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CHRISTIANITY - CREATION, DOMINION MANDATE, GREAT COMMISSION

CREATION, THE DOMINION MANDATE, AND THE GREAT COMMISSION

When God created man, He placed him in control over His entire physical and biological Creation. Man was His steward, not to exploit and misuse, but to develop Creation for the good of all and the glory of God (Genesis 1:26‑28). This "Dominion Mandate" is still in effect.

In a July 4 address in 1783, Dr. Elias Boudinot, then President of the Continental Congress, stated that his reason for advocating an annual Independence Day observance in America was the great precedent set by God himself.

“No sooner had the great Creator of the heavens and the earth finished His almighty work, and pronounced all very good, but he set apart not an anniversary, or one day in a year, but one day in seven, for the commemoration of his inimitable power in producing all things out of nothing.”

The fact of Creation was also clearly implied several times in the Declaration of Independence, with phrases like "endowed by our Creator," "created equal," and "Nature's God."

Someone has pointed out that at least the first 24 state constitutions recognized Biblical Christianity as the religion of their states. Yet today, the Bible, Christianity, and Creationism have been banned from schools of the states which were founded to teach these very truths! All this in the name of a gross distortion of the First Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment, which was intended to prevent the establishment of a particular national denomination such as Catholic or Anglican, has instead been so twisted as to establish evolutionary Humanism in the United States as the quasi‑official religion of all our public institutions!

Psalm 8:6‑8 and Hebrews 2:6‑8 show that Christians are still governed by the Dominion Mandate and the Missions Mandate of Christ's Great Commission given in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. Christian "ambassadors for Christ" of 2 Corinthians 5:20 are under even a greater responsibility than the unbeliever to fulfill both of these commands. They are commanded to serve with enthusiasm in whatever legitimate vocation they follow. No calling is excluded if it is done in obedience to God and His Word (Colossians 3:23‑24).  In 1 Peter 2:13‑16, Christians are commanded to be good citizens of the secular government because they are thereby serving God.

Effectiveness in witnessing for Christ under the Great Commission to a large degree is contingent on our faithfulness under the Dominion Mandate--being good stewards of God's Creation, good workers in our jobs, and good citizens of our countries.

An indicator of the importance of the doctrine of Creation is the emphasis that God has placed on it throughout the Bible.

  • Creation is the theme of the first and foundational chapters of the Bible, Genesis 1 and 2.
  • The restored creation is the theme of the final chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21 and 22.
  • The longest divine monologue in the Bible is God's response to the philosophical disputes of Job and his friends, Job chapters 38 to 41. This response does not deal at all with the issue of human suffering which these men had been debating for 35 chapters, but solely with God's Creation and His providential concern.
  • The New Testament has many references to Creation, with the prologue to John's evangelistic Gospel being of special significance.
  • Every book of the Bible except the three one‑chapter personal epistles of Philemon, 2 John, and 3 John contain one or more references to the people and/or the events of the first 11 chapters of Genesis.
  • The structure of human time commemorates over and over again, week by week, the completed creation of all things in six days. Preaching the gospel necessarily includes the preaching of Creation stated in Revelation 14:6‑7.

Christians are so accustomed to thinking of Jesus in His human form that they tend to overlook the fact that He was also our great Creator. We can never fully understand the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, but we can believe them by faith.

  • Before His appearance in human flesh, Christ was One with the eternal Father as God the eternal Son and also one with the eternal Holy Spirit--one God, in three persons, the Holy Trinity.
  • At His birth, He became the Son of Man, God in human flesh, while still retaining His deity and eternal status as Son of God.
  • It is the second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, who "declares" God to us in John 1:18. We see Him on earth in human form, hear Him speak through the Scriptures, and sense His presence through the Holy Spirit. He created us and then redeemed us from sin.

The normal response to the beauty and order of the Creation is one of thanksgiving and praise! A great mystery of human nature is the fact that intelligent scientists, familiar with these phenomena, can actually attribute them to blind chance through random mutations and natural selection processes. The only explanation of this attitude is expressed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:21‑28.

Modern intellectuals speak of "millions" or "billions" of years just as though they knew what they were talking about! The fact is, of course, that no human being could possibly relate humanly to such num­bers.

  • The rise and fall of kingdoms that thrived two or three thousand years ago is considered ancient history.
  • The very beginning of real history, events which have been recorded and preserved in actual, written accounts, goes back only a few thousand years at the most.
  • Anything earlier than that must necessarily be a matter of some degree of speculation since there are no records.
  • This was confirmed many years ago by Colin Renfrew, the premier living archaeological and linguistic scholar in England. He argues that 3100 B.C. is approximately the date of the founding of Egypt's first dynasty. Then he adds the following:    Mesopotamian chronology is less reliable than the Egyptian, and it does not go back so far. This date of 3100 B.C. thus sets the limit of recorded history. No earlier dates can be obtained from a calendar, and dates cannot be regarded as reliable before 2000 B.C. . . . Any dates before 3000 B.C. could be little more than guesswork, however persuasive the arguments and the evidence after that period.”

Renfrew did overlook one chronology more ancient than that of Egypt, one that would extend history back an additional two thousand or so years. That, of course, is the Mosaic chronology as preserved in the ancient Book of Genesis, which, if accepted, would make the early chapters of Genesis the most ancient historical record in the world.

  • Liberal scholars reject Genesis.
  • Any dates that are older than that, especially the dates assigned to the supposed geological ages and to the evolutionary history of life, must necessarily be speculative.
  • Any calculated age exceeding 6,000 years before the present must be based on some natural process whose rate of operation in some defined system can be measured as it exists at present, plus one or more assumptions as to how it may have functioned in the past. The components of the system must be known as they exist in the present, and then one or more assumptions made as to their state in the past.
  • Therefore, to make an age calculation on a very simple system of only one changing component, the following quantities must be either known or assumed:        Quantity of the component existing at present in the system; Average rate of change of the component in the past; Quantity of the component at the beginning.

               Comment–too much unknown, too many assumptions!

The Bible gives an age for the earth of just a few thousand years.

  • The time of the Creation of Adam would be no longer ago than about 6,000 years.
  • The length of time for the days in Creation week has been demonstrated conclusively to be only six solar days.
  • The term "solar day" refers to the time for one rotation of the earth on its axis, today approximately 24 hours, resulting in a day/night sequence.
  • According to Genesis 1, light and the day/night cycle were created on Day One, the sun wasn't created until Day Four, so there was no sun during the first three days.
  • In Scripture, however, there is no differentiation between the length of the first three days and the last three, and the entire week is referred to as being "6 days" long, followed by a day of rest.

Yom is the only Hebrew word which can mean a solar day. It occurs over 2000 times in the Old Testament, and in all cases, the use of the language implies a literal meaning for yom.

When the Hebrew word yom is modified by a number, such as "six days," or the "third day" (as it is some 359 times in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1), it always means a literal day.

The words "evening and morning," which always mean a true daily evening and morning, define yom some thirty‑eight times throughout the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1.

These Hebrew grammar facts will not allow any other meaning. God’s word itself will not allow any other meaning. Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:4 were obviously intended to give a chronology of events that really happened, just as written. Perhaps the most definitive passage was written by God's own finger on a slab of rock so that we couldn't get it wrong, Exodus 20:8‑11, the fourth of the Ten Commandments regarding resting on the Sabbath Day.

The word "remember" in Hebrew, when used as a command, as it is in Exodus 20:8, always refers back to a real historical event. And "for" in Exodus 20:11 is usually translated "because." It too refers back to a real historical event. Thus, the days of our real work week are equated in duration to the real days of Creation. Same words, same modifier, same sentence, same slab of rock, same Finger which wrote them. If words mean anything, and if God can write clearly, then Creation occurred in six solar days, just like our days.

Furthermore, when the plural form of yom is used, yamim, as it is over 700 times in the Old Testament, including Exodus 20:11, it always means a literal, solar day. How could God, the Author of Scripture, say it any more plainly? He did it all in six solar days! The passage in Exodus also clears up another mystery. "If God is omnipotent, surely He is capable of creating the entire universe instantaneously. Why did He take six days?" The answer is, to provide a pattern for our work week. We are to work six days and rest one, just as He did. The seventh day rest is a commemoration of His perfect work of Creation.

This Creation soon came under the death sentence due to the rebellion of Adam against God's authority. Later, the earth's surface was restructured by the world‑wide Flood of Noah's day.  Old‑earth and young‑earth views of Creation are extremely different in their conclusions. Attempts to straddle the fence and accept them both will be unsatisfying—scientifically and Scripturally.

Most secular scientists think that young‑earth advocates are wrong. They have little regard for Scripture and have probably never been exposed either to proper Biblical interpretation technique or to good scientific data in support of the young earth. From their way of thinking, the old‑earth idea must be true, regardless of what the Bible says. To top it off, even if the days of Genesis were long periods of time, and if Genesis gives an historical account of Creation, the problem still remains. The order of Creation given in the Bible differs markedly from the order of appearance of things in the evolutionary view. Any attempt to harmonize the two always results in severe twisting of Scripture.

Some Christians, especially those trained in science, feel they must adopt the popular view among secular scientists because after all, how could science be wrong? Perhaps it's peer pressure, the desire to be accepted and recognized by one's colleagues. Perhaps it's a misplaced understanding of the abilities of scientists to reconstruct the past. But whatever the reason, many Christians insist on holding the popular viewpoint of "science."

Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. To the Bible‑believing Christian, science must be compatible with Scripture, and so the two are combined somehow. As it concerns Evolution and old‑earth ideas, this combination takes the form of theistic evolution, progressive Creation, the gap theory, the day‑age theory, or the framework hypothesis. But in each case, it is Scripture that suffers and is made to bow to the opinion of secular scientists. But scientists change their view, and Scripture must be reinterpreted. Christians must recognize that Scripture is truth, and that incomplete scientific data must be interpreted within a Scriptural framework.

The context and the way in which the word "day" is used in Genesis 1 imply a literal solar day. If yom means “solar day” in the rest of the Bible, why would Genesis 1 be the exception? Why would God create a controversy in the very first chapter of His Word?

When you attend a Baptist church around Christmas, you have heard of the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. You are probably familiar with her missionary work in China. However, I don’t know if you are aware of her connection to this Creation controversy.

In 1881, Lottie Moon was engaged to Crawford Toy, well-known Hebrew scholar, professor of Hebrew at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages at Harvard University. Following the Civil War, he had studied in Europe, absorbing both Darwinism and the higher criticism and rationalism of German scholars such as Wellhausen, who denied that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Toy began to see Darwin's theories as truth revealed by God.

Seeking to harmonize the first chapters of Genesis with the emerging science of his day, he held that the days of Genesis 1 were geological periods.

However, as a Hebrew scholar, he knew that the Hebrew text required that the term ‘day’ meant a natural day of 24 hours. So he then moved to the view that the writer of Genesis was not describing history but had divided all created things into categories and had assigned them to days for poetic and rhetorical vividness. This, too, ceased to satisfy him because the Hebrew grammar clearly shows that Genesis is written as historical narrative.

Sadly these ideas brought him to the point where he was convinced that the proper approach to the Bible was to “take the kernel of truth from its outer covering of myth”.

Lottie was shattered and grief‑stricken when she learned of the new theology and liberal beliefs of the man she had once so much admired and now so deeply loved. When asked by a relative in later years if she had ever been in love, she replied, "Yes, but God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result."

I can only say, what a testimony of faith!

THE INVITATION

You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).

To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).

You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actactually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

      Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.

      Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.

      I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.

      Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to you.

                     In Your name I pray, Amen.