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Genesis chapter 1 and 2 (Overview)

Chapter 1 and 2[1]

Part 1: Introduction to Genesis

Introduction

Over the past few weeks we have spent some time on the eschatological aspects of the Scriptures.

Having a firm understanding of our future is indeed a necessity for peace in our hearts.

1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Having a hope of what is unseen is a grand thing for all men who are in Christ.

However, there is a foundation to this hope, which men, unawares, have crept in and corrupted. Indeed, the very foundation of the hope of our salvation is being undermined, not only by wicked ungodly men but by those who have been lead astray.

Jude 4

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Over the next two weeks I want to turn to the alternative end of the bible - The Beginning - for this is what the Hebrews call Genesis.

Before we turn there I need to say a few of words (actually a lot of words, much for which we have no time) about the philosophy of men.

Responses to a study on Genesis

When one begins to preach from Genesis we appear to have three responses.

(1) The genuine searcher who will listen - these are rare.

They see the need for nourishment from His Word.

They understand that ALL Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16).

They understand clearly that "holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).

The Scripture was not prepared from the imagination of man. It is from the mind of God.

Those things can be hard to understand or do not fit into our current cultural paradigm or concepts are not dismissed by the true child of God.

(2) Those who dismiss most of the old testament as old and irrelevant.

These miss the full blessings that the Old Testament bring to our understanding of the character of God, and His work which he wrought on the cross for us.

These are often like the seed that grows up in a stony place - there is initial enthusiasm for the Word but it never takes root because they never put off the old things, including the wordy concepts of nature. True conversion does not take place.

I think this is the more likely scenario, although in the young person I have seen the other part of the parable play itself out - the seed that falls amongst thorns that is choked out.

This is typical of the educated young person, not that I have anything against education, but as one said: "philosophy destroys the soul of man".

Universities in general teach in a manner so as to ensure God is denied in all aspects of their teachings. Again I'm not suggesting avoiding education - a quick survey of the Bible can see the usefulness to God of a well educated person e.g. Moses, Solomon or Paul. But we are required to live in this world, and we must be the salt. Often I think Christians live in this world and take on the unsavoury flavour of the world rather than retaining their saltiness.

Young poorly trained children of God can easily be led astray - they need to know the Scriptures well - their weapon is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). They have nothing else as effective. This means knowing the Scripture.

(3) Thirdly we have the antagonistic person.

This is often a hater of God and his true enemy. They will ridicule Christians, beginning with chapter six of Genesis, the deluge. This class of persons includes so called Christians who argue that at least the first 12 chapters are irrelevant, wrong or has no place in a Christian's life.

Titus 1:16

They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

The working of Satan is clearly evident in the dismissal of God's Word. For what better way to turn people from the true gospel than to entice so-called Christians to serve up a poisoned potion for their ills: men "having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Tim3:5).

This we expect; don't be surprised when it occurs - even right here in this assembly.

2 Timothy 4:3-4

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

I was very saddened not so long ago when a young employee of mine who expressed his knowledge of the gospel and professed he was a Christian. Then in the same breath he hoped I wasn't one of the creation sought who actually used Genesis to support the gospel. This man may have had salvation but he was not on a solid foundation.

Today, God willing, I'm going to attempt: to show that the book of Genesis is the foundation of the gospel. Unfortunately the storms of life easily wash away those built on the sand.

Science and study of the Bible

Declare my interests

Before beginning with "The Beginning", that is Genesis, I must first confess I'm a scientist. I work as a research scientist and have spend a considerable part of my life understanding phenomena that occur using scientific principles. That said, I am not about to give a sermon on the creationist versus evolutionist points of views. (I hope to do this another day, over 5 weeks or so). I will, however, be mentioning views of both.

But my tenet in preaching is "that knowing the truth will set apart the false". We do not need to know darkness to have light. The light will deal with the darkness, as we will see from the book of Genesis.

That is, we must learn the truth - that which is not of the truth then will be easily discernible

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

Furthermore, I am not about to prove Scriptures using science.

Proving Scriptures by Science

Let me explain. To the non-scientists we scientists appear to hold in our hand the truth. In fact we do nothing of the kind. Furthermore, it is deemed by the lay and media alike that the only way to demonstrate the truth is using a method called the scientific method. Now this method is not bad but we get rather muddled in what it can do and what it cannot do.

Firstly science is merely an explanation of phenomena observed, and furthermore this can be said to be done within the context of the culture in which one lives. No scientist wants to hear this, but it is very true that explanation of phenomena is clearly done within in a cultural context. Science is about knowledge. It is about observation and correlation of physical relationships in this present age. It is about observation in the present. It actually can only speculate on the past or future.

Science actually never proves any thing. It explains phenomena under the umbrella of explaining the chance of something happening. Science works in the world of probabilities. The media of course never tells you this. Have you ever asked your doctor what the was the chance that a certain treatment will cure you? His reply will never be - of course it will cure you - I guarantee it 100%!! No way!

Faith

Faith is needed for salvation

Accepting Christ as our Saviour is not a scientific process. Accepting Scripture is not a scientific process. Furthermore, the Bible is not a science text book.

The Bible, however, is true. It is not All Truth. Jesus Christ is All Truth - He could say I am the Way and Truth and the Life (John 14:6).

The difference between what a scientist does and what a Christian does is this: the process the scientist goes about proving truth is call science. The process the Christian uses to prove truth is call faith. He does it with the help of the Holy Spirit. Science has no such "comforter".

Jesus Christ says I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. We enter into his presence by faith.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

We know him by faith, and without qualification, those that believe him are saved.

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18.

Salvation of our souls is based solely on faith.

The consequence of unbelief is drastic - it leads to death and eternal separation from a loving God. How much would we like the rest of the world to know this instead of raging against God (Psalm 10)? A Christian believes the Bible using Faith. We do not need to prove the bible because it is Truth.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

If God is Truth, and the Word was God then the Word must be Truth. We know this logic is true because Jesus said it was.

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:54

What does this mean?

To eat is to believe; to eat My flesh is to Believe Jesus.

How? Believe the Bible. You can only be saved if you believe the Bible. Believing is faith in action.

What is faith

We can ask what faith is.

Now faith is the substance [substantiating] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1

Here substance (Strong's 5287 υποστασις, hupostasis: hoop-os'-tas-is) has the inference of the foundation, the underpinning, which has an actual existence: The assurance or firm conviction (Heb 3:14).

Now faith of a Christian is not blind faith. We do not believe in something which is not un-substantial. I can say as David says.

The entirety of Your word [is] truth Psalms 119:160

Furthermore

The word of the LORD is proven; Psalms 18:30

We believe in something that has is a solid rock.

I guess this where some of our problem lies in evangelising the world. Whereas 30-40 years ago the average man had a concept of God and indeed a fear of him, the modern man has rejected God altogether. He has no notion of what the solid foundation on which our faith rests. Hence in preaching the gospel we must first start by showing that there is a God. Note also the warning of testing all things:

Test [prove] all things; hold fast what is good. (NKJ) 1 Thessalonians 5:21

The absolute need for faith

There is no option of not having faith

I need to point out that not having faith is not an option. A faithless person is lost. It does not matter what he wants to do with his soul: Without faith it is impossible to please God.

But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Heb 11:6

Lack of faith is sin, and sin separates us from God. The Old Testament gives many examples to exemplify this. The Children of Israel spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness because of unbelief. Caleb and Joshua entered the Promised Land because they believed God could help them overcome their enemies in Canaan.

Faithlessness separates us from God. The carcasses of the 3 million Israelites left in the wilderness attest to this.

The bible has to be accepted by faith

We are not called upon to prove the Bible scientifically. We prove it by relying on God and receiving His blessings. His presence tells us it is true. The guarantee of our inheritance attests to the fact it is true, which is the Holy Spirit - (Galatians, Ephesians).

Since the Holy Spirit always points towards Christ, through Him we know the Word is true.

What faith allows us to do

Faith is something we our selves have to exercise. I find it hard to understand how one can pray for faith (I am willing to be stood corrected on this matter by any brother or sister). The uncovering of faith is achieved by the washing of the word. It is achieved when the old nature is thrown off. People who pray for faith, actually, I believe aught to be praying for help to deal with doubt - for doubt is a sin which blinds a man. Doubt is the opposite of faith.

I come to this conclusion by studying:

Examine yourselves [as to] whether you are in the faith. Test [prove] yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? 2 Corinthians 13:5

It is through faith we can understand the universe. It is only through faith we can understand the first 12 chapters of The Beginning.

Hebrews 11:3

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (NIV).

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 (AV)

Hence, it is Scripture itself that tells us that the acceptance of Genesis requires faith. This therefore renders any scientific process useless. Science only proves what it understands. It is a man-made system of logical process. It cannot be used to see God. Faith allows us to see God.

Fundamentals of life

Study of the old and new is needed to understand the fundamentals

We must begin our study of Genesis by turning to the New Testament.

The New is concealed in the Old, and the Old is Revealed in the New.

Hence to truly understand the old we begin in the new. Furthermore, our understanding of the old needs to be done in the light of the current dispensation of Grace.

Sin

To grasp the full nature of sin and what Christ accomplished we need to know the first book of the bible. First let's turn to the great chapter on sin which is found in Romans chapter 5.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12

This tells us two very important facts.

(1) Sin entered the world by man. Furthermore it was by one man. Which man? - it was Adam.

(2) Death is link irrevocably to sin.

Until sin is dealt with we must have death. This is a very important fact. Dealing with the fossil record must take into account that death only came with sin, and sin came by one man Adam.

This verse also has implications for us. One could ask:

Why am I a sinner?

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19

It was by one man's disobedience that many were made sinners. To understand the old nature of man and the reason why we need a new one is through the study of Adam. This verse also tells us that it is through one man, the Lord Jesus Christ, that one can be made righteous. God had a plan right from the beginning - we will see this in Genesis. The plan was perfect.

Death

The importance of Genesis is understanding death. A Christian needs to know about the antecedents of death to fully appreciate the power of the cross.

When did death first appear? It appeared with Adam

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. Romans 5:14

This is an interesting verse in many ways. The understanding of the old requires the understanding of types. This is often dismissed because it is not the way we think, or as being too hard. But here Paul states that Moses is a type or model of what is to come. The Old Testament paints a picture of the new. Who did Moses display or depict? The person whom Moses displayed is called the antitype. Moses was a type of Christ and hence we say Christ was the antitype. Moses was the mediator between God and His people and models what Christ did - for Christ is our Mediator. To understand the basics of a mediator read Exodus and Galatians.

But in the context of what I'm saying this verse tells us that death reigned from Adam.

Why do we die?

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22

We die because Adam died. He died because he sinned.

We live only because Christ has made us alive.

Why do we sin? We sin because Adam sinned.

1 Corinthians 15:45

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit. (AV), or

And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam [became] a life-giving spirit. (NJK)

Where do we find this knowledge? - in the first 3 chapters of the most despised book in the bible - Genesis.

Why is this important? From this book we can clearly understand the pre-eminence of Christ and give Him due glory.

How to study Genesis

Genesis is studied like any other Old Testament book. This is not necessarily the same as studying the New Testament because the Old Testament has the New Testament to illuminate it. The old is full of allegory, types and metaphors, which require careful explanation.

When we study Genesis there are a number of tenets - basic precepts- that we must follow:

  • It was God inspired.
  • The Bible is interpreted by itself. By this I mean the Holy Spirit will bring to life any part of Scripture using Scripture. We can do this because it is absolute truth.
  • The book needs to be accepted in faith. Without this you are lost from the beginning.
  • It is divine truth. That is, it is accurate.
  • Any interpretation needs to be done in light of the character of God as given in all other Scriptures.
  • Higher criticisms have no part in the Christian's tools of trade. The Bible cannot be made to fit social evolutional theory.
  • The book is revelation not myth. If God could become man, He could have completed the creation in six seconds as easily as six days!
  • Genesis is an historical account of the generations from Adam to Joseph. It is therefore read literally, including the first 12 chapters. The characters spoke of are all real. It is not mere poetry. David quotes it as being literal as does Jesus. It is not purely prophetic like the second half of Daniel.
    • We know this because Scripture uses Genesis as an historical account.
    • We know this because the language is not the language of pictures. Compare the language of the 17th chapter of The Revelation with Genesis. The difference is obvious.
  • Genesis speaks in the language of history, that is, what actually happened. Jesus uses the historical account of Noah as a literal account - see Luke 17. It also speaks in the language of Law - the Covenants are irrevocable instruments. They stand for all eternity (See Romans).
  • Genesis is not a figure of speech, although it gives figures that need to be interpreted in light of the New Testament as such. That is, an historic event or person in the Old Testament is given a spiritual meaning in the New Testament, for instance Hagar is a figure and clearly explained in Galatians chapter 4.
  • Furthermore, the words are to be interpreted as they would in ordinary speech. There is no "hidden" meaning in them. Hence one day is one day, i.e. 24 hours. This matter has tripped up many a Christian. They attempt to accommodate the evolutionists, but it cannot work. Be aware: the evolutionist has only one thought in mind, an explanation of life separate from God.

 


 

Part 2: Characteristics of the book of Genesis

 

The Torah given by Moses

Genesis is the first book of the Torah or Law. We tend to know it by the Greek title "Pentateuch" although I have found many Christians who don't know this word, so disused is the Book. It's the Pentateuch because it contains the five books of the law. Genesis is the first and is an important aspect of the law. It contains among other things:

The Law was given by Moses (John 1:17) and it is not small point to see that the Jews have always accepted Moses as its author. Indeed Scripture gives many references to the Torah and ascribes the authorship to Moses each time. Christ himself ascribes the authorship of the Torah to Moses in many places e.g. Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14, Matthew 19:8, John 7:22,23. Indeed Moses is mentioned 79 times in the New Testament many times to credit the authorship of the law to him. (This makes a mockery of those how ascribe the Torah's authorship to others - Jesus makes it clear that all five books were authored by Moses, with additions by others, e.g. Deuteronomy).

Genesis belongs to the Law because it records law both for the Jew and for all of mankind.

Chapters 1 to 11:9 gives to us God's law for all of mankind. This is perhaps why it is dismissed so actively - it is aimed at ALL of mankind and man or woman hates being told what is right or wrong.

Law found in Genesis

The command to "be fruitful and multiply" (128).

We talk about a "baby drought" these days because consumerism has replaced the family. "Things" have become more important than family. Furthermore the exploration of sex for pure gratification was not God's plan. The need for the fruitfulness of man has not been rescinded. Note that we were to fill the earth, not just replenish it.

The ordinance of marriage (224).

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

This ordinance is for all of mankind. It has not been rescinded. The matter of divorce was raised with Jesus, whose response was to refer to the law - Moses allowed divorce in certain circumstances due to the sin (hardness) of the heart (Mark 10:5). Genesis gives a clear and concise definition of marriage: it is the separation of child from parent and a firm and irrevocable joining together of male and female (noting the sexes involved) - homosexuality is a sin.

The authority to subdue the earth (228)

Man has the supreme authority to subdue the earth whatever the animal rights groups or green groups may say. I also hasten to say man was not given the authority to destroy the earth. Greed has ensured his usurping the authority given.

The rule of pain in childbirth (316)

The reminder that sin exists.

The rule of the authority of husband (316)

The argument for man to be the head of the family as argued by Paul was based on this rule. It has not been rescinded. Many arguments these days are based on the equality theory which is founded on a false premise. Before God we are all equal in terms of that fact that the blood of Christ saves each one of us who believe from the same depths of miry clay. Whether male or female, neither could save themself. That is, we were all equally of need for the propitiating blood of Christ. Furthermore, before God we are all one (Col 311).

However, this in no way makes our roles equal. We still have kings, governors and leaders to whom we are called to obey, and indeed pray for (1 Peter 2:13). Apostles, elders and deacons also all have various authorities. We have husbands who are the head of the house and need to exercise that authority, with love.

The prophecy of Christ (319).

The ultimate redeeming power was brought to the attention of man from the very beginning. Christ only could deal with Satan.

The rule of toil (by the sweat of your face) (319).

We all need to work for our living. There is no "free ride" on this planet. Sin ensures this. Some, such as my Grandfather believed this meant until one was taken by the Lord - retirement was not in his plan (noting however the retirement of Priests under the law).

He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer. Proverbs 18:9

Genesis clearly points out that to eat, one needs to work.

The law of death (319).

Sin causes death. A person's body would return to the ground from whence it came.

The promise never to curse the ground for mans sake (821).

Note also at this point the altar is first mentioned, the foretype of Christ who is our altar, whom we worship.

The sealing of the first covenant - between "God and all flesh" (917) - means that never will all the flesh of the earth be cut off with a flood. This is a promise without payment or commitment from us.

The law of vengeance (96) superseded by grace, as shown in Romans 1219

Only God can deal with his enemies

The law of dispersion (Tower of Babel 11)

This is to prevent all of mankind banding together against God (something Nebuchadnezzar tried). This will happen in the last days as David wrote in Psalm 2:

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed

The covenant by which all nations shall be blessed, through Abraham (123)

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

The law of circumcision (1711)

In the dispensation of Grace the cutting off applies today to our hearts. We have to put of the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. (Col 211).

The Book of the Genealogy

Genesis could be known as the "Book of the Genealogy" for to rightly divide the word (2 Tim 2:15) it can be sectioned by family and by the genealogy of those families. Eleven times the sections begin with the word "Teledoth" meaning generation. For instance look at Chapter 5. It begins

This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. Genesis 5:1

Arno Gaebelein[2] divided Genesis into 12 sections and this appears to be a beautiful way to do so because the number 12 does have some connection with man. He used the following divisions:

1.The Creation

2.The Generations of the Heavens and the Earth - see Gen 2:4

3.The Generations of Adam - Gen 5

4.The Generations of Noah - Gen 69

5.The Generations of Sons of Noah - Gen 10

6.The Generations of Shem - Gen 1110

7.The Generations of Terah - Gen 1127 - from this point onward Genesis deals with one family - the family from Terah - Abram and his descendants.

8.The Generations of Ishmael - Gen 2512

9.The Generations of Isaac - Gen 2519

10.The Generations of Esau - Gen 36

11. The Generations of son's of Esau - Gen 369

12. The Generations of Jacob - Gen 37

One can wonder why the genealogies were recorded. It clearly shows God's dealing with man and the problem of sin. The direction of mankind was driven by his separation from God. Post flood we can clearly see this. Why were the people of Canaan to be utterly smitten by the children if Israel? The promise is given Abraham in Genesis chapter 15. Sin begets sin. It can do nothing else unless there is a complete turn around. The descendants of Ham are the Canaanites. The prophetic words of Noah to his son came to fruition. God can only bear sin for so long. There has to be an end. As in this current age, God will eventually say STOP. "Now is the time" - tomorrow maybe too late. The descendants of Ham did not return to the God that saved them from the flood, but fell into total depravity - shown by Scripture along with archaeological remains.

This shows what true election is. Abram was chosen by God with no merit. Genesis then tells us about the various descendants of Abram whose interaction impacts our world today. One cannot read the journey of Israel into the Promised Land without the genealogies.

The book of God's relationship with man

Genesis is undoubtedly about the relationship of God with man.

God does not dwell with men in Genesis. You will notice that in chapter 2 God comes and walks in the cool of the garden - there is no mention of Him ever dwelling in the garden.

The book deals with the responsible man - man who was responsible for sin and death. Christ was made sin for us, and looked back on the responsible or first Adam. The emphasis on responsibility can be seen throughout the book. Man is responsible for his actions. Today this has often altogether been lost. Marriage is the coming together of male and female, but they today we see a lack of the exercise of responsibility for its "cleaving together".

Genesis deals with man without redemption - it shows a people for God and a dwelling-place for God in man.

It does not deal with holiness except in concept at 2:3. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work that God had created.

By the characteristics of the main characters

The work and rest of God is given in the first 2 chapters.

The human nature of man is explained by Adam in chapter 3.

God's word brings light into the soul. God meets man with the provision of His Grace

The carnal and spiritual mind compared is shown in chapters 4 and 5.

Flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. (Gal 5:17)

The regeneration is given in the Noah account in chapters 6-11.

Judgement of the old word, salvation puts us in Christ.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

The spirit of faith is demonstrated in Abraham in chapters 12-20.

Election

A pilgrim and stranger, a worshipper

The spirit of sonship is shown by Isaac in chapter 21-26.

The heir (Isaac) takes the land (see also Gal 4 and Hagar)

As "sons" - self-surrender

The spirit of service is shown by Jacob in chapter 27-36.

Israel (Rachel) and the gentiles (Leah)

Discipline of sons - dealing with the old nature

The spirit of suffering and glory is shown in Joseph in chapter 37-50.

Christ suffers for righteous sake.

 


 

Part 3: God reveals his character in His Creation

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The book of Genesis is known by the Jews as "The Beginning" being the first word of the book. The word "genesis" means "origin".

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

It sets the scene for the rest of Scripture in that God commands the universe. There is no proof of God given: He merely reveals Himself.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork"
"All thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord"
"Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty"

No reason is given here either. There is no need to. The creation itself reveals the reason God created the heavens and the earth. They were created for no other reason than to declare His glory.

We study the book because it tells the origin of all things, but more importantly it establishes the divine unity of the Bible.

The entire Scriptures rest on these beautiful words.

When reading Genesis note carefully the names that God uses. He reveals Himself in the first instance as God. There is no explanation of who He is. Just He was, from the Beginning. He created a universe that declares His glory. There is no assumption here that any other god could do this.

Hear these beautiful words.

Isaiah 40:26

Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these [things], Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of [His] power; Not one is missing.

1 Chronicles 16:26

For all the gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

God ad Elohim (Plural)

God is supreme in the first verse. The word is rendered from Elohim (Let us) i.e. the plural. It is God the supreme, God the divine one. Elohim is used about 189 times in Genesis.

We see the plural clearly delineated in 126 "Let us".

However, by verse 4 of chapter 2 it is Jehovah (LORD, Yahweh), the name of the one true God, literally meaning the existing one.

The Godhead is clearly implicated. Creation is attributed to Christ and the Holy Spirit. Yet Christ says:

"The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 1014)

Distinction of the Godhead cannot be made. Our thoughts of all three need to be equal.

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.

It was not as if God created the earth in utter chaos. We see from Isaiah this was not so.

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.

Here we see the LORD did not create the earth "in vain". The action of God was where darkness is. Christ came to save the sinners. The non-sinners did not need Christ. He came to deal with the darkness.

Colossians 1:13

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

People get into all sorts of bother about this, so I digress.

The Creation - Chapter 1

I'm not going to traverse Genesis verse by verse by will point to some of it's major features and its relevance to us, in the dispensation of Grace.

Note carefully that the creation was brought about by God speaking - God spoke "Let there be" and there was. He commanded and it happened.

Psalm 148

Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!
4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.

Notice the stark contrast between how the LORD created the innate things, the animals and the herbs compared with the creation of Adam.

Genesis 27

And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

How did he form him? If we go back to chapter 1 (26) we see God - the plural form - stating:

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Genesis 1:26

Hence we see two very special aspects of human. We were formed and the formation took the image of God himself. This implies that man and animal are two different entities. Furthermore, there was one other special aspect. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. This is significant as nowhere does scripture say that the breath of life was breathed into animals.

After animals, God decides to make something higher. Hence, we have a being (in Adam), created from the dust of the earth by the very hands of God, filled with His breath and made in His own image. His communication was to be with something far greater than an animal and the human was to be able to connect with God. The Breath of Life gave him a living soul directly from God makes him distinct from every animal.

Note that in Adam we have an image of God, albeit in total ruin.

1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

James 3:9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father, and therewith curse we men made after [the] likeness (similitude) of God. (JND)

God also gave man responsibility.

He gave man dominion over everything (126) and was to subdue it (128)

He gave the man responsibility to multiply (128)

The responsibility extended to doing something - he needed to work.

Man could eat of the fruit of all trees except of the knowledge of good and evil (217).

Its worth noting that the animals were not carnivorous. In the millennial reign we will once more have only carnivorous animals - death being held at bay:

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust [shall be] the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," Says the LORD. Isaiah 65:25

Observations

One of the striking things about Genesis is that Holiness does not occur. It is alluded to in the Sabbath, set aside on the seventh day, a day of rest. Holiness is linked with redemption. Until redemption is accomplished does holiness mentioned.

Note that the Sabbath in Genesis is the only day in the history of God that it is recorded that that He rested.

But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." John 5:17

In the end there will be a rest, a rest for the people of God: this is what chapter 4 of Hebrews talks about. The disobedient never rest nor ever will, but those that believe, that is, those saved from their sins, will get a rest. Sin and rest are immutable.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, [there] you may be also. John 14:3

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. Hebrews 4:9

God was resting, man does not enter into it, but there remains a rest which he will enter. The rest has been sanctified by God, in that it is set apart from all the rest of time. Man cannot rest while in sin.

God does not dwell with man in Genesis. He came to visit and talk with Adam. He talked to Abraham, but He does not dwell here.

But once we find redemption, holiness and a dwelling place for God are spoken of. Immediately the people of Israel were redeemed and they are were told "Be Holy" (Ex 2231). Once redemption takes place God says "make me a habitation".

Indeed we see this in the song of Moses, immediately after their redemption from Egypt:

The LORD [is] my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he [is] my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people [which] thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided [them] in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. Exodus 15:13

Indeed He has name the place of His habitation.

 


 

Part 4: Alternative theories of man

The Young Earth versus Old Earth Theory

Evolution is a theory - it is not a science, merely suppositions (models) to explain observations) as there is no repeatable experiments that can be performed that shows that life is capable of reorganising itself into more complex organisms. Evolution hangs only by one fact - time. Without extraordinary lengths of time the entire theory dissolves. It dissolves anyway because a mere cursory glance at the probabilities involved requires the earth to be extraordinarily older than any man has every posed! This does not mean that if extraordinary lengths of time were given that I believe monkeys would arise from green slime.

But to every evolutionist, given the right length of time, there is a probability that something must happen that increases the length of the genetic code in a useful matter. It is of course immaterial (a silent aspect) to the evolutionists that it is impossible to evolve the very building blocks to build the machinery to manipulate the genetic code without first having the genetic code. But without the machinery there is no genetic code - something had to put it together in the first place. E.g. the puzzle of the chicken or the egg - in this cases the code or the machinery to make the code - which comes first? Hence this forms the second fundamental flaw of evolution, the first being, the big-bang began with nothing, and if nothing, the laws of physics are broken, and the second being information itself is never self reproducing - no pen ever organised itself to write, using the words it wrote!

Dating

I will not go into the problem of dating objects, except that evolutionists are arrogant enough to assume that everything evolves, that is, changes with time, except the object by which they measure time - their stopwatch. The arrogance is the belief that the "stopwatch" they use has run perfectly without any alteration for 4.5 billion years while absolutely everything else has changed! This we know to be impossible.

Furthermore, they have to believe the stopwatch was actually set to zero at the exact time they want to measure from[3]. For instance if you want to measure a race, you start the watch the instance the gun goes off. What would happen if you were not sure the stopwatch actually was set to zero before you began? Evolutionists always believe the watch was set to zero at the exact time they require it!

In the end the world will believe what ever it likes in terms of the age of the universe, however, it is highly dangerous for Christians to attempt to interpret Scripture with instruments that are not of Scripture. Some like to believe the world is indeed old. This they say is due to the 24 hours mentioned in chapter one of Genesis being figurative. They argue with many fine words, debating, using well formed linguistically arguments, yet without removing pages from their Bible cannot ever accommodate Scripture because Scripture proves them wrong every time. Some have tried to accommodate evolution by having thousands of years between verse one and two - this fails fundamentally.

Fitting time between verse 1 and 2

Read these verses:

Genesis 1:1,2

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.

The words "without form" have bothered a lot of people, especially when taken with Isaiah 45:18:

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.

Here we see the LORD did not create the earth "in vain" yet at the beginning the earth was waste and void. Therefore, something happened. It is in the period between creating the earth as alluded to in Isaiah and the time alluded to in verse 2 of Genesis 1 that some try to accommodate evolution. But Christians must understand that they can never accommodate evolution. Evolution deals a world created without a master planner. Yes, you may be able to have an earth that was teaming with life, which a large portion died, and which now forms the Cambrian layer of fossils, hence accommodate the age of those fossils

BUT

The Bible clearly states that death - required prior to fossilisation - was incepted by one man - Adam. Therefore, it is only reasonable to say that since death entered by Adam, the fossils therefore came about by the Deluge of Noah's time

Romans 5:12

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

I believe death entered the world through Adam. Evolutionists says Adam was formed by death, that is, the theory says life is only struggle then death, struggle then death, struggle then death and from this Adam evolved.

But the Bible says Adam was created, He sinned THEN DEATH ENTERED THE WORLD.

Death of the millions upon millions of animals in the Cambrian layer happened after Adam, indeed about 2000 years after Adam, at the time of Noah's flood! This means the fossils are of a young age and the world likewise.

The "void" earth can be clearly be explained by the judgement upon Lucifer (that is Satan), who fell due to pride and became the Devil. The original earth was his habitation (see Luke 4:5-6) and he had authority over it, which became "void" when he attempted to become like (or as) God.

References

 

[1] These sermons were delivered in two parts, but being such a large topic, these notes were reformatted in 2008 into four parts.

[2] Gaebelein A.C. (1970 revised 1985) Gaebelein's Concise Commentary of the Whole Bible, Loizeaux Bros, USA, pp 15.

[3] That is they know the exact ratios of the elements that decompose at time zero, assuming with arrogance that God did not create the rocks with some if not all the decomposition components present at some unknown concentration.

David L Simon ( Aug 2002 CCC)
Posted February 2008, ed June 2011
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