20 December, 2018

17. The Gospel in the Stars


17. The Gospel in the Stars



Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons... —Genesis 1:14

God's entire story of redemption is summed up in one chapter in the Bible, and I bet you'll never guess which one.  In fact, I will gift you a copy of Unbreakable Vow (sequel to Primordium) if you can tell me which chapter. Simply email me at redemptionchapter [at] blogginghisstory [dot] com with 2 words in the subject line—the book of the bible and the chapter number.

That aside, there is also this idea of the gospel in the stars, or a Christian Zodiac. This theory purports that the original understanding of the constellations pointed to Christ and the gospel message.

Examples:

Aries: The Lamb of God

Leo: The Lion of Judah


Bethany Blankley, a biblical literacy advocate, wrote a series of articles on this subject, which you can read at The Original Christian Zodiac.

Not every Christian agrees with the theory. Note, it's not that they find the concept pagan or immoral, they just don't believe there is any historical merit.  For more on that point of view, see Is There a Christian Zodiac?

Personally, I have no opinion on either theory.

So I await your emails on the Chapter That Will Not Be Named hinted at earlier in this post. 😜

17 December, 2018

16. Rodinia and Panthalassa

16. Rodinia and Panthalassa



"Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” —Genesis 1:9

On Day Two, God created Earth's atmosphere, and on Day Three the super-continent, Rodinia, rose up out of the solitary ocean. (Sadly, the oceanic floor of Panthalassa, aka the proto-Pacific, no longer exists. More on that in another post.)

According to both ASA and Creationist scientists, our modern continents are made out of pieces from the original earth (before continental drift). These core pieces are called cratons.

North America holds one of the largest cratons.


Cratons can be described as:
  1. shields—in which the basement rock crops out at the surface
  2. platforms—in which the basement is overlaid by sediments and sedimentary rock. 
In North America, there is an exposed portion of the craton called the Canadian Shield. It may not be the most interesting vacation spot ever, but I would still find it fascinating to actually touch it. 




Photo Credit: Public Domain and Creative Commons



13 December, 2018

15. Let There Be Light and the Heavy Ion Collider


15. Let There Be Light and the Heavy Ion Collider



"Let there be light..."
—Gen 1:3

With those four words, Eternity Past fades into obscurity, and the Anno Mundi* (Latin for In the Year of the World) Epoch begins.

Years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read: I believe in the Big Bang. God said it, and BANG it happened. I always liked that because I felt it helped bridge the so-called gap between science and religion.

Why "so-called"?

Since the ASA believes science = natural laws and forces only, it is an oxymoron to be a scientist who believes in both natural and supernatural forces.

By the ASA's own definition, the scientific method must be observable and repeatable. Thus, ASA scientists denounce Creation scientists and deem Creation Science a pseudoscience, and any adherents are ignorant and absurd, if not downright idiotic, because they resolve "to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural causes.

Think about that.

If something is not observable, repeatable, and testable, it's not science.

Do we observe something coming from nothing?

Can we test something coming from nothing?

Can we repeat something come from nothing?

The long answer? No.

Thus, by default, ASA Cosmology is just as much a pseudoscience as Creation Science.

Creation scientists didn't observe God create the world.

ASA scientists didn't observe a random explosion called the Big Bang.

Neither group of scientists can repeat the creation of a universe.

So just for a moment, let's discard the "observable, repeatable, and testable" method when it comes to cosmology...this is where the Ion Collider comes in. (I know, I'm having a geekfest here, but this is really cool!) The Heavy Ion Collider is the largest machine in the world; it is contained in a circular tunnel, with a circumference of 17 miles, at a depth ranging from 164 to 574 ft underground.


According to a ridiculously convoluted and nearly unpronounceable paper written by ASA scientists and published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the conditions of the early universe were biased toward creating something out of nothing, because "for every 10 billion anti-particles, there were 10 billion particles — plus one." The plus one, they've dubbed the “God particle” which "allows for the existence of pretty much everything else in the universe."

That still doesn't explain where the 10 billion particles from from, but we'll ignore that.

When particles and anti-particles collide, they create a flash of light (hmmm), and with the "God-particle" such a collision caused the universe to come into being.


CERN physicists collided heavy ions to free quarks, recreating (repeating) hypothetical conditions that existed in the universe just after the Big Bang. For the sake of argument, let's say the only difference between the popping into existence of the universe at the Big Bang and the popping into existence at the command "Let there be light" is the random chance of the primordial Hadron ion collider button depressing by itself vs God hit the primordial Hadron ion collider button.

The science is the same whether you are a ASA or Creationist scientist. It's just a matter of First Cause: God, or the 10 billionth and one (10,000,000,001) particle.


So how did I incorporate an ion collision into Creation week in CoT?  The above gif and the first post photo above inspired the idea of the Prince jumping into the matrix (ionized by the Holy Spirit's hovering over the face of the deep). And in the video above (@ 0:12 seconds), the ions collide with the Prince at the very moment God says, "Let there be light."  


*Anno Mundi was the original calendar era before BC / Before Christ and AD  / Anno Domini (Latin for In the Year of our Lord), which is slowly being replaced by the ASA's BCE / Before the Common Era and CE / Common Era. Based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history, Anno Mundi was used by the Eastern churches (Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc) all the way through 1728, and is used by the Jewish people to this day. The Western Church (Catholics and by-default Protestants) never embraced it. They instead used the Anno Domini (in the Year of our Lord) devised in 525, though it was not widely used until after 800. (In CoT, Anno Mundi is the dating used by Gavriel in his reports and summary logs).

Photo Credit:  Matthieu Pangea © Used with Permission. / GIF Photobucket:Shareware / Ion Collider

Washington Post: Scientists may have solved mystery of matter’s origin

Physical Review Letters: Postinflationary Higgs Relaxation and the Origin of Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry Alexander Kusenko, Lauren Pearce, and Louis Yang Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 061302 – Published 11 February 2015

10 December, 2018

14. In the beginning, nothing became something.


14. In the beginning, nothing became something.



"In the beginning, God..." 
—Gen 1:1

Aha! We arrive at the beginning...probably where most of you assumed this journey would start. A new Epoch, Time itself, is about to begin, but more on that in our next post. First, the war, and the battle of the worldviews.

The ASA would have you to believe that:

science = natural / random chance
religion = supernatural / design, and thus a designer


If the above formula is correct, then yes, there is a gap, because the above is a conflicting worldview; i.e., they can't both be right. Obviously, the ASA's natural explanation of the origins of the universe will automatically conflict with any supernatural explanation.

But is the above formula correct?

The Battle of the Worldviews.

#1: ASA Worldview/Bias held by ASA scientists (geologists, physicists, astronomers, etc., who believe in natural forces only): God does not exist. / Only natural laws and forces operate in the world.

#2: Christian Worldview/Bias held by Creation scientists (geologists, physicists, and astronomers, etc., who believe in both natural and supernatural forces): God does exist. / Both natural and supernatural forces operate in the world.

Ever play Monopoly, the real estate trading game made by Parker Brothers? Remember all the little tokens — the automobile, the thimble, the little hat, and the little shoe? Imagine a discussion between Little Hat and Little Shoe, who are faithfully going around the Monopoly board for the umpteenth time.

As Little Hat passes a hotel belonging to one of his opponents, he says to Little Shoe: "Say ... do you believe in Parker?"

Little Shoe looks at him quizzically. Little Hat explains: "You know—look over there, on the side of the board. It says in big black letters, 'Made by Parker Brothers.' So, do you believe in that? Do you believe in Parker?" Little Shoe replies: "'Yes, I suppose I do. What about you?"

So Little Hat responds, with an air of weary frustration: "Look, I've been around here a long time. Every week, I pass 'GO,' and I collect my $200. I've been to Tennessee Avenue, St. James Place, Boardwalk, you name it. I've seen it all. Heck, I've even been to jail. And I'll tell you something. I ain't never seen Parker. This whole time, I've just never bumped into him. So no, I don't believe in Parker. I'm a Parker atheist."

If you could interject at this point in the conversation, what would you say to Little Hat? You'd say: "My dear Little Hat, you're looking for Parker in all the wrong places. Parker doesn't live on the board. He made the board!"

The maker of a system doesn't live inside that system. As creator, you interact with the system that you made: you make the rules (the natural laws and forces that operate the world) by which the system functions. And you can override them. Little shoe and Little Hat would call that supernatural. But to you, the creator, that is natural. It is the system, the world of Little Shoe and Little Hat, that is sub-natural.

To help drive home this point, the 'sub-natural world' is precisely what Lucifer and his minions calls the earth in CoT.


Hands and World / Galaxy Creative Commons / Monopoly Gameboard Public Domain / Monopoly Hat and Shoe

Monopoly Analogy taken from The Exodus You Almost Passed Over by Rabbi David Fohrman, pages 54-56.

07 December, 2018

13. Genesis is Toledoth Colophons


13. Genesis is Toledoth Colophons



This is the account
of the creation of the heavens and the earth. 
—Genesis 2:4a 

Aha! We are finally in Genesis. But wait, we’re starting with Genesis 2:4, not Genesis 1:1??? And Tole-colo what???

First, let's start with the ASA's officially sanctioned method of studying the Bible. Called Biblical Criticism, this method avoids “dogma and bias by applying a non-sectarian, reason-based judgment, and the reconstruction of history according to contemporary understanding.” In other words, , this method avoids religious bias by requiring a non-religious bias.

Did you get that?

According to the ASA, the only intelligent method of studying the Bible is one that dismisses out of hand any and all belief in miracles and the supernatural, which of course, includes God.

The History channel and most “Biblical” documentaries hold to the ASA’s method of Bible study. So you’ve likely heard that Moses, the “author” of Genesis, borrowed from Sumerian and Babylonian creation and flood myths when writing Genesis. You’ve also probably heard that science and/or archaeology has proven Genesis to be false time and time again.

In the last post, we talked about myth versus history. And we ended with questioning how one would go about determining the original account. That’s where the Toledoth comes in.

In Hebrew, Genesis 2:4a reads “This is the toledoth of the creation of the Heavens and the Earth.” Toledoth can be translated generations, book, record, or account.

Genesis is a collection of these Toledoths…the toledoth of Adam (Gen 5:1a), the toledoth of Noah (Gen 6:9a), the toledoth of Shem, Ham, and Japheth(Gen 10:1a), the toledoth of the Clans of Noah’s Sons (Gen 10:32), the toledoth of Shem (Gen 11:10a), the toledoth of Terah (Gen 11:27a), the toledoth of Isaac* (Gen 25:19), and the toledoth of Jacob* (Gen 37:2a).


As cuneiform (wedge-shaped symbols) is one of the earliest systems of writing, it was likely the writing system employed by Noah and his sons, as well as their ancestors (Adam, Seth, Enoch). Thus their toledoths would have been recorded in this style—cuneiform written with a stylus on clay tablets which were then baked.

If this is the case, if Adam wrote Genesis 2 and Noah and/or Shem wrote Genesis 6-9 and so forth in cuneiform on clay tablets, then these passages should bear similarities to Sumerian cuneiform tablets. Right?

That’s where the colophons come in.

Colophons are devices located at the end of a manuscript, containing information about the manuscript, including the composition’s title, the scribe’s the date and location,etc., such as "this has been the history/book/genealogy of..." The Epic of Gilgamesh has a colophon. So does the Epic of Paradise. And many other Sumerian texts.**

A British Air Commodore P. J. Wiseman, who visited many active archaeological sites during his career in the Middle East, recognized that the Genesis phrases share the same Sumerian colophons format.

If Moses was writing Genesis without any outside sources, there would be no reason to keep interrupting the narrative flow of the text to insert “this is the book/record of so-and-so.” The colophons are historical evidence that Moses compiled Genesis by copying the detailed and accurate recorded history that his eye witness+ ancestors had kept (ancient records were HIGHLY prized in those days, like a driver’s license or passport today).



But how could Moses have read paleo-Sumerian cuneiform?

According to the Bible, "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds" (Acts 7:22). Plus, archeological discoveries on ancient Egyptian education "indicates that as Moses grew in the royal court, he would have received much formal training in reading and writing the hieroglyphic and hieratic scripts, in copying texts, and in writing letters and other formal documents" (John J. Davis, former president and professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Grace Theological Seminary, 1975, 26).



But for the sake of argument, let’s say Moses was not familiar with paleo-Sumerian cuneiform. The brevity of the first few Toledoths (Gen 1:11) compared to the lengthy accounts of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12-36) imply the writing style had evolved to writing on parchment by Abraham’s day. (By Moses day, writing was done on papyrus/paper, and that’s when Bible passages get REALLY lengthy). Anyway, it is quite possible that Abraham had already translated the cuneiform tablets passed down to him onto parchment into Hebrew (or a paleo-Hebrew).

Next week we look in-depth at Creation Week as recorded on the first toledoth. I hope to see you there!

Swordcraft Tip:

In whatever color you've designated for archaeology (or just a general color if you don't have a particular color for archaeology), highlight the Genesis toledoths: Gen 2:4a, Gen 5:1a, Gen 6:9a, Gen 10:1a, Gen 10:32, Gen 11:10a, Gen 11:27a, Gen 25:19, and Gen 37:2a. (Be sure not to highlight Gen 2:4b as we will be discussing that portion of the verse in another post.)

Further Reading:
https://creation.com/who-wrote-genesis-are-the-toledoth-colophons 
http://www.talkgenesis.org/genesis-toledoth-mystery/ 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiseman_hypothesis

*The toledoth of Isaac and the toledoth of Jacob include embedded toledoths of their brothers, Ishmael and Esau, respectively (they likely exchanged copies of each other’s toledoths when they met for their father’s funeral, see Gen 25:9 and Gen 35:28-29) 

**For a compilation of Sumerian texts and their colophons, see The Ancient Near East by James B. Pritchard. 

 +Many Christian scholars belief the first toledoth (Gen 2:4a) to be written by God himself, much like the Ten Commandments.

Photo Credit: history clock / skull hourglass  / cuneiform tablet and tablets (public domain) / clocks / parchment (public domain)

06 December, 2018

12. Genesis is Myth


12. Genesis is Myth


Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. 
—Proverbs 30:5-6


"The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth that really happened."

These words were written by J. R. R. Tolkien (author of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) in a letter he wrote to his good friend C. S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia).

According to the dictionary, Myth is: a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

By that definition, myth is interconnected with history. But wait. History is fact and myth is fiction, right?

According to the historical theory of myth, myths are distorted accounts of historical events. So the original historical event is true, and then each culture that experiences that historical event endeavors to pass on that history to its descendants in a narrative that incorporates the social order and values of that culture.


This understanding of myth as history dates back to ancient times (the days when the Greek gods of Percy Jackson were worshiped).

But today we “know” myth is fiction, so what happened?

The ASA.

The foundational premise of the ASA is the assumption that anything that involves the supernatural is automatically fiction.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “there is no attempt to justify mythic narratives or even to render them plausible. Every myth presents itself as an authoritative, factual account, no matter how much the narrated events are at variance with natural law ordinary experience.” (Emphasis mine)

So, by the ASA’s standards, because the Bible includes events that are at variance with natural law and ordinary experience, it is automatically fiction; relegated to myth. Its historicity is denied, and the only value it possesses is as literature.


And since the Bible has proven itself to be myth, there is no reason to study it for plausibility or truth, even if evidence supports its claims. Any such evidence must be vehemently refuted, debunked, or denied.

But what if the ASA is wrong? What if there was a historical event that precedes these myths? How do we determine which culture’s narrative of events is an account of the actual historical account?

The next post (and the rest of this first segment) addresses just that.

While you wait, check out this awesome clip from ETWN’s portraying a debate between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on whether or not myths are lies. This debate was ultimately instrumental in C.S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity.(FYI: CS Lewis liked to be called Jack.)


Swordcraft Tips: Highlight Proverbs 30:5-6 in your designated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit:  Tolkien and Lewis movie poster /  Greek Gods

05 December, 2018

11. Genesis is Poetry


11. Genesis is Poetry



For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, 
so that people are without excuse.
—Romans 1:20

The ASA (Agenda of Secular Academia) has been circulating the "Genesis is poetry" rumor for nearly a century.

(Even Christian theologians and apologists have been recruited into the ASA...another reason to remember that the ASA is a weapon of the enemy, not the enemy itself…though admittedly it’s easy to forget this due to the vehemence of their attacks against any who would disagree with them).

The “logical” conclusion is, of course, that poetry is fiction; thus, the Creation account in Genesis is fiction.

Say you wrote a poem about something you experienced—bullying or abuse, the death of a friend or loved one. Because you wrote about that experience as poetry, it automatically isn’t true?

Obviously. Not.

So the ASA’s assumption that poetry automatically = fiction is not valid. It’s not even logical.

But here’s the real kicker.

Genesis isn’t even Hebrew poetry.


The creation accounts in chapters 1 and 2 are written as historical narrative. But the ASA assumes you will blindly believe whatever they say.

How do I know it’s not poetry?

Because linguists (experts in languages) have examined the differences between Hebrew poetry and Hebrew narrative.

Sentences, regardless of language, can be broken down into three main parts: Subject (S), Verb (V), and Object (O). Interestingly enough, these parts can be in various orders.



Yoda:
Powerful (O) you (S) have become (V) 

Japanese:
You (S) powerful (O) have become (V)

English & Hebrew Poetry:
You (S) have become (V) powerful (O) 

Hebrew Narrative:
Have become (V) you (S) powerful (O)

So how are the Genesis Creation accounts written?

In the beginning, created (V) God (S) the heavens and the earth (O).

This is the verb(V) subject(S) object(O) of Hebrew Narrative, not the (S), (V), (O) of Hebrew poetry.

It's that simple.

And now you're in the know.

For examples of Hebrew poetic accounts of Creation, see Psalm chapters 8, 19, 29, 65, 104, and 139.



Swordcraft Tips:

Label Psalm chapters 8, 19, 29, 65, 104, and 139 and/ or list them in the margin of Genesis chapter 1 as examples of Hebrew poetry.

Write in the margin of Genesis chapter 1: Hebrew narrative = (V), (S), (O). In the beginning, created (V) God (S) the heavens and the earth (O).

Highlight Romans 1:20 in your designated Spiritual Warfare color.

Interested in learning more? Check out these links:
Linguistics, Genesis, and Evolution 
Genesis Is History, Not Poetry: Exposing Hidden Assumptions about What Hebrew Poetry Is and Is Not 
Is Genesis poetry / figurative, a theological argument (polemic) and thus not history?
Creation Psalms and What They Teach

Photo Credits: Prototype CreationYoda by Fathead / Genesis page / Torah Scroll

04 December, 2018

10. The ASA


10. The ASA


Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1 Cor 1:20

So if the war is not against flesh and blood (mere mortals), then who is it against?

Since this is a Bible study, let’s focus on the biggest enemy of the Bible itself.

Who, or more specifically, what is the Bible’s biggest enemy?

Naturalism.

Huh?

I know. Stupid, boring-sounding word. But naturalism is like the Gatling gun in The Last Samurai.


If you are not invincible to its bullets, you will be shot down, and there will be no getting up.

So what is Naturalism? Naturalism is the presupposition / belief that nothing supernatural exists; anything and everything can be explained by natural forces. So no God. No miracles. No nothing outside the ordinary. Thus, the Bible can be regarded as an ancient text of archaeological value, it holds no credibility as a historical document, and is relegated to mere literature, full of the fanciful imaginations of unscientific man.

Technically, naturalism isn’t the enemy, but the enemy’s weapon of choice. With this weapon, the lords of the unseen world target Western civilization (namely North America and Europe).

Naturalism is spouted and propounded by the educated, namely Secular Acadamia, whose #1 agenda-driven mission is to demolish the Bible’s credibility…not just on religious grounds, but even as a trustworthy historical text. Thus, the ASA denounces anyone—layman, scholar, scientist, historian—who would take it seriously (let alone actually believe in it and the supernatural) as “ignorant, stupid, or insane.”


I will refer to this weapon from here on out as the ASA (Agenda-driven Secular Acadamia).

Don’t let them tell you what to believe. Be a rebel. Examine the evidence as you go through this study, and decide for yourself what you will believe.

Swordcraft Tip: Highlight 1 Corinthians 1:20 in your designated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit: Turkish Warrior: WikimediaCommons / Intelligence: Public Domain

03 December, 2018

9. The War


9. The War


Armor of God by Christine Kerrick

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. So put on the full armor of God, to defend yourself against HaShatan,
 so that when the day of evil comes, and the smoke clears, you are still standing.
Eph 6:11-13 (my paraphrase).

What is the purpose of Blogging Hi§tory?

There are millions of Bible studies out there (including chronological ones), so what makes this one unique?

Other Bible studies focus on application (a good thing in its own right). But Blogging Hi§tory focuses more on relevancy—relevancy to YOUR life. If you are a Christian, and church or youth group is just something you do on Sunday mornings and/or Wednesday nights, you may not think the Bible really has any relevancy to your life—a life inundated with grades, girls, music, video games, friends…cyberbullying, school shootings, teen suicides.

Seriously, what has an ancient document thousands of years old have anything to do with the crap you go through on a daily basis?

Everything.

Because that crap is the mine fields, and the bombs, and the grenades, and the AK-47 bullets of the invisible war that you are in. And you may already have scars from shrapnel wounds, maybe you’re even an amputee. And maybe life threw you onto the battlefield the way Adrien Brody was thrown out of an airplane in Predators—waking up to find himself falling from the sky at 125 mph with no idea where he was or how he got there.


But just like Adrien Brody, you have a weapon strapped to your back.

The only question is, do you know how to use it?

And that is what makes this Bible study unique, because that is what this Bible study is all about—it’s your survival manual, your how-to weapon guide, your daily rations, your map, your compass.

It will show you how your weapon is not an antiquated, rusty blade, but a two-edged sword with the power to cut the soul from the spirit (Hebrews 4:12).

Are you game?



Swordcraft Tips:

Highlight Ephesians 6:11-17 and Hebrews 4:12 in whatever color you designated for spiritual warfare.

Photo Credits: Armor of God: Christine Kerrick / Bible and sword: no attribution found

30 November, 2018

8. The Flora of Heaven


8. The Flora of Heaven



Wisdom dwells in the highest heaven, beckoning all who desire her, “Come hither and eat of my fruit.” 
Folly whispers, “Eat in secret sweet stolen food,” but those who heed her words dwell in the depths of death.
 
—Proverbs 9:17 & Ecclesiasticus 24:19

Wisdom as a Fruit Tree


According to the Bible, wisdom existed from the beginning. And both scripture and other Jewish texts symbolically speak of wisdom as being a tree. (The Chronicles of Time series opens with Lucifer obsessed with trying to figure out why King Elyon keeps a certain tree locked away. Ultimately, this obsession leads to his downfall, and the downfall of all mankind.)



The Tree of Life


Technically, the Tree of Life is not in heaven. At least, it's not in heaven proper, it's in the New Jerusalem, which in Eternity Future resides on the New Earth. Its fruit is said to give healing to the nations.


Two Olive Trees


Zechariah 4 describes two olive trees and an oil stand. Though most would say the two trees are symbolic with the two sages whom they represent. I tend to agree, though I use both concepts in CoT (the sages stand on pillars organically cultivated from two olive trees).

This concludes our look at Eternity Past (and the world building of Heaven, God's abode). The next post begins our journey into history and His story.

Now the real fun begins.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons / Creative Commons /  No Attribution Found: Link Broken and/or Expired.


Don't forget to join the discussion at
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28 November, 2018

7. Heaven's Bestiary


7. Heaven's Bestiary


The Bible (and thus The Chronicles of Time) has an amazing bestiary. Most of these creatures are mentioned only in the Apocalypse of John (Revelation), but some are mentioned in the Old Testament as well.

1) Four Living Creatures—in the Bible, these creatures make an appearance in God's throne room, though in CoT they are gargoyle-like creatures that guard the throne room doors.


2) Horses of Fire—in 2 Kings, these are the mounts the angels ride. In CoT, they are not actually made of fire, but have coats of metallic amber with golden manes and tails that give the impression of flaming horses, especially when in motion. They also have a shimmering aura so to a mortal, they would appear to be like fire even when standing still. They also have wings, since they fly from heaven to earth and back again.


3) White Horse—the Bible says Jesus makes his return on a white horse, Again, since this horse flies from heaven to earth, in CoT, it is a pegasus. Actually, I made it a unicorn, as the unicorn has been a symbol of Christ since the early church. 4th century theologian Basil of Caesarea wrote, "Christ is the power of God, therefore He is called the Unicorn on the ground that He has one horn, that is, one common power with the Father." (Exegetic Homilies). Ambrose, bishop of Milan, said, "Who then is this unicorn but the only-begotten Son of God?" (Patrologia Latina). And Tertullian called the unicorn a symbol of Christ (Adversus Marcionem 3.18).


4) Chimera—while these lion-headed, serpent-tailed horses (who breathe fire) are unnamed in the Bible, I chose to use the closest mythological nomenclature. In the last post, I mentioned that the Bible speaks of four angels chained beneath the Euphrates River who lead an army of theses creatures during the apocalypse. (There's more to it than that, but then I'd be giving away spoilers). In CoT, the demons ride these creatures, and the venom from the serpent's fangs is toxic to angels.

Photo Credit: Throne Room Invitation. Copyright fenrysk-art. Used with Permission.
Other Photo Credits: Public Domain / Creative Commons / Copyright JC Lamont


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The Blogging Hi§tory Facebook Page!

26 November, 2018

6. The Angel Armies


6. The Angel Armies



"Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … and all the angels shouted for joy?"
—Job 38:4, 7


Since the Bible states that the angels were witnesses to the creation, many Bible scholars assume they were created outside of time (before Day One). The Hebrew word for angel is Malak (the term I use for angels in CoT), which means messenger.

Over 200 times throughout the Bible, God is referred to as Yehovah tsaba', often translated "the Lord of hosts." According to Blue Letter Bible, hosts means: army, war, warfare, host of organised army. So Eugene Patterson's translation of the Bible, The Message, is spot on when it translates Yehovah tsaba' as God of the Angel Armies, a phrase in the hit song:

Whom Shall I Fear? by Chris Tomlin

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind

The God of Angel Armies

Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side.

A few decades ago, angles were portrayed as little babies with wings. Today, angels are often portrayed as fierce warriors. And while this is a definite improvement, some of them are still not what we normally envision.

Biblical Classes of Angels:

1) Cherubim—examples include Lucifer, the two angels who guarded the entrance to the garden in Eden, and likely it is they that make up the armies as Michael and his angels fight Lucifer and his angels.

2) Seraphim—they possess 3 sets of wings and sing to God in the throne room (in CoT, these are female, though the Bible implies all angels are genderless).

3) "Locusts"—since the description of these locusts resembles that of winged centaurs with scorpion tails that is how I portray them in CoT.
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4) Ophanim—though described in Ezekiel as the wheels of God's chariot, they are actual beings in the Book of Enoch (a book not recognized as scripture, but none the less a text held in high esteem by scripture writers, including Jesus' own brother, Jude, who quotes it in the Bible). The Bible tells us there are four angels from an unknown class chained beneath the Euphrates, so in CoT, I have deemed these four from the class of Ophanim.

No reason is given for this unusual punishment, but the Bible does tell us they lead an army of creatures which resemble a cross between the chimera and the manticore of mythology. More on them on our next post.

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23 November, 2018

5. Heaven and God's Throne Room


5. Heaven and God's Throne Room



"You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens (universe), the heaven of heavens (God's abode) with all their host (angels), the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them. And the heavenly host (angels) bows down before You." 
—Nehemiah 9:6

Some people interpret the word "heaven" in Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning, God created the heavens..."  to mean on day one of Creation week, God created his abode and all the angels. But the Hebrew word for heavens, Shamayim, (the name I use in CoT for God's abode) can be:

1) God's abode 
2) the universe / outer space 
3) the sky / earth's atmosphere

And as we will see next week, the angels (and presumably their place of abode) were created before the foundations of the earth were laid, therefore they are outside time and space. But in this post, we will first get a glance of the setting where God and his angelic warriors dwell.

There aren't many descriptions of heaven in the Bible, so please bear with me as I use examples from CoT of what I was able to piece together from scant, and sometimes obscure, Biblical references. (If you're a fan of CoT and familiar with the biblical descriptions, but notice the absence of a few particulars in the series, rest assured, it is not an oversight on my part, but something that comes to play as the story progresses.)

All of the following from CoT have scriptural references:

God's throne
The jeweled veil behind the throne
The stones of fire (which Lucifer crosses to accept the sword that can slay immortals)
The palace (or wherever God keeps his throne) sits on top of a mountain
The four creatures that guard the entrance to the throne room
The Glass Sea (in CoT, this is where the angels witness Creation, and Michael often visits to watch over mankind)
The Holy Spirit's lampstand (in CoT, I call him the Shekinah)
The olive trees
The oil pitcher and bowl
God's chariot (featured in Unbreakable Vow and Anathema)

While not located in heaven, these also have scriptural reference:
the black key to the gates of death
the door of the abyss

So Very little in the way of CoT's world building is fictional. And even those things that are "fictional" are based on scriptural concepts, such as:

the weapon involved in the killing of the lamb who was slain
the gold key which Lucifer holds so dear
Lucifer's collar
Michael's onyx trionicle (that controls the collar)
and every supernatural creature in Shamayim (yes, all of them)...but that's for next week's post entitled: The Angel Armies.

I would give the scriptural references to all these things, but then you would get spoilers. So if you really want to know, you're gonna have to search the scriptures for yourself. 😜

But I'll be nice and give you one example: These are the verses used to describe King Elyon (particularly during the revolt scene):

...on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, 
as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around... 
 This was the appearance of the likeness
of the glory of the Lord."
 —Ezekiel 1:26-28 

Swordcraft Tip: Highlight Nehemiah 9:6 in the color designated for spiritual warfare. Write the reference (Nehemiah. 9:6) in the margin by Genesis 1:1.

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22 November, 2018

4. The Eternality of God


4. The Eternality of God


So by now you may have given up on this study ever starting with Genesis, or even John 1:1, as both passages that start with "In the beginning..."

But "In the beginning..." means at the beginning, as in the commencement of Creation / the beginning of Time.

What we have been discussing is before the beginning.
Before Creation. Before Time.

Eternity does not have a beginning.

There are three phases in God's redemptive plan: Eternity Past. Time. Eternity Future.

Physicists usually define Time by its measurement. And most physicists agree that time had a beginning. Indeed, according to the prevailing cosmological model, time itself began as part of the entire universe.

So Time began at the beginning of the universe (measurement by "evening and morning, the first day" Gen 1:3), and it will end with the passing away of this world (Revelation 21:1), and the creation of the new world which will not have a sun, and thus no measurement (Revelation 22:5).

So what existed before Time? What existed in eternity past?

The Father Isaiah 57:15 and Psalm 93:2

"For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place." (ESV)

"Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity." (NIV)
"Your throne, O LORD, has been firm from the beginning, and you existed before time began." (Good News Translation)

The Son Colossians 1:17a and Micah 5:2b

"He is before all things." (ESV)
"He existed before anything else." (NLT)

"...[One] whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity." (Berean Bible)
"...[One] whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (King James Version)
"...His origin is from antiquity, from eternity." (Holman)

You are probably more familiar with the first half of Micah 5:2, quoted by Matthew about Jesus' birth, and slapped onto millions of Christmas cards each year: "But [from] you, O Bethlehem, shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity."

Why didn't Matthew quote the whole verse? I have no idea (though of course the Bible wasn't broken into verses in those days, but still...). That verse is certainly the end all of the idea that Jesus' existence began in a stable (or in Nazareth within his mother's womb).

The Spirit Hebrews 9:14

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

For those of you who write in your Bible, these are some great verses to highlight or make notes for in the margins.

Swordcraft Tip: In the color you designated for Eternity, highlight Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 93:2, Colossians 1:17a, Micah 5:2b, and Hebrews 9:14.

Image Copyright © JC Lamont

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21 November, 2018

3. The Book of Life


3. The Book of Life


"The book of life written before time . . ." — Apocalypse 17:8

Yup. We're still in Revelation. Pretty cool, right?

Revelation says the book belongs to the Lamb who was slain. In other words, Jesus, or as I like to call him in CoT, the Prince.

While the Bible says the book of life was written before the Creation of the world, it does not say what it is was written in.

In CoT, I have the Prince write it in blood.

(Can anyone guess where the blood came from? Yea, it's a bit macabre. But it also seemed to fit the overall Biblical idea that blood is the highest form of payment one could offer.)

Think about that for a second: He wrote your name.

Yes, you. Whether you are an agnostic, Muslim, Jew, Christian, or even atheist, he wrote your name.

(Gasp! She's a universalist. Heretic!)

No worries, dear reader. Check out Exodus 32:33.

“Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book." —God.

So before the beginning of time, every name of every person who would ever live was in that book. But at some point, likely upon death, names get blotted out. Of course, everyone sins, which would seem to imply everyone's name was blotted out, but since we know some names survive (cuz those who do get VIP access to the Prince's kingdom for eternity, Rev 21:27), it's not quite that cut and dried.

But anyway...

Assuming you are alive as you read this (unless there's Wi-fi in the Netherworld), your name is in there. He wants you to be a part of his future kingdom. It's up to you if you want that too.

The Prince wrote your name.

Art by Caleb Havertape. © Copyright JC Lamont.


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20 November, 2018

2. The Lamb who was Slain


2. The Lamb who was Slain



"I saw a Lamb...as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes...slain from the foundation of the world." —Apocalypse 5:6, 13:8

Why does a chronological Bible study start with the last book of the Bible?

Strange as it may seem, it is the Bible that is not chronological (that's why there are so many Chronological Bibles out there). However, even those—as far as I know—don't start in Revelation (a.k.a Apocalypse) with the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

But that is precisely where His story begins, and thus it is where this blog (and The Chronicles of Time) starts.

So who killed the lamb?

Well, who killed Jesus?

Roman soldiers? The Jews? Pilate? Caiaphas and the rest of the Sanhedrin?

Nope.

According to the Bible, Jesus was killed by his Father.

Bluntly put, God killed him.

"God did not spare his own Son but gave him up [to be killed]." (Romans 8:32). As the International Standard Version puts it, "[God] did not spare his own Son, but offered him as a sacrifice for all of us."

"This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God." (Acts 2:23).

"We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God. . . . It was the will of Jehovah* to crush him; he (his Father) has put him to grief." (Isaiah 53:4, 10).

"God put [him] forward as a propitiation by his blood."  (Romans 3:25)

The image of the lamb, by the way, is from the Redemption Trading Card game, a simpler version of Magic: The Gathering. I don't know of any other Christian TCG, and it's pretty cool in its own right. I have several decks, and hope to one day have every single expansion pack. Check it out at Three Lions Gaming.

*Anytime you see LORD in the Old Testament, it is in place of the sacred name (YHWH, aka Yahweh, aka Jehovah). Jehovah, while not the closest to the actual name (which is technically unknown as Hebrew has no vowels), is my preferrence, thus the one I use here. In the CoT series, I use a fictional variant spelling, Jehuva).

Photo Credit: Three Lions Gaming: Redemption TCG

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19 November, 2018

1. I Am Who I Am


1. I Am Who I Am


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From Exodus 3:14, often translated as God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”

(Ha! You thought we were going to start in Genesis, didn't you?)

The transliteration is ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh.

There are 3 main schools of thought on the correct translation:
  1. I am who am
  2. I will be what I will be.
  3. I am the Being One, as in the Uncreated Self-existent One.
I personally believe #3 is the most accurate interpretation. However, I must admit, I find the following alternative by professor Christine Hayes quite intriguing:

"Some have argued that the name Yahweh expresses the quality of being, an active, dynamic being...who brings things into being, whether it’s a cosmos from chaos, or now a new nation from a band of runaway slaves. But it could well be that this is simply God’s way of not answering Moses’ question...I’ve often wondered if we’re to read this differently: Who am I? I am who I am, and never you mind."  Descriptions of God in the Bible

After all, when Jacob asks with whom he is wrestling, the reply is "What is that to you?" (Genesis 32:29)

When Moses informs the figure in the pillar of light that they've reached a dead end, blocked by the Red/Reed Sea with an enemy army approaching, the answer is, "Why do you come crying to me?" (Exodus 14:15)

And when Joshua asks, Are you on our side or the enemies side? the reply is, "Neither." (Joshua 5:14)

I am reminded of this scene from The Last Jedi:


Whatever I expected Luke's response to be at seeing his old light saber again, it was certainly not tossing it off a cliff. And I'm sure Jacob, Moses, and Joshua were not expecting the answers God gave them in the above examples.

So as you join me on this journey through His Story, expect the unexpected.

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30 October, 2018

Blogging Hi§tory: Primordium


Blogging Hi§tory: Primordium


I am so exited that Blogging Hi§tory is ready to launch!

Starting next week, Blogging Hi§tory will post once a day until there is a good amount to get the study going; then posts will drop down to two times a week.

The first study is the nonfiction companion to the first book, Prophecy of the Heir: Primordium, in the Christian fantasy series, The Chronicles of Time. So just like the novel, this study covers Genesis 1-11 and Job. Actually, as you will soon see, that's kind of a generalization as cross-referencing (examining related verses) plays a major role in this Bible study.

At the end of each post, you'll see "Swordcraft Tip." What follows will be suggestions for what verse to highlight or what to write in the margin of your Bible (or notebook). Beyond general stuff like archaeology, the 3 main themes we will be looking at is Salvation, Eternity, and Spiritual Warfare, so it will be helpful if you designate a particular color for the 3 themes plus 1 for the general category.

For a limited time, I am giving away copies of Prophecy of the Heir: Primordium to members of The Defector's Club. So be sure to sign up so you can get your copy! You'll also get an occasional email from me (and by occasional, I really do mean it...around every 90 days) which may include advance chapters of upcoming books, discounts, promotions, giveaways, etc. So you won't want to miss it.

If you haven't already, be sure to read What is Blogging Hi§tory? which gives recommendations on Bibles (including wide-margin versus themed study bibles), and discusses pens, highlighters, etc. And check out the Which Translation is Best? post for a list of translation recommendations.

To follow the blog, and read posts from your email, enter your email in the side bar BELOW the archives.

The one thing I can promise you: you'll never look at the Bible the same again.

See you next week!


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