Adult Sunday School - Part 4 - Regeneration and Replenishment of Earth. - by P.K.Odendaal - July 2012
And so we come to Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
We have seen in the previous part how the earth was laid waste, being void, and without form and without light. It was time for God to remake the vessel :
Jer. 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make.If we read this story as the story of creation, we will see many anomalies and discrepancies. If we read it as the regeneration of earth, we will find it interesting. If we read between the lines or on a deeper level, we will find it vital and exciting - and I will try to bring all three to you.Seen as a story of creation.
The first thing you may ask me is : Is this not the story of creation? And my answer would be : 'No'. If this was in fact the story of creation, as many people would have it to be, then please consider these anomalies:
1. How can the earth have been in chaos just after God made the heaven and earth in Gen 1:1? Surely God only creates perfect and beautiful things.
The reason is found in my previous part where God almost totally destroyed the earth due to the iniquity of mankind.
2. In this piece God says over and over again : 'Let there be ... light etc.'. If it was creation, He would have created light according to one of the verbs I previously enumerated in a previous part. These verbs were : prepared, set, established, strengthened, gave, appointed, brought forth, settled, made as we read in Proverbs 8.
The reason for this is that He had already created all these things previously, and here He only reinstates them.
3. The light appears in verse three on the first day of the week, whilst the sun and moon only appeared on the third day. This means that the light of the existing sun started to shine through the mist and smoke of the darkness on earth only during the course of the first day and it only became visible on the third day.
Firstly, it says that the sun and the moon started to shine on the third day. We all know that the sun is very much older than the moon, and thus, it was only on the third day when the semi darkness cleared up, that the sun and moon, which both existed from the first day, could shine through the mist and smoke, much like the morning mist and cloud breaks up to form openings.
Secondly, this story specifically states that it was evening and it was morning the third day. How could days be counted when there was no sun on the first two days?
Thirdly, it is stated over and over again that God made the earth in six earth days as we know days (and it was morning and it was evening the first day ....), whilst it is general knowledge that it took many years and maybe even millennia for God to create the heavens and earth.
Some say that for God one day is like a thousand years, meaning the heavens and earth was made in six thousand years. The scripture emphatically says six days. Even if you believe in the six thousand years, then we know that it is not a correct interpretation, as many excavated cities are much older than the six thousand years postulated. Troy and Jericho are examples.
You do however touch on the deeper meaning of the scripture when you think about six thousand years, but we should not confuse the literal and the deeper meaning. Each has its own way of counting days.
4. What does Proverbs 8 then mean if it does not refer to the creation of the earth and the sky?
5. Who lived in the cities which Cain fled to, if Adam, Eve and Cain were the only people created, and where did Cain and Set find wives?
The only feasible explanation can be that is was from the people who survived the first destruction of earth. Scripture says a few survived.
6. Who would have killed Cain according to his words in Gen 4:14 ... and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
7. We must explain on which of these six days Satan was cast out of heaven, because we already find him in Gen 3:1 busy deceiving Adam and Eve. The only consistent explanation is that he was cast out before the first day.
8. We must explain with whom Jesus Christ played on earth (see Prov. 8:31). During, and since this story of Adam and Eve, Jesus Christ has never played with mankind on earth.
9. Genesis says that on the seventh day God rested from His works. It is a fact that God does not presently rest, because he does a work in each person's soul, he works for our salvation and safety, and He maintains His creation.
Jesus Christ says in Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected (rest).
It is clear from this that He did not enter His rest yet.
10. We will have to explain why God told Adam and Eve to replenish the earth, if it was not formerly populated. See Gen 1:28.
Seen as a story of the regeneration of earth.
Seen as a story of the regeneration of earth, I find no anomalies in these verses, and it therefore appears reasonable to accept that it was in fact the regeneration of the earth. I am however not dogmatic about it and accept that there may be other explanations.
Seen as the story of the coming history of God and mankind.
Here we find this story vital and exciting, and we must read it in a spiritual way. It is rich in meaning and prophecy, and is the full story of God and man from the end of the first destruction of the earth to the end of the last destruction, and the creation of a New World and New Heavens.
Firstly we look at the six days which we then interpret as six thousand years according to the guidance of the scripture in 2 Peter 3:8 and Ps 90:4.
The counting of a day as a thousand years, is repeated again and again in the prophecies of the Bible. To give you one instance by Jesus Christ Himself :
Luk 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence (one for each day), and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Here Jesus Christ tells the inn keeper that He is going away for two thousand years. I will not labour this point any longer as you can study this aspect yourself in Ex 12:3-6 and Rev. 20:2. The six thousand years are now almost past and we are waiting for the seventh day, when God and we shall rest.
This story stops abruptly on the seventh day, only because the seventh day only dawns in Revelation 21, where the story is continued. Let us try and map Genesis to Revelation, and see the striking similarities, prophecies and opposites, known as types and anti-types:
1. Destruction of the earth.
The story starts with the first destruction of the earth in Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
The story ends with the final destruction of the earth in Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;
2. Adam as the first man is created, and became a man of sorrow and shame, who brought death to us all. Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Jesus Christ became the first man to be reborn and resurrected, and He was a man of sorrow, shame and rejection, and became the victor over death and hell, and brought life to us all.
Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
3. Adam's bride was taken from his body.
Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; v:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. v:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
The bride of Jesus Christ will also be taken from His body (manifested as His church on earth).
Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
4. There were two trees in Eden : The tree of Life and the tree of Knowledge.
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
In the new earth there was only the tree of Life, as the tree of Knowledge had been destroyed.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life,
5. The serpent was prophesied to bite Jesus Christ in the heel.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and ... between thy seed and her seed (Jesus Christ); ..., and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This happened here : Mar 15:20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
6. It was prophesied that Jesus would overcome Satan. Gen 3:15 ... it shall bruise thy head,
This happened here : Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
7. There would be a (seventh) day of rest :
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
It is obvious that the day of rest had not come yet, as it will only dawn at the end of time on this earth. Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. v:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
This day is of course one thousand years long, in which Satan is bound. Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Everybody would indeed rest when Satan is bound!
There are many other similarities, if you care to study it in detail.
So yes, it may be that the regeneration of earth was in six days, but here one has to read deeper into the story because it is a summary of the whole plan that God has in store for us and for the earth, over a period of six thousand years.
One last note - and I will come back to this again and again.
Scripture has a depth of meaning far in excess of what we can understand or fathom in the text itself. When we read a verse, this verse has different levels of meaning, and we sometimes find a deeper meaning than what we literally read. We must look out for these deeper meanings which are disguised in the text. In fact, there are so many different levels, that we will only one day in the hereafter really understand what is contained therein.
In later parts I will talk a lot about types. If we learn about types we can delve into deeper meanings of the text. Some things can only be found if we meditate over scripture and study it. In this manner Jesus Christ was disguised in the Old Testament to the extent that the Jews never could imagine that the Messiah had to die. But it is all there in black and white in stories, prophecies and in types, long before the time.