The Children’s Bread

Citizens of any nation have a special status, based on their inherited right, or chosen right for those who take on citizenship. Jesus Christ celebrated that special status, so it is enshrined in political reality. Sadly we are seeing an erosion of this special status, so it is timely to investigate our God-endorsed rights.

Children

Jesus Christ spoke of the natural national citizens as “children”.

On one occasion Peter made a mistake in his encounter with the administrators of his day. Peter was approached and asked if his master paid tribute money. Peter unwisely said that he did. Jesus then challenged Peter about Peter’s thinking on this matter.

“When they came to Capernaum those that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Does not your master pay tribute? He said, Yes. And when he came into the house Jesus detained him, saying, What do you think, Simon? Who do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute from? Is it from their own children, or from strangers? Peter said to him, From strangers. Jesus said to him, Then the children are free. However, so we don’t offend them, go to the sea and cast an hook, and take up the first fish that comes up; and when you open his mouth, you will find a piece of money: take that, and give to them for me and you.” Matthew 17:24-27

Why Children

Every citizen is a ‘child’ of the cultural family to which he or she belongs. That is significant and I will probably discuss that point in more depth at some other time.

Suffice it to say right now that what starts as a ‘family’ really should stay as a family. However, what tends to happen is that our leaders stop being ‘fathers’ to us and become greedy brothers and sisters who sell out the ‘family’ for personal status and reward.

Good government does not penalise its own family, but rewards it. Good government creates a wonderful environment for its own children. Good government then taxes the foreigners (“strangers” in the words of Jesus) for using the resources that really belong to the children.

Oh that it were so in our nations today!

In many western nations today the foreign entities can operate within the country with great tax advantages and privileges, while the children are heavily taxed to pay for the borrowings of their leaders (their ‘fathers’?) who have placed them in an unhappy place of national penalty.

Hmmmm…..

The Children’s Bread is for the Children

Jesus spoke of ‘children’ in a political sense on another occasion. He spoke to a foreigner who was seeking His power for a family need. In that conversation with the Syrophenician woman Jesus affirmed His personal calling to the nation of Israel. His power, miracles and grace were intended for the nation of Israel.

Israel was by that time a nation that had existed for more than a millennium. It is easy to forget, after such a long time, that the nation is really a ‘family’. The original children of Israel were the literal children of a man named Israel. As the families grew over successive generations the ‘children’ grew in number to be a national entity in their own right. But they were still ‘children’ of Israel.

In political terms this foreigner was not a member of the family of Israel. Rather than being a child in the family she was something else, like a family pet. Jesus pointed this out by saying that it was not right for Him to take what belonged to the children and to give it to the dog.

While Jesus’ comments sound offensive to our ears it is important to note two things. The woman was not upset. She recognised that His statement was true. She was outside the Kingdom and had no right to the things she requested. She was not a child of Abraham or a descendent of Jacob (Israel). Jesus’ words were not an insult, but a statement of truth acknowledged by the woman herself.

Further to that, Jesus was happy to hear her appeal and expression of faith and to grant her what she asked.

She said (in essence), “It is true that I am a dog, but even the dogs get to eat the crumbs which are dropped by the children. Since not all of your blessings will be enjoyed by the children you can spare one of the crumbs for me.”

“a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she begged him that he would cast the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not right to take the children’s bread, and cast it to the dogs. And she answered and said to him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said to her, For this saying go your way; the devil is gone out of your daughter. And when she came to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.” Matthew 7:25-30

Your Bread

We have seen that Jesus used the notion of ‘children’ to speak of both political realities (paying tribute) and spiritual realities (claiming the blessings belonging to God’s people).

You too are a child and have your own bread. So, what is your bread? What is it to which you have political and spiritual right?

As a citizen of your nation and culture you are entitled to the freedoms and protections afforded to you. You should not be abused by the fathers of your culture and nation. They should be providing you the special blessings which you are entitled to as a member of the family.

As a child of God you are entitled to an amazing range of spiritual and practical blessings reserved for the ‘children’. In fact, you have the right to walk and live in a state that is described as ‘glorious liberty’ (wonderful freedom), as God’s child.

“Creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21

I encourage you to enjoy the bread that is yours, both politically and spiritually. You are fully entitled to those blessings and it is your responsibility to protect and preserve them so that your own children can enjoy them as well.

Are Curses Genetic?

Now that researchers have been able to observe chemical changes within a person, directly linked to that person’s past experiences, there is a better understanding of how experiences can be translated into genetic changes. Those genetic changes may then be passed down to descendents.

Are these findings bringing us closer to understanding how curses are passed down from one generation to the next? Are curses genetic, and is there any scientific basis for understanding how they work?

I teach in my family seminars and explain in my flagship text, Family Horizons – Creating Families of Destiny (available from Family Horizons – www.FamilyHorizons.net) that the Bible teaches the reality of curses and of family curses. The Biblical case is for curses becoming part of the genetic inheritance of the family.

Here is a quick summary of some Biblical points to show that curses are genetic. At the giving of the Ten Commandments God specifically describes Himself as ‘visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me’ (Exodus 20:5). This process is clearly one of passing to the children some form of curse or negative outcome, which continues for four generations. This is effectively a genetic curse.

When Eli the priest failed to give honour to God, but supported his sons’ evil activities instead, God pronounced a curse on Eli’s family that would be there ‘for ever’ (see 1Samuel 2:31-33). That curse was confirmed a few years later when the young lad, Samuel, first heard God’s voice. God told Samuel that Eli and his sons were going to die for their sins and that a curse would be on Eli’s family for ever (1Samuel 3:13).

Eli’s curse is that none of the males will grow into old age. They will all die in the prime of their life. This curse was not going to work for three or four generations, but would persist for ever.

Some evangelical Christians find it very hard to accept that curses could exist today. My answer is to ask, Is the curse of sin and death still operating in the world? The answer is, Yes. Where does it come from? The answer is, Adam. What is your connection to Adam? The answer is, I am his descendent. So, there you have it. Every evangelical clearly believes in family curses. We all believe that the curse of sin and death comes upon all people today, even after the resurrection of Jesus, as a curse we receive from our ancestor. This is a family curse!

Allow me to leave the doctrinal case there. The question I have posed is, Are Curses Genetic? Since the Bible clearly shows that they are, we should expect there to be some scientific clue to a physiological reality. That clue is now uncovered.

Since our DNA prescribes the range of options available to us in our species, and even limits us to the collection of features that have been successfully passed to us from our immediate ancestors, it could be argued that there is no real room for a ‘curse’ to impact the DNA. Dominant genes will assert themselves over passive genes. It is completely unlikely that some new gene will suddenly appear in the DNA as response to some ‘curse’ being placed on our life.

But genetics has moved beyond DNA as the sole prescriptor of our genetic options. Related genetic process work on the DNA to cause various genes to be activated (expressed), or not. A simple protein molecule might be all that is required to switch on or off some genetic capacity. The consequence can be such things as disease, mental instability, personality changes and so on.

Recent findings indicate that suicide is being triggered in some men who have been abuse victims in childhood. Brain research on 18 such men indicates that, while the essential DNA is OK, the methylation process accompanying gene activity is different in these men, compared with non-abused men.

This finding points to the importance of the switching process. A curse can theoretically be switched on or off in your life, by a basic act of cell chemistry. Your genetic DNA won’t change but the function of your genes will.

And that may very well be how God goes about the process of activating a curse in a person’s life, which is passed down through the family.

So, are curses genetic? I can’t be adamant in my answer, but I can see how it is possible in the light of current genetic understanding. One thing is for sure, family curses are Biblical and real.

My book, Family Horizons, does explain how to break curses. So please don’t have sleepless nights trying to protect your DNA from rebel proteins.

Sovereignty Banned!

As I have reviewed the subject of personal sovereignty with you in recent months I have sought to open your eyes to the special privilege you have of doing business, directly and personally, with the God of all creation. Our greatest authority comes from the highest official – and so coming under the direct authority of God gives us authority that cannot be trumped by lesser beings.
True sovereignty, however, is not found in asserting personal rights, attending assertiveness training courses, defying authorities or the like. True sovereignty is all about you being in direct, personal relationship with God. He is the ultimate sovereign citizen of the universe. No-one can contend with His authority. When you are an intimate friend of God, falling at His feet and living only to do His will, you can walk in the fullest expression of your personal sovereignty.
Much of what others might think of as exercising their personal sovereignty may well be rebellion, arrogance, defiance against authority, self-will and ignorance. Please avoid such things.
Now, as I have pointed out, a person who truly walks in their personal sovereignty is able to exercise power and influence greater than governments, regimes and armies. That is the reason, I suggest, that evil regimes are so determinedly antagonistic to Christian faith and the Bible.
There is no more empowering experience and no more sure way to establish a person’s personal sovereignty, than to have them enter into personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no more empowering resource than the Bible. When people live by faith in God, through Jesus Christ, committed to the Bible as the inerrant word of God, they are empowered and willing to exercise personal freedom like no other people. Evil regimes, therefore, run the risk that divinely empowered people will be able to challenge them in the same way Elisha challenged the King of Syria, or David brought down Goliath. No evil regime wants to have young people in its own domain who can exercise greater clout than the dictator, nor some lonely prophet who can topple their power.
Have you noticed that communist and other dictators are quick to ban the Bible, restrict Christian worship and punish people of faith? It is a trade-mark of many regimes. They ban the Bible and Christianity, because they are trying to do away with personal sovereignty.
Notice this quote from Horace Greeley: “It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” The ‘human freedom’ identified by Greeley is that right to stand before God. A person who can stand confidently before his maker is the freest person on the planet. He may be in prison, outlawed, or otherwise oppressed by man, but his soul and spirit are free, even freer than the dictators who incarcerated him.
Napoleon also recognised the incredible power inherent in the Bible and the faith that springs from it. He said: “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”
For that reason Bibles have been taken to oppressed people, as part of the process of setting those people truly free. The Bible has the power to liberate souls, and consequently to liberate peoples and nations.
Note, however, that in the West there has been a subtle banning of the Bible. It is no longer allowed to be read in schools as it was when I was a boy. A weekly Bible lesson was conducted in my classes, by the school teacher, as part of the class curriculum. That small inculcation of the Word of God had its effect, especially when combined with the many other places where the Bible was spoken and its teachings propagated. But today much of that sowing of the Bible has been made illegal, and we have a generation more ready to succumb to tyranny than we had before. We have a people closer to losing their human freedom.
I, for one, am keen to propagate the Bible and its teachings. I also encourage every one to explore their personal sovereignty before God. I want whole generations committed to walking with God, according to the Word of God, living by faith in God, obedient to the will of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, so that they can build the kingdom of God and turn back the forces of oppression which aim to enslave them and their children.
I commend to you your personal sovereignty. Don’t let anyone ban it or rob you of it. Pursue God. Read the Bible. Put your faith in Jesus Christ. Humble yourself before God. And live the destiny God has uniquely created for you. I challenge you to do so, in Jesus’ precious and powerful name. Amen.

God & Genetics

God is the first one to describe genetic transfer. While geneticists unravel the mysteries of DNA, genes and related genetic machinations they are simply playing with stuff that God first documented about 6,000 years ago.

The original records of the creation, which were later compiled by Moses in about 1500BC clearly document that God created plants and animals to reproduce “after their own kind” (Genesis 1:11,21,24). Natural science has consistently attested to this creative limitation ever since.

I noted in a previous post (Genetics for Dummies) that Gregory Mendel and Charles Darwin both approached the question of heredity. The monk, Mendel, in due reverence for what the Bible clearly taught, was intrigued by how God did it. How was it that the distinctively created kinds could reproduce diversity among their population, while remaining within their distinctive kind?

Darwin chose, probably under the influence of his father who first proposed the theory of evolution, to seek explanation for how the various kinds could emerge differently to what the Bible taught. He settled on natural selection and the survival of the fittest as the mechanism for one kind migrating or transforming into a completely unrelated kind.

In the century and a half since both these men lived we can now compare the impact of these two scientific pursuits. Mendel, thinking consistently with the Bible, has spawned enormous breakthrough in science and technology. Our understanding of the cell and genetic processes has progressed at staggering rate until insights completely unanticipated by Darwin are now taken for granted.

Darwin, on the other hand has contributed nothing to science, except the waste of people’s lives. The century long quest for Darwin’s “missing link” proved to be a waste of the energy, intellect and lives of thousands of brilliant men and women. The gullibility his quest created has been widely exploited with fakes and false science. From Piltdown Man to Peppered Moths, vestigial organs to embryonic recapitulation, Darwin’s vain theory has filled the minds, textbooks and classrooms with nonsense. No technology can be traced to his work, except the industry of extermination employed by Darwin devotees such as Karl Marx, founder of Communism.

God’s revelation about genetics has proven to be the seedbed of good science and positive technology.

Genetics received another Biblical boost in the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai in Arabia, in 1491BC. God supernaturally wrote on stone slabs the curse that would come on people who worshipped other gods. Their iniquity would pass on to their descendents for multiple generations. God described Himself as, “visiting the iniquities of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation”, Exodus 20:5.

We see ample evidence of generational transfer of good and adverse social and personal qualities. Some families have been infamous for many generations, while other families have enjoyed happiness and stability for equally as long. The debate about whether these distinctions are based on nature or nurture has been a popular one. However it actually takes place, the fact is that God has already identified a generational transfer process. God is the God of Genetics, and He may well use genetic coding to encode the very things He speaks into existence, be they substance, as animals, or consequences, such as curses.

Science may yet be able to describe exactly what a curse looks like in the genetic code. As I pointed out previously, we now know that genetics involves the substance of the coded options (the DNA) and the switching on of various genes by other proteins (such as RNA). While ‘kinds’ are locked in the DNA, it may be that curses are transmitted through the actions of RNA. God may exercise the right to switch certain things on and off in your life.

Next time I visit this subject I’d like to explore the issue of Nature versus Nurture.

Genetics for Dummies

Allow me to take you through a simple explanation of Genetics. This is “Genetics for Dummies”. It’s not meant to get anyone a post-graduate degree, but rather to give ordinary people a sense for the territory which comes under the general heading “Genetics”.

One hundred years before I was born takes us back to the middle of the 1800’s. No, that’s not when I was born! I was born in 1953. (I had no idea working with “Dummies” could be so frustrating!).

OK, all jokes aside, let me take you back to the middle of the 1800’s to a German Monk who patiently and meticulously worked on a theory that heredity is carried by both parents and its impact can be anticipated in advance and measured afterward. This man was Gregory Mendel. Amazingly he conceived his accurate notion of the process before being able to prove it. Here was a great man of science. His experiments with different kinds of pea varieties almost confirmed what he expected. He documented his findings, but in fact he had to doctor the evidence, since there was more inconsistency than he hoped for. (And isn’t that like so many scientists today? Doctoring the findings to make it look like they have discovered something? But I’m jesting again and that’s not a fair way to treat ‘dummies’.)

What most of us were taught about Mendel at school is based on his doctored, summarized, notes, not what he actually found. Which only goes to prove the text book writers must think we are Dummies!

At the same time as Mendel’s work another man of science proposed a theory about superior species outlasting weaker ones. The man was Charles Darwin, and his book was On The Origin of Species.

Mendel was concerned about how each species survived as a distinct entity and how genetic information was passed from parent to child. His landmark work led on to the modern day science involving amazing genetic insights, genome mapping, cloning, medical breakthrough, and so on.

Darwin was concerned about how each species came into existence, as some kind of deviation from previously existing species. His landmark work led on to:
the vain quest for missing links;
hoaxes which deceived men of science and wasted their energies;
genocide and social upheaval through Marxism, Nazism and the like;
erosion of social values through widespread rejection of the Bible; and
No Serious Scientific or Technological Consequence at all.

Darwin’s legacy is confusion, vain quests, dogma, blind adherence to a failed theory and the kind of intellectual tyranny described in Ben Stein’s recent documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. (No intelligence allowed – that sounds like the place for “Dummies”!)

Enough of this comparison. Back to Genetics for Dummies. Gregory Mendel, a contemporary of Charles Darwin, opened up for us the most amazing world of genetic understanding. He directed our attention to the human cell as the place where different chromosomes interact to pass on inherited differences. In 1996 Michael J. Behe wrote about the cell, Mendel’s area of interest, as “Darwin’s Black Box”, pointing out how the human cell provides an insurmountable biochemical challenge to evolution. Darwin dismissed the very thing that attracted Mendel, the cell. Mendel was right. Darwin was misguided.

In 1900 interest in the genetic processes in the cell began to gain momentum. But it wasn’t until 1944 that DNA was finally identified as the key to genetic heredity. DNA had first been discovered back in 1869, so it waited a long time for the respect it deserved. In time the spiraling coil of proteins has undergone intense investigation, its sequences have been mapped and chemicals have been identified which allow for people to cut and paste different bits together in new arrangements.

DNA discoveries prompt belief that we can build completely new DNA combinations, creating monsters or developing the perfect race of people. So that leads on to cloning, DNA reconstruction, gene mapping and so on.

Since the DNA pieces specify the physical qualities a person can have it was at first thought that playing with the DNA itself is all that matters. More recent discoveries, however, reveal that there is more to the picture. Other components of the cell are responsible for building new stands of DNA and making sure the new ones are a perfect duplicate of the one being copied. RNA not only helps in the formation of DNA, but it also has a part to play in the process of switching various genes on or off.

Genetics is more than a look at what beads are on the string. We used to think that dominant genes simply over-ruled recessive genes. We now recognize a further process of turning genes on or off. An inactive gene can sit in everyone’s cells, having no impact. But if other processes turn on the inactive gene the impact of the genes is felt differently. It’s not only a matter of what eye colour you have in your genes, it’s also a matter of whether there are proteins at work to pre-select one of those genes.

Recent research has even gone so far as to show that the way a person is treated will impact how their genes are turned on and off. And that’s really interesting, because it goes to the heart of the long debated question of whether heredity or life expearience is more important in making us who we are.

I’ll have more to say on that question in a later post. I trust that the dummies of the world are at least a little more comfortable with the topic of genetics.