Catechism – The Dogmas to be Believed Concerning the World

According to the first and second articles of the Symbol of the faith concerning the world, made up of constituent parts seen and unseen, numerous, complicated, and infinite in number, we ought to think and believe that it is the work and creation of God, wrought by His will, wisdom, and power, a work coming into existence out of nothing in an orderly succession of time, so that there were ages, or great distances of time, wherein there appeared different beings and the various orderly successions of world-formation.

In the first article that Father is said to be the Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; according to the second article all things were made through the Son, and without the Son was nothing made that was made. Besides the activity of the Father and the Son there is inseparable the creative activity of the Holy Spirit, through whom the entire existing and living creation is preserved and maintained in life. Therefore the world, composed of innumerable seen and unseen and complicated constituents is the work and creation of the one triune God. Creation is characterized as an accomplished event beyond which nothing preexisted. It began to be in time from the will and the power of God by whom it is governed, preserved, transformed, and altered according to His own deliberation and pleasure. This dogma concerning creation and the dependence of the world upon God the Holy Scripture also speaks into our ears, saying:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” (Gen. 1:1).

“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places,” (Psa. 135:6).

“By the Logos of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the Spirit of his mouth,” (Psa. 33:6).

“All things were made through the Logos of God; and without him was not any­thing made that was made,” (John 1:3).

“Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, and they are created; and thou renewest the face of the earth,” (Psa. 104:30).

In addition to these passages taken from Holy Scripture we ac­cept concerning one and many worlds the following historical knowledge.

First God made the heaven, or the world of immaterial spirits, which are called angels. This world as pertaining to us is called in­visible, because we do not see it through the eyes of our body. It is called intellectual because we know it through the mind and reason. It is also called the spiritual world and angelic because it is made up of spirits and angels. This intellectual, unseen, spiritual and an­gelic world consists of three hierarchies of which each is made up of three multitudinous orders, each one known also as one heaven. The first and highest hierarchy is composed of three orders of angels, Cherubim, Seraphin, Thrones. The second and middle contains three others named Dominions, Principalities, Powers. The third and last is made up of three others, Governments, Archangels, and Angels.

With the creation of this spiritual world God made also the earth, or matter unseen and unorganized, consisting of fire and water and terrestrial particles, over which the Spirit of God moved and fashioned it, separating it from the angelic world.

But when one of the archangels, called Devil and Satan, with the ranks of his followers, revolted from due obedience to the Lagoa of God, then did God proceed to the creation of the world percep­tible and visible to us, which He completed in six days, beginning with light, through which He made the one and first day of the creation, according to the narrative in Genesis: “And God said: Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the eve­ning and the morning were one day.” (Gen. 1:3-6)

Assuredly this one day was not of equal duration with the solar day known to us, which came afterwards when the sun, moon, and stars appeared. How long this first day of the creation of the per­ceptible world was is unknown to us. It is only known that the other days were of equal length with that of this first day, and that the six days of the creation of the world perceptible and visible to us are to be conceived as long ages, wherein were done the mighty works of God.

The firmament, or the illimitable space extending over us, ap­peared on the second day, and was named heaven, appearing in response to this creative command: “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters, from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And God saw that it was good, and the evening and the morning were the second, day,” (Gen. 1 :6-8).

On the third day God separated the dry land from the waters, and ordained that the plants and trees should spring forth. And so it came to pass, God commanding: “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let dry land appear; and it was so. And the water under the heaven was gathered together unto one place, and the dry land appeared. And God called the dry land earth, and the systems of the waters he called seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said: Let the earth bring forth the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed was in itself upon the earth; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind upon the earth. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.” (Gen. 1:9-13).

On the fourth day God made the sun and the moon and the stars, saying: “Let there by lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth to divide the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth. And it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were tb,e fourth day,” (Gen. 1:14-19).

On the fifth day God made the fishes of the sea and the birds of the heaven, saying thus: “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and foul that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And it was so. And God created great monsters, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind. And God saw that they were good. And God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day,” (Gen. 1:20-23).

On the sixth day God also made living creatures on the dry land, saying: “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after its kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind. And it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good,” (Gen. 1:24). On this day, atter making the living creatures on the dry land, He made also man, concerning whom we will discuss later what it necessary to be thought and believed.

From this historical narrative and knowledge we learn the succession in the time of the making of the two worlds, the invisible and the visible, and that the Father through the Son and through the Holy Spirit is the Maker of heaven and earth, of all creatures and things made, whether visible or invisible. All created things are dependent on the Creator, who exercises over them absolute lordship and dominion. Such is the thought concerning the world, taught of God and true, a dogma of faith necessary to salvation.

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