A Voice in the
" God in a Test Tube "
(empirical proof for God?)
"Remember this, and be a man; refresh the memory of your heart, you who rebel. Remember the former things from a long time ago; for I am the Mighty God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one else is like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from antiquity things which are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes my counsel from a distant land. Indeed, I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have formed it; I will also do it. Listen to me, you
stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness; I bring near My righteousness. It shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not delay. And I will place salvation in Zion, My glory for Israel." (Is46:8-13)
This month's article will briefly and simply (and not by any means exhaustively) answer an e-mail that came in from a person named "Thomas":
Question: "I have asked countless christians, muslims, jews, hindu, buddhists, taoist, and multitudes of other individuals of all manner of religions to show me proof that any kind of diety [sic] exists. As of yet, none has been successful in such endeavours. Would you, perhaps, have this proof? By proof I mean empirical evidence, not simply some words written on a page that have been changed and adapted to political needs over centuries. If you have this proof, I would very much like to see it. Thank you for responding."
Around 2000 years ago there was another man named "Thomas" who had similar doubts. Jesus had just been crucified, and then rose from the grave and appeared to the others, Thomas not being there on that occasion. When they told him "We have seen the Lord" he said, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not ever believe." (Jn20:25)
Thomas wanted "empirical evidence" of Jesus' resurrection. Something he could see and touch. So a week later Jesus appears again, and this time says to Thomas, "Bring your finger here, and look at My hands; and bring your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." Thomas exclaims, "My Lord and My God!" (vs27-28)
This person wants proof that is not "words on a page". Well, to even be able to answer this question I will have to put "words on a page". When scientists conduct experiments, they notate their methods and note the results with "words on a page". Why... the question itself came to me in the form of "words on a page".
And in order for mankind to know the extent of the "experiment", God has also notated the methods and results with "words on a page". But the experiment is not yet finished, thus also, in order to prove His own existence, He has predicted the outcome, so that those observing at the end of the "experiment" will be able to witness whether the "words on the page" agree with those concluding events.
This God, who exists, has asked mankind to, "Come now and let us reason together, says Jehovah" (Is1:18) The name "Jehovah", by definition means, "existing one". That is His name.
"I am Jehovah; that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images." (Is42:8)
Thus, as we begin to -reason- briefly, here, let us consider... If a manuscript was found, containing words, would not any reasonable person conclude that there was some person or entity that -wrote- the manuscript? Manuscripts don't just appear out of thin air. We have such a manuscript. It is called the Bible, the Holy Scriptures. Yes, there are those who keep trying to change it when they make translations...but God's -original- words have never changed. His Word "stands firm in the heavens" (Ps119:89) And another name for God's Son, Jesus, is "the Word" (Jn1:1) You
see, by definition, God's very existence is defined by words. Thus, if we were to take "words on a page" out of this equation, it would be like taking the 'stuff' out of the test tube in which the experiment was being conducted; thus, making the experiment invalid. It would be as if to say: Let's test something, but don't test it. Kinda ridiculous, huh!
The Bible is one of the proofs of God's existence. It is God's 'manuscript' to man.
The Bible is a record of 7000 years. It was written over a span of about 1500 years, and was written by dozens of different men; but even though written by so many people, it all agrees. It agrees because the Author was singular, the same Holy Spirit of God writing through all those different people. (2Pt1:21) Even though "no one has seen God at any time" (Jn1:18, 1Jn4:12), He has made Himself known through the Holy Spirit writing the Words of Scripture.
Some of the Bible is History. Some was current events at the time of writing. And other is prophecy. Many prophecies have already been fulfilled, which secular history books can verify. Other prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes. One of the biggest items of prophetic fulfillment is Israel. The fact that Israel exists, as a nation, after so many years of Diaspora, and various attempts to obliterate them as a people, is proof of the OT prophecies that God would re-constitute them as a nation. (Ezk37) And there are many other prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
The thing is, 'we' also -are- part of the "experiment". We may think we have "God" in this hypothetical test tube. But the very fact that God created the universe "in the beginning" (Gen1:1), and we are here discussing it, means that we are also part of the experiment. And in this, we are in a unique spot: because not only are we the 'objects' of the experiment, but we have also become the 'observers' of it.
If we can see from Job chapters 1&2 that God and the angels have continual discussions about the creation, man and God's dealings with man; and as we see how satan challenged God regarding Job; we might also speculate that a 'discussion' was had in the Heavenlies about man -before- man was ever created. Perhaps a challenge from the fallen angels to put a 'test' before man, to see what he would do with it?
The test was a simple one, really. The choice of two fruits: One leading to life, and the other to death. And so Eve chose death. And we see the empirical evidence of death: pretty much everybody who has ever been born, has also died. I say "pretty much" because there have been a couple of exceptions: Enoch and Elijah. And the experiment has been progressing ever since. There's yet another thousand years before all is said and done.
Now... the Bible predicts the outcome, a thousand years from now. But will everything turn out that way? You see... the experiment is still progressing.
But part of the experiment is to see how mankind will react and respond to God throughout the course of the experiment. It's somewhat like a treasure hunt, and God has left 'clues' all over the place.
The best place to hear God's empirical reasonings is to read the book of Isaiah. Much of God's arguments are laid out before man like the reasonings in a court of law, where evidence is brought forth and observed. It's a long book; but if the reader is serious about answers to this question, it is a "must read".
Since many different religions were listed, God also addresses idols, and compares Himself to them. In our opening passage God proclaims the fact that He proclaims things, and does them. And the many prophecies that have already been fulfilled should be sufficient as proof. That part of the experiment was a 'success'.
But by comparison, idols just sit there. They are crafted by man, and must be carried. They are not capable of -words-, either to hear or speak. Nor can they predict the future, and God taunts them...
"Make known the things to come after this, so that we may know that you are gods. Yes, do good, or do evil, so that we may anxiously watch it together." (Is41:23)
But the #1 proof of God's existence is The Creation. His manuscript opens with the declaration,
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen1:1)
The very fact that we are here, we exist, and are even having this discussion, in and of itself, is proof of His existence.
God is repeatedly addressed as the God, "WHO MADE THE" heavens, earth, world, sea and all that is in them, Pleiades and Orion. (Ps115:15, 146:6, Am5:8, etc.etc)
Typically, those who don't believe in God have only one other option: the so-called Big Bang and Evolution. Speaking of mathematically empirically impossible odds!!!
A person never finds a watch sitting someplace, or computer or other piece of sophisticated equipment, and concludes that those things arrived there BY CHANCE. Any reasonably thinking person -knows- those things were designed and made by 'someone'.
So, if such a person would put their hand in front of their face, and use their (imaginary) x-ray vision and peer down through the layers with pre-learned understanding of the hand's makeup...consider its complexity. Now, move along to the rest of the body, and how it is made and functions. "..for I am awesomely and wonderfully made" (Ps139:14) Now, consider the complexity of the earth's eco-system that sustains life.
What are the empirically calculated mathematical chances that even one of those features could somehow mysteriously devise, design and implement itself. Now multiply all those improbabilities times each other. You want "proof"? There is no proof for evolution.
But God tells us the proof for His existence:
"The heavens declare the glory of the Mighty God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Day unto day pours forth speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor words where their voice is not heard." (Ps19:1-3)
And to those who refuse to believe:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is clearly recognized by them, for God has revealed it to them. For ever since the creation of the world the unseen things of Him are clearly perceived, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse," (Rom1:18-20)
So... a thousand years from now the experiment is finished, and the results are tabulated. The contents of the test tube settled out. The desired product is poured into a container for safe-keeping; and the impurities that settled out are tossed in the garbage, perhaps even burned dued to their toxicity.
Oh... that's right! -WE- 'ARE' the experiment.
The righteous ones, whom Jesus calls "blessed" because they didn't need to see the final result to Believe, as Job says, "...when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job23:10)
But the unbelievers, who didn't get noted in the empirical data of the Book of Life, get thrown in the the "lake of fire" to be "tormented day and night forever and ever" (Rev20:10)
How about a crude example:
A person finds himself in a solitary cell of a dungeon. How did he get there? He knows not. Is he the 'only' person around? Is anybody else around? He cannot see anybody else, nor can he reach out and touch. But periodically he hears a 'tapping' sound, of some recurring pattern, and after time, these tapping noises become predictable, so he looks forward to them. Periodically some food is pushed through a slot on a tray, so he receives nourishment. He does not see who puts the food there, but he knows it is real, eats it, and keeps his strength up. Then one day a piece of
paper gets pushed through under the crack of the door, with a message. The message, claiming to be from the one making the tapping noises and providing food, explains how he got there, with also the promise that if he will stay near the window, that he will send somebody to break through the window to rescue him out of there. Do you not suppose he will be spending his time near that window?
As this is being written, another prophecy is nearing fulfillment: the resurrection of the "dead in Christ" and a joining with them of alive Believers, who will be raised up to be with Jesus Christ in the clouds. (1Th4:16-17, Jn11:25-26) When you see it happen, you will then also have the basis to believe that it happened to Enoch and Elijah (mentioned above). And if such an 'improbable' seeming event would happen before your very eyes, and it did back then... then, how much else in the Scriptures is also true?
"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He served with menís hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell everywhere on the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and
move and exist, as also some of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine is like gold or silver or stone, something engraved by art and manís devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead." (Ac17:24-31)
The fact that you exist, and could read these "words on a page", and have been experiencing God's provision for your existence... also proves God's existence.
The fact that you exist is proof of God's existence. If God did not exist, neither would you.
"Come now and let us reason together, says Jehovah: Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Is1:18)
Jesus said to Thomas:
"Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those not seeing and yet believing." (Jn20:29)
For the Believer, Jesus is the One...
"whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him yet, believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory," (1Pt1:8)
Do not be a "doubting Thomas", but believing.
Q/A: God Reneging His Attributes?
Related topic: Always Reminding