Three Angels Messages Part 32

            Thanks once more for joining us, as we continue to study God’s last appeal to humanity, Three Angels’ Messages, found in Revelation 14. We are now studying the final part of the first angel’s message, the power words which state, “worship Him Who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Last time we saw that Scripture draws a clear connection with obedience and that worship which is acceptable to God. Just going through the motions, as Cain did, or the Jews of Jesus’ day, but ignoring the clear instruction of God, results in worship that is “empty” or “vain.” The angel is calling us back to the true worship of the Creator God, which leads us to obey the commandment which specifies the seventh day of the week as His Sabbath, the memorial of His creative work.
There is evidence that our present English word “worship” is an abbreviated form of what was at one time the word “worthship.” The suffix “ship” has the sense of “state of,” as in fellowship, friendship, companionship, etc. Worthship (worship) becomes that which we recognize has having the highest value, that which is worth the most. It is true then that that upon which we put the highest value is what we worship, be it money, things, earthly relationships or God.
            Everyone worships; make no mistake about that. For everyone there is that “top spot,” that “first place.” It might be themselves. Jesus made it clear that to put anything ahead of devotion to God constitutes a violation of the first of the Ten Commandments, which declares, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3. God should occupy the first place in our hearts. He should be first, last and everything to us. It is to Him that we should assign the highest value, the greatest worth. We should “worthship” Him. Of course, the consonants in that word are difficult to put together, and so over the course of time “worthship” became shortened to the word “worship.”
            It is because He is Creator that we worship Him. In heaven the 24 elders declare, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11. “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.” Psalm 96:5. It is His creatorship that separates Him from the worship of all false deities. After pointing out the futility of worshiping an idol made by human hands the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed, “The LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. Thus you shall say to them: ‘The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.’ 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.” Jeremiah 10:10-12.
            The Old Testament uses a word to describe the unique creatorship of God. In the very first verse of Scripture we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The word translated “created” is from the Hebrew bara, which in its active voice appears more than 30 times, but never once describes what man does. Man “makes” or “works,” but man never “creates.” In our present parlance, we use the word “create” in a much broader sense. We speak of an artist “creating” a painting; a composer “creating” a symphony; a housewife “creating” a recipe.
In the biblical sense of the word bara, these usages are technically inappropriate. Man always has to have something to start with. In the biblical sense, God is not dependent on pre-existing matter. God creates out of that which does not previously exist. He creates matter that is derived solely from His divine energy. “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.” Hebrews 11:3.
            Within the last century a physicist named Einstein proposed a bold theory which became the basis of a new comprehension of the nuclear world. On a chalkboard the fuzzy-haired scientist scribbled the formula E = MC2 which completely changed our understanding, becoming the description of what takes place in nuclear fission, the splitting of the atom. “E” stands for the energy that is released, which is immense. “M” stands for the mass that is converted (not technically destroyed) to energy and is a very small number, relatively speaking. “C” stands for the speed of light (roughly 186,000 miles a second), which is then squared, becoming a huge number. Thus even though the amount of matter converted to energy is relatively minute, the energy released is prodigious, seen in the explosions of atomic bombs.
            This same formula might well express what happens at creation when, through God’s divine energy, matter is brought into being; an atomic bomb in reverse, if you please. The lesson to be learned from what we now know about nuclear fission is that it would require huge amounts of energy to bring forth a small amount of matter. What can be said then about the vastness of God’s divine energy when we see the matter represented in worlds, solar systems, galaxies and the universe! How awesome is our God! No wonder that we are called to “worship Him Who made”! He speaks and planets come to be! Should not the recognition of His immeasurable power and majesty invoke our deepest admiration and sincerest homage?
            It is no coincidence that about the same time that the first angel began to sound his warning and invite mankind to “worship Him Who made,” in the mid-19th century, other ideas began to surface regarding the origins of life. Charles Darwin and others began to propose an alternate view that left the Creator out of the picture. These scientists were led to question the teaching of creation as expressed by the first chapter of Genesis. Sadly, in the last century and a half the doctrines of Darwin have been the ones to take traction in our schools and textbooks. Jokes are made of those who “actually believe” the Genesis account. But could it not be argued that we have never lived in an age when there is so much evidence that points to the origin of life by a Master Designer?
            Some thinking scientists today are becoming convinced that creationism makes more and more sense. Two compelling reasons have led them to this way of thinking; design and irreducible complexity. Whichever paradigm one chooses, creationism or evolutionism, each of them requires faith. It requires faith to believe in the Creator God; it requires faith to believe that life evolved. Which has the stronger support based on the evidence? That is the question!
Ask yourself this question: would anyone believe that a common wrist watch was the product of an explosion in a gear factory? Would anyone believe that a camera “just happened”? Does not the design of a watch or a camera testify to a designer?  A short time ago the television game show Jeopardy featured a computer given the name “Watson” competing to give the proper responses. Did that “just happen”? The ones who spent considerable time in programming those devices would feel insulted if they were not given due credit (which they were) for their skill in designing the computer. Yet these are relatively simple machines compared to the complexities of any living organism! Indeed, where is the wrist watch or camera that has the capacity to “procreate” another in its likeness? It could be argued that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation! The concept of “design” bears testimony to a “Designer.”
            Nature teaches us that the concept of “design” not only applies to function but also to aesthetics. It’s not only unfathomable that the components of life could have come about by themselves, but it’s also unfathomable that their beauty could have “just happened.” About 8 centuries ago an Italian mathematician by the name of Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Fibonacci (a contraction of filius bonacci, or “son of Bonaccio”), expressed a proportion which is called the “golden mean,” or the “golden ration.” It turns out that this had been discovered many centuries earlier, but the name “Fibonacci” seems to be the name we associate most often with this proposition.
            Mathematically, it represents the number 1.618, which is obtained by beginning with the equation 1+1 = 2. If one adds the last two numbers of the sequence together (1 + 1 = 2; 1 + 2 = 3; 2 + 3 = 5; 3 + 5 = 8; 5 + 8 = 13, etc.), this ratio is obtained. This is perceived to be a ratio that is the most pleasing to the eye. If you take a “golden rectangle,” one built on the Fibonacci ratio, and block off a square within it, you will be left with a smaller rectangle, but one which displays the same ration of 1.618. Remove from this smaller rectangle a square and a smaller rectangle will remain, which also will contain the same proportions, and so on. If you continue doing this and connect the corners of the squares, you’ll see something like the cross section of a nautilus shell. Interesting!
            Long before Fibonacci, this was known and incorporated into architectural design. In the 5th century B.C. the Greek sculptor Phidias used the golden ratio extensively in the making of the Parthenon, reputed to be one of the world’s most aesthetically drafted buildings. The ratio of its width to its height is a perfect golden rectangle. So familiar was Phidias with this ratio that this numeric value, 1.618, was assigned the first letter of his name, “phi,” in his honor, in a similar way that “pi” stands for the ratio of 3.14. Extensive study has been done with respect to Greek art and the golden ratio. Examination has shown that this ratio was incorporated in the construction of the great pyramids of Egypt that pre-dated the Greeks by centuries.
            The musical scale is an example of Fibonacci numbers. There are 13 notes including both ends of the octave. Looking at these notes on a piano, you will see that there are 8 white notes and 5 black notes, all of which are numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. The 5th and 3rd notes combine to form the basic chord. We find this scale and chords pleasant to our ears.
            Is this something that man came up with on his own, or do we see the golden ratio appearing in God’s handiwork, nature? Literally volumes of books have been written demonstrating that this ratio of 1.618 predominates in the natural world about us. Just put the words “Fibonacci nature” into your search engine and you will find a multitude of websites that feature pictures and diagrams showing this ratio appearing in nature. Flowers exhibit it, the number of petals on many varieties being Fibonacci numbers, such as the thirteen petals on a black-eyed Susan and the 34 petals on an ordinary field daisy.
            The profile of a dolphin reveals it. The cross-section of a nautilus shell is a magnificent example of a golden rectangle. The spirals on pine cones, pineapples and sunflowers are built on it. The human body and face abound in illustrations of the golden ratio. Those faces which are blessed to conform closest to the golden ratio are perceived to be the most beautiful. Check out websites such as http://www.goldennumber.net/ for more information and visuals.
            Fibonacci discovered that many things in nature exhibit this “golden ratio,” this ration that is particularly pleasing to the eye. Does not the testimony of the harmony of aesthetics and design in nature bear witness to the existence and majesty of a great and powerful God, Who is both an intelligent Engineer as well as a lover of beauty? Today we have abundant reasons for worshiping “Him Who made.” Please join us next time, when we’ll take up the study of something called “irreducible complexity,” and how that testifies to fiat creation as the explanation of origins of life.

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