Genesis Account of Creation

THE BOOK OF GENESIS
ITS ACCOUNT OF CREATION

THE book of Genesis opens with the grandest theme that ever occupied the thoughts of created intelligences; the Work of God, in bringing into being the material universe, and peopling it with organic, conscious life. The style and manner of treatment are in harmony with the grandeur of the theme. In few and powerful strokes, the progressive stages of the work are pictured to the mind, on a scale of magnificence unparalleled in writings human or divine.

It is much to be regretted that these characteristic traits of the account of the Creation, shadowing forth its impenetrable mysteries in broad and general outlines, should have been overlooked in its interpretation. This sublime Epic of Creation, with its boldly figurative imagery, and poetic grandeur of conception and expression, has been subjected to a style of interpretation, suited only to a plain and literal record of the ordinary occurrences of life. Hence, not only its true spirit, but its profound teachings, have been misconceived and misinterpreted; and its exhibition of the mysteries of creative power, which science traces in its own observation of Nature, have been confounded with popular misapprehensions, irreconcilable with the well-known facts of science.

A reconciliation of the Biblical account with the facts of Geological science has been attempted on a false theory; namely, that the several stages in the earth’s formation took place in an assumed interval of time between the first and second verses; an interval of vast and indefinite length, unnoticed by the sacred writer. During this interval, the successive processes in the formation of the earth was completed, and the successive orders of vegetable and animal life, the remains of which are found imbedded in its strata, were brought into existence and perished; that the account of the present state of things on the earth’s surface begins with the description in the second verse, representing the chaotic condition of its surface after the last of its great internal convulsions; and what follows, in verses 3-31, occurred in six natural days of twenty-four hours.

    The objections to this theory are:

1. There is no foundation for it in the sacred writer’s statement. He gives no intimation of such an interval. It is thrust in, where there is no indication that it was present to his mind, and no reason for it in the connection.

2. It assumes that the sacred writer has not given us an account of the Creator’s work, but only of a part of it; that for unknown ages the earth was peopled with vegetable and animal life, of which no record is made.

3. It is without support in the facts ascertained by science. Scientific investigation shows that no such convulsion, as is assumed in this theory, occurred at the period preceding the creation of man.

Hence the latest advocates of this theory are driven to the assumption, that what is revealed in verses 3-31 has reference only to a small area of western Asia; being nothing more than the reconstruction of that little segment of the earth’s surface, broken up and thrown into confusion by an internal convulsion, and the creation there of the new orders of vegetable and animal life that now occupy the globe.

On this supposition, the earth had already enjoyed the full light of the sun for ages, before the work of the first day (verse 3) began. Even then all around this little tract, the earth was in a blaze of light; but over this tract dense mists shut out the rays of the sun. God said: “Let there be light!” The mists grew thinner, letting in sufficient light for the time, though not enough to disclose the forms of the heavenly orbs, which were not seen there till the fourth day, though visible everywhere else. Then follow, in rapid succession of single days, the formation of continents and seas, the clothing of the earth with vegetation, and the peopling of it with the various classes of irrational animals, and finally with Man.

The infinite God has not revealed his work of creation on such a scale as this; and its proportions are better suited to the conception of the timid interpreter, stumbling at minute difficulties and seeking to evade them, than to the grand and fearless exposition of his work from God’s own hand.

4. It is an unworthy conception of the Creator and of his work. Why was the work of reation extended through six natural days, when a single divine volition would have brought the whole universe into being, with all its apparatus for the support of life, and its myriads of living beings? Its extension through six successive periods, of whatever duration, can be explained only by the operation of those secondary causes, which the structure of the earth itself proves to have been active in its formation, requiring ages for their accomplishment.

It is now established, beyond question, that the earth we inhabit was brought into existence many ages before man was created. During these ages it was in process of formation, and was gradually prepared, under the divine direction, for its future occupation by man. In those vast periods, succeeding each other in long procession, it was fitted up for his abode by accumulations of mineral wealth within its bosom. These processes required ages for their completion, as represented in the sacred narrative, and recorded by the divine hand in the successive strata enveloping the earth, and marking the progressive stages of its formation.*

*”Every great feature in the structure of the planet corresponds with the order of the events narrated in the sacred history.” – Prof. Silliman, Outline of Geological Lectures, appended to Bakewell’s Geology, p.67, note. “This history furnished a record important alike to philosophy and religion; and we find in the planet itself the proof that the record is true” (p.30).

The writer has no claim to speak as a geologist, and does not profess to do so. He takes the teachings of geology as given us by eminent masters of the science, entitled to speak on its behalf. But, speaking as an interpreter of God’s Word, and taking their representation of their own science, he sees no discordance between the two records, which the same divine Author has given us in his Word and in his works. The former, when rightly interpreted, is in perfect accord with the latter, when truly exhibited. And geologists themselves assert that the Word of God, so interpreted, is in harmony with the teachings of their science. This alone is sufficient to satisfy the candid and conscientious inquirer. But they assert, also, that the divine Word explains the divine work, while the divine work confirms the divine Word. Moreover, no human philosophy could have discovered, or conjectured, what is here revealed.* The divine record was made when science had not yet penetrated the mysteries of Nature; when the earth’s record of its own history was still buried deep in its enveloping strata, and had been read by no human eye. As, therefore, no one witnessed the scenes described, or had read the “testimony of the rocks,” the written account, if true, as science admits it to be, must have been of superhuman origin.

*”No human mind was witness of the events; and no such mind in the early age of the world, unless gifted with superhuman intelligence, could have contrived such a scheme; – would have placed the creation of the sun, the source of light to the earth, so long after the creation of light, even on the fourth day, and, what is equally singular, between the creation of plants and that of animals, when so important to both; and none could have reached to the depths of philosophy exhibited in the whole plan.” – Dana, Manual of Geology, art. Cosmogony, p.743.

The successive stages in the account of the Creation are as follows: –

1. The act of bringing matter into being. Its condition as “waste and empty,” and subjection to the divine influence imparting to it its active properties. Production of light, as the first effect of this imparted action.+

+Styled cosmical in distinction from solar light.

2. Separation of the fluid mass into waters above and waters below.

3. Separation of land and water on the earth. Vegetation, beginning with its lowest orders.

4. Sun, moon and stars.

5. Animal life, beginning with inhabitants of the waters, the lowest in the scale, and winged species on the land.

6. Terrestrial animals, in ascending grades. Man, and his dominion over all.++

++”In this succession,” says Prof. Dana (Manual of Geology, as above, p.745), “we observe not merely an order of events, like that deduced from science; there is a system in the arrangement, and a far-reaching prophecy, to which philosophy could not have attained, however instructed.”

These periods of creative activity, and the cessation that followed, were presented to the mind of the sacred writer under the familiar symbolism of the six days of labor and the seventh of rest. This was a natural and intelligible application of it; the word day, the simplest and most familiar measure of time, being used in all languages for any period of duration, of greater or less extent; and it is specially appropriate in such a style of representation as we find in this chapter.

The six days of labor, and the seventh of rest, having been adopted as the symbolism under which these sublime mysteries are revealed, whatever properly belongs to it, and [R1609 : page 12] is essential to its full expression, is pertinent to the writer’s object. Each period being represented by a “day,” its beginning and end are described in terms proper to represent a day: “there was evening and there was morning.” This was necessary, in order to preserve the symbolic representation.

It should be observed that the sacred writer, throughout this account, represents things under forms of expression most easily apprehended by the common mind. The narrative was given to instruct, and not to perplex and confound, the common reader, as it would have done if expressed in scientific forms, adapted to a higher stage of culture than the Bible requires, or could properly presuppose, in its readers.

Such a view of the sacred narrative exalts our conception of the divine Architect, and of his work. He who inhabits eternity has no need to be in a hurry. With him, a thousand years are as one day. It was not till ages of preparation had passed away, that his purposes found their entire fulfilment, and his work its completed unity, in the creation of man.

According to the distinguished teachers of science – Professors Silliman, Guyot and Dana – the account of the creation recognizes two great eras, an inorganic and an organic, consisting of three days each; each era opening with the appearance of light, that of the first being cosmical, that of the second solar for the special uses of the earth.*

*”I. Inorganic era:
1st Day. – LIGHT cosmical.
2nd Day. – The earth divided from the fluid around, or individualized.
3rd Day. – 1. Outlining of the land and water.
2. Creation of vegetation.

II. Organic era:
4th Day. – LIGHT from the sun.
5th Day. – Creation of the lower order of animals.
6th Day. – 1. Creation of Mammals. 2. Creation of Man.”
Dana, Manual of Geology, p.745.

It need not be supposed that the sacred writer read in these wonderful revelations all the mysteries which they contain, or that they were seen by those to whom the revelations were first addressed. It was not necessary that he or they should be made wise in physical learning beyond the wants of their time; and the symbolism itself conveyed all the instruction they needed.

– T. J. CONANT.

The above is republished from The Watch Tower, January 15, 1894.

Biblical Numerics

PLEASE NOTE! Provision of links to other sites does not mean endorsement of each and every expression stated in these references, nor endorsement of the total teachings and practices of the individuals or groups that provide the websites.

While investigating rebuttals to Ivan Panin’s numerics, we note that so far in all of the rebuttals the basic heptadic sums of the vocabularies of sentences that appear throughout the Bible is never given any or much attention. These heptadic sums, to us, are the greatest evidence of numerics that the Bible is the divine work of God. Often it is attempted to show that such numerics can be found in other writings. Yet when one examines what is presented in these other writings, the supposed demonstration falls totally and completely short of the heptadic structure of the Bible. In other words, the one endeavoring to discredit Biblical Numerics presents a few lines, and certain “patterns” are given of occurences of words, etc., which is mostly meaningless as far as trying to make a comparison to the heptadic structure of scripture. At least, this is the case in most of what we have examined; these demonstrations are actually psuedo-refutations, for they do not come even close to duplicating the heptadic structure of the Bible.

On the other hand, we have seen over-zealous advocates of Biblical numerics make what appears to be absurd claims regarding numerics. In some cases, the claim is made that the numerics prove the King James Version is the only true translation of the Bible; this is certainly a false claim, for in many places the sums indicate the King James Version to be incorrect. Nevertheless, these over-zealous claims are thought by many to actually represent Biblical Numerics, and thus, by attacking these false claims being made, some have claimed to prove that Biblical Numerics in toto is false.

Nevertheless, we would not be too dogmatic about Biblical numerics as a method of “correcting” Biblical misinterpretations, as Biblical numerics can also be misused — usually misrepresented — to prove all kinds of things. However, the “heptadic structure” of the vocabulary of Biblical sentences is more solid and can offer great evidence of a copyist error, or where pauses should be, etc. It is in reality a tremendous proof that most of the Greek text as we have it is authentic.

We do not believe Panin’s works to be totally flawless, but there is enough evidence there to convince one of the divine numerical structure of the Bible. Our conclusion is that, while Biblical Numerics can be a useful tool, many of the extreme claims should be avoided.

We are not too sure about the “Biblical Codes” theories (which is something different from Ivan Panin’s and Paul Johnson’s Biblical Numerics studies), as we haven’t studied this very much. On the surface, it sounds too fantastic. While Biblical numerics could be referred to as “codes” in the Bible, usually what is referred to as “Bible Codes” is something different from Biblical numerics, and the two should not be confused. Most people do not discern the differences of the supposed other claims of “Bible codes” such as “Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELS)”, and that of the numeric sums of the vocabulary of every sentence in the Bible. The whole matter is so confused together that to the one being presented with all of these “arguments” and counter-arguments for all sorts of numerics and codes, the result for many tends to dismiss all. Believing as we do in that Satan is a real person, we are sure that this is his intent.


Numeric English New Testament

By Ivan Panin

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Related Links

Please note that none of the authors in this section share our belief in the ransom for all. Nor do we necessarily agree with all conclusions presented by these authors.

Bible is Now Proven Valid — Scientifically!
Ivan Panin’s scientific demonstration of the inspiration of the Scriptures
Biblical Numerics Examined Part 2 – Subtitle: The Bible is proven to be Divinely Inspired By Mathematics — Story of Panin and his life’s work.
God Counts
God – The Bible – Numbers
The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: Their Genuineness Established – by Invan Panin. Second Source
Is God a Mathematician? – a brief summary of Ivan Panin’s life and works
Bible Numerics – a site “mainly dedicated to numbers and patterns within the Bible, but other Bible topics such as science and the Bible also get a mention.”
Overwhelming Mathematical Evidence Of the Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures From the works of Ivan Panin; Edited by Dr. Keith L. Brooks; Re-Edited by Bernie Koerselman (Booklet can also be downloaded in PDF format.)
Bible Numerics by Jerry Chin – Presents a study of Genesis 1:1 and Exodus 34:6b-7..
The Astonishing Pattern of SEVENS in Genesis 1:1 By Grant R. Jeffery, from his book: The Signature of God
The Writings of Ivan Panin
God is a Mathematician by Keith Newman
Evidence of Design – Beloved Numerologist by Chuck Missler. (We don’t believe Panin would ever claim to be a Numerologist, as the definition of that word usually denotes a form of spiritism.)

Genesis 1 – Are the Creative Days Literal Days? (r-blogger creation)

The days of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 are literal, but literal “days” in the Bible are not always 24 hours long. Genesis 1 uses the word “day” to express at least three time lengths (we believe four). Each “day” is literal, but the time lengths are different.

Genesis 1:5 uses the word “day” to express two different time lengths.

Genesis 1:5 God called the light Day (avg 12 hours — John 11:9), and the darkness he called Night. There was evening and there was morning, one day (undisclosed length).

Both of these references to “day” are literal, but they are not both the same time length.

The average 12 hour literal “day” is again spoken of Genesis 1:14,16,18. However, the plural “days” is also used in Genesis 1:14, which refers to literal days of 24 hours each.

Then in Genesis 2:4 the whole six days of creation are referred to as one day. All of the expressions of “day” and “days” are speaking of literal days, but they are not all the same length in time.

Considering that the length of the creative days is not indicated, I believe that each day represents a long period of time (perhaps thousands, or even millions, or even billions of years), each with a beginning, designated an evening, and each being brought to fullness, represented by the morning. With such an understanding, the “evening” and “morning” might be considered symbolic, but the days themselves are literal days.(Nevertheless, one might also consider the “evenings/mornings” themselves literal in the setting given; just different from what we normally think of as evening and morning.) There are six literal days of creation listed, none of which are stated to be 24 hours long, nor are we told that each of the days are equal to each other in length.

Believing as we do, that the six literal days of creation are extremely long periods of time, there are at least four different time periods, and maybe more, if each of the creative days does not represent equal time lengths.

Related:
The Six Days of Creation

Beginnings in the Bible -r

The Hebrew word “Re’shiyth” [or, reshith], is translated beginning in connection with the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), and of the angels before the creation of the heavens and the earth (Proverbs 8:22). The Greek word “arche” [or, arch, arkhe, as some prefer], is translated “beginning” in connection with the creation of the earth and the heavens (Hebrews 1:10), of the world of mankind (John 1:1,2,10), and of the church as God’s new creation (2 Thessalonians 2:13) Neither of these words ever mean eternity, or a beginning in eternity (outside of time, that is, a beginning in the realm where time does not exist), nor that there was no “time” before the “beginning” spoken of, as some try to read that thought into Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 8:22; John 1:1,2; Colossians 1:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

That “resheth” means any beginning, but never means eternity — without time, or eternal duration before the beginning spoken of — is evident from the following verses: Deuteronomy 11:12; 21:17; Job 8:7; 42:12; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 17:14; Ecclesiastes 7:8; Isaiah 46:10; Jeremiah 26:1; 28:1; Micah 1:13. That “arche” means any beginning, but never means eternity — without time, or eternal duration before the beginning spoken of — is evident from the following passages: Matthew 19:4,8; 24:8,21; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:2; John 2:11; 6:64; 8:25,44; 16:4; Acts 11:15; Philippians 4:15; Hebrews 1:10; 3:14; 7:3; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 John 1:1; 2:7,13,14,24; 3:8,11; 2 John 5,6; Revelation 1:8; 3:14.

Therefore, we understand that in Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 8:22; John 1:1,2; Colossians 1:15,18 , and 2 Thessalonians 2:13, several different beginnings of God’s creative work may be referred to, at different points in time. There may be some dispute in the exact order of these beginnings, but we believe that they were as follows:

Of course, for God there was no beginning. “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, From everlasting and to everlasting! Amen and amen.” (Psalm 41:13) He is “from everlasting to everlasting”. (Psalm 90:2) There was a time when he was all alone. Being alone he began his creative work, we believe, first, by bring the material universe into existence. Thus the “beginning” for the actual physical heavens and the physical earth — the material universe, was before the six days of creation referred to in Exodus 20:11; 31:17. — Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 8:3; Isaiah 44:24.

The first beginning of any living creation is that of the spirit creature referred to as the Logos, also referred to as the wisdom of God. — “Yahweh had constituted me [Wisdom] the beginning of his way, before his works [that being referred to in context, the earth, mountains, etc.], at the commencement of that time; At the outset of the ages, had I been established, in advance of the antiquities of the earth [not necessarily the planet earth itself, but the ‘earth’ referred to in Genesis 1:1,10; Exodus 20:11; 31:17. The physical universe probably already had been in existence, although most likely without the order in it as we know today. — Isaiah 44:24]; When there was no resounding deep, I had been brought forth, when there were no fountains, abounding with water;” (Proverbs 8:22-24, Rotherham) What of the expression “beginning of his way”? Did Yahweh have a beginning? Was there ever a beginning of Yahweh’s way? We have already said that Yahweh never had a beginning, so how could there be a beginning of Yahweh’s “way”? Evidently “way” here is in reference to Yahweh’s creation, especially that of his creation pertaining to the earth, as can be seen from the context. Thus notice these translations: “The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old.” (Jewish Publication Society – 1917) “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old.” (New International Version).

Was God’s attribute of ‘wisdom’ “brought forth” at some time? No, his attribute of wisdom has always been. It did not need to be brought forth. Thus Proverbs 8:22 refers to a person, Jesus, and not to God’s attribute of wisdom, since God’s attribute of wisdom has always existed. Earlier in Proverbs 8 Wisdom is being personified as an attribute; however beginning with verse 8 we see a change in its application from an attribute to a person who actually had a beginning, who was “brought forth” before there were oceans and seas, before there were mountains and hills, before the earth [land area, not the planet — Genesis 1:10] and fields were made. Thus we read of “Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” — 1 Corinthians 1:30.
========
See Frank Shallieu’s book, Portions of the Book of Proverbs, discussion on Proverbs Chapter 8. This book is available on the Bible Students’ DVD Library
http://www.heraldmag.org/cdromad.htm

Thus we read that Jesus is the “The firstborn of every creature.” (Colossians 1:15 — the context of this verse shows that this is referring to the living creation in heaven and on earth.) “The beginning of the creation of God.” — Revelation 3:14, See Objection 1, below.

Another beginning alluded to in scripture is the beginning of other spirit creatures, such as the angels. The physical universe in some fashion probably already existed before the creation of the spirit beings. (Isaiah 44:24) We know from Job that the spirit beings were created and had their beginning before man, and before the “earth” as referred to in Genesis 1:1,10. — Job 38:7; compare: Hebrews 1:7; Ezekiel 28:11-19.

Then we have the beginning that refers to the ordering of the physical heavens and the earth; this is called the beginning of the heavens (sky) and the earth as the world in which man lives, the famed six days of creation. — John 1:1,2,10; Genesis 1:1; 2:1-4; Exodus 20:11; 31:17; Matthew 19:4,5; 2 Peter 3:4.

There are also other beginnings that are relative to a creative process. One of these (Colossians 1:18) in point of time is God’s Son as the beginning of the those being born from the dead. — Acts 13:33-37; Hebrews 1:3-5; Revelation 1:5.

Likewise another beginning (2 Thessalonians 2:13) in point of time is the period from Pentecost 33 onward when the disciples were anointed with the holy spirit, as God began the generation of the new creation of the church, Christ’s body. — 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10,15; 4:24; Colossians 3:10; James 1:18.

Accordingly, the words “reshith” and “arche”, used in respect to creation, refer to starting points of new and various creative periods, and, of course, do not mean eternity, but to bring to our attention the first starts of distinctive creative periods of various creatures of God.
See also Paul S. L. Johnson’s book, Creation, pages 35,36.

Objection 1

It is claimed by some that “beginning” in Revelation 3:14 is a title meaning source or one who begins, i.e. Creator. It is also claimed that Jesus is called the arche in the sense of “ruler,” in Col. 1:18. Some claim that the Greek word *arche* should be translated as “origin” rather “beginning” in Revelation 3:14. Thus some translations present this verse accordingly: “prime source of all God’s creation.” (New Enlgish Bible translation) “The source through whom God’s creation came.” (Knox) “The beginner of God’s creation.” (Williams, Goodspeed) “The Origin and Beginning and Author of God’s creation.” (Amplified New Testament) In all these translations, however, it should be pointed out that the one being spoken of still represented as a different person from God, and thus not God himself.

It is further claimed that *arche*, as used in Revelation 3:14, means “ruler” of God’s creation. We are given the following scriptures where the plural of arche (archai) is used in sense of rulers (as having principality, or first place over others): Luke 12:11; 20:20; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 3:12; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10, 15, Titus 3:1. Jude 1:6. We do not deny that the Greek word *arche* can be used figuratively of ones in authority [based on the sense of first position, or the higher positions in the realm being spoken of], but is that what is meant in Revelation 3:14? In Revelation 3:14, what we have is one who is spoken of as “the beginning” of God’s creation. It is not a possessive nominative followed by what is possessed, as it should be if it meant “ruler” of God’s creation. Similar Greek construction of *arche* can be found in Mark 10:6; 13:19 and 2 Peter 3:4, where beginning refers, not to a person, but a point in time when the creation of the world of mankind started. There is no doubt in these verses that *arche* does not mean “ruler”. Usually the word *arche* is translated as “beginning” except in those cases where the context shows that figurative meaning of the word is meant. There is no reason to think that in Revelation 3:14 there should be any different translation, except that one, in keeping with preconceived beliefs, would like for this scripture to say other than what it says, that Jesus is the first creation of God.

Below we present the translations in the King James Version of the Greek arch (arkee, arche) in italics.
This list has been obtained from:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/arche.html
Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Arche”. “The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon”

The reader may see how the word is used throughout the New Testament. Please note how John 1:1 and Revelation 3:14 use the word “beginning” in common usage. Also note especially Matthew 24:21, Mark 10:6, and 2 Peter 3:4, wherein the beginning of creation is referring to the beginning of the world of mankind. By studying the various uses of the Greek word arch, the reader may be properly informed.

  • Mt 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
  • Mt 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
  • Mt 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
  • Mt 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be
  • Mr 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
  • Mr 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
  • Mr 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
  • Mr 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
  • Lu 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
  • Lu 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
  • Lu 14:9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. [[We could not find any occurrence of arche in this verse.]]
  • Lu 20:20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.
  • Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
  • Joh 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
  • Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
  • Joh 8:25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
  • Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
  • Joh 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
  • Joh 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
  • Ac 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
  • Ac 11:5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
  • Ac 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
  • Ac 26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
  • Ro 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
  • 1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
  • Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
  • Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
  • Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
  • Php 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
  • 2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth
  • Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
  • Heb 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
  • Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
  • Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
  • Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
  • Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
  • Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
  • 2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
  • 1Jo 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
  • 1Jo 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
  • 1Jo 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
  • 1Jo 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
  • 1Jo 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
  • 1Jo 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
  • 1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
  • 2Jo 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
  • 2Jo 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
  • Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
  • Re 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
  • Re 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
  • Re 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
  • Re 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Note that *arche* is not used as partitive genitive construction in Luke 12:11; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10,15; Titus 3:1; Jude 1:6. In each of these verses, the word *arche* is used in the context where words are used describing authority or power (such is not the case in Revelation 3:14), and it is clear from the context that “beginning” of something is not what is meant. Luke 20:20 is genitive, but it is apparent that is not speaking of a beginning of something. Nevertheless, the normal word used for “ruler” is the Greek word *archwn* (Strong’s #758). If “ruler” was meant in Revelation 3:14, it would seem likely that this word would have been used rather than *arche*, as it is used in Revelation 1:5.

Despite the fact that the Greek word *arche* is sometimes translated “magistrate”, “power”, or “ruler”, note that in the writings of John, the King James Version consistently translates the Greek word *arche* as “beginning.”

As far as coming up with the idea that “arche” in Revelation 3:14 means “originator” or “source”, one has to look outside the New Testament Greek for such usage, for in the New Testament one cannot find such usage anywhere. Indeed, translators who wish to make arche mean “origin” (as meaning “originator”) or “source”, etc., only choose to do so in Revelation 3:14 (and some have suggested the same for John 1:1), whereas they usually translate “arche” as “beginning” in all the same places where the King James Version does so. Indeed, the same can be said about those translators who wish to translate these verses with anything but “beginning”. Therefore, it can be seen that they are translating these two verses to suit their doctrine.

Finally we will provide a few quotes from various scholars concerning Revelation 3:14:

The word properly refers to the commencement of a thing, not its authorship, and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist. . . . The word is not, therefore, found in the sense of authorship, as denoting that one is the beginning of anything in the sense that he caused it to have an existence. … If it were demonstrated from other sources that Christ was, in fact, a created being, and the first that God had made, it cannot be denied that this language would appropriately express that fact. — Albert Barnes’ /Notes on the New Testament, p. 1569.)

A check of all the occurrences in NT of arkhe followed by a genitive expression…show that it always denotes a beginning or first part of something. — Greg Stafford, Jehovah’s Witnesses Defended, An Answer to Scolars and Critics, First edition, page 109.

In the NT archē occurs 53 times, and 26 of these must have the meaning “beginning,” because they are preceeded by a preposition (as “from the beginning”). In 8 instances (123) the word occurs in a genitive construction, where the meaning is also, clearly, “beginning.” In 6 instances (124) the meaning “beginning” is also appropriate. In 2 instance (125) it has the meaning “corner.” In 11 instances … archē has the meaning “government” or “ruler.” The final uses of this word are in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 3:14, which are both theologically significant.

From the above it is clear that archē, in more that 75% of its occurrences, means “beginning.” Apart from “corner,” which also is a “beginning,” the word is used in some sense connected with “government.” The word archē, with the meaning “source,” is nowhere attested in the NT, and 7 of the instances with the meaning “government” are in the plural. Also, the four singular occurrences with this meaning are qualified, either by “every” (1 Cor 15:24: Eph 1:21; Col 2:10) or by a genitive construction (Luke 20:20).
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Footnote 123: Matthew 24:8; Mark 1:1; 13:8,19; Hebrews 5:12; 6:1; 7:3; 2 Peter 3:4.
Footnote 124: John 8:25; Jude 1:6; Hebrews 2:3; 3:14; Revelatin 21:6; 22:13. In several of these texts there is a contrast between the “beginning” and the “end.”
Footnote 125: Acts 19:11; 11:15
—–Rolf Furuli, The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation, 1999.

For more information on refutation of the trinity/oneness doctrines, see our site: Jesus and His God
http://jesus-rlbible.com/

Links to Various Sites

We offer these links for further study along the lines that we present above. While the authors present some good information that does agree with our statements, we do not necessarily agree with all of their conclusions.

Some comments by JW Greg Stafford at BGreek:
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016793.html
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016795.html
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016796.html
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/2001-May/016797.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5495.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5509.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5511.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5512.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/2001-05/5513.html

Updated slightly, October 24, 2006.

John 1:1 – In the Beginning; Genesis 1:1 (RL Jesus and His God Link)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning was the LOGOS, and the LOGOS was with TON THEON, and the LOGOS was theos.” — John 1:1; transliterations obtained from Westcott & Hort Interlinear

Unless otherwise noted, all quotations from the Holy Bible are from the World English bible translation.

We will, in this study, examine what is the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, as well as what is included in the “panta” [all things] spoken of in John 1:3. One claims: “By saying that the Word was in the beginning, John implies that the Logos already existed before the beginning talked about in Gen 1:1, namely, the beginning of created reality. This means that the Logos must be uncreated and eternal.” This is usually the concept that most apply to the word “beginning” in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, and then, from this it is assumed the the Logos had no beginning.

One might say that the word “beginning” refers to the beginning of creation, which is true, but then we need to ask: What creation? One might say the creation of the “heavens and the earth”, as spoken of in Genesis 1:1. But then, we need to ask, What is included in the heavens and earth that is spoken of there? Does it include the heavens where the angels are who always see the face of God? (Matthew 18:10) Doesn’t Job 38:4-7 speak the angels as “sons of God”, and thus show that they were already in existence before the beginning of the heavens and the earth of Genesis 1:1? Was the heaven wherein God’s throne exists ever created? — Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34.

What was the general thought of the New Testament writers when they spoke of the “beginning” of creation, or of the world? We need to examine some scriptures to see, and thereby compare spiritual with spiritual. — 1 Corinthians 2:13.

The first scripture we will examine is Matthew 19:4:

He answered, “Haven’t you read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, …”

We can learn from this that Jesus associated “the beginning” with the time of the creation of Adam and Eve. This agrees with Exodus 20:11: “In six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.” This shows that the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 is the six days that are described in Genesis 1:3 through Genesis 2:1. Adam and Eve’s creation was on the last of the six days of creation in which God created the heavens and the earth. Thus, the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 is regarding the six days of creation.

However, do these six days include the creation of the planet earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and the angels? No. Let us see why this is so.

Before getting into the creation of the heavens and the earth — the six days — we read: “the earth was formless and empty.” (Genesis 1:2) It should be apparent here that “earth” is referring to the planet. The planet earth already “was” before the first day of creation, thus before the beginning spoken of in Genesis 1:1, as verified by Exodus 20:11. Thus, “earth” in verse 1, which refers to the six days of creation, must mean something different than the planet earth.

So what was the “earth” that is spoken of that was ccreated in the “beginning”? Genesis 1:9,10 tells us:

God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas. God saw that it was good.

Notice that was not the planet that was created on the third day, but dry land. This is the “earth” that was created in the beginning spoken of in verse one. “Earth” in the Bible, however, also designates the society of people who are living on the dry land. We read that “The earth also was corrupt before God.” (Genesis 6:11) Does this mean that the planet itself was corrupt? No, it is speaking of mankind and his society upon the earth: “the earth was filled with violence.” And:

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. — Genesis 6:13.

Here God says he will destroy all flesh with the earth. Did he mean that the planet earth would be no more? No, but he did destroy the order of things that man had made upon the earth. Thus, we should be able to see that the word “earth” can refer to the human society on the planet earth, and not to the planet itself.

Likewise, Abraham called Jehovah the “Judge of all the earth.” (Genesis 18:25) Did he mean that the planet itself was to be judged by Yahweh? No, he is speaking of mankind upon the planet. More scriptures could be cited, but these give a basis for showing that the “earth” referred to in Genesis 1:1 is not the planet, but rather the things upon the land.

What about the heavens — what is included in the statement that in the beginning God created the heavens? Very evidently “heavens” does not include the heavens that is God’s throne, and where the angels see the face of God. (Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34; 18:10) The scriptures seem to indicate that the invisible heavens where God throne is has always been. (Psalm 93:2; 103:19; Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:45) So what heavens is being referred to?

The word “heaven”, like the word “earth”, is used in different ways in the Bible.

The Hebrew word Shamayim, usually rendered “heavens” in Genesis 1:1, is precisely the same word that used in Genesis 1:8. Often it is rendered by many translations in the singular in Genesis 1:8; however, it is plural in both instances in the Hebrew — it is exactly the same word used in both instances. This indicates that “heavens” spoken of as being created in Genesis 1:1, is that expanse, or firmament, that is spoken of in Genesis 1:8. However, as the beginning involves the full of the six days, the heavens includes all that is in these heavens — the hosts of heaven — as seen from the earth, the flying creatures, and even the sun, moon and stars that were made to appear in the fourth day (Genesis 1:14,15; 2:1; Note: We do not understand Genesis 1:14,15 to mean that the sun, moon and stars, as physical bodies, were created on the fourth day, but that they were made to appear in the heavens as seen from the surface of the earth). We should note further that the word “heavens” can also refer to the spiritual ruling powers that had been set in place by God through Jesus, which heavens — spiritual ruling powers, having come under the control of wicked spirits – is to pass away. — Psalm 102:25; Ezekiel 28:12-15; Matthew 4:8,9; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 6:12; Hebrews 1:8,10; 1 John 5:19.
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See: http://jesus.rlbible.com/?p=367

And what about the “beginning” in John 1:1? It is speaking of the beginning of the world of mankind and not the creation of the spirit world or even of the stars and planet systems. (We should take note that there is a single “day” of creation spoken of in Genesis 2:4, which “day” includes the “six days” in which he created the heavens [skies] and the earth [land masses]. — Exodus 20:13; see also Matthew 19:4,5, which refers to the beginning when Adam and Eve were created.) The angels were already in existence in the spirit world at the creation being spoken of. — Job 4:11-17; Mark 10:6.

So we conclude that at the “beginning” spoken of in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, the angels were already in existence, as well as the LOGOS. Again, by comparing spiritual with spiritual, we find verification for this in the way the word “beginning” is used in the NT, as related to creation.

In Matthew 24:21, Jesus speaks of the “beginning of the world.”

For then will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.

Is he here speaking of the world of the angels? No, he is speaking of the world of mankind.

Mark 10:6 makes this even clearer:

But from the beginning of the creation, ‘God made them male and female.’

So the beginning of creation here is not the beginning of the creation of the spirit world; the angels — the spirit sons of God — were already in existence at the creation that Jesus spoke of. — Job 38:4-7; see Job 1:6; 2:1.

Let us also notice some usages of the word “creation” (Hebrew, ktisis; Strong’s #2937) that show that it usually (although not always) was used in the NT times to refer to human creation, and not angels, sun, moon, stars, etc.

Mark 16:15 – He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”

The whole creation here does not include the angels, nor the sun, the moon, the stars, etc. The “creation” being spoken of is the human creation. The word translated “whole” in the Greek is “pasee”, a variation of the word “pas”. (Strong’s #3956 — This word is discussed in the latter part of this study.) The usage here further illustrates that “pas” in all its variations does not refer to absolutely everything in the universe. Here it is limited to the human creation, as it is also in John 1:3. It is speaking of the world of mankind into which Jesus came. — John 1:10.

Romans 1:20 – For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.

It should be obvious here that the “world” being spoken of is the visible world — the world of mankind here on earth, and not the invisible world of the angels, etc.

Romans 8:19 – For the creation waits with eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
Romans 8:20 – For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope…

Similarly, it should be apparent that the spirit world is not subjected to the vanity spoken of here, but it is the world of mankind.

Now getting back to the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, by a comparison of spriritual revealment with spiritual revealment we can see that this beginning is not speaking of everything in the entire universe, but it can be seen to be limited especially to the world of mankind, into which Jesus came. It is of the world of mankind that John speaks of John 1:3 as “panta” — all. TON THEON made the all of the world of mankind, through Jesus, and without him none of this world was made.

However, many read in John 1:3 that not one thing was made without the Logos and thus conclude that the “beginning” in John 1:1 refers to the absolute beginning of everything that was created.

John 1:3 – All things [Greek, panta, Strong’s #3956] were made through [Greek, di, Strong’s #1223] him. Without him was not anything [oude hen, Strong’s #3761, 1520] made that has been made.

The word translated “all things” in the Greek is “panta”. Literally, it means “all.” The word “things” is supplied by translators. The word panta is a variation of the word “pas”. This word always looks to context and common evidence for what should be included and what should not be included. It rarely, if ever, means absolutely everything that exists.

If one were to do a search through the NT occurences of variations of the Greek word “pas”, and try to replace it with “absolutely everything in the universe”, one could see it just does not fit. One can do this by using a Greek transliterated text that can be searched. However, it is easier if one searches for Strong’s #3956. The Westcott & Hort text is available online by which one can do such a search.
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http://qbible.com/greek-new-testament/.

Let us look at a few scriptures to demonstrate this principle of evident inclusion and exclusion.

“There went out to him all the country of Judea, and all those [Strong’s 3956] of Jerusalem. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.” (Mark 1:5) Pantes [a variation of “pas”] is here rendered “all those”. Does this mean that absolutely every person who lived in the country of Judea and in Jerusalem came to John and was baptized by him? Absolutely not.

Mark 1:5
kai exeporeueto pros auton pasa hee ioudaia
AND WAS GOING THE WAY OUT TOWARD HIM ALL THE JUDEAN
2532 1607 4314 0846_7 3956 3588 2449
chwra kai hoi ierosolumeitai pantes kai
COUNTRY AND THE JERUSALEMITES ALL, AND
5561 2532 3588 2415 3956 2532
ebaptizonto hup autou en tw iordanee potamw
WERE BEING BAPTIZED BY HIM IN THE JORDAN RIVER
0907 5259 0846_3 1722 3588 2446 4215
exomologoumenoi tas hamartias autwn
OPENLY CONFESSING THE SINS OF THEM.
1843 3588 0266 0846_92
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD

To make greater sense in English, this would be better rendered: “And there went to him those of all the land of Judea, and Jerusalemites. All these were baptized by him in the Jordan River, openly confessing their sins.” The Good News Translation, although it is paraphrased, captures the sense by expressing it: “Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.”

“And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.” (Mark 4:11, King James Version) Here in the KJV, the phrase “ta panta” [literally, ‘the all’] is shown as “all these things”. This is a good example of how qualifiers added by translators may help the reader understand the usage of the word “all”. Not only did the KJV translators add the word “things”, but they also added the word “these”.

“With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all [Strong’s 3956] things which are done here.” (Colossians 4:9) Here it is evident from the context that “all” is limited the things “which are done here.” The word “things” in English is added by the KJV translators.

And then we have the example of the usage of “ta panta” in Hebrews 2:8, where Paul quotes Psalm 8 regarding mankind: “‘You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that he subjected all things to him [man], he left nothing that is not subject to him [man]. But now we don’t see all things subjected to him, yet.” What are the “all things” — ta panta: the all — that was subjected to mankind? Psalm 8:7 answers: “All sheep and oxen, Yes, and the animals of the field, The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, And whatever passes through the paths of the seas.” (See Genesis 1:26,28) It is evident that ta panta here does not mean absolutely everything in the universe, but that it includes all the things being spoken of that was subjected to man.

In Colossians 1:20 we read that through Jesus, God is reconciling “all things” [ta panta] to himself, “whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Does this mean that absolutely everything in the universe is out of harmony with God, and thus through Jesus absolutely everything in the universe needs to be reconciled to God? Does this mean that the obedient angels need to be reconciled with God? Does this mean that Satan himself will be reconciled with God? The things that come to peace with God directly through the blood of Jesus is man, first of all the seed of Abraham, and then those take of the waters of life in the millennium. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) However, Jesus and his joint-heirs especially, will not only rule over mankind, but also over the angels — over all dominions, so that eventually all must either repent and come into harmony with God, or else be destroyed. The end result is that all creation then remaining both in heaven and earth that had been out of harmony with God will be reconciled to God, but the point is that the term “all things” does not totally refer to absolutely everything in the universe, since not all things in the universe are out of harmony with God so that they would need to be reconciled.
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See also:
http://www.heraldmag.org/archives/1941_11.htm#_Toc31126780

Therefore, The word panta (as well as all the variations of the Greek pas — Strong’s Greek #3956) is used in connection with what is spoken of, thus all the things of which we are speaking. It does not necessarily mean absolutely everything that exists, else God himself would have to be included.
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http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/NewTestamentGreek/grk.cgi?number=3956.

So we conclude that the word panta (usually translated in John 1:3 as “all things”) and the words “oude hen” (usually translated as “not one thing”) need to be viewed relative to what is being spoken of, that is, the world of mankind into which the Logos came and was not recognized by. (John 1:10; 17:5) The words “things” and “thing” are supplied by the translators. Without adding the supplied word “things” and “thing”, the verse would read: “All through him came to be, and without him not one came to be.”

Now, regarding the phrase “not one thing”. A similar usage may be found in Hebrews 2:8 (already discussed above), in connection with his quotation from Psalm 8:5,6. Paul is referring to the subjection of “all things” to mankind. And then he says “For in that he [God] subjected all things to him [man], he left nothing that is not subject to him.” In saying that God left nothing that is not subject to man, did Paul mean that there is nothing in the whole universe that was not made subject to man? Absolutely, not! Paul is speaking concerning realm of the earth. And this is what can be seen from Psalm 8:6-8:

Psalm 8:6 You make him ruler over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet: Psalm 8:7 All sheep and oxen, Yes, and the animals of the field, Psalm 8:8 The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, And whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

Likewise, by context, and from the rest of the scriptures, we can determine that “not one thing” in John 1:3 refers the creation of the world of mankind, not to everything in the universe.

Having all this evidence from what is revealed through the holy spirit in the scriptures, it is our conclusion that the “beginning” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 is not pertaining to the angels, nor even to the physical earth, stars and planets; that these were already in existence at the “beginning” spoken of both in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1, and that this beginning refers to the beginning of the world of mankind, as spoken of in John 1:10; 17:5.

Credibility of the Bible

Our Creator

(1) Even if you are not sure that you believe in a Creator, there are many things that you know to be true. We can use things that we know to be true to help us arrive at some reasonable conclusions about our Creator.

(2) Yet by using our reason alone, we still cannot arrive at definite conclusions regarding the Creator’s purposes and what he wants us to do. We still could not be sure that our conclusions were correct. What we would need is a direct revelation from our creator.

(3) What, however, can we learn without a direct revelation? If we look into the sky with a telescope, or even with our natural eyes alone, we can see there the immensity of creation, its symmetry, beauty, order, harmony and diversity. We should reasonably be influenced to believe that the Creator of these is vastly our superior both in wisdom and power. — Isaiah 40:26.

(4) Every plant and every flower speaks volumes of testimony on this subject. Their very sight is beautiful. From these we obtain a large diversity of foods and aromas. How reasonable to believe that the Creator provided these things for the benefit of mankind.

(5) But as we study how all these things are made, they tell us even more about how great their Creator must be. With all of mankind’s knowledge, we have not been able to even duplicate these wondrous creations. (Psalm 104:14-24) Certainly these marvels of creations did not just come here by chance. If so, why has not man been able to duplicate these wonders of creation? No, the possibility of all this happening by chance is so small, so tiny, it can only be believed by those who refuse to look at the facts.

 

Is Evolution the Creator?

(6) Some who deny the existence of an intelligent Creator claim that nature is the only God. They claim that all forms of animal and vegetable life came to be here without the help of any intelligent God or Creator. These usually say all life came to be on the earth in a process they call “evolution.”

(7) According to the theory or idea of evolution, life started as result of spontaneous biogenesis and then somehow developed into a single cell billions or trillions of years ago. This cell split and made another cell. These two cells split and made four cells. These cells kept splitting and making more cells until finally there millions of cells. Somehow, these cells, without the ability to think, decided to join together to form a different kind of life. In time, enough cells joined together to make the small microbes. Then, as millions of years passed, they finally decided to form into fish, then later into birds, dinosaurs, tigers, apes — and last of all — man. According to this theory, this whole process took billions or trillions of years — all without the help of any intelligence at all! (Some who profess Christianity claim to also believe that man evolved from lower animals. See: our publication, The Ransom For All to see why the Bible and the theory of man’s evolution cannot be harmonized.)

(8) The theory of evolution without a creator, however, lacks proof. All about us we see that the various creatures are of fixed kinds — that is, they do not change from their basic animal kinds. They do not evolve to higher kinds. Some scientists have succeeded in producing mutations and crossing some species. But they have never succeeded in bringing forth a completely new fixed kind of animal that is able to reproduce and carry on its own “kind.” No instance is known where one “kind” has changed to another kind. There are fish that can use their fins for a moment as wings, and fly out of the water. There are frogs that can sing. Yet they have never been known to change into birds.

(9) It is true that different types of the same general “kind” or family have come into existence. This has often been referred to as examples of evolution, to which we find no objection to in the Bible. Thus we have different types that belong to the dog family, the cat family, etc. Yet there has been no blending of the various “kinds” to produce a sustainable new “kind.” Nor is there any proof of one kind evolving from another. Surely if unintelligent nature were the creator or evolver she would continue the process. There would be no such thing as fixity of kind, since without intelligence nothing would arrive at fixed conditions. Evolution would be a fact today. We would see about us fish becoming birds, and monkeys becoming men.

(10) It is further claimed that the original plants and animals, from which present varieties came, became extinct millions of years before the arrival of man. Skeletons and fossils of animals and plants which do not now exist, found deep below the earth’s surface are used to support this theory. Scientists have found remains of animals that lived many thousands of years ago. Some bear a resemblance to men. However, the evidence is wholly lacking that man was evolved from such creatures, or that these creatures came from a common ancestor of man. Additionally, there is no way to determine factually how old any of these fossils are. Nor is there any genuine evidence from the fossils found that one kind evolved into another kind. Many scientists admit that the evidence of the fossil record for evolution is extremely sparse. For more information regarding evolution, see our Creation and the Bible subdomain.

(11) Back of all the intricate machinery of the laws of creation is the hand of its great Author, the intelligent, omnipotent Creator. We conclude, then, that the theory of evolution without a Creator is not reasonable. Additionally, it contradicts the Bible when it claims that intelligent beings came into existence by a power not having intelligence.

(12) We maintain, then, that the existence of an intelligent creator is a clearly demonstrated truth. The proof lies all around us. Additionally, our own bodies supply verification of his workmanship. Every power of our minds and bodies speaks of a marvelous skill beyond our comprehension. (Psalm 19:1; 139:14-16; Hebrews 3:4) And he is also the designer and creator of what is termed the laws of the universe. We contend that our Creator ordered and established these laws. Despite the few irregularities they note, even atheistic scientists stand in awe at the beauty and harmony seen in the operation these laws. (Isaiah 40:26; 42:5; Psalm 19:1) Certainly the Bible is correct in attributing the creation of the heavens, moon, stars and man to God. — Psalm 8:1,3-5.

(13) Nonetheless, when one realizes the existence of this mighty God he may feel dread because of his omnipotent strength. Thus we need more than just realizing his existence. We need to have assurance that he possesses qualities of love and goodness to equal his power. Of this fact we are also fully assured by the same evidence which proves his existence, power and wisdom.

(14) Reasonably we judge that the grandest thing created is not superior to its Creator. Hence we conclude that the greatest manifestation of benevolence and justice among men is inferior in scope to that of the Creator, even as man’s wisdom and power are inferior to his. And consequently we have before our mental vision the personal attributes of the great Creator. We project that he is wise, just, loving and powerful. We further reason that the scope of his attributes are immeasurably wider than that of his grandest creation.

(15) We have now shown that it is feasible to conclude that God exists. We have additionally shown what we can reasonably accept concerning his attributes. Now one might inquire: “What should we expect of such a being?” Should he decide to use his power to create, would he not use his power of creation in harmony with his own nature — wisely, justly and benevolently? Regardless of the means to that end, would not the final outcome be consistent with his nature and personality? Would not every step be approved of his infinite wisdom? What could be more reasonable than such exercise of power as we see manifested in the creation of the countless stars, and galaxies in the universe, and in the wonderful variety of earth? What could be more reasonable than the creation of man, endowed with reason and judgment, capable of appreciating his Creator’s works, and judging of his skill — of his wisdom, justice, power and love? All this is reasonable, and all in perfect accord with facts known to us.

 

THE CREATOR’S
Provision of a Revelation

(16) Would not a wise and good Creator be moved by his love and justice to supply the wants of his creature’s nature by giving him some revelation? Would it not be a reasonable supposition that God would supply to man information concerning the object of his existence, and his plans for his future? On the contrary, we ask, would it not be unreasonable to suppose otherwise? Would such a being make such a creature as man, endow him with powers of reason reaching out into the future, and yet make no revelation of his plans to meet those longings? Such a course would be unreasonable, because contrary to the personality which we have reasonably attributed to God. It would be contrary to the proper course of being controlled by justice and love.

(17) Suppose that the Creator decided it not wise to grant his creatures a knowledge of his future destiny or his share in the Creator’s plans. Then surely divine justice, as well as divine love, would not want his creatures to be continually tormented and perplexed with doubts, fears, etc. Thus the Creator would have insisted that his creatures should be limited in his capacity to reason. Power would have been used under those limitations.

(18) However, man has capacity for appreciating a revelation of the Creator’s plans and purposes. Therefore we reason that the Creator’s personal qualities would see to it that man should receive such a revelation. Accordingly, we have abundant reason for expecting that our creator would grant such a revelation, in such time and manner as his wisdom approved. So, then, in view of these considerations, even if we were ignorant of the Bible, reason would lead us to expect and to be on the lookout for some such revelation as the Bible claims to be. And furthermore, we note the order and harmony of the general creation. We see the grand procession the spheres and systems keep time and place.

(19) Yet there are irregularities that seem to mar the harmony and order of the universe. On earth, we have earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and many other erratic disturbances that upsets the tranquility of creation. In space, scientists tell us of many other irregularities. We reasonably conclude that these minor irregularities are being permitted only temporarily. We reason that the elements of the world at present are responding to the same outworking of the Creator’s plan that will eventually benefit all his creatures. Thus we expect some assurance that all will ultimately be perfect and harmonious on earth and throughout the universe. We further expect some explanation as to why it is not so at the present. These are requests which are not unreasonable for reasoning men to ask. Nor is it unreasonable to suppose that a loving and wise Creator would provide answers to these questions. Hence we should expect the revelation sought to include such an assurance and such an explanation.

(20) We will now begin an examination of the general attributes of the Bible which claims to be just such a revelation. We will want to see if it presents the personality of God in perfect harmony with what we have reasonably concluded. If so, we should conclude that it thus proves itself to be the needed and expected revelation from God, and should then accept its testimony as such. If the Bible is of God, we should find that its teachings, when fully appreciated, will be seen in perfect harmony with the creator’s attributes of wisdom, justice, love and power.

(21) No other book in the world has been given such a wide circulation as the Bible. Its influence for good in society has been recognized by the greatest statesmen, even though they for the most part have looked at it through the diverse glasses of popular beliefs and traditions. Traditional Christianity has, for the most part, claimed to believe in the Bible. Yet their traditions grossly misrepresent its teachings. Thus these “friends” of the Bible often do more harm than those who outright oppose the Bible. But the Bible tells of a time when all, both its friends and foes, “will come to understanding.” And “those who murmured will learn doctrine,” thus bringing vindication to the Deity of the Bible! — Isaiah 29:24

(22) We have shown that the light of creation leads us to expect a fuller revelation of God than that which creation supplies. Therefore, what would be the reasonable thing to do? If a book shows a reasonable surface evidence that it is a divine revelation, should we not be prepared to examine its claims? The Bible claims to be such a revelation from God. Additionally it does come to us with sufficient surface evidence as to the probable correctness of its claims. This gives us a reasonable hope that a closer investigation will disclose more complete and positive evidence that it is indeed the Word of God.

The Oldest Book

(23) The first book of the Bible, Genesis, contains the earliest known writings. Its opening chapters were written over 6,000 years ago. Through the centuries men have endeavored by every means to abolish the Bible from the face of the earth. They have hidden it, burned it, and even made it a crime punishable with death to have it in possession. The most bitter and relentless persecutions have been waged against those who had faith it. Yet still the book lives. Today many of its foes slumber in death. Hundreds of volumes that have been written to discredit it and to overthrow its influence have long since been forgotten. Nonetheless, the Bible has found its way into every nation and language of earth. At least part of it exists in over 1,300 languages. The fact that this book has survived so many centuries, notwithstanding such unparalleled efforts to banish and destroy it, is at least strong circumstantial evidence that the great Being whom it claims as its Author has also been its Preserver.

(24) The Bible is not a book to be read merely. It is a book to be studied with care and thought. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and his ways than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8,9) And if we really want to understand the plan and thoughts of the infinite God, we must bend all our energies to that important work. The richest treasures of truth do not always lie on the surface. They require rugged digging in order to obtain. — Proverbs 2:3-5.

(25) This book throughout constantly points to two persons. The first is, of course, the Creator Himself. The general theme of the Bible is that God will be vindicated before all creation when his glory is revealed to them. (Isaiah 40:5) All the events recorded in the Bible are related in some way to this eventual end. To this end we are taught to pray: “Your name be sanctified.” (Matthew 6:9) God himself will vindicate his own name. — Ezekiel 36:23.

(26) The Bible tells us, however, that “there are many gods.” (1 Corinthians 8:5) This is in accord with the facts, for no matter where you go on earth, you find people worshiping “gods” in some form or another. There are “gods” worshiped in the form of Buddha, Brahma, Allah, and many other names. The people who adhere to these “gods” use many writings believed to be divine revelations from their own “gods”. In professed “Christian” lands millions claim to know the true God, whom they refer as “the Lord”. But, if we believe the Bible, then very few of these “believers” in various gods have actually come to know the true God. (Matthew 7:13,14,21-23) Both in and out of popular Christianity, the true God is still to them an “unknown God”. (Acts 17:23) They have not understood the Creator’s purposes and have proclaimed counterfeit gospel messages.

(27) Instead of seeking to worship in “spirit and truth”, popular Christianity has adopted false teachings and practices from the Greeks and Romans and proclaim them as “Christian”. (John 4:24) True, thousands profess Jesus as their savior. But of these thousands, very few take the time to learn the real purposes of their Creator. The traditions taken from the Greeks and Romans are so embellished with scripture quotations, that the vast majority accept them without further investigation. As a result, their worship becomes “in vain.” They are like the religious people of Jesus’ day, to whom he said: “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you, saying: ‘This people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:8,9) Such as these, despite all their protestations to contrary, have not yet come to fully understand the true gospel, nor the God who reveals this gospel to us.

(28) The first part of the Bible, often called “Old Testament,” was originally written in the Hebrew language. God’s personal name in the Hebrew is spelled with four letters (Yod – He – Waw -He) that correspond with the English letters YHWH or JHVH. Bible Scholars often refer to the four letters that make up God’s name as the tetragrammaton. This personal name of God appears thousands of times in the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. Additionally some fragments of ancient Greek manuscripts of earlier editions of the Greek Septuagint Bible show that they also contained God’s name.

(29) Many Bible scholars translate the Creator’s name into English as “Yahweh” or “Jahveh.” Others use the form “Jehovah”. Most Bible translations, however, substitute “the Lord” or “God” for God’s name, making it appear that His name is “the Lord” or “God.” But there is no scripture that tells us to change His Holy Name to “Lord” or “God”.

(30) “Jehovah” does not mean “the Lord” nor does it mean “God.” “Lord” and “God” are titles, not the proper name of God. Thus Isaiah 42:8 should be translated: “I am Jehovah, that is my name.” Likewise, everywhere that the King James Version (as well as many other translations) has “the Lord” or “God” in all capital letters, it should be rendered “Jehovah.” Thus anytime we see in this and many other translations “the Lord” or “God” in all capital letters, the only proper thing to do would be reinstate the divine name by reading these as “Jehovah.”

(31) While we may not know for sure the correct pronunciation as God Himself stated it in the Hebrew, the scriptures do declare that Jehovah was angry with the Israelites for taking away his name for that of Baal, which means “Lord” or “the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:13,14; 11:13,14; 23:13,27 – remember that “the Lord” in all capital letters should be read as “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”.* (See Note 1) The Hebrew word for “Jehovah” means “He is”, He will be”, “He causes to be,” or “He proves to be.” His name is considered important all through the Bible, especially as related to His being found to be true to His Word. — Ezekiel 12:25; Isaiah 14:24; 55:11; 2 Timothy 2:13.
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*See Psalm 83:18, Exodus 6:3, Isaiah 12:2 and Isaiah 26:4 in the King James Version where the tetragrammaton is translated as Jehovah. For more details, see our studies on the Holy Name.

(32) Earlier we mentioned that Jehovah will sanctify his own name. The sanctification or vindication of Jehovah’s name means more than that just the word used as his personal name will be made known. It means that his name (his character and authority) will be cleared of all the falsehoods and lies that have been spread about him since mankind’s fall as recorded in the first few chapters of the Bible. In fact, this is what all creation has been unknowingly waiting and longing for as they grope blindly, because not aware of Jehovah’s purposes. (Romans 8:19; Jeremiah 4:22; Isaiah 59:10) The entire Bible is intended for the revealing of this One to those who are truly seeking him. — Proverbs 8:17; 2 Corinthians 4:13-15.

(33) Besides Jehovah, another person is given great prominence in the Bible. This is the one commonly called Jesus* (His name has been rendered many ways into English: Yahowshuwa, Yahshua, Joshua, Jeshua, Iesous) of Nazareth,” whom the Bible declares to be the Son of God, the son of the Most High. (Luke 1:32,35; 3:21,22) From beginning to end his name, and office, and work, are made prominent in the Bible. Writers outside of the Bible confirm that a man called Jesus of Nazareth lived. The fact that Jesus walked this earth is thus corroborated by historical documents. Concerning this Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia 1986 Edition) states: “Scholars generally agree that his existence is authenticated, both by New Testament writers and by a number of Roman and Jewish historians.” The “New Testament” Bible writers (except Paul and Luke) were the personal acquaintances and disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, whose doctrines their writings set forth.
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*Some have argued that the name of the Son of God is sacred and should be written “Yahshua.” Others have argued that “Yeshua” or “Yahoshua” is the correct manner for writing the Saviors name. Still others have claimed even different ways of writing and expressing this name. We believe that it is more important to recognize the personage behind the word than to spend hours upon hours trying to prove this or that spelling or pronunciation in English as supposedly representing an original Hebrew pronunciation. The person is still the same whether we pronounce his name Jesus, Yahshua, or Yeshua. Linguists tell us that these are variations of the same name, rather than different names. For more information, see our study: The Name of Messiah.

Motives of the Bible Writers

(34) The existence of any book implies motive on the part of the writer. We therefore ask: “What could have been the motives of these men that they would feel inspired to give all their support to the cause of Jesus?” He was condemned to death and hung on a tree as a criminal at the instigation of the Jews. Even the most religious among his people approved of and demanded his death. They considered him as one unfit to live. But his followers took up his cause, and spread his teachings. In doing so, these men braved contempt, deprivation and bitter persecution. They even risked life itself, and in some cases suffered martyrdom. Many admit that Jesus was a remarkable person while he lived, in both his life and his teaching. Yet what motive could there have been for any to defend his cause after he was dead, especially when his death was considered so shameful?

(35) And what if we suppose that these writers invented their narratives, and that Jesus was their imaginary or ideal hero? Let us consider this. These writers declared that Jesus was the Son of God and that he had been begotten in a supernatural way. (Luke 1:30-35) They asserted that he had supernatural powers by which he had healed lepers, restored sight to the blind, caused the deaf to hear, and even raised the dead. (Matthew 9:27-34; 12:22; 11:2-5; Luke 5:17-25; 6:6-10; 7:11-16; 8:43,44; 13:11-13; 17:12-14; John 5:5-9) How absurd to suppose that they would wind up the story of such a person by stating that a little band of his enemies executed him as a criminal! Wouldn’t it be senseless for them to have all his friends and disciples, among them the writers themselves, forsake their hero and flee in the trying moment? — Matthew 26:47-27:61; Mark 14:43-15:47; Luke 22:47-23:56; John 18:2-19:42.

(36) The fact that certain historians do not agree in some respects with these writers should not lead us to regard their records as untrue. Those who dismiss these scriptures as untrue should assign and prove some motive on the part of these writers for making false statements. What motives could have prompted them? Could they reasonably have hoped thereby for fortune, or fame, or power, or any earthly advantage? The poverty of Jesus friends, and the unpopularity of their hero himself with the great religionists of Judea, contradict such a thought. Indeed, the fact that he died as a common criminal, a seditious disturber of the peace, and that he was made of no reputation, held forth no hope of enviable fame or earthly advantage to those who should attempt to re-establish his doctrine. On the contrary, if such had been the object of those who preached Jesus, would they not have quickly given it up when they found that it brought disgrace, persecution, imprisonment, stripes and even death? What prompted these men to sacrifice home, reputation, honor and life? What caused them to live for something other than present gratification? Why did they risk all to tell others about their God, and to aid their fellowman to worship Him, thus inculcating a high standard for doing what is right?

(37) Reason would have us conclude that these men were not only possessed of a motive, but further that their motive must have been pure and their object grandly sublime. Reason further declares that the testimony of such men, actuated by only pure and good motives, is worthy of ten times the weight and consideration of ordinary writers. Nor were these men irrational religious fanatics. They were men of sound and reasonable mind. They furnished in every case a reason for their faith and hope. They were perseveringly faithful to those reasonable convictions.

(38) And what we have here noticed is likewise applicable to the various writers of the Hebrew Scriptures (commonly called “The Old Testament”). They were, in the main, men notable for their fidelity to Jehovah. Their writings as impartially records and reproves their weaknesses and shortcomings as it commends their virtues and faithfulness. This must astonish those who presume the Bible to be a manufactured history, designed to awe men into reverence of a religious system. There is a straightforwardness about the Bible that stamps it as truth. Evil-minded men would desire to represent a man as great. If desirous of presenting some of his writings as inspired of God, he would undoubtedly paint such an individual’s personality blameless and noble to the last degree. Such a course has not been pursued in the Bible. This is reasonable evidence that it was not fraudulently gotten up to deceive.

Tithing Under the Law – Was It Fair?

(39) Someone might ask: “Doesn’t the law concerning the tithe prove that the priesthood was a selfish institution?” It is true that the tribe of Levi was supported by the annual tenth, or tithe, of the individual produce of their brothers of the other tribes. This fact, stated thus, is an unfair presentation too common to skeptics. These, possibly ignorantly, thereby misrepresent one of the most remarkable evidences of God’s part in the organization of that system, and that it was not the work of a selfish and scheming priesthood. Indeed, it is often misrepresented by modern clerical priesthoods. Many religious leaders claim a similar system today, using the Israelite priesthood as a precedent, without mentioning the condition of things upon which it was founded, or its method of payment.

(40) It was, in fact, founded upon the strictest equity. When Israel came into the possession of the land of Canaan, the Levites certainly had as much right to a share of the land as the other tribes. But, by God’s express command, they got none of it, except certain cities or villages for residence, scattered among the various tribes, whom they were to serve in religious things. (Numbers 35:2-8) Nine times this prohibition is given before the division of the land. Instead of a share in the land, some equivalent should surely be provided them, and the tithe was therefore this reasonable and just provision. Nor is this all: the tithe, though, as we have seen, a just debt, was not enforced as a tax, but was to be paid as a voluntary contribution. And no threat bound them to make those contributions; all depended upon their conscientiousness. The only exhortations to the people on the subject are as follows: “Take heed to yourself that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live upon the earth.” (Deuteronomy 12:19) “And the Levite who is within your gates, you must not forsake him, for he does not have any part nor inheritance with you [in the land].” — Deuteronomy 14:27.

 

Israel’s Laws Came From Jehovah

(41) Is it, we ask, reasonable to suppose that this order of things would have been thus arranged by selfish and ambitious priests? — an arrangement to disinherit themselves and to make them dependent for support upon their brothers? Does not reason teach us contrary?

(42) In harmony with this, and equally inexplicable on any other grounds than those claimed — that God is the author of those laws — is the fact that no special provision was made for honoring the priesthood. In nothing would impostors be more careful than to provide reverence and respect for themselves, and the severest penalties and curses upon those who misused them. But nothing of the kind appears: no special honor, or reverence, or immunity from violence or insult is provided. The common law, which made no distinction between classes, and was no respecter of persons, was their only protection. This is even more remarkable because the treatment of servants, and foreigners, and the aged, was the subject of special legislation. For instance: “You must not mistreat nor oppress a foreigner, or widow, or fatherless child; for if they should cry at all to me [to Jehovah] I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.” (Exodus 22:21-24; 23:9; Leviticus 19:33,34) “You must not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers, or one of the foreigners that are in your land, within you gates. For his day you must give him his wages, neither should you allow the sun to go down upon it, for he is poor, and sets his heart upon it; lest he cry against you unto Jehovah and it becomes a sin to you.” (Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14,15; Exodus 21:26,27) “You should rise up before the greyheaded and honor the face of the elderly.” (Leviticus 19:32; see also Leviticus 29:14) All this, yet nothing special for the priests, or Levites, or their tithes.

 

Jehovah’s Law
Compared to Hammurabi’s Code

(43) Some, however, point to the law code of King Hammurabi of Babylon as the supposed actual source of the laws given by Moses. Hammurabi is believed to have lived about 150 years before Moses wrote the laws of Israel. There are several authors that point to Genesis 26:5, in which Jehovah states: “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” It is argued that this scripture indicates that God had given a set of laws to someone long before Hammurabi or Mosaic Law Covenant. If so, then the suggestion is given that Hammurabi, or Hammurabi’s ancestors, actually copied from God’s earlier given law. Far from being merely copied from Hammurabi’s code, the Mosaic law stands far superior to those of Hammurabi. Concerning this the noted Frend Orientalist Joseph Plessis wrote: “It does not appear that the Hebrew legislator made any use of the various codes of Babylonia and Assyria. Nothing in his work can be proved to have been borrowed. Although there are interesting similarities, they are not such that they cannot be easily explained by the codifying of customs shared by people with a common origin.” (Supple’ment au Dictionnaire de la Bible) Also W. J. Martin tells us: “Despite many resemblances, there is no ground for assuming any direct borrowing by the Hebrew from the Babylonian. Even where the two sets of laws differ little in the letter, they differ much in the spirit. For example, in the Hammurabi Code, theft and receiving stolen goods were punished by the death penalty (Laws 6 and 22), but in Israel’s laws the punishment was compensation. (Exodus 22:1; Leviticus 6:1-5) Whereas the Mosaic law forbade handing over an escaped slave to his master (Deuteronomy 23:15,16), the Babylonian laws punished by death anyone taking in a fugitive slave. — Laws 15,16,19.” — Documents from Old Testament Times

(44) Further, the Code of Hammurabi would have one display a spirit of retaliation, whereas the Hebrew law tells us: “You must not hate your brother in your heart…. You must not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am Jehovah.” — Leviticus 19:17,18

Some thoughts presented by others related to this (we do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by the authors):

Did Moses steal the Ten Commandments?
The Giving of the Law
Comparing the Codex Hammurabi with the Mosaic Law

 

Jehovah’s Law A Marvelous
Arrangement of Wisdom and Justice

(45) The sanitary arrangements of the law, so needful to a poor and long-oppressed people, together with the arrangements and limitations respecting clean and unclean animals which might or might not be eaten, are remarkable, and would, with other features, be of interest if space permitted their examination, as showing that law to have been up-to-date with, if not in advance of, the latest conclusions of medical science on the subject. The law of Moses had also a typical nature, which we must leave for future consideration; but even our hasty glance has furnished overwhelming evidence that this law, which constitutes the very framework of the entire system of revealed religion, which the remainder of the Bible elaborates, is truly a marvelous display of wisdom and justice, especially when its date is taken into consideration.

(46) In the light of reason, all must admit that the Hebrew law bears no evidence of being the work of wicked, designing men, but that it corresponds exactly with what nature teaches to be the personal qualities of God. It gives evidence of his wisdom, justice and love. And further, the godly and noble lawgiver, Moses, denies that the laws were his own, and attributes them to Jehovah. (Exodus 24:12; Deuteronomy 9:9-11; Exodus 26:30; Leviticus 1:1) In view of his general personality, and his commands to the people not to bear false witness, and to avoid hypocrisy and lying, is it reasonable to suppose that such a man bore false witness and palmed off his own views and laws for those of Jehovah? It should be remembered also that we are examining present Hebrew “copies” of the Bible. Therefore the integrity for which it is so marked applies equally to the successors of Moses. Though bad men were among those successors, who did seek their own and not the people’s good, it is evident that they did not tamper with the Hebrew Sacred Writings, which remain pure to this day, as demonstrated by a system of Biblical Numerics.

The Prophets of the Bible

(47) Glance now at the general personality of the prophets and their testimonies. A rather remarkable fact is that the prophets, with few exceptions, were not of the priestly class. In their day their prophecies were generally repugnant to the degenerating and time-serving priesthood, as well as to the people who were inclined to indulge in the gaiety of idol worship. The burden of the prophets’ messages from God to the people was generally reproof for sin, coupled with warnings of coming punishments. Along with this, however, we find occasional promises of future blessings, if the people would repent from sin and should return to the favor of Jehovah. The experiences of the prophets, for the most part, were far from enviable. They were generally reviled. Many of them were imprisoned and put to violent deaths. (See 1 Kings 18:4,10,17,18; 19:10; Jeremiah 38:6; Hebrews 11:32-38.) In some instances it was years after their death before their true integrity as God’s prophets was recognized. But we speak thus of the prophetic writers whose utterances claim to be the direct inspiration of Jehovah.
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The prophets were not primarily foretellers of events or historical soothsayers but rather foretellers of God’s will, teachers of His Word, statesmen for leading His people. They boldly proclaimed divine judgment and faithfully reminded the people of God’s promises. A prophet in his primary role was one who passed a message from God to man (Exodus 7:1; Ezekiel 3:4; Amos 3:8). He did not attain his position by heredity, as did a king or priest, or by human appointment, as did an official, but only by receiving a message from God with instructions to deliver that divine message. In other words, the designation “prophet” is one of function instead of position. Thus, a king or priest or government official could perform prophetically (Exodus 3:10; Judges 6:14). The primary Hebrew word for prophet is nabi. Though its etymology is unknown, the meaning of the word is abundantly clear in its usage. The word is usually masculine in gender; however, its feminine form (nebiah) usually indicates a woman who receives and delivers a divine message (cf. Judges 4:4-6; 2 Kings 22:14-20; 2 Chronicles 34:22-28). — from The Criswell Bible (KJV), comments on Numbers 11:29 (We have expanded names of the Bible books in scriptural citations to aid in searches).

(48) It is well in this connection that we should remember that in the giving of the law to Israel there was no priestly intervention. It was given by God to the people by the hand of Moses. (Exodus 19:17-25; Deuteronomy 5:1-5) And, furthermore, it was made the duty of every man seeing a violation of the law to reprove the sinner. (Leviticus 19:17) Thus all had the authority to teach and reprove. But, since, as in our own day, the majority were absorbed in the cares of business, and became indifferent and irreligious, only a few fulfilled this requirement by reproving sin and exhorting to godliness. These preachers are termed “prophets” in both the Law and the Prophets (commonly called the “Old Testament”) as well as the Apostolic Scriptures (commonly called the “New Testament”). The term prophet, as generally used, signifies public expounder, and the public teachers of idolatry were also so called — for instance, “the prophets of Baal,” etc. — See 1 Corinthians 14:1-6; 2 Peter 2:1; Matthew 7:15; 14:5; Nehemiah 6:7; 1 Kings 18:40; Titus 1:12.

(49) Prophesying, in the ordinary sense of teaching, afterward became popular with a certain class, and degenerated into Phariseeism. This order taught, instead of or as in extension of God’s commandments, the traditions of the ancients. In doing so they opposed the truth and became false prophets, or false teachers. (Matthew 15:2-9) Out of the large class called prophets, Jehovah at various times made choice of some whom he specially commissioned to deliver messages, relating sometimes to things then at hand, at other times to future events. It is to the writings of this class who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the holy spirit, that we are now giving attention.

 

Divinely Commissioned Prophets or Seers

(50) We should note that most of these prophets were not Levites. They did not receive support from the tithes of the priestly tribe. Additionally, they were frequently not only the reprovers of kings and judges, but also of priests (though they reproved not the office, but the personal sins of the men who filled it). Therefore it becomes evident that we could not reasonably decide that these prophets were parties to any league of priests, or others, to fabricate falsehood in the name of God. Reason in the light of facts contradicts such a suspicion.

(51) We find no reason to challenge the motives of the various writers of the Bible. We find that the spirit of its various parts is righteousness and truth. Consequently let us next proceed to inquire whether there exists any link, or bond of union, between the records of Moses, those of the other prophets, and those of the disciples of Jesus. Can we find one common line of thought as a connecting theme throughout the Law and the Prophets and the Apostolic Scriptures which cover a period of more than 2,000 years? If so, this, taken in connection with the honesty of the writers, will be good reason for admitting their claim — that they are divinely inspired. Particularly should this be true if the theme common to all of them is a grand and noble one, conforming well with what sanctified common sense teaches regarding the personal qualities and attributes of God.

 

One Plan, Spirit and Purpose

(52) This we do find: One plan, spirit, aim and purpose pervades the entire book. Its opening pages record the creation and fall of man; its closing pages tell of man’s recovery from that fall; and its intervening pages show the successive steps of the plan of God for the accomplishment of this purpose. The harmony, yet contrast, of the first three and the last three chapters of the Bible is striking. The one describes the first creation, the other the renewed or restored creation, with sin and its penal-curse removed. The one shows Satan and evil entering the world to profane God’s name, deceive and destroy, the other shows his work undone, the destroyed ones restored, God vindicated, evil extinguished and Satan destroyed. The one shows the dominion lost by Adam, the other shows it restored and forever established by Christ, and God’s will done in earth as in heaven. The one shows sin as the producing cause of degradation, shame and death, the other shows the reward of righteousness to be glory, honor and life.

(53) Though written by many pens, at various times, under different circumstances, the Bible is not merely a collection of moral precepts, wise maxims and words of comfort. It is more — it is a reasonable, logical and harmonious statement of the causes of present evil in the world. It shows the only remedy for this evil and the final results as seen by divine wisdom and love, which saw the end of the plan from before its beginning, marking as well the pathway of God’s people, and upholding and strengthening them with exceeding great and precious promises to be realized in due time.

(54) The teaching of Genesis, that man was tried in a state of original perfection in one representative, that he failed, and that the present imperfection, sickness and death are the results, but that God has not forsaken him, and will ultimately recover him through a redeemer, born of a woman (Genesis 3:15), is kept up and elaborated all the way through. The necessity of the death of a redeemer as a sacrifice for sins, and of his righteous blood as a covering for our sin, is pointed out in the clothing of skins for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21); in the acceptance of Abel’s offerings (Genesis 4:3,4); in Isaac on the altar (Genesis 22:1-18); in the death of the various sacrifices by which the patriarchs had access to God, and of those instituted under the Law and perpetuated throughout the Jewish age (Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16:14; Numbers 19:2; Hebrews 9:7-14). The prophets, though credited with understanding but slightly the significance of some their utterances (1 Peter 1:12), mention the laying of the sins upon a person instead of a dumb animal, and in prophetic vision they see him who is to redeem and deliver the race led “as a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7), that “the chastisement of our peace was upon him,” and the “by his stripes we are healed.” They pictured him as “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” and declared that “Jehovah has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:3-6) They told where this deliverer would be born (Micah 5:2), and when he would die, assuring us that it would be “not for himself.” (Daniel 9:26) They mention various peculiarities concerning him — that he would be “righteous,” and “free from deceit,” “violence,” or any just cause of death (Isaiah 53:8,9,11); that he would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12); that he would be numbered among the transgressors in his death (Isaiah 53:12); that not one of his bones would be broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:36); and that though he should die and be buried, his flesh would not corrupt, neither would he remain in the grave. — Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:31.

(55) The writers of the Christian Scriptures clearly and forcibly, yet simply, record the fulfillment of these predictions in Jesus of Nazareth, and by logical reasonings show that such a ransom price as he gave was needful, as already predicted in the Law and the Prophets, before the sins of the world could be blotted out. (Isaiah 1:18) They trace the entire plan in a more logical and forcible manner, appealing neither to the prejudices nor to the passions of their hearers, but their enlightened reason alone, furnishing some of the most remarkably close and cogent reasoning to be found anywhere on the subject. — See Romans 5:17-19, and onward to the 12th chapter.

(56) Moses, in the Law, pointed not alone to a sacrifice, but also to a blotting out of sins and a blessing of the people under this great deliverer, whose power and authority he declares shall vastly exceed his own, though it should be “like unto” it. (Deuteronomy 18:15,19) The promised deliverer is to bless not only Israel, but through Israel “all the families of the earth.” (Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4) And notwithstanding the prejudices of the Jewish people to the contrary, the prophets continue the same strain, declaring that Messiah will be also “for a light to lighten the nations” (Isaiah 49:6; Luke 2:32); that the nations would come to him “from the ends of the earth” (Jeremiah 16:19); that his name “will be great among the nations” (Malachi 1:11); and that he “will be a light to the nations” and he “will set justice in the earth.” —- Isaiah 42:1-7.

(57) The writers of the Christian Scriptures claim a divine anointing which enabled them to realize the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the sacrifice of Christ. They, though prejudiced as Jews to think of every blessing as limited to their own people (Acts 11:1-18), were enabled to see that while their nation would be blessed, all the families of the earth would be blessed also, with and through them. They saw also that, before the blessing of either Israel or the world, a selection would be made of a small number from both Jews and Gentiles, who, being tried, would be found worthy to be made heirs of the glory, and sharers with him of the honor of blessing Israel and all the nations. —- Galatians 3:29; Acts 3:20-26; Romans 8:17-23.

(58) These writers point out the harmony of this view with what is written in the Law and the Prophets. The grandeur and breadth of the plan they present more than meets the most exalted conception of what it purports to be —- “Good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people.” —- Luke 2:10.

(59) The thought of Messiah as ruler not only of Israel, but also of the world, suggested in the books of Moses, is the theme of all the prophets. The thought of the kingdom was uppermost also in the teaching of the apostles; and Jesus taught that we should pray: “Your kingdom come,” (Matthew 6:10) and promised those a share in it who would faithfully carry out his words — Galatians 4:29; 1 John 2:3-6.

(60) This hope of the coming glorious kingdom gave all the faithful ones courage to endure persecution and to suffer reproach, deprivation and loss, even unto death. And in the grand allegorical prophecy which closes the Christian Scriptures, the worthy “Lamb that was slain” (Revelation 5:12), the worthy “overcomers” whom he will make kings and priests with him in his kingdom, and the trials and obstacles which they must overcome to be worthy to share in that kingdom, are faithfully portrayed. Then are introduced symbolic representations of the blessings to accrue to the world under that Millennial reign, when Satan will be bound and Adamic death and sorrow wiped out, and when all the nations of the earth will walk in the light of the heavenly kingdom —- the new Jerusalem. —- Revelation 21, 22.

(61) The Bible, from first to last, holds out a doctrine found nowhere else, and in opposition to the theories of all the world’s religions — that a future life for the dead will come through a resurrection of the dead as a result of having been purchased through one ransom sacrifice that covers all who are dying due to the sin of one man. (John 5:27,28; Acts 24:15; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Revelation 20) All the inspired writers expressed their confidence in a redeemer, and one declares that “in the morning,” when God will call them from the tomb, and they come forth, the wicked will no longer hold the rulership of the earth; for “The upright will have dominion over them, in the morning.” (Psalm 49:14) The resurrection of the dead is taught by the prophets; and the writers of the Christian Scriptures base all their hopes of future life and blessing upon it. Paul expresses it thus: “If there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen; and if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is also in vain; … then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept; … for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ will all be made alive.” —- 1 Corinthians 15:13-22

(62) Like a watch, whose many wheels might at first seem superfluous, but whose slowest moving wheels are essential, so the Bible, composed of many parts, and prepared by many pens, is one complete and harmonious whole. Not a single part is superfluous. Though some parts take a more active and prominent place than others, all are useful and necessary. It is becoming popular among the so-called “advanced thinkers” and “great theologians” of the present day to treat lightly, or to ignore if they do not deny, many of the “miracles” of the Hebrew Scriptures, calling them “old wives’ tales.” Of these are the accounts of Jonah and the great fish, Noah and the ark, Eve and the serpent, the standing still of the sun at the command of Joshua, and Balaam’s speaking donkey. Seemingly these wise men overlook the fact that the Bible is interwoven and united in its various parts that to tear from it these miracles, or to discredit them, is to destroy or discredit the whole. For if the original accounts are false, those who repeated them were either falsifiers or dupes, and in either case it would be impossible for us to accept their testimony as divinely inspired. To eliminate from the Bible the miracles mentioned would invalidate the testimony of its principal writers, besides that of our Lord Jesus. The story of the fall is attested by Paul (Romans 5:17); also Eve’s deception by the serpent (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14). (See also our Lord’s reference to the latter in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2.) The standing still of the sun at the overthrow of the Amorites, as an evidence of Jehovah’s power, was evidently typical of the power to be displayed in the end of the age, in “the day of Jehovah,” at the hand of him whom Joshua typified. This is attested by three prophets. (Isaiah 28:21; Habakkuk 2:1-3,13,14 and 3:2-11; Zechariah 14:1,6,7) The account of the speaking donkey is confirmed by Jude (verse 11), and by Peter (2 Peter 2:16). And the great teacher, Jesus, confirms the narratives of Jonah and the great fish and of Noah and the flood. (Matthew 12:40; 24:38,39; Luke 17:26; See also 1 Peter 3:20.) Really these are no greater miracles than those performed by Jesus and the apostles, such as the turning of water into wine, the healing of diseases, etc.; and as a miracle, the awakening of the dead is the most wonderful of all.

(63) These miracles, not common to our everyday experience, do find parallels about us every day, which being more common, are passed by unnoticed. The reproduction of living organisms, either animal or vegetable, is beyond our comprehension, as well as beyond our power —- hence miraculous. We can see the exercise of life principle, but can neither fully understand it nor produce it. We plant two seeds side by side; the conditions, air, water and soil are alike; they grow, we cannot tell exactly how, nor can the wisest philosopher or scientist truly explain this miracle. These seeds develop organisms of opposite tendencies; one creeps, the other stands erect; though the conditions are the same. Such miracles grow common to us, and we cease to remember them as such as we leave the wonderment of childhood. Yet they manifest a power as much beyond our own, and beyond our limited intelligence, as the few miracles recorded in the Bible for special purposes, and as intended illustrations of omnipotence, and of the ability of the great Creator to overcome every obstacle and to accomplish all his will, even to our promised resurrection from the dead, the extermination of evil, and the ultimate reign of everlasting righteousness.

(64) Here we rest the case. Every step has been tested by reason. We have found that there is a God, a supreme, intelligent Creator, in whom wisdom, justice, love and power exist in perfect harmony. We have found it reasonable to expect a revelation of his plans to his creatures capable of appreciating and having an interest in them. We have found the Bible, claiming to be that revelation, worthy of consideration. We have examined its writers, and their possible objects, in the light of what they taught. Our reason has told us that such wisdom, combined with such purity of motive, was not the cunning device of crafty men for selfish ends. Reason has urged that it is far more probable that such righteous and benevolent sentiments and laws must be of God and not of men, and has insisted that they could not be the work of knavish priests. We have seen the harmony of testimony concerning Jesus, his ransom-sacrifice, and the resurrection and blessing of all as the outcome, in his glorious kingdom to come; and reason has told us that a scheme so grand and comprehensive, beyond all we could otherwise have reason to expect, yet built upon such reasonable deductions, must be the plan of God for which we seek. It cannot be the mere device of men, for even when revealed, it is almost too grand to be believed by men.

(65) When Columbus discovered the Orinoco river, some one said he had found an island. He replied: “No such river as that flows from an island. That mighty torrent must drain the waters of a continent.” So the depth and power and wisdom and scope of the Bible’s testimony convince us that not man, but the Almighty God, is the author of its plans and revelations. We have taken but a hasty glance at the surface claims of the Scriptures to be of divine origin, and have found them reasonable. Succeeding chapters in this series, will unfold various parts of the plan of God, and will, we trust, give ample evidence to every candid mind that the Bible is a divinely inspired revelation, and that the length and breadth and height and depth of the plan it unfolds, gloriously reflect the personal attributes of the divine being, which has been most often but dimly comprehended, but which can now be more clearly seen by means of the revealment through the holy spirit. — 1 Corinthians 2:10.

 

Blessed Bible, shining light!

Glowing through the depths of night;
Glory to our God be giv’n
For this loving gift from heav’n.
 

‘Tis a beam of purest light,

Gleaming through the depths of night;
Brighter than ten thousand gems
Of the costliest diadems
 

‘Tis a fountain pouring forth

Streams of life to gladden earth
Whence eternal blessing flow,
Remedy for human woe.
 

‘Tis a mine, yes, deeper, too,

Than can mortal ever go;
Search we may for many years,
Still some new, rich gem appears.
 

There we learn Jehovah’s love,

Through his message from above.
How he’ll bring to earth true peace,
And will make all wars to cease!

 

With this lamp of purest light

We can see in earth’s dark night.
Learn the way that we should go,
And Jah’s glories we will know.

The Six Days of Creation

The Genesis account tells nothing about the creation of the planet Earth itself. It says, “In the beginning the Earth was — without form and void” — shapeless, empty. There were neither mountains nor valleys, trees nor shrubs, rivers nor oceans, but the Earth was. How long before that it had been created, is not stated. The account of the Days of Creation given in Genesis does not relate to the construction of our globe, but to the ordering of it for human habitation. Thus, the scriptures refer to these six days, the beginning, creation, in reference to the creation of the world of mankind (not the sun, moon, stars, etc.), into which world the Logos came. — Matthew 19:4,8; 24:21; Mark 10:6; 13:19; 16:15; John 1:1,2,10; 17:5; Romans 1:20; 8:19-22; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 9:11; 2 Peter 3:4.

There are various theories regarding the earth’s formation and its preparation, beginning, as the earth upon which man was to live. Most Bible Students believe that planet had “fields”, “belts” or “rings” of gaseous and mineral material, enveloping the earth, kept in place by magnetic forces. Today many know of what is usually called the “ozone” field. The “Van Allen” belts may provide a similar example. At any rate, it is believed that gradually the motion of the fields became different from that of the Earth in proportion to the distance from the center of gravity. These fields gradually approaching the Earth would be kept off by centrifugal force, particularly strong at the equator.

Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Genesis 1:3 – God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Please note that planet “earth” already “was” before the beginning of the first day, and that it was covered with water. The waters referred to probably consisted of various forms of liquids, and made not had yet been developed into the waters as we know the oceans today. Before the first day began, however, the planet earth was already in existence, and the its watery surface was in total darkness.  We believe, in accordance with Isaiah 44:24, that the material universe was already in existence before the “beginning” that is spoken of in Genesis 1:1. We read in Job 38:4-7 that there were “sons of God” already present when the foundation of the earth was laid, evidently referring to the “beginning” and the “earth” spoken of in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:10, not of the creation of the planet itself that already “was” as spoken of in Genesis 1:2, since Isaiah 44:24 indicates that God was alone at the creation of the material universe. If Yahweh was alone at the laying of the foundations of the material universe, then the foundations spoken of in Job 38:4-7 must refer to the foundations of the heaven and earth of Genesis 1:8 and Genesis 1:10.

In the first day, the “brooding” of Holy Energy developed a light, probably resembling the Aurora Borealis — but not sunlight. Many Bible Students believe that a canopy around the earth caused the darkness, and as the canopy disintegrated some light from the sun was allowed to shine on the surface, but that the sun itself could not yet been seen. The “light” could have come from the regions of the surface of the waters, as this time element would have a lot of underwater volcanic activity, which may have provided the source for such light. Regardless, we are informed that on Day One some form of light was provided, and that it was distinguished from the darkness.  The word “day” as used related to “light”, however, is not of the same length as when day is use of first “day” of creation.

The Sun itself, like the planet earth itself, must have already been existence as part of the earlier creation spoken of in Isaiah 44:24. However,  it did not appear in the sky until the Fourth Day, nor are 24-hour “days” actually mentioned until then. Thus, there must have been something that hindered the sunlight from reaching the surface of the earth that left the surface of the earth in darkness as described in Genesis 1:2.

Some have pointed to Luke’s genealogy, which goes back to Adam as the son of God, and have claimed that this proves that the Bible supports the idea that the planet earth has been here for only a few thousand years. Luke only provides a genealogy back to the first man created by God, but not back to the creation of the universe itself, which had already taken place before the six days of creation of the world of mankind. Likewise, the angelic “son of God” were already in existence at the time of the creation of the first man (Job 38:4-9), so there was a creation of these invisible beings before that creation which is spoken of in the first two chapters of Genesis.

Some insist the the six days of creation spoken of in Genesis 1 & 2 are 24-hour days, and that thus the Bible says that God created the heavens and earth in six 24-hour days. The Bible says nothing about creating the heavens and earth in six 24-hour days. This thought has to be assumed and added to what is written. There are at least three different usages of the word “day” in the first two chapters of the Bible, each with different time lengths. Each of the six epochs of creation are called a “day”, each made up of what is rendered as “evening” and “morning” without any signification as to duration (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31); the light is called “day” without any signification as to duration (Genesis 1:5); the light is called “day” in reference to the daylight hours of a 24-hour day, which “day” averages about 12 hours. (Genesis 1:14,16; See John 11:9); the first mention of “days” that we can actually identify in the sense of 24-hour days is in Genesis 1:14: “let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for *days* and years”; all six days/epochs of creation are called a “day” (singular). — Genesis 2:4.

Thus the six periods of time for creation are called “days”, followed by a seventh day of rest, providing a pattern for the work week and a day of rest, the seven days of a week that mankind is now familiar with. — Exodus 20:9-11.

As to how long the physical universe of stars and planets existed before God began those six days of creation, the Bible does not state.

The generations listed in Luke only go back to the creation of Adam, not to the when the physical universe itself was created, which could have been billions of years, according to our time as we now have it.

God created the universe, and the invisible “sons of God”, before he created the “heavens” and “earth” that are spoken of in Genesis 1:1.

Some claim that the Hebrew word translated as “heavens” in Genesis 1 does not mean the “sky”, since it is plural. Others have claimed that since the King James Version and others have “heaven” (singular) in Genesis 1:8 and that it has “heavens” in Genesis 1:1, then these two verses are not referring to the same thing.

The Hebrew word, *Shamayim*, is always plural all the way through the Bible, although many times translators render it as singular in many instances. The singular form never appears in the Bible. This plural form is used in Genesis 1:26,28,30; 2:19,20; 7:3; 9:2 in describing the region where the birds fly. Of course, the sky *can* include everything seen above from the earth, but the sun, moon and stars did not appear until in the “sky” until the fourth day, so the creative process continues over the six days.

We are not to think that the sun, moon, and stars were “created” as an physical bodies on Day Four, but it was it at that time that the fields above the earth became thin enough so that they could be seen in the sky above, as though from man’s standpoint upon the earth. The fourth day is actually the first mention of a “days” as we know 24-hour days. (Genesis 1:14-19) Additionally, the approximately 12-hour “day” – the average time of sunlight — is also first mentioned at that time. — John 11:9.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/shamayim.html

The expressions “evening and morning” and “day” cannot be understood to signify twenty-four-hour days, for neither Sun nor Moon was visible until the Fourth Day. The planet earth, already in existence before the account given in Genesis 1, was swathed in total darkness. (Genesis 1:2) The word “day” applies to any period, or Epoch, as for instance, the “Day of temptation in the wilderness” — forty years. (Psalms 95:8.) Note again, that we read of the “Day of Christ,” evidently referring to the thousand-year Day in which Messiah is to be King over all the Earth. (Isaiah 2:11.)

In the common affairs of life we use the word “day” similarly, when referring to Caesar’s day, Napoleon’s day, etc.

Thus, most Bible Students accept that each “day” of creation is not 24-hours, but periods of time much longer.

As one after another the encircling fields of gas and minerals approached the Earth they would spread out like a great canopy, but would not be permitted to fall upon the Earth because of the circumambient air, referred to in Scripture as a “firmament”, or “expanse”.

God made the firmament, or expanse, to appear above the earth’s surface, in the second “Day”, and separated the waters which were under the firmament, expanse,  from the waters (probably cloud-like vapor) which were above the firmament. — Genesis 1:7.

According to our theory, the strongly mineralized fields above the Earth, held off by the “firmament” and centrifugal force, greatest at the equator, gradually concentrated at the two poles, where later they broke and then reached the Earth, forming layer after
layer of mineralized earth deposited by the water which rushed from both poles toward the equator. — Genesis 7:11,18.

These fields, or belts, of gas and minerals followed each other as great deluges upon the Earth — perhaps thousands (millions?) of years apart. The deluge of Noah’s day is believed to have been the last, of vapor only, heavier minerals being attracted first to the surface. Hence minerals are generally under several layers of shale and soil.

Nevertheless, the second “day” describes the formation of the “heavens” spoken of as “beginning” in Genesis 1:1. The heavens at that time, however, did not include the sun, the moon, or the stars, nor did it contain any flying birds. Nor was it yet the heavens – the above – for mankind, since man had yet been created. It was the start of the creation of the heavens of the world of mankind.

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land of the Earth appear; and it was so. And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He seas. And the evening and the morning were the Third Day.”

Here we have the formation “the earth” that is spoken of as “beginning” in verse 1. It does not speak of the planet earth, but of the dry land as “earth”.

It is possible that several of the fields encircling the earth precipitated themselves upon the earth during this third epoch. Thus, many believe that these, according to the Divine intention, so increased the pressure on the crust of the Earth as to cause it to buckle or wrinkle. These depressions became ocean beds, and the upheavals became mountain ranges. Thus was the work of the Third Day accomplished. The waters were gathered into seas and oceans, the dry land was up heaved and began gradually to drain off in preparation for vegetation. This draining must have required a long time. — Genesis 1:9,10.

Appropriately we next read: “And the Earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit.”

That is to say, vegetation began on the Third, or Carboniferous Day, though it did not reach its perfection until after the light of the Sun penetrated. There are grasses and other vegetation which prosper best in darksome shades. Additionally, there was light being provided from the unstated source that was spoken of in Day One. Regardless, it was on Day Three that vegetation began to grow.

The claim has been made that in Genesis 1:16, the verse says that God created the Sun, Moon, and stars, and fastened (Hebrew: nawthan) them to the firmament. The Hebrew word “Nathan”, Strong’s #5414, means: “to give, put, set, allow, grant, show, cause, appoint”. We cannot find any support for the idea of “fasten”. The KJV most often renders this word as:

give 1078, put 191, deliver 174, made 107, set 99, up 26, lay 22, grant 21, suffer 18, yield 15, bring 15, cause 13, utter 12, laid 11, send 11, recompense 11, appoint 10, shew 7, miscellaneous 167.

God, by whatever means, did show, allow, bring, are cause these luminaries to be in the sky in as part of the fourth epoch of creation. What prevented these heavenly bodies from being seen from the earth’s surface before Day 4 is not directly given in the Bible.

“And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night.”

The Sun, the Moon and the Stars were created long before, but had never, up to this time, cast their light upon the Earth because of the impenetrable veil which canopied it.The appearance of the Sun and the Moon on the Fourth Day implies that another field, or belt, broke at that time and precipitated its great mass of water and mineral upon the Earth. Great gullies were washed between the mountains.

The atmosphere, heavily charged with carbon, was very favorable to the development of plant life. It is supposed that the Earth still had considerable heat in its crust, that oceans were warm and highly carboniferous, and that the air was surcharged with carbon to the extent that no breathing animal could have existed. But those very conditions were extremely favorable to gigantic growths of vegetation. This vegetation presumably passed into a condition resembling that of the peat-beds of our day. These beds of incipient coal afterwards came under great pressure, as one after another the belts of Earth came down in deluges, burying vegetation under slimy deposits. Our coalfields are the result.

Nor should we assume that the Sun and the Moon shone on the earth in Day 4 as in the clarity that we now see them. But they were discernible even through heavy banks of fog and carbon-laden atmosphere. The influences of the Sun and the Moon were necessary to prepare for higher forms of plant and animal life.

It has been claimed that Genesis 1:1 begins with Day 1, with the heavens and earth being created on Day 1. There is nothing in the description of Day One about the planet earth or the stars being created. One has to read such a thought into what is said there. Genesis 1:1 is a summation of the entire six days. The “heavens”, as seen from the earth, were, in some way visible on the first day due to the light, but the actual creation of the heavens began in day 2, and continued. The actual creation of the earth, dry land, came on day three. That this is the intention of the statement, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth”, can be seen from Exodus 20:11: “In [during] six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.”  Also Exodus 31:17: “In six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested.” Thus the “beginning” in Genesis 1:1 describes the entire six days, not just the first day. Likewise, in Genesis 2:4, all six of these days are described as “the day [singular] that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens.”

Related Restoration Light Links:

Darkness, Light and the Logos

Jesus’ Pre-Human Glory

Genesis 1:1-2:4 – Seven days when no days?

Are the Creative Days Literal Days?

Beginnings in the Bible

In the Beginning (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1)

Hebrews 1:10-12- Does Yahweh Speak to Yahweh?

Without Jesus Christ Absolutely Nothing Was Made? (John 1:3)

Related Books

A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy (Book)

The Genesis Debate : Three Views on the Days of Creation

Three Views on Creation and Evolution

The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God

A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy

Beyond the Cosmos: The Extra-Dimensionality of God : What Recent Discoveries in Astrophysics Reveal About the Glory and Love of God
By Hugh Ross

Does God Exist?

A Universal Belief

(1) Almost everywhere we go, we find that there is belief in a higher power (or powers) over mankind. True, there are some who deny their Creator’s existence. And there are a few others who claim that they do not know whether there is a Creator-God, thus they doubt that he exists. However, the vast majority of mankind do believe in some kind of higher being or beings, some kind of spirit being or beings above the plane of human, to which they give some kind of veneration. Those of mankind who don’t or who doubt that there is such a being or beings are few in comparison. Even in nations where atheistic governments have tried to suppress this belief, yet it continues to prevail. From the least educated even to the well-educated, the belief continues. Thus there is practically a universal belief in a Supreme Being (or superior beings). Therefore, we conclude that the belief in the existence of a Superior Being or beings is grounded in human nature, in the very the constitution of man. It has been demonstrated that the tendency of peoples is to give veneration to some being considered greater themselves, even though in most cases the manner of worship is done through superstition, and not according to knowledge of truth.
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See our study on “Understanding Kingdom Mysteries

(2) We have just said that belief in a God is grounded in human nature — in man’s constitution. There is observed in man an inherent desire to venerate a higher being than himself. Today the veneration qualities are rapidly being misdirected by political, educational, psychological and other leaders, with the result that the veneration has more and more become directed to fellow humans or human goals. The desire to venerate someone or something is seen in almost all of the human race. Therefore, even the most devout atheists often have replaced the desire to venerate a Superior Being with veneration of state, leaders, science, job, etc. Indeed, whatever a person puts first in his life does become his god, the contto whom he renders veneration through his devotion, his dedication to whatever this might be. Thus it must be recognized that it is a part of the soul’s powers to believe in, venerate, worship and desire to devote one’s life to someone or something that we consider to superior to us in some way, just as it is a part of the soul’s powers to love one’s fellows and to desire fellowship with them.

(3) Some have gone a step further, even claiming to have located the brain organs by which faith in, veneration for, and desire for fellowship with, a Superior Being are exercised. According to this theory, the more active this region of the brain, the more active one is the veneration of a higher being. It is claimed that if they are exercised more than the other brain faculties, the skull in the area becomes warmer than in other places, because the blood by such exercise is brought into more frequent and powerful contact — impingement — with that part of the brain.

(5) The above observations indicate that man is constituted by his human make-up to believe in, and to venerate a Superior Being. And from this we draw the conclusion that the existence of a Superior Being is a somewhat compulsory demand of human nature, just as man’s desire for food, water, property, the sublime, the beautiful, knowledge, companions, etc., imply the existence of these. Thus we infer God’s existence from the constitution of qualities of man’s human constitution and soul life. Those who deny God’s existence (atheists) or those who say they do not know that there is a God (agnostics), cannot fully explain this constitution of the brain and its resultant moral and religious sense of obligation to a higher power, grounded as they are in man’s nature. We repeat the thought, the existence of God, or a higher power, is a pressing postulate of man’s moral and religious constitution — it is grounded in human nature, for human nature is so made as to be adapted to moral and religious obligations Godward.

Cause and Effect

(6) Further proof of God’s existence lies in our universal experience that every event that has a beginning also has a cause. Because of this, we conclude that every event must have its cause. This has been the universal observation of mankind from all history. Therefore if we reason back from many events to as many causes, we must finally reach some first event, which also would imply a first cause, which would be causeless, hence without beginning — God. “He who built [made] all things is God.” — Hebrews 3:4.

(7) According to this reasoning, the origins of all things in our created universe had a beginning and are events that must have had causes. If there was absolutely nothing in the beginning, then there would still be nothing, for no thing comes from nothing. Thus there had to be “some” thing, or being, that never had a beginning to produce “some” thing. If we take trees as an example, we can ask ourselves: “What is their origin?” Our answer: “From seeds or branches taken from other trees.” But then we have ask: “Where did these seeds and other trees come from?” Again we answer: “From other trees,” which leads the question of where these other trees came from, with the same answer over and over. However, there had to be some time when their was a first tree. If we ask where did the first tree come, we could answer: “From the first seeds,” but then are left with the question of where the first seeds came from that caused the first tree. The point is that there has to be a first cause behind the origin of their firsts. Likewise with the origin of bushes, vegetables, grass — and all the rest of the vegetable kingdom. In each case we have to reason that there was, at some point in history, a time when there came to be the first seeds from which came first bushes, vegetables and grass. So we are left with the question: Where did the seeds come from that produced the first of all these?

(8) The same reasoning applies to the animal kingdom. If we look at insects, fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and beasts, our reasoning leads us to believe that behind all of these there had to be a time when there was a first of each, raising the question: “What is the origin of all of these firsts of each kind spoken of?” Did they make themselves? This could not be, for it would imply that they existed before their own existence. Logically we must conclude that there is a first cause that is the cause of the origin of all firsts. Our logic also must conclude that since this cause is the first cause of all causes, it cannot be the effect of any other cause. As such this cause would have to be causeless and therefore eternal. If there were no first cause that had no beginning, then there would have been a time when there absolutely nothing. What does nothing produce? Nothing! To many in the religious world this first cause is called God. Many materialists the first cause is an unconscious, blind force — matter or energy. They argue that some form of matter or energy has always existed, but still do not believe that such was an intelligent personage. Thus, these argue that such a first cause does not prove that the first cause was an intelligent creator. Therefore we will consider other points beyond just cause and effect to determine which of these two viewpoints is correct.

(9) However, there is yet another viewpoint held by some: that there is no first cause – that there is a infinite succession of causes. However, an infinite series of second causes does not agree with the idea of cause, as cause is just what reason here demands. One who believes in an infinite series instead of a first cause actually rejects the entire concept of cause. Why? Because cause, like every other idea, implies a first. An infinite series of causes would rest upon no cause, which is an absurdity. Therefore there can be no infinite series of causes. As we contemplate the universe of things in their origins, reason demands that we conclude that there is a first cause. Those who hold to the supposition of an infinite succession of causes ultimately have to come to an original ground of existence. According to their various theories, they have called this matter, mind or force.

(10) Those who hold that there is no first cause are often forced to admit that there is. This can be illustrated by an story told concerning Henry Ward Beecher and Robert Ingersoll. Beecher was in his lifetime one of America’s most eloquent preachers and Ingersoll was an agnostic. These two, however, were friends. On an occasion when Mr. Ingersoll paid a visit to Mr. Beecher, Mr. Ingersoll noticed with admiration a finely executed globe that was in Mr. Beecher’s study. Mr. Ingersoll carefully studied the globe and noticed its carefully drawn continents, oceans, etc. He then asked Mr. Beecher: “Who made it?” Mr. Beecher, realizing an opportunity, answered: “Nobody; it made itself!” Mr. Ingersoll, evidently realizing the intent of the answer, remained silent, and shortly thereafter departed from the home of Mr. Beecher.

(11) We stated earlier that one cannot by the argument of cause and effect alone totally infer that the first cause is a personal God. We do concede that cause and effect when considered alone, might be blind force. However, there are more considerations that need to be examined which give us proof that the first cause is not blind force, but a personal being — God. Following this lesson, we will consider each in turn. We remark here that it is the conjoined force of these arguments that prove by reason that there is a God.

The Reign of Order and Law

(12) We have stated that we realize that although reason demands that there be a first cause, we cannot be absolutely sure by the argument of cause and effect alone that this first cause is God. Using the argument of cause and effect alone, one could still argue that the first cause was blind force. But other factors that reason gives us prove that the first cause is not blind force, but a personal being — God. Thus we seek to know if the first cause shows any signs of intelligence or is it just a blind force with no intelligence?

(13) The order we detect throughout creation is one consideration that proves that the first cause is not blind force, but is an intelligent being who uses the powers of nature as means of proclaiming His will in His chosen arrangement of things. If we look up on a clear night, we are able to see innumerable stars, many of which no doubt have planetary systems as our own sun does. We know that in our planetary system each planet revolves on is axis and encircles its orbit around the sun. Thus it appears that all the billions of stars within our galaxy of stars are likewise encircling some central point. But our galaxy, called the Milky Way, as numerous as it with billions of stars is only one of many other thousands, perhaps millions of galaxies in the universe, each containing its own billions of stars. And all of these galaxies in turn appear to revolving around some central point somewhere in the universe.

(14) Coming back to the planetary level, we note that in each planet there is an order of day and night, seasons, years, etc., dependent on the size of each planet’s orbit, its star, the location of its axis, and its distance from its star, except in the cases of those planets that have canopies. For these planetary systems to observe such order, each in its relations to its own parts and to all other such systems, implies an intelligence in their cause such as blind force, of course, does not have. From this marvelous order in the universe as consisting of planetary systems all moving in orderly process, we infer that the first cause is intelligent, hence is not blind force, though it uses for its order the operation of force. Not only this, but the one planet that we do know that has intelligent life, the planet we call “Earth”, is exactly the right size and distance from it star so as to support life.

(15) Order is also observed in minute things as well as in the large things of the universe. Every blade of grass, every shrub, every bush, every tree, every flower, every insect, every creeping thing, every fish, every reptile, every fowl, every beast and every man is an example of the reign of law — order, and thus testifies to an intelligent first cause. Law reigns in things physical as well as in things moral. This implies an intelligent first cause as a law giver. The laws of gravity, attraction, repulsion, adhesion, centripetal and centrifugal forces, light, heat, motion, color, sound, etc., working harmoniously, display their activities in upholding the orderly course of nature, which prove an intelligent first cause as law executor. Moreover these laws balance one another and make harmony in the universe, which proves the first cause to be intelligently and marvelously efficient. They also work along the lines of mathematical formulas with utmost precision in such detail that the greatest human mathematicians are unable to work out all their problems. This implies reasoning powers in the intelligent first cause of unapproachable ability. Every science manifests the reign of law — order. Astronomy declares it, Chemistry exemplifies it, Botany illustrates it, Geology proves it, Zoology shows it and Physics demonstrates it. These declare by the order that they manifest that the first cause is an intelligent being; for it is utterly incomprehensible that blind force could have made the universe in its infinity of orderly arrangements, adjustments, movements, harmonies and workings.

(16) Those who deny that the first cause is an intelligent being who has marvelously ordered the universe in its vastness as well as in its minuteness are compelled to ascribe to matter and force powers that only a personal being could exercise; for many of them claim that originally matter came into existence by what has been called a “big bang,” that all matter exploded into existence from some infinitely small hot point. Others point to other kinds of theories. However, the bottom line of all these theories is that somehow matter formed and shaped itself into the nebula, was acted upon by some force or forces — that these forces working on the nebula started other forces into activity, which after an almost infinite number of changes gradually but blindly evolved the universe, yet which universe is so full of the evidence of wisdom higher than man’s. Yes, they even say that these forces finally produced mind — produced that which these forces themselves do not have! Apart from the utter unreasonableness of such views (for in ultimate analysis they mean that blind force working on matter produced the almost infinite marvels of intelligence that the universe displays), these views are forced to assume that the nebula was so prearranged as to call gravity and heat into activity, that is, there was an order in the nebula. Where could such an order come from which of itself already displays intelligence? This the materialist cannot answer; for he has reached the rock bottom of materialism. Twist as he may, he is forced by his original premises to assume that which implies order — law, and at the same time to attribute powers to matter that are personal, since they imply intelligence and volition. Reason refuses to accept such a proposition, and finds it a thousand fold more logical to accept the only other alternative — that the first cause is an intelligent being, yes, of such great intelligence as can be equaled by no other known intelligence, because no other known intelligence could have produced the almost infinite marvels of order — law — in the universe. Reason thus forces us to believe that the order that everywhere prevails in the universe originated in the mind of a most extraordinarily intelligent being. Thus reason forces us to the conclusion that there is an intelligent Creator.

Design in Creation

(17) All about us we see evidence of design in the physical world. By the word design we mean a prearranged fitness for certain future purposes. This prearranged fitness for future purposes is seen in nature all about us. We also see much beneficence evident in these designs. Since we do see these designs, we have proof that they must have had a designer, that is, an intelligence who conceived and made them for their foreordained ends. Not only would such an intelligent first cause simply need intelligence, but also wisdom, benevolence, volition and executiveness, and that of the highest order. Extensive indications of design are apparent (a) in inorganic substance (b) in organic substance and (c) in the relations of inorganic substances and organic substances to one another.

(18) One example of design is the filtration of rain water through the soil. During this procedure the earth does not lose one iota of its nutritive matter needed for vegetable growth — potash, silicic acid, ammonia, etc. On the contrary, the ground immediately absorbs more of these elements as they are contained in the rain, and thus increases its reserve of them for enlarged fertility. Furthermore, only such elements are entirely assimilated from the rain as are needed for vegetable growth. Thus the rain and the soil show adaptability to purpose — production of food for man and beast. Here is a foreordained adaptability to realize a future purpose in inorganic nature.

(19) Design is also manifest in many other ways. For instance, we have the two gases, oxygen and hydrogen, uniting in certain proportions to make water –so much needed for life. So, too, design is apparent in air, made by a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and argon — so much required for life. In hundreds, perhaps millions, of ways design is manifest in light, heat and all other forces of nature — in their blending to preserve the universe and to make it habitable. What wonders of design are manifest in the rotation of the earth on its axis to bring about day and night, with their purposes of growth, activity and rest, and in the path of its orbit in relation to the succession of seasons in themselves and variedly in the northern and southern hemispheres! Other facts of inorganic nature exhibit design: Why is driftwood emitted upon Greenland’s shores — so much in need of it, and not upon England’s and France’s shores where it is not needed? Why do planets closest to the sun not have moons, while those farther away, which need more light, have them? Why is iron, which is the most needed metal, the most abundant? Why do trade winds frequently keep clouds away from certain places on the earth where there is abundance of rain, and send them to yield rain in other regions that would otherwise would arid? Why do the warm ocean currents flow to the northern and southern sections of our sphere, while the cold ocean currents travel to the equatorial zones? In all these facts we see beneficent design. Thus, inorganic nature is brimming with design, and this argues an intelligent first cause of wisdom, benevolence, volition and executiveness.

(20) When we look at organic nature, we again find design everywhere. In the animal kingdom we find that organs are formed before there is any use for them. This is surely design — a predestined fitness for future purposes. We also see such even in the vegetable realm. For example, the leaf attached to the stamen of the lime blossom is useless until the pistil with the fruit breaks away from the bough, when its leafy wing carries it far away from the trunk on which it grew, to produce another growth. How did the eyes of fish come to be constructed in harmony with the laws of light refracting in water? How did the palm of the hand and sole of the foot come to have thicker skin than the rest of the body? How did the structure of the hand come to have such marvelous adaptability? How did the eye come to have the fitness to light and accordant vision? How did the stomach and liver come to be the most remarkable chemical laboratory on earth; the heart to exercise almost perpetual motion, as well as being a most marvelous pumping station; the blood to absorb oxygen for sustaining life, and to take up food elements and to distribute them throughout the body, and to replace depleted cells which it carries away; the kidneys to be the greatest filtration plant; the brain organs to think, perceive, remember, love, hate, etc., etc., etc.; the five senses to function for animal needs; the reproductive organs in male and female to be adapted to procreation and the bowels to the greatest sewer system in existence? How? Does not all of these in their formation argue design — a prearranged fitness for certain future ends? Surely, design is manifest everywhere in organic nature.

(21) And finally, when we look at the meeting ground between the organic and inorganic, we find additional manifestation of design. The lungs, for instance, are adapted to the air and the air to the lungs. Light is adapted to the eye and the eye to light. The ear is designed in harmony with to sound waves and sound waves to the ear. Scent is suited to the nose and the nose to scent. Taste is tailored for the nose and the nose for scent. And food is adapted to the stomach and stomach to food. The sun, day and night, seasons, water and climate, are tempered just right to accommodate animal and vegetable life and animal and vegetable to them — everywhere a predestinated fitness for future needs.

(22) Therefore, we are confronted everywhere with design, and everywhere it argues a designer who worked on the principle of adaptation of means to ends and prepared them before the need of them set in. This proves an intelligent first cause who is wise, powerful, benevolent, volitional and beneficent in His executiveness! Thus cause and effect combined with order and design, prove that there is a wise, powerful, benevolent, volitional and beneficent God; while the constitution of man’s brain mechanism necessitates — apart from perversion — his believing in and venerating God. The propositions are proven by reason, entirely apart from revelation. When rightly put, they have never been successfully assailed.

(23) The existence of God can also be seen in the intellectual, moral and religious qualities possessed by humanity. Humans are capable of reasoning on deep and abstruse questions. They are capable of inventing complex physical and mental objects. Humans are able to display high morality, goodness and self-denial. Generally speaking, mankind is possessed with a sense of obligation to do right. His tendency is toward a dependence on a higher power. Thus we find mankind is adapted to an intellectual, moral and religious life. These are facts of the internal life, and are as real as facts external to us. While many wish to ignore or claim that these qualities are not real, the facts cannot be denied, unless one denies the reality of human nature. Thus we find within man the existence of the intellectual, moral and religious sense, which cannot be denied. Man’s conduct is actuated by this threefold sense. These facts are as clear to man as are external phenomena. They are a part of man. They are as real to man as he himself is.

(24) Since man has intellectual powers, we reason that the first cause who caused the first man would also have intelligence. since He could not give what He Himself did not possess. To make an intellect suggests the ownership of an intellect in the designer. With this idea the Bible agrees: “He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?” — Psalm 94:6.

(25) Additionally, since man has moral and religious qualities, this indicates to us that the maker of the first human also must have moral and religious powers. To make moral and religious powers indicates their possession in their maker. Therefore, we reason that since man possesses mental, moral and religious faculties, this proves that the First Cause would also have them.

(26) In the same manner we can conclude that the Creator is a wise, just and loving God, since mankind, being his creature, has faculties for wisdom, justice and love. Thus since these powers exist in us, we conclude from the standpoint of cause and effect that there is a God and that he is wise, just and loving.

The Religious Experience of Man

(27) Finally, we discuss the religious experiences of mankind. Admittedly, unless one has had a religious experience, this would be meaningless to such a person. However, no matter what religion or faith, the religious experiences of mankind do provide testimony of the existence of a higher being or beings. It does not matter what “god” these are worshiping. Their experience with their particular “god” or higher being does provide testimony of the existence of such beings.

(28) But the religious experience that most concerns us is that of the ones spoken of in the Bible as spirit-begotten children of God. (1 Peter 1:3,23; 1 John 4:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:16,17) To those who have experienced this begettal to a new life it is the most impressive and conclusive of all arguments on God’s existence. Such have been brought into direct contact with a higher being, not outwardly, but through the Spirit given them when they were begotten to a new life. These find in their experiences that for every step of faith in, and obedience to God that they take, they have fulfilled in them His promises connected with that step. Thus, as they exercise they find that in harmony with His promise in such cases enables them to hate and forsake sin and to love and to practice righteousness. As they exercise faith in Jesus as their Savior, they find the promised peace with God becoming theirs. As they exercised obedience in dedication, they received the promised begetting of the spirit to a new life. That they received it is evidence to them by their finding themselves to be in possession of new and enlarged powers — spiritual powers implanted in their minds and hearts, enabling them to understand and to appreciate spiritual things and to aspire to them as their life’s ambition — things to which they were incapable of understanding before such begettal. They find that every faithful effort to grow in spiritual grace, knowledge and fruitfulness in service is rewarded by such growth. In exercising the privilege of prayer in harmony with the Divinely arranged conditions, they have the most mind and heart satisfying evidence of God’s dealing with them in answers that they receive to such prayers. In harmony with His promise, they find Him working all things for their good. So intimate does their union and communion with Him become that they learn to be one with Him by the contact with Him that they constantly experience and realize. In all life’s affairs they clearly discern His activities toward them. So intimate does the relation become that they are constantly filled with the sense of His presence, favor and help. Thus they walk and talk with God and they live in Him. To them He is a living reality, as real as if He were visible. To them His constant dealing with them is the most impressive and conclusive evidence of His existence and of His main attributes — wisdom, power, justice and love. It is a misfortune to others that they do not have this experience — a misfortune due to their not having taken the steps necessary to its attainment. Their lack of faith, however, in these things does not make the experience unreal, vouchsafed those who exercise the necessary repentance, faith and obedience. To them the witness of the Spirit is the greatest and most conclusive proof of God’s existence

(29) Nevertheless, not all religious experience is truly of the Great God of the Bible. The Bible reveals that there is a rival god, a false would-be Supreme Being, who is deceiving the entire world. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) Often the experiences people are having with their worship of the rival god come close to imitating that of the begettal of the true Sons of God. Notwithstanding, even these experiences of those deceived ones still give evidence of, at least, superior beings higher than man.

(30) Additionally, even many who do not believe in any spirit beings that are superior to mankind often display a religious attitude toward fellow humans. This can be seen where the state is often worshiped in a similar vein as one would worship a Creator. This experience can be with the same euphoria as that of religious experiences; giving further evidence of the nature of humanity to worship or venerate something or someone.

Nonexistence of God Impossible to Prove

(31) We now offer one final evidence in favor of God’s existence — a negative one: atheism is incapable of proving that God does not exist. For one to prove atheism, one must himself be God — which would prove there is a God. The following considerations will prove this proposition: Before one can truly say that there is no God in the world, he must know and thoroughly understand every being, thing, principle, work, force, etc., past and present, in the universe; for if one of these should escape his knowledge and understanding, that one might be God; or to put it in other words, he himself must know everything — be omniscient. Before one can authoritatively say that there is no God, he must be everywhere in the universe, and that from all eternity to all eternity, and be cognizant of everything everywhere and at the same time; in other words, he must be omnipresent and eternal as well as omniscient. To be able to say conclusively that there is no God one must be omnipotent; for thus only could he be guaranteed as being proof against an omnipotent being who might desire to hide its existence from others by limiting the scope of his knowledge so as to make him never discover the former’s existence. In order to declare absolutely that there is no God one must also be a spirit; for only spirits can see spirits; and since those who are not spirits are sure that they have not seen a spirit being, which God is, they can never with certainty affirm that there is no God. Thus to be able to prove that there is no God, one must himself be an eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent spirit being, i.e., must be himself God, and thus after all there would be one. Thus, it is impossible to disprove God’s existence. Atheism, therefore, is incapable of proof; while theism-that there is a God who is separate from the universe and who created and sustains it — as we have shown, is a proven thing. Truly, reason itself, apart from revelation, shows that the Bible is right in at least two of its pertinent statements: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no Yahweh'” (Psalm 14:1); and “The fear reverence of Yahweh is the beginning foundation of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). A Scientist’s God

(32) We wish now to call attention to a pertinent interview on “A Scientist’s God” in the Oct. 24, 1925, Collier’s — The National Weekly — by Dr. Robert Andrew Millikan, Nobel prize recipient and founder of the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Millikan was a distinguished scientist who received honorary degrees and awards from throughout he world. His statements are still of great benefit to us today:

(33) “I cannot explain why I am alive rather than dead. Physiologists can tell me a great deal about the mechanical and the chemical processes of my body, but they cannot say why I am alive. But would it not be utterly absurd for me to deny I am alive? Our scientific knowledge compared with what we knew a hundred years ago is very great, but compared with what there is to be known it is trivial. The map of the earth used to have on it many great, blank spaces marked ‘unexplored.’ Now there are very few of them. The map of science is still a great blank sheet with only here and there a dot to show what has been charted, and the more we investigate the more we see how far we are from any real comprehension of it all and the clearer we see that in the very admission of our ignorance and finiteness we recognize the existence of a Something, a Power, a Being in whom and because of whom we live and move and have our being-a Creator by whatever name we may call Him. I am not much concerned as to whether I agree precisely with you in my conception of that Creator or not, for ‘Canst thou by searching find out God?’ Both your conception and mine must in the nature of the case by vague and indefinite.

(34) “Least of all am I disposed to quarrel with the man who spiritualizes nature and says that God is to him the soul of the universe, for spirit, personality and all these abstract conceptions which go with it, like love, duty and beauty, exist for you and for me just as much as do iron, wood and water. They are in every way as real for us as are the physical things which we handle. No man, therefore, can picture nature as devoid of these attributes which are a part of your experience and mine, and which you and I know are in nature. If you, then, in your conception identify God with nature, you must perforce attribute to Him consciousness and personality or, better, superconsciousness and superpersonality. You cannot possibly synthesize nature and leave out its most outstanding attributes. Nor can you get these potentialities out of nature, no matter how far back you go in time. In other words, materialism, as commonly understood, is an altogether absurd and an utterly irrational philosophy, and is indeed so regarded by most thoughtful men.

(35) “Without attempting, then, to go farther in defining what in the nature of the case is undefinable, let me reassert my conviction that although you may not believe in some particular conception of God which I may try to give expression to, and although it unquestionably true that many of our conceptions are sometimes childishly anthropomorphic, everyone who is sufficiently in possession of his faculties to recognize his own inability to comprehend the problem of existence bows his head in the presence of the Nature, if you will-the God, I prefer to say-who is behind it all and whose attributes are partially revealed to us in it all, so that it pains me as much as it did Kelvin ‘to hear crudely atheistic views expressed by men who have never known the deeper side of existence.’ Let me, then, henceforth use the word God to describe that which is behind the mystery of existence and that which gives meaning to it. I thing you will not misunderstand me, then, when I say that I have never known a thing man who did not believe in God.

(36) “How little we know about the ultimate nature of things is strikingly shown by the changes in our conceptions which have come about within the past thirty years. When I started my graduate work in 1893 we were very sure that the physical foundations of the world were built with some seventy unchangeable, indestructible elements. Also we made a sharp distinction between matter-physics and ether-physics. We believed in the conservation of energy, the conservation of mass, and the conservation of momentum, and we knew exactly how, with the aid of these principles, the universe managed to keep going. But we are much less certain about this now than we were then. In 1895 the X-ray came in as an absolutely new phenomenon and then came radio-activity, which has shown us that ‘the elements’ are not at all ultimate things, that atoms are continually undergoing change, and are not indestructible. It appears now that the laws no longer hold in the interaction of electrons within atoms. Einstein has concluded that mass and energy are interchangeable terms and we all now agree that the former distinctions between material, electrical and ethereal phenomena must be discarded. And so I am very chary about declaring that our present scientific conceptions and hypotheses are going to last forever, and I am a good deal more chary about making dogmatic denials or affirmations in the field or religion-a field which by general assent lies outside the region in which intellectual knowledge is possible.

(37) “This much I can say with definiteness — namely, that there is no scientific basis for the denial of religion — nor is there in my judgment any excuse for a conflict between science and religion, for their fields are entirely different. Men who know very little of science and men who know very little of religion do indeed get to quarreling, and the onlookers imagine that there is a conflict between science and religion, whereas the conflict is only between two different species of ignorance. The first important quarrel of this sort arose over the advancing by Copernicus of his theory that the earth, instead of being a flat plane and the center of the universe, was actually only one of a number of little planets, rotating once a day upon its axis and circling once a year about the sun. Copernicus was a priest — the canon of a cathedral — and he was primarily a religious rather than a scientific man. He knew that the foundations of real religion are not laid where scientific discoveries of any kind can disturb them. He was persecuted, not because he went against the teachings of religion but because under his theory man was not the center of the universe and this was most displeasing news to a number of egoists….

(38) “We firmly believed for many years that the sun was merely a white-hot body gradually cooling off. Now we know that if it were merely that it would have cooled off long ago, and we are searching for the source of its continuous supply of heat and are inclined to the belief that it is due to some form of subatomic change. Our discoveries in this realm are as revolutionary as were those of Copernicus, but no one thinks of them as anti-religious. The impossibility of real science and real religion ever conflicting becomes evident when one examines the purpose of science and the purpose of religion. The purpose of science is to develop without prejudice or preconception of any kind a knowledge of the facts, the laws and the processes of nature. The even more important task of religion, on the other hand, is to develop the consciences, the ideals and the aspirations of mankind.

(39) “Many of our great scientists have actually been men of profound religious convictions and life…. ‘I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism.’ And again: ‘If you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find it not antagonistic but helpful to religion.’ Take other great scientific leaders — Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk-Maxwell, Louis Pasteur. All these men were not only religious men, but they were also faithful members of their communions. For the most important thing in the world is a belief in moral and spiritual values — a belief that there is a significance and a meaning to existence — a belief that we are going somewhere! These men could scarcely have been so great had they been lacking in this belief….

(40) Science has transformed our world in the past century. It has produced the nuclear bombs, television, satellite communications, computers, sent men to the moon and space craft to faraway places. Man has traveled at speeds which would might have been considered inconceivable in the nineteenth century. But to what end? Without the moral background of religion, without the spirit of service which is the essence of religion, mankind’s new powers will only be the means of his destruction.

Much of the above was adapted from the book: Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. I, GOD, by P. S. L Johnson.

Last updated October 23, 2009.

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There is a God-all Nature speaks,
Thro’ earth, and air, and seas, and skies:
See! from the clouds His glory breaks,
When the first beams of morning rise.

The rising sun, serenely bright,
O’er the wide world’s extended frame
Inscribes, in characters of light,
His mighty Maker’s glorious name.

You curious minds, who roam abroad,
And trace creation’s wonders o’er,
Confess the footsteps of your God,
And bow before Him, and adore.

There is an eye that never sleeps
Beneath the wing of night;
There is an ear that never shuts
When sink the beams of light.

There is an arm that never tires
When human strength gives way;
There is a love that never fails
When earthly loves decay.

O weary souls with cares oppressed,
Trust in His loving might
Whose eye is over all your ways
Through all your weary night;

Whose ear is open to your cry;
Whose grace is full and free;
Whose comfort is forever nigh,
Whate’er your sorrows be.

Draw near to Him in prayer and praise;
Rely on His sure word;
Acknowledge Him in all your ways
Your faithful, loving Lord.