By Bob Thrower
KEY TEXT: "...and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:7
"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in store houses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done: he commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:6-9. The first eleven chapters of Genesis make up the whole seed plot of the Word of God and the whole plan of salvation. Worldwide creation is taught in Genesis as is the historical fact of a worldwide flood along with a number of other great Bible doctrines.
I remember very vividly one of my college professors and his view of Genesis, especially the first eleven chapters. He made an everlasting impression on me early on in my Christian life when he stated, "What a person believes about the first eleven chapters of Genesis will tell you what he believes about other great themes of the Bible."
Through these almost 50 years of being a preacher of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have kept my college professor’s statement in my memory. I have found it to be true, and further more, if a person is wrong about the great doctrines of Genesis chapters one through eleven, it really does not matter what else he believes about God, His Son, and the plan of salvation.
You see, friend, the starting place with God is the truth that God is sovereign, and through His Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the world was created by a special act of God. The Genesis account of creation according to the Bible is a historical fact of the universe that gives us the beginning of all things.
"Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith. The great facts of creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, and the perpetuity of the law of God, are practically rejected, either wholly or in part, by a large share of the professedly Christian world." (Great Controversy, p. 583, E. G. White)
The evolutionists who try to explain away Creation do it because they are willingly ignorant. They really do not want to know. "For this they WILLINGLY are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." (II Peter 3:5-6) A non-Christian scientist says, "Now, we cannot accept the fact that this world was created by God."
These dear people are always looking for the missing link. The reason they are looking for the missing link is simply because they have not found the Savior and His love. Jesus is the KEY to the door that opens all the mysteries of God’s Word.
Someone said, "The major problem in America today is indifference." That is a serious problem when it comes to the teaching of literal creation as taught in Genesis. Many just don’t care how we got here, why we are here and where we are going. Now, friend, when man rejects the truth, he is rejecting its Author. A good example is when people trod under the law of God as it is found in the commandments. They deny the power (authority) of the Lawgiver.
One time I went on the tour through Carlsbad Caverns while holding a revival in Carlsbad, New Mexico. One of my friends took me on the guided tour. About halfway through our journey, the young man serving as our guide stopped and invited us to be seated. Once seated, he gave us a short lecture and during his talk he made the statement that the world as we know it is about 20,000,000 (twenty million) years old. When we continued our journey, I asked him how he arrived at the time period 20,000,000 years.
He replied, "I don’t know, I am just reading what is written on this card." Now, for those of us who believe in the first eleven chapters of Genesis and literal creation, it is not so much when the beginning was, but that in the beginning the Lord Jesus Christ was there and that in six literal days, He created the heavens and the earth and all that in them is. God is Creator and man’s salvation, the Bible, the universe and the future all hang on the fact that God is Creator.
"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (II Peter 3:7) Now, please notice what Peter writes. The old world was destroyed by water and the present world will be destroyed by fire. It is my conviction that if a person does not know about the past and that same person does not know about this present world, they will not understand the future! If you are wrong about the special creation of the world, you certainly will be wrong about the destiny of the species. If you deny the past, you are going to desert the future. The key to all the Bible is "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
A number of times in the book of Revelation, God is seen as the Creator and Jesus Christ, His Son, has been resurrected from the tomb. Friend, the doctrine of special creation in Genesis and the resurrection of our Lord are leading themes of God’s Word. They identify the true God.
With these few thoughts I have taken the liberty to print five statements from my favorite author on creation and the God of the universe.
I. The Creation of All Things by the Word of the Lord
"‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.’ ‘For He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.’" Psalm 33:6,9. He ‘...laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.’ Psalm 104:5.
"As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the sharp, ragged edges of earth’s rocky framework were buried beneath the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of verdure. There were no loathsome swamps or barren deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. The heights were crowned with trees more majestic than any that now exist. The air, untainted by foul miasma, was clear and healthful. The entire landscape outvied in beauty the decorated grounds of the proudest palace. The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God.
"After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. To him was given dominion over all that his eye could behold; for ‘God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over... all the earth... So God created man in His own image; ...male and female created He them.’" (Patriarchs and Prophets, E. G. White, p.44)
II. God Revealed in All the Works of Creation
"In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. ‘...his strength setteth fast the mountains...’ ‘The sea is his, and he made it.’ Ps. 65:6; 95:5. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love." (Desire of Ages, E. G. White, p.20)
III. Creation Not Proved by Scientific Principles
"There is a constant effort made to explain the work of creation as the result of natural causes; and human reasoning is accepted even by professed Christians, in opposition to plain Scripture facts. There are many who oppose the investigation of the prophecies, especially those of Daniel and the Revelation, declaring them to be so obscure that we cannot understand them; yet these very persons eagerly receive the suppositions of geologists, in contradiction of the Mosaic record. But if that which God has revealed is so difficult to understand, how inconsistent it is to accept mere suppositions in regard to that which He has not revealed!
"‘The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.’ Deuteronomy 29:29. Just how God accomplished the work of creation He has never revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as His existence.
"God has permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world in both science and art; but when professedly scientific men treat upon these subjects from a merely human point of view, they will assuredly come to wrong conclusions. It may be innocent to speculate beyond what God’s word has revealed, if our theories do not contradict facts found in the Scriptures; but those who leave the word of God, and seek to account for His created works upon scientific principles, are drifting without chart or compass upon an unknown ocean. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to trace the relations of science and revelation. Because the Creator and His works are so far beyond their comprehension that they are unable to explain them by natural laws, they regard Bible history as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments, will be led to go a step further, and doubt the existence of God; and then, having lost their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity." (Patriarchs and Prophets, E. G. White, p.113)
IV. Creation, Adam, and Eve
"While they remained true to God, Adam and his companion were to bear rule over the earth. Unlimited control was given them over every living thing. The lion and the lamb sported peacefully around them or lay down together at their feet. The happy birds flitted about them without fear; and as their glad songs ascended to the praise of their Creator, Adam and Eve united with them in thanksgiving to the Father and the Son...
"They held converse with leaf and flower and tree, gathering from each the secrets of its life. With every living creature, from the mighty leviathan that playeth among the waters to the insect mote that floats in the sunbeam, Adam was familiar...The order and harmony of creation spoke to them of infinite wisdom and power. They were ever discovering some attraction that filled their hearts with deeper love and called forth fresh expressions of gratitude." (Patriarchs and Prophets, E. G. White, p.50-51)
V. The Creator God Sustains the Universe
"Day by day the wonderful works of God, the evidences of His wisdom and power in creating and sustaining the universe, the infinite mystery of love and wisdom in the plan of redemption, will open to the mind in new beauty. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’ I Corinthians 2:9. Even in this life we may catch glimpses of His presence and may taste the joy of communion with Heaven, but the fullness of its joy and blessing will be reached in the hereafter. Eternity alone can reveal the glorious destiny to which man, restored to God’s image, may attain." (Patriarchs and Prophets, E. G. White, p. 602)
Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter in one of his sermons says, "In the last days, the dividing line will be the Word of God and as to whether or not we believe it." That is the thinking and convictions of the Hour of Prophecy staff. And with that belief in the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. Creation, the Bible, the Son of God, and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment are the four great issues in this generation. The last days have arrived and what we hold as our faith in the book of Genesis will tell whether we follow the true Lord Jesus Christ or the antichrist.
Charles Wesley wrote the song: "O For a Thousand Tongues" and we will close the sermon this month by using the first stanza:
"O for a thousand tongues, to sing my great Redeemer’s Name!
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace."