Get Serious!
Part 2
Does God Exist?

John Plunkett

January 5th 2019

In Part One of this series, back on November 24th, my first major question to our young people – and any “babes in Christ” who were listening – was “Does God Exist?”

I told you then that I – and all the adult brethren here – do firmly believe that God does exist. 

I also showed you that the Bible, being the written Word of God, takes the existence of God for granted – in a proper way, of course!

We saw, also, that the scriptures tell us that even Satan and his demons believe that God exists. 

But none of those things, of themselves, can be taken as real proof of God’s existence.

So, in the sermon today, let’s look at some proof!  Real proof that God exists! 

And, rather than “reinventing the wheel” on this topic, I’m going to draw extensively from the late Herbert Armstrong’s excellent booklet, “Does God Exist?”

So, as Herbert Armstrong did, let us ask these very important supplementary questions: 

• Is it rational to believe in God? 

• Is God merely a myth – an invention of an ignorant, superstitious past? 

• Or can the existence of God be scientifically proven? 

Science and the Bible

Let’s just pause for a minute and take a quick look at that word “scientifically.”

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a news article mentioning a letter written by the super-famous 20th Century scientist Albert Einstein – a letter that was sold at auction for $2.9 million US!

In that letter, Einstein, a theoretical physicist, told religious philosopher Erik Gutkind that he did not believe in God’s existence and that he believed the Holy Bible to be merely a collection of ancient fables.

King David, who was a man after the LORD God’s own heart would likely have answered Herr Einstein with these words:

Psalms 14:1:
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” 

David believed his inspired opinion on this matter to be so important that he repeated these same words in Psalms 53:1.

Who do you want to believe?  David, a man after the LORD God’s own heart?  Or Einstein, who the world puts up on a pedestal as a paragon of intelligence; but who David calls "a fool"?

Let’s take a quick look at the topic of science and the Bible.

Is science even mentioned in the Bible?

Yes, it is!  Twice in the KJV:

Daniel 1:
1:  In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2:  And the Lord
{Adonai} gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his {Nebuchadnezzar's} hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God {Elohiym}: which he { Nebuchadnezzar} carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god {elohiym – a false god, of course}; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3:  And the king spoke unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes …
Verse 6:  Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah…

… who we know better by the Babylonian names that Nebuchadnezzar gave them: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

If we were to look deeper into the context, we’d see that there’s a high probability that these four lads were very well-educated princes; but even more than just well-educated... let’s look back now at verse 4 which we skipped over:

4:  Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

This verse gives the idea that these four lads had true intelligence and that they were educated in true science.

True science?  Is there such a thing as false science?

Yes, there is!  We find it mentioned in the only other scriptural mention of science – again, in the KJV: 

1 Timothy 6:
20:  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of “science” falsely so called: 
21a:  Which some
{including the foolish Albert Einstein} professing have erred concerning the faith… 

From a comparison of these two “science” scriptures – one in the Old Testament and the other in the New – we get the idea that there is false scientific knowledge; but also that there is also true scientific knowledge.

So, let’s be careful not to “throw the scientific baby out with the scientific bathwater” – as so many professing and true Christians have done.

Okay to Respectfully Question God's Existence

Herbert Armstrong wrote that, in the early days of his calling, he really wanted to know whether or not God exists.  He wanted to be sure.

So did I!  I hope that you do too!

Yes, Herbert Armstrong one questioned the very existence of God!

But to be fair, he also questioned the opposing doctrine of evolution. 

He wrote that he didn’t seek to disprove either.  Rather, he researched and carefully examined the evidences on both sides of this two-sided question. 

He admitted that this huge question is the very starting place for the acquisition of all knowledge and that it is the very foundation for true understanding!

In his in-depth research into this question, starting in the early part of the 20th century, he tried to empty his mind of prejudice and he sought the truth – whether it was what he wanted to believe, or not.

There are only two basic possibilities of origins: special creation by a Creator and the theory of evolution. 

For well over a hundred years now, it has become increasingly, intellectually fashionable to accept the evolutionary doctrine, which has won popular acceptance in science and higher education.  Even many professing Christian denominations have passively accepted it!

Yet, though in the minority, there still remain some very well-respected scientists, educators and fundamentalist religious groups, including some in Judaism, who cling to belief in the existence of God.

Don't just Assume!

Many of these, however, especially among the more or less religious individuals, have merely assumed the existence of God.  Why? 

For many, likely because they were taught it from childhood.  Because it had been believed in the circles in which they have lived or associated. 

But it is also likely that few of these have really proved it!

Of course, on the other hand, perhaps a vast majority who accept evolution were simply swept into that acceptance in school, college or university.  It has become the scholarly "in" thing.  In most schools, colleges and universities, the opposite belief, special creation, has not been taught – or even examined in recent years. 

Too frequently, proponents utilize the psychological ploy that the acceptance of evolutionary theory is a badge of scholarly status; but that to doubt the evolution hypothesis is a stamp of ignorance or intellectual inferiority.
All of which goes to show that people in general believe what they do, simply because they have been taught it, or because they have assumed it, or because it has been accepted in their particular social environment. 

People – perhaps especially young people – want to belong!  They want to go along with their particular group.  In general, they believe what they have taken carelessly for granted – without examination or proof!

People generally believe only what they are willing to accept.  In many – or even most – instances, people feel no compulsion to refuse what is accepted in their social or geographical environment.  To do so might cause embarrassment or even ostracization.

As one philosopher said, most dyed-in-the-wool evolutionists accept the theory because of their reluctance or unwillingness to believe in God. 

Not just to believe!  As the book professing to be the Word of God says, they are reluctant and unwilling to obey God – and His life-giving commandments – His laws:

Romans 8:7:
Because the carnal
{human} mind is enmity {hostility, hatred, animosity, antagonism} against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

All the facts, positive evidence, rational reasonings and proofs in the world will never induce such a person to accept what he’s prejudiced against; because prejudice is a barrier to the entrance of truth into any mind.

Herbert Armstrong found Proof!

Upon his examination of the facts, Herbert Armstrong came to realize that there is no proof for the theory of evolution.  Although the zealous proponents of evolution push it onto the world as if it were proven fact, just look it up in any dictionary or encyclopedia and you will see that evolution is purely a theory – a belief – a faith not based on proof. 

The Latin and Greek origins of the English word "theory" mean viewing or contemplating.  A theory is merely someone’s viewpoint, something that someone is contemplating.  Not a set of proven facts!

On the other hand, in his research, Herbert Armstrong did find proof of the existence of the Creator.  He also found proof that the Holy Bible is, in fact, the very inspired revelation from that all-intelligent, all-knowing Creator – the God of the vital, necessary, basic knowledge and instruction, without which man is unable to solve his problems, prevent his evils, or live in peace, happiness, universal prosperity and abundant well-being here on earth. 

Man is the crowning product of his Maker.  The Bible is our Maker's “instruction manual” that He sent along with His “product.”

Which God?

An atheist once asked Herbert Armstrong this question: 

"We have the history of many religions, and many gods.  Which one of these gods do you claim for your God -- and how do you know that He exists?"

That's a fair question.  It deserves an answer!

The so-called "gods" of some nations have been carved by men's hands out of wood, stone or some other existing material.  The so-called "gods" of some religions and individuals have also been carved -- out of human imaginations and faulty human reasonings.  Some have worshipped the sun or other inanimate objects of nature.  All these so-called "gods" are merely the created – most of them formed and fashioned by man – and therefore inferior to man. 

From the mouth of a man whose living was to manufacture shrines for the pagan goddess, Diana:

Acts 19:26:
Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul
{the apostle} has persuaded and turned away many people {i.e. from idolatry}, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.

And then Paul speaks about this for himself:

Galatians 4:8:
But then, indeed
{before your calling and conversion}, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Many other scriptures bear out this fact -- that anything but God the Father and the Lord Jesus is not a god at all. 

But they – God the Father and Jesus (the Word) – who did the creating – they who brought everything that exists into existence – including all else that is falsely called “god” – they who created all matter, force and energy, they who created all the natural laws and set them in motion, they who created life and endowed some of it with intelligence – they are superior to all else that is called "god."  

They alone are God!  (At this point in time, at least – John 10:34; I John 3:2).

Creation without a Creator?

The theory of evolution provided the atheist an explanation of a creation without a Creator; but this misguided belief failed utterly to account for the origins of matter and of life.

However, today, the more truthful and candid among geologists and biologists confess that they do not know how life could have evolved from inanimate matter, through the simple life forms, to the complex, interdependent species we see about us and finally, to man. 

So, the evolutionists want rationalism?  OK, let’s be rational!  Let’s confine ourselves to facts!  What has science actually determined?

The atomic age has opened up the discovery and study of radioactivity, which, during the past 123 years since its discovery has proved that there has been no past eternity of matter! 

Radioactivity is described as a process of disintegration.  The very main synonym of the term radioactivity is “nuclear decay”!

Soon after Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the element radium in 1898, it was discovered that radium and the other radioactive elements are continually giving off radiation.  

Uranium is one of those radioactive elements.  As it decomposes, it gives off radiation and helium atoms.  The substance that is left is called Radium.  

But Radium is not the end-product.  The disintegration continues and the final product – the actual end-product – of this process of radioactive disintegration is Lead. 

This disintegration process requires great periods of time.  The term used is “half-life.”  The calculated “half-life” of Radium is 1,590 years.  Uranium’s half-life is much longer – ranging between 159,000 years to 4.5 billion years, depending on the type!

What this proves is that there has been no past eternity of matter!  Matter had a beginning!  All physical things that exist started somewhere and at some time!

When Matter didn't Exist

The radioactive elements in existence today have not yet been in existence long enough to have run their course and to disintegrate into lead. 

To have always existed, without any definite time of starting in the past, this "half-life" period of all radioactive elements would have run its course long ago, and all of those radioactive elements would have long ago disintegrated into lead. But they haven't!

Since radioactive elements exist only for a definite span of years, and since all the uranium, radium, thorium and other radioactive elements in the world today have not yet existed that many years, there was a time, prior to the duration of this span in the past, when these elements did not exist!

Here we have definite scientific proof that matter has not always existed!  Here we have definite specific elements which once, in the long ago, did not yet exist!  Then there came a time, later, when these elements came into existence!
In the past, the evolution theorists had usually postulated that things come about gradually, through the slow-moving natural processes to the present. 
Try to imagine, if you can, something coming into existence – out of nothing gradually!   Can your mind even entertain such an idea?

What true science has discovered about energy, its origin and the laws of conservation of energy proves conclusively that "the works were finished from the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:3) – that the material creation is a completed work, which is not now going on!

If you are truly rational, you have to accept the fact of a special and necessarily instantaneous creation.  Logically, some power or some one had, of necessity, to do the creating!  

There is a cause for every effect.  And in accepting that inevitable fact, proved by the findings of science, of the existence of that "great First Cause," you have accepted the fact of the existence and preexistence of the Creator!  God! 

However, in more recent years since Herbert Armstrong wrote his booklet on this topic, the atheistic evolutionists – including today’s theoretical physicists – have increasingly come to believe that that instantaneous “creation” (although they certainly wouldn’t call it that!) was initially caused by what they call “the Big Bang.”  

But even the Big Bang idea necessitates the prior existence of matter and of natural laws!  If there really was a Big Bang, what went “Bang”? 
What was it that exploded?  And what natural laws caused it to do so?

Where did Life come from?

But, just for the time being, let’s shelve our discussion of the initial beginnings of the physical universe, and let’s ask this important question of the evolutionists:  How did life get here? 

True science has learned some things about this, too.  Even the very wisest of the ancients didn’t know what true science makes available to us today.  It can be scientifically demonstrated today that life comes only from life, and that each kind reproduces only after its kind:

Genesis 1:25:
And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good.

The works of Louis Pasteur and others in the field of bacteria and protozoa demonstrated scientifically in these minute fields the law of Biogenesis – that life can come only from preexisting life.

All the advances of recent medical and surgical science in the treatment and prevention of germ diseases are based upon this great truth.  No fact of true science stands more conclusively proved today.  Life cannot come from dead matter!

There is not one shred of truth from science to account for the presence of life upon the earth by any means other than a special creation by the great “original First Cause” – God – who is life and the fountain source of all life! 

It is now absolutely certain, according to all that can be known from science – according to all that is rational – that it required a real creation to produce life from the not-living – to produce organic from inorganic matter (Genesis 2:7).

Life Only From Life

One cannot rationally deny the existence of God unless he can account for the origin of life without a Creator who, Himself, is life! 

The Creator, therefore, begins to be revealed, by science and by reason, not only as a living God; but even more, a God in whom is life, and who alone has imparted life to all that have it:

John 1:
1:  In the beginning was the Word
{Greek: Logos}, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2:  The same was in the beginning with God.
3:  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
4:  In Him
{Jesus – the Logos – the Word} was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 5:26:
For as the Father has life in Himself; so has He given to the Son
{Jesus} to have life in Himself;

II Timothy 1:1:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God
{the Father}, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

I John 5:11:
And this is the record, that God
{the Father} has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

By having life in Himself, Jesus actually was the life!  He still is!

John 11:25:
Jesus said unto her
{the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well}, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”

Colossians 3:4:
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.

Is Anything Superior to your Mind?

Next, let's examine whether the “great First Cause” is a Being of intelligence, or merely some blind, dumb, unintelligent “force” or “Big Bang.”

I’m sure that we’d all accept that the transmission of knowledge to our minds is limited to the channels of our five senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste – all controlled by our brains.

Other than the things of God, of course, do you know of anything that is superior to a human being’s brain and mind?

David wrote – and probably sung – these words:

Psalms 19:1:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.

Look at the planets coursing through the sky.  Behold, in all its splendour, the entire cosmic universe, with its suns, nebulae and galaxies. 

Amazing?  Yes.  But they are inanimate!  They have no brains, no minds, no intelligence!  They cannot do what you can do – think, reason, plan, and carry out plans according to your own private volition and will.

Yes.  The human mind can know, think, reason, plan, and carry out its plans to execution.  It can invent and produce instruments by which it may acquire knowledge of the vast universe, or of the minutest particle. 
By developing rockets and computers, man has been able to send astronauts to the moon and bring them back alive and to send probes to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and to the far reaches of our solar system.  Man can cause rivers to run backward and can turn the forces of nature to serve human needs. 

But there remains one thing no man ever has ever been able to do.  Even with his astonishing computers and robotics, he cannot build, make, produce, or create anything that is superior to himself!

A man can take existing materials and build houses and cars out of them.  A modern car is almost a living thing; but the intelligence and powers required to invent and produce it are superior to the thing produced.

The Supreme Intelligence

To suggest to you that anything you could invent, make, build, or bring into being could be superior in intelligence and ability to you and your mind would certainly insult your intelligence!

Let me ask you candidly: Do you honestly believe that any power or force of less intelligence than your mind produced you?

If you do not believe in the existence of God, then you have only the alternative of believing that something less than your intelligence produced you and that dumb, purposeless unintelligence brought into being your intelligence! 

The only rational alternative to this is to acknowledge that the very presence of the human mind is proof that the “great First Cause” is also the supreme intelligence – infinitely superior to the abilities of mortal man!

Suppose You Were Creator!

Suppose you could add creative power to your existing powers of reasoning, planning and designing – actual creative power so that you could project your will anywhere – to produce and to bring into being whatever your mind should plan and desire. 

Then, suppose you undertook the designing, creating, fashioning, shaping and setting in motion of a limitless cosmic universe – with planets, suns, nebulae and galaxies in all their splendour, each of these vast units being of such intricate and complex construction as the existing universe. 

On just one of these planets (perfectly located, by the way) you would plan and produce all the forms of life that exist on this planet – and I don't mean re-produce, for there would be no present universe or earth to copy!

There would be worlds within that one world, right down to the minutest infinitesimal particles of matter that we cannot even see by the aid of the most powerful microscopes.

Do you think your mind would be equal to the task?

Is it rational, then, to believe that any power or force lacking even human intelligence could have planned, designed, created, formed, fashioned, shaped, put together and set in motion the actual awesome universe we behold?

The First Great Cause who created matter, then, stands revealed as the Supreme Intelligence and Architect of the universe!

The Miracle of Living Food

We human beings on this earth are composed mainly of certain, specific elements of matter – living, organic matter.  These elements of life must be supplied and replenished through food, water and air.

No man with all his ingenuity and science and laboratory facilities can actually produce food!  That is, he cannot take plain inorganic matter and turn it into the living substance that we call "food." 

But some Power, Force, Intelligence or Being did, in some way, at some time, start the process going – a process far too wonderful for any man to devise or produce.  And so it is that out of the ground grows grass, vegetables, vines and trees yielding fruit – each with its seed in itself, each through this seed reproducing after its kind.  And it is very good! (Genesis 1:11-12).

When a marvellous little grain of wheat is planted in the ground and is watered and warmed, a plant develops and sprouts above the ground.  In some manner too wonderful for any human mind to understand or imitate, the elements drunk in through the roots from the ground are utilized by the life germ in the seed of wheat, and new grains of wheat appear.  During this process, the inorganic elements dissolved in the ground are “drunk” into the wheat plant’s roots, are carried up into the new grain of wheat, having been converted into organic matter which can be assimilated as food.

And this same marvellous process takes place in the growth out of the ground of all grains, vegetables, fruits and foods. When we eat animal meat, we are merely consuming, secondhand, the vegetation which the animal ate.

Man, with all his vaunted science, with all his technical laboratory facilities, with all his inventive genius, lacks the intelligence and the powers to produce a grain of wheat, or to convert inorganic matter into living food. 

Is it rational, then, to believe that forces or powers exist of no intelligence, which have been able to produce this living miracle of food?  Did not a far greater intelligence than man design, create, and supply man with all of this?

Man's Intelligence Versus God's

But now let's compare the wisdom and intelligence of man with that of God who did bring these marvels into being and who keeps them functioning.

The grain of wheat that God causes to grow out of the ground is a perfect food.  But, like other perfect gifts from God, man fails to value the priceless perfection of the all-wise God, and, undertaking to improve on God's handiwork, perverts, pollutes and defiles it!  It seems that almost every bit of God's perfection that man's hand has ever touched, he has besmirched, spoiled and polluted!  And the poor, defenseless grain of wheat is no exception! 

The sugar refiners do the same thing to sugar; and nearly all processed foods on the market for human consumption today have gone through man's factories and suffered from man's processes until they have been devitalized, depleted of their health-giving requirements and, in some cases, turned from foods into slow-acting poisons! 

These foodless foods with which man has tampered in his lust for profits have produced in human bodies a whole series of diseases of which our forefathers of a few generations ago never heard!  The result of this is that, today, human beings age – or even die – before their time, due to heart failure, cancer, rheumatism, arthritis, diabetes, kidney diseases, anemia, colds, fevers, pneumonia, and thousands of other ailments. 

Whose intelligence is higher?  That of the God who provided every perfect need for every living thing?  Or that of greedy, gullible, God-rejecting humans who, in the interest of bigger profits and more luxuries for themselves, have robbed the very foods that God created and gave us, of their health and body-building values?

No Watchmaker?

Decades ago, before the digital age, Herbert Armstrong needed an accurate clock for timing the church’s World Tomorrow radio broadcasts. 

In those days, the only kind of clock that filled the need was a “railroad watch” – the very finest watch made at the time.  He bought one; but soon discovered that his new watch did not keep perfect time.  Once or twice a week he had to adjust it a second or two, as he needed to be sure that it was accurate to the very second.  He set it by the master clock of his city, which was located at the offices of Western Union – a major communications company.  

But even that clock did not keep perfect time.  Once or twice a week, it too had to be adjusted a couple of seconds by the USA’s master clock, located at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. 

But even this great master clock of the United States was not perfect!  It, too, must be adjusted and corrected occasionally – by the Master Clock of the Universe – up in the skies – by astronomers!  Up there in the heavens is the great Master Clock that never makes a mistake – is always on time – is never off even by a fraction of a second – the heavenly bodies coursing through the skies!

If I were to show you Herbert Armstrong’s fine, precision, 23-jewel Railroad Watch and tell you:
• That it was not made in a watch factory,
• That it was not designed, planned, put together, by any watchmaker at all,
• That it just sort of happened,
• That the iron ores just brought themselves up out of the ground, refined themselves, formed and shaped themselves into the delicate little cogs and wheels and other pieces,
• That the silicon just came of its own accord out of the earth and turned itself into the glass crystal,
• That the gold case just refined and shaped itself,
• That the cogs, wheels and scores of little parts just assembled themselves together in that case, wound themselves up, and started themselves running and keeping almost perfect time… 
If I tried to tell you anything like that, you'd tell me that I’m nuts!... wouldn’t you?  Of course you would! 

You would know that the presence of that watch is rational and positive proof of the existence of a skilled watchmaker who thought it all out, designed it, planned it, formed it, shaped it, put it together and started it running.

Master Clock of the Universe

But a person who denies the existence of our Creator God would look up into the great vast sky at the Master Clock of the universe, which never misses a second – the perfect timepiece by which we must constantly set all our imperfect man-made watches – and tell us:
• That all just happened
• There was no great Watchmaker! 
• No Master Mind thought out and planned that vast universe, brought it into being, set each star and planet in its own exact place, and started the myriad heavenly bodies coursing through space, each in its prescribed orbit, in its orderly precision. 
• It just fashioned itself, put itself together, wound itself up, and started itself running. 
• There was no intelligence – no planning – no creation – no God!

If a skeptic can say such things, how can we respect his intelligence?
If he can look about himself and observe how intelligently planned and executed everything in nature is – in plant and animal life – in everything we see – except the bungling, botching, polluting of God's beautiful handiwork by the clumsy hand of God-ignoring-and-rejecting man – and then say that he doubts the existence of an all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God, then I don’t have much faith either in that skeptic’s rational processes or his sincerity as a seeker of the truth!

Once again, the God that we acknowledge would reply to the skeptic:
"The fool has said in his heart, there is no God!" (Psalm 14:1; 53:1)