Knowing Who Jesus Is

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , on July 17, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Many Protestant theologians (e.g., Luther, Calvin, and Barth) emphasize God as known in Jesus Christ, over God as known through creation. Is an emphasis on knowing God through creation, and the accompanying go-a-long traditional arguments for his existence, detracting from the knowledge of God as Redeemer as revealed His Word…the Bible?

I believe there is a great deal to be learned about God if you have the eyes to see the wonderment and glory of His creation. The book this blog patterns; I Am, the Great Creator God, is all about gaining the eyes to see. This “general revelation” is certainly enough to prove the existence of God. But if you are not reading the Bible, you will not know that all of creation is and was through Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.  However, one can deepen their knowledge of who this Godhead is by reading His Holy Word. We find out who Jesus is throughout the Old Testament, and we find out what Jesus, the incarnate God, does and says in the New Testament. All this then is energized by the power of the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity (Trinity). Thus the Triune Godhead is revealed and knowledge is exploded in very special ways going far beyond and deepening beyond general revelation. Now, you are in the classic position for God to use your special gifts, greatly empowered for your role in a possible “special revelation” encounter with the living God.

Not all religions are alike; the difference in the big 3, is who is Jesus?  In Christianity, Jesus is the Christ; in the other 2 main religions of the world, He is not. Thus there is only one thing we can do…turn toward Jesus Christ and humbly come before that Messiah Jesus, on our knees, and call Him LORD.

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The Existence of Evil Argument

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , , on July 10, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Often I see or hear about people rejecting God because of there being evil in the world. This comes from a lack of understanding about evil, but this kind of statement is not good enough; we will not reach the rejecting humanity with a statement like that.  We Christians should ask and be prepared to deal this question:  How great a problem is the existence of evil as a counterargument against the existence of God as He is understood by Christians?

I think there are a great many who use this “evil exists” argument to say that God could not be real, nor be a God of love, nor all powerful…or He would eliminate evil. I believe this to be a huge problem. The Church has not done a good job to explain where evil came from and how people gravitate toward it instead of toward God. Evil was not created but is the result of people’s free will to choose what they want. Lucifer and one third of the angels wanted to be god by their free will and were cast from heaven. Adam & Eve wanted to have the knowledge of God and thus were cast from the Garden (actually this is an act of love by God to save them from eternal separation). I believe that God did not create evil but allows it and sometimes can even use it to open up the eyes of those He wishes to reach. As a parent may allow a child to finally touch a hot stove after repeatedly saying not to, the child finally learns the stove is indeed hot. The parent remains loving to their child. Love and free will allows people to accept or reject God. God wishes His creation to glorify Him, but because we are VERY much loved by God (John 3:16), God does not bind and chain us as prisoners. Thus we are free to reject Him and blame it on other circumstances, such as the existence of evil, or turn to God and find mercy and salvation from evil. You are not a puppet manipulated by a set of strings; you are free to decide to follow God or your own set of idols; only one of these two options leads to peace and grace.

The waves of chaos and stress are inevitable!

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , on July 3, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Many these days find themselves in darkness, deep in chaos with the waves of stress crashing over them. If you are one of those, are you alone? Chapter 3 of the Book of Daniel, we find Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego thrown into an ultra-hot furnace (7 times normal)…they were not alone. Chapter 6 of the Book of Daniel, we find Daniel thrown into the lion’s den by evil men tricking the king to enforce his law now impacting his friend Daniel…Daniel was not alone.

The organization “Open Doors” serves the persecuted church over seas. They say 215 million Christians in 50 countries last year face high or very high or extreme persecution. Are they alone? No! The Holy Spirit is there for Jesus knows, for the world hated Him as well (John 15:18). When Jonah was in the whale, he called to the LORD, and the LORD answered him for God heard his voice (Jonah 2:2).

It has been published that only 4% of Millennials have a Biblical Worldview. How sad, and even more sad for their children (who will teach them?)! What do you suppose will happen when, not if, but when darkness falls upon them? The waves of chaos and stress are inevitable! To whom will they turn to find strength, peace, mercy and grace?

“The waters closed in over me; the deep surrounded me: weeds were wrapped around my head…yet You [God] brought up my life from the Pit, O LORD my God.” (Jonah 2:5-6). Turn to the only one who can save and rescue you, the LORD Jesus Christ!

The Nature of Creation

Posted in About the Book, Out of the Pages with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2017 by mclmuskrat

When in architecture school, we studied the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, who studied the physical proportions of the human body and became one of the strongest advocates of the “Golden Ratio” and applied it to his art and architecture. Le Corbusier’s search for a standardized proportion ended in a system he called the “Modulor”, which represented the human scale universally applied to art composition and architecture. This “Modulor”, based on human proportions was found to be a system equivalent to all of natural creation. Le Corbusier felt that human life was “comforted” by this type of mathematics. How does a proportional system so widespread in creation come about? Certainly this is not a serendipity or evolution by-product; can happenstance produce mathematical perfection in nature and in the human body? I believe it to be part of the Grand Master Architect’s “good” design.

The Golden Rectangle, constructed by the rules, then divided by the rules, creates another Golden Rectangle; this then can be repeated to infinity, always creating the same “Golden Rectangle” and the same “Golden Ratio”. Beautiful perfection!

God created each individual animal species and called it good. As an architect who understands form, design, composition, symmetry, color and aesthetics; it is impossible to look at the wonderful designs in nature and believe they evolved from something else as simple happenstance. The sooner scientists look through the eyes of a Christian at God’s creation, the sooner the great destructive evolution debate will disappear.

Each work of creation must reflect a part of the Creator; it is the nature of creation, whether it is an artist, a sculptor, an architect, a musician, filmmaker, writer, or God. Part of the creator is found within the creation, within the created item. When you look at the beauty on this planet, be it a person, a sunset, a flower or a Mandarin Duck, what do you see? Do you see something that has evolved from something else lower than itself, while the creator sits on the sidelines with nothing to do? Or do you see a planned work of art, an individual creation from the Great Creator God? We are created in the image of God. The sooner you see each part of creation as created by God, “individually” one at a time as an important part of the whole masterpiece, the sooner you will respect other life found in the people and animals of this planet, and the less destructive things will be.

The 23rd Psalm Speaks to us Today

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Probably the most popular Psalm is the 23rd Psalm; a psalm of trust and confidence. This psalm obviously comes after Psalm 22 which reflects David’s anguish. There are many in anguish today! Besides those millions with evil intent, many have problems due to the idol worship of money, sex & fame in our culture, the governmental quest for power, the culture of materialism, and all the false leaders & teachers among us. There is only one way to find the correct path, though a narrow road it is, to find the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

“The LORD is “my” shepherd”; He is your personal Savior who knows you before you were born. “He makes me lie down…He leads me besides still waters”; The LORD wishes you to rest and have peace, and will guide you there. “He leads in right paths”; the LORD will guide you to the destination that is good for you if you will just follow. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil”; In Matthew 10:16, Jesus sends us sheep out among wolves. “…in the presence of my enemies”; Matthew 7:15 tells us that false prophets come in sheep’s clothing (to fit in with the herd)…they are indeed among us now. “…my cup overflows.”; with Christ Jesus you will find overflowing grace, more mercy, more goodness, more care than you can possibly handle! Why not invite Jesus into your life, repent and find the only way to peace?  Oh, you will still have problems existing in this world, but you WILL have mercy and forgiveness, which will provide for you a waterfall of peace!

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , on June 12, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Preface – In light of all the debate after the recent “Paris Climate Accord”, I would like to share my 3-part article on the dangers of thinking humans can actually change world climate. As a reminder, I have been and continue to be a strong advocate for good stewardship of the world’s resources. As an architect, I work to reuse and recycle building materials; and I have been a proponent of daylighting and passive solar design for over 45 years.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 1, Setting the Stage

Karl Barth said, “Knowledge is real solely through God’s revelation.” When you think about the meaning of God the Creator, and the story of Creation, as told in the Bible, one must first believe in God to understand and believe what has been written. This is no shallow truth we are talking about; how many “truths” do you know about that have withstood numerous tests over 3000 years? Let’s first look at how we believe in what we each call our own “truth”. We first “decide to believe” in something, then we setup arguments to support our decisions, so our beliefs then become our truths. The atheist first decides that God does not exist, and then sets his arguments to backup that “fact” (as he sees it), all the while ignoring the “messy” physical truths all around him that easily prove that God does exist. And the person that doesn’t believe in God, yet believes in the devil as the supreme power in the Universe, builds his own arguments to fit his beliefs. Admitting the devil was thrown out of heaven and rules over the Earth, they ignore the fact that an even a higher power threw the devil out of heaven in the first place thus having the greater power.

The Creator’s work (the creation) can be understood when you first get some knowledge of the Creator. We see this when we view art and architecture; a better understanding is realized after you first get an understanding of the artist or architect. A great portion of the book, I Am, the Great Creator God, is dedicated toward showing you the reality of God’s Creation. The whole Universe was created by this loving God, and that the Universe did not come into being because some particles of space dust decided to colligate into a planet on their own. To believe some physical law just happened to be there at the right time to do its magic, working by happenstance, is ridiculous. Why would a star, all by itself, decide to blow up to create more debris to make more objects in the Universe? It just does not work that way; there is a Creator’s hand involved.

Karl Barth said:

“It is assuredly a basic error to speak of creation myths. At best a myth may be a parallel to exact science; that is, a myth has to do with viewing what has always existed and will exist. A myth has to do with the mighty problem that at all times propounds itself to man and therefore is timeless, the problem of life and death, of sleep and wakening, of birth and dying, of morning and evening, of day and night, and so on. These are the themes of myth. Myth considers the world as it were from its frontier, but always the world which already exists. There is no creation myth because creation as such is simply not accessible to myth. The Bible speaks in Genesis 1 and 2 of events which lie outside of our historical knowledge. But it speaks upon the basis of knowledge, which is related to history. In fact, the wonderful thing about the biblical creation narratives is that they stand in strict connection with the history of Israel and so with the story of God’s action in the covenant with man. Knowledge of creation IS knowledge of God and consequently knowledge of faith in the deepest and ultimate sense.” (underline added) (Dogmatics in Outline, p. 51)

In summary, when viewed carefully, one cannot gaze on a Wood Duck, a snowflake, a Peacock’s tail, an Atlantic Sundial or a Chambered Nautilus shell, or the human body machine and not see a most unbelievable design. Couple what you physically see with the three Laws of Thermodynamics, and you simply must come to the conclusion that all that is…is God created. It is not happenstance. It is not by some evolutionary engine that things simply “become”. God is a wonderfully creative creator; and we are each an individual creation, intimately created out of love as an individual “work of art”.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 2, YOU are NOT God!

In Part One of this string of 3 posts, I mentioned facts about how we are indeed “works of art”…we are God’s “poem”…the best words in the best order is a poem, that is what we are. Because we are loved so much by God, to be so wonderfully created (Ps. 139:14), that we have also been given a gift of choice to accept or reject the God that created you. There is actually a great deal of love in this gift of choice, for what lover would put his beloved in chains, to be a puppet, to control every action and thought? There are no strings on you! You are not in prison chains…you can decide what to believe, wrong or otherwise.

So, you are free to reject God even though the blood of Jesus Christ redeemed you (paid the price for your sins), you can reject His divinity, and His being sovereign over all. You are free to become your own god. Become your own god? Yes, that is exactly what you are doing when you believe you can control the natural forces on Earth…that YOU believe YOU can affect the whole planet in some manner. How arrogant of you to believe such nonsense! For to have such a belief of global impact is to place yourself above all nature…to make yourself as powerful as God. If you are having trouble with this line of thinking, it shall become clear in Part 3 of this series of posts.

Everyone wants to believe they are important, that they have value and can contribute something to the “Play of Life on Planet Earth”. As Robin Williams said to the boys in “Dead Poet’s Society”, what will your one verse be? I am no different. That is why I write these posts on two blogs, write articles and books, I care. I don’t advertise. I don’t make any money. I care to reach out to others as a teacher because I feel called to do so. As you can with God, you are free to reject what I have say, but I only ask one thing of you. Put aside your pre-conceived notions and at least ponder briefly on the truth I wish to share with you. Only for this one reason – one day you will be asked to give an account of your life…what will you say?

Will you confess to following a lie at the expense of human lives? Will you arrogantly say that I have so much effect on the world that I could melt global ice caps? In fact, I am so important I can actually make one ice cap shrink and make the other one grow! Wow! If true, I could only say…You must be God to do that!

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 3, It Is About Control Over People!

Despite all the decades of so-called scientific alarmists spouting the on-coming dangers if we don’t change our ways, nothing has ever come to pass…no raising oceans, no ice ages. The broadcasts of global warming circled the planet and blamed everything on the warming…problem was…there was never any warming. The “science” was only computer modeling, and as we all know “garbage in – garbage out”. When the false science was exposed, the broadcasts of doom changed to “climate change”. The problem now was that term didn’t blame mankind to whom they wanted to place blame. When you blame someone for an action, then you can control that person…this is the true goal of the liberals, control of the masses. The term was changed to “man-made climate change.” Dumb-down the population, remove common sense, and make all things relative, and now you have a setting whereby lazy people will accept stupid ideas. Man-made climate change reeks of absolutely zero common sense; anyone with half a brain should be able to reason through this to realize it to be completely without any merit whatsoever!

I only need one example, though there have been hundreds since we have been recording history. The Native Americans called it “Smoking Mountain”; we call it Mt. Saint Helens. There was a major eruption in 1800, and minor eruptions in 1898, 1903, and 1932; but through all this the mountain was a beautiful scenic peaceful area; that is until 1980. A huge eruption, like thousands before since the world was formed, blew the top 1300 vertical feet off the summit. The direct blast covered 230 square miles and blew 540 million tons of ash 12 miles into the air. How can that be equaled by all the industry on the planet, all the cow farts on the planet, all the lawn mowers and cars on the planet? Today…Mt. Saint Helens has recovered as it always has…on its own…because all of nature is created by God, and God said it was good. All of mankind on the planet together does not have a power to equal the blast of the 1980 Mt. Saint Helens eruption to instill global climate change. The belief that mankind is that powerful is to make him like God.

The environmental extremists have re-created a gnostic form of religion. The environmental movement, now its own religion, is one whose roots are firmly planted in ancient gnosis that set the Creator-God as being evil and at best incompetent. By removing God from being Creator of all creation, one could now focus on knowledge as being the saving act. You see, if you believe the world is evil then it was the result of being formed by an evil God; for the Gnostic it was material things that were evil, but it is their personal knowledge that would be the saving power. The environmental scientists don’t need facts anymore, all they need is their knowledge to computer model the future of the planet.

Philip Lee writes in “Against The Protestant Gnostics”, on page 16, “The fundamental problem between biblical faith and gnostic faith begins with two different world views. Biblical faith insists that the Creation is well made. Christianity affirms with Judaism that ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.’” Continuing, Lee writes, “…Gnosticism simply cannot endorse that positive vision of the Creation.” This is why liberals fight against any idea of God Creation, and so grossly endorse evolution as the prime mover. Lee continues saying, “The basic issue is clear: Gnosticism must deny any direct link between the Creation and God.”

Here is where the environmental religion becomes the evil force; instead of preaching that we should all be good stewards of God’s creation (something I firmly endorse and practice), the environmental extremists first take God out of the picture with the false doctrine of evolution, then they empower themselves in believing they can manipulate God’s creation thus making themselves equal to God. It is pantheistic at best!

                                                                                                                                                           

Written by Haven D. Mankin and originally published in the “I Am, the Great Creator God” blog in July and August of 2015.

Does God Have to Prove Anything?

Posted in Questions of the Ages with tags , , , on June 5, 2017 by mclmuskrat

In Romans chapter 5 verse 8, the text reads, “But God proves His love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” Our omnipotent God, our perfect and complete God, doesn’t have to prove anything, and certainly not to us! It is WE that were created by God to glorify God, as the answer states to question number one in the Westminister Shorter Catechism. So, why is this text from Paul in his letter to the Romans?

Paul continues in verses 9 and 10, “…we be saved through Him [Jesus] from the wrath of God…we were reconciled to God…”.

It has always been that humanity has been hostile toward God. Adam and Eve disobeyed God because they wanted to be God themselves; humanity hasn’t changed since then. The cross did not overcome God’s hostility to us because God has never had hostility toward His creation! God had/has only love as any creator has for his “good” creation.

It was the cross that overcame humanity’s alienation from God! As the Jesus on the cross paintings of Salvador Dali show us, no nails kept Jesus on that most cruel cross…it was love! When Jesus had the power to call down legions of angels…He prayed the Father would forgive His murders.

God does not have to “prove” anything, but He did “show” us everything! Won’t you simply say thank you and turn your life to the One that loves you more than you could possibility know? Shalom

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Jesus, the only Hope of the World

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