Bible Study “in the Valley”

An encouraging post for those who feel they are going through a dry spell spiritually with the Lord. As another reader posted:

“Who is among you that feareth the Lord,
that obeyeth the voice of his servant,
that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?
let him trust in the name of the Lord,
and stay upon his God.”
(Isaiah 50:10)

Narrow is The Way Ministries

Christianity has its own buzzwords of course – a “mountaintop experience” means close with God or a spiritual experience.

a “walk through the valley” means you are feeling alone and abandoned by God. I’m really not sure why, I really don’t see that in the Bible, but hey! I’ve missed things before.

So, when God is not showing you claps of lightning and thunder every day, when there’s no sudden “aha!” moment of Scripture… what then?

Keep plugging. This is the most important time. Why? You’re saturating your brain in Bible.

During the “valley” times, it’s almost as important to double up on your Bible reading.

As you grow from “little Children” to “young men” or “Fathers” in the Scriptures, these times are preparing the futiure, truly deep insights where you begin to grasp Hebrews. Where you make the connections I recently made a few years back, when I realized…

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Creation: A Key to the Gospel

This seminar was delivered by Dr Don Batten on 21/05/2016. This article is from notes I made so is not completely in keeping with what Dr Batten said though I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture references have been taken from the Geneva Bible, published in 1599. The Geneva Bible is a little-known translation that was a beautiful precursor to today’s King James Bible. Highly recommended if you want to check it out, especially for the godly footnotes.

The heaven and the earth as created by God in Genesis 1:1

The evolution of a humanist mindset

Genesis 1:1, which is a Biblical Creationist’s manifesto, reads:

In the [b]beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Is that what people believe today? Sadly, no, it is not. We allegedly made ourselves, with a popular explanation of our origins being the big bang theory. This theory predominates among mass media outlets today such as ABC TV, channels 7 and 9…and people become slowly but surely convinced that this is the truth. A good exposition of the evolutionary worldview was given by Sir Julian Huxley, who stated:

“In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created: it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion.” (Essays of a Humanist, pp. 82–83, Penguin Books, UK, 1964 (1969 reprint)).

So in Sir Julian’s eyes, even religion “made itself” (quotes mine). What was actually evolving, however, was the humanist mindset.

Consequences of a humanist mindset in schools

Prior to 1962, there was no teaching of evolution in schools. In the 1960’s, in fact, most children went to church, attended Sunday school programs, and therefore had some knowledge of God. When Billy Graham visited Australia and preached that people were sinners who needed to repent and believe the gospel there was a huge response – as indicated a huge reduction in attendance at pubs and nightclubs.

Fast-forward to today. Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, of the Australian Labour Party, is an atheist who has decided that scripture will no longer be taught in schools. This is where our nation is going, unfortunately.

We might argue that the above doesn’t matter as adults are free to choose Christianity once they leave school. The first point to make in response to this is that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. Being submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ is how one becomes saved in the first place: church attendance and prayer without saving faith just will not do. Yet church attendance for the saved is still important. As the old saying goes, if you take a coal out of the fire it loses its heat. You don’t stop believing but drift away spiritually and become lukewarm. Thankfully for us you can’t turn your back on something God has shown you to be true.

The second point is that most twenty-somethings put Christianity on the shelf following their spiritually active teen years (George Barna Group, September 11, 2006). Why is this? The common factor seems to be that around the age of 16 (year 10), most are taught the evolutionary worldview in depth in science classes. And this worldview destroys faith as it seems to contradict the Bible in many instances. This is where we start to lose kids spiritually.

The need for a creationist worldview

The creationist doesn’t just believe theological things about God. What we believe in God’s Word can be shown to be matched by God’s world. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 states, we are to bring others to this knowledge that they might be saved too, simply by:

Casting down the imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, [a]and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,

We are commanded to teach others how faith relates to the world around us. And the theory that everything made itself, the big bang theory, opposes God and we are to demolish these arguments. This is not a side issue, it’s fundamental to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our ministry, therefore, is fundamental to people learning the truth about God and being saved. If our ministry wasn’t about the gospel, I wouldn’t be involved.

Sadly, if you tell people today that they are sinners who need to repent, you don’t get the response we got in the 1960’s. The world is more wicked today, teaching such alleged truisms as “science disproves the Bible.” Our street preachers need CMI (Creation Ministries International). I could tell you many stories about people coming to faith through our Creation Magazine, for example.

Consequences of an evolutionary worldview

It helps here to consider that historical (forensic) science has three main features concerning an event:

  1. Not observable
  2. Not repeatable
  3. Can’t do experiments to either prove or disprove the event

Operational (experimental) science contrasts with the above. In general, history studies the unrepeatable whereas science aims to study the repeatable.

Unfortunately, an evolutionary mindset indoctrinates students to a particular view of historical science and can impede operational science. An example of the latter concerns the belief that certain segments of DNA are “junk” DNA. It was later found that at least some of these sections are not redundant at all but are rather the source of some cancers. Others may have other functions, as outlined in an interesting article by Linda K Walkup: http://creation.com/junk-dna-evolutionary-discards-or-gods-tools

Is there any evidence for creationism in the world around us?

Archaeology

The Biblical account of creation states that on day six both land animals and man were created (see Genesis 1:24-31). If this is so, we would expect dinosaurs and people to have lived together. Do we have any evidence of this? Actually we do. There is abundant evidence from art around the world such as sculptures, paintings and tapestries. One interesting example concerns an ancient Mesopotamian cylinder seal that was found in modern-day Iraq. It appears to depict a dinosaur-like creature, possibly a tanystropheus (see image below):

A helpful article discussing more examples of “snake dragons” depicted in artwork throughout human history, can be found here:
http://creation.com/mesopotamian-monsters-in-paris

Zoology

Galapagos Finches

Charles Darwin first noticed that different species of finches on the Galapagos Islands have variations in beak size and structure, which he posited was due to natural selection. While he correctly observed natural selection in play, it is important to realize that variation within a kind according to seasonal conditions, etc. does not prove macro-evolution (change from one kind to another). To state that it does is to indulge in equivocation or bait-and-switch, a logical fallacy whereby the acceptance of one premise by a person is falsely stated to indicate acceptance of another, more serious premise.

Furthermore, as Jean K Lightner theorises, observed variety in beaks due to natural selection does not explain the origin of the beaks themselves. The following article from her explores this:
http://creation.com/finch-beaks

Paleontology

The Fossil Record
Paleontology is the study of the history of life on Earth as reflected in the fossil record. Fossils are the remains or traces of organisms (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and other single-celled living things) that lived in the geological past and are preserved in the crust of the Earth.

It is interesting to learn that there is no evidence in the fossil record either for jumps from one kind of organism to another. As such, scientists now talk about DNA “proving” evolution, leaving the fossil record with its alleged common ancestors alone.

An example of spurious reasoning from flimsy fossil evidence can be found by considering Ardipithecus Ramidus Kadabba, a supposed common ancestor of man. This ancestor was identified and classified based merely upon a single toe bone (Times Magazine cover story, 23rd July, 2001).

Dr Mary Schweitzer’s dangerous discovery
A further shocking discovery confounding evolutionists was made by paleontologist Dr Mary Schweitzer and reported on by Science 307 in March 2005. This was her observation of fresh tissue in a T-Rex femur sample (see image below):

T-Rex tissue sample by Dr Mary Schweitzer

A close examination of image A above shows what clearly seems to be elastic tissue, contradicting evolutionist’s theories that the sample had survived for over 65 million years. Image B shows another instance of “fresh appearance” which similarly makes it hard to believe in the “millions of years” theory. Finally, image C shows regions of bone where the fibrous structure is still present, compared to most fossil bones which lack this structure. These bones are claimed to be million of years old, yet they manage to retain this structure?

More on Dr Schweitzer’s discovery can be found here:
http://creation.com/schweitzers-dangerous-discovery

Carbon Dating

Because carbon 14 decays so quickly, we can logically infer that if any is still present in a rock sample, it can’t be millions of years old. So evolutionists cannot use this technique to accurately time-clock the age of the earth. More on this here:

http://creation.com/diamonds-a-creationists-best-friend

Genetics

Mutations
It is logical to state that you must add stacks more information to the DNA of a microbe to change it into a horse. To change it into a human being, a creature of far greater complexity, even more information must be added. Where does this information come from?

The most likely explanation is that it comes from mutations, accidental mistakes from one generation to another. These can also be simply viewed as copying mistakes when the DNA of cells are replicated. This is the only way evolutionists can explain their theory of information being added from one generation to the next.

However, there is a problem with the above. We would expect such copying accidents to mess up the information that is being copied. And this is in fact what we see in many examples of mutant creatures such as the TNR rooster, a poor creature which has no feathers:
TNR rooster, a mutant with no feathers

Mutations are in almost all cases deleterious to an organism being replicated, causing a net negative effect by loss or corruption of information. This fact is often not explained in schools, sadly, with mutations being trumped as the mechanism by which evolution can explain away the God of the Bible.

It is interesting to reflect that nowhere do we see websites proclaiming our gradual evolution into super-humans such as X-Men. Rather, we see sites devoted to the outlining of mutations that cause disease and disability in humans such as sickle cell anaemia, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis. We can generalise from this and say then that inherited diseases are caused by mutations in DNA.

Kinesin
We will next consider a sophisticated cellular transport mechanism that is present in complex cells such as ours (eukaryotic) but not in simple ones like microbes. This mechanism is called kinesin, which can be thought of as similar to a docker who loads and unloads packages from ships. The parcel carried by the kinesin in complex cells is packaged up in the golgi apparatus of the cell. The golgi reads the address label contained on the package then sends it to its destination in the cell via kinesin. One example of a package that might be transported is protein, which would be processed by mitochondria in the cell after being sent from the golgi.

Interestingly, as stated above, microbes appear to lack kinesin. How is it then that more complex cells contain it, given that we have just seen that DNA mutations required to produce kinesin cause a net loss of information, rather than a gain? The kinesin is a sophisicated cellular machinery pointing to an intelligent Creator who made everything. More on this topic can be explored by referencing this article:
http://creation.com/incredible-kinesin

Conclusion

Natural selection is not the same as evolution (which could be either big jumps in time or gradual change over time from one kind of creature to another). It doesn’t create information. And mutations don’t create information either. Evolution is therefore an impossible process.

Yet evolution is held onto in schools because of its religious implications. If evolution can be proven to have started and maintained the world around us, then we have true freedom from God. If there is no design, and no Designer, we can live life according to our own terms. This is clearly an appealing prospect for groups in the USA such as FFR.org (Freedom From Religion). They are focused on indoctrinating people away from the God of the Bible towards Darwinism. Should we praise Darwin (see below)? For the faithful, thinking Christian, clearly the answer is no:

FFR.org's praise Darwin billboard campaign

This is not a side issue. It’s fundamental to our faith and to the gospel. All of God’s Word is relevant and true and to be defended, with the New Testament writers (including our Lord) clearly indicating that they followed and believed the Old Testament scriptures including Genesis. We are called to engage with these issues with our mind as well as our heart. As it is written:

37 Jesus said to him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy [a]soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)

Is there evidence for a global flood?

The Fossil Record

With eyes open only to the theory of evolution, the fossil record appears to show suffering and death that occurred over millions of years. Yet the Bible says that God pronounced creation to be “very good” on day six, after man and land animals were created:

31 And God saw all that he had made, and lo, it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)

The two perspectives clearly don’t harmonise. In 1 Corinthians 15:45, the last Adam (Christ) is clearly connected with the first:

45 [a]As it is also written, The [b]first man Adam was made a living soul: and the last Adam was made a [c]quickening spirit.

If the first Adam spoken of in Genesis was not a real person, then there was no need at all for Jesus Christ to die on the cross.

With eyes open to the gospel of Jesus Christ, however, the fossil record can be viewed in an alternative fashion, as a mass kill graveyard and evidence of a worldwide flood. The fossils we see then, embedded in horizontal layers that were laid down quickly and catastrophically (as we will discuss later), are evidence of death and suffering due to sin.

Adam and Eve rebelled against God in Genesis 3, then were cursed. By Genesis 6, the depravity of man had become so intractable that God pronounced judgement on the entire world and sought to cleanse it by water. Only Noah and his family, with representatives of all the major land animal kinds on earth (only the major kinds were needed, as these could genetically diversify again once the flood was over), were spared.

A Landmark Reference Book

So we can see that death and suffering, evidenced by the fossil record, was not the original order of God, who created everything to be good and perfect. We also understand that the Biblical flood is the key to understanding earth’s history. A landmark reference book for creationists is “The Genesis Flood” by Henry Morris and John C Whitcomb:

The Genesis Flood by Henry Morris and John C Whitcomb

The book ably defends the premise that Noah’s flood was real, pointing out that Noah would not have bothered to build a boat to escape a local flood, he would merely have emigrated to another area. And the boat Noah built had of necessity a great carrying capacity, being described in the Bible as 300 cubits (or approximately 143 meters) long. It had then a total capacity of around 15,000 tonnes. Furthermore, Korean architects showed that its shape would have been highly stable in huge seas.

Is there evidence for catastrophic deposition of earth’s layers?

The Grand Canyon
In the diagram below, the Kiabab Upwarp clearly shows layers of the Grand Canyon bending at the same physical point across allegedly millions of years of time. How can this be? A more sensible explanation is that the layers were soft when bent so that they didn’t fracture.

The Grand Canyon's Kaibab Upwarp layers

A more in-depth exploration of this phenomenon can be found here:
http://creation.com/grand-canyon-strata-show-geologic-time-is-imaginary

Little Grand Canyon
The existence of this Georgian landmark shows that layers such as those observed in the Grand Canyon can be carved out in very short time periods. We know that a mudflow carved this out in less than one day in 1980. Hence millions of years are not necessarily needed for such formations (see image below):

Little Grand Canyon in Georgia

More information can be found on this here:
http://creation.com/i-got-excited-at-mount-st-helens

Conclusion

There is heaps of evidence for the Bible’s account of a world-wide flood. Our children need to know this. So don’t apologise when evangelising evolutionists. We can trust the Bible’s account of what happened with our very lives and state unequivocally that God’s Word matches God’s world. This is fundamental to sharing the gospel with people, especially in today’s world. As 1 Peter 3:15 reminds us, we are to:

…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, [b]and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and reverence.

So we are to gently share the evidence that our faith is well founded.

Tools for evangelism

1. Question Evolution tract

CMI have a “question evolution” tract, 15 Questions for Evolutionists, that provides 15 critically important questions that evolutionists cannot adequately answer. The tract contains a QR code which can be scanned by a barcode app on an iPhone or Android phone. Your phone is then taken to the right page on creation.com which answers the questions.

CMI's question evolution tract

The tract can be ordered here:
https://austore.creation.com/15-questions-for-evolutionists

Or you can download your own A4-sized PDF copy for free here, then print off copies:
http://creation.com/images/pdfs/flyers/15-questions-for-evolutionists-a4.pdf

The plain letter size can be downloaded here:
http://creation.com/images/pdfs/flyers/15-questions-for-evolutionists-letter.pdf

2. Creation Magazine

This beautiful publication is a 56-page full-color family magazine that gives God the glory, refutes evolution, and gives you the answers to defend your faith and uphold the true history of the world found in Genesis. Although written for laypeople, every effort is made to make sure the content is technically accurate so that even experts can rarely fault it. And children look forward to the section written specially for them, in each issue.

You can obtain a copy here:
http://creation.com/creation-magazine

Kindly note that you can also buy digital copies of the magazine, which may be viewed on computer, tablet or mobile phone. These may be shared with up to 5 other people so are great for online witnessing and evangelism. Back issues of the magazine are also available for just $1.00.

3. Journal of Creation

This journal brings you in-depth, peer-reviewed comment, reviews and the latest research findings that relate to origins and the biblical account of Creation, the Flood and the Fall. It covers a wide spectrum of studies, not just science. Powerful articles have appeared on topics such as philosophy, theology, history, archaeology, social sciences and many more. This is a great complement to Creation magazine, providing in-depth material from many experts in their field to satisfy the inquiring mind.

You can obtain a copy here:
http://creation.com/journal-of-creation

4. CMI app

Open Google Playstore or iTunes from your Android or iPhone, then search for Creation Ministries International. The app is free and gives you access to articles, tours and events, Creation Magazine and the Journal of Creation.

5. CMI for mobile

If you have an internet-enabled mobile phone, just type in creation.com or creation.mobi to access a fully functional mobile version of CMI’s website.

6. Infobytes newsletter

Infobytes is a weekly CMI newsletter featuring articles on the front line of the creationism/evolutionism debate.

You can sign up here (it’s free):
http://creation.com/infobytes-signup

Lord’s day joy – James Smith

A beautiful prayer from Maria that I wanted to share.

Pilgrim’s Progress revisited - Christiana on the narrow way

.

…God came down in the person of the Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, first filling the house, and then the persons of the saints. Thus qualifying his people to testify for him, publish his truth, and conquer their every foe. That Spirit is still in the church — but more of the power and grace of that Spirit is needed by the church, and therefore we should still cry, “O that you would come down!”

God comes down now — and meets his people in their prayer-closets, giving them sensible manifestations of his presence, impressions of his power, and proofs of his love. He comes down into the sanctuary, and makes the place of his feet glorious. Then his word is powerful, devotion is sweet, and the communion of saints is delightful. He comes down into the heart, fills it with joy and peace, makes it his royal…

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