Chapter 1:

Does Life Have Any Purpose?

Do you ever dream of a perfect world? Imagine the whole earth at peace: the land is clean and beautiful, with many friendly wild animals. None of them are afraid of man, for no one ever hurts them. All the people are honest and kind to each other. Mates are faithful, and children are cherished. Everyone gladly serves for the good of everyone else. People are responsible and take care of their things, and they never litter. No one works long hours for low wages, and those in authority are fair and kind to those they lead. Of course there is plenty of work to do, but it is shared fairly. No one has a luxurious life on the backs of a servant class. Products are made to last and easy to repair, then are fully recycled when no longer needed. There are no landfills, dumps or pollution. Everyone has time to travel and visit, to develop artistic interests and hobbies. Everyone is healthy, so doctors, medicines and insurance do not even exist. In fact, in this perfect world, everyone stays young! Can you imagine a world like that?

Throughout history people have dreamt of making the world, or even just a nation or merely a community, ideal. They even give it a name: "Utopia," which means "No such place," because it just seems impossible. Yet we dream, and we keep trying. Politicians keep promising everyone a better life if they win office, but all they manage to do is spend a lot of money, with little to show for it; in fact, the world gets shakier and less secure as they stoke division and not unity. Scientists hope wonderful things will come from their research, and it is true, modern technology has improved life for many in some ways. Yet science has also brought devastating weapons of war, high-pressure working conditions, and pollution that threatens civilization. Society worldwide is also sinking into moral decadence, even depravity. Sexual perversions and disloyalty are widely accepted, and many children are neglected and abused. Even young children commit crimes of unbelievable cruelty, with no trace of pity or remorse. Vicious ethnic and religious wars smolder on for years. Billions of decent hardworking people live in miserable poverty, while a few who do very little work live in extreme luxury. Yes, the world is now in serious trouble. So, is it foolish and naïve to dream of a perfect world? Yet we cannot help but yearn for such a beautiful life. Why does life have to be so insecure, so troubled, so short? What prevents real progress?

Bright blue bird

A look at the natural world makes us wonder. There is so much that is beautiful: intricate flowers with delicate colors and delightful scents, brightly colored birds singing cheerful songs, glorious yet subtle shades of magnificent sunsets! Have you watched kittens or puppies playing, or studied the wings of a butterfly? What potential life has for enjoyment and delight!

Yet even in the natural world there is predation, parasitism, pestilence, poison and pain. No, wilderness is not a paradise. So is it foolish to think it could ever be made so?

Why We Can Believe

For an answer we must turn to the question, why does life exist at all? Is there a purpose to existence? Or are we just a product of chance, of mindless evolution? Perhaps you have asked that question at some time. If we are not the random result of blind physical forces, but are designed, then there must be a Designer, who surely had some purpose in mind for his work. As has been observed long ago, "every house is built by someone." A house is just too complicated, and too obviously purposeful, to be a geological accident. What about everything else?

Running foal

When we examine living things, do we see evidence of design? Indeed we do. As the science of biology advances, scientists have become more and more impressed by life’s complexity, the intricacy of its interconnecting materials and processes. Some scientists even dare to confess, despite an environment in the scientific community that is openly hostile to such heresy, that surely there must have been a mind, a Designer, for what they see.

Let us consider just two examples: First, think about reproduction. Two special cells, a sperm and an egg, join and merge their DNA material. This creates a "plan," like a software program, that controls rapid growth that is both precisely timed and positioned. Organs, nerves, bones, muscles and other specialized tissue all develop to form a new living being. Then not long after being born, some creatures (such as antelope) are able to get up and run faster than a man. That requires vision and coordination that scientists have yet to imitate even in a clumsy fashion with their robots. Surely this requires a Designer!

sleeping baby

This DNA "plan" also creates the brain, our second example. A human brain occupies only .05 cubic foot (1.4 liter), yet all our awareness, imagination, and understanding is contained in it. All the knowledge we have learned fits in there. All the skills we have mastered are controlled there. Scientists have no idea how that is accomplished; yet we certainly do not deny that it happens. Nor does it appear that we have begun to challenge our brain’s capacity in a full lifetime of 80 years; if its health is maintained, our mind can be as sharp and active and able to learn at 100 as at 20. This alone should convince us that life was not meant to be so short. Surely such a marvelous creation would require careful design!

Another marvel about the DNA "plan" has recently been discovered: there is an amazingly reliable repair system constantly guarding the integrity of the code. When damaged DNA is detected, molecules that act like micromachines go to work, snipping the damaged segment out, fetching a copy of the correct replacement, and stitching it in. Those who look at this and say "it designed itself by hit-or-miss" are marvels themselves—of blindness!*

The fact that the genetic code contains a "plan" is substantial evidence that there must be a Planner, a Designer, a Purposer. We can rightly call this One "God", which means "powerful one." Believing he exists should give us hope, for such a God would surely not abandon his creations forever to wonder and grope blindly for its purpose.*

Has This God Made Himself Known?

Mankind has always instinctively sensed that there is a higher power or Deity. That is why there is no culture on earth lacking a religious tradition. When we look at religions across the world, what do we find? The largest branches of religion are animism, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, and there are many other smaller branches. Within these are thousands of sects, denominations and variations. Can the truth of God be found in any or all of them?

Every religion has some kind of explanation for the purpose of life. Hinduism for example teaches reincarnation, in which life is a continual cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, ending, if ever, only in a state of nothingness or unconsciousness. In that view, any one individual cannot hope to live forever as himself, having a lasting purpose as an individual. Other religions say that the purpose of life is to get saved and go to Heaven at death, and be happy forever after. The common thread most share is the belief that life goes on somehow, that death is not annihilation forevermore. Not all religions teach a unique Creator or Source of life, but all do involve reaching out for help from some kind of supernatural power.

Unfortunately, religions have a history of bitter argument and violence, even genocide, of branding everyone not of their persuasion as "infidels," "heretics," "lost" or "unbelievers." Religious differences are so confusing and controversial that many today say it is best not to discuss them. They may say, "You believe what you want to believe, I’ll believe what I want, and we’ll both be happy." This is tolerant and relaxed, and is certainly better than fighting, but should we be satisfied with that as the best possible solution?

Jesus, known the world over as a man who claimed to be sent by God, said he had come "to bear witness to the truth." (John 18.37) This prompted a skeptical, worldly-wise man, Pontius Pilate, to retort, "What is truth?" Apparently he felt like many do today, that no one could claim to know the truth. Was he right?

Truth is definite. It involves drawing conclusions, and it excludes contradicting opinions as untrue, false, wrong. Many today are uncomfortable doing that. Some even say there is no such thing as reality, that everything is just in your mind. Or that there are infinite universes, and everything is true somewhere. "Truth is just what YOU believe," some teach. In effect, they are saying YOU are God, and there is no reality higher than YOU. They speak of "my truth," as if their "alternate facts" are just as good as reality. But sometimes reality will bite your butt, hard. What you want to believe and what is real can be painfully different.

Scientific inquiry is the search for understanding of the physical world, of things that can be sensed and measured. Science is based on the assumption that correct and useful knowledge is attainable, that truth exists and can be discovered. Men have put a great deal of time and energy into that search, and over centuries a considerable body of proven knowledge has been accumulated.

In the same way, there should be truth about God. Either he exists, or he does not. Either life has a purpose, or it does not. We can't have it both ways. So we should not be satisfied with the relaxed philosophy "Just believe what feels right to you." That's the current situation, and it's not working well.

To some, religion means faith and faith means fervently believing things that have no proof, even things that don't make any sense. For them it is enough for religion to "feel right" or make them feel good. To try to understand it, to make it rational, seems irreverent, impious. (Or just way too much work...) This attitude causes others to ridicule faith.

Is it possible to use a scientific method to search for truth about God and the meaning of life? A scientist doing research starts with what can be observed, so as to establish a reasonable course of inquiry. We can do that by looking around us. We have already seen that Design is evident; all this is no accident, the debris of some cosmic explosion. So, what does it tell us about its Designer? The Source of the galaxies must have incredible power. The Origin of the laws of physics must be very precise; everything works together with infinitesimal intricacy and consistency. The Creator of butterflies has a sense of beauty, of kittens a sense of humor. He surely is infinitely more intelligent than we are.

But we do have one advantage over the scientist. God is not a rock or an animal, even though some religions depict him that way. (Romans 1:22, 23, 25) He can rightly be expected to speak up and make himself known. So in our search, it is quite reasonable to look for communication from him.

We can reasonably assume that communication from God should have begun long ago and be widely available. Rather than looking at shifting oral legends and traditions, is there a message that has been recorded, written down? Of all the "holy writings" that claim to be God’s revelation to man, is there one that meets our reasonable expectations?

Most "sacred texts" do not even directly address the matter of who God is. Nor do they offer hope for a better future here in this life. Some depict their deity as having rapacious qualities, such that if we were to follow the deity’s example, the world would be even worse than it is. In fact, people imitating their god is a major reason why the world is in so much trouble. This is clearly not what we are looking for.

About a quarter of the earth’s population belongs to the "Judeo-Christian" branch of religions. Like the others, it is fragmented into thousands of contentious sects. The one book they all purport to accept is called "the Holy Scriptures" or the "Bible". This common confession has not united them. Even so, the Bible itself is a very unusual book.

As we would expect of a book from God, it is widely available: 98% of the world’s population can obtain one in their own language. Hundreds of millions have been printed. It has profoundly affected human history. For their loyalty to it, many have been forced to die. Many have been willing to die rather than deny it. Its principles have been a source of wisdom in establishing the constitutions of nations. Truly, no one should consider himself well educated if he has never read it.

It depicts a God who is loving, compassionate, kind and forgiving, yet fear-inspiring, powerful beyond measure—a God we can appreciate and admire, even though he is beyond our full comprehension. He is exactly what we would expect, and more. If everyone carefully imitated this God and followed his counsel found in his book, this earth would be a rather nice place to live, even if we still had a limited lifespan.

There are some today who would dispute this, because they believe the Bible depicts an angry and petulant deity, utterly self-absorbed and quick to take offense. They think this because they pick a few verses out of context and refuse to consider the complete picture that related verses would give them. We cannot do that if we want to understand the Bible correctly.

The Bible describes God as having an active interest in his creation. Besides helping those who look to him now, it says he will take dramatic action to remove evil, and establish a new world. (Romans 2.4-11, 2nd Peter 3.9-13) This should interest us greatly, particularly since this event is depicted as near at hand. There is a surprisingly large amount of material on this in the Bible, which we will consider at length in chapters 6-9.

If the Bible is from God, we should expect those who are now using it as a guide in their everyday lives to be more peaceful, honest, industrious, and purposeful. Yet many who claim to live by the Bible are not so peaceful, nor honest. Besides the divisiveness already mentioned, professed Christians have at times used the Bible to justify war, racism, slavery, and colonialism. (For proof that this is misuse of the scriptures, see James 4.1-3 and 5.1-6, Acts 10.34, 5, Philippians 2.1-4.) All too often men who loudly preach and praise the high ideals of the Bible are found to be hypocrites. —Compare Romans 2.17-24.

This sorry state of affairs has convinced many that the Bible is not God’s book and that perhaps there is no God at all. But the fact that there are evil and hypocritical men who use a veneer of righteousness to advance their own selfish ends cannot bury the evidence that God exists. The Bible itself firmly condemns such men. —Matthew 23.23-28.

A Reason to Live

On the other hand, those who really learn and earnestly apply Bible standards find their lives transformed. They find contentment, a clear conscience, protection from many troubles, and ability to cope with stresses common to life. Their life has a purposefulness that helps them make decisions with good results. They show genuine concern and compassion for their fellowman. From the Bible we learn the simple purpose of living: to enjoy life together in a way that honors and pleases our Creator. This involves every part of our life: our work, our leisure, our education, our relationships, the very focus of our existence.

Solomon put it this way: “I have come to know that there is nothing better for them [mankind] than to rejoice and to do good during one's life; and also that every man should eat and drink and see good for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.” —Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13.

While those who do not know their Creator often try to "enjoy" life in selfish and harmful ways, God designed us to find satisfaction in good ways: by experiences, learning, achievement, and relationships. By "experiences" we mean doing things that give sensory pleasure, such as tasting delicious food or seeing beautiful things and places. But were we to center our life around only experiences, we would soon feel empty. We were also designed to learn, to be curious, to explore and seek understanding. We take delight in creativity: it is very satisfying to design something useful, or to make something beautiful. And we were not meant to be loners; we need to feel needed, and loved, and we instinctively offer the same support to others. Not so perfectly at present, but it is in our design nonetheless.

So it is that in this troubled world, one purpose for our life is to help others deal with burdens and reverses so that they can enjoy living also, to the extent practical at this time. We do this first by being as responsible for ourselves as we are able, so that we need less help from others; then we reach out to those who are struggling. Some may only need education and encouragement, so that they will be more responsible for themselves; others require actual physical aid, which we do not begrudge, although our means may limit us. We are not required to completely destroy our own quality of life to benefit others, but neither should we have a self-centered "I've got mine" attitude. (See 2 Corinthians 8:9, 12-15, Luke 3:11) Those who understand our Creator's purpose for providing us life do not callously advocate a selfish sink-or-swim "free market" where each person must struggle on his own to live or die. See Micah 6:8. Chapter 13 of this book, "Wisdom from God to Guide Your Life", shows how God’s Word gives much better advice on relationships and priorities than the selfish, faithless thinking common in today's world.

The evolutionist says that life is all about competition, the survival of the toughest or the most cunning, until it can fulfill its only real purpose: to reproduce itself. The common man translates this as, "the purpose of life is sex." That is NOT correct. Maybe horses are for riding, cows are for milking, and cats are for petting, but our purpose is clearly greater. It calls on us to utilize the wonderful brain we were given, and sex clearly does little of that.

Religious people like to say that our entire purpose in life is to worship God. That makes God look like a narcissist who makes sentient beings solely to get praise for himself, who gets irritated if everyone is not continually bowed to the ground before him and singing his praises. He does appreciate hearing us express our love and devotion to him in words, but he delights also in seeing us properly enjoy the life he has given us. That in itself honors Him. Words without action do not impress him, and repetitive formalistic "worship" does not please him at all. See Isaiah 1:11-20, Amos 5:21-24.

This book will take you on a study of the Bible in a simplified yet comprehensive way. After a brief history and outline (Chapter 3), we will consider what it reveals about God himself, its explanation as to why mankind is in such a miserable state, its promise of a better future, and the way we can assure ourselves of a place in it. But first, a warning: if you try to draw close to God, you must face an enemy who does not want you to succeed. Who is he? How can we stand fast against him?

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John 18.37
"For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is on the side of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him: "What is truth?"

KJ: For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

Romans 1:22, 23, 25
Although claiming they were wise, they became foolish and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and birds and four-footed creatures and reptiles. . . They exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. . . Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.

Romans 2.4-11
Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, because you do not know that God in his kindness is trying to lead you to repentance? But according to your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and of the revealing of God's righteous judgment. And he will pay back to each one according to his works: everlasting life to those who are seeking glory and honor and incorruptibleness by endurance in work that is good; however, for those who are contentious and who disobey the truth but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and anger. There will be tribulation and distress on every person who works what is harmful, on the Jew first and also on the Greek; but glory and honor and peace for everyone who works what is good, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.

2 Pet 3.9-13
Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. But Jehovah's day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be exposed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, as you await and eagerly anticipate that day of Jehovah, on which the heavens will be destroyed as by fire, and the elements will melt in the intense heat! But there are new heavens, and a new earth, that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these will dwell righteousness.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

James 4.1-3
What is the source of the wars and fights among you? Do they not originate from your fleshly desires that carry on a conflict within you? You desire, and yet you do not have. You go on murdering and coveting, and yet you are not able to obtain. You go on fighting and waging war. You do not have because of your not asking. When you do ask, you do not receive because you are asking for a wrong purpose, so that you may spend it on your fleshly desires.

Whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

James 5.1-6
Come, now, you rich men, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted away, and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh. What you have stored up will be like a fire in the last days. Look! The wages you have withheld from the workers who harvested your fields keep crying out, and the cries for help of the reapers have reached the ears of Jehovah of armies. You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts on the day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. Was he not in your way?

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

Acts 10.34,5
At this Peter began to speak, and he said: "Now I truly understand that God is not partial, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Philippians 2.1-4
If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any spiritual fellowship, if any tender affection and compassion, make my joy full by being of the same mind and having the same love, being joined together in soul, having one thought in mind. Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but humbly consider others to be superior to you, as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Romans 2.17-24
If, now, you are a Jew in name and rely on law and take pride in God, and you know his will and approve of things that are excellent because you are instructed out of the Law, and you are convinced that you are a guide of the blind, a light for those in darkness, a corrector of the unreasonable ones, a teacher of young children, and having the framework of the knowledge and of the truth in the Law— do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself? You, the one preaching, "Do not steal," do you steal? You, the one saying, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You, the one expressing abhorrence of the idols, do you plunder temples? You, who take pride in law, do you dishonor God by your transgressing of the Law? For "the name of God is being blasphemed among the nations because of you," just as it is written.

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

Matthew 23.23-28
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was necessary to do, yet not to disregard the other things. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of greediness and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may also become clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men's bones and of every sort of uncleanness. In the same way, on the outside you appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

2 Corinthians 8:9, 12-15
For you know the undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich through his poverty. . . For if the readiness is there first, it is especially acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what a person does not have. For I do not want to make it easy for others, but difficult for you; but that by means of an equalizing, your surplus at the present time might offset their need, so that their surplus might also offset your deficiency, that there may be an equalizing. Just as it is written: “The person with much did not have too much, and the person with little did not have too little.”

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. . . For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be an equality. As it is written, 'He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.'

If the world would voluntarily follow just this advice, how different it would be!
Note that this scripture is not meant to enable the lazy. As 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, "If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat."

Luke 3:11
Let the man who has an extra garment share with the man who has none, and let the one who has something to eat do the same.

He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

See also James 1:27 — The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.

And 1 John 3:17, 18 — But whoever has the material possessions of this world and sees his brother in need and yet refuses to show him compassion, in what way does the love of God remain in him? Little children, we should love, not in word or with the tongue [only], but in deed and truth.

Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good. And what is Jehovah requiring of you? Only to be just, to be loyal in your love, and to walk in modesty with your God!

He has shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Isaiah 1:11-20
Of what benefit to me are your many sacrifices? says Jehovah. I have had enough of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed animals, and I have no delight in the blood of young bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has required this from you, this trampling of my courtyards? Stop bringing in any more worthless grain offerings. Your incense is detestable to me. New moons, sabbaths, the calling of conventions—I cannot put up with the use of magical power along with your solemn assembly. I have hated your new moons and your festivals. They have become a burden to me; I am tired of bearing them. And when you spread out your palms, I hide my eyes from you. Although you offer many prayers, I am not listening; your hands are filled with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove your evil deeds from my sight; stop doing bad. Learn to do good, seek justice, correct the oppressor, defend the rights of the fatherless child, and plead the cause of the widow. Come, now, and let us set matters straight between us, says Jehovah. Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be made as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson cloth, they will become like [white] wool. If you show willingness and listen, you will eat the good things of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken it.

Amos 5:21-24
I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no pleasure in the aroma of your solemn assemblies. Even if you offer me whole burnt offerings and gift offerings, I will find no pleasure in them; and I will not look with favor on your communion sacrifices of fattened animals. Spare me the din of your songs; and let me not hear the melodies of your stringed instruments. [Rather,] Let justice flow down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Review for Chapter 1

How would you describe a perfect world?

Do you see evidence of design in creation?

Why seek truth?

What does creation show us about the Creator?

Why look into the Bible?

Briefly, how does the Bible depict God?

What is the purpose of living?

Restore Scripture View

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See this brief science page. Also this web page has some current research on this.

Of course, cancer and other genetic disorders prove that these guardians are not perfect. It is their existence that indicates design, not their perfection.

Weaver bird building a nest DNA also codes for instinctive behavior— as specific and intricate as a weaverbird's nest or as far-reaching as a global map (or awareness of a field gradient) to guide the arctic tern's migration from pole to pole. How is that stored in DNA? How is it read out? No one knows. The continents move, so any migration map would have to be updated over many generations. Does DNA "learn" new nest designs or migration routes by culling fatal errors (natural selection)? That is possible. But this ability to store, inherit, and express such amazing and refined skills surely cannot be dismissed as the product of mere trial-and-error blind groping by mindless molecules of a few atomic elements. Such purposeful and effective complexity moves unbiased observers to look for their Designer. It would be a minor maintenance task for that designer to update the map himself. Could he even make the code able to quickly incorporate new routes? Until we know how it works, we cannot say that is impossible. The homing pigeon can be taken blindfolded over 600 miles in any direction and be home the next day. This incredible ability to find their way home probably does not require a comprehensive map of the entire planet to be encoded into their DNA. But how does it work? For scientists, easily lost in their own buildings, this is a matter of great interest.

Another point: Researching the way genes are ‘read out’ (or not, as need be) to produce the active components in a living cell, one scientist had to say: "There is some sort of dynamic process, a required sequence of changes to the histones packaging the DNA, involved in turning genes on. Order is vital. Gene activation is an intricate, highly orchestrated, and highly regulated series of events — as it should be for something so important to life." —Shelley L. Berger, Ph.D., the Hilary Koprowski Professor in the Gene Expression and Regulation Program at The Wistar Institute. (from Report, 11/17/03)

See also these ScienceDaily pages: 1 and 2 on topoisomerase: DNA transcription. This one is interesting too, on the toucan's beak.
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Every day, throughout the earth, billions of tiny seeds and embryos develop into large, complex plants and animals without any visible guiding hand. It almost looks like life is self-creating, it seems so effortless. So many believe it a small step from that to life being also self-designing. But those who look closer find the process amazing, even awe-inspiring: this incredibly complex self-assembly, from a microscopic germ to a creature millions of times larger, appears to be intricately organized entirely by chemistry, with each step controlled, directed, by a very special package of highly condensed data, like a software program written in molecules. Is it reasonable to believe that such a progam could write itself from nothing, entirely by a series of accidents? What impetus would it have to do so? Then could random damage or execution errors edit it to soaring new heights of complexity and utility? Surely, to believe that takes more credulity than believing in a purposeful Writer of the software.

"But who designed the Designer?" someone will ask. To which we can only reply, there has to be an ultimate beginning; even believers in the Big Bang cosmology cannot say what caused such an event. They can only say ‘the evidence points that way.’ Are they dismissed as fools because they cannot explain every detail? So be fair: do not dismiss an Ultimate ‘One Who Causes to Be’ as irrational. The ‘evidence points that way.’

chimp in your family? We accept that it appears that the Designer wrote life's ‘software’ to be responsive to its environment, enabling it to ‘evolve’, or adjust its expression, within limits as needed. That would increase, not decrease, our admiration for Him. Automatic differentiation at the species level may actually be a feature of God's design. But at a higher level, approximately corresponding to "family" in Linnaean taxonomy, there are insurmountable barriers. Humans and apes are separated by such a barrier. It would be reasonable, and economical, for the Creator to re-use much of one design in developing subsequent models. Such "evolution of design" would appear to create lineages (albeit with jumps) that evolutionists would later misinterpret as natural. But the evidence does not support the theory that every form of life can be traced by a chain of gradual self-evolution back to primordial ooze.

Here is a discussion of human evolution that was written for a public speech.