Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

Scripture: Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 11:3, Psalms 19:1-3
Date: 01/05/2013  Lesson: 1
"Only something greater than what it creates could have created it. Thus, only a Being greater than the universe could have created the universe. And that being is the God who is revealed in the Bible."

Comprehending God, Part 1 by Doug Batchelor

Comprehending God, Part 1 by Doug Batchelor
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. We are so glad that you are tuning in and joining us, like you do every single week, from across the country and around the world - welcome! You can see that I'm not up here by myself. I am very excited that we have Fountainview academy joining us again. This is their fifth year and we always look forward to the third week in December when we have Fountainview with us. Of course, if you're watching us on the networks, we're already in January but, right here in Sacramento right now, it is December so we are still enjoying Christmas music - absolutely.

Fountainview academy - this is their principal baird corrigan - and we are so excited to have you guys with us but there's a lot of people that probably don't know about Fountainview. I'm sure a lot of people do but I know there's some that probably don't. So just tell us a little bit about your school, your students, and why you're here. Well, Fountainview academy is a boarding high school - a Christian school in lillooet, british columbia up in Canada. We have 88 students - all of whom are here with us right now - and we are on a Christmas music tour sharing music about our Savior's birth with people in boise, Idaho and in Oregon and Washington and all the way down here to Sacramento, California.

So what is something that your students - I assume that they're all involved in the music program seeing as they're here - what else do you do other than just music? Well, we have a work study program - the students work half a day and they have classes half a day and it's all about building character and so we want every aspect of the individual to be built and strengthened for the Lord's work. And your school is known for carrots? Yes, we have b.c.'S largest organic carrot farm. We travel with carrots for people to sample as we go on our tours as well. ExcEllent! You're all not looking a little bit orange so obviously you're not drinking carrot juice, right? They do. They do? Well, they have wonderful smiling faces and these students - I say this every year - there's something different about the students at Fountainview academy - they just have the love of Jesus coming out of them and that's why we love having you here, because you're different and this is a good example of Christian young people serving Jesus and it shows.

Well, thank you. That's certainly our objective. So, if we want information about your school, how are we going to do that? The best place is our website, which is www.Fountainview.ca - canadian website - www.Fountainview.ca perfect. Well, thank you so much. At this time we are going to blessed by two wonderful pieces conducted by craig cleveland who is a long-time friend of mine and the music director here at Fountainview.

They are going to be doing a 'we three Kings' medley and 'o holy night'. Thank you so much for that beautiful music, Fountainview academy. If you have been blessed and you are just tuning in and you want to know more about this group of wonderful young people up here, go to their website - 'Fountainview.ca' and you can learn all about the school and their music program and anything you want to know. I've been told that there is a long wait list to get into this school and I can see why. My kids are two and four and they're already on the wait list, so.

..one day. At this time I would like to invite you to bow your heads as we pray together. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for coming to this world that night hundreds - thousands of years ago and for making a difference in our lives. Coming and giving up the glories of heaven so that those of us who have no hope have a hope. Father, you loved us so much - you love us so much, I pray that every day that we would live our lives to show appreciation for what you have done for us.

We're not worthy of your love and the gift of eternal life, but through you we can claim the promise - all things are possible. Please be with the students as they spend the day with us and they continue performing for our service. Be with Pastor Doug as he brings us the lesson study. Thank you so much for his ministry here and around the world. In Jesus' Name, amen.

At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us - there he is - by Pastor Doug Batchelor, our senior pastor here at Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. Thank you debbie and thank you very much to the Fountainview group - that's inspiring - and I think they're going to be sharing with us again for our church service in a little bit and, of course, for the concert this evening. I want to welcome our friends who are studying our Sabbath school lesson with us on central study hour. We're very glad that you're there and this week we begin a new study in a new quarterly dealing with origins and I'm looking forward to this. We're going to be talking about - well, I'll tell you about that in a minute but, if you're part of our regular class here and you don't have your quarterly yet, following the service we'll have some of those back in the foyer - but we invite you to study along with us and I want to also welcome those who are members of the extended Sacramento central church family watching right now either on satellite or online.

We have a free offer that goes along with our lesson and it's dealing with the subject of origins. It's a book by Joe Crews called 'amazing wonders of creation' and it just talks about some of the miracles that are involved in creation that just fortify our truth - our faith - that God made all things and that they did not evolve over millions of years but they were brought into existence by the Word of God. Now, you know, a person can't have, really, any security or happiness unless they understand some basics and one is - what you're doing here, where you're going but, at the very foundation is where did you come from? We need to know something about where we came from in order to have any kind of peace of mind about what we're doing here and where we're going. So origins are foundational to life - knowing something about where we came from. It's amazing how much energy and investment humanity is putting, right now, into the subject of understanding the universe and where we came from.

I think I've actually got some pictures of it - the most expensive experiment man has ever engaged in is in europe. It's called the 'large hadron collider' and this is the world's largest high energy - it's even called the highest energy particle accelerator and it's the most expensive scientific instrument ever built and you can find it in europe - it's on the borders between switzerland and France - it's a tunnel that was built and the tunnel is between 160 and 574 feet below the surface - because the surface varies - and the tunnel is 17 miles in depth. That means that tunnel is like - longer than what it would take to get from here to lincoln. It's one circle and it's for an experiment - underground - and it's for colliding various particles and they're trying to find what they call the 'God' particle. How many of you have heard about this? You know, they're trying to - of course, they have no electron microscope that can see anything that small so what they do is they collide these different particles under different scientific environments and look at how things around them react and evaluate the information by these - shadows really - of the reaction and trying to figure out how matter interacts because, you know, one of the laws of science is that matter does not create itself - that all of the matter that exists in the universe today has always existed - that you cannot add to it.

You cannot take from it. You can maybe make it go through transitions but matter does not create itself. And so, they're trying to figure out the origins of the universe through these experiments but there's one thing that they don't understand and that is that there's a lot they don't understand. Think about how much man has learned in the last hundred years. Think about how much man has learned in the last five hundred years - about the size of the universe for one thing.

You know, men used to think they could count all the stars and there are about 5,113 stars. Well, now we know that there's billions of stars out there and there's billions of galaxies that are fiery pinwheels full of stars. We just learned that in a short period of time. Right now we think we're very smart because, I mean, haven't we achieved a lot with computers? But look at how much we've learned about computers in twenty years. Do any of you still have a floppy drive? Do we all remember when we thought that 20 mb would be more space that you would ever possibly need in one lifetime? Some of you remember that? And then they went to the little - the disc drives and then they went to the, you know cds and the dvds and the double-layered dvds and now you can put all of that on a stick drive and the technology just in twenty years has just exploded.

And we think we know about the secrets of the universe now. There's so much we don't know. God, the Bible says, can speak things into existence. You know, I didn't even get to our memory verse. The memory verse is Genesis 1:1.

I think most of you know that by heart. Let's all say it backwards. No. Genesis 1:1. You ready? Say it with me.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." I guess I'm simple enough to say I still believe that. I think God made everything. Now, I should mention at this point, I didn't used to always believe that. I was raised pretty much believing in evolution - well very much believing it. I was either - depending on what year it was - I was either agnostic or atheist.

I guess it depended on who I was talking to, but I was quite certain that everything around us evolved. The idea that God could speak things into existence - to me - was the stuff of cartoons and fables and fantasy and science fiction - and not even science, it was just fiction. And so, I never would have dreamed that the more educated I became and the older I got, that I'd ever come to believe in this. But I do now. I believe it's the only logical scientific explanation for all the organization and design and inner working systems we see in the world around us today.

So under the first section - matter of fact, we still are going to have some of you participate in reading verses with me and the first verse is Hebrews 11:3. Now who has that? And hold your hand up if you've got that verse. It's over here. We've got microphones on both sides. Hold your hand up so that our microphone courier can see you and we'll have another one.

Matter of fact, someone has Psalms 19:1-3 - who has that? That's over here. We'll get you set up for the next time. Now just before we go to Hebrews, I'm going to read Romans 4:17. 'Can God bring things into existence?' Romans 4:17, "as it is written, 'I have made you a father of many nations' in the presence of of him whom he believed - God," - notice - "God who gives life to the dead" - he can bring dead things to life - "and calls those things which do not exist as though they did." Here he's referring to Abraham and God said Abraham, you know, he's a hundred years old and he's got no children - he calls him 'father of many nations' - father of a multitude. He was calling that which didn't exist as though it did and it looked pretty unlikely that it could happen.

What was the likelihood that that old man and that old woman would have a brand-spanking new baby? God spoke it through his promise into existence. God can work miracles by His Word. Alright, read for me please Hebrews 11:3. "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." The things that we see were not made of things that do appear. God is able to bring things into existence out of nothing and how he does that we don't know.

But we'll talk a little more about that - by the way, it says, 'through faith we believe this' and so, when someone talks to you about the origin of the world and they say, 'how do you think things came into existence?' You say, 'I believe God spoke and there it was.' And they'll say, 'well, isn't that - where do you get that?' 'I believe because it's in the Bible.' 'You mean you just believe it because it's in the Bible?' Well, that would be enough but, you know, faith is not based on nothing. You know, my faith in the Bible is not based on someone just pointing at me and shaking their fist and finger and saying, 'believe.' My faith in the Bible is based on evidence. I - you know - 'why do you believe in the Bible?' 'Because my parents and my pastor tell me I must.' That's a pretty weak argument. The reason I believe the Bible is because of other evidence in the Bible that the entire book is dependable. There are some things the Bible says that I can't explain, but there are so many other things in the Bible that have been proven, that I believe it as a whole - that it's the Word of God.

For me - what did it for me - well, let me see if I can illustrate. Just use your imagination - I've done this before but some of you haven't heard it. Just suppose right now that I should say to you that I had this uncanny ability to snap my fingers and disappear - become invisible. Now how many of you believe me? Just as I expected - nobody believed me. Where's your faith? You don't have faith.

Alright, now use your imagination. Just suppose that I snapped my fingers and Pastor Doug is gone. Close your eyes - I've disappeared. Close your eyes - okay - you don't see me anymore - I've disappeared. So just really pretend I did disappear.

Would you be impressed? Would you be scared? How many of you would look to your right and left and go, 'what in the world just happened?' Wouldn't it just kind of freak you out a little bit? Alright, and then you hear (snap) and then I appear again. Alright, I just did that. You think that's pretty amazing, don't you? Some of you are thinking I'm messing with the occult, right? You're wondering how that happened or witchcraft or some magician. And then let's suppose I tell you that I know how to flap my arms vigorously like a chicken and I can hover around the room. How many of you believe I can do that? Now I just disappeared, right? Just pretend I just disappeared.

Now I'm telling you I can flap my arms and hover around the room. Does anyone here believe me now? A few of you say, 'well, you know, he just did the impossible.' Alright, now let's suppose you see me and I go...and I start to hover around the room - use your imagination. Alright, would you be impressed? You'd think I was borderline angelic or something, right. And then I - I just come back down. Now you're thinking, 'wow.

That's pretty amazing.' Now if I told you I could multiply two pieces of tofu and five loaves into enough to feed us all at potluck, how many of you would believe me? Let me see your hands. Now, I just flew around the room. You see what I'm saying? Eventually, if I did enough incredible things, then you'd take my word for the other things you hadn't seen yet because I've given you evidence - you see what I'm saying? So I don't know how Jesus can speak things into existence but I know that prophecies in the Bible that were foretold came true. I know that the Word of God changes people's lives. I know that the outline for the existence of things in the world given by the Bible makes sense.

You know, this probably won't be as relevant when it airs in three weeks, but we need to be praying in a special way for those families back in Connecticut that are reeling from this senseless massacre of children and the teachers. And then yesterday afternoon I saw on the news - I was online and the news reporters were asking two pastors 'how do you explain God being love with things like this happening? Why would God allow this to happen?' And I thought, 'okay pastors, you have a chance now, let me hear what you're going to say.' It was really - pardon me, but it was pathetic. They just could not give a Bible explanation for why there's evil in the world and why these things happen. And I thought - I was kind of stomping around telling Karen and nathan - I thought, 'oh, I wish I had the microphone' - not that you can explain all the answers for why there's evil in the world and why bad things happen, but I think in the Bible we have a scenario that we understand there's a battle between good and evil. Why does anything - if God is just going to make only good things happen then why does anything evil happen, right? And there's a scheme - there's a system - there's a scenario - there's an explanation in the Bible that makes sense of what's going on in the world - for me - and so many people don't understand it.

Even pastors and Christians don't understand the great controversy - that's there's a war - that this planet's been invaded by an enemy. The Bible gives us a system that makes sense and so, I believe the things that I can't explain. Everywhere you look you can see evidence for God's creative power. Matter of fact, we're going to go next to psalm 19 - are we still ready? Psalms 19:1-3 - and why don't you read that for us? The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard." That means, of course, around the world as it rotates in space - in whatever direction they look they see the starry heavens - the infinite starry heavens and the very infinite nature of the heavens and you realize that when king David wrote this the atmosphere was a little cleaner than it is now - a little clearer - and they could see a little better. And, you see, the wonders in heaven - now we know what we used to think were stars are galaxies - like I said - with billions of suns and it just goes on forever and ever. I remember when Karen and I went to australia and we spent the night and - I guess we spent a couple nights out on a boat there in the - by the great barrier reef and we looked up at night and it was very weird because I was looking at a sky I had never seen before. You know, you're used to looking up and seeing the array of stars that we have in the northern hemisphere and you can spot some of the familiar constellations, but I looked up and I thought, 'this is a whole different heaven that I've never seen before. So everyone in the world that looks up, you can see the things of God in heaven and the closer you look - through a telescope - at the things that God made, the more infinite we realize he is.

We've all been wowed by the pictures that have come back from the hubble telescope. Now they're building a telescope - the James webb telescope - that's got a collecting mirror that's as big as a tennis court and it's just going to gather so much more light without any of the interference of the atmosphere of the earth. And you just wonder what kind of wonders it's going to bring back. Not only when you look up do we see evidence of God - for instance, go to job chapter 12. Job 12, verse 7, and here the patriarch says, "but now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you.

Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?" You know, all through creation we have evidence of God. How did it happen along the way that there are flowers that could not live without the bees and bees that could not live without flowers? When did they enter into an agreement to coexist? Where was it along the way that these aphids that are protected by ants - the ants take care of these little aphid bugs, you know? They farm them. They carry them around. They protect them just like shepherds do their sheep. They clean them.

They groom them. And the little aphids drink sap out of the branches and then they feed - out of their other end - the ants with this sap. And they say that they couldn't exist without each other. And then there are ants - just ants by themselves - just these bugs all over the world would be enough to teach you. They've got other ants that collect these grains - they bring them underground - they develop a mold down there.

They make it into a bread. They take it back up above the hole, they bake it, and then they take it back down below, they store it like in a bakery, and it's their food. Ants that are bakers. Where did they learn that? You know, even darwin said, 'the human eye just really destroys my theory because the idea of light striking a rock and giving all this understanding of its environ - really, you know, we all - according to the theory of evolution - are just rocks and water. Isn't that - don't you understand that's what it all was? Just minerals and chemicals and all of a sudden now you're able to take in through your eyes and process with your brain all the light and all the depth and all the messages that are happening around you.

You can adjust for the distance and focus and - it just - and really you see everything upside down and your mind corrects it, did you know that? And you try and say, 'yep, only took 50 million years for all that to happen. I'm sorry friends. I used to believe that. It just - you can give me a billion zillion years and it can't explain all of the intelligence and organization, inter-working systems, design - it just doesn't make any sense. The only thing that makes sense is that there is a super-intelligent being that we call God that brought these things into existence.

And, you know, when you're that powerful, you can speak them into existence in one day - I believe that. Romans 1 - we've got the evidence everywhere. It's in the animal kingdom. Romans 1:19 and 20, even Paul says, "because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them." - He's talking about even the gentiles - "for since the creation of the world" - notice Paul doesn't say it evolved - "his invisible attributes are clearly seen," - the invisible is clearly seen, being understood. How? - "By the things that are made.

" In other words, we have faith in the unseen based on the seen. Did you get that out of that verse? "His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead" - so there, without excuse, even the pagans and atheists around the world really are without excuse because, we are bombarded every day by evidence of a super intelligence that was involved in the creation of this world. And, to me, I think it's pretty clear. It says, "he has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at his discretion. When he utters his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens:" - he spoke - remember - he created the waters and he separated the waters by his voice - "he uttered his voice and there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.

He makes the lightning for the rain." Did the power of God and the Word of God bring rain suddenly before in the Bible? You remember Elijah, of course, on Mount Carmel. But it wasn't just Elijah. How many of you remember when Samuel prayed because the people had disobeyed the Lord and asked for a king, Samuel said, 'now I'm going to pray.' And it's right during harvest time - the last time the world - when you want thunder and rain - 'I'm going to pray and God is going to send thunder and rain to show you that he's displeased that you have asked for a king.' And he prayed and all of a sudden thunder and rain came. Other times Elijah prayed and fire came down - whether that was lightning or whatever, three times he prayed and fire came down. I think most of us know this.

And this is under the section 'Jesus, creator of heaven and earth', "in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made." Now, that's pretty clear to me. Without him how much was made? Zero. Nothing was made without him.

It says, 'and the word was God.' Not only was he with God, the word was God. Jesus said, 'if you've seen me you've seen The Father.' Why? 'Because I am the perfect reflection of The Father because I am God, The Son.' Now, as we talk about the relationship of The Father and son, that may come up more, but it's enough for me to know that everything that exists came into existence by Jesus, which means that Jesus was not brought into existence - that he has always existed. Some people believe that God, way back in the early recesses of eternity made Jesus and then he made everything else through Jesus. But how can all things be made through Christ - did he make himself? That would create a little contradiction. Alright, read for us, please, Genesis 1:24.

Then God said, 'let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind.' And it was so." You notice all the variety it's got in the world - there's these different species and different types and categories, classes, and kinds of creatures and they can, you know, frequently reproduce within their kind and you can take a peach tree and you can graft just about any stone fruit tree to another stone fruit tree, but you cannot graft a tangerine to a peach. The citrus will not work being grafted that way. You can graft almost any kind of apple tree to one another. I'll probably mention this in my sermon later, it'll fit. But I've got a neighbor and he has an apple tree and that one apple tree has on it fuji, red delicious, golden delicious, mackintosh, gravenstein, and about a dozen others.

One tree. But you can't graft a peach onto an apple tree because it's a stone fruit. They all have their different kinds and God spoke these different basic kinds into existence and then he gave man the freedom to be able to create all these different hybrids of those kinds and that was his job to train the different things in the garden. But he spoke and it was. Now, the Bible says, 'all things that were made were made by him.

' So in the Bible when it says, 'in the beginning God created', who is the God that created? Well, God The Father was certainly involved because it says, 'let us make man in our image.' But it was certainly Jesus there that was taking the lead in creation. The Father created all things through Christ. Matter of fact, I want to show you something here real quick. Go with me in your Bibles to the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 8 - please go to Proverbs 8.

Let me tell you why I'm saying this. There are a number of people - some are in our church - of course you've got a whole group of anti-trinitarian people and others who do not believe - while they say Jesus is now The Son of God, he is not God - they struggle with that - our muslim friends. You know, they believe that Jesus was a prophet and they believe that Jesus was good, but they don't believe that he is God - they struggle with that. They think he was a good man but not God. And some people will look here at Proverbs and they'll say, 'well, it tells us that Jesus was made' and they use this verse here, Proverbs 8:30 - and I'm going to read - I'm sorry, :22 rather, 8:22 - I'll read through verse 30, "the Lord possessed me at the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

I have been established from everlasting," - right there they say, 'see, it's talking about his son who was set up from everlasting' - "from the beginning, before there was ever an earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth; while as yet he had not made the earth or the fields, or the primal dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above, when he strengthened the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress his command, when he Marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him as a master craftsman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." People read this they say, 'ah, here is the clue that tells us that Jesus was brought forth before he made the world then he let Jesus create the world.' Friends, that's not what this verse is saying. You need to read the beginning of the chapter.

Look at Proverbs 8:1, "does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice?" This is a soliloquy that Solomon has on wisdom and it's using the first person, but it's all talking about wisdom and then if you read in verse 12, "i, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength." So people just take these verses from verse 22 to 30 and they say, 'this is telling us that Jesus was created.' It's talking about wisdom. It's talking about wisdom in general. It's just saying God has always had wisdom with him in everything that he's done and Solomon here is extolling that we should all cherish and love wisdom because it's the foundation of God's judgment.

It's not talking about the origin of Jesus. I've heard it used that way many times and it's a misapplication of Scripture. If you're honest, you read before and you can even go to the end and it all says the whole thing is talking about wisdom. Jesus, the Bible says, is from everlasting to everlasting. It says, 'I am that I am.

' He has always existed. Now stay with me. This is important because we believe Jesus did the creating and the Bible says, 'in the beginning' - we all agree 'all things that were made were made by him.' The Bible says, 'in the beginning God created.' So Jesus is God The Son. Understanding the relationship between The Father and The Son and the Spirit - there's mysteries there - I'll admit that. But Jesus said, 'I am.

Before Abraham was I am.' Those are terms used for one who is self-existing. He is one hundred percent God. The only time God was begotten was when Christ came. That's why he's called the only begotten of The Father - God became a man and has forever aligned himself with humanity by doing that. Now I was going to read Isaiah :24 - in that light - by the way, I almost never do this, but I'm reading from the modern king James version here.

"Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, and he who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone." Now who is our redeemer? God, but God The Father or son? Well, they're both involved, but in particular The Son is our redeemer. You know, this sometimes shakes up my jehovah witness friends - when you explain - because they don't believe Jesus is God. But when you show them Jesus is jehovah, all the definitions that you find for jehovah - it says jehovah created the heavens and the earth. Well, we just read that Jesus did. 'There's no Savior but jehovah' it says in the old testament.

Jesus said that he is our Savior. Here it says 'jehovah is our redeemer who formed everything' and so, it - sometimes it's a struggle for them to understand that but jehovah is one of the names for not only God the father but for God The Son too - for Jesus. Now, John, in his verse there, John 1, he uses the word 'logos' - through the word all things were created. God can speak all things into existence. Now, I'm kind of going on permission now, not commandment, but when Jesus died and he said, 'I lay my life down and I take it up again.

' How did he take his life up again? How did Christ raise himself? Some verses say he was raised by The Father and other verses say he raised himself. How did he raise himself? I have a theory: did Jesus predict that he would rise after three days? When God speaks something, is it going to happen? And the very fact that Christ said that on several occasions that 'after the third day I will rise' - he put something in motion that His Word is so powerful it was going to happen even if he was sleeping in the tomb just by the power of His Word. But then, of course, The Father raised him up - it also says that in several verses. Hebrews 1, verses 1 to 3 - I love this verse - "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made" - not just the world - "the worlds;" - plural. Are we the only world? Did Christ only create this world or did he make the worlds? Plural - "who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person," - Jesus is the express image of his person - "and upholding all things by the word of his power.

" It's through the word everything is held into place. Colossians 1:15, "he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." Now when it says he's the firstborn it doesn't mean that he was the first that God made, firstborn means the highest like you would call the president's wife the first lady - does that mean sequentially she was the first lady to ever come to North America? Or does it mean that she holds a position of prominence among the women in America? And in that sense Christ was the greatest of all his creation is when God became a man. But he preexisted. Jesus said, 'before Abraham was I am.' He said, 'Abraham longed to see my day.' Jesus is the one who spoke to Abraham and wrestled with Jacob. Alright, next section is 'the creator among us' and I want someone to look up for me John 9 - the gospel of John chapter 9, verses 32 and 33 - I think we gave that slip to someone - over here? Okay, we'll get you a microphone and you'll have a minute because I'm going to read some other verses.

John 2, verses 7 to 11. This is talking about the miracles. How can God bring the world into existence by His Word? Miracle. Have you ever seen a miracle? You know, one reason a miracle's a miracle is you don't see it every day. If you said, 'you know, it's just a miracle how I turn on the spigot and water comes out.

' Ah, that's probably not a miracle. I'm very thankful for it, but it's not a miracle. I'm very thankful when my cold goes away, but you can't always call that a miracle because given enough time - even if you don't take anything over the counter, you're probably going to get over your cold. So you don't call that a miracle. You can find natural processes in white blood cells to explain that.

Miracles are things for which there is no scientific explanation. There are many miracles in the Bible that are unexplainable and we may never be able to explain them - if you could they're probably not a miracle. You see what I'm saying? And it was a miracle when God spoke things into existence. We can't explain how he can speak matter into existence. It defies our laws.

Well, it also defies laws how you can turn water into wine. How you can fill a pot - I mean, it's not a magician's trick, fill a pot with water, Christ speaks the word, you pour it out, you've got grape juice. How can you do that? The Bible says that's the miracle power of God. And John 2, verse 7, Jesus said - he said to them, "'fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, 'draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.

' And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, 'every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!' This beginning of signs Jesus did in cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him." He gave them evidence - Jesus said one time, 'look, if you don't believe because of my word, believe for the miracles' sake.' He said, 'I'm giving you evidence that I have supernatural power.' There's things we don't understand. I like watching science programs and reading science magazines and I find no conflict between science and physics in the Bible.

I think there's a lot of things we don't understand, but I believe it all works and it all fits and they were talking about wormholes and, you know, they pretty well established that black holes seem to exist in space - now for years it was just theory but they can just see that there's these points that seem to bend light and gobble up all the light around them and they're calling that now black holes. And now they're wondering if there are actually parallel universes and they're exploring 'could you go from one dimension or universe into another universe?' Let me tell you another way to say that biblically. Is there a spirit world around us right now that we cannot see? Science would call that a parallel universe. It's just another whole realm that is separated. But they're now trying to find - they're now saying that there appears to be scientific and physic evidence that there could be an alter universe that's around us right now that we don't see - and I'm going, 'uh huh, yeah, it's said that in the Bible all along.

' It's kind of like when, you know, all of the geologists and the anthropologists and the scientists are talking about the fossil record and they finally come out of their room and they make a big announcement and they say, 'you know, we believe now from all the fossil record - it appears that there was some cataclysm - something happened that caused a global flood that covered all of these animals and killed them quickly. And it must have been an asteroid.' And we go, 'you know, we've been saying all along there was a global cataclysm that covered everything with mud and made all these fossils.' 'No, no, no - it can't be the Bible. No no - it can't be the Bible.' And all of a sudden they come and say, 'it appears there may be some alter universes - some parallel universes out there.' I'm going, 'yeah, it's called the Spirit world.' And it's like little by little science is just finding overwhelming evidence that the things that God said may be different terms but, really, the same principles have always been there. Yeah, there are miracles and mysteries we can't explain. Adam and eve, I believe, used to talk to God face to face.

Doesn't the Bible say that? I believe that adam and eve were not sequestered from seeing angels. I don't think adam and eve were held captive on this planet, I think they could have soared through space and - the Bible says there was a meeting, in the book of job, where 'The Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord', right? It's not on the earth because satan says, 'I came from the earth to this meeting.' Well, adam was called The Son of God. Do you think he would have been denied access to that meeting before he sinned? Of course he could have come to that meeting, so he could leave the planet. But after sin man lost that whole universe - that whole spiritual realm. Man lost it.

His robes of light went out. They saw their nakedness. Something radical happened. Man was quarantined to the very narrow physical world that we live in now and the problem with most of us is we think that everything we see around us is it and we don't realize that there's an eternity that we don't see. Alright, so these miracles remind us of that.

That was one of the first miracles. Alright, I was going to have someone read for me John 9:32 and 33 - and this is another big miracle in the gospel of John. Are we ready for that? I think we still are. Go ahead. "Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.

If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." You know, it's nothing new that there are unbelievers in our world that deny the miraculous power of Jesus. When Christ opened the eyes of this man in John chapter 9 - the whole chapter is dedicated to this miracle - this man who was born blind - he has never seen - and, you know, I understand that when you've lived that long completely blind, that even if they could restore your eyes, the part of your brain that processes sight still couldn't see. So this is not just a healing of the eyes, it has to be a healing of the brain for this man to be able to see and to be able to process all those colors and understand that's miraculous. That's like a person born knowing how to talk. It just doesn't happen.

It was a first-class miracle like raising Lazarus who had been dead for four days. And Jesus did this and everyone knew this was the man and they said, 'this is too much, we can't believe it. He's an imposter. Bring in his parents.' And so the sanhedrin, they bring in the parents and they say, 'we can tell you this is our son and that he was born blind. We don't know how he can see.

' Because they knew that they'd be excommunicated if they said they thought that Jesus had performed this miracle. But it was a first-class miracle but even then - and here these are leaders in the church! They said, 'oh, this can't be!' And even the man who's been healed - he says, 'what's wrong with you? This - Jesus has to be from God. This is a miracle. I was born blind and now I see.' There's things we can't explain that God performs. Then you've got John 6, verses 8 through 10 - another miracle.

We're just spot-checking a couple of supernatural miracles to illustrate that the power of God that brought the world into existence was a miracle. "One of his disciples, andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 'there is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?' And Jesus said, 'make the people sit down.' Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand." Can you imagine the disciples trying to force the miracle of feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread? Now these are little chapati - like tortillas - they're not the big old, you know, french loaves of bread that they had. It had to be a miracle because everybody not only was filled but there's twelve baskets of leftovers - you see what I'm saying? God always substantiates his miracles. It's like when shadrach, meshach and abednego are thrown in the fiery furnace and everyone says, 'it was a miracle they survived the fire.

' Well someone, you know you hear these people say, 'oh, it wasn't that - you know, people walk on hot coals all the time, it's scientific. You can explain it, that fire was not that hot.' Well, it was hot enough to kill the soldiers that threw them in. the Lord does everything he can to substantiate these miracles to show there are some things that you can't explain. You just can't understand it. We need to accept that there are miracles.

But there is evidence in the Bible - there are so many things I see in the Bible - like I said, prophecy and people's lives that are being changed by the Word of God that to me are evidence that the Bible is trustworthy. It's trustworthy historically, it's trustworthy in its cooperation, in its conciseness, in its unity, in the way it's been preserved that I believe the other things it says. Well, I think I ran out of time for some of the other verses I wanted to share with you but I got through most of the lesson. I want to remind those who may have joined us we do have a free gift. It's called 'amazing wonders of creation'.

Ask for offer #116 and dial the number 866-study-more - -788-3966. We'll be happy to send that to you and the Lord bless you until we study together again next week. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day.

What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit Sabbathtruth.com. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at 'amazingfacts.org'. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including Amazing Facts presents. One location.

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