HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
LIVE in an Age of Information and Enquiry; and with the increase of knowledge,
science and technology, we ask, and expect, answers. Today, there is a
wealth of knowledge out there. Just log on to the Internet, and surf a
while, and you will pick up the answers.
Except, it is not
quite so easy - for we find conflicting answers for every subject. There
are heaps of opinions about everything, and sadly, this “information”
often leaves us confused, even on basic questions.
Scientists and astronomers
are searching the Universe for clues as to the origin of life and matter,
and for information that will help us understand who and what we are,
and how to protect ourselves from celestial threats. Micro-biologists
are searching for clues on disease and ecology in the microscopic world;
while geneticists search for answers in the human genome and incredible
DNA structure of the living cell.
Most people, however,
want simple answers to “simple” questions such as:
“How big is
the Universe? And how did it come into being.”
“Is life on
Earth a temporary phenomenon?
Will we survive the
environmental hazards, and the bugs, and the bombs?”
“What is man?
And why am I here?”
“Why does man
die? And what happens after death?”
there more to life than what I’m experiencing - eat, drink and be
merry? What is the purpose of life?”
“Is there a
supreme Creator God? And if there is, what is His Name?”
“Or is there
a whole world of gods out there?”
“Is there a
great Intelligence somewhere in outer space?
Or is man’s
own power of reasoning simply a chemical reaction and a product of evolution?”
just the figment of man’s imagination, or just philosophy?”
“What is the
origin of evil? Is there an evil power influencing mankind?”
“What is morality?
Is ‘society’ the legitimate authority in deciding our standards
the world coming to?”
Will mankind be wiped
“Or will we
eventually be the ‘masters of our own destiny,’ exploring
worlds unknown, and creating life ourselves?”
“Can we rely
on astrologers and future-tellers?”
“And what about
Bible prophecy? Is it reliable?”
This is just the
beginning of a “List of 1001 Questions that Demand an Answer.”
But before logging
on to the internet, or checking other sources of information; before wading
through the thousands of titles on the bookshelves, let’s ask the
question, “Why is it that people all around the world have an inner
feeling, a belief, that there is a ‘spiritual reality’ greater
than themselves? Why is it that people cry out, “My God!,”
The answer is because
man has an inbuilt mechanism - a conscience which gives him an awareness
of right and wrong, and a presentiment that every man must give an account
of his life to a Higher Power - to God.
But many argue, “If
there is a supreme God, why doesn’t He do this or that? Why does
He allow evil to run wild?
Why does He allow
the innocent to suffer?
He intervene in the affairs of the planet instead of keeping aloof and
playing hide and seek?”
Oh, these are good
at it from this angle: If there is a Supreme God, should we not expect
that somehow He would reveal information - give us guidelines precepts,
truth - so that we are not left in the dark. Somehow He should communicate
and give us answers to the questions that mystify us. And more than just
giving informa-tion, if He is our Almighty Creator, should we not expect
Him to act on our behalf - to save us from chaos and self-destruction,
and to fulfil His plan in placing us here on the planet?
People of all nations,
from time immemorial, have sought to understand the spiritual Reality;
and many have formulated philosophical ideas and created a religion, or
sect. But . . .
ABOUT THE BIBLE ?
THE BIBLE does
not claim to be a “philosophy” or a “religion”;
it claims to be a revelation - the Word of God. The Bible says of itself
Scripture is divinely-inspired - God-breathed, and is profitable for
teaching, for conviction and reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
is a history Book, but much more; it is a prophetic Book; it is a Book
of origins, and a Book of endings; it is an accurate Book; it is understandable;
it is a Book of truth; it is a divinely-inspired Book; it is a holy
Book; it is a devotional Book; it is a Book of revelation; it is a Book
of salvation; it is a Book that convicts, guides, corrects, and encourages;
it is a Book that is intricately woven as a cohesive unity, and its
doctrines and themes have the stamp Divine Authority.
is the Book that has been railed against more than any other book; armies
have marched against it; enemies have tried to destroy it, but the Word
of God has prevailed. Many opponents who have tried to prove it false,
have been converted as they scrutinised the written Word.
is the world’s most translated, and most published Book in the
world. The whole Bible, or por-tions of it, has been printed in some
of people have studied the Bible and have found the answers to their
has the information that you and I are eagerly looking for.
OF THE UNIVERSE
MAN has always been intrigued and
mystified by the Universe. Once we thought there were about two thousands
stars in space. After telescopes were invented we came to understand
that there are billions of stars out there.
Once we thought our Earth was quite
a big place, but now we fly around the world in a couple of days; and
our satellites encircle the globe within an hour. Now we must admit
that in relation to the universe, Earth is like a small pebble in the
We know that there are nine, or
possibly ten, planets that orbit the Sun of our Solar System; and Earth
is not the biggest. Jupiter is 300 times bigger than our world, and
it has 63 known moons.
We also know our Solar System is
only one small complex in the giant circular galaxy which we call The
Milky Way. Our system is just like one small apartment building in a
The Milky Way galaxy is made up
of at least 100 billion stars. The width of the galaxy is believed to
be about 100,000 light-years. (A light-year is the dis-tance light travels
in a year - about 6 trillion miles.) So the width of the Milky Way galaxy,
which you can see, in part, on a clear night, is something like six
hundred thousand trillion miles - (600,000,000,000,000,000 miles).
And the Milky Way is just one galaxy.
It's just like one village in a nation like India. Telescopes seem to
indicate that there are at least as many galaxies in the Universe as
there are stars in the Milky Way - at least 100 billion galaxies.
But that is not the end.
Galaxies tend to be grouped together
into Clusters, and clusters are grouped into Super-clusters. Is there
anything larger than a supercluster ?
We’re trying to find out!
But there are other fascinating
objects out there. What about Quasars and Black Holes?
Astronomers think that Quasars,
which are 8 to 10 billion light years from the earth, may be the most
distant objects in the Universe. Quasars are among the most exciting
discoveries of the 20th century, but they appear as faint dots of lights
on ordinary teles-copes.
They seem to be super-luminous,
radiating enormous energy. What makes quasars so powerful?
Other mysterious space phenomena
are called “Black Holes.” These "non-objects"
are believed to be the result of dying stars. They have been called
celestial vacuum cleaners as they devour everything that crosses their
path. They have been called “bottomless pits” into which
even massive stars disappear with-out trace. Could there be millions
of blacks holes out there, as some astronomers believe?
Scientists and astronomers are
seeking answers to these and many other questions. To find some of the
answers, the United States and Europe have placed very expensive giant
telescopes in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990.
In July 1999, NASA deployed an
even more power-ful space telescope - the Chandra . “Extraordinary
first images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory trace the aftermath
of a gigantic stellar explosion in such stunning detail that scientists
can see evidence of what may be a neutron star or blackhole near the
“Another image shows a powerful
X-ray jet blasting 200,000 light years into intergalactic space from
a distant quasar.
The quasar radiates with the power
of 10 trillion suns’ energy which scientists believe comes from
a supermassive black hole at its centre.” -
January 2000 / <http://chandra.nasa/chandra.html>
In Dec 1999, the European Space
Agency deployed the XMM, the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope.
The $1 billion orbital observatory, scientists hope, will give an insight
into the origins of the universe. Astro-physicists say the XMM is five
times more sensitive than the Chandra.
The study and enhanced viewing
of the Universe is certainly intriguing. For most of us, the Universe
is simply mind-boggling, and like King David of old we exclaim:
“When I consider
Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which
You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and
the son of man that You visit and inspect him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
The more we learn of deep space,
the more unending the Universe becomes. It’s like “Eternity.”
Man, for sure, is discovering a
lot of hitherto un-known scientific data, both in the Universe “above”
us, as well as in the microscopic world “within us” - our
human genetic system.
But to gather enormous amounts
of data without knowing the One who has created and provided the data,
would be like gaining the whole world but losing one’s own soul.
Blessed is the astronomer who can heartily say, and sing ...
O Lord my God,
when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the works Your hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the roaring thunder,
Your power throughout the Universe displayed,
Then sings my soul, my Saviour, God, to You,
How great You are, how great You are!
in awe of YAHWEH the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge
of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
|HOW DID IT
immense size of "space"; the sheer beauty; the orderliness of
the heavens; and the laws of celestial mechanics - how it all works -
is all very intriguing, whether you are a scientist, or a simple star-gazer.
And naturally the
question comes up, How did the Universe begin? Did all this happen through
a “big bang”? Is it all the result of random chemical reaction?
While the searching
of the heavens brings new exciting discoveries every year, we can be sure
the searching of the heavens will not reveal the actual origin of the
Universe, and life. Telescopes and exploratory space-craft reveal the
results, not the origins. The origin is not in the physical, but in the
is discovered in the Word of God.
The Bible begins
with the unequivocal statement ...
THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH.” (Genesis 1:1)
The Book of Hebrews
faith we understand that the universe was formed by the spoken Word of
God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
Yes, we can understand
the Origin, by faith - not “blind faith,” but by faith in
the revelation that God has given in His Word.
Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path ... The sum total of
Your Word is truth.” (Psalm 119:105, 160)
The Bible is not
a scientific textbook, but it is the Book of the Origins. It reveals the
origin of the Universe, the origin of the world, the origin of angels,
the origin of evil, the origin of the species, and the origin of man.
The Universe did
not start with a “big bang.” It began with the spoken Word
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. He (the Eternal Son) was with God in the beginning before all time.
All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came
into being that has come into being. In Him was life; and that life was
the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)
“Then God said,
‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the
day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for
days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens
to give light on the earth’; and it was so.
God made the two great lights; the greater light to govern the day, and
the lesser light to govern the night. He made the stars also. And God
placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness.
And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:14-18)
appoints the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”
Who is God? Who is
this great Creator?
The Almighty God
has revealed His name, and the fact that He has created the universe,
in the original Hebrew Bible:
says Yahweh, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the laws of the
moon and the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea so that
its waves roar; Yahweh of Hosts is His Name.” (Jeremiah 31:35)
who made the Pleiades and Orion and turns deep darkness into morning,
who also makes the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth. Yahweh is His Name.”
says Yahweh, your Redeemer, and the One who formed you from the womb,
‘I, Yahweh, am the Maker of all things, stretching out the heavens
by Myself and spreading out the earth - who else was with Me?” (Isaiah
(The personal Name of the Heavenly Father is revealed in the Hebrew Bible,
Written some 6,855 times the Name of Yahweh
revealed first to Adam and Eve. It was known by Abraham, and later was
revealed anew to Moses at the burning bush.
The name is connected
to the Hebrew verb hayah - to be, to live and to the title "I AM" of Exodus
3:14. The meaning of YAHWEH is "The Eternal One." Unfortunately
most of our English Bibles use a substitute word, LORD - 4 capitals -
instead of the Name.)
|WILL THE WITNESS
PLEASE SPEAK UP?
anyone there at “the beginning” to witness the creation? We
might expect the answer, “No-one!”
But there is a voice
that speaks up:
He prepared the heavens, I was there.
When He ordained a circle on the face of the deep;
when He strengthened the clouds above;
when He established the fountains of the deep;
when He set boundaries for the sea
so that the water would not transgress His command;
when He marked out the foundations of the earth;
then I was beside Him, as a master craftsman;
and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him,
rejoicing in His inhabited world,
and My delight was with the sons of men.” (Proverbs 8:27-31)
The voice is that
of Wisdom. And yet it is not an impersonal wisdom. “Wisdom”
here is the voice and Person of the Eternal Son - “the Only Begotten
Son of God.”
In 1 Corinthians
1:24 the apostle Paul says:
Messiah is the power and wisdom of God.”
And in Colossians
2:2-3, Paul adds: “... the Messiah, in whom
are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Was the Son of God,
Jesus the Messiah, involved in the creation?
Yes, very much so!
The Son was “the Word,” who existed with the Father, and who,
Himself, was God. The following three Scriptures make it clear that Jesus
is the eternal Word.
Messiah, Y’shua, who, although existing in the form of God - being
in very nature God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in
human likeness.” (Philippians 2:5-7)
the past, God, Yahweh, spoke in many and various ways to our forefathers
through the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His
Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made
the ages and the universe. The Son being the radiance of God’s glory
and the exact representation of His very being and nature, upholds all
things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)
He is the visible image of the invisible God, the ‘First-born’
(the Origin, Model, and Heir) of all creation. For in Him all things in
heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether
thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created
through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things
hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)
Messiah means “The Anointed.”
has many titles, including, The Word, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Saviour, the King of Kings.
Name given to His humanity is Jesus, or in Hebrew, Y’shua, which
means, “Yahweh is Salvation.”
OF THE SPECIES
physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup is absolutely amazing!
We may not appreciate everything about man, but we must admit that he
(and she), is a "skilfully woven creature."
King David was very
aware, as most of us are, of the amazing complexities of man's physical
makeup. David 's perception:
will confess and praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My bones were not hidden
from You, when I was made in secret, and skilfully woven ‘in the
depths of the earth.’ Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
and in Your book they were all written - everything about me, including
the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
And how precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great has been the
sum of them!” (Psalm 139:14-17)
and wonderfully made” could likewise be applied to every type of
living species, from the bee and the butterfly, to the beaver and the
beast. It is very hard to find a species that has been carelessly made.
It’s true, we find an occasional quirk of nature - a deformed or
three-headed monster. But that’s a genetic breakdown - it's not
the whole of the species.
An ape, or an octopus,
is no less wonderfully made than man - but they are members of quite different
species. Every species has been designed individually and meticulously.
And yet some people say all species came from one original gene, which
happened to come into being by the force of random selection.
The Bible says God
made them all, and as separate species.
God said, ‘Let the earth produce grass and vegetation, plants yielding
seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them,
on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth produced grass and vegetation,
plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed
in them, after their kind. And God saw that it was good . . .
God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures,
and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.’
And God created the great sea creatures, and every living creature that
moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged
bird and fowl after its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed
them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in
the seas, and let the birds and fowls multiply on the earth.’ ...
God said, ‘Let the earth produce living creatures after their kind:
cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind’;
and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind,
and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground
after its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:11-12,
The Bible emphasizes
the species were created individually, and for various purposes. A careful
study of the various species reveals how different many are.
Man is supposed to
be the most “evolved” creature, but he lacks some of the unique
systems that animals have - such as the inbuilt sonar system of the dolphin,
the radar system of the bat, the navigational system of pigeons, and even
the amazing digestive system of the worm.
Just look at the
are not accidents! They are highly specialized creatures, designed for
their important task of burrowing through soil. They burrow into the ground
in all parts of the world, making an important contribution to the fertilization,
aeration and drainage of the soil.
They swallow huge
amounts of earth, digest the nutritional matter it contains, then cast
up the remains on the surface of the ground or in their burrows. In this
way they work at a constant and effective system of ploughing.
An average acre of
soil may house 3 million earthworms which can move about 18 tons of soil
in a year. Their work is so thorough that in the areas in which they live,
almost all the soil to a depth of many centimetres has passed through
the alimentary tract of a worm.
What a humble but
important “floppy tube of genetic material” that little
|AND WHAT IS
may not be so floppy.
Someone has described
man as “a bipeded packet of complicated genetic instructions.”
In which way is man
superior to the worm, and other species - if indeed he is superior?
Most of us, I feel,
are inclined to regard people as superior to worms
and animals. Fair enough. Just look at man's brain.
A Creation Science
message I heard recently empha-sized that man is indeed "skilfully
woven" by divine hands. It explained:
"The human brain
is an unlikely looking package, but oh the wonders that lie within! If
visible to the eye, the electro-magnetic chemical reaction of the brain
cells would probably resemble the random flickering of countless stars
in an endless universe.
The 12 billion cells
of the brain form approximately 120 trillion connections; and every cubic
inch of the brain contains at least a hundred million nerve cells interconnected
by 10,000 miles of fibre.
"It has been
said that man's brain is the most ordered arrangement of matter in the
entire universe. Its capabilities and potential stagger the imagination.
Could such a wonder simply evolve by time and chance?"
Amazing! All that complicated genetic instruction!
But why was man so
skilfully woven, and endowed with a compulsive capacity to search, to
figger out, and to "create"?
And why is he such
a "religious creature"?
The Bible gives us
is man that You, the Almighty, are mindful of him, and the son of man
that You visit and inspect him? You have made him a little less than the
angels of God, and have crowned him with glory and honour! You made him
rule over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet.”
In Genesis one, the
first chapter in the Bible, we read that man was made very uniquely -
in the image of Yahweh Elohim, the one true God who has revealed Himself
as the “Three-in-one” - the Eternal Father, Son and Spirit.
Man was made to have fellowship with Yahweh, and to share His life and
God, Yahweh Elohim ... created man in His own image, in the image of God
He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them
and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and
subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and
over every living creature that moves on the earth.’.” (Genesis
who is called by My Name whom I have created for My glory, whom I have
formed, yes, whom I have made ... This people I have formed for Myself;
they will declare My praise.” (Isaiah 43:7, 21)
Therefore the Scripture
“Remember also your Creator in the days of
your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you
will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’.” (Ecclesiastes
But many people say,
“No! Not youth! Old age is the time to remember God!”
Many refuse to honour
God in their youth, and then, sooner than they expected, they reach old
age. But even then they neglect their Creator, and their salvation, and
die as they have lived - without God.
Why must we remember
our Creator in our youth? Because we need Him at the beginning of our
lives, as well as at the end. We will all meet Him, sooner or later, and
when we do, we need to be secure "in Christ."
just as it is appointed for all men to die once, and after that to face
judgment, so the Messiah (Christ), the Anointed One, having been offered
once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not bearing
sin again, but bringing salvation to those who are eagerly expecting Him.”