Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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July 14, 2007
Last Updated :
November 25, 2018
Greek Word "Kosmos" Refers To Both The World And The Universe, True Extent Of Universal Reconciliation, Sinful Human Nature, Spiritual Rebellion From The Beginning, War Of The Mind, God Is A Man Of War, War In Heaven And On Earth, Spiritual Nature Of Our Warfare, Sin And Free Choice In Heaven, Fallen Angels, Scope Of Universal Reconciliation, What Has God Been Doing Since Creation?, Is There Life Between Heaven And Earth?, God Is Not Wasteful, It Is Not Our Place To Judge God, All Things Were Created For God's Pleasure And Glory, We Humans Are The Lord's Most Cherished Creation, No Visual Observation Yet Of Extrasolar Planets, What Conditions Are Necessary For Life?, Alternative Biochemistry And Non-Carbon-Based Life Form Theory, Why Do Vast Distances Separate Theoretical Inhabited Planets, We're Accountable For Our Actions, Judgment Seat Of Christ
I am not sure that "kosmos" refers just to the Earth; because in the original Greek it pertains to those things that belong to the entire world, or to the entire Universe. Consider some of the definitions which are found in Thayer's Greek English Lexicon:
----- Begin Quote -----
1) an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution,
2) ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement
of the stars, 'the heavenly hosts', as the ornament
of the heavens. 1Pe 3:3
3) the world, the universe
4) the circle of the earth, the earth
5) the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
----- End Quote -----
It becomes clear then, that "kosmos" does indeed have a dual application. It can be used to refer to those things which pertain to the Earth, or it can apply to the entire Universe and those things that it contains, which, as we saw in part one, are often referred to as the "host of heaven"; that is to say, the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, and whatever else is out there just waiting to be discovered by man's prying eyes via modern technology, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, radio telescopes, inter-planetary probes, etc.
In light of this dual meaning of the word "kosmos", we need to re-address the issue of Universal Reconciliation. Are we correct to assume that it only applies to the Planet Earth; or might it be possible that Universal Reconciliation really should be understood as meaning restoration to a harmonious relationship with God throughout the entire Universe? To say it in another way, is the Sacrifice of Christ only the Price of Redemption for the citizens of Planet Earth, or should His Sacrifice be understood as being the Universal Atonement for all manner of sin everywhere, including on other planets where intelligent life may also possibly exist? This would certainly solve the problem I discussed earlier concerning Jesus having to hop from one planet to another in order to atone for the sins of each planetary civilization.
As we saw in part one, the word "worlds" is derived from the Greek word "aion"; and its definition does lightly suggest that this word could possibly be used to refer to extrasolar planets; that is, those planets which are located outside of our own Solar System. You will recall that I stated that our ancient spiritual forefathers may have even known something about such things, even though the science did not exist at the time to prove them. Spiritual revelation is not limited by the knowledge and science available at any given time.
Perhaps one way we can resolve this question of Universal Atonement, would be by working in reverse. In other words, we already understand why Jesus' Sacrifice was so necessary. We already comprehend that due to the breach which was made as a result of the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve, we must each be reconciled to the Father, because the sinful nature, and its consequences, death, have been passed to all men. So to understand the scope of the Atonement, maybe all that we need to do is to first understand the full scope of the necessity for Reconciliation.
Having said that, allow me to ask you a rhetorical question. Is the need for Reconciliation only limited to the citizens of Planet Earth? Did the breach only occur on our planet; or did it extend beyond the Earth? In my view, the Scriptures seem to offer the idea that God's Plan of Restoration goes well beyond the Earth; in fact, all the way to the Halls of Heaven. This idea is clearly supported by a number of verses found within the pages of the Bible.
For example, in "Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis", I explain that as far back as the Book of Genesis, we learn that Satan has rebelled against God. We likewise have the clear account of the Fallen Angels in chapter six of that same book. The Prophet Isaiah also writes about Lucifer's fall, due to his pride, which Jesus also briefly mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. We also find spiritual battles occurring in the Book of Daniel. Finally, Revelation chapter twelve explains how Satan and his cohorts -- the dragon and a third of the stars of heaven -- are cast out of Heaven after their sound defeat by the Archangel Michael and his Angelic Warriors.
So exactly what are these Scriptural examples telling us? In my view, they make it rather clear that spiritual rebellion has existed since man was first placed upon this planet, and perhaps even before that. The previous examples, which I more amply discuss in a number of other articles, reveal that all is not well on Planet Earth, or in the Spirit Realm. In fact, I would dare say that what occurred here on Earth thousands of years ago in Eden, was quite possibly a direct result of what had already happened in the Spirit Realm.
In other words, I suspect that the rebellion that occurred in the Spirit Realm, ultimately resulted in a physical rebellion here on our own planet; because whether we realize it or not, each of us are influenced by spiritual forces; and as I point out in other articles, these forces wage a constant battle in our minds and with our thoughts. These evil forces attempt to entice us to rebel against the Will of God and to sin against Him. Thus it is, that the Apostles Peter and Paul warned us to control our thoughts and to gird up our minds; in fact, to be renewed in our minds, and to obey Christ. Consider these verses:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Genesis 6:5, KJV
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:2, KJV
"For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
1 Corinthians 2:16, KJV
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;"
Ephesians 4:23, KJV
"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled"
Colossians 1:21, KJV
"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
Hebrews 12:3, KJV
"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"
1 Peter 1:13, KJV
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5:8, KJV
If one carefully studies the Bible, he discovers that from the very beginning, in the Book of Genesis, to the very end, in the Book of Revelation, God is a man of war; and that war has been waged in Heaven and on Earth, for the hearts, minds and souls of men. God has engaged in a relentless multi-level war against rebellion and unbelief for thousands of years in Earth time, and we humans are in fact the prize of that war. This war is centered on saving our souls, and winning us to God's Kingdom. Please consider these verses:
"The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name."
Exodus 15:3, KJV
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."
Matthew 11:12, KJV
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Ephesians 6:12, KJV
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,"
Revelation 12:7, KJV
"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."
Revelation 17:14, KJV
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."
Revelation 19:11-21, KJV
As God's children, and His chosen and faithful, we too are an important part of His Army of Salvation here on Earth. We are soldiers, and warriors of the Spirit, whom God has called and entrusted to fight "the good fight of faith". We are to wage relentless warfare against the lies and deceptions of Satan, which that Evil One has used to ensnare the hearts, minds and souls of men.
We are also told in the Scriptures that our primary weapon in this great spiritual battle, is the Sword of the Spirit; that is, the very Word of God; because our battle, in large part, is a war of words and of ideas; just as it was in the days of the Prophets; just as it was in Jesus' day with the Scribes and the Pharisees; and just as it was in the days of the men and women who followed in His footsteps; so we must learn to use our Sword well. Please read the following verses which confirm these points:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, KJV
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
1 Timothy 6:12, KJV
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:3-4, KJV
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"
2 Timothy 4:7, KJV
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Ephesians 6:10-11, KJV
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
The fact that there is war in Heaven, clearly demonstrates that there is room for sin, rebellion and free choice there. God does not preside over a world full of robots. The fact that the Fallen Angels were able to make the choice to leave their Heavenly Abode, as Jude tells us, and come down to our planet, in order to engage in illicit sexual relations with human women, is another clear example that free will exists there. Jude had this to say:
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
Jude 1:6, KJV
Obviously, God does not tolerate rebellion; and He does deal with it quickly; but nevertheless, it does occur; or at least it did occur in the past, depending on your understanding of the Scriptures. In short, what seems apparent to me, is that Reconciliation must occur on both a physical level, here on Planet Earth, as well as on a spiritual level, in the Halls of Heaven. In part six, I shared some verses with you which seem to add Scriptural weight to my current understanding of what Universal Reconciliation may really mean. Allow me to refresh your memory by sharing those verses with you again:
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"
Colossians 1:20-22, KJV
As you can see, it is obvious that Paul is clearly discussing Universal Reconciliation; and he clearly defines the scope of Reconciliation. He specifically says "reconcile all things", "things in earth", and "things in heaven". Exactly how does this Reconciliation of all things in Heaven and Earth occur? You probably realize that "him" is referring to Jesus Christ. So again, we see that Jesus is undeniably the only Universal Atonement which God the Father recognizes; and the Sacrifice of Christ results in Universal Reconciliation in Heaven, and on Earth. It is all-encompassing. That's why Paul also wrote:
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, [Jesus] and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"
Philippians 2:9-10, KJV
Notice that Paul even includes "things under the earth". As I explain in some of my Apocrypha-related articles, as well as in the article "Hell, the Lake of Fire and Universalism", I hold to the view that Paul is referring to the rebellious spirits which are currently imprisoned in the bowels of the Earth, as per the accounts found in the Book of Enoch, Peter's writings, the Epistle of Jude, and the Book of Revelation. Please see these other articles for more details concerning this issue.
Now, with the question of Universal Atonement and Universal Reconciliation answered, this brings us back to one of the key points we discussed earlier in this series: extrasolar planets and other planetary societies. In part one, I asked the question: If God completed all of Creation in Six Days, and He rested on the Seventh Day, exactly what has He been doing since then? Has He just been abiding His time ruling the Universe; or is it possible that He has been engaged in other Works of Creation, possibly including the creation of other intelligent beings in other parts of the Universe? Do you know the Mind of God? I most certainly don't. Can you or I dictate what He must or must not do?
If Reconciliation is required both on Planet Earth, as well as in the Halls of Heaven, what does that suggest concerning all of the other inhabitable planets which may possibly exist between our own Solar System and God's Throne? It is rather obvious that life abounds here on the Earth. It is likewise obvious from the Scriptures that life also abounds in Heaven; although, of course, it is of a very different nature. If we take into consideration our current understanding regarding the vastness of the Universe, is it logical to assume that everything found between these two points is just lifeless, cold, uninhabited space? In spite of its awesome beauty, is Outer Space really dead?
If we Earthlings are truly the only intelligent beings in the entire Universe, then based upon my current understanding of how God operates, it would seem rather wasteful to create so many galaxies, star systems, planets, etc., and yet leave all of them unpopulated. The Scriptures teach us by example, that God is not wasteful; so in my mind, an empty Universe devoid of other planets is a problem in that regard. You may recall that even Jesus had His Disciples collect the leftover bread after He had fed the five thousand.
Yet, at the same time, as I have noted several times now, we must remain mindful of the fact that it is by no means our place to judge God. Neither is it our place to tell Him what He must do, or even what He must not do; because as we saw in part one, God's Ways are past finding out. Whether or not He populated other planets, assuming that they exist, is God's decision alone, and not ours.
While I have expressed the view that lifeless space might be considered wasted space, other Christians reason that this is not so. They claim that if God created all things for His own pleasure, in order to reveal His Power and Glory, as His Word does indeed indicate, then whether or not other planets exist which are populated with intelligent life, is really a moot point. As I mentioned in part one, the Book of Revelation, as well as King David, tell us the following:
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Revelation 4:11, KJV
". . . The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."
Psalms 19:1, KJV
While it is indeed true that God's Glory is clearly revealed through the awe-inspiring, magnificent tapestry of the night sky, nevertheless, I still hold to the view that, as much as the physical Universe gives Him a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction, it was, and is, in God's creation of humankind, where He has found the most pleasure -- and heartache -- due to the fact that we humans were created in God's very own image. I believe that God cherishes us more than anything else that He has created; so much so, that He even sent His own dear Son to die for us, once we had fallen into sin. As the Bible also tells us:
"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."
Psalms 103:13-14, KJV
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16, KJV
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he [Jesus] laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
1 John 3:16, KJV
While the word "pitieth" is used in the King James Version of the Bible, the actual Hebrew word which is used in those first two verses, that is "racham", actually means to love, to love deeply, to have mercy, to be compassionate, to have tender affection, to have compassion. This is the very same Hebrew word which is used in the following popular verses:
"It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23, KJV
So, in my mind, while God could find pleasure in an empty Universe devoid of life, other than that which is found on our own planet, I propose that He would find significantly more pleasure in a Universe which is populated with human life from one end to the other. After all, the Scriptures do tell us that we are the object of His affection; we are the apple of His eye. He jealously guards and protects us, just as a person will also quickly raise their hand to protect their eyes when something threatens them.
Of course, you must realize that to even suggest the idea of intelligent extraterrestrial life, is based entirely on the assumption that there are truly other inhabitable planets in the Universe. As I have stressed repeatedly, to date, nobody has ever visually observed or photographed any planet beyond our immediate Solar System; and of those extrasolar planets which, according to news reports and scientific papers, have allegedly been discovered by various means of detection other than visual observation, to date, none of them have offered any data to suggest that they harbor life of any kind, as we know it. Based upon their proximity to their host star, their size and other factors determined by their spectral analysis, most of them possess environments which are inhospitable to life. While a small number of theoretical planets have been found within the so-called "Goldilocks Zone", we simply do not possess the scientific means at this current time to determine whether or not they harbor any form of life.
Of course, in all fairness, and considering God's greatness, we should consider the possibility that if some form of alien life does exist elsewhere in the Universe, it may do so under conditions which we may currently consider to be totally non- conducive to life. As a Christian, I currently lean towards the belief that if intelligent life does thrive elsewhere in the Universe, following the pattern that God laid here on our own planet -- that being that we were made in God's image -- it too may be of humanoid form. However, this is simply my personal assumption, and I could be mistaken.
Perhaps due in part to our own arrogance, we naturally assume that any form of intelligent extraterrestrial life must look like us; that it must require atmospheric conditions similar to our own, that is, an atmosphere that consists primarily of a nitrogen-oxygen base; that it must require a certain amount of light; that the planetary pressure and temperature range must be within limits we find on our own planet, etc. But is this the absolute law? Is God limited by these laws? Perhaps not. Even our own science has revealed that life can find a way to exist in some of the most inhospitable environments.
In director James Cameron's amazing 2005 film, "Aliens of the Deep", we learn that life has been found to thrive thousands of feet beneath the surface of the ocean, where it is daily subjected to astounding pressure; just as it might be on some of the alleged extrasolar planets, many of which are as large as the planet Jupiter, or larger. This same ocean environment is totally devoid of sunlight; yet in spite of this fact, a plethora of life flourishes there; which negates the commonly held belief that all life forms require sunlight in order to survive.
This documentary also challenges our beliefs concerning the acceptable temperature ranges where life might exist, and in fact, proves them wrong. To my personal amazement, Cameron's film shows certain varieties of shrimp, crabs and tube worms which apparently experience no difficulty existing within the sulfur-laden water currents that are super-heated to hundreds of degrees by deep-ocean hydrothermal vents, also known as submarine volcanic fissures. At the same time, the point was made that the crews of the "Deep Rover" submersibles who were filming the documentary, had to maintain a safe distance from the super-heated water, lest the acrylic glass, (Polymethyl methacrylate), of their biospheres melted due to the extreme water temperatures.
While many people assume that oxygen is a necessary component in order for life to exist, this also is not true. There are, in fact, certain organisms, such as "oxygen-hating" bacteria, known as "obligate anaerobes", which not only strive to avoid oxygen, but will die in its presence. If you are an aquarium hobbyist, you may be familiar with the nitrification process. When water flow through an undergravel filter is insufficient, this condition can result in an anaerobic environment, whereby the oxygen level in that area of the gravel is low, or oxygen is altogether absent. In the latter case, anaerobic bacteria may begin to thrive there. This is a dangerous condition for the aquarist, as it may result in high levels of ammonia and nitrite collecting in the water, which can lead to sickness, or even the death of one's livestock.
While, due to our observations on Earth, we assume that all organic life must be carbon-based and water-based, how do we know with absolute certainty that this applies to the entire Universe? Within the field of alternative biochemistry, it has been proposed that rather than the hydrocarbon molecule -- hydrogen atoms bonded to carbon atoms -- being the building block of life, silicon bonded to oxygen -- or silicones -- may possibly serve the same function in some alien environments, although it is recognized that there are some serious flaws to this theory. Current studies indicate that carbon atoms outnumber silicon atoms in the Universe by a ratio of about ten to one.
In addition to silicon, certain scientists have speculated that nitrogen, phosphorus and a few other elements, may form the basis for biochemical molecules on alien worlds, instead of the hydrocarbon bond. They likewise suggest that ammonia, hydrogen fluoride, or perhaps another compound, may possibly replace the function of water on alien worlds. Of course, all of these ideas are merely theories, and cannot possibly be verified, or disproved, because to date, we have not found a single planet, whether within our own Solar System, or in an extrasolar system, which harbors any form of life, regardless of how simple it may be. Yet the point remains that it is not wise on our part to assume what conditions must automatically be present in order for life to thrive on other planets. What may be deadly or poisonous to us, may be absolutely essential somewhere else. Only God knows all of the rules to the game, including whether or not extrasolar planets truly exist.
But assuming that at least some of these alleged planets not only do exist, but are also populated with intelligent life, even human life, as a Christian, it motivates me to question why God would place such great distances between our worlds, so that with our current technology, we haven't been able to communicate with them, nor they with us, if that is truly the case. A number of years ago, I arrived at the conclusion that one has only to look at the current state of our own planet, and witness the destructive, violent nature of our so-called intelligent human society, in order to find the answer. We're plagued by prejudice, corruption, hatred, greed, dishonesty, selfishness, immorality and other serious social ills.
Taking these points into consideration, it becomes easier to understand why, in His Superior Wisdom, God might purposely place such insurmountable distances between inhabited worlds. These great distances may possibly serve as buffer zones, to prevent one corrupt, war-prone civilization from infecting another. Perhaps God wishes for each planetary civilization to develop on its own, at its own pace, and by its own merit. If we stop to consider the penalty for breaking His Laws, it becomes easier to see the Justice, as well as the Wisdom, in His decision to create such isolated planetary societies. In other words, due to our isolated condition, we cannot point our finger at each other and make the accusation "It's their fault. They corrupted us. Don't blame us. Don't punish us". As I have mentioned before, that is exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam blamed Eve, and then Eve blamed the serpent. But, as the Bible makes clear, we must each answer for, and be held accountable for, our own actions, as we see here:
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
2 Corinthians 5:10, KJV
Please go to part eight for the continuation of this series.
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