Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Aurelian Aspirations

Eden's glory is whispered (White, E. G. Healthful Living. pg 298) by the flowers. Flowers are memories (White, E.G. Adventist Home. page 541), a small taste (White, E. G. Country Living. pg 16) of Eden.

 The tulip and the butterfly 
Appear in gayer coats than I: 
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
 Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
                                                                   ~Isaac Watts 

 Whether it be in the flowers, flies, or worms (a butterfly is a flying worm), we see glimmers of a wonderful world that once was.

1. Birdwing, Ornithoptera sp., butterflies

I aspire to be an Aurelian (English butterfly enthusiast extrodinaire). For me, this aspiration began at an early age. I remember the first time time I looked through the butterfly portal into Eden. Here is that story.

 I am eight or nine years old and I have a butterfly net in my hands! The air is charged with the smell of lilacs. It's cloudy and cool and the only thing I see is the most elegant, huge, yellow and black swallowtail sipping nectar about 10 feet in front me. I am thunderstruck, absolutely scared witless, that it will leave its nectary and fly out of my reach. I am so excited that I am unable to lift my .5 lb net. Slowly, I move within range and raise my net above my head. Then....swack! I swing with all my might and look frantically at my net (collectors understand that certain prize butterflies make you swing erratically). Even before I can look down at the net, the sound of flapping wings fills my ears and an even more intense smell of butterfly bush. My eyes are greeted with a bulging net containing a flapping Eastern Tiger Swallowtail amidst myriad lilac blossoms. Oh what ecstasy! I am brimming over with excitement. I have captured the butterfly that captured my imagination! It is perfect in every way. It is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus Linnaeus.

2. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Alfred Russell Wallace embodies the experience I had when I was child, but only better. He was in the South Pacific and walking through the jungle when he saw a Birdwing (Ornithoptera) for the first time. I can only imagine the thoughts that ran through his head upon seeing that butterfly that is so big it bears the name bird. This giant Lepidopteran is stunningly beautiful with iridescent wings. Wallace and I found that Lepidoptera really are spellbinding. Collecting butterflies allowed their spell to last all year. Long after fall's last leaf had fallen and winter's snow had piled above the grass (an exceptional event in Nasvhille, Tennessee), I would be pinning, labeling, and musing about butterflies. Susan Sontag said it very well, "To collect is to rescue things, valuable things from neglect, from oblivion, or simply from the ignoble destiny of being in someone else's collection rather than one's own."

3. Alfred Russel Wallace chasing a Birdwing butterfly

Besides their spellbinding beauty, butterflies are extremely diverse! There are an estimated 20,000 species of butterflies in the world and ten times that number of moths. My personal favorite within the butterfly world is the family Lycaenidae or Gossamer-winged butterflies. These are small but flashy little creatures that are as charming as they are delicate.

4. Macleay collection of Lycaenidae butterflies

Butterflies reflect every color of the visible spectrum and some of the ultraviolet spectrum as well. Their color is the result of pigments and structure. For example, Morpho butterfly scales trap light with the structure of their scales resulting in iridescence. Butterflies, aside from sometimes eating our food as caterpillars, essentially serve no function. Unless, if your like me, and consider being beautiful and inspirational a service. In fact, in a world that tends to move towards gray, darkness and uniformity, butterflies stand firmly apart. Their bold colors reflect the light and dispel the drab. They remind us that God makes things beautiful from the littlest to the biggest things. Their lifecycle (caterpillar - old man, chrysalis (death), and butterfly (new life)) can even be a symbol of the Gospel (God's spell).

5. Colias without and with UV light

Friday, May 21, 2010

Revelation 6:9-11 and Daniel 8:13-14

The fifth seal (Rev 6:9-11) speaks of souls under the altar crying for justice. The altar represented is the altar of sacrifice, which was symbolic of Jesus on the cross. Thus the souls are on earth. The cry for justice is a repeat of cry for justice long requested through the centuries, but more specifically it is the same cry as that made in Daniel 8:13-14. It is the cry for cleansing of God's name. The cry to make the injustice in the world right. I like David did not understand how the world's injustice will be remedied, until I looked into the sanctuary (Psalm 73).

Revelation 6:9-11

9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants [3] and their brothers [4] should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.


1. What is the altar spoken of here?
There were two altars in the sanctuary. The altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense. Which one of the two mentioned involved blood at the base of the altar? Only the altar of burnt offering. (Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:18)

2. Where did the antitype of the altar of sacrifice occur?
Jesus fulfilled the symbolism of the altar of sacrifice by dying on the cross in Golgotha. Thus the location for this antitype would be earth. One other rite of the temple was fulfilled on earth and that was the laver, which was representative of Jesus' baptism.

3. Where did the antitype of the two compartments of the heavenly sanctuary take place?
Both compartments took place and are taking place in heaven. Thus the there is a distinctive dividing line between heaven and earth represented in the sanctuary.

4. Where are the souls under the altar?
If the altar is representative of the altar of sacrifice, then the souls are on earth. This is most interesting considering many attempts to insert the saints in heaven prior to the resurrection of Jesus.

What makes the temple so dirty?

Are these souls really talking?
5. Is Revelation 6:9-11 the only place where blood talks in the Bible?
The imagery here is similar to that used by the writer of Hebrews when speaking of Abel and Jesus (Hebrews 12:24).

6. What makes the cry of Jesus', Abel's, or the souls' blood under the altar so compelling?
It was unjust. Abel was killed by his jealous brother. The souls under the altar were killed for only witnessing, reading the Bible, going against the state religion, or some other good cause. Jesus was killed for sins he didn't commit.

7. What was it that caused the earthly temple to become unclean and in need of cleansing?
The unjust death of lambs. The lambs were killed for sins they did not commit. Each lamb's death was allowed by the temple servants, the temple constitution, and the God of the temple. Only the temple could stop the death of a lamb, but they never did for 2000+ years. Thus the temple was held culpable.

8. What was it that caused the heavenly temple to become unclean?
Jesus died for no sin he committed, but for the sins that we committed. The only person that could have stopped this death was God (Matt 26:39). Thus God and his house (temple) were held responsible for the death of Jesus and the filth of injustice settled on the temple.

9. Is the death of Jesus the only thing that causes the temple to be dirty?
No, when we become Christians we become the representatives of Christ (2 Cor 5:20). When Jesus sent out the twelve to go and do missionary work, he said, "Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me." (Matthew 10:40). Paul says that it is not he that lives, but Christ lives inside him (Galatians 2:20). The joy of the Christian is to follow in His master's steps (1 Peter 2:21-23; 4:12-19). It is still unjust. The fact that we are being killed and that we did the right thing doesn't erase the crime and just like in the case of Jesus' death the only being in the universe that could stop the injustice is God. Thus God is held culpable and his house/temple is soiled with injustice.

The same question in Daniel

10. Does the question of how long occur elsewhere in the Bible?
Yes, 60 times in the KJV. Psalm 74:10 states, "O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?".

11. Is there a verse or verses in the context of the sanctuary and apocalyptic prophecy that deals with the same question?
Yes, Daniel 8:13-14 and Daniel 12:6. Here is what Daniel 8:13-14 says.
Daniel 8:13-14

Then I heard a holy one speaking; and [another] holy one said to that certain [one] who was speaking, "How long [will] the vision [be, concerning] the daily [sacrifices] and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot? And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; [fn] then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."

12. What started to happen on 1844?
God started to get things in order so that he could fix the wrongs that were committed against Jesus and all of those that died representing Jesus through the centuries. It is the preadvent judgement. While not all have kiled God's saints, all the earth is held guilty for Jesus' death. It was our sin that put him there, because we should have died long ago, but we are still living. Every breath we breath is an injustice a stain on the heavenly temple. Jesus said, And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." (Matt 21:44). The only way to fix our problem, is to believe in the one we killed.

13. When will Jesus make his killers/the world pay for their wrongdoing?
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen (Rev 1:7).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Google the 2nd Microsoft

Steve Jobs is a marvelous genius of PR. Just look at his first commercial that aired on the eve of the Super Bowl.

He was equally adapt at creating the next big thing:
The mouse
Operating system design

The result was that Apple was king.

But one thing he was not capable of seeing while at the top was a pirate. Mr. Bill Gates practically walked away with Job's ideas and created Windows. The result was Microsoft became the ruler of the 90's.

In similar fashion, Steve Jobs has recreated the magic he started, when he came to Apple.

Again he masterfully created a PR strategy. In case you haven't noticed, the top item on Google news sci/tech section for the past 8 months has been the iPad.

Again He saw the next big thing:
and now the iPad

Interestingly, there lurks another pirate. A partner of Jobs in this second round of victorious CEOing-- Google. Google's original marriage with Apple has been severely tried of late. The Google phone, Google apps, and now...With the purchase of Bump Technoligies, Google is set to make a gPad. History repeats itself. Just ask Steve Jobs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


1. I want to be a servant of God, like Jeeves is to Birdy Wooster.

2. I want to see life, like Coach Phil Jackson or Coach George Karl sees a basketball game and Jesus saw people.

3. I want to see a student, like the Nun in Malawi that believed in my friend Davey, when he was only in the third grade.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Key Words:
Alcohol, Fermentation, Wine, New Wine, Grape Juice,

From Haskell:

Fermented Wine
Fermentation is a sign of death, and death is the result of sin. Alcohol is formed by a process of fermentation; hence, it is a direct child of death and sin.
Prov. 20:1. The wine here referred to is fermented; because it is a “mocker” and “deceiver” its character is evil.
Prov. 23:20, 21. This is also fermented wine; for it is evil and is classed with the riotous” and the “drunkards.”
Gen. 9:21. Fermented wine causes one to lose all sense of modesty.
Isa. 5:11. The evil nature of the wine here referred to is revealed in its inflaming the passions.
Isa. 28:7. Fermented wine causes the one who drinks it to err in vision and stumble in judgment. Prov. 31:4, 5. It will cause one to forget the law and pervert judgment. Prov. 23:21. The use of it brings poverty.
Prov. 23:29, 30. It brings sorrow and contention.
Eph. 5:18. The use of fermented wine forbidden.
Prov. 23:31. We are forbidden to even look upon this kind of wine.
1 Cor. 6:10. No one addicted to the use of intoxicating wine can enter heaven.

Unfermented wine
The unfermented wine, or the pure juice of the grape, was used as a beverage from earliest time. Gen. 40:11. The king of Egypt drank the sweet juice of grapes.
Deut. 32:14. The pure blood of the grape was regarded as a choice drink. Judges 9:13. It cheers God and man. Ps. 104:15. Gladdens the heart.
1 Tim. 5:23. It has medicinal qualities.
Mark 2:22. If put in old bottles it ferments, thus becoming unfit for use. Ex. 12:15. Leaven causes fermentation; at the time of the Passover, all leaven or fermented things were taken away from the homes. Matt. 26:17, 26, 28. The Lord’s supper was instituted at the Passover supper, and the wine used was unfermented, because nothing fermented was allowed in their houses. The use of fermented wine excludes the drinker from heaven (1 Cor. 6:10); but of the unfermented, it is not only stated that those who use it may enter heaven, but that the Saviour and the redeemed will drink of it in the kingdom of God. Matt. 26:29.

From Bacchiochi ( :

One may press out a cluster of grapes and pronounce the Kiddush over the juice, since the juice of the grape is considered wine [yayin] in connection with the laws of the Nazirite. (Cited by Louis Ginzberg, "A Response to the Question Whether Unfermented Wine May Be Used in Jewish Ceremonies," American Jewish Year Book 1923, p. 409.)

Fresh wine before fermenting was called 'yayin mi-gat' (wine of the vat; Sanh 70a). (
(The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906 ed., s. v. "Wine," vol. 12, p. 533.)

Yayin=grape juice in these texts: Jer 40:10, 12; Neh 13:15; Lam 2:12; Gen 49:11; Songs 1:2, 4; 4:10


The typical word for wine is oinos οἶνος. In ancient times, it had dual meanings. Here is an example from Aristotle.

“though called wine [oinos], it has not the effect of wine, for it does not taste like wine and does not intoxicate like ordinary wine.” - Aristotle, Metereologica 388. b. 9-13

“There is more than one kind of liquid called wine [oinos] and different kinds behave differently. For new wine contains more earth than old, and so thickens most under the influence of heat, but solidifies less under the influence of cold.” Metereologica 388. a. 34


Did Jesus turn water to wine?


Starting verse:
John 2:10

It is stated that Jesus made water into fermented wine. Fermented wine is necessitated say some, because the wedding took place six months after the Jewish grape harvest. The date is derived from John 2:13. (Bacchiochi 29.4). However there are several good reasons to believe that Jesus made grape juice.

-The art of juice making was known at the time of Jesus ("That must may remain always sweet as though it were fresh, do as follows. Before the grape-skins are put under the press, take from the vat some of the freshest possible must and put it in a new wine-jar [amphoram novam], then daub it over and cover it carefully with pitch, that thus no water may be able to get in."--Columella, On Agriculture 12, 29.).
Genesis 40:11
-Jesus would be held morally responsible for the wedding guests alcohol consumption
Genesis 9:21
-Both the Talmud (Sotah 48a; also Mishna Sotah 9, 11.) and Modern Jewish
rabbis(Cited in William Patton, Bible Wines. Laws of Fermentation condemn/forbid
the use of wine at weddings (Oklahoma City,n. d., p. 83. Emphasis supplied.).
Proverbs 20:21, 23:31
-"Well drunk" is translated "drink freely" in English Standard Version, Revised
Standard Version, American Standard Version, New American Standard Bible,
Younng's Literal Translation.
-The wine was a symbol of the new covenant, which did not have any of the symbols of
sin-namely fermentation.
Luke 5:38; Matt 9:17; Mark 2:22 (note only wine that could be stored in new wine skins is new wine/grape juice "Jesus was not thinking at all of fermented, intoxicating wine, but of 'must,' a non-intoxicating beverage, which could be kept safely in new leather bottles, but not in old skins which had previously contained ordinary wine, because particles of albuminoid matter adhering to the skin would set up fermentation and develop gas with an enormous pressure.Alexander Balman Bruce, The Synoptic Gospels in The Expositor's Greek Testament (Grand Rapids, 1956), p. 500.)
-Good wine in the Bible is described as new wine.
Isaiah 65:8