Saturday, April 18, 2009

Genesis 1:1

There are many reasons for beginning this study in Genesis, but the foundational one is - well - foundational. If one does not accept the Genesis account of creation as literal, then the rest of the Bible is a moot point, as without this foundation, everything that follows is completely unnecessary and irrelevant. Without a real Adam, there is no real sin, thus no need for a redeemer, and therefore no need for the Bible at all. The entire reason for the existence of the Bible is found in the literal interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis. God created the heavens and the earth in perfection. Then God created man in perfection. Then man rebelled against God, was separated from God, and brought sin and death into the world. From that point on everything changed. Everything started to deteriorate. To get things back to their original state, God had to put Christ, the earth, and mankind through a series of events that would eventually bring us back to the beginning, or perfection, thus creating a complete cycle. It is in understanding this concept and how it plays out, that one begins to comprehend the enormity and overarching picture of what the Bible teaches and the part Christ plays.

To start with, it is important to understand the scientific evidence supporting creation and what it appears the world was like at creation. While I will try to reference as much as possible, I would like to present three sources that I know from my own research are extremely reliable, and that not only have websites, books, videos, etc., but also are connected with or have museums that can be visited. I encourage everyone, especially anyone who believes in evolution, to visit theses sites with an open mind and heart. They are very scientific and show that God’s Word can be trusted to be truthful in the most literal sense. The following information on the science behind the creation of the world and Noah's flood comes from these sources, particularly CEM and Dr. Carl Baugh, whose video lectures were most informative on the ex nihilo creation, and Ken Ham from AIG, whose videos on the impact of Noah's flood and the fossil records were invaluable. Henry Morris's (ICR) book on Genesis also proved extremely valuable in my research.

Answers in Genesis - Ken Ham -
The Institute for Creation Research - Dr. John Morris -
The Creation Evidence Museum - Dr. Carl Baugh -

It is not my intention at this time to get sidetracked into discussions of interpreting the evidence for Evolution vs. Creation, or other theories of creation such as Theistic evolution, the gap theory, or the long day theory, or other such discussions such as who wrote the book of Genesis, etc. For the purpose of this Bible study, I am simply going to go over those things which I feel are pertinent for the present and leave the other discussions for another Bible study. If anyone so desires to get into these discussions, it will have to be on a person to person basis with me, until such time as I finish this study and move on to other things. Otherwise I suggest visiting the above websites for information.

Over the course of this study, I hope to show that there are five different conditions in which the world has/will exist. These are not the so-called spiritual dispensations that are referred to by some denominations. These are the five physical conditions in which the world will exist to complete the cycle previously mentioned. The first condition was that of perfection when God first created the world. Things did not run down or deteriorate or die. Everything was created to live eternally. When Adam and Eve fell in sin, the Laws of Thermodynamics started to take over and everything started to deteriorate and die. Still though, the world was physically as God created it. As we start going through Genesis, it will be shown that the second condition (or antediluvian state) in which the world existed, is not as the world exists today. The third condition in which the world existed is the one in which we find ourselves. This is the post-Noah flood condition, which is physically quite different from the antediluvian world. It will exist until the Lord's return. The fourth condition or state is the one in which the world will exist after Christ returns and sets up his kingdom on earth. This will mirror the antediluvian world in its physical makeup. The final state is the one in which we will spend eternity and which will be as when God created the world. It will be one of perfection. Thus will the cycle be complete and things will be as God originally intended them to be.

In one area, I have to "cut to the chase" as it were, because I have to lay down some precepts that I am not going to go into an apologetic defense over at the moment. In Bishop Ussher's chronology, he sees the earth as presently being 6,000 years old. I concur with this belief and will be showing how this works with prophecy as this study progresses. Since this chronology is based upon a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, it fits with the way we will be looking at Scripture and thus will simply be accepted as is for the moment.

Now to actually begin our study. We know what our world is like today, but what of the previous ones. This is where we need to really dissect the first few chapters of the book of Genesis.

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." Breaking this verse down, we have
1) In the beginning - Time did not exist until the moment God created the heavens and earth. Until then there was only the eternity in which God exists. The concept of time was created for us in which to live. God lives outside of this time, which is a hard concept for some people to understand. One way of helping to understand this concept is to describe a mural that exists on the walls of the foyer in Wesley Chapel of Houghton College. It begins at Genesis and wraps around the room concluding at the end of Revelation, which is right next to the beginning of Genesis. When one stand in the middle and looks around, one can see any point of time in the 7,000 year span painted there (6,000 to now and 1,000 of Christ's reign). That is how God sees time. All at once. It does not run chronologically for Him. He can see all of history at the same time. He can go in and out of it at will. If the painting were alive we could see the beginning, middle, and end all happening at the same time. If we were God, we could move in and out of it seeing the results of things we change, centuries later, only we see those results at the same time we are effecting the change. This may help in understanding how God can tell us what will happen in the future and how he predestines our paths. For Him it is all history, all present, and all future at the same time. It explains how John could see the events of the Day of the Lord. He was taken outside of time to view it. It also explains how one day is a thousand years and a thousand years as one day to God. If we stand there, we can see 7,000 years of history in five seconds. Time is irrelevant when you are not in it. Even before time began, God had seen all of the history we have and will live in. God knew that we would sin, and Christ agreed to be the sacrifice for our sin to redeem us even before the universe was created. (1 Peter 1:18-20). It says that even the names of the redeemed were written in the Book of Life before creation began, God knowing who would choose Him. (Rev. 17:8)

2) God - This is the first use of the word Elohim. Elohim is a plural word and when used in conjunction with paganism refers to many gods. (Ps. 96:5) When referring to God though, it is used in the syntax of the singular. Thus you have a singular plural. The first indication of what we now know -God is a triune God.

3) created - the word created in Hebrew is "bara". God created ex nihilo (meaning out of nothing). This term is only used when talking about God. Man cannot create. He cannot make something from nothing, he can only form new things from pre-existing materials.

4) the heaven - heaven here refers to space as in outer space or the space-time-matter continuum. A stretched out expanse of emptiness.

5) and the earth - this actually refers to a body of water. (2 Peter 3:5 - I always use the KJV Bible, but in this case I prefer the R.V. as it says "an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the Word of God"). This verse does not refer to the spherical planet we call earth. The earth as a sphere was created later when the water was compacted. From water comes all of the elements in our periodic table. Hydrogen when atomically transmuted becomes the lower elements and oxygen when atomically transmuted becomes the higher elements. Water has unique characteristics. It is dipole, has a north/south orientation or positive/negative. It has its own magnetic field. Molecules in water act randomly or independently, they do not line up.

If we were to rephrase this verse, we could say, "the triune God called into existence from nothing the space-matter (water)-time continuum." As mentioned before, Bishop James Ussher's work shows this to be approximately 6,000 years ago. And regardless of what evolutionists may say, science - unbiased true science - does indeed bear this out.

Thus we learn a great deal in the single first verse of the Bible.

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