Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?

I have been a follower of Jesus for years and have spent a lot of time reading His Word, so I sometimes forget that not everybody knows the basic beleifs of Christianity. I take it for granted that people just believe the stuff every Christian should know.

Take for example this simple question, “Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?” Before anything was created, before time, did Jesus exist in the beginning? I asked sixteen professing believers I work with this question, and was shocked at how few knew the answer.  Twelve of those sixteen did not believe that Jesus existed in the beginning, and was just the first created thing.

Did Jesus exist in the beginning?

John 1:1-2 simply states this when it says

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

And who was the Word? Just a few verses later John clearly tells us

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:14-15)

Who was it that became flesh to dwell among us, the only begotten of the Father (John 3:16)? Who was it that John bore witness to? It was Jesus. Jesus existed in the beginning with God, and not just existing with God, but Jesus was God in the beginning! (He is still God today of course. 🙂 )

Isaiah the prophet heard a message from God where God the Father said

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘ I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)

God is the First and the Last, nothing existed before God and nothing will exist after Him, He is it, the first and the last. In Revelation Jesus identifies himself as ” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelation 22:13) The Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the greek alphabet, in English it would be the A and the Z. There are no letters before A, and none after Z. Jesus is the first and last, the beginning, and the end.

How is it that both God the Father and Jesus can be the first and the last? This is only possible because Jesus is God. Remember what John 1:1 said, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Both are God, both are one being, one diety, even though they are individual.

I Am

In the Old Testament God would refer to himself as simply “I Am” (Exodus 3:14). That in itself is an awesome statement, which I will cover in a future article. Jesus later when talking to the Jews told them “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”” (John 8:58). Jesus is not only saying that he existed since before his physical birth on earth, but he is identifying himself as being God, as being the I Am. Jesus again identified himself as the I am when he was being arrested in the garden. The soldiers asked if Jesus was “Jesus of Nazareth” and Jesus replied in such away that the soldiers fell to the ground. “Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)

Jesus is the Creator

When God is creating man He says “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (Genesis 1:26). Who is God talking to here? Who is God refereing to by saying “Us” and “Our”? God is not a single being but three, completely seperate beings, three deities that are the same. The Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1). This is an example of how Jesus did exist in the beginning.

Not only was Jesus with God in the beginning, before creation, but Jesus is the creator. John 1:3 says “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” Jesus did not come to die for his Father’s creation, but his own. Isn’t this amazing? Jesus knew what he would have to go through, he knew all of the suffering he would face before he created us, yet he still choose to do so!

Why is this important?

The final question I want to look at is why is it important that Jesus existed in the beginning with God?
If Jesus did not exist in the beginning with God, then you must conclude that Jesus was not God and therefor could not live a perfect life and die for our sins, or you must conclude that God can make other gods. If God could make other gods then it makes God a lot less unique in the universe and we could claim that there are other gods to follow and Jesus isn’t the only way.

No, Jesus had to be God, part of the Trinity, One God.  As we read and study the Bible, and as we get to know Jesus closer, we cannot help but conclude that Jesus did indeed exist in the beginning with God.

Following God

1 Peter 1:13-21
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’

“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

Do you consider yourself a Christian? Many people call themselves Christians because they like the “love story” that it involves. Being a Christian isn’t just a romantic story of a Creator who falls in love with His creation. Being a Christian is a battle, constantly we are battling good and evil.

With that in mind, always be prepared to do battle. In order to prepare, what will you need to do? For one, equip yourself with a weapon. That weapon is the Word of God. We need to read it daily so that we are ready for any battle that comes our way.

If you are in warfare, would you go out into the battlefield one day without putting on any armor or carrying a weapon? You are on the front line, and there comes Mr. Christian walking along the front of the battlefield playing his Nintendo DS, oblivious to the fact that the enemy is right behind him and he is being shot at and being hit from all directions.

Being a Christian IS a battle, not just a metaphorical battle, but a real one, with real casualties and real POW’s. And most of us don’t even care enough to equip ourselves. You wouldn’t walk onto a battlefield unarmed, then why would you walk into your daily battlefield with the devil without arming yourself with the Scripture every day?

Keep ready, fix your hope and trust on God and keep ready every day of your life. If we are going to be obedient to God, then we can’t align ourselves with the devil, we can’t conform ourselves to the world. This world is at odds with Christ, so we can’t be conformed to this world and to Christ. We have to choose one side or the other. We were once conformed to the world in our ignorance, when we rejected Christ, and we were captive in lust and every other wicked thing under the sun. But now we have freedom from that, we are not conquered by lust or any other sin.

Now that we are followers of Christ, we need to conform ourselves to Him. This means we need to try and be Holy like He is Holy. Are you doing what you can to be Holy like God? Or do you call yourself a Christian while being just like the world? How can you call yourself a follower of Christ if every action through the day reflects the world, which is the enemy of Christ?

God will judge you for what you do, so if you call yourself a follower of God then you had better act like it, because you are going to be judged by it. We are not redeemed by silver and gold so we don’t need to concern ourselves with silver and gold while on this earth. We are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and that is what we need to focus on every day.

We have such an honor to not only serve the Creator of the Universe, but to be called His children. If we have this great honor, then we need to make sure that we represent Him who we serve.

God has given us so much, and asks so little of us. But most “Christians” are not even willing to give the little that He does ask.

“You shall be holy, for I AM holy”

How much do you even try to be holy?

An Inductive Study Through Genesis 2

-Why are there two different creation stories – one found in Genesis ch. 1 and the other in ch. 2? The answer is chapter 1 is a brief overview of the days of creation while chapter 2 gives us a focused and more detailed description of the creation of man.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

-These verses describe the first week of the Creation, which ends with the 7th day, a special day that God blessed and set apart as special. The Hebrew, in which these words were penned, makes it clear that the creation was completed when the 7th day began.

-Notice that whereas the first 6 days were all marked off by the formula, “The evening and the morning were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd . . . day,” we don’t see that for the 7th day. The reason why is because the creative agency of God continues to be complete; His rest from the work of creation continues.

-When it says that God rested on the 7th day, it does not mean He was tired and needed a break. The word simply means to cease from labor. Isaiah 40:28 makes it clear that God does not grow weary, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary.”

-The rest of God on the 7th day implies that God was ending His work to enter a new phase in His relation to the creation, and that was to enjoy it.

-The work of creation is complete and God now adds a day, the final day, as a time to enjoy the creation. This is why God blessed the 7th day and sanctified it. When something is sanctified, it means it’s set apart for God’s special use and purpose.

-Because of this, a 7-day week becomes a part of the creation-cycle; it’s built into the very fabric of the creation. Historically, we see this 7-day pattern repeated again and again in the cultures of the world.

-There have been some who’ve tried to alter it, as in the French Revolution when they tried to throw off every last vestige of Biblical faith and go to a 10-day week. But all such attempts to alter the 7-day week have been fruitless.

-The NT makes it clear that what the OT Sabbath day began has now been completed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Faith in Him brings us rest from a life of trying to earn our way into God’s presence through the works of the law. Christ IS our Sabbath.

-So, while we don’t have to observe the Sabbath as a religious duty, it’s still wise for us to understand that 6 days of work and 1 day of rest is part of the very fabric of creation. For health’s sake, we ought to take one day in every week to rest and renew ourselves by ceasing from our usual labor and giving ourselves to the enjoyment of God’s creation.

-Verse 1 of chapter 2 is a profoundly interesting statement for what it implies about the physical universe. It says that God finished His work of creating. This verse squares perfectly with the established laws of science, the most basic of which are the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

-The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change form. The creation account of Genesis 1 and these first verses of chapter 2 imply this exactly; that God created all the matter and energy in the universe and then ended that creative work.

-Having created all matter and energy – which we see in 1:1-2, God then set certain laws to govern that physical universe.

-The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that it’s the nature of energy to move to a state of equilibrium. Also called the Law of Entropy, it refers to the fact that energy tends to spread itself out evenly over space unless there is a continual influx of new energy building it back up. The Law of Entropy says that left to itself, energy will flow from the higher to the lower place until the level of energy is uniform throughout.

-Another way to describe it is that left to themselves, things will go from a state of order to disorder. So the THEORY of evolution is flatly refuted by a LAW of Physics! And yet the Fall and God’s promise that death would come when man rebelled fits perfectly with the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Genesis 2:4-6 “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”

-Genesis 1 is the account of creation. Chapter 2 begins the history of the earth, and right off we’re told that earth conditions were very different than they are today.

-There was no rain, but there was a constant mist that saturated the air and ground with moisture. The thick vapor canopy that surrounded the atmosphere would make just such a mist possible and would provide for lush vegetation when God did create it.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

-God started with the dust of the ground and fashioned a body for man. The word “formed” is used in Jeremiah 18 to describe the work of the potter forming a vessel. Since man is made of the “dust of the ground” (Psa. 103:14), the metaphor of a potter working in clay is fitting.

-The Hebrew for man is adam and comes from the word for ground – adamah

-Once the physical body was ready, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God imparts to man something that was not “of the earth” but rather had it’s origin in and from Him – His very breath.

-In both Hebrew and Greek there is one word for breath and spirit. What God is doing here is giving man a spirit by touching him with His own Spirit. The point for us to glean here is that man possessed a level and kind of life the animals did not have.

-With the impartation of the spirit – man became a living being. The word “being” is nephesh and is translated in other places as “soul,” or “person.” Now, here’s what’s interesting – the same Hebrew phrase is used of the animals in Gnesis 1:20, 24.

-Animals have souls – that is, they possess life that knows desires and appetites. They may even have rudimentary emotions like fear, or contentment.

-But the difference between the creation of man and the animals is that man’s soul comes as the result of the merging of his spirit with his body. We never read that the animals have a spirit; the life they possess is a simple kind of soul that has only one aim that is survival.

-Man is different because his soul, his desires and emotions are the result of the spirit’s infusion of the body.

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

-Verse 9 doesn’t contradict what we read in chapter 1 about the 3rd day of creation when the plants were made – this is merely describing God’s construction of Eden. So all of this takes place, of course, on the 6th day.

-The word “Eden” means pleasure or luxury and that’s precisely the environment God placed the first man in – a beautiful place that delighted the senses.

Genesis 2:10-14 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

-Coming out of the region of Eden was a river that watered the garden. Once it left the garden it split into 4 branches. The way these rivers are described leaves you with the impression this was recorded by an eyewitness.

-There’s a good chance that Adam or one of his descendants wrote this, and while there’s a good bit of geography given here, trying to identify these rivers with contemporary rivers is fruitless because the Flood
radically altered the geography of the earth.

-The reason why some rivers are still called by these names is because Noah and his sons used the old names for the new rivers they found after the flood.

Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

-Many people have the mistaken notion that work is the result of the Fall. Work and labor are not a part of the curse; where the curse comes in is in unfruitful, unproductive work!

-Even though God had enclosed the garden and set every good tree in it, man was delegated the duty of tending to it. We’re left with the impression that God is calling man into a partnership. God creates, and then man stewards.

-Because man is created in the image of God, he possesses the capacity to use the creation in a way that carries on in the mode and motif God established and which brings God glory.

-The word “put” here in v. 15 refers to the act of setting something in its intended place where it is at rest. When God put Adam in the Garden of Eden, He was setting him in the place where he was meant to be. His task of taking care of the garden was a part of what God intended for him as a man.

-In v. 15 the garden is called the “Garden of Eden.” In Genesis 13:10 and Ezekiel 28:13 it’s called the Garden of the Lord. This wasn’t Adam’s garden, it was God’s. Adam was merely the gardener.

Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but 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 surely die.”

-This is the first occasion of God speaking a specific command and it comes in reference to man’s diet. Adam can eat of any and all the trees save one. Why did God make the tree of the knowledge of good and evil if Adam wasn’t going to be allowed to eat of it? Because for Adam to be a creature of free will, there had to be a choice.

-It wasn’t merely a case of giving Adam the opportunity to show his disobedience – without such a choice as this there was no opportunity for him to show his obedience! If there is never a command, never something forbidden, then there can never be choice. And choice is crucial to this whole venture because without choice there can be no genuine love.

-God wants our love and obedience to Him to be the love and obedience of choice. So there had to be the opportunity to exercise choice.

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

-Though everything has received the pronouncement from God of being good, now He sees something that is not good, that Adam is alone.

-While God sees the problem, Adam is blissfully ignorant of it at this point. So God does something to make Adam realize his need.

Genesis 2:19-20 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

-In naming the animals, Adam quickly came to realize that all of them had a mate; there was a male and female of each of the animals. No doubt it was then that Adam realized while he was superior to them in terms of the level of his life and capacities, he was inferior to them in this regard.

Genesis 2:21-22 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

-Here in verse 21 we read that God took one of Adam’s ribs to make Eve. Actually the Hebrew word used here is an archaic one that we aren’t really sure of the literal meaning for.

-The translators render it as “rib” because of a lack of anything else to think of as coming from Adam’s side. It’s the word tsaòla, and means “curved.”

-Very early the word came to be associated with the materials of construction and the buildings they constructed. This word is used for the small storage rooms that lined the temple, rooms called “cells.”

-In light of all we know now about genetics, what we may be seeing here is God taking a cell and some DNA material from Adam and manipulating it to produce the woman. Think about it, what is DNA but a curved molecule that contains the genetic material from which a person is derived.

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

-Adam doesn’t name her as he does the animals. By naming the animals he’d shown his dominion over them. Adam GIVES Eve his name – he is “ish,” she is “isha,” the feminine form of “ish.”

Genesis 2:24-25 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

-These verses are crucial to our understanding of what God intends for marriage and this passage will be covered in a different study, but for now, let’s end with this.

-In v. 18, God said it was not good that the man was alone – then we read the story of the creation of Eve. At the point God said man’s aloneness was not good; sin had not yet infected the creation.

-The image of God in man was unmarred – and yet God still said man’s aloneness was not good, man was incomplete.

-I think we see in this a huge clue as to why God created in the first place. You see, just as man, created in and bearing the image of God, needed a companion – could it be that God, dwelling in eternity, wanted a companion too.

-It was in Adam’s sleep that God took from his side that which He made into his bride, just as it was in Christ’s deep sleep on the cross that God took from His side that which He made into His bride. The spear went in, and the blood that flowed became the basis, the ground of our salvation, the bridal price for our redemption.

-I find it interesting in Ephesians 5 where Paul is defining the roles of the husband and the wife, he ends by turning everything around and saying that marriage is but a picture of Christ and the church.

-From that perspective, verses 24 & 25 in Genesis 2 take on a whole new meaning. Not only do these verses reveal God’s plan for marriage between a man and woman – they shows us the kind of relationship He wants with us.

-God doesn’t want a pet – a lap dog, a finicky cat that occasionally brushes up against His leg. He wants a bride, a lover, a companion, as it says of Eve – a helper.

-Not that God NEEDS help! He needs nothing. But He still consents to give us a place in what He’s doing and His great plan for the ages.
Look at verses 24 and 25 again –

24Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

-When we come to faith in Christ, we become new creatures. We leave behind our old identity and become the Bride of Christ.

-The relationship God wants with us is not some distant, infrequent thing but an intimate oneness that goes to the very core of our being.

-He wants to remove all shame, all guilt, all regret, and replace them with acceptance, love abounding, peace, and absolute confidence. If these things are not yours today, get your eyes off your failure and put them on Your Forgiver and Lover – Jesus Christ.

An Inductive Study Through Genesis 1

-About 10 billion years ago there was a densely packed point of energy that was infinitely tiny. In fact, that infinitesimal point of energy was all there was. In it was contained all space, time, and what would eventually turn in to matter. For reasons that are still unclear – this singularity as it is called, exploded! Energy radiated outward and congealed into tiny proto-particles, which further combined to form electrons, neutrons and protons. These combined to form atoms and molecules. These then began to clump together to form minerals and larger bodies of matter called gas. These gases and minerals further condensed as they cooled and formed stars and planets. These stars and planets then began grouping up into clusters called galaxies.

-But an interesting thing happened on at least one of the planets circling round one of those stars in one of those millions of galaxies. As the planet cooled from its superheated state after the explosion of the singularity, on this particular planet, which was the exact distance from its star necessary to allow it, some water formed. Now liquid water is unusual in the universe because it requires a very narrow temperature zone. Most water is either hard in the form of ice or its hydrogen and oxygen have been split apart by intense heat. As chance would have it, this planet was just the right distance from the nearest star to allow the formation of liquid water. Clouds formed, and the rain came down and washed over the rocks, wearing them down into stones, and pebbles and eventually sand and finally dirt. Then as more stones were carried by the rain down over the dirt, some of the dirt molecules banged together and formed little square shaped buttons.

-As more pebbles banged into the buttons, they etched little numbers on them. Over a couple billion years, these buttons ended up being bumped into a plastic frame that snapped into a case with diodes, memory chips, and an LCD display. But wait, it was without a power source. Not to worry, other rocks and minerals had been banging together to produce batteries, which by chance rolled into a slot in the back of the plastic case, and voila – a Calculator!

-Ridiculous? Of course! And yet you and I are asked to buy this scenario when it comes to the origin of living things. Yet the engineering and mechanics of the simplest cell make the technology of a pocket calculator look like a toy!

-The human eye, the human brain are feats of complexity and engineering NO EVOLUTIONARY SCENARIO could ever explain!

-If it all began with the Big Bang – with that singularity that exploded – you’re still faced with the question of where did THAT come from! Logic demands something which has always been, which owns its own existence and which is greater than the cause and effect universe in which we live. The very first verse of Genesis solves that dilemma.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

-As would be expected, the book of Genesis shows us the beginning of many things – the universe, life, culture, society, sin and death, religion, nations, languages, and the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.

-But there is one thing Genesis does not reveal the beginning of – God! And that is because God has no beginning. By the very definition of what we mean by God, He’s eternal.

-If God had a beginning, He would not be God because He would owe His existence to something greater – and that would be God.

-The word “God” here in v. 1 is “Elohim” which is the plural form of the generic Hebrew word for God which in the singular is “El.” Elohim is used for God some 2000 times in the OT! That’s a bit shocking when you realize how fiercely the Jews hold to idea of God being  One. Anyone familiar with the Bible knows its straightforward teaching that there is only one God!

-Throughout most of history Christians and Jews have stood out as unique because while the rest of the world believed in many gods, they professed belief in only one. So why do we find the plural title Elohim used here and in so many other places in Scripture? Christians see in the use of the word “Elohim” a clue to the Trinity or the triunity of God.

-As we track through the Scriptures we see that while there is indeed only One God, this God manifests Himself in Three distinct Persons, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

-The word “created” used here is the Hebrew word “bara” and means “to create out of nothing.’

-In Rom. 4:17 Paul writes – “God calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” That’s what God did in the creation – He called, He spoke, and the universe leapt into existence.

-In Heb. 11:3 we read – “The worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

-Another word is used in Gen. 1 for God’s creative action. It’s the word “asah” and is translated as “make.” It means to fashion something out of pre-existing material.

-Some of God’s creation was merely a molding of what was already there; that’s asah. But occasionally God brings something completely new into existence; that’s bara. Man can only “asah,” he can only take what already is and fashion it into something different. Only God can “bara.”

-The word “heavens” is the Hebrew word “shamayim” and can be translated “space.” “Earth” is “erets” and means “ground.”

-”In the beginning” translates the Hebrew “bereshith” and speaks of that which is first. The beginning here is the first of time.

-Based on Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, modern science refers to the universe as the space-matter-time continuum. Astrophysicists now understand that the universe came into being at a fixed point, and that space, matter and time are all intimately linked to one another. Genesis 1:1 affirms that and shows it’s origin in the creative act of God.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

-God is not a deity of chaos and disorder. His nature is order and symmetry – so after speaking the basic constituents of the physical universe into existence, He set to work shaping them into an orderly arrangement.

-Here in v. 2 we see that at first matter was formless. There was no light – meaning there was no energy. But then the Spirit of God began to move and shape the matter.

-We read that “the Spirit hovered over the face of the waters.” The word hovered is an interesting choice because it pictures a unique action of moving back and forth. A good modern translation would be “vibrated.” “In the face of” means in the midst of something. And the word for “waters” is even more obscure; it refers to something juicy or soupy.

-What we have in v. 2 is the Spirit of God taking the basic un-energized constituents of the universe from v. 1 and energizing them so that they begin to form into the shapes, structures and forces of our universe.

Genesis 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

-In Hebrew – the language is even simpler. “Elohim said – Light be! Light was!” One of the primary forms of energy God created was electromagnetic energy – light!

-Though it may not be obvious in a casual reading, these first 3 verses of the Bible reveal The Trinity. In v.1 we have the Father birthing and initiating the universe out of nothing. In v.2 we see the Spirit energizing and shaping the raw stuff of the new creation into something useful. And in v.3 we find the Word of God, the Son illuminating the creation.

Genesis 1:4-5 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

-We will now see the process of creation divided into days. Some consider these to be literal 24 hour days. Others see them as pre-scientific descriptions of long ages of time; epochs of earth history. Those who see the days of Genesis 1 as epochs usually try to fit some kind of evolutionary scenario into them.

-I believe what we see here are literal 24 hour days.

My reasons?

1) The text is really pretty straightforward!
It’s obvious the author intended his readers to take these as literal days because he repeats the formula again and again that we see here in v. 5 – “So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

2) Most day-age views are driven by a perceived need to reconcile the theory of evolution to the Creation account of Gen. 1.
They’re an attempt at accommodation to a godless theory, an attempt to harmonize secular science with what ends up being merely a poetic mythology of creation. The theory of evolution is simply really BAD SCIENCE! So to bend and twist scripture to accommodate it is a vain pursuit.

-Dr. Hugh Ross has gained a lot of attention and support for his theory called progressive creationism. This view holds to the day-age theory.

-Here is how Ross himself defines Progressive Creationism – “The hypothesis that God has increased the complexity of life on earth by successive creations of new life forms over billions of years while miraculously changing the earth to accommodate the new life.” Ross rejects the theory of evolution, but he says that the earth has seen many different periods of God’s creative action in setting the world stage, and then bringing increasingly complex flora and fauna, plants and animals onto that stage.

-One stage arises, then dies off and God starts over again. This all takes place over billions of years. Of course, this makes the straight-forward reading of Genesis 1 a meaningless pursuit because there’s no correlation between the scenario of the progressive creationist and what we find here!

-Thus, the Genesis account of Creation is reduced to the place of poetic myth; and when you do that, then you cut the heart right out of the gospel because the work and message of Christ is all based on the events of Genesis 1-3 being literally true.

-One of the clear evidences for the young age of the universe is the earth-sun system. Our sun losses about 1,200,000 tons of mass every second. If you chart that back over billions of years the sun would be too big and too hot to allow the existence of the earth, let alone life on earth.

-Here in vs. 4 and 5 we see God dividing the light and the darkness. These two things He separates into two phases and calls them “Day’ and “Night.’ Since we have a period of light and a period of dark we can infer the earth is now spinning around an axis and there’s some kind of light source shining on earth.

Genesis 1:6-8 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

-The word firmament simply means expanse. This refers to the atmosphere, which is the way the word “heaven” in v. 8 ought to be understood – sky. These verses speak of the firmament standing between the waters.

-There were waters above and beneath it. The waters beneath would be the oceans and seas. The waters above refer to the vapor canopy that existed above the atmosphere at that time.

-It is this vast and dense shell of water we’ll see collapse in ch. 6 that produces the torrential downpour of the Flood.

-One of the things that appears almost mythological in the early chapters of Genesis is the super long ages of people; some living to be over 900 years! Yet immediately after the flood, the lifespan of man declines to about a hundred years.

-Why the major difference in life-expectancy? Well, interestingly, the vapor canopy that existed prior to the flood would have had a number of significant positive effects on earth. The atmospheric pressure would have been significantly higher – leading to more oxygen in the blood stream of humans and animals. The higher pressure would also have retarded the growth of viruses, thus reducing disease. The vapor canopy would have shielded the earth from all the harmful effects of solar and most cosmic radiation. The canopy would have acted like a greenhouse ceiling, allowing for increased plant growth.

-But the canopy allowed sufficient plant growth and nutrition to support all animal life. In fact it proliferated in abundance, as the fossil record and the world’s oil reserves reveal.

Genesis 1:9-13 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13So the evening and the morning were the third day.

-On the 3rd day we see the emergence of dry land and vegetation. It should be noticed that God created plants as fully formed things. The plant was first, with its fruit and seed and coming from it. If God had simply planted the seed in the soil of the earth, it would not have been ready for the birds to eat in 2 days when they were created.

-When God created plants, He made the plant, not the seed first. That means He drew up out of the soil a whole plant. If one of the trees was cut – how many rings would there be in it? Who knows!

-When Adam was created, how old did he look? Don’t know, but he wasn’t an infant. The point is this – at this stage of the creation, God created the first things with an apparent age to them. They were mature and complete – perfect in their creation!

-In fact, as we just saw, the plants were grown in soil. But what is soil; where does dirt come from? It’s the product of the weathering of rocks – a process which takes hundreds of years by normal aging.

-All of this leads us to the conclusion that though the earth is in fact young, it may at points appear aged simply because necessity demands it to.

Genesis 1:14-19 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night;

-”The firmament of the heavens” here is the expanse of space – what we call outer space.

and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

-On the 4th day God created the celestial lights, the stars, planets and the moon. Now we seem to have a problem because vs. 3-5 told us there was light on day 1 before the creation of the sun on day 4 in v. 16. Where was the light coming from before the creation of the sun?

-Quite frankly, we don’t know because we’re not told here. A plausible explanation is that prior to the formation of the sun, God Himself was the light of the world.

-This would be a nice fulfillment of John 1:4 and would coincide with God being the light of the new heavens and earth.

-Notice in v. 14 that the celestial lights were given not only to light the earth but to be for signs and seasons, for days and years. The ancients looked to the heavens as their primary time-piece. The calendar was kept by watching the heavens. This was crucial because they were an agricultural economy and the seasons of sowing and reaping were their life-blood.

-All the ancient cultures had elaborate and accurate records and procedures for calculating the time of year. Because their economy was tied to the time-piece of the skies, astronomy became the first science. It also became one of the first religions for it wasn’t much of a leap in the fallen heart of man to see the stars as exerting power and influence over their lives.

-This may account for the fact why God waited till the 4th day to create the heavenly lights. They aren’t first, but later, after the creation of plants – because God wants to impress upon man that they are just tools He’s created, signs to be used – not deities to be worshipped.

-It’s interesting to discover that the calendar of the ancients was based on a 360 day year. Imagine if it was off what a problem that would be in just a few years to their planting cycle. We see this reflected even today in the 360 degrees of a circle and the 60 seconds of our hour. But a change occurred at some point that added an additional 5¼ days to our year.

-What happened that may added these days to the original calendar will be discussed in later studies of Genesis.

Genesis 1:20-23 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

-On the 5th day we see the creation of marine life and the birds. Note that in v. 21 we have the word created; this is that word bara. We find this word used here because God is doing something totally new and unique – He is creating conscious animal life.

-Notice as well that God blessed the sea creatures and birds and told them to reproduce – filling the earth with their presence. God is in to LIFE! And a part of life is the production of more life.

Genesis 1:24-26 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

-Now we see the land creatures created. The words here describe everything from insects to reptiles and mammals.

-But notice the emphasis on kinds we see throughout this chapter. As God creates the plants and living creatures, He creates them according to their “kinds” and tells them they are to reproduce according to their kinds.

-This is the Holy Spirit’s answer to the theory of evolution which has simpler life forms giving rise to higher and more complex life forms over long periods of time. According to Evolution, life moves from a state of lesser complexity to higher complexity. One species gives rise to another through the process of mutation and the mechanism of natural selection.

-According to Biblical Creation, God created plants and animals in fixed kinds. You may have an abundance of variation within a kind, but it will remain fixed within that basic creature.

-For instance, there are lots of different kinds of dogs. But a dog is a dog is a dog; they all possess the ability to inter-breed. A dog never becomes a cat. And in the fossil record we see no transitional forms between a dog and a cat.

-When Charles Darwin first proposed his Theory of Natural Selection which gave rise to the modern theory of Evolution, the science of paleontology, the study of fossils, was young and the fossil record was sketchy. What was lacking was the transitional forms that evolution demands as proof that one species gives rise to another through mutation and adaptation. Darwin expressed his confidence that as the fossil record was filled in the transitional forms would be found and the gaps in the record would be closed. Armed with this positive outlook, a whole generation of evolutionists went out into the field to discover the missing links.

-But as the fossil record has grown, the gaps have gotten wider, not smaller. This is the very opposite of what the theory of evolution demands.

-If Darwinian evolution is true, then the fossil record has to have an abundance of transitional forms between one species and another – for ALL the forms of plant and animal life we have on the planet today. This ought to be a massive body of fossils.

-If Darwin’s theory is false, then what we expect to find in the fossil record is a lack of transitional forms, and instead we expect to find creatures that just appear fully formed with no antecedent forms. Which do we find?? The latter!

-In fact, because this is what we find in the fossil record, Darwin’s theory has had to be updated to what is now called Punctuated Equilibrium. PE says that species go along for long periods without change, and then shazam – they experience a quantum leap.

-When this idea was first proposed many years ago, the man who invented it was ridiculed and made the laughing stock of the scientific community because it is so patently absurd. Now – it’s the currently accepted theory.

-Despite all these machinations – the text here is very clear – and it squares perfectly with what we find in the real world – that plants and animals remain fixed within their kinds.

-How the Biblical idea of kinds relates to the scientific field of taxonomy is not clear. You may remember the divisions of taxonomy: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

-At what level does a “kind” relate to this system? At the species or genus level? Friends, never forget that the whole taxonomic chart is man-made and artificial. The Bible divides the plant and animal kingdoms up into kinds.

-One of the tricks evolutionists like to use is the example of micro-evolution. We would expect that God would include in the genetic makeup of the plant and animal world the capacity to adapt to a certain degree to its environment. So an animal might show small signs of adaptation, like skin color, or minor structural changes like increased lung capacity or adding on more fur.

-These are what are called micro-evolution, small changes that facilitate an animal or plant living in a different environment. But the plant or animal is still in the same species. Evolutionists use examples of micro-evolution as proof of macro-or cross species evolution. But they are without foundation for there are simply no examples of this kind of change in the evidence at hand.

-A study of the history of evolution shows that Darwin was NOT the originator of the idea; he merely developed a mechanism for it and then popularized it in his book, The Origin of the Species.

-Darwin’s mechanism was “survival of the fittest;” the idea that only the fittest animals survive due to their superiority and winning out over others in the never ending game of competition for food and space. At first glance, this seems reasonable – a kind of common sense reaction.

-But the more time you spend in nature, the more you realize that many things defy this idea. One simple example is the peacock. The peahen is attracted to the peacock with the biggest plumage. Yet the larger the plumage, the more vulnerable the peacock is to predators. So what eats the peacock, can eat the chicks too.

-Or consider the whole development of the male and female. There is simply no evolutionary scenario you can develop that makes the development of the male and female, along with pregnancy or egg laying an advantage.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

-God says, “Let Us” – Who is He speaking to? It can’t be the angels because man isn’t created in the image of angels and we don’t see the angels involved in the creative process. God the Father is speaking here to the other members of the Trinity.

-Man is unique in God’s creation because He bears the image of God. He is patterned after God in ways the animals are not. Man has a moral consciousness; he possesses reason and volition.

-But man has even more than the image of God, that image is in the “likeness” of God as well. Man doesn’t merely possess a moral conscience – he knows right and wrong, good and evil. He doesn’t possess the intellectual capacity of God but His thinking is in the same vein as the thoughts of God.

-It’s this likeness to God that was marred and all but lost in the Fall. Man continues to bear the image of God, but the likeness has been so distorted, so bent that it is often difficult to discern.

-As soon as God registers His intention to make man, He includes that this new thing He is about to create will be over the rest of the creation. It will have dominion over all the animal kingdom. This establishes something new in the creation, a ranking of relationships.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

-The word “created” here is bara. This is only the 3rd time we find the word. It was used in v. 1 of the physical universe; in v. 21 of conscious animal life, and now of mankind. Yet in this verse, bara is used 3 times!

-What’s crucial is that we see that while man may share some of the physiology of the animals he is something new and unique in God’s creative order. He possesses a level of life and existence that is not shared by the animals. The emphasis in this verse is on both the uniqueness of man’s creation and the fact that man is fashioned in God’s image.

-For that reason the final phrase is all the more interesting for it tells us that this image includes both the male and the female. In the Bible we see God in primarily the masculine mold not because He is more like a man than a woman but because it better captures the flavor of our relationship to Him. In other words, as Initiator, He is the Father, we are the children. As the Savior, He is the Groom, we are the Bride and so on.

-But God, in His nature and essence is a combination of all the positive traits of male and female. We see the feminine side of God in such passages as His saying that He would gather His people under His wings as a hen gathers her chicks. [Matt 23:37] We see it when He refers to taking Israel to His bosom and nursing her. [Isa. 49:13-15 66:13] We see it in those passages which speak of God giving birth to Israel. [Deut. 32:18 Job 38:28-29 Isa 46:3-4]

Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

-When God blessed man and woman, He told them to be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth. Here’s one of the fields that we need Christians who think biblically to apply themselves. We’re told by many secular environmentalists that mankind is a cancer on the planet and that we need to roll back the population lest we damage the environment irreparably.

-But God said – “Be fruitful and multiply.” Who should we listen to? GOD.

-If man lived by the principles of Biblical justice, equity and stewardship, the planet could easily accommodate several billion more people with no problem or danger to the environment. The threat only comes when people forsake the way of God and pursue their own selfish interests.

Genesis 1:29-30 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.

-Prior to the flood, the diet of man and animals was vegetarian. It wasn’t till after the flood that God gave man permission to eat In n Out burgers.

Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

-At the conclusion of each step of the creation, God had given a eulogy-a good word. Now as He looks over the entire scope of the creation – He announces His good pleasure with all He sees – it is VERY good.

-This reinforces and reminds us that the creation is a good thing because it is God’s thing. As His redeemed, we ought to rejoice in its goodness and take delight in it, showing a lost world what it really means to be redeemed to the Creator and His creation.

Taken from a sermon by Pastor Lance Ralston.

Got Jesus?

Belief in Jesus Christ as your savior and developing a personal relationship with Him is the ONLY way to get into heaven. In John 14:6, Jesus states, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” God is “the Father” talked about in this passage. The Bible is clear that the only way to get into heaven is through an active belief in God’s son, Jesus Christ.

Every human being since Adam and Eve has been born with sin. We cannot get into heaven by our own merit. There is no amount of good deeds we can do in order to “buy” our way into heaven. The only person who can cleanse us of our sins before God’s sight is Jesus. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew people made animal sacrifices to cover over their sins and to appear temporarily clean before God. But the blood of an animal was only temporary. A perfect sacrifice was required to completely cleanse us of all our sin. This perfect sacrifice came from heaven in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God who came from heaven and was born as a human in order to share in our sufferings and to fully understand what we go through in our struggles. Jesus was fully God and fully human. Since He was fully God, He could not sin, but since He was fully man, He was also able to experience the temptation to sin. He knows and understands our struggles, but He was able to overcome them so that all humans who have ever lived and ever shall live can also be cleansed and overcome sin so we can enter into God’s presence unashamed. Hebrews 4:15-16 states, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are? yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

The first step in accepting Christ as Lord and Savior of your life is to realize that you are sinful and to acknowledge that as a sinful person you are going to hell (which is a place of eternal separation from the fellowship of God) if you do not repent of your sins. Unlike what the media portrays, hell is not a place of partying with Satan and his demons. The Bible clearly says hell is a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” which signifies utter anguish and despair, for all eternity. We as humans cannot be completely separated from our Creator and be well off. Neither can any of God’s creation. Since Satan is also God’s creation, and hell is a place of utter separation from God, Satan and all his demons will also be in complete torment for all eternity. In order to escape such a horrible existence, we must come before God in prayer and confess that we know we are sinful. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The death spoken of here is not a physical death, since all humans die a physical death, but it is a spiritual death in which we will be eternally separated from God. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

The second step in accepting Jesus into your heart is to acknowledge that Christ died on the cross for you and to make a commitment to follow Him for the rest of your life. Romans 10:9 states, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Also, Jesus says in John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” So you see, it is not just a recognition of what Christ did for us, it is also a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings through God’s Word, the Bible, for the rest of your life.

If you wish to make this commitment today, here’s a basic prayer you can pray. Feel free to say these words and just end with talking with God about anything you want to talk about. He loves us and wants to hear us talk to him. If you are angry, do not be afraid to tell that to God and tell Him why. He already knows our thoughts and our hearts, but wants us to communicate those thoughts in fellowship with Him. Please pray this prayer:

“Lord, I realize that I am a sinner and I always have been. I know that I will go to hell if I do not believe in you. I believe that you came to this earth, to die for me so that I may appear sinless before the Father and have eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins. I want to follow you and your commands for the rest of my life. Thank you for your sacrifice. Amen”

If you prayed this prayer sincerely in your heart, you are now a new creation and a brother or sister of Jesus Christ in God’s eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Hosea 1:10b “They will be called ‘sons of the living God.'”

Welcome to God’s family!

Are Men Fools? (death of masculinity by feminist ideology)

Interesting information from a Focus on the Family newsletter I received in the mail months ago but decided to not throw away because i believe the things said are just so relevant for today. It’s gonna be long…but bear with me…and also please read it through….it’s gonna take long enough to type this all out by hand.

It is impossible to understand what is happening to our kids today, both male and female, without considering the influence of feminist ideology. Swirling out of it was an attack on the very essence of masculinity. Everything that had been associated with maleness was subjected to scorn. Men who clung to traditional roles and conservative attitudes were said to be too “macho.” If they foolishly tried to open doors for ladies or gave them their seats on subways, as their fathers had done, they wre called “male chauvinist pigs.” Women presented themselves as victims who were “not gonna take it anymore,” and men were said to be heartless oppressors who had abused and exploited womankind for centuries. Divorce skyrocketed as a surprising number of women simply packed up and left their husbands and children.

Although these early feminists called attention to some valid concerns that needed to be addressed, such as equal pay for work and discrimination in the workplace, they went far beyond legitimate grievances and began to rip and tear at the fabric of the family. By the time the storm had blown itself out, the institution of marriage had been shaken to its foundation, and masculinity itself was thrown back on its heels. It has never fully recovered.

Feminist Karla Mantilla summarized the philosophy behind it in an article entitled Kids Need ‘Fathers Like Fish Need Bicycles.” She wrote, “I submit that men tend to emphasize values such as discipline, power, control, stoicism, and independence. Sure there can be some good from these things, but they are mostly damaging to kids (and other living things). They certainly made my son suffer an isolated and tortured existence until he began to see that there was a way out of the trap of masculinity.”

The trap of masculinity? That is the way many feminists view maleness. A centerpiece of this hostility is seen in an ongoing effort to convince us that “Men are fools.” It claims that the majority of males are immature, impulsive, selfish, weak, and not very bright. It is interesting to note, for example, how disrespect for men pervades the entertainment industry, including many television commercials. The formula involves a beautiful woman (or a bevy of them) who is intelligent, sexy, admirable, and self assured. She encounters a slob of a man, usually in a bar, who is ignorant, balding, and overweight. The stupid guy quickly disgraces himself on screen, at which point the woman sneers and walks away.

So what is going on here? Is it possible that men, especially male beer drinkers and sports-car enthusiasts, actually like being depicted as dumb, horny, fat, nerdy, and ugly? Apparently they do. We also have to assume that guys are not offended when they are made the butt of a thousand jokes. But why? Women would not tolerate that kind of derision. Not in a million years would you see a corpulent, unattractive woman lusting after a good-looking man who shows disdain for her as she does something ridiculous.

Television sitcoms also blast away at traditional masculinity. There is not a single example of a healthy family depicted on network programming that includes a masculine guy who loves his kids and is respected by his wife. NONE!

Invariably, sitcoms today feature at least one gay or lesbian character, who is cast in a sympathetic role. One overriding goal of homosexual activists is to influence the next generation and to recruit children to their movement. How can impressionable boys and young men possibly discern what it means to be a heterosexual male, let alone a dedicate and disciplined husband and father, when this tripe is fed to them every night and when their own dads are nowhere to be found?

Roger Scruton, author of “Modern Manhood,” explained what is happening to perceptions of masculinity. “Feminists have snuffed out male pride wherever it has grown and ruthlessly uprooted it. Under their pressure, modern culture has downgraded or rejected such masculine virtues as courage, tenacity, and military prowess in favor of more gentle, more ‘socially inclusive’ habits.”

The bottom line is that many men have lost their compass. Not only do they not know who they are, they’re not sure what the culture expects them to be…It is time that men acted like men–being respectful, thoughtful and gentlemanly to women, but reacting with confidence, strength and certainty in manner. Some have wimped out, acting like whipped puppies. Others have boldly spoken out against feminist influence, refusing to be intimidated by the advocates of political correctness. Some have lashed out, reacting in anger and frustration. Some have flamed out, resorting to alcohol, drugs, illicit sex and other avenues of escape. Some have copped out, descending into mindless TV, professional sports and obsessive recreational activities. Some have sold out, becoming advocates of the new identity. Some have simply walked out, leaving their families in a lurch. Many, however, seem placidly unaware that they have lost their places in the culture. The result is a changing view of manhood with far-reaching implications for the future of the family.

Nations that are populated largely by immature, immoral, weak-willed, cowardly and self-indulgent men cannot and will not long endure. The presence of a father–or at least another responsible male role-model, is a critical component in the life of a boy. Without such influence, disastrous consequences–such as homosexuality–may follow.

The wrong-headed notion that children can thrive in a same-sex family (ie. an environment in which they are robbed of either a mother or a father) is just one more way that our culture is diminishing the natural, innate differences between the sexes and leaving boys confused about their masculinity. In light of this ongoing assault on men, we are left to ask, “What DOES true masculinity look like?”

Suffice it to say that the physiological and emotional characteristics of a typical male are dramatically and intrinsically different than those of the typical female. Males tend to be more aggressive, more assertive and more inclined to lead. When the male psyche functions as intended, it is sensitive to the needs of women and loving to children. The masculine temperament lends itself to two major responsibilities: to protect and to provide for the man’s family.

Despite the fact that men were designed by their Creator to fulfill these critical and unique roles, our culture remains resolute in its determination to strip away the very essence of what it means to be a man. If we leave it up to schools and media to teach young boys what it means to be real men, we will be subjecting them to potentially irreparable harm.

Outline of Millennial and new creation events

I. Characteristics and Events of the Millenium

A. Physical characteristics

1. Topography and geography of the earth changed (Isaiah 2:2; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Ezekiel 48:8-20; Zechariah 14:4; Zeckariah 14:8-10)
2. Wild animals tamed (Isaiah 11:6-9; Isaiah 35:9; Ezekiel 34:25)
3. Crops abundant (Isaiah 27:6; Isaiah 35:1-2; Isaiah 35:6-7)
4. Human longevity increased (Isaiah 65:20-23)

B. Spiritual and religious characteristics and events

1. Satan confined in the abyss (Revelation 20:1-3)
2. Millennial temple built (Ezekiel 40:5-43:27)
3. Animal sacrifices offered as memorials to Christ’s death (Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 66:20-23; Jeremiah 33:17-18; Ezekiel 43:18-27; Ezekiel 45:13-46:24; Malachi 3:3-4)
4. Feasts of the New Year, Passover, and Tabernacles reinstituted (Ezekiel 45:18-25; Zechariah 14:16-21)
5. Nations worship in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:2; Micah 7:12; Zechariah 8:20-23; Zechariah 14:16-21)
6. Worldwide knowledge of God (note “knowledge” not necessarily comittment to Him) (Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:34; Micah 4:5; Habbakuk 2:14)
7. Unparalleled filling of and empowerment by the Holy Spirit on Israel (Isaiah 32:15; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:24-29; Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28-29)
8. New Covenant with Israel fulfilled (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:25-32)
9. Righteousness and justice prevail (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 42:1-4; Jeremiah 23:5)

C. Political Characteristics and events

1. Israel reunited as a nation (Jeremiah 3:18; Ezekiel 37:15-3)
2. Israel at peace in the land (Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Isaiah 32:18; Hosea 14:5-7; Amos 9:15; Micah 4:4; Micah 5:4-5a; Zechariah 3:10; Zechariah 14:11)
3. Abrahamic Covenant land-grant boundaries established (Genesis 15:18-21; Ezekiel 47:13-48:27)
4. Christ in Jerusalem rules over Israel (Isaiah 40:11; Micah 4:7; Micah 5:2b)
5. Davidic covenant fulfilled (Christ on the throne of David) (2 Samuel 7:11-16; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 33:17-26; Amos 9:11-12; Luke 1:32-33)
6. Christ rules over and judges the nations (Isaiah 11:3-5; Micah 4:2-3a; Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 19:15)
7. Resurrected saints reign with Christ (Matthew 19:28; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 20:6)
8. Universal peace prevails (Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 32:17-18; Isaiah 60:18; Hosea 2:18; Micah 4:2-4; Micah 5:4; Zechariah 9:10)
9. Jerusalem made the world’s capital (Jeremiah 3:17; Ezekiel 48:30-35; Joel 3:16-17; Micah 4:1; Micah 4:6-8; Zechariah 8:2-3)
10. Israel exalted above the Gentiles (Isaiah 14:1-2; Isaiah 49:22-23; Isaiah 60:14-17; Isaiah 61:5-9)
11. The world will be blessed through Israel (Micah 5:7)

II. Events following the Millennium

1. Satan released from teh abyss (Revelation 20:7)
2. Satan deceives the nations (Revelation 20:8)
3. Global armies besiege Jerusalem (Revelation 20:9)
4. Global armies destroyed by fire (Revelation 20:9)
5. Satan cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)
6. Evil angels judged (1 Corinthians 6:3)
7. The wicked dead resurrected (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29)
8. The wicked judged at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-14)
9. The wicked cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15; Revelation 21:8)

III. Eternity

1. Christ delivers the mediatorial (millennial) kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24)
2. Present heavens and earth demolished (Revelation 21:1)
3. New heavens and new earth created (2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 21:1)
4. New Jerusalem descends to the new earth (Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:10-27)
5. Christ rules forever in the eternal kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7; Ezekiel 37:24-28; Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 1:32-33; Revelation 11:15)

Super-Conquerers

Romans 8:28-39 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 30And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory. 31What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? 33Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us. 35Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36(Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. 39Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

-To those of us with spiritual insight, the actions on the Cross mean the end to sin. It is the act on that cross which turns all things to good; turns the base things in the life of a believer into something precious.

-Since God is FOR us…who can be against us? Satan will do his best to stop God’s work in us. But since satan tries to thwart God’s plan for us in this way, why doesn’t God end him and stop this “madness”? Because, God’s plan for us is to conform us into the image of Christ, to share in His victory. In order for us to have victory over something, there must be something there to overcome!

-God uses satan’s resistance in our lives to make us victorious in Christ. We as believers can be victorious in EVERY situation in our lives because Christ has conquered all sin, trials, and weakness. Since Christ’s victory was over all sin and death, we as followers of Him can have victory over these things. Although we all die physically, Jesus has overcome not only physical but spiritual death. We as believers, though we will die, will be resurrected in an immortal body and will forever overcome physical death!

-In verse 37 of this passage, the Greek word used to denote us being conquerers is “hypernikeo” which literally means “super conquerers”. This term denotes something or somebody that is so strong that their adversary literally has NO place in the field. It denotes the idea that an enemy who steps foot in your arena can literally be overcome and permanently vanquished. But you see, we as Christians have become “mega conquerers” over this world’s sin and spiritual death becase of Christ’s victory and resurrection. We have the blessing to be able to share in His strength. As Christians, Jesus is right there willing to offer His victory to us in all our struggles and failures…all we need to do is surrender it all to Him and follow His very footsteps.

-Christ redeems our sin and turns our struggles into something more precious than gold. Christ has the power to take the broken things in our lives and turn them into something whole and good.

-Christ’s victory over all sin allows Him to help us to become victorious through our struggles with individual sins. As Christians, we must keep in mind that whatever horrible things can happen in our lives as a result of satanic attack, we can rejoice…no we MUST rejoice because we know that NO ONE and NOTHING can take away our salvation and our place in our eternal home in heaven.

-Jesus turns victims into victors. Unlike modern psychology’s attempt to provide a way of “coping” with our problems and failures through various books and conferences, Christ doesn’t just provide a way to “cope” with victimization, He REDEEMS us from it!

-In Christ, there are no more victims, we are MORE THAN conquerers through Him who loves us! No matter how hard is the place you are in in your life and no matter how insurmountable your struggles may seem, Jesus Christ WILL deliver you and He WILL defeat our foe, satan. Satan’s execution is sure and we need to rejoice for behold, our Lord has overcome our enemy!

-Next time you feel so completely bogged down by troubles in life, and next time you feel like a victim to the world and a victim to your past…remember this, Christ has overcome! You need to just cling to Him and allow Him to make you a conquerer in your life. Rejoice in this…we are no longer victims to sin and victims to the troubles of this world…remember this when the enemy will tell you you are a victim and there is no way out. Look instead to the light of Christ and let Him clothe you and equip you against this fight! Don’t give in! For we are super-conquerers! Satan and sin has been overcome and we in Christ are victorious and can overcome these also!