Bees, ‘Just Saying’ What's the first thing you think when you see or hear a bee? Can honey bees & flowers live without each other? Is anything sweeter than honey?
In spite of the fear of being stung, most folks are fascinated by bees and many have a great appreciation for honey. There is a vast quantity of excellent information available on these things, But, sadly part of it is misleading at best, and untrue at worst. So as we evaluate the truth of what we read or hear, it’s helpful to consider questions such as: What do you mean by what you're saying; How do you know it’s true; does truth really matter; what difference would it make if I believe it or not?
DEFINITIONS MATTER Many folks don’t define the difference between a honeybee and a wasp, because they both sting. However, they do actually look and act differently. Definitions and differences really do matter to everyone. Confusion operates through assumptions. We can have our own opinions, but we cannot create our own facts.
Wasps are picnic pests with smooth, slim waisted bodies. They like soda; and they land on burgers to pick up protein. They also hunt other insects and steal honeybee larvae from small or weak hives. Wasps build their nests from a kind of wood pulp paper. Wasps are more aggressive than honey bees and can sting multiple times. A wasp sting leaves a painful puncture point with no stinger in it.
Honey bees have hairy bodies, and gather nectar, pollen, and tree resin. They don’t want soda or meat. They build their nests out of wax, and they produce honey, and propolis as well as wax. Unlike wasps, honey bees have a barb in their stinger that gets stuck under people’s skin when they sting. So as they fly away it tears out their gut, including the venom sac; and they die. That means they can only sting you 1 time. However, if you don’t remove the stinger right away, the venom sac can keep pumping poison into you for 10 more minutes. To remove the stinger without pinching or squeezing the venom sac, and thereby injecting more poison, you can scrape it off with a flat edge.
The Nova documentary, “Bees Tales From the Hive”, claims that bees die when they sting a wasp. Their assumption is that because a honey bee’s barbed stinger gets stuck under human flesh, that it would also get stuck in a wasp’s body when they sting it. However unlike our skin, a wasp’s body is hard and smooth. Therefore, since the honeybee’s barb does not get stuck, the honeybee does not die; so it can sting a wasp injecting venom into it multiple times.
During my decades in beekeeping, I didn’t get stung very often, because I worked quietly and calmly with the bees, and usually used a smoker for the hive or peppermint oil for my exposed skin. When I did get stung the best remedy I found is broadleaf plantain weed. It grows wild in yards, fields and roadsides. It appears in the spring about the same time as dandelions. It has oval green leaves, with parallel veins that stand out on the back of the leaves. Tall, thin, soft spikes appear in the center of the leaf cluster later on. These are seed shoots.
I simply crushed a few plantain leaves, by chewing them; and then spit the wad onto the sting. It stopped the pain and swelling. If I treated the sting right away before the venom spread, it worked best. But if I did it later, I needed to keep the plantain poultice on longer. No worries about swallowing the crushed leaves; people eat it in salads and on sandwiches. That has been my experience, but I do not know how or why it works, or if it works for all people everywhere at all times.
Some people cause what they fear by their fear. Noisy screaming or wildly waving your arms, increases your odds of being stung. Some folks fear being stung, because they fear pain. Most peoples’ greatest fear is death.
Depending on how allergic you are to bee venom, a single sting may range from a tiny irritation, to a full blown anaphylactic or even fatal reaction. Only a very small percentage of people are highly allergic to bee stings; but for them 1 sting could be fatal. However, for most folks it would take hundreds of stings to kill them. Your chances of dying from a bee sting are about the same as your chances of dying from a lightening strike.
COLORED CONCLUSIONS Scientists have observed that people wearing purple, red, hot pink or black are more likely to get stung. However the simple fact that wearing those colors increases your chances of getting stung, does not indicate the reason for it. No one really knows why wearing those colors may increase your chances of being stung.
The goal of science is to try to discover the cause of an effect. One of Laws of Logic is The Law of Causality which requires every effect to have a cause. Unfortunately some scientists state their opinions about causes as though their beliefs are proven facts. Our assumptions are influenced by our world view. A ‘world view’ is what we chose to believe about our origin, purpose and destiny. That belief colors how we look at other things.
Some respected experts say that the reason bees are more likely to sting anyone wearing dark colors is that they have evolved defense mechanisms to protect against dark colored predators such as bears. I’ve never seen a purple, red or hot pink bear. Anyone who is honest will admit that they have presuppositions/presumptions.
SMOKE, FIRE AND FACTS Beekeepers have used smoke for thousands of years to help control the bees as they work with the hive. Throughout much of my lifetime it has been assumed by most people that when bees smell smoke they are less likely to sting because they think their hive is on fire, and they fill their crops/honey sacs with honey in preparation for leaving home. This supposedly makes them sort of drunk, and also makes it harder to bend their full body to insert their stinger. However, different types of smoke have different effects on bees; and when tiny cameras were placed inside hives that were smoked, they did not show bees sucking up honey. They simply continued their usual jobs.
Some beekeepers place a cloth over the top frames of an open hive and spray it with a water and mint mixture. As the scent permeates the hive the bees are not as defensive. I personally use a smoker, because it works even though I do not exactly know why it controls the bees. However, I often don’t like to bother with gloves or boots, and occasionally don’t take time to fire up my smoker. So I rub fresh peppermint leaves from my garden on my exposed hands and feet or splash on peppermint oil. With the scent of peppermint on my skin I have never been stung, even though occasionally a bee has landed on me. No one knows for sure why this works.
PHEROMONES It appears that the smoke or peppermint odors mask the honeybees pheromone alarm signals. Pheromones are scented chemicals produced by bees that influence other bees when they smell the specific odor. They are a major means of communication that bees use. Honeybees’ alarm pheromone is made up of isopentyl acetate and 2-heptanone. I’ve heard that it smells a little bit like bananas. I personally don’t have a keen sense of smell, so I don’t know.
If a guard bee notices a threat she will notify the rest of the hive by raising her stinger up in the air and releasing the alarm pheromone. When other honey bees smell it they get ready to attack an intruder. Smoke or mint could cover the alarm scent to keep the other bees from getting the alarm signal that incites them to prepare to defend their hive.
Honeybees have an intense sense of smell, far greater than people’s. Pheromones are an important part of honeybees complicated communication system. Honeybees have 15 glands that produce a variety of chemicals that induce various responses in other bees influencing things such as: mating, brood production, swarming etc. Queens, drones, and workers all have their specialties.
A queen bee pheromone that attracts workers has a slight lemon grass odor. So beekeepers use diluted lemon grass oil in a hive bait box to attract wild swarms. (Here’s a recipe for swarm lure. Make a double boiler using a metal can. Melt 2 Tablespoons beeswax in the can with ¼ cup of olive oil. Take it off the heat and stir in 40 drops, (2 millimeters) of lemongrass essential oil. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken and then pour it into a half cup, heat proof, covered container. When it’s cooled down you can store it in a cool place until you need it. Smear a Tablespoon full on your bait box to attract a wild swarm.)
Too strong of a lemongrass scent does not work well. A subtle scent is more captivating, since it is harder to analyze. The true queen bee’s pheromone/fragrance is not as intense as lemongrass oil, so the worker bees would not be fooled by a full strength fake. (Lies diluted with truths are more likely to be believed and received.) Many studies have been done on the phenomenal pheromone scented signals of honeybees, but scientists still have a lot to learn about how or why these chemical cues work.
HONEYBEE SONG & DANCE SIGNALS A honeybee colony is a complex community of individuals, each with a specific purpose. They are designed to work together, depending on each other, so good communication is necessary. For folks who only occasionally hear bees communicate, it simply sounds like a bunch of buzzing. However beekeepers can tell a lot about bees by the songs they sing.
The 1st song I identified was the disturbing pitch of a suicide flyer on a relentless mission to sting me. Over the years, I have heard the comforting chorus of happy bees going about their business, the dirge of a queenless hive, (which can be stilled by inserting a frame of eggs and larvae into the hive), the intense song of a swarm, (that can begin a week before they leave the hive.), and the distinct piping of a freed virgin queen. Musicians have described the piping of a challenging virgin queen to be G-sharp or A-flat. It lasts for about a second followed by some quarter of a second pulses. Queens that are ready to emerge from their cells, (but are still trapped), just toot short pulses in response to the piping of the challenging freed queen.
In spite of numerous wonderful studies and experiments that have been done with honeybees, there is a lot we do not understand about them, and how they communicate. They can sound happy, grieved, or angry. I have learned that a consistently aggressive, loud, hard to handle hive can be tamed by replacing the queen. I don’t know why that works, but I have experienced that it does work.
Besides pheromone scents and songs that transfer information, honey bees perform intricate dances on the honeycombs that explain to other bees where they found a good food source, how far away it is and the best route to get there. They also do these directional dances on the surface of bee swarms to provide the swarm with possible locations for their new nest. The dance steps are a kind of sign language.
During the dance, watching bees touch the dancers with their antennae. The dancing bees emit odd low frequency sound signals in specific parts of their dance. Researchers have recorded 10 distinctly different sounds that bees make while they are in their hive. They have discovered the relationship between some of the sounds and specific activities they induce. Scientists have several different theories about how the bees transmit information through sound. However, we really do not know exactly how the bees’ sound signals are sent or received. Researchers believe that pheromone scent is also involved in the dance drama.
Wow, how in the world could time, chance and matter, produce that kind of beauty, efficiency and productivity? The bee dancer would have had to create the complex communication system at the exact same time that her audience learned to interpret her scent, sound, and drama signals. That would be quite the coincidence, don’t you think?
LESSONS LEARNED AND SHARED Expert evolutionary scientists have long believed and taught that it is a proven fact that creatures with larger brains are more intelligent, than those with less brain material. The brain of a honeybee is about the size of a grass seed, but bees can learn new skills and teach them to other honeybees. They can recognize individual faces, solve complicated color puzzles, link symbols to numbers, do math calculations, and navigate using spatial memory with map like organization. Honeybees are designed to accomplish tasks with speed and efficiency that random chance evolution cannot begin to explain.
Believe it or not, a honeybee can solve some math problems on the fly that would take current computer programs days to solve. Researchers from the University of London discovered that bees daily determine the shortest route between many mixed destinations so that they can use the least amount of time, effort and fuel to get there. Some scientists theorize that the bees must be using better math methods then the ones used by modern computer programs to achieve such quick calculations. Others say that a bee makes more calculations in its brain in 1 second than a computer.
Researchers have also observed that honeybees have flight skills that are more sophisticated than our current understanding of aerodynamics can explain or utilize. Honeybees are able to completely avoid crash landings. Actually until recently, scientists couldn’t even figure out why it is possible for a bee to fly at all.
Using the information they had about aerodynamics, and the assumptions they were making about bees, researchers concluded that it was scientifically impossible for bees to fly. Obviously, their scientific belief did not affect the truth about the bees ability to fly. That was embarrassing since many folks are trusting scientists to tell them what they need to know about life.
People want to understand the world we live in. Many place false expectations on scientists who are ordinary men and women trying to find the causes for things, and discover how they work. Like everyone else they draw their conclusions from the facts that they have available, and their assumptions about their own origin, purpose and destiny. That’s why two or more serious scientists can look at the exact same facts and draw different conclusions about what those facts mean. Scientists see similarities in the design of men and monkeys. Some assume that means they had a common designer and others believe they had a common ancestor. Those are both faith based philosophical assumptions.
Scientists’ assumptions confused them about how bees' four ‘stiff’ little wings were able to carry the weight of a bee’s body, plus a payload of pollen, nectar or propolis up into the air. The mystery was solved when a high resolution video of a bee in flight was played using snap freeze-frame images that were carefully analyzed and modeled by a robotic wing that was built using the new information. That enabled researchers to see the way a bee actually moves its wings. Scientists had mistakenly believed that bees' wings were rigid and only moved up and down.
Scientific belief did not change the truth that honey bee wings are flexible and can make short wing strokes and a fast rotation. If a bee needs more power to haul a heavy load, she increases the curve of her wing strokes. Honey bees can do all that because their flight muscles have a distinctly different design than the flight muscles of other flying insects like wasps and mosquitoes. Their 2 front wings are bigger than their 2 back wings, and they can hook the front wings together with the rear wings when they need more lift capacity. They can actually flap their wings 230 times in 1 second. Honey bees do what they are designed to do.
Bees have demonstrated the capacity to learn and teach. For example researchers marked a group of bees and watched them use trial and error to figure out how to slide and lift lids, and then move balls to get to a sweet treat. Then, the marked bees flew back to their hive. Shortly after that some unmarked bees from that hive arrived back at the spot with the sweet treats under the caps and balls. The unmarked inexperienced bees simply slid the caps and moved the balls showing that they knew how to do it without trial and error. Did the marked bees explain the treat trick?
In addition to all that, researchers have discovered that bees get the concept of zero and can actually add and subtract. Scientists built a Y shaped tunnel with the entrance at the end of the straight line of the Y. There they put blue shapes that indicate addition, or yellow shapes that indicate subtraction. At the cross section of the tunnel the bee had to decide if it would go left or right. The correct choice depended on the number of blue or yellow shapes that they had seen in the entrance of the maze. The bees did not always get the correct answer. They were rewarded for the right choice with sugar water. They were punished for their wrong choice with bitter tasting quinine. After several attempts the majority, (though not all), of the bees made the right decision most of the time.
Besides being smart and strong, bees are perseverant. Bees need to find, carry, and process nectar from about 2,000,000 flowers to make 1 pound of honey. A gallon of honey weighs 12 pounds. To gather enough nectar to make a gallon of honey, bees need to travel about 55,000 flight miles. A gallon of honey could fuel bees flight for 1,000,000 miles.
IT ALL BEGAN IN A GARDEN Plants produce nectar the main ingredient in the honey recipe. By a process called photosynthesis the leaves of plants make sweet nectar using energy from the sun. The nectar flows throughout the plant providing nourishment and strength. Excess nectar collects inside the flower’s base. When forager bees find the flowers, they use their tubelike tongue to suck the nectar into a special compartment designed to carry it back to the hive. Experts who say that honey is bee vomit are wrong. Vomit is matter that is ejected from a sick stomach that is part of a digestive tract. Researchers have discovered that honeybees were designed with a stomach for the food that their body digests, and a different compartment for transporting nectar. Some call this the crop or honey sac, others refer to it as the honey stomach.
While in the honey sac nectar is mixed with special enzymes that begin to convert the nectar into honey. A bee can carry her own weight in nectar. When the forger bee returns to the hive she passes the nectar to a house bee who adds more enzymes and eventually house bees deposit the unripened honey into a wax cell. There excess water is removed as bees fan it. When the honey’s moisture content is 17%, the bees cap it with a wax lid. So honey begins as nectar, which begins in flowers, that begin as seeds, which came from other flowers, back to the very first flower. A honeybee has electrostatic charged little hairs all over her body that attract pollen as she is collecting nectar from flowers. She has specially designed tools on her legs to brush the pollen into balls that she packs into baskets on her back legs so that she can carry the protein packed pollen back to the hive. She also makes special trips just for collecting pollen. I’ve seen bees roll in the pollen to gather as much as possible. As she travels from flower to flower she distributes the pollen fertilizing the flowers so that they can reproduce seeds that will grow flowers of the same kind.
A flower blossom has a stamen, male part that produces pollen. The flower blossom also has a pistil, female part that has a sticky end that collects pollen from bees that are carrying it on their hairy bodies. When the pollen produced by the stamen connects with the sticky end of the pistol, the flower is able to produce seeds like the flowers they came from. The bees get their groceries from flowers. Flowers get pollinated by bees. Bees need flowers and flowers need bees. They need each other for survival.
Honey bees provide us with honey, pollen, propolis, wax and royal jelly. Besides all that, about one third of the average diet comes from plants that were pollinated by insects. Honey bees are responsible for 80% of that pollination according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. The honey that honey bees produce has properties that cannot be duplicated by scientists' best efforts. Unheated raw honey is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, besides being hygroscopic. Unheated honey is more effective than some pharmaceutical antibiotics.
IT'S THE REAL THING, RIGHT? If the label on the honey jar says “all natural honey”, does that mean it’s straight honey; or is it all natural products such as corn syrup, rice syrup, and sugar syrup added to some honey with natural food color included? If it’s in a cute little bear bottle does that help you assume that it’s really honey? Even though the FDA requires honey labels to list any and all additives, that law is poorly enforced, and they’re very few testing labs. Numerous studies show that most of the fake honey sold in America is imported from China. It has been heated, overprocessed and diluted to the point that the health benefits abundant in true honey that bees produce are absent.
Most imported ‘honey’ is repackaged by name brand companies and sold in America’s most popular food stores. Since you can’t trust the label; you can do your own test when you get it home. The quickest easiest test is: to get some real honey from a local beekeeper and compare it with the commercial stuff. Set both jars side by side and simultaneously dip chopsticks into each jar. Fake honey is runnier than true bee made honey. When you lift the chopsticks out of the jars, the fake honey stream breaks and begins to drip sooner than the stream from genuine honey.
Besides being scammed by fake honey, most consumers are unaware of artificial ‘honey’. It is a manufactured product that is marketed under the name ‘honey’. The word ‘honey’ in the ingredients on most baked goods and cereal boxes indicates a totally manufactured cheap honey flavored product invented by clever chemists that does not contain honest honey or any of the benefits of actual factual honey. Saying that it’s honey does not make it true honey. It’s well worth the price to get the real deal!!!
PROPOLIS THE GREAT DEFENDER The Greek term propolis means ‘defender of the city’ and refers to the fact that it is the immune system of the beehive, which is sometimes called a ‘city of bees’. People have used propolis since ancient times for it’s amazing healing properties. It has highly antimicrobial properties that are antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral!!! Propolis is a sticky substance that bees make and use. Honeybees living in trees build a tight propolis tunnel at the opening of their hive, so the bees need to crawl through it in order to get in or out. Since propolis is antimicrobial the bees are cleansed of microbes as they are coming and going. They coat the inner walls of their nest, and spread a thin layer over the wax comb cells both inside and out. That sterilizes everything. So even though the wild hive in a tree is warm and damp, with both food and larvae in the comb cells, the propolis protects the hive from bacteria, mold and fungus. However, propolis does not destroy beneficial microbes. Propolis kills disease causing microorganisms, viruses and fungus in both people and bees. For the last 50 years, most beekeepers have scraped propolis off of the insides of their hives, and used chemicals to deal with disease. But, more recently many beekeepers are experiencing healthier hives from coating their hive walls with propolis. (If you rough up the inner walls or staple cut propolis traps to the inside walls the bees will coat them with propolis.) Scientists are beginning to see some of the mysteries of propolis but are unable to duplicate it. Trees produce a resin that is antimicrobial. The resins with their germicidal properties are the tree's immune system. When the tree is damaged this resin seeps into the wound and covers it protecting the damaged tissues from infection, and parasites. Trees also cover tender new buds with resins acting as antioxidants that smother free radicals before they can cause damage. Certain forager bees have the specific job of collecting resin. Beginning in early spring, they locate the right trees such as pine, spruce, cedars and other with the quality resin. They pull up the sticky resin with their mouth parts, work the resin with their front legs, while mixing in wax from their own wax glands and saliva with enzymes. Then they knead the resin mixture into a ball and pack it into their pollen baskets to carry it back to the hive. The wax, saliva and other secretions, begin changing the resin into propolis. When they arrive at the hive they pass it to house bees who process it in their mouths, passing it from bee to bee and then storing it in a wax cell until needed. Scientists have not yet discovered how it gets concentrated into at least 180 different compounds that have been identified so far. We don’t know the bees’ secret recipe to make this unique medicine. But studies have shown wonderful health benefits. Propolis has a very high concentration of flavonoids. Flavonoids are a big family of chemical compounds that are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, as well as regenerative effects. Propolis has very effectively promoted the healing of: skin infections, gum disease, sore throats, ear infections, and much more. Studies show it boosts the immune system of those who take it regularly. Stores sell it in liquid and capsules. But buyer beware, much of what’s available is full of fillers, so make sure you get it from a knowledgeable trusted source that you can depend on. Even beeswax, which has multiple uses, needs to be purchased from a reputable dealer if you want to be sure it’s not compromised with part paraffin. Beekeeping supply stores are most reliable if you want a pure product. The bees process of making wax is complex, intense and time consuming. It takes 8 pounds of honey to manufacture 1 pound of beeswax. The bees don’t waste any of it. Honeycomb is an engineering marvel. Bees build hexagonal shaped cells, in a precise pattern. This provides the greatest amount of storage space, using the least amount of material, giving maximum strength with the least weight.
TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES Since information only comes from an intelligent source, where did bees get the information for skills such as communication, music, math, engineering, aerodynamics, and more? Inside of all living things there are DNA molecules that contain informational instructions for how the bodies are to develop and function. These instructions are written in a stunningly complex language. Language is the means/method to express and transfer information, but language does not create information.
On rare occasions DNA has a mistake, like a misspelled word called a mutation. Numerous intensive scientific investigations have shown that mutations, (the mistakes that occur in gene replication), either lose or rearrange information, but they never add new information. (Like missing a letter or rearranging a letter in a misspelled word, but never adding a new letter.)) Even mutations that seem helpful are rearrangements of information, but mutations have never added any new information.
So where did information come from in the first place? People want information and need to know whether or not the source of it is trustworthy. We are living in the ‘Information Age’ where knowledge, (discovering and learning to use information), is increasing at dizzying speeds. It is available in abundance right in our pockets in our cell phones. But how can we separate fact from fiction? If we really value truth we need to think carefully, watch out for emotional or psychological manipulation, recognize and admit both correct and incorrect assumptions.
We can be blinded by wrong assumptions. It takes humility to open our eyes and face it when we are wrong. We don’t like humility because it’s so humiliating! People who really want the truth and think they can handle it, must consider what difference it would make in their life if they chose to believe and receive it. How would it change the way they look at other things in the world including relationships. What are the long term consequences of accepting or rejecting truth?
IS IT TRUE THAT THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH? Some folks try to avoid the truth by saying that there is no such thing as absolute truth, but that is an absolute truth statement. To say that all truth is relative is an absolute statement, not a relative statement. So it is logically self-defeating.
Is it true for everybody to say ‘it’s true for you but not for me’? Because if it's true for everybody that ‘it’s true for you but not for me’, then to say “true for you but not for me” cannot be true, because it’s true for everybody.
Accepting or rejecting truth does not change reality. Some folks say that nobody has the truth. But they would have to have the truth in order to make a truth claim about truth. So their assumption is self-contradictory. In order to say that someone is wrong you would have to know what is right.
The Law of Noncontradiction shows that truth corresponds to reality. It says that you cannot both “have something ” and “not have something” at the same time, and in the same relationship. No matter what anyone says, the pizza in my oven cannot be both ‘hot’ and ‘not hot’ at the same time. It is either hot or it’s not. It can’t be both. Truth does not violate the law of noncontradiction.
TRUTH AND LAWS MATTER, BUT ARE NOT MADE OF MATTER If we are the product of an eternal speck of matter whose accidental explosion started a chain of other accidental actions, that eventually assembled matter into persons, where did the laws of gravity, physics, math, logic and morality come from? If your brain is simply 3 pounds of chemicals that organized themselves by random chance over billions of years how can you trust your thoughts and reasoning processes?
Wait what? Our thoughts as well as truth, love, justice, and laws of logic are immaterial. Information is not made up of atoms. Information in our mind, or even in a computer, does not have physical mass or weight. Adding information to your mind doesn’t make your body heavier. Adding information to a computer disk doesn’t add or remove matter, space or time; it only rearranges the material the disk is made of. A computer doesn’t get heavier or bigger if you download stuff. People, from ancient philosophers to modern physicists, have recognized that: information which we express in words is not physical and that indicates that we are an invisible soul and spirit inside of a visible, material body just as the Bible says.
LAWS OF MORALITY Laws are made by lawmakers, just as buildings are made by builders. People make laws that reflect their nature and character values. People everywhere throughout history, throughout the world have made governing laws that reflect the 10 commandments: don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t murder etc.. God’s commandments are about the sacredness of God given life, the sacredness of your word, the sacredness of marriage, the sacredness of personal property, the sacredness of your relationships. When you make evil trivial, you violate what is in your heart and you ultimately violate other people.
The Bible says that we are made in the image of God and that the laws of God are written on the hearts of men. (Conscience means with knowledge. ‘Con’ means with and ‘Science’ means knowledge. That’s why we feel guilty when we violate our conscience.)
If we are simply sacks of molecules that organized themselves into wet robots, why would we care about what 1 wet robot does to another wet robot? Why do we need laws? Why does injustice upset us? Why do we think we should be treated with fairness? Why are we offended when someone lies to us? What makes us think offenders should pay for the pain their offenses caused? What sets us off when our rights are violated? Oh yeah, what’s the deal with rights? Does rearranged pond scum have rights? Who do we think we are, that we should have rights???
TRUE JUSTICE BRINGS PEACE TO THOSE WHO WALK IN TRUTH! Justice is the dividing line between right and wrong, good and evil. Justice satisfies the obligation to truth!!! If absolute truth does not exist, then right and wrong/good and evil make no sense. Therefore we would not want and need justice. If we came from a cosmic accident our lives have no real meaning, and we are destined to be compost. There is abundant evidence that there is a Creator, the Author of all who has authority over all, and will hold us all accountable for our choice, to believe and receive the truth or to set ourselves up as the ultimate authority creating our own concept of good and evil/right and wrong.
MEANINGS REALLY DO MATTER People redefine ‘good’ to fit their own desires. Socialists say that ‘good’ is: ‘what brings the most happiness to the most people’. Happiness depends on our happenings, happening to happen the way that we happen to want them to happen. People do what they do because they want what they want. Individual people have different values, desires, and hopes. Ultimately socialism is for the benefit of the little group of powerful decision makers at the top who end up forcing their will on the rest of the group insisting that the guys in charge are using force for the group's own best interest and protection. Fearful folks will trade their freedom for security. But why would it really matter anyways if happiness is simply a chemical reaction in your brain?
However, since the creator God made people in his own image to reflect his goodness in our relationships, the happiness of other people does matter. I do not want to disrespect God by dishonoring those who are made in his image even if that image is marred by sin and shame.
GOD’S LAWS WRITTEN IN STONE God commanded, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. Lying is contrary to God’s faithful nature. God is good; he created us to reflect his loving kindness/goodness in relationships; and his laws are a reflection of who he is. Goodness is not possible without free will to choose between good and evil/right and wrong. By his own free will, God chose to give us souls which include mind, will and emotions. God does not lie, so he has obligated himself to respect our free will even when our choices greatly grieve him. God is about relationships. He did not create us to be puppets. Puppets cannot give or receive love. They have no capacity for gratitude or joy. Puppets and robots are simply matter and matter is neither good nor evil. Matter does not have the freedom to make its own moral choices between good and evil/right and wrong.
The creator God is by very definition the standard of good. He chose by his own freewill to create persons with independent eternal souls, so that they would have the freedom to choose to love and be loved by him and each other or turn their back on him and go their own way. Love is not possible without freedom of choice. You might be able to force or bribe someone to pretend to love you, but true love is voluntarily self-sacrificial. Love is not love unless it is freely given so that it can be freely received.
God’s laws demonstrate that we were made for genuine friendship. When we break His commandments we are acting like an enemy not a friend! Think what the world would be like if everyone perfectly obeyed all God’s Law all the time. There would be no hurt feelings from being lied to, cheated on, or stolen from. There’d be no fear of being raped or murdered. There would be happy families full of people who could always be trusted to say and do good things. There would be world peace not war. Let’s look at The Law of God in our conscience in light of the written Law of God in The Bible’s 10 commandments. All people everywhere, throughout history have believed that it is wrong to lie, (#9) (“bear False witness”). You may try to excuse your own lies, but the fact that you get angry when someone lies to you proves that you believe that lying is wrong. Even people that are in the habit of swearing sometimes apologize when they realize that someone present is offended by using the name of The Lord God to express disgust, in the same way that they use filth words. (That drags God down to the level of solid waste matter). Did you ever consider why people don’t say, ‘Buddha dam you’, or ‘Confucius’, or ‘Mohammed’? It’s always, God or His Son Jesus Christ. Some of those that feel guilty about breaking the 3rd commandment may say ‘cheese and rice’, or geeze. You prove that you agree with #8 if you don’t want your stuff stolen, even if you are a thief! Would it upset you if you knew that someone wanted what you value, to belong to him or her instead of you? (That’s #10) Want to know why we all live by the 7-day week? Check out # 4 in Exodus 20. The 24-hour day can be explained by the 24-hour rotation of the planet. It takes about 365 days or 1 year for the world to travel around the sun. But the only reason that we live by the 7-day week is because our Creator made the earth and all that is in it in 6 days and rested on the 7th . Do you feel creepy, violated or used if someone seems to be undressing you with their eyes? Check out #7 and then read Matt. 5:28! How about #6? Would you want justice to be given to a killer who murdered someone that you loved?
Truth and justice, goodness and mercy seem to be in short supply these days as our world appears to be spinning out of control. Justice systems are becoming corrupted. People seem more self-centered, self-absorbed, greedier, unthankful, rude, lacking self-control, traitors, living for the pleasure of the moment with little regard for the future of themselves and others.
BACK TO THE BEES Many people are demanding radical changes. Some have even suggested that we might do better if we modeled our society after the example of honey bees. The bee society is efficient, orderly, and productive. They don’t have labor management problems, divorce, or rebellion against authority. But all that comes with a price. Their system is actually clean, lean and mean.
They practice strict population control linked to the state of their economy. When the queen bee is no longer able to lay the required number of eggs she is replaced and stung to death. In the fall when the mating season is over the drones, (that’s the male bees), are driven out of the hive to die in the cold. (Beekeepers call that ‘The Drone Toss’. It’s pitiful to watch the drones try to get back into their hive and be blocked or stung by the workers.) Honey bees live in a society where individual rights are not important: the state is supreme. It works because bees are locked into behavior patterns by instinct.
Those who suggest that people should treat each other the way insects operate know that we are not locked into behavior patterns by instinct like insects. So they propose that governing leaders use force to accomplish in people what instinct does in insects. In order to believe in such a system of government, you would have to assume that people are simply sacks of molecules that are the product of random chance, therefore there is no standard point of reference for moral goodness. That would mean that people’s right to life is no more essential than the rights of plants, bugs or bacteria.
The right to life is fundamental to all other human rights. Think about it! Some folks get angry when God acts like God deciding how much time to allow a person’s life on earth to last. But often the same folks consider abortion and euthanasia to be people’s basic right to choose.
QUALIFICATIONS AND THE RIGHT TO RULE That’s the big question: who has the ultimate qualifications and the right to rule? James Watson, an expert evolutionary scientist, said, “The powers held traditionally to be the exclusive property of the gods might one day be ours.” People like him are counting on DNA to explain who we are even though there are so many things they can’t understand. For example, identical twin babies with 100% identical DNA still have different fingerprints and they behave differently. Our identity, origin, purpose and destiny are not explained by our DNA. Folks who reject an ultimate authority deny facts that they don’t like.
People's lust for power and control causes broken relationships. Again, people do what they do because they want what they want. People’s fear of not getting wants met manifests as manipulation and anger. It’s been said that people are never satisfied because they are never rich enough or thin enough. Many believe riches and popularity would give them the power and control they crave.
Some folks place their hopes in politicians, psychologists, scientists, etc. Some of those have some useful things to offer. However the satisfaction they provide does not bring lasting peace.
People throughout history throughout the world have been incurably religious. Those who say they don’t believe in God will often say they are spiritual but not religious. Many have imagined a god in their own image. Consider the fact that there is no evidence of animals or insects following some sort of worship system that appears to be religion? Only people seem to have a universal hunger in their heart for God.
Some suppress their emptiness with entertainment, or other things that distract and give temporary satisfaction. It appears that when people are not indulging they are lonely. Men and women have sacrificed their money, families and dignity on the altar of gods/addictions that they have surrendered their lives to as substitutes to fill the emptiness in their souls.
Some government leaders from ancient times to today have tried to be a substitute for god demanding recognition, appreciation and submission from their subjects, and brutally suppressing any possible competition to their position as ‘supreme leader’. Many folks trusted religious organizations to show them the way to God, only to find the religious systems and or their leaders becoming a substitute for God. People have redefined the 1 true and living God.
People desire to know and identify with the ones responsible for their birth even though bitterness or death may prevent that. Technology has enabled adopted children to find and connect with their birth parents. Sometimes that’s great and other times it’s grief. But we want to know where we came from and where we fit or belong. Companies that trace your ancestry for you are wildly popular. We long to know, who am I? Where did I come from? What’s the purpose of my life? Where am I going? Who cares?
WHO WROTE THE BOOK OF LIFE? Only God has the power of being in and of himself. He is the self-existent source of life and love. God is a being in relationship. He created us to reflect his love in relationships. People are made in the image of God and we hunger for relationships. The ultimate relationship is with the God who is the ultimate source of our own life. So how can we get to know God? You began to know me by the things that I wrote. You would know about me from things that I made. My gifts or words may not make you like me, but they do tell you who I am.
Jesus said, “The truth shall set you free.” So where is that truth that can show you who God is and even bring you into a right relationship with him? If there is a creator God that cares about his creation it is reasonable to believe that he would have communicated with us.
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” There are 26 books in the world today that claim to be the word of God. How can you tell which one, if any, is true? The Bible is totally unique. It was written in different locations, in 3 different languages, by 40 different authors over a time period of thousands of years. Yet it has a consistent message. It’s historical account is supported by evidence from numerous archeological finds. It has hundreds and hundreds of detailed prophecies that have been fulfilled.
In order for the bible to have been able to accurately predict the future it had to have been inspired by someone who is separate from and above his creation. Therefore God cannot be confined by time, space or matter. The creator could not have been part of or dependent on things he created, including time.
Miraculously there are ancient bible prophecies, thousands of years old, that perfectly describe our world today. For example the Bible says that in the last days Jerusalem will be the troublesome hot spot in the world. 77 years ago when I was born, Jerusalem was an unimportant, poorly populated city that was mostly ruins. Jewish people were scattered all over the world in 70 AD when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem, burned the temple, killed many Jews and evicted the rest.
Israel did not even become a nation again until May 14, 1948. Today it’s the focus of the Middle East conflict and the president’s attempt to make ‘The Deal of The Century’ peace agreement. We can see the stage being set for the Great Tribulation prophecies to be fulfilled. Those were a convenient joke when I was young, They say that for 7 years 1 man will rule a global government. They say everyone in the world will see 2 men that most people hated, laying dead in a Jerusalem street and people will celebrate. Before the internet and ‘google earth’ that kind of talk was ridiculous.
In my childhood there was no means or motive to make a 1 world government and 1 world religion possible. Now with high speed communication and high speed travel, as well as global economies on the verge of collapse and worldwide civil unrest, and people panicked over covid, many want a man with a plan to fix it.
CREATION TO CORRUPTION The Bible says in Genesis that God made everything good. He placed man and woman in charge of it all, only reserving property rights to 1 tree that would give them the freedom to choose to trust in his word or to doubt his truthfulness and reject him. Without the right to choose there is no freedom, love or trust. Our 1st parents rebelled against God, broke their relationship with him and chose to find life apart from their creator. Their treasonous rebellion brought the curse of death. Decay, disorder and disease is destroying the world at an ever increasing rate.
From Adam on down to us people refuse to honor our creator because they reject his authority and therefore deny his word. The first chapter of Romans describes the downward descent of those striving to find an alternative explanation for their origin, purpose and destiny.
Romans 1: 18-23 says, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it to them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse: Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.”
The 1 true and living God is the source of life and the source of our knowledge about life. He is our only real hope to deal with the consequences of evil which blinds us to truth. “Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil”. John 3:19.
THE CLEANSING CURE AT THE CROSS People want fairness, getting what we think we deserve. If we do good, we’d like a reward. Of course if we do bad, we’d like mercy that would prevent us from getting what we deserve. Better yet we’d like grace giving us a free reward that we didn’t earn and definitely don’t deserve! Even if we try to do our best, we fail to measure up to God’s standard or even our own lower standard. Think about it. Did you do your best last week? Could you have done better? If there was any room for improvement then you didn’t do your best! Do you really always do unto others, as you would have them do unto you??? How do you deal with your failure to do what you know is right? Many people are hypocrites trying harder to look good then to be good. (The word hypocrite means pretender.) Others call themselves atheists pretending that God isn’t real. Most of them are either angry with God or they simply don’t want to recognize His character and authority until they are faced with the probability of meeting their Maker in a sudden death.
That’s why people fear death. In the bottom of their darkened hearts they know that they have to face the Holy God on Judgment Day. They know that they are guilty. We have all missed the mark of God’s glory, which is perfect love. We all admit “Nobody’s perfect”. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Just as with men’s civil law you don’t have to break all 10 commandments to be a lawbreaker. The Bible warns, “For whoever shall keep the whole Law and yet stumble in 1 point, he is guilty of all.” If you’re hanging over a cliff by a 10-link chain and only 1 link breaks you will fall just as far and land just as hard as if all 10 links broke. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
This teaching is the difference between natural religion and the Gospel message in The Bible. Most religions admit that we are not perfect and that perfection is the necessary goal. Most have some method, ritual or tradition to try to help you clean up your life and prepare to meet your maker. The bad news is that even with the help of religion, councilors, or psychology's latest theories, we cannot fix our sinfulness. Think about it. If someone got drunk, broke the speed laws and as a result killed someone that you loved, when he went before the judge should he be charged with breaking the law and reckless homicide even though he had not broken any other laws since his arrest? We can never do enough good deeds to make up for our bad deeds. Since God is good, all good, all the time He must be just. Sin must be punished. Perhaps you think that because God is good, He should ignore your sins. That would make God a hypocrite (pretender). If you were guilty of terrible crimes in a civil court and said to the judge, "Judge, I am guilty but I believe that you are a good man and will therefore overlook my crimes," the judge would probably respond by saying, "You are right about one thing; I am a good man, and it's because of my goodness that I am going to see that justice is done, that you are punished for your crimes." The very thing that many are hoping will save them on Judgment Day, God's "goodness," will be the very thing that will condemn them. If God is good, He should punish murderers, liars, thieves, etc., and Hell will be their dreadful fate. Take the time to read what Jesus said Hell was like in Mark 9:43-48. If you don't believe what I am saying about the reality of Hell, it means you think God is corrupt (that He hasn't the moral backbone to seek justice), that Jesus was a liar, that the Apostles were false witnesses, that God's promises are nothing but prefabricated lies, and there is no greater insult to God than to call Him a liar. Imagine if you reject the Savior, die in your sins and find out that what I have told is all true? Then it will be too late. You are guilty of sinning against God Himself. Isn't it true that every time you lied, stole, lusted, etc., you did it with knowledge that it was wrong? That's why you try to make excuses. You know you are guilty.
Your only hope is the fact that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, chose to become a man, for 33 years lived righteously, and then paid for your entire sin debt by serving the death sentence that you deserve. Our sin cuts us off from the only source of life and love. Justice was served when Jesus was punished in our place pouring out His lifeblood for your sin and mine. Then He had victory over all sin and death forever when He rose from the grave 3 days later.
If you will honestly face the truth about God, and look at the truth about yourself in light of his goodness, you can choose to turn from your rebellion against Him, and believe and receive his free gift of salvation. You can live fully free from guilt. There is no sin so great and no pit so deep that the precious blood he shed on your behalf isn’t sufficient to save you. It really is true that Jesus can make all things new even if you can’t see how. You don’t need to wash up before you take a shower. Don't try to clean up your life before you come to Jesus. Stop trying to fix yourself.
The prodigal son Jesus told about, knew he had sunk as low as he could go when he finally decided to head for home. He said “Father I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am not worthy to be called your son. Please just let me be your servant. This guy humbly admitted he was hopeless and helpless to fix up what he had messed up. His dad said, “My son that was dead is now alive.”
Jesus didn’t die to make bad men good. He paid the price for my sin and yours so he could make dead men live. Don’t add insult to injury. Believe and receive the truth and surrender your heart and life to Jesus. He will give your dead spirit life. You will still struggle with the old sinful desires of your corrupted fleshly body, but as you grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ you will gain victory over your old sinful ways, renewing your mind as the Holy Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change you into the image of God.
Romans 10:9&10 says that if you will confess with your mouth The Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” If you believe that you are a hopeless, helpless sinner for whom Jesus Christ died you will want to tell others about God’s grace by everything you say and do. When you mess up, (which you will) remember that when Jesus died for your sin 2,000 years ago all of your sins were in the future including the ones you may commit next week Tuesday. Read your Bible every day and you will learn to live God’s way. You will also discover what is truly sweeter than honey. Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to mouth.”
The choice is yours. I hope and pray with all my heart, that you will carefully think about the truth while there is still time. Your life depends on it now and for eternity. To choose not to choose is to reject the truth! - Mae Otto
Resources: Ernie Richards, A I Root, Langstroth, Adrian Wenner, Kent Hovind, Frank Turek, Jason Lisle Henry Wallace Ravi Zacarias, Mike Pence, Ray Comfort, Chuck Missler, J D Faraq, Mike Pearl, Hal Lindsey, Henry Morris, other sources such as AIG and ICR and many more that my 77 year old brain has forgotten their names. Of them I ask forgiveness and if you contact me I’ll provide due credit.