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Four Great Mysteries of the Universe
By Brian Pepper
There are many things in this world of ours, which we cannot completely understand. We can turn on a switch but we cannot understand just how electricity makes the light come on. We can watch television but we really do not know how this wonderful feat is accomplished.
Something that man can never completely understand is the existence of God. No one has ever seen God, that is apart from Adam before his fall. There are those who say that there is no God but that does not prove anything.
I have never seen an atom but that does not shake my belief in atoms, for I know that they exist and can cause terrible destruction. One thing is certain and that is this universe of ours did not happen by chance.
The Bible tells us that there is a maker and a mastermind behind it all. Genesis 1:1 says: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
Yes, the stars had a beginning. They did not happen by chance. Nehemiah 9:6 says: "Thou, even Thou, art LORD alone, Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heaven, with all their host and the host of heaven worshipeth Thee."
The countless millions of gigantic suns and planets orbiting in space in orderly precision, all testify to the presence of a mighty creator. A very challenging statement from a newspaper is well worth noting: "Does any rational being really believe that these whirling suns, and worlds, and systems of worlds just happened and that they are going on by blind chance." -Long Beach Press (California) Editorial.
And how true that is when you think of Jupiter with its twelve moons and Saturn with its nine moons all moving according to the divine command and design. The editorial goes on to say: "Who can behold these majesties and sublimities of the heavens without feeling… that there must be and that there verily is, an omnipotent and omnipresent God who created the universe and who rules it with His almighty hand?"
Take a watch for instance. Just imagine placing all the parts in a basin and then shaking them until they found their right place. Any machine indicates that somebody invented and made it. There is no chance about it at all. And just because we cannot see God is no proof that He does not exist. Isaiah 40:26 says: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth."
The Bible tells us that there is nothing ever created that Jesus Christ did not create: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." – Colossians 1:16, 17
This world was made by Christ and not only did he make this world but he keeps the heavenly bodies in control. Notice Hebrews 1:3: "Upholding all things by the word of his power" or "Sustains the universe with his word of power" – Moffat
How true are the words of a very popular gospel song: "It took a miracle to put the stars in place. It took a miracle to hang the world in space."
The stars and the earth are held in place by the sustaining power of God. Romans 1:19, 20 R.S.V. says: "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse;…"
The things in the natural world plainly testify to the existence and the creative power of God. For instance, snowflakes show an amazing variety of designs and they are always six sided. The hen and her chickens did not come on the scene by chance. The spider and that remarkable web is another example.
The handiwork of God is best of all demonstrated in the flowers. Yellow is the main colour of the calceolarians, which are spotted with red and mahogany tonings. Exotic orchids add colour and delicate beauty. Hot house flowers have a brilliance all of their own. It is quite obvious that God loves colour and variety. This is clearly indicated by the lovely cyclamen flower. Fushia to me suggests perfect design with glorious colour. Psalm 90:2 says: "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
Yes before those majestic mountains were formed, God was there. Psalm 139:14 says: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
If one were to improve the physical structure of man how would it be done? The eyes are placed in such a way that they enable us to see things in their right perspective. We call this stereophonic. The mouth and the nose are in the exact position to function properly and at the same time give distinction to the appearance. Here is something else for our consideration from Job 39:13: "Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacock? Or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?"
Even Charles Darwin was puzzled by the peacocks’ eye in the feather. Job 12:7, 8 says: "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee: and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee."
The marvellous behaviour of certain birds and animals clearly show that they are guided by a divine intelligence. The horse and the dog are not only very intelligent animals but are very close to man as companions. Deuteronomy 32:11, 12 says: "As the eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him."
The eaglets have very little practice with their wings before they leave their nest. The parent bird pushes them off the rocky ledge and swoops down ready to catch the eaglet up to safety. Jeremiah 8:7 says: "Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD."
The birds instinctively know the time when they must begin their migration. This is something that is really beyond our understanding. Golden plovers nest in northern Alaska and fly south 2,500 miles across the Pacific ocean landing in Hawaii, Samoa and New Zealand. The monarch butterflies spend winter in the Monterey pines at Pacific Grove California. But when the spring arrives they migrate northward searching for milkweeds on which to lay their eggs. Psalm 139:7-11 says: "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there… If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me."
No matter where you may go God is there, whether it be above the clouds and regardless how deep the water might be, God is there.:
"And I saw another angel.. having the seal of the living God". - Revelation 7:2
"The eternal God is thy refuge…" – Deuteronomy 33:27
"Great is the LORD and … his greatness is unsearchable" – Psalm 145:3
I am so glad that we worship a living God and more than that an eternal God and one day soon we will have the wonderful privilege of seeing the living God.
Isaiah 45:18 says: "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth… He formed it to be inhabited."
Revelation 4:11 says: "…Thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they are, and were created."
It gave God great pleasure to create the beautiful flowers and the lovely trees and mountains and lakes for our enjoyment. Also the birds with their brilliant colouring; the animals to share our earth with us. Genesis 1:26 says: "And God said, let us make man in our image…"
Isaiah 43:7 says: "…I have created him for my glory…"
Man was made in the likeness of God and he was to glorify God. That was God’s original plan. Acts 17:27 says: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring."
Life is one of the mysteries that man has not been able to fathom, it can only be understood as coming from a divine source. Job 12:9, 10 says: "Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind."
God breathed life into His creatures and is the answer to how life came to this world. Because of the entry of sin, the life which God gave us is only of a temporary nature. It can be very short for some. For other, a little over three score and ten years. But thanks to God and His beloved son, eternal life is available to every person on planet earth. John 3:16 says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
How could sin possibly originate? That this world is full of sin I am sure would not be disputed. But how did it all start? How did it begin? The Bible supplies the answer.
1 John 3:8 says: "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning…"
Sin was first found in the heart of Lucifer, one of the most glorious of all the angels of heaven. How could that be? Jesus tells us about the character of Lucifer in John 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."
Not only did Satan sin but he influenced many of the other heavenly beings to join him in his rebellion against God. Finally things came to a climax. The Scripture tells us in Revelation 12:7, 9: "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: and his angels were cast out with him."
Because he was a liar and a murderer, he started a rebellion in heaven which resulted in his expulsion. The question is asked in Isaiah 14:12: "How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"
The answer is given in Ezekiel 28:15, 17: "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. Thine heart was lifted up because of thine beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness…"
Pride was Lucifer’s downfall. He aspired to the highest position. He wanted to overthrow God Himself. Ezekiel 28:14 says: "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire."
Lucifer held the highest position among the angels of God. He stood closest to God in that he was the covering angel. Ezekiel 28:12 says: "…Thus saith the LORD God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty."
If anyone could be perfect it was Lucifer. God speaking through the prophet Ezekiel says of him, that he was perfect in beauty. It was that wisdom and beauty that started all the trouble. He came to the place where he was prepared to stage a takeover. Isaiah 14:13, 14 says: "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
With his selfish ambition, Lucifer was unfit to rule the universe. His subjects would soon have found plenty of room for complaints. Some angels would have been unfairly elevated above others with his pride and selfishness, boosted by becoming ruler of the universe. Democracy would have taken a very shattering blow. It is very tragic that sin spread its vicious tentacles to this earth and to Adam and Eve our first parents. Romans 5:12 says: "Wherefore as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
There are some people who say "why should we be held responsible for the sin of our first parents?" The thing is, if we are looking for justice in sin, we will never find it for there is none. 1 John 3:4 says: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
St Paul tells us that the "wages of sin is death". Death came into the world through Lucifer: he tricked Adam and Eve, he lied to them, the result of their believing that lie was death, a most terrible thing, something we will have to live with until the time when it is said, "…There shall be no more death" – Revelation 21:4.
This brings us to the:
Colossians 1:27 says: "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
The gospel is a mystery. There is no question about that. Not only has Jesus demonstrated that it is possible to live the right kind of life, but He has brought deliverance from our greatest enemy, death. John 3:16 says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
But more than that, because of His great sacrifice, He has given us everlasting life. Now isn’t that most wonderful news? It is no wonder that this is called a mystery. I can not understand how that God could allow His Son to go through that terrible experience, to suffer the scourging, the mocking, the humiliation, the physical pain, the agonizing torture for unworthy man. When God created man He had three choices:
1. Not to create anybody at all
2. To create an automation, a robot
3. To create, a free moral agent
God chose to give to man the power of choice. Yes God created man with the power of choice, with the ability to decide his own destiny. It really is tragic that man made the wrong decision, but God had a plan that would give him what he had lost: eternal life. John 3:16 says: "For God so loved the world that he gave his own begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
God has done something that we will possibly never understand. He loved you and me to the extent of allowing His own Son to die on that cruel cross. This is a mystery that we may never understand.