Categories
Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Israel of God

In a prophecy given by the prophet Hosea the Lord said:

Hosea 11:1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt.

flight-into-egypt-01The Lord refers, in the first part, to the nation of Israel, while in its infancy, God called out of the land of Egypt. But the second part is a prophecy of Christ Jesus, the Son of God who, in a parallel way, God also called out of Egypt. This happened after Mary and Joseph had taken the infant Jesus down to Egypt to protect Him from King Herod, who sought to kill Him. Only after Herod died did Jesus return to Israel from Egypt.

Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My son.

The nation called Israel really started with the conversion of Jacob to becoming a man of God. After his conversion God called him Israel. From him, i.e. his children, came the 12 tribes of Israel.

Categories
Cosmology Creation/evolution hermeneutics Meaning of life

When will God reverse decay in the Universe?

In biblical creationist discussions and presentations we often talk about the restoration of the Universe back to its original perfect uncursed state that it had before the Creator destroyed the perfect paradise. That Curse was put on all creation and we see that the removal of the Curse is an integral part of understanding the message of the Bible, especially the gospel.

It was because of Adam’s original sin that the Universe was cursed and altered in a way that brought forth all types of imperfections in all living creatures, resulting in sickness, disease, mutations, death, violence and the many sins of mankind.

The usual image used to illustrate this is to show that sin caused the world to be corrupted but later God will remove the Curse and restore the perfect paradise of His original creation. See illustration below.

marred-by-sin
The world now is not that perfect world that God originally created. Death, pain, disease, suffering are intruders on God’s perfect creation. But the Scriptures give us hope, that through Christ, of the restoration of the world back to the same state in a new heaven and a new earth after Christ’s second advent. The world will be restored back to the same state that it once had before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.

The usual scripture we cite is Romans 8:21,22:

Categories
Aliens Creation/evolution Physics

Aliens are all around us?

With the rapid development of space technology, mankind has accelerated its search for extraterrestrial life, especially intelligent life. This has even spawned a new branch of science—astrobiology (lit. ‘star-life-study’)—despite not a shred of evidence for such life being found in some 50 years of searching. With advances in space-based telescopes, like Kepler, it is widely hoped this situation will soon change.

What is behind this belief in alien life evolving on other planets around other star systems?

It is the rejection of the Creator.

calebscharf
Professor Caleb Scharf says our world and universe beyond are the remains of intelligent alien life. Credit: calebscharf.com

This means one must explain life on Earth as having arisen spontaneously (and therefore, the reasoning goes, it must also have done so elsewhere in the universe, many millions of times).

But as famous evolutionist (and astrobiologist) Paul Davies has reminded us in a recent Scientific American article,1 leading evolutionists had in past decades opposed this idea of ‘ETs everywhere’.

Why? Because they had faced up to the nigh-insuperable difficulty of trying to imagine a way to have the information systems of reproducing life evolve from raw chemistry.

Categories
Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines

Further evidence of the true meaning of who it is in Daniel 9:27

In studying the prophecy in Daniel 9 there has been the issue of the misidentification of who the person is who is referred to by “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” in verse 27.  Many Christians falsely teach that the “he” here is a reference to some coming future AntiChrist figure, but I am not alone when I have argued that it is a reference to the Messiah, who came and confirmed His covenant with His people on the Cross. Read Daniel 9 prophecy for the details to this.

Now, if you look at the three verses Daniel 9:25, 26 and 27 (listed below) you can see a parallelism in the text. The first part of each verse refers to Messiah, while the last part refers to the city. First part, about the Messiah, is shown in grey text while latter part of each verse, referring to the destruction of the city, is shown in blue text.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall even in a troublous time.

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [killed], but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of the abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This then reinforces that the ‘he’ of verse 27 is the Messiah and not some AntiChrist figure. Besides the antecedent of the word translated as ‘he’  in verse 27, a singular individual, is the Messiah as evidenced in both verses 25 and 26.

Update: 25/3/2017

If you are wondering, actually, Christ is the one who shall “… cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of the abominations, he shall make it desolate.”

Christ is the one who terminates the Temple worship on the Cross when His sacrifice forever pays the price of our atonement and no further sacrifice is needed.

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:16-18).

“Causing the sacrifice to cease” has erroneously been attributed to some future AntiChrist figure, who allegedly stops the religious worship of the Jews in a new third Jewish Temple, which is yet to be built.

Also it was the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Sovereign God, who sent General Titus and the Roman legions to bring in all manner of abominations of Roman gods into Jerusalem and in 70 A.D. they destroyed the second Temple, stone by stone, and the city, laying it waste.

This has been erroneously assigned to some future AntiChrist who takes over the as yet to be built third Temple. But the AntiChrist is now in power and has been for a long time. Just turn your eyes towards Rome and see the one who claims to be Christ’s representative on Earth.

Acknowledgment

I would like to thank Ken Brooks for alerting me to this information

Categories
astronomy Creation/evolution History Paleontology Physics Uncategorized

Dark matter caused the demise of the dinosaurs?

Dark matter has been invoked to solve many vexing problems in astrophysics and cosmology.1 Now it seems it has been invoked to solve the evolutionists’ problem of extinction of the dinosaurs.2

lisa-randall-at-ted-cropped
Lisa Randall Credit: Wikipedia Public Domain

American theoretical physicist and cosmologist Dr Lisa Randall has developed a breakthrough five dimensional warped geometry theory. About two years ago she proposed a new hypothesis on dark matter which suggests the mysterious invisible substance that allegedly dominates the universe played a role in killing the dinosaurs.3 She even has written a book on it—Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs. In the book her new theory is summarised as follows.

[A]bout 66 million years ago, gravitational perturbations caused by a thin pancake-shaped disc of dark matter in the Milky Way galaxy dislodged icy comets in the Oort cloud at the very edge of the known solar system, resulting in the fiery meteoroid that eventually crash-landed in the Yucatan, leading to the mass extinction of more than 75 per cent of life on the planet in the process.3

Her radical new theory even posits mass extinctions every 35 million years or so.

“I am fully aware that it is speculative,” she says.4

Dinosaurs sell books and she has written a book that needs to be sold.

I’d call it a fairytale, except that might be insulting to fairies. To believe that it could even be true takes a lot of faith, which apparently describes Randall. She is reported to be unfazed by the panoply of uncertainties that her new theory incorporates.4

Categories
Belief in God Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Only in Jesus is found the way, the truth and the life

In John chapter 14 Jesus tells His disciples not to be worried because He has a plan and that plan includes a place (actually a ‘residence’) in heaven prepared for them.

John 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Firstly, Jesus identifies Himself as God  (verse 1). He speaks with full knowledge as only the omniscient God can. Here He speaks in absolute terms. He does not say “If you stay away from sin, or if you are good, then I will give you a mansion in heaven”. No, His language is definite. The disciples were chosen and from the moment they were saved they had this promise of eternal life in heaven. But they were not saved until later, which we read in John chapter 20. That was after Jesus’ resurrection.

John 20:21,22 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be to you: as My Father has sent Me, even so send I you. 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, Receive you the Holy Ghost:

It was then they were born again as real Christians. Jesus breathed His Spirit into them that they might be saved and have the Holy Spirit indwell them. This was a pivotal point in the lives of the disciples as it is in the lives of those saved by God now. All saved Christians have the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives the believer an understanding of spiritual things (John 14:26). But at this time, in John 14, they did not have that understanding. Jesus said,

John 14:4,5 And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we know not where You go; and how can we know the way?

Even though Jesus spoke of preparing a place for them in heaven, they did not understand.  Jesus even said that they knew where and the way they knew also. But they didn’t have the understanding of the Holy Spirit to recognise it at that time.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him [Thomas], I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Physics

Will the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy consume us all?

The headline of an online article1 posed this question: “Will Our Black Hole Eat the Milky Way?” It is a good question to ask. Should we, here on Earth, be afraid of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Galaxy? With it acting like some sort of a super cosmic vacuum cleaner will it eventually suck up our home planet and the rest of the galaxy? The short answer is no. But let’s review why that is so, and you’ll see it is not quite the same answer that a secular astronomer would give.

Our galaxy, called the Milky Way, has a supermassive black hole at its centre. The black hole has a mass of about 4 million times the mass of the sun.2,3 The Galaxy as a whole has a mass of about 20 billion suns (assuming no dark matter4,5), which is about 5,000 times the mass of the super-massive black hole. This makes the mass of the black hole 0.02% of the mass of the whole galaxy. It’s very small but also the stars around the black hole, at the centre of the galaxy, remain in very stable orbits. Few are consumed by the black hole, and those which are, represent a very small consumption of the mass of the whole galaxy as a function of time.

So don’t worry. You have absolutely nothing to worry about. The amount of time it hypothetically would take the black hole to consume the Galaxy is practically longer than the age of the Galaxy, assuming only natural processes of decay, and collision with any nearby galaxies.

Essentially that supermassive black hole, located near Sagittarius A* (see Fig. 1), presents no problem just sitting there at the centre of the Galaxy. The orbits of the stars around it are stable.

sgrastar
Figure 1: Sagittarius A*. Credit: Chandra

Back in the 1970s, the astronomers Bruce Balick and Robert Brown realized that there was an intense source of radio emissions coming from the very center of the Milky Way, in the constellation Sagittarius. They designated it Sgr A*. The asterisk stands for exciting.1

In 2002, astronomers observed that there were stars zipping past this object, like comets on elliptical paths going around the Sun. Using Newtonian physics the mass of the central object can be calculated from the speeds of the stars orbiting, though Einstein’s relativistic physics is more accurate. So even though the central object could not be seen directly its mass could be calculated. And because of the permissible size that such a central object could be its density can be estimated. The only possible object with such density and gravity to affect the orbital speeds of the observed stars means it must be a black hole. In this case, it worked out that the black hole must have a mass several millions times the mass of our own sun. See Fig. 2.