Tag Archives: Eden

Evolution vs. Creation Philosophy Part IV of IV–Where is History Headed?

Part IV of IV—Where is history headed?

Think back to the 1920 stock market crash, to 9-11, or as recent as November 20th, 2016, the Trump election—no one saw them coming. We are not good at predicting the future, but the Bible is. Hundreds of predictions have been made and come true and some of them came thousands of years in advance. God’s word has predicted world shaking events, such as the time and place of Jesus’s birth, how and when Jesus would die and who would be by His side when He died, the name of the man who let the Israelites go after 70 years of captivity—Cyrus—and my favorite, what nations would pass across the stage of history (Daniel 3, 7, 9 and 11).

God showed Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, his golden kingdom would be replaced by the Meads and Persians, who would be ruled by Greece, and then Rome, and eventually Rome would fragment into 10 countries (Dan 3, 7, 11). It even gives the details: Greece would fall and divide into four parts (Dan 8), and three of the ten countries comprising the fallen Roman Empire would be plucked up by one unique power, and it did (Dan 7). It predicted the fall of the Vatican State, and its healing (Rev 13), and it even predicted the United State’s rise to power. But all of these events are past; does the Bible tell us what’s coming? Yes it does.

  1. The world will become more and more wicked, while it looks more and more religious (Rev 12, 13). Think hypocrisy and false religions.
  2. Countries and churches will unite to control the masses (Rev 13).
  3. A remnant of zealous Christians will give three moving messages to the world (Rev 14).
  4. The world will attempt to silence then destroy this small number of reformers (Rev 13); while
  5. Satan will fake Jesus’s return in an attempt to control the world.
  6. Jesus will come again just as society implodes; He’ll come to resurrect the righteous dead, translate the living saints, and take all of the saved to heaven for 1000 years (Rev 14).
  7. For a thousand years Satan and his evil imps will be confined to planet earth to contemplate their gloomy future, while the saints are reviewing the history books in heaven.
  8. At the end of the 1000 years, Jesus, God, the heavenly city New Jerusalem, and all the saints will descend back to earth;
  9. The rest of the dead, those lost, will be resurrected for judgment; they will see themselves and how they have despised God’s love and how they have unfitted themselves to live in God’s presence; and God will reveal Himself—giving life and vitality to those who love Him, but sadly destroying those who don’t.
  10. And forever more the saints will live in paradise made new. God will recreate the earth, probably in the same way He did it before, one day at a time, so we can watch and be amazed. He will wipe away our tears and all traces of sin; not a drop will remain except for the scars in Jesus’s hands, feet, and side.

It’s hard to believe the world could become any more wicked than it is, and could it really be worse than during world War II when 60 million people were slaughtered? It’s possible, but what’s unique this time is, it will be cloaked in religion. Already churches and countries are lining up: Catholic Europe, Central America, and South America; Muslim Middle East, and Protestant America; and within them the sins of pride and domination rule. It is one thing to humbly protect your own, but another completely to dominate and compel the conscience.

Coming out of this montage of religions a small group of zealous Christians will shake the earth with three simple messages:

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying, “Fear God and give Him Glory for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” And another angel followed saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornications.” Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. (Rev 14:6-9)

These three messages are much more complicated than they appear, and understanding them without the context of the rest of the Bible is really not possible. The Bible is internally consistent; it uses its own stories to define terms. For example, “forever” to us, means a long, long time, but Biblically, a slave could serve his master forever, so forever really means for as long as you live. We know we will live forever (using our modern definition) because the Bible says there will be no more death, not because it says forever. And wrath to us means an intense anger, but the wrath God is talking about, is God giving up on us, finally abandoning us, leaving us to drink the cup, to reap the natural consequences of our choices; and nobody really wants that to happen. When God did that in the past, Jerusalem was sieged, sacked, burned, destroyed, and demolished when He stopped protecting them from those Satan had control of.

What do the three-angels messages mean to you? What do you think are the most important terms and ideas? What do you think the everlasting gospel is, or the judgment, the mark, the image, and the beast? I’d like to know.


Why Did Jesus Have to Die? Excerpt

Chapter 1

Why are things this way?

In your mind’s eye, look outside your door and peer into the ghettos and dark alleys of this world. In your heart, you know this is not what God had in mind for our planet. Sure, there is good out there, but there is bad too. There is beauty in bright smiles and romantic sunsets, blue oceans and painted deserts, quasars and star-studded skies, but there is ugliness in disease, decay, and death. And there is pain, a lot of pain. Why are things this way? Why do lions and tigers eat Bambi and Thumper? Why are the good often bad and the bad sometimes good? Why does the song say, “Only the good die young”? And why did someone as loving as Jesus have to die?

Many people have offered answers to that question. Some explanations revolve around some type of ransom being paid to the devil; others say that Jesus paid a debt to His Father, to the angels, or to sin itself. Are these the only options? Has the question been adequately addressed? Why is it that no earthly court would ever allow some saintly fellow to take the punishment for a criminal, yet many religions think it is okay for God to do so? Could punishing Gandhi ever atone for Hitler’s crimes? Could Mother Teresa’s virtue ever negate the lack thereof in Stalin, Pol Pot, Nero, Hirohito, or Osama bin Laden?

Surely it is arrogant to suggest that humanity has exhausted all the possibilities or that we could actually comprehend it all. So with that, I would like to throw one more possibility into the theological hat for consideration: the Great Controversy-Demonstration Model. Several people have incorporated great controversy concepts into their theology, but none have risen to the level of Graham Maxwell PhD, University of Chicago. Many of the ideas presented here were first learned from this great man.

This book is divided into four sections. The first is historic, tracing the biblical story to the cross. The second is allegorical, using train-wreck metaphors to compare theologies. The third section looks at issues one by one, and section four defines terms.

Overcome by the blood of the Lamb! What is that?

How does the blood of the Lamb help us overcome anything? And, what are we to overcome?

As Christians we take a lot of the words and metaphors we use for granted. We think everyone knows what we mean when we say, “You’re saved by grace, or there’s power in the blood, or have faith, or as it’s shown in Revelation 12:11, “they overcame by the blood of the Lamb…” What does it mean to overcome by the blood of the Lamb?

Consider these three verses together:

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:10-12)

First, note that they overcame “him.” Who is “him”? The verse before says it’s the accuser, and in verse 12 it identifies the accuser as the devil or Satan. Satan is the accuser of both God and man. In the beginning (think Genesis) Satan accused God of lying about sin causing death. Remember, God told Adam and Eve, “The day you eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil, you will die;” and the serpent said, “You will not die…” Then in the book of Job, Satan accused God of playing favorites. He claimed God was arbitrary in how He bestowed His gifts by protecting Job and not others. Throughout the Bible Satan is found accusing you, me, and God of evil; and evidently, he even pressed charges against God. Paul wrote in Romans, “God may you win when you take your case to court.” Just think of the gall. How could a mere creature accuse God of wrongdoing?

So, putting this all together, the “him” is Satan, and what we overcome is Satan’s lies about God; and the first and most important lie was—we will not die if we sin; and we do it by the blood of the Lamb.

Is the logic sound? How does the blood of the Lamb refute that lie? If you compare the gospels we see that Jesus is the Lamb, and Jesus did a lot of bleeding. He bled in the garden of Gethsemane when He accepted the “cup of God’s wrath.” He bled when He was beaten by Pontius Pilate’s guards and when they placed the crown of thorns on His innocent brow. He bled as He carried the heavy, splintering cross to Calvary, and again when the Romans pounded spikes into His hands and feet. And finally, He bled when the Roman solider thrust a spear into His side after his death. There was a lot of blood, and the blood of the Lamb answered a lot of questions.

Why did Jesus bleed in the garden? He wasn’t struck; He wasn’t stabbed. This seems unnatural. It happened because Jesus was being treated like a sinner. God’s “wrath” was being poured out upon Him, and what happened? He staggered and fell dying to the ground. Had not an angel come to His aid, He would have died. Was God killing Jesus? Was God angry at Jesus? No, God even sent an angel to help Him. But Jesus was dying anyway, showing that sin does kill. God was separating Himself from Jesus. He was answering the accusation raised in the Garden of Eden? And it was supposed to increase our faith in Him, knowing He didn’t lie.

The blood Jesus lost in Pilate’s prison, the blood oozing from cuts by the thorns and the splintered cross, the blood lost while on the cross, and the blood brought forth from the spear were the results of the Jews handing Jesus over to the Roman authorities. Although it was the Romans who handed out the abuse, it was the Jews who were responsible for delivering Jesus to them. They were the ones who handed Him over to the authorities; they were the ones crying crucify Him, crucify Him. The Romans were the cruelest people on earth; the Jews were the most religious people on earth—ever—and which group was worse? Which group was the more hateful, the more degraded? It was the “Bible” preaching, pious Jews.

The Jews had swallowed Satan’s lies that God was arbitrary, exacting, unforgiving, and severe; and they acted it out when Jesus challenged them. They had to either accept Jesus’s description of God and follow Him, or kill Him. So, when push came to shove, their picture of what God was like allowed them to kill their Creator.

If we learn the lessons of the blood spent in Gethsemane; and if we learn from the abuse He suffered at the hands of the Jews and Romans, then we can aptly say we are saved by the blood of the Lamb.

Lest we lose the big picture by digging too deeply into the details, consider how much the Father and Jesus loved this rebellious planet. Consider all the time, effort, and pain it cost to demonstrate what God is really like. God poured out all of heaven to show us He cared. My jaw drops when I think that the One who set the galaxies in place would give up His thrown to come down here to be so abused. It’s almost unconceivable, but it’s true.

God was teaching a mighty message: Just because you look good on the outside, going to church each week, praying on street corners, giving large sums of money to charities, and other great and noble things, you could still be the most evil person on the planet; and if you think God should be feared and appeased, if you worship God for the wrong reasons, and if you keep your fear and resentment suppressed because you think God would be angry, you may become just like these first century Jewish leaders, capable of killing the King. It’s a horrible fact that the most devout and the most religious people on the planet, the ones with greatest opportunity to know God, could kill Him when He came.

If we learn the right lessons, we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb.