The next course I selected as part of my Unschooled Master of Theology program was the KI course, Genesis part 1, which covers the first half of the Book of Genesis. Here are the Discussion Questions for the entire course along with my responses.

As a reminder, you can find all of my course assignments for the uThM here.

So, let’s get started….

What Do I Already Know?

Genesis is one of my favorite books in the Bible, right along with Revelation, Jude, and 2 Peter. Mostly because Genesis (and these other texts) open up what would otherwise be typical evangelical theology and reveals a deeper, richer, and much more complex reality both here on earth and in what Paul calls the “supernatural realm.” Genesis 1-2 lays out creation from two peculiarly parallel yet still distinct vantage points, Genesis 3 lays out the fall from “grace” (if we can call the state in which Adam and Eve existed before the fall a state of grace – maybe better defined as a state of pre-fall immortality). The rest of Genesis attempts to lay out the history of early man. Not the cave dwelling Neanderthal-like creatures claimed in evolutionary circles. But ancient man in his lengthy age, in his simplicity, in his brilliance, which all have waned over the centuries.

One important aspect that I think is crucial for an accurate biblical worldview is the position one takes on the authorship of not only Genesis but all five books of the Torah. Was it written by Moses? Is it inerrant? Or was it compiled from various authors over many centuries, with errors and biases brought about by the culture and opinions of the people of that time? Personally, I accept Jesus’ authentication on the matter (Luke 24:44).

Lastly, how we approach the book of Genesis or how we ultimately interpret it will frame how we handle the rest of the Bible. Are we, with our modern and progressive mindsets, uncomfortable with supposed scientific contradictions? Do we justify a myth approach to the creation of the physical dimension to leave room for closeted (or not so closeted) beliefs in evolution? Or do we accept the account as it stands and recognize that maybe the human intellect of modernity is not as advanced or as brilliant as we might assume it to be? Do we hold Scripture up as being truly “God breathed” or just a collection of stories and myths and ideas and teachings? Do we conform our lives and our behaviors around what the Bible tells us? Or are we twisting Scripture to conform to our predefined habits and proclivities?

Genesis lays out the origins of earth, of humanity, and provides tantalizing glimpses into a broader and more terrifying world beyond in the spiritual realm, where things really don’t seem to conform to what we were taught in Sunday school or what traditional evangelical theology would claim. There is something else going on just out of our view. A full and unobstructed view of reality has yet to be seen. In what I’ve studied of Genesis so far, I am convinced all the more the necessity of throwing myself on the mercy of my king, of my desperate and continual need for a savior as I walk this often confusing and winding road of sanctification as I await the return of my Lord and God and Messiah.

What Do I Want to Learn?

As with most courses I’ve taken at KI in the past, my enduring hope is that I would receive wisdom, understanding, and most of all, discernment. That I would be able to not only perceive God’s working in my life but would likewise be able to accurately interpret that work, determine the purposes of his efforts and aid him (or at least not actively fight against him) as he labors to bring my body, my heart, my mind, and my soul in line with the mind of Christ.

I would like to understand better the theology of sin. How is it, as if often purported, that there will be no sin in heaven, yet there was found in heaven sin first in Satan, then in Adam and Eve, and then in the angels of Genesis 6:2. The sin found in Satan occurred (assumably) before the fall of Genesis 3. The sin that Adam and Eve committed occurred while they existed in a different state, an immortal state. Is this not the same state that we will experience in the afterlife? Is not heaven a return to a pre-fallen Eden? If not, the sin committed by angels in Genesis 6:2 is clearly committed by angels who were previously in alignment with God’s will. They existed in their “proper domain” and “abandoned their dwelling place (in heaven)” as an explicit response to lust or a desire for fornication. If we will one day “be like the angels in heaven” when we are “revealed as Sons of God” then it is logical to assume that in that state we, too, will have at least the capacity to harbor sin within us. We will at least have the capacity toward lust. Personally I would like to know if our responsibilities in heaven will not include moment by moment, day by day self-control against sexual appetites, hunger, all forms of sin, but in such a state where we no longer have the cover of grace to shroud us from God’s wrath? There was no grace afforded the angels of Genesis 6:2. They were imprisoned without bond or conviction, to be held for judgment day (and, ultimately, the lake of fire). Regardless of whether or not we can lose our salvation in the grace we have been afforded by the mystery of the church, but what about after judgment day, and we have stepped into eternity and are counted as citizens of the kingdom? Can we then be found guilty of sin? Will our punishment be the same as the punishment of the angels of Genesis 6:2? If the sin of pride or envy or lust is found in me a thousand years, a millennia, after I have been “revealed as a Son of God,” will it be possible that God will condemn me for a future sin I committed and cast me into the lake of fire as well? Is there really eternal security on earth but not in heaven?

Likewise, I would, of course, like to learn more about the origin of the angels (the heavenly hosts). I would like to know their purpose, their background, their previous transformations (were they anything like what we are predicted to go through)? They certainly are not included in the Genesis 1-2 origins, since they were present at the creation (Job 38:7).

Granted, much of these inquiries are unknowable in our current condition on earth. We simply have not been given the information, the background, or enough detail to know for certain. It remains the subject of faith: the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1).

Lecture 1

How does your world view affect your everyday life? Can you adduce the real world view from one’s behavior?

Worldview frames your approach to the world around you. This dimensionality, this reality, it is predicated on our minds filling in the blanks left by a lack of complete transparency on the part of the “creator.” As a Buddhist in my teen years, I saw the world, interacted with the world, made plans, developed aspirations that were wholly different than the plans and aspirations and how I interact with the world as a Christian. There is even a difference between the kind of Christian an individual is. The world is a much different place to the folk theology evangelical who embraces the cult-like culture of nationalism and capitalism than the individual who is living as a Bedouin in the Middle East, surrounded by Muslims, who suddenly finds himself believing in a God (in Christ) because of a dream. In fact, these two worldview are diametrically opposed. The former approaches life as a buffet of benefits and privileges, as if Christianity makes life net better with health, wealth, and perpetual happiness, while the latter is plagued with disconcerting thoughts about this Jesus individual, with his life being turned upside-down, maybe even persecuted by family and friends or his immediate community if word got out that he now believed God raised Jesus from the dead, and that God was not the Allah of the Koran but the Yahweh of the Christian Bible.

Everyday life is predicated on what we believe life and reality to be. If we truly believe that Jesus will come at any minute, if we truly believe we are sojourners in this life, then we will not prize things or possessions or invest in “careers” or the cares of this world. Rather, we would focus our attention, or best efforts on the Kingdom of God, on hastening his return, on serving our King. Behavior signals intention and motive, especially that behavior that is done in private.

Our behavior is our theology in full view of the Son. It is the revelation of our heart. It is the manifestation of the inner core of our soul. What we do is who we are. Yet, even still, in our weakness there is strength in Christ, there is mercy in grace, and there is hope in redemption. Even if our behavior is predictive of a lack of faith or a heart still captive to lust and sin (who’s heart is not), there is hope as long as one breathes that God will do a work in his or her life.

Knowing also, that sanctification is not simply a list of rules or do’s and don’ts. For grace is merciful and love covers a multitude of sins. There is liberty in Christ and we all walk along the path of salvation at different speeds and in different ways. Some of us take longer on certain bends, while others can maneuver through with ease. Some must unite with others along the journey while others might better be able to progress on their own and without company. God knows us intimately. To the core. Atomically. Intrinsically. More so than we know ourselves.

Behavior is an indicator of what we believe, but it does not have final say on our ultimate destiny.

Discuss how the Book of Genesis refutes each of the major false philosophies prevalent today?

It credits the creation of all things to God debunking Atheism. It claims God is distinct from his creation debunking Pantheism. It says God is one, debunking Plytheism. It says that the material, physical dimension had a finite point and will also have a finite end, debunking Materialism. It claims that God is the ultimate reality and is the center of creation, not humans, debunking Humanism. It states that God created everything in 6 days, debunking Evolution. It states that God intervenes in his creation debunking both Uniformitarianism and Deism.

I would also like to add that Romans 1:22 and Hebrews 9:27 illustrates how beliefs such as Buddhism is also false and idol worship.

What two concepts in mathematics are not present in our physical universe? What does that imply about our reality?

The first of the two is there is found nowhere in the physical universe the concept of infinity. It does not exist at the macro level, as there is a finite end to the “expanding” universe. Likewise, there are only so many division something can be subjected to before it loses all sense of locality.

The second of the two is the idea of randomness. This likewise does not exist in the physical universe, though the prevailing scientism of the day would argue for it. Randomness form our perspective exists because of our limited capacities to receive information and/or the limitations we have on the scope of our perspective. But from God’s vantage point, randomness simply does not occur and he is both spectator and instigator in the actions within the universe.

What does the apparent presence of “pi” and “e” in the Biblical text signify?

This would signify that the biblical text is the result of intentional design. It was not devised by happenstance as most Christians would purport today. The message of the Bible was given at a specific time, written down and disseminated by particular men who were led by the Holy Spirit concerning what to write, and this message was clearly delivered in such a way that it could survive the hostility against it over the centuries as it made its way through the human race and down to us today.
Who is the author of the Torah? How can we know for sure?

Where can we find hints of the Trinity in the Old Testament?

Though I have not thought it important enough to do a thorough study of the trinity as a theological topic, Missler does point out that the trinity is at least hinted at in several places in the OT, such as Genesis 1:26, 3:22, and 11: 7 where there is a plural in the form of “us.” Though, this could certainly be referring to God talking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I would argue this is more pointing to God talking to the angels, who were present at creation. In the last paper of my final course in my Master’s program, I was raked over the coals by my professor for suggesting this, even though several commentaries point to this interpretation.

In Ecclesiastes 12:1 the plural is used of “creators.” In Isaiah 54:5 the writer uses “makers,” and in 6:3, 8 he uses “holy, holy, holy” and “go for us.” We find in Psalm 2 a fascinating dialogue between what appears to be God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I did not find any additional information in this lecture. It was a great deal of review as I have gone through the Genesis material several times over the years.

Lecture 2

Discuss the possibilities (and problems) with the conjectures of a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. (the Gap Theory)

I do not necessarily accept the gap theory that between vs 1 and vs 2 included all kinds of unbiblical dogma (evolution, other civilizations, etc). I would argue for Genesis 1 referencing only the physical universe and not the supernatural realm or the spiritual beings that inhabit it. It’s quite clear from the text that angels, their dwelling place (heaven or the supernatural realm) were created by God (Ne 9:6). But how this was accomplished, why it was done, who they are, what purpose they serve (beyond service to God) is unclear.

Job 38:4-7 is often used in support of Angels being created beings, but it should not be. All this passage states is that Angels were present and celebrated the creation of the earth. They were by this point (day 1) already considered to be “morning stars” and “Sons of God.”

Satan was already, presumably, fallen by Genesis 3. He was not necessarily cast out of heaven into perpetuity yet (Rev 12:9), since we find in Job 2:2 that Satan was able to travel between heaven and earth as he pleased. Yet, Jesus seems to indicate, at least by the time he was on earth for his 33 years, that Satan had fallen by then (Luke 10:18). It is unclear if Peter is referring to a post-cast out Satan or a pre-cast out one (1 Pe 5:8).

Satan had already committed his original sin (Ezekiel 28:12-19) by the time he arrives at the garden in Genesis 3. Though how much time had actually passed is unclear. Does Isaiah’s reference in 14:12-17 refer to Re 12’s aftermath of the war in heaven (“cut down to the ground”) or is it in reference to the curse in Gen 3:14?

The absence of any information concerning the origin of the angels is both problematic and quite provocative. Why is this information hidden from our view at all? Those who are saved by the blood of Christ (presumably this includes OT believers, NT believers, and the nation of Israel) will at the resurrection be revealed as “Sons of God” (Ro 8:19). They will become “like the angels in heaven” (Matt 22:30). This means our destiny is intrinsically intertwined with those beings who are already considered “Sons of God.” Yet, we are told next to nothing about them.

The gap theory opens the door to the realization that so much of the reality and record of creation has been wiped clean. I would wager we have probably less than 40% of the entire picture, and that much of what is being held from us will be utterly incomprehensible to a mortal mind. It also has consequential ramifications that seep into other aspects of our theology as well. If we don’t really know the angelic background, then how can we truly know the essential nature or what kind of experience will be truly had in the afterlife, once we join the hosts of heaven (not that we become angels, but we become like them). If angels sinned (Satan, Genesis 6:2 angels, etc) and Adam and Eve sinned while in presumably the same state we will enter into at the resurrection, then where do we get the idea that there can be no sin in heaven? No potentiality for sin? That we will be free of the temptation of sin? Satan had no sin until sin was found in him. For me, the most terrifying aspect of this line of thinking is not that there is the potential for sin in heaven, but that there will no longer be grace to cover our sins after we become like the angels. They were never extended grace as humans were. Satan was cursed far beyond what Adam and Eve endured as a consequence of the fall. The angels of Genesis 6:2 not only were imprisoned in Tartarus (what must be a godawful fate in itself), but they also must have witnessed the death of their human wives and the destruction of their offspring (who in turn were cursed to roam the earth as disembodied, demonic spirits).

I’m not convinced by typical protestant orthodoxy concerning the origins of the physical universe, the supernatural realm, or how this plays into our own destiny. Just because there is no marriage in heaven (and presumably no sex) does not mean there is no temptation, no appetites, and that we will not have a much greater challenge before us in eternity trying to walk the moral line than we do now on earth.

When were the angels created? When did Satan fall?

As stated above, nowhere is there a record of the creation of the angels. One verse in the Bible states that they were created by God, but it does not elaborate on how, when, where, or even why. It does not explain what angels are, either. Are they one race of being? Are they a multiple of races who have each their own unique redemptive narrative, and humans are just another addition to the heterogeneity?

As stated in the previous question, it is likewise unclear when Satan actually fell. Likewise, are we in this question referring to his Re 12 expulsion from heaven after the war, or the original fall from his essential state (for which he was created), or in his cursing in Genesis 4? By the time Jesus was living on the earth as a man, it appears as if Satan had already been cast out of heaven. But we see no evidence of that in the world or in significant worldly events.

We simply have a sliver of the greater reality that is the supernatural realm. We do not have the beginning, middle, or the end in this story. We do not know what Satan has against humanity, why it was so important for him to cause the imprisonment of all who’ve ever lived in Hades under the power of death, we don’t know why he is a persecutor of the church or the Jews or what his grievance is against God.

It certainly appears that the supernatural realm is a war-like society or kingdom (2 Ki 6:17) that does, in fact, appear to be currently or perpetually at war (Eph 6:12; Re 12:17).

How do changes in the velocity of light impact our world views?

It indicates that the physical universe is winding down. The speed of light is getting slower, everything under the curse is moving inevitably toward disorder, chaos, and cacophony. This is, of course, predicted in the Bible itself, as Peter states, “the elements will melt with fervent heat” (2 Pe 3:10-12).

Are there exceptions to the entropy laws?

No exceptions to entropy have ever been observed in recorded history. Everything seems to be under the weight and control of entropy, a winding down. The only opposite force is that of an engine or intelligence, such as living beings, and God. Humans are constantly fighting against entropy, in our building structures, in our systems, our processes. We constantly and ritualistically clean and put order to what naturally descends into more and more disorganization and chaos. God, likewise, did this on the largest of macro scales when he brought order out of chaos in Genesis 1:3. He spoke light into existence. Entropy is evidence of intelligent design by the creator of everything.

Read Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. List at least seven insights which can describe the origin, agenda and destiny of Satan.

Heart was lifted up (pride).
He declared himself a god.
He wanted to be just like God.
Wisest creature in existence.
He knew everything.
He has or will be cast from heaven.
He will or is weakening the nations.
He is destined to be cast into the Pit.

What does Dr. Missler mean when he says that the Bible is a Hologram? What are some of the lessons?

Holograms require proper illumination, and are useless in natural light. We see this also with the Bible, which requires that the reader be a believer or at least be under the influence of the Holy Spirit in order to properly derive the correct message from the text. Paul states, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Co 2:14). I have seen this time and time again, most recently in an old junior high girlfriend who I thought God might be calling me to marry. A few short conversations, though, and I quickly discovered that, although she claimed to be a Christian, she was anything but. In reality, her beliefs were more in lines with new age and Buddhism than anything remotely resembling a Christian and certainly she was no biblical believer. It took very little time before she grew weary of my referencing the Bible. What she thought she wanted (a relationship with me) turned out she ran from quickly because she could not stand Christ residing within me. If God ever does present me a wife, I will be able to easily tell she’s the one he prepared for me because she will be thrilled and encouraged by my love for God and the fact that I place Christ in the center of my life.

In a hologram, information is spread throughout the available bandwidth. It is not relegated to only part of it. This is the same with how the Bible was designed (which could only be designed supernaturally given the length of time it took to write and collect and the large number of authors who contributed to it). As Dr. Missler pointed out, there is no one chapter on baptism or on grace or on salvation. These topics (all topics) are spread throughout the text, as Isaiah 28:13 describes.

Lastly, a hologram can anticipate hostility toward it’s signal. We can see this as well in the Bible that it was produced and compiled and then traveled through human history in such a way that it anticipated the mucking around of human hands on the text. God knew there was no other way to preserve the Bible message, given the propensity of fallen humans to get things wrong again and again, but to spread out the message and to also spread out the available texts across the globe. This is not the Koran or other religious texts that we have only a few copies of. The history of the Bible is largely in view for everyone to see (maybe not entirely but mostly). We can see throughout history how humans have changed things, when they changed things, and these variants can be trace, tracked, corrected, examined, and determinations made. Additionally, we see, especially in the Hebrew OT, there is no attempt to gloss over the embarrassing portions of the text as occurs in most accounts of human record. Instead, all the faults, blemishes, mistakes, and horrible behavior is presented for all the world to see. It will be available as an example of what not to do for all eternity.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

Again, I really do not have any additional thoughts or points to get down in this lecture. It was primarily review.

Lecture 3

Why do some scientists suspect that the entire universe, as we know it, is some kind of synthetic simulation; a subset of an ultimate reality?

There are several reasons why it is possible, even probable, that we are living in a simulation and that our physical reality (the entire physical universe) is just a subset of a reality that is actually “the” reality. In the many discoveries made about our reality, it has become clear that there is no infinity and no randomness in our existence. Additionally, because of the results from the double slit experiment, we’ve had to acknowledge that, at the quantum level, the material, physical world is not actually established on physical principles. Once you get far enough down, things cease the ability to be divided, and actually lose their locality. The double slit experiment proved that what we see as tangible objects, that which has mass, what we would consider substance or physical objects are really only an illusion. Most of things with mass consist actually of empty space and rely in some way on perception in order to be in existence. If no observer is present, the only thing that exists is light, which consists as a probability between waves and particles.

Why are classical scientists shocked at the findings of quantum physics? How do they impact our own perspectives?

The findings as described in the previous question lend nicely to a biblical understanding of our dimensionality. We know that the physical universe is capable of being “folded up.” We know that the destiny of the earth and quite possibly the entire universe, is a heat death, one in which the base elements of matter will break down under the intensity of God’s judgment on the earthdwellers. The earth will be destroyed, the “heavens” likewise (though I’m not certain this is referring to the supernatural realm where the angels and God reside, but instead most likely refers to the sky and the rest of outer space of the physical universe (i.e. all other galaxies, suns, planets). We see this most poignantly in John’s description at the Great White Throne judgment scene in Revelation 20:11ff, “I saw a great white throne and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.”

If the earth (nor heaven, which I think here is referring to the sky or all of the universe) find no place for them any longer, this means they cease to exist providentially (i.e. the simulation will be ended). But, all those who have just been resurrected and stand before the throne of God, if there is no earth and there is no universe any longer, where do they stand? What substance do they exist in as a substrate under which they move and have their being? Are they any longer dimensional beings? How do they experience the present situation of being judged by Christ our King? They have been resurrected back to life from death, captivity in Hades, having spent all that time between their death and resurrection as disembodied souls, either being comforted in paradise or in torment. What now do they see? What can they touch? Are they conscious?

There must be another functionality, another dimensionality to existence. This is the supernatural realm. As far as we know, this is the “real” existence that subsumes our “artificial” existence in the physical dimension (i.e. all that consists of and everything within the physical universe). We don’t know really anything about this higher dimensionality. We don’t know how realer it is compared to our own. We just know it is there by both its necessity and what glimpses of it we’ve seen from Scripture.

Read Psalm 19 and list three things that related to this session.

I’m not certain I agree with the assumption of this question, but for the three I selected:

1. “Firmament shows his handiwork”
2. “The fear of the lord endures forever”
3. “The law of the lord is perfect”

The “Firmament shows his handiwork” because this speaks to the very heart of God’s creative efforts and his passion to create a masterpiece in the physical universe, in us, in all of creation (which includes that outside of the physical universe, if indeed the supernatural realm is incorporated into that which God created). Of course, we are not really given God’s motivation for creating the universe or the physical dimension. We are not given the reason, description, or ultimate purpose of the supernatural realm or the beings that inhabit it. Much of God’s work and/or his motivations are hidden from our view and we must take much if not all of it, as well as our enteral destiny, on faith. We must trust him, regardless of what possible jeopardy that might put us in.

The “fear of the lord endures forever” is at the very core and heart of what it means to be a believer, to be in submission to Christ, and it is central to the foundation of humanity in Adam and Eve. They were to fear God, fear his command, and fear the consequences, as God explicitly lays out for them in the beginning, when they were tasked to tend to the garden and protect it. We are told by the psalmist, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Pr 1:7) and “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Pr 9:10).

Lastly, we see that the “law of the lord is perfect” is the foundation of our hearing and abiding in the gospel of Christ and in the law of Christ toward our ultimate salvation. If not for the law being given, we might never have received the gospel itself. If not for the law to shine a light on what we do wrong, we might not ever have our hearts pricked by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We might never have had the Holy Spirit sent as a seal and teacher in the first place. As Jesus states, “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and “until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle will by any many pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt 5:18).

Define Heaven and at least three scriptural examples.

Typically, evangelical christian theology would dictate that heaven can refer to two things: the sky or where God dwells and where believers will spend eternity. But, in actuality, the term for heaven or heavens can have 3 meanings, with the last one very different than the typical “God and souls in heaven.”

First, I think often the term “heaven” refers to the immediate sky overhead, that which we perceive as blue, what is between the ground and the empty space of the solar system. This is typically seen in Genesis 1:1, 1:8 as in the “firmament,” 1:9.

We go a step further and identify heaven as space or outer space itself, which really consists of the entirety of the known and unknown universe, the entirety of the physical dimension, as seen in Genesis 1:14, where lights are placed in the “firmament of the heavens” which are all the stars and planets and suns of the visible universe (from earth – especially if the universe turns out to be geocentric in nature).

Lastly, heaven(s) is also defined as the natural dwelling place of God, or exists a place that is heaven or the dwelling place of God wherever it is the God happens to dwell. Personally I would opted for the former definition of heaven being a specific locale, a dimension where God naturally belongs (that continues to be the dwelling place of God even if God does not currently exist or dwell there). I can rationally say that humans naturally belong on dry land. It is where we were made to live. We were not intended to live a life in the ocean or in water. We were simply not created for this. Fish, on the other hand, were certainly created for life “in” water. They do not fair so well if they are unexpectedly tossed out onto dry land. In fact, they only last a few minutes before they die. This is the same nature of God, that he naturally fits in the place we call heaven. Paul calls this place “the heavenly places” but in the Greek it is simply one word, ἐπουρανίοις, which is truly a distinct dimensionality. Dr. Missler would describe this as a much larger and more “real” reality in comparison to the physical reality we know as our existence – ie. life on earth and the space known as the physical universe.

Dr. Heiser tends to describe this place as the “Supernatural Realms” (as translated such in the Eastern Orthodox Bible). It is the dwelling place of God, of the angels and it subsumes our reality or dimensionality, to the point that our existence could be considered a simulation (artificial), with the supernatural realm being the greater reality. Likewise, a misunderstanding has occurred in evangelical theology stemming from the church fathers in the early centuries of the faith, that render this realm as “spiritual” or “ethereal” or “non-tangible.” Paul disputes this by stating that, in reality, all creatures have their own kinds of bodies, “all flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies” (1 Co 15:39-40). This fits with the Genesis 6:2 account of angels coming to earth and procreating with women, given it is the most logical mechanism by which this could occur – angels have bodies that are similar enough in kind and substance that they are able to procreate with human women.

Paul called this place, heaven, the “third heaven” in distinction, I would assume, of the first two – the immediate sky around earth, and the greater space of the full universe of the physical reality. The third is the place in which God and the angels dwell, it is the location of the afterlife in some shape or form once we are revealed as “Sons of God,” though I suspect at least some of us will be likewise inhabiting the “new city, Jerusalem,” the new earth, and diverse places throughout the new universe at different times and for different purposes as God wills.

What did you learn about the nature and fabric of space?

Space is curved. It is finite. The speed of light is slowing down in relation to how fast it travels across space. It is a fabrication, artificial, digital. It is a simulation of reality, with the greater “real” reality (or as real as we can assume) being the supernatural realm, where angels and God dwell. Space also begins to break down at a particular point, with the ability to be divided ending, where mass subsequently loses it’s divisibility as well as its locality.

What are some of the evidences of a young earth that scientists point to today?

The dust on the moon, there is not enough to justify an old earth. The same is the case for the large deltas on earth, at the mouths of massive rivers, the amount of collection does not lend to an old earth. Likewise, we see evidence of catastrophe explaining some of the processes that have previously been used as evidence for long age (i.e. Mt. Saint Hellens eruption). Additionally, there has never been provided a single evidence of a transitionally species. There are only the before and what non-believers assume to be after species. There are no intermediate steps. Plus, there is seen in the geological record and explosion of life and not the gradual process of evolution. The same is true of the general slide of species from pure to degradation in the genetic code. There is no addition of information, only the loss and corruption of the information that was originally injected into the physical world. There has also never been an example given of life being produced from non-living material.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

There was no additional information to point out in this lecture. Much of it was review.

Lecture 4

What is the significance of a 3-out-of-4, error-correcting, self-replicating digital code in our DNA molecule?

This is significant because it means the code that makes life is so complex, so intricate, that it is impossible that it could arise accidentally or randomly. For me, this is especially true in the Mitosis Mystery that Dr. Missler referred to, where cells in a fetus replicate themselves uniformly through the early stages of development, only to abruptly begin to self-organize into distinct varieties of cells: skin, ears, organs, etc. There is no explanation for how cells know how to do this, what the actual process is in which they go through to determine what kind of cell they will become, or who is in charge in orchestrating the development of the body.

I simply cannot accept this as accidental, incidental, or controlled by any level of chance.

Give examples of “irreducible complexity” and the implications for plausible inferences.

The tail on the end of the bacterium, the flagellum, is described as being attached by a complex electronic motor. This motor requires intentional design, since removing one or more component parts from the machine will render it unusable. All the pieces must be fully formed, fitted together, and the engine initiated and everything to work in sequence as it should, otherwise the system would simply not work. Dr. Missler used the sample of a mouse trap. If you are missing one piece from the trap, you do not catch 3/4th of a mouse. Removing the one piece renders the entire trap ineffective. This is irreducible complexity. All components are required for the system to function.

How do recent discoveries in microbiology refute evolution?

I found it quite interesting that some scientists or theologians have come to the conclusion that God must be personally involved in every cell division that has ever or will ever occur, given that every division requires the addition of some sort of new information.

I derive this idea from Colossians 1:17, “And he is before all things, and in him all things consist.” Jesus is the creator of the physical universe and everything found within it (Eph 3:9). We know from the double slit experiment that our reality to manifest as the physical world requires observation. If it is not being observed (or measured) then existence, mass, elements all remain in a probability state between wave and particle, until observed, when it collapses and forms what we perceive as solid mass.

I’ve likened God (most specifically Jesus) to being the ultimate observer of the entire physical universe. Assuming that the kind of observer is irrelevant (meaning, animals, insects, recording instrument all qualify as observer) this gives way to a persistent physical reality that we can consistently measure. If you take a meadow in the woods, add in all the insects and animals that live in that meadow, then add in a hiker who is walking through the meadow, we have several levels of observation causing stability to the physical reality of the meadow. If the hiker moves through the meadow, starts up the other side of the ridge, his observation no longer carries the power to collapse the wave function into mass. But, the meadow persists as physical reality because the hiker was not the only observer in the meadow. There were also a wide array of animals, too. Say they also leave the meadow. But, the meadow persists as a functional reality and does not regress back to its probability state because the insects are actively observing the meadow. But, say the insects all fly away or are killed off. Then what? I would argue the meadow continues to exist because there is one other observer: Jesus. He is continually, constantly, and persistently attentive toward his creation, from the moment he created it (to be specific, we are told that “God…created all things through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9)). The entire physical universe has remained persistently real for the last 6000+ years because, beside all the other created observers within the creation, Jesus himself is the ultimate observer, which is why “in him all things consist.”

The other issue that evolution cannot solve is the challenge of the origin of information. Nowhere in the process proposed by evolution is there an adequate explanation for where information is derived. Additionally, evolution cannot explain how life defies the process of entropy and decay when the rest of the physical universe seems to universally abide by it. Evolution is a developmental system, deriving information like building blocks on the previous blocks before it. We learn to write, to speak, to invent language, all because our ancestors selected the traits needed for the development of such tools. Our brains grew bigger on the basis of newly added information from the environment. The problem with this, of course, is, universally, the world and all life on the earth is actually running down. We are developing more and more diseases, where genetically closer cousins could safely marry in the distant past, now it is against the law to marry a 1st cousin and you could actually be put in prison for amorous activities with a close sibling or parent (this was actually in the news not long ago). Each successive generation is a poorer and poorer copy of the generations before it, like copies of copies on a copy machine. No evidence has ever been presented that represents the actual gaining of information from one generation to another. There is variety and adaptability within a species. But there has never been a fish that turned into a land-dwelling frog. There is no record in the fossil record of the intermediate stages of such transformation. There is, on the other hand, abrupt explosion of life in the record and then a long descent of variety and loss of information.

How does the process of photosynthesis refute evolution?

I think I missed this in the lecture. I watched the portion about photosynthesis, and even looked over the notes on that section. But I could not find any reference to how this process contradicts evolution. The only argument I would have would be the light appeared on Day 1 and that the sun did not appear until Day 4. But, vegetation appeared on Day 3. There was no way that vegetation could complete the process of natural photosynthesis given that there was no sun, no moon, and assumably no planets (but don’t all the other objects in space get their light from the reflection of the sun)? The process of creation was way different than the evolutionary process describes. This discredits (or at least greatly curtails the scope of) evolutionary process and gives greater credibility to catastrophism or non-uniformitarianism. In fact, the sun and moon were presumably the last astronomical items to be created in the universe, with all the other stars, planets, galaxies being created first in vs. 14, then in vs 16 the sun and the moon were created.

Of course, we see that the light of the sun is actually not required for plants or living things to thrive on the earth. This is illustrated in Revelation 22:5, “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Is Jesus a star? Is the light he gives off similar to the natural light of the sun? Answers to these questions are unclear. All we can tell so far is that the substitution works. It is quite possible that the same was true during these first few days of creation. God made the plants grow by the light he emitted.

How does the current approach to the “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (SETI) contradict the premises of evolutionary thought?

But setting the parameters needed for life to exist elsewhere, scientists realized that Earth was rather fine-tuned for humans (for life) to exist here. As they look around the seeable universe, they quickly realized that space is, for the most part, highly hostile to life in general. They had to conclude that was life not only quite special on earth, but that the chances that life would or could develop anywhere else was slim to none. It is the idea that earth is a goldilocks planet. It is just right.

Make a list of scientific discoveries that the Bible anticipated.

The ones that stood out to me were: discovering the earth was round (Isa 40:22), the hydrologic cycle (Ps 135:7; 104:13), the pathways in the sea (Ps 8), that most matter consists of empty space (Job 26:7), and that we are living in a simulation (2 Ki 6:17).

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

Interestingly, Dr. Missler points out at 12:46 that the angels were created before the earth was created. Granted, I’m certain he would argue that they were created between vs 1 and vs 2. I would opt for before vs 1, that angels and the supernatural realm we often call “heaven” was not part of the original creation described in Ge 1:1. This would contradict, though, John 1:3 “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” I will have to consider this more. It is quite possible that Dr. Missler is correct and the angels were created in between vs 1-2. But, would that also include the supernatural realm? Regardless. The most important point, I think, is that there are these creatures, and there is this place that seems to subsume our physical reality. These creatures, Christ, and God the Father, all seem to be able to transverse these distinct dimensionalities at will. And there is no description really of the limits, nature, purpose, or substance of this supernatural realm. It is virtually a black box to humanity. The song, Fallible, by the Blues Travelers has the following lyric, “God I want to touch you in the place you want to hide.” This is how I feel about all of this. About all the cryptic nature of the Bible. About the illusive and sketchy record given. Why all the secrecy? Why not full disclosure?

Dr. Missler also points out at 33:50 that death is still a mystery to scientists. I find it fascinating that after 6000+ years, we still know nothing about what happens (if anything) the moment after our death. The Bible specifically describes a (quite traumatic) severing of the soul from the body and the spirit from both. The spirit returns to God, the body returns to the ground, and the soul is carried off by two angels to Hades where the disembodied being, though still existing and conscious, no longer actually can be considered a “living being” and is not only cut off from the land of the living, but is deposited – imprisoned – either in Paradise or in torment in Hades. Despite those in Paradise being in the presence of Abraham (and presumably every other believer who has ever lived), there is still need for them to be comforted (this terrifies me the most). It is not really surprising, though, given that death is in no way natural, and is the consequence of the curse, brought into the world by sin, and is the final disposition of all humans who have ever or will ever live. If not for Christ, we all would have eventually been imprisoned for eternity in Hades. Yet, despite all we are told about death and the intermediate state in the Bible, the scientific world has in the last 2000 years been unable to unlock virtual anything else (or even verify anything that the Bible claims).

Lastly, I’ve heard Dr. Missler mention this before, but it has additional emphasis in my life currently. He states at 1hr 16min that the first day of creation (Sunday), God blessed his work “saw it was good.” On the second day (Monday), there was no blessing. But, on the third day (Tuesday), there were two blessings. He states that because of this “double blessing” on the third day, Jewish weddings always happen on Tuesdays. I will have to keep this in mind if I ever marry again (can’t believe I would even consider it). More importantly, though, he also states that this could likewise indicate that the Rapture will also occur on a Tuesday. I wonder if this means I should set Tuesdays aside for prayer and fasting, to sit vigil throughout the day, sober, solemn, and watchful, continually looking to the skies in hope that Christ would return.

Lecture 5

What are the purposes of the stars?

The are to divide the day from night, to be for signs and to mark the seasons on earth (including particular days and years). It is said they are also to be used as light bearers for the earth, to shine on it. This, of course, is immediately before he made the greater and lesser lights (sun and moon) which were set as rulers over the day and night respectively. This is not eternal, since the stars will be part of the “heavens” that are destroyed along with the earth (and all of the physical universe). But it does say there will be a new heavens, so it’s possible everything in the sky will be replaced. But, the use of the stars are still not perpetual, since we no longer utilize the stars to mark the seasons nor do most people look to the sky at night for signs. They are not even used for navigation anymore, now that we have GPS.

I’m can’t imagine, given the vast scope of all the galaxies and planets and suns and moons out in the universe, the magnitude of the physical universe itself, that this is the sole purpose for all the stars in space. Then again, I am not God. Especially since he claims in Revelation that he will destroy both the earth and (presumably) the entire physical universe at the end of days and will make them both new again, minus the sun and the moon (I wonder if there will be no stars anymore, just planets) and there will also be no oceans anymore, which seem bizarre (unless this is correctly interpreted as people, which, in that case, it is excessively confusing).

Since their main function was to give light to the earth, to mark important events, to mark seasons, days, and years, they would not necessarily have need to do so after the fact. I would imagine we will live in a perpetual paradise where food grows easily year around and there are no severe seasons or extreme temperatures. My hope is that we will be allowed some time to explore the whole or much of the universe (old or new) and that maybe there is a distant outpost set up on a lone planet specifically for me to manage and work from a library, etc. Finger’s crossed, though I would defer to whatever he has in store for after. But we do see in Zech 14:18 that participation in the religious activities appears to be voluntary. Some have the choice. The consequence of not participating is severe: no rain. In the modern world not raining on me would have little impact. In fact, I would prefer that it not rain on me when I’m out and about. My livelihood and survival does not depend on rain. But I would imagine in the Kingdom we must be responsible for growing our own food if this is the threat they get for not participating.

Why were the ancient cultures terrified of Mars?

Dr. Missler presented that Mars had near pass-bys every 108 years. This caused catastrophic events throughout history every time Mars grew closest to earth. This developed a great fear in the people who watched Mars from a distance. Flooding, astroids, land tides all took their toll on the populations living then and Mars was often to blame.

List some of the similarities between the Book of Revelation and the Book of Joshua.

Yehoshua is a variant of Yeshua. Both books had a military commander dispossessing the usurpers. The use of 7s to describe how long the campaigns would continue and how many of the original nations were involved. Surprisingly, the Torah restrictions were ignored during Jericho, as will also be the case in Revelation. There were 7 trumpets used in Jericho, just as there will be in Revelation. Both instances, the enemies of God were united behind one leader. There was supernatural destruction by means of hailstones and fire for both. Peculiarly, in both accounts, the enemies hid in caves and begged or rocks to fall on them.

The Bible declares that the heavens proclaim the glory of God. How has creation itself spoken to you?

I’ve strived much of my life to live as close as possible to nature and creation. In my 20’s I lived in a small camp trailer out on a ranch on the banks of a large river. I would hike, kayak, fish, swim. I would sit out under my covered deck area when it poured for hours.

After leaving the ranch, I upgraded to a small cabin on a lake. I lived here doing very similar things, always feeling a spiritual affinity to a natural world (though it’s not so natural in reality, it is fallen). After leaving the lake (and the cabin being subsequently destroyed a year later by a tree that fell in a storm) I would years later buy my own property on that same lake (on the other side of the ridge, about 3 miles away from where the old cabin had been). This time I’m developing the property slowly to eventually live on full time (if God will allow).

Being out in nature is my church. Being alone, in quiet and silent places, I can speak to God easily. It is where I worship him in his creation, because of his creation, though I do so much differently than those in a modern church. There is rarely songs sung or sermons preached, but there is silence. I can sit for hours just listening to the silence, hear the silence, speak into the silence. I can hear him in the choir of frogs that lull me to sleep at night as they sing to each other up and down the valley, the owls that talk back and forth across the cove, the small creatures that visit me from time to time – otters, beaver, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, cougar, bear. One day, while at the old cabin, I was sitting on my sofa reading, when movement caught my eye. I looked up and a weasel had snuck inside through the vent in the propane wall heater. I just sat there for several minutes watching him, his little body looked like someone had taken a mouse and stretched him out somehow. While building a deck I spotted a giant salamander underfoot. I never knew they even existed. I’ve watched large birds hunt and eat fish from the lake, deer try to sneak past me, and otters splashing around, making a ruckus under the docks.

I’ve sat in the only patch of sun on my whole property in the middle of winter, just trying to warm up my body, enveloped in complete and utter silence – no insects, no critters, no wind, nothing – and yet I can sense with every fiber of my being God there next to me, all around me, speaking to me, answering me without a single word. On my kayak paddles over and back, I get time to watch the landscape slowly pass me by. The myriad of trees with all their colors and various stages of decay and occasional acts of destruction as one tree falls, only to take two others with it. Or sitting up at the top of the property and looking out at the lake and the horizon to the south, the summer breeze at my back, the 100 year old trees all around me swaying gently back and forth – I can’t help but know God did all this. He made it all. It is not artificial. It does not come with a hidden agenda, it is not deceptive like people are. It is true. It is rich. It is real. Despite the futility it has been subjected to. Being close to all these things, experiencing them, it makes me hopeful for the new heaven and near earth, that they will truly be beyond imagining.

Make a list of the Jewish feasts as well as what Leviticus 23 refers to as the “Appointed Times.”

Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits. Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles.

The appointed times are “feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim” (vs 4).

Which Feast or Feasts will be celebrated during the Millennium? What day will we come to an organized worship? Elaborate.

Of the seven, only two are specifically mentioned in Zech 14:16 and Ezekiel 45:21: Tabernacles and Passover.

It appears from Isaiah 66:22ff that the Sabbath will be the day reserved for worship, or more specifically, “from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before me” (Isa 66:23). So it’s possible that both every Sabbath and every New Moon, these will be organized days of worship. But, I think it is actually more than just one day. It will be “from one New Moon to another” and “from one Sabbath to another” meaning that there will be unceasing worship every day, and people will come and go as they need to, and the temple will be the busiest place in the entire world.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

Nothing else to discuss. Much of this lecture was review.

Lecture 6

List the three fallacies of evolution.

Self-organization violates entropy. If evolution were correct we should see new life springing from inanimate material all the time, but we don’t. Evolution argues for the adding in of new information without being able to explain how this occurs against entropy which leads everything toward disorder.

Complex systems require all components to be functional. If examples like the dolphin’s use of sonar or the bombardier beetle’s explosive self defense mechanism could not have occurred slowly over long spans of time, since they need all components to be present and working before their system was functional, then evolution could not account for their existence or their creation.

The use of digital language in life illustrates the impossibility of this originating from random chance. DNA serves as the master blueprint for all life, with the copies of RNA being produced, the proteins being used as functional machines, all set on a specific course to produce a specific result.

Comment on the statement that dead animals do not evolve.

The example provided is that of the giraffe, that has a blood pressure high enough to push blood up to its head, but when it bends down that pressure would kill it. It is particularly designed so when it lowers it’s head the blood is forced into sponge-like vessels until it lifts its head again. The first giraffe, the first time it lowered it’s head, would have been killed before the sponge-like vessels were adapted. Under evolution, the giraffe should never have survived. The creationist view, though, states that the giraffe is created particularly for it’s existence by God. It would have been the giraffe “kind” not every kind of giraffe (there are four). God originally created kinds and adaptation diversified each kind to what we have today. There was only one kind of canine created by God, but natural adaptation (and human breeding and domestication) has expanded that “kind” into a very diverse group.

How are birds the ultimate engineering challenge?

Because they require the ability to fly, they must have lightweight body parts, must be able to deal effectively with their young, and the ability to absorb the shock of flapping wings. They often have hollow bones, lay eggs instead of giving birth to their young, as well as the organs actually atrophy until actually needed. All of these would be required for the bird to stay aflight. These kind of adaptations cannot be transformed or developed over long expanses of time, as the birds would not survive.

What is the lesson behind the flight of the Golden Plover?

The golden plover defies evolution by flying from the arctic to Hawaii every year in the winter. When it departs, it has an 88 hour flight (3 days, 4 nights) with no land to stop to take a break or refuel. They only have enough fuel in their bodies to fly 70 hours. They make up the difference by flying in formation and drafting off of each other. There was no way the birds could build up this ability over time, flying a little further and further until they had the full 88 hours covered since there is no land in between. The intermediate birds would have died in the water (they cannot swim) and the ones today would never have existed. Additionally, the eggs that were laid in the arctic, they hatch. The female plover fly first to Hawaii. Then the males. Finally the chicks will gain enough weight from eating that they will mysteriously take flight as well, never having traveled the route before, and will arrive at the same location as their parents on the island.

How does the complexity of even the simplest living cell refute the notion of it having occurred by random unaided processes?

The “simple” cell has a central memory bank, assembly plants, processing machinery, packaging and shipping centers, protein molecules that serve as drones, elaborate communication systems, quality control, repair, and regeneration systems. They have an artificial language, assembly lines, error correcting systems. They exceed the complexity of something like the Ford River Rouge Plan in Michigan. It would be simply impossible to develop such a complex system over large expanses of time.

How do your views regarding evolution impact your reading of the Bible?

When I was a Buddhist I accepted evolution as fact, to a point. I was actually convinced that reality as we know it, the duality of physical things (i.e. individuality of inanimate and living things) was just a delusion and that actual reality was underneath and was unified into a singular consciousness, a sea of sentience. I was not against evolution, I just didn’t think anything was actually real. I thought reality that we assume is real is just a prison of our own making and striving for and reaching nirvana would be the only means of escaping this delusion.

After becoming a Christian at 17, and shortly there-after enlisting in the US Military, evolution really had little impact on me, other than the surface level indoctrination that occurred in public education. It was not nearly as bad or as pervasive or authoritarian as it is today. I had freedom of religion, though I do deeply and woefully regret never having discovered homeschooling (or much better still, unschooling) when I was in junior high or high school. I would spend hours at the public library during the summers, so I was in the stacks all day, yet I never came across the Teenage Liberation Handbook. I tried to break free from the prison of public education by getting all my subjects as independent studies, but I was not only rebuffed by the student advisor but she actually laughed at me and told me to go back to class. At that point I remember just giving up and I stopped trying to learn altogether. I just needed to serve my time so I could be released.

Once I became a Christian I was out of school and much of the science being taught must have still been empirical, because I don’t really remember a whole lot of evolution being presented in high school (then again, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention). I do remember it in college after my military service. I remember asking my science instructor about a certain deposit we were learning about that was claimed to be found on the shorelines across the world; they argued it was from a massive volcano that had erupted millions of years ago. I asked if it wasn’t just as possible that the deposit was found at the same level because of a global flood. He responded by telling me that there was absolutely no evidence for a global flood at all and would discuss it no further. I do also remember our science teacher in 11th grade of high school, taking 20 minutes out of the first day of class to berate the mormons in the class (without mentioning them by name) concerning the evolution vs creation debate. At the time I knew nothing about this debate, could care less about it (I thought the whole world was an illusion anyway so why do I care what versions of that illusion they chose to believe in). He made it clear that in science we would only be discussing evolution and not creation. It was simply not going to be allowed or tolerated. I’m not sure if this was standard for every science class, or if there were particular individual students who had a history of “causing trouble.” I simply didn’t care.

Overall, evolution doesn’t really affect my reading of the Bible. I tend to keep an ear perked for passages that either contradict or add a new complexity to the debate, but I do not attempt one way or the other to inject origin into the reading of the text. I personally adhere to a young earth, literal 24 hour day creation. I think evolution is false, and limited adaptation (as it is actually witnessed in the world) is correct. But, I also am convinced that the supernatural realm (i.e. heaven) is a much different place, experience, space than we assume. Too often we just accept that earth and our physical reality is the “real” existence, but I think we are in a simulation of sorts (it is not necessarily a simulation but it is comparable to it in many ways) and the actual reality is what is to come, when we “see as we are seen.” I do not personally think heaven (the supernatural realm) was created in vs 1-2 of Genesis 1 unless Genesis 1:1 happened long, long before the creation of the earth (and the physical universe). I think there is no record given to us concerning the creation of heaven, it’s purpose, or the history or origin story of the beings that populate this other dimensionality. We don’t know why those inhabitants are most often depicted as being “at war.” They certainly appear to be a war-like race or nation or society. They have abilities, powers, and laws of physics that govern their realm that are much different than ours. Ours seem to be much lower and much more limiting than on earth. I think once we go through the resurrection, when our minds are no longer marred, scarred, or damaged by the sin nature we inherited from Adam, when we have stepped through the veil into immortality and into that dimensionality that is the supernatural realm, the bulk of the story will be reveal (I hope) and things will make more sense than they do now. I just hope it will not be as most cults are on earth – once you are able to peak behind the curtain, you see clearly the little man pulling all the strings. I hope and pray I am not disappointed, disillusioned, or absolutely terrified once I get there. I think evolution bing real and dying and ceasing to exist would be a better fate than that.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I really have no additional information to discuss here. This was all review. I’m certain at some point in the last 30 years I’ve gone through the Genesis lectures. It was just too long ago to remember actually doing it, but the material does seem very familiar.

Lecture 7

Where in the Bible do we find examples of the Trinity? Give at least seven references.

God has been known as an individual God in the Old Testament (Deut 6:4-5; Ex 20:3.) But in the New Testament he is depicted as a plurality, or, at least, a plural personality, plural person is insinuated (Mt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; John 14-17). In fact, there are places throughout the Bible where it appears (though never directly expressed) the trinity in communication with themselves (Gen 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8; 48:12, 13, 16;Ps 2:7; 45:7; 110:1; Mt 11:27; Jn 8:42; 17:24). Personally, I find Psalm 2 the most convincing of this kind of occurrence. Though, I will also say that I’m still undecided on the trinity as it is expressed today in modern evangelical circles. It’s not that I discount the existence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These are all clearly referenced throughout Scripture. But, the idea that they are a singular being expressed as three distinct persons is, in my mind, unnecessary. Whether the same being or separate beings, they all represent the godhead perfectly. I recognize the need of the trinity concept to answer the singularity references in the OT concerning God being “one God.” It is also needed to explain how Jesus is both the Son and also God himself. But, as I’ve stated in previous discussion questions, the concept itself has not been one of interest or concern for me. If God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are, indeed a trinity or if they are separate, it has no bearing on my belief, submission, or fellowship with them. It really changes nothing in my theology. It would present more questions pertaining to the origin of all three, since descriptions of such are not found in the biblical text (which I would assume there are no origins, but I would like to know the historical record of their activities before Gen 1:1).

What do the Fibonacci numbers reveal about our Creator?

God has embedded this number sequence within just about everything in nature. It points to God’s aesthetic, desiring beauty in what he creates. It also presents uniformity and commonality within all things that have been made, indicating a single authorship of all creation.

What are the main features of the human anatomy that refute accidental, unaided chance as an explanation of our origin?

Differentiation of the cell in the fetus. There is no explanation for how uniform cells abruptly begin to differ from one another. Additionally, our cells have a miniaturized city where there are robots, machinery, and all kinds of processes occurring simultaneously, requiring all of these components to be present and functioning in order for the cell to work properly. There is no means by which evolution can produce this over time.

Where do we find the Shema? Give an example of how we can love the Lord in the areas the Shema commands.

It is located in Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13–21 and Numbers 15:37–41. By this prayer, we are called to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” This is in the Masoretic Hebrew. In the Greek OT, it states mind, soul, strength. The synoptic gospels all quote this passage, though they appear to each be using a text that does not align with either the Masoretic or the LXX. Matthew has heart, soul, mind while Mark has heart, soul, mind, strength and Luke has heart, soul, strength, mind.

Make a list of how every feature of the Tabernacle speaks of Christ.

The tabernacle is said to be a picture of Christ, as he came to dwell among us, much like the tabernacle was pitched in the center of the Israelite camp wherever they went, with the tribes surrounding it. Once inside, you come to the unblemished lamb that is to be sacrificed for sin. Jesus is in many places known as the slain lamb of God. Next is the laver, which is emblematic of our obligation to confess our sins and be washed clean by Jesus. Then there was the lamp stand which is symbolic of Jesus being the light of the world. The showbread harkens back to Jesus stating he was the bread and the life. There was also the altar of incense which are our prayers in Jesus’ name, received by the Father as a sweet aroma. There is also the veil between the people and the holy of holies, which was torn at Jesus’ death, allowing the ability for the people to directly approach God without any other mediation other than the blood of Christ, which was sacrificed once for all. In the holy of holies is the ark of the covenant. Inside it we find the two slabs of stone, the Ten Commandments, the jar of manna, and Aaron’s rod. These all together symbolize Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Finally, we see the top of the ark, which is the mercy seat, where God reigns and where Jesus will sit and rule his kingdom during the millennium.

How does Einstein’s Theory of Relativity impact our understanding of immortality?

I went back through the video, also checked the pdf notes, plus checked online but couldn’t find a direct connection to Einstein and immortality. If this question is referring to the Physics of Immortality, it is the idea that Frank Tipler used physics and mathematics to confirm that 1. There is a God and 2. Everyone will be resurrected.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

There was nothing else in the lecture that caught my interest.

Lecture 8

Discuss the role of the Sabbath in the New Testament. What are the implications for Christians today?

Dr. Missler points out that the Sabbath was not instituted in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-10a, 11b), but was memorialized here. He provides several references in the Bible before this point when individuals were accountable to keeping the Sabbath or would have to have knowledge of elements of it in order for the passage to make sense (Ex 16:22-28; Gen 8:20). He would argue that the Sabbath was actually initiated in Genesis 2:2, 3, when God rested from his labor, and as listed above, people like Noah knew the difference between clean and unclean animals, despite the law still being hundreds of years in the future.

I would argue there are no implications on Christians today. As Paul states, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect” (He 10:1). As for the Sabbath coming before the law was given, Paul states in Christ we have liberty to determine for ourselves by faith what we should do, “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Co 2:16-17).

I would likewise extend this to Sunday services that are typical traditions among Christians. I would consider this a “festival” or “feast day” that Paul references above. Additionally, I do not see represented in the Bible what occurs today in most (if not all) modern, organized churches. These activities are typically geared toward those who do not routinely read their Bible, and the teachings are generally quite shallow in substance – it is milk rather than meat. I have found more edifying teaching from academic circles, such as seminaries, though these can likewise be limited and carry with them their own challenges, often being infused with secular and cultural concepts.

I have, in the past, experienced genuine fellowship but it has been rare and seems to only last for a season:

1. In the group of soldiers God brought me to live with while stationed in Germany. We had no organization, no set “meeting” times. We were mostly single (though some married would come and go for various reasons) and sometimes married couples would participate as well. We would often gather for impromptu discussions in each others’ rooms, or several of us at a time would go to the library on the weekends and have in-depth discussions about God and theology (we used the library to access theological texts). We would also attend the same church on Sundays, but after our week of often intense and in-depth spiritual conversations and Bible reading, the sermons at churches fell flat and hollow.

2. In a group I stumbled upon in my 20’s while trying to serve several different local churches. This group met in the back room of a tire shop in a small town in the middle of nowhere. They met every morning before the shop opened (usually from 6am-8am), six days a week (no meeting on Sunday). They were informal with no formal name, leadership, or programs. Meetings typically numbered from 4 to 20 and the group would organize their chairs into a circle, hold hands, and the bulk of the meeting was focus on prayer. During the short time that I lived in that town, being able to meet with the church every morning like this was a true blessing to me. We would often erupt into spontaneous discussions toward the end of the meeting, comparing Scriptures, discussing theological points, etc. Sometimes a few of us would meet each other in our homes to study together or share or just enjoy each other’s company. I remember the son of the tire shop owner became a good friend of mine and he would often travel in the area I worked during the day, and he would always stop by and give me a hug and we would pray together. He was a true elder to me in those days.

I have never since experienced anything like these kinds of groups. Most leaders simply will not allow it. They will not let go of their control or their system which is directly tied to how they make a living. I tried in my 30’s to create something similar, hosting a house church with my wife. But this experience resulted mostly in drawing out wackadoodles who had an axe to grind, pedophiles who couldn’t keep their hands off the children, or self-proclaimed prophets who always had a “word form the Lord.”

After moving to my current town (which is quite small), I have repeatedly looked for a local church but they are all modeled after the world and not the Bible. Either they are KJV1611, or they are extremely liberal and woke, or they are entrenched in the shallow theology of seeker sensitive ideology, or they are built entirely around serving and pacifying families and have little to no use for single people.

Are the practices of the early church a reliable guide for us today? Why or why not?

This is a difficult question to answer. I heard Dr. Missler mention this in the lecture, that the NT record is okay to model but the early church from almost the very beginning was plagued with confusion and problems.

I’ve found that most pastors tend to include the NT record as too problematic to be included as well, even Acts. This, of course, is an excuse to keep things as they are, despite the artificial nature.

The historical records does paint a rather dismal portrait of the church almost immediately after the apostles (Corinthians and the 7 churches in Revelation while they were still on the scene). Despite this, I’ve rarely seen an expression of a local assembly function for very long without collapsing into some form of traditionalism.

How do you observe Shabbat? Should Sundays replace Shabbat? Why or why not?

I am convinced by Paul that these are all under my conviction. “Let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths” (Co 2:16) and “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it….For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ….So then each of us shall give account of himself to God (Ro 14:5-6, 10, 12). I am the one who does not observe the day, and do so to the Lord. I do so in faith, because I have found no alternative. If I were to attend a local fellowship in doubt, that would be a sin. So I abstain, not because I want to watch the football game on Sunday or because I have better things to do in the world, but out of conviction because I see a real problem with the shallowness of the teaching being presented and the traditions being promoted.

What were some of the things ordained in Genesis but codified in Leviticus?

The Sabbath as well as the designation of clean and unclean animals used for sacrificial purposes.

List some of the things that were “allowed” on the Sabbath day.

Priests could carry on their duties in the Tabernacle (Lev 24:8; Num 28:9, 10). The activities in the Temple continued during the Sabbath (1 Chr 9:32; 23:31; 2 Chr 2:4; 8:13; 23:4; 31:3). Circumcision was also performed during the Sabbath if it fell on the 8th day (Lev 12:3; Jn 7:22).

What were the pros and cons of Constantine and his reign?

I would argue that the things Constantine did were both good and bad for Christianity simultaneously. He united the empire and all the diverse religious groups, which was good that Christians were no longer being persecuted (after the Edict of Toleration) but it was devastating to the church because now pagans began flooding into her ranks, diluting the message of the cross. He instituted a universal day of rest on Sunday, but this further diluted the distinction between Christian and pagan. He encouraged everyone to become Christian, had 50 bibles made, and even presided over the Council of Nicaea. Yet, despite all this, or because of this, the Church plunged into false teaching, eventually establishing the Catholic Church, the lineage of the Pope, the idea of salvation by ritual rather than by faith, and the worship of Mary and the saints.

The church’s history is quite abysmal.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I really don’t have anything additional to contribute here.

Lecture 9

In what ways is the marriage union a theological model of eternal truths?

I find it fascinating that God chose to use the state of marriage as the model or blueprint for Christ’s relationship with the Church, when Paul emphatically states that marriage is born out of weakness of the flesh and is not the preferred state of existence in creation, on earth or in heaven (1 Co 7:1-2, 7-9, 20-21, 26-27, 29; Luke 20:34-36). Yet, at the same time, we see in Ephesians 5:22-33, that marriage is the picture of “Christ and the church.”

Of course, this is not the marriage we often see acted out predominately today (or even in times past). The disciples were quite adamant that they wanted nothing to do with the marriage union that Jesus was describing. Their immediate response was “If this is the way it is between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matt 19:10). Paul echoed the same sentiments, “it is good for a man to remain as he is: are you bound to wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned…Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, I would spare you” (1 Co 7:26-28). Jesus also agreed, but with a caveat, “Not everyone can accept this, but only those to whom it has been given….he who is able to accept it, let him accept it” (vs11, 12).

In actuality, the marriage union that Jesus and Paul are describing is one of mutual self-denial and self-sacrifice, but such is not gauged based on reciprocation. It is solely and wholly based on “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being” (1 Co 10:24) and for husbands, “dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Pe 3:7).

Paul describes marriage, but more so, Christ and the church, as “a great mystery” (Eph 5:32).

Discuss examples where “God always does the seeking” in the Bible and in your personal life.

God has always done the seeking in the Bible. From Adam to Abraham, from Jacob to Moses. I’m convinced of predestination (even double), that Romans 9:22-23 literally means that God created each of us for a specific purpose, for wrath or for mercy, and that such creative acts are inherently righteous (regardless of what humans might say). Jesus said, “You have not chosen me, I have chosen you” (John 15:16) and of God, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44)

As for evidence of this in my life, it is replete with examples. God sought me when I was 17, plucked me out of false religion and set me on a path toward him. He has continually sought me when I was obstinate, when I was willful, when I deserved nothing less than him giving up on me and letting me drift away. Even when I selfishly harbor sin, like the priests in the temple stored their idols in the cupboards, God called me intestinally to put away my idols, to discard my worldly passions, to forsake the temptations of the flesh. Through good times and times of dispair, God has sought me, comforted me, made me whole. I owe him everything.

Where did Israel begin? How does this affect the geopolitical and sociological horizons today?

Dr. Missler points out that Israel really began in Genesis 3:15 when the prophecy was given concerning the seed of the woman. Others would claim it started at the call of Abraham (Genesis 12). Others still would state that Israel did not begin until they left Egypt, having entered the land as a family and left 400 years later as a nation. There is, of course, the argument that it began in the mind of God before the foundation of the world. Lastly, there are some who would argue that Israel did not really begin until 1948, or that the modern Israel has no genetic or religious connection to the Israel of the past.

Personally, I accept Paul’s statement concerning the modern Jewish state: “Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers” (Ro 11:28). In my mind Israel begin in earnest or in actuality as they departed Egypt. It was in the desert that they were given the perpetual promises for the land (Joshua 1:4), though such was predicted from Abraham (Ge 12:7), through Isaac (Ge 26:3-4) and Jacob (Ge 28:13). This promise has remained, despite the Babylonian captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Today Israel is in possession of the land, despite both of these empires having been wiped out.

As to the geopolitical or sociological issues today, I don’t think it really matters much at all. Currently the Jewish people are blinded (Ro 11:25) awaiting the completion of the “fullness of the Gentiles.” Once the last person predestined to be saved is actually saved, then God the Father will send Jesus to collect the church and this will usher in the last days. When Jesus returns for the Jewish people, for the remnant, “all of Israel will be saved” (Ro 11:26). It is unclear to me if this means all of a remnant or all of the whole. If there is a massive resurrection of Jewish people (Ezek 37) by which an “exceedingly great army” is created in Israel, then it would stand that every Jew who ever lived would be saved in the last day.

But, until the time that the church is completed, Israel will remain lost and adrift, denying Christ, who was, and who is, and who will be their Messiah.

Why does God allow Satan to continue?

This is a very good question. Satan was once known as Lucifer. He was the “cherub who covereth” (Ezekiel 28:13). His station was on the holy mountain of God, he walked among the midst of fiery stones. He was considered perfect. But at some point (we do not have record of this) “iniquity was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:15).

We see him in Job 1-2, presenting himself before God (before or after his curse in the garden, before or after his casting from heaven in Rev 12 is unclear), bringing accusation against human beings, accusing them. The reality is, Satan has not escaped or outsmarted God. His judgment and destruction is already determined. The lake of fire was created expressly for him and for all who follow after him and reject the God of the universe. Yet, he is allowed authority and influence over the earth because he somehow (we’re not exactly told how or even why) Satan took possession of the earth. He is referred to in the Bible as “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2) or “the ruler of this world” (John 16:10). He either has the title deed to the earth or he is a usurper who has illegitimate hold over the earth and those who live on it.

For whatever reason (we again are not told) Satan had a grievance with God concerning human beings, and because of the events that happened in the Garden, humans were subjected to sin, which caused death, and death has imprisoned every person who has ever died (and every person who has ever lived will die). This imprisonment appears to be the goal of Satan, to dispatch all humanity into Hades as disembodied souls, imprisoned for all eternity. But, through Jesus, since he died a sinnless death, and because God raised him on the third day, Jesus now has power over death, and it is by that power of the resurrection that we, too, will be raised to life.

Satan now is biding his time until the clock runs out on the church, or the “fullness of the Gentiles is complete.” Once everyone who will be saved is saved, then the end times will be ushered in and Jesus will return with wrath to bring judgment onto the earth.

His judgment and final disposition is imminent. But he must wait, and has been cast to earth and “has great wrath, because he knows that his time is short” (Re 12:12).

Why did God forsake His Son?
It was the only way in which God could facilitate a way of satisfying both his mercy and his righteousness. It had to be a willing sacrifice of God in order to die and give salvation to the whole world. Why or how it had to be his Son, who his Son really is in relation to the Father or the Holy Spirit or even the underlining reality of the physical universe or the supernatural realm for that matter (or what that even fundamentally is in essence and substance) is unclear. We have no clear information pertaining to what or who God actually is, other than Elohim, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Where he came from, what his narrative is, if he has an origin story, what his relationship is to reality is not explained. We know he has distinguished himself from other supernatural beings that dwell in the spiritual realm. We know that he claims to be a “living God.” We know he claims to be the creator of the physical universe (and possibly the supernatural realm as well, though unclear). He claims to be the creator of all the heavenly host, angels, or whatever theses supernatural beings are. We know that he claims that, through Christ, everything that has been made has been made through Jesus and that it continues to exist through Jesus. It is a lot that we know, but there is still so much more left out of the account.

We are simply told that we were “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Ro 8:29). It does seem odd, at least to me, why God (if he is who he says he is) would require such an elaborate solution to the problem of sin and death. Why would he tolerate Satan in the first place? Why couldn’t he just declare us innocent? Ultimately he is showing mercy to those he predestined as vessels of mercy. But so much of the full picture we have not been given.

Why did God place cherubim to guard the garden?

This is a fascinating topic. I personally think the garden still exists today in a slightly different dimensionality, just out of our reach or ability to perceive. Yet, those angels are still there, guarding the way to the tree of life, as if somehow that plays an important role in our immortality to come. As Dr. Missler states, it would be overkill of a large magnitude to put these superhuman beings on guard to keep humans away from the tree of life. Rather, I think they are there to protect the tree and the garden (or more specifically the way to the tree) from Satan. For some reason, Satan is hellbent on killing or sidelining us. He wants us destroyed or at least out of the way. We are not told what his overall plan is. We know he is enraged because the sentence against him has already been pronounced. He knows his fate and the timing of that fate hinges on the secret number of those who will be saved by grace through faith, and every time some is saved Satan has no idea if that is the last one or not, if his time has run out. I’m not sure I understand what he’s trying to do with the time he has left. It’s unclear what his plan is, unless it is to just exact as much carnage on God’s creation as he possibly can. But, he must be convinced in his own mind that he has a path to victory or at least escape.

What the garden of Eden, the tree of life, or the tree of knowledge have to do with Satan’s plans I do not know. Why we are being left in the dark about so much of this situation we find ourselves in the middle of I do not know. I can’t wait until all is said and done, and if I find myself on the other side of eternity, having been spared by God’s grace and granted access into his Kingdom, I know I will look back on all that has happened and all that will happen and be utterly amazed and astounded. I know I have a lot of questions. I will enjoy spending the rest of this life that I have left, and as much of eternity as is needed in trying to find answers.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I really am surprised that I don’t have other points from the lectures that I find interesting enough to add to this section. I think I went through this series back in late 1999 or early 2000. At the time I was living in my parent’s cabin and I had a phone, the lines running along the bottom of the lake. It was before I had a cell phone (before smart phones or broadband). I was working for an internet provider’s tech support in town. I was able to get online, but the speed I got from those terrible submerged phone lines was barely 20k/sec. At the time K-House was transferring its tape teachings to Real Audio, and I remember sitting in the cabin for hours on end listening to Dr. Missler teaching book by book. I would listen for awhile, then have to pause the player while the audio buffered, then played a little more. It’s hard to imagine a time like that as I sit here today with a wifi for my laptop from my smartphone, speeds hitting 10+ megs/sec with constant connection, and a proliferation of bible teaching available at the touch of a fingertip.

My phone lines doesn’t even have to go underwater anymore to get a connection. Imagine that.

Lecture 10

What constitutes an offering? What offering or offerings does God require of us today?

Cain learned this definition the hard way. He presented to God an offering and it was ignored. His brother, on the other hand, presented an offering to God and it was accepted. The difference, I think, is found in the nuanced reading of the text.

First, we have the description of the offerings in question. It’s said that Cain “brought an offering” but that Abel “brought of the firstborn.” If we go to the LXX, there is an addition here (or something that was subtracted in the Masoretic) where God actually gives an explanation for why Cain’s offering was rejected. “Have you not sinned if you offer rightly but do not divide rightly?”

Cain did the correct thing in making an offering to God (the context of such offerings is, again, left out of the narrative). But at some point, Cain’s offering was not “divided rightly.” I think it points back to the initial description, with Cain bringing an offering but Abel bringing the “firstfruits.”

This is at the heart of what God asks for our offerings today as Christians. Everything, in fact, has been given to us freely. Our lives. Our professions. Our skills and abilities, our gifts. We are a purchased possession, slaves, dead in Christ, but in hope of the resurrection, risen in Christ, predestined to be conformed to the image of his son (Ro 829). I think, because of these abundant benefits, we are not asked by God to fulfill the Mosaic Law, or even the Adamic Law (pre-Moses), but we are to fulfill the Law of Christ (Gal 6:2; 1 Co 9:21) or the Law of the Spirit (Ro 8:2). This law is much greater in it’s demands. It is severer in its penalties. In fact, Jesus said, “unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:20). Jesus calls us to give everything. Not 10%. Not just the firstfruits of our labor. He has called true worshipers who must “worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). We are called, moment by moment, not by sight, not by the flesh, not by what feels good or seems right to us, to “walk in the Spirit,” and “live in the Spirit.” We are given liberty and made free by Christ’s work on the cross, but that freedom comes at a cost of everything. That which we once might have lived for, those things which we might find ourselves today drawn to, those aspirations we might harbor for a better future – it is all to be sacrificed on the altar of the cross of Christ. Paul put it, “if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations?” (Col 2:20). He also says, “as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death…we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Ro 6:2-5).

What is the significance of the “shedding of blood”? Adam and Eve’s clothes a type of what?

According to Hebrews 9:22, “…almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (He 9:22). Why it is this way is unclear. It was established at least from the point of the implementation of the curse (I do not see this principal pre-fall). It also points to the singular work of Christ on the cross, the shedding of innocent blood, the death of God himself, in order to bring about propitiation for the sins we have committed and the sin nature that we all have inherited from Adam (He 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).

This, of course, is in contrast to Adam and Eve’s attempts to hide their shame and nakedness without the shedding of blood. They sewed fig leaves together and made clothing for themselves.

As Dr. Missler explained in the lecture, this kind of effort, human effort, is akin to religion. Adam and Eve, as do any who are religious, attempted to bridge the gap between them and God by their own action, under their own power. Missler used examples, such as: the concept of attending church services as a means of “being right with God,” as well as any kind of religious exercises, ordinances, rules, philanthropy, altruism, or personal effort.

I started attending a Wednesday Bible Study at a church that was located halfway between my work and where I was living in my 20’s. It was great. It started right after I got off work. It fit in perfectly with my schedule. It was a small group that met together so I was comfortable and the small group atmosphere that lended to the study being more of an active discussion than a passive, sermon driven activity that is typical of Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, I attended those weekly meetings for less than a month before the pastor pulled me aside one evening and inquired about my lack of Sunday attendance. I told him my apprehensions and convictions, and he then informed me that I could not be a part of his church unless I started attending on Sundays. In his words, “Sunday is where it’s at.” That was the last time I attended that Bible Study and I never did find out what was so crucial about their Sunday service.

We are told in Scripture to not “forsake the gathering together of believers” but it never says “attend religiously a set date and time out of obligation.” Gathering of believers happens in many different ways, at different times, and under a multitude of circumstances. It is not limited to tradition, to denominational orthodoxy, or even the best of intentions. Likewise, God certainly has not called us to attend a 90 minute meeting once a week, only to spend the rest of the week leading a life that is no different than the rest of the world. He wants us to worship not in religious dogma or in empty traditions established me mere men, but to be led by the spirit, to worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).

How was Methuselah an example of mercy? What is your definition of mercy?

God gave those in Noah’s day a sign of when judgment would come to the world. As long as Methuselah lived, they would be spared the flood. But as soon as he died, time would run out. I would imagine this not only gave them time to build the ark, but it also gave Noah time to preach to the condemned world, to turn away from their evil thoughts and deeds and toward God. We would later see in the example of Jonah, that God will change his mind if people genuinely repent.

What is mercy? In my mind, it is the giving to an individual what is not deserved. Those who are saved, they are considered as “vessels of mercy” (Ro 9:23) because, despite the lives we have led (before we were saved) and even the lives we live today (even after we’re saved), God still has forgotten all that we have or will ever do against him. He has chosen, because of his love for us, to not impute our sin against us (Ro 4:8). When we stand before God in judgment at the great day, he will not see our myriad of sins. He will only see Christ and his willing sacrifice on our behalf. We will be declared righteous by grace through faith. We did not choose God, he chose us (John 15:16). We did nothing to merit his favor. As Paul states, “It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” True mercy is described for us perfectly in what Jesus did for us even when I had yet to come into existence. Even when none of my sins had been committed yet, he chose to die for me. Why he did so, I have no idea and cannot being to comprehend. Many better men than I have come and departed from this world, and yet they have resisted God at every turn. I am so much worse than they. Why save me and yet them he allowed them to be lost?

Mercy is that God did save me.

What does it mean to you to “walk with God”?

This is really a great question, one that I’ve been wrestling with for a very long time. We are really not given a definitive answer or description. We do not see Enoch’s life. Interestingly, we do get a glimpse into Enoch’s character in Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death,“ and was not found, because God had taken him;” for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Not only did walking with God mean, at least in part, living by faith, but` also by being “pleasing to God.” It might be surprising to some, but Paul in writing Hebrews did not derive the “pleasing to God” comment out of nowhere, but is quoting directly from the LXX, which states, instead of Enoch walking with God, he “was very pleasing to God and was not found because God transposed him.”

From everything I can gather, “walking with God” in Enoch’s context is equivalent to “walking in the spirit” for those who are in Christ. It is moment by moment, drawing toward Jesus, cleaving to Christ rather to anything in the world or to the flesh.

Besides Genesis 5, are there any other “hidden messages” in the Word of God?

So, my personal experience with Bible codes has been underwhelming. While I do find the Genesis 5 names macro-code fascinating, it does have a lot of skeptics. Dr. Heiser is one who has outright rejected this specific hidden code, stating that Biblical Hebrew simply does not work in the way Dr. Missler describes. Of course, Dr. Heiser is not above reproach, for he does hold to some really bizarre doctrines (like death existed before the fall of Adam and Eve), and he also takes some effort to point out that, while he is skeptical of Bible codes, he does not want to speak critically of Dr. Missler expressly because Missler has devoted his life to encouraging people to read and learn their Bible and make it a serious priority in their lives. I can understand his point of view, but if that were correct, then Paul would not have been right in calling Peter out concerning his separating himself from gentiles when Jews were around simply because Peter did bring about the salvation of countless people by his preaching.

Years ago when first introduced to Bible codes by Dr. Missler, I was excited and fully convinced that what he taught was true. But, expressly because he kept providing the Acts 17:11 caveat with every session, I took the effort to double check the Torah code (EDLS). When I downloaded a program that would run these EDLS codes searches on the Hebrew Bible, I discovered that the Torah code did not match as Dr. Missler described. If I remember right, the first two books were a match, the third book was a match, the last book was a match, but the fourth book, while it did have the word Torah, it was in the wrong direction, which would break the code’s significance.

I emailed K-House about my findings, and the response I received was that they were aware of these results, but Dr. Missler continued to present it the way he did. This was a big blow for me at the time, but it was very good in that I was able to separate further between what the Bible actually says and what anyone else might teach (even Dr. Missler).

When originally exposed to Bible codes, I was in the military, stationed in Germany. At the time I was attending a local fellowship of Baptists and they were quite hostile to bible codes without really even considering it. They almost seemed fearful of the concept, claiming that it was a means of stripping faith from a believer. I never really understood their anxiety over it. But it was also not a crucial point in my theology, either.

Personally I do not focus on Bible codes much at all. I have not gone on to attempt to verify any of the other codes that Dr. Missler presents in his teachings. I take Mary’s approach with things like this, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). I find such ideas fascinating and even provocative. I keep them in mind, and I ponder the implications if these things were to be true. But I do not build any theology on the, nor do their validation or disqualification have any bearing on my faith.

What are some things that God loves? Make a list of the things that He abhors.

God loves Israel (2 Chron 9:8)
God loves the Church (Ro 5:8; Ga 2:20)
God loves a cheerful giver (2 Co 9:7)

God hates covetousness (Ex 18:21)
God hates sacred pillars (Deut 16:22)
God hates pride (Amos 6:8)
God hates the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Re 2:6, 15).
God sometimes abhors Israel (Ps 78:59).
God hates divorce (Mal 2:16)

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

Why does man hate? At the outset of this lecture, Dr. Missler asks this question. And, while I can understand the perception that one could have, I don’t think hate is actually the issue that’s most dangerous or most inherent in the human condition. I think hate is symptom of the real enemy, which is evil. This is something God declared shortly after humans started to propagate on the earth, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Ge 6:5). He reiterates this utter degradation in Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways.” We don’t think like God. We don’t act like God. We don’t respond like God.

The question I would ask is why is man evil? What is his propensity toward evil? Paul would argue that it derives from the conviction of the Law, that it was the Law that brought the conviction of sin, and under that conviction, men died (Ro 7:9-11). Going further, “what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do” (Ro 7:15). Remove this tendency for evil, and man would stop the propensity toward hate. But, I personally do not have any hope in man. I have no hope that he will make humanity better, that we will evolve or ascend to a higher level of “consciousness.” We will ever find a means by which we are able to abandon our own self-interest in every relationship and aspect of our lives. It is only in Christ that we might have hope to live in the Spirit while on earth and shackled to the flesh, until we are revealed as Sons of God and undergo the glorification of our sanctification.

Dr. Missler makes an interesting point about Genesis 3:22-23, that God forbid man, once he fell and was sinful (though the capacity to sin was apparently always present in humans and also angels), from having access to the tree of life and becoming immortal (apparently from eating its fruit) and living forever….”in his sin.”

I’ve never thought of it this way before. Death doesn’t appear to be one of the pronouncements in Ge 3:17-20 but rather an already foregone reality (assumably immediately enacted as soon as they both ate). But if Adam could have ate form the Tree of Life and regained his immortality after the fall, why was this not allowed? As Dr. Missler states, he would have lived for eternity in his sin. Does that mean he would have continued to age indefinitely without the ability to die? Would his body and faculties have degraded to the point that he stopped eating from the Tree of Life (if, indeed, it requires continual eating to maintain immortality) in hopes that he might die but unable to? In what way does the processes of regeneration, resurrection, and rapture (i.e. transformation into Sons of God) resolve this dilemma? Does it mean our sins will be removed completely and we will be restored to a state equal to the state Adam and Eve existed in prior to the fall (yet still containing the capacity to sin in the future just as Adam had the capacity before the fall)? I wonder what the full ramifications would be of a sinner, someone with a sin nature, who managed to gain access to the Tree of Life and became immortal? Would it be just a physical negative (i.e. living forever while perpetually dying physically as stated above)? Or would there be spiritual implications as well (i.e. the accruement of sin perpetually – does sin have a cumulative effect)? What would it mean for an individual human being (body, soul, spirit) to be immortal and yet sinful? What if any damage would be incurred by the soul itself under the weight of endlessly accumulating sin? What damage could we do to each other?

Would it be possible for an unregenerate sinner, say a non-believer, to somehow accidentally end up in heaven (rather than at the Great White Throne to be judged or mistakenly not thrown into the Lake of Fire, but allowed into the wedding feast of the Lamb)? Would he know he did not belong there? Would he even be capable of entering into heavenly places? Would he, having inadvertently crept into eternity, be noticeably out of place by other legitimate residence?

Along this same line of thinking, I’m perplexed by the statement God makes in vs 22: “Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil.” The “us” is traditionally thought to reference the Trinity, but I am persuaded that it is actually referencing the Trinity (i.e. God) and the heavenly hosts (i.e. angels). Every time I deal with this verse it always reminds me of the shellacking I received from a professor in my MA program who was insulted by the “nerve I exhibited” in claiming this verse referred to anything other than the triune God. Yet, regardless of who the “us” really refers to, how is it that Adam and Eve, eating from the Tree of Knowledge, losing their immortality and developing a deformed sin nature (that was subsequently passed on to every other human), “has become like one of us?” How does the human fall make them like God? Even make them like the angels? He elaborates, “to know good and evil.” Does that mean that God and the angels (or even just God) “knows” good and evil? Is God sinful? This can’t be the case, can it? Did Adam and Eve before eating the fruit not have a conscious distinction between good and evil? They obviously did not realize they were naked nor did they realize that being naked was something to hide or something to be ashamed of. The text carries such a weighty depth to it, it is difficult to ascertain all the ramifications.

Concerning the last verse in Genesis 4, Dr. Missler points out that this is possibly a mistranslation in modern Bibles, that it should read, “men began to profane the name of the Lord” rather than “call on.” The LXX has “this one hoped to invoke the name of the Lord God.” When looking up the Targum of Jonathan, it renders it, “That was the generation in whose days they began to err, and to make themselves idols, and surnamed their idols by the name of the Word of the Lord.” In Onkelos it has, “Then in his days the sons of men desisted (or forbore) from praying in the name of the Lord.” This all, of course, makes me wonder who changed the text and when? Was the original reading “called on” in the original Hebrew, that was translated to the LXX and also to the later Masoretic Hebrew correctly? Why then would Jonathan and Onkelos change it? Alternatively, if the original Hebrew had “resisted” instead of “called on,” why would it be changed in the LXX and Masoretic, but only to be recaptured correctly in Jonathan and Onkelos?

Lecture 11

Who are the Bene HaElohim? Are we sons of God? If not, then how do we become sons of God?

These are “Sons of God.” They are supernatural creatures created by God at some unknown point in the past. They were present at the creation of the earth (and assumably the entire physical universe and the entire physical dimension). They are typically referred to as “angels” but this is more so a term describing their activities (i.e. job description). It would be like calling me a doctor (if it were something I would do) rather than a human (something that I am). These supernatural creatures inhabit the supernatural realm or the heavenly places. They share residence in this separate, spiritual dimensionality with God. They appear to be (along with God) existing in a war-like, feudalistic society, ruling together in consensus (Divine Council) with God having the last veto power or ultimate determining vote.

`We were originally conceived to be Sons of God, but Adam and Eve caused the curse, which infected all future people with a sin nature, rendering us not “sons of God” but “sons of Adam.” I am convinced that we (mortal humans) lost the “image of God” when the fall occurred. We have the image and likeness of Adam (Gen 5:3). Those who are saved by the blood of Christ are buried with Christ in his death (and we, too, still taste death as a result of the curse), but have a hope that we will share with his resurrection in the end days. If, indeed, we attain to the first resurrection from the dead (or are alive when Christ returns), then we will be resurrected in bodily form, and subsequently all believers will ascend into the air, being transformed in an instant into immortal beings and will meet Christ in the air. It will be at this time (or possibly at a later point) that we will be revealed as “Sons of God” and we will become “like the angels who are in heaven.” I personally am convinced that those beings we refer to as “angels” or “Sons of God” had their own redemptive narrative at some point before Genesis 1:1 (or possibly between 1:1-1:2). I likewise think it is quite possible that once everything is said and done, there is a new heaven and new earth, and Satan, all his rebellious angels, the fallen angels from Gen 6:2 and all the people not written in the Book of Life have been thrown into the Lake of Fire, and we take our places in the supernatural realms, and take up seats on the Divine Council, that we will become “like angels,” adding to the ranks of the heavenly host, and then God will continue on with a new redemptive narrative with a new kind of creature (similar to but distinct from humans and angels both).

What does “perfect in his generations” refer to when describing Noah?

Dr. Missler makes a provocative point that this refers to his bloodline was pure and without contamination from the fallen angels who bred with human women. There are accounts of Noah and/or his children being hybrids, that Noah’s wife was one of those human women who had been bred by the angels. This is what the recent movie about the flood used as a foundation for their story. There is also, apparently, an unrecorded account of this happening again, since there were additional giants found in the Bible after the flood.

What are the key points that deny the Sethite theory?

There are never humans in the Bible who are referred to as “Sons of God” except for when referring to our transformed state after the curse is lifted in the afterlife. Likewise, even if the “Sons of God” were Sethite men, the procreating of human men with human women would not produce Nephilim, semi divine beings that were often quite large, powerful, and vicious. It also does not provide a plausible explanation for who is being held imprisoned in “tartarus” according to both Peter and Jude (as well as the whole of 2nd Temple Period literature). Likewise, the whole of the early Church appears to have accepted the supernatural view, up to Augustine, who adopted the Sethite view in hopes of defending the faith against critics that ridiculed the church for its supernatural worldview.

What is key about Genesis 6:4 “also after that?”

This means either at least one fallen angel (from the original group) escaped God’s imprisonment in Tartarus, or at least one of the Nephilim survived the flood and went on to produce more giants, or there was at least one additional angel to abandon his dwelling place in heaven (the supernatural realm) and copulate with human women after the flood. There were giants in the Land and in the surrounding territories after the flood. Goliath is an example of this. I find it odd, if this is all correct, why there are no giants today. Unless Satan has gotten more clever and deceptive and he can conceal Nephilim or Fallen Angels in plain sight and they can now pass as regular humans. Or, it is possible that God thwarted all of Satan’s plans concerning the fallen angels and the nephilim, and he now has at his disposal all the nephilim in disembodied, demonic form on the earth. But, I would also question if this is really all orchestrated by Satan in the first place. It is possible that there are multiple sides with diverse agendas to the war that is apparently raging on in the supernatural realm (and as well on earth). They do not all have to be in lock step with each other, at least not until Satan can rally the whole world against God in the End Times and after the Millennium.

List at least seven strategies of Satan to wipe out the Jewish race. Why is he still at it today?

1. At the fall in cursing Adam and Eve.
2. Trying to corrupt the bloodline with Genesis 6:2 (if he was actually responsible for this).
3. Jeconiah’s blood curse to eradicate Jesus.
4. In the attempt to kill all Israelites in the book of Esther.
5. Slaughter of the babies soon after Jesus’ birth.
6. When Peter denied that Jesus should ever die on a cross.
7. Going after the church.

It is God’s purpose and mission to reconcile humanity to himself, satisfying both his mercy and his justice. Satan, for whatever reason (we are not told why), is abjectly opposed to this. Whatever his grievance is against God concerning humans, he will stop at nothing to keep humans condemned to death and perpetual imprisonment in Hades. I personally think he is actively behind the scenes in our current world politics and culture – wokism, purposefully releasing pandemics and diseases on a global scale, the degradation of our culture, the proliferation of the professional clergy, the pacification of church congregants, the rise of a tyrannical , global aristocracy – it is all an attempt by Satan to gather together all the world, to persecute biblical believers, and to begin the implementation of the New World Order. I remember when I was a new believer (18-20 years old), reading Paul’s description of events, that there will be a falling away first and a one world, global government, and thought to myself that there was no way I would ever see this happen in my lifetime. It had to be hundreds of years away. American society was too solid, to stable, to entrenched in commerce and wealth generation. I could not fathom a way in which leaders would give all that up for globalism. It only took 30 years and I can see now how it’s being done. I still can’t fathom how he’s convincing them that “good is bad and bad is good,” but I can see it happening all around me. The actual New World Order might still be a hundred or more years away. I might still never actually see the Anti-Christ sit in the holy of holies in the third temple and declare himself God. But I no longer question the veracity of Paul’s words.

But, of course, this is all, really, really good news for the biblical believer. Hopefully it means we are closer than ever to our transformation. That there is not much more time before we see Christ return as he departed, but this time he will be bringing with him the wrath of the Lamb. I don’t know what I’m more excited about: the redemption of the church or the judgment that will be poured out onto the whole earth.

What do the Golan Heights, Hebron and the Gaza Strip have in common? What are your views on the US based Road Map to Peace in the Middle East?

These are all contested areas in and around Israel, almost exclusively between Israel and Palestinians. Much of this land was settled by Palestinian people (or the people who make up the Palestinian placeholder name), but after different wars, especially the Six Day War in 1967, Israel has established “settlements” in most of these areas, which are all contested by both the UN and Palestinians.

Personally, I have not spent a whole lot of time learning about the current state of Israel or the troubles she has from her Middle East neighbors. Mostly, this is because currently Israel is blinded at least in part until the “fullness of the Gentiles comes in” (Ro 11:25).

I don’t believe any country or organization, whether it be the US, the United Nations, or even Israel and the Palestinians themselves, can or will be able to strike a lasting peace. I think if Israel sees a resurrection of all the Jews in the Dry Bones prophecy of Ezekiel 37, then Israel will have a massive army (Ezekiel 37:10) and will be able to truly “dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them” (Ezekiel 28:26). Only then will this conflict be resolved, but, even then it will not. For after the millennium, when Satan is released once again, he will gather together the whole world against God, and he will move to lay siege against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2, 3). Israel will, in the end, at the last moment, turn toward Christ, when the blindness is lifted, and they will receive the messiah they had been waiting on for thousands of years. They will look upon him and realize who he truly is and they will mourn what they did, crucifying him to the cross. But, there will also be celebration in heaven because, as Peter puts it, “we shall be saved in the same manner as they” (Acts 15:11).

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I really have no other comment to contribute.

Lecture 12

How big was the ark (in modern terms)? How many species could it have contained? How many were there to be contained?

The Ark was 450ft long, 75ft wide, and 45ft heigh. It was approximately half the size of the Titanic. It could contain roughly 18,000 species, with most being smaller than a sheep, especially if the creatures taken aboard were young.

It is a misnomer to claim that the ark was too small to contain all the animals of earth. This is correct if counting the current species count as science categorizes them today. But God categorizes the animal kingdom (and essentially all life) into “kinds.” Canine is a kind. Human is another kind (though angels would technically fit into the same kind as humans since they are able to procreate with each other, assuming the supernatural interpretation of Genesis 6:2 is correct). Feline is another kind. You do not need every variety of one kind, you just need two of each kind. This would reduce the required number significantly. Also, as Dr. Missler points out, the bringing of all the animals to the ark was not a human effort. The animals were selected and drawn to the ark by God, supernaturally. Additionally, Dr. Missler assumes the animals could have been or must have been lulled into a stupor or a sleep (much like Adam when God took his rib to make Eve) since there probably would not have been enough food stored on the boat to last a year, nor could all the animals coexist in such confined space for so long without supernatural intervention.

Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the two prevailing views: a) Water canopy theory; b) Hydroplate theory. What do you think happened?

I actually agree with Dr. Missler, it was both canopy and hydroplate. It states this quite clearly, “the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Ge 7:11). It also makes me wonder if the emptying out of the “fountains of the deep” resulted in or coincided in the creation of Hades and especially Tartarus, since, as Dr. Missler mentions, it is described as a “bottomless pit” and the only geologic location that has no bottom is the center of the earth. I’m not trying to insinuate that the creation of Hades or Tartarus was a natural process, but I think it is quite interesting intersection between the two. But, it is just as plausible that the “foundations of the deep” were much closer to the surface of the earth and Hades is literally at the center with intense volcanic activity.

We see that there were drastic changes on the earth at some point in the past. Despite the adamant denial of my college science professor, there is ample evidence that the entire earth was at one point under water. Likewise, climate must have been different, given the fossilized evidence found in animals that died and were buried rapidly. Their food found in their mouths and stomach shows vegetation that should not have been there.

Personally, I think there was a canopy over the earth that kept it much warmer than it currently is, either sub-tropical or tropical and quite uniform over the entire earth. I’m not certain what purpose the fountains of the deep served or how it changed the condition or function of the earth after it was emptied, but I sure there were significant consequences for unleashing such forces. After the flood lasted the year, I think the water quickly evaporated and within a few years was gone entirely, now being able to escape into space without a canopy to hot-box the earth.

What three groups of people faced the flood and how were they distinctly dealt with? What are the eschatological inferences therein?

Dr. Missler states the three are 1. Those who perished 2. Those who were saved and 3. Those who were removed prior. He is, of course, referring to Enoch, who was raptured bodily before the flood came. He uses this to illustrate how this is our current situation as well. We all have a choice to make, to choose Christ or to reject him. But, once the “door” is closed (i.e. by our death or by the second coming), it will be too late and our choice will be final. There will be no splitting theological hairs. In the end there will only be three types of people, those who perish in the apocalypse, those who are preserved through the apocalypse (latter day believer), and those who were removed by way of the rapture before the apocalypse.

I would argue that this is not the only types of “people” involved in at least the flood, if not the apocalypse. At the time of the flood, there were hybrids on the earth, half divine and half human (what this exactly means we don’t know). They were a major catalyst in the bringing of the flood in the first place. They certainly were all destroyed by the flood, but they appear to be created differently than full humans were. Despite the fall, humans can still die and their souls are able to enter Hades (imprisoned though they are), and the are able, at the final judgment, to make their case before the throne of God. If their names are written in the Book of Life, they will be able to enter into eternity with God (heaven), if not, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire. The Nephilim, for whatever reason, are considered an abomination before God, and, as such, when they die they apparently either have no souls or their souls are marred by a perversion that permits them from taking part in Hades or subsequently heaven. This is odd, since their fathers, the angels who fell from heaven and had sex with human women, were quickly dispatched by God (assumed, we do not have a written record of how or when this occurred, we only have Peter’s off handed remark stating that these angels were imprisoned in Tartarus). If their fathers can be imprisoned in Hades, why couldn’t their offspring when they died in the flood? Instead, the Nephilim were left to roam the earth as disembodied spirits (or souls, it is unclear), what we classify as demons since the NT times. Even the demons, having encountered Jesus in Gergesenes, were terrified of him, convinced he had come to “torment us before the time?” (Matt 8:29). In the Lukian account, the demons state, “and they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss” (8:29). The Greek word here for “abyss” is the same word used in Re 9:1 for the “bottomless pit.” The demons (who were once the Nephilim) know full well that Jesus would be justified in sending them to the abyss to wait out time like their fathers are doing, yet, for whatever reason, they are allowed to roam free on the earth, disembodied and seemingly quite distraught at their current circumstances.

What role these creatures will play in the end times is unclear. The final disposition of the demons (Nephilim) is not addressed in Scripture. They do seem to be under the sway of Satan in some way, if only tangentially. We can assume their final fate they share with their fathers, the Lake of Fire, but this is not stated. The fact that the Lake of Fire was originally created for the final disposal of Satan and “his angels” (Matt 25:41) may be in reference to the fallen angels of Genesis 6:2 or it could also be referring to those who sided with Satan in the War in Heaven (Rev 12:7-9). It could also, of course, include both as well as the demons, too.

The Lake of Fire seems as if a means by God to tidy up all the loose ends on earth at the close of the redemptive narrative. We do have reference to the Lake of Fire existing perpetually (as well as all who are within it), but it is unclear what the Lake of Fire actually is, what it will mean for those who are cast into it, or what bearing it will have on those who are saved and who inhabit the new city and the new earth and the new universe (whether or not the supernatural realm or “heaven” will be included in the “I make all things new” (Re 21:5) is unclear. Personally, once all is said and done, if I am fortunate enough to be “counted worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection of the dead” (Luke 20:35), I hope I will have the latitude to devote a great portion of eternity to studying not only the myriad of books that must be in heaven containing all the works of men, but I would also like to discover the fundamental realities of the supernatural realm (what it’s made of, how its was made, what is beyond it, outside of it, what God’s origin story is or at least what his recorded history was before Gen 1:1). I would also like to somehow get a glimpse at the master plan going forward, after Re 22:21. I would also like to spend a significant amount of time reviewing the counterfactuals for myself as well as others. I would like to explore the what-ifs that did not actually occur. My hope is that all the counterfactuals are likewise recorded in books (can you imagine what kind of supernatural library would be required to house enough books that record everything that was ever done throughout all of God’s existence, including everything that could have been done but wasn’t done?) along with the official record of “the things which were written in the books” (Re 20:12). But, of course, I defer to the Lord in all of this. There may be questions I have that may never receive answers. It’s entirely possible that what comes next will be far too important and fascinating to me to even consider my own heavenly aspirations (1 Pe 1:12). There’s even a chance that after my transformation I will not remember much of anything from this life I’ve lived or the questions that I currently have (Isaiah 65:17).

How are the Ark and Noah “types?”

The ark is symbolic of our salvation, or grace from God. Noah is symbolic of the rest we will receive in the afterlife. The ark is also a symbol of Christ, in that those “inside” are saved from death, just as those who are “in Christ” are redeemed by God from the penalty of the curse, which is imprisonment in Hades by death.

How did Noah know the difference between “clean and unclean” animals? What other pre-Mosaic Laws mentioned are assumed before the time of Moses?

It does not expressly state that parts of the Mosaic law were enforce before it was given, but it is clear that Noah could not have known the difference between clean and unclean animals if he had not been instructed in such matters. This is similar to the Sabbath, which was first instituted Genesis 1 when God rested on the seventh day from his labor and he memorialized it. When the law was given by Moses, it did not establish the Sabbath, but simply instructed the Israelites to “keep” the Sabbath, something that had already long been established.

Why was the Ark pitched from both the inside and the outside?

Dr. Missler believes that this was to preserve the ark so that it would be preserved and found one day in human history before the second coming of Christ. Personally, I don’t know if I would agree. I would want to look at boat building habits in the earliest boats built, if they are pitched inside and out. I would think comparing to our modern boat building processes would be like comparing apples to oranges. Keeping in mine that most boats in those days were subjected to all sorts of weather and environmental conditions. I think it would be only prudent to seal everywhere there is exposed wood. After all, the end product was much more valuable back then, given the massive amount of labor that went into creating them. Repairs were also, I assume, much more difficult and costly. Likewise, before the flood, we’ve already established that the environment was much different than today. If it is true that it had not started raining yet, and the weather was sub-tropical to tropical, much hotter, and much, much wetter (given then canopy keeping the water in a closed system), it would be reasonable that the standard practice would be to seal everything that was exposed.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I don’t really have anything to add in this lecture. I will be taking a break from Genesis and completing Romans 1 next, but after that I will be returning to finish the second Genesis course. I look forward to it.


I found this course to be quite a bit of review. As I stated before, I think I went through this material back in the mid to late 90’s when I was in station in Germany or in 2000 when I was living on the lake in a cabin.

Now that I’m finished with this course, I’m going to shift gears and dig into the first Romans course at KI, as well as the newly released free course by Dr. Heiser, “Live in Context.” After those two are finished, I will finish up Genesis with the second course by KI.

Overall, the first Genesis course is a great introduction and overview of the first several chapters of the first book in the Bible, covering up to the flood. I find this kind of format, systematic, or in context, is the best way to study the Scriptures, rather than topical studies (though there is a time and place for both). I typically reserve topical study for answering questions that arise from my contextual studies.

If you are just beginning your walk with God and want to familiarize yourself with the Word, I would highly recommend this course on Genesis.

Until my next assignment….

Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.

Excerpt from Our Daughter:

“Okay, mom,” Randy said.

“You behave yourself and be nice. You’re lucky to have company while you wait for the doctors.”

The woman turned and started back the way she came.

“The nurse said it would be twenty or thirty more minutes, so we’ll eat quick and be back up here before they take you in, okay?”

“Okay, mom.”

“Sorry for him,” the woman said to Katie as she walked by.

“He’s funny.”

Katie grinned.

As the woman left, Katie noticed the boy moving around again on the bed. Before she realized what was happening, the tiny lump disappeared and she could hear the faint sound of bare hands and feet on the tile floor.

He was low crawling under the beds toward her.

A moment later, Randy popped his head out from under the nearest hospital bed, craning his neck around to look up at her.

“Hello, there,” Katie said.

Randy disappeared back under the bed, the bed sheet draping down almost to the floor. Katie could still see three little fingers pressed to the tile.

“What are you here for?” Katie asked, readjusting her seat in the chair, trying to get the ache in her chest to lessen.

For whatever reason, the wheelchair was really uncomfortable.

“Why are – ”

Randy’s voice trailed off for a moment as he looked around.

“Why are you here?”

“I’m getting my leg fixed,” Katie said. “See?”

Randy poked his head back out from under the bed and looked at the leg she was pointing to.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“The doctor said it’s broken,” Katie said. “Shattered.”


“Yeah. Ouch.”

“Can you feel it?” Randy asked, able to stay out from his hiding place.

“I can feel it, but it’s not too bad,” Katie said, then tapped the IV in her arm. “This thing is giving me medicine of some kind for the pain. At least that’s what the nurses said.”

“Why are you – ”

Randy stopped mid-sentence.

He scooted out from under the bed entirely and slowly crept over to er on all fours.

“What are you, some kind of spider?” Katie asked, giggling a little.

“What are you?” Randy echoed.

He was now only about a foot away from her chair and sat there, his legs folded up under him, gawking up at her.

“What are you staring at me for?”

“I’ve never – ”

Randy put out a hesitant hand and ever so gently touched her arm.

“Are you some kind of ghost?”

He looked around again.

“Are you – ”

He leaned in, talking in a whisper.

“Are you dead?”

A nurse came around the corner and stopped abruptly, spotting the empty bed in the far corner where Randy should have been.

“Randy Andrews,” the nurse said, her hands now on her hips. “You get right back into the bed and you stop playing around, please. They are ready for you in surgery.”

Katie watched as Randy scrambled on all fours under the beds and back up onto his, pulling the sheet back over top of himself again.

She started to ask him about his question, but couldn’t get the words out before his parents appeared at the door.

Katie sat there quietly, watching Randy stare back at her from under his sheet. She glanced over at his parents and the nurse, noticed Randy’s dad had no hair on the top of his head.

Are you dead?

What kind of question was that?

The snap of the wheel locks being disengaged on Randy’s hospital bed jarred Katie out of the confusion she was in.

The doctor she’d first seen was now at the door, waiting for Randy.

He was his surgeon.

They wheeled Randy out of the room, his parents following right behind, disappearing to the left, heading for his operating room.

The pre-op room was empty again.


Are you dead?

What kind of crazy question was that?

The nurse came back through the double doors.

“It won’t be long now,” she said.


Katie tried not to think about the dull ache growing just behind her sternum.

The nurse disappeared around the corner as Katie watched the double doors to the operating rooms slowly shut.

Buy my book Our Daughter and begin the adventure of a lifetime, as you uncover the mysteries behind Katie Cadora’s new life after the horrible accident that stole her mother away from her. Will she find sure footing again? Will the pain ever stop? Will she discover the secrets her new foster family are keeping from her? Is the boy’s question right? Is Katie Cadora actually dead?

Click here and grab your copy today and jump into this Witch Gnostic Heresy trilogy with both feet!

But, trust me when I tell you, there are deceivers in our midsts!  Get started in this bone chilling suspense novel right away and find out why….sometimes….you’re just better off DEAD!

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