by Pam Bender
Truth of Genesis
OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a romantic when it comes to Christmas. It gives me such joy to hear Christmas songs about Jesus on secular radio and in the stores. I find myself singing Christmas songs all day long. “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” “O Holy Night,” “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,”…all the traditional songs. One of my favorites is more contemporary. It’s “Immanuel” by Michael Card. The lyrics, the musical arrangement and his voice; to me it’s the perfect Christmas song.
When we think of the Christmas story, we remember Jesus as the baby in the manger. We can quite easily forget that this is the same Jesus that spoke Creation into existence. His perfect Creation was ruined by our sin and he willingly chose to become our Savior. Such perfect love. The Word of God, the Great Creator, humbling himself to become human; the Word made flesh for us.
Christmas time makes it easier to share with others the birth of Jesus. And to talk about why we need a Savior in the first place. As you prepare for parties, guests, presents and holiday foods, take a few moments to read the Christmas message in Luke 1:26 through Luke 2:40. Then turn to John 1:1-17. Jesus the baby and Jesus the Word made flesh. Immanuel, God with us.
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Truth of Genesis!
Instead of taking a long, one-week, vacation, this past summer our family did two extended weekends away. Our first trip was to Cincinnati and Kentucky. The first day held a Cardinals versus Reds game at the Great American Ballpark, in the over ninety-degree heat. Even though it was hot, the Cardinals beat the Reds with a final score of twelve to eleven, and since we are Redbird fans, the evening was awesome.
Day two of our weekend vacation meant indoor air-conditioning and the Creation Museum, both of which I was excited to experience. My husband and I had the privilege of visiting the museum a few years after it opened in 2007. However, this was the first visit for our fourteen-year-old son, and parents know experiencing things through the eyes of your child is priceless. Whether you are planning to visit for the first time, or you have been before, this list will provide you with the terrific tips for making the most of your time there. You can also find our top ten tips for visiting the Creation Museum’s sister attraction, The Ark, here.
The Creation Museum highlights our amazing Creator and is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in exploring a visual representation of the book of Genesis, and the history of the world. Located in Petersburg, Kentucky, make plans to experience this state-of-the-art facility, where millions of people have been impacted by the way the Bible comes to life!
10. DO THE 4-D SHOW. Right after you enter the museum, the 4-D theater is on the right. Our son wanted to do this half hour show first thing. A clock outside the theater counts down until the next viewing. The workers give you 3-D glasses to wear once inside, and there is a caution given for people who are sensitive to flashing lights or are prone to seizures. The 4-D elements are water and wind. We were one of the last guests to enter, so we had to sit on the end of a front aisle. We didn’t feel any water but children next to us did. We did feel bursts of air during those thematic parts. It was an incredible show on the six days of creation, and we think it’s a must see for everyone who visits the museum.
9. LISTEN TO THE GUEST LECTURE. Georgia Purdom was the staff lecturer of the day, and we listened to her hour-long presentation after we finished the 4-D show. If you’ve never heard any of the speakers from Answers in Genesis, they offer fantastic presentations answering tough questions in easily understandable language. I’ve heard the material before, and it still was interesting to me! Click Here to watch her talk: youtu.be/yt0LdAtNLe0
8. STOP FOR FUDGE. Our family loves chocolate, and our fourteen-year-old couldn’t resist Uncle Leroy’s fudge shop, right outside the lecture hall. They carry many different varieties, including mint chocolate, buckeye, and maple pecan. We settled for a half-pound of plain chocolate, and it was delicious.
7. WALK THE GROUNDS. The botanical gardens are beautiful and offer over one mile of paved walking trails. You can stroll through a butterfly garden, wobble along a suspension bridge, or take a selfie by a small waterfall. It was an abnormally hot day, in the mid-nineties, and there was enough shade, so it was not unbearable. The gardens are meticulously maintained and easy to navigate.
6. ENJOY EXCELLENT EATING OPTIONS. For lunch we ate at Noah’s Café, which is located on the top floor, inside the museum. They have hot items like paninis, cheeseburgers, and chicken, or cold sandwiches, such as wraps, chicken salad, and more. There is a small salad bar, fresh fruit, and yogurt as well. Another eating spot, the Palm Café, is located downstairs, and it had pizza. We also stopped at the Noah’s Coffee (which is next to Noah’s Café), where we all had ice cream before we left.
5. PICK FROM PLENTY OF PICNIC SPOTS. While our hot day didn’t warrant weather for outdoor eating, there are plenty of picnic spots with long tables available. If you have young children, you could eat lunch outdoors and then enjoy the new playground. These are in close proximity to each other on the grounds.
4. ESTIMATE AT LEAST AN HOUR FOR THE 7 C’s EXHIBIT. Whether you’re looking to visualize what Adam and Eve may have looked like, see an animatronic dinosaur, or compare differences between the evolutionary story and Biblical history, the 7 C’s exhibit is the place to go! It will take about an hour to walk through it quickly. Plan for more time, if you want to stop and read the information more thoroughly.
3. GET A PARKING PASS. When you exit the gated museum, you will need to have a parking pass. You can get them at the Creation Museum Admissions or Guest Services. Estimate $5.00 for a standard vehicle and $10.00 for an oversized vehicle.
2. ZIPLINERS SHOULD GET A RESERVATION. One of the many side attractions at the museum is ziplining. If you want to do one of the many different packages of ziplining courses, the museum recommends you make a reservation in advance. If you call 859-586-3568 the Screaming Raptor Ziplining service line will ask you to leave a message, if they don’t answer.
1. SEE THE SHOW AT THE PLANETARIUM! Hands down, the most impactful experience for all of us, this time at the museum, was seeing the Created Cosmos at the Stargazer’s Planetarium. There are two shows to choose from, the one we saw, or Aliens: Fact or Fiction. The shows are 23 minutes long, and separate tickets are required. We had a lifetime membership pass, which included the $9.00 per person cost of the show. The thirty-foot-diameter dome helps simulate a space-like experience, and the content of the show humbled us, making us feel the awe and wonder of our amazing God.
Ministry Partner Truth of Genesis
Do you ever wonder why the Bible says so much about blood in connection with salvation? We read about the blood sacrifices in the Old Testament and about the blood of Christ in the New Testament. Scripture tells us a lot about what the blood does, has done, and will do.
In Exodus 12:13 the blood of the sacrifice applied to the doorposts protected the Israelites from the death angel who passed over the dwelling with blood applied. First Peter 1:1-2 tells about the cleansing work of the blood of Christ in Christians. Hebrews 9:22 instructs us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
The Bible also shows us that redemption comes only by the blood of Christ, it atones, or covers our sins in the Old Testament (Exodus 30:10) and now removes our sins (Romans 5:9-10). And, Hebrews 10:19 offers us fellowship and communion with God since we can boldly enter the Holiest place, the throne of the Father, through the blood of Jesus.
But, why blood? The first clue comes from looking into the original Creation in Genesis. When God created animals and man, they were made with “nephesh”, or life. This is the soul, or consciousness principle. In fact, nephesh is translated as soul 428 times, as life 119 times, as person 30 times, and as creature 9 times. This is clearly different than plants. Plants had no nephesh and are understood not to be “alive” in a Scriptural sense, but rather they were metabolic machines to produce food for the nephesh creatures – living animals and mankind, as confirmed in Genesis 1:29-30.
Man was distinctly different from all other animals in that God created man with the eternal image of God. Another difference is that the source of nephesh in animals is the ground, but the source of nephesh in Adam was God’s breath. But a difficulty arose. When man sinned against God, he became separated from God and began to die, as God had warned (Gen 2:17). The penalty for sin was death. And since man was an eternal being, this could only mean eternal death.
In Leviticus 17:11 it says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that make an atonement for the soul.” The life of the flesh is the nephesh of the flesh, which was in the blood. We get a glimpse of this mystery about the blood when God told Cain that the blood of murdered Abel was crying out to God from the ground (Gen 4:10). Again, in Isa. 53:12, Christ poured out His soul unto death – here “soul” is “nephesh”.
Also, in the Leviticus text, atonement for the soul is the atonement of the nephesh. Nephesh is translated as both “life” and “soul” in the same sentence. There is a wealth of scientific and spiritual truth here.
Modern science did not realize this fact until about 1620, when scientist William Harvey, a godly Christian man, discovered the circulation of the blood that maintained biological life, both by carrying nourishment to all parts of the body, and carrying away its wastes.
The spiritual truth is even more significant. The “life” of the flesh is actually its “soul”, for “life” and “soul” both translate the same Hebrew word (nephesh) in Lev 17:11. When blood was offered, it was thus the offering of life itself in substitution for the life of the sinner who deserved to die.
God abruptly illustrated this to Adam and his wife - that death was the penalty for sin when God slew an animal and skinned it, providing coats of skins to clothe them (covering their sin (Gen 3:21)) after pronouncing that they, too, would die (Gen 3:19). Blood was first shed as a covering for sin in Genesis chapter 3. No doubt, Adam and Eve wished they could return to that perfect fellowship they had enjoyed, but they had a problem.
In fact, we all have a problem since we all sin. How can we return to perfect fellowship with God without paying the full penalty? That penalty is death; but because we are eternal beings, it is eternal death. No man could pay for his own sin, get to the end of eternity, and then rejoin fellowship with God, because death is death, and forever is forever! Also, no man can die for another man, for his blood would inevitably be contaminated by his own sin.
In the Old Testament, the blood of a “clean animal” was required. Animals do not possess the “image of God”, including the ability to reason about right or wrong, and therefore cannot sin. Even such clean blood could only serve as a temporary covering and could not really “take away” sin.
For a permanent solution to the sin problem, nothing less was required than that of the sinless Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. Since His life was in His blood, He was “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:20).
Only God can pay for your sin, and for my sin, to return us to perfect fellowship, because His eternal blood is not contaminated by sin. But how could He pay for all sins, for everyone? Because God is infinite, therefore His blood is also infinite in scope and power. Therefore, He could pay for any number of sinful people. He not only could, He did, proving His love is infinite!
What you must do to receive this forgiveness of sins is to accept this great, eternal, and infinitely powerful love gift that takes away your sins by the blood of the Lamb. The provision has been made – now reach out and receive eternal life from God. Ask Jesus to come into your life and heart.
Want to know more about a relationship with Jesus? www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html
Spring is just around the corner. I love spring and its many wonders. Green leaves on the trees, warmer weather and longer daylight hours. It’s fascinating to watch birds make nests and prepare for parenthood. Sometimes I even try to determine how many different birds I can identify either by their physical appearance, or by their calls and songs.
Did you know there are ten-thousand identified bird species worldwide? Each species has its own birdsong/call. I think that’s amazing! Birds have a special organ that enables them to call and/or sing. Cornell Lab of Ornithology says, “Unlike humans, birds produce vocal sounds using a syrinx, an organ located where the trachea splits into two bronchial tubes. In songbirds, each side of the syrinx is independently controlled, allowing birds to produce two unrelated pitches at once. Some birds even have the ability to sing rising and falling notes simultaneously, like the Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) in its final trill.” And, “The songbird syrinx makes vocal gymnastics possible–for example the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is able to sweep through more notes than are on a piano keyboard in just a tenth of a second. Because each branch of the songbird syrinx is individually controlled, the cardinal can start its sweeping notes with one side of the syrinx and seamlessly switch to the other side without stopping for a breath, making them the envy of human vocalists everywhere.” 1
Evolutionists can’t give an account for why birds have a syrinx. According to an article on the website ‘Science,’ “The melodious call of many birds comes from a mysterious organ buried deep within their chests: a one-of-a-kind voice box called a syrinx. Now, scientists have concluded that this voice box evolved only once, and that it represents a rare example of a true evolutionary novelty. “It’s something that comes out of nothing,” says Denis Duboule, a geneticist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland who was not involved with the work. “There is nothing that looks like a syrinx in any related animal groups in vertebrates. This is very bizarre.””2
“Evolved.” “Something that comes out of nothing.” Haven’t we heard those lines before? As usual, the evolutionists use their imaginations to explain away the Lord’s Creation. It comes down to where you place your faith and pre-suppositions. Do you place your faith in evolution, which has no scientific proof, or in the Creator of these wonderful animals?
A great article that goes in depth regarding the “evolution” of birds can be found at the ‘Answers in Genesis’ website. According to Dr. Lightner, “The scientists have assumed that all life on Earth shares common ancestry. Based on this belief, they use the data to tell stories of how the birds may have originated or changed.” And, “The Bible clearly tells us that God created birds and other animals according to their kinds.”3
Genesis 1, verses 20–23, state that the Lord created birds on the fifth day of Creation. And in Job 2: 7-10, Job says, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
The next time you are outside and hear the birds calling and singing, think about just how remarkable they are and rejoice in the Lord. He truly is a wonderful Creator!
Ministry Co-Director of Truth of Genesis
In a few weeks our thirteen-year old son will be taking the United States Constitution test. He must pass it in order to move to eighth grade, so over lunch we studied flashcards to prepare. One question dealt with ‘unalienable rights.’ In the Declaration of Independence these well-known words are penned, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
A few flashcards later the question was posed, “Did the Constitution abolish slavery?” He quickly said “no,” which was the correct answer. So much in our human existence consists of juxtaposition. Our worldviews don’t always line up logically or morally. The stark contrast of the founding fathers allowing slavery while eloquently stating mankind’s equality is as glaringly opposed as darkness is to light.
Just as Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, “there is nothing new under the sun,” our sinful condition is evident in all periods of time in human history, even now. Slavery did not begin in the United States. The first account of harsh bondage of one group to another is described in the book of Exodus when the Egyptians were enslaving the Israelites. Yet, racism and slavery are grievously unmistakable in our country’s history.
Slavery, in what became the United States, most likely is traced to the arrival of approximately twenty enslaved Africans to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. It ended legally when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified in 1865. Some slave buyers, transporters and owners tragically used erroneous “Biblical theology,” designated ‘the curse of Ham,’ to rationalize their heinous deeds.
Thousands of years ago, shortly after the global flood, Noah’s youngest son, Ham, sinned against him. After the incident, described in Genesis 9, Noah cursed Canaan (who was Ham’s youngest son.) Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,” In Exodus 9:25.
Why did God curse his grandson Canaan if it was Ham that sinned against him? Biblical scholars disagree on this topic. Professor James J.S. Johnson theorizes that Canaan may have been to blame for the sinful act, and therefore received the punishment. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati proposes several possible reasons why Canaan was cursed instead of Ham. One, God already blessed Noah’s three sons, so Noah couldn’t counteract God’s blessing with a curse. Two, since Ham sinned as the youngest son, he would be punished with a curse on his own youngest son. Three, Canaan may have been the perpetrator of the sinful act. Four, it was an act of mercy, because only one of Ham’s sons was affected. Five, Noah discerned that the evil that appeared in Ham had developed to a greater degree in Canaan.
Regardless of the reason, Canaan received the curse. Why then did people cite the ‘curse of Ham’ when they justified enslaving African-Americans? David Goldberg, a historian, states that errors were made when interpreting the Hebrew word ‘Ham’ to mean ‘dark,’ ‘black’ or ‘heat.’ The descendants of Ham included the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Ethiopians, and there is a good possibility it included some of the Asiatic nations of the present as well. Although not all of these people groups have black skin, (the Canaanites were painted in Egyptian murals to have olive skin), misguided individuals proclaimed that dark-skinned people were doomed to be slaves because of the prophecy given to them from Noah.
As Tony Evans states, when addressing this issue, “This process is known as sacralization, the development of theological and religious beliefs to serve the interest of a particular ethnic or racial group.”Slave owners dolefully used twisted beliefs to give themselves ‘permission’ to treat others in ways God would not approve. God is clear in His Word when He tells us the entire law is fulfilled when you love others as you would love yourself. He does not advocate, anywhere in His Word or express in His character, that slavery is acceptable. In fact, anyone caught kidnapping a person and keeps or sells him, is to be put to death, God says in Exodus 21:16. God’s two greatest desires are that we love Him and that we love others. Anyone striving to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ would honor what He asks us to do. When Abraham Lincoln said, “slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature,” he rightfully identified selfishness, and not the curse of Ham, was the root of slavery in America.
 www.usconstitution.net/declar.html. Accessed February 10, 2019.
 www.nationalgeographic.com/interactive/slavery-united-states. Accessed February 10, 2019.
 Johnson, James J.S.. “Mankind’s Social Dynamics After Eden.” Institute for Creation Research. 2011. Page 12-14.
 Sarfati, Dr. Jonathan D.. “The Genesis Account.” Creation Book Publishers. 2015. Page 621
 Lee, Felicia R.. “From Noah’s Curse to Slavery’s Rationale.” www.nytimes.com/2003/11/01/arts/from-noah-s-curse-to-slavery-s-rationale.html. 2003. Accessed February 14, 2019.
 Morris, Henry M. “The Genesis Record.” Baker Books. 2009. Page 238.
 Sarfait, Dr. Jonathan D. “The Genesis Account.” Creation Book Publishers. 2015. Page 623
 Evans, Tony. “Are Black People Cursed? The Curse of Ham.” www.epm.org/resources/2010/Jan/18/are-black-people-cursed-curse-Ham. January 18, 2010. Accessed February 15, 2019.
by Dave Powell
Ministry Director - Truth of Genesis
One of the things that I remember growing up and going to school was the teaching of evolutionary theory. We were taught that there were different races of people and some were just better than others. Fortunately for me, the humanistic philosophy of evolution taught in schools never became racism. I never really thought much about people being of other races, and I treated them all the same. When my parents were working, a Japanese couple on the Air Force base we lived on took care of me as if I was one of their own. I’m told they loved me very much.
In high school I was chosen to be my school’s representative at a weeklong cultural diversity camp called “Anytown Arizona”. At the student union in college, I lunched every day with Asians, Blacks and people from the Middle East. I ignored “racial divisions” as best I could. Sometime after my college years I had a deal with a neighborhood friend from my elementary years that if neither of us were married by a certain age we would get married. Her black skin didn’t hinder me from strongly caring for her. But there was still a very ugly world out there whose history came directly out of the “scientific” notions of Charles Darwin.
According to the book, Darwin’s Plantation, “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850 but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.” Darwin did more than anybody to give people an excuse for racism based upon physical differences through his books “On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. Because he “proved” that humans descended from apes it was natural for scientists to theorize that some races had descended further than others. In his opinion, some races (i.e. the white ones) had left the others far behind. Particularly pygmy people, according to evolutionary thought, had hardly matured at all.
Of course, we know sin is the ultimate cause of racism. But Darwin’s theories gave people scientific “proof” that some people were just inferior to others. Darwinian scientists have been trying to place some races closer to apes and others higher on the evolutionary scale since its inception. The justifications are formed solely on outward appearance, even though modern genetics have clearly proven our slight differences are no deeper than our skin color.
Humanistic ideas are most dangerous when put into practice. The concepts of evolution were put into a social framework by Friedrich Nietzsche, who strongly believed in the “science” and the concept of a “master race.” Sound familiar? Well, it should. Adolf Hitler was an ardent evolutionist, as were Stalin and Mao. Sir Arthur Keith, one of the twentieth centuries premier evolutionary anthropologist’s, said, “The German Fuhrer…has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.” I won’t go into great detail of Hitler’s genocide against the Jews, Gypsies and others who he saw as inferior. He was just following Darwin’s so called “science” of evolution and putting it into practice for his own gain. While Darwin saw darker skinned people as inferior, Hitler expanded the concept to other Europeans. Evil knows no bounds and will use any intellectual concept of man to further its agenda of serving the “god of this world.”
One of the great, but lesser known, atrocities of Darwin’s time was the genocide of the Aborigines who were “studied” with the desire of finding the “missing link” between apes and humans. As a side note, there has never been a verified “missing link” anywhere along the evolutionary tree. Skeletal remains of perhaps ten-thousand Aborigines were sent to British museums as evolutionary “scientists” engaged in a feeding frenzy of study. The Smithsonian Institute in America holds over fifteen-thousand remains. Unfortunately, grave robbing did not satisfy these evolutionists. Edward Ramsay, who was curator of the Australian Museum beginning in 1874, not only put out a pamphlet on grave robbing but also described how “…to plug bullet wounds from freshly killed ‘specimens’”. Ken Ham further describes in his book Darwin’s Plantation that at Ramsay’s request a scientist sent him the skulls of the last two members of the Bungee Blacks tribe that he had shot. 
Unfortunately, there are many more horrible examples of evolutionary racism in action. Ota Benga, a Pygmy from Africa, was put on display at the 1904 St. Louis World’s fair after his family was slaughtered.  This despite evidence that pygmies were actually very intelligent and monotheistic. Those facts, among others, didn’t suit the evolutionary dogma. Racism continued strongly in practice with groups like the Ku Klux Klan and policies like “Separate but Equal.” It continues now in the hearts and minds of individuals because no law can convince them that “… all men are created equal, that they are all endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”
So, why didn’t I go down the path of racism since I was a person who really enjoyed science and was taught evolution? I would have to say it had a lot to do with my parents, who were Christians, Jesus who is my Savior, and His word. God’s word contains no reference or support for racism. What it says is exactly the opposite, “…there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all…”. Romans 10:12
Tragically, some people with racist philosophy have tried to use scripture to support their arguments. Genesis 4:3-8 is misinterpreted to be the curse of Ham, which some have used to justify slavery, and we will address this in a separate blog. Instead, the Bible talks about “nations, peoples and languages” in scriptures like Revelation 7:9 and Genesis 10:5 showing us that God created many different people groups. Modern science shows there is little difference between any two people genetically, perhaps 0.1 percent. Only a fraction of that percentage deals with racial differences. Of course, God created language divisions, Genesis 11:9, at the “Tower of Babel”. But the intent wasn’t to discriminate but instead to get people to obey his command to “fill the earth” in Genesis 9:1.
The Bible’s intent is born out in the New Testament in the book of Acts which says, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings”. The language of the Bible is one of love, hope and promise for all people. The only real division in the Bible is between those who know Him and those who don’t. Let’s live as a people not divided, but united, through the one blood of Christ.
 Ham, Ken and Ware, Charles A. Darwin’s Plantation. Master Books. 2007, p. 91.
 Ibid, pp. 90-91.
 Ibid, p. 91.
 Ibid, pp. 16-21.
 Morris, Dr. Henry M. “Evolution and Modern Racism.” www.icr.org/article/evolution-modern-racism. Accessed January 21, 2019.
 Morris, Dr. Henry M. “Evolution and Modern Racism.” www.icr.org/article/evolution-modern-racism. Accessed January 21, 2019.
 Ham, op. cit. p. 91.
 Ibid, pp. 24-25.
 Ibid, pp. 16-21.
 Ham, Ken. “There’s Only One Race.” www.answersingenesis.org/media/audio/answers-with-ken-ham/volume-129/only-one-race. Accessed January 21, 2019.
 The New King James Version. (1982). (Acts 17:26). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Laura and Dave Powell
Ministry Directors - Truth of Genesis
A few days ago, our son asked us, “What time can I get you up on Christmas morning if I can’t sleep? Is five too early?” For many years Joshua has found the night time hours between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be challenging. He’s so excited about the upcoming exchange of presents, slumber doesn’t come easily, if at all. So, in our pajamas we patter downstairs, at the wake of day, and read the story of the birth of Jesus in the book of Luke. It’s one of the traditions that helps our family focus on the reason for the celebration of such an amazing day in history when love came down and brought hope and joy into the world.
Yesterday our son attended his last day of school before Christmas break. Keeping with school tradition, the closing chapel was a holiday hymn sing. Each class picks a song, and everyone sings while the organ or piano accompanies the Preschool through Eighth grade students and their parents and grandparents. Holiday hymns help us to focus on the prophecies fulfilled by the Savior’s birth, if we concentrate on the lyrics as we sing.
Many prophecies are mentioned in the song, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” The virgin birth, reclaiming Israel as His own, and the promise that “God is with us,” all are sung about in these rich lyrics. Our pastor recently did a sermon about this song and its ties to scripture to help bring back the song’s purpose, rediscover its meaning and refresh our understanding about why Jesus needed to come into our world. Isaiah 7:14 is where we learn about the virgin birth of Jesus and He is given the tittle, “Immanuel” or “God with us.”
“We Three Kings,” helps us to remember the Magi. Today we give gifts at Christmas because the “wise men” opened their treasures and “…offered Him gifts”. But why did they do that? The answer is to fulfill prophesy. Psalm 72: 10 says, “May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!” This was not only accomplished in Bethlehem with Jesus but also fulfilled in the line of David through his son Solomon when he received gifts from the Kings of the world in 2 Chronicles 9:24.
To keep the musical theme going on just a bit longer, the song “O little town of Bethlehem” has deep roots in Micah 5:2. This scripture identifies the small town, which is where King David was born, to be the birthplace of the Messiah. Of course, it is well known that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but did you know that the timing was the result of a tax bill that had been ordered and then appealed by the Jewish people?
Four years before the birth of Jesus, a tax had been ordered by Caesar Augustus on some of the territories that he had conquered. To my knowledge there is no Christmas song about taxes. The Jews, like many of us today, didn’t take kindly to the new tax and because the local governor had no authority to address the issue, representatives had to appeal it all the way to Rome. The tax was enforced despite the delegation sent to Caesar, and the tax collectors worked their way South and East. Mary and Joseph reported to their ancestral home (they were living in Nazareth) just in time to report to the census and for the Messiah to be born exactly as the word of God said.
Finally, the root, or promise of Jesus the Savior, extends all the way back to Genesis 3. Here sin entered the world and the need for salvation became apparent. The blood of bulls and goats was not enough to cover us. Romans 5:12–21 explains the overall problem of sin and God’s solution of grace through Jesus Christ. The promise of the Redeemer is given in Genesis 3:15, known by many as “the first gospel”. It wasn’t until approximately 2000 B.C, a few thousand years after creation, that the hope of a Savior was repeated to Abraham in Genesis 12: 1-3 and Genesis 21:12.
On Christmas morning we will celebrate a baby. The Son of God given to mankind to take away the sins of the world. Maybe we should add a new tradition along with our Bible reading. Verse three of “Joy to the World,” gives us the perspective of our condition. No more let sins or sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found. There is great joy to be found in recognizing the fulfillment of prophecies through Christ’s birth, including the one that showed us from the beginning that a Savior would make a way for us to be right with the Father. Let earth receive Her King!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible.
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary page 810.
The Promise, Hal Lindsey 1974.
by Laura Powell
Co-Ministry Director, Truth of Genesis
One of my favorite things to do while I eat lunch is to play Classic Words on my Kindle. It’s a game that resembles Scrabble, and it allows me to test my vocabulary prowess. Today while I was playing, I formed a three-letter word, yom. This Hebrew word was accepted by the computer, and it told me the definition of the submission was “day.”
When my husband, Dave, was first studying Biblical Creation I would often pepper him with questions. One of which was, “How are you sure the days in the timeline of the beginning of the world aren’t long?” I wasn’t convinced that God’s six days of work, outlined in Genesis, didn’t happen over lengthy periods of time.
The tiny word yom was a cornerstone in the case. In most of its uses in the Old Testament it means a literal, twenty-four-hour day; and when it doesn’t the context makes it clear.  In Genesis 1:5-2:2, the word yom is used in conjunction with a number (day one, day two, etc.).  In all these instances where yom and a number are used (four hundred and ten times in the Old Testament), the word means an ordinary day, a literal twenty-four-hour period. 
Another place in the Old Testament where the word yom is used is in Exodus 20:9-10. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day in a sabbath of the LORD your God.” God is speaking directly to Moses in this passage. As Terry Mortenson says, “If God meant that the Jews were to work six days because He created over six long periods of time, He could have used one of three indefinite Hebrew time words. He chose the only word that means a literal day.”
For most of Christian history the literal six-day creation account was not questioned. Some even wondered why the days would have to have been twenty-four hours. This seemed too long! Christians in Martin Luther’s time thought that God could have created everything instantly. Luther’s response was to stand behind the authority of scripture and not support creative notions of what God “could have done” but instead validate what God did. Luther said:
“When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.” 
The change in mindset to long periods of time was driven by hostility to the Christian religion and by extra-biblical influences (influences outside of the Bible) in the nineteenth century.
When I heard the explanation of that tiny Hebrew word, I was convicted that yom meant a literal twenty-four-hour day, and that it could be trusted to mean God created all that we see and know in six literal days. The Genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 give detailed chronological information that also confirms an approximately 6,000-year-old universe.
If you believe God is all-powerful and able to do things that are incomprehensible to our human minds, speaking the world into existence in a short period of time is only another miracle on His list of many.
 Mortenson, Terry. (2006). Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years. In Ham, K. (ed). The New Answers Book 1. [pg. 26]. Green Forest: Masterbooks.
 Mortenson, Terry. (2006). Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years. In Ham, K (ed). The New Answers Book 1. [pg. 26] Green Forest: Master Books.
 “Does Genesis Chapter 1 Mean Literal 24-hour days?” GotQuestions.Org.
 Mortenson, Terry. (2006) Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years. In Ham, K (ed). The New Answers Book 1. [pg. 27]. Green Forest: Master Books.
 Johnson, James J.S. “Luther The Reformation and Taking Creation Seriously.” Icr.org. Sept. 29th, 2017. ICR.org/article/luther-reformation-taking-creation
 “Luther on the days of creation.” Creation.com. https://creation.com/luther-on-creation-days.
 Ham, Ken. (2006). Could God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days... In Ham, K. (ed). The New Answers Book 1. . Green Forest: Master Books.
 Mortenson, Terry. (2006). Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years. In Ham, K (ed). The New Answers Book 1. [pg. 26]. Green Forest: Master Books.
by Pam Bender
A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap
It’s October, which is a wonderful time for our family. We are in the agricultural business and its harvest season. It’s an incredible thing to consider reaping a harvest. Farmers work hard in the spring to prepare the soil for planting seeds, then plant the seeds. Throughout the growing season, they fertilize and water their fields to give the seeds the nourishment they need. In the fall they reap the rewards of their labor. In our modern times, the sowing and reaping are done with the use of tractors and farming implements, but the formula (or pattern) remains the same. You plant seeds, tend the fields, and reap more than you sow.
Have you ever enjoyed watching wheat sway in the breeze? Or heard corn growing in the heat of summer? How about tasting bread made from that wheat or enjoying sweet corn dripping with butter? Yes, its wonderful! We enjoy the “fruits” of our labor (or someone else’s). But what if they didn’t reap the harvest after its been planted? Or how about not planting at all? The consequences would be dire.
Now let’s consider this spiritually. What if we never plant the seeds of the gospel in the first place? What if the harvest is ripe but we don’t spend the time harvesting? Why does it matter? It should matter to us because it matters to the Lord. Sin entered the world through the rebellion of Adam and we needed a Savior to redeem us from eternal separation from God. We know that Jesus is that Savior. But what if someone had not “planted” the seeds of the gospel in our lives? Would we be a fruitless and barren land? What if someone hadn’t asked us if we had ever asked Jesus to be our Lord and Savior and led us to the Lord in prayer…reaping the “harvest” of our personal salvation? Those consequences would be even more dire.
There are so many scriptures in the Bible that reference reaping and sowing. In Luke 10:2, Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon wrote: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…” And in Proverbs 20:4, a sobering word says, “Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.”
Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” This is something the Lord expects from each of his followers. We all have a part in sowing and reaping. When I was a child, I lived down the block from an older couple (Mr. and Mrs. Quick) who were about the age of my grandparents. They had a big, beautiful weeping willow tree in their front yard that we loved to play under. I don’t really remember a lot about them, but there are two very important things I do remember. They were loving and kind. And occasionally, they would give us a Christian tract. In the whole realm of things, this may seem like an insignificant gesture, but I’m in my mid 50’s and still remember this. Their small Christian tracts made a significant impact in my life.
Did I immediately give my life to Jesus after reading the tract? I wish I could say yes, but sadly, I didn’t receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior until I was 29 years old. Did Mr. and Mrs. Quick ever learn of my salvation decision? I doubt it. We moved away from that neighborhood when I was 13 years old and lost contact with them. They sowed but didn’t see the fruits of their labor. However, the Lord of the harvest made sure to water the field of my heart so that their labor wasn’t in vain.
I encourage you to build relationships with your neighbors and share the love of the Lord with them. Pray for a “field” to sow, share a Christian tract with them, give them a note of love from Jesus or an invite to church. You may not see a harvest right away, or in your lifetime, but I can attest that it can be a part of someone’s journey to salvation through Jesus. I can’t wait to see Mr. and Mrs. Quick one day in heaven and share my testimony with them! And, I can’t wait to see the impact my life has been for the gospel in someone else’s life. How about you?
by Laura Powell
Co-Ministry Director, Truth of Genesis
Who Wrote the Book of Genesis?
When I was in 4-H many years ago, I did a genealogy project where I traced my ancestral history and made a family tree. Although I could only go back about four generations, it was a good research activity. More recently, my mother in law gave our family the gift of tracing our roots, and I found out through a DNA testing company that I was more Danish than I thought, and less German than I had assumed. It’s fascinating to discover pieces of information about my personal pedigree, but even more intriguing is the wonderment of the lineage of humankind.
All people need to know where they came from. It’s natural to wonder about our history. How did we get here? Who were our ancestors? History taught in elementary school doesn’t go back far enough to cover these details. However, the Bible gives us a narrative about how humans were formed, and how we dispersed over the planet. When I open my New International Version Bible on the first page, before each book, the author is listed on the side. My NIV Bible states Moses is the author, not only of Genesis, but also the next four books as well. Together, these five books are also known as the Pentateuch or the books of the law. Bible studies and reading plans will often refer to the collection by these names. But, how do we know Moses wrote Genesis?
First, the Old Testament attributes authorship to Moses. We can read in the Old Testament fourteen times where Moses is directed by God to write down things being spoken to Him. Let’s look at Exodus 17:14a, “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure Joshua hears it.” Another scripture from Exodus states, “Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.” (Exodus 24:4a). Other places Moses is given authorship are found in Exodus 34:27; Numbers 33:1-2; Deuteronomy 31:9-11; Joshua 1:8; 8:31-32; 1Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; 21:8; Ezra 6:18; Nehemiah 13:1; Daniel 9:11-13; and Malachi 4:4.  How does this prove Moses wrote Genesis? It can be inferred that Moses was given direct revelation from God on what to write throughout the first five books of the Bible.
Second, the New Testament gives Moses credit. We find fourteen references in the New Testament that refer to the Law of Moses, clearly stating that in the mind of the Jewish people the authorship was not in question, but rather presupposed as Moses. When Jesus says in Mark 12:26, “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’” He is not questioning whether or not Moses wrote the book, but rather using it as a reference. If Moses was not the inspired journalist wouldn’t Jesus have corrected the matter? Instead, He affirms it. Other New Testament scripture references can be found in Matthew 8:4; Luke 16:29; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44; John 5:46; John 7:22; Acts 3:22; Acts 15:1; Acts 28:23; Romans 10:5; Romans 10:19; 1 Corinthians 9:9; and 2 Corinthians 3:15. 
Third, Moses had a royal, Egyptian upbringing. The privileges afforded to him growing up under the Pharaoh would have included a royal education. In Acts 7:22 it states that “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” He was an eyewitness to the events that occurred in Exodus to Deuteronomy, which include references to Egyptian gods, people, places, cultural factors, and idioms.  He was qualified to write these historical books.
Fourth, he was a prophet. He was regarded as an inspired teacher and proclaimer of the will of God.  On the mountain of Sinai he was given the ten commandments to share with the Israelites (Exodus 20:2-17). He foretold that Israel would become a wasteland (Deut. 29:23), and he proclaimed that the Jewish people would never be completely destroyed (Lev. 26:32-33).  Because Moses was used by God to tell future events, could we also imagine that God used him to pen past events as well?
When we study the history of human kind, God told Moses to write down that we were formed out of the dust of the earth. A man and woman, not a young boy or girl, were created as the first humans, and given the names Adam and Eve. God explained to Moses (perhaps directly and/or through written accounts) that Adam and Eve had children, and they had children. Eventually God causes them to disperse over the globe taking with them their unique languages and DNA that would form specific people groups. In closing, God spoke to Moses face to face as a man, as one speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11). God really had a deep, personal, intimate relationship with his child, Moses, and wanted to use him to tell His story. Moses was called a friend of God. He gave Moses the amazing replay of the history of the first humans, and we can trust his account.
Who wrote Genesis? Logic and sound biblical interpretation say that Moses wrote the Book of Genesis.
 Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge, How Do We Know the Bible is True: Volume 1 (Master Books, 2011), p.89
 Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge, How Do We Know the Bible is True: Volume 1 (Master Books, 2011), p.90-93
 Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge, How Do We Know the Bible is True: Volume 1 (Master Books, 2011), p.94
 Oxford Dictionary, prophet, Bing Translator
 Aboutbibleprophecy.com, Moses’ prophecies