Understanding the Prophetic Intent of the Scriptural Account of the Creation
Chapter 1: Introduction
Since the beginning of time, man has wondered, theorized, and imagined as to the creation of himself and the universe. There are many points of view and a number of largely accepted hypotheses.
All in all, most people believe in one of two theories: the Creation, and Evolution. The more “scientific” class would have you believe that, at some point in time, all the matter currently found in the universe occupied a space no larger than a period on a printed page. That speck exploded, and the scattered matter developed into clouds, stars, galaxies, planets and, eventually, life.
The religious circles tend to accept the idea of the creation. This is the idea that God (some refer only to a “greater power”) created all things, from the universe to the inhabitants of the Earth.
Still others meld these two theories and claim that some “higher power” created some form of life, and that life evolved into what we now see.
The attacks against the truth about Creation are not new. Charles Darwin was not the originator of alternative origins of man. This is evident in the writings of King David. This great “man after God’s own heart” defended His work in creating all things against the doubters of his day, saying, “Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves.” (Psa. 100:3) And again, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psa. 139:14)
Accepting the Bible as the Word of God, one must allow it to be the final authority on this subject. The Holy Scriptures begin by addressing this very question.
The biblical account shows us the steps of creation, taken by God, over a period of six days. Many argue that it is literally six 24-hour days, but it seems difficult to prove, remembering that He did not even create “day” until the first day, and did not create the sun or the moon until the fourth day. In addition, as I will describe in the chapter about the sixth day of Creation, the events that took place on that day alone show that it was more than our 24 hours.
The word “day” is used here to let us know that it was a specific and uniform period of time and, although the Bible gives us clues elsewhere, it is not readily clear just how long that period of time may have been.
To truly understand what God is trying to say using these few words in the first chapter of the Holy Scriptures, we must consider how the Bible is written.
Jesus Christ said in Matthew 11:13, “All the law and the prophets prophesied until John.” There is no room for discussion in our Savior’s words here. Many Christian professors and theologians declare that “the Bible is one-third history, one-third poetry, and one-third prophecy.” It is evident here that Jesus disagrees.
Some have said, “You must watch out when using books like Ecclesiastes or The Song of Solomon because they are words expressing human (carnal) thoughts and desires.” Paul, an immensely prominent Bible figure, denies that in 2 Timothy 3:16. He says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Peter sides with Paul in 2 Peter 1:19-21. “We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed ... knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
He speaks plainly here that the Bible is trustworthy because no part of it is written of man’s own will, but every word is inspired. Because the Bible proves itself to be true, one can and must take every advantage to use every part of it to come to perfect knowledge. The Bible is inspired by God, and therefore may be understood only by Divine inspiration. (1 Cor. 2:12-14)
Upon accepting that no part of the Bible, although historically accurate, is merely an historical account, one can begin to catch a glimpse of its prophetic intent. After embracing this important concept, the Bible’s record of the creation can be seen in a whole new light.
Many Bible scholars and students turn to the book of Revelation and other passages, trying to unravel the mysteries of the prophecies of the end times. It is impossible to predict the future without first truly understanding the statement in Mal. 3:6, “I am the Lord, I change not.”
The Preacher speaks clearly, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: ... That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.” (Eccl. 3:14,15) In short, history repeats itself: not by chance but by design. “God doeth it that men should fear before Him.”
It must therefore be acknowledged that, in order to understand what God is doing, going to do, and, most importantly of all, why, we must refer to that which He has done.
We are given a hint in Isaiah 46:9,10. It is written, “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...”
The next obstacle one must cross is God’s system of time. Peter solves this problem, as he quotes an Old Testament scripture. Here he pleads, “Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Pet. 3:8; Psa. 90:4)
In unlocking the mystery of time in the Bible, God figuratively uses one day to show one thousand years and vice versa. It must also be realized that the Bible prophecy may use one number, but the fulfillment may be in some multiple of that number. For example, one day becomes 1,000 years (2 Pet. 3:8); 70 weeks represents 70 years (Dan. 9:24); 288 singers instructed in the songs of the Lord (1 Chron. 25:7) typify the 288,000 believers described in the 7th and 14th chapters of Revelation; to name a few.
Having considered all of these truths, we see that the key to understanding the prophetic intention of Genesis chapter one – or, in fact, any Bible passage – is as follows:
First and foremost, we must accept Jesus, the Son of God, as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said, “I am the way ... no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We must pray to God in Jesus’ name and ask for Him to forgive our sins and be born of the Spirit. Once we develop a relationship with Him who died for us, He can call us His friends as He did the early disciples and make known unto us all that He has heard of His Father. (John 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10,13)
Second, as Christians, having accepted Jesus Christ, we are then able, by Him, to have the world removed from our hearts. It is the world that prevents us from understanding God and His work. It is in direct reference to the subject at hand that Solomon declared, “He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl. 3:11)
Third, having been sanctified (step two), we can receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, “Whom the world cannot receive.” (John 15:17) Of Him Jesus said, “When he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)
Next, we must espouse the principle that it is prophetic. (Matt. 11:13; Heb: 10:1) It is only we see that it is a shadow of things to come that we can strive to obtain knowledge of its fulfillment.
The next step we must take is to understand that God is systematic in everything that He does. His actions are never erratic, but always uniform. What He has done serves as a precedent for what He will do. (Eccl. 3:14; Mal. 3:6)
Finally, we must comprehend how God sees time. Time is very important in God’s plan, but it must be remembered that God is eternal. What is the difference between one day, one year, 100 years, or even 1,000 years when compared to infinity. With this in mind, it is easy to see how God uses one for the other. Why He has written the Bible in this way is explained in Proverbs 25:2. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.”
Taking these points into consideration, we will, in the following chapters, take a fresh look at the account of Genesis Chapter 1, and learn the mysteries they contain about God’s work with man, throughout the millennia, from the beginning to the end.