God Creates the Living Creature
December 2nd, 1956 @ 8:15 AM
GOD CREATES THE LIVING CREATURE
Dr. W. A. Criswell
12-2-56 8:15 a.m.
We are now approaching in our Bible the first chapter of the Book of Genesis – we are now approaching, just beginning to enter, what to me has been the most profitable of all of the Bible studies that I have ever made in my life. We are beginning this morning to come to God’s creation of the living, moving, sentient creature.
Until now, God has been remaking His material world: rearranging, reshaping matter that it might contribute to the preparation for the final consummation, this final act of achievement, this final creative work of God to which we now come. God has been remaking His earth that fell into chaos [Genesis 1:2]. God has been reshaping His heavens that have been destroyed by iniquity and transgression [Genesis 1:3-10, 14-19]. And God has been speaking to the roots and the seed that are in the earth that they might be prepared for this final, creative act of God [Genesis 1:11-13].
Now, it never entered my mind when we began that we would be anything as we are in the multiplying of these sermons on this first chapter of Genesis, but they are assuming this kind of a program. This morning, the message is on the creation of the swarms of living creatures. Then next Sunday morning, it will be on the animals – the mammals, the animals – God’s creative work on the sixth day.
Then because of a break of the Lord’s Supper the first Sunday in January and because of Christmas – I do not know what I will do that one Sunday or two in there – but after the first of the year there are going to be about eight sermons, from six to eight sermons, on the creation of man. And we are going to take the best look at evolution that anybody ever took in all of his life, and you’re going to be as surprised and amazed as I was as I took this look at evolution.
I did not know that hoaxes could be perpetrated in the name of science and scientific men accept them and defend them and promulgate them all in the name of science. I mean downright, unadulterated, sheer hoaxes – fables: things that are got together that are not true, imaginative fancy run riot with no substantiating fact in this whole universe in time or history, and yet taught, still taught, in the books and in the schools from the professors as being scientific fact.
I have never been more overwhelmed or amazed or astounded in my life. I never did look at it before. We’re going to look at it now beginning the first sermon of the new year for about six or eight times. We’re going to look at it. You will find, you will find that you’ll see in God’s earth out here an exact thing that you will find in God’s Book here – an exact thing. There’ll be no shadow of a variation of difference – none at all.
Yet I suppose there’s not a university in the land of a certain academic freedom but that laughs and mocks the Genesis account of the creation of animal, human life: unashamedly mock it, belittle it. "It’s an old fable. It’s an old wives’ tale written back there when men didn’t know anything, and they handed down this folklore from generation to generation." And it’s in the same category as Jason’s Golden Fleece or the story of the Iliad and the Odyssey."
Oh, you will be surprised! You will find that what we are discovering through the telescope and the microscope, you will find that same thing was revealed in the generations past. In the long time ago, it was revealed to this man Moses – an astounding thing.
Now, we are entering that world now. The twentieth, the twentieth verse of the first chapter of Genesis through the twenty-third verse: now this is the story from the Book.
After God had set His lights up there in the sky [Genesis 1:14-19], after God had remade this earth, the Spirit brooding over the chaos and darkness and watery wastes of the deep [Genesis 1:2], and after God had called all of His plants to sprout up [Genesis 1:11-13] – in the eleventh verse, that Hebrew word dasha used three times in the Bible and always with that translation you have here "springing up." The seed was already in the ground; the root was already in the earth; and God commanded His seed to germinate and His roots to sprout, and the whole earth became emerald [Genesis 1:11-12].
That’s the same God that commanded Aaron’s rod to bud and to blossom and to fruit in twelve hours. You read it in the Book of Numbers [Numbers 17:1-8]. God did that. A stick, a rod: in twelve hours, it budded, it blossomed, and it fruited ălmonds or almonds. God did that [Numbers 17:5].
God did that to His earth, this chaotic world. He commanded it, and all of the seed in it and all the roots in it germinated, and immediately it became a world of beautiful emerald [Genesis 1:11-12].
Now, having prepared it – the grass for the ox and all the herb and tree for His creation of animals – He begins now: "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven" [Genesis 1:20]. "And God created" [Genesis 1:21] – now, that’s the first time in the story you have the word "create, bara," since the first verse: "In the beginning, bəre’shith bara’ ‘Elohim" – "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" [Genesis 1:1].
All of this that we’ve been talking about since September when we started, all of this has been an asah – a taking of what God had already done and a reshaping it and bringing order out of the darkness and chaos and filling it with light and loveliness [Genesis 1:3-19]. But now we come for the first time to this word bara. "And God created great sea monsters, and every living creature that moveth . . . that lives in the waters after their kind . . . that lives in the air after their kind . . . " and then on the next day "the land animals after their kind" [from Genesis 1:21, 24-25]. God creates these.
Now, He had to because in the catastrophe that overwhelmed the pre-Adamic world, every sentient creature died. If it was in the water, it froze to death. If it was on the land, it was destroyed by howling winds and storming blizzards and by unbelievable cold and snow and ice and the darkness that blotted out this earth and made it heavy with vapor, and fume, and smoke, and darkness, and death. Everything sentient died. Seed, though, roots, though, were able to go through that terrible catastrophe but no animal life. All of it died No animal life lived. So in the story of the recreation, God has to create all sentient life; and He does it.
And God created those great monsters in the sea, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."
Then that familiar little refrain there: "wayhi ‘ereb wayhi bōqer yom, five" [Genesis 1:23]. We’ve said that so much we’ve memorized it, haven’t we? "Yom five. And it was evening," wayhi ‘ereb, wayhi bōqer, "and it was morning," yom, "day, five" [Genesis 1:23]. Someday, I’m going to learn to count in Hebrew, then I can say "yom whatever it is": "Yom five."
Now, let’s see what God has done here. What a wonderful verse, the twentieth verse [Genesis 1:20]: "Wayyōmer Elōhim." Oh, that’s the most common phrase in the Hebrew Bible. "Wayyōmer: wa and yōmer, "He said;" Elōhim, "God."
And God said, yi-sh-rəsu, "let swarm;" yishrəsu, "let swarm;" ha-mim, ham-ma-yim "waters" [hammayim] – the ponds, the lakes, the oceans, the seas, the pools in the desert, the wells. Wherever there is water, wherever there is water, wherever there is water, there is teeming life: every little drop that comes out of that faucet filled with life, a thousand little ol’ creatures in a drop – plenty of room, lots of room – and a thousand of them.
And everywhere there is a drop of water, unless you’ve sterilized it and boiled it and plugged it up in a test tube with a stopper so that no air can get to it, life everywhere: "the waters," hammayim, "the waters." Wayyōmer Elohim yishrəsu hammayim: "God said, ‘Let swarm the waters": sheres "swarms;" nephesh hayyah. Nephesh is the word for soul. "Let swarm the waters with swarms of living things with souls in them" [Genesis 1:20].
The Hebrew looked upon an animal as having a soul, not like a human soul, but a soul in the sense that it had life; it had sentient life. So God said here to His waters, to His waters: "Let swarm the waters, wherever there are waters, let swarm the waters with swarms of multiplying creatures, living creatures" [from Genesis 1:20].
Now Moses wrote that thousands and thousands of years before we had a microscope. Microscope is comparatively – oh, it was invented yesterday almost in the long story of mankind and creation. And Moses wrote that, oh, before anybody ever dreamed about a microscope. But God said: "Let the waters," hammayim yishrəsu, "swarm," sheres, "with swarms of living creatures" [Genesis 1:20]. And it will repeat that: "And let the waters bring forth abundantly." And oh how they do – those little living creatures.
Sometimes they’re called infusorians. When you were in school, they called them infusoria. They’ve kind of changed it. They call them infusorians now. Sometimes they’re called protozoans. A little unicellular animal is a "protozoan." If it has more than one cell, it’s a "metazoan." Sometimes they’re called "animalcules." But they’re little tiny microscopic, unicellular animals, and they reproduce everywhere and in everything.
Some of them give off what they call spores. They’re little eggs. Not exactly eggs, not exactly seed, they’re spores. And they ride the air. This room’s full of them. I’ve got them in my eye. I’ve got them in my hair. I’ve got them on my ears. I’ve got them on my hand. They’re there. They’re there. They’re there. They’re there. And they’re in all the drops of water. They’re on all the little particles of dust. I have just brushed off 500,000,000 of them just then. They’re everywhere, everywhere. And if they have opportunity, then they will grow.
And say, how they do grow! Some of them grow by cell division. Some of them grow by just breaking up and you’ve got two, and those two break up and you’ve got four, and those four break up and you’ve got eight, and those eight break up and you’ve got sixteen, and they break up and you’ve got thirty-two, and they break up and you’ve got sixty-four, and they break up and you’ve got a hundred sixty-eight, and they break up – hundred twenty-eight, hundred twenty-eight.
Now, I want to show you how they multiply. In one year, a typical protozoan, a little unicellular animal – could be a paramecium, could be an amoebae – in one year – – now gosh, now you look how they multiply. You look how they obey this command – – swarming creatures to fill the waters. In one year, one protozoan will have this many progeny, this many children: he’ll have 1,318,636 plus 3,128 yards of zeros behind that one million number, seven zeros to the inch.
Now, let’s say that again. Let’s get that in our minds. One protozoan, one of these little living creatures, just one of them, when he starts giving off spores, or he starts cell division, or he starts breaking up, one little protozoan, one little infusorian, one little animalcule, one of them in one year will have this many progeny: 1,318,636 plus 3,127 yards of zeros written seven zeros to the inch. Now a hundred yards is about a block. You’d have to write the figure 1,318,636 plus behind that 3,127 city blocks of zeros!
All right, now let’s kind of touch because we’re just barely touching the fringe of the garment here. We’re going to get into it after the first of the year. Let’s look at this thing of evolution here just for a second, just for a moment, then we’re going to go on. Those little protozoans, those little unicellular animals, they obey the two basic laws of biology that Moses promulgates here in the first chapter of Genesis.
One: life only comes from life. That’s the first basic law of biology according to Moses. That’s the basic law of biology no matter where you find life. Those little simple infusorians, they get that name from "infusions" – like you refer to the infusions of Hebrew, Hebraisms, into the English language. I spoke of one last Sunday: that in the preaching in Ephesians "a child of wrath." That is a Hebraism: "a child of wrath." If somebody’s poor, Hebrew would call him "a child of poverty." If somebody’s going to be executed, they call him "a child of death." "A child of wrath": that’s a Hebraism, and it has been infused into the English language.
An infusorian are those little creatures that are infused into water. They’re infused. You know, they come into it. All right, now those little infusorians, they are simple things. They are little unicellular things, but there’s no man under high heaven that can spontaneously generate them. There’s no man under high heaven that can create them. Life only comes from life. God creates it. That’s the first law of biology.
All right, the second law of biology promulgated by Moses here is this: that each kind of life gives birth to that same kind of life. Or could I say it like this? This thing of life can only reproduce the life it got from its ancestors, no other kind: "Each after its kind" [Genesis 1:21].
That’s the second law of biology. Life can only be inherited from life, and the life that is inherited is the life that that ancestor got from its ancestors; and there’s no change. Now you look at this. You look at this. By the rapidly multiplying protozoans – those little infusorians, those little animalcules – by the watching of those things, you can watch those things for thousands, and thousands, and thousands, and uncounted thousands of generations.
The evolutionist says that’s where we came from: that protozoan developed into a higher order of protozoa, and those higher orders of protozoa developed into higher orders of metazoa, and they kept developing and developing until finally they came to be a man. You can observe those protozoans for thousands, and thousands, and thousands, and thousands, and unending and uncounted thousands of generations, and at the end of the uncounted thousands and thousands of generations, they are exactly like the first protozoan: not a shade of an iota of difference.
They are as fixed! They are as obedient to the laws of God’s biology promulgated here in the first chapter of Genesis as you’ll find in any other order of life in this world. They don’t ever change. If it is true that life was developed from those protozoans, the little one-little-celled animals, and it came up and came up and came up, why doesn’t it ever come up now? Why hasn’t it never come up in all of recorded time? Why can’t you see it in fossils? Why can’t you see it anywhere? The only place that ever happens is in the mind and the imagination of a so-called biologist, scientific professor. That’s the only place it ever happens. It’s in his head, and it’s what he teaches his students. But there’s not a syllable, there’s not an iota of fact anywhere in time, in fossil, in geology, to substantiate it – nowhere, nothing. You cannot find it.
Now, those little protozoas, those little protozoans – the little animalcules – they differ as much as cows and horses and pigs differ. If we were little tiny, little bitty, little wee bitsy folks and we could walk among those little unicellular animals, if we could get in a drop of water – and thousand of us wouldn’t crowd it if we were that little – and we walked around and looked at all of those little unicellular animals, why, they differ. Whoa! They are vastly different. And after thousands and thousands of unending generations, they’re still just the same. They don’t ever change.
Well, let’s look at some of them because they’re very interesting. Now I – – a whole lot of this, not being a trained scientist, I just read out of a book. Some of this I have done myself. Now this much I’ve done myself. I have watched those little protozoans under the microscope, and you have too. You can take water, take a glass of water, drop a piece of grass in it, little piece of hay in it, and leave it, and pretty soon that water will be alive with those little microscopic creatures.
Now they’re the most interesting little doodads. They are as funny and as interesting as any other of God’s created life. One of them is called an amoeba. And this is the way an amoeba travels. All an amoebae is is just a little cell, and that’s all – just one little cell with protoplasm and a cell wall and a nucleus. He’s just one little cell.
And here’s the way he travels. He’ll be like that. He’d be like this. So you can see, he’d be round like this. And then one third of him will stick out on that side, then he’s like this. Then the other two-thirds of him just goes over there where that third is, and he has arrived. That’s the way he travels. He’ll stick one-third of him out here, then he’ll pour the other two-thirds of him into that third, and then he’s there. Or if he wants to go over here, or back there, why he sticks out one-third of him there and pours the other two-thirds of him into it, and there he is. He’s arrived again. That’s the way the amoebae travels.
Now, a paramecium is another one of those little protozoans. A paramecium looks like a little slipper, and on the outside of the paramecium are cilia. The Latin word for an "eyelid" is "a cilium," plural, "cilia." And an eyelid, you know, has little eyelashes there on the end of it. So they call the little things "cilium" – a "cilium" or "cilia."
Now, a paramecium, a little slipper animal, a paramecium has little cilia – has little hairs all around the edge of it. And the way it moves is the little hairs go like this all the way around. And he can go this way by moving his little hairs this way, or he can go this way and turn around, you know, movin’ his little hairs this way. And so he moves his little hairs and that’s the way he goes around.
Now, some of those little protozoans have one cilium, one little tiny hair, on the end of it at the head of it. And that little cilium will go through like a propeller on an airplane and the way it goes through. Sometimes a little protozoan will have a cilium on the posterior, and then he will promulgate himself like a screw propeller on a ship. You just wiggle that little thing back there and pretty soon, pretty easy, he’s on the way; he’s on the way.
Now, you can’t ever cross one of those little protozoans if its cilium on the front – you don’t cross that one with the cilium on the back. They’re absolutely two different orders of creation. After five hundred uncounted million generations, that little protozoan that’s got the cilium on the front still got it on the front, and those little protozoans that’s got the cilium on the back, they’ve got them on the back. And the paramecium is still a paramecium; the amoeba is still amoeba after all those generations. They don’t ever change. They don’t ever change. For uncounted untold ages, they’ve been doing just like they’ve always been doing.
And how they eat is marvelous to behold. I have watched amoebas eat. I never did see a paramecium eat, but I have an amoeba. You know, an amoeba, you know I said was round. He’d just stick a third of himself out and then pour the other two-thirds of him into it, and there he is. He’s gone where he wants to go.
Well, here’s the way he eats. He’ll find a little diatom. He’ll find a little alga. You know what little algae is, what little algae are – singular "alga." Isn’t that funny how they change that singular "alga," plural "algae," or "algae?" Now this little amoeba will find a little plant, little tiny unicellular plant called an alga. Amoebae will find it and here’s the way he eats it. When he finds it, the little amoeba goes over there where it is, then he puts a third of him, he extends one third of him on this side, then he puts one third of him on this side, then he joins the tips together and just folds it in and he’s eaten his dinner. Isn’t that a good way to do? That’s the way he eats. Others have little vacuoles, little mouths of things, and they kind of eat that way – little infinitesimal plants – all that down there in God’s waters.
"Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures" [from Genesis 1:20]. And the basis of all of your afterlife in the seas will be those little animals down there because larger ones eat them and larger ones eat them until finally they get to be a big fish. The big fish eat the little fish; and the little fish eat other little fish; and other little fish eat other little fish; and other little fish eat other little fish; and, finally, those fish eat the plankton which is that unicellular life down there in the ocean. And that’s the way God’s world nowadays is promulgated.
Well, my, my, we just got started this morning on this. We have here – then the waters swarmin’ with creatures and then God’s fish. Now, let’s take just a moment for some fish. I want to talk now, just what little time we have left, for God’s intelligent design in what He’s done.
We’re going to talk about the fish. We’re going to talk about the fowl. The Greek word for "fish" is ichthus, and so ichthyology is the study of fish. The Greek word for "bird" is ornis: genesis ornithos, ornis, ornithos. So the study of fowls, of birds, is "ornithology." Now let’s look at ichthyology, fish, for just a moment, and then ornithology, fowls, for just a moment, and let’s look at it with God’s design.
It says here that God made them. God created all of those living creatures in the sea which the waters brought forth abundantly; and every winged fowl, each one after his kind, God created all that [Genesis 1:20-21].
Now He said, "Waters, you bring forth abundantly" [Genesis 1:20]. And say, do God’s fish obey that mandate! One mackerel, one female mackerel, will lay 500,000 eggs at one time. Just imagine you’re having 500,000 children at one time. That would overwhelm you. It would overwhelm most anybody, wouldn’t it? One female mackerel – – if your wife were to have twins, why, I’d have to go out there and uphold you – – 500,000.
God said to His fish: "Bring forth abundantly. Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas" [from Genesis 1:22]. One female mackerel will lay 500,000 eggs at one time. And within ten years, any one female mackerel, if all of its progeny lived and were not destroyed, one female mackerel in ten years would fill an ocean with mackerel from side to side so you could walk clear across the sea on mackerel – fill the whole ocean, one mackerel.
And the herring is even more fecund and prolific than that. The fecundity of a herring is beyond description. One herring, one herring in twenty years will give birth to progeny equal to the size of the entire globe. They are obeying the mandates of God: "Fill the waters and multiply" [Genesis 1:22].
Now, I say this thing of design – how God made a fish – intelligent design. Did you ever think about a fish? There that fish is in the aquarium where you can watch him. There he is in the aquarium. Why, he is so made and he is so designed that with hardly wiggling a muscle he can go up, he can go down, he can go forward, he can go backward. If I could move with the ease and grace of a fish, why, I’d be just no taxed at all to go up, down, back, forward, any way. He has so designed that fish that it can move so easily. And he’s got an oil skin waterproof jacket that beats anything you could ever buy anywhere in the world. It is impervious to water. It is waterproof that jacket around a fish.
And he can breathe in the water. Isn’t that a remarkable thing? He’ll take in water through his mouth, and it’ll go out those little things you call gills on the side there. And as the water passes through those little gills, those little fan-like structures on the side, he takes all the free oxygen out of the water. And he can breathe under the water just like we can breathe up here in the air. And that fish has got eyes. He can see in front of him; he can see back of him; he can see up; and he can see down.
And this past week, I ran across a species of fish in my studying that’s got bifocals: with the top half of his eyes he can see afar off, and with the lower half of his eyes, why, he can magnify little tiny infusorians and eat them. Most marvelous thing you ever saw how God made a fish – how God made a fish.
Now I’ve got about two or three minutes to talk about how God made a bird – now this thing of ornithology. Now a bird swims through the air like a fish swims through the sea. Both of them defy the laws of gravity. And did you ever think how God made His birds? I read in this December issue of the Reader’s Digest the article on a pelican. It’s an interesting thing on a pelican. But oh, pelicans are far more interesting even than that article.
Now, show you how God makes His fish. A pelican is the best fisherman in the world, and God gave him a fishnet for a face. His face is a fishnet – the pelican’s face is. And he can go out there, and he can swoop up gallons of water and strain it out, and there’s his fish. And he can pull his wings together and plummet down just like a arrow. All of you’ve watched those pelicans.
Now, what I want to know is this: if the evolutionist is right in saying that that pelican developed that fishnet face, that beak – if he did it over thousands of years and the pelican lives on fish, which he does, why didn’t that pelican starve to death while his beak was developing over those thousands and thousands of years? Isn’t that a funny thing? I don’t know why he didn’t starve to death. See the evolutionists, they don’t bother about any kind of a fundamental problem. All they doing is interested in promulgating an idea.
Now did you ever think about a crane? Did you ever think about him? The articulation of his leg is a marvelous thing. If you’ll look at your leg, you bend it back. You couldn’t bend your leg forward to save your life. You want to try, anybody? You’d bend it forward. Well all God’s animals bend their legs back like this; they all bend them back – all except those birds. They’ve got a wade in the water chilling. Birds do – that is, those cranes, you know. And so for them to bend their legs back, that wouldn’t be good.
So God made their articulation where it goes forward. And they bend their legs forward, and put it down in the water, and bend the leg forward and put it down in the water, and away they wading in the water like this. Not like this. That would be kind of bad on them. They wouldn’t, you know, they want to see where they’re going, so their legs bend that way. Isn’t that marvelous how God made His cranes?
And isn’t marvelous how God made His little birds? Here is a little canary. Now God put a fishnet on the face of a pelican so it could live and eat fish. Now God put a little tiny beak on a canary so it could pick up little tiny seed. Now, when the little canary – – before he was domesticated and put in a cage to sing for you – the little canary was out there in the trees in the jungle. And the little old thing would light on a twig, and he’d go to sleep at night. And the breeze would sway the trees and the little canary fall off and a wildcat eat him up.
Well, God knew that. So when God made the little canary, when the little canary lights on a twig and when he goes to sleep, his muscles lock. The muscles of his feet lock, and there he is sound asleep, and the breeze just shakin’ that twig one side to the other. And he doesn’t matter because his feet are locked around it. See, God did that. The Lord God knew the little canary needed that. Isn’t that a marvelous thing what God has done?
And did you ever think about a duck – how God made a duck? God made him a bill so he’d go down there in the water and poke around on the bottom – you know, made him a bill. And then God gave him webbed feet. Well, now the evolutionist says that those webs came because of his being in the water. Now what I want to know is, when he was a chicken and when he didn’t have those webs, why didn’t he drown? Why didn’t he drown before he got his webs? Well, they don’t ever say, you know. They don’t ever answer that.
We’ve got to quit. But oh, it is interesting how you’ll read it here in the Book and how you’ll look at what God’s done out there and it’ll be just exactly as it says it here in the Book.
I have heretofore paused just a moment to shake hands with the people, but this day is the thirtieth anniversary of our radio Bible class and I’m going over there and say a word after we’re dismissed here. And all of us will go immediately to Sunday School. Now Mr. Souther, while we stand and sing this song, while we sing our song, somebody this morning to give his heart to the Lord or put his life in the church, while we stand and sing, you come down here and give me your hand.
GOD CREATES THE LIVING CREATURE
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1. All animals
destroyed in pre-Adamic catastrophe
2. Plants precede
3. Creatures multiply
Living creatures start out in water
Flying creatures in the air