Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
THEIR NECESSITY. BIBLE PROOF FOR GOD'S CREATORSHIP. THE NATURE OF THE CREATIVE ACT. THE WORLD OF SPIRIT AND MATTER AS THE CREATIVE SPHERES. THE CREATIVE DAYS. THE LAWS OF NATURE. THE BEGINNING.
IN THE first volume of the Epiphany Studies In The Scriptures we discussed God's Existence, God's Attributes of Being and Character and False Views of God. We desire in this, the second volume, to study God's Works of Creation. Before entering into the particulars of God's creative works we desire to set forth some general remarks on God's works of creation, as introductory of the details that we hope to give thereafter. These general remarks are called forth for the most part, because there are so many misunderstandings on God's creative works. We doubt not that the usual objections that many scientists make to what is alleged to be the Christian view of God's creative works are due to this alleged Christian view of His works of creation being neither Christian nor Biblical; but are creedal views largely the product of the Dark Ages and alien to the Old Testament, the New Testament and the assured results of scientific study. We hold that however much variance there may be between the Biblical view of God's creative works and some of the theories, hypotheses, speculations and guesses of some scientists, real and alleged, there is no disagreement between the Biblical statements on the subject under consideration and the assured results of scientific discovery of facts as such. Rather they dovetail into one another with marvelous harmony, which agreement cannot be asserted of the creedal views of God's creative works and the assured results of scientific discovery of facts. It is this disagreement
that has made not a few scientists reject the Bible as an authority on God's creative works, under the mistaken assumption that its and the creedal view on the subject are identical, whereas on almost every point of fact they are in disharmony with one another. This fact makes some general remarks on our subject necessary before proceeding to the particulars later to be brought out.
But does the Bible set forth the thought that God is the Creator and that His creative works are as extensive as the spiritual and material worlds? We claim no less than an affirmative answer to the question just asked for the Bible's teaching on the subject under study; and our first general remark on the subject will prove such to be the Biblical view of it. So far as the creation of the material universe, including this earth and its belongings, is concerned, this is set forth in many passages. The most detailed of these, of course, is that with which the book of Genesis begins. We will first give a list of passages proving that God made the universe—the heavens and the earth. Gen. 1: 1; 2: 1-4; Ex. 20: 11; 1 Sam. 2: 8; 2 Kings 19: 15; Neh. 9: 6; Ps. 33: 6, 7;
89: 11; 102: 25; 103: 22; 104: 2, 3, 5, 6; 121: 2; 124: 8; 136: 5-9; 146: 5, 6; Prov. 3: 19; 8: 26-29; 16: 4; 26: 10; Eccl. 11: 5; Is. 37: 16; 40: 12, 26, 28; 42: 5; 44: 24; 45: 12, 18; 48: 13; 51: 13, 16; Jer. 10: 12, 16; 31: 35; 32: 17; 51: 15; Jonah 1: 9; Zech. 12: 1; Acts 4: 24; 7: 50; 14: 15; Rom. 1: 20; 1 Cor. 8: 6; Eph. 3: 9; Heb. 2: 10; 3: 4; Rev. 4: 11; 10: 6; 14: 7. Next we will cite passages wherein there is no mention of the earth as created by God, but that prove that God created the heavens—the starry heavens above: Gen. 1: 14-19; 1 Chron. 16: 26; Job 9: 8, 9; 26: 13; Ps. 8: 3; 19: 1. We now present a third list of passages, wherein is no mention of the heavens as created by God, but that prove that God created and ordered the earth: Gen. 1: 2, 9, 10; Job 26: 7; 38: 4; Ps. 24: 1, 2; 65: 6; 78: 69; 90: 2; 95: 4, 5
Ps. 104: 24; 119: 90; Jer. 27: 5. We now submit a fourth list of passages, which prove that God created man: Gen. 1: 26, 27; 2: 7; 5: 1, 2; 9: 6; Ex. 4: 11; Num. 16: 22; 27: 16; Deut. 4: 32; 32: 6, 15, 18; Job 10: 3, 8, 9, 11, 12; 31: 15; 33: 4; 34: 19; Ps. 86: 9; 94: 9; 95: 6; 100: 3; 139: 13; 149: 2; Prov. 20: 12; 22: 2; Eccl. 11: 5; Is. 17: 7; 43: 1, 7, 15; 44: 2; 45: 12, 18; 51: 13; 64: 8; Jer. 27: 5; Mal. 2: 10; Acts 17: 26, 28; 1 Cor. 12: 18, 24, 25; 1 Pet. 4: 19. The following passages show that He made the land and sea animals: Gen. 1: 20-25; Job 12: 7-9; Ps. 8: 6-8; Jer. 27: 5; 1 Tim. 6: 13. So, too, the Scriptures prove God to be the Creator of vegetation: Gen. 1: 11-13; 2: 8, 9; 1 Cor. 15: 36-38. The following passages show that God has made and operates the laws of nature in His creative work: Gen. 1: 3-10; Job 28: 23-26; 37: 16, 18; 38: 8-10; Ps. 8: 3; 33: 6-9; 104: 30; 119: 90, 91; 148: 5, 6; Prov. 8: 26-29; 30: 4; Is. 40: 12; 45: 7, 18; Jer. 5: 22; 31: 35; 51: 15, 16; Amos 4: 13; 5: 8; 9: 6; Matt. 6: 26-30; Acts 17: 25, 26; 1 Cor. 8: 6; 2 Cor. 4: 6. These seven lines of thought on God as the Creator, if analyzed in detail, would give us a magnificent insight into Him in His relation to His creative works. A proper study of the above lists of passages will bless its doer with some exceedingly fine information. Some of these verses contain descriptions of His creative work that are sublime in the extreme; others of them are most beautiful; and all of them are marvelously simple as expressions of facts.
Having seen in general terms that God is Scripturally presented as the Creator, it would be now in order to introduce some remarks on what is meant by the word creation. This word is used in this connection in two senses: (1) as a process or action, and (2) as a product or the product of such a process or action. As a process or action the creeds have defined it as the making of all things out of nothing. We consider this definition to be false; for it is certainly contrary
to the Biblical use of the word in every use of it where materials for a definition of it are given. Our definition of creation as a process or action is the making of new things out of previously existing substances. We will now make a study of this word as used in the Bible, comparing these two above-given definitions with one another in the light of the pertinent Bible passages; and in so doing we will cite every occurrence of the pertinent Hebrew and Greek words determinative of their meaning. This pertinent Hebrew word as a verb is bara and the pertinent Greek word as a verb is ktizo. There are some passages in which these words occur in such connections as in themselves shed no light on their definition. We will cite these without quoting them. Those that do shed such light we will both cite and classify with brief comments. This will enable our readers to have all the Biblical evidence on the definition of these words for their personal and full study. But before undertaking such a discussion we will quote and examine the passage that creedists use in an attempt to prove their thought. This passage reads in the A.V. as follows: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb. 11: 3).
Certainly the A.V. translation of this passage has been "framed"! Those who so translated it believed that all things were created out of nothing and they framed the passage accordingly; i.e., they put into it their idea; but did not take out of it its idea and put that into English. We have above italicized the words mistranslated and misplaced in the A.V. of this verse. The word here translated worlds is not kosmoi, the Greek word for worlds, but is aiones, the Greek word for ages. The word translated framed had better have been translated adjusted; the form translated by should here have been translated to; the two words, to blepomenon (singular, not plural), should have been
translated, the thing seen or perceived, or what is seen or perceived. The said mistranslations were necessary in order to insert into the passage the translators' error on everything being created out of nothing, as the A.V. rendering suggests. The A.R.V. helps matters a little by putting as a note in the margin over against the word worlds, the statement: "Greek, ages." They also changed in the text the plurals in the words, "the things that are seen were," to the singular, "what is seen." While this improves the passage, the A.R.V. still does not fully clarify the verse, and that because of their failure to correct the words, "framed by," through the words, "adjusted to." Then, in the last clause the wording should be: "so that the thing seen, [or perceived], has become from things not clear."
Rotherham's translation of the Bible, one of the best in our opinion, gives Heb. 11: 3 as follows: "By faith we understand the Ages to have been fitted together by declaration of God, to the end that not out of things appearing should that which is seen have come into existence." The following rendering of the Improved Version, with some bracketed comments, we consider still better: "By faith we understand that the Ages were adjusted to God's Word [Plan], so that the thing perceived [in our Age] has become from things not manifest [in a preceding Age]." E.g., The mystery of God, that the Christ is not one, but many members (Col. 1: 26; 1 Cor. 12: 12-14; Gal. 3: 16, 29); was not clear in the Ages before, but is clear now in the Gospel Age; that Christ should first suffer and afterward enter into glory, was not clear in the Ages before ours, but is clear now in the Gospel Age; that Israel's enslavement by Pharaoh, the deliverance of the firstborn by the lamb's sprinkled blood, and the whole nation's deliverance at the Red Sea, were not in the Jewish Age clear, as typing the enslavement of the race under the curse by Satan, the deliverance of the Church of the firstborn, justified by the blood of the Lamb of God,
and the deliverance of the faithful restitutionists during the Little Season at the end of the Millennium, but are clear as such now in the Gospel Age. Innumerable other examples of the thought of Heb. 11: 3 will occur to our readers' minds. Hence Heb. 11: 3 is entirely silent on God's creating all things out of nothing; for it has no reference at all to creation. This, a mistranslated verse, is the only passage relied upon by creedists teaching all things are created of nothing.
We will now present all the occurrences of the word bara, the Hebrew word properly translated in the A.V. by create. As indicated above, some of these passages in themselves shed no light on whether bara means to make something out of nothing, or does not so mean. Hence they are indeterminate as to the point in question. But others of them are clearly determinate on this point; and these all show that create does not mean to make something out of nothing, but means to make something new out of previously existing things. We would remark that the word bara primarily means to cut down a thing preparatory to making something of it, or doing something with it, as the following passages show: Joshua 17: 15; Ezek. 21: 19; 23: 47. Then it has a second meaning—to create—derived from the fact of cutting down a thing preparatory to making something of or doing something with it. Its primary meaning contradicts the creedists' and confirms our view as correct. We will first present a list of the passages that are indeterminate as to the meaning of bara: Gen. 1: 1; 2: 3, 4; Ps. 89: 12; Is. 40: 26; 42: 5; 45: 18; Ezek. 28: 13, 15. As these in and of themselves give us no light on the meaning of bara, we pass them by without further discussion.
We will now cite and briefly comment on all the other occurrences of the word, which, by discussion, will certainly prove our thought, that to create means to make something new out of previously existing things. Such certainly in ordinary speech is its meaning
when we refer to man's creations, e.g., Edison's, Steinmetz', etc. We are expressly told that when God created Adam and Eve (Gen. 2: 27; 5: 1, 2; Deut. 4: 32), He made Adam out of the dust of the earth and life principle (Gen. 2: 7) and Eve out of a rib and some flesh of Adam and life principle (Gen. 2: 21-23). Hence in these passages bara means to make something new out of previously existing substances, which disproves the creedist thought under review. We are expressly told that whales [dragons], fowl and every aquatic creature were made of water and its contents, united, of course, with life principle. Hence in Gen. 1: 20-22 bara means to make new things out of previously existing materials. Indirectly, i.e., by propagation through fathers and mothers, God creates all people (Gen. 6: 7; Ps. 89: 47; 102: 18; 104: 30; Eccl. 12: 1; Is. 40: 28; 43: 1, 7, 15; 45: 12; 54: 16; 65: 17 [Jesus and the Church are the new heavens and Jerusalem]; Ezek. 21: 30 [Ammon]; Mal. 2: 10). But they are made out of the life principle that their fathers furnish and the elements of the earth that their mothers furnish. Hence they are made—created—out of previously existing elements, not out of nothing.
Then God is said to create (bara) when He makes righteousness, good and evil conditions, events, etc. (Ex. 34: 10; Num. 16: 30; Ps. 51: 10; Is. 4: 5; 41: 20; 45: 7, 8; 48: 7; 57: 19). But righteousness is created by combining good principles with thoughts, motives, words and acts. Good and evil conditions are made by a combination of good or evil acts and good or evil circumstances. Events are made up of various qualities, thoughts, words and acts participated in by actors. Thus these things spoken of in the cited texts as created are not made out of nothing, but out of previously existing things. The new thing created, bara (Jer. 31: 22), Christ encompassed by the Church, as God's kingdom, certainly will not be made up out of nothing, but of Christ and the Church. When God is
said to create wind (Amos 4: 13), we know that He ordinarily makes it by a combination of air and heat or cold. Hence it is not made up of nothing, but of air, ordinarily united with heat or cold. When God is said to create water (Ps. 148: 4, 5), certainly He is not to be understood to make it out of nothing, but, as experience shows, out of a combination of two gases—oxygen and hydrogen. And, by a fair inference, His making (bara) the heavens being spoken of in these same verses, we may conclude that in this same use of the word bara, the thought is not that the heavens were made out of nothing, but out of these and other gases. When one is spoken of as making himself fat (1 Sam. 2: 29), he is not to be understood to have made himself so out of nothing, but out of his former lean self and fattening food. All these passages prove that bara does not mean to make something out of nothing, but to make a new thing out of previously existing things. Hence we conclude that since no passage uses it to mean to make something out of nothing, that is not its Biblical meaning; and that, therefore, in those passages that are not determinate it means the same thing as in those passages where it is determinate, i.e., to make a new thing out of previously existing substances. And since practically all the indeterminate passages speak of God's creating heaven and earth, and since Ps. 148: 4, 5 proves that bara's use there applies to both water and the heavenly bodies, and since water is made out of a proportionate union of certain gases—oxygen and hydrogen—it is a proper inference that, as to bara water does not mean to make it out of nothing, but out of gases, so to bara the heavens (for the verb bara controls as its object the same pronoun as refers to water and heavens in these verses) means to make them out of gases. Hence the earth, also, was originally created out of gases. This overthrows entirely the creedal view that to create means to make something out of nothing; and
proves the view herein presented, that to bara means to make something new out of previously existing substances.
From the above proof it follows that the Greek word ktizo, which means to create, signifies to make a new thing from previously existing things, as we will show from its occurrences in the New Testament. Not only in the light of what already has been shown on this subject above is this true, i.e., in the use of this verb ktizo to designate the creating of Adam and Eve, the rest of the human family, etc., where in translating bara from Hebrew into Greek in the New Testament ktizo is used, but also from its independent uses. Thus we see that this is the word used in connection with creation of man and beast (1 Cor. 11: 9; 1 Tim. 4: 3), which we know were not made out of nothing, but out of elements of the earth, organized into bodies, and life principle. The creation of man and beast, as well as of other things, is set forth by this word ktizo in the following passages: Mark 13: 19; Rom. 1: 25; Eph. 3: 9; Col. 1: 16; Rev. 4: 11; 10: 6. The fact that in these passages man's and beast's creation is set forth, and the further fact that these were created of previously existing substances, implies that the very same use of the word ktizo in these passages, which covers the creation of man and beast, as covers the creation of all other things, proves all these other things to have been made from previously existing things. This same meaning of the word ktizo is manifest from its use in verses that teach the bringing of the Church as new creatures into existence (Eph. 2: 10, 15; 4: 24; Col. 3: 10). These new creatures are brought into existence by a union of God's Word and Spirit, both forming the life principle of the new heart and mind on the one hand, and the pertinent person's brain faculties on the other, this creative work to be finished when this new mind and heart will in the resurrection be given the spiritual body to take the
place of the brain faculties, as well as to supply other organs (John 3: 5, 8; Jas. 1: 18; 1 Pet. 1: 23; Rom. 8: 10). Hence the new creatures are not brought into existence out of nothing, but out of previously existing things, which fact proves that ktizo in these passages does not mean to make something out of nothing, but to make a new thing out of previously existing things. In this paragraph we have quoted every New Testament occurrence of the word ktizo for our readers' help.
We will now quote a few passages in which occur two noun derivatives from this verb ktizo (viz., ktisis and ktisma), as shedding further light as a proof of our thought on the subject at hand. In the New Testament ktisis and ktisma always are synonymous, meaning a thing created, though in classic Greek, while often synonymous, they often differ as follows: ktisis means the creative act, while ktisma means the product of the creative act. But this distinction is absent from New Testament usage, where both words mean the product of the creative act. The following are all the uses of ktisma in the New Testament: 1 Tim. 4: 4; Jas. 1: 18; Rev. 5: 13; 8: 9, in every one of which occurrences things made out of previously existing substances are meant. The following are all of the New Testament occurrences of ktisis: Mark 10: 6; 13: 19; 16: 15; Rom. 1: 20, 25; 8: 19-22, 39; 2 Cor. 5: 17; Gal. 6: 15; Col. 1: 15, 23; Heb. 4: 13; 9: 11 (building); 1 Pet. 2: 13 (ordinance); 2 Pet. 3: 4; Rev. 3: 14. In every passage just cited the thing spoken of as created is one made out of previously existing things. Hence from the New Testament it is evident that to create does not mean to make something out of nothing, but to make some new thing out of previously existing substances. Hence our investigation proves that neither the Old nor the New Testament uses the words to create to mean to make something out of nothing; but both parts of the Bible teach that to create means to make a new thing out of a
previously existing thing. Hence the creedal thought on this subject, as it arose in the Dark Ages, partakes of darkness [error] as a characteristic of those ages. It is unbiblical, unreasonable and unfactual; while the idea that creation means to make a new thing out of previously existing substances is Biblical, reasonable and factual, therefore is credible.
Creation has acted, so far as we know, within two spheres of being. One of these is the sphere of spirit; the other is the sphere of matter. In the sphere of spirit, creation as an act has produced a spirit world inhabited by spirit beings to whose existence as elements of origin, support, sustenance and habitation, matter is neither needed nor used. In the sphere of matter, creation as an act has produced a material world, animate and inanimate, to whose existence as elements of origin, support, sustenance and habitation, a mingling of some form of spirit and matter is both needed and used. Man is the highest product so far brought into existence in the material world. That there is a material world is assured to each one by his five senses, reason, experience and testimony. That there is a spirit world is manifest from the testimony of the Bible and Biblical men who had communion with spirit beings and testified thereto. Their mental, moral and religious characteristics were of such a kind as to make their testimony unimpeachable. Furthermore, this is proved by the experiences of all God's faithful children, in which they have had such singular answers to prayer and providential help, direction, restraint and encouragement as can be explained on no other ground than the existence and operation of benevolent spirits. On the other hand, they have had experiences with evil spirits, e.g., sudden and almost overwhelming evil thoughts and suggestions poured into their minds from without, by no visible agent, on subjects foreign to their characters, modes and habits of thought and affection and to any thoughts previously
entering their minds and not suggested by their surroundings, associations, past experiences or memories. Such things imply the existence of evil spirit beings. Moreover, in spiritism and occultism direct contact, proven by the most painstaking and acid tests, with the spirit world is had by mediums and other occultists, which proves the existence of a spirit world. We cheerfully concede that fully 95% of alleged spiritistic and occult phenomena are the results of sleight of hand and trickery on the part of mediums, etc., yet there are about 5% of such phenomena which have been subjected to the acid test of such investigators and scientists as Sir Oliver Lodge, Profs. Lombardo, Hyslop, etc., and have come out of these tests unscathed as facts of spiritistic phenomena. The superhuman goodness of real saints, as well as many well known unhuman wickednesses of some humans, imply a spirit world with good and evil spirit inhabitants. All these facts argue the reality of a spirit world.
In view of the facts of the existence of a spirit as well as a material world, a treatise on God's creative works should discuss the creation of both of these. Accordingly, in this article, with Divine aid, we purpose to discuss the creation of both of these spheres of existence. This fact will make it profitable to look a little closer into our subject from the standpoint of the substances out of which the spirit and the material world have been made. First, we will discuss briefly spirit substances, out of some of which, at least, created spirit beings have been made. How many spirit substances there are we do not know, even as we must confess ignorance of much that goes to make up the spirit world and its conditions. But we do know some of the spirit substances, of which the following are examples: fire, heat, electricity in its positive, but not negative pole (as is manifest from its unit of existence, the electron), magnetic rays, ether, radio, light and life principle. E.g., the lowest order of spirit
beings (called angels in the narrow sense of that word), as distinct from cherubim, seraphim, principalities, powers, thrones and dominions (Eph. 1: 21), are Biblically spoken of as having bodies made of fire (Heb. 1: 7). Perhaps the other six orders of spirits above mentioned have bodies made of other spirit substances than fire. Quite likely the Logos (our prehuman Lord) had a body made of spirit substance or substances of a higher order than the bodies of any of the above-mentioned seven orders of created spirits.
The Creator Himself, being a Spirit, must have a body that consists of a spirit substance. That He is not simply a great mind without a body, but has both, the Scriptures clearly prove when they assert that He has a shape (John 5: 37), that the resurrected Spirit, Jesus, is His image (1 Cor. 15: 45; 2 Cor. 3: 17; 1 Pet. 3: 18; Col. 1: 15; Heb. 1: 3-5), that the saints will have spiritual bodies like His (1 Cor. 15: 40-49, 51-54; 1 John 3: 2; 2 Pet. 1: 4), and that the saints will see His face (Rev. 22: 4), which cannot be done to a bodiless mind, it not having a face. Moreover, a face implies a body. The memorable scene of Ex. 33: 18-23 clearly proves that God has a body. The Scriptures in ascribing immortality to God seem to imply that His body consists of life principle. This seems to be the thought of John 5: 26: "As the Father hath life in Himself." Doubtless this expression teaches that God has immortality. But why does He have immortality? The passage implies that it is because He has life in Himself, i.e., His essence is immortality. But God's soul (Heb. 10: 38) is His essence. And His soul, like every other soul, consists of two parts: life principle and a body. Hence His body seems also to be life principle. This, then, seems to be the thought of the expression, "As the Father hath life in Himself." If God's body consists of life principle, we can readily see why He must be immortal—death—proof; for death is the separation of the life principle and the body. If,
therefore, God's body consists of life principle, it follows that there can be no separation between life principle and His body, since it is life principle. Jesus has also attained in His resurrection to immortality—life in Himself (John 5: 26). This also is the privilege of the saints in their resurrection (1 Cor. 15: 53, 54, 45-49; 2 Pet. 1: 4; 1John 3: 2). Hence the highest order in the spirit world, God and Jesus and His Bride—those of the Divine nature—having immortality, seem to have bodies consisting of life principle. That no other spirits have such bodies, and hence are not immortal, is proven by the fact that Lucifer, now Satan, a cherub (Ezek. 28: 14, 16), and thus a member of the highest of the other spirit orders, will be destroyed (Is. 21: 1; 14: 15; Heb. 2: 14). But this must be kept in mind: God is no creature; He was not created; He always has been. And this must be so, since He is the Creator of all things made.
Leaving the creation of the spirit world for later discussion, we desire to make a few general remarks on the world of matter. We know it to be a fact of chemical demonstration that water is created by the fusion of two parts of the gas, hydrogen, and one part of the gas, oxygen, when volume is considered; and when weight is considered, of two parts of the former to sixteen of the latter. Hence water is chemically indicated by the sign H2O. Hence when God created water (Ps. 148: 4, 5), He made it by fusing these two gases in the above indicated proportion. But the verb, bara, that governs the pronoun referring to the word water, in Ps. 148: 4, 5, as its object, also governs the pronoun referring to the word heavens in that passage; for one and the same pronoun refers to both of these things in those verses. This implies that not only was water not created out of nothing, but also that the heavens there spoken of were not created out of nothing. Moreover, the fact that the waters and the heavens are spoken of in the same connection, in fact
by the same pronoun, as being created, and the fact that the former was made out of two gases, fairly warrants our accepting the thought of scientists to the effect that the heavens and earth were formed out of gases by a condensing process—a conclusion based on chemical experiments that have analyzed the chemical elements of parts of fallen meteors into a large number of different gases, and that have reduced various of the 92 chemical elements of the earth into various gases.
Accordingly, Ps. 148: 4, 5 and other Scriptures are in line with scientific experiments, which prove that the elements of which the earth consists and the elements of such heavenly bodies as have been available for such experiments are reducible by chemical analysis to gases. Therefore we believe that scientists are warranted in teaching that the world of matter was created out of gases, very widely, perhaps universally distributed and thus in bulk, and of very many kinds. In harmony with this thought we understand that before the beginning referred to in Gen. 1: 1, i.e., before God began to create the heavens and the earth, space was filled with gases of many varieties and that out of these, by creative processes whereby He manipulated the laws underlying the nature and actions of gases, He in process of time brought the heavens and the earth into existence. From this we see that the world of matter was not made out of nothing, but out of gases. One might ask, How and when were these gases created? We answer, Neither the Bible nor science gives us any light on this subject. These gases may always have been, or may have come from something else previously existing. We do not know. This is an unrevealed matter which we may as such wisely leave, unspeculated on, in the hands of the Lord, content to study as deeply as possible into the things that He has been pleased to reveal to us (Deut. 29: 29).
So far as we know there is no fusing of material and spiritual substances in the spirit world; but there
is such in the material world. Perhaps a definition of spirit and matter might here be in place. We believe the following will hold in every case. Spirit is incorruptible substance; matter is corruptible substance. It is a mistake to define the former as substance imponderable and not subject to sense, and the latter as substance ponderable and subject to sense; for heat, fire and positive polar electricity, etc., are subject to sense and can be measured. In the material world they are frequently fused. Electricity interpenetrates all, and is contained in every material. Life principle permeates our atmosphere, particularly its oxygen, and of course permeates all animal and vegetable existence. Ether permeates the air and space beyond the air. Heat and fire lodge inactive yet potential in all carbonates. Radio permeates the air and sending and receiving sets. Magnetism permeates many things, particularly the air and metals. Indeed there can be no life, either animal or vegetable, without this fusing of spirit substances with material organisms. Even in inorganic nature, as shown by certain of the above-given examples, there is this permeation of the physical by the spiritual. While this is true, we know from the Scriptural illustrations that spirits have nothing material in them (John 4: 23, 24; Luke 24: 39; 1 Cor. 15: 40, 44-49, 51-54). Thus, while the material world is permeated by spirit, the spiritual world is completely free of matter as a part of it.
In the preceding discussion of our subject we indulged in some general remarks respecting it. But we covered only part of the lines of thought that belong to such general remarks and desire to continue our general remarks to a conclusion. Among such remarks belongs a succinct discussion of the laws of nature in their relation to God's creative work; and this is a fitting place for their consideration. The average adherent to the creeds looks upon God's creative work as one that consisted of His uttering creative
commands with an audible voice, which brought matter into sudden existence out of nothing; and then with His almighty hands handling the thus created materials of the universe, He hurled them about in a presto-chango manner, making them in less than a twenty-four hours' day form into the heavens of billions of suns and of tens of billions of planets, and then in the rest of that first twenty-four hours' day and in five following twenty-four hours' days completing His creative work, leaving the universe as a completed work in exactly six days of twenty-four hours each, after beginning that work. This is the belief of all who hold to the creeds, and certainly manifests credulity on so vast and foolish a scale as to make real students of the Bible stand aghast at such manifestations of pre-kindergarten mental states of Alice-in-Fairyland tales. This view, as in part has already been shown, and as for the rest will now be shown, is certainly unscriptural, unreasonable and unfactual.
This view is largely responsible for turning some of the brightest minds of our race away from faith in the Bible. Such bright minds, unhelped otherwise, have been led by creedists to believe that their view of creation just stated is that of the Bible, with the result that such bright minds, better informed by God's other book of revelation— Nature—have, with the creedal view, rejected the Bible account of creation, as being of a piece with that of the creeds. And doubtless this is one of the results that Satan in advancing the creedal view of creation aimed to realize when the time would ripen for advancing scientific light to come upon the pertinent subjects. And who can successfully deny that Satan has reaped a large harvest of infidels from his industrious sowing of such seeds of credulity through the creeds? And in using friends of the Bible to do such a sowing work he again caused Truth to be wounded in the house of its friends. But fortunately the Bible itself contains
within itself the means of refuting this credulous creedist view of creation above briefly sketched and by creedists considered to be the acme of Biblical faith, pure and undefiled. To this refutation we now address ourselves, taking up for consideration first the childish and nonsensical theory of the six creative days as being days of twenty-four hours each.
Even a most superficial reader of the Bible will admit that the word day is frequently used in the Bible to refer to periods other than twenty-four hours, e.g., how, before the sun and moon became the makers of the day and night respectively, which occurred in the fourth creative day (Gen. 1: 15-19), could there have been days of twenty-four hours at all? Again, does not the Bible call also the light part of a twenty-four hours' period day, in distinction from the dark part of such a period, called night, as Gen. 1: 15-19 proves? That the Bible uses the word day not only to designate a period shorter than twenty-four hours, but also to designate periods of time longer than periods of twenty-four hours, is manifest from many passages. In Gen. 2: 4, the whole creative period is called a day, which certainly proves the word to mean more than a period of twenty-four hours. In Jer. 31: 32, the whole 40 years during which God delivered Israel from Egypt, and not only commenced, but also completed the making of the full Law Covenant with them, are called a day. God directly calls the 40 years of Israel's tempting Him in the wilderness a day (Ps. 95: 7-11). Here are two passages that call a forty years' period a day. Again, the 80 years (1874 to 1954) of the time of wrath are called, "the day of vengeance," in Is. 61: 2. The above four passages directly prove that the word day is sometimes Biblically used to denote times much longer than a period of twenty-four hours. Again, just as we in modern English use such expressions as, the day of Alexander, the day of Caesar, the day of Charlemagne, the day
of Luther, the day of Cromwell, the day of Washington, the day of Napoleon, the day of Lincoln, the day of Roosevelt, etc., to mean, not twenty-four hours' periods, but the years in which these men were influential in human affairs; so the Bible speaks of years as designated by the terms, the days of Adam (Gen. 5: 4, 5), the days of Enoch (Gen. 5: 23), the days of eight others mentioned in Gen. 5, and the days of Noah (Gen. 9: 29). These are but further instances of the Bible's use of the term day to designate periods of time longer than a period of twenty-four hours, our ordinary day's length.
Frequently the Bible uses the term day to mean an age. E.g., the Gospel Age, which has already lasted over 1,900 years is called the day of salvation for the Church, in 2 Cor. 6: 2. This same Age is called in Heb. 1: 1, 2, "the last of the days" [Imp. Ver.] of the second dispensation, the Patriarchal Age of 659 years and the Jewish Age of 1,845 years being the other two days of the second dispensation or world, reaching from the flood until during Christ's Second Advent the Kingdom of God will be established. The Gospel Age of over 1,900 years is the today throughout whose length Christians are to exhort one another daily in guarding one another from apostasy, according to Heb. 3: 13. Accordingly, Ages—the Gospel Age of over 1,900 years and also the Patriarchal Age of 659 years and the Jewish Age of 1,845 years—in these passages are each one called a day. Furthermore, a comparison of Is. 65: 2 and Rom. 10: 21 proves that the day there referred to is the entire Jewish Age of 1,845 years, during which God stretched forth His saving, instructive, correcting and chastising hand to Israel, who throughout that whole period—"all day long"—proved itself to be a disobedient and gainsaying people. And literally hundreds of times the term day, occurring in such variation of expressions as, "that day," "the day of the Lord," "the day of God," "the day of Jehovah,"
"the day of Christ," "His day," "My day" and "the day of judgment," is used to designate the Millennium, a period of 1,000 years (2 Pet. 3: 8; Rev. 20: 4-6). 2 Pet. 3: 7; Is. 11: 10; 25: 9 and Acts 17: 31 are a few illustrations of such uses of the term day to denote the 1,000 years' period of Christ's reign over the earth. Certainly these and numerous other uses of the word day to designate periods of a year, 40 years, 80 years, 659 years, 1,845 years, over 1,900 years and 1,000 years, ought to restrain the madness of our modern Balaamite creedist protagonists from insisting on the creative days being periods of twenty-four hours each, because of the word day being used for the six creative times. Certainly the first fact that the Bible, among other senses, uses the term day to designate ages, and the second fact that twenty-four hours' days are nonsensical in their results, if applied to the six creative days of Gen. 1, the third fact that there were no twenty-four hours' days in the three periods before the sun, moon and stars became lights for the earth, and the fourth fact that ages would be required to perform the work of the six creative days, should not only restrain us from regarding the creative days as periods of twenty-four hours each, but should also move us to regard them as ages of great duration.
Finally, we will now offer the Biblical proof that the seventh day (Gen. 2: 3, 4; Ex. 20: 9-11) mentioned in immediate connection with the six creative days is a period of 7,000 years, which proves that the other six days are days of the same length—their mention as with it forming seven days proving this fact, they therefore each being likewise periods of 7,000 years. If such is the case, there was time sufficient for the carrying out of all the work allotted Biblically to the six creative days, following the creation of the heavens and earth "in the beginning" (Gen. 1: 1), which "beginning" was prior to the six days of ordering matters creatively on and about the
already created sphere called earth. The following is our proof that the seventh day—the day of Jehovah's rest—is a period of 7,000 years. This rest began just after the creation of Eve (Gen. 1: 26—2: 3). But St. Paul tells us (Heb. 3: 7-19; 4: 3-5) that God had been resting ever since the creation, that He had invited the Israelites during their 40 years' wilderness wandering to enter into His rest and that they refused. Furthermore, in Heb. 4: 10, 11, St. Paul shows that during the Gospel Age God has still been continuing His rest since the creation and invites us to enter into it with Him. This will be evident when we keep in mind that throughout this Age, even until the last one of the faithful leaves this earth, the invitation of v. 11 has been given to the Gospel-Age people of God to enter with God into His rest. Hence God has been resting ever since creation, which is now over 6,060 years in the past. Furthermore, this rest that yet remaineth for the people of God will last throughout the Millennium, in whose first beginning, as a dawning day, we have been ever since 1874, when the first 6,000 years of God's rest day ended. Hence His rest day will end at the first beginning of the Millennial day's twilight, in 2874 A. D., which proves that God's rest day is one, not of 24 hours, but of 7,000 years. Hence the other six days of the great week of God must have been days or ages of 7,000 years each.
This fact, then, completely demolishes the creedal theory of the six creative days being six days of 24 hours each; and it proves them to be ages adequate in length to accomplish, through God's direct creative control of the laws of nature, which He Himself made, without any presto-chango sleight-of-hand trickery, the harmonious and reasonable work of bringing order out of the original chaos in which the earth was left by the creative work of the beginning mentioned in Gen. 1: 1. And this fact takes away from skeptical scientists the objections that they offer to the Bible
account of the periods of creation supposedly the same as creedist's theory of the creative days, which objections, through their mistakenly identifying the creedist theory with the Bible teaching on creation, they offer against a straw man of the creedists' manufacture. We are confident that the majority of skeptical scientists would cease their pertinent skepticism, if they understood the Bible's real teaching on creation. Again we see how the creedists, and that by their mistakenly interpreting the length of the creative days, have sowed the seed of error and raised a crop of infidels, who would not as such have been produced, had the seed of Truth on this and other phases of God's creation been properly sowed. Again Truth has been wounded in the house of its friends. What an impressive lesson this fact teaches on the necessity of not teaching error on any part of God's Word and of the necessity of teaching the Truth and the Truth only on God's Word. It also teaches us that the Bible, rightly interpreted, is reasonable and factual.
We offer another objection to the creedist view of creation as being completed within six days of 24 hours each. It allows no room for the reign of natural law in creation, and therefore is false. Nowhere does the Bible teach that God violates the laws that He Himself has made to operate throughout nature through His organizing matter as He has. On the contrary, God is a God of order and an enemy of confusion (1 Cor. 14: 33, 40). He will no more disregard, violate or sanction the disregard or violation of the laws that He has made to govern nature than He will disregard, violate or sanction the disregard or violation of the mental, moral and religious laws that He has made to govern our mental, moral and religious powers and operations. Order, being a part of justice, is one of the foundation pillars of God's throne and hence is heaven's first law. Those Christian apologists who, in their zeal to defend against infidel attacks their conceptions
of miracles, have defined miracles as violations of the laws of nature, not only erred in offering such a definition, but gave a weapon to their enemies which the latter have used with some power to parry off the thrusts of such Christian apologists' controversial swords. Miracles are not violations of the laws of nature. They are manifestations of some higher law or laws of nature, not perceived by the beholder, in effecting results that lower laws of nature do not effect or effecting the same results in different ways and in longer times. We often are witnesses of certain laws of nature neutralizing other laws of nature and effecting other results that the displaced or neutralized laws of nature would not effect, or would effect in other ways and longer times. E.g., ordinarily cold freezes water into ice and heat melts ice into water. Yet artificial ice, which is the main ice of our ordinary use, by the application of other laws of nature is made by heat. We may recall how Prof. Tindall, the great physicist, astonished an audience at one of his lectures by making ice on red-hot iron, controlled by certain laws of nature which he knew how to apply. Again, ordinarily cold condenses matter, and heat ordinarily expands matter. Yet the laws of nature underlying the constitution of water make it expand under the presence of cold, which fact beneficently prevents the extinction of fish in our streams by preventing the streams freezing solid from top to bottom. So metals ordinarily expand under application of heat; but not so antimony, which contracts by heat. This fact makes it necessary to compound it with heat-expansive lead to make type that under heat will not expand, resulting in our getting non-expanding type which produces even and fine print. The miracles of modern science which, by coordination, super-ordination and subordination of various laws of nature, intelligently and purposefully applied, scientists have wrought, have taken the wind out of the sails of
both such apologists and their antagonists on the subject of miracles. It is no longer necessary for Christian apologists to assume an apologetic attitude against nature's laws. He has learned to use them against the enemies of miracles with unanswerable effect. And by the same token he is learning to reject the creedist's theory of creation in six days of twenty-four hours each, in favor of the creative days as being ages, though creed-bound apologists still foolishly talk of miracles being violations of nature's laws and of the creative days lasting twenty-four hours each!
Since the Bible nowhere teaches or implies that God creatively did not use the laws of nature that He Himself put into matter at its various stages of creation, we are not at liberty to assert that He did not so use them. That He is the Creator of nature's laws and so constituted nature that its matter varyingly expresses natural laws and acts according to them, the Bible clearly teaches, as the passages quoted in the previous portion of this chapter treating of this point show. Hence we are right in assuming that the very constitution of the various elements of matter in their varied relations act out and act according to certain laws conditioned by the varied properties of various elements of matter in their varied relations; and that these laws vary and have always varied according to the various and varying properties of various and varying matter. Hence there were certain forms of natural law at work while matter was wholly gaseous in form. These laws changed as the gases moved and condensed. All sorts of changes in these laws and their operations occurred as creatively their gases continued to condense. And these changes in these laws and their operation continued until the condensing of gases into our more than 92 chemical elements of the earth and the giving to the earth of its present form were completed, when these laws of nature became measurably fixed. It is quite reasonable to conclude
that the same variation in the laws of nature and their operation occurred in the creation of the suns and other planets of the universe, a small part of which our earth is. We are now at a place where we are prepared to offer a definition of the expression, the laws of nature, a term which can be defined by but few.
If we were asked to define what is meant by the laws of nature, we would venture the following definition: The laws of nature are the rules of existence, actions and relations, wherewith God has endowed animate and inanimate matter by giving it various properties, as essential to its varying constitution and as regulating its existence, actions and relations. This definition tells just what the laws of nature are, i.e., rules of the existence, actions and relations of matter, animate and inanimate. It shows their source—God. It shows that all earthly beings, including humans, are a part of nature, as well as are unorganized materials. It shows how matter has come to have these rules—by being Divinely endowed with varying properties, as essential to its varying constitution and as regulating its existence, actions and relations. This definition implies that in all the changes that matter has undergone from its gaseous state onward to its present varying condition, God, by variously endowing the changing elements of matter, operated creatively the laws of previously existing forms into new forms of it, with the instituting of new laws answering to the new properties given to the changed forms of matter, until they assumed their present condition, which we believe will continue to change measurably until the end of the Millennium, when in this earth they will remain fixed, by which time man will learn perfectly to manipulate these laws to his blessing. Accordingly, it is erroneous in this imperfect earth and universe to speak of fixed and eternally unchangeable laws of nature. God being thus the Creator both of nature and its laws, which are His laws, never violates, but uses and
manipulates them for His creative purposes along the lines of the properties that He has varyingly put into matter in its varying and various stages and kinds. It is because God has constituted nature by giving animate and inanimate matter the laws of its existence, actions and relations, that there is a reign of law throughout the animate and inanimate universe. And this law is, as various beings and things are constituted, physical, mental, moral and religious. Accordingly, we see that God does not have to violate or disregard the laws of nature; for by His intelligence and will He constituted matter with such properties as would always express His will along physical lines, since His will for matter conditioned nature's law. Therefore, God used the laws of nature from start to finish to produce the universe up to its present condition and will forever continue to do so, as eternally He continues His work as Creator in bringing new planets and suns into existence and unto perfection. This is illustrated by inventors like Edison, Steinmetz, etc., in the creation of their various inventions.
Such a view of creation enhances God and His work for us; for God is here shown to be a real Creator, making new things out of previously existing substances. Creation is hereby shown to be a work of real wisdom and power, as well as of justice and love, enlisting the operation of His intellect, affections and will. He is thus shown not only to be the Creator of things, but the Creator of the laws of nature underlying things, yea, the Giver of His animate and inanimate creatures, by the very constitution with which He endowed them, the laws that govern their existence, actions and relations. This makes Him the Author and Ruler of nature, both animate and inanimate, in all stages of its changing development, which He supervised and caused by His use of pertinent natural laws as His creative tools, and which, so far
as we know from the Bible and other sources of information: instruction, observation, experience and intuition, He caused by the use of such tools exclusively. Hence "the heavens [the worlds and planets about us throughout the universe] declare the glory of the Lord [the blending in perfection of His wisdom, justice, power and love] and the firmament [the atmosphere] showeth His handiwork."
One more general remark, and that respecting the Hebrew word resheth, translated beginning in connection with the creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1: 1), and of the angels before the creation of heavens and earth (Prov. 8: 22), and the Greek word arche, translated beginning in connection with the creation of the universe (Heb. 1: 10), of the Logos (John 1: 1, 2), and of the Church as God's new creation (2 Thes. 2: 13). Neither of these words ever mean eternity, as some try to read that thought into Prov. 8: 22; John 1: 1, 2; Col. 1: 18; 2 Thes. 2: 13. That resheth means any beginning, but never means eternity— duration before the first beginning—is evident from the following verses: Deut. 11: 12; 21: 17; Job 8: 7; 42: 12; Ps. 111: 10; Prov. 1: 7; 17: 14; Eccl. 7: 8; Is. 46: 10; Jer. 26: 1; 28: 1; Micah 1: 13. That arche means any beginning, but never means eternity—duration before the first beginning—is evident from the following passages: Matt. 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; Phil. 4: 15; Heb. 1: 10; 3: 14; 7: 3; 2 Pet. 3: 4; 1 John 1: 1; 2: 7, 13, 14, 24; 3: 8, 11; 2 John 5, 6; Rev. 1: 8; 3: 14. Accordingly, we understand that in Gen. 1: 1; Prov. 8: 22; John 1: 1, 2; Col. 1: 18, and 2 Thes. 2: 13, five different beginnings of God's creative work are referred to. The first of these (John 1: 1, 2) in point of time is that beginning in which the pre-human Word—the Logos—was created as the first of all of God's creatures (Col. 1: 15; Rev. 1: 8; 3: 14; 21: 6; 22: 13). The second
of these (Prov. 8: 22) in point of time is that beginning in which the various orders of spirit beings other than the pre-human Word were created (Job 38: 7, compare with 4-11; Ezek. 28: 11-19; Is. 14: 12; Col. 1: 16). The third of these (Gen. 1: 1) in point of time is that beginning in which the heavens and earth were created—before the six creative days devoted to ordering the earth to fit it as a habitation of beasts and man. The fourth (Col. 1: 18) of these in point of time is the 3 1/2 years during which Jesus was undergoing creation as a Divine being—the first start of the Gospel Age, from Jordan to the open tomb in the garden (Acts 13: 33-37; Heb. 1: 3-5; Rev. 1: 5). And the fifth of these (2 Thes. 2: 13) in point of time is the period from Pentecost, 33 A. D., to the end of the Jewish Harvest, 69 A. D., during which God began the generation of the new creation as the Church, Christ's Body (2 Cor. 5: 17; Gal. 6: 15; Eph. 2: 10, 15; 4: 24; Col. 3: 10; Jas. 1: 18). Accordingly, the words resheth and arche, used in respect to creation, refer to the starting parts of new and various creative periods, and, of course, do not mean eternity. Accordingly, these words are used, not for eternity, but to bring to our attention the first starts of distinctive creative periods for various creatures of God. With this we close our general remarks on God's creative works and are now ready to begin with their particulars. These we will discuss first as they pertain to the spirit world and afterwards as they pertain to the world of matter.
Author and Guardian of my life,
Sweet Source of light Divine,
And (all harmonious names in one)
My Father, Thou art mine.
What thanks I owe Thee, and what love,
A boundless, endless store,
Shall echo through the realms above,
When sin shall be no more.