Taking the Epistle

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Genesis One – Day Six – Let us make man in our image, after our likeness – Genesis 1:24-31

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Genesis One – Day Six – Let us make man in our image, after our likeness – Genesis 1:24-31 – 02/09/2016

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

This article is designed to be a slightly more in depth article than I did in the “creation series” elsewhere on this website, Lord willing I hope to look at the full creation week and examine the case for a Biblical creation from the mindset that the bible is accurate and a honest and truthful source of history in how we came to be here. I am not here to attack other mindsets as I appreciate that not everyone shares my view of a biblical history and I do welcome lively debate on the subject regardless of your thoughts or beliefs on how the earth was made.

In order to look at this from a biblical context we must first look at the text in question starting in verse twenty four…

V24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

God makes the land animals today after completing the sea and the air animals yesterday. It is important that we see that creation follows that same model “after their kind” in that sea lions didn’t become lions, catfish didn’t make cats, but from the dog family we have Poodle, Chihuahua, Labrador, Terrier and St Bernard, all different but all Dogs. Wonderful variation between kinds of dogs but only a fool would argue that any are less of a dog because they are different from the other!

God again concludes that “it was good” If the gap theory, or millions of years between genesis 1:1-Genesis 1:2 were true then this would make God a liar by stating that creation was “good” up until this point, a God who was true and did not lie would not state that something was “good” if there was millions of years of death and suffering that predated this creation. Theologically and looking at the character of God it just does not make sense.

V26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

God makes man in his own image, separate from the animals. God takes great care to separate the creation of the land animals and the man that he created in his own image, in the likeness of God. We see this in greater detail in Genesis two when they go into a more exhaustive history of this time period. Let me make a few observations about the creation of man…

Man was in “our own image” – God the Father and Jesus Christ were at this point in creation, co-authors of creation who saw the original blueprints for the plan for mankind. As stated previously we are separate from the animals, but also separate from the angels as we do not read anywhere in scripture that angels were in “God’s image”.

Because we are in God’s image, do you see the value in your life, it is not something that is cheap by any means, you resemble your creator, He loved you that much that he made you in his image! Animals do not have the same personality traits of humans, they do not exhibit knowledge, feelings, facial expressions, a sense of morality, a sense of spirituality – I see no chimps at the zoo arguing about the benefits of Calvinism over say Lutheran theology! And lastly man alone speaks in a discernable language
“Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” – God put man in charge, prior to the fall there were no lions chasing the first man around, everything was to be in unison and in perfect harmony.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them – God created man to multiply and be able to breed. He created male and female and gave an example of how a relationship should look, there was a monogamous heterosexual relationship that left no room for an argument for polygamy or homosexuality. This is an emotive issue so I have decided to just stick with what the Word says on the matter and not leave any opinion. Lastly I do want to observe that man was created fully formed, there is no notation of Adam going through puberty, being a baby or a toddler, he starts as a fully formed man.

V28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

And as promised God gave the earth to man to be fruitful and multiply. We had better not tell Al Gore! God had an original plan and that was for man to be all over the earth and he made an earth large enough to cope with the population. This flies in the face of modern man who claims that the earth is too overcrowded when in truth there are large parts of the earth that are uninhabited.

The writer goes to great lengths to show that Adam was man and Eve was woman from the beginning, Adam was as much man as I am with the same biological parts and anatomy that you would associate with a male human. God created two distinct genders; there was no transgender or gender-confusion in God’s original plan. God gave the man a desire for the woman and vice versa, this was God’s plan to populate the earth with his creation.

He gave vegetation for food initially, the first animal was not killed until after the first sin and that was to clothe the first humans. It was not until Genesis 9 that we see that man starts eating of the animals. (After the flood)

V31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

God culminates the sixth day of creation with the phrase “very good” not just “good” but “very good” Some would say that God was very pleased with his creation. Why wouldn’t he be, he created a paradise with no death, no decay which was a self-sustaining tropical paradise that man could live in easily and could have many decedents and never outgrow the place. What could possibly spoil this paradise? How did we get to the place of decay that we are in today?

Lord willing, in our next article in Genesis we look at the seventh day as we begin chapter two in Genesis. I pray that you are able to join us as we go through the bible, line by line and precept by precept.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

UPDATE – City of Houston cancels subpoenas (and what will probably happen next)

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UPDATE – City of Houston cancels subpoenas (and what will probably happen next)

As written about yesterday on the blog, we looked at the strange case of the Mayor of the City of Houston and her special treatment of five pastors in the Houston area. For whatever reason, this legal action has been cancelled as the Mayor stated that it “did not serve the interests of the City of Houston”.

 Seriously?  I don’t have a law degree and even I knew that! It was a self serving and frivolous abuse of power based on an individual’s bias and her own personal bigotry based on what she thought she may find in the sermons.

I know that she is the Mayor of that city and she yields certain powers, but such abuses of power and personal vendettas will not sit well for her should she be required to be re-elected. Closer to my home in California, a former Mayor of a local city was not re-elected after she tried to use her “executive authority” to override normal city policy and push through a LGBT month in a city that had little taste for it. In fact when it came to a public hearing, the LGBT side had to bus people in from almost 100 miles away to seem like it was a more credible number.

She also cannot force a pastor of a certain religion not preach theological truths of that same religion. I do not see her doing likewise at the local Mosque who would see her far worse than the local pastors.

What I see happening next

I see the LGBT community trying to force the issue and try to re-open a subpoena, either against the pastors or against the mayor/City of Houston. The liberals have not had their “pound of flesh” yet and someone is going to have to be the fall guy.

I can see the city trying to do something through the back door such as try to revoke a tax exempt status or something like that. I say that as we are only told that they are stopping “this legal action”. Call me a cynic but I think that also leaves the door open for further tests legally.

My hope, however is that it goes away, the pastors are left alone to continue to preach the word of God without any further hair brained hindrance from their local City. I think the city really mis-calculated how strong the opinion would not be on their side. Politian’s do not do things that are going to either stop them getting/elected/reelected/or to the next level.

Final thoughts

My hope and prayer is that we draw a line in the sand and this is the end of it, we are called in Paul’s epistle to the Romans in chapter 13 to “subject to the governing authorities.” here is the full text for clarification and for context.

Romans 13:1 (ESV) Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

You see God does not allow authority except it comes from God. (Even when they themselves rebel against the Word of God)

I hope this update was a blessing, please like, comment and share if the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

Pastors – Let us treat the “City of Houston” biblically

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Pastors – Let us treat the “City of Houston” biblically

Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 5:38 (ESV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

The idea of this article is perhaps to shed a little balance and take away emotion from something that is obviously a highly charged issue.  I will gladly share my bias here, I am a Conservative Christian blogger (duh, if you are here you will most certainly know that) who actually has a “dog in this fight” to use a British term. I have friends who are in the process of establishing a church in the very city that I am blogging about.

I have relative safety from this in the fact that I am blogging about this from the safety of my own home in Central California and have no ties to the City of Houston or any of its entities. As it stands at the moment my local authority has not requested any teaching that I have done or any pastors that I have been associated with.

Persecution?

This heading is rightly a question as I am a little unsure as I have heard many provocative remarks regarding whether this is “persecution” or not. The fact is that an elected official is using power that she has in order to air personal grievances. I am of course meaning the Mayor of Houston and her crusade to request copies of sermons (or as it was later requested “public speeches”)

This was done to find out if any of the pastors had taught a biblical perspective on issues of a LGBT nature, the mayor Annise Parker (which a lot has been made out of the fact that she is a lesbian, however I deem that irrelevant) has made it a personal goal to single out five pastors for “special treatment”.

I don’t necessarily call it persecution as I don’t see that I see in many other countries where biblical teachers are being dragged through the streets and tortured for even professing the name of Christ. These guys have freedoms that pastors in former communist and current Muslim countries would dream of, they have financial backing, many get paid to pastor and they can meet out in the open safe in the knowledge that the next convert may or may not be a Judas and sent them to their death.

So in the truest sense of the word it is not persecution.

Do as the verse says

We are told in the above verse that “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” give her the sermons, give her as much literature as she wants and needs, don’t send her bibles! listen folks. I follow a BIG GOD who has told me that this in Isaiah 55 (That the word shall not return empty) Here is the full discourse for balance.

Isaiah 55:6 (ESV) “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Here is the crux of what i wish to say, I believe that there is some reason behind why she is asking to have these sermons, in her mind she is doing her own bidding, however I would not count out that God may be orchestrating something bigger. God has done this before remember,  one of the greatest evangelists was the Apostle Paul, who up until his conversion just shy of Damascus in Acts 9, was the Pharisee Saul who tortured and killed Christians.  (In fact he was on his way to do likewise when he was converted)

If Jesus can come face to face with a murderer and a man responsible for a lot of the first century persecution,  he certainly can work this situation to the glory of God using the ones who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)

Final thoughts

We are told (again by Jesus) in the book of Matthew

Matthew 28:19 (ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

So my prayer to the pastors is to let them have the sermons. (Most are available on the church websites) and be available to counsel those who have questions. Embrace those who breathe evil against you are no show them the love of Christ.

I pray for the government officials that they find the knowledge of the one true messiah. His name is Jesus Christ and he is the LORD.

Jesus said in John 14:6 that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It is through him and him only that you can have eternal life.

God bless and I pray that this was a blessing and please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads.
TGBTG
TTE

God gave them up

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God gave them up

This is a series in the book of Romans, for the home page in our study and to see other studies then please click here. My aim is to go through the Book of Romans as the LORD wills.


Romans 1:26 (ESV) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

In our last article we spoke about how they had exchanged the truth for the lie. They stopped looking to God and began on a road to their own self destruction; in this passage it shows one of the ways that this was the case. They chose sin which was from their own desires.

Now let me be clear, I believe that people who have sinned all have the same opportunity to come to God and that I don’t view one sin more grievous than another. As stated previously, Paul is writing this letter from Corinth, which was basically Amsterdam and Las Vegas of its time, anything goes and if you were called a “Corinthian” it was a major insult as they were questioning your morality.

These people were in sexual immorality and had fallen into idol worship also. What a combination huh? They had chosen to not go with God’s plan for marriage as one man and one woman and went after their own kind (lesbianism) this did not mean that the men were exempt also, they had done likewise and entered into same sex relationships too.

Now I am not going to go all Westboro Baptist here (God does not hate gay people, he hates the sin) and start screaming at people, but this passage of scripture does show God’s will for marriage is reiterated as one man and one woman. Paul calls it “dishonorable” (or vile) passions, he speaks to a culture where this has been commonplace for at least 200 years, in verifiable history there were many Governors in multiple relationships with both male and female partners, sometimes at the same time and sometimes as separate “relationships” so this had to be addressed as unacceptable for the believers in Rome.

Here is where I am going to get personal, if you are reading this and have been in the gay lifestyle, if you are still in the gay lifestyle or if you are in a promiscuous lifestyle where physical attraction is like a throwaway toy. It is not to late for you. Despite what the world may say about you and despite your thoughts about yourself there is still hope. There is someone who will love you more than any partner could, his name is Jesus Christ.

Jesus will accept you regardless of your history and regardless of the consequences you have reaped because of your actions. Many pastors or teachers will make the logical connection between STD’s and promiscuity, that is an easy link to make, however it is not just a same sex issue.

Yes there is disease involved with this type of sin, but there is also emptiness involved in that type of damaging relationship where the “hook up” is the highlight and everything else is just a hassle. In many cases this is what happens in many bars up and down the country where “hook up” is the reason you go there.

Of course the “hook up” culture is not all that goes on in that lifestyle, there are folks who set up as couples, begin relationships and attempt to change things such as the definition of marriage. It is done in a militant fashion and is done in the name of “equal rights” but usually it means nothing of the sort.

I read of a recent LBGT event that has banned “straight” people from attending, not exactly all inclusive I am afraid.

Let us look at the genetics of it from a scientific point of view, if we are using evolution as a blueprint then by definition if the human race was to choose a 100% homosexual then from an evolution standpoint it would render itself extinct within a person’s lifetime. The ability to reproduce would not be there.

I don’t suffer (perhaps suffer is the wrong word as people who are usually living a life of sin, when it is good it is good and if sin was not appealing then it would not be such a struggle) from this sin so I have no idea what someone who has this attraction/deals with this sin/lives this life (choosing my words very carefully as it is a very sensitive issue) is going through. To them it is a case of “who they are attracted to”.

Like anyone caught in a life of sin, these folks need prayer and not condemnation. I would pray for them as fervently as you would for an opposite sex (or straight, dependent on your terminology) couple who are in sin. As said previously, God see’s all rebellion from him, regardless of the flavor of that particular vice.

Gay people are not the enemy; not to be demonized as some higher level of sinner, and they are just like everyone else who needs Jesus! They need love and an opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and make an educated choice on where they want to spend eternity.

This is a tough passage of scripture because the message has to be delivered in love, there will be some who will not take it that way and that is unfortunate. My heart in writing this is a desire that ALL come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.

It is also tough and difficult because there are emotions involved. I have a few friends who live in the gay lifestyle, they know I love them and I have had them vouch for me on occasions where there has been contention and people have thought I have been attacking the lifestyle.

I pray that this article finds you well, that you are blessed and I would request that you prayerfully consider liking, commenting or sharing this article as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE