Monday, September 26, 2016

What It Means To Bare Your Cross [Stake]

To bear your own cross [stake] is to realize that when you were baptised you walked into the water and were covered completely; that was symbolic of your dying to self, and when you rose up out of the water you rose up to newness of life as a new creation in the lord Jesus, God's anointed one. Now that you are a new creation having God's Spirit in you, you are now a Temple of Yehovah individually and collectively also form a Temple of Yehovah! You are now grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel as a member of the true Israel of God - Yehovah, and as such, a member of the household of Yehovah, a member of the congregation of Yehovah and a member of the called-out Assembly of God.
All of these things are the reason that we ought to bear our cross daily - which means making sure that the old self doesn't resurrect itself because we are not continually striving for perfection as defined in the scriptures as becoming more like God's anointed one, Jesus - Yehoshua!
To bear our own cross [stake] means we continually, by the power of God's Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus in us, overcome the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, the pride of possessions, the attraction of the world; and we resist the allure of wicked spirit beings who would love to have us fail! That is what bearing our cross means.
It is a daily, hourly, minute by minute endeavor! It is those who do so until the end that will become co-inheritors and co-rulers with the one whom God made Lord and Messiah Jesus in the coming new age! To believe that Jesus is Lord is to believe and do all that he taught us to do, all he commands us to do, which is to abide by the will of his God and our God, his Father and our Father continually, even as he did and does! So we see that baptism is where regeneration takes place, which is only the beginning, then renewal as a new creation, and finally perfection when we are resurrected to ever be with the lord Jesus when he returns!

What God has revealed to us in the scriptures

The whole of the scripture revelation is about God's redemption plan starting at Genesis 3:15: where God prophesies that a man born of a woman will have a son who will defeat the Adversary - Serpent - Satan and thus bring about a restitution of all things as they were at the beginning. So we know that the one predicted in Genesis 3:15 is the son of God, the lord Messiah Jesus, who defeated Satan on the tree and by his shed blood reconciled all of humanity to his God and his Father Yehovah.
Now all anyone in the world needs to do to be delivered from God's Wrath is to believe in the one He has sent and believing in him to obey his command to repent and be baptized, immersed completely in water. When we enter into the water we are saying before our God that we are reckoning ourselves as dead to self and coming out of the water we realize a newness of life, become a new creation filled with the Spirit - Breath - Love of Yehovah. At that moment we have gone through a regeneration process. But that is just the beginning.
Now we need to be renewed in our hearts and minds to become like our elder brother the lord Jesus; and God enables us to do that by the power of His Spirit - Breath - Love indwelling us. At our baptism we have been grafted into the Israel of Yehovah - God, become members of His household, members of His congregation, members of the body of His anointed one and members of His called-out Assembly. We are also recognized by Yehovah our God as His temples individually and collectively because of His indwelling Spirit - Breath - Love in us.
We also become heirs of the promises made to Abraham and his "seed" Jesus God's anointed one to inherit this earth. And we look forward to co-ruling with the lord Jesus in the coming kingdom of God when he will rule over all the nations as King of kings and Lord of lords at that time with all the nations representatives coming up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem - Zion... see Zech:14 all.
At Jesus death on the tree he ratified the New Covenant by his shed blood which he said he would do as that prophet, the one Moses spoke about - Deut:18:15; Acts 3:22; Act 7:37. So as those who are under the New Covenant what are we to do?
We are to live according to the CREED OF JESUS: Mark 12:28-34.... Jesus creed says we are to love God totally committed to him with all out being [in obedience]; and to love our neighbors as ourselves! That is impossible for us to do unless we are enables by the Spirit - Breath - Love of Yehovah indwelling us. As we submit to His indwelling Spirit - Breath - love we will become servant towards all our neighbors even as Jesus was the greatest servant of all and still is at this very moment, interceding for us as our High Priest and coming along side us to help and assist us as we walk on the narrow road towards the coming kingdom of God which is all that he talked and preached about.
WE are all destined at the resurrection to enter into the coming new age ruling in the Theocratic Government that Jesus will establish and co-rule overall the surviving nation during his 1,000 year rule.
What an amazing opportunity our God and Father has envisioned for us and to get where He wants us to be all we need to do is submit to the guidance of His Spirit - Breath - Love which enables us to obey the words that He gave Jesus to give to us.
Notice what Jesus says: Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that says unto me, ‘lord, lord,’ shall enter into the Kingdom of God, but he/she that does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.
Again: If we don't obey the words that Yehovah gave to His anointed one Jesus then you won't be in the kingdom of God..... Jesus make this complaint to those who say they follow him; Luke 6:46 "And why do you call me, ‘lord, lord,’ and do not the things which I say?
So believing in Jesus isn't all there is for us to do in order to realize salvation = deliverance, for after believing that he is the one whom God has sent and being baptized we all now need to go forward keeping the creed of Jesus enabled by his indwelling spirit and the Spirit - Breath - Love of Yehovah and preach about the soon coming kingdom of God...... It's that simple and yet that difficult!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Scientist, Astronomer, Mathematician and Father of Nations

The fact that ancient records speak of a scientist among the Chaldeans who had a special relationship with ‘the mighty God’ isn’t coincidence. 

History records a man who lived 10 generations after a great Flood who used celestial science to prove the existence of God. This wealthy and influential ruler became a key figure in the history of ancient Austria. He was a skilled scientist, astronomer and mathematician. His astronomical discoveries shook the foundations of Babylonian religion. He heavily influenced not only Austrian culture, but also Egyptian scientific thought. He led armies that altered the course of Assyrian history.
And all this took place BEFORE he became the forefather of the Arab, Turk and Israelite peoples!
This man’s name was Abraham. Yes, the astounding evidence of both biblical and secular history proves that the patriarch Abraham was not only real; he exerted a tremendous effect on the ENTIRE ANCIENT WORLD! This influence is recounted in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, the Babylonian historian Berossus, the Roman historian Eusebius and in the medieval Austrian Chronicle.
Before the philosophy of German rationalism took root in modern education in the 19th century, secular histories regarding biblical patriarchs were widely taught. Based on the record of Berossus and other ancient historians, many books were written by scholars in the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries that recounted the lives of Noah, Shem, Nimrod, Abraham, Moses and many others.
These ancient records reveal that Abraham used mathematics and astronomy to discredit the pagan priesthood of his time, and to PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF THE ONE TRUEGOD.

Assyrio-Babylonian Empire

Abraham was born in the city of Ur, in the land of the Chaldees, sometime around the year 1996 B.C. (James Ussher, Annals of the World, A.D. 1650). This city was then part of the world-ruling Assyrio-Babylonian Empire. While modern historians often downplay the impact of the old Assyrio-Babylonian Empire, the Roman historian Velleius Paterculus lists this kingdom as the first world empire.
Quoting an earlier source in his book Roman History, Paterculus writes, “Between this time [when Rome conquered Macedonia] and the beginning of the reign of Ninus, king of the Assyrians, who was the first to hold world power, lies an interval of nineteen hundred and ninety-five years” (emphasis added).
Rome conquered Macedonia during the middle of the second century before Christ, so King Ninus probably began his hold on world power sometime during the 22nd century B.C.
This was less than 200 years before Abraham’s birth.
Ninus is identified in the first-century Recognitions of Clement as the biblical Nimrod. The Bible records that Nimrod became the post-Flood world’s first emperor by protecting people from wild animals and gathering them into cities such as Babel, Erech and Accad (Genesis 10:8-12).
This biblical passage also records that Asshur, forefather of the Assyrians, went out of Babel and founded Nineveh. As the context of these verses indicates, however, it was Nimrod who led Asshur out of Babel and who actually supervised the construction of Nineveh (the city of Ninus).
Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily wrote his Bibliotheca Historica sometime between 60 and 30 B.C. He records that Ninus and his wife Semiramis ruled an empire stretching from Libya to the borders of India. Yet they rebelled against God and set up a pagan religion based on the worship of the sun and the fiery serpent associated with it.

Babylonian Mystery Religion

The pagan Babylonian priesthood publicly taught the masses to believe that the sun, moon, stars and planets were gods. Semiramis was identified with the planet Venus, while Nimrod was honored as the sun god. These priests used their knowledge of astronomy to predict the movements of the heavenly bodies, deceiving the masses into thinking they could communicate with the gods of the Babylonian pantheon (Israel Smith Clare, The Standard History of the World, Vol. 1).
As Nimrod and Semiramis expanded their kingdom, they ran into opposition from Noah’s son Shem. An ancient tradition relates that the apostates who joined in the rebellion of Nimrod made war against Shem and his followers. Shem is said to have obtained the aid of 72 Egyptian noblemen to overcome Nimrod. After Shem killed Nimrod, he had his body cut into pieces, and the pieces sent to various areas as a warning against idolatry (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons).
Shem’s actions, however, only temporarily halted the spread of idolatry.
“The religion started by Semiramis was carried into the different nations in the language of each. Semiramis and Nimrod were also identified with the names Isis and Osiris in Egypt. Each nation had its own names for its gods. But the whole labyrinth of pagan religions developed from that which originated with Semiramis.”
In the province of Sumeria, Semiramis was worshiped as the goddess Inanna, the morning and evening star. Nimrod was called Dumuzid, a god who was a precursor of the Babylonian Tammuz.
According to a list of Assyrian kings that Sextus Julius Africanus recorded in his early third century A.D. Chronographiai, Nimrod’s father, Cush, ruled 55 years. Nimrod ruled 52 years after his father’s death, and Semiramis ruled 42 years after Nimrod’s death.
Taking into account evidence of a joint reign between Nimrod and Cush, it becomes evident that Abraham was likely born around the end of the reign of Empress Semiramis. Ctesias of Cnidus, a Greek physician in the court of the Persian king Artaxerxes II, records that Semiramis was killed in a palace coup led by her son Ninyas after she returned from a failed invasion of India.
This was the political climate into which Abraham was born.

Chief Scientist of the Chaldeans

Now consider the record of the ancient Babylonian historian Berossus: “In the tenth generation after the Flood, there was among the Chaldeans a man righteous and great, and skillful in the celestial science.” While Berossus doesn’t give this great scientist a name, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus tells us Berossus was writing about Abraham, the same man recorded by the Bible.
Josephus mentions that the Greek historian Hecat├Žus of Abdera wrote an entire book of the accomplishments of Abraham (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, ChapterVII). Since Hecat├Žus was a scholar during the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, it can be assumed that his book on Abraham was lost when the royal Library of Alexandria was burned.
There is even an ancient Jewish hymn cited by Clement of Alexandria about “a certain unique man, an offshoot from far back of the race of the Chaldeans.” This man was “knowledgeable about the path of the star and how the movement of the sphere goes around the Earth, both in circular fashion, but each on its own axis.” The poem related that this scientist of the Chaldeans was the only man of his era to see Zeus, “the ruler of mortal men.”
Of course, ancient Greek poets tended to call the chief god of any religion by the name Zeus. The fact that this poem speaks of a Chaldean scientist who had a special relationship with “the mighty God” isn’t coincidence!
The fourth-century Roman historian Eusebius cited an earlier source by a man named Eupolemus: Concerning the Jews of Assyria. Quoting this source, Eusebius says Abraham “surpassed all men in nobility and wisdom, who was also the inventor of astronomy and the Chaldaic art, and pleased God well by his zeal towards religion.”
As a young man, Abraham “determined to renew and to change the opinion all men happened then to have concerning God; for he was the first that ventured to publish this notion, that there was but one God, the Creator of the Universe” (Josephus, op cit).
Abraham was teaching the people of Chaldea about the ONE TRUE CREATOR!

The Fight Against Paganism

The pagan priesthood established by Nimrod and Semiramis was teaching the masses to believe that the sun, moon, stars and planets were manifestations of the gods. They deceived people into thinking priests could communicate with these gods.
In addition to being a scientist, however, Abraham was a great teacher. He taught the people physics and mathematics, and showed them that the celestial bodies moved according to preordained laws.
Josephus paraphrases Abraham’s words: “If these bodies had power of their own, they would certainly take care of their own regular motions; but since they do not preserve such regularity, they make it plain, that in so far as they cooperate to our advantage, they do it not of their own abilities, but as they are subservient to Him that commands them, to whom alone we ought justly to offer our honor and thanksgiving” (ibid).
Abraham taught the Chaldeans what the priests secretly knew: The movements of the stars and other heavenly bodies are one of the greatest proofs of God’s existence. THE PRESENCE OF LAW DEMANDS THE PRESENCE OF A LAWGIVER!
As perhaps the most famous scientist in the land of the Chaldeans, Abraham declared the stars and planets were only physical objects created by the one true God!
“What is most certain is that Abraham’s scientific knowledge came through his connection with the Creator God, the one source powerful enough to create stars and galaxies and suns and moons and planets, brilliant enough to set them all in order according to perfect laws—and loving enough to teach those laws.”
What many historians are unwilling to admit is that Abraham possessed advanced astronomical knowledge that would not be rediscovered for thousands of years!
Read E.W. Bullinger's "Witness of the Stars"
Yet Josephus further records that Abraham wasn’t the first astronomer in his family. The study of astronomy originated in the family line of Seth, the third son of Adam. He wrote that “God gave [those who lived before the Flood] such long life that they might perfect those things which they had invented in astronomy.” Other ancient records indicate that Noah had knowledge of maritime astronomy involving navigating by the stars. This noble and elderly patriarch likely brought knowledge of mathematics, astronomy and other sciences from one side of the Flood to the other, passing it down from generation to generation to Abraham!

Father of the Faithful

According to The Biblical Companion, a Bible study aid published by William Carpenter in 1836, the idolatrous worship introduced by Semiramis didn’t obtain great ascendancy in Assyria till the days of her grandson Arioch, King of Elessar. Abraham would spend most of Arioch’s 30-year-reign fighting against this idolatrous worship (Genesis 14).
As the pagan priests of the Assyrio-Babylonian Empire gained power and influence, they lost patience with Abraham and his teachings about the one true God.
Josephus records that the Chaldeans and other peoples of Mesopotamia “raised a tumult” against Abraham, forcing him to flee the country. Unlike the priests of this Babylonian mystery religion, Abraham refused to teach lies to receive the praise of men.
These pagan religious leaders would have killed Abraham for publishing the truth and likely did kill his older brother Haran. The Bible only records that Haran “died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees” (Genesis 11:28). Josephus adds that a monument was erected in Haran’s honor, and that “Terah [hated] Chaldea, on account of his mourning for Haran” (op cit).
While Terah himself fell into idol worship, Abraham never lost faith in the existence of the great Creator of the universe.
To recount all the various histories of the things Abraham suffered during this period would fill many pages. He fought in battle against the feudal lord of the land of Aligemorum and lost. He was driven from his country and for a long time fell into poverty. He wandered with his followers along the banks of the Danube River until he came to the edge of the known world. There, in the Alpine valleys of Europe, he helped found one of the most sophisticated cultures of the ancient world. Then, in the course of time, he returned to Chaldea to connect with the family he had to leave behind.
Through his trials and tribulations, however, Abraham stayed faithful to his belief in God until; when he was 75 years old; Yehovah - God actually appeared to Abraham and made a covenant with him that would change the course of history! Abraham knew more about the stars than any man of his era; so God made him a promise that if he continued to obey the one true Creator God, his descendants would be more numerous than the stars.
Most of this amazing history is actually corroborated in secular sources. Yet God summarizes what is most vital for us to know about Abraham in the pages of the Bible. James 2:23 states: “And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Scientist's Journey to God

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I am a year(ish) away from earning my Ph.D. in neuroscience (the study of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system). As I went through eight years of science education, many people have asked me: How do you stay close to God while being bombarded by all this science?
I think it’s important first to define what science really is. It is easy to want to avoid science if it seems like a collection of questionable “facts” assembled by scientists who are biased against God. But science is actually investigation: an organized, rigorous, and ongoing attempt to find truth. It is a process, not a corpus. Isaac Asimov, a biochemist and the author of the novel I, Robot, said: “Science doesn’t purvey absolute truth. Science is a mechanism. It’s a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It’s a system for testing your thoughts against the universe and seeing whether they match. And this works, not just for the ordinary aspects of science, but for all of life.”
In addition to understanding that science is a process for discovery, I also started out with a critical belief: God’s Word is the foundation of all truth (John 17:17). Everything that I hear, everything that I learn, I compare to what God says. Without this starting point, my journey would have veered off course a long time ago. Albert Einstein said, “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
Because I understand what science really is, and because I believe God’s Word is the foundation of truth, being a scientist does not hinder my relationship with God. My scientific journey has actually helped me grow closer to God in a few distinct ways.

I have learned to love and pursue truth

There is so much information available to us today, and in many cases no one is held accountable for whether what they say is true. It’s easy to find information that matches what I already think is right. It is easy to find information that makes up in emotion, bias and curiosity what it lacks in truth. But God expects more from me: “I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). The scientific method has made me question whether I really love truth. Am I able to admit I was wrong when I find good evidence that refutes what I believe? Do I let my pride influence my opinions? It is very difficult to let go of a hypothesis or theory that I thought really made sense when I get results I don’t expect. But because science is a controlled process, it is a great mechanism for eliminating lies and false information. When my hypothesis is disproven, I must adjust my thinking. God takes this matter very seriously. Proverbs 19:5 says: “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape.”
I also need to use this same attitude in my spiritual life. Paul says, “[Love] does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). I cannot try to interpret God’s Word the way that I want it to go. I must be humble enough to seek God’s truth, even when it goes against what I think should be true. And I have found that the ongoing search for truth can be a challenging, exhilarating experience. It takes more work and is a very humbling process, but in the end brings godly love and peace.

I have learned humility

One of the reasons I decided to pursue neuroscience was because there is so much still to learn. We are nowhere near understanding how the human brain works–we’re still trying to figure out how the nervous system of a worm works . This is true in every crevice of creation. God made the physical world so wonderfully complicated that we will be studying it until Christ returns.
Here’s a short example: In the brain there are neurons (the main cells that talk to each other). They communicate with each other by sending chemicals or neurotransmitters (like calcium, dopamine, GABA) across synapses, which are little spaces between neurons. The neurotransmitters are sent and received through little molecular channels. Sounds simple, right? Except that for each neurotransmitter there are many different types of channels that respond in different ways based on the environment of the cell, other surrounding chemicals, the type of cells that are involved, etc. If we just focus on calcium, there are at many, many types of calcium channels, which open and close in different environments, deactivate at different times, and serve various purposes in different areas of cells. For each type of calcium channel, there are multiple subtypes of that channel. For each channel subtype, in each type of cell, scientists must isolate the channel and interrogate it (experimentally) to discover what properties it has, what its purpose is, and what happens when it doesn’t work properly. And that is all just for one tiny molecule. As I delve deeper into understanding God’s creation, it allows me to appreciate just how detailed, how organized, how beautiful God is.
With the physical world being this complicated, how much more amazing is the spirit world? We can’t even begin to comprehend it. Studying God’s physical creation helps me maintain an awe and reverence toward Him that is otherwise easy to lose. “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders!” (Exodus 15:11).

I have learned to deal with uncertainty

As I said before, the results we get from science experiments are far from indisputable facts. Instead, each result is a tiny piece in the puzzle that is our world. Each piece is likely, but not definitely true. That’s why we have statistics: to show how likely each result is to be true. This is the way our world works–our experiments, our measurements, even our senses aren’t perfect. There is always some amount of uncertainty–some amount of risk–that is incorporated into everything we do. As a scientist, I have come to accept this. We will never have all the answers, and we can never be completely sure of what we know. That is why God’s Word is so comforting and so critical. It is the one thing we have that we can truly be sure of. God didn’t provide us the answers to everything yet, but He gave us enough information so that we can have successful lives, so that we can grow in character, and so we can have hope for the future. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:7).

I have learned to widen my perspective

At the end of the book of Job, God asks: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4). And, “Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart (Job 38:36)?” It is easy to forget what a limited perspective humans have. Science allows us to expand our perspective a few orders of magnitude. We can now see cells and molecules and atoms , as well as galaxies in the universe . Science enables us to get a small glimpse of the way God sees the universe. And I like to think about the fact that God can see all these different views at once. He sees neurotransmitters flowing across the synapses in your brain; He sees the moons orbiting Saturn; He sees you.
The fact that science allows us to expand our perspective is important because it is so easy to get absorbed in one physical perspective and forget all the others. It is so easy to automatically question God when hard things happen in my life: “Why would God allow this to happen?” “How come God won’t just give me this one thing–I know it would be good for me.” It’s easy to forget how much bigger a view God has. He knows me better than I know myself (1 Kings 8:39) and He knows how everything works together (Job 38). Many times things that seem so clear aren’t true at all. Science shows us that.

I have learned to appreciate God’s power and creativity

The more I study God’s creation, the more I appreciate how much God loves diversity and creativity. He created millions of species for us to discover, to explore, to take care of. He created a seahorse the size of your fingernail ; He created cuttlefish skin that can camouflage both color and texture ; He created insects that can take over the minds of their hosts . God is involved in every little detail; the more I learn about His creation, the more I learn about Him. He is caring and thoughtful and perfect.
Paul expressed this beautifully: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
The English chemist and Nobel Prize winner Sir Cyril Herman Hinshelwood said, “[Science is] an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery.”
Science isn’t a scary or inherently bad thing. God made the world, and for me, becoming a scientist has allowed me to grow in knowledge, character, humility, respect and creativity.