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The Sixty-First (Assumptions)

How have you been doing? Still lots of craziness going on in the world, but we're back to the end of another week with a chance to reflect and dig in to His Word. This time, we're taking a look at something that's there in us, but not readily evident or obvious unless we take a moment to identify and recognize it. Assumptions are things that influence how we think or work through problems or questions. Sometimes we consciously identify them and understand how they play into our thinking, sometimes we complete our thinking and come to a conclusion and only then do we realize there were some assumptions we had that affected that conclusion. Usually that realization comes due to the conclusion we came to being proven wrong.

We had the opportunity to visit the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY, and it was an amazing experience. We highly recommend it if you have a chance to go! We wrote about Noah previously, but there were still things we learned going through all the displays they had put together. While my previous writing was about Noah being a reflection of us believers, something that was identified to me in the ark experience was that once the ark was built and the fountains of the deep were broken up (Genesis 7:11) it became a reflection of Jesus and His power to protect us through the coming judgment.

Jesus told us He is the door and if anyone enters through Him they will be saved (John 10:9). Noah, his family and all the animals entered through the door of the ark and were saved (Genesis 7:13). In fact, this door was on the side of the ark (Genesis 6:16). Something that came to me immediately when I read that verse was Jesus' side being pierced after He was crucified (John 19:34). It was interesting to me the similarity there. I'm not a marine architect, but I would think a better place for entry into the ark, a vessel that would be battered with violent waves, would be on the top with the ability to go down a ramp to get below deck. A place further away from the waterline. Perhaps the reason Yehovah designed the ark to have a door in the side wasn't just for ease of animal and people entry, but also to give a more detailed glimpse of the sacrifice of His Son that was to come.

Some may read the account of the flood and assume the only message is about God's judgment against the unrighteous and His promise not to destroy the earth again with a flood. I was one of those. Through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can come to find the deeper meanings of the events of the past as written in His Word.

Another assumption I had previously was many of the environmental events that happen currently happened prior to the flood. For instance, based on lack of reading and studying the Word, I assumed rain was just as common an occurrence then as it is now. In fact, when I was first presented with the thought that rain would have come as a surprise to pre-flood people I dismissed the idea. It wasn't until I went back to Genesis and found that there was no rain previously that I realized it was true. Previously, there was a mist that came up from the ground to water the plants (Genesis 2:5-6).

The belief in evolution depends greatly on this assumption: that all the natural processes we see today were in existence since the beginning. That's why its creation story requires billions of years to get to where we are today. It's easy for us to identify this flaw in their version of creation, but what may not be so easy is to understand or be aware of is how these types of worldly views permeate our thinking even when we're trying to study His Word. These views unknowingly become the assumptions we have during our study.

The story of evolution also assumes primitive origins of mankind. From cavemen to agriculturalists to hunters, the progression of humans assumes a lack of intelligence in their beginning and this view affects how we think about who people were before the flood and what they were capable of. Unless you read Genesis 4:22, you would assume that people before the flood were incapable of metal work. This capability was present at the generation of Tubal-cain, only eight children away from Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:1,17-19,22). And if metal work was possible, they had to have the ability to not only mine the ore from the earth, but find it in order to mine it. What other capabilities did they have that we are not aware of?

Another worldly view that has infiltrated the ekklesia, His Church, is that a piece of paper is required from some institution in order for someone to be a credible source of biblical interpretation. Even further, that our role as Christians, except for those few that are called specifically by God, is to sit in a sanctuary and be fed what we should believe by those people. And that God's path for those that He called is that they go through the worldly "hoops" of higher education in order to properly be His mouthpiece.

Are we that different now, about 2,000 years from the Day of Pentecost, that Yehovah requires degrees in order to provide His message? Or is this just another assumption we have based on how the world works now? Jesus didn't hand out degrees. He did have a sort of apprenticeship with the disciples, but when it came down to it His Word was that when the time comes the Holy Spirit will give the message through us (Luke 12:11-12), and the real power we have is from Him, not a worldly institution (Luke 24:49). We no longer live in medieval times when having a bible was illegal and Christians were forced to get the Word from a pastor or priest.

How much more exciting is that? The Holy Spirit can work and speak through anyone that has accepted Him. You could walk down the street and get a message from Yehovah given by a homeless person. But if your assumption is that those people don't have that capability because they haven't fulfilled a worldly requirement, you'll miss that message. Getting rid of this assumption gives more weight to the message in James 4:13-15. We should be of the mindset that if Yehovah wills us to do this or that we do it rather than what we plan for our lives. Then if we get the message from the Holy Spirit via a homeless person, and we discern that message is truly from Him by praying on it and asking Him, we'll make that drastic life change and walk through the door He has provided us.

So take the time to look deeply into assumptions you may have as you study scripture. Go through all the biblical accounts you thought you knew, like the flood, the tower of Babel, the creation, etc., and read them again casting aside all the assumptions you previously had based on worldly education or what a pastor told you. Ask the questions and seek out the answer in His Word. Pray for wisdom as you study, so that the Holy Spirit will give you the answers you seek. I think you might be surprised with what you find!

We hope you have a wonderful week! Shabbat shalom!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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