Saturday, February 15, 2014


An In-depth Biblical Study On Judas

By Dr. Diego Sausa

Did Judas repent and was he forgiven? What does Scripture say about Judas after the betrayal? In the NKJV translation of Matthew 27:3 we read that Judas "was remorseful [metamelomai].” The same Greek word “metamelomai” is translated by the KJV as “repented,” the NASB translates the same as “felt remorse,” while the ESV translates the same word as “changed his mind.” The Greek word “metamelomai” gives the idea of total change of mind or a 180-degree turnaround or about face, trying to do diametrically opposite to what was previously done. Matthew uses the same Greek word to depict the repentance of a wayward son in Christ’s Parable of the Two Sons in Matthew 21:28-29. “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind [metamelomai] and went” (ESV). The KJV renders “metamelomai” in this passage as “he repented” while the NASB renders the same as “he regretted.”

The picture of “metamelomai” in Jesus’ parable in this passage is diametrically opposite of or a total about face from what was done earlier by the son, a positive change of mind for the better. In other words, “repented” is an accurate translation of “metamelomai.” The Greek word “metamelomai” is therefore a synonym of another Greek word “metanoeo” which is the more common Greek word in the NT translated into English as “repent.” Matthew uses “metanoeo” five times in his book. For example in Matthew 3:2, he quotes John the Baptist saying, “Repent [metanoeo], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (ESV). The Greek word “metanoeo” also means “to change one’s mind for the better.”

Both Greek words “metamelomai” and “metanoeo” are therefore synonymous and are both used to mean “repent,” expressing the person’s sincere abhorrence of his past actions and change of direction opposite those past actions that he came to abhor. In other words, Matthew was expressing that Judas repented. In fact in Matthew 27:4 Matthew depicts Judas confessing his sins, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” (NKJV). One may ask, was he sincere in his repentance? No doubt about Judas' sincerity, in fact he hanged himself once he realized that he could not change Jesus’ fate because of his betrayal (Matt. 27:5).

All indications in this testimony by Matthew regarding his comrade Judas seem to point to the fact that Judas repented, confessed and was therefore forgiven, until we consider Christ’s own testimony about Judas. Talking about Judas in Matthew 26:23-24, Christ says, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (NKJV). In Gethsemane Jesus prayed and says of His disciples, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them [the disciples] in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom you gave Me I have kept, and none of them [none of the disciples] is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (Jn. 17:11-12).

These direct testimonies from Jesus Himself regarding Judas seem to explicitly confirm that Judas was a “son of perdition” who is the only one of the twelve disciples who got lost. The words "son of perdition [huios apoleia]" appear only twice in the NT, here in this passage used by Christ (Jn. 17:12) and in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 where Paul describes the "son of perdition" as "the man of sin" and "the apostate" who belongs in the group but who falls away by transgression, "the lawless one...who the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming" (2 Thess. 2:8). This means that Paul makes a parallel between Judas and the apostate Christian church that will be destroyed by Christ's in the judgment.

In other words, what Matthew was depicting of Judas was repentance in the sense that he felt a terrible sense of condemnation, remorse and guilt that he had betrayed the innocent Son of God and that he wanted to reverse the wrongful arrest of Jesus, but he did not really repent in the sense that he wanted to totally change his life and dedicate it to a loving service for his Lord like Peter did.

Saturday, February 8, 2014



By Dr. Diego Sausa

Our message this morning is based on 1Kings 17:8-16. I would like to invite all to open their Bibles to this narrative, I’ll be reading from the English Standard Version,

“Then the word of the Lord came to him [Elijah], ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’ So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.’ And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’ And she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.’ And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.”

In order for us to really appreciate this story we need to understand the background of this narrative. This biblical narrative is couched in the reign of King Ahab of northern Israel. David was now dead for more than a hundred years and the once powerful united kingdom of Israel was divided into two kingdoms: Judah, the Southern Kingdom which was ruled by the descendants of David, and the Northern Kingdom or Israel, which was ruled by different kings from different blood lines. Both the northern and the southern kingdoms had apostatized but the northern kingdom of Israel was worse than the southern kingdom of Judah. God sent prophets to both kingdoms to woo them back to Him.

At the time when our story happened, the king in the Northern Kingdom was Ahab the son of Omri who was himself a wicked king (1 Kngs. 16:25). But his son Ahab was even worse than his father. King Ahab married a Gentile woman named Jezebel who was the daughter of the King of Sidon called Ethbaal, a title which means, “with Baal” or “with the authority from Baal.” Jezebel’s father therefore was not only the king of Sidon, he was also the high priest or vicar of Baal. Thus, when Jezebel became Israel’s queen, she brought with her pagan religion and her husband Ahab, the king of Israel became her foremost supporter. King Ahab built a temple for Baal in his capital city of Samaria and made all Israel worship Baal instead of God. Scripture says that “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1Kngs. 16:33). Baal was the pagan god of rain, fertility and agriculture.

God confronts King Ahab through the prophet Elijah. Certain Jewish tradition held that Elijah was an angel because he just suddenly appeared before King Ahab’s throne room in Samaria and then suddenly disappeared. Scripture does not record who his parents were. But James 5:17 tells us that “Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are. He therefore, was just human like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain in Israel for three and a half years.” The author of 1Kings tells us, “Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word’” (1Kngs. 17:1, ESV). As James in the New Testament later had explained, it did not rain in all of Israel for three and a half years (James 5:17) because Elijah prayed for it to prove that Baal, the god of rain that Israel was now worshiping was a false god. So the Lord answers Elijah’s prayer, and Elijah relays God’s message to King Ahab.

After proclaiming God’s judgment on Israel before the king, God instructs Elijah to leave the area and go “eastward and hide…by the brook of Cherith, which is east of Jordan” (1Kngs. 17:3). There, God would supply Elijah with water from the brook and would command the ravens to feed him twice a day with bread and meat. The brook of Cherith was in a wilderness in the province of Gilead where the town of Tishbe was also located where Elijah was from. While the rest of Israel was in want for water and food, God took care of Elijah’s own basic needs. This continued for about a year until the brook of Cherith dried up because of prolonged drought in the land. There was no more water and there was no more food from the ravens.

Certainly the Lord blesses His people with their needs, even those ones that they didn’t ask for and didn’t know about. The Lord blessed Elijah with his own needs, but the Lord can only bless us with things that cater to our own selfish needs for so long. After a while that self-centered living dries up. Life is not all about self, it’s not all about what we receive, what we can get, what we can do to look good or what we can do to achieve, because when all the things that we do are motivated by selfish gains, our life dries up. It becomes empty and meaningless. In order for our lives to be full and meaningful, we have to get out from our comfort zone, we have to divert our attention from what we can get to what we can give and start blessing other people. By blessing others, we bless ourselves, because it gives life its full meaning.

The rich young ruler was blessed with riches, and he thought he did everything necessary for himself to attain eternal life, that is, literally obey all of God’s commandments. But we can obey all the letter of the law without obeying the spirit of the law. Yes the rich young ruler kept the Sabbath, gave back his tithes, obeyed all the Ten Commandments for his own needs and purposes. But still he felt that something was wanting and missing in his life. And Christ identified what exactly he needed in his life. He needed to redirect his attention and focus from himself to others, so that by living for others, he lives out the purpose and meaning of his life and reaches the goal of his life. A life that is solely based on self-interest always ends up miserable, meaningless and purposeless.

And so after about a year of living in the wilderness of Cherith, God commands Elijah to get out of his little self-centered comfort zone, by drying him up. The brook of Cherith stopped flowing with water and the ravens stopped bringing food. There’s no doubt about it, God could have intervened and let the brook keep flowing with water, but a life that is focused on self destroys self, so God commands Elijah to get out and minister to others outside his own comfort zone. “Then the word of the Lord came to him, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there.” When our refrigerators are getting empty, when our bank accounts are getting dry, and our IRAs get in the negative territory, God allows them to happen because He has something else for us to do. Get out, stop thinking about self, about what you can get and what you can gain and start blessing the lives of others.

God commands Elijah to go from the brook of Cherith which was in the province of Gilead to Zarephath a walled city in another country of Phoenicia which is now Lebanon. Zarephath was a coastal town facing the Mediterranean Sea about 13 miles north of Tyre and 8 miles south of Sidon. In other words, Zarephath was in between Tyre and Sidon. Zarephath was under the kingdom of Sidon whose king was Ethbaal the father of Ahab’s wife Jezebel. The first irony was God was sending Elijah into Jezebel’s and Baal’s territory so that Elijah might find sustenance and protection from the murderous plots of Jezebel in God’s own people’s territory. The second irony was, God was sending Elijah to witness a Gentile woman’s faith, a kind of faith that Elijah could not find from God’s own people. In effect, Elijah becomes the first missionary to the Gentiles. The walk from the brook of Cherith to Zarephath was about 100 miles to the northwest of Israel. And God extended the drought in Zarephath and Sidon, the land of Baal the god of rain.

So God tells Elijah to walk 100 miles northwest to the heathen town of Zarephath because the brook of Cherith had dried up. God assures Elijah, “’Behold I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’ So he arose and went to Zarephath” (vv. 9,10). If you were Elijah and you heard this kind of reassuring words from God, what do you think would you imagine? You must have said, “O thank you Lord for some rich widow in Zarephath who would be able to feed me throughout this period of drought and hunger.” Elijah must have been imagining a big house with big food and water reservoirs, and a big special banquet waiting for him, but lo and behold, when he gets there what does he see? (v.10 says) “And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks.”

You know sometimes, I think, God has a little sense of humor. He is full of surprises. Often He performs marvelous and big miracles through the most unlikely, unthinkable, and unexpected marginalized ways. When you expect a grand display of power and majesty to accomplish His purpose, He accomplishes it through a still small voice. When you think He will accomplish His purpose through a dazzling display of pomp and extravagance, He accomplishes it through a couple of sticks. Often we ask God for big things as solutions to our big problems, when God’s solution to our problem is just the mere couple of sticks in our hands.

When Elijah sees the widow picking up sticks by the gate of Zarephath, he realizes that this was the woman who God promised would sustain him. At that point, Elijah must have realized that God had sent him there mainly not because God wanted to feed him through the woman, but mainly because God wanted to save the Gentile woman and her son through him. God made Elijah walk the 100 miles to save the woman, make no mistake about it! God heard the cry of this Gentile mother. You know back in the Ancient Neareastern culture, widows were the most vulnerable in society. When calamities and droughts happened they were the ones who died first because they only thrived through their meager earnings because their major bread winner in the household died. Such was the situation of this woman. She was losing hope. Like her fellow Sidonians, she must have prayed to Baal, their god of rain and fertility, but Baal was nowhere to be heard from, days, weeks, months passed by, now it’s been a year, and no dew nor rain came down from heaven. 

She must have heard about the true God of Israel and in desperation cried out to Him for help, and what a God we serve because even if while we were still sinners, God hears us and loves us! God heard this Gentile woman’s cry for help! So when we cry and suffer and desperate for help and no one seems listening and we feel that we’re so all alone and nobody sees us, and we feel that we are so small like a needle in the haystack, remember this woman of Zarephath, God was willing to let his servant walk 100 miles just to save this woman, and He is willing to walk the hundred miles just for you to save you from your plight! God sees those tears and pain inside, all we need to do is call Him and He will answer, try Him, because I’m speaking not from the standpoint of not only one but of multiple experiences of God’s wonderful salvation and deliverance in my life. Often His answer is not what we expect but what we need.

Once Elijah realizes his purpose and mission, God must have shown him right away what would happen next. So Elijah calls the woman and says, “Can you please bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink?” (v. 10). In the Ancient Neareastern culture, it was the duty of every host to give water to strangers and travelers. So what Elijah was asking was normal and nothing out of the ordinary. As soon as the woman hears the “stranger” asking for water, she leaves to get him water. But as she was leaving to get water, Elijah stops her again and says, “O by the way, I forgot, can you also bring me some bread in your hand?” (v. 11). It would have been normal to ask this if there was no famine in the land and if this person was not a poor widow. But what Elijah was asking from the woman the second time, was absolutely abnormal and out of the ordinary. The water was free and did not cost the woman anything, but the bread was her everything. It’s like a person whose only source of livelihood is his car, and then you tell him, “Can you give me a lift on your way to town?” And then as the person gives you a lift, you say, “By the way, I forgot, can you give me your car?”

What Elijah was asking the woman was literally a life and death decision. Elijah was asking the woman all that she had to keep her and her son alive for a few moments before they died. The woman answers Elijah, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die” (v. 12). The woman tells Elijah, “I swear by the Lord your God who lives, I don’t have any bread. I only have my last handful of flour and last portion of oil in a jug just enough for one last meal for my son and myself, and after that there’s nothing left, and there’s nothing I can do about it, my son and I will have to prepare to die. I’m sorry stranger from Israel, man of the Lord God of Israel who lives, but all I have left is only good for our last meal before we die.” It’s interesting that the woman recognized that Elijah was a man of the living God of Israel, which indicates that she knew the God of Israel and she knew that Elijah was a man of Israel’s God by his looks. But although she believed that Elijah’s God was alive, He was not her God, He was “your God,” that is, Elijah’s God, not hers, she recognizes her being an outsider to Israel’s religion although she believed in Israel’s God.

Then Elijah tells the woman, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said [that is, bake the flour]. But first, make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah” (vv. 13-16). Elijah was virtually telling the widow of Zarephath, “You believe in my God, that the God of Israel lives? Well this is what He says, give Him your all first, and then He will give you all that you need.”

You know the woman had all the reasons in the world not to give Elijah what he asked for. She could have said, “You’re asking me for charity? I’m on welfare myself, are you kidding? I’m the one who needs charity. All that I have is even barely enough for my survival, now you’re asking me to give it to you? Are you out of your mind, Mr. Stranger?” But the woman decides to give her all to God and trust all her life and her family’s life in God’s hands, and surely God supplied her with everything that she and her son needed. This is the secret to success in life! God through Elijah told the woman, “Give your everything to me first, and you’ll have everything that you’ll need.” What God told the woman through Elijah, would later be echoed by Christ Himself, He says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).

Often God places us in a situation where we are on our last dime, on our last lifeline, at the end of our rope, at the bottom of our jug, on our last handful of flour, on our last measure of oil, and He asks us, give it all to Me and trust your life on Me.” He allows these “bottom-out” circumstances because when our refrigerators are overflowing, when our bank accounts are full, when our shares in the stock market keep going up, when our investments churn out more profits, when our job is doing great, when health is super, we don’t feel the need for faith in God to bless us, we feel that we did it ourselves. We have this false sense of security that our tomorrow is secure because of these man-made securities. But September 11, the current global economic turmoil, sudden deaths, stealthy cancers and health problems, disasters and catastrophes remind us that none of human securities are secure. We could lose it all in a moment. And it doesn’t get any better because in the end everything will crumble except our investments in God. So like this woman in Zarephath, we need to experience the last dime, we need to reach rock bottom, to be at the end of our rope, so that we’ll realize that without God we can do absolutely nothing, therefore, we have to trust our all in Him because without Him we are simply empty jugs and empty barrels ready for the furnace.

When you’re in a situation where you’ve tried everything that you could, tried all the solutions that you knew, did everything possible, and still, you come up short and you find it impossible to get out of your dilemma and there’s nothing else that you can do, you are exactly where God wants you to be. Throw those bottomed-out vessels, that last measure of flour, that last drop of oil, in God’s hands, give it all to Him and see His marvelous salvation that you’ve never imagined was possible.

I don’t know if you guys are familiar with hand water pumps. In the Philippines they still exist in many rural areas. Many times, when a hand water pump hasn’t been used for some time, the water that gives the suctioning power that brings the water up from down below the well dissipates, and so you have to add a jug of water into the pump to prime the pump to restore its suction ability. My friend, Dr. Manny Sansano during our Bible sharing, told us a legend about a water pump. According to this legend, there was a man who walked in the desert for days and had run out of water. He was getting so thirsty and weak that he was ready to die if he couldn’t find any water. Fortunately, right in the middle of the desert he stumbled into an old beaten shack and inside he saw an old rusty water pump. And so with his last energy he managed to get close to the pump and he tried pumping the handle, but no water came out. He staggered and fell down and found an old jug that was full of water, but the jug had a message on it that says, “You have to prime the pump with all the water that is in this jug to make the pump work, and then be sure you fill this jug again before you leave.”

The man was confronted with two choices: drink the water in the jug, and just go on and walk through the desert but risk running out of water and die in the desert, or follow the instruction, pour all the water into the pump to prime it so that if it works, he could refill all his containers with water enough to make him get to his destination but risk wasting all the water in the pump and die if it did not work. He decided to pour all the water from the jug into the pump to prime it and lo and behold, water started gushing out of the pump and he was able to fill all his containers and refill the jug. And before he left he wrote an additional note on the jug for the next traveler, he says, “Believe me, it really works. You have to give it all away before you can get everything back that you need to live.”

Giving up all what we got in God’s hands works. Because the widow of Zarephath trusted her all to God, she, her son, and Elijah, were able to survive the famine for the next two years until it was over. The story of this woman is so significant that Jesus Himself had to mention her story again to His Jewish listeners recorded in Luke 4:24-26. God is a God of the impossible, it is His middle name. When you think that it’s hopeless and it’s the end of your rope, when you think that you have done all what you could and you still come up short, when you’ve tried everything but your coffers still end up empty, when you think that you’ve reached the end of the road and there’s nothing else that you can do, give it all up to the Lord and prepare to see the unending miracle of His salvation. “Prove me now,” God challenges us, give your all to God and He’ll supply everything that you need.

A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains built a new church building on a piece of land willed to them by a member who recently passed away. But ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the church pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. They needed to double the size of the parking lot in order for them to use the new church. The problem was, they’ve used up all the lot space for the building and the existing parking lot, there was no more land to expand except the back part of the church which was a mountain against which the church’s back portion had been built. In other words, they would have to move the mountain out of their church’s backyard to give space for the additional parking space needed. Feeling the impossibility of the situation, the pastor gathered 24 of the 300 members one night to have a season of prayer that God would do the impossible, that is, move the mountain out of the way so that they could have enough parking space. They claimed in faith God’s promise that He could move mountains. They prayed for three hours that night and after the prayer, the pastor told the members that the church would be open for church service as scheduled the following weekend.

The next morning, as the pastor was working in his study, he heard a loud knock on his door. When he looked, there was a rough looking construction foreman right at his doorstep, and he says, “Excuse me, Pastor, I’m from Acme Construction Company from the other county. We’re building a huge shopping mall and we need a lot of dirt to fill and elevate the construction site. I wonder if you are willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind your church? We’ll pay for the dirt that we remove and pave all the flattened area free of charge if we can have it right away.” The whole job was done in a few days and they got paid for the mountain that was removed and spent nothing for the extra parking lot that was made. By the following weekend as scheduled, the church services started just as the pastor had said.

The woman of Zarephath started with calling God “your God” (v. 12), but after experiencing God’s salvation through the ministry of Elijah, she ended up calling Elijah’s God her God too. After the two-year daily miracle that she experienced with God, and after the miracle of the first resurrection ever recorded in Scripture, God’s raising up of her dead son (v. 22), the woman of Zarephath declares to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God [no longer “your God” but now also her own personal God], and that the word of the Lord [no longer Elijah’s Lord, but “the Lord”] in your mouth is truth” (v. 24).

Have you bottomed out and there’s nothing else that you can do? Try God. He majors in the impossible because that's His middle name, trust your everything to Him first, and He’ll take care of your everything.

Friday, February 7, 2014


An In-Depth Biblical Study on the Biblical Narrative on Jonah 

By Dr. Diego Sausa


Which was the miracle in the story of Jonah, the fact that he survived for three days in the belly of the fish, or the fact that he was resurrected after dying for three days in the belly of the fish? It's been a long held tradition that Jonah was alive inside the belly of a whale for three days and three nights before he was vomited out into the dry land. First of all Scripture says that Jonah was swallowed by a "great fish [da'g]" that the Lord had prepared (Jon. 1:17). The Hebrew word dag means "fish" and does not specifically mean a whale although in OT biblical parlance, a whales would also be considered a dag (fish). In Matthew 12:40 however, the KJV says that Jonah was in the "whale's belly" for three days and three nights. The Greek word for "whale" in this passage is ketos which also means "big fish." It seems consistent then in both the OT and the NT that a huge fish not necessarily a whale swallowed Jonah.  The fact that many whales are filter feeders and have very small esophagi and therefore are not aggressive towards humans nor can they swallow humans whole, seem to favor the idea that it was really a big fish that swallowed Jonah.


This difference is important because unlike whales which are mammals and which breathe oxygen into their lungs and thus some air may go into their stomach in the process, to the contrary fish have no lungs. They breathed through their gills which are highly vascularized and the oxygen that is extracted from the water through the gills goes directly into the fish's blood stream. The stomachs and intestines of fish therefore do not have breathable oxygen if a big fish swallows a human whole. The inside of the fish's digestive tract is highly acidic which aids in the digestion of the food that they swallow. If Jonah was swallowed by a big fish, he could only survive inside the stomach of the large fish for a very short time because of the absence of oxygen and the hyper-acidic environment inside the belly of the fish. Jonah narrates his experience inside the belly of the big fish after he was swallowed. Jonah 2:1 tells us that Jonah prayed to God inside the fish belly. Jonah got to the point when he was dying and during those times he was praying to God as his life "fainted ['ataph] within me" (Jon. 2:7).


The Hebrew word 'ataph which means "to faint" is in the Hithpael stem and absolute infinitive (high intensity) mood, meaning that the action word is reflexive (Hithpael, i.e., happening to one's self) and the absolute infinitive mood is better described by the adverb "utterly" or "extremely" to express intensity.  

The verb ‘ataph is not used as a verbal noun in this passage, instead, it is used as a regular verb expressing action that happens to the subject himself (Hithpael stem), it is therefore in the infinitive absolute mood instead of being in the infinitive construct mood (if used as verbal noun). Because of the obvious infinitive absolute mood of the verb in the Hithpael stem, the author’s emphasis is superlative intensity. So Jonah 2:7 should literally read like this in English: “When my life was utterly (adverb showing InfA mood intensity) fainting away [‘ataph] within myself [“within myself” added to show the reflexive action of Hithpael stem], I remembered the Lord.”  Jonah’s emphasis using ‘ataph in the Hithpael stem and infinitive absolute (intensive) mood in Jonah 2:7 is therefore indicative that he prayed to the Lord as he was losing total consciousness or simply stated, Jonah prayed to God as he was nearing death.  In other words, as Jonah was gasping for his last breath and ready to die, his thoughts were communicating to God as he was dying.


We always have very good traditions about significant stories in the Bible and Jonah is one of those stories that has been traditionally embellished with tales that don't seem to match with biblical data. And that traditional embellishment is that Jonah was alive for three days inside the belly of the fish. But what Jonah himself tells us seems to be to the contrary. He says in Jonah 2:6, "I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; yet you have brought up my life from the grave [shachath], O Lord my God." The Hebrew noun shachath means "the grave," or "the place where the dead decays." Psalm 30:9 for example says, " “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the grave [shachath]? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?" It is clear then that when Jonah says, "I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; yet you have brought up my life from the grave [shachath], O Lord my God," it means that Jonah was saying that he died inside the belly of the large fish"with the bars" of death "closed behind" him "forever" but the Lord "brought up" his "life from the grave" after three days.  Jonah clearly tells us in this passage that he died and God caused him to rise up from the dead.  Jonah's words, "yet you caused my life to rise up ['alah] from death [shachath]" are very emphatic of death and resurrection.  The Hebrew word 'alah here for "brought up" means "to rise up," or "to shoot forth" as in a plant germinating from a seed. It is in the Hiphil (causative) stem not in the Qal (simple active) stem, meaning that Jonah did not "shoot forth" or "rise up" to life from the dead actively by himself, it was God who caused him to rise up to life from death.


The verb ‘alah is used 856 times in the OT. Of this total number, it is translated as “rise up” 676 times, as “ascend” 15 times, as “raised up” two times and as “arise” two times. In other words the idea is vertical movement instead of horizontal movement. The common verb for horizontal movement is yatsa which occurs 1,076 times in the OT, 1,068 usages of which convey the idea of horizontal movement. The Hebrew verb qum also occurs 628 times in the OT.  Of the 628 occurrences, it is translated 240 times as “rise up,” 211 times as “arise,”, 47 times as “raise,” 27 times as “establish,” and 27 times as “perform.”  Both ‘alah and qum, therefore, can be used synonymously to convey the idea of rising up from sleep. The idea conveyed is vertical movement instead of horizontal. Basing on these semantic ranges of the Hebrew verb ‘alah and qum, Jonah’s use of the verb ‘alah to describe his rising up from the dead [shachath] is perfectly in order.


That the verb ‘alah is used to portray resurrection from the dead is biblically concrete and irrefutable. Ezekiel 37:12 for example says, “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up [‘alah] out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Jonah’s use of ’alah in Jonah 2:6, therefore, to describe his being caused to rise up (‘alah) from death (shachath) by God is grammatically appropriate and solid. Jonah himself is clear, God caused him to rise up from death.  This is an explicit testimony of Jonah’s death and resurrection from Jonah himself.  In other words, Jonah's story is another account of death and resurrection in the Old Testament.


That Jonah died for three days and was resurrected from the dead after three days becomes even clearer when Christ Himself describes Jonah as a type of Him, and He describes His death as parallel to that of Jonah's, Christ says,"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt. 12:40). If Jonah was alive for three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, then if follows that Christ was alive for three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, meaning, Christ did not really die just as Jonah didn't die. But if Jonah really died in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights, then it becomes true that Christ indeed died for three days and three nights in the belly of the earth just as Jonah did. Christ's parallel between His three days and three nights death to that of Jonah's three days and three nights death is striking. What is even more interesting is what Christ said prior to this parallelism. The scribes and Pharisees were asking for a sign from Jesus that He was the Messiah and He answered, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah" (Matt. 12:39). What is that sign? The sign was what was implied in Jesus' following words, that is, Christ was virtually saying, "Just as Jonah was dead for three days and three nights in the belly of the fish and was resurrected, so will the Son of Man be dead three days and three nights in the heart of the earth and will be resurrected." That was the Jonah sign that became the Jesus' sign: the resurrection from the dead after three days in the belly of the earth.


It is interesting to note that Jonah was the only minor prophet mentioned by Jesus as a type of Him, and specifically of His three-day death and His resurrection. Already in the Jewish tradition in the time of Jesus, Jonah was already a significant prophet. He was not known as a man who lived in the belly of the fish for three days but the prophet who was resurrected from the dead. Jewish tradition already had it that Jonah was that son of the widow of Zarephath who was resurrected by God through the prophet Elijah.  So the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus time most likely already believed that Jonah was resurrected twice, first when he died as a boy, and the second time when he died in the belly of the fish and was resurrected after three days. So when Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 that just like Jonah who was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, Jesus' listeners already understood that what Jesus meant was that He would be dead for three days and be resurrected thereafter just as Jonah died for three days and was resurrected on the third day. The Jewish midrash in Pirqe d’Rabbi Eliezer (פרקי דרבי אליעזר ג) says:

Rabbi Simeon said,
From the strength of a righteousness woman
are the dead to live in the future.
Whence do we learn (this)?
From Elijah the Tishbite
who walking from mountain to mountain
and from cave to cave,
walked on to Zarephath
and a widow woman received him
with great honor.
She was the mother of Jonah,
and from her morsel and from her oil they were eating,
and were drinking he and she and her son,
as it is said (1Kings 17:15),
“And she did eat he and she.”


Although this tradition that Jonah was the son of the widow of Zarephath may not be true, nevertheless, it shows us that the Jews believed that Jonah was that son of the widow of Zarephath who God resurrected from the dead through the prophet Elijah based on the narrative in 1Kings 17:17-24. When Paul said in 1Corinthians 15:4 that Christ "was buried, and that He rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES [i.e., according to the Tanakh or the Jewish Old Testament because there was no New Testament yet]," most likely Paul was alluding to Jonah as the type of Christ who died in the belly of the fish and was caused to rise from death by God (Jon. 2:6) on the third day because in Paul's time, there was no other "Scripture" that talked about resurrection on the third day except the book of Jonah. In other words, Paul was alluding to the death and resurrection of Jonah on the third day as the Scripture that typologically prophesied the death and resurrection of Jesus on the third day.


What all these biblical and historical data tell us is that the story that Jonah was brewing coffee in the belly of the big fish for three days until he got vomited out into dry land is a myth and has no biblical backing. What Scriptures say is that Jonah died in the belly of the fish and was resurrected on the third day and he became the type of Jesus who died and was in the belly of the earth and was resurrected on the third day.

The death and resurrection of Jonah on the third day, was his sign, and the "sign of Jonah," that is his death and resurrection on the third day (Matt. 12:39) became the sign of the true Messiah because He also died and lived again on the third day (Matt. 12:40; 1Cor. 15:4). The Messiah who after being baptized in the Jordan River Scripture records, "Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove [i.e. "dove" is jonah in Hebrew] and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased'" (Matt. 3:16-17. Jonah (the dove) is indeed a favorite sign of God's salvific resurrection from the dead, allegorically, jonah (a dove) appeared at the death and resurrection of Jesus in the water at his baptism, and literally, the three-day physical death in the water and the literal resurrection of Jonah on the third day became the type for Jesus' three-day physical death and literal resurrection on the third day. 


Key Text: Gen. 1:1-5: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”


We have faith in God even if we haven’t seen His face not because there is no other alternative but rather because we’ve seen the evidence of His footprints. Just as He told Moses, God could not show His face to us because the glory of His presence would kill us mortals. And yet just like He did to Moses, if we really want to see God, He will let us see His back, His footprints, His signature written everywhere around us. Ariel Roth, one of the world’s most prominent Christian scientists once said, “God never performed a miracle to convince an atheist, because his ordinary works provide sufficient evidence.” A minister once preached that it takes faith to believe in God because we cannot show any evidence that He exists. I beg to differ! We believe in God, because of the evidence around us! And because of the evidence around us, it doesn’t require a lot of faith to believe in Him just as it doesn’t require a lot of faith to believe that there is a builder when you see a building standing.

To examine the evidence for God, we will first take a look at what Gen. 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In the surface, this statement seems to be simplistic in its explanation about our origins. But when we get deeper into what Moses is trying to say, we’ll find out that today’s science sheds more light to what Gen. 1:1 is saying probably more than the light that Moses saw when he was inspired to write the words. The English translation of what Moses originally wrote in Hebrew, does not give full justice to what Moses really meant. The Hebrew word for “In the beginning” is Be’reasheet. It’s a compound word with the prefix Be’ which means “with” and reasheet which means “first wisdom.” Literally it means “with surpassing or with transcendent wisdom” God created the heaven and the earth. The Hebrew word be’reasheet is a word with dual entendre (dual meaning). It is commonly translated “in the beginning” but it can also be translated “with transcendent wisdom.” The 2,100-year old Aramaic Bible has the closest meaning to the original Hebrew, instead of “In the beginning,” it says “With wisdom God created the heavens and the earth.”

In other words, when God first created the heavens and the earth He left His signature in them, His footprints, His back. He left His wisdom in His creation so that when we look at His creation, it unmistakably points to Him, the Creator. His supreme transcendent intelligence can be seen in all of His creation. Even by just looking at the surface we can see it, that’s why the Psalmist says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge” (Ps. 19:1-2). And again David echoes what Moses said in Genesis 1:1, “How manifold are Your works, Eternal, You made them all with wisdom” (Ps. 104:24).


Indeed only a fool can say that there is no God because it only takes a normal brain and eyes that work to see the footprints of God. We take everything for granted around us as a given and don’t see the intelligence and wisdom in all of creation. Just look at a banana for example. God is so good to create a banana with us in mind. It is color coded. He lets us know that it’s not yet ready when it’s green, ready when it’s yellow and too late when it’s brown, use gloves when it’s black. It’s also user friendly. Notice how it fits snugly in your hand with a non-slip surface, the tab on top makes it easy for you to open and unlike Coke, even if you open it quick, it doesn’t squirt in your face. Not only that, it perfectly fits in your mouth and curves towards your face to make everything easy for you to eat. Thank God for making bananas the way they are.

If you still can’t see the wisdom of God in the banana, go to the mirror and look at yourself without taking anything for granted. Can you imagine yourself if there was no wisdom in your design, your anatomy? Can you imagine if we just happen to exist by accident? Can you imagine if your eyes were between your toes instead of in front of your face? You would all be sitting there in the pews this morning with your heels over head instead of your head over heels. Can you imagine if your nose were in your buttocks instead of above your mouth? You’ll probably be covering them with your hands all the time. What if it happens to be in your face but it’s upside down, can you imagine the hassle when it rains? What if your eyebrows grow like the hair in your head? Somebody in my household takes about an hour to do her hair, can you imagine the time she’ll waste if she has to comb her eyebrows too for another hour. Can you imagine trying to talk to someone with your long eyebrows in the way covering your eyes? We may laugh, but we can go on and on and talk about so many things that we take for granted, but when we consider them, we’ll realize the impossibility of our existence without God’s wisdom behind it. Look at a mother when she cradles her baby in her bent arms do you notice that the baby’s head is right close to the mother’s breast to make it easier for both the baby and the mother during feeding time? Thank God that He didn’t put the mother’s breast in her back, it would have been a challenge to feed the baby. Can you see not only God’s wisdom but also His love when He made us? Indeed only fools say that there is no God.


God did not only create all living things with wisdom, He also created the heavens and the earth with wisdom. The Hebrew word used by Moses in Genesis 1:1 for “create” is bara. The Hebrew word bara in the Qal stem can only be equated with God. Man cannot bara, only God can bara. Bara means create out of nothing. Man with all his technology and knowledge, cannot create anything out of nothing, we can only make something out of something. God spoke and it was so. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things that are seen, were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). The author of Hebrews says that the things that we see around us were made of things that were invisible. There is an inscrutable power in the word of God that as He speaks, material things that can be seen, the worlds, the stars, the galaxies, the island universes in space, and all, come into existence from something that can’t be seen. Man often talks and utters useless words that don't do anything. But o the awesome and infinite energy, the inscrutable power of the word that comes out of God's mouth! God utters words and worlds come into existence! Man utters words and often they don't mean anything. In Genesis chapter 1, we are told that God created space – the heavens, matter – the earth, moon and stars , and time – the evening and the morning was the first day. Since God created all these, He is not confined to, He is not containable by, and He is not limited to any of them, that is, He is outside of time, outside of space and outside of matter that He created, and therefore, He can see from the beginning to the end, He can know everything and can be everywhere at the same time. “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build me? And where is the house of my rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist’” (Isa. 66:1,2, margin).

In the early to mid 1900s, scientists including Einstein, thought that the universe was static, that is, it had always been there. But with the progress in science, particularly in physics, astronomy, and technology including the Hubble telescope, scientists have found irrefutable evidences that the universe is in fact continuously expanding at a constant speed and seemingly revolving around a common center. And they found out that there was a time when the universe was nothing. In other words, there was a time when there was no time, no space, no matter, no universe, no thing. Because of the evidence, they concluded that there was a time when the universe just exploded abruptly into being out of nothing. They call it the Big Bang, we call it Creation, fiat creation. Scientists used their methods in physics and astronomy to prove that there was no God, but look where do their evidences lead them to? To an awesome all-powerful God! Somebody bigger than the massive limitless universe made it come into existence abruptly out of nothing!

Listen to astronomer Robert Jastrow, the head of the Mt. Wilson Observatory and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, who is not a Christian: “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover….That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” Creation of the universe out of nothing by a supernatural force, a scientifically proven fact? Wow! You think this guy is reading Genesis 1:1 or Hebrews 11:3, but he’s not, he’s saying it on the basis of evidences discovered by modern science. Atheistic scientist Arthur Eddington although feeling repugnant about the current evidence in astronomy and physics had to admit, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”


Modern scientific evidence does not only point to creation out of nothing by means of a supernatural power that is beyond time, space and matter; but also points to the fact that the universe is created with mankind in mind (the Anthropic Principle). In other words, the balance between the earth’s gravitational force and the force of the so called Big Bang (which we call God’s mighty power that holds the universe) is so infinitely precise, so that if it was off by 1 part of 10 to the 60th power (1 followed by 60 zeros) mankind will not exist. To put it simply, in order to maintain life on earth, the force that maintains the universe has to be precise like hitting a target bulls-eye 20 billion lightyears away across the universe. That’s how precise is the force that holds the universe to maintain life on earth and it shouldn’t fluctuate at any moment, otherwise it will wipe out all of mankind.

After realizing this mid-boggling supernatural accuracy, Paul Davies, who is a non-creationist, professor of mathematical physics at the University of Adelaide declares: “I cannot believe that our existence is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama. Our involvement is too intimate….This can be no trivial detail, no minor product of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here.” God showed His footprints, His back, not only in all the things that we see here on earth, but out there in the starry heavens, in the limitless space, the starry heavens are crying out loud to mankind, “There is an awesome God who created us and you and there’s none like Him!” God is telling us through his vast creation in space: “I made all these things for you, because I love you! You were on my mind when I made all these things!” When we read Gen. 1:17 which says, “God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth” we better believe it. God had us in mind when He made the moon, the sun and the stars, not only to give us light, but to give us life! Technically we call this the Anthropic Principle, the universe exists with mankind’s survival in mind.


When God first created the earth, it was without form and the waters were dark, time and light were not created yet, in other words there was no first day yet, nor second day, nor seventh day, only eternity. There was no light either, it was total darkness. Gen. 1:2-5 says: “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” You’ll probably notice that the light was created independent of the sun. God created the light on the first day (Gen. 1:3), and He created the sun on the fourth day (Gen. 1:14-19). Therefore, until the third day the light existed without the sun. How can light exist by itself as an energy without the sun or the moon generating it? Here in Genesis we see that light is not an intrinsic property of the sun, it comes from God Himself. While scientists know that the sun generates light, they don’t have a clue where it got all that energy. Is the sun a mere relay point of light that actually originates from God Himself? What is light anyway? Is it a particle of matter, or is it an invisible wave of energy like radio waves?


For years scientists had debated about light whether it was a particle or a wave. Physics which is the ultimate science of the physical universe, and is the major tool of materialistic science because the physical can be seen and tested, has never quite figured out the nature of light until the advent of quantum physics, the study of the most basic structure of the physical universe at the subatomic level. First there was Einstein who theorized that E=mc2, that is any matter (m) whether it is from uranium or petals of a rose or from your muscles, if subjected to the square of the speed of light (c2), equals to a powerful energy (E). This theory is now the Law of Relativity because it’s been proven to be true. That’s why we have nuclear bombs. For 150 years physicists believed that with the knowledge of the laws of physics in the universe, things become predictable. Einstein himself said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” With his theory he postulated that nothing travels faster than light. If we have to travel to the nearest star (Proxima Centaurus) at the speed of light which is 300,000 kilometers per second, it would take us about 4.3 years to get there, if we travel at the speed of the fastest rocket it would take us thousands of years to get there.

If it’s been proven that nothing travels faster than the speed of light, how is it then that the Bible records that when Daniel prayed, God sent the angel Gabriel from heaven to earth to answer Daniel at an instant speed even before Daniel could finish his prayer (Dan. 9:20-23)? How does God do that? Can God and angels travel faster than the speed of light? Is there a visible reality and another invisible reality? Comes quantum physics, the ultimate science of reality at the most basic level. Scientists are now able to study the atom at its minutest subatomic level with modern instrumentation in today’s laboratories. But the deeper man goes into the atom, the deeper are the mysteries that he encounters. Because the atom, which is the most simple particle of all living and non-living things, quantum physicists have found out, is not simple at all. The components of an atom the electron, proton and neutron have their own smaller components (photons, quarks and neutrinos) and they suspect that those smaller components have also their still smaller components far beyond the grasp of human perception. And what puzzles scientists, is not only the nature of these subatomic particles but also the way they behave. It defies logic and empirical observation. Scientists call this “quantum weirdness.” Niels Bohr, one of the pioneers of quantum physics says, “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum physics, has not understood it.”


In the famous double-slit experiment which was repeated and demonstrated again and again in many laboratories, quantum scientists found out that photons, the smallest subatomic observable components of light can travel faster than the speed of light. When scientists shot photons into one hole, they were also present in the second separate hole at the same time. After observing this phenomenon, physics professor, Timothy Ferris, writes: “It is as if the quantum world had never heard of space – as if in some strange way, it thinks of itself as being in one place at a time.” Can anything or anyone be in different places at the same time? Impossible according to empirical science, but demonstrated my modern quantum physics repeatedly in laboratories.

Before, we had to take what the Scripture said about God’s omnipresence totally by faith. We had to take Jesus’ promise by faith when He said that when He comes again all eyes shall see Him even if an object as immensely big as the sun cannot even be seen by everyone worldwide at the same time. Today, God has given us a glimpse of His omnipresent power, of being able to be there for us and for everyone in the universe instantly everywhere at the same time through His footprints in quantum physics. Through the minutest observable entity of the atom, God shows us a trace of His awesome power like a wake of a boat in the water. What is impossible with man, is possible with God. God can be in all places at the same time, and the photons tell us that it’s true. The photons can do it, their Maker can.

Non-believers are at a loss about this phenomenon in quantum physics, it’s beyond their comprehension. Physicist Roland Omnes writes of quantum physics: “This theory penetrates reality to a depth our senses cannot take us. Its laws are universal, and they rule over the world of objects so familiar to us. We who inhabit the world, cannot make our own vision prevail over the arrogant laws, whose concepts seem to flow from an order higher than the one inspired by the things we can touch, see, and say with ordinary words.” In other words, modern empirical science cannot explain the most basic reality of man’s own existence. There is too much wisdom embedded in the quantum world – the most basic unit of our existence that’s beyond man’s ability to comprehend because it is the insuperable wisdom of God that designed it.

When scientists studied two groups of photons and put them in two different holes, they found out that the photons in the second hole “knew” what was going on in the first hole, that is, when the other photons in the first hole were spinning clockwise, the other photons in the second hole started to spin counter-clockwise. If scaled to life size, it’s like a ball in Australia starting to spin counterclockwise because a ball in Europe started to spin clockwise. And not only that, they found out that photons were “conscious” when they were being observed and that it changed its nature when being observed. When scientists put detectors in two holes and shot photons into them, they behaved like particles, when the detectors were removed, they behaved like waves, that is, invisible energy like radio waves. When scientists put one detector in the first closed hole and no detectors in the second closed hole, the moment scientists opened the first hole that had the detectors, the second hole that was closed and had no detectors still behaved like the photons in the first hole that was being observed, they also collapsed or changed into particles. The moment detectors were removed from both holes, the photons behaved back like waves, like the invisible radio waves. Somehow the photons in the second hole were “conscious” that the first hole was being opened and that the photons in there were being observed and so they reacted the same way as the photons that were being observed, they turned into particles. Talk about weirdness and bizarre behavior. We have this minutest entity of light or of atom, that can assume two different natures, 100 percent invisible radio wave and 100 percent visible particle, at the same time. Two natures that are mutually exclusive yet found in one entity, the photon.

The Scripture also tells us of the two natures of God: His transcendence and His immanence. He is too Holy in His eternal majesty for mortals to see, thus He is invisible, yet through His amazing love and grace, He became One of us that we might see Him face to face. Christ was both 100 percent invisible God and 100 percent visible Man in one person. The photons tell us that an entity can be both visible and invisible. The photons can do it, their Maker can do it too.


First of all, we, including all the things around us are made of atoms. And if we scrutinize what we’re all made of to the minutest unit, we’re nothing but empty space. Just imagine an atom scaled to the size of the solar system, but not with nine or eight planets orbiting the sun, but only one planet (electron) orbiting the sun (nucleus), the rest is nothing but empty space. That’s what we’re made of at the minutest level – the atom. The electron orbits around the central nucleus of an atom which is about 1,800 times bigger than the electron, and yet the negative electrical charge that is generated by the orbiting electron is the same as the positive electrical charge that is generated by the proton that is inside the central nucleus. Without the balance in the electrical charge in the atoms around and inside of us, no life can exist. Why there is a balance in electrical charges between the electron and the proton (which is 1800 bigger in size than the electron of an atom) despite the big difference in size, nobody knows. And the electron that orbits around the nucleus and the nucleus itself that contains the proton, are all electromagnetic waves and not particles. In other words the most basic component of the physical visible universe including ourselves, is invisible. What is empirically visible, is according to quantum physics, is made of the invisible. Suddenly physics, the study of the physical, ends up being the study of the metaphysical. The only reason why we can see, touch, and feel things as solid is because of the varying force fields that different things possess.

For example we can’t go through a wooden door because the force field of the atoms of wood is stronger than the force field of the atoms in our body. A nail can penetrate a wood because the force field of the atoms of an iron is stronger than the force field of the atoms of wood. What if God somehow someday recreates us into immortal bodies and the force fields of our atoms become stronger than the force fields of nature around us? Is it possible then that we cannot be hurt when we fall, or we can walk through shut doors like what Jesus did after the resurrection? Just a thought, but quantum physics now gives us a clue about what’s seemingly impossible in the physical world, is possible in the quantum world. The things that can be seen in the universe are after all made of things that cannot be seen. Wait a minute, doesn’t this quantum phenomenon sound familiar in the Bible? Hebrew 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Wow! Is this quantum physics or what?


Indeed from the complex human being to the minutest one-celled organism, from the subatomic photons to the grandest island universe in space, they all declare the wonders and the glorious signature of God’s awesome power and majesty. But the most amazing of all is not God’s awesome power, not His power to create the limitless universe of stars and galaxies out of nothing, nor His power to hold all His vast Creation in place, but the most amazing of all is that this God who created and who controls and maintains the universe through His immense power, loved us so much that He came down to this one dark tiny dot in the universe called Earth, assumed our human nature, and suffered and died the eternal death condemnation that was ours. He assumed our sinfulness and our eternal death punishment, that we might have another chance and only chance at eternal life. Jesus, the transcendent, uncontainable, inscrutable, omnipotent God and Creator, is also our Savior, our Brother, our Friend and our fellow human. That my friends, is the most amazing thing in the whole universe, and it would continue to puzzle the whole of creation throughout eternity.

Because of Him it became possible for us to wing our flight throughout the realms and limitless frontiers of the universe that are outside the bounds of time and the speed of light.

I like the way how a third grade woman, described what awaits the saints; written at around the time when Darwin came out with his now proven fallacious book, Origin of the Species. E. G. White writes: “All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God’s redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flight to worlds afar…. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings….With undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation – suns and stars and systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Deity. And the years of eternity as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase” (The Great Controversy, pp. 677-678).

Doesn’t your innermost intuition, long for deliverance from this sick, miserable fleeting lifetime that is full of pain, filth, ugliness, greed, tragedy, destruction, uncertainty, fear, impermanence, death and evil? Doesn’t your heart seek for life’s eternal permanence, while knowledge, love, reverence and happiness continue to increase without end? Indeed what an amazing God we have who created us, who sustains us, who loves us with an everlasting love and who has secured for us our eternal salvation! Even so come our Creator-God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


A Sermon On the Fallacy of Evolution


A Russian scientist visiting an American university once said, “Either there is a God or there isn’t. Both possibilities are frightening!” If there truly is a God we better find out who He is and what He wants of us, otherwise it would be frightening to face an all-powerful God that we’ve ignored or despised. If there is no God, we are in big trouble too because the earth is hurtling through space at the speed of 66,000 mph and rotating in its axis at a speed of about a thousand miles per hour. It’s a frightening thought to travel in space at these enormous speeds and no one’s in charge. Can you imagine flying on a big passenger jumbo jet with pilots who have gone unconscious? And not only that: without a God who can answer the problem of death, our existence becomes like a dot in a never-ending line of eternal nothingness before us and eternal nothingness after us. “Man,” becomes, as existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre described, “a useless passion” because no matter how wealthy you are, no matter how happy and contented and well stroked is your ego and belly, no matter how well you’ve planned and organized your life; no matter how you’ve succeeded in your career and your businesses; no matter how secure you feel about the stocks and retirement funds that you have accumulated, no matter how successful is your family, nature still aims to kill you and everyone whom you love, either quickly or slowly, either now or later, but coldly and without failure. So much lurks outside and inside of us that can suddenly snatch it all away, damage, twist and obliterate everything we’ve cherished. Mark Twain once said that the only sure things in this life are death and taxes. That is not true. There are people who evade taxes, nobody evades death, unless you have a God who decides to take you out of this world alive. We can’t avoid the ultimate statistic: six billion people out of six billion people in this world will eventually die.


Mankind had always believed in some kind of deity who had power and control over this earth. It was not until the 1800s, during the era of the so called “Enlightenment” when belief in the metaphysical or spiritual was dislodged by man’s power of reason. In the mid-1800s, interestingly when a religious movement was born pointing to the sanctity of the Sabbath day which points to the Creator, Charles Darwin came out with his theory of Evolution in his book, The Origin of the Species. Charles Darwin was a good man, but his theology was confused. He was bothered by the existence of parasites. So he reasoned that God could not possibly exist because if there was a God, He would not allow parasites to exist. So he started with his alternative theory about man’s origins. Out of respect for his religious wife, he waited for a long time before he published his book. Today almost all our science classrooms are bombarded with evolutionary theory just because of Darwin’s bad theology. This shows us how bad theology can mislead us into great extents, although Darwin himself in 1860 declared, “I did not intend to write atheistically.” But that exactly what his theory produced – atheists. If he only knew the nature of sin, he wouldn’t have wondered why a parasite existed. Because man chose to sin, ugliness and death came into our world, God didn’t cause parasites nor death, we did.

This reminds me of a man who was working in a watermelon farm. When he got exhausted working under the sun, he took refuge and laid down underneath the shade of a big black berry tree. After analyzing the big tree with small black berry fruits, he declared, “O there can’t be a God because if there is, how can He make a very big tree with a very small fruit while a watermelon which is so small by comparison has a very big fruit?” After pondering about his new discovery, the man dozed off to sleep while lying with his face up under the big black berry tree. He was deep in his sleep when a small fruit of the berry tree fell right on his forehead which startled him. When he found out that a small berry fruit fell on his forehead, the man exclaimed, “My God, it’s a good thing that the berry fruit is not as big as the watermelon, otherwise it would have smashed my head.”


Darwin wouldn’t have imagined the impact of his theory on the lives of millions upon millions of people around the world for several generations. Because of evolution, slowly man’s ties to the transcendent personal loving God became unmoored. The domains of religion became gradually regarded as personal, subjective, speculative and fundamentally distinct from objective knowledge and the physical world. Truth was pulled out of heaven, out of the realm of theology and transcendent metaphysics and lodged instead, on earth, to be found only in natural science, in man and in his power of reason. Materialistic science replaced religion as the preeminent intellectual authority in comprehending truth and understanding the universe. Truth has been demoted from the cosmic transcendent eternal omniscient God and lodged in man alone, in his own notions, rules, perceptions and standards, both individually and corporately. Truth becomes relative, whatever man makes it, whatever works, whatever the majority thinks, whatever is popular, whatever his nature dictates. The very concept of absolute truth is denied. There is no objective standard for right and wrong, up or down, whatever fluctuating notions each individual or group deems for itself, will do.

Because the post-modern man has severed his ties with the transcendent God and rooted truth only in himself, if there is to be hope, it must be found only in himself through human resources, human reason and empirical observation – a prospect that becomes increasingly depressing. We’re in a world that by its very condition and nature needs to be saved and yet mankind, with all his technology, science, reason and all the great “isms” that once held so much promise, is helpless to stop his instability, insecurity and certain doom. That’s why there’s so much lunacy, crime, depression and immorality in our world today. Our post-modern world has thrown away the only One who could save mankind from his sinking planet. Modern secularism has brought us to an abyss that’s as empty, unstable, sinking and faulty as the human ego, thus it drives many people into lunacy and depression. Mankind has replaced God with Prozac to save him from his utter depression.


Evolutionists teach that on the issue of origins, the science of Creation or Intelligent Design belongs to religion and not to science, and that only evolution can be the legitimate scientific explanation to the origin of man and the universe. Evolutionists argue that since Creation as an explanation cannot be scientifically proven, that is through empirical observation or experimentation through the human senses, then it belongs not in science but in religion. But does evolution qualify as a science because it can be proven empirically, that is because you can see it with your eyes, smell it, feel it or hear it? The answer is no. The theory that life began spontaneously from a random combination of inanimate chemicals after eons of time is not supported by any empirical evidence, cannot be demonstrated in laboratories, and it’s just pure talk.

In 1953, Stanley Miller of the University of Chicago demonstrated that amino acids which are the basic building blocks of life, were produced through random combination of some chemicals, but it stopped right there. He couldn’t make it come to life, neither would the latter experiments. Even with the assistance of intelligent brains of humans, inanimate chemicals cannot produce life. All attempts to this effect failed miserably. In the mid-1970s Elso Barghoorn of Harvard University discovered the presence of fully developed bacteria embedded in the oldest fossilized rocks ever found, purportedly dating back to 3.8 billion years when water was supposed to have just started to form and life was not supposed to have started yet. This discovery disproved the theory that life began spontaneously three billion years ago. Of course this carbon dating method which allows billions of years is also erroneous because a shell from a live snail which was only a few weeks old was shown to be 27,000 years of age after being subjected to the same carbon dating method that scientists use. This demonstrated the serious inaccuracy of carbon dating which can be way off when it comes to the age of the earth.


The theory that man developed gradually from the simplest to the most complex organism is not supported by any evidence. There is truth in the saying that goes: “When I was in the elementary my teacher taught me that the frog that turned into a princess is a fairy tale, when I was in college, my teacher taught me that it was a fact.” Evolutionists, with the help of the press and the U.S. government, have indeed succeeded in giving the impression that evolution is a scientific fact when in fact it is not. There were purported discoveries of fossils that were alleged to be links from an ape to man such as the Nebraska Man which was rebuilt from a single tooth. Later it was found out that it was a tooth from a pig. The so-called Java Man was nothing but a piece of skull, a fragment of a thigh bone, three molar teeth and an evolutionists imagination expressed through plaster of Paris. The Heidelberg Man was constructed from a jawbone and was later rejected because it was the same as the modern man’s jaw bone. The Neanderthal Man was later determined to be the skull not of a hominid but of a normal human being, his stooped posture was because of disease of the spine and he was later determined to be artistic and religious. The Piltdown Man which was thought to be a 500,000 year-old bone of a hominid, was later determined to be the 600-year-old skull of a woman and the jaw actually belonged to a modern ape. The Peking Man was later reclassified as that of a normal human. Despite all these blatant and glaring mistakes, today’s science textbooks still use these hoaxes as evidences for the theory of evolution.

Dr. T.N. Tahmisian of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission rightly says, “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact.” The famous British journalist and philosopher, Malcolm Muggeridge writes, “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in history books of the future.” Professor Louis Bounoure, Director of Research, National Center of Scientific Research rightly concludes: “Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” G.K. Chesterton was so right when he said, “Evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except the fact that it is missing.” No discovery or experimentation from any scientific laboratory has ever demonstrated that we gradually developed from a simple organism or that life spontaneously evolve by accident due to random combination of inanimate chemicals. Teaching or thinking that evolution is science is therefore a delusion. After all these years, and after all these advances in science, nobody has come up with a shred of evidence that supports the theory of evolution.

As Sir Arthur Keith wrote in his foreword to Darwin’s 100th edition of the Origin of the Species: “Evolution is unproved and unprovable.” But explaining why he continues to believe in evolution he continues, “We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.” Napoleon was right when he said, “Man will believe in anything as long as it is not in the Bible.” In other words, an atheist believes in evolution not because it’s supported by evidence, not because he found out that it is the truth, but simply because he does not like the other alternative. His belief then is not based on reason or evidence but on passion or emotional preference. This sounds like religious bigotry more than scientific objectivity. Did I say religious bigotry? If evolution is not science because it’s not supported by empirical scientific evidence, even if it claims to be scientific, then what is it? One cannot just be a scientist just because he is dressed like a scientist.

When you believe and hope for something but you cannot see any evidence to support it, what is that? Faith! Yes faith! Evolution belongs in the realm of religion, and bigoted as that because it does not want to entertain any other alternative beliefs. It’s not that there is no evidence for the alternative belief, it’s just that they don’t like to believe the other alternative. As the self-professed anti-Christ atheist Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in him.” This is classic religious bigotry. It is blind loyalty to something regardless of the evidence. And bigotry my friends, like persecution, is always wrong.

In his more mature years Charles Darwin himself lamented: “I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion out of them!” That’s Darwin speaking, and how true! It’s the only religion that is taught in our public schools under the garb and vocabulary of science. Thanks to our Christian government.


True Christians should not be blind and bigoted like the evolutionists and atheists, but rather be intelligent about their faith. They should have a faith that is based on reason and not on passion. As Peter admonished us that “we should always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have….with gentleness and respect” (1Pet. 3:15). And Paul also tells us that we should “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2Cor. 10:5,NIV).


When God inspired Moses and David to write about creation, He showed them that all His creation, animate and inanimate, were created with wisdom (Gen. 1:1, the Hebrew word Be’reasheet translated “In the beginning” also means, “with first wisdom”; Ps. 19:1-2). Did God intend this truth to be relevant in our modern times when we have the ability to see beneath the surface and beyond what we can see with our naked eyes? I believe God intended the same message for our modern times, and modern science is just even starting to “scratch” the surface of what’s beneath and beyond the surface. When Darwin published his theory of evolution in the mid-1800s, molecular biology was unknown and astronomy was still primitive. To give us some idea on what science was like in Darwin’s time consider the following: People believed that bats navigated at night by touch, now we know that they use their sonar-like sensation; the moon was populated by furry, winged humans; decaying meat spontaneously turned into maggots, now we know that they’re flies at an early stage; grain changed into rodents; mud became frogs, menopause was almost unheard of; fever was treated with blood-letting, broken legs were treated with amputation, and people got blood transfusions from cows and dogs. Lung problems were treated with smoking. Cells in our body were thought of as tiny building blocks that store special juices for the body.


Today, through modern microscopy we know that a single cell in our body is an extremely complex system in itself with its own small internal organs called organelles and inside chemistry, each, with specific functions for the cell’s maintenance, survival and active interaction with its environment. Right at the center of the cell is the nucleus which contains the genes, the DNA which stores and preserves all the information of your being. Every single cell in your body carries the DNA that contains the blueprint of your entire individuality. In other words in every cell in your body, God stores the information of your entire you. If one is able to isolate any single cell from your body and he puts it inside an egg cell, it will be able to reproduce you. You call this cloning. That’s the power of the DNA to keep humans after their kind and animals after their kind, which makes macro-evolution impossible.

This information in the nucleus of a single cell is equivalent to 1000 encyclopedias with 1000 pages each. Multiply these 1000 encyclopedias by 75 trillion cells that are found in our body. Can you imagine the amount of wisdom that God created us with? The human body is busier than any place in the world you can think of. Just think of your brain alone. While you’re sitting down there on the pews listening to me or sleeping, your brain carries out millions upon millions of tasks every moment of everyday without even you thinking about it. Can you imagine anyone dying because while he’s listening to the sermon he forgot to breathe, or his brain forgot to regulate the heart or to control the body’s sugar level? Our brain is a continent of intricate and convoluted yet precisely organized network that performs millions of functions every millisecond at the same time receiving, processing and sending microscopic electrochemical hurricanes and chemical tidal waves that travel at speeds of up to 200 mph within our body.

In a sense, the brain is omniscient within its sphere of influence, which is our body because it knows what’s going on everywhere and anywhere within our body and responds to all our body needs accordingly at the same time from millisecond to millisecond. Darwin never had a clue about this kind of wisdom in our body. He never knew what DNA was all about which preserves the integrity of each species. If he did he would never have written his book. He wouldn’t have thought that bears would eventually shed their legs and become whales after swimming and adapting itself in the water for some time. In order for evolutionists to support Darwin’s theory they have to ignore modern molecular biology and appeal to the science of the 1800’s. And believe it or not, such atavistic methods are still being used by evolutionists in science textbooks today.

Richard Milton, author of Shattering the Myths of Darwinism states that the chances of forming protein and self-replicating DNA randomly are as likely as “winning the state lottery by finding the winning ticket in the street, and then continuing to win the lottery every week for a thousand years by finding the winning ticket in the street each time.” In simple terms, because of the intricately precise wisdom stored in the DNA in every living thing, the chances that life evolved by chance and from common ancestry or common descent are zero.


Michael Behe’s challenge to evolution, the so called “Irreducible Complexity” or “Whole Package Phenomenon,” or “all or none phenomenon” in all living things shatters the possibility of evolution. The phenomenon of “Irreducible Complexity” or “Whole Package Phenomenon” is the nail to the coffin of evolution, because it shows that life is so complex and interdependent in functions that it is impossible for gradual evolution from a simpler to a complex system to happen. Darwin himself said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would ultimately break down.” Well, “Irreducible Complexity” demonstrates that. To illustrate: Suppose you walk in the forest and you saw a dead branch leaning against the trunk of a tree, you may say it’s just there by random, by accident. But suppose, you saw three branches with the same length leaning against each other forming a perfect tripod, what are the chances that it’s an accident? What are the chances that there was one branch that fell first and then assumed that perfectly leaning position without falling down to the ground, then after a thousand or perhaps a million years another branch fell down of the same length, on the same exact spot and leaned against that other branch, this time both branches leaned against each other without falling to either side until in another million years another branch fell down that has the same length at the exact location where they can now assume a perfect tripod position. You’ll say, don’t be absurd, there’s no way it’s an accident, somebody has put that tripod together! It’s either three of them at the same time or a tripod cannot exist without any of the three components.

My friends, all living things have myriads of systems in themselves that are more complex than a tripod that have to exist at the same time otherwise if one component is separated or non-existent, life cannot exist. From a cell, to an organ, to a system, the phenomenon of irreducible complexity governs all life forms. One example is our energy source called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate), it’s the thing that keeps all living things going from a dandelion to a roaring lion. Like the Energizer alkaline battery ATP powers all living things to keep them going and going in order to survive. ATP is manufactured by the organelles called mitochondria (mitochondrion – singular) which are found in each of the cell in our body. The mitochondria are the power house of our cells because they manufacture ATP, and do you know what the mitochondria need in order to manufacture ATP? They need ATP! So which came first, the ATP or the mitochondria? Both came first, one cannot exist or continue to operate while waiting for the other component to gradually develop into existence, both have to be there at the same time in order for the system to exist that sustains all life forms. And that’s the most basic source of energy that makes all living things live. From the minutest unit of living things, such as the mitochondria in a cell, randomness and gradual development don’t work. Indeed only with the precise unfathomable wisdom of God can all things and mankind come to exist and continue to exist. Under inspiration, David says it right when he declares: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Ps. 139:14).

THE MARK OF CAIN: An In-Depth Biblical Study on Genesis 4:1-15

The "Elohim" (God) Tattoo
The "Elohim" (God) Tattoo


An Exegetical Expository Sermon On the Life Of Cain

By Dr. Diego Sausa

My family and I have traveled a little bit around the world, and one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever seen which made an indelible impact on my mind was the Norwegian fjords. As we sailed through the fjords, we could see hundreds of waterfalls cascading down from the mountain top into the very still and very clear waters of the fjords. The majestic beauty was out of this world. When I looked at the surreal scenery, I couldn’t help but think of the perfect world back then when it first came fresh from the hands of the Creator. And it made me realize that the Norwegian fjords were indeed beautiful but they would pale by comparison to our world back then in the beginning before the Fall.

Yes, we lost paradise because our first parents chose to disobey God, and since then, happiness became an elusive commodity. Satan has opened for mankind many highways and avenues that promise happiness, but in reality they all lead to despair and destruction. Death, corruption, sorrow, ugliness, pain,evil, and injustice became the normal givens since the Fall.

After the Fall, God preached to our first parents the good news that at some point in time, God Himself would assume mankind’s guilt and die their eternal death punishment that He might give them eternal life and happiness again like it was in the beginning. Theologians call it the protoevangeliumor the “first gospel.” It is God’s promise of another chance at eternal life and paradise by defeating evil through the Seed of the woman. The promise is found in Genesis 3:15,God says, “And I will put enmity between you [the serpent/Satan] and the woman [Eve], and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (NKJV). This Seed is clearly a singular Person here because of the pronouns “He” and “His” that are used to refer to the Seed.

This is the first promise and the first gospel in the Bible. In fact this was the only eternal life insurance and the only hope of Adam and Eve and of the entire human race. Often we see on TV, commercials that offer us security for our future: buy gold, buy silver, invest in the stock market, or invest in real estate. I am not against investments, in fact the implied message of the Parable of the Talent is we need to invest and expand on our spiritual, physical and material talents. But let us not forget that these things are false assurances of hope and security in life. At any given moment, your life could be snuffed away from you no matter who you think you are, and your gold, your achievements, your dreams, your investments, your nice property cannot do anything about it. You’ll leave them all behind as you go down alone in the grave. Even Steve Jobs’ iPads and iPhones that grossed him billions of dollars could do nothing about the fact that he is now a cold heap of inanimate dust in the grave. Death zeroes out anything and everything that we have achieved and accumulated in life, and unless we have the hope of the promised Seed who conquers death, we have nothing. So every time we hear these false assurances that have bedazzled and mesmerized the lifetimes of billions of people including countless of Christians, let us cut the chase, and see the true reality: the only real hope and security for our lives and for our future is Jesus, everything else the world can offer points south to the grave.

Adam and Eve understood very well that the Promised Seed or Offspring who would save mankind from eternal death and who would restore mankind back to eternal life would be human but would also be divine. This was very evident when the first child of Adam and Eve was born. When Cain was born, Eve exclaimed,“I have acquired a man from the Lord”(Gen. 4:1, NKJV). Eve thought that that Seed promised by God that would bring about the salvation of the human race would come immediately through her first child. When Cain was born, Eve named him Cain [Qain] from the Hebrew verb qanah meaning “to get” or “to acquire.” Eve named her first son Cain because she thought Cain was the promised Seed that she had just gotten from the Lord, thus Eve exclaims, “I have gotten [qanah] a man even the Lord (eth-YHVH)” (My literal translation). Most translations render it, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord” but the words “with the help” are added by the translators. The original Hebrew text simply says, qanithi ‘ish ‘eth-YHVH which means that Eve simply declared, “I have gotten a man EVEN THE LORD [‘eth-YHVH]” (Gen. 4:1b).

Eve’s expectation of the divine-human Savior-Seed was correct, the Seed was indeed a God-Man, but her timing was way off too early. It would take a few thousand years more before the promised Seed of the woman would actually come to vanquish the enemy(Satan) and his seed (followers) through the woman’s descendant named Mary. And when this Seed finally came, Paul declared in Galatians (3:16), “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your Seed,’meaning one Person, who is Christ.” The patriarchs then knew that the Seed was human and divine. And they were all looking forward to His coming. But in our time, the promised Seed who brings true happiness and hope, who has conquered death and who brings the human race back to eternal life and paradise has already come! When you have Jesus, you already have everything that you need! Do not trade Jesus for anything else in this world.

The realization that Cain was not the promised Seed would soon dawn on Adam and Eve. Another son would soon be born to our first parents and they would call him Abel. Cain and Abel had very different interests. Cain liked to grow crops while Abel liked to raise cattle. Adam and Eve certainly taught both their boys to have faith in the promised divine-human Seed who would save mankind and restore paradise and eternal life back to the human family. Moses records in Genesis 4:3-5, “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell” (NKJV). Moses' introductory phrase in Genesis 4:3 in Hebrew interpreted by most translators as“In the process of time,” or “In the course of time,” is interesting because the translators do not know exactly how to make sense of Moses’ original Hebrew words if taken literally. Moses narrates, “Vayehiy miqqets yamim,” that is, literally, “And at the end [qets] of days” or “And at the climax [qets] of days,” Cain and Abel brought their offerings to the Lord.

At this point in time, the only cycle of time determined by days and not by the movement of any heavenly body was the weekly cycle which was climaxed by the Sabbath day. In other words, what Moses was saying was, “At the climax of the cycle of days, or “At the end of the week,” that is, “On the Sabbath day,” Cain and Abel brought their offerings to the Lord. Not a few scholars have recognized this fact that Moses’ words “and at the end of days,” referred to the Sabbath day (e.g., Jo Ann Davidson, “The Decalogue Before Mt. Sinai,” Perspective Digest,vol. 15:1, p.10). In other words, Genesis 4:3 is the first account of Sabbath worship outside of Eden. Moses tells us that in the beginning, the first brothers of the human race worshiped God on the Sabbath day through their offerings, but one’s worship was accepted by God while the other one’s worship was rejected.

Genesis 4:3-6 says, “And on the climactic day of the week, it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord looked favorably [sha’ah] on Abel and his offering, but He did not look favorably [sha’ah] on Cain and his offering. And Cain excessively [me’od] burned with anger [charah], and his face dropped down [napal]. So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you burning with anger [charah]? And why has your face dropped down [napal]? If you gladly do right [yatab], will you not be accepted? And if you do not gladly do right [yatab], sin is crouching [rabas] at the door and it wants to consume you, but you should rule over it” (My translation).

It’s been commonly advanced that Cain’s offering was not accepted because he did not offer the right offering, namely, the animal sacrifice, but instead he offered grain or food offering before the Lord, whereas Abel did the right thing by offering an animal sacrifice. This idea however, is not correct because in the Old Testament times, God allowed both the firstfruits of the ground and the firstborn of the cattle as offerings (see Neh. 10:35-36; Ex.23:19), and even the fruits of all kinds of trees that were not “firstfruits” were also allowed as offerings (Neh. 10:37). These grain offerings or food offerings were offered during Sabbath days and during other special festivals in Old Testament times which accomplished atonement for God’s people (see Neh. 10:33; Ezek. 45:17; also Numbers chapters 28 and 29). Cain and Abel, therefore, offered the right offerings on the right day of worship, but why is it that God looked favorably on Abel and his offering while He did not look favorably on Cain and Cain’s offering when they both offered the right offerings on the right day of worship?

The answer lies on what YHVH told Cain, “Why are you burning with anger [charah]? And why has your face dropped down [napal]? If you gladly do right [yatab], will you not be accepted?” (Gen. 4:6-7, margin). The Hebrew verb yatab for “to do right” also means “to pleasantly do what is right”or “to gladly do what is right.” In other words, Abel offered his offering with the right and genuine worshipful loving and joyful attitude while Cain offered his offering with the wrong attitude. It was the attitude in the heart as they worshiped God that made the big difference. Abel was joyfully worshiping in the spirit of faith in the grace of God,while Cain was worshiping in form but without the spirit of faith. Cain believed that he deserved to earn salvation because he was doing the right rituals of worship, while Abel believed that he was saved because of God’s grace through the Seed and not because of anything that he did. In other words, Cain’s worship was based on salvation by his own works while Abel’s worship was based on salvation by faith in God’s grace. No wonder the author of Hebrews, who most likely is Paul says, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts” (Heb. 11:4,ESV).

You know, many people say, “It doesn’t matter how or when we worship God, as long as we worship Him, it’s alright.” Wrong. God is very particular about the rightness of our worship. We may be worshiping God on the right day, and may be doing the the right rituals of worship, but I submit that we should ask ourselves this question: Does God look favorably upon my worship of Him like He looked favorably at the worship of Abel, or does He look at my worship unfavorably the way He looked at Cain’s worship?

Man looks at the outside appearance, but God sees both the outside and the inside of the heart. When the people of Judah were in the depths of evil, injustice,disregard and oppression of the poor and the needy, God through Isaiah declared,“The multitude of your sacrifices – what are they to me?...I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats….Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your…Sabbaths and convocations– I cannot bear your evil assemblies….When you spread your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood;wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the case of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow” (Isa. 1:11-17, ESV,margin).

My friends, we have just read the formula for acceptable worship. In other words, what God is saying through Isaiah is, our Sabbath worship and our offerings are useless unless our hearts truly love God and our fellowmen. In other words, a pleasant, loving and charitable heart, is better than the external rituals of church worship and offerings.

A poem by R. Tagore of India sums up the right attitude in worship, he says,

Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your own house with the fragrance of love.
Go not to the temple to light lamps before the altar of God,
First remove the darkness of sin from your heart.
Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bow humbly before your fellowmen.
Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,
First bend down to lift someone who is down.
Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you.

This was the main difference between Cain’s and Abel’s worship. Abel worshiped God with the right loving,joyful and faithful heart, Cain worshiped God with a selfish heart.

When Cain saw that his offering was not accepted while his brother Abel’s offering was accepted by God, Cain became extremely angry. Moses uses two Hebrew superlative words to emphasize the extreme intensity of Cain’s anger. Moses narrates in Genesis 4:5, “And Cain excessively [me’od] burned with anger [charah], and his face dropped down [napal].” The adverbial Hebrew word me’od for “excessively,” means “to a great degree,” “utterly,” or “excessively” and the Hebrew verb charah means “to excessively burn with anger.” The picture of Cain’s anger was so graphic that Moses describes that Cain’s face dropped down. Have you ever seen a dog that’s growling in vicious intense anger and his facial expression turns very ugly because another dog tried to take away his food? It’s very easy to tell when a person is very angry because the face turns like burning red and ugly and he growls like a dog. When that happens, stay away, don’t add heat to the already intensely burning heat, because he or she might bite you. Christ says (in Matt. 5:21) that murder does not just consist of the actual killing of another person but being angry with another person is liable of murder. When Christ said this, He was echoing what God said to Cain about his anger. God told Cain, “when you are angry sin crouches at the door and is ready to consume you therefore rule over your anger.” The sin of anger is being personified here like a crouching predator that is on the verge of devouring its prey. God says that if we don’t overrule our anger, it will devour us. Unfortunately, Cain did not listen to God, he did not rule over his anger but instead indulged in it and surely his anger consumed him that he ended up killing his own brother in cold blood.

By all means, rule over that anger. Take a shower, take a break, run into the woods and scream at the top of your voice to get rid of that anger, go fishing, by God’s grace, rule over that anger and hate because if we don’t we would end up like Cain doing heinous acts that we could not reverse. Anger or hatred for another does not only lead to the possibility of harming another person, it kills our own spiritual life. That’s why God said do not be angry with your fellowmen, because anger or hatred eats you up inside.

And so Cain ended up killing his own brother and God asked Cain where his brother was. God was asking not because He did not already know, but because it was to let Cain know that God fully investigates his case first and weighs the evidence, before God passes His judgment. God asks Cain, “‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’” And then God presents the evidence of the case, “‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground’” (Gen. 4:9-10). After making a full trial and investigation and after establishing the evidence of Cain’s guilt, God pronounces the verdict on Cain. In Genesis 4:11 God says, “So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on earth” (NKJV). So Cain’s judgment was, he could no longer do what he loved to do in his life: grow crops, plant flowers, plant veggies and fruit trees. The earth that received the blood of his brother would no longer enable him to grow anything. He would not be able to stay put in one place because things around him would not bear any fruit. Cain becomes the first gypsy on earth. He would wander from place to place without a permanent home.

When God pronounced Cain’s punishment that he would not be able to grow anything and that he would become a fugitive and a vagabond, Cain did not argue. He accepted the punishment because he knew he was guilty as charged and that he deserved the punishment, but he pleaded, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me” (Gen. 4:14). In the heart of Cain was like a child crying before his heavenly Father. He was saying, “Yes I’m guilty and deserve the punishment, but it’s too much for me to bear.” Throughout the years of Cain’s life before this crime, he always had the assurance of God’s presence in their midst and the privilege of talking to Him face to face. But after committing this heinous crime Cain felt that God would permanently separate from him which would expose him to the threat of death by murder – the very crime that he committed against his own brother.

Then God answers Cain with an answer that is profoundly immersed in divine love, forgiveness and grace. He tells Cain, “‘Therefore,whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven fold.’ And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him” (Gen. 4:15). What manner of love is this that God protects and defends the condemned sinner! This is exactly opposite to what the world does. The world judges you and condemns you even if you are not guilty of the accusation, but here was Cain, guilty as charged, but God protects him and defends him as a father protects his child no matter what! What God is telling the world is this: “My child Cain is guilty and I’m punishing him alright and letting him suffer the consequences of his sin, but don’t ever make the mistake of touching him because I will severely punish anyone who touches him because he is still My beloved son.” Have you ever punished your child for misbehaving and you as a parent suffers the punishment more than your child does? This is exactly the picture that Moses paints in this passage. In a sense, we are all like Cain, guilty as charged, but God bears our punishment more than we do, and He has put a mark on our forehead, the mark of the Cross,so that the adversary would not make the mistake of touching us because we are still the apple of God’s eye, we are still His children despite our failures.

We don’t know exactly if Cain is saved or not, I would like to think that I will see him in Eden restored. But the visible divine tattoo that God put on him most likely on his arm or forehead, protected him and made him live through his normal lifespan. The mark also assured him that God his Father would never leave him alone despite himself. Cain seems to have been profoundly grateful to God for His grace long after he received God's mark of protection. Cain named his first son Enoch and he also established the first city in the world and likewise named it Enoch (Gen. 4:17).  The Hebrew word hanok for Enoch comes from the root hen meaning grace.  In other words, Cain's acknowledgment of God's grace was profound.

God’s assurance for Cain is the same assurance that we have. Like Cain, we are all guilty as charged, but thanks be to God because despite the fact that we are all guilty as charged, His grace, His love, His protection and His presence do not leave us. He is able to save us and protect us to the uttermost because like what He did to Cain, God our heavenly Father is able to forgive us even from our most grievous sins and put the mark of the cross on our foreheads, the mark of Jesus, the One who bore all our guilt, the One who enables us to get back to that place in the beginning where death and pain were unknown; the One who can give us eternal life.  If you wish to receive God's mark - the mark of the cross that gives us the assurance of eternal life and salvation from eternal death, please pray with me.