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STUDY SEVEN

Creation

A Study in Scriptural Integrity:

Story Lines in Genesis

Biblical usage.


In these studies on scriptural integrity, we are seeking keys on how the scriptures convey their meaning in the Bible.

To come to a greater understanding of the intended meaning of Scripture, it is imperative to begin to gain an understanding of the Biblical connotations and usage of words.

We continue to study the use of "figures of speech" used in Scripture to decipher intensified or hidden meanings, and we will compare scriptural accounts , and we will use words according to Biblical usage.

Finally, we will trust the Author of this work to open the eyes of our understanding.

Let us start right at the beginning.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Gen. 1:1-2

In verse one, God created the heaven and the earth. And in verse two, the earth was without form, and it was void. In the Hebrew Aramaic in which the oldest remaining records of Genesis are written, the words used were "tohu" ("without form") and "bohu" ("void.")

Literally this means the earth was "a ruin" and was "emptiness."

Why did God create the earth a ruin and as emptiness?

Look at Jeremiah 4:23-26:

"I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

"I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly"

"I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of heaven were fled.

"I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down in the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger."

We see the earth "tohu" ("without form, and void," is in this verse all "tohu") in verse 23, and we understand that the earth became "bohu," ("without form, and void," is in this verse all "bohu") in verse 24, as a result of "the anger of the Lord."

Look at Isaiah 34:8-11, for the only other use of "bohu," translated in verse 11 as "emptiness:"

"For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

"And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall be burning pitch."

"It shall not be quenched night or day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

"But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness."

Do you see how the "bohu," the "emptiness, is again a result of wrath, of God's response to evil, so to speak? Why then would he create the earth that way? Was God angry in advance? Of course not. Look at Isaiah 45:18:

"For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited. I am the Lord, and there is none else."

Did God create the earth already ruined? No, He did not create it that way.

He did not create it "tohu," it had to become that way. Indeed, the very word "tohu," "ruin," connotes a spoilage of something that was good or whole and then becomes spoiled, or more accurately, ruined. See how God Himself makes note here it was not created in vain?

God created the heavens and the earth, in verse one of Genesis chapter one, and they were wonderful. And Isaiah 45:18 says they were created to be inhabited.

Something happened between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 to destroy the goodness of creation, to bring about destruction and wrath. It was not created in Genesis 1:1 the way it was found in Genesis 1:2. What was it, and why do we always assume that it was created that way?

Look at Revelation 21:1-4:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea.

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. "

One can see that at the end, all things from the first earth are to be passed away. A new earth shall come about. We think of ours as first and we figure this therefore is second.

But the word "first" is the word "protos," and means "foremost" or "first of a design," as in the modern English word "prototype" which is derived from the Greek.

Having a "prototype" Sikorsky helicopter does not mean you have the first helicopter, or even the first Sikorsky helicopter. It simply means you have the first Sikorsky helicopter of that design, of that series.

We now have a second "heaven and earth" of that series.

What series was that? Back to Genesis chapter one verse three, after the earth has become “tohu” and “bohu.”

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

"And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

"And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

"And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

"And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

"And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."

Genesis 1:3-11

This was the series formula of the "proto" heaven and earth, the one that passes away in Revelations 21.

The "former" heaven and earth which passes away in Revelations chapter 21 was the heaven and earth created in Genesis 1:3-2:4, the "seven day creation."

Now we read how in these next few days God put this ruined, empty earth back together again, filled it with life, and created Man to rule over it.

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

"And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

"And the evening and the morning were the third day.

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

"And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

"And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

"And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

"And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

"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 firmament of heaven.

"And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

"And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

"And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

"And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.2:3

"And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."

This "seven day creation" was not the creation of the matter making up the heaven and the earth that will be replaced in Revelations. Rather, it was a reforming of the matter which was created in Genesis 1:1 but which had been destroyed by Genesis 1:2.

Now II Corinthians 12:2 makes sense:

"It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord."

I Cor. 12:1

This first verse is telling us that Paul, the writer of this section, is going to explain to us something that he saw by vision and revelation, not by actual event.

"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up into the third heaven."

I Cor. 12:2

There it is, caught into the third, not second, third, heaven. Furthermore Paul is saying he wasn't sure whether this was "in the body," actually happened, or "out of the body," strictly by revelation.

Let us continue.

"And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;

"How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

I Cor. 12:3&4

Paul saw a man, by revelation and vision, caught up into the third heaven, and he saw such a man likewise caught up into paradise.

While Paul doesn't know if the actual event was literal or in itself a vision for the man, he does in this section enlighten us regarding the "new" heaven and earth of Revelations. The "new" heaven is a "third" heaven, and the "new" earth is "paradise.

You see, whenever God has or will create for man a habitation, it is flawless, it is perfect. It is not without form and void, for it is Paradise.

When God created heaven and earth in Genesis 1:1, it was perfect, it was paradise. By Genesis 1:2 it was destroyed, it was "without form and void," in a way God did not create.

So in Genesis 1:3-2:11, God created the second heaven and earth, the earth being "Eden," or "Paradise."

This too was lost, and shall be replaced by a third, final Paradise, the one the fellow of I Corinthians 12:4 was caught unto. And as always, God's creation shall be perfect.

And why shall God make a new heaven? Because Heaven also shall suffer damage. Today God's enemy, Satan, is still allowed to come to God in Heaven. Remember how he went into heaven, as against Job, and accused him? Satan is still at the throne of God, accusing the people of God. Thank God we have an advocate in Jesus!

But there is a day coming when a final war in heaven shall come about, and Satan shall evermore have no entrance. He will be defeated and cast out, not even to step foot in anew.

And the Third Heaven and the Third Earth, final Paradise, shall be the playground and home of God's called forever. This reality of three heavens and earths through history is the Biblical usage of the terms “Heaven and earth,” of “without form and void.”

When trying to understand related sections of Scripture, it is therefore important to keep this in mind.

Is it the ones created in Genesis 1:1? Is it the Heaven and earth we abide in now?

Or is it the glorious earth God raises from the ruins of this one, promised as our eternal home? 

This glorious future is God's design. Not the harsh reality of life in a fallen land, full of toil and pain and heartache and grief.

But, as it says in so very many places, to "ever be with our Lord" and to never again hunger or thirst, for we shall be filled!

 

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