Wednesday, May 20, 2020

1888 Message Study : Creation: Genesis as Foundation—Part 1



When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? Psalms 8:3-4, NKJV.


"In the Beginning…"

In order to have wisdom regarding our purpose and place in this world, the meaning of life in the here and now, we must know our end. To know our end, we must know our beginning. God's Word provides this foundation for us.

LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Psalms 39:4, NKJV.

God did not evolve. He pre-existed His creation, and none of His creation can evolve to be Him. The Omega is not a point of evolutionary arrival for humanity, but a Divine being taking humanity under His wings - Jesus as the revelation of God, willing to go to the second death experience of the cross to rescue mankind, to bring "many sons to glory." Satan desired to "be like the Most High," but not like God in who He really is, that is, Love.

Understanding that our beginning as described in the Bible is a creative act of love, fleshed out in amazing design and detail, gives meaning and purpose to life. In contrast, evolutionary thought is founded on the lie of self-love, mere existence for survival. In short, no Creator = no meaning.


The Days of Creation

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalms 90:12, NKJV.

God not only created us, and gave humanity a beginning. He also set up the measure of our existence. Interestingly, the literal week was given to humanity before the fall of man. It was a way that our lives could measure with the life of God. But after the fall, measuring time has a different purpose.

How do we measure time? From one point in time to another, counting the number of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, and millennia. Of course, decades is the most we can personally measure. We have limited time and recognizing that fact is foundational to wisdom. Why?

Because we don't have millennia to resolve the sin problem. We need a re-creation, and now!

"Now you are created new in Christ Jesus. He says so. Thank Him that it is so. What! will you be an evolutionist on that verse? That is the present tense, 'We are His workmanship,' we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Are you? The word is spoken. It is the creative word. How much time are you going to allow between that word of God, and your being created new? Of the creation in the beginning, you said that any man who allows even a minute to pass between the word and the thing, is an evolutionist. What are now as to this word of God, which creates men in Christ Jesus unto good works? Are you an evolutionist here? Come, let us all be creationists.

"Do you not see that in this way it will not require a long, tedious, wearing process to be made ready to meet the Lord in glory? So many people are looking at themselves. They know that, in the nature of things, it must take them an exceedingly long time to get fully ready to meet him. If it is done by evolution, it will never be done. But when it is done by creation, it will be both surely and quickly done. That word I have before referred to is the word everyone here may take to himself: 'While so many are hovering about the mystery of faith and godliness, they could solve the matter by proclaiming abroad [by telling it out], "Jesus Christ is my portion forever."'

"Do you see how much we have been evolutionists? Shall we quit? Come now, let us be creationists, and be done with it. Let us be Sabbath-keepers truly. Let us believe the Lord. He speaks forgiveness. He speaks a clean heart. He speaks holiness, He creates it. Let Him create it in you. Stop being an evolutionist, and let that creative word work for you, let that creative energy work in you, that which the word pronounces; and before you leave this house, God can get you ready to meet Him. Indeed, in that very thing you do meet Him. And when you have thus met Him, and do thus meet Him every day, are you not then ready to meet Him? Do you believe that? You believe He made the worlds when He spoke, that light came by His word when He spoke, and that the leper was "immediately" cleansed when He spoke; but with yourself you think considerable time must elapse between the time when the word is spoken and the fact is accomplished. O, why will you be an evolutionist? Creation, creation,—that is the thing. March 7, 1899 ATJ, ARSH 148.


The Sabbath and Creation

Far from being merely "the Jewish Sabbath," the Sabbath was designed by God to teach man his complete and total dependence on the loving Creator for everything. After the fall of man into the lie of self-dependence (immediately causing death without Divine intervention), the lesson remained as part of the plan to redeem mankind.

"What a Sabbath that must have been for Adam! To look upon the earth in its perfect beauty, fresh from the hand of God, to behold His works, and hold communion with God Himself and heavenly angels, was a privilege such as our minds cannot grasp. Although Adam had received dominion over all, he was doing nothing to contribute to the perfect work, beyond being what God had made him. Not a single flower, or animal, or creeping thing owed anything to his care. The world was absolutely perfect, so perfect that there was no room for improvement, and its Maker delighted in His work. The fact that Adam was now called to spend his first entire day in rest was to teach him that he was not expected to carry the burden, that all things could be beautiful and perfect without his moving a finger, and that he was to cast the whole burden of his position on the Lord.

"Adam was also to learn for himself on that Sabbath day that the God who had made him 'very good' was able to keep him so, without Adam's contributing anything to the goodness. Adam's part was to rest in the Lord and allow full and free play to the power which had done its perfect work. As long as he should 'remember the Sabbath day,' Adam would understand his true relation to God, and would continue to rest in Him. But Adam and Eve forgot that Sabbath day and its lesson. Satan tempted them to think that by taking the course he advised, they would do better for themselves than God had done for them, and that they would become as gods. They believed the lie. They forgot that God's work was perfect, and that they could not improve on it. They thought to better their position, and they fell. If they had remembered the Sabbath day, they would not have fallen.

"Now, if we are to reverse their fall, in our own experience, we must not repeat their mistake. We must 'remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' Then we shall understand that we can do nothing for ourselves, and that it is God alone Who can make us holy, as He made Adam in the beginning, and only He Who can keep us holy. 'Moreover, also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. Ezekiel 20:12.

"Satan tempted Adam and Eve to forget the Sabbath, and in order that he might obliterate the knowledge of the Sabbath and so ensure that men should not remember it, he has caused the church of which he gained control, to transfer the weekly rest day from the seventh to the first that Satan desires in this way to break the connection between us and the power that was revealed in making a perfect man, at the beginning. But God has caused light to shine upon Satan's work, and He is calling men back to worship Him in spirit and truth, and to enter into His rest. The observance of the first day, in its very nature, represents the error of substituting man's work for God's. The observance of the seventh day, in spirit and truth, stands for faith in God's finished work, in His creating and redeeming power, and for the ceasing from our own works. Hebrews 4:3, 4, 10. Therefore 'remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.'" August 20, 1903 EJW, PTUK 530-31.


Creation and Marriage

While the Sabbath teaches us about our utter dependence upon God for all things, marriage, the other divine institution inaugurated at Creation teaches us God's great love for us and the responsive love He so desires. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, was mystified by "the way of a man with a maid." Proverbs 30:19, KJV. Likewise, the love relationship that God desires with each of His children remains mysterious, but amazing nonetheless. The school of marriage can make us more effective in sharing the love of God revealed in the Gospel.

"Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward His church is the spirit that the husband and wife are to manifest toward each other. If they love God supremely, they will love each other in the Lord. . . . In their mutual self-denial and self-sacrifice they will be a blessing to each other. . . .

"God wants the home to be the happiest place on earth, the very symbol of the home in heaven. Bearing the marriage responsibilities in the home, linking their interests with Jesus Christ, leaning upon His arm and His assurance, husband and wife may share a happiness in this union that angels of God commend. Marriage does not lessen their usefulness, but strengthens it." FLB 259.


Creation, the Fall, and the Cross 

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12, NKJV.


For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:22, NKJV.


Death from the beginning has been an enemy, not a tool of the Creator to advance His Creation in some kind of theistic evolution. This has implications for grasping the fundamentals of the everlasting gospel.

"It was not that Jesus Christ came from outside, and simply stepped into our place as an outsider; but by joining Himself to us by birth, all humanity was brought together in the divine head, Jesus Christ. He suffered on the cross. Then it was the whole family in Jesus Christ that was crucified. 'For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead,' or as the Revised Version says, 'All died.' 2 Corinthians 5:14. What we want in our experience is to enter into the fact that we did die in Him. But while it is true that Jesus Christ paid the whole price, bore every grief, was humanity itself, yet it is also true that no man receives benefit from that except he receives Christ, except he is born again. Only those who are twice born can enter into the kingdom of God. Those who are born in the flesh, must be born again, born of the Spirit, in order that what Jesus Christ did in the flesh, we may avail ourselves of, that we may really be in Him." January 6, 1896 WWP, BEST 5.


~Todd Guthrie