day it started.

It’s time for a G2M relationship.

I’m done with MITM.

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God’s Slow-then-Quick (STQ) Style

I know.  The title sounds like a Kung Fu special move.  Well, it’s not.

First, watch this to get in the mood:

I’ve noticed the Lord God, being the God that He is has a certain ‘style’.  It seems somewhat disrespectful to say the Lord has ‘style’ but I can’t think of a better way to explain it.  He does certain things a certain way more than once in the Bible and one of them in particular caught my attention.

I was reading about brother Joseph who ended up in the slammer for a really long time for trying to do the right thing.  I mean, he avoided being trapped in adultery (or even the appearance of it) by fleeing the scene and ended up getting imprisoned for a false accusation.  Not cool at all.

But the drama continued.  One day the ol’ Baker, Cup Bearer and the Candlestick Maker (ok the last guy wasn’t there) show up in jail.  Brother Joe correctly interprets their dreams and the Cup Bearer is free to go and promised to promote Joseph to Pharaoh.  No dice.  The Cupster forgets.  And Joseph gets the joy of spending yet more time in the slammer for the same crime he didn’t commit. Very, very uncool.

I was thinking about how much bitterness towards God could have filled his heart and about how many hours he must have spent in sadness and depression over his never-ending jail sentence.

But then it happened.  He was probably sitting there zoned out staring at the wall thinking about how much he wished he could get out of his hopeless life when it happened (underline added):

Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved [himself], and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. (Genesis 41:14)

I picture the episode looking somewhat like this:

The servants of Pharaoh storm in, yell for him, find him, drag him full speed upstairs, throw him in the bathtub, drag him while he’s still buttoning up his last button and toss him in front of Pharaoh where he promptly interprets his dream and becomes Pharaoh’s right hand man.  Just like that.  Boom.  Done.

Real slow…

SLOW

slow_golfer

then a lot of quick..

QUICK

quick_old_golfer

But that wasn’t the only example of the STQ style.

Right after Joseph we see it again when the entire Hebrew Krew get stuck in Egypt as slaves for over 60 years.  This is real slow if you were wondering.

SLOW

slow_golfer

Then, Moses shows up out of nowhere and over the course of a relative blink of an eye this happens:

And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD’S passover. (Exodus 12:11)

Not even time to pack a lunch or shut off the gas valve or turn down the hot water tank and the Lord has them driven out of slavery and out of the land of slavery.

QUICK

quick_old_golfer

Get my point? That’s the STQ style.

I have not done an in depth study on this, but what I expect to find out in my own life and through the experience of others is that the ‘slow times’ make us aware that the fast thing is from the Lord.  Perhaps if the slow wasn’t slow enough, we wouldn’t appreciate the fast deliverance?  I’m not sure.

But what I do know is that the Lord definitely has the STQ style…

Please reply in the comments to add more biblical examples of the STQ style.

 

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Flat Earth: Can We Trust Maps and Directions?

I was reading my Bible today when I encountered scripture that used the word ‘north’.  In the past, as soon as I would hear this word, the following two images would pop in my head:

compass

map_flat

My mind would automatically do this:

map_flat_north_up

But today, I started thinking about computer programming. If you code something in a computer to spit out a certain result, it doesn’t necessarily mean the result you see is true.  You could create a computer script that does this:

  1. Display question on screen: “2+2 = ?”
  2. If the person types “4”, then display on screen: “Sorry. You are incorrect. The correct answer is 3.”
  3. If the person types “3” then display on screen: “Correct! You got it right, champ!”

And so at the end of the day, if we are using a system created by man, we must, to a certain extent, trust the man and the system, which is, as we all know, problematic.

And so I starting thinking.  What if the face of the compass was shifted under the glass?  The physical needle still moves but the man who makes the compass simply shifts where the “N” is.  Suddenly, if we trust the compass, the world could look like this:

map_flat_north_shifted

And that is just the 2D map.

What about the supposed pictures taken by NASA of our earth from space?  This next composite images are famous and shows that the continents and their proportions never look the same twice:

2015-how-bigisthe-earth_nasa

Then, I went back to my Bible and started to look up the four cardinal directions to discover the following, and please click the links to see the Hebrew roots:

North: ‘tsaphown‘ meaning both ‘north’ and ‘hidden, dark, obscure region’ or even ‘northward’

East (1): ‘qidmah‘ meaning both ‘east’ and ‘the forward/front part’

East (2): ‘qedem‘ meaning both ‘east’ and ‘antiquity’

South: ‘negeb‘ meaning both ‘south’ and ‘dry and parched’ and ‘the southern area of Judah called ‘Nekeb’

West: ‘yam’ meaning ‘west’ and a whole list of seas (named) and ‘sea’ in general and – go figure – ‘mighty river (Nile)’ as well.

Hopefully by now from the list above you can make the connect between these cardinal definitions and my point about the compass.  If not, here are some probing questions:

  • Who made ‘north’ north?
  • Should the word ‘north’ have been translated as ‘cardinal hard direction north’ or ‘dark hidden region’?
  • Is ‘north’ the same for everyone on the earth?
  • Upon which map was ‘north’ plotted?
  • Is this map correct?

Let’s start with the map to make sure you caught up to speed.

Is the current map we use even the correct map?  Here is an enjoyable intro video to the topic to make sure you have not assumed ‘yes’ to be the answer:

Here is a fairly exhaustive link to a whole bunch of maps that are all, according to the author, incorrect:

LINK TO OVERVIEW OF MAPS AND THEIR ACCURACY AND TRUTH

But there is another map missing from this article and most other discussions and that is the Gleason’s map which is arguably not only more accurate but very intriguing in the fact that it perfectly matches our 24 our clock face – as do the time zones.  Take a few minutes with this flat earth-minded person who discusses the map and does some comparing and contrasting to our currently taught map:

Now let’s circle back (pardon cheap pun) to the compass.

If the very maps we use have clear problems including lies, opinions, political and social agendas, and more, and it is upon these maps which the coordinates of where we are and where we are going are plotted, then one really needs to ask oneself:

WHERE IN THE WORLD AM I, ANYWAY?

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Flat Earth vs Globe Earth: Why it Should Matter to Christians

You may have read my more general post called Flat Earth vs. Globe Earth and Why it Matters to You

This was a more generic discussion of the topic focusing on some of the challenges one faces when starting down the journey – Bible believer or not.

I would like to now address a more specific matter: Why the Flat Earth Should Matter to Bible Believing Christians.

I used the word ‘should’ for a very specific reason: there are many, many things in the Bible that form answers to the question “Who am I?”  Does the question ‘Who am I?” matter to you?  If not, there’s an exit at the back of the hall with the sign ‘Refiners Fire’ above the door.  Go there and then come back when you’re done.  You need some more time in the flames and disappointments of life, apparently.  For the rest of us who have already figured out that there must be more to life than the duplication of cells on a petri dish, let’s continue.

I have heard the following statements from well-meaning believers around town when I asked them to consider the flat earth:

  • It’s not a priority topic like salvation through Jesus
  • The Bible is not meant to be a scientific book
  • It doesn’t affect my faith in God so it’s not a priority for me

Does the answer to the question ‘who am I?’ matter?  It matters more than life itself.  Some people will cross continents, jump out of planes (with parachutes), do wild and death-dancing drugs, get married more than once because the one they married wasn’t their ‘soul mate’, etc, etc.  Some will even, tragically, kill themselves should they not in time find the answer to the question.

Indeed the answer to the question is more important than life itself.  We are here for a short time and what we do here is dictated by who we are.  If you think you are a meaningless piece of randomness floating through space just lucky enough to have ended up on the one floating ball with life on it, you will probably view the world a certain way and behave in accordance with those beliefs.  On the other hand if you believe that the earth is a flat stage and the entire cosmos  with the sun and moon was designed for you, spins around you, and was designed for you, you might act in yet a different way.  If you thought you were the afterthought of a ballot box shook up and thankfully chosen to not not exist, you might act one way.  However, if you thought that a Great Composer composed your life as a dramatic symphony for you, or an Amazing Artist painted this world as a piece of artwork for you and with only you in mind, you might think and act differently.

The answer to ‘Who am I?” is more important than life itself for if you don’t know who you are and why you are here – how then can you live at all?

So who are you anyway?

Have you heard both versions of the story, or have you only heard the story of your random nothingness?

What story are you going to believe when neither can be proven in a petri dish?

Here is a bullet point list of what I believe about who I am, by the grace of God, thanks to the faith He has given me:

  • there was a creative God of love who always was
  • at some point in eternity past, He sovereignly decided to create a place called earth
  • the purpose of God’s creation was to create a home for a new creation called humans with whom God Himself will commune and share His love
  • With amazing glory (see the cosmos), with unspeakable creativity (see how many variations of bees there are as a starter), and with great power (see Genesis 1) He, with His own matter-generating words of wisdom and power, spoke our earth into existence.
  • in Genesis and many other places throughout the Bible this place is described as an immovable flat plane on a solid foundation upon which lie the depths of the oceans and the breadth of the land and over which the stars, moon and sun circle and where a solid firmament exists – far above us and separating us from the waters above.
  • God crafted us with his hands, shaped us into His own image, and placed us at the pinnacle of His creation and then breathed His very life into us separating us from all other creation
  • God made us the focal point of His everything – the centre of His attention – the apple of His eye
  • This whole life is simply a stage upon which we act out the bitter-sweet scenes on our way to eventual and complete redemption

But there are those who cannot believe what I believe.  I don’t have the answers as to why, other than they have not received the faith to believe.  I now find anything that conflicts with the above set of beliefs to defy logic and the very heart that is found within me.  It goes against everything my intuition, conscience and even mind is able to tolerate.

And so this topic of the flat earth and cosmology matters greatly as it speaks clear answers to the question “Who am I?”

Our world has failed us time and time again.

The lure of ‘scientism’ and their wild and spiritual faith-based theories has done nothing more than to leave us empty and thirsting for the truth.  The more and more we thirst, the more and more they craft up theories to leave us more thirsty.

I have found the answer to who I am and now my life is incredible, and (bonus) my faith in my God of the Bible has reached levels I have not yet experienced.

I hope and pray that you will gaze into the cosmos and ask the question again:

“Who am I?”

 

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Flat Earth: The Firmament, Cosmoloy, Space, and the Bible

As I continue down this most exciting journey of cosmology and figuring out how things really work out there, I am continually pulled back to the truth of the Bible on this topic.  Every time someone presents a view that opposes the Biblical position on cosmology, it starts to fall apart, or does not sufficiently convince me to move away.  Do I have any biases?  Yes, indeed. I believe that the Bible is true.  In times past I used to somewhat suppress certain scriptures to help me cope in a world that opposed them and presented weird options, but as I age, I realize this is absolutely the wrong approach and that I can confidently continue to stand on the Bible in every aspect of my life: spiritually, physically, scientifically, etc.

There are two camps of Bible believers, I have noticed: the first camp says ‘you don’t have to think about this stuff, just believe, brother” whilst the other camp (of which I’m obviously part) says “Don’t just believe it but inquisitively question and marvel at how all this works”.  An example to demonstrate the two camps would be the scripture where Jesus walks on water.  The first camp would say ‘Don’t think, just believe’ whereas I would say “Believe, then marvel at the omnipotent God who dominated the physical realm, then consider, for pure interests sake, what natural/physical laws or norms were trampled for this miracle to occur!”  The more I investigate what God has done, the more I marvel.

And with that background, let’s continue.

Today I had a eureka moment while I was meditating on Genesis 1.  I’m not entirely sure how I have seen so many videos about this, read these verses countless times, and yet never quite ‘seen’ it, but that seems to to be how the Word of God works.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so. (Genesis 1:6-7)

The key is the word firmament so first click this link here to study this word from the original language before continuing.  Now, take a minute (promise it doesn’t take much more) before reading my comments and really visualize what is happening here.

Here’s what I see happening, and feel free to correct me in the comments below as usual, if I’m off base:

  • There is at the start a unified mass of water
  • Then, a firm, supportive, strong firmament is created and inserted somewhere in the middle of this mass of water
  • The firmament is raised way up thereby dividing the waters below from those above the firmament thereby leaving a vast space in between being the space in which we live and our atmosphere (or atmos-dome if you don’t like the round earth vocab)

A while back I stumbled across what I thought was one of the funniest things ever – some dude out there actually thought that there was water up where space was purported to be.  Water? In space? Give me a break!

But now I truly have to consider this theory based on the above.

Then, as it would be, I stumbled across something incredibly relevant to this topic.  A ‘star in a jar’.  Take a moment, and while watching this video, consider how many interesting connections can be made to the scriptures:

I just happened to be in Matthew chapter 1 on the same day as Genesis 1 (God bless those Bible-in-a-year programs!) and the wise men leave Herod and behold a star was there to lead them.  Was this a new star?  Sure seems to be.  But how could that be?  Based on the star in a jar, it would take nothing more than concentrated sound on a bubble in water to provide this convenient beacon of hope.

But the moment I considered this I asked another question: What exactly is the purpose of the stars?  I noticed in this scripture the purpose of that star was to guide the wise men to the birth place of Jesus.  But what about the rest? The answer is found here:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good. (Genesis 1: 14-18)

The whole Bible is about *purpose*.  Everything has a purpose: life, death, joy, pain, suffering, sickness, marriage, child birth, blah, blah and blah.  Although our minds aren’t able to understand the fullness of the purpose, there is a purpose, no doubt.  With the stars, moon, and sun, however, he didn’t leave anything to the imagination.  He told us straight up why he made them and here is the bullet list:

  • to divide the day from the night “Oh look, stars. It’s night time. Cool.”
  • for signs: a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.:—mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token. “Look! A star leading us to the birthplace of Jesus!” or “Woah.  Look at the stars… man.  There MUST be a God!”
  • for seasons: appointed place, appointed time, etc “Look at the stars.  It must be June.”
  • for days: a 24 hour day, a period of time, a measurement of time, etc “Hey, it’s 4pm.”
  • for years: a measurement of time, a year. “I am 37 years old now.”

And so the stars in general, and the star the wise men saw, fulfilled and continue to fulfil their purpose for which they were intended.

Some believers responded to my proposal that the firmament may still be there with water above it, by saying that the firmament was destroyed at the point of Noah’s flood and that’s where the water came from (when the whole dome collapsed). But from my understanding and study, the Bible didn’t say that it was ‘destroyed’.  It said the ‘windows of heaven were opened and the fountains of the deep’.  It’s an assumption to believe it was fully destroyed versus a hole (literally translated to a ‘window’) opening in parts and letting the waters from above through into the space where we are below the firmament.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:11)

The word ‘window’ above means “lattice, window, sluice” and from my understanding, windows were designed to be opened and closed so it’s a much stronger argument to believe that the firmament is still there and the windows were simply opened and closed at some point.

Let’s look at Genesis 1:14-18 again:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good. (Genesis 1: 14-18)

I have only one point of study left that I need to somehow find the answer to.  In English the above is translated to ‘in’ the firmament.  However, when I looked up the original there is no translation for the preposition ‘in’.

So could the physical location of the stars, moon and sun be below or above the firmament (the stars)? Possibly.  I currently tend to favour the position that all of it sits either *in* in the firmament or behind it.

Let’s keep the journey going, shall we?

 

Keywords: Space, Stars, Moon, Sun, cosmology, firmament, flood, canopy, windows of heaven, star in a jar, creation, Genesis, Bible

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Sinners Sin: Dealing With Disappointment in Myself and Others

“What do you expect? Sinners sin.” – Unnamed Pastor, 2001

Struggling with disappointment in others and in myself seems to be a never-ending theme in my life. Deep in my heart and in my mind has always been the very keen awareness that there does exist somewhere perfection.

The concept of perfection is set deep in all of our consciousness. We all know things were supposed to be perfect but they aren’t. Some people seem to be able to cope better in this imperfect world whereas people like myself take imperfection very personally (and sometimes hard).

In myself, I have a strong desire to live in a very perfect and systematized world where I go to the cupboard, open it, and find exactly what I need and instantly because it’s perfectly organized. When I leave the cupboard, it should close by itself because why would a cupboard that doesn’t close itself even exist in a perfect world? It simply wouldn’t. I desire also that the food items in the fridge would be in a perfect rotation (like what you would have in a retail environment) so that old food moves to the front so that food wastage is reduced to zero. My alarm would always work perfectly and I would always be up before 4am so that I could maximize the day – reading my Bible and spending time in prayer so that I would then have the strength to go to my wife and kids, and love them with all that I have – encouraging them and being a great inspiration to them.

I would then start my day and I would call people, leave them a message of value, and they would call me back when they got my message. The suppliers that I work with would supply everything on time and the communication would always be predictable. Inside the company, everyone would be on the same page and things would never have to be repeated twice because even children don’t require that kind of babysitting usually. One email sent would conclude the matter and I could move on. Balls would not get dropped because everyone else also wants a perfect world, surely. Surely it’s not just me who wants a perfect world and a world without fights and tension.

In all facets of life, when something is communicated transparently and clearly such as ‘this is very important to me’ then no person would throw that aside and do exactly what would upset or hurt me because I have clearly explained to them how to not upset or hurt me.  I made it impossible for them to hurt me…

Yet everything and everyone is broken.

Broken, broken, broken.

Imperfect, screwed up and lost.

Everything.

Everyone.

Including me.

Yes. Including me – as much as I despise the thought of being ‘one of them’.

How can I possibly live like this?

How can I go on?

How can I not quit and get into despair and depression?

Everything is so, so broken.

Thankfully, there is hope and with this hope, I write the rest of this really to encourage myself. I hope that as I write this next part that someone else also benefits from what I believe will be deep revelation.

You can (and should) read about how there was a time when humans walked in the earth in perfection. They didn’t fight, they walked in the cool of the day with God and they had dominion over nature. Things were perfect.

But all men are sinners, thanks to Adam/Eve making a poor life choice.  Here is exactly how bad it is.  Read it.  Soak it in.  Really get a grasp on this reality:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips: Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet [are] swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery [are] in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10-18, 23)

And so we have a pre-programmed hunger for that Garden of Eden perfection, yet we live in broken vessels full of wickedness. Here is how we live now:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)

We *know* God is out there.  And we *know* He is perfect.  His creation all around it *proves* it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Even our own minds have gone dark:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom 1:21)

And so this life remains a balance between grace and longing. We long to be with our Creator in perfect perfection forever, yet we need His grace to get there. Once we have this grace we can then possibly have the grace required to deal with others around us. Once we realize this incredible brokenness and weakness we are living in, it’s very difficult to expect others to be perfect. In fact, you would be downright surprised when they get anything right, or do anything good.

I’ll never forget this one time when I approached a pastor to vent my incredible disappointment towards someone. He asked me “Is he a believer?” I replied “No.” He then said the most simple thing that has helped me ever since when he replied back “Sinners sin. That’s what they do.”

He was perfectly right.  Our very nature is full to the brim of sin. Our only desire is wickedness and selfishness and our programming code is so messed up that all we know to do is wickedness.

Lately, I have decided to make this whole thing much more simple for myself. When dealing with myself and all the disappointments I have in myself, I’m going to remind myself that I’m not perfect, and that although it’s ok to long for perfection, it’s not ok to expect it on earth. I’m also going to spend more time asking God to totally change my nature. I know that it is a biblical promise for this change, and I need it real bad. The more that God changes my nature to be like him, the more grace I will have towards myself and others.  Here is the promise onto which I firmly grasp:

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Until then, I’m going to simply one step further. I’m going to look at every person, no matter who they are and their background or current status in the world and say:

“Look at this poor, broken vessel. How much God loves this person and how much God wants to start the work of transformation him/her! But this person is broken and unable to do even the things they want to do. They, like me, fail themselves daily and others. When they fail you or disappoint you, never forget they are broken. God, help me to love them just as they are and help me, a broken vessel, deal with them the best I can with your strength.”

A to the MEN!

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Flat Earth: Why I Started Down This Path

(Audio Version at the bottom if you no like reading)

“I am a scientist and if I can’t back up a scientific fact with scripture, I question it’s validity” – Caroline Leaf

That quote just about sums it up.  No matter what way you slice it, if you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, you will have to travel down this path with me because the Bible teaches a flat earth.

My position is simple in life these days.  My default position is this:

  • God is true
  • All men are liars

Now that we have that out of the way, here is the expanded list:

  • The Word of God is true
  • The Bible is the Word of God
  • The Bible describes the earth as geo-centric, not heliocentric
  • The Bible talks about the world as being an enemy of God
  • If the world is against God, then all of the worldly institutions that are in the business of teaching are also against God.
  • Public education is ‘in the world’ (and it has also infiltrated the church, of course, and all of its institutions).  Funny side note: it’s very funny to me that people complained when the Lord’s prayer was removed from school.  I was more shocked it was ever there!
  • The Bible teaches of a ‘great deception’ that will come at the end of the world where the whole world, and the weak Christians, will be deceived by the anti-christ in some kind of fraudulent (yet spectacular) world-wide show of pseudo-spirituality that looks somewhat divine.

And so that pretty much sums it up.  I have no basis in the Bible to believe anything that comes from these institutions, other than directly observable evidence.

I also have every good reason under the sun to disbelieve every foundational believe system they use to teach anything that in any wise contradicts the solid Word of God.  Some examples of these systems that I would question by default would be:

  • geologic time measurements
  • gravity
  • anything related to a heliocentric model of the earth
  • etc

This does not mean that I would never believe these things, but it does mean that my default position is 100% disbelief and I will start my journey from that position.

The dialogue about the globe earth would therefore go like this:

A: The earth is round

ME: But the Bible describes the earth predominantly as flat-like so therefore I believe it’s flat until proven otherwise.

A: But what about the pictures of the round earth?  that’s first hand evidence for you.

ME: I didn’t take those pictures, nor do I trust the institutions who did. All men are liars.  It may be part of a great deception.  NASA makes a lot of money to produce photos like those.

A:  But what about my friend who went to space himself?

ME: I didn’t go with him.  I don’t know your friend well.  And where does earth end and where does space begin?  And who decided that?

A: But scientists all believe the earth is round.

ME: All of these scientists came out of the same schools which all teach the same things about the world – much like how many theology students will come out of theology school with a bunch of knowledge about the Bible.  Just because you are taught something doesn’t mean that it’s true.  All men are liars.

A: But you can just take a telescope and look!

ME: Yes, and I have.  The moon appears to be round with craters indeed.  But I don’t believe a man has parked a 1960’s Volkswagen Beetle dressed up as a space ship on it.  All men are liars.

And so the dialogue goes.

The problem is that I don’t have a lot of time to go and do a bunch of science.  This leaves me in a position where I have to believe what is right for the amount of knowledge that I have, while slowly picking away at my own research.

As for me, I will believe God at His Word and I will enjoy the earth that way – in a child-like simplicity.  I will look at the cosmos the same way that Abraham did and rejoice greatly in the beauty of God’s handiwork.

As the stars turn around this incredible stage called our life – all designed by a loving God for our enjoyment in whatever short few seconds we have left here.

In this I rejoice greatly and have much peace.

The Audio Version of this Post

 

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What Equity Should a Child of God Focus On?

Someone I know shared this text message conversation about a business decision really got me thinking:

Person A: What do you have to give up to get their $ ?

Person B: I don’t care what I have to give up as long as I get a small piece of a much larger pie.  I’ve learned success is largely about the team.

Person A: If all you need is capital, don’t sell your equity – huge mistake…

In the past I would have agreed completely with Person A, however, as I started thinking, this sentence kept rolling around in my head which I couldn’t ignore:

“What is equity?”

Immediately after sentence began circulating I decided to look up the etymology of the word ‘equity‘ because, from my time in the Bible the only usage that I could remember was in terms of ‘justice’ or ‘fairness’ such as in the following quick example:

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:4)

So how did such a great and righteous word like equity become synonymous with owning a piece of a corporate pie?

I did further searching online and could not come up with an excellent answer that satisfied.  There were many posts, links and sites pointing to the term equity in terms of law, but nothing that I could find related to this common practice of calling ownership in a company ‘equity’.

I have heard people recently use the term ‘brand equity’ which further proves that the term is shifting or has shifted from it’s original meaning of ‘fairness’ to this current meaning of ‘asset’ or ‘ownership’.

Almost every day we hear a sentence like this ‘He is building equity.’

Unfortunately, I must, due to a severe lack of time, throw in the towel of finding the answer to my question in the root or history of the word itself.  I will appease myself by making up this historical assumption that “The word equity must have come from the fair, or unfair division of business or real estate assets amongst people and it’s relation to the courts use of the word ‘equity'”.  In short, there were probably many unequitable deeds done in business by predatory and greed sociopaths so that the term ‘assets’ and ‘equity’ became synonymous.  There. Good enough.

But… it got me thinking spiritually as well.  At the same time I wondered what the word itself meant and where it was rooted, I also remember very clearly that Jesus taught about assets and ownership of things in this world.  Here are some bullet points:

  • But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat 6:33)
  • Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mat 6:19-21)
  • Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you]. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned [and] killed the just; [and] he doth not resist you. (Jas 5:1-6)

And there are more.

The crux of the matter is this:

  • Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (Jas 4:14)

But wait, there is a bigger crux:

  • The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psa 24:1)

And the summary is this:

  1. The earth is the Lord’s.  We didn’t make it.  We can’t take it with us.  We can’t own it.  It’s not ours.  We are tenants here for a short time.
  2. You can’t own anything.  You think you own a house or a business but ask yourself this very simple yet clearly forgotten question: Can you own _____ forever?  The answer is an obvious and child-like ‘No’.

So then, what’s wrong with selling 99% of your equity of your 1% can provide for the needs of your family, build a bigger, better, and more ethical company, and spread life and abundance to the world instead of death and destruction?

Isn’t it just a matter of who is on your team, not the size of your pizza slice that dictates all this?

Maybe I’m naive and maybe I’ll get hurt again because of it but life is a vapour regardless so I’m going to keep on the narrow path while I’m here.

 

 

 

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