Genesis 3. The Fall of Man.

Why the serpent? It has since the fall of man become the symbol of sin and Moses used this symbol during the Hebrews wandering in the desert when a disease broke out.

And Jesus himself used this symbol to explain its messianic and redemptive value.

And the serpent figures most prominently in Revelation, the last book of the New Testament.

Back to Genesis 3:

Satan quotes God, but changes one vital detail. Eve corrects the snake, but adds one touch.

 

Satan’s approach is always the same, repeated in the temptation of Jesus 40 days after His baptism:

The approach is: First flatter and appeal to vanity. If that doesn’t work, quote scripture to test God’s promises. Finally, if that doesn’t work, promise power and authority.

Fig leaves are lousy. They break very easily and does not cover well.

No, Adam and Eve did not die physically, but they both died spiritually, their perfect communication  and trust in God was broken.

Yes, the human mitochondria and RNA tend to suggest we all come from one mother.

And people have been dreaming of finding the tree of life ever since.

 

Genesis 1. The Creation.

Now it must be said, it is attributed to Moses. He did not write it all down himself, but had help from the local scribes. After Moses death it was completed, including even his burial.

 

Yes there was a beginning. The question is, before energy and matter does time and space even make sense? Since we are bound in space and time, and all observations we can make are from our experiences in space and time. Yet the Bible is clear: Before Creation there was God!

Which leads us to

 

This is the first hint of the triune aspect of God, three, yet one. God the Father creator, God the Son – Jesus Christ is also called the Word, and the Holy Spirit – God’s spirit.

Footnote: Elohim is Hebrew, the corresponding Arab word is Allah, which is also plural.

 

Notice God omitted saying it was good – for the second day only! Why?

It takes time, and a full cycle to build a stable eco-system.

Clouds are God’s way of stabilizing temperatures. If there were no clouds, temperatures in the tropics would be as high as 140 degrees F.  There are many different cloud types:

Of these cloud types the cumulus clouds and the cumulonimbus (Thunder storms) are the most important in stabilizing the temperatures. They appear during day and afternoon if temperatures are high enough, and  they cool significantly, mostly by reflecting incoming sunlight back into space.

 

Footnote. We are all created into God’s image, male and female.

A man has an X and a Y chromosome, a woman has two X chromosomes. There are a few other combinations with an extra chromosome, rare, but they do exist. Total combinations, XX, XY, XXY, XYY.

 

Yes, it was very good. Time for a day of rest.

The source of wisdom according to Job. Look up to the sky.

20 “From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
23 God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And sees under the whole heavens,
25 To establish a weight for the wind,
And apportion the waters by measure.
26 When He made a law for the rain,
And a path for the thunderbolt,
27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28 And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:20-28 (NKJV)

These are the words God gave Job, originally written in old Aramaic, before Moses wrote the Torah. We do not know much about him, but this we know: Before the law was given, God revealed Himself in his creation and how the environment works. Job even knew and wrote about his redeemer: “I know that my redeemer liveth“, and his language and images are from nature in all its form.

This is where it hit me. Even in this, the oldest book of the Bible they grasped the source of all wisdom: Fear God and shun evil. Truth comes from God and is manifested in His creation, even in the way water vapor plays a role in keeping the earth not only watered, but in ecological balance and prevents the earth from overheating no matter how much damage we as humans do to it.

Let me explain. If there was no water the earth would be a dry planet with the average temperature much colder than today at the poles, but warmer near the equator. The night would be more than 100 degrees colder than the day and no life would be possible. With water the oceans act as a stabilizer, and at sea there is really not much difference between day and night temperatures. What does matter is if you are in the sun or in the shadow. In the winter you welcome the sun, but in the summer “All sun makes a desert” as the Arabic proverb says. Thanks to clouds there will never be a risk of the earth overheating, or even get warmer than it was 6000 years ago during the Holocene peak temperature between the ice ages.

People living in the country side can and do look up to the sky to see what the weather is going to be. When they see the cumulus clouds (the fair weather clouds) form they know it is going to be a pleasant morning. Those clouds reflect up to 300 W/m2 of the sunlight back into the sky, heat that would otherwise warm the air.  This is a major reason the earth will not be overheated. Yes, water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and keeps the earth at an optimum temperature for plant growth and as long as there is enough humidity to produce clouds. The best example is the monsoon in India.  Springs are unbearable hot. The air is dry and temperatures can reach 120 degrees F during daytime. Come summer the monsoon arrives,  thunderstorms roll in and temperatures return back to the low 90’s, still uncomfortable because of the humidity, but the rains water the plains and produce a rich harvest.

People living in cities seldom make the connection that the clouds are the major temperature governor of the climate. In the tropics it works nearly perfectly, and as long there are clouds the amount of CO2 does not matter much, in fact a doubling of CO2 will heat up the earth much less than one degree.

Yes, people living in the country can see daily how the clouds work and keeps the earth from overheating. People living in the great cities are experiencing the urban heat island, it is getting warmer and warmer, and they are more likely to believe climate change leading to all kinds of catastrophes.

In short, next time you see a cloud forming in the sky, thank God for arranging everything so beautiful. If you see a thunderstorm, thank God, but get inside, if you are expecting a hurricane take precautions, if you are expecting a tornado take cover, but above all, in everything give thanks, for this is is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

If you are interested in a more technical explanation read  https://lenbilen.com/2017/04/10/thanks-to-clouds-the-temperature-governor-is-alive-and-well-on-planet-earth/

 

 

The national day of prayer in Boalsburg. Power and prayer restored.

Today is national day of prayer. All over the country, and in places overseas people, in small groups, usually around a flagpole, but here in Boalsburg at the Military Museum, gather to pray.

Normally we are joined by our Congressman, Glenn Thompson, but he was otherwise occupied by trying to pass a new and better healthcare bill, so he sent his assurances some members of Congress met today early to pray, as they did daily when the nation was founded.

On Monday, at 6:35 P.M. a squall line came by our quaint little village. The down-burst did, as so often happens in historical villages with old trees, take down a few trees, which luckily did not do much harm to the buildings. The trees had been for the most part been well pruned, except a few maple trees that had just done this year’s growth and were at their most vulnerable, so a few secondary power lines went down. The major problem was four poles in a row along the major road snapped, even though no falling trees were involved. How can that happen? These were wooden poles, showing their age, badly overloaded with one high voltage line on top, one intermediate voltage in the middle, telephone and cable lines galore below, placed too far apart so the power lines resonated and swayed harder and harder until the lines snapped. We lost power for one day, most lost power for two days, and power is not yet restored to all customers.

This is when it hit me during the morning hour of prayer for the nation:

We are like the four power poles, overloaded, showing signs of age, getting brittle and lacking maintenance and stabilizing supports. When a down-burst comes, we too can snap if we are not anchored properly with multiple supports.

Our nation’s power grid is vulnerable not only from an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse from either the sun or a nuclear blast) but also from hurricanes, tornadoes, down-bursts, terror attacks, overloading and lack of maintenance.

Likewise, spiritually we are like the overloaded power grid. We are vulnerable to attack from all sides, and without proper maintenance of daily prayer we too are in danger of losing power.

On Data gathering, life. hacking by CIA and Wikileaks.

A tweet can contain up to 140 characters, a limit that is now relaxed, but if each character takes up 8 bits of information (one byte), the it can be said, a tweet is 140 bytes.

The  Authorized version of the King James Bible contains 3,116,480 characters, or about 22,260 tweets. Some people have tweeted that much!

But all the information in the KJV pales compared to the information in every cell of the human body. The numbers will get large, so let us learn about large numbers

One kilobyte is 1000 bytes, Megabyte is 1000 Kb or 1000,000 bytes, Gigabyte is 1000 Mb or 1,000,000,000 bytes, Terabyte is 1000 Gigabytes or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, Petabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, Exabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes,  Zettabyte is 1000 Exabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, —Yottabyte is 1000 Zettabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Back to how much data is in our body. We have about 3,2 billion DNA genome pairs in every cell in our body. there are 4 types, so each pair can be packed into 2 bits, which means every cell in our body contains 800 Megabytes of data, the information equivalent of 250 King James Bibles. Giving there are about 37 trillion cells in our body plus about one quadrillion bacteria in our gut the total amount of information in our body is about 30 Exabytes, most of it duplicated, but yet. In addition, all plants and animals contain DNA, so the total information in the world is staggering, far exceeding the term Yottabyte.

If you are an atheist or true believer in evolution that all this came about by chance plus time plus nothing, especially no sign of intelligent design, the math doesn’t add up.

In 2001 the New York City twin towers were destroyed through a terror attack, and the U.S. response was to collect data to capture terrorists before they could attack. The NSA started to monitor all electronic communication through a program called Prism, starting in earnest in 2007, see fig:

This is in part taking place in a large data center in Utah, housing, it is rumored up to one Yottabyte of collected data.  What type of data do they collect? Check this figure:

The question is this: How much of this is linked to terror?

Then, today I found out via Wikileaks that NSA is not alone is spying on us.

CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs

CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).

The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.

The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.

The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.

Despite iPhone’s minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads. CIA’s arsenal includes numerous local and remote “zero days” developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop. The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.

A similar unit targets Google’s Android which is used to run the majority of the world’s smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year. “Year Zero” shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 “weaponized” Android “zero days” which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

CIA malware targets Windows, OSx, Linux, routers

The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA’s Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”.

Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA’s Network Devices Branch (NDB).

The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB’s “HIVE” and the related “Cutthroat” and “Swindle” tools, which are described in the examples section below.

CIA ‘hoarded’ vulnerabilities (“zero days”)

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or “zero days” to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.

Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.

The U.S. government’s commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities. The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.

“Year Zero” documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA’s cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in “Year Zero” is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts. The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities (“zero days”) possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability. As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.

The same vulnerabilities exist for the population at large, including the U.S. Cabinet, Congress, top CEOs, system administrators, security officers and engineers. By hiding these security flaws from manufacturers like Apple and Google the CIA ensures that it can hack everyone  at the expense of leaving everyone hackable.

‘Cyberwar’ programs are a serious proliferation risk

Cyber ‘weapons’ are not possible to keep under effective control.

While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber ‘weapons’, once developed, are very hard to retain.

Cyber ‘weapons’ are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.

Securing such ‘weapons’ is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces — sometimes by using the very same ‘weapons’ against the organizations that contain them. There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global “vulnerability market” that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such ‘weapons’. Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such ‘weapons’ sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling ‘hacking’ services.

Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booz Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.

A number of intelligence community members not yet publicly named have been arrested or subject to federal criminal investigations in separate incidents.

Most visibly, on February 8, 2017 a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III with 20 counts of mishandling classified information. The Department of Justice alleged that it seized some 50,000 gigabytes of information from Harold T. Martin III that he had obtained from classified programs at NSA and CIA, including the source code for numerous hacking tools.

Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

This is where we are today.  On Saturday, President Trump found out that he had been spied upon in Trump Tower during the election. The Wikileaks revelation lends credibility to this accusation. And of course, CIA can make it appear that the hacking came from, say Russia and then put in some false software, framing the victim.

Yet, all this spyware, hacking and data gathering is simple compared to the wonder of life.

Boy and girl scouting are missing their goal. How about Awana?

Many years ago I met a friend that had escaped East Germany after the war. He emigrated to U.S., met a delightful Southern Belle and fell in love. She was a faithful church goer, so before she would accept his advances she asked about his faith. He answered proudly “I am a Lutheran” to which she answered “Oh, is that’s like the Catholics?” This didn’t sit well with him, but he loved her very much, so he promised to go to church with her anyhow. He liked the people very much and felt welcome, so he became a faithful church-goer, but kept his faith to himself. They  married, got children, brought them to church, but when the church started an Awana program he drew the line. “No Awana for my children! It’s indoctrination! Their scarves reminds me of my childhood’s Hitler-youth“. This saddened his wife, but being a loyal wife, she submitted and let the children join the Boy and Girl Scouts. This went on for  years, but one time taking his daughter and two of her girl friends home after the scout meeting he happened to listen to what they were saying to each other about the meeting and many other things. The next Wednesday he came with his whole family and exclaimed “Awana, here we come” to the delight of his wife and children, since that’s where their real friends were, and this experience was also the catalyst for his salvation.

awanaThis was 35 years ago, and Awana is still going strong. The name Awana comes from 2 Timothy 2:15 Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed  and their mission statement is: God is changing the world through the ministry of Awana by equipping leaders to reach kids with the gospel and engaging them in long-term discipleship.

Meanwhile, the Boy scouts and Girl Scouts of America have taken a different route and are now even further removed from their original mission than they imageswere 35 years ago.