Working With Your Own Hands — Post by Michael J. Findley

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The Law and the teachings of Jesus allowed for 3 classes: business owner (such as shepherds), hireling, and slave. In reality, there were other classes such as politicians, professional soldiers, and destitute poor people who were not slaves. Though not an exhaustive list, the Law, Proverbs, the apostles, and Jesus recognized that financial freedom offered greater opportunity for righteousness. Certainly we cannot serve God and mammon, and the love money is root of all sorts of evil. But as Solomon said, “Keep well informed of the condition of your flocks and pay attention to your herds, because riches don’t endure forever, and crowns don’t last from one generation to the next.” Proverbs 27:23,24 ISV.

An owner of a small business is glorifying God, if he is obedient to God’s Word. This blog is more of a reminder of principles most believers already know. These points are along the line of water is wet and the sun is shining. But we tend to forget.

First, God is more important than our businesses. This is more important than just reserving time to worship. It means spending time alone with Him, studying His Word, and sharing the Gospel. It also means a proper attitude in whatever we are doing. Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ISV It matters to God how we spend our time, how we respond to people, and how we think.

The expression “time is money” is not found in the Word of God because God values our time more than our money. So wasting money is wasting time, which is more valuable in the sight of God. Do not spend more money on equipment than is necessary. At the same time, do not waste money on poor quality equipment.

People are more important than things. Numerous businessmen say that you do not have a real business until you have at least one employee, someone you are responsible for.

Your family is more important than your business, so as quickly as possible, move your business away from your home. It might be just around the corner. But when you are home you are not working.

Do these goals seem like a faraway dream? If they truly glorify God, then they are goals we can pray to meet some day.

Image Credit: Tom Roberts Shearing the Rams wikidata:Q7492201 Photographer lQEDjT-_MXaMJQ at Google Cultural Institute Wikimedia Commons

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How God Preserved His Word History 1

Christ_and_His_Mother_Studying_the_Scriptures_by_Henry_Ossawa_Tanner

A dozen times the New Testament refers to the Old Testament as the Law and the Prophets. In Luke 24:44 Jesus said “the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms.” Yet most of the Hebrew Old Testament, Joshua through Esther in the English arrangement, are primarily historical. They are quoted in the New Testament as Scripture. For example Paul in Romans 11:4 quotes 1 Kings 19:18.

It is easier for us to think of Judges through Esther as history. There is some poetry, a few prophecies, a few proverbs and a few random commandments. But over 90% is narrative prose, written as history. It even includes genealogical records which are pure history.

Ezra is credited by tradition with preserving the entire Old Testament. He collected, arranged, and wrote it in the form we have it today. But there were many authors, from the time of Joshua around 1450 BC to Ezra around 400 BC. Some of the known authors of this history are Joshua, or people writing for Joshua, Samuel, the sons of the prophets, set up by Samuel, royal scribes, paid for by the northern kings as well as the southern kings, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Baruch, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. It is not possible to know how much any of these men contributed, though Baruch under Jeremiah might have gathered together all of the Scriptures available at that time.

It is also known that under King Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, every known copy of the Scriptures was destroyed and a single copy was preserved in the temple. So all existing copies from that point come from the single text found in the temple by Hilkiah the priest around 735 BC, 2 Kings 23:24.

Image Credit: Henry Ossawa Tanner Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures circa 1909 Dallas Museum of Art Wikimedia Commons

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Actual Dates and 14C Dates — Michael J. Findley

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Please forgive the oversimplification. But radiocarbon dating, like all radiometric dating, begins with assumptions (beliefs, paradigm) and uses those beliefs as proofs of dates. Science is the accurate examination of the evidence. The evidence of radiocarbon in the remains of organism which were once alive does not produce a date. It produces a 14C:12C ratio. Then assumptions (beliefs, a paradigm) are applied to that ratio. The result is a date. But the science is only the ratio.

Regular 14N in the upper atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic rays and produces 14C, which is unstable and breaks down over time. All living organisms absorb 14C throughout their lifetime through eating and breathing. At death, the organism no longer absorbs 14C. Since 14C is unstable, it begins to break down at a steady rate. This allows us to measure the 14C:12C ratio. By applying assumptions, the end result is a date.

The group of assumptions used by Secular Humanism have a paradigm that assumes the present to be the key to the past. It assumes that formation of 14C:12C was roughly the same as 14C:12C today. Allowing for anomalies, it assumes a constant rate for 60,000 BP (Before Present) years, the maximum accurate date for 14C dating.
The flood model assumptions have a paradigm where the past is vastly different from the present. The flood changed the paradigm dramatically.

Since there are no samples to test before the flood, it is a waste of time to discuss the antediluvian condition. But we accept the standard geologic position that earlier time periods, such as what they called the Cambrian through the Jurassic, had much higher carbon levels than we have today. All of these strata were formed during the flood and represent antediluvian carbon levels.

With higher levels of 12C and 14C formed at a constant rate, the 14C:12C therefor had highly diluted levels of 14C. Therefore, any sample from this time would cause a 14C date to be much older than its actual date because of the increase in 12C, not a reduction in 14C formation.

The flood altered the 14C:12C ratio by saturating the atmosphere with volcanic aerosols laden with vast quantities of 12C. At the same time, the sluice-gates of heaven were opened. 40 days of worldwide torrential rains flushed the atmosphere of any element besides water. This included 14C. Finally, all air-breathing organisms died. The last stage of the carbon cycle, converting 14C back to 14N, did not exist.

It is important to understand that the flood paradigm assumes, just like Secular Humanism does, that 14C formation from 14N was constant throughout earth’s history. What changed, and changed greatly, was the addition of many times the regular 12C in the atmosphere compared to what we measure today. That changed the 14C:12C ratio. As the chart says, the 14C was diluted by many times the amount of 12C we measure today.
So immediately after the flood, 14C was so diluted that a sample from that time measured today would, without correcting for the additional 12C, would date to be 40,000 BP or older.

Following the blue line on the chart, the amount of 12C in the atmosphere decreased to the amount we have measured for centuries since around 600 BC.
Assuming the eruption of Thera coincided with the Exodus, then we can use it to correct 14C dates. Ussher dates the Exodus 1491 BC. 14C dates the eruption of Thera to be 1640 BC for an error of 150 years.

So 14C dates for Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian empire are approximately the same as Ussher’s dates. 14C dates for the Exodus, 1491 BC, are approximately 150 too old. And 14C dates for the flood are tens of thousands of years older than actual dates.

Image Credit included at the bottom of the chart

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How God Preserved His Word For Us: Torah — post by Michael J. Findley

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The Torah for modern readers is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Some arrangements in the past have included Joshua, but that has not been the case for centuries for English readers.

We believe that the Law itself was given by the LORD God on Sinai. God could have added to and edited information Moses already had. Moses was trained in all the learning of the Egyptians and he left Egypt with records of creation, the flood, and the tower of Babel. He also had the records of his own people. He kept records of their wilderness wanderings. And after his death, Joshua added several verses to include his death.

It is possible that Joshua and his assistants made extensive changes to the book of Deuteronomy. It is also possible that the sons of the prophets, the school for formal education in the Law during the monarchy period, edited the Torah. The final edit for the entire Old Testament was made by Ezra after returning from the exile, though these were likely only minor changes.

Reading of the Torah, Aish Synagogue, Tel Aviv, Israel. Photographer Roy Lindman Wikimedia Commons

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How God Preserved His Word For Us: Job — post by Michael J. Findley

william blake job
Some very godly men might disagree in a few points of this traditional view. Martin Luther certainly did on the book of James. But if someone has more than a few disagreements and they might not be firmly grounded in the faith. Perhaps they might not be believers at all.
As a complete book, Job is the oldest written book in the Bible. It could be the oldest book in the world. It was written around the time of the Patriarchs, Abraham to Joseph. That makes it an Ice Age book. The speeches were likely written before they were delivered. Then these speeches were compiled into a book later. Perhaps others wrote the speeches down as they spoke, but cuneiform writing using wedges into clay tablets would require several people transcribing at the same time. However it was done, someone recorded their speeches and the speeches of God. God also directly revealed the scenes in heaven.
While it certainly is possible that the events in the book of Job took place before the flood, and the book was preserved by Noah and his family, there is no evidence to support this theory. Almost no Jewish sources support this. Job had 7 sons and 3 daughters before the events recorded began. He had 7 more sons and 3 more daughters and lived another 140 years after the events recorded in the book of Job. It is reasonable, based on how long he lived, to believe that Job was older than Abraham.
The book includes hundreds of descriptions of everyday life, and the details could fit with any preindustrial society anywhere on earth. Civilization has not developed or progressed the way Secular Humanists teach. The major technological changes in the past 200 years have not improved the quality of family life. The creatures God describes to Job, generally translated as leviathan and behemoth, fit what we know about dinosaurs. Dinosaurs could be what we know as dragons.
How did the Jews include Job in their sacred writings? The book of Job was written before the Jews were a nation. None of possible answers can be verified. But everyone agrees that Moses had the book of Job and included it with the writings he left the Children of Israel.

Image Credit: Behemoth and Leviathan by William Blake

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Discernment — Post by Michael J. Findley

 

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Why do good people make bad decisions? Dear friends, stop believing every spirit. Instead, test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are savage wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Grapes aren’t gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire. So by their fruit you will know them.
Matthew 7:15-20

Based on a friend’s recommendation, I attempted to watch a trailer of the movie The Shack. Do evangelical/fundamental Christians not understand that portraying God as a woman is sin? God does not appear to us any way we choose to imagine. That is not the God of the Bible. That is a god of our own imagination.

Then God spoke all these words:
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt—from the house of slavery. You are to have no other gods as a substitute for me. You are not to craft for yourselves an idol or anything resembling what is in the skies above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water sources under the earth. You are not to bow down to them in worship of serve them, because I, the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the guilt of parents on children, to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing gracious love to the thousands of love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:1-6

This is what you are to do to them: tear down their altars, break their pillars, cut down their ritual pillars, and burn their cared idols in fire, because you are a holy people to the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 7:5-6

Understand that God is limited by His Word, His promises. God cannot lie. God cannot sin. God does not appear to us any way we want Him to. A god who does is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In The Shack a letter is found in the mailbox after snowing with no tracks to the mailbox. The letter tells a character in the story to go to a shack.

While some people believe that God revealed Himself to His prophets in the Old Testament like this, they are mistaken. This is the method the demon chose to reveal himself to Harry Potter. It is a common method of communicating with unclean spirits.

A prophet or a diviner of dreams may arise among you, give you an omen or a miracle that takes place, and then he may tell, you, ‘Let’s follow other gods (whom you have not known) and let’s serve them.’ Even though the sign or portent comes to pass, you must not listen to the words of that prophet or that diviner of dreams. Deuteronomy 13:1-3

My people are destroyed because the lack knowledge of me. Because you rejected that knowledge, I will reject you as a priest for me. Since you forget the Law of your God, I will also forget your children. Hosea 4:6

All Scripture from the International Standard Version

Image Credit: www.theshack.movie

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Repent For the Kingdom of Heaven Is At Hand: The Message of John the Baptist –Post by Michael J. Findley

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When confronted about his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah, did David say this to Nathan the prophet? “I apologize to … for how distracting and divisive this has been.” Are these the words of Paul to Jesus on the road to Damascus? Yet this insult has been used in place of repentance several times recently.

First, true repentance requires understanding God’s holiness. There are books, even sets of books on the subject. It is the emphasis of the Law God gave to Israel on Sinai.

Leviticus 11:45 You are to be holy, because I am holy, is one of the most repeated phrases in the entire Bible.

Because we are sinners, our sin needs to be atoned for. That sin is the reason for the entire sacrificial system; the tabernacle, the temple, and the death of Christ on the cross.

Second, true repentance requires understanding what sin is. Sin separates us from God. Sin is far more than a “distraction,” or “divisive.” For the wages of sin is death.

It is usually easy to see what we might think is sin in someone else. But true repentance is not repenting of someone else’s sin. It is confessing our own sin. True repentance understands sin, confesses that sin, and forsakes that sin.

1 John 1:9
If we make it our habit to confess our sins, in his faithful righteousness he forgives us for those sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

Confess means to say the same thing about our sin that God says about our sin. It is neither just listing the sin, nor is it just doing penance. It means making the sin right. If something was stolen, then it must be returned. If you committed murder, then you must face the punishment for murder, up to and including your own death, if that is necessary to atone for that sin.

Whatever sin we committed, we must atone for that sin. Apologies which do not even acknowledge a sin put us in the same position as David when he attempted to cover up his sin. 2 Samuel 11:27 says, Meanwhile, what David had done grieved the Lord. God sent Nathan the prophet. The judgment for David’s sin was the death of the child. Later, when David sinned in numbering the people, 70,000 men died.

It is sad the others suffer the consequences of our unrepentant sin.

Hebrew 3:12-15
See to it, my brothers, that no evil, unbelieving heart is found in any of you, as shown by your turning away from the living God. Instead, continue to encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, because we are the Messiah’s partners only if we hold on to our original confidence to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as they did when they provoked me.”

All Scripture quotes are from the ISV

Image Credit: Thou Art the Man. Artist: Peter Frederick Rothermel (1817-1895) Public Domain

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