End Times Bible Report Quarterly

Summer 2005: Issue Number 33

“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God”

— Psalm 19:1

Comparatively little progress has been made in the science of astronomy until the invention and numerous improvements of the telescope. Advancements in mathematics, as well, brought mankind into closer touch with their vast universe. In the past decade, for example, the orbiting Hubble Telescope made an astounding discovery. The telescope was pointed at a very small area of the sky which appeared black and empty. In order to get the deepest probe possible the telescope remained pointed at the exact same spot night after night with its lens wide open to collect enough light to register the deepest expanse of the universe. The exposure lasted 100 hours. Then, in a small point represented by a grain of sand held at arms length, a myriad of galaxies were discovered. Each of these galaxies contained an estimated 100 billion suns. From this and other astounding data, astronomers estimate that throughout the universe there are over 100 billion galaxies containing 100 billion suns each.

Yes, the more scientists learn about the immensity of the universe, the more they question, “Where did such a vast amount of energy and matter originate?” Many theories have been expostulated by science—none of which completely satisfy as an answer, for none are provable, and all of these theories require a great deal of faith.

To believers in the Judeo-Christian Bible, however, the answer is clear, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Indeed, the more one searches the Scriptures, the more one discovers that God has provided ample evidence of the verity of His creative power, which, if reviewed without prejudice, will convince even the skeptic there is an Almighty Creator of this vast universe.

Science Verifies Biblical Testimony

Only the Judeo-Christian Bible, written by men who were inspired by the Creator and God of the Universe, contains scientific facts that pre-date scientific discovery by several thousand years. The following are examples of remarkable statements found in the Judeo-Christian Bible, now verified by science.

What Holds the Earth Up? Three thousand years ago Hindu priests imagined that the earth was resting on the backs of several huge elephants, which in turn were resting on the back of a very large turtle that was swimming in a sea. Greek mythology claimed that the god Atlas was holding the earth on his shoulders. But thousands of years ago, Job said,  “[God] hangeth the earth on nothing.” (Job 26:7) What a remarkable, yet simple statement of fact. The earth is suspended in space—held up by nothing. How did Job know this scientific fact? The Old Testament prophets wrote as they were moved by the spirit of God. 2 Peter 1:21

Flat Versus Round Earth: For thousands of years people believed the earth was flat. If one went too far, he would fall over the edge. This was taught in both Hindu and Buddhist holy books. And even in our century, Arabs have spoken of infidels being pushed over the edge into space. In the 1500s, the first ship sailed around the world, thus proving the earth was round. But the knowledge that the earth was round was recorded in the Judeo-Christian Bible about 3000 years ago. The prophet Isaiah (40:22) spoke of the “circle of the earth.” Solomon wrote, that God “set a compass [circle] upon the face of the deep.” (Proverbs 8:27) Indeed, the Judeo-Christian Bible declared this fact by inspiration of God.

Sun, Moon and Stars: Ancient people were afraid of the sun, moon and stars. They thought they were alive—that they were animals or gods. Eclipses are an example of what people feared. An eclipse happens when the sun’s light is blocked by the earth or moon. This was frightening to people long ago. Some thought eclipses happened when the moon was mad at the earth and turned its face away. The Chinese believed that an eclipse was caused by a demon or some huge animal that would eat the sun and moon and then would give them up again. But, the God of the Bible, Jehovah, told Jeremiah (10:2): “Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” God then reassured Jeremiah that the planetary bodies were not gods, demons or animals, and that He, the Almighty Creator alone was in control of His universe. Thousands of years before scientists discovered that the planetary bodies were inanimate, the Bible contained this scientific fact.

Yes, God is in control and positioned the earth at just the right distance from the sun for perfect temperatures to sustain life. This is unlike the planet Mercury, for example, where temperatures vary from Minus 300 degrees to plus 800 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, our oxygen supply on earth is produced by photosynthesis in green plants generated by the sun. All our food supply is dependant upon the sun. These facts indicate a benevolent Creator who has provided the potential for a perfect Garden of Eden setting when His plan is fully accomplished for man.

The Bottom of the Ocean: Until modern times people thought the ocean floor was saucer shaped and sandy. But, over 3,000 years ago the Bible spoke of the valleys and mountains of the sea. In Psalm 18:15 (NIV) David wrote of God being the Creator of “the valleys of the sea.” God asked Job (38:16 NIV): “Have you walked in the recesses [valleys] of the sea?” The prophet Jonah was thrown off a ship and spoke of falling to the bottom of the mountains in the sea. (Jonah 2:6) The Atlantic Ocean contains an undersea range of mountains 10,000 miles long. The Marianas Trench in the Pacific is so deep that if Mt. Everest (29,000 feet high) were dropped into it, the peak would still be a mile below the water’s surface. Thus, the Judeo-Christian Bible spoke of the valleys and mountains of the sea thousands of years before scientists discovered them.

The Paths of the Sea: In the 1800s, Matthew Maury, an officer in the United States Navy, was amazed that Psalm 8:8 spoke of fish swimming in “paths of the sea.” Paths of the sea?— he was determined to find them. Maury discovered that the oceans have many paths or currents, which are like rivers flowing through the sea. Maury wrote the first book on oceanography and became known as “the pathfinder of the seas”— “The father of modern navigation.” Maury received his idea about ocean currents from reading the words of King David written about 3,000 years ago and thus, the Bible led the way to scientific discovery.

Lightning, Thunder and Rain: In ancient times, most religions taught that lightning bolts were missiles thrown in anger by their gods. In China, Taoists regarded the rainbow as a deadly rain dragon. Confucius stated that the goddess of lightning, Tien Mu, flashed light on intended victims to enable Lei Kung, the god of thunder, to launch his deadly bolts accurately. In addition, since rain is so essential to life, ancient people pondered what caused it. Some tried to stab holes in the clouds with spears. The Vedas (Hindu holy book) advised tying a frog with its mouth open to a particular tree and incanting certain words to cause rain to fall.

The Judeo-Christian Bible also talks about rain and lightning, but it contains none of these superstitious ideas found in other religious beliefs. The Bible taught that earth’s weather followed rules and cycles. “While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) Job also stated (28:26): “God made decrees [rules] for the rain. And He set a way for the lightning of the thunder...” Centuries later, scientists began to discern the rules for the rain, calling it the water cycle. The sun evaporates water from the ocean, which then rises to become clouds, then falls back to earth as rain and collects in streams and rivers, finally making its way back to the ocean. That process repeats itself again and again.

About 300 years ago, Galileo discovered this cycle. But amazingly the Scriptures described this cycle centuries before. The prophet Amos (9:6) wrote that God “calls for the water of the sea. He pours them out on the land.” How did Amos know this? Actually, scientists are just beginning to fully understand God’s decrees or rules for the rain. Since BC 68 it was thought that somehow thunder triggered the rainfall. Now scientists are beginning to realize that as stated in Job 28:26, it is lightning that triggers the rain to fall. Job revealed this thousands of  years ago.

Astounding Astronomical Facts Revealed to Job

The patriarch Job was extremely wealthy—enjoying a wonderful family. Then tragedy struck. He lost his wealth. His children were killed and his wife deserted him. Then Job lay in excruciating pain, covered with sores from head to toe. He cried out to God for reassurance, and God replied with a reminder of His almighty wisdom, justice, love, and power. God conveyed to Job His dynamic logic in three questions: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? …Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?” Job 38:31-32

The Pleiades: “Canst thou bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades?” Modern science has revealed that the seven stars of the Pleiades are in reality a grouping of 250 blazing suns all traveling together in one common direction. Concerning this cluster, Isabel Lewis of the United States Naval Observatory tells us: “Astronomers have identified 250 stars as actual members of this group, all sharing in a common motion and drifting through space in the same direction... journeying onward together through the immensity of space.”

From Lick Observatory came this statement of Dr. Robert J. Trumpler: “Over 25,000 individual measures of the Pleiades stars are now available, and their study led to the important discovery that the whole cluster is moving in a southeasterly direction. The Pleiades stars may thus be compared to a swarm of birds, flying together to a distant goal. This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are not a temporary or accidental agglomeration of stars, but a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship.” Without any reference whatsoever to the Book of Job, Dr. Trumpler announced to the world exactly what God said: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?” In other words, Job, can you keep them bound together so that they remain as a family of suns?

Orion: “Canst thou . . . loose the bands of Orion?”  The noted astronomer Garrett P. Serviss wrote about the bands of Orion in his book CURIOSITIES OF THE SKY. “At the present time this band consists of an almost perfect straight line, a row of second-magnitude stars about equally spaced and of the most striking beauty. In the course of time, however, the two right-hand stars, Mintaka and Alnilam, will approach each other and form a naked-eye double; but the third, Alnitak, will drift away eastward so that the band will no longer exist.” In other words, every star in Orion is traveling its own course, independent of all the others. Thus, these stars that we see forming one of the bands of Orion are like three ships out on the high seas that happen to be in line at the present moment, but are bound for different ports, and all are journeying to different corners of the universe, so that the bands are being dissolved.

Arcturus: “Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?” Garrett P. Serviss wrote: “Arcturus, one of the greatest suns in the universe, is a runaway whose speed of flight is 257 miles per second. Arcturus, we have every reason to believe, possesses thousands of times the mass of our sun. Think of it! Our sun is traveling only 12 miles a second, but Arcturus is traveling 257 miles a second.”

Charles Burckhalter, of the Chabot Observatory, added an interesting note regarding this great sun: “This high velocity places Arcturus in that very small class of stars that apparently are a law unto themselves... Newton gives the velocity of a star under control as not more than 25 miles a second, and Arcturus is going 257 miles a second. Therefore, combined attraction of all the stars we know cannot stop him or even turn him in his path.” When Mr. Burckhalter had his attention called to this text in the book of Job, he studied it in the light of modern discovery and made a statement that has attracted worldwide attention: “The study of the Book of Job and its comparison with the latest scientific discoveries has brought me to the matured conviction that the Bible is an inspired book and was written by the One who made the stars.”

The wonders of God’s universe are amazing! Arcturus and his sons are individual, runaway suns traveling at such incredible speeds, why don’t they crash with other suns or planets? Indeed they will not crash. Why? Because God is guiding them.

God concluded His reassurance to Job with another confirmation of the verity of His authorship of Creation: “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” (Job 38:33) God has established laws so governing the motions of all the heavenly bodies that no clash or discord occurs among them. Each world has its appointed pathway and its regulated time, and the most exact calculations of astronomers find them always true to time and order. Thus, by their numberless multitude, their continual yet never conflicting movements, their perfect harmony, their magnitude and their mutual benign influence, do the shining hosts of heaven declare the glory of God, by day and by night. He who meditates upon these things will scarcely be “the fool” who says in his heart, “There is no God;” for all nature testifies to the Creator’s glory and power. Psalm 14:1

Thus, the account of Job cannot be dismissed as simple folklore. Scientists only discovered these startling facts in the Twentieth Century, yet they were recorded in the book of Job nearly 3000 years ago. Science continues to prove God’s Word is true.

Humbled Before the Great Creator

It is difficult to wrap our minds around the concept of infinite space and one Supreme Being who created all things. Well has the Psalmist said, in consideration of the immensity and the minutiae of God’s providence over all his works—“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (Psalm 139:6) No, we cannot; but Oh, what a thrilling sense of mingled reverence, love and adoration fills the heart, when thus we catch a glimpse of the intellectual and moral glory and majesty of our God!

Men have always been seeking to understand the mysteries of the universe, but most have never looked beyond their own pride or superstition. Indeed, the “wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.” (1 Corinthians 3:19) When men become humble before their God, when they see their own littleness, only then will they begin to realize that their benevolent Creator has prepared the Heavens and the Earth for them, and that He has also planned for mankind’s ultimate blessing throughout eternity. In God’s due time, the mysteries of His vast universe will be open to explore and understand. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge... Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” Psalms 19:1-4

The Latest Scientific Discovery—God!

In the 20th century many traveled the road of science to atheism. Now many of these same atheists are traveling the road of science and are becoming theists—believers in God. Astronomer George Greenstein wrote in his book, THE SYMBIOTIC UNIVERSE: “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency—or, rather, Agency—must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”

This vast cosmos is just one aspect of our Creator’s grand design. As scientists explore the microcosm of the human cell, they are discovering amazing revelations in a world called DNA—deoxyribonucleic acid. It has been determined that the amount of information in human DNA is roughly equivalent to twelve sets of The Encyclopedia Britannica—equal to 384 volumes of information. The actual size of a DNA strand is only two millionths of a millimeter thick. (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, ‘96, p. 334) Viewed through the primitive microscopes of Darwin’s day, life was an uncomplicated cell of protoplasm—a virtual blob of jelly. But, now, end-time discoveries have shown an amazing universe of complexity and activity within the living cell. Scientists who were so sure of the evolutionary theory are now beginning to accept the concept of what they term intelligent design. “For You formed my inward parts... I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:13-14

Yes, science is discovering a new reality—creation! God is now seeking only those who have the true wisdom, in that they realize their own insufficiency, their need of instruction and guidance, and who can exercise the necessary faith when the message of God is brought to them. All others will be able to appreciate this message in the future Age of Blessing. Those who are now too wise in their own conceits will be brought through experiences to a contrite and humble condition of mind. In due time, the credulous will be given the true knowledge which will lead to a real understanding. 1 Timothy 2:4-6

Credulity is the acceptance of a thing without good reason, without sure evidence. Faith, on the contrary, is the acceptance of a thing because we have indisputable evidence of its reality, its truthfulness and its reliability. Upon examination of the evidence throughout this vast universe both telescopic and microscopic, it seems more credible to believe in an Almighty Creator than to believe in the admitted flaws of scientific hypothesis. “By faith we understand that the universe was prepared by the word [command] of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are invisible.” Hebrews 11:3 (ISV)

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