Friday, October 27, 2006




How many words are in the English Language?  It is hard to say for certain.   The English language is constantly borrowing words from other languages and creating new ones as Technology and Science advances.  If the amount of entries in a Dictionaries is a good measure, the total number of words may vary from 500,000 words to a million.   However, it is estimated that the average college graduate knows no more than 25,000 words.  In other words, those without college education are very likely to know less than that amount.   This means that we could estimate that the average person knows less than 5% of the words in the English language. 


Somehow after the excitement of learning how to speak, we stop learning new words.  And, when we try to learn knew words it is very hard to do so.   But, perhaps we have forgotten how we use to do it when we are mere infants, absorbing everything around us.   When a child learns a word, he constantly repeats it and finds different ways to use the word until (s)he makes it his or her own.   Perhaps we should follow how their example.  Let us start today.  Today's word is abased.   The definition of abase is to lower physically, in rank, office, prestige, or esteem.  As babies do, we will use this word in several sentences to learn it and make it ours.   Let's see how we can apply this word to this week's lesson.


  1. The Devil abased himself and the angels that followed him so much they had to be thrown out of Heaven (Revelation 12:9).
  2. When Adam fell he abased the whole human race with him (Romans 5:17 - 19).
  3. Cain's attitude of self-righteousness led him to abase himself so much he killed his own brother (Genesis 4: 8).  
  4. Soon, Cain's descendants would abase themselves into immoral behavior, such as polygamy, murder, etc (Genesis 4: 17-24).
  5. The whole pre-Flood world would abase itself into so much immorality God had to destroy them with a flood (Genesis 6: 1 – 8).
  6. The Bible tells the story of how humanity has rejected God, and in so doing they have abased themselves so low, they killed the Son of God.
  7. But, God gave us hope, by sending His Son (John 3:16).  Christ abased Himself in becoming Sin for us (Romans 8:3), so the world could be saved from eternal death. 
  8. Because of this, we have no excuse for abasing ourselves unto eternal death.   If we by Faith choose Christ as our personal Savior, we will be uplifted into His Righteousness ( 2 Corinthians 5:21).  
  9. Those who reject the gift of Salvation will continue to abase themselves; only eternal death will be their reward (Romans 6:23; Revelation 14: 9 -11).  

Will you let Him uplift you from your abasement? 

Raul Diaz

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Just Rest

Just Rest


Whose Seventh Day was it: God's or Adam's?  Adam was created the sixth day.  Some believe he was created in the afternoon, and that Eve was created maybe a little after that.   So they spent Sabbath together.  Sabbath was their first day.  Sabbath was God's seventh day.   God was around for the whole week – all seven days.  Adam and Eve appeared in the scene just before the sunset of the sixth day.  So, again, Sabbath was Adam and Eve's 1 st day. 


What are the implications of this?  For starters, time should always be measured from God's perspective not ours.   This is true for all reality.  We are at best subjective creatures.  We always see things from where we stand and filter all that we perceive through our own experience and autobiography.   One event always has different accounts and explanations as to what happened, how it happened, and why it happened.  But, God being the all knowing, all powerful, and Supreme Being that He is, can see things as they truly are.  


Another implication is the relationship of work and rest.  By this I mean when should we rest, before or after we work?   Many will say that it should be after we work, because it is when we would be tired.  What could have Adam and Eve been resting from on the Seventh day?   They had existed only a few hours.  God wanted them to share His rest with them, even if they had not done anything to finish or desist from exertion.   So, God works first then He rests.  And, man rests first than he works.  Spiritually this is true for all men.   When we come to Christ we find rest in Him; then as we rest in Him, the works of love - agape - flow out of us.  During the creation week God's work of agape came first than He rested.   So, God rests because He's done.  We rest because we start in Him.


When God finished His work there was nothing else to add.  Genesis 1: 31 says, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day."  So God celebrated by resting the Seventh Day.   Adam and Eve celebrated with God.  So, the Sabbath was a reward for God, but a gift to Adam and Eve.  All that God gives to us is a gift - the Sabbath included.  Salvation is by grace - unmerited favor, or an undeserved gift.  Responding with gratitude for all things God gives us, including the Sabbath, is Faith.   Without Faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). 


If it is God's seventh day, then keep it as He wants it kept.  After all we cannot enter the Sabbath rest until we enter the rest in Christ.   We read about this in Hebrews 4: 1-10:


Hebrews 4: 1Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

Hebrews 4: 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.

Hebrews 4: 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' "  And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world.

Hebrews 4: 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work."

Hebrews 4: 5And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest."

Hebrews 4: 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.

Hebrews 4: 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."

Hebrews 4: 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.

Hebrews 4: 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;

Hebrews 4: 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.


Resting on the Sabbath, without entering first Christ's rest is not only worthless, it is impossible.   However, we have then no excuse to not enter Christ's rest before we attempt to enter the Sabbath rest.   Christ gives us His invitation in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."   Has God not finish His work of legal, corporate and objective redemption already.  Revelation 13: 8 says that the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."  Hebrews 4:3 confirms it, "his work has been finished since the creation of the world."   Did Jesus not say the Words just before he died on the cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30)?  What else can we add?   For if His creation was "very good", then so should have been His redemption work.  For it was done through the same love and power.   There is nothing for us to add.  Give to Jesus your fears and burdens, then take His rest with you.  Only then will you be able to rest on His Seventh Day.     

Raul Diaz

Friday, October 13, 2006

Creationism in the DL

Creationism in the DL


Susan Smith's health had been in decline for the last few months.  She could not explain herself why, since she took care of herself.   She ate and drank well, she worked out, and she rested plenty.  She especially was concerned about some lesions in her mouth.   She went to a doctor.  The triage nurse looked at her, and said to her as she walked out of the room, "I am going for the Doctor I'll be right back."   The Doctor checked her mouth and throat.  He asked her, "By any chance have you been tested for HIV."   She said, "No.   Why?"  Those Lesions look like KS or Kaposi's sarcoma.  And you have candidiasis in your throat.  Those are common symptoms of AIDS.  Let's get you tested to make sure.  And, I will admit you in the Hospital as soon as possible.   I need you to call someone you trust and that can be supportive.  We will not know for at least three days."  Those three days were like hell to Susan.  


The Doctor asked her husband and any other important people to meet him in her room.    Only Susan's husband was there.   He walked in the room with a woman – a social worker.  He had bad news.  They all started to cry frantically.   "How could this be?" she asked.  "I have not had any transfusions or have been injected with anything," she added.    The woman then asked Susan, "I am very sorry I have to ask you this, Ms Smith, especially in this terrible time.  Have you had any sexual partners other than your husband?"   The Smith's were appalled.  But, the Doctor reassured her that an honest answer was necessary.  "No!" she answered.   At that point the woman asked Susan's husband, "Mr. Smith have you been tested for HIV?"  Mr. Smith was speechless.   He finally asked. "I beg your pardon?"  "Mr. Smith," said the Doctor, "I now it sounds like we are accusing you, but you will understand the severity of this circumstance."   Mr. Smith again was speechless.  However, there was something about his attitude that looked familiar to the Social Worker.  She suspected he was hiding something.   "Mr. Smith, would you rather talk to me in private."  Mr. Smith looked at his wife, told her he was sorry and started to cry.   The social worker turned around to close the room's door.  His wife looked puzzled and asked him, "What's wrong, dear?  What are you sorry about?"   Through his crying he answered, "I've been in the DL."  Susan looked down and started to cry herself.  All she could say was "Why?"  The Doctor asked the Social Worker what is the DL.  The coworker explained to him about a book written a few years ago about men engaging in illicit sexual affairs with other men, while claiming to be happily married.   DL stood for Down-Low – the term that was used to describe these men's behaviors.  While claiming to love their counterparts, they had a preference for their own kind.


There are many who claim to like others but in the end prefer their same kind.  I believe this DL concept can be extended into other areas of life.   For example, People that call themselves Liberals, in social political terms, tend to talk about inclusiveness and decry any practice of exclusivity.   When it comes to racism, they will be the first to condemn, however very rarely, do they actually socialize with others that are not of there race.  In other words, they live in a social political DL, claiming to like all people but preferring and choosing to engage with their own kind.


I see this principle apply also to some of those involved in the creation-evolution debate.  When it comes to the creation-evolution debate, there seems to be three groups.   First, is the creationist group who believe that the account of Genesis chapters 1 and 2 is literal.  Second, is the evolutionist group who believe that believe that the account of evolution is impossible.   The evolutionist group believes that the only way Creation can be true is if things could appear immediately out of nowhere "Hebrews 11:3"; they, evolutionists, do not believe.   Creationists believe the Word of God to be the authority, evolutionist believe Science is the authority. 


The third group would be the Theistic evolution group.  This group believes that the account of Genesis is real to an extent.   They claim to love God and that His Word is true, but they believe Science can explain further what the Bible says.   So they want to please God and man, too.   Theistic evolutionists seem to be pleased with the Bible account, but there is something about the scientific explanation that pleases them more.  So they are quite content of staying in their Scientific-Theological DL.  Perhaps this is a reflection on their Laodicean Spiritual condition (Revelation 3:14-22).


As the author of the Lesson points out, "It is pretty obvious that modern evolutionary theory stands in blatant opposition to the biblical account of Creation. If one is correct, the other has to be wrong. Even more so, the Bible offers no wiggle room for theistic evolution or any theories that seek to integrate a long evolutionary process with the work of God in creating life on earth, especially human life … in the creation of the world, particularly humans, it doesn't appear that God left anything to chance."   But, arguing and debating will not solve the problem of neither DL cases.  Remember the saying, "he who is convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."   It is only the love of God – Agape - that can turn any of us around. 


How can you start loving them?  Pray for them.  They can refute all your clever arguments about geology or biology, but not your prayers.   Next, pray that God will use you to touch them with Agape.  Listen to the Spirit, follow His lead, speak His Words, and act as He leads you.   A word or act of kindness can be more powerful than any argument or sermon preached.  What they need is "Christ and Christ crucified."  But hey may not be ready to hear about Him, until they see Him as a reality in you. 

Raul Diaz