Evolution countered!

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Just one major argument exposes the myth of evolution. How could ANY animal survive without it’s fully developed complexity? It couldn’t! So it could NOT have evolved by stages! How could the chameleon survive without his tongue, the Bombardier Beetle his steaming hot spray, the humming bird it’s tongue, the human fallopian tube its cilia and the newly fertilised egg its non stick cumulus coating that allows it to pass down into the womb?

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But its not just “intelligent design” it points absolutely to an all-wise infinitely creative God who made all these and out of nothing! (Genesis 1).

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Blood

Eating of Blood

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Sung Psalm 16 (note v4 relating to pagan blood sacrifice)

Read   Leviticus 17:1-14

This topic is clearly related to the O.T. food laws because in this passage the commandment is given to Moses, to give to Aaron and through his sons to the people, which prohibits the eating of blood.

The issues then, were, that the people were not bringing their sacrifices to the tabernacle and some were sacrificing animals (with blood) to devils.

Today Judaism, Islam, Eastern Orthodoxy and Seventh Day Adventists would prohibit eating blood. Jehovah’s Witnesses have misinterpreted this law which relates to eating animal blood to prohibit intravenous blood transfusion of human blood.

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To them we say what Christ said to the Pharisees who took issue with healing on the Sabbath (Mark 3:4), “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days (or any day for that matter), or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?” Many adults and children have been killed by withholding life-saving transfusion!

Today it is a matter of 1) Conscience and 2) Scripture including Gen.9:4 and Acts 15:20 (to be referred to later) but blood would be included in the “all things that are lawful”, so black pudding is NOT prohibited to the believer. Furthermore although the judgment then for Jew or gentile proselyte was damnation because blood equals life and blood makes atonement (c.f. Hebrews 10:29) and so is potentially sacred and pointed to the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, nowadays because the final once-for-all blood sacrifice of Christ has been made all these ceremonial laws are abrogated (Hebrews 9-10).

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Black Pudding

 

Has vegetarianism and veganism got a point?

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Originally at creation God gave mankind herbs e.g. grains and fruit to eat and though he was given dominion over all the brute creation he was not given sanction to kill and eat animals. After the fall when all creation fell and predation began animals began to kill and consume each other, but still man was eating vegetables. It must be remembered that man is separate from animals by being made in God’s image (having an eternal soul, being initially righteous and holy).

After the flood, God gave his clear approval to meat eating in Genesis 9:3.

A key chapter in the history of Israel was the Passover when a one year old lamb was sacrificed and its shed blood on the doorposts and lintel saved the family inside from losing their first born as the angel of death passed through the land. This necessary sacrifice was a type of Christ, the only sufficient sacrifice for sin. John the Baptist proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God” when speaking of Christ.

When the people of Israel redeemed from Egypt became God’s chosen he gave them strict food laws to distinguish them from the pagan nations and preclude them sitting down together—they are found in Leviticus 11. Animals like pigs, shellfish and birds of prey are not to be eaten and we would say for good reason because they are more likely to carry disease.

Psalm104:21 states that the predatory animals depend on God to supply their food.

Animal cruelty, and we are not denying that this takes place in the food chain, is a sin as Proverbs 12:10 states.

Christ himself through the apostles served up fish and bread in the feeding of the five thousand in John 6:11. He gave thanks for them.

Christ himself ate the Passover meal in Matthew 26:17ff showing he was not only in favour of meat eating but that it was part and parcel of a feast to honour God. When he died all the Old Testament types were abolished, so there was no need to continue animal sacrifices, which in any case cannot take away sin (Hebrews 10:4,8-12).

Paul has things to say about diets in Romans 14:2-3 and 17. He sees vegetarianism being the habit of the weaker Christian whereas eating anything is the habit of the stronger believer, whose conscience is less strict. Later in his epistle to Timothy he proclaims all foods good and to be received with thanks (I Tim.4:3-4).

We cannot know all that goes on in the farms and slaughterhouses of the world, all those who cruelly treat animals will be judged BUT we believers are free to eat the meat itself, even as those in Corinth were able, conscience-permitting, to eat meat offered to idols! Christian liberty means we can eat anything. Starving believers in labour camps or in extremis, will eat anything. Much of the distinguishing between pets, work animals and sources of meat is cultural. Our calling is to be thankful  to God for all food, to not judge others with different diets, and concentrate on loving speech, seeking righteousness, peace and joy in our relationship with God through Christ. God looks at our motives. If our special diet is for our own glory or self-righteousness it is wicked and vain–all must be done in faith, in obedience to the will of God as revealed in Scripture and for the glory of God.

Death-the intruder

Death-the intruder.

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It’s always sad when a pet dies, never mind a human relative. Our rare little Crocodile Skink died yesterday. God gives life and breath to all things (Acts 17:25) and he takes it away too (Psalm 104:30). Since he alone is life  and possesses eternal life (I Timothy 6:16), all that is united to him also has eternal life (John 17:3) and since sin entered the world (before which there was no death) all the world  is naturally cut off from him and whether plant, animal or human it will die (Romans 5:17,  6:23, Genesis 2:17). Only those united to him by faith in Jesus Christ have life that lasts for ever but their bodies have to wait till the end of time for them to be given immortality (Romans 8:23).Meantime death reigns but he is an enemy that will one day be destroyed himself (I Corinthians 15:54). Then all creation will be immortal, hallelujah!

Fear not thou worm Jacob.

I doubt you have ever seen this before…

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Fits with what John Gill says here on Isaiah 41.

Verse 14. Fear not, thou worm Jacob,…. Being like a worm, exposed to danger, and liable to be trampled upon and crushed, mean and despicable in their own eyes, and in the esteem of others; and it may be Jacob, or the true Israelites, are so called, because of their impurity in themselves, of which they are sensible; and chiefly because of their weakness and impotence to defend themselves, and resist their enemies. It is an observation of Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, that the strength of a worm lies in its mouth, which, though tender, can strike the strongest cedar, and penetrate into it; and the latter observes, that the strength of Israel lies in their prayers, as Jacob’s did, when, wrestling with the angel, and making supplication, he had power with God, and prevailed. Now, though the saints are such poor, weak, and contemptible things, yet the Lord bids them not fear any of their enemies, he would take their part, and protect them: and ye men of Israel; the Vulgate Latin version renders it, “ye dead men of Israel” {s}; such as were accounted as dead men, and had no more respect shown them than the dead, that are remembered no more; or were exposed to death daily, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel; or that reckoned themselves dead to sin, and did die daily to it, and lived unto righteousness: or, “ye few men of Israel,” as others {t} render it; Christ’s flock is a little flock, his church is a little city, and few men in it, in comparison of the men of the world: I will help thee, saith, the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; which is repeated for the confirmation of it, and is the more strongly assured by these characters of a Redeemer of his people out of the hands of all their enemies, and the holy and just God, and sanctifier of them, which he here takes to himself, and makes himself known by.

Verse 15. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument, having teeth,…. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, “as a new threshing cart, having teeth like saws”; and the Septuagint and Arabic versions, “as the new threshing wheels of a cart, in the manner of saws”; for corn with the Jews was threshed out by drawing a cart with wheels over it, which wheels were stuck with teeth or spikes of iron; see Isaiah 28:27, or by a cart or sledge filled with stones to press it down, and at the bottom with iron teeth, which being drawn to and fro by oxen over the sheaves, separated the grain from the husk.

Furthermore he says, “Some apply this to the apostles of Christ, compared to oxen that tread out the corn; and who not only ploughed and sowed, but threshed in hope, and were instruments of bringing down every “high thing,” comparable to mountains and hills, “that exalted itself against the knowledge of God,” and of reducing it “to the obedience of Christ”; see 1 Corinthians 9:9” Apostles and all believers by their service in preaching and witness separate the wheat from the chaff-JK.

Feathers

This article on bird plumage was inspired by the fostering of a brilliantly coloured Harlequin Macaw parrot in our home.

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The local pet shop owner needed him to be housed outside the shop as refurbishment was carried out. His feathers were multi-coloured from crimson, through orange and yellow to green and iridescent blue.

Among animals with backbones birds characteristically have feathers. Feathers are the most complex outer structure covering vertebrates. They have many functions including thermal insulation, waterproofing, colouration, protection, camouflage but especially and uniquely they enable flight which is the ability to overcome gravity, leave the earth’s surface and soar up and up. Some birds can’t fly and some, namely penguins, “fly” underwater. The amazing ability to overcome gravity and rise in the air and stay airborne is only possible because of a birds’ anatomy which includes very light air-filled bones, their feathers and their powerful pectoral (breast) muscles. Flight enables them to search for food over vast distances, migrate and escape predators or predate other animals because of their speed in flight.

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How do feathers form and grow and what different types are there? They only grow on certain tracts of skin on each bird and, like our hairs are made of the protein keratin, the same keratin forms beaks and claws and is much stronger than the keratin of our skin, hair and animal horns and hooves. They form in a follicle and at their formation have an artery and vein supplying nourishment to produce vane feathers which are the external feathers and include flight feathers. Birds also possess down feathers which are small, soft, fluffy and free floating which trap air to keep the birds warm.

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Vane feathers have a shaft and barbs and branch into barbules which have tiny hooks for cross-attachment, keeping them stiff and close together, whereas the down feathers have no hooklets.

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Vane feathers.                                                                                     The original “Velcro”

Tail feathers act as a brake and rudder in flight. It is worth noting that the little extra upward wing tips of jets and the often affixed additions to the tips of crop-spraying planes mimic the outer pinions of birds such as eagles, and grant stability to the birds (and aircraft) in flight.

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The base of each feather inserts into the skin and by rotation in time, they are moulted and replaced.

Feathers enable humming birds to hover with a wing beat of anything between 25 and 200 beats per minute and peregrine falcons to reach speeds approaching 200 mph in a dive. Some birds like Arctic tern almost circumnavigate the globe (24,000 miles) in their migrations. Flight is clearly for animals and humans the fastest means of transport! Why? Minimum friction!

We use feathers in bedding (down), making arrows, adorning hats and head-dresses and in old-fashioned pens.

We first come across birds in scripture at their creation on day five of creation,” And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:20-21).

 

After God sent the worldwide flood Noah used a raven and doves to search out whether the world was dried up and ready to be inhabited once again.

The first time we encounter feathers is when the Israelites wickedly crave flesh to eat and God rained down quail, “He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:” (Psalm 78:27). This led to the deaths of thousands.

Judgment is also the subject of the prophecy of Ezekiel 39:17 where we read,” And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood”. This prophesy picturing men as falling prey to all the birds that eat carrion namely eagles and vultures, I believe, pictures the final judgment when all the wicked will be destroyed in hell (see also Rev.19:21).

In the animal sacrifices of Leviticus, just as today in our eating of birds, God commanded the crop and feathers to be removed before the animals were burnt (hope you don’t burn your chicken or turkey!). Any of you who live in the country will undoubtedly have been involved in plucking birds!

In Job 39:13 we read, as God points out the wonders of his creation, “Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?” Now peacock feathers are possibly the most spectacular and longest of any bird and those of the ostrich are also impressive though her running speed makes up for her flightlessness!

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Psalm 68:13 in the context of the victory of God’s church, the Lord states, “Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” This picture is somewhat repeated in Isaiah 40:31,” But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” In dependence upon God and his enabling his people will mount up, above their troubles and afflictions, and see victory over all their enemies.

God’s protection of his people is likened to that of a mother bird protecting her young or incubating her eggs in Psalm 91:4,”He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

In Ezekiel 17:3 and 7 we read,” And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:…There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation.” John Gill’s commentary on this explains that the great eagle is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, as it is explained, Ezekiel 17:12;” who is compared to an eagle for his power and authority, that being the king of birds, and for his swiftness and voracity in conquering and subduing kingdoms; see Jeremiah 48:40; so the Babylonish monarchy is signified by a lion with eagle’s wings, Daniel 7:4; longwinged may signify the breadth of his dominion, this the length of them, and both their extensiveness: full of feathers; of cities, towns, people, armies, wealth, and riches:

The other great eagle of verse 7 is Hophra king of Egypt, a very powerful prince, though not so mighty as the king of Babylon; with great wings and many feathers: had large dominions, but not so extensive as the former, and therefore is not said to be “longwinged” as he; and had “many feathers,” but not “full” of them, nor had it such a variety; he had many people, and much wealth, and a large army, but not equal to the king of Babylon:”

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The last time we read of feathers or wings in the Old Testament was when Nebuchadnezzar was humbled by God and turned into an animal, “The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws (Dan.4:33). What humiliation for the great emperor showing the power of God to abase any of his creatures.

Feathers are a glorious testament to God’s creative genius.

Flight is an amazing God-given ability.

Feathers represent God’s protection of his people and the ability to soar spiritually.

Feathers remind us of God’s ability to humble proud men.

Feathers and wings represent conquest in God’s control of the world’s empires.

Feathers on birds of prey represent God’s judgment upon the wicked world.

Feathers have much to teach us about God’s ways!

Jungle world

My pet “Erin” the Bearded Dragon. Native to Australian outback. Eats mealworm maggots, locusts and crickets. Vivarium is 30 degrees C. Needs UVB light and calcium supplement to keep bones healthy. She (we are not sure) is still young 5-6 months approx.

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