2021-05-04 The foundation of the world

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

This is a letter to our friends –

From / Before the foundation of the world

Apo Katabole Kosmos
WORD STUDY

A HISTORY, A WARNING, A CHALLENGE —

My name is Ben Gilmore. I was born in 1929. I was born again in 1964. In the late ’60’s I was given a paper on this subject written by Howard Elseth, a student of the Greek language. It greatly enhanced and expanded my concepts of the God of the Bible. I am an engineer by training. That is, I “think like an engineer.” I am not a student of Greek. My reference tools (unless otherwise noted) are the KJV Bible and Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. The paper you hold has been edited and rewritten numerous times to make it easy for anyone to read and understand.

The conclusions of this study differ significantly from the conventional understanding of western theology shared and taught by many. Over the years I have observed many sorts of responses. It is NOT my “calling” to straighten out anyone else’s theology, nor should it be yours! That is the work of the Holy Spirit. One does not have to accept this study in order to receive God’s saving grace.

I offer this word study to the reader who is interested in finding reasonable answers to Biblical dilemmas. It was God who said, “Come, let us reason together.” [Isa 1:18] I challenge such readers to do their own study. “[S]earch…, whether those things [be] so.” [Acts 17:11]

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” [James 3:17]

Bible Greek: Apo or Pro Katabole
Kosmos
Bible English From or Before the Foundation of the World

Scriptures using this phrase:

A– [Mat 13:35] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

B– [Mat 25:34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

C– [Luke 11:50] That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

D– [John 17:24] Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

E– [Eph 1:4] According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: [Eph 1:5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, [Eph 1:6] To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

F– [Heb 4:3] For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

G– [Heb 9:26] For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

H– [1 Pet 1:20] Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, [1 Pet 1:21] Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

I– [Rev 13:8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

J– [Rev 17:8] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Common Understanding of these Scriptures:

With only rare exceptions today, this phrase is taken to mean, “From, or Before the creation of the earth.” (Augustine, Calvin, Luther all appear to have understood it thus.)
The language of every English Bible of which I am aware seems to interpret it thus.

Accepting this interpretation, one may support (Biblically):

A– God has a personality trait of secrecy (vs. openness) in some areas. A– [Mat 13:35] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

B– God has prepared a place for saints prior to, or at least at the same time of, earth’s creation.
B– [Mat 25:34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

C– Present generations will be held accountable for sins of previous generations (back to Adam).
C– [Luke 11:50] That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

D– The Father loved the Son before the earth was created.
D– [John 17:24] Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

E– We were chosen (in Christ) before the earth was created. E– [Eph 1:4] According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: [Eph 1:5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, [Eph 1:6] To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

F– Christ’s works were fixed since earth’s creation.
F– [Heb 4:3] For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

G– Christ must often have suffered as part of the plan of God since earth’s creation.
G– [Heb 9:26] For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

H– Christ was destined for the cross prior to earth’s creation. H– [1 Pet 1:20] Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, [1 Pet 1:21] Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

I– Somehow Christ was slain when the earth was created.
I– [Rev 13:8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

J– The names of the saved were written prior to, or at the time of, earth’s creation.
J– [Rev 17:8] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Problems raised by “common understanding” of these scriptures: I accept the authority and inerrancy of the Bible as God’s Word. Given: The above interpretations, I am left with difficult questions:

A– Secrecy, a somewhat negative trait, seems inconsistent with a Godhead that invites study, reason and openness.

B– What was Christ going to prepare? “I go to prepare a place for you…” [John 14:2]

C– Difficult understanding of God’s justice, if we are held responsible for another’s sins.

D– I have no problem with the members of the Godhead loving each other before the earth was created.

E– This scripture makes God appear to be arbitrary, since I was “chosen” long before my earthly conception, or my first sinful choice, or my choice to repent and submit to Christ’s Lordship.

F– Without “choice” there can be no “virtue.” It appears then, that this scripture removes virtue from Christ’s works.

G– It appears that man’s sin and Christ’s suffering and atonement must have been part of God’s original plan.

H– This scripture appears to draw the same conclusion as G (above).

I– A sequential problem. For an event to exist in fact before it happens requires us to tamper with our concepts of time. I find no scriptural authority to do so. This, in turn, will require modification of all other definitions requiring sequential events (such as emotions). How are we to understand, God being grieved, God making new decisions, God rejoicing? If it is to be left beyond our understanding, why was it written for us?

J– More sequential problems as well as apparent arbitrary selection of those to be saved.

Bertrand Russel, a well known anti-Christian, wrote in “Why I Am Not A Christian”:

“The world, we are told, was created by a God who is both good and omnipotent. Before he created the world, He foresaw all the pain and misery that it would contain; He is therefore responsible for all of it. It is useless to argue that the pain in the world is due to sin… If I were going to begat a child, knowing the child was going to be a homicidal maniac, I should be responsible for his crimes. If God knew in advance the sins of which man would be guilty, He was clearly responsible for all the consequences of those sins when He decided to create man.”

I have heard the answer, “God is above man’s ways and we are not to ‘judge’ God, but only to learn, trust and obey.” An unsaved man has every right to ask why he should trust and obey such an apparently arbitrary and unjust God!

Word Study
Bible English From or Before the Foundation of the World Bible Greek: Apo or Pro Katabole
Kosmos

Let us take our own look into this key phrase, apo / pro katabole kosmos.

* WORLD (KOSMOS) is the same word used in John 3:16, “For God so loved the ‘earth’…?” If we study a bit, we will discover KOSMOS (Strong’s #2889) refers to INHABITANTS not “earth.”

GE (Strong’s #1093) used by the same Bible writers, means “earth.”

So now we have, “FROM / BEFORE the FOUNDATION of the INHABITANTS.” This does not seem to make sense.

* FROM (APO) (Strong’s #575) is ambiguous in both Greek and English: “vector,” from here to there;
“causal,” sick from eating too many green apples.
(See Matthew 18:7 “… Unto the world because of (APO) offenses…”)

* BEFORE (PRO) (Strong’s #4253) is also ambiguous in Greek and English:
“sequential,” that is, A comes before B, etc;
“positional,” I stand before the people in plain view, exposed. (See Matthew 11:10 & Luke 1:76.)

So now we have the possible interpretation, “BECAUSE OF (or IN PLAIN VIEW OF) the FOUNDATION of the INHABITANTS.”

We can see that KATABOLE becomes a key word in interpreting this phrase.

* Chart of New Testament uses:
#2602 #2310 #2311
KATABOLE Themellious Themelioo
“foundation” 10 12 1
“foundations” – 4 –
“founded” – – 2
NOTE: The ONLY time KATABOLE is rendered “foundation” is in our 10 referenced scriptures.
NOTE: KATABOLE is used only once more in the New Testament: “conceive” (Hebrews 11:11) “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed,…” There is a question regarding the authenticity of the Greek here, since “power to conceive seed” belongs to the male, not Sarah (female).

Since we are basing this study upon Strong’s Concordance, Let us note a significant detail about using Strong’s. The symbol [:-] terminates the definition in Strong’s Greek and Hebrew dictionary. What follows are the renderings of the word, whether correctly translated or not. To take incorrect renderings as part of the definition is circular logic.

From Strong’s we find:

* #2602 KATABOLE (kat-ab-ol-ay’); from #2598; a deposition, i.e. founding; Fig’ conception:- conceive, foundation

* To understand “founding,” a beginning, build-up sort of word; or “founding,” a metal-working, strike-down sort of word, we must look at the referenced “root words” of KATABOLE.

* #2598 kataballo (kat-ab-al’-lo); from #2596 and #906; to throw down:- cast down, descend, fall (down).

* #2596 kata (kat-ah’); a primary particle; (Prep.) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to case [Gen., Dat., or Acc.] with which it is joined:-…

* Kata seems to intensify the word to which it is joined in a downward sense.

* #906 ballo (bal’-lo); a primary verb; to throw (in various applications, more or less violent or intense):- arise, cast (out), x dung, lay, lie, pour (up), send, strike, throw (down), thrust, Comp. #4496. — “#4496 …#906, which denotes a deliberate hurl…”

* From the above, I conclude KATABOLE to mean, “to deliberately throw down, more or less violently (with intensity).”

Acording to Elseth, Aristotle, Philo, and Josephus, all of whom wrote in Greek that was contemporary with Bible Greek, used KATABOLE to mean “the beginning of dissension.”

The LXX or “Septuagint” (Greek translation of the Old Testament from which the apostles quoted at times) uses KATABOLE 27 times: 2 Chron.32:23; Job 12:14; 16:10, 14; Psalms 37:14; 73:18; 106:26, 27; 140:10; Prov. 7:26; 18:8; 25:28; Isaiah 16:9; 26:5; Jer. 19:7; Ez. 6:4; 23:25; 26:4, 9, 12; 29:5; 30:22; 31:12; 32:12; 33:4; 39:3; Dan. 11:12. In every case, it is a pull-down, cast-down, disintegrate sort of word.

An alternate, perhaps more literal rendering of these scriptures.

So now we have: “BECAUSE OF (or IN PLAIN VIEW OF) the DISINTEGRATING INHABITANTS.” This literally revolutionizes the meaning of the referenced scriptures.

A– [Mat 13:35] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret because of the disintegration (downfall, unrighteousness) of the people.

B– [Mat 25:34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you because of the unrighteousness of the people…

C– [Luke 11:50] That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed because of the unrighteousness of the people, may be required of this generation;

D– [John 17:24] Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me in plain view of the disintegration (those choosing unrighteousness) of the people.

E– [Eph 1:4] According as he hath chosen us in him in plain view of those choosing to be unrighteous people, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: [Eph 1:5] Having predestinated us [henceforth] unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, [Eph 1:6] To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

F– [Heb 4:3] For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished because of the unrighteousness of the people.

G– [Heb 9:26] For then must he often have suffered because of the unrighteousness of the people: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

H– [1 Pet 1:20] Who verily was foreordained in plain view of the unrighteous people, but was manifest in these last times for you, [1 Pet 1:21] Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

I– [Rev 13:8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain because of the disintegration of the people.

J– [Rev 17:8] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life because of the unrighteousness of the people, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Though admittedly these translations are revolutionary, they seem much more reasonable in context and much more literal.

Far from being “academic,” these ten scriptures together strike at the base of the “eternal now” concept and free God to live today with the ability to make new decisions while observing our decisions (always lovingly desiring the very best for all men). Further, the literal interpretations free God from any responsibility at all for man’s sin.

(In fact, Scripture seems to indicate God was surprised! “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” [Gen 3:11])

These interpretations make easily understood sense to the man on the street who has, up to now, rejected the confusion of a message based upon “eternal now.”

What more blasphemous statement could be conceived than to say that the loving, benevolent, just, eternal, uncreated Creator God is in any way responsible for all the sin and heartache men have chosen to create in this world?

How this fits into a world in need.

The major roadblocks to world revival are:
* Conditional love. (We make agreement a factor in our love. God does not.)
* Distorted message. (We allow faulty logic to introduce confusion. God is logical.)
* Lack of commitment. (We don’t want a world revival that takes us out of our “comfort zone.” God is committed.)

We must first establish a bridge of love that others can trust to remain unchanged before we can afford to discuss our differences. Relationship is more important than agreement.

We must be willing to reexamine every point in our message for scriptural soundness and that MUST be logical. (Here, I think the APO KATABOLE KOSMOS study is vital.)

We must fervently desire to have the heart of the Lord for all the peoples of the world, regardless of the cost. (John 3:16)

Most recent revision – June 30, 2020

Address update – May 13, 2018

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
ACH Study Groups
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501
histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

Scroll to Top