"And God (referring to only one subject, as in one family) said, "Let us (referring to more than one within that subject, such as more than one family member within that family) make man in our image, after our likeness..." Genesis 1:25
God said "Come, let us go down, and there confound their language..." Genesis 11:7
And the Lord God said, "Behold the man is become like one of us.." Genesis 3:22
Just like a gripping opening line of a good read, the Bible starts with the most profound statement in all of literature. So much so, that it has been borrowed time and again since this verse was written. In the very first line, of the very first chapter of the very first book, we read the following:
"In the beginning God"..... In the beginning, before man, before the universe, before anything created that we relate to and understand, in the eternal, dateless past there was God. Some have labeled this as a convenient way to solve the unanswerable questions we have about the beginning of things. In light of all we have covered to this point, it stands as the most logical and reasonable statement that is not possible to refute on any level other than personal. Scientists speak of a "first cause", but not knowing what that is. Here, we are told that it is God.
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world (its inhabitants), even from everlasting to everlasting (from eternal past to eternal future), you are God." (Psalms 90:2)
What God did in the dateless past no one knows accept what is revealed, nevertheless He was busy....
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed (which we find in Scripture) belong to us and to our children forever…." (Deuteronomy 29:29)
All else not revealed, that may have transpired in the dateless past, remain secrets kept with God. We are only given slight glimpses into those things. The remainder, He has presently chosen not to share.
The first and main character has been introduced. I have found many have a twisted understanding of God. So let's start with a grasp of who God is, according to what He has revealed. It really isn't as complex as we have made it.
Understanding the Trinity
Our English word for God in Genesis 1:1 comes from a Hebrew word "Elohim". It is a uni-plural word such as the word "sheep". Sheep is used to describe one sheep or a dozen. It makes makes no difference how many there are. Thus, "sheep" is used to describe the specific subject we are discussing and nothing more. To know how many would need to be gleaned from other verbal or written content, such as:
"Oh, that's Martha, our sheep." Or, "I have a dozen sheep."
When we use the word "family", we do so to be specific. We're not talking about trees, hamburgers or any other subject. We are defining what we are talking about, in this case one family. And yet when using the term "family", it does not reveal how many members are in that one family. It could be a family of five, it could be a family of ten, it could be a family of three. If discussing more than one family we would use the word "families".
Likewise, "Elohim" or "God/gods" is simply a word to define the subject we are discussing and not how many. That would need to be determined by other written or spoken content. The English word "God" simply means deity or divinity. Again, referring solely to subject matter. Not trees, hamburgers, or any other subject. If more than one god is being referenced, we would use the word "gods", although the word "Elohim" does refer to either. Understanding this helps to bring clarity and sense to such scriptures as the following:
We see that there is a plurality to God. More than one personality or "family member" as it were that makes up God. But how many? Scripture makes it clear that there are three:
God, the Father, distinctly addressed differently from the other members of the Godhead, as found in such examples as 1 Corinthians 8:6; Matthew 5:16, and of course, the use of the term of Heavenly Father.
The Spirit of God, distinctly addressed differently from the other members of the Godhead, as found in Acts 5:3-4, Genesis 1:2
The Word of God, distinctly addressed differently from the other members of the Godhead, as found in John 1:1-3, Revelation 19:13. The Word that became incarnate, revealed and known to us as Jesus of Nazareth.
This explains how the term "Trinity" came into being used in further describing God. Likewise, the phrase "Triune God". It is based on what is revealed. Although there are three individual persons that make up the Godhead, they are completely one in unity and purpose. This is expressed in the proclamation found in Deuteronomy 6:4:
"Hear O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord."
The word "one" is derived from the Hebrew word "achad" and "ached" which means to unify; be united as one or alike. So we see that "echad" not only means one in number but in unity, such as two or more together as one. Just as we use the word in our own language today:
"Adam and Eve became "one" (echad) flesh." (Genesis 2:23)
Matthew 3:16-17 is a prime example that reveals all three persons of the Godhead at one time. It is quite clear that there is not only one God and no other, but that God is made up of three distinct persons that are united as one in intent, purpose and thought. Each has a different function and holds a different position, or office, within the Godhead, yet equal in every way. Each is called God, for each make up the Godhead.
Thus 1x1x1= 1 God (God times God times God = God)
Not 1+1+1=3 god's (a god plus a god plus a god = 3 gods)
God knows most of us like a good mystery. To discover clues that will help unlock the "code", reveal the truth or tell the rest of the story. Tucked within the first chapter, and sprinkled within the pages of Scripture, there exists such a mystery for us to set out and resolve. I believe God was purposeful in doing this for particular reasons. So moving ahead with intent, let's uncover some clues.
God created the heavens, in which He also created, before He created the earth and man, the spirit world, for angels were already in existence when He created the Earth (Job 38:1-7).
Of God's creation of spirit beings we see that He created Seraphim (Isa. 6:1-7); Cherubim (Ezek. 1:5-28; 8:1-4; 10:1-22); Zoa, or living creatures (Rev. 4:6-9); Spirit horses and chariot riders (2 Kings 2:11-12; 6:13-17; Zech. 1:8-11); Archangels, or chief angels (princes) (1 Thess. 4:16; Dan. 10:13); Angelic beings, or common angels (messengers) (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:11-38; Acts 5:19), and who knows what other spirit beings not mentioned.
God then created the earth. The Hebrew word here is "erets" which means dry land. God's original creation and earth was made perfect, complete and not void (Job 38:4-7; Isa. 45:18; Heb. 11:3).
Isaiah 45:18 states that God did not create the earth in "vain" but formed it to be inhabited. The word "vain" translated from the Hebrew word "tohuw" means waste; desolate; worthless, in confusion, wilderness. Therefore God did not create the earth to be a waste, to be desolate or worthless, but to be inhabited and complete. This was accomplished in verse one.
Psalms 95:5 says God's hands formed the dry land.
Up to this point, we see that a Triune God, who existed in the dateless, eternal past, created out of nothing the heavens, the angelic host and other spirit beings, the universe and earth. And that they were created complete and whole. So far, so good.
Thus God put into motion time, something which had not existed prior. Eternity means the absence of time, or time without end. So, the eternal past, as it will also be for eternity yet future, is without measure. Therefore in eternity it is always "NOW", since there is no measurement for it other than present. Because we live in a world that only knows beginnings and endings, of life and death, constant change that marks our world and time that measures passing of age, it is somewhat difficult to get our minds wrapped around the thought of existing outside of a timeline that has defined the only world we have ever known. Yet , where God dwells, outside of what He has created, it is always "now". Passages such as Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 simply express the thought that time is irrelevant in God's kingdom.
This also helps explain our inability to comprehend God never having a beginning, and therefore the question, "Who made God?" It is an honest question that arises from our attempts to apply the same knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, to an infinite and spiritual dimension we have assumed this knowledge applies toward as well. It is an area where we are thrown into a Mr. Spock moment of "it's illogical."
The clock wound, God established a timeline as a framework in dealing with His creation, and in fulfilling a purpose. God started it. God will bring it to an end.
How long ago did life come into existence? How old is the universe? This is a hotly debated issue among scientists, astronomers, evolutionists, creationists, theologians and people of faith. The answer depends on who you talk to. Quite frankly, the Bible does not specifically state how long ago this happened.
Evolutionary theorists are constantly changing their timeline in attempts to match their constantly changing speculation. I believe we have demonstrated previously that the evolutionary theory has its problems. Problems that only seem to get bigger the more we learn.
There are those who claim a young earth, possibly being around 6,000 years old. This is based on tracing the genealogy of man back to Adam, and therefore dating the creation of the Earth just prior to man. This timeline is "force fed" to support the creation theory while other information harmful to to this idea is left out. An example would be acknowledging that the oldest "living" tree so far discovered is 9,500 years old. Or, that light from distant stars have taken millions of light years to reach Earth. This presents problematic issues.
Scientists in each of these camps look to support their various claims through hard evidence. The tendency has been, in defending their position, to cherry pick favorable results that bolster their claim, and to "boo-hoo" the ones that do not. To twist evidence either to their advantage, or to cast evidence not favorable to their cause as irrelevant, inconclusive, inaccurate, unreliable, unfounded, an anomaly or just downright wrong. While some seem to have questionable motives, most are sincere men and women who hold to what seems to them to be right. Either the Earth is a young planet, or it is an old one.
Theologically, we must include those who look to have it both ways by putting forward the theory that God created, but used evolution to accomplish it.
And finally, we have scientists who are neutral in this battle. They have no agenda and are simply attempting to deal honestly with scientific findings as they present themselves. Findings that point to both an old history, as well as a young history for our planet. This presents a seemingly contradictory and confusing situation unlike any other.
This is the mystery we need to solve. To deny that evidence exists for both sides is to be dishonest, or possibly in denial. There is evidence that supports both. This is what has made this topic so contested and confusing. Can each and every trained and educated scientist that holds to a long age be wrong in his or her understanding and assessment of the information? Probably not. Can each and every trained and educated scientist that holds to a shorter period be wrong in his or her understanding and assessment? Again, probably not. Can they be wrong in how they reached their conclusions? I believe so.
I believe individuals looking at evidence demonstrating long ages on the Earth and concluding that this is proof of evolutionary periods of time are incorrect. And, I believe that those who point to findings of a much younger Earth as evidence to bolster the claim that all creation came into existence within thousands of years are also wrong in their conclusions. I am convinced they are wrong for the same reasons. That being their denial, rejection or understanding of Scripture. There is, I believe, a reasonable, explanation for this that gives "real world" answers to this debate. A model that reveals how this could have happened. A model that brings both science and theology together once again.
I must caution you to avoid becoming defensive as we move forward. In doing so you increase your potential to be more analytical and open to information that may seem contrary to your own belief system on this topic.
Before Charles Darwin's voyage on the Beagle, before the explosion of geological finds of the 19th century that suggested long ages of the earth, before evolution was injected into modern thought, and before any movement to reconcile old age discoveries with Scripture, there were already theologians that were getting a deeper and fuller understanding through their studies and investigation into the language and meaning within the Bible. And, what I consider a clearer grasp of the Genesis account. These were not rouge, illegitimate theologians but recognized, respected individuals in their fields. Men such as Episcopius, Alfred Edersheim, Robert Jamieson, Thomas Chalmers and William Buckland. Followed by such men as Hugh Miller, C.I. Scofield, G.H. Pember, Arthur Custance, J.G. Hall and Finis Dake. Their theological works were widely known and received until the first half of the 20th century, when their research fell into disfavor by a powerful few that still influence today's creation research and debate.
This earlier work by these esteemed men opened a door in revealing what I consider to be a critical key to grasping "the rest of the story." Their influence and research can be found interspersed through this chapter.
What’s Going On?
Sometimes we read right by something that doesn't necessarily stand out. When that happens we possibly miss something quite important. Things like Genesis 2:4:
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth."
Nothing noteworthy at first until we realize that we are only in the second chapter of the Bible and already we are talking about "generations". Let me ask you, what immediately comes to your mind when you hear the word "generations"? It is a reference to different periods of time, one succeeding after another, just like you thought . Good job!
The plurality of the word "generations" denotes successive periods, or time intervals between two or more descendants of one thing. We are the generation that proceeded from a previous one. We descended from someone prior to us, and they likewise came after the generation before them. These generations are marked by periods of time specific to them. It seems every time I buy software it is only a matter of time that I need to upgrade to the newest "generation" of that software. I have some that are fifth generation programs. These are the generations of Windows so far. More will surely come:
Windows 3.1; Windows 95; Windows 98; Windows 2000; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.
Each represents the same program, yet different from each other. Each one represents a different generation, and each of them also represents a different time in software history.
Genesis 2:4 talks of generations, denoting more than one period of specific time for the heavens and the earth. Are we missing something here? What is there in the first chapter that would lend itself to expressing different periods or generations of the heavens and the earth?
To answer that, I will need to tell you a story. A story of a time prior to man. Of a world that exists in a different dimension, and of the first social order. A story of rebellion, of war in the heavenlies, of angels and of the real Darth Vadar!
Rebellion and Overthrow
In the beginning God had a dream. But a dream is only a dream unless it is put into action. And so, God purposed from within that dream to lay out a detailed plan of action. A plan that would bring His dream to fruition. A plan of the ages. Ages that would be measured out, each having a beginning and an end, and each having a purpose in fulfilling God's dream. A dream of the creation of a universe and of life on a different dimension never before known. It included a kingdom made up of subjects willing to join with Him to further the grandest of plans. A dream involving deep relationship and abiding love. Of recipients to His goodness, His blessings and of eternal life. In joining Him in His ongoing, creative work, and of becoming heirs of this kingdom. Not subjects, nor slaves, but family.
An unbelievable plan of great magnitude and splendor that would call upon God's omnipotent power and exercise the greatest levels of His intelligence. How long it took God in planning, preparing, calculating and detailing this plan we will never know, for time did not exist at this point to measure it. God weighed all the outcomes, understood all the angles and comprehended all possible ramifications. Having full knowledge, God also knew that it would come at a great personal price. In His wisdom, God understood that for His work to be truly complete, nothing could be held back, including the use of free will within His creation. Living souls with the ability to be independent in making personal choices. To love or not to love. To follow or rebel. To serve or not serve. To give, or to take. To have the freedom to make up one's own mind. God would have to accept the coming rejection, and ultimately the sacrifice that would be demanded of Him, in exchange for the final reward He foreknew would be in the end of it all. Of His creative acts, man would be His ultimate work, His crowning glory.
So, in the beginning God created the heavens first. Establishing a government of rule, God created various types of angels that held different offices, and fulfilled different functions. Incredible beings that stood in the presence of God. This became the first social system of God's making. Scripture is clear that they were in existence before man, and were present as witnesses to Earth's creation (Job 38:7). They marveled and rejoiced at God's handiwork. Within that social system, angels were given rule. Created as free moral agents themselves, they were given the ability to choose to do right or wrong, to follow or rebel. The Bible gives the names of only a few of these magnificent beings. Gabriel, often God's messenger, Michael the archangel, commander of God's massive army and possessing great power... and finally, Lucifer.
Ah, Lucifer. We see that Lucifer was full of wisdom, and was perfect in his beauty. Every precious stone was his covering. He walked the garden of God. Referred to as the anointed cherub, pipes were built in him, making Lucifer the ultimate worship leader. He walked upon God's holy mountain and in the midst of the stones of fire that are before God's throne. And he was found perfect, meaning complete and whole, from the time he was created until iniquity was found in him. He had sanctuaries, or literally a palace or chapel, and he had his own throne. A throne would mean he was given a kingdom to rule and subjects for whom he was given rule over. God set him up to be so.
How long Lucifer's kingdom rule lasted during this first "dispensation of time" before man, often referred to as the "Dispensation of Angels", no one can say, but as time passed his pride got the best of him. That pride caused iniquity (sin, wickedness) to rise up from within. And like a cancer it began to spread, altering his thinking, actions and conduct. Blinding him with self-adulation and to the pitfalls of such folly. Most of us have witnessed in others, or in ourselves, what pride can do. Lucifer became drunk with it. Drunk with wanting more. More power, more prestige and recognition. Haughty and full of himself, he even believed that he could be like God, to sit on God's throne of authority and take God's place. Many a man through the centuries has thought to do the same. To proclaim themselves to be God, or a god. We can sure get full of ourselves too. Lucifer stepped on over to the "dark side", sealing his ultimate fate and cementing a change within himself.
Lucifer's influence was profound. His power of persuasion through his beauty, wisdom and "Slick Willy" persona, garnered him a following. Not just of those whom he had been given the responsibility and authority to oversee in his kingdom, but of his peers as well. Other angelic host of God's first social order came under Lucifer's influence. Their conscious choice to reject the God who created them and instead proclaim allegiance to Lucifer set in motion a beginning rebellion that sprang forth through words. Words of slander and contention, of bitterness and deceit. Many of us have learned first hand the power of the tongue, and the power that words have. The power to sooth or inflame, to build up or to tear down. Some of us have been guilty ourselves of using words as weapons of no good.
We glean a snapshot of this time period from such scriptures as Ezekiel 28:11-17, and Isaiah 14:12-17. These verses are what is referred to as a "double reference". Such as when Jesus turned around and said to Peter, "Get behind me Satan!" (Matthew 16:23). Jesus was not only speaking to Peter, but directly addressing the one that was influencing Peter.
In Ezekiel 28:11-17, the lamentation was upon the earthly king of Tyre, who historically at that time was Ithobalus II. But Lucifer, the supernatural king in Tyre, was really the one being addressed, for many of the things described here could not apply to a man.
Lucifer became filled with violence. He defiled (polluted) his sanctuaries. He didn't offer an "I have a dream" speech, instead he gave his, "Me, Myself and I" speech, saying in his heart,
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north (God's spot); I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." Yep, it was all about him. Actually, that is some of our problem as well, we think it's all about us.
Isaiah 14:12-17 is another example of a double reference that gives us a glimpse of a time past. In reading Isaiah we realize where Lucifer's throne and kingdom resided. It was here on Earth. He looked to ascend into heaven, ascend above the height of the clouds, which were above him, and exalt his throne above the stars. Therefore his throne and kingdom was not only below the heavens, or below the stars, but also below the clouds. This is a critical key.
Surely God gave Lucifer occasion after occasion to turn around and change direction. How long God put up with Lucifer no one can say. So far, God has been giving occasion after occasion, for over 6,000 years in His dealing with mankind and his condition. That too will finally come to an end. Lucifer no doubt accused God of being tyrannical and unjust in all His rule over moral agents. That continues even now.
And so, Lucifer, being the first created being to sin, led a rebellion against God Himself. For someone being full of wisdom he sure was as dumb as a bag of hammers here. A stupid move for such a wise being, but blindness comes in many forms. In this rebellion, Lucifer took other angelic hosts with him to fight God (some are currently chained under the River Euphrates, others are in the bottomless pit). The first rebellion didn't last but a quick New York second. No sooner did he get there he was immediately cast out of heaven. In fact, the Bible states that he was cast back down to the ground. Surely a reference to Earth since that is the only ground discussed in Scripture. Jesus said in Luke 10:18 that, "I beheld (past tense) Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Jesus ought to know, he was there. Nevertheless, his trip back was as fast as "greased lightning". God is longsuffering, but when the rebellion of Heaven took place, God quickly squashed it. God said He will not share His glory with anyone. There are some things you just don't do:
You don't tug on Superman's cape,
You don't spit into the wind,
You don't pull the mask off an ole Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with HIM!!
Not only was Lucifer cast out, but others who joined in with the revolt likewise found themselves getting their clock cleaned (Jude 1:6)
The result of this rebellion was in God bringing judgment upon the Earth, in similar fashion as He did in the time of Noah over man's sin. Thus Lucifer was stripped of his dominion and rule.
It is referenced in 2 Peter 3:5-7 as we read that "by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, by which the WORLD THAT THEN WAS, being overflowed with water perished (Gk. word used here for "perished" literally means "to destroy fully"); But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
Some may confuse this flooding as the one in Noah's day, and some are adamant that it is, but it is not. The Bible does state that all flesh with the breath of life, with the exception of those on the Ark, and naturally marine life, did perish, but not all life was literally destroyed. The earth was not, nor fish or plant life or the heavens. This mentions a world of old that once existed but was overflowed with water and perished. But "the HEAVENS and the EARTH WHICH ARE NOW.." that being the heavens and earth today, the same one's which existed before the flood of Noah, indicating two different periods of time (remember, different "generations"). One "that was then", which was destroyed, and the one since that destruction which is the earth now. The earth today is the same one since the creation of Adam. If "the world that "then was" which perished was the same one as the world that existed between Adam and the flood of Noah, then God made "the heavens and the earth which are now" since the flood of Noah, but this something the Bible does not teach. In other words, if the earth of "old" being mentioned is referring to earth during the time between Adam and Noah, and then perished due to Noah's flood, then the earth that is "now" would have had to have been redone, restored, remade or created over again. But that is not what happened. There is no statement in Scripture that the heavens and the Earth, which are now, differ from what they were between the times of Adam and Noah. You may need to let this marinate a bit to fully understand this significance.
No, what we find is that torrential rain fell 24 hours a day for 40 days, and the fissures of the deep which we now know are located at the bottoms of our oceans, popped open to allow water held underground to gush forth as well, doing a quick work of covering dry land. Afterwards, the waters receded to reveal the same planet. Where did that water go? Some went back where it came from. There still remain massive underground water reservoirs. As an example, the most unlikely, landlocked state of Nebraska, located in the middle of the United States, has the largest underground water aquifer in America, spreading out into neighboring states. Likewise, scientists scanning the interior of Earth have discovered a vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia that is said to be at least the size of the Arctic Ocean. This finding, dubbed the "Beijing anomaly", was made by Michael Wysession, a seismologist at Washington University in St. Louis (check it out!). Second, prior to the Noah's flood, there were seas but not oceans, and so our present day oceans are the result of water being dispersed into those regions. And finally, evaporation took place restoring the firmament (clouds, moisture and earth's barrier) and restoring Earth's hydration.
In Matthew 13:35 Jesus stated,
"That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet saying, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept in secret from the FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD."
The Greek wording used for "foundation" is an interesting one. It comes from the word "katabole" meaning "conception" which in turn is taken from the Greek word "kataballo" which literally means, "overthrow, cast down". Katabole is derived from the root words "kata" meaning down, and "ballo" meaning throw violently. Birth, or conception from casting down or overthrowing. Seemingly opposite terms coming from similar roots. This scripture seems to be expressing a simultaneous duel action of an overthrow or casting down and the conceiving of a new birth. But how does that work?
We have two generations of the earth mentioned by the time we get to the second chapter of the Bible. We have God restoring the earth somewhere before Noah's flood. We have a time period of unknown length, in which angels were created and existed prior to man. Lucifer given a kingdom, a rebellion in which some angels looked to crash heaven, were defeated and judged, along with Lucifer's kingdom being judged and destroyed. And the duel actions of casting down along with starting something new, or a birthing forth out of an overthrow.
Now, these may seem like very separate and distinct events, but they are actually intimately linked together and resolved by using a very special key to unlock the door before us. A key that I believe will allow entry into a better, clearer and fuller comprehension of the past, our present and the future. And, in identifying the "mystery" God tucked into His Word. It has been in front of us for some time, found in the very first verses of Genesis. Although it is called by various terms, I prefer to coin a new one, calling it "The Missing Link". Let’s flesh this out.
The Missing Link
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
God created the heavens, the angelic host, and created the earth with His hands (Psalms 95:5). As a reminder from earlier, God created them perfect, meaning complete or whole as this verse indicates. The angelic host were witness to this creative act and in Job 38:7 we see that they shouted for joy over what they saw. It had to be wonderful to watch and behold. This was before man was created.
Genesis 1:2 "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." This second verse holds more than we realize.
The word "and" is used 148 times in Chapters One and Two. Each time the word is used to start a verse, it is used to separate the 102 independent actions of God. Take a quick look and you will find that verses 3 through 26, in consecutive order, begin the same way as verse 2 for the same reason, to mark a change from the previous verse. It announces the beginning or start of something else specific to that verse with each one distinct from the one before. Why is this significant? The obvious answer is that the word "and" is used to differentiate verse one from verse two. But why? Let us consider the original Hebrew word definitions in this verse.
The Hebrew word for "was" (hayah) means, "became, come to pass; to become; come to be." This understanding is clear from at least 134 places where the King James translators correctly rendered this sense of "hayah". A few examples will do, however. It was after God breathed into Adam the breath of life that "man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). When Lot's wife looked back on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, "she became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26). When Moses obediently cast his rod on the ground, "it became a serpent". When he picked it up, "it became a rod in his hand" (Exodus 4:3-4). After Saul prophesied in fulfillment of Samuel's prediction, "it became a proverb, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" (1 Samuel 10:12). In each of these passages (and many others), "hayah" clearly indicates a state of becoming that is the result of some type of cause-and-effect relationship.
The Hebrew word for "form" (tohu) is defined as "to lie waste, a desolation; a worthless thing; empty place."
The Hebrew word used here for "void" (bohuw) means "to be empty, an undistinguished ruin." Some use the Hebrew word "abad" meaning "to perish; be undone; be destroyed."
Darkness in Hebrew literally means dark. Figuratively; destruction or death. From "khawshak" it is "to be dark as withholding light, to darken, make dark".
What begins to emerge in verse two is that the Earth "became" or "came to be" without form. An undone desolation, a worthless thing, an empty, undistinguished ruin. And although the heavens, which include the stars and suns, were in existence, as noted in verse one, light was withheld, leaving Earth shrouded in darkness. For how long we don't know.
One simple, reasonable explanation for this condition could be an eclipse, extended in its duration by the orbit of an object or objects blocking the light. We find throughout the Bible God using both naturalistic and supernatural means as cause agents. The word "and" is to mark the change of the condition of the earth in verse two from that of verse one. In verse one, the earth was created whole and complete. In verse two, it became undone, a waste and empty of habitation.
The description of the earth in verse two is one of an altered state from what it was prior. And the only verse prior to it to offer a different description is verse one. Thus, verse one represents the heavens and earth in a completed state as the word "created" suggests.
Verse two is not a creative stage since the earth already is mentioned as existing in created form in verse one. The earth became something else. Even the usage of the English word "was" proves that it had to become desolate before it could be called desolate, meaning it was in a different state prior to it becoming desolate. This is only logical. To suggest that it is describing the earth in process of being created, is to either not pay attention to detail, or preferring to ignore them. One of our clues was Isaiah 45:18 that states, "the Lord who created the heavens, God Himself who formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited." Now either the earth was created complete and then became desolate, or it was created in an empty, ruined (or unfinished, as some would argue) condition for further completion, which is contrary to Isaiah. To accept the later would be to accept Isaiah as incorrect. So, either we are not applying Scripture rightly, or we are not understanding Scripture correctly. I believe it is the later. Note verse three in recording the first day:
"And God said, "Let there be light; and there was light." - Genesis 1:3
Look at it again. How about one more time. The word "let" is used thirteen times in this chapter. It is used over 1,000 times in other places. Never is it used to denote a creative act. Why? You already know the answer if you just think about it for a moment. Let me give some examples:
"Let the children come to me."
"Who let the dogs out?"
"I let time slip away."
We use that word in a permissive sense. It literally means "to give permission; to allow; give consent." When Jesus said, "Let the children come to me!" He was saying, "Allow them to come to me!". "Who let the dogs out?" is asking, "Who gave permission, permitted or allowed to let the dogs out?" (Who, Who, Who, Who!). When I say, "I let time slip away", I am saying I allowed it, I permitted it, I chose to let time slip by. Likewise, when God said, "Let there be light…." He was giving a command of permission to allow something to take place.
It is the same situation with such verses as 6, 9, 11, 14, 15, 20, 24. Read them carefully. Without realizing it, we have become preconditioned to seeing what we thought was there, or told was there, but really is not there. That being that these verses were describing creative acts of God, but that is not the case. These verses are actually restorative commands. Commands of permission, working with already created things. We actually see God in a re-building project. God is obviously allowing, or giving permission for light to once again shine on the earth. It is a restorative command and not a creative one. Light was already present but withheld from the planet. God gave the command and restored the lights ability to once again bathe the earth. Why do I say it is a restorative command? Verse two demonstrates a fallen condition from what the earth once was, not an unfinished condition of a yet completed creative work.
Is it beginning to come together for you?
The "Missing Link" is what is not immediately written between verse one and verse two. It is touched upon elsewhere in Scripture as clues, but not placed in the timeline of God's dealing with man's "dispensation", for this time gap is a period, a chapter, a story that is told in its completeness in God's personal library of books and DVD's. What we have is what we have. What may have been available in the past, now destroyed over centuries, we do not know. Surely there is some wisdom in God not feeling compelled to give a blow-by-blow account of a time that man was not a part of. The Bible is about man's history and future with God, and keeps the focus on this primary purpose.
Like the first "Star Wars" movie which dealt with a certain time period of an overall story, the Bible's focus and attention is on God's dealings, relationship and plan with man. Yet the Bible is clear that it is not the only story, nor the last one.
So allow me to put the pieces of information we have been covering into a cohesive, rational, sequential order. I believe it will all start to become clear to you.
In the beginning the triune God created the heavens and the angelic host. Established the creation of time which put in motion God's plan of the ages. How long ago time was put in motion we do not know. The length of time it has taken for light from distant stars to reach us, millions of light years away, reveal that it was eon's ago. It is no wonder God is also called the "Ancient of Days".
Once having established an orderly government for this first social system of beings, angels were given positions and authority over aspect of God's heaven and universe. God then created the earth. Angels witnessed the creation of this special sphere. In verse one we note that it was made complete and whole. Meant from the beginning to be inhabited, one of God's prized angels was given dominion of earth, and rule over life that God placed here prior to man. Lucifer set up his throne and sanctuaries and ruled for an undetermined length of time.
This "Dispensation of Angels", the probationary period of time and history of God's dealings with the first free moral agents before the existence of man. It transpired between verse one and verse two of Genesis in Chapter One. It is this bridge of missing time and history that "links" these verses together. It is here that we find Lucifer's rebellion with those that joined him in the attempt to rush heaven and take over. Of Lucifer's fall, God's judgment on those that rebelled and of God's destruction of Lucifer's kingdom. The result being earth flooded and all life that had become corrupted destroyed. Leaving earth empty, void of life, covered in water and shrouded in darkness. It happened quickly and suddenly. This ended the first "generation" in Earth's history. The age of the Earth at this point is not revealed.
I believe the fossilized remains we continue to unearth are representative of this age. Of a world before man, not known to Adam and so not recorded in our history.
The outcome of God's judgment is given in verse two, where we see that the earth "became" an empty, desolate, wasted, worthless thing. All life was destroyed. Flooded with water, light was withheld and so the earth was covered in darkness. The "foundation of the world", its overthrow and being cast down was to simultaneously give way to conception and birth of a new era (and second generation) in Earth's history.
After a period of unknown length (but most likely not long) God began the process of restoring His creation once again to its perfect or complete state, thus continuing His eternal plan. The work of the six days and the beginning of "The heavens and the earth, which are now" (Gen. 1:3-2:25; 2 Pet. 3:5-7)
Starting with verse three of Genesis, Chapter One, we begin to observe the restoration process of Earth, along with the creation of new life and of a new chapter in our planet's history. It all starts on the next leg of our journey.
The Hebrew word for created is "bara", which is to bring into being or into existence. To bring into existence what was not in existence before. To shape or form. This would mean creating out of nothing that existed prior.
"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." (Hebrews 11:3).
In other words, things which we can see were not made out of already existing material. This word is found 49 times in the Hebrew Bible, but only seven times in Genesis. Perfection, meaning completeness, is usually implied and is always implied when it is dealing with anything that is a creation of God. (Deut. 32:4; 2 Sam. 22:31; Eccl. 3:11).
Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the Rock, His work is perfect…" Perfect (Heb. "tawmeem") meaning without blemish, just right, complete, full, sound, without spot, undefiled, whole. "
God then created out of nothing that previously existed the heavens and the earth. The expressed thought by some Hebrew scholars and poets is that the word "bara" refers to, in Hebrew culture, to make full or to fatten (used in Scripture only once in this fashion). This does not negate the act of creating and should not be interpreted as filling that which was already there.