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[Home]>[How to Measure Your Beliefs]>[2. Faith Principles in Creation]
This is the 2. Chapter of
"How to Measure Your Beliefs."
by Frank L. Preuss
2.1 The Spiritual Realm
2.2 Believing and Speaking
2.3 Made Out of the Invisible
Has faith something to do with the creation of the world? Are there principles that govern faith? What principles did God use when he created the world?
We want to have a look at such principles, what they have to do with creation and how we can apply them in our daily lives as believers.
In order to understand the spiritual realm, it is helpful to first define the physical world. The physical world is the world God created in the beginning. It is the world science is concerned with; it is that which our five senses can perceive.
A man is a spirit, but he has a soul and he lives in a body. The actual person is our spirit, it leaves our body when we die and exists eternally; it returns to God. With this spirit we believe and have contact with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God. Our soul is our mind, our will, our thinking capacity, and our emotions. Our body is the house we live in. With our soul and with our body we stay in contact with the physical world. It is this physical world that God created in the beginning.
The Bible speaks of the beginning of this world, but also of its end. The time of the existence of this world is therefore limited.
In Genesis 1:1 the beginning is described: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." The word "beginning" is here related to time. Sometimes we speak of the beginning of a road and then we have a geometrical beginning. But this beginning in the first verse of the Bible is related to time: in it the medium time is described. The beginning was when time began. The word "heaven" is a good description of the astronomical term space as we know it in "space craft" or "space flight." And the word "earth" is a description of mass.
When time began, space and mass also began to exist. Or in other words: Before the beginning, there was no time and no space and no mass.
We find the teaching of the beginning of the world not only in the beginning of the Bible. The beginning is mentioned in many parts of the Bible. Often we find the name of God and the description of God connected to this beginning and God is called the God who created the heaven, the earth and the sea and everything in it. In the New Testament Jesus mentions the beginning several times. An example is found in Mark 10:6, "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female."
The Bible does not only describe the beginning, it also speaks of the end. In Matthew 24:35, Jesus says: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Here Jesus speaks clearly about the end of the physical world, but he also speaks of the spiritual realm, because the words that will never pass away are spirit (John 6:63). Jesus declares here that after the end of the physical world the spiritual world will continue to exist, that his words will live for ever. In 1 Corinthians 7:31 we find this statement: "And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away." In 1 Peter 4:7 it says: "But the end of all things is at hand." And in Revelation 10:6 we read: "That there should be time no longer."
The end of space (fashion of this world), of mass (things) and of time is appointed by God. With space, mass and time we can define the whole physical world and the Bible shows us clearly that this world of ours has a beginning and that there will be an end. Our world is temporal; it is finite.
In contrast to this we have the spiritual realm, it is not finite, it is infinite, everlasting; like God's word, it will never pass away. God already existed before the beginning, because he created the physical world. God preceded the beginning and he will be after the end; he is eternal.
God created the physical world out of the spiritual realm. The spiritual world is therefore the more important one; without the spiritual world the physical world would not exist. The spiritual world is of a higher dimension than the physical world. God is spirit (John 4:24) and he created the world. He created the visible world out of the invisible.
But God not only created the world. He also sustains it. Out of the spiritual realm, God sustains the physical world. It says in Colossians 1:17, "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." We have a confirmation here that the creator Jesus was before all things, but also that in Jesus all things hold together. When we read this, that in Jesus all things hold together, we start thinking of gravity, magnetism and nuclear energy. We get an idea of how these physical powers might really function. We see that the powers that hold together the microcosm and the macrocosm have something to do with the Son of God. The word of God plays a part here, because according to the first chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus is the word of God. The word is spirit, and the visible is held together by the invisible. In Hebrews 1:2-3 we have a good description of this: "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power."
Jesus upholds all things and he sustains all things by his powerful word. The Son is before all things (Colossians 1:17), Jesus existed before the beginning; the spiritual realm existed before the physical world was created and will exist after the physical world has passed away. And the spiritual realm holds together the physical world, sustaining it.
This is therefore our first faith principle: that the spiritual realm is more important than the physical realm, that the invisible creates and sustains the visible. The spiritual realm is superior to the physical. This principle is important when we consider creation and when we want to live the life of faith. When we believe and pray and speak we are active in the spiritual realm and able to alter things in the physical world.
For us, the spiritual realm must become more important than the physical world, because we will influence, govern and control the physical world through the spiritual world. With our words - that are spirit - we operate in the spiritual realm and have authority in the physical world.
Our second faith principle is that believing and speaking are connected. In Hebrews 11:3 we find that God's faith and God's word played a part in creation: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
In this our first faith principle is confirmed: the visible was made out of the invisible. And we are also told that God's faith and his command formed the universe. And God's command is his word. Our second faith principle is therefore that believing and speaking correspond: they belong together. This is a fundamental principle in our life and we will have a look at it by reading Romans 10:8-10 - the passage that speaks of our salvation through Jesus Christ: "But what saith it (righteousness which is of faith)? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Here we hear that believing is done with our heart - our spirit - and that confessing is done with our mouth. This is the way to righteousness and it is also the way to have our prayers answered. In each of these three verses, the same principle is repeated: that believing and confessing go together.
So let us read these three verses again and see this connection:
But what saith it (righteousness which is of faith)? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (Romans 10:8)
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)
Believing and confessing go together. This rule is important in a believer's life, but it is also general and applies to all people. It works not only for things we want; it also works for things we don't want. People always get what they believe in and what they say. It is effective for good and the bad. Many people live in darkness, because they always let negative words come out of their mouths. And it is especially effective when we also believe what we say. We have what we confess. This applies to believers as well as unbelievers. It is a general principle. Because it is so important in the life of a believer and was important at the time of creation, we want to read some more scriptures. When we go through these four scriptures now, we will note how often the words "faith" (not doubt, believe) and "say" occur and how they are connected with each other.
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove. Matthew 17:20.
If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done. Matthew 21:21.
That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:23.
If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:6.
Again and again in these four scriptures - all four are sayings of Jesus - we see how Jesus connects faith with saying. Repeatedly Jesus says: If you have faith, you can say.
In Romans 10:17 Paul refers to the connection between faith and the message: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. And in 2 Corinthians 4:13 (from Psalm 116:10) everything is summed up:
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken. We also believe, and therefore speak.
We now want to see how God applies this principle in creation. We have already seen that God formed the universe by faith and in Genesis 1:3 we see how he spoke it into being:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
We see that God began the universe by speaking. From John 6:63, we know that words, that are spoken, are spirit. When God spoke he created in the spiritual world, because words are the expression of the spiritual world. With his words - which are spirit - he created out of the spiritual realm, physical things. This is described clearly in Hebrews 11:3. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." And because God has authority and he commanded, that, which was spoken in the spiritual realm, manifested itself in the physical world, became reality in the visible, became things that are seen.
This formula from Genesis 1:3 is so important to God, that he wrote it down - not once but ten times. This repeated description can hardly be exceeded in its impressiveness. Between Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 1:30 we find this formula repeated again and again:
And God said, "Let there be ....." And it was so.
God could easily have described his creative work in a different way, but he chose this almost tedious tenfold repetition to picture the principle of his physical world and to make sure that it is not misinterpreted. God wants to make it clear and plain to us, the readers: out of the spiritual, invisible world of words, physical things are created. Through words spoken in faith - spoken with the mouth and believed in the heart - physical objects are made - made out of the spiritual realm.
In Genesis 1:26-27 we find one of these examples:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over..... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.
This is the eighth time the Bible uses this formula; but this time we also find the statement that we were created in God's image and that we therefore have to act like God and use this formula just like him. We have authority as God has: we have to rule over things on this earth, and we do it by applying this formula.
In Psalm 33:6 and 9 we have a good example how God spoke with authority:
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made;
And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
For he spake, and it was done,
he commanded, and it stood fast.
Four times, in every line, God expresses his formula. The last line uses the word "commanded," and to command means to give orders - to speak with authority.
A foreman on a well organised construction site has authority over his people and knows when he gives orders, they will be executed. When the foreman says: "Pour concrete into the foundations!" it will be done. But behind this order of the foreman is a situation of preparation and planning. He is trained and he has experience, he knows what the building has to look like, he knows the drawings, his people, the plant and the material. He knows the whole situation on that site. His authority has something to do with all this. If he should give orders without knowing what is going on, on site, just to show everybody that he is in charge, his site would soon be in a bad shape.
We want to read Isaiah 40:12, "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?"
It seems that God worked similar to a construction man: first came the design and then the construction, and both are based on knowledge and experience. We have to be prepared in order to be successful.
This applies to God - and us as well. If we want to change things in our life - and in the life of others - through prayer, confessions and speaking, we have to prepare ourselves and gain authority. We must know God, ourselves and the devil; we must know the Bible - God's word and will.
This word must become part of our lives. We must meditate on it, understand it and learn to apply it - experience it. Only with this background will we come into a position of authority. We find other scriptures regarding our authority in Psalm 8:6, Mark 16:17-18 and Luke 10:19.
When we are in this authoritative position, we will be able to speak out the solutions, found in the word of God, to problems that we observe. In this manner, the situation will be changed and come into agreement with the word of God. We have received the same authority that Jesus has and we therefore have to act like Jesus. That is the reason why we are called Christians, the followers and successors and imitators of Christ. We follow him and do what he did. Sometimes we do even greater things. This is expressed by Jesus in John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do."
Our second faith principle is therefore that faith and speaking are correlated; when we believe - and when we speak - we change things.
Our third faith principle is that physical things are made out of the spiritual realm. We want to refer once again to Hebrews 11:3 and read the last part of this scripture. "So that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." This is difficult to understand. Here our natural mind experiences problems; our imaginative faculty is not sufficient. But we make contact with the spiritual realm by faith; this is why God has given us faith (Romans 12:3).
We have reached the point now where we have to realise what faith is all about. When we consider faith, we consider the supernatural. Faith is believing in God and therefore in the supernatural, because God is supernatural. He is a spirit. God's existence can't be proven by natural means; in Hebrews 11:6 we are told how we have to come to God, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." We must believe that God is; we can't separate God from the supernatural. Our third faith principle is therefore our faith in the supernatural; our faith in the existence of the spiritual realm, the invisible. In Hebrews 11:1 we find a description convincing us of the existence of the invisible realm. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Nevertheless, we want to draw attention to something that might help us understand the connection between the supernatural and the physical world. In Hebrews 1:10-12 we find another description of the beginning and the end, "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."
These three verses refer to much of what we have already considered, but let us look upon one statement: God will fold them up like a robe. Let us reflect on how he might do this folding up of the garment.
If we take the vast distances between planets or between stars and compare them with the diameters of these heavenly bodies, we see how small diameter is in relation to distance. The same applies in the microcosm. The actual volume of mass, compared to the space in which it exists, is very small. Gravity and nuclear power are the forces that act between these bodies. They influence the position of planets, stars, sub-atomic particles. If we imagine these forces being removed and all mass coming together into one packet of mass, it would probably be quite a small packet. This model, derived from classical mechanics and quantum mechanics is not supposed to attempt explaining the creation of matter, but it can give us an idea of how important these binding forces are, of which the Bible says that they are Christ (Colossians 1:17).
It says that in him all things hold together, therefore Jesus has something to do with the creation and the sustainment of things. We get an insight into the underlying method. Maybe Jesus used this method when he worked miracles, when he made wine out of water, when he caused healing in sick bodies or when he walked on water. Jesus did not only speak to people, he also spoke to things. He spoke to waves (Mark 4:39) and he spoke to the fig tree (Mark 11:14). He controlled these binding forces; he created all things and he sustains all things: he does it through his powerful word. For Jesus can rearrange and heal by just speaking the word. He is best suited to do any repair job.
And we, as his followers, are suited as well, because we can use his name, and act in this name, and rule over the world. In Acts 3:6 Peter said: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." And he saw the result of his words. Peter was made in the image of God: he spoke and so it was. His faith in the supernatural was the basis for this.
God's work in creation can be summarised as one principle. We find it in Romans 4:17, "God calleth those things which be not as though they were." When God created the universe, he called into being what did not exist. We are created in his image and we do the same: we call things that are not as though they were. When we do this - when we call things that are not as though they were - we have our eyes on the invisible, on the spiritual, on the word of God, on the will of God. We fulfil our commission as Christians and bring the Kingdom of God to the people and create as God created, when he made heaven and earth. This expression, "I call things that are not as though they were," we should learn by heart, know by heart and speak out whenever we have to remind ourselves of our spiritual position.
This is the end of the 2. Chapter of "How to Measure Your Beliefs."
Next chapter: 3. Faith Principles Out of the Mouth of Jesus
Contents see: "How to Measure Your Beliefs
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