Pastors Report - 1 Sep 2017
girlWalkingTrackWithMagnifyingGlassOverJob

1. Where THE Evidence Leads...

"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.(Job 12:7-8 NKJV)

Two kinds of evidence:

In this physical chemical existence by which we have been given our taste of life, we find ourselves surrounded by evidence of two broad kinds: THE evidence that builds faith – and an apparent "evidence" that often ends up destroying it. Correctly separating between these two divergent types may mean the difference between spiritual life and death – and the lack of correct end-time judgement in this area is almost certainly a major reason why Christ posed the question, "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)

The problem is, the false kind of "evidence" seems very much set to increase as we approach the end of this present evil age. Christ himself warns those of us destined to live through this time:

  • For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

Note carefully that the words "it were" are not in the original. The above verse in the original seems to imply that the very purpose of these prophesied signs and wonders will be some sort of materialistic satanic "evidence" to deceive the elect! The witness presented is destined to be a deception on a grand scale! But how to weather such prophesied storms? The vital key to counter it, is by always going back to where THE evidence leads , and doing so behoves us to start at the basics:

The Universe:

We have all stood in awe, and felt very small, looking up at the night sky. Undoubtedly King David did the same 3000 years ago out on the hills of Judaea with his father's sheep ... leading him to pen: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:3-4) At the time he probably had no idea of the truly vast scale involved in what he witnessed above him. But today we do. Our knowledge of the cosmos – though still incredibly puny – is immensely more than it was all those years ago. What we now know through modern science amplifies even more the words preserved within the 19th Psalm:

  • The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
  • Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
  • There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
  • Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

This voice – this witness – is very much THE evidence of a Creator to our godless modern world. Among such evidence are literally dozens of constants and ratios that are clearly fine tuned. Were the numbers involved to vary by even a small degree one way or another, then a cosmos in which life could exist would not be possible. Yet they are all there – exactly as they need to be to enable us to be here at all to look in awe at the night sky. It'll help our understanding – and appreciation – of the awesome creation of which we are a part, if we try to get our heads around some scientific principles, so please bear with me.

As mentioned re. the constants and ratios, there are dozens of such numbers but let's just take one – the degree of entropy (see definition below) required at the point the universe first came into being:

In the Beginning:

We find ourselves within a cosmos that consists of innumerable galaxies which are flying away from each other at great speed. By mentally going back in time those galaxies must have had a beginning in the distant past and whether it is indeed one horrendous big bang being described in Isaiah 40:22 – as is supposed by modern science – or a slightly more leisurely "stretching out of the heavens as a curtain", it makes no difference. At some point in the past, the universe we see had a spectacular beginning, and at that precise moment in time it seems all the future galaxies, stars and planets became destined to appear as we find them today.

The word entropy comes from the Greek "tropos" – to turn or change and refers to decay or the loss of order in the universe. Left to itself, the natural world goes from order to disorder...the tendency of an energy system to run down. I will try to explain by a couple of examples:

If something is described as having high entropy, it displays the characteristic of being random and disorganised – like bricks thrown from a truck. Conversely something with low entropy displays the characteristic of being structured and ordered – like bricks that form the wall of a house. So if you compare states of different entropy, the one with the least entropy – the greatest organisation (the wall) – would have to come first, so that it could then decay (and fall down) as entropy increases.

But what do we find in the cosmos today – after billions of years? Exquisitely designed galaxies, star systems and planets. So applying the principle above, we come to the astonishing conclusion that the Big Bang – or the beginning of what we see within this universe – had to be yet MORE organised – with even less entropy – than we see currently in existence. In his book: The Road to Reality, mathematical physicist Roger Penrose attempts to quantify this situation. He estimates that the odds of the required initial low entropic state of our universe occurring by chance alone are on the order of 1 in 10 10(123). That's 10 to the power of one followed by 123 zeros. As there are only 10 to the power of 80 estimated atoms in the universe, 1 in 10 10(123) is a ratio right off the scale of human conceptualisation of any kind. It's been likened to a tornado going through a junkyard and unassisted assembling a fully functioning Boeing 747 entirely by chance – but even that absurdity barely comes close. As Jay Richards of the Discovery Institute says of this ratio:

This ratio is vastly beyond our powers of comprehension. Since we know a life-bearing universe is intrinsically interesting, this ratio should be more than enough to raise the question: Why does such a universe exist? If someone is unmoved by this ratio, then they probably won’t be persuaded by additional examples of fine-tuning ( https://www.discovery.org/f/11011)

Clutching at straws:

The above ratio, as mentioned, is merely one of dozens of precisely tuned constants and features that must be just so for life to be possible. Taken together they add progressively more and more weight to THE evidence required. Each constant multiplies the odds, doubling and redoubling the probability against blind chance. So where does THE evidence lead? To proving the existence of The Creator – a Designer of such super intelligence and power that nothing else remotely comes close. And there can be no evolution to handily hide behind. No natural selection. No survival of the fittest over millions of years to confuse the issue. For blind chance materialism to be responsible for all we currently see within the physical universe the entire production had to be unswervingly on course at the split-second the big bang occurred. And as we have seen, the odds against such a thing lie in the areas of fantasy – even beyond conceivable.

  • ...since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
  • For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
  • For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
  • Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
  • and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles (Romans 1:19-23 NIV)

As mentioned in verse 18, they suppress the truth.... they don't want to retain God in their knowledge – their organised system of education, – because the Being who created reality, also determines morality! So how do they get round it? How do they possibly counter ratios such as 1 in 10 10(123)? Let me quote Sir Martin Rees of Cambridge University, the current astronomer Royal, who in his book: Just Six Numbers, attempts to deal with six of the major constants above:

If you imagine setting up a universe by adjusting six dials, then the tuning must be precise in order to yield a universe that could harbour life. Is this providence? Is it coincidence? Are these numbers the outcome of a "theory of everything" that uniquely fixes them? None of these interpretations seems compelling. Instead, I believe that the apparent "tuning" intimates something even more remarkable: that our observable universe – all we can see out to the limits of our telescopes – is just one part of an ensemble, among which there is even a diversity of physical laws. This is speculation, but it is compatible with the best theories we have. (Just Six Numbers – page 25 – by Martin Rees)

This "multiverse" concept, though speculative, is a natural extension of current cosmological theories, which gain credence because they account for things that we do observe. The physical laws and geometry could be different in other universes, and this offers a new perspective on the seemingly special values that six numbers take in ours. (Just Six Numbers – page 13 – by Martin Rees)

So refusing to go where THE evidence leads, they desperately clutch at straws, desperate to preserve their pseudo-intellectual mantra that must ignore God at any cost. Ignoring the figures – provable in the real world – they then speculatively invent spurious "evidence" that there exists some kind of "universe generation machine" where each cosmos generated is conveniently slightly different and we just happen to be in the one that got all the variables right – as after all, it had to be that way for us to exist and witness the universe in which we find ourselves!!! Well did the apostle Paul warn Timothy: "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called" (I Timothy 6:20) We would do well to do the same today – holding firmly onto where THE evidence leads, with godly honesty, and secure in faith, as we navigate whatever may lie ahead.

The natural world:

For not only must the spurious multiverse in which we find ourselves contain all the variables "just so" – and all by blind chance – but how many of these fictitious parallel universes would there need to be in which LIFE never managed to get off the ground? And how many of these fictitious parallel universes would there be in which INTELLIGENT life never managed to develop? Even Sir Martin Rees in his book acknowledges this problem when he says:

The challenge of fully elucidating how atoms assembled themselves – here on earth, and perhaps on other worlds – into living beings intricate enough to ponder their origins is more daunting than anything in cosmology. (Just Six Numbers – page 22 – by Martin Rees)

So be under no illusion, if a human being will honestly go where THE evidence leads, the existence of intelligent design of some kind, giving support to an Almighty Creator God, is proven beyond reasonable doubt to the truly unbiased mind. Regardless of whatever "evidence" to the contrary may be put forward, an honest assessment of THE evidence will statistically trump it. For the ratios of proof do not even end with the existence of the cosmos, unimaginably staggering though those probability ratios are, but then cascade into the natural world as well. Note what the astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle had to say about carbon-based life forms such as ourselves being able to appear via blind chance:

Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: "Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule." Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix.… A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question. ( Fred Hoyle, Article in Engineering and Science - November 1981 - page 12: The Universe: Past and Present Reflections )

The Amazing Cell:

The "remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules" mentioned by Sir Fred Hoyle above undergird the very fabric of all living things found upon this earth. The function of these enzymes forms the basis of all life, reproduction and repair — from bacteria, to babies, to fish, to daffodils. And not only are multiple billions of protein fragments being meticulously manufactured continuously in our bodies by these enzymes, but complete cell division and replacement is also taking place over 1 billion times an hour as a substantial proportion of the 50,000 billion cells are replaced. This on-going process causes grass to grow, the flowers to bloom, cut skin to heal and the fingers of a child in the womb to form. It really is the very basis of all that is living, and shows a glimpse into the very mind of our Creator.

Far from being just a blob of protoplasm...not much more than a 'lump of jelly', as was previously thought in Darwin's day, each of the 50,000 billion cells in our bodies seem to operate like a mini computer-controlled robot, directed by the DNA within each, to accomplish whatever is required by that specific cell, in that specific location, and this is true even if the cell happens to be an E Coli bacteria in our gut, or the clear surface of the lens of our eye, or a nerve cell in our brain. So clever is this process, that if the DNA within one of our body cells happens to be damaged, then the cells surrounding it 'tell' that damaged cell to self-destruct — and it does so, protecting the body. This happens continually within our bodies to a small but consistent proportion of the 1 billion replacement cells being made each hour, and only when the process of self-destruction fails for some reason, does a rogue cell begin to develop into cancer.

Statistics:

So what is the possibility of these complex molecules 'just happening'? Well, some years ago, I read the following passage in a book called "In the Centre of Immensities" by Sir Bernard Lovell. This man was a professor of radio astronomy and the Director of the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank here in the UK. In his book he examines the likelihood of what he witnessed every day 'just happening' — including the very basis of all biological life. He had some serious questions on examining the evidence — even though he still holds to some kind of evolution as the passage shows. Oh, and by the way: 10 130 is 1 with 130 zeros after it. That's a figure about 3ft long. 10 2,000,000 is 1 with 2 million zeros after it. That's a figure about 3½ miles long! And that is the number that defines real life — not 10 130. Here is the quote, emphasis mine:

"The difficulties of reaching any understanding of the complex processes which occurred more than 2 billion years ago are emphasized when the extreme improbability of the emergence of the cell from the amino acids and nucleotides of the primeval seas is considered. With our present knowledge of the number of different amino acids, nucleotides and chain lengths in living organisms, it can be calculated that there are some 10 130 possible alternative sequences. This is a measure of the complexity of one of the smallest enzymes. The smallest units possessing their own metabolism — for example single cells such as the bacterium Escherichia coli — contain one large nucleic acid molecule comprising three to four million base pairs arranged consecutively in a double-stranded helical structure. The gene complement of this bacterium offers some 10 2,000,000 alternatives. These numbers are incomprehensible even in terms of astronomical quantities — the total number of hydrogen atoms in the observable Universe is only of the order of 10 78. The length of the E. coli bacterium is about 2 microns and its mass 5x10 -13grams....... The problem of origins is therefore, how did this critical selection of this combination of molecules occur out of the gigantic range of possibilities?

........This generalized proposition — that processes of chance and natural law led to the emergence of living organisms from the relatively simple organic molecules in the primeval seas — is valid only if the probability of the right assembly of molecules occurring is finite within the time scale envisaged. Here there is another great problem. In the example already given of a relatively small protein molecule with 100 amino acid residues, selection of this sequence of residues had to be made by chance from 10 130 alternative choices. The operation of pure chance would mean that within the half billion to a billion year period the organic molecules in the primeval seas might have to undergo 10 130 trial assemblies in order to hit upon the correct sequence. The probability of such a chance occurrence leading to the formation of one of the smallest protein molecules is unimaginably small. Within the boundary conditions of time and space which we are considering it is effectively zero.

Nevertheless, the presence of ourselves on Earth today is evidence that a sequence of similar events of almost zero probability did take place over 3 billion years ago......"(In the Centre of Immensities by Bernard Lovell page 66)

Two Opposing Views:

Two broad extremes of thought are to be found in the Western World today – each totally opposed to the other, and either of them, if blindly accepted, will cause us to lose faith in our Creator God, as both ignore the obvious evidence all around us.

When faced with the above, what should a thinking person decide? We live in an awesome reality that seems to point to some kind of intelligent design. But can you honestly fit all that has been discovered in the fossil record into just 6,000 years?

By the time you finish reading, I hope you will be able to see the error in both of the above concepts. Both views are very wrong. Both views can be logically, scientifically and biblically disproved. The Bible – contrary to what is an almost mindless insistence by some – does not support the view that this world is a mere 6,000 years old! Quite the opposite – it even records events long, long before anything physical of any kind existed. How many times within sermons and articles are we taken back, by Mr. Armstrong, to "the beginning", and from there the creation of angels, the creation of the universe and the rebellion of Lucifer, bringing us down to the troubles of today! He knew it was vital we had to get to grips with real foundational understanding and realise this is not God's world, and that it is ruled as of now by an evil spirit – something that a creationist view cannot fit in. But the Bible, when given this understanding, stands absolutely resolute alongside a fossil record – that could easily be many, many millions of years old.

The Rocks Speak:

Most thinking people today reject creationism, as they look at the evidence of the fossil record and conclude that the earth is certainly much older than a mere 6,000 years. What such people are normally not aware of however is that the evidence found in the fossil record not only tends to refute the 6,000 year old earth idea, it also refutes Darwin’s ideas as well!

Blind dogma is not the exclusive preserve of the creationist. Many colleges and universities refuse to contemplate anything else other than an evolutionary explanation – and any attempt to discuss intelligent design brings on a court case! In the case of the atheist who insists on a Darwinian view of the world – (the gradual origin of species by blind natural selection due to survival of the fittest in small incremental steps) – he shares the same problems as the creationist. If he in honesty would go back to the basic scientific method, there are major problems with the conclusions he insists on holding onto.

A scientific hypothesis requires experiment that – through observation – will then support or refute that hypothesis. When presenting his hypothesis of evolution, Darwin saw certain flaws within it and stated, “Why does not every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life? We meet with no such evidence, and this is the most obvious and forcible of the many objections which may be urged against my theory.” (Origin of Species – chapter 14).

His principle answer to this lack of fossilised proof in the final chapter of his book was that, “Only a small portion of the world has been geologically explored” and he implied that although many “gaps” in the fossil record were evident in his day, the anticipation was that this position would largely be rectified once further geological exploration was done.

More of THE Evidence!

Today we look back at over 150 years of precisely such geological exploration. From the time The Origin of Species was written to now virtually the entire world’s body of science has blindly accepted the theory and worked feverishly to prove it. But right up to the present, the original problem still exists almost unchanged. The only real evidence available – the fossil record itself – does not reflect, as Darwin predicted, “An interminable number of intermediate forms … linking together all the species in each group by gradations as fine as our present varieties.” The conclusion from 150 years of searching for such fine gradations is that they simply are not there. And yet the evolution dogma remains virtually as it began with Darwin, in spite of the evidence. Why? Because the scientific alternatives that have been put forward are almost impossible for the rational public to swallow.

One of the main such scientific theory put forward is that of 'punctuated equilibrium'. This attempts to explain away the inconsistencies by saying the evolutionary stages are conveniently hidden from view – by taking place in isolated pockets where the gene pool is small, so producing a myriad of mutants until the fittest of the mutants suddenly break out into the rest of the world – and an entirely new species suddenly “appears out of nowhere” in the fossil record!

The reason for this theory is that what it predicts is precisely what can be observed in the fossil record, such as the so-called "Cambrian explosion", when there was a sudden appearance of complex animals with different body and skeletal plans to what was found formally. The problem with it is that to believe that the myriad of life forms we see – both anciently and today – just happened to make this huge change – some even changing their external skeletons to internal, stretches the credulity of most rational human beings, and those supporting evolution know this. This is the reason Darwin is maintained. To claim that sea fish for example were periodically geographically isolated, may seem plausible. But to say that every sea fish evolved in this bizarre “unseen” manner is blatant nonsense. On the other hand, with our understanding of the pre-Adamic world and the re-creation necessary described in Genesis chapter 1, what we find in the fossil record is very much part of THE evidence we can hang onto!

What the Rocks Seem to Say:

If we imagine the products of our Industrial era – from steam trains to space craft to vacuum cleaners to coffee cups – buried and then observed by someone who dug them up as fossils, what would they see? Precisely what we see in the fossil record today.

They would see the sudden emergence of new varieties and entirely new products, as if from nowhere, having “evolved” in the minds of their creators (and supporting intelligent design, by the way!) and a total lack of the “fine gradations” as predicted by Darwin. To the rational mind – set free from the dogma of both atheistic evolution and creationism, this is the most likely explanation to the tangible evidence we are viewing within the rocks of bygone life. It seems very much where THE evidence leads, and as king David encourages us, it is where we can put our trust - and rest in the fact that the days of empty "intellectualism" are numbered.

  • Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.
  • He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
  • How long will you attack a man? You shall be slain, all of you, Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.
  • They only consult to cast him down from his high position; They delight in lies; They bless with their mouth, But they curse inwardly. Selah
  • My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
  • He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
  • In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.
  • Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
  • Surely men of low degree are a vapor, Men of high degree are a lie; If they are weighed on the scales, They are altogether lighter than vapor.
  • Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them.
  • God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.
  • Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work. (Psalm 62:1-12 NKJV)

To be continued .....