A Demon Made Me Do It

A Demon Made Me Do It

People sometimes use demon possession as an excuse for bad behavior. The person will say, “It wasn’t my fault! A demon made me do it.”

First, let’s understand that Jesus conquered the forces of Satan. In Colossians 2:15, after Paul said that Jesus had forgiven our sins and canceled the written code, he goes on to say that Jesus also “disarmed the powers and authorities” which are Satan’s spiritual forces. You and I do not run the risk of having a demon take over and make us do something against our will. Here are some of the biblical reasons why we know that can’t happen:

#1. Prophecy said that when the Messiah would come, unclean spirits would be gone. See Zechariah 13:1-14. That is backed up by 1 John 3:8, and Colossians 2:15.

#2. One primary theme in the New Testament is that every person chooses what to believe and whom to obey. We cannot be taken over by anything, because it is our free moral choice. See Philippians 2:12, John 20:31, and James 2:14.

#3. The Church was never warned about demons even though it was warned about everything else. If we were at risk of demon possession, the Church would have been warned. See Acts 20:28-31, 1 Corinthians 4:14-17, Colossians 1:28, and 2 Peter 1:3-9.

#4. The New Testament gives us the cure for overcoming Satan’s power. See James 4:7, Ephesians 6:12-18, 1 Peter 5:8-9, and Hebrews 4:15-16.

#5. The Bible says that God has restricted Satan. See Revelation 20:1-3, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Romans 8:28, and 2 Corinthians 12:7-12.

God gave us the right to choose Him or Satan. It is our free choice, and God has promised He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). We cannot use the excuse that a demon made me do it.

— John N . Clayton © 2020

Radiation Levels on the Moon

Radiation Levels on the Moon

God created planet Earth for us to live on, and He designed us with what we need to survive here. The more we learn about conditions elsewhere in the solar system, the more we see how unique Earth is. Recently we have seen research data concerning radiation levels on the Moon. Our studies reveal that astronauts on the Moon could get up to 1000 times more radiation than what we experience on Earth.

Dr. Kerry Lee at the Johnson Space Center in Houston has analyzed data from a Chinese-German team. The Germans used data retrieved by a Chinese lander named Chang’e 4. They compared it with data from a NASA orbiter that has been circling the Moon for over ten years. The two sets of data agree 100%. The primary risk factor for humans is cancer. The message is that if humans try to exist on the Moon, they will need thick-walled shelters for protection.

We take for granted the romantic idea that humans can wander around space, looking for new information about the stars and planets. In doing that, we fail to realize how carefully designed the Earth is to avoid the dangers of radiation in space. Astronauts in the International Space Station get three times less radiation than the radiation levels on the Moon.

Our upper atmosphere and magnetic field help to shield us from radiation. God carefully designed the Earth with features to protect us from radiation from the Sun and other stars. Proverbs 8:22-30 finds wisdom speaking about the creation. The more we look out into space, the more we see the necessity of wisdom in making a world where we can live safely.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Data from Associated Press, September 26, 2020.

Birds Can Predict Typhoons

Birds Can Predict Typhoons
Black-naped Tern

A recent report says that birds can predict typhoons. The Yamashina Institute for Ornithology published the results in Marine Biology, showing evidence that black-naped terns can predict typhoons and use that information to facilitate their migration.

Researchers attached tracking devices to the terns and studied how their migration departure varied with the presence of these huge storms. The birds would delay their departure when a massive typhoon was about to cross their projected path. Jean-Baptiste Thiebot, the lead author of the study, said, “They seem to be able to predict it.”

This ability gives the terns several advantages.
Avoiding extreme winds and rain is a good thing. Besides that, the storms churn up food to the ocean surface allowing the terns to stop periodically to eat on their journey. In 2017, when there were no typhoons in the study area, the birds delayed their trip much later and flew the journey without a stop.

Scientists are still studying how these birds can predict typhoons.
Some research suggests that they are equipped with infrasonic detectors that pick up weather signals. Researchers are also looking at the tern’s ability to recognize changing clouds.

In any case, it seems the birds are designed with an ability to use weather to facilitate their migration. Robert Gill, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says, “They are able to predict better than the best weather forecasters we have.”

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Reference: Scientific American, October 2020, page 24.

What Is Your Rock and Foundation?

What Is Your Rock and Foundation?

This website deals with evidence for the existence of God. Most of our posts are scientific, but sometimes we deal with life and choices. How do you make decisions? What is your moral code? What brings you satisfaction? What do you value? How do you handle loss and tragedy? What is your rock?

We should make choices based on what God has told us in His Word. The biblical Hebrew word “sela” is translated “rock” in most Bible versions. The lexicon tells me that this word means security, a defense, a refuge, an immovable foundation. Psalms 61:2 says, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to a rock that is higher than I.” What is your rock?

Another Hebrew term “pinnah” is translated “cornerstone” or “capstone.” Isaiah 28:16, for example, says, “Therefore the Lord God says: Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” Jesus is the cornerstone or capstone that destructive agents in the world reject. (See Psalms 118:22, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, and 1 Peter. 2:7.)

Here is my apologetic question. If you reject the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ as the foundation upon which to build your life, what is your alternative, and will it work? Look at the choices:

POLITICS: No matter your political beliefs, look at the mess that our country is in right now because of politicians. If it doesn’t work nationally, it won’t work in your life either.

SCIENCE: Science can give you facts and discoveries, but it can not tell you how to use those discoveries. Nuclear energy was a wonderful discovery, but how has it been used? Ask someone in Hiroshima.

MONEY: Many of the world’s wealthiest people have committed suicide. Read Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 and see what a rich man had to say about wealth.

FRIENDS: How many times in your life has a friend given you bad advice. Read what happened to Rehoboam when he followed his friend’s advice in 1 Kings 12:8-19.

EDUCATION and KNOWLEDGE: We recently reported on Jeffrey Epstein and Harvard University. Do the scholars among us have a history of living successfully and finding happiness? Are college campuses places of contentment and satisfaction?

What is your rock and foundation? In Ecclesiastes, we see how the wisest man who ever lived rejects all of the foundations the world has to offer. There is a God who has given us the keys to dealing with life and finding the rock. Jesus is the rock and foundation for building a successful life.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Wildlife Trade and Health

Wildlife Trade and Health

One of the most destructive luxuries of many people is to take an animal from its wild environment and make it a household pet. Every year, 224 million live animals are imported into the United States. This is destructive in many ways. The Center for Biological Diversity, associated with the United Nations, reports that at the present rate of the wildlife trade, a million species are facing extinction in the wild.

Even more frightening is the fact that zoonotic transfer is now well understood. Zoonotic means that a disease has jumped from wildlife to people. We know that HIV, SARS, avian flu, and Ebola are all zoonotic. There is every indication that COVID-19 also originated in a live wildlife market in China. There is a great need to shut down the wildlife trade.

The idea of humans having animal pets is alien to the Bible. In the Garden of Eden, humans were gatherers using plant material for food. After Adam and Eve left the garden, people domesticated animals, and sheep became the primary source of clothing and meat. In Genesis 8 and 9, Noah brought the animals onto the ark for safety. While God allows us to use animals as food (Genesis 9:3), there is a clear understanding of the separation of wild animals and humans. “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that lives on the earth and upon all the fishes of the sea…” (Genesis 9:2). The wildlife trade is foreign to the scriptures.

Humans domesticated certain animals for defensive reasons (like dogs), but the desire for “cuteness” is more a fixture of modern wealth than anything else. Very few of us buy live animals for food. You take a risk and responsibility in having any animal as a pet, but having a wild animal as a pet is inviting disaster in the form of disease.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Data from the fall 2020 issue of Nature’s Voice from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Skin Healing Process by Design

Skin Healing Process by Design

You get a cut or scrape on your skin, and what happens? Except for applying antibiotic or a bandage, you probably think little of it. It heals, and life goes on. But the skin healing process is something we should not take for granted.

Our bodies perform a complex healing process for even a small wound. Granulation tissue consists of new connective tissue and microscopic blood vessels. Your body generates granulation tissue from the base of the wound growing until it closes the wound. It may be light red to dark pink because of the new blood capillaries, and it’s usually moist and bumpy, or “granular.”

Cells surrounding the wound secrete molecules called extracellular matrix (ECM) to provide structural support. Cells called fibroblasts secrete collagen, the main structural protein of connective tissue. Collagen is resistant to bacteria, so it helps prevent infection while promoting healing. Fibroblasts are stem cells, meaning that they can morph into various kinds of cells as needed for the part of the body that’s being healed.

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a protein that stimulates cell growth. It’s found in blood plasma, and blood is supplied to the new tissue through the new capillaries. An interesting sidenote is that EGF is also found in the saliva of all mammals. When an animal licks its wounds, it’s not just cleaning the area, it’s also helping to promote the healing of the wound.

This is a greatly oversimplied explanation of the skin healing process, but it shows a glimpse of a very complex system that we can’t believe was an accident. Even before the healing begins, another complex process causes the blood to clot. We think that the ability of our bodies to heal is another example engineering design by the Master Designer.

— Roland Earnst © 2020

America and the World in Turmoil

America and the World in Turmoil

No matter what political party you support, you have to admit that it is a difficult time in America and the world. The issues today are complicated and dangerous. Dealing with racial differences has been a weak spot in American history. COVID-19 has taxed our medical establishment. Abuse of the Earth has to be a concern to all of us as our air, water, and oceans become polluted.

Is there any hope for our country and our world? We need to look at the belief system on which America is based. There were differences among political leaders in the past, but they had a common foundation from which they operated. What is happening now is that “survival of the fittest” and looking out for their own interests are our politicians’ primary goals. We think that those are not the beliefs and operational methods that most Americans believe in.

You can take” In God we Trust” off our currency, but you cannot take it out of our hearts. Extremists can bad-mouth the Bible and abuse the teachings of Jesus Christ, but periodically Christian actions surface in the common people. The food banks, homeless shelters, and medical establishments built and maintained by common people show us that Christ’s teachings are still alive and well in America.

When Jesus taught how to recognize His followers, He never referred to political figures or governments. He talked about those who served others. Passages like Matthew 25:31-46 and the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7 make it clear. Rather than marching or doing physical or financial harm to anyone, we need to express our allegiance to Christ by our service and devotion to others. In doing that, we will ultimately save America and the world.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Medicine in Bible Times and Beyond

Medicine in Bible Times and Beyond

Here are some facts you should know about medicine in Bible times:

*The Old Testament does not contain a single reference to a doctor or medicine used to heal the sick.

*There are references in the Talmud and Mishnah. The Talmud and Mishnah are two sets of writings about Jewish civil and ceremonial law. The Mishnah was oral tradition and makes up the first part of the Talmud. These writings are not part of the Bible, and they were written by Jewish scholars as late as the 5th century AD. The Talmud and Mishnah references are not complementary to doctors calling physicians “the trades of robbers.” This reminds us of Mark 5:25-26, which describes a woman with a blood disorder who had “suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all she had, and was nothing bettered but grew worse.” Another statement in the Talmud says that physicians are destined for Gehenna, a place of torment, or hell.

*Rabbis counted 248 “limbs” in the human body and 365 “sinews.” This corresponds to the 248 positive commandments in the Old Testament and the 365 negative ones.

*Egypt had an extensive medical system with dentists, doctors of the eyes, doctors of the abdomen, and doctors of the anus. They had no brain doctors and referred to the brain as “stuffing for the head.”

*In the New Testament, Paul refers to Luke as “the beloved physician” in Colossians 4:14. Luke was not Jewish, and he did not use medical vocabulary in his gospel or the book of Acts.

*In New Testament times, people used frankincense and myrrh as medicines.

*Laodicea was famous for eye ointments and prominent eye doctors.
In Revelation 3:18, Jesus counsels the Laodicean church to get “salve to put on your eyes, so you can see” referring to their spiritual blindness.

*Christians became noted for supporting medicine by 200 AD as physicians were listed among the Church’s most famous martyrs. By the late 300s AD, hospitals were being created by Christian leaders.

These facts about medicine in Bible times came from The Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Post-Biblical Antiquity.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Mighty Mouse Drug May Help Space Travel

Mighty Mouse Drug May Help Space Travel

One of the problems with space travel is that the human body was designed to live on Earth. When people are in weightlessness for an extended time, they lose muscle and bone mass. This loss can be as much as 20%. A possible solution might be called the “mighty mouse drug.”

Dr. Se-Jin Lee of the Jackson Laboratory at the University of Connecticut has published findings of a drug that blocks a pair of proteins that typically limit muscle mass. When scientists treated mice with this drug, they maintained their weight and muscle mass even when they were in the International Space Station for a month.

The application of this research can do more than provide a way for humans to survive a trip to Mars. It may also benefit people who are confined to a bed or a wheelchair.

This research reminds us that God designed our bodies to function in Earth’s gravity, just as He designed Earth to support life. Problems occur when we subject our physical bodies to forces they were not designed for. These problems require extreme solutions, and God has given us the ability to use science to find solutions such as the mighty mouse drug.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Source: Associated Press 9/12/20, and Fierce Biotech.

Total of Bibles Printed Yearly

Total of Bibles Printed

By the end of 2020, the annual total of Bibles printed will be 95-million. That is nearly double the number printed 20 years earlier. Most of us living in North America take Bible availability for granted. Almost every day, I get a catalog offering a variety of Bibles in all kinds and sizes, and with a growing variety of translations.

In 1900, five-million Bibles were printed, and you could find them in motel rooms everywhere. As an atheist, I stole my first Bible from a hotel room. In high school in 1955, Bibles were distributed to every student at the start of the school year. In 60 years, we have moved to the point where schools are sued for allowing Bible distribution, and schools take disciplinary actions against a child or teacher for bringing a Bible to school.

More to the point is the fact that in many countries, Bibles are hard to find. In 1900 there were 2300 people for every one Bible printed. Now that figure is 82 people per Bible. What that tells us is that even today, God’s Word is not available to a vast number of people. There are ministries attempting to change that. It is easy to understand why morals are very different in various parts of the world when people don’t have access to God’s instructions for conduct.

As secularism, atheism, and paganism continue to attack the Bible, we can expect to see more conflict and power struggles. Conflict is rising in America and continues in much of Africa and Asia. The situation highlights the mission of this ministry. The total of Bibles printed means little if people don’t bother to read them because they don’t believe in God. A presentation of the evidence for God, the Bible, and the teachings of Jesus, along with the living example of real Christians, can change the world.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Data from Christianity Today, October 2020, page 18.