I need your help this morning. After spending more than four hours developing this message on Friday, as I was looking at it yesterday it appeared to be very confusing. I considered scrapping it, but didn’t feel the Lord’s approval in doing that. So I am asking you to pay attention and to really concentrate on what I’m trying to say. Listen between the lines if you have to, asking for the Lord’s blessings. The confusion will come as I try to maintain both scriptural facts and my own intended allegories. It is important that you see where one ends and the other begins.
When I became a Christian, ie. when I was born from above, I had a keen interest in science. As a kid, I did many of things that little boys did back before video games and television. I collected bugs and butterflies, pinning them to boards and making little signs to identify them. I performed autopsies on dead animals. I carried the brain of a robin in my pocket, until it inexplicably disappeared one day. I had a nominal interest in dinosaurs, but I was more interested in living things than those long extinct. When as a teenager the Lord saved me, my perspective on the natural world slowly changed. While believing the words of Genesis 1, for a while I tried to explain them from the perspective of science and evolution. But of course, my sophomoric brain was quickly pulverized, and I gave up on Darwin in lieu of Moses and Paul.
Early in my Christian life someone pointed out that there is a parallel between God’s creation of the universe and His creation of Christian. That is what I’d like you to consider this morning. I’d like to think about creation as an illustration of the salvation of the sinner. Saints are not the product of spiritual evolution – they are instantly created by God. If you are a child of God, I hope that you’ll be able to follow the logical parallel. And if you are not, I pray the Holy Spirit will help you to see that you need the Creator/Saviour.
Early in creation, the earth was without form and void, filled with darkness and lifelessness.
I hope everyone realizes that Genesis 1 should be understood literally. This chapter is not a parable, an allegory, a simile, or a modern piece of abstract or literary art. God – Elohim – created the universe – His universe – exactly as it is described here in six literal days. BUT, I would like to use that literal creative act – that week – as an illustration of how He saves souls. And in order to do so I’ll begin with some interpretational controversy.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” With what you know about God – His majesty and His perfection – would you expect Him to create a shapeless, worthless, vacuum-like void? This is a subject debated by good men, and they do so because it has the potential of serious heresy. But I think that God created a beautiful wonderful world, which became dark, without form and void. The Hebrew word “was” in the statement “And the earth was without form” is sometimes translated in “became” or some form of that word. I’m not telling you to scribble out “was” and change it to “became,” because verse 2 is perfectly correct – “The earth was (at that point) without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Some say that Isaiah 45:18 contradict what Genesis 1:2 says? But of course it does not. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” The Hebrew word “without form” in Genesis 1:2 is used by the Lord in Isaiah 45:18 – where it is translated “in vain.” Isaiah says that God did NOT create the world “in vain” or “without form.” But clearly Genesis says that the “earth was without form” by the beginning of verse 2. Could something have happened between verses 1 and 2?
Here is one point where I need everyone’s attention. There are multitudes of mis-guided religionists who put billions of years between verse 1 and 2. But they are wrong; most of them are heretics with an evolutionary agenda. Between verses 1 and 2 they put the dinosaurs, falling meteors and sometimes the evolution of man. Those people are wrong; they are heretics; they are troublers of the faith. And there is no need for their interpretation. God created the dinosaurs on the fifth and sixth days of the first week – along with all the rest of the reptiles, mammals, birds, amphibians and fish. And then many of those animals which we call “dinosaurs” drowned in the flood, becoming extinct.
What I think did take place between verses 1 and 2, and what did bring God’s creation into darkness and shapelessness, was the fall of Lucifer from his angelic position to that of Satan and the Devil. His fall had to occur sometime, and that rebellion could explain the condition of creation in verse 2. We don’t have time to study the scriptures which speak about Lucifer’s fall and rebellion against God, but that rebellion was as real and literal as God’s creation of Lucifer in the first place. And at the beginning of verse 2, during the first day of creation makes sense to me.
Whether you fully agree, here is the point I’d like to make: Just as Adam was created perfectly innocent on the sixth day, creation generally was beautiful and pleasing to God on the first day. Initially there was no death and no groaning dinosaurs, marring the songs of the “morning stars.” There were no works of corruption defiling the perfect handiwork of God. There was no sin and no sinful rebel until Lucifer made his move against the throne of Jehovah. Later, man was created without sin, he was made in the image and likeness of God with potential for fellowship with the Lord. And because there was no sin, there was no death. Nothing died anywhere in God’s creation until after Genesis 3 – no plants, no bugs, and no animals – including dinosaurs. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Now, returning to my allegory, Genesis 1:2 is a picture of the spiritual condition of humanity.
The creation was without form and void. Earth was in a state of confusion. When sin rules there may be no ruler at all. Where sin fills a society, the world becomes much like it was in the days of the Judges – “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Sin has created within the human heart a darkness, a formless void of lawlessness. And Romans says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men.” A spirit of insubordination, rebellion and selfism took control of the heart which God created. ursing replaced blessing; death and sorrow replaced life and joy. The human heart became submerged in evil and polluted by sin.
God created the first man beautiful in innocence and potential, but sin destroyed him. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” That world of verse 2 was in itself void, incapable of producing anything for the glory of the Creator. It had no grass, trees, birds, beautiful sun sets, anything worthy of the Lord. Romans 8:8 – “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
“And darkness was upon the face of the waters.” The Apostle Paul described his commission in Acts 26:18, saying was “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins…” Because of its spiritual condition, mankind doesn’t have eyes capable of seeing our spiritual darkness.
But then toward the end of Genesis 1:2 the Holy Spirit began to work.
“The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” As the earthly ministry of Christ was coming to a close, He encouraged His disciples with some wonderful promises. Among them He said, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” The Comforter, to whom Jesus referred, is the Holy Spirit. And part of His ministry is that of moving upon the dark, formless, void face of the waters of humanity.
The work of the Holy Spirit is perhaps the most neglected aspect of evangelism and the gospel. The preparation of the human heart – even the mind – is something which the Spirit does. Generally speaking the proud man refuses to admit he is a sinner before the eyes of God’s holiness. He knows there is life in his heart and mind, and he cannot understand how he could be spiritually dead. Even though the evangelist must use his words to speak to the unbeliever, it is only the Holy Spirit who can transform that man into a believer. And even though there will be a special moment in time when a man who is dead in sins is born again, the Spirit might take time bringing more and more light upon that heart and mind before that great day. There were five days between the dark, void world and Adam walking through the Garden of Eden.
A great many people today have been brain-washed into evolutionary thinking. It is common to find people who believe that man in particular is evolving and improving into perfection. They say it may take a billion more years, but eventually humanity in a better form will become god-like. There is a spiritual parallel to this imaginary evolution. The individual soul is often pictured as in an upward climb, rising higher and higher towards perfection. If he quits certain sins, and adds certain good deeds, then religious man will become godly. But no, – without the intrusion and intervention of Christ and His Spirit, the human heart will forever remain dark and void of life.
“And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.”
Perhaps not everyone agrees, but I see in this light an illustration of the Word of God. There is a parallel between Genesis 1 and the Gospel of John chapter 1. If you’ll remember from our earlier reading, someone called “the Word was with God and was God.” Quite clearly to the regenerated mind, that “Word” is another name for the Son of God – Christ Jesus the Lord. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Not only this but John pointed out that the Word is “the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” There is a very fine line between Christ, the light of world, the Creator who is the Word, the voice of God and the written Word the Bible. The distance between each of those points is so small as to be non-existent.
“And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” In Hebrew Genesis 1:3 contains only six words – but how powerful they are. God spoke and instantly there was obedience. But it wasn’t the obedience of a rational creature; it was the obedience of an immaterial part of creation. The Word of God could not be denied. Jehovah, the Almighty God – Elohim – is sovereign over every aspect of His creation.
Consider what the Lord said through Isaiah in his 55th chapter. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” We need to thank God that He said, “Let there be light.” Christ spoke towards a cold, dead tomb, “Lazarus come forth,” and instantly there was light once again in the eyes of Lazarus. Elsewhere the Lord said, “I forgive you,” and there was eternal forgiveness. He said, “Peace be unto you,” and the dark, void, formless soul became calm before its Saviour. “The entrance of thy words (oh, God) giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.”
As the Holy Spirit moved, the Word of God was spoken and life sprang forth in God’s creation.
It was not evolutionary, it was not gradual and eon-consuming; it was instantaneous. Elohim prepared the light and then the mechanisms to generate the light – the sun, moon and stars. He separated the earth from the seas, and then instantly covered the earth with foliage. So there was food for the animals and man which He created only days later. Like progress in the heart both prior to and following regeneration, step followed step.
And finally there was verse 26 – “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The highlight of history’s first week was God’s creation of a being to reflect His image. This is the purpose of the new birth – the purpose of salvation – Christ’s likeness. Colossians 3 – “Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering… And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called…” Romans 8 – “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” I John 3 – “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him.”
On the sixth day of the first week of history, God created a human being which was supposed to bring glory to God’s name. But the Lord permitted that human to sin against Him. God did so in order to bring even MORE glory to Himself. When Adam sinned, he destroyed the beauty God created within him, and he became without form and spiritually void. But when the Lord sends His Spirit with His Word to hover over that cold listless soul, miracles take place. Life enters the heart where nothing but spiritual death resides and reigns. And by God’s grace that life flourishes and begins to produce glory to the Lord.
Is your life God-glorifying? Has God granted you eternal life? Are you a living, spiritual creature, or are you a dead void in the sight of the Almighty? Are you a victim of sin and Satan, or have you been born again by the Spirit of God? Christ Jesus has said, “Ye must be born again.”