All posts tagged Genesis Studies

Genesis Series on the Road…

 

We had a wonderful time at Sheridan Lake, CO, teaching and having fellowship with the saints.  We taught eleven hours at Sheridan Lake Bible Church, and nine of those eleven hours were spent teaching Genesis chapters one through three.  Even with the nine hours of teaching, we did not quite finish Genesis chapter three.  It was a casual time of teaching, and during the teaching I enjoyed answering various questions they had about Genesis and creation in general.  After all was done, the pastor shared his thoughts about the importance of taking Genesis literally and not falling for the wisdom of the world.

The following Tuesday evening we started teaching at Faith Baptist Church located in Pawnee City, NE.  Since I was just here last year, and taught my creation science series, I thought I would teach my Genesis series.  While I taught the young people and adults, my wife Sue, taught the children.  She is improving her programs by incorporating creation science power point presentations into her time with the children.  She is excited about the changes and so are the children.

I truly enjoy teaching the Genesis series, because Genesis proclaims many of the scientific concepts and laws modern scientists have just discovered in the last few hundred years.  In other words, Genesis is relevant to scientific discovery and things we observe today.  I was always taught that “the present is the key to the past,” but that worldview can cause many scientific mistakes.  The truth is “the past is the key to the present,” and this is why Genesis is so important for scientific research today.  Stay tuned for more from the Genesis Road Show.

 

Rich Stepanek

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Does Yom Convey a 24 Hour Day in the Creation Account?

 

In the Bible, the Hebrew word for day is Yom. By looking up the word yom in a concordance you will see that it can have a variety of meanings:  a period of light as contrasted to night, a 24-hour period, time, a specific point of time, or a year.1

As I shared in my last blog (Compromising the Word of God) the meaning of the word yom or “day” is understood by its context. In the Genesis account of creation, God gave us parameters by defining the word day with ‘evening and morning.’  “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5) [Emphasis added]. Every day of creation thereafter – ending with, “And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (v. 31) – always use the term “evening and morning.”  Also note that the Genesis creation account always uses a number with the word “day.” (Genesis 1: 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)

Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 359 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.

Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word “evening” or “morning” 23 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.

“Evening” and “morning” appear in association, but without yom, 38 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.

Outside of Genesis 1, “night” is used with yom 53 times, and each time it means an ordinary day. Even the usage of the word “light” with yom in this passage determines the meaning as ordinary day.2

The plural of yom can be used to communicate a longer time period, such as “… all the days of Noah.” (Gen. 9:29) However, the plural of yom does not appear in the Genesis 1 creation account. Also, there are words in biblical Hebrew (such as olam or qedem) that could have been used to convey long periods of time, or indefinite time3 … however; none of these words are used in the creation account.

Dr. James Barr (Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University), a skeptic on the historicity of Genesis, had this to say: “So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience …” 4

When we look at how the word yom is used in the creation account and its use outside of Genesis 1, it seems clear to me that the days God was describing were literal 24 hour days.

 

Lanny Johnson

1.  Online Bible Edition, Version 4.08.04, Mar. 20, 2011, 10.13, Copyright ©1987-2011, Larry Pierce, 11 Holmwood St., Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada, NOB2VO, Archaeology, Creationism and Science Archaeology, Creation, The New Answers Book, Could God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days?, Ken Ham.

2.  Ibid.

3.  Ibid.

4.  Ibid.

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…On The Right Track In Genesis

 

Below is a segment from a letter I just received from my translator in India.  A few years ago, he translated my Genesis series over a period of two weeks for a number of Bible colleges and seminaries.

 

…Hope you are keeping well as I do here by His grace. I just want to say…………….You have been the mentor of life. Though I did not realize it earlier. Now it feels great to have someone who guided me to the right track in life. Thanks for being my teacher and guiding me towards the right path of life. I am grateful to you. With a great teacher like you, I was sure that life would be a successful journey but I never knew you will also make the journey to success such a cakewalk. I can’t express my gratitude Sir! 

 Thanks for the love and the concerns you do have for me.

 

The conclusion of his letter is not me, but the information which was taught.  I was only with him for a few days, and what I taught was mostly Genesis chapters one through three and creation science.  The Bible and the Holy Spirit are our guide and his.  I believe if you get started on the right track in Genesis, it will help you stay on track with the rest of Scripture and the journey of life.  To God be the Glory!

 

Rich Stepanek

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He Created….Much Like A Carpenter

Let us turn back to Genesis.

Genesis 1:1-2

The word ‘beginning’ is a reference to time.  The word ‘heaven’ is a reference to space.  Now in this space, there are no stars, planets, moons, sun, etc.  It is just empty three dimensional space.  The word ‘earth’ means matter and this matter is only water molecules as we will read later.  This earth is not the earth we inhabit today.  This earth, or matter, is without form as we will read in verse two.

We also read in verse one that God created, which means He created time, space, and matter out of nothing.  This is the beginning of God’s universe, and to have a universe we need time, space, and matter.  If you eliminate any one or more of these three things, you will no longer have a universe.  According to empirical science, there is only one universe which is made up of all three things.  So the universe is a type of a trinity.  God is a trinity: God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit.  God’s creation reflects His nature.

Genesis 1:1-2

The earth in verse two is the same earth as in verse one.  This earth is without form.   In the Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word ‘form’ is defined as a determinate shape.  So the word without form means the earth does not have any determinate shape.  God is speaking in construction terms.  It is like a carpenter preparing to build a house.  Before he starts the construction, he first has to deliver the building materials to the construction site.  He will have lumber, plywood, nails, etc.  These building materials are neither waste nor in chaos.  They are usually very expensive and piled up in an orderly way.  But the building is without form.  As the contractor builds the house, it begins to take shape.  When he is finished, the building now has determinate shape.  This is what God is trying to tell us in verse two.  His universe does not have determinate shape yet, but at the end of six days it will have that shape.  It sounds like God is a carpenter.

 

Richard Stepanek

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Genesis 1:1 In the Beginning God…

Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning God…”

This is a very scientific statement.  This statement deals with the ‘Law of Cause and Effect, or the Law of Causality’. For example, if I drop a ball, the ball will fall and hit the ground.  The effect is the ball falling and hitting the ground.  What was the cause?  What caused the ball to fall?  It was gravity, so gravity is the cause.  Now, what caused or made gravity?  How did gravity get here?  Eventually we need to start with what we call a ‘first cause’, something or someone that had to make and/or create everything.

What is this first cause according to some scientists?

Discover magazine April 2002 tells us that the ‘first cause’ was evolution.

‘The universe burst into something from absolutely nothing-zero, nada.  And as it got bigger, it became filled with even more stuff that came from absolutely nowhere.  How is that possible?  Ask Alan Guth.  His theory of inflation helps explain everything.’

In other words: Nothing did something to nothing to make everything.  For evolution, nothing is the first cause.  But nothing has no intelligence, no power, and no presence.  This idea of something coming from nothing violates the ‘First Law of Thermodynamics’, which states that matter and energy can neither create nor destroy itself.  Evolution violates science!

Back to Genesis:

Genesis 1:1 ‘In the beginning God…

In Scripture, God becomes the first cause.  God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  A being with these attributes would have no problem creating things out of nothing.

Another question arises: is there an opposite of God?  Some people think Satan is the opposite of God.  I do not think so.  I believe nothing is the opposite of God.  God has all knowledge, power, and presence, and nothing has nothing!  As we discussed earlier, science, creation, and God go together. So I believe the opposite of God, science, and creation is nothing, pseudo-science, and evolution.

I was taught in high school and college the motto for evolution is “The present is the key to the past.”  But in Scripture, “the past is the key to the present.”  This means Genesis and creation are relevant for today.  To understand the world around us, we need to understand Genesis and creation.

This brings us back again to Genesis Chapter One.

Day one or the first day of creation starts on Genesis 1:1.

Genesis 1:1a, In the beginning God…

The word “beginning” is a reference to time.  God created time, so this means that God is outside of time.  He does not function in time like we do.  Some people do not understand this concept so they tend to misinterpret II Peter 3:8.

People who believe that the days in Genesis chapter one are not literal days, will use this verse to try and prove their point.  A closer examination of this verse, and a better understanding of Genesis, will reveal this verse actually supports the literal days in Genesis… as we will see.

This verse states “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.”  “There you have it,” they will say,  “one day is equal to a thousand years.”  But do not stop reading there.  As we continue to read, “a thousand years as one day.”  God is a God of order, so His Word is also a book of order.  So using their reasoning, every time we read one day it really means a thousand years, and every time we read a thousand years it really means one day.  Well, Adam lived to be 930 years old, that means he was just 70 years short of being a thousand years old.  So Adam did not quite live a thousand years , but a thousand years is really only a day.  Using their logic, this means Adam did not quite live to be one day old.  So he was created, named the animals, named the woman, married the woman, and had sons and daughters all in less than one day!  This does not make any sense!  What they missed is this: “to the Lord”  II Peter 3:8.

As we read in Genesis 1:1a, God is outside of time, so to Him a day is the same as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.  For us, since we are created in time, a day is a day and a thousand years is a thousand years.  Returning to II Peter 3:8, the day in this verse literally means one day and the thousand years literally means a thousand years.  The words mean what they say or the whole concept of the verse has no meaning.  In good Biblical interpretation, we must always look first at the context.  The context of II Peter is about God’s future judgment on a wicked world.  It has nothing to do with creation or the days in Genesis chapter one.  Peter is telling us since God is outside of time, He will judge mankind when He wants to and not when we think He should.  Because people take verses out of context, they make big theological mistakes.

Please join me again next time, as we continue in Genesis chapter 1.

 

Rich Stepanek

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Can Man Make Himself?

Before we continue in Genesis let us observe the statue to the right.

In the picture, we see a statue of a man carving himself out of rock.  Do you see anything strange here?  Do you believe this could happen?  Can statues make themselves by carving themselves out of rock?  What about humans?  Can humans make themselves from rocks, or the elements of the earth?  What you are looking at is evolution.  Evolution states that we can make ourselves out of the elements of the world.   All you need is rock, gasses, dirt, water, and just add some energy to put it all together.  I forgot one thing… ‘time.’  Time is the magic wand of evolution. The one thing which is missing in this picture is time.  I was taught that given enough time anything can happen.  With billions of years of time, the elements of the earth could organize themselves into the first living organisms.   Then with additional billions of years, these first life forms evolve into humans.  In other words, we can make ourselves!

The Bible addresses this problem.

Psalm 100:3 – Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  (emphasis added)

We know statues cannot make themselves.  Just ask a child or a scientist and they will say it is impossible.  We can observe rocks, test rocks, and do scientific research on rocks.  No matter how much time a rock has, it will not turn itself into a statue of a human.  We know it takes a sculptor to make a statue.  It would be silly for a statue to argue with his maker that he made himself and not the sculptor. God knew statues cannot make themselves long before we knew it.  He also knows we cannot make ourselves no matter how much time there is.  We will be addressing these topics and others as we study Genesis.

Using Scripture as our source of truth, we know this statue cannot make itself.  It takes a sculptor to make a statue out of rock, and Scripture also tells us it takes a Creator to make us.  We can make statues, but we have neither the intelligence nor the technology to bring life from rocks.  God who created life, including humans, has to be a greater source of intelligence and technology than man.

Many scientists of Charles Darwin’s day understood this, and they rejected Darwin’s idea of evolution.  Some spent many years refuting spontaneous generation, which states that life came from dead matter.  It was the liberal and worldly church of Darwin’s day that supported Darwin’s theory of evolution. *see Creation 21(4) Sept. – Nov. 1999.

Because of the lack of true scientific and Biblical knowledge, many people are destroyed, lives ruined, and eternal damnation from the rejection of Jesus as their Saviour.

Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,… 

I believe it is from the lack of the fear of the LORD which has destroyed many a person either in this life or in the life to come.

Knowing all this, we will return to Genesis and explore the wonders of His creation!  By using Scripture as our guide we will learn true science!

 

Rich Stepanek

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We Continue In Genesis….Source Of Scientific Method and Knowledge

Continuing with our study of science, we learn science deals with “order, purpose, and laws.”   Examining evolution: evolution is ‘disorder (random chance & accident), purposeless (no intelligence), and lawless.”  God is a Being of “order, purpose, and laws.”  So His creation should also have “order, purpose, and laws.”   When we compare the three – science, evolution, plus God and His creation, we discover evolution does not fit.  The Bible and science go together.

This means that all scientists, even atheists, when using the scientific method, use Biblical principles of order, purpose, and laws.

When God created and made the universe, He used intelligence with energy under His control.  When scientists or inventors make or invent things, they also use order, purpose, laws, intelligence, and energy under control.  Scientists and inventors do not use evolutionary principles, but Biblical principles.

Paul warns Timothy and us today, to beware of pseudo-science philosophies.

I Timothy 6:20

The nature of science is to use the scientific method in the pursuit of truth. This is the same for Romans 1:20, God wants us to study His creation (science).  For God knows by embracing true science, it will point us to the Truth.  Jesus is the Truth!

Science has its limitations.  One of the main limitations of science is the scientist.  The reason why: scientists are human and humans do not know everything and they can make mistakes.

Below are some of the limitations of science.

  1. Scientists have limited knowledge
  2. Humans are imperfect
  3. Scientists make mistakes
  4. Scientists can misinterpret the data
  5. The data scientists collect (experiments) may be flawed

For scientists to properly interpret the data and avoid mistakes, we need to start with a source of all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  According to Scripture, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.

Psalm 111:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Proverb 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverb 9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

The LORD is a source of unlimited knowledge, so His Word is a good place to start for our learning.   Through Scripture we can determine what is true knowledge and what is false knowledge. Scientists discovered this during the Reformation. By returning to Scripture as the source of truth, this was the beginning of man turning to true science and thus brought us out of the Dark Ages.

To truly understand what we are studying or observing, we must start with a source of all knowledge.  If we do not start with a source of all knowledge, there is a good chance we may misinterpret the data, which we have seen scientists do in the past.

 

Rich Stepanek

For further reading, some of the above information came from Exploring Creation with Biology by Dr. Jay Wile and Marilyn F. Durnell pg. 12-13 and Genesis and the Decay of the Nations by Ken Ham pg.23-31

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Where Should We Look For The Answers To Life’s Toughest Questions? – Genesis Chapter One

People in the world today have many questions; for example:

How did everything get here?

Why are we here?

Who am I?

What is the purpose of life?

Why is there so much suffering and death in the world?

What does the future hold for me?

Where will I spend eternity?

 

We as Christians need to know the answers to these questions, as well as many others.

I Peter 3:15 –  “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

Why do we need to have answers to their questions?  If we do not give them the answers, they may search elsewhere for answers and they will probably be told a lie.  Many people reject Jesus and His Word because the church doesn’t have the answers.

To answer these questions and many others; we will turn to Genesis, which is the book of beginnings, and science.  People may ask, ‘what does Genesis have to do with science?’  We will discover that Genesis and science fit perfectly together. I will explain by defining science.

The definition of science in the Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, copyright 1983 states:  “Science: Systematized knowledge from observation, study, and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature of principles of what is being studied.”

Empirical science is the observation, study, experimentation, etc. of nature or creation to gain knowledge.  I was taught this type of research was a modern day concept starting in the 1600’s, but it is not.  A man living about two thousand years ago wrote the definition of science for our learning.  His name was Paul.

Romans 1:20 –  “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”  (emphasis added) 

The words ‘clearly seen’ mean: to see thoroughly, perceive clearly.  Further studies of ‘clearly seen’ we read; to see with the mind, to perceive, know, become acquainted with by experience, to experience, to scrutinize, observe, etc.  In other words, ‘clearly seen’ means; observation, study, experimentation, etc., and what we are studying is creation or nature (things that are made).  From this study of creation, we obtain knowledge (understand or understood). Romans 1:20 is the definition of the scientific method!  But Paul goes a step further.  Through this study and knowledge of creation-nature, we know that God exists.  Actually, there is so much evidence there is no excuse for anyone being an atheist!

Please check back for the next blog, where I will continue discussing answers to these questions, as we go verse by verse through the first chapters of Genesis.

 

Richard Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.