Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In the Beginning



I have a problem with the creation story in Genesis.  It’s not so much what is written in  the Scripture, it’s what is not in there.  There is so much left out of the narrative, which means we don’t have all of the story.  

So what I’m going to speak about concerns the universe, a snake or serpent, Satan, a garden and man.  I can probably fit some other things in there as well, if time permits.  Oh yes, we will address "time" as well.

The first chapter, starts with … "In the beginning God … "  Since God had no beginning, shouldn’t it read perhaps … "In the eternal dateless past" … I like that better.  No one knows just how long ago verse one is speaking about.  Yes, I know many people believe the earth is only 6,000 years old.  Evidently the universe and the earth are the same age according to verse one … they were both created, "in the beginning."

But in the beginning of what?  Since this term is so vague, uncertain, and unclear of it’s meaning … I assume the Holy Spirit, the author of Genesis … purposely left it this way so we could come to our own conclusion, if it matters. 

Let me address the "Big Bang theory" … you know, where absolutely "nothing," if given enough time, exploded and out of this "nothingness" … (which is the absence of life or existence) … the universe with it’s billions and billions of stars, planets, galaxies and who knows what else, came into being.  Well, isn’t that just wonderful.  Science now believes the impossible.  But not God … they won’t go there.  

So let me also say to those who believe in the "Big Bang" … it didn’t happen on it’s own.  If it did happen, (which I don’t believe could happen,) it would need Almighty God to cause this "nothingness," meaning "the absence of anything" to explode.  It takes more faith to believe in the "Big Bang theory" than it does to believe that "God created the Heavens and the Earth."    

Okay, since the "Big Bang" was impossible, that leaves only God, just "floating around" in the empty universe … "before He created" … the first anything.  Therefore, God must have been "alone" in the eternal dateless past, until He made or created all things into being.  No one else was there … no angels, (which also means no Satan or demonic spirits), no throne room, nothing.  No sign of life or "existence" of any kind.

Since this was before the "beginning," there would not or could not have been any concept of "time" as we know it today, because God created time itself later.  Before the dispensation of time, we speak of that as … "the eternal dateless past."    

I also noticed reading the creation story in Genesis, that according to Moses, God, seven different times approved what He had just created and called it … "good." 

If so, this brings up another problem I have with this "incomplete story" of creation.

I’m reading verse two, the second sentence of Genesis … "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." 

The earth is covered in darkness here in Genesis, because God turned off the light as judgment on Satan.  Without light and heat from the sun, the earth became a dark frozen planet.  I will speak to this judgment later.  The earth was suddenly turned into an ice cube, even freezing green grass in the stomach of a pre-historic mastodon. 

Let me state again … evidently the universe and the earth were both created, "in the beginning."  So what does "in the beginning" mean?  I believe this term is speaking of the point in time when God first began creating, making, or forming all the stuff needed to eventually bring the plan of redemption to mankind through His Son Jesus.

Looking at what little we have to go with … it looks to me as if the earth was but one "chaotic mess."  It was without form, and void of life of any kind.  In fact the word "void" as used here means … "empty, an undistinguishable ruin."  Is that how God first created the earth?  It doesn’t sound "Good" to me. 

Also in verse two we find that God is preparing to give life once again to this earth.  The Holy Spirit was "moving" over the waters.  The Hebrew word used here is … "rı̂chēp" translated as … "brooding" … which means: "showing deep unhappiness of thought, or to think deeply about something that makes one unhappy."  So … was God unhappy with how His creation of the earth turned out?   

Evidently, as the earth stands in verse two, it is in … "a state of disorder" … not as God would normally "create" something He calls good, but rather the very opposite … as if God had "cursed" His previous creation.  Why do I say His previous creation?  It’s the same reason I said God was going to give life once again to this planet.

Because of the "chaos" we find in verse two of Genesis … it becomes very obvious to me that something catastrophic must have happened in the eternal dateless past which had left the earth in this state of chaos.  God’s judgment and punishment against Satan is the real reason the earth was in darkness … 

So what could this catastrophic past event be?  I believe, or I have the opinion that it could only have been one thing … the fall of Satan when he tried to overthrow God and take control of heaven.

Like many other Scriptures in the Word of God, there can be two different meanings ascribed to the same portion of Scripture. This can be said of "Isaiah 14:12-17."  It is first and foremost speaking about the King of Babylon, with a secondary meaning that perfectly fits and describes the fall of Satan.

(Edited for clarity) … "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer … art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High … Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms … That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof …"

Did God have a previous creation?  Yes, I believe He did.  "Isaiah 14:12-17" speaks of … "nations, heaven, clouds, earth, kingdoms, a wilderness, and destroyed cities."  This scripture lists all the ingredients needed for a pre-Adamic earth to fit squarely between Genesis 1:1, (the creation millions of years ago) and Genesis 1:2, (how the earth is left in chaos from God’s judgment) after the fall of Satan. 

In Genesis 1:1 we have God creating the heavens and the earth … in the beginning … what ever that means as I have already covered.  I must note here, the word used for the act of creation, is the Hebrew word "bara" … pronounced, baw-raw' … meaning … "to create out of nothing."  This would describe the original creation in the eternal dateless past.

A quick look at Hebrews 11:3 verifies that God created the worlds (plural) … out of nothing.  Including the original pre-Adamic earth.  I have no problem with that.

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."

In Genesis 1:3 and on … when God "made" anything, the word used  is the Hebrew word "asah" … pronounced aw-saw … meaning … "to make out of existing material."  The earth was already created, so God just spoke things back and restored things as they were originally.  So the renewing or the bringing back of the earth from the chaos, including the Garden and Adam & Eve happened about 6,000 years ago, not millions of years ago in the eternal dateless past, as it was with the original earth. 

So what about verse two?  As I stated earlier, "Isaiah 14:12-17" perfectly describes Satan on the "pre-Adamic" earth as He tried to ascend into heaven above the heights of the clouds from this earlier pre-historic earth.      

To show that this pre-historic earth … 

1.)  Just might have existed in the eternal dateless past  

2.)  That one of God’s angel’s, for whatever reason God had, allowed Satan to rule over this pre-historic earth before his sinful rebellious fall … I look to Scripture and again I find something interesting, more scripture with a double meaning … 

Ezekiel 28:13-15alludes to Satan’s fall as if he were the King of Tyrus.

(Edited for clarity) … "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty …Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God … Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire … Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."

It is hard to believe that this now fallen angel … Satan the anointed cherub was once full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, but that is what Ezekiel says or (alludes) to about him.  Of course his standing and stature as the perfect angel brought him down because of pride.  God hates pride about the same as He does sin.

Let me consider verse two again using only speculation and opinion.  That’s really all we have from this point on.  So what do we know by looking at Genesis 1:2

Remember, what we read about in this verse, is what the entire universe appeared as … after God cursed the whole of creation … because of the Fall of Satan.  I say the whole of creation because God had to repair not only the earth but also the heavens as well, beginning in Genesis 1:3 thru 31.

So here we have the creation story, but it’s not in chronological order.  Basically what chapter one shows, is the six days God used to create the earth as we now know it.  Since I believe there was a "pre-Adamic" earth, (which I will speak about later) … I consider this chapter as a re-creation or a re-making of that previous earth.  Same earth, just re-made.

God is also going to give this earth a make-over one more time according to … 2nd Peter 3:10-13 … "the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up … we look for new heavens and a new earth…"  (Edited)

God was thawing it out so to speak, from the deep freeze it was subjected too, and fixing everything that was wrong with it after Satan had control of it … but for how long we know not.  His control of the "pre-Adamic" earth must have been in the eternal dateless past, sometime after … the beginning.

More speculation … I have read what some men think about Satan being in control of the "pre-Adamic" earth and what he did.  Some say that he was the one who made all the dinosaurs and even the so called cave men.  Others say all the pre-historic men and beasts that roamed the earth were nothing but an experiment by God.

Can’t say I agree with anything of the sort … but drawings of dinosaurs have been found in caves etc.  I have also watched on video, a dig in northern Russia by paleontologists as a frozen pre-historic mastodon was un-earthed with green grass in it’s stomach.  

I have also seen in a museum, a 90% complete T-Rex found in the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota named Sue … for Sue Hendrickson, who discovered the dinosaur in 1990.

Continuing now in Chapter two"The heavens and the earth were finished … God blessed the seventh day … He rested from all His work which God created ("bara" … from nothing) and made ("asah" … out of existing material.")

 Later … "God formed man … and planted a garden and took the man and put him in it" … but it doesn’t say where the man was until the garden in Eden was finished.  Then … "God took Adam and  put him in the garden to tend and keep it.  Then God said, it is not good for man to be alone; I will make a helper for him."   

Let me pause right here … I find that I have a slight problem with what God does next.  He said He was going to … "make man a helper" … but He doesn’t immediately do that.  He starts making all of the animals and birds, etc., and brings them to Adam to name.

Could it be that God didn’t want Adam to be distracted from the job God just gave him.  And most likely he would have been.  God gives him his helper … a female, a woman, who would be biologically and emotionally different then the man.  But it worked out okay, because Eve was and is … "the mother of all living."  (Genesis 3:20)

And now Chapter three, which should be titled … "The Fall."  If I was Moses, my first sentence would be … "Woman, what have you done?"  But he starts it out with the serpent.

Again, I have some concerns with the lack of information presented here in this chapter.  The serpent … actually talked to Eve in what ever dialect or language she spoke.  Really?  That is what Moses wrote.  It must be true.  I would like to know how long Adam and Eve had been in the garden?  Were they there one week, one year, perhaps ten or twenty years.  Did they have the opportunity to speak to this same serpent before being confronted by him to eat the forbidden fruit.  Eve seemed comfortable speaking with the serpent.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t look then, like the snakes we now find in the timber or deserts here in America. 

Was this really a serpent or did Satan alter his appearance and pretend he was the serpent, the only creature with the ability to speak?  We know that Satan can speak and hold a conversation … he did just that when he tempted Jesus years later.  

Again this is pure speculation on my part, but I wonder if this was the first time Satan almost worked up the courage to enter the garden himself … but instead he sends the serpent in to do his dirty work.  I’m sure he watched from a distance as God made this garden and then placed Adam and Eve in it.  

They were different then the animals.  Did he know what or who they were.  Did they appear to him just like the image of God?  Could fear be the reason he did not enter the garden himself?  Satan undoubtably remembered how that war in Heaven turned out.

Satan must have known about the two trees and the warning God gave Adam not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.  Really it was a command not just a warning.  I don’t know how Satan knew about all of this, other then the fact that he was an angel from the spirit realm, which made him higher than the natural human realm that Eve was from.

I find it interesting that ancient Hebrew writings teach that the Tree of Life stood directly beside the Tree of Knowledge in the midst of the garden.

We find Eve one day, standing by the Tree of Life ready to pick some more of the life giving fruit when the serpent enters and appeals to Eve saying that the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge would give her wisdom and make her "like God" … knowing both good and evil.  By Eve not knowing evil, the serpent was implying that this represented a lack of wisdom.

Eve "saw" that the fruit of this tree looked good, and her desire to acquire this wisdom overwhelmed her.  The fruit represented her chance to be like Godexactly the same desire that caused Satan to fall from Heaven.    

As Eve spoke with the serpent, she added to God's commandment by saying that she was forbidden to even "touch" the Tree of Knowledge.  The serpent found what Satan was looking for … a misunderstanding of God's word, teaching us the importance of not only knowing God's Word, but also the need to understand it.  

 Ancient Hebrew also teaches that while the serpent was speaking with Eve, he actually pushed her against the forbidden tree and said, "See, you did not die by touching it, and neither will you die from eating it."  

Because she had a misunderstanding of God's word she began perhaps to doubt everything else that God had said, and this led to her decision to eat the forbidden fruit.  When Eve … "saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat also."  

As this drama in Genesis chapter three plays on out … their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked.  They tried to hide from God … which we all know is impossible, but they tried to hide anyway.  Of course He finds them and asks the all important question … "Who told you, that you were naked?  Have you eaten of the forbidden tree?"  

Then it was confession time.  When you are caught … blame someone else.  Adam … "It was the woman you gave me."  Eve … "The serpent deceived me."

The serpent … is cursed by God because he did Satan’s bidding, perhaps even willingly.  From this we know the serpent himself took part in tempting Eve.  If Satan did alter his appearance and pretended he was the serpent … then God would have been unjust in cursing the serpent for something Satan did.   

You know the rest … God kicked them out of the garden so they could not continue to eat the fruit of the "Tree of Life" as I believe they had done since God had created them.  Some people believe that Adam and Eve had never, up to the point they were kicked out of the garden, had yet eaten any of the fruit from the Tree of Life.

I believe they had.  We do not know how long they lived in this garden.  I believe they could have been there for years or even hundreds of years … the Bible doesn’t say.  Oh some will say, yes it does, and point to Genesis 5:5 "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."  

They may be right.  It does say that … but in my heart and mind … I believe Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years after they left the protection of the garden.  I just don’t think time was relevant to them one way or another in the garden.  Had they not sinned they would still be there, alive and well, by eating of the tree of life.  That is what it was for.  There was no prohibition from eating it’s fruit; it was in fact designed for their use, to support and maintain their natural lives. 

It wasn’t the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge that brought on the sentence of death, it was … the sin of disobedience. 

Moving on in Genesis 4:1"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD."  

Notice Eve makes it a point to say she gave birth to a male child.  Is that important?  It could be if you are like me in that I would like to have more answers then the Scriptures give us.  Lets look at Cain for a moment.  

Genesis 4:16-17"And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.  And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch."
  
A lot of people have asked as I have … "Where did Cain get his wife?"  The Bible doesn’t give a clear and precise answer.

If my opinion counts for anything after over fifty years of studying the Holy Scriptures, feel free to reject or consider the following speculation.

I have found only one clue that helps solve the question above.  Eve’s statement … "I have gotten a man from the LORD."

I made this statement earlier … "I believe Adam and Eve could have been in the garden for hundreds of years."  That is still my personal opinion.  It wasn’t until after Eve sinned, that God placed this judgment upon Eve … "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children …"  (Genesis 3:16)

"Where did Cain get his wife?"  I contend and believe that Eve gave birth to many children before they were driven out of the garden … all of which were girls.  This is the only logical explanation that answers this question.  God told them to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth"  … and so they did. 

Because child birth should have been much easier for Eve before God basically cursed her and all women with much sorrow in child birth as judgment for her sin … she could have given birth to a baby girl every year or so for many years.

The only other answer I have heard from learned men of God, and/or teachers of the Word is this … "The men from Cain on, had to have taken their sisters as wives, for there were no others of a different lineage as of yet."  

Which is exactly what I just said … there are no other possibilities.  If God would have created a bunch of women outside of the garden, then Eve would not be called … "The mother of all living" … in the Bible.

So where do we go from here?  I hope I have offered possible answers for more questions than I have created.  Just remember … I offer only supposition, speculation and my opinions … not Scripture.

I have tried to address the creation story as best I could, including some questions that aren’t fully answered or explained completely.  Most of those questions  … and the answers I have suggested … will not change where you will spend eternity. 

I never intend to do injury or harm to the Word of God or cause doubt or unbelief to the heart and mind of those who read what I put in print.  I have always tried be true to the Word of God for the past 8 or 9 years that I have written and posted to my blog … "God’s Answer Is Always Jesus." 

As the Apostle Paul stated in 1st Corinthians 2:2 "All you need to know is Jesus and Him crucified."   

God Bless …