War and it's aftermath

I have been avoiding it. I have been debating the appropriateness of opening the topic here.

My 18 year old son is a member of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit currently assigned to the USS IWA JIMA, somewhere in the general vicinity of Iraq. A week and a half ago he was in the Mediterranean off the coast of Turkey. He called to say that he would not be able to contact anyone for quite some time. He was not permitted to give any reasons or details, only that he would not be making any calls for the foreseeable future.

Everywhere I turn, people are offering to pray for him, and for us.

I don't resent these comments because I understand that these people feel like they want to do something, and they just don't know what to do. To a Christian, saying that they are "praying for you" somehow placates their feelings of empathy.

My son is married and his first child was born two weeks after he was deployed. He hasn't even seen a picture of his son yet. His wife is nearby living with her mother, so all the grandparents are involved with their new grandson. This is my first grandchild.

Now I appreciate the emotion behind the comments made by those people who have offered to pray for us, but I have been more impressed with one person who did not offer to pray. This person, rather than offering pious platitudes, asked for my son's address. She took the initiative to involve a second grade class in writing to my son.

This person actually did something. She is trying to help my son's morale as he faces the challenges ahead. She did it without being asked.

Now I do not have the opinion that anyone is obligated to do anything for my son. He insisted on becoming a US Marine. He also insisted on marrying young and starting a family right away. My son is not a victim of circumstance, but dove in feet first culminating in his present life situation. However, I am sure things are not progressing as he initially envisioned.

That brings me to how this topic relates to being an Ex Christian.

As a Christian I would have participated, or even staged, prayer vigils. I would have agonized over the state of my son's soul. I would have been tempted to send tracts or religious platitudes. I would have felt obligated to spend long hours in prayer. I would have wondered if the Sovereign Will was to take my son "home." Far from being comforted, I would have been tortured by the belief that GOD was in control of everything, yet my son may come to serious harm or death, because it was HIS mysterious will.

Since I am no longer a Christian I understand that the chances of my son coming to harm are very slight. Although it is war, the number of soldiers in country, compared to the number of casualties so far, gives me confidence that the his odds are pretty good of getting through unscathed. As a disclaimer, I hope that trend continues. As a non-believer, I understand that we are all mortal and that any of our lives can end suddenly or unexpectedly. I realize that if the unthinkable were to happen and I were to lose my son, I have no fear that he may spend eternity in some demented deity's version of horrific painful torture.

I have seen some death in my time. I have been to the funerals of friends and relatives. I buried my own younger brother eleven years ago. I lost two good friends to cancer in the last few months. I have buried dozens of well loved pets. Death is a part of life, something we all face and will experience. The finality of separation can be overwhelming, but most of us eventually recover from the sadness.

The point I am trying to make with this rant is simple. Life offers difficult challenges, we all know that. The contention that faith in Christ, or any other GOD, somehow offers a satisfying hope is just not true. Religion offers nothing but obligation and guilt. "Did I pray enough? Did I witness enough? Did I give enough? What is God trying to teach me? Why won't God take my grief away? Why did God pick my son? Did I solicit enough prayers from others? Is all this the result of some hidden sin in my life?" Any one of us who has walked in the supposed "Light of Christ" has asked these kinds of questions and many others. As a Christian, we always wonder if GOD is chastening us when we have terrible things happen. Christianity does not comfort, it condemns.

As a man without a god, I have to accept the idea that "shit happens" and it is not a plan, or a purpose, or a chastisement, or the part of some eternal big picture. Life just happens. Oh, there are responsible parties for this war in Iraq, and depending on your perspective, the ultimate guilt for this passion play lies in the lap of one or more powerful men. No god is orchestrating the toll in human and material loss we are seeing 24/7 on the television. People start wars and people end them. Praying to our respective deities will do absolutely nothing to abrogate or aggravate the present legalized killing.

The conclusion of this, and every other clash of ideologies, will be settled only by people of action. There are things that can be effectively done on one's knees, but none of those things will change the world.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

submitted by Tim Simmons

Probably one of the most familiar passages in the New Testament is the Lord’s Prayer, which can be found in the gospels of Matthew (Matthew 6:9-13) and Luke (Luke 11:1-4). Jesus provides his disciples with a blueprint for proper prayer, contrasting the attention grabbing prayers of those who prayed in public with the humble and private petition with which we are all familiar. But hidden within the lines of that memorable prayer is a doctrine that proves problematic for the Christian. In short, Jesus is asking God not to steer the believer into a situation where they would undergo a temptation. The problem is obvious.

Why would God actually lead anyone to be tempted to sin?

The whole thrust of the Bible is a plea for the believer to avoid sin. The notion that God, perfect in his knowledge and incapable of sinning, would actually allow someone to be tempted is understandable if you believe 1st Corinthians 10:13 which says that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability to resist but provides a way out for every temptation. The notion that God actually leads a person into temptation, or testing, is deplorable. As if life isn’t plagued enough with temptations to do wrong, God must actually lead people into tempting circumstances, thereby playing a part in their sin.

The first case of God tempting man comes within the first two chapters of the Bible! God creates the universe in six days (why an omnipowerful deity needed six days is beyond me), placed man in a beautiful garden and then placed within his reach a tree from which he was commanded not to eat.

Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17
8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

Now, here we have a utopian setup with a sinless man, a perfect world and a God who was physically communing with the man and yet God had to provide the man with an unnecessary temptation. It was unnecessary because the tree of the knowledge of good and evil didn’t serve any other purpose than to tempt the man! God, or gods if you understand that elohiym in Hebrew is the plural for god, didn’t need the tree because he already knew good from evil.

Genesis 3:22
22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil;

The tree, however, did serve a purpose for the writers of the Genesis tale. It provided an easy explanation, although problematic, for why mankind died of old age. To the Genesis writers, it made perfect sense. They needed man to be banished from the garden of Eden, removing the tree of life from his grasp which then brought about the physical (not spiritual) death of mankind. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil didn’t have to be there since man could have sinned in any number of ways (murdering Eve, for example), thereby removing the fact that God actually caused man to sin by placing a restriction upon him which served no other purpose but to cause him to sin. But the authors were unable to see past the simplicity of their fiction to the theological quandary it created: God tempted man.

Now, some will say that God didn’t tempt man, Satan did. But I ask them “Who planted a tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden and made it taboo? Did Satan plant the tree?” God also, being omniscient, knowingly allowed the serpent (which, by the way, is not Satan, Lucifer, etc.) to push Eve over the line and hence Adam (who, by the way, was never named Adam since the Hebrew word for man is adam). Therefore, God is ultimately responsible for leading man into temptation.

One analogy that comes to mind is that of a father playing with his two-year old daughter in the living room. There are plenty of off-limit items for a two year old but one day, he decides to place his unloaded .45 on the coffee table, pull his daughter over and explicitly tell her not to touch it or she would get a spanking. What purpose does that gun on the coffee table serve other than to tempt the little girl? He leaves it there until the inevitable happens: natural curiosity overwhelms her and she touches it. No one would view the father as being morally just in that circumstance but isn’t that exactly what the authors of Genesis have God doing? Only they needed the forbidden tree to be in the garden so that man could violate a command of God and consequently, be expelled from paradise and eternal life, thereby giving the primitive Jews an explanation for the origin of physical death.

The meaning of the word temptation as modern culture understands it is a battle between a person’s simultaneous desires to refrain from an act which would result in a greater good and to indulge in the act for more immediate gratification. Should I eat that Twix bar and fulfill my desire to excite my tongue and add unnecessary pounds to my already bulging waistline? Or, should I refrain and meet my desire for a healthier body and mind in the long haul? One desire usually wins out but not to commit the fallacy of excluding the middle, one might eat only half the candy bar, thereby trying to please both desires. But the word as used in the Bible can be, for all practical purposes, substituted with the word test.

The end result is the same. Mankind is being tested to see if he will obey God (not sin) or disobey God (sin). This is demonstrated most clearly in Jesus’ wilderness temptations. The passages are found in Matthew and Luke and depict Jesus being tempted or, tested, by Satan.

Matthew 4:1
1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Isn’t it interesting that the Holy Spirit was the one who “led Jesus into temptation”?

The first test appealed to Jesus’ hunger. Should Jesus use his power to make bread from the surrounding stones and satisfy his immediate desire? Or, should he refrain from it, thereby fulfilling scripture and satisfying the doctrine that he was tempted as we all are, yet without sin? Use the power (sin) or not (no sin) – it all boils down to the same thing whether you call it a test or a temptation.

James had a few things to say about temptation. Apparently, there were those during his lifetime who also noticed that God was guilty of leading people into temptation, just like Jesus acknowledged was possible in his prayer, and he gave this inspired response.

James 1:12-15
12 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; 14 but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

A few things are worthy of noting. First, James boldly asserts that God cannot be tempted with evil. Hmm. Didn’t we just see Jesus (who most Christians believe is God) being tempted with evil? Or, does this only prove that Jesus was truly just an earthly messiah who was to rule the Jews as the descendent of David? If Jesus was really the “god-man”, fully God and fully man, then how could he have been tempted being “fully God”? He would have known far too much to be tempted with the measly offerings that Satan tossed his way. “Hey Jesus… Although you are God and created everything including me, I’ll give you a few kingdoms on Earth if you’ll worship me.” At any rate, the more interesting phrase is the very next piece: God tempts no one. Obviously, James didn’t know his Old Testament very well! We’ve already seen that God did tempt Adam and Eve with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Are there any other instances where God tempts or, tests, man? Let’s take a peek, shall we?

When God told Abraham to murder his son, Isaac, that was a test. In fact, the verse actually uses the word tempted!

Genesis 22:1-2
1And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

James, if you’re in heaven listening now, I hope you see the danger of making dogmatic assertions that do not reflect the facts. God tempted Abraham. God tested Abraham. There is no distinction because the end result is exactly identical! Abraham is faced with the two (possibly more) desires. Does he meet the desire whereby he wants to save his son from being stabbed with a knife till he bleeds to death and then roasted or does he meet his other desire which is to obey God? Save his son (disobey God, which is sin) or kill his son (obey God, which is never a sin no matter what God tells a person to do)? Sin or not sin?

Sorry, James. God tempted Abraham.

Another instance of God tempting man to sin is the story of David being moved by God (or prompted by God) to number Israel.

2nd Samuel 24:1

1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

So, was numbering Israel really a sin? Let’s see what God’s word has to say.

2nd Samuel 24:10-13
10And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 11For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 13So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.

Not only did David believe he had sinned, but so did God because he offered three different punishments to choose from. It almost sounds like the old TV show Let’s Make A Deal. The scary thing is that God moved David to sin. It could also be said that God caused David to sin for as Paul states in Romans 9, “who can resist God’s will?”

Another interesting instance where God was tempted (but not to evil) is recorded in Exodus chapter 17. Here, the Israelites are moaning and bellyaching to Moses because they are dying from thirst, being in the desert for so long without water. Seems reasonable to me. I moan and bellyache if my Internet connection suddenly disconnects so why would it be unreasonable to gripe if you haven’t had anything to drink in days? Nevertheless, the people tempted God.

Exodus 17:1-7
1And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. 2Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? 3And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 4And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. 5And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 6Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

What I find interesting about this little pericope is that although the people tempted God by saying “Is he among us” or in our vernacular, “If God exists, why doesn’t he do A, B or C?”, God succumbed to the temptation!!! Holy cow! Here we have an all-mighty, all-knowing God being coerced into acquiescing to the people’s griping! It is not a case of God being tempted to do something evil, but a case of God being tempted to prove his existence and giving in to the test. This isn’t the only time God worked miracles for the express purpose of proving his existence to his chosen people as well as the heathen, either. If only he would do that today, wouldn’t it allow more skeptics to be saved and give truth to the passage in 2nd Peter 3:9 which says:

9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Unfortunately, God is willing that many should perish if we take the stories at face value. We’ve seen the evolution from the words of Jesus “lead us not into temptation” to the more refined theology of James where God “tempts no one”. The notion that God plays a part in man’s sin is abhorrent to the Christian but I’ll leave the Christian to cogitate on the implications of these famous words of their Lord and Savior.

“lead us not into temptation”

copyright 2001 Tim Simmons


Here are some excerpts from Bob Jones University's website about Christians who teach science.

"The Christian who labors in the field of science or science education does many things the same way that his secular counterpart does. To a great extent he uses and teaches the same facts and laws. His research equipment and instructional aids are much the same. Where, then, does the difference lie? Ironically, a major distinction is the fact that the Christian is more consistently committed to the key ingredient of the scientific method--observation--than is his unregenerate counterpart. The latter is often prone to rely more heavily on human speculations than on the data themselves, especially when they are inimical to his evolutionary-humanistic beliefs. The Christian is specially motivated to be scrupulously honest in both the recording and the interpretation of his data, for he does his work as unto the Lord rather than unto men. Other distinctives have to do with certain erroneous beliefs and practices to which the Christian does not fall victim. These will be enumerated in the section on the limitations of science (p.9) and the section on the points of conflict with the secular philosophy of teaching science (p.12)."

The thing that really gets me about this whole thing is the unsupported allegation that the Christian is completely honest while the secular counterpart is hinted at as being dishonest. In contrast to this statement I have to say that when I was a Christian I was constantly telling myself to "just have faith" when I ran into terrible contradictions with my fantastic and mythical understanding of the world ala Christianity. I always felt compelled to align everything I learned with supporting the BIBLE. If anything contradicted the BIBLE, well then I just had to throw it out as of the devil, or wrong, or whatever.

Anyway, someone has to comment on this blatant slander.

Below is a small piece of the site. The whole thing can be read for a good laugh, or cry, by clicking HERE

Pass It Up

© 2001 Tim Simmons
(Sung to the tune of Pass It On)

It only takes one fib
to get a legend going
And soon all those around
will suffer from it’s growing.

That’s how it is with God’s love
once you’ve experienced it.
It doesn’t fit, it’s all bullshit.
You’ll want to pass it up.

What kind of heinous fiend
would slaughter newborn babies?
1st Samuel 15
leaves no ifs, ands or maybes

That’s how it is with God’s love
once you’ve experienced it.
It doesn’t fit, it’s all bullshit.
You’ll want to pass it up.

Uncleanness was a sin
from high priest down to shepherd.
So what can we conclude
if Jesus touched a leper?

That’s how it is with God’s love
once you’ve experienced it.
It doesn’t fit, it’s all bullshit.
You’ll want to pass it up.

The Bible is a mess
With errors does it resound
It says the Earth is flat
The contradictions abound

That’s how it is with God’s love
once you’ve experienced it.
It doesn’t fit, it’s all bullshit.
You’ll want to pass it up.

I’ll shout it from the mountain tops
I want the world to know.

I’m sick of it
it’s all bullshit.
No evidence
it’s all nonsense.

Y o u ’l l   w a n t   t o   p a s s   i t   u p.

Bible God goes CUTE!

Heaven's Gate Press
Bible God installed Teddy Roosevelt as HIS new public affairs officer. Rumor has it that Yahweh has come under some criticism for past atrocities and is in need of a new image. "I was watching the movie "Monsters.Inc" and it occurred to me that I could be cute too!" said Jesus' Father in a public release statement. "I want young people everywhere to forget all about my terrible wrath and just think of ME as their own personal cuddle friend." stated the vengeful deity.

Rumors about an eternal "Lake of Fire" being stoked for anyone who resists cuddling with the Omniscient One continue to plague the efforts of Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. Roosevelt realizing what a big job he was about to undertake, reportedly solicited the assistance in his efforts of none other than Joseph Goebbels. Mr. Goebbels laughed when questioned and said, "Ah Yes, I had my hands full too as I tried to reshape the public image of another famous dictator. I am sure I can offer some sound and experienced advise."

First ad campaign was launched over East 3rd Street in Dayton Ohio Monday.
Time will tell how effective this collaboration between the staunchly Reformed Christian Politician Roosevelt and the Devoted Catholic Propagandist Goebbels are in remaking this infamously jealous Creator. Besides overcoming their denominational differences, the huge task of reinterpreting Bible God's heinous history, preserved in the native language of nearly every people group on Earth will present a major obstacle. Mr. Goebbels appears to be unconcerned with the challenges before them. In a private interview Mr. Goebbels was emphatic on one thing: "If you say it often enough, people will believe it, even when faced with mountains of contradicting evidence."

Remember, "GOD LOVES YOU!"

God's Billboards

"If you love someone, threaten to burn them in hell for eternity." - God

"Don't do as I do, do as I say." - God

"You think YOU'RE a victim of child abuse?" - Jesus

"I could prove my existence, but then nobody would get to go to hell." - God

"That part about rabbits chewing cud, I meant that." - God

"Love means forgiving even those who don't worship you." - Man

"For I so loved the world that I sacrificed Myself to Myself to appease My own anger at My own creation." - God

"Go to Hell." - God

"If you don't worship me, I'll force you to live in a lake of fire for eternity. But I love you. No, really..." - God

"It's the best I could do. I'm only omnipotent, omniscient, and immortal" - God

"Worship me, or I'll torture you forever." - God

See them all at God's Billboards

The Embarrassment of Biblical Chronology

Copyright © James B. Jordan 1989

And Arpachshad lived thirty-five years, and became the father of Shelah . . . And Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber . . . and Eber lived thirty-four years and became the father of Peleg . . . and Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu. . . (Genesis 11:12ff.).

The fact that the Bible contains chronological information cannot be disputed. What can and often has been disputed is whether or not that chronological information has any real value, either theologically or historically. It is my conviction, and that of many others including the sponsor of this newsletter, that Biblical chronology is extremely important, both theologically and historically.

Chronology is the backbone of history. This is rather obvious and no one would question it. When we look into the matter, however, we are confronted with the question: What in fact is the chronology of events in the ancient near east? What is the chronology that forms the backbone for our understanding of the events we know happened during the millennia before Christ?

This is where the "rubber meets the road" as far as Biblical chronology is concerned, because the Bible seems to provide a chronology from creation to the cross, but it is not the same as the chronology of the ancient world that is in use today both in secular and in evangelical Christian circles. The secularist chronology is a speculative composite of various pieces of data, loosely hinged on a chronology of Egypt compiled by Manetho (flourished 300 B.C.). Everyone admits, however, that Manetho's chronology is in error at numerous points. The result is that the secularist chronology of the ancient near east has very little foundation.

Biblical chronology is regarded as an unacceptable alternative, however, because it is too short. If there was a global flood (or even a local near eastern flood) around 2350 B.C., as the Bible maintains, then the Egyptian civilization could not have arisen around 4000 B.C., or even 3000 B.C. Egypt would have arisen shortly before 2000 B.C., and this is regarded as too late by twentieth century secularist scholars. Though the secularist chronology shifts from time to time, and indeed has become shorter in the twentieth century, it never becomes anywhere near short enough to accommodate the chronology of the Bible.

The secularists maintain a veritable army of state-university-sponsored archaeologists, translators (of ancient writings), and historians, all maintaining the standard secularist line in the area of ancient near east chronology. Against this formidable array of scholarship and speculation, the pitiable forces of evangelical, traditionalist, and modernist Christianity long ago capitulated. For the modernist, who discounts the accuracy of the Bible, this is no problem. For the traditionalist (Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, Eastern Orthodox), with his vague commitment to Biblical authority, this is not much of a problem. For the evangelical (and for strict Biblicists among the traditionalistic groups), this is a major problem.

The problem arises from the fact that if the Bible is inerrant, then its chronology is inerrant. If the Bible's chronology is inerrant, then a great deal of secularist speculation about the ancient near east is in error. If this is true, the Bible-believing community is confronted with a massive revisionist project. The entire history of the ancient near east will have to be reassessed. This will not be acceptable to the secularists, and Christianity will lose even more academic respectability. Six-day creationism is bad enough; Biblical chronology is impossible -- such is the attitude pervasive in Bible-believing circles.

To explain the true faith in such a way as to offset the ridicule of our cultured despisers is in itself a laudable objective. It has been part of the goal of Christian apologetics since the beginning. If, however, there is no way to avoid confrontation over an issue, then we must be faithful to Christ and to the Scriptures, even if we lose credibility.

The evangelical world has lost credibility on this point anyway. For nearly a century, the evangelical world has maintained that there are "gaps" in the Biblical chronology, and that therefore we cannot say the world was created around 4000 B.C. This belief makes possible an accommodation to the proposals coming from the world of secularist speculation and scholarship. (In a later essay we shall take up the origin of this "gap" theory.)

Far from making orthodox Christianity more acceptable, this accommodation has made it seem silly. Secularists and modernists can read Genesis 5 and 11, and they can see clearly that these chapters both intend to provide a chronology and in fact do provide a chronology. They don't believe this chronology is accurate, but they can see that it is present. As a result, they regard the modern evangelical position as stupid and ridiculous. "If you really believe the Bible is inerrant," they say, "then you have to take this chronology seriously. You're just making fools of yourselves by trying to evade the information contained in these chapters."

There can be little question but that the reason for evangelical reassessments of the chronology was the rise of evolutionary geology and archeology. In order to protect the Bible from the charge of error in its detailing of the creation, evangelicals frequently turned to the "gap theory," to the "day-age theory," or to the "framework hypothesis" in order to reconcile Genesis 1 with the assured results of modern scientific inquiry. The chronology of the Bible also proved an embarrassment, in that scholars were confident that archeological remains from civilizations dating from before 4000 B.C. had been unearthed. Evangelicals were forced either to reconcile the Bible to these hypotheses or else to eschew scholarly respectability while advocating their own peculiar interpretative schema for geology and archaeology. A few "creationist" scholars maintained the traditional Christian view of geology, but until very recently there has been no similar movement in the realm of archeology. For the most part, the chronological data of Genesis 5 and 11 have been put aside. Beegle's summary serves to highlight the embarrassing aspect of the matter:

Until geological information disproved the 4004 date, most Jews and Christians (including many alert, even brilliant, persons) thought the genealogy in Genesis 5 was intended to show the consecutive history of man. Inasmuch as some evangelicals in the nineteenth century felt the force of the new geological information, they were inclined to stretch the genealogy enough to provide gaps for the scientific data. But how did this relate to the intent of the author? If the geological and other scientific data known today had not been made available to us, would we have doubted that Genesis 5 was intended to be chronological? Not likely. The Biblical evidence is too explicit at this point. It is our scientific knowledge that causes us to ignore the clear meaning of the passage. Obviously, then, the intent of the Biblical writer can hardly be accommodated to the scientific facts made available from generation to generation.

Is Beegle correct in what he implies? Have evangelical scholars simply drummed up some artificial and nugatory arguments against Biblical chronology in order to retain academic respectability, or are there in fact aspects of the problem that did not come to light until recent years, aspects of which earlier expositors were unaware?

Now of course, if in fact the Bible shows that the chronologies of Genesis 5 and 11 have gaps, and therefore cannot be taken rigorously, then that's another matter. We must not let ourselves be brow-beaten by the secularists and modernists, and forced by their ridicule to adopt an unsound position.

Let me provide an analogy. A few years ago a family was on trial for sending their children to an unregistered Christian school. The attorneys came up with a list of questions that they would ask to find out of these people were really serious Christians or not. The purpose was to see if this was really a "matter of conscience." Among the questions asked were things like this: "Do you have a television in your home? Do you drink alcohol? Do you smoke?" Now, as a matter of fact, there is nothing in the Bible and the Christian religion against having a television or drinking and smoking in moderation. These attorneys were totally out of line in imposing their definition of "conscientious Christianity" on these parents.

Just so, we cannot permit the James Barrs, Dewey Beegles, and Stephen Davises of this world to bludgeon us into accepting Biblical chronology just on their say-so. The ultimate question remains whether or not the Bible in fact gives a chronology. The point I am making here, however, is that the evangelical capitulation on this point has not gained intellectual credibility for the faith. Quite the contrary. Capitulation on the question of chronology has made evangelical Christianity look ridiculous.

In conclusion, there is no way to evade the embarrassment of Biblical chronology. If we try to pretend that Genesis 5 and 11 do not provide a chronology, we shall be ridiculed by intelligent unbelievers, who can plainly see that there is a Biblical chronology. If we accept the Biblical chronology and enter into the task of rethinking the secularist chronology of the ancient near east, we shall be regarded as foolish and quixotic. Either way, we shall lose "respectability." This being the case, let us not worry about what others may think, and ask the question: What say the Scriptures?

this article is for real and copied from HERE

10 Questions for Christians

submitted by Gary McNutt

1. Where is the justice in punishing us for Adam's sin? If the bible itself says that children will not be punished for the parents' sins (Deut. 24:16). Furthermore, if God really created Adam not knowing either good or evil (Gen 3:22), how could such a harsh and enduring punishment as death for Adam and all his descendants possibly be just? Our secular courts are more just than God when they show mercy on people who cannot distinguish between right and wrong, such as children and the mentally handicapped. And why isn't this doctrine of original sin found anywhere in the Bible except in Paul's writings? Why didn't Jesus ever mention it, or teach it?

2. How could Adam and Eve ever have sinned if God had actually created them perfect, even if they did have free will? If God created them imperfect, how could a perfect omnipotent being create anything imperfect?

3. Why Pray? If it changes God's mind then he is not sovereign. If it does not change Gold's mind then it is superfluous.

4. Why would a loving, omnipotent, benevolent god cause people to believe falsehoods so that he can condemn them? (II Thes 2:11 - 12)

5. Why does Jesus quote a non-existent verse of the OT scripture (John 7:38)? Is it possible that he considered other non-canonical writings also to be God's Word?

6. Which "Ten Commandments" are the Ten Commandments - the ones listed in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, or the ones listed at Exodus 34? Only the list at Exodus 34 is explicitly called the "Ten Commandments" in the biblical text.

7. Why does the writer of Matthew quote a non-existent OT prophecy (Matthew 2:23)?

8. Why does the writer of Matthew attribute a quote about the potter's field to Jeremiah, when Jeremiah has no such passage and the closest one in the OT is Zechariah (Matthew 27:9 - 10, Zechariah 11:12)?

9. Why doesn't prayer work, when the bible promises that it will (John 14:14, for example)?

10. Why aren't christians doing greater works than Jesus did, since he himself said they would (John 14:12)? Why aren't they raising the dead, turning water into wine, healing the sick, feeding multitudes from a very small amount of food, casting out demons, walking on water?

The Will of God

© 2003 Tim Simmons

“You must find the will of God” implored my new brother in Christ. I had just been baptized that Sunday and I didn't really know what Ed meant by that remark. But then there were many things I didn't’ understand as a new babe in Christ. As the years went by, I matured in stature and wisdom. I had recently graduated from Caldwell Seminary and was eager to serve God in whatever direction he led.

I prayed each night and asked him, “God, what is it that I'm supposed to be doing?” I knew that the fervent prayer of a righteous man was effective but all I got was silence. Although I received no answer, it didn't discourage me because I knew that God worked on his own time frame and I also knew that God had a plan for every person’s life. Then one summer night after a long prayer session, the answer came unexpectedly. It was like a bolt of lightning – a flash and then it was gone. But I heard it distinctly as if God had spoken directly into my ear.

“You must find my will.”

The puzzling remark that had baffled me for so many years suddenly crystallized in my mind’s eye and became a clear plan from God. My mission in life was simply to find his will. It was so simple! How could I have overlooked something so obvious for so many years? I literally cried that night, saying “Thank you, Lord. Thank you for reaching down to me and showing me the path.” I knew what must be done but how would I begin? How does one seek the will of God? I know it sounds crazy, but as soon as the question formed in my mind, I saw a glowing image – a floating spirit that hovered directly in front of me and spoke to my mind and said, “To find the will of God you must journey to his home. Only there will you find his will.” I cowered before the being and gathered the nerve to ask, “But how is that possible?” The angel again spoke and said, “With God, all things are possible.” Before I could speak again, the angel was gone.

Either I was seeing things or all my fervent prayer was paying off! I couldn't sleep that night, as you can imagine, and spent most of it trying to make sense of the angel’s enigmatic clues. God’s home… Heaven? Surely, the angel did not mean I had to die in order to find the will of God. What would be the point? No, there must be some other meaning. Wait a minute - the apostle Paul spoke of a man who was caught up to the third heaven. I knew from my studies of ancient Christianity that there were seven layers of heaven with God residing in the top layer so perhaps the answer was that I, like Isaiah, must journey to the seventh heaven where God made his home. But instantly I knew that was not correct. I was making this too difficult. No, I wasn't making it too difficult. I was avoiding the obvious answer all along.

Nazareth! It all made sense now. I knew that I had to go to the home of Christ, who was God in the flesh, if I had any chance of finding the will of God.

Without knowing anything more, the next morning I set off.

Being a “Bachelor of the Lord” has its benefits and the words of Paul rang true once more.

    “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.”

I boarded the first plane to Israel I could find and didn't look back. It was a gorgeous flight and after spending all day in the air, I finally touched down at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. The first thing to do would be find a hotel and then rest for the tour which would eventually take me to the home town of Jesus.

I found a hotel nearby and settled in with my humble belongings. Once inside my room, I plopped onto the room’s only bed and fell onto my back. I looked at the clock - 4 A.M. Sleep was now out of the question since I wanted to be in Nazareth by noon so I decided to read from my Bible and just relax for a few hours.

I opened to a random page and landed in Hebrews chapter ten. I often let God choose the parts of his word and lead me in study. I began to read and stopped after reading verse thirty-six, which read:

    “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

The will of God! God was speaking to me through his word and I was tuned in. If I persevered I would receive the reward of God’s promise. I read the last few verses.

    “For in just a very little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”

A chill shook me and I knew that I had misinterpreted this before to be a reference to the second coming of Jesus: the Parousia! Now, the meaning was clear. I was the one who must persevere but the one who is to come and will not delay? No, that was not a reference to Jesus. It was a reference to the evil one himself - Satan! Satan was coming and he would not delay. He was coming to test my resolve, my faith. If I shrink back, God will not be pleased with me. I felt my heart skip a beat. If I shrink back, I will be destroyed. Fear, black and cold, enveloped me. I began to see the room fading off in all directions. It expanded and vanished before my eyes. I was no longer on a bed. I was no longer in a room. I knew instantly where I was. I was in outer darkness.

I floated in darkness. But where are the wailing sounds? It was perfectly quiet. Then a voice no man could imitate, dry and scaly, whispered directly behind my head.


I was unable to speak or move. My heart had stopped beating or was it beating so fast that I couldn't feel it?

“I have come.”

An abomination arose from below me, like a shark shooting up from the murky depths, becoming larger and larger. If I shrink back, I will be destroyed. A gaping jaw opened and I heard the wailing of countless souls and the gnashing of teeth – Satan had come to take my soul. I was helpless. I began to black out. If I shrink back, I will be destroyed. I came back for a moment and looked down. My God! I mustn't shrink back. I mustn't. But what must I do? A wave of pressure pushed me upward as the cavernous jaws began to slowly close. I am lost. Consciousness began to slip quietly away. NO! I am a believer! Believers will not be destroyed. Believers will be saved! Yes, Lord, I believe. I believe.

The nightmare snapped its jaws shut just inches from my dangling feet. I tumbled upward from the force and then felt myself lying on my back. The room became solid around me and I thought I heard a dry, scratchy sound trailing off into the distance. Satan had tested me – and I had apparently passed the test. My clothes were soaked with sweat. I glanced at the clock. It was 7 A.M. I jumped up from the bed and readied myself to meet the day that God had prepared for me. I wasted no time in securing a spot on the next tour that went to Nazareth. We spent half a day visiting some of the other attractions but my mind was shifting and fading in and out, thinking about the very homeland of God.

“And now we come to the famous home of Jesus of Nazareth.” My daydream was aborted as I snapped back to the real world. When the bus finally rolled to a stop, I stepped out and found myself standing before the famous Church of the Annunciation. This is it. Nazareth – the home of Jesus! I walked through the archway and before I could take in the beautiful interior I was immediately greeted by a young boy who asked me, “Who are you?” What a cute little boy! “My name is Tim. What’s your name?” I asked the bright-eyed boy. “What are you seeking?” he asked, ignoring my question. His question stunned me at first but then I realized that God must be guiding me by sending an angel in the form of a boy. When I had gathered my thoughts I answered him. “I have come here seeking the will of God.” I confided. The little boy’s eyes suddenly lit up and taking my hand he tugged at my arm saying, “Follow me!” Where had I heard that imperative before!

I accompanied the boy as he walked from the church and headed towards some low-lying hills that seemed to be about a mile away. I didn't think it wise to question the boy because to me that would have been like questioning God himself. I had come too far not to trust in God's providence! As we grew closer to the hills, a wonderful thought occurred to me. God is using me in a mighty way! Oh, how my heart raced at the idea of being a tool in the hand of an almighty God!

We finally reached the base of a rocky hill that looked to be about two hundred feet high and the boy stopped. He looked around as if he was lost. He hesitated a moment and then walked around the base toward a large boulder the size of a truck. I followed and watched him disappear behind the boulder. As I reached the other side of it, the boy was no longer there! A surge of adrenaline caused the butterflies to flitter in my stomach and I called out. “Hey! Boy, where are you?” No answer. Great. Now what? I began to doubt I had even seen the boy and that I simply imagined him. Maybe I was having a nervous breakdown. Then a hand emerged from a small opening behind the boulder. Now an arm. It waved back and forth and I knew that I had been the butt of a joke! You little prankster… I chuckled to myself and squatted near the hole to see if it was wide enough for me to enter.

It was completely overgrown with dense shrubbery and I doubt I would have spotted it on my own. I bent down and pulled back some of the vegetation and peered into the opening. It looked hopeless but I’d come so far. I remembered the words of the angel. With God, all things are possible. With renewed resolve, I trusted God. I decided it best to go feet first. I sat down and put my legs into the opening. I halted with a yell. I have no flashlight! How am I going to see anything down there? Trust. I have to trust. The boy must know his way around down there. So, I descended slowing and turned around when my waist was in the opening. I still couldn't feel the bottom. I went further in and had to decide whether to let go and fall or pull myself back up. “Just do it!” I said to myself. I let go.

The fall wasn't more than a few feet but I wondered how the boy managed to stick his arm through the opening. I stood up and saw the dim shape of some rocks he used to get back out just to the right of the opening. So, that’s how he did it. I couldn't see the boy. I really couldn't see anything except the opening and the rocks he used to climb back out. I called out. “Boy?” My voice seemed to echo back from the left but the boy didn't answer. I decided to feel my way around toward where I heard the echo. It was fairly easy going and I called out periodically to try to see if I could follow the echoes. They weren't very strong and knowing a little about acoustics I could tell that the cave was not very large. I stumbled on a rock and fell. Dust flew up around me and I began to cough. I got up and hurried to find the source of the echo and some dust-free air. My hand found the edge of a rock that seemed to be worn smooth. I turned left and sure enough I was in a small hallway of sorts.

Where is that boy? The hallway was now completely dark and I could feel both sides of the corridor as well as the ceiling. I felt a bit claustrophobic but God had brought me here and I wasn't going to let him down. I walked forward cautiously, feeling the small rocks and clay crunch under my shoes. After about a minute of walking, my outstretched hand touch another wall. Dead end! I began to doubt again but the words of Jesus comforted me. I am with you always. I was in God’s hands and had nothing to fear. I shouted out loud, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” The words danced down the corridor and out into the main room.

My fear subsided and Jesus again spoke to me. Seek and ye shall find! I felt around and slid my hand up and down the dry walls, looking for anything. I felt nothing but the dry rock walls. After a few minutes, I got on my knees and prayed to God. Lord, I am not worthy to be your servant. You have brought me this far and I have failed you. I humble myself and seek your will. I pour out my heart to you. Show me your will!

With my head bent I began to cry. How foolish I am to think that the creator of the universe would use me in any great way! How puffed up and arrogant I am. I laid down on my back with my head at the end of the hallway. I opened my eyes and saw blackness. Reaching behind my head, my hand slid into a hole in the wall at ground level. I rolled onto my stomach and ran my hand along the edge of the opening.

It was only about twelve inches wide and a little taller. No squeezing through this one. With some hesitation, I reached into the hole. My fingers hit the front of some smooth round surface. This is no rock. I followed it up and found it had a seam and then realized it must be some kind of pottery or clay container. I pulled it out slowly and ran my fingers along the top. It was sealed. Is this what God wanted me to find? Where did the boy go?

I took my discovery and made my way back to the main room. I could now see a little better. I climbed the makeshift rock stairs and lifted the container over my head to get a better look in the light of the opening. I held it up high and thrilled at my unexpected find but then my right foot slipped off the edge of the rock. I lost my balance, juggled the container, grasped for it and missed. As I hit the ground, so did the container and I heard it shatter. “No!”, I screamed and I ran to assess the damage. In the dim light I could tell that it had shattered into at least a hundred pieces. It was ruined. But there was something in the rubble. It looked like a piece of wood but as I picked it up, I knew it was a small scroll. I had seen pictures of them during my college classes. I was so anxious to read it that I completely forgot about the clay pot and left it there as I made my way out of the secret cave.

Once into the bright daylight, I squinted a while until my eyes readjusted. The cool wind whisked through my hair and it felt good to be outdoors again. I wasn't sure if I should unroll the scroll. I thought it might crumble or crack but I decided to go slowly and check as I went. I must admit that curiosity overwhelmed me.

I quickly realized to my chagrin that it wasn't written in English. Was that Hebrew? Aramaic? Why didn't I pay more attention in college? I knew what I must do now. I’d deliver it to the Church of the Annunciation and they’d know what to do with it.

Tim never made it back to the Church of the Annunciation. His body was found several days later about half a mile from the church with a small scroll in his hand. But in a strange twist of irony, Tim did find the will of God. The following is a translation of the small scroll that Tim discovered in that hidden Nazareth cave.

The Last Will and Testament of God

I, God, formerly known as Jehovah, formerly known as Yahweh, formerly known as El, being of sound mind and spirit, do hereby bequeath all of my Holy Attributes to my faithful chosen: the twelve tribes of Israel.

To the tribe of Zebulun, I hereby bequeath my Holy Mercy as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    “Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.”

    “When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.”

To the tribe of Benjamin, I hereby bequeath my Holy Standard of Morality as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have--you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.”

    “You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves”

    “If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do.”

    “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; but every man's slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it.”

    “But if a priest buys a slave as his property with his money, that one may eat of it, and those who are born in his house may eat of his food.”

To the tribe of Issachar, I hereby bequeath my Holy Patience as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    “Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.”

    “On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept crying out, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’ And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.”

To the tribe of Asher, I hereby bequeath my Holy Justice as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it became ill. Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died.”

    “If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but remains in bed, if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished;”

    “He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.”

    “He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.”

    “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property.”

    “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.”

    “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

    “Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”

    “Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.”

    “Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation; and they put him in custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.’ So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.”

    “He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the LORD alone, shall be utterly destroyed.”

To the tribe of Dan, I hereby bequeath my Holy Omnipotence as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    “The sons of Joseph said, ‘The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the valley land have chariots of iron, both those who are in Beth-shean and its towns and those who are in the valley of Jezreel.’ Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, ‘You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only,but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong.’
    Now the LORD was with Judah, and they took possession of the hill country; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots.”

To the tribe of Levi, I hereby bequeath my Holy Respect for Human Life as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    "The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth;”

    “Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

    “Elijah answered the captain, ‘If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!’ Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.”

    “The LORD said to me, 'See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy, that you may possess his land.' Then Sihon with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz. The LORD our God delivered him over to us, and we defeated him with his sons and all his people. So we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor. We took only the animals as our booty and the spoil of the cities which we had captured.”

    “Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og, king of Bashan, with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. But the LORD said to me, 'Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; and you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.' So the LORD our God delivered Og also, king of Bashan, with all his people into our hand, and we smote them until no survivor was left. We captured all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns. We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women and children of every city. But all the animals and the spoil of the cities we took as our booty.”

    “Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.”

To the tribe of Rueben, I hereby bequeath my Holy Impartiality as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    "The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.”

    “And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, ‘THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.’ Just as it is written, ‘JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.’”


    “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.’ So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”

    “Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.”

    “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

    “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’’”

    “Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed." But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us." But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."”

To the tribe of Naphtali, I hereby bequeath my Holy Omniscience as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    "On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: ’O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.”

    “The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.”

    “…who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble;”

    “The earth and all who dwell in it melt; It is I who have firmly set its pillars.”

    “And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth;”

    “When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants, it is I who keep its pillars steady.”

    “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and He set the world on them.”

    “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.”

    “It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down.”

    “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky”

To the tribe of Joseph, I hereby bequeath my Holy Foreknowledge as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    "And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart..”

    “And the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.”

    “Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, ‘O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth'? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’’ So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.”

    “Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.” 13 The LORD said, ‘In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.’ Then I said, ‘Not so, Sovereign LORD! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth.’ ‘Very well,’ he said, ‘I will let you bake your bread over cow manure instead of human excrement.’”

To the tribe of Gad, I hereby bequeath my Holy Ability to Keep A Promise as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

    “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.’”

    “And the high priest arose and said to Him, ‘Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?’ But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, ‘I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.’”

    “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age? Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near--at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.’”

To the tribe of Judah, I hereby bequeath my Holy Purity of Thought as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    "But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?”

    “There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

    “How fair and how pleasant you are, oh love, with your delights! This stature of yours is like a palm tree, and your breasts like its clusters. I said, ‘I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches.’ Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, And the roof of your mouth like the best wine.”

    “But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.”

To the tribe of Simeon, I hereby bequeath my Holy Consistency as evidenced by my Holy Word.

    “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.”

    “So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.”

    “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

    “Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair.”

    “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;” “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” “On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect);”

    “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.”“And He said to him, ‘Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’” “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

    “When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations… Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.” “ Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, ‘We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us.’” “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.”

    “When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.” “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.”

    “Anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress” “A husband must not divorce his wife.”

    “Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, ‘You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.’ (They all gave their hands in pledge to put away their wives, and for their guilt they each presented a ram from the flock as a guilt offering.)”

    “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” “You shall not murder.”

    “So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke. Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!" So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.”

    “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”


    “When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no man to oppress them;”

    “They killed your prophets, who had admonished them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. So you handed them over to their enemies, who oppressed them.”

    “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.” “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin.”

    “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” “Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel. It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently. Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son's days.’”

Finally, I God, formerly known as Jehovah, formerly known as Yahweh, formerly known as El, being of ultimate power, do hereby bequeath my Holy Legacy Of Fear to all mankind for as my Holy Word says,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Signed___________ GOD _________________ .

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