Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Columns by David Ben-Ariel - Sojourning Child of God

Columns by David Ben-Ariel - Sojourning Child of God

A higher calling
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Now for the hard part - repentance and change. That's why we call it "conversion," and nobody ever said the quest for the Kingdom of God was going to be pretty.

Does God still heal people? Will he heal my AIDS?
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
I cried out to God: "I don't know what to do. I know you can heal me, but what am I supposed to do for myself?" I also know AIDS has helped me to stay celibate, as the Bible prescribes for all singles.

Sheik Palazzi and the Apostle Paul
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Christian historians know Paul's ministry reached out to the new Gentile followers of the Jewish Jesus, but Paul did not write off Judaism as the religion of a bygone age.

God-given names
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
It's not common, but neither is it unscriptural for God to give someone a new name on earth. We already know that God promises to give us each a new and unique name in His Kingdom.

Brokeback Mountain Blues: Thoughts of a celibate, gay Christian
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
COMMENTARY: Writing from the depths of my struggles, as a celibate homosexual and a Christian, Brokeback Mountain forcibly brings all these tumultuous thoughts, tormenting conflicts of interest and personal struggles to the surface, surging like lava from

Does it make any difference which day we observe as Sabbath, as long as we keep one day in seven?
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Did God create the Sabbath only for the Jews?

Sneak preview of God's Kingdom!
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
What will we look like in the resurrection? Do we go to Heaven or pray "Thy Kingdom Come?" Didn't Jesus say "the meek shall inherit the Earth?"

Why I no longer celebrate Christmas
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Should Christians celebrate Christmas? Can a pagan holiday be converted? Does it matter what God thinks?

Memories of Mama Evans
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
How a loving Christian woman from the South touched so many lives in the North.

International House of Prayer for Jerusalem
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Christians, Jews and Muslims, descendants of Abraham the "father of many nations," are invited to cooperate in the construction of the long-awaited "House of Prayer for All Peoples."

We are God-beings in the making!
Commentary: Sojourning Child of God
Converted from carnal to divine? Transformed from fallen human to heavenly being? What exactly is the end result of our conversion process? What are we literally destined to become?

Scarlet Letter: a Christian with AIDS
God has finally found a way to keep me celibate.
I look past the stigma of being a Christian writer with AIDS, and make my offering. God promises that everything works together for good, for those of us who are called according to His wonderful purpose.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Jerusalem to host spiritual whoredoms


Israel's Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Yonah Metzger, has met with the Dalai Lama of Tibet (an alleged Buddhist god) and Israel National News reports that Metzger "suggested that representatives of the world's religions establish a United Nations in Jerusalem, representing religions instead of nations, like the UN currently based in New York.

"Instead of planning for nuclear war and buying tanks and fighter jets, it will invest in peace." Apparently a peace apart from the biblical blueprint, without proper repentance, and based upon misguided human efforts easily manipulated for political purposes.

Has the chief rabbi gone mad? Is Rabbi Metzger now a rabid meshuggah? Has God hardened his heart against Jerusalem and Israel to invite such disaster? Isn't the rabbi aware of the prophecies that warn about the world's evil eye upon Jerusalem, and how they covet the Temple Mount? What next, a rush visit by the Bavarian pope to vie for his attention seeking to gain a better position in the "New Jerusalem"?

Doesn't Yonah Metzger know he should be promoting the Third Temple, a biblical House of Prayer for All Nations interested in learning about the God of Jacob, learning Torah and repenting of idolatrous traditions - not for arriving to teach foreign ideas or bring strange ways to the Holy Land in the perverse spirit of Babylon.

Such nations must humble themselves to come up to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles) -- not to engage in some interfaith orgy! The unacceptable alternative of the proposed religious UN, a modern Tower of Babel, must be condemned and rejected as an entirely unclean idea, a diabolical grand design, that would pollute the Holy City with the arrival of their Grand Master, a sorcerer-magician, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Has Metzger gone over to the other side, seduced by the Babylonian Catholic Church (with its treacherous agents like David Rosen) that aims on crowing their universal king on Mt. Zion? Isn't he opening up the floodgates of hell by summoning "The World Council of Religious Leaders" to take up wicked residence in Jerusalem, to make the City of the Great King their unholy headquarters, invoking UN Resolution 181? Are they making alliances with alien organizations like United Religions Initiative that appear like light-bringers but hide a spiritual darkness that Nimrod would revel in?

This nightmare in the making brings Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's prediction of January 16, 1962 to mind: "...With the exception of the USSR as a federated Eurasian state, all other continents will become united in a world alliance, at whose disposal will be an international police force. All armies will be abolished, and there will be no more wars. In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a Shrine of the Prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah." (emphasis mine)

Isaiah didn't prophecy of any such godless scheme that is a dangerous counterfeit of the Temple of God -- not a "shrine of the prophets." How humanist, yet undoubtedly appealing as a pretty platitude and harmless plan to interfaith fools.

The prophet Daniel does expose the Third Temple will be polluted by Europe's wannabe divine emperor until King Messiah returns from Heaven (in full view of all mankind) and destroys such demonic activities, purifies Jerusalem and cleanses the Temple!

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer in Ohio and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out Beyond Babylon.

"Jews for Jesus" blind to Joseph!

Some who don't know their Bible (or reject what it says) pretend to be followers of Yeshua, while rejecting the Law and the Prophets that He inspired and upheld (as the I AM) and the true Sabbath-keeping Church of God continues to uphold.

Thankfully, many of us REJECT the misleading "messianic perspective" that is in serious error concerning Ephraim (firstborn of Joseph) for the plain truth of the Bible, knowing the Law and the Prophets clearly identify the Israelite origins of the West, our Hebrew roots, that Satan and his misguided minions would prefer folks to stay in the dark about, and here's why:

The Plain Truth About the "Lost Ten Tribes" and Why You Need to Know!

Ten Tribes

The United States and Britain in Prophecy

The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy

Brit-Am Israel

Origin of Nations

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Muslim Nuclear Terrorists

Will Providence permit foreign murderers in our midst (in attitude, if not yet in action) to unleash nuclear fires within our major cities?

If our beloved nation has refused to remember our Hebrew roots and biblical responsibilities (and forswear foreign religious ways and hollow days of pagan origin God's Word condemns) and sustain a healthy interest in the spiritual and return to the God of the Bible, aren't we only reaping more of what we've sown and suffering cause and effect, the dire consequences of our national sins? (Daniel 9:11).

Will the Great God of history and all Creation let us continue to get knocked down and around until Europe deals us the death blow? Are we headed for the disasters of food and water shortages, race riots, terrorist sleeper cells activated, supernatural weather and plagues of biblical proportion until we suffer NATIONAL DEFEAT AND DEPORTATION?

Will we save ourselves and our loved ones from the savage state of near extinction, hear and heed the warnings of imminent famine, destruction and houses left desolate? (2 Chronincles 7:14). Or will we demand divine intervention after three and a half years of "hell" before Heaven is established on Earth?

The choice is ours to make. God help us to CHOOSE LIFE!

Isaiah 1:4-9

4Alas, sinful nation,
A people laden with iniquity,
A brood of evildoers,
Children who are corrupters!
They have forsaken the LORD,
They have provoked to anger
The Holy One of Israel,
They have turned away backward.
5Why should you be stricken again?
You will revolt more and more.
The whole head is sick [the government],
And the whole heart faints [national morale].
6From the sole of the foot even to the head,
There is no soundness in it,
But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores;
They have not been closed or bound up,
Or soothed with ointment.
7Your country is desolate,
Your cities are burned with fire;
Strangers devour your land in your presence;
And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard,
As a hut in a garden of cucumbers,
As a besieged city.
9Unless the LORD of hosts
Had left to us a very small remnant,
We would have become like Sodom,
We would have been made like Gomorrah.

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer in Ohio and author of
Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bible Prophecy Accurate about Europe

EU industry commissioner Gunter Verheugen, when asked by the German daily Die Welt how he sees the European Union in 20 years' time, responded: "I believe… we will have a political union, but maybe not with all states that now form part of the EU."

"Certain European states will agree to have common competencies in foreign, economic and financial policy as well as in judicial policy."

The European Observer reported "The remarks point to the possible creation of a 'core' Europe of EU states further integrating policies, with other states opting out.

This vision emerged in the 1990s in German conservative political circles, and has since won supporters mainly in France and Belgium...".

Actually, the vision was foreseen thousands of years ago. The Prophet Daniel foresaw the present European Union will forge ahead into the final revival of the unholy Roman Empire that will again stomp the earth; it will consist of TEN NATIONS of Europe that will serve as the engine of the "New Europe," with the driving force behind it later revealed as GERMANY and the VATICAN. Even these top ten will not have the right chemistry to maintain a long-lasting relationship. Such a marriage of convenience will only last 3 1/2 years.

The Book of Revelation confirms this vision by offering further details, showing how ten leaders will surrender their sovereignty to ONE MAN who will head Europe; how the ten kings will have been under very heavy religious influence to lend their support to such a man; and 2 Thessalonians warns Europe's leading man will fall prey to seductive powers to proclaim himself a divine emperor!

Europe's (German?) wannabe divine emperor will mislead the nations to fight against the return and reign of the real Jesus from Heaven who will appear in full view of all mankind --- in the sky -- before touching down upon the Mount of Olives. We are getting very close to the fulfillment of these prophecies!

Daniel 2:41-45

41 Just as you saw that the feet and [ten] toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.
"The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

Daniel 7:23-27

23 "He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. [3 1/2 years]

26 " 'But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

Daniel 11:36

36 "The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.

2 Thessalonians 2:4

4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Europe's Bitter Roots offers greater biblical and historical details of what's going on in Europe right before our very eyes. Momentous changes are due to take effect and rock the world!

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer in Ohio and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out Beyond Babylon.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Intelligence Summit commences

This weekend the Intelligence Summit gathers to discuss the latest:

"...a non-partisan, non-profit, neutral forum that uses private charitable funds to bring together for the first time the intelligence agencies of the free world and the emerging democracies.
The purpose of the Summit is to provide an opportunity for the International Intelligence community to listen to and learn from each other, and to share ideas in the common war against terrorism.
The Summit's International Advisory Council includes Generals, former senior FBI official, former senior Mossad officer, and the former Chair of British Joint Intelligence Committee.
The list of presenters at the Summit will include many of the top leaders of the intelligence, espionage, counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence agencies from around the free world.
The Summit is intended to be the most prestigious world conference on international studies, intelligence policy, terrorism and homeland security. "

The Intelligence Summit

I pray I'm wrong, but I hope those in attendance take note of these articles of faith that must be proclaimed as a warning:

The Intelligence Summit Misses the Mark: the German-Jesuit Threat to World Peace

Germany Behind the Mask: Monster or Marshmallow?

Will the Atlantic Times Address the German threat?

Friday, February 17, 2006

A New Truth about Abortion by Herbert Armstrong

A New Truth about Abortion

By: Herbert W. Armstrong
(Plain Truth Personal - September 1985)

WHEN does human life start?

WHY human life?

It's time we knew this TRUTH that has remained a mystery.

Is abortion murder? Is it a crime? Is it a SIN? A crime is a violation of a man-made law. Sin is transgression of GOD'S LAW. God's law defines right as opposed to wrong.

Humanly legislated laws do not always do that. Some things can be sin that are not a crime in man-made laws. But man-made laws have even made obedience to the higher law of God a crime, punishable by death. For example, the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 363, enacted a law enforced by the Roman government: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day."

If any were found to be Judaizing by "resting on the Sabbath," they were to be declared "anathema from Christ." This was interpreted by the government as a crime and often was punishable by death. Yet the law of God commands: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."

But in the final judgment every individual will be judged and sentenced according to the law of God, regardless of what has received general human acceptance or what has been made into a human law.

The whole controversy on abortion revolves around the question: When does human life start? Where did human life first begin? It began when God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). God had said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." God is composed of spirit. God is a Spirit (John 4:24). But man was made out of the ground—matter.

God's purpose is to reproduce himself through man, who is formed of matter or substance. God creates in a system of duality. Man was, made first of material, the ground. The second stage of man's creation calls for making him into a holy, righteous spirit being as a child of God. Thus God's ultimate purpose is to reproduce himself—and God not only is formed and composed of spirit, but God is perfect righteous spiritual character. God's spiritual creation involves the development, with man's own assent in this physical life, of God's righteous character. To reproduce himself, God purposed that man should reproduce himself physically, even as God is reproducing himself spiritually. The one is the type of the other.

Human life first began with the creation of the first man Adam by a process of reproduction. The human life has continued from that original life and is transmitted from generation to generation.

God said to the first man Adam, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28). Man was to reproduce himself physically—in other words, continue that human life from generation to generation. But the man was unable to do that. No man has ever been able to reproduce himself all by himself. So God performed an operation. He put man into a "deep sleep," which today we would call anesthesia, and operated, removing one of the man's ribs, out of which he made a woman.

The woman was not made from the dust of the ground. Woman was first made from man. The two—the man and the woman—became one. How did the two become one? They became one human family. A family is composed of two or more. They reproduced, had children, and the family increased. That original family, by the process of human reproduction, has been increasing for 6,000 years until today there are about 4 billion of us humans populating the earth.

The human life in every human being started from the human life God created in Adam. Even Eve's life came from Adam. Every human life since is a continuation of that same kind of human life continually reproduced after its kind. This human reproduction was the exact type of divine reproduction by which God is reproducing himself.

Human reproduction started with the first human, the man Adam. Divine reproduction has started with the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Jesus was begotten and born as a human being, just as all humans have been, except that God was his Father, and therefore, one of his names is Emmanuel, which means "God with us," or, "God in the human flesh," Therefore, Jesus Christ was human, born of the human virgin Mary, but he was also God, sired by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God actually fertilized or imparted life to an ovum in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Now examine human reproduction. Human life starts from an egg, or an ovum, produced through an ovary in the human mother-to-be. This ovum, of itself, has only a very temporary life—a matter of days. Unless fertilized by a sperm cell from the body of the male, it will soon die.

The female ovum is about the size of a pinpoint—not the head, but the tiny point of a pin, barely large enough to be seen through the naked eye. The male sperm cell that will fertilize it is the smallest cell in the human body, only one fiftieth the size of the ovum. In the female ovum is a still more tiny nucleus. Once the male sperm cell penetrates and enters the ovum, it joins immediately with the nucleus. At that instant, human life has begun.

This very start of human life is the exact type of the beginning of the divine life. Jesus said he had come that we "might have life, and that [we] might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). He was talking about the fact he had come that we might have immortal, divine life, which would be a much more abundant life than this frail human life. Jesus said, at the beginning of his ministry on earth, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). Jesus chose and called 12 disciples to be taught the good news or gospel of the kingdom of God—the kingdom of God beings that shall reign over all the nations of this earth, beginning with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Now consider carefully this fact: Human reproduction is the exact type of divine reproduction. In every human there is human spirit. The human brain, as scientists have learned in the new science of brain research, differs little from animal brain. Yet we learn from many scriptures in the Bible that in every human brain resides a human spirit. This spirit empowers the physical brain with intellect, which makes the vast difference between human ability to think, to reason, to acquire knowledge, to have a sense of spiritual values, which animals do not possess.

A factor that has greatly puzzled and mystified human scientists—especially in the new science of brain research—is what constitutes the incredible difference between the vast output of the human brain as compared to the animal brain. They cannot account for it on physical grounds, and most all stubbornly refuse to accept the truth as it is on spiritual grounds.

Most scientists, it seems, refuse to accept the existence of spirit. That very refusal caused the development in human imagination of the theory of evolution. Evolution is the atheist's and the agnostic's explanation of the presence of the physical creation without the preexistence of the great supernatural spirit Creator who is God.

The Holy Bible is the word of the Creator God. In it, God, who knows the rationalizations and reasonings of the natural mind cut off from him, says of these unbelieving skeptics, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:14).

The God-rejecting mind, therefore, will be incapable of understanding what is to follow in this Personal.

In the comparison of human reproduction to divine reproduction, each human being is an ovum. Each of us might be called a spiritual ovum. Each has a limited life span on average of approximately 72 or 73 years at present. Unless fertilized within a life span by the spiritual male sperm, which is the Holy Spirit from the very body of God the Father, each of us will perish. How, then, does divine life start?

The original apostles had been taught and trained for some three and one half years by Jesus. They were, as it were, spiritual ova. They did not receive the spiritual sperm cell from God the Father until after Christ's sacrifice and resurrection and ascension to heaven. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and entered into the disciples gathered together, all in one accord. This divine sperm cell from the body of God the Father was the Holy Spirit—the very divine, life-imparting Spirit of God. Naturally, on entering the apostles, this Spirit went immediately to the nucleus of the human, which is the mind. There it joined with the human spirit that had been a part of the human being from human conception. Thus the humans who received the Holy Spirit of God had the divine life of God imparted into them. They thus became the begotten children of God. When the Holy Spirit enters the human mind, it unites the human mind with the mind of God.

The human spirit imparts capacity to acquire physical and material knowledge infinitely superior to that acquired by the animal brain. It also imparts to the physical brain limited spiritual concepts of good as opposed to evil, albeit on the human spiritual level. However, with the addition of the divine Spirit of God to this human spirit, the human mind is capable of acquiring the spiritual knowledge of the purposes, ways and objectives of God.

The human spirit cannot see, think, hear or indulge in the process of reasoning. It is the brain that sees through the eye, hears through the ear, and does the thinking and reasoning as it is empowered in the reasoning and thinking process by the human spirit.

However, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (I Cor. 2:9). This further and deeper and more profound spiritual knowledge of God's purposes and plans and of God's righteousness is acquirable only by the addition of the Holy Spirit of God uniting with the human spirit of man.

On that day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, at the very founding of the Church of God, this divine Spirit of God entered into the believers there assembled in Jerusalem.

The point I want to make at this juncture is that at this moment of divine conception—the receiving of the Holy Spirit—they became the children of God, though as yet unborn. The divine "sperm" of the Holy Spirit had entered the human "ovum" as it were, and divine conception had taken place. The human sperm cell entering the human ovum constitutes human conception.

The then-fertilized human ovum from that instant is medically called an embryo. After some weeks, as it grows gradually into a human form, it is called a fetus. This growing and developing stage is called gestation. This is the precise type of spiritual conception and the Christian period of growing spiritually in grace and spiritual knowledge (II Pet. 3:18).

The Bible calls the Church of God "the mother of us all" who are the begotten children of God. The Church, as the spiritual mother, feeds spiritually the converted Christians within her, protects them from false teachings and ways, and brings them along in a spiritual period of gestation, ready to be born spiritually by a resurrection (at Christ's coming), an instantaneous change from mortal human to divine God in the kingdom of God. Reproduction of human life is the exact type of spiritual reproduction. Our question is, When does human life start?

Human life in general started with the creation of Adam. He alone was specially created. All other humans have been reproduced from Adam. This reproductive process was designed by the same God who designed the spiritual reproductive process by which God is reproducing himself. A human life first starts in each individual human; so divine life starts by a spiritual conception—when the Holy Spirit first enters the human.

God purposed that man should reproduce himself physically, even as God is reproducing himself spiritually. Reproduction of human life is the exact type of spiritual reproduction. Our question is, When does human life start?

Now when does divine life start? When does one become a Christian—one of Christ's? In Romans 8:9, one who has received the Holy Spirit is Christ's. One who has not the Spirit of God is "none of his"— not a Christian. And, verse 11, if the Holy Spirit dwells in one, he shall be born immortal. In verse 14, as many as are led by the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, are, already, during this Christian life—this spiritual gestation period—the sons of God, though as yet unborn spiritually. They are begotten children of God.

In I John 3:1-2: "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

Already now in this human Christian life, as yet unborn, in gestation stage, we are the children of God. Yet we do not yet "appear" visibly as we shall be when born.

At the instant of physical conception, the embryo, and weeks later the fetus, is, already, the child of its parents. It is not just and only a piece of "fetal tissue," as abortionists argue, in their attempt to justify human murder.

From the instant of conception, a human life is in existence. To deliberately kill or destroy that human life, the GREAT LAWGIVER and SUPREME JUDGE says, is MURDER, punishable by eternal and final DEATH!

Regardless of human lawyers, human courts, human judges, or even supreme court justices, abortion is an act of murder, in defiance of the supreme Almighty GOD. And those who commit it, and order it, or "legally" by man's law authorize it, will be held in contempt of this SUPREME COURT OF HEAVEN, and answerable to that great Supreme Judge!

God Almighty has called and authorized me to "CRY ALOUD, AND SPARE NOT, AND SHOW OUR PEOPLE THEIR SINS!"

If we obeyed the laws of God we would avoid a world filled with suffering, anguish and helpless frustration. God's laws are the way to PEACE, to HAPPINESS, to JOY, to accomplishments that make life full, enjoyable and abundant.

God says, "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Ps. 127:3). Human family relationship is one of the supreme blessings God has given mankind. What a tragedy that a rebellious mankind has spurned, forsaken and deprived itself of the wonderful blessings and happiness a loving God has made possible.

However, the final conclusion of the whole story of human life is this: When mankind has succeeded in spurning and repudiating every blessing, and has brought itself to the very brink of the total extinction of the human race through man's own nuclear and other life-destroying inventions, the merciful Eternal God will intervene and at last usher in the happy, peaceful and overwhelmingly satisfying eternal life in the glorious kingdom of God.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Europe: Hard Right?

Europe swings. Hardcore proof: the EU overwhelmingly passed a resolution last month against "Homophobia in Europe."

The liberals are dancing in the streets and the atmosphere is gay - - unless you happen to dare disagree, as Don Feder exposes in "HOMOPHOBIA," DEMOGRAPHIC DECLINE, ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION AND THE EUROPEAN DEATH WISH, stating: "Its anti-homophobia campaign is just the latest example of Europe's rejection of Judeo-Christian morality."

Europe swings from one extreme to the other. Still smarting from a history subject to the rigid rule of those under the influence of the Vatican, the Europeans have gone too far in denying the leading role that professing Christianity has played upon their stage.

The free-for-all Europeans have stubbornly refused to even acknowledge their Catholic roots with a nod within their proposed Constitution; Roots that Pope John Paul II pleaded with them to remember from Santiago and elsewhere. How can such dishonest European leaders face the daunting challenges that loom just ahead? Sound minds and strong character is required, a willingness to face harsh reality and not just powder it away with pretty platitudes.

What will strike the "fear of God" in Europe's dark and deceitful heart? What wonders can the Bavarian pope perform to have the masses eating out of his hand again? Will a nuclear Iran or belligerent Egypt (suffering a coup) crash the party and awaken the living dead or has Europe become reprobate without a conscience or a future?

Is pagan Europa capable of becoming a re-converted continent? With the double-edged sword of Islam and secularism ready to slit their throat, will the wayward EU act in time with a cool head and let logic and biblical reason prevail?

Must the European Union choose between Catholicism and hedonism? Secularism certainly couldn't save them because the ethnic Europeans would die out or be vastly outnumbered by the armies of the immigrants with their jihad of reproduction. Empty secularism could never withstand the drive and determination of the foreign bodies who would strip them of their carnal liberties. Will Europe consider Catholicism the lesser of two evils when they realize the writing is on the wall and they must choose? After all, it's a familiar face and not that of a stranger.

Mr. Feder's piercing piece concluded: "The book Europe's intelligentsia has rejected holds the key. In it, God says to Israel: 'I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live.'"

What many Northwestern Europeans fail to recognize is their Hebrew roots, their Israelite origin, and that the Book they should go by doesn't sanction Islam or Catholicism but warns against both! There is an alternative way that Herbert Armstrong, ambassador for world peace without political portfolio, presented before many of their heads of state.

If Europe misses this opportunity of a lifetime to get it right, to remember their biblical roots and responsibilities, they'll soon fall under the spell of Germany and the Jesuits and swing far right again: "...the new Europe - a rough beast slouching toward Brussels..." is about to get struck by lightning -- transformed into a bloodthirsty beast bowing before Berlin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Beyond Babylon: Read it yet?

Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall is destined to become a national debate and an international controversy because it dares to speak the plain truth in a world of lies!

Beyond Babylon

Beyond Babylon
Chapter One

Survival Guaranteed!

The DEVASTATION unleashed against America and her British allies was without precedent. Destruction was everywhere and a body count impossible. The catastrophe was beyond calculation.

Europe - gripped with a messianic furor - justified this mass destruction of the body to "save the soul." Besides, they had the blessing of the pope. His white robes were stained with the blood of many martyrs.

Beyond Babylon
Chapter 2

Why National Defeat?

Why are we in mortal danger? Why will the American, British and Jewish people SUFFER national defeat? How could Europe ever turn against us?

Beyond Babylon
Chapter 3

Truth or Consequences

As global tensions increase, and threats of confrontation escalate, we might very well wonder whether humanity will survive. Unless there’s a GOD to intervene, we have a bleak future indeed: a DEAD PLANET! Will earth become a nuclear fireball? Will charred bones - aftermath of unleashed atomic fires - and the smoldering ruins of a suicidal civilization be all that’s left?

Beyond Babylon
Chapter 4

Victims of Tradition

Whenever our behavior gets out of control, God lets us loose control! When we’re held hostage to bad habits, and refuse to let them go, we go into captivity! A national lack of discipline results in God sending corrective punishment! Then we wake up and get with it, and beg God to save us. The whole purpose is to bring us to our knees and senses.

Beyond Babylon
Chapter 5

Europe's Fate

What’s going to happen to Europe? We know what’s going to happen to the American and British peoples, as well as to our Jewish brethren. The coming WORLD CRISIS is prophesied to fall especially hard on them. Why?

Beyond Babylon
Chapter 6

Jesus and the Jews

Why don't the Jews accept Jesus?" I've been asked that so many times. My usual reply? "Why haven't the Christians?" At least the Jews are waiting for the proper imperial restoration. The Messiah's coming to sit on DAVID'S THRONE - not Caesar's or "St. Peter's." The Anointed One's going to rule from JERUSALEM - not Rome!

Beyond Babylon
Chapter 7

Elijah's Key Role

Israel's about to host the greatest showdown on earth! A spiritual conflict of interests will create such a scene in Jerusalem that the whole world will watch! Zion will be an arena of prophets and sorcerers, warriors and kings! The forces of good and evil are set to duel: the sons of light will battle the sons of darkness, and truth will confront error head-on!

Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall

Monday, February 13, 2006

"In the Beginning..."

"In the Beginning..."

Answers to Questions from Genesis

Inside cover

Genesis is the "book of origins." It constitutes that part of the Bible which is commonly called the introductory book of the Old Testament. The name Genesis is derived directly from the Greek translation of the Hebrew word bereshith, meaning "in the beginning." The book of Genesis starts with a brief statement about the pre-Adamic world and goes on to cover the first 2,000 years and more of man's history, from the creation of Adam and Eve to the settlement of the children of Israel in Egypt. The highlights of the first eleven chapters are a description of creation; God's instruction to the first man and woman; the account of their disobedience which cut them and their progeny off from God's Holy Spirit; man's sinful degeneration which resulted in total destruction of human life, except for Noah and his family, by a Flood; and the disbursement of the races at the tower of Babel after the Flood.

Chapters 12 through 50 contain the account of Abraham's calling and God's promises to him due to his faithfulness; the story of Isaac and Jacob; and the account of Joseph and his family in Egypt. Genesis can rightly be summed up in the following words: "The book of Genesis is the true and original birthplace of all theology. It contains those concepts of God and man, of righteousness and judgement, of responsibility and moral government, of failure and hope, which are presupposed through the rest of the Old Testament, and which prepare the way for the mission of Christ" (The Foundations of the Bible, page 155). The record of Genesis is written in abbreviated form, and certain questions, as a result, have been frequently asked about its content. It is the purpose of this publication to answer a number of these questions in the light of the entire Bible (Genesis to Revelation).

"In the Beginning..."
Answers to Questions from Genesis

QUESTION: Can you tell me who wrote the book of Genesis? I have asked several people and no one can give me an answer.

ANSWER: The Jewish community, which has the responsibility of preserving the Hebrew Old Testament (Rom. 3:1-2), ascribes this book to Moses. There can be no doubt that Moses is the author of Genesis as well as the rest of the Pentateuch (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). Jesus said to certain religious leaders of His day, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my works?" (John 5:45-47). Here is Jesus' own personal testimony that Moses wrote scripture.

But what part? Jesus gave the division of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44: All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms..." A little earlier, Jesus, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets... expounded unto them (the disciples) in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (verse 27). Jesus began with Moses because it was Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible. This does not, however, preclude the fact that Joshua and later prophets added further comments to the law as Moses wrote it. See Deuteronomy 34:5-12 for the account of Moses' death. Also Genesis 14:14 where the later name Dan is used instead of Laish (Judg. 18:29).

QUESTION: You say the English word "God" in Genesis 1:1 is translated from the Hebrew word Elohim. Could you tell me what the name Elohim means?

ANSWER: Elohim is a collective noun. It is similar to such English words as group, church, crowd, family, or organization. Take, for example, the word "church." We find in 1 Corinthians 12:20 that there is only one church-the "one body" yet composed of "many members." Even though it takes many persons to constitute the church, it is not many churches-it is only the one church! A family is made up of more than one person, yet it is only the one family. In like manner, God is not merely one person, but a family. God is the supreme divine family which rules the universe! The Gospel Jesus brought to mankind is the good news of the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom is a family-a ruling divine family into which humans may be born! For a detailed explanation of man's incredible potential, write for the booklet Why Were You Born?

QUESTION: My granddaughter is eight years old and she wants to know "Where did God come from?" I would appreciate your giving me an answer.

ANSWER: We are used to living in a limited world. Everything around us has limitations-beginnings and endings. We are aware of infants being born. We are aware of grandparents dying. We observe animals, plants and insects beginning life. We see their lives come to an end. We speak of the birth and the death of civilizations, of storms, volcanoes and comets. We are accustomed to seeing things get old. Clothing and furniture wear out. Automobiles fall apart. Buildings deteriorate. Our bodies become wrinkled and slow. To mortal man everything has a beginning, a period of usefulness and an end. We mark this progression of events on our clocks and calendars.

To us, only what is measurable by hours, days and years seems to have real significance. So when we hear that God is eternal, that He always has been and always will be, our minds balk. The words tend to be meaningless because we have nothing familiar to relate them to. And that is just the problem: we are trying to relate what cannot be related in physical terms. We are trying to apply the limitations of the physical existence we know to the unlimited spiritual plane on which God lives. The two cannot be compared. Our minds can encompass an hour, a century, a millennium, but we cannot grasp past eternity. They are not big enough to fully comprehend spiritual existence. We can't even fully comprehend the physical universe! As an illustration, let's consider for a moment what God has created.

Astronomers estimate that 100,000 million galaxies each with 100,000 million stars dot the universe. And who knows how many planets and moons? God says He counts and names them all (Ps. 147:4). Now if we allow God one full second by our reckoning of time to count and name each star in the heavens, do you know how long it would take Him to name them all? Working nonstop, by our clocks and calendars, it would take more than 300,000 billion years just to count and name them. How long must it have taken Him to design and create all those stars? To us these figures are inconceivable. But not to God. God is eternal. One of His names in Hebrew is Yahweh-the "Everliving One." The Creator is not bound by the laws of space and time as we are. While men are able to theorize about time warps and the relation of energy to the speed of light, God masters it all. To Him, according to His wishes, "one day ... is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (II Pet. 3:8). God "inhabits eternity" (Isa. 57:15). That is to say He comfortably dwells in what we might think of as beginningless and endless time. Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 show that at whatever point in the past we wish to consider as the beginning-no matter how far back we try to stretch our finite minds-God already existed. "In the beginning God..." Where did God come from? He didn't "come from" anywhere. He was always there!

QUESTION: Many of your articles effectively refute evolution and support the Bible. Yet you seem to believe the earth is a lot older than the 6,000 years that the Bible indicates. Isn't this a contradiction?

ANSWER: The Bible reveals that God is the creator of heaven and earth "and all that in them is" (Gen. 1:1; Ex. 20:11). The evidence from modern biology, geology, and paleontology supports a special creation. The theories of evolution or theistic evolution are based on erroneous interpretations of that evidence. The Bible, however, does not say when the original creation of the earth took place. Scientific evidence based on studies of radiometric dating, geological stratigraphy and ecological succession demonstrate the earth is not merely 6,000 years old, but very old indeed.

Some people have attempted to figure out the date of creation based on the biblical ages of the patriarchs (for example, Archbishop Usher dated creation at 4004 B.C.). But the date of the creation of man is not connected with the age of the earth. Adam was created nearly 6,000 years ago; the earth is much older. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that the pre-Adamic world was at one time inhabited by angelic beings! (See the next two questions.) The exact age of the earth is not revealed in Scripture. When the Bible is correctly understood, there is nothing to keep one from accepting factual scientific evidence for determining the age of the earth.

QUESTION: It is my understanding that verses 1 and 2 of Genesis, chapter 1, explain the creation of the earth. Yet, you say these verses describe events which happened before the seven day "creation week." Can you prove your belief from the Bible?

ANSWER: Yes, we can! The Hebrew words for "without form and void" (Gen. 1:2) are tohu and bohu. Translated into English they mean chaotic, in confusion, waste, empty. Why would God create the earth in disorder and then have to straighten it out? That wouldn't make sense! The Hebrew word for "created" used in Genesis 1:1 implies that the creation was a perfected work. It implies order and system, not chaos or confusion! In I Corinthians 14:33 we read that "God is not the author of confusion." God is the author of peace. He is the author of law and order. God told Job that the angels shouted for joy when the earth was created (Job 38:7). This is further indication that when God created the earth, He created it useful and beautiful. Conclusive proof is found in Isaiah 45:18. Notice: "For thus saith the Eternal that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain..."

"In vain" is an inappropriate translation. The original Hebrew word is tohu. This is the same identical Hebrew word used in Genesis 1:2 meaning "confusion" or "emptiness" or "waste"-a result of disorder, a result of violation of law. Thus, this verse is a plain statement that when God created the earth it was not tohu-in a state of confusion and disorder. It became that way long before the seven day "creation week," which actually begins in verse 3.

An added point of evidence is verse 2 of Genesis 1. Here the English word translated "was" is from the Hebrew word hayah. This word is translated "became" in Genesis 2:7, 9:15 and 19:26. In the first three chapters of the Bible, and many other places where you find the Hebrew word hayah, it denotes a condition that was different from a former condition. In other words, the earth "became" chaotic. It had not always been that way. What caused it to become chaotic? See the next question.

QUESTION: In one of your publications I read that the earth was originally inhabited by angels. Please explain.

ANSWER: Consider John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." That is the very earliest prehistoric record.

It could have been millions or thousands of millions of years ago. The two eternally living Spirit Personages, who together constituted the ONE God family, were ALONE in empty space. There was no physical universe-Yet!

But, even as man thinks, and designs and plans before making-so did God conceive the plan and design to create angels-immortal spirit beings, composed wholly of spirit. God created angels before creating the earth. We know they had been created prior to the earth because they sang together and shouted for joy at earth's creation (Job 38:4-7).

Angels were the first thinking, reasoning, separate entities created by God. They were created with minds-ability to know, reason, make choices. But their creation could not be a finished creation until CHARACTER-either good or evil-was developed in them. God initially INSTRUCTED them in HIS WAY-that of righteous character. It was THE WAY of God's spiritual law-the basis of God's GOVERNMENT. Apparently God placed a third of the angels He had created on earth. They were given opportunity to share in God's creating activities by FINISHING the earth-working in and with its many elements, improving, beautifying, completing it. Instead of improving, beautifying and completing the earth, however, the angels rebelled and brought it to desolation and ruin (Gen. 1:2).

QUESTION: Where did the devil and his demons come from?

ANSWER: The third of the angels (Rev. 12:4) inhabiting the earth before man (see previous question) sinned (II Pet. 2:4). Their leader, the super-archangel Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-14), had been perfect in all his ways from the day of his initial creation, till iniquity-lawlessness-was found in him. "Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering... in the day that thou wast created.

Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:12-15).

Lucifer was not satisfied with rule over only the one planet-as the testing ground to prepare him for all planets. He wanted to rule all at once. He said, ". ..I will exalt my throne above the stars of God..." (Isa. 14:13). He had been created with exceeding beauty, which "lifted up his heart" in vanity (Ezek. 28:17). He became lustful, jealous and envious of God, decided on a WAR of invasion, attempting to overthrow God on the heavenly throne of the universe. He led his angels into rebellion. These angels "kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation"-meaning this earth (Jude 6.) But Lucifer and his angels were cast back to earth (Rev. 12:4). Lucifer's name was changed to Satan the devil. His angels became demons. Their minds had become perverted for eternity. (If you would like more information concerning the original destruction of the earth, write for our booklet entitled Did God Create a Devil?)

QUESTION: Could you explain how there could be light on the first day of creation when the sun, moon, and stars were not created until the fourth day?

ANSWER: As explained in the last few answers, great destruction had occurred to the earth, as pictured in Genesis 1:2. When God looked at the chaotic state before Him, He saw an atmosphere filled with thick clouds. If there had been a human being on the earth's surface, he would have seen nothing- because no light penetrated the saturated atmosphere.

God's first act in recreating the earth's surface, was to thin the clouds enough to let light from the sun filter to earth. Then, on the fourth day of creation, God cleared the clouds away so that the sun, moon and stars could be clearly viewed. Verse 16 tells us that God "made" the sun and moon. The Hebrew word for "made" is asah. It could be translated as "made," "had made," or "will have made." Any of these renderings could be correct. But the exact one would have to be determined from the context. By looking at the context, it is evident that God already "had made" the sun, moon and stars long before and set them in the sky.

Note what one well-known Old Testament introduction says on the subject: "In explaining this phenomenon it must first be noted that the standpoint of the first chapter of Genesis is an ideal geocentric one, as though the writer were actually upon the earth at that time and in a position to record the developing phases of created life as he experienced them. From such a standpoint the heavenly bodies would only become visible when the dense cloud-covering of the earth had dispersed to a large extent" (R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 554). Therefore, the sun, moon and stars were created long before the fourth day of creation. They were made visible again on the fourth day of the week of recreation of the earth's surface.

QUESTION: How can we be certain that the days mentioned In Genesis 1 are 24 hours in length? Some claim these days are one thousand years or more in length.

ANSWER: Theistic evolutionists, even some theologians, make the claim to which you refer. Yet, a look at the account and a simple knowledge of nature clearly shows that each day was 24 hours in length-not an epoch of time! A brief review of the account of creation is certainly in order here. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. The renewing of our earth to a state of order followed in six days.

At dawn the first day, light penetrated the dense clouds. The clouds rose the second day and an expanse or heaven was formed, the one in which the birds fly. Thus the waters on the earth ("waters under") were separated from the clouds ("waters above"). The ocean receded, dry land appeared and grass and herbs were planted the third day. As the fourth day progressed the sun became visible through the thinning clouds. Toward evening the moon and stars appeared. Notice how agreeable with the laws of science this is. Birds and sea life were created the fifth day, the land animals with Adam and Eve the sixth, and a day of rest and worship for man the seventh. Thus in one week order was restored to the earth.

But was it a literal week? Carefully notice that no close is here mentioned to the seventh day. Check this point in Genesis 2:1-3. All the other days were "an evening and a morning," but this expression does not follow the seventh day. Why? Now if, as some teach, the seventh day hasn't ended yet, it would already be almost 6000 years long. And if it were that long couldn't the first six days be similar periods? Here's evidence from God's Word that the seventh day did end! Genesis 2:2. "He (God] rested on the seventh day from all his work." Not "is resting" from all His work. Again Genesis 2:3.

"In it (the seventh day] he had rested." He blessed the sabbath after He had rested on it. Hebrews 4:4. "God did rest the seventh day from all his works." Not "is resting." The seventh day of creation is past, for on it God rested. No scripture exists saying He is resting on a continuing seventh day! The seventh day of recreation week did end. Consider the plants which were created on the third day of this week of recreation.

The sun did not appear until the next day. If these "days" were one thousand years long, then the plants could not have survived, for they were without sunshine. Those who believe the days to have been long ages are faced with this impossible situation! Also notice that the plants were made the third day, insects on the sixth. How did certain specialized plants continue to exist for ages without their insect partners? The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that two groups of insects which include bees and wasps, butterflies and moths could not have existed without the honey or nectar-bearing plants. Nor could these plants have existed without the insects. Those who claim creation days were one thousand or more years in length are faced with the conclusion that most plants would have had to live this period of time without producing seed-an impossibility! The scripture plainly states: "In six days God made heaven and earth." Each day of creation is not some long epoch but exactly what the scripture says, a day and night of twenty-four hours.

Each day is an evening and morning-that is, nighttime and daytime. Of course, the word "day" in the Bible is often used to represent an 4 indefinite period of time. In fact the Hebrew word, yom, translated "day" is occasionally translated "time." But in every case where the numerals first, second, third, etc. occur, the word day is clearly referring to a natural 24-hour day as we know it. The Scripture speaks of the day of vengeance, the day of adversity, the day of temptation, just as we do today, meaning a time or season. Yet when it speaks, for example in Leviticus 23, of the fourteenth day of the month, the seven days of Unleavened Bread or the fifty days until Pentecost, the word "day" means a 24-hour period. Another Bible meaning of the word "day" as a 12-hour period is also in common usage today. This "day" is by Christ's own definition 12 hours. "Are there not 12 hours in the day?" (John 11:9.)

The scripture used by many as an excuse to believe the days of creation were ages suggests no such meaning. It is Genesis 2:4: "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant . ..and every herb." Lacking a numeral before it, it can refer to a longer period of time than 24 hours and it does! This "day" refers to a definite period of time-the first six days of recreation week. As a final proof that the days of creation were literal days, reread Genesis 1:3-5, 14-19 with special attention on the words evening and morning, night and day, darkness and light. We are not confused as to what they are. The sun was appointed "to divide the light from the darkness"-to divide day from night. Does sundown divide anything but literal days?

QUESTION: Genesis 2:2-3 states that God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it. You teach this day is Saturday. How can you be sure that the original seventh day is still Saturday? Haven't there been changes in the calendar?

ANSWER: Over the millenia, mankind has used many methods to chronicle time. The Roman calendar now in use has undergone some changes, but the weekly cycle was not altered with those changes. The original Roman calendar, introduced during the days of Julius Caesar, 45 B.C., was imperfect since it was based on the premise that the year was exactly 365'/4 days long. To maintain the pattern an addition of an extra day to the month of February was made every four years. However, it was later found that the year was 12 minutes and 14 seconds shorter than this.

A correction was made during the time of Pope Gregory XIII in the 16th Century by dropping ten days from the calendar. Thus in 1582, Thursday, 4 October was followed by Friday, 15 October. Notice that the weekly cycle was not altered. For further details be sure to request the free booklet, Has Time Been Lost? The Hebrew calendar used from the time of Christ till now preserved the same seventh day of the week (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) as it was in Christ's time. The Jewish people, through the centuries of migrations and persecutions, have never lost the Sabbath day. Nor do most Christians doubt the fact that Sunday is the first day of the week. There is no real debate on this point. The problem is with whether or not we will follow the example of our Savior and keep the same Sabbath that He kept (Mark 2:28). (Additional information on the Sabbath can be had by requesting the booklet Which Day is the Christian Sabbath?)

QUESTION: Where was the Garden of Eden located?

ANSWER: The Bible does not dogmatically say all traces of the Garden of Eden have been erased-but that is probably what occurred during the Flood in Noah's day. However, there is reason to believe that the Garden of Eden once existed in the Middle East. God has consistently used this area to work out His plan of salvation. To this day two of the rivers which once flowed through Eden retain their names-the Tigris (Hiddekel), and the Euphrates. They flow from eastern Asia Minor to the Persian Gulf.

QUESTION: I understand God made man in His own image after creating all the animals and other creatures. What does "In our image" mean (Gen. 1:26)?

ANSWER: First, notice that God created all life after its own kind (Gen. 1:19-25). The fish in the oceans, lakes, and streams, were created after the fish kind. The birds of the air after the bird kind. The land fowl after the fowl kind. The land animals, each after its own kind. Then God said, "let us make man in our image after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). God proposed to make man not after the animal kind, but after the God kind!

Man, then, is not descended from an animal as evolutionists believe! The word "likeness" in this verse refers primarily to facial appearance. The word "image" signifies not only form and shape as in other passages of the Bible, but "stamped with character." The word "image" includes the potential of developing God-like character. Adam was formed-shaped-out of material substance. In form and shape he bore God's likeness. (God reveals Himself as having face, hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, and feet.) But Adam was made for the very purpose of acquiring-during his mortal lifetime-the character of God. Adam failed, choosing to follow the ways of Satan rather than the ways of God. God is now fulfilling His purpose in those He has called and chosen through His son Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus Christ that Christians shall-by a resurrection to immortality (I Cor. 15:50-54)-bear the "image" of God. That is, be imbued with God's very own character! This fantastic truth is explained in our free publication "Your Awesome Future."

QUESTION: Why do you teach that man does not have a soul when Genesis 2:7 states that man became a living soul?

ANSWER: This verse says exactly what we teach. It does not say man has a "soul" which resides in the body. It states that man became a living soul. Man is a soul; he does not have an immortal soul. There is a vast difference. The Hebrew word for "soul" used in the above verse is nephesh. Nephesh can mean "a breathing creature, i.e., animal or vitality" and is also rendered in the English as "appetite, beast, body, breath, creature... man, mind, mortality."

This same Hebrew word is translated "creature" in Genesis 1:24; 2:19; 12, 15 and 16. Nephesh is used in many places where the translators supplied our English word "body." Notice Leviticus 21:11. "Neither shall he go in to any dead body [nephesh], nor defile himself. .." A nephesh is called a "body" in this scripture! In Numbers 6:6; 9:6, 7, 10 and 19:13 the word nephesh is translated into English as "dead body." When God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life, He started the process of the combining of oxygen with blood, which then carried the oxygen to all parts of the body, thereby imparting physical life. The life of a human being is in his blood-stream.

God told Noah that the life of every animal, or nephesh, was in the blood. "But flesh with the life [Hebrew, nephesh] thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat" (Gen. 9:4). Here the word "life" comes from the same Hebrew word, nephesh, which is elsewhere rendered "soul" or "body." In verse 5 of Genesis, chapter 9, this same word nephesh is used for our English word "life." This time the reference is to Noah and every man. Thus, the life of man and the life of animals is the same. Mortal life! The Bible nowhere substantiates the belief that man has an immortal soul'' residing in his body. The soul is mortal. It can die (Ezek. 18:4). For further information on this subject request a free copy of "What is Man?"

QUESTION: My church teaches the fall of man. Did Adam and Eve "fall", or what really happened when they ate of the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3:6-7?

ANSWER: The Bible nowhere teaches that Adam and Eve "fell." To fall implies an accident. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it was no accident! God clearly told them what would happen if they ate from the forbidden tree. The penalty was death! When the devil (represented by the serpent) talked to Eve, he deceived her into eating the forbidden fruit by appealing to her five senses and to her vanity. However, Adam was not deceived. He ate of the forbidden fruit knowing better. He simply went along with his wife. This single act of disobedience on Adam's part cut him and all of his progeny off from God's Holy Spirit. His action, in essence, showed that he did not want to go God's way to eternal life (symbolized by the tree of life). Instead, he decided to determine for himself what was right and what was wrong-apart from God. Adam's progeny has followed in his foot-steps ever since. Adam did not "fall." He disobeyed his maker. You can read of the one who "fell" in Luke 10:18. It is the devil-Satan-who fell when he was cast from heaven back to the earth prior to the week of recreation. It was the fall of Satan that made the earth waste and in confusion (Gen. 1:2).

QUESTION: What was the forbidden fruit? I have been told that it was sex.

ANSWER: There are all kinds of weird ideas concerning the forbidden fruit. Theologians have argued for centuries about the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Were they literal trees with literal fruit or simply symbolic of something else? The Bible is very clear on this point. Genesis 2, verses 8 and 9 states that God planted a garden in Eden and in the garden he caused to grow "every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (verse 9). Nothing could be plainer. The tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were literal trees. What type of fruit did these trees produce? The Bible simply does not say. The fable that the forbidden fruit was an apple that lodged in Adam's throat is just that-a fable!

Was the forbidden fruit symbolic of sex as you were told? Absolutely not! God is the creator of marriage and reproduction. Genesis 1:28 reads "and God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.." God would not have told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and then label the reproductive process sin! For God to do this does not make sense. Marital sex is not evil or sinful. It is good (Gen. 1:31). In Hebrews 13:4 we are told "marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled..." This verse plainly refers to the sexual relationship within marriage. The first sin was a matter of disobedience to God's instructions. God used two literal trees to test Adam to see whether or not he would obey his Creator. The tree of life which was freely offered to Adam and Eve symbolized the availability of God's Holy Spirit.

If Adam and Eve would have eaten the fruit of this tree, God would have given them His Holy Spirit and ultimately eternal life. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on the other hand, symbolized disobedience. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of this tree, their disobedience cut them off from their Creator and they embarked on a course of false education that produced sin and death. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit, "the eyes of them both were opened" and they became ashamed of their nakedness. But to assume sex was involved in the devil's tempting is to read something into Genesis 3:7 which simply is not there! They were ashamed mentally because they had disobeyed their loving Creator. They now felt vulnerable, ashamed and sinful. They wanted to run and hide from God who had made them and given them life (Gen. 3:7-11). They were also ashamed physically due to Satan's doctrine that sex is shameful. It was Satan who had given Eve the idea that there was something shameful about their nakedness! Notice God said, "who told thee that thou wast naked?..." (verse 11). The only other "who" around at that time was Satan the devil!

QUESTION: Why did not Adam and Eve die the day they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as God had said they would (Gen. 2:17)?

ANSWER: When God told Adam that he would die in the very day he ate of the forbidden fruit, He meant what He said. On that very day he was as good as dead because the penalty of death had fallen on him. The day Adam began on the path of sin, the way of death was introduced to the world and would claim every life that ever lived except for those who would repent and turn to God. Another way of looking at it is this: each day in God's 7000-year Plan is 1000 years. Adam lived 930 years. He died on that first 1000-year day in God's Plan of Salvation. All mankind from Adam was cut off from access to the Holy Spirit except for a few prophets, priests, kings and judges till Christ made the Spirit available to those whom God now calls (those who repent, forsake the way of sin, and seek the way of God). By His death, Christ paid the penalty for sin in our stead, making it possible for us to be reconciled to God.

QUESTION: Genesis 2:19 indicates that God created the beasts of the field after He created Adam. Doesn't this contradict the account given in Genesis 1?

ANSWER: There is no contradiction. Chapter 2 of Genesis does not give the time order of creation. The correct chronological order of creation is stated in chapter 1. It gives a day-by-day description of the first six days of creation week. Genesis 2, which is sometimes called the "second account of creation," is a reiteration-not in time order-of what God created. A close examination will show that there are frequent insets in the Bible, not only in this creation story, but in many other parts of the Bible, as well as in histories written by men. Chapter two emphasizes the reason and purpose behind the creation of man. It points out Adam's responsibility in caring for God's creation (Adam was to dress and keep the garden, verse 15), as well as his responsibility in naming each kind of animal. As an interesting sidelight, God used the naming of previously created animals as an opportunity to show Adam that he, unlike the animals, lacked a female counterpart. This is the reason verses 21 through 25 concern themselves with telling just why and how the woman was created. The animals were indeed created prior to man as stated in chapter 1. Chapter two is a reiteration of what God created, not in time order, and emphasizes Adam's responsibility in caring for his environment. When properly understood, the events described in Genesis 1 and 2 mutually amplify each other.

QUESTION: Please explain Genesis 3:16 about the promised seed.

ANSWER: This scripture is the first recorded prophecy in the Bible about the coming Messiah. It has a dual application. The first and primary meaning is that Christ, born of a woman, would nullify Satan's power over mankind. Satan (symbolized as the serpent) bruised Christ's heel (caused Him to be put to death to fulfill God's purpose). However, through the resurrection Christ conquered sin and death and rendered the devil's work of no effect (symbolized by bruising the serpent's head, its most vulnerable place).

Hebrews 2:14-15 rightly translated says: "Since then the little children are sharers in blood and flesh, Himself [Christ] also in like manner partook of the same; that through death He might bring to naught [or "bruise his head"] him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all those who from fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Genesis 3:15 also reveals the "woman" as the Church from whom Jesus Christ was born. A woman is symbolic of a Church (Eph. 5:31-32). Romans 16:20 tells us "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your [the Church's] feet shortly." Thus, the Church (the body of true believers), as well as Jesus Christ, has overcome Satan. Even so, there is enmity between Satan's seed (non-Christians) and true Christians-the seed of the woman-just as prophesied in Genesis 3:15.

QUESTION: What is meant In Genesis 3:16? Here God told Eve that "in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children."

ANSWER: When Adam and Eve sinned, they cut themselves off from God and brought the entire creation under a curse. That curse affected Eve as well as Adam. Eve's punishment may well have included a significant amount of birth pain during delivery. Nevertheless, the greater part of her sorrow was the realization that she and her offspring would be cut off from God and His blessings. Eve lived to see her children grow from bad to worse. Her first born son-Cain-killed his brother Abel. Violence and hatred became so rampant in the pre-flood world that God finally had to destroy all life, save Noah and his family.

Eve lived to see her children and their children's children living in a totally degenerate and unhappy state. The mistake she made when she listened to the devil and disobeyed God must have weighed heavily on her mind for as long as she lived. The curse of sin will be removed after Jesus Christ returns and establishes His kingdom on this earth.

QUESTION: I understand that you teach that the 10 commandments were in force from creation and that the sin of Adam and Eve involved breaking several of them. Can you tell me which commandments Adam and Eve transgressed?

ANSWER: The first commandment states "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). When Adam and Eve listened to the devil (the god of this world) and sinned, they did, in actual fact, have another god (Satan) before the true God. Adam was a son of God by creation. In that sense God was his father. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, they broke the fifth commandment by dishonoring their only parent God. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they took spiritual poison which resulted in their deaths. They committed spiritual suicide-breaking the sixth commandment which forbids killing oneself or murdering others.

Cain also murdered his brother Abel. His action also broke the sixth commandment. When Eve listened to Satan and saw that the forbidden tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, able to make one wise, she coveted what was not hers. When she took the fruit she stole what was not hers and broke both the eighth and tenth commandments. God's ten commandment law is a spiritual law and was in force from the very beginning. Our article entitled "Were The Ten Commandments In Force Before Moses?" proves beyond doubt that the ten commandments were in existence since Adam.

QUESTION: Can you tell me who or what the cherubim are as mentioned in Genesis 3:24?

ANSWER: Cherubim are angelic beings. The best description of them is found in the book of Ezekiel. They certainly don't look like babies with wings as the artists in the Middle Ages painted them. Instead, they appear as large, powerful, man-, lion-, eagle-, ox- and dragon- like creatures. The cherubim are associated with God's throne either transporting it about (II Sam. 22:11; Ps. 18:10; 80:1; Ezek. 1:5-25; 9:3; 10:4; 11:22), or carrying out important responsibilities, such as guarding the tree of life. The one whom we know as Lucifer, before his name was changed to Satan, was called "the anointed cherub that covereth" in Ezekiel 28:14. He was one of the two cherubs whose wings covered God's throne.

QUESTION: Why did God reject Cain's offering (Gen. 4:5)?

ANSWER: Cain's attitude and approach to life was not right with God. Verse 7 of Genesis 4 reads: "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. . ." Cain was living a sinful life and he knew it! Because Cain was in a rebellious state of mind, God would not have accepted his sacrifice even if he had offered an animal. Proverbs 15:8 states: "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the up-right is his delight." What was the difference between Cain and Abel? Abel was upright in heart. He was a man of faith (Heb. 11:4). Cain, on the other hand, rejected God and His instructions and led an evil life. Notice: "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous" (1 John 3:12). God admonished

Cain to overcome the sin which permeated his life (Gen. 4:7, last part). However, Cain did not heed this admonition and his way of life went from bad to worse. He ultimately murdered his brother, Abel, and founded a society which completely rejected God and his laws. Mankind, in general, has followed in Cain's footsteps ever since!

QUESTION: Can you tell me where Cain got his wife?

ANSWER: Yes, we can. Cain married one of his sisters. There simply wasn't any other female for him to marry. In Genesis 5:4-5 we read: "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."

Jewish tradition recorded by Josephus, says that Adam and Eve had 33 sons and 23 daughters. These brothers and sisters would have had to marry each other in order to obey God's command to propagate the human race (Gen. 1:28). Today, there are biblical laws which forbid marriage between those who are closely related. But, it was not wrong for brothers and sisters to marry at that early time in human history. However, in Abraham's day it was permissible to marry only one's half sister. Abram married his half-sister, Sarai (Gen. 20:12). Nahor married his brother Haran's daughter (Gen. 11:29). There was then no genetic harm to the children. When men and women over the centuries continued in sin, it became genetically harmful for close blood relatives to marry (see Leviticus 18), and for the sake of future generations it is forbidden.

QUESTION: What was the "mark" God put on Cain (Gen. 4:15)?

ANSWER: The Bible does not specifically say what this "mark" was. According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Hebrew word owth may be rendered "mark," or "signal, flag, monument, sign, or beacon." Young's Analytical Concordance renders this word "sign." The Critical and Experimental Commentary by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown shows that this word can be translated "sign," "token" or "pledge." The Hebrew word owth could also indicate a boundary marker that God set up to separate or segregate Cain and his descendants from the rest of mankind. Genesis 4:12, 16 shows that God banished Cain to the land of Nod-meaning land of "wandering"-east of Eden. The owth-mark or sign-that God made for Cain could also have been something to carry on his person, perhaps around his neck-from which the ancient and modern custom of wearing a charm or talisman-or cross -for protection may be derived. Some have thought that Cain's mark involved skin color. Cain's mark was not the changing of his skin from one color to another. Cain, in accordance with certain West African traditions, may well have been dark, but his sin was lack of character. Thus, his "mark" was either carried on his person, or a sign set up to segregate him from others-or both.

QUESTION: Where is the land of Nod mentioned in Genesis 4:16?

ANSWER: The only information the Bible gives concerning this land is that it was east of Eden (Gen. 4:16). The Hebrew word for "Nod" means "wandering." Cain's punishment for murdering his brother, Abel, was that of being a wanderer and vagabond in a land apart from his kinsman.

QUESTION: Can you tell me how the different races originated?

ANSWER: The Bible tells us that Eve was the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20). It also plainly teaches that God made of one blood all nations of man that dwell on the face of the earth (Acts 17:26). Therefore, it is evident that God created in the ovaries of Eve the capacity to produce children with different racial characteristics. There must have been great diversity in her offspring. Normally, individuals of similar characteristics are attracted to each other. Thus, children and grandchildren of Adam and Eve would be naturally separated into families of racially similar people, and as they continued to marry in their own groups, distinct racial traits would have been established. As migration took place, natural barriers such as mountain ranges and oceans would have also served to maintain the characteristics of the "different" racial families.

QUESTION: Why did God create different races?

ANSWER: God created different races for the same reason that He created different kinds of birds, animals, flowers, etc. God appreciates variety and each race has a special beauty, usefulness and contribution to make in the world. God created the various races, each having their special abilities, because He wanted variety (not only skin color but abilities, accomplishments, etc.) in the human family.

QUESTION: The first account of a polygamist marriage is in Genesis 4:19. Did God approve of men having more than one wife?

ANSWER: No, God never approved or sanctioned the practice of polygamy. He did permit it in the law of Moses-just as He allowed divorce because of the hardness of man's heart (Matt. 19:8). Nevertheless, according to the Bible, the ideal marital state is one husband and one wife who become one flesh in marriage for life. God gave Adam one wife (Gen. 2:24). Jesus also said that from the beginning it was God's will that a man leave his parents and cleave to his wife-not wives-and the two of them would become one flesh (Matt. 19:4-9). In the New Testament, a minister or a spiritual leader is to set the right example and have only one wife (I Tim. 3:2). In addition to the scriptural admonition, polygamy is against the laws of the United States and most other countries. Romans 13:1-7 states that Christians are to obey the laws of the land.

QUESTION: Genesis 6:4 seems to indicate that angels (sons of God) married women prior to Noah's flood. is this true?

ANSWER: Not true! The Bible reveals that angels are created spirits (Heb. 1:14). They are not mortal flesh like humans. As created spirits, angels do not reproduce sexually or by any other means. Jesus Christ said so. Notice Luke 20:34-36; Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25. Who then were these "sons of God"? They were male human beings. Adam was a son of God by creation (Luke 3:38). In like manner, all of Adam's male descendants are by God's act of creation physical sons of God. The context of Genesis, chapter 6 concerns physical human beings-not angels. Notice: "And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man ..." and "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth" (verses 3 and 7). It was sinful man that God had determined to destroy-not angels (their time of final judgement is yet to come). Angels are spirit and cannot be destroyed by water. With the out-pouring of the deluge "all flesh died... and every man..." (Gen. 7:21-23).

QUESTION: Can you tell me how the various races came through the flood since only Noah and his family were saved?

ANSWER: The Bible does not specifically say. However, since Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives were the only ones who survived, the obvious answer is that the racial strains were perpetuated through the wives of Noah's sons. Ham is the father of the black race because he married a black woman. Shem and his wife perpetuated the white race. Japheth, who married an oriental woman, perpetuated the yellow race. Thus, the three primary races were preserved through the flood in this manner. No distinct races have ever developed since then, only variations within these races. It should be noted that some of Ham's sons are brunet whites because the sons of Noah were white. Some sons of Japheth are white Eurasian types because Japheth, like Ham, was white. But, through later marriages with children of Ham some of the children of Shem are brown-skinned. An example is Ishmael (father of Arabs), whose father was Abram (son of Shem) and whose mother was Hagar (daughter of Mizraim, a son of Ham).

QUESTION: I read in Genesis 6:6 that God "repented." How can God repent? He has not sinned.

ANSWER: The Hebrew word translated "repent" in English is nacham. It has the connotation of "being made sorry" or "saddened." Genesis 6:6 could actually be translated "and the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart." Why was God expressing this kind of emotion? Because He saw the depth of evil into which man had degenerated (verse 5). God had not made a mistake in creating mankind. Instead, He was sorry and very grieved at the wretched state man had achieved by the time of Noah. Therefore, He decided to put mankind out of its misery and carry on the human family through Noah and his descendants.

QUESTION: Isn't it unrealistic and unscientific to believe that Noah could have saved all the animals in the ark?

ANSWER: Traditional images and popular literature picture the Ark as scarcely larger than an ordinary fishing smack. But the Bible paints a far different picture of the Ark than most realize. Genesis 6:15 gives the Ark's dimensions: "The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits (450 ft.-based on an 18- in. cubit, its commonly accepted length], the breadth of it fifty cu bits [75 ft.] and the height of it thirty cubits [45 ft.]" Based on the 18-in. cubit, the figures show that the box-shaped Ark ("ark" means "box" or "chest" in the Hebrew) was ocean-liner size in cubic capacity. It had a volume of about 1.5 million cubic feet, and virtually the entire capacity of the Ark could be used for storage. (It had no engine room or fuel tanks!)

The Ark had a capacity equal to more than 500 standard American railroad freight cars! Still, could Noah get all those animals into the Ark? First of all, God specifically instructed Noah to select one pair of every "kind" of unclean animal and seven pairs of every "kind" of clean animal. The Bible term "kind" refers generally to a group of creatures, all of which interbreed. The horse kind could be represented, therefore, by one pair of animals having the genetic potential to produce after the flood all varieties we have today. The same would be true also for dogs, cats, etc. Second, only air-breathing, terrestrial animals were included in the Ark. Genesis 7:22 states: "All in whose nostrils was the breath of life." This excludes all sea creatures and simple forms of life which could survive the deluge.

Now consider this. Only 40 percent of the animal kingdom lives on land, and 70 percent of all species of land animals are insects. The remaining 30 percent of the terrestrial animal kingdom are on a mean average the size of a rhesus monkey. Most animals can be maintained in small confinement for long periods and remain healthy. A rhesus monkey, for example, can be maintained in a cage about 2 ft., 6 in. cubed (15.6 Cu. ft.). Estimates of the number of land mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species on earth today total about 18,000.

Recognizing that only kinds, not species, were included, it would have been necessary to have far fewer than 18,000 animals on the Ark. Most animals are "unclean" (Lev. 11), 50 most animal kinds would have been represented by one pair. But let's be liberal and say 40,000 animals, whose average size is that of a rhesus monkey, were on the Ark. How much room in the Ark would be needed for all these animals? About 40 percent of the Ark's 1.5 million cubic feet would suffice! What about insects? Remember, the Ark had a storage capacity of 500 freight cars. Two hundred cars would be occupied by mammals, birds and reptiles. Giving every pair of known species of insects 16 cubic inches of space, another 21 such freight cars would be required.

(Counting Genesis kinds only, the required space would be far less.) And so, viewed from the perspective of simple arithmetic, only about half of the space on the three decks would have provided plenty of room to accommodate all those animals. That left the other half of the ship for food and supplies and for Noah and his family. So perhaps a better question would be: What did Noah ever do with all the extra space?

QUESTION: How did animals become distributed after the flood?

ANSWER: Each isolated land mass or continent has animals or birds not found elsewhere. Australia has its kangaroo, koala bear, duckbilled platypus and Tasmanian devil. North America boasts the beaver, rattlesnake, raccoon, turkey and opossum. South America offers the llama, capybara, and sloth. Asia has its peafowl and panda bear. Africa has the giraffe, hippopotamus and zebra. Certain island groups also have kinds of animals not found elsewhere. How did all these animals become segregated after leaving Noah's Ark? Consider that God-not Noah-brought the animals to the Ark (Gen. 6:20). It would not have been a difficult matter for Him to see to it that they also redistributed themselves after the flood. God is the Originator of animal migration. It was His will that the animals-as well as mankind-replenish and repopulate limited geographical areas after the flood (Gen. 9:1; 10:5; 11:8-9). It should be no surprise to see both men and animals even today basically segregated around the world. Forms of life exist in the specific land areas where they can best flourish.

The major land masses of the earth are not as isolated as one might suppose. Witness the existing land bridge between Asia and Africa-the Sinai Peninsula -and Central America between the North and South American continents.

As men travel and migrate, they traditionally take with them familiar plants and animals. Some go with them accidentally. Many animals have spread to new areas in this manner-the rabbit to Australia, the English sparrow and European corn borer to the Americas, etc. Did Noah also settle different creatures as he settled his children in different lands? It has also been demonstrated that animals have reached isolated islands on floating masses of vegetation or on storm and flood debris. This has been pointed out by such authors as Rachel Carson in her book The Sea Around Us. Never has an island emerged from the sea through volcanic activity but that it soon became the home of various sorts of animals and plants.

QUESTION: Have the remains of Noah's Ark been found?

ANSWER: There have been a number of individuals over the past one hundred years who have claimed to have found fragments of the Ark. Some have returned from Mount Ararat with photos of a "boat-shaped" object nestled in the craggy mountain side. Others lay claim to pieces of lumber supposedly taken from high up Mount Ararat. So called "eyewitness" accounts of seeing the Ark have been recorded. However, not enough factual evidence has yet come forth to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the present location of the Ark. Radiocarbon dates of wood from high up Mount Ararat are all more recent than the time of Noah. If any significant findings come about in the future, they will undoubtedly be presented in the news media as well as in the pages of The Plain Truth magazine.

QUESTION: Why was Canaan cursed for an act apparently committed by Ham (Genesis 9:24)?

ANSWER: The difficulty in understanding this account is purely grammatical. Notice a similar grammatical problem in Exodus 34:28. "And he [Moses] was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights: he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." It appears the "he wrote" could refer to Moses, but from Deuteronomy 10:4 it is absolutely proved that God wrote the Ten Commandments mentioned in Exodus 34:28. With this example in mind, the problem in Genesis 9 is easily solved. Beginning in verse 22: "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren ... And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his [Ham's] younger son [some Bible versions have "youngest son"] had done unto him [an illicit sexual act is indicated]. And he [Noah] said, Cursed be Canaan ... Notice how Canaan is mentioned twice in the account.

The pronoun "his" properly refers back to Ham, not Noah. Was Canaan really the "youngest son" of Ham? The answer is found in Genesis 10:6, "And the sons of Ham, Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan." Canaan is put last in time order of birth. That is, Canaan was the youngest son of Ham. Thus, Canaan was not punished for something Ham did. He was punished for his own sin!

QUESTION: The Bible gives very little information about Nimrod (Gen. 10:8-12). Could you recommend any books concerning his life and accomplishments in addition to the Genesis account?

ANSWER: The eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Encyclopedia Biblica, and most Bible dictionaries contain brief write-ups on him.

QUESTION: I understand you teach that God's promises to Abraham were two-fold-race and grace. Would you explain what these promises mean?

ANSWER: Many fail to comprehend the underlying dual nature of God's promise. Abraham and his seed were promised not only great material blessings, but ultimately salvation as well. Unfortunately, the latter promise-which is by far more important-is misunderstood by many. After Abraham proved that he would obey God unconditionally, even to the point of being Willing to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, God promised "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Gen. 22:17-18). The physical, material, national (RACE) blessings are included in what the Bible terms as "the birthright."

A "birthright" is something which is one's right by virtue of birth. The seed or the children of Abraham were guaranteed by God a multitudinous population, untold wealth and material resources, national greatness and world power. This "birthright" was passed on from Abraham to Isaac, to Jacob, and would have then gone to his firstborn son, Reuben. But Reuben fell prey to his human weakness as he "defiled his father's bed." Because of this sin "his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel..." (I Chron. 5:1). Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, became the rightful heirs of God's material, national blessings. Together they received the right of, and inherited, the name "Israel." They received the "birthright" and became "a nation and a company of nations" (Gen. 35:11). Read also Genesis 49:22-26 for a more detailed account of their national blessings. But what of the second half of the original promise to Abraham? The spiritual promise-the promise of the "One seed," the Messiah, and of the salvation through Him?

This the Bible calls the "Sceptre" promise-the promise of GRACE. The "Sceptre" promise of the kingly line culminating in Christ, and of grace through Him, was handed not to Joseph but to Judah, the son of Jacob and the father of the Jewish people. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [Christ] come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Gen. 49:10). Yes, as Jesus later said, "salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22).

The promise of salvation-of GRACE-was handed down through Judah but it comes, not as a birthright, but by GRACE. It is an unmerited gift, God's pardon of sins through Jesus Christ the Messiah, who was of the tribe of Judah. Though salvation cannot be earned, it is conditional. The condition being that we must repent, believe Jesus and His message, be baptized (immersed) and let God rule our lives. If, like Abraham, we will obey God, we too can become recipients of God's promises. The Word of God says that if we will submit to God and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour "then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29). The covenant made with Abraham has the dual promise, of RACE and GRACE. But no matter what our physical genealogy may be, we can become "Abraham's seed" and receive God's great blessings. For more information about God's covenant promises, request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy. It is a vital key to understanding the Bible and the wonderful plan of salvation.

QUESTION: Abraham is called the father of the faithful. Yet, the Scriptures record that he lied on at least two occasions (Gen. 12:18-20; 20:2). Doesn't this show a lack of faith on Abraham's part?

ANSWER: God called Abraham a "friend" (Isa. 41:8), yet Abraham was only human and on occasion, under duress, stumbled spiritually (I John 1:8). But throughout his long life while undergoing many severe tests, the one dominant characteristic that motivated Abraham was his absolute faith in God. Hebrews 11 is a perpetual testimony to his resounding faith. Yes, in faith Abraham "obeyed my [God's] voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Gen. 26:5). What a tremendous example! But there were times when Abraham was unduly influenced by circumstances, by foolish counsel of others, and by his own fear of man.

Under pressures of the moment, Abraham at times yielded to human reason-and sinned (Prov. 14:12). He was not always at his best spiritually. He, too, had his moments of weakness and lessons to learn. But, though Abraham was not exempt from human error, God forgave him and looked upon his life in its totality and judged him faithful and righteous-worthy of eternal life. "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God" (James 2:23). Unlike most people, when Abraham heard the voice of God, he listened and obeyed. He indeed is "the father of all them that believe" (Romans 4:11).

QUESTION: I was surprised to learn Abraham and Jacob paid tithes (Gen. 14:20; 28:22). I was always taught that tithing did not originate until Moses, and was part of the Mosaic law. How did Abraham and Jacob know about tithing?

ANSWER: Abraham knew the importance of tithing because God taught him His statutes and laws. Notice: "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Gen. 26:5). Abraham, in turn, instructed Isaac, who instructed his son, Jacob, concerning tithing (Gen. 18:19). The English word "tithe" simply means "tenth." Therefore, when Abraham and his descendants "tithed," they gave the tenth of their increase to God's representative at the time. This individual happened to be Melchizedek, who was the priest of the most high God (Gen. 14:18). After God delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, He chose the tribe of Levi and established the priesthood through them. The children of Israel continued to pay God's tithe, and God in turn directed the Levites, who functioned as God's representatives, to collect the tithe as their wages from God. With the coming of Christ and the establishment of the New Testament Church, God has ordained that His tithe be paid to His true ministers. It is used to finance God's Work today. Our booklet Ending Your Financial Worries explains God's tithing law.

QUESTION: Would you explain the 400 years mentioned in Genesis 15:13 and the 430 years given in Exodus 12:40? Why is there a thirty year difference between the two?

ANSWER: The 430 years mentioned in Exodus 12:40 began with the confirming of the covenant God made with Abram. Notice Genesis 17:1-10. "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.. .and Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations... and I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee..." Genesis, chapter 21, continues the story. Sarah finally became pregnant at the "set time" (verse 2). This physical evidence fully confirmed the covenant, and Isaac, the son of the promise, was born when Abraham was 100 (verse 5).

Since Galatians 3:17 states that the law was given 430 years after the covenant was made, it is evident that the 430 years began when Abraham was ninety-nine years old and ended the year of the exodus of his descendants out of Egypt and their appearance at Sinai. Concerning the 400-year period, Genesis 15:13 states that Abraham's seed-not Abraham-was to be a stranger in a land not theirs and to be afflicted for 400 years. This would be the length of time from the death of Abraham (76 years after the covenant was made compare Genesis 25:7 with 17:1) through the 40 years' wandering to the division of the land when the children of Israel received their inheritance under the direction of Joshua. This occurred six years after they entered the land of Canaan (see Num. 10:11; Joshua 14:7-10).

QUESTION: Genesis 17:10 commands circumcision as the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants. is the act of circumcision necessary today?

ANSWER: No, it is not necessary as a religious requirement for salvation. Under the new covenant, God is calling a spiritual nation composed of individuals converted and begotten by His Holy Spirit. True Christians are now all to be ''circumcised" spiritually Physical circumcision was only a forerunner or type of circumcision of the heart (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4). Notice also Romans 2:28-29: "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter . . Spiritual circumcision is a process of conversion. It is Jesus Christ who circumcises one's heart-spiritually. "And ye are complete in him [Christ] ... in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:10-11). This is why God inspired the apostles and elders of the New Testament church to decree that physical circumcision was no longer necessary for salvation (Acts 15:24, 28). Our booklet entitled "What Do You Mean-Conversion?" explains the process of conversion and living a Christian life.

QUESTION: I would like to know why God would "tempt" Abraham by ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Gen. 22), while James 1:13 says that God "cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." Please explain this apparent contradiction.

ANSWER: The word "tempt" in Genesis 22:1 is translated from the Hebrew word batham and means "to test, to try, to prove." The "tempting" of Abraham should better have been translated the "testing" of Abraham. Abraham proved his faithfulness by his willingness to obey God and sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Hebrews 11:17-19 states that Abraham believed God could raise up Isaac from the dead if need be, to fulfill his promises. It is because of this kind of faith that Abraham became known as "the father of the faithful." Abraham's willingness to offer up Isaac was a type, answering to God the Father, who willingly gave up His Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind (John 3:16). Isaac, too, was a type of Jesus Christ and willingly gave himself to be sacrificed just as Christ willingly gave Himself to do His Father's will so that He could become the propitiation and atonement for the sins of all mankind (I John 4:10; Gal. 1:3-4; Rom. 5:8).

God did not require Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Instead, God provided a ram which, by analogy, foreshadowed Jesus Christ-the lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29) by His death on the cross. James 1:13 does not in any way, detract from or contradict God's testing of Abraham. Rather, when we look carefully at verse 13 of James 1, we find that God never tempts men with sin. Satan the devil does tempt men with every kind of sin (I Thess. 3:5); but, God never does. God only tries and tests us to see if we will obey. If we put our trust in Him, He will never fail or forsake us (I Cor. 10:13; Rom. 8:28; Heb. 13:5-6).

QUESTION: Genesis 32:30 says that Jacob saw God face to face, yet I John 4:12 declares that no man has seen God at any time. I know the Bible does not contradict itself, but how can this be explained?

ANSWER: The context of I John 4 shows that John was speaking of the Father (notice verse 10). No man has seen the Father in person except Jesus. Therefore, when Jacob explained, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved," he could not have meant the Father. The One whom Jacob saw face to face-the One with whom he wrestled all night long-the One who blessed him and changed his name to "Israel" which means "preserver-or prevailer-with God" was that member of the God Kingdom who became Jesus Christ. It was He that was "in the beginning..." with God, and ..... was God." For a detailed explanation of who was the God of the Old Testament who appeared to the Prophets and to Moses and Jacob, write for the article entitled "Is Jesus God?"

QUESTION: Can you tell me which nations are identified as the tribes of Israel today? (Gen. 49.)

ANSWER: The tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim are identified in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Manasseh is the United States and Ephraim basically constitutes the English-speaking member countries of the British Commonwealth. The tribe of Judah (the Jews) is scattered among many nations with a large number living in the modern nation of Israel. Levi and Simeon were to be scattered among Israel; Reuben is France. Putting together the information available from Biblical history and prophecy, the other tribes may be located in Ireland, Norway and Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Holland (the Netherlands), Belgium and Luxembourg, and Switzerland. Some Gentiles live in these nations and certainly some Israelites, as well as Jews, live in several Gentile lands.

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