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FAQ - MAN
"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. And it repented the Lord that He had made man of the earth, and it
grieved Him at His heart; and the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created, from
the face of 'the earth.'" If God is omniscient, knowing the end from the beginning,
how could he REPENT of His course in creating man?
<ANSWER>--The word "repent" means "to change the mind, or course or conduct, on account of regret or dissatisfaction with what has occurred." The question then is, Did God change His mind (plan) or His course of conduct? We claim that, knowing the end from the beginning, God's mind could not be changed; hence "repent" in this text must signify change of conduct. That is, God did change His course of dealing with man because of man's wickedness, which grieved Him, but He did not change His mind or plans, because these plans had from the very first recognized the corrupting and degrading tendency of sin, and provided (in purpose of mind) the Lamb of God --"slain from the foundation of the world"--as the redemption price. (`Rev. 13:8`; `Rev. 17:8.`)
What proof have we that the ages of the antediluvians were stated in years and
not in lunar months, as taught by some scientists?
<ANSWER>--Many have endeavored to account for the remarkable longevity of the antediluvians, some of whom lived to the ripe old age of 800 and 900 years. Regarding Methuselah, the oldest man mentioned in the Bible being an elderly gentleman of 969 years of age, various theories are offered, one of which is referred to in the question before us. However, we can readily see by consulting the Sacred Narrative, that this theory would not fit the situation. The 5th Chapter of Genesis, in setting forth the genealogy of different ones, states the ages when these had children. If we were to estimate on the basis of a year as being in reality only a lunar month of time, we become involved in difficulties, for according to this method of reckoning Cainan was but five years and ten months of age when he had a son; also Mahalaleel was five years and five months old when his son Jared was born. The real cause of advanced ages of those who lived prior to the deluge is presented in the Bible. The human race had deteriorated but slightly from that condition of perfection which Adam had enjoyed preceding his disobedience. Consequently, with splendid organisms and very slightly impaired vitality, the spark of life would be maintained for centuries. How different the conditions now, when the average length of life is about thirty-five years! Malignant diseases, caused by germs and bacteria, are infesting the race fearfully, and even with all the aid of science and hygienic precautions, how hard to preserve the dim spark of life!
Does the Bible teach how long man has been living on the earth?
<ANSWER>--The Bible does give a satisfactory answer to this question. Scientists have indulged in much speculation as to the length of time man has been on the earth. Their guesses have ranged over a wide field. One celebrated geologist claims it has been fifty thousand years since the first man was in Egypt, while another names 250,000 years since the first man was on European soil. In contrast with these speculative theories we have the clear and connected chain of Bible chronology, which shows that less than seven thousand years have elapsed since the creation of the first man. The Bible is the oldest and most authentic history concerning man. It indulges in no guesses, but clearly teaches that Adam was the first man. It gives its own chronology, which is subdivided as follows: From Adam to the flood, 1,656 years; from the flood to Abraham, 427 years; from thence to the exodus and the giving of the Law, 40 years; from thence to the division of Canaan, 46 years; next the period of the Judges, 450 years; and the period of the Kings, 513 years; from thence to A.D. 1911 makes a total of 6,039 years since Adam's creation. This is the result shown by the best Bible chronologists who have written on the subject.
The Scripture reads: "And God said, let us make man in our image, after
our likeness." (`Gen. 1:26`). Does this mean physically, with all facial and bodily
variations we see in people today, or is the "soul" "the image of God"
and uniform in all people? Or what is the meaning of this Scripture?
<ANSWER>--This "image of God" does not mean physical shape because "God is a spirit" and man is human. Nor does it mean the "soul." "Soul" is the synonymous term for man- -man is a soul. "In His image" means that man was made with reasoning power and moral intelligence. God made man a free moral agent, and fashioned him appropriately to earthly conditions and nature. God endowed him with the sense of justice, reason, love and righteousness, and thus he was an image of the great Jehovah in these qualities of character. "After Our likeness," we understand to mean that as God made man to be in the likeness of God, He made man to be the king of the earth and gave him dominion over all the things of the earth. The first man being created in the image and likeness of God was, in every respect, perfect. Some modern scientists hold that man is a creature of evolution. If evolution be true the Bible is false from Genesis to Revelation. If the Bible statement of man's creation is true, and all Christian people hold that it is true, then the evolution theory is utterly false as respects man.
What does the Apostle Paul mean when he says, "Man . . . is the image and
glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man"? (`1 Cor. 11:7`.) (M.L.B.)
<ANSWER>--In the Genesis account of the creation of man, it is stated that he was in the "image and likeness of God." The words in the text would more properly be: "Man . . . is the glorious image of God." These words of the Apostle apply, of course, to the first perfect man, and not to man as he is today in his fallen depraved and degenerated state. The woman was created to be his "help-meet" (`Gen. 2:18`) and in the proper relationship that should exist between the two, would be to his honor and glory. In the third verse of this chapter, (`1 Cor. 11;3`) the Apostle explains that the "head of the woman is the man." (`Eph. 5:22-32.`) The Heavenly Father has arranged that His Son, the Anointed Jesus, who is in the "express image of the Father's person," (`Heb. 1:3`) is to have a Bride. (`Rev. 21:9`) This Bride is to be made up of a class, the elect overcomers of the Gospel Age. When completed and glorified, the Bride, the Church, will be the "Helpmeet" of Christ, and will be to His honor and glory.
What is man? Is he half spiritual and half fleshly, or is he entirely a human
or earthly being?
<ANSWER>--There is not a single expression to be found in the Scriptures in which it is stated that man was created in any sense a spirit being. On the contrary, the Bible distinctly asserts that man is of "the earth earthy," that he was formed of the dust of the ground and that the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils and he became a living soul. (`1 Cor. 15:45-47`; `Gen. 2:7`.) The Scriptural expression, "And the spirit returns to God who gave it," has reference to the life principle or spark of life which the Lord imparted to Adam when he was created from the dust of the ground. This breath of life is the active principle that makes the living being and when removed from the body it returns to the Creator who is the source or fountain of all life. The Psalmist declares that man was created a little lower than the angels, the lowest of the spirit beings. Man is the highest of the animals or earthly beings, and in the divine arrangements was to be the ruler or the monarch over the earthly realm having dominion over the beast of the field and the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air. In view of this plain teaching of the Bible on this matter, we can understand the words of our Lord and His Apostles that one must be begotten of the holy spirit in order to have a spiritual existence in any sense. The Lord Jesus was the first one to be developed as a spiritual new creature, from the fleshly or earthly condition. Although He was a perfect man, we read that He was made perfect through sufferings (`Heb. 2:10`) as a spiritual "new creature," "being, indeed, put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in spirit." (`1 Pet.3:18` --Diaglott.)