Friends,
All of God’s Word endures forever and is, in the original, completely true and error-free. Believing this, and putting it into practice, is what it means to be a true Christian. The finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 has showed us that God’s Word is indeed eternal and fixed and that He has preserved His Word as He promised. (Ps. 119:89 // 1 Pe. 1:25) Problems, therefore, in translation, or with versions that are inferior, are no excuse for us to not understand what God has revealed in His Word / what He has said, and especially when we have the internet where we can not only compare the numerous versions’ translations, but can easily look to see what the individual Hebrew and Greek words mean. (I use biblehub.com, but there are others as well.)

So what are we to make of Genesis chapters 1-11 while many “Christians” / “Bible-believers” are telling us to write those chapters off as myth or as meaning something different than what it says? Should we let those who have been influenced by the world’s philosophies dictate the Truth to us, or should we value the Word of God as the ultimate authority and let it speak for itself? I would hope we’d agree we are to do the latter.

I love God’s Word, and I expect other Christians to love it as well. I also enjoy science, and I have never considered the two to be in conflict with one another, including when I took Physical Science and Biology in high school and Geology, Physics, Anthropology, etc. in college. What is in conflict with God’s Word is evolutionism, a belief system / religion that has come about through those who choose to believe that God is either non-existent or uninvolved in our universe. However, knowing this while studying the sciences, the true Christian (the Christ-the-Word-follower) should have little difficulty sifting out the textbook information that is based on belief and that which is truly factual.

If we study real science, we can see that it fits in well with what God has told us in His Word, including in Genesis chapters 1-11, and we do not have to twist anything. In fact, believing that the Word of God is infallible aids our studies of science, while believing the lie of evolutionism builds confusion (or denial of the obvious) in the person observing the truth and the complexities of God’s amazing creation. So why would a Christian who claims to believe God’s Word attempt to subjugate God’s Word under the authority of men’s words?

But, appallingly, many “Christians” are doing just this. Yet what does that reveal about them? Are they truly believing the Word of God? And if a person doesn’t believe the Word of God, doesn’t that make them an unbeliever, one outside of the Light? (Isa. 8:20) At best, they are certainly being inconsistent –when they say they believe and love God’s Word yet disbelieve the portions that don’t harmonize with their worldview. Can they be the ones to determine which parts of God’s Word are inerrant and which parts are not? Is it okay with God if people change His words to mean what those words are not saying, even if it’s because they think their teaching will be more palatable for those who are skeptical about the Scriptures? Does allegorizing historical narrative really help bring people to believe in Jesus and His words? Most evolutionists would laugh at such hypocrisy.

Telling people that Genesis chapters 1-11 are myth, or that the words have been changed over the years, or that it’s been “written to fit in with the culture of ancient man” is not God-honoring, nor is it the truth. Definitely any so-called “Christian” who teaches such things should go back and meditatively read and study the Bible, for throughout its pages it repeatedly supports the factuality / the history of Genesis chapters 1-11.

God’s Word is true. It is without errors. It is our Authority for life and truth. All of it.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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Friend,
We should read something God recorded for us at face value the same as we read each other’s writings. We can tell when we are writing allegorically or poetically and when we are not.

To disbelieve parts of God’s Word is to do what the world does –pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe.

Jesus warned that if anyone is ashamed of Him and His words, He will be ashamed of that person when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38) Genesis is Jesus’ words because He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6) and God in bodily form. (Col. 2:9) “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching…” (2 Tim. 3:16) and its accuracy is not reliant on the time frame it was written in. Believing this is what it means to believe God’s every word is true and flawless (Ps. 12:6 // Pr. 30:5) –not to be added to or subtracted from. (Pr. 30:6 // Rev. 22:18,19)

2 Pe. 1:20,21 contradicts what you are saying about Genesis being allegory and what the website you mention says. I did go to that site earlier and could not see why you would take what a follower of Judaism –many who do not believe Moses’ writings (John 5:46,47)– believes when they are those who reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah and cannot even interpret Isaiah 53 correctly. I also skimmed an article there where the writer is not even emphatic that one needs to believe in God to be in Judaism, so why would we esteem the views of this “scholar”?

So, 2 Pe. 1:20,21 say, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” These two verses (and 2 Tim. 3:16 above) should give us great assurance that Scripture does not have error, while the following verses assure us that it will always endure:

“The Word of the Lord stands forever.” (1 Pe. 1:25)

“All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.” (Ps. 119:160)

“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Jesus’ statement in Mt. 5:18)

“My words will never pass away.” (Jesus’ statement in Mt. 24:35)

I submit to you that it is not just the Old Testament that you are doubting, at least in part, but also the New Testament. The latter confirms the former’s record of events, over and over. 1 Pe. 3:20 says, “…who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water…” Jude 1:11 says, “Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.” And in verse 7: “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” Verse 5 mentions the deliverance from Egypt, verse 9 the body of Moses, and verse 14, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam.”

Why would you doubt what God, through Moses, wrote down for us when the New Testament upholds it? Jesus expects us to believe Moses’ writings. As He said in John 5:46,47, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But since you do not believe what He wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” For you to say we’d have more success evangelizing if we’d teach that Moses’ writings are not what they seem to be saying –well, this is foreign to what Jesus taught us. Wouldn’t a sensible person reason that if parts of God’s Word are inaccurate, then none of it can be entirely trusted and we’d just as well throw the whole thing out?

I could go on with how the New Testament confirms that the Old Testament’s record is accurate, for it quotes from all of them except Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. Hebrews chapter 11 mentions the names of many Old Testament saints and what they did to show their faith, and Jesus refers back to people like David, Jonah, the Patriarchs, Noah, and Lot and his wife. We also see Jesus confirm events recorded in Genesis such as in Luke 17:26-29 when He says, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.” I cannot see how you can allegorize what Jesus treated as history.

Why do you keep saying that you are not letting men’s interpretations form your views of what God’s Word says when you often send me the quotes of men regarding how you interpret God’s Word?

As far as saying science says this or that, and so it is a fact, that is just incorrect. It is not fact at all. So much of “science” has proven false, has changed its claims, and cannot be observed or experimented on, which is what science must permit for it to be real science. We know very well that the “billions of years” theory does not permit this, so being that it was God, not men, who has always existed and knows all things, I choose to believe what God has said about His creation. If we believe God’s Word, we can study the sciences and the earth, the seas, and the heavens around us, and understand much better what we observe.

Sincerely,

with love,

Rachel

 

Friends,
God’s Word is authoritative. It is to be believed, and believed because it is trustworthy and flawless. It is not to be apologized for nor is it to be twisted to fit into men’s philosophies. What God’s Word states is The Truth, and this includes what it says in regard to the history of mankind and the earth itself.

Surprisingly though, there are many who, even while believing God’s Word concerning Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, disbelieve what God’s Word states concerning creation and a literal world-wide flood. Trusting in men’s interpretations of what is observable to us, they accept that the earth is billions of years old. Often they point to what they see in rock layers, yet it seems strange that they do so in light of what we’ve observed after recorded earthquakes, flash floods, tsunamis, and particularly volcanic eruptions, such as that of Mt. St. Helens. Due to that eruption it has been observed that canyons were formed there in a matter of months, or even a single day –as was the case with “Little Grand Canyon”, and that rock layers and coal-creating deposits were formed in a day or a few weeks. And what about those petrified tree trunks we see in various places throughout the earth which stand vertically amid hundreds of layers of sediment? If those rock layers were each formed over millions of years, how could the tree not have decayed before a new layer formed to cover it? Does not logic and observation teach us that fossils are formed only by rapid burial?

Then there are those “old-earthers” who, while believing in Christ, or at least in God, believe that He created everything using evolution (meaning macro-evolution). However, though these people may consider themselves to be God-honoring individuals, how can they be –when God has told us differently of how He created the universe and everything in it? Moreover, there is zero evidence of simple things evolving into complex things or of one kind of creature evolving into another kind of creature. Zero. Zero in the fossil record and zero from breeding programs and experiments (such as those done on the poor fruit flies).

Some “old-earthers” believe in a literal Adam and Eve, yet these believe this while also accepting that God created this couple after there had been eons of violence, disease, suffering, and death on earth. But the Word of God tells us, such as in Rom. 5:12, that “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men.” Verse 14 makes it clear that “death reigned from the time of Adam [not before] to the time of Moses…” and since Moses was a literal man, we must understand that Adam was as well. The same logic applies when we see Adam and Jesus compared in v. 15-19: Jesus was a literal man; so then was Adam. The same can apply when we read Jude 1:14: If “Enoch, the seventh from Adam” was a literal man, so then was Adam.

What does God, who has always existed and who has been around to observe all the universe’s history, say about creation? In Ex. 20:11 He says, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day…” Hebrew scholars tell us that the Hebrew word for day (yom) is never used for meaning anything apart from a 24 hour period if it is used next to a number. Furthermore, when Gen. ch. 1 keeps repeating “And there was evening, and there was morning –the ____ day”, should we not accept this as emphasizing six literal days?

Gen. ch. 1 shows us that God created by His will, using the water and dust He created, and His command, and Ps. 33:6-9 teaches us this: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth… He gathers the waters… For He spoke, and it came to be, He commanded, and it stood firm.” In other words, God did not need (or use) evolution to help Him create.

2 Pe. 3:5,6 teach us about these things as well when it says, “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word, the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water. By water also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.” That the whole earth is being referenced here is revealed by the next sentence, for it says, “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” (v. 7) This chapter not only tells us that everything in the heavens and the earth will be burned up (v. 10-12) and that God will create a new heavens and a new earth (v. 13), as Isa. 65:17 and Rev. 21:1 also state, but that God formed the earth using water and also judged and destroyed the world using water.

Let’s believe God’s Word. Let’s revere it as the authority that it is. Let’s take it literally, using the same rules of interpretation we’d use for any other written work. And let’s read and study God’s Word first and foremost, not the imaginations of men.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Hell: A Real & Horrific Place

December 12, 2017

Friends,
Who wants to believe in Hell? I sure don’t. But I do believe God’s Word and it speaks a lot about the reality of Hell. It tells us that it is a horrific place to be thrown into and, contrary to those who wish it means annihilation, it reveals that those who exist there are conscious beings. Believing in Hell is about believing God’s Word above men’s words. Believing in Hell propels us, or certainly should propel us, to warn, to go, to preach –to spread the Good News of salvation-from-condemnation across the earth, just as Jesus commanded us to do.

Jesus has warned us repeatedly about Hell. In Luke 12:4,5 He says, “I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him [God] who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” Jesus is making it clear that we are to fear God because He is the One who throws people into Hell, and that being thrown into Hell is way worse in comparison to anything that can be done to our life or our body here on earth.

Jesus says it is better to gouge out our eye if it causes us to sin, than for our whole body to be cast into Hell. (Mt. 5:29) He warns that it would be better to enter Life maimed-in-body than to be thrown into eternal fire. (18:8) He warns that those servants who turn wicked (careless / unfaithful) will be cut to pieces and assigned a place with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (24:45-51) If people are annihilated as punishment for being unrepentant, then how would they weep and gnash their teeth? Jesus says that when He sends away those who won’t make it, including those who ate with Him and listened to His teachings (Luke 13:23-27), “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth…” (v. 28)

When Jesus tells us about the rich man and Lazarus existing in the afterlife, He focuses on what the rich man is experiencing –asking for water to cool his tongue “because I am in agony in this fire” (Luke 16:24), the knowledge that he is there because of his choices on earth and that there is no relief available (v. 25,26), and concern for his five brothers to be warned “so that they will not also come to this place of torment.” (v. 28) Does this sound anything like Hell being “a punishment of annihilation”? Not quite. And would Jesus give us this account if he was not warning us of an actual abode of the damned? Yes, the Lord loves everyone, but if a person deliberately keeps sinning against the Truth he knows, that person is casting off God’s love from himself and is incurring Hell. (Heb. 10:26,27)

Jesus has made it clear that we abide in His love through obedience to His commands. (John 15:10 // 1 John 2:5) If we are outside of His love, then we are under His wrath and remain condemned with the unbelieving world. (John 3:19-21 & 15:6)

So yes, God’s Word tells us that God is love (1 John 4:16), that He loves the world (John 3:16), and that while we were still sinners, He paid all people’s ransom. (Rom. 5:8 // 1 Tim. 2:4-6 // 1 John 2:2) This He did by becoming a sin offering for us (2 Cor. 5:21), thus buying us back, forgiving us, and reconciling us to Himself. (v. 19) Therefore, “how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (Rom. 5:10) Unification with Christ in His death –AND in His life– is what saves us (ch. 6), and this means living our life completely devoted to God / doing what He commands 24/7 / pleasing Him in every way. (2 Cor. 5:15 // Gal. 2:20 // 1 John 2:6)

But, if we refuse to walk in this dedicated obedience to God, then we are rebelling. Continued rebellion prompts a person to deny the Truth and deceive himself (Ja. 1:22) –which incurs more delusion (2 Tim. 2:18 & 3:13), a return to vomit (2 Pe. 2:20-22), a shipwrecked faith (1 Tim. 1:19), and thus condemnation from God. (2 Thes. 2:10-12) Truly, it is God’s love which causes Him to hate sin and to punish those who refuse to live out the Gift of Christ’s holy Life.

Listen to Jesus’ words in Mt. 25:30 regarding the Master’s lazy servant: “And thrown that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And in verses 41 & 46 concerning those who neglected others: “‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ …Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Jesus is definitely contrasting eternal punishment (in the eternal fire) with eternal life. He is stating that there are two destinations, two places of eternal existence. And that where the Judge sends them is based upon what they have done.

Hell is a real place. It’s a place of torment. Yes, it was prepared for the devil and his angels, but because most people are following the devil instead of Jesus, the people will wind up there as well. It’s their fault, not God’s fault, due to their resistance to walk in God’s love.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Who Are We Believing?

August 15, 2017

Friends,
If we distort the Word of God, then we do so to our own destruction, as well as to the destruction of those we influence. (1 Tim. 4:16 // 2 Pe. 3:16,17) Indeed, those who make a practice of disregarding God’s laws will fall more and more into doctrinal error and they will cause others to also fall from the Truth and from salvation. (Same verses) It is only in holding to the Truth that we are abiding in Freedom / Jesus (John 8:31-36), so if we choose to get careless about this, we have “no permanent place in the family” (v. 35) “and fall from our secure position.” (2 Pe. 3:17)

The Word of God warns us repeatedly that we can get deceived by false teachings. (Mt. 24:24 // Rom. 16:17,18 // Gal. 6:7 // Col. 2:4,8 // 1 Tim. 4:1 // 2 Tim. 3:13-16 // etc.) We are to diligently guard against this through careful study of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:14,15 // 2 Pe. 3:2), by listening to and heeding what the Holy Spirit is teaching us (John 16:13), and by having an intimate relationship with Christ (17:3) “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:3)

All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16 // 2 Pe. 1:20,21) and every word is inerrant / flawless. (Pr. 30:5) As Ps. 119:160 declares, “All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.” Yes, various Bible versions may have some translation errors, but in this day of the internet when we can compare numerous versions and get the English words alongside the Hebrew or Greek words, and use teaching tools that explain how those Hebrew or Greek words were often (or rarely) used, –well, we have no excuse to not understand what God is communicating to us in His Word.

The question is, though: Who are we really believing? If we are believing what men say regardless of what the Word of God is saying, then we are not actually putting our trust in God, but instead in men. That is idolatry. God’s Word is flawless. Men’s words are riddled with error. So, even if men, in their own minds, distort what God’s Word is saying to fit their own preconceptions and experience, does this change what is true? No. God’s Word is fact, the Truth, unbendable, and unable to be changed, compromised, or distorted. –Except in the minds of the deceivers and the deceived.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Explain Isaiah 65:17-25

April 12, 2017

[Sent 3/24/17 to the same “preacher” I was addressing in my last two posts.]
________
I did not miss what you sent. I’ve carefully read everything you’ve sent to me. This time I underlined and made black Isaiah 65:17 and 20 that you sent me below. I’m not sure why you won’t answer my specific question about why there is still death (dying at a hundred will be considered an early death) even after the new heavens and the new earth are created. I would really like to know the answer.

I don’t think I’m to understand that you are saying that we Christ-followers are now living in the new heavens and the new earth, right? I don’t think you’re saying that, for certainly you must believe along with me that creation itself is still groaning and waiting for us and it to be (fully, including physically) redeemed (Rom. 8:19-24) “until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” (Acts 3:21) –For “He must remain in Heaven until the time comes…” (same verse) and then come back (v. 20,21) “in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” (1:11) –Visibly. (v. 9 // Zech. 14:4-9)

Here is my question again and I italicized and made bold what I am emphasizing in my question:

I wonder, do you allegorize all of Isaiah 65:17-25 or just parts of it? For there God says, “‘Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth… I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in My people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more… he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed… They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune… The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox… They will neither harm nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ says the LORD.”

You yourself, in your 3/15, 4:03 p.m. email, quoted Rev. 21:4 and said that there will be no more death in the new heavens and the new earth, meaning you do not allegorize this promise found in God’s Word. So… the rest of my question:

While considering verse 17 of Isaiah ch. 65, and that there is no marriage or death for those considered worthy of taking part in the age following the resurrection of the dead (which is what Jesus teaches in Luke 20:34-38), then why in this Isaiah passage is there death (after prolonged life) and the bearing of children during the age of the new heavens and the new earth?

Thank you for your time,
Rachel

Friends,
This post is a continuation of my March 28th post which was a copy of the first part of my 3/12/17 email to the person whose website I contacted to thank them for preaching obedience to Christ, but who deemed me one to be shunned based on my teaching about Israel and the 1,000 year earthly, bodily reign of Christ. The correspondence that ensued somewhat alarmed me as it revealed the apparent continued and growing division between those who believe God will absolutely bring to pass His promises to the nation of Israel and those who do not believe that God will do this because He has negated those promises as applicable for Israel by transferring them to the (mostly Gentile) Church who is in Christ. I have noticed that often those in this latter group scoff at those who take God’s promises at face-value. Here is the second half of my March 12th email:

About teaching: Those of us who explain, by the Spirit, God’s Word, are teachers. Indeed, Jesus has commanded us to go everywhere, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:20) When Rom. 8:9 informs us that if we possess the Spirit of Christ we will be controlled by Him, this means He controls our actions and thoughts, as well as our words and writings. I caution both of us to keep this in mind at all times, for yes, we have the continued choice to submit to Him or to submit to our own impulses and judgements.

Therefore, we are only to say what is in line with the Truth and what the Holy Spirit leads us to say, “because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14) We are not to lord it over others as if we have that right, for we don’t (Mt. 20:25,26), even if we are ahead of others in our learning process (John 16:13), including “in what is yet to come.” (Same verse) Thus everything is to be done in meekness, gentleness, and respect. (1 Pe. 3:16) There are times we may need to rebuke someone, but we better know without a doubt that the Holy Spirit has actually given us the specific command to do so and we’d better do it in just the manner and attitude He instructs.

You say that you have had many battles with false teachers, but, I trust you know that contending for the faith does not mean we should be contentious. Instead, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life” (Pr. 10:11) and, “The lips of the righteous nourish many.” (v. 21) It is “gracious words [that] promote instruction.” (16:21) It is words void of insult that make one’s words persuasive. (Same verse) We are to explain the Truth to people without making judgements that we’ve not been authorized to make. As Rom. 14:4 says, “Who are you, judging Another’s servant? To his own Master, he stands or falls. However, he will be upheld, for indeed, the Lord is able to make him stand.”

As we exhort others to obey all of God’s Word, let’s make sure we are obeying all of it as well, including, “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him, speaks against the law and judges it… There is only one Lawgiver and Judge… But you –who are you to judge your neighbor?” (Ja. 4:11,12) And, “Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” (5:9)

In explaining the true walk of Salvation, we are not to engage in quarreling (2 Tim. 2:23), and “quarreling about words… only ruins those who listen.” (v. 14) “He who loves a quarrel loves sin,” (Pr. 17:19) and it is “pride that breeds quarrels.” (13:10) In that Gal. 5:19-21 warning (about the acts of the sinful nature that result in Hell), strife, discord, contentions, dissensions / disagreements, and factions are also listed. Quarreling, particularly about whose teachings we adhere to, reveals that immaturity and worldliness are still present. (1 Cor. 3:1-4) Therefore, “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct…” (2 Tim. 2:24,25)

I’m saddened that you find my writings wordy and that you seem bent on discouraging me in my efforts to spread the Truth. Even so, I am encouraged daily by The Teacher and my Shepherd, given confidence from Him that I do write His Truth, even as I ask Him about every single word I write. I do not take Scripture’s warnings lightly.

May the Lord bless all Christ-followers who faithfully and carefully serve Him in furthering His Truth.

Sincerely,
Rachel