light

Of Life and Light

All things were made by Him…In Him was life and the life was the light of men (John 1: 3, 4)

The phrase ‘to create’ is now loosely applied to the works and accomplishments of human beings. This phrase is no longer exclusively applied to God. For instance, movies, songs, art and many other accomplishments are often said to be creations of human beings. However, although the phrase is thus applied, there is still a great difference between human accomplishments and God’s creative genius. Only God can bring objects into being, ex nihilo, and impart life to them – both temporal and eternal life.

John introduces Jesus as the pre-existing One through whom all things were created; the Word and co-Creator. Only the source of life can impart life, sustain it, and have authority over it. He alone can destroy it or let it thrive. In the days of His flesh, Jesus demonstrated transcendent power over the regularities of nature. He called back to life dead, decomposing bodies. He infused life in the lifeless cells and tissues of lepers. He defied gravity and strode on water. He spoke to storms and they responded to His voice by quieting down. He demonstrated His power over demonic forces by commanding them to keep quiet and come out of their victims, restoring mental vigor and robustness. He restored sight to the blind using His voice or touch, nothing else. Jesus exuded life in all its fullness. He was the embodiment of life. Through Him inorganic and organic life came to be, spontaneously. He did not have to wait for it to evolve over millions of years from lifeless matter and energy into complex biological forms of life. Life in all its forms was inherent in Jesus although His main focus was eternal life (John 5:24). Earthlings cannot have access to eternal life in Jesus without passing through temporary life.

After the Fall, darkness descended on mankind in the form of sin and death. Mankind was unplugged from the Source of life.  Jesus came to plug us back and to restore us to our original status and place in God.  This is how He destroyed the works of the devil, with His own life.  As the Light of the world, He dispelled darkness. In Him there is no death, nor disease nor sin, only life, and life thrives where there is light as is evident even in the natural world. The darkness that had engulfed our world was so intense that when the Creator arrived, it did not recognize Him (John 1:10). He came unto His own and His own rejected Him except for a band of a few women, fishermen, small business entrepreneurs, and tax collectors. But that was enough. The light He infused in them beamed across the ancient world and continues to do so as a witness to Him who is the Light and Life.

The Light Shineth in Darkness…. (John 1:5)

The presence of light always nullifies the existence of darkness. Darkness does not flee from light. It dissipates when it encounters light. The more intense the darkness, the brighter the light shines.

After The Fall of man, darkness descended on a once pristine planet in the form of sin, moral chaos, and death. All facets of creation were marred by this cataclysmic event. Greed, pride, jealousy and selfishness converged in the human heart and widened the dark chasm between Creator and creation. The quest for knowledge became self-seeking and twisted. J.H. Newman aptly describes the scenario that ensued after The Fall, “…the greatness and littleness  of man…his short duration, the curtain  hung  over  his  futurity;  the  disappointments  of  life,  the  defeat  of  good,  the  success  of  evil, physical pain,  mental  anguish, the  prevalence  and  intensity  of sin, the  pervading  idolatries, the  dreary  hopeless  irreligion; that  condition  of  the whole race, so fearfully  yet so exactly described in the Apostle’s words, ‘having no  hope  and  without  God  in  the  world,’  all this  is  a  vision  to  dizzy  and  appal;  and  inflicts  upon the  mind the  sense  of a profound  mystery, which is  absolutely  beyond human solution….this living society of men…is out of joint with the purposes of its Creator.”1

The ubiquitous effect of The Fall permeated everything God had created, and grotesquely disfigured and distorted it. Sin did not only corrupt Adam. It spread to all his descendants, gaining momentum and intensity with each succeeding generation. The dark night of sin seemed unrestrained under the direction of Satan and his emissaries. The sacredness of human life began to wane starting with Cain who committed homicide against his own little brother with impudence. The trend to trivialize human lie has continued, alarmingly. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) claims that in 2012 alone 437,000 people lost their lives as a consequence of intentional homicide!1 Other vices were unleashed on our planet as soon as Adam relinquished his authority and handed it over to Satan. People began to rebel against the authority of God and chose to be their own gods. Since then mankind has continued to attempt to determine his own future; trying to find significance and to make a name for himself apart from God. The tower of Babel was the first and prime example of man’s attempt to create a name for himself without God. Many other towers of Babel have been erected in one way or another since then claiming millions of lives in their wake. Unified rebellion against anything to do with God has exploded in most academic institutions under the guise of intellectual enlightenment. Stephen Weinberg, a Nobel laureate, said in 2007 in his address at a conference titled “Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason, and Survival” during which they attacked religion that “Religion is an insult to human dignity.  With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”2 It is true that some people and organizations have, historically, committed crimes against humanity in the name of religion. But true Christians know that using violence to proselytize is at variance with the teachings of the Founder of their faith. Violence is never a core principle of Christianity. Jesus scolded Peter for cutting off a man’s ear although he was attempting to defend Him on the eve of His arrest.

But Weinberg should know that evil has never been limited to religious people and institutions alone. Obviously, Weinberg has never heard of people like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot (among many others) who were architects of incredibly appalling carnages and genocides, but had nothing to do with religion. These are the consequences of sin manifesting themselves in myriad ways. The quest for autonomy and power is fast becoming the foundation for the self-defeating denial of the Creator God, and the enthronement of the self. Instead of seeking to know God, mankind has embraced a strange proclivity toward self-worship and self-exultation. This can be true for believers and non-believers alike. No one is insulated from the darkness of sinful desires and actions. That is why God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a once -and-for-all Cosmic Remedy for this pervasive spiritual malady in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Light that shineth forever.

Jesus, the Light of the world, is the divine panacea for this psychic and sarcous malaise of mankind-all of mankind. In Him we do not only see God. We see mankind as he was intended to be. Jesus has fittingly become our future history. He came to offer discontinuity to man’s self-destructive gravitation toward darkness and sin. Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness of our sin-sick souls so that we can be sensitized to seek reconciliation with God and have access to a new birth with new desires, new life, new aspirations, and newness of spirit. He came to counter the aggressive dark force that has set itself against the knowledge of God and all He stands for. Jesus towers over all history as the prism revealing God’s attributes, His love for all mankind, and His power over sin. He is the Restorer of all that has been damaged by the dark night of sin.  The life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus are not only transformative to the believer. They give the believer victory over the kingdom of Satan now. They are also God’s promise of complete eschatological annihilation and eradication of all that is related to darkness and sin. Jesus was so acutely aware of the implications of His sacrifice and resurrection and ascension that, at the end of His ministry, He triumphantly declared, now “the prince of this world is judged,” (John 16:11). Satan was defanged by Jesus’ finished work. Sin can no longer have dominion on believers who abide in Christ. Light shineth continuously from Jesus, offering pardon and reconciliation with our heavenly Father (Colossians 1:20). But this Light is a gift that can only be effective if it is accepted. It is never forced on anyone.

 

References

1.United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2016). Some 437,000 people murdered worldwide in 2012, according to new UNODC study. Accessed from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/press/releases/2014/April/some-437000-people-murdered-worldwide-in-2012-according-to-new-unodc-study.html

2.Berlinski, D. (2008). The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. Crown Forum, New York. pp.21

 

 

Is it Evidence or Proof?

The other day I received an email in which the author stated that “…there is no evidence for God, period…”

Obviously, the individual confuses evidence with proof. There are so many things people believe they exist without any mathematical proof to substantiate their existence. For example, people believe in the existence of black holes. These are said to be dense, powerful, and black regions in space from which nothing can escape-not even light. However, the truth is that no astronomer has ever actually seen a black hole. There is no direct image to show us how black holes look like. Belief in them is based on “strong evidence for them,” and their effect on gravity, according to Peter Edmonds, astrophysicist at NASA. The photos we are shown of black holes are mere illustrations.

Astronomers infer the existence of black holes by detecting their effect on matter near them. This is the evidence. So then if we are convinced that such things, which we have not seen exist, why would we not believe in the existence of God although we have not seen Him? The Cosmological argument, and the teleological argument from the design and regularity of nature point to the evidence of the existence of God. Then there are objective moral values or the universal moral instinct. All these infer the existence of a Transcendent Being we know as God. Why do we demand mathematical proof for the existence of God before we can believe He exists and yet we are so ready to believe what a handful of people tell us exists somewhere in space although no one has seen it?

Anyhow, at the end of the day, each one of us must wrestle with this issue and come to a decision in our heart because it will surface again at the end of our lives.

Cosmic Microwave Radiation Background-A Telltale Insignia of Creation

Most secular teaching claims that the universe came to be with a Big Bang; that there was a small infinitely hot and dense point billions of years ago which is called a singularity point. From this singularity, the teaching says, came all the matter and energy that evolved into all that exists today in our universe. Naturalists believe that the universe is infinite; that it has always existed. Different types of theories have continued to arise in an attempt to explain the origin of the universe including the steady-state theory espoused by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle, and many others that claim that the universe is infinite and that, in spite of entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics, new energy and matter continue to, somehow, be generated, replacing that which is used up with the passage of time. These are all attempts to repudiate what the Bible says about the beginning of the universe. But the Bible unequivocally insists that the universe had a miraculous beginning at a point when there was no time, no space or matter; a time when there were no laws of physics as we know them since these laws could not exist without the universe: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Then God said, “Let there be light…”” (Genesis 1:1,3).
In 1963-1965 when Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, two engineers employed by Bell Laboratories, looked through a giant telescope of a Satellite Transmission System known as Echo, they saw a film of radiation enveloping the whole universe; the entire universe seemed to be bathed in a soft glow of light. This light became known as the Cosmic Microwave Radiation Background (CMRB).
Prior to this discovery, skeptics had contended that if the universe indeed had a beginning at a certain point in time with the explosion of light, then the vestiges of that light should still be present, somehow. Well, what do you know? Penzias and Wilson discovered the remainder of that light-a telltale sign of creation, as the Bible boldly proclaims… “Let there be light…”
Listen to Penzias’ comment following this discovery: “The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms and the Bible as a whole.”1
Although the CMRB is invisible to the naked eye, it continues to shine in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum all around the universe.

Source

1 D. D’Souza (2007). “What’s So Special about Christianity?” A. Penzias quoted in M. Browne, “Clues to the Universe’s Origin Expected,” New York Times, March 12, 1978, pp. 124.

Scripture Resonates with Science

According to Dr. Hugh Ross, an astronomer who is also a pastor, astronomy is a scientific field of study that allows astronomers to experience the past. For example, he says, when we look at the sun we are not seeing it as it currently is, but we see it as it was 8 minutes ago because data takes some time to reach the telescope due to the velocity of light. Ross also insists that with regards to the origin of the universe, Scripture corroborates science. The Bible unequivocally states that the universe can be traced way back to a singularity beginning. This means that the universe had an ultimate beginning and so did matter, energy, space and time. Science teaches that the universe has been constantly expanding from its singularity beginning according to the laws of physics. This is nothing new to believers because the Bible also speaks about the expansion of the universe in Job 9:8; Isaiah 40: 22; Psalm 104:2; Jeremiah 51:15 and Zechariah 12:1. The universe is not only expanding, it is also under the pervasive law of decay. The book of Hebrews also speaks about decay in the universe as well (Hebrews 8). Science contends that any universe that expands certainly has a beginning, which means that a Causal Agent existing outside space, time, matter and energy, is responsible for the beginning of the universe. This Causal Agent is known as God by Christians, the One who initiated a spectacular miracle of the creation of the universe and all that is in it, ex nihilo. Scientists can no longer dismiss the role of the supernatural in the creation of the universe. Atheist, Lawrence Krauss in his book, A Universe From Nothing, concurs that one “cannot rule out such a deistic view of nature.” Genesis 1 states that the universe had a beginning and that God is responsible for all entire reality in our universe. In verse 2 of Genesis 1, the Bible tells us that the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters and that the water covered the surface of the earth. At this time our world was formless and void and was not fit for life as we know it. Then God began to work and things began to unfold in a spectacular and astonishing manner for the next 6 days. In the Genesis narrative, the evening and the morning bracket the six days of creation. But after that, there is no evening and morning mentioned. For six days, God creates. But on the seventh day, He stops. In the fossil record, there is amazing evidence of aggressive speciation preceding the appearance of human beings without evolutionary history. As soon as mankind appears, speciation ceases. The Bible says God rested on the seventh day following the creation of mankind. Since then, He has been sustaining the natural process He set in motion at creation.
On day one, according to Genesis 1, God created the light which obviously changed the atmosphere of the earth, somewhat. The foundation for the appearance of organic life was being laid. On day 2 God separated the waters and put a firmament in the midst of the waters. In chapters 37, 38, 39 and 40 the book of Job, the Bible describes the amazing creative genius of our God. Job even describes the water cycle as we experience it here on earth. He talks about liquid precipitation in the form of rain, dew and mist. Then he talks about the frozen precipitation such as snow, frost and hail. Only planet earth experiences water in these six forms, necessary for life forms on earth. On day 3, God gathered the water and transformed the world into continents and oceans. Myriad forms of vegetation flourished for the first time on these land masses. On day 4, God created the heavenly lights-the sun, moon and stars. These lights were created to mark seasons, days, and years for the sustenance of life on earth. Because the atmosphere became saturated with light, the animals could migrate, and reproduce, and feed, and hibernate during the right seasons. God prepared the ecological environment to support life on our planet. On day 5, sea populations appeared spontaneously, again without evolutionary history. Then the birds were created and so were mammals and reptilian species. On day 6, land mammals and creeping things made their appearance. Then God created the crowning work of His entire creation when He created human beings. These special creatures brought something unique and extraordinary. They are were created in the image of God, and endowed with a unique capacity to serve and glorify God. A careful study of Job 37 to 39, Genesis 1 and Proverbs 8, brings us to the conclusion that Bible narrative scores with the book of nature. It describes creation in chronological order. God prepared the terrestrial environment for life on earth. He carefully arranged the ecological system, which He continues to sustain today. Psalm 147 says God knows the name of every single star, which means that He also remembers the names of one of the 50 billion trillion balls of gases, we call stars. This means He knows you and I as well since, although the heavens declare the glory of God, they were not made in the image of God. Only you and I bear that Imago Dei.

Find out just what it means to bear the Image of God from the book at this site: http://www.wmturls.com/pp

Light Created Before the Sun!!!

Light was created before the sun (Gen. 1:3; Gen. 1:14-16). Skeptics have long ridiculed the biblical story of creation over this point. How could there be light bathing the earth before the sun was created? Actually, there is nothing that is logically incoherent about light being created before the sun. God is not only Light (1 John 1:5), He is its source. An omnipotent, omniscient God is not limited by the absence of the sun to call forth light. The word used for “lights” created on Day Four is best translated “light bearers.” The sun became the dispenser of diurnal light and the moon shines at night. Light reveals the dangers lurking in the shadows. The more impenetrable and brooding the darkness, the more brilliantly the light shines; attracting all forms of life, both good and bad. But the light shines on, unwaveringly, until it is extinguished. “Ye are the light of the world,” (Matt. 5:13) to dispense the light of His glory.