What the Bible Teaches



Chapter 50

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050.000.000       Torrey: p25


   Be sure to read the discussion of Pantheism and Deism in Chapter 35.

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Topic 10:   God a living God.

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POINT 10:   God is a living God. He hears, sees, knows, feels, wills, acts, and has a personality. He is to be distinguished from idols, which are things, not persons. He is to be distinguished from the things He created, such as Heaven and Earth.

      Jeremiah 10:10-16 [10] But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. [11] "Tell them this: 'These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.'" [12] But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. [13] When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. [14] Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them. [15] They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish. [16] He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including Israel, the tribe of his inheritance -- the LORD Almighty is his name.    Note the context, verses 3-9, especially 5, 8, 9:

      Jeremiah 10:3-9 [3] For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. [4] They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. [5] Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good." [6] No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. [7] Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nation and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. [8] They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. [9] Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple -- all made by skilled workers.

   Above, God is distinguished from idols, which are things, not persons. "Their idols cannot speak" and "cannot walk." "[T] hey can do no harm nor can they do any good." In contrast, Jehovah "is the living God, the eternal King." "When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath." He has "wrath" and "indignation" separate from His creatures.

      Acts 14:15 Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.

      1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 [8] The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia -- your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, [9] for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, [10] and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead -- Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

      2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.

      Psalms 94:9-10 [9] Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? [10] Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?

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Topic 20:   God's relation to the affairs of man.

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POINT 10:   God has a present, personal interest and an active hand in the affairs of man. He makes a path for His people and leads them. He delivers, saves and punishes.

      Joshua 3:10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.

      Daniel 6:20-22, 26-27 [20] When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?" [21] Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! [22] My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king." [26] [The king said] "I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. [27] He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions."

      1 Timothy 4:9-10 [9] This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance [10] (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

      Hebrews 10:28-31 [28] Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. [29] How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? [30] For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." [31] It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


   The God of the Bible is not only to be distinguished from the God of the Pantheist, who has no existence separate from its creation, but also from the god of the Deist, who has created the world and put into it all the necessary powers of self-action and development, and set it going, and left it to go of itself. God is personally and actively present in the affairs of the universe.

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Topic 30:   God as Creator.

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POINT 10:   God is the Creator of all existing things.

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

      John 1:1-3 [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was with God in the beginning. [3] Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

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POINT 20:   'Creation' need not by physical.

   God created angels. Angels are spirits. Spirits do not have physical bodies.

      Luke 24:39 Revised Standard Version See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Handle me, and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.

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Topic 40:   God's present relation to the world He has created.

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POINT 10:   God sustains, governs and cares for the world He created. He shapes the whole present history of the world.

      Psalms 104:27-30 [27] These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. [28] When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. [29] When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. [30] When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

      Isaiah 45:5-7 [5] I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, [6] so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. [7] I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.

      Psalms 75:6-7 [6] No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man. [7] But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

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Topic 50:   The extent of God's care and government.

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POINT 10:   God's care and government extend to all His creatures.

      Matthew 6:26, 28-30 [26] Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? [28] "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. [29] Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. [30] If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

      Matthew 10:29-30 [29] Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. [30] And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

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POINT 20:   God's care and ministry and government extend to the individual.

      Genesis 39:20-21 [20] Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, [21] the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

      Daniel 1:9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, ..."

      1 Kings 19:5-7 [5] Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." [6] He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. [7] The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you."

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POINT 30:   God's care and ministry and government extend to the minutest matters.

      Matthew 10:29-30 [29] Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. [30] And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

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POINT 35:   God controls all creation and nature.

      Psalms 147:4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

      Compare Matthew 10:30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

   Cosmology is the study of the origin and development of the universe, e.g., how galaxies, etc., form, develop and change. With the aid of modern technology such as radio-telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers and cosmologists have proved conclusively that the number of stars is not fixed. Stars explode and "die" and new stars are continually being born.

   There is a significant difference between these passages. Census-takers merely count, they do not decide. A judge, a jury, or a manager determines how something will be. Matthew 10:30 can reasonably be interpreted as meaning "God sits by passively and counts the number of hairs on your head." But Psalms 147:4 makes it clear that God decides how many stars will exist at any moment.

   Reviser's Note: I do not want to get into the topic of evolution in detail; the point of the Bible is the salvation of Man's eternal spirit, not the logistics of how he obtained his temporary physical body. It's perfectly obvious that many scientists and many Christians disagree about evolution.

There is overwhelming and absolutely conclusive evidence that life forms have changed radically over the period during which life has existed on Earth. There are no dinosaurs today and there were no human beings when dinosaurs existed 65 million years ago. Scientists divide "evolution" ("slow change over time") into micro-evolution—small changes such as eye or hair color—and macro-evolution: major changes such as eyes, wings or fingers.

But the important question is, "What causes major changes? Is it really the result of "trillions upon trillions upon trillions" of random occurrences or is it the result of intentional involvement of a supernatural intelligent being?"

Consider the following:

    Stephen Jay Gould was a professor of biology at Harvard University near the end of the Twentieth Century and one of the leading evolutionary biologists. To explain the sudden appearance of entirely new life forms in the fossil record he developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which says that for the most part evolution proceeds without any obvious changes, but suddenly a master gene becomes active and there is a substantial change from a parent to its offspring. Gould guesstimated that human beings are the result of roughly sixty trillion beneficial mutations—each of which was purely an accident. Again, Professor Gould was not some uninformed "pop science" nit-wit—he is considered one of the leading theorists.

    Let's see how his theory holds up under unbiased scrutiny:

    Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, cosmologists have determined that the age of the universe (announced 22 March 2013) is 13.798 billion ± 37 million years (0.27 % margin of error). The Earth and our Sun are 4.567 billion years old ± 2 million years. However, during the Late Heavy Bombardment period, for about the first 800 million years of our solar system's existence, the Earth was regularly hit by large meteors, asteroids, etc. The conditions made life impossible.

    In other words, Earth has only been able to support life for about 3.8 billion years.

  1. Simple observation proves that the vast majority of mutations are detrimental, i.e., they harm the offspring.
  2. Observation proves that most mutations which are not detrimental are neutral, i.e., they neither benefit nor harm the offspring.
  3. This means that only a very small percentage of mutations are beneficial.
  4. If humans are the result of 60 trillion beneficial mutations, those mutations had to occur over the 3.8 billion years that the earth could support life.
  5. That comes out to 15,789 beneficial mutations per year.
  6. That's not 15,789 beneficial mutations per year throughout all forms of life—that is 15,789 beneficial mutations per year just in the human line!
  7. Divided by 365.25 days, that comes out to forty-three beneficial mutations per day—in just the human line !!!
  8. That is more than one beneficial mutation per hour !!!
  9. Every hour, for 3.8 billion years!!
  10. And . . . all of those beneficial mutations would have to be passed on to offspring!
  11. What if Professor Gould was way off base on his guesstimate? What if he was too high by a factor of four? That would be "only" fifteen trillion mutations. That would still come out to ten beneficial mutations per day for 3.8 billion years!

In May 2011, I wrote Michael J. Behe, Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, who is a leading proponent of the Intelligent Design theory, with some other problems I perceive with the "amazing series of random occurrences" theory (emphasis added) and received this response:

Dr. Behe;

I'm an attorney with a strong background in Christian apologetics and my scientific background is mainly in astronomy and electronics, not biology.  I used to believe in atheistic macro-evolution ("atheistic" in the technical sense, i.e., "without involvement of a deity", not a moral-value judgment) until I started studying the science.  I have yet to hear any evolutionist provide a realistic answer to the question, "Describe in detail and with specificity any empirically-observed process that repeatedly demonstrably produces complex information at a level of complexity similar to genetic code from randomness by purely naturalistic unintelligent means." (Or a simple question:  How come we never see plants grow into perfectly square, rectangular, triangular, pentagonal or round shapes?  If we apply "The Law of Large Numbers", sooner or later it should happen by random chance.)

In the information I have seen regarding Intelligent Design, I don't recall seeing this issue raised:  Why would random chance repeatedly produce mirror-image bilateral symmetry in a wide variety of complex organisms, apparently with no intermediate forms? Is that an issue that has been discussed?  (Where are the pre-humans with literally "two left feet"?)

I'm not asking for a detailed answer, just whether it has been addressed, because it seems a pretty big problem with the "random chance" argument.

Joseph "Rick" Reinckens

Hi, Mr. Reinckens, nice to meet you. A darwinist would say that bilateral symmetry is adaptive, whereas asymmetric shapes, not so much. (The same answer would be given to your point about square plants -- they just don't work as well as other shapes.) If you then asked him your excellent first question (How exactly did this come about?) he would have little to say, and none of it would be demonstrated. Best wishes.

Mike Behe

Two science books that answer the question of "random chance or intelligent design?" are the following, which should be read in the order listed. Note that they are definitely not "light reading".

Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D. [Amazon Kindle Edition]

The Myth of Junk DNA by Jonathan Wells, Ph.D. [Amazon Kindle Edition]

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POINT 40:   God's control and government extend to the wicked devices and doings of evil men, and of Satan, and He makes even these work out His own glory and His people's good.

      Psalms 76:10 Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.

      Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

      Acts 2:22-23 [22] Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. [23] This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

      Job 1:12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."

      Luke 22:3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.

      Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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