A Better Way to Interpret Genesis One
Preface: Evolution theory will never be overthrown if we Bible believers insist that somehow Genesis can be imagined to agree with progressive creation or theistic evolution, or if we insist that the universe and planet earth are of a young age. All these are mistaken ideas which men have imposed upon Scripture. The literal Bible demands a young biosphere created in six literal days less than 8000 years ago. But the universe was created long before “days” were even possible. Light from distant galaxies and isotope dating problems are solved. This very important booklet in your hands provides the only satisfactory harmony of demonstrable science and the literal Bible.
Surely, if a student reads, “For in six days, the Lord made the heavens, the earth and the sea and all that is in them,” and reads that, “God made two great lights and the stars on day four,” without questioning the translations, then biblical literalists (of which I am one) might conclude a young earth and universe. But hold on. Not so fast.
We must “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).
But one may assert, “All the versions say essentially the same thing as the KJV as quoted above. Who are you to change it? Are you an expert authority in Hebrew?”
What the versions say is of little consequence when compared to the original Hebrew and the original meaning of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. But the book in your hands will show how to determine the correct translation of the critical creation passages without requiring an extensive knowledge of Hebrew although expertise is certainly desirable. All the experts are invited to critique this methodology and the results I have determined (if they are able to control their biases in the process). The most intense scrutiny is welcome. Children can understand the irrefutable logic and conclusions herein, as certainly as an expert in the original language.
The 2014 Creation Research Society conference presentation (following) epitomizes the scriptural arguments only of my 2017 book, The Genesis Fortress: Viciously Attacked – Triumphant in the End. The book itself covers many other creation issues: a chapter on the global flood, another chapter showing evolution to be unworthy of the term “science,” another chapter titled, “Why a Silent God Allows Evil and Suffering in a Ruined Creation” and much more. Check the website below for Table of Contents and ordering info. Book is $15 plus $5 ship 196 pages. The conference presentation is included here to epitomize the book contents of its first two chapters.
Presentation at the Creation Research Society National Conference.
August 8th, 2014 Petersburg, Kentucky
By Gorman Gray
I have a power point program on the material today but pictures are ephemeral and easily forgotten so I want to read my address. It gives me an excuse to pass out a verbatim printed copy to everyone, so what you depart with today will not depend on memory alone. Please absorb it later and correspond with me whether you react positively or negatively. We are still friends if we disagree but I must have credible scriptural persuasions before I can believe anything. The young biosphere creation view (YBC) shows that the biosphere is less than 8000 years old, created in six, literal, solar days, but the stellar heavens and planet earth itself are undefined in time of origin and, biblically, could be any age.
Every expositor knows that context is critical for Bible interpretation and translation. I have expanded that truth into a tool by including multiple contextual constraints, sometimes involving additional analysis of the structure of an entire thought division before determining translation choices. “L-O-V-E” is an acronym for “Literal Overview Vetoes Errors.” It is an interpretive method which limits the options and mandates the proper renditions, particularly applicable to Genesis chapter one. So when I refer to the LOVE procedure you will know what I mean. It is a literal overview coupled with multiple contextual limiters. L-O-V-E is particularly appropriate for issues which involve keenly held differences of opinion, because surely we need love in all our disagreements.
The “big four” of critical creation scriptures are: Genesis 1:2, Exodus 20:11, Genesis 1:16 and Mark 10:6. The “LOVE” procedure clearly determines translation options for the “big four.” In this paper, I demonstrate this method of Bible interpretation as a positive means of determining word choices. It is simple, not requiring extensive expertise in Hebrew, valuable as that might be, and makes the text understandable even to children.
Tohu Wabohu, WAS THE EARTH WITHOUT FORM AND VOID?
The King James 1611 version described the earth as “without form and void.” Wycliffe and Tyndale, one and two centuries earlier, chose “idel and voide” or “voyde and emptie” (which in pre-Elizabethan days, and still today, means “unoccupied and empty”). But the KJV and its many derivatives are widespread and influential, dominating the following English translations and, to some degree, extending its influence to other than English as well. Dr. Henry Morris, considered the father of modern creationism, predicated much of his concepts on the assumption of an earth “without form” and stars “made” on day four which I will contest today.
The “LOVE” procedure forces and proves that Wycliffe and Tyndale had it right, whereas the King James Version translators were in error. I know those words, “forces and proves,” are strong words but I will expand it even beyond that by saying that the tramslation choices for the “big four” critical scriptures can all be determined by using this powerful tool. The result makes Genesis chapter one into a beautiful, supernatural wonder-chapter, even superior to the breathtaking wonder and beauty of microbiology and astronomy. Genesis one is the opening of a beautiful symphony and Revelation 22 is the breathtaking, triumphant closure. Between those glorious chapters is the awful history of rebellion with its tragedies, atrocities and pain.
I did not even realize until last August that I was pursuing any particular “methodology” until I accidentally read a review on Amazon.com of my own earlier 1996 book, The Age of the Universe: What Are the Biblical Limits? The reviewer, Ronald Smith, commented, “This book is THE explanation for the creation without twisting Scripture and as has been said, – fits in with good science. I heartily recommend it.” And then, this observation: “There is also the bonus of learning from Gorman’s methodology for studying Scripture.” Those are his words, not mine.
Well, that was sweet to read but it got me thinking. What “methods” did I use common to all the big four critical creation texts? Can the procedure be called a “methodology?” I had assumed I was simply reading the text carefully, questioning unsupported assumptions, trying to get to the bottom of things – – – careful not to jump to conclusions, delving into the Hebrew original at critical junctures, and considering the entire thought section as a whole. Also I duly considered the claims of science, although not accepting all science obsequiously, yet giving careful attention to it. In other words, like any old bloke could do, I was making a thorough Bible study of the critical creation Bible texts.
Well, “Gorman’s methodology” is not complex or pedantic or particularly intellectual. In fact, in my new book of which I have a few copies just back from the book binder, Genesis Chapter One – Scientifically Accurate and Surprisingly Simple, I insist that Genesis, if translated properly, is understandable to children, which is an important feature of any valid interpretation. So how does it work?
No matter how brilliant the “method” may be, it is bound for failure without direction from God. So the first rule is to ask God daily in Jesus’ name in prayer to preserve from error and guide into the truth for His glory. That has to be a daily prayer. To pray in Jesus’ name is not tagging the phrase at the end of a begging session. One’s spirit must genuinely crave the glory of God and the glory of Jesus, giving that motive to God for His action. Jesus taught us, “Father, hallowed be Your Name, your kingdom come. Your will be done.” That is prayer for God’s glory. Without this genuine, compelling motive, error is inevitable. I could spend an hour here.
Then after prayer for God’s glory, don’t jump to conclusions. Question all the various interpretations and translations including mine today. Don’t be afraid to think “out of the box” if reason and Scripture require it. With these foundations, a “diligent searcher” will begin to see the beauty, symmetry and eloquence of this critical chapter of the word of God. I assume this group is familiar with the text.
Okay, so let’s investigate the methodology used to interpret Genesis which I promised, with focus on the big four great origins statements. Nothing is new from me on the young biosphere creation interpretation of Genesis which I hold and promote, but what is new is the L-O-V-E procedure referenced in the abstract which is articulated and demonstrated here as a methodology publically for the first time.
To discern the contextual restraints which the LOVE procedure discovers, one must first grasp the literal overview of the entire thought division or in this case chapter one. The King James Version rendered verse two as, “The earth was without form and void (tohu wabohu) and darkness was on the face of the deep.” What can we learn from a literal overview of this chapter? Here I have chosen the subtraction method because we all agree that the earth was complete and perfect after day six so we just reverse the process day by day to see how things were at verse two, just before day one. It is illuminating, and this overview in reverse forbids certain popular translations from consideration.
Subtracting the work of day six we lose Adam and the land animals, but the planet earth is still fully formed and perfect. Day five subtracts the birds and fish but the planet is unchanged. Subtract day four and we only lose visibility of the celestial bodies “in the expanse of air.” But again the planet earth remains fully formed. Subtract day three and the vegetation is gone and the land sinks below the ocean surface. But again, the planet itself remains fully formed. Subtract day two and the air is lost with its oxygen and nitrogen, so the atmosphere returns to a watery, translucent mist. The hydrologic water cycle no longer waters the earth but light is allowed to penetrate “on the surface of the ocean” but the planet earth is unchanged. Now subtract the work of day one and we will be at the condition depicted as tohu wabohu. Earth’s atmosphere becomes totally opaque and we arrive at the condition just before day one. Notice that the planet is still very much complete and fully formed before the first day dawned.
This proves that tohu wabohu should NOT be translated “without form” in verse two. That option, that error has been vetoed by the literal overview using the subtraction method. The planet earth is fully formed and covered by an ocean and in total darkness from a “cloud of thick darkness” as Job 38:9 stipulates. Genesis 1:2 agrees, “darkness was on the surface of the ocean.” The “LOVE” treatment has vetoed “formless, unformed and without form” unequivocally. Please evict that translation forever. By grasping the big picture, rather than the myopic focus on the narrow area of v2 only, (isolated from the entire chapter context) the meaning becomes clear. We are compelled to abandon those misleading translations.
But consider, if this error has prevailed for hundreds of years through the minds of many astute and learned experts, how many other errors are promoted by well meaning but mistaken expositors and translators? It’s a fair question and there are several.
Does it take a PhD. in Hebrew to determine this? Not at all. A child reading Genesis one in Swahili or Chinese or Egyptian hierglyphics can determine this simple conclusion. Yes, a child could do that!
WHAT ABOUT DAY FOUR – – – GENESIS 1:16?
Okay, so what about v 16, a “proof text” along with Exodus 20:11 for YEC? Again, we must use the LOVE procedure. We must get the “literal overview” of this thought division or chapter combined with multiple contextual limiters derived from that overview.
If we do that carefully, using the complete context for limits, what we learn is that, on each and every day of the six day work, without exception, the procedure always follows this sequence: First, God decides to do something, “Let there be”, or “Let us make.” Second, He does what He decided to do, “It was so,” or He describes the doing of it and thirdly, He delights in what He has done, “It was good.” Each and every one of the creation days follows this pattern. Please check that pattern out for each day. “God said, Let there be light and there was light and God saw that it was good” (day one). “Let there be an expanse, God created the expanse and called it ‘Air’” on day two. So it continues through all the days of creation. But because the air was not completed after day two, He did not pronounce “it was good” (on that day only) until it was completed at day four. That has to be significant.
So in order to interpret critical vv16 to 19, we must first be careful to note precisely what God decided to do in v14 because what He decided to do is what He actually did, no more and no less. That’s what a careful overview discovers.
So as to day four, here is the record of what God decided to do: v14 “Let there be lights in the expanse of air (the raquia shamayim) to divide the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. And let them be for lights in the raquia shamayim, the expanse of air, to give light upon the earth. And it was so.” The raquia shamayim is specified in verse 20 as the place where birds fly which can only be air. The expression, raquia shamayim, always, without exception, means the “expanse of air.” Also verse 8 the hydrologic water cycle is created and suspended by the air, and it remains so today. This should be unequivocal also.
Each of the six day’s activities confirms the universal, daily sequence of Decide, Do and Delight. The literal overview discovers this unmistakable pattern on each and every day.
So is it clear to everyone what God decided to do on the fourth day? Now we can examine verses 16 to 19 for an account of what He actually “did.” The lights were “displayed” nathan in the “expanse of air.” Joel chapter 2 verse 30 in the NASB reads, “I will display (same word nathan) wonders in sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes.”
. The preferred translation is, “Thus God produced (accomplished, brought forth, arranged, prepared, worked, did) two great luminaries, the greater luminary to dominate the day and the lesser luminary and the stars to dominate the night. And God displayed them in the expanse of air to give light on the earth…”
The Hebrew verb which most translators render as “made” is asah which is the “do” word of Hebrew. To translate it “made” here is a misleading translation because many readers think of “made: as “create” and that is simply not so here. To think of v 16 as creation of the galaxies is to accuse God – – – of choosing the weakest possible verb in Hebrew and a very general type word to express “create.” In verse one, bara “create” is NOT interchangeable with asah, not at all interchangeable as some try to imagine. Asah almost always means do, did, or done. We call those “helper verbs” in English classes for their plethora of uses. If I should say to an employee, “I gave you a list of seventeen things to do. Did you do them?” He answers, “Yes, I did.” Those two and three letter helper verbs, cover seventeen activities four times over in two sentences. Asah is the Hebrew equivalent of English “do.”
GOD DID NOT MAKE THE SUN, MOON AND STARS ON DAY FOUR. But He displayed them, He showed them, He gave them (nathan) in the expanse of air, for signs, seasons, days and years and to give light on the earth, exactly according to the terms of the DECIDE announcement of verse 14. Because the literal overview gives a pattern for each days activity and day four fits that pattern comfortably, it forcibly removes the translation of asah as “made” but allows “accomplished” or “brought forth” or “arranged” or “prepared” or “produced” or “did” two great lights and the stars in the expanse of air. On day four, God displayed (nathan) the sun, moon and stars in the air, for signs, seasons days and years. I repeat for emphasis, Joel 2:30 in the NASB reads, “I will display (same word nathan) wonders in sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes.” God did NOT make the sun, moon and stars on day four. He did that probably long before the first day, but He displayed them in the expanse of air on day four. In Joel 2:30, he is talking about the same things as the work of day four, namely displaying signs in the expanse of air. There is much more to consider here, please get the book.
One well meaning friend said to me in strong language, “My Bible says that God made the sun, moon and stars on day four” with the idea of God said it. I believe it and that settles it. Well, no. God did NOT say it that way at all.
DID GOD MAKE THE STARS AND PLANET EARTH IN SIX DAYS?
Now for Exodus 20:11 and 31:17. NASB renders it, “For in six days, the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” I say that is another misleading translation.
In only one area in the entire Bible did the Holy Spirit ever define the meaning of His chosen words. That is here in Genesis one where he defines five items: day, night, air, earth, and sea, all essential elements of the biosphere. Verse 8 reads, “God called the expanse ‘air’.” To render it “heaven” once again is terribly misleading in Genesis 1:8, 1:14, 1:20 and also Exodus 20:11. NIV renders it “sky” in Genesis which is a little bit closer (although not much). “Sky” is still not clear enough. If birds fly in it, then it is “air,” not heaven or sky.
There was no creation of heavens during the six day work – – – none whatever, it is all biosphere work. He created the stellar heavens and planet earth in verse one, as plainly as words can be spoken, before a first day, was even possible. The six days, every one of them, without exception, record work on the air, or the land, or on the sea, or on all that is in the air, the land or the sea, that is, biological life and the home for biological life. The stellar heavens were created before the first day was even possible because a cloud of thick darkness surrounded an ocean covered earth like a blanket and swaddling clothes surround a newborn (Job 38:1-10). On day one, God thinned the atmosphere to translucence and on day four God cleared the translucent “air” to transparency, a simple, logical necessity.
The context for Exodus 20:11 is unmistakably the six days of Genesis which God specifically references. Therefore it is imperative that we use the definition of shamayim that God clearly supplied for us in Genesis 1:8, 14 and 20. The only place in the Bible where God defines ANY word meanings, he defines shamayim as “air” where birds fly. Yes, it is unfortunate that translators seem to be afraid to use “air” but that is irrational, in my opinion, although the New Century Version, to its credit, does use “air” as an option for shamayim in this chapter. Unless God is referring specifically to the hosts of heaven or the stars, it fits best to render shamayim as “air.’ I do not have time to defend it further right now, but get the book, please.
The preposition “in” simply does not belong there. “For in six days …” Please throw that translation away as far as you can throw it. It just adds further confusion. The context is unmistakably “work” and “labor” in Exodus 20:11 “Six days shall you labor and do all your work…then rest on the Sabbath day because for six days Yahweh worked on the air, the land and the sea (and all that is in the air, land and sea) then God rested on the seventh day.” – – – He is talking about the biosphere of living things which God worked on for six days and then rested on the seventh day.” Go through Genesis chapter one again, day by day, in a literal overview and you will agree that every day’s activity had to do with, air, land or sea, or all that is in the air, the land and the sea, that is, the biological world, the biosphere. Nowhere, in the six day work, does God work on the heaven of stars. “God created the heavens and planet earth” before, and perhaps thousands or millions or billions of years before a “first day” was even possible. The time is undefined. On day four He worked on the expanse of air which was already translucent to allow the first day, then, necessarily, He had to make the air transparent so the stars could function for signs, seasons, days and years on the fourth day. God did not make the sun and stars on day four. He cleared the expanse of air to allow visible display of signs, seasons, days and years on day four.
If we take all three of these expositions together, that is, the subtraction method for determining tohu wabohu of v 2, which is an overview in reverse, then if we take the “DECIDE, DO and DELIGHT” method for determining the work of day four which, again, comes from examining that thought division in an overview, and finally, the determination of the meaning of Exodus 20:11, all using the literal overview principle, coupled with contextual restraints, one concludes that the LOVE treatment is, indeed, a methodology worthy of application to this basic chapter of the Bible.
Does one need a PhD. in Hebrew grammar to conclude these things? No, certainly not. This method works in any language translation. A technical knowledge of Hebrew grammar is always welcome, but any child can use the logic and power of the L-O-V-E method to determine these conclusions and, by the way, Hebrew experts would do well to add this methodology to their studies of grammar and syntax in this chapter.
This interpretation solves all of creationist’s problems. Light from distant galaxies is no problem. God made the galaxies in the beginning, undefined in time. Isotope dating of magmatic intrusions in geologic dikes and sills is no problem although admittedly radioisotope dating is riddled with other problems by itself.
Young Earth Creationism is right on, when referring to flood geology, and a recent, literal, six-day creation in Genesis. But we have very big problems when we limit the age of the universe and planet earth to only thousands of years and we destroy God’s way of helping us to glimpse the eternal nature of Himself. The timeless immensity of the universe helps us understand the attributes of God. Rather choose the Young Biosphere Creation view (YBC) because everything fits comfortably with no problems remaining and no detraction from God’s nature.
——TIME LIMIT FOR CREATION RESEARCH SOCIETY PRESENTATION- —
CONTINUING WITH MARK 10 (Taken directly from the book.)
MARK 10 MARRIAGE OF ADAM AND EVE
AT “THE BEGINNING OF CREATION”
Some have thought that the New Testament reference to the marriage of Adam and Eve at the “beginning of creation” (Mark 10:2-9) forces the creation of the stellar heavens into the same time zone as the creation of the first parents. This deduction is predicated on the assumption that no time elapsed before day one.
We notice many “beginnings” in the Bible. “That which you heard from the beginning” (I John 1:1), and “carefully investigated from the beginning,” (Luke 1:2) speak of two different beginnings: the beginning of Jesus’ birth and the beginning of His ministry. Wisdom says, “I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began” (Proverbs8:22). Again, two beginnings, one well before the other.
Nothing in Jesus’ statement indicates a young planet earth. Adam’s beginning was the beginning of man’s creation, not the absolute beginning of the stars. Regarding marriage, it suits Jesus’ purpose perfectly that Adam and Eve represent the “beginning of creation.” This is the position they hold with respect to the human race. The secondary implication about creation must be within the boundary of the primary context and the purpose of Jesus’ words. The creation of the solar system and the rest of the stellar wonders have no bearing on divorce.
Using the illustration of the Jews rebuilding the temple, one could say, “For in four years the temple was built,” (or “made” if you prefer). But the foundation waited for sixteen years before anything rose on it. Ezra 3 records, “(In 536 BC) Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest began the work” on the temple. Then, a sixteen-year delay took place until Haggai prophesied. The same people then “began to work on the house of the Lord” (Haggai 1:13-15 NIV). Two beginnings occur in the work on the same temple. The “beginning” of the temple building occurred long after the absolute beginning of the temple foundation, just as the beginning of Adam came long after the galaxies. Today, if we refer to the “beginning of Zerubbabel’s temple,” we would more logically imply 519 BC than 536 BC, although either is correct. The temple builders, in fact, began building twice, as the NIV indicates.
References to “prophets, which have been since the world began” or “the blood of the prophets shed from the foundation of the world” are easily explained in the same way. Of course, the six days of work on the planet earth represent the beginning or foundation of the world. Peter speaks of the “world (kosmos) that perished.” However, we should not think that the universe has perished. A pre-Flood “world” perished, and it had a beginning—a foundation, which was the foundation or beginning of that world. There was a “world that perished” (II Peter 3:6). Actually, one can safely assert that a creation perished, beginning with the third-day land formations—for the atmosphere did not perish in the Flood, nor did light perish from days one and two. If a world perished, then a creation perished, but in no case has the universe perished. Therefore, the phrases, “the foundation of the world” or “the beginning of creation” do not refer to the absolute beginning of the universe in these passages. The references in Luke 1:70 and Acts 3:21 use the word aion or “age.” Zechariah refers to “Prophets which have been since the age began,” that is, since the creation of men. “Blood of all the prophets shed from the foundation of the world” kosmos (Luke 11:50), is an accurate statement no matter how far one goes back in history, but the statement refers to Abel, shortly after the creation of man. Divorce was not allowed from the beginning of creation. That is factually true, no matter how far one goes back in pre-earth history, but also, refers to the creation of Eve—not creation of the cosmos.
If all that does not convince, then consider the great commission, “Preach the good news to every creation.” (The word for creation, ktisis, is the same word used in Mark 10, “the beginning of creation.”) Jesus is not commanding us to preach to the trees or the moon or little kittens. We allow the context to limit the application of the words “every creation.” In the context of preaching, “creation” refers to people, not the deep field galaxies. “From the beginning of creation,” by the same token, is the beginning of Adam and Eve in the context of marriage (or the great tribulation in Mark 13:19). Galaxies would distract the issue. Just as in the Flood context (II Peter 3:6), “The world that then was, perished,” does not imply that the entire universe has perished, so also in the marriag context, the “beginning of creation” does not mean the beginning of the universe.
Consider as well Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God… John came who baptized.” This defined the beginning of the gospel, but not absolutely. “For indeed we have had the gospel preached unto us just as they did” (Israel in the wilderness Hebrews 4:2). “And the scripture… preached the gospel in advance to Abraham saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:8). The gospel “began” as soon as God clothed Adam and Eve in coats of skin and promised a coming Messiah, but it wasn’t fully implemented until Jesus’ ministry. So the beginning of the gospel was the “first gospel” proclaimed (Genesis 3:15) and the beginning of the gospel was also the baptism of John. The beginning of creation, as it relates to marriage, was Adam and Eve. The beginning of the galaxies was something else entirely. From the beginning of creation, divorce was not considered, let alone allowed. The context limits that beginning to Adam and Eve. Scriptures which include phrases like “from the beginning of the world” have to be taken in the context of the particular beginning which is in view in that verse, (and there are many) not necessarily the beginning of everything.
Finally, consider the offense to God Himself for us to take His unfathomably immense creation, which He made immense to illustrate is own infinite presence and power, and take also His unfathomably ancient origin of the stars and reduce it to 6000 years, thus cancelling His purpose to illustrate His eternal nature. Yes, it offends.
This completes the epitomy of the scriptural arguments proving the young biosphere view of Genesis which is preferred over the young earth view. The planet earth and the stellar heavens are undefined in age, but the six days creation of living things and the home for living things is defined by genealogies as less than 8000 years ago. Following are excerpts of some of the other features of the book.
Genesis 1 is a marvelous chapter and it also has a subliminal message giving hope for sinners. Yes. That’s right. The good news gospel is imbedded in the first chapter of the Bible. But that is seen not from a literal overview but rather from a figurative overview of the chapter. In Genesis one is a picture of redemption and restoration. Pictures and figures should not be the source of dogmatic theology but plenty of blessing can come from examining types and shadows and it enhances the beauty of this chapter.
The picture of redemption begins with the creation of the biosphere on the first day—Genesis 1, verse three. True, it is the record of the original, perfect creation including man whom He made in the image of God, but it also, as the apostle Paul shows us, is a message of the re-creation and restoration of that image after its tragic loss by rebellion—a message of hope for sinners. That perfect creation suffered the loss of everything good and the inheritance of all kinds of moral and physical tragedy. God could have left us to our choices but for love of His created moral beings, He elected to save, redeem, rescue His “chosen ones—a people for His name—a remnant of the human race.” How does Genesis chapter one picture redemption, and is there a subliminal message in the first chapter of the Bible? I will make a very brief synopsis here elaborated in the book.
First, the continuing darkness, before the first day on our planet, pictures natural man, darkened, hopeless until God intervenes with light.
Paul directs us by declaring, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” That is an obvious reference to Genesis one, day one. Paul sees day one of the creation as a figure, picturing our awakening out of darkness with the final end being our restoration to the image of God through Jesus the Anointed Christ. The lifeless, benighted earth is enlightened on the first day, picturing how believers are illuminated when they first come to faith. They hear the Bible message and God, out of pure grace, gives them a revelation, an illumination of its message like the dawning of a new day (II Corinthians 4:6). God gives them repentance from their sins and welcomes them to His family. Then that creation is mixed with light and darkness, day and night, picturing the believer, positioned between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. All men are imperfect in this life until the new creation will be finally established which begins eternal day. There is “no night there.” But have we believers seen all of God’s glory in the face of Jesus the anointed Christ? Well, hardly so. Rather, we have seen only a tiny glimpse. In all of these figures the ideal is pictured which Jesus achieved fully, but we Christian toddlers only achieve a taste of the whole.
On day two, the earth was inflated with an atmosphere of air, like the normal Christian life is filled with the Holy Spirit at regeneration, a life changing, energizing, sublime, and euphoric experience. There is much more through all the six creation days, fruitfulness, testimony, development of character, restoration of the image of God in fallen man. It is a beautiful picture but time forbids me now.
The final end of creation was man, created in the image of God. The Holy Spirit can now inhabit man. Jesus is the ultimate image of God, but Adam had the great privilege to bear that same image in miniature. After that dreadful fall, God has enabled sinners to be restored to the image of God, the most stupendous act of mercy in all history, a huge undertaking full of consequences. “Renewed in the spirit of your mind which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, you have put off the old man with his deeds (that’s repentance) and have put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…” (Ephesians 4, Colossians 3).
The rescue and redemption of human beings is the most awesome achievement in the history of both angels and men and all the created intelligences. We rescued sinners will be displayed to the universe of moral entities, to redeemed men, to the angels, to the cherubim, as trophies of the astounding grace of God. It involves a re-creation and restoration of the image of God in man— and that is no small achievement. That re-creation is greater than the original creation by far, because it cost the death of the Anointed One, the Christ, the Messiah, which was an infinite ransom payment. Restoring rebel sinners into the holy image of God did not come without awful cost. It required Jesus wading through the pit of corruption—through the cesspools of earth and on to crucifixion, accused as a criminal – – – by the worst criminals in history.
God will succeed in His purpose to produce the image of Himself in human nature which was the final objective in Genesis chapter one. Jesus allowed us sinners to get united with Himself spiritually, He who was the immaculate, absolutely perfect image of God, took us rebel sinners to be united in Himself. That perfect image of God was achieved infinitely in Jesus, who, though He was born into the darkness of this fallen world, manifested the glorious light of total love, total holiness. That is the only image of God which really matters—holiness of character. But God will, partially now, but one day totally, also achieve the image of God in fallen human nature, although finitely in us sons of Adam. We are transferred gloriously from the kingdom of darkness into the born-again kingdom of God.
Now there is much more on this which occupies chapter five of my recent book, Genesis Chapter One: Scientifically Accurate and Surprisingly Simple. But it is a beautiful picture. Genesis one, the entire chapter, fits the redemptive message throughout the Bible pictorially.
Chapter six of my new book is titled, Why A Silent God Allows Evil and Suffering.
ANSWERING MAN’S MOST PERPLEXING PROBLEM
This also is derived from Genesis one where God determined to “make man in the image of God.” We all know well enough that we men in cooperation with Satan have ruined a perfect creation with the result of chaos, evil and misery for the world. The subject of evil and its logical implications, to my knowledge, has never been satisfactorily resolved. There have been many attempts but no coherent total message resolving huge problem
I will epitomize it here: Because God created a perfect world which we men have ruined, and because we all deserve death and damnation, and because there is a Judgment Day coming, in which every wrong of history will be made perfectly right, even down to the counted hair, therefore it is perfectly righteous for God to use this tiny slot in the history of the universe of just 7000 years, including the coming millennium for His purposes. He can use this tiny historical fragment of eternal time for restoration of man into the image of God which was ruined. Because sin and evil rules and reigns creating all sorts of moral tests for everybody, this ugly world can become a testing station, a crucible, a refining furnace albeit sometimes an excruciating one, to enable believers to increase in holy character. Every moral test that faces men is a priceless opportunity for growth in imparted righteousness toward the restored image of God. Yes, the dirtiest, most awful, most egregious consequences of the fall, combined with grace and help from God is being used by the Holy Spirit to restore us!
At the same time the grace and mercy of God is manifest in ways it never could have been shown if the world had remained perfect. Job endured awful trouble but he affirmed, “Even though God should slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Job used his awful trials, triumphing over the assaults of Satan by trusting in God. But God was SILENT for 37 chapters during Job’s awful ordeal. The sufferings of Job have exalted him into a beautiful example of redeemed manhood and he has blessed millions of suffering people since his ordeal. Job is now comforted in glory today. You may be sure he is thanking God today for the privilege of having suffered, being specifically chosen by God for this awful ordeal. Well, again, there is much more, but this is chapter six in the new book. I must say that seeing God, using evil to perfect His people and to demonstrate His glory, has been just awesome for me to grasp. A tiny glimpse into the purpose of God, using evil to ultimately bless the world is breathtaking. I see the glory of God in ways impossible without a fallen world with its horrible atrocities. Genesis one, and the chapters following, simply glows with God’s glory.
Now I hope many of you will communicate with me by email or other media. Reader’s reactions, whether positive or negative, are welcome for friendly exchanges.
Gorman Gray 1420 N. Q Circle, Washougal, WA 98671-8356
That we have the correct interpretation
Comes when everything fits—
No unanswered questions,
No gaps in understanding.
With Bible illuminated,
There will be no conflicts
Between demonstrable science
And the plainly translated word of God.
To My Mother