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The paper that follows, entitled "Creation Come: Suggesting an Alternative Premise," is written for the purpose of proving that the creation account found in Genesis Chapter One is a prophetic account of the coming "New Heavens" and "New Earth" mentioned in various other places in biblical prophecy and is therefore an invalid place to start when assessing the origins of this present earth.
The approach used in this paper to prove this is not an exercise in refutation of all other theories of creation, but is rather a new model building approach. After addressing “why a new model or theory is needed” the foundational assumptions of the new theory are listed and defined. Supporting biblical evidence is also provided with each assumption for verification. The reason this approach is used is that the argument is not being made that present theories are illogically inconsistent, but that the foundational assumptions upon which they are built may be incorrect.
From this new framework, without directly referring to all the old assumptions, a new story of creation is told from the bases of the newly established alternative set of assumptions.
By using this method, the reader will readily see how and why this theory of creations is preferred. The paper concludes having established a completely new framework for a more textually consistent working theory of Biblical creation.
Suggesting an Alternative Premise
The issue has been hotly debated concerning how to interpret the Creation account found in the first two chapters of Genesis. The usual approach is to assume that Genesis Chapter One, is the same account of creation found in Genesis Chapter Two; with the concession that Chapter One may be written for a different purpose, in a different form, or from a different perspective as Chapter Two. This paper will demonstrate that by starting with different assumptions Genesis Chapter One can be read as a prophetic passage, making Genesis Chapter Two the proper starting point for the history of man.
PROBLEMS OF CONTEMPORARY VIEWS:
Presently some things are bothersome about the creation account found in Genesis chapters one and two. Until applying the assumptions that this paper sets forth this writer had not found a cogent way of reconciling language and sequence problems which exist in the first two chapters.
In addition, some of the problems posed by science have remained in conflict with many of the present interpretation of Genesis. Interpreters have been stumped for answers within the present framework of Genesis' assumptions. Some of the unresolved areas include questions about the age of the earth, the sequence of creation in Chapter One, sequential comparisons between Chapter One and Two, creation passages in other books of the Bible, the geo-structure of the earth, carbon dating, fossil evidence, and etc.
Some of the things Science tells us about the Earth have been problematic to those who hold to an inerrant view of Scripture. Part of the problem has been that the Scientific community agrees on interpreting most of the relevant physical evidence it considers, but the religious community is struggling over how to interpret the same evidence in light of the biblical record of creation. The facts to which scientists are pointing are abundant and simple. Biblical interpretations are just as abundant, but not as simple.
LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES:
Present attempts by interpreters to excuse scientific evidence has caused many to go to extreme lengths in attempts to preserve the integrity and believability of scripture. Unfortunately, this has resulted in text stretching. Ironically, believing almost requires one not to believe the obvious or natural appearance of the text.
For those not engaged in text stretching the trend is toward trashing the scientific community by characterizing its research and resolutions as being willfully erroneous. This avenue is having little academic success apart from popular appeal among religious circles.
SUGGESTING ALTERNATIVE PREMISES:
For the rest who want to remain realistic and not conclude that science is a satanic sham which all God fearing and Bible believing persons should reject; the task of reevaluation remains. In taking up this task one must begin by developing a different set of assumptions about Genesis’ creation and from these assumptions develop a cogent theory of creation. A cogent interpretation of Genesis should demonstrate harmony between Genesis and itself, the remainder of the Bible, and with science.
To create a cogent theory, it is not necessary to attack science, the inerrancy of scripture or the logic of the present Bible interpreter. The presentation that follows is remarkable in that it does not require the suspension of reason or the rejection of Scientific evidence. It does, however, require faith.
THE NECESSITY OF FAITH:
The same faith needed to believe the assumptions presently being believed will be required to believe new or differing assumptions. Additionally, an open and honest mind is a requirement. The difference between this theory and other theories is that this theory is free from the abundance of contradiction and conflict which is a part of a belief system consistent with contemporary views.
Finally, it should be noted that present interpretations, for the most part, are not illogical. The central claim in this paper is that contemporary views are mostly incomplete, problematic, or developed on questionable premises. The present foundation and assumptions of creation research should be challenged or replaced by those contained in this paper.
ASSUMPTION #1: Moses is a Prophet
The first assumption that must be made is that Moses is a prophet. Moses speaking of himself in Deuteronomy 18:15 said, "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me...." In this passage Moses refers to himself as a prophet. Also, in Deuteronomy 34:10 it can be found, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face." Assuming he is a prophet, one should just as readily expect Moses to foretell as they expect him to forth-tell. His speech should then as easily be assessed to be addressing a truth about a future time as it is assessed to be revealing some truth about the present.
ASSUMPTION #2: Genesis is a Prophetic book
The second assumption that must be made is that Genesis is a prophetic as well as a historical book. This is not such a difficult premise to believe, seeing that the book was written by a Prophet. Additionally, most all Bible scholars agree that the Genesis 3:15 passage referring to the "seed of woman" is a redemptive prophecy. Also, no real contention exists that Genesis 9 and the covenant with Noah is a prophetic promise of God not to destroy the earth again by using rain and flood waters. Also, many prophetic passages can be found in the life of Abraham.
ASSUMPTION #3: God Shows the End from the Beginning
The third assumption is that God has established a pattern of showing the end of a thing from its very beginning. This truth is clearly stated in Isaiah 46:9,10:
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
Also, In Isaiah 48:3 the following is recorded:
I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.
This truth can also be found in Isaiah 42:9:
...new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
ASSUMPTION #4: The Existence of Pre-Flood Prophets
The fourth assumption is that prophets prophesying about end times existed very early in human history, pre-flood. Enoch, of whom Jude speaks is an example in Jude 14, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgement upon all..." Most Bible scholars consider this passage, as did Jude, to be a prophesy of the "great day of the Lord"; the day when the world ends in judgement from God against the sinner. Furthermore, Noah is clearly a pre-flood prophet, or he would not have built the Ark to survive the flood or given the rainbow prophesy.
ASSUMPTION #5: The Storyteller’s Point of View in Historic Pattern and Form
The fifth assumption is that Moses is recording an ancient story either passed down from oral tradition or received from God. Therefore, Moses’ 5 Books recite events in a storytelling pattern because their purpose is to be read to a live audience. They were meant to be told to groups; the story of where we came from and, as a prophet, where we are going. In ancient Historic storytelling pattern, they announce the plot, capture the audience’s attention, then tell the epic.
ASSUMPTION #6: Past Tense Referral to Future Events
The sixth assumption is that things which are part of a plan or prophesy of God are often spoken of in scripture in past tense or are referred to in a context which would make it appear that they were preexisting their manifestation. This principle can be found in Romans 4:17, "God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were." An example of this is John's reference to Jesus in Revelations 13:8 as being the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," when actually Jesus was slain only about two thousand years ago;" see also Psalm 22. Additionally, God calling Abraham the father of many nations when he had no children is also an expression of this principle, as are all the Jewish Feast.
ASSUMPTION #7: Ceremonial Remembrance of Future Events
The seventh assumption is that God has given man instructions, in ceremony and in worship, to act as though a future event has already occurred. The prime example of this, as aforementioned, is the Jewish Feast. Consider the Passover celebration, on the surface a remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt, but Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:7 that the Passover is a remembrance of the death of Christ; "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore, let us keep the feast..." There are many examples in the book of Hebrews of historic ceremonies which were actually prophetic reminders of things to come.
ASSUMPTION #8: All Spiritual Truth has Natural Analogies
According to Romans 1:18-20 (Interlinear Translation) in the Greek, and after the Pattern of Jesus parables, the following truth is found: “the wrath of God from heaven (is) on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men... because the thing known - of God, clearly known, is in them, for God to them revealed (it). For unseen things of Him, from creation of world, by the things made, being realized, is being understood...” What Paul is saying in the second half of this verse is that the unseen truths of God can be known through the things God has made; that experiencing creation causes a type of realization that brings understanding. In short, there is a natural analogy for every spiritual truth of God.
ASSUMPTION #9: The Existence of God
The ninth assumption is that Moses is writing to a moral and religious people about creation not the existence of God. God's existence is a self-evident truth in the story to the audience Moses is addressing. The point being, Moses is not trying to prove the existence of God but to speak historically and prophetically about creation; answering the question his audience has about where man came from and where man is going, not where God came from.
ASSUMPTION #10: Creation is the Subject of Genesis 1 & 2
The tenth assumption is that creation is the topic of Genesis Chapter One. The picture in verse one is not intended to prove the existence of God, but to establish that He is the source of creation. Creation is the topic, God is assumed. The point is not that GOD created the heavens and the earth, but that God CREATED the heavens and the earth. If God created the heaven and the earth, then they were created. These first chapters are demonstrating what the Creator created, not looking at creation in order to determine whether or not there is a Creator.
ASSUMPTION #11: No Matter Existed Prior to Creation
The eleventh assumption is that the completed creation is known to have come from no other matter which preexisted the moment of creation. According to Hebrews 11, taken from the Greek, we see, "By faith we understand to have been framed the worlds by a word of God, so as NOT out of things appearing the things seen to have come into being." This is to say that God used nothing to make everything, and that everything came from nothing but God’s words.
ASSUMPTION # 12: Genesis 1:1 & 1:2 are Different Pictures
The twelfth assumption is that Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 describe different pictures. Chapter One verse one of Genesis opens with the following statement taken from the Hebrew, "In the beginning, created God, the heavens and the earth." Verse two taken from the Hebrew says, "And the earth was without form and empty, and darkness on the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moving gently on the face of the waters." The word "created" is a word of completion. In other words, God at the beginning completed a creation into that which is known as “the heavens and earth.” However, in verse two of Genesis Chapter One we see described a condition where there is an incomplete earth in a state of formlessness and emptiness, and this existing prior to any creational act or word from God. It is with or on this preexisting matter that a creation is brought into being. After verse two, God calls forth land from the deep and from the sea God calls forth fish and fowl. Thus, in verse one, a completed creation is described, in verse two, a creation in need of completion is pictured. These pictures are not the same.
THE STORY OF CREATION: The Beginning
In light of these new assumptions emerges the necessity for the story of Creation to be retold. How then does the story go?
God made all matter, thus no matter preceded God (John 1:3). God made all things by his word, thus no matter preceded God's word. (John 1:1,2). Before God created, not one element of creation existed. Everything that was part of the creation was made entirely of God's word, and his word was the only ingredient (Heb. 11:3). God spoke into nothing and the heavens and the earth came into being. That which came into being was a completed creation.
CREATION IS A COMPLETION:
A creation is a completion. The creation of the heavens and the earth was not in part but in whole; "In the beginning created God the heavens and the earth." (Gen. 1:1 from the Hebrew) This is where our earth and heavens come from. God created them at once.
Moses shows the creation that God made as a completed work. When God first created the earth, it was not empty. Isaiah the prophet stated this in chapter 45 verse 18, "For thus says Jehovah, Creator of the heavens, He God; forming the earth and making it; He establishes it; not empty creating it, to be inhabited forming it: I Jehovah and none any more." Thus, we see that when God created the Earth he did not create it "empty," formless or void, but suitable for habitation.
THE STORY OF CREATION: The Ending
What then does verse two describe? In verse one we have the creation of all things, but in verse two the destruction of all things. Verse two is the beginning of the story of where we are going, the end. A story which is contained in the verses of Genesis 1:2 - 2:3.
Moses picture of creation in verse two is a picture of the earth existing as a formless and empty mass. The picture is of the world in destruction. It is at this point that Moses begins his story for an audience of Hebrews who know they are guilty of God's law. Moses pictures God starting with the ruins of a former creation and rebuilding upon them a perfect world.
THE EARTH'S FAMILY TREE:
It is this contrast of creation and destruction in the first two verses which prompts the question why, leading man to see that the earth was cursed for his sake (Gen. 3:17). This is a cosmic size lesson about sin and death, as well as the cosmic size lesson about redemption. Here, just as Paul stated in the eighth assumption above, the earth from the creation speaks of the unseen truths of God. One might then ask, what happened to this world to facilitate the need for a new one, a perfect one: or put another way, what is the history or past of the new creation.
In Chapter Two verse three, right after the seventh day rest of God, we find these words in the Hebrew, "These the generations the heavens and the earth when they (were) created in the day of the making of Jehovah God's earth and heavens." Moses is saying this is the "toledah," generations or the descent, of our earth in the " yowm," the day or age, that it was created. "Toledah" is a word used in association with genealogies; relevant only when you know the end.
With people, the toledah is the tracing of a family tree from the beginning to a particular end, a particular person. With the earth, it is the tracing of the family tree of this present Earth from the first instantaneous creation, to the curse, to the flood, to the destruction, and to the recreation of a coming perfect world God and Moses tell the audience is coming.
THE DEATH OF THE PLANET:
As mentioned above, we see that the Earth, like man, will someday also die because of Sin, sink into the deep, and like Christ rise again. Concerning this death of the Earth, the Prophet Jeremiah in Chapter four verse 22 on of the clearest records of the future. Some have tried to label this chapter as proof of a Pre-Adam race, but there are other parts of this prophecy which are clearly about known people and places Post-Adam. It is not history, but prophecy.
I looked on the earth, and lo, formless and void: and to the heavens, and none (gave) their light. I looked on the mountains and lo, they quaked, and all the hills were shaken. I looked, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the skies had fled. I looked and lo the fruitful land (was) a wilderness, and all its cities broken at the face of Jehovah before the glow of his anger. For thus has said Jehovah: A desolation shall be (to the) whole (of) the land, but a full end NOT I will make. For this shall mourn the earth and grow dark the heavens above; because I have spoken, I have purposed and NOT I will repent nor will I turn back from it.
Jeremiah gives probably the most graphic prophetic view of the earth reaching the Genesis 1:2 state of emptiness and death. Here using the actual language of Genesis Chapter One Jeremiah traces the coming destruction of the earth. He gives the progression of the earth from a living planet to a place which is formless and void, a place of darkness.
THE REDEMPTION OF THE EARTH FORETOLD:
After our world sinks into the deep, Moses pictures God building a new perfect world on the ruins of a former creation and civilization. In this world, both the man and the woman is made in his image (Gen. 1:26), not woman from man. In this world, man is not told to fill the Earth, but to replenish (re-fill) it (Gen 1:28). In this world, the God-man is both in the image and likeness of God (not just his image) and is given dominion over "all the earth," not just commanded to dress and keep a small portion, known as the Garden of Eden.
This same truth is seen in the Revelations prophecy of the new world: “And I saw a heaven new and an Earth new: for the first heaven and the first earth went away; and the sea not is still... And said the (being) sitting on the throne, Behold, new all things I make... And he said to me, it is done. I am Alpha and the Omega, the head and the end... The overcoming (ones) will inherit all things (Rev. 21).
Moses is saying in short, this world we live on, the atmosphere around it, and the oceans are going to be destroyed. Noah’s flood was a prototype, the Earth was destroyed, and the atmosphere and oceans were also affected. That time with water, but the next time with a burning fire. John in Revelation, Like Moses in Genesis, says, there is hope: there will be a new creation and the one's living in this new creation will have dominion, they will inherit all things. Additionally, as is written in Psalm 37:11 "The meek shall inherit the earth...."
Moses gives the story of the earth we live on and how and why it died and how it will be resurrected into a perfect creation. And just as man desires to exchange his corruptible form for in incorruptible (See 2 Cor. 15:53), even so "we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now... waiting for... the redemption..." (Rom. 8:22).
In this sense, the Earth, Mankind, and Jesus; are all passing through similar process:
- Pre-Creation, birth and receipt of God’s image, The Word becoming Flesh
- The Great Flood, Under Water as Judgment for Sin, Jesus Baptism & Temptation
- This Present Age, Time of Grace and Peace, The Patience of God
- Consuming Fire, End of the Natural Man, The Brightness of His Coming
- Dissolved in The Deep, Remnant Seed Preserved in the Kingdom, The Spirit Hovering
- Perfect Creation, Created in the Image & Likeness (John 17), Righteousness Reigns
THE SINKING OF THE TECTONIC PLATES:
How the earth dies is quite unusual. The earth will be buried under the sea, quite like man is buried in baptism or in the grave. Isaiah describes the occurrence of the process in what appears to be the colliding and sinking of tectonic plates. Isaiah put it this way in 24:19:
For the windows from on high are open, and quake foundations the earth's breaking, is breaking itself the land crashing, is crashing the land tottering, is tottering the land staggering, is staggering the earth, like a drunkard! And it rocks to and fro like a hut and is heavy on it its trespass: and it shall go down and not shall again come up....
THE CREATION OF THE DEEP:
After the sinking of the plates of the earth Peter says that the earth will be heated until everything is dissolved. He puts it this way:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up... looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat... (2 Pet. 3:10).
Here Peter describes a breaking down of the elements of the earth into some dissolved fashion. In Isaiah 24:19 (KJV) the prophet uses the same language, "the earth is clean dissolved." Actually, both of these examples would describe why the earth becomes the great deep of waters in Genesis 1:2.
RESURRECTION OF THE EARTH:
Isaiah is not saying that the earth shall be no more in his statement that the land will not come up again, because he goes on to say:
For are forgotten the distresses former; and because they are hidden from my eyes. For behold, I create heavens new and earth new; and not shall be remembered the things before and shall not go up on the heart. Except be glad and rejoice till forever (in) what I create... (Isaiah 65:16).
This means that only the specific land shall not come up again, it is recreated. Just like our human bodies shall go into the grave, or even our baptism, and will not come up again the same, but changed. A immortal glorified body, or new creation in Christ, comes up.
THE FUTURE REST:
The Hebrew is clear concerning Chapter One of the creation story being prophetic. In Chapter Two verse three we find these words: "And blessed God, day the seventh, and sanctified it; because on it He rested from all His work which (He God) had created (as) God to make." That is to say, the creation which Moses just described is already created in the mind of God even if not visible to man, in the same way that John 1:29; Isaiah 53, and Psalm 22 speak of Jesus as though Calvary has already happened. And to make it irrefutably clear that the process has not yet appeared, Moses tacked on the phrase "asah," to make or yet to be accomplished. In other words, Moses is saying that God rested on the seventh day after all the work which God created that is yet to be accomplished or made. Seeing there is no time with God, Moses is giving his reader a picture of God creating the future that he is yet to make.
It is this very hope and promise of life in a new world that is celebrated in the keeping of the Sabbath. Peter said in 2 Peter 3:13, "Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
THE NEVER-ENDING SABBATH:
As to the problem concerning the seventh day not having an end, at the end of the creation of Chapter One in Gen 2:3, God begins his rest on a never ending day. This we know to be a picture of what the new creation is like. Several places in Revelations we read that there shall be no night (Rev. 22:5 & 21:25). Although the sun and the moon remain, Revelations says there is no need of them for God is the light. This is confirmed in Isaiah 24:23, "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, then the Lord of host shall reign in Mount Zion... and before his ancients gloriously."
Moreover, Jesus said directly that He and His Father are currently Working, see John 5:17:
Jesus Answered them, “To this very day My Father is at His work, and I too am working.”
Viewing creation in this manner is helpful in several ways. First, if Genesis Chapter One and Genesis Chapter Two are as we assert different creation stories, then there are no sequential problems between the order of creation between one and the other. The specific problem being referred to is the fact that in Chapter One man is the last created thing (Gen. 1:26), when in Chapter Two the beast of the field and the birds are created last (Gen. 2:19).
Other problems such as in Chapter Two, woman comes from man, and in Chapter One, both come from God. In Chapter One, Man is created good, in Chapter Two, man is created subject to temptation. In Chapter One verse 26, Man is created in the image and likeness of God, in Chapter Two, man is only created in the image of God (Gen. 9:6).
Additionally, if all creation was created in an instant except for Man, the beast of the field, and the fowl of the air, this significantly reduces the problems that have with existing fossil discoveries. In scripture, no time is given for how much earlier the earth and all other plants and creature were created prior to the man, the beast of the field and birds. Clearly fish and reptiles would have preexisted man.
Whenever God did create, it was in an instant and what he made was a completed creation ready to be inhabited; thus, the appearance of age built into creation would make finding the starting point impossible. If God is timeless and does not lie, then his very nature would demand that creation have implanted into it the record of how things should work moving forward. This means that Adam and Eve probably had belly buttons, and rocks had fossils, and when Adam walked the chickens back to the hen house there were eggshells laying around.
Also, the problem of where did the preexisting earth and a great deep come from is eliminated. These are the remnants of our present creation.
Other questions, like when did Satan fall, are not as troubling if the earth could have existed millions of years prior to the creation of man. Satan is not seen falling to the earth during the six days of Chapter One (The Future Creation see Isa. 14:12 & Luke 10:18).
Finally, the confusion about the language in Genesis 1:28 where God told man to "replenish" the earth. If the earth had not previously been inhabited, this would be an absurd statement. "Plenish" is the root for words like Plentiful. The word standing alone means to fill. To say re- plenish is to say refill, to fill up again. Thus, the understanding that the creation in Chapter One is the new creation completely resolves this inconsistency.
All in all, it is very easy to see that a different set of assumptions will lead to different ends, and sometimes a different beginning. In this case, if one starts with a clear set of assumptions about the prophetic nature of Genesis Chapter One, the harmony of Biblical teaching is much clearer and more consistent. What arises from this understanding is that there has been from the beginning a careful looking forward to a certain cataclysmic end, but also a hopeful looking forward to a new beginning.
Additionally, creation is also another great picture of redemption. Just as man was created, cursed, dies, and waits for resurrection; so, the earth was created, cursed, must die, and be recreated. Just as Romans 1:20 says, God wraps spiritual truths in creation. These are great creational evidence of unseen spiritual truths of God abiding in consistency and harmony.
Finally, we also see the fact that a proper view of the prophetic nature of Genesis will also remove some of the scientific problems which have developed along with scientific discoveries. Even Paul, when writing to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:20 said that the oppositions of science were "falsely so called." True science supports scripture, and true interpretation is not in conflict with science.
God created the world by his Word. Because of this, the Word and the Created World should be in harmony, consistent, and not in conflict. Even Isaiah reproved his people for not having knowledge which comes from God and the creation work. Isaiah learned, and we would do well to take his challenge to learn.
In Isaiah Chapter 40:21, the prophet demonstrates his knowledge thousands of years in advance about creation and science by revealing to Israel the spherical nature of the earth, and the expanding nature of the universe. Man would do well to take his challenge and learn.
Have ye not known? Have ye not heard? Hath it not been told to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is he (God) that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in...