Greg Laden: Teachers Under Fire

| 93 Comments

Greg Laden discusses in Teachers Under Fire how teachers all over the US face the threat of creationism.

It is very common, across the U.S., for science teachers to dread the “evolution” unit that they teach during life science class. As they approach the day, and start to prepare the students for what is coming, they begin to hear the sarcastic remarks from the creationist students. When the day to engage the evolution unit arrives, students may show up in the classroom with handouts from anti-science sites like Answers in Genesis, to give to their friends. They may carry a bible to the lab station and read it instead of doing the work. If there is a parent conference night around that time, the teacher may be verbally abused by some of the parents for not including “alternative theories” in the classroom.

But there is also hope

In fact, all over the US scientists and universities are offering resources to assist the teacher in providing a solid and sound evolutionary curriculum. I hope to showcase many such resources here on PandasThumb.

Thank God for some common sense here. But don’t expect to hear about this from ‘Expelled’.

Some of the many examples School under fire for teaching evolution

A high-school science teacher vowed Friday to continue telling his Inuit students about Darwin’s theory of evolution, despite complaints from parents in the northern Quebec community of Salluit.

Teachers ‘fear evolution lessons’

The teaching of evolution is becoming increasingly difficult in UK schools because of the rise of creationism, a leading scientist is warning.

and

New York Times: Teachers pressured to avoid evolution

93 Comments

I think the creationist tactics trying to prevent the teaching of evolutionary biology in schools are despicable. It demonstrates that creationist parents and church groups are so unsure of their faith, and of their children’s faith, that they cannot permit their children to hear anything that contradicts existing dogma.

Handing out creationist pamphlets is proselytising. It should be banned from publicly-funded schools utterly.

Additionally, I think that any students who deliberately fail the evolutionary biology section of the curriculum (or refuse to attend it, or refuse to carry out the relevant work) should be flunked for the whole of biology. Only by taking such a drastic measure can the importance of evolution in biological science be asserted.

Nigel,

I agree completely. If meaningful standards are in place and rigorously enforced, then students can cry and whine all they want. But unless they demonstrate knowledge of the subject they profess not to believe in, they should not receive a passing grade.

Now some would call that “religious persecution” or “discrimination” or any other loaded term they can think of. But of course religious objections don’t get you out of math requirements, so why should they excuse you from biology requirements? If your religion tells you that you must believe that the earth is flat, you can’t reasonably be expected to pass a geography course unless you can put your religious beliefs aside long enough to learn the facts.

Teachers need to stress that knowledge of evolution is required, not belief in evolution. After all, how can you not believe in something unless you understand what it actually claims? You would think that these ignoramases would be crying to receive instruction in evolution, if for no other reason then to more completely understand exactly what they are rejecting. Unless of course as you suggest, their faith is simply too weak to allow any conflicting information to penetrate.

How about .…

“You can choose to believe (or not believe) whatever you want, but this is what you will be tested on”

If I were to take a theology class - I imagine I would learn about a lot of different creation myths, and I expect would be tested on them.

Gee, what is the switch scam that the ID creationist perps are running in, instead of any “alternatives?”

If there were any alternative worth teaching, why would the ID perps have to run the bait and switch. Why not teach the “science” of the ID alternative that they claimed to have to teach?

When the the creationist perps that ran the teach ID scam for years are running in a switch scam that doesn’t even mention that ID ever existed, what should any creationist rube that believed them think about any alternative that they might want to teach?

Stacy,

How about ….

“You can choose to believe (or not believe) whatever you want, but this is what you will be tested on”

The problem with your suggestion is that it implies that evolution (and science itself) is a belief system. It also suggests that they have to learn this, not because it is important, but because the teacher says so. Science is an evidence-based way of investigating the universe, a tool, not a belief system. It’s important to note that scientists are not researching and teaching evolution (and an old age of the earth and universe, and a spherical planet, and a heliocentric solar system.….) not because of an agenda, but because that’s where the evidence points. I emphasize this to my students (CC level) and rarely get complaints any more.

That shoud read,

“It’s important to note that scientists are researching and teaching evolution (.…) not because of an agenda, but because that’s where the evidence points.”

or

“It’s important to note that scientists are not researching and teaching evolution (.…) because of an agenda, but because that’s where the evidence points.”

but not:

“It’s important to note that scientists are not researching and teaching evolution (.…) not because of an agenda, but because that’s where the evidence points.”

Sorry about the double negative. I guess Florida’s rubbing off on me too.

GvlGeologist, FCD:

Stacy,

The problem with your suggestion is that it implies that evolution (and science itself) is a belief system. It also suggests that they have to learn this, not because it is important, but because the teacher says so. Science is an evidence-based way of investigating the universe, a tool, not a belief system. It’s important to note that scientists are not researching and teaching evolution (and an old age of the earth and universe, and a spherical planet, and a heliocentric solar system.….) not because of an agenda, but because that’s where the evidence points. I emphasize this to my students (CC level) and rarely get complaints any more.

Maybe … but I think it implies that their religion is the belief system.

You have a good point about science being a tool. I think it would be a good idea for teachers to have a “statement” ready for when these issues arise.

There are a lot of smart people here - Maybe we can work on that statement :-)

“Maybe … but I think it implies that their religion is the belief system.”

Their religion is the belief system. I can’t imagine they would have problems with that.

OK - So let’s tweak it.

“You can believe in whatever religion you want. This is science class and you will be tested on science.”

What do you think?

A few years ago I attended a Q&A for the virtual public charter school we were enrolling our children in. The question was put to the school’s science director if they were going to cover Intelligent Design (I think it was before Kitzmiller v. Dover). The director’s response was “no, we’ll be staying with mainstream science.” I loved it - the most concise putdown of that whole mindset cloaked in a polite answer.

As they approach the day, and start to prepare the students for what is coming, they begin to hear the sarcastic remarks from the creationist students.

“As they approach the day…”; that is probably the key to the problem.

The historical battle over the teaching of evolution has very likely had much to do with the overall structure of the biology class in most places throughout the country. There is still a lot of emphasis on classification, vocabulary, and descriptive biology, but less on the broad ideas of interrelationships and evolution.

There have been a number of proposals and course designs that would integrate evolution throughout the entire course by making it the central theme or thread that runs throughout. Since evolution is such an important part of understanding biology, these suggestions would completely restructure the course and place primary emphasis on relationships and how these came to be. Vocabulary and classification are integrated into this picture as the tree of life is built during the course.

Some courses do attempt to move in that direction, but even in the best programs I have seen, these are not complete restructurings of what has been taught for so many years. Evolution is still a separate unit taught late in the year, and the pressure of time still gives this a superficial gloss

If the complete course were built around the concept of evolution, teachers wouldn’t have to dread the unit. They would start from day one with evolutionary ideas that would run throughout the entire course.

It would require a major overhaul of the biology curriculum in most places, but it would be a much more interesting course right from the beginning.

David Stanton;

You must be familiar with some of these proposals. Could you point us to some of these or give us a brief description of what such a course would look like?

R Ward:

“Maybe … but I think it implies that their religion is the belief system.”

Their religion is the belief system. I can’t imagine they would have problems with that.

Oh but they do. They recognize the inherent inferiority of a belief system to the rigorous nature of the empirically based investigation of reality known as science. That is why it is so important that science be tainted by the it’s-only-a-belief ideology too. Getting across the fact that science is not is a very important goal of any science class, not just bio.

Sincerely, Paul Flocken

ERV has done a post that should concern everyone who cares the least about education at all. There is a bill going through the Oklahoma state legislature that allows students to put religious answers on tests instead of actual correct factual answers. Word needs to get out about this hugely bad bill. If you want to see what effects its having the identical bill passed in Texas a few months ago and is creating total havoc in the school systems.

http://endogenousretrovirus.blogspo[…]adicals.html

Word needs to get out about this hugely bad bill. If you want to see what effects its having the identical bill passed in Texas a few months ago and is creating total havoc in the school systems.

It’s OK. Texas has been designated a National Sacrifice Area. Any sort of lunacy goes and we will set up refugee camps over the border in the USA when the Dark Ages get to be too much.

This is the creo/DI academic freedom bill introduced also in Washington and Florida. AFAIK, it is the enabling bill for the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Scientology, and the Moonies as well as the Xian creos. If one can just put down any religiously sanctioned answers to any questions one chooses, the variety of short, nonsensical answers is nearly infinite.

BTW, Texas pays a high price for their privilege. Much higher rates of poverty, child poverty, and teen pregnancy than the national average. Despite being afloat in $104/barrel oil money. Not seeing the attraction of wallowing in ignorance and poverty, BWTHDIK.

Stacy S.:

OK - So let’s tweak it.

“You can believe in whatever religion you want. This is science class and you will be tested on science.”

What do you think?

This was the approach suggested to me when I started teaching Biology several years ago. I found that it actually created more of a problem than it solved. The creationist students used this as an excuse to dismiss reality. I would get tests back that showed understanding of the material but with a note on the bottom saying “but I don’t believe it anyway”.

With upwards of 60% of my students coming in with a YEC background, I find that pandering to the irrational world view of their parents and pastors to be counter-productive.

I have since changed to a more straight forward approach. I lay out the history of classification, geology, and biology and then state that the overwhelming conclusion of the evidence accumulated by 1750 was that evolution happened. I make it clear that the vast majority of early work was an attempt to explain the evidence in terms of a creator and that individuals like Cuvier went through all sorts of contortions to explain the data in this way.

By the time I have gone over the fossil record, radiometric dating techniques, comparative anatomy, comparative genomics, and the rest, there is no question in the students minds that their belief stands directly opposed to the evidence. Believe it or not, some of them even realize that they had been deceived by those aforementioned parents and pastors.

With reference to ERV’s description of the OK education bill, if a student is asked how old is the earth and answered 6,000 instead of 4.65 B, the student’s answered has to accepted. If the question asked is “What do most scientists calculate to be the age of the earth?”, would a creobot be able to squirm out of that question?

One way colleges and universities can help in this matter is for the private universities and all public universities that can do so, is to insist that as part of admission standards that a high school class in biology will be acceptable only if evolution is properly taught. If the course does not meet the proper standards, the student would have to take a non-credit “bonehead” biology course that would naturally have a heavy emphasis on evolution.

Stacy S.:

How about .…

“You can choose to believe (or not believe) whatever you want, but this is what you will be tested on”

If I were to take a theology class - I imagine I would learn about a lot of different creation myths, and I expect would be tested on them.

The Christian’s claim of special status amounts to this: you may not present to my children anything that may contradict what I teach them at home.

Lets take that to it’s obvious conclusion then - to show how ridiculous it really is.

I think that belief systems need to be treated with equal respect, by ignoring them altogether while teaching science.

Otherwise, I agree with the above.

Science Nut: Thats the point. Why should a teacher go the extra lengths to “frame” the questions in a way that the creobots would have to squirm around on. Teachers have a hard enough job as it just getting kids listen and have them engaged. Now we are going to ask them to frame EVERY question they have on a test in a way that is not open to interpretation from a religious bent?

Btw, I love the handle. I often identify myself as a “science nut.” Most people who know me respond with “We already knew you were a nut.”

Rinse cycle finished. Thread should be clean again

There is a bill going through the Oklahoma state legislature that allows students to put religious answers on tests instead of actual correct factual answers.

Will a student be allowed to proclaim his religion beliefs after he gets his test back? Or will students be required to register their beliefs before every test? (Even in latter case, you could claim that your beliefs changed as you were taking the test.)

PvM:

Rinse cycle finished. Thread should be clean again

LOL thanks PvM. I was defiantly feeling the slime oozing out after Larry’s message.

It is not fore creationists and all their advocates to harass, scare, threaten, and intimidate the teachers into not teaching evolution at all. Nobody, not even creationists, has the right to dictate what teachers should and shouldn’t teach to their classes in school.

I’m so glad I don’t go to school let alone lecture on dinosaurs to the kids anymore. When I was in school, I would go around and lecture on dinosaurs to the classes in nearly every school in my area and did it with huge confidence. That was before I was forced into this destructive, forceful, satanic creationism. Since then, my confidence just went pffft. Since then, I only went to 2 schools to lecture on dinosaurs with having bad feelings and fears of not just unruly, rowdy, disruptive kids in class, but having a child or more in the group pipe up and say, “No, it’s not true!”; “That’s a lie!”; “Where you there?”; etc. Thankfully I never had those experience and the children were mostly well behaved.

However, with all those issues going around with school-shootings, violence, and this kind of crap, I’m sufficed to say that I’m completely through with lecturing on dinosaurs to classes in schools and my days of school are over with for good.

Greg Laden Wrote:

It is very common, across the U.S., for science teachers to dread the “evolution” unit that they teach during life science class. As they approach the day, and start to prepare the students for what is coming, they begin to hear the sarcastic remarks from the creationist students. When the day to engage the evolution unit arrives, students may show up in the classroom with handouts from anti-science sites like Answers in Genesis, to give to their friends. They may carry a bible to the lab station and read it instead of doing the work. If there is a parent conference night around that time, the teacher may be verbally abused by some of the parents for not including “alternative theories” in the classroom.

PvM Wrote:

Thank God for some common sense here. But don’t expect to hear about this from ‘Expelled’.

Thank God that I have the common sense to turn off my irony meter. Let’s recap: The DI wants to “distance itself” from AIG and the Bible, while more than ever playing the advocate for those who claim to be “expelled” than in pretending to have a theory worth teaching. So here we have students and their parents, many armed with AIG material - and many probably calling it ID instead of creationism to boot - “expelling” teachers from doing their job. And the DI is nowhere to be found.

There is no better example of how low the DI can go than that double standard.

I’m glad someone has finally mentioned Answers in Genesis. It just shows the effect this multi-million dollar organisation and their creation museum is having on the US public. Why so many well educated people have fallen for Ham’s nonsense is still beyond me. How AiG have actually managed to attract well educated people (such as Dr. Georgia Purdom or Dr. Jason Lisle) to their ranks is a real puzzle.

I really do despair sometimes. Ham really does seem to have gotten away with it. The fact that no-one within the church has had the courage to stand up against him should worry all Christians.

I’m glad someone has finally mentioned Answers in Genesis. It just shows the effect this multi-million dollar organisation and their creation museum is having on the US public. Why so many well educated people have fallen for Ham’s nonsense is still beyond me. How AiG have actually managed to attract well educated people (such as Dr. Georgia Purdom or Dr. Jason Lisle) to their ranks is a real puzzle.

I really do despair sometimes. Ham really does seem to have gotten away with it. The fact that no-one within the church has had the courage to stand up against him should worry all Christians.

I’m glad someone has finally mentioned Answers in Genesis. It just shows the effect this multi-million dollar organisation and their creation museum is having on the US public.

AIG is more a symptom than a cause. The USA has always had a large creo population and pseudoscience organizations pandering to them. AIG just happens to be the latest with a website and lots of money from somewhere. No one forces anyone to believe their outright and outrageous lies.

The fact that no-one within the church has had the courage to stand up against him should worry all Christians.

They have. The clergy letter project has over 10,000 ministers who don’t have a problem with evolution. Most mainline denominations have made their position clear including the Mormons. Even the present pope called creationism “silly”. After 2,000 years of doctrinal conflicts, Xians know how to disagree.

It is a bit of a mystery why the others aren’t more vocal. But what do people expect, Round XX of the Reformation wars, complete with gun battles? Mostly they just register their disagreement and ignore the wingnuts as not being their problem.

It could be worse. There is a backlash against the fundies here. Both Dobson’s Focus on the Family and Coral Ridge are reported to be losing members and money.

Science Nut -

The way the bill is written in Texas, a student could answer the Earth is only 6,000 years old, based on religious reasons, and the answer could not be counted incorrect. This was the “religious freedom” bill.

Raven - My best guess is about 60 % of science teachers in Texas do not address evolution and a fair percentage present creationism in science class. Many, especially those in rural districts are pressured to present creationism.

BTW you had asked one time about state science supervisors fired because of evolution, the count is three that I know of.

Peter Henderson Wrote:

How AiG have actually managed to attract well educated people (such as Dr. Georgia Purdom or Dr. Jason Lisle) to their ranks is a real puzzle.

Every YEC who claims to be a scientist and has some kind of advanced degree invariably has some serious misconceptions built into his/her education. If one probes far enough, one finds that such misconceptions have most probably developed over a period of time as these individuals subtly adjusted scientific concepts to fit sectarian dogma.

Unfortunately, many people can get through an advanced degree with these misconceptions in place because they never do anything at a deep enough level to bring these misconceptions into conflict with reality. Many of these degree recipients manage to do only routine kinds of work that don’t draw significantly on the fundamental ideas of the science or never use fundamental concepts at all.

Many engineers and some physicists, for example, can do some routine kinds of work with thermodynamics but never really learn what the concepts are all about. If one only deals with simple problems such as those found in undergraduate courses, one can get away with wrote learning without thinking. The same is true in biology.

It is only when someone has to use fundamental scientific concepts to their full depth while trying to design and carry out experiments or does some kind of analysis in order to sort out data and theory that one begins to confront the real meanings of these ideas.

Unfortunately, there are many routine tasks that have to be done in research. If someone becomes part of productive research group and takes on such tasks, their busy advisors may not have a chance to pick up on any misconceptions these students they may have. So these people escape with a degree that gives them the patina of competence, but they are really accidents waiting to happen.

I even knew a new assistant professor of physics who had some fundamental misconceptions about superconducting circuits. He nearly blew up a liquid helium cooled cryostat by quenching a superconducting solenoid magnet by opening the circuit to stop the current flow rather than shorting the solenoid to keep the current flowing, a serious brain fart. Fortunately an alert graduate student knew better than to listen to him and stepped in to prevent a potentially serious explosion even though he got yelled at by the assistant prof.

And it is always one of the characteristics of an overloaded system that crap can get through without proper vetting.

JJ:

BTW you had asked one time about state science supervisors fired because of evolution, the count is three that I know of.

Oh no. Not surprised. I’m keeping a running tally and posting it often. We are up to 9 victims including Chris Comer, Texas, Eric Pianka and Gwen Pearson (both U. of Texas) Death Threats, assault.

I need details to add them to the list, which is heavily documented. Names, positions, and so on if available. Sounds like the creo reign of terror in Texas is in full swing.

Don’t worry, there will be refugee camps across the border in the USA when they are needed.

AUTHENTIC RECORD OF GEOLOGY. SCIENTISTS CAN’T CALCULATE THE AGE OF THE EARTH.Regarding the scientific explanation of the earth’s creation, there are ways to know it by natural speculation or by a historical record. A cording to natural speculation, one meditates observe and conjectures about the creation. In a historical record, we go by what it says. Consider this: The earth does not have six thousand years it has billion of years. It was created, then judge, became void, the big bang happened, finally restored. We believe that the entire Bible is the Word of God, and every word of it is inspired. A very grievous thought in the mind of godly ones is that men have despised and opposed His Word. God’s children are grieved because men do not respect God’s statutes. Among the sixty-six books of the Bible, Genesis has been subjected to the most doubt. Those who oppose the Bible often try to overturn God’s clear revelation with geological ages and prehistoric discoveries. The evidences in geology prove to them that the earth has been in existence for tens of thousands of years, and that the record of six thousand years of history in the Bible is untrustworthy. In the name of science, the world hurls its attacks on the book of Genesis. Many dear brothers in the Lord are not that scholarly (the author being one of them) and become lost in this storm. Although geology does not form part of our meditation, for the benefit of all, we will study the Word of God by the Lord’s grace at the commencement of our meditation and will consider how perfect is His Word, so that we can silently behold His beauty in His presence. Genesis is God’s revelation, while geology is man’s invention. God knows the whole truth. As such, His revelation can never be wrong. Man only sees in part. As such, his conjectures are not accurate. When we place Genesis side by side with geology, we should follow Genesis and not geology, because it is God who stands behind Genesis. If there are any basic differences between Genesis and geology, the error must be on the side of geology. The authority of the Bible is undisputed. Everything that is contrary to the Bible is wrong. Thank God our Father that He has given us such a complete revelation. If there are any incompatibilities between God and man, we would rather give up man and accept God. Men often laugh at the ridiculous stories of creation circulated among the Chinese, the Babylonians, and other countries. No scientist has to spend much effort to refute these myths. The reason is that there is not much weight to these traditions. This is why they have not attracted much attention. But men’s attitudes towards the Bible are very different. The very fact that they have tried their best to resist the Bible proves the power of the Bible. They cannot treat the Bible the same as the traditions of the nations because they have recognized the extraordinary nature of the Bible. All those who have read Genesis 1 cannot fail to marvel at the beauty of its record. How ordinary it is, yet how marvelous! It is a plain record and contains no theory or arguments to prove its authenticity. The writer of the book was not bound by the book, but was transcendent above its record. The true author of the book is the One who is far above the universe it describes—God. Had the recorder of the book, Moses, written this book according to his own learning and ideas, his thoroughly Egyptian-trained intellect would surely have been influenced by the Egyptian theory of creation. Yet who can detect a trace of Egyptian philosophy in Genesis 1? Why is this? It is because God was the One who inspired Moses to do the writing. Otherwise, how could Moses know that the land came out of the water? This is, of course, a fact established by geology and is a modern discovery. Had Moses not been inspired, it would be difficult to explain this fact. As to the development of life on earth, although the Bible does not support the theory of evolution, it does not altogether reject the fact that there was a progression. First, there were aquatic organisms, and then there was man. Would not a scientist marvel at the record of Moses? The omniscient God must surely have given inspiration according to facts; those who were inspired by such an omniscient God cannot be in error. Yet the Bible is not a textbook of science. Its goal is to guide sinners “unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). Nevertheless, the Bible does not contain any scientific errors. If there are any contradictions with science, it is either a misinterpretation of the Scripture or a misjudgment of science. Many of the definitive statements by geologists in the past have been overturned! Many of their assertions have been proven wrong. Cummings said, “Geology has made mistakes in the past. It is possible that it will be wrong again. The hasty and loud assertions by those who are not too familiar with its theories may be proved inaccurate again.”Since the Bible is not a science textbook, it only mentions the “what’s” of creation without mentioning the “whys.” Science is interested in the “whys.” Of course, in many cases it is successful in doing this. But one must not overturn the “what’s” with theoretical “whys” just because man’s finite mental research has come into conflict with God’s record. What God said are the facts because He knows everything. If the world wants to study what God has said and why He has said it, it must not hold on to its own ideas while rejecting God’s authority. It is a good thing to have wisdom, but there is one kind of foolishness which is more blessed. Among Christians, there is a popular theory that Genesis 1:1 is a kind of general introduction, and that the work of the six days is actually an expansion of the record of verse 1. In other words, they consider the words “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” as merely a subject of Genesis 1. They say that in the first sentence the writer wrote down a summary of what he was about to say, after which he went at length into an explanation of this sentence. After telling us that God created the heaven and the earth, Genesis goes on to tell us the condition of the earth after creation, and how He created light, air, the land, the plants, and the animals day by day. This popular theory considers Genesis 1 as a record of the creation of the universe, and that the universe was created out of desolation. If we study the first chapter of the Bible carefully, we will see the error in this supposition! This erroneous supposition, not the Bible itself, has put the church into a great debate with the world. This supposition gives men the excuse to say that Genesis is incompatible with geology and casts doubts in the minds of many young people concerning the accuracy of the Bible. In Hebrew, the original language, there are altogether seven words in Genesis 1:1. Each of these seven words has independent meanings. God’s inspired record does not say that at the beginning of time, God molded the heavens and the earth into being, or that He made them out of some elements. It says that the heavens and the earth were created. How clear is the word created! To create is to make something out of nothing; it is to create something out of void. It is not to make something out of some existing elements. The word create is Bara in the original language. “In the beginning , God Bara the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The word Bara is used three other times in Genesis 1 and 2: (1) “And God created (Bara) great whales, and every living creature that moved, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (v. 21). (2) “So God created (Bara) man in his own image” (v. 27a). (3) “In it he had rested from all his work which God created (Bara) and made” (2:3b). To create is to make something out of nothing. The great whales and every living creature do not have an outward body only, but a life-element within them. The only way that this can be done is through God’s direct work of creation. This is why it says that God created the great whales and every living creature (1:21). There is a very good reason for the Bible to say “created” instead of “made.” In the same way, although man’s body was made from the dust, 2:7 tells us that man has a spirit and a soul which cannot be made from any physical material. This is why the Bible says that God created man according to His own image. In Genesis 2 there are three words for the act of creation: (1) Bara, which means to make something out of nothing. We have covered this briefly. (2) Asah, which means to make. This word is very different from the first. Bara is to make something out of nothing, while asah means that there is some raw material first, and then something is made out of the raw material. A carpenter can make a chair, but he cannot create a chair. In describing most of the work during the six days, this word is used. (3) Yatsar, which means to complete, has the sense of a potter molding a piece of clay into shape. This is the word used for formed in 2:7. Isaiah 43:7 shows the relationship between these three words: “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I have created, formed, and even made for my glory.” To create is to make something out of nothing, to form is to mold into shape, and to make is to work from some material. Genesis 1:1 uses the word Bara. The phrase in the beginning is a further proof that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. There is no need of any hypothesis. Since God has said this, man should believe. If man wants to fathom God’s work in the beginning with his finite mind, he will only expose his own presumptuousness! “By faith we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3). Furthermore, who can answer God’s challenge to Job concerning the creation? God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning. The heaven does not refer to the heaven that surrounds our earth but rather to the heaven of the stars. This “heaven” has not changed since the creation of the universe. Although the heaven has never changed, the condition on earth has changed! If we want to understand Genesis 1, it is very important to differentiate between the earth in verse 1 and the earth in verse 2. The condition of the earth in verse 2 was not the condition at the beginning of God’s creation. In the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth, His creation was perfect. God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). Therefore, the condition of void and confusion in verse 2 was not the original condition at the time of God’s creation. How could God possibly have created an earth that was void and without form? We can answer this question by reading one verse alone. “For thus says Jehovah, Who created the heavens. He is the God . Who formed the earth and made it; He established it; He did not create it waste, But He formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah and there is no one else” (Isa. 45:18). How clear this is! The word waste in this verse is the same as the word without form in Genesis 1:2, which thou are in Hebrew. Unfortunately, translators of the Bible have not used the same word in both places. “He did not create it [the earth] without form.” Why then does Genesis 1:2 say that “the earth was without form”? It is easy to find the solution. In Genesis 1:1, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth that God created then was not void and without form. Later there was a cataclysm, and the earth became without form and void. Verse 3 does not refer to the original creation, but to a restored earth. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and then during the six days, He re-created the world. The world in Genesis 1:1 was the original world, while the world in 1:3 is our present world. Genesis 1:2 describes the transitional condition of desolation after the initial world and prior to our present world. We do not base our explanation on Isaiah 45:18 alone (even though Isaiah 45:18 alone is sufficient as a proof). We have other evidences. According to Bible scholars, in Hebrew the first word in verse 2 is a conjunction, which should be translated as and. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void.”The “and,” according to Hebrew usage—as well as that of most other languages—proves that the first verse is not a compendium of what follows, but a statement of the first event in the record.For if it were a mere summary, the second verse would be the actual commencement of the history, and certainly would not begin with a copulative. A good illustration of this may be found in the fifth chapter of Genesis (Gen. 5:1). There the opening words, “This is the book of the generations of Adam,” are a compendium of the chapter, and, consequently, the next sentence begins without a copulative. — G.H. Pember, Earth’s Earliest Ages, 1942, reprinted 1975, p. 31.“Therefore, what follows in Genesis 1:2 is not a detailed explanation of the record in 1:1, but an independent, distinct, and later event”. The creation of the heavens and the earth is one thing, and the earth becoming without form and void is another. Later we will explain why the earth became void and without form. About a hundred years ago, Dr. Chalmers pointed out that the word was in “the earth was without form” should be translated became. Dr. I.M. Haldeman, G.H. Pember, and others also pointed out that this word is the same as the word became used in Genesis 19:26. “And she became a pillar of salt.” If the same word is translated became in 19:26, why should it not be translated the same way here? Even the word became in 2:7 is the same word as in 1:2. Therefore, it is not hypothetical to translate 1:2 the following way: “And the earth became without form.” When God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was not without form and void. Later it became such. Let us read a few more verses:”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,and all that in them is” (Exo. 20:11). Comparing these two verses, we can see that the world in Genesis 1:1 was very different from the world in 1:3. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, but in the six days, God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them. There is a vast difference between create and make. One is to have something from nothing, while the other is to improve the things that are in existence. The world can make, but it cannot create, while God can both create and make. This is why Genesis says that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Later because of the cataclysm, the earth became desolate, and “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exo. 20:11).Second Peter 3:5 through 7 says the same thing. The heavens and the earth in verse 5 are the heaven and the earth in Genesis 1:1. Verse 6 speaks of the world flooded with water, which is the earth that was without form and void and that was under the water in Genesis 1:2. “The heavens and earth now” in verse 7 is the restored world after Genesis 1:3. There is a clear difference between God’s work in the six days and His work of creation at the beginning. The more we read Genesis 1, the more we will see that our explanation above is the proper one. In the first day light was called into being. Before the first day there was already land, but it was “without form and void” and was buried in the deep under the water. On the third day God did not create the land; He merely caused it to appear. F.W. Grant said that the work of the six days merely put a new order to the earth; it did not create something out of nothing. The earth was there already. The Bible never says that the earth was created during the six days. Grant also said, “At which point did the first day begin? Some may think that it began from desolation. Yet this is not true. The ‘evening’ on the first day indicates light had been there since the beginning. ‘The darkness he called Night,’ yet the ‘evening’ is a darkness that is already under the control of light.”In the first day God did not create the light; He merely caused the light to appear on the darkened earth. In the same way in the second day, He did not create the heaven. The heaven there was not the heavens, but the atmospheric “heaven” which surrounds the earth. This was not created then. Where then did the atmosphere come from? Our answer is that it was created in verse 1. Therefore, there was no need now to create; there was only the need to restore.”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” There is no detailed discussion here. We do not know if the primordial world was created in an instant or became what it was through an endless period of time. We do not know if it was completed in a few thousand years or millions of years. We do not know the shape and the size of it. All that we know is that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” We do not know how many years there were between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 1. We do not know how long ago God created the heaven and the earth, and we do not know how many years after the creation of the primordial world did the desolation of verse 2 occur. But we believe that there was a long period of time between the perfect creation at the beginning and the later change into something that was without form and void.”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” How much later was it that “the earth became without form and void”? We cannot tell. But we know one thing: there was a long gap between the two expressions. This long gap between the first two verses of Genesis covers the whole prehistoric period. But from verse 3 until now there are less than six thousand years. Since we have proved that there is a big gap between the first two verses of the Bible, all the years which geology demands to exist and all the geological periods associated with these years can fall within this period. We do not know how much time passed on the earth and how many changes occurred on the earth’s surfaces and in the atmosphere before there was the condition of void and formlessness; the Bible does not say anything about it. But we can say for sure that the Bible never says that our earth is only six thousand years old. The Bible only testifies that there are six thousand years of human history. If the Bible has not said something, science can conjecture all it wants. But science cannot form conjectures on what the Bible has already said. After we understand the first two verses of the Bible, we can be assured that there is no contradiction between the Bible and geology. All the attacks by geology on the Bible are beating the air. How wonderful is the Word God has written! We are not saying this to please science. God’s revelation never wavers before man. We do not give up the Bible’s authority in order to accommodate man’s inventions. If there are any contradictions between the Bible and science, (and we would expect there to be some, because fleshly man is always at enmity with God), we have no intention to reconcile and annul these differences. The above assertion was not proposed after some geological discoveries, in an effort to reconcile the Bible with science. There were men in the ancient church who spoke about this. At that time, geology was not yet in existence! When men like St. Augustus interpreted Genesis, the world did not yet have the term geology! A Christian does not trust in human wisdom, but in God’s Word. We need nothing other than the sure rock of the Bible. As long as we have the “it is written” (Matt. 4:6) in the Scripture, everything is solved. Unfortunately, many apologetics have forgotten their ground; they change the words of the Scripture to accommodate man’s teaching. An example is given by A.W. Pink, who noted that after the translation of a certain Assyrian tablet, the apologetics enthusiastically reported that much of the Old Testament history was verified! This turns things upside down! Does the Word of God need verification? If the record on the Assyrian tablet coincides with that of the Bible, it only shows that the Assyrian tablets have no historical error. If they do not agree, it merely proves that the tablets are in error. Worldly men and vain scientists will of course scorn at our logic. But this only goes to demonstrate God’s Word which says, “But a soul’s man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually” (1 Cor. 2:14). We must never lower ourselves to appease men. It seems like a good idea to change the Bible to suit man’s taste, but doing so changes the true nature of the Bible. How wonderful is Genesis 1! It devotes only one verse to the description of the first creation! It uses only one verse to describe the desolation of the world! This is far less than the thirty or so verses that describe the restoration of the world! Who can come up with a composition that matches the record of Genesis 1? The subject is difficult, yet the explanation is clear; the facts span a long time, yet the description is simple. It does not talk about science, yet it is scientifically accurate. Who except God can compose such writing? The reason God did not say more than this is that He only intended to show man His own relationship with man. J.N. Darby said: This revelation from God is not a history by Him of all that He has done, but what has been given to man for his profit, the truth as to what he has to say to. Its object is to communicate to man all that regards his own relationship with God…But historically the revelation is partial. It communicates what is for the conscience and spiritual affections of man…Thus no mention is made of any heavenly beings…Thus also, regards this earth, except the fact of its creation, nothing is said of it beyond what relates to the present form of it. — The Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, reprinted 1970, p. 9. Indeed, God’s revelation is not given to satisfy human curiosity, but to manifest His Godhead, the world’s sinfulness, the way of salvation, and the coming glory and judgments. The present worldly knowledge is indeed dangerous. Unless God bestows grace on man, man would boast in himself and use the knowledge he acquires as a basis to oppose God. How difficult it is for an intellectual person to humble himself! Man can search for knowledge as much as he wants. But God will not supplement this with His revelation. This is why He does not say much in Genesis 1. Our present need is not more science, but deeper spiritual fellowship. Only this will reap real fruit in eternity. We have to praise God the Father because He is full of love! He not only created us, but re-created us, and made us a new creation in the Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus! How sweet is this name! God has given us His Son. What a marvelous grace this is! THE ORIGINAL WORLD AND AFTERWORDS DESOLATIONIn the beginning God created the heavens and the earth perfect. Later, after an unknown period of time, the earth which was originally good became waste and empty, without any life whatsoever. God then rose up to recreate the world; He restored the desolate world in six days. Now we will consider why the world became desolate. How could God allow the work of His hands to be destroyed? Why did such a catastrophe come upon the once beautiful earth? There is probably no other reason besides sin. The question we are considering has no perfectly clear explanation in the Bible. Nevertheless, we can find many shimmering lights in the Word of God which will enlighten us concerning this question and which will enable us to have a little more understanding concerning the former world and the cause of its desolation. Only the Word of God can guide us and our thoughts. The understanding of His Word, regardless of the question being discussed, always brings us edification. The greatest vanity is the reasoning’s in man’s mind which do not rest on the foundation of God’s Word. Although in reading Genesis 3 we cannot find Satan’s name, we all know that the serpent was Satan’s vessel and perhaps was even the embodiment of the devil. Revelation 12:9 say, “And the great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent, he who is called the Devil and Satan, he who deceives the whole inhabited earth.” Genesis 1 gives no record of the creation of Satan. Where did he come from? This is a problem. Furthermore, we can see many evil spirits in both the Old and New Testaments; we meet them even more frequently in the Gospels. Where did they come from? We also do not see the creation of angels in the six days of work in Genesis 1. Where, then, did the angels who are frequently mentioned in the Bible come from? These questions are all related to our subject. Since the creation of the angels and the other supernatural beings is not recorded in Genesis 1, which covers the work of God during six days, we know that they were not created during that time. Since they were not created within these six days, when were they created? The only explanation is that they were creatures of the former world—the original, perfect world. As the fossil remains clearly show, not only were disease and death—inseparable companions of sin—then prevalent among the living creatures of the earth, but even ferocity and slaughter. And the fact proves that these remains have nothing to do with our world; since the Bible declares that all things made by God during the Six Days were very good, and that no evil was in them till Adam sinned…Since, then, the fossil remains are those of creatures anterior to Adam, and yet show evident tokens of disease, death, and mutual destruction, they must have belonged to another world and have a sin-stained history of their own, a history which ended in the ruin of themselves and their habitation. — G. H. Pember, Earth’s Earliest Ages, 1942, reprinted 1975, pp. 34-35. By reading Jeremiah 4:23-26, we see the reason why the earth became waste and emptiness. Verse 26 says that it was due to “His [Jehovah’s] burning anger.” Why was the Lord so angry? It was probably because of the sin of the creatures at that time. Isaiah 24:1 says that “Jehovah now makes the earth desolate.” Why would the Lord destroy the earth of His original creation? Judging from the history of our own world, we can answer that it was probably because of the sin of the earth’s inhabitants which forced God to judge them. We have said before that when we read Genesis, we do not see the origin of Satan. As we look into the cause of earth’s desolation in the beginning, our mind will naturally think “an enemy has done this” (Matt. 13:28). Other than attributing the cause to Satan, it seems that we cannot find any other clues in the Bible. We will study a portion of the Bible which seems to tell us the origin of God’s enemy and thereby we may know the condition of the former world and the cause of its becoming desolate. Let us now read Ezekiel 28:1-19. These nineteen verses are divided into two sections: (1) verses 1-10 concern the prophet’s warning to the prince of Tyrus, and (2) verses 11-19 concern the prophet’s lamentations upon the king of Tyrus. The first section, a word to the prince of Tyrus, is easy to understand. He was exalted with pride, considered himself God, and thought that he was wiser than Daniel. Due to his progress in commerce, he became puffed up. Therefore God punished him, causing him to be slain and destroyed by the terrible of the nations. Soon after this prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldeans came and destroyed Tyre. Josephus believed that the prince of Tyrus was Ithobalus, who was called Ithobaal II in the history of the Phoenicians. Since we know that this prophecy has already been fulfilled, it is not difficult for us to interpret verses 1 through 10. But when we read on from verses 11 through 19, we find many places that we do not understand. Since this portion of the Word is very much related to the subject which we are studying now, we quote the text in full: Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou seals up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covered; and I have set thee so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more (Ezek. 28:11-19). This section is indeed hard to understand, for it contains many expressions which cannot be applied to any mortal man. If the “king of Tyrus” were only a mortal man, how could we explain the things in verses 11 through 15? How could the king of Tyrus have been in the Garden of Eden or upon the holy mountain of God? How could he have been the anointed cherub that covered the ark? None of the things mentioned here had been the experience of the king of Tyros’. We cannot explain this section simply by spiritualizing it. It is unfair if we spiritualize the interpretation of a section when we encounter difficulties in it. I believe that the first section (vv. 1-10) addressed to the prince of Tyros’ was a word spoken to King Ithobalus II, and the second section (vv. 11-19), the lamentation upon the king of Tyros’, denotes the coming Antichrist. Verse 2 of this chapter speaks of Tyro “in the midst of the seas.” By reading Daniel 11:41-45, we know that when the coming Antichrist will be in Palestine, perhaps he will dwell at Tyro. That is why he was called the king of Tyro here. Moreover, Antichrist is Satan incarnate; therefore, numerous expressions in this section refer to Satan himself. Mr. Darby said, “Verses 11-19, while continuing to speak of Tyro, go, I think, much farther, and disclose, though darkly, the fall and the ways of Satan, become through our sin the prince and god of this world.” Dr. A. C. Gaebelein also said that the king of Tyro is a type of the last great sinner (Antichrist), that behind this evil king, we see another power that is Satan; Satan was the power behind the king of Tyros’ then, and he still is the god of this age now, who rules the nations of this world. If we have studied the Scriptures carefully, we will realize that the justification for merging Satan and Antichrist in this passage into one being is not contrary to the general teachings of the Scriptures. We know that, although human beings have their own will, their walk is either directed by God’s operating (Phil. 2:13) or by the operating of the evil spirits (Eph. 2:2). Human beings are never totally free. Ordinarily, human beings are under the control of the evil spirits. Sometimes, in important matters, Satan himself, in addition to the working of evil spirits, will also participate in the work. Hence, we see him personally coming to tempt Christ in the wilderness. Later, in trying to hinder Christ from going to the cross, he personally used Peter. After that, in attempting to destroy Christ, he entered into Judas. Eventually, on the world stage he will be united to Antichrist. Scripture says that the works of Antichrist are “according to Satan’s operation” (2 Thess. 2:9); it is Satan who “gave him his power and his throne and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). Since Antichrist is the incarnated devil, the Holy Spirit speaks of him together with Satan in this passage. In these few verses, the superhuman aspects all refer to Satan himself, and the remainder to Antichrist. Since our purpose is not to study the question of Antichrist, but to know the creatures of the former world and the cause of its desolation, we shall put aside the verses in this portion concerning the Antichrist and concentrate on Satan, who is related to our subject. Now let us consider the words that refer to Satan. Ezekiel 28:12 says that Satan (Note: “Satan” is the name used after he had sinned; he was called the “son of the dawn” and also “Daystar” or “Lucifer” (Isa. 14:12) before his fall. “Satan,” which means “adversary,” is his name after the fall. For the sake of convenience, we shall call him Satan in the following paragraphs.) “Sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” This depicts his condition before he had sinned. He was superior to all the other angels. Phrases like “sealest up the sum,” “full of,” and “perfect” reveal that he was the greatest of all the creation. God had put him above all the creation. Being “full of wisdom” probably refers to his understanding of God’s will; if this is true, he might have had the office of a prophet already. The first part of Ezekiel 28:13 says, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering.” When we read Genesis 3, we indeed see Satan there. However, he was not being covered by “every precious stone”; he was tempting Adam and Eve. Hence, the two gardens of Eden are not of the same time. In Adam’s Garden of Eden, Satan had fallen, whereas here, it clearly depicts the situation before his fall. Hence, the garden of Eden here must be earlier than the one at Adam’s time. If so, then it must not have belonged to the present world but to the previous one. This Garden of Eden, like the coming New Jerusalem, had many precious stones, such as sardius, beryl, etc. The Garden of Eden where Adam lived was not like this. The Bible focuses only on the trees and does not say anything concerning their being covered with precious stones. Hence, the Garden of Eden here must be different from that of Adam and is much earlier. His being covered with the precious stones reminds us of the precious stones on the priest in Exodus. He probably had been appointed by God to be a priest. The latter half of the verse says, “The workmanship of thy tablets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee.” In the Bible musical instruments are used by kings. We see how David played the harp for king Saul. When the king of Babylon was destroyed, the sound of his lutes were said to be brought down to Sheol (Isa. 14:11). And when the king of Babylon was pleased, various musical instruments were played (Dan. 3). Satan was a king at that time and these musical instruments were given to him by God. The first half of Ezekiel 28:14 says that he is “the anointed cherub that covered.” Anointed indicates that he is consecrated. The work of the cherubim is to lead men to worship the Lord (Rev. 4:9-10; 5:11-14). Therefore, his work in the beginning was also to lead the creatures at that time in the worship of God. This also refers to his priesthood. The latter part of verse 14 says that he was “upon the holy mountain of God” and had “walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” The holy mountain of God probably is the place where God’s glory is manifested. As the priest of God, he would, of course, stand before Him to minister. What does it mean to walk “up and down in the midst of the stones of fire”? Ezekiel 1:26 reveals that the position of the cherubim is below the throne. Now when Moses took seventy of the elders of Israel up the mountain of Sinai, “they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness…And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount” (Exo. 24:10, 17). The paved work of sapphire stone in the appearance of devouring fire probably was “the stones of fire.” This indicates that Satan enjoyed a very high place, right below the throne of God, and was very intimate with God. Verse 15 says that he was perfect in his ways from the day that he was created, but that later God found iniquity in him. All of God’s creation was perfect; God is not the author of sin. Iniquity was initiated by the archangel who sinned. He was created and given a free will by God just as we were. Unfortunately God’s created angel abused his freedom! And how many people are still following his footsteps! The first part of verse 16 says that by the multitude of his merchandise they have filled his midst with violence, and he has sinned. We may refer this word solely to Antichrist. During the end time commerce will be very prosperous (Rev. 18). Many sinful things will be brought in because of this. This can be proven by history.Nevertheless; the same clause may be applied to Satan. Mr. Pember points out that “the word translated ‘merchandise’ may also…signify ‘detraction’ or ‘slander’; and we know that the very name ‘Devil’ means ‘the slanderer,’ or ‘malignant accuser’” (Earth’s Earliest Ages, p. 52). Thus, we can find out the meaning here. We see how Satan accused Job and tried to destroy him with insidious acts. Also in Revelation 12:10 we read, “Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ, for the accuser of our brothers has been cast down, who accuses them before our God day and night.” The casting down here probably corresponds to the casting of Satan out of the mountain of God in Ezekiel. The reason for the casting out in Ezekiel and in Revelation is one and the same, that is, accusation (or slander). Perhaps what was recorded in Ezekiel was the conviction of Satan by God and what was written in Revelation was the sending of Michael by God for the execution of that conviction. Then why would God still allow Satan to remain in the heavens? The reasons seem to be: (1) the time of God has not yet come, and (2) His own children need the furnace to purge away the dross still in them. Ezekiel 28:17 reveals the cause of Satan’s fall. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty, and his wisdom was corrupted by reason of his brightness. The king of Babylon as described in Isaiah 14:12-14 bears much resemblance to this verse. Many servants of God believe that the Holy Spirit is not only pointing out the king of Babylon, but in a deeper sense, the cause of the fall of Satan who was behind the king of Babylon. In my view, the record in Ezekiel reveals the cause of his pride, while in Isaiah it shows the manner in which he exhibited his pride. It is probable that after comparing himself with God’s other creatures, his heart was lifted up. In the end he tried to exalt himself to be equal with God and thus suffered God’s judgment. “How you have fallen from heaven, O Daystar, son of the dawn! …But you, you said in your heart: I will ascend to heaven; / above the stars of God I will exalt my throne. And I will sit upon the mount of assembly On the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:12-14). Since he was so proud, God punished him. His authority in the heavens was removed and abolished by God. The remaining part of the prophecy in Ezekiel is not relevant to our subject, and we shall stop here. From the prophecy contained in this passage in Ezekiel, if our interpretation is correct, we can see how God created Satan the fairest and wisest of all His creatures in the former world and made him their leader. God placed him in the garden of Eden, which was long before the Eden of Adam. The things in the former garden, if not altogether different from those of the latter garden, were at least more numerous than the latter. They resemble the future New Jerusalem. He was a prophet there, teaching all the inhabitants of the earth with his wisdom to know how to serve God. He was also there as the priest of God, directing them in the worship and praises of God. He was also the king among the creatures, having been placed in a position that was above all the creation. He must have been in such a condition for a lengthy period of time (v. 15), but because of his sin, he became the greatest enemy of God. So far we have covered the origin of Satan. We shall now proceed to cover Satan’s angels and demons, which are under him, and to investigate how they fell and how this affected the earth, causing it to become waste and void. From the New Testament we see that under the hand of Satan there are two living beings: (1) angels and (2) demons. Let us first look at the angels. Matthew 25:41 speaks of “the devil and his angels.” Revelation 12:4 says that the dragon’s “tail drags away the third part of the stars of heaven, and he cast them to the earth.” The stars denote the angels (Rev. 1:20). Therefore 12:9 says, “And the great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent, he who is called the Devil and Satan,…he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.” These angels were probably the ones established by God in the beginning to assist Satan to rule the world. They were “the congregation of the mighty” and “the gods” in Psalm 82 (cf. John 10:35). When Satan fell, they either conspired or sympathized with him. Therefore, they fell together with him and became today’s “rulers,” “authorities,” “world-rulers of this darkness,” “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenliest” (Eph. 6:12). Note that the numbers are plural. These angels are not disembodied demons; they have ethereal bodies. This is why the Lord promises that the children of resurrection will be like the angels in the heaven. Satan has another class of subjects, the evil spirits. Demons and the evil spirits (or filthy spirits) are the same. We can tell this by checking with the translation of the Mandarin Bible. In Matthew 8:16, it firstly mentions the demons, then the spirits. But the Bible translators, seeing that the Holy Spirit used the words “demon” and “spirit” interchangeably, translated both into “demons.” In Luke 10:17 the word “demons” is in the original language, but in verse 20 the word “demons” should be “spirits.” In these two verses of the Bible we see the Lord Jesus acknowledged the “demons” and the “spirits” to be the same and thus the Chinese Bible translator again translated both as “demons.” Matthew 17:18 speaks of the Lord casting out a demon, yet Mark calls this demon an unclean spirit and dumb spirit (Mark 9:25). Demons and spirits are the same. These demons, or spirits, probably were the race who lived in the former world. They helped Satan in his sinning; or, perhaps after Satan sinned, they followed him rather than forsaking him and obeying God. Therefore, they were cut off by God and their bodies were removed from them. Hence, they became disembodied spirits. Although we cannot find any clear evidence in the Bible to confirm this theory, we can find some clues. In Matthew 12 we see the situation of a demon when he left the human body. He became helpless and wandered about. Besides the human body, he could not find another resting place. Therefore, he eventually returned to his original place, the human body. If they were not disembodied spirits, why did they have to enter into man’s body? As we read Luke 8, we see how the legion of demons was unwilling to leave the human body. When they had no way to remain in the human body, they even entered the bodies of the swine. Presently in the world they still cling to human bodies. Even some believers are unconsciously possessed by them. They are different from Satan and his angels who do not like to enter human bodies. Satan and his angels still have a spiritual body, but the demons do not. Their character and liking seem to prove that they are the disembodied spirits. Since they are disembodied spirits, where were they when they were disembodied? We know that the spirits of all the dead are in Hades. So, where do these spirits come from? They must have come from the former world. While they were alive, their habitation was probably the former world where Satan exercised his rule. In the Bible we can find another clue that tells us that there were inhabitants in the pre-Adamic world. Isaiah 45:18 shows that the world created by God in the beginning was not waste and empty. Since this verse speaks of the original world, one expression suggests to us the existence of mankind in the previous world. It says, “He is the God who formed the earth… He did not create it waste.” This clearly refers to the original creation. Following this it says, “He formed it to be inhabited.” This seems to clearly tell that the earth then was inhabited by some race. As we read the Bible further, we find clues which indicate that there is a detention place for the demons now. The legion of demons in Gadara must have known this. They were in great fear and begged the Lord that He would not “order them to depart into the abyss,” (Luke 8:31) because they would be tormented there (Matt. 8:29). Mr. Pember says that this “abyss” in the original language is abussos; and that “in some passages, such as the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse, this term is evidently applied to a fiery hollow in the centre of the earth: but it is also used for the depths of the sea, a meaning which accords well with its derivation” (Earth’s Earliest Ages, p. 60). In the future Satan will be detained in a bottomless pit in the center of the earth. This is revealed in the book of Revelation. The demons are also detained in an abyss now, yet some of them still have freedom. We must wait until God’s appointed time comes for them to be completely shut inside. This abyss is probably different from the one in the heart of the earth; it is in the sea. Furthermore, at the final judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) when all the prisoners will have been thrown into the lake of fire, there will be no more sea in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1). However, there may be only one abyss that is divided into two parts. There are other clues concerning the sea being the place of detention for demons. In the Septuagint Bible, the word “deep” in Genesis 1:2 is the same as “abyss” here. We have said that these demons are probably created races that lived in the first world. This corresponds to what we read in Genesis 1:2 because they originally lived on the earth. After sinning, their bodies were destroyed by God; their habitation was judged by God and became without form and void. The whole earth was covered by water and was characterized as “the deep.” It follows then that the spirits of the races at that time were in this “deep”! Finally, on the third day when God restored the earth, He commanded the earth to come out from the water and called the gathering of the waters the sea. This earth was prepared for mankind in the new world. Where then have the former demons gone? We can spontaneously answer that they went into the sea. As we read Revelation 20:13, we often do not understand why the sea will give up the dead which are in it. It is understandable to say that death and Hades will deliver up the dead which are in them, but why will the sea give up the dead who are in it? The common interpretation is that the sea surrenders the bodies of those who are drowned. If so, then the earth should also give up its dead because there are more bodies buried in the earth than in the sea. Yet the earth does not give up its dead. Therefore, the sea will give up the spirits of the imprisoned ones and not the bodies of the dead. Men’s spirits are in death and Hades; the Bible does not say that the spirits of man are kept in the sea. Then whose spirits will the sea give up? It will give up those who are from the other world, that is, the former world. The sequence here indicates this. “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them.” Those who lived in the former world died first. Therefore, they will be the first beings to be given up; then, we who are of this world will follow after because every man will be judged in his own order. Thus far we have seen the probable origin of Satan, his angels, and the demons. As to how man lived on the former earth, this is something beyond our knowledge. However, we can see some hints in the Bible. Many Bible scholars, Dr. Scofield being one of them, believe that Jeremiah 4:23-26 refers to the condition of Genesis 1:2, in which the earth was without form and void. Although the context of this passage is the desolation of Judah, these few verses of the Scripture have a notably broader view, as if God caused the prophet to view the desolation of the earth in the beginning. If our belief is accurate, then we know that in the former world there was “the fruitful land” and “its cities” (v. 26). The inhabitants then dwelt in cities and some took up farming as an occupation. When they were deceived by Satan, the burning anger of Jehovah came upon them (v. 26) and the earth became “waste and emptiness” (v. 23).From these biblical clues we see the original situation of the earth, the races who dwelt on the earth, the paradise, and the princes, etc. If we are not mistaken in our meditation, we can draw a conclusion concerning the first world and the cause of its desolation as follows: In the beginning of “time” (as opposed to eternity) God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was not waste (Isa. 45:18) but very beautiful and perfect. On this earth there were inhabitants and the number of the inhabitants was great. Before God created the earth and human beings, He had created the angels (Job 38:6-7). He assigned Satan, whom He created, as the leader to be above all the angels. Satan, the most beautiful and wisest of all, the prime of all God’s creation, dwelt in the Garden of Eden. God made him the ruler of the world; therefore, he was called “the ruler of the world” (John 14:30). Many angels were under his rule, and these angels shared in ruling with him. Then, because of his position and honor, he became proud. Due to pride, he rebelled and lifted himself up to be equal with God. He was not satisfied with being a creature, but desired to be the Creator. Therefore, he slandered God before the people and accused the people before God. God found out his iniquity and condemned him. When the time comes, he will be cast to the earth. One third of the angels (Rev. 12) followed him in rebellion and, therefore, became the angels of the devil. God has prepared hell for them (Matt. 25:41), and when the time comes, Satan will be cast into it. In the former world, the inhabitants of the earth, being under Satan and his angels’ rule, were also deceived and filled up with sins. (We can readily understand this when we consider our world situation today.) Therefore, God’s anger was fierce, and He completely destroyed the earth and all the races therein and locked up many spirits in the abyss in the sea. These evil spirits, angels, and Satan himself formed the kingdom of darkness. We do not know how long this period lasted. Later, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters again, and the Triune God began His restoration work on the world. After His restoration of the world, He created Adam and his wife and asked them to guard it, so that there would be man on the earth to cooperate with Him in heaven to stop Satan’s power. Perhaps God used Adam to test Satan to see whether he would repent. However, he came to tempt Adam; therefore, God cursed Satan. Because Adam fell, he could not bring the world which was under Satan’s rule back to God. On the contrary, the world Adam received from God’s hand was given anew to Satan. Since angels and mankind had failed, God came in the person of the Son to be a man, the last Adam. The Lord Jesus became God’s prophet, priest, and king. When He was on this earth, He was God’s prophet without blemish. When He was about to die, He was able to say, “The ruler of the world is coming, and in me he has nothing” (John 14:30). At His death all who are in Adam were crucified in Him. He was able to include all of the old Adamic creation in His crucifixion because He is God, and He is able to continue on as the new man. His human living had nothing to do with Satan. Through His death and resurrection, He regained the world lost by the first Adam. Every sinner, who is destined to die in the old Adam, can return to God and be saved if he rejects the first Adam through the death of the last Adam and joins himself to Christ in life. This is the meaning of believing in the death of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, whoever believes in the Lord Jesus becomes an enemy of the devil. In everything he attacks us, and in everything we resist him, his angels, and the demons. This is God’s purpose in saving man, and this is a real spiritual warfare. Satan was judged once on the “holy mountain of God,” and he was judged again on the hill of Golgotha. He has been convicted, yet his judgment has not yet been executed. When the time comes he will be cast down from heaven and when the Son of God returns to this earth, he will be cast into the abyss. After one thousand years he will forever suffer in the lake of fire. Now the Lord Jesus holds the authority which Satan had abused, and He will hold it until all traces of rebellion disappear. He has brought His own blood into the Holy of Holies and has cleansed the heavens; He is now a Priest of God. When He returns, it will be the time of the restoration of all things. He will be a King, ruling this world from heaven with all the overcoming saints, in the same way that Satan ruled with his angels in the former time. At that time He will teach the inhabitants of this earth to know God’s will and to worship God, in the same way that Satan did in the former days. The situation in the millennium will be like the situation in the world before Satan sinned. Christ will restore all things to the condition in the “beginning” in order to accomplish God’s original purpose. After this He will burn up the whole world, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth in which the righteous will dwell. Therefore, as God’s children we ought to have a deeper enmity for the devil. For thousands of years God’s only purpose has been for man to be joined with Him to destroy Satan’s authority. Our God is a law-abiding God. He will not take back by force the world which was lost through man. Therefore, He sent His Son to become a man in order to regain what man had lost. We, men who have been saved, ought to cooperate with the unique “Man,” the Lord Jesus. In our life, in our work, in our environment, in our dwelling, and in the world, we should resist the works of the devil. Our resistance is in firmness of faith (1 Pet. 5:9), and not by means of fleshly weapons (2 Cor. 10:4), which is the way of social reformers who are being utilized by the demons. Satan was wise and beautiful! But because of his pride, he ended up in complete ruin. It is dangerous for frail mortals to esteem themselves wise and beautiful! Beware, lest being lifted up with pride, you fall into the judgment of the devil (1 Tim. 3:6). Being self-exalted with pride is not a blessing to man; wisdom rests only with those who fear the most high God Jehovah. THE EARTH RESTORED THE RECOVERY OF THE EARTH IN SIX DAYS We have seen that in the beginning God created a perfect world. Later, because of the sins committed by Satan and those who dwelt on the earth, they and the earth were judged by God, and the earth became without form and void. Now we will see God’s work of restoring the earth. In the book of Job, Job mentions the failure of Satan’s rebellion in order to show that it is foolish to dispute with God. “He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? which removed the mountains, and they know not; which overturned them in his anger; which shakes’ the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble; which commanded the sun, and it rises not; and sealed up the stars” (Job 9:4-7). When did God do this? When did He shake the mountains and the earth, and alter the position of the celestial bodies due to man’s stubbornness towards Him? Since the time of Adam, such an act of God in the world has not been seen. This passage must be a description of God’s judgment on Satan and on the earth under his dominion when he rebelled. At that time God shook the earth and overturned the mountains. The calamity came so swiftly that the mountains were overturned unnoticed. In addition to the earth, the positions of the celestial bodies were also affected. Because of God’s judgment, the sun disappeared completely and the stars did not shine. The world was plunged into darkness. There was no sun and no heat was produced. Consequently, this led to the glacial epoch on this earth. Then, after a long period of time, possibly due to internal heat at the earth’s core (Rev. 9:2), the ice gradually melted. However, the sun had not yet appeared and the stars were still “sealed up.” When the Spirit of God began to move, there was the deep, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Job not only mentions God’s judgment, but also His work of restoration. He says, “Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, / and treadeth upon the high peaks of the sea; / which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, / and wonders without number” (Job 9:8-10, Heb.). The phrase “spread knows? / Or who hath stretched the line upon it? / Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? / Or who laid the corner stone thereof; / when the morning stars sang together.” No matter which earth is referred to here, whether the original created earth or the restored earth on the third day, one thing is definite: before the earth was formed, the stars already existed. As the earth was being formed, morning stars were there singing together, praising the work of God. In Genesis God was only rearranging the stars that were there before. After He had gathered the light into the sun and had made it the great light, He restored the stars and made them appear in the sky to meet the needs of the earth. The Holy Spirit inspired Moses to describe God’s work with human words because the Bible is written for man. He did not speak of the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars, but only mentioned their relationship to the earth and man. Although seasons, days, and years have to do with other creatures, the use of the celestial bodies “for signs” is specifically for man, since no one besides man is able to observe the motions of the celestial bodies in order to make signs. God only speaks about the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars according to man’s viewpoint. He does not mention other matters. In man’s eyes the sun is the greatest light, the moon is the second, and the stars are still smaller lights. Is it not wonderful that God has prepared such an immense universe for men as small as we? On the fifth day, after the dry land and the celestial bodies had been restored, God prepared to create living organisms to inhabit the earth. “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (v. 20). God’s commandment expressed God’s purpose. “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moved, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind” (v. 21). God created these things out of nothing. We do not know what materials God used to make fish and aquatic life. As for the birds, 2:19 tells us that they are made out of the ground. Science tells us that living organisms first existed in the water, then on the ground. Aquatic organisms are the most primitive species among all the animals. Even today, the ocean is still home to the majority of the living creatures. Birds, on the other hand, are the most primitive species of all warm-blooded animals. We can see how closely science resembles the description in the Bible. Although science proves these words, faith believes without the help of science! On the sixth day God went on to create the beasts, the cattle, and the creeping things. Finally, He created man in His own image. We will discuss the creation of man in more detail in later messages. Here we will deal only briefly with the subject. Chapter one covers the creation of man in a brief way to show us man’s position among the creatures, while chapter two describes the origin of man in detail to show us man’s relationship with God. We should notice that man was “created” by God (v. 27). Man did not evolve from a lower class of animal. The word “creation,” as we have mentioned, means the making of something out of nothing. It is a special work of God and not a natural process of evolution. The Bible does not give credence to the theory of evolution, which will forever be a vain idea! On the third day God ordered each type of vegetation, the trees, grass, and vegetables, to yield seed after its kind. Grass cannot change into a tree, neither can one tree change into another kind of tree. On the fifth day aquatic life and birds were all after their kinds. On the sixth day the beasts, cattle, and creeping things were also after their kind. Every creature is after its kind. The Bible does not tell us how these kinds were classified, yet the words “after his kind” is sufficient proof that in those days every creature was of a different kind. Since God has said that everything was “after his kind,” the boundary of each kind was set by God. There is absolutely no possibility for one kind to evolve into another kind. Plants cannot change into animals; even one kind of plant cannot change into another kind of plant, neither can one kind of animal change into another kind of animal. We Christians believe in the Word of God. Anything beyond “thus saith the Lord,” we will not believe. How much less should we listen to a theory that is contradictory to the Word of God? The Word of God is sufficient to solve all the problems. The world may be scornful of our logic, but we are satisfied with God’s Word. Pitiful mortals do not believe in our God. As a result, they drift aimlessly and devise theories for themselves on which to base their faith! They think that it is too incredible for God to bring something out of nothing into being, and to make man out of the dust of the earth. To us, however, for a tiny embryo of one kind of animal to undergo the numerous processes of evolution to become a monkey, and then after many more steps of evolution, to change from a monkey into a man, is something that is far more incredible. Just for a monkey to evolve into a man is incredible. It is much more incredible than God creating man! I warn my readers not to believe such end-times nonsense. Not only should we not believe such talk; we should not even listen to it. We should not read magazines or books that contain these kinds of theories. We thank God that His words are clear and easy to understand. He said, each “after his kind,” and all around us we see all animals and plants behaving according to this word. Formerly, evolutionists said that man’s ancestors were some sort of animal many thousands of years ago. Now they tell us that after many more thousands of years, our descendents will be formless animals without fingers or toes. They are talking things that belong to many thousands of years ago or many thousands of years in the future, things which we will never see or be able to hold up for questioning! Our Bible is a book of the present. At present, all creatures multiply after their own kind. The Bible does not make irresponsible statements! As noted by many previous writers, “Elohim,” one of the names for God in the original Scriptures, is plural in number. However, in Genesis 1:26 the verb used after God is singular in number. It seems incompatible to have a plural noun with a singular verb. However, this indicates that God is three-in-one and one-in-three. Since there is more than one person in the Godhead, the noun does not have a singular designation. Neither are there two persons. Hence, the designation is not dual. Rather, there are three persons. Hence, there is the plural designation “Elohim.” Although there are three, there are not three Gods. For this reason, the verb is not plural, but singular. This reveals that God is triune. Although the Bible does not explicitly state that God is triune, we can find many proofs and indications of this fact in the Bible. There is no doubt that the doctrine of the Trinity is indeed a great doctrine in the Bible. Furthermore, the word “us” in verse 26 indicates the plural number in the divine Persons, while the verb “make” indicates the oneness of God’s purpose. In chapter one, the words “God said” are used thirty-one times. What God said was God’s Word. When we read the Gospel of John 1, we see that all things were made by the Word of God. Genesis 1 alludes to the work of the Lord Jesus in creation. In this way, the Triune God works together in creation. We have “God,” “God said,” and “the Spirit of God.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all here. Before God created man, He paused and had a discussion within the Godhead, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” As we meditate on this discussion, we realize that God was very serious about this matter. This seems to indicate that our previous exposition is correct. Satan, as well as the previous inhabitants of the earth had already failed. God restored the earth and heaven, and made them fit for human habitation. All the living creatures were ready. The Godhead seemed to be taking a pause to talk among them, “Behold, We are going to create man now!” This is the spirit of this passage. Here God tells us His purpose in creating human beings, “let them have dominion.” Satan had been defeated. Under God’s judgment, he could no longer have dominion over the world. Although in reality he was still free, the judgment on him had already been pronounced. The earth restored by God has nothing to do with Satan; everything on this earth is the expression of a new order. Although Satan still retains his title of “the ruler of this world,” the man created by God is endowed with a free will; he has autonomous power. God established man, apart from the authority of Satan, to have dominion over the newly created living creatures and plants, and over all the earth. If man had been able to carefully guard his God-given rights and power, Satan would have held “the ruler of this world” as an empty title only. God wants to annul the authority of Satan since He has already been judged. For God to have ejected Satan would have been quite easy; but for reasons unknown to us, He wants man to be His co-worker to destroy the work of the devil. Therefore, God created man and let him have dominion. This was the position Satan had once held, but lost. Unfortunately, soon afterward man failed. Man lost his right, and Satan regained his power and dominion as ruler of the world. This we will see when we come to chapter three, but let us be clear about one thing: all of God’s plan and work in this world has one goal, the elimination of the power of Satan. The Lord Jesus called him the enemy (Matt. 13). Therefore, we believers, as God’s chosen people, should constantly bear this purpose of God in mind—the destroying of the power of the devil. In everything we do, we should not ask whether something is good or bad, but how it would benefit God and destroy Satan. If our efforts cannot affect the kingdom of darkness and cause the devil to suffer loss, then we should not do it. In all our work for God, we should not look for superficial results. Rather, we should consider who will profit and who will suffer in the spiritual realm. This is a spiritual warfare and not a struggling in flesh and blood. One day, our judgment before the judgment seat will be measured by this standard. Whether our work will remain or be consumed by fire depends on how much it helps to accomplish God’s purpose. The best way to fight against the power of darkness is, on the one hand, to resist in our spirit the work of Satan, not agreeing with his winning, and on the other hand, to use prayer as our weapon by asking God to destroy Satan’s work and scheme. At the same time, we should obey God’s will practically. Each time we obey God’s will, Satan suffers defeat. Man was made firstly in God’s image, and secondly after His likeness. This does not refer only to man’s physical body. “In God’s image” means that man represents God on earth. “After His likeness” means that man is after God’s kind; in other words, His race (Acts 17:28). Morally and intellectually, there are similarities between God and man, so that man can know God and fellowship with Him. Unfortunately, man has sinned and lost God’s image and likeness. Now man’s ignorance in matters concerning God is beyond imagination. Therefore, unless a man is born again from above, he does not know how to fellowship with God. Paul told us that man is “God’s image and glory” (1 Cor. 11:7); God made man to express His own glory. God wants to display His glory to Satan in the air. However, the first man failed. Yet the second Man did not fail. He was the express image of God’s person (Heb. 1:3, KJV), and He was able to fully express God.”And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,…and every tree, in the which is the fruit…to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast…every fowl…and to every thing that creepeth…I have given every green herb for meat” (Gen. 1:29-30). In the world before sin came, there was no eating of flesh. Eating flesh is a thing of the sinful world. In the coming new heaven and the new earth there is no mention of any eating of flesh; the only thing worthy of eating will be the fruit of the tree of life. In the present order of things, God’s opinion is that “every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified through the word of God and intercession” (1 Tim. 4:4-5). In a world that is full of sin, if we try to abstain from meat (4:3), we are denying the fact that the present world is under a curse!”God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). God did not make anything that was not good. Bad things came as a result of sin; they were not creations of God. In this sinful world, we should not murmur against God, because in Him there is no evil, and what He made is all good. God has treated us mortals graciously. He first created various forms of vegetation on the third day and then prepared them as food for the animals. After this He created the fowls on the fourth day, land animals on the fifth day, and man on the sixth day. He set up the whole environment in a good order before He put man in it. If we truly believe this fact, what a consolation it will be to us! God always makes preparations for His creatures this way. For the growth of grass, He first prepared the land; for the support of animal life, He first prepared vegetable life. But because we often fail to see this fact with our naked eyes, we become worried. Blessed are those who have faith to see God and His work! Nothing will shake such a heart! The first three verses of chapter two should belong to chapter one. On the seventh day God did not do any work. He rested on this day. One thing we should notice is that this rest is God’s rest and not man’s. The Bible tells us that this was God’s Sabbath. God worked for six days and then He rested. This rest is not a physical rest, because with God there is no fatigue. “Do you not know, / Or have you not heard, / That the eternal God, Jehovah, / The Creator of the ends of the earth, / Does not faint and does not become weary” (Isa. 40:28). What is the meaning of this rest? This is not a physical but a spiritual rest. God was satisfied. He saw everything that He had made was very good, and He was satisfied. Every careful reader of the Bible will see that this is the meaning of God’s rest. God did not ordain the Sabbath here for man to observe. Man had not done any work, so he did not need any rest. It was only after Adam fell that he had to work (Gen. 3:19). At this point, Adam had not sinned. Therefore he did not need to rest on the seventh day. For this reason, we should not consider this Sabbath as something of Jewish law (which we do not need to keep), but rather as the Sabbath in God’s creation. We should remember that God did not give the Sabbath to man as just a day to keep. For the period of two thousand five hundred years after that day, there is not one mention of the word “Sabbath” in the Scripture! We should notice one more thing. After the first six days, the phrase “and the evening and the morning” is included. However, after the seventh day, the Sabbath, there is not such a phrase! After God worked, He rested in the eternal brightness of the night less day! This day of rest is a type of the coming day of rest for God’s people mentioned in Hebrews 3 and 4, when the co-workers of God will rest for eternity with Him in a night less day. When we think of that day, does our heart not rejoice?eth out the heavens” indicates God’s work on the second day. God divided the waters with a firmament in their midst and this firmament was called Heaven. So the “high peaks of the sea” probably indicates the waters above the firmament. The phrase “maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades” indicates God’s work on the fourth day. The word “maketh” does not mean creates but fashions. God did not create stars at this time, but He fashioned anew the existing stars. In Job 9:7 it says, “Sealed up the stars.” This shows that the stars already existed. Genesis 1:16 says, “He made the stars also.” This was a restoration to their condition before they were sealed. Having read Job’s word, we are more convinced that our exposition is correct. In Genesis God began His work of restoration. He called out for light because the face of the deep was dark, and this light divided the light from the darkness. There was light before, and now light came back. Some mockers have said, “How could there be light without the sun?” However, science no longer laughs at this kind of record in the Bible, and recently science has proven Moses’ words to be correct. The record here is “non-science”; it is not “anti-science.” The book of God is not intended as a science textbook, yet the word of God is not erroneous according to science. Man now understands that besides the sun there are other sources of light. Light is an energy from an unknown source that produces vibrations of the ether around the universe. This vibration is beyond human imagination. (Of course, the light that we now see relates to the burning of the sun as well as other sources of light.) But scientists cannot tell us about the sources of this energy. Concerning this point, they are fully in darkness; but faith knows. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). It is most pitiful that while there is God, who is the source of all positive things, and in whom everyone should believe, people still reject Him and prefer to grope in the dark, considering it unscientific and superstitious to believe in God’s Word! But we are so happy that we not only have God, but that He is also our Father. It does not say that light was created or brought into being by God on the first day. Light has not existed for merely six thousand years. Before light came, darkness was confined to one place, the face of the deep (i.e., the whole earth). Darkness was confined to this one assigned place. When light appeared, it appeared in the same dark place, the whole earth. When God said, “Let there be light” (v. 3), the whole universe was not in darkness. God was merely commanding the light to appear on the surface of this earth. In Moses’ time, science did not know of other sources of light besides the sun (such as the Aurora Borealis, the northern lights). But Moses still recorded that God called out the light first, and then made the sun to appear. If this was not a revelation of the Holy Spirit, how could he have made such a statement? Thank God that He is not limited by the ignorance of people. The more the scientists understand the natural laws established by God, the more they realize that the Word of God is worthy of all acceptance.”And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (v. 5). God did not create the light here because it had existed for a long time; He just called out the light. When did the first day start? Someone said it was from the time when the earth was “without form and void” (v. 2); however, that is not the meaning here. “And the evening and the morning were the first day” (v. 5). “Morning” was the time when the light of the first day appeared. If there were no light before the first day, then the “evening” mentioned here does not make sense. The “evening” came first, and then “the morning.” If the morning indicates the time when the daylight first appeared, and if there was no light before the first day, then the evening would indicate the darkness before the light, which would be the prolonged darkness mentioned in verse 2. If that were the case, would not the first evening have been too long? If the evening of the first day was the darkness in verse 2, then the first day would have started from the darkness of the formlessness and void. But Genesis clearly does not consider the formlessness and void as the first day. Hence, before the “evening” of the first day, there was light already. However, this light was not shining on the earth. God called the darkness Night, but “the evening,” being different from the night, was darkness under control of the light. For this reason, light existed before “the evening” of the first day; otherwise, how could we differentiate between the evening and the morning? Furthermore, the Bible does not say that God created light on the first day; He just commanded light to appear. Where was the light from? If it was not from the earth which was without form and void and in entire darkness, it must surely have been from the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth. This is a further proof that the world we are in now is a restored world. We should know that each of the six days is a twenty-four hour day. In the Bible a day is often used to represent a period of time, such as “the day of the Lord,” etc. But the six days are not six periods. No reader without preconceived opinions would consider these as periods of time. Whenever the Bible uses “day” to stand for a period, there is no numerical indication associated with it. If there is a number before the day, it must indicate the time of one revolution of the earth. Furthermore, it clearly states “the evening and the morning were the first day” (v. 5). Combining evening and morning as the first day is an indication of a twenty-four hour day. Moreover, God later established a Sabbath, according to His own rest on the seventh day. The Sabbath in Exodus 20 is a twenty-four hour day. If the seventh day is a twenty-four hour day, then the six preceding days must also be twenty-four hour days. Again, if we consider these six days as six geological periods, then what corresponds to the “evenings” of these geological periods, and what corresponds to the “mornings” of these periods? Furthermore, if these six days correspond to six geological periods, there would have been no grass or trees on the earth before the third period, and there would have been no animal fossils on the earth before the sixth period. But this is not the case, because there is no separation between animals and plants in the geological strata below the surface of the earth. If the six days were six long periods, then Adam, who was created in the sixth period, would have had to live a long time in paradise before he could have committed sin. Moses, who wrote the book of Genesis, had no thought of using days to represent periods. We must not twist the Word of God to fit our own concept or to lessen people’s attack. If we explain the Bible according to our own idea, we will be blamed by others and also put the Holy Scripture in jeopardy. With these proofs we must conclude that these six days were just six days and not six periods. Our God is almighty; one day is sufficient for Him to restore. There is no need for six periods. But since it pleased Him to restore the world in six days, we need to humbly observe God’s work and praise His greatness. Why should we adapt ourselves to the opinion of unregenerate people? We know that if geology is correct, the period between verse 1 and verse 2 is long enough to produce all the geological formations of the earth. On the second day God commanded again. God put air in the firmament to divide the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. God separated the waters on the earth from the moisture of the atmosphere. Again, the scientists ought to praise this beautiful record. This is just the phenomenon of the expansion of the air, separating the water in the atmosphere from the water below; and yet the boundary is not immovable. The atmosphere above us can be filled with moisture as recorded in the Bible. This atmosphere is not a solid reservoir to reserve water in the heaven, because verse 20 mentions “fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” This open firmament is a region or sphere in which fowl could fly around.”And God called the firmament Heaven” (v. 8). This “heaven” is different from the “heaven” in verse 1. “Heaven” in verse 1 denotes the whole universe with all its contents. The “heaven” in verse 8 is the “heaven” of this earth. The “heaven” in verse 1 did not deteriorate; only our earth and its celestial position were changed from its original condition due to God’s judgment. God saw His works and considered that they were good on five of the six days. After the second day, the words “and God saw that it was good” were not mentioned. Does the Word of God overlook this day? No, the words which God omits are just as meaningful as the words He speaks. Every word and every phrase of the Bible is inspired by God. This omission has something to do with Satan. He is the ruler of the authority of the air (Eph. 2:2). The demons under him are the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenliest” (Eph. 6:12). God probably saw the air as the dwelling place of Satan and his demons. That is why He did not say that it was good. Some may ask, “How could the evil spirits (Eph. 2:2) ascend to the air?” We have said that their prison was the deep sea which was the “deep” that covered the whole earth. While God was separating the waters, they probably took the chance to escape out of their prison by attaching themselves to the upper waters, and thus they migrated to the heaven where their ruler stayed. This is why we have records in the New Testament of evil spirits existing in heaven and working on earth. Although they are fugitives, God has temporarily allowed them to stay there until the time for them to be thrown into the abyss. Since the air is the headquarters of the kingdom of darkness, most of Satan’s work starts from the air. Therefore, when we come together to meet or pray, we should ask God to cleanse the atmosphere with the precious blood of the Lord, in order that we may not be oppressed by Satan. On the third day, although the water was separated, there was still water covering the whole earth and there was no dry land. God commanded again, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear” (Gen. 1:9). What is spoken of here matches what we have already explained. God commanded, “Let the dry land appear,” so there was land buried beneath the water for a long time which did not reappear until then. God did not say “Let the dry land come out of nothing.” He simply commanded the waters to withdraw, allowing the land which was originally created by Him to reappear. This further proves that the six-day work of God was one of restoration rather than creation. Psalm 104:5-9 speaks about how God created the earth in the beginning, how He then judged the earth, and how He finally rebuked the flood (the third day’s work in Genesis) to restore the earth. Jehovah “laid the foundations of the earth, / that it should not be removed for ever” (v. 5). This was God’s original creation. “Thou coverers’ it with the deep as with a garment: / the waters stood above the mountains” (v. 6). This was the condition after God’s judgment over the various creatures then on the earth; this was the water that covered the earth in Genesis 1:2 (compare with 1:9). “At thy rebuke they fled; / at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. / They go up by the mountains; / they go down by the valleys / unto the place which thou hast founded for them. / Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; / that they turn not again to cover the earth” (Psa. 104:7-9). This was God’s work on the first half of the third day. “Rebuke” and “thunder” corresponds to God’s command in Genesis 1:9. “Fled” and “hasted away” describes how the waters were “gathered together unto one place.” “They go up by the mountains, / and they go down by the valleys” does not refer to the creation of mountains and valleys because the mountains were present in Genesis 1:6 already. Rather, it refers to the reappearance of the preexisting but submerged mountains and valleys, after the withdrawal of the waters. It is a description of the mountains and the valleys when “the dry land” appeared after the waters subsided. “Unto the place which thou hast founded for them./ Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; / that they turn not again to cover the earth” (Psa. 104:8-9). These few verses explicitly tell us how the waters under the heaven were gathered together into one place to let the dry land appear. Thus we firmly believe that the world we are now in is the result of God’s restoration work. The earth coming out of water has also been proven by science. Geologists believe that all geological formations were formed under water. Many people are not clear about the foundations of the earth, as mentioned in Psalm 104:5. We can find out the meaning of the foundations from Genesis 1:10 which says that “God called the dry land Earth.” The foundations of the earth refer to the dry lands of the earth, and not to the whole globe. On the third day God had still more work. The land had emerged out of the water, but there was no vegetation. So God came in to adorn it. On the fourth day the restoration of the dry land was complete, so God came in to restore the celestial bodies. Since He had called out the light on the first day, He now made luminaries in the firmament of the heaven and put light into them. The light of the first day had divided the day from the night (vv. 4-5). Now the luminaries also divided the days from the nights; in some respects, the “light” on the first day is similar to the “luminaries.” Probably the light of the first day shone on one side of the earth for half a day and then on the other side for half a day. In this way there was day and night on the first day. On the fourth day, God made the luminaries and put the light of the first day into them. As the earth and luminaries rotate around one another, they not only divide the days from the nights, but also become “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (v. 14).The greater light that God made was the sun. Genesis 1:16 does not say that God created the sun because the sun was created in the beginning. God was only doing a work of restoration. The sun was probably a luminary in the pre-Admit world, but after Satan’s rebellion, it was also affected and lost all its light, being enveloped by darkness. In spite of this, earth was probably still rotating around it. On the fourth day when God restored the sun, He caused it to receive and emit light again and thus became a luminary once more. Scientists tell us that the moon is a dead and desolate wilderness. If that is the case, it is quite conceivable that after Satan’s revolt, the sun, the moon, and the stars were all affected. After God made the two great lights, He also made the stars. We should again note that the stars were not created then, because they existed long before. Job provides evidence. In Job 38:4-7 Jehovah said, “Where waste thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? /…Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knows? / Or who hath stretched the line upon it? / Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? / or who laid the corner stone thereof; / when the morning stars sang together.” No matter which earth is referred to here, whether the original created earth or the restored earth on the third day, one thing is definite: before the earth was formed, the stars already existed. As the earth was being formed, morning stars were there singing together, praising the work of God. In Genesis God was only rearranging the stars that were there before. After He had gathered the light into the sun and had made it the great light, He restored the stars and made them appear in the sky to meet the needs of the earth. The Holy Spirit inspired Moses to describe God’s work with human words because the Bible is written for man. He did not speak of the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars, but only mentioned their relationship to the earth and man. Although seasons, days, and years have to do with other creatures, the use of the celestial bodies “for signs” is specifically for man, since no one besides man is able to observe the motions of the celestial bodies in order to make signs. God only speaks about the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars according to man’s viewpoint. He does not mention other matters. In man’s eyes the sun is the greatest light, the moon is the second, and the stars are still smaller lights. Is it not wonderful that God has prepared such an immense universe for men as small as we? On the fifth day, after the dry land and the celestial bodies had been restored, God prepared to create living organisms to inhabit the earth. “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (v. 20). God’s commandment expressed God’s purpose. “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moved, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind” (v. 21). God created these things out of nothing. We do not know what materials God used to make fish and aquatic life. As for the birds, 2:19 tells us that they are made out of the ground. Science tells us that living organisms first existed in the water, then on the ground. Aquatic organisms are the most primitive species among all the animals. Even today, the ocean is still home to the majority of the living creatures. Birds, on the other hand, are the most primitive species of all warm-blooded animals. We can see how closely science resembles the description in the Bible. Although science proves these words, faith believes without the help of science! On the sixth day God went on to create the beasts, the cattle, and the creeping things. Finally, He created man in His own image. We will discuss the creation of man in more detail in later messages. Here we will deal only briefly with the subject. Chapter one covers the creation of man in a brief way to show us man’s position among the creatures, while chapter two describes the origin of man in detail to show us man’s relationship with God. We should notice that man was “created” by God (v. 27). Man did not evolve from a lower class of animal. The word “creation,” as we have mentioned, means the making of something out of nothing. It is a special work of God and not a natural process of evolution. The Bible does not give credence to the theory of evolution, which will forever be a vain idea! On the third day God ordered each type of vegetation, the trees, grass, and vegetables, to yield seed after its kind. Grass cannot change into a tree, neither can one tree change into another kind of tree. On the fifth day aquatic life and birds were all after their kinds. On the sixth day the beasts, cattle, and creeping things were also after their kind. Every creature is after its kind. The Bible does not tell us how these kinds were classified, yet the words “after his kind” is sufficient proof that in those days every creature was of a different kind. Since God has said that everything was “after his kind,” the boundary of each kind was set by God. There is absolutely no possibility for one kind to evolve into another kind. Plants cannot change into animals; even one kind of plant cannot change into another kind of plant, neither can one kind of animal change into another kind of animal. We Christians believe in the Word of God. Anything beyond “thus saith the Lord,” we will not believe. How much less should we listen to a theory that is contradictory to the Word of God? The Word of God is sufficient to solve all the problems. The world may be scornful of our logic, but we are satisfied with God’s Word. Pitiful mortals do not believe in our God. As a result, they drift aimlessly and devise theories for themselves on which to base their faith! They think that it is too incredible for God to bring something out of nothing into being, and to make man out of the dust of the earth. To us, however, for a tiny embryo of one kind of animal to undergo the numerous processes of evolution to become a monkey, and then after many more steps of evolution, to change from a monkey into a man, is something that is far more incredible. Just for a monkey to evolve into a man is incredible. It is much more incredible than God creating man! I warn my readers not to believe such end-times nonsense. Not only should we not believe such talk; we should not even listen to it. We should not read magazines or books that contain these kinds of theories. We thank God that His words are clear and easy to understand. He said, each “after his kind,” and all around us we see all animals and plants behaving according to this word. Formerly, evolutionists said that man’s ancestors were some sort of animal many thousands of years ago. Now they tell us that after many more thousands of years, our descendents will be formless animals without fingers or toes. They are talking things that belong to many thousands of years ago or many thousands of years in the future, things which we will never see or be able to hold up for questioning! Our Bible is a book of the present. At present, all creatures multiply after their own kind. The Bible does not make irresponsible statements! As noted by many previous writers, “Elohim,” one of the names for God in the original Scriptures, is plural in number. However, in Genesis 1:26 the verb used after God is singular in number. It seems incompatible to have a plural noun with a singular verb. However, this indicates that God is three-in-one and one-in-three. Since there is more than one person in the Godhead, the noun does not have a singular designation. Neither are there two persons. Hence, the designation is not dual. Rather, there are three persons. Hence, there is the plural designation “Elohim.” Although there are three, there are not three Gods. For this reason, the verb is not plural, but singular. This reveals that God is triune. Although the Bible does not explicitly state that God is triune, we can find many proofs and indications of this fact in the Bible. There is no doubt that the doctrine of the Trinity is indeed a great doctrine in the Bible. Furthermore, the word “us” in verse 26 indicates the plural number in the divine Persons, while the verb “make” indicates the oneness of God’s purpose. In chapter one, the words “God said” are used thirty-one times. What God said was God’s Word. When we read the Gospel of John 1, we see that all things were made by the Word of God. Genesis 1 alludes to the work of the Lord Jesus in creation. In this way, the Triune God works together in creation. We have “God,” “God said,” and “the Spirit of God.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all here. Before God created man, He paused and had a discussion within the Godhead, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” As we meditate on this discussion, we realize that God was very serious about this matter. This seems to indicate that our previous exposition is correct. Satan, as well as the previous inhabitants of the earth had already failed. God restored the earth and heaven, and made them fit for human habitation. All the living creatures were ready. The Godhead seemed to be taking a pause to talk among them, “Behold, We are going to create man now!” This is the spirit of this passage. Here God tells us His purpose in creating human beings, “let them have dominion.” Satan had been defeated. Under God’s judgment, he could no longer have dominion over the world. Although in reality he was still free, the judgment on him had already been pronounced. The earth restored by God has nothing to do with Satan; everything on this earth is the expression of a new order. Although Satan still retains his title of “the ruler of this world,” the man created by God is endowed with a free will; he has autonomous power. God established man, apart from the authority of Satan, to have dominion over the newly created living creatures and plants, and over all the earth. If man had been able to carefully guard his God-given rights and power, Satan would have held “the ruler of this world” as an empty title only. God wants to annul the authority of Satan since He has already been judged. For God to have ejected Satan would have been quite easy; but for reasons unknown to us, He wants man to be His co-worker to destroy the work of the devil. Therefore, God created man and let him have dominion. This was the position Satan had once held, but lost. Unfortunately, soon afterward man failed. Man lost his right, and Satan regained his power and dominion as ruler of the world. This we will see when we come to chapter three, but let us be clear about one thing: all of God’s plan and work in this world has one goal, the elimination of the power of Satan. The Lord Jesus called him the enemy (Matt. 13). Therefore, we believers, as God’s chosen people, should constantly bear this purpose of God in mind—the destroying of the power of the devil. In everything we do, we should not ask whether something is good or bad, but how it would benefit God and destroy Satan. If our efforts cannot affect the kingdom of darkness and cause the devil to suffer loss, then we should not do it. In all our work for God, we should not look for superficial results. Rather, we should consider who will profit and who will suffer in the spiritual realm. This is a spiritual warfare and not a struggling in flesh and blood. One day, our judgment before the judgment seat will be measured by this standard. Whether our work will remain or be consumed by fire depends on how much it helps to accomplish God’s purpose. The best way to fight against the power of darkness is, on the one hand, to resist in our spirit the work of Satan, not agreeing with his winning, and on the other hand, to use prayer as our weapon by asking God to destroy Satan’s work and scheme. At the same time, we should obey God’s will practically. Each time we obey God’s will, Satan suffers defeat. Man was made firstly in God’s image, and secondly after His likeness. This does not refer only to man’s physical body. “In God’s image” means that man represents God on earth. “After His likeness” means that man is after God’s kind; in other words, His race (Acts 17:28). Morally and intellectually, there are similarities between God and man, so that man can know God and fellowship with Him. Unfortunately, man has sinned and lost God’s image and likeness. Now man’s ignorance in matters concerning God is beyond imagination. Therefore, unless a man is born again from above, he does not know how to fellowship with God. Paul told us that man is “God’s image and glory” (1 Cor. 11:7); God made man to express His own glory. God wants to display His glory to Satan in the air. However, the first man failed. Yet the second Man did not fail. He was the express image of God’s person (Heb. 1:3, KJV), and He was able to fully express God.”And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,…and every tree, in the which is the fruit…to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast…every fowl…and to every thing that crept…I have given every green herb for meat” (Gen. 1:29-30). In the world before sin came, there was no eating of flesh. Eating flesh is a thing of the sinful world. In the coming new heaven and the new earth there is no mention of any eating of flesh; the only thing worthy of eating will be the fruit of the tree of life. In the present order of things, God’s opinion is that “every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified through the word of God and intercession” (1 Tim. 4:4-5). In a world that is full of sin, if we try to abstain from meat (4:3), we are denying the fact that the present world is under a curse!”God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). God did not make anything that was not good. Bad things came as a result of sin; they were not creations of God. In this sinful world, we should not murmur against God, because in Him there is no evil, and what He made is all good. God has treated us mortals graciously. He first created various forms of vegetation on the third day and then prepared them as food for the animals. After this He created the fowls on the fourth day, land animals on the fifth day, and man on the sixth day. He set up the whole environment in a good order before He put man in it. If we truly believe this fact, what a consolation it will be to us! God always makes preparations for His creatures this way. For the growth of grass, He first prepared the land; for the support of animal life, He first prepared vegetable life. But because we often fail to see this fact with our naked eyes, we become worried. Blessed are those who have faith to see God and His work! Nothing will shake such a heart! The first three verses of chapter two should belong to chapter one. On the seventh day God did not do any work. He rested on this day. One thing we should notice is that this rest is God’s rest and not man’s. The Bible tells us that this was God’s Sabbath. God worked for six days and then He rested. This rest is not a physical rest, because with God there is no fatigue. “Do you not know, / Or have you not heard, / That the eternal God, Jehovah, / The Creator of the ends of the earth, / Does not faint and does not become weary” (Isa. 40:28). What is the meaning of this rest? This is not a physical but a spiritual rest. God was satisfied. He saw everything that He had made was very good, and He was satisfied. Every careful reader of the Bible will see that this is the meaning of God’s rest. God did not ordain the Sabbath here for man to observe. Man had not done any work, so he did not need any rest. It was only after Adam fell that he had to work (Gen. 3:19). At this point, Adam had not sinned. Therefore he did not need to rest on the seventh day. For this reason, we should not consider this Sabbath as something of Jewish law (which we do not need to keep), but rather as the Sabbath in God’s creation. We should remember that God did not give the Sabbath to man as just a day to keep. For the period of two thousand five hundred years after that day, there is not one mention of the word “Sabbath” in the Scripture! We should notice one more thing. After the first six days, the phrase “and the evening and the morning” is included. However, after the seventh day, the Sabbath, there is not such a phrase! After God worked, He rested in the eternal brightness of the night less day! This day of rest is a type of the coming day of rest for God’s people mentioned in Hebrews 3 and 4, when the co-workers of God will rest for eternity with Him in a night less day. When we think of that day, does our heart not rejoice?

Can we zap this rafael cut and paste troll?

Someone is glad for the topic Answers in Genesis. Is obvious that he does not know Genesis. We believe in Genesis but not blindly, we read then we believe. For those who criticize Genesis but never read it. I will ask you to get the book and read the quoted verses. The earth does not have six thousand years it has billion of years. It was created, then judge, became void, the big bang happened, finally was restored.

We believe that the entire Bible is the Word of God, and every word of it is inspired. A very grievous thought in the mind of godly ones is that men have despised and opposed His Word. God’s children are grieved because men do not respect God’s statutes. Among the sixty-six books of the Bible, Genesis has been subjected to the most doubt. Those who oppose the Bible often try to overturn God’s clear revelation with geological ages and prehistoric discoveries. The evidences in geology prove to them that the earth has been in existence for tens of thousands of years, and that the record of six thousand years of history in the Bible is untrustworthy. In the name of science, the world hurls its attacks on the book of Genesis. Many dear brothers in the Lord are not that scholarly (the author being one of them) and become lost in this storm. Although geology does not form part of our meditation, for the benefit of all, we will study the Word of God by the Lord’s grace at the commencement of our meditation and will consider how perfect is His Word, so that we can silently behold His beauty in His presence. Genesis is God’s revelation, while geology is man’s explanation. God knows the whole truth. As such, His revelation can never be wrong. Man only sees in part. As such, his conjectures are not accurate. When we place Genesis side by side with geology, we should follow Genesis and not geology, because it is God who stands behind Genesis. If there are any basic differences between Genesis and geology, the error must be on the side of geology. The authority of the Bible is undisputed. Everything that is contrary to the Bible is wrong. Thank God our Father that He has given us such a complete revelation. If there are any incompatibilities between God and man, we would rather give up man and accept God. Men often laugh at the ridiculous stories of creation circulated among the Chinese, the Babylonians, and other countries. No scientist has to spend much effort to refute these myths. The reason is that there is not much weight to these traditions. This is why they have not attracted much attention. But men’s attitudes towards the Bible are very different. The very fact that they have tried their best to resist the Bible proves the power of the Bible. They cannot treat the Bible the same as the traditions of the nations because they have recognized the extraordinary nature of the Bible. All those who have read Genesis 1 cannot fail to marvel at the beauty of its record. How ordinary it is, yet how marvelous! It is a plain record and contains no theory or arguments to prove its authenticity. The writer of the book was not bound by the book, but was transcendent above its record. The true author of the book is the One who is far above the universe it describes—God. Had the recorder of the book, Moses, written this book according to his own learning and ideas, his thoroughly Egyptian-trained intellect would surely have been influenced by the Egyptian theory of creation. Yet who can detect a trace of Egyptian philosophy in Genesis 1? Why is this? It is because God was the One who inspired Moses to do the writing. Otherwise, how could Moses know that the land came out of the water? This is, of course, a fact established by geology and is a modern discovery. Had Moses not been inspired, it would be difficult to explain this fact. As to the development of life on earth, although the Bible does not support the theory of evolution, it does not altogether reject the fact that there was a progression. First, there were aquatic organisms, and then there was man. Would not a scientist marvel at the record of Moses? The omniscient God must surely have given inspiration according to facts; those who were inspired by such an omniscient God cannot be in error. Yet the Bible is not a textbook of science. Its goal is to guide sinners “unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). Nevertheless, the Bible does not contain any scientific errors. If there are any contradictions with science, it is either a misinterpretation of the Scripture or a misjudgment of science. Many of the definitive statements by geologists in the past have been overturned! Many of their assertions have been proven wrong. Cummings said, “Geology has made mistakes in the past. It is possible that it will be wrong again. The hasty and loud assertions by those who are not too familiar with its theories may be proved inaccurate again.”Since the Bible is not a science textbook, it only mentions the “what’s” of creation without mentioning the “whys.” Science is interested in the “whys.” Of course, in many cases it is successful in doing this. But one must not overturn the “what’s” with theoretical “whys” just because man’s finite mental research has come into conflict with God’s record. What God said are the facts because He knows everything. If the world wants to study what God has said and why He has said it, it must not hold on to its own ideas while rejecting God’s authority. It is a good thing to have wisdom, but there is one kind of foolishness which is more blessed. Among Christians, there is a popular theory that Genesis 1:1 is a kind of general introduction, and that the work of the six days is actually an expansion of the record of verse 1. In other words, they consider the words “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” as merely a subject of Genesis 1. They say that in the first sentence the writer wrote down a summary of what he was about to say, after which he went at length into an explanation of this sentence. After telling us that God created the heaven and the earth, Genesis goes on to tell us the condition of the earth after creation, and how He created light, air, the land, the plants, and the animals day by day. This popular theory considers Genesis 1 as a record of the creation of the universe, and that the universe was created out of desolation. If we study the first chapter of the Bible carefully, we will see the error in this supposition! This erroneous supposition, not the Bible itself, has put the church into a great debate with the world. This supposition gives men the excuse to say that Genesis is incompatible with geology and casts doubts in the minds of many young people concerning the accuracy of the Bible. In Hebrew, the original language, there are altogether seven words in Genesis 1:1. Each of these seven words has independent meanings. God’s inspired record does not say that at the beginning of time, God molded the heavens and the earth into being, or that He made them out of some elements. It says that the heavens and the earth were created. How clear is the word created! To create is to make something out of nothing; it is to create something out of void. It is not to make something out of some existing elements. The word create is Bara in the original language. “In the beginning, God Bara the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The word Bara is used three other times in Genesis 1 and 2: (1) “And God created (Bara) great whales, and every living creature that moved, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (v. 21). (2) “So God created (Bara) man in his own image” (v. 27a). (3) “In it he had rested from all his work which God created (Bara) and made” (2:3b). To create is to make something out of nothing. The great whales and every living creature do not have an outward body only, but a life-element within them. The only way that this can be done is through God’s direct work of creation. This is why it says that God created the great whales and every living creature (1:21). There is a very good reason for the Bible to say “created” instead of “made.” In the same way, although man’s body was made from the dust, 2:7 tells us that man has a spirit and a soul which cannot be made from any physical material. This is why the Bible says that God created man according to His own image. In Genesis 2 there are three words for the act of creation: (1) Bara, which means to make something out of nothing. We have covered this briefly. (2) Asah, which means to make. This word is very different from the first. Bara is to make something out of nothing, while asah means that there is some raw material first, and then something is made out of the raw material. A carpenter can make a chair, but he cannot create a chair. In describing most of the work during the six days, this word is used. (3) Yatsar, which means to complete, has the sense of a potter molding a piece of clay into shape. This is the word used for formed in 2:7. Isaiah 43:7 shows the relationship between these three words: “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I have created, formed, and even made for my glory.” To create is to make something out of nothing, to form is to mold into shape, and to make is to work from some material. Genesis 1:1 uses the word Bara. The phrase in the beginning is a further proof that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. There is no need of any hypothesis. Since God has said this, man should believe. If man wants to fathom God’s work in the beginning with his finite mind, he will only expose his own presumptuousness! “By faith we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3). Furthermore, who can answer God’s challenge to Job concerning the creation? God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning. The heaven does not refer to the heaven that surrounds our earth but rather to the heaven of the stars. This “heaven” has not changed since the creation of the universe. Although the heaven has never changed, the condition on earth has changed! If we want to understand Genesis 1, it is very important to differentiate between the earth in verse 1 and the earth in verse 2. The condition of the earth in verse 2 was not the condition at the beginning of God’s creation. In the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth, His creation was perfect. God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). Therefore, the condition of void and confusion in verse 2 was not the original condition at the time of God’s creation. How could God possibly have created an earth that was void and without form? We can answer this question by reading one verse alone. “For thus says Jehovah, Who created the heavens. He is the God . Who formed the earth and made it; He established it; He did not create it waste, But He formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah and there is no one else” (Isa. 45:18). How clear this is! The word waste in this verse is the same as the word without form in Genesis 1:2, which thou are in Hebrew. Unfortunately, translators of the Bible have not used the same word in both places. “He did not create it [the earth] without form.” Why then does Genesis 1:2 say that “the earth was without form”? It is easy to find the solution. In Genesis 1:1, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth that God created then was not void and without form. Later there was a cataclysm, and the earth became without form and void. Verse 3 does not refer to the original creation, but to a restored earth. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and then during the six days, He re-created the world. The world in Genesis 1:1 was the original world, while the world in 1:3 is our present world. Genesis 1:2 describes the transitional condition of desolation after the initial world and prior to our present world. We do not base our explanation on Isaiah 45:18 alone (even though Isaiah 45:18 alone is sufficient as a proof). We have other evidences. According to Bible scholars, in Hebrew the first word in verse 2 is a conjunction, which should be translated as and. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void.”The “and,” according to Hebrew usage—as well as that of most other languages—proves that the first verse is not a compendium of what follows, but a statement of the first event in the record. For if it were a mere summary, the second verse would be the actual commencement of the history, and certainly would not begin with a copulative. A good illustration of this may be found in the fifth chapter of Genesis (Gen. 5:1). There the opening words, “This is the book of the generations of Adam,” are a compendium of the chapter, and, consequently, the next sentence begins without a copulative. — G.H. Pember, Earth’s Earliest Ages, 1942, reprinted 1975, p. 31. “Therefore, what follows in Genesis 1:2 is not a detailed explanation of the record in 1:1, but an independent, distinct, and later event”. The creation of the heavens and the earth is one thing, and the earth becoming without form and void is another. Later we will explain why the earth became void and without form. About a hundred years ago, Dr. Chalmers pointed out that the word was in “the earth was without form” should be translated became. Dr. I.M. Haldeman, G.H. Pember, and others also pointed out that this word is the same as the word became used in Genesis 19:26. “And she became a pillar of salt.” If the same word is translated became in 19:26, why should it not be translated the same way here? Even the word became in 2:7 is the same word as in 1:2. Therefore, it is not hypothetical to translate 1:2 the following way: “And the earth became without form.” When God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was not without form and void. Later it became such. Let us read a few more verses:”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exo. 20:11). Comparing these two verses, we can see that the world in Genesis 1:1 was very different from the world in 1:3. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, but in the six days, God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them. There is a vast difference between create and make. One is to have something from nothing, while the other is to improve the things that are in existence. The world can make, but it cannot create, while God can both create and make. This is why Genesis says that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Later because of the cataclysm, the earth became desolate, and “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exo. 20:11).Second Peter 3:5 through 7 says the same thing. The heavens and the earth in verse 5 are the heaven and the earth in Genesis 1:1. Verse 6 speaks of the world flooded with water, which is the earth that was without form and void and that was under the water in Genesis 1:2. “The heavens and earth now” in verse 7 is the restored world after Genesis 1:3. There is a clear difference between God’s work in the six days and His work of creation at the beginning. The more we read Genesis 1, the more we will see that our explanation above is the proper one. In the first day light was called into being. Before the first day there was already land, but it was “without form and void” and was buried in the deep under the water. On the third day God did not create the land; He merely caused it to appear. F.W. Grant said that the work of the six days merely put a new order to the earth; it did not create something out of nothing. The earth was there already. The Bible never says that the earth was created during the six days. Grant also said, “At which point did the first day begin? Some may think that it began from desolation. Yet this is not true. The ‘evening’ on the first day indicates light had been there since the beginning. ‘The darkness he called Night,’ yet the ‘evening’ is a darkness that is already under the control of light.”In the first day God did not create the light; He merely caused the light to appear on the darkened earth. In the same way in the second day, He did not create the heaven. The heaven there was not the heavens, but the atmospheric “heaven” which surrounds the earth. This was not created then. Where then did the atmosphere come from? Our answer is that it was created in verse 1. Therefore, there was no need now to create; there was only the need to restore.”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” There is no detailed discussion here. We do not know if the primordial world was created in an instant or became what it was through an endless period of time. We do not know if it was completed in a few thousand years or millions of years. We do not know the shape and the size of it. All that we know is that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” We do not know how many years there were between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 1. We do not know how long ago God created the heaven and the earth, and we do not know how many years after the creation of the primordial world did the desolation of verse 2 occur. But we believe that there was a long period of time between the perfect creation at the beginning and the later change into something that was without form and void.”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” How much later was it that “the earth became without form and void”? We cannot tell. But we know one thing: there was a long gap between the two expressions. This long gap between the first two verses of Genesis covers the whole prehistoric period. But from verse 3 until now there are less than six thousand years. Since we have proved that there is a big gap between the first two verses of the Bible, all the years which geology demands to exist and all the geological periods associated with these years can fall within this period. We do not know how much time passed on the earth and how many changes occurred on the earth’s surfaces and in the atmosphere before there was the condition of void and formlessness; the Bible does not say anything about it. But we can say for sure that the Bible never says that our earth is only six thousand years old. The Bible only testifies that there are six thousand years of human history. If the Bible has not said something, science can conjecture all it wants. But science cannot form conjectures on what the Bible has already said. After we understand the first two verses of the Bible, we can be assured that there is no contradiction between the Bible and geology. All the attacks by geology on the Bible are beating the air. How wonderful is the Word God has written! We are not saying this to please science. God’s revelation never wavers before man. We do not give up the Bible’s authority in order to accommodate man’s inventions. If there are any contradictions between the Bible and science, (and we would expect there to be some, because fleshly man is always at enmity with God), we have no intention to reconcile and annul these differences. The above assertion was not proposed after some geological discoveries, in an effort to reconcile the Bible with science. There were men in the ancient church who spoke about this. At that time, geology was not yet in existence! When men like St. Augustus interpreted Genesis, the world did not yet have the term geology! A Christian does not trust in human wisdom, but in God’s Word. We need nothing other than the sure rock of the Bible. As long as we have the “it is written” (Matt. 4:6) in the Scripture, everything is solved. Unfortunately, many apologetics have forgotten their ground; they change the words of the Scripture to accommodate man’s teaching. An example is given by A.W. Pink, who noted that after the translation of a certain Assyrian tablet, the apologetics enthusiastically reported that much of the Old Testament history was verified! This turns things upside down! Does the Word of God need verification? If the record on the Assyrian tablet coincides with that of the Bible, it only shows that the Assyrian tablets have no historical error. If they do not agree, it merely proves that the tablets are in error. Worldly men and vain scientists will of course scorn at our logic. But this only goes to demonstrate God’s Word which says, “But a soul’s man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually” (1 Cor. 2:14). We must never lower ourselves to appease men. It seems like a good idea to change the Bible to suit man’s taste, but doing so changes the true nature of the Bible. How wonderful is Genesis 1! It devotes only one verse to the description of the first creation! It uses only one verse to describe the desolation of the world! This is far less than the thirty or so verses that describe the restoration of the world! Who can come up with a composition that matches the record of Genesis 1? The subject is difficult, yet the explanation is clear; the facts span a long time, yet the description is simple. It does not talk about science, yet it is scientifically accurate. Who except God can compose such writing? The reason God did not say more than this is that He only intended to show man His own relationship with man. J.N. Darby said: This revelation from God is not a history by Him of all that He has done, but what has been given to man for his profit, the truth as to what he has to say to. Its object is to communicate to man all that regards his own relationship with God…But historically the revelation is partial. It communicates what is for the conscience and spiritual affections of man…Thus no mention is made of any heavenly beings…Thus also, regards this earth, except the fact of its creation, nothing is said of it beyond what relates to the present form of it. — The Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, reprinted 1970, p. 9. Indeed, God’s revelation is not given to satisfy human curiosity, but to manifest His Godhead, the world’s sinfulness, the way of salvation, and the coming glory and judgments. The present worldly knowledge is indeed dangerous. Unless God bestows grace on man, man would boast in himself and use the knowledge he acquires as a basis to oppose God. How difficult it is for an intellectual person to humble himself! Man can search for knowledge as much as he wants. But God will not supplement this with His revelation. This is why He does not say much in Genesis 1. Our present need is not more science, but deeper spiritual fellowship. Only this will reap real fruit in eternity. We have to praise God the Father because He is full of love! He not only created us, but re-created us, and made us a new creation in the Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus! How sweet is this name! God has given us His Son. What a marvelous grace this is!

THE ORIGINAL WORLD AND AFTERWORDS DESOLATION In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth perfect. Later, after an unknown period of time, the earth which was originally good became waste and empty, without any life whatsoever. God then rose up to recreate the world; He restored the desolate world in six days. Now we will consider why the world became desolate. How could God allow the work of His hands to be destroyed? Why did such a catastrophe come upon the once beautiful earth? There is probably no other reason besides sin. The question we are considering has no perfectly clear explanation in the Bible. Nevertheless, we can find many shimmering lights in the Word of God which will enlighten us concerning this question and which will enable us to have a little more understanding concerning the former world and the cause of its desolation. Only the Word of God can guide us and our thoughts. The understanding of His Word, regardless of the question being discussed, always brings us edification. The greatest vanity is the reasoning’s in man’s mind which do not rest on the foundation of God’s Word. Although in reading Genesis 3 we cannot find Satan’s name, we all know that the serpent was Satan’s vessel and perhaps was even the embodiment of the devil. Revelation 12:9 say, “And the great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent, he who is called the Devil and Satan, he who deceives the whole inhabited earth.” Genesis 1 gives no record of the creation of Satan. Where did he come from? This is a problem. Furthermore, we can see many evil spirits in both the Old and New Testaments; we meet them even more frequently in the Gospels. Where did they come from? We also do not see the creation of angels in the six days of work in Genesis 1. Where, then, did the angels who are frequently mentioned in the Bible come from? These questions are all related to our subject. Since the creation of the angels and the other supernatural beings is not recorded in Genesis 1, which covers the work of God during six days, we know that they were not created during that time. Since they were not created within these six days, when were they created? The only explanation is that they were creatures of the former world—the original, perfect world. As the fossil remains clearly show, not only were disease and death—inseparable companions of sin—then prevalent among the living creatures of the earth, but even ferocity and slaughter. And the fact proves that these remains have nothing to do with our world; since the Bible declares that all things made by God during the Six Days were very good, and that no evil was in them till Adam sinned…Since, then, the fossil remains are those of creatures anterior to Adam, and yet show evident tokens of disease, death, and mutual destruction, they must have belonged to another world and have a sin-stained history of their own, a history which ended in the ruin of themselves and their habitation. — G. H. Pember, Earth’s Earliest Ages, 1942, reprinted 1975, pp. 34-35. By reading Jeremiah 4:23-26, we see the reason why the earth became waste and emptiness. Verse 26 says that it was due to “His [Jehovah’s] burning anger.” Why was the Lord so angry? It was probably because of the sin of the creatures at that time. Isaiah 24:1 says that “Jehovah now makes the earth desolate.” Why would the Lord destroy the earth of His original creation? Judging from the history of our own world, we can answer that it was probably because of the sin of the earth’s inhabitants which forced God to judge them. We have said before that when we read Genesis, we do not see the origin of Satan. As we look into the cause of earth’s desolation in the beginning, our mind will naturally think “an enemy has done this” (Matt. 13:28). Other than attributing the cause to Satan, it seems that we cannot find any other clues in the Bible. We will study a portion of the Bible which seems to tell us the origin of God’s enemy and thereby we may know the condition of the former world and the cause of its becoming desolate. Let us now read Ezekiel 28:1-19. These nineteen verses are divided into two sections: (1) verses 1-10 concern the prophet’s warning to the prince of Tyrus, and (2) verses 11-19 concern the prophet’s lamentations upon the king of Tyrus. The first section, a word to the prince of Tyrus, is easy to understand. He was exalted with pride, considered himself God, and thought that he was wiser than Daniel. Due to his progress in commerce, he became puffed up. Therefore God punished him, causing him to be slain and destroyed by the terrible of the nations. Soon after this prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldeans came and destroyed Tyre. Josephus believed that the prince of Tyrus was Ithobalus, who was called Ithobaal II in the history of the Phoenicians. Since we know that this prophecy has already been fulfilled, it is not difficult for us to interpret verses 1 through 10. But when we read on from verses 11 through 19, we find many places that we do not understand. Since this portion of the Word is very much related to the subject which we are studying now, we quote the text in full: Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou seals up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covered; and I have set thee so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more (Ezek. 28:11-19). This section is indeed hard to understand, for it contains many expressions which cannot be applied to any mortal man. If the “king of Tyrus” were only a mortal man, how could we explain the things in verses 11 through 15? How could the king of Tyrus have been in the Garden of Eden or upon the holy mountain of God? How could he have been the anointed cherub that covered the ark? None of the things mentioned here had been the experience of the king of Tyros’. We cannot explain this section simply by spiritualizing it. It is unfair if we spiritualize the interpretation of a section when we encounter difficulties in it. I believe that the first section (vv. 1-10) addressed to the prince of Tyros’ was a word spoken to King Ithobalus II, and the second section (vv. 11-19), the lamentation upon the king of Tyros’, denotes the coming Antichrist. Verse 2 of this chapter speaks of Tyro “in the midst of the seas.” By reading Daniel 11:41-45, we know that when the coming Antichrist will be in Palestine, perhaps he will dwell at Tyro. That is why he was called the king of Tyro here. Moreover, Antichrist is Satan incarnate; therefore, numerous expressions in this section refer to Satan himself. Mr. Darby said, “Verses 11-19, while continuing to speak of Tyro, go, I think, much farther, and disclose, though darkly, the fall and the ways of Satan, become through our sin the prince and god of this world.” Dr. A. C. Gaebelein also said that the king of Tyro is a type of the last great sinner (Antichrist), that behind this evil king, we see another power that is Satan; Satan was the power behind the king of Tyros’ then, and he still is the god of this age now, who rules the nations of this world. If we have studied the Scriptures carefully, we will realize that the justification for merging Satan and Antichrist in this passage into one being is not contrary to the general teachings of the Scriptures. We know that, although human beings have their own will, their walk is either directed by God’s operating (Phil. 2:13) or by the operating of the evil spirits (Eph. 2:2). Human beings are never totally free. Ordinarily, human beings are under the control of the evil spirits. Sometimes, in important matters, Satan himself, in addition to the working of evil spirits, will also participate in the work. Hence, we see him personally coming to tempt Christ in the wilderness. Later, in trying to hinder Christ from going to the cross, he personally used Peter. After that, in attempting to destroy Christ, he entered into Judas. Eventually, on the world stage he will be united to Antichrist. Scripture says that the works of Antichrist are “according to Satan’s operation” (2 Thess. 2:9); it is Satan who “gave him his power and his throne and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). Since Antichrist is the incarnated devil, the Holy Spirit speaks of him together with Satan in this passage. In these few verses, the superhuman aspects all refer to Satan himself, and the remainder to Antichrist. Since our purpose is not to study the question of Antichrist, but to know the creatures of the former world and the cause of its desolation, we shall put aside the verses in this portion concerning the Antichrist and concentrate on Satan, who is related to our subject. Now let us consider the words that refer to Satan. Ezekiel 28:12 says that Satan (Note: “Satan” is the name used after he had sinned; he was called the “son of the dawn” and also “Daystar” or “Lucifer” (Isa. 14:12) before his fall. “Satan,” which means “adversary,” is his name after the fall. For the sake of convenience, we shall call him Satan in the following paragraphs.) “Sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” This depicts his condition before he had sinned. He was superior to all the other angels. Phrases like “sealest up the sum,” “full of,” and “perfect” reveal that he was the greatest of all the creation. God had put him above all the creation. Being “full of wisdom” probably refers to his understanding of God’s will; if this is true, he might have had the office of a prophet already. The first part of Ezekiel 28:13 says, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering.” When we read Genesis 3, we indeed see Satan there. However, he was not being covered by “every precious stone”; he was tempting Adam and Eve. Hence, the two gardens of Eden are not of the same time. In Adam’s Garden of Eden, Satan had fallen, whereas here, it clearly depicts the situation before his fall. Hence, the garden of Eden here must be earlier than the one at Adam’s time. If so, then it must not have belonged to the present world but to the previous one. This Garden of Eden, like the coming New Jerusalem, had many precious stones, such as sardius, beryl, etc. The Garden of Eden where Adam lived was not like this. The Bible focuses only on the trees and does not say anything concerning their being covered with precious stones. Hence, the Garden of Eden here must be different from that of Adam and is much earlier. His being covered with the precious stones reminds us of the precious stones on the priest in Exodus. He probably had been appointed by God to be a priest. The latter half of the verse says, “The workmanship of thy tablets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee.” In the Bible musical instruments are used by kings. We see how David played the harp for king Saul. When the king of Babylon was destroyed, the sound of his lutes were said to be brought down to Sheol (Isa. 14:11). And when the king of Babylon was pleased, various musical instruments were played (Dan. 3). Satan was a king at that time and these musical instruments were given to him by God. The first half of Ezekiel 28:14 says that he is “the anointed cherub that covered.” Anointed indicates that he is consecrated. The work of the cherubim is to lead men to worship the Lord (Rev. 4:9-10; 5:11-14). Therefore, his work in the beginning was also to lead the creatures at that time in the worship of God. This also refers to his priesthood. The latter part of verse 14 says that he was “upon the holy mountain of God” and had “walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” The holy mountain of God probably is the place where God’s glory is manifested. As the priest of God, he would, of course, stand before Him to minister. What does it mean to walk “up and down in the midst of the stones of fire”? Ezekiel 1:26 reveals that the position of the cherubim is below the throne. Now when Moses took seventy of the elders of Israel up the mountain of Sinai, “they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness…And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount” (Exo. 24:10, 17). The paved work of sapphire stone in the appearance of devouring fire probably was “the stones of fire.” This indicates that Satan enjoyed a very high place, right below the throne of God, and was very intimate with God. Verse 15 says that he was perfect in his ways from the day that he was created, but that later God found iniquity in him. All of God’s creation was perfect; God is not the author of sin. Iniquity was initiated by the archangel who sinned. He was created and given a free will by God just as we were. Unfortunately God’s created angel abused his freedom! And how many people are still following his footsteps! The first part of verse 16 says that by the multitude of his merchandise they have filled his midst with violence, and he has sinned. We may refer this word solely to Antichrist. During the end time commerce will be very prosperous (Rev. 18). Many sinful things will be brought in because of this. This can be proven by history.Nevertheless; the same clause may be applied to Satan. Mr. Pember points out that “the word translated ‘merchandise’ may also…signify ‘detraction’ or ‘slander’; and we know that the very name ‘Devil’ means ‘the slanderer,’ or ‘malignant accuser’” (Earth’s Earliest Ages, p. 52). Thus, we can find out the meaning here. We see how Satan accused Job and tried to destroy him with insidious acts. Also in Revelation 12:10 we read, “Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ, for the accuser of our brothers has been cast down, who accuses them before our God day and night.” The casting down here probably corresponds to the casting of Satan out of the mountain of God in Ezekiel. The reason for the casting out in Ezekiel and in Revelation is one and the same, that is, accusation (or slander). Perhaps what was recorded in Ezekiel was the conviction of Satan by God and what was written in Revelation was the sending of Michael by God for the execution of that conviction. Then why would God still allow Satan to remain in the heavens? The reasons seem to be: (1) the time of God has not yet come, and (2) His own children need the furnace to purge away the dross still in them. Ezekiel 28:17 reveals the cause of Satan’s fall. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty, and his wisdom was corrupted by reason of his brightness. The king of Babylon as described in Isaiah 14:12-14 bears much resemblance to this verse. Many servants of God believe that the Holy Spirit is not only pointing out the king of Babylon, but in a deeper sense, the cause of the fall of Satan who was behind the king of Babylon. In my view, the record in Ezekiel reveals the cause of his pride, while in Isaiah it shows the manner in which he exhibited his pride. It is probable that after comparing himself with God’s other creatures, his heart was lifted up. In the end he tried to exalt himself to be equal with God and thus suffered God’s judgment. “How you have fallen from heaven, O Daystar, son of the dawn! …But you, you said in your heart: I will ascend to heaven; / above the stars of God I will exalt my throne. And I will sit upon the mount of assembly On the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:12-14). Since he was so proud, God punished him. His authority in the heavens was removed and abolished by God. The remaining part of the prophecy in Ezekiel is not relevant to our subject, and we shall stop here. From the prophecy contained in this passage in Ezekiel, if our interpretation is correct, we can see how God created Satan the fairest and wisest of all His creatures in the former world and made him their leader. God placed him in the garden of Eden, which was long before the Eden of Adam. The things in the former garden, if not altogether different from those of the latter garden, were at least more numerous than the latter. They resemble the future New Jerusalem. He was a prophet there, teaching all the inhabitants of the earth with his wisdom to know how to serve God. He was also there as the priest of God, directing them in the worship and praises of God. He was also the king among the creatures, having been placed in a position that was above all the creation. He must have been in such a condition for a lengthy period of time (v. 15), but because of his sin, he became the greatest enemy of God. So far we have covered the origin of Satan. We shall now proceed to cover Satan’s angels and demons, which are under him, and to investigate how they fell and how this affected the earth, causing it to become waste and void. From the New Testament we see that under the hand of Satan there are two living beings: (1) angels and (2) demons. Let us first look at the angels. Matthew 25:41 speaks of “the devil and his angels.” Revelation 12:4 says that the dragon’s “tail drags away the third part of the stars of heaven, and he cast them to the earth.” The stars denote the angels (Rev. 1:20). Therefore 12:9 says, “And the great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent, he who is called the Devil and Satan,…he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.” These angels were probably the ones established by God in the beginning to assist Satan to rule the world. They were “the congregation of the mighty” and “the gods” in Psalm 82 (cf. John 10:35). When Satan fell, they either conspired or sympathized with him. Therefore, they fell together with him and became today’s “rulers,” “authorities,” “world-rulers of this darkness,” “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenliest” (Eph. 6:12). Note that the numbers are plural. These angels are not disembodied demons; they have ethereal bodies. This is why the Lord promises that the children of resurrection will be like the angels in the heaven. Satan has another class of subjects, the evil spirits. Demons and the evil spirits (or filthy spirits) are the same. We can tell this by checking with the translation of the Mandarin Bible. In Matthew 8:16, it firstly mentions the demons, then the spirits. But the Bible translators, seeing that the Holy Spirit used the words “demon” and “spirit” interchangeably, translated both into “demons.” In Luke 10:17 the word “demons” is in the original language, but in verse 20 the word “demons” should be “spirits.” In these two verses of the Bible we see the Lord Jesus acknowledged the “demons” and the “spirits” to be the same and thus the Chinese Bible translator again translated both as “demons.” Matthew 17:18 speaks of the Lord casting out a demon, yet Mark calls this demon an unclean spirit and dumb spirit (Mark 9:25). Demons and spirits are the same. These demons, or spirits, probably were the race who lived in the former world. They helped Satan in his sinning; or, perhaps after Satan sinned, they followed him rather than forsaking him and obeying God. Therefore, they were cut off by God and their bodies were removed from them. Hence, they became disembodied spirits. Although we cannot find any clear evidence in the Bible to confirm this theory, we can find some clues. In Matthew 12 we see the situation of a demon when he left the human body. He became helpless and wandered about. Besides the human body, he could not find another resting place. Therefore, he eventually returned to his original place, the human body. If they were not disembodied spirits, why did they have to enter into man’s body? As we read Luke 8, we see how the legion of demons was unwilling to leave the human body. When they had no way to remain in the human body, they even entered the bodies of the swine. Presently in the world they still cling to human bodies. Even some believers are unconsciously possessed by them. They are different from Satan and his angels who do not like to enter human bodies. Satan and his angels still have a spiritual body, but the demons do not. Their character and liking seem to prove that they are the disembodied spirits. Since they are disembodied spirits, where were they when they were disembodied? We know that the spirits of all the dead are in Hades. So, where do these spirits come from? They must have come from the former world. While they were alive, their habitation was probably the former world where Satan exercised his rule. In the Bible we can find another clue that tells us that there were inhabitants in the pre-Adamic world. Isaiah 45:18 shows that the world created by God in the beginning was not waste and empty. Since this verse speaks of the original world, one expression suggests to us the existence of mankind in the previous world. It says, “He is the God who formed the earth… He did not create it waste.” This clearly refers to the original creation. Following this it says, “He formed it to be inhabited.” This seems to clearly tell that the earth then was inhabited by some race. As we read the Bible further, we find clues which indicate that there is a detention place for the demons now. The legion of demons in Gadara must have known this. They were in great fear and begged the Lord that He would not “order them to depart into the abyss,” (Luke 8:31) because they would be tormented there (Matt. 8:29). Mr. Pember says that this “abyss” in the original language is abussos; and that “in some passages, such as the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse, this term is evidently applied to a fiery hollow in the centre of the earth: but it is also used for the depths of the sea, a meaning which accords well with its derivation” (Earth’s Earliest Ages, p. 60). In the future Satan will be detained in a bottomless pit in the center of the earth. This is revealed in the book of Revelation. The demons are also detained in an abyss now, yet some of them still have freedom. We must wait until God’s appointed time comes for them to be completely shut inside. This abyss is probably different from the one in the heart of the earth; it is in the sea. Furthermore, at the final judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) when all the prisoners will have been thrown into the lake of fire, there will be no more sea in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1). However, there may be only one abyss that is divided into two parts. There are other clues concerning the sea being the place of detention for demons. In the Septuagint Bible, the word “deep” in Genesis 1:2 is the same as “abyss” here. We have said that these demons are probably created races that lived in the first world. This corresponds to what we read in Genesis 1:2 because they originally lived on the earth. After sinning, their bodies were destroyed by God; their habitation was judged by God and became without form and void. The whole earth was covered by water and was characterized as “the deep.” It follows then that the spirits of the races at that time were in this “deep”! Finally, on the third day when God restored the earth, He commanded the earth to come out from the water and called the gathering of the waters the sea. This earth was prepared for mankind in the new world. Where then have the former demons gone? We can spontaneously answer that they went into the sea. As we read Revelation 20:13, we often do not understand why the sea will give up the dead which are in it. It is understandable to say that death and Hades will deliver up the dead which are in them, but why will the sea give up the dead who are in it? The common interpretation is that the sea surrenders the bodies of those who are drowned. If so, then the earth should also give up its dead because there are more bodies buried in the earth than in the sea. Yet the earth does not give up its dead. Therefore, the sea will give up the spirits of the imprisoned ones and not the bodies of the dead. Men’s spirits are in death and Hades; the Bible does not say that the spirits of man are kept in the sea. Then whose spirits will the sea give up? It will give up those who are from the other world, that is, the former world. The sequence here indicates this. “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them.” Those who lived in the former world died first. Therefore, they will be the first beings to be given up; then, we who are of this world will follow after because every man will be judged in his own order. Thus far we have seen the probable origin of Satan, his angels, and the demons. As to how man lived on the former earth, this is something beyond our knowledge. However, we can see some hints in the Bible. Many Bible scholars, Dr. Scofield being one of them, believe that Jeremiah 4:23-26 refers to the condition of Genesis 1:2, in which the earth was without form and void. Although the context of this passage is the desolation of Judah, these few verses of the Scripture have a notably broader view, as if God caused the prophet to view the desolation of the earth in the beginning. If our belief is accurate, then we know that in the former world there was “the fruitful land” and “its cities” (v. 26). The inhabitants then dwelt in cities and some took up farming as an occupation. When they were deceived by Satan, the burning anger of Jehovah came upon them (v. 26) and the earth became “waste and emptiness” (v. 23).From these biblical clues we see the original situation of the earth, the races who dwelt on the earth, the paradise, and the princes, etc. If we are not mistaken in our meditation, we can draw a conclusion concerning the first world and the cause of its desolation as follows: In the beginning of “time” (as opposed to eternity) God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was not waste (Isa. 45:18) but very beautiful and perfect. On this earth there were inhabitants and the number of the inhabitants was great. Before God created the earth and human beings, He had created the angels (Job 38:6-7). He assigned Satan, whom He created, as the leader to be above all the angels. Satan, the most beautiful and wisest of all, the prime of all God’s creation, dwelt in the Garden of Eden. God made him the ruler of the world; therefore, he was called “the ruler of the world” (John 14:30). Many angels were under his rule, and these angels shared in ruling with him. Then, because of his position and honor, he became proud. Due to pride, he rebelled and lifted himself up to be equal with God. He was not satisfied with being a creature, but desired to be the Creator. Therefore, he slandered God before the people and accused the people before God. God found out his iniquity and condemned him. When the time comes, he will be cast to the earth. One third of the angels (Rev. 12) followed him in rebellion and, therefore, became the angels of the devil. God has prepared hell for them (Matt. 25:41), and when the time comes, Satan will be cast into it. In the former world, the inhabitants of the earth, being under Satan and his angels’ rule, were also deceived and filled up with sins. (We can readily understand this when we consider our world situation today.) Therefore, God’s anger was fierce, and He completely destroyed the earth and all the races therein and locked up many spirits in the abyss in the sea. These evil spirits, angels, and Satan himself formed the kingdom of darkness. We do not know how long this period lasted. Later, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters again, and the Triune God began His restoration work on the world. After His restoration of the world, He created Adam and his wife and asked them to guard it, so that there would be man on the earth to cooperate with Him in heaven to stop Satan’s power. Perhaps God used Adam to test Satan to see whether he would repent. However, he came to tempt Adam; therefore, God cursed Satan. Because Adam fell, he could not bring the world which was under Satan’s rule back to God. On the contrary, the world Adam received from God’s hand was given anew to Satan. Since angels and mankind had failed, God came in the person of the Son to be a man, the last Adam. The Lord Jesus became God’s prophet, priest, and king. When He was on this earth, He was God’s prophet without blemish. When He was about to die, He was able to say, “The ruler of the world is coming, and in me he has nothing” (John 14:30). At His death all who are in Adam were crucified in Him. He was able to include all of the old Adamic creation in His crucifixion because He is God, and He is able to continue on as the new man. His human living had nothing to do with Satan. Through His death and resurrection, He regained the world lost by the first Adam. Every sinner, who is destined to die in the old Adam, can return to God and be saved if he rejects the first Adam through the death of the last Adam and joins himself to Christ in life. This is the meaning of believing in the death of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, whoever believes in the Lord Jesus becomes an enemy of the devil. In everything he attacks us, and in everything we resist him, his angels, and the demons. This is God’s purpose in saving man, and this is a real spiritual warfare. Satan was judged once on the “holy mountain of God,” and he was judged again on the hill of Golgotha. He has been convicted, yet his judgment has not yet been executed. When the time comes he will be cast down from heaven and when the Son of God returns to this earth, he will be cast into the abyss. After one thousand years he will forever suffer in the lake of fire. Now the Lord Jesus holds the authority which Satan had abused, and He will hold it until all traces of rebellion disappear. He has brought His own blood into the Holy of Holies and has cleansed the heavens; He is now a Priest of God. When He returns, it will be the time of the restoration of all things. He will be a King, ruling this world from heaven with all the overcoming saints, in the same way that Satan ruled with his angels in the former time. At that time He will teach the inhabitants of this earth to know God’s will and to worship God, in the same way that Satan did in the former days. The situation in the millennium will be like the situation in the world before Satan sinned. Christ will restore all things to the condition in the “beginning” in order to accomplish God’s original purpose. After this He will burn up the whole world, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth in which the righteous will dwell. Therefore, as God’s children we ought to have a deeper enmity for the devil. For thousands of years God’s only purpose has been for man to be joined with Him to destroy Satan’s authority. Our God is a law-abiding God. He will not take back by force the world which was lost through man. Therefore, He sent His Son to become a man in order to regain what man had lost. We, men who have been saved, ought to cooperate with the unique “Man,” the Lord Jesus. In our life, in our work, in our environment, in our dwelling, and in the world, we should resist the works of the devil. Our resistance is in firmness of faith (1 Pet. 5:9), and not by means of fleshly weapons (2 Cor. 10:4), which is the way of social reformers who are being utilized by the demons. Satan was wise and beautiful! But because of his pride, he ended up in complete ruin. It is dangerous for frail mortals to esteem themselves wise and beautiful! Beware, lest being lifted up with pride, you fall into the judgment of the devil (1 Tim. 3:6). Being self-exalted with pride is not a blessing to man; wisdom rests only with those who fear the most high God Jehovah.

THE EARTH RESTORED THE RECOVERY OF THE EARTH IN SIX DAYS

We have seen that in the beginning God created a perfect world. Later, because of the sins committed by Satan and those who dwelt on the earth, they and the earth were judged by God, and the earth became without form and void. Now we will see God’s work of restoring the earth. In the book of Job, Job mentions the failure of Satan’s rebellion in order to show that it is foolish to dispute with God. “He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? which removed the mountains, and they know not; which overturned them in his anger; which shakes’ the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble; which commanded the sun, and it rises not; and sealed up the stars” (Job 9:4-7). When did God do this? When did He shake the mountains and the earth, and alter the position of the celestial bodies due to man’s stubbornness towards Him? Since the time of Adam, such an act of God in the world has not been seen. This passage must be a description of God’s judgment on Satan and on the earth under his dominion when he rebelled. At that time God shook the earth and overturned the mountains. The calamity came so swiftly that the mountains were overturned unnoticed. In addition to the earth, the positions of the celestial bodies were also affected. Because of God’s judgment, the sun disappeared completely and the stars did not shine. The world was plunged into darkness. There was no sun and no heat was produced. Consequently, this led to the glacial epoch on this earth. Then, after a long period of time, possibly due to internal heat at the earth’s core (Rev. 9:2), the ice gradually melted. However, the sun had not yet appeared and the stars were still “sealed up.” When the Spirit of God began to move, there was the deep, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Job not only mentions God’s judgment, but also His work of restoration. He says, “Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, / and treadeth upon the high peaks of the sea; / which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, / and wonders without number” (Job 9:8-10, Heb.). The phrase “spread knows? / Or who hath stretched the line upon it? / Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? / Or who laid the corner stone thereof; / when the morning stars sang together.” No matter which earth is referred to here, whether the original created earth or the restored earth on the third day, one thing is definite: before the earth was formed, the stars already existed. As the earth was being formed, morning stars were there singing together, praising the work of God. In Genesis God was only rearranging the stars that were there before. After He had gathered the light into the sun and had made it the great light, He restored the stars and made them appear in the sky to meet the needs of the earth. The Holy Spirit inspired Moses to describe God’s work with human words because the Bible is written for man. He did not speak of the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars, but only mentioned their relationship to the earth and man. Although seasons, days, and years have to do with other creatures, the use of the celestial bodies “for signs” is specifically for man, since no one besides man is able to observe the motions of the celestial bodies in order to make signs. God only speaks about the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars according to man’s viewpoint. He does not mention other matters. In man’s eyes the sun is the greatest light, the moon is the second, and the stars are still smaller lights. Is it not wonderful that God has prepared such an immense universe for men as small as we? On the fifth day, after the dry land and the celestial bodies had been restored, God prepared to create living organisms to inhabit the earth. “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (v. 20). God’s commandment expressed God’s purpose. “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moved, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind” (v. 21). God created these things out of nothing. We do not know what materials God used to make fish and aquatic life. As for the birds, 2:19 tells us that they are made out of the ground. Science tells us that living organisms first existed in the water, then on the ground. Aquatic organisms are the most primitive species among all the animals. Even today, the ocean is still home to the majority of the living creatures. Birds, on the other hand, are the most primitive species of all warm-blooded animals. We can see how closely science resembles the description in the Bible. Although science proves these words, faith believes without the help of science! On the sixth day God went on to create the beasts, the cattle, and the creeping things. Finally, He created man in His own image. We will discuss the creation of man in more detail in later messages. Here we will deal only briefly with the subject. Chapter one covers the creation of man in a brief way to show us man’s position among the creatures, while chapter two describes the origin of man in detail to show us man’s relationship with God. We should notice that man was “created” by God (v. 27). Man did not evolve from a lower class of animal. The word “creation,” as we have mentioned, means the making of something out of nothing. It is a special work of God and not a natural process of evolution. The Bible does not give credence to the theory of evolution, which will forever be a vain idea! On the third day God ordered each type of vegetation, the trees, grass, and vegetables, to yield seed after its kind. Grass cannot change into a tree, neither can one tree change into another kind of tree. On the fifth day aquatic life and birds were all after their kinds. On the sixth day the beasts, cattle, and creeping things were also after their kind. Every creature is after its kind. The Bible does not tell us how these kinds were classified, yet the words “after his kind” is sufficient proof that in those days every creature was of a different kind. Since God has said that everything was “after his kind,” the boundary of each kind was set by God. There is absolutely no possibility for one kind to evolve into another kind. Plants cannot change into animals; even one kind of plant cannot change into another kind of plant, neither can one kind of animal change into another kind of animal. We Christians believe in the Word of God. Anything beyond “thus saith the Lord,” we will not believe. How much less should we listen to a theory that is contradictory to the Word of God? The Word of God is sufficient to solve all the problems. The world may be scornful of our logic, but we are satisfied with God’s Word. Pitiful mortals do not believe in our God. As a result, they drift aimlessly and devise theories for themselves on which to base their faith! They think that it is too incredible for God to bring something out of nothing into being, and to make man out of the dust of the earth. To us, however, for a tiny embryo of one kind of animal to undergo the numerous processes of evolution to become a monkey, and then after many more steps of evolution, to change from a monkey into a man, is something that is far more incredible. Just for a monkey to evolve into a man is incredible. It is much more incredible than God creating man! I warn my readers not to believe such end-times nonsense. Not only should we not believe such talk; we should not even listen to it. We should not read magazines or books that contain these kinds of theories. We thank God that His words are clear and easy to understand. He said, each “after his kind,” and all around us we see all animals and plants behaving according to this word. Formerly, evolutionists said that man’s ancestors were some sort of animal many thousands of years ago. Now they tell us that after many more thousands of years, our descendents will be formless animals without fingers or toes. They are talking things that belong to many thousands of years ago or many thousands of years in the future, things which we will never see or be able to hold up for questioning! Our Bible is a book of the present. At present, all creatures multiply after their own kind. The Bible does not make irresponsible statements! As noted by many previous writers, “Elohim,” one of the names for God in the original Scriptures, is plural in number. However, in Genesis 1:26 the verb used after God is singular in number. It seems incompatible to have a plural noun with a singular verb. However, this indicates that God is three-in-one and one-in-three. Since there is more than one person in the Godhead, the noun does not have a singular designation. Neither are there two persons. Hence, the designation is not dual. Rather, there are three persons. Hence, there is the plural designation “Elohim.” Although there are three, there are not three Gods. For this reason, the verb is not plural, but singular. This reveals that God is triune. Although the Bible does not explicitly state that God is triune, we can find many proofs and indications of this fact in the Bible. There is no doubt that the doctrine of the Trinity is indeed a great doctrine in the Bible. Furthermore, the word “us” in verse 26 indicates the plural number in the divine Persons, while the verb “make” indicates the oneness of God’s purpose. In chapter one, the words “God said” are used thirty-one times. What God said was God’s Word. When we read the Gospel of John 1, we see that all things were made by the Word of God. Genesis 1 alludes to the work of the Lord Jesus in creation. In this way, the Triune God works together in creation. We have “God,” “God said,” and “the Spirit of God.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all here. Before God created man, He paused and had a discussion within the Godhead, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” As we meditate on this discussion, we realize that God was very serious about this matter. This seems to indicate that our previous exposition is correct. Satan, as well as the previous inhabitants of the earth had already failed. God restored the earth and heaven, and made them fit for human habitation. All the living creatures were ready. The Godhead seemed to be taking a pause to talk among them, “Behold, We are going to create man now!” This is the spirit of this passage. Here God tells us His purpose in creating human beings, “let them have dominion.” Satan had been defeated. Under God’s judgment, he could no longer have dominion over the world. Although in reality he was still free, the judgment on him had already been pronounced. The earth restored by God has nothing to do with Satan; everything on this earth is the expression of a new order. Although Satan still retains his title of “the ruler of this world,” the man created by God is endowed with a free will; he has autonomous power. God established man, apart from the authority of Satan, to have dominion over the newly created living creatures and plants, and over all the earth. If man had been able to carefully guard his God-given rights and power, Satan would have held “the ruler of this world” as an empty title only. God wants to annul the authority of Satan since He has already been judged. For God to have ejected Satan would have been quite easy; but for reasons unknown to us, He wants man to be His co-worker to destroy the work of the devil. Therefore, God created man and let him have dominion. This was the position Satan had once held, but lost. Unfortunately, soon afterward man failed. Man lost his right, and Satan regained his power and dominion as ruler of the world. This we will see when we come to chapter three, but let us be clear about one thing: all of God’s plan and work in this world has one goal, the elimination of the power of Satan. The Lord Jesus called him the enemy (Matt. 13). Therefore, we believers, as God’s chosen people, should constantly bear this purpose of God in mind—the destroying of the power of the devil. In everything we do, we should not ask whether something is good or bad, but how it would benefit God and destroy Satan. If our efforts cannot affect the kingdom of darkness and cause the devil to suffer loss, then we should not do it. In all our work for God, we should not look for superficial results. Rather, we should consider who will profit and who will suffer in the spiritual realm. This is a spiritual warfare and not a struggling in flesh and blood. One day, our judgment before the judgment seat will be measured by this standard. Whether our work will remain or be consumed by fire depends on how much it helps to accomplish God’s purpose. The best way to fight against the power of darkness is, on the one hand, to resist in our spirit the work of Satan, not agreeing with his winning, and on the other hand, to use prayer as our weapon by asking God to destroy Satan’s work and scheme. At the same time, we should obey God’s will practically. Each time we obey God’s will, Satan suffers defeat. Man was made firstly in God’s image, and secondly after His likeness. This does not refer only to man’s physical body. “In God’s image” means that man represents God on earth. “After His likeness” means that man is after God’s kind; in other words, His race (Acts 17:28). Morally and intellectually, there are similarities between God and man, so that man can know God and fellowship with Him. Unfortunately, man has sinned and lost God’s image and likeness. Now man’s ignorance in matters concerning God is beyond imagination. Therefore, unless a man is born again from above, he does not know how to fellowship with God. Paul told us that man is “God’s image and glory” (1 Cor. 11:7); God made man to express His own glory. God wants to display His glory to Satan in the air. However, the first man failed. Yet the second Man did not fail. He was the express image of God’s person (Heb. 1:3, KJV), and He was able to fully express God.”And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,…and every tree, in the which is the fruit…to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast…every fowl…and to every thing that creepeth…I have given every green herb for meat” (Gen. 1:29-30). In the world before sin came, there was no eating of flesh. Eating flesh is a thing of the sinful world. In the coming new heaven and the new earth there is no mention of any eating of flesh; the only thing worthy of eating will be the fruit of the tree of life. In the present order of things, God’s opinion is that “every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified through the word of God and intercession” (1 Tim. 4:4-5). In a world that is full of sin, if we try to abstain from meat (4:3), we are denying the fact that the present world is under a curse!”God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). God did not make anything that was not good. Bad things came as a result of sin; they were not creations of God. In this sinful world, we should not murmur against God, because in Him there is no evil, and what He made is all good. God has treated us mortals graciously. He first created various forms of vegetation on the third day and then prepared them as food for the animals. After this He created the fowls on the fourth day, land animals on the fifth day, and man on the sixth day. He set up the whole environment in a good order before He put man in it. If we truly believe this fact, what a consolation it will be to us! God always makes preparations for His creatures this way. For the growth of grass, He first prepared the land; for the support of animal life, He first prepared vegetable life. But because we often fail to see this fact with our naked eyes, we become worried. Blessed are those who have faith to see God and His work! Nothing will shake such a heart! The first three verses of chapter two should belong to chapter one. On the seventh day God did not do any work. He rested on this day. One thing we should notice is that this rest is God’s rest and not man’s. The Bible tells us that this was God’s Sabbath. God worked for six days and then He rested. This rest is not a physical rest, because with God there is no fatigue. “Do you not know, / Or have you not heard, / That the eternal God, Jehovah, / The Creator of the ends of the earth, / Does not faint and does not become weary” (Isa. 40:28). What is the meaning of this rest? This is not a physical but a spiritual rest. God was satisfied. He saw everything that He had made was very good, and He was satisfied. Every careful reader of the Bible will see that this is the meaning of God’s rest. God did not ordain the Sabbath here for man to observe. Man had not done any work, so he did not need any rest. It was only after Adam fell that he had to work (Gen. 3:19). At this point, Adam had not sinned. Therefore he did not need to rest on the seventh day. For this reason, we should not consider this Sabbath as something of Jewish law (which we do not need to keep), but rather as the Sabbath in God’s creation. We should remember that God did not give the Sabbath to man as just a day to keep. For the period of two thousand five hundred years after that day, there is not one mention of the word “Sabbath” in the Scripture! We should notice one more thing. After the first six days, the phrase “and the evening and the morning” is included. However, after the seventh day, the Sabbath, there is not such a phrase! After God worked, He rested in the eternal brightness of the night less day! This day of rest is a type of the coming day of rest for God’s people mentioned in Hebrews 3 and 4, when the co-workers of God will rest for eternity with Him in a night less day. When we think of that day, does our heart not rejoice? eth out the heavens” indicates God’s work on the second day. God divided the waters with a firmament in their midst and this firmament was called Heaven. So the “high peaks of the sea” probably indicates the waters above the firmament. The phrase “maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades” indicates God’s work on the fourth day. The word “maketh” does not mean creates but fashions. God did not create stars at this time, but He fashioned anew the existing stars. In Job 9:7 it says, “Sealed up the stars.” This shows that the stars already existed. Genesis 1:16 says, “He made the stars also.” This was a restoration to their condition before they were sealed. Having read Job’s word, we are more convinced that our exposition is correct. In Genesis God began His work of restoration. He called out for light because the face of the deep was dark, and this light divided the light from the darkness. There was light before, and now light came back. Some mockers have said, “How could there be light without the sun?” However, science no longer laughs at this kind of record in the Bible, and recently science has proven Moses’ words to be correct. The record here is “non-science”; it is not “anti-science.” The book of God is not intended as a science textbook, yet the word of God is not erroneous according to science. Man now understands that besides the sun there are other sources of light. Light is an energy from an unknown source that produces vibrations of the ether around the universe. This vibration is beyond human imagination. (Of course, the light that we now see relates to the burning of the sun as well as other sources of light.) But scientists cannot tell us about the sources of this energy. Concerning this point, they are fully in darkness; but faith knows. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). It is most pitiful that while there is God, who is the source of all positive things, and in whom everyone should believe, people still reject Him and prefer to grope in the dark, considering it unscientific and superstitious to believe in God’s Word! But we are so happy that we not only have God, but that He is also our Father. It does not say that light was created or brought into being by God on the first day. Light has not existed for merely six thousand years. Before light came, darkness was confined to one place, the face of the deep (i.e., the whole earth). Darkness was confined to this one assigned place. When light appeared, it appeared in the same dark place, the whole earth. When God said, “Let there be light” (v. 3), the whole universe was not in darkness. God was merely commanding the light to appear on the surface of this earth. In Moses’ time, science did not know of other sources of light besides the sun (such as the Aurora Borealis, the northern lights). But Moses still recorded that God called out the light first, and then made the sun to appear. If this was not a revelation of the Holy Spirit, how could he have made such a statement? Thank God that He is not limited by the ignorance of people. The more the scientists understand the natural laws established by God, the more they realize that the Word of God is worthy of all acceptance.”And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (v. 5). God did not create the light here because it had existed for a long time; He just called out the light. When did the first day start? Someone said it was from the time when the earth was “without form and void” (v. 2); however, that is not the meaning here. “And the evening and the morning were the first day” (v. 5). “Morning” was the time when the light of the first day appeared. If there were no light before the first day, then the “evening” mentioned here does not make sense. The “evening” came first, and then “the morning.” If the morning indicates the time when the daylight first appeared, and if there was no light before the first day, then the evening would indicate the darkness before the light, which would be the prolonged darkness mentioned in verse 2. If that were the case, would not the first evening have been too long? If the evening of the first day was the darkness in verse 2, then the first day would have started from the darkness of the formlessness and void. But Genesis clearly does not consider the formlessness and void as the first day. Hence, before the “evening” of the first day, there was light already. However, this light was not shining on the earth. God called the darkness Night, but “the evening,” being different from the night, was darkness under control of the light. For this reason, light existed before “the evening” of the first day; otherwise, how could we differentiate between the evening and the morning? Furthermore, the Bible does not say that God created light on the first day; He just commanded light to appear. Where was the light from? If it was not from the earth which was without form and void and in entire darkness, it must surely have been from the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth. This is a further proof that the world we are in now is a restored world. We should know that each of the six days is a twenty-four hour day. In the Bible a day is often used to represent a period of time, such as “the day of the Lord,” etc. But the six days are not six periods. No reader without preconceived opinions would consider these as periods of time. Whenever the Bible uses “day” to stand for a period, there is no numerical indication associated with it. If there is a number before the day, it must indicate the time of one revolution of the earth. Furthermore, it clearly states “the evening and the morning were the first day” (v. 5). Combining evening and morning as the first day is an indication of a twenty-four hour day. Moreover, God later established a Sabbath, according to His own rest on the seventh day. The Sabbath in Exodus 20 is a twenty-four hour day. If the seventh day is a twenty-four hour day, then the six preceding days must also be twenty-four hour days. Again, if we consider these six days as six geological periods, then what corresponds to the “evenings” of these geological periods, and what corresponds to the “mornings” of these periods? Furthermore, if these six days correspond to six geological periods, there would have been no grass or trees on the earth before the third period, and there would have been no animal fossils on the earth before the sixth period. But this is not the case, because there is no separation between animals and plants in the geological strata below the surface of the earth. If the six days were six long periods, then Adam, who was created in the sixth period, would have had to live a long time in paradise before he could have committed sin. Moses, who wrote the book of Genesis, had no thought of using days to represent periods. We must not twist the Word of God to fit our own concept or to lessen people’s attack. If we explain the Bible according to our own idea, we will be blamed by others and also put the Holy Scripture in jeopardy. With these proofs we must conclude that these six days were just six days and not six periods. Our God is almighty; one day is sufficient for Him to restore. There is no need for six periods. But since it pleased Him to restore the world in six days, we need to humbly observe God’s work and praise His greatness. Why should we adapt ourselves to the opinion of unregenerate people? We know that if geology is correct, the period between verse 1 and verse 2 is long enough to produce all the geological formations of the earth. On the second day God commanded again. God put air in the firmament to divide the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. God separated the waters on the earth from the moisture of the atmosphere. Again, the scientists ought to praise this beautiful record. This is just the phenomenon of the expansion of the air, separating the water in the atmosphere from the water below; and yet the boundary is not immovable. The atmosphere above us can be filled with moisture as recorded in the Bible. This atmosphere is not a solid reservoir to reserve water in the heaven, because verse 20 mentions “fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” This open firmament is a region or sphere in which fowl could fly around.”And God called the firmament Heaven” (v. 8). This “heaven” is different from the “heaven” in verse 1. “Heaven” in verse 1 denotes the whole universe with all its contents. The “heaven” in verse 8 is the “heaven” of this earth. The “heaven” in verse 1 did not deteriorate; only our earth and its celestial position were changed from its original condition due to God’s judgment. God saw His works and considered that they were good on five of the six days. After the second day, the words “and God saw that it was good” were not mentioned. Does the Word of God overlook this day? No, the words which God omits are just as meaningful as the words He speaks. Every word and every phrase of the Bible is inspired by God. This omission has something to do with Satan. He is the ruler of the authority of the air (Eph. 2:2). The demons under him are the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenliest” (Eph. 6:12). God probably saw the air as the dwelling place of Satan and his demons. That is why He did not say that it was good. Some may ask, “How could the evil spirits (Eph. 2:2) ascend to the air?” We have said that their prison was the deep sea which was the “deep” that covered the whole earth. While God was separating the waters, they probably took the chance to escape out of their prison by attaching themselves to the upper waters, and thus they migrated to the heaven where their ruler stayed. This is why we have records in the New Testament of evil spirits existing in heaven and working on earth. Although they are fugitives, God has temporarily allowed them to stay there until the time for them to be thrown into the abyss. Since the air is the headquarters of the kingdom of darkness, most of Satan’s work starts from the air. Therefore, when we come together to meet or pray, we should ask God to cleanse the atmosphere with the precious blood of the Lord, in order that we may not be oppressed by Satan. On the third day, although the water was separated, there was still water covering the whole earth and there was no dry land. God commanded again, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear” (Gen. 1:9). What is spoken of here matches what we have already explained. God commanded, “Let the dry land appear,” so there was land buried beneath the water for a long time which did not reappear until then. God did not say “Let the dry land come out of nothing.” He simply commanded the waters to withdraw, allowing the land which was originally created by Him to reappear. This further proves that the six-day work of God was one of restoration rather than creation. Psalm 104:5-9 speaks about how God created the earth in the beginning, how He then judged the earth, and how He finally rebuked the flood (the third day’s work in Genesis) to restore the earth. Jehovah “laid the foundations of the earth, / that it should not be removed for ever” (v. 5). This was God’s original creation. “Thou coverers’ it with the deep as with a garment: / the waters stood above the mountains” (v. 6). This was the condition after God’s judgment over the various creatures then on the earth; this was the water that covered the earth in Genesis 1:2 (compare with 1:9). “At thy rebuke they fled; / at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. / They go up by the mountains; / they go down by the valleys / unto the place which thou hast founded for them. / Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; / that they turn not again to cover the earth” (Psa. 104:7-9). This was God’s work on the first half of the third day. “Rebuke” and “thunder” corresponds to God’s command in Genesis 1:9. “Fled” and “hasted away” describes how the waters were “gathered together unto one place.” “They go up by the mountains, / and they go down by the valleys” does not refer to the creation of mountains and valleys because the mountains were present in Genesis 1:6 already. Rather, it refers to the reappearance of the preexisting but submerged mountains and valleys, after the withdrawal of the waters. It is a description of the mountains and the valleys when “the dry land” appeared after the waters subsided. “Unto the place which thou hast founded for them. / Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; / that they turn not again to cover the earth” (Psa. 104:8-9). These few verses explicitly tell us how the waters under the heaven were gathered together into one place to let the dry land appear. Thus we firmly believe that the world we are now in is the result of God’s restoration work. The earth coming out of water has also been proven by science. Geologists believe that all geological formations were formed under water. Many people are not clear about the foundations of the earth, as mentioned in Psalm 104:5. We can find out the meaning of the foundations from Genesis 1:10 which says that “God called the dry land Earth.” The foundations of the earth refer to the dry lands of the earth, and not to the whole globe. On the third day God had still more work. The land had emerged out of the water, but there was no vegetation. So God came in to adorn it. On the fourth day the restoration of the dry land was complete, so God came in to restore the celestial bodies. Since He had called out the light on the first day, He now made luminaries in the firmament of the heaven and put light into them. The light of the first day had divided the day from the night (vv. 4-5). Now the luminaries also divided the days from the nights; in some respects, the “light” on the first day is similar to the “luminaries.” Probably the light of the first day shone on one side of the earth for half a day and then on the other side for half a day. In this way there was day and night on the first day. On the fourth day, God made the luminaries and put the light of the first day into them. As the earth and luminaries rotate around one another, they not only divide the days from the nights, but also become “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (v. 14).The greater light that God made was the sun. Genesis 1:16 does not say that God created the sun because the sun was created in the beginning. God was only doing a work of restoration. The sun was probably a luminary in the pre-Admit world, but after Satan’s rebellion, it was also affected and lost all its light, being enveloped by darkness. In spite of this, earth was probably still rotating around it. On the fourth day when God restored the sun, He caused it to receive and emit light again and thus became a luminary once more. Scientists tell us that the moon is a dead and desolate wilderness. If that is the case, it is quite conceivable that after Satan’s revolt, the sun, the moon, and the stars were all affected. After God made the two great lights, He also made the stars. We should again note that the stars were not created then, because they existed long before. Job provides evidence. In Job 38:4-7 Jehovah said, “Where waste thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? /…Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knows? / Or who hath stretched the line upon it? / Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? / or who laid the corner stone thereof; / when the morning stars sang together.” No matter which earth is referred to here, whether the original created earth or the restored earth on the third day, one thing is definite: before the earth was formed, the stars already existed. As the earth was being formed, morning stars were there singing together, praising the work of God. In Genesis God was only rearranging the stars that were there before. After He had gathered the light into the sun and had made it the great light, He restored the stars and made them appear in the sky to meet the needs of the earth. The Holy Spirit inspired Moses to describe God’s work with human words because the Bible is written for man. He did not speak of the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars, but only mentioned their relationship to the earth and man. Although seasons, days, and years have to do with other creatures, the use of the celestial bodies “for signs” is specifically for man, since no one besides man is able to observe the motions of the celestial bodies in order to make signs. God only speaks about the positions and functions of the sun, moon, and stars according to man’s viewpoint. He does not mention other matters. In man’s eyes the sun is the greatest light, the moon is the second, and the stars are still smaller lights. Is it not wonderful that God has prepared such an immense universe for men as small as we? On the fifth day, after the dry land and the celestial bodies had been restored, God prepared to create living organisms to inhabit the earth. “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (v. 20). God’s commandment expressed God’s purpose. “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moved, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind” (v. 21). God created these things out of nothing. We do not know what materials God used to make fish and aquatic life. As for the birds, 2:19 tells us that they are made out of the ground. Science tells us that living organisms first existed in the water, then on the ground. Aquatic organisms are the most primitive species among all the animals. Even today, the ocean is still home to the majority of the living creatures. Birds, on the other hand, are the most primitive species of all warm-blooded animals. We can see how closely science resembles the description in the Bible. Although science proves these words, faith believes without the help of science! On the sixth day God went on to create the beasts, the cattle, and the creeping things. Finally, He created man in His own image. We will discuss the creation of man in more detail in later messages. Here we will deal only briefly with the subject. Chapter one covers the creation of man in a brief way to show us man’s position among the creatures, while chapter two describes the origin of man in detail to show us man’s relationship with God. We should notice that man was “created” by God (v. 27). Man did not evolve from a lower class of animal. The word “creation,” as we have mentioned, means the making of something out of nothing. It is a special work of God and not a natural process of evolution. The Bible does not give credence to the theory of evolution, which will forever be a vain idea! On the third day God ordered each type of vegetation, the trees, grass, and vegetables, to yield seed after its kind. Grass cannot change into a tree, neither can one tree change into another kind of tree. On the fifth day aquatic life and birds were all after their kinds. On the sixth day the beasts, cattle, and creeping things were also after their kind. Every creature is after its kind. The Bible does not tell us how these kinds were classified, yet the words “after his kind” is sufficient proof that in those days every creature was of a different kind. Since God has said that everything was “after his kind,” the boundary of each kind was set by God. There is absolutely no possibility for one kind to evolve into another kind. Plants cannot change into animals; even one kind of plant cannot change into another kind of plant, neither can one kind of animal change into another kind of animal. We Christians believe in the Word of God. Anything beyond “thus saith the Lord,” we will not believe. How much less should we listen to a theory that is contradictory to the Word of God? The Word of God is sufficient to solve all the problems. The world may be scornful of our logic, but we are satisfied with God’s Word. Pitiful mortals do not believe in our God. As a result, they drift aimlessly and devise theories for themselves on which to base their faith! They think that it is too incredible for God to bring something out of nothing into being, and to make man out of the dust of the earth. To us, however, for a tiny embryo of one kind of animal to undergo the numerous processes of evolution to become a monkey, and then after many more steps of evolution, to change from a monkey into a man, is something that is far more incredible. Just for a monkey to evolve into a man is incredible. It is much more incredible than God creating man! I warn my readers not to believe such end-times nonsense. Not only should we not believe such talk; we should not even listen to it. We should not read magazines or books that contain these kinds of theories. We thank God that His words are clear and easy to understand. He said, each “after his kind,” and all around us we see all animals and plants behaving according to this word. Formerly, evolutionists said that man’s ancestors were some sort of animal many thousands of years ago. Now they tell us that after many more thousands of years, our descendents will be formless animals without fingers or toes. They are talking things that belong to many thousands of years ago or many thousands of years in the future, things which we will never see or be able to hold up for questioning! Our Bible is a book of the present. At present, all creatures multiply after their own kind. The Bible does not make irresponsible statements! As noted by many previous writers, “Elohim,” one of the names for God in the original Scriptures, is plural in number. However, in Genesis 1:26 the verb used after God is singular in number. It seems incompatible to have a plural noun with a singular verb. However, this indicates that God is three-in-one and one-in-three. Since there is more than one person in the Godhead, the noun does not have a singular designation. Neither are there two persons. Hence, the designation is not dual. Rather, there are three persons. Hence, there is the plural designation “Elohim.” Although there are three, there are not three Gods. For this reason, the verb is not plural, but singular. This reveals that God is triune. Although the Bible does not explicitly state that God is triune, we can find many proofs and indications of this fact in the Bible. There is no doubt that the doctrine of the Trinity is indeed a great doctrine in the Bible. Furthermore, the word “us” in verse 26 indicates the plural number in the divine Persons, while the verb “make” indicates the oneness of God’s purpose. In chapter one, the words “God said” are used thirty-one times. What God said was God’s Word. When we read the Gospel of John 1, we see that all things were made by the Word of God. Genesis 1 alludes to the work of the Lord Jesus in creation. In this way, the Triune God works together in creation. We have “God,” “God said,” and “the Spirit of God.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all here. Before God created man, He paused and had a discussion within the Godhead, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” As we meditate on this discussion, we realize that God was very serious about this matter. This seems to indicate that our previous exposition is correct. Satan, as well as the previous inhabitants of the earth had already failed. God restored the earth and heaven, and made them fit for human habitation. All the living creatures were ready. The Godhead seemed to be taking a pause to talk among them, “Behold, We are going to create man now!” This is the spirit of this passage. Here God tells us His purpose in creating human beings, “let them have dominion.” Satan had been defeated. Under God’s judgment, he could no longer have dominion over the world. Although in reality he was still free, the judgment on him had already been pronounced. The earth restored by God has nothing to do with Satan; everything on this earth is the expression of a new order. Although Satan still retains his title of “the ruler of this world,” the man created by God is endowed with a free will; he has autonomous power. God established man, apart from the authority of Satan, to have dominion over the newly created living creatures and plants, and over all the earth. If man had been able to carefully guard his God-given rights and power, Satan would have held “the ruler of this world” as an empty title only. God wants to annul the authority of Satan since He has already been judged. For God to have ejected Satan would have been quite easy; but for reasons unknown to us, He wants man to be His co-worker to destroy the work of the devil. Therefore, God created man and let him have dominion. This was the position Satan had once held, but lost. Unfortunately, soon afterward man failed. Man lost his right, and Satan regained his power and dominion as ruler of the world. This we will see when we come to chapter three, but let us be clear about one thing: all of God’s plan and work in this world has one goal, the elimination of the power of Satan. The Lord Jesus called him the enemy (Matt. 13). Therefore, we believers, as God’s chosen people, should constantly bear this purpose of God in mind—the destroying of the power of the devil. In everything we do, we should not ask whether something is good or bad, but how it would benefit God and destroy Satan. If our efforts cannot affect the kingdom of darkness and cause the devil to suffer loss, then we should not do it. In all our work for God, we should not look for superficial results. Rather, we should consider who will profit and who will suffer in the spiritual realm. This is a spiritual warfare and not a struggling in flesh and blood. One day, our judgment before the judgment seat will be measured by this standard. Whether our work will remain or be consumed by fire depends on how much it helps to accomplish God’s purpose. The best way to fight against the power of darkness is, on the one hand, to resist in our spirit the work of Satan, not agreeing with his winning, and on the other hand, to use prayer as our weapon by asking God to destroy Satan’s work and scheme. At the same time, we should obey God’s will practically. Each time we obey God’s will, Satan suffers defeat. Man was made firstly in God’s image, and secondly after His likeness. This does not refer only to man’s physical body. “In God’s image” means that man represents God on earth. “After His likeness” means that man is after God’s kind; in other words, His race (Acts 17:28). Morally and intellectually, there are similarities between God and man, so that man can know God and fellowship with Him. Unfortunately, man has sinned and lost God’s image and likeness. Now man’s ignorance in matters concerning God is beyond imagination. Therefore, unless a man is born again from above, he does not know how to fellowship with God. Paul told us that man is “God’s image and glory” (1 Cor. 11:7); God made man to express His own glory. God wants to display His glory to Satan in the air. However, the first man failed. Yet the second Man did not fail. He was the express image of God’s person (Heb. 1:3, KJV), and He was able to fully express God.”And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,…and every tree, in the which is the fruit…to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast…every fowl…and to every thing that crept…I have given every green herb for meat” (Gen. 1:29-30). In the world before sin came, there was no eating of flesh. Eating flesh is a thing of the sinful world. In the coming new heaven and the new earth there is no mention of any eating of flesh; the only thing worthy of eating will be the fruit of the tree of life. In the present order of things, God’s opinion is that “every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified through the word of God and intercession” (1 Tim. 4:4-5). In a world that is full of sin, if we try to abstain from meat (4:3), we are denying the fact that the present world is under a curse!”God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). God did not make anything that was not good. Bad things came as a result of sin; they were not creations of God. In this sinful world, we should not murmur against God, because in Him there is no evil, and what He made is all good. God has treated us mortals graciously. He first created various forms of vegetation on the third day and then prepared them as food for the animals. After this He created the fowls on the fourth day, land animals on the fifth day, and man on the sixth day. He set up the whole environment in a good order before He put man in it. If we truly believe this fact, what a consolation it will be to us! God always makes preparations for His creatures this way. For the growth of grass, He first prepared the land; for the support of animal life, He first prepared vegetable life. But because we often fail to see this fact with our naked eyes, we become worried. Blessed are those who have faith to see God and His work! Nothing will shake such a heart! The first three verses of chapter two should belong to chapter one. On the seventh day God did not do any work. He rested on this day. One thing we should notice is that this rest is God’s rest and not man’s. The Bible tells us that this was God’s Sabbath. God worked for six days and then He rested. This rest is not a physical rest, because with God there is no fatigue. “Do you not know, / Or have you not heard, / That the eternal God, Jehovah, / The Creator of the ends of the earth, / Does not faint and does not become weary” (Isa. 40:28). What is the meaning of this rest? This is not a physical but a spiritual rest. God was satisfied. He saw everything that He had made was very good, and He was satisfied. Every careful reader of the Bible will see that this is the meaning of God’s rest. God did not ordain the Sabbath here for man to observe. Man had not done any work, so he did not need any rest. It was only after Adam fell that he had to work (Gen. 3:19). At this point, Adam had not sinned. Therefore he did not need to rest on the seventh day. For this reason, we should not consider this Sabbath as something of Jewish law (which we do not need to keep), but rather as the Sabbath in God’s creation. We should remember that God did not give the Sabbath to man as just a day to keep. For the period of two thousand five hundred years after that day, there is not one mention of the word “Sabbath” in the Scripture! We should notice one more thing. After the first six days, the phrase “and the evening and the morning” is included. However, after the seventh day, the Sabbath, there is not such a phrase! After God worked, He rested in the eternal brightness of the night less day! This day of rest is a type of the coming day of rest for God’s people mentioned in Hebrews 3 and 4, when the co-workers of God will rest for eternity with Him in a night less day. When we think of that day, does our heart not rejoice?

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 9, 2008 12:00 AM.

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