Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus Christ changed everything. 

Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are the most important events in the history of the world! Jesus made such an impact, that even our calendar is divided into two parts – BC (before Christ’s birth) and AD (after Christ’s death). In the Bible, these events are recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Before

God’s people had long awaited the promised Messiah, who would be their deliverer. The last recording from a prophet (one who announces the future, as revealed to them by God) was Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. Four hundred years passed before the birth of Jesus. God was seemingly quiet, but He had a plan.

In the Bible, the birth of Jesus is recorded in Matthew and Luke. The angel, Gabriel, appeared to Mary, a virgin engaged to Joseph. Gabriel told Mary that she had found favor with God and had been chosen to birth God’s only Son, who was to be named Jesus. God’s Spirit would place the Holy baby in her womb.

At that time in history, engaged women who became pregnant could be killed. Yet, Mary was willing to fulfill her God-given purpose. Joseph was prepared to break the engagement, until an angel came to him, reassuring him that Mary was, indeed, still a virgin, and that God had chosen her to bring His Son into the world.

Soon afterward, the Roman Emperor called for a census, requiring people to register in the land of their ancestors, to be counted. Joseph and Mary had a long and difficult journey to Bethlehem, the home of Joseph’s ancestor, King David. They traveled on foot and donkey, for several days.

During

Upon their arrival in Bethlehem, Mary began to experience birthing pains, but there was no inn available to them. The innkeeper provided a place in his stable, alongside the animals. In those days, stables were more like caves, dark and stinky. Baby Jesus was born in the lowest and most humble of circumstances.

After

After His birth, Mary wrapped Baby Jesus in cloth and laid Him in a feeding bin, called a manger. That night, an angel appeared to shepherds, who were guarding their sheep nearby. The angel was glowing with the glory of God and the shepherds were terrified. The angel reassured them, with news of the Savior’s birth. Then, a large group of angels appeared, praising God.

The shepherds went to Bethlehem and saw the Savior, just as the angel had told them, lying in a manger. They praised God and told everyone their story. Can you imagine the courage it took for God, who is Holy and has no limits, to remove His power and glory and choose to become imprisoned, by time and space, inside a baby’s body? What a beautiful gift! What a loving God!

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

 

Wise men saw Christ’s star in the night sky and traveled to worship the newborn King. On their way, they met with King Herod, ruler of the Jews, who was deeply disturbed to hear about the birth of a new king. He told them to return, after they found the child, so that he could worship the king, too. But Herod was planning to kill Jesus.

The wise men found Jesus and were filled with joy. They brought Him rare and expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (expensive and fragrant resins used in ceremonies and as medicine). Before they left, God warned the wise men not to return to Herod.

After the wise men left, an angel warned Joseph of Herod’s plot and told him to flee with Mary and Jesus to Egypt. They would be refugees, running from their own government. King Herod was furious that the wise men did not return to him, so he sent his soldiers to kill all the baby boys in and around Bethlehem. There was great weeping and mourning. Jesus had entered a world filled with conflict and fear.

In the Bible, we are told of 2 worlds:

One in which we live and one that is an unseen world – a place where angels and demons collide. Revelation 12 tells us about the first Christmas in this unseen world, from Heaven’s point of view. It does not tell us about shepherds or a cruel king, but it pictures a dragon leading a ferocious struggle in heaven. A woman clothed with the sun and wearing a crown of twelve stars [Israel and its 12 family branches] cries out in pain, as she is about to give birth. Suddenly the enormous red dragon enters the picture, his tail sweeping a third of the stars out of the sky and flinging them to the earth. He crouches hungrily before the woman, anxious to devour her child the moment it is born. At the last second, the infant is snatched away to safety, the woman flees into the desert, and all-out cosmic war begins.” 1

Killing Jesus seemed to be the answer to saving Herod’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom. However, no one knew God’s plan! By sending His only Son, Jesus, to be born and die on the cross, the penalty for our sin was paid in full. God made a way to be with us forever!

He extends a loving invitation for us to receive Christ’s gift of forgiveness and be part of His eternal kingdom in Heaven, but we must respond to His invitation. In a simple prayer, tell God you believe in Jesus and receive His forgiveness, and invite Him to be your Lord. “No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same.” 2  

Won’t you accept His invitation to change you, from the inside out? 

1,2 from “The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995.

 

Cosmic War and the Birth of Jesus

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

“There is no writer in the evangelical world that I admire and appreciate more” — Billy Graham

 

What if everything you thought you knew about Jesus Christ was flipped upside down. What if there was so much more that you were never taught in the church or just what you have understood about Him from scripture?

Because of our culture today is so different than His Jewish heritage was when He walked on this planet two thousand years ago much was bound to be missing from His majestic story. Our understanding of Him has been limited.

What If I told you that a book was written by a great Christian author by the name of Philip Yancey that thoughtfully explores many hidden treasures of Jesus who was fully God and fully man? Would you want to read it?

From inside the book “The Jesus I Never Knew”…

“Philip Yancey helps reveal what two thousand years of history covered up. What happens when a respected Christian journalist decides to put his preconceptions aside and take a long look at the Jesus described in the Gospels? How does the Jesus of the New Testament compare to the ‘new, rediscovered’ Jesus—or even the Jesus we think we know so well?

Philip Yancey offers a new and different perspective on the life of Christ and his work—his teachings, his miracles, his death and resurrection—and ultimately, who he was and why he came. From the manger in Bethlehem to the cross in Jerusalem, Yancey presents a complex character who generates questions as well as answers; a disturbing and exhilarating Jesus who wants to radically transform your life and stretch your faith.

The Jesus I Never Knew…

…uncovers a Jesus who is brilliant, creative, challenging, fearless, compassionate, unpredictable, and ultimately satisfying. ‘No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same,’ says Yancey. ‘Jesus has rocked my own preconceptions and has made me ask hard questions about why those of us who bear his name don’t do a better job of following him.”

To me this was more than a book review. It was something that expanded my perception tenfold of who this man Jesus was. He was not only a man but creator of this universe. My heart longs for this connection with Him.

This book was well worth the time to read. I guarantee you will not look at scripture the same.

 

You can purchase “The Jesus I Never Knew” from Amazon New Here and Used Here.

 

The Jesus I Never Knew Book Review

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Christian Prayer for A Friend

Christian Prayer for A Friend

Christian Prayer for A Friend

Wherever you see the line________ put the person’s name you are praying for.

 

Our Father (of ________), who art in heaven (You see every aspect of ________ and his life and You designed him) hallowed be Your name. (You are all powerful)

Thy kingdom come in _________ life, thy best, highest will be done with friend and his family, in the same way Your will is always done in heaven.

Give ________ this day his physical and spiritual bread (Jesus is the bread of life) and forgive ________ of his sins (rebellion, apathy, passivity and a lack of love and passion for You) and may ________ have the grace to forgive others and not hold resentment or grudges of any kind.

And always, a big one Lord, lead ________ not into temptation but deliver him from evil (of all sorts).

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power to save ________, and the eternal glory ________ will behold and enjoy forever.

Amen

If you would like to download a PDF of the “Christian Prayer for A Friend” click the button below. 

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” — Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

 

Irreducible complexity is an argument, by some scientists who believe in intelligent design (creation/God designed), that certain life systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler organisms, through natural selection or evolution.

Bacterial Flagellum

Modern biology has discovered that cells are like tiny factories that function using machines. So, irreducible complexity means that inside all living things are very small machines that perform complicated and extremely detailed tasks. Bacterial Flagellum are tiny machines that are living and breathing.

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

The bacterial flagellum is a cellular outboard motor that bears the marks of intelligent design.

Long before today’s modern technology, students of biology compared the workings of life to machines and recently, this comparison has become stronger than ever.

Why is all of this important?

Because origins (beginnings) do matter! How we look at how the world and how it functions matters just as much. The universe is very complex, in not only size but how it functions. The universe of the small cell is also very complex – complex beyond all understanding, even for our scientists today.

Darwin’s Black Box

In his 1996 book, “Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution”, biochemist Michael Behe explained the surprising discovery that life is based upon machines!

Life is based on machines – machines made of molecules! Molecular machines haul cargo from one place in the cell to another along highways made of other molecules, while still others act as cables, ropes, and pulleys to hold the cell in shape. Machines turn cellular switches on and off, sometimes killing the cell or causing it to grow.

Solar-powered machines capture the energy of photons and store it in chemicals. Electrical machines allow current to flow through nerves. Manufacturing machines build other molecular machines, as well as themselves. Cells swim using machines, copy themselves with machinery, and ingest food with machinery. In short, highly sophisticated molecular machines control every cellular process. Thus, the details of life are finely calibrated and the machinery of life enormously complex,”

Amazing! All of this is going on inside of my body? In the body of every living thing? Wow!

Behe then posed the question,

“Can all of life be fit into Darwin’s theory of evolution?” and answered, “The complexity of life’s foundation has paralyzed science’s attempt to account for it; molecular machines raise an as-yet impenetrable barrier to Darwinism’s universal reach.”

Again, I ask, why is all of this important?

Psalm 19:1 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” We, as humans, do not need a telescope to see the glory of God. All we have to do is look at the nighttime sky and gaze out at the stars and marvel. A telescope does help to see how absolutely huge and complex it is.

In the same way, the inner workings of life on a very small scale, with the use of microscopes, has also unlocked this vision of complexity. You could say, “The living creatures declare the glory of God; the molecular machines proclaim the work of his hands.”

Fine-tuned for Life…

…is another term that is used by believers of intelligent design, including many scientists today. It means that a fine-tuned universe, to have life, has to have conditions that can only occur when found or lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of these conditions were only slightly different, the universe would be unlikely to have life.

This fine-tuning is found not only on the very largest element, like the universe itself, but also found in the very smallest cellular level of all life. When they talk about a very narrow range that life can be sustained or even form, it is very narrow indeed. One example would be planet earth, where we call home.

As you begin to take in all the different parts of the complex puzzle that make up life you have to ask yourself a question. Can an unguided theory like evolution and natural selection account for life on any level?

To this day scientist have no idea how life got its initial start.

They CAN NOT reproduce any kind of life in a laboratory from non-life. They have not figured out the mechanism for triggering life from non-life. Whole life forms turning into completely different life forms as in Macro-evolution is also not been proven.

They can test small adaptations as in Micro-evolution and watch small changes occur within animal and plant life. That is one species adapting to its environment but not one species turning into a new species.

Many scientist across the world are coming to this same conclusion about Darwinian Evolution and are now making their voices heard. Dissent from Darwinism are over 1,000 scientist with objections. 

Fine-tuned is also found in the universe on a much more massive scale but that is for a future article on The Big Bang and Intelligent Design.

Today I was just staying in our own backyard.

Video on Amazing Flagellum : Michael Behe and the revolution of Intelligent Design

 

Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

“But we in it shall be remembered, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” William Shakespeare’s play Henry V – St Crispin’s Day Speech

 

Men are very different than women in many ways, but when it comes to relationships it is most evident. We can be real loners. We do not connect well with other men when it comes to deep ties that bind. Women do this almost by instinct as if it was woven into their DNA to connect with other women on another level. That’s because they are relationship oriented.

Men are not.

Sure, we will be all about it when we are watching sports and cheering our favorite team but when it comes to being transparent about our daily lives and what is going on in our marriage and family or other struggles in our Christian walk, we are silent. We endure these trials and hardships alone and isolate out of fear and pride. 

We have no safe place to go and never had.

It’s almost like a red badge of courage that says we are strong. “I am a man and do not need anyone as I work through my life.”  We trust no one with those deep feelings and insecurities. If we say anything we will be thought of as less than. No man wants to be looked at as less than by another man. That is what was drummed into us as we grew up.

We go through our lives with this mindset as different issues begin to pile up making a mountain out of a molehill, day after day year after year. It gnaws at us, but we cannot quite put our finger on the source. We desperately want to feel better about ourselves, but our anger overtakes us. Escaping through alcohol, drugs, pornography or a million other diversions is a temporary fix with many men ending their lives with suicide. 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Many of us have come from abusive families, bad religious experiences or both that have colored our world dark. I know mine was. I had anger issues. Anger was my addiction of choice.

I have left a path of destruction behind me because of my anger, especially with my wife and family. The things I said and the way I acted were an embarrassment to not only those closest to me but myself. It was like some demon took hold of me from the inside. I would become this Raging Incredible Hulk. I did not do this most of the time but in those times I felt heavy stress. Enough times that my wife and I had to separate on numerous occasions throughout our lives together. 

I think much of my anger came from fear.

Fear has been a part of my life in one form or another. When I was a child, I was fearful because my family fought all the time. I had a hearing disability that made my parents and teachers think my mental IQ was very low. 

I was kicked out of two Catholic grade schools and had nuns beat me up because they could not control this bad kid. I was fearful most of my adult life because I was always trying to prove that I was not stupid. I desperately wanted to show I had a talent of some sort that I could call my own and show to others.

Throughout my adult life, I have always wanted a mentor.

Someone that could show me the ropes in life. My dad was not much good at this. I think he suffered from the same issues I did so how could he teach me to navigate this minefield of human relationships. 

The truth be told, I needed something more than a mentor but other Christian men that I could trust. Spill my guts about my fears and insecurities. What was happening to me? 

Where do you find such men?

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

I do not think that I was aware for most of my life that I needed men in this capacity until I joined a group at a local church that dealt with these issues. Men that could come together without fear of being judged because they also had the same problems and had left a path of destruction in their own lives. I was not alone. I was not crazy.

The Men of Hope meets once a week. 16-20 men meet in the large group that goes around a large table setting and we all introduce ourselves and what has brought us to this place. New men show up all the time and are mixed in with men that have been meeting for a couple of years. 

Newcomers are almost in a state of shock for a variety of reasons. Most have never been in a setting like this before and for them to hear such honesty from the older members about their struggles and how God is helping overcome them. Just listening to others speak is amazing therapy in itself. I identify with the other men and I realize I am not so different from what they are going through. Being an isolated loner, I thought what I was dealing with was just me. 

There are usually a couple of smaller groups…

…meeting at the same time as the large group. These are men that are working through a 12-step book that helps them connect to our childhoods or other periods of pain usually in a setting of 6-8 individuals. These are men that have made a commitment to do the smaller group and have been going to the larger group for a period of time. We work the book together from start to finish. 

For many men, this is the first time in their lives that they are going back into their past for answers. Questions in the book are designed to peel back the onion of our history and emotions. We ask God to help us on this journey because He knows better than anyone what has brought us to this point in time.

Some men come just once, others come a few times then still others will come regularly and have for years. This is where strong bonds are formed. We become A Band of Brothers with our fellow journeymen on this Christian path. We learn what it is like to be a good husband, father and friend from each other with God in the center of it all.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

Once a year a great number of men will meet for a weekend retreat where we enjoy each other’s company and listen to some great Christian speakers. Many men come away from this time energized and with new friendships.

My son and grandson both belong to The Men of Hope. We are three generations that are trying to be set free of the chains that bind us to a past that keeps us separated from God. Men in this setting become transparent and accountable to each other for the benefit of our wives and families.

Most men are not accountable to no one or anything. We have become these little demigods answering only to ourselves. Some of us have become tyrants in our own families.  

I recently read a blog post by Gary Thomas…

…called “Enough is Enough”. It took me on a journey of introspection of myself and my marriage. So many thoughts flooded through me as I found myself identifying with some of the men being described in this article.

His writing is about when is it OK to get a divorce from an abusive spouse. He is talking about a Christian marriage here. 

Gary says, “As Christian leaders and friends, we have to see that some evil men are using their wives’ Christian guilt and our teaching about the sanctity of marriage as a weapon to keep harming them.”

I do not want to go back…

…to being that angry man that is described in “Enough is Enough”. Men of Hope and my Band of Brothers are helping me do that. All those men that he describes in his blog and the comments the women made in the comment section are isolated men that answer to no one. They are accountable to no one.

Sure, it’s still a battle every day. It took me many years of isolation and being the prideful ruler of my life that God is teaching me a better way. A Godly way.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Our churches need to be open to having men groups meet regularly and I do not mean for just bible studies but a safe place for men to come and connect in a deeply meaningful way. As men, we yearn for meaningful relationships with other Godly Men deep in our core.

We all want and need A Band of Brothers even though many of us do not know what that is or looks like.

I do now and I thank God every day for finding this group. 

 

The Men of Hope meets once a week at Mountain Park Church in Ahwatukee on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:00. The church address is 16461 S. 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85048. All are welcome if you go to church there or not. There is no charge.

 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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