This is the written transcript for video lesson 1 in this series of presentations on evidence for the existence of God — (it is likely that transcripts will vary somewhat from the actual video recordings).
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, NASB).
Do you believe these words? I do!
Hi, I’m Phil Stroud… coming to you today from the beautiful Kona Coast on Big Island, Hawai’i. This series of video lessons is being produced as a supplement to World Bible School Course #1, Lesson One – “God has Spoken through Nature.” I hope our WBS students and many others will be helped by the information in these video lessons. You know, while I believe, with all my heart, those first few words of the Bible… that, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” still, I understand that it would be foolish of me to think that I could ever even begin to explain God to someone… I mean: exactly what God is, where God came from, or even how God operates.
Did you know that the word, “God,” as used in the book of Genesis, and elsewhere in scripture, is actually a plural word—it’s the word, “Elohim” (denoting: more than one) —as opposed to the singular— “El” or “Eloah”, meaning only one? And yet, Parsons (2012) informs us:
The masculine plural ending does not mean “gods” when referring to the true God of Israel, since the name is mainly used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular… However, considering the Hashalush Hakadosh (that is, the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the form indeed allows the plurality within the Godhead. (Parsons, 2012, para. 2)
So, just looking at this ancient Hebrew word, “Elohim,” itself, we can determine that God cannot be contained, or limited to, our meager human understanding of an intelligence, or a personality. God is multiple intelligences? He is multiple personalities? Yes! And this is why, in the very beginning when God determined to create humanity, the scriptures state:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:26-27).
Looking carefully at this passage of scripture, we can see the duel nature of Deity; that is, both the plural and the singular nature of God. When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image,” He was not talking to or about the angels, or any other created beings. We know that He was talking only about Himself because the scripture goes on to state that “God created man in His own image.”
Now, you know, before you are anything else, you are a personality. Before you are flesh, and bones, and sinew, and brain material, you are an intelligence, a spiritual being having an earthly experience – that’s what it means to be created in the image of God. And long after you and I are done with these physical bodies in which we’re living for a while, that intelligence, that personality, our personhood, you and I – will continue on in whatever form or embodiment God has provided for us. And finally, in the resurrection, on the last day, when the Lord Jesus returns, the Bible says that He will give each one of us a new body, a new home (if you will) in which our spirit, our intellect, our personhood will dwell forever.
Now, we know that there is only one God. But, this one God is described in scripture as consisting of multiple divine entities. Well, as far as we know from scripture, God is: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – Three in One.
But that doesn’t really help explain just what or who God is, does it? I mean, what is God? Well, people like to speculate, don’t they? Is God the collective conscience of the universe; sort of the focal point of all the self-organizing, creative energy generated by the dynamic interplay between quantum-cosmic forces having come to self-awareness? Is God the ultimate Singularity—something akin to a Type IV or V civilization on the Kardashev scale—capable of mastering extra-galactic energy sources, or even a Type Omega-minus intelligence that has achieved microdimensional mastery and is capable of manipulating not only the most elementary particles matter, but the very fabric of space and time? As science writer Michael Shermer (2012) has stated: “Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God.”
I am sometimes amazed at how some people will buy into, at least, the possibility of that kind of thinking; but they have a problem just believing in God? Go figure! God is so much more than all of that. God exists outside and beyond the universe as we know it; bringing into existence and acting upon matter and energy from without, as well as from within, a universal closed system?
But, how do you ever begin to know the unknowable or to explain the unexplainable? For that matter, scientists really cannot even begin to explain the fact of our own existence, can they? Or the existence of matter and energy in the material world around us; let alone the existence of God? After all, why is there anything at all?
But as our first World Bible School lesson so eloquently makes clear, while we simply cannot explain God, the fact of God—that God exists—is evidenced all around us. We cannot see Him; as the Apostle Paul said, God “alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (I Timothy 6:16, NASB); and yet, His presence is abundantly evident. You know, Jesus once said,
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24, NASB).
Now, I’ll confess, as a mortal human being, I’m no more sure of just what “spirit” is than I am of what “God” is; but it helps when I remember something else that Jesus said:
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8, NASB).
So, Jesus says that spiritual things and spiritual beings, like God, are sort of like the wind; they cannot not be seen, but they can be experienced. The evidence of God’s existence is abundant, it’s all around me. The evidence from creation, or the “Cosmological Argument,” states simply that there must be a Creator because there is a creation. The Bible provides many examples of this logic.
We will look at some Biblical example of this line of reasoning in our next video lesson; and then we’ll look at some simple scientific evidences that will help us comprehend the reality and presence of God all around us. I invite you to visit our website at: redeeminglove777.com to view lesson two; and to respond with any thoughts, comments, or questions you may have.
May God bless you on your sojourn toward eternity!
STUDENTS: TO RESPOND TO THIS LESSON, PLEASE GO TO OUR ONLINE
Resources and References:
Parsons, J.J. (2012). Hebrews names of God: Elohim and Elohei constructs given in Tanakh. Retrieved from the Hebrew for Christians website at: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Elohim/elohim.html
Shermer, M. (1992-2015). The work of Michael Shermer. Scientific American. Retrieved from:http://www.michaelshermer.com/2002/01/shermers-last-law/
Smith, B. (2012). Argument by creation: The cosmological argument. Retrieved from the knowtruth.com website at: http://www.knowtruth.com/god/existence/creation_argument_1.php
Scripture taken from:
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright (c) 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973, 1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978,1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Copyright (c) 2016 Philip R. Stroud
All Rights Reserved