“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;”
Its long, slender, scale-covered body glides along the ground on four short legs, each of which has sharp claws. Its slender head has no teeth. It will not seek to hurt you, but if it feels threatened it will lash out with that scale-armored tail.
While this creature sounds very much like a reptile, it is, in fact, a mammal called the pangolin. There are seven species of pangolins scattered through Africa and Asia. Typically, the female pangolin will give birth to a single young one after a 140-day gestation period. When full grown, the young one, like its parents, will be almost two feet long and weigh about 20 pounds. In addition to using its tail for defense, it can also spray a bad-smelling liquid like a skunk. If all else fails, it can roll into a tight armored ball. Its feeding behavior is similar to a nocturnal anteater. The pangolin’s highly developed sense of smell can actually sniff out ant and termite mounds. When it finds a nest, it uses its long, sticky tongue to collect a meal. Unfortunately, the endangered pangolin is prized as a delicacy as well as a medicine among the hill tribes where it lives. Lions and tigers also feed on pangolins.
Pangolins are another example of God’s unlimited creativity and His power and wisdom which allows Him to bring about whatever He desires. His greatest desire is for our salvation through the innocent suffering of Jesus Christ.
“Before coming out as transgender, Nicole Garcia prayed daily that God would ‘fix’ her. When her prayers weren’t answered and the feeling in her gut didn’t go away, she gave up on religion. Now, nearly four decades later, Garcia stands behind the pulpit at Westview Lutheran Church in Boulder, Colorado, and delivers weekly sermons to a congregation of more than 100 faithful as their ordained pastor. ‘Nobody can question my faith, my devotion to Christ, my devotion to the church. That’s why I’m the pastor here,’ Garcia, who turned 60 Thursday, told NBC News. ‘Being trans is secondary.’ Garcia, who delivered her first sermon at Westview earlier this month, is the first known transgender Latina to serve as a pastor within the 4 million-strong Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--an unanticipated position for someone who grew up in the Roman Catholic Church and left religion entirely for nearly 20 years.”
“Transgender Latin makes history,” NBC News, Dec. 13, 2019
COMMENT BY BRO. CLOUD: Missing in Garcia’s testimony is biblical salvation. As a Roman Catholic, Garcia was baptized, sacramentalized, and prayed, but he didn’t come on God’s terms in repentance and saving faith. When he became a Lutheran, it was the same thing: sacramentalism. All his life, by his own testimony, Garcia has believed a gospel of works, and it is a false gospel with no life-changing power. Religion cannot “fix” man’s sin problem. The old Adamic nature is full of sin, every type of sin. The Lord Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). Only biblical salvation can “fix” man by regeneration and sanctification. Paul describes how that some of the citizens of wicked Corinth were “fixed.” “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
(Friday Church News Notes, January 31, 2020, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.”
Ever since Old Testament times, midwives have been helping mothers during the birthing process. They are especially valuable should there be difficulties since they not only offer an extra set of hands, but experience in dealing with common problems. Some of the scientists who were studying amoeba behavior observed some very strange behavior which suggests that some amoebas, too, employ midwives.
The scientists were studying an amoeba that lives in the digestive tract of reptiles. As all amoebas, they reproduce by splitting in half. Scientists noted, however, that this particular species is not very good at it. Up to a third of the time, the amoebas fail to split. They begin the process but never manage to complete it. When that happens, the amoeba is doomed to exist as long as it can with two sets of genetic information. But as scientists watched, when an amoeba had difficulty dividing, other amoebas would move in on it and help the division process, thereby serving as a midwife. Further study revealed that the amoeba having difficulty dividing releases a chemical which apparently summons help to finish the process. The midwife amoeba have been seen traveling up to 40 times their own length to help in the birthing of a new generation.
The Bible teaches us that God cares for all of His creatures. Here we see that He provides even for the needs of the lowly amoeba. How much more does He love us and provide for our needs!
“President Donald Trump became the first president in history to attend and speak at the March for Life in person. The president received deafening applause from the thousands in attendance as he championed the dignity of the unborn, condemned radical Democrat proposals on abortion, and touted his historic wins for the pro-life movement. ‘Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House,’ Trump declared. He mentioned his administration's efforts on the Mexico City Policy, a pro-life rule on Title X funding, support for the Little Sisters of the Poor, new rules preserving faith-based adoption, and his 187 confirmed originalist federal judges. ‘Sadly, the far-left is actively working to erase our God-given rights, shut down faith-based charities, ban religious believers from the public square, and silence Americans who believe in the sanctity of life,’ the president declared. ‘They are coming after me because I am fighting for you and we are fighting for those who have no voice, and we will win. When it comes to abortion, Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions for years and decades,’ Trump added. ‘Nearly every top Democrat in Congress now supports taxpayer-funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth.’ He concluded the speech with a firm declaration of the sanctity of human life, born and unborn. ‘Every child brings joy to a family, every person is worth protecting, and above all we know that every human soul is divine and every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of almighty God,’ Trump said.”
“Trump Defends the Unborn,” PJMedia.com, Jan. 24, 2020
CONCLUSION: President Trump demonstrated his ignorance of Scripture in saying that every human soul is divine, but we are glad for his open and unqualified support of the pro-life movement in gross contrast to every Democrat party presidential contender.
(Friday Church News Notes, January 31, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.”
I have frequently been told that I should not believe that God literally used six 24-hour days to create the world, and I should not argue against evolution because all these scientists have proved that the world came about the way that they say it did! It is worth referring such people to Matthew 14, to the account of Jesus walking on the water. It is obvious that the disciples were not used to seeing such a thing. In the poor light of the night, and the storm, they understandably mistook Jesus for a ghost. But eventually, they recognized Him when He told them not to be afraid.
Science would obviously maintain that a man cannot walk on water. Water, being a liquid, does not provide sufficient resistance to the force of gravity on the man’s feet, to maintain him in the upright position. So how was Jesus able to do what He did? Many people have tried to find excuses, but it seems pretty clear that this was a real man, walking on a real liquid, with real feet, in defiance of the laws of physics. But Jesus was the one who created the laws of physics! They are His to do with as He pleases! He could even command Peter to come to Him, walking on the water. And Peter was able to take a few steps at Jesus’ command, until, like we often do, he took His eyes off the Lord.
Southern Baptist Richard Land says that he is seeing “more and more Catholics” who have been born again (“Being ‘born again’ isn’t trendy--it’s meaningful,” OneNewsNow, Jan. 24, 2020). Land was head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission from 1988 to 2013. He made the recent comment in light of the 2018-2019 General Social Survey that found that the use of the term “born again” is spreading to Catholics and mainline Protestants. He said, “It’s not what your denominational affiliation is, it’s whether you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” But the Roman Catholic Church is not just a different “denomination.” It is a different religion from the New Testament faith once delivered to the saints. Rome has a false christ and a false gospel. Its christ is a consecrated wafer called the host that is worshipped as the very Jesus Christ. Its gospel is baptismal regeneration followed by participation in the other sacraments. I have met “evangelical Catholics” while attending ecumenical conferences with media credentials, but when questioned carefully about salvation, they demonstrate their confusion and their trust in the sacraments and “the church.” I have never met a Roman Catholic who testified, “I am trusting in the blood of Christ alone for salvation; baptism and sacraments have absolutely nothing to do with salvation; Mary and the saints cannot hear and answer prayer; I know that Rome’s gospel is unscriptural and I renounce it.” That would be the testimony of a truly “born again Catholic.” In 2005, Land was recognized by Time magazine as one of the “25 most influential evangelicals in America.” (For documentation of Rome’s gospel from sources such as the Vatican II Council and the New Catholic Catechism, see Is the Roman Catholic Church Changing?, a free eBook available from www.wayoflife.org.)
(Friday Church News Notes, January 31, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”
It is reputed that the biggest ever TV audience for a light entertainment show in Britain was Mike Yarwood’s Christmas Show in 1977, with an audience of 21.4 million – 38% of the population at the time. Yarwood – probably completely unknown in the US – was a comedian whose humor consisted in his uncanny ability to impersonate well-known people. There has probably never been an impressionist more able to both look and sound like his subjects than Yarwood, well-known during the 60s and 70s for his impersonations of Harold Wilson and Edward Heath – leaders of the two main political parties in Britain at the time.
Yet Yarwood’s skills pale into insignificance when compared to those of the mimic octopus. This amazing creature seems to specialize in impersonating venomous sea creatures. For example, it partially hides its body and six legs while stretching out and moving the other two legs to impersonate a sea snake. It can swim up to the surface and down again with a motion closely resembling a jellyfish. Flattening itself and trailing its legs behind, it looks like a banded sole. And perhaps most spectacularly, it makes its tentacles look like the barbs of a lionfish. It can even change color in order to assist with these impressions.
It is notable that Wikipedia’s article currently, unusually, has no section explaining the creature’s evolution. Clearly, the mimicry is advantageous to the octopus, but this does not explain how it could develop. This is clearly a wonderful design feature, produced by the wonderful Creator.
One of the speakers scheduled for Keith and Kristyn Getty’s Sing! Worship Conference 2020 is Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales. The announcement promises “three days of deep theology, timeless artistry and rich congregational worship,” but there is no deep theology in VeggieTales. From its inception, it was a dangerous bridge to the world, creating in children a taste for every type of worldly music. The VeggieTale movie Jonah featured “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” by secular rocker Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats. Following are the lyrics: “Baby, baby it looks like it’s gonna hail ... You better come inside Let me teach you how to jive and wail ... Papa’s in the icebox lookin’ for a can of ale ... Mama’s in the backyard learning how to jive and wail.” Vischer says that laughter is a key to teaching. So why didn’t Jesus, the Master Teacher, make people laugh while He taught them spiritual truths? We believe the ultra silly VeggieTales approach to teaching spiritual truths CHEAPENS the things of God. It brings eternal truth down to the level of worldly cartoons. The Bible says that “foolishness is bound in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15). The last thing we need to do is encourage the innate silliness of children, as if they are not already silly enough without the help of sincere but misguided adults. Consider the VeggieTales version of Nebuchadnezzar forcing Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego to worship the idol in the book of Daniel. Nebby K. Nezzer, manufacturer of chocolate bunnies, tries to force Shack, Rack, and Benny to worship a giant bunny. The VeggieTales song “Dave and the Giant Pickle” is dedicated to the psycho-babble theme of “self-esteem.” “Oh Santa” from “Silly Songs with Larry” is about the mythical Santa Claus. The VeggieTales movie Jonah had the king of Nineveh claiming he didn’t know that the things they were doing were wrong and pretending that their chief sin was slapping each other with fish. What a fearful example of trivializing sin! The Gettys have no boundaries and are a bridge to anything and everything. (See “The Gettys: Pied Pipers of Contemporary Worship Music” at www.wayoflife.org.)
(Friday Church News Notes, January 31, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”
The eye is a very complex organ. A vertebrate eye, such as that possessed by humans, contains a number of separate parts, all of which have to work together. It is easy, therefore, to show that an eye could not have evolved. Our eyes contain a lens, which is transparent and convex, like the lens of a camera. But, unlike the camera lens, the eye lens can have its focal length altered by being stretched thinner, or squashed fatter, by tiny muscles. If the lens had evolved without the muscles, it would have been useless. The lens needs to focus light on to the retina, where the photo-receptors are found. The retina would have been useless if it had evolved with no lens, and there would be no evolutionary advantage to an organism with a lens, but no retina. And none of these features are useful without a nerve to take the signals of these images to the brain.
A further blow that the eye gives to evolution is when we examine the eyes of cephalopods, like the octopus. The eyes of these mollusks are pretty much the same as vertebrate eyes. Are we expected to believe that they evolved separately to the same design? Cephalopods are supposedly less evolved than humans. Yet their eyes seem to be more advanced, as they do not possess the blind spot of the vertebrate eye.
None of these issues is difficult to understand when we realize that these features were designed by God, just as He said.
“Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, currently refers to himself as the ‘First Gent of South Bend’ on Twitter and refers to himself as the ‘First Gentleman’ when he discusses what he will do if husband Pete becomes president of the United States. In the heading of his Twitter page, Chasten Buttigieg refers to himself as follows: ‘Teacher, First Gent of South Bend, husband to @Pete Buttigieg, doggo dad to @firstdogssb. All things theater, inclusion & education. Let hate sit alone. he/him.’”
“Peter Buttigieg’s Husband,” CNSNews, Dec. 27, 2019
“The Washington Post hacked into a Chevy Volt several days ago with the help of a automotive technology expert to find out just how much automakers are spying on their owners and discovered that vehicles are recording their owners’ every move. The Post used a 2017 Chevy Volt for its experiment and learned that the car collected a wide range of highly precise data ranging from the vehicles location to information about the driver’s cell phone, including call records--noting that many vehicles copy over personal data the moment that a smart phone is plugged into the vehicle. The Post went to Jim Mason, who has a PhD in engineering and reconstructs car accidents for a living by hacking into vehicles, for help hacking into the Chevy Volt. The Post found that Chevy collected the following information: ‘There on a map was the precise location where I’d driven to take apart the Chevy. There were my other destinations, like the hardware store I’d stopped at to buy some tape. Among the trove of data points were a detailed log of phone calls from the previous week. There was a long list of contacts, right down to people’s address, emails and even photos. For a broader view, Mason also extracted the data from a Chevrolet infotainment computer that I bought used on eBay for $375. It contained enough data to reconstruct the Upstate New York travels and relationships of a total stranger. We know he or she frequently called someone listed as Sweetie, whose photo we also have. We could see the exact Gulf station where they bought gas, the restaurant where they ate (called Taste China) and the unique identifiers for their Samsung Galaxy Note phones.’”
“Washington Post Hacks into Chevy,” The Daily Wire, Dec. 26, 2019
1 Chronicles 29:13-14
“Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.”
It will not have escaped the notice of regular listeners to these Creation Moments that I have quite a considerable partiality for good coffee. This is in spite of the fact that I was raised in the Northwest of England at a time when the only coffee available had already been brewed once, then dried out into powder, and swept, probably with other dust, into a jar. So, when I recently saw a brand new science article on coffee, I was pleased to read something new in it!
I have been continually impressed with the amount of science that goes into the various methods of producing coffee. Earth.com recently carried an article, showing that if beans are subject to wet processing, they undergo a fermentation similar to that of cabbage when producing sauerkraut (another favorite of mine). It appears that lactic acid producing bacteria protect the quality of the coffee by preventing the growth of undesirable micro-organisms that lead to a poor taste. The article suggests that a lot more research needs to be done on how exactly the lactic acid works to enhance the best flavors, producing the most acceptable sensory experience, and I, for one, would be happy to help with that research.
All levity apart, it is fascinating that God has made such an incredible creation, that there is interest and adventure to be found in the most seemingly mundane areas, and supposedly everyday processes.
“When Garrett Rigg moved from a ‘transitional living program’ facility near Chicago last month into a group home, it was a major milestone for the 27-year-old, who traveled 1,000 miles from his home in Denver to get treatment after a cannabis-induced psychotic break five years ago. Rigg had to leave his hometown because it lacked suitable long-term treatment, according to his mother, Connie Kabrick. The three marijuana dispensaries at the intersection a half block from her home are the reason why she says he can't move back. As marijuana increasingly becomes legalized, parents of children who make up the mounting cases of cannabis-induced psychosis and other mental illness say treatment is far less available than the pot they say is linked to the conditions. Rutgers University opened an Adolescent Substance Evaluation Service in July at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The staff includes fellows in child and adolescent psychiatry who refer patients to providers at the hospital or in the community. Wun Jung Kim, a child psychiatrist and professor at the Rutgers medical school, estimates at least half of young people come in because of marijuana-related conditions. He says, ‘I don’t think society takes use of marijuana seriously in kids.’ Parents struggle to convince their young adult children that marijuana led to or worsened their condition. Some, including Sharon Burns Southard, lost the battle. Her 24-year-old son started having ‘schizophrenic episodes’ six months before he died by suicide in July 2018.”
“As marijuana-induced psychosis rises, parents say treatment for young people hard to find,” USA Today, Jan. 6, 2020
1 Timothy 6:20
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:”
I became a government school science teacher in 1983. One syllabus that I was handed for teaching a basic biology unit to a class of 12-year-olds illustrated the supposed truth of evolution by referring to peppered moths. Naturally, I informed the other teacher that Kettlewell’s famous experiments have been invalidated, as the famous photographs of the moths were taken by gluing dead specimens to tree trunks.
A recent study by scientists at Exeter University was published and a popular science website headlined its report with: “Moth study confirms Darwin’s theory of evolution”. One of the scientists said, “This is one of the most iconic examples of evolution, used in biology textbooks around the world, yet fiercely attacked by creationists seeking to discredit evolution.”
If there is anyone not up to speed with this issue, let me explain that the original experiment was designed to show that light peppered moths would be spotted on dark polluted backgrounds in Birmingham, England, by predatory birds, who would eat them, leading to a greater population of dark moths. As industrial pollution decreased, it was the dark moths who became visible and vulnerable.
If this scenario is shown to be true, it is of no problem to creationists because it does not and never has confirmed evolution. For one, moths changing into moths is not evolution, and for another, the process is clearly reversible. What creationists rightly pointed out is that fraud was originally used to obtain the result that the original experimenter desired.
The following report describes the latest in a long series of archaeological discoveries confirming the accuracy of biblical history. While archaeology cannot prove that Jesus was born of a virgin or that He walked on the water or that His death was an atonement for sin or that He rose bodily from the dead, it can demonstrate that the Bible’s history is accurate and can thus give confidence that whatever the Bible says is true. The following is excerpted from “Second Temple era marketplace,” The Jerusalem Post, Jan. 6, 2020: “A rare tabletop used for measuring liquids is among the finds uncovered by archaeologists at a site they believe may have been the location of a major town square en route to the Second Temple 2,000 years ago. Excavations in the City of David National Park by the Israel Antiquities Authority have brought to light dozens of stone measurement weights of various sizes, in addition to the tabletop, indicating that the site was once a bustling marketplace in what was known as Jerusalem’s lower city. The agora (market) appears to have served as a focal point of trade and commerce along the Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem, as well as housing the offices of the ‘Agoranomos,’ the official in charge of regulating weights and measurements in the city. The key find is a section of a ‘standard volume’ table featuring two deep cavities, each with a drain hole at the bottom. The hole could easily be plugged, the cavity filled to the brim giving a standard volume, and the plug then removed to allow the liquid to drain into a container, said Prof. Ronny Reich, who is researching the find. Meanwhile, Nahshon Szanton, Moran Hagbi and Meidad Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who directed the excavations along the Pilgrimage Road, have uncovered a large open paved area on the street that led up to the Second Temple. The area appears to have served as the main square of the lower city, which would likely have attracted tradespeople and customers alike.” (See also “Great Archaeological Discoveries in Israel,” Jun. 4, 2019, www.wayoflife.org.)
(Friday Church News Notes, January 24, 2020, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”
If there is one type of bird that we just take for granted without actually noticing it, it must be the sparrow. Where I grew up, in the industrial northwest of England, sparrows were two-a-penny. It did not matter where you looked. If I walked into the woods, they were there. In our own yard, they were there too. And at high school, which was in the heart of Manchester – England’s second city – they were there too. Nor were they particularly noticeable. The plumage of the male Old World House sparrow is a dull brown, though with a highlighted dark brown, nearly black beak. The female is lighter, and even less distinctly marked. These sparrows live in such close proximity with people, especially in cities, that they show little fear, dodging between the legs of pedestrians to pick up morsels of discarded food. They have prettier relatives, however – all the various species of sparrows appear to be in the same created kind, or baramin, as finches.
The Bible illustrates many important points by reference to the ubiquity of sparrows. In Psalm 84, David refers to the desirability of being in God’s house, remarking that even the sparrow finds a home there, close to God’s altar. And Jesus used sparrows to remind us how much God cares for us, as not a single one falls to the ground without the Father knowing. “Fear ye not therefore,” He said. “Ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).
“A new study showing the United States has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households is being called a ‘national tragedy’ by one sociologist. The Pew Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that 23 percent of U.S. children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adults--more than three times the global average of 7 percent. Children in European countries are generally more likely to live in single-parent homes than those in Asia, but still less likely than children in the U.S. The percentages for the United Kingdom (21 percent), France (16 percent) and Germany (12 percent) are all lower than the U.S.”
“National Tragedy,” Christian Headlines, Dec. 17 2019
CONCLUDING NOTE: The breakup of the American home is a product of the pop/hip-hop culture with its me first philosophy, no-fault divorce, and the welfare state, among other things. The most fundamental cause is the apostasy of America’s churches. Even the most “fundamentalist” typically are not building strong Christian homes through producing fathers who are the spiritual heads, mothers who are keepers, and children who are properly disciplined and discipled. (For more on this see Keeping the Kids: How to Keep the Children from Falling Prey to the World and The Discipling Church: The Church That Will Stand until Jesus Comes, available from www.wayoflife.org.)
(Friday Church News Notes, January 24, 2020, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
There are quite a number of birds that cannot fly. This sometimes surprises us, but it shouldn’t. We tend to wonder how they “lost” the ability to fly, but, although there are some species that might possibly have lost an ability to fly (as losing such an ability usually involves loss of information, not spontaneous creation), there is no reason to suppose that many have lost an ability. After all, we do not wonder at mammals that fly (i.e., bats), and we accept that these were created on Day Five, whereas most mammals were made on Day Six. In the same way, most flightless birds seem to be perfectly designed the way that they are. Ratite birds, for example, have no keel on their sternum. The keel is what anchors muscles to the wings, to enable flight. But birds like ostriches, rheas, emus and kiwis show no evidence, either in extant species or in the fossil record, to suggest that they ever had a structure. Therefore, they have not evolved into such a state – they were designed like that by God because that is the best design for us.
Other birds are flightless for other reasons. Penguins, for example, do not fly, but they do sort-of fly through water! Again, this requires a particular type of design that could not arise by itself. God designed penguins just perfectly for their habitat and their lives.
Flightless birds do not support evolutionary ideas. God created them as He saw fit.
“A Chinese court sentenced a pastor to prison for nine years Monday after the pastor called the Chinese Communist Party ‘morally incompatible with the Christian faith.’ The court sentenced 46-year-old Pastor Wang Yi, who led Early Rain Covenant Church in the Chinese city of Chengdu, for incitement of subversion of state power and for illegal business operations, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Chinese government often uses those charges against religious leaders and against those who disagree politically with the government, according to the WSJ. Wang wrote a 2018 essay titled ‘Meditations on the Religious War’ in which he wrote that the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party is ‘morally incompatible with the Christian faith and with all those who uphold freedom of the mind and thought.’ Wang’s church had been one of the most politically active churches in China for years, holding a service every year commemorating the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square, even though the government severely restricts the observance of this massacre, the WSJ reports. But the church was closed in 2018 as the Chinese government cracked down on religious houses of worship.”
“Pastor Imprisoned for Nine Years,” The Stream, Dec. 30, 2019
“But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.”
I remember a news report on a local radio station in Bridgend, Wales, which said that there was an ostrich on the loose, running through the town center. There wasn’t. But a local park had an enclosure where they kept a few rheas. One of these birds had got loose and was running through Bridgend’s downtown.
The rhea is a big, flightless bird from South America but quite a bit smaller than an ostrich – both species of which are African. However, they resemble ostriches – as do emus from Australia. The resemblance is so great that they were, for many years, grouped into one family – the ratites. However, it does not appear possible to hybridize across these species, and yet hybrids between the two extant species of ostrich are certainly possible.
Evolutionists have now placed these three types of birds in separate families. They still believe they are related, however, but more distantly than previously thought. Creationists accept the different families but now accept these as separate baramins. This means that God created ostriches, emus and rheas separately, and there is no common ancestor of the three types.
The classification changes to these flightless birds shows how evolutionary research can be used by creationists with a constructively critical analysis. The apparent similarity in appearance between these created kinds is no more significant than the similarity between different families of, for example, monkeys. Apparent similarity is never an argument in favor of evolution, which is not consistent with the Bible, and is scientifically impossible.
“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.”
Ostriches are certainly comical looking birds. Whenever I see a picture of one, it certainly makes me smile. Mind you, if you meet one up close, you might not laugh so much because they can cause a lot of damage with their legs, and particularly with their feet. But where ostriches come to our notice, as biblical Christians, is that many people think that the Bible is completely mistaken about ostriches, and, therefore, these supposed errors invalidate Scripture.
The main contentious verse is in Job 39. In this chapter, God is telling Job about the various things that He has created to silence Job and show him that his complaints are irrelevant. In verses 14 and 15, the accusation is that the ostrich is pictured as stupid for leaving its eggs in the sand and accidentally crushing them. Then, we are told, the Bible tells us that the mother ostrich forgets, or even neglects, her young.
Actually, much of this is based on a false anthropomorphism. We should not expect that an animal is going to show human characteristics. In any case, the mother ostrich does tend to leave her young because the care of newly hatched chicks seems to be the job of the father ostrich, so there is no error in what the Bible is claiming.
So when were ostriches created? They are clearly birds, but they appear designed to live on land. We must assume, therefore, that God made them on Day Six.
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
Tasmanian tigers were not cats. They weren’t even tigers. Many people refer to them as Tasmanian wolves because they look and act like dogs. But they aren’t dogs either. And their more correct name is thylacine.
Perhaps we need to retrace our steps a bit. I am not even sure whether to use the present or past tense. The last known living thylacine died in Hobart Zoo in Tasmania, Australia, on September 7, 1936. However, since then, there have been a number of alleged sightings – the last recorded being in 2008.
The thylacine was a marsupial – like koalas, wombats and kangaroos. Its babies were born relatively undeveloped and continued their development in their mother’s pouch. They were carnivorous animals – they hunted their prey in a manner similar to wolves, which they resemble. The tiger moniker was due to their stripes.
Evolutionists consider dogs to be highly evolved animals. Marsupials, on the other hand, are considered by evolutionists to be primitive. So which is it to be? Their dog-like carnivorous behavior is at odds with their status as marsupials.
For paradoxes such as this, evolutionists talk about ‘convergent evolution’. But this simply seems to be putting a label to something that they cannot explain. Evolutionists have to place the thylacine in a family all of its own because, while they believe in common ancestry, they cannot suggest what this might look like.
Creationists have no such problem. God made all animals, including thylacines, to reproduce after their kind.
While speaking recently of the importance of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was interrupted by Rabbi Yehuda Glick to call for the building of the Third Temple. At the Kohelet Policy Forum on January 8, Netanyahu said, “If Israel is not present on the hills of Judea and Samaria, Islamists will take over instead.” Rabbi Yehudu Glick immediately yelled, “Same with the Temple Mount!” (“Rabbi Glick,” Breaking Israel News, Jan. 8, 2020). Glick told the media afterward that they must keep the idea of the Third Temple alive. “You have to keep saying it. If you don’t say it, you’ll forget it.” Glick, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, survived an attempted assassination in 2014 when he was shot four times in the chest by Muslim terrorist Mutaz Hijazi. Hijazi, a member of the Islamic Jihad who had spent 11 years in Israeli prisons, was killed four days later in a shoot out with Israeli police. Glick is the author of Arise and Ascend, a guidebook for Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. He is associated with the Temple Mount Faithful, which is one of the organizations preparing to build the next temple. In an interview in 2015, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, head of the Temple Institute, said that all of the materials for the operation of the temple are “all ready in crates in the basement, so that when we reach Jerusalem there will be trucks that unload everything, and we can get to work” (“Ariel’s Jerusalem,” Arutz Sheva, May 7, 2015). In Jewish tradition, the rebuilding of the temple is associated with the coming of the Messiah. According to Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides or Rambam) (1135-1204), one of the highest rabbinical authorities, any Jew of the family of David that starts rebuilding the temple is a potential Messiah. Maimonides was looking for a Messiah who would rebuild the temple “on its original site.” Other rabbis have broadened this so that it is not necessarily required that the temple builder be of the lineage of David. Shimon ben Kosiba was considered a Messiah in the second century when he led a revolt to recapture Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. He was named Bar Kokhba (“Son of the Star”) based on the Messianic prophecy of Numbers 24:17, and a coin was struck depicting the temple with the ark of the covenant inside and the Messianic star on the roof. By this tradition, it is simple to see how the Antichrist or his false prophet will be looked upon as the Messiah. Israeli tour guides, though most of them are “secular Jews” as opposed to “religious,” talk about the coming of the Messiah from the Mount of Olives. One told us in 2019, “You Christians are looking for the Messiah to come again, and we are looking for him to come. It is a difference of only one word. We are all looking for him to come to the Mount of Olives.” The Jews in Israel are primed to accept a Messiah who comes from the Mount of Olives and establishes peace between Israel and her neighbors and announces the rebuilding of the temple. The Antichrist described in Bible prophecy will fit this bill with perfection. Probably he will come across to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives to make this point. (For more on the Third Temple building preparations see Jews in Fighter Jets: Israel Past, Present, and Future , available from Way of Life Literature, www.wayoflife.org.)
(Friday Church News Notes, January 17, 2020, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.”
It might seem obvious to people today to suppose that tigers are cats. We classify them as part of the cat family. But what does this mean in practice?
Genesis 1 explains that all animals were created according to their kinds. In creation science, we refer to these kinds as baramin – a word made from the Hebrew words for “created kind”. God brought two of each baramin to Noah for the Ark, and after the Flood, these animals would have multiplied according to their kinds.
The cat family comprises of two subfamilies – small cats (felinae) and big cats (pantherinae). Small cats include domestic cats, lynxes and cougars – the largest of the small cats. Pantherinae include lions, leopards and tigers.
We know that if animal species can interbreed, then they must be part of the same baramin, and, hence, had common ancestors on the Ark. There are numerous hybrids existing within the felinae, and well-known big cat hybrids – such as the liger, a lion-tiger cross. Hybrids between the two subfamilies are rarer – possibly because of physical size differences – but they do exist. One of the best known is a cross between a cougar (felinae) and a leopard (pantherinae); the biggest small cat with one of the smallest big cats! Taken altogether, this evidence of hybridization tells us that all cats – big and small – are part of the same baramin – the cat baramin – and are all descended from a single pair of felines that were on the Ark.
The Imminency of Christ's Return for Church-Age Saints Teaches that the Rapture Precedes Daniel's 70th Week
The Bible states that the coming of the Lord is “at hand” (Ro. 13:12; Php. 4:5; 1 Pe. 4:7). This is from eggizo, meaning “near, approaching.” The English phrase is a metaphor to indicate something that is close by, at the ready, like your hand. It is used to describe the location of Jesus’ tomb, which was “nigh at hand” to the place of His crucifixion (Joh. 19:42). Paul used it to describe his imminent death (2 Ti. 4:6). The coming of Christ for church-age saints is always at hand; it is imminent, impending. It can happen at any time. This teaches us that the Rapture described in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 precedes Daniel’s 70th Week (Da. 9:27). If it occurred at any time during that seven-year period, it could not be imminent, because the events are laid out clearly in Scripture. It begins with the Antichrist’s seven-year covenant with apostate Israel -- “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” During the first three and a half years, the third temple will be built (Re. 11:1-2), the preliminary judgments will occur as described in Revelation 6 (war and famine that will destroy one-fourth of the earth’s population, a great earthquake, signs in the heavens), the 144,000 Jewish evangelists will preach and produce a great harvest of souls in the midst of terrible persecution (Re. 7), and the two witnesses will prophesy in Jerusalem (Re. 11:3-6). After three and a half years, the Antichrist will break his covenant and set up the abomination of desolation in the temple as described by Daniel, by Jesus, and by Paul. “... and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Da. 9:27). See also Matthew 24:15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. After the first three and a half years, the two witnesses will be killed and a great earthquake will destroy one-tenth of the city of Jerusalem (Re. 11:7-13). The events of the last half of Daniel’s 70th Week are described in other places in Revelation. These include the hail and fire that destroy one-third of the trees and grass (Re. 8:7), the third part of the sea turning to blood (Re. 8:8-9), the third part of the waters becoming Wormwood (Re. 8:10-11), the terrible locusts from the bottomless pit (Re. 9:1-11), the 200 million-man army from the east whereby one-third of mankind will be destroyed (Re. 9:13-21), the worldwide worship of the Antichrist and his dictatorial rule (Re. 13), the rivers and fountains turning to blood (Re. 16:4-6), the scorching of men with great heat (Re. 16:8-9), the darkness (Re. 16:10-11), the destruction of the Mystery Babylon religion (Re. 14:8; 17:16-18), the destruction of commercial Babylon (Re. 18:5-24), Armageddon (Re. 16:12-16). If the Rapture does not precede Daniel’s 70th Week, it could not be at hand, because it would be preceded by these events and its time would be known exactly as those events unfolded. Church-age saints are looking for Christ, not the Antichrist; we are looking for the Blessed Hope, not the horrible Tribulation. “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Th. 1:9-10, 4-5, 9).
(Friday Church News Notes, January 17, 2020, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)