Isaac Newton, unquestionably one of the greatest minds in human history, once said, this most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. Albert Einstein, another of the smartest humans who ever lived, once said… I want to know how God created this world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are just details.
Thus, two of the greatest minds in science, separated by hundreds of years, believed in a creator God, who beyond our comprehension, designed and created this reality by the sheer power of His will. However, they were not alone in this thinking. Many of the greatest scientific minds of all time, acknowledged the God of the Bible. They recognized through their understanding of nature that this could not have come about by accident or random chance. They also recognized their limited understanding was miniscule in comparison to an all-powerful, all intelligent, benevolent, Creator-Being. To them, God was not just some disengaged conductor who orchestrated creation and then walked away, but a master-conductor who also created the sounds, arranged the music, and created the instruments as well as the musicians who perform the symphony. Here are a sampling of their statements:
“Who could live in close contact with the most consummate order and divine wisdom and not feel drawn to the loftiest aspirations? Who could not adore the architect of all these things?”
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543), astronomer and the first in-depth proponent of heliocentrism
“God is great. Great is his power, infinite his wisdom. Praise him, heaven and earth, sun, moon, and stars in your own language. My Lord and my Creator! I would like to proclaim the magnificence of your works to men to the extent that my limited intelligence can understand.”
Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630), one of the greatest astronomers
“I have seen the eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent God pass close by, and I knelt prostrate in adoration.”
Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), founder of systematic botany
“Nothing prevents us, and the momentum of our knowledge requires it… to interrelate the order of the universe and the God of religion. For the believer, God stands at the beginning of their speeches; for the physicist, at the end of them.” Max Planck (1858 – 1947), founder of quantum physics, Nobel Prize 1918
“Above everything is the glory of God, who created the great universe, which man and science discover and research day after day in profound adoration.”
Wernher von Braun (1912 – 1977), German-American, foremost rocket engineer and space architect
Back to Einstein’s quote regarding the thoughts of God.
The phrase “God’s thoughts” is a delightfully apt metaphor for the ultimate goal of modern physics, which is to develop a perfect understanding of the laws of nature — what physicists call “a theory of everything,” or TOE. Ideally, a TOE would answer all questions, leaving nothing unanswered. Why is the sky blue? Covered. Why does gravity exist? That’s covered, too. Stated in a more scientific way, a TOE would ideally explain all phenomena with a single theory, a single building block and a single force.
Don Lincoln, Senior Scientist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Adjunct Professor of Physics, University of Notre Dame (Link)
My intent here is not to inundate you with the innumerable and exhaustive details of the Theory of Relativity, the Standard Model, Super String Theory, protons, neutrons, electrons, leptons, quarks, etc.…nor to even pretend I understand these things in all their complexities, but to ask two similar, yet fundamental questions-
- Are there limits to what man can know?
- What is man forbidden to know?
Like Einstein and the other aforementioned great, scientific minds, mankind seeks to understand God’s thoughts, because to do so, would help unravel the mysteries of the universe. Whether they admit God is the Creator of the universe or not, is not really even up for debate because a) it has been hardwired into mankind to seek out this knowledge, and b) design demands a designer. The simple fact that there are laws of nature, complex designs within nature, and purposeful functionality to nature (by nature, I mean everything seen and unseen) signifies purpose, which represents intelligent thought went into construction, which denotes a Creator. If our existence here were pure, random, accidental, chance, then As C.S. Lewis once said, we should not even know it.
If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
The believer understands that there is a Creator, and that we are part of His creation. We seek out God’s thoughts because it helps us to know Him better. However, the unbeliever begins at a distinct disadvantage. He still has to wrestle with who he is, why he is here, and where he goes after he dies. Nevertheless, while it may seem a futile task, man has been on this knowledge-quest since time immemorial. Man has been on this quest since the forgotten ages so long ago that both time and tide have all but erased their existence from human memory. However, there are some remnants of this antiquity that remind us that man has always been a spiritual being. To deny that, would be to deny what it is to be human.
Are there limits to what man can know?
According to Genesis 11, shortly before the untimely demise of the ill-fated Tower of Babel construction project, God makes a curious statement that has intrigued theologians for millennia. In noting their reason for building the tower, God says to Himself (in Tri-une fashion),
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech…But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. (11:5-6)
At least from a scriptural perspective, man has the potential to do anything he sets his mind to. Man could theoretically build teleportation devices, because we understand through things like Quantum physics and other plausible theories, that our existence (our reality) is really multi-dimensional. And if there are laws regarding how these dimensions work, there is the potential to manipulate these laws. [E.g. think how we manipulate the laws of gravity to fly aircraft]. Man could genetically engineer the human body to live for centuries again, because science has proven the human body capable of living that long. Furthermore, Scripture states that longevity used to be the natural state of man. Man could create the technology to implant technology into the human body, because after all, we are (at least our brains) are very much fleshly computers.
However, for all the things I think we could do, I do not think man can manipulate time. That domain belongs to God alone.
While we do not think much of it today (because we don’t know any different), there was a point in time in human history where everyone spoke the same language. From the expulsion of Adam from the Garden of Eden to the Noahic Flood, was roughly 1,656 years. From the flood to Babel, was anywhere from 100-200 years. As goes the rest of the story, God stops the project prematurely by confusing everyone’s languages and then scattering them throughout the earth supernaturally. Talk about the ultimate, divinely-enforced, relocation program. However, before we get to the implications of Babel, let us consider Noah’s Ark as an example.
The Bible states that Noah built this massive boat alone (presumably with only the help of his family). God gave him the measurements and instructions, but Noah had to do the manual labor. The Bible does not specify or indicate anyone or anything else (other than his family) helping him build it. We could also assume the use of animals to haul things, but that leaves me with some basic observations about the project:
- Noah must have been a very large, physically strong individual. Let’s face it, manual labor is not for the weak and timid. Now imagine manual labor of this magnitude, without the aid of any of the modern conveniences we have today like chainsaws, front-end loaders, forklifts, etc. Considering the fact that the Ark was over one and a half football fields long, if Noah wasn’t physically strong at the outset, he was when he finished. (See here)
- Noah must have been a very intelligent individual. Even with God giving him the instructions on how to build the Ark, he would have to think through the entire project from start to finish before starting any construction, simply because of the size and scope of the project. He would have had to acquire the materials and physically build the tools necessary for the job; He would have had to identify the location and specification for the bulk raw materials needed to finish a job of that size; and he would even have to scout out the location on where to build it. Furthermore, God knew Noah could physically do it.
- Noah must have been a very resilient individual. While he worked on the construction of the Ark for some 120 years, he preached about the coming judgment. He preached for 120 years and had zero converts. (2 Peter 2:5, Hebrews 11:7). This tells me-
- The scoffers did not take seriously the threat of what was coming. The threat must have seemed extremely farfetched to them (as to stretch credulity)
- The antediluvian population would have been massive, despite the limited information given in Genesis 4-5, simply due to the longevity of the then human life span
- The scoffers were not impressed with the size of the Ark project. The antediluvian world likely had many of their own megalithic and cyclopean projects that rivaled what Noah was doing
After the floodwaters subsided and the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, God convened what is referred to today as the Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9) to Noah and his three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japeth). One of the overarching points God made to them, was that mankind should once again be fruitful and fill the earth. This meant that He wanted them to spread out and rebuild the population of the earth. Part of why God stopped the Babel-project early, was that they had already violated His covenant by congregating in one location (the plains of Shinar) rather than filling the earth as instructed. As with the Flood, God stepped in at Babel once again to save mankind from himself.
Had God not intervened with the flood, the whole of mankind would have been genetically corrupted (Gen. 6:9). If this happened (as was Satan’s plan), a Messiah could not have come through the race of man…i.e., by the seed of woman (the Protoevangelium– Gen 3:15).
Had God not supernaturally intervened at Babel, mankind would have arrived much earlier to his peak knowledge, long before God’s intended timeline (imagine the Egyptians or the Babylonians developing nuclear weapons). This would have significantly messed with God’s timeline and His plan of redemption for all of mankind.
God is omnipotent and He knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-10), and He understood long before creation, that man united in language and purpose, could accomplish anything they set their minds too. He made the command decision then to stop mankind in their tracks. God also knew that the best way to cool their ambitions was to resettle them linguistically amongst their own genetically aligned, ethnic groups.
My theory regarding genetics during this particular period was that from Adam to Noah, most everyone looked the same, relatively speaking. Adam and Eve contained all the genetic material all mankind would ever come to exhibit throughout the subsequent generations. Their descendants, depending on who they married and procreated with, would begin to differentiate and/or channelize specific genetic traits and makeup. What I mean by that is they probably all looked dark skinned / Middle-Eastern up to and through Babel. I do not think they were white (as Mormon artwork is prone to show).
Therefore, God did not scatter all the English speaking, blond haired, blue-eyed, white folks to Europe, and all the Swahili speaking, dark-skinned, curly haired folks to Africa. He literally scattered everyone who looked the same, and gave them each their own dialect. Although He segregated these groups by language, He did so according to their DNA, which would later become obvious as their descendants intermarried and procreated. This is something they could not have known at the time, but would see play out over the course of their subsequent generations and varying environmental conditions they lived. Thus, mankind’s separation (genetic/linguistic) would provide the necessary stunting to prevent them from progressing too quickly, which allowed God’s timeline to go according to plan (Matt. 25:34, Eph. 1:4). This also means that each generation lived in exactly the prescribed time that they were appointed.
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all 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 have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring. Acts 17:26-28
This means that the specific ages we now categorize human history by (the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, etc.) were all predetermined by God. This also means that God allowed certain men to rise ahead of their peers in knowledge, to help propel mankind toward their preappointed rendezvous with history. So the long-drawn out answer to the question is yes, there are limits (by time) to what man can know.
Nevertheless, this delayed evolutionary enlightenment further confirms both the doctrines of Dispensationalism, as well as the understanding of what is known as progressive illumination as being necessary for mankind to progress toward an end state. This illumination was not only theological, but technological, economic, militarily, and political, in order to, put flesh to bone, iron to steel, and become the literal fulfillment of the prophetic words of God…that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. Ephesians 1:10
What is man forbidden to know?
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5
The first thing we must ask is,
~What is knowledge?
Very simply put, knowledge is information; whether good, evil, or neutral.
~Does knowledge have weight?
Yes and no. Depends on the situation. Someone expecting bad news, the pending knowledge tends to have significant weight.
~Is knowledge tangible?
In the physical sense, no, unless it is put into or onto some tangible object such as a book, compact disc, record, paper, etc.
In the realistic sense, yes. Knowledge, almost always results in tangible actions, reactions, and deliverables.
In the case of Adam and Eve in the garden, this particular knowledge was what we would call, forbidden. The one commandment they had been given to NOT do, was eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This warning/commandment, was not because God wanted to be some giant, cosmic killjoy intent on depriving them of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He put that tree off limits because He knew the second they violated this commandment, it would usher in a drastic and tragic change to their relationship.
The instant they violated this commandment, they would instantly become tainted by sin, become subject to the penalties of sin (1 Cor. 15:56), and would be separated from their Creator forever. But in order for them to have free will, they had to have something by which to choose between. Thus, He creates them, puts them in a perfect environment, and gives them ONE rule. Of course, this becomes the very thing that the Serpent (Satan) tempted Eve with…i.e., he tempted her with forbidden knowledge. And everything has gone downhill ever since.
So there is such a thing as forbidden knowledge. There are many things God has forbidden man from learning or participating in. Just know that from God’s perspective, He is not trying to prevent us from becoming smart, intelligent, happy, joyful, etc. He has deemed certain things forbidden because they are inherently evil and dangerous.
As mentioned earlier, Satan attempted to corrupt mankind genetically through the use of certain fallen angels intermingling with women (and animals) to prevent a Messiah from ever coming through the race of man. My theory is that this time period, for which God utterly destroyed them through water, contained all four elements of what He considers forbidden territory. The four areas that I believe He has forbidden man to meddle with, are:
- Creating or dabbling with inter-dimensional gateways– i.e., anything that opens portals to other dimensions between the spiritual and the physical. (Gen. 6:1-4, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6)
- Just as Adam physically walked with God in the Garden (Gen. 3:8-11), so to was the angelic realm (a spiritual dimension) open to the Antediluvian world. This was the open door by which fallen angels attempted to corrupt mankind through.
- This age was closed after the flood. The 200 angels who left their first estate, were bound in isolation and darkness to Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6), while their hybrid offspring (the Nephilim) were left as disembodied entities forced to wander the earth as demonic spirits forever seeking bodies/things to possess (my theory).
- This seems to be the same case with Babel, as the builders attempt to circumvent God’s justice and build a tower to the heavens to escape a future flood while also reestablishing a dimensional gateway (Gen. 11:4). God quickly puts an end to that folly.
- Part of the restraint in our current dispensation, was/is through the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts. 2). The presence of the Holy Spirit (who physically inhabits and seals the believer) so that evil is contained/restrained. (2 Thess. 2:7, Eph. 1:11-14, 4:30).
- Genetic manipulation (Gen. 6:1-4)
- As mentioned previously, certain fallen angels (numbering 200 according to the book of Enoch) were presumably given the idea to corrupt mankind by Satan/Lucifer himself (Gen 3:15).
- Their punishment was so severe, as to serve as a warning to the rest of the wicked angels. Although we still wrestle against principalities and wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12), the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church, keeps supernatural evil at bay.
- We are once again at a time when science has afforded man the ability to manipulate our DNA (essentially, our building blocks). This is always done with altruistic intentions at first, such as eradicating cancer and other genetic defects. However, this will end up in the wrong hands and man will once again (through demonic influence) seek to enhance mankind thus rendering the wrath of God.
- Immortality (apart from God) (Gen. 3:24)
- After Adam and Eve fell, judged, and then banished, God placed a Cherubim to guard the path to the tree of life.
- God guarded the path (presumably until the Flood) to prevent man from gaining immortality while in a state of sinfulness. The Flood would have destroyed not just the Garden, but the location to the Garden, forever obscuring where it used to be located.
- Part of the hidden knowledge man has always sought out, is that of immortality. From the famed “fountain of youth,” to numerous elixirs and secret incantations promised by innumerable secret and mystery groups, all sought immortality apart from God.
- Wickedness and violence (Gen. 6:11-13; Luke 17:26-29)
- God repeatedly notes the prevalence of two things throughout Genesis 6, wickedness and violence. With some 160 to 200 million deaths due to war and violence; another 200 million due to abortion and state-sanctioned infanticide (China); another 100 million for deaths due to disease and famine, we see that the 20th-century was one of the most deadly on record, presumably rivaling only the Antediluvian period in terms of population density and violence.
- While not forbidden in the sense of a singular topic, wickedness and violence (and the level of its pervasiveness) is more of a threshold or boundary for which not to cross. However, these two are the grease for which forbidden ideologies and practices (such as homosexuality, abortion, apostasy, paganism, etc.) also gains acceptance and/or normalcy. (Matt. 24:3-14)
- The same century that saw the miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel, also the reunification of Europe (the EU), the unification of all the world governments (the UN), and a still-ongoing, concerted effort to bring all the world’s governments under a single, overarching, authority. What God separated at Babel, man has repeatedly tried (but failed) to make whole through military conquest. It now seems that economic distress and extra-terrestrial threats will unite man in fear and desperation. (Dan. 2:40-43; Luke 21:25-26, Rev. 6:1-2, 13)
Some other areas I believe that are forbidden for man to know (and even understand), are the manipulation of time, true artificial intelligence, and inter-solar/stellar travel. God is the only Being identified as creator, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Of Himself, God states,
Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’ (Isaiah 46:9-10)
Humans might be able to create exceedingly powerful computer programs and data processing platforms that defy all current expectations, but we will never be able to create a truly sentient, autonomous being. That is, we will never be able to without augmenting it with some supernatural help. As mentioned previously, demons (the disembodied Nephilim) are always seeking things/persons to possess.
And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Rev. 13:14-15
My theory is that once the right system comes into place, it will be embodied into an image, machine, or statue of some kind. It is at that point, that a high ranking demon comes to possess this image, and begins to deceive the world (who believes it to be artificial intelligence) and enforces all of the Beasts mandates to worship himself and to take the mark (Rev. 13:16-18) under penalty of death.
As for inter-stellar/solar travel, planet earth seems to be isolated in such a fashion that we were never designed to travel much further than our own moon despite what Star Trek indicates (sorry Mom!). The good news is, that because God has created us in His image (and He is a Creator being), that in the ages to come (e.g., the eternal order), we will explore all of God’s creation, probably exceeding even beyond our own universe and dimensions. I imagine that God has so much more in store for us, we are incapable of even grasping the concept of it. (Eph. 2:4-7)
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1st Cor. 2:9
The Antediluvian world is where all of the world’s pagan mythology originally stems from. These were the stories that Shem, Ham, and Japeth (and spouses), passed down to their offspring of what the world was like before the Flood. These first-hand accounts came from legitimate sources (eyewitnesses) and would be passed down from generation to generation, likely picking up embellishments along the way. Just after the Babel-event occurred and the people were scattered to the four corners of the earth, they took these stories with them and added their own linguistic, ethnic, and cultural flavors. However, the core of these stories are usually the same; demigods interacting with humans, interdimensional (physical/spiritual) realms, and tales of the fantastical.
In an attempt to reconnect with this forgotten age, pagan religions sprang up around these beliefs and began to mix pharmakia with religious practices, allowing the adherents to enter into trance-like states, often able to see things beyond what the human eye could see. Thus, pharmakia (e.g. DMT, Ayahuasca, and other hallucinogenic drugs), witchcraft, alchemy, necromancy all have the same thing in common; they expose one to the spiritual realm by taking a shortcut by opening the human mind’s portal. Whether this occurs through the Pineal gland or not is debatable. Regardless, this is a very dangerous practice. Allowing humans to interact with fallen angels (who they would believe to be deceased relatives, aliens, descended masters, etc.) would be like an amateur boxer trying to get into the ring with Mike Tyson at his prime. There is simply no competition between a being that is thousands of years old and a finite human.
History is also chock-full of secret societies and mystery religions that promise their devotees hidden knowledge through their own exclusive rites and rituals. However, what these groups are really doing, is tapping into the demonic realm (principalities and powers) who hand out tantalizing tidbits of information and enlightenment, but only to allure these deceived humans to open themselves up for possession. IOW, the knowledge is the bait, and humans are the prize, same as the Garden of Eden, same as it’s always been. All of these groups, whether through pharmakia (drugs), witchcraft/necromancy, mystery religions, secret societies, all want to tap into the spiritual domain for knowledge, yet, they want to take the shortcut. This is very much the same situation as the Pharisees of Jesus day, who wanted the Kingdom, but did not want to make the necessary changes within themselves, to get it. Which is why Jesus told them,
Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” Luke 17:20-21 (NASB)
So the Creator of the Universe, standing in their midst, who understood the end from the beginning, denied their requests for a political kingdom like David’s or Solomon’s, because He knew they would not accept His Messiahship, nor the changes necessary for them to be the people of the Kingdom (See the Beatitudes). But before His death in the Upper Room Discourse, He promised His disciples (and by extension, us) that He would send the Holy Spirit (the Helper, Comforter) who would guide us into ALL truth. God the Holy Spirit, who indwells, seals, and guides the believer in this life, is also who is given as a guarantee for our inheritance. (Eph. 1:13-14). The only way to real truth and real knowledge, is through God. No other shortcut will suffice, nor will it satisfy.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10