Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Triune God

In this post I am going to continue to look at some basics that we as Christians must believe. None of these posts are meant to be exhaustive by any stretch, therefore, I encourage you to be a diligent student of the Word of God yourself (2 Timothy 2:15). 

Next on the list is that God is eternally existent in three separate persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Actually, it is this belief that separates Christianity from all others. Any group that rejects the Triune Godhead cannot identify themselves as truly Christian. However, this subject cannot be adequately addressed without acknowledging the Deity of Christ. That is to say that Jesus is God. Not a God. He is the one and only God, Maker of Heaven and Earth. We believe that Jesus was and is the God-Man. All God. All human. Son of God and Son of Man. That is what the word "incarnate" implies. God poured into flesh almost 2000 years ago. To deny the Triune Godhead or the Deity of Christ is to make Jesus merely a man or something other than God. For example, Islam says that he was merely a prophet and not God. Mormonism says that he is actually Michael the Archangel and not God. Jehovah's Witnesses say that he and Lucifer are actually brothers and not God. Sorry, but neither of these can be found in the Bible.  

No, it is not something that the early church fathers just pulled out of a hat at a council, instead, it is found throughout the Bible. I believe that it starts in the very first verse of Genesis when it says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." The Hebrew word used for God is "Elohim" which is in the plural form. The singular is "El" or "Eloi". However, it is the "im" at the end of this word that makes it plural. We see this with other words in the Bible as well. For example, the plural of the word Cherub is Cherubim. The plural of the word Seraph is Seraphim. The plural of the word Anak is Anakim. So, the name "Elohim" is plural, and in it, we see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

We see this more clearly as we work our way through the first three chapters of Genesis. In 1:26-27, it says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Do you see the plural personal pronouns? Also, in 3:22, it says, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil." 

To further the point, God created man in His own image. As God is a Superior Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; man is an inferior trinity: Man the soul, Man the body, and Man the spirit. God is to the Soul (mind), as Jesus is the Body, and the Holy Spirit is to the Spirit. Do you see how these two church doctrines go together? They must both be believed. 

We see it proven further in John 1:1-5; 14 where it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." And then John goes on to identify the "Word" that he is talking about in v.14 when he says, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." The Word is Jesus. Jesus is God. Not a God, not only a prophet, not the brother of Lucifer, and not an archangel, but God!  

That is why John wrote later in the book of Revelation, “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God (Revelation 19:11-13). The Bible clearly teaches the Triune Godhead and the Deity of Christ. These, we believe. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Biblical Inspiration, Part 1

We continue today to look at something else that we as believers in Christ must embrace, and that is that the Bible is inspired by God. While there are many proofs, today we will look at its scientific accuracy. Although not a science book, the Bible is accurate when it speaks on scientific matters, and this does serve as another proof to its inspiration. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Life in the Blood
The Bible says in Leviticus 17:11 that life is in the blood when it says,  "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." Have you ever read how our first president, George Washington died? - Leeching. They believed that illness was carried in the blood. Check out this website HERE for more history on that.

Paths of the Sea
The Bible says that there are paths in the sea. We see this in Psalm 8:8 when it says, "The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas." Have you ever read the story of Matthew Maury and how he discovered these paths? For more history on that, go HERE.

The Earth is Spherical
The Bible says that the earth is spherical in shape in Isaiah 40:22 when it says, "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in." For years people thought that the earth was flat! I believe this was in part because the Bible often refers to the "four corners" (Revelation 7:1)

Suspended Earth
The Bible also says that the earth is actually suspended in space. Job 26:7 says, "He stretches out the north over empty space And hangs the earth on nothing." That is a lot more believable than the belief that it is actually on the back of a giant turtle holding four elephants! Read more HERE

Innumerable Stars
The Bible also says in Genesis 15:5 that the stars of the heavens are innumerable: "And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." This was not realized to its fullest extent until the invention of the telescope. 

Mountains and Canyons in the Sea
The Bible says that there are actually mountians and canyons in the sea in 2 Samuel 22:16  when it says, "Then the channels of the sea appeared, The foundations of the world were laid bare By the rebuke of the LORD, At the blast of the breath of His nostrils." They are also referred to in Jonah 2:6 "I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God."

Springs and Fountains in the Sea
The Bible says that there are springs and fountains in the sea in Genesis 7:11 when it says, "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened." Also, it says in Genesis 8:2, "Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;" And again, it is found in Proverbs 8:28 where it says that "when He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed,"

Hydrologic Cycle
The Bible also shows us the hydrolic cycle in Ecclesiastes 1:6-7 when it says, "Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again." Also, it is seen all throughout the book of Job. Job 26:8 "He wraps up the waters in His clouds, And the cloud does not burst under them." Job 36:27-28 "For He draws up the drops of water, They distill rain from the mist, Which the clouds pour down, They drip upon man abundantly." Job 38:25-27 "Who has cleft a channel for the flood, Or a way for the thunderbolt, To bring rain on a land without people, On a desert without a man in it, To satisfy the waste and desolate land And to make the seeds of grass to sprout?" Job 37:16 "Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds, The wonders of one perfect in knowledge," The psalmist also refers to it in Psalm 135:7, "He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries." Want some more interesting reading on this, click HERE

Existence of Matter
Paul actually spoke of matter in Romans 1:20 when he said, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Cool video can be found HERE.

The Bible speaks of reproduction and kind (i.e., humans produce humans, cats produce cats, etc.) in Genesis 1:21 when it says that "God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good." Also in Genesis 6:19 it says, "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female."

The Bible also addresses the issue of sanitation in Deuteronomy 23:12-13 when the Israelites are encouraged to "have a place outside the camp and go out there, and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement." An interesting fact is that during the Black Plague of the 1300s, many blamed it on the Jews because they seemed to be less affected by it. Truth be known, it was their practice of sanitation as prescribed in the Bible that kept many of them safe. 

The Bible also warned that there comes a time when quarantine is necessary to protect others. We see this in Leviticus 13:45-46 "As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, 'Unclean! Unclean!'  "He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp."

Rest for the LandThe need for the land to rest
The Bible also speaks to the fact that land needs rest. We see this in Leviticus 25:1-12 when it says, "The LORD then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, 'Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the LORD. 'Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 'Your harvest's aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. 'All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. 'Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat. 'You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. 'You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement, you shall sound a horn all through your land. 'You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.   'You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 'For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field."

The Bible actually prescribes circumcision for the Israelites, but it was to only take place eight days after birth. It says in Genesis 17:9-12, "Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you."And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants." We know today that God had a reason for waiting eight days. The reason was that it takes between five to seven days for a newborn's blood to have sufficient vitamin K which allows for blood coagulation which prevented the child from bleeding to death! Want more? Read HERE

The bottom line is that the Bible, while not a science book, is accurate when it speaks to matters of science. Further proof of inspiration!