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Questions

Why? Why did He do it? What was the purpose in creating what the Bible describes as existence? Was God simply lonely, bored, looking for “motivation” to solve His own existential crisis?

We call Him “Creator, God the Father” — because He creates, simply by existing? A timeless, massless radiant light of immeasurable power?

By His “word,” He brought all things into existence — is “His word” the same as His “will”? By what process does He create? Is time required, and if so, how much time? Did He begin creation with an explosion of matter and energy? Did He first wind up the natural order, then create the “egg,” and then let His creation manage itself?

What is “Heaven”? Is “Heaven” part of the natural order, or is it a separate creation? Or is “Heaven” even a creation at all?

Why would a perfect being create an imperfect world? And why would an all-powerful creator choose to make Himself known through the writings of an ancient tribe which existed in such a tiny insignificant speck of history?

Is “God the Father” the same being as “God the Son”? If not, then why does the Bible tell us there is only one God? And then what about “God the Spirit?” If God is all-powerful, why does He need two extra “Gods”? And for that matter, why does He need angels?

Why would an all-powerful all-knowing being create imperfection, and then create rules which require His own humiliation and death, as a sacrifice, in order to prevent His entire creation of humanity from being permanently destroyed — or worse yet, eternally tormented? Why create sentient life, allow for choice, and then punish the “wrong” choices? Is this not tyrannical, egotistical, petty?

Next post: Answers?

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Preface, A Case for Accuracy in the OT

0626_bible_398wA brief word concerning Old Testament history and the various information going ‘round and ‘round establishing it as mythological legend and compilations ripped off from other cultures:

Such information is hardly new and has no more merit in my regard than it did when I compiled a detailed research paper on the matter 23 years ago.

John Zande summed up the basic challenge in a couple of well-written posts over on his blog: if Moses wasn’t the historical person described in Scripture, then Jesus wasn’t the Messianic incarnation of God, and the Bible has no credibility. So, for the Christian, a line should be drawn. The patriarchs must be historical persons who lived during the times described. The genealogies leave no question as to the intended accuracy of the claims.

The prevailing wisdom holds that those “in the know” in the fields of Biblical archaeology and textual criticism, from the leading Rabbis in Israel to all the truly credible field experts, are unanimous in their findings that all evidences contradict the entirety of the Bible. This unanimity and conclusion has remained unchanged from what I can tell for at least half a century. The Bible was pretty much tossed out by the academic world shortly after Darwin published his monkey business, so whatever “findings” to discredit the Scriptures after that were a sort of afterthought.

It makes perfect sense that mainstream archaeologists (and Israeli Rabbis) would be unanimous in their rejection of Biblical historicity. Such is the nature of paradigms. Those whose findings are acceptable, are credible; those whose findings deviate, are not. Since all credible experts support the paradigm, the paradigm is therefore proven to be correct. No one else, therefore, is to be taken seriously. So, if I wanted published and accepted by my peers and wished to make a go of it in the field, then I would reinforce the paradigm. Otherwise, my career would be relegated to the fringes.

A case for accuracy: at least 40 kings can be corroborated by archaeological finds, from ten nations (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, etc.) whose names are mentioned not only in the Hebrew Masoretic text (the Old Testament), but are also found on monuments of their own time. Thus, we have a good bit with which to reference the Bible. We also have a basis for comparing the Bible to other literature. Of the 40 kings having an archaeological corroboration, every single name is transliterated in the Hebrew Masoretic text exactly as it appears on the archaeological artifact — syllable for syllable, consonant for consonant, every single name. Additionally, we find that the chronological order of these kings is precise. Every name in the Hebrew Masoretic text, some of which go back to the book of Genesis and before the time of Hammurabi, appears in its correct order, with the correct spelling, in the correct time, as attested by the archaeological artifacts and period literature.

To put that in perspective, the librarian of Alexandria, perhaps the greatest scholar of his era (circa 200 BC), listed the names of 38 Egyptian kings. Of these, only three or four are recognizable when compared to their respective archaeological artifacts, though none are exact. This same scholar also made a list of the kings of Assyria. In only one case does the name clearly resemble the name on the artifact, and that name is not spelled correctly. The only way most of the names can be ascertained and then matched up with an artifact is by intrinsic evidence and cross-referencing with other regional literature. And then Ptolemy, who listed 18 kings — not one is spelled correctly, and most are spelled so badly that we wouldn’t make them out at all without intrinsic evidence and cross-referencing.

We find this same pattern in every other piece of literature extant. The scribe of Assurbanipal misspelled his names. The Pseudo-Callisthenes, in their list of the companions of Alexander, whose every name is unrecognizable. Abulfeda, the author of the Arab ante-Islamic history, misspells his names. The same is true of the lists of Manetho, Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Africanus, Castor, and so on.

The only historical literature of antiquity that has demonstrated accuracy with regard to archaeological verification is the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Majority Greek text of the New Testament. Nelson Glueck — a preeminent archaeologist in that region — remarked: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” [Rivers in the Desert; History of Neteg] Philadelphia: Jewish Publications Society of America, 1969.

Before getting into the matter of the patriarchs, I thought it worth mentioning in preface. Digging into the world of the ancient Hebrews and the Old Testament text is a complicated matter, but I wanted to go ahead and put it in perspective, stating categorically that the Hebrew scribes were not flippant in what they handed down. I have no doubt they gave no less attention to what these kings said and did. That the Hebrew writers transliterated at least 40 names (that we know of) with such accuracy and conformity to philological principles is proof enough for me, at least, of their thorough scholarship and access to the original sources.

I realize this is not going to win me any credibility with my atheist friends or too many others, but it is what it is, I suppose. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe not. **shrug**

Adam Weren’t No Damn Dirty Ape!

creation_of_adam1How much do we know about ancient history, and how do we know it?

Those who studied history in school might remember a list of names and dates they once had to memorize — the names of emperors and rulers of nations and empires. The context of history has always been established through the studies of individuals, those whose power and influence shaped the world and times in which they lived.

Up through the 1850s, ancient history was clearly delineated from the first humans all the way to present. We knew exactly where we came from and who got us there, from a progression of patriarchs and rulers stretching nearly 6,000 years, as passed down to us by the Egyptians, Hebrews, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Western cultures —  detailing the proliferation of the human race from Mesopotamia and the origin of the world’s various nation-states.

And then came Darwin. Within a period of fifty years, the history books completely dismissed everything passed down to us from the previous millenia, and the ancient chronologies were completely disregarded.

The question is, how much do we really know from the physical remains of the ancient past? Can archeology definitively invalidate the historicity of the Biblical records? Does anthropology really prove the human race dates back hundreds of thousands of years? The evidence, as it is presented, is irrefutable and absolute fact, that we began in the trees of ancient Africa over millions of years ago. We have the bones to prove it. We have precise scientific dating techniques. The findings are objective and beyond dispute, proving the mythological nature of Biblical narrative.

And yet… according to Gallup in 2012, almost half of all Americans believe Adam and Eve were real people and human history doesn’t go back beyond 10,000 years:

a plurality of Americans—46 percent, to be exact—believe that God made human beings just as they are today sometime in the last 10,000 years. That number is up from 40 percent in 2011 (which was down from 46 percent in 2006).

The number of people who believe God guided the process of evolution over millions of years fell from 38 percent to 32 percent in the last year; during the same period, the number of people who believe God is a lie and humans came from damn dirty apes fell from 16 percent to 15 percent.

I find this quite surprising, especially considering the amount of ridicule one typically receives for professing such belief. I mean, everyone knows it’s all been proven 100% to be false, right? Our entire educational system is predicated on the established Darwinian paradigm, that we evolved from one-celled organisms over billions of years and are the result of natural selection and random chance. All the truly credible experts of recognized science agree in their rejection of the Biblical account. So how can so many people be so willfully ignorant and stupid???

adam and evolutionMaybe it’s not so open and shut as it would seem. No one wants to be perceived as ignorant and be dismissed as a “flat-earth” type of idiotic moron, so very few are willing to reject the status quo publicly. So the prognosticators of the prevailing paradigm assume, from what little resistance they detect, that the overwhelming majority agree with them. This is why, for instance, everyone who professes a belief in the traditional historical order is pretty much dismissed as the only one left in the world who still believes that way — though in truth, in America at least, they’re in plenty of company.

I suppose we would rather trace our history from person to person, rather than bone to bone. From dates and times we can identify with, such as 10,000 years of traceable lineages and civilizations, rather than the incomprehensible eons of millions and billions of years and damn dirty ape ancestors. Who knows?

Thanks for reading.

God, Death, Existence and Time

Spirit Soul Has No DeathMy existence is predicated upon consciousness, referred to in metaphysical circles as “the soul” — a massless, formless living force, a “spirit.” I am not a product of my physical manifestation. I am not a machine, defined by neurons and synapses and the complexities of the human brain. We can map out our brains and determine which parts are involved with which functions, but our brain does not define us, it merely facilitates us by translating our CODEC. Our body is a machine, our brain a complex CPU. And I am the software, the “ghost in the machine.”

The point at which mass becomes less than the smallest particle, the quark, matter loses locality (becoming undefined by physical laws as we currently understand them). Undetectable, immeasurable, timeless, and as far as we can understand, non-existent. Such is the nature of the “spirit.”

God as spirit, in this understanding, is “non-existent” and His domain, “non-existence.” The paradox of a non-existent being existing in a non-existent plane of existence is, in fact, how the Bible describes God. He does not exist in any concept we have of “existence.” And the only time He ever “existed,” he plugged himself into the body of what we know as Jesus Christ, though since he was human, was no longer God. And yet he was. He was limited and fallible like us, and yet he wasn’t. So the only way we can see him as God, is when he is not appearing to us as God, since God is formless and immeasurable.

If God has always existed, what was He doing before He created the universe? Since time did not (and still doesn’t) exist, God did not have time to do anything “before” time. This is rather difficult to grasp.

The Theory of Relativity does not apply to a world in which time is non-existent. When we consider the psychological aspects of time, we are again dealing with the relativity, but relativity as experienced, rather than as measured. We are still dealing with time, but not with eternity. There is neither measured nor experienced relativity of time in a purely spiritual world, because time belongs to the physical order.

It can be argued that in experience, the passage of time could be so rapid as to be virtually eclipsed. It would appear that you could experience timelessness within the natural order. This is confusing because it implies that if a thing is small enough, it is nothing at all. This is analogous to saying that there is no fundamental between something and nothing; or, to use a more familiar idea at the other end of the scale, that infinity is merely a very, very large number. However, infinity differs from a very large number for the important reason that if you subtract one from a very large number (no matter how large it is), you have one less: if you subtract one from infinity, you still have infinity.

Time stands in the same relation to eternity, in one sense, as a large number does to infinity. There is a sense in which infinity includes a very large number, yet it is quite fundamentally different and independent of it. And by analogy, eternity includes time and yet is fundamentally something other. The reduction of time until it gets smaller and smaller is still not eternity; nor do we reach eternity by an extension of time to great length. There is no direct pathway between time and eternity: they are different categories of experiences.

The fundamental point is when we step out of time, we step into eternity, and while we cannot be in them both at once, God, according to the Bible, is able to so. Some passages come to mind immediately in support of the view that God lives outside the ordinary limitations of time as we experience it. For example, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). If we make the period before Abraham to be represented by the letter A, Abraham’s time by the letter B, and the time of speaking by the letter C, we have the three periods A, B, C amalgamated as one and the tenses confused as though C preceded A. What we might have expected to find was, “Before Abraham was, I was” — which would have satisfied our normal sense of time.

eternityChrist took Abraham’s time as the pivot and spoke of two periods balanced on either side, namely, the ages which preceded Abraham, and all that followed (including the present). He then deliberately picked up the present and put it back before Abraham, but still referred to that distant period in the present tense. Though it was centuries ago, to Christ it was “now.” Even if He was here today, He would still refer to the time before Abraham as the “present” time. Why? Because He is God, and to God there is no passage of time, but all is “present.” The reaction of the Jewish authorities to His statement suggests that in some strange way they had understood what He meant. The mystery of God’s name, as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:13,14 “the One who is existing always in the present” is unlocked here.

When a Christian dies, from this understanding, they pass from this realm of time and space into another realm of pure spirit, out of time as we experience it into a state of timelessness, the ever-present of God‘s domain. As they make this passage, every event in the future passes instantly before them, completed instantaneously. As each of us passes, we therefore experience no death nor the slightest pause in consciousness, nor even any sense of departure from those who remain.

The experience would be the same for everyone. All history, all intervening time between death and the end of time, is suddenly annihilated so that each person from the very first to the very last, is just dying and arriving in a single instant together, without precedence and without the slightest consciousness of delay. Scripture twice affirms, observing events from our point of view, that no man has yet ascended into heaven (John 3:13), not even David (Acts 2:34). And yet, when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord in eternity. David is not there yet, nor any others, because we are not there.

Ultimately, we will dwell in a “new heaven and a new earth,” so perhaps time will always be with us thenceforth. But we shall experience time not as limitation, but as opportunity. Time will not be continually running out as it is now; unlimited time for unlimited adventure.

This is, of course, purely hypothetical, and just a thought. Thanks for reading.

Lessons of 9/11

9-11-flagLive each day as though it were your last.

Put an end to petty jealousies. Forgive all those who have wronged you. The freedom from letting go is overwhelming in intensity.

Share the gratitude of your heart with all those around you. Radiance is infectious.

Live selflessly. The needs of others should supersede your own. If others follow your example, someone will take care of you in the same regard you take care of everyone else.

Connect with supreme Consciousness (God, Holy Spirit) and let enlightenment guide your every thought. In such a way, every second will count, every moment matter.

We cannot live for ourselves. Our lives here are temporary and extremely brief. We all knew this on 9/11. The whole was eminently greater than each part. We lived as one. We grieved as one. We can do this every single day.

And we should.

The Cosmic Force

The inspired mind is locked into the Stream. Just put your fingers on the keyboard and type without knowledge of what is coming; hands and fingers moving faster than ever and still not keeping up with flow. Understandings beyond anything pondered or imagined. Just write and write and write and don’t stop until you collapse from exhaustion. Write without notes or idea outlines. Just write and write while your eyes are looking else where. This is not normal. This is savant territory. Such is the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

We are not machines. Machine men. Living a life of fleeting highs and crushing lows and darkness without end. We are more than a paycheck. Our time here is but the briefest of moments. We must make each moment count, treating others with respect, as your brother or sister or mother or father. Love them through God’s Spirit, for He is love. Show no prejudice. Hold back no kind words. Help and assist and offer helpful advice without expectation of return. Live selflessly. Every moment of every day, without exception. The Spirit is eternal and never sleeps.

The Spirit is not a thing. He is an entity which encompasses the entire fabric and force of all things throughout time and space. Filled with this Spirit, we are connected to every single atom, quark, quanta. Every thought, every image, natural force, cosmic body, every moment of the universe, flows within the Spirit’s vibration. He occupies the entire time-space continuum. Every galaxy, super nova, shooting star. Every breeze, cloud, hurricane, tidal wave, volcano. This is what it says in Scripture. The Eastern mystics all examine and investigate and write down their assessment of The Holy Spirit through concepts of Qi, Karma, the Cosmic Stream, Cosmic Strings, Infinite Wisdom, The Force. One can easily bridge the gap and pull these together and see how they intertwine.

Elohim and the Vibration of Light

And the earth, she-became chaos and vacancy, and darkness-became over surfaces-of abyss; and spirit-of Elohim, vibrating over surfaces-of the waters; and he-is-saying, Elohim, he-shall-become light, and he-is-becoming light; and he-is-seeing, Elohim, the light that is good; and he-is-separating, Elohim, between the light and between the darkness…

Genesis 1 in its rawest form, transliterates into English like a song. God, as Elohim, whose spirit vibrates and charges up the atmosphere, speaks of light, and light becomes.

The early Earth, without the sun, without the moon, alone in space, a bright primordial ball. The center of all creation.

At what speed, I wonder, did light, which God became, move across the Earth? God, beyond measure, became light beyond measure.

Conventional science will tell a different tale. But where were they when light began? The quantum universe has breath and thought outside of time. Where time has no meaning, our reason does not apply.

The universe is finite and breathed into existence. At what moment did the it become? If light was infinite, could 8 billion years go by at once?

The vibrance of God surrounds us.

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