Declaring the End from the Beginning

By David M. McNabb

Understanding the Prophetic Intent of the Scriptural Account of the Creation

Chapter 7: All Creatures Great and Small

And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind:' and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

"And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.'

"And God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat:' and it was so.

"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." (Gen. 1:24-31)

In this sixth day of creation lies a beautiful description of what seems to be the climax of God's workweek. In it we see two distinct works: the creation of the animals and the creation of mankind.

There is a great difference in the execution of these two marvelous works. In the creation of the animals, God says, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature..." (This is very much like God's words on day five, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly [the fish and the fowl]...") And it was so. The next verse says, "And God made the beast of the earth..." So, indeed the creatures were all created by God, but in what respect? The earth brought them forth as God commanded. Not so, however, with the creation of Adam and Eve. Of them, God says, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." Genesis 2:7 says, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The chapter goes on to describe how God took one of Adam's ribs and formed the woman. The creation of man shows tremendous deliberation and personal involvement, whereas the beasts were commanded to be brought forth, "and it was so."

We are often reminded of the world's idea of a "mother earth." If the idea is valid, it is so only for the beasts which she brought forth. Man, however, does not have the earth as his mother, for we were not brought forth like the beasts, but created with careful deliberation, both man and woman.

Such is very much the case even today. God has set a system in motion to bring forth beasts, each of which performs its vital function in the ecosystem and dies. In contrast, however, every human child born into this world personally receives the breath of life from God and becomes a living soul. This helps us better understand Ecclesiastes 3:21, "Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?" Also, Ecclesiastes 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Paul, in Galatians 4:26, shows that it is the heavenly Jerusalem, not earth, that is our mother, "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."

So God created all things which have the breath of life, both of beast and man, on the sixth day. As with the fifth day, the key element here is life. The reason that He reserved the creation of the living creatures for these two days is simple, Jesus' ministry would bring life to earth, and that ministry was predestined to occur near the start of the fifth millennium.

It is in the Son that life is contained, as eloquently stated by John Zebedee, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:11-13) It is the born-again believer that has life. These two millennia of man's history have been tremendous to the bringing forth of those that truly have life, in God, through Jesus' name.

But life in general was not to be the apex of God's creation. There was yet one creature, a very special creature, to be made. This creature was so special, in fact, that it would bear the likeness of God Himself: man. God made man, and later, woman, to rule over all the earth, and to worship Him is spirit and in truth. As Solomon said, "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Eccl. 12:13)

Paul is very clear that Jesus is the "second Adam." Now, Jesus was not created, to be sure, but is the "only begotten Son of God." He is nevertheless foreshadowed in Adam. Near the end of the sixth day, God formed man and placed him in the garden of Eden. Shortly thereafter, God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Gen. 2:18) God was preparing to give Adam a wife, but the next verse says that God caused all the animals to parade before Adam, and he named each of them. After this God caused Adam to go into deep sleep, took one of his ribs, and from it formed Eve. When God brought her to Adam, Adam said, "This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Gen. 2:23)

This entire exercise shows that man looked over all of God's creation for this companion, and found none. God therefore had one more task to perform to complete His sixth-day work: woman. His very words, "This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh," indicate his exuberance that, finally, there was someone like him.

This same exercise is being played out today. The earth has brought forth multitudes of Christians, having abundant life from God. Just before the beginning of the seventh millennium, Jesus will come for His bride. Although it is commonly taught that all of Christendom is the Bride of Christ, this is simply not true. The Scriptures show allegory after allegory about the marriage supper of the Lamb. These stories contain the various elements of the Bride, her bridesmaids and the other guests at the wedding. All of these are made up by various Christians, but only some believers will qualify to be in "the Bride." As the Bible says, "Many are called, but few are chosen." Jesus, in Matthew 25, says that in the last days the Kingdom of Heaven will be like 10 virgins, five wise and five foolish. If these are the Kingdom of Heaven, then they are all Christians, but surely the half that were foolish would not also be God's Elect.

God always has a chosen group, even a chosen group within a chosen group. God chose Israel out of all the nations of the world. Of them He further chose the tribe of Levi to do the service of His house. He went even further to choose out from among them the household of Aaron to be the priesthood. God never changes. God has chosen Christianity to be His blessed people of the grace age, and from them He will make up the Bride of Christ. (Mal. 3:16)

This is the last work of our millennium. Even today, God is beginning to form that group of Christians that, when Jesus comes, will be bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh. As John the Apostle said, "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; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:2,3) Not all Christians are striving for that purity, but those who do will be like Esther, who pleased the king above all the women of the land and became his queen.

John, in Rev. 19:8, records of the Bride, "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." Paul agrees that this perfection is a special gift of God, in Heb. 6:1-3, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection... And this will we do, if God permit."

God then commanded Adam and Eve to subdue the earth and to "have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Once Jesus presents to Himself this "glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing," He and His new Bride will enter into the seventh millennium to rule and reign for a thousand years.

And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.