Darwin Can’t Explain the Origin of Species

Creation MuseumKen Ham of the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter recently published an article about a Yale professor writing that Darwin got it wrong so far as evolution goes.

Ham writes that David Gelernter, a highly credentialed professor of computer science at Yale, concludes that “…his readings and discussions of Darwinian evolution and its competing theories, namely intelligent design, have convinced him Darwin had it wrong.” He calls it a “beautiful idea” that has been disproven by science.”

What’s interesting is that Gelernter is not a Christian, nor does he subscribe to creationism. Here’s what he has learned:

You take your life in your hands to challenge [evolution] intellectually. They will destroy you if you challenge it. . . What I have seen in their behavior intellectually and at colleges across the West is nothing approaching free speech on this topic. It’s a bitter, fundamental, angry, outraged rejection [of intelligent design], which comes nowhere near scientific or intellectual discussion. I’ve seen that happen again and again. . . I am attacking their religion and I don’t blame them for being all head up, it is a big issue for them.

Gelernter correctly concludes that Darwin does a great job of explaining how many species have adapted to their environment, but he does not explain how ne species come to be. He challenges Darwin’s theory to explain the Cambrian Explosion.

According to geology and evolution scientists, the Cambrian Period of the geologic record shows a lot of new species that merely drop in with no record of a previous version that they came from. That goes against evolution.

Ark EncounterThe Bible, of course, explains what we see; the geologic layers were laid down in order during the various stages of Noah’s Flood. The Cambrian layer shows what happened toward the start of the Flood; many non-aquatic animals drowned and were buried quickly. Gelernter’s logic, though, pokes a huge hole in Darwin’s theory within the framework of current established science.

As stated above, Gelernter is not a creationist and not even close to buying intelligent design, writing, “the world a mess, its suffering far outweighs its goodness.” His observation is a good starting place in evaluating intelligent design vs. creationism.

Genesis explains how everything came to be. It also tells us the events that brought sin into the world, making it such a mess! Finally, the Bible also explains how there will be a happy ending to all of the trials we now endure.

Read Ken Ham’s article for yourself and Gelernter’s article, Giving Up on Darwin also.

I have several other articles dealing with evolution and geology:

Evolution and the Geologic Record

Giants, Old Testament Slaughter, Greek Gods, Bigfoot, and Technology – Part 1

Already Gone Review: Part 1

Before moving on to the New Testament, I wanted to repost a two-part book review of Already Gone. I first published this in 2014. It is part of the reason I’ve spent most of the last year going through the Old Testament; most Christians don’t have an appreciation for everything that’s in the Bible, including the arc of history from Creation to the present day. Churches just don’t teach much of the Bible outside of re-hashing familiar stories. We don’t do a very good job of applying science to the Bible, and seeing that science in fact agrees with the Bible!

So, without further ado, let’s start Part 1 of ALREADY GONE!

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Already GoneBook Review: Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer

Sunday School attendees leave the church more than expected

https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/already-gone/

Do you have a son or daughter in high school or younger? Do you take them to church and Sunday School? Are you doing your best to raise them in a Christian way, teaching them God’s Word and modeling good, Christian behavior? I hope so.

I did my best to raise my daughters such, although I didn’t do it perfectly. In part, I raised them the way I was raised, and that wasn’t always the right way. We had bed time devotions when they were little. We went to church every Sunday, although I did not insist on them going to Sunday School.

Easter Cartoon Tomb

Oh, good…another cartoon

I hated Sunday School with a passion. Vacation Bible School was my personal slice of hell over the summer. Why? Because I found them both to be inane. Cartoon books of bible stories painted in primary colors were irritating. Something inside me told me it was all wrong. The pre-packaged answers and questions were the worst. My friends and I always knew the answers, but we never raised our hands. It was embarrassing to participate in such a dog-and-pony show. I’ll admit I sometimes contributed just because I felt sorry for the teacher having to sit there, twisting in the proverbial wind. That was all in grade school from as early as I can remember. I checked out in high school. No one could make me go. No one. I wasn’t checked out on God, mind you, but certainly on Sunday School.

Why am I telling you this? Refer to the first paragraph. I truly hope you are doing your best, but a recent study revealed that the odds are against your children staying with the church past high school. The choice to check out doesn’t happen in college. Oh, no! They’ve already decided as young as junior high. They’re just biding their time till they can act on their decision. Fully sixty percent of our youth are rooster-tailing it away from the church doors once they’re able to.

Once in high school, I realized I was too big and too much of a pain-in-the @$$ to be controlled. I went to the building every Sunday, but ditched Sunday School altogether and sneaked down to the gym during services to read my bible or contemplate what was going on.

Like I said; checked out of church, not God.

I was sick to death of the bible stories repeated ad nauseum every year in slightly elevated terms. They just didn’t have any relevance to my life. I knew them backwards and forwards, so who cares anymore?

No, it was college when I started checking out of God. I did some exploring of other faiths in high school, but college almost got me away from God. I studied geology for two terms and was highly disappointed that there was no evidence of the biblical Flood. There was plenty of evidence that seemed to support evolution, an earth that’s billions of years old. The same story came through in other classes. To this day, thanks to psychology and sociology studies, I can explain away religion as a matter of evolution, survival, and stimulus and response. I really can.

Now, however, I know those arguments don’t hold water. Not when taken as part of the entire universe. I finally learned that God really is the ONLY answer to any question. Some part of me heard God’s siren call to come back, and praise to Him I came back.

Many people don’t. They buy the lies. Why? Listen very closely now, because I’m going to tell you the big secret why the kids are leaving in droves. Ready?

THE CHURCH IS DOING A LOUSY JOB OF FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE LIES OF EVOLUTION AND CONNECTING GOD’S WORD TO REAL LIFE!!!!!

The church does an OK job of telling bible stories and preaching sermons with the proper, formulaic proportions of Law and Gospel. And therein lies the problem. The bible stories are STORIES! While I believe they are literally true, just the word “story” connotes something not necessarily real or true. Sermons too often don’t connect God’s Word to real life. Some pastors are afraid to preach openly on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion or other hot issues. Why do the kids leave? They don’t see the relevance to the real world! Bible stories are just that…bible stories. There’s no connection from the church. Our secular society and schools are doing ALL of the talking!

I’ve been fortunate that the Holy Spirit has kept me in the game, even when I didn’t have answers to evolution and secular biblical scholars telling were us that most of the stories and characters in the bible are allegories and amalgamations of people from other cultures.

Now, in the last few years, I’ve discovered materials and information that address whether Creation happened just as described in Genesis. I now know that the Flood was real and the geologic layers were laid down by the Flood. Read my post, Evolution and the Geologic Record.

By reading multiple news sources and googling topics I’m curious on, I’ve found out a lot of ground-breaking information on where science and honest research is disproving society’s secular “facts”:

So-called biblical scholars have long argued that King David was never a real individual. He never appears anywhere in history outside of the bible. Turns out they were wrong. See my post, King David: Fact or Fiction?.

Is there life after death? Read Seeing Death.

sacredfireDo you doubt that The United State of America was founded on Christian principles? Give Founding Fathers & Christianity a look. By the way; George Washington was NOT a Deist. Try the book “George Washington’s Sacred Fire.”

Moses has also been considered myth, but see my sources in – what else? – Moses – Man or Myth.

Black HoleThe Big Bang? Could be a Big Bust! Mind you, these are posts pointing out muffed research and Bang-shattering revelations by non-Christian scientists. Read The Big Bang Theory and Down the (Black) Rabbit Hole. The latter article reveals that black holes may be impossible, proven mathematically, and putting the Big Bang to Bed! Along with deep time and evolution theories.

Here’s something I learned from The Exodus Case by Dr. Lennart Moller. The famous Step Pyramid in Egypt is part of a larger site called The Sakkara Complex. That very secure, walled site contains what appear to be ancient underground silos. What has been found at the bottom? The ancient remains of GRAIN! Do you recall how Joseph saved Egypt from famine by storing grain for the lean years? Hm… And there are depictions of men carrying sacks up the steps from the bottom at the site.

If only churches would be looking at what’s out there that connects the bible to the real world, to show biblical events are REAL history! What to do? Stay tuned for Part 2!!

Daniel – The Abomination of Desolation

agents-of-babylon-2And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.   Daniel 11:31

“Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…for then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not been seen since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.   Mathew 24:15-16, 21-22

The last two articles dealt primarily with Alexander the Great, his defeat of the Medo-Persian Empire as prophesied by Daniel, and his place in Jewish history as a friend. But Daniel 8:9-14 and 23-27 describe the two most horrible, despicable rulers to ever rise on the world stage.

Dr. David Jeremiah explains that verses 9-14 describe and foretell Antiochus Epiphanes. He lived 51 years, dying in 164 BC. He also foreshadows the anti-Christ prophesied in verses 23-27. The latter has not yet arrived, but he will carry on in the manner of Antiochus-Epiphanies.

He was the son of Antioch the Third of Syria, himself descended from one of Alexander’s generals who divided his empire after his death. His rule began in 175 BC, and it was a brutal affair.

Antiochus-Epiphanies

Antiochus Epiphanes

First he set his sights on Egypt and captured all of its fortified cities, plundering the entire country. He then turned his attention to Israel in general, Jerusalem in particular. He didn’t want to just conquer them; he wanted to obliterate their religion. From Agents of Babylon;

He ordered them not to offer…(any) offerings in the Temple…to treat Sabbaths and festivals as ordinary work days…defile the Temple and the holy things in it…build pagan alters, temples, and shrines, and to sacrifice pigs and other unclean animals there… They were forbidden to circumcise their sons and were required to make themselves ritually unclean in every way they could…

I won’t relate some of the horrors included in Agents of Babylon, but the ones told are a mere sampling of what is recorded in 1 and 2 Maccabees. Suffice it to say that in addition to forcing every blasphemous act, he killed roughly 80,000 Jews and sold another 40,000 into slavery.

So Daniel’s reference to the Temple being cast down is not about it being physically razed, but destroyed by way of extreme defilement. For example, Antiochus himself brought a sow into the Temple, sacrificed it on the holy alter, and sprayed its blood over the entire interior.

But an end to the brutality and desecration was also foretold in Daniel; the sanctuary was to be restored after 2300 days, according to Daniel 8:14. The date for the restoration of the Temple in history under Judas Maccabeus is December 14, 164 BC, 2300 days after the beginning of Antiochus’s persecution of the Jews!

It was the Maccabees who conducted a two year guerrilla war against Antiochus until their forces recaptured the Temple and cleansed it. Tradition has it that there was only a small flask of ceremonial oil, enough to keep the menorah lit for one day. However, it lasted eight days until they could find another source of purified oil for the Temple.

Jews celebrate this restoration of the Temple every year; sometimes called the Feast of Dedication, sometimes the Festival of Lights.

Most of us know it has Hanukkah!

This abomination is an important thing to understand, because Jesus clearly tells us that it will occur again as a sign of the Anti-Christ and the impending Tribulation. Such a defamation cannot happen without another Temple!

Davids Jerusalem

The Temple was described as being by the Gihon Spring, not uphill at the so-called Temple Mount where there is no water source.

We all know that the Dome of the Rock is on the so-called Temple Mount. Conventional wisdom tells us that it must be destroyed in order for a new Temple to be built, and that isn’t happening without inciting World War Three, starting with the Muslims! But what if that notion is completely wrong?

I wrote an article last January about a video that shows quite convincingly that the Temple Mount is not where the Temple was! It was where the Roman garrison was built! It is the size and shape of the average Roman fort. Plus – and I can’t believe I never caught onto this – the western wall or so-called Wailing Wall can’t possibly be part of the old Temple. Why? Jesus foretold that not one stone would be left standing upon another when the Romans destroy Jerusalem.

Either Jesus got it wrong – and I doubt He did – or that wall is not part of the Temple. For more information, read my article, The Third Temple.

The article is based on two videos on YouTube; ALERT! Is the 3rd Temple Under Construction?? and The Coming Temple – Full Documentary.

NEXT – What Antiochus can teach us about the coming Anti-Christ!

The Harbinger and the Shemitah, Summary

Harbinger and The ShemitahThe Mystery of the Shemitah by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn, an overview

By now we have a good idea of what the Shemitah is and how it played out in Israel’s Babylonian Captivity. Now we shall see what relevance it has to America and the world today. Remember that it is the seventh year in a cycle, which is a Sabbath year. At its end, all debts are released and everyone starts with a clean ledger. This is either done willingly or forcefully, as the Israelites discovered during their forced removal to Babylon.

While the Levitical laws given at Mt. Sinai were for the Israelites, Rabbi Cahn maintains that America has been subjected the Shemitah as well. Why? Its discovery was by people consciously making their own Exodus from the religious persecutions in Europe and came to North America with the intent of building a new Jerusalem. Early in this series, we saw where the first meeting of the government was at St. Paul’s chapel at what is now known as Ground Zero. President Washington prayed a dedication of the country to God’s purpose. In fact, Ground Zero was originally church property!

First, we still know when the Shemitah years fall. There is another “Super Shemitah” which occurs every 49 years. English bible translation call it the “Jubilee.” This Jubilee is no longer a known quantity.

So what has happened in recent Shemitah years?

We don’t have to go back very far. 2008 saw the worst financial disaster in history. It was a Shemitah year. It happened on the last day of the Shemitah year by the Jewish (lunar) calendar; Elul 29 in September.

911Seven years before that was September of 2001. There was a physical shaking of the country on 9/11 with the terrorist attack, not unlike what Israel suffered as the warning. The devastation caused officials to close the stock market for several days till the following Monday…Elul 29. They tried to ring the opening bell, but it wouldn’t ring. Everyone got the feeling it was a bad sign, and they were right. It was the greatest single day financial collapse to date, only to be eclipsed at the next Shemitah seven years later on exactly Elul 29.

Financial DisasterDoes the Shemitah show up elsewhere in American or world history? Indeed it does.

  • The collapse of 1901-1903 had, in its worst months, overlapped the Shemitah 100%
  • The collapse of 1916-1917 had an overlap to the Shemitah year of 80%
  • The Great Depression. While there were its beginnings prior to the Shemitah year, “The Extreme economic plunge took place entirely within the Shemitah’s parameters.”
  • The crash of 1973 overlapped that Shemitah year by 66%.
  • 1980 saw a sharp rise in the stock market, which peaked and had a sudden drop in November. It was the first part of the “double dip recession.” This period saw the highest unemployment levels since The Great Depression.
  • 1987 saw a seven month rise of the stock market, only to see it collapse sharply on Black Monday. It took two years regain those peak levels. Its causes are still debated to this day.
  • Afterwards were the 2001 and 2008 collapses noted above.

While not all instances have a 100% overlap, remember that this is still a once-in-seven-years occurrence.

If you’ve been doing the math, you’ll conclude that the next Shemitah year was 2015.

First, the recent occurrences have been very exact and intense, occurring on Elul 29.

Rabbi Cahn did not predict that something would happen on the next Shemitah following 9/11, but he warned that something might. Nothing as overt as 9/11 happened, but he reminds us that we cannot put God in a box. He will do what He will.

The real message of the Shemitah is that of repentance. That was the whole point of Israel’s “shaking” before their final calamity. It is the point of America’s “shaking.”

We must ask ourselves how much responsibility do we share in America’s current state of apostasy? Have we spoken out and acted against abortion (not in a violent, non-Christian way)? Have we voted for those against abortion or for those against it? Have we voted for Christian leaders who support keeping God in our country and our government? Have we been active in spreading God’s Word or turning a blind eye to the country’s direction? What role have we truly played?

Jesus told us in Matthew 24, The Olivet Discourse, to watch and be ready.

RepentanceThat’s the real point of my running this series about Rabbi Cahn’s book. Are we watching and getting ready in repentance for whatever is in store for our futures? That very question is how Cahn wraps up his speeches about the Shemitah and 9/11.

Honestly, I was rather hoping for something earth-shaking to happen on the Shemitah following 9/11 and was a bit disappointed that nothing did. I truly wanted another breach of the country to happen in the wake of Cahn’s book to really get everyone’s attention. 9/11 saw a very brief spike in church attendance. I thought another shaking of America would make people really get on their knees instead of the equivalent of rubbing their rabbit’s foot.

I suppose God knows the human heart much better than I do. If 9/11 didn’t get our ongoing attention, nothing would. Still, I hoped.

What about you? Has this series made you think differently at all? Do you see the parallels between our national path and Israel’s right before they were taken to Babylon? Do see warning signs as Cahn does, as I do?

Neither you nor I can change the country, but we can change ourselves. We can change the conversations with those around us. We can speak up for God as the true Guardian of our country. We can be sure to live in repentance for the sins we commit every day. We can speak out against abortion, a holocaust of the unborn.

I hope this series has affected you, helped you, and motivated you to dig deeper into God’s Word, especially the Old Testament.

The Harbinger and the Shemitah, Part 4

Harbinger and The ShemitahThe Mystery of the Shemitah by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn, an overview

The prophet Jeremiah delivered God’s warning to Israel to repent of her evil ways and return to God. She did not. Jerusalem was destroyed, and the people were taken captive to Babylon. He walked the ruins in grief and recorded his sorrow in the Book of Lamentations.

He also delivered God’s prophecy that their captivity would last seventy years.

Why seventy? They were to remain captive in a foreign land “…until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept the Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” This from 2 Chronicles 36:21.

Israel had not kept the Shemitah for seventy cycles. They and the land owed God seventy Shemitah years, which He would have one way or the other; either voluntarily or not.

The Shemitah was part of their covenant with God. Keep the covenant, and God will allow them to keep His blessings. Break the covenant, and God will retract His blessings.

The Israelites broke the Shemitah in extreme fashion. Not only did they not keep those Sabbath years, but they forsook God overall, following false gods and even sacrificing their children, burning them alive on those false alters. It was for this final transgression of killing their own children that judgement was executed.

It begs the question of what God thinks of the millions of unborn children killed in the United States, sacrificed to the god of self and convenience.

So judgement came in 586 BC. Since Israel had not transformed its financial and economic realms as required by the Shemitah, they were transformed by force:

“As long as it (the land) lies desolate it shall rest – for the time it did not rest on your Sabbaths when you dwelt in it.” Leviticus 26:35

The Shemitah held the secret of the nation’s fall and the length of that judgement. This was a pivotal moment in world history, as it marked the scattering of Jewish people across the world. When Israel was released from its bondage by King Cyrus of Persia, not everyone went home to Jerusalem. Although a remnant returned to their homeland, many stayed away, where they in most cases had been born and raised.

The Harbinger & the Shemitah Part 3

Harbinger and The ShemitahThe Mystery of the Shemitah by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn, an overview

Before delving into the mystery of the Shemitah, Rabbi Cahn reviews in brief the nine harbingers/warnings that were seen both by ancient Israel before its destruction and their modern appearance to the United States of America.

The First Harbinger: The Breach

The nation’s security is breached. For ancient Israel; in 732 BC the nation’s hedge of protection was breached by a an enemy attack. It was temporary and contained, but shook the nation, hopefully to return to God. For the United States, 9/11.

911The Second Harbinger: The Terrorist

The opening strike was not just military, it was an act of terrorism. For ancient Israel, the masterminds of the attack were the Assyrians, the world’s first terrorists. For the United States, 9/11 was carried out by their “spiritual children” who even used the sister language of the first Assyrians in executing their plan. American soldiers would eventually fight on Assyrian soil.

Freedom Tower

Dangerous Display of Pride?

The Vow of Defiance

Israel’s vow of defiance is recorded in Isaiah 9:10; “The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with hewn stone; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will plant cedars in their place.” Senator Tom Daschle used quoted that exact verse in a speech to rally the nation, apparently unaware that he was using words of defiance against God. He should have prayed for God’s strength, not rally the nation to rely on their own strength.

The Third Harbinger: The Fallen Bricks

For ancient Israel, this was the heaps of rubble the Assyrians left them. For the United States, it was the wreckage of the Twin Towers.

The Fourth Harbinger: The Tower

Ancient Israel vowed to rebuild bigger and better walls, dwellings, and towers. The United States built the so-called Freedom Tower, the biggest object of defiance ever erected on American soil.

Ground Zero CornerstoneThe Fifth Harbinger: The Gazit Stone

The people carve a massive rectangular block of stone from mountain rock and place it at the site of destruction. Ancient Israel rebuilt with stone cut from the surrounding mountains. The United States chiseled out a massive, 2 ton block from the mountains of New York state and placed it on the floor of Ground Zero in a ceremony, during which American leaders spoke vows of national defiance.

The Sixth Harbinger: The Sycamore

The Assyrians struck down ancient Israel’s sycamore trees in the course of their attack. In the United States, the sycamore which stood next to St. Paul’s chapel on the corner of Ground Zero was destroyed as it took the hits from falling debris, saving the chapel from a single impact. You might recall this is where George Washington met with the first congress and prayed for the nation’s health as well as acknowledging that turning from God would mean loss of His Countenance, His hedge of protection.

St Pauls treesThe Seventh Harbinger: The Erez Tree

“But we will plant cedars in its place.” Ancient Israel planted Erez (cedar) trees, which was a sign of their resolve to come back stronger than before. In the United States, a Hebrew Erez tree was planted in the exact spot next to St. Paul’s chapel where the sycamore was destroyed. It was named the Tree of Hope. It withered and had to be removed.

The Eighth Harbinger: The Utterance

A national leader utters the vow of Isaiah 9:10. Ancient Israel’s utterance is recorded in Isaiah 9:10. Senator Tom Daschel quote that scripture to rally the nation on September 12, apparently unaware of its context. On the third anniversary of 9/11, those words were used again. President Obama signed the topmost girder of the new tower, using a paraphrase of Isaiah 9:10.

TomDaschel Sept12 2001

Speaking on 9/12/01

The Ninth Harbinger: The Prophecy

A national leader utters the vow, making it part of the national record. For ancient Israel, this was recorded by Isaiah. Senator Daschel spoke at a congressional caucus, making his words of prophecy part of the national record.

These are the Nine Harbingers reviewed by Rabbi Cahn to start The Mystery of the Shemitah. You see, God uses these harbingers, these warnings, to get the nation’s attention to return to Him. He does it in a very organized way. He organizes it according to His ancient institution of the Shemitah, given through Moses at Mt. Sinai. It all happens down to the day, even the hour of the Shemitah.

The parallels between the destruction of ancient Israel and 9/11/2011 are unmistakable.

Next: Defining the Shemitah

The Harbinger & The Shemitah, Part 2

Harbinger and The ShemitahThe Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn; an overview

The last installment left off with the USA having it’s start as the destination of those seeking relief from religious prosecution, an Exodus from Europe to start their own New Israel. The first full meeting of our government with President Washington and the full congress was at St. Paul’s Chapel in the nation’s capital of New York City, and Washington’s prayer/prophecy concerning faithfulness to God and His providence for the country.

The church had a sycamore tree planted on the property near the church. It grew over the years until September 11, 2011. It died that day, killed by falling debris from the Twin Towers. As it took the punishment of the wreckage, it’s end protected the church itself from any damage. Not so much as a window was broken. That church is known as The Miracle of Ground Zero, the only structure in that area to escape any real damage. It was used for months as a staging area for rescue and relief, which I find appropriate. Ground Zero itself was, at the time of Washington’s prayer, part of that church’s property.

So, on the very soil that saw the first meeting of our government, a shaking occurred to hopefully call the country back to God. For three weeks, the country’s churches were filled with frightened citizens looking for…something. An explanation? Reassurance? No one can really say for certain, other than it was not for penitence. After three weeks, attendance dropped back to previous levels. The shaking God sent caused no more than a collective snort of a snore before we rolled back over and to sleep.

How do we know this was a shaking sent from God and not just one of those lousy things that happens in an increasingly rotten world?

The answer lies in Isaiah 9:10. Isaiah was the prophet sent by God to a rebellious Jewish nation to deliver a shaking in the form of prophecy. God would send disaster. It was also predicted that Israel would pay no heed. Isaiah 9:9-10:

“9 All the people will know—
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria—
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 ‘The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.’”

Bricks refer to inferior building materials, as they were made of straw and mud. Hewn stone means they would take native rock out of the hills and use that. Likewise, the cedar is a much stronger tree than the sycamore. The meaning is that Israel would rely on its own strength and ability to plant and quarry instead of relying on God.

St Pauls treesSo what happened on September 11? The sycamore was destroyed. Its remains, including its roots which contained a brick, were displayed as a memorial to the disaster. What happened later? A conifer tree of a cedar type was planted in the exact same spot the sycamore had stood! The cedar that was planted in the place of the sycamore began to wither and die almost immediately. They tried to prune it, hold it up with ropes…anything to keep it alive. But it continued to wither along with the plantings all around it. It is a symbol of America’s continued withering as it refuses to return to God.

I can tell you that this story about the trees isn’t something I have simply read. I visited St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan and spoke with the security guard there. She confirmed every word. No one could explain why a perfectly healthy tree died, let alone why the hedges around it that had been there before withered away too.

So that takes care of the sycamore fell and was replaced by a cedar, which died. Just to be sure that the symbolism was clear, God made sure that a brick was found tangled in its roots.

Rabbi Cahn writes about how the United States, which was founded on prayer and dedicated to God, has abandoned God. Not only that, but we are committing the same atrocity of child sacrifice as the Israelites did before their own Babylonian exile. They sacrificed their children to Baal while we sacrifice ours to self, millions more than the Israelites ever did.

Now, the hewn stone.

Ground Zero CornerstoneWhen the new tower was set to get started, a 2 ton block of hewn store, cut from the mountains of New York state, was laid as a ceremonial cornerstone for the new tower, which our country would build bigger and better than what had stood there before.

Sound like a familiar refrain?

Other connections are the speeches given by our government leaders regarding September 11, 2001.

Senator Tom Daschle delivered a speech before Congress on September 12 to rally the nation. In it he quoted Isaiah 9:10, omitting the verse 9 which condemned the attitude of verse 10. He used the same words of defiance the Israelites used to proclaim our coming ascendency. He thereby invited judgement on the nation as he spoke on its behalf.

Obamas Signature

Obama’s signature, topmost steel beam

President Obama did the exact same thing, employing a paraphrase of Isaiah 9:10 years later in a speech observing the anniversary of September 11. As if one government official unwittingly inviting judgement was not enough. Obama also WROTE those defiant words on the final beam to be placed at the top of the new tower at Ground Zero. This placed those defiant words at the highest point of the highest building in America.

Altogether Jonathon Cahn, a Christian Rabbi, cites nine harbingers sent to warn the United States of the destruction it faces without repentance of its ways:

And there is more to come in The Mystery of the Shemitah.

The Harbinger & The Shemitah, Part 1

Harbinger and The ShemitahThe Harbinger by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn is a companion book to The Mystery of the Shemitah.  Following is the first installment in a series overview of the book.

I believe many of us are familiar with the current state of the world in general and the USA in particular. We’ve heard the conclusion that, when we show God the door, as we have in schools and government, we get what we currently are seeing.

But what if something is in motion that goes far beyond the cultural turmoil we’ve seen? Following is a very high overview of information provided by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn in his book The Harbinger. There are a lot of intertwining events spanning centuries and even millennia. Allow me to start with the founding of our country and President George Washington.

St Pauls Chapel ExtThe first full meeting of our government with both houses of congress occurred in the nation’s first capital city, New York, NY. They met in a church – St. Paul’s Chapel – and prayed as the genesis of The United States of America. I’ll say it again; the first considered action of George Washington and members of congress after their first gathering as a government was to walk to a church, St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan, and pray for God’s blessing on their new country.

So much for separation of church and state, which you may not know appears nowhere in the Constitution. That’s an interpretation of the article regarding our government not being allowed to establish its own religion. That article is NOT a prohibition of religion within government as our moral guide, nor of worshipping God and acknowledging Him as we should.

Don’t believe me? President Washington prayed at that first meeting of our nation’s first government and essentially prophesied our future. The following is copied from http://www.propheticroundtable.org/ForeFathers/GeorgeWashington/A%20Prayer.htm

St Pauls Int

Where Washington prayed with members of congress for God’s blessing on the new USA

Almighty God,

We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field.

And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

–George Washington

His prayer is also a prophecy. The second paragraph essentially says that, so long as we obey God and maintain the character He requires of us, we shall prosper. Without such dedication to God and His ways “…we can never hope to be a happy nation.”

If we withdraw from our relationship with God, He will withdraw His blessings from us.

That might sound familiar. It is the same blessing and curse given to the Israelites from God at Mt. Sinai, through Moses.

Those who first came here saw themselves as effecting their own Exodus from religious persecution in Europe. While The United States of America was not even a thought, their goal was to found their own New Israel.

That original intent and Washington’s prayer/prophecy seems to have cemented us in a covenant with God as a New Israel. If we should ever invite God out, we should expect “shakings” of our country to wake us up and return us to our true roots, our true God.

Next installment: the return to that church and The Miracle of ground Zero.

Being Released

Shemitah – Hebrew, translated literally as “release.”

I first learned this word through the books “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” both by Jonathon Cahn, a Christian Rabbi. He wrote these books when he realized that the pattern of US history over the last century has a strong parallel to the history of ancient Israel, their national sins. and their Babylonian bondage. This Saturday I’ll start a series about Rabbi Cahn’s book, The Harbinger. For now, let’s just take a look at what the shemitah is. First, a general explanation, then some quotations from Rabbi Cahn’s book, and finally Bible passages about it.

Christians are all familiar with the term “Sabbath.”

“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy,” warns the commandment. It was to be a day of rest commemorating God resting on the seventh day of the universe after spending six days creating it. What I didn’t know until a few years ago and reading Rabbi Cahn’s books is that there was also a Sabbath of years.

Jesus also informs the Pharisees that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath when they turned their noses up at His disciples picking grain to eat on a Saturday, which is the actual seventh day and the actual Sabbath.

Set FreeSabbath is to be a day of rest, a year of rest, and a year of…release!

I was recently reading back through “The Mystery of the Shemitah” and a passage captured my attention more than it had when I first saw it. Rabbi Cahn made some succinct comments about the Shemitah – the Sabbath Year, which I’ll reproduce below. You’ll see that it isn’t just about resting from physical work, but a rest – a release – from the world, from possessions which encumber. It’s a release to rest in the arms of our God without a care in the world.

The need to work for our food? Released!

The need to collect debts? Released!

The need to pay debts? Released!

RestingThe Shemitah strikes me personally as something very much like my bypass surgery in 2003. Was that a scary time? It certainly had its moments! But I remember that entire period from surgery through recovery very fondly. I was released – I was “shemitah’d” from the cares of life to just be. Eat, sleep, breathe…repeat as needed.

The law of Sabbaths from the seventh day to the seventh year to the seventh 7-year cycle was peculiar to the Israelites. Except for the commandment, God did not require these Sabbaths from any other people. However, I can’t help wondering what this world would look like if everyone on earth was “shemitah’d” from every debt and possession every seven years.

What a leveler that would be! There would be no oppression by debts lasting a lifetime, no burdens of a glut of unnecessary wealth. We would do nothing but rest on the grace of God’s providence in those times, a true rest from not just labor, but from the world!

The Mystery of the ShemitahHere are selected portions of Rabbi Cahn’s comments from his book “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” page 31. After reading those, I invite you to slowly, carefully…care-freely read the passages from Exodus and Leviticus describing these Sabbaths, these Shemitah’s, these blessed releases!

‘The Shemitah declares that God is first and above all realms of life, and must therefore be put first and above every realm. During the Shemitah was, in effect, compelled to turn away from these earthly or worldly realms and turn to the spiritual.

The Shemitah cleanses and wipes away, ends imbalances, levels accounts, and nullifies that which has built up in the previous years…It ends entanglements and brings release…The Shemitah requires people to release their attachments to the material realm: their possessions, their finances, their real estate, and their claims and pursuits concerning such things.

The Shemitah is the reminder that God is the source of all blessings, spiritual and physical alike.”

The Law of Sabbaths   Exodus 23:10-11

10 “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove.

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Red highlights are mine.

The Sabbath of the Seventh Year   Leviticus 25

25 And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land—all its produce shall be for food.

The Year of Jubilee

‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

13 ‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16 According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17 Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.

Provisions for the Seventh Year

18 ‘So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.

20 ‘And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?” 21 Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22 And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.

Redemption of Property

23 ‘The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. 24 And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land.

25 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26 Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27 then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28 But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession.

29 ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. 32 Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time. 33 And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34 But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession.

Lending to the Poor

35 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

The Law Concerning Slavery

39 ‘And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 And then he shall depart from you—he and his children with him—and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. 42 For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God. 44 And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.

47 ‘Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, 48 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; 49 or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. 50 Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him. 51 If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. 52 And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. 53 He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. 54 And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee—he and his children with him. 55 For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Mt. Sinai – Summary

Split RockI’ve related a number of characteristics of Jebel Musa/Moses’ Mountain in Saudi Arabia. Let’s review everything we have:

  • There is the 6 meter rock with a massive spilt down the middle, matching the biblical description of the rock Moses struck for water to gush forth. Furthermore, there is heavy water erosion starting at that split, leading down to a huge dried riverbed. It is the highest point by far, sitting atop a hill and surrounded by plains.
  • Amalekite Altar

    Ancient altar ruins on a rise

    Those plains also provide a battle ground for the fight with the Amalekites as described in Exodus, including an overlooking hill upon which is an ancient altar. Recall that Moses kept his hands raised to God in supplication for victory. Moses built an altar to God in thanks for that victory.

  • There is Jebel Musa itself. That is the name the locals have used for it since before recorded history. Everyone there simply knows that it is where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It is part of a range known as Jabal al Lawz. The top part of Jebel Musa is black, burnt to a crisp; Exodus tells us that God came down onto the mountain in fire and smoke.Mt Sinai Burnt Summit
  • 1 Kings 19 describes how Elijah was directed to Mt. Sinai and spent time there in a cave where God visited Him. There is such a cave in Jebel Musa.
  • Stone CirclesThere are many large stone circles that likely served as anchors for a tent. Similar stone circles have been found in Israel.
  • A broken Egyptian-style millstone was found at one the those circles. It would make sense no others were found. People on the move would not leave such a valuable piece of equipment behind!
  • Keep OutEgyptian-styled “Keep Out” signs are found at regular intervals at the base of the mountain; an outline of a sandal with the laces laid out to the sides, meaning “Shoes off! Sacred ground!” This same design is found in ancient Egyptian sites.
  • There is an earthen altar just as described in Exodus arranged for a massive procession of sacrifices. Next to it are the fallen pieces of twelve marble pillars, also included in the Exodus account.
  • There is a large pile of broken stone slabs which appear to be the base of an altar. Images of the Egyptian cow god are carved in these stones…along with a Jewish Menorah. This would fit perfectly as an altar for the Golden Calf.
  • God commanded Moses, Aaron, and elders to come up and meet with God on the mountain; 74 in all. A plateau exists up on the mountain with just sufficient space to hold that many people comfortably. Also nearby is a cleft in the rock as described in Exodus. God placed Moses there as He passed by, because no man can see God’s glory and live.

One might dismiss any of these as coincidentally similar to places in Exodus and nothing more. Taken together, one might wonder how many coincidences it takes to make a connection?

Exodus CaseAs Dr. Moller concludes in his book The Exodus Case, if this was a case being tried in a court of law to determine whether these things are, in fact, what Exodus describes, what would you, the jury, rule?

I strongly recommend you find The Exodus Case at Amazon, which I where I ran into it. It is well written, goes into impressive depth in terms of historical and scientific analysis, and has an abundance if photographs. The paper and print are high quality, and the book is very well produced.

One final point; I don’t see this information as proving the truth of the Bible. I see it as agreeing with Biblical truth. However, as a Christian speaking to those how doubt, because they think science has disproven the Bible, this gives enough evidence to give one pause. This is information to start an open conversation with someone.

If you are not a Christian, I invite you to look into this further yourself to your own satisfaction. I tell you openly that there are detractors of these archeological finds in general and Dr. Moller in particular. Before anything else, make sure you thoroughly understand what Dr. Moller presents. Only then can you reasonable expect to judge whether the criticisms are valid.

And the real question remains; what are the odds that these are all just coincidences?