Genesis in Chinese Pictographs

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Ancient Chinese pictographs are silent witnesses, like fingerprints, of historical events reported in Genesis. In particular, the details of these word-symbols are clues that point to how the earliest Chinese must have known basic facts of Genesis 1–11 at the very time their pictographs were invented.

Chinese is not an alphabet-based language—its word characters are both abbreviations of and combinations of picture symbols.1 The simplest symbols are combined to construct composite symbols that denote compound words.1,2 However, the actual pictures that were chosen, and especially their associated meanings, are what give us an amazing insight into Chinese history. The pictographic clues to that mysterious past have remained hidden in plain view for thousands of years.

Whereas most written languages construct words from the letters of an alphabet, the Chinese language uses radicals [i.e., root meaning-symbols], also called keysroots or primitives, as the basic units and building blocks for the word characters. Each character contains one or more root symbols.3

The creative selection process that invented ancient Chinese characters produced the earliest form of Chinese pictographs, sometimes called ideograms or oracle bone pictographs because the texts were often carved onto bones or tortoise shell plastrons.1,2

But linguistic changes have occurred over the centuries, so pictographic analysis requires a forensic perspective, because the present is not the key to China’s linguistic past. The basic written vocabulary of the Chinese language is not being invented today, so the origin of their pictographs cannot be observed by empirical science methods.4 Rather, an investigative study of how the earliest Chinese historically selected relevant symbols to denote word meanings, during the invention of their written language, requires historical cause-and-effect analysis—what forensic scientists call “cause and origin” analysis.5 In this investigation, the forensic cause-and-origin question is: Where did the Chinese picture concepts come from—concepts that are memorialized in ancient Chinese pictographs? And a corollary question is: Why do these figures match Genesis history?

During the invention of a pictographic language, creating pictographic “words” involved selecting picture symbols that were relevant and meaningful to whoever invented those written symbols. But what motifs would signify meanings that the ancient Chinese would portray about 4,500 years ago? What ideas were familiar to those who invented China’s original written language?

Since Chinese civilization began soon after the Tower of Babel fiasco, the first Chinese settlers still had a fresh memory of mankind’s origins—from creation week to the dispersion of languages at Babel. Thus, they not only knew the history highlights in Genesis 1–11, but they would also have regarded those same events as important in human history and experience.6 It is unsurprising, therefore, that many of the picture-symbol characters, in the ancient Chinese language, match the thinking of a soon-after-Babel people who retained important memories of historic events reported in Genesis 1–11.

These creation-through-Babel events observed in Chinese pictographs include many themes and associations that readers of Genesis will recognize: God the Creator; creation of heaven and Earth, including a garden; man made from earth; man with stewardship responsibility; warning provided by God, hand, and a tree; man and woman as demonstrating completeness; covetousness involving trees and woman; temptation represented by garden, trees, and devil; death involves hands, tree, and mouths; thorns indicate weeds and punishment; alienation shown through man, woman, and garden; goodness involves woman and “seed”; sacrifice is represented by God, hand, and blood; “Lord” is designated by God and blood; “me” plus sheep equals righteousness; trust/dependence is represented by God covering a couple with clothing; violence is shown by an elder brother with a mark; flood involves universal water, and “universal” is conveyed by the number eight, united, and earth; boat is illustrated as a vessel or container and eight people; mankind plus one mouth/speech equals a type of unity, yet that unity combined with weeds (which depict the curse) equals ambition, and that ambition plus clay/bricks equals a tower; rebellion/confusion is represented by a tongue—and the list of correlations goes on. A few visual examples of this Genesis-relevant pattern follow, but note that there are many more documented in scholarly sources.1,2

The pictographic word for “to create” in ancient Chinese is composed of the components “to speak/talk” and “walking”—consistent with the Genesis account of God using His mouth to create and Adam being created fully mature and thus able to walk, as follows.

Kang and Nelson recognize that this etymology retains information from Genesis 2:7, since Adam (whose name means “ground” in Hebrew) was made from and received the breath of life from God, and was created fully formed, able to walk and talk, etc.7 Interestingly, the Chinese have a memory of a seven–day week, depicted pictographically as “the returning seventh day”—which is itself a monument to the creation week.

Recollection of the Garden of Eden is also evident in the ancient Chinese word for “garden.”6

If this does not link to the Genesis account, why else would the early Chinese combine the ideas of “two persons” who received the “breath” of life after the first one of those two persons (Adam) was made from the “dust” of the earth?

Additionally, the pictographic characters for “boat” and “flood” recall information recounted in the adventures of Noah and his Ark–borne family, as recorded in Genesis 6–9. These Chinese characters recall that there were exactly eight survivors of the worldwide Flood.7

Although the illustrations above only serve to introduce this fascinating trove of pictographic philology (word study), they do show what forensic professionals call a “beyond-genuine-dispute” witness of God’s historic workings in Chinese history, producing a form of providential history and evidence of biblical truth.

Before concluding this fascinating study a qualification is appropriate, because this writer is not an expert in ancient Chinese pictographs. Has this author ever seen the apologetics value of these Chinese pictographs tested in the real world? The answer is yes, as a previous Acts & Facts article indicated years ago.

In 1990, a graduate student from communist China—raised on atheistic evolution—asked me the following question: “Why should I believe in the Bible God, the Bible is true, and God is fair, when China was never given Bible truth about God to believe?” Simply put, this young man was asking: “Why should I believe in your Bible’s God?” and “Why should I believe in your God’s Bible?”8

Recalling that I learned somewhere that the Chinese character for “flood” somehow contained the symbol for “eight,” I asked my Chinese friend to write out the Chinese word for flood, and to describe what its component symbols represented. As indicated above, his description of flood included the number eight—a fact he had no explanation for, other than he guessed that it might have once been a phonetic symbol, similar to how “4” can be shorthand for “for” or “8” for “ate.”

Then I read 1 Peter 3:20 to him and pointed out how Genesis 6–10 reports that exactly eight humans survived the global Flood, a fact that perfectly made sense of the Chinese pictographs. Then, he added that the Chinese character for “boat” also contained the number eight, and he began to realize that his own language contained latent clues that the Bible’s early history was once well known to the Chinese people.

After further discussion about how the biblical God is a loving shepherd who seeks to secure wandering sheep into His heavenly sheepfold (Psalm 23Luke 15John 10), my friend concluded that, long ago, the Chinese people had known the truth about the God of the Bible, including the early history of God’s dealings with mankind as Genesis records, but that somehow this precious truth had been lost or wasted. During the wee hours of the morning, with joy in knowing that God had caringly revealed Himself to the Chinese people, my friend trusted Christ as his personal Savior, and he has enjoyed belonging to Him since (Luke 15:7Romans 4:3Luke 10:20).

The silent-yet-testifying witnesses of ancient Chinese pictographs, which remind us that the earliest Chinese generations knew much of what we read in Genesis, are a monument to God’s truth, preserved in simple pictographic symbols. That historically preserved truth points to the accuracy of the Scriptures, which in turn always point to and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:39, 46).

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Business Structure: Masters

“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” (Colossians 4:1)

Kurios is the very common Greek word for a person with authority. It is most often translated “lord” and is used frequently as part of the title and descriptions of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The most obvious focus of the term is the right to exercise that authority.

The short sections in Colossians and Ephesians about basic human relationships include the relationships between servants (employees) and masters (bosses). The employees are expected to work consistently and maintain loyalty as if they were working directly for the Lord Jesus Himself.

The bosses are expected to behave toward their employees with “just and equal” treatment (our text) and to forbear any “threatening” that might be the result of favoritism, since there is no “respect of persons” with the Lord Himself (Ephesians 6:9).

For those “masters” among the family of God, prompt payment of earned wages is required (Leviticus 19:13). Nor is the focus to be centered on becoming rich (Proverbs 23:4), particularly not if the focus is to get rich quick (Proverbs 28:20-22)! Rather, those to whom the Lord has granted wealth (through diligence—Proverbs 10:4) are to “do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Timothy 6:18).

Finally, our Lord Jesus made it abuntantly clear that none of His leaders are to “exercise dominion” or seek to “exercise authority” over others. But in contrast, “it shall not be so among you: whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-27). HMM III

 

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5 Reasons Why God Allows Suffering in Believers’ Lives

It’s true that sometimes things seem hopeless, even to believers, but the Bible offers clarity and perspective as well as tells us the purposes and reasons for the trials in our life, Pastor Greg Laurie of the California megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship explained to his congregation in a sermon.

If you want to be a growing Christian, you should read, study and love God’s Word; you need to have a prayer life; and you must be actively involved in the church, Laurie told the congregation as he began his message, “Why Does God Allow Trials in the Life of the Believer?”

Laurie preached these three essentials of Christian growth in his previous sermon series, called, “What Every Growing Christian Needs to Know.”

Taking the series forward, the pastor said it takes time to grow spiritually. “It doesn’t happen overnight.” And sometimes, you come to a point where you don’t feel God’s presence as you felt it earlier, he added.

But “why do we go through trials and emotional lows?” he asked.

To explain, he quoted James 1:2-4, which says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Laurie said there are five reasons why God allows trials.

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One, God allows trials in our lives so that we will grow up spiritually, he said.

Laurie explained that he goes to the gym, although he doesn’t like to workout, so that he can grow physically. You break down your muscles to build them up, and so is true in our spiritual lives as well, he added. “Trials are God’s gym where you’re broken down to be built up. … You won’t like it, but you will like the results.”

The pastor also said that God rarely announces trials ahead of time, He just lays them on us. But trials take our faith from the realm of theory to reality, he said.

When trials come in our lives, we want to hang on to the Lord, and learn the lessons He is seeking to teach us, he stated. “The testing of your faith produces spiritual toughness, heroic endurance.”

Remember that trials are “not intruders, but friends,” Laurie said.

Two, even when things look bleak, all things work together for God’s glory and your good, the pastor shared.

He quoted Joseph as saying in Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

There are no accidents, there’s only providence, Laurie said, adding that God allows us to be tested, but never more than what we can handle, because even the devil can sometimes serve the purposes of God.

A believer will emerge stronger after the trials, unlike non-believers, who may turn away for God. “Trials can determine if you’re really a Christian,” he said.

Three, God’s ultimate purpose for us is that we might be conformed into the image of Jesus, the pastor stressed.

Laurie suggested that Romans 8:28 should be read together with verse 29.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters,” (Romans 8:28, 29).

Predestination simply means that God determined your salvation before you were alive, to be conformed into the image of His own dear Son, he explained.

We go through bad things in life, but in a turn of events they can turn into something good, Laurie told the congregation. But there are things in life that are bad, and stay bad, and they are always bad, he clarified. For example, tragedies are not good, although something good can come out of it.

Besides, he added, the benefits of certain trials we are going through cannot be discovered until we go to Heaven. “Just know that God is at work.”

Laurie then quoted 2 Corinthians 4:17-19, which reads: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Four, suffering can bring glory to God.

We can glorify God by remaining faithful to Him and continuing to trust Him despite difficulties and trials, Laurie said. And there are also times when God is glorified through His intervention, he added. God still does miracles today.

A disability can become an ability when placed in the hands of God, he said, giving the example of Nick Vujicic, known as the “Limbless Evangelist” and who was born with a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs, and Joni Eareckson Tada, who suffered a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. Both have led thousands to Christ, and strengthened believers with their testimonies.

Five, suffering can be used by God to prepare us for a special task, Laurie said, explaining that God is getting us all ready for something. “When you’ve gone through something in life, and have survived it, you can be a great comfort to someone who’s going through it.”

In conclusion, the megachurch pastor shared 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

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God My Personal Saviour

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:47)

One of the most wonderful titles of the Lord Jesus Christ is that of Savior. This word (Greek soter, from which is derived our theological term “soteriology,” the study of salvation) occurs 24 times in the New Testament and is applied only to Christ, “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

It occurs first of all on the lips of the virgin Mary in our text above, when she realized that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Savior. It is significant that this first use of soter recognizes that our Savior can be none other than God Himself—“God my Savior”—and also that this fact should cause our spirits to rejoice, as Mary’s did. He becomes our personal Savior when we believe on Him, as did Mary.

He is also “the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14) and the “Saviour of all men” in the sense that His work on the cross is sufficient to save all who will receive Him.

There are eight other verses in the New Testament in which “Savior” is taken as synonymous with “God.” The final occurrence of “Savior” is one of these, and it is in one of the greatest doxologies of the Bible. “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 25).

There are many today who see the man Jesus as a great teacher and example, but who reject His deity. There are many others who believe in a cosmic deity of some kind, but are unwilling to believe that He could become uniquely incarnate in a perfect man. How urgent it is that we believe and teach that our Creator must also become our Savior if we are ever to be saved. We must “trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). Then we can rejoice with Mary in “God my Saviour.”

by Henry Morris, Ph.D. | Mar. 4, 2015

 

For more wonderful daily devotions, visit The Institute For Creation Research

Christmas Near The North Pole

IMG_1735Unfortunately, this is what the average person in Northern Ontario has in mind when they think of Christmas. This photo was taken of a local building that was straight across from the post office for everyone to see.

 

On December 23 a few of us decided to brave the cold weather and go outside at the local mall and distribute the gospel.  We put together some packages that were handed out to people as they were shopping.

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Each package included a “Good Person” tract, a DVD of “The Biggest Question?” and a tree ornament that was made with a nail, a red ribbon and a card with a poem of how a nail was used to hang Jesus on the cross.

 

 

 

IMG_1671To our surprise we stepped outside and it was… let’s say frigid.  Nothing a cup of hot chocolate couldn’t fix! After quickly freezing our little toes (approximately 1 minute), we decided to step into the mall for the distribution. It only took 1 hour before we ran out!

There was 1 person who refused the gift. A couple of people were surprised that we weren’t charging them anything for it, and most everyone was pleasant as we wished them a Merry Christmas.

The one time of the year when you can talk about Christ and the majority of people will politely accept what you give them. If you were to try this the following month, you would get a very different reaction.

I think this will be a new yearly tradition. Of course, we will have to expand it over several days leading up to Christmas.