How are you? I am having difficulty understanding something you have written in "The Heavenly Prelude to the Tribulation" under "The Sea".
" One also occasionally finds in scripture, mostly in poetic contexts, instances where the atmosphere of planet earth and its moisture are described as if they comprised the two heavens and the "waters above" along with the moisture contained in the atmosphere (i.e., where these two sets are conflated for poetic effect in phenomenological "language of appearance" along the lines of describing the sun as "setting" when really it is the earth which is rotating: cf. Ps.104:13). "
Will you please explain it sir?
When I read questions like this, and see what I wrote, I understand what my mother means when she tells me (as she frequently does) that she doesn't understand what I am talking about.
It's a fair question. Here is what Psalm 104 says in the KJV version:
He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
Psalm 104:13 KJV
God's "chambers" are in the third heaven; they are not directly above the earth's atmosphere. The "firmament" (i.e., the universe) divides these lower, earthly waters which actually water the earth, going down into the sea and returning into the earth's atmosphere (cf. Eccl. 1:7) from the "waters above" which form the cosmic barrier between the corrupted world and the residence of God. But Psalms is poetic, and so the writer has been allowed by the Spirit not to have to give a theology lesson here. We know that the waters which water the earth are above us, and we know that God dwells above as well, so the psalmist is allowed to speak of God's chambers and the waters as if they were "in the same place" whereas in fact there is a firmament (the universe) between them. He is allowed to do this by the device of foreshortening (just as when Old Testament prophets also often conflate the first and second advents). For the sake of poetic effect, the two things are equated, but anyone who thinks about it (anyone, that is, with an understanding of "heavenly geography"), will realize immediately what is going on: God is sending rain; God dwells above; the fact that He does not dwell precisely where the rain is coming from is not necessary to point out (please see the chart: "The Waters Above").
I am sure I could have found a better way to say this originally (and maybe a better way to say it above!), but I hope this helps to answer your question.
Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,
Could you please clarify 2 Peter 3:5-6:
5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
What does Peter mean by saying that 'the earth was formed out of water and by water'?
Here is how I render the context:
(5) But it escapes their notice in asserting this (i.e., that God's judgment will never come), namely, that there were heavens long ago too, and an earth, which was [re-]established out from under water (i.e., the "waters below" collected into seas) and through [the midst of] water (i.e., the "waters above" separated from the "waters below") by the Word of God (6) [and that it was] through these two [sets of waters] that the world of that time (i.e., in Noahs day) was deluged by water [from above and below] and destroyed.
2nd Peter 3:5-6
Verse five is speaking about the situation on earth following Satan's revolt and just prior to the re-creation of earth during the seven Genesis days; that is, it corresponds not to Genesis 1:1 but to Genesis 1:2, the status of the submerged earth and inundated universe following the Genesis gap (between Gen.1:1 and 1:2). So where versions read "formed", we have an interpretation which is incorrect foisted abruptly upon the Greek. The Greek says "subsisted" (Grk. enestosa) expressing a state, and most certainly not meant to describe the process which is implied by the use of the word "formed". The distinction is that earth already existed and merely "came back to visibility" when the waters were separated from again from covering it during the seven days (and specifically on day two: Gen.1:6). But most who translate this verse misunderstand it to refer to original creation. That is not surprising when we consider that most interpreters (and most Christians) do not at all understand the distinction between original creation done in perfection (after which the devil rebelled) and the situation on the devastated earth described at Genesis 1:2, a ruin which was then reclaimed by the redemptive re-creation described in the rest of chapter one (this is all covered in part 2 of the Satanic Rebellion series: "The Genesis Gap").
Yours in Jesus our dear Lord,
About the third heaven you wrote:
I place the third heaven in between the two (i.e., the place to where the elect angels and God in His manifest form temporarily went during the time between the judgment on the original earth and its re-forming during the seven Genesis days)
If that is the case, why is it called 'third' and not 'second'?
It is called the third heaven for "geographic" rather than temporal reasons: i.e., the first heaven is the earth's sky/atmosphere, the second is the spatial universe; together these two are called in Hebrew shamayim, that is, the "dual" heaven, aka the firmament, which separates the waters on the second day and acts to uncover the earth and "drain" the universe to make a place for the heavenly luminaries. Not that space didn't already exist. It most certainly did (as Genesis 1:1 makes clear). It is just that, following the divine judgment, it was filled up by the universal deep or tehom. You can find out more about all this at the following link: SR 2: The Genesis Gap. And for the "divine geography" of all this please see also the chart, "The Waters Above".
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are enjoying yourself, and not doing too much work. I assume it will be a couple days before you read this, and hopefully I don't bother you with too many emails. Fortunately Thanksgiving has provided me with a laid back day at work (as security) to read through ichthys. I remember reading about the Genesis gap while going through the satanic rebellion series. I can tell from reading your emails that you get asked about it quite a bit. I did my best to find what you have to say about it in your other emails; searching google with "site:ichthys.com" has been invaluable. I was reading through the link "Science and the Bible" today, which reminded me of the subject. I figured I would shoot you an email while it was fresh on my mind, and let you get around to reading it when you get around to it if you so choose.
I know you are not the kind of person that would use the Genesis gap as a way to explain "scientific findings", and as a previous physics major at a Christian college (before I dropped out) I am well aware that science (more accurately "the scientific process") can be used to explain almost any model that someone comes up with. Since it is only the scripture's model that we can have complete confidence in, I am trying to better understand the arguments for the Genesis gap. The two main arguments seemed to be the wording that the earth came to be ruined and despoiled, and that 2 Peter 3:5 says divine judgement was cast upon the pre-human world. When I read 2 Peter 3:5 it seems to say that the world was created from water, and that the world that was created in this way was then judged also with water. To me that seems to point to Noah's flood; saying that things weren't always that way(the way the people of that day assumed), and they didn't last either (there is a beginning and an end to the way things are). Both of these arguments seem to be based on how we interpret wording. I realize you are very much more qualified than myself to make an accurate judgement on anything language related. That leads me to a tangent question of how to go about learning Greek, and especially ancient Hebrew? In the case of Hebrew, I believe (I may be wrong) that there is no natural speaker of Hebrew nowadays, and therefore what we know of the meaning of the words can only come from the context of the places where those words are used. To me that seems like a weaker way of understanding meaning than talking about meaning with a natural speaker of a language. So if I bought a book on Hebrew or biblical Greek how could I be confident that the person writing the book had the proper definitions of words? My understanding of learning these languages may be terribly askew, and I apologize in advanced.
I think I read in one of your email responses that the Genesis gap also leads to the conclusion of 7 millennial days. Am I mistaken? The 7 millennial days concept seemed to me to stand on its own, and was rather convincing. Basing the idea of the Genesis gap on two verses seemed kind of weak, but the idea of 7 millennial days seems to be based on the one verse in Hosea that says in two days he will raise us up, and on the third we will enter his rest. Understanding that verse in that way leads to understanding that other signs in the Bible can also be interpreted in this context, and in a way that is verifiable. I don't remember if you said it, but Jesus being dead for a total of two days, but being raised on the third seems to be a direct reference, and reiteration of Hosea 6:2? Back to the main topic of the Genesis gap; are these the only two verses that show the precedent for the Genesis gap, and am I missing anything else that would help me understand this to be true. Given that we would both agree there is no scientific necessity for a Genesis gap my only problem seems to be that the verses in question seem to be debatable. The Genesis gap leads to many interesting conclusions, and those calling it Gap Theory don't seem to have any good arguments against it besides where they directly reference those verses; I am on the fence.
I hope your Thanksgiving was spent well. God bless.
Good to hear from you. There is quite a lot on the Genesis Gap at Ichthys. The main file is at the following link: The Satanic Rebellion part 2: The Genesis Gap. In addition to this primary study and the one you reference (Science and the Bible), the other major postings dealing with the issue are as follows:
The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers
Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.
The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.
The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.
Questioning the Genesis Gap
Whatever Happened to the Genesis Gap?
Where Can I Find More Information on the Genesis Gap?
Ex Nihilo Creation
Tohu in Genesis 1:2
The doctrine is really very well documented in scripture certainly not in only one or two verses, and the arguments in its support are very numerous. Nevertheless, the Bible only has to say something once in order for it to be true. For that reason, I would hope that anyone reading the first chapter of Genesis with an open mind from almost any English translation would, if paying attention, at least come to assume something happened between verse one and verse two. God is perfect. He creates the world. But in verse two the world is far from perfect. What happened? I have never heard anything like an acceptable answer to that question which does not take into account the devil's rebellion and the divine judgment which followed. God is light, yet the universe is mostly dark today, interspersed with points of light. Only sin and evil can explain that, and the interval wherein this change had to have occurred is clearly present, even in bad English translations, between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. That is my starting point for skeptics. Until I hear a good alternative explanation, the natural sense of the passage especially in the Hebrew is what I prefer. Add to this the fact that so much of essential theology regarding the origin of sin and evil, the creation of mankind, and the entire chronology of the Plan of God cannot be explained properly without understanding the gap. You are correct that in one regard the seven millennial days "stand on their own"; however, the reason for having them, their start point, and their deliberately close correspondence to the seven days re-creation all depend upon understanding the gap and what preceded it: Satan's rebellion and fall (before which all was perfection and light).
As to Hebrew, the same could be said of Greek and Latin and Aramaic (my four ancient languages). They all have in common that they never were completely "non-spoken" but all have developed over time to one degree or another so that there are no longer truly "native speakers" for any of them in their ancient forms. That said, all of them have left behind a large amount of material and none of them ever fell completely out of scholarly scrutiny (as Assyro-Babylonian and Sumerian did, for example). So while it is true that if there were native speakers of ancient Greek, conversing with them might be helpful in studying Sophocles, it is also true that there is so much ancient Greek, so many resources available to learn it, and so many ancillary materials, that the only real obstacles to gaining a near-native proficiency in reading are time and hard work. And it does take a lot of time and a lot of hard work to get to the point of being able to read and interpret these languages, but it is certainly possible (as I am able to testify from the point of view of all four). Each one presents its own unique challenges, of course. When there is a question about a particular point of vocabulary or grammar upon which a passage may turn, I always try to explain the same in sufficient detail for the reader to grasp the argument (there is a good deal of that necessary in the case of the Genesis gap, mostly because of the deliberately obtuse way in which these issues have been treated by those who prefer some favorite theological theory to what the text actually says). One of the nice things about studying multiple "dead languages" is that the techniques for digging out the meaning are similar, so that one hones ones tools in the process and synergies result which are useful for application to any of them. A long way of saying that while I'm not sure what book you have, any reputable book will be fine, but it takes years of consistent effort to get to the place of being competent. I always recommend personal instruction in languages, because in "do it yourself" efforts you can end up making the same mistake over and over with no one to point it out to you. Happily, there are some good internet resources for this sort of thing nowadays. For starters, you might want to have a look at my links page: Greek Language Resources
As to 2nd Peter 3:5, here is how I translate the passage:
(5) But it escapes their notice in asserting this (i.e., that God's judgment will never come), namely, that there were heavens long ago too, and an earth, which was [re-]established out from under water (i.e., the "waters below" collected into seas) and through [the midst of] water (i.e., the "waters above" separated from the "waters below") by the Word of God (6) [and that it was] through these two [sets of waters] that the world of that time (i.e., in Noahs day) was deluged by water [from above and below] and destroyed.
2nd Peter 3:5-6
My main disagreement with the way this passage is often understood is the taking of verse five to represent original creation whereas in fact it clearly is talking about the re-creation of the world. That is to say, Peter is not concerned with the state of the earth before Satan's fall, but only with its reconditioning for mankind's habitation that is the point from which "things have always been the same" according to the mockers he is refuting here. Peter's description of the "waters above and below" is clearly reminiscent of Genesis 1:2 and 1:6-7, but not of Genesis 1:1 which is why he says nothing in these verses about original creation: the heavens and earth already "existed long ago", and they "were [re]-established out from under water and through water". Really, to understand these verses as describing original creation would require us to understand a watery pre-creation chaos from which God made all things. But all true believers understand that the material space-time universe is God's creation and that He created it ex nihilo. Anything else reduces God to the status of a material being, no matter how "large".
I hope this addresses most of your questions. Do feel free to write back if I missed anything of your have further questions for me on this (or anything else).
Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you for your response, and I see where I made a mistake with your argument concerning 2 Peter 3:5. My Bibles translation of Genesis 2:4 says "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." Unger's Commentary says that the first half of the verse should be considered like a section header, and that the second part should actually be part of the same sentence as verse 5. Would you agree that this is the most natural division of the verse? Also concerning Genesis 1:7, in part 2b of the coming tribulation you say that this was a plural division of the heavens to include the third heaven where God is. We know that God cannot look on sin, and can use this as an argument for why he would separate himself from our universe. If God created this abode on the second day then where was his abode in (or apart from) the angelic universe that had been plunged into judgement because of its sin. Also if this is when he created this abode, I assume that he prepared it in advance knowing that man would sin, which I have no problem agreeing with. Finally in Matthew 19:4 Jesus says that man and women were created in the beginning. Should this be understood as the beginning of the human era of the universe as opposed to the beginning of time?
I cannot come up with a time when the angels were created if gap theory is not true, but I would assume it would be either right before creation because of Job 38:4-7. And although we don't know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden, the 130 years before Seth was born seems to be sufficient time for Satan to fall, and for Adam and Eve to get kicked out of the garden.
Thanks again. I apologize if these questions have already been asked, but I couldn't find them. Also your explanation of the continuity of the scholarly use of ancient languages was helpful, and I was able to find some other sources that corroborated the plausible translation of the verses in that way without showing a genesis gap predisposition.
You are very welcome. As to your questions:
1) Genesis 2:4: Not only Unger (whom I otherwise greatly respect) but many of the versions (even otherwise good ones) incorrectly attempt to split Genesis 2:4 in half, something the Hebrew does not even suggest as a possibility. They try to do this anyway because the clear sense of the verse if taken in its most natural way and if not unnaturally forced directly disputes the false idea that Genesis chapter one is speaking of original creation after verse one. Please see the link at SR 2, section III.2, "The Genesis 2:4 Summary". Here is how I render the verse:
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation, throughout the entire period that the Lord God fashioned them.
Here is what I say in the section referenced:
Genesis 2:4 has traditionally been at the root of much of the confusion about the Genesis Gap and the legitimate distinction drawn by scripture between the original creation of Genesis 1:1 and the seven days of re-creation. For example, the New International Version translates as follows:
This is the account of the heavens and earth when they were created.
[double break in spacing]
When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens [v.5] and no shrub of the field had yet appeared . . .
By translating in the manner above, the NIV (and other versions that take a similar approach) leaves the English reader under the definite impression that verse four is grammatically split in two, with the first half looking backward to the seven days of re-creation, and second half looking forward to the detailed account of the creation of Adam and Eve. In fact, verse four is an indivisible grammatical unit, and, what is almost universally misunderstood, a summary of all that goes before (original creation and the seven days of restoration). Punctuation can be important. Genesis 2:4 ought instead to be carefully distinguished from the following verse, because verse five begins a more detailed account of God's creation of Adam and Eve, an event that occurred on the sixth day of restoration (Gen.1:27). As did Genesis 1:2, Genesis 2:5 also begins with an adversative waw construction which makes the break clear in the Hebrew (see section I above):
Now this was before any wild foliage existed on the
earth and before any wild herbage had sprouted, for the
Lord had not yet caused rain to fall upon the earth, and
Man did not exist to till the soil.
It is just prior to this detailed account that we are given the summary statement of verse four:
These are the generations of the heavens and the
earth in their creation, throughout the entire period
that the Lord God fashioned them.
Coming as it does immediately after God's resting on the seventh day, verse four begins in the classic manner of an explanation with asyndeton (that is, with no intervening connectives like "and"). Theoretically, the verse could look backwards or forwards. The disjunctive opening of verse five eliminates the latter possibility (because an introductory explanation would not then be immediately followed by a rough break of the sort occurring in verse five). However, if we take verse four as a summary of everything written so far in the book, the sense will be confusing at best unless we factor in that it includes both original creation and the seven days of re-creation. Failure to understand that both elements are included in the summary of verse four is at the heart of attempts to link the verse to what follows in an unnatural way, or even to split it in two in the manner of the NIV.
The vocabulary used in Genesis 2:4 to summarize creation and re-creation is both consistent and precise: we are told of the "creation" of heaven and earth, and the Lord God's "fashioning" of them. The word for creation is the Hebrew bar'ah (ברא), while to fashion or make is the Hebrew 'asah (עשה). Now bar'ah is most often used in scripture for miraculous, creative activities of the Lord (the word, incidentally, found in Genesis 1:1 for "created"), whereas 'asah is the most common Hebrew word for making and doing and has many subjects in scripture in addition to the Deity. The clue to why Moses, the writer of the Pentateuch, felt the need to employ both verbs here is to be found in the word "generations" (toledhoth, תולדות). This plural is normally used in the Old Testament to detail the ancestry or lineage of human families, and therefore necessarily includes the idea of development over a significant amount of time. Here, therefore, "generations" is clearly being used by way of analogy to sum up the "developments", that is, the different periods of history for the heavens and the earth, namely: 1) original creation; 2) judgment and Genesis Gap; 3) re-creation. So while it is clearly difficult to reconcile this verse with a seven-day original creation theory, by combining the verb of creation (ba'rah Genesis 1:1: most suited for original creation), with the verb of manufacture ('asah found throughout the seven days, e.g., Gen.1:7; 1:16; 1:25: more suited to reconstitution), and by setting both verbs in a context of lengthy, "generational" development, Genesis 2:4 makes perfect sense as a summing up of all that has gone before: the original creation of Genesis 1:1, the Genesis Gap, and the seven days of re-creation:
These are the generations of the heavens and the
earth in their creation, throughout the entire period
that the Lord God fashioned them.
Thus what we have here in Genesis 2:4 is a summary of what has preceded. The fact that this includes "generations" and not just seven days shows incontrovertibly that the seven days are a reconstruction and that only verse one of chapter one refers to original, ex nihilo creation.
2) The Third Heaven: The third heaven is clearly part of this creation since we see human beings and angels appearing there before God. However, like Hades, with all of its compartments, the third heaven is separate from "the world", the visible universe. The reasons for the separation are clearly different. Hades serves as a place to separate and remove evil from the world; the third heaven serves to remove evil from the presence of God (with the world in-between, light and darkness). Yet while these two highly disparate places are separate, there is commerce between them and the world. The believers in paradise were brought to the third heaven at Christ's ascension, while incarcerated fallen angels will be released from the Abyss during the Tribulation. And of course while unbelievers go to torments in Hades after death, believers go to the third heaven now on our exit from this world, but will return with Christ in resurrection at the second advent and angels are moving between the world and the third heaven all the time (please see the diagram: in CT 2B: "The Waters Above and Below"). Along with Hades, I would guess that the third heaven existed from the beginning, although God's original habitation was on earth. If these two places were created after original creation, this would have had to have happened immediately after the devil's revolt. However, I don't find anything in Genesis chapter one which deals with the issue one way or the other. The separation of the waters by the firmament refers to the first and second heavens, not the third (and neither Hades nor any of its compartments are mentioned at all).
3) Matthew 19:4: The Greek phrase ap' arches means "from the start" or "from the beginning". This begs the question, "from what 'beginning'?". My answer is "from the very point at which men and women were created". Clearly, man and woman were not created "in THE beginning" because they were not created until the sixth day, however one wants to understand the sixth day.
4) Adam and Eve in the garden: According to the way I read the genealogies of Genesis, Adam and Eve were in the garden 47 years before the fall (specifically, 4112-4065 B.C.). Please see the link: "The Seven Millennial Days of Human History". If Seth or anyone else had been born before the fall, it would not have presented insurmountable obstacles nothing is impossible for God but things would certainly have had to have worked out differently than they actually did. The history and text of Genesis, the expulsion from the garden, the universal spiritual death of all mankind at birth as detailed throughout scripture and especially in the book of Romans are all predicated on the fall of our first parents before they bore any children, so that we, their progeny in toto, are doomed from birth but saved by grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all of our sins.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Thanks for your explanation of the Genesis gap. I think it's just too much for me to swallow right now. I agree that this is a litmus test, and whatever preconceptions we may have about the "players" during the tribulation, devouring scripture constantly will be our best defense during those times. I stumbled across the islamic concept of "Mahdi" today, and although I doubt it is useful to speculate ahead of time who the antichrist will be and is most likely dangerous, this Mahdi guy fits the bill almost perfectly if Satan chose to build his Babylonian kingdom through islam.
Thanks for your observations. In my estimation, the fact that this person will seem to all the world to be the perfect match as antichrist, fulfilling all secular and religious expectations, will be a problem mainly because it will leave antichrist himself to seem all the more like the Messiah for all, at least, who do not really know the Messiah through spiritual rebirth.
I just found your page by a search for the New Jerusalem comments online, and started reading. Right away, I wondered why you wrote the earth was "recreated" in Genesis 1 when there was no heaven at all stretched out from it until day 2? The Genesis reading is that the earth and heavens were created on day 1, in darkness, and the earth a globe of water with no "dry", and no heavens at all stretched out and therefore no sun, moon, or stars in them because they were not stretched out from the earth. The stretching out of the heavens which revolved around the earth, and stretched out from the earth, was done on day 2, Genesis says; so why do you say there was a recreation, when the account says it was the beginning and there was no stretched out heavens until day 2? So I am looking around your site, to get a handle on your doctrines, and find that you did not use the Hebrew word meaning for waters/mayim, nor the fact that the sha-mayim /heavens were "stretched out between the waters/mayim" of the globe, which were divided on day 2 of creation week, with the half of the mayim above the stretched out heavens/shamayim and the other half remaining below the stretched out heavens/shamayim. Mayim is "waters" in Genesis, and the Hebrew letter "shin/sin" prefixing the waters/mayim word signifies a division by cutting, as the shin/sin letter is first depicted as the two front teeth, used for cutting one's food, by dividing bites. As I just wrote I asked why you did not recognize that the heavens were not stretched out from the earth until day 2 of creation week, but now I ask you why you say the name "shamayim" is what you wrote, since it is simply the Hebrew word for "waters" ="mayim", with the "shin" prefixing it, denoting the stretched out heavens are between the divided waters of the globe -just as Genesis says?
Good to make your acquaintance. I do want to assure you that these studies are based upon careful and detailed exegesis from the original languages. So before explaining these matters, a word about qualifications (since you ask about Hebrew et al.). I hold a Ph.D. in Classics (Greek and Latin), and an MA in Hebrew studies (including five years of Hebrew on the university level). You can get the specifics at the following link: Current C.V.
It would also be appropriate to mention here that it does not seem that you have yet come across the main studies which deal with these issues directly. The Genesis gap, the real issue at the heart of your question, is an important teaching, and so it does come up in studies where it is not always practical to explain it anew from the ground up. I generally do provide links or footnotes at such points, but it is entirely possible that you have bumped into this teaching where it is referenced only in passing. So if you have not already done so, I would encourage you to have a look at the main study on these questions, part 2 of the Satanic Rebellion series: the Genesis Gap, and also "The Genesis Gap", a series of pertinent questions and answers which will also provide additional links.
That said, I am happy to give you the gist of things here. Genesis chapter one verse one states very clearly that God "created the heavens and the earth" as the initial act of creation. Honestly read, there is no way to make verse one an "introduction" to what follows. That is especially so since in verse two we find out that the earth already exists! This certainly makes sense since God is greater than the universe, and therefore the only way that it or the earth could exist is if He created it (which He is specifically said to have done in verse one). But the earth is not created in verse two; the earth already exists in verse two. Secondly, the earth could not exist except "in space", however defined. So for both of these reasons, taking Genesis 1:1 at face value as a declaration of God's creation of the universe, the heavens and the earth, is unarguably the correct thing to do (at least if we are to believe that the Bible means what it says). Thirdly, God is light, and God is perfect. Everything God does is perfection and is light. Therefore when it says in Genesis 1:1 that God created the heavens and the earth, we would have to have some very strong evidence to the contrary to suggest that He did not create it perfect and especially if we want to assume that He created it in darkness for darkness symbolizes evil and the judgment upon evil, but God is light.
He sent darkness and made the land dark--for had they not rebelled against his words?
Psalm 105:28 NIV
Fourthly, Genesis 1:1, "In [the] beginning, God created the heavens and the earth", states the act of creation as a unified act; it not only gives no indication that it was a lengthy process but certainly suggests instead that it happened instantaneously. And this makes sense too, for God is greater than the universe in every way, omnipotent and without limits. God being God, we would expect that He created what He created in the blink of an eye, just as verse one implies.
Beginning in verse two, of course, we see a situation quite different from the one described in verse one. Instead of perfection, we have ruination. Instead of light, we have darkness. Instead an environment which supports life, we see one bereft of life. And instead of a context of blessing, we see a context of judgment. This dramatic contrast between verse one and verse two is also very much evident in the Hebrew, even though most English versions, among other shortcomings of translation, miss the key grammatical point: the verse begins with an adversative waw which should be translated "but". (1) Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. (2) But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled . . .
How did this happen? It happened as a result of God's judgment upon the earth in response to Satan's rebellion. The creation of mankind and our divinely structured history cannot be fully or properly understood apart from the angelic revolt to which we were always meant to be a response (and that is why I have devoted a five part series many hundreds of pages long to this important topic; please see the link: The Satanic Rebellion Series). So, for example, while God did not need seven days to rehabilitate the destroyed earth in order to make it suitable for human life, the seven days are incredibly important from a symbolic and prophetic point of view, because they represent the seven thousand years of human history. Earth was created perfect and was the original seat of our Lord's reign, but Satan rebelled and defiled it, resulting in the conflict which cannot be theologically separated from Man's creation or our purpose here on earth or the course of history from the divine point of view. And the seven days give the history of that divine plan as they correspond to the seven thousand years through which it is being played out (see the chart at the link: "Summary of the Seven Days").
As to your specific questions about Genesis 1:6-8, these points are often confused in scholarly discussions and English versions are often misleading as well, so I do appreciate your concern about the description of the second day of reconstruction. Here is how I translate these verses:
(6) And God said, "Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it separate between waters and the waters." (7) And God made the firmament to separate between the waters which were below the firmament and the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. (8) And God called the firmament "heavens".
The firmament is very clearly "the sky" and, I would argue (as you seem to understand too against what is commonly suggested), also "space" beyond (although not "the third heaven"). That is so because the firmament is described as being spatially identical with the "heavens" or shamayim, an apparent dual form in Hebrew (i.e., "twin heavens").
There are, however, a number of reasons why this construction of the firmament does not represent the original creation of the sky/space (or heavens). First, we can hardly argue that although the earth already exists on day two (and, indeed, was already present at the start of "day one"), and although light now exists, having been called into being on the first day, that somehow earth and light had no "space" in which to exist before the second day. Nor is that what the Hebrew says. This passage clearly describes a parting of waters which results in a "firmament" which fills the space in-between and serves to separate the waters below (i.e., on earth) from the waters above (not the moisture of the atmosphere but the watery barrier which separates the heavens in toto from the third heaven where God now resides). Second, the firmament is not "created", as if something new is being brought out of nothing, but rather it is "made" or manufactured (i.e., we have here not the creation verb bara', but the sculpting verb 'asah). Third, what is made is the firmament, not "the heavens". "Heavens" is the name God gives to this manufactured firmament whereas in verse one God had already created (bara') the heavens from nothing. So this naming by God gives us to understand where the firmament is and how far it extends, encompassing not merely the atmosphere but also the spatial universe on this side of the third heaven all the way up to the watery barrier of separation, "the waters above" (please see the link in CT 2B: "The Sea"). The often missed point that "heavens" here in verse eight is anarthrous (i.e., no definite article: "heavens" not "the heavens") is also important because it shows a definite attempt to avoid the impression that this is the first time the heavens have come into being; rather, "heavens" is the proper description of the firmament (because that is the name God gives it in Genesis 1:8). Moreover, this separation of the waters (mayiym) is symbolic of the separation of the nations during the second millennial day which yields the freedom to seek God (just as atmosphere is necessary to breath). For a summary of the symbolism of the seven days of reconstruction as compared to the seven millennial days, please see the link: Summary of the Seven Days (in SR 5).
I hope that this brief synopsis has at least started to answer your questions on these very important teachings. Please do feel free to write me back about any of the above.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thanks for the reply.
On the heavens being created with the earth, the Word is clear, is it not, that the heavens/sha (shin)-mayim =two divided waters, were created with the earth and "stretched out/natah " on day two, as the expanse/raqiya` between the divided-in-two waters/mayim?
In Genesis 2, does not the language of "earth and heavens", versus Genesis 1 the "heavens and the earth" also make the creation of heavens and earth one creation event; and then the separations begin, from the elements of what was created on day 1?
Is not the word clear that the heavens/ "sha-mayim" which were stretched out/natah and/raqiya` -expanded from the earth as their starting point- on day 2, between the divided-in-two waters, are that great expanse in which the stars exist and the sun and moon were set, below the waters of creation; and that, then, the waters of division are above those heavenly bodies set in those heavens?
Psa 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens/shamayim of heavens/shamayim, and ye waters/mayim that [be] above the heavens/shamayim.
The phrase "stretched out the heavens" does not occur in the Genesis account. You are perhaps thinking of Isaiah:
"This is what the LORD says--your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself."
Isaiah 44:24 NIV
The Lord created all things and fashioned all things in His re-construction of the universe, so this poetic description in Isaiah's poetry is certainly appropriate. Care is needed, however, in the exegesis of particular passages which need to be considered on an individual basis. Before we import vocabulary, ideas and phraseology from one place to another (especially when, as in this case, we are illuminating a prose passage with a poetical one), we need first to understand precisely as best we can what each means individually.
Secondly, while shamayim may well mean, etymologically, "place of waters", in such capacity it will refer to the sky whence the rain comes (i.e., the "first heaven"). What Genesis 1:6-8 tells us, if we pay close attention to the passage, is that the firmament (i.e., the raqiy'a), which God calls "heavens", is both the sky and space beyond, separating the waters below (the sea) from those above (the barrier between the second and third heavens; see the chart at the link: "The Waters Above and Below").
So when you say that "the Word is clear . . . that the heavens . . . were created with the earth and "stretched out/natah" on day two, as the expanse raqiy'a", I would have two quibbles: 1) Genesis 1:7 says that God "made" ('asah) the firmament on day two, not that He created it (which would be bar'a); 2) Genesis 1:8 puts things the other way around: it is the firmament which is "made" and then given the name "heavens" and importantly not "the heavens" as we find in Genesis 1:1. The point here is that Genesis 1:6-8 is entirely consistent with understanding earth and space already in existence when the seven days occur, and with the making of the firmament on day two being the dividing of the waters along with the provision of an atmosphere for the earth then called "heavens", rather than the creating of the spatial universe which was already in place at the time.
However, Genesis 1:6-8 is actually not consistent with a theory which posits no spatial universe present at that point. As noted previously, the earth cannot exist without space to exist in, nor can there be light without space for it to shine in. Clearly, light had to have somewhere to "be" when it was brought "to light" on day one, and there had to have been space for the earth to exist in when the firmament was made on day two. Understanding Genesis 1:6-8 to mean that God separated the waters above and below with the earth's atmosphere and space beyond (i.e., the firmament called "heavens") jibes with the overall context, makes logical sense, and, much more importantly, is consistent with Genesis 1:1. However, understanding Genesis 1:6-8 as being an ex nihilo creation of space which was not there before does not jibe with the overall context of the seven days (the heavens are now created on day two while the earth existed before day one), makes no logical sense (for it requires light and the earth to exist outside of space), and, much more importantly, is completely inconsistent with Genesis 1:1 which tells us that God had already previously created the heavens (mentioned first) and the earth instantaneously:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1 NIV
How can this verse be consistent with earth existing before day one but with the heavens not created until day two?
One of the issues here which is admittedly a bit confusing is that the firmament is by its etymology, description and usage elsewhere in scripture often "the sky". After God's judgment on the original universe, earth was covered entirely by water (Gen.1:2). In order to make it habitable again, His re-establishment of it during the seven days was necessary. In addition to light, there had to be atmosphere for earth to sustain life, and that is the primary purpose for the making of the firmament. To be sure, the separation of the waters above to the distant reaches of the universe is a part of this picture (and one that is usually missed), but Genesis is written for us, human beings who, even today, have a phenomenological experience of things (despite our scientific "prowess"). That is to say, just as we see the sun "rising in the east" (although we understand that it is actually the earth which is rotating), so also when we look up, we see the heavens as one unified thing, sky, atmosphere and space beyond. Even though today we understand the difference scientifically, we still see it the same way Moses saw it when he was given to write these words. So the distinction, while important, is one that is often not emphasized in scripture and rightly so: for all practical purposes, the firmament is more often than not in scripture the sky/atmosphere, and that is how it is usually described, even though, technically, it actually also includes the place of the stars, space beyond (and again, the chart at the link will be helpful in visualizing these things: "The Waters Above and Below").
Can you spread out the sky into a firmament like He does, like a solid mirror which has been cast [of metal]?
Genesis chapter two is another issue entirely, and there are few passages in scripture which are translated by English versions in a more confusing and misleading fashion than Genesis 2:1-4. Here is how I render the key verse, Genesis 2:4:
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation, throughout the entire period that the Lord God fashioned earth and heavens.
This verse is a summary statement of all that transpired previously, both initial creation (Gen.1:1), and the seven days of re-creation which followed after some undisclosed gap of time. The word "generations" is important because it makes clear that what preceded was not just an instantaneous or near instantaneous event or series of events but actually took place over some considerable length of time (always the meaning behind "generations", namely, a sequence of developments). The phrase "entire period" is the Hebrew word yom or "day", often used for periods of time than a mere 24 hour span (as in Daniel's 70 weeks of days where a day equals a year, or "the Day of the Lord" which is a thousand years long and often also includes the Tribulation of seven years). We know that "day" is more than 24 hours here because we have at least 7 of those in the period of re-creation. And we know that more than the seven days are meant here because Moses combines the two key verbs bar'a and 'asah: "the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation (bara'am from ) . . . throughout the entire period that the Lord God fashioned the heavens and the earth ('as'ot from )". He created them at once (Gen.1:1), and He re-fashioned them over seven days after the Genesis gap judgment in order to make them habitable for human life (Gen.1:2ff.). Also important is the reversal of order between "the heavens and the earth" in the first part of the verse (which refers to original creation) and "earth and heavens" without definite articles in the second half (which refers to re-construction). In contrast to original creation, therefore, during the reconstruction, which is what the second half of the verse summarizes, earth is thus mentioned first and "heavens" is merely the name given to the manufactured "expanse" or firmament which is not made until day two so the heavens are not created on day two: they are merely drained of the waters of the universal sea of judgment, the tehom, through putting into place a barrier which separates the two groups of waters, namely the firmament. This firmament is called "heavens" because that is where it is located. Therefore only by understanding Genesis 1:1 as original creation and what follows beginning with Genesis 1:2 as a process of reconstruction does Genesis 2:4 make sense. There is much more about all this at the following link:
The Genesis 2:4 Summary (in SR 2)
Finally, I think your last sentence is helpful in showing the problems with taking these verses any other way. For when you say "the heavens/ "sha-mayim" which were stretched out/natah and/raqiya` -expanded from the earth as their starting point- on day 2, between the divided-in-two waters, are that great expanse in which the stars exist . . .", not only does the Word not say this, as explained above, but what you posit is impossible: the earth in verse two of Genesis chapter 1 is completely covered with water and the universe is inundated. That is the reason why the waters need to be divided. Thus, there is no "starting point" if we assume there was no universe before day two. Since even under your theory there is a need to find some sort of prototype heavens to be "expanded", it seems clear that space had to exist in some fashion before the second day for this reason too in addition to the ones given above.
Understanding the Bible to mean just what it say, namely, that the heavens and the earth were created "first of all" (bereshith), and that what follows after an interval of undisclosed proportions ("but the earth became . . .) solves all of these problems. Even if taking scripture at face value created more problems than it solves, we would still be right to defend it. As it is, since fighting against the clear meaning of Genesis 1:1-2 (and 1:6-8 and 2:4 et al.) creates a whole host of difficulties, only some of which have been covered in our correspondence so far, it certainly does beg the question of why we should feel compelled to do so.
I hope the above will be helpful to you in seeking out the truth of the Word of God and keeping to that truth regardless of where it may lead.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I am glad that you are replying, but I would like to ask you about the language of Genesis 1 as to the creation of the heavens and earth, and then the heavens stretched out as the expanse/raqiya` [from "spread out"/ "raqa`"] in the midst of the waters, dividing the waters from the waters, on day 2.
I am not speaking of the waters of earth's creation which are used for the hydrological cycle of this present creation, which Solomon explains quite well. I am speaking of those half of the waters of earth's globe which were divided by the expanse/raqiya`-the firmament called sha-mayim- which were raised above the stretched out expanse, in which expanse/raqiya`, Genesis 1 states that the stars, sun, and moon are set.
Is not this Genesis wording clear that the starting point for the stretching out of the bara' heavens is right from this bara' earth, on day 2 of creation, and that in the expanse/raqiya` /firmament, which is "spread out/raqa`, between the divided waters/mayim of the created globe/tebel [before the "dry" was spread out from the waters below, and made to appear] that the sun and moon were prepared on day 4 and set in the same expanse/raqiya` /firmament which was stretched out from the starting point of this earth?
The waters above the expanse/firmament have nothing to do with earth's hydrological cycle, according to other Scriptures, for that occurs from the waters remaining below the expanse, but the Word does state that the sun, moon, and stars were set in the same expanse on day 4, which has the other half of the waters above it -and so, according to Genesis, above the stars, sun, and moon. -Is that not clear by the wording of Scripture in Genesis, by the Hebrew words used?
I have been reading a bit more of your writings, and another thing I would like to ask you is how could there be morning stars/angels before there was morning, according to the Word? I noticed you used the passage from Job, but that only states that the morning stars sang at the beginning to see God's creation, and the morning was not until God brought light out of darkness [indeed, light is intertwined with darkness, and the power of God brought it out on day 1, before ever there was a sun to govern it by day and a moon to govern it by night].
Thank you for your time,
You are very welcome. As to the "staring point", Genesis 1:6 says "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water", and Genesis 1:7 says "So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it". I take your point that all these waters were covering the earth, however 1) the biblical description of the making of the expanse is not one of a process but of the instantaneous production of this firmament in toto, and 2) Genesis describes them as filling the entire spatial universe (that is my understanding). After all, since after the construction of the firmament the waters above serve to separate the holy from the profane, and since in Genesis 1:2 it is the Holy Spirit who is fulfilling this mission (no doubt right "at the edge" of the third heaven, the very place that the waters above will occupy once the firmament is in place), it certainly does make sense to assume so. God, after all, often uses inundation and darkness as the means of judgment, so the picture in Genesis of a totally darkened universe flooded with water is certainly in line with this. This is, moreover, precisely how Peter describes things:
(5) But it escapes their notice in asserting this (i.e., that God's judgment will never come), namely, that there were heavens long ago too, and an earth, which was [re-]established out from under water (i.e., the "waters below" collected into seas) and through [the midst of] water (i.e., the "waters above" separated from the "waters below") by the Word of God (6) [and that it was] through these two [sets of waters] that the world of that time (i.e., in Noahs day) was [again] deluged by water [from above and below] and destroyed.
2nd Peter 3:5-6
In regard to the firmament/expanse (raqiy'a) in Genesis 1:6-8, therefore, it is true that some lexicons translate or explain this as "a thing stretched out", but it more precisely means something hammered out. The root RQ' means to hammer or stamp out something so as to be flat (as in hammering out the plates of gold at Exodus 39:3; cf. Is.40:19), so that the metaphor of the firmament is a comparison of the sky to a metal plate or vaulted structure set above the earth, since that is how it appears: when we look up at the sky from our human perspective (even though both scientifically and theologically we know there is vast space above us).
Will you hammer out with Him a firmament (tarqiy'a from rq') for the clouds, [which is] hard as a mirror which has been forged [of bronze]?
Thus there are three important issues here which cannot be conflated if we are to understand correctly what the Bible teaches about these matters:
1) What is happening at Genesis 1:1: Genesis 1:1 describes original creation, an event that predated the seven days of reconstruction by an unspecified but apparently immense amount of time. The creation was perfect and suffused with light and so it remained until Satan revolted and caused judgment to be rained down upon the original universe. The description of ruination and darkness which follows in verse two ("but the earth came to be ruined and despoiled . . .") is a result of that rebellion and God's judgment upon it.
2) What is happening at Genesis 1:6-8: Genesis 1:6-8 describes the provision of an atmosphere to the earth through a division of the waters into two groups, one below and one above, as well as draining the universe at large of water to provide a place for its luminaries. In making this division, not only does earth receive an atmosphere but the third heaven is in this way sequestered off from the rest of the universe by the new barrier of the waters above which the universal part of the firmament supports like a vaulted ceiling (see the links: "The Symbolism of the Laver" , "The Heavenly Sea" and "The Throne of God"). From the point of view of someone standing on the earth and witnessing this event as well as from the viewpoint of considering the words in these verses it might well appear as if this firmament/expanse was merely the sky which appears like flat, concave dish, but when one looks into what the "waters above" mean elsewhere in scripture (e.g., Ex.24:10; Ps.148:4; Ezek.1:22; see the links: "The Separation of the Waters Above" and "The Waters Above the Heavens"), it becomes clear that this account is meant to describe the transformation of the entire universe, since the waters above separate that universe from the third heaven.
3) How these things are described at Genesis 1:6-8 and the issue of perspective: Just as God's glory appears as a rainbow (Rev.4:4; Ezek.1:26) but earthly rainbows are only a reflection of that glory, in a similar way even though the visible vault of the sky (which separates the waters below in the seas from the atmospheric waters above) is only part of the universal vault of the twin heavens (which separates all of the waters below from the ethereal waters above which form the barrier between the twin heavens and the third heaven), the Bible often makes no distinction between the two. This conflation of the heavens which are actually threefold into a unified whole is very common (and also a very common sort of figure in scripture; for example, see the link: "Prophetic Foreshortening"). This figure explains how, for example, the Bible can speak of God being "in heaven" when technically He manifests Himself in the third heaven, not the first heaven (the sky) nor the second (the spatial universe).
He [is the One] who sits [enthroned] above the circle of the earth (i.e., the "circular ceiling-vault" of the heavens as viewed from the earthly perspective), and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers [in His sight]. He [is the One] who stretches out the heavens like a curtain (cf. Ps.104:2), and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in (i.e., the "flat" appearance of the combined heavenly sea and firmament of the heavens looking down from the third heaven).
Both pictures are true and consistent one with the other. This phenomenological language is also good and proper for the Bible to use for, on the one hand, the unity of the sky (or "heavens") from our earthly perspective is the way things appear to us (i.e., we perceive only one "sky/heaven" when we look up), and all that we see was designed by God to teach us about Himself (e.g., "the heavens proclaim the glory of God", Ps.19:1). And on the other hand although in spatial terms the distance between our atmosphere and the universal barrier of the waters above which separates the third heaven from this cosmos is immense and incalculable, in theological terms the distance is insignificant (please see the chart: The Waters above and Below). Embracing the truth of one (i.e., of only the unified heaven or of only the three heavens) while denying the other is incorrect and leads to confusion about what the Bible actually says. The truth of this can be seen from a comparison of these two passages in the first chapter of Genesis:
He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse (raqiy'a) of the sky to give light on the earth,
Genesis 1:16b-17 NIV
And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse (raqiy'a) of the sky."
Genesis 1:20 NIV
The first passage clearly describes the second heaven (space), but not the first (our atmosphere) nor the third (the place of God's throne). The second passage clearly describes the sky, but not the second heaven (universal space) nor the third (the place of God's throne). Nevertheless, both are described as the expanse/firmament (raqiy'a). Importantly also is the description of the firmament in the second passage, Genesis 1:20, as "the firmament of the heavens", a phrasing which implies that while there is a close connection between the firmament and the heavens that they are nonetheless not entirely identical. If we understand that the spatial universe existed before the construction of the firmament on the second day, this will make eminent sense: the heavens were given an important new property in the re-construction, a "firmness" which separated waters from waters in a two-fold way, providing thereby an atmosphere for earth (dividing the earthly waters of sea and sky) and a barrier between the sacred and the profane (the waters above separating the universe from the third heaven through this new property). This is why, by the way, in Genesis 1:8, God merely calls the firmament itself "heavens", and also why He calls it "heavens but not "the heavens" (i.e., to preserve the distinction). The firmament is essentially a qualitative aspect given on the second day of reconstruction to the twin heavens which had already existed.
Finally, on Job 38:7, "while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? " (NIV), first, this passage as it is generally understood causes problems for seven-day creationists as well when, then, were the angels created? As a matter of fact, however, verse 7 begins a new section in the Hebrew, one which looks forward not backward: the elect angels "sing for joy" at God's reconstruction of the earth. No one was there when He originally created the heavens and the earth in an instant bereshith as described in Genesis 1:1 and Job 38:4-6 (in terms of the earth), but the angels were most certainly joyous about God's redemption of the darkened, ruined universe as described in Job 38:7 and following (in terms of bringing the earth back out from under the waters). Taken together, this passage in Job describes both initial creation and God's seven days of reconstruction. And the description of the earth in the first part (Job 38:4-6) as originally complete (in creation) but needing to be brought out from under water in verse 7 and following would be inconsistent unless one understands this crucial point that verse seven begins a new section which speaks of the re-creation of the seven days. You can find out more about this point at the following link: "Job 38:7: The Sons of God Sang for Joy".
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and only Savior,
I cannot respond to your entire posts in one email, as they get too lengthy, but a quick one is a response to this that you wrote; quote" In regard to the firmament/expanse (/raqiy'a/)in Genesis 1:6-8, therefore, it is true that some lexicons translate or explain this as "a thing stretched out", but it more precisely means something /hammered /out. The root /RQ'/ means to hammer or stamp out something so as to be flat (as in hammering out the plates of gold at Exodus 39:3; cf. Is.40:19), so that the metaphor of the firmament is a comparison of the sky to a metal plate or vaulted structure set above the earth, since that is how it appears:" unquote.
I am fascinated by the meaning of the root etymons of words and the usage of those words in different Scripture passages to get a fuller understanding of the "breadth" of meanings included within the framework of the etymons used for the words.
In your statement above, I cannot see how the stretched out expanse can mean flat, when it is used to describe what God did in the week of creation in Genesis 1:9, where the waters under the expanse are commanded to be gathered together into one place, and for the "dry/yabbashah " to appear, which he then named/called "earth/eretz" -just as he commanded the firmament to be in the midst of the divided waters on day 2, which expanse he then called/named "heavens/sha-mayim".
In Genesis 1:1 we are told that in the beginning God "bara" the heavens and the earth, but then the "generations" of them are recorded in their orders of being "brought forth", as they are "birthed" out of the elements of the creation, and their moments of being birthed out of those elements is when they received their names, in Genesis 1 creation week.
Though we begin with the names of them in Genesis 1:1, we do not see how they were expanded out of the elements of creation so as to receive their namings, until later in the week, according to the wording of the passages -but I digress.
That word, "raqa`", which is the root for the "firmament/"expanse", is used in Psalm 136:6, to describe the manner of how the "dry//yabbashah/earth" was brought into appearance above the waters below on day 3, in Genesis 1.
"Psalm 136:6 To him that stretched out/"raqa`" the earth above the waters: for his mercy [endureth] for ever."
Now the dry//yabbashah was not called into being as "flat", but was filled with mountains and valleys from the beginning, all around the globe, in the one land mass of creation week [which we read in the Scriptures was divided when God scattered and isolated the tribes over the face of the globe, after the Babel rebellion].
The word "raqa`" also means "to make broad", and we have the cousin of it in "breadth/rachab" of the earth. In Job 38:18, God asks Job to declare the "broad expanse" of the earth if he has "perceived/understood it", but which "breadth" Adam was cast down from at the time of the fall.
Paul went up there he said, in 2 Corinthians 12, to the Garden of God/Paradise/Mount Eden [of the stretched out expanse of this earth], but It is as closed to our perception as Lot's door of entry to his house was, when the Sodomites searched all night long round the house for it. We are shut out of that "breadth" of earth's stretched out firmament and all access to the Mount of God is forbidden and entrance into His City is not possible in our fallen, ruined state of being, but the way back is to come through the Door of Entry, Jesus's Atonement for our cleansing and adoption into His New Name and One Living Spirit -but I digress, again.
That the Garden of God is Paradise and the same Mount Eden of Genesis 3 is clear, for Jesus promised to give the redeemed to eat of the Tree of Life in the same Garden/Paradise/ of Eden's Holy Mount, which our first Father was cast down from at the time of his defilement, so as to keep him from eating of the Tree of Life and living forever as a "non -dying worm" -an Adam unredeemable, and only fit for the kingdom of darkness in the regeneration of all things.
To close this -which is already too long; we see the City of God where the saints of God dwell above, after the thousand year Sabbath of earth which is set in that "breadth of the earth" -the heavenly realm of earth- in Revelation20.
Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
So, I will reply more later, if I may, but this is all I have time for now, and I do not want to bog the thoughts down by so many veins of Scripture channels running off from the main vein of treasure found in Genesis 1, 2, and 3.
The most critical thing to note about your present email is that the supposition that Genesis 1:1 is some sort of introductory summary is entirely incorrect. Although this is a very common error even among secular scholars, Genesis 1:1 cannot merely "begin with the names of [heaven and earth] in Genesis 1:1" which are then "expanded out of the elements of creation so as to receive their namings . . . later in the week". This is clearly not stated in the Bible but is only a theory (albeit a very popular one). That this theory cannot be so at least for anyone taking the Bible at its word can be seen from the following:
1) Genesis 1:1 says "in the beginning" (beresthith) God created (bar'a) the heavens and the earth". This is a very straightforward statement which describes not a process but rather an instantaneous ex nihilo creation. Those who wish to overturn the very clear meaning of scripture here would have to have very strong contextual reasons for doing so. Those do not exist. Instead, all the contextual indications point the other way. Instead of "in the beginning", a point of time, the seven days begin after a number of other events: a) Genesis 1:1; b) the description of the ruined earth; c) the description of the darkened deep which fills the universe; d) the description of the Spirit "hovering" or "brooding" over the face of the deep. This last element is particularly important because it describes an action which has ostensibly been going on for some considerable period of time. It is only after these actions and descriptions that God says "Let there be light!" in verse three. He then separates the light from the darkness, and names the light "day" and the darkness "night". There is then "evening and morning", and this process constitutes of "one day" not "the first day": although the other seven days are indeed "second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh", this day is called "one day" in the Hebrew (yom 'echadh), and not "the first day". That is doubtlessly at least in part because it is not the point of creation (that happened in Genesis 1:1), and because a day-long process is not a point of creation (or anything else) but a set period (unlike the description in Genesis 1:1). Calling it "one day" instead of "the first day" (no definite article "the" here either) is meant to make clear that we are not dealing with original creation here (as "the first day" might imply).
2) The theory of Genesis 1:1 being a summary of the seven days is not consistent with Genesis 1:2: "but the earth came to be ruined and despoiled . . .". I have made this point repeatedly now, but it seems it continues to be overlooked. Nevertheless, it is very important to understand that the Hebrew makes it impossible to connect verse one with what follows since it deliberately separates the two verses both grammatically (with the adversative waw construction) and in meaning (i.e., a ruined and despoiled earth covered in water and plunged into darkness replaces what was a perfect original creation). Please do see these two links where these matters are described in much more detail: "The Genesis Gap" and "The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap".
3) When we come to Genesis 1:2, the earth is already present. Also, the universal deep (tehom) which fills all of the heavens is likewise already present. So beyond all argument the heavens and the earth have already been created at this point, since they are already seen to exist when we reach verse two. This means that Genesis 1:1 has to represent original creation. How the much-altered situation described in verse two came to be after a perfect act of original creation is not explained here, but we can deduce from elsewhere in scripture that the ruination is a result of God's judgment upon Satan's revolt (please see the link: "The Satanic Rebellion Series").
As to the etymology of raqiy'a, the root has to do with "hammering out". None of the usages in scripture are inconsistent with this. God can be said to have "hammered out the earth", as in one of your examples, without the fact that the earth is not entirely flat or smooth presenting any sort of problem for this metaphorical use. The metaphor is used by Moses under divine inspiration for the sky-heavens because of the relative uniformity of surface like a concave dish that they present to our view when we look upward. Clearly, the heavens are not technically "flat" or "smooth", but that is how they appear the vault of heaven and so that is a valid use of "language of appearance" as we use similar expressions still today (i.e., when we say that "the sun rises in the east" when in fact we know that it does not rise at all). God's separation of the waters to provide atmosphere (for life on earth) and empty space (for the stars et al.) is the purpose of providing the firmament which now occupies that place in the already created universe previously occupied by the universal deep (tehom) which in turn is now split between the waters below and the waters above.
These are important matters because without understanding the seven days as reconstruction 1) Satan's rebellion and mankind's creation as a response will be impossible to understand, and 2) the pattern the seven days provides for God's plan for human history is likely to be missed.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
I am in a hurry -as I was last eve- but I want to respond to your email quickly with one question, which is about the word "create/bara" and your own statements concerning it that I have read.
When did God "create/bara'" the female Adam person? Was she "built/banah" as "generated" out of the male Adam person after his creation?
Does that make sense to say that the female Adam person was in the male Adam person because she was "bara" when he was, though she was not yet built/banah from his bones, flesh, and blood? Was "Adam" two persons, male and female, when God formed his flesh body from the dust of the adamah -or was Adam one person when God formed the flesh body from the adamah?
Gen 1:27 So God created/bara' man/Adam in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created/bara' he them.
Genesis 5:1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man/Adam, in the likeness [literal physical image/tselem -Romans 5:14; the tupos of Him who was to come, in human being flesh] of God made he him;
Gen 5:2 Male and female created/bara' he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
When was the female Adam person taken from the male Adam person called female in the writing of Genesis: before she was created/bara' or after she was created/bara'?
Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man/adam should be alone; I will make/asah him an help meet for him.
Using bara' to say that the heavens and earth were created but destroyed, and then "generated" eons later - in the order that the Genesis record shows us- makes confusion of the record, does it not, when one looks at God's usage of the word in His creation of the Adam as male and female persons; but yet the woman was not "built" from the Adam flesh, bone and blood, until after the male Adam had been established in the Garden of Eden/Paradise [where he was to "rule over" the earth, from] and had already named all the animals.
Another quick note: when God regenerates the heavens and the earth for the thousand year Sabbath, in which those who dwell on the earth for that thousand year reign will be in the kingdom of God come on earth, but who will marry and give in marriage and re-populate the earth for that thousand years, God does say He will create/bara' new/chadash heavens and new/chadash earth.
Does not that wording show that the Genesis record is indeed as it is written, as "the generation of the heavens and the earth" in the week of the beginning of creation, in six evenings and six mornings, as it is simply written?
God does not say in Genesis 1 that the heavens and the earth were created, and then renewed/repaired/freshened chadash in five days, but that they were created, not renewed or made new or made fresh or repaired, , which He is careful to say through His anointed prophets about the regeneration which is to come.
"17 "For behold, I create/bara' new/chadash heavens and a new/chadash earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.
20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain,
Nor bring forth children for trouble;
For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the
And their offspring with them.
24 "It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpents food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
"Says the Lord."
On (i.e., when we say that "the sun rises in the east" when in fact we know that it does not rise at all). Okay, another quick question, using Scripture: where does Scripture make us "know/yada" that the sun does not rise at all?
Another quick note: I am reading your pages in bits and have lots of questions but no way can we deal with all of them in a few emails, and so I am trying to just deal with the creation order in Genesis, mainly in small doses.
I note that you say the "first heaven" is the atmosphere, and I wondered where you got that from, because the atmosphere of earth is called the "face" of the expanse called "the heavens", in Genesis 1.
"Genesis 1: 20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open /face/paniym [in the front of], the firmament/expanse called heavens/shamayim."
Another note: In a prior email to you I did show that according to the Word, Mount Eden/Paradise/the Garden of God's planting is still in the same place it was when Adam was cast down from it, where the Tree of Life is; for that is where Paul went to when he was left for dead and heard things he could not mention. That is also where Jesus promised the repentant thief on the cross that he would be with Him at, on the same day they died; for Jesus told us in John 3:13 that the Son of Man who was come down from heaven [incarnate in the new man creation flesh] was simultaneously in heaven; for He is Christ, the Living Spirit and He dwells in heaven and He came to dwell in a New Man creation human being body.
Jhn 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.
A digression: an ascension to heaven has been done by Enoch, Moses [resurrected in his own body, unchanged to glory -yet] , and Elijah; but no human being has ascended to sit on the throne made for the son of man to rule over earth from, because no Adam person can sit there as a human being son of God, ruling, since the fall. The first, firstborn son of God of the human being kind, Adam, died to the indwelling glory, in spirit, and never ascended to sit on the throne of the earth, in Mount Eden and got "cast down" from heaven's Mount Eden/Paradise, and has not been a son of God of the human being kind, since then, but became a defiled temple, not fit for the Glory which the sons have, and that is why we need to be "redeemed" to become sons of God in the New Creation Man name. We are descended from Paradise, the third heaven which is stretched out as the breadth of the earth and where the City of God is, when we were yet seed, in our first father's loins [Malachi 2:15 shows our purpose for being created, in Adam, to be brought forth in our times, as human being sons of God, to build the City of God as a temple not made with hands, for the Glory of the unseen Father to indwell]
Anyway: Adam -our race- is not a son of God from that point, as Psalm 82 describes -in the Hebrew- and warns the other princes/sons of God =the angels called "Watchers/ judges -the "Dan" and rulers of earth, who dwell there", about ,
The moment he died, He commended His Spirit to the Father in heaven, while His soul departed to Sheol below, bearing the sins and iniquities the Father laid on His soul that day [fulfilling Isaiah 53], of all in Adam -whosoever will- so as to fulfill the Atonement once, for all, by ascribing all sin "to Azazel" [and his companions] who are chained below. -Another digression here, but the name of the fallen angel who led the rebellion which caused the flood of Noah is "Azazel", and the English translators wrongly translate that word as "scapegoat", when translating the Oracle of the rehearsals of the "Once For All" Day of Atonement.
Jesus also said the Tree of Life is in Paradise, the Garden of God, in Eden of the earth's heavenly "breadth/expanse"; so we have corroboration that the Garden Adam got cast down from when he lost sonship and became defiled for ever having it again -and so can never build up the City of God there, in Mount Eden, by the Adam seed multiplying and being the temple of God.
How about Paradise/the Garden of Eden, in the third heaven stretched out from earth, as Adam's lost heavenly place, to rule earth from?
I am still thinking on your definition of the word "create"; and in thinking, I was thinking about the root etymons and how they give us true meannings and many cognates connected to the true meanings. Words like "birth" "bar/son" connect to "bara'". I looked up a definition of the word in its original sense, using the meanings of the etymons, and someone has an interesting definition as proof of the creation by God the Son. It is all His doing, and He conceived, formed, framed generated and made it all. The record He gave through Moses tells us the order of His generating it all.
Genesis 1:27-28 says that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. Human beings have two parts, a physical body and an immaterial spirit. Even in the case of us their offspring, all human beings have a human spirit which is created at birth by God (so that bar'a applies in this sense to us all). As to the other issues you raise here, I would ask you to have a look at this link where all these matters, including the creation of both Adam and Eve, are discussed in great detail: Bible Basics 3A: Biblical Anthropology: The Biblical Study of Man. As to the application of the creation of mankind to the issue of the Genesis Gap, I don't see any conflict or problems in the uses of the words mankind is "created" having never existed before. Genesis 1:1 is clearly speaking of original creation (bar'a). For reasons already discussed, this is different from what we find in the rest of the chapter. The creation of mankind, moreover, is a very clear response to the rebellion of Satan, but this critical point along with the significance of the seven days for the pattern of human history and its place in the resolution of that rebellion will be missed if the clear meaning of the grammar between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and the many distinctions between perfect original creation are overlooked.
The Genesis record is indeed as it is "simply written": "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, but the earth came to be ruined and despoiled . . .". The point I have been repeatedly making is that it is just this very simple and obvious reality which is usually missed: original creation was judged as a result of the devil's revolt, and neither the seven days of re-construction or the purpose of mankind can be understood properly if this critical point is missed.
As to the new heavens and the new earth (which are indeed created anew), this refers not to the Millennium, the seventh day of human history, but to the eternal state which follows human history (see the link: in CT 6: "The New Heavens and the New Earth"):
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Revelation 21:1-2 NIV
As to your next point, this is a comparison. We know that the sun does not rise, but we say it does anyway. This is common metaphorical (or phenomenological) language found in all cultures and literatures of which I am personally aware. The heavens are not vaulted, but they appear that way when we look up so there is no problem with the Bible putting things that way. What is problematic is to misunderstand what the Bible is saying. Death is often compared to sleep in the Bible, but over-emphasizing the metaphor in interpretation is a similar mistake (and has led some into believing the false doctrine of "soul sleep"; see the link).
The word "heavens" is ostensibly a Hebrew dual form. We know that the "third heaven" is the place of God beyond the known universe (aka "the heavens of the heavens": Deut.10:14). Since there are two heavens on this side that third "heaven", and since the stars are "in the firmament", what else would the other heaven be except the sky?
The [waters] rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.
Genesis 7:19 NIV
As to paradise and Eden, paradise (Eden) is the place of "pleasure" where God fellowships with His children. There are seven "paradises" in the history of the Plan of God, the present one being the "third heaven" where all believers go after departing this earth (that has been the case since the ascension of Jesus Christ before His victory on the cross the Old Testament believers went to paradise below the earth). Please see the link: "The Seven Edens".
As to your contention "The record He gave through Moses tells us the order of His generating it all", while as I say I understand that this is the popular theory, it will not pass the test of scripture. Genesis 1:1 is original creation and there is nothing in that verse which will allow a later sequence. God creates perfection. How is the universe then dark after verse one? God creates perfection. How is the earth then ruined in verse two?
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:18 ESV
I believe that if you have a look at the links previously provided they will indeed answer all your questions on these important matters. As I say, without understanding the Genesis gap, the entire plan of God becomes an enigma and that is not meant to be.
Yours in the One who died for us all that we might have life eternal, Jesus Christ our Lord and our God,
Good Morning, Sir,
Since the darkness of Genesis is still with us, and is called "Night", do you contend then, that the night is evil, and a form of judgment and destruction?
In your theology of a ruined creation "regenerated" in Genesis 1, you have darkness as a form of judgment on the kingdom of darkness and its prince, itself; but is that not what the Satans are created to be rulers and lords of?
How would darkness be a judgment on Satan and his created evil angels if he is created as the "Prince of Darkness".
I ask this because the Word does say that the Lake of Fire is the outer darkness which was prepared for the devil and his evil angels [who still are in heaven, and who still appear before God's throne, when assemblies are called, in heaven]; and just like b'rer rabbit wanted the briar patch, so the satans want their kingdom of darkness. That is what they were made for, to rule over, for all eternity. But they only have the time of this first creation to tempt and test holy angels and the sons of Adam, so as to get the spoils and plunder which they are laying up to be their food for themselves, in their kingdom of darkness -and the food for them is the torment they shall inflict on their captives, for all eternity.
So what about that "darkness the Creator called "Night" which is the darkness of the creation of the heavens and the earth, in Genesis 1? It is here, now. -Is it evil? Is it a nightly judgment?
Gen 1:4 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 [=echad] one day.
Sincerely looking forward to your reply,
Good to hear from you. Indeed, it is difficult to read scripture and not see that darkness is associated with evil, the result of judgment, and in opposition to the light:
"Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour when darkness reigns."
Luke 22:53 NIV
"I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness."
John 12:46 NASB
In the eternal state, after the creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth where there is no more evil or judgment or sin, there will also be no more darkness in the New Jerusalem:
On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
Revelation 21:25 NIV
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 22:5 NIV
For more on the meaning of darkness in this respect and the undeniable symbolism of it here in Genesis 1:2 please see the link in SR 2 "The Darkness".
As to Satan, his kingdom is characterized as one of darkness (Col.1:13) because of his opposition to the light of the truth. This is a metaphor, and a powerful one, because of the negative symbolism of darkness. The devil is the de facto ruler of this world which, spiritually speaking, is entirely dark, even though God has made His light to shine upon it literally, and offers the light of spiritual illumination in the light of His Son Jesus Christ who is the Light for all who are interested in receiving that truth.
Satan is an angel. He and his fallen angels were created perfect, but rebelled against God. This is the reason that the original, perfect, light-filled universe was judged and plunged into darkness with the earth and heavens covered in the universal deep. It was from that point of complete judgment that God provided life-giving regeneration which began literally and symbolically with His calling forth of the light, symbolic of the One who is the true Light, Jesus Christ our Lord, who would provide deliverance for us from the darkness.
Mankind's creation is in many important ways a response to the devil's rebellion and our existence and purpose in this world cannot be properly understood without first understanding these truths (this is all covered in the Satanic Rebellion series; see also in BB 4B: "God's Plan to Save You"). All moral creatures have free will. Unbelievers and fallen angels (the devil included) are condemned because of their own free-will choices specifically, to refuse to respond to God's Gift in the case of the former and to rebel against Him in the case of the latter. No one was created without a choice nor does God wish any to be condemned (2Pet.3:9). It was a necessity of effecting the perfect creation that some moral creatures endowed with genuine free will (indeed many of them) would use that free will to reject, resist, and oppose God and His will for them. That this has all been perfectly planned and decreed does not reduce the responsibility of those who spurn the Lord one iota, nor does it take away from the truth that their will in choosing damnation was absolutely free (please see the previous link for detailed discussion of these matters).
As to the Lake of Fire, it is true that it will be a place of darkness, but angels are creatures of light and do not desire darkness. Satan "masquerades as an angel of light" (2Cor.11:14), but regardless of his brilliant appearance he is evil now by choice and a future of actual darkness awaits his spiritually dark choice to rebel against the Lord. The fact that demons are averse to being thrown into the light-less Abyss (Lk.8:31; cf. Rev.20:3) shows that this is not what they desire. Satan and his followers wanted to replace God and rule the universe on their own terms. It is not to be. The Lake of Fire will be a place of punishment. Scripture says nothing about any "ruling" going on there. From the descriptions we have (see the link) it seems that those immersed into it will be too occupied with their suffering to worry about such things (cf. the situation in the interim "Torments" described at Lk.16:23-24).
In the Genesis account (and in Hebrew tradition), night precedes day, and that is very significant. The restoration of the heavens and the earth began in total darkness but will result when all of history has run its course in total light. In the meantime, God restored light, but in contrast to the darkness. Night reminds us that this is still the devil's world; day reminds us that the Lord's Day of Eternity will yet come. The contrast of the two reminds us of the conflict raging unseen beyond our eyesight which is more important that anything our eyes can see: everything is a choice between one and the other. When we take such things to heart and respond to the Lord, becoming His followers, learning His truth, applying that truth to our lives, and helping others do the same through the various ministries to which Jesus calls us, we participate in the true struggle in the cause of our Lord and our God.
For you were once darkness, but now [you are] light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
Ephesians 5:8 NKJV
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV
This process of judgment, restoration and replacement, which is the pattern behind the Plan of God, is covered in part 5 of the Satanic Rebellion series (see the link).
In Jesus Christ, the one and only way of salvation.
Do you mind if I just deal with small bites rather than the whole, as too many side issues are not able to be dealt with that way?
The Word says the male Adam -the firstborn of the Adam race- was created on day 6, but the Word says that the female Adam was not brought out of the male Adam until after he was installed in the Garden and had named all the animals. We aren't told what day the female Adam person was built, using the spirit, bone, flesh and blood from the male Adam person, who was put into a deep sleep, but we know that she was not there in person -in physical fact- when the command was given to Adam to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
We are told that the Creator created Adam male and female in the day they were created; but in fact, in the Word, the male Adam was alone, which the Creator said was not good, and so he built the female helpmeet after the installation of the male firstborn in the Garden, and after his naming of all the created animals.
This wording in Genesis and example of the creation of Adam as male and female, but the male first, alone, and the female taken from him, and her being by the remnant of the Adam spirit, and built from his bone and flesh -and therefore one blood with him- gives us the best example of the generations of the heavens and earth, also, does it not?
Another thing I would like to add is that the Word does not say the Adam-kind spirit is created at birth, but it does say that the entire Adam race is one spirit, and the female Adam person/soul was made from the same one, single, Adam spirit with a share/remnant of the same created spirit called Adam, and also one bone, flesh, and blood, as the firstborn. Malachi 2:15 says He made them one spirit, and the female was made "Adam" from the remnant of the created spirit of the firstborn.
In fact, the word does teach us that all the created kinds are "one spirit", and the spirit of each kind is under command from the Creator to multiply the kind by the seed created within it, when it was created as a living kind. The "spirit" is the nature/force of each kind. The nature of the kind forms the house for the soul/person/individual to indwell, beginning at conception.
We see the spirit of individual kinds at work in the different kinds when we watch the germination of the kind under a microscope which can define the cells being doubled and separated into the many different parts so as to build the house which the created spirit of the kind will wear -"be clothed with"- as its house.
Each seed of each created kind has its own "remnant" of the created spirit of the created kind, from the moment of conception of the living seed of the kind. Eve was "the mother of all the living" seed, which was created in the loins of the Adam male to come forth from his loins, in their season.
There is no way that every single seed of every single Adam person who has ever come to fruit in their season could have been carried through the stream of the Adam race, down from the first father, in the loins the males of the race but by the Adam spirit/nature/force/life doing its duty, as it was created to do, in the beginning.
We see God speaking in His Word to Abraham, David, and others, saying things like; "kings shall come out of your loins"; and "Levi was yet in the loins of Abraham [his great-grandfather] and paid tithes in Abraham", to the King of Righteousness.
I have more but this is enough for one, and I have read a lot you wrote, but as you see, I am finding many problems with your statements that the creation of the heavens and earth in Genesis 1 were not the same manner of creation as the Adam male and female, who were created male and female, but in fact were not two Adam persons until the female was built from the male; for the word says the male was formed alone, yet Adam was created male and female.
Malachi 2:15 And did not he make/asah one? Yet had he the residue/remnant [a share] of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
In Jesus the Christ, the Kinsman/Redeemer of our race,
Eve was "built" / created on the sixth day: Gen.1:26: ""Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule . . ."; Gen.1:27: "male and female He created them"; Gen.1:28: "God blessed them and said to them (plural), "Be fruitful . . ."; Gen.1:29: "I give you (Heb. lechem, plural) every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours (Heb. lechem, plural) for food".
Genesis chapter 2 begins a detailed discussion of those events which transpired on the sixth day starting with verse 5. NASB and ESV correctly recognize the Hebrew grammar as containing another disjunctive clause which acts as a transition here to a new subject after the summary in verse 4.
When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung upfor the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,
Genesis 2:5 ESV
Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.
Genesis 2:5 NASB
Notice that there is no one on earth at this point and it is only later on in verse 7 when Adam is created. So apart from the issue of Eve, this has to be a more detailed discussion of the sixth day (otherwise at least Adam would already have been present)
I don't find the "aloneness" of Adam immediately supplemented by the creation of Eve (that very day) as any sort of parallel to the eon-long gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Marriage symbolizes our need for God who is our Husband (just as He is Israel's Husband) that is the reason for its invention. Believers are the Bride of Christ, and the taking of Eve from Adam and our correspondingly intrinsic oneness with Jesus after we believe is the pertinent symbolism. Just as Eve allowed herself to be deceived and then Adam followed her in death out of love for her, so our dear Lord Jesus gave Himself over unto death in order to redeem us, His Bride (see Romans 5 and Ephesians 6; and see the link: "The Last Adam").
On the human spirit, everyone has a human spirit given by God at birth (see the link: "the Human Spirit"):
Thus says God the Lord, who creates the skies and stretches them out, who fashions the earth and its produce, who gives breath to the people upon it, even a spirit to those who walk upon it.
Adam is the pattern of our creation. His body is formed and then God breathes in the "breath of life" or human spirit. This is repeated for everyone born since when God likewise quickens them at birth. Similarly, death occurs when the spirit departs.
Then [at death] the dust (i.e., the body) will return to the earth whence it came, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Malachi 2:15 is referring to the unity of man and woman in marriage. Beyond all question the "oneness" described there happens when two adults marry (and both clearly had individual bodies and individual spirits before the marriage). Thus this unity, while important, is symbolic. Man and wife are "one body" as being united in a bond in God's eyes, but not technically one inseparable piece of flesh (obviously, we can still be in a different room from our spouse).
The position that the human spirit is generated materially is, sadly, a common one even in evangelical theology (traditionally it is called "Traducianism"). However, in addition to the fact that it contradicts scripture (which ought to be sufficient justification for rejecting it), it has the uncomfortable side-effect of rendering the theology of those who embrace it no different from secular materialism. According to that false view, human being are merely physically generated entities. The biblical position, by way of stark contrast, recognizes every person as uniquely and immediately created by God Himself who gives that person life:
The God who created the world and everything in it, this is He who as Lord of heaven and earth does not dwell in temples made by human hands nor is He tended to by the hands of men as if He were in need of anything He it is who gives life and breath and everything else to all [of us].
Thus "creationism" sees God's hand even in the creation (and death) of animals, and how much more of human beings, but traducianism removes God from the immediate giving of life and reduces the wonder of God's creation to a materialistic process.
Our bodies clearly are all derived from our first parents that is patently obvious in everything scripture has to say (pace modern evolution). But our spirits are immediately created by God at birth, and that is what makes all the difference. Most of the issues discussed above can be found treated in greater detail in part 3A of Bible Basics: Anthropology: The Biblical Study of Man.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Hi again, Robert,
In the regenerated heavens and earth which I wrote of in Isaiah, people are married, babies are born, sinners die at age 100 years, and others do not die but are transformed at the end of the millennial reign. The curse is removed from the earth which Adam's fall caused, and what a man plants is the crop he gets -instead of thorns and thistles.
That is the regenerated earth which God speaks of in Isaiah 65. My point is that God uses the word "new/renew" -a total regeneration which Jesus spoke of. He will make all things new, even in Revelation, when the first earth is "passed away", etc; but in Genesis 1, He did not use the words "renew, regenerate" -and so on.
The curse is removed from the earth and the dark principalities and powers of the heavenly realm no longer hold the earth. It is truly regenerated for the thousand year reign, which is what God says. That is not the Rev passage you quoted, for the one you quote will be after the millennial reign, and the one I quoted is during the millennial reign.
The "blessed of the LORD" are the sheep Gentiles and those of Israel's seed who are alive on earth when Jesus returns to set up His Sabbath Millennium, and tells them to "enter into the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning" -which became spoiled/ vain/ ruined for its purpose of creation, when Adam fell. They have offspring, as Isaiah 65 shows, but in the resurrection body, no one marries nor has children.
Ezekiel 20:33-44 shows the gathering of the "elect" =Israel and their judgment at the return of Jesus to reign over the earth for the millennial Sabbath, when the curse is removed from the earth. Then Matthew 25:32-46 shows the judgment of the Gentiles as sheep and goats at His return. Those of Israel and the sheep Gentiles are the ones who enter into the kingdom prepared for the sons of God of the human being kind from the "foundation of the world".
And before him shall be gathered all nations/Gentiles: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 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:
There are many, many passages which deal with the Millennial Sabbath, the time of the regeneration of this earth to what Adam was made to rule over; and the point still stands that God used no word denoting "new/regenerated", in relation to the Genesis record -is that not so?
In Christ's Living, One New Man Spirit, by regeneration:) [second birth of spirit],
The problem here is there is an important distinction between the Millennium, the last "day" of human history which lasts 1,000 years, and the eternal state, the New Heavens and the New Earth wherein the New Jerusalem will be found. Jesus rules during the Millennium from the earthly Jerusalem over a still mortal and sinful earth; the Father returns to the new and sinless earth at the end of history once the last enemy, death has been defeated and all sin and evil has been removed from the new, restored, and now perfect universe, to rule in the New Jerusalem. All of these issues are explained in detail in part 6 of Coming Tribulation: Last Things.
So the passages in Isaiah you quote are millennial; but the final removal of the curse of death will not take place until history comes to an end entirely. The Old Testament often views eschatology as one piece; through progressive revelation in the more detailed information provided in the New Testament we can now see that some of those passages contained "prophetic foreshortening" (see the link). There is no contradiction between Old and New and, rightly understood as millennial and not eternal, the Isaiah passages stand on their own. But the distinction between these two, i.e., the Millennium and the New Jerusalem, is very important to understand, not least because death is not removed until after the Millennium.
But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
1st Corinthians 15:23-28 NIV
The Millennium will be a time of great blessing, but people will still be sinful and death will still be around even though life-spans greatly increase (cf. Rev.20:9). Scripture mentions no removal of the Genesis curse during the Millennium. Similarly, Ezekiel 20 is speaking of the judgment of the Jewish people on their millennial restoration to the land; but Matthew 25 is speaking of the Last Judgment. Again, the difference is between a millennial and an eternal event (see the links: "The Regathering and Purging of Israel" and "The Last Judgment").
In Jesus in whom are blessed forever and ever.
The sky is the face/the open of the sha-mayim, in Genesis 1, as I wrote previously, where the birds fly, as Genesis says; but the birds do not fly above, in the expanse called sha-mayim, where the sun, moon, and stars are set. Neither do the mountains extend above the "open/face's" boundaries: though the air gets thinner, it is still above the mountains.
As I wrote before; Mayim is waters, and the sha-mayim is the name God gave to the stretched out expanse between the divided waters, so there are two/divided/cut waters of Genesis 1, one half below and one half above the stretched out expanse, which God called "heavens" -plural- in the day He stretched out and named the expanse sha-mayim.
The Garden of Eden is where the Tree of Life is planted, in Genesis, and that is called Paradise in the Septuagint, and by Jesus, and by Paul. Jesus says He will give the redeemed to eat of the Tree of Life, in Paradise. That is where Adam was, and was cast down/naphal from, at the time he disobeyed and became defiled and ruined for his purpose of being a son of God of the human being kind, and ruined as a vessel to bring forth the seed of Adam as sons of God, to build the temple not made with hands, for the unseen Glory to dwell in.
Psalm 82 speaks specifically to the mighty/el, the sons of Elohym, and warns those who are the judges and rulers of earth that they must do their duty which they were created and ordained to do, or they will die like Adam, the one prince, and be cast down like him.
Psalm 82:7 . . 'aken muwth 'Adam naphal 'echad sar
The City of God is in Mount Eden above, which is identified as Mount Zion above, in some ancient writings.
That City is being built up for the Glory to indwell, now, with every redeemed and ransomed seed of Adam to be joined to and made one with, the Elohym/sons of God, there. That is the purpose for which Adam was made, and which he became a ruined and defiled vessel for being, and that is why Adam was cast down from the Garden/Paradise, of Mount Eden, where the Tree of Life is and where the "Watcher angels" dwell and rule over earth from.
The Watchers doing their duty is seen in Jeremiah 4:16, coming from the "far country" -which is their dwelling place, [Paradise]. Watchers are also seen doing their duty in Daniel 4, where the guardians watch, and rule by decrees of their counsel, who are set over earth and rule from the heavens.
Adam was with them, and in fellowship daily with God the Word; but from there he was cast down. The Tree of Life is still there, and Jesus came to ransom us back and give us access to the Garden in His New Man image and to build up the City for the Glory, and to eat of the Tree of Life, in that Garden/Paradise.
Why do you say it is not the Garden of God which Adam was installed in and cast down from, where the Tree of Life is in the midst of?
Do not all Scripture passages tell us the same, one story, of the fall and of the redemption back in morphosed, elemental change, to the image of the son of God, which was the state of our being at the time of creation?
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
The firmament divides the earthly seas from the heavenly "sea". Since the atmosphere is between the earthly seas and the heavenly seas, it has to be a part of the firmament (Q.E.D.). And since it is one part of the heavens, and since space wherein are the stars is another part, then these two have to constitute the two heavens (the dual shamayim). Birds flying across the face of the firmament does not mean that they are not in the outer edge of it in fact that is just what this phrase means. Had Moses been given to say merely "in the firmament" it could have been confusing (birds do not reach outer space, after all).
As to Eden and Paradise, I gave you a link which explains in further detail the truth about these things. It is your business if you do not wish to believe it you seem to have a fairly involved "theology" of these matters, but I do not find it scriptural. For example, the New Jerusalem is the final paradise, and is clearly much different than the Eden of Adam and Eve. Also, Jesus tells the thief on the cross who believes in Him, "today you will be with Me in paradise". That is also clearly not the garden of Eden (which is no longer around), but is instead the paradise beneath the earth described in Luke chapter 16. It is also not in the third heaven because Jesus did not ascend until after His resurrection (but He tells the thief "today"). So right here are three (or really four) discrete paradises (see again the link: "The Seven Edens"). I am certainly willing to answer questions about all these things, but we seem to be drifting beyond that.
In Jesus who is the only way of eternal life and the only gateway into the eternal paradise of the New Jerusalem,
Thanks again for your replies, but the question is: is the named "night" =the darkness of the creation week, in Genesis- evil, and is it a current sign of judgement past?
Is every evening a judgment, with darkness "coming back" around, upon us?
he darkness named night in Genesis 1 is still with us, not undone, and so, is it evil?
The sun, moon, and stars will always be God's ordinances in the heavens, even in the regeneration of the heavens and the earth. The passages in Rev speak specifically of the City of God, the New Jerusalem; and Christ in the Saints of that City is the Light that outshines the sun and moon -even in the millennial reign; but the sun, moon, and stars are "forever and ever" ordinances.
The passages you used to show no night in the City of God does not negate that the sun and moon and stars will last forever -and always shine. There will always be "evening and morning" on earth, and new moons forever; but the Glory of the Light of God's "Sun =Christ come in flesh" will make the sun and moon "ashamed" when He reigns for the millennium, in Jerusalem below.
The Bible says that In the Millennial reign, when Satan and his created evil hosts are shut up, the Light of the Glory of God in Christ will outshine the sun, in Jerusalem. There will be no night in Jerusalem for the Sabbath reign of Christ, nor will the gates be shut. There will be day and night, and new moons for the thousand years just like forever, in the regenerated heavens and earth.
"Isaiah 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously."...
Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that [men] may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and [that] their kings [may be] brought.
19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
In the regenerated heavens and earth of the Millennial reign, again, we read that: the weeks and moons will come around, even though there is no night in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 66:23 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 31: 35, Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts [is] his name:
Jer 33:25 Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant [be] not with day and night, [and if] I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;
Jer 31:36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
God could have destroyed Satan and created mankind not only perfect but incapable of sin. That is not how He did it and we should take care to understand precisely what He did and why He did it. The plan of God especially in the case of mankind is a plan of judgment, restoration and replacement. In phase one of this plan, the universe is judged (as a result of Satan's revolt), then restored but not entirely purged of sin that is why there is still darkness amidst the light and that is why God has not yet taken up his residence on earth (this is still the devil's world he has not been removed from it); finally, mankind was created as a replacement for the devil and his angels something Satan and his minions understood full well, which explains the devil's aggressive counter-attack resulting in the fall of Adam and Eve and on us their progeny every since. None of this was unanticipated by the Lord, of course, and, as it happens, necessary for the fulfillment of the further two phases of the plan of God which result in the eventual perfection of His completed family in the new heavens and the new earth. There is much to say about all of this (you will find the details mainly at the following links: SR 5: Judgment, Restoration and Replacement and in BB 4B: Soteriology).
As to the supposed eternity of the present universe, that is certainly not the case:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
2nd Peter 3:10-12 NIV
The creation of the new heavens and the new earth will be a complete and total replacement of all that has gone before whatever the similarities may be, there will be no taint or trace of sin and no material continuity between the present ones and what is to come (see the link: "The New Heavens and the New Earth").
Finally, I explained in the previous email on this subject that night is symbolic of evil and will abide until the end of history when, in the New Jerusalem, there will be no more night. I also allowed as to how there are similarities between the millennial Jerusalem under the reign of Christ and the New Jerusalem wherein is also the Father but important differences too and how these distinctions are often confused and sometimes blurred but, when rightly understood stand on their own (see the links already given). Case in point is your passage, Isaiah 60, where in verse eleven it says of the gates of millennial Jerusalem "they shall not be shut day nor night" so there still will be night (in the Millennium, but not in eternity).
The passages in Jeremiah are most certainly true for the entire duration of history. The distinction being drawn by me here in our discussion is between history and eternity, and these passages do not contradict what I have said because they are millennial, not eternal. For example, the "covenant with the day and the night" is in the context (v.35) of Him who "stirs up the sea" but we know that in the eternal state there will be "no longer any sea" (Rev.21:1). Finally, Jeremiah 31 in the verses which follow is clearly speaking about the millennial restoration of Jerusalem and of the Jewish people to the land of Israel during the Millennium (not the eternal state). Much will change in eternity including the fact that all gentile believers will become one with Israel incorporated into the twelve tribes (see the link: "Israel is the ultimate organization"). Failure to appreciate the conflation of these things in Old Testament prophecy so as not to distinguish them properly renders any detailed understanding of eschatology impossible.
As I say, I am happy to answer any and all questions about these very important matters.
In Jesus who is our King Eternal,
So the elements, which every created thing -including ourselves and the angels- are formed of, will be destroyed? -as in annihilated? -Everything just disappears? Ourselves; the angels; the City of God; the Tree of Life and the Paradise it is in; and so on -all annihilated?
What about the promise to the "thousand generations" of Jacob=Israel's seed, who will exist on this earth in its regenerated form?
Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
1Ch 16:15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations;
Psa 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations.
In the Word, regeneration is transformation of the same elements, is it not, to the state of being which they were created to be, at the beginning, before the fall of Adam?
Isa 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together[/galal -rolled down] as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree.
Another interesting thing in the Word is the fact that the heavens will be "rolled down" -opposite of "stretched out", and the host of them will fall down like leaves -to the earth from which they had their primal beginning, before the heavens were stretched out and "garnished"; but they will not cease to exist; rather they shall be regenerated. From the beginning, when God created all "matter/energy/elements", nothing will cease to exist. What forms matter takes in the regeneration is discovered in the first chapters of Genesis, when we see the Creation in perfection, as the beginning of God's plan to build a human being temple "not made with hands", for His Glory to indwell.
From the beginning, God has promised no more flood to cleanse the earth, but He has promised that He shall cleanse it by fire, and that the new creation on this earth in its regenerated form will last forever. At that time, we who are not cast into the Outer Darkness -where there is no light at all- will get to rejoice "with the stars" at the resetting of the pillars of the earth. We were not there when God created all things the first time, but we will be there to rejoice in the regeneration of all things and in the "stretching out" of the new heavens, when He has all the living stones assembled and gathered, to build His City for His Glory to indwell, in its perfection.
It is very important to point out that this universal destruction is true only of material creation, not things spiritual. So the elect angels and we resurrected believers will be immune from this destruction. Since the Last Judgment appears to take place on the fringe of the underworld and/or the third heaven, I imagine that this will be our vantage point for the universal destruction as well. After all, following death even now believers go to the third heaven which is "not a part of this creation" (Heb.9:11). For more on all the spiritual geography of these things, please see the chart, "the Waters above and the Waters below".
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior with whom we anticipate enjoying all these things,
Hi again Robert.
Jesus is Christ come in a second creation human being body of flesh, and that same body has bones, flesh, and blood. His body of flesh is His dwelling place forever, as the Firstborn of the New/Second Creation of human beings and the brother/Kinsman to the Adam creation. He is come in it [which in Isaiah 59 He is seen as "YHWH" donning the garment of salvation/Kinsman]; He died in it; rose in it; is glorified in it; and is returning in the same flesh and bond and blood body of second man that is the Kinsman to the first human creation which was made in the same exact image of Him who was to come, and is come. Genesis 1:26-28; Romans 5:14 tell us that the body of Adam was an exact image of God the Word who was to come in flesh.
So His New Man flesh body, in which He has the Glory which Adam lost hope of, at the fall, is material; and so shall our elementally "metamorphosed" bodies be material bodies, but the Glory which Adam was made to bear and was defiled as a temple forever, for, at the fall, is the promise of our regenerated bodies.
The bodies of all who are ever born in Adam but who die in unrepentance and in the unregenerated Adam spirit, will also be resurrected with the souls of them, and they shall never, ever, dissolve, in the Lake of Fire/Outer Darkness: for that reason, they are called the "worm that shall never die", for there is no hope of metamorphoses of the bodies to the glorious image of the sons of God.
I'm not sure I understand your question. Consider:
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1st Corinthians 15:42-50 NIV
The resurrection body is eternal and imperishable and capable of inheriting "the kingdom of God", that is, the eternal state. It can and will exist in the New Heavens and New Earth; it cannot be destroyed the way the present one can (and the way the present heavens and earth will be). For more on this please see the link: The Resurrection Body
Hello again Robert,
In the millennial reign I think you missed the wording of Scripture that there will be no night in the city of earthly Jerusalem, itself, because the Glory of Christ on the city will outshine the sun and the moon [and so, the stars].
Christ come is the "Sun" for Israel, who shall shine in glory from the City of Jerusalem for the thousand years. That is what the passages I pasted do say, and yes, that does type the heavenly City of God which shall be set in the heavenly realm over Israel, and which shines with the Glory of God -so it also outshines the sun, moon, and stars.
There will also be be the sun and moon and stars in the regenerated heavens, for those ordinances shall never cease before God -else Israel will cease and the promises Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob received shall cease, according to the passage I pasted.
"No more sea" does not mean no more water/mayim. But rather, that word is connected to "salt" -as in sea waters; and the salt in the sea does reflect judgment, in this present creation.
There will be night in the Millennium, as documented (Is.60:11).
The brightness of millennial Jerusalem does not discount that fact.
There will be an entire destruction of the present heavens and earth, as documented (2Pet.3:10-12).
The presence of heavenly bodies in the New Heavens does not discount that fact.
The question was about the dissolving of the material elements of creation, as if all matter is annihilated and my email reply just before that one was a partial reply to yours, with that one completing it.
The passage you quoted above does not negate the fact of the material body of human being flesh of the second creation which the Christ -the Living Spirit and God the Word- wears since the incarnation.
The word "don" is in Isaiah 59, and refers to the garment He wears, of human being flesh, which was "prepared new, in the womb of the virgin" for His incarnation. As God incarnate in human being flesh of second creation, He is the only created brother to the Adam human being, and the Kinsman/Redeemer for Adam in that flesh. Adam was created/made in the image of God the Word, in a body that looked like and would have been glorified just like, the body which Christ put on and is wearing.
Adam, our first father, would have lived forever in his own human being body, as a glorified son of God and the firstborn son of the human being race called Adam. That was lost in the fall, and the temple called "Adam" is ruined, corrupted, and defiled forever, as a vessel to bear the Glory.
The Created flesh which Christ wears/has put on, as the brother to the Adam creation, is the same kind of flesh that Adam was made with, and and became corrupted in, and defiled as a vessel for the Glory in. The New Man flesh could not corrupt in three days and three nights, in the tomb, nor could it ever have corrupted, as He had no sin in His flesh, and no corruption/death could enter His flesh. He had life to give for us because He was not corrupted in flesh, and He said HE laid it down of His own free will, and that He would take it back up, Himself.
We see His flesh body as material, with bones and blood. Our bodies of immortality will be uncorrupted and incorruptible the same as His - but not named, "Adam", but "Israel".
Adam, the first human being, was "made a living soul" and the "last or second" human being Man is the Life giving Spirit/Christ, come in flesh of New Man creation, which flesh was never defiled by sin entering, and so never became corrupted.
Our bodies will be raised in the image of the New Man, uncorrupted and incorruptible, and not in the image of the old corrupted Adam man, but fully human, with flesh, blood, and bones -and glorified as the first Adam creation was made for, and lost in the fall.
Revelation 19 shows Him returning in the same garment which we see He donned in Isaiah 59. Revelation 19 shows that "Garment" is the human being body of flesh, in which he was "baptized/immersed in death", in -according to the passage, in the Greek.
The whole point of this is that the New Creation body is material, made the same as Adam's body was before the fall, which was made in the image of the flesh that Christ was to come in -Romans 5:14; Genesis 1:26,28.
I still don't understand your point. This old creation is annihilated. But when resurrected we are no longer of this creation and so can no longer be destroyed. The resurrection body is eternal and imperishable and capable of inheriting "the kingdom of God", that is, the eternal state. It can and will exist in the New Heavens and New Earth; it cannot be destroyed the way the present one can (and the way the present heavens and earth will be). [more about the resurrection body later]
I will tell you that I cannot find your doctrine in the Word of God on a prior creation. I also cannot find anywhere in the Word that Satan was created as a holy angel and is in a fallen state of rebellion. He is what he was created to be, and he is doing what he was created to do, and he gets the rewards he was promised, which is his plunder and spoils of those subject to him forever, by believing his lies by their own free will, instead of the word of God, while they had their being intact.
Darkness over the earth in Genesis 1, with the Holy Spirit brooding over the waters as a hen over her chicks, speaks exactly and correctly to the birthing process of earth and the heavens, as the generations of them were brought forth in the six days, as told of in Genesis. To equate darkness as an evil judgment and a calamity is to mix the spiritual with the physical and come up with things not in the Word at all, and which are refuted by the Word.
In the Great Tribulation to come, we are told, in Amos, that there will darkness over the earth, with no "bright shining" of God in it. Jesus also calls it the "night when no man can work", for it is a time of the wrath of God poured out over the earth; but there will be evenings and mornings for that entire time, and the dawn will come each day, which days are numbered for us in the Word of God.
Days are counted by evenings and mornings, as the sun rises and sets, as the Word says; and though the days are "shortened" in the time of the tribulation by one third of their "shining", to 16 hour days instead of 24 hour days, and though the "bright shining of the LORD =no light" is not on the earth, and though "darkness covers the earth", as Amos says; yet the days do "shine" with the light ordained from the beginning of creation, and days are numbered by the "shining" of the sun, moon, and stars.
Amos 5:18, 20 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end [is] it for you? the day of the LORD [is] darkness, and not light. [Shall] not the day of the LORD [be] darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
I read in the Word that in The Millennium no one will die but sinners, at age 100. Jesus said that the millennium is the "kingdom of God come" to earth, and He taught us to pray that it would come to earth. The kingdom we pray to come to earth is the same which was prepared for Adam, in the beginning of creation, and the Word teaches us that those who enter into that kingdom [those who pass the judgment of the remaining alive of Israel's seed and of the Gentiles, as worthy to enter that kingdom], are called "the Blessed of the LORD", and they will be in the Sabbath rest which Adam was created to be in [and was placed in, in Eden's Garden, tending it], and lost, at the fall, when he entered into vanity of "being" and loss of his purpose. When the earth was lost for its purpose in Adam's fall the entire race of Adam was closed off from entry into the heavenly realms of the earth, where Mount Eden and the Garden of God, called "Paradise", and the Tree of Life, is.
At the coming to earth of the longed for restoration, when Jesus returns, they who are called the "Blessed of YHWH" will marry and have offspring [some are no doubt married when they enter into the kingdom prepared from the beginning of creation], and their offspring inherit the earth forever -and live to their fulfilled "day" of a thousand years and are translated/morphosed to the glory bodies of the sons of God, which bodies do not die and do not reproduce offspring.
All creation will rejoice and every creature will be set free from the corruption which entered the creation at the fall of its firstborn -the Adam.
The Millennium is the time of restoration, and that kingdom was what Adam was given and what Jesus brings back to the earth, in its recreation/regeneration, which is called the created, new, heavens and earth, in the chapter of Isaiah describing it does say.
This age to come is typed in the Living Oracles given to the nation named after the New Man, who is God the Word who was to come in flesh, and is come, so as to ransom the kingdom made for the Adam creation and which the firstborn in Adam lost. The theme of redemption is for restoration of the creation back to that which it was made to be, in the beginning of creation. The restoration will be to exactly what Adam was created to have dominion over when he was created to be the "god" -little g- of this earth and god of its "breadth" -expanse stretched out. That Jesus is God our Creator, come as the second creation human being and the second "Firstborn" of the human being creation and so the legal Kinsman/Redeemer to the lost kingdom and the seed of Adam is the theme of the Word.
As Firstborn/Everlasting Father of the New Man name, as Isaiah 9 declares Him to be, He replaces the Adam creation who, since the fall, is not a son of God and does not have dominion of the creation and never is called to the assemblies of God in the heavens -which the sons of God are called to the assemblies of. As Kinsman/Redeemer He atoned for our sin sick souls, removed the cause of the first death [of spirit], and took our sins away, once, for all [for whosoever will] and ascribed them to the chief of those first fallen angels, Azazel, chained in Sheol below.
He then regenerates the ransomed by adopting them into His One "living Spirit", and promises the adoption of the Adam nature bodies of the regenerated in Spirit into His own "New Man body" image. That same image of the body made for glory is what Adam was created with, and became defiled and corrupted in, when he fell.
The idea that there was a prior creation before this present one and that Satan is a fallen holy angel is not found in the Word of God, nor in the ancient writings of Israel, which were called sacred/holy writings. What is found in the writings and in the Word is that Satan is the created chief of a whole army of created satans who are called "evil spirits" in heaven, and who do the will of God in this present creation in that they try/tempt/test the holy angels and the seed of Adam. Their reward is to "eat" the flesh of Adam [Corruption and Death entered the Adam flesh ], while an Adam person has his body intact, and to torment the soul/person of an uunredeemed Adam in Sheol, below -in the belly of the earth- and to hold captive, there, all unredeemed souls of Adam. They also hold the chained angels/spirits who fell before the flood, and who were chained as warnings to other angels.
Destruction/Abbadon/Apollyon/ is a named Satan, and a chief one, whose kingdom prepared for him and his hosts is the Lake of Fire. The spoils and plunder which the Satans feed upon in the Lake of Fire, forever, are the cast aways of this present creation, who all belong to the Prince of darkness and his hosts, forever. for whom the Lake of Fire was "prepared".
Death/Corruption/Destruction/Abaddon entered the flesh of Adam at the fall, and at that time, Sheol was set up below, in the belly of the earth. Every prisoner of Death is His spoils and plunder, and His hosts will feed on them forever, in the Lake of Fire. But the ransomed are freed forever from the damnation of the fall, by the Atonement.
The purpose for Adam's creation was to bring forth human being sons of God, to build the temple "not made with hands", for the Glory. In Haggai 2 we read the parable about that first temple, Adam, and that second temple [which is named "Israel", the New Man name: Isaiah 49], which second Temple has much more glory than the Adam temple because the Foundation Stone for that second temple "not made with hands" is the Lord from heaven, come in flesh; as promised from Genesis 3:15, when the Seed of the Woman/[Mount Zion above, who is personified throughout the Word as a Woman and the "Mother of us all", and also called "Jerusalem above"] would crush the head of the serpent, and restore the creation back, for Glory.
Now the Glory will come to this present creation, and the kingdom will be restored which Adam was made for, and lost.
The prophets tell us of that time to come, and the Glory that will "cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea".
The Millennial Sabbath will be glorious for those who dwell on earth, and we who are transformed to the bodies made for the Glory will dwell in the heavenly realm of it, ruling it -if we are counted worthy- with the Watcher angels, from Mount Eden above it, for the thousand years.
After that end of the first earth and the cleansed and purified earth is established with the regeneration of all things, many more generations will be born on earth, forever, and they will be transformed after they live their "day" of a thousand years on it, and they will "Plant the heavens", in "Glory".
Isaiah 51:16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou [art] my people.
Have a good day in Christ Jesus, and may we all be praying, with the anointed prophet, David, that He may "open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of His Torah/Law", for without the opening of our eyes, we remain in spiritual darkness, and do not "see".
In Christ Jesus,
To finish up on the previous question, I find these passages applicable:
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1st Corinthians 15:50 NIV
But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.
The differences between this present body which "cannot inherit the kingdom of God [i.e., the eternal state]" and the one to come which will be more "like the angels" and "not involved in marriage" or procreation will be immense. All one needs to do is read the accounts in the gospels of our Lord's eternal body following His resurrection to see how true this is. He ascended to heaven in it, walked through walls with it, and appeared at will in one place or another by means of it. The two mistakes most commonly made about the resurrection body are on the one hand assuming that it is just a sinless version of the one we have now ala Adam and Eve (but as the passages and examples above show it is much altered for the better) or that it is not materially substantial (whereas our Lord's body was tangible etc.). The truth avoids both of these incorrect extremes. You can find more at the links: "The Resurrection Body" and "The Blessed Eternal State of the Saved".
As to your most recent email, I will try to answer your main comments (questions?) point by point:
1) "I cannot find your doctrine in the Word of God on a prior creation":
Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled darkness lay upon the face of the abyss while God's Spirit brooded over the surface of its waters.
2) "I also cannot find anywhere in the Word that Satan was created as a holy angel and is in a fallen state of rebellion":
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!
Isaiah 14:12a NIV
"You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. "You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. "You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.
3) "brooding": The Hebrew verb rachaph means to "hover over", used in Deuteronomy 32:11 of an eagle spreading out its wings to fly-in-place so as to be able to feed its young. In Genesis 1:2 it expresses the posture of the Spirit "hovering over" the universal deep to restrain it (and the evil it contained) from the third heaven, the holy place of God. The Spirit very often engages in ministries of the restraint of evil (such as His restraint of antichrist in 2Thes.2), and that is what we have here in Genesis 1:2 as well: yet another indication that judgment has occurred and that evil now exists since it needs to be restrained (please see the link: "The Restraining Ministries of the Holy Spirit".
4) "To equate darkness as an evil judgment and a calamity is to mix the spiritual with the physical": In scripture, darkness is always a symbol of evil with physical and spiritual inextricably intertwined. E.g.:
Do not participate in dark deeds which bear no fruit. But rather expose them as such.
For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against [angelic] princes, against [angelic] authorities, against the cosmic powers of this [present] darkness, against evil spirits in the heavenly realms.
[God the Father], who rescued us from the power of darkness and delivered us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and we walk in darkness, we are lying, and not acting truthfully.
1st John 1:6
But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness, and is walking in the darkness; and he doesn't know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1st John 2:11
Whereas light is always a symbol of God's goodness.
In Him was life, and this life was the light of men. And this light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not quenched it.
And this is the message which we have heard from Him and report to you, that God is light, and in Him is there is no darkness.
1st John 1:5
Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.
And the contrast between the two such as we have between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and then again in Genesis 1:3 is always theologically important:
If your eye is evil, your whole body is dark. So if the light within you is darkness, how great that darkness is!
This is the [basis for] judgment, that the light came into the world, and that men loved darkness rather than light.
To open their eyes, and to turn them away from the darkness and into the light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and clothe ourselves with the weapons of light.
You were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord.
What partnership does righteousness have with immorality, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?
2nd Corinthians 6:14
But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to be preserved in order that you might proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light.
1st Peter 2:9
But you, brothers, are not in darkness that the day [of the Lord] should catch you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness.
1st Thessalonians 5:4-5
Since God "is light", and since in Him "there is no darkness", the assumption that He would create a universe without light and subsumed in darkness is not only wrong it fundamentally misunderstands and misrepresents His perfect nature. As to your further comments about night and day, these are based upon passages which treat the end times while history is still in process; but it is only in eternity when there will "be no more night" precisely as was the case in original creation. During the Millennium, people will still be people in natural bodies (otherwise no one could die and no one could be a sinner).
But these comments (questions?) have all been asked and answered now several times and the answer is always the same: there is an essential difference between the Millennium wherein is Jesus' 1,000 year kingdom and the eternal state which lasts forever; the former takes place within history while the latter is ushered in only after history has come to a close: it will exist in the New Heavens and New Earth with all its inhabitants resurrected in our eternal forms. This is a fundamental point of orthodox eschatology. I am certainly not alone in teaching these things which, far from being things I "came up with", as you put it, are clear on their face from scripture and taught in their essence by all orthodox evangelical theologians of whom I am aware no doubt because it is difficult to read the book of Revelation as the Word of God and not accept these basic premises. Wrongly conflating these two discrete kingdoms is at the heart of the problem(s) here.
5) "Their reward is to "eat" the flesh of Adam": It seems that we are now getting closer to the truth of the reason for our disagreements. When you speak of "the ancient writings of Israel, which were called sacred/holy writings" we have, apparently, the provenance for many of the, frankly, theosophistic and non-biblical presumptions which seem to be taking precedent over the Bible in your arguments. The system of theology (or better, "theosophy") upon which you are basing your objections if fraught with non-biblical pronouncements and seems to be weighing you down and preventing you from accepting the clear meaning of scriptures which oppose that viewpoint. It is pointless for me to argue against positions and teachings which place extra-biblical "revelation" on an equal footing with or even over the only true revelation, the Word of God.
I had thought from your early emails that you were seeking clarification, guidance and direction with certain points you found difficult to accept. If I'm misjudging you and you are interested in my help, I am very much willing to give it. I must tell you, however, that the chances of you converting me to this or any other non-biblical system are absolutely nil.
In Jesus Christ, the God-Man who died for our sins, through whose Name alone we have eternal life.