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Soft Tissue From Dinosaur – Really?

Dinosaurs_intertitleDinosaur soft tissue and protein—even more confirmation!

by Carl Wieland,
Mary Schweitzer announces even stronger evidence, this time from a duckbilled dino fossil, of even more proteins—and the same amazingly preserved vessel and cell structures as before.

Background

Creationists were fascinated, and evolutionists mostly skeptical, when evolutionist Dr Mary Schweitzer claimed in the 1990s that an unfossilized piece of T. rex bone contained red blood cells. Further, that there was immunological and spectroscopic evidence of the presence of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein that gives red blood cells their colour.1

Then in 2005, Schweitzer announced a further sensational discovery in a different T.rex bone. After the mineral matrix was dissolved,2 what remained were structures with all the appearance of soft tissue, still soft and stretchy. Some of these appeared to be transparent branching blood vessels, with a substance inside them containing further structures looking just like nucleated red blood cells, and able to be squeezed out of the vessels like toothpaste.

How could such fragile structures survive for millions of years? Long-agers went into intense, but not very effective damage control, such as seen in the item (containing CMI’s response) Squirming at the Squishosaur.

Gradually, further evidence strengthened the case that Schweitzer had indeed discovered evidence of astonishing preservation of organic material in fossils. In 2007, in Squashing Squishosaur Scepticism, we reported that she and her team had performed careful tests to establish the presence of the protein collagen in the dino fossil—an important protein in bone. They were even able to sequence stretches of it, which showed that it was 58% similar to collagen from a chicken, and 51% similar to that from a frog.3

It has been pointed out many times that fragile, complex molecules like proteins, even if hermetically sealed, should fall apart all by themselves from thermodynamic considerations alone in well under the 65 million years that evolutionists insist have passed since Schweitzer’s T. rex specimen was entombed.4,5 Furthermore, bones of an Iguanodon allegedly twice as old (“dated” to 120 Ma) contained enough of the protein osteocalcin to produce an immune reaction.6

Many anti-creationists therefore breathed a sigh of relief when in mid-2008 a paper claimed to have found evidence that the transparent blood vessels, for instance, were the result of recent bacterial formation of biofilms, forming “endocasts” that followed the shape of where the original vessels lay, and that the red blood cells are actually iron-rich spheres called framboids. There were substantial reasons why not just creationists, but Schweitzer and other non-creationists were not at all convinced by these claims—see Doubting doubts about the Squishosaur.

The new findings

Now comes a further announcement by Schweitzer and others, in the prestigious journal Science, of substantial additional evidence to bolster her previous findings.7 The specimen on this occasion was a piece of fossil hadrosaur (duckbilled dinosaur) bone (Brachylophosaurus canadensis) regarded by evolutionary assumptions as being 80 million years old.

In short, the researchers found evidence of “the same fibrous matrix, transparent, flexible vessels, and preserved microstructures she had seen in the T. rex sample”.8 Only this time they went to exceptional lengths to silence critics.

Critics said that her claims, which given the millions of years perspective are indeed “extraordinary”, required extraordinary evidence. But this is a cliché; in reality, they just require evidence, and that has been amply provided. Yet the critics demanded additional protein sequencing, super-careful handling to avoid claims of contamination, and confirmation from other laboratories. So Schweitzer and her team set about doing just that when they looked at the leg bone of this hadrosaur encased in sandstone.

Extraordinary measures were taken to keep the sample away from contamination until it reached the lab. They used an even more sophisticated and newer mass spectrometer, and sent the samples to two other labs for confirmation. They reported finding not just collagen, but evidence of two additional proteins—elastin and laminin. They also found structures uncannily resembling the cells found in both blood and bone, as well as cellular basement membrane matrix. And there were, once again, hints of hemoglobin, gleaned from applying hemoglobin-specific antibodies to the structures and seeing if the antibodies would bind to them.

Some scientists are still skeptical about the hemoglobin, which is “difficult to identify with current technology”. Dr Pavel Pevzner of the University of California, was quoted as saying that if it is not a contaminant, it would be “much bigger news [than the confirmed discoveries of blood vessels and other connective tissues in] this paper.”9

Even leaving aside the hemoglobin, the Schweitzer et al paper is huge news. Pevzner had been critical of the technique used in Schweitzer’s analysis of the T. rex protein, but now he says that her new study “was ‘done the right way,’ with more stringent controls to guard against contamination”, for one thing.

There were eight collagen proteins alone discovered from the hadrosaur fossil, which revealed twice as many amino acids as the previous tyrannosaur specimen. These were compared with sequences from animals living today as well as from mastodon fossils and her T. rex sequences. The hadrosaur and tyrannosaur collagens were closer to each other than the others, and each were closer to chickens and ostriches than to crocodilians, for instance—results which would also confirm her previous identification of T. rex collagen.

The samples were identified as collagen by both sophisticated mass spectroscopy and antibody-binding techniques. They were also examined via both light and electron microscopy, which confirmed that they had the appearance of collagen as well.

As Schweitzer says, “These data not only build upon what we got from the T. rex, they take the research even further.”

Power of the paradigm

Philosophers of science have written much about the power of a paradigm, especially when it has worldview implications, such as long-age belief. Such a paradigm is seldom, if ever, overthrown simply because of observations that contradict its expectations. Even Schweitzer herself, despite professing to be an evangelical Christian, is extremely defensive about the old-age paradigm—see Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery.

What happens is that “auxiliary” hypotheses and assumptions are constructed to preserve the intactness of the “core” hypothesis, in this case what is known as “deep time” (see further explanation). In simple terms, proteins should simply not have been able to last for these tens of millions of years. So when they are found in specimens dated this old, the paradigm is under serious threat.

The most straightforward fit to the evidence is that the time of burial of these dinosaurs was not millions of years ago at all, but only thousands of years ago at most. As the evidence continues to mount that dinosaur fossils do indeed contain well-preserved soft tissue structures and identifiable proteins, the assumption that will increasingly be made is that “we now know that such tissue components can last that long, after all.”

Not many will see this as the paradigm-rescuing assumption that it is. Consider the line of reasoning:

1). We know that this dinosaur fossil is 80 million years old.

2). Calculations based on operational (observational) science indicate that no collagen should survive anywhere near that long.

3). Collagen has been identified in these dinosaur fossils. Therefore:

4). There must be a mistaken assumption in the calculations mentioned in Point 2)—though we don’t know for sure how, collagen must be able to survive for 80 million years. How do we know that? Because

5). We know that this dinosaur fossil is 80 million years old.

Notice how points 1) and 5) are identical, revealing the circularity. The following chain of reasoning is far more science-based:

1). This dinosaur fossil is claimed to be 80 million years old.

2). Calculations based on operational (observational) science indicate that no collagen should survive anywhere near that long.

3). Collagen has been identified in these dinosaur fossils. Therefore:

4). The claim in point 1) is wrong. The fossil cannot be anywhere near that old. This matches the expectations of a worldview based on the history given to us in the book of Genesis.

We hope that many readers will be able to use this sort of evidence to gently pry open many closed minds.

Update 9 May 2009: see answer to a critic who disputes that these findings are a big deal.

Further update 10 August 2009: Schweitzer’s original find of soft tissue remains in a T. rex was strongly disputed, with some suggesting that the proteins found were the result of contamination. However, a reanalysis due to be published September 4 in the Journal of Proteome Research “has confirmed traces of protein from blood and bone, tendons, or cartilage.” (Reexamination Of T. Rex Verifies Disputed Biochemical Remains, http://www.ScienceDaily.com, July 31, 2009)

Thought for the week

Comparing Theology With What The Bible Actually Says

I want to ask you, with all due respect, have you been duped by religious theologians regarding the purpose of baptism? The line that follows may be familiar with you: salvation is by faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), not as a result of being baptised. If you believe this to be true, then the scriptures the Holy Spirit moved men to write in the first century (II Peter 1:21) are at serious odds with this all too familiar statement. Please, with an open mind, consider the following scriptures:

Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Jesus said this is the “gospel” that must be preached (v.15). Parsing the text will reveal that faith i.e. “believeth” and full immersion in water i.e. “baptized” is not only a one time combined action but precedes the rescue from sin i.e. “saved”.

Who are you going to believe; the theologian or Jesus Christ?

Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Jesus leaves instructions on how one is to be taught in order to become a disciple of Christ, for Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). Conversely, if one does not abide in the word of Christ but say in some other’s teaching they cannot be said to be in Christ (cf II John 9). The “twelve” at Ephesus found this out when they met the apostle Paul in Acts 19:1-7 and were consequently instructed to leave John the Baptist’s instructions for they had been superseded at the time the twelve obeyed them (cf Mark 1:4 John taught a “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” applicable to the Jews prior to the cross upon which the instruction subsequently died along with the law and the prophets, Colossians 2:14). When the twelve “heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5). Wayne Jackson has well quoted Danker’s 2005 Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: the phrase “in the name of” signifies to “become the possession of and come under the dedicated protection of the one whose name they bear.” These men had faith in John which Paul said must change to faith in Jesus then be baptised into Christ if they are to be saved.

Now, whose word is authority regarding baptism; the theologian or Jesus Christ and His apostles?

Acts 2:38 “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” The delinquents who had within the past 50 days done to “that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified” (v.36) been convicted by the Holy Spirit inspired sermon preached by Peter and realised their guilt. They wanted to know what they needed to do to be forgiven for doing such a heinous thing. Repent and be baptised and as I noted before it is a one time combined action that precedes forgiveness that God promised to bestow. Clearly, the theologian is at odds with the grammar and implications of this verse and will even go as far as to say so. A.T. Robertson, a well respected Baptist theological word scholar had this to say: “One will decide the use here according as he believes that baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not. My view is decidedly against the idea that Peter, Paul, or any one in the New Testament taught baptism as essential to the remission of sins or the means of securing such remission” (Robertson Word Pictures).

However, who would you much rather believe, the theologian with traditional bias or the apostle who was moved by the Holy Spirit whose promise was “when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13)?
Acts 22:16 “…arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”. Paul is here recalling the events that occurred to him on the road to Damascus (cf Acts 9:1-19). It is three days since his encounter with Jesus and he is busy “praying” (Acts 9:11). Here we see a picture of a believing man yet; clearly an unforgiven man for his sins had not yet been washed away. What is going to wash away his sins i.e. make him a saved disciple of Christ? Why it is baptism. In fact the verse says the act is to call upon the name of the Lord, “the answer of a good conscience toward God” says Peter in I Peter 3:21. For God to declare via Ananias that Paul needed to be baptised in order to be forgiven yet then have that same Paul, according to theologians, declare salvation is by faith without the need for baptism is “not being straightforward about the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14) and smacks of hypocrisy and partiality both of which are condemned by God (cf Matthew 23 et al; Acts 10:34).

Who is more trustworthy in respect of the truth about baptism; the theologian or the scriptures themselves?
Romans 6:3-4 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Clearly, baptism is a symbol of the grave that figures the death of the old man of sin and heralds the new man raised up, forgiven i.e. “newness of life”. Note: just as God raised up Jesus, so too, God raises up the forgiven but only after baptism.

To ignore the clear statement presented here is to take sides with the theologian rather than the plain, simple metaphor presented by God’s ambassador.

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Salvation is a result of God’s grace and man’s faith. Paul also states in Ephesians 5:26 that salvation i.e. “cleanse” is a result of “the washing of water by the word”. The use of water is conceded by commentators including John Calvin, Thayer, Danker and even the Baptist theologian A.T. Robertson as referring to full immersion which is the proper rendition of the transliterated word, baptism. Besides, Ephesians 2:5 says Christians are those who “were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ”. The word “quickened” means “to be alive, have intelligence” and is therefore the opposite to being dead. This verse corresponds exactly with that which Paul mentioned to the church of Christ in Romans 6:3-4 and Colossians 2:12 where Christians are those who have been “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Ask yourself the question, who is more reliable to give you the answer to what you must do to be saved; the theologian who cannot bear the thoughts of being wrong regarding his or her traditional thought on the matter or the Bible writers guided to write down the very thoughts of God Himself?

There prevails in so-called mainstream Christianity a theological bias that overwhelmingly denies the Holy Spirit moved men who spoke and wrote the word of God (II Peter 1:21) regarding the essential ingredient and purpose of biblical baptism. I implore you, dear reader, to shrug off this man made tradition that theologians have embraced and hold close those scriptures I have mentioned and many others that for brevity sake have not been mentioned.
When Jesus opposed the Devil in Matthew 4:1-11, He says Scripture speaks with loud authority over and above that of any theologian’s pen. Take a cue from the noble people of Berea (Acts 17:10-11) and examine and study the Scriptures I have presented to see if these things are so.

Graham Walker, Timaru 10 June 2010

Thought for the week

You Don’t Know Me

I don’t know about you but I like to reminisce about old times, look up old names and faces using Google.com. Sometime ago I became curious about whatever happened to Helen Shapiro (born East End district of London, 28 Sept., 1946), a dark haired 14 year old Jewish girl who in 1961 had two memorable hits called, You Don’t Know
and Walkin’ Back To Happiness. Her husky voice for one so young was of exquisite timbre. I well remember at the time, saying to my mother, that she surely could not be a girl for her voice was, to me, very boy-like.
It appears Helen is alive and well but has changed in a number of ways. It seems her fame of the early ‘sixties diminished being supplanted by the warm-up group in her entourage, none other than The Beatles. She turned to Jazz and eventually Gospel. Helen, a girl born of a Polish immigrant family and raised in the strict confines of the Hackney, London synagogue eventually heard about Jesus. I will let her tell you the story: “The State school I attended taught the Bible and I loved the Bible stories very much. However, because my school had a Jewish Headmaster and a large Jewish contingency among the pupils, we Jewish kids had separate R.E. (religious education) classes and assemblies. As a consequence, I never heard of a New Testament or a Jesus until I was around six years of age. One day, a non-Jewish girl came up to me in the [school] playground in quite some distress and blurted out, “You killed Jesus Christ!” I was devastated and confused by this accusation. I had never killed anyone in my life, and who was this person with the strange name, Jesus Christ?”
Helen drifts through life wondering about this man called Jesus even supposing as most Jews do that he and his New Testament is a conspiracy of the gentiles. She lurches from Judaism to New Age confusion, praying for God to show her the way until one day in the 1980’s her musical director Bob Cranham proclaimed “He was a Christian and more than once he had spoken of what his ‘Lord’ had done in his life.” It seems he planned to spend the rest of his life being a preacher. Helen is curious to know who Jesus really is. She finds a book entitled “Betrayed” by Stan Telchin. She says, “The book was a total shock…Here was a book by a normal, successful Jewish businessman who believed in Jesus and I couldn’t ignore it.”
She eventually meets Stan and asks him to explain Jesus. He responds by quoting Isaiah 9:6, where it’s written “unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”. I had always thought that verse was in the New Testament as I’d only ever seen it on Christmas cards. But there it was in Isaiah! One of ours!” He further enlightens this Jewish mind about other Old Testament (Tenarch) verses such as Isaiah 7:14 a child (Jesus) born to a virgin; Micah 5:2 the child’s birth place – Bethlehem; Psalm 22 prophesying the child’s final words on the cross; Isaiah 53 of the suffering, redeeming Jesus and she says, “All of these prophecies seemed to be painting a picture that I wasn’t sure I wanted to see. How come nobody ever showed me these things before? How come all I got was ‘You Killed Jesus Christ!’?
August 1987 Helen is finally convinced that Jesus Christ is genuine. She says, “I telephoned Bob [Cranham] and said, “I think I’m on the verge of becoming a believer.” He and his wife asked me over… I told Bob and his wife that I believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God and God the Son. I believed that He died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day… They explained that I needed to repent – to turn from my sin back to God. I learned that I was a sinner. We all are. Bob asked me if I would like to respond by praying and asking God to forgive me on the basis of what Jesus has done. Only He can forgive me and only the Blood of Jesus can atone for me. I could then commit my life to Him as my Lord and Saviour.”
However, as interesting and rich the story may be, have you noticed that Helen has still fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)? She has been duped by denominational mischief, for they miss out what the 3000 plus were told they must do on Pentecost (Acts 2:38); what Jesus said Ananias would tell Saul what he “must do” (Acts 9:6 and 22:16); what the Philippian Jailer and household were told to do in answer to, “What must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30); what Paul said the Galatians had done, i.e., “clothed themselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27) and finally what Peter says is an action that appeals to God for a “good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21) – yes, she has not been baptized for the acquittal of her sins and subsequently be added to Christ’s church (Acts 2:47) and as a consequence, salvation wise, Christ, sadly, does not know her (Matthew 7:23).
I pray that Helen to discover this vital link between now and eternity.

Graham

Thought for the week

Be Perfect

To be perfect is something Jesus expects His disciples to be: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). How can that be, you ask, when it is simply not possible even though you try as hard as you can. In fact if Jesus meant to be perfect like Himself; that is, having not sinned (II Corinthians 5:21) then He contradicts His own scriptures which state, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:10). So, is the meaning of perfect as used by Christ to be sinless? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that one can only be such by being “perfect in Christ” (Colossians 1:28); that is “perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12) and no, for try as we might “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

A simple analysis of the word “perfect” comes up with the answer as to its meaning. According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary the word as used by Jesus is “tel’-i-os
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness: – of full age, man, perfect.” In other words the word means to complete a task; be mature; reach the end.

Jesus wants those who decide to follow Him to reach a point whereby they are not only in Christ but are striving to reach the goal of maturity. This was something the Hebrew converts were lacking in according to Hebrews 5:12-14 “when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” He is saying they were still feeding like infant babes from the elementary “principles of the doctrine of Christ” instead of being mature and eating the protein of doctrinal “perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).

So this is Jesus plea in Matthew 5:48 that you be perfect so that you may know what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the will of God.

Are you perfect and complete in all the will of God? Are you in Christ having been baptised for the remission of sins? If not, then I strongly urge you to seek out a member of God’s church to find out exactly how to become perfect in His will before you die because “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) and you sure don’t want to face this frightening prospect: “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31).

Graham

Thought For The Week

A Word To The Wise

A few weeks ago I wrote that the Law of Moses has been abolished, for Paul said it had been “nailed to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). However, in stating such one should not underestimate the old law still remaining as a great teaching tool. Once again the great preacher Paul says, “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). The Law, it is said, conceals the New Testament, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1). One such teachable premise is contained within the Levitical code which states “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbour, lest you incur sin because of him” (Leviticus 19:17 ESV). I believe God declares that communication in the brotherhood in respect to a sharp disapproval concerning specific or implied offence must be open, honest and direct lest a deep resentment is harboured in the heart. The New Testament reveals the same sentiment in Ephesians 5:11; that is, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Many do not adhere to this authorised practice for fear of the sometimes inevitable consequence of alienation. They fear they may make too many enemies. Paul would no doubt encourage not to be fearful but simply retort with “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth” (Galatians 4:16).

You see it is far better to be straight forward and let your feelings be known with the appropriate dignity and gentleness (I Peter 3:15) than to hold back resentment and anger in the heart of which the latter is sin (Ephesians 4:26).

Graham

Thought For The Week

A Sad Day For New Zealand Ethics

Today I awoke to hear the sad and horrible news that the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its first hurdle in Parliament last night by having its first reading to the tune of a vote by two to one in favour along with our homosexual condoning Prime Minister John Key saying it is a “strong endorsement for equality of rights” and “It puts the bill in a strong place to potentially become law given you’ve got more than two thirds of Parliament voting for it” [NZ Herald 30 August 2012]. This is a Bill presented by an opposition MP who happens to be homosexual and drawn out of the ballot box that has now put New Zealand firmly on the road to Sodom and Gomorrah’s condemnation. These two cities are famous for God’s wrath and condemnation because of their wicked homosexual behaviour recorded in Genesis 19. Sodom is where the term sodomy comes from and is the term of intercourse used by homosexual men for sexual pleasure; hence, the name sodomite stands for a homosexual man. This behaviour which the Bible describes as “against nature…shameful…debased…not fitting” (Romans 1:26-28) is so abhorrent to God that such who commit this type of wickedness cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthian 6:9).

Why would New Zealanders want to engage in such a radical departure from what was, until the late 1970s, a crime punishable by prison sentence? Simple really, the vast majority do not believe nor take God and His word seriously enough to warrant His inclusion in their thinking just like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, just as man’s wickedness increased in those days whereby the sodomites were invading homes and raping boys and men to their fancy (Genesis 19:4-5), so too, I believe we will see the day when these perverts will not be satisfied with their parliamentary gain but will want to engage in with impunity more debauched acts some of which they are now well known for such as paedophilia and the likes.

The warning issued in the book of Psalms to Doeg for the betrayal of King David is, I believe, applicable to the lawmakers of New Zealand for betraying the people with this evil, despicable bill: “Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy thee for ever” (Psalm 52:1-5). God will not be mocked, for, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

New Zealand, you have been warned.

Graham

Thought for the week

God of Convenience

“Convenience” means suitability to one’s needs (Oxford Dict.). Many see and use God as a convenient tool to blame for their misery. Take the homosexual community for example. They count those that appeal to God’s word such as Romans 1:18-32 which condemns homosexuality as bigoted hate mongers and by implication blame God for the difficulties of being ostracized in this life. Still others see God as a convenient altar to hide behind in order to excuse or perhaps escape the consequence of their wrong doing. Perhaps the most memorable person who did this was Adonijah, King David’s favourite and oldest son, after Absalom, whom he mistakenly promised would inherit the regency. However the prophet Nathan reminded David that Solomon was to be the rightful heir according to a promise he had made to the Lord and Bathsheba much to the dismay of Adonijah and friends who were busy prematurely celebrating. When word reached the pretender that Solomon now sits on the throne, “all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose, and each went his own way.” Adonijah “went and took hold of the horns of the altar” as if appealing for clemency from God of which, it turns out, was successful (I Kings 1:1-50). On the other hand there are those, when life is good and no afflictions trouble, have no use for God. He is absent from their lives because they cannot see or understand He is necessary beyond this life for eternal happiness. Prosperous souls when on the day that is appointed for them to die will try to behave like the aforementioned examples of blame and appeal at their judgement (Hebrews 9:27-28) but, sadly, the reply will come as no comfort, for Jesus will say, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

Don’t treat God as a means of convenience; rather, “this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:11-14).

Graham

Thought of the week

Preparation

As I sat in my favourite coffee shop drinking a cup of vanilla chai latte this afternoon, I watched many people going about their daily business and I got to thinking that many, of whom I feel certain, would be blissfully unaware that this life is a preparation for that which is to come. They were laughing and frowning; playing and toiling and just living life as though this is all life has to offer. But what if there is something more to this life as we know it?

The Bible tells man there is definitely more to life than that which he experiences in the here and now. The wise man said, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes” (Proverbs 16:2) but the God of the Bible thinks and says differently, for just as He warned the Israelites to “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12) so, too, the warning is just as relevant for man today to be prepared! John the Baptist said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). He was of course speaking of the realization of the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) as foretold by Isaiah 750 years beforehand. This same Lamb of God says to “Repent or perish” (Luke 13:3). That word “repent” is given meaning by the Apostle Paul’s preaching as he recalls to King Agrippa in Acts 26:20 that men “should repent, turn to God and do works fitting to repentance.” That is to say, do due preparation to turn and meet God or you will, as Jesus says, “perish”.

What do you need to do in this preparation? Well, here is a web site that will be a good start: www.churchesofchrist.net/authors/David_B_Brown then click on “How to become a Bible Christian”.

God bless you as you travel and study through His word.

Graham

Thought For The Week

I thought I would add a new segment for to end the week with, called “Thought For The Week.”

LAW OF MOSES NOT IN EFFECT TODAY.

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because other law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression” Rom.4:11-15.

People need to understand that the Law, as handed to Moses in Exodus, cannot logically be in effect today, for if it were it would contradict the passage above. Paul said it was “nailed to the cross” Col.2:14 meaning it is dead and no longer in effect.

May God bless you as you travel and study through His word.
Graham

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