In Revelation 4:11 the twenty-four elders praise God because he, by his will, created all things, because, by his will, all things have their being.

The word translated 'will' in the NIV, and 'pleasure' in the KJV, is thelema. It refers to will, volition, determination, pleasure, desire. Its use in this verse informs us that every thing that exists – 'all things' – exists because of the decision, the determination, the choice, the desire of God to create them. Not only this, but 'all things' have their being – have their own particular existence – because of the decision, determination, choice and desire of God to create them in that form of existence.

This outlaws the evolutionary hypothesis that 'all things' are the result of extended time plus chance. In the evolutionary hypothesis there is no predictability; the suggested development of different species is entirely random and unpredictable.

It also outlaws any modifying compromise between creation and evolution in which God is understood to have initiated, or set in motion, the process of 'evolution'.

It is important that we understand this, and that we also understand its significance, particularly here in Revelation, where God is revealing truth not about the beginning of all things, but about the ultimate goal to which he is moving all things.

If we do not understand the beginning and the existence of all things as the result of the deliberate will and decision of God as clearly stated here in Revelation 4:11, then we have no basis on which to understand what is described in Revelation 5, and no basis on which to believe Revelation 21.

In Revelation 5:13 we are told that 'every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them' was praising God and the Lamb. Such praise is rational only if 'every creature' owes its existence to the deliberate will of God. If he did not create all things, if he did not give them the gift of existence, they owe him nothing, not even their praise.

But there is a deeper reality here, that not only are all things dependent on God for their existence, they are also dependent on God and his Christ for release from the suffering in which they exist at present: Romans 8:19-22 depicts the whole of creation waiting in agony for the final liberation of 'the children of God' at the return of Jesus Christ, when it also will be 'liberated from its bondage to decay'. Paul in these verses looks ahead to the same reality depicted in Revelation 21: to the time when God will make all things 'new' [Revelation 21:5], to the time when there is 'a new heaven and a new earth' [Revelation 21:1].

Only the one who created 'all things' can make 'all things' new. Only the one who created 'all things' has any power and any authority to restore 'all things' to their original glory. For the evolutionist there was no original glory; for the evolutionist the 'origin' was only pond slime or a 'big bang'. For the evolutionist struggle, suffering and death [survival of the fittest] are the necessary means by which 'all things' came into their present mode of existence.

But those who know that 'all things' were created by the will of God, know also that suffering and death are in the world only because of human rejection of God [Genesis 2:17; 3:1-24], and that 'all things' will be renewed and restored when death, the deep impact of Genesis 3, is removed forever [1Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14].

Whoever discards the truth of God creating all things by a deliberate action of his will, must, if they are consistent, also discard all hope of the renewal and restoration of all things by an equally deliberate action of God's will. When we rob God of his deliberate and unique role in the creation of 'all things' we also rob ourselves of all expectation that God will, and is able to, 'make all things new'.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2015