Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let's Do The Math

The Earth is traveling around the Sun at a rate of 67,00 miles per hour. That comes to about 586,920,000 miles per year (give or take a little for Leap Years). One conclusion you can make from this is that you spend your life going around in circles. You may have already suspected that, but now you know.

But there is more.

The Sun is orbiting around the Milky Way Galaxy. I found differnt estimates as to the speed of that orbit so we'll use the more conservative one of 19.5 km/s. That calculates out to 43,620 miles per hour which comes to 382,375,179 miles per year.

But there is more yet.

From this article at Wikpedia, we read the following:

"Astronomers believe the Milky Way is moving at approximately 600 km per second relative to the observed locations of other nearby galaxies. Most recent estimates range from 130 km/s to 1,000 km/s. If the Galaxy is moving at 600 km/s, Earth travels 51.84 million km per day, or more than 18.9 billion km per year, about 4.5 times its closest distance from Pluto. The Galaxy is thought to be moving towards the constellation Hydra, and may someday become a close-knit member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies."

That 18.9 billion Km per year calculates out to 11,743,915,533 miles per year. After so many years of traveling all those miles while going around in circles, it's no wonder you feel tired out.

And how many miles is that? Take the 11.7 billion miles over an 80 year life span and you come up with over 939.5 billion miles.

There is only one thing you can say to that.

Life is a real trip....


~ The Billy Goat ~

PS: One more thing. If you live past the age of 85.5, your odometer will be over 1.0 Trillion miles.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Isaiah 40 – The Glory of God

[ Notes from a recent Adult Sunday school class I taught.]

Context: In Isaiah 39 the Prophet has given to Hezekiah the news that in the not to distant future, the Southern kingdom of Judah would be carried away into exile by the Babylonians. The northern kingdom of Isreal has already been conqured and carried away by the Assyrians. In the light of the impending exile, what was to come of the God's promises to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob? What about the promises to King David? What was going to happen to God's covenent people? It is at this point we come to Isaiah 40.

I. The Promise of Comfort and Reconciliation Vs, 1-8

  • A. Content of the Promise

    • - The Comfort of Forgiveness (1 – 2)

    • - The Revelation of the Glory of the LORD (3 – 5)

  • B. The Basis of the Promise – God’s Word Vs. 6-8

    • - The Comparison of Humanity to Grass and Flowers (6-7)

    • - The Comparison of Grass and Flowers to the Word of God (8)

II. The Good News Vs. 9-11

  • A. The Coming of the LORD (9-10)

  • B. His Care for His People (11)

III. The Glory of the God Who Will Accomplish These Things Vs, 12-26 (H. C. Leupold)

  • A. Compared to the World He Created (12-14)

  • B. Compared to the Nations (15-17)

  • C. Compared to Vain Idols (18-20)

  • D. Compared to the Mighty of This Earth (21-24)

  • E. Compared to All Else – Who else could make the stars? (25-27)

Conclusion: The LORD as the Source of All Power Vs. 28-31

  • - He does not grow faint or weary (28)

  • - He sustains His People (29-31)

    “…they who wait for the LORD…” Waiting on the LORD in the OT is a synonym for saving faith. (Leupold)

Application: These promises of God to the believing Jews of Isaiah’s time were based on the surety of His Word, and the surety of their accomplishment rested on His character and being as God. From this, we as His New Covenant people can take great comfort and encouragement in embracing the promises He has made to us.
A Responsive Reading of Isaiah 40 (ESV)

[ From time to time as I have opportunity to teach a Sunday school class, I find myself dealing with a passage of Scripture that lends itself to being responsively read. The advantage of a responsive reading is it gets the whole class involved in the passage, and in a way that in itself can be instructive. Isaiah 40 is one of those passages. ]

Narrator: (1) Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. (2) Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

Men: (3) A voice cries:

All: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (4) Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. (5) And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Narrator: (6) A voice says,

Men: "Cry!"

Narrator: And I said, "What shall I cry?"

Ladies: All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. (7) The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.

All: (8) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Narrator: (9) Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah,

All: "Behold your God!"

Men: (10) Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

Ladies: (11) He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Narrator: (12) Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?

Men: (13) Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? (14) Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?

Ladies: (15) Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. (16) Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.

All: (17) All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

Narrator: (18) To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? (19) An idol!

All: A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. (20) He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.

Narrator: (21) Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

Ladies: (22) It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; (23) who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

Men: (24) Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

Narrator: (25) To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

Ladies: (26) Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?

All: He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

Narrator: (27) Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel,

All: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?

Narrator: (28) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

Ladies: He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (29) He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Men: (30) Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;

All: (31) but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Rapture" is not the issue.

I Thessalonians 4:

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.


Both amillinalists and pre-millinialists agree that I Thessalonians 4: 13-18 is in the Bible and is a part of Holy Canon.

Both agree there will be a "coming of the Lord".

Both agree that at the time of the coming of the Lord, there will be beleivers alive upon the earth.

Both agree that those living believers that are upon the earth when the Lord comes will not experience death. That's the whole point of the above passage of Scripture.

In historical theology, the experience of those living believers in being "caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air," has been designated as the rapture, and "rapture" is a very appropriate term to describe that event.

There is nothing in the context of this passage that clearly indicates or demands that this rapture will be pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, pre-millennial, or post-millennial. Assertions from all views as to the timing are based on presuppositions brought to the passage, not from the passage itself.


The eschatological debates between the different viewpoints do not have anything to do with the fact of the rapture, but they have everything to do with the timing of that rapture.


My Dispensational Pre-millennial friends need to recognize and acknowledge that a pre-tribulation timing of the rapture is not a sine qua non of the Biblical doctrine of the rapture. It is not at all fair or true that a person does not believe in the rapture because they do not hold to a pre-tribulation timing of the rapture.

My Reformed A-millennial friends need to stop dissing the rapture concept just because of the extremes of the Hal Lindseys and Tim LaHays within the Dispensational pre-millennial school. What they need to do is affirm and acknowledge the Biblical concept and challenge our Dispensational friends when they make a pre-tribulation timing of the rapture a sin qua non of the Biblical doctrine.

Eschatological views need to be held with some what of a loose hand. One point of eschatology that I am firmly convinced of is that when all is said and done, though we will find we got some things right, none of us will have it all and totally right.


~ The Billy Goat ~