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Frogs and Horses

While no frog has a horse, every horse has four “frogs!” How is this possible? It has to do with animal anatomy, and the genius behind its design can teach us a lot about our Creator.

Horses, donkeys, and mules are of the domesticated equine “kind,” having four slender legs ending with solid hooves. Each of a horse’s hooves has a sole on the back, and each sole has a V-shaped rubbery pad, which is called a “frog.” This pad performs three functions. The first is gripping slippery surfaces, and the second is absorbing shock. But the third, and most vital, is helping pump blood back up the leg into the body for circulation each time the horse puts pressure on it. Evolutionary theory cannot explain how horses evolved with hearts too small for their bodies without this separate biological device.

When a horse is sick or injured, cowboys will say, “We need to get him back on his feet.” This is because if the afflicted horse lies down for too long, blood will not circulate through its legs properly and the horse will die. This explains why injured race horses can seldom be nursed back to strength and are often “put down.” This complex system of blood circulation had to be complete in the very first horse for it to be “good” (Genesis 1:25).

The frog fulfills a unique purpose, without which the horse could not survive! God created it as part of a functionally complete system.

God reigns supreme, and He reveals His purpose to those He calls to Jesus Christ (John 6:44; see Amos 3:7). He does nothing in vain or without planning and design, especially in the lives of those with whom He is working. The Apostle Paul said as much about the various members in the Church. “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.… But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it” (1 Corinthians 12:23–24). Beauty and honor do not come to mind when describing a horse’s frog, a “less honorable” member, so close to the ground. But, God places each where He wants them, and holds every person accountable for their own capabilities (Luke 12:48).

God calls certain people in this age to be humble, teachable servants (Romans 12:3). God gives them different spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6) for His purpose and the “profit of all,” not only for their own personal salvation (1 Corinthians 12:1–7). Ultimately, God has a great purpose for all of mankind, but we have much to learn.

Our consciousness makes us different from horses and other animals. But unlike them, we also aren’t complete. Yet, we can know the purpose of life, and we can learn the astonishing truths of God’s Way. With that knowledge, and His help, we can become complete spiritual creations.

When it comes to understanding and appreciating the beauty of God’s great design, you might enjoy the article, “Is Darwinian Evolution Dead?”

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/frogs-and-horses

Frogs and Horses

While no frog has a horse, every horse has four “frogs!” How is this possible? It has to do with animal anatomy, and the genius behind its design can teach us a lot about our Creator.

Horses, donkeys, and mules are of the domesticated equine “kind,” having four slender legs ending with solid hooves. Each of a horse’s hooves has a sole on the back, and each sole has a V-shaped rubbery pad, which is called a “frog.” This pad performs three functions. The first is gripping slippery surfaces, and the second is absorbing shock. But the third, and most vital, is helping pump blood back up the leg into the body for circulation each time the horse puts pressure on it. Evolutionary theory cannot explain how horses evolved with hearts too small for their bodies without this separate biological device.

When a horse is sick or injured, cowboys will say, “We need to get him back on his feet.” This is because if the afflicted horse lies down for too long, blood will not circulate through its legs properly and the horse will die. This explains why injured race horses can seldom be nursed back to strength and are often “put down.” This complex system of blood circulation had to be complete in the very first horse for it to be “good” (Genesis 1:25).

The frog fulfills a unique purpose, without which the horse could not survive! God created it as part of a functionally complete system.

God reigns supreme, and He reveals His purpose to those He calls to Jesus Christ (John 6:44; see Amos 3:7). He does nothing in vain or without planning and design, especially in the lives of those with whom He is working. The Apostle Paul said as much about the various members in the Church. “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.… But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it” (1 Corinthians 12:23–24). Beauty and honor do not come to mind when describing a horse’s frog, a “less honorable” member, so close to the ground. But, God places each where He wants them, and holds every person accountable for their own capabilities (Luke 12:48).

God calls certain people in this age to be humble, teachable servants (Romans 12:3). God gives them different spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6) for His purpose and the “profit of all,” not only for their own personal salvation (1 Corinthians 12:1–7). Ultimately, God has a great purpose for all of mankind, but we have much to learn.

Our consciousness makes us different from horses and other animals. But unlike them, we also aren’t complete. Yet, we can know the purpose of life, and we can learn the astonishing truths of God’s Way. With that knowledge, and His help, we can become complete spiritual creations.

When it comes to understanding and appreciating the beauty of God’s great design, you might enjoy the article, “Is Darwinian Evolution Dead?”

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/frogs-and-horses

Frogs and Horses

While no frog has a horse, every horse has four “frogs!” How is this possible? It has to do with animal anatomy, and the genius behind its design can teach us a lot about our Creator.

Horses, donkeys, and mules are of the domesticated equine “kind,” having four slender legs ending with solid hooves. Each of a horse’s hooves has a sole on the back, and each sole has a V-shaped rubbery pad, which is called a “frog.” This pad performs three functions. The first is gripping slippery surfaces, and the second is absorbing shock. But the third, and most vital, is helping pump blood back up the leg into the body for circulation each time the horse puts pressure on it. Evolutionary theory cannot explain how horses evolved with hearts too small for their bodies without this separate biological device.

When a horse is sick or injured, cowboys will say, “We need to get him back on his feet.” This is because if the afflicted horse lies down for too long, blood will not circulate through its legs properly and the horse will die. This explains why injured race horses can seldom be nursed back to strength and are often “put down.” This complex system of blood circulation had to be complete in the very first horse for it to be “good” (Genesis 1:25).

The frog fulfills a unique purpose, without which the horse could not survive! God created it as part of a functionally complete system.

God reigns supreme, and He reveals His purpose to those He calls to Jesus Christ (John 6:44; see Amos 3:7). He does nothing in vain or without planning and design, especially in the lives of those with whom He is working. The Apostle Paul said as much about the various members in the Church. “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.… But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it” (1 Corinthians 12:23–24). Beauty and honor do not come to mind when describing a horse’s frog, a “less honorable” member, so close to the ground. But, God places each where He wants them, and holds every person accountable for their own capabilities (Luke 12:48).

God calls certain people in this age to be humble, teachable servants (Romans 12:3). God gives them different spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6) for His purpose and the “profit of all,” not only for their own personal salvation (1 Corinthians 12:1–7). Ultimately, God has a great purpose for all of mankind, but we have much to learn.

Our consciousness makes us different from horses and other animals. But unlike them, we also aren’t complete. Yet, we can know the purpose of life, and we can learn the astonishing truths of God’s Way. With that knowledge, and His help, we can become complete spiritual creations.

When it comes to understanding and appreciating the beauty of God’s great design, you might enjoy the article, “Is Darwinian Evolution Dead?”

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/frogs-and-horses

Frogs and Horses

While no frog has a horse, every horse has four “frogs!” How is this possible? It has to do with animal anatomy, and the genius behind its design can teach us a lot about our Creator.

Horses, donkeys, and mules are of the domesticated equine “kind,” having four slender legs ending with solid hooves. Each of a horse’s hooves has a sole on the back, and each sole has a V-shaped rubbery pad, which is called a “frog.” This pad performs three functions. The first is gripping slippery surfaces, and the second is absorbing shock. But the third, and most vital, is helping pump blood back up the leg into the body for circulation each time the horse puts pressure on it. Evolutionary theory cannot explain how horses evolved with hearts too small for their bodies without this separate biological device.

When a horse is sick or injured, cowboys will say, “We need to get him back on his feet.” This is because if the afflicted horse lies down for too long, blood will not circulate through its legs properly and the horse will die. This explains why injured race horses can seldom be nursed back to strength and are often “put down.” This complex system of blood circulation had to be complete in the very first horse for it to be “good” (Genesis 1:25).

The frog fulfills a unique purpose, without which the horse could not survive! God created it as part of a functionally complete system.

God reigns supreme, and He reveals His purpose to those He calls to Jesus Christ (John 6:44; see Amos 3:7). He does nothing in vain or without planning and design, especially in the lives of those with whom He is working. The Apostle Paul said as much about the various members in the Church. “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.… But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it” (1 Corinthians 12:23–24). Beauty and honor do not come to mind when describing a horse’s frog, a “less honorable” member, so close to the ground. But, God places each where He wants them, and holds every person accountable for their own capabilities (Luke 12:48).

God calls certain people in this age to be humble, teachable servants (Romans 12:3). God gives them different spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6) for His purpose and the “profit of all,” not only for their own personal salvation (1 Corinthians 12:1–7). Ultimately, God has a great purpose for all of mankind, but we have much to learn.

Our consciousness makes us different from horses and other animals. But unlike them, we also aren’t complete. Yet, we can know the purpose of life, and we can learn the astonishing truths of God’s Way. With that knowledge, and His help, we can become complete spiritual creations.

When it comes to understanding and appreciating the beauty of God’s great design, you might enjoy the article, “Is Darwinian Evolution Dead?”

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/frogs-and-horses

Declinism, or Just Cognitive Bias?

Declinism is the belief that a country or civilization is in decline. Today, many believe that things are indeed getting worse in the world. Is that thinking just so much collective pessimism, or is there really a decline?

In a 2017 article in Psychology Today entitled “Declinism: Why You Think America is in Crisis,” author Dale Archer, M.D. attempts to refute the idea that America is in decline. He talks about the economy, race relations, gender equality, LGBT rights, healthcare, and medical advances as proof that declinism is a false notion. He explains that the reason people believe in it is simply cognitive bias.

Psychologists say that humans tend to give more weight to negative thoughts and emotions than to positive ones. They label this tendency “cognitive bias” or negativity bias. When we view the present, we weigh negative things higher than positive. But, as we age and reminisce about the past, we remember the positive things more than the negative. So, when we compare the present to the past, our view of the past is more positive than that of the present. This then leads us to conclude: things are declining! Dr. Archer reasons that, according to the facts, things are actually better now than ever.

But is that really true? Doesn’t it depend on what you evaluate, and on your moral values and beliefs about right and wrong?

Dr. Archer says that we have better education than ever before. Education is readily available at technical schools, colleges, and universities with modern equipment and extensive libraries, with federal grants, loans, and work study programs to help pay the cost. True. But what values does this worldly education teach?

What about marriage? Family? Abortion? Homosexuality? Transgenderism? Ethics? Integrity? Morality? Whose standard of values should society accept as the “norm”? Better or worse depends on one’s viewpoint and moral standards, doesn’t it?

Is unrestrained sexual activity with anyone or anything, anywhere and at any time, good? Or is it evidence of moral decline? Is abortion on demand good? Or is it a sign of moral decline? Are lying, cheating, and stealing justifiable through “situational ethics” and OK if done “for some greater good”? Do you want to be lied to? Cheated on? Stolen from? Are these standards good, or are they really standards at all, compared to “older notions” of morality?

Transgenderism is really a lie. A person can alter their appearance via medical procedures, but their DNA doesn’t change. If they have a Y chromosome, they are genetically male. If they do not have an Y chromosome, they are not male, regardless of appearance. And the same is true for crossdressers. Their appearance is false, lying about their true gender. What confusion all these issues—and many others—cause for society!

Is the economy really good? Is economic prosperity only measured by gross domestic product? Would it not be prudent to consider the national debt load as well? Is 21 trillion dollars sustainable debt? What are the effects of unfunded mandates like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and a host of other social and welfare programs? How long can a nation survive under such debt? What will a dollar buy? And what is the impact of millions of immigrants and refugees on the nation’s economy, wages, housing, education, and services?

Is declinism real or imagined? Might some who deny the decline be ignoring the most important facts? There is a God who created all things, and He is working out a great purpose on this earth. He declared the end from the beginning. The following articles and booklet can broaden your perspective on this vital subject: “Why Is America Declining?”, “The Demise Of The West”, and The United States And Great Britain In Prophecy. All are free of charge at Tomorrow’s World.

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/declinism-or-just-cognitive-bias

The Knock

Have you ever been rousted out of bed by an unexpected, urgent knock at your door? Instantly, your heart races and you hurriedly react. If this has happened to you, I hope it was a minor event that you handled in stride. In this age of rampant crime, including home invasions, the security alarm business prospers as people attempt to protect themselves and their property. Sophisticated systems are now available to let you know who is at your door, even when you are not at home.

Even the words of the Bible address this subject. For example, Jesus said it this way: “When the strong man in armour guards his homestead, his property is undisturbed…” (Luke 11:21 Moffatt New Translation). Solomon wisely gave this advice: “A prudent manforesees evil and hides himself…” (Proverbs 27:12).

Most people are mindful of their exposure to physical loss and try to prevent damage or injury or to provide for coverage. An array of insurance plans and warranties are available to accomplish this goal.

While we value physical safety and financial security, what about spiritual matters? Sadly, many appear to think less on the values and rules for living that affect each of us morally and spiritually. In the press of busy, activity-filled lives, we often overlook this vital dimension entirely or let it occupy a very minor role in our lives. This is not a new phenomenon. Solomon decried disinterest in spiritual awareness. He wrote, “Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: ‘How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?’” (Proverbs 1:20–22, New Revised Standard Version). In the marketplace, the halls of government, and in academia, it seems that knowledge or discussion of the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ as the Messiah is simply off limits. Many in the news media, entertainment, and the business community disdain any reference to the Creator.

Exceptions exist, of course, but they are few and feckless at best. Much of mainstream Christianity has begun to accept homosexuality, gender confusion, and related perversions as acceptable behavior, rejecting direct biblical prohibitions of such activity. Seemingly unending charges of sexual abuse and shocking admissions of wrongdoing plague many well-known religious denominations.

There is a groundswell of concern as people see their lives and culture being adversely affected by the deviate, profligate activities all around them. “What to do?” is a very relevant question at this juncture in history. The answers are found in a book that is probably on a bookshelf in their homes. The Prophet Isaiah made it very plain; “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6–7).

In dealing with the religious establishment of His day, Jesus bluntly quoted Isaiah: “…Hearing you will hear and shall not understand and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull.Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (Matthew 13:14–15).

The Living Church of God speaks and explains the Bible’s eternal truths regularly on television, over the Internet, and in print. If you are reading and understanding these important subjects, then God may be opening your mind—as only He can. With hearing and understanding these truths comes a responsibility.

Jesus’ words in the Book of Revelation bring a sharp focus: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:20–22).

Do you hear the knock?

The booklets, programs, and magazines provide at this website—without charge—will be valuable resources as God opens the door and you begin your journey in living His Way and answering His calling.

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/the-knock

The Festival Season is Here

Summer, one of my favorite seasons, is waning in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s hot and humid here in the American South, but everything about it—family trips, Fourth of July celebrations, and even the weather—is a wellspring of memories for me.

One of my greatest joys was one many kids in the North American school system shared. That was the “release” from school and a few months to enjoy that “freedom” with warmth and enthusiasm! I fondly recall many summer experiences from playing outdoors with friends.

Looking back, I realize I’m not alone in saying that Summer was always over a little too quickly. Such is life—things we look forward to seem to arrive in hours but leave in minutes!

Very soon, another season will come and go in the blink of an eye, and may even go unnoticed by many people in the world. The season of the Feast of Tabernacles, spoken of in the Holy Bible and observed by Jesus Christ and His disciples (Leviticus 23:33–34; Zechariah 14; John 7), is coming.

Around the world, Christians in the Church of God are well into plans to go away from their homes for the Feast, which is not simply a holy time “for the Jews only” but a commanded assembly for any who seek to follow God and His word faithfully. Not all brethren the world over will be stepping from the physical season of Summer into the Fall festivals, but from Winter to Spring, or from rainy to dry or vice-versa (and what a great set of experiences for brethren from diverse places to share, if they meet at the Feast!). Solomon said there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3), and the Feast is time for a lot of things!

Where will you be as the winds, seas, or colors change, and the Feast of Tabernacles comes? Will it bring unique experiences? What sort of blessings will there be—and what trials will there be to overcome? Will you be keeping it at all?

The Feast will be a spiritual gathering, regardless of distance or physical seasonNo matter the differences of culture, language, or location, God’s people share the most important common grounds. They prepare physically and spiritually and are encouraged to reflect on God’s coming kingdom, pictured by the Feast, and make the most of the short time they’ll have to spend together. Each year, the Church of God encourages members to reach out. Cards, letters, and visits to shut-ins mean a great deal. Assisting someone in traveling or finding a place to stay at the festival sites the Church uses may “make their Feast.” It is up to each individual to act, but even in an imperfect world, there are many ways for people to stay connected.

Helping people confront challenges is a great way to glean even more meaning from the Holy Days—and is a commanded standard of life that goes beyond God’s festival seasons (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19). To that end, these days picture a time and season when God will fulfill His word, and when Christ’s rule on earth will ensure that all will receive help and understanding.

And the most important thing to remember when the season changes again, and this year’s Feast is over? That nothing will be more fleeting than this life’s trials once that timeless season is here.

Author’s Note: If you are new to the Church of God or Tomorrow’s World and would like to know more about the Feast of Tabernacles, please be sure to order or read online the booklet The Holy Days: God’s Master PlanIt could change your life.

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/the-festival-season-is-here

Design Implies Purpose

This article began in beautiful British Columbia, one of my favorite places on this planet we call home. On my recent trip to Canada, I recorded three Canadian-version Tomorrow’s World telecasts, gave a Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Kelowna and also spoke by way of an Internet connection to our congregations in Western Canada. Then I took a few days off with friends at a remote lakeside cabin—where I find myself now, writing this letter to you.

Outside, I see majestic mountains and white fluffy clouds painted against a magnificent blue canvas. Have you ever considered how truly remarkable our earthly home is? It is so easy to take for granted, and no matter where you travel, you find earthly treasures abounding. There are tropical islands where delicious fruits hang from native trees. The cornfields of Iowa and Nebraska feed both man and beast. Then there are the towering snow-covered mountain ranges of Europe, Asia and South America, which provide water for lower regions during the heat of summer. We marvel at the strange, colorful creatures inhabiting our oceans. But we can still take it all for granted.

Life Out There?

I heard in grade school that life might be found on Mars or Venus, our closest neighbors, but such hopes were shattered decades ago by later scientific discoveries. Scientists are beginning to understand how unique our planet truly is. Many imagine that with so many galaxies, so many stars, and so many planets out there, life must exist somewhere else in our universe. However, the more scientists learn about the conditions needed to support life, even so-called primitive life, the slimmer the chances become. More importantly, there is the problem of how life could ever develop from non-living material anywhere. The odds against even a single protein evolving are astronomical. It is statistically impossible. No one has truly produced new life from non-living material, and no one can give a plausible explanation that stands up to scrutiny concerning how this ever could happen.

The fact that you are reading this magazine probably indicates you see the marvel of design in every living creature and recognize the need for a Creator, a Designer, a Life-giver. This brings me to a very important question: Why are we here?

At the Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Kelowna, I pointed out how few consider the meaning and purpose of life. Why did an intelligent Being put us here on this special place? Why are we even capable of considering such a question?

Few people invest time trying to discover the answer. Instead, they move from one exciting activity to another. They cheer for their favorite team and live for the next game. They make as much money as possible, buy as many toys as they can (or cannot) afford, and go along with the customs handed down to them. They are oblivious to the why question. Many try to live what they consider a “good life,” believing their feeble efforts may somehow give them life after death, but their decisions make it evident that life after death is not their top priority. Instead, they live a just-in-case life—that is, a life lived a certain half-hearted way “just in case” there is a God, and “just in case” there is life after death.

We exist because a Mind far greater than our own designed, engineered and created us. If that is true—and I believe most of you reading this article believe it is—then there must be a purpose. However, too few (perhaps including some of you) care enough to try to discover that purpose. How sad!

Precious Knowledge

Many of our booklets, magazine articles and Tomorrow’s World telecasts address this subject. This is precious knowledge that I personally never learned in the mainstream churches I attended growing up, and I am certain you were not taught them where you attended Sunday services. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus has transcendent significance to every human being, even though most have little idea what all this means. But, what was the message Jesus brought prior to His death, burial and resurrection?

In passage after passage in what is called the New Testament of the Bible, we read about the Kingdom of God—but what does that mean? It is not what most church-goers think. It is not about going to heaven. It is not the great golf game, fishing excursion or marijuana patch in the sky. Instead, Jesus Christ taught His disciples that He would return and set up a kingdom on this earth, and we can have a part in ruling that kingdom with Him.

A man once came to Jesus asking, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” He was told to “keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:16–17). This sounded simple enough, but by the end of the conversation, it was evident that the individual was not willing to go “all the way” to obey God. The man’s god was his money, and Jesus pointed out to His disciples how difficult it is for someone of wealth to put God first. This teaching stunned His disciples. They had given up all to follow Him and they wanted to know, essentially, what was in it for them (vv. 21–27).

Jesus replied, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (v. 28). This ought to create several questions in our minds. For example, were not ten of the twelve tribes lost in history, absorbed into other nations and peoples, as many claim? How, then, can there be twelve distinct tribes when Christ returns? Our booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy, explains this mystery in detail.

We also read that King David will be resurrected to life and will rule over all twelve tribes of Israel (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24). Verse 24 of Ezekiel 34 makes it clear that these passages are not referring to Christ, but to David himself, as it mentions both “the Lord” and David: “And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them….”

Jesus’ disciples first thought He would set up His kingdom during their lifetime, but He gave them a parable to dispel that idea (Luke 19:11–27). In the parable, rewards are given to those who actively obeyed the commands given to them. The first man multiplied the mina given to him tenfold. “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities’” (v. 17). The man who multiplied his mina fivefold was to receive rulership over five cities (v. 19).

We see this pattern in what is prophesied to come. When Christ returns, He will be King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9). Under Him will be David over all twelve tribes of Israel. Under David will be Jesus’ twelve Apostles, each ruling over one of the twelve tribes. And then we find that others of the servants of God will rule various cities to bring peace and prosperity to this troubled world. Numerous scriptures point out that the reward of God’s servants will be on this earth (Revelation 5:10; Daniel 7:27).

This is only a small part of a much larger picture of why you were born. God has a great purpose in mind for you. Is it not time you discovered the meaning of your life?

If you would like to learn more—much more than you will learn in a Sunday-morning worship service—request our free booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny. The regional office nearest you, listed on page 4, would be delighted to send you a copy upon your request.

Article source: https://www.tomorrowsworld.org/magazines/2018/september-october/design-implies-purpose