At a concert in Milan, Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2, dressed as Satan and called European populist leaders who oppose open borders “my people.” Bono, speaking for the devil, said, “My people are all over Europe. They go by many names.” He referred in particular to the Swedish Democrats, Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France, Matteo Salvini of Italy. Bono has no idea what he is talking about, and he is a first class hypocrite. He calls for open borders, but he doesn’t open his own house to immigrants. He calls for socialistic redistribution of wealth, but he doesn’t give away his own wealth. Like socialists the world over, he wants to “do good” by confiscating and redistributing other people’s money. He claims to love Jesus, but he doesn’t believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven and “never accepted the whole ‘born again’ tag” (“Bono Bites Back,” Mother Jones magazine, May 1989). He claims to revere the holy Bible, but he lives an unholy life by his own admission and claims that Paul was wrong about women and homosexuality (“Bono: The Rolling Stone Interview” with Jann Wenner, Dec. 27, 2017). In 2006, Bono said: “I recently read in one of St. Paul’s letters where it describes all of the fruits of the spirit, and I had none of them” (“Enough Rope with Andrew Denton,” TV series, March 13, 2006).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."
I will never forget the time I saw the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. This mysterious phenomenon appears like curtains of light – usually green – swirling and turning in the atmosphere, usually in very northern latitudes. I saw the Northern Lights while I was on a speaking tour of the Shetland Isles – the northernmost part of the United Kingdom. The lights are formed by charged particles, or ions, from the Sun, being attracted by the Earth’s magnetic field, towards the magnetic north pole.
Apparently, there are many aspects of the aurora phenomena that are still not well understood. One such effect, code-named Steve, is the occasional appearance of purple light, in atmospheric layers lower than that in which Northern Lights usually form. The word Steve stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement – although originally the name was just assigned for fun. The cause of these purple lights is similar to that of classical aurora, and appears to be because of a chemical or physical connection between the aurora layers and sub-aurora layers.
It is interesting that the studies of this phenomenon required large numbers of lay observers. These are referred to in the report as “citizen scientists”. A great many people around the world photographed the phenomenon, and sent the results to NASA. Even somewhere as close as the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere can be as mysterious as the surface of Pluto, and yet ordinary people can provide help in cracking the scientific mysteries. Perhaps some of these people would remember, as they observed, that “The heavens declare the glory of God”.
The Devil Lives in Our Phones
The following is excerpted from “A Dark Consensus about Screens,” New York Times, Oct. 26, 2018: “Technologists know how phones really work, and many have decided they don’t want their own children anywhere near them. A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a region-wide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high. The debate in Silicon Valley now is about how much exposure to phones is O.K. ‘Doing no screen time is almost easier than doing a little,’ said Kristin Stecher, a former social computing researcher married to a Facebook engineer. ‘If my kids do get it at all, they just want it more.’ Ms. Stecher, 37, and her husband, Rushabh Doshi, researched screen time and came to a simple conclusion: they wanted almost none of it in their house. Their daughters, ages 5 and 3, have no screen time ‘budget,’ no regular hours they are allowed to be on screens. Athena Chavarria, who worked as an executive assistant at Facebook said: ‘I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.’ Ms. Chavarria did not let her children have cellphones until high school, and even now bans phone use in the car and severely limits it at home. She said she lives by the mantra that the last child in the class to get a phone wins. For longtime tech leaders, watching how the tools they built affect their children has felt like a reckoning on their life and work. Among those is Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now the chief executive of a robotics and drone company. ‘On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s closer to crack cocaine,’ Mr. Anderson said of screens. ‘We thought we could control it. And this is beyond our power to control. This is going straight to the pleasure centers of the developing brain. This is beyond our capacity as regular parents to understand.’ He has five children and 12 tech rules. They include: no phones until the summer before high school, no screens in bedrooms, network-level content blocking, no social media until age 13, no iPads at all and screen time schedules enforced by Google Wifi that he controls from his phone. Bad behavior? The child goes offline for 24 hours. I didn’t know what we were doing to their brains until I started to observe the symptoms and the consequences.’”
CONCLUDING NOTE FROM D. CLOUD: These people are exercising more wisdom in this matter than the average parent in a Bible-believing church. Pastors must take the lead in this and inform and warn and exhort the people about how to protect the children and youth from the great spiritual danger of modern communications technology. We have been publishing material on this subject since 1998, including The Mobile Phone and the Christian Home and Church.
(Friday Church News Notes, November 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
A Volcano, an Island and the Gospel
“And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:”
Living and working near Mount St Helens, I am familiar with relating the 1980 eruption to the Gospel. Interestingly, some recent research has suggested that another volcano may have been used in spreading the Gospel, not just to visitors, but to an entire island nation.
Colonization of Iceland is thought to have occurred from about 870 through 930 AD. The Viking settlers were pagan, worshiping the ancient Norse gods. Yet, the young colony almost completely converted to Christianity by the year 1000. Secular historians, not wishing to attribute anything to the power of the Holy Spirit, have wondered what influenced such a widespread change of faith.
For our part, as Christians, we do not dispute that God can use natural occurrences, which are, after all, under His control, to bring about changes. In the case of Iceland, it appears that the volcano Eldgjá, in the south of the island, erupted in 939. Recent research suggests that this was a devastating eruption, darkening skies over much of Europe, and causing a cold summer in 940.
At this point, we turn to historical research. The Icelandic epic poem, the Vǫluspá, or “Prophecy of the Seeress”, relates how the island’s pagan gods will end, and be replaced by a new, single god. The poem is dated to about 961. The poem also relates that the sky would turn dark and the climate would be cold, if this were not to happen. Perhaps the memory of that devastating eruption of just 22 years before was being used to encourage people to turn to the one, true God.
Enzymes are Necessary for Life
“The cell also requires the activity of proteins called enzymes, which are catalysts that facilitate and speed up chemical reactions. Michael Pitman, who taught biology at Cambridge, writes: ‘Leading enzymologist M. Dixon comments, “Living matter is the most wonderful chemical system in the world.” Part of its magic is that it consists of a complex network of chemical reactions and processes, arranged so that the product of each reaction is the starting material of the next link in the chain. All such reactions are brought about by enzymes, of which there are many thousands. These are special proteins, each with the power of causing specific chemical reactions that would not occur in their absence. Dixon likens enzymes to automated machine tools, each of which performs one particular operation on a product and hands it on to the next. Some production lines join up, giving rise to a network of lines with many pathways--a network called metabolism. Dixon confesses that he cannot see how such a system could ever have originated spontaneously. The main difficulty is that an enzyme system does not work at all until it is complete, or nearly so. Another problem is the question of how enzymes appear without pre-existing enzymes to make them. “The association between enzymes and life”, Dixon writes, “is so intimate that the problem of the origin of life itself is largely that of the origin of enzymes.” Certain basic pathways are common to all living systems and must have been present since life began. The glycolytic pathway in which sugar is broken down, releasing energy, is one example; respiration and many other functions basic to life also depend upon networks of metabolic pathways, usually involving dozens of complex stages, which are recognizable throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Enzyme systems are doing every minute what battalions of full-time chemists cannot. The mechanisms of their actions are only just beginning to be understood and we cannot yet manipulate them with any confidence. The idea of designing enzymes for specific purposes, then synthesizing them, is futuristic. This may come: if it does it will be the product of very concentrated thought and manipulative skill by teams of dedicated scientists. Can anyone seriously imagine that naturally occurring enzymes realized themselves, along with hundreds of specific friends, by chance? Enzymes and enzyme systems, like the genetic mechanisms whence they originate, are masterpieces of sophistication’ (Pitman, Adam and Evolution, pp. 144, 145). Enzymes speed up living processes that would otherwise be impossible. The phosphatase enzyme, for example, catalyzes the hydrolysis or splitting of phosphate bonds, which are necessary for cellular life. ‘This enzyme allows reactions vital for cell signaling and regulation to take place in a hundredth of a second. Without the enzyme, this essential reaction would take a trillion years--almost a hundred times even the supposed evolutionary age of the universe (about 15 billion years)’ (Jonathan Sarfati, By Design, p. 157).”
Seeing the Non-existent: Evolution’s Myths and Hoaxes, David Cloud, copyright 2011
“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.”
The evolutionary view of human history is that ancient man was so primitive that it took him over a million years to figure out farming. The problem with this view is that even the lowly leaf-cutting ant has figured out how to grow, fertilize and harvest its own crops. Evolutionists respond by insisting that intelligence evolved in these creatures because they are social creatures that developed intelligence to cope with social situations.
This explanation of how some ants learn to farm, however, is challenged by the conclusions of a scientist with the London Museum of Natural History. Richard Fortey presented evidence that suggests that the lowly olenid trilobite also practiced farming but is not a social creature. The now-extinct trilobite survived by farming bacteria that were able to turn sulfur into energy for themselves. Fortey points out that the body structure of the trilobite provides plenty of space to cultivate bacteria right on its body. These supposedly primitive creatures also had a brood pouch in which they raised their young. Fortey suggests that parents may have cared for and protected their young until the next generation was able to cultivate their own bacteria gardens for food.
It will be interesting to hear evolutionary explanations of how this trilobite learned farming. But there is no difficulty explaining the trilobite’s ability to farm from a creationist point of view. It was made by an intelligent Creator to live its unique lifestyle.
The Type of Preachers I Am Praying For
A couple of years ago, I began praying for God to raise up 1,000 special kind of preachers, men who can build and lead special kind of churches. Sound, strong, fruitful churches are what the world desperately needs, as the church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), but we won’t have such churches without the right men. It has been said, truly, that “everything rises and falls on leadership.” Let me describe them as I see them in Scripture: They are God-called men; biblically-qualified men; Christ-centered men of good Christian character and testimony; well-trained men (in the Bible and in other issues facing the churches); studious men; men who are committed to God’s Word rather than human tradition; wise, humble men who can work with a team of men as we see in Acts 13; men of faith; courageous men who fear God more than man and are not intimidated by any old boy’s network or preacher’s association; men who are willing to walk alone if necessary for the truth’s sake; men of serious spiritual wisdom and discernment; men of passion for the truth, who esteem God’s precepts concerning all things to be right and hate every false way (Ps. 119:128); men of large vision and zeal for gospel preaching and world missions and church planting; men who reprove and rebuke sin and error in a plain way; men who are ready and willing to exercise biblical discipline when necessary and will not draw back because of its difficulties; men who are hard workers; men who hate religious pragmatism for the evil thing that it is in God’s sight (e.g., making decisions about the ministry based on what “works” to produce a desired goal as opposed to making decisions based strictly on Bible truth). These are not mythical men. I know men like this. These are the type of preachers that are described in the Pastoral Epistles, and they are, therefore, the type of men that God wants for His churches today. Only God can make such men, but since He has instructed us to pray for laborers for the harvest, surely these are the type of laborers we are to pray for. “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). And since Christ has commanded that we pray this, surely God is ready to answer if we will be passionate about it.
(Friday Church News Notes, November 2, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit..”
In 1637 Rene Descartes published a ground-breaking treatise on optics. His breakthrough was the discovery that an aspherical lens works better than a spherical lens. A spherical lens cannot focus the parallel rays of light into a single point. However, an aspherical lens can focus light on a single point. Unfortunately, Descartes did not have the necessary equipment to make such a lens.
That’s why scientists were amazed when they examined some rock crystal lenses in two European museums that date to 500 years before Descartes. The first lens to be noticed was on display in a Munich museum. It had been discovered at a Viking site in Sweden. Upon analysis, the lens turned out to be aspherical. Further study showed that the nearly 1,000-year-old lens is equal in quality with modern lenses. Was this lens just an accident by an ancient craftsman? Scientists turned to a museum in Visby, Sweden, which had several similar pieces. Close study revealed that each of these lenses, too, focused light as well as modern lenses! Apparently, Descartes merely rediscovered more ancient knowledge that had been lost.
How much of today’s new knowledge is merely a rediscovery of what the first human beings knew? After all, the Bible tells us that Adam was created as a perfect human being. It also tells us how the earliest generations of people were already working with metals and making musical instruments.
“OrCam Israel (‘or’ means light in Hebrew, and ‘cam’ represents camera) was founded eight years ago by two Israelis, Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, who founded Mobileye--the autonomous vehicle technology company founded in 1999 and based in Jerusalem. Mobileye was bought by the Intel Corporation in March 2017 for $15 billion. Their vision was to make possible artificial vision that would help the blind and visually impaired to carry out basic everyday activities. The invention is a finger-sized technology combining a microprocessor and camera that take text to which the user points and reads it to the user. In addition, the product recognizes faces, performs product identification and identifies colors and banknotes, thus providing a high level of user independence. Newspapers, books, signs, menus, product labels and even electronic screens can be read to the blind or visually impaired person. When Britain’s Prince William made a short but official trip to the country last summer, OrCam was one of the inventions that impressed him highly. ‘The prince read a couple lines from an article that Blind Veterans put out. He had a big smile on his face,’ recalled an OrCam executive.”
“Israeli Technology Helps,” BreakingIsraelNews.com, Oct. 15, 2018
Away from the Fire an Ember Goes Out
“… not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;….”
On past Creation Moments programs we have reported on individual studies that link good health to religious commitment. It’s always easy to find individual studies to prove almost any point. So researchers did a statistical analysis of 42 different studies made since 1977.
The 42 studies that were examined involved over 125,000 people, mostly Christian and Jewish. The analysis, conducted by the National Institute for Healthcare Research, distinguished between public and private religious activity. Public religious activity included attending worship services and volunteering time for church activities. Private religious activity included praying alone and “internal spiritual feelings.” While there are some who question these studies, they have consistently shown that religiously involved people live longer, healthier lives. However, the researchers who analyzed these studies arrived at a new conclusion as they analyzed the differences between public and private religious activity. They concluded that public religious involvement, as opposed to private or no involvement, showed a statistically important relationship to higher health and survival rates.
Two thousand years ago, the writer of the book of Hebrews encouraged believers not to neglect assembling themselves together for worship on a regular basis. Like burning embers removed from the fire, when believers fail to be a regular part of their faith community, believers’ faith, too, cools to the temperature around it.
In Europe, Free Speech Bows to Sharia
“When, the prophet of Islam took as his wife Aisha, who was then six or seven. The marriage was consummated when Aisha was nine. This is not a smear. It is an accurate account of authoritative Islamic scripture. (See, e.g., Sahih-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 58, Nos. 234–236.) Yet it can no longer safely be discussed in Europe, thanks to the extortionate threat of violence and intimidation—specifically, of jihadist terrorism and the Islamist grievance industry that slipstreams behind it. Under a ruling by the so-called European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), free speech has been supplanted by sharia blasphemy standards. The case involves an Austrian woman (identified as ‘Mrs. S.’ in court filings and believed to be Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff) who, in 2009, conducted two seminars entitled ‘Basic Information on Islam.’ She included the account of Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha. Though this account is scripturally accurate, Mrs. S. was prosecuted on the rationale that her statements implied pedophilic tendencies on the part of the prophet. A fine (about $547) was imposed for disparaging religion. Mrs. S. appealed, relying on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. That provision purports to safeguard ‘freedom of expression,’ though it works about the same way the warranty on your used car does—it sounds like you’re covered, but the fine print eviscerates your protection. Europeans are free to say only what they are permitted to say by the unelected judges of the European courts. Truth is irrelevant. As the jurists reasoned in the case of Mrs. S., a person’s freedom to assert facts must be assessed in ‘the wider context’ that balances ‘free’ expression against—I kid you not—‘the right of others to have their religious feelings protected,’ as well as ‘the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace.’ It is thus verboten to say things that might upset Muslims. There is no free speech in Islam. Sharia states do not merely forbid speech that insults or denigrates Islam; they regard as blasphemy—and punish with cruelty—any form of expression that casts Islam in an unfavorable light.”
Andrew McCarthy, “In Europe”, The National Review, Oct. 27, 2018
Conchs in Space!
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil..”
The shell of the giant pink queen conch is made of such remarkable material that scientists speak of its design, even while they say that it is a product of evolutionary chance. The beautiful shell is made of a form of calcium carbonate called aragonite. Yet, it is structured in such a way that it resists fractures 100 to 1,000 times better than aragonite ordinarily would.
The conch’s secret is that it combines the aragonite with protein. Further, its shell is made up of three layers of aragonite. The middle layer is structured around a rectangular beam of aragonite sheathed in protein. This duplex rod is then bundled with others into a larger beam. The larger beam is, in turn, bundled with others to produce a larger beam. This complex arrangement gives the shell its extraordinary strength. Pressure that ordinarily causes a catastrophic crack in the aragonite merely scatters the pressure into thousands of tiny cracks.
Materials scientists studying the conch shell refer to this as a high-performance composite structure. They hope to apply the principles learned from the conch shell to make stronger building materials, bridges and even space vehicles.
If such sophisticated design could arise without a Designer, modern companies would surely be wasting their time hiring highly trained designers to improve their products.
A report on this month’s Israel Today magazine says, “Preparations for the Third Temple are in full swing.” During the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), Levites in white robes drew water from the ancient Pool of Siloam to perform the Talmudic tradition of “Pouring of the Water.” The ceremony is called “Simchat Beit HaShoeva” (“Rejoicing at the place of the drawing of the water”) and is based on the prophecy of Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” The context, which is ignored by Talmudic interpretation, is the conversion of Israel and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. It will be fulfilled when Israel can say in truth, “God is my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2). In that day, the LORD’s name will be “known in all the earth” (Isaiah 12:5). None of this is true today. The Bible mentions the Third Temple four times, beginning with Daniel’s prophecies but in every case it is associated with the Antichrist. See Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:1-3. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains … For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall. … Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and great glory” (Matthew 24:15 16, 21, 29-20).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 2, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
The Dinosaurs of Written History
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:.”
Virtually every culture in the world has stories and legends about dragons. Amazingly, these serpents resemble each other from culture to culture. They also resemble what we call dinosaurs. The universality and uniformity of these stories strongly suggests that dinosaurs could not have died out 65 million years ago as evolutionists claim.
There are several credible accounts of dragons that resemble dinosaurs in ancient writings. In each case, these records describe, in as much detail as possible, observations of the natural world. Dio the Roman wrote an account of the Roman Consul Regulus’ war against Carthage in the third century B.C. According to Dio, a dragon settled behind the Roman army. Regulus ordered it killed and skinned and the hide sent to the Roman Senate. In the senate, the hide was measured to be 120 feet long. Writing as late as the 8th century, John of Damascus took dragons to be real, living creatures, while using the Bible to debunk myths that had grown up around them. One of these myths was that dragons could assume human form. John rejected this on the basis of creation, noting that only humans were made in the image of God and, thus, animals cannot be changed into this same image.
These accounts read like serious history being written about a time in which dragons were assumed to exist-much more recently than 65 million years ago!
Call Creation Moments and ask for the FREE tract titled: Are Dinosaurs in the Bible?
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;….”
By the time she had returned from her adventures in Oz, Dorothy had learned that “There’s no place like home.” As we discover more planets outside the solar system, we are learning that there’s no place like Earth or even the solar system. While we usually think of planets orbiting a star, astronomers are now finding planets that simply float through space without a home star.
Of the 15 known homeless planets, 13 of them were recently found in the Orion Nebula. These most recent discoveries were made using a specialized camera that examines the heavens for infrared and near infrared light. Scientists speculate that the planets might have escaped from orbit around some star. Others speculate that the planets are failed brown dwarf stars. To become a brown dwarf, a body has to be at least as big as 13 Jupiters. The smallest of these planets is as big as 8 Jupiters, making its gravity far too strong for any life as we know it. To make matters worse, temperatures on these planets would not support life, either. Analysis of the light coming from these planets reveals that their surface temperatures are nearly 5000° F.
These homeless planets are part of God’s illustration to us of how He specially designed our solar system and Earth just for us. The Bible tells us that the Word made flesh, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who gave His life for us, was also the Instrument God used to create the entire universe.
Amazing Dandelion Seeds
New research at the University of Edinburgh has found that dandelion seeds have “a remarkable form of flight never before seen in nature.” Using a specially-designed wind tunnel, long-exposure and high-speed photography, X-rays, and microscopes, researchers were amazed to find that the seed bristles (collectively called the pappus) create ring-shaped air bubbles to form a vortex that increases air resistance and slows descent (“Scientists unlock the secrets of the flying dandelion seeds,” New Atlas, Oct. 19, 2018). The dandelion seed is four times more efficient in maintaining altitude than a human parachute. But of course, we know that while a human parachute and the scientists’ research equipment are intelligently designed, the dandelion is an accident of evolution. Don’t we?
(Friday Church News Notes, October 26, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)